July 18, 2002 — John Hancock Funds hired a new money manager to help manage J Hancock Mid Cap Growth Fund/A (SPOAX).

Thomas P. Norton was named vice president and portfolio manager of mid-cap stocks at Hancock Funds. He will co-manage the $143-million Hancock Mid-Cap Growth fund with Paul Berlinguet, head of John Hancock Funds’ large-cap and mid-cap growth teams.

Ranked 2 Stars by Standard & Poor’s, Hancock Mid-Cap Growth lost 7.1% annualized for the three-year period ended in May, versus a gain of 1.4% for the average mid-cap growth stock fund.

Norton, who has not managed a retail fund before, was previously the head of the global technology sector team at Baring Asset Management. He follows a growth-at-a-reasonable strategy, and selects stocks from the bottom-up, focusing on financial fundamentals, Hancock said.