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STANDARD LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY. A General Meeting of this Company was held at Edinburgh, on Tuesday last, to receive a Report on the Investigation of the Company's Affairs and Division of Profits, as at 15th November, 1865. On the motion of Sir James Y. Simpson, Bart., W. Stuart Walker, Esq., of Bowland was called to the Chair. The CHAIRMAN, in opening the meeting, said-- We are assembled to-day in a special general meet- ing of this company, to consider a report upon the progress of the Company's business during the five years immediately preceding the 15th Novem- ber, 1865, and upon the statutory investigation of our affairs, and division of profits, which takes place at the conclusion of each quinqennial period of our existence. I shall presently request those gentlemen who have presided over the several de- partments of inquiry to lay before you the results of the investigation but it is proper that I should explain briefly the nature of the procedure by which these results were ascertained. Two com- mittees were appointed by the directors—one to examine the investment accounts and to scrutinise our securities—the other to investigate those ac- counts which represent the company's liabilities. Each account was thus examined by its appropri- ate committee with the utmost care, independently and separately, and the conclusions to which this searching investigation has enabled us to come, are, I am happy to say, highly satisfactory. These committees were composed of professional gentle- men, thoroughly conversant with business transac- tions and matters of account and legal practice. The labour devolved on these committees, you will readily believe, has been very considerable, and our best thanks are due to the members of the Board who acted on them for having given their valuable time and attention to the work for a pe- riod extending over some months. Passing from the machinery of the investigation to its results, it is my pleasing duty to congratulate you and our policyholders on the remarkable progress which the company has made during the past five years, as well as upon its extremely favorable—indeed, I may say, almost unrivalled-position at the pre- sent time. The amount of new assurances effected has risen from S503,854 in 1861, to XI,374,450 in 1865 and while the amount of annual premiums which the new business of 1861 yielded was X16,082, that produced by the new business of 1865 was £ 45,337. These results have been at- tained by a steady perseverance in the liberal but cautious policy which has always guided the Stan- dard Company. A similar advance in prosperity is observable in the amount of surplus profit which this investigation enables the directors to recom- mend for allocation. You are aware, gentlemen, that during the last two years, the directors have incorporated with the business of the Standard, the business of the Minerva, the Victoria, and the Colonial Companies. These amalgamations, you have on former occasions been informed, were ef- fected on terms beneficial to this Company and it will therefore be gratifying to you to learn that the amalgamated companies are working in the most satisfactory manner. The increase in the business of the current year down to the present time amounts to about X80,000, exclusive of Colonial business. But while the directors have every rea- son to congratulate the company upon the acquisi- tion of the business and connection of the institu- tions named, the question arises whether we have not now sufficiently extended ourselves in that way. It would certainly be unwise to bind our- selves by absolute pledges in the event of future contingencies which cannot be foreseen; but it may be assumed that this Institution requires no such further extension, and that the directors will now best promote its interests by striving to deve- lop the company's own resources, and rendering these as profitable as they can for the benefit of all concerned. In these important items of sums assured, annual revenue, and realised funds, the Standard Company holds the following position:— The total sum assured is £ 15,710,982 the annual revenue is S661,195 the accumulated and vested fund is £ 3,661,683. With these facts before us, I venture to think that you will not accuse me of having used terms of extravagant euology in the observations which I have made. JAMES HAY, Esq., merchant, Leith.—I have much pleasure, as chairman of the investigation committee, in bringing before you a favourable report of the company's operations during the five years ended 15th November, 1865, and I beg to congratulate you on the satisfactory result of the quinqennial investigation of its affairs. The chair- man of the committee to which was entrusted the examination of the company's securities will satisfy you that the utmost care has been taken to invest the funds of the company in the most exception- able manner. Higher rates of interest might have been obtained, had the company extended their transactions beyond the most select class of invest- ments but the Board had deemed it wiser to run no risks of any kind to attain a large return. Still as our calculations are based on a very low rate of interest, a large margin of profit has arisen upon the investments during the five years, and has added materially to your divisible surplus. The mortality, although considerably less than that which was provided for by the tables on which the company's calculations are founded, has been greater during the last five years than during the five years ended 15th November, 1860, and more especially during the years 1864 and 1865 but I believe the regis- trar-general's returns exhibit an increased death- rate during these years throughout the country at large. The report itself is so exhaustive that I need not detain you with any further remarks, but it is right I should state that the manager has sub- mitted his calculations in such a clear and distinct form, and explained them so thoroughly, notwith- standing the immense amount of detail which was necessary to bring out the results, that the labours of the committee and of the Board were greatly lightened. T. GRAHAM MURRAY, Esq., W.S.—It is now my duty as chairman of the committee appointed to examine the securities on which your funds are in- vested, to lay the report before you, and it affords me much pleasure to be able to bring up so satis- factory a statement. The duty of the securities investigation committee was two-fold,—to revise, if I may use the expression, each particular invest- ment, and to see that in aggregate amount, and in the details of the various classes of investments, the whole tallied with the balance-sheet of the company. This duty, as the report will tell you, we have been able most satisfactorily to accomplish. The great bulk of your securities are mortgages on, Land, or, as we term them in Scotland, herita- ble bonds, and I do not know any sounder security. Such securities appear now-a-days to be better than even Government securities, because, while yield- ing a steady return, they are not liable te fluctua- tion. Some may perhaps think us square-toed and behind the age that we do not extend our securi- ties more into other kinds of investments, but the money of such an institution as this is intrusted to us not for speculative purposes, but for steady accumulation and I think you will agree we can- not do better than keep as much as possible within the safe limits of landed securities—securities