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Manulife Financial Plans Leaders

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. The Manulife Financial Plans, Inc. head office is located in 10th Floor NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, 1229.

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Board of Directors

Sachin N. Shah (53) was appointed General Manager, Emerging Markets, Asia in August 2020. He is a member of Manulife’s Asia Executive Committee and Global Leadership Team. 

Sachin is responsible for driving the development of the Company’s operations in Southeast and South Asia – namely Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. The General Managers of these markets report to him. He is based in Singapore. 

Sachin has vast industry experience, principally in Asia and the United States. He joined Manulife from AIG, where he was CEO, Asia Pacific General Insurance. He previously held a variety of senior leadership roles across a 20-year tenure at MetLife, most recently as Chairman, President and CEO, MetLife Japan. Sachin also served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. 

He has a Masters in Finance and Technology from Stevens Institute of Technology

Matthew Edward Lawrence (44) serves as a non-executive director of Manulife Philippines, Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. He was first elected as director on 01 October 2019. He also serves as a member of the Company’s Audit Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee, and Related Party Transactions Committee. Matt joined Manulife as Regional Controller, Asia, on 30 June 2019. In this role, he is responsible for the Asia regional finance team, overseeing financial planning and analysis, management reporting, expense management and accounting policy

Matt has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, holding leadership positions in both the corporate and professional services fields that span across North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Manulife, he worked at Prudential where he held a series of progressive roles; most recently as Finance Director of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, where he was responsible for strategic planning and analysis, financial reporting, finance operations, and finance innovation. Prior to his time with Prudential, he spent many years at KPMG and has experience that covers accounting advisory, audit, and transaction services.

A Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science. He speaks frequently at industry events on the subject of accounting change for insurance, most recently speaking at events in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Anthony Buchanan (40) serves as a non-executive director of Manulife Philippines and Manulife Financial Plans, Inc., having been first elected as such on 01 January 2020.

Anthony is the Head of Operations and IT Performance of Manulife Asia. He is likewise a member of the board of directors of Manulife IT Development Centre and a board supervisor of Manulife Information and Technology Services Co., Ltd. in Chengdu, China. Prior to joining Manulife, Anthony was the Head of IT and Operations Performance and Planning of QBE Emerging Markets. Prior to that Anthony came from a strategy and IT consulting background working with Capgemini and Ernst & Young.

Anthony is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of Monash University in Victoria, Australia and has a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from the same university.

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.

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.