James V. Bowhers, John Hancock Funds' new president, has spent much of his career on the institutional side of the fund business. But that experience has proved to be an asset on John Hancock's retail side as financial intermediaries are demanding more information about the investment products they are selling.

Consider the 32-city tour that John Hancock orchestrated in September to get its portfolio managers out to personally meet brokers. The "Hidden Gems Tour" as John Hancock is calling it will run through November and features 16 portfolio managers participating in lunch and breakfast meetings across the country.

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