Standard Life and Qtrade announce strategic alliance

MONTREAL and VANCOUVER, June 15, 2011 – The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and the Qtrade Financial Group today announced a strategic alliance which will allow their customers to benefit from an enhanced product and service offering. A series of joint projects are expected to be launched over the next year.

The two companies will first work on offering the Qtrade Investor online brokerage platform to Standard Life’s independent advisors outside Quebec. Qtrade Investor has been ranked the #1 rated online brokerage in Canada by The Globe and Mail for the past five consecutive years, and was also rated the “Best Discount Brokerage” in Canada in December 2010 by Morningstar at the Canadian Investment Awards.

Online brokerage is a growing trend. Approximately one third of adult Canadians either have an online brokerage account or are considering opening one. Over 30% of full-service investors also have an online brokerage account, making an online brokerage platform an important tool in an advisor’s overall offering.

“The new alliance is quite exciting for us as both companies have complementary strengths and it will help Standard Life respond to emerging trends more quickly,” said Sylvain Messier, Vice-President, Strategy and Development of Standard Life.

Joel Bernard, Vice-President, Business Development of the Qtrade Financial Group, added: “We’re thrilled at the opportunities we see working together with Standard Life considering their long history and strength in providing top quality insurance-based wealth management and investment solutions such as segregated funds, to Canadians.”

The Qtrade Financial Group provides brokerage and wealth management solutions to the retail public as well as the clients of over 200 financial institutions across Canada including credit unions, regional banks, financial planning firms, trust companies and portfolio managers.

The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and its affiliated companies offer a full range of products and services for long-term savings and investment to individuals, as well as small and large employers and their employees.

About the Qtrade Financial Group

Qtrade provides its financial institution partners with a single source for market-leading wealth management products and services, including: online, full-service and institutional brokerage services, full-service mutual fund dealer services, insurance dealer services, portfolio management and discretionary money management services and proprietary managed money solutions, including a full range of socially responsible investment solutions. As of March 31, 2011, Qtrade administered over C$6 billion of investment assets.

About Standard Life

Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around 6 million customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and globally with Standard Life Investments.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for 178 years. Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd., has about 2,000 employees and serves more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group benefit and retirement plan members.

As of March 31, 2011, Standard Life plc had C$309 billion in assets under administration, including C$41 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial.