mitk-def14a_20160302.htm

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

SCHEDULE 14A

(RULE 14a-101)

INFORMATION REQUIRED IN

PROXY STATEMENT

SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION

Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of

the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

(Amendment No.    )

Filed by the Registrant  x

Filed by a party other than the Registrant  o

Check the appropriate box:

 

o

Preliminary Proxy Statement

o

Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))

x

Definitive Proxy Statement

o

Definitive Additional Materials

o

Soliciting Material under § 240.14a-12

 

MITEK SYSTEMS, INC.

(Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if Other Than the Registrant)

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

 

x

No fee required.

¨

Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.

 

(1)

Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:

 

 

(2)

Aggregate number of securities to which transaction applies:

 

 

(3)

Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0-11 (set forth the amount on which the filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):

 

 

(4)

Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:

 

 

(5)

Total fee paid:

 

 

¨

 

Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.

¨

Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.

 

(1)

Amount Previously Paid:

 

 

 

(2)

Form, Schedule or Registration Statement No.:

 

 

 

(3)

Filing Party:

 

 

 

(4)

Date Filed:

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

MITEK SYSTEMS, INC.

8911 BALBOA AVENUE

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92123

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

TO BE HELD MARCH 2, 2016

TO THE STOCKHOLDERS OF MITEK SYSTEMS, INC.

The annual meeting of stockholders of Mitek Systems, Inc., will be held at 9:00 a.m., local time, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at our executive offices located at 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, for the following purposes:

 

1.

To elect the following seven directors to serve until our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders and until their respective successors have been elected and qualified: John M. Thornton, James B. DeBello, William K. “Bill” Aulet, Vinton P. Cunningham, James C. Hale, Bruce E. Hansen, and Alex W. “Pete” Hart;

 

2.

To approve an amendment to the Mitek Systems, Inc. 2012 Incentive Plan to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for future grant under the plan from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000;

 

3.

To ratify the selection of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016; and

 

4.

To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

These items of business are more fully described in the Proxy Statement accompanying this notice.

Our Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on January 15, 2016 as the record date for the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the annual meeting and all adjournments or postponements thereof. A list of these stockholders will be open to examination by any stockholder at the annual meeting and for ten days prior thereto during normal business hours at our executive offices located at 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123. Enclosed for your convenience is a proxy card which may be used to vote your shares at the annual meeting. The proxy materials, including a proxy card and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, are available online at www.proxydocs.com/MITK.

You are invited to attend the annual meeting in person. Even if you expect to attend the annual meeting, it is important that you complete, sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card as promptly as possible in the enclosed return envelope (which is postage prepaid if mailed in the United States) in order to ensure that your shares are represented at the annual meeting. Even if you have voted by proxy, you may still revoke such proxy and vote in person if you attend the annual meeting. However, please note that if your shares are held of record by a broker, bank or other agent and you wish to vote at the annual meeting, you must obtain a proxy card issued in your name from such record holder.

 

 

 

By Order of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego, California

January 27, 2016

 

John M. Thornton

Chairman of the Board

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THIS PROXY MATERIAL AND VOTING

 

1

 

 

 

PROPOSAL NO. 1 ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

 

6

 

 

 

PROPOSAL NO. 2 TO APPROVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE MITEK SYSTEMS, INC. 2012 INCENTIVE PLAN TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SHARES OF OUR COMMON STOCK AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE GRANT UNDER THE PLAN FROM 4,000,000 TO 6,000,000

 

9

 

 

 

PROPOSAL NO. 3 RATIFICATION OF THE SELECTION OF OUR INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

15

 

 

 

REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

17

 

 

 

INFORMATION REGARDING THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

18

 

 

 

INFORMATION REGARDING OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

23

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

24

 

 

 

REPORT OF THE COMPENSATION COMMITTEE

 

36

 

 

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

37

 

 

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

38

 

 

 

SECTION 16(a) BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING COMPLIANCE

 

38

 

 

 

HOUSEHOLDING OF PROXY MATERIALS

 

39

 

 

 

PROPOSALS OF STOCKHOLDERS

 

39

 

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

39

 

 


 

MITEK SYSTEMS, INC.

8911 BALBOA AVENUE

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92123

 

PROXY STATEMENT

FOR THE 2016 ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

TO BE HELD ON MARCH 2, 2016

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THIS PROXY MATERIAL AND VOTING

Why am I receiving these materials?

We sent you this proxy statement (the “Proxy Statement”) and the enclosed proxy card because the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Mitek Systems, Inc. (sometimes referred to as “we”, “us”, “our”, “Mitek” or the “Company”) is soliciting your proxy to vote at our 2016 annual meeting of stockholders, or any adjournment or postponement thereof (the “Annual Meeting”). You are invited to attend the Annual Meeting and we request that you vote on the proposals described in this Proxy Statement. However, you do not need to attend the Annual Meeting to vote your shares. Instead, you may simply complete, sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy through the Internet or by telephone according to the instructions contained in the enclosed proxy card.

We intend to mail this Proxy Statement and the accompanying materials to all stockholders of record entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting on or about January 29, 2016.

When and where will the Annual Meeting be held?

The Annual Meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m., local time, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at our principal executive offices located at 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123.

Who can vote at the Annual Meeting and how many votes do I have?

Only stockholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2016 will be entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. At the close of business on this record date, there were 31,860,950 shares of common stock outstanding and entitled to vote. With respect to each proposal to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting, you are entitled to one vote for each share of common stock held as of the record date.

Stockholder of Record: Shares Registered in Your Name

If at the close of business on January 15, 2016, your shares of common stock were registered directly in your name with our transfer agent, Computershare, then you are the stockholder of record of these shares. As a stockholder of record, you may vote either in person at the Annual Meeting or by proxy. Whether or not you plan to attend the Annual Meeting, we urge you to complete, sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy through the Internet or by telephone by following the instructions provided in the enclosed proxy card to ensure that your vote is counted.

Beneficial Owner: Shares Registered in the Name of Your Broker, Bank or Other Agent

If at the close of business on January 15, 2016 your shares of common stock were held, not in your name, but rather in an account at a brokerage firm, bank or other similar organization, then you are the beneficial owner of shares held in “street name” and these proxy materials are being forwarded to you by that organization. The organization holding your account is considered the stockholder of record for purposes of voting at the Annual Meeting. As the beneficial owner, you have the right to direct your broker, bank or other agent regarding how to vote the shares in your account. Certain of these institutions offer the ability to direct your agent how to vote through the Internet or by telephone. You are also invited to attend the Annual Meeting. However, because you are not the stockholder of record, you may not vote your shares in person at the Annual Meeting unless you request and obtain a valid proxy card issued in your name from your broker, bank or other agent in whose name the shares are registered prior to the Annual Meeting.

 

 

 

 


 

What am I voting on?

There are three matters scheduled for a vote at the Annual Meeting:

 

·

Election of the seven nominees for director named in this Proxy Statement to serve until our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders and until their respective successors have been elected and qualified;

 

·

Approval of an amendment to the Mitek Systems, Inc. 2012 Incentive Plan (the “2012 Plan”) to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for future grant under the plan from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000; and

 

·

Ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. (“Mayer Hoffman”) as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

Will there be any other items of business on the agenda?

Other than the election of directors, approval of an amendment to the 2012 Plan and ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman as our independent registered public accounting firm, the Board knows of no other matters to be presented at the Annual Meeting. If any other matter should be presented at the Annual Meeting upon which a vote may properly be taken, shares represented by all proxies received by the Board will be voted with respect to such matter in accordance with the judgment of the persons named as attorneys-in-fact in the proxies.

What is the Board’s voting recommendation?

The Board recommends that you vote your shares:

 

·

“For” each of the seven nominees for director named in this Proxy Statement;

 

·

“For” the approval of an amendment to the 2012 Plan to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for future grant under the plan from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000; and

 

·

“For” the ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

How do I vote?

With respect to the election of directors, you may either vote “for” any or all of the nominees proposed by the Board or you may “withhold” your vote for any or all of the nominees. For each of the other matters to be voted on, you may vote “for” or “against” or abstain from voting. The procedures for voting are described below, based upon the form of ownership of your shares.

Stockholder of Record: Shares Registered in Your Name

If you do not wish to vote in person or you will not be attending the Annual Meeting, you may vote by proxy. You may vote by proxy using the enclosed proxy card, vote by proxy through the Internet or vote by proxy over the telephone. The procedures for voting by proxy are as follows:

 

·

To vote by proxy using the enclosed proxy card, complete, sign and date your proxy card and return it promptly in the envelope provided.

 

·

To vote by proxy through the Internet, go to the website address set forth on the enclosed proxy card and follow the instructions provided at the website.

 

·

To vote by proxy over the telephone, dial the toll-free phone number listed on your proxy card under the heading “Vote by Phone” using a touch-tone phone and follow the recorded instructions.

If you vote by proxy, your vote must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, to be counted. If you are a stockholder of record and attend the Annual Meeting in person, you may vote in person at the Annual Meeting. We will give you a ballot when you arrive and any previous proxy that you submitted, whether by mail, Internet or telephone, will be superseded by the vote that you cast in person at the Annual Meeting. If you have any questions regarding how to submit your proxy or vote your shares at the Annual Meeting, please call our Corporate Secretary at (858) 309-1700.

We provide Internet and telephone proxy voting with procedures designed to ensure the authenticity and correctness of your proxy vote instructions. However, please be aware that you must bear any costs associated with your Internet and telephone access, such as usage charges from Internet access providers and telephone companies.

 

-2-


 

Beneficial Owner: Shares Registered in the Name of Your Broker, Bank or Other Agent

If you are a beneficial owner of shares registered in the name of your broker, bank or other agent, you should have received a proxy card and voting instructions with these proxy materials from that organization rather than from the Company. To ensure that your vote is counted, simply complete, sign, date and mail the proxy card or, if provided by your agent, follow the instructions for submitting your proxy through the Internet or by telephone. To vote in person at the Annual Meeting, you must obtain a proxy card issued in your name from your broker, bank or other agent in whose name the shares are registered prior to the Annual Meeting. Follow the instructions from your broker, bank or other agent included with these proxy materials or contact your broker, bank or other agent to request a proxy card.

Who is paying for this proxy solicitation?

We will pay the expenses of soliciting proxies for the Annual Meeting, including the cost of preparing, assembling and mailing the proxy materials. Proxies may be solicited personally, by mail, by telephone or by facsimile by our directors, officers or other employees. Our directors, officers or other employees will not receive additional compensation for soliciting proxies. We may request that any person holding stock in their name for the benefit of others, such as a broker, bank or other agent, forward the proxy materials to such beneficial owners and request authority to execute the proxy. We will reimburse any such broker, bank or other agent for their expenses in connection therewith.

What does it mean if I receive more than one proxy card?

If you receive more than one proxy card, your shares are registered in more than one name or are registered in different accounts. Please complete, sign, date and return each proxy card to ensure that all of your shares are voted.

Can I change my vote after submitting my proxy?

Yes. You may change your vote with respect to any proposal by revoking your proxy at any time prior to the commencement of voting with respect to such proposal at the Annual Meeting. If you are a stockholder of record, you may revoke your proxy in any one of three ways:

 

·

You may submit another properly completed proxy with a later date by mail, through the Internet or by telephone (your latest Internet or telephone instructions submitted prior to the deadline will be followed);

 

·

You may send a written notice that you are revoking your proxy to our Corporate Secretary at Mitek Systems, Inc., 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, Attn: Corporate Secretary by no later than the close of business on Tuesday, March 1, 2016; or

 

·

You may attend the Annual Meeting and vote in person. However, simply attending the Annual Meeting will not, by itself, revoke your proxy.

If your shares are held of record by a broker, bank or other agent, you must contact such record holder to revoke any prior voting instructions or obtain a proxy card issued in your name from such record holder in order to vote in person at the Annual Meeting. Following the commencement of voting with respect to a proposal, you may not revoke your proxy or otherwise change your vote with respect to such proposal.

Votes will be counted by the inspector of elections appointed for the Annual Meeting.

How are my shares voted if I give no specific instruction?

We must vote your shares as you have instructed. If there is a matter on which a stockholder of record has given no specific instruction but has authorized us generally to vote the shares, they will be voted as follows:

 

·

“For” each of the seven nominees for director named in this Proxy Statement;

 

·

“For” the approval of an amendment to the 2012 Plan to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for future grant under the plan from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000; and

 

·

“For” the ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

 

-3-


 

This general authorization would exist, for example, if a stockholder of record merely signs, dates and returns the proxy card but does not indicate how its shares are to be voted on one or more proposals. If other matters properly come before the Annual Meeting, or any adjournment or postponement thereof, and you do not provide specific voting instructions, your shares will be voted as recommended by the Board.

If your shares are held of record by a broker, bank or other agent, see “What is a broker non-vote?” below regarding the ability of brokers, banks and other such holders of record to vote the uninstructed shares of their clients or other beneficial owners in their discretion and for an explanation of broker non-votes.

What is a broker non-vote?

