Business

Putnam and Great-West combine retirement services under a new brand: Empower

Six years after becoming chief executive of Putnam Investments in Boston, Robert Reynolds is sitting atop a newly merged group of companies that is the second-largest 401(k) retirement plan adminstrator in the country.

The companies, all under the umbrella of Great-West Financial in the Denver area, today announced that they are renaming the retirement services brand Empower.

Reynolds, who is also chief executive of Great-West Financial, said in a statement, “The Empower brand name will represent our company in all forms of communication with the marketplace.’’ He also touted it as a “new era in retirement services,” in a sign of his ambitions for the company.

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Both Great-West and Putnam are owned by Power Financial Corp. in Montreal. The companies last month completed the purchase of J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services. Together, the three entities now will handle recordkeeping and administration for 7 million defined-contribution retirement plan participants, representing $400 billion in assets.

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Administrators and recordkeepers do not manage the money in the plans; that is a separate business. Fidelity Investments in Boston, where Reynolds previously worked, is the largest US administrator and manager of 401(k) plans.

Great-West -- now called Empower -- handles many corporate and state government retirement plans, including the plan for 250,000 Massachusetts public employees, according to Edmund F. Murphy 3d, who is president of the group.

Empower employs about 250 people in Boston and Andover, servicing large retirement plan clients. Murphy said he expects that number to grow.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.