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Progressive sets special dividend, names director

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, OHIO -- Progressive Corp. on Friday declared a special dividend of $1 per share.

The property and casualty insurer said the dividend will be paid on Nov. 29 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 21.

The special dividend will return about $600 million to shareholders, President and CEO Glenn Renwick said in a statement. The payout will not affect the company's annual variable dividend program for 2012.

The Mayfield Village, Ohio, company also named Jeffrey D. Kelly to fill a vacant seat on its board.

The 59-year-old Kelly is executive vice president and chief financial officer for reinsurance company RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. He returns to Progressive's board after a stint from 2000 to 2009.

Progressive shares gained 42 cents, or 2 percent, to $22.48, in morning trading. The stock has changed hands between $17.49 and $23.41 in the past 52 weeks.

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