Under rules that govern brokers, banks and other agents that are record holders of company stock held in brokerage accounts for their clients who beneficially own the shares, such record holders who do not receive voting instructions from their clients have the discretion to vote uninstructed shares on certain matters (“discretionary matters”), but do not have discretion to vote uninstructed shares as to certain other matters (“non-discretionary matters”). Accordingly, a broker may submit a proxy card on behalf of a beneficial owner from whom the broker has not received voting instructions that casts a vote with regard to discretionary matters but expressly states that the broker is not voting as to non-discretionary matters. The broker’s inability to vote on non-discretionary matters with respect to which the broker has not received voting instructions from the beneficial owner is referred to as a “broker non-vote.”

What are the voting requirements that apply to the proposals discussed in this Proxy Statement?

The election of directors contemplated by Proposal No. 1—Election of Directors will be decided by a plurality of the votes cast. Accordingly, the seven director nominees receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. The approval of an amendment to the 2012 Plan contemplated by Proposal No. 2—Approval of an amendment to the 2012 Incentive Plan requires the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock present and entitled to vote either in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting. The ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman as our independent registered public accounting firm contemplated by Proposal No. 3—Ratification of the Selection of our Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm requires the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock present and entitled to vote either in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting.

What is the effect of withhold authority votes, abstentions and broker non-votes?

Withhold Authority Votes: Shares subject to instructions to withhold authority to vote on the election of directors will not be voted. This will have no effect on Proposal No. 1—Election of Directors because, under plurality voting rules, the seven director nominees receiving the highest number of “for” votes will be elected.

Abstentions: Under Delaware law (under which Mitek is incorporated), abstentions are counted as shares present and entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. Therefore, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote “against” Proposal No. 2—Approval of an amendment to the 2012 Incentive Plan and Proposal No. 3—Ratification of the Selection of our Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. However, abstentions will have no effect on Proposal No. 1—Election of Directors because, under plurality voting rules, the seven director nominees receiving the highest number of “for” votes will be elected.

Broker Non-Votes: As a result of a change in the rules related to discretionary voting and broker non-votes, brokers, banks and other agents are no longer permitted to vote the uninstructed shares of their clients on a discretionary basis in the election of directors. Because broker non-votes are not considered under Delaware law to be entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting with respect to “non-discretionary” matters, they will have no effect on the outcome of the vote on Proposal No. 1—Election of Directors. Proposal No. 2—Approval of an amendment to the 2012 Plan is considered a “non-discretionary” matter on which your broker, bank or other agent will not be able to vote on your behalf if it does not receive instructions from you and, therefore, there may be broker non-votes on Proposal No. 2. If you hold your shares in street name and you do not instruct your broker, bank or other agent how to vote your shares on Proposal Nos. 1 and 2, no votes will be cast on your behalf on these proposals. Therefore, it is critical that you indicate your vote on these proposals if you want your vote to be counted. Proposal No. 3—Ratification of the Selection of our Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm is considered a routine or “discretionary” matter on which your broker, bank or other agent will be able to vote on your behalf even if it does not receive instructions from you and, therefore, no broker non-votes are expected to exist in connection with Proposal No. 3.

 

-4-


 

What is the quorum requirement?

A quorum of stockholders is necessary to hold a valid meeting. A quorum will be present if at least a majority of the shares of our common stock outstanding on the record date are present either in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting. At the close of business on January 15, 2016, the record date for the Annual Meeting, there were 31,860,950 shares of common stock outstanding. Thus, a total of 31,860,950 shares are entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting and holders of common stock representing at least 15,930,475 votes must be represented at the Annual Meeting either in person or by proxy to have a quorum.

Your shares will be counted towards the quorum only if you submit a valid proxy (or if one is submitted on your behalf by your broker, bank or other agent) or if you vote in person at the Annual Meeting. Votes withheld from a director nominee and abstentions will be counted as present for purposes of establishing the required quorum. Broker non-votes will be counted as present for purposes of establishing the required quorum. If there is no quorum, the chairman of the meeting or a majority of the shares present in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting may adjourn the Annual Meeting to another date.

I have also received a copy of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K. Is that a part of the proxy materials?

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015 (the “Form 10-K”), as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on December 7, 2015, accompanies this Proxy Statement. This document constitutes our Annual Report to Stockholders and is being made available to all stockholders entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting. Except as otherwise stated, the Form 10-K is not incorporated into, and is not part of, this Proxy Statement and should not be considered proxy solicitation material.

How can I find out the results of the voting at the Annual Meeting?

Voting results are expected to be announced at the Annual Meeting and will also be disclosed in a Current Report on Form 8-K (the “Form 8-K”) that we will file with the SEC within four business days of the date of the Annual Meeting. In the event the results disclosed in the Form 8-K are preliminary, we will subsequently amend the Form 8-K to report the final voting results within four business days of the date that such results are known.

When are stockholder proposals due for next year’s annual meeting of stockholders?

Stockholders may submit proposals regarding matters appropriate for stockholder action for consideration at our next annual meeting of stockholders consistent with Rule 14a-8 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and our second amended and restated bylaws (the “Bylaws”). To be considered for inclusion in the proxy materials for our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders, a stockholder proposal, including a proposal for the nomination of directors, must be submitted in writing no later than October 1, 2016 to our Corporate Secretary at Mitek Systems, Inc., 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, Attn: Corporate Secretary. Pursuant to the terms of our Bylaws, stockholders wishing to submit proposals or director nominations, including those that are not to be included in our 2017 proxy statement and proxy, must provide timely notice in writing to our Secretary. To be timely, a stockholder’s notice must be delivered to or mailed and received at our principal executive offices not later than the close of business on December 2, 2016 nor earlier than November 2, 2016, subject to certain exceptions. Stockholders are advised to review our Bylaws, which contain additional requirements with respect to advance notice of stockholder proposals and director nominations.

 

 

 

-5-


 

PROPOSAL NO. 1

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

Background

Pursuant to our Bylaws, the Board has fixed the number of authorized directors at eight. The seven director nominees receiving the highest number of votes at the Annual Meeting will be elected to the Board, to serve until our next annual meeting of stockholders and until their successors have been duly elected and qualified.

Unless authorization to do so is withheld, it is intended that the persons named in the enclosed proxy will vote for the election of the seven director nominees proposed by the Board. All incumbent directors have been recommended by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board (the “Nominating Committee”) as nominees for re-election to the Board. If any of the director nominees should become unavailable for election prior to the Annual Meeting, the proxy will be voted for a substitute nominee or nominees, if any, designated by the Board.

The following table includes the names and certain information about the nominees for director. All of the nominees named below have consented to being named herein and to serve on the Board, if elected.

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

John M. Thornton

 

83

 

Chairman of the Board

James B. DeBello

 

57

 

President and Chief Executive Officer and Director

William K. "Bill" Aulet(2)(3)

 

58

 

Director

Vinton P. Cunningham(1)

 

79

 

Director

James C. Hale(1)

 

63

 

Director

Bruce E. Hansen(1)(2)

 

56

 

Director

Alex W. “Pete” Hart(2)(3)

 

75

 

Director

 

(1)

Member of the Audit Committee of the Board

(2)

Member of the Compensation Committee of the Board

(3)

Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board

John M. Thornton. Mr. Thornton has served as a director since March 1986 and as our Chairman since October 1987. He also served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer from September 1998 to May 2003, when he resigned from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer. He resigned from his position as Chief Financial Officer in May 2005. From May 1991 to February 1992, Mr. Thornton served as our President and from May 1991 to July 1991, he served as our Chief Executive Officer. From 1976 through 1988, Mr. Thornton served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the board of directors at Micom Systems, Inc. Mr. Thornton is also Chairman of the board of directors of Thornton Winery Corporation in Temecula, California. Mr. Thornton holds an A.B. in economics from Pomona College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. As a director since the Company’s formation in 1986 and having previously served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Thornton has in-depth knowledge of our company and the industries in which we sell our products. Mr. Thornton also brings to the Board his extensive executive management and chairman experience with public and privately held companies, which the Board believes provides him with the skills necessary to serve as our Chairman.

James B. DeBello. Mr. DeBello has served as a director since November 1994 and as our President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2003. From January 2009 to September 2011, Mr. DeBello also served as our Chief Financial Officer and from January 2009 to February 2013, he also served as our Secretary, in each case in addition to his other positions. Prior to joining Mitek, he was Chief Executive Officer of AsiaCorp Communications, Inc., a wireless data infrastructure and software company, from July 2001 to May 2003. He was Venture Chief Executive Officer for IdeaEdge Ventures, Inc., a venture capital company, from June 2000 to June 2001. From May 1999 to May 2000, he was President, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the board of directors of CollegeClub.com, an Internet company. From November 1998 to April 1999, he was Chief Operating Officer of WirelessKnowledge, Inc., a joint venture company formed between Microsoft and Qualcomm, Inc. From November 1996 to November 1998, Mr. DeBello held positions as Vice President, Assistant General Manager and General Manager of Qualcomm, Inc.’s Eudora Internet Software Division, and Vice President of Product Management of Qualcomm, Inc.’s Subscriber Equipment Division. Mr. DeBello holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business, and he was a Rotary Scholar at the University of Singapore where he studied economics and Chinese. Mr. DeBello has over 15 years of experience in various senior executive positions, including chief executive officer, at other global technology companies. As a director of the Company for approximately 18 years and in his role in the day-to-day operations of the Company as our President and Chief Executive Officer

 

-6-


 

since 2003, Mr. DeBello has gained extensive knowledge of the industries in which we operate, allowing him to bring to the Board a broad understanding of the operational issues and strategic opportunities facing the Company.

William K. “Bill” Aulet. Mr. Aulet has served as a director since January 2015. Since 2009, he has served as the managing director in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT. From 2005 to 2009, Bill was a Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence at the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 2003 to 2005, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Viisage Technology, a security technology company with a dual focus in the areas of drivers’ licenses and facial recognition. From 1996 to 2002, he served as President and Director of SensAble Technologies, a provider of force-feedback haptic devices and touch-enabled 3D modeling software solutions. Prior to joining SensAble, Mr. Aulet started his career at IBM as a Systems Engineer and then was rapidly promoted through various jobs where he gained training and experience in technical, marketing, sales, financial and international business operations and management. His last job was the Finance and Planning Manager for the IBM New England Region. Mr. Aulet holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Harvard University and a Masters in Management Science from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Mr. Aulet is a member of the board of directors of XLhybrids, a private company based in Massachusetts. Mr. Aulet is also a visiting Professor at University of Strathclyde (Scotland). Mr. Aulet’s experience in technology entrepreneurship, and specifically his experience in document and facial recognition, makes him well qualified to serve on the Board.

Vinton P. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham has served as a director since May 2005. He served as Senior Vice President Finance of EdVision Corporation, a provider of curriculum development and assessment tools for the education community, from 1993 until his retirement in 2002. Mr. Cunningham was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Founders Club Golf Company, a golf equipment manufacturer, from 1990 to 1993. He was Vice President Finance of Amcor Capital, Inc., a company that organized and managed real estate syndications, from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Cunningham was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Superior Farming Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Superior Oil Company, a grower of various fruits, vegetables, nuts and cotton in California and Arizona, from 1981 to 1985. Mr. Cunningham holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Southern California. The Board believes Mr. Cunningham’s financial background provides the Board with valuable financial and accounting expertise and makes him well suited to serve on the Audit Committee of the Board. Having served as a director of the Company since 2005, Mr. Cunningham has a strong understanding of our business, operations and culture.

James C. Hale. Mr. Hale has served as a director since November 2014 and served as a member of our advisory board from September 2012 to November 2014. In 1998, he co-founded FTV Capital, which manages over $1.7 billion in growth equity funds. Mr. Hale served as managing partner of FTV Capital from 1998 through 2007. Mr. Hale has three decades of management experience in private equity investing and commercial and investment banking and prior to founding FTV Capital, Mr. Hale served as Senior Managing Partner and Head of the Financial Services Group at Montgomery Securities from 1982 to 1998, and as a member of the corporate planning and development group at Bank of America from 1978 to 1982. Mr. Hale currently serves on the boards of directors of Bank of Marin and Loyal3 and was a member of the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association, San Francisco Venture Capital Forum, Duke University Management Company, and the Investment Committee of University of California Berkeley Foundation. In addition, Mr. Hale recently served as Chairman of the board of directors at Official Payments Holdings, Inc. until its acquisition in 2013 by ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of electronic payment systems. Mr. Hale holds a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant. The Board believes Mr. Hale’s experience in corporate development, specifically in the payments and technology industries, makes him well qualified to serve on the Board while his financial expertise makes him well suited to serve on the Audit Committee of the Board. Having served as a member of the Company’s Advisory Board since 2012, Mr. Hale has a strong understanding of our technology and the industries in which we operate.

