Insurgents Tally Insider Enrichment AtFormer CU

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CRANFORD, N.J. - (03/07/06) -- Directors and managers of SynergyFinancial Bank have taken out more than $14 million in compensationin just the three years since the converted credit union has gonepublic, according to an investor group seeking to replace some ofthe ex-credit union's directors. Eight non-executive directors,alone, including four who engineered the 1999 switch from creditunion, have been paid $4.3 million--an average of $531,000each--over the past three years, according to a proxy solicitationfiled Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Thosefour, Nancy Davis, Kenneth Kasper, George Putvinski and PhillipScott, have received $2 million in pay and benefits in just thelast two years, an average of $500,000 each. That includes annualretainers, board meeting fees, committee meeting fees, profitsharing awards, stock options and restricted stock grants.President and CEO John Fiore, who headed the conversion, received$4.5 million over the last three years, including $2.1 million in2005 and $1.8 million in 2004, according to the documents filed byPL Capital, the largest shareholder of the creditunion-turned-bank, with a 9.9% ownership. PL Capital, which claimsthe former credit union has overpaid insiders and failed to payequal attention to outside shareholders, is seeking to elect two ofits representatives to the board, who would replace two of threelong-time incumbents, Fiore, Davis or Scott, who are running forreelection.

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