Manulife-Hancock Deal Unopposed at Mass. Hearing

March 26, 2004

Manulife Financial Corp. made its case for acquiring John Hancock Financial Services on Wednesday at a hearing before State Insurance Commissioner Julianne M. Bowler.

Shareholders of John Hancock have already approved the merger with Toronto-based Manulife, but it must also be cleared by the state. The insurance commissioner has 30 days to determine whether the merger would lessen competition, jeopardize Hancock’s stability or harm the insurance-buying public, among other standards.

In previous filings, Manulife offered assurances that John Hancock’s corporate headquarters would remain in Boston through February, 2008, and that the company would retain a majority of its Massachusetts employees until then, said Insurance Division spokesman Chris Goetcheus.

Manulife Chief Executive Officer Dominic D’Alessandro testified at the hearing, but no one spoke to oppose the merger,

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