Form of Indemnification Agreement
EX-10.1 2 a101indem.htm EX-10.1 Document
AGREEMENT, dated as of [ ] (this “Agreement”), between AGNC Investment Corp., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and [ ] (the “Indemnitee”).
WHEREAS, it is essential to the Company to retain and attract as [ ] the most capable persons available;
WHEREAS, Indemnitee is a [ ] of the Company;
WHEREAS, both the Company and Indemnitee recognize the increased risk of litigation and other claims being asserted against directors [and officers] of public companies in today’s environment;
WHEREAS, in recognition of Indemnitee’s need for protection against personal liability, and in part to provide Indemnitee with specific contractual assurance of indemnification (regardless of, among other things, any amendment to or revocation of the Corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation or By-laws (collectively, the “Governing Documents”) or any change in the composition of the Company’s Board of Directors or acquisition transaction relating to the Company), the Company wishes to provide in this Agreement for the indemnification of and the advancing of expenses to Indemnitee to the fullest extent (whether partial or complete) permitted by law and as set forth in this Agreement, and, to the extent insurance is maintained, for the continued coverage of Indemnitee under the Company’s directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policies;
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and of Indemnitee continuing to serve the Company directly or, at its request, another enterprise, and intending to be legally bound hereby, the parties hereto agree as follows:
1.Certain Definitions: In addition to terms defined elsewhere herein, the following terms have the following meanings when used in this Agreement:
(a)Change in Control: shall be deemed to have occurred if (i) any “person” (as such term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)), other the Company and its affiliates and other than a trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or a corporation owned directly or indirectly by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of stock of the Company, is or becomes the “beneficial owner” (as defined in Rule 13d-3 under the Exchange Act), directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing 20% or more of the total voting power represented by the Company’s then outstanding Voting
Securities, or (ii) during any period of two consecutive years, individuals who at the beginning of such period constitute the Board of Directors of the Company and any new director whose election by the Board of Directors or nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders was approved by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the directors then still in office who either were directors at the beginning of the period or whose election or nomination for election was previously so approved, cease for any reason to constitute a majority thereof, or (iii) the stockholders of the Company approve a merger or consolidation of the Company with any other entity, other than a merger or consolidation which would result in the Voting Securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior thereto continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into Voting Securities of the surviving entity) at least 80% of the total voting power represented by the Voting Securities of the Company or such surviving entity outstanding immediately after such merger or consolidation, or the stockholders of the Company approve a plan of complete liquidation of the Company or an agreement for the sale or disposition by the Company of (in one transaction or a series of transactions) all or substantially all of the Company’s assets.
(b)Claim: any threatened, asserted, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, including a request to waive or toll a statute of limitations, whether civil, criminal, administrative, investigative or other, including any arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution mechanism, or any appeal of any kind thereof, or any inquiry or investigation, whether instituted by (or in the right of) the Company or any governmental agency or any other person or entity, in which Indemnitee was, is, may be or will be involved as a party, witness or otherwise and which is first threatened, noticed, brought or asserted on or after the date of this Agreement.
(c)ERISA: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
(d)Expenses: include attorneys’ fees and all other direct or indirect costs, expenses and obligations, including judgments, fines, penalties, interest, appeal bonds, amounts paid in settlement with the approval of the Company, and counsel fees and disbursements (including, without limitation, experts’ fees, court costs, retainers, appeal bond premiums, transcript fees, duplicating, printing and binding costs, as well as telecommunications, postage and courier charges), paid or incurred in connection with investigating, prosecuting, defending, being a witness in or participating in (including on appeal), or preparing to investigate, prosecute, defend, be a witness in or participate in, any Claim relating to any Indemnifiable Event, and shall include (without limitation) all attorneys’ fees and all other expenses incurred by or on behalf of an Indemnitee in connection with preparing and submitting any requests or statements for indemnification, advancement or any other right provided by this Agreement (including, without limitation, such fees or expenses incurred in connection with legal proceedings contemplated by Section 2(d) hereof).
