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(2021) Roy Gori, President and CEO of Manulife Financial:China will remain key to our success and growth globally

Da Jia Hao. Hi everyone – I’d like to wish you all good health in the year of the Ox. 2020 was an incredibly challenging year in many respects. Countless people were affected by illness and loss, as well as isolation from loved ones, putting stress on their physical and mental health, and creating anxiety for their financial wellbeing. We offer our deepest sympathies to those who’ve been directly impacted by illness and loss and our immense gratitude to all frontline workers globally for their incredible efforts to lead us through these challenges.

2020 was also a year of opportunity. On a personal level, I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family and gain a deeper appreciation for our communities and simple things like going to restaurants. From a business standpoint, we learned that the world is capable of changing quickly and adapting to new ways of working.

Like many businesses, we quickly developed new ways to interact with our customers and team, shifting rapidly to online and virtual channels.Globally, I was inspired by the way that our team rallied in support of their communities and one another to make people’s lives better. Our colleagues in China led the way as the first to respond to the rapidly-changing needs of the business, and to volunteer support to their neighbours in times of need. The courage, resilience and empathy of our people gave me both inspiration and optimism, that coming out of the pandemic, our businesses and communities could not only recover but be stronger than ever.

China and Asia more generally have always been at the heart of Manulife’s outlook, going back to the first insurance policy we sold in Shanghai in 1897.Today, Manulife’s Asia business continues to gain prominence and is expected to contribute to more than 50% of Manulife’s core earning by 2025, with our China business playing a key role. So when we think about our future outlook, Asia and China will remain key to our success and growth globally.

The China Development Forum has been a valuable platform for thoughtful discussions and will continue to play an important role bringing organizations and governments together as the world recovers from the pandemic. I look forward to travelling back to China soon to be a part of the tremendous opportunity and success we’re building for generations to come.

Thank you.