COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL CORPORATION
2006 Equity Incentive Plan
Article 1. GENERAL
Effective Date and Term. The purpose of this COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL
CORPORATION 2006 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN (the “Plan”) is to promote the long-term
financial success of COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation
(the “Company”) and its Subsidiaries by providing a means to attract, retain
and reward individuals who can and do contribute to such success and to further
align their interests with those of the Company’s stockholders. The “Effective
Date” of the Plan is
Administration. The authority to control and manage the operation of the Plan shall be vested in a committee of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Committee”), in accordance with Section 5.1.
Participation. Each employee or Director of, or service provider to, the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company who is granted an award in accordance with the terms of the Plan shall be a “Participant” in the Plan. Awards under the Plan shall be limited to employees and Directors of, and service providers to, the Company or any Subsidiary; provided, however, that an award (other than an award of an ISO) may be granted to an individual prior to the date on which he or she first performs services as an employee or a Director, provided that such award does not become vested prior to the date such individual commences such services.
Definitions. Capitalized terms in the Plan shall be defined as set forth in the Plan (including the definition provisions of Article 8).
Article 2. AWARDS
General. Any award under the Plan may be granted singularly, in combination with another award (or awards), or in tandem whereby the exercise or vesting of one award held by a Participant cancels another award held by the Participant. Each award under the Plan shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan and such additional terms, conditions, limitations and restrictions as the Committee shall provide with respect to such award and as evidenced in the Award Agreement. Subject to the provisions of Section 2.8, an award may be granted as an alternative to or replacement of an existing award under the Plan or any other plan of the Company or any Subsidiary or as the form of payment for grants or rights earned or due under any other compensation plan or arrangement of the Company or its Subsidiaries, including without limitation the plan of any entity acquired by the Company or any Subsidiary. The types of awards that may be granted under the Plan include:
(a) Stock Options. A stock option represents the right to purchase shares of Stock at an Exercise Price established by the Committee. Any option may be either an incentive stock option (an “ISO”) that is intended to satisfy the requirements applicable to an “incentive stock option” described in Code Section 422(b) or a non-qualified option that is not intended to be an ISO, provided, however, that no ISO’s may be: (i) granted after the ten-year anniversary of the earlier of the Effective Date or stockholder approval of the Plan; or (ii) granted to a non-employee. Unless otherwise specifically provided by its terms, any option granted under the Plan shall be a non-qualified option. Any ISO granted under this Plan that does not qualify as an ISO for any reason shall be deemed to be a non-qualified option. In addition, any ISO granted
under this Plan may be unilaterally modified by the Committee to disqualify such option from ISO treatment such that it shall become a non-qualified option.
(b) Stock Appreciation Rights. A stock appreciation right (an “SAR”) is a right to receive, in cash Stock or a combination of both (as shall be reflected in the Award Agreement), an amount equal to or based upon the excess of: (i) the Fair Market Value of a share of Stock at the time of exercise; over (ii) an Exercise Price established by the Committee.
(c) Stock Awards. A stock award is a grant of shares of Stock or a right to receive shares of Stock (or their cash equivalent or a combination of both) in the future. Such awards may include, but shall not be limited to, bonus shares, stock units, performance shares, performance units, restricted stock or restricted stock units or any other equity-based award as determined by the Committee.
(d) Cash Incentive Awards. A cash incentive award is the grant of a right to receive a payment of cash, determined on an individual basis or as an allocation of an incentive pool (or Stock having a value equivalent to the cash otherwise payable) that is contingent on the achievement of performance objectives established by the Committee.
Exercise of Options and SARs. An option or SAR shall be exercisable in accordance with such terms and conditions and during such periods as may be established by the Committee. In no event, however, shall an option or SAR expire later than five years after the date of its grant. The “Exercise Price” of each option and SAR shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of a share of Stock on the date of grant (or, if greater, the par value of a share of Stock); provided, however, that the Exercise Price of an ISO shall not be less than 110% of Fair Market Value of a share of Stock on the date of grant in the case of a 10% Stockholder; further, provided, that the Exercise Price may be higher or lower in the case of options or SARs granted in replacement of existing awards held by an employee, Director or service provider of an acquired entity. The payment of the Exercise Price of an option shall be by cash or, subject to limitations imposed by applicable law, by such other means as the Committee may from time to time permit, including: (a) by tendering, either actually or by attestation, shares of Stock acceptable to the Committee, and valued at Fair Market Value as of the day of exercise; (b) by irrevocably authorizing a third party, acceptable to the Committee, to sell shares of Stock (or a sufficient portion of the shares) acquired upon exercise of the option and to remit to the Company a sufficient portion of the sale proceeds to pay the entire Exercise Price and any tax withholding resulting from such exercise; (c) by personal, certified or cashiers’ check; (d) by other property deemed acceptable by the Committee; or (e) by any combination thereof.
Performance-Based Compensation. Any award under the Plan which is intended to be “performance-based compensation” within the meaning of Code Section 162(m) shall be conditioned on the achievement of one or more objective performance measures, to the extent required by Code Section 162(m), as may be determined by the Committee. The grant of any award and the establishment of performance measures that are intended to be performance-based compensation shall be made during the period required under Code Section 162(m).
(a) Performance Measures. Such performance measures may be based on any one or more of the following: earnings (e.g., earnings before interest and taxes, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization; or earnings per share); financial return ratios (e.g., return on investment, return on invested capital, return on equity or return on assets); increase in revenue, operating or net cash flows; cash flow return on investment; total stockholder return; market share; net operating income, operating income or net income; debt load reduction; expense management; economic value added; stock price; assets, asset quality level, charge offs, loan reserves, non-performing assets, loans, deposits, growth of loans, deposits or assets; interest sensitivity gap levels, regulatory compliance, improvement of financial rating, gross premiums written, net premiums written, premiums earned, losses and loss expenses, underwriting and administrative expenses, achievement of balance sheet or income statement objectives and strategic business objectives, consisting of one or more objectives based on meeting specific cost targets, business expansion goals and
goals relating to acquisitions or divestitures. Performance measures may be based on the performance of the Company as a whole or of any one or more Subsidiaries or business units of the Company or a Subsidiary and may be measured relative to a peer group, an index or a business plan.
(b) Partial Achievement. The terms of any award may provide that partial achievement of the performance measures may result in a payment or vesting based upon the degree of achievement. In addition, partial achievement of performance measures shall apply toward a Participant’s individual limitations as set forth in Section 3.3.
(c) Extraordinary Items. In establishing any performance measures, the Committee may provide for the exclusion of the effects of the following items, to the extent identified in the audited financial statements of the Company, including footnotes, or in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis section of the Company’s annual report: (i) extraordinary, unusual, and/or nonrecurring items of gain or loss; (ii) gains or losses on the disposition of a business; (iii) changes in tax or accounting principles, regulations or laws; or (iv) mergers or acquisitions. To the extent not specifically excluded, such effects shall be included in any applicable performance measure.
(d) Adjustments. Pursuant to this Section 2.3, in certain circumstances the Committee may adjust performance measures; provided, however, no adjustment may be made with respect to an award that is intended to be performance-based compensation, except to the extent the Committee exercises such negative discretion as is permitted under applicable law for purposes of an exception under Code Section 162(m). If the Committee determines that a change in the business, operations, corporate structure or capital structure of the Company or the manner in which the Company or its Subsidiaries conducts its business or other events or circumstances render current performance measures to be unsuitable, the Committee may modify such performance measures, in whole or in part, as the Committee deems appropriate. If a Participant is promoted, demoted or transferred to a different business unit during a performance period, the Committee may determine that the selected performance measures or applicable performance period are no longer appropriate, in which case, the Committee, in its sole discretion, may: (i) adjust, change or eliminate the performance measures or change the applicable performance period; or (ii) cause to be made a cash payment to the Participant in an amount determined by the Committee.
Restrictions on Stock Awards. If the right to become vested in a stock award is conditioned on the completion of a specified period of service with the Company or its Subsidiaries, without achievement of performance measures or other performance objectives (whether or not related to the performance measures) being required as a condition of vesting, and without it being granted in lieu of, or in exchange for, other compensation, then the required period of service for full vesting shall not be less than three (3) years (subject to acceleration of vesting, to the extent permitted by the Committee, in the event of the Participant’s death, Disability, Retirement, or involuntary termination or due to a Change in Control); provided however, that the required period of service for full vesting with respect to stock awards granted to Directors shall not be less than one (1) year (subject to acceleration in such similar events as applied to employee Participants or becoming a Director Emeritus).
Dividends and Dividend Equivalents. Any award under the Plan, including any option or SAR, may provide the Participant with the right to receive dividend payments or dividend equivalent payments with respect to shares of Stock subject to the award, which payments may be either made currently or credited to an account for the Participant, may be settled in cash or Stock and may be subject to restrictions similar to the underlying award.
Awards. The Committee may grant awards, in its sole discretion, to
employees and Directors of the Company and its Subsidiaries who are residing in
jurisdictions outside the
foregoing, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, vary the terms of the Plan in order to conform any awards to the legal and tax requirements of each non-U.S. jurisdiction where such individual resides or jurisdictions which would apply its laws to the receipt of such awards. The Committee may, in its sole discretion, establish one or more sub-plans of the Plan and/or may establish administrative rules and procedures to facilitate the operation of the Plan in such non-U.S. jurisdictions. For purposes of clarity, any terms contained herein which are subject to variation in a non-U.S. jurisdiction and any administrative rules and procedures established for a non-U.S. jurisdiction shall be reflected in a written addendum to the Plan. To the extent permitted under applicable law, the Committee may delegate its authority and responsibilities under this Section 2.6 of the Plan to one or more officers of the Company.
Deferred Compensation. If any award would be considered “deferred compensation” as defined under Code Section 409A (“Deferred Compensation”), the Committee reserves the absolute right (including the right to delegate such right) to unilaterally amend the Plan or the Award Agreement, without the consent of the Participant, to maintain exemption from, or to comply with, Code Section 409A. Any amendment by the Committee to the Plan or an Award Agreement pursuant to this Section 2.7 shall maintain, to the extent practicable, the original intent of the applicable provision without violating Code Section 409A. A Participant’s acceptance of any award under the Plan constitutes acknowledgement and consent to such rights of the Committee, without further consideration or action. Any discretionary authority retained by the Committee pursuant to the terms of this Plan or pursuant to an Award Agreement shall not be applicable to an award which is determined to constitute Deferred Compensation, if such discretionary authority would contravene Code Section 409A.
