Manulife/John Hancock merger receives Canadian regulatory approvals

TORONTO, April 20, 2004 – Manulife Financial has received approvals from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Minister of Finance to complete its merger with John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. The merger is scheduled to close on April 28, 2004.

Manulife previously received regulatory approvals in the United States from insurance regulatory authorities in Massachusetts, Delaware and Vermont, and the Federal Reserve Board.

The completion of this merger – the largest cross-border transaction in Canadian history – will make Manulife the largest life insurance company in Canada, the second largest in North America and the fifth largest in the world based on market capitalization as at March 31, 2004. Immediately after the closing of the merger, Manulife expects to have 805 million common shares issued and outstanding.

The combination will give Manulife diversity and depth of products and distribution, a leading position in the marketplace across all of its core business lines and economies of scale.

“Our goal is to use the best resources, talent and processes from each of the organizations throughout the integration process to create one of the world’s most diversified and financially strong life insurers,” said Dominic D’Alessandro, President and Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, we will leverage the best of each company to drive organic growth of our existing businesses.”

After the merger, Manulife intends to maintain significant workforces in Toronto, Boston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and Montreal, as well as in its Asian operations. Our companies have had substantial experience in mergers and will handle any staffing changes in a way that meets or exceeds industry practices. “This merger is very much about growth, and for that we need talented, engaged people in every department,” added Mr. D’Alessandro.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 15 countries and territories worldwide. Through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners, Manulife Financial offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. Funds under management by Manulife Financial were Cdn$156.7 billion as at December 31, 2003.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

About John Hancock

John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: JHF) and its affiliated companies provide a broad array of insurance and investment products and services to retail and institutional customers. As of December 31, 2003, John Hancock and its subsidiaries had total assets under management of US$142.5 billion. John Hancock can be found on the Internet at