New Major Acquisition for SSQ Financial Group - SSQ Financial Group acquires AXA Life Insurance

QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - SSQ Financial Group announces today that it has reached an agreement to acquire AXA Life Insurance with the support of its majority shareholder, Fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ). The acquired company, who will be known as SSQ, Insurance Company Inc., will become an entity of SSQ Financial Group.

Based in Montreal, AXA Life Insurance offers a full range of individual insurance and specialized group insurance products and has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Dartmouth. Including its two distribution subsidiaries (SFAA and SécuriGroupe), AXA Life Insurance generated $169 million in premiums, $856 million in reported assets and $129 million in equity in 2010, while providing jobs to approximately 250 people.

"Today's announcement reflects our strategic priorities which are to accelerate our growth and diversify our activities through acquisitions. We are proud of this acquisition which is in line with our objectives. The range of services offered by AXA Life Insurance will fit right in with our existing product offering and strengthen our position as a key player in insurance and financial products in Canada," declared Mr. René Hamel, CEO of SSQ Financial Group.

This acquisition will especially help SSQ Financial Group strengthen its position on the individual insurance market, increase its presence throughout Canada, broaden its distribution network for its range of segregated funds (ASTRA Funds), and add a complementary group insurance product portfolio.

Moreover, SSQ Financial Group is extremely pleased with the trust shown by FSTQ. This support is greatly appreciated and is a clear demonstration that FSTQ is behind SSQ Financial Group as it becomes a major diversified player in Canada.

About SSQ Financial Group

With over $2 billion in annual revenue and more than $7 billion in assets under management, SSQ Financial Group is a leading mutual diversified financial institution. The Group serves over 1 million customers and provides jobs to over 1,600 employees. SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc., the Group's principal company, is recognized as a leader in the group insurance industry and as an expert in the investment and retirement sector. SSQ Financial Group is also a rising star in home and auto insurance (SSQ General Insurance Company Inc.). To find out more, consult our site at www.ssq.ca.

SOURCE SSQ FINANCIAL GROUP

For further information:

Élaine Dumais 
(418) 650-3457 ext. 6292
elaine.dumais@ssq.ca


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