BURLINGTON, VT, September 20, 2004 – Champlain Investment Partners, LLC (“Champlain”) is pleased to announce that several former employees of National Life Group’s investment management subsidiary, NL Capital Management, Inc. have joined Champlain as Principals.  The group of professionals, led by Scott T. Brayman and Judith W. O’Connell, comprise the core of Champlain’s investment, client service, and operations team, which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment advisor focused on small and mid cap equity investment strategies for public and private pension and endowment plans.

Scott T. Brayman, CFA, will lead the investment team, which includes Van Harissis, CFA, David M. O’Neal, CFA, and Deborah R. Healey; all of whom are joining Champlain from NL Capital.   Together they will continue executing a disciplined small and mid cap equity investment approach.  Brayman brings more than 20 years of investment experience to Champlain, and was most recently responsible for managing over $1.5 billion in assets, including the Sentinel Small Company Fund and Sentinel Core Mid Cap Fund.  “I feel especially privileged to be part of such an exceptional group of experienced people and partners,” comments Brayman.  Harissis, who also has 20 years of investment experience, was formerly Lead Portfolio Manager of the Large Cap Equity Team at NL Capital where he was responsible for managing approximately $1.4 billion in assets, primarily in the Sentinel Common Stock Fund. O’Neal will be a senior investment analyst specializing in health care research.  Healey who also joins from NL Capital will manage the equities trading for Champlain bringing a wealth of experience as senior trader with Fidelity Investments and Putnam Investments in Boston.

Judy O’Connell will have primary responsibility for the Champlain’s day-to-day operations, client service, and marketing.  Prior to Champlain, O’Connell was Senior Vice President at NL Capital with primary responsibility for client service, marketing and operations for the firm’s institutional business.  Other key professionals include Mary E. Michel and Wendy Nunez.

Champlain Investment Partners, LLC is structured as a private partnership, in which key employees have majority ownership of the equity.  “The alignment created by broad equity distribution will enable us to attract and retain key people,” states Brayman.

Rosemont Investment Partners, LLC has provided funding for the operations and growth of Champlain, as well as ongoing strategic value. “We feel that this group of investment professionals will thrive in an independent, employee-owned firm.  With Rosemont’s capital and strategic assistance, the principals of Champlain are ideally positioned to create a firm that aligns the interests of its clients, employees and partners,” stated David Silvera, Managing Director of Rosemont Investment Partners, LLC.   Rosemont Investment Partners, LLC is a private equity firm focused on the asset management industry.

Champlain has filed a no-load mutual fund with the SEC to serve the needs of individual investors, and retirement plans.  “With the hiring of a complete team of experienced professionals with outstanding investment track records and broad operations/compliance experience, along with the sponsorship of Rosemont, Champlain can immediately offer clients investment services and client support consistent with our goal of developing enduring client relationships,” comments O’Connell.