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John Hancock Financial Leads Industry in Life Insurance Sales for 2008

BOSTON, March 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ ----John Hancock led the industry in total individual life insurance sales in 2008, according to a recent survey of 78 major life insurers by LIMRA International (LIMRA).

According to LIMRA, John Hancock Life Insurance had sales in 2008 of $835 million in premium*. The company also increased its industry-leading market share to more than seven percent and led the industry in average face amount of approximately $1.3 million.

"We are extremely pleased to lead the industry in life insurance sales, especially in light of the challenging economic backdrop in 2008. Our sales results again demonstrated strength across our entire product portfolio," said Steve Finch, President, John Hancock Life Insurance. "We strive to be an industry leader in product innovation, continually enhancing our portfolio to meet our clients' needs."

John Hancock finished first in the industry in variable life (including variable universal life) sales, with sales of approximately $237 million*, according to LIMRA.

"We have placed strong emphasis on variable universal life over the past few years. We believe that for clients with long term horizons our variable universal products are well designed to meet their needs. They remain an attractive and appropriate product," Mr. Finch said.

John Hancock finished second in the industry in universal life sales with sales of nearly $496 million*, and the company maintained its market share of nearly 10 percent, according to LIMRA.

Term and whole life sales again produced strong results, with sales of $84 million and $17 million respectively.

"We remain committed to further strengthening our product portfolio, our service capabilities and our underwriting expertise to provide even greater value for our clients and producers," Mr. Finch said. "We know that our customers and their advisors have many options for meeting their financial objectives and we appreciate that they have chosen to place their trust and confidence in John Hancock."

*Annualized premium plus 10% of excess premium for US individual life insurance as reported to LIMRA

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation (the Company), a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$405 billion (US$330 billion) as at December 31, 2008.

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

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

Survey Source: LIMRA International, U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey, Fourth Quarter YTD 2008 results. Sales based on annualized new premium.

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