Conseco investor seeks board member’s ouster-WEB ONLY

A Florida-based investor wants his fellow shareholders in Conseco Inc.
to install him on the company’s board of directors, saying the board
has failed for more than five years to act in shareholders’ interests.

Roger Keith Long, an Indiana University alumnus, runs Otter Creek
Management, which owns 1.4 million shares, or less than 1 percent, of
Carmel-based Conseco’s common stock.

Long made his proposal to shareholders in a securities filing yesterday
in advance of Conseco’s annual shareholders meeting on May 12.

He wants shareholders to vote him onto Conseco’s board in place of
Philip R. Roberts, a retiree who was an investment officer at Mellon
Financial Corp.

Roberts joined the Conseco board in September 2003 when the company emerged from a nine-month bankruptcy reorganization.

Since then, Conseco’s share price has plunged 94 percent. It reached
new lows last month before Conseco restructured its bank loans by
paying higher interest in exchange for looser restrictions.

“Despite raising over $1 billion in fresh capital since its 2003
reorganization, we believe the company finds itself in a challenged
liquidity position which has led to an onerous restructuring of its
credit lines,” Long wrote in his proposal. “We believe that the
election of a truly independent director with a fresh perspective and a
willingness to explore all alternatives will significantly enhance the
ability of the company’s stockholders to regain lost stockholder value
and create future gains.”

In the past, Long as served as chairman of the board of two publicly
traded insurance companies, Financial Industries Corp. and Financial
Institutions Insurance Group Ltd.

Conseco’s stock was up 4 cents this morning, to $1.33 per share.

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