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Shareholder proposes First Republic Bank file diversity report

Inge Thorn Engler Revocable Trust, a First Republic Bank shareholder, proposed that the company prepare a diversity report.

The investor thinks the report should identify employees according to gender and race in major job categories. The report should also include programs and policies geared toward increasing gender and racial diversity in the workplace.

Citing a McKinsey & Co. study, the group noted that companies with highly diverse executive teams had better earnings and higher returns on equity compared to companies with low diversity.

The company's board recommended shareholders vote against the proposal and noted that First Republic already encourages workplace diversity. It noted that females represent 35% of executive or senior-level official and manager roles and 49% of the overall workforce. In addition, among the company's new hires in 2016, over half were minorities, as are 46% of First Republic's total workforce.

The board added that the focus on statistical data will not help or advance the company's ability to hire and retain a diverse workforce. The board also thinks the report will not help investors meaningfully assess the company's commitment to equal employment opportunity.

Inge Thorn Engler Revocable Trust beneficially owns 250 common shares of First Republic.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on this and other proposals at the annual shareholder meeting May 9.