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Manulife Honoured with Prestigious “Friend of ASEAN” Award

Recognising its Contribution to the Region

December 1, 2021

Singapore – Manulife has been honoured with the prestigious “Friend of ASEAN” award at the 2021 ASEAN Business Awards hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in recognition of its positive social and economic contribution to the Southeast Asia region.

The ASEAN Business Awards were launched in 2007 to recognise companies that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy, which includes 10 member states in Southeast Asia. 

Manulife opened its first office in Southeast Asia in Singapore in 1899. Since then, it has grown to include a presence in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam. Access to financial products and services, and improvements in financial literacy, can have a profound impact on people’s lives and their ability to prepare for their future.

In response to challenges the pandemic presented, Manulife delivered digital, accessible products and services, including in Singapore, where the company scaled its direct digital product offering with DBS to seven products and launched non-face-to-face processes to enable its agents and partners to meet the needs of its customers and their families throughout the pandemic. And in Vietnam where the company launched Khởi Đầu Bảo Vệ (My Starter Protection) its first digital insurance product offers a hassle-free way for a younger segment of the population to purchase life and health insurance.

Throughout the pandemic, Manulife also made contributions to Southeast Asian communities including providing student bursaries in Malaysia, medical supplies and desktop computers to hospitals and clinics across Indonesia, free insurance coverage to more than 85,000 two-wheel delivery riders in the Philippines, and personal health protection items including masks and sanitizer in Cambodia. Manulife has also launched a S$1 million support fund for supplementary COVID-19 coverage for its Singapore customers.

“We are delighted to receive this award, which recognises the contribution we have made to Southeast Asia through meeting the health, savings and retirement needs of families across the region for more than 120 years,” said Anil Wadhwani, President and CEO, Manulife Asia.

In addition to supporting customers throughout the challenging times, Manulife operates in 13 markets across Asia and represents more than 40 percent of the company’s total core earnings, with a goal to raise that to 50 percent by 2025. Emerging Markets within ASEAN are important to achieving that growth.

“As a leading digitally enabled Life insurer, Manulife is dedicated to delivering value and growth to our customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders across ASEAN markets,” said Sachin N. Shah, General Manager, Emerging Markets, Manulife. “This award from the ASEAN BAC is particularly meaningful as it recognizes our longstanding commitment to the markets and value of the region for us, as an organization.”

Since 2017, Manulife has been a Patron member of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, a volunteer-driven not-for-profit organization established in 2012 and based in Singapore with the mission of increasing trade and investment between Canada and ASEAN.

The Friends of ASEAN award category recognizes non-ASEAN companies’ positive contribution to the society and economy of the Southeast Asia region. It shows the appreciation towards ASEAN region and the necessity to maintain the connection with other countries in the world. This award is nominated by the ABA Chair and ASEAN-BAC.

Established in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) is the official organisation that provides private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN's efforts towards economic integration and identifies priority areas for consideration by ASEAN leaders. ASEAN BAC members are appointed by each government's minister-in-charge and up to three high-level company CEOs are appointed per country, with one representing the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our global wealth and asset management segment, we serve individuals, institutions and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2020, we had more than 37,000 employees, over 118,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 30 million customers. As of September 30, 2021, we had CAD$1.4 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made CAD$31.6 billion in payments to our customers.

Our principal operations are in Asia and Canada, and the United States, where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit


Media Contact

Shabeen Hanifa
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