Form DEF 14A AMERICAN FINANCIAL GROUP For: May 19

April 2, 2021 2:02 PM EDT

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No.    )
Filed by the Registrant ☒
Filed by a Party other than the Registrant
Check the appropriate box:
☐ Preliminary Proxy Statement
☐ Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))
 ☒ Definitive Proxy Statement
☐ Definitive Additional Materials
☐ Soliciting Material Pursuant to Section 240.14a-12
AMERICAN FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter) (Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement if other than the Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):
 ☒
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Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.
 
 
 
 
(1)
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(3)
Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0-11
(Set forth the amount on which the filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):
 
 
 
 
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Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.
 
 
 
 
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Notice of 2021 Annual
Meeting of Shareholders

Cincinnati, Ohio
April 2, 2021
Dear Shareholder:
Our annual meeting of shareholders will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio for the following purposes:
1.
To elect 11 directors;
2.
To ratify the appointment of our independent registered public accounting firm; and
3.
To approve on an advisory basis our named executive officer compensation.
Shareholders will also transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournment or postponement of the meeting.
Due to the public health impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2021 annual meeting of shareholders will be a completely virtual meeting conducted via webcast. You will be able to participate in the virtual meeting online, vote your shares electronically and submit questions during the meeting by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/AFG2021.
You may vote if you were a shareholder of record at the close of business on March 26, 2021. Our proxy materials are available via the internet, which allows us to reduce printing and delivery costs and lessen environmental impact.
We want your shares to be represented at the meeting and urge you to vote. For instructions on voting and more information about the annual meeting, please refer to page 44 under, “Information about the Annual Meeting and Voting.”

Karl J. Grafe
Vice President and Secretary
Voting




Through the Internet:
www.proxyvote.com
By toll free telephone:
(800) 690-6903
By mail:
Follow instructions on your
proxy card
Virtually:
At the Annual Meeting

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AMERICAN FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.
2021 Proxy Statement – Summary
This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this proxy statement. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider. You should read the entire proxy statement carefully before voting.
General Information

Meeting: Annual Meeting of Shareholders

Date: May 19, 2021

Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Location:
www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/AFG2021

Record Date: March 26, 2021

Common Shares Entitled to Vote: 85,206,139 shares

Stock Symbol: AFG

Exchange: New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”)

State of Incorporation: Ohio

Corporate Website: www.AFGinc.com

References to our website in this proxy statement are for informational purposes only, and the information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this proxy statement.
Items to be Voted On

1. Election of 11 Directors

Director Nominees:

Carl H. Lindner III
S. Craig Lindner
John B. Berding
Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos (Independent)
James E. Evans
Terry S. Jacobs (Independent)
Gregory G. Joseph (Independent)
Mary Beth Martin (Independent)
Evans N. Nwankwo (Independent)
William W. Verity (Independent)
John I. Von Lehman (Independent)

2. Ratification of Appointment of Independent
Registered Public Accounting Firm

3. Advisory Vote to Approve Compensation of Named Executive Officers (“Say-on-Pay”)
Corporate Governance
Company Communications
Director Term: One year

Director Election Standard: Majority vote

Board Meetings in 2020: 13

Board Committees (Meetings in 2020):
Audit (9), Compensation (4), Governance (6)

Corporate Governance Materials:
www.AFGinc.com – About Us

Company Secretary: By mail to:
Karl J. Grafe
Vice President, Assistant General
 Counsel & Secretary
American Financial Group, Inc.
Great American Insurance Group Tower
301 East Fourth Street, 38th Floor
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Board:  By mail to the care of the Company Secretary
at the above address or to the Lead Independent
Director:
Gregory G. Joseph
Lead Independent Director
American Financial Group, Inc.
Great American Insurance Group Tower
301 East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Proxy Statement
Table of Contents
 
Proposals
 
 
Company Information
 
 
Corporate Governance
 
 
 
Executive Compensation
 
 
 
Other Matters
 
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Corporate Governance Highlights
Corporate Governance Summary
Board Independence and Leadership
​64% of our directors are independent.
All members of key committees (Audit, Compensation and Corporate Governance) are independent.
Lead independent director empowered with broadly defined authorities and responsibilities.
Regular (at least quarterly) executive sessions of independent directors chaired by our lead independent director.
Strong board oversight of enterprise risk.
Shareholder Rights
All directors elected annually with a majority vote standard for all uncontested elections and plurality for contested elections.
Shareholders have a right to call a special meeting.
No poison pill.
Board Matters
Our Corporate Governance guidelines provide that we will consider diverse Board candidates, including women and minorities, and the last three independent directors added to the Board were two women and a minority.
Our Board consists of directors with a diverse mix of skills, experience and background.
​✔
Our Board and Board committees undertake a robust annual self-evaluation.
Comprehensive director orientation program for new directors.
Board receives regular updates and has oversight over our environmental, social and governance practices, including cybersecurity risks.
Director and Officer Stock Ownership
Independent directors target of owning Company common shares having a value of at least five times their annual cash retainer.
Each Co-CEO is required to own five times his base salary in Company shares.
All other named executive officers as well as Company senior management (approximately 40 persons) must own one times his or her base salary in Company shares.
Our executive officers and directors as a group own a substantial percentage of our outstanding common stock which directly aligns our executive officers and directors with our other shareholders.
Compensation Governance
Compensation Committee oversees all aspects of our named executive compensation program.
A large portion of our named executive officers’ compensation is performance-based.
Annual shareholder advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation.
No employment agreements or agreements to pay severance upon a change in control with any of our executive officers.
Double-trigger vesting provisions for equity awards following a change of control.
Annual equity grant to directors is a substantial portion of their annual compensation.
Ethics and Corporate Responsibilities
Code of Ethics applies to all officers, employees and directors is rooted in our values and is designed to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct.
Active and robust ethics and compliance program, which includes required regular employee training.
Committed to corporate responsibility and sustainability and report on our efforts accessible on our website.
2021 Proxy Statement | Corporate Governance Highlights 
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Proposals
Proposal No. 1 – Election of 11 Directors
The Board of Directors oversees the management of the Company on your behalf. The Board reviews AFG’s long-term strategic plans and exercises direct decision-making authority in key areas such as choosing the Co-Chief Executive Officers, setting the scope of their authority to manage the Company’s business day-to-day, and evaluating senior management performance.
Upon the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee, the Board of Directors has nominated 11 individuals to hold office until the next annual meeting of shareholders and until their successors are elected and qualified. If any of the nominees should become unable to
serve as a director, the proxies will be voted for any substitute nominee designated by the Board of Directors but, in any event, no proxy may be voted for more than 11 nominees. Each nominee brings a strong and unique background and set of qualifications to the Board, giving the Board as a whole competence and experience in a wide variety of areas central to the Company’s businesses, including corporate governance and board service, executive management and entrepreneurial experience and insurance, finance, legal and accounting expertise.
The nominees for election to the Board of Directors are as follows:

Carl H. Lindner III

Age: 67
Director Since: 1991
Key Experience: Mr. Lindner has been Co-Chief Executive Officer since January 2005, and since 1996, he has served as Co-President of the Company. Until 2010, for over ten years, Mr. Lindner served as President, and since 2010, Mr. Lindner has served as CEO of AFG’s Property and Casualty Insurance Group and has been principally responsible for the Company’s property and casualty insurance operations.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: The Board believes that Mr. Lindner’s familiarity with the Company as a whole, as well as his experience and expertise in its core property and casualty insurance businesses, makes his service on the Board of Directors extremely beneficial to the Company.
 
 


S. Craig Lindner

Age: 66
Director Since: 1985
Key Experience: Mr. Lindner has been Co-Chief Executive Officer since January 2005, and since 1996, he has served as Co-President of the Company. Mr. Lindner served as President of Great American Financial Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of the Company, for more than ten years prior to 2018 when he was elected Chief Executive Officer and has been principally responsible for the Company’s annuity operations. Until 2011, for over ten years, Mr. Lindner served as President of American Money Management Corporation (“AMMC”), a subsidiary that provides investment services for the Company and certain of its affiliated companies, and Mr. Lindner continues to be primarily responsible for the Company’s investment portfolio.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: The Board believes that Mr. Lindner’s familiarity with the Company as a whole, as well as his experience and expertise in its core annuity operations and the Company’s investment portfolio, makes his service on the Board of Directors extremely beneficial to the Company. Mr. Lindner and Carl H. Lindner III are brothers.
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Gregory G. Joseph

Lead Independent
Director Since: 2019

Age: 58
Director Since: 2008

Board Committees:
Audit (Chair)
Key Experience: Mr. Joseph, an attorney, has been an executive and a principal of various automotive retailers in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area known as the Joseph Automotive Group for more than five years. Since 2005, Mr. Joseph has served on the Board of Trustees of Xavier University, a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served on the board of directors of Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation, an insurance company primarily offering personal automobile insurance which was purchased by Kemper Corp. in 2018, from 2003 to 2008, the last two years as the lead director.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: Mr. Joseph’s service as a lead director of a publicly traded provider of insurance products provided him with significant knowledge of and experience in the business operations of a publicly-traded insurance holding company, which is beneficial to the Company in light of the many issues applicable to the insurance industry. Additionally, Mr. Joseph’s extensive background and experience at public and private businesses enable him to provide to the Board insights and advice on the broad variety of situations and issues that the Board faces.
 
 


John B. Berding

Age: 58
Director Since: 2012
Key Experience: Mr. Berding was elected President of AMMC in January 2011. Prior to his election as President, he held a number of investment-related executive positions with AMMC and other AFG subsidiaries. Mr. Berding has over 30 years of experience as an investment professional, and he has spent his entire career with the Company and its affiliates.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: The Board values Mr. Berding’s knowledge of financial markets and investment management as well as his specific knowledge of the Company’s investment portfolio and strategy and has determined that his ability to contribute his experience on a constant basis as a member of the Board are invaluable to the Company.
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Virginia “Gina” C.
Drosos

Age: 58
Director Since: 2013

Board Committees:
Audit
Corporate Governance
Key Experience: Ms. Drosos began serving as Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers Limited, a specialty retail jeweler, in August 2017, after having served on the Board of Directors of the company for more than five years. She previously served as Chief Executive Officer, from 2014-2017, and President, from 2013-2017, of Assurex Health, a personalized medicine company specializing in pharmacogenomics for neuropsychiatric and other disorders. Beginning in 1987, Ms. Drosos worked for the Procter & Gamble Company, a leading multinational manufacturer of consumer packaged goods. During her 25-year career at Procter & Gamble, she held numerous positions of increasing responsibility, including as Group President of Global Female Beauty, Beauty and Grooming from 2010 until August 2011 and most recently as Group President, Global Beauty Care, until her retirement from the company in September 2012.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: As a current chief executive officer of a public company and as a former executive at one of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods organizations, Ms. Drosos brings valuable skills and insights to the Company. She possesses a broad background in strategic, business and financial planning and operations, both nationally and internationally.
 
 

James E. Evans

Age: 75
Director Since: 1985
Key Experience: Mr. Evans has served as an Executive Consultant to the Company since 2014. From 1994 through 2013, Mr. Evans served as Senior Vice President of the Company, and he also served as General Counsel until March 2012 when he was elected Executive Counsel. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and General Counsel of American Financial Corporation, the predecessor to AFG, beginning in 1976. Mr. Evans also previously served on the Boards of Directors of The Penn Central Corporation, Citicasters, Inc. and other companies affiliated with the Company. He began his career in the private practice of law with Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL in 1971.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: The Board believes that Mr. Evans’ many years of experience with complex legal and business issues involving the Company specifically, as well as his legal and business expertise generally, render his Board service invaluable to the Company.
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Terry S. Jacobs

Age: 78
Director Since: 2003

Board Committees:
Compensation
(Chair)
Audit
Key Experience: Mr. Jacobs has served as Chairman and CEO of The JFP Group, LLC, a real estate development company, since September 2005. From its founding in 1996 until September 2005, Mr. Jacobs was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Regent Communications, Inc., a public holding company in the radio broadcasting business. From September 2010 through September 2015, he served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Adelante Media Group, LLC, a private company which owns and operates radio and television stations and specializes in Spanish language programming. Mr. Jacobs serves as Chair of the Actuarial Committee and a member of the Audit Committee of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors, is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a professional organization focused on applying actuarial science to property, casualty and similar risk exposures and is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: Mr. Jacobs’ principal executive officer experience qualifies him for membership on the Company’s Board and as an “audit committee financial expert” under SEC guidelines. In his career, Mr. Jacobs has significant chief executive officer experience and has held board positions for 10 public companies, six private companies and nine charitable organizations. Mr. Jacobs has significant experience in understanding and critically assessing risks in the property and casualty insurance industry, which the Board believes is valuable to the Company.
 
 

Mary Beth Martin

Age: 58
Director Since: 2019

Board Committees:
Corporate
Governance
Compensation
Key Experience: Ms. Martin has served as the Executive Director of the Farmer Family Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2008. In that role, she manages the organization’s philanthropic goals and objectives, and oversees grant investments. For over 20 years, Ms. Martin previously served in the banking and commercial real estate industries where she led commercial real estate, private bank, trust, and asset management groups at regional banking institutions. Ms. Martin is active in her community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of a number of charitable organizations, including Accelerate Great Schools, where she also serves as Secretary and Treasurer, Music Hall Revitalization Corporation, Teach for America Southwest Ohio and Ohio Excels.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: The Board believes that Ms. Martin’s management experience in various sectors as well as her financial, investment and commercial real estate experience will significantly benefit the Board of Directors.
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Evans N. Nwankwo

Age: 62
Director Since: 2020

Board Committees:
Corporate
Governance
Key Experience: Mr. Nwankwo has worked in the commercial construction industry for nearly 40 years and is the Founder and President of Megen Construction Company, one of the region’s premier builders. Megen Construction provides a full range of services including construction management, design/build, general contracting, estimating and program management, and was the first LEED Platinum builder in the State of Ohio. Megen Construction is a top-ten minority-owned business in Greater Cincinnati. Mr. Nwankwo is active in his community and is the founder of NuWay Foundation, a charitable organization focused on improving the lives and economic conditions of the less fortunate in African villages through health, opportunity, pure water and education (H.O.P.E.), with focused outreach efforts in Awa, Nigeria. He has also served on the Board of Directors of a number of charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross (Cincinnati Chapter) and the University of Cincinnati College of Arts & Sciences.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: As a business owner, entrepreneur and first-generation immigrant, the Board believes that Mr. Nwankwo brings a distinctively unique and diverse perspective to risk assessment and management, which we believe is a valuable addition to our Board.
 
 


William W. Verity

Age: 62
Director Since: 2002

Board Committees:
Corporate
Governance (Chair)
Compensation
Key Experience: Mr. Verity has been President of Verity Investment Partners, an investment management company, since January 1, 2002, and prior to that, he was a partner of Pathway Guidance L.L.C., an executive consulting firm, from October 2000. Previously, Mr. Verity was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ENCOR Holdings, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of plastic molded components and worked as an associate in corporate finance at Alex. Brown & Sons, an investment bank, from 1985 to 1987. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Chiquita Brands International, Inc., an international food products marketer and distributor.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: Mr. Verity’s position as the principal executive officer of a privately held company and his over ten years of executive and Board experience with complex asset management issues, qualify him for membership on the Company’s Board and Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees. In addition, Mr. Verity’s executive consulting experience provides him with insight into high-level corporate governance, executive compensation matters and business management matters, all of which the Company and the Board deal with on a regular basis.
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John I. Von Lehman

Age: 68
Director Since: 2008

Board Committees:
Audit
Corporate Governance
Key Experience: Mr. Von Lehman began his career as a certified public accountant for Haskins & Sells, a predecessor of Deloitte, LLP. For more than five years until his retirement in 2007, Mr. Von Lehman served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and a director of The Midland Company, an Ohio-based provider of specialty insurance products (“Midland”). He served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Audit Committee of Ohio National Mutual Funds until December 31, 2016 and is involved with several Cincinnati-based charitable organizations.

