Putnam’s Reynolds to Head Great-West Lifeco U.S.

Reynolds to also take helm of Great-West Financial in May; Putnam, Great-West Financial to combine retirement businesses

Bob Reynolds has been named president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco U.S. (Photo: AP) Bob Reynolds has been named president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco U.S. (Photo: AP)

Great West Lifeco Inc. announced Thursday that Robert Reynolds, president and CEO of Putnam Investments, was named president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco U.S. Inc., which owns Denver-based Great-West Financial and Boston-based Putnam Investments.

Reynolds will also replace Mitchell Graye as president and CEO of Great-West Financial in May upon Graye’s retirement.

The companies also announced the same day that under the leadership of Reynolds, Putnam’s retirement business will be combined with Great-West Financial’s to create one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive retirement services capabilities to small, mid and large-sized corporate 401(k) clients, government 457 plans and nonprofit 403(b) entities. The combined retirement business will reside within Great-West Financial.

“I approach this with a lot of excitement,” Reynolds said on a Thursday conference call to discuss the announcement.

Reynolds said that Great-West has specialized in serving the small- to midsize end of the 401(k) market while Putnam has been serving the medium to large end. So with the merger of Putnam and Great-West Financial’s retirement businesses, “there will be total coverage of the 401(k) market.”

The combined assets under administration will total $220 billion, and serve more than 5 million participants, Reynolds said.

“The U.S. market represents a significant growth opportunity for Great-West Lifeco,” said Paul Mahon, president and CEO of that firm.  “The new structure will allow Great-West Lifeco to pursue expanded U.S. market opportunities by leveraging the combined strengths and capabilities of our core businesses in a coordinated manner to best serve clients.”

“Bob has been a driving force of innovation and industry progress in financial services for three decades, having led institutional and retail asset management, insurance and retirement services businesses over the course of his career,” Mahon said.

Reynolds added that “by drawing upon the vision, leadership and dedication to excellence of two superb retirement businesses, with their unmatched client service, product, marketing and technology capabilities, we will be in a position to provide the U.S. marketplace with a superior, leading-edge offering across every client segment.”

The combined retirement businesses, headed by Charles P. Nelson, president of retirement services, at Great-West Financial and Edmund F. Murphy III, head of defined contribution, at Putnam, will report to Reynolds. Nelson and Murphy, Reynolds said, will “work together” on the integration.

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