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Money Management

Great-West sells U.S. life insurance, annuity businesses

Empower Retirement not part of deal

Great-West Lifeco said Thursday it would sell substantially all of its U.S.-based individual life insurance and annuity businesses to Protective Life Insurance for about $1.2 billion.

The deal doesn't affect the Great-West investments unit or Empower Retirement, both of which are based in Greenwood Village, Colo., the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company said in a news release. Great-West Lifeco provides insurance, investment products, annuities and retirement services.

The sale, scheduled to be completed during the first half of 2019, also doesn't affect Great-West's life insurance business in Canada or in other countries.

"We will continue to focus on Empower Retirement and seize the opportunity to further advance our leadership position in the expansive retirement services market," said Robert Reynolds, CEO of subsidiary Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co., in the news release.

Great-West Life & Annuity oversees Empower Retirement, Great-West Investments, other products marketed under the Great-West Financial brand and the businesses being sold, also marketed under the Great West Financial brand.

These latter businesses include bank-owned and corporate-owned life insurance, single-premium life insurance, individual annuities and closed block life insurance and annuities, the release said.

Great West "will retain a small block of participating life insurance policies which will be administered by Protective following the close of the transaction," the release said.