(Dec. 18, 2003) - The Principal Financial Group, the nation's 401(k) leader and premier provider of employee benefits, today announced a strategic agreement to acquire the Molloy Companies, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Molloy Companies offer companies and organizations consultative, administrative and claims services for insured and self-funded health plans through top benefit brokers and consultants. The Molloy Companies are best known in the industry for excellent claim service, responsive case management and integrated wellness, claims, actuarial and underwriting services. The company provides services for more than 500 customers, covering more than 130,000 employee lives. Clients range in size from 200 to 12,000 participants. In 2002, the Molloy Companies processed more than $1.5 billion in claims and had 3.5 million transactions.

"This agreement is a positive step forward in our strategic commitment to grow our Health Division by furthering the administration and service offerings available to our clients - especially as it relates to health management," said Gary Cain, senior vice president for the Health Division of the Principal Financial Group. "The foundation the Molloy Companies have built in the promotion and education of individual health will support The Principal in our efforts to assist health plan members as they work to maintain good health, manage illness and balance their wellness spending."          

The Principal Financial Group and the Molloy Companies have worked together in a variety of capacities for more than 35 years, including in more recent years jointly administering self-funded health plans for groups under 500 lives.

"We have a strong history with The Principal - we respect the company, its leaders and its business practices. The Molloy Companies are confident that our clients, and the members who rely on the health plans we administer, will receive not only the high-level service they have experienced from working with us, but also the complete product and service support The Principal offers," said David Blanford, president and CEO of the Molloy Companies.

The Molloy Companies consist of J.F. Molloy & Associates, Inc., Molloy Medical Management, Inc., Molloy Actuarial and Consulting Corporation and Molloy Wellness Company. As part of the business transition, the Molloy Companies will be referred to as a member company of the Principal Financial Group.

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