It’s not all junk at IndyMac…

September 24, 2007

IndyMac in PasadenaMajor mortgage lender IndyMac (IMB) has certainly had its share of problems lately. Just last week, Moody’s lowered their bond rating to junk status and the stock has lost about 50% so far this year.

But it’s reassuring to know that top executives aren’t really paying for all those sub-prime loans — at least where it counts — judging by the new employment agreement with President Richard Wohl that IndyMac filed at 5:12 pm on Friday. Earlier this year, Wohl told Appraisal Scoop that “I’ve seen deals that we push in our shop that should never have come through the front door.” And that was said before the sh*t really hit the fan. In fairness, Wohl’s existing contract was set to expire at the end of the year, so IndyMac did have to act if it wanted to keep the longtime executive. Still, it’s hard to argue that Wohl, whose primary job had been heading up the company’s mortgage banking unit during the go-go years, has been a careful steward.

A quick glance at the 22-page contract shows that Wohl’s base salary of $750K hasn’t really changed, at least according to the proxy filed earlier this year which listed Wohl’s base salary at $750K (compared with the $600K his earlier contract specified). Where the new contract differs is on the additional perks provided to Wohl, which include 10 years of health insurance following Wohl’s departure, the requirement that he travel first-class for all business-related travel and the payment for two country clubs (the old contract just spelled out one country club: the LaCanada Flintridge course), plus a membership with Conceirge Choice, the high end physician group, and up to $35K in financial planning services.

The question for IndyMac investors is whether all of these extras will help Wohl better concentrate on fixing some of those deals that never should have come through the front door.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.