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Each year at this time I try to give you all a brief recap of last year and a look forward to what is coming. First, let me thank all of you for making this a banner year for our firm. We not only were able to help many of you with your employee benefit needs but due to the expansion of our product lines, we helped many of you with your commercial and personal insurance challenges, as well. As we announced this past year we have added a full slate of commercial insurance markets along with some very competitive personal automobile and homeowner products. Both of these advances have helped us, help you. Again, thank you for a great 2005.

So how do we top that? Well, there are a number of things that will be happening at Edward D. Bates & Associates, Inc, including a name change. Beginning January 1st 2006, our company name was changed to Bates Insurance Group. This change is part of a larger marketing strategy which suggests that folks should better identify what we can do for them, through our name. That was not apparent in our former name. So if you hear from us and something just doesn’t seem the same, it’s only the name, not the people. Second, we are now able to offer financial planning services to our clients and prospect base. This of course consists of personal retirement planning and asset management; corporate retirement plans and their management; a fine selection of individual life and disability products; and much more. We have partnered with Focus Financial Network to bring you these valuable services, so don’t hesitate to inquire.

Finally, Mary has been certified by Blue Cross, Medica and HealthPartners in the new Medicare part D (drugs) program beginning January 1st… If you or your employees have a need to have this new program clarified, (and it is quite complicated) please give Mary a call at 952-942-8355. She would be more than happy to walk you through your choices.

We are very much looking forward to this year and working again with you. Remember always, we aren’t striving to be the largest insurance agency, but the very best. We are interested in hearing from you as to how we can better achieve that.

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