John Hancock Financial Services is expanding its mutual fund division and recently launched an advertising campaign to highlight its broad array of offerings, The Wall Street Journal reports.

By the end of this month, the company will have launched 27 mutual funds over the past year, expanding its original lineup of 36 funds by 75%, for a total of 63 offerings. Nine of the new portfolios are target date funds that John Hancock will roll out later this month.

Currently the 17th largest fund company in the nation, John Hancock is jockeying to become one of the top five. But when Manulife Financial acquired John Hancock in 2004, the company wasn’t sure if it would remain committed to the mutual fund market, said Keith Hartstein, president and chief executive officer of John Hancock’s mutual fund division.

The decision to expand its mutual funds appears to have paid off, for in the past two years, the company’s assets under management have nearly doubled, rising from $24 billion to $47 billion today.

The company is also pushing its wealth management offerings, relying on the “cachet” of John Hancock’s established reputation for life insurance, Hartstein said. John Hancock is currently the nation’s No. 1 life insurance company, up from No. 7 a year ago.

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