Equity Incentive Plan

MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. 2006 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

Exhibit 4.8

MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN


MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

Table of Contents

 

ARTICLE I    DEFINITIONS

   1

1.01.

  

Accounting Firm

   1

1.02.

  

Administrator

   1

1.03.

  

Agreement

   1

1.04.

  

Award

   1

1.05.

  

Board

   1

1.06.

  

Change in Control

   1

1.07.

  

Code

   2

1.08.

  

Committee

   2

1.09.

  

Common Stock

   3

1.10.

  

Company

   3

1.11.

  

Control Change Date

   3

1.12.

  

Corresponding SAR

   3

1.13.

  

Exchange Act

   3

1.14.

  

Fair Market Value

   3

1.15.

  

Incentive Stock Option

   3

1.16.

  

Initial Value

   3

1.17.

  

Non-Qualified Stock Option

   4

1.18.

  

Option

   4

1.19.

  

Participant

   4

1.20.

  

Performance Criteria

   4

1.21.

  

Performance Shares

   4

1.22.

  

Plan

   4

1.23.

  

SAR

   5

1.24.

  

Stock Award

   5

1.25.

  

Stock Unit

   5

1.26.

  

Subsidiary

   5

ARTICLE II    PURPOSES

   5

ARTICLE III    ADMINISTRATION

   6

ARTICLE IV    ELIGIBILITY

   6

ARTICLE V    STOCK SUBJECT TO PLAN

   7

5.01.

  

Shares Issued

   7

5.02.

  

Aggregate Limit

   7

5.03.

  

Reallocation of Shares

   7

ARTICLE VI    OPTIONS

   7

6.01.

  

Award

   7

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

6.02.

  

Option Price

   8

6.03.

  

Maximum Option Period

   8

6.04.

  

Nontransferability

   8

6.05.

  

Transferable Options

   8

6.06.

  

Employee Status

   8

6.07.

  

Exercise

   9

6.08.

  

Payment

   9

6.09.

  

Shareholder Rights

   9

6.10.

  

Disposition of Stock

   9

ARTICLE VII    SARS

   10

7.01.

  

Award

   10

7.02.

  

Maximum SAR Period

   10

7.03.

  

Nontransferability

   10

7.04.

  

Transferable SARs

   10

7.05.

  

Exercise

   11

7.06.

  

Employee Status

   11

7.07.

  

Settlement

   11

7.08.

  

Shareholder Rights

   11

ARTICLE VIII    STOCK AWARDS

   11

8.01.

  

Award

   11

8.02.

  

Vesting

   11

8.03.

  

Employee Status

   12

8.04.

  

Shareholder Rights

   12

ARTICLE IX    PERFORMANCE SHARE AWARDS

   12

9.01.

  

Award

   12

9.02.

  

Earning the Award

   12

9.03.

  

Payment

   13

9.04.

  

Shareholder Rights

   13

9.05.

  

Nontransferability

   13

9.06.

  

Transferable Performance Shares

   13

9.07.

  

Employee Status

   14

ARTICLE X    STOCK UNITS

   14

10.01.

  

Award

   14

10.02.

  

Earning the Award

   14

10.03.

  

Payment

   14

10.04.

  

Nontransferability

   14

10.05.

  

Shareholder Rights

   15

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE XI    ADJUSTMENT UPON CHANGE IN COMMON STOCK

   15

ARTICLE XII    COMPLIANCE WITH LAW AND APPROVAL OF REGULATORY BODIES

   15

ARTICLE XIII    GENERAL PROVISIONS

   16

13.01.

  

Effect on Employment and Service

   16

13.02.

  

Unfunded Plan

   16

13.03.

  

Rules of Construction

   16

13.04.

  

Tax Withholding

   16

13.05.

  

Change in Control

   16

ARTICLE XIV    AMENDMENT

   17

ARTICLE XV    DURATION OF PLAN

   17

ARTICLE XVI    EFFECTIVE DATE OF PLAN

   17

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE I

DEFINITIONS

 

1.01. Accounting Firm

Accounting Firm means the independent accounting firm engaged to audit the Company’s financial statements.

 

1.02. Administrator

Administrator means the Committee and any delegate of the Committee that is appointed in accordance with Article III. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, “Administrator” means the Board on any date on which there is not a Committee.

 

1.03. Agreement

Agreement means a written agreement (including any amendment or supplement thereto) between the Company and a Participant specifying the terms and conditions of an Award granted to such Participant.

 

1.04. Award

Award means an award of Performance Shares, or a Stock Award, Stock Unit, Option or SAR granted to a Participant.

 

1.05. Board

Board means the Board of Directors of the Company.

 

1.06. Change in Control

Change in Control means the occurrence of any of the events set forth in any one of the following paragraphs:

(a) The Company is merged or consolidated or reorganized into or with another company or other legal entity, and as a result of such merger, consolidation or reorganization less than a majority of the combined voting power of the then outstanding securities of such resulting company or entity immediately after such transaction is held directly or indirectly in the aggregate by the holders of voting securities of the Company immediately prior to such transaction, including voting securities issuable upon the exercise or conversion of options, warrants or other securities or rights; or

(b) The Company sells or otherwise transfers all or substantially all of its assets to another company or other legal entity, and as a result of such sale or other transfer of assets, less than a majority of the combined voting power of the then outstanding securities of such company or other entity immediately after such sale or transfer is held directly or indirectly in the aggregate by the holders of voting securities of the Company immediately prior to such

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

sale or transfer, including voting securities issuable upon exercise or conversion of options, warrants or other securities or rights; or

(c) Individuals who, as of the effective date of the Plan, constitute the Board (the “Incumbent Board”) cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority of the Board; provided, however, that any individual becoming a director subsequent to the Effective Date whose election, or nomination for election by the Company’s shareholders, was approved by a vote of at least two thirds of the directors then comprising the Incumbent Board shall be considered as though such individual were a member of the Incumbent Board, but excluding, for this purpose, any such individual whose initial assumption of office occurs as a result of an actual or threatened election contest with respect to the election or removal of directors or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a person or entity other than the Board; or

(d) Approval by the shareholders of the Company of a complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company; or

(e) An acquisition by an individual, entity or group (within the meaning of Section 13(d)(3) or 14(d)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”)) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of 50% or more of either the then outstanding shares (“Outstanding Company Stock”), or the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote generally in the election of directors (“Outstanding Company Voting Securities”), excluding, however, the following: (i) any acquisition directly from the Company other than the acquisition by virtue of the exercise of a conversion privilege unless the security being so converted was itself acquired directly from the Company, (ii) any acquisition by the Company or any of its subsidiaries, or (iii) any acquisition by any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by the Company or any of its subsidiaries; or

(f) Approval by the Board of Directors of the Company of a resolution that a Change in Control has occurred.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a “Change in Control” shall not be deemed to have occurred by virtue of the consummation of any transaction or series of integrated transactions immediately following which the recordholders of the common stock of the Company immediately prior to such transaction or series of transactions continue to have substantially the same proportionate ownership in an entity which owns all or substantially all of the assets of the Company immediately following such transaction or series of transactions.

 

1.07. Code

Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and any amendments thereto.

 

1.08. Committee

Committee means the Compensation Committee of the Board.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

1.09. Common Stock

Common Stock means the common stock of the Company.

 

1.10. Company

Company means Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc.

 

1.11. Control Change Date

Control Change Date means the date on which a Change in Control occurs. If a Change in Control occurs on account of a series of transactions, the Control Change Date is the date of the last of such transactions.

 

1.12. Corresponding SAR

Corresponding SAR means an SAR that is granted in relation to a particular Option and that can be exercised only upon the surrender to the Company, unexercised, of that portion of the Option to which the SAR relates.

 

1.13. Exchange Act

Exchange Act means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended from time to time.

 

1.14. Fair Market Value

Fair Market Value means, on any given date, the reported “closing” price of a share of Common Stock on the NASDAQ National Market System or the Principal Stock Exchange on which the Common Stock is traded, or if the Common Stock was not so traded on such day, then on the next preceding day that the Common Stock was so traded.

 

1.15. Incentive Stock Option

Incentive Stock Option means an Option which qualifies and is intended to quality as an Incentive Stock Option under Section 422 of the Code.

 

1.16. Initial Value

Initial Value means, with respect to a Corresponding SAR, the option price per share of the related Option and, with respect to an SAR granted independently of an Option, the price per share of Common Stock as determined by the Administrator on the date of the grant; provided, however, that the price per share of Common Stock encompassed by the grant if an SAR shall not be less than Fair Market Value on the date of grant. Except for an adjustment authorized under Article XI, the Initial Value may not be reduced (by amendment or cancellation of the sale or otherwise) after the date of grant.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

1.17. Non-Qualified Stock Option

Non-Qualified Stock Option means an Option other than an Incentive Stock Option.

 

1.18. Option

Option means a stock option that entitles the holder to purchase from the Company a stated number of shares of Common Stock at the price set forth in an Agreement.

 

1.19. Participant

Participant means an employee of the Company or a Subsidiary, a member of the Board or the board of directors of a Subsidiary or any consultant or advisor to the Company or a Subsidiary who satisfies the requirements of Article IV and is selected by the Administrator to receive an Award.

