BMO Bolsters BMO Life With New Products and New Distribution



    
    Completes acquisition of AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada

    -   All-cash transaction valued at approximately C$329.5 million.
    -   Accretive to earnings in Year 1.
    -   Impact on BMO's Tier 1 Capital under 10 bps.
    

    TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group today announced that it has
completed the acquisition of AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada (AIG Life of
Canada). The acquisition, which was announced January 13, 2009, is an all-cash
transaction valued at approximately C$329.5 million.
    "This acquisition will strengthen BMO Life's competitive position, giving
us immediate scale and capabilities in the life insurance market and will
allow us to meet our clients unmet insurance needs," said Gilles Ouellette,
President and Chief Executive Officer of BMO's Private Client Group. "To
secure their lifestyle and retirement needs, our clients are looking for both
investment and tax-efficient insurance solutions. To help our clients, BMO
Nesbitt Burns Inc. has more than 800 investment advisors who are also life
insurance agents, and in Quebec, financial security advisors with BMO Nesbitt
Burns Financial Services Inc."
    With the completion of the acquisition, BMO Life is strengthened with 300
new employees, 400,000 customers, Managing General Agents, and a network of
more than 5,000 brokers across the country.
    BMO Life intends to build on the already strong relationships with the
Managing General Agents and is committed to providing outstanding support and
service to brokers.
    Effective April 1, 2009, AIG Life of Canada becomes BMO Life Assurance
Company and will adopt the BMO Insurance brand for all of its marketing,
broker and customer communications. It will operate within BMO's wealth
management division, the Private Client Group.
    BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to BMO Financial
Group on this transaction.

    Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    Bank of Montreal's public communications often include written or oral
forward-looking statements. Statements of this type are included in this press
release, and may be included in other filings with Canadian securities
regulators or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or in other
communications. All such statements are made pursuant to the 'safe harbor'
provisions of, and are intended to be forward-looking statements under, the
United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and any
applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements may
involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and
priorities for 2009 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets,
expectations for our financial condition or share price, and the results of or
outlook for our operations or for the Canadian and U.S. economies.
    By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make
assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is
significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will
not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions may not be correct and that
actual results may differ materially from such predictions, forecasts,
conclusions or projections. We caution readers of this press release not to
place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements as a number of factors
could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ
materially from the targets, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed
in the forward-looking statements.
    The future outcomes that relate to forward-looking statements may be
influenced by many factors, including but not limited to: general economic and
market conditions in the countries in which we operate; weak capital and/or
credit markets; interest rate and currency value fluctuations; changes in
monetary policy; the degree of competition in the geographic and business
areas in which we operate; changes in laws; judicial or regulatory
proceedings; the accuracy and completeness of the information we obtain with
respect to our customers and counterparties; our ability to execute our
strategic plans and to complete and integrate acquisitions; critical
accounting estimates; operational and infrastructure risks; general political
conditions; global capital market activities; the possible effects on our
business of war or terrorist activities; disease or illness that impacts on
local, national or international economies; disruptions to public
infrastructure, such as transportation, communications, power or water supply;
and technological changes.
    We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible
factors. Other factors could adversely affect our results. For more
information, please see the discussion on pages 30 and 31 of Bank of
Montreal's 2008 Annual Report, which outlines in detail certain key factors
that may affect Bank of Montreal's future results. When relying on
forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Bank of Montreal,
investors and others should carefully consider these factors, as well as other
uncertainties and potential events, and the inherent uncertainty of
forward-looking statements. Bank of Montreal does not undertake to update any
forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made, from
time to time, by the organization or on its behalf, except as required by law.
The forward-looking information contained in this document is presented for
the purpose of assisting our shareholders in understanding our financial
position as at and for the periods ended on the dates presented and our
strategic priorities and objectives, and may not be appropriate for other
purposes.
    Assumptions about the performance of the Canadian and U.S. economies in
2009 and how that will affect our businesses were material factors we
considered when setting our strategic priorities and objectives, and our
outlook for our businesses. Key assumptions included that the Canadian and
U.S. economies will contract in the first half of 2009, and that interest
rates and inflation will remain low. We also assumed that housing markets in
Canada will weaken in 2009 and strengthen in the second half of the year in
the United States. We assumed that capital markets will improve somewhat in
the second half of 2009 and that the Canadian dollar will strengthen modestly
relative to the U.S. dollar. In determining our expectations for economic
growth, both broadly and in the financial services sector, we primarily
consider historical economic data provided by the Canadian and U.S.
governments and their agencies. Tax laws in the countries in which we operate,
primarily Canada and the United States, are material factors we consider when
determining our sustainable effective tax rate.

    About BMO

    BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial
services organization that provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth
management, and investment banking products and solutions to more than seven
million clients and customers across Canada. BMO offers a range of innovative
and easy-to-understand insurance solutions that includes: life and disability
insurance on mortgages, loans and lines of credit; MasterCard Outstanding
Balance insurance; DirectTerm life insurance; Personal Accident Protection,
critical illness, and travel insurance. BMO Nesbitt Burns and its predecessor
companies have been helping investors meet their financial goals since 1912.  
Today, BMO Nesbitt Burns has more than 74 branches and 1400 Investment
Advisors (as of December 31, 2008).





For further information:

For further information: For News Media Enquiries: Paul Gammal, Toronto,
paul.gammal@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal,
ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1873; For Investor Relations Enquiries: Viki
Lazaris, Toronto, viki.lazaris@bmo.com, (416) 867-6656; Steven Bonin, Toronto,
steven.bonin@bmo.com, (416) 867-5452; Internet: www.bmo.com


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