Putnam Investments Buyer Retires as Great-West Grows

Great-West Lifeco Inc., the owner of Putnam Investments, said Chief Executive Officer Allen Loney will retire and that Raymond L. McFeetors will step down as chairman.

Chief Operating Officer Paul A. Mahon, 49, will succeed Loney, and R. Jeffrey Orr, a director since 2002, has been appointed to succeed McFeetors, the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company said today in a statement after reporting first-quarter results. Loney’s retirement will take effect tomorrow, said Marlene Klassen, a spokeswoman for the insurer. Loney and McFeetors, 68, will remain as directors, according to the statement.

Loney, who led Great-West since the 2008 financial crisis and received compensation totaling C$4.44 million ($4.41 million) for 2012, worked in various roles at the firm over more than four decades and took the helm a year after Great-West acquired Putnam, the U.S. mutual-fund business.

The insurer bought Putnam in August 2007 from Marsh & McLennan Cos. for $3.9 billion, the largest acquisition ever in Canada’s insurance industry. Great-West’s $1.73 billion purchase of Irish Life Group Ltd. in February was the second-biggest.

Earlier today, Great-West reported that first-quarter profit climbed 15 percent to C$517 million, or 54 cents a share, from $449 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier.

Great-West advanced 1.3 percent to C$27.63 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The shares have climbed 13 percent this year, compared with the 3.5 percent gain of the 44-company Standard & Poor’s/TSX Financials Index.

Manulife Financial Corp., the largest life insurer in Canada, also had a leadership change today. Vice Chairman Richard DeWolfe succeeded Gail Cook-Bennett as chairman, the Toronto-based company said in a statement. Manulife rose 3.9 percent to C$15.33.

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