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Ed Murphy, president of Empower Retirement, has been appointedCEO of Great-West Life and Annuity Insurance Company, the parentcompany of Empower.

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Murphy will replace Robert Reynolds, who will serve as chairmanof Great-West Lifeco U.S., the holding company of GWL&A.Reynolds will also continue to serve as CEO of Putnam Investments,also a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco.

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The announcement comes weeks after GWL&A sold off most ofits life insurance and annuity business in an effort to focus onits retirement plan and investment management businesses.

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In his new role, Murphy will continue as president of EmpowerRetirement, as well as oversee Great-West Investments. Empower wasformed in 2014 and administers about 39,000 workplace retirementplans.

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Great-West Lifeco U.S. is owned by Great-West Lifeco, based inWinnipeg, Canada.

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Empower and Putman Investment drove growth for the U.S. arm ofLifeco in 2018. Empower reported a 6 percent increase inparticipant accounts, from 8.3 million to 8.8 million. In 2017,Empower's participant base grew at twice the industry average forretirement plan record keepers.

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Sales of Putnam Investments mutual funds and institutionalassets increased 53 percent in 2018.

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Prior to his appointment as president of Empower in 2014, Murphywas the managing director of Putnam's DCIO business.

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