Sun Life Financial chief executive gets $8 million in 2012 annual compensation

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TORONTO – The chief executive at Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF) earned nearly $8 million in total compensation last year, his first full year in the top job, according to information filed Monday.

In addition to $950,000 of annual salary, Sun Life president and CEO Dean Connor was awarded shares worth about $2.375 million, a similar amount in options, a $2-million bonus plus other benefits.

His total compensation package was up from $5.12 million in 2011 including $743,577 in salary, $1.65 million in shares, a similar amount in options and a $500,000 bonus, plus perquisites, according to information filed Monday with regulators.

The value of Connor’s pension for 2012 was about $262,000, down from $575,000 in 2011 when he received a boost due to the raise in his annual salary he received with the promotion to CEO.

Connor officially became president and chief executive on Dec. 1, 2011. He had been chief operating officer before taking the top job.

The actual value of the equity portion of the package will be affected by the stock’s value when the shares are sold or the options are exercised.

Last year’s share awards were granted on Feb. 28, 2012 at $21.33 each. Since then Sun Life’s shares have traded as high as $30.03 last month. They were just below $28 at the end of last week.

The options awarded last year to Connor and other senior executives have an exercise price of $21.53, meaning the holders could buy the shares at that price and profit from the appreciation in value.

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