Hylton, Cohen agree separation package from NCB Financial Group
THE NCB Financial Group said it has finally agreed on a separation package for its former CEO Patrick Hylton and his deputy Dennis Cohen and that both men have now officially resigned as of Monday, November 13, 2023.
The financial conglomerate notified the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) about the development stating only that the separation package include cash payments and arrangements for the allotment of shares. It didn’t specify the total separation package but said it will hit the company’s performance in the 2022/23 financial year.
“The costs will have a material impact on the performance of the company, primarily in the fourth quarter of the 2023 financial year ended September 30, 2023.” The board of directors led by Michael Lee-Chin is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider the financials and a dividend and will hold an investor briefing next Wednesday.
“NCBFG takes this opportunity to recognise Messrs Hylton and Cohen for their contribution and service to the Group, and wish them well for the future,” the statement to the JSE read.
Hylton and Cohen were effectively separated from NCB Financial Group in July this year when they were sent on leave after disagreement with the board about issues such as the payment of dividends and their compensation package, especially 95.1 million shares which were surrendered by both men in July 2021 which were at the time valued at $13.8 billion. Those shares are now valued at roughly half the amount at $6.8 billion. Lee-Chin, who led the negotiations with both men, said a breakthrough was arrived at last Friday.
“I’m happy that Patrick and I were able to negotiate with each other to come to a settlement,” Lee-Chin, chairman of the NCB Financial Group, told the Jamaica Observer. Lee-Chin, however, held the size of the separation package close to his chest, declining to divulge the details. He, however, said the bulk of the settlement was in shares “which endorses the confidence that Patrick has in the management going forward, and he is happy because he knows that owning the shares will certainly be in his family’s best interest in terms of their own wealth creation,” the NCB Financial Group chairman noted. He, however, declined to say what percentage of the settlement was in shares or cash. The settlement for Cohen was similar, he said.
“The amount will be in the notes that come out with the financials, but it won’t be a separate line item. People can infer what the settlement was from the notes, but it won’t be separately disclosed.” NCB Financial Group’s board of directors is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the financials and declare a dividend.
With the settlement now arrived at, Lee-Chin said it is time to move forward.
“We had a disagreement, but overall, there is a longstanding trust between us, so notwithstanding the disagreement, we felt comfortable that we would be able to successfully negotiate with each other,” he continued. “What I said to him initially is that ‘Patrick, you will not be happy with the ultimate settlement and likewise, NCBFG will not be happy with the ultimate settlement, but we have to do what is in the best interest of yourself and the financial group going forward,’ and that is the framework we used to come to a settlement.”
He stressed that Hylton and himself remain cordial with each other though there was a “short period in which it was strained.
“Any negative blip was just a blip,” he concluded.