As Holden Group's president. Robert Mepham intends to capitalize on the annuities-marketing company's new status as a wholly owned unit of a major Canadian life insurance company, London Insurance Group.

Mr. Mepham, 56, and his executive team plan to help financial institutions sell more of Holden's fixed and variable annuities.

The executives will also promote Holden as a partner to financial institutions that plan to roll out their own annuities.

"This will be a deliberate process." Mr. Mepham said. "Our message is we're a quality organization that has just been made better."

Mr. Mepham, who has spent his entire career with London Insurance Group, starting as an actuary in 1959, was named this month to succeed R. Brock Armstrong as president and chief executive of Holden.

Mr. Armstrong returned to Ontario as executive vice president of London Insurance's chief Canadian life insurance unit

The shuffling followed London Insurance's move in late May to take full control of Holden by purchasing from founder Glen Holden the 40% of the company it didn't already own.

Mr. Mepham said the change is expected to give Holden higher credit ratings and the ability to benefit from the parent's significant capital.

He maintains that Holden, which plans to change its name soon to London Insurance Group of America, warrants a slot on banks' product lists alongside, or even in place of, better-known names such as ITT Hartford.

"We have the marketing organization" to run sales programs within banks. Mr. Mepham said.

"And then we can stay on as a manufacturer of products" if banks choose to bring their salesforce in-house.

With additional resources. including marketing support, Holden's core group of 100 financial institutions. and select additions. should boost the company's annuity sales. Mr. Mepham said.

He sees volume accelerating from $100 million in 1993 to $500 million over the next three years, through a combination of stepped-up services and the growing popularity of annuities with consumers.

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