Canada's Manulife opens Dublin office as part of Brexit planning

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The asset and wealth arm of Canada’s Manulife Financial Corporation said on Monday it had opened an office in Ireland to expand its European operations and as part of planning for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Banks, insurers and asset managers have been opening offices, hiring staff and moving capital to various locations across the trade bloc to ensure they can continue to serve clients in the event Britain leaves the EU without an exit deal.

Currently staffed by four employees, Manulife Investment Management’s Dublin office plans to hire two more people over the next six to nine months. The employees are a mix of transfers and local hires, a spokeswoman said.

By contrast, it has around 70 staff in London.

Several European investment management teams will now be overseen from Ireland, instead of from Boston or Toronto, as will product governance. The group is also looking to hire risk and compliance staff locally.

The new office will be led by Angela Billick as chief operating officer.

Headquartered in Toronto, Manulife Investment Management had C$844 billion ($634.92 billion) in assets under management and administration at the end of June.

$1 = 1.3293 Canadian dollars Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Kirsten Donovan