Two Long-Time Senior Managers Promoted;
Parent Company Commits to Invest $200 Million in Division
BOSTON, May 6, 2004 -- The Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) today announced the appointment of Leo de Bever, Executive Vice President, Manulife Financial Global Investment Management, as chairman of its Board of Directors.
HNRG also announced the appointment of:
Daniel P. Christensen as Chief Executive Officer of HNRG. He continues as President of the Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG), CEO of Hancock Forest Management, a member of the HNRG Board of Directors and Chairman of the HNRG(Australia) Board of Directors.
Jeffrey A. Conrad as President of the Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG) and a member of the HNRG Board of Directors.
With the completion of the merger of Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services last week, HNRG became a subsidiary of MFC Global Investment Management. At the completion of the merger, MFC Global Investment Management also committed to initially invest $150 million in an HTRG timber portfolio and $50 million in a HAIG agriculture portfolio.
"Timber and agriculture both offer strong returns with moderate risk and we're pleased to make this investment on behalf of our clients," said Donald A. Guloien, Chairman & CEO, MFC Global Investment Management. "We feel strongly about these investments not only because of our confidence in the asset classes, but also because of the strength of the management teams of the Hancock Timber Resource Group and the Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, led for many years by Dan and Jeff, respectively. They have helped to ensure that HNRG remains the leading timber and agriculture investment management business in the world. We look forward to their continued success."
He added that Mr. de Bever, who recently joined MFC Global Investment Management to oversee all investment management businesses in North America, including equities, structured debt products, oil & gas, and real estate, as well as agriculture and timber, brings a tremendous depth and breadth of experience to Manulife and to HNRG.
Before joining MFC Global Investment Management, Mr. de Bever had been Senior Vice President, Research and Economics, for Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, where he advised on investment strategy and the management and allocation of risk. He oversaw a team that ran a tactical asset allocation portfolio and managed a range of assets including infrastructure, real return bonds, commodities and timberland. He also had worked for Nomura Securities, Crown Life, Chase Econometrics and the Bank of Canada.
Mr. Christensen, who has been with HTRG since 1992, will take on additional responsibilities of CEO of HNRG, but will continue in his role as the head of HTRG. He has been a Managing Director of HTRG since 1997 and President and COO of HNRG since 2003. Previous to HTRG, he was the General Manager for Diamond Occidental Forest Inc, a major US forest products company.
HTRG, the world's largest manager of timberland investments for institutions, oversees 2.8 million acres, worth $2.8 billion, in the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast and the Northeast United States. It also manages timberlands in Canada and Australia.
As president of HAIG, Jeff Conrad, who founded the firm in 1989, will continue to direct the group's day-to-day operations.
HAIG, one of the nation's largest farmland investment managers, manages approximately $372 million of farmland and commitments in the United States and Australia for its institutional clients. The group manages more than 115,000 acres of row cropland (corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, vegetables, wheat) and permanent cropland (almonds, apples, grapes, walnuts, cranberries) in more than a dozen states and Australia.
MFC Global Investment Management is the institutional asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Based in North America with investment offices in Toronto, Boston, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, the firm has more than 100 years of experience managing funds. Additional information about MFC Global Investment Management can be found at its website: http://www.mfcglobal.com
Manulife Financial is the fifth largest life insurer in the world, and the second largest in North America, based on market capitalization as of April 27, 2004. Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Pro forma funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries, including John Hancock, were US$271.6 billion (Cdn$355.9 billion) as of March 31, 2004. Additional information about Manulife may be found at the company's website: www.manulife.com
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK.