People: Manulife’s Robert Cook honoured with invitation to HKUST Beta Gamma Sigma chapter

Robert A. Cook, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, Asia, Manulife Financial was inducted into the HKYST Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.  Beta Gamma Sigma was founded as an honor society of AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in 1913. Its mission is to encourage and honor academic achievement and personal excellence in the study and practice of business. The society aims at fostering in its members an enduring commitment to the principles and values of Beta (meaning honor and integrity), Gamma (pursuit of wisdom) and Sigma (earnestness).

Membership is by invitation only.

Since its foundation, the Society has upheld the virtues of honor and integrity, wisdom, and earnestness. Over 625,000 business students and leaders from around the world have vowed to champion these values, and today, at HKUST Chapter, 112 members, including students and professors and two respected members of the community joined the Society.


Some excerpts from Mr. Cook’s speech:


I am greatly honored to be invited to join the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Beta Gamma Sigma chapter. I would like to particularly thank Professor Leonard Cheng for this opportunity, as well as HKUST. 

I note that the first international chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was installed at the University of Calgary in Canada where I attained my first degree. 

At the core of Beta Gamma Sigma’s mission is, of course, to foster the values of honour, integrity, wisdom and “earnestness” in its members. 

Manulife is also a values driven organization. We call our values PRIDE, and that stands for Professionalism, Real value to our customers, Integrity, Demonstrated financial strength, and Being an employer of choice. Like Beta Gamma Sigma, these values are not just something we carve into a block of granite. They guide our behaviour and decision making every day, and for that I am extremely proud.
In the 10 countries and territories in which Manulife operates in Asia, we have 6,000 employees, 40,000 contracted agents and more than 6 million customers. My goal each and every day is to lead those individuals to act with professionalism and integrity. 

In supporting Beta Gamma Sigma’s mission, it is also fundamental that we serve our communities with more than high quality products and services. Manulife has a robust and active Community Social Responsibility programme and in Asia we contribute to dozens of organizations with both time and money to support people in need as well as the environment. 

Most recently, two weeks ago, I led more than 3,000 Manulifers who participated in the Walk for Millions on a cold Sunday morning to support the Community Chest.  Volunteering our time and resources is an important way in which Manulife serves as a trustworthy and reliable business. 

So I am deeply thankful for this opportunity to join the ranks of some of the world’s most important business, government and community leaders as well as the 118 – well, 120 now – members of the HKUST chapter.

As one of your two newest members, I promise to uphold the values Beta Gamma Sigma espouses and to continue to encourage business success in this community and in Asia at large. It means a great deal to me to be inducted to the society as part of a Hong Kong chapter – a city I am very proud to now call home.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Connie Lau for her induction, as well as each of HKUST’s staff, administrators and students for two decades as one of the top universities in Asia. I look forward to watching your continued growth in the future. Happy 20th Anniversary!



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