In an effort to develop its wealth management arm, Sun Life Financial Inc., a Toronto-based insurance giant, announced Thursday it is established a proprietary mutual fund company in Canada.

The fund family, which will include a proprietary family of Canadian funds, is an effort to bring the investment capabilities of MFS Investment Management, Sun Life’s Boston-based asset management arm, to Canadian retail investors. MFS had over $195 billion of assets under management as of March 31.

"We are expanding our wealth business in Canada by bringing more choices and innovative products to retail investors," said Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Financial Canada and president of Sun Life Global Investments. "Combined with our life insurance options, Sun Life is uniquely positioned to provide broad-based wealth management and protection solutions for Canadians through our trusted advisors."

The fund family, which will be introduced in the fall, will be sold through Sun Life’s advisors and wholesale advisors, as well as added to the fund lineup for clients of the company's retirement services unit.

Sun Life, which had $426 billion in assets under management as of March 31, said the new funds will be added to the funds already available to Sun Life advisors through its strategic partnership with CI Investments.

"Establishing a mutual fund company is an important step in Sun Life's strategy to grow our wealth management business in Canada," Dougherty said. "It enhances the offerings of our advisors by providing them with an even broader suite of wealth products for our clients, along with Sun Life's industry-leading insurance products and services."

This story has been reprinted with permission from Financial Planning.

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