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TheStreet Open House

Wells Fargo Stock Grants Snub Former CFO

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo's (WFC - Get Report) board decided not to grant recently departed CFO Howard Atkins any stock awards for 2011, according to a regulatory filing.

In an 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the bank outlined stock grants bestowed onto top executives, including CEO John Stumpf; David A. Hoyt, who runs wholesale banking, Mark Oman, who heads home and consumer finance; David Carroll, who heads wealth, brokerage and retirement services; and Carrie L. Tolstedt, who heads community banking.

However, performance shares were not awarded to Atkins, whose departure was announced on Feb. 8, though it takes effect Aug. 6. His replacement, Tim Sloan, was not awarded performance shares by the board's human resources committee either.

The lack of stock award to Atkins is the latest signal that his departure came under less-than-amicable circumstances. The abrupt announcement of his departure, with unusual terms, came as a shock to investors, leading to a sell-off in Wells Fargo shares for several days. After Wall Street analysts advised clients to buy the stock and the company filed its 10-K report without issue, the stock has recently regained some traction though the details surrounding Atkins' departure remain a mystery.

Atkins was placed on unpaid leave for six months to allow him to be granted his full retirement package. Wells Fargo will only say that the reason was "personal" in nature and had nothing to do with the bank's financial statements or condition. However, Chris Whalen, an analyst at Institutional Risk Analytics, threw doubt at their statements earlier this month. Whalen issued a report downgrading the stock, saying he believed that Atkins was butting heads with other management over disclosures and accounting methods.

For his part, Atkins has stayed out of the limelight. TheStreet's attempts to reach him were unsuccessful, though reports have indicated that he left after disputes with his boss , Stumpf.

In terms of the executives who were granted performance-based stock, Stumpf received the most stock, with 382,410 restricted shares that vest in the first quarter of 2014. Hoyt received 207,139 shares; Oman received 159,338 shares; Carroll received 159,338 shares and Tolstedt received 175,271shares. The number of shares is subject to adjustment upward or downward based on the company's performance over the three-year period ending Dec. 31, 2013.

The executives' awards are worth more than $35 million at current market prices.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Lauren Tara LaCapra.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/laurenlacapra.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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