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Our People

Richard Bates

President & Chief Executive Officer

Richard Bates is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Philippines. He is also a member of the board of the company. Richard assumed office in August 2019. 

Richard is responsible for the overall strategy and development of Manulife’s business in the Philippines. His remit is to ensure that the company is focused on Manulife’s mission to make customers’ decisions easier and lives better.

Richard is a finance industry veteran, who has a strong background in advancing insurance penetration in emerging markets in Asia. Prior to joining Manulife, he served as CEO of a multinational insurance firm in Cambodia, where he spearheaded the company’s market entry and launched its multi-channel operations. Prior to this posting, Richard was responsible for the Asia operations of a private equity fund focused on investing and incubating insurance start-ups. He also previously led a multinational consulting firm’s deal strategy unit in Hong Kong and its financial services line of business across Asia. Beyond his work in insurance and finance, Richard has also been involved in a charity that supports adults with learning disabilities in Hong Kong.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Business Studies from the University of Portsmouth in England.

Candy Suarez

SVP & Chief Financial Officer

Candy Suarez is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Manulife Philippines. 

Since joining the company in August 2017, she has overseen the Finance function including the management of controllership, actuarial, risk, Management Information Systems (MIS), and taxation in addition to providing specialist financial input to the business decision-making process, influencing strategy and optimizing profitability.

Candy has 21 years life insurance industry experience, including 13 years with a multinational company and eight years with a local company. She is a Fellow of the Life Office Management Association and a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of the Philippines, where she served as President in 2016.

Candy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics with specialization in Actuarial Science and Statistics, Cum Laude, from De La Salle University.

Ariel Magtoto

SVP & Chief Operating Officer

Ariel Magtoto is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Manulife Philippines.

He joined the company in July 2018 where he provides strategic operational leadership to the company. His scope includes customer service, branch operations, new business, underwriting, customer and policy administration, business quality, corporate services, and information systems.

Ariel has over 20 years of experience in the insurance and banking industries where he held senior leadership roles. Prior to joining Manulife, he helped transform a multinational insurance firm’s Thai operations into an efficient and award-winning service company. 

Ariel holds an MBA degree from Ateneo Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University.

Stephen Ong

SVP & Chief Distribution and Solutions Officer

Stephen Ong is the Senior Vice President and Chief Distribution and Solutions Officer of Manulife Philippines.

He leads Manulife’s agency operations and is responsible for growing and creating synergies across distribution channels, and developing innovative and customer-centric products.

Stephen has more than two decades of experience in the life insurance industry. He started as an insurance adviser, building an extensive portfolio in sales management. During this time, he was awarded as a consistent Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) qualifier and Agent of the Year for three consecutive years.

Stephen joined Manulife in July 2010 and held various sales executive positions such as being Territory Head, Agency Recruitment Head, Agency Activation Head, and Chief Agency Officer before assuming his current leadership position.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Santo Tomas.

Melissa Henson

SVP & Chief Marketing Officer

Melissa Henson is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Philippines.

Since joining Manulife in March 2015, she has overseen all marketing, branding, communications, community service, customer insights, and promotion and events activity for the company.

Melissa has more than 15 years of experience as a marketing professional, including 10 years in the banking industry. She has held various leadership roles covering responsibilities in market strategy, branding, advertising and marketing communications, customer research and insights, corporate communications, digital and innovation.

Melissa holds an MBA degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Cum Laude, from Ateneo De Manila University.

Fritzie Tangkia-Fabricante

SVP & Head of Legal and Compliance

Atty. Fritzie P. Tangkia-Fabricante is the Senior Vice President and Head of Legal and Compliance of Manulife Philippines.

As Chief Legal Counsel and Compliance Officer, she advises the company on various legal matters and reasonably ensures its compliance with various regulatory issuances. She also identifies legal and compliance risks and issues relative to the company's intended actions.

Fritzie has been a member of the Philippine bar for nearly 20 years now. Her professional experience includes corporate counseling and commercial practice, including heading the legal services group of a universal bank.

Fritzie completed her law degree at the University of the Philippines and her Political Science degree at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Summa Cum Laude. She placed 9th in the 1999 bar examinations.

Lemuel Dingle

VP & Head of Project Management

Lem is the Vice President and Head of the Project Management Office of Manulife Philippines. He joined the company in March 2016.

Lem's experience spans two decades in the financial services, telecommunication, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, and consulting. He started his career doing operations work and transitioned to business consulting focused on business process optimization while getting himself involved in some entrepreneurial opportunities. Before being Manulife's PMO Head, he handled various roles as operations manager, executive consultant, project manager, and recently as Vice President and Head of Asia Optimization and Change Management for one of the top global banks.

Lem holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines and is a certified Project Management Professional.