Introducing Optimax III and two new segregated funds from Empire Financial Group

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Kingston, Ontario, June 19, 2003 – Advisors contracted with The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire) will be able to offer their clients an enhanced participating, permanent life insurance product, Optimax III, and two new international segregated funds starting June 23, 2003.

“We’re very pleased to be expanding and enhancing our product portfolio,” says Les Herr, Vice-president, Individual New Business Operations. “We feel we offer some of the best products and service to the Canadian financial services consumer and, in turn, bring the best to our distribution partners as well.”

Optimax III replaces Empire’s Optimax II and brings the benefits of lifetime guarantees and low-cost permanent life insurance protection in one participating insurance product. Optimax III’s new features now include a Lifetime Extender guarantee, increased flexibility through a second premium payment option – Optimax 20 Pay, a multi-life feature that allows up to two life insureds on the same policy, a full range of guaranteed interest options, and unique access to Empire’s Elite XL Investment Program for premium prepayment. “Optimax III is a sustainable, consumer-accountable, participating life insurance product that will appeal to the savvy consumer,” says Herr.

When offering Optimax III to their clients, advisors will be able to take advantage of Empire’s new combined life and health insurance application.

The new application, which also comes into effect June 23, 2003, is the only application advisors need when selling any of Empire’s individual life or health insurance products. It was designed to make doing business with Empire easier for advisors and clients. The easy-to-understand and complete application is aimed at reducing the number of follow-up calls needed to complete missing information, helping to reduce processing turnaround time.

The International Equity Fund and Global Balanced Fund are the newest additions to Empire’s Elite Family of Funds. The International Equity Fund is a well-diversified portfolio with investments in high quality corporations located outside North America. The Global Balanced Fund is geared toward investors seeking exposure to both global equities and global bonds. The two new funds will give investors more options for global diversification within the Elite Family of Funds.

The funds will be actively managed by UBS Global Asset Management (Canada) Co. (UBS Global AM), a member of one of the world’s largest financial institutions, UBS AG. UBS Global AM was selected by Empire for its proven record of consistent performance with a consistent investment style that complemented Empire’s investment philosophy. Empire’s conservative, value-oriented style and philosophy of segregated fund management has earned the company the distinction of being one of Canada’s Top Ten fund families (R. Carrick, The Globe and Mail, March 2003) for a second consecutive year.

The mission of The Empire Life Insurance Company is to provide solutions for the changing financial security needs of Canadians. Under the marketing identity Empire Financial Group, Empire offers a range of individual and group insurance and investment products, retirement and corporate services and employee benefit programs.