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Bankers Life and Casualty Company and Merchandise Mart Renew Relationship as Insurer Begins Next 125 Years

Chicago, Ill., 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 staffs.

"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 Mart."

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.

About Bankers Life and Casualty Company
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

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.

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