Repricing of Awards. Except for adjustments pursuant to Section 3.4 (relating to the adjustment of shares), and reductions of the Exercise Price approved by the Company’s stockholders, the Exercise Price for any outstanding option may not be decreased after the date of grant nor may an outstanding option granted under the Plan be surrendered to the Company as consideration for the grant of a replacement option with a lower exercise price.
Forfeiture of Awards. Unless specifically provided to the contrary in an Award Agreement, upon notification of termination of employment for Cause, in the case of employees, and termination of service for Cause, in the case of non-employee Directors, any outstanding award held by such employee or non-employee Director shall terminate immediately, the award shall be forfeited and the Participant shall have no further rights thereunder.
Article 3. SHARES SUBJECT TO PLAN
Available Shares. The shares of Stock with respect to which awards may be made under the Plan shall be shares currently authorized but unissued, currently held or, to the extent permitted by applicable law, subsequently acquired by the Company as treasury shares, including shares purchased in the open market or in private transactions.
(a) Share Reserve. Subject to the following provisions of this Section 3.2, the maximum number of shares of Stock that may be delivered to Participants and their beneficiaries under the Plan shall be equal to twenty-two million (22,000,000) shares of Stock (all of which may be granted as ISOs). The maximum
number of shares of Stock that may be issued in conjunction with awards other than options and SARs shall be eleven million (11,000,000) (counted in conjunction with similar stock awards granted under all other Company stock plans). The aggregate number of shares available for grant under this Plan and the number of shares of Stock subject to outstanding awards shall be subject to adjustment as provided in Section 3.4.
(b) Reuse of Shares. To the extent any shares of Stock covered by an award (including stock awards), under the Plan, are forfeited or are not delivered to a Participant or beneficiary for any reason, including because the award is forfeited, canceled, or settled in cash, such shares shall not be deemed to have been delivered for purposes of determining the maximum number of shares of Stock available for delivery under the Plan. SARs which are settled in Stock shall be counted in full against the number of shares available for award under the Plan, regardless of the number of net shares issued upon settlement of the SAR.
Limitations on Grants to Individuals.
(a) Options and SARs. The maximum number of shares of Stock that may be subject to options or SARs granted to any one Participant during any calendar year and are intended to be “performance-based compensation” (as that term is used for purposes of Code Section 162(m)) and then only to the extent that such limitation is required by Code Section 162(m), shall be six million (6,000,000). For purposes of this Section 3.3(a), if an option is in tandem with an SAR, such that the exercise of the option or SAR with respect to a share of Stock cancels the tandem SAR or option right, respectively, with respect to such share, the tandem option and SAR rights with respect to each share of Stock shall be counted as covering but one share of Stock for purposes of applying the limitations of this Section 3.3(a).
(b) Stock Awards. The maximum number of shares of Stock that may be subject to stock awards described under Section 2.1(c) which are granted to any one Participant during any calendar year and are intended to be “performance-based compensation” (as that term is used for purposes of Code Section 162(m)) and then only to the extent that such limitation is required by Code Section 162(m), shall be three million (3,000,000).
(c) Cash Incentive Awards and Stock Awards Settled in Cash. The maximum dollar amount that may be payable to a Participant pursuant to cash incentive awards described under Section 2.1(d) or cash-settled stock awards under Section 2.1(c) which are granted to any one Participant during any calendar year and are intended to be “performance-based compensation” (as that term is used for purposes of Code Section 162(m)) and then only to the extent that such limitation is required by Code Section 162(m), shall be eight million dollars ($8,000,000).
(d) Director Fees. The maximum number of shares of Stock that may be covered by awards granted to any one individual non-employee Director pursuant to Section 2.1(a) and Section 2.1(b) (relating to options and SARs) shall be seventy-five thousand (75,000) shares during any calendar year and the maximum number of shares that may be covered by awards granted to any one individual non-employee Director pursuant to Section 2.1(c) (relating to stock awards) shall be forty-five thousand (45,000) shares during any calendar year. The foregoing limitations shall not apply to cash-based Director fees that the non-employee Director elects to receive in the form of Stock or stock awards equal in value to the cash-based Director fee or with respect to enticement awards made to new Directors.
(e) Dividend, Dividend Equivalents and Earnings. For purposes of determining whether an award is intended to be qualified as performance-based compensation under the foregoing limitations of this Section 3.3, (i) the right to receive dividends and dividend equivalents with respect to any award which is not yet vested shall be treated as a separate award; and (ii) if the delivery of any shares or cash under an award is deferred, any earnings, including dividends and dividend equivalents, shall be disregarded.
(f) Partial Performance. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Section 3.3, if in respect of any performance period or restriction period, the Committee grants to a Participant awards having an
aggregate dollar value and/or number of shares less than the maximum dollar value and/or number of shares that could be paid or awarded to such Participant based on the degree to which the relevant performance measures were attained, the excess of such maximum dollar value and/or number of shares over the aggregate dollar value and/or number of shares actually subject to awards granted to such Participant shall be carried forward and shall increase the maximum dollar value and/or the number of shares that may be awarded to such Participant in respect of the next performance period in respect of which the Committee grants to such Participant an award intended to qualify as “performance-based compensation” (as that term is used for purposes of Code Section 162(m)), subject to adjustment pursuant to Section 3.4 hereof.
