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John Hancock to Add Eight GMO Funds

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John Hancock Financial Services Inc. announced on June 30 that it would add eight mutual funds managed by Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., known as GMO, to its roster.

The deal will increase Hancock’s fund family to 40 from 32. Hancock will offer retail versions of the GMO funds, which currently are available to institutional investors, a Hancock spokeswoman said. The funds will be run for Hancock by GMO, a Boston-based money manager that oversees more than $86 billion for institutions.

Hancock and GMO declined to identify the funds that are changing hands and the funds’ assets. The funds invest in growth and value stocks of U.S. and foreign companies, according to a regulatory filing.

“We are committed to becoming a top-tier player in the U.S. mutual fund marketplace and we are devoting the resources necessary to achieve this goal,” John D. DesPrez III, Hancock’s president and chief executive, said in a prepared release.

As part of the deal, GMO also will manage three portfolios that are available for investment in Hancock’s variable annuities and retirement plans, as well as new portfolios for these products.

The fund transfers are expected to be completed this year, subject to regulatory approval and approval by the funds’ shareholders and boards of trustees.

Hancock has added five other funds from other companies to its lineup over the last three years. The funds have generated more than $3.9 billion in sales since Hancock took them over, the company said.

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