Magazine article American Banker

Hancock's Fund Business Grows with 3d Recent Deal

Magazine article American Banker

Hancock's Fund Business Grows with 3d Recent Deal

Article excerpt

John Hancock Advisors has bought the M.S.B. large-cap fund, its third portfolio acquisition in two years.

The unit of the Boston insurer closed the deal Monday and renamed the portfolio the John Hancock Large Cap Select Fund. Shay Assets Management Inc., which has managed the portfolio since the mid-1990s, will remain in that role.

The deal was Hancock's first mutual fund purchase this year. In 2002, it bought the U.S. Global Leaders Growth Fund, which it renamed John Hancock U.S. Global Leaders Growth Fund. This portfolio's assets are now worth nearly $600 million, according to a Hancock press release, up from its $120 million in May 2002 when the deal was done.

In November, Hancock also bought the Pzena Focused Value Fund. Now known as the John Hancock Classic Value Fund, its assets total $100 million, up from $20 million at the time of the purchase.

The M.S.B. Fund had assets of $52 million at July 31.

John Hancock Financial Services Inc., the parent of John Hancock Advisors, would not make anyone available to discuss the acquisition. In the company press release, Maureen Ford, the chairman and chief executive officer of John Hancock Funds, said, "We continue to build a family of funds that meets all the investment objectives, risk profiles, and time horizons of our customers."

But it has not been all good news at Hancock's fund business. Last month, it fired Yeager, Wood & Marshall, the portfolio manager for the global leaders fund. Neither company would comment at the time. Hancock had bought the fund from Yeager Wood.

"That's a risk you take when you sell a fund and become a subadviser," said Geoff Bobroff, the president of Bobroff Consulting Inc., a mutual fund consulting firm in East Greenwich, R.I. "You become susceptible to being fired."

Despite the acquisitions and subsequent growth of those funds, Mr. …

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