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Employment Agreement between Howard F. Hambleton and FirstCash Holdings, Inc., dated February 25, 2022
Contract Categories: Human Resources - Employment Agreements
EX-10.20 6 fcfs12312021exhibit1020.htm EX-10.20 Document
FIRSTCASH HOLDINGS, INC.
3. Extent of Service
4. Compensation and Benefits
(a) Base Salary
(b) Incentive, Savings and Retirement Plans
(c) Welfare Benefit Plans
(d) Fringe Benefits
5. Change in Control
6. Termination of Employment
(c) Termination by the Company
(d) Termination by Executive
(e) Notice of Termination
(f) Date of Termination
7. Obligations of the Company upon Termination
(a) Termination by the Company Other Than for Cause or Disability; Termination by Executive for Good Reason
(b) Death or Disability
(c) Termination by the Company for Cause; Executive’s Resignation without Good Reason
8. Restrictive Covenants
(c) Restrictions on Disclosure and Use of Confidential Information
(e) Non-Solicitation of Protected Customers
(f) Non-Recruitment of Employees
(g) Proprietary Rights
(h) Return of Materials
(i) Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants
(j) Disclosure of Agreement
9. Agreement Not to Disparage
10. Non-exclusivity of Rights
11. Full Settlement; No Mitigation
12. Mandatory Reduction of Payments in Certain Events
16. Code Section 409A
(a) Governing Law; Forum Selection; Consent to Jurisdiction
(h) Entire Agreement
THIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (this “Agreement”) is made and entered into this 25th day of February, 2022 (the “Effective Date”) by and between FirstCash Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”) and Howard Hambleton (the “Executive”), to be effective as of the Effective Date. This Agreement supersedes and replaces that certain Employment Agreement between the American First Finance Inc. and the Executive dated as of April 17, 2019 (the “Prior Employment Agreement”), which agreement was assumed by the Company in connection with its acquisition of American First Finance LLC (“AFF”) effective as of December 17, 2021.
WHEREAS, the Company currently employs Executive as the President of AFF pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in the Prior Employment Agreement; and
WHEREAS, the Company and Executive desire to enter into this Agreement, and agree that this Agreement shall govern the terms and conditions of Executive’s employment with the Company as of the Effective Date; and
WHEREAS, Executive acknowledges and agrees that by entering into this Agreement, Executive is waiving any and all rights to any compensation and/or severance benefits under the Prior Employment Agreement, and the Company and Executive agree that the Prior Employment Agreement shall have no further force or effect as of the Effective Date.
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and of the mutual covenants and agreements set forth herein, and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto agree as follows:
1. Employment. The Executive is hereby employed on the Effective Date as the President of AFF. In this capacity, the Executive shall have the duties, responsibilities and authority commensurate with such position as shall be assigned to him by the Chief Executive Officer of the Company or the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”). In his capacity as President of AFF, the Executive will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
2. Term. Unless earlier terminated herein in accordance with Section 6 hereof, the Executive’s employment with the Company shall be governed by the terms and conditions of this Agreement for a period beginning on the Effective Date and ending on December 31, 2024 (the “Term”). Commencing on December 31, 2024, and on each subsequent December 31 thereafter, the Term shall automatically be extended for one (1) additional year unless, not later than ninety days (90) prior to any such extension date, either party hereto shall have notified the other party hereto in writing that such extension shall not take effect.
3. Extent of Service. During the Term, the Executive agrees to devote all of his professional and business-related time to the business and affairs of the Company and its affiliates and to use his best efforts to perform faithfully and efficiently his job responsibilities. Nothing in this Agreement shall prohibit Executive from (i) serving on the boards of directors of trade associations or charitable/non-profit organizations; (ii) engaging in charitable activities and community affairs; (iii) serving on the boards of directors of other public and/or private companies with the prior written approval of the Board, which shall not be unreasonably withheld (provided that, for avoidance of doubt, such service does not violate any of the restrictive covenants in Section 8 of this Agreement); or (iv) managing his personal investments and affairs, provided that the activities described in the preceding clauses (i) through (iv) do not materially interfere with the proper performance of his duties and responsibilities hereunder.
4. Compensation and Benefits.
(a) Base Salary. Effective as of January 1, 2022 and continuing during the Term, the Company will pay to the Executive base salary at the rate of $600,000 per year (“Base Salary”), less normal withholdings, payable in approximately equal bi-weekly or other installments as are or become customary under the Company’s payroll practices for its employees from time to time. The
Compensation Committee of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”) shall review the Executive’s Base Salary annually and may increase the Executive’s Base Salary from year to year. Such adjusted salary then shall become the Executive’s Base Salary for purposes of this Agreement. The annual review of the Executive’s salary by the Compensation Committee will consider, among other things, the Executive’s own performance and the Company’s performance.
(b) Incentive, Savings and Retirement Plans. During the Term, the Executive shall be entitled to participate in all incentive, savings and retirement plans, practices, policies and programs available to the other senior officers of the Company. Without limiting the foregoing, following shall apply:
(i)During the Term, the Executive shall have an opportunity to receive an annual bonus under the Company’s Annual Performance Incentive Plan, based upon the achievement of performance goals established from year to year by the Compensation Committee (the “Annual Bonus”). Unless and until changed by the Compensation Committee, the Executive’s target for the Annual Bonus shall be at least 125% of Base Salary (the “Target Bonus”).
(ii)During the Term, the Executive will be eligible for grants of stock-based awards under the Company’s long-term incentive plan or plans, having terms and determined in the same manner as awards to other senior officers. Nothing herein requires the Company to make grants of stock-based awards in any year.
(c) Welfare Benefit Plans. The Executive and his eligible dependents shall be eligible for participation in the welfare benefit plans, practices, policies and programs provided by the Company, if any, to the extent available to other senior officers and subject to eligibility requirements and terms and conditions of each such plan; provided, however, that nothing herein shall limit the ability of the Company to amend, modify or terminate any such benefit plans, policies or programs at any time and from time to time.
(d) Fringe Benefits. During the Term, Executive shall be entitled to fringe benefits to the extent available to other senior officers in accordance with the plans, practices, programs and policies of the Company.
(e) Vacation. Executive shall be entitled to four (4) weeks paid vacation each year during the Term. Any vacation or personal business days not used in any year shall be forfeited.
