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Sun Life President Defends Annuity Products

One of Canada’s largest insurance companies, Sun Life Financial Co., is working to expand their U.S. business.  According to The Boston Globe article “Sun Life broadens its horizons in US,” Todd Wallack says that Sun Life is in the midst of a huge nationwide advertising campaign.  Wallack interviewed the head of Sun Life in the U.S., Wes Thompson.  Their U.S. unit is based in Wellesley, MA, employs more than 1,800 people, and serves millions of customers in the U.S.  Sun Life’s biggest products are group life insurance and annuity products.  They hope to grow their U.S. business by double digit gains.

Now is a good time for Sun Life to advertise because costs are low and there are many fewer financial companies on the airwaves than there were two or three years ago.  They have already increased the number of people who know of their company from 4% to 16% of those surveyed.  While group life insurance is their largest segment of business, Sun Life sells many annuity products as well.  President Wes Thompson defended the typical higher costs of variable annuities due to their array of guaranteed riders like death benefits.  He said that they all comparable to the costs and benefits of other industry products.  And while Sun Life moved away from selling fixed indexed annuities because of the general impressions of that business, he does believe that there are good products out there.  Unfortunately, some bad companies had products charging too much in commissions with too high of surrender periods.  Sun Life believes in the life insurance and annuity products they sell and are happy to introduce their company to Americans.

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