Sun Life Investment Management wants to expand its U.S. business with more real estate, private credit and infrastructure investment offerings, said Stephen Peacher, president.
"I think we can expand on our real estate capability," Mr. Peacher said in an interview, going beyond subsidiary Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) LP's core real estate approach to include global, core-plus and opportunistic strategies. Also, he said, "We're a big infrastructure lender, but we could be in infrastructure equity as a potential area. There are areas in private credit that we're not in yet."
Such investment expansion could be done, Mr. Peacher said, through hiring investment teams from other firms or by continuing Sun Life Investment Management's acquisition of money managers. Sun Life Investment is the Boston-based U.S. money management unit of Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto.
"I think it depends" how those capabilities are expanded, Mr. Peacher said. "In some areas, I think we could hire a person or small group of people and create the capability we want. In other cases, it'd be through acquisitions. I think we're flexible." But, he added, "the answer is definitely yes" as to whether Sun Life would like to do further acquisitions.
The acquisition of three firms in 2015 added Bentall Kennedy, active fixed-income manager Ryan Labs Asset Management and insurance asset manager Prime Advisors Inc. Sun Life Investment Management had $50 billion in worldwide AUM as of March 31, while Bentall Kennedy ran another $20 billion; Ryan Labs, $9 billion; and Prime, $18 billion. All assets are as of March 31. All figures in this story are in U.S. dollars.
(Sun Life Financial acquired MFS Investment Management in 1982, but that business is run separately from Sun Life Investment Management.)
While Mr. Peacher said Sun Life would like to add more private credit strategies, he said he's "really pleased" with how the firm's current private credit strategies have done in Canada.
"In 2014, we launched a (mid-duration) private credit fund and took $100 million in assets off our balance sheet and put it in this fund. Today we have three private credit funds, and that's based on institutional demand." The funds have durations of 2½ years, 6½ years and 10 years, and have a combined $2.5 billion in assets, mostly from pension funds.