TORONTO, June 20 2007 – Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX/NYSE: SLF) announced today that it exceeded the US$1 billion mark in U.S. variable annuity gross sales for the first five months of 2007, representing an increase of 66% over the comparable period in 2006. In the months of April and May, the company achieved aggregate variable annuity gross sales of US$529 million.
“Sun Life’s innovative Income ON Demand(SM) annuity product, combined with the continuing execution of our distribution strategy, are fueling impressive sales growth in the United States and solidly positioning us within key retirement and demographic markets,” said Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial.
Sun Life also announced today that the Company’s Chinese joint venture life insurance company, Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance Company, received China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) preparatory approval for Shanghai, mainland China’s financial centre and a very strong operating base for our Chinese joint venture partner, China Everbright Group. Sales in Shanghai are expected to begin in the fourth quarter subject to CIRC operating approval. This approval brings the Company’s operations in China to a total of 14 cities. China is key to Sun Life’s strategy of expanding its global distribution.
“We have consistently delivered on our ROE and earnings growth goals,” said Richard P. McKenney, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. “Our announcements today reinforce that our diversified earnings platform will drive our growth going forward.”
These announcements were made as part of Sun Life Financial’s 2007 Investor Day. The presentations highlighted how Sun Life has continued to deliver on its growth and distribution expansion strategies in each of its markets:
- In Canada, Sun Life recently announced the integration of its brand strategy to leverage the Sun Life Financial brand. Individual insurance sales have increased as a result of a successful re-entry into the wholesale market and continued productivity improvements in the Sun Life Financial Advisors channel.
- In the U.S. market, Individual Life sales have grown on the strength of active relationships with nine of the top 10 U.S. independent distributors, including National Financial Partners and M Financial Group. In addition, the Company’s U.S. Group Insurance business solidified its top 10 market position with the recent acquisition of a significant employee benefits business.
- At MFS, assets under management exceeded US$200 billion in April 2007, and pre-tax operating profit margin ratio increased to 34% in the first quarter of 2007. MFS continued to achieve superior investment performance, with 74%, 82% and 75% of its funds ranked in the top half of their Lipper Category Average over 1, 3 and 5 years respectively as of March 31, 2007.
- Sun Life’s Asian operations continue to demonstrate significant growth. Birla Sun Life’s direct sales force in India has grown to over 45,000 advisors in 116 branches serving 95 cities as of March 31, 2007.
The Company also announced that it has determined the next generation of its financing structure to support its U.S. universal life insurance products. The Company expects reducing levels of new business strain commencing in the second quarter of 2007, with the full benefits of the solution anticipated to be realized by year-end.
The 2007 Investor Day webcast and related information is available at www.sunlife.com/InvestorDay. The webcast and presentation will be archived on our website following the event.
Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2006, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management in excess of CDN$400 billion.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF. www.sunlife.comTags: Sun Life