WisdomTree Trust DEF 14A 2008
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )
Allied Capital Corporation
(Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement if other than the Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):
þ No fee required.
o Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.
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(4) Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:
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Allied Capital Corporation
To the Stockholders:
The 2008 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Allied Capital Corporation (the Company) will be held at the Westin Embassy Row Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC on April 25, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) for the following purposes:
You have the right to receive notice of and to vote at the meeting if you were a stockholder of record at the close of business on February 11, 2008. Whether or not you expect to be present in person at the Meeting, please sign the enclosed proxy and return it promptly in the envelope provided, or register your vote by telephone or through the Internet. Instructions are shown on the proxy card. In the event there are not sufficient votes for a quorum or to approve or ratify any of the foregoing proposals at the time of the Annual Meeting, the Annual Meeting may be adjourned in order to permit further solicitation of the proxies by the Company.
March 14, 2008
Annually, we solicit your input on matters that are important to all stockholders, and we invest substantial resources preparing and mailing these materials, so that you may carefully consider the issues and cast a vote. It is imperative that you vote your shares, no matter how many shares you own.
Unlike many companies where the majority of the outstanding shares are held by institutional investors, Allied Capital has approximately 179,000 stockholders, approximately 66% of whom are retail investors who generally hold smaller numbers of shares than institutional investors. As a result of these demographics, it is important that every stockholder cast a vote, so that we can achieve a quorum and hold the Annual Meeting of Stockholders. If fewer than 50% of the outstanding shares vote their shares on the matters at hand, then the Company will be required to adjourn the meeting and incur additional expenses to continue to solicit additional votes.
For this reason, we have engaged a proxy solicitor, who may call you and ask you to vote your shares. The proxy solicitor will not attempt to influence how you vote your shares, but only ask that you take the time to cast a vote. You may also be asked if you would like to vote over the telephone and to have your vote transmitted to our proxy tabulation firm.
Whether you choose to vote on the telephone with our solicitor, over the Internet at www.proxyvote.com, via telephone at (800) 690-6903, or through the proxy card you received with these materials, we simply ask that you vote your shares today.
Please vote your shares today to avoid the risk of adjournment of the meeting and the incurrence of additional solicitation expenses.
This proxy statement and the accompanying annual report are also available at www.alliedcapital.com. Among other things, the proxy contains:
We are pleased to offer to our stockholders the benefits and convenience of electronic delivery of annual meeting materials, including:
If you would like to sign up for electronic delivery for future stockholder mailings, please visit www.icsdelivery.com/ald/index.html to enroll. Your electronic delivery enrollment will be effective until you choose to cancel it. If you have questions about electronic delivery, please call Allied Capital Investor Relations toll-free at (888) 818-5298 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allied Capital Corporation
1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
This proxy statement is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the Board of Directors of Allied Capital Corporation (the Company or Allied Capital) for use at the Companys 2008 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the Meeting) to be held on April 25, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) at the Westin Embassy Row Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC and at any adjournments or postponements thereof. This proxy statement, the accompanying proxy card, and the Companys Annual Report to Stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2007, are first being sent to stockholders on or about March 14, 2008.
We encourage you to vote your shares, either by voting in person at the Meeting or by granting a proxy (i.e., authorizing someone to vote your shares). If you properly sign and date the accompanying proxy card or otherwise provide voting instructions, either via the Internet or the telephone, and the Company receives it in time for the Meeting, the persons named as proxies will vote the shares registered directly in your name in the manner that you specified. If you give no instructions on the proxy card, the shares covered by the proxy card will be voted FOR the election of the nominees as directors and FOR the other matters listed in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
If you are a stockholder of record (i.e., you hold shares directly in your name), you may revoke a proxy at any time before it is exercised by notifying the proxy tabulator, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., in writing. Please send your notification to Allied Capital Corporation, c/o Broadridge, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, NY 11717, and submit a properly executed, later-dated proxy or vote in person at the Meeting. Any stockholder of record attending the Meeting may vote in person whether or not he or she has previously voted his or her shares. If your shares are held for your account by a broker, bank, or other institution or nominee (Broker Shares), you may vote such shares at the Meeting only if you obtain proper written authority from your institution or nominee and present it at the Meeting.
Stockholders of record may also vote either via the Internet or by telephone. Specific instructions to be followed by stockholders of record interested in voting via the Internet or the telephone are shown on the enclosed proxy card. The Internet and telephone voting procedures are designed to authenticate the stockholders identity and to allow stockholders to vote their shares and confirm that their instructions have been properly recorded.
If you plan to attend the Meeting, an admission ticket and photo identification will be required for admission to the Meeting. If you are a stockholder of record, your ticket is attached to your proxy card. If your shares are held in the name of a broker or other nominee and you do not have an admission ticket, please bring with you a legal proxy or letter from the broker, trustee, bank, or nominee confirming
your beneficial ownership of the shares as of the record date, February 11, 2008, along with your photo identification.
At the Meeting, you will be asked to vote on the following proposals:
You may vote your shares at the Meeting only if you were a stockholder of record at the close of business on February 11, 2008, the record date. On February 11, 2008, there were 162,002,393 shares of the Companys common stock outstanding. Each share of common stock is entitled to one vote.
The Companys 401(k) Plan owns a total of 177,260 shares, representing less than 1% of the Companys total outstanding shares. The Administrator of the 401(k) Plan will vote the shares on behalf of the participants pursuant to their instructions.
A quorum must be present at the Meeting for any business to be conducted. The presence at the Meeting, in person or by proxy, of the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock outstanding on the record date will constitute a quorum. Abstentions will be treated as shares present for quorum purposes. Broker shares for which the nominee has not received voting instructions from the record holder and does not have discretionary authority to vote the shares on certain proposals (which are considered broker non-votes with respect to such proposals) will be treated as shares present for quorum purposes.
If a quorum is not present at the Meeting, the stockholders who are represented may adjourn the Meeting until a quorum is present. The persons named as proxies will vote those proxies for such adjournment, unless marked to be voted against any proposal for which an adjournment is sought, to permit the further solicitation of proxies.
Election of Nominee Directors. The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the Meeting in person or by proxy is required to elect each of the five nominees as directors. Votes withheld on the matter will not be included in determining the number of votes cast and, as a result, will have no effect on this proposal.
Ratification of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the Meeting in person or by proxy is required to ratify the appointment of KPMG LLP to serve as the Companys independent registered public accounting firm. Abstentions will not be included in determining the number of votes cast and, as a result, will not have any effect on the result of the vote.
Approval of a Proposal to Authorize the Company to Sell Shares of its Common Stock at Prices Below the Companys Then Current Net Asset Value Per Share in one or more offerings. The affirmative vote of (1) a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock entitled to vote at the meeting; and (2) a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock entitled to vote at the meeting that are not held by affiliated persons of the Company is required to approve this proposal. For purposes of this proposal, the Investment Company Act of 1940, or 1940 Act, defines a majority of the outstanding shares as: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities present at the Meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy; or (2) 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Company, whichever is the less. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have the effect of a vote against this proposal.
Additional Solicitation. If there are not enough votes to approve any proposals at the Meeting, the stockholders who are represented may adjourn the Meeting to permit the further solicitation of proxies. The persons named as proxies will vote those proxies for such adjournment, unless marked to be voted against any proposal for which an adjournment is sought, to permit the further solicitation of proxies. Those proxies voted against any proposal for which an adjournment is sought will be voted against such adjournment. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not be voted and thus will not have any effect on the result of the vote for adjournment.
Also, a stockholder vote may be taken on one or more of the proposals in this Proxy Statement prior to any such adjournment if there are sufficient votes for approval of such proposal(s).
The Company will bear the expense of the solicitation of proxies for the Meeting, including the cost of preparing, printing, and mailing this proxy statement, the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, and the proxy card. The Company has requested that brokers, nominees, fiduciaries, and other persons holding shares in their names, or in the name of their nominees, which are beneficially owned by others, forward the proxy materials to, and obtain proxies from, such beneficial owners. The Company will reimburse such persons for their reasonable expenses in so doing.
In addition to the solicitation of proxies by mail, proxies may be solicited in person and by telephone, facsimile transmission, or telegram by directors, officers, or regular employees of the Company (without special compensation therefor). The Company has also retained Georgeson Shareholder Communications, Inc. to assist in the solicitation of proxies for a fee of approximately $7,000, plus out-of-pocket expenses. Any proxy given pursuant to this solicitation may be revoked by notice
from the person giving the proxy at any time before it is exercised. Any such notice of revocation should be provided in writing and signed by the stockholder in the same manner as the proxy being revoked and delivered to the Companys proxy tabulator.
Security Ownership of Management and Certain Beneficial Owners
The following table sets forth, as of March 4, 2008, each stockholder who owned more than 5% of the Companys outstanding shares of common stock, each current director, each nominee for director, each named executive officer of the Company listed in the Summary Compensation Table, and directors and executive officers as a group. Unless otherwise indicated, the Company believes that each beneficial owner set forth in the table has sole voting and investment power. Certain shares beneficially owned by the Companys directors and executive officers may be held in accounts with third-party brokerage firms, where such shares may from time to time be subject to a security interest for margin credit provided in accordance with such brokerage firms policies.
The Companys directors are divided into two groups interested directors and independent directors. Interested directors are interested persons as defined in Section 2(a)(19)of the 1940 Act.
* Less than 1%
Pursuant to the Companys bylaws, the Board of Directors may modify the number of members of the Board provided that the number of directors will not be fewer than three or greater than fifteen, unless otherwise permitted by law. Directors are elected in three classes for a staggered term of three years for each class, with the term of office of only one of the three classes of directors expiring each year. Directors serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
The Class I directors, Messrs. Firestone, Garcia, Hebert and Racicot and Ms. van Roijen have been nominated for election by the Board of Directors for a three-year term expiring in 2011. Each Class I director has agreed to serve as a director if elected and has consented to be named as a nominee. No person being nominated as a director is being proposed for election pursuant to any agreement or understanding between any such person and the Company.
A stockholder can vote for or withhold his or her vote from any or all of the nominees. In the absence of instructions to the contrary, it is the intention of the persons named as proxies to vote such proxy FOR the election of all the nominees named below. If any of the nominees should decline or be unable to serve as a director, it is intended that the proxy will be voted for the election of such person or persons as are nominated as replacements. The Board of Directors has no reason to believe that any of the persons named will be unable or unwilling to serve.
The Board of Directors of the Company Recommends that
Stockholders Vote for the Election of the Nominees Named in this Proxy Statement.
Certain information, as of March 4, 2008, with respect to each of the five nominees for election at the Meeting, as well as each of the current directors, is set forth below, including their names, ages, a brief description of their recent business experience, including present occupations and employment, certain directorships that each nominee holds, and the year in which each nominee became a director of the Company or any of its predecessor companies.
The Board of Directors of each consolidated subsidiary will be composed of all of the Companys directors. The business address of each nominee and director listed below is 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006.
All five Class I directors are independent directors for purposes of the 1940 Act.
Age 64. Mr. Firestone has been a Partner of Secor Group, a venture capital firm since 1978. Mr. Firestone has also served as a director of Security Storage Company of Washington, DC, since 1978. He is currently a director of Cuisine Solutions, Inc., and several non-profit organizations. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1993.
Age 51. Mr. Garcia has been a private investor since March 2007. Previously, Mr. Garcia was Vice President of Finance of Kirusa, a developer of mobile services, from January to March 2007, and was a private investor from 2003 through 2006. Mr. Garcia was Vice President of Finance of Formity Systems, Inc., a developer of software products for business management of data networks, from 2002 through 2003. Mr. Garcia was a private investor from 2000 to 2001, the General Manager of Breen Capital Group, an investor in tax liens, from 1997 to 2000, and a Senior Vice President of Lehman Brothers Inc. from 1985 to 1996. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1991.
Age 61. Mr. Hebert is Chairman of Dominion Advisory Group, LLC and served as Senior Advisor at PNC Bank from 2005 to 2007. He served as a director and President and Chief Executive Officer of Riggs Bank N.A., a subsidiary of Riggs National Corporation, from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Hebert also served as Chief Executive Officer of Riggs National Corporation during 2005 and served as a director of Riggs National Corporation from 1988 to 2005. Mr. Hebert served as a director of Riggs Investment Advisors and Riggs Bank Europe Limited (both indirect subsidiaries of Riggs National Corporation). Mr. Hebert previously served as Vice Chairman from 1983 to 1998, President from 1984 to 1998, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1998 to 2001 of Allbritton Communications Company. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1989.
Age 59. Mr. Racicot has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Insurance Association since August 2005. Prior to that, he was an attorney at the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP from 2001 to 2005. He is a former Governor (1993 to 2001) and Attorney General (1989 to 1993) of the State of Montana. Mr. Racicot was appointed by President Bush to serve as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2002 to 2003 and he served as Chairman of the Bush/ Cheney Re-election Committee from 2003 to 2004. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Montana School of Law. He has served as a director of the Company since 2005.
Age 55. Ms. van Roijen has been a private investor since 1992. Ms. van Roijen was a Vice President at Citicorp from 1980 to 1990. She has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1992.
All five Class II directors are independent directors for purposes of the 1940 Act.
Age 49. Ms. Bates has been a strategic and financial consultant since 1997. From 1995 to 1997, Ms. Bates served as Executive Vice President, CFO and Treasurer of NHP, Inc., a national real estate services firm. From 1991 to 1995, Ms. Bates was Vice President and Treasurer of US Airways. She currently serves on the boards of Franklin Mutual Series Funds, the Franklin Mutual Recovery Fund, the Franklin Templeton Funds, and SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae). She has served as a director of the Company since 2003.
Age 66. Mr. Harper has been an executive for Assurant, Inc., a financial services and insurance provider, since 1998. He currently serves as Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Government Relations and previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Assurants largest subsidiary. From 1992 to 1997, Mr. Harper served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Railroads. He also spent five years with Campbell Soup Company, serving as Chief Financial Officer from 1986 to 1991. Earlier in his career, Mr. Harper served on the White House staffs of both President Reagan and President Nixon. Mr. Harper currently serves as Director for the Council for Excellence in Government. He has served as a director of the Company since 2006.
Age 77. Mr. Leahy has been the President of Management and Marketing Associates, a management consulting firm, since 1986. Previously, Mr. Leahy spent 34 years of his career with Black & Decker Corporation, where he served as President and CEO of the United States subsidiary from 1979 to 1981 and President and Group Executive Officer of the Western Hemisphere of Black & Decker Corporation from 1982 to 1985. Mr. Leahy is currently a director of B&L Sales, Inc. and Chairman of Integra Health Management, Inc. He is also Trustee Emeritus of the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola College, Maryland. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1994.
Age 65. Mr. Pollock has been a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2004. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004. He currently serves as a director of the CME Group, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, the Great Books Foundation, the Illinois Council on Economic Education and the International Union for Housing Finance. He has served as a director of the Company since 2003.
Age 76. Mr. Steuart has been a director of Steuart Investment Company, which manages, operates, and leases real and personal property and holds stock in operating subsidiaries engaged in various businesses, since 1960 where he served as President until 2003 and currently serves as Chairman. Mr. Steuart has served as Trustee Emeritus of Washington and Lee University since 1992. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1984.
Messrs. Walton and Long and Ms. Sweeney are interested persons, as defined in the 1940 Act, in the cases of Mr. Walton and Ms. Sweeney, due to their positions as officers of the Company and in the case of Mr. Long, as the father of an executive officer of the Company. Mr. Browne is an independent director for purposes of the 1940 Act.
Age 58. Mr. Walton has been Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since 1997 and a director since 1986. Mr. Waltons previous experience includes serving as a Managing Director of Butler Capital Corporation, as personal investment advisor to William S. Paley, founder of CBS, and as Senior Vice President in Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loebs Merger and Acquisition Group. He also founded two education service companies Language Odyssey and Success Lab. Mr. Walton currently serves on the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Freedom House, and the Financial Services Roundtable, and he is President of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Age 48. Ms. Sweeney is the Chief Operating Officer of the Company and has been employed by the Company since 1993. Ms. Sweeney oversees the Companys daily operations. Prior to joining Allied Capital, Ms. Sweeney was employed by Ernst & Young, Coopers & Lybrand, and the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has served as a director of the Company since 2004.
Age 58. Mr. Browne has been a private investor since 2002. Mr. Browne was the President of Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund from 1993 to 2002 and served as a director from 1991 to 2005. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Winrock International, a non-profit organization. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1990.
Age 76. Mr. Long has been the Chief Executive Officer and a director of GLB Group, Inc., an investment management firm, since 1997 and President of Ariba GLB Asset Management, Inc., the parent company of GLB Group, Inc., since 2005. He has been the Chairman of Emerald City Radio Partners, LLC since 1997. Mr. Long was the President of Business News Network, Inc. from 1995 to 1998, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Starr Broadcasting Group, Inc. from 1991 to 1995, and a director and the President of Potomac Asset Management, Inc. from 1983 to 1991. Mr. Long is a director of AmBase Corporation, CSC Scientific, Inc., and Advanced Solutions International, Inc. He has served as a director of the Company or one of its predecessors since 1972. Mr. Long is the father of Robert D. Long, an executive officer of the Company.
The following table sets forth compensation that the Company paid during the year ended December 31, 2007, to its directors. The Companys directors are divided into two groups interested directors and independent directors. Interested directors are interested persons as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act.
During 2007, our Board of Directors adopted and implemented the following compensation structure for non-officer directors, which is also effective for 2008. Each non-officer director receives an annual retainer of $100,000. In addition, each member of each committee receives an annual retainer of $45,000 to attend the meetings of the committee, with a maximum of $90,000 to be paid to any one director for committee retainers. Each committee chair also receives an annual retainer of $5,000. In addition, members who serve on special purpose committees receive $3,000 per meeting. We also reimburse directors for expenses related to meeting attendance. Directors who are employees receive no additional compensation for serving on our Board of Directors or its committees.
For 2007, directors could choose to defer any portion of their cash compensation through the 2005 Allied Capital Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan, and could choose to have such deferred income invested in shares of the Companys common
stock through a trust, which is owned by the Company. See Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation for additional information.
Non-officer directors are eligible for stock option awards under our Amended Stock Option Plan pursuant to an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission, or Commission, which was granted in September 1999. The terms of the order provided for a one-time grant of 10,000 options to each non-officer director on the date that the order was issued, or on the date that any new director is elected by stockholders to the Board of Directors. Thereafter, each non-officer director will receive 5,000 options each year on the date of the Annual Meeting of Stockholders at the fair market value on the date of grant. See Amended Stock Option Plan. The options granted to our directors vest immediately.
In accordance with rules of the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, the Board of Directors annually determines the independence of each director. No director is considered independent unless the Board of Directors has determined that he or she has no material relationship with the Company. The Company monitors the status of its directors and officers through the activities of the Companys Corporate Governance / Nominating Committee and through a questionnaire to be completed by each director no less frequently than annually, with updates periodically if information provided in the most recent questionnaire has changed.
In order to evaluate the materiality of any such relationship, the Board of Directors uses the definition of director independence set forth in the NYSE Listed Company Manual. Section 303A.00 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual provides that business development companies, or BDCs, such as the Company, are required to comply with all of the provisions of Section 303A applicable to domestic issuers other than Sections 303A.02, the section that defines director independence. Section 303A.00 provides that a director of a BDC shall be considered to be independent if he or she is not an interested person of the Company, as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act. Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act defines an interested person to include, among other things, any person who has, or within the last two years had, a material business or professional relationship with the Company.
The Board has determined that each of the directors is independent and has no relationship with the Company, except as a director and stockholder of the Company, with the exception of William L. Walton, Joan M. Sweeney and Robert E. Long. Mr. Walton and Ms. Sweeney are interested persons of the Company due to their positions as officers of the Company and Mr. Long is an interested person of the Company because he is the father of an executive officer of the Company. During its assessment of director independence, the Board also considered a donation of $25,000 by the Company to the American Enterprise Institute where Mr. Pollock serves as a Resident Fellow. The Board of Directors determined that the donation did not impair Mr. Pollocks status as an independent director.
Committees of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Company has established an Executive Committee, an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee, and a Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee. In January 2008, the Board of Directors also established a Board Investment Review Committee. From time to time, the Board may establish special purpose committees to address particular matters on behalf of the Board. The Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, and Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee each operate pursuant to a committee charter. The charter of each Committee is available on the Companys web site at www.alliedcapital.com in the Investor Resources section and is also available in print to any stockholder or other interested party who requests a copy.
During 2007, the Board of Directors of the Company held 29 Board meetings and 108 committee meetings. All directors attended at least 75% of the aggregate number of meetings of the Board and of the respective committees on which they served. Each director makes a diligent effort to attend all Board and committee meetings, as well as the Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Each of the directors was present at the Companys 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
The Company has designated the Chairman of the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee as the Presiding Director to preside at all executive sessions of non-management directors. In his absence, the Chairman of the Audit Committee has been designated to serve in such capacity. Executive sessions of non-management directors are held regularly.
The following table indicates the current members of the committees of the Board of Directors. All of the Companys directors are independent directors, except for Messrs. Walton and Long, and Ms. Sweeney, who are interested persons as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act.
The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee has and may exercise those rights, powers, and authority that the Board of Directors from time to time grants to it, except where action by the Board is required by statute, an order of the Commission, or the Companys charter or bylaws. During 2007, the Executive Committee was delegated authority from the Board to review and approve certain investments. The Executive Committee met 42 times during 2007.
