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Sun Life customer base in PH exceeds 5M

/ 05:26 AM January 17, 2020

Sun Life of Canada CEO Dean Connor

As Sun Life of Canada marks its 125th year of doing business in the Philippines this year, the insurance giant is building on a new milestone—it breached its target of building a five-million customer base in this market in 2019, one year ahead of target.

This cements the positioning of Sun Life Financial Philippines as the group’s crown jewel in Asia and globally, group chief executive officer Dean Connor said on Thursday.

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The five-million customer base built at end-2019 is significant because when the group targeted to hit this number by 2020 at end-2015, its customers numbered only 1.5 million. A five-million customer base approximates the base of some of the country’s big universal banks in a market where insurance penetration is much lower than banking penetration.

“Sun Life Philippines has done an excellent job in championing financial security and healthier lives across generations of Filipinos, said Connor, who is in town as part of the 125th anniversary celebration.

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This also suggests that 22.7 percent of Sun Life’s 22-million customer base in Asia comes from this market. Sun Life has been the country’s leading insurer in terms of premium income in the last nine years.

“Looking ahead, we will pursue success not just in hitting our financial targets or sustaining our leadership position but by deepening the quality of relationships we have with our clients,” said Sun Life Philippines chief executive officer Benedict Sison.

This means that after generating a critical mass as far as client base is concerned, Sun Life’s focus will not just be on new client acquisition but on bringing multiple products to each client.In an interview, Sison estimated that of the five million clients to date, two million were individual clients while three million were part of group insurance.

In terms of business mix, protection products represent a mix of traditional and variable unit-linked variable insurance.

To date, Sun Life is supported by an agency force of 20,000 people. Last year, Sison noted that Sun Life’s agency network grew by about 30 percent.

“To be the first insurer 125 years ago and the leading insurer today is a testament to our commitment to Filipinos through thick and thin, to a company culture focused on delivering for our clients over their lifetime, and to generations of employees and advisors who have led the evolution of the industry in the Philippines,” said Sun Life Asia president Leo Grepin.

This year, Sun Life expects to sustain a double-digit growth in business in the Philippines given a favorable outlook on the macroeconomy.

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