TORONTO, April 1, 2009 – 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
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.
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).
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