Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Provident severance runs into millions



By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The top five executives at Provident Financial Group Inc. stand to receive millions in severance settlements with National City Corp.'s $2.1 billion purchase of Cincinnati's second-largest bank.

The details of what they might reap came from agreements signed Feb. 15, two days before Provident's sale to Cleveland-based National City Corp. was announced.

The agreements basically will allow Robert Hoverson, Provident's president and chief executive officer; Chris Carey, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and James Whitaker, Provident's general counsel, to get three times their annual salaries and bonuses, health insurance and other perks.

James Gertie, a Provident executive vice president and chief risk officer, and Anthony Stollings, controller and chief accounting officer, also were presented lucrative packages.

According to a regulatory filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission and part of Provident's annual shareholders report, here's how the Provident executives' settlements, often called golden parachutes, would look:

• Based on his annual salary and bonuses totaling about $1.1 million last year, Hoverson would get $3.3 million over the next three years.

• Carey would get about $1.86 million, based on his salary and bonus totaling $618,736 last year.

• Whitaker would walk away with about $1.2 million, based on receiving $400,000 in 2003.

• Gertie would receive $2.08 million, based on pulling in $693,462 in salary and bonus in 2003.

• Stollings would receive $468,308, twice his annual salary last year and bonus in 2002 and two years of benefits instead of three.

E-mail jmckinney@enquirer.com



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