Private equity and credit investments 

Our clients around the world look to our private equity and credit capabilities as potential sources of alpha or premium yields with risk and diversification characteristics that we believe are difficult to achieve through publicly traded securities.

 

Expanding access to private equity and credit

 

Built on a long-standing foundation of industry relationships, our platform seeks to offer clients comprehensive access to deal sourcing through a complement of direct, primary, and secondary investment solutions spanning private equity and credit.

280+ fund investments1
200+ sponsor partners1

 1 Since inception of the Primary Funds Investment Strategy in August 2005 through March 31, 2022. Data includes both client and General Account activity. The General Account is not currently an advisory client as at March 31, 2022.

What sets us apart

  • Our primary funds program supports access to strong sponsors

    As the backbone of our private equity and credit platform, our fund investments have provided a strong foundation while building sponsor relationships and investment opportunities for our equity co-investment, credit, and secondaries strategies.

  • Our presence across private equity and credit creates more connections

    Our private equity and credit team allocates to primary, direct, and secondary investments throughout the middle market and beyond. An integrated sponsor-centric approach helps us access deal flow, discern industry trends, and connect insight from one investment opportunity to the next.

  • Our reputation and resources make us a strong partner 

    We believe the stability and scale of our 125+ year history2 and permanent capital base make us a partner of choice to leading private equity firms and institutional investors around the world.

The opinions expressed above are those of Manulife Investment Management and are subject to change based on market and other conditions.

2 Manulife Investment Management is a part of Manulife, a global financial institution founded in 1887.

Our private equity and credit investment strategies

Partnering with top buyout firms and sponsors, we invest in middle market companies across the capital structure. We believe our continuum of private equity and credit investment solutions, extensive sponsor relationships, and access to information foster full-scale deal sourcing, rigorous underwriting, and attractive risk-adjusted return opportunities for our clients.

  • Primary private equity funds

    As the backbone of our private equity and credit platform, our predominantly middle market buyout fund investments have generated attractive risk-adjusted returns, strengthened our sponsor relationships, and created new opportunities for clients invested in strategies across the capital spectrum.

  • Senior credit

    We focus on directly originated senior secured loans in middle market companies backed by skilled sponsors. Through our broad sourcing capabilities and proprietary underwriting approach, we seek to build diversified portfolios designed to deliver downside protection and premium yields.

  • Junior credit

    We allocate junior credit capital to middle market companies, combining robust contractural cash flows and capital appreciation potential. Our strategy leverages long-standing relationships with private equity sponsors and nonsponsor deal sources seeking to generate strong risk-adjusted returns for investors.

  • Private equity co-investments

    We invest directly in market-leading companies alongside our sponsors, leveraging our primary funds' relationships to provide our investors access to a diversified portfolio of what we consider to be high-quality middle market companies at fees lower than what we typically see applicable to private equity investments.

    Learn more
  • Secondaries

    We believe GP-led transactions in the secondaries market have created compelling opportunities for investors with the flexibility to commit creative, solutions-oriented capital that participates in extending the holding period of sponsors’ most prized portfolio companies. We invest in GP-led deals involving mature assets that are often unavailable elsewhere.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. 

Our team

Our integrated private equity and credit team includes nearly 50 investment professionals focusing on primary private equity fund investments, direct lending, equity co-investments, and secondaries. Sharing insight and deal flow opportunities driven by 180+ sponsor relationships, our team brings decades of experience and specialized expertise to every investment we make.

Vipon Ghai, CPA, CMA, CFA

Global Head of Private Equity and Credit, Global Wealth and Asset Management

Vipon is responsible for the team that oversees global private equity, junior credit, secondaries, and private credit investments. ​He joined the firm in 2002 and has more than two decades of experience in private equity, four years in corporate and investment banking, and three years of operational experience. Vipon has served as a board director on several public and private companies in the United States and Canada, and he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Public Accountant designations. 

  • Education: B.B.A., Wilfrid Laurier University 
  • Joined the company: 2002
  • Began career: 1991
Vipon Ghai, CPA, CMA, CFA

Scott B. Garfield

Senior Managing Director, Private Equity and Credit

Scott has overall responsibility for Manulife Investment Management’s North American junior debt, PE funds, and equity co-investment programs.  He also serves as the portfolio manager for the team’s equity co-investment funds. Prior to joining the firm in 2002, he was a partner of FinanStar Group, a boutique investment bank. His background also includes numerous merger-and-acquisition assignments and corporate finance transactions while serving in Wachovia’s Capital Markets Group.

  • Education: B.A. in Economics, Williams College; M.B.A., Duke University
  • Joined the company: 2002
  • Began career: 1988
Scott B. Garfield

Jeff Hammer

Global Co-Head of Secondaries

Jeff joined Manulife Investment Management in 2019 as global co-head of secondaries. Along with Paul Sanabria, Jeff leads the global secondaries business focused on general partner-led and special situation transactions, and partners with private equity, private credit, and secondary fund sponsors. Previously, he was co-head of Houlihan Lokey’s illiquid financial assets practice, a unit he co-founded and built into the leading investment banking group focused on customized transactions for holders of illiquid securities. Prior to that role, Jeff was a senior managing director at Bear Stearns, where he founded, built, and co-led Private Equity Advisors, the private equity fund-of-funds and secondary investing unit of Bear Stearns Asset Management. Earlier, he co-founded BDC Financial, a firm that provided customized private equity investment management and advisory services to institutional and high-net-worth investors. Earlier in his career, he held investment banking positions at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

