08/29/2013 11:48 EDT | Updated 10/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Western Financial Group names Jeff Burke as new president and CEO

HIGH RIVER, Alta. - Western Financial Group has appointed Jeff Burke as its new president and CEO.

Burke, who had been in charge of Western's network of insurance brokerages, will become president on Sept. 1 and CEO on Jan. 1.

It's the first leadership change in the insurance company's 17-year history.

During the transition period, company founder Scott Tannas will stay on as CEO, before assuming the role of vice-chairman in the new year.

In that role, Tannas will focus on governance, community relations, employee relations and provide counsel on acquisitions.

Tannas will be serving in the Senate at the same time.

Western Financial, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, has more than 790,000 customers and 1,800 employees across Western Canada.