Smokers can sometimes pay twice as much as non-smokers for life insurance because of the correlation with more health problems.

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Manulife’s Canadian operations are headquartered in Waterloo. The company employs about 3,800 people in offices in Waterloo and Kitchener

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Talking about life insurance may be difficult, but needs to be done: advisers

By Craig Wong


OTTAWA – Talking about life insurance can be uncomfortable because it means contemplating what happens if you die, so Rob Knight has a trick when discussing the topic.

Knight, an investment adviser and director, private client group, with HollisWealth in Cambridge, Ont., asks clients to imagine what would happen if they died yesterday.

“Since they are alive today, they don’t worry about it as much,” he says.

But despite the discomfort in talking about it, Knight says insurance can play an important role in your financial plan.

If your death isn’t going to affect anyone financially, then you probably don’t need life insurance. But if it will, then you need to start thinking about how you can use insurance to protect your loved ones.

In determining how much life insurance, Knight says you need to consider what you owe and what you may want to replace in terms of income for those that remain.

If you’re a high-income earner and the sole breadwinner in your family, then you may need to consider more than if that’s not the case.

“The question that I ask clients is, ‘How much of this income do you want if something happens to person A?”’ Knight said.

“It is sometimes a gut answer and other times it is pure math.”

Jeff Hull, a senior financial adviser at Manulife Securities, said it is important to understand the purpose of the insurance.

“For a young family with a big mortgage, that could be safety and security as their prime objective or goal, and if they were to lose their breadwinner they would be destitute,” Hull said.

“For someone later in life, it could be an estate planning purpose to buying life insurance to leave a legacy for a cherished beneficiary or to donate to charity or to cover income tax at death.”

Life insurance can take different forms.

With term life insurance, you’re covered for a set period of time, often 10 or 20 years. Depending on your age, term policies can often be renewed until you reach a certain age. Permanent life insurance continues until your death.

Hull said most people tend toward term insurance because it can appear to be cheaper, but permanent insurance policies offer some advantages.

Most permanent or whole life insurance policies have a savings component that grows as the years pass.

“It might be a little more expensive up front, but over time as you build the savings component into it, over time there is a potential of having that insurance policy pay for itself with the savings that are built up,” he said.

It is also important to regularly review your life insurance because your needs will change as your own personal circumstance evolve.

Marriage, the birth of children, the purchase of major assets such as a home are key points when you will want to be sure to review how your life insurance fits within your financial plan.

“You don’t necessarily have to change your policy, but it is good to revisit it, just to make sure the plan and the purpose and the need as to why it was purchased still exist and whether it has to be upgraded or downgraded,” Hull said.


Magic Johnson adds life insurance co. to empire

Kaja Whitehouse, USAToday

Retired basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson just added a $14.5 billion life insurance company to his growing business and sports empire, Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE).

On Tuesday, MJE, which Johnson founded in 1987, said it completed its planned acquisition for a “majority, controlling interest” in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, which manages $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance and other financial products.

MJE acquired a roughly 60% in EquiTrust from Guggenheim Partners, the New York-based financial giant that bought EquiTrust in 2011. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Guggeheim no longer owns a stake in the insurance company, said Paul Miller, COO at EquiTrust.

MJE announced plans to buy a stake in EquiTrust in January 2014. Miller attributed the delay in closing the transaction to the “legal and regulatory” requirements.

Over the years, Johnson has amassed a small empire of investments in sports teams, entertainment assets, restaurants and other businesses through MJE. But the purchase of EquiTrust marks the former Los Angeles Lakers point guard’s first big push into the financial services sector.

The purchase could lead Johnson to speak more on financial literacy education, acting as a kind of spokesperson for his new company.

“We believe financial literacy relative to estate and retirement planning is integral to the community,” said MJE spokewoman Christina Francis. “A well-capitalized company like EquiTrust gives us the platform to accomplish that objective. The company can promote financial literacy in the minority community by emphasizing the importance of life insurance for estate planning and annuities for retirement planning,” she said.

