GTE to commit $50 million in pension funds to help establish new "Discovery Fund" that will be managed by minority investment firms

IRVING, Texas - GTE today announced its intention to commit $50 million from its pension fund to establish a new "Discovery Fund" that will be managed by minority-owned or operated investment firms. These money managers will invest in financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds.

Bell Atlantic is announcing a similar investment in the Discovery Fund at today's Rainbow/PUSH Second Annual Coalition Conference.

"We have given careful consideration to these firms and are confident that adding them to our line-up of investors will produce satisfying results," said Thomas Britton Harris IV, president - GTE Investment Management Corp. "The firms we are examining all have sound track records and top quality people. It makes good sense to do business with them."

Bell Atlantic and GTE are now narrowing the field of participants and expect to announce the fund managers in the first quarter of 1999. Northern Trust, a leading pension fund consultant, is assisting GTE in the selection process.

"A secondary goal today is to encourage other Fortune 500 companies to consider using qualified minority-owned or operated investment firms," Harris said. "We're leading by example and hope other companies will follow."

The Rainbow Push Coalition's stated objective is to move the world toward social, racial and economic justice. Its Wall Street Project was launched to challenge corporate America to end the multi-billion dollar trade deficit with minority vendors and consumers.

With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider or integrated telecommunications services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states; nationwide long-distance and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video services in selected markets.

Outside the United States, the company serves more than 7 million telecommunications customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications.

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