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Gail Cook-Bennett Chair of Manulife Financial Corp. I’m in a sector where there’s an awful lot of regulation, and I would prefer that the board has more rather than fewer degrees of freedom in making decisions. And if you can do it – as I think we have, we’ve made good progress – naturally I’m going to resist anything more formal. But I don’t think it hurts to think in terms of internal guidelines.... We had no problem in stating an internal goal here at Manulife.... The one thing that I haven’t heard a lot about is the question of how you strategize and how you effectively manage a [director] search firm. I’ve seen it done poorly and I’ve seen it done well. When it’s done well, you’ve got the right search partner who is essentially out in the market all the time for you. That’s essentially what we do – we have somebody out in the market for Manulife all the time.
Gail Cook-Bennett Chair of Manulife Financial Corp. I’m in a sector where there’s an awful lot of regulation, and I would prefer that the board has more rather than fewer degrees of freedom in making decisions. And if you can do it – as I think we have, we’ve made good progress – naturally I’m going to resist anything more formal. But I don’t think it hurts to think in terms of internal guidelines.... We had no problem in stating an internal goal here at Manulife.... The one thing that I haven’t heard a lot about is the question of how you strategize and how you effectively manage a [director] search firm. I’ve seen it done poorly and I’ve seen it done well. When it’s done well, you’ve got the right search partner who is essentially out in the market all the time for you. That’s essentially what we do – we have somebody out in the market for Manulife all the time.
(Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

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Manulife’s chairwoman to retire

Gail Cook-Bennett will be leaving her post as chairwoman of Manulife Financial Corp. in May, the company said today.

Ms. Cook-Bennett, 71, is one of the few women to hold the chair position of a large North American financial institution, and has been a director on the company’s board since 1978. She served as chair of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for a decade until 2008 before moving to Manulife at the start of the global financial crisis.