MJE’s portfolio also includes:

*A stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team

*An investment in Hero Ventures, the company behind The Marvel Experience, a theme-park attraction featuring Marvel’s famous heroes and villains

*A stake in the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Association team

*The Comcast channel ASPiRE, which celebrates the African-American experience

*An investment in Vibe Holdings, a New York-based magazine and television company that focuses on the urban market.

Under MJE’s ownership, Guggenheim will continue to manage money for EquiTrust, MJE said. Miller said the company’s management team will remain the same under the new ownership and that say-to-day operations “will remain largely unchanged.”

Johnson has done business with Guggeheim before, including joining the investment firm in the record $2 billion deal to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team in 2012.

Mary Forrest Becomes First Female Executive to lead Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association Board of Directors

Source: TD Waterhouse

Mary Forrest, President and CEO of Munich Re North America (Life) has been elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). In this role, Ms. Forrest becomes the first female executive to lead the national association representing Canada’s life and health insurance sector. She succeeds outgoing Chair of the Board, Donald Guloien, President and CEO of Manulife.

Ms. Forrest oversees the two largest Life reinsurance business units within the Munich Re Group. She is responsible for Munich Re’s Life and Health reinsurance operations in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The North American organization has over 400 employees, located in Canada and the United States.

“CLHIA member companies employ 155,000 people who are focused on the financial security of the vast majority of Canadians, and I’m honoured to play a leadership role in such a vital industry,” said Ms. Forrest. “Under Donald Guloien’s leadership, the CLHIA Board oversaw and advanced many important initiatives for the industry and Canadians, and I look forward to continuing this momentum.”

“Mary has distinguished herself as a committed champion of the life and health insurance industry,” said Frank Swedlove, President and CEO of CLHIA. “We look forward to her leadership and guidance.”

Prior to being named Chair of the Board of CLHIA, Ms. Forrest was Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Relations, as well as member of the Standing Committee on Resources, the Nominating Committee, and Committee on Reinsurance.

Ms. Forrest also contributes globally to the Munich Re Group through her Board leadership; Mary is the past Chairman of the Atlanta based Munich American Reassurance Company Board and a past Director of the Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada and Temple Insurance Company Boards.

About Munich ReMunich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2014, the Group – which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof – achieved a profit of €3.2bn on premium income of over €48bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 43,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €27bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Its primary insurance operations are concentrated mainly in the ERGO Insurance Group, one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2014, ERGO posted premium income of €18bn. In international healthcare business, Munich Re pools its insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as related services, under the Munich Health brand. Munich Re’s global investments amounting to €227bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.

DisclaimerThis press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Munich Re Canada (Life)

Media Relations Toronto, Francois Chartres, Tel.: +1 (416) 359-3554

Sun Life acquiring real estate investment manager Bentall Kennedy for $560M

TORONTO – Sun Life Financial Inc. is acquiring real estate investment manager Bentall Kennedy Group for $560 million.

Bentall Kennedy, with some $27 billion of assets under management, operates in both Canada and the United States where it provides specialized real estate investment management and services, including property management and leasing.

Sun Life says the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and is expected to immediately add to earnings.

Bentall Kennedy will become a unit of Sun Life Investment Management, with the two firms combining their real estate investment management teams.

However, Bentall Kennedy will retain its brand name and be Sun Life’s exclusive real estate investment management platform. Together they will $47 billion in assets under management, serving more than 550 institutional clients and investors.

Sun Life (TSX:SLF) says the deal is part of its strategy to broaden its asset management by expanding and diversifying the capabilities of Sun Life Investment Management, which provides investment services to third parties and manages Sun Life’s general account.

Bentall Kennedy’s institutional shareholders, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), have both approved the transaction and will continue to be key clients of Bentall Kennedy under Sun Life’s ownership, the companies said.


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