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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gratton Gives Up Power Chair at Putnam Parent

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Changes are afoot at Montreal-based Power Financial, whose Great-West Lifeco unit purchased Putnam Investments last year. Power is famous for being run as almost a family business controlled by the Desmarais clan.

Robert Gratton, who has served as executive chairman since 2005, is relinquishing his post.

Before taking the chairman post, Gratton had been a long-time leader at Power, taking over as CEO from Paul Desmarais, Sr. in 1990 after being named president of Power Financial in 1989.

Gratton, who is 64 years old, said that he would not run for reelection to the post during the company's annual meeting, saying he intends to retire instead.

Andre Desmarais and Paul Desmarais, Jr. -- both sons of Paul Desmarais, Sr. -- are taking over as co-chairmen replacing Gratton. Both Desmarais are in their fifties. In addition, the board named Raymond McFeetors as vice-chair.

Company Press Release

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 8, 2008) - At the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held in Montreal today, Robert Gratton indicated that he was retiring as an executive of Power Financial Corporation (TSX:PWF) and therefore would not be standing for re-election as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Gratton was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Financial in 1990, having served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Financial's subsidiary Montreal Trust, from 1982 to 1989. He became executive Chairman of the Board of Power Financial in May 2005. He remains a member of the Board of Directors.

At the meeting, Mr. Gratton told the shareholders of Power Financial Corporation that they could count on his continuing interest in and support of the group companies and their management.

The Board of Directors today approved the appointment of Andre Desmarais and Paul Desmarais, Jr. as Co-Chairmen of the Board of Directors.

Also today Raymond McFeetors was elected to the Board of Directors of Power Financial Corporation and was named Vice-Chairman of the Board. Mr. McFeetors will work closely with R. Jeffrey Orr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, and will have ongoing responsibility for the Corporation's investment in the Great-West Lifeco group of companies.

Power Financial Corporation is a diversified management and holding company that has interests, directly or indirectly, in companies that are active in the financial services sector in Canada, the United States and Europe. It also has substantial holdings in a diversified industrial group based in Europe. Power Financial Corporation is a member of the Power Corporation of Canada group of companies.

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