Manulife's Chair and Controller Named to Canada's Most Powerful Women List



TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Each year WXN celebrates a select group of outstanding women leaders for strong contributions to their chosen organizations, fields of endeavour and their communities. The 2012's top achievers were announced yesterday and included Manulife Financial's Gail Cook-Bennett, Board Chair and Lynda Sullivan, Executive Vice President and Controller.

Dr. Cook-Bennett receives this award for her contributions to governance and support of increasing Board diversity. She has also been a mentor to board-ready women and lends her time and expertise to several not-for-profit organizations.

Recently Dr. Cook-Bennett worked with Manulife's board as they pledged to increase the representation of women on the board of directors, joining a national initiative called the Catalyst Accord that is designed to boost the overall proportion of women on the boards of Canada's largest companies. "We are committed to attracting directors with excellent relevant skills and experience, with the highest level of integrity and judgment," said Dr. Cook-Bennett. "Manulife's existing diverse board is the result of our commitment to find excellent directors whose backgrounds also fit the company's strategic direction and business challenges. We have demonstrated that outstanding women meeting our demanding criteria are available."

Dr. Cook-Bennett added, "Manulife is an incubator of top executive talent and it is wonderful to share this honour with Lynda Sullivan. I am confident that many of Manulife's top executives will be in demand on boards in the future."

Ms. Sullivan is being recognized for her contributions to the ongoing development of international accounting standards that affect the global insurance industry.  Her dedication to simplicity and transparency in financial reporting is essential in today's financial reporting environment. She is also deeply committed to her ongoing mentorship of future leaders and actively develops Manulife's human capital.

"I am very grateful and humbled to have been named again. To be recognized on this distinguished list alongside Gail is a special honour," said Ms. Sullivan.

This is Dr. Cook-Bennett's third time being recognized in the Corporate Directors category and Ms. Sullivan's second time being recognized by Corporate Executives.

"We're very proud that these women are being recognized not only for their leadership within Manulife, but for their significant contributions outside the Company," added Stephani Kingsmill, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Communications for Manulife Financial.

In addition to the WXN recognition, Manulife Financial was also recently identified as a Top 100 Employer in Canada in October and Top 100 Employer for Young People this past September.

Photos available by contacting

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

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


SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media contact:
Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Manulife Financial


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