Happy Birthday

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the first day of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange when Manulife Financial went public. Since 1999, the company has quadrupled in size, much of it due to the $15 billion takeover of Hancock in 2004. Market cap has gone from $9 billion to $37 billion.

More importantly for shareholders, anyone who was part of the initial public offering, hung on, and reinvested their dividends in shares, has enjoyed compound annual returns of more than 12 per cent. Bernie Madoff had to commit fraud to offer his clients the same!

To celebrate, the company is contributing to planting 75,000 trees in Canada, the United States and Asia. Let’s hope they’re adding them to the firm’s $9 billion global portfolio of timberland so they can be part of ongoing growth.

Here’s the birthday card that went out to every employee. It should win an Oscar for best animated short.

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