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Phoenix Lets Money Manager Name 2 Board Members

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A financial services company has negotiated a pact that should end a proxy fight with a major investor.

Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, and Oliver Press Partners L.L.C., New York, a money manager that owns about 5% of the company’s common stock, today announced that Phoenix will let Oliver Press put Augustus Oliver and Arthur Weinbach on the Phoenix board.

Oliver is a principal at Oliver Press.

Weinbach is chairman of Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., Lake Success, N.Y., a company spun off from Automatic Data Processing Inc., Roseland, N.J., that sells support services to financial services companies.

For the past few weeks, Oliver Press has been asking Phoenix shareholders to elect Augustus Oliver and 2 other board nominees, Carl Santillo and John Clinton.

Oliver Press also has been pressing Phoenix to sell its asset management unit, get more out of its close block of business, cut more expenses, and take other steps to improve shareholder value.

The agreement will expand the size of the Phoenix board to 15 directors, from 13, according to Phoenix and Oliver Press.

“As a condition of the agreement, Oliver Press will end its efforts to elect a slate of [3] nominees to the Phoenix board and will vote its shares in support of the company’s slate of nominees,” according to Phoenix and Oliver Press.

“We are pleased that we were able to reach this constructive resolution with Phoenix,” Oliver says in a statement. “We have always stated our confidence in the company’s fundamental strengths and prospects and I look forward to working closely with the board and management on behalf of all of its shareholders and policyholders.”


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