A program of one at CIT…

January 23, 2008

images-21.jpegForget about an Army of One. CIT Group (CIT) has tweaked the concept by coming up with a program for one very special employee: Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Peek.

Late yesterday, the company filed this interesting 8-K announcing the creation of a retention program for top executives, which the board said was created to keep employees interested, given the sharp decline in CIT’s price. The only problem is that Peek is the only employee who seems to be benefiting from the program. Here’s how the filing describes it:

On January 15, 2008, CIT Group Inc. (‘CIT’_) implemented a retention program (the ‘Retention Program’_) for Jeffrey M. Peek, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and an additional number of other executive officers and employees of CIT. No named executive officer of CIT other than Mr. Peek is eligible to participate in the Retention Program. The Compensation Committee (the ‘Committee’_) and the full Board of Directors of CIT approved the Retention Program to provide an additional incentive for participating employees to remain an employee of CIT given, among other things, the decline in value of outstanding long-term incentives previously awarded to these employees.

According to the filing, the RSUs were granted based on the closing price on Jan. 17, when the stock closed at $21.15, so they’re already more valuable today. Dow Jones estimated that the perk was worth $3.2 million. But you have to wonder how other top executives feel about CIT’s program of one.

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