Great-West Life's new suite of multi-manager asset class funds are now available to group retirement plans

WINNIPEG, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Great-West Life Group Retirement Services is now offering a comprehensive suite of multi-manager asset class funds. Unique to the group retirement industry, the new Harmonized asset class funds provide more diversification within a single fund, making investment selection easier for group plan members.

Each of the four new Harmonized asset class funds is comprised of several individual underlying funds, which are managed by different leading investment managers. As a result, members have access to multiple investment managers and multiple investment styles in a single fund.

"Behavioural finance research shows members can be overwhelmed by investment decisions, which can lead to inaction or procrastination," explains Jeff Aarssen, Vice-President of Group Retirement Services Sales and Marketing at Great-West Life. "Our new Harmonized asset class funds simplify investment decisions. Once members complete the Investment personality questionnaire and receive their recommended asset class mix, they don't need to select several investment options for each asset class. Members can just pick one Harmonized fund for each asset class."

The funds cover the following major asset classes and are constructed and monitored by Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG), a division of Great-West Life.

  • Harmonized Fixed Income Fund (PSG)
  • Harmonized Canadian Equity Fund (PSG)
  • Harmonized Foreign Equity Fund (PSG)
  • Harmonized Special Equity Fund (PSG)

According to the 2012 Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP) Benchmark Report1, Canadian organizations with defined contribution (DC) plans are decreasing the number of funds they offer to provide a more streamlined investment menu to their plan members. The new Harmonized asset class funds support employers by making it easier for their plan members to choose investment options.

New fixed income and foreign equity funds
For members who prefer more hands-on investment options, Great-West Life Group Retirement Services has also broadened its offering of fixed income and foreign equity funds.

The new fixed income funds can help achieve higher inflation-adjusted returns and additional stability in a low interest rate environment. The new foreign equity funds provide strategic ways to invest beyond our border.

Great-West Life's new fixed income funds are managed by Portico Investment Management and include the Canadian Short Term Bond Fund, the Corporate Bond Fund and the Real Return Bond Fund. The North American High Yield Bond Fund is managed by Putnam Investments.

New Great-West Life foreign equity funds include Global Equity Fund (managed by Canada Life Investments), International Equity Fund (managed by Setanta Asset Management), Global Infrastructure Equity Fund (managed by London Capital Management) and U.S. Registered Index Fund (managed by GWL Investment Management).

Great-West Life's newest investment options provide easier access to broad markets and specialized asset classes. These options comprise innovative asset class funds, as well as new fixed income and foreign equity funds.

About Great-West Life

Great-West Life administers over 17,000 group retirement plans and over 1.3 million member accounts, representing over 30 per cent of capital accumulation plans (CAPs) offered by insurers in Canada. In the United States, Great-West is the fourth-largest group retirement plan record-keeper based on total participants and Putnam Investments adds to the organization's North American presence in this market.

Portico Investment Management, London Capital Management and GWL Investment Management are divisions of GLC Asset Management Group Ltd. (GLC). GLC is a subsidiary of The Great-West Life Assurance Company.

Portfolio Solutions Group is a division of The Great-West Life Assurance Company, and manages over $15 billion* assets in asset class and asset allocation funds.

* As at December 31, 2012

1 The 2012 CAP Benchmark Report, sponsored by Great-West Life, summarizes the results of updated plan sponsor profiles in the Canadian Institutional Investment Network (CIIN), in addition to an online survey fielded by Rogers Connect Market Research Group. Data was collected from 380 organizations offering a DC plan and/or Group RRSP. In total, 308 have a DC plan and 180 have a Group RRSP.

SOURCE: Great-West Life Assurance Company

For further information:

Marlene Klassen, APR
Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services


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