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Dean Connor, president and CEO of Toronto-based Sun Life Financial Inc. was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year for 2017, the award program announced on Thursday.

Established in 1990, the award honours an executive in Canadian business who exemplifies integrity, insists upon excellence, earns the trust of others and has built a globally competitive organization.

In selecting Connor, the award’s advisory board cited Sun Life’s successful global business strategy under his leadership and vision, including its accelerated growth in seven Asian markets, the launch of new wealth and asset management businesses, and a number of acquisitions.

“I’d like to congratulate Dean and applaud the leadership he has provided to Sun Life,” says Bill Anderson, chairman of the board, Sun Life Financial, in a statement. “Dean’s passion and commitment to the company, its stakeholders and the communities in which we operate is apparent in everything he does. As CEO he has set a course to deliver strong and sustainable results and growth across our four business pillars, wrapped in a winning culture that’s focused on our clients.”

A dinner to honour Connor and will be held in Toronto on Feb. 22, 2018. Proceeds raised from the event support the nationwide Futures Fund Program, which provides scholarships to outstanding university students in business.

Connor serves on the board of directors of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, and is a member of the Business Council of Canada and the Ivey Business School advisory board. He is a trustee for the University Health Network in Toronto and chaired the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s Where Incredible Happens campaign. He is chairing the 2017 United Way Toronto and York Region campaign.

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