TrustCo Bank Corp NY
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(Amendment No.  )
Filed by the Registrant ☒    Filed by a party other than the Registrant
Check the appropriate box:
Preliminary Proxy Statement
Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))
Definitive Proxy Statement
Definitive Additional Materials
Soliciting Material Pursuant to §240.14a-12
TrustCo Bank Corp NY
(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):
No fee required.
 
 
 
Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.
 
 
 
Fee computed on table in exhibit required by Item 25(b) per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.


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5 Sarnowski Drive, Glenville, New York 12302
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
To Shareholders of TrustCo Bank Corp NY:
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of TrustCo Bank Corp NY (also referred to as “TrustCo” or the “Company”), a New York corporation, will be held at the Trustco Bank Loan Center at 6 Metro Park Road, Albany, New York 12205, on May 21, 2024, at 10:30 AM Eastern Time, for the purpose of considering and voting upon the matters listed below. Directions to the 2024 Annual Meeting are available at www.trustcobank.com/annual-meeting. The Annual Meeting is being held for the purpose of considering and voting on the following matters:
1.
Election of the following directors as proposed by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee for terms of office expiring on the date of the 2025 Annual Meeting: Steffani Cotugno, DO; Brian C. Flynn; Lisa M. Lucarelli; Thomas O. Maggs; Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD; Robert J. McCormick; Curtis N. Powell; Kimberly A. Russell; and Frank B. Silverman.
2.
A nonbinding advisory resolution on the compensation of TrustCo’s named executive officers.
3.
Ratification of the appointment of Crowe LLP as TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2024.
4.
Any other business that properly may be brought before the meeting or any adjournment thereof.
These items of business are more fully described in the Proxy Statement accompanying this Notice. The Annual Meeting may be adjourned from time to time without notice other than announcement at the meeting or at adjournments thereof, and any business for which notice is hereby given may be transacted at any such adjournment.
The board of directors has set March 22, 2024 as the record date for the Annual Meeting. Only holders of record of the Company’s common stock at the close of business on the record date will be entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting.
Whether or not you plan to attend the Annual Meeting, we urge you to review carefully these materials, which are available free of charge at www.proxyvote.com. These materials also can be requested by postal mail by writing to Michael Hall, Corporate Secretary, 5 Sarnowski Drive, Glenville, New York 12302 prior to May 1, 2024. We encourage you to vote by (i) following the instructions on the notice that you received from your broker, bank, or other nominee if your shares are held beneficially in “street name” or (ii) one of the following means if your shares are registered directly in your name with the Company’s transfer agent:
By Internet: Go to the website www.proxyvote.com and follow the instructions. You will need the control number included on your proxy card or Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials to obtain your records and create an electronic voting instruction form.
By Telephone: From a touch-tone telephone, dial toll-free 1-800-690-6903 within the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada using a touch-tone phone and following the recorded instructions. You will need the control number included on your proxy card or Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials in order to vote by telephone.
By Mail: If you requested printed copies of the proxy materials be sent to you by mail, please mark your selections on the proxy card, date and sign your name exactly as it appears on the proxy card, and mail the proxy card in the pre-paid envelope that will be provided to you. Mailed proxy cards must be received no later than May 20, 2024 in order to be counted for the annual meeting.
By Order of the Board of Directors,

Michael Hall, Corporate Secretary
This Proxy Statement and the accompanying instruction form or proxy card are being made available on or about April 1, 2024.

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PROXY STATEMENT FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
TO BE HELD TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2024

This Proxy Statement, along with the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, contains information about the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of TrustCo Bank Corp NY, including any adjournments or postponements of the Annual Meeting. We are holding the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 10:30 AM, Eastern Time, at 6 Metro Park Road, Albany, New York 12205.
This Proxy Statement relates to the solicitation of proxies by our board of directors for use at the Annual Meeting.
We are first furnishing proxy materials to shareholders on or about April 1, 2024.
We encourage all of our shareholders to vote prior to or during the Annual Meeting, and we hope the information contained in this document will help you decide how you wish to vote.
Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the
Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 21, 2024

The Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the Proxy Statement, and the Company’s 2023 Annual Report to Shareholders are available free of charge to view, print, and download at www.proxyvote.com.
Additionally, you can find a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, including financial statements and schedules thereto, on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), at www.sec.gov, or in the “SEC Filings” section of our website at www.trustcobank.com (under the “Investor Relations” tab). You may also obtain a printed copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, including financial statements and schedules thereto, free of charge, from us by sending a written request to: Michael Hall, Corporate Secretary, 5 Sarnowski Drive, Glenville, New York 12302 prior to May 1, 2024. Exhibits will be provided upon written request.
TrustCo Bank Corp NY 2024 Proxy Statement
 

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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
TRUSTCO BANK CORP NY
PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY
FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
MAY 21, 2024
PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY
This summary provides an overview of selected information in this year’s Annual Meeting proxy statement. We encourage you to read the entire proxy statement carefully before voting.
Participating in the Annual Meeting of Shareholders
Time and Date:
10:30 AM, Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Place:
Trustco Bank Loan Center, 6 Metro Park Road, Albany, NY 12205
Record Date:
Shareholders as of the close of business on March 22, 2024 are entitled to vote
How to Vote:
Shareholders as of the record date may vote until 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on May 20, 2024 and during the Annual Meeting
You may vote by:
voting your shares over the internet by going to www.proxyvote.com and following the instructions. You will need the control number included on your proxy card or Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials to obtain your records and create an electronic voting instruction form.
voting your shares by telephone at 1-800-690-6903 within the United States, U.S. territories or Canada using a touch-tone phone and following the recorded instructions. You will need the control number included on your proxy card or Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials in order to vote by telephone.
If you requested that printed copies of the proxy materials be sent to you by mail, by marking, signing, dating, and mailing your proxy card in the postage-paid envelope provided with the proxy statement and returning it before the meeting date. Mailed proxy cards must be received no later than May 20, 2024 in order to be counted for the Annual Meeting.
Attending and Voting: Shareholders will be able to attend the meeting in person, vote shares, and ask questions about matters on the meeting agenda during the meeting.
We are continuing to use the SEC’s Notice and Access rule for certain shareholders, which allows us to furnish proxy materials to shareholders over the Internet. This means that many of our shareholders will receive only a Notice containing instructions on how to access the proxy materials over the Internet and vote online. This offers a convenient way for shareholders to review the materials. The Notice is not a proxy card and cannot be used to vote. We are first furnishing proxy materials to shareholders on or about April 1, 2024.
Proposals to be Voted on by Shareholders
Proposal
Board
Recommendation
Page
Reference
This proxy statement is furnished in connection with the solicitation by the board of directors of TrustCo Bank Corp NY of proxies to be voted at TrustCo’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders and to transact any other business that may properly come before the meeting.
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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
Board of Directors Snapshot
In Proposal 1, our shareholders are asked to vote on the election of the individuals nominated by our board of directors and named in this proxy statement.
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter requires that the committee seek board candidates that embody a broad range of talents and expertise. The candidates listed in this proxy statement reflect these elements and the board’s commitment to achieving gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. The following chart sets forth the self-identified diversity statistics of our current board members.
Board Diversity Matrix (As of April 1, 2024)
Total Number of Directors:     9
Female
Male
Non-Binary
Did Not Disclose Gender
Part I: Gender Identity
Directors
3
6
Part II: Demographic Background
African American or Black
1
Alaskan Native or Native American
Asian
Hispanic or Latinx
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
White
3
5
Two or More Races or Ethnicities
LGBTQ+
Did Not Disclose Demographic Background
Directors With Disabilities: 1
The table below sets forth basic information concerning each nominee.
Name
Age
Director Since
Independent?
Steffani Cotugno, DO(1)
56
2023
Yes
Brian C. Flynn
73
2016
Yes
Lisa M. Lucarelli(2)
60
2017
Yes
Thomas O. Maggs
79
2005
Yes
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD
68
1995
Yes
Robert J. McCormick(3)
60
2005
No
Curtis N. Powell
70
2021
Yes
Kimberly A. Russell
55
2020
Yes
Frank B. Silverman
52
2020
Yes
(1)
Dr. Cotugno was elected to the board in October 2023.
(2)
Ms. Lucarelli serves as Lead Independent Director.
(3)
Mr. McCormick serves as President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board.
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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
Corporate Governance Highlights
Our board of directors is not classified, with each of the directors subject to re-election annually. Directors are elected by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes validly cast in such election. Our board also maintains a director resignation policy for board members or nominees who receive more votes against their nomination than for their nomination. Our commitment to good corporate governance is further illustrated by the following practices:

Board independence (with the exception of Mr. McCormick, all currently serving directors are independent)

Diversity of board skills and experience, as well as gender, ethnicity, and race

Lead independent director with robust duties

Board oversight of environmental, social, and governance matters, including related risk, formalized by committee charter

Robust stock ownership guidelines for directors and executive officers

Clawback policy for executive officer cash and equity incentive compensation covering financial restatement and misconduct

All directors attended greater than 75% of all 2023 board and committee meetings that they were eligible to attend

Majority voting with director resignation policy for uncontested elections

Annual election of all directors

Year-round shareholder outreach and engagement program

Ongoing director training and education

Annual board and committee evaluations

Enterprise-wide risk oversight and assessment in the Risk Committee, with the Risk Committee and Audit Committee sharing oversight of cyber risk.

Compensation Committee focusing on compensation risk

No overboarded directors
Governance and Sustainability
We continue to focus on key governance risks and on providing transparency around our sustainability efforts. We are committed to implementing or continuing our initiatives and investment in the following key areas:
Human Capital Management: Trustco Bank maintains a Human Capital Strategic Plan that guides us on our journey toward fostering a multicultural, collaborative, and inclusive work environment that promotes the exchange of different ideas, philosophies, and perspectives, which continues to be a top priority at TrustCo and Trustco Bank. The plan focuses on identifying areas of opportunity to further diversify our workforce. TrustCo is committed to creating an inclusive environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion through recruiting, training, and retention practices that recognize and reward our employees. We actively encourage and support the growth of our employees throughout their educational and career development, ensuring employees are given opportunities to develop and refine their skills to be successful in the competitive environment in which we operate.
Climate Change: TrustCo continues to take proactive steps to combat climate change risk throughout our various geographic regions. We believe that we have strong controls in place and consistent compliance oversight to ensure all loans in designated flood zones are covered under the appropriate level of flood insurance. Being mindful of our carbon footprint, we continue the ongoing process of installing energy efficient branch signage and LED bulbs at select internal and branch locations. We continue to update our robust Disaster Recovery Plan, enhance virtual capabilities, and cross-train staff in order to mitigate the increasing threats associated with climate change.
Information Security and Data Privacy: TrustCo takes very seriously its obligations with respect to privacy and data security. Our Information Security Program includes a number of components designed to identify, analyze, and respond to cybersecurity risks, including reliance on a layered system of preventative and detective technologies, controls, and policies designed to detect, mitigate, and contain cybersecurity threats. As part of our Information Security Program, we maintain an Information Security Policy that outlines internal controls and procedures designed to protect information systems. We
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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
conduct annual cybersecurity awareness training for employees to enhance awareness of how to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats, as well as periodic phishing training campaigns. We also provide quarterly cybersecurity updates for our employees, and table-top exercises are conducted annually to simulate a response to a cybersecurity incident. Additionally, we proactively aim to issue timely fraud prevention alerts to our customers.
Financial Access: TrustCo also maintains a comprehensive Financial Literacy Portal containing educational information on a wide array of topics intended to address issues for new business owners, estate planning, personal finance, investment, retirement, and tax matters, among others. The Financial Literacy Portal can be found on our website at www.trustcobank.com under the “About Trustco” tab. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that we file or furnish to the SEC.
Community Outreach Efforts: At Trustco Bank, every day we live our commitment to being your home town bank. As an institution, we support charitable causes and community groups throughout our area of operation and beyond. We are enthusiastic supporters of Ronald McDonald House, local hospitals, and veterans’ groups, to name a few. Additionally, our team members volunteer thousands of hours dedicating their time, talent, and passion to groups touching virtually every aspect of life in the communities that we serve from housing and community development, education and literacy, sports and fitness, and many more.
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee’s charter includes oversight of the Company’s ESG program, activities, and related policies, operational controls, and disclosures. The committee’s charter also requires that the committee receive updates about such matters as needed, but at least quarterly. For more information about our focus on and enhancement of our ESG efforts, please visit the Corporate Sustainability section of our company website at www.trustcobank.com under the “About Trustco” tab. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that we file or furnish to the SEC.
Shareholder Engagement and Responsiveness
We view shareholder engagement as a year-round opportunity to strengthen existing relationships with our shareholders, and to foster new connections within the investment community. This program has led to many meaningful conversations which have provided invaluable feedback to the Company and its stakeholders. We engage our shareholders for feedback on our practices and disclosures with respect to corporate governance, human capital management, board refreshment, corporate sustainability, banking operations, and the compensation of our executive officers, among others. In addition to providing an opportunity for shareholders to meet with management throughout the year, we maintain our governance documents, business highlights, and corporate sustainability on our investor relations website. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that we file or furnish to the SEC.
In 2023 and early 2024, TrustCo reached out to its institutional and retail investors and extended engagement invitations to holders representing approximately 58% of its outstanding shares. Through that outreach, TrustCo had conversations with investors representing approximately 28% of its outstanding shares (calculated as of December 31, 2023). Conversations were had with all holders that expressed a willingness to engage. We also reached out to two proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass Lewis. One of those firms responded indicating that they did not see a need for a conversation at that time and we had a productive conversation with the other. As to shareholders, we had substantive dialog on topics that included:

Board responsiveness to proxy advisor recommendations about our executive compensation program

The state of our proxy disclosure generally

Board composition, skills, diversity, and refreshment

The Company’s human capital management, including diversity, equity, and inclusion

Substantive corporate sustainability matters

Business and financial matters

Broad-ranging aspects of risk management
On the subject of executive compensation, since our 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the majority of shareholders with which we engaged, both in number and percentage of ownership, indicated that they support or have no concern with the program.
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Information Security
As a company that deals with large volumes of sensitive customer information and financial transactions, we increasingly rely on the secure processing, transmission, and storage of information in our computer systems and networks. For that reason, we treat cyber security risk as a key operational risk within our enterprise-wide risk management framework. To manage information security risk, we have designed an expansive information security program, an integral component of which is our Information Security Policy. The Audit Committee and Risk Committee jointly oversee TrustCo’s cybersecurity risk exposures and the steps taken by management to monitor and mitigate cybersecurity risks. Our management reports directly to the Risk Committee on our cybersecurity program and efforts to prevent, detect, mitigate, and remediate issues. For additional information regarding our cybersecurity program, please see Item 1C. Cybersecurity in Part I of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023.
Compensation Philosophy and Practices
Philosophically, we seek to provide an executive compensation program that is consistent with promoting sound risk management and long-term value creation for our shareholders. Our executive compensation program is designed to promote the following compensation objectives:
Encourage and reward the achievement of our short-term and long-term financial and strategic objectives,
Align executive interests with the interests of our shareholders to encourage their focus on long-term return to shareholders and consideration of risk management, and
Provide a comprehensive compensation program that fosters the retention of current executive officers and serves to attract new highly talented, results-driven executives as the need may arise.
At our 2023 Annual Meeting, shareholders representing 75.30% of the votes cast supported the “say-on-pay” vote. The support represents a significant majority of our shareholders; however, the Company nevertheless conducted outreach to our shareholders on compensation matters and the outcomes are discussed above.
What We Do
Tie a substantial portion of executive pay to corporate performance
Provide for more than one metric for vesting under our performance-based restricted stock unit awards (“PSUs”)
Establish separate metrics for our short-term and long-term incentive plan designs to evaluate performance
Use balanced performance metrics that consider both the Company’s absolute performance and its relative performance versus peers
Maintain a robust clawback policy that meets the requirements of Nasdaq Listing Rule 5608, the clawback policy covers all executive officer incentive-based awards granted based upon material financial statement restatement or material fraud or misconduct
Require stock ownership guidelines for executive officers and directors, stock options and unearned PSUs do not count toward satisfaction of the guidelines
Engage with shareholders to promote transparency, improve accountability, and provide investors with a meaningful voice relating to our corporate governance and executive compensation practices
What We Don’t Do
We do not grant multi-year guaranteed incentive awards for executive officers
We no longer provide for “single-trigger” accelerated vesting of equity-based awards upon a change in control
We do not allow for excise tax “gross-ups” upon a change in control in employment agreements entered into since 2013 (five of seven executive officers of the Company do not have tax gross-ups in their employments agreements and the announced retirement of Mr. Salvador will reduce to one the number of legacy employment agreements with this feature)
We do not permit our executive officers and directors to hedge or pledge Company securities
We do not allow for discounting, reloading, or re-pricing of stock options without shareholder approval
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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING
Only shareholders of record at the close of business on March 22, 2024 are entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting. Shareholders of record on that date are entitled to one vote for each share of TrustCo common stock they hold. TrustCo’s common stock is the only class of its equity securities outstanding. As of March 22, 2024, there were 19,024,433 shares of common stock outstanding.
The Annual Meeting will be held if a majority of the outstanding shares of TrustCo’s common stock, constituting a quorum, is represented at the meeting. If shareholders return a properly executed proxy card or otherwise properly vote, their shares will be counted for purposes of determining a quorum at the meeting, even if they abstain from voting. Abstentions and broker non-votes count as shares present at the Annual Meeting for purposes of determining a quorum.
Under the rules of the Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”), brokers do not have discretionary authority to vote shares on proposals that are not “routine.” Of the proposals to be considered at the Annual Meeting, only Proposal 3 (Ratification of the Appointment of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm) is considered a routine matter, so the bank or broker will have discretionary authority to vote shares held in street name on that item. None of the other proposals would be considered routine matters under Nasdaq rules, so brokers do not have discretionary authority to vote shares held in street name on those proposals. If a shareholder owns shares in “street name” through a bank or broker and wishes for his or her shares to be voted on these matters, the shareholder must provide his or her broker with voting instructions. Such shareholders may instruct his or her bank or broker how to vote the shares using the instructions provided by the bank or broker. A “broker non-vote” occurs when a shareholder who owns shares through a bank or broker fails to provide the bank or broker with voting instructions and the bank or broker does not have the discretionary authority to vote the shares on a particular proposal.
All shares of TrustCo’s common stock represented at the Annual Meeting by properly executed proxies will be voted according to the instructions indicated. Except with respect to Proposal 3, if shareholders of record return a signed proxy card but fail to instruct how the shares registered in their names must be voted or otherwise respond without marking voting selections, the shares will be voted as recommended by TrustCo’s board of directors. Please note that “say-on-pay,” Proposal 2, is only advisory in nature and has no binding effect on TrustCo or our board. The board will consider the proposal approved if the votes cast in favor of it exceed the votes cast against it. Broker non-votes will not be counted as votes cast for or against Proposal 2.
The board of directors recommends that shareholders vote:
FOR” the election of the nominees for director,
FOR” the approval of the nonbinding advisory resolution approving the compensation of TrustCo’s named executive officers, and
FOR” ratification of the appointment of Crowe LLP as TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm.
If any matter not described in this proxy statement is properly presented at the Annual Meeting, the persons named in the proxy card will use their judgment to determine how to vote the shares for which they have voting authority. TrustCo does not know of any other matters to be presented at the Annual Meeting.
Any shareholder executing a proxy solicited under this proxy statement has the power to revoke it by giving written notice to the Corporate Secretary of TrustCo at its main office address or during the meeting of shareholders prior to the exercise of the proxy.
TrustCo will solicit proxies primarily by mail, and proxies may also be solicited by directors, officers, and employees of TrustCo or TrustCo’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Trustco Bank. These persons may solicit proxies personally or by telephone, email, or letter, and they will receive no additional compensation for such services. TrustCo has retained Alliance Advisors, LLC (“Alliance Advisors”) to aid in the solicitation of proxies for a solicitation fee of $13,000, plus expenses. Alliance Advisors may solicit the return of proxies by postal mail, telephone, e-mail, or through other means. The entire cost of this solicitation will be paid by TrustCo. TrustCo will also request banks, brokers, nominees, custodians, and other fiduciaries who hold shares of our stock in street name, to forward these proxy solicitation materials to the beneficial owners of those shares and we will reimburse the reasonable out-of-pocket expenses they incur in doing so.
Householding. The SEC has adopted rules that allow us to continue sending, in a single envelope, our proxy statement and other required annual meeting materials to two or more shareholders sharing the same address. These rules spell out the conditions under which annual reports, information statements, proxy statements, prospectuses, and other disclosure documents of a company that would otherwise be mailed in separate envelopes to more than one shareholder at a shared address may be mailed as one copy in one envelope addressed to all shareholders at that address (i.e., “householding”). Shareholders who participate in householding will, however, receive separate proxy cards. Householding reduces our printing and mailing expenses and associated environmental impact.
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PROXY STATEMENT SUMMARY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
If one set of these proxy materials was sent to your household for the use by all TrustCo shareholders in your household and one or more of you would prefer to receive additional sets, or if multiple copies of these proxy materials were sent to your household and you want to receive one set, please contact Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., by calling toll-free at 866-540-7095 or by writing to Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., Householding Department, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, New York 11717. Shareholders whose shares of our common stock are held in street name wishing to make either such election should contact their broker.
Announcement of Voting Results. Preliminary voting results will be announced during the Annual Meeting. In addition, final voting results will be published in a current report on Form 8-K that we expect to file within four business days after the Annual Meeting. If final voting results are not available to us in time to file a Form 8-K within four business days after the meeting, we intend to file a Form 8-K to publish preliminary results and within four business days after the final results are known to us, file an amendment to the Form 8-K to publish the final results.
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THE ANNUAL MEETING – PROPOSAL ONE
The Annual Meeting
A description of the items to be considered at the Annual Meeting, as well as other information concerning TrustCo and the meeting, is set forth below.
Proposal 1 - Election of Directors
Our board is not classified, and all of our directors serve one-year terms. The board of directors also has adopted a Director Resignation Policy to address the situation in which a nominee for the board receives more votes against their election than they receive in favor of their election. Under the Director Resignation Policy, by accepting a nomination to stand for election or re-election as a director of TrustCo, or an appointment as a TrustCo director to fill a vacancy or new directorship, each candidate, nominee, or appointee agrees that if, in an uncontested election, he or she receives more votes against his or her election than are received in favor of his or her election, the director must promptly tender a written offer of resignation. Upon receipt of the offer of resignation, TrustCo’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee must promptly consider the offer and recommend to the full board whether to accept the resignation or reject it. The board must act on the committee’s recommendation not later than the next regularly scheduled board meeting after receipt of the recommendation. TrustCo’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (as amended to date, the “Certificate of Incorporation”) provides that TrustCo’s board of directors will consist of not less than five nor more than fifteen members, with, under TrustCo’s Bylaws, the total number of directors to be fixed by resolution of the board or the shareholders. Currently, the board of each of TrustCo and Trustco Bank is fixed at nine members.
The first item to be acted upon at the Annual Meeting is the election or reelection of all directors to serve on the TrustCo board of directors, as described in the table above on page 2. The pages that follow set forth information regarding TrustCo’s nominees. Proxies will be voted in accordance with the specific instructions provided. Properly executed proxies that do not contain voting instructions will be voted “FOR” the election of TrustCo’s nominees. If any of our nominees becomes unavailable to serve, the shares represented by all valid proxies will be voted for the election of such other person as TrustCo’s board may recommend. TrustCo’s nominees have consented to being named in this proxy statement and to serving on the board if elected.
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THE ANNUAL MEETING – PROPOSAL ONE
Information on TrustCo’s Directors and Nominees
Nominees for Election as TrustCo Director
for a One-Year Term to Expire in 2025
Name and Principal Occupation (1)
Steffani Cotugno, DO, Age 56, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2023 to present. Physician, Community Care Physicians, a multispecialty healthcare group, from 1996 to present. School physician for the Shenendehowa Central School District from 1996 to present, the Niskayuna School District from 2015 to present, and the North Colonie School District from 2019 to present. Teaching preceptor at Albany Medical College from 1997 to present. Dr. Cotugno contributes her business experience gained from her role in her medical practice, as well as deep ties to the community that TrustCo serves in the Northeast.
Brian C. Flynn, Age 73, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2016 to present. Consultant and Certified Public Accountant (NY). Former partner of KPMG LLP (retired 2010) where he was employed for approximately 30 years. Mr. Flynn served in KPMG’s banking and finance practice area where his specialties included providing tax services to community banks, thrift institutions, and real estate developers/operators. Since his retirement in 2010, he has served as a technical tax consultant to a community bank trade group. Mr. Flynn brings to the board extensive tax, accounting, and financial reporting expertise in the financial services industry. Mr. Flynn has been designated an audit committee financial expert.
Lisa M. Lucarelli, Age 60, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2017 to present. Private investor. Owner of LMKD Properties, LLC, a property management firm, from 2003 to 2021. Ms. Lucarelli contributes her experience in the area of residential real estate, as an entrepreneur operating a successful business enterprise, and her skills for developing and evaluating business strategies.
Thomas O. Maggs, Age 79, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2005 to present, chair for 2015. President, Risk Strategies, Inc., an insurance agency, from 2018 to present. President, Maggs & Associates, The Business Insurance Brokers, Inc., an insurance broker, from 1987 to 2018. Mr. Maggs contributes his experience as an entrepreneur operating a successful business enterprise and his skills for developing and evaluating business strategies.
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD, Age 68, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 1995 to present, chair for 2013. Interim Chief Medical Officer, Emblem Health, a health insurance provider, March 2024 to present. Consultant, Emblem Health, August 2022 to March 2024. Physician, Chief Medical Officer, Capital District Physicians Health Plan, a health insurance provider, January 2020 to July 2022; Vice President, Primary Care Services of Capital District Physicians Health Plan from 2018 to 2019. Previously a physician in private practice. Dr. Marinello contributes his experience as an entrepreneur operating a successful medical practice, an officer of a health insurance company, and his skills for developing and evaluating business strategies.
Robert J. McCormick (2), Age 60, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2005 to present, chair from 2009 to 2010 and 2019 to present. President and Chief Executive Officer of TrustCo from 2004 to present, executive officer of TrustCo from 2001 to present and Chief Executive Officer of Trustco Bank from 2002 to present. Joined Trustco Bank in 1995. Mr. McCormick contributes his skills and knowledge obtained from being the chief executive officer of the Company and Trustco Bank.
Curtis N. Powell, Age 70, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2021 to present. Retired. Former Vice President for Human Resources and Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private research university, in Troy, New York from 2000 to 2023. Member, board of directors, St. Peter’s Health Partners, Albany, New York, from 2011 to 2022. Mr. Powell contributes experience in human capital and risk management, as well as strategic planning, finance, and budgeting.
Kimberly A. Russell, Age 55, Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2020 to present. President and Chief Operating Officer of Frank Adams Jewelers, Inc. from 2007 to present, a premier retailer and jewelry design firm located in Albany, New York. Ms. Russell began her career at Frank Adams Jewelers in 1991. Ms. Russell brings to the board valuable experience and background in the retail sector, branding, and image development.
Frank B. Silverman, Age 52, Director TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2020 to present. Managing member of Vision Development and Management, Inc., a real estate development firm, from 2005 to present. Owner of Silverman Consulting, a small business development firm, from 2005 to present. Executive Director, Martial Arts Industry Association from 2001 to present. Owner of Central Florida Championship Karate from 1991 to present. Mr. Silverman brings to the board experience as an entrepreneur and substantial roots in the Orlando real estate market and central Florida community. He adds depth and geographic diversity to the board’s existing expertise in real estate development, retail business enterprises, and Trustco Bank’s core business of residential mortgage lending.
(1)
Directors of TrustCo Bank Corp NY are also directors of Trustco Bank. No director of TrustCo serves on another public company board.
(2)
Mr. McCormick is the first cousin of Kevin M. Curley, Executive Vice President, TrustCo and Trustco Bank.
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Resolution
In light of the foregoing, TrustCo is asking shareholders to approve the following resolution at the Annual Meeting:
RESOLVED that the following nominees be elected as directors to hold office for terms to expire at the 2025 Annual Meeting of shareholders or until his or her successor has been elected and qualified:
Steffani Cotugno, DO
Brian C. Flynn,
Lisa M. Lucarelli,
Thomas O. Maggs,
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD,
Robert J. McCormick,
Curtis N. Powell,
Kimberly A. Russell, and
Frank B. Silverman
Vote Required and Recommendation
The nominees for election to the TrustCo board must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast by the holders of common stock represented at the Annual Meeting directly or by proxy, which means that the number of votes cast “for” a director’s election exceeds the number of votes cast “against.” Abstentions and shares not voted by brokers and other entities holding shares on behalf of beneficial owners are not treated as votes cast on the proposal and, therefore, will have no effect on this proposal. Dissenters’ rights are not available to shareholders who object to the proposal. If elected, a nominee would serve for one year until the 2025 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Each director will hold office until his or her successor has been duly elected and qualified or until the director’s earlier resignation, removal, or death. If a director nominee fails to receive an affirmative majority of the votes cast, the board of directors will implement TrustCo’s Director Resignation Policy (if the nominee was an existing member of the board) and may take any appropriate actions within the board’s powers, such as decreasing the number of directors or filling a vacancy.
THE TRUSTCO BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT TRUSTCO SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” THE ELECTION OF THE TRUSTCO DIRECTOR NOMINEES AS TRUSTCO DIRECTORS, WHICH IS ITEM 1 ON THE TRUSTCO PROXY CARD.
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Information on TrustCo Executive Officers
Name and Principal Occupation(1)
Kevin M. Curley(2), Age 57, Executive Vice President, TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2018 to present. Senior Vice President of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2011 to 2018. Executive Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2017 to present. Joined Trustco Bank in 1990.
Michael Hall, Age 58, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2018 to present. Vice President and Counsel of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2015 to 2018. Assistant Secretary of TrustCo and Trustco Bank for 2016. Executive Officer and Secretary of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2017 to present. Attorney with McNamee, Lochner, Titus & William, P.C. from 1992 to 2015. Joined TrustCo and Trustco Bank in 2015.
Robert M. Leonard, Age 61, Executive Vice President of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2013 to present. Senior Vice President of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2010 to 2013. Secretary of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2003 to 2006 and 2009 to 2016. Assistant Secretary of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2006 to 2009. Executive Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2003 to present. Joined Trustco Bank in 1986.
Michael M. Ozimek, Age 49, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2018 to present. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2014 to 2018. Executive Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2014 to present. Joined TrustCo and Trustco Bank in 2002.
Scot R. Salvador(3), Age 57, Executive Vice President of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2004 to present. Executive Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2004 to present. Joined Trustco Bank in 1995.
Eric W. Schreck(4), Age 57, Executive Vice President and Florida Regional President of Trustco Bank from 2021 to present. Senior Vice President and Florida Regional President of Trustco Bank from 2009 to 2020. Treasurer of TrustCo from 2010 to present. Executive Officer of TrustCo and Trustco Bank from 2010 to present. Joined Trustco Bank in 1989.
(1)
Executive Officers of TrustCo Bank Corp NY are also executive officers of Trustco Bank.
(2)
Mr. Curley is the first cousin of Robert J. McCormick, President and Chief Executive Officer and Director of TrustCo and Trustco Bank.
(3)
Mr. Salvador has announced his intention to retire from his position as an Executive Vice President of the Company and its subsidiaries, effective December 31, 2024.
(4)
Mr. Schreck intends to retire from his positions as an Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Company and its subsidiaries, effective December 31, 2024.
Director Independence
The listing standards of Nasdaq require that TrustCo have a majority of independent directors. Nasdaq’s listing standards provide that no director will qualify as “independent” for these purposes unless the board of directors affirmatively determines that the director has no relationship with TrustCo that would interfere with the exercise of the director’s independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director. Additionally, the listing standards set forth a list of relationships that would preclude a finding of independence.
The board affirmatively determines the independence of each director and nominee for election as a director annually. In accordance with Nasdaq’s listing standards, a director will not be considered independent unless the board determines (i) that no relationship exists that would preclude a finding of independence under Nasdaq’s listing standards and (ii) that the director has no relationship with TrustCo (either directly or as a partner, stockholder or officer of an organization that has a relationship with TrustCo) that would interfere with the exercise of the director’s independent judgment in carrying out his or her responsibilities as a director.
