Irish Life names Canada Life Europe boss as new chief executive

Declan Bolger to take over Irish Life role as David Harney moves to European role

Irish Life Group has named Canada Life Europe chief Declan Bolger as its new chief executive. He will be taking over the role from David Harney.

Canada Life Europe is a sister company of Irish Life and part of Great-West Lifeco. Mr Harney will become president and chief operating officer Europe of Great-West Lifeco after four years as head of the Irish business. He succeeds Arshil Jamal, who becomes president and group head of strategy, investments, reinsurance and corporate development.

"These changes represent a continuation of strategic leadership for our business in Europe," said Great-Westco chief executive and president Paul Mahon. "Through their vision and dedication, both David and Declan have delivered not just commercial success but have built thriving teams that are ready for the next stage of our growth in Ireland and Germany. "

Irish Life has more than 1.4 million customers and is the largest life, pension and investment management company in Ireland. It expanded into health insurance with the acquisition of Aviva Health and its subsequent rebrand to Irish Life Health, and has also extended its advisory services for Irish customers through the acquisition of Invesco, Acumen & Trust and APT.


Mr Harney said Great-West Lifeco continued to invest substantially in Dublin and the Irish market, and saw significant growth potential.

Mr Bolger was part of the founding team of Canada Life Europe in 2000, and has been chief executive of the company for the past 10 years. It has more than 500,000 customers in Germany. Canada Life Europe employs more than 600 people at its Dublin, Cologne and Neu-Isenburg offices.

“I’m excited to take on a new challenge as leader of our Irish business,” Mr Bolger said. “Working with the Canada Life Europe team over the last 20 years has been a great honour. Canada Life is now established as one of the leading brands in the German broker life market with great prospects to grow further.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist