Sun Life Financial Inc. is consolidating several elements of its asset management business.
The firm’s fixed income institutional asset management businesses — Prime Advisors Inc., Ryan Labs Asset Management Inc. and Sun Life Institutional Investments Inc. — will be combined with its general account to form SLC Management, a new autonomous asset management business.
SLC will begin with $212 billion under management for more than 1,000 institutional investor clients. It will have two distinct branches, with SLC Management functioning as the fixed income branding, while the conglomerated operations of SLC Management’s Bentall Kennedy Group business with GreenOak Real Estate will be called BentallGreenOak once the deal closes.
“I feel like we’re entering the third phase of our development,” says Steve Peacher, president of SLC Management. “We started our third-party management business under the name of Sun Life Investment Management back in 2014 when we launched some institutional funds in Canada and with the vision that we wanted to build an institutional asset manager that offered the institutional client a spectrum of offerings that reflected how we manage money at Sun Life: fixed income, liability-driven investment capabilities and alternative asset classes.”
In subsequent years, the business has focused on organic growth and keeping clients happy, with multiple acquisitions along the way, says Peacher.
“Now was really the time to pull this together . . . . We have a pretty broad-based platform, and when you’re talking to those clients about solutions that cut across different sub-entities with different names, it gets very confusing.”
Institutional investors are moving more into the areas in which the new consolidated firm specializes, says Peacher. “It’s all about trends towards more fixed income, more LDI, more alternatives.”
And even further acquisitions may be on the table, he adds. “There are areas within private credit. We have a very strong private fixed income group and that mainly has an investment-grade profile. I could see us wanting to add private credit capabilities in the below-investment-grade area. I could see us wanting to add a capability in infrastructure or equity. I think those would fit nicely.”