|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2011)|
|Traded as||TSX: MFC
|Industry||Financial Services (Insurance)|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Key people||Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer
Richard DeWolfe, Chairman of the Board of Directors
|Revenue||$29,932 million CAD (2012)|
|Net income||$1,736 million CAD (2012)|
Manulife Financial Corporation is a Canadian insurance company and financial services provider, with a head office in Toronto, Canada. The company operates in Canada and Asia as "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 by market capitalization, and has approximately 84,000 employees.
The firm was founded as The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company in 1887. Its first president was Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. The company sold its first policy outside of Canada in Bermuda in 1893. In 1894, policies were sold in Grenada, Jamaica and Barbados; Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti in 1895; and British Honduras, British Guiana, China and Hong Kong in 1897.
In 1901, Manulife amalgamated with the Temperance and General Life Assurance Company, a Toronto-based Canadian life insurer that provided preferred rates to abstainers of alcohol. Manulife continued to offer abstainers rates into the 1920s.
In 1958, shareholders voted to change its legal form from a joint stock company to a mutual organization, making the company privately owned by its policyholders. In 1996, the company entered an agreement with the Zhong Hong Life Insurance Co. Ltd., based in Shanghai, to form China’s first joint venture life insurance company, Manulife-Sinochem.
In 1984, Manulife announced that it had acquired Waterloo, Ontario-based Dominion Life Assurance Company: a deal that included the purchase of all of the outstanding stock of the company from Lincoln National. Dominion Life was founded in Waterloo in 1889, and Manulife made a commitment to the community to retain a significant presence in Waterloo. In 1988, Manulife opened a new five-storey office building at 500 King St. North in Waterloo to house its Canadian Division.
In 1996, the company entered an agreement with Sinochem to form Shanghai -based Zhong Hong Life Insurance Co. Ltd., China’s first joint venture life insurance company, and was granted a license that made it the second foreign insurer to be allowed re-entry into China.
In 1999, its voting eligible policyholders approved demutualization, and 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 open a branch office in Guangzhou, China, the first branch license granted to a foreign invested joint–venture life insurance company. In 2003, Manulife-Sinochem received approval for a branch office in Beijing, the first multiple-branch license granted to a foreign-invested joint venture life insurance company. The firm is now licensed to operate in more than 50 Chinese cities.
In 2003, Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. (including its Canadian subsidiary Maritime Life) announced a tax–free stock–for–stock merger of the companies, creating a 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 2013 Richard DeWolfe became the Chair of the company’s board, succeeding Gail Cook-Bennett, who retired after serving 34 years on the board. In 2009, Donald Guloien, the Chief Investment Officer, succeeded Dominic D’Alessandro as President and CEO of the company. Shortly before his departure, 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. This was in response to shareholders’ reaction to the first quarterly loss ever posted by the firm in its public history. Under Guloien's leadership, the first initiatives 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, the company purchased AIC’s Canadian retail investment fund business. In October 2009, it purchased Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc., a Canadian broker and third party administrator of travel insurance.
In 2010, the company announced that it had purchased 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 in China. The other 51 per cent is owned by Northern International Trust, part of Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (TEDA).
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