Sun Life of Canada (SLOC) is looking to increase its business with intermediaries as part of its res...
Sun Life of Canada (SLOC) is looking to increase its business with intermediaries as part of its restructuring exercise
The group, which only a few years ago had an in-house slogan about building up a direct sales force of 2,000 by the year 2000, is looking to alter its operations and reduce costs by the time it is demutualised in April 2000
The new SLOC will involve an expanded multi-channel distribution system to include salaried bancassurance sales advisers, commission-based adv-isers, franchise arrangements, e-trading and direct marketing and IFA services
There will also be a new model customer services communications centre which is to use multimedia technology to communicate more effectively with customers and sales staff
John Moulding, head of corporate affairs at SLOC, said: "Even if SLOC wasn't being demutualised these changes would still be implemented as a way of ensuring the company's competitiveness. Because we are demutualising it is all the more important these changes are put in place. By the time we come to the IPO, we want to be in the best possible shape, so we're starting the restructuring process now
SLOC's restructuring plans involve a reduction in head office and support roles over the next two years. The reduction in the number of staff, an estimated 500 from a total of more than 1,600, will be mostly achieved on a voluntary basis and through retirement programmes as well as natural turnover and redeployment. It is expected there will need to be a number of compulsory redundancies
Moulding said the company's administrative efficiency will be substantially improved through redesigning traditional account management processes and outsourcing much of its IT support capability. He said SLOC also planned to expand its product range while revamping other products in its bid strengthen its position in the UK market
The announcement of these changes coincided with SLOC receiving agreement from the High Court for separate plans to restructure the UK operations through a process known as subsidiarisation. The High Court hearing was part of the regulatory and legal approval process as the company progresses toward its planned demutualisation
SLOC expects to send eligible policy holders details of its demutualisation proposals this month and hold a special meeting for policyholders in December. Subject to the approval of its board, policyholders and regulatory bodies, the company expects to complete this process in the first half of 2000
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