Standard Life leads group retirement industry – Survey names Standard Life as No. 1 in terms of growth of assets

MONTREAL, Jan. 8, 2003 – Standard Life today responded to the latest report released on the group retirement industry in Canada published by Benefits Canada magazine.

The report on the industry, published at the end of 2003, focuses on popular employer-sponsored plans like group RRSPs and defined contribution pension plans. The study revealed an overall growth rate of 5.7% in the 12-month period ending in June 2003 and showed that Standard Life gained more assets under administration than any other company in the survey. Standard Life grew its business 14.5% and added $725 million in assets under administration during this period – the most attributed to any player in the Canadian group retirement industry.

“We are very pleased to see results that validate our business model”, said Roger Renaud, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, Group Savings and Retirement. “Our focus is on total customer satisfaction and offering personalized services.” Mr. Renaud also asserted that, unlike an acquisition strategy, the philosophy of total customer satisfaction and organic growth is sustainable.

“We are very proud to be leading the industry in terms of absolute asset growth. This is a great achievement for us at Standard Life,” said Louise Pellerin-Lacasse, Vice-President, Marketing, Group Savings and Retirement. Looking to the future, she said, “We are happy to be recognized for what has been achieved in the last few years, but we are even more excited about what we can offer our customers in 2004 and beyond.”

Note to the editor:

Over 400,000 Canadian workers currently benefit from Standard Life’s free on-line planning and education program, which represents only a part of the comprehensive range of services available to Group Savings and Retirement plan members. These services also include live educational seminars, assistance from licensed, salaried financial planners and retirement specialists via the Financial Security Hotline and a 24-hour automated telephone service that allows members to manage their accounts.

In Canada, The Standard Life Assurance Company and its affiliates have $30 billion in assets under management and offer a wide range of financial products and services to over one million individuals, including group insurance and pension plan members. Its 2,400 employees are committed to providing superior customer service from its principal office in Montr�al and its 20 sales offices across the country. Products and services include group savings and retirement, group insurance, individual life insurance, savings and retirement, mutual funds and portfolio management services. Total premium income and deposits reached $3.6 billion in 2002. ( )

The Standard Life Assurance Company, founded in Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1825, is Europe’s largest mutual life insurance company with over 14,200 employees, $208 billion in assets under management and over five million customers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, India, China and the United States. The Company has also established a representative office in South Korea. The Company is described as having excellent financial strength by the two most prominent international, independent rating agencies. Its total premium income reached $26.8 billion in 2002. ( )