Great-West Lifeco Inc. is set to merge three of its well-known Canadian subsidiaries under one roof as policyholders voted in favour of the move that retires two brands that have been in the market for more than 170 years.
More than 90 per cent of policyholders of the country’s second largest life insurer voted in favour on Thursday to amalgamate Great-West Life Assurance Co., London Life Insurance Co. and The Canada Life Assurance Co. to operate as one company under the Canada Life brand. The parent company will retain the Great-West Lifeco Inc. name.
The amalgamation is expected to occur on Jan. 1, 2020, and comes at a time when consolidation continues to sweep through the insurance sector, while companies explore opportunities to create new streams of revenue.
The two brands to be retired – Great-West Life and London Life – are renowned among insurance consumers, but in an interview earlier this year with The Globe, chief executive officer Paul Mahon said the move to operate under one brand will simplify the business by cutting back on regulatory expenses and requirements, reduce administrative and back-office costs while positioning the firm for future growth.
“We’re pleased [policyholders] have recognized the many benefits of amalgamation and have given us a strong mandate to proceed,” Mr. Mahon said on Thursday in a statement.
The move involves more than 13 million customers. The company says the amalgamation won’t change any of the terms and conditions of existing insurance policies issued by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.
Policyholders will see a new set of products added to existing wealth and insurance products in 2020 and policy renewals after the new year will be offered under the new Canada Life.
Great-West Lifeco and its companies have approximately $1.4-trillion in consolidated assets under administration and are part of Power Financial Corp. The merger will not affect the company’s businesses in the United States and Europe.
Great-West Lifeco’s other Canadian subsidiaries, such as mutual fund dealer Quadras Investment Services and Freedom 55 Financial – which houses 2,375 advisers – will also not be affected by the merger.
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