Manulife Financial Acquires Wellington West Financial Services

C$ unless otherwise stated

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC   
SEHK:945 

TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial today announced that it will acquire independent financial planning firm Wellington West Financial Services Inc., a dealership registered with the Mutual Funds Dealers Association (MFDA), from National Bank Financial Group ("National Bank"), adding 39 financial advisors and approximately $900 million in assets under administration to its Canadian dealer, Manulife Securities.

"This transaction allows us to build on our position as one of Canada's premier investment firms and reflects our commitment to independent financial advice in Canada," said Rick Annaert, SVP and President and CEO, Manulife Securities. "There is a natural cultural fit between our two firms. We're looking forward to serving the needs of Wellington West Financial Services' clients and financial advisors."

Wellington West Financial Services provides personal and corporate financial planning services through its network of independent financial advisors in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Wellington West shares the same entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to excellence as Manulife advisors.

"This is a great opportunity for the financial advisors who will be joining one of the leading MFDA dealers in Canada," said Martin Lavigne, President, National Bank Financial Wealth Management. "In securing such a new work environment, we are contributing directly to their career development and providing support and a seamless transition for their clients."

The acquisition will create a team of over 1,250 independent advisors with $20 billion in assets under administration. Manulife Securities' advisors provide independent financial planning and investment management services to individuals, families and business owners encompassing a complete range of investment, banking and insurance options tailored to fit their financial goals. Closing is expected to take place in the fourth quarter 2012 and is subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Manulife Securities

Manulife Securities is a national securities dealer. Our experienced advisors help clients prepare for their future through access to a comprehensive suite of investment products and services designed to address a wide range of financial planning needs. Registered with both the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$514 billion (US$504 billion) as at June 30, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

About National Bank of Canada

With $176 billion in assets as at April 30, 2012, National Bank of Canada (www.nbc.ca), together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups, and was named among the five strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets. The Bank has close to 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank's activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at clearfacts.ca and commitment.nationalbank.ca.

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media inquiries:

Manulife Financial
Laurie Lupton
416-852-7792
laurie_lupton@manulife.com     

National Bank
Joan Beauchamp
514 394 6500
joan.beauchamp@nbc.ca