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Friday, October 6, 2006

Hancock Bulks Up Fund Offerings

by: Armie Margaret Lee

John Hancock Financial Services continues to grow its roster of mutual funds. By the close of October, the Boston-based firm will have rolled out a total of 27 new funds over the past twelve months, expanding its lineup by 75 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nine target funds slated for rollout at the end of the month will push the fund tally to 63.

Hancock's fund division, which nearly doubled its assets under management to $47 billion from $24 billion in 2004, is aspiring to be among the five largest fund firms, Keith Hartstein, president and CEO of the unit, told The Journal. Hancock currently ranks 17th.

When John Hancock was purchased by Manulife Corp. in 2004, company executives were uncertain as to whether to expand or downsize the fund department, Hartstein recalled. After a rationalization process, however, Manulife officials deemed Hancock fit to be a "contender" in the fund arena, he said.  

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