Grand opening, cutting red ribbon

Canada Life Assurance Co. has launched three new risk-managed portfolios that aim to reduce the effects of market volatility, the Winnipeg-based firm said in a release on Wednesday.

The three portfolios are the Canada Life Risk-Managed Conservative Income Portfolio, Canada Life Risk-Managed Balanced Portfolio and Canada Life Risk-Managed Growth Portfolio.

Each portfolio uses “a mix of underlying funds and differentiated investment strategies to achieve the investor’s outcomes,” the release said.

The portfolios will be managed by Irish Life Investment Managers Ltd., a subsidiary of Irish Life Assurance plc (which is a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.).

The new portfolios are the latest offerings from a rebranded Canada Life that’s implemented plenty of changes this year amid the challenging pandemic environment — and following the consolidation of Canada Life, Great-West Life Assurance Co. and London Life Insurance Co.

“We’re pivoting as a corporation from…a manufacturing bias toward a solutions and advice bias,” said Hugh Moncrieff, executive vice-president, advisory network and industry affairs with Canada Life, in an interview.

That pivot is evident from several projects, including a new mutual fund shelf; internal wholesaling within wealth and insurance to educate advisors about products; the division of wealth and insurance distribution teams into estate-focused teams dealing solely in either wealth or insurance; the creation of a new division in insurance distribution to support advisors focused on large-case insurance; and the launch of the Canada Life Financial Solutions Centre to serve smaller accounts.

Overall, the firm envisions “a spectrum of advice access and distribution capabilities” to meet the needs of various client segments, Moncrieff said.

Digital tools are part of those capabilities. At the beginning of the year, 50% of insurance applications to Canada Life were paper-based, Moncrieff said; that figure is now 20%.

Looking ahead, Moncrieff said his mandate continues to be improving advisor productivity and client access to advice.

Advisor recruiting and teaming will also remain a key focus, but methods will change.

“We’re looking at redefining how we attract talent, develop [advisors] and help them join teams to be much more productive,” Moncrieff said. Related pilot projects are underway, he said.