John Hancock Funds has introduced a full dealer reallowance across its domestic equity, tax-free and government bond funds. While the firm has recently made focused offers for product releases, this incentive program is a more broad-based campaign aimed at drawing attention to the complex.

"It's been a very long time since we've added a full dealer reallowance on a series of funds," said Karen Walsh, VP of national accounts and inside sales at Hancock Funds. "Before, it's been more of a campaign rollout."

The reallowance is intended to bring in assets in the short term but also is aimed at bringing more brokers to Hancock.


"People who do business with John Hancock are always extremely satisfied with the service and performance they're receiving in their funds. Our challenge is always to increase the number of brokers who are doing business with us," said Walsh. "This definitely is one way to turn some heads and get people to invest in John Hancock Funds."

The promotion runs through Sept. 28. Reallowance varies according to share class: 100 basis points (full dealer) on A-shares, 50 basis points on B-shares, and 25 basis points on C-shares. Hancock's global, international, and money market funds are not included in the sales program.

Watching the Flood Gates

The firm had more than one reason for keeping the doors closed on its international offerings: "We recently signed a contract with the sub-advisor (Nicholas-Applegate) so we didn't want at this point to have a full dealer reallowance, but we also have a lot of market timers that seem to look at those funds, so we didn't want to open the floodgates even more so," explained Walsh.

Hancock has not established production goals for the promotion, but Walsh said the firm expects to see "a good percentage increase in sales" over the coming months.

Although reallowances remain controversial as a sales promotion, Walsh said Hancock's new program is designed to draw attention to the firm's performance.

"There are a lot of broker/dealers that won't participate in full dealer reallowances, including some of the wirehouses. They don't want to encourage churning or have them buy another fund family today," she said. "They also want to make sure that they're selling clients suitable products. Because we have good performance, we think it's a way to get people's eyes to Hancock."

Not all of the Hancock offerings included in the reallowance have excelled, however. While Focused Relative Value has performed well in recent months, Large Cap Growth has lagged behind its peers.

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