 

1.20. Performance Criteria

Performance Criteria means one or more of (a) cash flow and/or free cash flow (before or after dividends), (b) earnings per share as defined by the Company, (c) EBITDA (as defined by the Company), (d) the price of Common Stock, (e) return on equity, (f) total shareholder return, (g) return on capital (including return on total capital or return on invested capital), (h) return on assets or net assets, (i) market capitalization, (j) total enterprise value (market capitalization plus debt), (k) economic value added (or equivalent metric), (l) debt leverage (debt to capital), (m) revenue, (n) income (including net income, operating income, pre or after-tax income or income from continuing operations), (o) operating profit or net operating profit, (p) operating margin or profit margin, (q) return on operating revenue, (r) cash from operations, (s) operating ratio, (t) cash flow per share, (u) market share (v) subscriber growth (on a gross or net basis), (w) churn, (x) capital expenditures, and (y) expense levels. Measurement of Performance Criteria against goals excludes the impact of charges for restructurings, discontinued operations, extraordinary items, and other unusual or non-recurring items, and the cumulative effects of accounting changes, each as defined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and as identified in the financial statements or Management’s Discussion and Analysis in the Annual Report. Performance Criteria may be established on a Company-wide basis, with respect to one or more business units, divisions or subsidiaries; and in either absolute terms or relative to the performance of one or more comparable companies or an index covering multiple companies.

 

1.21. Performance Shares

Performance Shares means an Award, in the amount determined by the Administrator and specified in an Agreement, stated with reference to a specified number of shares of Common Stock or Stock Units, that entitles the holder to receive a payment for each specified share equal to the Fair Market Value of Common Stock on the date of payment.

 

1.22. Plan

Plan means the Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. 2006 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

1.23. SAR

SAR means a stock appreciation right that entitles the holder to receive, with respect to each share of Common Stock encompassed by the exercise of such SAR, the excess, if any, of the Fair Market Value at the time of exercise over the Initial Value. References to “SARs” include both Corresponding SARs and SARs granted independently of Options, unless the context requires otherwise.

 

1.24. Stock Award

Stock Award means Common Stock or Stock Units awarded to a Participant under Article VIII, including shares issued in settlement of benefit obligations under the Company’s incentive compensation or deferral plan or any successor thereto.

 

1.25. Stock Unit

Stock Unit means an Award, in the amount determined by the Administrator and specified in an Agreement, stated with reference to a specified number of shares of Common Stock, that entitles the holder to receive a payment for each Stock Unit equal to the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date of payment. To the extent provided in an Agreement, each Stock Unit Award shall be adjusted (from the date of grant to the date of payment), to reflect the payment of dividends on the comparable number of shares of Common Stock and the adjustment shall be in the form of additional Stock Units as if such dividends had been invested in Common Stock on the dividend payment date.

 

1.26. Subsidiary

Subsidiary means a corporation, partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association or other entity in which the Company has a direct or indirect ownership or other equity interest that represents, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the total combined voting power represented by all classes of stock or other ownership or equity interest units issued by such corporation, partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association or other entity.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSES

The Plan is intended to assist the Company and its Subsidiaries in recruiting and retaining individuals with ability and initiative by enabling such persons to participate in the future success of the Company and its Subsidiaries and to associate their interests with those of the Company and its shareholders. The Plan is intended to permit the grant of Options, SARs, Stock Awards, Stock Units and Performance Shares. No Option that is intended to be an Incentive Stock Option shall be invalid for failure to quality as an Incentive Stock Option. The proceeds received by the Company from the sale of Common Stock pursuant to this Plan shall be used for general corporate purposes.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE III

ADMINISTRATION

The Plan shall be administered by the Administrator. The Administrator shall have authority to grant Awards, upon such terms (not inconsistent with the provisions of this Plan), as the Administrator may consider appropriate. Such terms may include conditions (in addition to those contained in this Plan) on the exercisability of all or any part of an Option or SAR or on the transferability or forfeitability of a Stock Award, Stock Unit or an award of Performance Shares, including by way of example and not of limitation, requirements that the Participant complete a specified period of employment or service with the Company or a Subsidiary, requirements that the Company achieve a specified level of financial performance or that the Company achieve a specified level of financial return. Notwithstanding any such conditions, the Administrator may, in its discretion, accelerate the time at which any Option or SAR may be exercised, or the time at which a Stock Award may become transferable or nonforfeitable or both, or the time at which an award of Performance Shares or Stock Unit may be settled. In addition, the Administrator shall have complete authority to interpret all provisions of this Plan; to prescribe the form of Agreements; to adopt, amend, and rescind rules and regulations pertaining to the administration of the Plan; and to make all other determinations necessary or advisable for the administration of this Plan. The express grant in the Plan of any specific power to the Administrator shall not be construed as limiting any power or authority of the Administrator. Any decision made, or action taken, by the Administrator in connection with the administration of this Plan shall be final and conclusive. Neither the Administrator nor any member of the Committee shall be liable for any act done in good faith with respect to this Plan or any Agreement or Award. All expenses of administering this Plan shall be borne by the Company, a Subsidiary or a combination thereof.

