NU Online News Service, June 7, 2004, 4:55 p.m. EDT – Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, has turned to Boston for help with managing 529 college savings plan program assets.[@@]

The company, which recently completed acquiring John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, has renamed its own Manulife College Savings 529 plan program the John Hancock Freedom 529 program.

Manulife is adding Hancock’s John Hancock Classic Value Fund to the program’s investment menu. Manulife also is adding the Fidelity Advisor Equity Growth fund from Fidelity Investments, Boston.

Manulife money managers will build both the Hancock Classic Value fund and the Fidelity Advisor Equity fund into professionally managed 529 plan portfolios, Manulife says.

Parents who want to manage some or all of their 529 plan assets themselves will find the Fidelity Advisor Equity fund on a list of a la carte investment options.