Press Release

Prosperity of Asian Economies to be Studied in New Research Project at UofT’s Martin Prosperity Institute

March 3, 2014

Prosperity of Asian Economies to be Studied in New Research Project at UofT’s Martin Prosperity Institute

Toronto – The Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, in partnership with Manulife Financial, has established the Manulife Asia Desk; a hub for thought leadership and research related to Asian economies and prosperity.

The Manulife Asia Desk will be a multi-year project focused on understanding the prosperity, urbanization, and sustainability of Asia and its cities. Lead by MPI Research Director Dr. Kevin Stolarick, the project will provide quality, relevant research for organizations looking at expanding into Asian markets.  Research results will be shared through a series of reports as well as events including seminars and roundtables involving the researchers from the MPI and other partners.

“We have significant business interests in Asia and we’re continuing to develop that opportunity to the fullest,” says Jason Dehni, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Manulife Financial. “The more we know, the better we will be able to serve those markets. We believe other companies can experience success in Asia as well. That’s the focus of the Manulife Asia Desk – supporting research that informs other companies about the unique business landscapes in different Asian markets.”

“Understanding the Creative Economy in India’s Cities” is the first report in series from the Manulife Asia Desk that will examine prosperity in Asia, which sheds light on the prosperity of India’s fifty most competitive cities.  The report pursues a creative economy perspective against the backdrop of India’s urbanization and economic transitioning from an agricultural and industrial economy to a creativity- and service-based post-industrial economy. With the support from Manulife Financial, MPI will expand their research to China and East Asia.

“With the Manulife Asia Desk, we aim to provide informed research to shape debate about economic prosperity and to inform private, public and civic decision-making at the highest levels on Asian economies,” says Jamison Steeve, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute. “We’re grateful for the support of Manulife Financial which has a strong track record of success in Asia.”

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were approximately C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

About Rotman School of Management

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions.  For more information, visit


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Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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