The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) Announced today that Alan D. Schnitzer will succeed Jay S. Fishman as Chief Executive Officer, with an effective date of December 1st, 2015. Schnitzer will also serve as a Traveler's Board member, starting on the same day.
Schnitzer, 49, is Chief Executive Officer of Travelers’ Business and International Insurance, the company’s largest business segment. Previously, he headed the company’s Financial, Professional and International Insurance segment. In addition to his business line responsibilities, Schnitzer oversees Travelers’ Field Management, Corporate Communications and Public Policy organizations.
John H. Dasburg, Lead Director, said, “We are very fortunate to have a proven leader in Alan, with demonstrated readiness to lead the company. He has made exceptional contributions to Travelers’ success, and the Board has complete confidence in his ability to lead the company forward.”
Dasburg continued, “We are also very pleased that Jay has committed to stay with us as part of the senior leadership team in the new role of Executive Chairman. It is a pleasure and a privilege to continue to work with him as a member of management and our Board.”
Fishman said, “Alan is the ideal executive to lead Travelers into its next chapter. He has earned the respect of the Board, our people and the agent and broker communities for his judgment, deep understanding of our business and strong leadership. He has led several of our market-leading businesses and repositioned our International business, including spearheading important acquisitions in Canada and Brazil.”
Fishman continued, “Alan is well prepared to build on our strong record, and the Board and I agree that it is the right time to appoint a new leader. While the physical symptoms of my neuromuscular condition continue to progress, I am committed to actively engage as our Executive Chairman and am pleased to continue supporting Alan and the rest of our outstanding senior team.”
Schnitzer said, “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization with my partners – Brian MacLean, Jay Benet, Bill Heyman and Doreen Spadorcia. We are also very pleased to continue to work closely with Jay Fishman, who is an invaluable resource and colleague. We have executed a successful strategy for creating shareholder value, and I look forward to our building on that success.”
Brian MacLean, who will remain President and Chief Operating Officer and report to Schnitzer, will also assume direct responsibility for the Business and International Insurance segment in addition to all of his current responsibilities.
Based on a recent closing price of $106.63, Traveler's stock pays a dividend yield of 2.3% and has a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.91. Relative to AIG and others in the insurance industry, Travelers trades at a discounted forward earnings basis. While the shares did climb into the announcement, it was tame and gains were quickly returned as investors used the opportunity to take profits after the late summer's stock rally.
Considering it's a relatively smooth transition, with months to prepare after the announcement, I don't expect Travelers to feel much head wind as a result of the change in leadership.
Robert Weinstein is a husband, dad, stock market junkie, real estate broker, and of course…Insurance agent. Interests include my family, economics, marketing, technology, real estate, finance/investing, history, and Asia.
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