Boston – John Hancock Funds said today that it has realigned the portfolio management teams for seven mutual funds focused on financial services and related sectors. The changes affect three closed-end and four open-end funds. The closed-end funds are: the John Hancock Bank and Thrift Opportunity Fund (BTO), the John Hancock Tax-Advantaged Income Fund (HTD), and the John Hancock Financial Trends Fund, Inc. (JHFT). The open-end funds are: the John Hancock Regional Bank Fund (FRBAX), the John Hancock Financial Industries Fund (FIDAX), the John Hancock Real Estate Fund (JREAX), and the John Hancock Growth Trends Fund (JGTAX).
The changes are due to the retirement of James K. Schmidt, CFA, portfolio manager and head of the financial industries team, who announced his plans to retire at the end of April 2007.
“I know that everyone at John Hancock Funds congratulates Jim Schmidt on his successful tenure as senior member of our financial industries portfolio management team, and we wish him well in retirement,” said Keith F. Hartstein, President and CEO of John Hancock Funds. “Management of bank and financial services-related mutual funds at John Hancock has been a true team effort for many years, with members possessing an unprecedented depth of experience in their industry. As such, Jim’s departure will not affect the funds’ investment objective or strategy. We look forward to continued success from this talented group, helping us to deliver on our promises of superior investment management and service to our shareholders.” He added, “We are pleased that Jim will be on board for a smooth transition over the next few months.”
“It was a privilege to be part of the financial industries team at John Hancock Funds for so many years,” said Mr. Schmidt. “I am confident that this highly experienced and professional group of portfolio managers will continue to serve our shareholders well.”
On the John Hancock Bank and Thrift Opportunity Fund, Lisa A. Welch will become the lead portfolio manager, replacing Mr. Schmidt. Susan Curry will be co-portfolio manager. A vice president of MFC Global Investment Management (U.S.), LLC, an investment management firm affiliated with John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. and sub-adviser to the fund, Ms. Welch has been co-portfolio manager on the Bank and Thrift Opportunity Fund since 2002, and a member of the financial institutions team advising various John Hancock Funds since 1998. Ms. Curry has been a portfolio manager on the Bank and Thrift Opportunity Fund since 2006, and joined the team in 2004.
On the John Hancock Tax-Advantaged Dividend Income Fund, Gregory Phelps, senior vice president with MFC Global (U.S.), has served as lead portfolio manager since inception in 2004, assisted by Mark Maloney, vice president, also since 2004. Ms. Welch, also a portfolio manager since inception, will be the third member of the team for this fund; Mr. Schmidt had been the fourth member.
On the John Hancock Financial Trends Fund, Ms. Welch will become lead portfolio manager, replacing Mr. Schmidt, and Roger Hamilton will serve as co-manager. Also a vice president with MFC Global (U.S.), Mr. Hamilton has been a manager on various John Hancock Funds since 1994. He was named to the team managing the Financial Trends Fund in 2006. Ms. Welch has been a manager of this fund since 2002, and part of the team since 1998.
The John Hancock Regional Bank Fund team will now consist of Ms. Welch, who has served as co-portfolio manager since 2002 and member of the team since 1998, and Ms. Curry, who has been a co-manager since 2006 and an analyst on the team since 2004.
The team managing the John Hancock Financial Industries Fund will now be comprised of Mr. Hamilton, who joined this team in 2006 and who served as an analyst since 2004, and Ms. Welch, a co-portfolio manager since 2002.
Joseph Marguy will serve as portfolio manager for the John Hancock Real Estate Fund. He has been a portfolio manager on this fund since 2006, and an analyst on the team since 2004.
On the John Hancock Growth Trends Fund, the health care and technology portion of the fund will continue to be managed by Robert Junkin, CPA, and Thomas Norton, CFA, respectively. Both are vice presidents of MFC Global (U.S.); Mr. Junkin has been a manager on the fund since 2005, Mr. Norton since 2006. The financial portion of the Growth Trends fund will be managed by Mr. Hamilton and Ms. Welch.
About John Hancock Funds
The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial Services, John Hancock Funds manages more than $50.8 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors at September 30, 2006. For more information, please visit www.jhfunds.com.
John Hancock Financial Services is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through 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 Cdn$381 billion (US$341 billion) at September 30, 2006. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial may be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
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