TrustCo maintains an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee, a Board Compliance Committee, a Fiduciary Committee, a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and a Risk Committee. The charter of each of the committees and our Corporate Governance Guidelines may be found on TrustCo’s website (www.trustcobank.com) under the “Investor Relations” tab (the information found on TrustCo’s website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that TrustCo files or furnishes to the SEC). Members of the Audit, Compensation, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees must also meet applicable independence tests of Nasdaq and the SEC. Pursuant to the charters of the Fiduciary and Risk Committees, at least two and four members, respectively, of such committees must also qualify as independent under Nasdaq’s listing standards. The Board Compliance Committee does not require that its members be independent; provided, however, that at least two members of such committee are not (i) employees, former employees or controlling shareholders of TrustCo Bank or any of its affiliates or (ii) a family member of any such person.
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Board Independence Determinations
The board has determined that all of the directors, except for Robert J. McCormick, are “independent directors” under Nasdaq listing standards. Additionally, all of TrustCo’s committee members satisfy the applicable independence requirements set forth in such committees’ charters. The relationships considered by the board in 2024 in determining that such directors were independent included those described below under “Related Person Transactions.” In each case, the board concluded that, in light of Nasdaq’s applicable independence standards, such relationships would not interfere with any of these directors’ individual exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the role of a director or compromise the oversight role that an independent director of TrustCo is expected to perform, and, therefore, are not material.
Additional Determinations made by the Board
The board has affirmatively determined that: Mr. Flynn satisfies the definition of an “audit committee financial expert” set out in Item 407(d) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”); that each member of the Audit Committee continues to qualify for membership on the Audit Committee under SEC rules and Nasdaq’s listing standards, including the heightened independence requirements of Exchange Act Rule 10A-3; and that each member of the Audit Committee satisfies the financial sophistication requirement set forth under Rule 5605(c)(2)(A) of Nasdaq’s listing standards. Furthermore, the Board has determined that each member of the Compensation Committee has satisfied the heightened independence tests required by Nasdaq’s listing standards.
Board Meetings and Committees
TrustCo’s board of directors held 11 meetings during 2023. Trustco Bank’s board of directors met 12 times during 2023. TrustCo’s independent directors met in executive session two times during 2023, with all of the independent directors attending all executive sessions of the board that they were eligible to attend. Pursuant to the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, board executive sessions are chaired by TrustCo’s Lead Independent Director.
Director Dennis A. DeGennaro resigned from the board effective February 28, 2024. The board decided not to fill the vacancy and reduced the number of members of the board to nine. Upon the retirement of Mr. DeGennaro, Lisa M. Lucarelli was elected by the board to serve as Lead Independent Director for a term to run through March 31, 2025, with her service after the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders contingent upon her reelection to the board at that meeting. At the same time, Mr. Powell replaced Ms. Lucarelli as Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Mr. Silverman replaced Dr. Marinello as Chair of the Risk Committee. Accordingly, the current composition of board committees is as follows:
Director
Audit
Committee
Compensation
Committee
Board
Compliance
Committee
Fiduciary
Committee
Nominating and
Corporate Governance
Committee
Risk
Committee
Steffani Cotugno, DO
Brian C. Flynn
C
Lisa M. Lucarelli(1)
Thomas O. Maggs
C
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD
C
Robert J. McCormick
C
Curtis N. Powell
C
Kimberly Adams Russell
Frank B. Silverman
C
(1)
Ms. Lucarelli serves as Lead Independent Director.
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee held 8 meetings in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are Curtis N. Powell (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Brian C. Flynn, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Thomas O. Maggs, Dr. Anthony J. Marinello, Kimberly A. Russell, and Frank B. Silverman. The functions of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee include recommending and reviewing individuals for consideration as directors, developing and annually reviewing governance guidelines applicable to the Company, and overseeing the Company’s ESG program.
TrustCo’s Audit Committee held 12 meetings and 2 executive sessions in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Audit Committee are Brian C. Flynn (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Thomas O. Maggs, Dr. Anthony J. Marinello, Curtis N. Powell, Kimberly A. Russell, and Frank B. Silverman. The purpose of the Audit Committee is to oversee the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes and audits of the Company’s financial statements. The Audit Committee’s functions also include the review of TrustCo’s and Trustco Bank’s internal audit function and the review of the adequacy of internal accounting controls for
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TrustCo and Trustco Bank. In addition, the Audit Committee annually recommends the use of external audit firms by TrustCo and Trustco Bank in the coming year, after reviewing performance of the existing vendors and available audit resources. Please refer to the discussion under “Audit Committee” for a more detailed description of the Audit Committee’s activities.
TrustCo’s Compensation Committee held 9 meetings in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Compensation Committee are Thomas O. Maggs (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Brian C. Flynn, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Dr. Anthony J. Marinello, Curtis N. Powell, Kimberly A. Russell, and Frank B. Silverman. The function of the Compensation Committee is to generally oversee the employee compensation and benefit policies, plans, and programs of TrustCo and Trustco Bank. The Compensation Committee’s responsibilities also include establishing, annually reviewing, and approving the compensation of the executive officers. In addition, the Compensation Committee is responsible for annually reviewing board compensation and making appropriate recommendations for changes thereto. The Compensation Committee may, in its discretion and subject to the requirements of applicable law, delegate all or a portion of its duties and responsibilities to a subcommittee of the committee. Please refer to the discussion under “Executive Compensation” for a more detailed description of the Compensation Committee’s activities relative to the named executive officers.
The Board Compliance Committee held 12 meetings in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Board Compliance Committee are Dr. Anthony J. Marinello (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Brian C. Flynn, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Thomas O. Maggs, Curtis N. Powell, Kimberly A. Russell, and Frank B. Silverman. The functions of the Compliance Committee are to provide assistance to the board in fulfilling its oversight responsibility relating to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and Trustco Bank’s policies, including overseeing Trustco Bank’s communications with the federal banking agencies and other governmental authorities with jurisdiction over TrustCo and Trustco Bank.
The Fiduciary Committee held 3 meetings in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Fiduciary Committee are Robert J. McCormick (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Brian C. Flynn, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Thomas O. Maggs, Dr. Anthony J. Marinello, Curtis N. Powell, Kimberly A. Russell, and Frank B. Silverman. The functions of the Fiduciary Committee are to assist the board of directors in fulfilling its responsibilities with respect to the Trustco Bank Wealth Management Department regarding fiduciary, agency, and custodial activities; to oversee the Wealth Management Department in providing estate administration, trust administration, investment management services, and custodial services; to advise the board of directors with respect to the adoption of appropriate policies to be observed in offering such services; to oversee and enforcing sound risk management practices; and to report to the board of directors on the activity of the Wealth Management Department in the conduct of its business.
The Risk Committee held 7 meetings in 2023. The directors currently serving on the Risk Committee are Frank B. Silverman (Chair), Dr. Steffani Cotugno, Brian C. Flynn, Lisa M. Lucarelli, Thomas O. Maggs, Dr. Anthony J. Marinello, Robert J. McCormick, Curtis N. Powell, and Kimberly A. Russell. The functions of the Risk Committee are to oversee the Company’s enterprise risk management program and to ensure that risk is appropriately identified, measured, treated, monitored, and reported within the governance structure approved by the board.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation
No member of the Compensation Committee: (1) was an officer or employee of TrustCo or Trustco Bank; (2) was formerly an officer of TrustCo or Trustco Bank; or (3) had any relationship requiring disclosure by TrustCo under the SEC rules governing disclosure of related person transactions, except as otherwise reported below. No executive officer of TrustCo served as a director or member of a compensation committee of another entity, one of whose executive officers served as a member of TrustCo’s board of directors or Compensation Committee.
Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight
Board Leadership
Upon the recommendation of the disinterested members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Ms. Lucarelli was elected as Lead Independent Director effective March 19, 2024 to serve a term ending upon the earlier of March 31, 2025 or the date the board elects a successor. Robert J. McCormick, TrustCo’s president and chief executive officer, continues to serve as the chairman of the board.
The board of directors believes that it is more effective and efficient in the management of TrustCo and Trustco Bank and in the overall oversight of TrustCo’s operations to combine the roles of chairman and chief executive officer. TrustCo’s Audit, Compensation, Board Compliance, Nominating and Corporate Governance, and Risk Committees are all chaired by independent directors. Ms. Lucarelli, our Lead Independent Director, has been a member of the board of TrustCo and Trustco Bank since 2017, and is the former chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Under our Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Lead Independent Director:
Chairs the meetings of the independent directors of the board,
Works with the chairman and CEO to develop the board and committee agendas,
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Develops the agendas for and chairs executive sessions of the board’s independent directors, and
In consultation with the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, reviews and reports on the results of the board’s and committees’ performance self-evaluations.
Role in Risk Oversight
Risk is inherent in the operation of every financial institution, and management of risk is a key part of the institution’s success. Risks faced by TrustCo and Trustco Bank include information security risk, credit risk, interest rate risk, price risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, compliance risk, strategic risk, and reputational risk. TrustCo management is responsible for the day-to-day management of the risks faced by the Company, while the board of directors as a whole is ultimately responsible for risk management oversight. In carrying out its responsibilities in this area, the board has delegated important duties to its committees. The Risk Committee has, as noted above, responsibility to oversee the management of the Company’s enterprise risk management program and to ensure that risk, including information security risk, is appropriately identified, measured, managed, monitored, and reported within the governance structure approved by the board. The enterprise risk management program and framework is designed to ensure that all elements of the risk management process are in place and operating effectively across all risk categories and that the management of all risks is well integrated into the operations and culture of the bank. The Audit Committee assists the full board with respect to the adequacy of TrustCo’s internal controls and financial reporting process, the independence and performance of TrustCo’s internal and external auditors, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Board Compliance Committee assists the board with respect to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Fiduciary Committee oversees the Company’s Wealth Management Department and assists the full board in managing risk associated therewith, as well as in fulfilling its responsibilities regarding fiduciary, agency, and custodial activities. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee oversees ESG-related risk management on at least a quarterly basis. Finally, the Compensation Committee has reviewed the Company’s incentive compensation practices to assess the extent to which such arrangements and practices encourage risk-taking and whether the level of encouragement of such risk-taking is appropriate under the circumstances. The Compensation Committee has concluded that the compensation program is not reasonably likely to encourage excessive risk-taking that would be likely to have a material adverse effect on the Company.
The entire board reviews and approves, on an annual basis, all significant policies that address risk within TrustCo’s consolidated organization. The board and its committees monitor risk through reports received on a periodic basis from management or from the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm and outside counsel, as appropriate, and the board annually approves the Company’s business continuity plan as well as its insurance program.
The Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Risk, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, and Director of Internal Audit evaluate the adequacy of the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures and facilitate the implementation of disclosure controls and procedures in a manner that captures information about the Company’s material risks.
Director Nominations
The nominees standing for election at the Annual Meeting were considered and selected by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and unanimously approved by TrustCo’s independent directors.
Criteria and Diversity
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is appointed by the board of directors in part to review and identify individuals qualified to become board members and to recommend to the board the nominees for consideration at the Annual Meeting. Criteria that are be used by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee in connection with evaluating and selecting new directors include factors relating to whether the director candidate would meet the definition of “independence” required by Nasdaq’s listing standards, as well as skills, occupation, and experience in the context of the needs of the board. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee charter also sets forth certain qualities that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee should seek in nominees to the board, including high personal and professional ethics, integrity, and values; an inquiring and independent mind, practical wisdom, and mature judgment; broad policy-making experience in business, government, or community organizations; expertise useful to TrustCo and complementary to the background and experience of other board members; willingness to devote the time necessary to carrying out the duties and responsibilities of board membership; commitment to serve on the board over a period of several years to develop knowledge about TrustCo, its strategy, and its principal operations; and willingness to represent the best interests of all of TrustCo’s constituencies. Although neither the committee nor the full board of directors has a formal policy with respect to diversity, the committee and the board have a general objective of having a board that encompasses a broad range of talents and expertise and reflects cognitive and experiential diversity.
TrustCo’s board of directors agrees with the view of many shareholders that board diversity is a key contributor to company success. The board continues to consider diversity in the context of its board refreshment program. In that regard, the board adopted a retirement age of 72 for new directors first taking office in or after 2017. A director may continue to serve after age 72 if the board finds that the services of such director are necessary to expedite the business of the Company and that he or she is mentally and physically
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able and competent to perform the full duties of the office of board member, however, in no event may a director serve beyond December 31 of the year that he or she reaches age 76. This retirement age affirmatively promotes refreshment. Further, through the board’s self-evaluation process, the board’s needs in terms of the experience and expertise of its members are continuously evaluated and the needs identified are considered in the process of identifying potential board candidates. As demonstrated by its current composition, the board is committed to seeking out highly qualified women and minority candidates, as well as candidates with diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences as part of each search for qualified directors the Company undertakes.
Process for Identifying and Evaluating Nominees for Director
The process that has been and will be followed by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee to identify and evaluate director candidates will include requests to board members and others for recommendations, meetings from time to time to evaluate biographical information and background material relating to potential candidates, and interviews of selected candidates by members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the board. Additionally, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is authorized under its charter to retain at the Company’s expense one or more search firms to identify candidates (and to approve such firms’ fees and other retention terms). After a potential candidate is identified, the committee investigates and assesses the qualifications, experience, and skills of the candidate. The investigation process may, but need not, include one or more meetings with the candidate by a member or members of the committee. From time to time, but at least once each year, the committee meets to evaluate the needs of the board and to discuss the candidates for nomination to the board. Such candidates may be presented to the shareholders for election or elected to fill vacancies. All nominees must be approved by the committee and by a majority of the independent members of the board.
Director Candidates Recommended by Shareholders
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will consider shareholder-recommended director candidates for election to the board of directors. In considering whether to elect, or recommend to the shareholders for election, any shareholder-recommended candidate, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will apply the same criteria and procedures used for other board candidates. Shareholders who wish to recommend a director candidate may do so in writing to TrustCo Bank Corp NY, Attention: Michael Hall, Corporate Secretary, P.O. Box 1082, Schenectady, New York 12301-1082.
Director Candidates Nominated by Shareholders
In addition to recommending candidates to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee for consideration, a shareholder also may nominate persons for election to the board of directors in person at a shareholders meeting. Section 1.10 of TrustCo’s bylaws provides for procedures pursuant to which shareholders may nominate a candidate for election as a director of TrustCo. The chairman of the meeting of shareholders shall have the power and duty to determine whether a nomination was made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the bylaws, and, if the chairperson determines that a nomination is not in accordance with the procedures set forth in the bylaws, to declare to the meeting that such nomination shall be disregarded. In addition to satisfying the requirements under our bylaws, to comply with the SEC’s universal proxy rules, shareholders who intend to solicit proxies in support of director nominees other than TrustCo’s nominees must provide notice to TrustCo that complies with the information and timing requirements of Rule 14a-19 under the Exchange Act.
Shareholder Communications with Board and Board Attendance at Annual Meeting of Shareholders
TrustCo provides a process for shareholders to send communications to the board. Shareholders who wish to contact the board or any of its members may do so in writing to TrustCo Bank Corp NY, Attention: Michael Hall, Corporate Secretary, 5 Sarnowski Drive, Glenville New York, 12302. The Secretary will promptly relay to the addressee all such communications that he determines require prompt attention and will regularly provide the board of directors with a summary of all substantive communications.
Although TrustCo does not have a policy with regard to board members’ attendance at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the directors are encouraged to attend such meetings and all of our directors then in office attended the 2023 Annual Meeting.
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Proposal 2 - Advisory Resolution on the Compensation of TrustCo’s Named Executive Officers
TrustCo has annually provided shareholders with the opportunity to vote to approve, on a nonbinding advisory basis, the compensation of the named executive officers as disclosed in this proxy statement, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, and the tabular disclosure regarding the compensation of the named executive officers and the accompanying narrative. This opportunity is often referred to as a “say-on-pay” vote or proposal.
The say-on-pay proposal described below gives TrustCo shareholders the opportunity to endorse, or not endorse, the compensation of the named executive officers. The vote on the proposal is not intended to address any specific element of executive compensation. Further, the vote is advisory, which means that it is not binding on TrustCo, its board of directors, or the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee will, however, take into account the outcome of the vote when considering future executive compensation decisions. Please refer to the “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” for a discussion of the effect of the vote on the say-on-pay proposal at TrustCo’s 2023 Annual Meeting on the Compensation Committee’s decisions during 2023.
As discussed in more detail in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, TrustCo seeks to offer a compensation structure for its executive officers designed to compare favorably with its peer group while taking into account the experience and responsibilities of each particular executive officer. TrustCo also seeks to provide compensation incentives that promote (i) the enhancement of shareholder value in conjunction with encouraging and rewarding a high level of performance evidenced through the achievement of corporate and individual financial and business objectives and (ii) managing and minimizing the level of risk inherent in the compensation program. The Compensation Committee and the board of directors believe that the policies and procedures described in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis are effective in implementing the Company’s compensation program and achieving its goals and that the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers in 2023 reflects and supports these compensation policies and procedures.
Resolution
In light of the foregoing, TrustCo is asking shareholders to approve the following resolution at the Annual Meeting:
RESOLVED, that the shareholders of TrustCo Bank Corp NY approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the named executive officers, as disclosed in TrustCo’s Proxy Statement for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders pursuant to the compensation disclosure rules of the SEC, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the tabular disclosure regarding such compensation, and the accompanying narrative disclosure.
Vote Required and Recommendation
