Sun Life Financial CEO commits to advance financial literacy and workplace wellness

TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - Sun Life Financial (TSX/NYSE: SLF) is committed to advancing the causes of financial literacy and workplace wellness, CEO Donald A. Stewart said today at the Company's annual meeting.

Stewart, who served as Chair of the federal government task force that developed the financial literacy strategy, said the objective of the Task Force recommendations is ". . .to help Canadians make the right financial decisions."

"Sun Life will continue to advance the cause of financial literacy," Stewart told shareholders and policyholders. "Based on the national strategy put forth by the Task Force, we are implementing plans to provide leadership on this important issue."

In outlining elements of Sun Life's strategy, Stewart said the Company will:

  • Provide more tools to advisors to assist clients in strengthening their financial literacy;
  • Provide more value-added services to enhance financial literacy among group plan members;
  • Broaden the use of plain language to communicate more clearly across all channels; and,
  • Enhance the use of technology and social media to create content and forums for discussion.

"By working with customers to build their financial literacy, we are giving them the knowledge and confidence to take action," he said. "By making the right decisions, they will not only enrich their own lives, but also strengthen the Canadian economy."

The Task Force recommended the federal government propose a national leader dedicated to implementing the national strategy, supported by an advisory council that spans stakeholder groups, Stewart added.

"The federal government and Finance Minister Flaherty have shown important leadership on this issue, and now that the election is over, I strongly encourage the government to move forward on this recommendation and appoint a national champion to drive the agenda forward," he said.

Sun Life has a unique opportunity as the leading provider of health benefits and wellness programs to help customers understand the interaction between health and prosperity, Stewart said. Among the initiatives underway is the creation of the Sun Life Wellness Institute™, a health and wellness knowledge exchange for Canadian employers providing evidence and insight that will help influence positive outcomes in the overall health and long term well-being of working Canadians. Sun Life is partnering with the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario to conduct research on the value of workplace wellness programs for Canadian employers.

In his remarks, Stewart also highlighted several operational achievements during 2010, including:

  • The creation of a new investment company, Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) to meet the growing investment and retirement needs of Canadians;
  • Being named the "Most Trusted Life Insurance Company" in Canada for the second consecutive year by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brand consumer survey; and
  • The restructuring of Sun Life Everbright in China as a domestic insurance company to capture a larger share of the country's growing financial services sector. Sun Life Everbright now has 36 offices in China.

"Our solid performance in 2010 is a reflection of continued execution of our long-term strategy. We are building our businesses in the world's largest markets, leveraging key demographic trends, deploying capital prudently and maintaining a strong focus on risk management," he said.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2011, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $469 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.





SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

For further information:

Media Relations Contact:         Investor Relations Contact:
Frank Switzer
Corporate Communications
Tel: 416-979-4086
        Phil Malek
Investor Relations
Tel: 416-979-4198



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