The Committee, in its discretion, may delegate to one or more officers of the Company all or part of the Committee’s authority and duties with respect to grants and awards to individuals who are not subject to the reporting and other provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. The Committee may revoke or amend the terms of a delegation at any time but such action shall not invalidate any prior actions of the Committee’s delegate or delegates that were consistent with the terms of the Plan.

ARTICLE IV

ELIGIBILITY

Any employee of the Company, any member of the Board, any employee or director of a Subsidiary (including a corporation that becomes a Subsidiary after the adoption of this Plan) or any consultant or advisor to the Company or a Subsidiary is eligible to participate in this Plan if the Administrator, in its sole discretion, determines that such person has contributed or can be expected to contribute to the profits or growth of the Company or a Subsidiary.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE V

STOCK SUBJECT TO PLAN

 

5.01. Shares Issued

Upon the Award of shares of Common Stock pursuant to a Stock Award or in settlement of an Award of Performance Shares or Stock Units, the Company may issue shares of Common Stock from its authorized but unissued Common Stock. Upon the exercise of any Option or SAR the Company may deliver to the Participant (or the Participant’s broker if the Participant so directs), shares of Common Stock from its authorized but unissued Common Stock.

 

5.02. Aggregate Limit

The maximum aggregate number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued under this Plan, pursuant to the exercise of SARs and Options, the grant of Stock Awards and the settlement of Performance Shares and Stock Units is 420,000 shares plus any shares of Common Stock remaining available for grant under the Monarch Bank 1999 Incentive Stock Option Plan (the “Prior Plan”) on the effective date of the Plan. The maximum aggregate number of shares that may be issued under this Plan shall be subject to adjustment as provided in Article XI.

 

5.03. Reallocation of Shares

(a) If any shares of Common Stock subject to an Award or to an award under the Prior Plan are forfeited, expire or otherwise terminate without the issuance of shares of Common Stock or any Award under the Prior Plan is settled for cash or otherwise does not result in the issuance of all or a portion of the shares of Common Stock subject to such Award or award under the Prior Plan, the shares of Common Stock shall, to the extent of such forfeiture, expiration, termination, cash settlement or non-issuance, again be available for Awards under the Plan.

(b) If shares of Common Stock are surrendered either actually or by attestation or withheld (i) pursuant to the exercise of an Option or other Award under the Plan or award under the Prior Plan or (ii) in satisfaction of tax withholding requirements with respect to Awards under the Plan or awards under the Prior Plan, the number of shares surrendered or withheld may be reallocated to other Awards to be granted under this Plan.

ARTICLE VI

OPTIONS

 

6.01. Award

In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, the Administrator will designate each individual to whom an Option is to be granted and will specify the number of shares of Common Stock covered by each such Award.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

6.02. Option Price

The price per share for Common Stock purchased on the exercise of an Option shall be determined by the Administrator on the date of grant, but shall not be less than the Fair Market Value on the date the Option is granted. Except for an adjustment authorized under Article XII, the Option price may not be reduced (by amendment or cancellation of the Option or otherwise) after the date of grant.

 

6.03. Maximum Option Period

The maximum period in which an Option may be exercised shall be ten years from the date such Option was granted. The terms of any Option may provide that it has a term that is less than such maximum period.

 

6.04. Nontransferability

Except as provided in Section 6.05, each Option granted under this Plan shall be nontransferable except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. In the event of any transfer of an Option (by the Participant or his transferee), the Option and any Corresponding SAR that relates to such Option must be transferred to the same person or persons or entity or entities. Except as provided in Section 6.05, during the lifetime of the Participant to whom the Option is granted, the Option may be exercised only by the Participant. No right or interest of a Participant in any Option shall be liable for, or subject to, any lien, obligation, or liability of such Participant.

 

6.05. Transferable Options

Section 6.04 to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Agreement provides, a Non-Qualified Stock Option may be transferred by a Participant to the Participant’s immediate family members, one or more trusts for the benefit of such family members or a partnership in which such family members are the only partners, on such terms and conditions as may be permitted under Securities Exchange Commission Rule 16b-3 as in effect from time to time. The holder of an Option transferred pursuant to this Section must agree in writing to be bound by the same terms and conditions that governed the Option during the period that it was held by the Participant; provided, however, that such transferee may not transfer the Option except by will or the laws of descent and distribution. In the event of any transfer of an Option (by the Participant or his transferee), the Option and any Corresponding SAR that relates to such Option must be transferred to the same person or persons or entity or entities.