(f) Expenses. During the Term, the Executive shall be entitled to receive prompt reimbursement from the Company for all reasonable and customary expenses incurred by the Executive in the course of performing his duties and responsibilities under this Agreement, in accordance with the policies, practices and procedures of the Company with respect to travel, entertainment and other business expenses (“Business Expenses”).
Notwithstanding the foregoing, (i) the reimbursements for Business Expenses provided in any one calendar year shall not affect the amount of such reimbursements provided in any other calendar year; (ii) the reimbursement of an eligible Business Expense shall be made within thirty (30) days following the Executive’s submission of evidence, satisfactory to the Company, of the incurrence of such Business Expense, but in no event later than December 31 of the year following the year in which the expense was incurred; (iii) the Executive’ s rights pursuant to this Section 4(f) shall not be subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit; and (iv) the reimbursements for Business Expenses shall be provided in accordance with the policies, practices and procedures of the Company.
5. Change in Control. For purposes of this Agreement, “Change in Control” shall mean the consummation of a reorganization, merger, consolidation, statutory share exchange or similar form of corporate transaction involving the Company or a subsidiary of the Company (a “Reorganization”), or the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets (a “Sale”) or the acquisition of assets or stock of another corporation or other entity (an “Acquisition”), unless immediately following such Reorganization, Sale or Acquisition: (A) all or substantially all of the individuals and entities who were the beneficial owners (as defined in Rule 13d-3 of the General Rules and Regulations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Act, as amended (“Beneficial Owners”)), respectively, of the
outstanding Company Stock and the Company’s then outstanding securities eligible to vote for the election of directors (“Company Voting Securities”) immediately prior to such Reorganization, Sale or Acquisition beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of, respectively, the then outstanding shares of common stock and the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, as the case may be, of the entity resulting from or surviving such Reorganization, Sale or Acquisition (including, without limitation, an entity which as a result of such transaction owns the Company or all or substantially all of the Company’s assets or stock either directly or through one or more subsidiaries, the “Surviving Entity”) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership, immediately prior to such Reorganization, Sale or Acquisition, of the outstanding Company Stock and the outstanding Company Voting Securities, as the case may be, and (B) no person (other than (x) the Company or any subsidiary of the Company, (y) the Surviving Entity or its ultimate parent entity, or (z) any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by any of the foregoing) is the Beneficial Owner, directly or indirectly, of 50% or more of the total common stock or 50% or more of the total voting power of the outstanding voting securities eligible to elect directors of the Surviving Entity. A Change in Control shall not include a public offering of any class or series of the Company’s equity securities pursuant to a registration statement filed by the Company under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1933, as amended.
6. Termination of Employment.
(a) Death. The Executive’s employment shall terminate automatically upon the Executive’s death during the Term.
(b) Disability. If the Company determines in good faith that the Executive has become Disabled (as defined below) during the Term, then it may give to the Executive written notice of its intention to terminate the Executive’s employment. In such event, the Executive’s employment with the Company shall terminate effective on the thirtieth (30th) day after receipt of such written notice by the Executive (the “Disability Effective Date”), provided that, within the thirty (30) days after such receipt, the Executive shall not have returned to full-time performance of the Executive’s duties. For purposes of this Agreement, “Disability” shall mean the inability of the Executive, as reasonably determined by the Company, to perform the essential functions of his regular duties and responsibilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, due to a medically determinable physical or mental illness which has lasted (or can reasonably be expected to last) for a period of six (6) consecutive months. At the request of the Executive or his personal representative, the Company’s determination that the Disability of Executive has occurred shall be certified by a physician mutually agreed upon by the Executive, or his personal representative, and the Company.
(c) Termination by the Company. The Company may terminate the Executive’s employment during the Term with or without Cause. For purposes of this Agreement, a termination shall be considered to be for “Cause” if it occurs in conjunction with a good faith determination by the Board that any of the following have occurred:
(i) the Executive’s material or habitual failure to meet performance standards agreed to upon by the Executive and the Board, or to follow the reasonable and lawful directions of the Board, or perform his duties with the Company (other than any such failure resulting from the Executive’s Disability) which failure is not cured within ten (10) days after a written demand for performance is delivered to the Executive by the Company which specifically identifies the manner in which the Company believes that the Executive has materially or habitually failed to perform the Executive’s duties;
(ii) the Executive’s engaging in any illegal conduct, gross misconduct or gross negligence in connection with the performance of his duties hereunder, which is, or is likely to be, injurious to the Company, its financial condition, or its reputation, with the understanding that, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any circumstances with respect to the Executive that, in the discretion of the Board or the FDIC, are deemed to be violation of Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. § 1829(a)) shall constitute illegal conduct in connection with the performance of his duties hereunder that is injurious to the Company, its financial condition, or its reputation;
(iii) the Executive’s commission of or engagement in any act of fraud, misappropriation, dishonesty or embezzlement, whether or not such act was committed in connection with the business of the Company;
(iv) the Executive’s breach of fiduciary duty, breach of any of the covenants set forth in Section 8 or 9 of this Agreement, or material breach of any other provisions of this Agreement;
(v) the Executive’s conviction of, pleading guilty to, or confession to a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude (including pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or lesser charge which results from plea bargaining), whether or not such felony, crime or lesser offense is connected with the business of the Company;
(vi) the Executive’s indictment or conviction of, pleading guilty to, or confession to a felony or any crime (including pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or lesser charge which results from plea bargaining), which felony, crime or lesser offense is connected with the business of the Company; or
(vii) the Executive’s violation of the Company’s policy against harassment or its equal employment opportunity policy or a material violation of any other policy or procedure of the Company (including, but not limited to, the Company’s code of business conduct).
(d) Termination by the Executive. The Executive’s employment may be terminated by the Executive for any reason or for Good Reason by providing thirty (30) days prior written notice to the Company. For purposes of this Agreement, “Good Reason” shall mean the occurrence of any of the following, without the Executive’s consent:
(i) a material diminution in the Executive’s Base Salary or Annual Bonus opportunity;
(ii) a material diminution in the Executive’s authority, duties, or responsibilities;
(iii) the relocation of the Executive’s principal office to a facility or location more than fifty (50) miles away from the Executive’s principal place of work immediately prior to the relocation; provided, however, that Good Reason shall not include (A) any relocation of the Executive’s principal office which is proposed or initiated by the Executive; or (B) any relocation that results in the Executive’s principal place office being closer to the Executive’s then-principal residence;
(iv) any material breach by the Company of this Agreement;
The Executive’s termination for Good Reason must occur within a period of ninety (90) days after the occurrence of an event of Good Reason. A termination by the Executive shall not constitute termination for Good Reason unless the Executive shall first have delivered to the Company written notice setting forth with specificity the occurrence deemed to give rise to a right to terminate for Good Reason (which notice must be given no later than thirty (30) days after the initial occurrence of such event), and there shall have passed a reasonable time (not less than thirty (30) days) within which the Company may take action to correct, rescind or otherwise substantially reverse the occurrence supporting termination for Good Reason as identified by the Executive. Good Reason shall not include the Executive’s death or Disability. The parties intend, believe and take the position that a resignation by the Executive for Good Reason as defined above effectively constitutes an involuntary separation from service within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code and Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(n)(2).
(e) Notice of Termination. Any termination by the Company or the Executive shall be communicated by Notice of Termination to the other party hereto given in accordance with Section 17(d) of this Agreement. For purposes of this Agreement, a “Notice of Termination” means a written notice which (i) indicates the specific termination provision in this Agreement relied upon, (ii) to the extent applicable, sets forth in reasonable detail the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of the Executive’s employment under the provision so indicated, and (iii) if the Date of
Termination (as defined below) is other than the date of receipt of such notice, specifies the termination date. The failure by the Executive or the Company to set forth in the Notice of Termination any fact or circumstance which contributes to a showing of Good Reason or Cause shall not waive any right of the Executive or the Company, respectively, hereunder or preclude the Executive or the Company, respectively, from asserting such fact or circumstance in enforcing the Executive’s or the Company’s rights hereunder.
(f) Date of Termination. “Date of Termination” means (i) if the Executive’s employment is terminated other than by reason of death or Disability, the date of receipt of the Notice of Termination or, subject to any cure period, any later date specified therein within sixty (60) days after receipt of the Notice of Termination, as the case may be, or (ii) if the Executive’s employment is terminated by reason of death or Disability, the Date of Termination shall be the date of death of the Executive or the Disability Effective Date, as the case may be.
7. Obligations of the Company upon Termination.
(a) Termination by the Company Other Than for Cause or Disability; Termination by Executive for Good Reason. If, during the Term, (A) the Company shall terminate the Executive’s employment other than for Cause or Disability, or (B) the Executive shall terminate employment for Good Reason, then, and with respect to the payments and benefits described in clauses (ii) and (iii) below, only if within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination the Executive shall have executed a separation agreement containing a full general release of claims and covenant not to sue in a form satisfactory to the Company (the “Release”) and such Release shall not have been revoked within the time period specified therein:
(i) the Company shall pay to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination, the exact payment date to be determined by the Company, the sum of (1) the Executive’s Base Salary through the Date of Termination to the extent not theretofore paid, and (2) any accrued vacation pay to the extent not theretofore paid (the sum of the amounts described in clauses (1) and (2) shall be hereinafter referred to as the “Accrued Obligations”); and
(ii) the Company shall pay to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination, the exact payment date to be determined by the Company, a severance payment equal to 50% (or 200%, if such termination occurs within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control) of the sum of (1) the Executive’s Base Salary in effect as of the Date of Termination, and (2) the average of the Annual Bonuses earned by Executive for each of the three fiscal years immediately preceding the year in which the Date of Termination occurs (the “Three-Year Average Annual Bonus”); and
(iii)if such termination occurs within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control, the Company shall pay to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination, the exact payment date to be determined by the Company, a pro rata Annual Bonus equal to the product of (x) the Target Bonus for the year in which the termination occurs (or, in the sole discretion of the Compensation Committee, a larger amount not to exceed the maximum payout opportunity for the Annual Bonus for the year in which the termination occurs), and (y) a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days in the calendar year through the Date of Termination, and the denominator of which is 365 (if such termination does not occur within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control, any pro rata Annual Bonus will be payable at the discretion of the Compensation Committee); and
(iv)if such termination occurs within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control, (A) all stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units and other time-vesting equity awards held by the Executive as of the Termination Date shall immediately become fully vested and exercisable, and all time-based vesting restrictions on outstanding awards shall lapse, and (B) all performance-based equity awards shall be deemed to have been fully earned as of the Date of Termination based upon an assumed achievement of all relevant performance goals at “target” levels (or, in the sole discretion of the Compensation Committee, based upon actual or deemed achievement of all relevant performance goals above “target” levels, up to the maximum possible achievement levels), and there shall be a full (non-prorated) payout to the Executive within sixty (60) days following the Date of
Termination, unless a later date is required by Section 16 hereof (if such termination does not occur within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control, then the outstanding equity awards held by the Executive as of the Date of Termination shall be governed by the plans under which they were granted and the agreements evidencing such awards); and
(v) if the Executive elects to continue participation in any group medical, dental, vision and/or prescription drug plan benefits to which the Executive and/or the Executive’s eligible dependents would be entitled under Section 4980B of the Code (COBRA), then during the period that the Executive is entitled to such coverage under COBRA (the “Welfare Benefits Continuation Period”), the Company shall pay the excess of (1) the COBRA cost of such coverage over (2) the amount that the Executive would have had to pay for such coverage if he had remained employed during the Welfare Benefits Continuation Period and paid the active employee rate for such coverage (the “COBRA Subsidy”); provided, however, that (A) that if the Executive becomes eligible to receive group health benefits under a program of a subsequent employer or otherwise (including coverage available to the Executive’s spouse), the Company’s obligation to pay any portion of the cost of health coverage as described herein shall cease, except as otherwise provided by law; and (B) the Welfare Benefits Continuation Period shall run concurrently with any period for which the Executive is eligible to elect health coverage under COBRA; provided, however, that if such termination occurs within twelve (12) months following a Change in Control, then, in lieu of the COBRA Subsidy described above, Company shall pay to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination, the exact payment date to be determined by the Company, an amount equal to the full monthly COBRA cost of the coverage multiplied by twenty-four (24); and
(vi) to the extent not theretofore paid or provided, the Company shall timely pay or provide to the Executive any other amounts or benefits required to be paid or provided or which the Executive is eligible to receive under any plan, program, policy or practice or contract or agreement of the Company and its affiliated companies (such other amounts and benefits shall be hereinafter referred to as the “Other Benefits”).
For the avoidance of doubt, the parties acknowledge that, in the event that the Executive terminates his employment for Good Reason as a result of a decrease in his Base Salary as contemplated in Section 6(d)(i) hereof, then the Base Salary used for purposes of the calculation of the Accrued Obligations and severance payment under subsection (ii) above, shall be the Base Salary in effect immediately prior to such reduction.
(b) Death or Disability. If the Executive’s employment is terminated by reason of the Executive’s death or Disability during the Term, this Agreement shall terminate without further obligations to the Executive or the Executive’s legal representatives under this Agreement, other than for payment of Accrued Obligations and the timely payment or provision of Other Benefits. Accrued Obligations shall be paid by the Company to the Executive or the Executive’s estate or beneficiary, as applicable, in a lump sum in cash within thirty (30) days after the Date of Termination. With respect to the provision of Other Benefits, the term Other Benefits as used in this Section 7(b) shall include without limitation, and the Executive or the Executive’s estate and/or beneficiaries shall be entitled to receive, benefits under such plans, programs, practices and policies relating to death or disability benefits, if any, as are applicable to the Executive on the Date of Termination.
(c) Termination by the Company for Cause; Executive’s Resignation without Good Reason. If, during the Term, the Company shall terminate Executive’s employment for Cause or the Executive shall resign for any reason other than for Good Reason, this Agreement shall terminate without further obligations to the Executive, other than for payment of Accrued Obligations and the timely payment or provision of Other Benefits. Accrued Obligations shall be paid by the Company to the Executive in a lump sum in cash within thirty (30) days after the Date of Termination.
(d) Resignations. Termination of the Executive’s employment for any reason whatsoever shall constitute the Executive’s resignation as an officer of the Company, its subsidiaries and affiliates.
8. Restrictive Covenants.
(i) Condition of Employment and Other Consideration. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that he has received good and valuable consideration for entering into this Agreement and further acknowledges that the Company would not continue to employ the Executive in the absence of his execution of and compliance with this Section 8.
(ii) Access to Confidential Information, Relationships, and Goodwill. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that he is being provided and entrusted with Confidential Information (as that term is defined in Section 8(b) hereof), including highly confidential customer information that is subject to extensive measures to maintain its secrecy within the Company, is not known in the trade or disclosed to the public, and would materially harm the Company’s legitimate business interests if it was disclosed or used in violation of this Agreement. The Executive also acknowledges and agrees that he is being provided and entrusted with access to the Company’s customer and employee relationships and goodwill. The Executive further acknowledges and agrees that the Company would not provide access to the Confidential Information, customer and employee relationships, and goodwill in the absence of the Executive’s execution of and compliance with this Agreement. The Executive further acknowledges and agrees that the Company’s Confidential Information, customer and employee relationships, and goodwill are valuable assets of the Company and are legitimate business interests that are properly subject to protection through the covenants contained in this Agreement.
(iii) Potential Unfair Competition. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that as a result of his employment with the Company, his knowledge of and access to Confidential Information, and his relationships with the Company’s customers and employees, the Executive would have an unfair competitive advantage if the Executive were to engage in activities in violation of this Section 8.
(iv) No Undue Hardship. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that, in the event that his employment with the Company terminates, the Executive possesses marketable skills and abilities that will enable him to find suitable employment without violating the covenants set forth in this Section 8.
(v) Voluntary Execution. Executive acknowledges and affirms that he is executing this Agreement voluntarily, that he has read this Agreement carefully and had a full and reasonable opportunity to consider this Agreement (including an opportunity to consult with legal counsel), and that he has not been pressured or in any way coerced, threatened or intimidated into signing this Agreement.
(vi) Geographic Scope of Service. Executive acknowledges and agrees that, by virtue of his senior executive status with the Company and his substantial access to Confidential Information, customer and employee relationships, and goodwill described above, he will engage in business on behalf of the Company throughout the entire geographic area in which the Company conducts business, including but not limited to the Restricted Territory (as that term is defined in Section 8(b) hereof).
(b) Definitions. The following capitalized terms used in this Section 8 shall have the meanings assigned to them below, which definitions shall apply to both the singular and the plural forms of such terms:
(i) “Competitive Services” means owning and/or operating retail-based pawn stores, lease to own products, or retail finance products, as well as the business of providing any other activities, products, or services of the type conducted, authorized, offered, or provided by the Company and comprising more than 5% of the Company's total revenues as of the Executive’s Termination Date, or during the two (2) years immediately prior to the Executive’s Termination Date.
(ii) “Confidential Information” means any and all data and information relating to the Company, its activities, business, or clients that (A) is or has been disclosed to the Executive or of which the Executive becomes or has become aware as a consequence of his employment with the Company; (B) has value to the Company; and (C) is not generally known outside of the
Company. “Confidential Information” shall include, but is not limited to the following types of information regarding, related to, or concerning the Company: trade secrets (as defined by O.C.G.A. § 10-1-761); financial plans and data; management planning information; business plans; operational methods; market studies; marketing plans or strategies; pricing information; product development techniques or plans; customer lists; customer files, data and financial information; details of customer contracts; current and anticipated customer requirements; identifying and other information pertaining to business referral sources; past, current and planned research and development; computer aided systems, software, strategies and programs; business acquisition plans; management organization and related information (including, without limitation, data and other information concerning the compensation and benefits paid to officers, directors, employees and management); personnel and compensation policies; new personnel acquisition plans; and other similar information. “Confidential Information” also includes combinations of information or materials which individually may be generally known outside of the Company, but for which the nature, method, or procedure for combining such information or materials is not generally known outside of the Company. In addition to data and information relating to the Company, “Confidential Information” also includes any and all data and information relating to or concerning a third party that otherwise meets the definition set forth above, that was provided or made available to the Company by such third party, and that the Company has a duty or obligation to keep confidential. This definition shall not limit any definition of “confidential information” or any equivalent term under state or federal law. “Confidential Information” shall not include information that has become generally available to the public by the act of one who has the right to disclose such information without violating any right or privilege of the Company.