The Board Investment Review Committee. In January 2008, the Board established a Board Investment Review Committee and delegated authority to it to review and approve certain types of investments, a role previously undertaken by the Executive Committee. The Board Investment Review Committee is composed of five permanent members, who have been appointed to serve for the year, and three additional members, each of whom will serve during at least one quarter during the year on a rotating schedule.
The Audit Committee. The Audit Committee operates pursuant to a charter approved by the Board of Directors and meets the requirements of Section 3(a)(58)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act. The charter sets forth the responsibilities of the Audit Committee. The primary function of the Audit Committee is to serve as an independent and objective party to assist the Board of Directors in fulfilling its responsibilities for overseeing and monitoring the quality and integrity of the Companys financial statements, the adequacy of the Companys system of internal controls, the review of the independence, qualifications and performance of the Companys independent registered public accounting firm, and the performance of the Companys internal audit function. The Audit Committee met 18 times during 2007. None of the members of the Audit Committee is an interested person of the Company as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act, pursuant to the requirements of the rules promulgated by the NYSE. In addition, the Companys Board of Directors has determined that Ms. Bates and Messrs. Browne, Garcia and Harper are audit committee financial experts as defined under Item 407(d)(5) of Regulation S-K of the Exchange Act as each meets the experience requirements of Rule 10A-3 of the Exchange Act.
The Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee approves the compensation of the Companys executive officers, and reviews the amount of salary and bonus for each of the Companys other officers and employees. In addition, the Compensation Committee approves stock option grants for the Companys officers under the Companys Amended Stock Option Plan, and determines other compensation arrangements for employees. None of the members of the Compensation Committee is an interested person of the Company as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act, pursuant to the requirements of the rules promulgated by the NYSE. The Compensation Committee met 13 times during 2007. See Executive Compensation Compensation Discussion and Analysis Establishing Compensation Levels for additional information regarding the Compensation Committee.
The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee. The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee recommends candidates for election as directors to the Board of Directors and makes recommendations to the Board as to the Companys corporate governance policies. None of the members of the Corporate Governance/Nominating Committee is an interested person of the Company as
defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act, pursuant to the requirements of the rules promulgated by the NYSE. The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee met six times during 2007.
The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee will consider qualified director nominees recommended by stockholders when such recommendations are submitted to the care of the Corporate Secretary in accordance with the Companys bylaws, Corporate Governance Policy, and any other applicable law, rule or regulation regarding director nominations. When submitting a nomination to the Company for consideration, a stockholder must provide certain information that would be required under applicable Commission rules, including the following minimum information for each director nominee: full name, age and address; principal occupation during the past five years; current directorships on publicly held companies and investment companies; number of shares of Company common stock owned, if any; and, a written consent of the individual to stand for election if nominated by the Board of Directors and to serve if elected by the stockholders.
In evaluating director nominees, the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee considers the following factors:
The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committees goal is to assemble a Board of Directors that brings to the Company a variety of perspectives and skills derived from high quality business and professional experience.
Other than the foregoing, there are no stated minimum criteria for director nominees, although the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee may also consider such other factors as it may deem to be in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee also believes it appropriate for certain key members of the Companys management to participate as members of the Board.
The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee identifies nominees by first evaluating the current members of the Board of Directors willing to continue in
service. Current members of the Board with skills and experience that are relevant to the Companys business and who are willing to continue in service are considered for re-nomination, balancing the value of continuity of service by existing members of the Board with that of obtaining a new perspective. The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee considers the age limit guideline included in the Companys Corporate Governance Policy, which suggests that a director should not stand for re-nomination after age 72, but that the Board may, in its discretion, ask a director to stand for re-nomination if the Board believes that such director will continue to make significant contributions to the work of the Board.
If any member of the Board does not wish to continue in service or if the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee or the Board decides not to re-nominate a member for re-election, or if the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee recommends to expand the size of the Board of Directors, the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee identifies the desired skills and experience of a new nominee in light of the criteria above. Current members of the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee and the Board of Directors provide suggestions as to individuals meeting the criteria of the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee. Consultants may also be engaged to assist in identifying qualified individuals.
Stockholders and other interested parties with questions about the Company are encouraged to contact Allied Capitals Investor Relations department. However, if stockholders or other interested parties feel their questions have not been addressed, they may communicate with the Companys Board of Directors, including the Presiding Director, by sending their communications to:
All communications received by the Companys Corporate Secretary in this manner will be delivered to one or more members of the Board of Directors as appropriate.
Each executive officer as well as every employee of the Company is subject to the Companys Code of Business Conduct, which is available on the Companys website at www.alliedcapital.com in the Investor Resources section and is also available in print to any stockholder or other interested party who requests a copy.
The Companys Corporate Governance Policy is available on the Companys website at www.alliedcapital.com in the Investor Resources section and is available in print to any stockholder or other interested party who requests a copy.
All members of the Compensation Committee are independent directors and none of the members are present or past employees of the Company within the last ten years. No member of the Compensation Committee: (i) has had any relationship with the Company requiring disclosure under Item 404 of Regulation S-K under the Exchange Act; or (ii) is an executive officer of another entity, at which one of our executive officers serves on the board of directors.
The following information, as of March 4, 2008, pertains to the Companys executive officers who are not directors of the Company.
Age 54. Ms. Anderson, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, has been employed by the Company since 1987. Ms. Andersons responsibilities include the Companys infrastructure operations, business process management, and certain treasury functions.
Age 53. Mr. Binder, Chief Valuation Officer, has been employed by the Company since 1997. He has served as Chief Valuation Officer since 2003. He served as a consultant to the Company from 1991 until 1997. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Binder formed and was President of Overland Communications Group. He also served as a board member and financial consultant for a public affairs and lobbying firm in Washington, DC. Mr. Binder founded Lonestar Cablevision in 1986, serving as President until 1991. In the early 1980s, Mr. Binder worked for two firms specializing in leveraged lease transactions. From 1976 to 1981, he was employed by Coopers & Lybrand.
Age 47. Mr. Blasey, Executive Vice President and Private Finance General Counsel, has been employed by the Company since 2004. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Blasey practiced law from 1987 to 2004. He joined the law firm of Baker & Hostetler, LLP in 1989 and was named a partner in 1996.
Age 40. Mr. Fruehwirth, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2003. Previously, he worked at Wachovia Securities (previously First Union Securities) in several merchant banking groups including Wachovia Capital Partners, Leveraged Capital and Middle Market Capital from 1999 to 2003. Prior to that, Mr. Fruehwirth worked in First Unions Leveraged Finance Group from 1996 to 1998.
Age 44. Mr. Grisius, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 1992. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Grisius worked in leveraged finance at Chemical Bank from 1989 to 1992 and held senior accountant and consultant positions with KPMG LLP from 1985 to 1988.
Age 50. Ms. Harman, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2004. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Harman served as a Managing Director and Principal for American Capital Strategies, Ltd., a business development company,
from 2000 until 2004. She worked as a Managing Director and Head of Private Placements for First Security Van Kasper from 1996 to 2000 and a Managing Director of Coopers & Lybrand from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 to 1993, Ms. Harman held various senior level positions in the private placement arm of The Prudential Insurance Company of America. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Corporate Growth since 2000 and currently serves on the Board of the Womens Leadership Council.
Age 31. Ms. Krieger, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary, has been employed by the Company since March 2008. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Krieger served as Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at MCG Capital Corporation from 2006 to 2008 and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel from 2004 to 2006. From 2001 to 2004, she was an associate in the Financial Services Group of the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.
Age 40. Mr. Lauer, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2004. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Lauer worked in GE Capitals sponsor finance group from 2003 to 2004 and in the merchant banking and leveraged finance groups of Wachovia Securities (previously First Union Securities) from 1997 to 2003. He also held senior analyst positions at Intel Corporation and served as a corporate lender and credit analyst at National City Corporation.
Age 40. Mr. Lesmes, Chief Legal Officer, has been employed by the Company since July 2007. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Lesmes served as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae from 2005 to 2007 where he was responsible for corporate, securities and securitization legal matters. From 2000 to 2005, he was a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for corporate and securities matters at Fannie Mae.
Age 51. Mr. Long, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2002 and currently manages business development activities. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Long was Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at C.E. Unterberg from 2001 to 2002, and Managing Director at E*OFFERING/ Wit SoundView from 2000 to 2001. He also held management positions at Bank of America (Montgomery Securities) from 1996 to 2000, and Nomura Securities International from 1992 to 1996, and prior to that he served as a Managing Director at CS First Boston.
Age 48. Mr. Maccarone, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2005. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Maccarone served as a partner with UBS Capital Americas, LLC, a private equity fund focused on middle market investments, from 1993 to 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Maccarone served as a Senior Vice President at GE Capital specializing in merchant banking and leveraged finance from 1989 to 1993 and served as Vice President of the Leveraged Finance Group at HSBC/ Marine Midland Bank from 1981 to 1989.
Age 41. Mr. Monk, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 1993. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Monk worked in the leveraged finance group at First Union Securities (currently Wachovia Securities).
Age 54. Ms. Murphy, Executive Vice President and Director of Human Resources, has been employed by the Company since 2000. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Murphy was employed by Allfirst Financial from 1982 to 1999 and served in several capacities including head of the retail banking group in the Greater Washington Metro Region from 1994 to 1996 and served as the senior human resources executive from 1996 to 1999.
Age 42. Ms. Roll, Chief Financial Officer, has been employed by the Company since 1995. Ms. Roll is responsible for the Companys financial operations. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Roll was employed by KPMG LLP in the firms audit practice.
Age 43. Mr. Russell, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 1998. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Russell was employed by KPMG LLP in the firms financial services group.
Age 55. Mr. Scheurer, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 1991. Mr. Scheurer is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association. He has also served as Chairman and as a Vice Chair of the Capital Markets Committee for the Commercial Real Estate Finance Committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Age 45. Mr. Shulman, Managing Director, has been employed by the Company since 2001. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Shulman served as the President and CEO of Onyx International, LLC, a private equity firm, from 1994 to 2001. He currently serves as a member of the investment committee of Greater China Private Equity Fund.
Age 42. Ms. Sparrow, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Managed Funds, has been employed by the Company since 1987. Ms. Sparrows responsibilities include the Companys fund management activities and various special projects for the Company.
The Company has procedures in place for the review, approval and monitoring of transactions involving the Company and certain related persons of the Company. As a BDC, the Company is prohibited by the 1940 Act from participating in transactions with any persons affiliated with the BDC, including, officers, directors, and employees of the BDC and any person controlling or under common control with the BDC, or the Affiliates, absent a Commission exemptive order.
