Bob Cook Speaks: Manulife’s Asia Strategy

The President of The Chamber recently spoke in New York at the UBS Global Financial Services Conference 2012 at the prestigous and storied Waldorf Astoria.

There are links to the speech and Q&A transcripts below.

Key Excerpts:

“our management objective remains the same, which is to deliver $4 billion of earnings in 2015 and an ROE of 13%.”


“We’ve been Asia for 115 years now.  It shocks people that we expanded from Canada to Asia before we expanded from Canada to the United States.”

Asia – A Big Part of Manulife

“Over the last five years, we have moved our share of the company’s worldwide insurance sales from less than one-fifth to half of the company’s worldwide insurance sales come from Asia.  On the bottom line, you see a very diversified picture there of the earnings from around the world.  But again, one-third of our bottom line is already coming from Asia.  So this is not a story that is a promise for the future; this is a story that is already being delivered today. “


“You know, Indonesia has about 250 million people.  But as recently as five or six years ago, our targetable population in Indonesia was only about 1.5 million people.  Today it’s risen dramatically, to 50 million people.  And over the next five years, that’s going to triple again to 150 million people.” 

“You would have seen our announcement of a major deal in Indonesia, an exclusive 10-year deal with Bank Danamon, which is one of the largest and most respected banks in Indonesia.  We were head-to-head in competition with the major players in the region, and we won because we have been able to build up the case studies of success throughout the region and convinced the bank that we would be successful in executing.  And that partnership is off to a great start this year.”


“… in the first quarter of this year, our estimate is that we sold more life insurance in Japan than any company sold in America.  

Hong Kong

“In Hong Kong, a totally different business model.  In Hong Kong, we’ve been present in the Hong Kong market for 115 years.  One out of every five people in Hong Kong is already our customer.”


“But to just give you one example of how that will be an advantage for us going forward, is the agreement we reached last year with the Bank of China to be the only foreign company to have a national distribution deal with the Bank of China.  Now, think about it.  If two foreign companies are going in knocking on the door of the Bank of China, and one of them is saying, “I operate in four cities in which you have branches,” and we go in and we say, “I can deliver products to you in 50 cities in which you operate,” obviously, we have a significant advantage in that kind of a competitive profile, and that’s what we are leveraging now, having successfully built out this national platform.”


“Vietnam may turn out to be our largest agency system anywhere in the region.  It could very well surpass China in the next couple of years with the expansion that we’re achieving in that market.”

Clcik here to access the webcast through the UBS – audio and slides (registration required).

Full Transcript for those who prefer to read:

More presentations from Manulife here.,,lang=en&navId=640006,00.html


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