Manulife Announces Retirement of Jean-Paul Bisnaire

Mar 12, 2014, 09:00 ET from Manulife Financial Corporation

Stephen Sigurdson Chosen as Successor


TORONTO, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Manulife Financial today announced that Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel Jean-Paul (J-P.) Bisnaire will retire on December 31, 2014 after 10 years with the Company.

Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "I would like to thank J-P. for his extensive contributions to Manulife. He is a consummate professional.  His dedication to excellence, his personal credibility and influence and his expert counsel to me and the Board has been enormously important and will continue to benefit Manulife in the future. He leaves us in great shape and I wish him all the very best in his well-deserved retirement."

During his career at Manulife, he has been responsible for a number of key functions in the Company, including internal audit, industry, regulatory and government affairs, compliance, branding and communications and technology.  He played a key role in the integration of John Hancock, which was, at the time, the largest cross-border transaction in Canadian business history.  He is also a member of the Company's Executive Committee and Management Committee.

Prior to joining Manulife, Bisnaire was one of Canada's leading securities lawyers practicing in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He was a senior corporate law partner of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and a member of the firm's Management Committee.

Stephen Sigurdson, Manulife's Executive Vice President, General Counsel Canada, will succeed Bisnaire in the role effective May 1, 2014. Bisnaire will provide for an orderly transition and continue to be involved in special projects.  Sigurdson is a member of Manulife's Management Committee and the Canadian Division Executive Management Team. Within the Company's Canadian Division, Sigurdson also oversees government relations, industry relations and compliance.

"I have enjoyed the past decade immensely, it has been a distinct privilege to be an integral part of one of the strongest and most forward thinking financial organizations in the world," Bisnaire said. "I have been fortunate to work with an exceptional team at Manulife, and I'm confident that I will be leaving them in very capable hands with Stephen."

Sigurdson joined Manulife in 2010 and in early 2011 relocated temporarily to Hong Kong and served as interim General Counsel for Asia in addition to his Canadian responsibilities. Prior to joining Manulife, Sigurdson was a partner of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, where he was Chair of the Business Law Department and prior to that, a Managing Partner of the firm. While at Osler, he also spent four years in New York as head of the firm's office there. He is a member of the bars of Ontario and New York.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were approximately C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation