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John Hancock Fund Manager Quits

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July 21, 2003 — Money manager Bernice Behar, who helped run two John Hancock mutual funds, has left the company.

Hancock portfolio manager Thomas Norton replaced Behar on the $818 million J Hancock Small Cap Growth Fund/A (TAEMX) and the $4.7 million J Hancock Multi Cap Growth Fund/A (JMGAX). He joins Anurag Pandit, who continues as the funds’ co-manager. Norton also is a member of the team that runs J Hancock Mid Cap Growth Fund/A (SPOAX).

A spokeswoman for the fund complex said she did not know Behar’s future plans.

More on this topic

Hancock Small Cap Growth, which Behar ran with Pandit since 1996, was up 12% this year through June, versus a 17.1% gain for the average small-cap growth fund. The Hancock fund has lagged its peers over the longer term, losing 2.4% on average, versus a loss of 0.3% for its peers, for the five years ended last month. It carries a 2-Star rank from Standard & Poor’s.

Hancock Multi Cap Growth, which Behar and Pandit had run since it began operations in December 2000, returned 17% through the end of the second quarter this year, versus a gain of 11.4% for its large-cap blend peers. The fund is too new to be ranked by Standard & Poor’s.