Form of Nonqualified Stock Option Award Pursuant to the Southcrest Financial Group, Inc. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan


Exhibit 10.17

FORM OF
NONQUALIFIED STOCK OPTION AWARD PURSUANT TO THE

THIS AWARD is made as of the Grant Date by SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. (the “Company”) to _______________ (the “Optionee”).

Upon and subject to the Terms and Conditions attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, the Company hereby awards as of the Grant Date to Optionee a nonqualified stock option (the “Option”), as described below, to purchase the Option Shares.

A.
Grant Date: ____________, 200_.

B.
Type of Option: Nonqualified Stock Option.

 
C.
Plan under which granted: SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan.

 
D.
Option Shares: All or any part of ________ shares of the Company’s no par value common stock (the “Common Stock”), subject to adjustment as provided in the attached Terms and Conditions.

 
E.
Exercise Price: $_____ per share, subject to adjustment as provided in the attached Terms and Conditions. The Exercise Price is, in the judgment of the Committee, not less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the Grant Date.

 
F.
Option Period: The Option may be exercised only during the Option Period which commences on the Grant Date and ends, generally, on the earliest of (a) the tenth (10th) anniversary of the Grant Date; (b) three (3) months following the date the Optionee ceases to be an employee of the Company (including any Affiliate) for any reason other than death, Disability or termination with Cause; (c) one (1) year following the date the Optionee ceases to be an employee of the Company (including any Affiliate) due to death or Disability; or (d) the date the Optionee ceases to be an employee of the Company (including any Affiliate) due to a termination with Cause; provided, however, that the Option may be exercised as to no more than the vested Option Shares, determined pursuant to the Vesting Schedule. Note that other limitations to exercising the Option, as described in the attached Terms and Conditions, may apply.

 
G.
Vesting Schedule: The Option Shares shall become vested in accordance with Schedule 1 hereto.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has executed and sealed this Award as of the Grant Date set forth above.
 
     
  SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.
 
 
 
 
 
 
By:  
   
  Title:   
 
 


TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO THE
NONQUALIFIED STOCK OPTION AWARD
PURSUANT TO THE SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.
 
1.    Exercise of Option. Subject to the provisions provided herein or in the Award made pursuant to the SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan:
 
(a)  the Option may be exercised with respect to all or any portion of the vested Option Shares at any time during the Option Period by the delivery to the Company, at its principal place of business, of a written notice of exercise in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit 1, which shall be actually delivered to the Company no earlier than thirty (30) days and no later than ten (10) days prior to the date upon which Optionee desires to exercise all or any portion of the Option;

(b)  payment to the Company of the Exercise Price multiplied by the number of Option Shares being purchased (the “Purchase Price”) as provided in Section 3; and

(c)  satisfaction of withholding tax obligations under Section 2.

Upon acceptance of such notice and receipt of payment in full of the Purchase Price and any withholding taxes, the Company shall cause to be issued a certificate representing the Option Shares purchased.

2.   Withholding. The Optionee must satisfy his federal, state and local, if any, withholding taxes imposed by reason of the exercise of the Option either by paying to the Company the full amount of the withholding obligation (i) in cash; (ii) by tendering shares of Common Stock which have been owned by the Optionee for at least six (6) months prior to the date of exercise having a Fair Market Value (as defined in the Plan) equal to the withholding obligation; (iii) by electing, irrevocably and in writing in substantially the form of Exhibit 2 (the “Withholding Election”), to have the smallest number of whole shares of Common Stock withheld by the Company which, when multiplied by the Fair Market Value (as defined in the Plan) of the Common Stock as of the date the Option is exercised, is sufficient to satisfy the amount of minimum required withholding tax obligations; or (iv) by any combination of the above. Optionee may make a Withholding Election only if the following conditions are met:

(a)  the Withholding Election is made on or prior to the date on which the amount of tax required to be withheld is determined (the “Tax Date”) by executing and delivering to the Company a properly completed Notice of Withholding in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit 2; and

(b)  any Withholding Election will be irrevocable; however, the Committee (as defined in the Plan) may, in its sole discretion, disapprove and give no effect to the Withholding Election.

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3.   Purchase Price. Payment of the Purchase Price for all Option Shares purchased pursuant to the exercise of an Option shall be made in cash or certified check or, alternatively, as follows:

(a)  by delivery to the Company of a number of shares of Common Stock which have been owned by the Optionee for at least six (6) months prior to the date of the Option’s exercise having an aggregate Fair Market Value, as determined under the Plan, on the date of exercise either equal to the Purchase Price or in combination with cash or a certified check to equal the Purchase Price; or

(b)  if the Common Stock is then traded by brokers, whether on a national securities exchange or otherwise, by receipt of the Purchase Price in cash from a broker, dealer or other “creditor” as defined by Regulation T issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System following delivery by the Optionee to the Committee of instructions in a form acceptable to the Committee regarding delivery to such broker, dealer or other creditor of that number of Option Shares with respect to which the Option is exercised.

