Manulife Financial Corp MFC-T reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as investors pulled capital from the insurer’s wealth and asset management unit amid heavy market volatility.
Substantial asset management units at insurers have taken a hit from equity market declines through 2022, as investors reeled from fears of a recession, hefty interest rate-hikes and geopolitical turmoil.
Manulife’s global wealth and asset management unit posted net outflows of $8.3 billion in the fourth-quarter, compared with inflows of $8.1 billion a year earlier.
Core earnings at the unit fell 31% to $267 million in the quarter, from $387 million a year earlier.
The company said it experienced top-line pressures throughout the past year primarily due to COVID-19 containment measures in Asia and challenging market conditions, which were partially offset by expense management.
Net income attributed to shareholders fell roughly 9% to $1.89 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $2.08 billion a year earlier.