Bruce E. Hansen. Mr. Hansen has served as a director since October 2012 and served as a member of our advisory board from October 2010 to October 2012.  In 2002, he co-founded ID Analytics Inc., a consumer risk management company, and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from its inception until it was acquired by LifeLock, Inc. in March 2012.  Prior to founding ID Analytics, he was President at HNC Software Inc., a global provider of analytic software solutions for financial services, telecommunications and healthcare firms, from 2000 to 2002.  Mr. Hansen’s previous experience also includes the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Adaptive Systems Applications and executive roles at CitiCorp (now CitiGroup), Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase).  He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Verisk Analytics, Performant Financial Corporation, Zyme Solutions, Inc. and the San Diego Venture Group.  Mr. Hansen holds a B.A. in economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.  As a proven leader with decades of analytics industry experience ranging from concept-stage companies to established financial services companies, Mr. Hansen brings to the Board a unique perspective, an expansive knowledge base and domain expertise in the fields of identity verification and big data systems. The Board believes that Mr. Hansen’s experience as both a key executive and director will enable him to contribute to the Board with respect to both general governance matters and industry-specific operations.

 

-7-


 

Alex W. “Pete” Hart. Mr. Hart has served as a director since February 2011. In April 2012, he retired as Chairman of the SVB Financial Group and has worked as an independent consultant in the financial services industry since 1997. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Advanta Corporation, a public diversified financial services company, from 1995 to 1997, where he had previously served as Executive Vice Chairman from 1994 to 1995. Prior to joining Advanta, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of MasterCard International, a worldwide payment service provider, from 1988 to 1994. Mr. Hart currently serves as an advisor to a number of private companies, including Cimbal Technologies and US Encode. Mr. Hart is currently a member of the board of directors of VeriFone Holdings, Inc., an electronics company. He is also a director of BrightVolt, previously known as Solicore, Inc., a privately held battery manufacturer. In addition to SVB Financial, Mr. Hart has also previously served as a member of the board of directors of the following companies: Global Payments, Inc., FICO, Inc., HNC Software Inc., Retek Inc., Shopping.com, Sanchez Computer Associates, US Encode, eHarmony.com and Sequal Technologies, Inc. Mr. Hart holds a B.A. in social relations from Harvard University. As an experienced leader in the financial services industry, Mr. Hart combines extensive general business expertise with a deep knowledge of the financial services and payments industry. His experience on the boards of directors of other companies in the financial services industry further augments his range of knowledge, providing experience on which he can draw while serving as a member of the Board.

There currently are no legal proceedings, and during the past 10 years there have been no legal proceedings, that are material to the evaluation of the ability or integrity of any of our directors or director nominees.

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THE ELECTION TO THE BOARD OF THE DIRECTOR NOMINEES DISCUSSED IN THIS PROPOSAL NO. 1.

 


 

-8-


 

PROPOSAL NO. 2

APPROVAL OF AN AMENDMENT TO OUR 2012 INCENTIVE PLAN
TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SHARES OF OUR COMMON STOCK AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE GRANT UNDER
THE PLAN FROM 4,000,000 TO 6,000,000

General

 

On January 27, 2016, the Board unanimously approved an amendment to the 2012 Plan, subject to approval by our stockholders at the Annual Meeting, to increase the total number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the 2012 Plan from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000, plus that number of shares of our common stock that would otherwise return to the available pool of unissued shares reserved for awards under our 1999 Stock Option Plan, 2000 Stock Option Plan, 2002 Stock Option Plan, 2006 Stock Option Plan, and 2010 Stock Option Plan (collectively, the “Prior Stock Option Plans”).      

As of December 31, 2015, (i) stock options to purchase 2,360,520 shares of our common stock and 1,004,588 restricted stock units (“RSUs”) were outstanding under the 2012 Plan; (ii) 496,356 shares of our common stock were reserved for future grants under the 2012 Plan; and (iii) stock options to purchase an aggregate of 1,261,333 shares of our common stock were outstanding under the Prior Stock Option Plans.

The 2012 Plan was adopted in January 2012 and subsequently amended in February 2014.  Since such amendment, our employee headcount has significantly increased. As a result, the number of employees participating in the 2012 Plan has significantly increased.  Based on our current rate of award grants, as well as our anticipated hiring of new employees, the Board believes that the existing share reserve will be exhausted within the next year.  Without the ability to provide equity compensation, we may be unable to attract and retain key employees or directors.  

If this proposal is approved, we intend to continue to provide equity incentives to existing key employees as well as to certain newly hired employees, consultants and directors.  If this proposal is approved, we expect to have sufficient shares available under the 2012 Plan for the next two to three years.

The proposed increase of 2,000,000 shares was determined by comparing our past equity grants to directors, key employees and newly hired employees to our current hiring and retention plan, and planned grants to certain directors, key employees, and consultants as a retention tool.  

If this Proposal No. 2 is approved by our stockholders, the additional 2,000,000 shares will be available for issuance under any type of equity award available pursuant to the 2012 Plan.    

The Board believes that the increase in shares of our common stock available for issuance under the 2012 Plan is essential to permit our management to continue to provide long-term, equity-based incentives to present and future key employees, consultants and directors.  Accordingly, the Board believes approval of the amendment to the 2012 Plan is in our best interest and the best interest of our stockholders, and recommends a vote “FOR” the approval of the amendment to the 2012 Plan.

 

Summary of the 2012 Plan

 

The following summary sets forth the primary features of the 2012 Plan.  This summary is qualified in its entirety by the terms of the 2012 Plan, which is attached to this Proxy Statement as Annex A.

General.  The 2012 Plan authorizes the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights (“SARs”), restricted stock, RSUs, and cash awards (collectively referred to as “Awards”).  Stock options granted under the 2012 Plan may be either options intended to constitute “incentive stock options,” as defined in Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), or nonqualified stock options, in each case as determined by the Committee (as defined below) in accordance with the terms of the 2012 Plan.  Incentive stock options will be subject to a restriction such that to the extent the aggregate fair market value of shares of our common stock subject to stock options designated as incentive stock options and that become exercisable for the first time by a participant during any calendar year exceeds $100,000 (based on grant date valuation), the excess options will be treated as nonqualified stock options.

Purpose.  The purpose of the 2012 Plan is to make available certain equity and other incentives to motivate selected employees, directors and consultants of the Company to put forth their best efforts toward the continued growth, profitability and success of the Company and to align the interests of such individuals with those of our stockholders.

Administration.  The authority to control and manage the operations and administration of the 2012 Plan will be vested in a committee of two or more independent non-employee directors designated by the Board in accordance with the terms of the 2012 Plan (the “Committee”).  To the extent not inconsistent with applicable laws or stock exchange rules, the Committee may delegate all or any portion of its authority under the 2012 Plan to any one or more of its members or, with respect to Awards granted to participants

 

-9-


 

who are not directors and officers subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act, to one or more executive officers of the Company.  The Board also has the power to take action under the 2012 Plan, provided that, at the time of taking such action, the Board is comprised of a majority of directors who meet the criteria set forth in the 2012 Plan.

Subject to applicable laws and the terms of the 2012 Plan, the Committee has the authority, in its sole discretion, to, among other things, select the employees, directors and consultants to whom Awards may be granted, determine the terms and conditions of Awards (including the vesting schedule, repurchase provisions, rights of first refusal and satisfaction of any performance criteria), approve forms of award agreements, interpret the terms of the 2012 Plan and Awards, and subject to certain limitations set forth in the 2012 Plan (including obtaining stockholder approval in certain circumstances), amend the terms of any outstanding Award granted under the 2012 Plan.

Eligibility.  The 2012 Plan provides that Awards may be granted to our employees, directors and consultants (as such terms are defined in the 2012 Plan), but that incentive stock options may be granted only to employees.  It is not possible to state at this time the precise type and extent of Awards that any particular executive officer, all current executive officers as a group, any particular nominee for director, all current directors who are not executive officers as a group or all non-executive officers as a group will be granted under the 2012 Plan, since these matters will be determined by the Committee based on each participant’s level of responsibility, compensation and anticipated and actual contribution to our success.  As of December 31, 2015, approximately 89 people were eligible to participate in the 2012 Plan.

Shares Reserved for Issuance.  If this Proposal No. 2 is approved at the Annual Meeting, the total number of shares of our common stock that will be reserved for issuance under the 2012 Plan will be 6,000,000 shares (the “Initial Shares”), plus that number of shares of our common stock that would otherwise return to the available pool of unissued shares reserved for awards under the Prior Stock Option Plans as a result of forfeiture, cancellation or expiration of awards previously granted (ignoring the termination or expiration of such plans for the purpose of determining the number of shares available under the 2012 Plan).  

Any shares that are returned to the available pool of unissued shares from the Prior Stock Option Plans may only be used in connection with the 2012 Plan to grant stock options.  The 2012 Plan provides that the following shares of our common stock will not be returned to the 2012 Plan or otherwise become available for issuance under the 2012 Plan: (i) shares of common stock tendered or withheld as full or partial payment of a stock option exercise price under the 2012 Plan; (ii) shares of common stock withheld by the Company to satisfy any tax withholding obligations; and (iii) shares of common stock covered by the portion of any SAR that is exercised (whether or not such shares of common stock are actually issued to a participant upon exercise of the SAR).

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any shares of common stock covered by an Award (or portion of an Award) that is forfeited, canceled or expires (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) or issued (e.g., as substitution awards or inducement grants) in connection with an acquisition or merger shall be deemed not to have been issued from the 2012 Plan for purposes of determining the maximum aggregate number of shares of common stock which may be issued under the 2012 Plan.

Stock Options.  Stock options will be granted pursuant to award agreements and will vest at the rate specified therein.  The exercise price of each stock option may not be less than 100% of the fair market value of the common stock on the date such option is granted (or 110%, in the case of an incentive stock option granted to any employee who, at the time of such grant, owns stock representing more than 10% of the combined voting power of the Company or any parent or subsidiary thereof).  The exercise price is generally payable in cash, check, shares of common stock or payment through a broker-dealer sale and remittance procedure or a “net exercise” procedure.

Stock Appreciation Rights.  A stock appreciation right gives a participant the right to receive the appreciation in the fair market value of our common stock between the date of grant of such Award and the date of its exercise.  The base appreciation amount of each grant of SARs may not be less than 100% of the fair market value of the common stock on the date of grant.  SARs will be evidenced by an award agreement which shall specify the number of shares of common stock subject to such SARs and will vest and become exercisable at the times and on the terms established by the Committee.

Restricted Stock.  Awards of restricted stock will be evidenced by an award agreement which shall specify the number of shares of common stock subject to such Award and the period that must be satisfied before the restrictions pertaining to such grant of restricted stock will lapse and such stock will become vested.  A restricted stock award may be issued for nominal or no cost and may be granted in consideration of the recipient’s past or future services performed for the Company.  The Committee may grant restricted stock awards subject to conditions and the attainment of performance goals or may make such Awards subject to vesting conditions based on such service or performance criteria as the Committee specifies.

Restricted Stock Units.  RSUs represent the right to receive shares of common stock at a future date.  Awards of RSUs will be evidenced by an award agreement which shall specify the number of shares of common stock subject to such Award.  RSUs may be issued for nominal or no cost and may be granted in consideration of the recipient’s past or future services performed for the Company.  We may settle RSUs for cash, shares of common stock or other securities, or a combination thereof, as determined by the Committee.  The Committee may grant RSUs subject to conditions and the attainment of performance goals or may make such

 

-10-


 

Awards subject to vesting conditions based on such service or performance criteria as the Committee specifies.  Participants have no voting rights with respect to RSUs until shares of common stock are issued in settlement of such Awards.

Senior Executive Plan Bonuses.  Under the 2012 Plan, the Committee may authorize annual incentive compensation to a participant who is or may be a “covered employee” under Section 162(m) of the Code (“Section 162(m)”), payable upon achievement of specified management objectives determined by the Committee.  Senior executive plan bonuses will be evidenced in writing and will contain such terms and provisions as the Committee may determine.

Acquisitions and Other Transactions; Deferral of Award Payments; Separate Programs.  To the extent permitted by applicable laws, the Committee may issue Awards under the 2012 Plan in settlement, assumption or substitution for outstanding awards or obligations to grant future awards in connection with the Company or a related entity engaging in an acquisition or merger (e.g., as currently permitted under Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC (“NASDAQ”) Listing Rule 5635(c)(3) and NASDAQ IM-5635-1) and may issue Awards under the 2012 Plan as inducement awards (e.g., as currently permitted under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4) and NASDAQ IM-5635-1).  Such Awards would not count against the shares of common stock reserved under the 2012 Plan.  To the extent permitted by applicable laws, the Committee may issue Awards under the 2012 Plan in settlement, assumption or substitution for outstanding awards or obligations to grant future awards in connection with the Company or a related entity acquiring another entity, an interest in another entity or an additional interest in a related entity whether by merger, stock purchase, asset purchase or other form of transaction not described in the foregoing paragraph.  To the extent required by applicable laws, such Awards would count against the shares of common stock reserved under the 2012 Plan.

The 2012 Plan provides that the Committee may establish one or more programs under the 2012 Plan to permit selected participants the opportunity to elect to defer receipt of the consideration payable upon exercise of an Award, satisfaction of performance criteria or other event that absent the election would entitle the participant to payment or receipt of shares of common stock or other consideration under the Award.  The Committee also may establish one or more separate programs under the 2012 Plan for the purpose of issuing particular forms of Awards to one or more classes of participants on such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee from time to time.