(e)Indemnifiable Amounts: (i) any and all liabilities, Expenses, damages, judgments, fines, penalties, ERISA excise taxes and amounts paid in settlement (including all interest, assessments and other charges paid or payable in connection with or in respect of such liabilities, Expenses, damages, judgments, fines, penalties, ERISA excise taxes or amounts paid in settlement) arising out of or resulting from any Claim relating to an Indemnifiable Event, (ii) any liability pursuant to a loan guaranty or otherwise, for any indebtedness of the Company or any subsidiary of the Company, including, without limitation, any indebtedness which the Company or any subsidiary of the Company has assumed or taken subject to, and (iii) any liabilities which an Indemnitee incurs as a result of acting on behalf of the Company (whether as a fiduciary or otherwise) in connection with the operation, administration or maintenance of an employee benefit plan or any related trust or funding mechanism (whether such liabilities are in the form of excise taxes assessed by the United States Internal Revenue Service, penalties assessed by the Department of Labor, restitution to such a plan or trust or other funding mechanism or to a participant or beneficiary of such plan, trust or other funding mechanism, or otherwise).
(f)Indemnifiable Event: any event or occurrence, whether occurring before, on or after the date of this Agreement, related to the fact that Indemnitee is or was a director and/or officer or fiduciary of the Company, or is or was serving on behalf of the Company or at the request of the Company as a director, officer, employee, manager, member, partner, tax matter partner, trustee, agent, fiduciary or similar capacity, of another company, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, employee benefit plan, trust or other entity or enterprise, or by reason of anything done or not done by Indemnitee in any such capacity (in all cases whether or not Indemnitee is acting or serving in any such capacity or has such status at the time any Indemnifiable Amount is incurred for which indemnification, advancement or any other right can be provided by this Agreement). The term “Company,” where the context requires when used in this Agreement, shall be construed to include such other company, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, employee benefit plan, trust or other entity or enterprise.
(g)Independent Legal Counsel: an attorney or firm of attorneys (following a Change in Control, selected in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 hereof) who is experienced in matters of corporate law and who shall not have otherwise performed services for the Company or Indemnitee within the last three years (other than with respect to matters concerning the rights of Indemnitee under this Agreement, or of other indemnitees under similar indemnity agreements).
(h)Reviewing Party: any appropriate person or body consisting of a member or members of the Company’s Board of Directors or any other person or body appointed by the Board who is not a party to the particular Claim for which Indemnitee is seeking indemnification, or Independent Legal Counsel.
(i)Voting Securities: any securities of the Company which vote generally in the election of directors.
2.Basic Indemnification Arrangement; Advancement of Expenses.
(a)In the event Indemnitee was, is or becomes a party to or witness or other participant in, or is threatened to be made a party to or witness or other participant in, a Claim by reason of (or arising in part out of) an Indemnifiable Event, the Company shall indemnify Indemnitee, or cause Indemnitee to be indemnified, to the fullest extent permitted by law as soon as practicable but in any event no later than thirty (30) days after written demand is presented to the Company, and hold Indemnitee harmless against any and all Indemnifiable Amounts.
(b)If so requested by Indemnitee, the Company shall advance, or cause to be advanced (within five (5) business days of such request), any and all Expenses incurred by Indemnitee (an “Expense Advance”). The Company shall, in accordance with such request (but without duplication), either (i) pay, or cause to be paid, such Expenses on behalf of Indemnitee, or (ii) reimburse, or cause the reimbursement of, Indemnitee for such Expenses. Subject to Section 2(d), Indemnitee’s right to an Expense Advance is absolute and shall not be subject to any prior determination by the Reviewing Party that Indemnitee has satisfied any applicable standard of conduct for indemnification.
(c)Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, Indemnitee shall not be entitled to indemnification or advancement of Expenses pursuant to this Agreement in connection with any Claim initiated by Indemnitee unless (i) the Company has joined in or the Board of Directors has authorized or consented to the initiation of such Claim or (ii) the Claim is one to enforce Indemnitee’s rights under this Agreement.
