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They don't -- -- and travelers chairman and CEO rang the opening bell near stock exchange.
Along with several professional golfers to celebrate the opening day of the -- -- championship in Cromwell Connecticut.
-- us now is Jay Fishman chairman and CEO of traveler is good -- -- good to see you good morning Lexus great to be here with you I -- -- -- -- by two superstars -- -- a little bit about the travelers championship this year.
Well I'm -- -- by two of the greatest in the world.
Travelers championship goes back to -- the early 1950s when it was called the insurance city open.
And it was on the verge of really collapsing a couple of years ago travelers decided to step in.
A hometown company supporting a hometown event the charities that we support -- Paul Newman's hole in the wall gang camp.
And the -- -- Any second difficult economic times I I assume that this is an essential to you guys around you -- -- extended your commitment I believe got to 2014.
Why is this a reflection of who you are in the DNA this company.
First we start off with we have 7000 employees in Hartford.
And where a major player in the Hartford community in Connecticut as well.
The fact that there was an important sporting event in Connecticut that was on the verge of going away with the history that goes back to the early 1950s.
That would have been a disappointment for all of us management employees so it's been terrific for the community.
It's absolutely great for our business we get a chance to connect with customers -- our agents or brokers are distributors.
It leaves an impression.
About what the company is we've launching our new advertising program in connection with the travelers championship this week.
And then at the end you watch what the dollars that we raised how it helps.
Kids sure need to hole in the wall gang camps Paul -- vision great vision for providing a camping experience for really sick children.
And that's where the dollars of our tournament -- and we just couldn't feel better about it.
It it -- that is so spectacular really terrific.
-- you received some really good news -- couple weeks ago we have talked to John Chambers in Cisco he said is a humbling experience to find that he was put into the Dow Industrials.
What did you feel walked me through that moment when you realize travelers is headed -- to the Dow industrial.
It was it was a shock to say the least that the story as I was giving a speech of the Standard and Poor's.
Conference I came off the stage and Jay Bender who's our chief financial officer said to -- what congratulations and my immediate reaction was the speech wasn't -- good.
You should know get idiot we believe to the Dow thirty and it was just a great shock -- are really was where.
We we view ourselves as a small company were 33000 employees strong.
But we are three billion dollars after tax last year we had a four year return on equity of fourteen and -- half percent.
Extraordinarily proud of our performance been inside the company still feels like -- small place.
And so it was such a surprise it was really such a surprise for us quite.
Remarkable you know the -- consumer business -- a business that you are putting a bigger and bigger investment and just briefly for a second and just on the economic side here what -- thrill I think that this is going to diversify some of your you know -- -- -- your portfolio.
And how you -- on on that investment portfolio.
And he's speaking now about the investments or how we distribute products are Alexis kitty products -- -- -- we have historically distributed product through independent agents and brokers.
It's clear to us that there is a change going on in the American public more and more starting off with younger people more technology savvy people.
One actually purchase the product directly so we've announced that initiative.
To begin to sell our product directly but to do so at a very slow very methodical tested thoughtful way.
Our goal is not typical great big splash in the near term it's -- learned about how to do what you learn how to do it effectively.
And over time be a serious competitor in -- business we're excited about it but it's nice to be doing this as a company -- last year again.
Three billion dollars after tax -- financial base that street.
Leaves -- in a very good position to make this kind of investment.
-- where we in the recession here or in what some suggested the beginning of the green -- is do you think the worst is behind us.
Well it's funny I think it depends where you're standing -- on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange here this morning and obviously capital markets feel -- whole lot better.
They did in March we made it if it turns out to be a bottom but we -- -- bottom in March ninth.
But 666 in the S&P and now we're north of gnawing hunger relief we were when I -- in this morning.
And so the capital markets clearly are feeling better equity.
The debt markets lots of companies coming to the debt markets being able to finance I think -- in middle America.
At the plant level unemployment continues to be a a problem the water from our perspective is still rising it may be rising at a slower pace.
But the water is still rising and and that's -- challenge how we come out of this how we -- what we've been losing 5600000.
Jobs a month.
We actually helped -- a 100000 jobs a month just to keep up with -- population growth.
So to get all these folks back to work took took took to reignite the economy is really the next is next step so.
I think the green shoots through a function of where you are in new York and in other capital market cities are suspected feels better.
In income were weighted to peca in Oklahoma City in Cleveland I I doubt it does.
So did you -- that the most important and pressing question of the day is that it is talking your colleagues -- -- JJ.
Do they believe it's bond day today if he and you want to -- the USO -- pouring does that Mickelson pull out and not pull a victory.
There were were actually being asked here for you guys to comment on if you had to pick one player today who comes out of the US open at the end of the day today -- -- -- -- -- Probably.
Continue -- this Alexis because I'm just leave him.
Probably got a couple of -- would.
We've got elvis' stuff that you've got -- probably the top of it on the -- he's they have a feeling comfortable on.
Got a couple got some help coming -- Currently wreaking on a lot of things on some dolphins would it's it's really August among those -- of that lawsuit -- -- target.
They'd be good decision might be less -- nine win that is going to be a lot of people rooting for Phil who.
With your picture I think you know like stories -- the great thing about the US open loses an open championship and had two guys at the top the leaderboard that maybe not.
Everyone is necessarily heard of both Ricky Barnes Lucas Glover side I'd like to see one for the for the little guys -- -- will hopefully loser Ricky and bullet through them.
I think they're teeing off right about now they're out their -- that should be fun to watch.
Its -- these guys to join us here this morning because honestly I don't they'd rather be out there play and unfortunately it didn't turn -- -- to -- and -- the morning with us here and celebrate the event.
Is is just extraordinary I kind of forward JJ as I love.
When someone comes -- from nowhere and takes it changes their career when someone makes an enormous difference to change their career the -- flight path.
It's great for the good that the player for the family for everybody -- both you guys have had that experience in your lives the -- Map room at the travelers and it half -- and.
Yeah I I think and guys will Lehman bear thinking very much and now I Jay Fishman terrific having you on that Alexis thanks to share in the morning with a.
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