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The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Manager consists of six (6) members of whom two (2) of them are independent. The following is the profile of each of the Directors:

Independent directors

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina binti Zahari (“Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina”) (Chairman / Independent Director) was appointed to the Board on 28 June 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Accounting and Finance from Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom (“UK”) and Master in Business Administration from University of Hull, UK. 

She also holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from University of Hull, UK, focusing on capital markets research and specialising in derivatives.

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina was a Consultant to Financial Technologies Middle East based in Bahrain for the set-up of Bahrain Financial Exchange launched in January 2009. Prior to this, she was with Royal Bank of Scotland Group in Singapore from August 2007 to May 2008. She has more than twenty-five (25) years of experience in the financial, commodities and securities industry and the development of the Malaysian Capital Market, which includes managing a futures broking company. She was the Chief Executive Officer of RHB Securities Sdn. Bhd. from year 2004 to year 2006. She has previous Board appointments at the Commodity and Monetary Exchange of Malaysia from year 1993 to year 1996, and then as the Chief Operating Officer of Kuala Lumpur Options and Financial Futures Exchange in year 2001, which merged to become Malaysian Derivatives Exchange (“MDEX”) in June 2001.

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina was then appointed Head of Exchanges, managing the operations of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (“KLSE”) [now known as Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia Securities”)], Malaysia Exchange of Securities Dealings & Automated Quotation (MESDAQ), MDEX and Labuan International Financial Exchanges in September 2003 prior to KLSE’s [now known as Bursa Malaysia Securities] demutualisation. She is also a regular speaker at many international conferences and forums.

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina was a Director of Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd. from year 2007 to year 2013 and Hong Leong Industries from 2012 to 2021. She currently sits on the Boards of Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd., IGB Berhad, Pacific & Orient Berhad, and Pacific & Orient Insurance Co. Berhad, besides holding directorships in several private limited companies. She was a member of Market Participants Committee of Bursa Malaysia Securities. She is currently a member of the Appeals Committee of Bursa Malaysia Securities.

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina is a Divemaster with National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). She was a member of Global Board of Advisers for XBRL until year 2009 and was also on the Board of Trustees for Malaysia AIDS Foundation until May 2010.

Dato’ Dr. Zaha Rina is Chairman of both Manulife Holdings Berhad (“MHB”) and Manulife Investment Management (M) Berhad, and the Group Nominating/Remuneration Committee of MHB.

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 a chairman of the investment committee. 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.


Non-independent directors

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.


Ms. Vibha Coburn (Group Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director / Non-Independent Non-Executive Director) was appointed as a non-independent non-executive director of Manulife Investment Management (M) Berhad on 1 October 2020. She was also appointed as Group Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of Manulife Holdings Berhad and Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of Manulife Insurance Berhad on 1 October 2020.

She was formerly the Chief Distribution Officer at Manulife Asia, responsible for developing and executing strategy for Manulife distribution across Asia, including championing the adoption of digital channels. Under her leadership, Manulife’s agency force grew significantly and became the world’s third best in terms of Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) membership. At the same time, she has helped to vastly strengthen Manulife’s bancassurance capabilities, delivering strong growth to its regional partnership with DBS Bank in Singapore, and renewing or establishing new partnerships in Vietnam (Techcom Bank), Indonesia (Danamon) and Myanmar (UAB). Ms Coburn has also championed the adoption of digital channels and tools throughout distribution.

Prior to joining Manulife, Ms Coburn had a wide range of senior roles over 30 years in banking, insurance and management consulting, across Asia, Europe and Australia. These included roles in e-business, sales, customer acquisition, finance, wealth management, liabilities, mortgages and credit cards.

Ms Coburn holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia, post graduate diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia (CFA equivalent) and a Bachelor of Commerce from Delhi University.

Mr. Chong Soon Min (Jason) (Chief Executive Officer / Non-Independent Executive Director) joined Manulife Holdings Bhd’s asset management arm in February 2010 as Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director. Following the merger of Manulife Malaysia’s asset management and unit trust businesses in July 2012, known today as Manulife Investment Management (M) Berhad (MIMMB) previously known as Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd, Jason was the Chief Investment Officer/Managing Director. In May 2017 he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance (honors) from the University of Southern New Hampshire, USA, as well as a Capital Markets and Services Representative License in Fund Management and a certified Financial Planner in Malaysia.

Mr. Chong has more than 30 years of experience in the investment industry. Before joining Manulife, he was Chief Investment Officer of another asset management company where he was responsible for the management of Malaysian and regional funds totaling approximately RM5 billion. Prior to that, Mr. Chong spent 14 years as an investment analyst covering both local and foreign equities, with his last position as Head of Research at Merrill Lynch/Smith Zain Securities.

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".