It shocks people that we expanded from Canada to Asia before we expanded from Canada to United States. I think we have the longest continuing history of operations of any international life insurer in Asia. We built a very solid foundation of the experience, a solid foundation of relationships throughout the region, which will enable us to continue to drive our growth going forward.

The second thing that surprises people when I tell them Manulife Asia’s story is how big a part of Manulife we already are. There are a lot companies around the world who are pursuing international strategies in Asia and in many cases that’s a promise for the future or it’s a tiny 5% sleeve of their total operations. But as Peter said in his introduction of me and as you can see from the slide here, the Manulife Asia story is already being delivered today.

Over the last five years, we have moved our share of the Company’s worldwide insurance sales from less than a fifth to half of the Company’s worldwide insurance sales coming from Asia. On the bottom line, you see a very diversified picture there of earnings from around the world, but again a third of our bottom line is already coming from Asia. So this is not a story that is a promise for the future. This is a story that is already being delivered today.

Now as most of you know, Asia is not a homogenous market in the sense that the United States is – we operate in 11 countries in Asia and our approach has to vary market-by-market. But what this slide gives you is kind of a sense of some of the threads of strategy that weaved through our various operations in Asia.

I think the first thing to highlight is the little circle in the middle there is that our approach to Asia is to manage as a Pan-Asian portfolio. Our approach, a little different from some countries, is we’re consistent with our overall theme of diversification. We want exposure to both developed market and non-developed markets. We want exposure to Northern Asia, as well as Southeast Asia. So that is the essence of the strategy we’re trying to pursue. There are really just kind of three elements of my strategy in Asia that cross all the countries.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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