Firms conducting internal investigations

By IE Staff |

Manulife Financial Corp. and John Hancock Financial Services have been served with subpoenas for information about trading practices as part of ongoing probes into the mutual-fund industry.

Manulife, which is in the process of purchasing John Hancock, said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday that it received a subpoena from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, while John Hancock was subpoenaed by the Secretary of State in Massachusetts.

Manulife said the information requests and subpoenas also concerned information about "market timing" and late trading, including trading in mutual funds underlying variable-life and annuity products.

The company said it also received information requests about its fund trading from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Ontario Securities Commission.

The subpoenas and information requests concerned "market timing" and late trading, the company said in the filing.

"It is believed that these inquiries are similar to those made to many financial service companies as part of an industry-wide investigation by various regulatory agencies into practices, policies and procedures relating to trading in mutual fund shares," Manulife said.

Manulife said each firm is currently conducting its own internal investigations into fund-trading practices among employees, according to the filing.