Two financial services executives have been recruited to join the individual customer leadership team at 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., as the insurers build upon recent restructuring to their operations.
Chris Kirk has been appointed vice president, lifetime advice, effective Aug. 15. Kirk joins the organization from Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia, at which he was most recently director, total wealth strategy. His experience also includes executive roles in distribution with Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
Kirk, who’s based out of Toronto, will join the executive team that oversees the Advisory Network, the recently established unit that combines all three of the insurance companies’ distribution activities. He will report to Nick Pszeniczny, executive vice president, Advisory Network, and join the leadership team under Gerry Hassett, executive vice president, individual customer.
Kirk will help to build tools and processes for the advisor channels to ensure strong service and advice for clients in his new role. He will also be responsible for researching different advice models in other countries and markets to help the organization prepare for new trends and changes in distribution.
“Chris has a wealth of knowledge in innovation and distribution strategy and understands how to optimize multiple channels in a large and complex organization,” said Hassett and Pszeniczny, in a joint statement. “He knows what it takes to help clients achieve their financial goals.”
Meanwhile, Sam Sivarajan has been appointed senior vice president, wealth, individual customer, effective Sept. 1.
For the past two years, Sivarajan has been head of Manulife Private Wealth, Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp.’s high net worth arm. Previously, he was managing director and head of private wealth management at the Canadian unit of UBS AG.
Sivarajan will develop investment portfolios and other solutions based on clients’ risk tolerance and lifecycle needs in his new role, which will be based in Toronto. He will report to Hassett.
“Sam joins us at a pivotal time as we undertake a major upgrade of our wealth offering focusing on developing high-quality solutions which will transform our position in the wealth arena,” said Hassett, in a statement.
The appointments follow changes revealed in November 2016, when GWL, Canada Life and London Life announced that they would restructure their Canadian operations around two business units: one focused on individual customers and one focused on group customers.
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