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Travelers board opposes shareholder proposals

The Travelers Cos. Inc. board is asking shareholders to vote against proposals asking the company to disclose any lobbying efforts and to prepare a gender pay equity report and a diversity report.

The board said the lobbying proposal is unnecessary based on current company policies on political activities including lobbying. The company has an independent board committee that oversees political activities of the company, and disclosing dues paid to trade associations and similar organizations that may engage in lobbying activities, as required by the proposal, might risk misrepresenting the company's political activities.

Of the gender pay equity report, the board said collecting the data requested in the proposal would be costly, time-consuming and would not meaningfully improve the company's efforts in workforce diversity and gender pay equity. The board added that the company has undertaken initiatives to create a diverse workforce where all employees have access to advancement opportunities and are compensated based on appropriate factors, including performance.

For the third proposal, the board wrote that it already files the data requested by the proposal annually with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a confidential form. Providing that data to shareholders would not accurately measure the company's commitment to diversity, the board said.

Stockholders will vote on the proposals during the annual meeting May 18.