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Winnipeg-based Great-West Life Assurance Co. (GWL) and its sister companies, Toronto-based Canada Life Assurance Co. and London, Ont.-based London Life Insurance Co., announced on Friday that their combined distribution organization has been renamed to Advisory Network and two executives have been appointed to new positions within that group.

“The name Advisory Network better speaks to what we do — provide [advisors] with the tools and support [they] need to succeed in [this] business. This includes areas like compensation, technology, compliance and more,” says Nick Pszeniczny, executive vice president of Advisory Network, in a statement. “It’s about strengthening the support we offer you, so you can provide clients advice that helps them achieve their goals.”

As part of this initiative, Mike Cunneen, former senior vice president of Freedom 55 Financial’s wealth and estate planning group, will now lead wholesaling and product solutions for the Advisory Network while Dave Kent, most recently vice president and senior sales officer, individual insurance, product sales and marketing with the organization, will lead the Advisory Network’s distribution.

As part of the new role, Cunneen will now integrate product solutions, customer experience and product marketing from across the company into solutions and support that help advisors identify and address client needs. In addition, says Pszeniczny, “Mike will assume leadership of the current wholesaling organizations.”

Read: GWL, Canada Life and London Life restructure their Canadian operations

Meanwhile, Kent will now assume overall responsibility for Freedom 55’s wealth and estate planning group, GWL’s Gold Key network, and the firms’ national account and managing general agency partnerships.

“[Dave] will focus on building consistency, standardization and accountability in how we support advisors,” Pszeniczny says. “Dave will work to understand the differentiated value [advisors] require for the markets [they] serve, so we can provide the right tools and support [advisors] need to succeed.”

As a result of these changes, advisors with Freedom 55’s wealth and estate planning group will now report directly to Kent, who will have the support of Mike Rigato, ‎vice president and chief distribution officer with the group.

Furthermore, with Hugh Moncrieff assigned several GWL initiatives, David Greenwood will continue to lead GWL’s Gold Key distribution network while Phil Marsillo will continue his leadership of Canada Life’s distribution network.

Marsillo will also support Cunneen and Kent with the transformation of both wholesaling and product solutions and Advisory Network distribution, respectively.

The moves announced on Friday represent the next phase of an organizational restructuring the firms announced in November 2016 that will see their Canadian operations centred around three business units: one focused on individual customers; one focused on group customers; and one focused on strategic customer marketing.

“We’ll be mindful of protecting our core business and service while balancing our transformation efforts,” says Pszeniczny. “Additional changes and appointments will happen gradually and thoughtfully over the coming weeks and months.”

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