January 20, 2020

Sun Life Capital Management Portfolio Manager Retirement

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 fund listed below, which is established as a segregated fund in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Sun Life Capital Management (Canada) Inc. (“SLC”) recently announced the planned retirement of Phil Gillin, Senior Managing Director, Canadian Property Investments, effective November 30, 2019. Mr. Gillin was a co-Portfolio Manager on the Sun Life Canadian Commercial Mortgage Fund (“the fund”). The fund is part of Sun Life’s Core investment platform. 

Michael Andrews, Senior Managing Director, Commercial Mortgages, has assumed lead portfolio management responsibilities for the fund after Mr. Gillin’s retirement. Mr. Andrews was co-Portfolio Manager alongside Mr. Gillin. Doug Gardiner, Senior Managing Director, Public Fixed Income & Derivatives, will continue to manage the public fixed income portion of the fund. There will be no changes to the fund’s investment strategy or investment process because of this transition.

Mr. Gillin’s experience will be missed. He has 40 years of property investing experience and a 20-year tenure at Sun Life, where he also oversaw Sun Life’s General Fund property investments. We have some concerns that his retirement comes only a year after the departure of portfolio manager Jeff Croxall. Michael Andrews replaced Mr. Croxall on the team in late 2018. However, we take comfort that Mr. Gillin’s retirement was expected and that Mr. Andrews was part of SLC’s succession plan. Mr. Andrews has an 18-year tenure at Sun Life. Before joining the portfolio management team, he was head of the Canadian Mortgage Team responsible for mortgage origination and monitoring.

We plan to meet with SLC in 2020 to discuss the team transition and their plans for the future in the strategy.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.