Swiss Life and AWD Holding, an independent financial advisor, are planning to form a strategic partnership to boost their international growth strategies.

Swiss Life will make a voluntary public takeover bid at E30 per share to the shareholders of AWD Holding in January 2008. The family of the company’s founder, Carsten Maschmeyer, also supports the bid and will accept by tendering 20% of the share capital.

Together the Maschmeyer family and Swiss Life already hold over 35% of the shares in AWD. Swiss Life will become one of AWD’s key product partners and AWD will retain its independent financial advisory services business model and its open product platform.

Rolf Dorig, group CEO of Swiss Life, commented: Swiss Life and AWD complement one another ideally. The strategic partnership with AWD enables us to access the growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Austrian market. At the same time, we can expand our market penetration in Germany and strengthen our leading position in Switzerland. By joining forces, both AWD and Swiss Life are well placed for accelerated growth in the years ahead.

Mr Maschmeyer, chairman of the board of management of the AWD group, stated: We have a strong distribution network and a unique advisory services approach. Together, we will be even stronger, even more international and even better equipped to develop new markets. In the new ownership structure we will retain our proven advisory services concept based on the private finance strategy, and continue to offer our clients a broad range of best-in-class products.