BANKERS LIFE AND CASUALTY COMPANY AND MERCHANDISE MART RENEW RELATIONSHIP AS INSURER BEGINS NEXT 125 YEARS
Monday, January 26, 2004
CHICAGO (January 26, 2004) - As Bankers Life
and Casualty Company commemorates its 125th anniversary
this month, the insurer has announced it will extend its
relationship with Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI).
Bankers has renewed its lease with The Merchandise Mart through
2018. The national insurer will occupy space on three separate
floors of The Mart - a landmark building located on the Chicago
River in the Loop. Bankers is The Merchandise Mart's largest tenant
leasing 226,779 square feet of office space for its executive,
legal, human resources, finance, sales, actuarial and marketing
"Bankers is the oldest life and health insurance company in
Chicago," said President and CEO Ed Berube. "John MacArthur, the
president and owner of Bankers for more than 30 years, was a
nationally recognized Chicago entrepreneur. Our home office
employees are Chicagoland people. Our spokesperson, Paul Harvey, is
a Chicago legend. In the same way, the space we occupy is an
equally important part of our Chicago presence and pride. That's
why we are so delighted to have our corporate headquarters at one
of Chicago's most prestigious buildings - The Merchandise
As one of the most unique architectural marvels since the 1930s,
The Merchandise Mart has its place in Chicago's history as a key
destination for commerce. "The Merchandise Mart is famous to the
world for its sheer mass and dominant presence, but is beloved by
Chicago for its distinguished culture within. Bankers headquarters
here helps make The Mart a special place," said Christopher G.
Kennedy, president, MMPI.
Berube, who is a downtown resident of the city, said he looks
forward to walking to The Mart every day. "The people here take
great care of us. That's been true ever since Bankers first moved
to The Mart in 1992, and especially during this milestone
anniversary year for us. We couldn't have asked for a more
supportive partner in arranging all the special details and
activities surrounding our 125th anniversary. We are
very grateful for their help and support."
Berube added that the building, like Bankers itself, has been in
the process of a renewal that's very invigorating. "The Mart's
always been a beautiful space," he said. "But this past year has
been even more exciting as The Mart has introduced 'Luxe Home™',
attracted some special new shops, and totally renovated its public
space on the first and second floors."
Currently, Bankers is working with the Chicago architectural
firm, Partners By Design, Inc. to update its offices at The Mart.
Plans call for structural and design changes that will take
approximately two years to complete.
Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic
Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty
Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of
seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life
insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for
seniors. These products are distributed through a national network
of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at www.bankers.com.
Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) is a
trade show and property management firm, specializing in managing
buildings devoted to wholesale showrooms and commercial office
space. MMPI produces more than 300 trade shows, market events and
conferences each year.
MMPI manages The Merchandise Mart, 350 North Orleans/Chicago
Apparel Center, and 33 North Dearborn in Chicago; Market Square,
the Suites at Market Square, Hamilton Market, Plaza Suites,
Furniture Plaza and the National Furniture Mart in High Point,
N.C.; the Architects & Designers Building in New York; the L.A.
Mart in Los Angeles; and the Washington Design Center and
Washington Office Center in Washington, D.C.
Vornado Realty Trust, owner of MMPI, based in New York City, is
a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust. Vornado's
common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are
traded under the symbol VNO.