The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast is required to adopt the foregoing resolution approving the compensation of TrustCo’s named executive officers. Abstentions on properly executed proxy cards and shares not voted by brokers and other entities holding shares on behalf of beneficial owners are not treated as votes cast on the proposal and, therefore, will have no effect on the outcome of this proposal. Dissenters’ rights are not available to shareholders who object to the proposal.
THE TRUSTCO BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT TRUSTCO SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” THIS PROPOSAL, WHICH IS ITEM 2 ON THE TRUSTCO PROXY CARD.
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Proposal 3 - Ratification of the Appointment of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Audit Committee of TrustCo’s Board of Directors has recommended, and the Board of Directors on February 20, 2024 reappointed, Crowe LLP as TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2024. At the Annual Meeting, shareholders will consider and vote on the ratification of the engagement of Crowe LLP for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2024. Information with respect to the services provided in 2023 and 2022 to TrustCo by Crowe LLP is presented under the Audit Committee discussion below. Representatives of Crowe LLP are expected to be present at the Annual Meeting to make a statement if they so desire and are also expected to be available to respond to appropriate questions that may be raised.
The following table presents fees for professional audit services, as well as other professional or consulting services, rendered by Crowe LLP. The services included audits of TrustCo’s annual consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 and of the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting, tax return preparation services, and other services provided by Crowe LLP during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.
2023
2022
Audit fees
$656,863
$615,000
Audit related fees(1)
22,500
Tax fees(2)
110,881
105,525
All other fees
Total Fees
$790,244
$720,525
(1)
For 2023, audit related fees consisted of professional services for Form S-3 and Form S-8 consent procedures.
(2)
For 2023 and 2022, tax fees consisted of tax return preparation services and assistance with tax audits.
TrustCo’s Audit Committee annually recommends the use of external audit firms by TrustCo and Trustco Bank in the coming year, after reviewing performance of the existing vendors and available audit resources. Please refer to the discussion under “Audit Committee” for a more detailed description of the Audit Committee’s activities.
Pursuant to its charter, it is the Audit Committee’s responsibility to preapprove all audit and nonaudit services provided by the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, as well as any services provided by any other Registered Public Accounting firm. In considering nonaudit services, the Audit Committee will consider various factors including, but not limited to, whether it would be beneficial to have the service provided by the independent registered public accounting firm and whether the service could compromise the independence of the accounting firm. In certain circumstances, the Audit Committee’s charter provides the Committee’s Chairman with the authority to preapprove services from the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, which approval is then reviewed and approved at the next Audit Committee meeting. Accordingly, all of the services described herein were approved in advance by the Audit Committee in accordance with these procedures.
Resolution
In light of the foregoing, TrustCo is asking shareholders to approve the following resolution at the Annual Meeting:
RESOLVED, that the appointment of Crowe LLP as TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2024 be ratified.
Vote Required and Recommendation
The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast is required to ratify the appointment of Crowe LLP as TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2024. Abstentions on properly executed proxy cards and shares not voted by brokers and other entities holding shares on behalf of beneficial owners are not treated as votes cast on the proposal and therefore, will have no effect on this proposal. Dissenters’ rights are not available to shareholders who object to the proposal.
THE TRUSTCO BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT TRUSTCO SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” THIS PROPOSAL, WHICH IS ITEM 3 ON THE TRUSTCO PROXY CARD.
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AUDIT COMMITTEE
Audit Committee
The Audit Committee of TrustCo’s Board is responsible for providing oversight of TrustCo’s accounting functions, internal controls, and financial reporting process. The Audit Committee is composed of eight directors, each of whom is independent under Nasdaq listing standards, and each member of the Audit Committee satisfies the “financial sophistication” requirement also set forth in those listing standards. Each Audit Committee member also satisfies the additional independence requirements contained in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for members of public company audit committees. The Board of Directors has determined that Brian C. Flynn meets the definition of “audit committee financial expert” adopted by the SEC and included in Nasdaq’s rules for listed companies. In addition, to assist in the performance of its duties, the Audit Committee retained Mengel Metzger Barr & Co., LLP, an independent accounting firm, as a consultant to the Committee. As consultants to the Audit Committee, a Mengel Metzger Barr & Co., LLP representative attends Audit Committee meetings on at least a quarterly basis, reviews all materials presented to the Audit Committee each month, responds to questions and inquiries from Audit Committee members, and questions, as appropriate, internal audit department personnel, representatives of the Company, the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, and management prior to, during, and as follow up to Audit Committee meetings.
The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board of Directors. Each year, the Audit Committee reviews the adequacy of the charter and recommends any changes or revisions that the Committee considers necessary or appropriate. A copy of the Audit Committee’s charter may be found on TrustCo’s website (www.trustcobank.com) under the “Investor Relations” tab. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that we file or furnish to the SEC. As described above, it is the Audit Committee’s policy to preapprove all audit and nonaudit services provided by the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, as well as any services provided by any other Registered Public Accounting firm.
Audit Committee Report
The Audit Committee’s responsibility is to monitor and oversee TrustCo’s financial reporting and audit processes and to otherwise conduct its activities as provided for in its charter. Management is responsible for TrustCo’s internal controls and financial reporting process. TrustCo’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2023, Crowe LLP, was responsible for performing an independent audit of TrustCo’s consolidated financial statements and the effectiveness of TrustCo’s internal controls over financial reporting in accordance with the Standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and issuing a report thereon. TrustCo’s Internal Audit Department is responsible for monitoring compliance with internal policies and procedures as well as evaluating the effectiveness of the Company’s governance, risk management, and internal control processes. In performing its oversight, the Audit Committee reviews the performance of Crowe LLP and TrustCo’s Director of Internal Audit.
In connection with these responsibilities, the Audit Committee met with management and Crowe LLP on February 20, 2024 to review and discuss TrustCo’s December 31, 2023 consolidated financial statements. The Audit Committee also discussed with Crowe LLP the matters required to be communicated to audit committees in accordance with professional standards of the PCAOB and the SEC, received the written disclosures and a letter from Crowe LLP required by relevant regulatory and professional standards of the PCAOB regarding auditor communications with audit committees concerning independence, and has discussed with Crowe LLP the independent accountant’s independence.
Based upon the Audit Committee’s review and discussions referred to above, the Audit Committee recommended to the board of directors that the audited consolidated financial statements for TrustCo for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023 be included in TrustCo’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 for filing with the SEC.
Audit Committee
Brian C. Flynn, Chair
Steffani Cotugno, DO
Lisa M. Lucarelli
Thomas O. Maggs
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD
Curtis N. Powell
Kimberly A. Russell
Frank B. Silverman
Other Matters
TrustCo’s board of directors is not aware of any other matters that may come before the Annual Meeting. If any matter not described in this proxy statement is properly presented at the Annual Meeting, the persons named in the proxy card will use their judgment to determine how to vote the shares for which they have voting authority.
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Executive Compensation
Compensation Discussion and Analysis
This Compensation Discussion and Analysis (the “CD&A”) describes the objectives, policies, and components of TrustCo’s 2023 executive compensation program for its named executive officers. In addition, the CD&A will discuss and analyze the decisions of and actions taken by the Compensation Committee during, before, and after 2023 as those decisions and actions relate to such objectives and policies and the compensation paid to or earned by the named executive officers during 2023. Information with respect to the number and price of shares of TrustCo common stock presented in the CD&A and the related executive compensation disclosures and tables with respect to time periods prior to the May 8, 2021 effective date of our 1-for-5 reverse stock split, have been adjusted to reflect such split.
Named Executive Officers
From the executive officers listed on page 11 of this proxy statement, TrustCo identified the following individuals as its named executive officers (“NEOs” or “named executive officers”) for 2023:
Robert J. McCormick, President and Chief Executive Officer, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
Michael M. Ozimek, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
Scot R. Salvador, Executive Vice President Commercial Banking, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
Robert M. Leonard, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Risk, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
Kevin M. Curley, Executive Vice President Retail Banking, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
Highlights of 2023 Business Results
In 2023, TrustCo achieved strong performance despite an interest rate environment characterized by rapid, frequent, and significant interest rate increases during the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023 and elevated interest rates during the second half of 2023. TrustCo was able to produce these results due in large part to the realization of the effects of three earlier strategic decisions made by the executive management team: (1) TrustCo elected to maintain a strong cash position despite pressure to invest, which would have had the effect of locking in lower yields; (2) TrustCo stayed true to its foundational principle of strong underwriting, which resulted in high credit quality; and (3) TrustCo continued to foster strong customer relationships, which allowed the company to mitigate the effects of upward pressure on rates while avoiding deposit runoff.
The chart below summarizes key results.
Company Performance
Performance Metric
2023 Results
2022 Results
Net Income
$58.6 million
$75.2 million
Return on Average Equity
9.46%
12.60%
Return on Average Assets
0.97%
1.22%
Diluted Earnings Per Share
$3.08
$3.93
Nonperforming Loans to Total Loans
0.35%
0.37%
Net Interest Income
$171,845
$180,135
Non-Interest Income
$18,315
$19,260
Non-Interest Expense
$111,297
$100,319
Efficiency Ratio(1)
56.72%
50.22%
Shareholders’ Equity
​$645.3 million
$600.0 million
(1)
Efficiency ratio is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please see Appendix “1” hereto for a reconciliation.
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Objectives of Executive Compensation Program
Encourage and reward the achievement of our short-term and long-term financial and strategic objectives;
Align executive interests with the interests of our shareholders to encourage their focus on long-term return to shareholders and consideration of risk management, and
Provide a comprehensive compensation program that fosters the retention of current executive officers and serves to attract new highly-talented, results-driven executives as the need arises.
Key 2023 Compensation Decisions and Outcomes
The Compensation Committee made, or supported, the following pay decisions in 2023:
Base Salaries. All of the NEOs voluntarily reduced their base salaries in August 2023 based upon shareholder input derived from the say-on-pay vote in May 2023 and the expectation that 2023 would not see corporate performance at the historic levels produced in 2022. Salaries for 2024 for all NEOs were continued unchanged at the reduced levels. Base salaries for Messrs. McCormick, Salvador, Leonard, Ozimek, and Curley, therefore, were $975,000; $500,000; $500,000; $415,000; and $395,000, respectively.
Annual Cash Incentives. The Compensation Committee, taking into account sector and peer research, decided to set the performance goals in the Executive Officer Incentive Plan (“EOIP”), the Company’s short-term plan, based upon absolute measures, rather than relative measures, which have been used in recent years. The Compensation Committee selected the following metrics for this plan: return on average assets, efficiency ratio, diluted earnings per share, and net charge offs as a percentage of average loans outstanding. During the performance period, only net charge offs as a percentage of average loans outstanding was achieved at a level triggering an award. Net charge offs were below 0.05% for the year, meeting the superior level of performance, and, therefore, the maximum award related to that metric. Accordingly, Mr. McCormick received a payout equal to 18% of base salary and each other named executive officer received a payout equal to 15% of base salary, or $190,298; $64,716; $84,865; $84,865; $61,716 for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, respectively.
Long-Term Incentive Awards. The Compensation Committee adopted two changes to the long-term incentive program beginning in November 2023. The total amounts of awards and award opportunities to the NEOs all were reduced, compared to awards made in 2023. Additionally, the payouts of the awards made this year will be in the form of equity, rather than cash. Further, it is noted that no award was made to Mr. Salvador in 2023 because he has announced his intention to retire. In 2023, as in past years, we granted our named executive officers awards using the grant date fair value.
Engagement, Feedback and Changes
TrustCo values shareholder views and insights and believes that its engagement program builds informed relationships, promotes transparency, and improves accountability. The ultimate goal is to appropriately relate executive pay to corporate performance and provide our investors with a meaningful voice relating to our compensation practices.
In 2023 and early 2024, TrustCo continued its vigorous shareholder engagement program, which in some instances involve independent directors, reaching out to investors representing approximately 58% of its outstanding shares. Through that outreach, TrustCo had off-season conversations with investors representing approximately 28% of the outstanding shares. Trustco also reached out to two major proxy advisory firms, actively engaging with one, while the other indicated that it did not see a need for an engagement discussion at the time.
Inasmuch as TrustCo’s shareholder outreach program is a year-round undertaking, it is appropriate to note that during the whole of 2023, the Company had calls with shareholders representing approximately 35% of shares outstanding. Electronic messages were exchanged with numerous other holders in which the owner indicated that they did not see a need for a call.
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In response to the input received over the past several years, TrustCo has made significant and meaningful changes to the way it approaches governance and the way it discloses information about its operations and the compensation of its executives. The goal of these efforts is to provide shareholders with the data needed to evaluate fully the Company’s performance as measured against relevant metrics. Specifically in response to recent feedback, TrustCo has made the following changes to its executive compensation program for the reasons stated:
Change Made in Response to Feedback
Intended Impact
Executive Salaries Reduced Mid-Year 2023
Reduce Total Compensation Across the Board
Total Amount of Equity Awards Reduced Compared to Prior Year
Reduce Total Compensation Across the Board
Changed Long-Term Award Payout from Cash to Equity
Increase Executive’s Ownership Stake, Enhance Incentive to Create Long-Term Shareholder Value
Closed Payment in Lieu of SERP Benefit to New Participants
Create a Pathway Toward Correction of a Disfavored Feature
Changed from Relative Metrics for awards granted under the EOIP to Absolute Metrics
Improve Executive Accountability for Performance; Adopt Preferred Practice
The responsiveness of the Compensation Committee to input from various sources demonstrates the Company’s commitment to giving stakeholders meaningful input.
2023 Performance-based Compensation
Our compensation philosophy is to place at risk a significant portion of executive officers’ total compensation, making it contingent upon the Company’s performance while maintaining consistency with our risk management policies.
The Executive Officer Incentive Plan (“EOIP”), our annual incentive plan, is based on rigorous performance goals. In determining the performance metrics, goals, and weighting of the potential bonus opportunity for the 2023 performance year under the Trustco Bank EOIP, the Committee considered the following factors:
Recent company performance;
Strategic goals;
Performance of the Company’s peer group;
Analyst and shareholder expectations; and
Long-term benefit to shareholders.
From the list of possible performance metrics provided by the EOIP, the Committee has identified the following metrics, as defined, as the most appropriate measures for the determination of bonus opportunities under the EOIP for the 2023 program year (noting that other metrics are employed in other components of the overall executive compensation program):
Return on Average Assets – Net income as a percent of average assets.
Efficiency Ratio – Noninterest expense before foreclosed property expense, amortization of intangibles, goodwill impairments and nonrecurring items as a percent of net interest income (fully taxable equivalent, if available) and noninterest revenues, excluding only gains from securities transactions and nonrecurring items.
Diluted Earnings Per Share – Net income divided by diluted shares outstanding.
Net Charge Offs as a percent of Average Loans Outstanding (less average unearned income) – calculated by dividing net charge offs into average outstanding loans less average unearned income.
In part, the “Target” level of performance was determined with reference to the Company’s 2023 business plan as adopted by the board of directors in October 2022, which is referred to as the Company’s “Profit Plan.” The Profit Plan is an appropriate reference for this purpose because it takes into consideration the Company’s overall budget, with its inherent assumptions. Those budgetary assumptions provide the necessary level of depth to the analysis in that they consider Company-specific and macro-economic factors such as the rising or falling nature of the interest-rate environment, the relative stability (or volatility) of that environment, the resulting cost of funds, the anticipated demand for residential mortgage products and services in Trustco Bank’s area of operation, the
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availability of funds for core deposit accounts, the impact of the model factors in the Company’s allowance for credit losses on loans, among other factors. The Profit Plan also takes into account the Company’s strategic goals and its recent performance in the areas measured by the identified metrics. These factors, in sum, suggested that the Company’s performance in 2023 would be down slightly from 2022.
The “Target” level of performance also takes into consideration the Committee’s understanding of analyst and shareholder expectations and the Committee’s desire to provide appropriate incentive to the executives to generate long-term shareholder value. Specifically, it is the Committee’s goal in this regard to align pay with performance in the areas identified by the Committee as important in light of the factors and process outlined above, and to balance risk and reward by encouraging Company executives to operate the Company in a manner consistent with the board-determined risk tolerance.
To illustrate how the board has synthesized the various factors described above into a comprehensive executive compensation program, the following example is offered. The board has identified the need for loan and deposit growth as strategic priorities. To facilitate such growth, the board has expanded the bank’s area of operation, supported the acquisition of the talent needed to engage in secondary-market lending, and is refining the Company’s risk profile in order to provide the foundation upon which success in these areas can be built. The desired business impact of these items, and the success of the executives in achieving those impacts, as measured against specific goals, are the framework of the compensation program.
The same factors have been utilized by the Committee in setting the performance ranges and corresponding bonus opportunities. With respect to ROAA, the Committee adopted a 9% variation from “Target” for both the “Threshold” and “Superior” goal levels. The determination in this regard utilized the process outlined above and particularly takes into consideration historical Company performance, current and near-term strategic goals, and recent market and other macro-economic trends. With respect to Earnings Per Share, the Committee determined that a 7% variation from “Target” for “Threshold” and “Superior” goal levels based upon its analysis of the interest-rate environment, its anticipation of a resulting increase in the cost of funds, and an anticipated decrease in the demand for residential mortgage financing due to higher retail-level interest rates and a continued shortage of inventory. The anticipated lower demand also is influenced by macro-economic factors such as unemployment, inflation, and generalized uncertainty in the economic markets in the bank’s area of operation. With respect to Efficiency Ratio, the Committee adopted a 5% variation from “Target” for both the “Threshold” and “Superior” goal levels. This determination is based upon the Company’s consistent performance against this measure over time impacted by what the Committee anticipates will be an economic climate where efficiency will suffer due to higher cost of funds, together with the other factors that underlie the Company’s Profit Plan. Finally, with respect to Charge Offs, a 5% variation from “Target” for “Threshold” and “Superior” goal levels takes into consideration Trustco Bank’s historic good performance with respect to credit quality in general, and charge offs in particular, while also accounting for potentially negative economic factors such as unemployment, rising interest rates, and elevated inflation.
As an additional point of reference, the Committee considered the performance of companies in the peer group on similar metrics. This information informs the evaluation of possible performance over time in varying environments.
For 2023, the Compensation Committee awarded 60% of our NEOs’ long-term incentive awards in the form of performance-based units (“PSUs”). PSUs are subject to three-year performance metrics tied to Return on Average Equity and will vest at the end of a three-year performance period. Additionally, if non-performing assets to total assets of the Company increases beyond 1.75% for one or more quarters, as published in the quarter-end results during the Performance Period, the total amount of cash to be paid pursuant to this Award shall be reduced by one quarter. The Compensation Committee awarded the remaining 40% of the long-term incentive grants in the form of time-based restricted stock units (“RSUs”) that vest ratably over three years. In a change to the program for awards made in 2023, to the extent earned, the PSUs and RSUs settle in Company stock.
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The following charts depict for Mr. McCormick and the other NEOs, the components of compensation that are at risk based upon the satisfaction of performance measures. Percentages shown assume performance is achieved at the target level of performance.


(1)
Base Salary represents the salaries paid during 2023. For Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard and Curley these were $1,057,212, $431,442, $565,769, $565,769 and $411,442, respectively. Retirement benefits and perquisetes are excluded.
(2)
Equity awards are both the PSUs and RSUs received in 2023. The amount represents the shares granted times the grant date fair value ($27.09). The PSUs are reflected as paying out at target. The total amount of the awards reflected in the above charts are $999,995, $225,010, $0, $325,026, and $225,010 for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, respectively.
(3)
The performance-based payment (in cash or stock) represents the amount received from the 2023 Executive Officer Incentive Plan. Mr. McCormick would receive $190,298 and Messrs. Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley would each receive $64,716, $84,865, $84,865 and $61,716, respectively.
Our Compensation Governance Practices
WHAT WE DO
WHAT WE DON’T DO
Tie a significant portion of executive pay to corporate performance
We do not grant multi-year guaranteed incentive awards for executive officers
Provide for more than one metric for vesting under our
PSUs
We no longer provide for “single-trigger” accelerated vesting of equity-based awards upon a change in control
Establish separate metrics for our short-term and long-term incentive plan designs to evaluate performance
We do not allow for excise tax “gross-ups” upon a change in control in employment agreements entered into since 2013
Use balanced performance metrics which consider both the Company’s absolute performance and its relative
performance versus peers
We do not permit our executives to hedge or pledge Company securities
Maintain a robust clawback policy covering all executive officer incentive-based awards for material financial statement restatement or material fraud or misconduct
We do not allow for discounting, reloading, or re-pricing of stock options without shareholder approval
Require stock ownership and retention guidelines for
executive officers
We will not provide a cash payment in lieu of supplemental executive retirement plan to new executives in 2024 and beyond.
Settle PSUs in equity rather than cash
 
