Douglas Henck, one of the Asian insurance market's most conspicuous movers and shakers, will retire from his post as president of Sun Life Financial Asia to return to the US. Upon retiring from the firm he has served since April 2000, C. James Prieur will act as the direct leader for the Canadian financial services company and will help identify a successor to Henck.

Over his five plus years with Sun Life Financial, Henck played a large role in building the company's regional Hong Kong headquarters, the opening of its Birla Sun Life joint venture in India and the opening and subsequent expansion of its China operations, In 2002, Sun Life Everbright became the first joint venture between a domestic and international insurer to set up shop in Tianjin.

Henck was also heavily involved in the acquisition this July of CMG Asia and CommServe Financial, the Hong Kong-based insurance and pension arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Valued at $455 billion, the acquisition doubled its market share and catapulted it to seventh place in the Hong Kong life insurance sector. Although retiring, Henck will remain a presence throughout the transaction over the next year as it moves towards completion.

He first joined Sun Life in April 2000 as executive vice president of its Asian operations and during his tenure, the region rose to constitute one-third of the insurer's worldwide sales.

Prieur, who has already relocated to Hong Kong, will retain his existing responsibilities as president and chief operating officer of Sun Life Financial, in which capacity he has held oversight responsibility for the Asian operations since 1999. He will be based in the Territory for one year and will work to choose a successor for Henck.