Manulife has appointed Laura Vallis as its first Global Chief Communications Officer, as part of the international financial services provider’s ongoing commitment to developing its communications with customers, colleagues, and shareholders around the world.
Vallis will join Manulife on June 15 from Barclays, where she is a Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate Communications for the Corporate and Investment Bank. Prior to joining Barclays, she served as Chief of Staff to the President of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal and other leading financial titles.
Earlier, she spent nine years with leading global brewer AB InBev, where she held global and local leadership roles across Corporate Affairs and was based in Belgium, London, and New York. She started her career in the agency world in Washington, D.C., and later in her native Toronto, where will be relocating for this new role.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the terrific team at Manulife,” said Vallis. “We have an incredibly compelling mission: to help people make their decisions easier and lives better, and we want to tell our stakeholders around the world exactly how we’re doing that.”
Manulife’s Global Communications team will report directly to Vallis, and she will work closely with Chief Marketing Officers in Manulife’s segments around the world to build out a cohesive global communications strategy and approach focused on authentically and consistently telling the Manulife story to the company’s stakeholders. She will report to Pam Kimmet, Manulife’s Chief Human Resources Officer.
Over the past year and throughout the pandemic, Manulife intensified its communications efforts and engagement initiatives, ensuring colleagues continued to feel connected to each other, and to the company’s mission of making decisions easier and lives better. For colleagues, this included more frequent CEO messages; live Ask me Anything sessions with the executive leadership team; a Thank You Day off in June (both in 2020 and again in 2021); five personal days being added to everyone’s 2021 allotment; dedicated microsites with health and wellness resources to help people find the support they need; a speaker series with business leaders, partners and external experts on health, wellness and diversity; virtual talents shows; book clubs; and even a virtual camp for colleagues’ kids.
Outside the company, Manulife has been sharing its diversity, equity and inclusion goals; climate change commitments; and its goal to become the most digital, customer-centric company in its industry through a series of exciting initiatives. The Toronto-based company has recently won awards including Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2021, Canada’s Best Employers 2021 and an IAC Market Award for the CAA-Insurance Gamification Campaign.
Headquartered in Toronto, Manulife operates across Canada, Asia and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. The company provides financial advice, insurance and its global wealth and asset management segment, Manulife Investment Management, serves individuals, institutions and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2020, Manulife had more than 37,000 employees, over 118,000 agents and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 30 million customers.