(iii) “Material Contact” means contact between the Executive and a customer or potential customer of the Company (A) with whom or which the Executive has or had dealings on behalf of the Company; (B) whose dealings with the Company are or were coordinated or supervised by the Executive; (C) about whom the Executive obtains Confidential Information in the ordinary course of business as a result of his employment with the Company; or (D) who receives products or services of the Company, the sale or provision of which results or resulted in compensation, commissions, or earnings for Executive within the two (2) years prior to the Executive’s Termination Date.
(iv) “Person” means any individual or any corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, association or other entity or enterprise.
(v) “Principal or Representative” means a principal, owner, partner, shareholder, joint venturer, investor, member, trustee, director, officer, manager, employee, agent, representative or consultant.
(vi) “Protected Customer” means any Person to whom the Company has sold its products or services or actively solicited to sell its products or services, and with whom the Executive has had Material Contact on behalf of the Company during his employment with the Company.
(vii) “Protected Work” means any and all ideas, inventions, formulas, Confidential Information, source codes, object codes, techniques, processes, concepts, systems, programs, software, software integration techniques, hardware systems, schematics, flow charts, computer data bases, client lists, trademarks, service marks, brand names, trade names, compilations, documents, data, notes, designs, drawings, technical data and/or training materials, including improvements thereto or derivatives therefrom, whether or not patentable, and whether or not subject to copyright or trademark or trade secret protection, conceived, developed or produced by the Executive, or by others working with the Executive or under his direction, during the period of his employment or service, or conceived, produced or used or intended for use by or on behalf of the Company or its customers.
(viii) “Restricted Period” means any time during the Executive’s employment with the Company, and if the Executive’s employment is terminated for any reason during the Term, the Restricted Period shall mean during the Executive’s employment plus thirty-six (36) months following the Termination Date.
(ix) “Restricted Territory” means the U.S. states and foreign countries in which the Company maintains one or more retail pawn stores or is actively planning to open one or more stores at the time of the conduct in question (if the conduct occurs while the Executive is still employed
by the Company) or the Termination Date (if the conduct occurs after the Executive’s Termination), as applicable.
(x) “Restrictive Covenants” means the restrictive covenants contained in subsections (c) through (h) of this Section 8.
(xi) “Termination” means the termination of the Executive’s employment with the Company, for any reason, whether with or without cause, upon the initiative of either party.
(xii) “Termination Date” means the date of the Executive’s Termination.
(c) Restriction on Disclosure and Use of Confidential Information. The Executive agrees that the Executive shall not, directly or indirectly, use any Confidential Information on the Executive’s own behalf or on behalf of any Person other than Company, or reveal, divulge, or disclose any Confidential Information to any Person not expressly authorized by the Company to receive such Confidential Information. This obligation shall remain in effect for as long as the information or materials in question retain their status as Confidential Information. The Executive further agrees that he shall fully cooperate with the Company in maintaining the Confidential Information to the extent permitted by law. The parties acknowledge and agree that this Agreement is not intended to, and does not, alter either the Company’s rights or the Executive’s obligations under any state or federal statutory or common law regarding trade secrets and unfair trade practices. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, the Executive shall not be restricted from: (i) disclosing information that is required to be disclosed by law, court order or other valid and appropriate legal process; provided, however, that in the event such disclosure is required by law, the Executive shall provide the Company with prompt notice of such requirement so that the Company may seek an appropriate protective order prior to any such required disclosure by the Executive; (ii) reporting possible violations of federal, state, or local law or regulation to any governmental agency or entity, or from making other disclosures that are protected under the whistleblower provisions of federal, state, or local law or regulation, and Executive shall not need the prior authorization of the Company to make any such reports or disclosures and shall not be required to notify the Company that Executive has made such reports or disclosures; (iii) disclosing a trade secret (as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 1839) in confidence to a federal, state, or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney, in either event solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or (iv) disclosing a trade secret (as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 1839) in a complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit or other proceeding, if such filing is made under seal.
(d) Non-Competition. The Executive agrees that during the Restricted Period, he will not, without prior written consent of the Company, directly or indirectly (i) carry on or engage in Competitive Services within the Restricted Territory on his own or on behalf of any Person or any Principal or Representative of any Person, or (ii) own, manage, operate, join, control or participate in the ownership, management, operation or control, of any business, whether in corporate, proprietorship or partnership form or otherwise where such business is engaged in the provision of Competitive Services within the Restricted Territory. The Executive acknowledges that the Restricted Territory is reasonable. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Executive may maintain or undertake purely passive investments on behalf of himself, his immediate family or any trust on behalf of himself or his immediate family in companies engaged in a Competitive Services so long as the aggregate interest represented by such investments does not exceed 1% of any class of the outstanding publicly traded debt or equity securities of any company engaged in a Competitive Services.
(e) Non-Solicitation of Protected Customers. The Executive agrees that during the Restricted Period, he shall not, without the prior written consent of the Company, directly or indirectly, on his own behalf or as a Principal or Representative of any Person, solicit, divert, take away, or attempt to solicit, divert, or take away a Protected Customer for the purpose of engaging in, providing, or selling Competitive Services.
(f) Non-Recruitment of Employees. The Executive agrees that during the Restricted Period, he shall not, directly or indirectly, whether on his own behalf or as a Principal or Representative of any Person, solicit or induce or attempt to solicit or induce any employee of the Company to terminate
his employment relationship with the Company or to enter into employment with the Executive or any other Person.
(g) Proprietary Rights.
(i) Ownership and Assignment of Protected Works. The Executive agrees that any and all Confidential Information and Protected Works are the sole property of the Company, and that no compensation in addition to the Executive’s base salary is due to the Executive for development or transfer of such Protected Works. The Executive agrees that he shall promptly disclose in writing to the Company the existence of any Protected Works. The Executive hereby assigns all of his rights, title and interest in any and all Protected Works, including all patents or patent applications, and all copyrights therein, to the Company. The Executive shall not be entitled to use Protected Works for his own benefit or the benefit of anyone except the Company without written permission from the Company and then only subject to the terms of such permission. The Executive further agrees that he will communicate to the Company any facts known to him and testify in any legal proceedings, sign all lawful papers, make all rightful oaths, execute all divisionals, continuations, continuations-in-part, foreign counterparts, or reissue applications, all assignments, all registration applications, and all other instruments or papers to carry into full force and effect the assignment, transfer, and conveyance hereby made or to be made and generally do everything possible for title to the Protected Works and all patents or copyrights or trademarks or service marks therein to be clearly and exclusively held by the Company. The Executive agrees that he will not oppose or object in any way to applications for registration of Protected Works by the Company or others designated by the Company. The Executive agrees to exercise reasonable care to avoid making Protected Works available to any third party and shall be liable to the Company for all damages and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, if Protected Works are made available to third parties by him without the express written consent of the Company.
Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, the Executive will not be obligated to assign to the Company any Protected Work for which no equipment, supplies, facilities, or Confidential Information of the Company was used and which was developed entirely on the Executive’s own time, unless (a) the invention relates (i) directly to the business of the Company, or (ii) to the Company’s actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development; or (b) the invention results from any work performed by the Executive for the Company. The Executive likewise will not be obligated to assign to the Company any Protected Work that is conceived by the Executive after the Executive leaves the employ or service of the Company, except that the Executive is so obligated if the same relates to or is based on Confidential Information to which the Executive had access by virtue of his employment with the Company. Similarly, the Executive will not be obligated to assign any Protected Work to the Company that was conceived and reduced to practice prior to his employment, regardless of whether such Protected Work relates to or would be useful in the business of the Company. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that there are no Protected Works conceived and reduced to practice by him prior to his employment with the Company.
(ii) No Other Duties. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that there is no other contract or duty on his part now in existence to assign Protected Works to anyone other than the Company.
(iii) Works Made for Hire. The Company and the Executive acknowledge that in the course of his employment with the Company, the Executive may from time to time create for the Company copyrightable works. Such works may consist of manuals, pamphlets, instructional materials, computer programs, software, software integration techniques, software codes, and data, technical data, photographs, drawings, logos, designs, artwork or other copyrightable material, or portions thereof, and may be created within or without the Company’s facilities and before, during or after normal business hours. All such works related to or useful in the business of the Company are specifically intended to be works made for hire by the Executive, and the Executive shall cooperate with the Company in the protection of the Company’s copyrights in such works and, to the extent deemed desirable by the Company, the registration of such copyrights.
(h) Return of Materials. The Executive agrees that he will not retain or destroy (except as set forth below), and will immediately return to the Company on or prior to the Termination Date, or at any other time the Company requests such return, any and all property of the Company that is
in his possession or subject to his control, including, but not limited to, keys, credit and identification cards, personal items or equipment, customer files and information, papers, drawings, notes, manuals, specifications, designs, devices, code, email, documents, diskettes, CDs, tapes, keys, access cards, credit cards, identification cards, computers, mobile devices, other electronic media, all other files and documents relating to the Company and its business (regardless of form, but specifically including all electronic files and data of the Company), together with all Protected Works and Confidential Information belonging to the Company or that the Executive received from or through his employment or service with the Company. The Executive will not make, distribute, or retain copies of any such information or property. To the extent that the Executive has electronic files or information in his possession or control that belong to the Company, contain Confidential Information, or constitute Protected Works (specifically including but not limited to electronic files or information stored on personal computers, mobile devices, electronic media, or in cloud storage), on or prior to the Termination Date, or at any other time the Company requests, the Executive shall (A) provide the Company with an electronic copy of all of such files or information (in an electronic format that readily accessible by the Company); (B) after doing so, delete all such files and information, including all copies and derivatives thereof, from all non-Company-owned computers, mobile devices, electronic media, cloud storage, or other media, devices, or equipment, such that such files and information are permanently deleted and irretrievable; and (C) provide a written certification to the Company that the required deletions have been completed and specifying the files and information deleted and the media source from which they were deleted. The Executive agrees that he will reimburse the Company for all of its costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, of recovering the above materials and otherwise enforcing compliance with this provision if he does not return the materials to the Company or take the required steps with respect to electronic information or files on or prior to the Termination Date or at any other time the materials and/or electronic file actions are requested by the Company or if the Executive otherwise fails to comply with this provision.
(i) Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants.
(i) Rights and Remedies Upon Breach. The parties specifically acknowledge and agree that the remedy at law for any breach of the Restrictive Covenants will be inadequate, and that in the event the Executive breaches, or threatens to breach, any of the Restrictive Covenants, the Company shall have the right and remedy, without the necessity of proving actual damage or posting any bond, to enjoin, preliminarily and permanently, the Executive from violating or threatening to violate the Restrictive Covenants and to have the Restrictive Covenants specifically enforced by any court of competent jurisdiction, it being agreed that any breach or threatened breach of the Restrictive Covenants would cause irreparable injury to the Company and that money damages would not provide an adequate remedy to the Company. The Executive understands and agrees that if he violates any of the obligations set forth in the Restrictive Covenants, the period of restriction applicable to each obligation violated shall cease to run during the pendency of any litigation over such violation, provided that such litigation was initiated during the period of restriction. Such rights and remedies shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other rights and remedies available to the Company at law or in equity. The Executive understands and agrees that, if the Parties become involved in legal action regarding the enforcement of the Restrictive Covenants and if the Company prevails in such legal action, the Company will be entitled, in addition to any other remedy, to recover from the Executive its reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in enforcing such covenants. The Company’s ability to enforce its rights under the Restrictive Covenants or applicable law against the Executive shall not be impaired in any way by the existence of a claim or cause of action on the part of the Executive based on, or arising out of, this Agreement or any other event or transaction.
(ii) Severability and Modification of Covenants. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that each of the Restrictive Covenants is reasonable and valid in time and scope and in all other respects. The parties agree that it is their intention that the Restrictive Covenants be enforced in accordance with their terms to the maximum extent permitted by law. Each of the Restrictive Covenants shall be considered and construed as a separate and independent covenant. Should any part or provision of any of the Restrictive Covenants be held invalid, void, or unenforceable, such invalidity, voidness, or unenforceability shall not render invalid, void, or unenforceable any other part or provision of this Agreement or such Restrictive Covenant. If any of the provisions of the Restrictive Covenants should ever be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to exceed the scope permitted by the applicable law, such provision or provisions shall be automatically modified to such lesser scope as such court may deem just and proper for the reasonable protection of the Company’s legitimate business interests and
may be enforced by the Company to that extent in the manner described above and all other provisions of this Agreement shall be valid and enforceable.
