Industry Confidence in Worksite/Voluntary Market is Up According to the Mid-Year Survey by Eastbridge Consulting Group

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (July 27, 2006) – The voluntary/worksite industry confidence index is up slightly at 101.2 (December 2005 = 100). This is based on the latest version of The Worksite/Voluntary Industry Confidence Index, a Frontline Report published semi-annually by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

The study includes responses from individuals active in the market and includes carriers, brokers, and vendors. Like other confidence indices, the Voluntary Industry Confidence Index is a single number that compares the current results to a baseline measure. For our purposes, the December 2005 results are our baseline. This means that in December of 2005 the Voluntary Industry Confidence Index was 100.

�The increase in the index is largely due to the more positive results (based on means) for the industry profitability and employee enthusiasm questions,� says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. �Expectations for sales stayed pretty consistent with the December results,� adds Bonnie Brazzell, vice president.

In total, 93 percent of those participating in the study expect sales to increase over the next 12 months (about the same percentage as in December). �What�s encouraging,� says Lowerre, �is the increase in optimism regarding the profitability of the industry.� The percentage of those expecting profitability to decrease declined from 10 percent to just 2 percent while those expecting employee enthusiasm to decrease declined from 7 to 2 percent.

The report, The Worksite/Voluntary Industry Confidence Index, also explores the respondents� opinions on persistency/retention, premium rates, and new group growth. For more information, contact Eastbridge at info@eastbridge.com or phone the company at (860) 676-9633.

The Worksite/Voluntary Industry Confidence Index report is free of charge to all Eastbridge Insight and Information Partner Companies.

About Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.