Like rats from a sinking ship, top executives continue to flee faltering South Financial Group.

The Greenville, SC-based financial services company announced Wednesday that Human Resources Director Mary A. Jeffery was retiring.

Jeffrey’s is the latest in a string of resignations for the embattled company:

  • Last month, Christopher T. Holmes, South Financial’s director of corporate financial services, resigned to relocate to the Nashville area.
  • In December, financier Darla Moore left the company’s board of directors.
  • And in September, Carolina First Bank President Scott Frierson resigned “for personal reasons.”

Jeffrey was among South Financial’s better-paid executives, earning a salary of $225,750 in 2008 and total compensation of $573,894, according to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the company, “Ms. Jeffrey and TSFG expect to enter into a consulting agreement for transition purposes over the next six months having monthly compensation of approximately $3,750 per month.”

In addition, the announcement says that TSFG and Ms. Jeffrey may agree to additional consulting engagements. “If such additional engagements occur, these engagements will be billed at an hourly rate of $350 per hour; however, the magnitude of these additional engagements will not exceed 208 hours over the next six months.”

Given South Financial’s performance over the past two years, it’s hardly surprising the company is experiencing major turnover. 

TSFG has lost more than $1.3 billion since the beginning of 2008 and its stock now trades for less than 40 cents a share, closing Wednesday at 38 cents.