Rahul Sachitanand
Aug 3, 2020

Manulife's former Asia-based CMO moves stateside to helm M&T Bank's marketing

Francesco Lagutaine has relocated to Buffalo, NY after more than a decade in Asia, across Hong Kong and Singapore.

Manulife's former Asia-based CMO moves stateside to helm M&T Bank's marketing

After spending over a decade in Asia as a top marketer first with Citibank and most recently as chief marketing and experience design officer with Hong Kong-based Insurer Manulife, Francesco Lagutaine has moved to the United States to M&T Bank in Buffalo. He will be the bank's senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer and has relocated from Hong Kong to Buffalo for this job. 

Lagutaine joins M&T with more than 20 years of global marketing and financial services expertise. In his last role with Manulife, where he featured on Campaign's inaugural Power List, he was responsible for brand and marketing management, data analytics, customer experience design, digital and product marketing. In his previous role with Citi, he was responsible for brand, marketing, analytics, customer experience and digital.

Lagutaine spent the early years of his career in advertising agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi and Lowe & Partners. He earned a law degree from Univesità Statale degli Studi di Genova in Italy.

Manulife has not announced his successor yet. 

Soon after being appointed as the CMO for Manulife, Lagutaine had embarked on a sweeping re-branding exercise of the insurer, to give it a sharper digital edge and help it transition from a paper-based era. The new brand had been communicated with campaigns locally, from trams in Hong Kong, to conversations about adulting in Singapore and conversations around financial literacy in The Philippines. This brand re-design was driven from Asia and applied to its global markets.

As part of his remit at Manulife, Lagutaine was charged with expanding his team's focus to include positions in data, analytics and customer experience. Under his watch, Manulife launched a series of initiatives:  

  • Hong Kong’s Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS): Manulife was one of the first global insurers in Hong Kong to launch a direct to consumer platform, BuySimple, for VHIS and has taken the lead in the market. The insurer developed this in four months and has helped the firm re-engage inactive customers.  
  • Personalised Welcome Videos: This is a customer-centric way of helping customers understand the product they have purchased and transition customers into the manage and review stage as they get on-boarded as Manulife customers.
  • eClaims: Launched in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan, eClaims allows customers to make a medical claim online via their smartphone in under a minute.
  • Haodf.com: A partnership with Good Doctor (Haodf.com), an online medical platform in China, provides solutions to customers by leveraging digital technology, product innovations and the consolidation of healthcare resources.

Many of these skills will be handy for Lagutaine in his new role. "Francesco's expertise in leading transformative, customer-focused marketing and communications strategies, coupled with his passion for creativity, design and innovation, make him uniquely qualified to help us present the very best version of our company as we work to modernise our marketing infrastructure, understand our customers' journeys and drive business growth," said Christopher Kay, executive vice president and head of consumer banking, Business Banking and Marketing at M&T Bank.

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