James A. Shepherdson, former head of John Hancock Financial Services' retirement services, was tapped as chairman, president and CEO of the firm's mutual fund unit John Hancock Funds, the company announced Thursday.

Shepherdson, who has been at Hancock since 2003, previously served as a co-CEO at MetLife Investors Group, where he was responsible for the company's annuity and life insurance units. In his new role, he will also serve as the trustee of the funds. He replaces Maureen Ford Goldfarb, who had been CEO since January 2000. Upon the completion of Hancock's merger with Manulife Financial Corp., which is now finalized, Goldfarb had said she would step down.

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