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May 11, 2020

Sun Life continues to look for M&A opportunities despite pandemic: CEO

'This crisis will accelerate everything we're doing around technology': Sun Life CEO

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The chief executive of Sun Life Financial Inc. says his company isn’t shutting the door on acquisition opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We continue to look for M&A opportunities around the world,” Dean Connor told BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman in an interview Monday.

“Our story on M&A has been consistent. Job one is to grow our business organically.”

Connor’s comments follow Sun Life’s first-quarter results last week. While Sun Life's net income topped analysts’ estimates, it also dropped by 37 per cent to $391 million compared to last year, its biggest decline since 2017, according to Bloomberg News.

While Sun Life did feel the effect of COVID-19-driven market declines, Connor said: “We came into [the pandemic] very well-capitalized.”   

“The thing I would add, though, give this crisis, is we have sort of have a base-case scenario and then we have severe-stress scenario,” he added. 

“And as we look at M&A opportunities, we’re also looking at them in the light of the severe-stress scenario. We would want to make sure that if we find something that fits strategically, if that severe scenario happens, that we still have enough capital to have a very strong buffer.”

“We haven’t stopped looking for opportunities,” Connor said. “We will continue to be patient, disciplined, but active.”