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Manulife Philippines appoints new Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer 

Manulife Philippines announces Justin Helferich as Chief Financial Officer & Katerina Suarez as Chief Risk Officer 


July 3, 2023


Manila, Philippines — Manulife Philippines, the local business of global financial services provider Manulife, recently announced two veterans of the firm will be taking new roles to lead its financial and risk functions. Justin Helferich, the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will be instrumental in achieving the company’s growth ambitions in the country, while Katerina Suarez, the firm’s new Chief Risk Officer (CRO), will lead the efforts to mitigate operational risks to drive business profitability and productivity.

Recent global socio-economic disruptions and uncertainties have prompted more Filipinos to consider purchasing life insurance products as financial safety nets for themselves and their loved ones. To respond to the rising consumer demand, Manulife Philippines continues to strengthen its leadership team by appointing industry veterans who will lead the Company in pursuing growth opportunities and navigating market and industry risks, while serving our customers with excellence,” said Rahul Hora, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Philippines. 

As CFO, Justin Helferich will lead the optimization of the company’s financial strategy, strength, and performance, including revenue generation and capital management. Helferich has been with Manulife since 2010 and has held progressively more senior roles in the United States and Asia. Before his most recent appointment, Mr. Helferich served as Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Cambodia, where his resilient and determined leadership helped maintain the company’s strong market position.

CRO Katerina Suarez will oversee action plans on compliance, operational, reputational, and strategic risk management, act as a strategic partner to the business, and ensure proper identification and mitigation of company risks. She joined Manulife Philippines as CFO in 2017 before moving to a regional role, leading In-Force and Expense Management for Manulife’s Emerging Markets team in 2021.


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About Manulife Philippines

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in the Philippines in 1907. Since then, Manulife’s Philippine Branch and later The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. (Manulife Philippines) has grown to become one of the country’s leading life insurance companies. Manulife Philippines is a wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, among the world’s largest life insurance companies by market capitalization. Learn more about Manulife Philippines by visiting their website and following them on Facebook (, Twitter (@ManulifePH), and Instagram (@manulifeph).


About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping 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 2022, we had more than 40,000 employees, over 116,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 34 million customers. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.

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About Manulife China Bank Life 

Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation is a strategic alliance between Manulife Philippines and China Banking Corporation (China Bank). It provides a wide range of innovative insurance products and services to customers of China Bank as well as the bank’s thrift arm, China Bank Savings (CBS). MCBL aims to ensure that every client receives holistic life, health, and wealth solutions to address his or her individual needs.

Since opening in October 2007, the company has grown into a business of significance for both Manulife and China Bank. The two strengthened their partnership further in 2014 when China Bank raised its equity stake in MCBL to 40%. MCBL is setting its sights on its next growth phase and reaffirming its mission to be the biggest, most professional bancassurance company in the industry that delivers extraordinary customer experience.


About China Bank

Founded in 1920, China Banking Corporation (China Bank) is a leading private universal bank in the Philippines with a strong presence in the entrepreneur, middle market, and corporate segments. We offer a full range of financial products and services, also serving the retail banking, investment banking, and insurance needs of our diverse customers through our subsidiaries China Bank Savings, China Bank Capital, China Bank Securities, Resurgent Capital, CBC Assets One, China Bank Insurance Brokers, and affiliate Manulife China Bank Life Assurance.

For over 100 years, we have made the success of the people and businesses who bank with us our business. Leveraging our network, expertise, and resources—vast distribution network, robust technological infrastructure, team of highly qualified banking professionals, strong balance sheet, we build long-term relationships with today’s generation and shape China Bank as a responsive, reliable, and responsible banking partner for the next generation.

China Bank is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CHIB” and a member of the SM Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. 

640 branches. 10,238 employees. 1,044 ATMs. 2.6M customers.