4.   Rights as Shareholder. Until the stock certificates reflecting the Option Shares accruing to the Optionee upon exercise of the Option are issued to the Optionee, the Optionee shall have no rights as a shareholder with respect to such Option Shares. The Company shall make no adjustment for any dividends or distributions or other rights on or with respect to Option Shares for which the record date is prior to the issuance of that stock certificate, except as the Plan or the attached Award otherwise provides.

5.   Restriction on Transfer of Option. The Option evidenced hereby is nontransferable other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution and shall be exercisable during the lifetime of the Optionee only by the Optionee (or in the event of his Disability, by his personal representative) and after his death, only by his legatee or the executor of his estate.

6.   Changes in Capitalization.

(a)  If the number of shares of Common Stock shall be increased or decreased by reason of a subdivision or combination of shares of Common Stock, the payment of a stock dividend in shares of Common Stock or any other increase or decrease in the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding effected without receipt of consideration by the Company, an appropriate adjustment shall be made by the Committee, in a manner determined in its sole discretion, in the number and kind of Option Shares and in the Exercise Price.

(b)  If the Company shall be the surviving corporation in any merger, consolidation, reorganization, extraordinary dividend, spin-off, or other change in corporate structure of the Company or its Common Stock, the Optionee shall be entitled to purchase the number and class of securities to which a holder of the number of shares of Common Stock subject to the Option at the time of the transaction would have been entitled to receive as a result of such transaction, and a corresponding adjustment, where appropriate, shall be made in the Exercise Price. In the event of a Change in Control or other corporate transaction pursuant to which the Company is not the surviving entity, the Committee may provide for the assumption of the Option by the surviving entity or the substitution of a new option, adjusted in a manner similar to that contemplated by the immediately preceding sentence; however, if the surviving entity does not agree to the assumption or substitution of the Option, the Committee may elect to terminate the Option Period as of the effective date of the Change in Control in consideration of the payment to the Optionee of the sum of the difference between the then aggregate Fair Market Value of the Common Stock and the aggregate Exercise Price for each vested Option Share which has not been exercised as of the effective date of the Change in Control. A dissolution or liquidation of the Company shall cause the Option to terminate as to any portion thereof not exercised as of the effective date of the dissolution or liquidation.

3

 
(c)  The existence of the Plan and the Option granted pursuant to this Agreement shall not affect in any way the right or power of the Company to make or authorize any adjustment, reclassification, reorganization or other change in its capital or business structure, any merger or consolidation of the Company, any issue of debt or equity securities having preferences or priorities as to the Common Stock or the rights thereof, the dissolution or liquidation of the Company, any sale or transfer of all or any part of its business or assets, or any other corporate act or proceeding. Any adjustment pursuant to this Section may provide, in the Committee’s discretion, for the elimination without payment therefor of any fractional shares that might otherwise become subject to any Option.

7.   Special Limitation on Exercise. No purported exercise of the Option shall be effective without the approval of the Committee, which may be withheld to the extent that the exercise, either individually or in the aggregate together with the exercise of other previously exercised stock options and/or offers and sales pursuant to any prior or contemplated offering of securities, would, in the sole and absolute judgment of the Committee, require the filing of a registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or with the securities commission of any state. If a registration statement is not in effect under the Securities Act of 1933 or any applicable state securities law with respect to shares of Common Stock purchasable or otherwise deliverable under the Option, the Optionee (a) shall deliver to the Company, prior to the exercise of the Option or as a condition to the delivery of Common Stock pursuant to the exercise of an Option exercise, such information, representations and warranties as the Company may reasonably request in order for the Company to be able to satisfy itself that the Option Shares are being acquired in accordance with the terms of an applicable exemption from the securities registration requirements of applicable federal and state securities laws and (b) shall agree that the shares of Common Stock so acquired will not be disposed of except pursuant to an effective registration statement, unless the Company shall have received an opinion of counsel that such disposition is exempt from such requirement under the Securities Act of 1933 and any applicable state securities law.

8.   Legend on Stock Certificates.  Certificates evidencing the Option Shares, to the extent appropriate at the time, shall have noted conspicuously on the certificates a legend intended to give all persons full notice of the existence of the conditions, restrictions, rights and obligations set forth herein and in the Plan.

9.   Governing Laws. This Award and the Terms and Conditions shall be construed, administered and enforced according to the laws of the State of Georgia.

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10.         Successors. This Award and the Terms and Conditions shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the heirs, legal representatives, successors and permitted assigns of the Optionee and the Company.

11.        Notice. Except as otherwise specified herein, all notices and other communications under this Award shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been given if personally delivered or if sent by registered or certified United States mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, addressed to the proposed recipient at the last known address of the recipient. Any party may designate any other address to which notices shall be sent by giving notice of the address to the other parties in the same manner as provided herein.

12.         Severability. In the event that any one or more of the provisions or portion thereof contained in the Award and these Terms and Conditions shall for any reason be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, the same shall not invalidate or otherwise affect any other provisions of the Award and these Terms and Conditions, and the Award and these Terms and Conditions shall be construed as if the invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision or portion thereof had never been contained herein.

13.         Entire Agreement. Subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan, the Award and the Terms and Conditions express the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the Option.

14.         Violation. Any transfer, pledge, sale, assignment, or hypothecation of the Option or any portion thereof shall be a violation of the terms of the Award or these Terms and Conditions and shall be void and without effect.

15.         Headings and Capitalized Terms. Section headings used herein are for convenience of reference only and shall not be considered in construing the Award or these Terms and Conditions. Capitalized terms used, but not defined, in either the Award or the Terms and Conditions shall be given the meaning ascribed to them in the Plan.

16.         Specific Performance. In the event of any actual or threatened default in, or breach of, any of the terms, conditions and provisions of the Award and these Terms and Conditions, the party or parties who are thereby aggrieved shall have the right to specific performance and injunction in addition to any and all other rights and remedies at law or in equity, and all such rights and remedies shall be cumulative.

17.         No Right to Continued Retention. Neither the establishment of the Plan nor the award of Option Shares hereunder shall be construed as giving the Optionee the right to continued employment with the Company or any affiliate.

18.         Definition of Cause. As used in this Award, the term “Cause” means cause as defined in any employment agreement between the Optionee and the Company or an Affiliate, or if none, cause means (i) willful and continued failure (other than such failure resulting from his incapacity during physical or mental illness) by the Optionee to substantially perform his duties with the Company or an Affiliate; (ii) willful misconduct by the Optionee; (iii) gross negligence by the Optionee causing material harm to the Company or an Affiliate; (iv) any act by the Optionee of fraud, misappropriation, dishonesty or embezzlement; (v) commission by the Optionee of a felony or any other crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty; or (vi) the habitual and disabling use by the Optionee of alcohol or drugs.

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19.         Definition of Change in Control. As used in this Award, the term “Change in Control” shall have the same meaning as provided in the employment agreement between the Optionee and the Company or Affiliate(s), or if no such definition or employment agreement exists, “Change in Control” shall mean any one of the following events which may occur after the date the Option is granted:

(a)  the acquisition by any individual, entity or “group,” within the meaning of Section 13(d)(3) or Section 14(d)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”) (a “Person”) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of voting securities of the Company or [appropriate Bank(s) name(s)] where such acquisition causes any such Person to own ___ percent (____%) or more of the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors;

(b)  within any twelve-month period, the persons who were directors of the Company or [appropriate Bank(s) name(s)] immediately before the beginning of such twelve-month period (the “Incumbent Directors”) shall cease to constitute at least a majority of such board of directors, provided than any director who was not a director at the beginning of such twelve-month period shall be deemed to be an Incumbent Director if that director were elected to such board of directors by, or on the recommendation of or with the approval of, at least two-thirds (2/3) of the directors who then qualified as Incumbent Directors; and provided further that no director whose initial assumption of office is in connection with an actual or threatened election contest relating to the election of directors shall be deemed to be an Incumbent Director;

(c)  a reorganization, merger or consolidation, with respect to which persons who were the shareholders of the Company or [appropriate Bank(s) name(s)] immediately prior to such reorganization, merger or consolidation do not, immediately thereafter, own more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined voting power entitled to vote in the election of directors of the reorganized, merged or consolidated entity’s then outstanding voting securities; or

(d)  the sale, transfer or assignment of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company or [appropriate Bank(s) name(s)] to any third party.

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EXHIBIT 1

NOTICE OF EXERCISE OF
STOCK OPTION TO PURCHASE
COMMON STOCK OF
 
    Name _____________________________________________
    Address ___________________________________________
    __________________________________________________
    Date ______________________________________________
 
P.O. Box 228
Cedartown, GA 30215
Attn: Secretary

Re:   Exercise of Nonqualified Stock Option

Gentlemen:

Subject to acceptance hereof by SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. (the “Company”) and pursuant to the provisions of the SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Plan”), I hereby give notice of my election to exercise options granted to me to purchase ______________ shares of Common Stock of the Company under the Nonqualified Stock Option Award (the “Award”) dated as of ___________, 200__. The purchase shall take place as of __________, 20___ (the “Exercise Date”).

