Sun Life Launches $160 Billion Asset Manager

SLC Management combines firm’s fixed-income institutional asset management units.

Financial services firm Sun Life Financial Inc. has launched an autonomous asset management business with C$212 billion ($160.7 billion) in combined assets under management.

The new asset manager, called SLC Management, combines Prime Advisors, Ryan Labs Asset Management, and Sun Life Institutional Investments, which are the company’s affiliated fixed income institutional asset management businesses. SLC Management also replaces the Sun Life Investment Management brand globally.

“The launch of SLC Management builds on the organic growth that we’ve achieved since the establishment of our business and on the acquisitions of Ryan Labs, Prime Advisors and Bentall Kennedy,” said Steve Peacher, president of SLC Management, in a statement.

The seeds for SLC Management were planted in 2014, when parent Sun Life created Sun Life Institutional Investments to offer institutional alternative asset class funds and liability-driven investing strategies to Canadian institutional investors. The following year, the firm acquired Toronto-based Bentall Kennedy Group, and New York-based Prime Advisors, Inc. and Ryan Labs Asset Management Inc. In 2018, it added a leveraged finance group to the firm, and agreed to acquire a majority interest in global real estate investment firm GreenOak Real Estate.

Sun Life said it intends to merge Ryan Labs and Prime with Sun Life Capital Management at the end of the year. It also said it will transition the investment division managing its general account into the SLC Management business at about the same time.

Of the $160.7 billion in assets under management, approximately $83 billion are in public fixed income, $44 billion are in real estate equity and debt, and $28 billion in private fixed income.

SLC Management will be comprised of two main pillars: a fixed-income pillar and a real estate pillar. The fixed income pillar will operate under the SLC Management brand name, and will include Prime Advisors, Ryan Labs Asset Management, and Sun Life Institutional Investments in the US and Canada. The real estate pillar will be comprised of the merged operations of SLC Management’s Bentall Kennedy business with GreenOak Real Estate, and will be named BentallGreenOak.

The firm said each of the portfolio management teams within SLC Management will retain investment autonomy while having access to a global credit analyst team of 40. The structure is intended to allow the teams to focus on investment performance for SLC Management’s clients.

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