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Manulife's Latest Move to Shore Up John Hancock: Tech Exec Moves to Ops

Sebastian Pariath led a global IT transformation initiative for Manulife corporate before being named head of the company's US operations at John Hancock.

Toronto-based Manulife has been dealing with struggles at its U.S. subsidiary John Hancock for a couple years. Issues with the profitability of long-term care policies and a concurrent low interest-rate environment in the U.S. have affected the performance of the Boston-based unit.

The parent company has been on a binge installing executives with the goal of stimulating a turnaround. Manulife appointed Michael Doughty to lead John Hancock's life operations in May, then made him responsible for its overall insurance operations, including long-term care, yesterday. The company has also changed John Hancock's compliance leader this year.

Now, it seems there will be a focus on streamlining the technology organization, which has operated under CIO Allan Hackney since 2008. Manulife has named Sebastian Pariath head of John Hancock Operations, effective at the beginning of next year.

Hackney will continue to oversee all of John Hancock technology initiatives with Pariath as a partner, John Hancock says.

Like Doughty, Pariath comes from the corporate parent -- and he has a record for turnarounds. He had been VP of transformation initiatives, global services at Manulife, where he "transform[ed] the global information services organization into a global service-oriented team structure," according to a statement. Before that, he led Manulife's Japan-based IT organization in Tokyo, where he "led improvements in Operations that resulted in key innovations for the front office and the business overall, according to a statement from John Hancock Financial president Craig Bromley.

"I am confident that his efforts on behalf of John Hancock will yield similar success," Bromley added. "Sebastian will work closely with leaders of John Hancock's business units to leverage the enormous expertise that exists throughout our organization to create an environment of collaboration and innovation in our Operations areas. He will also work to establish more shared services and take advantage of economies of scale."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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