On or before the Exercise Date, I will pay the applicable purchase price as follows:

o
by delivery of cash or a certified check for $___________ for the full purchase price payable to the order of SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc.

o
by delivery of cash or a certified check for $___________ representing a portion of the purchase price with the balance to consist of shares of Common Stock that I have owned for at least six months and that are represented by a stock certificate I will surrender to the Company with my endorsement. If the number of shares of Common Stock represented by such stock certificate exceed the number to be applied against the purchase price, I understand that a new stock certificate will be issued to me reflecting the excess number of shares.

o
by delivery of a stock certificate representing shares of Common Stock that I have owned for at least six months which I will surrender to the Company with my endorsement as payment of the purchase price. If the number of shares of Common Stock represented by such certificate exceed the number to be applied against the purchase price, I understand that a new certificate will be issued to me reflecting the excess number of shares.
 
Exhibit 1 – Page 1 of 4

 
o
by delivery of the purchase price by _________________________, a broker, dealer or other “creditor” as defined by Regulation T issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. I hereby authorize the Company to issue a stock certificate for the number of shares indicated above in the name of said broker, dealer or other creditor or its nominee pursuant to instructions received by the Company and to deliver said stock certificate directly to that broker, dealer or other creditor (or to such other party specified in the instructions received by the Company from the broker, dealer or other creditor) upon receipt of the purchase price. NOTE: This choice is available only if and when the Common Stock becomes traded by brokers.

The required federal, state, and local income tax withholding obligations, if any, on the exercise of the Award shall be paid on or before the Exercise Date in cash or with previously owned shares of Common Stock, as provided in the Award, or in the manner provided in the Withholding Election previously tendered or to be tendered to the Company no later then the Exercise Date.

As soon as the stock certificate is registered in my name, please deliver it to me at the above address.

If the Common Stock being acquired is not registered for issuance to and resale by the Optionee pursuant to an effective registration statement on Form S-8 (or successor form) filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), I hereby represent, warrant, covenant, and agree with the Company as follows:

The shares of the Common Stock being acquired by me will be acquired for my own account without the participation of any other person, with the intent of holding the Common Stock for investment and without the intent of participating, directly or indirectly, in a distribution of the Common Stock and not with a view to, or for resale in connection with, any distribution of the Common Stock, nor am I aware of the existence of any distribution of the Common Stock;

I am not acquiring the Common Stock based upon any representation, oral or written, by any person with respect to the future value of, or income from, the Common Stock but rather upon an independent examination and judgment as to the prospects of the Company;

The Common Stock was not offered to me by means of publicly disseminated advertisements or sales literature, nor am I aware of any offers made to other persons by such means;

I am able to bear the economic risks of the investment in the Common Stock, including the risk of a complete loss of my investment therein;

I understand and agree that the Common Stock will be issued and sold to me without registration under any state law relating to the registration of securities for sale, and will be issued and sold in reliance on the exemptions from registration under the 1933 Act, provided by Sections 3(b) and/or 4(2) thereof and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder;

Exhibit 1 – Page 2 of 4

 
The Common Stock cannot be offered for sale, sold or transferred by me other than pursuant to: (A) an effective registration under the 1933 Act or in a transaction otherwise in compliance with the 1933 Act; and (B) evidence satisfactory to the Company of compliance with the applicable securities laws of other jurisdictions. The Company shall be entitled to rely upon an opinion of counsel satisfactory to it with respect to compliance with the above laws;

The Company will be under no obligation to register the Common Stock or to comply with any exemption available for sale of the Common Stock without registration or filing, and the information or conditions necessary to permit routine sales of securities of the Company under Rule 144 under the 1933 Act are not now available and no assurance has been given that it or they will become available. The Company is under no obligation to act in any manner so as to make Rule 144 available with respect to the Common Stock;

I have and have had complete access to and the opportunity to review and make copies of all material documents related to the business of the Company, including, but not limited to, contracts, financial statements, tax returns, leases, deeds and other books and records. I have examined such of these documents as I wished and am familiar with the business and affairs of the Company. I realize that the purchase of the Common Stock is a speculative investment and that any possible profit therefrom is uncertain;

I have had the opportunity to ask questions of and receive answers from the Company and any person acting on its behalf and to obtain all material information reasonably available with respect to the Company and its affairs. I have received all information and data with respect to the Company which I have requested and which I have deemed relevant in connection with the evaluation of the merits and risks of my investment in the Company;

I have such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that I am capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the purchase of the Common Stock hereunder and I am able to bear the economic risk of such purchase; and

The agreements, representations, warranties and covenants made by me herein extend to and apply to all of the Common Stock of the Company issued to me pursuant to this Award. Acceptance by me of the certificate representing such Common Stock shall constitute a confirmation by me that all such agreements, representations, warranties and covenants made herein shall be true and correct at that time.