In the ordinary course of business, the Company enters into transactions with portfolio companies that may be considered related party transactions. In order to ensure that the Company does not engage in any prohibited transactions with any persons affiliated with Company, the Company has implemented the following procedures:
No agreement shall be entered into unless and until a Screening Officer is satisfied that no affiliations prohibited by the 1940 Act exist or, if such affiliations exist, appropriate actions have been taken to seek Board review and approval or exemptive relief for such transaction. The Board of Directors reviews these procedures on an annual basis.
In addition, the Companys Code of Business Conduct, which is annually reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors and acknowledged in writing by all employees, requires that all employees and directors avoid any conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, between an individuals personal interests and the interests of the Company. Pursuant to the Code of Business Conduct, each employee and director must disclose any conflicts of interest, or actions or relationships that might give rise to a conflict, to the Chief Legal Officer or Chief Compliance Officer. In the event that either of these officers is involved in the action or relationship giving rise to the conflict of interest, the individual is directed to disclose the conflict to another member of the Companys senior management team. The Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee is charged with monitoring and making recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding policies and practices relating to corporate governance. Certain actions or relationships that might give rise to a conflict of interest are reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.
The following table sets forth certain information, as of March 4, 2008, regarding indebtedness to the Company in excess of $120,000 of any person serving as a director or executive officer of the Company and of any nominee for election as a director at any time since January 1, 2007. All of such indebtedness results from loans made by the Company to enable the exercise of stock options. The loans are required to be fully collateralized and are full recourse against the borrower and have varying terms not exceeding ten years. The interest rates charged generally reflect the applicable federal rate on the date of the loan.
As a BDC under the 1940 Act, the Company is entitled to provide and has provided loans to officers of the Company in connection with the exercise of stock options. However, as a result of provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Company has been prohibited from making new loans to its executive officers since July 30, 2002.
Pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act, the Companys directors and executive officers, and any persons holding 10% or more of its common stock, are required to report their beneficial ownership and any changes therein to the Commission and the Company. Specific due dates for those reports have been established, and the Company is required to report herein any failure to file such reports by those due dates. Based on the Companys review of Forms 3, 4, and 5 filed by such persons, the Company believes that during 2007 all Section 16(a) filing requirements applicable to such persons were met in a timely manner, with the exception of a Form 4 for Mr. Scott Binder, which was filed one day late, due to an administrative error.
Compensation Discussion and Analysis
Compensation Philosophy. Allied Capitals compensation and benefits programs are designed with the goal of providing compensation that is fair, reasonable and competitive. The programs are intended to help the Company align the compensation paid to its executive officers with the achievement of certain corporate and executive performance objectives that have been established to achieve the long-term objectives of the Company. The Company also believes that the compensation programs should enable the Company to attract, motivate, and retain key officers who will contribute to the Companys future success.
The design of the Companys compensation programs is based on the following three guiding factors:
Components of Total Compensation. The Compensation Committee determined that the compensation packages for 2007 for the NEOs, who are identified in the Summary Compensation Table, should generally consist of the following five key components:
Base Salary. Base salary is designed to attract and retain experienced executives who can drive the achievement of the Companys goals and objectives. While an executives initial base salary is determined by an assessment of competitive market levels, the factors used in determining increases in base salary include individual performance, changes in role and/or responsibility and changes in the competitive market environment.
The Company has entered into employment agreements with William L. Walton, the Companys Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joan M. Sweeney, the Companys Chief Operating Officer, and Penni F. Roll, the Companys Chief Financial Officer. See Employment Agreements below for information regarding the material terms of these agreements.
Annual Cash Bonus. The annual cash bonus is designed to reward those executives that have achieved certain corporate and individual performance objectives and have contributed to the achievement of certain long-term objectives of the Company. The amount of the annual cash bonus is determined by the Compensation Committee on a discretionary basis. The annual cash bonus, when combined with base salary and the IPA and IPB described below, is benchmarked against a range of compensation that is competitive between the median (50th percentile) and 75th percentile of market compensation levels based on the performance of the individual.
Stock Options. The Companys principal objective in awarding stock options to the officers and directors of the Company is to align each optionees interests with the success of the Company and the financial interests of its stockholders by linking a portion of such optionees compensation with the performance of the Companys stock and the value delivered to stockholders. The Compensation Committee evaluates a number of criteria, including the past service of each such optionee to the Company, the present and potential contributions of such optionee to the success of the Company, and such other factors as the Compensation Committee shall deem relevant in connection with accomplishing the purposes of the Amended Stock Option Plan, including the recipients current stock holdings, years of service, position with the Company, and other factors. The Compensation Committee does not apply a formula assigning specific weights to any of these factors when making its determination. The Compensation Committee awards stock options on a subjective basis and such awards depend in each case on the performance of the officer under consideration, and in the case of new hires, their potential performance.
IPA. Following the enactment of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Company was no longer permitted to provide loans to executive officers for the exercise of stock options, as is statutorily provided for in the 1940 Act. This was a
significant development, since a substantial component of the total return to stockholders comes in the form of the dividend paid on the Companys common stock. Under the former loan program, an officer could exercise vested stock options with a loan for the purpose of buying the underlying shares and would then receive dividends on the shares obtained through such exercise and pay the Company interest on the loan until maturity. The loan program caused the officers to share in the risk of ownership of the stock, since the loan would have to be repaid. As such, under the loan program, there was a balance of the benefits and risks of share ownership for the officers.
When the loan program was discontinued, the Compensation Committee established a long-term incentive compensation program whereby the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors determines an IPA for certain officers annually, generally at the beginning of each year. In determining the award for any one officer, the Compensation Committee considers individual performance factors, as well as the individuals contribution to the returns generated for stockholders, among other factors. Stockholders approved the Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan II, or DCP II, through which the IPA is administered, in 2004. See Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation for additional detail regarding the determination by the Board of Directors to terminate the Companys deferred compensation arrangements in 2008. For 2008, the Compensation Committee has determined that the IPAs will be paid in cash generally in two equal installments during the year to eligible officers, as long as the recipient remains employed by the Company.
IPB. As a result of changes in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), regarding non-qualified deferred compensation plans, as well as an increase in the competitive market for recruiting and retaining top performers in private equity firms, beginning in 2005 the Board of Directors determined that a portion of the IPA should be paid as an IPB. The IPB is determined annually, generally at the beginning of the year, and is distributed in cash in equal installments to award recipients throughout the year as long as each recipient remains employed by the Company. If a recipient terminates employment during the year, any remaining cash payments under the IPB would be forfeited. In determining an IPB award for any one officer, the Committee considers individual performance factors, as well as the individuals contribution to the returns generated for stockholders, among other factors.
Employment Agreements and Severance Arrangements. The Company entered into employment agreements in 2004 with Mr. Walton and Mmes. Sweeney and Roll. These agreements were reviewed in 2007 and amended to comply with regulatory changes in the Code and to address other tax related matters. Pursuant to each of these agreements, if the executives employment is terminated without cause during the term of the agreement, or within 24 months of a change of control, the executive shall be entitled to severance pay. See Severance and Change of Control Arrangements for more detail.
401(k) Plan. The Company maintains a 401(k) Plan. All employees who are at least 21 years of age have the opportunity to contribute pre-tax or after-tax salary deferrals to the 401(k) Plan, up to $15,500 annually for the 2008 plan year, and to direct the investment of these contributions. Plan participants who are age 50 or older during the 2008 plan year are eligible to defer an additional $5,000 during 2008. The 401(k) Plan allows eligible participants to invest in the Allied Capital Stock
Fund, consisting of Allied Capital common stock and cash, among other investment options. On March 4, 2008, the 401(k) Plan held less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Company.
During the 2007 plan year, the Company contributed up to 5% of each participants eligible compensation for the year, up to maximum compensation of $225,000, to each participants plan account on the participants behalf, which fully vested at the time of the contribution. For 2007, the Companys contribution with respect to compensation in excess of $225,000 will be made in cash to the participant in the first quarter of 2008.
For the 2008 plan year, the Company amended its 401(k) Plan to provide that the Company will match 100% of the first 4% of deferral contributions made by each participant up to $230,000 of eligible compensation. No excess contribution will be made for 2008.
Insurance. The Company makes available to all employees health insurance, dental insurance, and group life and disability insurance. Prior to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Company provided split dollar life insurance arrangements for certain senior officers. The Company has subsequently terminated its obligations to pay future premiums with respect to existing split-dollar life insurance arrangements.
Perquisites. The Company provides only limited perquisites such as Company-paid parking to its NEOs. The Company utilizes corporate aircraft for business use in an effort to improve the efficiency of required business travel. Imputed income determined in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service requirements is reflected in an NEOs aggregate compensation for income tax purposes for any business trip on which a non-employee family member or guest accompanies the NEO. For compensation disclosure purposes, the value of such travel by non-employee family members or guests is calculated by allocating costs incurred. With respect to travel by non-employee family members or guests, this is computed by allocating direct and indirect expenses, other than depreciation, on a per hour basis. Direct and indirect expenses generally include crew compensation and expenses, fuel, oil, catering expenses, hangar, rent, insurance, landing and similar fees, and maintenance costs.
Role of the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee is comprised entirely of independent directors who are also non-employee directors as defined in Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act and independent directors as defined by NYSE rules.
The Compensation Committee operates pursuant to a charter that sets forth the mission of the Compensation Committee and its specific goals and responsibilities. The Compensation Committees mission is to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board regarding the compensation of the Chief Executive Officer and other executive officers of the Company, and their performance relative to their compensation, and to assure that they are compensated effectively in a manner consistent with the compensation philosophy discussed earlier, internal equity considerations, competitive practice, and the requirements of applicable law and the appropriate regulatory bodies. In addition, the Compensation Committee evaluates
and makes recommendations to the Board regarding the compensation of the directors, including their compensation for services on Board committees.
The Compensation Committees charter reflects these goals and responsibilities, and the Compensation Committee annually reviews and revises its charter as necessary. To assist in carrying out its responsibilities, the Compensation Committee periodically receives reports and recommendations from management and from a third-party compensation consultant that it selects and retains. The Compensation Committee may also, from time to time, consult with legal, accounting or other advisors all in accordance with the authority granted to the Compensation Committee in its charter.
Role of Management. The key members of management involved in the compensation process are the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Human Resources. Management proposes certain corporate and individual performance objectives for executive management that could be established to achieve long-term objectives of the Company and used to determine total compensation, and these proposals are presented to the Compensation Committee for review and approval. Management also participates in the discussion of peer companies to be used to benchmark NEO compensation, and recommends the overall funding level for the annual cash bonus, IPA and IPB. Managements recommendations are presented to the Compensation Committee for review and approval.
