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Letter to shareholders
from our Chairman of the Board

Fellow shareholders,

As your Board looks back on the past year, it is impossible not to be proud of the strides that Roy Gori and his team have made to position Manulife for future success. 

The strategy we have adopted is the right strategy for our customers, employees, and shareholders. Your Board is fully supportive of Manulife’s transformation and the path that the Executive Leadership Team has laid out to achieve it. We are confident we have the right leadership team in place to deliver on the strategic priorities we have communicated. The Company’s early progress against these priorities speaks to their ability to execute.

The common thread that unites a globally diverse Company such as ours is our shared values. Manulife’s values work as a road map for serving and delighting our customers.

Guided by values

In addition to a talented leadership team, Manulife has an established and diversified global franchise focused on the needs of almost 28 million individual, group, and institutional customers. The common thread that unites a globally diverse Company such as ours is our shared values. Manulife’s values work as a road map for serving and delighting our customers. They also guide day-to-day decision making.

Having a shared set of values in an organization the size of ours is absolutely critical. At Manulife, we are committed to the following values: 

John M. Cassaday
Chairman of the Board

Read more about John

Obsess about customers

Predict their needs and do everything in our power to satisfy them.

Do the right thing

Act with integrity and do what we say.

Think big

Anything is possible. We can always find a better way.

Get it done together

We’re surrounded by an amazing team. Do it better by working together.

Own it

Feel empowered to make decisions and take action to deliver our Mission: Decisions made easier. Lives made better.

Share your humanity

Build a supportive, diverse, and thriving workplace.

This set of principles will help steer the organization as it undergoes this period of transformation and we thank all employees who gave their time and their passion in developing these values.

Governance and shareholder outreach

Your Board spent much of 2018 providing oversight to the management team, reviewing strategy and goals for the Company’s global business and discussing and debating issues relevant to Manulife’s business, culture, risk profile, and the geographies in which we operate. We also spent time engaging with shareholders about subjects of interest to them including executive compensation, diversity, corporate culture, and governance. A robust shareholder dialogue is integral to the ability of any Board to successfully perform its duties and we’re thankful to the shareholders who participated in those discussions.

We were pleased to again receive top recognition in The Globe and Mail’s board governance rankings this year, although we view the exercise of our governance duties as “just doing our job.” Each Board member is leveraging their entire skillset in fulfilling their Board duties. Similarly, each Director shares an immense feeling of pride and honour in being able to serve our great Company.

We’d like to thank Luke Helms, who retires from our Board this year. Luke has served Manulife’s shareholders with distinction since 2007 and his extensive banking and financial services experience informed many important decisions influencing our Company’s business and strategy during that time. We wish him all the best in the future.

Pamela Kimmet has also left our Board to become Manulife’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Pam was an exceptional Board member and is an exceptional human resources executive. Her leadership experience in this area across a variety of industries will serve us well as she takes on oversight of the Company’s culture and people agenda.

We’d like to congratulate every Manulife employee for the significant strategic progress and strong financial results in 2018. We are highly confident we have the right strategy and leadership in place and that Manulife will deliver on its ambitious transformation plan. This plan will drive future shareholder value and enable us to continue to serve and delight our customers.

Lastly, your Board would like to thank you, our fellow shareholders, for all of your feedback, trust, and support. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2019 and beyond.


John Cassaday
Chairman of the Board

Download Manulife Financial Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report        

A year of record results and encouraging progress

Download Manulife Financial Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report