Sun Life Philippines has established a wealth management company to serve institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals seeking to increase their profits.

Sun Life Philippines chief executive officer and country head Benedict Sison said in a statement that the company has officially entered the trust business with the establishment of Sun Life Investment Management and Trust Corp. (SLIMTC).

“We saw an opportunity to expand our business amid the continuous growth and evolution of investment products sought by both individual and institutional investors in the country,” Sison said.

At the helm of SLIMTC is Michael Gerard Enriquez, who has been appointed as president and chief investment officer following a nine-year stint as Sun Life Philippines’ head of investments.

Sun Life, according to Enriquez, wants to diversify its client base by entering the growing institutional and retirement funds market.

“We are strong in capturing retail but hardly tapping the growing institutional segment,” Enriquez said. “Several institutions have approached Sun Life in the past, but we didn’t have the platform to service them.”

Only 10% of Sun Life Asset Management Co. Inc.’s (SLAMCI) total investment portfolio is held by institutions.

According to SLIMTC data, the institutional channel in the country is worth approximately P3.7 trillion. P1.9 trillion of that amount is contestable to external managers, with P1.6 trillion enabled by a trust license.

“We are missing out a huge potential market,” Enriquez admitted. “The market is growing at 10.8 percent per annum,” Enriquez said.

To enable SLIMTC, Enriquez said they will leverage on the strong leadership position of the company’s parent firm, Sun Life of Canada.

SLIMTC was established to provide multi-strategy local and global portfolio management services and deliver superior risk-adjusted returns for both individual and institutional investors in the Philippines, Enriquez said.

“There is a gap in the trust solutions and services being offered in the country. SLIMTC was envisioned to fill this gap by providing more relevant investment solutions,” Enriquez said.

“Moreover, we will also provide the needed education that will empower investors to take on more sophisticated financial instruments,” he added.

Sun Life’s businesses in the Philippines now include life insurance through Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc., bancassurance through Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc., and asset management through SLAMCI.