Independent Board Chair James Oates Named "Trustee of the Year" by Institutional Investor Unit

BOSTON, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- James M. Oates, independent chairman of the board of the John Hancock Group of Funds, was named "Trustee of the Year" by Fund Director Intelligence, a publication of Institutional Investor, at the 21st Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards event held last night in New York City.

The award recognizes a director who serves on a board that oversees at least $20 billion in assets for outstanding accomplishments during the year, either with his or her own board or for the mutual fund industry in general.

"Jim's service as independent chairman of the John Hancock Group of Funds board of trustees has been outstanding, and we are pleased that he has received this recognition.  Due to Jim's leadership, John Hancock was able to successfully combine the fund boards for retail, 401(k) and variable annuities, which provided a high level of oversight through an enhanced committee structure, all in an effort to deliver higher value for our shareholders," said Andrew G. Arnott, President of John Hancock Investments.

"This was a difficult challenge, and Jim accomplished it with a constant focus on the best interests of the shareholders," Mr. Arnott added.

Mr. Oates served as chairman of the board of John Hancock Variable Insurance Trust and John Hancock Funds II since 2005.  In his current role as chairman of the board of the John Hancock Group of Funds, he oversees 233 funds within John Hancock Funds complex.

Mr. Oates also serves as Managing Director, Wydown Group, a financial consulting firm (since 1994); Chairman and Director, Emerson Investment Management, Inc. (since 2000);; Director, Stifel Financial (since 1996); Director, Connecticut River Bancorp (since 1998); and Director, Virtus Funds, formerly Phoenix Mutual Funds, (since 1988). 

In addition to his experience on financial boards, Mr. Oates is an Emeritus Trustee of Middlesex School. After graduation from Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, he served in the Peace Corps in Kathmandu, Nepal.

About John Hancock Investments
John Hancock Investments provides asset management services to individuals and institutions through a unique manager-of-managers approach. We combine unbiased asset management with vigorous investment oversight to offer investors a deeper level of diversification and strong risk-adjusted returns across asset classes. A wealth management business of John Hancock Financial, we managed more than $111 billion in assets as of December 31, 2013, across mutual funds, college savings plans, and retirement plans.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents, and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as of December 31, 2013.  Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, is one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments,  401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

SOURCE John Hancock Investments



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