John Hancock purchase – don’t bank on getting 1,100 new advisors

On paper John Hancock’s latest acquisition bid will double the number of new financial advisors in it’s crew. Look closely at the deal however, and you can see that it may not be all plain sailing

John Hancock recently announced it had purchased assets of the independent broker dealer and investment adviser company Transamerica Financial Advisors. This merger, set to come into effect in six months, would supposedly mean around 1,100 new advisors for the company as well as some 90 supporting staff.
Signator, a part of John Hancock Financial, currently has 1,500 advisors in the US after it also acquired assets within Symetra Investment Services two years ago.
However, it seems that most of these new advisors will be coming from over 50 Transamerica-affiliated offices across the US. They are also largely independent, which means they are under no official obligation to turn to Signator for financial services. There is nothing to stop them seeking the services of other financial service corporations, which means that technically the corporation might not be doubling their advisor staff numbers after all.
Manulife Financial, John Hancock’s parent company, has been expanding its reach in the US to become a premier independent broker dealer. This deal is the second they’ve made in the last two years which the company hoped would expand its geographical reach and staff numbers.
Brian Heapps, President of JHFN, said: "This transaction will help Signator continue its growth as a leading independent broker dealer, expand our geographic footprint and provide a comprehensive range of investment, advisory, and insurance solutions to deliver even greater value to more customers." It seems, however, that this time they may not officially acquired the 1,100 staff they had hoped would fall under the Signator umbrella.