This article features Rocco Taglioni, Paul Fryer and Sadiq S. Adatia, each describing Sun Life Financial’s new segregated fund products and how they can help Canadians with their savings and retirement planning.

Addressing canadians’ retirement demands for growth and guarantees

Rocco Taglioni, Senior Vice-President, Distribution and Marketing, Individual Insurance and Wealth, Sun Life Financial

For years, we’ve been talking about Canadians living longer. Many statistics related to this phenomenon are quite amazing, including the one showing the global effects of longevity: more than half of all babies born since 2000 in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and other countries with long life expectancies will live to celebrate their 100th birthdays.1

The effect of increasing lifespans will ripple through our society, shifting our views on education, careers, where we live — as well as our financial plans. And advisors will also have to help clients meet the retirement needs of a relatively undefined period of time, ranging from a few years to a few decades.

We’re already hearing about one of those needs. Almost all — 98% — of Canadians surveyed said it’s important to have some form of guaranteed income in retirement.2 Locking in this type of security is especially important for close to 5 million Canadians between the ages of 55 and 64 who are within 10 years of the traditional retirement age.3

For many of them in this demographic, all it would take is a severe market decline to throw their retirement plans off track. Today, clients are looking for both investment growth and protection from market volatility.

Available only through life insurance companies, a segregated fund product can help meet Canadians’ demands for growth and guarantees leading up to and into retirement. This product’s market is well established in Canada and continues to grow, with $109 billion in assets under management and $12 billion in sales of segregated funds in 2014 alone.4

The Canadian financial services industry is ready for a broad and innovative suite of segregated fund products. That’s why Sun Life Financial’s wealth management business is evolving to address the changing needs of your clients at various stages of their lives.

We designed our new suite of segregated fund products, Sun Life Guaranteed Investment Funds (GIFs), based on feedback from advisors and consumers. One of the products in the suite, Sun Lifetime Advantage GIF, offers a first in the Canadian market — innovative resets based on a combination of positive market performance and rising interest rates to grow retirement income. The suite of products addresses challenges currently facing Canadians, including:

  • the costs of living longer, with 25% of 65-year-old women and 17% of 65-year-old men expected to live past 95.5
  • historically low interest rates and news-generating swings in equity market values.
  • managing the transfer of wealth between generations, as $607 billion of assets will be transferred between generations over the next 10 years.6
  • less access to workplace pension plans.

Clearing the way for confident investing, we can help your clients build toward a worry-free retirement, giving them:

  • lifetime guaranteed income,
  • flexible investment options,
  • savings strategies for the future,
  • assistance navigating retirement risks,
  • available maturity and death benefit guarantees,
  • the right to designate a beneficiary for non-registered, as well as registered contracts,
  • tax and estate planning advantages, including bypassing probate,
  • potential creditor protection, and
  • access to their money during emergencies.7

Canadians told us they want more investment options to help them meet their savings goals and solutions to mitigate various risks, so they can retire their way. We listened to them. I’m excited we’ll be manufacturing and distributing Sun Life GIFs and encourage you to learn more about how they cater to a broad range of your clients, especially those preparing for retirement.

Building a new segregated fund product lineup

Paul K. Fryer, Vice-President, Individual Business Management, Individual Insurance and Wealth, Sun Life Financial Canada

Paul K. Fryer is Vice-President, Individual Business Management, with Sun Life Financial. Paul graduated from the University of Waterloo with an honours B Math in 1989 and obtained his actuarial designations (FSA, FCIA) in 1992. Since joining Mutual Life in 1989, Paul has had a broad set of experiences within Mutual Life, Clarica, and Sun Life Financial, including roles in Individual Insurance and Investments, Group Benefits, Group Retirement Services, Corporate Risk Management, Demutualization, and Strategic Acquisitions.

His current responsibilities include product development, pricing, and product management for Sun Life Financial’s Canadian Individual Life Insurance, Health Insurance, and Annuity/GIC products. Paul has served on a variety of Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and Canadian Institute of Actuaries Committees/Task Forces.

