BOSTON, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., today announced that it has appointed James (Jamie) A. Shepherdson as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of its mutual funds unit, John Hancock Funds. The appointment is effective immediately. Mr. Shepherdson also will be a corporate executive vice president, reporting directly to John D. DesPrez III, Senior Executive Vice President, John Hancock Wealth Management. Formerly President of Retirement Services, Mr. Shepherdson was responsible for John Hancock's non-proprietary annuity business. Mr. Shepherdson will take the place of Maureen Ford Goldfarb. Ms. Goldfarb, who announced her departure following the completion of Hancock's merger with Manulife Financial Corporation, had been CEO since January of 2000. Mr. Shepherdson said John Hancock Funds will play a key role in Manulife's overall growth strategy moving forward. "The merger combines two exceptionally strong companies into a single, integrated, global market leader whose scale and capital will serve to strengthen our company's leadership in markets around the world," he said. "I am looking forward to continuing to grow John Hancock Funds." Mr. Shepherdson also commended Maureen Ford Goldfarb's tenure as CEO. "Maureen has provided John Hancock Funds with steady guidance through several years of extremely turbulent market and industry conditions with unwavering integrity," he said. Mr. Shepherdson will also serve as Chief Executive Officer, President and Trustee of the John Hancock funds. Prior to taking on this new position, Mr. Shepherdson developed and directed the sales and marketing of John Hancock's annuity products through the company's diverse distribution network. Prior to joining Hancock in 2003, he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Investors Group, a subsidiary of Met Life, Inc. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing MetLife Investors Insurance Company and for the design, manufacture and distribution of Met Life's annuity and life insurance products sold through third-party channels. Shepherdson's responsibilities included directing product, marketing, technology, finance, and all corporate functions for MetLife Investors. Mr. Shepherdson has also been credited by industry experts for the lion's share of the success of Equitable Distributors Inc., a division of the insurance giant AXA, in cracking third-party markets in the late-1990s. There he served as Co-CEO and President of Equitable Distributors, Inc., and Senior Vice President of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, which is the principal insurance subsidiary of the Equitable Companies, Incorporated. Mr. Shepherdson's strategy, proprietary product initiatives, strategic sales initiatives and ingenuity have resulted in the successful and widely acclaimed third-party distribution systems now found throughout the insurance industry. John Hancock Funds, a premier investment management company, managed $30.2 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts and retirement plans for individual and institutional investors as of March 31, 2004. Additional information about the company can be found on the website: http://www.jhfunds.com. John Hancock Funds is a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation. Founded in 1862, John Hancock Financial Services and its subsidiaries today offer a broad range of financial products and services, including whole, term, variable, and universal life insurance, as well as college savings products, mutual funds, fixed and variable annuities, long-term care insurance and various forms of business insurance. Manulife Financial is the fifth largest life insurer in the world, and the second largest in North America, based on market capitalization as of April 27, 2004. Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Pro forma funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries, including John Hancock, were US$271.6 billion (Cdn$355.9 billion) as of March 31, 2004. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Contact: Brian Carmichael Phone: (617) 572-6409
SOURCE John Hancock Financial Services, Inc.