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Sun Life sets up Singapore branch office

CANADA based insurer Sun Life Financial Inc has set up a branch office in Singapore, where it has secured a direct insurer (life) licence.

The Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Singapore branch will offer universal life and whole life products, said Belinda Au, Sun Life Singapore’s chief executive. Sun Life is a major player in Asia’s universal life market targeted at high net worth clientele.

Ms Au said the Singapore expansion was decided two years ago as part of a plan to deepen the firm’s high net worth capabilities in Asia. Sun Life currently has a presence in eight Asian markets in the form of joint ventures and subsidiaries. These markets include Vietnam and India.

In Singapore, it aims to focus on the affluent and high net worth segments, where the sum insured is expected to exceed US$400,000. Its products are also expected to be in US dollars.

Asia is a major pillar of Sun Life’s business. In the second quarter 2020, Asia generated C$240 million (S$246.6 million) in insurance sales, comprising about 38 per cent of total sales of C$619 million. Net income in the region came in at C$126 million or a share of 24 per cent of total net income of C$519 million.

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Léo Grépin, Sun Life Asia president, said in a statement that the Singapore expansion "represents a significant milestone" for Sun Life. "For 128 years, we have been helping clients in Asia to grow, secure and transfer their wealth. We look forward to bringing our trusted expertise, unmatched capacity and tailored solutions to help Singaporeans protect their prosperity for generations to come." 

Ms Au said: "As a leading international financial centre, Singapore is home to many high net worth individuals. I am very excited for this new opportunity, and look forward to helping our clients in Singapore achieve their wealth goals and create a lasting legacy through their entire lifetime and beyond."

Sun Life has over 23 million clients in Asia, and offers life, health and wealth management solutions. In Asia, its underlying net income has grown at an annual compounded growth rate of 15 per cent. Distribution in Asia includes a tied network of 123,000 advisers. In Singapore, it aims to continue working through brokerages.

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