Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp.’s asset management division has signed a multi-million-dollar outsourcing deal with Thomson Reuters.

As part of the agreement, MFC Global Investment Management will use the Thomson Reuters Portia record keeping system for more than $66 billion in public assets under management. According to Thomson, the service will allow for “the introduction of a single book of record for the public asset component of its investment management business.”

Many asset managers choose to manage their own middle- to back-office solutions, noted Christy Bremner, global managing director of Portia. But by handing much of that responsibility over to Thomson Reuters, all the MFC infrastructure, including physical hardware and systems, will be located in a hosted data center. For MFC Global, said Bremner, the arrangement will provide “a single consolidated global platform, as well as strong technical support and the assurance of a stable operational environment.”

“There is a range of activities that we perform on their behalf—not just physical infrastructure in a data center,” added Bremner. The hosted software services will also include data management, disaster recovery support and management reporting.

Boston-based John Hancock Advisers, which was acquired by Manulife in 2004, has used Portia for nearly ten years, according to Bremner. The new deal will allow Manulife to expand those services beyond the John Hancock affiliate to MFC Global’s operations in Berwyn, Pa., McLean, Va., Toronto, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, among others.

“We have a long-standing business relationship with Thomson Reuters,” said Jacqui Allard, VP and chief administrative officer of MFC Global, in a prepared statement. “They understand our business and our people.”

The Portia investment accounting software, which handles books and records and supports reporting, performance management and a range of mid-to-back-office activities, has 300 clients in 45 countries. Twenty-one of the platform’s customers use the outsourced version, with the rest opting for an in-house installation.

The move toward outsourcing is gaining momentum, said Bremner. “Firms are taking a look at options for mid-to-back-office operations as an alternative to bringing it all in-house,” she said. “Managing the mid-to-back-office is no longer a strategic differentiator, so companies would rather have management focus on core strategic activities like managing money.”

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