(d)Notwithstanding the foregoing, (i) the indemnification obligations of the Company under Section 2(a) shall be subject to the condition that the Reviewing Party shall not have determined (in a written legal opinion, in any case in which the Independent Legal Counsel is involved as required by Section 3 hereof) that Indemnitee would not be permitted to be indemnified under applicable law, and (ii) the obligation of the Company to make an Expense Advance pursuant to Section 2(b) shall be subject to the condition that, if, when and to the extent that the Reviewing Party determines (in a written legal opinion, in any case in which the Independent Legal Counsel is involved as required by Section 3 hereof) that Indemnitee would not be permitted to be so indemnified under applicable law, the Company shall be entitled to be reimbursed by Indemnitee (who, by execution of this Agreement, hereby agrees to reimburse the Company) for all such amounts theretofore paid (it being understood and agreed that the foregoing agreement by Indemnitee shall be deemed to satisfy any requirement that Indemnitee provide the Company with an undertaking to repay any Expense Advance if it is ultimately determined that Indemnitee is not entitled to indemnification under applicable law); provided, however, that if Indemnitee has commenced or thereafter commences legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to secure a
determination that Indemnitee should be indemnified under applicable law, any determination made by the Reviewing Party that Indemnitee would not be permitted to be indemnified under applicable law shall not be binding and Indemnitee shall not be required to reimburse the Company for any Expense Advance until a final judicial determination is made with respect thereto (as to which all rights of appeal therefrom have been exhausted or lapsed). Indemnitee’s undertaking to repay such Expense Advances shall be unsecured and interest-free. If there has not been a Change in Control, the Reviewing Party shall be selected by the Board of Directors, and if there has been such a Change in Control (other than a Change in Control which has been approved by a majority of the Company's Board of Directors who were directors immediately prior to such Change in Control), the Reviewing Party shall be the Independent Legal Counsel referred to in Section 3 hereof. If there has been no determination by the Reviewing Party within thirty days after written demand is presented to the Company or if the Reviewing Party determines that Indemnitee would not be permitted to be indemnified in whole or in part under applicable law, Indemnitee shall have the right to commence litigation in any court in the State of Maryland or the State of Delaware having subject matter jurisdiction thereof and in which venue is proper seeking an initial determination by the court or challenging any such determination by the Reviewing Party or any aspect thereof, including the legal or factual basis therefor, and the Company hereby consents to service of process and to appear in any such proceeding. Any determination by the Reviewing Party otherwise shall be conclusive and binding on the Company and Indemnitee.
3.Change in Control. The Company agrees that if there is a Change in Control of the Company (other than a Change in Control which has been approved by a majority of the Company’s Board of Directors who were directors immediately prior to such Change in Control) then with respect to all matters thereafter arising concerning the rights of Indemnitee to indemnity payments and Expense Advances under this Agreement or any provision of the Governing Documents now or hereafter in effect relating to Claims for Indemnifiable Events, the Company shall seek legal advice only from Independent Legal Counsel selected by Indemnitee and approved by the Company (which approval shall not be unreasonably delayed, conditioned or withheld). Such counsel, among other things, shall render its written opinion to the Company and Indemnitee as to whether and to what extent the Indemnitee would be permitted to be indemnified under applicable law. The Company agrees to pay the reasonable fees of the Independent Legal Counsel and to indemnify fully such counsel against any and all expenses (including attorneys’ fees), claims, liabilities and damages arising out of or relating to this Agreement or its engagement pursuant hereto.
4.Indemnification for Additional Expenses. The Company shall indemnify, or cause the indemnification of, Indemnitee against any and all Expenses and, if requested by Indemnitee, shall advance such Expenses to Indemnitee subject to and in accordance with Section 2(b), which are incurred by Indemnitee in connection with any action brought by Indemnitee for (i) indemnification or an Expense Advance by the Company under this Agreement or any provision of the Governing Documents now or
hereafter in effect relating to Claims for Indemnifiable Events and/or (ii) recovery under any directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policies maintained by the Company, regardless of whether Indemnitee ultimately is determined to be entitled to such indemnification, Expense Advance or insurance recovery, as the case may be; provided that Indemnitee shall be required (and by execution of this Agreement does hereby agree) to reimburse such Expenses in the event that a final judicial determination is made (as to which all rights of appeal therefrom have been exhausted or lapsed) that such action brought by Indemnitee, or the defense by Indemnitee of an action brought by the Company or any other person, as applicable, was frivolous or in bad faith.
5.Partial Indemnity, Etc. If Indemnitee is entitled under any provision of this Agreement to indemnification by the Company for some or a portion of the Expenses or other Indemnifiable Amounts in respect of a Claim but not, however, for all of the total amount thereof, the Company shall nevertheless indemnify Indemnitee for the portion thereof to which Indemnitee is entitled. Moreover, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, to the extent that Indemnitee has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any or all Claims relating in whole or in part to an Indemnifiable Event or in defense of any issue or matter therein, including dismissal without prejudice, Indemnitee shall be indemnified against all Expenses incurred in connection therewith.
6.Burden of Proof. In connection with any determination by the Reviewing Party or otherwise as to whether Indemnitee is entitled to be indemnified hereunder the Reviewing Party, court, any finder of fact or other relevant person shall presume that Indemnitee has satisfied the applicable standard of conduct and is entitled to indemnification, and the burden of proof shall be on the Company (or any other person or entity disputing such conclusions) to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that Indemnitee is not so entitled.
