Great-West Lifeco reports second quarter 2023 results

This earnings news release for Great-West Lifeco Inc. should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) and Consolidated Financial Statements for the periods ended June 30, 2023, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board unless otherwise noted. These reports are available on greatwestlifeco.com under Financial Reports. Additional information relating to Great-West Lifeco is available on sedar.com. Readers are referred to the cautionary notes regarding Forward-Looking Information and Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios at the end of this release. All figures are expressed in millions of Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted.

  • Base earnings1 EPS of $0.99 or $920 million increased by 2% or $17 million from a year ago.
  • Net earnings EPS of $0.53 or $498 million; includes ($0.30) or ($279 million) of losses associated with strategic business portfolio repositioning and surplus asset rebalancing.
  • Executed strategic actions to reposition the portfolio for sustained growth.

Winnipeg, August 8, 2023
– Great-West Lifeco Inc. (Lifeco or the Company) today announced its second quarter 2023 results.

“The disciplined execution of our strategy is driving momentum across our portfolio as reflected in our strong performance this quarter,” said Paul Mahon, President and CEO, Great-West Lifeco. “Across our operating companies, we continue to make organic investments and execute on transactions that will help us deliver on our value creation objectives. This includes recent transactions across segments that are strengthening and focusing our workplace and wealth management strategies.”

“Net earnings this quarter reflect actions taken to strengthen our capital position and accelerate our growth strategies,” continued Mr. Mahon. “Apart from these items, our net earnings reflect modest market impacts and ongoing integration costs.”

Key Financial Highlights

1 Base earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios" section of this document for additional details.
2 Base EPS and base return on equity are non-GAAP ratios. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios" section of this document for additional details.
3 Base return on equity and return on equity are calculated using the trailing four quarters of applicable IFRS 17 earnings and common shareholders' equity.
4 Comparative base earnings results are restated to exclude discontinued operations related to Putnam Investments.

Base earnings per common share (EPS) of $0.99 up 2% from $0.97 a year ago. The increase year over year was primarily due to higher investment returns; increased fees driven by higher average equity markets and business growth in the U.S. segment; and strong results in the Capital and Risk Solutions segment.

Sequentially, base EPS are up 11% compared to $0.89 base EPS in the first quarter of 2023, primarily driven by the U.S. and Capital and Risk Solutions segments. Growth in the U.S. resulted from higher markets and further synergies realized on the Prudential acquisition. Capital and Risk Solutions benefited from strong growth in structured reinsurance business, higher investment results, and improved mortality experience5

5  Under the IFRS 17 reporting standard, mortality experience on life insurance tends to be recognized into earnings immediately, whereas mortality/longevity experience on payout annuities and related businesses, mainly flows through the Contractual Service Margin and is recognized into earnings over the life of the remaining contracts.

Net EPS was $0.53 and included costs of $0.30 EPS ($279 million) associated with acquisitions and divestitures, and surplus asset rebalancing activities. These costs included transaction costs of $158 million predominantly related to the announced sales of Putnam Investments and the U.K. individual onshore protection business, in addition to an indemnity provision related to the U.S. individual life and annuity business sold in 2019. It also included $121 million of realized other comprehensive income (OCI) losses from rebalancing U.K. surplus assets to capitalize on higher short-term rates and improve future interest rate sensitivities.

Return on equity was 11.7% on net earnings and 15.9% on base earnings in the second quarter of 2023.


  • The Company announced strategic transactions in quarter to rebalance and focus its business portfolio:
    • Announced sale of Putnam Investments, unlocking shareholder value and further focusing U.S. operations on highly attractive retirement and personal wealth markets.
    • Announced complementary acquisitions of Investment Planning Counsel Inc. (IPC) and Value Partners, which will enable the Canadian business with new capabilities to offer a leading end-to-end wealth and insurance platform for independent advisors.
    • Announced an agreement to sell the individual onshore protection business of Canada Life U.K. to Countrywide Assured plc. This follows the Company’s announcement that it closed onshore individual protection insurance to new business in November 2022.
  • The disciplined execution of the Company’s strategy continues to drive strong momentum:
    • Go live with Canadian government’s Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) on July 1, 2023.
    • Canada Life was awarded the Canadian government’s dental plan which represents approximately $550 million in annual paid claims and supports the same 1.7 million Canadians as the PSHCP.
    • Empower Personal Wealth, launched in the first quarter of 2023, continued to see strong momentum with 30% growth in assets under administration year over year.
    • Diversified our wealth capabilities and distribution access at Irish Life with the launch of a new joint venture, AIB Life, in Ireland.
    • Capital and Risk Solutions expanded its international presence in targeted new markets, including two transactions in Italy.
  • The Company hosted an Investor Day to share our strategy for growth, with a specific focus on our wealth and asset management businesses in Canada, Europe and the U.S.


