In 1887, Canada’s Prime Minister, John Macdonald, and Parliament incorporated The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. At the time, it was not unusual for politicians to be involved in private companies and it was not considered to be a conflict of interest.
As early as 1893, the company began selling life insurance policies outside of Canada, first in Bermuda, then Jamaica, Barbados, and Haiti. In 1958, shareholders voted to change the company to a mutual organization privately owned by the policyholders.
In 1999, its voting-eligible policyholders approved demutualization, and the shares of Manulife, the holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, began trading on The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) under the ticker “MFC”, and on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) under the ticker “945”.
In April 2015, the company announced a partnership with DBS Bank, providing Manulife exclusive access to DBS customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia. In June of that same year, Manulife-Sinochem became the first foreign-invested joint-venture life insurance company in China authorized to sell mutual funds in the country.
In April 2016, Manulife became the first Canadian insurance company to offer life insurance to people who are HIV-positive, insuring people who have tested HIV-positive, who are between the ages of 30 and 65 and that meet certain other criteria for life insurance policies that would pay up to $2 million.
In August 2019, the Canadian government announced that it was altering the Patented Medicine Price Review Board. These changes should significantly reduce the cost of new medicines in Canada. Manulife supported this measure.
Manulife Financial is the largest insurance company in Canada and serves more than 26 million people around the world. Company headquarters for Manulife Financial remains in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.