On Wednesday, Manulife Investment Management confirmed a round of layoffs affecting the Canadian leg of their property operations team. Around 50 employees have allegedly been cut from the company in Canada, with more layoffs alleged in the US.

In a statement to STOREYS, a spokesperson for Manulife cites changes to the company’s operating model and regional coverage strategy in North America. 

“In Canada, we are evolving our organization away from property operations to refocus our business as an entrepreneurial investment manager. As part of this repositioning, our teams working in Canada property operations will move to JLL in March 2023. We have a short-term contract with JLL for leasing services, and thereafter leasing will be provided by a range of brokerage firms.”

The company Manulife is working with for now is Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a commercial real estate and property management firm based out of Chicago.

This is not the first time Manulife has chosen to outsource its operations. In December 2019, the leading international financial services group entered into an agreement with First National Financial LP “to provide underwriting and fulfillment processing services for mortgages originated by Manulife Bank through the residential mortgage broker channel in Ontario and Atlantic Canada,” according to a press release from First National.

The Manulife layoffs are in line with a string of layoffs across multiple industries in Toronto, including layoffs also alleged at the Toronto-Dominion Bank. It stands to reason that the high interest rate environment is to blame, although Manulife in particular has attributed the recent job shed to focusing more heavily on its investment management unit.

Although unemployment in Toronto is down to a notable low -- it sat at 6.2% in October, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) -- CREA also reported that there were 34,900 fewer full-time jobs in October 2022 compared to the month prior.

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