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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cassler Broadens John Hancock's DC I-O Focus

Reported by Irene Park

John Hancock Funds is moving up-market in its retirement advisory services, says senior managing director and head of institutional sales Todd Cassler.

In a meeting with the MFWire, Cassler said the Boston-based Manulife subsidiary will be focusing on three categories of retirement platforms: open-architecture platforms, those with recommended lists determined by their research teams, and companies offering co-fiduciary services.

"Retirement is becoming a more specialized field, and the distribution landscape is changing," he explained.

The renewed focus on its retirement advisory business is well in line with the results of the John Hancock Investors Sentiment Index, which showed that around three-fourths of investors feel that now is a good time to invest in their 401(k)s.

Cassler is building out John Hancock's retirement business in other ways. He is also looking to add two institutional sales directors, one for the fund firm's RIA sales team and one for its platform sales team, which calls on analysts and gatekeepers at broker-dealers and platforms.

Incidentally, John Hancock's institutional and defined contribution investment-only sales have increased significantly over the past two years. As of June 22, 2012, year-to-date Institutional sales are up 44 percent compared to the same day the year-prior; overall institutional sales in 2011 reflected a 38 percent increase over 2010 sales. Meanwhile, DC I-O year-to-date sales are up 49 percent compared to the year prior; 2011 sales increased 37 percent over 2010 sales. 

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