Role of the Compensation Consultant. The Compensation Committee annually retains a third-party compensation consultant to assess the competitiveness of the current and proposed compensation levels of the Companys NEOs in light of competitive market practices. The Compensation Committee has engaged Ernst & Young LLPs Performance and Reward Practice or its predecessor (the Compensation Consultant) for this purpose for more than five years.
The Compensation Consultant attends Compensation Committee meetings, meets with the Compensation Committee without management present and provides third-party data, advice and expertise on current and proposed executive and director compensation. At the direction of the Compensation Committee, the Compensation Consultant prepares an analysis of compensation matters including positioning of programs in the competitive market, including peer group review, and the design of plans consistent with the Compensation Committees compensation philosophy.
Ernst & Young, LLP provides consulting and other services to the Company, however, the Compensation Committee believes this does not compromise the Compensation Consultants ability to provide an independent perspective on executive compensation. During 2007, the Compensation Consultant was paid $128,689 for its services to the Compensation Committee.
Assessment of Market Data, Peer Comparisons and Benchmarking of Compensation. The Compensation Consultant assists the Compensation Committee with the assessment of the compensation practices of comparable companies. Given the Companys structure as a publicly traded, internally managed BDC coupled with the fact that most of the Companys direct competitors are privately held private equity partnerships, specific compensation information with respect to the Companys direct competitors typically is not publicly available. There are a limited number of
published survey sources that have a primary focus on the private equity industry and that provide annualized information on long-term incentive plans in the industry, which typically take the form of carried interest.
As a part of the annual assessment of compensation, the Compensation Committee and the Compensation Consultant analyze NEO compensation information relative to:
Through this process, the Compensation Committee benchmarks the Companys compensation for NEOs, including the CEO, to the median (50th percentile) through the 75th percentile of competitive market data. However, the Compensation Committee is unable to benchmark the compensation data of individual NEOs from the externally managed companies because no individual compensation data is available.
The Companys peer group is the same peer group used for its 2006 analysis and is composed of the following nine publicly traded companies in the financial services industry:
While comparisons to compensation levels at the Companys peer group is helpful in assessing the overall competitiveness of its executive compensation program, the Company believes that its executive compensation program also must be internally consistent and equitable in order for the Company to achieve its investment objectives and to continue to attract and retain outstanding employees.
The Compensation Committee uses the private equity published survey data to assess the market for investment professionals, but also considers each individuals contribution to the Company that year to assess internal pay equity. As a result, the composition of the Companys NEOs, excluding the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer, may change from year to year.
Review of Tally Sheets. The Compensation Committee annually reviews tally sheets that illustrate all components of the compensation provided to the Companys NEOs, including base salary, annual cash bonus, IPAs and IPBs, stock option awards, perquisites and benefits and the accumulated balance under non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Furthermore, the Compensation Committee annually reviews tally sheets prepared by the Compensation Consultant that illustrate the aggregate
amounts that may be paid as the result of certain events of termination under employment agreements including a change of control for Mr. Walton and Mmes. Sweeney and Roll. The purpose of these tally sheets is to bring together, in one place, all of the elements of actual and potential future compensation for its executives who have employment agreements, as well as information about wealth accumulation, so that the Compensation Committee may analyze both the individual elements of compensation as well as the aggregate total amount of actual and projected compensation. The Compensation Committee also provides a full report of all compensation program components to the Board of Directors, including the review and discussion of the tally sheets.
Assessment of Corporate and Individual Performance. The Compensation Committee considered certain corporate and individual performance measures that have been established to achieve long-term total return to stockholders. The corporate and individual performance measures for 2007 included, among others, the following:
During 2007, the Company achieved numerous strategic investment and operational goals and objectives, including, among other things:
In identifying prevailing market competitive compensation and benefit levels for similarly situated companies, Allied Capital employs the three-pronged approach discussed above. In determining the individual compensation for the Companys NEOs, the Compensation Committee considers the total compensation to be awarded to each NEO and may exercise discretion in determining the portion allocated to the various components of total compensation and there is no pre-determined weighting of any specific components. The Company believes that the focus on total compensation provides the ability to align pay decisions with short- and long-term needs of the business. This approach also allows for the flexibility needed to recognize differences in performance by providing differentiated pay.
Individual compensation levels for NEOs are determined based on individual performance and the achievement of certain corporate and executive performance objectives that have been established to achieve long-term objectives of the Company. Increases to base salary are awarded to recognize an executive for assuming additional responsibilities and his/her related performance, to address changes in the external competitive market for a given position, or to achieve an appropriate competitive level due to a promotion to a more senior position.
In determining the amount of an executives variable compensation the annual cash bonus, IPA and IPB the Compensation Committee uses market-based total compensation guidelines described above, which are the proxy peer group analysis, private equity published survey data, and estimates of and comparisons to compensation paid by externally managed publicly traded pass-through companies. Within those guidelines, the Committee considers the overall funding available for such awards, the executives performance, and the desired mix between the various components of total compensation. The Company does not use a formula-based approach in determining individual awards or weighting between the components. Rather, discretion is exercised in determining the overall total compensation to be awarded to the executive. As a result, the amounts delivered in the form of an annual cash bonus, IPA and IPB are designed to work together in conjunction with base salary to deliver an appropriate total compensation level to the NEO.
The Company believes that the discretionary design of its variable compensation program supports its overall compensation objectives by allowing for significant differentiation of pay based on individual performance and by providing the flexibility necessary to ensure that pay packages for its NEOs are competitive relative to its market.
Determination of 2007 Compensation for the CEO and other NEOs. The compensation of the Chief Executive Officer and other NEOs is determined based on the achievement of certain corporate and individual performance objectives discussed above. 2007 was a year of continued progress in achieving the objectives that contribute to the long-term success of the Company. Among other things described above, the Company invested $1.8 billion, generated $268.5 million in net realized gains, and paid $407.3 million in dividends to stockholders. The Compensation Committee acknowledged the fact that, while management had achieved numerous strategic investment and operational goals and objectives for the year, market conditions had resulted in a significant reduction in the Companys stock price during
the latter half of 2007, which adversely affected total return to stockholders for the year.
Mr. Walton is paid an annual base salary of $1,500,000, the same rate that has been in effect since February 2004. Mr. Walton received an annual bonus for 2007 of $2,150,000, a 22% reduction from the annual bonus that was paid for 2006. Mr. Walton also received a 2007 IPA of $1,475,000 and a 2007 IPB of $1,475,000, which were the same amounts as the prior year. Mr. Walton received a grant of 186,000 stock options in 2007; he did not receive a stock option grant in 2006.
Ms. Sweeney is paid an annual base salary of $1,000,000, the same rate that has been in effect since February 2004. Ms. Sweeney received an annual bonus for 2007 of $1,300,000, a 13% reduction from the annual bonus that was paid for 2006. Ms. Sweeney also received a 2007 IPA of $750,000 and a 2007 IPB of $750,000, which were the same amounts as the prior year. Ms. Sweeney received a grant of 139,500 stock options in 2007; she did not receive a stock option grant in 2006.
For 2007, Ms. Roll was paid an annual base salary of $525,000, the same rate that has been in effect since 2006. Ms. Roll received an annual bonus for 2007 of $850,000, the same annual bonus that she received in 2006, in recognition of the Companys performance and her individual performance. Ms. Roll also received a 2007 IPA of $350,000 and a 2007 IPB of $350,000. Ms. Roll received a grant of 139,500 stock options in 2007.
For 2007, Mr. Russell was paid an annual base salary of $550,000. Mr. Russell received an annual bonus for 2007 of $2,475,000 in recognition of the Companys performance and his individual performance. Mr. Russell also received a 2007 IPA of $475,000 and a 2007 IPB of $475,000. Mr. Russell received a grant of 186,000 stock options in 2007.
For 2007, Mr. Scheurer was paid an annual base salary of $600,000. Mr. Scheurer received an annual bonus for 2007 of $1,700,000 in recognition of the Companys performance and his individual performance. Mr. Scheurer also received a 2007 IPA of $550,000 and a 2007 IPB of $550,000. Mr. Scheurer received a grant of 139,500 stock options in 2007.
After reviewing the 2007 peer group information, tally sheets and the achievement of corporate and executive performance measures for each of these executives, the Compensation Committee determined that the total compensation levels for each of these executives was within a competitive range to existing market levels and remained consistent with the Compensation Committees expectations.
The Companys principal objective in awarding stock options to the officers and directors of the Company is to align each optionees interests with the success of the Company and the financial interests of its stockholders by linking a portion of such optionees compensation with the performance of the Companys stock and the value delivered to stockholders. The Compensation Committee awards stock options on a subjective basis and such awards depend in each case on the performance of the officer under consideration, and in the case of new hires, their potential performance. Stock options are priced at the closing price of the stock on the date the option is granted. See Amended Stock Option Plan.
In October 2007, the Company filed an exemptive application with the Commission to permit the issuance of restricted stock to the Companys employees and non-officer directors. If the Company were to receive an order from the Commission to permit such issuance, the Company would be required to seek the approval of stockholders before it may issue restricted stock. Assuming the Corporation obtained stockholder approval, the Board of Directors would consider the issuance of restricted stock together with the issuance of stock options as another form of equity compensation.
During 2006, the Board of Directors established a target ownership program to encourage share ownership by the Companys senior officers, so that the interests of the officers and stockholders are aligned. Generally, officers have five years to achieve their target ownership level, which is determined on an individual basis by the Compensation Committee and adjusted annually to reflect increases in base salary, if any. The Compensation Committee considers these target ownership levels and each individuals progress toward achieving his or her target ownership in connection with its annual compensation review. See Target Ownership for additional information related to the target ownership program.
Section 162(m) of the Code places a limit of $1,000,000 on the amount of compensation that the Company may deduct in any one year, which applies with respect to certain of its most highly paid executive officers for 2007. There is an exception to the $1,000,000 limitation for performance-based compensation meeting certain requirements. To maintain flexibility in compensating executive officers in a manner designed to promote varying corporate goals, the Compensation Committee has not adopted a performance-based compensation policy. The total compensation for each of Messrs. Walton, Russell, Scheurer and Ms. Sweeney is above the $1,000,000 threshold for 2007; accordingly, for 2007, a portion of their total compensation, including salaries, bonuses, IPBs, and other compensation is not deductible by the Company.
The Compensation Committee, composed entirely of independent directors, reviewed and discussed the above Compensation Discussion and Analysis with the Companys management. Based on the Compensation Committees deliberations and discussions with management, the Compensation Committee recommends that the Board of Directors include the Compensation Discussion and Analysis in the Companys Proxy Statement.
The information contained in the report above shall not be deemed to be soliciting material or to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, except to the extent specifically incorporated by reference therein.
Summary Compensation Table
The following table sets forth compensation that the Company paid during the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, to its principal executive officer, principal financial officer and each of the three highest paid executive officers of the Company (collectively, the Named Executive Officers or NEOs) in each capacity in which each NEO served. Certain of the NEOs served as both officers and directors.
