May 25, 2017 / 12:41 PM / 2 years ago

Manulife names Asia head Roy Gori CEO

Roy Gori, chief executive of Manulife Asia, speaks at the company?s headquarters in Toronto November 12, 2015. REUTERS/John Tilak

(Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s biggest life insurer, said Roy Gori, head of its Asia division, would succeed company veteran Donald Guloien as its chief executive officer.

Gori, who joined Manulife from Citi in early 2015, will assume his new role on Oct. 1, the company said on Thursday.

Guloien, who has worked with Manulife for more than 36 years, including eight as CEO, will retire.

Gori’s appointment comes at a time when the company is expanding in Asia as the region’s burgeoning middle class looks to save and invest.

Strong sales in the region helped the company report a rise in first-quarter earnings earlier this month.

“Although Mr. Guloien’s departure is disappointing, given the strong replacement and ample transitory period we do not anticipate any material changes in the business or strategy in the near term,” Barclays analyst John Aiken wrote in a note.

Manulife also said on Thursday that Craig Bromley, senior executive vice president and general manager of the company’s U.S. Division (John Hancock), has left the company.

Aiken termed Bromley’s departure “unexpected”.

The company’s shares were up 1.2 percent at C$23.81 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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