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Joint Venture Strengthened

October 13, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ An investment trust management unit of Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance Co. and U.S.-based Putnam Investments confirmed Tuesday they will strengthen an alliance formed in 1997 by developing an investment trust product line.

Nissay Asset Management Corp. and Putnam will develop the joint product line and strengthen sales training and distribution capabilities in the investment trust management market, they said.

Putnam has also pledged to take a 10 percent capital position in Nissay Asset.

Putnam and Nissay Asset will prepare for a joint entry into the Japanese market for defined contribution retirement savings programs resembling U.S. 401(k) accounts, the two companies said.

Putnam and Nissay Asset formed a strategic alliance in 1997, under which the companies have developed and marketed products for institutional investors.

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