As variable annuity sales slumped in 2009, the U.S. division of Sun Life Financial sharply increased sales of the product and the firm said it plans to take advantage of market dislocation in 2010.

Jeffrey Grant, an executive vice president and director of sales for Sun Life Financial Distributors, Inc., in Boston said that he expects to be a “top-five player” by the end of 2011. Sun Life was the ninth-biggest seller of new variable annuities in the third quarter, according to the Morningstar Annuity Research Center, jumping six spots from the previous quarter. Its variable annuity assets rose 16% during the third quarter. Its $1.08 billion in third-quarter variable annuity sales translated into a 3.5% market share, according to Morningstar.

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