Monday, October 15, 2012

Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial Corporation is a Canadian insurance company and financial services provider. Manulife Financial's global head office is located in Toronto, Canada and the Company has operations in 21 countries and territories worldwide.

The company operates in Canada and Asia through the brand name "Manulife Financial" and in the United States primarily through its John Hancock division. It is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world as measured by market capitalization, and has approximately 26,000 employees world-wide.

Manulife Bank of Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation.


The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company was founded in 1887. Its first president was the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald. In 1897, Manulife Financial expanded its operations into Asia, including China and Hong Kong.

In 1999, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s voting eligible policyholders approved demutualization. Later that year, the shares of Manulife Financial Corporation, the holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, began trading on The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) under the ticker 'MFC', and on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) under the ticker ‘945’. 

In 2002, Manulife–Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd. was granted approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to officially open its branch office in Guangzhou, China. This was the first branch license granted by CIRC to a foreign invested joint–venture life insurance company. Later in 2003, Manulife-Sinochem received approval to open a branch office in Beijing. This was Manulife-Sinochem’s second branch license and the first multiple-branch license granted to a foreign-invested joint venture life insurance company. Manulife-Sinochem is now licensed to operate in more than 40 cities across China.

In 2003, Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. and (including its Canadian subsidiary Maritime Life) announced that their Boards of Directors had each unanimously agreed to a tax–free stock–for–stock merger of the companies creating a leading global insurance franchise. Completed in April 2004, the merger created the largest life insurer in Canada, second largest in North America, and fifth largest in the world at the time.

In 2008, Gail Cook-Bennett became the Chair of Manulife Financial’s Board of Directors.

In 2009, Donald Guloien, the Chief Investment Officer, succeeded Dominic D’Alessandro as President and CEO of Manulife Financial. Shortly before his departure, facing a shareholder revolt as the firm posted a quarterly loss for the first time in its public history, D'Alessandro modified his retirement package; the restricted units would only vest for a total of $10 million if the shares reached $36 by the end of 2011, and he would receive $5 million if the shares hit $30. However, the first initiatives under Guloien's leadership were a dividend cut and an equity offering to bolster Manulife's capital levels, making it difficult for the share price to reach the target levels needed to vest.

In September 2009, Manulife Financial Corporation closed a transaction to purchase AIC’s Canadian retail investment fund business. In October 2009, Manulife Financial announced that it had purchased Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc., a leading broker and third party administrator of travel insurance across Canada.

In 2010, Manulife Financial announced that it had closed the transaction to purchase Fortis Bank SA/NV’s1 49 per cent ownership in ABN AMRO TEDA Fund Management Co. Ltd. The new joint venture, Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd. (Manulife TEDA), provides traditional retail and institutional asset management for clients across the Chinese market. Manulife TEDA is 51 per cent owned by Northern International Trust, part of Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (TEDA).