I was recently talking to a former advisor of Commercial Union who told me how his yearly commission of $ 7,500 went missing with the acquisition of Commercial Union by Manulife.
I was not surprised to learn of this having been involved in the Cormier case. Cormier was a former advisor of Commercial Union who had been searching for his commissions and clients for more than 15 years and who finally was able to locate them after I implemented a program to deal with orphan policies when I was a VP at Manulife.
The answer still to be determined is how many former Commercial Union representatives are facing the same situation and are looking for their clients and commissions. If you are one of those representatives you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I can help you.
If you are such an advisor this is some of the information you need to know; we will use the Cormier case to illustrate what Manulife did.
1) Before Commercial Union was bought by Manulife, Cormier had two agent contracts; an agent contract with Manulife through an MGA or Force Financière Excel and an agent contract with Commercial Union through a branch or satellite of Commercial Union. (Cormier seems to think that Excel was a satellite of Commercial Union, which is unlikely.)
2) After buying Commercial Union, Manulife cancelled out any branches operated by Commercial Union and the agent contracts of Commercial Union as Manulife only supports a network of independent distributors and therefore independent intermediaries. Also a representative can only have one active contract with Manulife.
3) Manulife should then have transferred Cormier’s block of Commercial Union policies to Force Financière Excel because it was through this intermediary that Cormier had an active contract with Manulife.
4) But Manulife did not do that. Manulife transferred Cormier’s block of Commercial Union policies into its Direct Channel where Cormier had no contract. Another problem is that the Direct Channel is not a registered intermediary. It is an operation of Manulife such as customer service. Therefore the Direct Channel cannot act as an intermediary because it is not registered with the AMF unlike Great West Life which is a direct channel also but is registered with the AMF and can act as a firm.
5) This transfer to the Direct Channel could not be completed. It was like putting “a square peg in a round hole”. So the information such as the names of agents who sold the policies disappeared and these policies fell into “Default”. Literally, the computer system having no access to the names of agents responsible for selling or servicing the policies substituted the name of the agent with the term “Default”.
6) Advisors who no longer appeared on the policies of Commercial Union ceased to receive their commissions and they stopped receiving information regarding the policies of their clients such as lapse notices.
Is this negligence, incompetence on the part of Manulife or is it rather a voluntary act and therefore a criminal act? To answer this question, we must look at what happened. Here’s the evidence supporting the theory of the criminal act:
a) It’s been 15 years + that advisors from Commercial Union have been seeking their blocks of business while Manulife knew where these policies had been transferred.
b) When my orphan program revealed where these policies were in the Direct Channel, Manulife vigorously denied this trying to blame the theft commissions on me and on Force Financière Excel.
c) Manulife knew about the policies where representatives appeared under the term “Default” as lapse notices without valid client address were destroyed at Manulife Head Office in Quebec. Despite proof of this, Manulife denied the existence of these policies.
d) After settling with Cormier, Manulife has not contacted the other advisors who have been looking for their policies and commissions.
This behavior and evidence supports the allegations of a criminal act and fraud because there is intent and motive.
Unfortunately it is not only the advisors who have been robbed of their money. Many of these orphans clients lost their insurance or lost important options on their contracts.
Financial advisors who have lost their blocks of Commercial Union policies have a legal obligation to take legal action against Manulife to protect their customers and their policies. If they do not do this, they become accomplices to the crime committed by Manulife and liable for the loss suffered by the customer.