Manulife today announced a plan to transform its Canadian business, which includes a program to digitize and consolidate a number of its back-office functions and reduce its workforce by 700 positions.
The insurer’s plan also includes recruiting and training digital talent and reorienting its customer experience model. It will also combine its Canadian division headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo into one location from two, at its 500 King Street North location. Manulife says it “remains fully committed to Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as its major operating locations in Halifax, Toronto, Oakville and Montreal.”
Voluntary exit program
The workforce reductions are possible because of the digitization and automation of existing customer transactions and consolidation of other administrative and operational back-office functions, says Manulife. The 700 positions will be cut over the next 18 months through a voluntary exit program and natural attrition, says the company.
“People have embraced technology in most aspects of life, and they expect their financial services provider to do the same, delivering simple, intuitive and personalized products and services that meet their needs. Our industry has not kept pace with this change,” said Michael Doughty, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “As a result, we are transforming our business to become a customer-centric market leader, which includes a focus on digital innovation and operational efficiency to ensure we remain competitive and make it easier for customers to do business with us.”
The company says it is seeking to re-orient its customer experience across each of its business lines.
“We believe that to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, we must provide personalized service at the moments in life when they most need our support and advice, whether that’s a birth, a first home purchase, retirement or the death of a loved one,” Doughty said. “We are building our customer service model around this concept, and leveraging technology to achieve it in a modern, relevant and exciting way.”