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Great-West Lifeco Looks South to Buy Putnam Investments

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Putnam Investments’ parent company, Marsh & McLennan, is selling the investment company to Great-West Lifeco, Inc., a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based insurance company that is a subsidiary of Power Financial Corporation, for $3.9 billion, according to a February 1 announcement.

The acquisition, expected to close at mid-year, gives Great-West Lifeco an important foothold in the U.S. retail and institutional investment markets. Putnam Investments isn’t the first U.S. investment company to be bought by a big Canadian financial services firm lately; as reported in an article by Geoff Kirbyson in the October issue of Investment Advisor, Canadian banks and financial services firms are competing to buy American financial services companies, because the Canadian firms see enormous potential in a comparably vast U.S. population which is saving for retirement and preparing to cope with the generational transfer of trillions of dollars of wealth.

Putnam’s senior team will remain intact, with Charles Haldeman, Jr., president and CEO, at the helm. Putnam, with 192 billion in assets under management, will still be based in Boston.

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