Key Qualifications, Attributes and Skills: Mr. Von Lehman’s 18 years of service as CFO and director of another publicly traded provider of insurance products qualifies him for membership on the Company’s Board. Specifically, Mr. Von Lehman’s position at Midland provided him with significant knowledge of and experience in property and casualty insurance operations, investment portfolio oversight, capital management and allocation and public company financial statement preparation. In his capacity as a certified public accountant and Chief Financial Officer of Midland, Mr. Von Lehman developed significant experience in preparing, auditing, analyzing and evaluating financial statements that present a breadth and level of complexity of accounting issues that compare to those of the Company and which qualify him as an “audit committee financial expert” under SEC guidelines. The depth in his understanding of internal control over financial reporting and risk assessment skills that evolved in his experience with Midland constitute attributes that the Board believes benefit the Company in light of its businesses.
The Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote FOR the election of these 11 nominees as directors.
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Proposal No. 2 – Ratification of Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Company’s Audit Committee Charter requires that the Audit Committee appoint annually an independent registered public accounting firm to serve as auditors. In February 2021, the Audit Committee appointed Ernst & Young LLP to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2021.
Although the Audit Committee has the sole authority to appoint auditors, shareholders are being asked to ratify this appointment. If the shareholders do not ratify the
appointment, the Audit Committee will take that fact into consideration but may determine to continue to retain Ernst & Young. However, the Audit Committee in its discretion may engage a different independent registered public accounting firm at any time during the year if the Audit Committee determines that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company whether or not the shareholders ratify the appointment.
Audit Fees and Non-Audit Fees
The following table presents fees for professional services performed by Ernst & Young for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.
2020
2019
Audit fees(1)
​$8,842,000
​$8,961,000
Audit related fees
120,000
75,000
Tax fees(2)
546,000
567,000
All other fees(3)
409,000
409,000
Total
​$9,917,000
​$10,012,000
(1)
These aggregate fees were for audits of the financial statements (including services incurred to render an opinion under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), subsidiary insurance company audits, reviews of SEC filings, and quarterly reviews.
(2)
These fees relate primarily to tax compliance engagements for preparation and review of foreign tax returns and certain collateralized loan obligations, in addition to other tax advisory services.
(3)
These fees relate primarily to agreed-upon procedure engagements for certain collateralized loan obligation structures managed by AFG.
Representatives of Ernst & Young are expected to be at the meeting and will be given the opportunity to make a statement if they so desire. They will also be available to respond to appropriate questions from shareholders.
The Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote FOR the ratification of the Audit Committee’s appointment of Ernst & Young as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2021.
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Proposal No. 3 – Advisory Vote on Compensation of our Named Executive Officers
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires that we provide our shareholders with the opportunity to vote to approve, on a non-binding, advisory basis, the compensation of our named executive officers as disclosed in this proxy statement in accordance with the compensation disclosure rules of the SEC (commonly referred to as “Say-on-Pay”). Our practice, which our shareholders re-approved on an advisory basis by a vote of over 89% of votes cast at the 2017 annual meeting, is to conduct this non-binding vote on an annual basis.
As described in detail below under the heading “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” beginning on page 21 of this proxy statement, we seek to closely align the interests of our named executive officers with the interests of our shareholders. We structure our programs to discourage excessive risk-taking through a balanced use of compensation vehicles and metrics with an overall goal of delivering sustained long-term shareholder value while aligning our executives’ interests with those of our shareholders. Further, our programs require that a substantial portion of each named executive officer’s compensation be contingent on delivering performance results that benefit our shareholders. Our compensation programs are designed to reward our named executive officers for achieving short-term and long-term strategic and operational goals and achieving increased total shareholder return. Shareholders should note that, because the advisory vote on executive compensation occurs well after the beginning of the compensation year and because
the different elements of our executive compensation programs are designed to operate in an integrated manner and to complement one another, in many cases it may not be appropriate or feasible to change our executive compensation programs in consideration of any one year’s advisory vote on executive compensation by the time of the following year’s annual meeting of shareholders.
The vote on this matter is not intended to address any specific element of compensation; rather, the vote relates to the compensation of our named executive officers, as described in this proxy statement in accordance with the compensation disclosure rules of the SEC. The vote is advisory, which means that the vote is not binding on the Company, our Board of Directors or the Compensation Committee. The Board and the Compensation Committee will review and consider the voting results when making future decisions regarding our executive compensation program.
Accordingly, we ask our shareholders to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the named executive officers, as disclosed in this proxy statement pursuant to the compensation disclosure rules of the SEC, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the Summary Compensation Table and the other related tables and disclosure.
The Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote FOR the approval of the compensation of our named executive officers as disclosed in this proxy statement.
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Company Information
Management
The directors, nominees for director and executive officers of the Company are as follows:
Name
Age
Position
Director or
Executive
Since
Carl H. Lindner III
67
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Co-President and Director
1979
S. Craig Lindner
66
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Co-President and Director
1980
John B. Berding
58
President of American Money Management Corporation and Director
2012
Gregory G. Joseph
58
Lead Independent Director
2008
Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos
58
Director
2013
James E. Evans
75
Director
1976
Terry S. Jacobs
78
Director
2003
Mary Beth Martin
58
Director
2019
Evans N. Nwankwo
62
Director
2020
William W. Verity
62
Director
2002
John I. Von Lehman
68
Director
2008
Michelle A. Gillis
52
Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
2013
Brian S. Hertzman
50
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
2020
Vito C. Peraino
65
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
2012
Michelle A. Gillis was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Company in March 2013 after serving as Vice President of the Company since 2011. In her current roles, Ms. Gillis has responsibilities for Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Real Estate and various shared service areas. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Great American Insurance Company. Since joining the Company in 2004 through 2011, Ms. Gillis has held various senior human resource management positions with the Company, most recently as Vice President of Great American Insurance Company. Previously, Ms. Gillis spent several years in senior human resources roles in the financial services sector. Ms. Gillis holds an active accreditation as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Vito C. Peraino was elected Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Company in March 2012. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Great American Insurance Company since 2002 and Assistant General Counsel of Great American Insurance Company since 2004. Through September 2014, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Company’s subsidiary, National
Interstate Corporation. Since joining Great American Insurance Company in 1999, Mr. Peraino has held various executive claims management positions. Previously, Mr. Peraino spent several years in private practice and has represented various insurance industry entities as an attorney since 1981.
Brian S. Hertzman was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company in August 2020. Prior to his election, he served as Vice President of the Company since 2014 and Controller since 2012. Mr. Hertzman, a licensed certified public accountant, joined AFG in 1991 and has held positions of increasing responsibility within the Company’s finance and accounting areas during his nearly 30-year tenure. As Vice President and Controller of AFG, Mr. Hertzman had responsibility for oversight of accounting policies and procedures in compliance with GAAP and other applicable regulations and financial reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Information regarding all nominees for director and directors is set forth beginning on page 2 under “Proposals — Proposal No. 1 — Election of 11 Directors.”
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Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management
The following table sets forth certain information regarding beneficial ownership of common shares by each of the Company’s directors and the named executive officers and by all directors and executive officers of the Company as a group. The table also includes those who are known by the Company to own beneficially more than 5% of the issued and outstanding common shares. Except as otherwise provided below, information in the table is as of March 15, 2021 and, to the Company’s knowledge all common shares are beneficially owned, and investment and voting power is held solely by the persons named as owners.
Name of Beneficial Owner/Group
Common Shares
Beneficially Owned(1)
Percent of Class
(* means less than 1%)
Directors and Named Executive Officers
Carl H. Lindner III(2)
6,135,597
7.2%
S. Craig Lindner(3)
5,626,940
6.6%
John B. Berding(4)
170,984
*
Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos
11,542
*
James E. Evans(5)
124,601
*
Terry S. Jacobs
5,000
*
Gregory G. Joseph(6)
111,153
*
Mary Beth Martin
3,847
*
Evans N. Nwankwo
0
*
William W. Verity
9,046
*
John I. Von Lehman
13,174
*
Michelle A. Gillis
77,921
*
Brian S. Hertzman
16,755
*
Vito C. Peraino(7)
104,961
*
All Directors and Executive Officers as a group (14 persons)(8)
​12,017,742
14.0%
Other Beneficial Owners of More than 5% of the Common Shares
Edyth B. Lindner(9)
5,862,849
6.9%
BlackRock, Inc.(10)
6,411,155
7.5%
The Vanguard Group(11)
7,354,626
8.5%
(1)
Includes the following numbers of shares that may be acquired within 60 days of March 1, 2021 through the exercise of options held by such person: Carl H. Lindner III – 150,000; S. Craig Lindner – 100,000; John B. Berding – 90,334; Michelle A. Gillis – 31,261; Brian S. Hertzman – 2,798 and Vito C. Peraino – 4,000. Also includes the following number of shares held in the Company’s 401(k) Retirement and Savings Plan (RASP) (provided as of March 1, 2021): S. Craig Lindner – 100,702; John B. Berding – 19,773 and Brian S. Hertzman – 2,461. For Mr. Berding, shares owned excludes shares held in the RASP, for which each serves on the Administrative Plan Committee, other than those shares allocated to his personal RASP account.
(2)
Includes 2,581,519 shares held in trusts over which he holds voting and dispositive power; 343,162 shares held by a trust over which his spouse has voting and dispositive power; 838,480 shares held in a limited liability company over which shares he holds dispositive power; 389,932 shares held by a charitable foundation over which he shares voting and dispositive power with his brother, S. Craig Lindner and his mother, Edyth B. Lindner; 7,188 shares held in trusts for family members over which he holds voting and dispositive power; 1,668,641 shares held in trusts over which shares he holds voting power; and 156,675 shares held in two charitable foundations over which he and/or his spouse have or share voting and dispositive power.
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(3)
Includes 2,877,695 shares held in trusts over which he has voting and dispositive power; 134,044 shares held in a trust over which he has dispositive power; 116,426 shares held by a trust over which his spouse has voting and dispositive power; 389,932 shares held by a charitable foundation over which he shares voting and dispositive power with his brother, Carl H. Lindner III and his mother, Edyth B. Lindner; 1,668,641 shares held in trusts over which shares he holds voting power; and 239,500 shares held by a charitable foundation over which he shares voting and dispositive power with his spouse.
(4)
Includes 14,297 held by family trusts.
(5)
Includes 29,784 shares held in trust.
(6)
Includes 64,977 shares held by companies in which he is a minority shareholder and for which he serves as an executive officer or director, 3,000 shares held by a family partnership in which he holds a 25% interest and 2,810 shares held as trustee in trusts for the benefit of family members. Does not include 97,606 shares held by Mr. Joseph’s father for which Mr. Joseph holds a power of attorney; Mr. Joseph disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares.
(7)
Includes 19,558 shares held by spouse.
(8)
Shares held by all directors, nominees and executive officers as a group is calculated by counting shares over which Carl H. Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner share voting and dispositive power only once.
(9)
Includes 466,995 shares held in her trust over which she has voting and dispositive power. Also includes 389,932 shares held in a charitable foundation over which she shares voting and dispositive power with her sons, Carl H. Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner and 5,005,922 shares held in trusts over which she has dispositive power. The address for Mrs. Lindner is 301 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.
(10)
Based solely on information contained in a Schedule 13G amendment filed with the SEC on January 29, 2021 by BlackRock, Inc. reporting sole voting power of 5,997,155 shares and sole dispositive power of 6,411,155 shares. The address for BlackRock, Inc. is 55 East 52nd Street, New York, NY, 10055.
(11)
Based solely on information contained in a Schedule 13G amendment filed with the SEC on February 10, 2021 by The Vanguard Group reporting shared voting power of 63,107 shares, sole dispositive power of 7,233,626 shares and shared dispositive power of 120,510 shares. The address for The Vanguard Group is 100 Vanguard Blvd., Malvern, Pennsylvania, 19355.
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Corporate Governance
Leadership Structure
Management
The Company has two principal executive officers, Carl H. Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner. Each has been designated as a Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-President of the Company, and each also serves on the Board of Directors.
The Board recognizes that having two principal executive officers is not customary for public companies, including the Company’s peers, but the Board has determined for the reasons set forth below that the executive leadership structure is both appropriate for the Company and optimal for achieving corporate objectives. The Company does not have a separate, non-principal executive officer, president or chief operating officer, and the Company also does not have numerous additional senior officer designations seen at other public companies. The Board has noted that these positions are not needed at the Company because the Co-CEOs have assumed responsibility for these roles.
Carl H. Lindner III serves as CEO of AFG’s Property and Casualty Insurance Group and is primarily responsible for AFG’s property and casualty insurance operations and investor relations. S. Craig Lindner serves as Chief Executive Officer of Great American Financial Resources, Inc. and is primarily responsible for AFG’s annuity operations and investment portfolio. Each Co-CEO functions within a clearly defined role with respect to the day-to-day operations of the Company, and both Co-CEOs work closely with one another and are significantly involved in all aspects of Company management. The Co-CEOs work together with regard to overall corporate strategy and planning, as well as in assessing and managing enterprise risks. Because of their close working relationship, either Co-CEO could assume the additional responsibilities of the other for some period of time in the event such a need arose.
The Board of Directors believes that the Company’s leadership structure aids in succession planning and provides the Company with significant executive depth and leadership experience. The Board continues to determine that the Company’s leadership structure is currently the most appropriate for the Company.
Board of Directors
The Board does not currently have a Chairperson. Additionally, the Board does not have a formal policy as to whether the same person may serve as both the principal executive officer of the Company and Chairperson. At the present time, the Board does not believe that such a policy is necessary because of its determination that the current Board membership, together with the Company’s management, possesses the requisite leadership and industry skills, expertise and experiences to effectively oversee the business and affairs of the Company. The Board believes that this flexibility is in the best interest of the Company and that a one-size-fits-all approach to corporate governance, with a mandated independent Chairperson, would not result in better governance or oversight.
In early 2019, the Corporate Governance Committee, together with the full Board, conducted its regular review of the Company’s board leadership structure. Noting that the Board has no Chairperson, the Corporate Governance Committee recommended that the Board consider whether to adopt a lead independent director position.
After discussions and analysis, the Board amended the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines to provide for the selection of a Lead Director from the independent directors at times where the Company has no Chairperson or no independent Chairperson. The Lead Independent Director is appointed annually and is generally expected to serve for more than one year. The Lead Independent Director has the authority to call meetings of the non-employee directors and to preside over such meetings. When the Chairperson, or in the absence of a Chairperson, the Co-CEOs, are absent, the Lead Independent Director presides over meetings of the Board.
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The Lead Independent Director, among other delineated responsibilities:
Serves as a liaison between the non-employee directors and the Co-CEOs, without inhibiting direct communication between them, including providing feedback and counsel regarding interactions with the Board.
Consults on Board meeting agendas and other information sent to the Board.
Reviews the quality, quantity, appropriateness and timeliness of information provided to the Board.
Consults on and approves Board meeting schedules to ensure there is sufficient time for discussion of all agenda items.
Facilitates discussion and open dialogue among the independent directors during Board meetings, executive sessions and outside of Board meetings.
Maintains availability, when appropriate, for consultation and direct communication with shareholders.
Communicates with the Co-CEOs and, as appropriate, regarding significant matters including decisions reached, suggestions, views or concerns expressed by non-employee directors in executive sessions or outside of Board meetings.
Board of Directors and Committees
There are 11 members on the Board of Directors. The Board met 13 times during 2020. No director of the Company attended fewer than 75% of the Board meetings and the committee meetings to which he or she was appointed and served during 2020. The members of the Board are expected to be present at the annual meeting. All of the Directors attended last year’s annual meeting by remote communication which permitted their ability respond to shareholder questions.
The committees of the Board consist of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Corporate Governance Committee. Each committee is governed by a charter that defines its role and responsibilities and are available on the Company’s website at www.AFGinc.com under “About Us—Leadership and Governance – Board Committees.” A printed copy of these charters may be obtained by shareholders upon written request addressed to the Company’s Secretary, at the address set forth under “2021 Proxy Statement – Summary – Company Communications.”
The following table identifies membership and the Chairperson of each of the current committees of the Board, as well as the number of times each committee met during 2020.
Director
Lead
Independent
Director
Audit
Committee
Compensation
Committee
Corporate
Governance
Committee
Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos
Member
Member
Terry S. Jacobs
Member
Chair
Gregory G. Joseph

Chair
Mary Beth Martin
Member
Member
Evans N. Nwankwo
Member
William W. Verity
Member
Chair
John I. Von Lehman
Member
Member
Meetings in 2020
9
4
6
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Primary responsibilities of each committee include:
Audit Committee
Oversees the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes, audits of the financial statements, and internal controls over financial reporting.
Appoints the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm and oversees the relationship, including by monitoring the auditor’s independence, establishing the auditor’s compensation and reviewing the scope of the auditor’s work, including pre-approval of audit and non-audit services.
Reviews and discusses with our management and independent registered public accounting firm, the Company’s interim and audited annual financial statements, and recommends to the Board whether the audited annual financial statements should be included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K.
Reviews management’s report on its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting and the independent public accounting firm’s report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting.
Reviews the adequacy and implementation of the Company’s internal audit function, including a review of the scope and results of its program.
Reviews and approves or ratifies all transactions with related persons that are required to be disclosed in the proxy statement.
Discusses with management the Company’s guidelines and policies related to enterprise risk assessment and risk management and assists the Board of Directors in its oversight of the enterprise risk management process, including privacy and cybersecurity risks.
Compensation Committee
Monitors adherence to the Company’s compensation philosophy.
Ensures that the total compensation paid to the named executive officers is fair, reasonable and competitive.
Oversees the Company’s stock incentive plans, incentive plans covering senior executive officers and deferred compensation plans.
Reviews and approves corporate goals and objectives relevant to CEO compensation, evaluates CEO performance in light of those goals and objectives, and determines and approves CEO compensation level(s) based on this evaluation.
Has the sole authority to retain or obtain the advice of a compensation consultant, outside legal counsel and any other advisors for assistance in carrying out its responsibilities.
Corporate Governance Committee
Establishes criteria for selecting new directors and identifies individuals qualified to be Board members as needed.
Recommends director nominees for the next annual meeting of shareholders, the appointment and removal of members of the Board committees and the amount and form of compensation to non-management directors.
Reviews the reporting structure, operations and charters for each of the Board committees and to recommend changes to the full Board.
Develops, recommends to the full Board and oversees an annual self-evaluation process of the Board and its committees.
Advises the Board in connection with succession planning for the Co-CEOs and other key executives.
Advises the Board with respect to environmental and social risks and governance, stewardship and sustainability issues in order to assist in the development and refinement of the Company’s strategies and policies in these areas.
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Audit Committee Report
The Audit Committee oversees the Company’s financial reporting process on behalf of the Board of Directors. The Company’s management has the primary responsibility for the financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for assessing the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. In fulfilling its oversight responsibilities, the Committee reviewed and discussed the audited consolidated financial statements and the related schedules in the Annual Report with Company management, including a discussion of the quality, not just the acceptability, of the accounting principles; the reasonableness of significant judgments; and the clarity of disclosures in the financial statements.
The Committee is comprised solely of independent directors as defined by the NYSE listing standards and Rule 10A-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The members of the Committee are Gregory G. Joseph (Chairperson), Terry S. Jacobs, Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos and John I. Von Lehman. The Board has determined that two of the Audit Committee’s members, Mr. Jacobs, and Mr. Von Lehman, are each considered to be an “audit committee financial expert” as defined under SEC Regulation S-K Item 407(d).
The meetings of the Committee are designed to facilitate and encourage communication among the Committee, the Company, the Company’s internal audit function and the Company’s independent auditor. The Audit Committee schedules its meetings with a view to ensuring that it devotes appropriate attention to all of its tasks. These meetings include, whenever appropriate, executive sessions in which the Audit Committee meets separately with the independent auditors, internal auditors and management personnel.
In addition, the Audit Committee reviews key initiatives and programs aimed at maintaining the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Together with senior members of the Company’s management team, the Audit Committee reviews the plans of the internal auditors, the results of internal audit examinations and evaluations by management and the Company’s independent auditors of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and the quality of the Company’s financial reporting. As part of this process, the Audit Committee monitors the scope and adequacy of the Company’s internal auditing program, including reviewing internal audit department staffing levels and steps taken to maintain the effectiveness of internal procedures and controls.
The Audit Committee recognizes the importance of maintaining the independence of the Company’s
independent auditor, both in fact and appearance. Each year, the Committee evaluates the qualifications, performance and independence of the Company’s independent auditor and determines whether to re-engage the current independent auditor. In doing so, the Audit Committee considers the quality and efficiency of the services provided by the auditors, the auditors’ capabilities and the auditors’ technical expertise. In addition, the Committee has discussed with the independent auditor the firm’s independence from Company management and the Company, including the matters in the letter from the firm required by PCAOB Rule 3526, Communication with Audit Committees Concerning Independence, and considered the compatibility of non-audit services with the independent auditor’s independence.
The Committee reviewed and discussed together with management and the independent auditor the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the results of management’s assessment of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and the independent auditor’s audit of internal control over financial reporting.
The Committee also reviewed with the independent auditor, which is responsible for expressing an opinion on the conformity of the audited consolidated financial statements and related schedules with US generally accepted accounting principles, its judgments as to the quality, not just the acceptability, of the Company’s accounting principles and such other matters as are required to be discussed with the Committee by the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), including PCAOB Auditing Standard No. 16, Communications With Audit Committees, the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other applicable regulations.
In reliance on the reviews and discussions referred to above, the Committee recommended to the Board of Directors, and the Board has approved, that the audited consolidated financial statements and related schedules and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting be included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Members of the Audit Committee:
Gregory G. Joseph, Chairperson
Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos
Terry S. Jacobs
John I. Von Lehman
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Director Nomination Process and Qualifications of Candidates
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines identify some of the criteria used to evaluate prospective nominees for director. Our Corporate Governance Guidelines are available on the Company’s website at www.AFGinc.com.
Nominees for director will be recommended by the Corporate Governance Committee in accordance with the principles in its charter and the Corporate Governance Guidelines. The Corporate Governance Committee will consider suitability for membership on the Board on a case-by-case basis. Although the Committee does not prescribe minimum qualifications or standards for directors, candidates for Board membership should have the highest personal and professional integrity, demonstrated exceptional ability and judgment, and availability and willingness to take the time necessary to properly discharge the duties of a director. The Board seeks candidates with diverse experiences, qualifications, backgrounds and skills that the Board believes enable each candidate to make a significant contribution to the Board.
The Corporate Governance guidelines specifically provide that the Board will also consider diverse Board candidates, including women and minorities, and individuals from both corporate positions and non-traditional environments such as government, academia and nonprofit organizations. The last three independent directors added to the Board were two women and a minority.
The Corporate Governance Committee does not have a policy with regard to the consideration of director candidates recommended by shareholders because Ohio law and the Company’s Regulations afford shareholders certain rights related to such matters. The Regulations provide that only candidates nominated by or at the direction of the Board of Directors and candidates nominated at the meeting by a shareholder who has complied with the procedures set forth in the Regulations will be eligible for election at a meeting of shareholders. Procedures that shareholders must follow in order to nominate a director candidate are set forth on page 47 under, “Other Matters—Submitting Shareholder Proposals for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.”
The Committee will make its determinations on whether to nominate an individual in the context of the Board as a whole based on the Board’s then-current needs, the merits of each such candidate and the qualifications of other available candidates. The Committee has no obligation to respond to shareholders who propose candidates that it has determined not to nominate for election to the Board, but the Committee may do so in its sole discretion. All director candidates are evaluated similarly, whether nominated by the Board or by a shareholder.
The Corporate Governance Committee did not seek, nor did it receive the recommendation of, any of the director candidates named in this proxy statement from any shareholder, independent director, executive officer or third-party search firm in connection with its own approval of such candidates. The Company has not paid any fee to a third party to assist it in identifying or evaluating nominees.
Director Independence
In accordance with NYSE rules, the Board affirmatively determines the independence of each director and nominee for election as a director in accordance with guidelines it has adopted, which guidelines comply with the NYSE listing standards. For a director to be considered independent, the Board must determine affirmatively that a director does not have any material relationship with the Company directly or as a partner, shareholder or officer of an organization that has a relationship with the Company. A material relationship can include, but is not limited to, commercial, industrial, banking, consulting, legal, accounting, charitable and family relationships. Based on these standards, the Board has determined that each of Ms. Drosos, Ms. Martin and Messrs. Jacobs, Joseph, Nwankwo, Verity and Von Lehman, is independent and has no material relationship with the Company, except as a director and shareholder of the Company.
In reaching its independence determinations for 2020, the Committee considered that the Company purchased vehicles from, and had vehicles serviced by, automobile dealerships affiliated with a company of which Mr. Joseph is an executive and part owner. The small amounts involved in these transactions, which were approved by the Audit Committee as transactions with a related party despite not requiring disclosure pursuant to SEC Regulation S-K Item 404, were deemed by AFG’s Board of Directors not to be material. See our policies regarding transactions with related parties as set forth below under, “Review, Approval or Ratification of Transactions with Related Persons” on page 19.
Other Corporate Governance Matters, Practices and Procedures
Risk Oversight
The Company believes a role of management, including the named executive officers, is to identify and manage risks confronting the Company. The Board of Directors plays an integral part in the Company’s risk oversight, primarily in reviewing the processes used by management to identify and report risk, and also in monitoring corporate actions so as to minimize inappropriate levels of risk.
The Company’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process is overseen by a risk officer with the input of senior
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leaders representing significant areas from throughout the organization including operational, financial, accounting, information technology and information security.
The risk officer annually reviews the top organizational risks and determines whether to add any new significant risks or to prioritize any identified risks. The risk officer, through regular meetings with senior leaders of the Company, monitors these risks, as well as any other significant risks that may arise during the year, and provides an ERM report to the Audit Committee on a quarterly basis. Also, in light of evolving threats to corporate cybersecurity, the Board and relevant Board Committees receive reports from the Company’s Chief Information Security Officer regarding cybersecurity risks and the steps management has taken to monitor and control such risks. The Audit Committee regularly dedicates a portion of its meetings to review and discuss the Company’s cybersecurity program.
The Company’s leadership structure and overall corporate governance framework is designed to aid the Board in its oversight of management responsibility for risk. The Audit Committee serves a key risk oversight function in carrying out its review of the Company’s financial reporting and internal reporting processes, as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Inherently, part of this review involves an evaluation of whether our financial reporting and internal reporting systems are adequately reporting the Company’s exposure to certain risks. In connection with this evaluation, the Audit Committee has, from time to time, considered whether any changes to these processes are necessary or desirable. While it has concluded that no such changes are warranted at this time, the Audit Committee will continue to monitor the Company’s financial reporting and internal reporting processes. In addition, pursuant to its charter, the Audit Committee is responsible for discussing with management the guidelines and policies related to enterprise risk assessment and risk management.
As more fully described under “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” in this proxy statement, the Compensation Committee takes an active role in overseeing risks relating to AFG’s executive compensation programs, plans and practices. Specifically, the Compensation Committee reviews the risk profile of the components of the executive compensation program, including the performance objectives and target levels used in connection with incentive awards, and considers the risks an executive officer might be incentivized to take with respect to such components with special attention given to establishing a mix among these components that does not encourage excessive risk taking.
The Corporate Governance Committee contributes to the Company’s risk oversight process by reviewing the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and Board
committee charters at least annually to ensure that they continue to comply with any applicable laws, regulations, and stock exchange or other listing standards, as each are subject to change from time to time. The Corporate Governance Committee also oversees the director nomination process, the overall Board reporting structure and the operations of the individual committees.
Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct and Corporate Governance Principles
The Company has adopted a Code of Ethics applicable to all employees. Annually, directors and all employees certify that they have read and are in compliance with our Code of Ethics.
The Company has also adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines. The Code and Guidelines are available on the Company’s website at www.AFGinc.com, under “About Us—Leadership and Governance.” A printed copy of the Code and Guidelines may be obtained by shareholders upon written request to the Corporate Secretary at the address set forth under “2021 Proxy Statement – Summary – Company Communications.” We intend to satisfy any disclosure requirements regarding any amendments to, or waivers from, provisions of the Code by posting such information on our website as promptly as practicable, as may be required by applicable SEC and NYSE rules.
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
Creating long-term value for shareholders is AFG’s highest business objective, and we are committed to doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner. For us, this commitment starts with recognizing that many of our business decisions affect people and organizations in the larger community. Our Board of Directors and senior leaders embrace external perspectives as part of making informed decisions to keep our business viable.
We sustain AFG’s business success by effectively managing risk—financial, social, environmental—to help create stability for our customers and deliver value to our shareholders.
We focus our corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies in four primary areas where AFG can achieve the most direct and substantial results:
Operating our business with integrity and managing financial risk;
Giving back to our communities and promoting social opportunity;
Creating a welcoming, rewarding and safe place to work and build a career; and
Managing environmental risk and operating sustainably.
We believe that concentrating our efforts help us run our business more effectively, enhance our products, protect
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our customers, serve our communities and support over 8,100 employees in over 120 locations worldwide.
When confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company seamlessly activated its business continuity plans and designated a COVID-19 response team. The COVID-19 response team quickly enacted work-from-home capabilities, alternate work locations and additional remote work options so that our employees continued to work in an uninterrupted manner and our operations remained fully functional. The COVID-19 response team continues to meet frequently to review developments and act in accordance with the guidance provided by governments and relevant public health organizations around the world and provides regular updates to Company employees regarding developments that may lead to the resumption of regular business operations.
More information regarding our corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts can be found on our website at www.AFGinc.com under “About Us—Corporate Social Responsibility” where you can review our Corporate Social Responsibility Report. We regularly review developing methodologies for evaluating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and expect to adopt reporting practices according to standards which become widely-adopted and which we feel are most useful to our shareholders.
Shareholder Engagement
We maintain an ongoing, proactive outreach effort with our shareholders. Throughout the year, members of our Investor Relations team and our business leaders engage with our shareholders to help increase their understanding of our business and to remain well-informed regarding their perspectives. Management regularly engages with investors by participating in industry conferences, and also meets in person, virtually through online meetings and by telephone with shareholders at other times throughout the year to answer questions and solicit input. We believe our engagement with shareholders has been productive and provides an open exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Director Education
The Corporate Governance Committee facilitates participation by directors in continuing education programs, including accredited director education programs paid by the Company and structured internal programs presented by management at least annually.
Annual Board Evaluation
The Corporate Governance Committee oversees the Company’s annual Board evaluation process which is designed to elicit feedback and recommendations from the directors that will improve the effectiveness of the Board and each of its committees. The Corporate Governance Committee determines the manner of conducting Board evaluations annually. In recent years, evaluations have consisted of questionnaires or interviews of Board members, in each case conducted by outside counsel. The results of the evaluation are compiled by outside counsel and discussed with the Committees and with the full Board.
Executive Sessions
NYSE rules require independent directors to meet regularly in executive sessions. Four of these sessions were held during 2020. The lead independent director presides over each session.
Communications with Directors
The Board of Directors has adopted procedures for shareholders to send written communications to the Board as a group. Communications must be clearly addressed either to the Board of Directors, a committee of the Board or any or all of the independent directors, and sent to either of the persons listed under “2021 Proxy Statement – Summary – Company Communications”, who will forward any communications except for spam, junk mail, mass mailings, resumes, job inquiries, surveys, business solicitations or advertisements, or patently offensive, hostile, threatening or otherwise unsuitable or inappropriate material.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation
No member of AFG’s Compensation Committee was at any time during 2020 or at any other time an officer or employee of the Company, and none had any relationship with the Company requiring disclosure as a related-person transaction. None of our executive officers served on the compensation committee (or its equivalent) or board of directors of another entity that has, or had during any time during 2020, an executive officer who served as a member of our Board or our Compensation Committee.
Review, Approval or Ratification of Transactions with Related Persons
Stock exchange rules require that the Company conduct an appropriate review of all related party transactions (including those required to be disclosed by the Company pursuant to SEC Regulation S-K Item 404) for potential conflict of interest situations on an ongoing basis and that all such transactions must be reviewed and evaluated by the Audit Committee or another committee comprised of
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independent directors. The Audit Committee reviews and evaluates all transactions with related parties. In addition, our Audit Committee Charter provides that the Audit Committee review and approve all related party transactions involving directors, executive officers and significant shareholders of the Company that require disclosure pursuant to SEC Regulation S-K Item 404. In considering any transaction, the Committee may consider all relevant factors, including as applicable: the Company’s business rationale for entering into the transaction; the alternatives to entering into a related person transaction; whether the transaction is on terms comparable to those available to third parties, or in the case of employment relationships, to employees generally; the potential for the transaction to lead to an actual or apparent conflict of interest and any safeguards imposed to prevent such actual or apparent conflicts; and the overall fairness of the transaction to the Company.
While the Company adheres to this policy for potential related person transactions, the policy is not in written form except as a part of listing agreements with the NYSE. However, approval of such related person transactions is evidenced by Audit Committee resolutions in accordance with our practice of reviewing and approving transactions in this manner.
Other than as follows, there were no such transactions in 2020 requiring disclosure under applicable rules. During 2020, the Company employed a son of one of the Co-CEOs and a subsidiary of the Company employed the son-in-law of the other Co-CEO, both in executive positions, with such persons receiving salary and bonus of approximately $990,239 and $1,016,346 during 2020. Each individual also participates in employee benefit plans, including equity incentive plans, and is eligible to receive perquisites commensurate with his position and tenure with the Company. A brother of Mr. Consolino worked in our annuity group and received approximately $241,000 in salary and incentive compensation during 2020.
A brother-in-law of S. Craig Lindner is a Senior Vice President with Raymond James Financial, Inc. During 2020, Raymond James received commissions of approximately $211,000 for transactions made by the Company and its subsidiaries.
FC Cincinnati Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “FC Cincinnati”) is a member of
Major League Soccer and operates a professional soccer franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carl H. Lindner III is the principal investor and Chief Executive Officer of FC Cincinnati and controls that entity by contract. The Company and its subsidiaries have several relationships with FC Cincinnati. While the Company has historically purchased tickets and merchandise from FC Cincinnati at rates generally offered to the public, as it has for many years purchased tickets and merchandise from other local professional franchises and universities, there were no such purchases in 2020 due to COVID-19. FC Cincinnati also purchases insurance policies from a subsidiary of the Company, and through a subsidiary insurance agency, under the same terms that would prevail between unrelated third parties. A brother of Mr. Joseph is a minority owner of FC Cincinnati.
Delinquent Section 16(a) Reports
Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires AFG’s executive officers, directors and persons who own more than ten percent of AFG’s common shares to file reports of ownership with the SEC and to furnish AFG with copies of these reports. Like many companies, AFG assists its directors and officers by monitoring transactions and completing and filing Section 16 reports on their behalf. Based on the Company’s involvement in the preparation and review of these reports, the Company believes that all filing requirements were met in 2020 except that Kenneth C. Ambrecht, a former director, who passed away on September 25, 2020, inadvertently reported one transaction late.
Pre-Approval of Services Provided by the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Audit Committee has adopted policies that require pre-approval for any audit and non-audit services to be provided to AFG by Ernst & Young LLP. The Audit Committee delegated authority to the Committee Chairperson to pre-approve certain non-audit services which arise between meetings of the Audit Committee. Pursuant to these procedures and delegation of authority, the Audit Committee was informed of and pre-approved all of the audit and other services described above. No services were provided with respect to the de minimis waiver process provided by rules of the SEC.
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Compensation Discussion and Analysis
Named Executive Officers
In this section, we describe the material components of our executive compensation program for our named executive officers whose compensation is displayed in the 2020 Summary Compensation Table and the other compensation tables contained in this proxy statement. We also provide an overview of our executive compensation philosophy and we explain how and why the Compensation Committee arrives at specific compensation policies and decisions.
Our 2020 named executive officers are our Co-Chief Executive Officers (“Co-CEOs”), those persons who served as principal financial officer during 2020 and the three other most highly compensated executive officers employed at the end of 2020. These persons include:
Carl H. Lindner III
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-President (Co-Principal Executive Officer)
S. Craig Lindner
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-President (Co-Principal Executive Officer)
John B. Berding
President of American Money Management
Michelle A. Gillis
Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Brian S. Hertzman
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Vito C. Peraino
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Joseph E. (Jeff) Consolino
Former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (resigned effective June 12, 2020)
Overview of Compensation Program
The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors has responsibility for reviewing and approving the compensation paid to the Company’s Co-CEOs and reviewing the compensation of the other Company senior executive officers and overseeing the executive compensation policies of the Company. The Compensation Committee also acts as the oversight committee with respect to the Company’s cash and equity incentive plans. The Compensation Committee ensures that the total compensation paid to the named executive officers is fair, reasonable and competitive.
AFG’s philosophy regarding executive compensation programs focuses on the balance of attracting, motivating, retaining and rewarding executives with a compensation package competitive among its peers and maximizing shareholder value by designing and implementing programs that tie compensation earned to the short-term and long-term performance of the Company. In linking pay to performance, the Compensation Committee compares the Company to a group of publicly-held insurance holding companies (collectively, the “Compensation Peer Group”).
Guided by principles that reinforce the Company’s pay-for-performance philosophy, named executive officer compensation includes base salary; annual performance-based cash awards; long-term stock incentives; cash awards based on long-term performance; and other compensation, including certain perquisites. A significant portion of each named executive officer’s compensation is dependent upon the Company achieving business and financial goals.
The Compensation Committee views perquisites as an element of total compensation and, as such, would consider the elimination or diminution of any perquisite as a decrease in total compensation. The Compensation Committee, then, would seek to replace any such elimination or diminution with fixed compensation which, if designed to replace the value of the perquisite, may require salary increases which, on a pre-tax basis, would allow the named executive officers to replace the perquisite.
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2020 Compensation Determinations
AFG annually holds an advisory vote on the compensation of its named executive officers, commonly referred to as a Say-on-Pay vote. Our shareholders approved the compensation of our named executive officers, with over 93% of votes cast in 2020 in favor of our Say-on-Pay resolution.
The Compensation Committee believes that the result of the advisory vote is valuable in assessing its compensation decisions and considers each year’s vote in its annual review of the Company’s executive compensation programs. In considering 2020 compensation, the Compensation Committee concluded that the 2019 performance of our named executive officers was excellent and that the Co-CEOs and other named executive officers were rewarded, largely in the form of awards based on Company performance, consistent with the Company’s pay-for-performance philosophy.
CEO Compensation
The Company has Co-CEOs serving as principal executive officers. The Compensation Committee recognizes that the Company does not have a separate, non-principal executive officer president or chief operating officer, and the Company also does not have numerous additional senior officer designations seen at other public companies because the Co-CEOs have assumed responsibility for each such role. The Co-CEOs work together with regard to overall corporate strategy and planning, as well as in assessing and managing enterprise risks. Key factors affecting the Compensation Committee’s judgment with respect to the Co-CEOs include the nature and scope of their responsibilities and their effectiveness in leading initiatives to effectively manage capital and increase sustainable shareholder value, productivity, profitability and growth. The design of the compensation programs for the Co-CEOs reflects the Company’s leadership structure which is discussed in more detail above under “Company Information—Corporate Governance—Leadership Structure” beginning on page 13.
With respect to the Co-CEOs, as in prior years, the Compensation Committee determined that the quantifiable measurements for each Co-CEO should be identical because the Compensation Committee believes that the Co-CEOs are ultimately jointly responsible for the achievement of the Company’s objectives. Carl H. Lindner III also serves as CEO of AFG’s Property and Casualty Insurance Group and is primarily responsible for AFG’s property and casualty insurance operations and investor relations. S. Craig Lindner also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Great American Financial Resources, Inc. and is primarily responsible for AFG’s annuity operations and investment portfolio. Despite their different primary responsibilities, the Compensation Committee views the roles of the Co-CEOs as collaborative, as opposed to competitive, and does not seek to distinguish the performance of one from the other. Rather, the Compensation Committee scrutinized the Co-CEOs’ collective role in AFG’s achievement of operating targets, the development of management personnel, the performance of the investment portfolio and the development and implementation of strategic transactions and initiatives to enhance shareholder value.
The Compensation Committee believes that the evaluation by certain institutional investors and proxy advisory firms of the Company’s pay for performance alignment is distorted by combining the compensation of the two Co-CEOs and representing that the combined compensation reflects “CEO” compensation. The Compensation Committee believes that this view skews compensation analysis and unfairly penalizes the Company for its leadership structure that the Company has determined is in the best interests of shareholders. As a result, when evaluating annual overall compensation to named executive officers, consistent with the approach of certain institutional investors and proxy advisory firms, the Compensation Committee considers the compensation of the highest-paid Co-CEO as “CEO compensation” and includes the other Co-CEO in its analysis as one of the three highest-paid, non-Chief Financial Officer officers.
Establishing Total Compensation Levels
The Compensation Committee believes, after discussions with the Co-CEOs, that compensation levels for the Co-CEOs should be based primarily upon the Compensation Committee’s assessment of their leadership performance and potential to enhance long-term sustainable shareholder value. The Compensation Committee relies upon a combination of judgment and guidelines in determining the amount and mix of compensation elements for the Co-CEOs. The compensation levels for the other named executive officers are similarly determined by the Co-CEOs, and reviewed by the Compensation Committee, again based primarily upon the assessment of each named executive officer’s leadership performance and potential to enhance long-term sustainable shareholder value.
The Compensation Committee and the Co-CEOs analyze peer groups, including the Compensation Peer Group, and industry pay rates at least annually in reviewing the appropriateness and competitiveness of the Company’s compensation programs. In analyzing market pay levels among the Compensation Peer Group, the Compensation Committee factors into its analysis the variance in size (both in terms of revenues and market capitalization) among the companies.
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The Compensation Committee utilizes the peer and industry review as a point of reference for measurement and not as a determinative factor. Although the Company seeks to offer a level of total compensation to named executive officers that is competitive with the compensation paid by companies in the Compensation Peer Group, the Company does not target or benchmark a particular percentile with respect to our executives’ total pay packages or any individual components of pay. Rather, the compensation levels and performance of the companies in the Compensation Peer Group constitute one of the many factors considered by the Compensation Committee and described in this Compensation Discussion and Analysis. The Compensation Peer Group, which the Compensation Committee annually reviews and updates when appropriate, is designed to reflect the Company’s business mix and to consist of companies against which the Compensation Committee believes AFG competes for talent and for shareholder investment and in the marketplace for business.
Below is the Compensation Peer Group reviewed, approved and utilized by the Compensation Committee for 2020 which contains one fewer company. The only change from the 2019 Compensation Peer Group is the removal of Voya Financial which disposed of its annuity business in 2019.