Section 162(m) of the Code.  Section 162(m) limits a publicly held company to an annual deduction for federal income tax purposes of $1,000,000 for compensation paid to its “covered employees,” generally its chief executive officer and the three most highly compensated executive officers (other than the chief financial officer), determined at the end of each year.  However, performance-based compensation is excluded from this limitation.  The 2012 Plan is designed to permit the Committee to grant Awards that are intended to qualify as performance-based compensation for purposes of satisfying the conditions of Section 162(m).

To qualify as performance-based: (i) the compensation must be paid solely on account of the attainment of one or more pre-established, objective performance goals; (ii) the performance goal under which compensation is paid must be established by a Committee comprising two or more directors who qualify as outside directors for purposes of the exception; (iii) the material terms under which the compensation is to be paid must be disclosed to and subsequently approved by the stockholders of the Company in a separate vote before payment is made; and (iv) the Committee must certify in writing before payment of the compensation is made that the performance goals and any other material terms were in fact satisfied.

In the case of compensation attributable to stock options and SARs, the performance goal requirement (summarized above) is deemed satisfied, and the certification requirement (summarized above) is inapplicable, if: (i) the grant or award is made by the Committee; (ii) the plan under which the stock option or SAR is granted states the maximum number of shares with respect to which stock options and SARs may be granted during a specified period to an employee; and (iii) under the terms of the stock option or SAR, the amount of compensation is based solely on an increase in the value of the stock after the date of grant.

In order for restricted stock, RSUs and other Awards (e.g., cash) to qualify as performance-based compensation, the Committee must establish a performance goal with respect to such Award in writing not later than 90 days after the commencement of the period to which the performance goal relates and while the outcome of the performance goal is substantially uncertain.  In addition, the performance goal must be stated in terms of an objective formula or standard.  Performance goals may be described in terms of Company-wide objectives, objectives that are related to the performance of the individual participant, a related entity or a division, department or function within the Company or a related entity, or based upon the relative performance of other companies or upon comparisons of any of the indicators of performance relative to other companies.  Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the management objectives applicable to any Award to a covered employee which is intended to be deductible as performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) will be based on specified levels of, or relative peer company, performance in any one or more of the following objectives, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Committee, in its sole discretion: (i) appreciation in and/or maintenance of the price of the Shares or any other publicly-traded securities of the Company, (ii) earnings or loss per share, (iii) total stockholder return, (iv) operating margin, (v) gross margin, (vi) return on equity, (vii) return on assets or net assets, (viii) return on investment, (ix) operating income, (x) net operating income, (xi) pre-tax profit, (xii) cash flow or cash flow per share (before or after dividends), (xiii) revenue, (xiv) improvement in or attainment of expense levels or working capital levels, including cash, inventory and accounts receivable, (xv) earnings or losses (including earnings or losses before taxes, before interest and taxes, or before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, stock compensation, non-recurring charges and non-cash or other

 

-11-


 

charges), (xvi) economic value added, (xvii) market share, (xviii) relative or absolute share price, (xix) pro forma net income, (xx) customer orders, (xxi) gross or net revenues, (xxii) revenue growth or product revenue growth, (xxiii) operating income (before or after taxes), (xxiv) pre- or after-tax income or loss (before or after allocation of corporate overhead and bonus), (xxv) net income or loss (before or after taxes), (xxvi) return on equity, (xxvii) attainment of strategic and operational initiatives, (xxviii) comparisons with various stock market indices, (xxix) implementation, completion or attainment of measurable objectives with respect to research, development, commercialization, products or projects, acquisitions and divestitures, (xxx) factoring transactions and recruiting and maintaining personnel, (xxxi) gross profits, (xxxii) economic value-added models or equivalent metrics, (xxxiii) reductions in costs, (xxxiv) sales or licenses of the Company’s assets, including its intellectual property, whether in a particular jurisdiction or territory or globally, or through partnering transactions, (xxxv) return on capital (including return on total capital or return on invested capital), (xxxvi) cash flow return on investment, (xxxvii) year- end cash, (xxxviii) cash margin, (xxxix) debt reduction, (xl) stockholders equity, (xli) operating efficiencies, (xlii) research and development achievements, (xliii) strategic partnerships or transactions (including in-licensing and out-licensing of intellectual property), (xliv) co-development, co-marketing, profit sharing, joint venture or other similar arrangements, (xlv) financial ratios, including those measuring liquidity, activity, profitability or leverage, (xlvi) cost of capital or assets under management, (xlvii) financing and other capital raising transactions (including sales of the Company’s equity or debt securities), (xlviii) factoring transactions, and (xlix) establishing relationships with commercial entities with respect to the marketing, distribution and sale of the Company’s products (including with group purchasing organizations, distributors and other vendors).

Limitations on Awards.  The maximum number of shares with respect to which a participant may be granted stock options, SARs, restricted stock and/or RSUs in any calendar year shall be equal to the Initial Shares.  The foregoing limitations will be adjusted proportionately by the Committee in connection with any change in our capitalization due to a stock split, stock dividend or similar event affecting our common stock and such determination shall be final, binding and conclusive.  The maximum amount with respect to which (i) senior executive plan bonuses may be granted to a participant under a senior executive plan bonus award during a calendar year is $1,500,000; and (ii) awards of cash may be granted to any participant in any calendar year is $1,500,000.  The Company, however, may make other bonus or cash awards outside of the 2012 Plan.

Term of Award.  The term of any Award granted under the 2012 Plan may not be for more than 10 years (or five years in the case of an incentive stock option granted to any participant who owns stock representing more than 10% of the combined voting power of the Company or any parent or subsidiary thereof).

Transferability of Awards.  Unless otherwise provided in the 2012 Plan or permitted by the Committee, Awards may not be pledged, assigned or otherwise transferred in any manner, other than by will or by the laws of descent or distribution, and may be exercised during the lifetime of the participant only by the participant or by such participant’s beneficiaries in the event of the participant’s death.

Dividend Equivalents.  Subject to the provisions of the 2012 Plan and any award agreement, the recipient of an Award other than a stock option or SAR may, if so determined by the Committee, be entitled to receive, currently or on a deferred basis, amounts equivalent to cash, stock or other property dividends on shares of our common stock with respect to the number of shares covered by the Award, as determined by the Committee, in its sole discretion.

Termination of Service.  Unless otherwise provided in an award agreement, in the event of a participant’s death or termination of the participant’s status as an employee, director or consultant due to the participant’s disability, the participant’s beneficiary or the participant, as applicable, may exercise any vested Award at any time within the earlier to occur of: (i) one year after the date of the participant’s death or disability; or (ii) the date on which such Award expires by its terms.  Except as otherwise provided in an individual award agreement, in the event of a participant’s Termination Without Cause (as defined in the 2012 Plan), the participant may exercise any vested Award at any time within the earlier to occur of: (i) 90 days after such termination; or (ii) the date on which such Award expires by its terms.  A participant who is terminated for Cause (as defined in the 2012 Plan) shall, unless otherwise determined by the Committee, immediately forfeit, effective as of the date the participant engages in such conduct giving rise to his or her termination for Cause, all unexercised, unearned and/or unpaid Awards.

Adjustments Upon Change in Capitalization.  In the event there is a specified type of change in our capital structure not involving the receipt of consideration by us, such as a stock split, stock dividend, combination, recapitalization or reclassification, or any other transaction with respect to our common stock, including a merger, reorganization, liquidation or similar transaction, the number of shares reserved under the 2012 Plan and the number of shares subject to and exercise price, if applicable, of all outstanding stock awards will be appropriately adjusted.

Change of Control.  Except as provided in an individual award agreement, upon the consummation of a Change of Control (as defined below), all outstanding Awards under the 2012 Plan may be assumed or replaced by the acquiring company.  Any portions of Awards that have not been assumed, replaced or exercised in connection with a Change of Control will automatically become fully vested and exercisable and be released from any repurchase or forfeiture rights for all of the shares of common stock (or other consideration) represented by such Award (or portion thereof), immediately prior to the specified effective date of such Change of Control.  However, unless otherwise provided for by the Committee pursuant to the terms of the 2012 Plan or as specified in an award

 

-12-


 

agreement or other agreement between the participant and the Company, no cash Awards under any senior executive plan bonus or otherwise will be paid in connection with a Change of Control (as defined below).

In the case of a proposed Change of Control, the Committee may, prior to the occurrence of the Change of Control, declare that the outstanding stock options and SARs granted under the 2012 Plan will accelerate and become exercisable in full and that all such stock options and SARs, whether or not exercisable prior to such acceleration, must be exercised within a specified period of time or they will terminate.  In the event of such declaration, each stock option and SAR granted under the 2012 Plan, to the extent that it has not been exercised prior to the Change of Control, shall be canceled at the time of, or immediately prior to, the Change of Control, as provided in the declaration.  Under the 2012 Plan, a “Change of Control” generally includes:

the acquisition of 50% or more of our outstanding stock by any person or group;

a merger or consolidation of the Company after which our own stockholders as of immediately prior to the merger or consolidation own 50% or less of the outstanding stock of the surviving entity;

a sale of all or substantially all of our assets, subject to certain exceptions; or

such time as the Continuing Directors (as defined in the 2012 Plan) do not constitute at least a majority of the Board or, if applicable, the board of directors of an acquiring company.

 

Term of the 2012 Plan; Amendment, Suspension or Termination of the 2012 Plan.  The 2012 Plan will continue in effect until the earliest to occur of: (i) all shares of common stock subject to the 2012 Plan have been distributed; (ii) all Awards have expired or terminated; (iii) termination pursuant to Section 18 of the 2012 Plan; and (iv) 10 years.  The Board may at any time amend, suspend or terminate the 2012 Plan; provided, however, that no amendment can be made without the approval of our stockholders to the extent such approval is required by applicable laws, or if such amendment would lessen the stockholder approval requirements set forth in the 2012 Plan.

 

Anticipated U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences

 

The following summary of the federal income tax consequences of the 2012 Plan and the Awards to be granted thereunder is based upon federal income tax laws in effect on the date of this Proxy Statement, all of which are subject to change (possibly to retroactive effect) and to differing interpretations.  Any such change could affect the accuracy of the statements and conclusions set forth in this summary.  This summary does not purport to be complete, and does not discuss non-U.S., state or local tax consequences or additional guidance that is expected to be issued by the Treasury Department under the Code.

Nonqualified Stock Options.  The grant of a nonqualified stock option under the 2012 Plan will not result in any federal income tax consequences to the optionholder or to us.  Upon exercise of a nonqualified stock option, the optionholder is subject to income taxes at the rate applicable to ordinary compensation income on the excess of the fair market value of the shares on the date of exercise over the option exercise price.  This income is subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes.  We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by the optionholder, subject to the possible limitations imposed by the $1,000,000 compensation limit imposed by Section 162(m) or if the compensation is an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G of the Code (“Section 280G”) and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the optionholder’s total compensation is deemed an ordinary and necessary business expense.  Any gain or loss on the optionholder’s subsequent disposition of the shares of common stock will receive long- or short-term capital gain or loss treatment, depending on whether the shares are held for more than one year following exercise.  We do not receive a tax deduction for any such gain.

If a nonqualified stock option is amended, such option may be considered deferred compensation and subject to the rules of Section 409A of the Code (“Section 409A”), which provide, among other things, rules regarding the timing of payment of deferred compensation.  A stock option subject to Section 409A that fails to comply with the rules of Section 409A can result in the participant having acceleration of income recognition, an additional 20% tax obligation, plus penalties and interest.

Incentive Stock Options.  The grant of an incentive stock option under the 2012 Plan will not result in any federal income tax consequences to the optionholder or to us.  An optionholder recognizes no federal taxable income upon exercising an incentive stock option (subject to the alternative minimum tax rules) and we receive no deduction at the time of exercise.  In the event of a disposition of stock acquired upon exercise of an incentive stock option, the tax consequences depend upon how long the optionholder has held the shares of common stock.  If the optionholder does not dispose of the shares within two years after the incentive stock option was granted, nor within one year after the incentive stock option was exercised, the optionholder will recognize a long-term capital gain (or loss) equal to the difference between the sale price of the shares and the exercise price.  We are not entitled to any deduction under these circumstances.

If the optionholder fails to satisfy either of the foregoing holding periods, he or she must recognize ordinary income in the year of the disposition (referred to as a “disqualifying disposition”).  The amount of such ordinary income generally is the lesser of

 

-13-


 

(i) the excess (if any) of the amount realized on the disposition over the exercise price; or (ii) the excess of the fair market value of the shares on the date of exercise over the exercise price.  Any gain in excess of the amount taxed as ordinary income will be treated as a long or short-term capital gain, depending on whether the stock was held for more than one year.  We, in the year of the disqualifying disposition, are entitled to a deduction equal to the amount of ordinary income recognized by the optionholder, subject to the possible limitations imposed by the $1,000,000 compensation limit imposed by Section 162(m) or if the compensation is an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G and so long as the optionholder’s total compensation is deemed an ordinary and necessary business expense.

In the event an incentive stock option is amended, such option may be considered deferred compensation and subject to the rules of Section 409A.  A stock option subject to Section 409A which fails to comply with the rules of Section 409A can result in the participant having acceleration of income recognition, an additional 20% tax obligation, plus penalties and interest.  In addition, the amendment of an incentive stock option may convert the option from an incentive stock option to a nonqualified stock option.

Restricted Stock.  A recipient of restricted stock will not recognize any taxable income for federal income tax purposes in the year of the award, provided that the shares of common stock are subject to restrictions (that is, the restricted stock is nontransferable and subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture).  However, the recipient may elect under Section 83(b) of the Code to recognize compensation income in the year of the award in an amount equal to the fair market value of the common stock on the date of the award, determined without regard to the restrictions, less any amount the recipient paid for the award.  If the recipient does not make such a Section 83(b) election, the fair market value of the common stock on the date the restrictions lapse will be treated as compensation income to the recipient and will be taxable in the year the restrictions lapse.  We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by the recipient, subject to the possible limitations imposed by the $1,000,000 compensation limit imposed by Section 162(m) or if the compensation is an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the recipient’s total compensation is deemed an ordinary and necessary business expense.

Stock Appreciation Rights.  Recipients of SARs generally should not recognize income until the SAR is exercised.  Upon exercise, the recipient will normally recognize taxable ordinary income for federal income tax purposes equal to the amount of cash and the fair market value of the shares, if any, received upon such exercise.  Recipients who are employees will be subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes with respect to income recognized upon exercise of a SAR.  Recipients will recognize gain upon the disposition of any shares received on exercise of a SAR equal to the excess of: (i) the amount realized on such disposition; over (ii) the ordinary income recognized with respect to such shares under the principles set forth above.  That gain will be taxable as long- or short-term capital gain depending on whether the shares were held for more than one year.  We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by the recipient upon exercise of the SARs, subject to the possible limitations imposed by the $1,000,000 compensation limit imposed by Section 162(m) or if the compensation is an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the recipient’s total compensation is deemed an ordinary and necessary business expense.

A SAR can be considered non-qualified deferred compensation that is subject to the rules of Section 409A.  A SAR subject to Section 409A that does not meet the requirements of Section 409A can result in the participant having acceleration of income recognition, an additional 20% tax obligation, plus penalties and interest.

Restricted Stock Units.  Recipients of RSUs generally should not recognize income until such units are converted into cash or shares of stock.  Upon conversion, the recipient will normally recognize taxable ordinary income for federal income tax purposes equal to the amount of the fair market value of the shares (or the amount of cash) received upon conversion. Recipients who are employees will be subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes with respect to income recognized upon conversion of the RSUs.  Participants will recognize gain upon the disposition of any shares received upon conversion of the RSUs equal to the excess of: (i) the amount realized on such disposition; over (ii) the ordinary income recognized with respect to such shares under the principles set forth above.  That gain will be taxable as long- or short-term capital gain depending on whether the shares were held for more than one year.  We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by the recipient upon conversion of the RSUs into cash or shares of stock, subject to the possible limitations imposed by the $1,000,000 compensation limit imposed by Section 162(m) or if the compensation is an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the recipient’s total compensation is deemed an ordinary and necessary business expense.

RSUs also can be considered non-qualified deferred compensation that is subject to the rules of Section 409A.  A grant of RSUs subject to Section 409A that does not meet the requirements of Section 409A can result in the participant having acceleration of income recognition, an additional 20% tax obligation, plus penalties and interest.

 

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THIS PROPOSAL NO. 2 TO APPROVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE 2012 PLAN TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SHARES OF OUR COMMON STOCK AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE GRANT UNDER THE PLAN FROM 4,000,000 TO 6,000,000.

 

-14-


 

PROPOSAL NO. 3

RATIFICATION OF THE SELECTION OF OUR

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Audit Committee of the Board (the “Audit Committee”) has selected the firm of Mayer Hoffman, independent certified public accountants, to serve as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. Representatives of Mayer Hoffman are expected to be present at the Annual Meeting and will have the opportunity to make a statement and respond to appropriate questions. Mayer Hoffman leases substantially all its personnel, who work under the control of Mayer Hoffman shareholders, from wholly-owned subsidiaries of CBIZ, Inc., in an alternative practice structure. All of the hours expended on Mayer Hoffman’s engagement to audit our financial statements for the 2015 fiscal year were attributed to work performed by such leased personnel.

Neither our governing documents nor applicable laws require stockholder ratification of the selection of Mayer Hoffman as our independent registered public accounting firm. However, the Board is submitting the selection of Mayer Hoffman to our stockholders for ratification as a matter of good corporate governance. If our stockholders fail to ratify the selection of Mayer Hoffman, the Audit Committee will reconsider whether or not to retain Mayer Hoffman. Even if the selection is ratified, the Audit Committee in its discretion may direct the appointment of different independent auditors at any time during the year if they determine that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm Fee Information

The following table sets forth the aggregate fees billed by Mayer Hoffman for the services indicated for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014. All fees described below were approved by the Audit Committee.

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

September 30,

2015

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

September 30,

2014

 

Audit Fees(1)

 

$

169,000

 

 

$

169,000

 

Audit-Related Fees(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax Fees

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Other Fees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Fees

 

$

169,000

 

 

$

169,000

 

 

(1)

Includes fees for: (i) the audit of our annual financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014 included in our annual reports on Form 10-K; (ii) the audit of our internal control over financial reporting for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014; and (iii) the review of our interim period financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014 included in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

(2)

Includes fees for related services that are normally provided in connection with regulatory filings or engagements.

Pre-Approval Policies

The Audit Committee has established policies and procedures by which it approves in advance any audit and permissible non-audit services to be provided by our independent registered public accounting firm. Under these policies and procedures, prior to the engagement of the independent registered public accounting firm for pre-approved services, requests or applications for the independent registered public accounting firm to provide services must be submitted to the Audit Committee and must include a detailed description of the services to be rendered. Our Chief Financial Officer and the independent registered public accounting firm must ensure that the independent registered public accounting firm is not engaged to perform the proposed services unless those services are within the list of services that have received the Audit Committee’s pre-approval, and must cause the Audit Committee to be informed in a timely manner of all services rendered by the independent registered public accounting firm and the related fees.

Each request or application must include:

 

·

a recommendation by our Chief Financial Officer as to whether the Audit Committee should approve the request or application; and

 

·

a joint statement of our Chief Financial Officer and the independent registered public accounting firm as to whether, in their view, the request or application is consistent with the SEC’s requirements for auditor independence of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”).

 

-15-


 

The Audit Committee also will not permit the independent registered public accounting firm to be engaged to provide any services to the extent that the SEC has prohibited the provision of those services by an independent registered public accounting firm, which generally include:

 

·

bookkeeping or other services related to accounting records or financial statements;

 

·

financial information systems design and implementation;

 

·

appraisal or valuation services, fairness opinions or contribution-in-kind reports;

 

·

actuarial services;

 

·

internal audit outsourcing services;

 

·

management functions;

 

·

human resources;

 

·

broker-dealer, investment adviser or investment banking services;

 

·

legal services;

 

·

expert services unrelated to the audit; and

 

·

any service that the PCAOB determines is not permissible.

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THIS PROPOSAL NO. 3 TO RATIFY THE SELECTION OF MAYER HOFFMAN TO SERVE AS OUR INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2016.

 

 

 

-16-


 

REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

The Audit Committee of our Board of Directors has furnished the following report to stockholders of the Company in accordance with rules adopted by the SEC.

As described in its charter, the Audit Committee meets with the independent auditors and our officers or other personnel responsible for our financial reports. The Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing the scope of the auditors’ examination of the Company and the audited results of the examination. The Audit Committee is also responsible for discussing with the auditors the scope, reasonableness and adequacy of internal accounting controls. The Audit Committee is not responsible for the planning or conduct of the audits or the determination that our financial statements are complete and accurate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Among other matters, the Audit Committee considers and selects a certified public accounting firm as our independent auditor. The Audit Committee held four meetings during the 2015 fiscal year.

In accordance with rules adopted by the SEC, the Audit Committee states that:

 

·

The Audit Committee has reviewed and discussed with management our audited financial statements for the 2015 fiscal year.

 

·

The Audit Committee has discussed with Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., our independent registered public accountants, the matters required to be discussed by the statement on Auditing Standards No. 61, as amended, as adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in Rule 3200T.

 

·

The Audit Committee has received the written disclosures and the letter from Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. required by applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.’s communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence, and has discussed with Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. its independence.

Based upon the review and discussions referred to above, the Audit Committee recommended to our Board of Directors that our audited financial statements be included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, for filing with the SEC.

Audit Committee

Vinton P. Cunningham

James C. Hale

Bruce E. Hansen

This foregoing Audit Committee report is not “soliciting material,” is not deemed “filed” with the SEC and shall not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this proxy statement into any filing of ours under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or under the Exchange Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate this report by reference.

 

 

 

-17-


 

INFORMATION REGARDING THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

General

This section describes key corporate governance guidelines and practices that we have adopted. Complete copies of the charters of the committees of the Board and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics described below may be viewed on our Internet website at www.miteksystems.com under “Investors.” You may also request a copy of any of these documents free of charge by writing to our Corporate Secretary at Mitek Systems, Inc., 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, Attn: Corporate Secretary.

Director Independence

The Board is responsible for establishing corporate policies and for the overall performance of the Company, although it is not involved in day-to-day operations. As required under NASDAQ listing standards, a majority of the members of a listed company’s board of directors must qualify as “independent,” as affirmatively determined by the company’s board of directors. The Board consults with our counsel to ensure that the Board’s determinations regarding the independence of our directors are consistent with all relevant securities and other laws and regulations regarding the definition of “independent,” including those set forth in applicable NASDAQ listing standards, as in effect from time to time. Consistent with these considerations, after review of all relevant transactions or relationships between each director (or former director, as applicable), or any of his or her family members, and the Company, our senior management and our independent auditors, the Board has determined that all of our directors other than Mr. DeBello and Mr. Thornton are independent, in each case as defined in NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605(a)(2). In addition, the Board has determined that the members of the Audit Committee meet the additional independence criteria required for audit committee membership.

Meetings of the Board

The Board meets on a regular basis throughout the year to review significant developments affecting the Company and to act upon matters requiring its approval. The Board also holds special meetings as required from time to time when important matters arise requiring Board action between scheduled meetings. During the 2015 fiscal year, the Board met four times and acted by unanimous written consent three times. No director attended fewer than 75% of the aggregate number of meetings held by the Board during the 2015 fiscal year.

Executive Sessions

As required under applicable NASDAQ listing standards, our independent directors periodically meet in executive session at which only they are present.

Director Attendance at Annual Meetings

Although we do not have a formal policy regarding attendance by members of the Board at our annual meeting of stockholders, we encourage all of our directors to attend. Mr. Thornton and Mr. Cunningham were the only directors from the director nominees discussed in Proposal No. 1 above that attended our 2015 annual meeting of stockholders.

Board Leadership Structure

The leadership structure of the Board is such that our Chairman and our Chief Executive Officer positions are separated. Mr. Thornton has served as our Chairman since October 1987. We believe having a chairman separate from the chief executive officer with extensive experience as both an officer and director of the Company has provided the Board with consistent and knowledgeable leadership that has enhanced the effectiveness of the Board as a whole. Our corporate governance guidelines do not require the Board to choose a chairman separate from the chief executive officer, but the Board believes this leadership structure is the appropriate structure for the Company at this time. The Board has the discretion to choose its chairman in any manner that it deems to be in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders.

Board’s Role in Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for oversight of risks facing the Company, while our management is responsible for day-to-day management of risk. The Board, as a whole, directly administers its risk oversight function. In addition, the risk oversight function is also administered through the standing committees of the Board, which oversee risks inherent in their respective areas of responsibility, reporting to the Board regularly and involving the Board in their performance of risk oversight, as necessary. For example, the Audit Committee oversees our financial exposure and financial reporting related risks and the Compensation Committee

 

-18-


 

of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”) oversees risks related to our compensation programs and practices. The Board, as a whole, directly oversees our strategic and business risk, including product development risk, through regular interactions with our management and, from time-to-time, input from independent advisors. We believe the Board’s leadership structure supports its role in risk oversight, with our President and Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer responsible for assessing and managing risks facing the Company day-to-day and our Chairman and other members of the Board providing oversight of such risk management.

Information Regarding Board Committees

The Board has established standing Audit, Compensation, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees to devote attention to specific subjects and to assist it in the discharge of its responsibilities. The three committees operate under written charters adopted by the Board, each of which is available on our Internet website at www.miteksystems.com under “Investors.” The following table provides meeting information for the 2015 fiscal year for each of the committees of the Board and current membership for each of the committees of the Board. Each member of the committees of the Board during the 2015 fiscal year attended at least 75% of the meetings of each of the committees of the Board on which he served that were held during the period for which he was a committee member.

 

 

 

Audit

Committee

 

 

Nominating and

Corporate

Governance

Committee

 

 

Compensation

Committee

 

 

Employee Director:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James B. DeBello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Employee Directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John M. Thornton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William K. "Bill" Aulet

 

 

 

 

X

 

(1)

X

 

 

Vinton P. Cunningham

 

X

 

(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

James C. Hale

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce E. Hansen

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Alex W. “Pete” Hart

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

(1)

Total meetings in the 2015 fiscal year

 

 

4

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

Total actions by written consent in the 2015 fiscal year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Committee chairperson.

