|Manufacturers Life - Manulife Unclaimed Demutualization Compensation|
Manufacturers Life Insurance Company - Manulife
Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, which is owned by its policyholders, into a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by policyholders and government regulators. Mutual life policyholders (and heirs) continue to be entitled to receive whatever policy benefits may be due, but in addition receive stock, cash and/or policy credits in exchange for their ownership interest in the old mutual insurance company.
The amount paid to each policyholder is based on a number of factors, including length of time the policy has been in force, face value of the policy, and total premiums paid. For many policyholders, the windfall arising from demutualization can be substantial. Shares may be sold at any time, without affecting policy benefits.
On September 24, 1999, Toronto, Canada-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s demutualized and became Manulife Financial. Only 35% of the company's 671,000 eligible policyholders worldwide voted. Eligible policyholders residing in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and the Philippines were entitled to choose between cash and/or Manulife Financial shares.
Policyholders who live outside of the four major regions automatically received cash, based on the offering price for a common share in Manulife Financial Corporation’s initial public offering. Eligible policyholders were to make known their elections on or before August 30, 1999, otherwise, they were automatically to receive shares.
Compensation took the form of a fixed component of 186 Manulife Financial common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. Cash compensation was set at $18 CDN per share entitlement. The total value of stock and cash distributed - $8.3 billion.
Millions of missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive demutualization compensation. Contact efforts were unsuccessful, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, unreported changes of address , expired postal forwarding orders and non-current beneficiary information.
By law, unclaimed demutualization compensation is remitted to the custody of a government trust account until claimants come forward. Current and former policyholders and their heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed stock and/or cash - should initiate a database search at: Lost Policyholder Demutualization Claims Search