Sun Life Financial announced on May 4, 2015, that the company is launching a new product lineup, with the introduction of Sun Life GIFs. We’re building our wealth management business to provide solutions for the pre-retirement and retirement markets in Canada.

If we didn’t listen to our customers and advisors for the past 150 years of our company’s history, we wouldn’t still be here. Their evolving needs have fuelled our evolution from an insurance company to a financial services company. The new Sun Life GIFs build upon our ongoing commitment to meet the needs of Canadian investors, while continuing to offer superior insurance protection.

Sun Life GIFs provide control to protect investments from market downturns while offering investors the flexibility to benefit from market upturns or future changes in interest rates — with certain products providing opportunities to grow their guaranteed retirement income.

The guiding principles behind Sun Life GIFs reflect what we heard and what’s most important:


  • income products that are responsive to market conditions
  • reduced need to remove features or products

Breadth of investor benefits

  • wide variety of client needs and life stages satisfied
  • tools provided for a variety of scenarios


  • harmonized rules and features
  • no unnecessary materials, features or benefits outside the purpose of products
  • documents in plain language


  • well positioned within financial services industry
  • designed to meet evolving demographics and needs of Canadians

These new products fit with Sun Life Financial’s Money for Life approach to retirement planning by helping Canadians to build up savings and secure their income. The products will enable them to:

  • meet specific needs during different life stages;
  • know what retirement income they’re guaranteed to have at a particular age; and
  • protect their investment toward saving for a particular long-term goal.

The Sun Life GIFs suite is comprised of 3 products:

  1. Sun GIF Solutions: 3 series within one product, which align to different needs or life stages:
    • Investment Series: for clients who want to grow assets and participate in the market, while protecting themselves with guarantees and additional insurance benefits.
    • Income Series: for clients who are ready to take immediate income in retirement, and want it guaranteed for life.
    • Estate Series: for clients who want to leave a legacy and have control over how their estate will be distributed among beneficiaries. It’s a leading estate series within the industry.
  2. Sun Lifetime Advantage GIF: a lifetime guaranteed income product for clients who want to know what retirement income they can expect in the future, especially as they progress from savings to retirement income. Clients can have peace of mind knowing they can benefit from resets based on the unique combination of market growth and interest rate increases before drawing retirement income.
  3. Sun Protect GIF: with strong maturity guarantees, this product can help clients save toward a particular long-term goal. Sun Protect GIF offers clients an available 100% maturity guarantee,8 a 100% death benefit guarantee, and the potential to capture gains based on market performance.

Certain products within the suite provide guaranteed retirement income with opportunities to grow income from market gains.

Putting a global stamp on investment offerings for Canadians

Sadiq S. Adatia, Chief Investment Officer, Sun Life Global Investments

Sadiq S. Adatia is Chief Investment Officer for Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. and a key member of its executive team. In this role, Mr. Adatia is accountable for bringing clients the best in asset management and innovative solutions from around the world. He will also leverage his investment expertise to provide investment commentary to clients and media.

Mr. Adatia joined Sun Life Global Investments in July 2011, bringing with him over 15 years of experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining Sun Life Global Investments, he was Chief Investment Officer at Russell Investments, a position he held since 2008. Mr. Adatia was responsible for all domestic and foreign investment funds sold in Canada and was also the portfolio manager for the Canadian equity, dividend and small cap products, as well as balanced portfolios. Prior to that Mr. Adatia was the Business Leader for Investment Consulting for Central Canada at Mercer Investment Consulting.

Mr. Adatia is a member of the annual Up the Down Market Event for Down Syndrome Foundation and the Education and Examination Committee for the Society of Actuaries.

Mr. Adatia holds an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Actuarial Science & Statistics from the University of Waterloo. He is also a CFA Charterholder, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (Investment Specialty Track) as well as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

With nearly 40 of our funds forming a strong foundation, Sun Life GIFs are designed to help investors reach their retirement goals. At Sun Life Global Investments, we’re excited to be working with Sun Life Financial to offer this innovative segregated fund product suite.

Endurance, strength and adaptability: the properties that distinguish granite in nature are the same principles that frame Sun Life Granite Managed Portfolios. The portfolios are constantly evolving to meet the needs of investors, much like the new Sun Life GIFs, which were created with a changing marketplace in mind.