Audit Committee

We have a separately designated standing Audit Committee established in accordance with Section 3(a)(58)(a) of the Exchange Act. The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing our accounting and financial reporting processes and the audits of our financial statements, monitoring the integrity of our financial reporting process and systems of internal controls regarding finance, accounting and legal compliance, and reviewing the independence and performance of our independent registered public accountants. The current members of the Audit Committee are Messrs. Cunningham, Hansen and Hale. The Board has determined that Mr. Cunningham is an “audit committee financial expert” in accordance with applicable SEC rules. Each of the members of the Audit Committee is an “independent” director within the meaning of the applicable NASDAQ listing standards, as well as applicable SEC rules and regulations.

Compensation Committee

The Compensation Committee reviews executive compensation, establishes executive compensation levels, recommends employee compensation programs, administers our incentive plans, and monitors the Company’s compliance with applicable SEC rules and NASDAQ listing standards. The current members of the Compensation Committee are Messrs. Aulet, Hansen and Hart, each of whom is an “independent” director within the meaning of the applicable NASDAQ listing standards, as well as applicable SEC rules and regulations.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

The Nominating Committee is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the Board regarding the composition and structure of the Board, establishing criteria for Board membership and corporate policies relating to the recruitment of Board members, and establishing, implementing and monitoring policies and processes regarding principles of corporate governance. The

 

-19-


 

current members of the Nominating Committee are Messrs. Aulet and Hart, each of whom is an “independent” director within the meaning of the applicable NASDAQ listing standards, as well as applicable SEC rules and regulations.

Consideration of Director Nominees

Director Qualifications

When evaluating nominees for election as directors (including all persons recommended by stockholders to become nominees for election as directors), the Nominating Committee takes into account: (i) all factors the Committee considers appropriate, which may include career specialization, relevant technical skills or financial acumen, diversity of viewpoint and industry knowledge; and (ii) the following minimum qualifications:

 

·

the highest personal and professional ethics, integrity and values and sound business judgment;

 

·

a background that demonstrates significant accomplishment in his or her respective field, with superior credentials and recognition and broad experience at the administrative and/or policy-making level in business, government, education, technology or public interest;

 

·

relevant expertise and experience and an ability to offer advice and guidance to our chief executive officer based on such expertise and experience;

 

·

independence from any particular constituency and an ability to be able to represent all of our stockholders and be committed to enhancing long-term stockholder value; and

 

·

sufficient time available to devote to activities of the Board and to enhance his or her knowledge of our business.

The Nominating Committee retains the right to modify these criteria from time to time.

Stockholder Nominations

The Nominating Committee will consider director candidates recommended by our stockholders of record. The Nominating Committee does not intend to alter the manner in which it evaluates candidates, including the criteria set forth above, based on whether or not a candidate was recommended by a stockholder of record. Stockholders of record who wish to recommend individuals for consideration by the Nominating Committee to become nominees for election to the Board at an annual meeting of stockholders must do so by delivering a written recommendation and timely notice in accordance with our Bylaws to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee at Mitek Systems, Inc., 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, Attn: Corporate Secretary not later than the close of business on December 2, 2016 nor earlier than November 2, 2016; provided, however, that if the date of our next annual meeting is more than 30 days before or more than 60 days after the one-year anniversary of the Annual Meeting, notice by the stockholder to be timely must be so delivered, or mailed and received, not earlier than the close of business on the 120th day prior to such annual meeting and not later than the close of business on the 90th day prior to such annual meeting or, if later, the 10th day following the day on which public disclosure of the date of such annual meeting was first made.

Each written recommendation must set forth, among other information:

 

·

the name and address of the stockholder of record and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made;

 

·

the class, series and number of shares of common stock of the Company, and any convertible securities of the Company, that are beneficially owned by the stockholder of record and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made;

 

·

any option, warrant, convertible security, SAR, or similar right with an exercise or conversion privilege or settlement payment at a price related to any class or series of shares of the Company or with a value derived from the value of any class or series of shares of the Company, directly or indirectly, owned beneficially by such stockholder of record and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made;

 

·

any proxy, agreement, arrangement, understanding, or relationship pursuant to which such stockholder of record and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made has or shares a right to vote any shares of any security of any class or series of the Company;

 

·

any short interest in any security of the Company held by such stockholder of record and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made;

 

·

the proposed director candidate’s name, age, business address and residential address;

 

-20-


 

 

·

complete biographical information for the proposed director candidate, including the proposed director candidate’s principal occupation or employment and business experience for at least the previous five years; 

 

·

the class and number of shares of common stock of the Company that are beneficially owned by the proposed director candidate and any convertible securities of the Company that are beneficially owned by the director candidate as of the date of the written recommendation;

 

·

a completed and signed questionnaire, representation and agreement from the director candidate, as further described in our Bylaws; and

 

·

any other information relating to the proposed director candidate that is required to be disclosed in solicitations for proxies for election of directors pursuant to Regulation 14A promulgated under the Exchange Act.

Director candidate nominations from stockholders must be provided in writing and must include the written consent of each proposed nominee to serve as a director if so elected. Stockholders are advised to review our Bylaws, which contain additional requirements with respect to director nominations. If a proposed director candidate is recommended by a stockholder in accordance with the procedural requirements discussed above and more fully set forth in our Bylaws, the Secretary will provide the foregoing information to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Evaluating Nominees for Director

Our Nominating Committee considers director candidates that are suggested by members of the committee, other members of the Board, members of management, advisors and our stockholders who submit recommendations in accordance with the requirements set forth above. The Nominating Committee may, in the future, also retain a third-party search firm to identify candidates on terms and conditions acceptable to the Nominating Committee, but to date it has not paid a fee to any third party to assist in the process of identifying or evaluating director candidates. The Nominating Committee evaluates all nominees for director under the same approach whether they are recommended by stockholders or other sources.

The Nominating Committee reviews candidates for director nominees in the context of the current composition of the Board and committees of the Board, the operating requirements of the Company and the long-term interests of our stockholders. In conducting this assessment, the Nominating Committee considers the director nominee’s qualifications, diversity, age, skills and such other factors as it deems appropriate given the current needs of the Board, the committees of the Board and the Company, to maintain a balance of knowledge, experience, diversity and capability. In addition, the Nominating Committee seeks candidates with significant experience in the Company’s targeted markets. In the case of incumbent directors whose terms of office are set to expire, the Nominating Committee reviews such directors’ overall service to the Board, the committees of the Board and the Company during their respective terms, including the number of meetings attended, level of participation, quality of performance and any other relationships and transactions that might impair such directors’ independence. In the case of new director candidates, the Nominating Committee will also determine whether the nominee meets the minimum director qualifications set forth above, has at least the same level of education and experience as the Company’s then-current directors, and whether such nominee is independent for NASDAQ purposes, which determination will be based upon applicable NASDAQ listing standards and applicable SEC rules and regulations. Although we do not have a formal diversity policy, when considering diversity in evaluating director nominees, the Nominating Committee focuses on whether the nominees can contribute varied perspectives, skills, experiences and expertise to the Board.

The Nominating Committee will evaluate each proposed director’s candidacy, including proposed candidates recommended by security holders and recommend whether the Board should nominate such proposed director candidate for election by our stockholders.

Stockholder Communications to the Board

Stockholders may contact an individual director, the Board as a group or a specified committee or group of directors, including the non-employee directors as a group, at the following address: Mitek Systems, Inc., 8911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123, Attn: Board of Directors. We will receive and process communications before forwarding them to the addressee. Directors generally will not be forwarded stockholder communications that are primarily commercial in nature, relate to improper or irrelevant topics or request general information about the Company.

Non-Employee Director Compensation

For the 2015 fiscal year, our non-employee directors received a retainer based compensation model. We also reimburse our non-employee directors for their reasonable expenses incurred in attending Board and committee meetings. Members of the Board who are also employees of the Company receive no compensation for their services as a director.

 

-21-


 

The following table sets forth summary information concerning compensation paid or accrued for services rendered to us in all capacities to the members of the Board for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015:

 

Name(1)

 

Fees

Earned or

Paid in

Cash ($)(2)

 

 

Stock Awards

(3)

 

 

All Other

Compensation

($)(4)

 

 

Total

Compensation

($)

 

William K. "Bill" Aulet

 

$

22,500

 

 

$

98,700

 

 

$

 

 

$

121,200

 

Vinton P. Cunningham

 

$

30,000

 

 

$

79,976

 

 

$

 

 

$

109,976

 

James C. Hale

 

$

30,000

 

 

$

79,976

 

 

$

 

 

$

109,976

 

Bruce E. Hansen

 

$

30,000

 

 

$

79,976

 

 

$

 

 

$

109,976

 

Alex W. “Pete” Hart

 

$

30,000

 

 

$

79,976

 

 

$

 

 

$

109,976

 

John M. Thornton

 

$

100,000

 

 

$

79,976

 

 

$

14,093

 

 

$

194,069

 

 

(1)

James B. DeBello, a director, our President and Chief Executive Officer and a named executive officer, is not included in this table as he is an employee of the Company and therefore receives no compensation for his service as a director. Mr. DeBello’s compensation is included in the “Summary Compensation Table” below.

(2)

This retainer is paid on a quarterly basis.

(3)

The amounts shown under the “Stock Awards” column represent the aggregate grant date fair value of stock options granted to each non-employee director computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, Compensation— Stock Compensation. A discussion of the assumptions used in calculating the grant date fair value is set forth in Note 5 to our financial statements included in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on December 7, 2015.

(4)

Represents medical, dental and group term life insurance premiums paid on behalf of Mr. Thornton.

 

 

 

-22-


 

INFORMATION REGARDING OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

The officers of the Company serve at the pleasure of the Board. The following table includes the names and certain information about our current executive officers:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

James B. DeBello

 

57

 

President and Chief Executive Officer and Director

Russell C. Clark

 

47

 

Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Michael E. Diamond

 

51

 

Chief Revenue Officer

 

Russell C. Clark. Mr. Clark has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2011 and as our Secretary since February 2013. Prior to joining Mitek, from July 2006 to June 2011, Mr. Clark served in various roles, most recently Senior Vice President, Finance, at Epicor Software Corporation, a leading global provider of enterprise business software solutions for midmarket-sized companies. While at Epicor, he provided financial leadership in connection with raising growth capital, consummating acquisitions, better aligning Epicor’s operating expenses with its revenues and executing the sale of Epicor to APAX Partners, a private equity firm. From August 2004 to June 2006, he served as Chief Accounting Officer at Peregrine Systems, Inc., a global provider of enterprise software for information technology service and asset management, where he provided financial leadership in connection with the successful turn-around of Peregrine and its sale to Hewlett-Packard Company. From August 2002 to August 2004, he served as Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller of FICO (formerly Fair Isaac Corporation), a global provider of enterprise analytic software solutions and credit scores, where he was a key member of the team that consummated the merger of FICO and HNC Software Inc., a global provider of enterprise analytic software, and was responsible for integrating the operations of those companies following the merger, as well as playing a key role in other acquisitions. From January 2000 to August 2002, Mr. Clark served in various roles, including as Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance, at HNC Software. From August 1990 to January 2000, Mr. Clark began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he most recently served as a senior manager in the technology industry group. Mr. Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting with highest distinction from The University of Iowa and is a certified public accountant.

Michael E. Diamond. Mr. Diamond has served as our Chief Revenue Officer since September 2013, and from June 2012 until September 2013 he served as our Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development. Prior to joining Mitek, from March 2008 to June 2012, Mr. Diamond served as Senior Vice President, Business Development, at Obopay Corporation, a global mobile payments company. From July 2004 to March 2008, he served as a Business Unit Executive at IBM Corporation. From January 2001 to July 2004, Mr. Diamond served as Vice President, Business and Corporate Development, at Alphablox Corporation, a provider of software for web-based enterprise analytics, and was directly involved in shaping and driving Alphablox’s acquisition by IBM Corporation. From November 1999 to January 2001, Mr. Diamond served in various roles, including Senior Vice President Business Development/General Manager, Latin America and Japan, at S1 Corporation, an online financial services provider. From March 1996 to November 1999, Mr. Diamond served in various management roles, including as Director, Channel Sales, at Edify Corporation, a provider of interactive voice response and online financial services software. Mr. Diamond earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in international business from St. Norbert College.

There are no family relationships among any of our executive officers. There currently are no legal proceedings, and during the past 10 years there have been no legal proceedings, that are material to the evaluation of the ability or integrity of any of our executive officers.

 

 

 

-23-


 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Compensation Discussion and Analysis

The following discussion and analysis of compensation arrangements of our named executive officers for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015 should be read together with the compensation tables and related disclosures set forth below. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that are based on our current plans, considerations, expectations and determinations regarding future compensation programs. The actual amounts and forms of compensation and the compensation programs that we adopt may differ materially from currently planned programs as summarized in this discussion.

Company Highlights

Our financial and operational performance for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015 reflected our continued efforts to increase our top-line performance, while managing our costs and improving our margins. Our 2015 fiscal year highlights include:

 

Increased total revenue by 32% to $25.4 million.

