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Effective Wednesday, Manulife Securities has a new president and CEO.

Rick Annaert, who’s led the firm for the past 17 years, announced his retirement in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday, saying, “I am thankful for our advisors, their partnership, and for the privilege of working with some of the industry’s finest forward-looking, goals-based, holistic advice providers.”

His profile states that assets under administration rose to $33 billion from $4.5 billion during his tenure, and that he will “continue to support the team.”

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Taking Annaert’s place — and heralding in “a big and exciting year for Manulife Investment Management,” the firm said in a statement — is Richard McIntyre, who joined Manulife Investment Management as head of sales for Manulife Securities in February of last year. He was executive vice-president and chief operating officer with Toronto-based investment management firm Dundee Corporation prior to that, and has worked at companies such as Scotiabank in his decades-long career.

The firm’s statement said McIntyre will report to Leo Zerilli, head of Manulife Investment Management in Canada, and that he’ll play “an integral role in prioritizing advisor experience in all aspects of our strategy.”

The change is “positive” and will “shake things up,” the firm told Investment Executive (IE), and advisors can expect to hear more about the transformation of the firm’s advice business. The firm is “drawing on the strength of” Manulife Securities, Manulife Private Wealth and PlanRight Advice.

“We are changing the way we show up for our advisors,” McIntyre said in the statement, as the firm aims to be the “best wealth management firm.”

In IE’s most recent Dealers’ Report Card (2021), in which the full-service investment dealer is included, the company received a similar IE rating as in 2020: 7.9 out of 10. That result compared with IE ratings of between 8.8 and 9.1 for the top-rated dealers for 2021, though Manulife Securities advisors indicated there was some improvement in their remote-work and business development support, for example.

The firm told IE on Wednesday that a transformation is “long overdue.”