Sun Life Hires Qatar Foundation’s Bang for Asset Management

May 28, 2014 12:38 pm ET

(Updates with Bang’s comments in sixth paragraph, hiring plans in seventh.)

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sun Life Financial Inc., Canada’s third-largest life insurer, hired Carl Bang from the Qatar Foundation Endowment to help lead a push into overseeing funds for pension plans and institutional investors.

Bang, 52, joined as president of the C$650 million ($598 million) third-party asset-management unit on May 20 from the investment arm of the state-controlled Qatar Foundation, where he was chief investment officer, according to a statement today from the Toronto-based company. He’ll report to Steve Peacher, Sun Life’s top investment executive, and focus on strategy, client relationships and operations.

“Carl will play a strategic leadership role as we grow our new business,” Peacher said in the statement. “His industry insight and strong experience will help drive our Canadian operations.”

Insurers including Sun Life and Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest, have added third-party management as they scale back from capital-intensive products such as variable annuities. Sun Life Investment Management was started this year.

The third-party investment management arm has three pooled funds, with the largest including C$300 million of commercial space in major Canadian cities. The second-largest, at C$200 million, is the portfolio of mortgages tied to offices, malls, factories and apartments. The third fund is C$150 million of private fixed income.

State Street

“I envision this being a very small but empowered team,” Bang said by phone from Toronto. “There’s a huge amount of strength and reach that Sun Life has already in Canada and we intend to collaborate and leverage the strength.”

Bang said he expects to add senior-level positions in the next year as the funds expand and acquire more private assets, including infrastructure. They may also seek investments in the U.S., said Bang, who sees the unit as a “multi-billion dollar” operation.

Before his role at the Qatar Foundation, where he was based in Doha for three years, Bang was chief executive officer of State Street Global Advisors in Paris. Bang has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Sun Life Financial manages a total of C$671 billion in assets, including funds used to back its liabilities, according to the statement. The Qatar Foundation didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.