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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Duckworth Partially De-Channelizes Hancock

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Jeff Duckworth is changing the way John Hancock Investments handles advisor distribution, and he's also expanding his team.

Duckworth, president of intermediary distribution at the Boston-based fund firm, tells MFWire that he is partially de-channelizing his external wholesaling team. He's also expanding a specialty internal wholesaling unit and adding several other positions, too, even as he reduces his external wholesaling team a bit.

"We've always been purely channelized historically," Duckworth says.

Yet now he's de-channelizing smaller markets, while staying channelized in major markets. So in big cities, different Hancock wholesalers will cover wirehouse FAs and advisors with independent broker-dealers. Yet in the less densely populated parts of the country, the same wholesalers will cover both wirehouse and independent FAs. In some places, this led to the creation of new territories, Duckworth says, and in others it led to the consolidation of existing territories. The upshot, he says, is that his wholesalers will not be spread as thin across the smaller markets.

"We were missing opportunities in some of the more remote areas," Duckworth says. "I reduced their travel in half ... We have the ability to provide a better white glove service moving forward than we have in the past."

"Most firms are purely channelized or purely dechannelized," Duckworth adds. "I still believe that channelization is critical to our success."

Duckworth ended up net reducing his territory count by five, and he now has 59 external wholesalers in total.

"We've also added to our staff on the internal desk," Duckworth says.

While his traditional internal wholesaling team remains the same size, targeted at a one-to-one ratio with his externals, he's added ten more business development associates to a special internal team whose "sole purpose is to do prospecting." That more doubled the specialty team's size to 19 people.

He's also added a data or business intelligence expert, as well as four more people focused on digital connectivity and on advisors who contact Hancock electronically.

Netting out the various additions and the external territory reduction, Duckworth added eight positions to his team.

As of June 30, Hancock had more than $144 billion in AUM. 

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