The Company entered into employment agreements in 2004 with William L. Walton, the Companys Chairman and CEO, Joan M. Sweeney, the Companys Chief Operating Officer, and Penni F. Roll, the Companys Chief Financial Officer. These agreements were amended in 2007 to comply with Section 409A of the Code and to address other tax-related matters. Each of the agreements provides for a three-year term that extends one day at the end of every day during its length, unless either party provides written notice of termination of such extension. In that case, the agreement would terminate three years from such notification.
Each agreement specifies each executives base salary compensation during the term of the agreement. The Compensation Committee has the right to increase the base salary during the term of the employment agreement. In addition, each employment agreement states that the Compensation Committee may provide, at their sole discretion, an annual cash bonus. This bonus is to be determined with reference to each executives performance in accordance with performance criteria to be determined by the Compensation Committee in its sole discretion. Under each agreement, each executive is also entitled to participate in the Companys Amended Stock Option Plan, and to receive all other awards and benefits previously granted to each executive, including the payment of life insurance premiums.
The executive has the right to voluntarily terminate employment at any time with 30 days notice, and in such case, the employee will not receive any severance pay. Among other things, the employment agreements prohibit the solicitation of employees from the Company in the event of an executives departure for a period of two years. See Severance and Change in Control Arrangements for a discussion of
the severance and change in control arrangements set forth in each of these agreements.
The Companys Amended Stock Option Plan, or Option Plan, is intended to encourage stock ownership in the Company by officers and directors, thus giving them a proprietary interest in the Companys performance, to reward outstanding performance, and to provide a means to attract and retain persons of outstanding ability to the service of the Company. The Option Plan was last approved by stockholders in May 2007.
As discussed in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the Companys Compensation Committee believes that stock-based incentive compensation is a key element of officer and director compensation. The Compensation Committees principal objective in awarding stock options to the eligible officers of the Company is to align each optionees interests with the success of the Company and the financial interests of its stockholders by linking a portion of such optionees compensation with the performance of the Companys stock and the value delivered to stockholders.
Stock options are granted under the Option Plan at a price not less than the prevailing market value at the grant date and will have realizable value only if the Companys stock price increases. The Compensation Committee determines the amount and features of the stock options, if any, to be awarded to optionees. The Compensation Committee evaluates a number of criteria, including the past service of each such optionee to the Company, the present and potential contributions of such optionee to the success of the Company, and such other factors as the Compensation Committee shall deem relevant in connection with accomplishing the purposes of the Option Plan, including the recipients current stock holdings, years of service, position with the Company, and other factors. The Compensation Committee does not apply a formula assigning specific weights to any of these factors when making its determination. The Compensation Committee awards stock options on a subjective basis and such awards depend in each case on the performance of the officer under consideration, and in the case of new hires, their potential performance. Pursuant to the 1940 Act, options may not be repriced for any participant.
All rights to exercise options terminate 60 days after an optionee ceases to be (i) a non-officer director, (ii) both an officer and a director, if such optionee serves
in both capacities, or (iii) an officer (if such officer is not also a director) of the Company for any reason other than death or total and permanent disability. If an optionees employment is terminated for any reason other than death or total and permanent disability before expiration of his option and before he has fully exercised it, the optionee has the right to exercise the option during the balance of a 60-day period from the date of termination. If an optionee dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled before expiration of the option without fully exercising it, he or she or the executors or administrators or legatees or distributees of the estate shall, as may be provided at the time of the grant, have the right, within one year after the optionees death or total and permanent disability, to exercise the option in whole or in part before the expiration of its term.
All outstanding options will become fully vested and exercisable upon a Change of Control. For purposes of the Option Plan, a Change of Control means (i) the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the Companys assets; or (ii) the acquisition, whether directly, indirectly, beneficially (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act), or of record, as a result of a merger, consolidation or otherwise, of securities of the Company representing fifteen percent (15%) or more of the aggregate voting power of the Companys then outstanding common stock by any person (within the meaning of Section 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act), including, but not limited to, any corporation or group of persons acting in concert, other than (A) the Company or its subsidiaries and/or (B) any employee pension benefit plan (within the meaning of Section 3(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) of the Company or its subsidiaries, including a trust established pursuant to any such plan; or (iii) the individuals who were members of the Board of Directors as of the Effective Date (the Incumbent Board) cease to constitute at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors; provided, however, that any director appointed by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the then Incumbent Board or nominated by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors (a majority of the members of the Corporate Governance/ Nominating Committee are members of the then Incumbent Board or appointees thereof), other than any director appointed or nominated in connection with, or as a result of, a threatened or actual proxy or control contest, shall be deemed to constitute a member of the Incumbent Board.
The Option Plan is designed to satisfy the conditions of Section 422 of the Code so that options granted under the Option Plan may qualify as incentive stock options. To qualify as incentive stock options, options may not become exercisable for the first time in any year if the number of incentive options first exercisable in that year multiplied by the exercise price exceeds $100,000.
On February 1, 2008, options to purchase 7.1 million shares were granted with an exercise price of $22.96 per share. The options vest ratably over a three-year period beginning on June 30, 2009. The estimated expense included in the Grants of Plan-Based Awards table, above, does not include any expense related to the options granted in 2008.
Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End
The following table sets forth the stock option awards outstanding at December 31, 2007:
No stock option awards were exercised by any NEO during the year ended December 31, 2007.
The following table sets forth information as of December 31, 2007, with respect to compensation plans under which the Companys equity securities are authorized for issuance:
Option Cancellation and the OCP
In connection with the Companys 2006 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, the stockholders approved the issuance of up to 2,500,000 shares of the Companys common stock in exchange for the cancellation of vested in-the-money stock options granted to certain officers and directors under the Amended Stock Option Plan. Under the initiative, which was reviewed and approved by the Companys Board of Directors, all optionees who held vested stock options with exercise prices below the market value of the stock (or in-the-money options), were offered the opportunity to receive cash and unregistered common stock in exchange for their voluntary cancellation of their vested stock options. The sum of the cash and common stock to be received by each optionee would equal the in-the-money value of the stock option cancelled. On July 18, 2007, the Company completed a tender offer to all optionees who held vested in-the-money stock options as of June 20, 2007. The Company accepted for cancellation 10.3 million vested options held by employees and non-officer directors, which in the aggregate had a weighted average exercise price per share of $21.50. This resulted in a total OCP of approximately $105.6 million, of which $52.8 million was paid in cash to satisfy required tax liabilities and $52.8 million was paid through the issuance of 1.7 million unregistered shares of the Companys common stock, determined using the Weighted Average Market Price of $31.75, which represented the volume-weighted average price of the Companys common stock over the fifteen trading days preceding the
first day the offer period. The NEOs received the following OCPs in connection with their participation in the tender offer:
Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation
The 2005 Deferred Compensation Plan I. The 2005 Allied Capital Corporation Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan, or 2005 DCP I, is an unfunded plan, as defined in the Code, that provides for the voluntary deferral of compensation by directors, employees and consultants of the Company. Prior to 2005, such voluntary deferrals were made to the Allied Capital Corporation Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan, or DCP I. Any director, senior officer, or consultant of the Company is eligible to participate in the 2005 DCP I at such time and for such period as designated by the Board of Directors. The 2005 DCP I is administered through a grantor trust, and the Company funds this plan through cash contributions.
The 2005 Deferred Compensation Plan II. The 2005 Allied Capital Corporation Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan II, or 2005 DCP II, is an unfunded plan, as defined in the Code, that provides for the deferral of compensation by the Companys officers. All IPA contributions made for 2005, 2006, and 2007 were made into 2005 DCP II. Prior to 2005, IPA contributions were made to the Allied Capital Corporation Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan II (DCP II).
The IPAs were generally deposited in the trust in equal installments, on a quarterly basis, in the form of cash. The Compensation Committee designed both DCP II and 2005 DCP II to require the trustee to use the cash to purchase shares of the Companys common stock in the open market. A participant only vests in the award as it is deposited into the trust. The Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, designates the senior officers who were to receive IPAs and participate in 2005 DCP II. During any period of time in which a participant has an account in either DCP II or 2005 DCP II, any dividends declared and paid on shares of common stock allocated to the participants accounts were reinvested in shares of the Companys common stock.
The Compensation Committee of the Companys Board of Directors administers all of the Companys deferred compensation arrangements. The Board of Directors reserves the right to amend, terminate, or discontinue DCP II and 2005 DCP II, provided that no such action will adversely affect a participants rights under the plans with respect to the amounts contributed to his or her deferral accounts.
Termination of Deferred Compensation Arrangements. In December 2007, the Companys Board of Directors made a determination that it is in the best interests of the Company to terminate its deferred compensation arrangements (each individually a Plan, or collectively, the Plans). The Board of Directors decision was primarily in response to increased complexity resulting from recent changes in the regulation of deferred compensation arrangements.
The Board of Directors resolved that DCP I and DCP II will be terminated in accordance with the provisions of each of these Plans, and the accounts under these Plans will be distributed to participants in full on March 18, 2008, the termination and distribution date, or as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter.
The Board of Directors also resolved to amend and restate 2005 DCP I and 2005 DCP II to provide for termination of each of these Plans and distribution of the accounts under these Plans on March 18, 2008, or as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter, in full in accordance with the transition rule for payment elections under Section 409A of the Code.
Distributions from the Plans will be made in cash or shares of the Companys common stock, net of required withholding taxes. The assets of the rabbi trust related to DCP I and 2005 DCP I are primarily invested in assets other than shares of the Companys common stock. At December 31, 2007, the liability to participants related to DCP I and 2005 DCP I was valued at $21.1 million in the aggregate, and that liability is fully funded by assets held in the rabbi trust.
The assets of the rabbi trust related to DCP II and 2005 DCP II are primarily invested in shares of the Companys common stock. At December 31, 2007, the liability to participants related to DCP II and 2005 DCP II was valued at $31.4 million in the aggregate, and that liability is fully funded by assets held in the rabbi trust. At December 31, 2007, the rabbi trust held approximately 1.4 million shares for DCP II and 2005 DCP II.
The account balances in the Plans reflect a combination of participant elective compensation deferrals and non-elective employer contributions, including contributions related to previously earned IPAs. As of March 4, 2008, the account balances of the NEOs related to these Plans were $7.0 million for Mr. Walton,
$3.5 million for Ms. Sweeney, $1.3 million for Ms. Roll, $1.0 million for Mr. Russell, and $2.6 million for Mr. Scheurer.
Changes in Method of Payment of IPA for 2008. As a result of the termination of the Companys deferred compensation arrangements, the Compensation Committee is considering the Companys compensation structure and other changes that may be implemented if the Company obtains Commission and stockholder approval to issue restricted stock. For 2008, the Compensation Committee has determined that the IPAs will be paid in cash in two equal installments during the year to eligible officers, rather than contributed to a deferred compensation plan and invested in shares of the Companys common stock.
