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Financial Services Leader Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

October 19, 2018

Toronto – Donald Guloien, BCom’80, the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial Corporation, was honoured last evening with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He received the award in recognition of his leadership in the financial services industry as well as his contributions to the community in Canada and abroad.

For the first time, two recent graduates of the Rotman MBA program received the inaugural Leader to Watch Award, for early to mid-career alumni who have had tremendous success in their professional work and demonstrated a commitment to giving back to their community. Jessa Blades, MBA’11, is a Managing Director at, a design and innovation non-profit, where she leads the organization’s Nairobi studio and health practice. Satwik Sharma, MBA’16, is an Investment Banking Associate with TD Bank and is also an active volunteer for various community initiatives.

Speakers during the evening included William Downe, MBA ’78, the past CEO of BMO Financial Group and last year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award; The Honourable Sarabjit S. Marwah, Senator for Ontario; Susan McIsaac, Managing Director, Strategic Philanthropy, Royal Bank of Canada; and Mark Wiseman, JD/MBA’96, Global Head of Active Equities and Chairman, BlackRock Alternative Investors. The evening will be emceed by John Cassaday, MBA’81, LLD’17, Corporate Director, retired Founding President and CEO of Corus Entertainment, and Chair of Manulife, and Patti Shugart, MBA ’88, Managing Director & Global Head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets.

Guloien was a 36-year veteran of Manulife where he held a variety of leadership roles in insurance and investments operations, global acquisitions and business development. He is Vice Chairman of the Mayor of Shanghai’s International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council, Trustee at the Hospital for Sick Children and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, a Governor of Branksome Hall, former Director of the Geneva Association, former member of the Board of the Business Council of Canada, Immediate Past Chair of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, and former member of the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way and the University of Toronto. He is also a member of the Ticker Club, and the World Presidents’ Organization. Guloien has been named International Business Executive of the Year by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, and received the Arbor Award for his many contributions to the University of Toronto. He was ranked among the Highest Rated CEOs in Canada by Glassdoor in 2015 and 2016 and 2017 Employees’ Choice

Before joining, Blades was a Business Designer at IDEO where she worked at the intersection of strategy, service, and organizational design. She has helped build an affordable and scalable school model in Peru, prototyped business models for consumer health products in Indonesia, and created paths to market for textile producers in Ethiopia. She has a background in non-profit strategy consulting and entrepreneurship, has worked in Addis Ababa, London, and San Francisco, and currently lives in Kenya.

Prior to studying at the Rotman School, Sharma gained experience in a variety of roles in finance including derivatives trading, wealth management, consumer banking, and investment management at leading global institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC while working across key international financial centers. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from NITK Surathkal in India. He has worked at BMO Capital Markets, is a CFA charterholder and a member of the Toronto CFA Society. He is also an active volunteer for various community initiatives including United Way, Movember, Camp Ooch, and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

The Rotman Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2016 by the Rotman School and is presented at the Rotman Alumni Awards Dinner, an annual celebration established to pay tribute to exceptional alumni who have contributed significantly to their organizations and communities. The black-tie gala kicks off the Reunite at Rotman homecoming weekend, bringing together the School’s global alumni community. 

Reunite at Rotman is the School’s premiere alumni event and runs October 18 to 20. For more information on the Rotman Alumni Awards Dinner or to register for the homecoming weekend, visit

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Voice: 416.946.3818

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