Great-West Names Kyle Irish Life CEO After $1.7 Billion Accord

Great-West Lifeco Inc., Canada’s second-largest insurer, named Bill Kyle chief executive officer of Irish Life Group Ltd., which the company is set to take over for 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) within weeks.

Kyle, who has worked for Great-West and its subsidiaries for 34 years, will succeed Irish Life CEO Kevin Murphy, who will retire at the end of this month after 42 years with the company, Dublin-based Irish Life said in a statement. Murphy, 61, had postponed his planned retirement at the end of last year.

Ireland’s government agreed to sell the nation’s largest life and pensions company to Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Great-West in February to cut its gross 64 billion-euro bill for saving its financial system. Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s officials re-opened talks with Great-West last year after abandoning them in November 2011 amid concerns that the euro-area debt crisis would increase the costs, two people with knowledge of the matter said last December.

Kyle, executive vice president of wealth management at Great-West, led the group’s retirement business over the past two decades, during which its assets rose to C$35 billion ($34.2 billion) from C$3 billion, Irish Life said.

The Great-West agreement is the “first time during this crisis that a company in which we have invested has been returned fully to private ownership,” Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in February.

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