  • Education: A.B. in Politics, Princeton University; M.B.A., Harvard University
  • Joined the company: 2019
  • Began career: 1985
Jeff Hammer

Joshua A. Liebow, CFA

Co-Head of Junior Credit

Josh co-leads Manulife Investment Management’s junior credit business, which focuses on providing subordinated and second-lien debt and structured equity solutions to private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies. He joined Hancock Capital Management—now operating as Manulife Investment Management—in 2004 and the firm’s private equity and credit group in 2007. He spent the first three years of his career on John Hancock’s North American corporate finance transportation team. Josh holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

  • Education: B.A., Business Administration, Babson College
  • Joined the company: 2004
  • Began career: 2004
Joshua A. Liebow, CFA

Devon Russell

Senior Managing Director, Senior Loans

Devon is responsible for managing the senior credit business of Manulife Investment Management. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, when it operated as Hancock Capital Management, he spent 12 years at Madison Capital Funding. At Madison Capital, he served as a leader and member of the executive and investment committees and was responsible for strategic and capital market activities including loan syndications, third-party asset management, and joint ventures for the firm’s mezzanine and unitranche credit products. Prior to joining Madison Capital, Devon spent 9 years at Banc of America Securities, where he served as a senior structurer in the sponsor leveraged finance group and a loan syndications structurer supporting the middle market group and the media/telecommunications group.

  • Education: B.A. in Economics and Political Science, Indiana University; M.B.A., Indiana University
  • Joined the company: 2016
  • Began career: 1994
Devon Russell

Paul Sanabria

Global Co-Head of Secondaries

Paul joined Manulife Investment Management in 2019 as global co-head of secondaries. Along with Jeff Hammer, Paul leads the global secondaries business focused on general partner-led and special situation transactions, and partners with private equity, private credit, and secondary fund sponsors. Previously, he was co-head of Houlihan Lokey’s illiquid financial assets practice, a unit he co-founded and built into the leading investment group focused on customized transactions for holders of illiquid securities. Prior to that role, Paul was a senior managing director at Bear Stearns, where he acquired and led the private funds group responsible for originating new third-party fundraising mandates. In addition, he founded and co-led the private equity fund and secondary investing unit. Earlier, he co-founded BDC Financial, a firm that provided customized private equity investment management and advisory services to institutional and high-net-worth investors.

  • Education: B.S. in Engineering, California State University-Sacramento; M.B.A., Harvard University
  • Joined the company: 2019
  • Began career: 1985
Paul Sanabria

Matt Szwarc

Co-Head of Junior Credit

Matt co-leads Manulife Investment Management’s junior credit business, which focuses on providing subordinated and second-lien debt and structured equity solutions to private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies. He joined Hancock Capital Management—now operating as Manulife Investment Management—in 2013. Previously, he was vice president at Pomona Capital, where he focused on private equity secondary and co-investment opportunities. Earlier in his career, Matt held investment positions at AlpInvest Partners and Prudential Capital Group.

  • Education: B.S., Finance and Accounting, Boston College; M.B.A., Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • Joined the company: 2013
  • Began career: 2003
Matt Szwarc

Sustainable investing

We believe that effective management of ESG factors can help minimize investment risk and contribute to long-term sustainable returns. We focus on building strong relationships with sponsors, co-investors, and portfolio companies, which fosters a collaborative approach to sustainability and elevates our influence over key assets and business practices.

  • Our investment process is aligned with industry best practices such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and UN-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

  • 100% of the GPs in our fund of funds have a sustainable investing policy 

  • For the first time, we completed the PRI private equity module for the 2019 reporting year and received a score of B

  • Private equity and credit sustainable investing framework

    Download
For more information on PRI’s methodology and for Manulife IM's full PRI assessment and transparency report please visit manulifeim.com/institutional/global/en/sri-report. It should not be assumed that any sustainability principles, initiatives, standards, or metrics described on this site will apply to each investment strategy or asset in which Manulife invests or that they have applied to each of Manulife's prior investments.  Sustainability is only one of many considerations that Manulife takes into account when making investment decisions and managing assets, and other considerations can be expected in certain circumstances to outweigh sustainability considerations.  The information provided on this site is intended solely to provide an indication of the sustainability principles, initiatives and standards that Manulife applies when seeking to evaluate and/or improve the sustainability characteristics of an asset as part of the larger goal of maximizing financial returns on investments.  Accordingly, certain investments and strategies may exhibit characteristics that are inconsistent with the principles, initiatives, standards, or metrics described on this site.

Related viewpoints

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Private equity investors still seek what they’ve always required—returns, service, and transparency. See why sustainability is rising to a commensurate level.
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Private equity secondaries—investing in GP-led transactions

Private equity secondaries represent a vibrant and growing opportunity for investors. See why GP-led deals are driving the secondaries market to the next level.
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Contact us

  • John (Jay) D. Jarrett Jr.

    Managing Director, Business Development and Investor Relations, Private Equity and Credit

    617-572-4594

    jdjarrett@jhancock.com

  • Daniel Neczypor

    Director, Business Development and Investor Relations, Private Equity and Credit

    917-595-1517

    dneczypor@jhancock.com

  • Leigha Haynes

    Director, Business Development and Investor Relations, Private Equity and Credit

     857-205-9422 

    lhaynes@jhancock.com

  • Elizabeth Mingle

    Director, Business Development and Investor Relations, Private Equity and Credit

    617-459-2937 

    emingle@jhancock.com