 

6.06. Employee Status

For purposes of determining the applicability of Section 422 of the Code (relating to Incentive Stock Options), or in the event that the terms of any Option provide that it may be exercised only during employment or continued service or within a specified period of time after termination of employment or service, the Administrator may decide to what extent leaves of

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

absence for governmental or military service, illness, temporary disability, or other reasons shall not be deemed interruptions of continuous employment or service.

 

6.07. Exercise

Subject to the provisions of this Plan and the applicable Agreement, an Option may be exercised in whole at any time or in part from time to time at such times and in compliance with such requirements as the Administrator shall determine; provided, however, that Incentive Stock Options (granted under the Plan and all plans of the Company and its related entities) may not be first exercisable in a calendar year for stock having a Fair Market Value (determined as of the date an Option is granted) exceeding the limit prescribed by Section 422(d) of the Code. To the extent any Option exceeds this limit, it shall constitute a Non-Qualified Stock Option. An Option granted under this Plan may be exercised with respect to any number of whole shares less than the full number for which the Option could be exercised. A partial exercise of an Option shall not affect the right to exercise the Option from time to time in accordance with this Plan and the applicable Agreement with respect to the remaining shares subject to the Option. The exercise of an Option shall result in the termination of any Corresponding SAR to the extent of the number of shares with respect to which the Option is exercised.

 

6.08. Payment

Unless otherwise provided by the Agreement, payment of the Option price shall be made in cash or a cash equivalent acceptable to the Administrator or to the extent permitted under the Agreement, by a cashless exercise through a securities broker. Subject to rules established by the Administrator, payment of all or part of the Option price may be made with shares of Common Stock which have been owned by the Participant. If Common Stock is used to pay all or part of the Option price, the sum of the cash and cash equivalent and the Fair Market Value (determined as of the day preceding the date of exercise) of the shares surrendered must not be less than the Option price of the shares for which the Option is being exercised.

 

6.09. Shareholder Rights

No Participant shall have any rights as a shareholder with respect to shares subject to his Option until the date of exercise of such Option.

 

6.10. Disposition of Stock

A Participant shall notify the Company of any sale or other disposition of Common Stock acquired pursuant to an Option that was an Incentive Stock Option if such sale or disposition occurs (i) within two years of the grant of an Option or (ii) within one year of the issuance of the Common Stock the Participant. Such notice shall be in writing and directed to the Secretary of the Company.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE VII

SARS

 

7.01. Award

In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, the Administrator will designate each individual to whom SARs are to be granted and will specify the number of shares covered by each such Award. For purposes of the foregoing limit, an Option and Corresponding SAR shall be treated as a single Award. In addition, no Participant may be granted Corresponding SARs (under all Incentive Stock Option plans of the Company and its Affiliates) that are related to Incentive Stock Options which are first exercisable in any calendar year for stock having an aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the date the related Option is granted) that exceeds the limit prescribed by Section 422(d) of the Code.

 

7.02. Maximum SAR Period

The maximum period in which an SAR may be exercised shall be ten years from the date such SAR was granted provided, however, that a Corresponding SAR granted to a Ten Percent Shareholder and related to an Incentive Stock Option shall not be exercisable after the expiration of five years from the date such SAR was granted. The terms of any SAR may provide that it has a term that is less than such maximum period.

 

7.03. Nontransferability

Except as provided in Section 7.04, each SAR granted under this Plan shall be nontransferable except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. In the event of any such transfer, a Corresponding SAR and the related Option must be transferred to the same person or persons or entity or entities. Except as provided in Section 7.04, during the lifetime of the Participant to whom the SAR is granted, the SAR may be exercised only by the Participant. No right or interest of a Participant in any SAR shall be liable for, or subject to, any lien, obligation, or liability of such Participant.

