John Hancock Snaps Up M.S.B. Fund

August 25, 2003 ( - John Hancock Advisers got its shopping cart out again yesterday, acquiriing the assets and shareholder base of the M.S.B. Fund, Inc., a, large-cap blend fund.

According to a John Hancock press release, the fund will become part of the John Hancock family of funds and be known as John Hancock Large Cap Select Fund. Shay Assets Management, Inc., will continue to manage the fund under a sub-advisory agreement.

Shareholders of the M.S.B. Fund voted to approve the transaction in a special shareholders’ meeting on August 20 and the transaction closed Friday, August 22, according to the announcement.

Third “Strike”

This is the third acquisition by John Hancock Advisers in the past two years. In May and November of 2002, John Hancock Advisers picked up the assets and shareholder base of the US Global Leaders Growth Fund and the Pzena Focused Value Fund. The funds, now known as the John Hancock US Global Leaders Growth Fund and the John Hancock Classic Value Fund, have seen their assets grow, respectively, from approximately $120 million to nearly $600 million and from approximately $20 million to more than $100 million, according to the announcement.

Portfolio managers for the John Hancock Large Cap Select Fund, John McCabe and Mark Trautman of Shay Assets Management, seek long-term growth of capital by investing in a diversified portfolio of companies that have demonstrated the ability to grow their earnings steadily over an extended period of time. They look for companies with strong balance sheets, solid management and sustainable earnings growth and buy them only when they are offered at a reasonable price in the marketplace, according to the announcement.

John Hancock Advisers managed $27.5 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts and retirement plans for individual and institutional investors as of June 30, 2003. Additional information about John Hancock Advisers is at .