John Hancock Financial Network is picking up another 280 registered representatives with the acquisition of Symetra Investment Services.

Hancock is buying Bellevue, Wash.-based, dually registered Symetra Investment from its parent company, Symetra Financial -- a provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance -- and adding the group as a “sister broker-dealer” to John Hancock’s dually registered firm, Signator Investors. Signator ranked No. 20 on this year’s FP50 -- Financial Planning’s annual list of the largest independent broker dealers in the country.

“Given Symetra’s current product lineup, [Symetra Investment Services] is no longer a good strategic fit for us as a distribution channel,” Tom Marra, president and CEO of Symetra Financial, said in a statement. “John Hancock Financial Network will offer many advantages to SIS advisors, allowing them to thrive with greater scale and resources for clients as well as business development support.”

The transaction is expected to close in three to six months, subject to regulatory approvals. Terms of the deal were not released.


The acquisition would expand Hancock's current stable of 1,600 reps. “Strategically, [the Symetra reps] offer us a breadth of wealth experience and a geographic presence that complements our existing footprint as we continue to grow,” Brian Heapps, president of John Hancock Financial, said in the statement.

John Hancock offers resources and support for its planners to grow their businesses and improve their professional skills, according to the statement. That includes an open product platform with a wide range of investment advisory and protection products from various carriers.

The firm’s advisors can use their own unique brand or identify themselves as members of John Hancock Financial Network, a national network of firms comprising approximately 1,600 planners, according to the company.

John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial, a Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States and $547 billion in assets under management. In the U.S., it operates primarily as John Hancock and is one of the country’s largest life insurers.

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