As of June 1, the ManuLife College Savings plan will have a new name: John Hancock Freedom 529. The Education Trust of Alaska sponsors the advisor-distributed plan.
The rebranding of the college savings product follows ManuLife's acquisition of John Hancock and is the first rebranding of a product since the deal closed.
ManuLife officials said that they plan to "leverage Hancock's strong brand recognition in the U.S. marketplace" and market virtually all of the ManuLife's financial protection and wealth management products in the United States under the John Hancock brand by early 2005.
"John Hancock is among the best known and highly respected brands in American business," said Bill Burrow, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. College Savings. "The new name, John Hancock Freedom 529, will build upon the competitive advantage we have in the market, and give financial consultants a stronger brand to offer their clients because the John Hancock name is so widely known and recognized among consumers."
The new name is also a play on freedom of choice in the product, explained Carey Foran Hoch, vice president of marketing and product, U.S. College Savings. The product provides non-proprietary investment manager choices to participants, including funds from: A I M Advisors, American Funds, Davis Advisors, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton, John Hancock Funds, OppenheimerFunds, Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and T. Rowe Price Associates.
T. Rowe Price acts as the manager of the plan.
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