“We have taken something that was effective and made it better,’ Jim Brockelman, Executive Vice President of National Sales at John Hancock Retirement Services, told PLANADVISER.com. The new JH Signature product has taken Hancock’s existing “chassis’ and upgraded it, making it more user friendly, he said.
In the past, the pricing was flexible, Brockelman said, but not as clear as the firm wanted. Therefore, he says, the product brings more transparency and “an apples to apples comparison with mutual funds.’
The new JH Signature product introduced a standardized commission grid, which includes five different pricing and standardized commission options, with or without a wrap fee. Classes one through four have standard commission options, built in sales and service fees, including combinations of deposit-based and asset-based compensation, of 50 bps, 37 bps, 25 bps, and 15 bps, respectively, while class five uses a wrap fee and allows for fully customizable commissions.
The plan offers access to over 165 funds, across all asset classes and investment styles, and more than 45 brand name and institutional managers, Hancock says, all of which pass review by the firm’s Investment Management Services (IMS) team of 14 analysts. Both lifecycle and lifestyle portfolios are available, Brockelman commented, as are alternatives including global bonds, REITs, and TIPS. There is no limit to the number of funds and there are no proprietary fund requirements in the JH Signature product.
There are also new tools and fund shortlists to make it easier to qualify for Hancock’s Fiduciary Standards Warranty qualification, the firm said. The Fiduciary Standards Warranty qualification protects plan sponsors and advisers who serve as plan fiduciaries. Plans that offer at least one investment option from twelve designated asset classes plus all nine different lifecycle portfolios or lifestyle funds in all five risk categories qualify for the Warranty.
Where this requirement is met, the Warranty applies to all funds in the John Hancock lineup, not just those managed by John Hancock. Under the warranty, John Hancock promises to restore plan losses and pay litigation costs related to the suitability of this process or its investment lineup.
Advisers can find more information about the product at www.jhsignature.com.