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MUTUAL BENEFIT LIFE AND ITT HARTFORD ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT ON CORPORATE-OWNED BUSINESS

 MUTUAL BENEFIT LIFE AND ITT HARTFORD ANNOUNCE
 JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT ON CORPORATE-OWNED BUSINESS
 NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company In Rehabilitation announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle with The Hartford Life Insurance Company on a joint venture of the companies concerning Mutual Benefit's corporate- owned life insurance business ("COLI").
 The agreement is subject to negotiation of a definitive agreement, regulatory approvals and approval of the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey. The agreement assumes that the proposed changes to current tax regulations affecting the COLI business announced recently by the Department of the Treasury are not adopted by Congress.
 Under the agreement, Hartford Life, a subsidiary of ITT Hartford Insurance Group, will assume Mutual Benefit's existing COLI business, with Mutual Benefit retaining a substantial portion of future profits on the existing block of business as well as an interest in future profits on new business. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 Victor H. Palmieri, deputy rehabilitator and chief executive officer of Mutual Benefit Life, said, "I am extremely pleased that Mutual Benefit's policyholders will continue to benefit from this valuable block of business. The joint venture is in the best interest of all parties affected by the rehabilitation proceeding since it provides Mutual Benefit with a substantial share of future profits that would not be available if Mutual Benefit continued to own the block outright. Consummation of this transaction is an essential component of a successful rehabilitation of Mutual Benefit."
 Samuel F. Fortunato, commissioner of insurance for the State of New Jersey and rehabilitator of Mutual Benefit, said, "We are very encouraged by this agreement. Like the sale of Mutual Benefit's group life and health insurance business to AMEV Holdings last fall, this transaction will allow Mutual Benefit to realize substantial future value which otherwise might have been lost. I am hopeful that Congress will not prevent Mutual Benefit's policyholders from realizing this value by enacting legislation which would seriously jeopardize Mutual Benefit's rehabilitation and adversely affect the insurance industry."
 "We are delighted that Hartford Life has been recommended by Commissioner Fortunato and Mr. Palmieri to assume Mutual Benefit's COLI business," said Lon A. Smith, president and chief operating officer, Hartford Life. "This is a significant new opportunity for ITT Hartford and we are proud that our strong financial record and our excellent investment portfolio will benefit these important new policyholders."
 COLI products are widely used by major corporations as a means of funding or securitizing future benefit plans for their employees and primarily to fund future retiree benefit obligations. Mutual Benefit, which has been a leader in the corporate market, numbers among its clients many of the nation's major corporations. The company has more than 160,000 corporate owned life insurance policies outstanding with a face value of approximately $44 billion. The policies generate annual premium payments of approximately $1.8 billion.
 Mutual Benefit Life was placed in rehabilitation on July 16, 1991 pursuant to orders of the New Jersey Superior Court, Mercer County. The New Jersey Insurance Commissioner has been appointed as the rehabilitator of Mutual Benefit Life and, pursuant to orders of the court, conducts the business and affairs of Mutual Benefit Life.
 ITT Hartford Insurance Group, a subsidiary of ITT Corporation, is one of the nation's oldest and largest multi-line insurance and financial services operations. ITT Hartford markets a full line of life, employee benefit and asset management plans, as well a wide range of property-casualty coverages. Hartford Life Insurance Company is rated "A+" (superior) by A.M. Best Co. and "AAA" by both Standard & Poor's and Duff & Phelps Inc.
 -0- 2/10/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Ann Green of Mutual Benefit Life, 201-481-8105; or Joe Fazzino of ITT Hartford, 203-843-8180/ CO: The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company; ITT Hartford Insurance
 Group ST: New Jersey, Connecticut IN: INS SU: JVN


JT-SH -- NY066 -- 8388 02/10/92 14:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 10, 1992
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