HARTFORD, Conn., September 2, 2003 — Aetna Inc. (NYSE: ΑET) announced today that John W. Rowe, M.D., the company’s chairman and CEO, has adopted a prearranged trading plan in accordance with guidelines specified by Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and the company’s policies with respect to insider sales.
Rule 10b5-1 permits officers and directors of public companies to adopt predetermined plans for selling specified amounts of stock. The plans may be entered into only when the director or officer is not in possession of material, nonpublic information and may be used to gradually diversify investment portfolios over a period of time.
Under this 10b5-1 plan, Dr. Rowe has begun to exercise employee stock options and sell shares representing approximately 10 percent of his current holdings beginning in September 2003. Dr. Rowe has indicated that he also intends to adopt a similar plan next year.
Dr. Rowe said, “I believe that Aetna remains on a path to regain industry leadership, our momentum continues to grow, and I am very confident about the company’s future prospects. I am adopting the 10b5-1 plan on the recommendation of my advisers as a way of achieving prudent diversification of my family’s investments.”
Dr. Rowe also has established a grantor-retained annuity trust and has transferred certain Aetna securities into the trust to enable his children to benefit from any future appreciation in the Aetna stock price. This is a common financial and tax strategy used by executives and allowed by the IRS.
Other Aetna executives may from time to time adopt 10b5-1 plans to diversify their holdings of Aetna stock.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care products, serving more than 13.0 million medical members, 11.3 million dental members and 11.7 million group insurance customers, as of June 30, 2003. The company has expansive nationwide networks of more than 579,000 health care services providers, including nearly 349,000 primary care and specialist physicians and 3,589 hospitals. For more information about Aetna, please visit the company's web site at www.aetna.com.