Corporate Transactions. In the event of a corporate transaction involving the Company or the shares of Stock of the Company (including any stock dividend, stock split, extraordinary cash dividend, recapitalization, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, combination or exchange of shares), all outstanding awards under the Plan, the number of shares reserved for issuance under the Plan under Section 3.2 and each of the specified limitations set forth in Section 3.3 shall automatically be adjusted to proportionately and uniformly reflect such transaction (but only to the extent that such adjustment will not affect the status of an award intended to qualify as “performance-based compensation” under Code Section 162(m), if applicable); provided, however, that the Committee may otherwise adjust awards (or prevent such automatic adjustment) as it deems necessary, in its sole discretion, to preserve the benefits or potential benefits of the awards and the Plan. Action by the Committee may include: (i) adjustment of the number and kind of shares which may be delivered under the Plan; (ii) adjustment of the number and kind of shares subject to outstanding awards; (iii) adjustment of the Exercise Price of outstanding options and SARs; and (iv) any other adjustments that the Committee determines to be equitable (which may include, (A) replacement of awards with other awards which the Committee determines have comparable value and which are based on stock of a company resulting from the transaction, and (B) cancellation of the award in return for cash payment of the current value of the award, determined as though the award were fully vested at the time of payment, provided that in the case of an option or SAR, the amount of such payment shall be no less than the excess of the value of the Stock subject to the option or SAR at the time of the transaction over the Exercise Price).
Delivery of Shares. Delivery of shares of Stock or other amounts under the Plan shall be subject to the following:
(a) Compliance with Applicable Laws. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, the Company shall have no obligation to deliver any shares of Stock or make any other distribution of benefits under the Plan unless such delivery or distribution complies with all applicable laws (including, the requirements of the Securities Act), and the applicable requirements of any securities exchange or similar entity.
(b) Certificates. To the extent that the Plan provides for the issuance of shares of Stock, the issuance may be affected on a non-certificated basis, to the extent not prohibited by applicable law or the applicable rules of any stock exchange.
Article 4. CHANGE IN CONTROL
Consequence of a Change in Control. Subject to the provisions of Section 3.4 (relating to the adjustment of shares), and except as otherwise provided in the Plan or the in terms of any Award Agreement:
(a) At the time of a Change in Control, all options and SARs then held by the Participant shall become fully exercisable immediately upon the Change in Control (subject to the expiration provisions otherwise applicable to the option or SAR).
(b) At the time of a Change in Control, all stock awards described in Section 2.1(c) or cash incentive awards described in Section 2.1(d) shall be fully earned and vested immediately upon the Change in Control.
Definition of Change in Control. For purposes of the Plan, unless otherwise provided in an Award Agreement, the term “Change in Control” shall be deemed to have occurred on the earliest of the following dates:
(a) An acquisition (other than directly from the Company) of any Stock or other “Voting Securities” (as hereinafter defined) of the Company by any “Person” (as the term person is used for purposes of Section 13(d) or 14(d) of the Exchange Act), immediately after which such Person has “Beneficial Ownership” (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the then outstanding shares of Stock or the combined voting power of the Company’s then outstanding Voting Securities; provided, however, that in determining whether a “Change in Control” has occurred, Voting Securities which are acquired in a “Non-Control Acquisition” (as hereinafter defined) shall not constitute an acquisition which would cause a Change in Control. For purposes of this Plan, (i) “Voting Securities” shall mean the Company’s outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of Directors and (ii) a “Non-Control Acquisition” shall mean an acquisition by (A) an employee benefit plan (or a trust forming a part thereof) maintained by (1) the Company or (2) any corporation or other person of which a majority of its voting power or its voting equity securities or equity interests are owned directly, or indirectly, by the Company (for purposes of this definition a “Subsidiary”), (B) the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, or (C) any person in connection with a “Non-Control Transaction” (as hereinafter defined);
(b) During any period of twenty four (24) consecutive months, the individuals who at the beginning of such period constitute the Board (the “Incumbent Board”) cease for any reason to constitute at least two-thirds of the members of the Board; provided, however, that if the election, or nomination for election by the Company’s common stockholders of any new Director was approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the Incumbent Board, such new Director shall, for purposes of this Plan, be considered as a member of the Incumbent Board; provided, further, however, that no individual shall be considered a member of the Incumbent Board if such individual initially assumed office as a result of either an actual or threatened “Election Contest” (as described in Rule 14a-11 promulgated under the Exchange Act) or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a Person other than the Board (a “Proxy Contest”) including by reason of any agreement intended to avoid or settle any Election Contest or Proxy Contest; or
(c) The consummation of:
A merger, consolidation or reorganization, involving the Company, unless such merger, consolidation or reorganization is a “Non-Control Transaction.” A “Non-Control Transaction” shall mean a merger, consolidation or reorganization of the Company where:
(A) the stockholders of the Company, immediately before such merger, consolidation or reorganization, own directly or indirectly immediately following such merger, consolidation or reorganization, at least seventy percent (70%) of the combined voting power of the outstanding Voting Securities of the corporation resulting from such merger, consolidation or reorganization (the “Surviving Corporation”) in substantially the same proportion as their ownership of the Voting Securities immediately before such merger, consolidation or reorganization;
(B) the individuals who were members of the Incumbent Board immediately prior to the execution of the agreement providing for such merger, consolidation or reorganization constitute at least two-thirds of the members of the board of directors of the Surviving Corporation, or in the event that, immediately following the consummation of such transaction, a corporation beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, a majority of the Voting Securities of the Surviving Corporation, the board of directors of such corporation; and
(C) no Person other than (w) the Company, (x) any Subsidiary, (y) any employee benefit plan (or any trust forming a part thereof) maintained by the Company, the Surviving Corporation, or any Subsidiary, or (z) any Person who, immediately prior to such merger, consolidation or reorganization had Beneficial Ownership of twenty-five (25%) or more of the then outstanding Voting Securities or Stock of the Company, has Beneficial Ownership of twenty-five (25%) or more of the combined voting power of the Surviving Corporation’s then outstanding Voting Securities or its common stock;
A complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company; or
The sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of Company to any Person (other than a transfer to a Subsidiary).
