• 15/06/2016

Mindy Perry on how Manulife’s strategy conquers healthcare adversity

Dedicated Healthcare Pioneer

A determination to provide its MPF members with a diverse range of investment options has paid off for Manulife, winning a BENCHMARK Best-in-Class award in the Healthcare Sector.

With more than 1.5 million unique MPF customers, it is clear that many members, when given the opportunity, are choosing Manulife as their preferred MPF service provider. In particular, the company is firmly committed to enriching its MPF platform with a diverse range of investment options – the Manulife MPF Healthcare Fund is an excellent example of this drive for product diversity.

When asked to elaborate on the Fund’s primary attributes and how Manulife’s investment style benefits members, Mindy Perry, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, pointed out that: “The key thing is that we are long-term investors in the healthcare space and avoid chasing the next fad. Moreover, we seek enduring business models with diverse pipelines.” adding, “Given the pressures on drug pricing, we remain focused on areas of true innovation, such as cancer and chronic diseases which are less sensitive to the threat of drug price decreases.”

“The geographic positioning of the Fund reflects where we see the most attractive opportunities. Historically, this has been in US healthcare names that have strong management teams, opportunities for robust returns and margin sustainability. We also look to invest in regions and healthcare sub-sectors which are facing the lowest price power.”

US Pricing Superiority

Exploring the market more closely, Perry commented that: “The US has traditionally enjoyed the best pricing environment, as it is the only market which maintains a free-pricing environment. US drug prices rise by around 5–10% each year, while prices are regulated down every year in most other countries and territories. Despite Trump’s rhetoric on drug prices, we believe that pricing in the US is still superior to other countries.”

Remaining on the theme of Fund allocation, Perry noted that from a biotech company investment perspective, Manulife adopts a constructive stance, “Most small biotech firms rely on one pipeline drug and therefore have binary return outcomes. We are wary of companies with binary case scenarios as the odds of succeeding are very low. With a focus on quality, we do not want to subject our investors to the volatility and risks that small biotech firms bring.”

A Watchful Eye

Perry also remarked that outside the US, emerging markets are fast growing, with much potential. However, in most of emerging markets, pricing controls that are putting pressure on margins and earnings. “That said, we are keeping a close eye on emerging markets, and if circumstances turn positive we will be among the first to invest in these markets,” she concluded.

“We believe that total healthcare spending will grow at a very high rate over the next few years, and, as such, the healthcare sector will be an attractive place to invest. Of course, it is hard to predict how share prices will behave in the short term, but looking ahead we are confident there will be steady expansion in the market.”

Legal Hurdles

However, the healthcare sector faces some immediate challenges, notable among these is Trump’s recent attack on drug pricing. “On 11 January 2017, President-elect Donald Trump challenged the pharmaceutical industry by criticizing drug pricing. He then proposed a bidding system for Medicare drug pricing.” She continued, “Without specifics, it is unclear on how this would work,” adding, “it is illegal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly with the manufacturers. To change the law, Trump will need the support of his fellow Republicans in Congress.”

Perry elaborated on this point by noting that given that Republicans are generally favorable towards the pharmaceutical industry, Trump will have a difficult time gaining the support needed to alter legislation. Moreover, Medicare part D (the only part that government will have a real impact on) represents only 25% of total drug spending.

Actual Drug Prices Increase is Not as Large as it Looks

Exploring drug pricing more closely, Perry explained that there is a misperception that drug price increases are north of 10% each year, “Actually there is a big difference between list price increases and net price increases, or how much increase a drug company can retain in the end. Most of the price ‘increases’ are passed back to the clients in the form of rebates,” continuing with this theme she observed that, “according to the latest figures, even though the average list price increase is about 10%, the actual increase, net of rebate, is only 2.5%. Furthermore, even though brand name drugs have seen consistent prices rises, pharmaceutical spending overall is approximately 15% of total healthcare expenditure.”

Regarding Trump’s plans to repeal Obamacare, which could mean less volume for hospitals and curtail the expansion of Medicaid (which would negatively affect Medicaid managed-care companies), Perry was keen to state that the impact on the Manulife MPF Healthcare Fund would be negligible, as she has zero exposure to these firms. BM



宏利一向堅持為強積金成員提供多元化的投資選擇,公司藉此於今屆《指標》年度基金大獎的行業股票 – 健康科學類別中奪得「同級最佳」大獎。


當談及基金的主要特性及宏利的投資風格如何惠及成員時,宏利資產管理執行總監兼組合經理吳旻(Mindy Perry)指出:「我們是醫療護理板塊的長期投資者,不會盲目追隨潮流,這便是關鍵所在。此外,我們亦致力發掘業務多元發展及具備可持續營運模式的公司。藥物定價存在壓力,亦驅使我們繼續專注於真正創新的領域,例如較少受藥價下降影響的癌症和慢性疾病領域。」












吳旻解釋,由於共和黨員普遍對製藥業的取態友好,特朗普要取得足夠支持以修改法律將困難重重。此外,Medicare 的D部份處方藥保險計劃(政府唯一真正有影響力的部份)僅佔總藥物開支的25%。



特朗普擬廢除奧巴馬的醫改計劃,意味著醫院的購藥量可能會減少並將會阻礙醫療補助計劃(Medicaid)的擴張(而這將對Medicaid管理的醫療公司產生負面影響)。吳旻強調宏利MPF康健護理基金並無投資於受影響的公司,故受這些事件對基金的影響十分輕微。 BM