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Sun Life launches private asset management arm to target DB pension community

7 Feb 2014

Canadian financial services group Sun Life Financial has launched its new asset management business, Sun Life Investment Management, focused on private asset class pooled funds, notably private fixed income, commercial mortgages and real estate.

It will also offer liability driven investment strategies for defined benefit (DB) pension plans and other institutional investors in Canada.

“Through this initiative we will be offering the same types of expertise to third-party clients that we have built over the decades to manage our insurance assets,” Dean Connor, President and CEO, Sun Life Financial said. “This broadens the asset management pillar of our enterprise strategy, providing an excellent complement to MFS Investment Management, Sun Life Global Investments and our Asian asset management businesses. We are starting the new business in Canada and intend to expand it to other markets over time.”

The new business encompasses the investment operations of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada that manages approximately $100bn in assets, including approximately $38bn in private asset class investments.

Sun Life Investment Management is headed by Steve Peacher, Sun Life Financial’s executive vice-president and CIO, who leads an investments team of more than 200 employees worldwide.

Its first suite of pooled products will comprise the Sun Life Private Fixed Income Plus Fund, the Sun Life Canadian Commercial Mortgage Fund, and the Sun Life Canadian Real Estate Fund – as well as liability-driven investment strategies.

“Working with the DB pension community we see a growing market for the types of strategies and investments we use for our insurance portfolio,” Peacher said. “We are one of Canada’s leading investors in private fixed income, commercial mortgages and real estate, and with our strong brand and relationships we believe we can help clients achieve their goals.”

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