Foresters to expand in the UK

Communication Workers Friendly Society to merge with Forester Life

TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Foresters™, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, announced that the Communication Workers Friendly Society (CWFS) intends to merge into Forester Life later this year, as part of a process known as a transfer of engagements. The value of the transaction is not being disclosed at this time.

CWFS, based in Wimbledon, UK, is a with-profits provider with assets under management of CDN$168.5m (£105m) and around 26,000 members. Forester Life, the UK operations of Foresters, has assets of over CDN$1,043m (£650m) and more than 210,000 members in the UK.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Foresters acquisition of New York-based First Investors Consolidated Corporation.

"The CWFS proposed transfer is a major development in Foresters global growth strategy," said Foresters President and CEO George Mohacsi. "Foresters continues to build on its financial strength to increase the depth and breadth of our organization, grow our membership and strengthen our members' communities."

"This is an important deal for our members which will provide an opportunity for their savings to perform more strongly in the future," said Nigel Briggs, Chief Executive Officer of CWFS. "In Forester Life we have found a strong partner with an excellent reputation for customer service and a proven track record of helping members in their communities."

The transfer, which is subject to the approval of both CWFS members and the Financial Services Authority, is expected to happen during the third quarter of this year. CWFS will remain open for business until the merger has been completed in order to continue to provide communication workers with an opportunity to save on a convenient and affordable basis.

In commenting on the agreement, Euan Allison, Group Managing Director of Forester Life and Foresters, said: "This is great news for both Forester Life and for CWFS.  While we continue to achieve impressive growth organically through our nationwide team of financial advisers, this deal meets our long-term strategy of also expanding by mergers and partnerships."

About Foresters
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, Foresters™ champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters has assets of $6.2 billion with liabilities of $4.8 billion resulting in a surplus of $1.4 billion (all figures in Canadian dollars as of December 31, 2009) and maintains an "A" (Excellent) rating by A.M. Best*. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 765,000 members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Foresters Equity Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, offers investment products in the U.S. Unity Life of Canada and First Investors Consolidated Corporation are wholly owned subsidiaries of Foresters. For more information, please visit www.foresters.com.

ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.

*An "A" (Excellent) rating is assigned to companies that have a strong ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders and have, on balance, excellent balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile when compared to the standards established by A.M. Best Company. In assigning Foresters rating, A.M. Best stated that Foresters rating outlook is "stable", which means it is unlikely to change in the near future, assuming Foresters financial strength is maintained and operations grow. A.M. Best assigns ratings from A++ to F, A++ being superior ratings and A and A- being excellent ratings. Investments offered through Foresters Equity Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC, 6640 Lusk Blvd., Suite A-202, San Diego, CA 92121 T. 858 550 4844.

About Forester Life
Forester Life is a UK life company based in Bromley, UK, providing a range of straightforward financial solutions to help address protection, saving, investing and pension planning. Its products are available through its UK network of financial advisers. For more information please visit www.foresters.co.uk/

About  Communication Workers Friendly Society
Communication Workers Friendly Society based in Wimbledon, UK, was formed in 1895 as a branch of the Postmen's Federation. It currently has just under 26,000 members and funds under management of £105m. CWFS retains sufficient capital to meet policyholder liabilities and FSA requirements, and at its last valuation had a capital coverage ratio of 217%*. Its website is www.cwfs.co.uk/

* Interim valuation 30 June 2010

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:
Foresters     
Irene Shimoda     
(416) 467-2544    
1-877-664-6602 (toll free in North America)   
ishimoda@foresters.com

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