TSFG execs enter into agreements with TD

Several top-ranking South Financial Group executives have entered into lucrative employment contracts with TD Bank Financial Group, which is in the process of acquiring the Greenville-based financial services company.

According to information filed late last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, South Financial Group Chief Executive H. Lynn Harton will receive $450,000 annually under terms of a deal with TD.

Other high-ranking TSFG officials who will be paid handsomely for continuing on with TD include:

  • Christopher S. Gompper, president, Carolina First Bank, $300,000;
  • J. Ernesto Diaz, president, Mercantile Bank, $300,000;
  • Robert A. Edwards, chief credit officer, $200,000; and
  • Tanya A. Butts, chief operations and technology officer, $200,000.

In addition, the five will be eligible for annual incentive target awards equal to $175,000, $50,000, $50,000, $25,000 and $25,000, respectively, and equity incentive target awards equal to $625,000, $150,000, $150,000, $100,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Also, the quintet will be eligible for a one-time TD restrict stock units and/or cash award, subject to the executive’s continued employment for specified periods of time, in an amount equal to $2 million, $600,000, $1,025,000, $595,000 and $595,000, respectively. 

The offer letter further specifies that, in the event of a termination without cause during the period prior to the third anniversary of the executive’s start date, Harton, Gompper, Diaz, Edwards and and Butts will be eligible to receive severance benefits in an amount equal to $1,800,000, $600,000, $925,000, $525,000 and $525,000, respectively.

In addition, TSFG Chief Financial Officer James R. Gordon and General Counsel William Crawford Jr. have also entered into agreements with TD under which Gordon’s base salary will be $345,000 annually and Crawford’s $275,625.

Upon termination of employment, excluding termination for cause, each will be entitled to a $650,000 in severance pay, provided the termination doesn’t occur before the end of the employment term.

In May, South Financial announced it would be acquired by TD for 28 cents a share. As recently as early 2008, TSFG was trading for $17 a share.

South Financial has lost more than $1.7 billion over the past two-plus years, including $400 million during 2010.

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