Manulife mourns former CEO and chairman Syd Jackson

By Andrew Rickard | April 14 2016 11:33AM

Syd Jackson

Syd Jackson died on April 10, 2016. He was president of Manulife between 1972 and 1985, after which he was the company's CEO from 1985 to 1987. Jackson was also acting chairman of Manulife's board of directors from 1978 to 1985, chairman between 1985 and 1990, and vice-chairman from 1990 until his retirement in 1994.

After serving as a lieutenant with the Canadian Army between 1943 and 1945, Jackson earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Manitoba. He taught actuarial studies for a year before joining the Manufacturers Insurance Company of Canada in 1948.

Responsible for a large-scale reorganization

In a statement released on April 12, Manulife noted that Jackson was responsible for a large-scale reorganization and decentralization of Manulife's operations, and that he also implemented a number of progressive human resource policies and practices. During his tenure he oversaw the acquisition of the Dominion Life Assurance Company and the transfer of the insurer's Canadian operations from Toronto to Waterloo.

"Syd left an amazing legacy, and lived a very full and long life, but his smile, sense of humour, wise advice and perfect moral compass will be sadly missed," commented Manulife president and CEO Donald Guloien.  "More than anything, Syd should be remembered for his personal integrity, and for driving the Company to do 'the right thing,' in all instances. The culture of trustworthiness emanated from everything Syd did, and happily carries through to this day, in every aspect of our Company."