National Life Introduces Hedge Accounts for Flex Account and e-Universal Life Policies

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TORONTO, June 23, 2003 – National Life now offers Hedge Accounts to new and recently issued Flex Account and e-Universal Life policies, providing policyowners with greater protection against the volatility of stock markets. As a new and unique category of investments, Hedge Accounts act as a convenient access point to the benefits of hedge fund investing. National Life is the first Canadian insurance company to offer Hedge Accounts in universal life policies.

“Many investors are looking for investments that can stand up to poor performance in the stock market,” says Promod Sharma, Actuary, Individual Insurance. “Investments like GICs currently lack appeal because of low interest rates. Therefore, we’ve added a new category of investments which offer performance based on hedge funds.”

The goal of hedge funds is to produce consistent, positive returns independent of prevailing market conditions. To achieve this, managers of hedge funds supplement traditional investment approaches with a variety of alternative investment strategies. This investment flexibility enables fund managers to increase returns, while at the same time lowering volatility, independently of stock market behaviour.

“Our first Hedge Account is the Multi-Strategies Account. Returns are based on the well-received National Life Multi-Strategies (Univest) Fund, which is part of our Alternative Investment Strategies segregated fund product,” says Mr. Sharma. “The aim of the underlying fund is to give a higher rate of return than traditional investments with lower risk than a typical Canadian bond index.”

Hedge Accounts are similar to Market Index Accounts (MIAs) in that returns are based on the percentage change in the unit value of an underlying reference investment. Both MIAs and Hedge Accounts have the potential for positive or negative returns.

The minimum deposit or withdrawal amount from a Hedge Account is $1,000. Deposits may be made annually, monthly, or on an ad hoc basis. The maximum allocation to Hedge Accounts is 80% of new deposits, whether scheduled or ad hoc.

Hedge Accounts are available on the current version of Flex Account and e-Universal Life, and more are planned for in the future. For additional information on Flex Account and e-Universal Life featuring the new Hedge Accounts, please visit www.nationallife.ca or contact marketing@nationallife.ca.

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 is 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, which ranks seventh among Canadian life insurers, with over $17.1 billion in assets under management and under administration.