News releases

April 13, 2000

Diversified International Platform Focused On Wealth Management - Key To Sun Life's Success

Speaking today at the 129th Annual Meeting of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Donald A. Stewart highlighted the changes undertaken to prepare the Company for going public and its strategies for growth in an increasingly competitive financial services environment.

"Having re-defined our business and completed the transition to a public company, Sun Life is focused on adding value for our policyholders and customers, and in doing so, creating value for our shareholders," said Mr. Stewart. "We have set ambitious performance targets to which the entire organization is committed."

"In the past year, there has been a deliberate narrowing of the scope of our activities and an enhanced focus on areas of proven strength, where we either are a leader or are in the position to be a leader," he said. "As a result, we generated strong growth in revenues across all our businesses in 1999."

The meeting of the policyholders and sole shareholder of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada was the first held since the Company's demutualization on March 22, 2000. Shares of Sun Life's new holding company, Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc. began trading on the Toronto, New York and London stock exchanges on March 23, 2000 and on the Philippine Stock Exchange March 24, 2000.

Mr. Stewart emphasized a vision of a company, that is and will continue to be "a world-class provider of financial services to individuals over their lifetime."

Sun Life will continue to refocus its business around core competencies, paying particular attention to the needs of customers. "Going forward, we intend to build enduring relationships with our customers through creating and offering innovative financial solutions that uniquely address their needs and distinguish Sun Life within a crowded marketplace," said Mr. Stewart.

Strong Balance Sheet and Top Line Growth:

Assets under Management continued to grow rapidly in 1999 increasing from Cdn $251 billion to Cdn $301 billion. This was primarily driven by explosive growth in the Company's mutual fund businesses, which have grown at a five-year annual growth rate of 34 per cent.

On a pro forma basis, the Company's ratio of actual to required capital, or MCCSR (Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements), stands at 257 per cent, well in excess of the minimum requirement of 150 per cent.

Moving Forward:

Sun Life has identified strategies for growth that will strategically position the Company to succeed in the new competitive environment.

  • Continuing to expand the wealth management business in the mutual fund, investment management business and the retirement market in the U.S through MFS Investment Management. In Canada, a similar opportunity exists with Spectrum United and McLean Budden. Sun Life's strong wealth management distinguishes the Company from other financial services companies.
  • The Company is in the midst of a major turnaround in its United Kingdom operations that offers significant upside potential. A new management team is in place in the United Kingdom, implementing a complete restructuring of the business.
  • Investing in businesses with a high internal rate of return. These investments are intended to include acquisitions and joint ventures that add value to the balance sheet. With Sun Life's size and financial strength, the Company intends to be a strategic acquirer in the consolidating financial services industry.
  • Sun Life's senior management team is focused on creating shareholder value, with specific plans to enhance Return on Equity over the next three years.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada commenced business in 1871 and has grown to become a diversified global financial services organization. The first Annual Meeting of shareholders of the new holding company, Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc., will be held in the spring of 2001.

Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies provide a wide range of savings, retirement, pension and life and health insurance products and services to individuals and corporate customers and operate primarily in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and also has operations in Asia and South America.

Media contact:
Audrey Gouskos
Director, Media Relations
(416) 204-8155

Investor contact:
Thomas Rice
Vice President, Investor Relations
(416) 204-8163