Sun Life Financial Inc. CEO Dean Connor made $9.7 million in 2018, a slight increase from the previous year, the company’s management information circular shows.

Connor, the firm’s CEO since 2011, received $9.3 million in direct compensation, including $1.5 million in stock options and $2.2 million in annual incentives.

He received $4.5 million in Sun Shares, a payout calculated based on total shareholder return (TSR) over the last three years relative to competitors. Sun Life’s TSR was -9.4% last year, 5.4% over three years and 7.7% over five years.

“On a relative basis, our TSR ranked highest among key North American insurance competitors over all periods, and top quartile among key global life insurance competitors,” the document says.

In 2017, Connor received $8.8 million in direct compensation and a total of $9.1 million.

Connor’s total compensation last year was less than Manulife’s Roy Gori, who received almost $13 million. It’s also less than most of the Big Six bank CEOs.

Sun Life’s performance factor for executive payouts under both the annual incentive plan and the Sun Share plan were down slightly from 2017.

Here’s what the firm’s other top executives earned last year:

  • Jacques Goulet, president of Sun Life Financial Canada, made almost $8 million. Appointed to the role in January 2018, his direct compensation last year was $7.9 million, including $2.1 million in sign-on cash to replace incentives forfeited from his previous employer. Goulet worked at Mercer before joining Sun Life.
  • Stephen Peacher, president of Sun Life Investment Management, saw his total compensation fall to just over $6 million from $6.8 million in 2017. His annual incentive in 2018 was $1.7 million, compared to $2.1 million in 2017.
  • Daniel Fishbein, president of Sun Life Financial U.S., was paid $3.8 million last year, basically the same amount as in 2017.
  • Executive vice-president and CFO Kevin Strain’s total compensation declined by roughly $1 million in 2018 to $3.5 million. His direct compensation was almost unchanged at $3.3 million.

Board diversity

One-third (four of 12) of Sun Life’s current directors are women, as are four of the 11 board nominees and three of four committee chairs, the circular said.

Women make up one-quarter of the firm’s executive officers and 34% of senior executives.

Vote on executive compensation

There will be a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation at Sun Life’s annual meeting on May 9. Shareholders will vote on whether they accept the approach to compensation disclosed in the circular.