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(MFC.TO) S&P Provides Quality Evaluation for Manulife USA Investment Options

Business Editors

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 19, 2004--

Selection and Monitoring Process Found to Consistently Adhere to Industry Standards for Prudence

Affirming the quality and high standards of the investment platform that underlies Manulife USA's annuity, 401(k), and life insurance products, Standard & Poor's--a leading provider of independent investment research, ratings, and indices--has provided a quality evaluation of the Company's investment options and selection and monitoring process. In its review, Standard & Poor's affirmed Manulife USA's processes for selecting and reviewing investment options, finding them "to consistently adhere to industry standards for prudent selection and monitoring." Standard & Poor's also determined Manulife USA's investment options to be "an appropriate basis for constructing well-diversified portfolios."

In its review, Standard & Poor's evaluated the entire line-up of investment options available in the common investment platform shared by Manulife's annuity, 401(k), and life insurance products. The review consisted of an analysis of the variable investment options offered in these products as of November 28, 2003. Each investment option is analyzed for performance and risk measures, style consistency, costs, and manager tenure. Additional analysis is performed to review the diversity of investment options being offered in each product's investment line-up.

"The goal of Standard & Poor's quality evaluation is to provide an independent, third party review of the funds Manulife has selected," explains Phil Edwards, Managing Director of funds research at Standard & Poor's. "Standard & Poor's evaluation demonstrates that the funds in Manulife USA's program have met the tests outlined."

"With potentially thousands of investment options in the marketplace from which to choose, identifying the most appropriate vehicles for a portfolio can be a time-consuming process for financial consultants and their clients," said Bruce R. Speca, Executive Vice President, Investment Management Services for Manulife USA. "Manulife USA helps address this challenge by providing access to best-of-class investment platforms built on a foundation of thorough research and ongoing diligence. This evaluation from S&P signifies that our efforts to maintain this level of investment excellence are on track and that our customers--whether they be financial consultants, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, annuity contract holders, or insurance policyholders--can feel confident their interests are being well served."

Manulife USA's selection and review process takes into account a number of important factors, including those that Standard & Poor's considers in determining excellence in portfolio management: depth and breadth of portfolio management expertise, consistency of performance through different market cycles, clarity of a manager's investment style, and discipline of the investment process. This evaluation affirms that the proven quality of Manulife USA's processes and approach to manager selection and review provides financial consultants, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, and account- and policyholders with a solid foundation for investing.

About Standard & Poor's

As a recognized authority in institutional-quality financial research, Standard & Poor's has 65 fund analysts located in nine offices around the world offering in-depth mutual fund reports on over 15,000 U.S. domestic mutual funds. In addition, company's custom-designed client solutions provide access to performance data on nearly 80,000 investment funds in the U.S., European, Asian, and Offshore universe.

Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP), is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data and valuations. With 5000 employees located in 20 countries, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for more than 140 years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com.

About Manulife

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (Manulife USA) is committed to offering the highest quality life insurance, pension, and individual wealth management products to its clients. Its family of products has been built around a powerful combination of investment options chosen with the goal of providing attractive risk-adjusted returns and broad diversification across asset classes, investment styles, and asset managers. With its extensive product lines, competitive underwriting, excellent ratings, and quality customer service, Manulife USA is dedicated to providing quality products designed to help create and preserve wealth for its clients.

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 15 countries and territories worldwide. Through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners, Manulife Financial offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. Funds under management by Manulife Financial were US$121.2 billion (Cdn$156.7 billion) as at December 31, 2003.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

Manulife Financial and the block design are registered service marks and trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it and its affiliates including Manulife Financial Corporation.

    CONTACT: Manulife USA
             Heather Randolph Carter, 
             Standard and Poor's
             David R. Guarino, 

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