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2009 News Releases

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2009

Manulife Financial acquires Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc.

Purchase expands Manulife travel insurance business in Canada

Waterloo - Manulife Financial announced today that it has purchased Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc., a leading broker and third party administrator of travel insurance across Canada.

With the announcement of the transaction today, Manulife Affinity Markets becomes one of Canada’s largest providers of travel insurance services in the country, by adding almost 90 employees in two Pottruff & Smith locations in Woodbridge, Ontario and Ste-Thérèse, Québec. 

“With this acquisition, we are well positioned to serve even more Canadians to meet their broad range of travel insurance needs,” said Paul Rooney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “This strengthens our existing travel insurance operations and provides momentum to move our fastest-growing Affinity Markets’ business segment to higher levels.”

Gary Pottruff, CEO, founder and majority owner of Pottruff & Smith’s travel insurance business, added: “We are very pleased to conclude this transaction with Manulife, which has had a long-standing relationship with our company. This purchase will further develop a dynamic team with the expertise and size to meet Canadians’ broad travel insurance needs.”

Pottruff & Smith is one of the largest travel insurance brokers and third-party administrators in Canada, specializing in leisure travel insurance serving a range of nationally known clients through its brokerage business.  

Providing a broad spectrum of travel related services, Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc. serves clients across Canada including: Transat, AirMiles®, various travel associations and many others.

“Strategically, this is an important purchase for Manulife in this area,” added Mr. Rooney.  “This gives us the opportunity to more fully integrate our travel insurance operations, plus provides a stronger platform for our long-term growth as a travel insurer serving millions of Canadians.”

The transaction is expected to close November 2, 2009.

About Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc.
In 1989, Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance Brokers Inc. was created to offer a complete line of travel and medical insurance packages. Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance serves some of Canada’s foremost retail travel agencies and travel fulfillment organizations with custom programs. 

Its national office is in Woodbridge, Ontario; with a service network spanning Canada.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners.  Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$421 billion (US$362 billion) as at June 30, 2009.

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. 

Media contacts: 
Tom Nunn                                          
Manulife Financial                                                      
(519) 594-8578

tom_nunn@manulife.com