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Change in Control shall not be deemed to occur solely because any Person (the “Subject Person”) acquired Beneficial Ownership of more than the permitted amount of the then outstanding common stock or Voting Securities as a result of the acquisition of Stock or Voting Securities by the Company, which by reducing the number of shares of Stock or Voting Securities then outstanding, increases the proportional number of shares Beneficially Owned by the Subject Person; provided, however, that if a Change in Control would occur (but for the operation of this sentence) as a result of the acquisition of Stock or Voting Securities by the Company, and after such share acquisition by the Company, the Subject Person becomes the Beneficial Owner of any additional Stock or Voting Securities which increases the percentage of the then outstanding Stock or Voting Securities Beneficially Owned by the Subject Person, then a Change in Control shall occur.
In the event that an award constitutes Deferred Compensation, and the settlement of, or distribution of benefits under, such award is to be triggered by a Change in Control, the foregoing definition of Change in Control shall be utilized to the maximum extent permitted under Code Section 409A, and it shall be modified only as necessary to conform to the requirements of Code Section 409A as in effect at the time of such transaction.
Article 5. COMMITTEE
Administration. The authority to control and manage the operation and administration of the Plan shall be vested in the Committee in accordance with this Article 5. The Committee shall be selected by the Board and may be comprised of two (2) or more members of the Board, each of whom are both a “non-employee director” (within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) and an “outside director” (within the meaning of Code Section 162(m)). Subject to applicable stock exchange rules, if the Committee does not exist, or for any other reason determined by the Board, the Board may take any action under the Plan that would otherwise be the responsibility of the Committee.
Powers of Committee. The Committee’s administration of the Plan shall be subject to the following:
(a) Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee will have the authority and discretion to select from among the Company’s, and its Subsidiaries’, employees, Directors and service providers those persons who shall receive awards, to determine the time or times of receipt, to determine the types of awards and the number of shares covered by the awards, to establish the terms, conditions, performance criteria, restrictions, and other provisions of such awards, (subject to the restrictions imposed by Article 6) to cancel or suspend awards and to reduce or eliminate any restrictions or vesting requirements applicable to an award at any time after the grant of the award.
(b) To the extent that the Committee determines that the restrictions imposed by the Plan or an Award Agreement preclude the achievement of the material purposes of the awards in jurisdictions outside the United States, the Committee will have the authority and discretion to unilaterally modify those restrictions
as the Committee determines
to be necessary or appropriate to conform to applicable requirements or
practices of jurisdictions outside the
(c) The Committee will have the authority and discretion to interpret the Plan, to establish, amend and rescind any rules and regulations relating to the Plan, and to make all other determinations that may be necessary or advisable for the administration of the Plan.
(d) The Committee will have the authority to define terms not otherwise defined herein.
(e) Any interpretation of the Plan by the Committee and any decision made by it under the Plan is final and binding on all persons.
(f) In controlling and managing the operation and administration of the Plan, the Committee shall take action in a manner that conforms to the certificate of incorporation and bylaws of the Company and applicable state corporate law.
Delegation by Committee. Except to the extent prohibited by applicable law, the applicable rules of a stock exchange or the Plan, or as necessary to comply with the exemptive provisions of Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act, the Committee may allocate all or any portion of its responsibilities and powers to any one or more of its members and may delegate all or any part of its responsibilities and powers to any person or persons selected by it, including: (a) delegating to a committee of one or more members of the Board who are not “outside directors” within the meaning of Code Section 162(m), the authority to grant awards under the Plan to eligible persons who are either: (i) not then “covered employees,” within the meaning of Code Section 162(m) and are not expected to be “covered employees” at the time of recognition of income resulting from such award; or (ii) not persons with respect to whom the Company wishes to comply with Code Section 162(m); and/or (b) delegating to a committee of one or more members of the Board who are not “non-employee directors,” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3, the authority to grant awards under the Plan to eligible persons who are not then subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act. The acts of such delegates shall be treated hereunder as acts of the Committee and such delegates shall report regularly to the Committee regarding the delegated duties and responsibilities and any awards so granted. Any such allocation or delegation may be revoked by the Committee at any time.
