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NATIONAL LIFE AND PROVIDENT MUTUAL SIGN LETTER OF INTENT TO MERGE MUTUAL FUND OPERATIONS

 NATIONAL LIFE AND PROVIDENT MUTUAL SIGN
 LETTER OF INTENT TO MERGE MUTUAL FUND OPERATIONS
 PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier, Vt., and Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia, have signed a letter of intent to enter into a joint venture involving their mutual fund and related operations.
 Under the terms set forth in the letter, the assets of the nine ProvidentMutual Funds will be purchased for shares of Sentinel Funds, the mutual fund organization managed, marketed and serviced by affiliate companies of National Life of Vermont. The transactions, which are subject to approvals by the SEC and the shareholders of both fund groups, would effectively result in the merging of the Provident Mutual funds into the Sentinel Funds. Sentinel, which currently has seven funds under management, would, as a result, grow to include 10 mutual funds.
 In addition, the joint venture will include the American Guaranty & Trust Company, a Provident Mutual affiliate which administers trust services and provides individual and institutional investment advisory services.
 "We're delighted with the prospect of this mutually advantageous combination," said Fred Bertrand, chairman and CEO of National Life, and L.J. "Bud" Rowell Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Provident Mutual, in a joint statement. "Both of our organizations and the shareholders of our respective fund groups stand to realize substantial benefits from the merger. For National Life and Sentinel, those benefits include a significant infusion of assets and the addition of new mutual fund products and distribution channels which will enable us to move forward aggressively in an increasingly competitive mutual fund marketplace. For Provident Mutual, the benefits include access to Sentinel's highly regarded investment management, marketing and distribution capabilities and comprehensive in-house shareholder servicing organization. In addition, both companies will benefit when, as planned, National Life's marketing organization gains access to Provident Mutual's state-of-the- art variable life and annuity products. Investors in the combined fund complex will benefit from economies of scale that are expected to be realized at virtually every level of the merger," they said.
 Sentinel Group Funds, Inc. was founded in 1934. The fund group is currently owned by some 58,000 shareholders whose assets of approximately $1 billion are managed by Sentinel Advisors, Inc., an affiliate of National Life of Vermont. Two other National Life affiliates, Equity Services, Inc., and Sentinel Administrative Service Corp., provide respective marketing and distribution services, and fund accounting, transfer agent and shareholder relations services to the fund family.
 The ProvidentMutual Family of Funds traces its operations back to 1931. Its assets of approximately $600 million are owned by some 50,000 shareholders and are managed by ProvidentMutual Management Company, Inc. The fund family's marketing and distribution services are provided by ProvidentMutual Financial Services, Inc. Both companies are affiliates of Sigma American Corporation, Provident Mutual Life's financial services holding company.
 The merged 10-fund Sentinel family would include the Sentinel Aggressive Growth Fund, Growth Fund, Common Stock Fund, Balanced Fund, Bond Fund, Tax-Free Income Fund, Government Securities Fund, 100 percent U.S. Treasury Money Market Fund, World Fund and Pennsylvania Tax-Free Income Fund. The merged investment company would serve some 108,000 shareholders with assets of approximately $1.6 billion. Assuming SEC and shareholder approval, the merger is anticipated to become effective on March 1, 1993.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/17/92
 /CONTACT: Lori Pickford of Provident Mutual, 215-636-8022/ CO: National Life Insurance Company; Provident Mutual Life Insurance
 Company ST: Vermont, Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: JVN


CC-JS -- PH006 -- 0835 08/18/92 09:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 18, 1992
Words:583
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