Sun Life, National Bank form strategic alliance

By Mark Noble | November 12, 2009 | Last updated on November 12, 2009
2 min read

Sun Life Financial has formed a strategic partnership with National Bank. National Bank will provide Sun Life advisors with a range of lending products that will allow clients to move more of their financial affairs with their Sun Life advisor.

Non-bank advisors can sometimes find it difficult to manage all of their clients financial affairs, particularly when those clients need to work with another non-affiliated financial institution for lending arrangements. Of course, when this happens, A-list clients in particular can be inundated with offers to move their investment and wealth management products over to another division of the lending institution.

The deal between Sun Life Financial and National Bank will enhance the amount of lending solutions that Sun Life Financial advisors offer their clients, with a partner institution.

“This exciting partnership with Sun Life is a great example of National Bank’s strategy to further its expansion in select markets through strategic alliances,” says Martin Lavigne, senior vice-president, third-party business solutions, with National Bank Financial Group. “The objective is to grow National Bank’s third-party distribution by developing partnerships that can quickly deliver a competitive and comprehensive value proposition, including a suite of lending products.”

Working with over 3,000 Sun Life Financial advisors, clients will now be able to choose from a wide spectrum of National Bank-brand products, including an RRSP loan program, starting this month.

Sun Life advisors will also be able to offer National Bank’s “All-in-One” mortgage account and conventional mortgages on an advisor referral basis, beginning in March 2010, and investment loans in the spring of 2010.

According to Kevin Strain, senior vice-president of individual insurance and investments with Sun Life Financial Canada, advisors in the company were previously only able to offer RRSP loans.

“We could do RRSP loans, and a little bit of investment loans, but it really wasn’t done in the same way that this will be done. We do offer our own GIC and accumulation annuity, on the investment side of that count we manufacture those products ourselves through our own trust company. The lending side is new to us,” he explains. “We want to give our advisors all the tools so that they have competitive solutions and tools. Our approach is to do what we do really well [as a product provider] partner with organizations to bring those tool to other advisors where someone else may have a better competency.”

The extended suite of lending products allow advisors to consolidate more of their clients’ financial affairs at one entry point.

“It creates another way for our advisors to sort of wrap their arms around the customer so that the customers are going to the advisors for the full financial plan. We really felt that National Bank were leading providers of these sorts of lending products for the Canadian financial advisor,” Strain says. “This gives advisors a tool that compliments our life and health and wealth products really well.”


Mark Noble