MFS Investment Management
|Headquarters||111 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Robert Manning, Co-CEO & Chairman
Michael Roberge, Co-CEO, President & CIO
|Products||Mutual funds, Asset management|
|AUM||US $438.8 billion (November 31, 2014)|
Number of employees
|1,700+ (as of December 2013)|
|Parent||Sun Life Financial|
MFS Investment Management (MFS) is an American-based global investment manager, formerly known as Massachusetts Financial Services. It is owned by Sun Life Financial of Canada, with subsidiary headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts and offices worldwide. MFS was founded in 1924 and is one of the oldest asset management companies in the world. It is credited with pioneering the mutual fund.
It is wholly owned by Sun Life of Canada and as of August 31, 2014 had USD $438.1 billion in assets under management. According to MFS it is an investment manager for institutional clients, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It employs more than 1,700 employees worldwide including offices in London, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. MFS' MIT fund is the oldest continuously operating fund in the U.S. and the first mutual fund of its kind. MFS has more 75 funds available to US investors, as well as its line of Meridian Funds, which are Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV funds available to non-U.S. investors. MFS is also a large manager of institutional and insurance assets, managing client assets in pensions and other retirement accounts, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, and variable insurance accounts. MFS offers investment strategies across major asset classes. Regional investment analysts are grouped into eight global sector teams that include fundamental equity analysts, fixed income analysts, quantitative analysts, and portfolio managers.
The company was founded in 1924 by L. Sherman Adams, Charles H. Learoyd and Ashton L. Carr. The company's oldest fund is the Massachusetts Investors Trust (MIT), a mutual fund created with $50,000 at the company's inception and reported to be "the world's first open-end investment fund" and "a business breakthrough that changed our lives in a profound way".
The company used "brokerage channels" to market its shares to the public and later expanded to $14 million in assets over the next five years. During the stock market crash of 1929 the fund survived an 83% loss and went on to create a second fund in 1934.
In 1998, MFS Chairman and Chief Executive, A. Keith Brodkin died, causing a major shift in top management. MFS's assets under management grew from $55 billion to $90 billion between 1997 and 1998, and was reported to be the fastest growing company amongst the 20-largest that funds sold through brokers.
In 2003 MFS and five other mutual fund companies in the Boston area were investigated by the Massachusetts and New Hampshire regulators. That same year, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that MFS made "false and misleading" statements in its fund prospectus about its policy on market trading and market timing.
In 2004, MFS paid $350 million to settle state and federal fraud charges and two of its top executives, John W. Ballen and Kevin R. Parke, left MFS and were barred from the industry temporarily though neither admitted to any wrongdoing. MFS appointed Robert Pozen as non-executive chairman from 2004 to 2010. MFS then implemented a set of company reforms to inform investors about fees, keep fund boards independent and create deterrents to market timing. These changes were intended to addressed the concerns of regulators and lawmakers and were praised by fund industry analysts and consumer advocates. These reforms ended the "soft-dollar" arrangements which allowed the swapping of brokerage commissions for market research and data.
In 2006, MFS' corporate parent, Sun Life Financial Inc. considered selling the company but failed to find the right deal or price.
In 2008, MFS eliminated five percent of its 1,800 person workforce, due to a 20% decline in its assets under management over the prior year. However, the company reports that its assets under management have grown by more than 66% between 2008 and 2011.
-  85 Innovations 1917-1983, Dec 23 2002, Forbes.com, Retrieved June 2011
-  MFS official web site, Corporate Fact Sheet, Retrieved April 2012
-  Company Overview of MFS Investment Management, Inc., Retrieved June 11, 2013
-  MFS MIT: A FUND THAT EPITOMIZES LONG-TERM INVESTING, Amey Stone, August 13, 1998, Retrieved July 19, 2011.
-  Worsening conditions: Staff cuts hit growth managers, Christine Williamson, October 14, 2002, Retrieved July 19, 2011.
-  MFS Investment to cut 110, October 10, 2002, Retrieved July 19, 2011.
-  Mass., N.H. broaden probe, Andrew Caffrey and Jeffrey Krasner, Nov 19, 2003, Retrieved July 19, 2011.
-  Sun Life to keep fund manager MFS, stock falls, Nicole Mordant and Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Oct 23, 2006, Retrieved July 19, 2011.
-  Corporate fact sheet.
-  Boston Business Journal MFS Investments to cut 5% of Workforce, Craig Douglas, Nov 20 2008, Retrieved Sept 14 2011
-  MFS Wins Lipper Award as Best Overall Large Company, Retrieved 2011