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First Market Bank and Markel Corporation Announce New Relationship

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First Market Bank and Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) are pleased to jointly announce that Markel Corporation has agreed to make a significant minority investment in common and preferred equity of First Market Bank (FMB). Ukrop's Super Markets Inc. will maintain its majority ownership interest in FMB. The proposed investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006. First Market Bank will continue to be a local, privately held company, with its own Board of Directors and management. The transaction will not impact First Market Bank associates and customers will continue to receive the quality products and services they have come to expect from First Market Bank.

Jim Ukrop, Chairman of First Market Bank, stated: "We've known Markel and the Markel family for many years. They are respected community leaders who will be a great addition to the First Market Bank family." Steven Markel, Vice Chairman of Markel Corporation, stated: "We are delighted to have an opportunity to become associated with First Market Bank. They have a proven track record of outstanding customer service and a commitment to financial success. Our organizations share similar core values and we look forward to strengthening our relationship."

In connection with its investment, Markel, although a minority investor, will file an application with the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) to become a thrift holding company under the Home Owners Loan Act. As a thrift holding company, Markel will be subject to additional regulatory oversight by the OTS and regulations regarding acquisition of control similar to those applicable to insurance holding companies.

Opening in November of 1997 and headquartered in Richmond, First Market Bank is a leading provider of financial services in Central Virginia. With more than one billion dollars in assets, the company operates thirty four full service banking branches, a local call center and a local operations center. First Market Bank continues to look forward with ambitious growth plans that include moving into new markets and adding branches.

Markel Corporation is an international property and casualty insurance company with assets in excess of eight billion dollars. Markel markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, Markel seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of Markel are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.

SOURCE: Markel Corporation; First Market Bank

CONTACT: Katie Gilstrap of First Market Bank, +1-804-327-7567,, or Bruce A. Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-747-0136