Alleghany Corporation

Arch Capital Group Ltd.

Assurant Inc.

Chubb Limited

Cincinnati Financial Corporation

CNA Financial Corp.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

Lincoln National Corporation

Markel Corporation

RLI Corp.

W. R. Berkley Corporation
Based upon all these factors, the Compensation Committee believes it is in AFG shareholders’ best long-term interest for the Compensation Committee to ensure that the overall level of compensation is competitive with companies in the Compensation Peer Group. The Compensation Committee continues to believe that the quality, skills and dedication of executive leaders are critical factors that drive the long-term value of the Company. Therefore, the Compensation Committee and the Co-CEOs continue to try to maintain an executive compensation program that will attract, motivate, retain and reward the highest level of executive leadership possible and align the interests of AFG’s executives with those of AFG’s shareholders.
The Compensation Committee’s decisions concerning the specific 2020 compensation elements for the Co-CEOs were made within this framework. The Compensation Committee also considered each Co-CEO’s performance and prior-year salary, incentive awards and other compensation. In all cases, specific decisions involving 2020 compensation were ultimately based upon the Compensation Committee’s judgment about the Co-CEOs’ performance, potential future contributions and about whether each particular payment or award would provide an appropriate incentive and reward for performance that sustains and enhances long-term shareholder value without subjecting the Company to inappropriate or unreasonable risk.
Based on its review, the Compensation Committee found the named executive officers’ total compensation to be reasonable and consistent with the objectives of the Company’s compensation programs and generally aligned performance versus peers.
Change in Control
No named executive officer is a party to an employment or other agreement providing for severance or change in control payments.
Awards under the Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan and the Company’s shareholder-approved equity incentive plans in effect through 2015 contain provisions for an acceleration of vesting, applicable to all participants, of awards upon a change in control.
Awards under the Company’s shareholder-approved equity incentive plan currently in effect do not provide for automatic acceleration of awards for any participant, including the named executive officers. These awards include a “double trigger,” which means that, if the awards are assumed by the surviving entity in the change of control, vesting of the awards will not accelerate unless the participant also has a qualifying termination of employment (by the Company without cause or by the participant for good reason). In contrast, if the surviving entity does not assume the equity awards upon the change in control, unvested awards will become vested upon the occurrence of the change in control.
Tally Sheets
The Compensation Committee reviews at least annually a comprehensive tally sheet compiled internally to review all elements of the named executive officers’ compensation. The tally sheet includes all of the information that is reflected in the Summary Compensation Table as well as amounts and descriptions of perquisites not required to be specifically identified by SEC
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regulations, generally because the amount of such items is not deemed material under applicable SEC regulations. The review by the Compensation Committee analyzes how changes in any element of compensation would impact other elements. Such analysis has become an important component in the Compensation Committee’s review of named executive officer compensation as various components, including perquisites, are deemed by the Compensation Committee to be important elements of an executive’s overall compensation. This also allows the Compensation Committee to make compensation decisions and evaluate management recommendations based upon a complete analysis of a named executive’s total compensation.
With regard to perquisites paid to the Co-CEOs, the Compensation Committee noted the annual limitations described under “Perquisites and Other Personal Benefits” on page 33.
Equity Incentive Compensation
As part of its analysis and approval of long-term equity incentive compensation available to the named executive officers, the Compensation Committee reviewed information relative to equity wealth accumulation of the named executive officers based on previous awards. The purpose of this analysis was to determine whether prior and proposed awards are likely to be effective for retention and as performance incentives to the named executive officers. The Compensation Committee was mindful of the substantial ownership of the Company’s common shares by executive officers, particularly the Co-CEOs, and the effect of such ownership in aligning their interests with those of all of the Company’s shareholders.
Internal Pay Equity
The Compensation Committee does not apply fixed ratios when conducting an analysis of the relative difference between the Co-CEOs’ compensation and the compensation of the Company’s other senior executives. However, the Compensation Committee believes that the Company’s internal pay equity structure is appropriate based upon the contributions to the success of the Company and as a means of motivation to other executives and employees.
Share Ownership Requirements
The named executive officers and other senior executives of the Company and its subsidiaries (approximately 40 persons) are subject to the Company’s share ownership requirements. Pursuant to the requirements, each Co-CEO must own five times his base salary in Company common shares while other executives must own one times his or her base salary in Company common shares. The Company has also established share ownership guidelines for its non-employee directors which are discussed below under, “Executive Compensation—Director Compensation and Stock Ownership Guidelines” on page 40.
Hedging and Pledging Policy
The Company prohibits transactions involving hedging of Company shares by directors and executive officers. The Company’s pledging policy discourages any pledging of the Company’s common shares, including holding common shares in a margin account. In addition, directors and the Company’s executive officers are required to obtain pre-approval from the Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee before pledging shares of common shares. Such approval will be granted only if the individual can clearly demonstrate the financial capacity to repay the loan without resorting to the pledged securities and/or after a determination that the number of shares that the individual proposes to pledge is unlikely to affect the market for the common shares when viewed in relation to the market value or trading volume. No named executive officer or director pledged any Company shares at any time over the past three years.
Outside Consultants
The Compensation Committee has the authority to retain and from time to time has retained outside consultants to assist in evaluating the Company’s executive compensation programs and practices.
Tax Deductibility of Pay
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 (the “TCJA”) was signed into law. The TCJA includes significant changes to the rules under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code for deducting certain executive compensation. In general, for years prior to 2018, Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code disallowed a tax deduction to publicly held companies for compensation paid in any year to certain executive officers in excess of $1 million per officer that did not qualify as “performance-based compensation.”
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Under the TCJA, the exemption from Section 162(m)’s deduction limit for performance-based compensation has been repealed. The new rules generally apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, but do not apply to remuneration paid in future years pursuant to a written binding contract in effect on November 2, 2017 that is not modified in any material respect after that date.
In December 2019 the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance in the form of proposed regulations with regard to the new Section 162(m) rules provided by the TCJA. Following a comment period, additional guidance is expected from the Internal Revenue Service. Despite the Compensation Committee’s efforts to structure certain incentive programs as “performance-based compensation” intended to be exempt from Section 162(m)’s deduction limits, because of uncertainties as to the interpretation and application of the new rules, no assurance can be given that compensation intended to satisfy the requirements for exemption from Section 162(m) in fact will do so.
Section 409A
Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code requires that “nonqualified deferred compensation” be deferred and paid under plans or arrangements that satisfy the requirements of the law with respect to the timing of deferral elections, timing of payments and certain other matters. In general, it is AFG’s intention to design and administer its compensation and benefits plans and arrangements for all of its employees so that they are either exempt from, or satisfy the requirements of, Section 409A.
2020 Compensation Components
The Compensation Committee continues to monitor and evaluate on an ongoing basis the mix of direct cash and equity compensation awarded to the named executive officers, and the extent to which such compensation aligns the interests of the named executive officers with those of AFG’s shareholders. In connection with this practice, the Compensation Committee annually considers and discusses the structure of the Company’s executive compensation program and the relative weighting of various compensation elements. For 2020, the principal components of compensation for named executive officers were:
base salary and annual performance-based cash awards;
long-term incentive compensation;
retirement and deferred compensation benefits; and
perquisites and other personal benefits.
The named executive officers, except for Mr. Hertzman, participated in the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan under which participants can earn annual performance-based cash awards based on current year performance of AFG. Mr. Hertzman was a participant in the AFG Bonus Plan, where participants can earn annual cash awards based 40% on the same core earnings per share results as applicable under the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan and 60% based on a discretionary determination.
Joseph E. (Jeff) Consolino, who resigned effective June 12, 2020, participated in the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan, the Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan and the Company’s stock incentive plan. Because of his resignation, he received no payments in 2020 under the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan or the Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan, and all of his unvested shares of restricted stock were forfeited.
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Each of these components plays a different strategic role in the Company’s compensation program:
Compensation Element
Strategic Role in Compensation
Base salary is determined based on position, scope of responsibilities, experience, tenure, qualifications and competitive data.
Provides a fixed level of compensation for services rendered during the year.
Attracts and retains executive talent.
Annual cash incentive awards are variable awards payable in large part based on Company performance and results established by the Compensation Committee.
Provides focus on annual performance goals linked to Company success and shareholder value.
Motivates and rewards named executive officers to achieve strong annual business results that will contribute to the Company’s long-term success without creating an incentive to take excessive risk.
Long-term stock-based incentive awards through annual restricted share grants.
Ensures that the named executive officers have a significant continuing interest in the long-term financial success of the Company.
Aligns the interests of the named executive officers with Company shareholders.
Encourages decisions and rewards performance that contributes to the long-term Company success.
Encourages executive retention.
Discourages excessive risk taking.
Long-term cash awards under the Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan.
Encourages focus on growth in book value and return on equity growth, primary drivers of long-term shareholder value.
Encourages retention through three-year performance periods.
Long-term focus discourages excessive risk taking.
Retirement benefits which provide competitive retirement benefits that are generally comparable to those provided to all employees.
Provides qualified retirement benefits through Company matching of a percentage of contributions in a defined contribution plan.
Provides non-qualified contributions where tax law limits amounts.
Attracts executive talent.
Provides the opportunity to accrue a reasonable retirement benefit.
Deferred compensation elections, which are voluntary and permit deferral of base salary or cash incentive awards into our common shares and/or cash at an interest rate determined annually.
Permits named executive officers to defer receipt of all or any part of their base salary and/or annual cash incentive awards.
Provides a retention feature through reasonable return potential.
Provides an attractive tax planning opportunity designed to attract and retain executives.
Perquisites including health care; life, disability, auto and home insurance; aircraft usage; entertainment; and administrative services.
Provides competitive compensation elements designed to attract and retain executive talent.
Viewed as a component of total compensation where diminishing or eliminating any perquisites would require a corresponding increase in other compensation components.
Personal use of Company aircraft is encouraged for the Co-CEOs for security and personal safety and to enhance productivity.
Compensation Risk Analysis
The Compensation Committee has reviewed the risk profile of the components of AFG’s executive compensation programs, including the performance objectives and target and maximum levels used in connection with incentive awards. The Company analyzes and structures its overall compensation program to discourage excessive risk-taking through a balanced use of compensation vehicles and metrics with an overall goal of delivering sustained long-term shareholder value while aligning executives’ interests with those of shareholders. Further, our program makes a substantial portion of each named executive officer’s compensation contingent on delivering performance results that benefit our shareholders. The Compensation Committee believes that AFG’s executive compensation programs incentivize the appropriate level of risk-taking behavior by its named executive officers needed to grow the business, while encouraging prudent decision-making that focuses on both short-term and long-term results.
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Compensation Committee Discussions with Co-CEOs
