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AMEV HOLDINGS TO CHANGE NAME TO FORTIS, INC.; NEW CORPORATE NAMES ADOPTED FOR WESTERN LIFE, MBL GROUP, FOUR OTHER AMEV SUBSIDIARIES

 AMEV HOLDINGS TO CHANGE NAME TO FORTIS, INC.; NEW CORPORATE NAMES
 ADOPTED FOR WESTERN LIFE, MBL GROUP, FOUR OTHER AMEV SUBSIDIARIES
 NEW YORK, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- AMEV Holdings, Inc., the U.S. holding company of the $40 billion combined operations of N.V. AMEV and AG Group, today said it will change its corporate name to Fortis, Inc., effective Jan. 2, 1992.
 The company said its new name will more closely identify it with the new worldwide corporate entity, Fortis, which represents the joint activities of N.V. AMEV and AG Group.
 "Fortis, which comes from the Latin word meaning strong, determined, steadfast and robust, unites our companies under one corporate banner that symbolizes the strength of our businesses and our global focus," said Allen Freedman, chairman and chief executive officer of AMEX Holdings.
 "Unless the Fortis name, we intend to aggressively expand our operations through strategic acquisitions of niche insurance and financial service businesses," he said.
 Freedman said the Fortis identity program also will involve new corporate names for several AMEV subsidiaries. These companies include:
 Western Life Insurance and MBL Group together will be renamed Fortis Benefits Insurance Company;
 Financial Security Life Insurance in New York will become First Fortis Life Insurance company;
 AMEV Financial Group will become Fortis Financial Group;
 AMEV Asset Management, Inc., will become Fortis Asset Management, Inc.; and
 AMEV Venture Management, Inc., will become Fortis Private Capital, Inc.
 Freedman said U.S. holdings include seven operating companies which report directly to Gordon Gaddy, president and chief operating officer of AMEV Holdings, Inc. Four companies will be repositioned to operate under the new Fortis "banner." For example, Western Life/MBL Group will change its name on Jan. 2, 1992, and operate as "Fortis Benefits." Fortis Benefits will be the 12th largest group insurance company in the United States. The other three operating units will retain their present names and identities which are well known in their respective markets.
 According to Freedman, MBL Group is the most recent addition to the AMEV family of U.S. companies. MBL Group, formerly Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company's Group Life, Accident and Health Division, was acquired in October for approximately $500 million in cash and contingent notes.
 In early January, Fortis, Inc., will launch an extensive advertising program to communicate its new name.
 AMEV Holdings, founded in 1978, is a $4 billion U.S. holding company for a network of specialty insurance and financial services companies, including Time Insurance, American Security Group, and United Family Life, all of which are rated A or better by A.M. Best & Co.
 The company has annualized revenues in excess of $2 billion and shareholders' equity in excess of $600 million. AMEV Holdings' Dutch parent company, N.V. AMEV, and its Belgian parent, AG Group, combined their operating activities in December 1990, creating Fortis, the second largest insurance group in the Benelux countries. N.V. AMEV's ADRs trade over-the-counter on the NASDAQ system.
 -0- 12/13/91
 /CONTACT: Meril Joseph of AMEV Holdings, 212-323-9800, or Scott Tagliarino of Dewe Rogerson, 212-688-6840, for AMEV Holdings/ CO: AMEV Holdings, Inc.; Fortis, Inc. ST: New York IN: INS SU:


KD -- NY004 -- 2349 12/16/91 08:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 16, 1991
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