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Jewelers Mutual Plans Corporate Structure Changes to Better Meet Customer Needs

It was unanimously approved by the company’s board of directors.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has filed a forward-looking plan to become a mutual holding company to modernize its corporate structure while retaining its long-term focus and dedication to its policyholders – and preserving its mutuality.

The plan was unanimously approved by the company’s board of directors and has been filed with the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). The plan is subject to OCI review and approval, as well as approval of existing policyholders of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company later this year.

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“When jewelers founded Jewelers Mutual over a century ago, they couldn’t have imagined the opportunities we’d have in front of us today,” said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual president and CEO. “Today, the needs of our industry are changing, and we need to evolve to better serve the needs of our policyholders.

“Modifying our corporate structure will allow us to continually support our customers and strengthen our company as we embrace advanced technologies and related product opportunities to serve our customers better.”

About the Transition, Which Continues to Emphasize Mutuality

A mutual holding company allows a previous mutual insurer to transition into a stock insurance company, wholly-owned by the new mutual holding company, while maintaining critical policyholder rights. This change allows Jewelers Mutual to preserve its core mutuality and membership control while operating under a more flexible structure that better enables it to operate its core business and pursue further opportunities.

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“As a mutual company, an essential component to this transition was ensuring a way for our policyholders to maintain their policyholder rights,” shared Murphy. “This transition allows us to do so, all while more easily growing our product and service offerings to help support jewelry businesses and the jewelry industry long into the future.”

The mutual holding company transition would not affect any of the company’s current coverages, premium rates, loss prevention, or claims-handling processes. Policyholders will see no change to how their policies are handled. Policyholders become a part of the new MHC with essentially the identical membership rights they have today, including the right to vote for board members at the company’s annual meeting of members.

Murphy noted the change would also allow Jewelers Mutual to extend membership rights, as defined by law, to policyholders of certain current and future subsidiaries of Jewelers Mutual who would not otherwise have these membership rights, all to promote and enhance the longstanding mutual company tradition of Jewelers Mutual.

The mutual holding company would be legally domiciled in Wisconsin, joining Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and its other subsidiaries.

The board of directors and officers of the mutual holding company would be the same as the board of directors and officers of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company prior to the change. Also, Jewelers Mutual board members, officers and other employees would not receive additional compensation, or any stock or other benefits, because of this change.

Innovation in Support of – and Beyond – Insurance

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Jewelers Mutual is dedicated to its policyholders and the jewelry industry and, as a result, has developed offerings beyond its traditional insurance products. By creating a mutual holding company, Jewelers Mutual will enhance its ability to innovate and bring new value to its customers – and the jewelry industry – with new ventures. In recent years, Jewelers Mutual has already taken steps to expand its product offerings, including its JM Shipping Solution and JM Care Plan solutions. The proposed structural change will better enable both of these existing services and new opportunities.

Next Steps Toward Approval of the Plan

Under Wisconsin law, the process to become a mutual holding company is subject to a public administrative hearing and prior approval from the insurance commissioner’s office. After those steps, the company would seek approval from eligible policyholders who would vote by proxy that is mailed or emailed to them with an information booklet that thoroughly explains the conversion plan. Policyholders could also vote in person at a special policyholder meeting.

Dates for the administrative hearing, proxy mailing and policyholder meeting are still to be determined. The company hopes to complete the process by the end of 2019.

For more information on the proposed mutual holding company, refer to the FAQs. Jewelers Mutual policyholders can call 888-884-2424 and follow the voice instructions to ask questions or learn more about the Mutual Holding Company plan.

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CIBJO Releases Ethics Special Report, Examines International Frameworks and Proper Disclosure

International conventions increasing with which members of the jewelry industry are expected to comply.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than five weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the sixth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Ethics Commission, headed by Tiffany Stevens, it covers a variety of topics, including the increasing number of international conventions with which members of the jewelry industry are expected to comply, and recommended processes of disclosure.

“Responsible business standards being applied in the jewelry industry are meshing further and further with those used internationally, and with frameworks that govern other industries around the globe. It is important that jewelry industry companies fully understand their responsibilities under these complex sets of expectations, and they communicate them effectively and directly with their supply-chain partners and ultimately the consumer,” Ms. Steven writes.

“A few key systems to keep in mind include the OECD frameworks, with special attention to the organization’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High-Risk Areas, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the FTC Jewelry Guides in the United States, ISO standards, the World Diamond Council System of Warranties, and the perhaps-evolving definition of “conflict” under the Kimberly Process,” she continues.

Government scrutiny of the jewelry supply chain’s adherence to ethical business practices is becoming increasingly common, the CIBJO Ethics Commission President notes, citing a recent meeting of jewelry industry leaders with officials of the U.S. State Department, where the industry was counseled to abide with standards for managing risks to women in the minerals, responsible sourcing and jewelry supply chain, as well as complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.

Noting that it is the consumers’ right to know how the how their jewelry and its components affected the environment and the lives of people as it journeyed along the supply chain, she states that being forthright, fully descriptive and making all disclosures clear and easy to understand is imperative.

“When seen globally, we have at our disposal an amazingly complex system of frameworks, definitions and semantics,” Ms. Stevens writes. “But as a trade we should aim for the simplest, most direct forms possible when communicating with consumers, and these should be standard in the sales representative’s in-store pitch to a potential customer, on invoices, on social media and online – wherever products are bought and sold.”

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Ethics Commission’s special report, click here.

