Donald A. Guloien, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial, has been invited by Han Zheng, the Mayor of Shanghai, to join the prestigious International Business Leaders Advisory Council (IBLAC), the company said today.
“Manulife has had a long and collaborative relationship with our respected partners and colleagues in China,” said Mr. Guloien. “It is a great honour to be asked to help further the success of both Shanghai and China as a whole. Joining IBLAC is testament to both commitment and mutual respect.”
IBLAC, an international think-tank made up of some of the world’s top business leaders, meets annually to provide strategic advice on Shanghai’s development and discuss potential challenges the city faces. The council began in 1989 with 12 members from seven countries, and at its most recent meeting hosted 47 members from 16 countries. IBLAC representation comes from a diverse range of industries, members include: Alcoa Inc., Bombardier Inc., Danone, Dupont, Ernst & Young, HSBC Group, Infosys Technologies, Pfizer Inc., Siemens AG and Toshiba.
Manulife has a long history in China. It first established a presence in Shanghai in 1897 and later re-entered China in 1996 – again in Shanghai. The company will celebrate its 15-year anniversary there on November 7.
Manulife’s presence in China is known in large part through Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. (MSL), established in 1996 through a partnership with the Sinochem Group. MSL is the first foreign-invested joint venture life insurance company to operate in China. As of September 2011, MSL is licensed to operate in 49 cities across 12 provinces – the most of any foreign-invested joint venture insurer.
In March 2010, Manulife announced the creation of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd., which today offers retail and institutional asset management services to more than one million customers across China.
“As a member of IBLAC, I look forward to being a contributor to Shanghai’s success. Shanghai is both a symbol and test market for China’s economic development, and with the world increasingly looking to China as a source of global economic stability, this work takes on global importance,” said Mr. Guloien.
“Having worked in Shanghai for almost 20 years, I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the rapid development of the Chinese economy and Shanghai’s emergence as China’s financial centre,” said Marc Sterling, Chairman of MSL. “Manulife is honoured to contribute to and participate in this progress.”
In China, Manulife has more than 14,000 employees and agents in its life insurance, asset management joint ventures and a recently established business processing center.