I understand that the certificates representing the shares being purchased by me in accordance with this notice shall bear a legend referring to the foregoing covenants, representations and warranties and restrictions on transfer, and I agree that a legend to that effect may be placed on any certificate which may be issued to me as a substitute for the certificates being acquired by me in accordance with this notice. I further understand that capitalized terms used in this Notice of Exercise without definition shall have the meanings given to them in the Plan.

Exhibit 1 – Page 3 of 4

 
    Very truly yours,
     
    ________________________________________
     
AGREED TO AND ACCEPTED:
   
     
SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.    
     
By: _______________________________    
     
Title: ______________________________    
     
Number of Shares
Exercised: __________________________
   
     
Number of Shares
Remaining: _________________________
  Date: _________________________________________
 
Exhibit 1 – Page 4 of 4


EXHIBIT 2

NOTICE OF WITHHOLDING ELECTION
SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. 2005 STOCK INCENTIVE PLAN
 
TO:   SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc.

FROM:_________________________________________       

RE:   Withholding Election

This election relates to the Option identified in Paragraph 3 below. I hereby certify that:

(1)
My correct name and social security number and my current address are set forth at the end of this document.

(2)
I am (check one, whichever is applicable).

 
o
the original recipient of the Option.

 
o
the legal representative of the estate of the original recipient of the Option.

 
o
a legatee of the original recipient of the Option.

 
o
the legal guardian of the original recipient of the Option.

(3)
The Option to which this election relates was issued under the SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) in the name of _________________________ for the purchase of a total of _______________ shares of Common Stock of the Company. This election relates to _______________ shares of Common Stock issuable upon exercise of the Option, provided that the numbers set forth above shall be deemed changed as appropriate to reflect the applicable Plan provisions.

(4)
In connection with any exercise of the Option with respect to the Common Stock, I hereby elect:

 
o
to have certain of the shares otherwise issuable pursuant to the exercise withheld by the Company for the purpose of having the value of the shares applied to pay federal, state, and local, if any, taxes arising from the exercise.

 
o
to tender shares held by me for a period of at least six (6) months prior to the exercise of the Option for the purpose of having the value of the shares applied to pay such taxes.

The shares to be withheld or tendered, as applicable, shall have, as of the Tax Date applicable to the exercise, a Fair Market Value equal to the minimum statutory tax withholding requirement under federal, state, and local law in connection with the exercise.

Exhibit 2 – Page 1 of 2

 
(5)
This Withholding Election is made no later than the Tax Date and is otherwise timely made pursuant to the Plan.

(6)
I understand that this Withholding Election may not be revised, amended or revoked by me.

(7)
The Plan has been made available to me by the Company. I have read and understand the Plan and I have no reason to believe that any of the conditions to the making of this Withholding Election have not been met.

(8)
Capitalized terms used in this Notice of Withholding Election without definition shall have the meanings given to them in the Plan.
 
 
Dated: _______________________   _____________________________________
    Signature
     
_________________________   _____________________________________
Social Security Number     Name (Printed)
     
    _____________________________________
    Street Address
     
    _____________________________________
    City, State, Zip Code

Exhibit 2 – Page 2 of 2


SCHEDULE 1
VESTING SCHEDULE
NONQUALIFIED STOCK OPTION AWARD
ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE
SOUTHCREST FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. 2005 STOCK INCENTIVE PLAN
 
A.
The Option Shares shall become vested Option Shares following completion of the years of service as an employee of the Company or any Affiliate as indicated in the schedule below.
 
Percentage of Option Shares
Which are Vested Shares
 
Years of Service after the
Grant Date
 
 
 
 
 
 

B.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event of a Change in Control, 100% of the Option Shares shall become vested Option Shares immediately prior to such Change in Control.

C.
For purposes of the Vesting Schedule, Optionee shall be granted a year of service for each twelve-consecutive-month period following the Vesting Commencement Date and during which Optionee continues, at all times, as an employee of the Company or any Affiliate. No credit shall be given for a partial year of service.
 
Schedule 1 – Page 1 of 1