 

7.04. Transferable SARs

Section 7.03 to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Agreement provides, an SAR, other than a Corresponding SAR that is related to an Incentive Stock Option, may be transferred by a Participant to the Participant’s immediate family members, one or more trusts for the benefit of such family members or a partnership in which such family members are the only partners, on such terms and conditions as may be permitted under Securities Exchange Commission Rule 16b-3 as in effect from time to time. The holder of an SAR transferred pursuant to this Section must agree in writing to be bound by the same terms and conditions that governed the SAR during the period that it was held by the Participant; provided, however, that such transferee may not transfer the SAR except by will or the laws of descent and distribution. In the event of any transfer of a Corresponding SAR (by the Participant or his transferee), the Corresponding SAR and the related Option must be transferred to the same person or persons or entity or entities.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

7.05. Exercise

Subject to the provisions of this Plan and the applicable Agreement, an SAR may be exercised in whole at any time or in part from time to time at such times and in compliance with such requirements as the Administrator shall determine. An SAR granted under this Plan may be exercised with respect to any number of whole shares less than the full number for which the SAR could be exercised. A partial exercise of an SAR shall not affect the right to exercise the SAR from time to time in accordance with this Plan and the applicable Agreement with respect to the remaining shares subject to the SAR. The exercise of a Corresponding SAR shall result in the termination of the related Option to the extent of the number of shares with respect to which the SAR is exercised.

 

7.06. Employee Status

If the terms of any SAR provide that it may be exercised only during employment or continued service or within a specified period of time after termination of employment or service, the Administrator may decide to what extent leaves of absence for governmental or military service, illness, temporary disability or other reasons shall not be deemed interruptions of continuous employment or service.

 

7.07. Settlement

At the Administrator’s discretion, the amount payable as a result of the exercise of an SAR may be settled in cash, Common Stock, or a combination of cash and Common Stock. No fractional share will be deliverable upon the exercise of an SAR but a cash payment will be made in lieu thereof.

 

7.08. Shareholder Rights

No Participant shall, as a result of receiving an SAR, have any rights as a shareholder of the Company until the date that the SAR is exercised and then only to the extent that the SAR is settled by the issuance of Common Stock.

ARTICLE VIII

STOCK AWARDS

 

8.01. Award

In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, the Administrator will designate each individual to whom a Stock Award is to be made and will specify the number of shares of Common Stock covered by each such Award.

 

8.02. Vesting

The Administrator, on the date of the Award, may prescribe that a Participant’s rights in a Stock Award shall be forfeitable or otherwise restricted for a period of time or subject to such

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

conditions as may be set forth in the Agreement. By way of example and not of limitation, the restrictions may postpone transferability of the shares or may provide that the shares will be forfeited if the Participant separates from the service of the Company and its Subsidiaries before the expiration of a stated period. The Administrator, in its discretion, may waive the requirements for vesting or transferability for all or part of the shares subject to a Stock Award in connection with a Participant’s termination of employment or service.

 

8.03. Employee Status

In the event that the terms of any Stock Award provide that shares may become transferable and nonforfeitable thereunder only after completion of a specified period of employment or service, the Administrator may decide in each case to what extent leaves of absence for governmental or military service, illness, temporary disability, or other reasons shall not be deemed interruptions of continuous employment or service.

 

8.04. Shareholder Rights

Prior to their forfeiture (in accordance with the applicable Agreement and while the shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the Stock Award may be forfeited or are nontransferable), a Participant will have all the rights of a shareholder with respect to a Stock Award, including the right to receive dividends and vote the shares; provided, however, that during such period (i) a Participant may not sell, transfer, pledge, exchange, hypothecate, or otherwise dispose of shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to a Stock Award, (ii) the Company shall retain custody of the certificates evidencing shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to a Stock Award, and (iii) the Participant will deliver to the Company a stock power, endorsed in blank, with respect to each Stock Award. The limitations set forth in the preceding sentence shall not apply after the shares of Common Stock granted under the Stock Award are transferable and are no longer forfeitable.

ARTICLE IX

PERFORMANCE SHARE AWARDS

 

9.01. Award

In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, the Administrator will designate each individual to whom an Award of Performance Shares is to be made and will specify the number of shares of Common Stock covered by each such Award.

 

9.02. Earning the Award

The Administrator, on the date of the grant of an Award, shall prescribe that the Performance Shares, or a portion thereof, will be earned, and the Participant will be entitled to receive payment pursuant to the Award of Performance Shares, only upon the satisfaction of performance objectives or such other criteria as may be prescribed by the Administrator and set forth in the Agreement. The restrictions set forth in the Agreement must include the attainment

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

of performance objectives, including performance objectives stated with reference to Performance Criteria; provided, however, that such restrictions shall not apply in the case of a Stock Award granted in connection with the settlement of Performance Shares, Stock Awards or an or in the case of a substitute Award pursuant to Article XI. By way of example and not of limitation, the performance objectives or other criteria may provide that the Performance Shares will be earned only if the Participant remains in the employ or service of the Company or a Subsidiary for a stated period and that the Company, a Subsidiary, the Company and its Subsidiaries or the Participant achieve stated objectives. Notwithstanding the preceding sentences of this Section 9.02, the Administrator, in its discretion, may reduce the duration of the performance period and may adjust the performance objectives for outstanding Performance Shares in connection with a Participant’s termination of employment or service.