7.Reliance as Safe Harbor. For purposes of this Agreement, Indemnitee shall be deemed to have acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the Company if Indemnitee’s actions or omissions to act are taken in good faith reliance upon the records of the Company, including its financial statements, or upon information, opinions, reports or statements furnished to Indemnitee by the officers or employees of the Company in the course of their duties, or by committees of the Board of Directors, or by any other person (including legal counsel, accountants and financial advisors) as to matters Indemnitee reasonably believes are within such other person’s professional or expert competence and who has been selected with reasonable care by or on behalf of the Company. In addition, the knowledge and/or actions, or failures to act, of any director, officer, agent or employee of the Company shall not be imputed to Indemnitee for purposes of determining the right to indemnification hereunder.
8.No Other Presumptions. For purposes of this Agreement, the termination of any Claim by judgment, order, settlement (whether with or without court approval) or
conviction, or upon a plea of nolo contendere, or its equivalent, shall not create a presumption that Indemnitee did not meet any particular standard of conduct or have any particular belief or that a court has determined that indemnification is not permitted by applicable law. In addition, neither the failure of the Reviewing Party to have made a determination as to whether Indemnitee has met any particular standard of conduct or had any particular belief, nor an actual determination by the Reviewing Party that Indemnitee has not met such standard of conduct or did not have such belief, prior to the commencement of legal proceedings by Indemnitee to secure a judicial determination that Indemnitee should be indemnified under applicable law shall be a defense to Indemnitee’s claim or create a presumption that Indemnitee has not met any particular standard of conduct or did not have any particular belief.
9.Nonexclusivity, etc. The rights of the Indemnitee hereunder shall be in addition to any other rights Indemnitee may have under the Company’s Governing Documents or the Delaware General Corporation Law or otherwise. To the extent that a change in the Delaware General Corporation Law (whether by statute or judicial decision) permits greater indemnification by agreement than would be afforded currently under the Company’s Governing Documents and this Agreement, it is the intent of the parties hereto that Indemnitee shall enjoy by this Agreement the greater benefits so afforded by such change. To the extent that there is a conflict or inconsistency between the terms of this Agreement and the Company’s Governing Documents, it is the intent of the parties hereto that Indemnitee shall enjoy the greater benefits regardless of whether contained herein or in the Company’s Governing Documents. No amendment or alteration of the Company’s Governing Documents or any other agreement shall adversely affect the rights provided to Indemnitee under this Agreement.
10.Liability Insurance. To the extent the Company maintains an insurance policy or policies providing directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, Indemnitee shall be covered by such policy or policies, in accordance with its or their terms, to the maximum extent of the coverage available for the Company’s directors and officers.
11.Amendments, Etc. No supplement, modification or amendment of this Agreement shall be binding unless executed in writing by both of the parties hereto. No waiver of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be deemed or shall constitute a waiver of any other provisions hereof (whether or not similar) nor shall such waiver constitute a continuing waiver.
12.Subrogation. In the event of payment under this Agreement, the Company shall be subrogated to the extent of such payment to all of the rights of recovery of Indemnitee, who shall execute all papers reasonably required and shall do everything that may be reasonably necessary to secure such rights, including the execution of such documents necessary to enable the Company effectively to bring suit to enforce such rights. The Company shall pay or reimburse all Expenses actually and reasonably incurred by Indemnitee in connection with such subrogation.
13.No Duplication of Payments. The Company shall not be liable under this Agreement to make any payment in connection with any Claim made against Indemnitee to the extent payment has otherwise actually been made by or on behalf of Indemnitee (under any insurance policy, any provision of the Governing Documents or otherwise) of the amounts otherwise indemnifiable hereunder.
