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Portfolio > Alternative Investments > Hedge Funds

John Hancock Stages New Ad, Brand Push

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John Hancock Financial Services is spending some $30 million this quarter to spread the word to both consumers and advisors that “the future is yours.” And it’s just one way the company intends to further grow fund assets, which grew to $47.5 billion in June from $30 billion in 2005. The firm is also adding products: 27 have come on stream, such as lifestyle funds, GMO funds and classic-value funds, in the past 12 months. It now has 49 open-end and 13 closed-end offerings.

“About 18 months ago, we realized that we needed to revitalize our brand with a new brand platform,” says Donna Driscoll, head of brand management and corporate communications. “The old organization had a well-known brand, but that didn’t reflect the new organization after it was acquired by Manulife Financial. We became more balanced in terms of being an investments and insurance organization. And we also wanted to reflect how consumers feel about the future. They are excited about it.”

Manulife bought John Hancock in April 2004. It has some $332 billion in total funds under management and is based in Toronto.

The tone of John Hancock’s latest campaign is confident. “It shows individuals that promise themselves a certain future and are able to live and achieve it by tapping into John Hancock products,” explains Driscoll. “It’s a huge change.”

And although the company isn’t what it was two years ago, its executives hope to build on its historic image as new ads and products are rolled out. “We talk constantly to our channel partners, and there’s a tremendous brand awareness of and trust in the organization by consumers,” Driscoll explains. “That’s a sales tool for our partners, which is a function of our longevity in the market… and of our focus.”

John Hancock sells its funds through 33,300 reps nationwide, mainly wirehouse-based advisors (39 percent), planners (36 percent) and RIAs as well as other retail-investment partners (25 percent).


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