DEF 14A 1 biosig20210428_def14a.htm FORM DEF 14A biosig20210428_def14a.htm
BioSig Technologies, Inc.
Shareholder Annual Meeting in a DEF 14A on 04/30/2021   Download
SEC Document
SEC Filing


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

 

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

 

BioSig Technologies, Inc.

(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

 

 

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)

 

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

   

 

No fee required.

   

 

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

     
   

(1)

 

Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:

 

   

(2)

 

Aggregate number of securities to which transaction applies:

 

   

(3)

 

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

 

   

(4)

 

Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:

 

   

(5)

 

Total fee paid:

 

   

 

Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.

   

 

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

     
   

(1)

 

Amount previously paid:

 

   

(2)

 

Form, Schedule or Registration Statement No.:

 

   

(3)

 

Filing party:

 

   

(4)

 

Date Filed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

biosig20210428_def14aimg001.jpg

 

 

54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor

Westport, Connecticut 06880

(203) 409-5444

 

April 30, 2021

 

Dear Stockholder:

 

You are cordially invited to attend the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of BioSig Technologies, Inc. (the “Annual Meeting”) to be held at 10:00 a.m., EDT, on June 28, 2021, at our headquarters located at 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880.

 

To facilitate an orderly meeting, we strongly encourage you to advise Lora Mikolaitis by email at info@biosigtech.com or phone at 203-409-5444 ext. 117 if you plan to attend the meeting prior to 5:00 p.m., EDT, on June 27, 2021, and to arrive at the meeting no later than 9:30 a.m., EDT.

 

We are distributing our proxy materials to certain stockholders via the Internet under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “Notice and Access” rules. We believe this approach allows us to provide stockholders with a timely and convenient way to receive proxy materials and vote, while lowering the costs of delivery and reducing the environmental impact of our Annual Meeting. We are mailing to our stockholders a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (the “Notice of Internet Availability”) beginning on or about April 30, 2021, rather than a paper copy of the Proxy Statement, the proxy card and our 2020 Annual Report, which includes our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. The Notice of Internet Availability contains instructions on how to access the proxy materials, vote and obtain, if desired, a paper copy of the proxy materials.

 

Your vote is very important, regardless of the number of shares of our voting securities that you own. Whether or not you expect to be present at the Annual Meeting, after receiving the Notice of Internet Availability please vote as promptly as possible to ensure your representation and the presence of a quorum at the Annual Meeting. As an alternative to voting in person at the Annual Meeting, you may vote via the Internet, by telephone, or by signing, dating and returning the proxy card that is mailed to those that request paper copies of the Proxy Statement and the other proxy materials. If your shares are held in the name of a broker, trust, bank or other nominee, and you receive these materials through your broker or through another intermediary, please complete and return the materials in accordance with the instructions provided to you by such broker or other intermediary or contact your broker directly in order to obtain a proxy issued to you by your nominee holder to attend the meeting and vote in person. Failure to do so may result in your shares not being eligible to be voted by proxy at the meeting.

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I urge you to submit your vote as soon as possible, even if you currently plan to attend the meeting in person.

 

Thank you for your support of our company. I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting.

 

Sincerely,

 

/s/ Kenneth L. Londoner

 

Kenneth L. Londoner

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS FOR
THE STOCKHOLDER MEETING TO BE HELD ON JUNE 28, 2021:

 

Our official Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, Proxy Statement, Form of Proxy Card and

2020 Annual Report to Stockholders are available at:

 

 

www.proxyvote.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor

Westport, Connecticut 06880

(203) 409-5444

 

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

To Be Held June 28, 2021

 

The 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of BioSig Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), will be held on June 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. EDT, at our headquarters at 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut. We will consider and act on the following items of business at the Annual Meeting:

 

 

(1)

Election of seven directors to serve as directors on our Board of Directors to serve until our 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders or until successors have been duly elected and qualified.

 

 

(2)

A proposal to approve the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan to increase the total number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance under such plan by 2,500,000, to a total of 14,474,450 shares.

 

 

(3)

Ratification of the appointment of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2021 fiscal year.

     
 

(4)

Such other business as may arise and that may properly be conducted at the Annual Meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

 

Stockholders are referred to the proxy statement accompanying this notice (the “Proxy Statement”) for more detailed information with respect to the matters to be considered at the Annual Meeting. After careful consideration, the Board of Directors recommends a vote FOR the election of the nominees as directors (Proposal 1), FOR the increase in the total number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance under the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan by 2,500,000, to a total of 14,474,450 shares (Proposal 2) and FOR the ratification of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2021 fiscal year (Proposal 3).

 

The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on April 29, 2021, as the record date (the “Record Date”) for the Annual Meeting. Only holders of record of shares of our common stock and Series C Preferred Stock on the Record Date are entitled to receive notice of the Annual Meeting and to vote at the Annual Meeting or at any postponement(s) or adjournment(s) of the Annual Meeting. A complete list of registered stockholders entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting will be available for inspection at the office of the Company during regular business hours for the ten (10) calendar days prior to and during the Annual Meeting.