14.Defense of Claims. The Company shall be entitled to participate in the defense of any Claim relating to an Indemnifiable Event or to assume the defense thereof, with counsel reasonably satisfactory to Indemnitee. After notice from the Company to Indemnitee of its election to assume the defense of any such Claim, the Company shall not be liable to Indemnitee under this Agreement or otherwise for any Expenses subsequently directly incurred by Indemnitee in connection with Indemnitee’s defense of such Claim other than reasonable costs of investigation or as otherwise provided below. Indemnitee shall have the right to employ its own legal counsel in such Claim, but all Expenses related to such counsel incurred after notice from the Company of its assumption of the defense shall be at Indemnitee’s own expense; provided that, if Indemnitee reasonably believes, after consultation with counsel selected by Indemnitee, that (i) the use of counsel chosen by the Company to represent Indemnitee would present such counsel with an actual or potential conflict of interest, (ii) the named parties in any such Claim (including any impleaded parties) include both the Company, or any subsidiary of the Company, and Indemnitee, and Indemnitee concludes that there may be one or more legal defenses available to him or her that are different from or in addition to those available to the Company or any subsidiary of the Company, or (iii) any such representation by such counsel would be precluded under the applicable standards of professional conduct then prevailing, then Indemnitee shall be entitled to retain separate counsel (but not more than one law firm plus, if applicable, local counsel in respect of any particular Claim or series of related Claims) at the Company’s expense. The Company shall not be liable to Indemnitee under this Agreement for any amounts paid in settlement of any Claim relating to an Indemnifiable Event effected without the Company’s prior written consent. The Company shall not, without the prior written consent of Indemnitee, effect any settlement of any Claim relating to an Indemnifiable Event which Indemnitee is or could have been a party unless such settlement involves solely the payment of money and includes a complete and unconditional release of Indemnitee from all liability on all claims that are the subject matter of such Claim. Neither the Company nor Indemnitee shall unreasonably withhold, condition or delay its or his or her consent to any proposed settlement; provided that Indemnitee may withhold consent to any settlement that does not provide a complete and unconditional release of Indemnitee. In no event shall Indemnitee be required to waive, prejudice or limit attorney-client privilege or work-product protection or other applicable privilege or protection.
15.No Adverse Settlement. The Company shall not seek, nor shall it agree to, consent to, support, or agree not to contest any settlement or other resolution of any Claim(s), or settlement or other resolution of any other claim, action, proceeding, demand, investigation or other matter that has the actual or purported effect of
extinguishing, limiting or impairing Indemnitee’s rights hereunder, including without limitation the entry of any bar order or other order, decree or stipulation, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4 (the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act), or any similar foreign, federal or state statute, regulation, rule or law.
16.Binding Effect, Etc. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the parties hereto and their respective successors, (including any direct or indirect successor or continuing company by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise to all or substantially all of the business and/or assets of the Company), spouses, heirs, executors and personal and legal representatives. This Agreement shall continue in effect regardless of whether Indemnitee continues to serve as a director of the Company or of any other enterprise at the Company’s request.
17.Severability. If any provision or provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, (a) the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, all portions of any paragraph of this Agreement containing any such provision held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that are not themselves invalid, illegal or unenforceable) shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby and (b) to the fullest extent possible, the provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, all portions of any paragraph of this Agreement containing any such provision held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable) shall be construed so as to give effect to the intent manifested by the provision held invalid, illegal or unenforceable and to give effect to the terms of this Agreement.
18.Specific Performance, Etc. The parties recognize that if any provision of this Agreement is violated by the Company, Indemnitee may be without an adequate remedy at law. Accordingly, in the event of any such violation, Indemnitee shall be entitled, if Indemnitee so elects, to institute proceedings, either in law or at equity, to obtain damages, to enforce specific performance, to enjoin such violation, or to obtain any relief or any combination of the foregoing as Indemnitee may elect to pursue.
19.Notices. All notices, requests, consents and other communications hereunder to any party shall be deemed to be sufficient if contained in a written document delivered in person or sent by electronic mail, nationally recognized overnight courier or personal delivery, addressed to such party at the address set forth below or such other address as may hereafter be designated on the signature pages of this Agreement or in writing by such party to the other parties:
(a) If to the Company, to:
AGNC Investment Corp.
2 Bethesda Metro Center, 12th Fl.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Attention: Kenneth Pollack
with a copy (which shall not constitute notice) to:
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Four Times Square
New York, New York 10036-6522
Attn: David J. Goldschmidt, Esq.
(b) If to Indemnitee, to:
All such notices, requests, consents and other communications shall be deemed to have been given or made if and when received (including by overnight courier) by the parties at the above addresses or sent by electronic transmission, with confirmation received, to the emails specified above (or at such other address for a party as shall be specified by like notice). Any notice delivered by any party hereto to any other party hereto shall also be delivered to each other party hereto simultaneously with delivery to the first party receiving such notice.
20.Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall for all purposes be deemed to be an original but all of which together shall constitute one and the same agreement. Only one such counterpart signed by the party against whom enforceability is sought needs to be produced to evidence the existence of this Agreement.
21.Headings. The headings of the sections and paragraphs of this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and shall not be deemed to constitute part of this Agreement or to affect the construction or interpretation thereof.
22.Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware applicable to contracts made and to be performed in such state without giving effect to the principles of conflicts of laws.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.
AGNC INVESTMENT CORP.
[Signature Page to Indemnification Agreement]