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Manulife Financial Plans

Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. providing clients with educational and pension plans in the Philippines.

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Board of Directors

Joachim Wessling is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Manulife Philippines, Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. He was first elected as director of the Company in April 2018.

Joachim is currently the Executive Vice President & General Manager, Emerging Markets of Manulife Financial Asia Ltd. Prior to this role, he was with another insurance company for more than three (3) decades where he was assigned to different territories as Chief Executive Officer and Country Manager. He also serves as the Chairperson of Manulife (Cambodia) PLC, and Manulife Insurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited.

Joachim holds an Economics degree from the Verwaltungs-und Wirtschaftsakademie in Germany.

Richard Bates is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Philippines. He assumed office on August 5, 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.

Kenneth Dai joined Manulife Financial in June 1999 as an Actuarial Specialist and became an Assistant Vice President and Chief Actuary of Manulife Asia. With more than 15 years of experience in Manulife Asia, Kenneth has a wide range of experience and knowledge in various functions including pricing, product development, finance and valuation.

Kenneth was first elected as a Non-Executive Director of Manulife Philippines and its affiliates, Manulife Chinabank Life Assurance Corp., and Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., in the recent April 5, 2016 Annual Stockholders Meeting.

Kenneth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science from Hong Kong University and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. 

Janette Peña is an Independent Director of the Company and of its affiliates, Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. She was first elected as Independent Director of the Company in 2007. She is also the Chair of the Audit Committee of the Company. Prior to her present roles, Janette was a Senior Partner at Ponce Enrile Reyes Manalastas Law Offices (1985-2003); Director and Corporate Secretary of Pancake House Group of Companies (2000-2014) and Bousted Technologies (2004-2013); and Corporate Secretary of Salcon Holdings (2003-2009), Del Monte Philippines, and Philippine Plaza Holdings (1995-2003). Janette holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines and Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.

Rhoda Rara serves as an Independent Director of Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., and Chairs the Nomination and Remuneration Committees of the Company. She was first elected as Independent Director on September 3, 2007. Presently, Regina is the Managing Partner of MarksPro Philippines, the law firm of Reyes Rara and Associates. She is also the Corporate Secretary of the Intellectual Property Professors and Research Organization of the Philippines and IP Business Holdings, Inc. Prior to her present roles, Regina was a Partner at Ponce Enrile Reyes & Manalastas Law Offices (1990-2004) and Corporate Secretary of First Asia Realty Development Corp., (1996-2004) and Phil. Global Communications, Inc., (1994 – 1996). Regina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Management.

Conrado Favorito is an Independent Director of Manulife Philippines, Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. He was first elected as director of the Company in April 2018.

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer-President and Chief Consultant of his company, Mr. Fave Management Training & Consulting Services. He serves as his company’s TQM & ISO 9001 Adviser, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Author/ Editor and Resource-person. Likewise, he is a consultant/ adviser of Inkwell Publishing Co., Inc., VFP Business Support Services, Inc., Blue Macay Food Manufacturing Group, and the Philippine Advocates for Consultants & Trainers. He is also an accredited partner/ speaker/ trainer of MSS Business Solutions, Ariva Academy, South East Asia Speakers & Trainers Bureau, SMESoft, AIB Training & Events, Thought Leaders Philippines Speakers Bureau, and Synerquest Management Consultancy Services, Inc.

Executive Officers

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 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 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 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.

Atty. Fritzie P. Tangkia-Fabricante is the Senior Vice President and Head of Legal and Compliance of Manulife Financial Plans, Inc. which identifies legal and compliance risks and issues relative to the company's intended actions. As the Chief Legal Counsel and Compliance Officer, she advises the company on various legal matters and reasonably ensures the compliance of the company with various regulatory issuances.

Fritzie has been a member of the Philippine bar for more than 16 years. She has a wide experience in corporate counseling and commercial practice, including heading the legal services group of a universal bank.

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

Andrea De Guzman is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Manulife Philippines.

She leads the company’s human resource and talent acquisition strategies.

Andee has more than 15 years of experience as a human resource professional and business executive in several multinational organizations in the telecommunication, business process outsourcing (BPO), and shared services industries. Prior to her appointment to her current role in August 2016, she led Talent Acquisition (Global Resourcing) at Manulife Business Processing Services (MBPS).

Andee studied at University of the Philippines and took up Bachelor of Science, Hotel & Restaurant Administration.

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.

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