Sun Life Granite Managed Portfolios are broadly diversified, offering access to traditional and non-traditional asset classes such as real estate and infrastructure. They’ve also recently extended their reach into global stock markets with funds focused on smaller, growth-oriented companies. A multi-manager approach allows us to seek out best-in-class investment managers from around the world, who in turn pursue compelling opportunities based on local insight.

Active management helps investors participate in growth cycles of the market and provides additional downside risk management. In addition, tactical shifts between asset classes help investors navigate through turbulent times. Multiple levels of due diligence and rigorous monitoring help ensure that managers continue to meet the investment objectives for the portfolios.

You can talk to your clients about Sun Life GIFs, especially if they’re:

  • Looking to participate in the market with the reassurance of insurance guarantees to help them sleep better at night.
  • Concerned about how to get enough return on their investments.
  • Not comfortable managing their own investments or they’re intimidated by financial planning.
  • Building their savings and don’t want to make an investment mistake, but need to understand that doing nothing is worse.
  • Seeking comfort from having insurance benefits at a fair cost, including prompt estate settlement and guarantees.
  • Concerned about meeting needs at different life stages — this could be a lifetime solution.

Canadians are living longer than they did even 35 years ago,9 yet many are underestimating their longevity and underfunding their retirement. Sun Life GIFs can offer peace of mind, security — with lifetime guaranteed income and estate transfer benefits — along with access to capital to meet their changing needs across all life stages.

Resources to help you start the segregated fund conversation

  • To help advisors grow and manage their block of business, Sun Life Financial is introducing a robust web-based platform, MySunLifeGIFs. This tool provides modern navigation and usability for advisors to access information to support servicing their clients, and for clients to access their segregated fund contract details.
  • Go to the web pages below for more information:
Segregated fund products Advisor web page address
Sun Life GIFs – full suite
Sun GIF Solutions
Sun Lifetime Advantage GIF
Sun Protect GIF

Talk with a member of Sun Life Financial’s Sales Team, or send an email.

You might also like…

1 The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9708, January 2010, p. 25.

2 Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index 2015.

3 4.7 million; Statistics Canada, Life table 051-0001, July 1, 2014.

4 Insurance Advisory Service, Investor Economics, January 2015.

5 Canadian Institute of Actuaries, 2014.

6 Investor Economics, 2014 Household Balance Sheet Report.

7 Any withdrawals may impact the value of the contract and guarantees will be reduced.

8 Depending on the timing of premium payments or age of the annuitant, some or all of the client’s investment may have a 75% maturity guarantee.

9 35 years ago, the average life expectancy at age 65 was almost 80 years old for men and 84 years old for women; today, the average life expectancy at age 65 is almost 84 years old for men, almost 87 years old for women. Statistics Canada, Table 102-0122, Health adjusted life expectancy, CANSIM (database), 2014.

Rocco Taglioni, Senior Vice-President, Head of Distribution, Individual Insurance and Wealth, is responsible for the overall leadership of Sun Life Financial’s distribution organizations across its Retail business in Canada. His role encompasses the leadership of the distribution company, as President Sun Life Financial Distributors Inc., as well as the Insurance and Wealth wholesaling sales organizations. Through the various leadership teams he oversees the development, direction, and execution of the Distribution strategies centered on wealth management, protection, retirement, and estate and financial planning.

Since joining Sun Life in 2004, Rocco has held various executive leadership roles, including Vice-President Business Development, Group Benefits; Head of Individual Wealth Management; Senior-Vice-President, Client Solutions; and most recently Senior Vice-President, Distribution and Marketing, Individual Insurance and Wealth. Throughout his tenure at Sun Life, Rocco has led various business strategies centered on building, transforming, and evolving organizations and teams to drive higher levels of performance and success.

Rocco has 36 years of experience in strategic leadership in the insurance and investment industries. He has served on and is a member of a number of boards. Rocco is currently President and Chair, Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc. and is a member of the Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. board. He is a member of various industry associations, including Advocis, GAMA Canada, the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, and the Association of Canadian Pension Management.

Rocco holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from York University.