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Hancock shuffles senior staff as chief executive retires

Hancock Natural Resource Group has appointed Bill Peressini as chief executive and Wilfred Steiner as managing director and chief financial officer.

Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), the institutional investment management arm of Manulife, has appointed Bill Peressini, previously chief financial officer, as chief executive. Wilfred Steiner becomes managing director and chief financial officer, and will relocate from Sydney to Boston for his new role.

Steiner is currently the managing director of HNRG Australasia and director of international finance. Since joining Hancock in 2004, he has held a number of roles and worked on major timberland transactions in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. HNRG in February appointed Peressini as new president replacing Dan Christensen.

A unit of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets, HNRG is based in Boston and has three business units: The Hancock Timber Resource Group, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, and Hancock Renewable Energy Group.

Warren Thomson, chief investment officer of Manulife Financial and chairman of HNRG, paid tribute to retiring chief executive, Dan Christensen, saying he oversaw “the rapid growth of HNRG during the past decade, developed an outstanding leadership team and depth throughout the organization.”

The organization had $14 billion in assets under management and manages investments in the US, Brazil, Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Australia as of June 2015. Last November the group sold 21,000 acres of Louisiana timber for $39 million.