 

Increased the number of financial institutions licensed for our Mobile Deposit® product by 49% to 4,495 financial institutions as of September 30, 2015.

 

Increased net income by 148% to $2.5M.

 

Generated cash flows from operations of $6.1M, an increase of 347%.

 

Completed the acquisition of IDchecker, expanding our SaaS capabilities, customer base and identity document recognition internationally.

 

Achieved a 5-year stock price return of 79%.

Named Executive Officers

As required by SEC rules, this Compensation Discussion and Analysis discusses compensation decisions with respect to (i) our Chief Executive Officer, (ii) Chief Financial Officer, (iii) the three most highly compensated executive officers other than the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer who were serving as executive officers at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, and (iv) up to two additional individuals for whom disclosure would have been provided pursuant to the preceding clause (iii) but for the fact that the individual was not serving as an executive officer of the Company at the end of the 2015 fiscal year. We refer to these executive officers collectively in this Compensation Discussion and Analysis and the related compensation tables as the “named executive officers.” For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, the named executive officers were:

 

James B. DeBello, our President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”);

 

Russell C. Clark, our Chief Financial Officer and Secretary (“CFO”); and

 

Michael E. Diamond, our Chief Revenue Officer (“CRO”).

 

Compensation Philosophy and Objectives

Our compensation philosophy is built upon the principles of pay for performance, shared ownership and alignment with the long-term interests of our stockholders. We believe that every aspect of our compensation programs, including the mix of short-term and long-term cash and equity payments, should enhance the Company’s ability to maximize stockholder value over time. Our specific objectives consistent with that philosophy are to:

 

align our executive officers’ compensation with our business objectives and the interests of our stockholders;

 

foster a goal-oriented, highly motivated management team whose participants have a clear understanding of our business objectives and shared corporate values; and

 

enable us to attract, motivate and retain the executive talent needed to enhance stockholder value in a competitive environment.

To meet these objectives, the Compensation Committee has designed a compensation program that combines “fixed” forms of compensation, such as base salaries and certain other benefits, with “at-risk” forms of compensation, such as performance-based annual bonuses, based upon the achievement of corporate and individual goals established by the Compensation Committee, and long-term equity incentive awards, which reward increasing the long-term value of the Company. While our objectives guide the development of our compensation programs, we may alter our programs and practices according to the evolving needs of the Company, within the constraints of any agreements in place with individual employees.

 

-24-


 

Process for Establishing Compensation

Role of the Compensation Committee and Executive Officers

The current members of the Compensation Committee are Messrs. Aulet, Hansen, and Hart. Each of these individuals qualifies as (i) an “independent director” under the requirements of NASDAQ listing rules, (ii) a “non-employee director” under Rule 16b-3 of the Exchange Act and (iii) an “outside director” under Section 162(m). The Compensation Committee is responsible for monitoring the performance and compensation of our named executive officers, reviewing compensation plans and administering our incentive plans.

The Compensation Committee operates under a written charter and is responsible for annually reviewing and approving the amount and form of compensation of our CEO and making recommendations to the Board with respect to the amount and form of compensation of our other executive officers. The Compensation Committee considers recommendations from Mr. DeBello, our President and CEO, in determining executive compensation. Specifically, our CEO recommends base salary increases, equity award levels and the performance goals that are used in our annual bonus program and advises the Compensation Committee regarding the compensation program’s ability to attract, retain and motivate executive talent. The Compensation Committee has and exercises the ability to materially increase or decrease the compensation amounts recommended by our CEO. Our CEO is also involved in our executive compensation process by providing input on the performance targets for our annual bonus program, including the relative weight to be assigned to each performance target. Our Compensation Committee routinely meets in executive session, and our CEO is not permitted to attend during sessions of the Compensation Committee and sessions of the Board where decisions are made regarding his compensation. The Compensation Committee, by resolution passed by a majority of the committee, has the authority to designate one or more subcommittees, which subcommittee, to the extent not limited by applicable law or the NASDAQ listing standards, may have and exercise all the powers and authority of the Compensation Committee.

The Compensation Committee also considers the input of our compensation consultant, Barney & Barney LLC (the “Compensation Consultant”), a consulting firm selected by the Compensation Committee (see below under the heading “Role of the Compensation Consultant”). Although the Compensation Committee considers the input of our CEO and the Compensation Consultant, it is not bound by such recommendations, and the Compensation Committee’s determinations with respect to all executive compensation are submitted to the Board for final approval.

Role of the Compensation Consultant

In designing compensation programs and determining compensation levels for our named executive officers for the 2015 fiscal year, the Compensation Committee retained the services of the Compensation Consultant to formulate a report and make recommendations to the Compensation Committee regarding our compensation programs and executive compensation levels. The Chairman of the Compensation Committee worked directly with the Compensation Consultant to determine the scope of the work needed to assist the Compensation Committee in its decision-making processes. The Compensation Committee has assessed the independence of the Compensation Consultant and determined that no conflict of interest exists under the rules established by the SEC. The Compensation Committee reviews the independence of its advisors annually. In connection with its engagement, the Compensation Consultant provided the Compensation Committee with benchmark comparative data for our named executive officers with respect to base salaries, target and actual total cash compensation levels, long-term incentive values, and target and total direct compensation. In making compensation decisions for the 2015 fiscal year, the Compensation Committee compared each element of total direct compensation against a peer group of 18 publicly traded companies in the technology industry, with an emphasis on application software, public payments, banking and mobile applications against which the Compensation Committee believes we compete in the market for executive talent. We collectively refer to this group as the “Compensation Peer Group.” The pay data for this group was analyzed by the Compensation Consultant using each company’s recent public filings. This Compensation Peer Group was used, when available, for all executive officers, including our named executive officers. We generally select companies with the following criteria for the Compensation Peer Group: less than $150 million in annual revenues, less than 500 employees, and less than $500 million in market capitalization, with an emphasis on companies located in California or other high cost of living areas. The following is a list of the 18 companies comprising our Compensation Peer Group for the 2015 fiscal year: 

 

 

 

 

Actuate Corporation

 

Digimarc Corporation

 

Model N, Inc.

American Software, Inc.

 

Document Security Systems, Inc.

 

NetSol Technologies Inc.

Aware, Inc.

 

Glu Mobile Inc.

 

PDF Solutions, Inc.

Broadvision, Inc.

 

Immersion Corporation

 

Pros Holdings

Bsquare Corporation

 

Jive Software, Inc.

 

Smith Micro Software, Inc.

Callidus Software Inc.

 

Microvision, Inc.

 

Zix Corporation

The Compensation Committee used the peer group data provided by the Compensation Consultant to make the initial determination of the competitiveness of total direct compensation for each executive. Our Compensation Committee makes

 

-25-


 

adjustments down or up from such market-based determination based on its comprehensive assessment of retention risk for each executive, based in part on input from our CEO with regard to the positions that report to him.

Components of Executive Compensation

The Company’s executive compensation program consists of the following elements:

 

base salary;

 

annual bonuses;

 

equity-based incentives;

 

other benefits; and

 

severance and change of control plans.

 

Base Salary

We provide a base salary to our named executive officers and other employees to compensate them for services rendered on a day-to-day basis during the fiscal year. Base salary will typically be used to recognize the experience, skills, knowledge and responsibilities required of each named executive officer, and should reflect individual performance related to our overall financial performance as well as competitive practice. Salary reviews are typically performed annually in conjunction with performance reviews.

Generally, the initial base salaries of our executive officers are established through arm’s-length negotiation at the time the individual executive officer is hired, taking into account his or her qualifications, experience and prior salary level. Thereafter, the Compensation Committee reviews and recommends adjustments, as necessary or appropriate, to the base salaries of our executive officers to the Board on an annual basis.

The Compensation Committee typically targets named executive officers’ salaries at a level that is near the median of salaries of executives with similar roles at comparable companies. The Compensation Committee believes that the median for base salaries is the minimum cash compensation level that would allow us to attract and retain talented executives.

All employees’ base salaries are reviewed annually for possible merit increases taking into account the criteria referenced above, but merit increases are not automatic or guaranteed.

In October 2014, based on the recommendation of the Compensation Committee, the Board approved a three percent increase in the base salary for Messrs. DeBello and Diamond and a 10% increase in the base salary for Mr. Clark for the 2015 fiscal year, consistent with market trends and practices. The following table sets forth information regarding base salaries approved by the Board for the 2015 fiscal year for our named executive officers:

 

Named Executive Officer

 

2015 Base Salary

 

James B. DeBello

 

$

420,909

 

Russell C. Clark

 

$

262,573

 

Michael E. Diamond

 

$

185,657

 

 

Annual Bonus

Our annual bonus plan is one of the key components of the “at-risk” compensation we offer to our executives. We utilize our annual bonus plan to reward performance achievements with a time horizon of one year or less and such plan is intended to motivate and reward our executives for their contributions toward meeting longer-term corporate financial and strategic goals and to align the interests of such executives with those of our stockholders.

In developing our annual bonus plan, the Compensation Committee sets targets which it believes reflect the business conditions within our industry and are consistent with achieving our short- and long-term goals. The target achievement levels for our executives with respect to the applicable performance metrics are based on the Board-approved operating plan, which reflects the Company’s target performance for the upcoming fiscal year, and such targets are calibrated such that they are challenging enough to require strong and consistent effort by the executives in order to be achieved.

 

In October 2014, the Board, based upon the recommendation of the Compensation Committee, approved the Company’s executive bonus program for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015 (the “2015 Bonus Plan”). Pursuant to the terms of the 2015

 

-26-


 

Bonus Plan, certain of the Company’s executives were eligible to receive cash bonuses based upon the achievement of certain corporate and individual performance goals during the 2015 fiscal year.

The Compensation Committee reviewed each executive’s bonus target as a percentage of their base salary.  As part of this review, the bonus target for our CEO remained at 80% of his annualized salary and the bonus target for our CRO remained at 100% of his annualized salary.  The bonus target for our CFO was increased from 40% to 50% of his annualized salary. For our CEO, the 2015 Bonus Plan provided that up to 75% of the bonus target would be based upon achievement of the Company’s revenue and non-GAAP net income plans and the remaining 25% of the bonus target would be based upon achievement of certain individual performance goals determined by our Board.  For our CFO, the 2015 Bonus Plan provided that up to 75% of the bonus target would be based upon achievement of the Company’s revenue and non-GAAP net income plans and the remaining 25% of the bonus target would be based upon achievement of certain individual performance goals determined by our CEO. The maximum bonus payable to each executive under the 2015 Bonus Plan was 150% of their respective bonus targets.

In making its determination with respect to the achievement of performance objectives, the Compensation Committee considers our CEO’s recommendations with respect to the performance of his direct reports against their individual performance objectives. Following the end of the 2015 fiscal year, the Compensation Committee assessed the Company’s performance against the corporate performance component and determined that the Company had achieved 103.1% of its revenue plan and 161.5% of its non-GAAP net income plan. Accordingly, after taking into account the named executive officers’ performance against their respective individual performance goals, the Compensation Committee awarded the following annual bonus amounts, which amounts were paid to Messrs. DeBello and Clark in November 2015: 

 

Named Executive Officer

 

2015 Bonus Target

(as a percentage of base salary)

 

 

2015 Bonus Target

(base  salary * target %)

 

 

2015 Bonus

 

James B. DeBello

 

 

80

%

 

$

336,727

 

 

$

384,082

 

Russell C. Clark

 

 

50

%

 

 

131,287

 

 

 

149,768

 

Our CRO was not a participant under the 2015 Bonus Plan. However, our CRO receives commission based upon achievement of the Company’s revenue plan, at a target commission equal to 100% of his annualized base salary and a maximum commission equal to 150% of his annualized base salary. Based on the Company’s achievement of 103.1% of its revenue plan, Mr. Diamond received commissions equal to $206,263.

Equity-Based Incentives

Our long-term equity-based incentives are another key component of our “at-risk” compensation package and are intended to reward longer-term performance and to help align the interests of our executive officers with those of our stockholders. We believe that long-term performance is achieved through an ownership culture that rewards performance by our executive officers through the use of equity incentives.

Equity-based incentives are granted to our executive officers under the 2012 Plan. Stock options granted under the 2012 Plan generally vest as to 25% of the shares on the one-year anniversary of the date of grant and thereafter in equal monthly installments over a period of three years. RSUs granted under the 2012 Plan may be issued for nominal or no cost and may be granted in consideration of the recipient’s past or future services performed for the Company. RSUs generally vest in equal annual installments over a period of four years from the date of grant.

 

Typically, the size and form of the initial equity awards for our executive officers is established through arm’s-length negotiation at the time the individual executive officer is hired. In formulating these awards, the Compensation Committee considers, among other things, the prospective role and responsibility of the executive officer, the amount of equity-based compensation held by the executive officer at his or her former employer, the cash compensation received by the executive officer, the Compensation Committee’s sense of the competitive market for similar positions (based on input from the Compensation Consultant), and the need to create a meaningful opportunity for reward predicated on the creation of long-term stockholder value. Thereafter, the Compensation Committee reviews the equity holdings of our executive officers annually and periodically recommends to the Board, based on input from the Compensation Consultant, the grant of equity awards in the form of stock options and/or RSUs to our executive officers to ensure that their overall equity position was consistent with our compensation objectives.