Information to be Furnished to Committee. As may be permitted by applicable law, the Company and its Subsidiaries shall furnish the Committee with such data and information as it determines may be required for it to discharge its duties. The records of the Company and its Subsidiaries as to an employee’s or Participant’s employment, termination of employment, leave of absence, reemployment and compensation shall be conclusive on all persons unless determined by the Committee to be manifestly incorrect. Subject to applicable law, Participants and other persons entitled to benefits under the Plan must furnish the Committee such evidence, data or information as the Committee considers desirable to carry out the terms of the Plan.
Article 6. AMENDMENT AND TERMINATION
General. The Board may, as permitted by law, at any time, amend or terminate the Plan, and may amend any Award Agreement, provided that no amendment or termination (except as provided in Section 2.7, Section 3.4 and Section 6.2) may, in the absence of written consent to the change by the affected Participant (or, if the Participant is not then living, the affected beneficiary), impair the rights of any Participant or beneficiary under any award granted which was granted under the Plan prior to the date such amendment is adopted by the Board; provided, however, that, no amendment may (a) materially increase the benefits accruing to Participants under the Plan; (b) materially increase the aggregate number of securities which may be issued under the Plan,
other than pursuant to Section 3.4, or (c) materially modify the requirements for participation in the Plan, unless the amendment under (a), (b) or (c) above is approved by the Company’s stockholders.
Amendment to Conform to Law. Notwithstanding any provision in this Plan or any Award Agreement to the contrary, the Committee may amend the Plan or an Award Agreement, to take affect retroactively or otherwise, as deemed necessary or advisable for the purpose of conforming the Plan or the Award Agreement to any present or future law relating to plans of this or similar nature (including, but not limited to, Code Section 409A). By accepting an award under this Plan, each Participant agrees and consents to any amendment made pursuant to this Section 6.2 or Section 2.7 to any award granted under this Plan without further consideration or action.
Article 7. GENERAL TERMS
No Implied Rights.
(a) No Rights to Specific Assets. Neither a Participant nor any other person shall by reason of participation in the Plan acquire any right in or title to any assets, funds or property of the Company or any Subsidiary whatsoever, including any specific funds, assets, or other property which the Company or any Subsidiary, in its sole discretion, may set aside in anticipation of a liability under the Plan. A Participant shall have only a contractual right to the Stock or amounts, if any, payable or distributable under the Plan, unsecured by any assets of the Company or any Subsidiary, and nothing contained in the Plan shall constitute a guarantee that the assets of the Company or any Subsidiary shall be sufficient to pay any benefits to any person.
(b) No Contractual Right to Employment or Future Awards. The Plan does not constitute a contract of employment, and selection as a Participant will not give any participating employee the right to be retained in the employ of the Company or any Subsidiary or any right or claim to any benefit under the Plan, unless such right or claim has specifically accrued under the terms of the Plan. No individual shall have the right to be selected to receive an award under this Plan, or, having been so selected, to receive a future award under this Plan.
(c) No Rights as a Stockholder. Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, no award under the Plan shall confer upon the holder thereof any rights as a stockholder of the Company prior to the date on which the individual fulfills all conditions for receipt of such rights.
Transferability. Except as otherwise so provided by the Committee, awards under the Plan are not transferable except as designated by the Participant by will or by the laws of descent and distribution or pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order, as defined in the Code or Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended. The Committee shall have the discretion to permit the transfer of awards under the plan; provided however, that such transfers shall be limited to immediate family members of participants, trusts and partnerships established for the primary benefit of such family members or to charitable organizations, and; provided further, that such transfers are not made for consideration to the Participant.
Designation of Beneficiaries. A Participant hereunder may file with the Company a written designation of a beneficiary or beneficiaries under this Plan and may from time to time revoke or amend any such designation (“Beneficiary Designation”). Any designation of beneficiary under this Plan shall be controlling over any other disposition, testamentary or otherwise; provided, however, that if the Committee is in doubt as to the entitlement of any such beneficiary to any award, the Committee may determine to recognize only the legal representative of
the Participant in which case the Company, the Committee and the members thereof shall not be under any further liability to anyone.
Non-Exclusivity. Neither the adoption of this Plan by the Board nor the submission of the Plan to the stockholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board or the Committee to adopt such other incentive arrangements as either may deem desirable, including, without limitation, the granting of restricted stock or stock options otherwise than under the Plan or an arrangement that is or is not intended to qualify under Code Section 162(m), and such arrangements may be either generally applicable or applicable only in specific cases.
Award Agreement. Each award granted under the Plan shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement. A copy of the Award Agreement, in any medium chosen by the Committee, shall be provided (or made available electronically) to the Participant, and the Committee may but need not require that the Participant sign a copy of the Award Agreement.
Form and Time of Elections. Unless otherwise specified herein, each election required or permitted to be made by any Participant or other person entitled to benefits under the Plan, and any permitted modification, or revocation thereof, shall be filed with the Company at such times, in such form, and subject to such restrictions and limitations, not inconsistent with the terms of the Plan, as the Committee shall require.
Evidence. Evidence required of anyone under the Plan may be by certificate, affidavit, document or other information which the person acting on it considers pertinent and reliable, and signed, made or presented by the proper party or parties.
