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Our story


Who we are

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their financial and protection decisions easier, and their lives better.


We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2018, we had more than 34,000 employees, over 82,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 28 million customers. 


As of December 31, 2018, we had over C$1.1 trillion (US$794 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$29.0 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States are where we have served customers for more than 100 years. 


With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.


In Asia, we are proud to serve communities in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and now in Myanmar. We are also returning to Myanmar and look forward to supporting families in planning for their financial futures.

Our mission 

Our mission is to make the complex world of financial and insurance services easier to understand, so it’s easier for our customers to make better decisions about their lives.

We’ve summarised this simply as Decisions made easier. Lives made better. It’s a simple statement, yet a bold mission to achieve. 

Our values 

Our values are the guiding principles that will help us achieve our bold mission. They define who we are and how we work together: we are a digital, customer-centric market leader that's leading the change customer demand.


Obsess about customers - We predict our customers’ needs and do everything in our power to satisfy them.

Do the right thing - We 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. We can do it better by working together.

Own it - We feel empowered to make decisions and take action to deliver our mission.

Share your humanity - We build a supportive, diverse, optimistic and thriving workplace.


Our history is one of innovation, leadership and finding new ways to make decisions easier and lives better. See the timeline for a glimpse into some of our firsts.


Customer Experience transformation

Manulife Hong Kong is the first company to restructure its operations to be more customer centric.


Brand transformation

Manulife and John Hancock launch global rebrand.


Hitting $1T

Global Assets Under Management and Administration are over $1 trillion for the first time.


Setting a world record

Manulife insurance agent Joe Sun makes the record books for an astounding 63-year career!


Big steps in China

Manulife is the first financial institution to receive an Investment Company Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) license in China.


Mobile claims

China accepts claims via WeChat.



Manulife Asia launches an innovative insurance concept that rewards customers for being healthier and more active.



After a 70-year absence, we open a representative office in Myanmar.



Our Cambodian head office opens in Phnom Penh.


We merge with John Hancock

It makes us the largest life insurer in Canada, second largest in North America and fifth largest in the world.


$1B net income

We’re the first Canadian life insurance company to reach that milestone.


We go public

We start trading on the TSX, NYSE, SEHK and PSE – at $2.5Bm. It’s the largest IPO in Canada’s history.


Japan and Vietnam

Manulife is the first Canadian insurer to launch a joint venture in Japan, and the first foreign-owned insurance company to do business in Vietnam.


Joining forces in Shanghai

Manulife-Sinochem is China’s first joint venture life insurance company.


Manulife Bank launches

We’re the first Canadian insurance company to open a bank.


First in China

We are the first Canadian life insurance company to open an office in China (Beijing).



A joint venture with Dharmala Group and the International Finance Corporation forms P.T. Asuransi Jiwi Dharmala Manulife.


Lower premiums for non-smokers

We are one of the first insurers to offer lower rates to non-smokers.


First female Director and Chair

Dr. Gail C. A. Cook-Bennett is our first female Director, and in 2008, our first female Chair of the Board.


$1 billion

Our total assets reach $1 billion.


Early adopters

We’re the first insurance company in Canada to embrace mainframe computer technology with the installation of the IBM 650.


Insurance for diabetics

We are the first North American company to offer insurance to controlled diabetics.


New HQ

Our head office at 200 Bloor Street in Toronto officially opens. We haven’t moved since!



We open a representative office in Myanmar.


We expand into Asia

The first Manulife policy is sold in Shanghai.


International expansion begins

The sale of our first policy outside Canada, in Bermuda, kicks off our international operations.


The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company is founded

Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was also our Company’s first president. His vision set us on the path for success.