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April 26, 2021

People’s United CEO could receive $34M payout with M&T Bank deal

Photo | Contributed Jack Barnes is the CEO and Chairman of People’s United Financial.

People’s United Financial Chairman and CEO John P. Barnes could be in line for as much as $34.2 million in compensation related to his bank’s pending $7.6 billion acquisition by New York’s M&T Bank Corp.

That’s according to a merger proxy statement People’s United and M&T filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission on Friday, two months after the acquisition was first announced.

Barnes is in line for a lump sum payment of $18 million within 30 days of the deal closing, which is anticipated for the fourth quarter of this year, related to a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement he signed in connection with the acquisition.

Much of the remaining $16.2 million worth of compensation -- which consists of cash, equity, perquisites and benefits in addition to those he had already accumulated up until this point -- are not quite as automatic.

The remaining compensation is considered “double trigger,” meaning it is conditioned on the deal closing plus a qualifying termination of employment within a certain period of time. So, Barnes -- who received salary, incentives, stock awards and benefits totaling $5.8 million in 2019 -- would presumably be eligible for the full amount of compensation if the combined bank terminated him without cause or if he resigned “for good reason.”

People’s United and M&T have announced Barnes would be on the board of the combined bank, which will operate under the M&T name, but haven’t disclosed any other future titles for him, leading some to speculate that the People’s United leader may be planning to retire.

People’s United did not respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

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