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MFS Investment Management Review

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MFS Investment Management

MFS Investment Management

MFS Investment Management is global asset management firm that’s headquartered in Boston and has research offices worldwide. Originally called Massachusetts Financial Services Company, MFS Investment Management now has roughly 1,900 employees worldwide and $476.4 billion in assets under management as of May 2018.

The firm works with institutional clients and pooled investment vehicles. More specifically, it serves pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, sovereign wealth funds, U.S. registered investment companies, other financial advisors and other pooled investment vehicles. Generally, MFS requires an account minimum of $50 million to open an institutional separate account portfolio. 

MFS Investment Management Background

The company dates back to 1924, when MFS created Massachusetts Investors Trust (MIT), the first mutual fund in America. In 1969, the company began offering a wider range of products and services and was reorganized as Massachusetts Financial Services. Nearly three decades later in 1996, Massachusetts Financial Services became MFS Investment Management.

The company was purchased by Sun Life Financial of Canada the company back in 1982. MFS is still owned by Sun Life Financial, a publicly traded financial services company. Additionally, MFS Investment Management is the parent company of other investment management companies, which are collectively known as MFS Global Group.

What Types of Clients Does MFS Investment Management Accept?

MFS Investment Management serves institutional investors worldwide, as well as pooled investment vehicles. The company manages assets for public and corporate pension plans, bank trust clients, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, individual, multi-employer plans and investment advisory firms. MFS notes on its website that it currently works with more than 100,000 investment professionals.

MFS' account minimums typically vary by product type. However, it's standard account minimum for an institutional separate account portfolio is generally $50 million.

Services Offered by MFS Investment Management

MFS Investment Management offers a wide range of investment services and products to institutional investors and investment professionals. The company has a family of more than 80 U.S. mutual funds. Other products it provides include variable insurance, closed-end funds, institutional trusts and 529 college planning

The firm also offers separate account portfolio management for institutional investors. It will oversee both equity and fixed-income assets. 

MFS Investment Management Investment Philosophy

MFS Investment Management generally takes a long-term approach to investing. In addition to a long-term horizon, MFS' investment philosophy emphasizes active management focused on improving investment outcomes and active engagement with portfolio companies and issuers. 

Because MFS believes the markets are fundamentally inefficient, it relies on integrated research when making investments to determine opportunities to exploit the market and like create value. Currently, MFS tracks investments in more than 80 countries. The firm uses its global research platform to facilitate collaboration between its investment teams across the world.

Fees Under MFS Investment Management

MFS typically charges a percentage of assets under management for its investment advisory services to institutional portfolios. The exact rate charged is negotiable and depends on the investment mandate, or the specific strategy and risk tolerance parameters that are used. Fees are a percentage of average month-end assets.

  • Blended Research Large Cap Growth Equity, Blended Research Large Cap Value Equity, Blended Research U.S. Core Equity, Core Fixed Income, Core Plus Fixed Income, U.S. Corporate BB Fixed Income and U.S. Credit: 0.20% - 0.30%
  • Blended Research Global Equity, Global Aggregate Core, Global Aggregate Core Plus and Global Credit: 0.25% - 0.35%
  • Global Equity, Global Growth, Global Research, Global Value, International Equity, International Growth, International Research, International Value, Mid Cap Growth Equity and Mid Cap Value Equity: 0.50% - 0.75%
  • International Concentrated Equity and Global Concentrated Equity: 0.55% - 0.85%
  • Research Equity, Large Cap Value and Core Equity: 0.40% - 0.55%
  • Emerging Market Debt and Emerging Market Debt Local Currency: 0.45% - 0.55%
  • Growth Equity and Large Cap Growth: 0.45% - 0.60%
  • Utilities: 0.35% - 0.65%
  • Global Real Estate: 0.55% - 0.75%
  • Global Aggregate Opportunistic and Low Volatility Global Equity: 0.30% - 0.40%
  • International Small?Mid Cap Equity: 0.75% - 0.95%
  • Emerging Markets Equity: 0.80% - 0.90%
  • Asia Pacific ex-Japan and Technology Equity: 0.65% - 0.75%
  • Latin American Equity: 0.80% - 1.00%
  • Japan Equity: 0.50% - 0.65%
  • Small Cap Growth Equity: 0.70% - 0.90%
  • U.S. Core High Yield: 0.35% - 0.45%
  • Global High Yield: 0.40% - 0.50%
  • Municipal Fixed-Income: 0.20% - 0.30%
  • Limited Maturity Fixed-Income: 0.175% - 0.25%
  • Domestic Balanced: 0.30% - 0.55%
  • Global Balanced: 0.30% - 0.60%
  • European Research Equity, European Value and European Equity: 0.50% - 0.70%

In addition to the above investment advisory fees, clients will also be responsible for other costs including brokerage and transaction costs and custodial fees.


MFS Investment Management does report disclosures on its Form ADV, paperwork filed with the SEC. However, most of the disciplinary actions that MFS reported from within the last decade were either related to its parent company, Sun Life Financial or failures to file certain reports in a timely manner.

Where Is MFS Investment Management Located?

MFS Investment Management’s headquarters is in Boston, where its sole U.S. office is located in the Back Bay neighborhood. The company also has offices located across the globe, including in Toronto, Mexico City,  São Paulo, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.

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How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research