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Putnam Investments Invests in Maine.

Business Editors

AUGUSTA, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2000

Governor King, Boston-based Putnam Investments and Bangor-based Husson College announced an "Information Age" partnership today that will initially provide up to 200 jobs and a unique virtual, long-distance employment opportunity for residents of rural Maine.

"A combination of Maine's advanced telecommunications infrastructure, Putnam's innovation, Husson College's progressiveness, the legislature's positive approach to the mutual fund industry, and Maine & Company's persistence led to this cutting-edge opportunity," Governor King explained.

"The state of Maine has worked diligently to provide employment opportunities for its citizens and to create an attractive business climate for companies like Putnam Investments," said Lawrence J. Lasser, Putnam's president and chief executive officer. "Putnam is pleased to begin this partnership today."

Putnam, which manages $370 billion in assets and employs more than 6,000 people worldwide, will create two types of employment opportunities for the people of Maine and the students of Husson College.

First, Putnam will set up virtual offices for Maine residents to work in a broad spectrum of jobs - including customer service, systems and management - in their homes. Putnam will provide work-at-home employees with a computer and will wire their home with either ISDN or DSL service. This program will not only provide flexible employment opportunities in outlying areas but will also bring state-of-the-art technology to those areas.

Putnam currently has a work-at-home program for employees based in Massachusetts. The nine-year-old program employs 330 workers. In Maine, Putnam will immediately seek to employ 100 residents in the work-at-home program.

The virtual operation also has a long-distance learning aspect, giving work-at-home employees access to both proprietary training and general career building skills over the wires.

"I refer to it as `career laddering'," explained Joe Wischerath, executive vice president of Maine & Company, a private organization that helped bring Putnam to Maine. "This entire program allows people in Maine to build skills toward more advanced opportunities in the mutual fund industry."

Second, Husson College students will be trained in and work in an on-campus Putnam customer-service facility. Putnam has operated a similar program at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts, for five years, employing up to 90 students per semester. At Husson, 50 to 90 students will be employed at this campus center.

"The on-campus opportunity gives students the unique ability to earn income, gain valuable experience, and learn about the rapidly growing mutual fund industry," explained Husson's president, Dr. William Beardsley. "This could also lead to more permanent, professional careers with Putnam once they graduate."

Putnam may expand the two-part jobs program to other sites in the future, which would significantly increase the employment in Maine.

The partnership between Putnam and Maine originated several years ago, when Governor King and his economic development team asked Putnam to consider building a facility in the state. Maine & Company renewed discussions with Putnam executives in May 1999, leading to the announcement today.

In the recently completed legislative session, Rep. Jane Saxl of Bangor sponsored a bill to improve Maine's tax competitiveness for mutual fund companies. Under the old state law, it was unclear whether Maine would tax all assets managed by a mutual fund company that moved a portion of its operations into the state. Other New England states had recently amended their tax laws to clarify such issues, in the hopes that mutual fund companies would move operations into those states. Rep. Saxl's bill amended Maine's tax code making Maine a more attractive location for mutual fund companies. The new legislation helped make possible Putnam's move to Maine.

About Putnam Investments:

Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is one of the nation's oldest and largest money management firms. Putnam manages $370 billion for 12 million individual shareholder accounts and 1,000 institutional clients. Putnam has offices in Boston, London and Tokyo. For more information about Putnam, visit the "News & Outlook" section of the company's Web site, www.putnaminv.com.

To inquire about job opportunities in the state of Maine, visit Putnam's Web site, www.putnaminv.com or write to the company at: Putnam Investments, Attn. Human Resources Dept. P.O. Box 2217, Boston, MA 02107. For a recorded message about the jobs program, call 1-800-700-8347.

About Husson College:

Husson College is a fully-accredited, 102 year old private college located on a 200-acre campus in Bangor, Maine, with continuing education sites in Caribou, Lewiston and Portland. With a current enrollment just over 2000 students, the college offers master's, bachelor's and associate degrees in the schools of business, health and science and humanities, with 27 majors available. Auxiliary enterprises include the New England School of Communications, the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, the International Center for Language Studies and the Husson Science Research Institute.

About Maine & Company:

Maine & Company is a private, non-profit organization that works in partnership with business and government leaders to attract new businesses to Maine. Maine & Company's goal is to provide any information needed to help companies make the best, most informed site location decision for their specific needs. For more information, visit www.maineco.org or call (207) 871-0234.
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Date:May 31, 2000
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