 
Engage with shareholders to promote transparency, improve accountability, and provide investors with a meaningful voice relating to our corporate governance and executive compensation practices
 
 
Compensation Committee and Management’s Role in Determining Compensation for the Named Executive Officers
The Compensation Committee has responsibility for overseeing the Company’s executive compensation policies and practices, including establishing annual salaries, long-term incentive and equity-incentive arrangements, annual incentive arrangements, and all other benefit and compensation programs for the Company’s named executive officers. The Compensation Committee is solely responsible for setting the compensation of Mr. McCormick. As for the other named executive officers, the CEO generally makes recommendations to the Compensation Committee considering the named executive officers’ performance, the Company’s performance, and other factors. The Compensation Committee then evaluates the recommendations and determines the levels and structure of these executive officers’ compensation.
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In making its decisions, the Compensation Committee considers a number of factors including among others:
TrustCo’s and Trustco Bank’s attainment of net income goals,
The Company’s operating performance against its past performance and that of its peers,
Total shareholder return,
Overall profitability from year to year,
Company efficiency, and
Banking experience of individual named executive officers, the scope of their responsibility within the overall organization, their individual performance, and the specific contributions they made to TrustCo and Trustco Bank during the course of the year.
The Compensation Committee also considers other relevant factors, including involvement in the community that might better position the organization to serve the immediate needs of Trustco Bank’s market. The Compensation Committee generally considers most or all of the above criteria, but does not generally assign a specific weight to any of these factors in making compensation decisions and may choose certain criteria in one year and others in other years. Except for specific goals set with respect to certain compensation programs described herein, the Compensation Committee makes compensation decisions on a discretionary basis considering such factors and criteria as it deems appropriate from year to year.
Use of Peer Companies
We evaluate annually the group of peer companies used as a reference point for evaluating executive compensation and establishing performance goals. As it considered what companies to use in the list of peer companies for 2023 compensation, the Compensation Committee decided to include comparable companies in the states of Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania in order to maintain TrustCo’s positioning near the median of the peer group based on asset size. With adjustment for a company that was acquired, this resulted in the list being the same as the prior year.
As part of the Company’s analysis, review, and implementation of its executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee reviews aspects of the financial performance of a group of companies the Company considers to be its peers, as well as the compensation paid to certain executive officers of these peer companies. For example, annual bonus awards paid pursuant to the Company’s PSUs are based upon the achievement of certain performance metrics relative to the achievement of the same metrics by these peer companies. The Compensation Committee may also review the total compensation, including base salary, incentive compensation, equity awards, and other compensation, paid to the top five executive officers of these peer companies. While the Compensation Committee considers the financial performance and the compensation paid to the named executive officers of these peer companies, it does not solely base award payouts or compensation levels on peer data. Rather, the Compensation Committee uses the information as a general guide to setting compensation for the Company’s named executive officers.
The Compensation Committee, with input from management and with assistance from the Company’s compensation consultant, used the following criteria to determine peer companies for 2023 comparisons: publicly-held bank and thrifts with assets of approximately $2 billion to $10 billion operating in the listed states. This asset range compares reasonably to the Company, which as of December 31, 2022, had total assets of approximately $6 billion.
Peer group criteria have stayed relatively consistent from year-to-year; however, the composition of the peer group changes from year to year as new companies enter the relevant market or on account of changes resulting from mergers and acquisitions and in the size of companies when they fall out of the asset range. The peer group utilized for 2023 compensation decisions consisted of the following companies (the “Peer Group”):
Arrow Financial
Lakeland Bancorp
BCB Bancorp
Mid Penn Bancorp
Capital City Bank Group
NBT Bancorp
CNB Financial PA
Northfield Bancorp
ConnectOne Bancorp
S&T Bancorp PA
Financial Institutions
Seacoast
First Commonwealth Financial PA
The First of Long Island
Flushing Financial
Tompkins Financial
HarborOne Bancorp
Univest Financial
Kearny Financial
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Compensation Consultants
The Compensation Committee periodically, but not necessarily annually, retains compensation consultants, reviews information provided by or through third-party sources, and often relies on TrustCo’s Human Resources Department to gather such information.
For 2023 pay decisions made in 2022 and early 2023, management engaged Meridian Compensation Partners, an independent executive compensation consulting firm, for analysis and market research services. Information thus obtained was also shared with the Compensation Committee.
2023 Executive Compensation Program
For 2023, there were three basic elements to TrustCo’s executive compensation program, each of which has sub-elements:
Key Elements
Sub-Elements
Annual Cash Compensation
Salary and Executive Officer Incentive Plan
Long-Term Compensation
Time and Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units
Benefits
401(k) Plan, Supplemental
Retirement Plan Payments, payments in lieu of
Supplemental Retirement Plan Payments, and Other Benefits
As a general matter, the Compensation Committee initially considers total compensation levels of the Peer Group prior to making compensation decisions with respect to each of the individual elements of executive compensation. The Compensation Committee does not have a formal policy of targeting pay to its named executive officer a certain percentile of the market. The description below provides discussion and analysis for each element of TrustCo’s executive compensation program for 2023, including the relevant history of those components and the compensation decisions made for 2023.
Annual Compensation
Base Salary
Annual salary is the base compensation for the Company’s named executive officers and is intended to provide a portion of compensation that is fixed to give the Company’s named executive officers resources upon which to live and provide them with a certain level of financial security. The salaries for the Company’s named executive officers are established based upon the scope of their respective responsibilities, taking into account competitive market compensation paid by the Peer Group for similar positions along with the performance of these companies relative to the performance of the Company. Salaries are reviewed at least annually and also are reviewed upon the request of the board of directors.
In December 2022, the Committee considered base salaries for the NEOs for 2023 in light of record performance during that year, along with the attainment of key performance goals and indicators set by the Compensation Committee for the executive officers, an increase in share price of approximately 14.6%, and the specific circumstances of each officer. At that time, it was determined that increases were appropriate for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, and Curley in the amounts of $125,000, $24,500, $20,000, respectively.
In reviewing the results of the 2023 Annual Meeting, the executives and the Committee took note of the advisory say-on-pay vote. Both groups determined that changes to the compensation program were needed in order to demonstrate that the Company takes shareholder input seriously. Led by Mr. McCormick, he and the other NEOs all took voluntary salary reductions effective in August 2023. In acknowledging the voluntary reductions, the Committee emphasized that the reductions were in no way related to the performance of the officers affected. To the contrary, as noted by the Committee in December 2022 when the current salaries were set, corporate performance was strong in 2022 and the executive were deserving of recognition in the form of increased compensation. Nonetheless, the Committee acknowledged that shareholders appear to be of the view that the overall structure of the program results in total compensation that is higher than they are willing to support at the levels historically seen. Thus, NEO salaries for 2023 were as follows:
Name
2023 Annual Base Salary(1)
2022 Annual Base Salary(2)
Increase over 2022
Robert J. McCormick
$1,057,212
$975,000
8.43%
Michael M. Ozimek
$ 431,442
$417,500
3.34%
Scot R. Salvador
$ 565,769
$600,000
-5.71%
Robert M. Leonard
$ 565,769
$600,000
-5.71%
Kevin M. Curley
$ 411,422
$400,000
2.86%
(1)
Base salary represents the total amount of salary earned during 2023 and takes into account a voluntary reduction in annual salary each NEO effective August 15, 2023 (from $1,100,00 to $975,000 for Mr. McCormick; from $440,000 to $415,000 for Mr. Ozimek; from $600,000 to $500,000 for Mr. Salvador; from $600,000 to $500,000 for Mr. Leonard; and from $420,000 to $395,000 for Mr. Curley).
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(2)
Base salary represents the total amount of salary earned during 2022 and takes into account a 2% and 7% increase in annual salary effective January 1, 2022 for Messrs. Ozimek and Curley, respectively (from $410,000 to $417,500 for Mr. Ozimek, and from $375,000 to $400,000 for Mr. Curley).
Executive Officer Incentive Plan for 2023
The EOIP provides for annual cash bonus compensation for the named executive officers based on the achievement of certain corporate performance targets. The Compensation Committee reviews and adjusts, as appropriate, the bonus opportunities, performance targets, structure, and other metrics on an annual basis. In December 2022, the Compensation Committee met and approved the cash bonus program for 2023.
For 2023, the performance measures used for bonuses granted under the EOIP were changed from relative metrics based upon the Company’s performance in comparison to its peers to absolute metrics. Bonuses for 2023 are based on corporate targets using the following levels of achievement: Threshold (30% of base salary for our CEO and 25% of base salary for all other named executive officers); Target (60% of base salary for our CEO and 50% of base salary for all other named executive officers); Superior (90% of base salary for our CEO and 75% of base salary for all of our other named executive officers); level of achievement.
The following table sets forth the 2023 corporate performance targets, weightings, levels of achievement, and other details under the Executive Officer Incentive Plan.
Goal Metrics and Definitions
Weighting
Threshold
Target
Superior
Return on Average Assets – Net Income as a percent of average assets.
25%
1.05%
1.15%
1.25%
Efficiency Ratio – Noninterest expense before foreclosed property expense, amortization of intangibles, goodwill impairments, and nonrecurring items as a percent of net interest income (fully taxable equivalent, if available) and noninterest revenues, excluding only gains from securities transactions and nonrecurring items.
25%
55.00%
52.50%
50.00%
Diluted Earnings Per Share – Net income divided by diluted shares outstanding.
30%
$ 3.50
$ 3.75
$ 4.00
Net Charge offs as a percentage of Average Outstanding Loans (less average unearned income) – calculated by dividing net charge offs into average outstanding loans less average unearned income.
20%
0.15%
0.10%
0.05%
Based on the Company’s 2023 performance, the 2023 Executive Officer Incentive Plan generated 18% to Mr. McCormick and 15% of base salary to the remaining participating named executive officers. The amounts paid in 2024 under the 2023 Executive Officer Incentive Plan to Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, were $190,298, $64,716, $84,865, $84,865, and $61,716, respectively.
Long-Term Compensation
Long-Term Incentive Program
The Company maintains a long-term incentive compensation program through the TrustCo Bank Corp NY Amended and Restated 2019 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2019 Equity Incentive Plan”), which was established to advance the interests of the Company and its shareholders by providing employees, including named executive officers, an opportunity to earn compensation tied to the value of our common stock. The 2019 Equity Incentive Plan permits the grant of a variety of equity-based awards, including stock options, restricted stock, and restricted stock units (both time-based and performance-based). The 2019 Equity Incentive Plan is administered by the Compensation Committee, which is authorized to determine participants, award levels and other terms and conditions of awards as stated in the plan, including vesting conditions which may be time- or performance-contingent. In making award determinations, the Compensation Committee considers each named executive officer position, its scope of influence, and its ability to drive the long-term financial performance of the Company. The Compensation Committee also may review awards granted to similarly situated officers at Peer Group companies. Awards are intended to encourage each named executive officer to develop a sense of ownership in the Company’s financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.
The Compensation Committee grants equity awards in the fall, before the end of our fiscal year, at approximately the same time that it determines bonus compensation amounts and performance goals for the next fiscal year. In making the 2023 annual equity awards, the Compensation Committee awarded a specific present value of long-term compensation in the form of time-vested and performance-vested awards to each of the named executive officers based on their position and contributions to the Company. Consistent with the Company’s continued emphasis on performance-based compensation tied to specific corporate goals the Compensation Committee maintained its practice of weighting the awards more heavily towards performance-based awards and allocated 60% of each named executive officer’s award value to PSUs that vest based on financial metrics over the following three fiscal years (see below) and 40% of each named executive officer’s award value to RSUs. The Compensation Committee changed its practice of paying these awards on vesting in cash, electing instead, based upon shareholder input, to have the awards pay in shares of Company stock.
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Time-Based Restricted Stock Units
In November 2023, the Compensation Committee granted the following RSUs to each of the named executive officers:
Named Executive Officer
RSUs(1)
Robert J. McCormick(2)
14,128
Michael M. Ozimek
3,322
Scot R. Salvador(3)
Robert M. Leonard
4,799
Kevin M. Curley
3,322
(1)
In 2023 the amount of this award was determined as a dollar amount. The number of units issued was based on that amount divided by the closing stock price ($27.09) on the day of issue (November 21, 2023).
(2)
Subsequent to the November 2022 grant of RSUs and PSUs to the named executive officers, it was discovered that the aggregate amount of such grants to the CEO was inadvertently less than the intended grant amount by $150,000. Accordingly, in March 2023, the CEO was awarded a supplemental grant of 1,577 RSUs (the “Supplemental RSUs”), calculated based on the same closing stock price on the originally intended date of grant, November 15, 2022, as well as additional PSUs (discussed below), with the vesting and other terms of such RSU award being the same as the RSUs granted in November 2022. The RSUs set forth herein reflect the aggregate of the Supplemental RSUs granted in March 2023 and Mr. McCormick’s annual grant of RSUs in November 2023.
(3)
Mr. Salvador did not receive any equity award grants in 2023 due to his announced retirement.
The periods of restriction applicable to the RSUs will lapse in three equal vesting periods in November of 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively. The RSUs granted in November 2023 will settle in shares of TrustCo common stock if and when they vest. In addition, vesting of units and the lapse of the restrictions may accelerate upon certain events, including the death, disability, or retirement of an award holder. Upon a change in control of TrustCo, the RSUs will be settled in accordance with the provisions of the plan, which contains a “double-trigger” change in control acceleration provision.
The definition of “change in control” is contained in the 2019 Equity Incentive Plan and is substantially the same as the definition contained in the senior executives’ employment agreements and the Performance Bonus Plan described below (and also substantially the definition set forth in the U.S. Treasury Department regulations under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code). The Compensation Committee believes that the definition of change in control is customary within the banking industry and that the circumstances under which change in control benefits would vest or become payable are reasonable.
The following restricted unit awards from prior grants vested in 2023:
Time-Based Restricted Stock Units Vesting in 2023
Named Executive Officer
Number of 2020
Shares that
Vested (#)(1)
Amount of Cash
Received on
Vesting ($)(1)
Number of 2021
Shares that
Vested (#)(2)
Amount of Cash
Received on
Vesting ($)(2)
Number of 2022
Shares that
Vested (#)(3)
Amount of Cash
Received on
Vesting ($)(3)
Robert J. McCormick
3,068
$85,229
3,456
$96,146
3,067
$87,103
Michael M. Ozimek
1,059
$29,419
987
$27,458
876
$24,878
Scot R. Salvador
1,059
$29,419
987
$27,458
876
$24,878
Robert M. Leonard
1,481
$41,142
1,382
$38,447
1,227
$34,847
Kevin M. Curley
1,059
$29,419
987
$27,458
876
$24,878
(1)
On November 17, 2023, one-third of the 2020 RSUs vested.
(2)
On November 16, 2023, one-third of the 2021 RSUs vested.
(3)
On November 15, 2023, one-third of the 2022 RSUs vested. For Mr. McCormick this included one-third of the supplemental grant that he received in March, 2023.
Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units
In November 2023, the Compensation Committee granted the following PSUs to each of the NEOs:
Named Executive Officer
PSUs at
Target(1)
Robert J. McCormick(2)
21,192
Michael M. Ozimek
4,984
Scot R. Salvador
Robert M. Leonard
7,199
Kevin M. Curley
4,984
(1)
In 2023 the amount of this award was determined as a dollar amount. The number of units granted was based on that amount divided by the closing stock price ($27.09) on the day of grant (November 21, 2023).
(2)
Subsequent to the November 2022 grant of RSUs and PSUs to the named executive officers, it was discovered that the aggregate amount of such grants to the CEO was inadvertently less than the intended grant amount by $150,000. Accordingly, in
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March 2023, the CEO was awarded a supplemental grant of 2,366 PSUs (the “Supplemental PSUs”), calculated based on the same closing stock price on the originally intended date of grant, November 15, 2022, as well as additional RSUs (discussed above), with the terms of such PSU award, including performance objectives and period, being the same as the PSUs granted in November 2022.
Each PSU granted in November 2023 represents the right to receive upon settlement the number of shares of TrustCo common stock supported by the achieved performance. Achievement of the performance condition will be measured by the Company’s Return on Average Equity (“ROAE”), which is measured as the average of the Company’s ROAE for each of the three years within the Performance Period compared with the ROAE of members of the comparative group of peer companies identified by the Committee (the “Peer Group”) during the same period (calculated by determining the performance of the Peer Group in each year and then calculating the three-year average of each member of the Peer Group expressed as a percentile rank of the Company compared to the members of the Peer Group (“Percentile Rank”), subject to possible adjustment based upon the Company’s non-performing assets. The PSUs generally will vest at the end of a three-year performance period based on continued employment through the end of the performance period and the achievement of the corporate performance goals set forth at the time of grant. The three-year performance period for the 2023 awards runs from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2026 (the “Performance Period”).
Return on Average Equity for the Performance Period
Percentile Ranking
Factor
At or above 75th percentile of the Peer Group
150%
55th - 74th percentile of the Peer Group
100%
25th - 54th percentile of the Peer Group
25%
Below 25th percentile of the Peer Group
0%
Additionally, if non-performing assets to total assets of the Company increases beyond 1.75% during one or more quarters of the Performance Period, the total amount of the award to be paid pursuant to these PSUs shall be reduced by one quarter.
PSUs may vest prior to the end of the performance period upon the death or disability of a participant on a pro rata basis and will be settled at the end of the performance period based on the Company’s performance. In the event of a change in control of TrustCo, the named executive officer’s awards would settle as follows:
Messrs. Ozimek, Leonard and Curley’s awards would settle on a pro rata basis based on target at the time of the change in control if their employment is terminated without cause (i) within 12 months prior to the change in control or (ii) within 24 months following the change in control.
Messrs. McCormick and Salvador’s awards would settle on a pro rata basis based on target at the time of the change in control if (i) the change in control occurs while they are employed by TrustCo or TrustCo Bank or (ii) they are terminated without cause within 12 months prior to the change in control.
The payment of shares will be governed by the terms of the 2019 Equity Incentive Plan.
Achievement of 2020 PSUs
In 2020, the named executive officers each received PSUs which had a three-year performance period that ended on December 31, 2023. Results between performance levels is paid out using straight-line interpolation to reward incremental performance:
Named Executive Officer
Threshold
Target
Maximum
Robert J. McCormick
10,358
13,810
20,715
Michael M. Ozimek
3,572
4,762
7,143
Scot R. Salvador
3,572
4,762
7,143
Robert M. Leonard
5,001
6,667
10,001
Kevin M. Curley
3,572
4,762
7,143
Achievement of the performance-goals condition was measured as the Company’s return on average equity measured as the average of each of the three years against a comparative group of peer institutions for the Performance Period.
Percentile Ranking
Factor
Above 60th percentile of the Peer Group
150%
50th - 59th percentile of the Peer Group
100%
40th - 49th percentile of the Peer Group
75%
Below 40th percentile of the Peer Group
0%
In 2024, it was determined that the Return on Average Equity performance goal for the 2020 awards was above the 60th percentile. Accordingly, the awards were paid out at 150% target resulting in the following cash payouts:
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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION – COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley received cash payments of $643,201, $221,790, $221,790, $310,531 and $221,790 respectively, with respect to the 2020 PSUs, based on the $31.05 closing price per share of TrustCo common stock on December 29, 2023.
Performance Bonus Plan and Performance-Based Stock Appreciation Unit Awards
The Company adopted the Performance Bonus Plan for its most senior executive officers in 1997, and it was amended and restated in 2008 to, among other matters, comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. This plan provides cash compensation to Messrs. McCormick and Salvador in the event of a change in control of the Company based upon the appreciation in value of TrustCo’s common stock between the date of the award and the occurrence of a change in control. The units so awarded vest fifteen days prior to the scheduled closing date of a change in control, upon the occurrence of an unannounced change in control, or upon a participant’s termination of employment for reasons other than cause within one year prior to a change in control. Messrs. McCormick and Salvador were each awarded 104,940 units in 2004 at a price of $53.90 per unit and $65.75 per unit, respectively. In 2014, in connection with Mr. Leonard’s promotion to the senior executive management team, the Company granted Mr. Leonard an award of 60,000 performance-based stock appreciation units with a per-unit price of $34.75 under a separate agreement with him (the “PSAUs”). The PSAUs are similar to the awards granted to Messrs. McCormick and Salvador under the Performance Bonus Plan, however, the PSAUs pay out in cash solely upon a “double trigger” (i.e., both a change in control and termination of employment) and Mr. Leonard will not receive a tax gross-up to cover potential excise taxes under Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code. The PSAUs vest upon (i) a termination of Mr. Leonard’s employment without cause or for good reason within two years following a change in control of TrustCo or (ii) the occurrence of a change in control within 12 months following a termination of Mr. Leonard without cause or for good reason. Upon vesting, Mr. Leonard will be entitled to receive cash compensation based upon the appreciation in value of TrustCo’s common stock between the date of the award and the date of the occurrence of a change in control or Mr. Leonard’s termination (whichever value is greater). Although the Company is not actively seeking to be acquired, the Compensation Committee understands that regional banking institutions such as the Company are continually subject to acquisition by third parties.
