CIT chief Ellen Alemany set to receive large bonus from First Citizens merger

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Ellen Alemany is set for a big payday if she stays at First Citizens BancShares in Raleigh, N.C., for two years after it buys CIT Group.

The $48 billion-asset First Citizens recently agreed to buy the $61.7 billion-asset CIT, which is based in New York, for $2.2 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021. Alemany, CIT's chairman and CEO, is to become First Citizens’ vice chairwoman.

First Citizens, in a Thursday letter to Alemany, committed to pay her a $1 million annual salary and a guaranteed annual bonus of nearly $6.9 million at the end of every 12-month term after the deal closes.

Ellen Alemany will become vice chairman of First Citizens after the $2.2 billion deal closes.
Ellen Alemany will become vice chairman of First Citizens after the $2.2 billion deal closes.

Alemany will also receive a $13 million retention bonus, paid in a lump sum on the second anniversary of the merger’s closing. Alemany could receive the money earlier if First Citizens ends her employment without special cause or if she leaves due to disability, death or “for good reason,” the letter said.

The retention bonus was designed to offset any money Alemany would have received under CIT’s employee severance plan.

Alemany also agreed to refrain from working for a competing business, or soliciting First Citizens’ customers, for two years after her employment ends.

The combination of First Citizens and CIT will create a company with assets of $110 billion.

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