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Toronto-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Manulife) has joined the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII) and Wally Thompson, vice president of sales and marketing, consumer markets at Manulife, will be joining CAFII’s board of directors, the association announced on Monday.

Manulife is the first of Canada’s Big Three life insurers to join CAFII, which is an association that represents the insurance arms of Canada’s major banks as well as various other companies that sell creditors’ insurance.

“We are delighted to welcome Manulife as a CAFII member and look forward to benefiting from the insights and contributions of its representatives in helping our association fulfill its mission,” says Peter McCarthy, chairman of the CAFII board, in a statement.

CAFII, a not-for-profit association established in 1997, works with government and regulators to advocate for “appropriate legislative and regulatory framework for the insurance sector,” according to its website. In particular, direct distribution channels such as call centres, direct mail and the Internet are key areas of focus for the association.

“Manulife looks forward to working with our industry peers within CAFII to ensure Canadians benefit from an insurance industry that is flexible, innovative and robust,” says Thompson, in a statement.

In addition to Manulife, CAFII’s members include: BMO Insurance; CIBC Insurance; Desjardins Financial Security; RBC Insurance; ScotiaLife Financial; TD Insurance; American Express Bank Canada; Assurant Solutions; the CUMIS Life Insurance Co., and valeyo (formerly Canadian Premier Life Insurance Co.).