Great-West reorganizes its individual distribution

By Alain Thériault | June 26 2010 01:29PM

Great-West Life is splitting its individual life insurance distribution network into two separate entities: Gold Key Distribution and Product Distribution.

With the Gold Key channel, Great-West wants to encourage independent advisors to place more business with the company. The regional resource centres in the product distribution channel will be streamlined and, where possible, several directors will be transferred to other positions within the company. The insurer announced the changes in an internal memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Insurance and Investment Journal.

The Gold Key channel will be headed by Nick Pszeniczny, Executive Vice President of Individual Distribution. Executive Vice President Steve Fitzhenry will lead the product distribution side.

By splitting its individual product distribution network into two entities, Great-West hopes to grow its business after an unprecedented streamlining. In an interview with The Insurance and Investment Journal, Hugh Moncrieff, Senior Vice President of Gold Key Distribution said that the company completed the reorganization without closing any of its resource centres. "We are centralizing, certainly, but we are also regionalizing," says Mr. Moncrieff. "Every Gold Key advisor will be able to take advantage of the support of the directors that have been assigned to him."

In his opinion, Great-West is clarifying that its Gold Key advisors will enjoy the individual support of a regional director. The insurer has named ten general regional directors, dedicated to Gold Key advisors, who will focus on its President's Circle and Signature Gold Key members, the company's two highest production levels.

These two levels will replace the old President's Council and President's Club respectively. Great-West also hopes to obtain more business from advisors whose production is at a lower level.

"We do not want to tell advisors where to put their business," comments Mr. Moncrieff. He says advisors will place whatever percentage of production they want with Great-West. "We believe in the independent channel and that is why we are making this massive investment."

The product distribution channel will gather together the ten regional resource centres located throughout Canada. Each region will have a main resource centre staffed by a regional director and a business services manager. Each resource centre will also have three other managers devoted to marketing and life insurance, investments, and living benefits.