Manulife Financial Board of Directors Meets in Beijing

Oct 12, 2010, 09:12 ET from Manulife Financial

    -  Company Announces New University Scholarships in Canada and China
    -  Joseph Caron appointed to Manulife's Board of Directors

TORONTO and BEIJING, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - In conjunction with its Board of Directors meetings, being held in Beijing, China, Manulife Financial today announced the establishment of a series of Manulife academic scholarships to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Canada / China relations.

Manulife President and Chief Executive Officer Donald Guloien said, "China is rapidly growing into one of the world's largest economies. Our long-standing Manulife-Sinochem insurance partnership continues to flourish and now serves more than 500,000 clients in 43 cities. Our more recent Manulife TEDA wealth management joint venture has positioned us very well in that market, where we provide wealth management solutions to more than 1 million customers across China."

Gail Cook-Bennett, Chair of the Manulife Financial Board of Directors said, "Meeting in Beijing provides an occasion for Manulife's Board to review business progress and opportunities more directly with our Chinese business partners and our host government leaders. We are pleased with the success of our partnerships in China and are focused on the new opportunities we see ahead." She added that, "Manulife is especially proud to be one of Canada's leading financial institutions in China. We are marking the 40th anniversary of Canada/China relations by creating new Manulife academic scholarships at the Norman Bethune College at Jilin University in China and the Norman Bethune College at York University in Canada."

Joseph Caron appointed to Manulife Board of Directors

Earlier today, Manulife also announced in a separate release that Joseph Caron was appointed to Manulife's Board of Directors. Joseph Caron, Principal and Founder of Joseph Caron Inc., brings extensive knowledge and experience in international affairs and on matters of state to Manulife's Board. Mr. Caron's experience includes almost four decades with the Government of Canada in a number of key diplomatic posts including Ambassador to the Peoples' Republic of China, Ambassador to Japan and High Commissioner to the Republic of India. In September of this year, Mr. Caron joined HB Global Advisors Corporation, the international consulting firm within Heenan Blaikie. He has also been named a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation and an Honorary Research Associate of the University of British Columbia's Institute of Asian Research. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa.

The New Manulife Scholarships

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada / China relations, Manulife will make a gift to the "Manulife Bethune Charity Fund" in the Bethune College of Medicine in Jilin University. The donation will be used to sponsor the economically disadvantaged students with good academic performance in the next five years.

Manulife will also create an endowment for an International Scholarship in the Faculty of Graduate Studies for a Junior Fellow at Norman Bethune College, at York University in Toronto. To be known as the Manulife Financial Graduate Scholarship at Norman Bethune College, the grant will attract top-quality graduate students to York, from its partner institutions in China, where they will continue their pursuit of academic excellence.

Norman Bethune plays a celebrated role in Canada / China relations. The Canadian doctor travelled to China in 1938. He provided medical services to Mao's armed forces during WWII. After his passing in 1939, Dr. Bethune became a heroic figure in China. Mao Zedong wrote a tribute titled "In Memory of Norman Bethune" and a number of universities and colleges bear his name. The Bethune College of Medicine in Jilin University was established for the memory of Dr. Bethune by the Chinese government. The Norman Bethune College at York University seeks to honour Dr. Bethune's dedication to his patients and his field.

Manulife in China

Through its Manulife-Sinochem and Manulife TEDA joint ventures in China, and with international fund management support from MFC Global Investment Management, Manulife today provides insurance, wealth and asset management services across China. Manulife-Sinochem is one of the fastest growing business units in the Company, based on insurance sales, and is now licensed in 43 cities in 11 provinces giving it the largest geographic footprint of any foreign life insurance joint venture. Manulife TEDA provides wealth and asset management services across China to more than one million clients.

Manulife first established operations in Shanghai in 1897, and then was the first Chinese-foreign joint venture life insurance company approved to re-enter the Chinese market in 1996 through its insurance joint venture, Manulife-Sinochem. Today, approximately 75 per cent of Manulife's total business is conducted outside of Canada, including operations in 11 countries and territories in Asia.

Manulife-Sinochem

Manulife-Sinochem, is the largest Canadian financial services employer in China and is licensed in 43 cities in 11 provinces with almost 13,000 employees and agents serving over 500,000 customers across China. Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited and China Foreign Economy and Trade Trust Company (a member of the Sinochem group). It was the first Chinese-foreign joint venture life insurance company established in China. Manulife-Sinochem began operations in November 1996. The company is now developing in cities including Shanghai and Beijing, and in provinces including Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Chongqing and Liaoning. With more than ten years' successful experience, Manulife-Sinochem is committed to offering comprehensive insurance products combined with excellent customer service and professionalism.

Manulife TEDA

Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd. (Manulife TEDA) is a leading foreign-invested asset management company providing traditional retail and institutional asset management for more than one million 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) and 49 per cent owned by Manulife Financial. Established in 2002, the joint venture was renamed Manulife TEDA following Manulife Financial's 49 per cent share purchase in March 2010.

The company distributes funds through direct sales as well as major banks in China, including China Construction Bank and Bank of China. The joint venture extends the reach of Manulife's asset management division, MFC Global Investment Management, into China and bolsters its award winning Greater China investment desk. Manulife TEDA investment professionals benefit from the experience and expertise of MFC Global Investment Management's network of more than 300 investment professionals worldwide.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked 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 provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$454 billion (US$428 billion) as at June 30, 2010. 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 www.manulife.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial