Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

GWL buys J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services

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Great-West Lifeco's U.S. subsidiary, Great-West Financial, has completed its acquisition of the J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services large-market record-keeping business, which will substantially boost the Winnipeg company's presence in the U.S. corporate retirement-plan sector.

Terms of the deal, which was initially announced in April, were not disclosed.

It makes Great-West Financial's retirement organization the second-largest provider in the U.S. defined-contribution market with nearly seven million participants and will now be the record-keeper for more than US$400 billion in retirement-plan assets.

The business will add about 1,000 employees -- mostly in the Kansas City, Mo., area -- to the Winnipeg-based company's U.S. operations.

"This was very much a strategic transaction," Paul Mahon, GWL's chief executive officer, said in an interview. "It now positions us to have a significant presence in the large-corporation market. We were more active in the small- and mid-size company segment. This means we will be a significant player in all client segments."

Retirement-plan record-keepers are responsible for the general day-to-day retirement-plan operations and administration.

That includes determining when an employee becomes eligible to participate in the plan, calculating contribution amounts, maintaining plan records and providing employee notices, information and reports.

Mahon said by running such a massive record-keeping operation, it ensures the company's own portfolio of retirement products will be in the mix and available to the large corporate sector to which J.P. Morgan had catered.

Two weeks before the J.P,. Morgan deal was announced in April, GWL merged its retirement business with that of Putnam Investments and named Robert Reynolds, president and CEO of Putnam, as the leader of the new entity.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 3, 2014 B8

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