Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance is the southern arm of a northern parent. The company, a subsidiary of Canada's Great-West Lifeco and a member of the Power Financial family, represents the Great-West group's primary US operations. It offers life insurance and annuities to individuals and employer groups. Under the Great-West Retirement Services brand, it administers employer-sponsored retirement products including defined-benefit pension and 401(k) plans. Additional Great-West services include investment consulting and fund management. Great-West Life & Annuity markets products through its sales representatives and regional offices, as well as independent brokers.
Great-West Life & Annuity also distributes its individual life insurance and annuity products through partnerships with banking institutions and financial advisors including Bank of America, Citigroup, and Charles Schwab. Outside of its own retirement products, which are marketed to corporate, not-for-profit, health care, educational, and government organizations, the Great-West Retirement Services unit provides business services including record-keeping for plans offered by other financial institutions.
In 2008 the company sold its Great-West Healthcare division to CIGNA for $1.5 billion; the segment offered group life and medical insurance products to US businesses, with an emphasis on self-funded programs for small and midsized employers. The divestiture of its health care unit was part of Great-West's strategy of focusing its efforts in the financial services arena.
In 2009 Mitchell Graye moved into the chief executive office when then-CEO Raymond McFeetors was named chairman of the board at Great-West Lifeco; Graye had previously been CFO of Great West Life & Annuity. One of the company's stated goals is to improve its financial services business and Graye came up through the investment banking side of the company.
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