The move was made to separate the division that creates investment products from the distribution unit and to strengthen the commitment to expanding its independent broker/dealer. Signator is allowing its advisers to brand using John Hancock Financial Network, or any unique doing-business-as. Since John Hancock continues to carry weight with consumers, the name will still be used.
One differentiator for the firm’s independent broker/dealers is the array of technology platforms and professional development resources, said Brian Heapps, president of John Hancock Financial Network. Signator will offer an open product platform, including a range of investment, advisory and protection products from a number of providers, while supporting the adviser’s autonomy and independent brand.
As the firm has transitioned to independence, John Hancock Financial Network has seen its sales grow and shift toward wealth product sales.
“The transition, increased sales, and growth are providing us the scale necessary for further expansion,” Heapps said. In June Symetra Investment Services, Inc., a dual registered broker/dealer with approximately 280 independent representatives, agreed to be acquired by John Hancock Financial Network. Signator currently has about 1,600 advisers and representatives across the U.S.
As of July 17, John Hancock Financial Network’s adviser website and related marketing materials will carry the following brand: Signator Investors Inc., powered by John Hancock Financial Network.