Aug. 25, 2003 — John Hancock Advisers acquired the assets and shareholder base of the $52-million MSB Fund (MSBFX), which will now be known as John Hancock Large-Cap Select Fund.

Chicago-based Shay Assets Management Inc. will continue to manage the fund under a subadvisory agreement. John McCabe and Mark Trautman of Shay Assets will continue as the fund’s portfolio managers.

A spokesman for Shay Assets said McCabe and Trautman have managed the fund since 1991, and that the fund’s investment process will remain unchanged.

The managers invest in a diversified portfolio of companies that have demonstrated the ability to grow their earnings steadily and over an extended period of time, Hancock said in a press release. They look for companies with strong balance sheets, solid management and sustainable earnings growth, and buy them at a reasonable price.

MSB Fund, classified as a large-cap value fund by Standard & Poor’s, is ranked 3 Stars. For the ten-year period ended July 31, the fund rose an average annualized 10.2%, versus 9.2% for the average large-cap value fund.

Last year, Hancock acquired the U.S. Global Leaders Growth Fund and the Pzena Focused Value Fund. The funds are now known as the J Hancock US Global Leaders Growth/A (USGLX), and the J Hancock Classic Value/A (PZFVX), respectively.