HALIFAX, Nova Scotia --Manulife Financial and CGI Group Inc. (CGI), today announced the signing of the contract to create a new information technology development centre in Halifax. The signing of the memorandum of understanding was previously announced on June 9, 2004.

The mission of this centre of expertise will be to provide systems development, maintenance and integration services to Manulife and other CGI clients worldwide. As part of the six-year contract valued at CDN$125 million, 300 Halifax-based technology professionals will join CGI. CGI expects to grow employment at the centre to 500 technology positions.

"We are very excited about this new initiative and look forward to further solidifying our presence in the Halifax region. As we expand as a company we expect the centre will provide a solid platform from which to grow," said Bruce Gordon, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager of Manulife Financial's Canadian Operations.
Michael Roach, CGI's President and Chief Operating Officer added: "We would like to welcome our new professionals to the company. We look forward to working together on many stimulating projects as the centre evolves and serves other international clients.

Our strategy is to continually enhance our global delivery model by offering world class clients competitively priced IT services through our homeshore, nearshore and offshore centres of excellence."

Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services, Inc.,  ncluding its Canadian subsidiary, The Maritime Life Assurance Company, completed their merger on April 28, after receiving all necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals.


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