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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hartstein Heads West

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Keith Hartstein is retiring from John Hancock Funds [profile], but that doesn't mean he's leaving the industry for good.

MFWire interviewed Hartstein about his retirement. He also chatted with Tim McLaughlin at Reuters.

"It's a multi-faceted decision that's spurred on by a number of things," Hartstein said of his retirement, slated for September.

Hartstein told MFWire that 22 years ago he made a promise to his wife, a California native.

"I told her that we'll get back to California, even if it's in retirement," Hartstein said, noting that his youngest children are about to graduate college. "The time is right to fulfill the commitment I made 22 years ago."

"I'm extremely fortunate to be grandfathered into John Hancock's old defined benefit [pension] plan," Hartstein explained. "It's a very generous plan that has an early retirement option."

Hartstein said that he and his wife are moving to Marin County in Northern California.

"It's great cycling country and I'm an avid cyclist," Hartstein said.

Yet Hartstein isn't planning to leave the industry entirely.

"I turn 56 in October. I'm way too young," Hartstein said. "I'll stay active [in the mutual fund industry] in some form or fashion."

Hartstein noted that two of his three predecessors running John Hancock Funds now serve as mutual fund trustees, a possibility that "holds some appeal" for him. And he'll still be connected to the Hancock family through its parent, Canadian insurer Manulife.

"Manulife has asked me to stay on in a consulting role," Hartstein said, pointing in particular to Manulife's mutual fund businesses across the globe. 

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