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 established as segregated funds under the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

In January 2023, BlackRock announced that it was cutting approximately 500 jobs, representing 2.5% of its global workforce. The move reflects the challenging market conditions and overall market returns in 2022.

The restructuring plan has affected BlackRock Canada. In Q1 2023, three staff members left the Canadian office, including Farzan Qureshi, Director, DC Investment Strategy. As the key member of the Retirement Solutions team in Canada, Qureshi played an important role in supporting Retirement Solutions to institutional investors in Canada. His role will be assumed by various specialists in the U.S.-based Retirement Solutions team.

Sun Life GRS Investment Solutions’ view

We recognize that many global asset managers make hard decisions to cut costs amid fears of recession and inflation. However, we feel a loss for BlackRock, given Qureshi’s knowledge of the unique landscape of the Canadian market. Furthermore, he left at a critical timing: BlackRock is in the midst of transitioning its LifePath product to the ESG indices in Canada.

BlackRock has indicated that they remain committed to Canada and to LifePath.

The Sun Life GRS Investment Solutions team will continue monitoring the organizational change and provide updates as needed.

Questions?

Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.