The total of 2008 IPAs and IPBs are estimated to be $19.2 million. The 2008 IPAs for the named executive officers are: Mr. Walton $1,475,000; Ms. Sweeney $850,000; Ms. Roll $350,000; Mr. Russell $475,000; and Mr. Scheurer $550,000. The 2008 IPBs for the named executive officers are: Mr. Walton $1,475,000; Ms. Sweeney $850,000; Ms. Roll $350,000; Mr. Russell $475,000; and Mr. Scheurer $550,000.
Severance and Change of Control Arrangements
The Company entered into employment agreements in 2004 with Mr. Walton, and Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Roll. These agreements were reviewed in 2007 and amended to comply with Section 409A and to address other tax-related matters. Each of the agreements provides for a three-year term that extends one day at the end of every day during its length, unless either party provides written notice of termination of such extension. In that case, the agreement would terminate three years from such notification. The following tables quantify the potential payments and benefits upon termination of the Company for each of the NEOs with an employment agreement, assuming the NEOs employment terminated on December 31, 2007, given the NEOs compensation and service level as of that date, excluding $11,366,271 for Mr. Walton, $5,832,948 for Ms. Sweeney and $2,247,601 for Ms. Roll representing each NEOs current deferred compensation balances, which will be distributed to each NEO in 2008 pursuant to the Board of Directors determination in December 2007 to terminate the Companys deferred compensation arrangements. Due to the number of factors that affect these calculations, including the price of the Companys common stock, any actual amounts paid or distributed may be different.
By Executive For Good Reason or By Company Without Cause. Pursuant to each of those agreements, if the executive resigns without good reason or his/her employment is terminated with cause, the executive will not receive any severance pay. If, however, employment is terminated by the Company without cause or by the executive for good reason, the executive will be entitled to severance pay for a period not to exceed 36 months. Severance pay will include three times the average base salary for the preceding three years, plus three times the average bonus compensation for the preceding three years, plus a lump sum severance amount, plus certain benefits for a period of one year. These benefits include COBRA premiums for Mr. Walton, Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Roll and their eligible family members for the maximum period of continuation coverage provided under COBRA, and also include the full cost for substantially equivalent health and dental insurance benefits for six months after such maximum continuation coverage expires at the sole expense of the Company. These benefits also include participation in the Companys stock option plan, split-dollar life insurance plan, executive long term disability plan, and deferred compensation plan, if applicable. Severance payments will generally be paid in a lump sum no earlier than six months after separation.
Change of Control. In the event of a change of control, in addition to the severance value described above, Mr. Walton, Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Roll would each be entitled to a tax equalization payment to offset any applicable excise tax penalties imposed on the executive under Section 4999 of the Code. Under the terms of the Option Plan, all outstanding options will vest immediately upon a change of control. See Amended Stock Option Plan above for the definition of change of control.
Death or Disability. If employment is terminated as a result of death or disability (as defined in the executives employment agreements) and no notice of non-renewal has been given, the executive will be entitled to severance pay equal to one times his/her average base salary for the preceding three years, plus one times his/her average bonus compensation for the preceding three years, plus a lump sum severance amount, plus certain benefits previously described for a period of one year.
Notice of Non-Renewal. If a notice of non-renewal has been given prior to death or disability of the executive, then instead of using a one times multiple of the average base salary and average bonus compensation as described above, the severance amount that relates to base salary and bonus compensation would be calculated using the number of years remaining between the date of the executives death or disability and the third anniversary of the notice of non-renewal, but in no event less than one year. Any severance relating to disability will be paid in a lump sum no earlier than six months after separation. Any severance relating to death will be paid in two installments: 75% of such pay will be paid at the time of separation and 25% will be paid on the first anniversary of such separation.
If the term of employment expires in accordance with the agreement after the delivery of a non-renewal notice by either party, the executive would continue to be employed for three years after the notice of non-renewal (unless otherwise terminated under the agreement). At the end of the three-year term, the executive would receive severance pay equal to one times the average base salary for the preceding three years, plus one times the average bonus compensation for the preceding three years, plus a lump sum severance amount, plus the benefits previously described. Severance payments will be paid in a lump sum no earlier than six months after separation.
If any provision of the employment agreements would cause the executive to incur any additional tax under Section 409A of the Code or any regulations or Treasury guidance promulgated thereunder, the Company will reform the provision in a manner that maintains, to the extent possible, the original intent of the applicable provision without violating the provisions of Section 409A of the Code. In addition, in such a situation, the Company will notify and consult with the executives prior to the effective date of any such change.
The Company has entered into indemnification agreements with its directors and certain senior officers of the Company including each of the NEOs. The indemnification agreements are intended to provide these directors and senior officers the maximum indemnification permitted under Maryland law and the 1940 Act. Each indemnification agreement provides that the Company shall indemnify the director or officer who is a party to the agreement (an Indemnitee), including the advancement of legal expenses, if, by reason of his or her corporate status, the Indemnitee is, or is threatened to be, made a party to or a witness in any threatened, pending, or completed proceeding, other than a proceeding by or in the right of the Company.
During 2006, our Board of Directors established a target ownership program, which requires senior officers to achieve and retain certain stock ownership levels commensurate with their positions within the Company. From the inception of the target ownership program in 2006, officers have five years to achieve the required ownership levels. Individuals who are hired or promoted after the implementation of the target ownership program would be required to achieve the target ownership level within the later of five years from the date of hire or three years from the date
of promotion to the relevant title. Many of the Companys senior officers already own a substantial number of shares of the Company and few have chosen to sell shares over their tenure with the Company. The Board of Directors believes that it is in the best interest of stockholders to encourage share ownership by the Companys senior officers, so that the interests of officers and stockholders are aligned.
The Board of Directors has determined target ownership levels for the Companys senior officers, as follows:
Target ownership amounts represent the lesser of a multiple of base salary or a specified number of shares. Minimum share ownership requirements are determined on an individual basis and are adjusted annually by the Compensation Committee.
The Companys Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as well as certain other senior officers, have met their target ownership levels set forth above. See Security Ownership of Management and Certain Beneficial Owners.
In addition, pursuant to the Companys Corporate Governance Policy, each non-officer director is required to own $100,000 worth of shares, and directors are required to achieve this target ownership level within five years of joining the Board or (in the case of those directors who were serving on the Board at the time the policy was adopted by the Board) by February 2011. The majority of the Companys directors have achieved this target ownership level.
RATIFICATION OF SELECTION OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED
The Audit Committee and the independent members of the Board of Directors have appointed KPMG LLP as the Companys independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2008. If the stockholders ratify the selection of KPMG LLP as the Companys accountants, KPMG LLP also will be the independent registered public accounting firm for the consolidated subsidiaries of the Company, if required.
KPMG LLP has advised the Company that neither the firm nor any present member or associate of it has any material financial interest, direct or indirect, in the Company or its subsidiaries.
The Company expects that a representative of KPMG LLP will be present at the Meeting and will have an opportunity to make a statement if he or she so chooses and will be available to respond to appropriate questions.
Unless marked to the contrary, the shares represented by the enclosed proxy card will be voted for ratification of the selection of KPMG LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Company.
The Board of Directors recommends that
stockholders vote to ratify the selection of KPMG LLP as the
independent registered public accounting firm of the Company.
The following are aggregate fees billed to the Company by KPMG LLP during 2007 and 2006.
Audit Fees. Audit fees consist of fees billed for professional services rendered for the audit of the Companys year-end consolidated financial statements and reviews of the interim consolidated financial statements included in quarterly reports and services that are normally provided by KPMG LLP in connection with statutory and regulatory filings. These services also include the required audits of the Companys internal controls over financial reporting.
Audit-Related Fees. Audit-related fees consist of fees billed for assurance and related services that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of the Companys consolidated financial statements and are not reported under Audit Fees. These services include attest services that are not required by statute or regulation, consultations concerning financial accounting and reporting standards, and fees related to requests for documentation and information from regulatory and other government agencies.
Tax Fees. Tax fees consist of fees billed for professional services for tax compliance. These services include assistance regarding federal, state, and local tax compliance.
All Other Fees. All other fees would include fees for products and services other than the services reported above.
As part of its oversight of the Companys financial statements, the Audit Committee reviewed and discussed with both management and the Companys independent registered public accounting firm all of the Companys financial statements filed with the Commission for each quarter during 2007 and as of and for the year ended December 31, 2007. Management advised the Audit Committee that all financial statements were prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and reviewed significant accounting issues with the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee also discussed with the independent
registered public accounting firm the matters required to be discussed by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 114, The Auditors Communication With Those Charged With Governance, by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
The Audit Committee of the Board has established a pre-approval policy that describes the permitted audit, audit-related, tax, and other services to be provided by KPMG LLP, the Companys independent registered public accounting firm. Pursuant to the policy, the Audit Committee pre-approves the audit and non-audit services performed by the independent registered public accounting firm in order to assure that the provision of such service does not impair the firms independence.
Any requests for audit, audit-related, tax, and other services that have not received general pre-approval must be submitted to the Audit Committee for specific pre-approval, irrespective of the amount, and cannot commence until such approval has been granted. Normally, pre-approval is provided at regularly scheduled meetings of the Audit Committee. However, the Audit Committee may delegate pre-approval authority to one or more of its members. The member or members to whom such authority is delegated shall report any pre-approval decisions to the Audit Committee at its next scheduled meeting. The Audit Committee does not delegate its responsibilities to pre-approve services performed by the independent registered public accounting firm to management.
The Audit Committee received and reviewed the written disclosures from the independent registered public accounting firm required by Independence Standard No. 1, Independence Discussions with Audit Committees, as amended, by the Independence Standards Board, and has discussed with the firm its independence. The Audit Committee has reviewed the audit fees paid by the Company to the independent registered public accounting firm. It has also reviewed non-audit services and fees to assure compliance with the Companys and the Audit Committees policies restricting the independent registered public accounting firm from performing services that might impair its independence. The Audit Committee also reviewed the requirements and the Companys compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Boards Auditing Standard No. 5 regarding the audit of internal controls over financial reporting.
Based on the reviews and discussions referred to above, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2007, be included in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, for filing with the Commission. The Audit Committee also recommended the selection of KPMG LLP to serve as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Company for the year ending December 31, 2008.
APPROVAL TO AUTHORIZE THE COMPANY TO SELL SHARES OF
COMMON STOCK BELOW NET ASSET VALUE PER SHARE
The Company is a closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company (BDC) under the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act prohibits the Company from selling shares of its common stock at a price below the current net asset value per share of such stock, or NAV, unless its stockholders approve such a sale and the Companys Board of Directors make certain determinations.
