iPad mania at John Hancock?

Firm's wealth management unit gives each of its wholesalers the Apple tablet; there go the three-ring binders

Jan 10, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

By Jessica Toonkel

The 200 wholesalers at the U.S. wealth management division of John Hancock Financial Services Inc. have started the year with a bang, each receiving an iPad from the company during last week's sales meeting.

During the summer, the company ran an internal contest asking employees to submit ideas on how iPads could improve their businesses. There were so many impressive ideas submitted that the different business leaders within wealth management — which includes retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds — all independently decided to get their wholesalers iPads, said Keith Hartstein, president of John Hancock Funds LLC.

“There are just so many applicable ways to use it that each business unit decided to go ahead with them," he said.

For example, for Hancock's mutual fund wholesalers, the iPad replaces the “Playbook,” which is a three-ring binder filled with hundreds of pages of presentations, fact sheets and fund information, Mr. Hartstein said.

“We are basically saving wholesalers' backs since they won't have to lug those books around,” he said. “So far, they are a huge hit.”

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