on good broad acres. In these days of speculative investments I believe many companies and more individuals would wish they had followed our example. CHARLES PEARSON, Esq., C.A. Having once more the privilege of being present at a quinquen- nial meeting for the declaration of a bonus, and this being the sixth similar occasion since I became connected with the company as a shareholder, be- sides being one of the assured since 1828, I may be allowed to congratulate both the assured and the proprietors on the very satisfactory progress made by the Standard Life Assurance Company during the last thirty years of its existence. I need scarcely say that we are indebted to the great ability and unwearied zeal and activity of the ma- nagement for the unexampled success and prosperity of the company, which is now one of the largest in the kingdom. As auditor of the company I have had every opportunity of observing its satisfactory progress, and I may be permitted to bear my tes- timony to the continued accuracy of all the books and transactions, of which a thorough and detailed examination is made by me every year. As a member of the investigation committee at this quinquennial period, I can also vouch for the care- ful manner in which the valuations and calculations necessary to ascertain the profits have been made; and, in particular, I may mention that in ascertain- ing the obligations of the company, under the nu- merous policies of assurance, the whole loading, or addition to the pure premiums, has been thrown off, and the net future premiums alone have been valued. The source of a very large amount of funds has thus been left in the concern untouched to meet future expenses, and to add to the profits to be declared five years hence. There is every reason to expect that the prosperity of the company will continue and increase as it has done in times past, and that the profits to be divided at next quinquennial period will at least equal, if they do not exceed, those declared this day. W. T. THOMSON, Esq., the manager of the com- pany, stated that the voluminous nature of the investigation statements prevented his doing more than refer to them, but the meeting had the results fully before them, as certified by him, and corrobo- rated by the investigation committee and, how- ever unsatisfactory it might be for an actuary to find, a" demonstrative of the skill and labour em- ployed, that after months of labour a small slip of paper contained the final result, still the process was one of great satisfaction, for at each quinquen- nial period there was a new beginning, a fresh account, and there was the satisfaction of knowing that the company's affairs had again been proved to be sound and prosperous. The manager further explained that a special investigation had been made into the company's mortality experience, and he referred to various statements and diagrams on the table, but which time would not admit of his then explaining. These statements were—compa- rative tables of the actual and calculated n.ortality in Scotland, in England, and in Ireland respec- tively, among assured lives similar tables under the classes with and without profits distinctively similar tables under lives assured more than five years as compared with lives assured less than five years also, a special investigation of the mortality results among the company's annuitants. He fur- ther explained that these tables referred to the last ten years only, but that an investigation was now in progress which would enable him to report at next general meeting the results of the company's experience for the last forty years. The results so ascertained being to be afterwards combined with those of the other leading Scotch offices and ulti- mately with the results in various leading English offices, as the groundwork of an inquiry into the mortality among assured lives generally. The MANAGER then drew particular attention to another most important department of observation, in connection with which the company had for many years enjoyed the valued aid of their eminent physician, Professor Christison. Dr. CHRISTISON'S report on the mortality expe- rienced by the company for ten years, ended No- vember 15 1865, was then read. LAURENCE ROBERTSON, Esq., cashier of the Royal Bank of Scotland, stated he had been connected with the Standard Company from its commence- ment in 1825, and had enjoyed ample opportunities of studying the very remarkable progress it had made, and also the special care and attention with which the business had been conducted. He moved the adoption of the very able and satisfac- tory report which had been read." GEORGE A. ESSON, .Esq., accountant in bank- ruptcy for Scotland, seconded the motion for the approval of the report and in doing so, after re- viewing the progress of the company and its pre- sent position, drew attention to the beneficial action of the Standard in liberalising the conditions of the policies of insurance. It is, I believe, he stated, a matter of fact, that this company introduced the more liberal conditions of insurance which now prevail very generally to the great advantage of the assured. In 1851 the directors originated the system of select insurances. According to this system policies, after being in existence five years, became unchallengable and undefeasible, save only in case of non-payment of premiums. The holders of such policies, moreover, were allowed per mission, after compliance with certain forms, to travel or reside in any part of the world without license and without extra premium. In 1856 the directors extended the period for the revival of policies which might become void by reason of non-payment of. premiums. They opened a forfeited-policy ac- count to which the value of abandoned policies of more-than five years standing is carried, to await the claims of those interested-the directors having powers to revive these policies on fair and reason- able conditions. In 1861 they still further libera- lised the conditions of the policies by providing that when they were satisfied, from the occupation and other circumstances of the person proposed for assurance, that he had no intention of proceeding beyond the limits of Europe-he being at the time not under 25 years of age—they should be entitled to grant at .once an unrestricted policy, without waiting as before for the period of five years. The directors seem now to have practically attained the highest degree of liberality which can with safety be adopted in dealing with the assured as regards the terms and conditions of insurance. The motion for approval of the report was una- nimously approved of. H. MAXWELL INGLIS, Esq., P.C.S., moved a vote of thanks to the London directors, and to Mr. Williams, the general secretary for England. W. MONCREIFF, Esq., accountant of the court of session, moved a vote to the Dublin Board, and to the resident secretary for Ireland, Mr. Bentham. W. CASTLE SMITH, Esq., of London, proposed a vote of thanks to the Local Boards of this company at home and abroad, and mentioned particularly the London West-End Board in Pall Mall, and the resident secretary, Mr. Fergusson. C. CRANBY BURKE, Esq., master of the common pleas in Ireland, requested a vote of thanks to the agents of the company in Great Britain, Ireland, and the Colonies, which was unanimously agreed to. The CHAIRMAN expressed the acknowledgments of the company to Mr. Thomson, the manager and actuary, for his services. THOMAS PATTON, Esq., of Glenalmond, moved a vote of thanks to the chairman; and the meeting separated.