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A nice send-off from AXIS Capital…

Maybe it’s something in the water? A couple of days ago, we reported the multi-million dollar departure of an executive from a Bermuda-based energy company. Today’s post — about a different company headquartered on the tiny island — also involves a send-off worth millions of dollars.

On August 26, AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. (AXS) filed an 8-K to announce that David Greenfield, its EVP/CFO, would be leaving the company on November 30, 2010. The press release offered no reason for Greenfield’s departure. (AXIS Capital — with a $3.71 billion market cap — sells insurance and reinsurance coverage; besides Bermuda, it has offices in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.)

AXIS Capital also filed Greenfield’s Separation Agreement, dated August 23. Some provisions of the Separation Agreement take a seemingly stern note: Greenfield gets no bonus for 2010, and he forfeits his previously granted RSUs. Other sections are de rigueur for these types of documents; there’s a release and waiver of claims, a non-disparagement clause, and a promise to —provide reasonable assistance and cooperation if the company needs it after he’s gone.

And then comes the payoff: AXIS Capital is paying Greenfield severance in three chunks (all of which will be adjusted for tax and withholding payments):

  • The first payment — a lump sum of $4.894 million — will be paid on the 8th day after the termination date. (If any of Greenfield’s currently unvested RSUs vest between now and the date he leaves, his check will be reduced according to a formula set out in the agreement.)
  • The second payment – $53,000 — will be paid in a lump sum six months and a day later.
  • And the final payment — another $53,000 — will be paid in a lump sum one year after the termination date.

All told, Greenfield’s severance adds up to $5 million. That’s not bad, considering he joined AXIS Capital just over four years ago, after working for nearly 22 years at KPMG LLP.

There are a few other restrictions Greenfield must abide by in order to get his severance. He cannot quit early, start working for another company before the end of November, or violate the terms of his Separation Agreement. But with five million reasons to abide by the document’s terms, we suspect that Greenfield will do whatever it takes to fulfill his part of the bargain.

Image source: zhengxu via flickr

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