Manulife Opens New Innovation Lab in Singapore

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Manulife has announced a new Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) location in Singapore, its third technology hub.

LOFT, with existing operations in Toronto and Boston, explores emerging technologies in efforts to leverage them for its asset management and insurance businesses.

"Our goal is to become the most customer-centric organization in our industry," said Roy Gori, president and CEO, Manulife Asia, in a statement. "Through the LOFT, we encourage experimentation, incubation and collaboration to find the answers we need to best serve our customers."

Over the last six months, existing LOFTs have announced partnerships with ConsenSys, BlockApps, Nervana Systems and indico data solutions. The startups are working to apply blockchain to the onboarding process of wealth management clients and develop deep learning technologies that enhance investment research.

Manulife has also created new roles towards its innovation efforts. In March, the Canadian insurer appointed Cindy Forbes chief analytics officer. The company also named Tim Ramza as its first chief innovation officer late last year.

"We are using emerging technologies and platforms such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to build competitive advantages," said Greg Framke, chief information officer, Manulife, in a statement. "Now that our Singapore LOFT has launched, our global innovation system can continue to explore new markets and build solutions that will benefit our customers around the world."

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