 

-27-


 

On November 4, 2014, Messrs. DeBello, Clark and Diamond were granted annual equity incentive awards, based in part on the performance of the Company during the year ended September 30, 2014 and based on input from the Compensation Consultant. The following table sets forth the number of equity awards granted.

 

Named Executive Officer

 

Stock Options

 

James B. DeBello

 

 

250,000

 

Russell C. Clark

 

 

200,000

 

Michael E. Diamond

 

 

150,000

 

 

Other Benefits

We maintain a 401(k) plan that allows participating employees to contribute a percentage of their salary, subject to Internal Revenue Service annual limits, on a pre-tax basis pursuant to a cash or deferred arrangement under Section 401(k) of the Code. During the fiscal years ended September 30, 2014 and 2013, the Company did not make matching contributions to the plan. The Company did make matching contributions to the plan during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015.

In addition, we provide health care, dental, vision and life insurance, employee assistance plans, long-term disability and accidental death and dismemberment benefits to all full-time employees, including our named executive officers. These benefits are available to all employees, subject to applicable laws. We believe these benefits are consistent with benefits of companies with which we compete for employees.

Severance and Change of Control Plans

The Compensation Committee provides our executives with severance and change of control protection when it determines that such protection is necessary to attract or retain an executive. Under the terms of their respective executive severance and change of control plans, each named executive officer is entitled to receive certain severance payments and benefits in the event that he is terminated without cause or resigns for good reason and/or is terminated in connection with a change of control of the Company, subject in all cases to certain conditions. The severance payments and benefits that are payable under these plans are further described below in the section entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control.”

Executive Compensation for the 2016 Fiscal Year

Components of Executive Compensation

Base Salary. Based on input from the Compensation Consultant, the Compensation Committee approved a five percent increase in the base salaries for each of our current named executive officers for the 2016 fiscal year, consistent with market trends and practices.

 

Annual Bonus. On November 6, 2015, the Board, based upon the recommendation of the Compensation Committee, approved the Company’s executive bonus program for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016 (the “2016 Bonus Plan”). Pursuant to the terms of the 2016 Bonus Plan, the Company’s CEO and CFO will be eligible to receive cash bonuses based upon the achievement of certain corporate and individual performance goals during the 2016 fiscal year. The Company’s CRO will be eligible to receive a quarterly cash bonus based on quarterly revenue achievement during the 2016 fiscal year. The bonus targets under the 2016 Bonus Plan are consistent with the 2015 Bonus Plan, with our CEO having a bonus target equal to 80% of his annualized salary, our CFO having a bonus target equal to 50% of his annualized salary, and our CRO having a bonus target equal to 100% of his annualized salary. Up to 75% of the bonus target for both the CEO and CFO is based upon achievement of two financial metrics (revenue and non-GAAP net income) and the remaining 25% of the bonus target is based upon achievement of certain individual performance goals. The bonus target for the CRO is based 100% on revenue achievement. The maximum bonus payable to the Company’s CEO, CFO and CRO is 150% of their respective bonus targets.  

Equity-Based Incentives. The Board, based upon the recommendation of the Compensation Committee, approved the following RSU grants for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016: Mr. DeBello—200,000 shares; Mr. Clark—150,000 shares; and Mr. Diamond—100,000 shares.

Tax Considerations

Section 162(m) generally disallows a tax deduction for compensation in excess of $1.0 million paid to certain named executive officers. Qualifying performance-based compensation is not subject to the deduction limitation if specified requirements are met. We generally intend to structure the performance-based portion of our executive compensation, when feasible, to comply with exemptions in Section 162(m) so that the compensation remains tax deductible to us. However, the Board may, in its judgment, authorize

 

-28-


 

compensation payments that do not comply with the exemptions in Section 162(m) when it believes that such payments are appropriate to attract and retain executive talent.

Risks Related to Compensation Policies and Practices

The Compensation Committee has considered whether the Company’s overall compensation program for its employees creates incentives for employees to take excessive or unreasonable risks that could materially harm the Company. We believe that several features of our compensation policies for management employees appropriately mitigate such risks, including a mix of long- and short-term compensation incentives that we believe is properly weighted and the uniformity of compensation policies across the Company, which the Compensation Committee regards as setting an appropriate level of risk taking for the Company. We also believe the Company’s internal legal and financial controls appropriately mitigate the probability and potential impact of an individual employee committing the Company to a harmful long-term business transaction in exchange for short-term compensation benefits.

Hedging Prohibition

As part of our insider trading policy, without the prior approval of our CFO, our executives and directors are prohibited from short selling and buying or selling puts and calls on our securities, and from engaging in hedging, forward sale and other similar derivative transactions of our securities.

Summary Compensation Table

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the compensation earned by each of our named executive officers during the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013:

 

Name and Principal Position

 

Year

 

Salary ($)

 

 

Bonus ($)

 

 

Stock

Awards

($)(1)

 

 

Option

Awards

($)(1)

 

 

Non-Equity

Incentive Plan

Compensation

($)(2)

 

 

All Other

Compensation

($)(3)

 

 

Total

Compensation

($)

 

James B. DeBello

 

2015

 

 

420,909

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

499,850

 

 

 

384,082

 

 

 

1,290

 

 

 

1,306,131

 

President & CEO

 

2014

 

 

402,240

 

 

 

4,250

 

(4)

 

564,349

 

 

 

 

 

 

326,918

 

 

 

774

 

 

 

1,298,531

 

 

 

2013

 

 

396,745

 

 

 

2,750

 

(5)

 

 

 

 

172,605

 

 

 

317,396

 

 

 

774

 

 

 

890,270

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell C. Clark

 

2015

 

 

262,573

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

399,880

 

 

 

149,768

 

 

 

450

 

 

 

812,671

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

2014

 

 

236,777

 

 

 

 

 

 

198,067

 

 

 

 

 

 

106,434

 

 

 

270

 

 

 

541,548

 

 

 

2013

 

 

231,750

 

 

 

 

 

 

11,700

 

 

 

86,303

 

 

 

92,700

 

 

 

270

 

 

 

422,723

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael E. Diamond

 

2015

 

 

185,657

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

299,910

 

 

 

206,263

 

 

 

690

 

 

 

692,520

 

Chief Revenue Officer

 

2014

 

 

178,796

 

 

 

 

 

 

298,883

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

201,916

 

 

 

345

 

 

 

679,940

 

 

 

2013

 

 

175,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23,014

 

 

 

314,741

 

 

 

225

 

 

 

512,980

 

 

(1)

The amounts shown under the “Stock Awards” column and the “Option Awards” column represent the aggregate grant date fair value of RSUs and option awards, respectively, granted to each named executive officer in the year indicated, computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation. A discussion of the assumptions used in calculating the grant date fair value is set forth in Note 4 to our financial statements included in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on December 7, 2015.

(2)

The amounts shown under the “Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation” column represents (a) annual cash bonuses earned by Messrs. DeBello and Clark pursuant to the 2015 Bonus Plan and (b) with respect to Mr. Diamond, the aggregate commissions earned under the commission plan described above.

(3)

Represents group term life insurance premiums paid on behalf of our named executive officers in the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, unless otherwise noted.

(4)

Represents a bonus of $4,250 with respect to a patent we filed in the 2014 fiscal year.

(5)

Represents a bonus of $2,750 with respect to a patent we filed in the 2013 fiscal year.

 

-29-


 

Grants of Plan-Based Awards

The following table sets forth information regarding grants of plan-based awards to each of our named executive officers during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

Estimated Future

 

 

Estimated Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payouts Under

 

 

Payouts Under

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Equity

 

 

Equity

 

 

All Other

 

 

All Other

 

 

Exercise or

 

 

Grant Date

 

 

 

 

 

Incentive

 

 

Incentive

 

 

Stock

 

 

Option

 

 

Base Price

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

 

 

 

Plan Awards(1)

 

 

Plan Awards

 

 

Awards:

 

 

Awards:

 

 

of Options

 

 

of Stock

 

 

 

Grant

 

Threshold

 

 

Target

 

 

Maximum

 

 

Threshold

 

 

Target

 

 

Maximum

 

 

(# of

 

 

(# of

 

 

Awarded

 

 

and Option

 

Name

 

Date

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

shares)(2)

 

 

shares)(3)

 

 

($ /Sh)(4)

 

 

Awards(5)

 

James B. DeBello

 

11/04/14

 

$

202,036

 

 

$

336,727

 

 

$

505,091

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/04/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

250,000

 

 

 

 

 

$

499,850

 

Russell C. Clark

 

11/04/14

 

$

78,772

 

 

$

131,287

 

 

$

196,930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/04/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

200,000

 

 

 

 

 

$

399,880

 

Michael E. Diamond

 

11/04/14

 

$

50,000

 

 

$

200,000

 

 

$

300,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/04/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

 

 

$

299,910

 

 

 

 

 

____________

 

(1)

Messrs. DeBello and Clark were participants in the 2015 Bonus Plan and were eligible to receive cash bonuses and Mr. Diamond was eligible to receive commissions, in each case based upon the achievement of certain corporate performance goals as described in the “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” section of this proxy statement.

(2)

RSUs vest in equal annual installments over a period of four years from the date of grant.

(3)

Stock options granted under the 2012 Plan generally vest as to 25% of the shares on the one-year anniversary of the date of grant and thereafter in equal monthly installments over a period of three years.

(4)

In accordance with the terms of our stock plans, the per share exercise price of stock options awarded is equal to the per share closing price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market on the date of grant.

(5)

The amounts disclosed in the “Grant Date Fair Value of Stock and Option Awards” column are equal to the aggregate grant date fair value of each RSU and stock option award computed in accordance with ASC Topic 718. A discussion of the assumptions used in calculating the grant date fair value is set forth in Note 5 to our financial statements included in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on December 7, 2015.

Narrative Discussion of Summary Compensation Table and Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table

For a narrative discussion of the Summary Compensation Table and the Grants of Plan-Based Awards table, see the footnotes to the tables as well as the Compensation Discussion and Analysis. In addition, below is a description of the material compensation-related terms of all employment arrangements in effect during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015 with our named executive officers, including annual base salaries during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015. For a description of the payments and benefits that would be provided to our named executive officers in connection with a termination of their employment or a change of control, see the section below entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control”.

James B. DeBello

Other than as described below under the section entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control,” we do not have a separate employment agreement with our CEO, Mr. DeBello.

Russell C. Clark

In October 2011, we entered into a letter agreement with Russell C. Clark, our CFO. Mr. Clark’s annual base salary is $262,573, and he is eligible to participate in the Company’s annual bonus plan, the Company’s 401(k) plan and the health, disability, insurance and other plans made available generally to our other salaried employees. Mr. Clark is also entitled to receive certain severance

 

-30-


 

payments and benefits in the event that his employment is terminated by us without cause, by him for good reason or in connection with a change of control, as discussed below under the section entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control.”

Michael E. Diamond

In June 2012, we entered into a letter agreement with Michael E. Diamond, our CRO. Mr. Diamond’s annual base salary is $185,657 and he is paid under a commission plan with a target equal to 100% of his annualized salary, subject to a maximum commission equal to 150% of his annualized salary, based upon achievement of the Company’s annual revenue plan. Mr. Diamond is eligible to participate in the Company’s 401(k) plan and the health, disability, insurance and other plans made available generally to our other salaried employees. Mr. Diamond is also entitled to receive certain severance payments and benefits in the event that his employment is terminated by us without cause or by him for good reason in connection with a change of control, as discussed below under the section entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control.”

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

The following table sets forth the outstanding equity awards held by our named executive officers as of September 30, 2015:

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option Awards

 

 

Stock Awards

 

Name and Principal Position

 

Number of

Securities

Underlying

Unexercised

Options (#)

Exercisable

 

 

Number of

Securities

Underlying

Unexercised

Options (#)

Unexercisable

 

 

Equity

Incentive

Plan Awards

Number of

Securities

Underlying

Unexercised

Unearned

Options

 

 

Option

Exercise

Price

($)

 

 

Option

Expiration

Date(1)

 

 

Number of

Shares or

Units of

Stock Not

Yet Vested

 

 

Market

Value of

Shares or

Units of Stock

That Have

Not Vested(2)

 

James B. DeBello

 

 

148,338

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

1.10

 

 

07/10/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President & CEO

 

 

250,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.79

 

 

02/24/20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

344,935

 

(3)

 

11,895

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.60

 

 

11/15/20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

89,583

 

(4)

 

10,417

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.05

 

 

02/22/22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8,334

 

(5)

$

26,585

 

 

 

 

53,125

 

(6)

 

21,875

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.34

 

 

11/16/22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80,622

 

(7)

$

257,184

 

 

 

 

 

(8)

 

250,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.66

 

 

11/04/24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell C. Clark

 

 

200,000

 

(9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

9.97

 

 

10/11/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Financial

 

 

50,000

 

(10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.05

 

 

02/22/22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,167

 

(5)

$

13,293

 

 

 

 

26,562

 

(6)

 

10,938

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.34

 

 

11/16/22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,500

 

(11)

$

7,975