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
Chairman,
Sun Life Financial Inc.

Dean A. Connor
President &
Chief Executive Officer,
Sun Life Financial Inc.

Stephanie L. Coyles
Corporate Director

Martin J. G. Glynn
Corporate Director

Ashok K. Gupta
Corporate Director

M. Marianne Harris
Corporate Director

Sara Grootwassink Lewis, CPA, CFA
Corporate Director

James M. Peck
Corporate Director

Scott F. Powers
Corporate Director

Hugh D. Segal, OC, OONT, CD
Corporate Director

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 Chief Executive Officer, Dean A. Connor, 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:

Chairman of the Board

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

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 Chairman 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

Sara Grootwassink Lewis (Chair)
Stephanie L. Coyles
Scott F. Powers
Hugh D. Segal
Barbara G. Stymiest

The Audit Committee supports the Board has oversight responsibilities relating to:

  • Integrity of financial statements and related information provided to shareholders and others
  • Compliance with financial regulatory requirements
  • Adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control environment
  • Qualifications, independence and performance of the external auditor
  • Actuarial, finance and internal audit functions and their independence, and assessing the effectiveness of the heads of each function

 Charter of the Audit Committee

Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee

Scott F. Powers (Chair)
Stephanie L. Coyles
Sara Grootwassink Lewis
Hugh D. Segal

The Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee assists the Board by:

  • Developing effective corporate governance guidelines and processes
  • Developing processes to assess the effectiveness of the Board and its Committees and the contributions of individual directors, including the Chairman of the Board and the committee chairs
  • Overseeing the Director Recruitment Guidelines
  • Identifying individuals with the competencies, skills and qualifications determined by the Board to be the best suited to complement the current Board composition, while considering the level of diversity on the Board, and recommending individuals for nomination at the annual meeting
  • Overseeing investment practices, performance, procedures and controls related to the management of the general fund portfolio
  • Reviewing and monitoring the annual Investment Plan
  • Reviewing and approving transactions, either separately or jointly with the Risk Committee
  • Overseeing compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the identification and management of compliance risk
  • Meeting with the senior business and functional leaders who have first-line responsibility for compliance and compliance management programs, overseeing the effectiveness of the second-line compliance function and obtaining reports from Internal Audit and other independent review functions on the effectiveness of the compliance function, as needed
  • Overseeing policies and procedures to sustain ethical behaviour

 Charter of the Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee

Management Resources Committee

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

The Management Resources Committee’s primary functions are to assist the Board with its oversight role by:

  • Providing input to the Board on succession plans for the position of President & CEO and reviewing succession plans for other senior management positions, with the intent of ensuring timely and effective continuity of leadership
  • Reviewing the development of candidates for senior management positions, including the review of major changes in the overall organizational structure that impact senior management roles
  • Establishing and overseeing processes for evaluating the performance of the CEO and reviewing the CEO’s assessment of the performance of his or her direct reports
  • Reviewing and recommending to the Board appropriate remuneration for the CEO and other senior management employees, corporate Executive Vice-Presidents, Presidents of the business groups and control function leaders
  • Promoting talent development across the organization
  • Reviewing the employee value proposition to ensure there is sufficient focus on employee engagement and company culture
  • Reviewing and recommending to the Board appropriate compensation policies, incentive compensation design and operation, and executive compensation practices
  • Overseeing worldwide governance for employee pension plans and employee and advisor savings and retirement plans sponsored by subsidiary companies

 Charter of the Management Resources Committee

Risk Committee

Barbara G. Stymiest (Chair)
Martin J.G. Glynn
Ashok K. Gupta
M. Marianne Harris
James M. Peck

The Risk Committee assists the Board by:

  • Providing oversight of the management of current and emerging risks enterprise-wide, and of the risk management function to ensure that management has in place policies, processes and controls designed to identify and effectively manage the significant risks to which Sun Life is exposed and has sufficient capital to underpin those risks
  • Regularly monitoring that the risk profile is within the agreed risk appetite of Sun Life and that Sun Life’s capital exceeds regulatory capital requirements; and monitoring and recommending to the Board for approval, the annual Capital Plan
  • Regularly monitoring the liquidity position of Sun Life and that it is within the agreed upon risk appetite
  • Overseeing the effectiveness of the risk management function and obtaining reports from Internal Audit on the effectiveness of risk controls within the business and risk function
  • Providing oversight of the inherent and residual risks of potential changes to Sun Life’s strategy and material transactions that are being proposed by Sun Life
  • Overseeing risk management activities of our subsidiaries and joint ventures under Sun Life management control and risk posed to Sun Life through its joint ventures  
  • Reviewing and approving all risk management policies and reviewing compliance with those policies
  • Providing the Board with an integrated view of oversight of all risk management programs across all Board Committees, where the Board has allocated oversight of specific risk management programs to other Board Committees
  • Meeting with the senior business and functional leaders who have first hand knowledge of risks and the risk management programs

 Charter of the Risk Committee

Contact the Board of Directors

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