Two senior Asia executives depart from Manulife

HONG KONG, April 3 Wed Apr 3, 2013 6:02am EDT

HONG KONG, April 3 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp is losing two of its top executives in Asia, a blow to the insurer in a key, fast-growing market.

David Wong, who ran Manulife's Indo-China operations, left the company last month to join Richard Li's Pacific Century Group as head of Greater China and Hong Kong, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

Pacific Century Group last fall bought ING Groep NV's Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance assets as part of a plan to build a regional insurer.

Marc Sterling, chairman of the Manulife's China joint-venture with Sinochem will be retiring in June after 20 years with Canada's largest life insurer, he said in an e-mailed response to Reuters.

Manulife confirmed Wong and Sterling's retirements, and said that Wong's duties were taken over by the various general managers in the region. It was not immediately clear who would replace Sterling.

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