John Hancock Financial Network Firms in Marshfield and Wellesley Hills Merge

Combined Organization, Centinel Financial Group, LLC Gains Economies of Scale to Fuel Future Growth

Boston, MA (February 20, 2008) Two financial services firms, both members of John Hancock Financial Network (JHFN)*, recently completed a merger of their Marshfield and Wellesley Hills, MA, organizations to form Centinel Financial Group, LLC, announces Peter Gordon, President of JHFN.

Under the joint leadership of Co-Managing Partners, Mark Sullivan and Earle Pitt, the organization will now have four core offices in Wellesley Hills, Marshfield, Canton and Sandwich as well as a number of satellite offices throughout the state of Massachusetts and into southern New Hampshire. The Wellesley Hills office, under the direction of Mark Sullivan, will serve as the main branch office for compliance, regulatory supervision and operations supporting the combined firm's locations. Earle Pitt will be supervising managing partner for sales and associate professional development for Centinel Financial Group's financial representatives and will continue the expansion of the South Shore marketplace. The combined firm supports 70 financial representatives with plans to significantly increase the number of professionals who join Centinel Financial Group, LLC.

"This merger integrates the strengths of two complementary and very successful financial services firms," explains Brian Heapps, Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for JHFN. "The result is a new, even more dynamic firm with economies of scale to fuel future growth, value-added support services, and a strong mix of both experienced financial representatives and those who are new to the business."

Mark Sullivan began his career in financial services18 years ago with John Hancock. He was appointed to the management team in 1994, and in 2004 was asked to lead the John Hancock Financial Network - Wellesley Hills office as Managing Partner. Actively involved in the financial services industry, he is a member the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), serving on the Board of Directors of NAIFA's Boston Chapter and is a member of the General Agents Management Association (GAMA) International. A graduate of Northeastern University, Sullivan grew up in Framingham and currently lives in Natick.

A long-time resident of the South Shore, Earle Pitt, Jr., CLU, ChFC, joined John Hancock in 1976 as a financial representative. He soon moved into the ranks of field management and was promoted to the leadership role of Managing Partner in 1995, focusing on growing and expanding the firm in the South Shore and Cape Cod. A graduate of St. Michael's College in Vermont, Pitt is active locally with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the President's Circle at the South Shore Hospital.

"By combining our strengths and skills, we now have the elements in place to grow more aggressively. We can provide our financial representatives with the robust resources they need to build successful practices and serve the financial goals of their clients," comments Mark Sullivan.

According to Sullivan, the name "Centinel", which is an American Revolutionary term used to signify guarding and protection, was chosen to reflect their commitment to overseeing and protecting the financial wealth of clients. The firm takes a comprehensive approach when creating financial solutions, offering a wide range of products and services for the accumulation and protection of wealth for individuals, families and businesses. To support that vision, the team within the firm offers to its financial representatives specialized services in investments and protection products, marketing and business development resources, as well as compliance and back-office support.

"Just as important is our family-like culture," says Pitt. "Both of our firms prize long-term relationships, loyalty, and working together by watching out for the best interests of our clients and our financial representatives. We also focus considerable attention on coaching and training for both experienced financial representatives and newer, inexperienced financial professionals. We believe that building upon this culture will lead to continued growth and prosperity for many years to come."

About John Hancock Financial Network
John Hancock Financial Network (JHFN) is a premier national network of independent career firms with approximately 350 independent offices and 1,800 financial representatives across the United States. JHFN has an unwavering commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial visions of its associates, while helping to enhance the financial security of its clients. For more information on John Hancock Financial Network and its national network of financial services firms, visit

About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock 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$396 billion (US$401 billion) as at December 31, 2007.

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, 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

*John Hancock Financial Network is the servicemark of John Hancock Life Insurance Company and its affiliated companies. Insurance products offered through John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Signator Investors, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor, 197 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116.