AFG Proposes to Have a Majority of Independent Directors
Cincinnati, Ohio - April 30, 2003 - American Financial Group, Inc. (“AFG”) today announced changes to its Board of Directors to create a board that is composed of a majority of independent directors. Keith E. Lindner, a director and Co-President of the Company since 1995, has decided not to stand for reelection at the annual shareholders meeting in June. AFG has proposed that this position, along with a newly added board spot, be filled with independent directors. Assuming the election of the new nominees, William A. Shutzer and Terry S. Jacobs, AFG's Board will have nine members, five of whom are fully independent of management, and will be in full compliance with expected NYSE rules on board membership.
After serving AFG and its affiliated companies in an executive capacity for more than 20 years, Keith E. Lindner will step down to pursue other interests. In a statement, Mr. Keith Lindner explained, “I have been greatly blessed to have worked with my father and brothers for so long at AFG. As a supportive shareholder to the efforts of my family and AFG's management team to build value for shareholders, I now also look forward to the available time that I will have to pursue a continuation of my investment career and continued involvement in some of the family involved Christian charitable activities.”
William A. Shutzer has been nominated for election to the Company's Board of Directors at this year's Annual Meeting. Mr. Shutzer has been a Managing Director at Lehman Bros. since October 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Shutzer was a Partner of Thomas Weisel Partners and an executive of Furman Selz, each investment bankers. He has been a director of Tiffany & Co., PracticeWorks, Inc and Blount Inc. Commenting on the nomination, Carl H. Lindner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are fortunate to add to the Board an individual with such extensive industry and financial experience and who is able to provide a Wall Street perspective to the Company.”
Terry S. Jacobs has also been nominated for election to the Company's Board of Directors at this year's Annual Meeting. Mr. Jacobs has been Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer and a director of Regent Communications, Inc. since its incorporation in 1996. Mr. Jacobs has served as a principal executive officer of various radio broadcasting companies for over 20 years. For several years in the late 1970's, Mr. Jacobs was a director and senior vice president of Great American Insurance Company. Mr. Jacobs currently serves as a director of National Grange Mutual Insurance Company and of Capital Title Group, Inc. “Over the past 25 years, Terry has developed great experience as a hands-on operating executive and has stayed abreast of the developments in the property and casualty insurance industry. He will be an exceptional addition to AFG as it continues to focus on specialized commercial products for businesses,” Carl H. Lindner stated.
Through the operations of Great American Insurance Group, AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of annuities, life and supplemental health insurance products.