2020

June 08, 2020

SLGI Granite Target Date and Granite Target Risk enhancements

Plan sponsors may wish to consider whether this investment news has any implications for the investment options available within their plans. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada purchases units of the funds listed below, which are established as segregated funds in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Each spring, Sun Life Global Investments (SLGI) formally reviews the long-term strategic target allocations for the Sun Life Granite Series of Target Date Funds, Sun Life Granite Series of Multi-Risk Target Date Funds and Sun Life Granite Target Risk Funds. Following the 2020 review, SLGI has announced the following changes to the three fund series.

Canadian Fixed Income

To enhance overall portfolio diversification, SLGI will reallocate some Canadian core bond exposure towards U.S. core bonds.

Global Fixed Income

SLGI has changed the global fixed income exposure within all fund series. The objective is to enhance return consistency relative to the broad global bond benchmark. Specifically, SLGI has replaced all current investments in the Templeton Global Bond Fund with the Sun Life Opportunistic Fixed Income Fund. The Opportunistic Fixed Income Fund is sub-advised by Wellington Management Canada ULC, a subsidiary of Wellington Investment Advisors Holdings LLP (“Wellington”).

The Wellington Fund’s investment objective is to seek long-term capital appreciation and income. It seeks to do this by investing primarily in a diversified portfolio of global fixed income securities. Wellington is one of the largest fund managers in the world with over $US 1 trillion in AUM. It has been managing investments since 1928.

Canadian Equities

SLGI has reduced the exposure to large cap Canadian core equities in the funds from 33.3% to 30.0%. This allows for an increase in the non-Canadian equity allocation. U.S. equity will go from 33.3% to 35.0%, and international equity plus emerging markets from 33.3% to 35.0%.

International Equities

The allocation within international equities will change as shown below:

From

To

33% MFS International Value Fund 

25% MFS International Value Fund

33% MFS International Growth Fund 

25% MFS International Growth Fund 

33% JP Morgan International Equity Fund

50% JP Morgan International Equity Fund

 

Canadian Fixed Income (Sun Life Granite Target Risk Funds only)

SLGI announced the addition of a bottom-up, core plus mandate that they expect will broaden the opportunity set in Canadian bonds. Sun Life Capital Management (Canada) Inc. (“SLC”) is the sub-advisor of the core plus bond fund. The fund invests in inflation-linked bonds opportunistically, to preserve capital at different points in the economic cycle. SLGI anticipates that the broader credit exposure may help enhance yield and diversification. 

Note that this change is not applicable to the Sun Life Granite Target Date series of Funds because they already offer broad credit exposure. This is done through the Sun Life Private Fixed Income Plus and Canadian Commercial Mortgage Funds (also sub-advised by SLC).

Benchmark changes

Each of the Funds’ respective benchmarks have been modified effective April 1, 2020 to reflect the above-mentioned changes.

The GRS Investment Solutions team has reviewed the changes with SLGI and is comfortable with them.

Copies of the revised SIP&Ps are available on Sun Life’s Plan Sponsor Services website at SunLife.ca/sponsor.  When logged in, under the Administration and reporting tab, select Group Retirement Services, then on the top navigation menu select Investments > Governance reports.

Questions?

Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.