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. They are then are established as segregated funds in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Sun Life regularly reviews the Core investment platform. This is in response to client interest and evolving fund offerings in the market. 

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added five funds to our DC and DB Core investment platform. This is effective July 2, 2020

  • JF Small/Mid Cap Canadian Equity Segregated Fund 
  • JF Fossil Fuel Free Bond Segregated Fund 
  • JF Fossil Fuel Free Canadian Equity Segregated Fund 
  • JF Fossil Fuel Free Global Equity Segregated Fund 
  • BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware (LEAF) Segregated Fund 

About JF Small/Mid Cap Canadian Equity Fund: 

JF Small/Mid Cap Canadian Equity Fund invests in quality small and mid-capitalization Canadian stocks in non-cyclical industries. These stocks have demonstrated strong growth and leadership within their industry or niche sector. The objective is to provide superior long-term performance at a lower risk compared to its peers.   

This fund provides plan sponsors and their members with additional choice in the small/mid capitalization Canadian equity category on the Core platform. This is especially significant given the recent announcement that Sionna closed its fund due to the lead Portfolio Manager’s departure.

About JF Fossil Fuel Free Funds:  

The three JF Fossil Fuel Free (“FFF”) Funds seek competitive returns through active portfolio management with the exclusion of investments in fossil fuel companies. Their primary goal is to grow capital for clients in a lower risk manner. It’s also to focus on generating predictable and sustainable earnings and cash flow over the long run. Additionally, each of the funds adhere to JF’s investment style characterized as “growth at a reasonable price” or GARP. They also align with the firm’s process of bottom-up stock selection. 

The addition of Fossil Fuel Free funds represents Sun Life’s commitment to provide choice for plan sponsors and their members who are seeking funds that target lower carbon emissions. The JF FFF Funds are considered Socially Responsible Investment (“SRI”), negative-screened funds.  

About BlackRock LEAF: 

BlackRock LEAF is a money market fund that invests in investment grade short-term debt securities. LEAF seeks as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital. It does so while considering select environmental criteria. BlackRock recently repurposed its Short Term Investment Fund (STIF). It was previously an Open Investment Selection (OIS) fund. 

The fund invests in issuers that have a better than average performance in environmental practices. It doesn’t invest in securities of companies whose primary revenue source is carbon intensive businesses. In addition, the Fund doesn’t invest in securities of issuers focused on the production or distribution of tobacco, controversial weapons or firearms, or that do not uphold the standards of the UN Global Compact. 

BlackRock aims to use at least 5% of the net management fees earned on the fund to purchase and retire carbon offsets, at least annually. They have also collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund to support their environmental efforts. 

The three Fossil Fuel Free Funds and LEAF focus on divestment (SRI/negative-screened). However, the primary focus of Sun Life’s sustainable investment strategy continues to be on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in current and future investment options. This includes funds that integrate ESG/sustainability criteria in all aspects of their investment process and portfolio construction. We’ll provide more updates on our sustainable investment strategy and ESG integration into current Core platform offerings in the coming months.

What action is required by you and your plan members? 

You and your plan members aren’t impacted by this change and don’t need to take any action. You may consider whether the new funds would be suitable additions to your lineup.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.