Unum in Solid Financial Position, CEO Watjen Tells Shareholders

  Unum in Solid Financial Position, CEO Watjen Tells Shareholders  Shareholders re-elect directors, approve the company’s executive compensation                           and stock incentive plans  Business Wire  CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- May 24, 2012  In his comments to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today in Portland, Maine, Unum (NYSE:UNM) CEO Thomas R. Watjen touted the company’s performance despite a very difficult external environment and said the need for what the company does has never been greater.  “In many respects, our ‘playbook’ hasn’t changed much from last year,” he said. “We continue to have a focused approach on the business of providing financial protection, and there’s no reason to change that.” In spite of the sluggish employment and interest rate outlook, Watjen sees solid long-term growth opportunities if the company continues to maintain discipline and consistently execute its plan.  “The need for financial protection has never been greater than it is today when so many are living paycheck to paycheck,” he added. “We offer that protection through the workplace, which has consistently proven the best way to reach those at middle and lower income levels in particular and protect them against basic financial risks.”  Watjen said Unum was in financially sound, manageable businesses that are capable of producing attractive returns and generating excess capital. “Over the past four years, we have raised our common dividend by more than 70 percent and repurchased 20 percent of our stock – and unmatched record in our sector.”  Unum achieved operating earnings per share growth of 9.7 percent and the company’s three- and five-year shareholder returns have outperformed industry averages. Watjen said he has every reason to believe this performance is sustainable.  “Like everyone, but particularly those operating in the financial services sectors, we will continue to be tested,” he said. “We are confident, however, in the direction we have set for the company and our ability to maintain our momentum – momentum that we never lost in the financial crisis. In spite of the difficult environment, we believe that we are well-positioned to continue to create solid relative value for our shareholders.”  Executive Vice President and CFO Richard P. McKenney also addressed shareholders at today’s meeting, pointing to the company’s significant earnings growth and its solid financial foundation as evidence that the focus on profitability and financial flexibility is working.  “Simply put, Unum has outperformed a wide cross-section of peers over the past five years by consistently executing a strategy focused on disciplined, profitable growth and prudent capital management,” McKenney said.  He added that the company maintains an unwavering commitment to underwriting and pricing discipline. “We are pleased to hold leading market positions, but we don’t chase market share at the expense of profitability. We will continue to focus on generating the type of profitable growth that has benefited our shareholders over the last several years.”  Like Watjen, McKenney pointed to stable and consistent financial results and improving profitability as keys to Unum’s ability to return capital to its shareholders through both dividend increases and share repurchases.  “These actions reflect our confidence that the business model that we have in place will produce steady, consistent results,” he said. “As such, returning capital to our shareholders will continue to be a steady source of value creation.”  Also at today’s meeting, Unum shareholders elected four directors to terms expiring in 2015. They are: Pamela H. Godwin, president of Change Partners, Inc.; Thomas Kinser, former president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee; A.S. (Pat) MacMillan, Jr., CEO of Triaxia Partners, Inc.; and Edward J. Muhl, former national leader of PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ insurance regulatory advisory practice.  Additionally, Unum shareholders voted in favor of the company’s executive compensation plan and stock incentive plan of 2012.  ABOUT UNUM GROUP  Unum (www.unum.com) is one of the leading providers of financial protection products and services offered through the workplace in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Contact:  Unum Investors Tom White 423-294-8996 or Rob Lockerman 423-294-7498 or Media Jim Sabourin 423-294-6300 866-759-8686  
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