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Second Firm Tells Investors To Snub Bid On Insurer

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A second proxy advisory service has lent support to Presidential Life Insurance Company efforts to block a former CEO’s bid to replace the company’s board.

Proxy Governance Inc., Vienna, Va., has recommended that stockholders of Presidential Life, Nyack, N.Y., reject former CEO Herbert Kurz’s proposal to replace the company’s current directors with his own hand-picked slate. Kurz, 89, also is seeking to reinstate himself as Presidential Life’s CEO, pushing aside the current president and CEO, Donald Barnes. Barnes assumed the position in May after the company adopted a succession plan that met with Kurz’s approval.

In its Dec. 29 report, Proxy Governance calls Kurz’s plan “unimpressive,” states that his core allegation against Presidential Life “has some substantial credibility challenges,” and calls some of his explanations “Kafkaesque.”

In contrast, Proxy Governance says that the strategic plan currently being implemented by Presidential Life’s board and management team is “a more compelling growth strategy than the one proposed by the dissidents.”

On Dec. 24, Glass Lewis & Co., another proxy advisory firm, issued a similar analysis, recommending that shareholders “revoke” Kurz’ consent solicitations to remove the current board of directors.

Presidential Life’s call for stockholders to reject Kurz’ proposals follows the disclosure earlier this month that a company investigation into the Kurz Family Foundation revealed “apparent self-dealing” by the former CEO. A company report alleges that Kurz used charitable assets to cover personal expenses.

When contacted by NU, Kurz declined to comment on to Proxy Governance’s recommendations.