Manulife names new Asia CEO amid leadership reshuffle

Manulife announced a number of structural and leadership changes in a bid to drive alignment with its strategic priorities, and accelerate the company’s growth in Asia and North America.

Anil Wadhwani has been appointed president and CEO of Manulife Asia, effective 13 November, 2017. Wadhwani has spent his 25-year career with Citi, primarily in growth roles across consumer banking in Asia, with a focus on customer experience and digitisation.

He has wealth management and insurance distribution experience, and most recently served as the global head of operations for Citi’s consumer bank, based in New York. He has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the US. The company said he will be valuable as Manulife Asia embarks on its next stage of growth.

Philip Witherington, currently the interim president and CEO of Manulife Asia, has been appointed Manulife’s chief financial officer, effective 1 January, 2018, subject to immigration approvals.

Before taking his current role, Witherington served as Manulife Asia’s CFO since 2014, contributing significantly to its growth and financial performance and working to improve its competitive position. Prior to joining Manulife, he was the Asia-Pacific head of finance for retail banking and wealth management at HSBC. He also held finance roles at AIA, and prior to that he was a financial services specialist at KPMG.

Meanwhile, it also created new dedicated leadership role for closed legacy businesses in North America. Naveed Irshad has been appointed head of North America Legacy Business, effective 1 January, 2018. Irshad currently serves as the CEO of Manulife Singapore and his career with Manulife spans 20 years, and includes extensive life insurance, product risk and reinsurance experience.

“We are confident that the changes we are making today will enable us to achieve our significant potential and deliver on our purpose of helping customers achieve their dreams and aspirations,” said Roy Gori, Manulife’s president and incoming CEO.