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Vestar Announces Symetra IPO

Bellevue, Wash., Oct. 5, 2009 - Symetra Financial Corporation (Symetra) announced today it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of common stock.

The offering will consist of primary shares to be sold by the company and secondary shares to be sold by some of its existing stockholders. Symetra intends to use the net primary proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include contributions of capital to its insurance subsidiaries and pursuit of its growth strategies. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders.

An investment group led by White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd., and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns Symetra. Upon completion of this offering, these two shareholders will continue to beneficially own common stock in the company.

Symetra will apply to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SYA." A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

The offering of these securities will be made only by means of a prospectus, copies of which may be obtained, when available, from BofA Merrill Lynch, Attention: Prospectus Department, 4 World Financial Center, New York, New York 10080, or by calling (212) 449-1000; from J.P. Morgan, 4 Chase Metrotech Center, CS Level, Brooklyn, New York 11245, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by calling (718) 242-8002; Goldman, Sachs & Co., Prospectus Department, 85 Broad Street, New York, New York 10004, or by calling (866) 471-2526, or by facsimile at (212) 902-9316, or by emailing [email protected]; or from Barclays Capital, c/o Broadridge, Integrated Distribution Services, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, [email protected], or by calling (888) 603-5847.

About Symetra Financial

Symetra Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries provide employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisors. Headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., Symetra and its subsidiaries have approximately $21 billion in assets.1

1Total GAAP assets at June 30, 2009.