The cost of “good” advice…

March 29, 2005

It must be awfully difficult to afford the necessities in life like tax planning when you’re only making around $4 million a year, as ChoicePoint (CPS) CEO Derek Smith did last year. Though Smith’s bonus, disclosed in the recent proxy, has been widely reported, the fact that ChoicePoint spent nearly $100,000 on Smith’s financial planning and tax fees, hasn’t received much attention. Remember, this is someone who (together with ChoicePoint President Doug Curling) showed impeccable timing in exercising $16.6 million in stock options shortly before the stock tanked on the news that the company had disclosed personal information for 145,000 customers. One would think (or at least hope) that $100K would buy you better advice than that. Just imagine what ChoicePoint investors will have to shell out now that the SEC is looking into those well-timed stock sales.

PS: Sorry for the delayed post. I actually tried to post this on Tuesday, but Blogger was having some kind of system-wide kernel failure.

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