The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Manager consists of seven (7) members of whom three (3) of them are independent. The following is the profile of each of the Directors:
Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Annuar bin Zaini (Independent Director) was appointed to the Board on 5 July 2011. He holds a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Laws & Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA and a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Economics from University Kebangsaan Malaysia.
He began his career as an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer in 1977. He served the Malaysian Government at various ministries and departments and also the Perak State Government until he chose to take an optional retirement from the government service in 1999.
In February 2004, HRH The Sultan of Perak consented his appointment as Member of the Council of Elders to HRH Sultan of Perak. He is currently a Member of the Perak Council of Islamic Religion and Malay Customs and Board Member to the PKEINPK Sdn Bhd. He is also a Board Member of the University of Malaya, Chairman of University of Malaya Specialist Centre, Chairman of International University of Malaya Wales, a Distinguished Fellow to Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, Fellow Institute of Public Security of Malaysia, Adjunct Professor of Northern Corridor Economic Region Research Centre, Universiti Utara Malaysia.
He was Executive Director of Berjaya Corporation Berhad from 2001 to 2004, Chairman of Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) from February 2004 to January 2010, Advisor and Chief Executive of Northern Corridor Implementation Authority from 2007 to 2009, a Board Member to the Royal Perak Medical College from 2005 to 2011, Malaysia Airlines System Berhad from 2005 to 2011, PLUS Expressway Berhad from 2007 to 2012 and Tropicana Corporation Berhad from 2010 to 2015.
He sits on the Boards of Manulife Holdings Berhad and a few private limited companies in Malaysia.
Dato’ Md Agil bin Mohd Natt (Independent Director) was appointed to the Board on 29 June 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics (Hons) degree from Brunel University, London and a Master of Science in Finance degree from the CASS Business School, London. He also attended the Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School in the United States of America.
He started his career in Corporate Finance with Bumiputra Merchant Bankers Berhad in 1977 before serving as Senior General Manager (Finance) at Island & Peninsular Bhd in 1982. He was also the Regional Chief Representative of Kleinwort Benson Ltd before joining Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank). Dato’ Agil Natt served the Maybank Group in various capacities including as Senior General Manager, Corporate Banking, Chief Executive Officer of Aseambankers Malaysia Berhad (now known as Maybank Investment Bank Berhad) and Executive Director/Deputy President of Maybank.
From 2006 until his retirement in 2011, Dato’Agil Natt served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), The Global University of Islamic Finance, set up by Bank Negara Malaysia.
He currently sits on the Boards of Cagamas Berhad, Sogo (KL) Department Store Sdn Bhd, Sogo (KL) Sdn Bhd, Themed Attractions Berhad, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad and Manulife Insurance Berhad. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Tun Abdul Razak.
Mr. Edmond Cheah Swee Leng (Independent Director) BA (Hons), A.C.A (England & Wales), CA (M), CFP, was appointed on 1 September 2014 and is an Investment Committee member of the Manager. Mr. Cheah is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Chartered Accountant of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. His professional experience has been in the fields of audit, merchant banking, corporate and financial advising, portfolio and investment management and unit trust management. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer cum Executive Director and Investment Committee Member of Public Mutual Berhad. He was also formerly the President and founder member of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM), the Vice President and council member of the Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (FiMM), a former Task Force Member on Islamic Finance for Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA), a former member on the Securities Market Consultative Panel in Bursa Malaysia and currently the Treasurer for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). He co-authored a financial planning book entitled “Financial Freedom – Your Guide to Lifetime Financial Planning” and a second book entitled “Financial Freedom – Through Malaysian Equities and Unit Trusts”. He also sits on the boards of several public companies.
Mr. Gianni Fiacco (Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Strategy Officer / Non-Independent Director) CPA, CA was appointed to the Board on 9 March 2015. He is a Chartered Accountant (Ontario) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University of Toronto.
Located in Hong Kong, Mr. Fiacco oversees the operations and investment technology functions as well as being responsible for the development and implementation of business strategies to deliver on the company’s growth objectives.
Prior to joining Manulife Asset Management (Asia), Mr. Fiacco served as Regional Controller, Asia, responsible for Manulife Financial, where he was accountable for financial and management accounting, planning, forecasting and analysis as well as tax and internal controls related to finance across Asia. Before joining Manulife, Mr. Fiacco worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their audit and assurance services group.
Mr. Mark Steven O'Dell (Group Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director / Non-Independent Director) Mr. Mark Steven O’Dell, an American, was appointed to the Board on 18 January 2013. He has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Manulife Insurance Berhad effective 12 April 2016. This appointment is in addition to his current position of Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Manulife Holdings Berhad. He holds both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations from the American College, USA.
Mr. O’Dell has over 35 years of experience in the life insurance business including 20 years in Asia across multiple geographies namely Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. O’Dell served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Taiwan since 2008. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Manulife Asset Management Taiwan.
In Asia, Mr. O’Dell has held various senior management roles which included successfully running life insurance companies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. His areas of expertise cover agency development, partnership distribution including bancassurance, wealth management as well as branch expansion.
Mr. O’Dell has also played an integral role in the development of the life insurance industry in the Asean region. While in Singapore, he served as the President of the Life Insurance Association and Financial Planning Association of Singapore respectively. In 2006, he was named the Personality of the Year by the Asia Insurance Review for his contribution to the industry and his leadership in corporate social responsibility. He has served on numerous non-profit Boards, including the Singapore Cancer Society.
Mr. O’Dell is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. He also sits on the Boards of Manulife Chinabank Life Assurance Corporation, Manulife Financial Plans, Inc, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils), Inc, Manulife Insurance Berhad and Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad.
Mr. Chong Soon Min (Jason) (Chief Executive Officer/Non-Independent Executive Director) was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director on 1 May 2017 and 21 May 2012 respectively. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Chief Investment Officer of the company. He was previously the Chief Investment Officer of a local-foreign bank backed joint venture unit trust management company, and has been responsible for the management of Malaysian equity as well as regional equity and fixed income funds, totalling about RM5 billion (approx. US$1.6 billion). Before joining the fund management industry, he spent 14 years as an investment analyst covering both local and foreign equities. His last posting was as the Head of Research at Merrill Lynch Malaysia/Smith Zain Securities Sdn Bhd.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance (Honors) from the University of Southern New Hampshire, USA and a Capital Markets and Services Representative’s Licence in fund management.
Mr. Wong Boon Choy (Non-Independent Director) CA(M), CPA, CFP, was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2014. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the company from 1 September 2014 until 30 April 2017. Prior to that, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MAAKL Mutual Bhd from May 2004 until June 2014. He also served as the Senior General Manager of Public Mutual (formerly known as KL Mutual) in 1988 to 2004. Mr. Wong has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the Malaysian unit trust industry. Before joining KL Mutual, he was with an international accounting firm for eight years.
Mr. Wong is a founder member and former President of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM). He was also involved in establishing the Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (FiMM) when he was appointed the Founding Secretary.
A strong believer in financial planning, he co-authored a financial planning book entitled "Financial Freedom – Your Guide To Lifetime Financial Planning" and a second book entitled "Financial Freedom - Through Malaysian Equities and Unit Trusts". In June 2008, Mr. Wong co-authored a third book which revolves around the themes of health and wealth entitled "CHOICES – Live Well and Don’t Die Broke".