Sun Life to cut 90 positions following loss

Mon Dec 5, 2011 3:40pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote) is cutting about 90 positions after weak market conditions sent the insurer to its first quarterly loss in two years.

Fifty of the positions are being cut from Sun Life's Canadian business unit, while 40 positions are at the corporate division, said spokesman Frank Switzer. Most of the jobs are be at management level.

"As part of doing business in today's economic climate, we've had to make some adjustments and decisions to find efficiencies to manage our costs effectively while we invest in other areas," he said.

He said other areas targeted for investment included technology and wealth management.

Sun Life is Canada's No. 3 insurer. It has substantial operations in the United States and Asia and employs about 15,000 in total, Switzer said.

The move comes as Dean Connor takes over as chief executive after longtime CEO Don Stewart stepped down at the end of November.

Weak stock markets and low bond yields sent Sun Life to an unexpected C$621 million ($612.97 million) loss in the third quarter.

The company's shares are down about 36 percent so far this year, and some analysts speculate it may cut its dividend if markets don't rebound soon. ($1 = 1.0131 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Cameron French)