Our Co-CEOs determine the compensation for the named executive officers other than themselves. The Compensation Committee annually reviews the components of compensation for the named executive officers other than the Co-CEOs, the levels of compensation determined by the Co-CEOs and the performance of the other named executive officers with the Co-CEOs. The Compensation Committee makes recommendations to the Board and the Co-CEOs with respect to general non-Co-CEO compensation, incentive-compensation plans and equity-based plans.
Our Co-CEOs discuss with the Compensation Committee their evaluation of the Company’s performance, their performance, their current and future compensation levels, and the reported compensation of named executive officers at the Compensation Peer Group companies before the Compensation Committee determines annual and long-term incentive compensation for the Co-CEOs. Specifically, the Co-CEOs recommend consideration of AFG’s business plan in connection with annual compensation objectives and targets. The Compensation Committee considers this input in connection with its review and approval of corporate goals and objectives relevant to Co-CEO compensation, deliberation of Co-CEO performance in light of those goals and objectives, and determination of Co-CEO compensation levels based on this evaluation.
The Co-CEOs believe that Mr. Berding plays a collaborative role with the Co-CEOs in the achievement of AFG’s business plan and budgeted targets. In recognition of this role, the compensation components for Mr. Berding are identical to those of the Co-CEOs.
Base Salary
The Company pays salaries designed to attract and retain superior leaders. After reviewing compiled data and materials as discussed above, the Compensation Committee determines annual base salaries for the Co-CEOs that are appropriate, in its subjective judgment, based on each Co-CEO’s responsibilities and performance and input from the Co-CEOs themselves. The Co-CEOs set salaries for the other named executive officers, which are reviewed by the Compensation Committee. The Co-CEOs believe that such salaries are appropriate in light of the levels of responsibility of such officers and their individual contributions to the Company’s success. Salary totals for 2020 reflect an additional pay period due to the timing of the bi-weekly payroll calendar.
Annual Bonus Plan
Under the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan, participants could earn annual performance-based cash awards based on current year performance of AFG. The Company believes that the overall performance of AFG is substantially related to the performance of its executives. If earned, the Company pays cash awards in the first quarter for the prior year’s performance.
Awards to the Co-CEOs and Mr. Berding under the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan for 2020 performance were based on Company performance metrics as measured by Operating EPS, Specialty Property and Casualty Earnings (Specialty P&C Earnings) and Annuity Earnings. The Compensation Committee has determined that Operating EPS, Specialty P&C Earnings and Annuity Earnings are the primary drivers of shareholder value. The Operating EPS component target amount for the Co-CEOs represented about 43% of the total target award. In order to approximate the Company’s segment business mix, the Compensation Committee weighted the remaining target award amounts at 60% for the Specialty P&C Earnings component and 40% for the Annuity Earnings component.
Consistent with prior years, one-half of Mr. Peraino’s and Ms. Gillis’ annual award was based on Operating EPS with the remaining one-half subjectively determined. Mr. Hertzman participated in the AFG Bonus Plan, where participants can earn annual cash awards based 40% on the same Operating EPS component metrics applicable to the participants in the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan and 60% based on a discretionary determination. We refer to the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan and the AFG Bonus Plan collectively below as the Annual Bonus Plan.
The Compensation Committee delineated levels of achievement under each Company performance component. For results below a defined threshold, no award would be earned for the relevant component. For Operating EPS, levels were established for target award and maximum award. For Specialty P&C Earnings and Annuity Earnings, thresholds were established for a minimum award, target award and maximum award. The Compensation Committee determined that exceeding the highest threshold under any component would reflect significant outperformance by the Company or the applicable operating segment and merited payment of the maximum award amounts.
The Compensation Committee established the performance metrics ranges for 2020 after reviewing the Company’s 2020 business plan prepared by management, approved by the Co-CEOs and reviewed with the Board of Directors. Results for each component are determined from the Company’s results reported consistent with past practice. The Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan
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includes provisions for adjustments to performance thresholds in the event of a modification of the methodology of Company reporting for any measure. Any modification would result in an adjustment, as determined by the Compensation Committee, in a manner that provides for an identical award for the affected component based on identical adjusted results.
Annual Bonus Plan—2020 Targets
The target award for each component of the Annual Bonus Plan and the overall target and maximum awards for each participant are set forth in the table below. For each Company performance component, participants would receive no award for results below a threshold. Where results for any metric fell within performance ranges, the award earned for the component was to be determined by straight-line interpolation.
Name
Operating
EPS Target ($)
Specialty
P&C
Earnings
Target ($)
Annuity
Earnings
Target ($)
Discretionary
Target ($)
Total
Target ($)
Maximum ($)
Carl H. Lindner III
1,000,000
780,000
520,000
2,300,000
3,245,000
S. Craig Lindner
1,000,000
780,000
520,000
2,300,000
3,245,000
John B. Berding
600,000
540,000
360,000
1,500,000
1,935,000
Michelle A. Gillis
142,500
142,500
285,000
356,250
Brian S. Hertzman
86,667
130,000
216,667(1)
270,833(1)
Vito C. Peraino
320,000
320,000
640,000
800,000
(1)
Mr. Hertzman’s total target and maximum were prorated reflecting an increase for the second half of 2020 during which time he served as principal financial officer.
Overview of 2020 Compensation Paid
In reviewing and evaluating the total compensation paid to the named executive officers for 2020, the Compensation Committee considered the challenges of management during the year.
As a result of long-term investment and planning, development and testing business continuity plans, the Company seamlessly activated these plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, a designated COVID-19 response team quickly enacted work-from-home capabilities, alternate work locations and additional remote work options so that our employees continued to work in an uninterrupted manner and our operations remained fully functional.
In addition to COVID-19, the property and casualty insurance industry navigated a year that included the highest number of named storms on record and the second-highest number of hurricanes on record as well as U.S. wildfires which burned the most acres since accurate records began in 1983.
Company senior officers, including and guided by the named executive officers, successfully managed these and other challenges in 2020, including a mid-year transition of chief financial officers.
When reviewing total 2020 compensation for the named executive officers, the Compensation Committee noted the Company’s strong results despite 2020 difficulties, namely the Company’s Operating EPS and P&C Earnings and the return on equity. The Compensation Committee credited the named executive officers for their leadership and believed that total 2020 compensation, principally incentive compensation earned based on Company results, was appropriate.
Annual Bonus Plan—2020 Components
The Company’s Operating EPS calculation is its diluted core earnings per share as reported to shareholders in quarterly earnings releases and excludes certain items that may not be indicative of its ongoing core operations such as realized gains and losses and special charges resulting from the recurring periodic review of the Company’s asbestos and environmental exposures.
In setting 2020 targets and maximums, the Compensation Committee considered 2019 results and determined that achieving the 2020 Operating EPS target and maximum, particularly given that the target and maximum represented a 4.2% and 11.0%, respectively, increase over actual 2019 Operating EPS, would require substantial efforts on behalf of the entire organization. The Compensation Committee considered factors which might impact ongoing earnings, including, but not limited to, competition, market influences, governmental regulation and the Board of Directors’ desire to devote resources to other internal corporate objectives, such as acquisitions or start-ups.
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The Company’s P&C Earnings are its core operating earnings before income taxes from the Specialty Property and Casualty Insurance operations as reported in the Company’s earnings releases. P&C Earnings excludes certain items that may not be indicative of the Company’s ongoing core operations such as realized gains and losses and special charges resulting from the recurring periodic review of the Company’s asbestos and environmental exposures. In approving Specialty P&C Earnings targets, the Compensation Committee noted that the 2020 target represented an increase of 6.9% from the 2019 target.
Effective for the second quarter of 2019, the Company changed how it calculates Annuity Earnings. Prior to the change, Annuity Earnings were defined as core operating earnings before income taxes from the Annuity segment as reported in the Company’s quarterly earnings releases, which, as with Specialty P&C Earnings, exclude certain items that may not be indicative of its ongoing core operations such as realized gains and losses, adjusted to exclude the impact of fair value accounting for fixed-indexed annuities.
The Company modified its Annuity Earnings calculation of core operating earnings before income taxes and certain items to exclude the impact of items that are not necessarily indicative of operating trends such as the impact of fair value accounting for fixed-indexed annuities, unlockings, and other items related to changes in the stock market and interest rates. The Company made these changes because it believes that the modified calculation will provide investors with a better view of the fundamental performance of the Annuity Segment’s business and a more comparable measure of the Annuity segment’s business compared to its peers.
In setting the 2020 performance targets, the Compensation Committee considered the Company’s ability to timely decrease crediting rates as interest rates decline and noted the effect of rate decreases on annuity sales. After considering expected 2020 challenges to sales and investment income, the Compensation Committee determined that replicating 2019 Annuity Earnings would be a challenge for the entire business. The 2020 target was relatively flat versus the $409 million actual 2019 Annuity Earnings.
Operating EPS
P&C Earnings
Annuity Earnings
Performance
Metrics
Award as
Percentage of
Target(1)
Earnings
(in millions)
Award as
Percentage of
Target(1)
Earnings
(in millions)
Award as
Percentage of
Target(1)
< $8.10
0%
< $740.9
0%
< $377.2
0%
$9.00
100%
$740.9
85%
$377.2
85%
$9.90 or more
Maximum(2)
$805.3
100%
$410.0
Target of 100%
$869.7 or more
115%
$442.8 or more
115%
(1)
Where results for any metric fell within performance ranges, the award for the component was to be determined by straight-line interpolation rounded up to the nearest dollar.
(2)
175% for the Co-CEOs, 150% for Mr. Berding and 125% for Ms. Gillis, Mr. Peraino and Mr. Hertzman.
For Ms. Gillis and Mr. Peraino, 50%, and for Mr. Hertzman, 60%, of the annual cash target award was determined under the Discretionary component by the Co-CEOs based on the Co-CEOs’ subjective rating of the named executive officers relative to overall performance for 2020. The determination for Ms. Gillis, Mr. Peraino and Mr. Hertzman includes a consideration of all factors deemed relevant, including, but not limited to: operational, qualitative measurements relating to the development and implementation of strategic initiatives and annual objectives; responses to unexpected developments; the development of management personnel; and the impact of any extraordinary transactions involving or affecting the Company and its subsidiaries.
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Annual Bonus Plan—2020 Component Results and Awards
The percentage achievement and award paid to each participant under each component of the Annual Bonus Plan is set forth below.
Reported Operating
EPS of
$8.44
Reported P&C
Earnings of
$776.2 Million
Reported Annuity
Earnings of
$359.0 Million
Discretionary
Award
Name
Award as
Percentage of
Target
(%)
Award
($)
Award as
Percentage of
Target
(%)
Award
($)
Award as
Percentage of
Target
(%)
Award
($)
Award as
Percentage of
Target
(%)
Award
($)
Carl H. Lindner III
38.5
384,615
93.2
727,132
S. Craig Lindner
38.5
384,615
93.2
727,132
John B. Berding
38.5
288,462
93.2
503,399
Michelle A. Gillis
38.5
54,808
125
178,125
Brian S. Hertzman
38.5
33,333
125
162,500
Vito C. Peraino
38.5
123,077
125
400,000
The total award, also expressed as a percentage of the target and maximum award, paid to each participant for 2020 under the Annual Bonus Plan was:
Total 2020 Award ($)
Total Award as a
Percentage of
Name
Target
(%)
Maximum
(%)
Carl H. Lindner III
1,111,747
48.3
34.3
S. Craig Lindner
1,111,747
48.3
34.3
John B. Berding
791,861
48.0
36.7
Michelle A. Gillis
232,933
​81.7
​65.4
Brian H. Hertzman
195,833
​90.4
​66.0
Vito C. Peraino
523,077
​81.7
​65.4
Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan
The Senior Executive Long Term Incentive Compensation Plan (the “Senior Executive LTIC”) rewards long-term Company performance through cash awards payable upon the achievement of three-year performance goals determined annually by the Compensation Committee.
Awards under the Senior Executive LTIC utilize two evenly weighted performance criteria: book value per share growth versus the book value per share growth of the group of companies (the “plan companies”) and average annual return on equity growth.
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The book value per share calculations, for the Company and each plan company, are adjusted to negate the effects of accounting changes, accumulated other comprehensive income and the impact of dividends and other capital distributions made on common shares. The awards provide for such adjustments so that accounting changes do not artificially affect book value per share and so that other comprehensive income and the impact of distributions do not influence Company decisions like, for example, the timing and amount of dividends paid in a manner not consistent with a goal of continuing to increase shareholder value.
Annual return on equity growth is defined as the percentage equal to the Company’s core operating earnings divided by the Company’s shareholders’ equity (excluding accumulated other comprehensive income), and the applicable percentage in determining award amounts, if any, is the average return on equity for each of the three years in the performance period.
