With a total compensation of nearly $17 million, Manulife Financial Corp.’s Roy Gori was the highest paid CEO of Canada’s big three life insurance carriers in 2021. Meanwhile, Sun Life Financial Inc.’s new CEO, Kevin Strain, earned $7.3 million in total direct compensation in 2021, Sun Life reported Tuesday.

Strain succeeded Dean Connor as Sun Life’s president and CEO this past August. Strain’s 2021 compensation included $2.2 million in annual incentives, Sun reported in its management information circular released March 29.

Strain’s 2021 incentive compensation was 72% above target thanks to strong personal and company performance, Sun Life said. For example, Sun Life’s earnings per share in 2021 of $6.69 beat the company’s target of $4.83.

Strain’s accomplishments last year included entering into an agreement to acquire DentaQuest, “which will expand our scale in the U.S. and establish a leading position in the attractive U.S. dental market,” said Sun Life.

For Manulife, Gori’s total compensation last year was US$13.3 million, up from US$11.2 million in 2020 and US$11.1 million in 2019, Manulife reported in its circular released March 25. When converted to Canadian currency, Gori’s total 2021 compensation was $16.9 million. Gori has been president and CEO since 2017.

Gori’s annual incentive was US$4.6 million in 2021 — 192% of his targeted award — up from US$2.8 million in 2020. Under Gori’s leadership, Manulife “achieved top quartile employee engagement scores, and delivered record financial results despite economic headwinds and the ongoing prevalence of” Covid-19, Manulife said in its circular. For example, global wealth and asset management net inflows were $27.9 billion in 2021 compared with net inflows of $8.9 billion in 2020.

Further, net income attributable to shareholders was $7.1 billion in 2021, up from $5.9 billion in 2020 and above the company’s 2021 target of $5.3 billion.

Gori outearned the highest-paid bank CEO, Royal Bank of Canada’s David McKay, who received $15.5 million in direct compensation in 2021.

Meanwhile, Canada Life CEO Paul Mahon’s total 2021 compensation was $9.1 million, up from $7.9 million in 2020 and $7.6 million in 2019, Great-West Lifeco Inc. reported March 21. Mahon has been president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life, Great-West Life Assurance Co. and London Life since 2013.

Mahon’s 2021 total annual incentive bonus, $3.1 million, was 164% of the target and up from $2.5 million in 2020. Of this year’s bonus, half was based on the earnings of Great-West Lifeco, which hit 200% of target.

Mahon’s total compensation was offset by negative pension value of $1.1 million, which was due to adjusted actuarial assumptions.

Last year, Great-West Lifeco introduced new digital tools and acquired health and dental claim management services provider ClaimSecure, which added “over $1 billion in annual claim payments and over one million new plan members and dependents to Canada Life,” the company said.

Great-West Lifeco reported Feb. 9 that base earnings were $3.3 billion in 2021, up from $2.7 billion in 2020.