The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) today announced it significantly expanded its voluntary benefits sales team with the appointment of 17 dedicated Voluntary Benefits Practice Leaders (VPL) affiliated with 34 key employee benefits group offices throughout the United States. The announcement reflects the leading financial services company’s continued commitment to increasing sales in its employee benefits business and expanding its presence in the growing voluntary benefits segment. Coming to Sun Life with significant experience in the voluntary industry, the VPL’s will be responsible for supporting Sun Life’s employee benefits representatives. Eight of the 17 new hires will cover East Coast territories, reporting to Sun Life Regional Vice President Jay Hutchins, while nine will be based on the West Coast, reporting to Sun Life Regional Vice President Marc Lower. Sun Life recently appointed both Hutchins and Lower, who came to Sun Life from Colonial Life and ING, respectively, as dedicated regional vice presidents (RVPs) under the voluntary benefits division led by Sun Life’s Voluntary Benefits Vice President Bob Klein. “This talented group of individuals represent some of the most knowledgeable minds in the industry and will provide us with the experience, leadership and skills that will enable us to build a world-class value proposition in voluntary benefits,” said Klein. “The combined expertise of this team will help us to expand our capabilities and create a strong experience for our customers and brokers and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to our team.” Voluntary benefits are offered in the workplace, but are paid for entirely by the employee. According to LIMRA, voluntary benefits accounted for about a third of the total benefits market (both employer and employee-paid benefits) by in-force premium. Sun Life last year announced a significant investment in its voluntary benefits business in order to become a leader in both traditional group insurance and voluntary benefits in the United States.