Sun Life Financial Reports Third Quarter 2015 Results
TORONTO - Sun Life Financial Inc. released the third quarter of 2015 which is based on the unaudited interim financial results of Sun Life Financial Inc. for the period ended September 30, 2015.
Third Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights
• Operating net income(1) of $478 million or $0.78 per share(1)(2), compared to $467 million or $0.76 per share in the third quarter of 2014. Reported net income of $482 million or $0.79 per share, compared to $435 million or $0.71 per share in the same period last year
Underlying net income(1) of $528 million or $0.86 per share(1)(2) in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $517 million or $0.84 per share in the third quarter of 2014
• Operating return on equity(1) ("ROE") of 10.5% and underlying ROE(1) of 11.6% in the third quarter of 2015, compared to operating ROE of 11.9% and underlying ROE of 13.1% in the same period last year
• Quarterly dividend declared of $0.39 per share
• Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements ratio for Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada of 229%
• Global assets under management ("AUM") of $846 billion
"We reported underlying net income of $528 million in the third quarter of 2015, up slightly from the prior year in a volatile market environment. Notwithstanding the impact of capital markets on our results, we benefited from our balanced and diversified business model, coupled with strong execution on our four-pillar strategy." said Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial. "We announced a dividend increase of one cent per share, bringing our quarterly common share dividend to $0.39 per share. This, together with the increase announced in the first quarter, represents a total increase of 8% in the quarterly dividend in the year."
"We continued to deploy capital in accordance with our four-pillar business strategy through the agreement to acquire the U.S. Employee Benefits business of Assurant, Inc.," Connor said. "Completion of the acquisition will enhance our market position in U.S. Group Benefits with a significant boost in scale and new distribution and product capabilities."
"During the quarter, we also completed the acquisitions of Prime Advisors and Bentall Kennedy to broaden our asset management pillar," Connor said. "While assets under management at MFS were impacted by volatile markets and net outflows, MFS continues to deliver strong performance for clients and achieved solid margins of 40%."
"SLF Canada delivered strong sales growth across all lines of business. During the quarter, we announced the creation of the Digital Benefits Assistant which uses big data and advanced analytical tools to help plan members use their benefit plans wisely."
"SLF Asia reported strong underlying earnings, led by contributions from the Philippines and Hong Kong," Connor said. "Sales were strong in SLF Asia, with continuing momentum in the wealth businesses."
The Board of Directors of Sun Life Financial Inc. today declared a quarterly shareholder dividend of $0.39 per common share.
Our strategy is focused on four key pillars of growth. We detail our continued progress against these pillars below.
Leader in financial protection and wealth solutions in our Canadian home market
Individual wealth sales increased by 16% to $1.2 billion, driven primarily by growth in mutual funds sales. Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. ("SLGI") had strong sales growth with a 45% increase in retail mutual fund sales over the third quarter of 2014 to $288 million. Total segregated fund sales of $152 million in the third quarter of 2015 increased by 54% from the third quarter of 2014, and included sales of $111 million of Sun Life Guaranteed Investment Funds, our new segregated fund product launched in the second quarter of 2015.
Individual insurance sales in Canada increased by 31% to $98 million from the third quarter of 2014, driven by growth in all distribution channels, and included a number of large participating whole life insurance sales.
Group Benefits ("GB") sales increased to $139 million from $81 million in the third quarter of 2014, including a number of large client wins. Group Retirement Services ("GRS") sales increased by 71% compared to the third quarter of the prior year, achieving $2.2 billion, driven by strong defined contribution plan sales. GRS assets under administration were $77 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2015.
SLF Canada achieved Platinum certification from Excellence Canada, which recognizes Canada's best run corporations across six categories: leadership, strategy, customer experience, people engagement, process management and partners.
Premier global asset manager, anchored by MFS
In the third quarter of 2015, we completed the acquisitions of Prime Advisors, Inc. ("Prime Advisors") and the Bentall Kennedy group of companies ("Bentall Kennedy"). These acquisitions, along with the acquisition of Ryan Labs Asset Management Inc. ("Ryan Labs") in the second quarter of 2015, build on our strategy to expand our capabilities in customized fixed income solutions and alternative asset classes in our asset management pillar. Sun Life Investment Management ("SLIM"), which consists of Bentall Kennedy, Prime Advisors, Ryan Labs, and Sun Life Investment Management Inc., had combined total third-party AUM of $56 billion as at September 30, 2015 and gross sales for the third quarter of 2015 of $1.2 billion.
MFS's AUM of US$404 billion at the end of September 30, 2015 declined compared to the second quarter of 2015 with market depreciation of $28 billion and net outflows of US$9 billion in the quarter. Lower sales and higher levels of redemptions by institutional clients were the largest drivers of the outflows in the third quarter of 2015.
MFS's long-term retail fund performance remains strong with 74%, 86%, and 97% of MFS's mutual fund assets ranked in the top half of their Lipper categories based on three-, five-, and ten-year performance, respectively, as of the third quarter of 2015.
Bentall Kennedy was named the top North American firm and a top firm globally in the 2015 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark rankings. This is the fifth year that the team at Bentall Kennedy has received this recognition.
Leader in U.S. group benefits and International high net worth solutions
On September 9, 2015, we announced an agreement to acquire the Employee Benefits business of Assurant, Inc. ("Assurant"). The transaction will expand our capabilities in our U.S. group benefits business, with an array of employee benefits products that include leading capabilities in the Group Life and Disability, Dental and Vision, Stop-Loss and Voluntary businesses.
This acquisition, in concert with the management of our current U.S. group business, allows us to accelerate growth in our U.S. strategic pillar, bringing value to our clients, partners, distributors, employees and the communities we serve.
We also continued our expense, claims management and pricing actions in the group life and disability business, driving improvement in Group Benefits operating net income. In addition, we continue to expand our offerings on private exchanges, a growing distribution platform in the U.S. market. In September 2015, we announced a partnership with Maxwell Health, our fourth private exchange partnership agreement signed in 2015, bringing us to a total of eight private exchange platforms.
The U.S. stop-loss business continued to achieve strong results. Sales increased 63% to US$60 million compared to the third quarter of 2014, along with a 14% growth in stop-loss business in-force over the same quarter in the prior year.
Growing Asia through distribution excellence in higher growth markets
Wealth sales in SLF Asia grew compared to the third quarter of 2014, with strong mutual fund sales in India and higher managed funds sales in Hong Kong.
Individual insurance sales in SLF Asia of $114 million reflected sales growth in the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, which were more than offset by decreases in Hong Kong, Indonesia, India and China.
Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. received the prestigious 'Employer of the Year' award by the People Management Association of the Philippines. The annual award is based on leadership, business results and contributions to the community.