 

9.03. Payment

In the discretion of the Administrator, the amount payable when an Award of Performance Shares is earned may be settled in cash, by the issuance of Common Stock, grant of Stock Units or a combination of cash, Common Stock and/or Stock Units. A fractional share shall not be deliverable when an Award of Performance Shares is earned, but a cash payment will be made in lieu thereof.

 

9.04. Shareholder Rights

No Participant shall, as a result of receiving an Award of Performance Shares, have any rights as a shareholder until and to the extent that the Award of Performance Shares is earned and settled by the issuance of Common Stock. After an Award of Performance Shares is earned, if settled completely or partially in Common Stock, a Participant will have all the rights of a shareholder with respect to such Common Stock.

 

9.05. Nontransferability

Except as provided in Section 9.06, Performance Shares granted under this Plan shall be nontransferable except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. No right or interest of a Participant in any Performance Shares shall be liable for, or subject to, any lien, obligation, or liability of such Participant.

 

9.06. Transferable Performance Shares

Section 9.05 to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Agreement provides, an Award of Performance Shares may be transferred by a Participant to the Participant’s immediate family members, one or more trusts for the benefit of such family members or a partnership in which such family members are the only partners, on such terms and conditions as may be permitted under Securities Exchange Commission Rule 16b-3 as in effect from time to time. The holder of Performance Shares transferred pursuant to this Section must agree in writing to be bound by the same terms and conditions that governed the Performance Shares during the period that they were held by the Participant; provided, however that such transferee may not transfer Performance Shares except by will or the laws of descent and distribution.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

9.07. Employee Status

In the event that the terms of any Performance Share Award provide that no payment will be made unless the Participant completes a stated period of employment or service, the Administrator may decide to what extent leaves of absence for government or military service, illness, temporary disability, or other reasons shall not be deemed interruptions of continuous employment or service.

ARTICLE X

STOCK UNITS

 

10.01. Award

In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, the Administrator will designate each individual to whom an Award of Stock Units is to be made and will specify the number of Stock Units covered by such Awards.

 

10.02. Earning the Award

The Administrator, on the date of grant of the Award, may prescribe that the Stock Units or a portion thereof, will be earned only upon, and the Participant will be entitled to receive a payment pursuant to the Award of Stock Units, only upon the satisfaction of performance objectives or such other criteria as may be prescribed by the Administrator and set forth in the Agreement. By way of example and not of limitation, the Performance Criteria or other criteria may provide that the Stock Units will be earned only if the Participant remains in the employ or service of the Company or a Subsidiary for a stated period or that the Company, a Subsidiary, the Company and its Subsidiaries or the Participant achieve stated objectives including performance objectives stated with reference to Performance Criteria. Notwithstanding the preceding sentences of this Section 10.02, the Administrator, in its discretion, may reduce the duration of the performance period and may adjust the performance objectives for outstanding Stock Units in connection with a Participant’s termination of employment or service.

 

10.03. Payment

In accordance with the Agreement, the amount payable when an award of Stock Units is earned may be settled in cash, Common Stock or a combination of cash and Common Stock. A fractional share shall not be deliverable when an Award of Stock Units is earned, but a cash payment will be made in lieu thereof.

 

10.04. Nontransferability

A Participant may not sell, transfer, pledge, exchange, hypothecate, or otherwise dispose of a Stock Unit Award other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. The limitations set forth in the preceding sentence shall not apply to Common Stock issued as payment pursuant to a Stock Unit Award.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

10.05. Shareholder Rights

No Participant shall, as a result of receiving a Stock Unit Award, have any rights as a shareholder of the Company or Subsidiary until and to the extent that the Stock Units are earned and settled in shares of Common Stock. After Stock Units are earned and settled in shares of Common Stock, a Participant will have all the rights of a shareholder with respect to such shares.

ARTICLE XI

ADJUSTMENT UPON CHANGE IN COMMON STOCK

The maximum number of shares as to which Awards may be granted under this Plan and the terms of outstanding Awards shall be adjusted as the Committee shall determine to be equitably required in the event that (a) the Company (i) effects one or more stock dividends, stock split-ups, subdivisions or consolidations of shares or (ii) engages in a transaction to which Section 424 of the Code applies, (b) there occurs any other event which, in the judgment of the Committee necessitates such action. Any such adjustment of outstanding Options or SAR must satisfy the requirements of Treasury Regulation 1.424-1 and section 409A of the Code. Any determination made under this Article XI by the Committee shall be final and conclusive.

