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2009 News Releases

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2009

Manulife Financial closes transaction to acquire AIC Canadian retail investment funds

Purchase significantly expands Manulife wealth management business

Toronto -
Manulife Financial Corporation announced today that it has closed the transaction to purchase AIC’s Canadian retail investment fund business.

With the close of the transaction today, Manulife Mutual Funds, a Division of Elliott and Page Limited, will become the manager of AIC funds in Canada and Portland Investment Counsel (formerly AIC Investment Services) will continue as a fund sub-advisor for certain AIC funds. For a full list of the funds now being managed and their sub-advisors, please see the accompanying fact sheet, or visit www.manulifemutualfunds.ca.

“This is an excellent fit for Manulife and AIC Limited,” said Paul Rooney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “When coupled with Manulife’s solid wealth management services, this transaction strengthens our previously deep product line-up that meets the needs of investors and their advisors.”

Michael Lee-Chin, Executive Chairman of Portland Investment Counsel added: “We are committed to ensuring our clients continue to receive high-quality service and are very pleased that Manulife Financial is the purchaser of our retail fund business. They share our passion for providing advisors and clients with a broad array of products and services.”

Broadens Manulife’s wealth management reach
The acquisition of AIC funds creates significant scale and presence for Manulife in the Canadian retail investment fund market. Overall retail fund assets under management for Canadians will grow 38 per cent to approximately $13.9 billion1, based on latest industry figures.

MFC Global Investment Management will provide portfolio management services for most of the broadened fund family, while Portland Investment Counsel (formerly AIC Investment Services Inc.), Third Avenue Management and Brookfield Redding will remain as sub-advisors for a range of funds.

Effective on or about January 11, 2010, Ariel Investments will no longer act as sub-advisor for the AIC American Small to Mid Cap Fund, AIC American Focused Fund and AIC American Focused Corporate Class. Effective on or about January 11, 2010, Loomis Sayles will no longer act as sub-advisor for the AIC Global Fixed Income Fund. MFC Global Investment Management will retain sole responsibility for portfolio management of these funds.

“Both Manulife and AIC Limited have similar strong cultures designed to serve the needs of investors through independent advisors,” added Mr. Rooney.

“We now have an excellent opportunity to broaden Manulife’s position in Canada’s wealth management market, while providing AIC’s clients access to Manulife’s broad platform of insurance, wealth and banking products and services.”

“Manulife will continue to grow rapidly through the introduction of new and innovative products, the aggressive use of technology and expansion of our existing businesses. A key objective for Manulife is to help Canadians make better financial decisions and we welcome the opportunity to be of service to the advisors and clients of AIC Limited.”

Securities exchangeable into common shares of Manulife Financial Corporation will be issued in satisfaction of the purchase price. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Manulife earnings.

For more details and updates, please visit www.manulifemutualfunds.ca

About Portland Investment Counsel Inc.
Committed to the principles of disciplined long-term value investing, Portland Investment Counsel Inc. provides investment advisory and portfolio management services and products to individual private clients and to institutional investors across Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean, including foundations, universities and pension funds. With roots dating back to 1987, Portland Investment Counsel offers customized portfolios drawing on expertise in equity and fixed income management. In addition to this, Portland Investment Counsel currently sub-advises a number of third-party retail and closed-end mutual funds in Canada.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 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$421 billion (US$362 billion) as at June 30, 2009.

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 www.manulife.com.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbour” provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws and the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements in this document relate to, among other things, our objectives, goals, strategies, intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations and estimates, and can generally be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “likely”, “suspect”, “outlook”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “forecast”, “objective”, “continue”, “embark” and “endeavour” (or the negative thereof) and words and expressions of similar import, and include statements concerning possible or assumed future results. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and they should not be interpreted as confirming market or analysts’ expectations in any way. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include but are not limited to: general business and economic conditions (including but not limited to performance of equity markets, interest rate fluctuations, currency rates, investment losses and defaults, movements in credit spreads, market liquidity and creditworthiness of guarantors and counterparties); Company liquidity, including the availability of financing to satisfy existing financial liabilities on their expected maturity dates when required; changes in laws and regulations; accuracy of information received from counterparties and the ability of counterparties to meet their obligations; accuracy of estimates used in applying accounting policies and actuarial methods used by the Company; the ability to maintain the Company’s reputation; the ability to implement effective hedging strategies; legal and regulatory proceedings; level of competition and consolidation; the ability to adapt products and services to the changing market; the ability to attract and retain key executives; acquisitions and the ability to complete acquisitions including the availability of equity and debt financing for this purpose; the ability to execute strategic plans and changes to strategic plans; the disruption of or changes to key elements of the Company’s or public infrastructure systems; and environmental concerns. Additional information about material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements may be found in the body of this document as well as under “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Information Form, under “Risk Management” and “Critical Accounting and Actuarial Policies” in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis in our most recent annual and interim reports, in the “Risk Management” note to consolidated financial statements in our most recent annual and interim reports and elsewhere in our filings with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.

1Source: Investment Funds Institute of Canada, as of August 31, 2009

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Media contact:
Tom Nunn
Manulife Financial
519-594-8578
tom_nunn@manulife.com


Terri Oswald or Mickey Falcone
Portland Investment Counsel Inc.
1-888-710-4242
toswald@aic.com or mfalcone@aic.com