John Hancock Life Insurance Company President and Chief Executive Officer James M. Benson Retiring

John D. DesPrez III Named Head of all John Hancock Operations

(BOSTON, August 16, 2005) -- James M. Benson, 58, President and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Life Insurance Company, has elected to retire, Manulife President and Chief Executive Officer Dominic D'Alessandro announced today.

Mr. D'Alessandro also announced that John D. DesPrez III, 48, President and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., will assume responsibility for all U.S. operations of Manulife. Robert A. Cook, currently head of U.S. Life Insurance, will assume responsibility for all U.S. Protection operations and will report to Mr. DesPrez. These changes are effective August 31.

"It is with regret that I announce the retirement of Jim Benson," said Mr. D'Alessandro. "Jim is a consummate professional. As head of U.S. Protection and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Life Insurance, he has been a champion of the Manulife/John Hancock merger and has led the very successful integration of our U.S. insurance operations.

"With strong second quarter results, Jim leaves his organization well positioned for continued sales and earnings growth. Jim is a seasoned insurance industry professional who applied all of his considerable talent to making the Manulife/John Hancock merger the wonderful success that it is. I want to thank Jim for his important contributions as well as for his constant support over the past two years."

Mr. Benson, who joined John Hancock in 2002, said that after nearly 40 years in the financial services industry he recently decided it was time to leave his position in active company management.

"It has been a privilege to work first at John Hancock and then as a part of Manulife. It has been a rewarding experience and I believe the company has a very bright future," Mr. Benson said. "John Hancock Life Insurance is doing very well and is positioned for continued strong growth. It seems an opportune time to pass the baton.

"I leave with great confidence in both the leadership of John DesPrez as well as the strength of our Protection team. In Bob Cook, head of our life insurance business, Laura Moore, head of long term care, and Bill Palmer, head of the John Hancock Financial Network, we have excellent leaders who are well-established in the company and have deep experience in the industry."

Added Mr. DesPrez: "While I understand Jim's decision to retire, we will miss his leadership and management abilities. He devoted his considerable talent and hard work to making the merger of John Hancock and Manulife a success and for that we are very grateful."

Prior to joining Hancock in 2002, Mr. Benson was President of MetLife's Individual Business enterprise, which included the leadership of MetLife Financial Services, New England Financial, GenAmerica Financial, MetLife Investors Group, Texas Life and Nathan & Lewis Securities.

He also was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston-based New England Financial, as well as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of GenAmerica Financial Corporation, both MetLife affiliates.

Before joining New England Financial and MetLife in 1997, Mr. Benson held the dual position of President and Chief Operating Officer of Equitable Companies, Inc., and was Chief Executive Officer of its flagship life insurance operation, Equitable Life Assurance Society.

Prior to joining The Equitable in 1993, Mr. Benson was President of the New York office of Management Compensation Group, a leading consulting firm on corporate financial issues. Before joining MCG in 1984, he spent 16 years with Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Mr. Benson is founder and chairman of World T.E.A.M. Sports, an organization dedicated to providing opportunities through sports activities for people with disabilities.

About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and most of Asia, and primarily through 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$364 billion (US$297 billion) as at June 30, 2005. 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

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