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Monday, November 08, 2010

Sales Numbers Surprise Hancock Execs

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

John Hancock Funds executives see full-year sales hitting a record in the neighborhood of $9.3 billion this year.

Keith Hartstein
John Hancock Funds
CEO
"Our full-year goal was $8 billion and we're now well beyond that," said CEO Keith Hartstein in an interview with The MFWire.com on Monday. The sales figures "caught us by surprise, given the headwinds this year," he added.

As The MFWire.com reported last week, John Hancock Funds' third-quarter sales were $2.3 billion, bringing sales through end-September to $7.2 billion.

For 2011, Hancock is targeting a 25 to 30 percent increase in sales over this year.

Hancock currently has around $60.8 billion of AUM across its 53 mutual funds.

In other Hancock news, the Boston firm conducted a poll of nearly 400 advisors in late September. Among the findings: 70 percent of advisors think their clients have too much money in cash and nearly an equivalent number -- 69 percent -- of clients do not think they have too much in cash.

"A lot of advisors are reluctant to push their clients too hard for fear of being wrong," Hartstein said.

Hancock has made tools and materials available to advisors who think their clients may be missing out on the early stages of a market recovery. The materials, part of a program called "Getting Clients Off the Sidelines" and available on www.jhfunds.com/hardwired, aim to assist adivsors with client conversations around putting cash back to work.

Advisors who took part in the survey also said more than 47 percent of their clients intend to invest their cash within six to 12 months.

Hartstein sees investors turning again to stocks if the Dow stays above 11,000 between now and yearend.

"If the Dow remains over 11,000 between now and the end of the year, I think you'll see a pickup in equity fund flows," he said.  

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