John Hancock's Linda Watters to Retire as Vice President, Government Relations; Will Remain on John Hancock Boards

Ken Ross, former Michigan financial & insurance regulator, to succeed Watters

BOSTON, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock announced that Linda Watters, Vice President, Government Relations, will retire on August 31. Watters will remain as a director on the John Hancock (USA) Board and as a director on the John Hancock Trust Company Board. Ken Ross, former Michigan financial and insurance regulator, has been hired to succeed Watters, effective July 9. In this role, Ross will be responsible for state legislative and regulatory relations as well as John Hancock's relationship with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

"Since Linda joined John Hancock in 2009, we have benefitted tremendously from her outstanding work building our state government regulatory and legislative affairs platform, acting as a strategic partner on our leadership team and reporting on legislative and regulatory issues to John Hancock and Manulife management and boards," said James D. Gallagher, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Manulife.  "We are so pleased she is continuing her role on the boards of the John Hancock life insurance companies and the John Hancock Trust Company." 

"At the same time, we are delighted to welcome Ken and look forward to having him in this leadership role," said Gallagher. "His extensive experience working in the financial services sector in the political and regulatory arenas at the state and national level will be an asset."

Ross has a broad range of financial services industry experience. In 2008, he was appointed Commissioner, serving as the Chief Financial Regulator for Michigan, leading the agency of over 350 staff and a budget of over $50 million during the financial turmoil that upended economies around the globe. Prior to his appointment, he spent five years in various executive positions with the Office of Financial & Insurance Services. As Commissioner, Ross served on numerous NAIC, CSBS and NASCUS working groups and committees.

Ross most recently served as the President/COO of the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates primarily responsible for the association's affiliation efforts, federal and state advocacy relationships and all association functions. 

He served as Assistant General Counsel for Citizens Republic Bancorp bank from 2011-2013, leading their Consumer Compliance and CRA team along with helping negotiate and operationalize a DOJ fair lending settlement agreement, which he administered for the bank.

Ross holds a law degree, cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He currently serves as a Commissioner for the Lansing (MI) Board of Water and Light and the Lansing Financial Health Team.

About John Hancock and Manulife 
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over $1.1 trillion (US$850 billion) as of March 31, 2018. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at

One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10.7 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. We also offer advice through Signator, a network of independent financial advisors. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock