Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, has selected CGI Group Inc., Montreal, to create an information technology support centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The mission of this centre of expertise will be to provide systems development, maintenance and integration services to Manulife and other CGI clients in the U.S. and Europe.The memorandum of understanding, when finalized as a contract, would be valued at $120 million (Canadian) for a five-year agreement. As part of the agreement, 300 Halifax-based technology professionals will join CGI in September 2004. Over time, CGI expects to grow employment at the centre to 500 technology professionals.

"We are committed to a substantial presence in Halifax following our recent acquisition of Maritime Life and this is a major step toward that goal," says Bruce Gordon, senior executive vice president and general manager of Manulife Financial's Canadian operations.

The centre will become CMM and ISO 9001 quality certified. The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) describes the principles and practices underlying software process maturity. It covers practices for planning, engineering, and managing software development and maintenance. In 1994, CGI became the first information technology company in North America to become ISO 9001 certified for its project management framework.

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

Source: CGI Group Inc.

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