The Performance Bonus Plan and the PSAUs were designed to accomplish two objectives with respect to these senior executive officers. First, the plan is intended to reward the executive officers for a successful strategic acquisition that is in the best interest of our shareholders. Second, because it is unlikely that following any change in control, TrustCo’s senior executive officers would continue to have the same level of responsibility and compensation as they currently have with TrustCo and inasmuch as these senior executive officers may perceive significant risks in any such reduced responsibility and compensation resulting from any such acquisition, the Performance Bonus Plan and the PSAUs, along with the change in control benefits available under the senior executives’ employment agreements, are designed to encourage these highly qualified executives to remain with the Company through the consummation of such acquisition and to attract other executives as may be necessary.
The Compensation Committee believes that the definition of change in control in the Performance Based Plan and the PSAUs (which is substantially the same as the definition contained in the senior executives’ employment agreements and is substantially the definition set forth in the U.S. Treasury Department regulations under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code) is customary within the banking industry and that the circumstances under which change in control payments would be made are reasonable. Messrs. Ozimek and Curley do not participate in the Performance Bonus Plan and have not been awarded PSAUs.
Other Annual Benefits
Annual Benefits
The Company provides certain other annual benefits to the named executive officers in order to maintain the market competitiveness of our overall compensation package and to support the executive officers in meeting the needs of the business. In addition to the specific reasons set forth below for providing these benefits, the Compensation Committee believes they help to provide a comprehensive compensation program that fosters the retention of our current executive officers and also serves to attract new highly talented, results-driven executives as the need may arise. The benefits are intended to maximize the productivity and availability of our executives. All named executive officers participate in the following executive benefit programs.
Executive Medical Reimbursement Plan
The Company’s executive medical reimbursement plan is intended to provide for the reimbursement of medical, hospitalization, and dental expenses that exceed the deductible or co-payment limits under the Company’s general medical insurance plans. The plan is offered to ensure the executives health and welfare in order to ensure business continuity and provide them with a certain level of financial security in the face of extraordinary medical expenses, thus ensuring they remain focused on the Company’s business goals.
Executive Use of Cars
The Company provides the named executive officers with the use of a Company vehicle.
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Club Memberships
The Company provides the named executive officers with membership in a club of their choice, providing a platform for the executives to entertain clients and potential clients of the Company in a more informal environment, and fosters interaction with other community leaders, which is intended to drive business development and, ultimately, Company performance.
Financial Planning
The NEOs have available to them, at Company expense, financial planning services by a professional consulting firm in order to allow our executives to focus more on business responsibilities. This benefit is extended to a select group of executives based upon their individual situations and positions within the Company and is intended to enhance the overall efficiency of the Company’s executive compensation program. It helps to ensure that the participating executive officers consider and properly plan for various estate and income tax consequence associated with their compensation programs, taking into account their individual circumstances, and allows for them to maintain their focus on Company business.
Additional Tax Payments
The Company makes additional annual payments to the named executive officers to ensure that the effect of the above-mentioned other annual benefits is tax neutral to the executives. Given that these benefits are generally designed with a business purpose, this additional tax benefit ensures that the value of these other annual benefits is not diminished and does not create additional financial consequences for the executives.
Retirement Compensation
The retirement plans available to TrustCo’s officers and employees include the Retirement Plan of Trustco Bank, the Trustco Bank Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan, and the Company’s Supplemental Retirement Plan.
Retirement Plan and Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan
The Trustco Bank Retirement Plan is a defined benefit pension plan pursuant to which annual retirement benefits are based on years of service to a maximum of 30 years and average annual earnings of the highest five consecutive years during the final ten years of service. The defined benefit retirement plan is fully funded by Trustco Bank contributions. The Retirement Plan was “frozen” in 2006, and there will be no new participants in the plan. Participants in the plan during 2006 are entitled to benefits accrued as of December 31, 2006. TrustCo and the Compensation Committee believe that, for companies nationwide, the primary vehicle for employee retirement benefits is the 401(k) savings plan. To meet increased employee expectations in this regard, TrustCo enhanced its Profit Sharing Plan in 2006 to include a 401(k) feature, thereby making this the primary retirement plan for TrustCo. Each of the named executive officers participates in the Retirement Plan, and in the Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan.
Supplemental Retirement Plan
The Company maintains a Supplemental Retirement Plan (“SERP”), which is an unfunded, nonqualified, and non-contributory deferred compensation plan. The amounts of supplemental retirement benefits payable under the SERP are actuarially calculated to achieve a benefit at normal retirement that approximates the difference between (i) the total retirement benefit the participant would have received under the Trustco Bank Retirement Plan without taking into account limitations on compensation, annual benefits, and years of service and (ii) the retirement benefit the participant is projected to receive under the Trustco Bank Retirement Plan at normal retirement (up to a maximum deferral of $7,000,000). The Company’s annual contribution to the SERP (through 2008) and its current direct cash payments to each participant (which are described below) are determined pursuant to a formula set forth in the SERP. Because the Compensation Committee established the plan to provide the supplemental retirement benefits described above, neither the annual contributions to the SERP nor the direct annual payments to be made to the senior executive officers beginning in 2009 in lieu of the SERP contributions are considered annual compensation and are not taken into account when determining other components of annual compensation.
The Compensation Committee believes that the SERP, together with the Retirement Plan and the Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan, promote executive retention and allow the executive to focus on the long-term success of TrustCo. Participation in the SERP was historically limited to a select group of executives of TrustCo who are highly-compensated employees, and an employee must be selected by the board of directors to participate in the plan. In December 2008, as a result of the effect of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code and its implementing regulations, which added a six-month period prior to the executive receiving the vested benefit that would be paid upon retirement or separation from service, TrustCo’s senior executives made a recommendation to the Compensation Committee to freeze the SERP effective December 31, 2008 and requested that the amount of the Company’s annual contribution to the SERP plus interest for each officer instead be paid directly to each officer. The Committee considered the request and decided to add a corresponding amendment to the SERP and to each SERP participant’s employment agreement to the effect that the annual increment to be added to the SERP plus interest was to be paid directly to the executive officer. Under the employment agreement amendment, the payment is to be equal to the incremental amount that would have been credited for the year to the executive’s supplemental account balance under the SERP, as such plan was in effect on December 31, 2007, and had it not been amended to cease additional benefit accruals following December 31, 2008. A similar provision was added to Mr. Leonard’s employment agreement in 2013 and
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Messrs. Ozimek’s and Curley’s employment agreements upon their promotion to the senior executive management team in December 2018. For the 2023 plan year, the Company paid in January 2024 Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley cash payments of $629,079, $406,863, $383,333, $411,255 and $418,588, respectively, in lieu of the SERP. All amounts currently accrued under the SERP will remain accrued until the separation of service of the executive. Of the Company’s named executive officers, only Messrs. McCormick and Salvador are participants in the SERP, which is frozen. In response to shareholder feedback, the Committee determined to terminate the benefit provided in lieu of the SERP to new executives, effective as of December 2023. The Committee is committed to seeking a suitable replacement benefit during 2024.
Employment Agreements
As discussed in more detail below, TrustCo and Trustco Bank entered into employment agreements in 2008 (which are substantially identical to each other) with Messrs. McCormick and Salvador that generally provide for their annual compensation and benefits and certain termination benefits in connection with a change in control. Specifically, these agreements provide for (i) a change in control/severance payment upon the earlier to occur of a change in control or a termination of the executive’s employment within one year prior to a change in control in an amount equal to 2.99 times his annual compensation in effect at the time of his termination or the change in control and (ii) the transfer of certain Company-provided perquisites to the executive upon a termination of the executive’s employment within two years following a change in control. In addition, the agreements provide for the reimbursement of certain post-termination medical expenses in the event of a termination of the executive’s employment (i) on account of death, disability, or retirement at any time during his employment, or (ii) for any reason (other than for cause) within two years following a change in control. Although these legacy agreements are structured to avoid the imposition of excise taxes under Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code, the agreements also provide for a tax gross-up payment, if necessary, to mitigate against any excise tax that might be imposed under Section 4999 and ensure that the executives receive the full intended change in control/severance payment, should any such excise tax be imposed. As noted above, these employment agreements, along with the Performance Bonus Plan, are intended to reward the Company’s most senior executive officers for a successful strategic acquisition of TrustCo and Trustco Bank that is in the best interest of our shareholders and encourage these senior executives to remain with the Company up to and through the consummation of such strategic acquisition in order to ensure a stable management team through the consummation of such transaction.
In 2013, in connection with his promotion to the senior executive management team, TrustCo and Trustco Bank also entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Leonard, and in 2018, in connection with their promotion to the senior executive management team, TrustCo and Trustco Bank also entered into employment agreements with Mr. Ozimek and Mr. Curley. Mr. Leonard’s, Mr. Ozimek’s, and Mr. Curley’s employment agreements each provide for certain termination benefits in connection with a change in control. Specifically, they shall receive a change in control/severance payment in an amount equal to 2.99 times annual compensation in effect at the time of termination or the change in control and (ii) the transfer of certain Company-provided perquisites to the executive upon a termination of the executive’s employment within one year prior to or two years following a change in control. They each receive the same medical reimbursement benefits and perquisites provided to Messrs. McCormick, and Salvador upon the termination of his employment for death, disability, retirement, or for any reason (other than for cause) within two years following a change in control. While Mr. Leonard’s, Mr. Ozimek’s, and Mr. Curley’s agreements are also structured to avoid the imposition of excise taxes under Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code, they do not provide for a similar excise tax gross-up. Similar to the employment agreements for Messrs. McCormick and Salvador, Mr. Leonard’s, Mr. Ozimek’s, and Mr. Curley’s employment agreements are intended to encourage the executive to remain with the Company up to and through the consummation of a successful strategic acquisition of TrustCo and Trustco Bank in order to ensure a stable management team through the consummation of such transaction.
Compensation Risk Management, Policies and Practices
Stock Ownership Guidelines
The Company’s board of directors has adopted stock ownership guidelines for both senior management and members of the board. The stock ownership guidelines were updated to specifically exclude stock options, and unvested performance awards also do not count toward the guidelines. The board believes directors and designated members of senior management should have a financial investment in the Company. As CEO, Mr. McCormick is expected to own a number of shares equal in value to four times his base salary, and as Executive Vice Presidents, Messrs. Salvador, Leonard, Ozimek, Curley, and Schreck are each expected to own a number of shares equal in value to two times their base salary. These guidelines for members of senior management are expected to be achieved within five years of being appointed to their positions. As of December 31, 2023, Messrs. McCormick, Salvador, Leonard, Ozimek, Curley, and Schreck all have achieved compliance with the requirements. Shares acquired through compensation-related awards must be retained by directors and members of senior management until the required share ownership threshold has been met, provided, however that the holding requirement applies to the net after-tax amount of vested shares. Additional information regarding the stock ownership of the Company’s executive officers is set forth under “Information on Trustco’s Executive Officers” and in the Outstanding Equity Awards-December 31, 2023 table.
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Each Director is expected to beneficially own at least 2,000 shares. As of December 31, 2023, all directors have satisfied the ownership requirement except for Mr. Powell and Dr. Cotugno, who are within the five-year period allotted for the accumulation of the required number of shares.
Prohibition on Hedging and Pledging
Our Insider Trading Policy prohibits all of our executive officers and directors, as well as additional persons who are subject to our Insider Trading Policy, from engaging in any hedging or monetization transactions or similar arrangements with respect to any of our equity securities held by them and also prohibits them from pledging any of their Company equity securities, including by holding such shares in a margin account. Covered Persons may not enter into hedging or monetization transactions or similar arrangements with respect to Company securities including buying or selling puts or calls or purchasing any financial instruments (including prepaid variable forward contracts, equity swaps, collars, and exchange funds) that are designed to hedge or offset any decrease in the market value of Company securities. The hedging and pledging restrictions are set forth in the TrustCo Insider Trading Policy, which can be found under the investor relations link on the Company’s website. The information found on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference in this proxy statement or any other report that the Company files or furnishes to the SEC. Individuals who are not covered employees are not subject to this policy.
Clawback Policy
In July of 2016, TrustCo adopted an Executive Compensation Clawback Policy that provides for the recovery by the Company of certain elements of compensation received by executive officers of the Company if the Company is required to restate its financial statements or if an executive officer has committed an act of material fraud or misconduct. In September 2023, the board adopted a new Executive Compensation Clawback Policy, effective as of October 2, 2023, that is intended to satisfy all applicable requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq listing standards. Such policy applies to certain incentive compensation received by executive officers of the Company on or after October 2, 2023, as provided for under the policy.
Under the new Executive Compensation Clawback Policy, if the Company is required to prepare an accounting restatement due to the material noncompliance of the Company with a financial reporting requirement under the securities laws, regardless of whether such restatement is a result of misconduct, and the Compensation Committee determines that one or more of the Company’s executive officers covered by the Clawback Policy received incentive-based compensation in excess of what should have been received based on the restatement during the three completed fiscal years immediately preceding the date on which the Company is required to prepare the restatement, the Company must recover the amount of such excess compensation, subject to certain limited exceptions.
In addition, to the extent that the Compensation Committee determines that one or more of its executive officers committed one or more willful acts of material fraud or material misconduct that directly or indirectly had a material adverse effect on the Company, the Compensation Committee may, in its sole discretion, recover some or all of the incentive-based compensation awarded to or received by such officers during the twelve-month period following the commission of the acts of material fraud or misconduct and/or the occurrence of a material adverse effect.
Compensation Committee Report
The Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis contained in this proxy statement with the management of TrustCo and Trustco Bank. Based on this review and discussion, the Compensation Committee recommended to the board of directors that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be included in this proxy statement.
Compensation Committee
Thomas O. Maggs, Chair
Steffani Cotugno, DO
Brian C. Flynn
Lisa M. Lucarelli
Anthony J. Marinello, MD, PhD
Curtis N. Powell
Kimberly A. Russell
Frank B. Silverman
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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
Executive Compensation Payments and Awards
The following table sets forth the compensation awarded to, paid to, or earned by the named executive officers of TrustCo for services rendered in all capacities to TrustCo and its subsidiaries for the fiscal years indicated.
2023 Summary Compensation Table
Name and Principal Position
Year
Salary
Bonus
Stock
Awards(1)
Non-equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation(2)
Change to
Pension Value
and
Nonqualified
Deferred
Compensation
Earnings(3)
All Other
Compensation(4)
Total
($)
($)
($)
($)
($)
($)
($)
Robert J. McCormick
Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
2023
1,057,212
999,995
190,298
30,234
783,196
3,060,935
2022
975,000
725,004
945,625
708,948
3,354,577
2021
975,000
875,026
555,750
778,554
3,184,330
Michael M. Ozimek
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
2023
431,442
225,010
64,716
2,603
491,906
1,215,677
2022
417,500
250,037
250,500
472,822
1,390,859
2021
410,000
250,026
166,050
501,327
1,327,403
Scot R. Salvador
Executive Vice President Commercial
Banking, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
2023
565,769
84,865
22,748
472,209
1,145,591
2022
600,000
250,037
360,000
449,068
1,659,105
2021
600,000
250,026
243,000
483,720
1,576,746
Robert M. Leonard
Executive Vice President Corporate
Services and Risk, TrustCo and Trustco Bank
2023
565,769
325,026
84,865
18,352
505,521
1,499,533
2022
600,000
350,006
360,000
492,185
1,802,191
2021
600,000
350,024
243,000
481,909
1,674,933
Kevin M. Curley
Executive Vice President Retail Banking,
TrustCo and Trustco Bank
2023
411,442
225,010
61,716
19,828
523,208
1,241,204
2022
400,000
250,037
240,000
494,586
1,384,623
2021
375,000
250,026
151,875
502,867
1,279,768
(1)
The amounts in these columns are the grant date fair value, calculated in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 “Compensation-Stock Compensation” (“FASB ASC 718”), for the stock-based awards (consisting of cash-settled RSUs and PSUs for awards granted in 2021 and 2022 and stock-settled RSUs and PSUs for awards granted in November 2023) under the 2019 Equity Incentive Plan. The assumptions made in the valuation of the awards are described in Note 9 to the consolidated financial statements in the Annual Report attached as Exhibit 13 to TrustCo’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021 under the heading “Stock-Based Compensation Plans Equity Awards.” For financial reporting purposes, the estimated values of these grants are spread over future periods; however, for this table the total cost of the grants are reflected in the year of the grant. For purposes of calculating the grant date fair value of the PSUs set forth above, the Company assumed the achievement of the performance goal at the target level. If the Company assumed the achievement of the performance goal at the maximum performance level, the grant date fair value of the 2023 PSUs for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, would be $899,998, $202,525, $0, $292,545, and $202,525, respectively. Additional information about the awards is presented below under the heading “Plan-Based Awards for 2023.”
(2)
For each of the three years, the amounts in this column were determined in accordance with the Executive Officer Incentive Plan and the performance measures thereunder approved by the Compensation committee and Board of Directors. The amounts in the column reflect payments made under the 2023 awards, which were paid in 2024. The operation of the Executive Officer Incentive Plan is discussed in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis under “Executive Officer Incentive Plan for 2023” and below under “Plan-Based Awards” for the 2023 awards.
(3)
The amounts in this column are derived from the change in value of vested benefits accrued under the Retirement Plan of Trustco Bank. See the table “Pension Benefits” for more details on the methodology followed to perform these calculations and a discussion of TrustCo and Trustco Bank retirement benefits generally.
(4)
The amounts included for perquisites and other personal benefits are the aggregate incremental cost to TrustCo for these items and included in the Company’s financial statements. The amounts in this column include all other compensation paid to the named executive officers including tax gross-ups for taxes (of $68,241, $34,882, $36,273, $38,914, and $43,987 for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, respectively, for 2023) incurred on personal benefits, personal use of auto, health insurance, tax planning assistance, and personal use of clubs. The amounts included are the cost paid by TrustCo to third parties for these items and included in the Company’s financial statements. Included in this amount, Mr. McCormick received $32,366 for tax and estate planning services. Also included for Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley is compensation paid to them under their employment agreements (see Employment Agreements on page 39 for a description of the material terms) representing the incremental amount that would have been credited to them for 2023 under the TrustCo Supplemental Retirement Plan had such plan not been amended to cease additional benefit accruals following December 31, 2008 and, in the case of Messrs. Leonard, Ozimek and Curley, had they been participants. For 2023, the Company paid $629,079, $406,863, $383,333, $411,255, and $418,588 to Messrs. McCormick, Ozimek, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley, respectively, in lieu of such Supplemental Retirement Plan contributions. TrustCo sponsors a 401(k)/Profit Sharing Plan for all employees under which the Company offers to match employee contributions, subject to certain limits. For 2023, the Company match for the 401(k)/Profit Sharing Plan for Messrs. McCormick, Salvador, Leonard, and Curley were $14,850. This amount was $13,855 for Mr. Ozimek.
TrustCo Bank Corp NY 2024 Proxy Statement
33

