Passing of Former Manulife Chairman and CEO Syd Jackson


TORONTO, April 12, 2016 /CNW/ - It is with great sadness that Manulife announces the passing of former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Edwin Sydney Jackson.  Mr. Jackson became President in 1972, a position he held until 1985. and he was CEO from 1985 to 1987.  In addition to the presidency, Mr. Jackson also served as acting Chairman of the Board from 1978 to 1985, Chairman of the Board from 1985 to 1990 and Vice Chairman from 1990 until his retirement in 1994.  Mr. Jackson was a Lieutenant in the Canadian Army from 1943-1945, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba in 1947.  He began his career at Manulife in the Actuarial Department in 1948.

Among Mr. Jackson's initiatives was a large-scale reorganization of the Company including a decentralization of Company operations and the implementation of progressive human resource policies and practices to create a dynamic work atmosphere.  He oversaw the acquisition of the Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1984 and the subsequent integration of Dominion Life staff and operations which resulted in the transfer of the Company's Canadian Operations from Toronto to Waterloo.

"Syd left an amazing legacy, and lived a very full and long life, but his smile, sense of humour, wise advice and perfect moral compass will be sadly missed," said Donald A. Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife.  "More than anything, Syd should be remembered for his personal integrity, and for driving the Company to do 'the right thing,' in all instances. The culture of trustworthiness emanated from everything Syd did, and happily carries through to this day, in every aspect of our Company."

Mr. Jackson saw the long-term opportunities in Asia, and was the first President of Manulife to visit its Asian operations.  Today, one third of Manulife's revenue is now from Asia.  Mr. Jackson also played a key role in broadening Manulife from an insurance company into Wealth Management.  

In 1975, Mr. Jackson signed the United Nations "We Believe" declaration to promote women's rights during International Women's Year.  He also enlisted the first woman to join Manulife's board of directors, Dr. Gail Cook-Bennett, who eventually became Chair of Manulife and the first woman to have that role at any significant financial services company in the world.

Mr. Jackson served as a Director of the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division) and was a long-time director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.  His work for the Arthritis  Society of Canada was recognized when he received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2013.  He was also a member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.  Mr. Jackson was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.  

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions.  We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers.  At the end of December 2015, we had $935 billion (US$676 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.6 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers.  Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States 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.  Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit or

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Image with caption: "Former Manulife Chairman and CEO Syd Jackson (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contact: Sean B. Pasternak, Manulife, +1 416-852-2745,


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