Hancock Financial To Open Regional Headquarters In Coral Gables
Written by Frank Norton on March 20, 2003
By Frank Norton
With plans to open a South Florida headquarters in Coral Gables, John Hancock Financial Services plans to tap the region’s international markets, the company announced Monday.
The move is part of long-term strategy to boost its presence and carve a niche among the area’s wealth of small and mid-sized firms.
"Our primary goal is to build a very high-net-worth boutique operation providing insurance and investment products to wealthy clients and small- and medium-sized international businesses," said Carlos M. Musibay, named managing director for John Hancock’s South Florida operations.
He said company site selectors should close on about 10,000 square feet within 30 days. He declined to comment on the chosen site or how many employees would staff the Coral Gables operation.
Mr. Musibay did say the size of the workforce would be "significant." As former regional president for AXA Advisors in Miami, he oversaw more than 650 agents prior to signing on with Boston-based John Hancock.
A financial services firm using that much office space would indicate about 40 employees, said commercial real estate expert Pete Harrison of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida.
Cathy Swanson, the city’s development director, said she was aware of John Hancock’s plans but unfamiliar with details
According to a company statement, local operations will focus on "meeting the financial needs of small businesses, private business owners and high-net-worth clients with a heavy emphasis on South Florida’s significant international market."
The company is looking to hire estate planners, insurance representatives, investments experts and marketing and technology professionals to launch operations possibly by summer, a spokesperson said Tuesday from Boston.
"We’re in a growth mode, and that will be significant opportunity in South Florida when it comes to staffing and establishing a real presence I consider a strong growth market for international business," said Mr. Musibay, who also is treasurer and executive committee member of the Beacon Council, Miami Dade County’s economic development agency.
The new Coral Gables operation will be part of Signator Financial Network, a distribution arm of John Hancock with about 80 offices nationwide. John Hancock and subsidiaries reported total assets of $127.6 billion as of Dec. 31.