Hancock Brings Back Manager of US Global Leaders G

Aug. 14, 2003 -- John Hancock Advisers has hired one of the former managers of J Hancock US Global Leaders Growth/A (USGLX) and his fellow stock picker to run the fund a month after it fired their old employer.

Hancock Advisers, the mutual fund unit of John Hancock Fin`l Svcs (JHF), said it retained George Fraise and Gordon Marchand to oversee the fund.

Hancock Advisers announced in July that it terminated Yeager, Wood & Marshall Inc. as the fund's manager after Fraise and Marchand left that firm to start their own investment management company. The unit said at that time that it would manage the fund in-house until it selected another outside manager.

Fraise and Marchand had been members of the three-person investment policy committee at Yeager Woods; Fraise also served as a co-portfolio manager of the fund while at that firm.

Initially, Fraise and Marchand will be employees of Hancock Advisers, but the unit said it plans to formally hire their firm, Sustainable Growth Advisers, to serve as the fund's outside manager. This "may take a couple of months," the unit said.

Retaining Fraise and Marchand "immediately is in the best interest " of the fund's shareholders because it "ensures continuity of the investment process for which the fund has become known," Hancock Funds chairman and chief executive Maureen Ford said in a statement.

Fraise said in the statement that he and Marchand are "thrilled to be working with" Hancock Advisers again.

Hancock Acquired the fund, which invests in domestic companies, from Yeager Wood last year.

Ranked 3 Stars by Standard & Poor's, US Global leaders returned 2%, on average, for the five years ended in July, versus a loss of 3% for its large-cap growth peers.

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