History of Rocky Mountain Life Insurance Company

From Jim Woods notes for his RML book

The Rocky Mountain Life Insurance Company was formed in 1965 and commenced selling insurance on January 1st, 1966 and the company enjoyed mammoth growth in its first four years of operation.

In 1969 they led the Province in new business produced. Its cost in obtaining this business was the lowest in Canada using Stone & Cox Life Insurance tables & methods of calculation. (Available in Edmonton Public Library).

During the first four years of operation they had spent $375,000 and created hidden assets (not shown on a life company balance sheet) of $2,760,000 valued on a “going concern” basis.

The Romoco organization (Officers and Directors of Rocky Mountain Life Insurance) had also formed the Professional Life Insurance Company and raised in excess of $1,000,000 in 1969 and 1970 in a very severe economic climate.

 The Romoco Organization was fully disclosed to the Alberta Securities Commission. A prospectus for Professional Life, dated September 8th, 1969 outlines this disclosure.

 It was the belief of James E Wood (Jim) that the Romoco Organization did more towards the creation of a substantial Life Insurance Company for the Province of Alberta than any other organization and at less cost. To be in its current financial situation is totally unnecessary.

 Jim noted that the current Alberta administration was giving consideration to:

 The formation of an Alberta bank.

  1. Human rights.
  2. The protection of Alberta businesses.
  3. Foreign ownership.

 Jim suggested that a successful Life Insurance Company can equal, if not surpass the value of a bank in this province.

 Jim also believed that it is his “Human Right” to be allowed to carry out his goals and plans without undue intimidation.

 Jim also suggested that his organization and his record, is worthy of Government support both financially and morally.

It has been the ambition of the Romoco Organization to allow Albertans to participate in their own financial ventures and ultimately reap the rewards for that participation.


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In October of 1969, Rocky Mountain Life Insurance recognized its need for additional capital.

Romoco International Associates submitted a preliminary prospectus to the Alberta Securities Commission, at the time to raise funds for Rocky Mountain Life.

The prospectus was withdrawn due to the pressures of time commitments on ourselves. We decided to co-insure a block of our business and thus solve our financial problems. This has proven to be a costly process as the Company gives up future profits for immediate needs.         


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In early April of 1970, Romoco International Associates Limited submitted a prospectus to the Alberta Securities Commission. Our first reply to our submission from Mr. J. O. Darwish was dated June 19th, 1970. This was in excess of two months after our submission.

Feasibility Studies

 We were required to obtain a Feasibility study on Romoco International Associates Limited which was done at great expense to ourselves. 

  1. S. Ross and Partners prepared their Feasibility Study on Romoco International Associates that proved the Romoco program was very feasible.

 Actuarial Valuations

We were requested to obtain actuarial valuations on Rocky Mountain Life and to obtain a market valuation from an investment dealer. The investment dealer was to be acceptable to the Commission. We found it virtually impossible to obtain an investment dealer that would prepare this valuation at any reasonable cost. We did obtain a local dealer with the proper credentials to prepare an evaluation.

The actuary value ranged from $51.10 to $49.30. The value from the dealer ranged from $38.00 to $42.00 per share. We also used other methods of calculation and submitted them to the Alberta Securities Commission.

The comments of Mr. K. J. Rootes, the Director of the Alberta Securities Commission, in his letter of October 16th, 1970. On page 2 in the second paragraph where he stats “We now have a situation where the calculated market value using adjusted earnings would be $145.00, while the calculated market value using a ratio to book value would be approximately $20.00.” We were subsequently advised that the commission could accept a valuation of $20.00.

 Kick-Off Rally

During all the negations we were satisfied that approval would be granted by the end of August, so we were planning a big “Kick-Off” rally for our stock sale. On the advice of our Lawyer Tevie Miller Q.C. We scheduled our rally for September 26, 1970.  He was confident approval would be granted by that time.

 Update Financial Statements

We received a letter from Mr. J. O. Darwish dated September 18th, 1970 which was nine pages in length, and which requested many items not raised before. The basic problem was the request to update our financial statements. For various reasons this was not possible. It was our understanding that if a prospectus was submitted with in 120 days of the latest audited financial statement that statement would apply. We were being requested, after very lengthy negotiations, to update our financial statements we were confronted with an impossible situation.

                         The time required to do this was insurmountable due to the lengthy co-insurance negotiations, and for an inside group to arrange a private placement of nearly $400,000 to maintain the solvency of the Company.