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WARD ARMSTRONG NAMED PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN EXPRESS INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 25, 1996--American Express Institutional Services announced today that Ward Armstrong has been named as the organization's new president. He assumes his new role immediately.

"I'm eager to build on American Express Institutional Services' commitment to growth in the 401(k) and defined contribution marketplace. We're a leader in the defined contribution and 401(k) arena because of our breadth and quality of services and expertise across the entire industry," said Armstrong. "I hope to strengthen our position as the industry's most comprehensive provider of retirement planning products and services."

Armstrong helped develop American Express Institutional Services' new aggressive, multi-year growth goals and strategies. These initiatives, which dramatically expanded sales, marketing and client service efforts in 1996, are projected to double market share by the year 2000. Armstrong, the organization's senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the last three years, also led the company most recently through decentralization and expansion of its sales force.

"Today, American Express Institutional Services is one of the top sellers of 401(k)s in America. Armstrong played an important role in building that position. He inherits a very solid management team that, together with Armstrong, will continue to grow our business aggressively and provide clients with exceptional service," said Mark Ernst, senior vice president of Workplace Financial Services for American Express Financial Advisors.

Armstrong has 19 years of experience in the employee benefits industry, beginning with Aetna Life and Casualty's Employee Benefits Division where he was responsible for marketing investment management services and group insurance products to major employers throughout the Midwest. He came to American Express Institutional Services in 1984 to lead the company's marketing efforts in the Central Region. In 1988 Armstrong became the organization's national sales manager where he had responsibility for both client acquisition and client relationship management. Since that time American Express Institutional Services managed assets have grown from $800 million to an anticipated $14 billion by year-end 1996. Also during Armstrong's tenure, the organization's plan participant base has increased from 131,000 in 1987 to 621,000 in 1996.

American Express Institutional Services, in conjunction with American Express Trust Company, provides recordkeeping and trustee services for qualified retirement plans. Its client list includes large municipalities such as the State of Utah, the City of San Diego, and companies such as Pillsbury, Carlson Companies, ShopKo, and Mercedes Benz. Based in Minneapolis, American Express Institutional Services has 10 regional sales offices in: Chicago; Dallas; New York/New Jersey metro; Boston; Atlanta; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington D.C.; Philadelphia and Columbus.

American Express Institutional Services is a division of American Express Financial Corporation, an American Express Company.

CONTACT: Katie Libbe

Phone: 612/671-8510

Fax: 612/671-5031

or

Todd Wold

Phone: 612/671-6583

Fax: 612/671-5031
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
Words:460
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