Great-West Lifeco

Office address: 100 Osborne Street North, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1V3 
Year established: 1979 
Company type: financial services 
Employees: 31,000 
Expertise: financial services, life insurance, health insurance, investment, asset management 
Parent company: Power Financial Group 
CEO and key people: Paul A. Mahon, President and CEO 
Financing status: corporate backed or acquired   

Great-West Lifeco is a financial services holding company involved in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance. It is the name behind well-known brands Canada Life, Empower, Putnam Investments, and Irish Life.  As of December 2022, the company had $2.5 trillion in consolidated assets under administration.   

History of Great-West Lifeco 

Great-West Lifeco's beginnings date back to 1891 with the incorporation of Great-West Life Assurance Company. The company evolved through strategic expansions and acquisitions, solidifying its presence in Canada, the United States, and Europe.  

In 2020, Great-West Life Assurance Company was amalgamated with affiliate companies London Life Insurance Co. and Canada Life Assurance Co. to form one brand, Canada Life.  

The holding company, Great-West Lifeco, was incorporated in 1979. 

Products and Services of Great-West Lifeco 

Great-West Lifeco offers these services under the companies in its fold: 

  • life insurance: offering a range of life insurance products tailored to meet diverse needs 
  • health insurance: providing comprehensive health insurance solutions for individuals and businesses 
  • investment services: delivering investment solutions to cater to varied investment goals 
  • asset management: expertise in managing assets to optimize returns and manage risks 
  • reinsurance: offering reinsurance solutions to manage and mitigate risk effectively   

Culture at Great-West Lifeco 

Great-West Lifeco fosters a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. The company is committed to creating a workplace environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and a sense of community among its employees. This culture is pivotal in driving the company's success and maintaining its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. 

Great-West Lifeco supports these initiatives as part of its DEI practices: 

  • Empower and Putnam Investments recognize Juneteeth as a company holiday 
  • Canada Life has supported diversity in its recruitment process, attracting more women and Mandarin-speaking advisors 
  • Canada Life in the UK signed the pledge to support menopause awareness in the workplace 

These are part of a wider ESG strategy which includes investing in communities and the environment. Over the past 10 years, Great-West Lifeco has donated over $150 million to communities in Canada, the US, and Europe. 

About Great-West Lifeco President and CEO Paul A. Mahon 

Paul A. Mahon has been the President and CEO of Great-West Lifeco since 2013. He has been with the company for over 30 years, having joined Great-West Life straight out of university in 1986.  

Aside from his top roles at Great-West Lifeco, Mahon is also a director at Canada Life, Empower Retirement, and Putnam Investments. His involvement with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and the Misericordia Health Centre Corporation, among others, highlights his commitment to the broader financial and health communities. 

Mahon holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1986. 

Future at Great-West Lifeco 

The future of Great-West Lifeco is shaped by its commitment to innovation and sustainable growth.  With a focus on adapting to changing market dynamics and enhancing its product offerings, Great-West Lifeco is set to maintain its position as a leader in the financial industry. 

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