Pursuant to this provision, the Company is seeking the approval of its common stockholders so that it may, in one or more public or private offerings of its common stock, sell or otherwise issue shares of its common stock at a price below its then current NAV, subject to certain conditions discussed below. If approved, the authorization would be effective for a twelve month period expiring on the earlier of the anniversary of the date of this Meeting or the date of the Companys 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which is expected to be held in April 2009.
Reasons to Offer Common Stock below NAV. The Company believes that market conditions will continue to provide attractive opportunities to deploy capital. Over the past several months, U.S. credit markets, including middle market lending, have experienced significant turbulence spurred in large part by the sub-prime residential mortgage crisis and concerns generally about the state of the U.S. economy. This has led to significant stock price volatility for capital providers such as the Company and has made access to capital more challenging for many firms, particularly those (unlike the Company) who have relied heavily on secured lending facilities. However, the change in market conditions also has had beneficial effects for capital providers, including more reasonable pricing of risk and more appropriate contractual terms. Accordingly, for firms that continue to have access to capital, the current environment should provide investment opportunities on more favorable terms than have been available in recent periods. The Companys ability to take advantage of these opportunities is dependent upon its access to equity capital.
As a BDC and a regulated investment company (RIC) for tax purposes, the Company is dependent on its ability to raise capital through the issuance of common stock. RICs generally must distribute substantially all of their earnings to stockholders as dividends in order to achieve pass-through tax treatment, which prevents the Company from using those earnings to support new investments. Further, BDCs must maintain a debt to equity ratio of less than 1:1, which requires the Company to finance its investments with at least as much equity as debt in the aggregate. The Company maintains sources of liquidity through a portfolio of liquid assets and other means, but generally attempts to remain close to fully invested and does not hold substantial cash for the purpose of making new investments. Therefore, to continue to build the Companys investment portfolio, and thereby support maintenance and growth of the Companys dividends, the Company endeavors to maintain consistent access to capital through the public and private equity markets enabling it to take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise.
The Companys common stock has historically traded at a premium above NAV. The following table lists the high and low closing sales prices for our common stock,
and the closing sales price as a percentage of NAV. On March 4, 2008, the last reported closing sale price of our common stock was $22.03 per share.
Although the Company has experienced a share price above NAV for a significant period of time, there can be no assurance that this will continue. The unprecedented nature of the current credit market dislocation and uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy has led to significant stock market volatility, particularly with respect to the stock of financial services companies. During times of increased price volatility, the Companys common stock may periodically trade at a smaller premium above or possibly below its NAV, which is not uncommon for business development companies like the Company. The Companys common stock at various times in recent months has traded closer to NAV than it has in several years. As noted above, however, the current market dislocation has created, and we believe will continue to create, favorable opportunities to invest, including opportunities that, all else being equal, may increase NAV over the longer-term, even if financed with the issuance of common stock below NAV. Stockholder approval of the proposal to sell shares below NAV subject to the conditions detailed below will provide the Company with the flexibility to invest in such opportunities.
The Board of Directors believes that having the flexibility to issue its common stock below NAV in certain instances is in the best interests of stockholders. If the Company were unable to access the capital markets as attractive investment opportunities arise, the Companys ability to grow over time and continue to pay steady or increasing dividends to stockholders could be adversely affected. It could also have the effect of forcing the Company to sell assets that the Company would not otherwise sell, and such sales could occur at times that are disadvantageous to sell. Even if the Company is able to access the capital markets, there is no guarantee
that the Company will grow over time and continue to pay steady or increasing dividends.
Conditions to Sales Below NAV. If stockholders approve this proposal, the Company will only sell shares of its common stock at a price below NAV per share if the following conditions are met:
Key Stockholder Considerations. Before voting on this proposal or giving proxies with regard to this matter, stockholders should consider the potentially dilutive effect of the issuance of shares of the Companys common stock at a price that is less than the NAV per share and the expenses associated with such issuance on the NAV per outstanding share of the Companys common stock. Any sale of common stock at a price below NAV would result in an immediate dilution to existing common stockholders. This dilution would include reduction in the NAV per share as a result of the issuance of shares at a price below the NAV per share and a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholders interest in the earnings and assets of the Company and voting interest in the Company than the increase in the assets of the Company resulting from such issuance. The Board of Directors of the Company will consider the potential dilutive effect of the issuance of shares at a price below the NAV per share when considering whether to authorize any such issuance.
The 1940 Act establishes a connection between common share sale price and NAV because, when stock is sold at a sale price below NAV per share, the resulting increase in the number of outstanding shares reduces net asset value per share. Stockholders should also consider that they will have no subscription, preferential or preemptive rights to additional shares of the common stock proposed to be authorized for issuance, and thus any future issuance of common stock will dilute such stockholders holdings of common stock as a percentage of shares outstanding to the extent stockholders do not purchase sufficient shares in the offering or otherwise to maintain their percentage interest. Further, if current stockholders of the Company do not purchase any shares to maintain their percentage interest, regardless of whether such offering is above or below the then current NAV, their voting power will be diluted.
Example of Dilutive Effect of the Issuance of Shares Below NAV. Company XYZ has 1,000,000 total shares outstanding, $15,000,000 in total assets and $5,000,000 in total liabilities. The NAV per share of the common stock of Company XYZ is $10.00. The following table illustrates the reduction to NAV and the dilution
experienced by Shareholder A following the sale of 40,000 shares of the common stock of Company XYZ at $9.50 per share, a price below its NAV per share.
Required Vote. Approval of this proposal requires the affirmative vote of (1) a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock entitled to vote at the Meeting; and (2) a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock entitled to vote at the Meeting that are not held by affiliated persons of the Company, which includes directors, officers, employees, and 5% stockholders. For purposes of this proposal, the 1940 Act defines a majority of the outstanding shares as: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities present at the Meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Company are present or represented by proxy; or (2) 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Company, whichever is the less. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have the effect of a vote against this proposal.
The Board of Directors recommends that you vote FOR the proposal to authorize the Company to sell shares of its common stock during the next year at a price below the Companys then current NAV per share.
The Board of Directors knows of no other business to be presented for action at the Meeting. If any matters do come before the Meeting on which action can properly be taken, it is intended that the proxies shall vote in accordance with the judgment of the person or persons exercising the authority conferred by the proxy at the Meeting. The submission of a proposal does not guarantee its inclusion in the Companys Proxy Statement or presentation at the Meeting unless certain requirements are met.
2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders
Any stockholder proposals submitted pursuant to the Commissions Rule 14a-8 for inclusion in the Companys proxy statement and form of proxy for the 2008 annual meeting of stockholders must be received by the Company on or before November 14, 2008. Such proposals must also comply with the requirements as to form and substance established by the Commission if such proposals are to be included in the proxy statement and form of proxy. Any such proposal should be
mailed to: Allied Capital Corporation, 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, Attention: Corporate Secretary.
Stockholder proposals or director nominations to be presented at the 2009 annual meeting of stockholders, other than stockholder proposals submitted pursuant to the Commissions Rule 14a-8, must be delivered to, or mailed and received at, the principal executive offices of the Company not less than ninety (90) days in advance of the one year anniversary of the date the Companys proxy statement was released to stockholders in connection with the previous years annual meeting of stockholders. For the Companys 2009 annual meeting of stockholders, the Company must receive such proposals and nominations no later than December 14, 2008. If the date of the annual meeting has been changed by more than thirty (30) calendar days from the date contemplated at the time of the previous years proxy statement, stockholder proposals or director nominations must be so received not later than the tenth day following the day on which such notice of the date of the 2009 annual meeting of stockholders or such public disclosure is made. Proposals must also comply with the other requirements contained in the Companys bylaws, including supporting documentation and other information. Proxies solicited by the Company will confer discretionary voting authority with respect to these proposals, subject to Commission rules governing the exercise of this authority.
ALLIED CAPITAL CORPORATION
1919 PENNSYLVANIA AVE. NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20006
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Use any touch-tone telephone to transmit your voting instructions up until 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time the day before the cut-off date or meeting date. Have your proxy card in hand when you call and then follow the instructions.
VOTE BY MAIL
Mark, sign, and date your proxy card and return it in the postage-paid envelope we have provided or return it to Allied Capital Corporation, c/o Broadridge, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, NY 11717.
TO VOTE, MARK BLOCKS BELOW IN BLUE OR BLACK INK AS FOLLOWS: þ
THIS PROXY CARD IS VALID ONLY WHEN SIGNED AND DATED.
ALLIED CAPITAL CORPORATION
Election of Directors
IMPORTANT: Please sign your name(s) exactly as shown hereon and date your proxy in the blank provided. For joint accounts, each joint owner should sign. When signing as attorney, executor, administrator, trustee or guardian, please give your full title as such. If the signer is a corporation or partnership, please sign in full corporate or partnership name by a duly authorized officer or partner.
ALLIED CAPITAL CORPORATION
Annual Meeting of Stockholders
April 25, 2008
The Westin Embassy Row Hotel
2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
If you plan to attend the Annual Meeting of Stockholders on April 25th, please detach this card and bring it with you for presentation at the Meeting. Please be sure to bring this ticket with you along with photo identification, as you will need both to gain access to the Meeting.
The doors will open at 9:15 a.m.; a continental breakfast buffet will be served.
Important Notice Regarding Internet Availability of Proxy Materials
for the Annual Meeting: The Notice and Proxy Statement and Annual
Report are available at www.alliedcapital.com or www.proxyvote.com.
ALLIED CAPITAL CORPORATION
PROXY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
THIS PROXY IS SOLICITED ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The undersigned hereby appoints WILLIAM L. WALTON, G. SCOTT LESMES and MIRIAM G. KRIEGER, or any one of them, and each with full power of substitution, to act as attorneys and proxies for the undersigned to vote all the shares of Common Stock of the Company which the undersigned is entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company to be held at the Westin Embassy Row Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC on April 25, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. [Eastern] and at all adjournments thereof, as indicated on this proxy.
THIS PROXY IS REVOCABLE AND WILL BE VOTED AS DIRECTED, BUT IF NO INSTRUCTIONS ARE SPECIFIED, THIS PROXY WILL BE VOTED FOR THE NOMINEES AND FOR THE PROPOSAL LISTED. If any other business is presented at the meeting, this proxy will be voted by the proxies in their best judgment, including a motion to adjourn or postpone the meeting to another time and/or place for the purpose of soliciting additional proxies. At the present time, the Board of Directors knows of no other business to be presented at the meeting.
PLEASE MARK, SIGN AND RETURN THIS PROXY IN THE ENCLOSED ENVELOPE. THE UNDERSIGNED ACKNOWLEDGES RECEIPT FROM THE COMPANY PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF THIS PROXY OF A NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS AND A PROXY STATEMENT.
(CONTINUED ON REVERSE SIDE)