The issuance by the Company of shares of stock of any class, or securities convertible into shares of stock of any class, for cash or property, or for labor or services, either upon direct sale or upon the exercise of rights or warrants to subscribe therefore, or upon conversion of shares or obligations of the Company convertible into such shares or other securities, shall not affect, and no adjustment by reason thereof shall be made with respect to, the maximum number of shares as to which Awards may be granted, or the terms of outstanding Awards.

The Committee may make Awards in substitution for performance shares, phantom shares, stock awards, stock options, stock appreciation rights, or similar awards held by an individual who becomes an employee of the Company or a Subsidiary in connection with a transaction or event described in the first paragraph of this Article XI. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan (other than the limitation of Section 5.02), the terms of such substituted Awards shall be as the Committee, in its discretion, determines is appropriate.

ARTICLE XII

COMPLIANCE WITH LAW AND APPROVAL OF REGULATORY BODIES

No Option or SAR shall be exercisable, no Common Stock shall be issued, no certificates for shares of Common Stock shall be delivered, and no payment shall be made under this Plan except in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations (including, without limitation, withholding tax requirements), any listing agreement to which the Company is a party, and the rules of all domestic stock exchanges on which the Company’s shares may be listed. The Company shall have the right to rely on an opinion of its counsel as to such compliance. Any share certificate issued to evidence Common Stock when a Stock Award is granted, a Performance Share or Stock Unit is settled or for which an Option or SAR is exercised

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

may bear such legends and statements as the Administrator may deem advisable to assure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. No Option or SAR shall be exercisable, no Stock Award, Stock Unit or Performance Share shall be granted, no Common Stock shall be issued, no certificate for shares shall be delivered, and no payment shall be made under this Plan until the Company has obtained such consent or approval as the Administrator may deem advisable from regulatory bodies having jurisdiction over such matters.

ARTICLE XIII

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

13.01. Effect on Employment and Service

Neither the adoption of this Plan, its operation, nor any documents describing or referring to this Plan (or any part thereof), shall confer upon any individual any right to continue in the employ or service of the Company or a Subsidiary or in any way affect any right or power of the Company or a Subsidiary to terminate the employment or service of any individual at any time with or without assigning a reason therefore.

 

13.02. Unfunded Plan

The Plan, insofar as it provides for grants, shall be unfunded, and the Company shall not be required to segregate any assets that may at any time be represented by grants under this Plan. Any liability of the Company to any person with respect to any grant under this Plan shall be based solely upon any contractual obligations that may be created pursuant to this Plan. No such obligation of the Company shall be deemed to be secured by any pledge of, or other encumbrance on, any property of the Company.

 

13.03. Rules of Construction

Headings are given to the articles and sections of this Plan solely as a convenience to facilitate reference. The reference to any statute, regulation, or other provision of law shall be construed to refer to any amendment to or successor of such provision of law.

 

13.04. Tax Withholding

Each Participant shall be responsible for satisfying any income and employment tax withholding obligation attributable to participation in this Plan. In accordance with procedures established by the Administrator, a Participant may surrender shares of Common Stock, or receive fewer shares of Common Stock than otherwise would be issuable, in satisfaction of all or part of that obligation.

 

13.05. Change in Control

At the discretion of the Committee and in accordance with the Agreement, a Participant’s interest in a Stock Award, Performance Share or Stock Unit may be made nonforfeitable and transferable as of a Change of Control Date, and that a grant of an Option or SAR may be exercised immediately in full upon a Change of Control.

 

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MONARCH FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.

2006 Equity Incentive Plan

 

ARTICLE XIV

AMENDMENT

The Board may amend or terminate this Plan from time to time; provided, however, that no amendment may become effective until shareholder approval is obtained if (i) the amendment increases the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued under the Plan (other than an adjustment pursuant to Article XI) or (ii) the amendment changes the class of individuals eligible to become Participants. No amendment shall, without a Participant’s consent, adversely affect any rights of such Participant under any Award outstanding at the time such amendment is made.

ARTICLE XV

DURATION OF PLAN

No Award may be granted under this Plan more than ten years after the earlier of the date the Plan is adopted by the Board or the date that the Plan is approved in accordance with Article XVI. Awards granted before that date shall remain valid in accordance with their terms.

ARTICLE XVI

EFFECTIVE DATE OF PLAN

Options, SARs, Stock Units and Performance Shares may be granted under this Plan upon its adoption by the Board, provided that no Option, SAR, Stock Units or Performance Shares shall be effective or exercisable unless this Plan is approved by a majority of the votes cast by the Company’s shareholders, voting either in person or by proxy, at a duly held shareholders’ meeting at which a quorum is present or by unanimous consent. Stock Awards may be granted under this Plan, upon the later of its adoption by the Board or its approval by shareholders in accordance with the preceding sentence.

 

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