Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida (SBCF) in Stuart is shifting to a more heavily stock-based payment structure for its directors.

The company's board has voted to increase the retainer paid to nonemployee directors with half being paid in stock and the other half coming from cash, Seacoast announced Monday. Each director will now receive an annual retainer of $75,000, half in company stock, to be paid in January. Previously, each director received an annual retainer of $23,000, plus bonuses for attending annual meetings, according to the company's latest proxy filing.

"The purpose of this stock-linked compensation is to provide the company's directors with further incentive for focusing on long-range business performance and future shareholder returns," said Roger Goldman, Seacoast's lead director, in the news release. "We believe this is best accomplished by aligning director compensation with shareholder interests so they share the benefits of an increase in Seacoast's stock value as well as the risk of a decrease."

Seacoast’s stock has gained more than 39% so far in 2013, rising to $2.24 a share shortly after trading opened Monday morning.

Last week, the company announced that it would increase its board to 13 members. Under its stock ownership guidelines, each director is required to hold stock equal to five times his or her annual retainer.

Seacoast has $2.2 billion in assets and 34 Florida branches. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency terminated an enforcement action with the company last week.

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