president & ceo, manulife financial corporation
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Manulife Financial Corp.’s $13.9 billion takeover of John Hancock Financial Services last year has not led to “any appreciable reduction in employment" and will likely lead to job gains locally, Manulife Chief Executive Dominic D’ Alessandro said yesterday.
"Our presence here will, if anything, grow noticeably over time," D’Alessandro told executives at The Boston College Chief Executives’ Club. "We see fantastic opportunities in America in the life-insurance market”
D’ Alessandro said the U.S. insurance market is highly fragmented, with more than 1,100 companies. The top five firms control just 25 percent of the market, he said, suggesting there’s room for acquisitions.
Manulife, Canada’s biggest insurer, created North America’s second-largest insurance company with its Hancock purchase. Manulife’s U.S. business is headquartered in Boston. D’Alessandro said Manulife and Hancock have very little overlap in product offerings or distribution.
"I’m pleased to say we are already enjoying robust revenue synergies," he said.
Meanwhile, D’Alessandro lashed out at U.S. financial reporting and accounting procedures under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.
He denounced the rules as costly, burdensome and ineffective in deterring the type of abuses "that have so offended the American public”
D’Alessandro said compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley will cost Manulife $30 million in start-up costs and an additional $20 million on an annual basis.
But paperwork has rarely discouraged anyone intent on committing fraud, he said.
Rather, D’Alessandro said, the answer is in vigorous prosecution of executives involved in fraud.
Article by Greg Gatlin
Wednesday, May 11, 2005