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Prudential Financial shareholder proposing independent board chairman

A Prudential Financial Inc. shareholder is proposing that the company's board chairman be an independent board member.

John Chevedden, who beneficially owns 80 Prudential Financial common shares, wants the board to choose a new chair if a chair who was independent when selected became no longer independent. If the board cannot find any independent director who is willing to serve as chairman, compliance with the policy would be waived.

Chevedden said that with Karl Krapek as lead director, the company "may be lacking the important asset of independence in a lead director." The shareholder noted that Krapek had the second-longest tenure on the company's board and "received our highest negative votes."

Prudential Financial's website shows that Thomas Baltimore Jr. currently serves as the company's lead independent director. The company is required to publish proponent statements as written and is not responsible for any inaccuracies they may contain.

The company's board recommended voting against the proposal, saying it is in the best interest of shareholders if the board has the flexibility to choose the best person to serve as board chair whether that person is an independent director or the CEO.

If the proposal is properly presented, Prudential Financial shareholders will be asked to vote on it during the company's annual shareholders meeting to be held May 8.