Awards granted under the Senior Executive LTIC to the Co-CEOs and Mr. Berding are provided in the table below. Mr. Consolino had received awards for each of the three-year performance periods ending 2020-2022 which were forfeited upon his resignation. Each of the performance components are equally weighted with one-half of the target amounts and maximum amounts set forth below allocated to each of book value per share growth versus plan companies and average annual return on equity growth:
Name
Grant
Year
Three-Year
Performance
Period
Ending
Potential Payments
Target
($)
Maximum
($)
Carl H. Lindner III
2018
12/31/2020
2,500,000
5,000,000
2019
12/31/2021
2,500,000
5,000,000
2020
12/31/2022
2,500,000
5,000,000
S. Craig Lindner
2018
12/31/2020
2,500,000
5,000,000
2019
12/31/2021
2,500,000
5,000,000
2020
12/31/2022
2,500,000
5,000,000
John B. Berding
2018
12/31/2020
800,000
1,600,000
2019
12/31/2021
800,000
1,600,000
2020
12/31/2022
800,000
1,600,000
The following table shows the performance targets established to earn the minimum and maximum awards under the Senior Executive LTIC for the performance periods ending 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Three-Year Performance
Period Ending
Calculation of Award Amount
Growth in Book Value
Per Share(1)
Return on Equity(2)
Minimum
Maximum
Minimum
Maximum
12/31/2020
(3)
(4)
10%
14%
12/31/2021
(3)
(4)
10%
14%
12/31/2022
(3)
(4)
10%
14%
(1)
Based on book value per share growth as compared to the plan companies which were determined to approximate the Company’s business mix of property and casualty insurance and annuities. No award will be paid for results below the minimum.
(2)
For a return on equity greater than the minimum but less than the maximum, the award amount is calculated by applying straight-line interpolation rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. The target amount is payable at the midpoint between the minimum and maximum. No award will be paid for results below the minimum.
(3)
Book value per share growth must exceed that of the lower quartile of that of the plan companies. Target amounts payable for book value per share growth in the top 37.5% of plan companies.
(4)
Book value per share growth must exceed that of all plan companies.
Under the book value per share component, if the Company’s growth in book value per share over the three-year performance placed it in the fourth (lowest) quartile of the plan companies, no award for the book value per share growth metric would be payable to any participant. If the Company’s growth in book value per share exceeded all plan companies, each participant would receive the maximum amount payable for the metric (200% of the target amount). If the Company’s growth in book value per share exceeded the fourth (lowest) quartile of the plan companies but did not exceed that of all plan companies, each participant would be entitled to an award (expressed as a percentage of target) calculated by applying
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straight-line interpolation for growth in book value per share between 0% (for being in the fourth (lowest) quartile of plan companies) and 200% (for growth in book value per share exceeding all plan companies). Plan companies acquired during the three-year performance period are excluded when calculating awards.
In order for a participant to receive the target amount, the Company’s growth in book value per share must be in the top 37.5% of the plan companies.
The companies comprising the plan companies approximate the Company’s business mix of property and casualty insurance and annuities. The plan companies for the three-year period ended December 31, 2020 were:
1.
Alleghany Corp.
2.
American Equity Investment Life Holding Co.
3.
American National Insurance Co.
4.
Arch Capital Group Ltd.
5.
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
6.
Assurant, Inc.
7.
Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
8.
Chubb Limited
9.
Cincinnati Financial Corp.
10.
CNA Financial Corporation
11.
CNO Financial Group, Inc.
12.
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.
13.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
14.
Horace Mann Educators Corp.
15.
Lincoln National Corp.
16.
Markel Corporation
17.
Metlife, Inc.
18.
National Western Life Group, Inc.
19.
Old Republic International Corporation
20.
Protective Insurance Corporation
21.
RLI Corp.
22.
Travelers Companies, Inc.
23.
Voya Financial, Inc.
24.
W.R. Berkley Corporation
The Company’s growth in book value per share for the period from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020 placed it fourth in comparison to the plan companies (entitling each participant to 84% of the maximum award for this component). Each Co-CEO received an award of $2,100,000 and Mr. Berding received an award for this component of $672,000 for the performance period.
Return on equity awards are based on average annual return on equity for the performance period. For the 2018-2020 performance period, if the return on equity percentage equaled or exceeded 14%, the participant would receive the maximum award amount attributed to this metric. If the return on equity percentage equals or is less than 10%, the participant would receive no award amount attributed to this metric. For a return on equity greater than 10% but less than 14%, the award amount will be calculated by applying straight-line interpolation rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. Each participant’s target award of 50% of the maximum award for the return on equity component would be earned if the Company’s return on equity equaled 12% for the three-year period.
The Company’s annual average return on equity for 2018-2020 was 15.0%. Each participant was entitled to the maximum award for this component. Each Co-CEO received an award of $2,500,000, and Mr. Berding received an award for this component of $800,000.
After combining the two components, each of the Co-CEOs received an award of $4,600,000 and Mr. Berding received an award of $1,472,000. These amounts represented 184% of the target award and 92% of the maximum award.
Long-Term Equity Incentive Compensation—Broad-Based Equity Award
The Compensation Committee believes long-term equity incentive compensation encourages management to focus on long-term Company performance and provides an opportunity for executive officers and certain designated key employees to increase their stake in the Company through equity awards that vest over time. The Compensation Committee believes that equity awards represent an important part of AFG’s performance-based compensation system and that equity awards align AFG’s senior executives’ interests with those of its shareholders.
Equity awards are generally granted at a regularly scheduled Compensation Committee meeting in February after the investment market has had the opportunity to assess AFG’s announcement of results of the recently ended fiscal year and current year earnings guidance.
Prior to the 2016 annual grants, the Compensation Committee granted stock options and restricted shares to executive officers and certain designated key employees. Beginning with the February 2016 customary broad-based annual grant of equity awards to employees, including executive officers, the Compensation Committee discontinued granting stock options
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and began awarding only restricted shares that cliff-vest after four years, partly in order to reduce the potential dilution to shareholders from stock-based incentive compensation. Awards beginning with 2016 grants also contain double-trigger vesting which limits acceleration of awards to situations where change in control is accompanied by a qualified termination of employment.
In determining the value of annual grants to key employees, the Compensation Committee takes into consideration the dilutive effect to shareholders as well as the expense to AFG as stock-based awards vest. The Compensation Committee believes that several features present in stock-based awards give recipients substantial incentive to maximize AFG’s long-term success. Specifically, the Compensation Committee believes that, because all awards vest over time, with restricted stock awards “cliff” vesting in four years, these awards promote executive retention due to the potential for forfeiture of awards that have not fully vested upon departure from AFG.
Equity award levels for participants are determined based on market and peer company data, expense to AFG, the relative benefits to participants of such expense, the overall compensation level of participants and award amounts from previous years. Equity grants vary among participants based on their positions within the Company, and AFG believes that the consideration of these factors results in reasonable grant levels to its named executive officers and other employees. Restricted shares granted in 2020 to the named executive officers are set forth in the Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table on page 37 of this proxy statement.
Perquisites and Other Personal Benefits
Perquisites, such as insurance coverage, the personal use of corporate aircraft, certain entertainment expenses and administrative staff attending to occasional personal matters are made available to AFG’s executive officers. The Compensation Committee views the perquisites provided to the named executive officers together with all other compensation elements as a component of total compensation and believes that diminishing or eliminating any perquisites would require a corresponding increase in other compensation components. Therefore, the Compensation Committee believes these perquisites, as a component of total executive compensation, to be reasonable and consistent with the overall goal of offering competitive compensation programs.
The benefits and the estimated costs to the Company of such benefits are included in the All Other Compensation table below on page 36.
During 2020, as in prior years, the Company operated corporate aircraft used for the business travel of management and staff of the Company and its subsidiaries. The Board has encouraged the Co-CEOs to use corporate aircraft for all travel whenever practicable for productivity, security and confidentiality reasons, and the policy proved important for the health and safety of the Co-CEO’s during COVID-19. Notwithstanding, the Compensation Committee and the Co-CEOs jointly acknowledge that personal aircraft use is a personal benefit. Each Co-CEO is provided a fixed number of hours per year for personal use (140 flight hours for 2020) to replace additional cash compensation that would have been paid. On certain occasions, an executive’s spouse, other family members or guests may fly on the corporate aircraft.
The Compensation Committee similarly limits the insurance benefit to $500,000 per year and auto expenses, meals and entertainment and personal administrative services to $120,000 per year. If exceeded, reimbursement is made based on the cost to the Company of providing the benefits. For taxable benefits, the dollar amounts are included as taxable income to the named executive officers, and the Company does not provide tax gross-up payments for any perquisites. See footnote (1) to the “All Other Compensation” table below on page 36 for a discussion of the tax treatment of aircraft benefits.
The Compensation Committee views perquisites as an element of total compensation and, as such, would consider the elimination or diminution of any perquisite as a decrease in total compensation. The Compensation Committee, then, would seek to replace any such elimination or diminution with fixed compensation which, if designed to replace the value of the perquisite, may require salary increases which, on a pre-tax basis, would allow the named executive officers to replace the perquisite.
Recovery of Prior Awards
AFG does not have a policy with respect to adjustment or recovery of awards or payments if relevant company performance measures upon which previous awards were based are restated or otherwise adjusted in a manner that would reduce the size of such award or payment. Under those circumstances, we expect that the Compensation Committee and the Board would evaluate whether compensation adjustments were appropriate based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the
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applicable restatement or adjustment. Nevertheless, the Company is subject to the provisions of Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, with its recoupment requirements. In addition, each of the Senior Executive LTIC and the Senior Executive Annual Bonus Plan contain specific provisions regarding recovery of awards in the event of restatement of materially inaccurate financial results.
Retirement and Other Related Benefits
The Company provides retirement benefits to named executive officers through a combination of qualified (under the Internal Revenue Code) and nonqualified plans. AFG provides retirement benefits to all qualified employees through the 401(k) Retirement and Savings Plan (“RASP”), a defined contribution plan. AFG matches 100% on the first 3% of contributions and an additional 50% on the next 3% of contributions and makes discretionary contributions to the retirement fund portion of the plan. The amount of such contributions and matching payments are based on a percentage of the employee’s salary up to certain thresholds. AFG also makes available to certain employees benefits in its Nonqualified Auxiliary RASP (“Auxiliary RASP”). The purpose of the Auxiliary RASP is to enable employees whose contributions in the retirement contribution portion of the 401(k) RASP are limited by IRS regulations to have an additional benefit to the 401(k) RASP.
The Company also maintains a Deferred Compensation Plan pursuant to which certain employees of AFG and its subsidiaries (currently those paid $110,000 or more annually) may defer up to 80% of their annual salary and/or bonus. For 2020, participants could elect to have the value of deferrals earn a fixed rate of interest, set annually by the Board of Directors (2.625% in 2020); fluctuate based on the market value of Company common shares, as adjusted to reflect stock splits, distributions, dividends; or earn interest as determined by one or more publicly traded mutual funds. A deferral term of either a fixed number of years or upon termination of employment must be elected at the time of deferral. Under the plan, no federal or state income taxes are paid on deferred compensation. Rather, such taxes will be due upon receipt at the end of the deferral period.
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Executive Compensation
Summary Compensation Table
The following table summarizes the aggregate compensation paid to or earned by the named executive officers for each of the last three years. Such compensation includes amounts paid by AFG and its subsidiaries and certain affiliates for the years indicated. Amounts shown relate to the year indicated, regardless of when paid. AFG has no employment agreements with the named executive officers.
Name and Principal Position
Year
Salary
($)(1)
Stock
Awards
($)(2)
Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation
($)(3)
All Other
Compensation
($)(4)
Total
($)
Carl H. Lindner III
Co-Chief Executive Officer and
Co-President (Co-Principal
Executive Officer)
2020
1,298,077
1,500,125
5,711,747
1,121,221
9,631.170
2019
1,250,000
1,500,045
6,597,992
1,116,550
10,464,587
2018
1,234,615
1,500,474
6,461,345
1,012,951
10,209,385
S. Craig Lindner
Co-Chief Executive Officer and
Co-President (Co-Principal
Executive