Berkshire disappointed MFDA rejects proposed settlement; No Impact on Manulife

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - Berkshire Investment Group Inc. expressed
disappointment today that a hearing panel of the Pacific Regional Council of
the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA") has rejected a
settlement agreement between the MFDA Staff and Berkshire arising from its
failure to supervise the activities of Ian Gregory Thow, who was an
independent advisor and co-branch manager and officer of Berkshire's Victoria
branch office until June 1, 2005.
    Berkshire is disappointed that a proposed settlement was not approved by
the hearing panel; however it will continue to cooperate with regulators
working to settle the matter.
    Prior to June 2005, Thow had represented to certain individuals, some of
whom were Berkshire clients or former clients, that he would purchase certain
investments on their behalf. Such investments were not approved for sale by
Berkshire. The monies paid by these individuals were not paid to Berkshire and
were not invested as represented by Thow. Thow resigned for cause effective
June 1, 2005.
    Berkshire has settled many claims made by its clients and former clients
relating to Thow's activities. Other claims which have been alleged against
Berkshire relating to Thow's activities have not been settled due to
circumstances specific to each claim, such as insufficient detail of loss or
lack of connection to Berkshire.
    Manulife Securities acquired Berkshire on August 31, 2007. As is
customary for transactions of this nature, the vendors (including Portland
Holdings controlled by Michael Lee-Chin) continue to be financially
responsible, and have indemnified Manulife, for all claims and losses relating
to Thow's activities, including the MFDA settlement. Although Manulife is not
responsible for the unfortunate and regrettable activities of Thow, Manulife
is monitoring the status of any remaining outstanding claims. Manulife is
anxious to see that any remaining claims that are determined to be legitimate
after receipt of additional information or determination by the courts are
honoured and paid.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Berkshire Investment Group
Inc., Stephen Clarke, Contact: (905) 331-9900, Extension 3410; Manulife
Securities, Tom Nunn, Contact: (519) 594-8578

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