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Dean Connor received Ivey Business Leader Award

  • Communications
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  • Nov 1, 2018
Dean Connor received Ivey Business Leader Award

Dean Connor, President and CEO of Sun Life Financial, was presented with the 2018 Ivey Business Leader Award on November 1 at a gala dinner in Toronto with Canada’s most prominent business leaders.

Connor, HBA ’78, is best known for his contributions to the financial industry and passion for enhancing the client experience.

“Dean Connor demonstrates the desire and commitment that help make an outstanding business leader,” said Ivey’s Acting Dean Mark Vandenbosch, HBA ’84. “I am happy to recognize and celebrate Dean’s tremendous success. He has not shied away from setting ambitious goals for Sun Life to grow and achieve financial performance targets.”

Connor serves on the Board of the Business Council of Canada and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, as a Trustee for the University Health Network in Toronto, and a member of the Ivey Advisory Board and the Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council. He is actively involved in the United Way, and chaired its $105 million 2017 campaign for Toronto and York Region, as well as the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s $100 million Where Incredible Happens campaign.

Connor was appointed CEO of Sun Life in December 2011 and was named Top New CEO for 2014 by Canadian Business. He was recently awarded Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year® for 2017.

Prior to Sun Life, he spent 28 years at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, where he rose to President for the Americas.

“Dean’s leadership and vision set Sun Life on a transformative journey with client-focused digital innovation, accelerated growth in Asia, and new wealth and asset management businesses, making it the industry leader it is today,” said Mark Whitmore, MBA ’91, Co-chair, Ivey Business Leader Award. “He serves as an inspiration for the Canadian business community and we are proud to call him one of our own here at Ivey.”

Whitmore and Darin Deschamps, HBA ’87, jointly chair the Ivey Business Leader Award that was presented at the black-tie dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. Proceeds from the annual event support HBA and MBA student awards through the Ivey Fund Scholars program.

Connor joins an esteemed list of past Ivey Business Leader Award recipients demonstrating leadership in both business and their communities. Past recipients of the award include:

  • 2017: Linda Hasenfratz, President and CEO, Linamar
  • 2016: Gord Nixon, Former President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada
  • 2015: Jeff Orr, President and CEO, Power Financial Corporation
  • 2014: Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chair, Hudson’s Bay Company
  • 2013: George Cope, CEO Bell Canada
  • 2012: Rick George, Former CEO Suncor Inc.
  • 2011: Ed Clark, Group President and CEO of TD Bank Group (TD)  
  • 2010: Peter Munk, Founder and Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation
  • 2009: Richard J. Currie, Past Chairman, BCE Inc. and former President, Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited
  • 2008: Dominic D'Alessandro, President & CEO, Manulife Financial
  • 2007: Claude Lamoureux, President & CEO and Robert Bertram, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • 2006: Isadore Sharp, Chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels Inc.
  • 2005: Peter Godsoe, former Chairman and CEO, The Bank of Nova Scotia
  • 2002: Gwyn Morgan, President and CEO, EnCana Corporation
  • 2001: Harrison McCain, Chairman, McCain Foods Limited, and G. Wallace McCain, Chairman, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
  • 2000: Purdy Crawford, Chairman, AT&T Canada
  • 1999: Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, led by Prem Watsa, Chairman
  • 1998: Paul Desmarais, Chairman, Power Corporation of Canada
  • 1997: Frank Stronach, Chairman of the Board, Magna International Inc.
  • 1996: Jean C. Monty, President and CEO, Northern Telecom Limited
  • 1995: Jack Lawrence, Deputy Chairman, Nesbitt Burns Inc.
  • 1994: Robert Nourse, President and CEO, The Bombay Company Inc.
  • 1993: Cedric E. Ritchie, Chairman, The Bank of Nova Scotia
  • 1992: John C. Carroll, President and CEO, Molson Breweries
  • 1991: John M. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, IBM Canada Limited