“Turning potential into performance”
QUEBEC CITY, May 7, 2002 – At today’s annual shareholder’s meeting, Yvon Charest, President and Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services, presented the development strategy he plans to put forth in order to maintain and even accelerate the Company’s growth. The theme of this strategy is “Turning potential into performance”, and it will enable the Company to offer its shareholders added value in addition to ensuring the long-term solidity of the Company.
As Mr. Charest explained, “Our strategy is guided by two major objectives: one involving profitability, the other involving business growth. In terms of profitability, we are targeting a return on shareholder’s equity within the 13% to 15% range. In terms of business growth, we hope to see sales in all activity sectors go up by five percentage points more than industry sales growth.”
The strategy for achieving Industrial Alliance’s growth and profitability objectives revolves around six development axes:
Continue to strengthen the Company’s distribution capacity, which rests on multiple sales networks. We know Industrial Alliance has one of the largest distribution networks in Canada, with 15,000 representatives spread over three distribution networks. The Company is looking to develop these networks in all parts of the country. Moreover, in a further effort to expand its distribution capacity, Industrial Alliance is open to signing agreements with solid institutions. In this regard, the Company has already signed four administration or distribution agreements in the past few months. One is an agreement with MD Management to create a life insurance company called MD Life; another is an agreement with National Bank Trust, a subsidiary of National Bank. It has also signed an agreement with BMO Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, and an agreement with La Capitale Services Conseils, the distribution network for La Capitale Assurances MFQ Inc.
Accelerate growth in the wealth management sector. Industrial Alliance already distributes a wide range of financial products such as segregated funds, GICs, registered retirement savings plans and registered education savings plans. The Company plans to expand this range of products over the next few years with the distribution of mutual funds and securities.
Leverage National Life brand and expertise. National Life has a high profile among high-income clients. Industrial Alliance plans to use this profile and the products of this subsidiary to further penetrate this market segment. National Life has just launched an innovative web based sales capability for its MGAs and broker business partners, who can now obtain a personalized Web site as a tool to help them sell life insurance and retirement products.
Improve the product line and continually adapt it to the needs of the clients. In an effort to be on the frontline of a continually evolving market, Industrial Alliance is always looking to improve its products to more effectively meet the needs of its clients. To achieve this goal, the company-which is a leader in the sale of universal life policies in Canada-has just launched a new version of this policy. This comes on the heels of last year’s launch of several new products, including a critical illness product, a term insurance product, and a second version of its registered education savings plan.
Improve the Company’s cost structure and operating efficiency. Industrial Alliance is at the head of a financial group-the Industrial Alliance Group-made up of three life and health insurance companies: Industrial Alliance, National Life, and IA “Pacific” Life. In order to face the competition with an integrated strategy and renewed energy, the operations of these three companies have been combined for three activity sectors: Group Insurance, Group Pensions and Investments.
Actively look for acquisitions. In particular, the Company is looking to acquire mid-sized companies in the insurance sector or small companies specializing in targeted market niches. In the past few months, Industrial Alliance has acquired the mutual fund brokerage firm Concorde Financial Group, in addition to Aegis Insurance Corporation, a Saskatchewan life insurance company that works with automobile dealers in the credit insurance sector, as well as ISL- Lafferty Securities and certain assets of BNP (Canada) Securities, two full-service securities brokerage firms.
“We are determined to achieve our growth and profitability objectives, as we have always done in the past,” Mr. Charest continued. “Our ability to set ourselves apart in the market is achieved through the combination of several attributes: the expertise and reputation of our representatives who are spread over multiple distribution networks, our renowned regional brand names, the strong sense of entrepreneurship within each company of the Group, a well- articulated and smoothly executed growth strategy in each activity sector, the ability to keep production costs down, and the cohesion of our management team, a team that is both experienced and dedicated to the success of the organization.”
ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE
Industrial Alliance is a life and health insurance company offering a full line of insurance products and financial services. It is at the head of a large financial group – the Industrial Alliance Group – that has operations across Canada. The seventh largest life and health insurance company in Canada, the Industrial Alliance Group insures over 1.5 million Canadians, employs more than 2,000 people and administers $15.9 billion in assets. The shares of Industrial Alliance are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IAG.