The Associates, a group of more than 200 prominent business leaders who support the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba are pleased to announce Dominic D’Alessandro, O.C., President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial has been named recipient of the 2007 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (I.D.E.A.). The award will be presented at a formal dinner in Winnipeg on June 11.
D’Alessandro, who received the Order of Canada in 2003, has led Manulife Financial since 1994, charting a course of unparalleled benchmarks in the financial services industry including growing the company into one of the most profitable life insurance companies in North America. In 1999, D’Alessandro pioneered Manulife’s successful demutualization and conversion to public company status, which set the stage for it to become an industry world leader. Five years later he made Canadian history when he managed the largest cross-border transaction with a merger with John Hancock Financial Services, simultaneously creating the second largest life insurance company on the continent and the fourth largest in the world.
“Mr. D’Alessandro is an exceptional visionary, leader and citizen,” said Arni Thorsteinson, Chair of the I.D.E.A. Award Committee and President of Shelter Canadian Properties Limited. “In every way he symbolizes what the Associates set out to honour when they created this international award nearly 25 years ago. He has achieved international stature, outstanding business success and has made exemplary contributions to the economic life of Canada and the world.”
D’Alessandro is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and is Director of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. In 2005 he received the International Horatio Alger Award, given to individuals who have overcome adversity and humble beginnings to achieve success.
“When you consider Mr. D’Alessandro’s modest start as a young son of a family new to Canada you certainly get an idea he is one of those rare individuals who believed, persevered, and worked passionately to pursue his dreams,” said Kirk Dudtschak, Chair of the 2007 I.D.E.A. Dinner and regional President of RBC Royal Bank for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and NW Ontario.
In addition to his long list of professional successes, D’Alessandro has been frequently honoured for his personal excellence. His Officer of the Order of Canada appointment was in honour of his integrity, exceptional leadership and commitment to the financial services industry and community. He has led major community fundraising campaigns for the United Way, Salvation Army and Corporate Fund for Breast Cancer Research. He was named ‘Canada’s Most Respected CEO’ in 2004 and ‘Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year 2002’ by peers for his contribution to business and the community.
The Associates are committed to ensuring that the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba remains one of the top business schools in Canada. Every year the Associates support and promote interaction between business executives, faculty and students, culminating with the I.D.E.A. award presentation in June.
“I am delighted to be honoured as this year’s I.D.E.A. recipient,” D’Alessandro said. “It brings me much pride to join the previous distinguished recipients of this international award as given by a group of businesspeople who obviously care a great deal about management and the future of enterprise.”
D’Alessandro joins past I.D.E.A. recipients, including Israel Asper, Richard Branson, award founder Albert D. Cohen, Paul Desmarais, Akio Morita, Ross Perot, Heather Reisman, Dame Anita Roddick, Gerald Schwartz, Martha Stewart, and W. Galen Weston. Mr. D’Alessandro will be presented at the gala with a custom-designed pure gold medal produced by the Royal Canadian Mint specifically for the award.
For dinner tickets or event information please call 204-474-0162.