HTRG Closes on ForesTree VI

BOSTON, December 12, 2002 –Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) announced today that it has closed its ForesTree VI, LP timberland investment fund. Investments for the fund totaled $98 million and included capital from eight investors. Among those participating in the fund are Baltimore Employees’ Retirement System and two European investors.

The structure of ForesTree VI allowed for several types of investors to participate, including traditional pension plans as well as high net worth individuals and non-US investors. ForesTree VI will target geographically diversified timberland properties, with its initial investment located in Washington state.

HTRG is the world’s largest timberland investment management organization for institutional investors with 2.9 million acres and more than $2.5 billion in assets under management in North America and Australia as of September 30, 2002. Boston-based HTRG is a division of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Financial Services (NYSE:JHF). John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. is a leading financial services company, providing a broad array of insurance and investment products and services to retail and institutional customers. As of September 30, 2002, John Hancock and its subsidiaries had total assets under management of $121.2 billion.

(All of fund’s securities have been sold; this announcement appears as a matter of record only.)