Manulife Financial confirms exclusive arrangement with distinguished personal finance writer Gail Vaz-Oxlade

WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 30, 2010 – An exclusive alliance with respected financial writer and TV personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade will provide Manulife’s Canadian group retirement plan members with insights and suggestions designed to help them manage their personal finances and build an effective retirement plan.

Best known to Canadians as the host of the acclaimed television series ‘Til Debt Do Us Part’ and the author of Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life, Ms. Vaz-Oxlade’s practical approach to effective financial management has built her a loyal following that continues to expand.

“We’re really pleased about forming this relationship with Gail,” says Sue Reibel, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Group Retirement Solutions (GRS). “Gail has broad appeal across Canada because of the common sense she applies to financial planning. She offers something for everyone, so she’ll be an excellent fit with the education we offer for group retirement plan members.”

Helping Canadians improve their financial literacy is a growing priority – particularly as it applies to Canadians’ need to plan ahead for retirement. Provincial and federal governments identify the need to help Canadians save more effectively for retirement as a leading priority. From the perspective of plan sponsors and their advisors, giving members appealing resources is key to ensuring they participate actively in their retirement savings programs.

Manulife is committed to delivering a broad selection of plan member resources. Innovations like the Steps Retirement Program´┐Ż, an award-winning member kit and online education have made Manulife an education leader in the Canadian group retirement market. This new alliance with Ms. Vaz-Oxlade reinforces this commitment. Moreover, Ms. Vaz-Oxlade is in a unique position to capture the attention and interest of plan members based on the following she has earned to this point.

“Gail is already a trusted presence for many Canadians,” notes Mike Collins, Vice President, Marketing, Manulife GRS. “Her talent for presenting financial tips in a clear way that most people can apply makes her a very effective source. Our clients depend on us to deliver leading services that really engage members and Gail is ideal in that regard. This relationship also speaks to the focus we place on helping plan sponsors manage retirement plan governance. Delivering continuing support for plan members that boosts financial literacy helps sponsors fulfill the spirit of the Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP) Guidelines.”

Initially, Ms. Vaz-Oxlade will provide articles for member updates and communications along with a series of web-based seminars for plan members. These first developments represent the leading edge of a comprehensive program that will expand to include written materials, web presentations and education, plus social media communications.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 23 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$454 billion (US$428 billion) as at June 30, 2010.

The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

About Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Gail Vaz-Oxlade is the host of very popular Til Debt Do U$ Part on Slice and Global TV in Canada, and CNBC in the U.S. The Gemini-award winning show is airing its ninth season in 2011. Gail newest show called Princess is airing its first season in the Fall of 2010. Gail is a columnist for Yahoo Canada, Chatelaine, and Zoomer Magazine and blogs daily at her website,, where she also offers terrific tools people can use to dig themselves out of the hole. The author of 13 books on money, Gail’s last book, Debt-Free Forever, published by HarperCollins, shot to the top of the charts and became an immediate best-seller. Her latest book, Never Too Late: Take control of your retirement and your future, also published by HarperCollins, will hit bookstores at the end of the year and promises the same no-nonsense approach to savings as Debt-Free Forever.