August 1, 2012

Webster's Jeff Brown staying an extra month for $18K

Jeffrey N. Brown

This is an updated version of an earlier story.

Jeffrey N. Brown, Webster Bank's longtime marketing and strategic planning chief who was due to leave his post this week after 16 years with the Waterbury regional lender, will stay on for another month -– long enough to collect an extra $18,000 bonus -- while it seeks his successor, a regulatory filing shows.

Brown, 55, continues holding the title of executive vice president, human resources, marketing and communications for Webster Bank and its parent, Webster Financial Corp., according to the bank's latest 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Webster quietly disclosed in an 8-K filing back in April that Brown planned to depart, effective July 31. He also is stepping down as president of the Harold Webster Smith Foundation, a nonprofit established in memory of Webster's founder and father of current Webster Chairman James Smith.

However, the latest filing says a new separation agreement between Brown and the bank rolled his departure date back to Aug. 31.

Webster spokeswoman Sarah Barr said in an email Wednesday that Brown is staying aboard longer ''because his responsibilities are still in the process of being filled.''

In an phone interview Wednesday, Brown, who grew up in the Clear Lake area of Ellington but now lives in Glastonbury, said his departure is the dawning of what he sees as the next phase of his life.

"I've had a fantastic run at Webster,'' he said. "We're in a good place. I'm in a good place. It's a good time for a change.''

"I'm looking forward to what the future has to bring,'' said Brown, noting that his daughter is marrying in September and he has promised his son an immediate trip to Disney World.

Brown did not use "retirement'' in his chat with HartfordBusiness.com. He said he has a "couple of things I'm exploring,'' but declined to elaborate.

He said re-emerging in banking or some other private or nonprofit sector role is a possibility.

Brown said he will retain his seats on the board of Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum. He is also a member of the executive committee of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, and a director for the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation.

The filing also shows the bank agreed to add an extra month to the portion of Brown's annual 2012 target cash bonus he was due to collect, boosting it to $144,000 for the eight months of the year he will be with the bank from seven, putting an extra $18,000 in his wallet.

His 2011 base salary was $324,000, proxy filings show.

Brown joined Webster Bank in 1996, overseeing marketing and communications, according to its 2011 annual report. He was put in charge of marketing and communications for parent Webster Financial in March 2004.

In July 2007, he was elected administrative chief for both.

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