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
Plan-Based Awards for 2023
The following two tables set forth information relating to grants of plan-based awards to the named executive officers during 2023 and to stock options, RSUs, and PSUs held by the named executive officers as of December 31, 2023. All non-equity incentive plan awards were made under the Trustco Bank Executive Officer Incentive Plan as it was in effect during 2023, and all awards of stock options, RSUs, and PSUs were made under the 2019 Equity Incentive Plan.
Grants of Plan-Based Awards
Estimated Possible
Payouts Under
Non-Equity Incentive
Plan Awards
(Executive Officer
Incentive Plan)(2)
Estimated Future
Payouts Under
Equity Incentive
Plan Awards
(Performance Shares)(3)
All Other
Stock
Awards:
Number of
Shares of
Stock or
Units
(Restricted
Stock)
Units)(6)
(#)
Grant
Date Fair
Value of
Stock
and
Option
Awards(7)
($)
Name
Grant
Date(1)
Threshold
($)(4)
Target
($)
Maximum
($)(5)
Threshold
(#)
Target
(#)
Maximum
(#)
Robert J. McCormick
317,164
634,327
951,491
3/21/2023
592
2,366
3,549
90,003
3/21/2023
1,577
59,989
11/21/2023
4,707
18,826
28,239
509,996
11/21/2023
12,551
340,007
Michael M. Ozimek
107,861
215,721
323,582
11/21/2023
1,246
4,984
7,476