A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Sun Life) (Ontario, Canada) and Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (SLHIC) (Windsor, CT). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICR of “a-” of Independence Life & Annuity Company (ILAC) (Wilmington, DE) and the FSR of B++ (Good) and ICR of “bbb+” of Professional Insurance Company (Dallas, TX). A.M. Best also has affirmed the ICR of “a-” as well as all existing debt ratings of Sun Life Financial, Inc. (SLF) (Ontario, Canada). The outlook for the above ratings is stable. (See link below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
The rating affirmations reflect Sun Life’s strong business profile, with a top three market position in the Canadian life insurance market. Sun Life has maintained a historically diversified revenue stream from multiple regions, profitable operations in Canada, favorable risk-adjusted capitalization and well developed and fully integrated risk management framework. In addition, Sun Life has taken steps to reduce volatility in its operating results through the sale of two of its U.S. subsidiaries, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.) (SLUS) and Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (SLNY) to Delaware Life Holdings, LLC, a company owned by shareholders of Guggenheim Partners. The sale is anticipated to close beyond the end of the second quarter of 2013 and will include SLF’s U.S. annuity and certain life insurance business lines.
With this sale, Sun Life will be able to focus on its “four pillar” growth strategy, which in the United States is focused primarily on the employee benefits market as well as growing the organization's asset management businesses globally through MFS Investment Management. A.M. Best expects SLHIC will play a more important role in this strategy as the New York marketing arm for Sun Life in the United States.