Canadian insurer Manulife has hired Annette King as Singapore president and chief executive, responsible for individual life insurance, private financial services for the high-net-worth market and wealth management.

On March 23, she took over from Darren Thomson, who remains at Manulife in Singapore in the newly created role of regional head of strategic channel development.

King now chairs the investment committee, which convenes monthly and oversees investments under the shareholders', life, offshore and investment-linked funds. All new fund managers must be approved by the committee based on their fund-management capability and experience and their administration and reporting processes.

Her most recent position was chief marketing and strategy officer at Axa Life in Singapore, but she left the firm in February 2008 and was replaced by Nicholas Kua. With the arrival of her third child, King had wanted to devote time to her family.

After she left Axa, she remained in Singapore and has been involved in the industry throughout that period, including chairing the public relations committee at the Singapore Actuarial Society and doing consulting work.

With 20 years of experience in the financial services and consulting sectors, King has held roles in marketing, finance, office administration, actuarial, product pricing and development, client management and portfolio-administration services in Australia and Singapore.

Manulife has been busy expanding its business in the Lion City, as it has throughout the region. The firm's December addition of Grace Ho as a senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management followed the launch in October of the company's first five funds in Singapore.