For reporting purposes, Lifeco’s consolidated operating results are grouped into five reportable segments – Canada, United States, Europe, Capital and Risk Solutions and Lifeco Corporate – reflecting the management and corporate structure of the Company. For more information, refer to the Company’s second quarter of 2023 interim Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A).

6 Base earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios" section of this document for additional details.


  • Q2 Canada segment base earnings of $283 million and net earnings of $148 million – Base earnings of $283 million decreased by $57 million compared to the same quarter last year, primarily due to strong group health morbidity results in 2022 that did not repeat, partially offset by pricing and other management actions taken, aided by higher interest rates in 2023.


  • Q2 United States segment base earnings of US$198 million ($265 million) and net earnings of US$67 million ($90 million) – United States base earnings for the second quarter of 2023 were US$198 million ($265 million), up US$70 million or 55% from the second quarter of 2022. The increase was primarily due to improved spreads from higher interest rates, higher fee income from higher average equity markets and lower expenses due to synergies achieved on recent acquisitions.


  • Q2 Europe segment base earnings of $180 million and net earnings of $102 million – Base earnings of $180 million decreased by $30 million compared to the same quarter last year, primarily due to favourable insurance experience in Q2 2022 that did not repeat, partially offset by favourable currency movement and investment earnings.


  • Q2 Capital and Risk Solutions segment base earnings of $203 million and net earnings of $169 million Base earnings of $203 million increased by $13 million compared to the same quarter last year, primarily due to favourable structured business earnings and investment earnings, partially offset by unfavourable experience in the U.S. life business. 


The Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share on the common shares of Lifeco payable September 29, 2023 to shareholders of record at the close of business August 31, 2023.

In addition, the Directors approved quarterly dividends on Lifeco's preferred shares, as follows:

First Preferred Shares

Amount, per share

Series G


Series H


Series I


Series L


Series M


Series N


Series P


Series Q


Series R


Series S


Series T


Series Y


For purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada), and any similar provincial legislation, the dividends referred to above are eligible dividends.

Second Quarter Conference Call

Lifeco's second quarter conference call and audio webcast will be held on Wednesday, August 9, at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The call and webcast can be accessed through greatwestlifeco.com/news-events/events or by phone at:

  • Participants in the Toronto area: 416-915-3239
  • Participants from North America: 1-800-319-4610

A replay of the call will be available until September 9 and can be accessed by calling 604-674-8052 or 1-855-669-9658 (passcode: 9667). The archived webcast will be available on greatwestlifeco.com.

Selected financial information is attached.


Great-West Lifeco is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. We operate in Canada, the United States and Europe under the brands Canada Life, Empower, Putnam Investments, and Irish Life. At the end of 2022, our companies had approximately 31,000 employees, 234,500 advisor relationships, and thousands of distribution partners – all serving over 38 million customer relationships across these regions. Great-West Lifeco trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol GWO and is a member of the Power Corporation group of companies. To learn more, visit greatwestlifeco.com.

Basis of presentation

The condensed consolidated interim unaudited financial statements for the periods ended June 30, 2023 of Lifeco, have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) unless otherwise noted and are the basis for the figures presented in this release, unless otherwise noted.

