New hedge funds launched by National Life offer investors lower risk and higher returns

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2003 – National Life’s new “Fund of Funds” hedge fund product, a first in the Canadian segregated fund industry, provides knowledgeable investors with a significant alternative to conventional methods of wealth management.

While hedge funds are not new to the marketplace, the National Life Alternative Investment Strategies offer two unique hedge funds that combine superior growth potential with disciplined risk management.

“Hedge funds have traditionally only been available to a select group of people because of high minimum requirements. However, our hedge funds are available for a minimum investment of just $1,000. We’ve opened up the potential return of hedge funds to the general investor,” explains Brenda Moore, Director of Marketing, Retirement and Investment Products at National Life. “Because our “Fund of Funds” approach combines multiple strategies within a single fund, this provides for greater diversification and a lower level of risk, regardless of market conditions.”

The two funds have unique features that will be attractive to knowledgeable investors looking to expand their portfolio options and increase diversification. The Multi-Strategies (Univest) Fund, managed by Norshield Financial Group, aims to generate a rate of return that exceeds more traditional investments while maintaining a risk level lower than that of a typical Canadian bond index. It focuses on preservation of capital and comprehensive management of risk. The Multi-Strategies (GAM) Fund, managed by GAM, aims for an absolute rate of return with low volatility and low correlation to equity and bond markets. It is focused on achieving long-term capital appreciation.

Alternative investment strategies are based on a non-traditional approach that focuses on hedged and directional styles such as convertible bond arbitrage, merger arbitrage and equity market neutral and short selling. This style makes the funds less vulnerable to market volatility. A “Fund of Funds” is an investment vehicle that invests in other hedge funds. By creating a pool of single strategies, the manager can create a more diversified fund and make decisions based on expertise in risk management, market direction and investment strategies to decide the composition and direction of their particular “Fund of Funds.” The result is a fund that has very little correlation with other assets and markets, has the potential to outperform in all market conditions and significantly lower volatility.

To obtain a marketing kit with complete details about National Life’s Alternative Investment Strategies, please email: http://[email protected]

About National Life:

National Life has been a strong performer in the insurance and financial industry for over a century, with a reputation for service excellence and product innovation. Providing individual insurance, group life and health insurance, and retirement and investment products across Canada and in parts of the Caribbean, National Life is a trusted name in the financial industry. Working in partnership with the industry’s top independent producers, National Life’s network of expert resources provides long-term wealth management solutions to clients. The company was rated A (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company, the oldest insurance rating agency in the world and has been recognized as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” for the past three years by MediaCorp. National Life is a member of the Industrial Alliance Group of Companies, with over $16.3 billion in assets under management and under administration.

About Norshield Financial Group:

Norshield Financial Group (Norshield) specializes in three areas of alternative investments: product creation, proprietary research and consulting. As a seasoned and successful money manager, Norshield also provides alternative investment advice to a diverse range of clients, including financial intermediaries, institutions; pension and investment funds; foundations and high net worth individuals. Its areas of expertise include tactical market timing, managed futures, risk management and multi-manager, multi-fund alternative investment strategy.

Norshield has built its reputation as an industry leader on dynamic, timely alternative investment advice that has generated superior risk-adjusted returns for clients.

About GAM:

GAM is an award-winning active manager of portfolios and funds for wealthy individuals, institutions and professional investors. It manages over US$18 billion of clients’ assets and is dedicated exclusively to investment management, offering global diversification and exposure, backed by strong performance.

GAM’s fund range includes single manager and multi-manager funds investing in traditional asset classes and alternative investments. It seeks to deliver outstanding performance to its clients by providing access to talented investment managers, both in-house and out-of-house. GAM pioneered the multi-manager concept and is a world leader in the creation and management of hedge funds.

GAM is owned by UBS A.G. and has a distinctive and specialist approach to active investment management. It has offered its clients access to alternative strategies since 1983.