Staff Reporters
Aug 15, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Melissa Henson, Manulife

As the pandemic spurred Filipinos to reassess critical illness, Henson strengthened Manulife’s offerings to ensure tailwinds to the business.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Melissa Henson, Manulife
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Melissa Henson

Chief marketing officer

New member  

The Philippines suffered severely during the pandemic especially during the lengthened lockdown period in 2020. Manulife’s chief marketing officer in the country, Melissa Henson, made it her mission to step up company initiatives to be there for the community at a time of crisis and uncertainty.

Recognising the importance of delivery partners during the country-wide shutdowns, Manulife provided free insurance worth PHP$3 billion (US$55 million) to more than 60,000 local delivery riders and extended the premium due date for customers. That’s not all, Henson and her team acted on several self-commissioned studies which found that Filipinos, even though concerned about health and wellness, are financially ill-equipped to prepare for critical illness.

Fuelled by such insights, Henson’s team made it their mission to make insurance simpler and easier for maximum reach. HealthFlex was introduced in October 2020, a customisable insurance plan which allowed customers the flexibility to choose and pay for the right critical-illness protection, which was the only such plan in the market at the time. It won the New Insurance Product of the Year award at the 6th Insurance Asia Awards in 2021. The Philippines arm of the global insurer also partnered with several influencers to debut the ‘Every Day Better Series’ on YouTube sharing life hacks to navigate the challenges and concerns in the new normal.

Henson is directly responsible for the digital transformation journey of Manulife Philippines. While the insurtech scene in the country is still taking shape, Manulife embarked on its own transformation journey even before the pandemic, but a health crisis and an unprecedented shutdown provided a push in the right direction. Today, Henson makes sure that even the most sophisticated long-term policies can be bought online with a simple login and virtual assistance.

Little wonder then that the insurance giant was crowned LinkedIn’s Top 2021 Companies in the Philippines and received the Best Employer Brand Award at the 6th Insurance Asia Awards in 2020. Reader’s Digest also awarded it the Most Trusted Brand in 2021.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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