Sun Life Financial partners with Plug and Play Tech Centre – a first for CDN insurers


TORONTO, July 27, 2016 /CNW/ – Sun Life Financial is making digital waves as the first Canadian insurance company to partner with Plug and Play Tech Center, a U.S.-based global technology accelerator that connects top start-ups from around the world to corporations and investors. This new arrangement will help position Sun Life Financial at the helm of insurance industry innovation and closely follows a partnership struck with MaRS Discovery District, one of North America’s largest urban innovation hubs.

“At Sun Life, we know there is so much more we can do for our Clients in a digitally-driven world,” said Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial. “Inserting ourselves into the stream with Plug and Play will help us experiment, and will speed up the delivery of cutting-edge solutions for Clients.”

Plug and Play runs 12 week industry-specific programs throughout the year and connects a select group of start-ups from around the world with its corporate partners. As part of the insurance vertical program, Sun Life Financial, along with other financial institutions, will work with start-ups by providing mentorship and business development support to help them develop a working prototype. At the end of the 12 week program, the start-ups pitch their ideas to investors and insurance executives at Plug and Play’s EXPO.

“This program is geared to help companies elevate the way they approach their business, creating opportunities that can define their sector,” said Saeed Amidi, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Plug and Play. “We are thrilled to be working with Sun Life, a forward-thinking, innovation-focused organziation. We look forward to seeing the amazing outcomes from this 12 week program.”

Sun Life Financial will be focusing on the areas of Insurance, Health, IoT (Internet of Things), Media & Mobile and Fintech & Security, with leaders from different streams participating. The program is slated to begin at the end of August.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, includingCanada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia,Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $861 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Plug and Play Tech Center
Plug and Play Tech Center is the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture fund. Since inception in 2006, the program has expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 350 start-ups and 300 corporate partners – it is the ultimate start-up ecosystem. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in the community have raised over $3.5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information visit

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

For further information:

Media Relations Contact:
Gannon Loftus
Manager, Media & PR
Corporate Communications
T. 416-979-6345

Manulife Vitality in Canada giving away Garmin devices

Manulife Vitality in Canada giving away Garmin devices

Press Release:

OLATHE, KS AND WATERLOO, ON, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ – Manulife and Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., today announced that Garmin International is joining the Manulife Vitality program in Canada as a rewards provider. The Manulife Vitality program rewards members for making healthy choices, being active and is scheduled to be launched later this year.

Manulife will be offering members of the Manulife Vitality program a free Garmin vívofit 3 wearable activity device when they register for the Manulife Vitality program as part of select new life insurance policies. The Garmin vívofit 3 is a daily activity tracker with the capability of capturing activity data from a broad range of activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming and elliptical training.

“We are extremely excited to be selected as the wearable technology provider to Manulife Vitality members,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “Manulife’s innovative new insurance program recognizes the important role that wearable technology can play to encourage healthier, more active lifestyles.”

Members of the Manulife Vitality program earn Vitality Points when they complete healthy living activities like health education courses, exercising, getting an annual health screening, or even a flu shot. The number of Vitality Points a member accumulates over the course of a year determines their program status level. The greater the status that the member attains in the Manulife Vitality program the more they can enjoy the program rewards and benefits.

“The Garmin wearable technology fits in nicely with the Manulife Vitality program in Canada,” said Marianne Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “The wearable device helps members keep track of their progress and motivate them to achieve their health and wellness goals. Through a seamless connection with Manulife Vitality a member can automatically be recognized for meeting daily fitness goals, which is exactly what this program is all about.”

Alan Pollard, CEO of The Vitality Group, commented, “Vitality research shows that wearable technology is effective when paired with the right incentives. Combining the features of a free Garmin device with Vitality incentives is a strong motivator to help people get active and improve their health.”

Manulife’s life insurance offer is for individual clients, and the Company continues to investigate opportunities to bring the Vitality program through other products.

For more information, please go to:

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end ofMarch 2016, we had $904 billion (US$697 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.9 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. Follow Manulife on Twitter@ManulifeNews or visit or

About Garmin
Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin and vívofit are registered trademarks; and Move IQ and Garmin Connect are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Smoking, drinking could cost an unhealthy guy more than $8.6 million over lifetime

Smoking, drinking could cost an unhealthy guy more than $8.6 million over lifetime

Hamilton Spectator

Hey guys, you may want to think twice before you reach for that bottle of beer, the hamburger and French fries and an after-dinner smoke. It’s not only bad for your health, but also your wallet.

Smoking, drinking and being overweight could cost a very unhealthy guy more than $8.6 million over his lifetime — if you take into account the cost of alcohol and cigarettes and high life insurance premiums for drinkers and smokers. That’s according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, a B.C. non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of men’s health.

“This is eye-opening news for guys who might not consider the true costs of their habits,” said foundation president Wayne Hartrick.

“The good news is that by making small lifestyle changes, your body and wallet will thank you.”

