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   | 2000 Globe 100 |

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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business / 2001 Globe 100

5. JOHN HANCOCK FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
Insurance giant rewards its investors

5/22/2001

   

BEARS & BULLS

Old economy companies led Bay State Bulls
The shining lights of the local investment world were companies that sell sneakers, blood tests, clothes for middle-age women, and life insurance.
Continued

THE BULLS
1. J. Jill Group
2. Inverness Medical Tech.
3. Reebok Intl.
4. Bostonfed Bancorp
5. John Hancock Financial


THE BEARS
1. Aztec Tech. Partners
2. Engage Inc.
3. CMGI Inc.
4. Telaxis Communications
5. NaviSite Inc.


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ohn Hancock hasn't been a publicly traded company for long, but it has already made a fair amount of money for investors.

A $100 investment in John Hancock the day of its IPO in January 2000 was worth $218.16 by March 31 of this year. The same $100 invested in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index would have dwindled to $82.97.

Chief financial officer Thomas Moloney said the stock-price run-up is no coincidence. Hancock, he said, has been managing itself for several years in preparation for the public offering.

''We have actually been running this company like it was a stock company,'' Moloney said. ''Even when we were still a mutual, we put a lot of effort into divesting businesses that weren't adding value.''

Hancock has also been putting a lot of effort in recent years into expanding the number of ways its flagship insurance offerings are sold. Long gone are the days when Hancock quietly peddled life insurance through an army of proprietary salesmen.

These days, the company's insurance is sold in independent insurance agencies, by financial planners, in banks, and over the Internet, among other places.

And the products being pitched break more ground than you might expect from the play-it-safe world of life insurance companies.

''Our product-development folks are free to be innovative,'' Moloney said.

SCOTT BERNARD NELSON

   


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