Tax Withholding. All distributions under the Plan are subject to withholding of all applicable taxes and the Committee may condition the delivery of any shares or other benefits under the Plan on satisfaction of the applicable withholding obligations. Except as otherwise provided by the Committee, such withholding obligations may be satisfied: (a) through cash payment by the Participant; (b) through the surrender of shares of Stock which the Participant already owns; or (c) through the surrender of shares of Stock to which the Participant is otherwise entitled under the Plan; provided, however, that except as otherwise specifically provided by the Committee, such shares under clause (c) may not be used to satisfy more than the Company’s minimum statutory withholding obligation.
Action by Company or Subsidiary. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Company or any Subsidiary shall be by resolution of its board of directors, or by action of one or more members of the board (including a committee of the board) who are duly authorized to act for the board, or (except to the extent prohibited by applicable law or applicable rules of any stock exchange) by a duly authorized officer of the Company or such Subsidiary.
Successors. All obligations of the Company under this Plan shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of any successor to the Company, whether the existence of such successor is the result of a direct or indirect
purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise, of all or substantially all of the business, stock, and/or assets of the Company.
Indemnification. To the fullest extent permitted by law, each person who is or shall have been a member of the Committee, or of the Board, or an officer of the Company to whom authority was delegated in accordance with Section 5.3, or an employee of the Company shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from any loss (including amounts paid in settlement), cost, liability or expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) that may be imposed upon or reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit, or proceeding to which he or she may be a party or in which he or she may be involved by reason of any action taken or failure to act under the Plan and against and from any and all amounts paid by him or her in settlement thereof, with the Company’s approval, or paid by him or her in satisfaction of any judgment in any such action, suit, or proceeding against him or her, provided he or she shall give the Company an opportunity, at its own expense, to handle and defend the same before he or she undertakes to handle and defend it on his or her own behalf, unless such loss, cost, liability, or expense is a result of his or her own willful misconduct or except as expressly provided by statute. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights of indemnification to which such persons may be entitled under the Company’s charter or bylaws, as a matter of law, or otherwise, or any power that the Company may have to indemnify them or hold them harmless.
No Fractional Shares. Unless otherwise permitted by the Committee, no fractional shares of Stock shall be issued or delivered pursuant to the Plan or any award. The Committee shall determine whether cash, Stock or other property shall be issued or paid in lieu of fractional shares or whether such fractional shares or any rights thereto shall be forfeited or otherwise eliminated.
Governing Law. The Plan, all awards granted hereunder, and all actions taken in connection herewith shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware without reference to principles of conflict of laws, except as superseded by applicable federal law.
Benefits Under Other Plans. Except as otherwise provided by the Committee, awards to a Participant (including the grant and the receipt of benefits) under the Plan shall be disregarded for purposes of determining the Participant’s benefits under, or contributions to, any Qualified Retirement Plan, non-qualified plan and any other benefit plans maintained by the Participant’s employer. The term “Qualified Retirement Plan” means any plan of the company or a Subsidiary that is intended to be qualified under Code Section 401(a).
Validity. If any provision of this Plan is determined to be illegal or invalid for any reason, said illegality or invalidity shall not affect the remaining parts hereof, but this Plan shall be construed and enforced as if such illegal or invalid provision has never been included herein.
Notice. Unless otherwise provided in an Award Agreement, all written notices and all other written communications to the Company provided for in the Plan, any Award Agreement, shall be delivered personally or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid (provided that international mail shall be sent via overnight or two-day delivery), or sent by facsimile or prepaid overnight courier to the Company at the address set forth below. Such notices, demands, claims and other communications shall be deemed given:
(a) in the case of delivery by overnight service with guaranteed next day delivery, the next day or the day designated for delivery;
in the case of certified or registered
(c) in the case of facsimile, the date upon which the transmitting party received confirmation of receipt by facsimile, telephone or otherwise;
provided, however, that in no event shall any such communications be
deemed to be given later than the date they are actually received; provided they
are actually received. In the event a communication is not received, it shall
only be deemed received upon the showing of an original of the applicable
receipt, registration or confirmation from the applicable delivery service
provider. Communications that are to be delivered by the
Article 8. DEFINED TERMS; CONSTRUCTION
In addition to the other definitions contained herein, unless otherwise specifically provided in an Award Agreement, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “10% Stockholder” means an individual who, at the time of grant, owns stock possessing more than ten percent (10%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company.
(b) “Award Agreement” means the document (in whatever medium prescribed by the Committee) which evidences the terms and conditions of an award under the Plan. Such document is referred to as an agreement regardless of whether Participant signature is required.
(c) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.
(d) If the Participant is subject to an employment agreement (or other similar agreement) with the Company or a Subsidiary that provides a definition of termination for “cause,” then, for purposes of this Plan, the term “Cause” shall have meaning set forth in such agreement. In the absence of such a definition, “Cause” means (1) any act of (A) fraud or intentional misrepresentation, or (B) embezzlement, misappropriation or conversion of assets or opportunities of the Company or Subsidiary, or (2) willful violation of any law, rule or regulation in connection with the performance of a Participant’s duties (other than traffic violations or similar offenses), or (3) with respect to any officer of the Company or Subsidiary, commission of any act of moral turpitude or conviction of a felony.
(e) “Change in Control” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 4.2.
(f) “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any rules, regulations and guidance promulgated thereunder, as modified from time to time.
