Manulife Chairwoman Cook-Bennett to retire in May

Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:08pm EST
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TORONTO Nov 30 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp Chairwoman Gail Cook-Bennett will retire in May and will be replaced by board member Richard DeWolfe, the company said on Friday.

Cook-Bennett, 71, who has been on the insurer's board since 1978 and chairwoman since 2008, will reach the mandatory board retirement age next year, Manulife said in a statement.

DeWolfe will assume the position of vice-chairman on Dec. 1, before taking over as chairman following the company's annual shareholder meeting in May. He joined the board in 2004 and is a managing partner of real estate consulting firm DeWolfe & Company.

This is the second high-level personnel move at Manulife announced this week. On Tuesday, the company named Marianne Harrison general manager of its Canadian division, replacing Paul Rooney, who earlier this month was appointed the company's chief operating officer.

Manulife is Canada's largest insurance company and owner of U.S. insurer John Hancock.