Cautionary note regarding Forward-Looking Information

This release contains forward-looking information.  Forward-looking information includes statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as "will", "may", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "estimates", "objective", "target", "potential" and other similar expressions or negative versions thereof.  Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements about the Company and its operations, business (including business mix), financial condition, expected financial performance (including revenues, earnings or growth rates and medium-term financial objectives), ongoing business strategies or prospects, climate-related  and diversity-related measures, objectives and targets, anticipated global economic conditions and possible future actions by the Company, including statements made with respect to the expected costs, benefits, timing of integration activities and timing and extent of revenue and expense synergies of acquisitions and divestitures (including but not limited to the proposed acquisition of Investment Planning Counsel (IPC), the proposed acquisition of Value Partners Group Inc. (Value Partners), the proposed sale of Putnam Investments (Putnam), and the proposed sale of Canada Life U.K.’s individual onshore protection business), value creation and growth opportunities, expected capital management activities and use of capital, estimates of risk sensitivities affecting capital adequacy ratios, expected dividend levels, expected cost reductions and savings, expected expenditures or investments (including but not limited to investment in technology infrastructure and digital capabilities and solutions and investments in strategic partnerships), the timing and completion of the proposed acquisitions of IPC and Value Partners and the proposed sale of Putnam and Canada Life U.K.’s individual onshore protection business, and the impact of regulatory developments on the Company's business strategy and growth objectives.

Forward-looking statements are based on expectations, forecasts, estimates, predictions, projections and conclusions about future events that were current at the time of the statements and are inherently subject to, among other things, risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company, economic factors and the financial services industry generally, including the insurance, mutual fund and retirement solutions industries.  They are not guarantees of future performance, and the reader is cautioned that actual events and results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements.  Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Company and there is no assurance that they will prove to be correct.  In all cases, whether or not actual results differ from forward-looking information may depend on numerous factors, developments and assumptions, including, without limitation, assumptions around sales, fee rates, asset breakdowns, lapses, plan contributions, redemptions and market returns, the ability to integrate recent and proposed acquisitions, the ability to leverage recent and proposed acquisitions and achieve anticipated synergies, customer behaviour (including customer response to new products), the Company's reputation, market prices for products provided, sales levels, premium income, fee income, expense levels, mortality experience, morbidity experience, policy and plan lapse rates, participant net contribution, reinsurance arrangements, liquidity requirements, capital requirements, credit ratings, taxes, inflation, interest and foreign exchange rates, investment values, hedging activities, global equity and capital markets (including continued access to equity and debt markets), industry sector and individual debt issuers' financial conditions (particularly in certain industries that may comprise part of the Company's investment portfolio), business competition, impairments of goodwill and other intangible assets, the Company's ability to execute strategic plans and changes to strategic plans, technological changes, breaches or failure of information systems and security (including cyber attacks), payments required under investment products, changes in local and international laws and regulations, changes in accounting policies and the effect of applying future accounting policy changes, changes in actuarial standards, unexpected judicial or regulatory proceedings, catastrophic events, continuity and availability of personnel and third party service providers, the Company's ability to complete strategic transactions and integrate acquisitions, unplanned material changes to the Company's facilities, customer and employee relations or credit arrangements, levels of administrative and operational efficiencies, changes in trade organizations, and other general economic, political and market factors in North America and internationally.

The reader is cautioned that the foregoing list of assumptions and factors is not exhaustive, and there may be other factors listed in other filings with securities regulators, including factors set out in the Company's 2022 Annual MD&A under "Risk Management and Control Practices" and "Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates" and in the Company's annual information form dated February 8, 2023 under "Risk Factors", which, along with other filings, is available for review at www.sedar.com.  The reader is also cautioned to consider these and other factors, uncertainties and potential events carefully and not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

Other than as specifically required by applicable law, the Company does not intend to update any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Cautionary note regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios

This release contains some non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) financial measures and non-GAAP ratios as defined in National Instrument   52-112 “Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure”. Terms by which non-GAAP financial measures are identified include, but are not limited to, "base earnings (loss)", "base earnings (loss) (US$)", “base earnings: insurance service result”, “base earnings: net investment result”, “assets under management” and "assets under administration". Terms by which non-GAAP ratios are identified include, but are not limited to, “base earnings per common share (EPS)”, “base return on equity (ROE)”, “base dividend payout ratio” and “effective income tax rate – base earnings – common shareholders”. Non-GAAP financial measures and ratios are used to provide management and investors with additional measures of performance to help assess results where no comparable GAAP (IFRS) measure exists. However, non-GAAP financial measures and ratios do not have standard meanings prescribed by GAAP (IFRS) and are not directly comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios" section in this release for the appropriate reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to measures prescribed by GAAP as well as additional details on each measure and ratio.

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