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RELIASTAR'S WASHINGTON SQUARE MORTGAGE CO. ACQUIRES DES MOINES-BASED JAMES MORTGAGE

 Larry James Named President


MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Square Mortgage Co., a subsidiary of ReliaStar Financial Corp. (NYSE: RLR), has acquired James Mortgage, a Des Moines-based mortgage lender. In conjunction with the acquisition, Larry James was named president of Washington Square Mortgage.

Washington Square Mortgage, also based in Des Moines, is a nationwide lender specializing in wholesale lending and buying mortgage loans from retail lenders such as James Mortgage.

Kenneth Kuk, vice president at ReliaStar, said James Mortgage's expertise in mortgage banking was attractive to Washington Square Mortgage as it builds the economies of scale required to compete effectively in this market.

"As a retail residential lender, James Mortgage brings capabilities that can be leveraged throughout Washington Square Mortgage in our efforts to deal more directly with consumers in select markets," Kuk said.

James Mortgage will continue to operate independently under its current name. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Larry James Named President

In conjunction with the acquisition, ReliaStar announced that Larry James has been named president of Washington Square Mortgage. William Walsh has been named president of James Mortgage.

James founded James Mortgage in 1989 and has owned and operated it since that time. His 24-year career in mortgage lending includes tenures as manager of the residential lending division of United Federal Savings Bank of Des Moines, and as senior vice president of the residential mortgage division of USAA Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio.

"Larry James brings a strong background of mortgage lending that blends nicely with the expertise of our correspondents and the direction that we're pursuing," Kuk said. "We're committed to growing and enhancing our wholesale products and services to our correspondents. The changing dynamics of our industry require the skills and experience of a person like Larry."

William Walsh has served as vice president of James Mortgage since 1990.

"Our customers will only see improvements in the products and services already offered by James Mortgage," Walsh said. "We will continue to operate as an independent mortgage banker as we have since 1989, but being a part of Washington Square Mortgage will enable us to be even more competitive."

Founded in 1885, ReliaStar Financial Corp. (formerly The NWNL Companies) provides financial security through individual life insurance and annuities, employee benefits, reinsurance, retirement plans, asset management and mutual funds.
 -0- 11/9/95


/CONTACT: Ruth Weber of ReliaStar, 612-372-5628/

(RLR)

CO: ReliaStar Financial Corp.; James Mortgage; Washington Square

Mortgage Co. ST: Minnesota, Iowa IN: FIN SU: TNM

KW-xx -- MN010 -- 0472 11/09/95 12:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 9, 1995
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