Credit Union Conversion YieldsMillion-Dollar Payday
WAYCROSS, Ga. - (05/11/06) Robert Larison, president andCEO of Atlantic Coast Federal had a year in 2005 that most creditunion executives can only dream of. Just a year after taking hisconverted credit union, known until November 2000 as Atlantic CoastFCU, public in an initial public offering, the former credit unionexecutive took home more than $1.2 million in cash and stock-basedcompensation, according to documents filed with the Securities andExchange Commission. That includes 41,344 shares of restrictedstockvalued at $654,000; 40,000 options worth $120,000 atWednesdays closing price of $15.75; a salary of $164,800; a$20,000 bonus; and employee stock ownership, other retirement andbenefits worth $290,000. The restricted shares vest over five yearsbut Larison received both voting rights and dividends to themimmediately. The 2005 earnings are easily five times what Larisonearned runing the credit union in 2000. At the end of 2005, justone year after the former credit union went public, Larison ownedalmost 100,000 shares of Atlantic Coast stock worth $1.5 million.Larisons chief lieutenant, chief financial officer JonParker, who helped him engineer the credit union conversion, alsoreaped a healthy payday, earning more than $660,000 last year andobtaining shares worth more than $1.1 million. Directors too, whoserved on a volunteer basis while the institution was a creditunion, were paid well, each earning $17,700 in board fees lastyear, with the ex-credit union promising them $10,000 annually for10 years after retiring from the board, as well as another $10,288for those who choose to serve as directors emeritus.