Equitable Life announces record earnings for 2016

by David Keelaghan15 Feb 2017
Equitable Life of Canada has released its earnings results for what was a record-breaking year in 2016.

The insurer's net income of $80 million represents a climb of 49% from last year’s $53.8 million.
In addition, 2016 saw premiums rise to $1.1 billion, with deposits reaching $3.7 billion in assets under administration – both all-time highs for the company.

Following the release, Equitable Life of Canada President and CEO, Ronald Beettam identified how the company had excelled over the past 12 months.

“Growth in 2016, which exceeded our forecasts, was bolstered by record sales across all lines of business,” he says. “Our growth in sales has been driven by our ability to implement our strategic plan, placing a priority on products, service and execution. Our net income and financial strength are supported by strong investment performance and excellent sales."

The impressive results stretched right across Equitable’s Individual, Group and Savings & Retirement businesses. Individual sales led the way with a total of $93 million – an increase of 60% over 2015. Group sales were also strong at $66.2 million, representing a 51% increase on 2015. Savings and Retirement also experienced record growth in both the segregated fund and payout annuity markets, reaching $278 million compared to $230 million in 2015, a 21% increase.

For Individual life insurance products, changes mandated by Ottawa was another driving force in 2016 for the firm, as Beettam outlines.

“Individual sales were very strong in 2016 primarily due to a large increase in traditional participating whole life and universal life insurance sales fueled by the policyholder taxation legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2017,” he says.

The company also maintained a strong capital position, reporting a Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements (MCCSR) ratio of 226%. Policyholders' equity increased by 16% to $580 million, further emphasising the firm’s financial stability.

According to the Equitable head, the success of the last year can be attributed to years of careful planning to reposition its business.

“We redefined our strategic focus in 2011,” he says. “Since then, we have delivered against the objectives we set as part of that process and it has served the organization and its policyholders well. We will maintain our focus on the same priorities – financial strength, increasing market share, enhanced product offerings, technology, efficiency and engaged employees – heading into the future.”

Related stories:
Manulife and Great-West Life announce 2016 earnings
Forgotten insurance plan perfect for children, says former RBC advisor