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May 5, 2001
Ohio National, Security Mutual Announce Plans For New Company to Sell Variable Products in NY

Cincinnati, Ohio -- Ohio National Financial Services, Inc., and Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York today announced plans to jointly own and operate a New York-based life insurance company to sell variable life insurance and annuity products.

The new company, to be named National Security Life and Annuity Company (NSLA), will market individual variable life insurance and individual variable annuity products both through registered representatives affiliated with Ohio National and Security Mutual and through Ohio National's Institutional Sales distribution channel. It is anticipated that products will be available for sale beginning in the fourth quarter of 2001.

David B. O'Maley, Ohio National Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and Bruce W. Boyea, Security Mutual Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, made today's joint venture announcement. As part of the announcement, they said that SMON Holdings, Inc., an entity jointly owned by Ohio National and Security Mutual, agreed to acquire First ING Life Insurance Company of New York, a New York domestic life insurance company owned by Security Life of Denver. The acquisition is conditioned upon the receipt of regulatory approvals. After closing, First ING will be renamed National Security Life and Annuity Company, Inc.

"We are excited about the opportunity to further our already strong growth by expanding our market reach," said David B. O'Maley of Ohio National. "Life insurance and asset accumulation businesses represent our strategic growth areas, and our new venture helps us to capitalize on our rapidly expanding bank and stock brokerage affiliations. We look forward to entering the New York market with a very competitive product portfolio that will be offered by National Security Life and Annuity Company, and to supporting the sale of variable products by Security Mutual's sales organization."

"We are delighted that we soon will be able to offer our sales organization and customers a lineup of top-quality variable universal life and variable annuity products, adding diversity to our product offerings and services," said Bruce W. Boyea of Security Mutual. "Partnering with Ohio National allows us to expedite our entry into the variable arena and provide our clients an extremely competitive lineup of variable products with brand-name fund managers. Moreover, this joint venture allows us to share in important economies of scale, which will benefit our policyholders."

Variable products have been a competitive strength for Ohio National for more than 30 years, as the Cincinnati-based company entered the variable annuity marketplace in 1971 and began selling variable universal life insurance in 1987. In 2000, Ohio National's top-selling ONcore variable annuity sales grew by more than 194 percent, with more than $517 million in new premium. Also last fall, the company introduced two new variable universal life products, including a variable universal survivorship product, growing sales by 12 percent.

This represents the second major strategic alliance announced by Ohio National this year. In March, the company announced a strategic alliance with Canada Life to sell and service Ohio National's group life and health line of business. In 2000, Ohio National also acquired a life and annuity company in Chile. "Broadening our strategic alliances allows us to strengthen our focus areas and significantly enhances growth opportunities," O'Maley added.

Tracing its origins to 1909, Ohio National had more than $9.3 billion of assets under management at year-end 2000. Ohio National currently markets a wide variety of competitive insurance and financial products in 47 states (all except Alaska, Hawaii and New York).

Binghamton, New York-based Security Mutual was founded in 1886 and is licensed to do business in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Security Mutual is a fast-growing provider of traditional life insurance, individual annuities, and group employee benefits and offers to individuals, businesses and pension plans a variety of products and services. Based on the company's continued focus on growing the wealth preservation market for high net worth and affluent individuals and the worksite market, the company has realized significant sales growth during the preceding three years, with total life insurance sales increasing 42 percent. The company also reported record earnings for 2000, continuing its positive performance. Security Mutual had $1.5 billion of assets as of Dec. 31, 2000.

Diane Hagenbuch

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Product Issuers: The Ohio National Life Insurance Company
and Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation
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