“We want to start a men’s health movement in Canada by making men aware of all the good reasons they should be more proactive about their health, including how it impacts their wallets,” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, founder of the foundation. “It’s important for men to know about preventive strategies, nutrition and how to listen to one’s body.”

The study, conducted by Vancouver-based H. Krueger & Associates, did some population data number-crunching, factoring in the price of alcohol, cigarettes and insurance premiums, and considered three prototype men, who drank, smoked and were overweight.

Low-Risk Joe, the first prototype, smokes five cigarettes a day, drinks one alcoholic drink per day and is 6 feet tall and 258 pounds, with a body mass or BMI of 35.

The second is Medium-Risk Joe, who smokes 20 cigarettes a day, consumes three alcoholic drinks per day, and is 6 feet tall and 295 pounds with a BMI of 40.

The third prototype is High-Risk Joe, who smokes 40 cigarettes a day; consumes five alcoholic drinks daily, and is 6 feet tall, weighing 331 pounds, with a BMI of 45.

What they found wasn’t surprising, but it is worth noting. The first prototype, Low-Risk Joe, could save $275,000 over his lifetime if he stopped smoking and drinking and avoided the high life insurance premiums associated with those behaviours, according to the study. The lost investment potential of that money if he had invested it, between the ages of 30 and 75, is $1.7 million, the study suggests.

Both costs and lost investment potential grow the more you drink, eat and smoke. Medium-Risk Joe could save $628,000 over his lifetime, money that could grow to $3.2 million if invested. High-Risk Joe could save $1.1 million over his lifetime, with an investment potential of an astounding $8.6 million.

The study also points out that smoking, alcohol use and excess weight in middle-aged men cost the Canadian economy $20.3 billion in treatment costs, disability and premature mortality.

Smoking cigarettes cost men an average of 10 years of their life, while being obese costs 5.8 years of life, and alcohol costs 7.9 years of life.

Torstar News Service

Manulife to begin offering life insurance to HIV-positive Canadians

TORONTO — Manulife has started to offer life insurance for people who are HIV-positive, a first for a Canadian company, the insurer said Friday.

The company (TSX:MFC) said it made the decision after it reviewed the latest mortality and long-term survival rates of HIV-positive Canadians and gained a better perspective on individual risk profiles.

“Manulife was the first insurer to underwrite people with diabetes, and we are continuing in that tradition by making life insurance a possibility for the more than 75,000 Canadians who have tested HIV-positive,” Manulife Canada chief executive Marianne Harrison said.

“This is the result of work completed by our research and innovation team and working closely with our colleagues in the United States at John Hancock.”

The company said applicants who have tested HIV-positive, are between the ages of 30 and 65, and meet certain criteria, can apply for individual life insurance for up to $2 million.

A revolution in drug treatments in recent years has changed an HIV-positive diagnosis from one of a quick death sentence to a chronic disease that can be managed with proper medication.

A report last year by the Canadian Observational Cohort Collaboration said the overall life expectancy of Canadians undergoing antiretroviral treatment for the AIDS-causing virus had climbed to 65 years.

Gary Lacasse, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society, said he wanted to see the specifics of what Manulife is offering, but called it good news.

“If they look at the scientific data it’s a chronic disease now,” he said. “It’s not a deadly disease.

“We hope that the rest of the industry will follow suit.”


Manulife announces its plan to implement blockchain technology at its US arm for wealth management operations.

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Great-West Lifeco announces CEO succession plan for subsidiary Irish Life

Great-West Lifeco Inc. today announced that Bill Kyle, Chief Executive Officer of subsidiary Irish Life Group Limited, will retire in mid 2016 following a 37-year career with the Great-West Lifeco organization, including the last three years as CEO of Irish Life.

In conjunction with Mr. Kyle’s upcoming retirement, the company announced that David Harney, currently Managing Director, Corporate Business will be appointed to the role of CEO of Irish Life effective June 30, 2016.

“Under Bill’s leadership over the past three years, Irish Life has successfully integrated the former Canada Life business in Ireland, strengthened its customer focus, repositioned the Irish Life brand, introduced innovative products in the Irish market and grown market share,” said Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great-West Lifeco.

Mr. Harney, who has been associated with Irish Life for 30 years, holds a Master of Science in Financial Maths degree from Dublin City University, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries of Ireland. Mr. Harney has held a wide variety of roles with increasing responsibility in the sales, marketing, actuarial, and finance businesses at Irish Life. He was appointed to his current role in 2009.

About Irish Life
Established in 1939, Irish Life is Ireland’s leading life, investment and pension company and has been part of the Great-West Lifeco group of companies since July 2013.

About Great-West Lifeco
Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO) is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. Great-West Lifeco has operations inCanada, the United States, Europe and Asia through Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life, Irish Life, Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments. Great-West Lifeco and its companies have over Cdn $1.2 trillion* in consolidated assets under administration and are members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies.

* Assets as of December 31, 2015

SOURCE Great-West Lifeco Inc.

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