Adding to the list…

May 12, 2005

DVD and music retailer Trans World Entertainment (TWMC), whose brands include FYE and Coconuts, already had an impressive list of related party transactions, most of them involving Chairman, CEO and President Robert Higgins who for years has managed to collect over $1 million from the company he runs for a distribution center, a store, and several aircraft. That’s in addition to a salary and bonus of over $2 million last year.

But in the proxy filed yesterday, Trans World added yet another related party transaction: both Higgins’ son, Mark, and son-in-law, John Cave, were on the company payroll in 2004. Since this is the first time both men make a proxy appearance, it’s hard to say exactly how long they’ve been collecting a regular paycheck from the retailer. But according to an article in Video Business from 2003, which named the junior Higgins one of the 25 most powerful people in video retailing, Mark had been at Trans World for 11 years, which makes it seem more than a bit odd that the company would choose 2005 to get this off their chests. The proxy notes that last year, Junior made just over $200K and received options to purchase 10,000 shares of stock. Cave didn’t do quite as well: his salary was just over $60K and he received options for 2,000 shares, which has got to make for some awkward moments at Higgins family dinners.

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