Monday, March 22, 2010

Presidential Life

Presidential Life Corp., a life insurance company based in Nyack, New York, has reported a profitable first quarter, and the likelihood of a proxy contest.

This has attracted my special attention for a trivial personal reason: I was born in Nyack, spent a lot of time there during summer school vacations as a boy, and try to keep an eye on goings-on along the western bank of the Tappan Zee.

Anyway: year-to-year comparison. Presidential Life (Nasdaq: PLFE) lost $2.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. But they turned that around, and have reported a profit of $12.2 million for the last quarter of last year.

In between there, in the spring of 2009, Herbert Kurz, who founded the company back in 1965 and who had been CEO since, stepped down. He may be getting tired of playing golf, though, because he now says he plans to nominate his own share of directors in advance of the next shareholders' meeting.

What (other than that golf gets boring) is Kurz' beef? He contends that during his stewardship he instilled in the company a culture of frugality, which is why the company has lasted as long as it has, but that the new leadership consists of a bunch of spendthrifts.

There will be more on this going forward, I'm sure.

1 comment:

John-Fla said...

You may want to do some research before you write your blog. Herb Kurz has not been playing golf. He has been wheelchair bound for several years ever since a hip operation. He is concerned about the direction of the company and knows more about Presidential Life than anyone else on the board or the current CEO. He buit that company from the ground up. Investors would be smart to elect his nominees at the shareholders meeting. He may be 90 but he is still the smartest man in any room he occupies.