Although consumers have been wary of many variable annuities lately, Sun Life Financial Inc. has made changes that have increased their sales. This information comes from “Sun Life Beams About Variable Annuities but Barriers Remain” by Matt Ackermann of American Banker. Valuable leadership changes within Sun Life led to the company “aggressively top-grading its wholesalers over the past five months to boost distribution”. Sun Life, a company usually ranking 17th or 18th in its industry, has been able to attract previously unattainable talent recently because of the fractured industry. Their U.S. annuities division released wholesalers who were under-performing and replaced them with some rivals’ strong wholesalers.
These changes led to a 21.8% variable annuity sales increase in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the first quarter of last year. That increase is over 12% higher than the industry averaged, allotting for Sun Life to have $580.1 million in variable annuity sales for the quarter. Sun Life’s new talent plans to maintain these variable annuity sales through increased marketing, adding “key advisers”, and offering products to help their customers gain back what they have lost of their retirement portfolios in the past year’s economic crisis.