(g) “Code Section 409A” means the provisions of Section 409A of the Code and any rules, regulations and guidance promulgated thereunder.
(h) “Committee” means the Committee acting under Article 5.
(i) “Director” means a member of the board of directors of the Company or a Subsidiary.
(j) “Disability” or “Disabled” means that a Participant: (i) is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve (12) months; or (ii) is, by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve (12) months, receiving income replacement benefits for a period of not less than three (3) months under an accident and health plan covering the Company’s employees.
(k) “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended from time to time.
(l) “Exercise Price” means the price established with respect to an option or SAR pursuant to Section 2.2.
(m) “Fair Market Value” shall, on any date mean the average of the high and low sales prices of the shares on such date on the principal national securities exchange on which such shares are listed or admitted to trading, or if such shares are not so listed or admitted to trading, the arithmetic mean of the per share closing bid price and per share closing asked price on such date as quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. or such other market in which such prices are regularly quoted, or, if there have been no published bid or asked quotations with respect to shares on such date, the Fair Market Value shall be the value established by the Board in good faith and in accordance with Code Section 422.
(n) “ISO” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 2.1(a).
(o) “Participant” means any individual who has received, and currently holds, an outstanding award under the Plan.
(p) “Retirement” means the attainment of “Early Retirement Age” or “Normal Retirement Age” as these terms are defined in the Countrywide Financial Corporation Defined Benefit Pension Plan, or its successor plan, as may be in effect from time to time, or in the absence of such definition, as last defined in such plan.
(q) “Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended from time to time.
(r) “Termination of Service” means the first day occurring on or after a grant date on which the Participant ceases to be an employee of, or service provider to (which, for purposes of this definition, includes Directors) the Company or any Subsidiary, regardless of the reason for such cessation, subject to the following:
(i) The Participant’s cessation as an employee or service provider shall not be deemed to occur by reason of the transfer of the Participant between the Company and a Subsidiary or between two Subsidiaries.
(ii) The Participant’s cessation as an employee or service provider shall not be deemed to occur by reason of the Participant’s being on a leave of absence from the Company or a Subsidiary approved by the Company or Subsidiary otherwise receiving the Participant’s services.
(iii) If, as a result of a sale or other transaction, the Subsidiary for whom Participant is employed (or to whom the Participant is providing services) ceases to be a Subsidiary, and the Participant is not, following the transaction, an Employee of or service provider to the Company or an entity that is then a Subsidiary, then the occurrence of such transaction shall be treated as the Participant’s Termination of Service caused by the Participant being discharged by the entity for whom the Participant is employed or to whom the Participant is providing services.
(iv) A service provider whose services to the Company or a Subsidiary are governed by a written agreement with the service provider will cease to be a service provider at the time the term of such written agreement ends (without renewal); and a service provider whose services to the Company or a Subsidiary are not governed by a written agreement with the service provider will cease to be a service provider on the date that is ninety (90) days after the date the service provider last provides services requested by the Company or any Subsidiary (as determined by the Committee).
(v) Notwithstanding the forgoing, in the event that any Award under the Plan constitutes Deferred Compensation, the term Termination of Service shall be interpreted by the Committee in a manner not to be inconsistent with the definition of “Separation from Service” as defined under Code Section 409A.
(s) “SAR” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 2.1(b).
(t) “Stock” means the common stock of the Company, $0.05 par value per share.
(u) “Subsidiary” means any corporation, affiliate, bank or other entity which would be a subsidiary corporation with respect to the Company as defined in Code Section 424(f) of the Code and, other than with respect to an ISO, shall also mean any partnership or joint venture in which the Company and/or other Subsidiary owns more than fifty percent (50%) of the capital or profits interests.
(v) “Voting Securities” means any securities which ordinarily possess the power to vote in the election of Directors without the happening of any pre-condition or contingency.
In this Plan, unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires, the following uses apply:
(a) actions permitted under this Plan may be taken at any time and from time to time in the actor’s reasonable discretion;
(b) references to a statute shall refer to the statute and any successor statute, and to all regulations promulgated under or implementing the statute or its successor, as in effect at the relevant time;
(c) in computing periods from a specified date to a later specified date, the words “from” and “commencing on” (and the like) mean “from and including,” and the words “to,” “until” and “ending on” (and the like) mean “to, but excluding”;
(d) references to a governmental or quasi-governmental agency, authority or instrumentality shall also refer to a regulatory body that succeeds to the functions of the agency, authority or instrumentality;
(e) indications of time of day mean Calabasas, California time;
(f) “including” means “including, but not limited to”;
(g) all references to sections, schedules and exhibits are to sections, schedules and exhibits in or to this Plan unless otherwise specified;
(h) all words used in this Plan will be construed to be of such gender or number as the circumstances and context require;
(i) the captions and headings of articles, sections, schedules and exhibits appearing in or attached to this Plan have been inserted solely for convenience of reference and shall not be considered a part of this Plan nor shall any of them affect the meaning or interpretation of this Plan or any of its provisions;
(j) any reference to a document or set of documents in this Plan, and the rights and obligations of the parties under any such documents, shall mean such document or documents as amended from time to time, and any and all modifications, extensions, renewals, substitutions or replacements thereof; and
(k) all accounting terms not specifically defined herein shall be construed in accordance with GAAP.