Ted Breen, director of sales for John Hancock Funds' financial institutions division, has left the company.

Mr. Breen, contacted at home, said he had left the Boston-based company Jan. 15. He declined to say why he had left, and Hancock declined to comment.

The shake-up comes during an effort by Hancock to build its bank distribution business. The company started adding bank-dedicated wholesalers in 1997.

Mr. Breen had been with Hancock since December 1997. He succeeded William Nichols, who left to join Funds Distributor, also in Boston.

Hancock's bank wholesalers coordinate the sales of funds, variable and fixed annuities, long-term-care insurance, life insurance, and retirement plans.

Hancock has $24.7 billion of mutual fund assets under management.

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