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World Acceptance OKs retention bonuses for officers

Banking & Finance
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A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that a Greenville-based consumer small loan company’s Compensation and Stock Option Committee approved $170,000 in retention bonuses for its top two officials.

World Acceptance Corp. filed an 8-K form with the SEC stating that CEO Janet Lewis Matricciani will receive a $125,000 retention bonus while COO John L. Calmes Jr. will get a $45,000 bonus in 2016. Those bonuses will double in 2017.

In its filing the company said that the executives will receive one-third of the payment now with the rest of the bonus payable on March 31, 2017 provided the bonus is not forfeited due to termination of employment or death.

“The committee believes the retention bonuses granted to the named executive officers and other key executives are an appropriate and necessary incentive to retain each such officer,” the filing said.

The committee also approved a restricted stock award for both Matricciani and Calmes. Under the plan, Matricciani has 26,000 total shares of restricted stock, while Calmes has 17,600 shares. If the company reaches an earnings per share target of $13.00, both Matricciani and Calmes will have 25% of their shares vested. Neither are allowed to sell their vested shares until March 31, 2019.

“The committee determined that these actions were warranted because the executive team had made significant contributions to the company in a challenging regulatory environment,” the filing said.

Matricciani was elevated to CEO following the retirement of Sandy McLean in September.

Over the last year, the company has been investigated by private law firms, as well as the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act or the Truth in Lending Act.

In July 2014, a federal judge was asked to dismiss a case against World Acceptance Corp. filed by a former investor who claimed the company made fraudulent statements to inflate the price of the stock before the announcement of the federal investigation caused the stock price to drop 20%.

Its latest quarterly filing showed the company’s revenues for its first three quarters of fiscal 2015 dropped by nearly $29 million. However, during the same time, its reported expenses dropped by more than $22 million. Its net income for the first three quarters was $57.6 million.

Reach Matthew Clark at 8694-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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