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GJEPC Presents India Diamond Week from 15th to 17th October 2019

87 international buyers to interact with leading Indian exporters.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MUMBAI — The Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) organized the India Diamond Week from 15th to 17th October 2019, which is aimed at creating an annual trading platform to increase communication among diamantaires and promoting the Make in India diamond business globally. India Diamond Week further envisages to establish and strengthen the business ties of Indian gems & jewelry exporters with buyers from countries across the world.

India Diamond Week in Mumbai witnessed participation from 87 prominent buyers including those from the Australia, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Netherland, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan amongst others. The first two days had pre-fixed one-to-one meetings of 30 minutes between the buyer and seller, and the third day is an open exhibition.

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19 Leading diamantaires of India showcased their capabilities through various offerings in terms of polished diamond shape, size and cuts. The invited global buyers could deal directly with Indian suppliers to reduce cost of transactions and boost bilateral trade between global importers and Indian exporters.

Mr. Pramod Kumar Agrawal, chairman, GJEPC, said, “I take this opportunity to thank international buyers and indigenous manufacturers whose participation have made this show a successful one. Focused Buyer Seller Meets during the India Diamond Week will further promote business ties especially at this time when global trade dynamics are changing and evolving due to multiple factors. Every buyer is taking advantage of this unique platform offered by GJEPC so that they can concentrate on existing & new customers across the spectrum. India’s expertise and experience can ensure that its exporters can deliver any size, any shape, any quality, anytime, anywhere in the world. All this is made possible by our enterprise, business acumen and massive scale of operations.”

The Indian diamond industry has been developed in India over the last 5 decades. Today, India is a leader in cutting and polishing diamonds with exports of USD 24 billion annually. 14 out of 15 diamonds set in Jewelry worldwide are processed in India. Around 1.3 million people are employed in the sector alone. India has capabilities in cutting and polishing diamonds from the smallest to the largest. India can craft a plethora of exquisitely designed diamonds – brilliant, baquette, briolette, taper, marquise, pair, princess, oval, radiant, rose cut, heart shaped.

Indian Diamond trade is committed to four pillar principles of fair trade. One, it leads in self-regulation encouraged through My KYC amongst GJEPC members. Two, sustainable development, created through model programs for the health and welfare of its workers such as Swasthya Ratna. Three, GJEPC has joined hands with Diamond Producers Association – DPA to fund the promotion of Diamond Jewelry with the sole objective to instill demand for diamond Jewelry at the consumers’ end. Four, it is building state-of-the-art gemological laboratories that ensure diamonds are natural, well-crafted and ethically sourced.

Indian jewelers and craftsmen cater to the most demanding customers across the globe. Indian Gem & Jewelry Industry and GJEPC have invested heavily in its 5 million plus workforce by adopting high standards of modernization, safety, cleanliness and other socio-economic benefits such as, medical facilities, employment generation and second-to-none training programs for workers amongst others. Their ability to satiate any kind of jewelry requirements has amazed the world. This has been possible due to Industry’s willingness to embrace and adopt the latest technology.

India has already developed direct relations with many of the large jewelry chains from across the world. BSMs have helped Indian companies reach out to new segments. They are an ideal way to connect with the independents – single store or those with a small number of outlets. Moreover, for a country which has such a diverse range of offerings across so many different product categories and manufacturing centers, the BSM format provides many benefits. It facilitates product centric events and facilitates ensuring that the right profile of buyers and sellers come face-to-face with each other.

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Online Jeweler Empowers All Shoppers to Become Philanthropists

With each purchase, 12.5% of the total purchase price is donated to a charitable organization.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BOCA RATON, FL — A woman’s majority owned Boca Raton-based jewelry company is seeking to change the way that people shop for jewelry online. The Jewel In Giving is a new eCommerce jewelry site that allows all jewelry shoppers to become philanthropists, while shopping thousands of competitively priced jewelry. With each purchase made at thejewelingiving.com, 12.5% of the total purchase price is donated to a charitable organization of the customer’s choice that is participating with the brand. For example, a $200 jewelry purchase allows for the customer to designate $25 to a participating charity of their choice.

At The Jewel In Giving, shoppers can choose from thousands of pieces of jewelry at all different price points, at the most competitive prices that includes the 12.5% that the customer designates to the charity of their choice. There are no extra steps or costs, just a deeper meaning associated to their jewelry purchase. In addition, every component of the company has been built within a socially conscious framework. The jewelry customer will be able to purchase products made from recycled gold, ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones and eco-friendly lab grown diamonds. All jewelry boxes and marketing materials come from recycled papers allowing for the customer to feel good about their entire shopping experience.

“Philanthropy and eCommerce jewelry shopping are no longer mutually exclusive. We like to ask – why buy jewelry anywhere else?” said Matteo Valcavi, Director of Marketing for The Jewel In Giving. “Customers are drawn to our site for the best prices and highest quality pieces, while at the same time, they leave with a purchase that actually makes a difference in the world. This is a win-win for everyone.”

For IRS 501(c)(3) approved organizations looking to participate with The Jewel In Giving, the benefits are substantial. With the popularity of eCommerce, charities participating with The Jewel In Giving stand to create a robust new revenue stream with little work on their end.

The Jewel In Giving was the organic blending of a 30-year-old family owned wholesale diamond and jewelry business fused with an over 20-year deeply entrenched philanthropic involvement. The company’s motto, Buy Something Beautiful, Do Something Beautiful, sums up their mission perfectly.

Those searching for trending or timeless rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets to add to their collection or a gift for a loved one can visit www.thejewelingiving.com. For non-profits looking to learn more about the benefits of participating visit nonprofits.thejewelingiving.com.

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