(j) Disclosure of Agreement. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that, during Restricted Period, he will disclose the existence and terms of this Agreement to any prospective employer, business partner, investor or lender prior to entering into an employment, partnership or other business relationship with such prospective employer, business partner, investor or lender. The Executive further agrees that the Company shall have the right to make any such prospective employer, business partner, investor or lender of the Executive aware of the existence and terms of this Agreement.
9. Agreement Not to Disparage. The Executive hereby agrees that at all times after the date hereof he will not make any statement, whether verbally or in written form, or otherwise take any action that may reasonably be considered to disparage or impugn the Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates; the management, practices, services, or reputation of the Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates; or any of the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ or affiliates’ employees, officers, directors, agents, or affiliates. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this Section 9 shall not limit the rights of the Executive to provide truthful testimony or make truthful statements which are compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction, arbitrator, regulatory agency or other tribunal or investigative body in accordance with any applicable statute, rule or regulation.
10. Non-exclusivity of Rights. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent or limit the Executive’s continuing or future participation in any employee benefit plan, program, policy or practice provided by the Company or its affiliated companies and for which the Executive may qualify, except as specifically provided herein. Amounts that are vested benefits or which the Executive is otherwise entitled to receive under any plan, policy, practice or program of the Company or any of its affiliated companies at or subsequent to the Date of Termination shall be payable in accordance with such plan, policy, practice or program except as explicitly modified by this Agreement.
11. Full Settlement; No Mitigation. The Company’s obligation to make the payments provided for in this Agreement and otherwise to perform its obligations hereunder shall not be affected by any set-off, counterclaim, recoupment, defense or other claim, right or action which the Company may have against the Executive or others. In no event shall the Executive be obligated to seek other employment or take any other action by way of mitigation of the amounts payable to the Executive under any of the provisions of this Agreement and such amounts shall not be reduced whether or not the Executive obtains other employment.
12. Mandatory Reduction of Payments in Certain Events .
(a) Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, in the event it shall be determined that any payment or distribution by the Company to or for the benefit of Executive (whether paid or payable or distributed or distributable pursuant to the terms of this Agreement or otherwise) (such benefits, payments or distributions are hereinafter referred to as “Payments”) would, if paid, be subject to the excise tax imposed by Section 4999 of the Code (the “Excise Tax”), then, prior to the making of any Payments to Executive, a calculation shall be made comparing (i) the net after-tax benefit to Executive of the Payments after payment by Executive of the Excise Tax, to (ii) the net after-tax benefit to Executive if the Payments had been limited to the extent necessary to avoid being subject to the Excise Tax. If the amount calculated under (i) above is less than the amount calculated under (ii) above, then the Payments shall be limited to the extent necessary to avoid being subject to the Excise Tax (the “Reduced Amount”). The reduction of the Payments due hereunder, if applicable, shall be made by first reducing cash Payments and then, to the extent necessary, reducing those Payments having the next highest ratio of Parachute Value to actual present value of such Payments as of the date of the Change in Control, as determined by the Determination Firm (as defined in Section 9(b) below). For purposes of this Section 12, present value shall be determined in accordance with Section 280G(d)(4) of the Code. For purposes of this Section 12, the “Parachute Value” of a Payment means the present value as of the date of the Change in Control of the portion of such Payment that constitutes a “parachute payment” under Section 280G(b)(2) of the Code, as determined by the Determination Firm for purposes of determining whether and to what extent the Excise Tax will apply to such Payment.
(b) All determinations required to be made under this Section 12, including whether an Excise Tax would otherwise be imposed, whether the Payments shall be reduced, the amount of the Reduced Amount, and the assumptions to be utilized in arriving at such determinations, shall be made by a nationally recognized accounting firm or compensation consulting firm mutually acceptable to the Company and Executive (the “Determination Firm”) which shall provide detailed supporting calculations to the Company and Executive within 15 business days after the receipt of notice from Executive that a Payment is due to be made, or such earlier time as is requested by the Company. All fees and expenses of the Determination Firm shall be borne solely by the Company. Any determination by the Determination Firm shall be binding upon the Company and Executive. As a result of the uncertainty in the application of Section 4999 of the Code at the time of the initial determination by the Determination Firm hereunder, it is possible that Payments which Executive was entitled to, but did not receive pursuant to Section 12(a), could have been made without the imposition of the Excise Tax (“Underpayment”), consistent with the calculations required to be made hereunder. In such event, the Determination Firm shall determine the amount of the Underpayment that has occurred and any such Underpayment shall be promptly paid by the Company to or for the benefit of Executive but no later than March 15 of the year after the year in which the Underpayment is determined to exist, which is when the legally binding right to such Underpayment arises.
(c) In the event that the provisions of Code Section 280G and 4999 or any successor provisions are repealed without succession, this Section 12 shall be of no further force or effect.
13. Arbitration. Any claim or dispute arising under or relating to this Agreement or the breach, termination, or validity of any term of this Agreement shall be subject to arbitration, and prior to commencing any court action, the parties agree that they shall arbitrate all controversies; provided, however, that nothing in this Section 13 shall prohibit the Company from exercising its right under Section 8 to pursue injunctive remedies with respect to a breach or threatened breach of the Restrictive Covenants. The arbitration shall be conducted in Tarrant County, Texas, in accordance with the Employment Dispute Rules of the American Arbitration Association and the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §1, et. seq. The arbitrator(s) shall be authorized to award both liquidated and actual damages, in addition to injunctive relief, but no punitive damages. The arbitrator(s) may also award attorney’s fees and costs, without regard to any restriction on the amount of such award under Texas or other applicable law. Such an award shall be binding and conclusive upon the parties hereto, subject to 9 U.S.C. §10. Each party shall have the right to have the award made the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(a) This Agreement is personal to the Executive and without the prior written consent of the Company shall not be assignable by the Executive otherwise than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company may, without the Executive’s consent, assign, whether by assignment agreement, merger, operation of law or otherwise, this Agreement to the Company or to any successor or affiliate of the Company, subject to such assignee’s express assumption of all obligations of the Company hereunder. This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the Executive’s legal representatives.
(b) This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the Company and its successors and assigns.
(c) The Company will require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business and/or assets of the Company to assume expressly and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform it if no such succession had taken place. As used in this Agreement, “Company” shall mean the Company as hereinbefore defined and any successor to its business and/or assets as aforesaid which assumes and agrees to perform this Agreement by operation of law, or otherwise.
15. Cooperation. The Executive shall provide the Executive’s reasonable cooperation in connection with any action or proceeding (or any appeal from any action or proceeding) which relates to events occurring during the Executive’s employment hereunder. This provision shall survive any
termination of this Agreement. The Company shall reimburse the Executive for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the Executive’s performance of obligations under this Section 15 at the request of the Company. If the Executive is entitled to be paid or reimbursed for any expenses under this Section 15, the amount reimbursable in any one calendar year shall not affect the amount reimbursable in any other calendar year, and the reimbursement of an eligible expense must be made no later than December 31 of the year after the year in which the expense was incurred. The Executive’s obligations under this Section 15, and the Executive’s rights to payment or reimbursement of expenses pursuant to this Section 15, shall expire at the end of ten (10) years after the Date of Termination and such rights shall not be subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit.
16. Code Section 409A.
(a) General. This Agreement shall be interpreted and administered in a manner so that any amount or benefit payable hereunder shall be paid or provided in a manner that is either exempt from or compliant with the requirements Section 409A of the Code and applicable Internal Revenue Service guidance and Treasury Regulations issued thereunder (and any applicable transition relief under Section 409A of the Code). Nevertheless, the tax treatment of the benefits provided under the Agreement is not warranted or guaranteed. Neither the Company nor its directors, officers, employees or advisers shall be held liable for any taxes, interest, penalties or other monetary amounts owed by the Executive as a result of the application of Section 409A of the Code.
(b) Definitional Restrictions. Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, to the extent that any amount or benefit that would constitute non-exempt “deferred compensation” for purposes of Section 409A of the Code (“Non-Exempt Deferred Compensation”) would otherwise be payable or distributable hereunder by reason of the Executive’s termination of employment, such Non-Exempt Deferred Compensation will not be payable or distributable to the Executive by reason of such circumstance unless the circumstances giving rise to such termination of employment meet any description or definition of “separation from service” in Section 409A of the Code and applicable regulations (without giving effect to any elective provisions that may be available under such definition). This provision does not prohibit the vesting of any Non-Exempt Deferred Compensation upon a termination of employment, however defined. If this provision prevents the payment or distribution of any Non-Exempt Deferred Compensation, such payment or distribution shall be made on the date, if any, on which an event occurs that constitutes a Section 409A-compliant “separation from service.”
(c) Timing of Release of Claims. Whenever in this Agreement a payment or benefit is conditioned on Executive’s execution of a release of claims, such release must be executed and all revocation periods shall have expired within sixty (60) days after the Date of Termination; failing which such payment or benefit shall be forfeited. If such payment or benefit constitutes Non-Exempt Deferred Compensation, then such payment or benefit (including any installment payments) that would have otherwise been payable during such 60-day period shall be accumulated and paid on the 60th day after the Date of Termination provided such release shall have been executed and such revocation periods shall have expired. If such payment or benefit is exempt from Section 409A of the Code, the Company may elect to make or commence payment at any time during such period.
(d) Permitted Acceleration. The Company shall have the sole authority to make any accelerated distribution permissible under Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(j)(4) to the Executive of deferred amounts, provided that such distribution meets the requirements of Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(j)(4).
(a) Governing Law; Forum Selection; Consent to Jurisdiction. The Company and the Executive agree that this Agreement shall be governed by and construed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas without giving effect to its conflicts of law principles. The Executive agrees that the exclusive forum for any action to enforce this Agreement, as well as any action relating to or arising out of this Agreement, shall be the state or federal court of the State of Texas. With respect to any such court action, the Executive hereby (a) irrevocably submits to the personal jurisdiction of such courts; (b) consents to service of process; (c) consents to venue; and (d) waives any other requirement (whether imposed by statute, rule of court, or otherwise) with respect to personal jurisdiction, service of process, or venue. Both parties hereto further agree that such courts are convenient forums for any
dispute that may arise herefrom and that neither party shall raise as a defense that such courts are not convenient forums.
(b) Captions. The captions of this Agreement are not part of the provisions hereof and shall have no force or effect.
(c) Amendments. This Agreement may not be amended or modified otherwise than-by a written agreement executed by the parties hereto or their respective successors and legal representatives.
(d) Notices. All notices and other communications hereunder shall be in writing and shall be given by hand delivery to the other party or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, addressed as follows:
If to the Executive:
|Address on file with the Company|
If to the Company:
FirstCash Holdings, Inc.
|1600 West 7th Street|
|Fort Worth, Texas 76102|
or to such other address as either party shall have furnished to the other in writing in accordance herewith. Notice and communications shall be effective when actually received by the addressee.
(e) Severability. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement.
(f) Withholding. The Company may withhold from any amounts payable under this Agreement such Federal, state, local or foreign taxes as shall be required to be withheld pursuant to any applicable law or regulation.
(g) Waivers. The Executive’s or the Company’s failure to insist upon strict compliance with any provision of this Agreement or the failure to assert any right the Executive or the Company may have hereunder, shall not be deemed to be a waiver of such provision or right or any other provision or right of this Agreement.
(h) Entire Agreement. Except as provided herein, this Agreement contains the entire agreement between the Company and the Executive with respect to the subject matter hereof and, from and after the Effective Date, this Agreement shall supersede any other agreement (including the Prior Employment Agreement) between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof.
(i) Construction. The Company and the Executive understand and agree that because they both have been given the opportunity to have counsel review and revise this Agreement, the normal rule of construction to the effect that any ambiguities are to be resolved against the drafting party shall not be employed in the interpretation of this Agreement. Instead, the language of all parts of this Agreement shall be construed as a whole, and according to its fair meaning, and not strictly for or against either of the parties.
(j) Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in two or more counterparts, and it shall not be necessary that the signatures of the parties hereto be contained on any one counterpart hereof. Each counterpart shall be deemed an original but all counterparts together shall constitute one and the same instrument. Any signature page of any such counterpart, or any electronic facsimile thereof, may be attached or appended to any other counterpart to complete a fully executed counterpart of this Agreement, and any telecopy or other electronic transmission of any signature shall be deemed an original and shall bind such party.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Executive has hereunto set the Executive’s hand and, pursuant to the authorization from the Board, the Company has caused these presents to be executed in its name on its behalf, all as of the day and year first above written.
FIRSTCASH HOLDINGS, INC.
Rick L. Wessel
Chief Executive Officer