Note: All figures are shown in Canadian dollars.
MONTREAL, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance
Company of Canada ("Standard Life") today announced three changes to
its group and retail offering in order to continue sharpening its
strategic focus on the long-term savings and investment market.
Employers can now add socially responsible investment (SRI) funds to
investment options for any Standard Life group savings and retirement
plan. Retail customers now have access to new simplified Ideal Term
Funds. Effective January 1, 2012, Standard Life will stop selling its
individual life insurance and critical illness products but will
continue to service its in-force block of life insurance business.
"Today's announcement is another step in Standard Life's strategy to
focus on the activities which have the best potential for sustainable
growth," said Joseph Iannicelli, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"We are committed to continuing to deliver the same level of service to
our current policyholders and advisors for which Standard Life has been
recognized over the years. This change will help us speed up the growth
of the three business segments where we're most competitive, and to
respond to customer needs with products such as our new Ideal Term
Funds and SRI funds."
Standard Life will continue to include life insurance coverage in its
group benefits offering. It will no longer sell individual universal
life insurance, term insurance, whole life insurance and critical
At the end of 2010, the individual life insurance business of The
Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada consisted of 202,000
policies; it represented 3.5% of the Company's total premiums and
deposits of $5 billion, and 1.4% of its total new business.
More options for group plan members to invest responsibly
Standard Life is now offering four individual Meritas SRI Funds for
group savings and retirement plans. Employers and their advisors can
include these investment options immediately as part of a customized
plan or, starting at the end of 2011, through the new Monitored Avenue
Portfolio Program™ - Socially Responsible Investment options (MAPP-SRI
options). Standard Life chose funds for the MAPP-SRI options to provide
long-term returns that aim to meet the needs of socially responsible
investors and proper diversification amongst asset classes.
As a result of the combination of Standard Life's MAPP and SRI funds, it
will be the first time that group plan members can choose socially
responsible investments tailored to their own unique risk profile and
time to retirement. They will also have the comfort of knowing that
their portfolio is subject to an automatic lifecycle and portfolio
rebalancing and to Standard Life's Quality & Choice™ Investment
Program's governance process.
A recent survey conducted for Standard Life found that a third (32%) of
Canadian investors said they are "very" or "somewhat" interested in
SRIs, and 55% indicated that they would consider SRIs if the return was
"as good or better" than other investments. Various Canadian and US
studies show that, contrary to popular belief, the performance of SRI
funds has been similar to that of traditional indices in the last few
Simplified Ideal Term Funds
To address the low-interest rate environment, Standard Life is
introducing new savings and retirement income Ideal Term Funds which
are secure and deliver predictable income. The new products are
simplified, easy to understand and redeemable prior to maturity. They
will appeal to investors who are looking for an alternative to banks'
guaranteed investment certificates and Canada Savings Bonds.
Notes to editors:
Key business segments of Standard Life are retail investment funds and
group defined contribution retirement plans as well as group benefits
and disability management.
In September 2011, Standard Life introduced three Meritas SRI Funds to
its family of retail segregated funds.
Meritas SRI Funds is part of the Qtrade Financial Group. For over 10 years, it has been
devoted solely to creating and marketing socially responsible
investments for individuals, and also for corporations, endowments,
foundations, pension plans and other large investors. Meritas uses
positive and negative screening guidelines, shareholder activism and
community development investments.
Monitored Avenue Portfolio Program™ (MAPP) is a long-term, multi-manager
investment solution where group retirement plan members can choose
investments tailored to their own unique risk profile and time to
retirement, knowing Standard Life experts are overseeing the asset
allocation, specific fund selection and the portfolio re-alignment on a
MAPP-SRI options is Standard Life's fourth MAPP solution. MAPP 1, 2 and
3 provide broad market representation and proper diversification both
amongst and within each asset class. MAPP 2 also includes a dividend
fund in the pre-set Avenue Portfolio offering to generate slightly more
income, while the guaranteed funds included in the more conservative
and shorter periods mean lower expected volatility. MAPP 3 combines
passive investment funds to provide long-term capital growth and
deliver returns that will mirror the underlying benchmark.
About Standard Life
Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company
headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around 6
million customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe,
North America and Asia Pacific, and globally with Standard Life
In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for 178 years. Standard
Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance
Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd., is Standard Life
plc's largest operation outside the UK. With about 2,000 employees, it
provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more
than 1.4 million Canadians, including group benefit and retirement plan
As of September 30, 2011, Standard Life plc had $310 billion in assets
under administration, including $40 billion in Canada through Standard
SOURCE STANDARD LIFE
For further information:
514-499-7999, ext. 8150