Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the management of the business and affairs of Sun Life, with each director contributing to the long-term success of the enterprise. Below are our current directors.

William D. Anderson, FCPA, FCA
Chair of the Board,
Sun Life

Deepak Chopra, FCPA, FCGA
Corporate Director

Stephanie L. Coyles
Corporate Director

Martin J. G. Glynn
Corporate Director

Ashok K. Gupta, FFA
Corporate Director

M. Marianne Harris
Corporate Director

David H.Y. Ho 
Corporate Director

James M. Peck
Corporate Director

Scott F. Powers
Corporate Director

Kevin D. Strain, CPA
President & Chief Executive Officer  
Sun Life

Barbara G. Stymiest, FCPA, FCA
Corporate Director

For more information about our directors please see the profiles included in our 
 Management Information Circular.

The Board strives for continuous improvement in its corporate governance processes and practices. These are reviewed regularly to ensure consistency with evolving best practices as well as regulations such as:

  • Sun Life's governing statute, the Insurance Companies Act (Canada)
  • Guidelines for Effective Corporate Governance in Federally Regulated Financial Institutions, issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
  • Canadian Securities Administrators' Corporate Governance Guidelines
  • Toronto Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Rules
  • New York Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Rules

Detailed information about our Board governance practices, can be found in our  Charter of the Board of Directors and  Statement of Corporate Governance Practices and Policies. Our corporate governance practices are also described in the  Management Information Circular. Director nomination requirements, including advance notice of nominations, are set out in the  By-laws.

The Board of Directors serves both Sun Life Financial Inc. and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. With the exception of the President & Chief Executive Officer, Kevin D. Strain, all of the directors are independent, according to the  Director Independence Policy. The standards and processes for determining the independence of directors are outlined in the policy. 

In keeping with its commitment to good governance processes and practices, the Board has adopted a  Proxy Access Policy, which sets out the process for qualifying shareholders to submit director nominations to be included in our proxy circular and form of proxy.

Access our constating documents and By-laws below:

Chair of the Board

The Chair of the Board is an independent director. He or she is responsible for providing leadership that enhances the effectiveness and independence of the Board. The Board Chair manages the Board’s affairs to assist the directors in carrying out their responsibilities and helps the Board operate cohesively. The Board Chair’s key duties can be found in the  Position Description for the Chair of the Board.

Board Committee Chair

The Chair of a Board Committee is responsible for providing leadership to enhance effective and independent functioning of the Committee in order that the Committee may fulfil its duties and responsibilities as outlined in its Committee Charter. Committee Chairs, in consultation with the Chair of the Board, may engage independent advisors at the expense of Sun Life. Each Chair generally holds the position for 5 years. The Committee Chairs’ key duties can be found in the  Position Description for Committee Chairs.

Board of Directors

The Board is responsible for supervising the management of the business and affairs of Sun Life. Each Director participates in fulfilling the Board’s stewardship role by acting honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Sun Life and exercising the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances. The Board’s key duties and responsibilities can be found in the  Charter of the Board of Directors and the principal duties and responsibilities and key attributes of each Director can be found in the  Position Description for the Directors and in the  Management Information Circular.

Chief Executive Officer

The CEO is required to be a director on the Board of Directors, according to the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

The CEO is responsible for championing the Sun Life’s global mission, purpose and values, managing Sun Life’s resources to ensure optimal performance, and setting a standard for culture, conduct and character through his or her own behaviour and actions. The CEO develops the leadership capabilities and succession required for execution of the strategy and long-term success of Sun Life and provides leadership in the vision, purpose, governing principles, risk management, and regulatory compliance, consistent with Sun Life’s risk appetite and culture.

 Position description: Chief Executive Officer

The mission of the Board of Directors is to be a strategic asset of the organization measured by the effective execution of its overall stewardship role and the contribution the Directors make – individually and collectively – to the long-term success of the enterprise.

 Charter of the Board of Directors

For issues that require in-depth review, the Board of Directors delegates the responsibility to Board Committees.

Here is a brief summary of some of the key responsibilities of the Board Committees.

Audit Committee

Barbara G. Stymiest (Chair)
Deepak Chopra
Stephanie L. Coyles
Scott F. Powers

The Audit Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in overseeing the integrity of financial statements and related information provided to shareholders and others, compliance with financial regulatory requirements, adequacy and effectiveness of the internal controls implemented and maintained by management, and assessing the qualifications, independence and performance of the external auditor. 

 Charter of the Audit Committee

Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee

Scott F. Powers (Chair)
Deepak Chopra
Stephanie L. Coyles
James M. Peck

The Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in: reviewing and monitoring the Company’s Investment Plan and investment performance; overseeing investment practices, procedures and controls related to the management of the general fund investment portfolio and the Company’s asset management businesses; and reviewing and approving transactions, either separately or jointly with the Risk Committee, where the acquisition of individual investments for the general account would, on their own, exceed certain limits or ranges in the Investment and Credit Risk Management Policy. The Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee is responsible for developing effective corporate governance guidelines and processes including policies and processes to sustain ethical behaviour, and developing processes to assess the effectiveness of the Board and its committees. The Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee also oversees compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the identification and management of regulatory risk.

 Charter of the Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee

Management Resources Committee

M. Marianne Harris (Chair)
Martin J.G. Glynn
Ashok K. Gupta
David H. Y. Ho
James M. Peck

The Management Resources Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in ensuring we have the leadership resources for succession of senior executive positions and programs to effectively attract, retain, develop and reward executives for achieving our strategic objectives. The Management Resources Committee reviews the design, approval and governance of material incentive programs to align business objectives and to ensure that these incentive programs do not encourage excessive risk taking, and reviews the implications of key enterprise risks, including human resources risks, on compensation design and human resources practices. In addition, the Management Resources Committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Board with respect to compensation matters, including the remuneration of executives who have a material impact on the risk exposure of the Company.

 Charter of the Management Resources Committee

Risk Committee

Ashok K. Gupta (Chair)
Martin J.G. Glynn
M. Marianne Harris
David H. Y. Ho
Barbara G. Stymiest

The Risk Committee is responsible for assisting the Board with oversight of the management of current and emerging risks enterprise-wide. This includes ensuring that management has appropriate policies in place, that there are processes and controls designed to identify and effectively manage the significant risks to which the Company is exposed and that there is sufficient capital to underpin those risks. The Risk Committee regularly monitors the Company’s risk profile to ensure it is within the agreed risk appetite and that the Company’s capital position is in compliance with regulatory capital requirements. The Risk Committee monitors and recommends to the Board for approval, the specific risk limits allocated to the businesses and the annual Capital Plan. The Risk Committee meets with senior business and functional leaders who have first-hand knowledge of risks and the risk management programs, oversees the effectiveness of the risk management function, and obtains reports from Internal Audit on the effectiveness of controls within the business and risk function. It reviews and approves all risk management policies and reviews compliance with those policies. In addition, where the Board has allocated oversight of specific risk management programs to other committees of the Board, the Risk Committee is tasked with providing the Board with an integrated view of the oversight of all risk management programs across all Board committees.

 Charter of the Risk Committee

Contact the Board of Directors

To contact the Board of Directors, send an email to boarddirectors@sunlife.com.