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Governance and risk management

A well-run organization creates a stable and sustainable operating platform for the company and positions us to meet our obligations to stakeholders currently and in the long term. To that end, we have:

  • A governance structure and risk management framework that pro-actively address a changing regulatory landscape.
  • Executive management and a Board of Directors who are committed to a high level of integrity, governance, risk management and sustainability.
  • Mechanisms in place to ensure we’re responsive to the disclosure requirements of the investment community, while adhering to the disclosure rules.
  • A disciplined focus on Risk Management throughout the organization.

Maintaining strong corporate governance practices and ethical behaviour

Corporate governance involves balancing the interests of a company’s management, Board of Directors, shareholders, Clients and other stakeholders. At Sun Life, our goal of maintaining strong governance and our commitment to ethical behaviour starts at the top, with our Board of Directors. Eleven of our 12 Board members, including the Chairman, are independent. Together, they ensure risk management policies and practices are in place, and that business decisions align with our corporate strategy and risk appetite. In 2015, our Board was again recognized for its governance practices, achieving 1st place in The Globe and Mail’s Board Games, an annual corporate governance ranking.

  1. Integrity
  2. Independent and informed judgement
  3. Accountability
  4. Knowledge of business issues
  5. Commitment to operational excellence
  6. Responsiveness
  7. Initiative
  8. Collaboration

Managing risk

Our risk management framework prescribes protocol and programs to oversee that risks to business undertakings are appropriately managed to achieve our business objectives without exceeding pre-established risk taking boundaries. Our Risk Appetite Policy outlines how to balance the various needs, expectations, risk-and-reward perspectives and investment horizons of key stakeholders. In particular, our risk appetite supports the pursuit of shareholder value while ensuring that our ability to pay claims and fulfil long-term policyholder commitments is not compromised.


Building the best team through global learning programs

Sun Life is committed to building the best team for today and tomorrow by preparing our Employees to meet the challenges of a complex global business environment. Mandatory training programs help to ensure our Employees get the information they need to function safely in the workplace, and do their part to keep our business, and our Clients’ information, secure.

Sun Life Employees must complete the following training regularly:

  • Code of Business Conduct
  • Business Continuity
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Financial Crimes Awareness
  • Maintaining the Privacy and Security of Personal Information
  • Records Management
  • Security Awareness

Our   Code of Business Conduct process requires our Directors, leaders and Employees around the world to review our Sun Life Financial Code of Business Conduct annually. This mandatory training and attestation covers important topics such as deterring fraud, combatting money laundering and terrorist financing, avoiding conflicts of interest and rejecting corruption and bribery. To support our Employees’ day-to-day adherence to the Code, we offer a network of support contacts and a 24-hour hotline for reporting concerns or possible violations.

2015 Sustainability Report

Download the full 2015 Sustainability Report to learn more about our focus on creating a stable and sustainable operating platform that positions us to meet our obligations to stakeholders currently and in the long term.

  Download the full report