 

To facilitate an orderly meeting, we strongly encourage you to advise Lora Mikolaitis by email at info@biosigtech.com or phone at 203-409-5444 ext. 117 if you plan to attend the meeting prior to 5:00 p.m., EDT, on June 27, 2021, and to arrive at the meeting no later than 9:30 a.m., EDT.

 

YOUR VOTE AND PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPANYS AFFAIRS ARE IMPORTANT.

 

If your shares are registered in your name, even if you plan to attend the Annual Meeting or any postponement or adjournment of the Annual Meeting in person, we request that you vote by telephone, over the Internet, or complete, date, sign and mail the enclosed form of proxy in accordance with the instructions set out in the proxy card and in the Proxy Statement to ensure that your shares will be represented at the Annual Meeting.

 

If your shares are held in the name of a broker, trust, bank or other nominee, and you receive these materials through your broker or through another intermediary, please complete and return the materials in accordance with the instructions provided to you by such broker or other intermediary or contact your broker directly in order to obtain a proxy issued to you by your nominee holder to attend the Annual Meeting and vote in person. Failure to do so may result in your shares not being eligible to be voted by proxy at the Annual Meeting.

 

By Order of the Board of Directors,

 

/s/ Kenneth L. Londoner

Kenneth L. Londoner

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

 

April 30, 2021 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page 

ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

1

PROPOSAL 1: ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

7

Nominees for Election

7

Family Relationships

9

Required Vote and Board Recommendation

9

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

10

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

10

Board Composition

10

Director Independence

10

Board Committees, Meetings and Attendance

10

Director Nominations

13

Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight

13

Communications with Directors

14

Involvement in Certain Legal Proceedings

14

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

15

STOCK OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

19

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

21

DELINQUENT SECTION 16(A) REPORTS

22

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

22

Compensation Philosophy and Practices

22

Summary Compensation Table

23

Narrative Disclosure to Summary Compensation Table

24

Outstanding Equity Awards

25

Equity Compensation Plan Information

29

AUDIT COMMITTEE MATTERS

30

Audit Committee Report

30

PROPOSAL 2: APPROVAL OF THE NINTH AMENDMENT TO THE BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2012 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

33

Summary of the Proposed Ninth Amendment

34

Description of the 2012 Plan

34

Federal Income Tax Consequences

36

New Plan Benefits

38

Vote Required

39

PROPOSAL 3: RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF FRIEDMAN LLP AS OUR INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE 2021 FISCAL YEAR

40

OTHER BUSINESS

41

SUBMISSION OF FUTURE STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALS

41

Annex A – Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan

A-1

Annex B – BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan as amended by the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth amendments

B-1

Form of Proxy Card

 

 

 

BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor

Westport, Connecticut 06880

(203) 409-5444

 


 

PROXY STATEMENT

FOR

ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS

To Be Held June 28, 2021

 


 

Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this Proxy Statement to “we,” “us,” “our,” “the Company,” or “BioSig” refer to BioSig Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries as a whole. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires, references to “stockholders” are to the holders of our voting securities, which consist of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and our Series C Convertible Preferred Stock (the “Series C Preferred Stock”) entitled to vote at the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders of the Company (the “Annual Meeting”).

 

The accompanying proxy is solicited by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) on behalf of BioSig Technologies, Inc. to be voted at the Annual Meeting to be held on June 28, 2021, at the time and place and for the purposes set forth in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Notice”) and at any adjournment(s) or postponement(s) of the Annual Meeting. This Proxy Statement and accompanying form of proxy are dated April 30, 2021 and are expected to be first sent or given to stockholders on or about April 30, 2021.

 

The executive offices of the Company are located at, and the mailing address of the Company is 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS

FOR THE STOCKHOLDER MEETING TO BE HELD ON JUNE 28, 2021:

 

As permitted by the “Notice and Access” rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), we are making this Proxy Statement, the proxy card and our Annual Report available to stockholders electronically via the Internet at the following website: www.proxyvote.com.

 

On or about April 30, 2021, we commenced mailing to our stockholders a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (the “Notice of Internet Availability”) that contains instructions on how stockholders may access and review all of the proxy materials and how to vote. Also on or about April 30, 2021, we began mailing printed copies of the proxy materials to stockholders that previously requested printed copies. If you received a Notice of Internet Availability by mail, you will not receive a printed copy of the proxy materials in the mail unless you request a copy. If you received a Notice of Internet Availability by mail and would like to receive a printed copy of our proxy materials, you should follow the instructions for requesting such materials included in the Notice of Internet Availability.

 

ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

 

What is a proxy?

 

A proxy is another person that you legally designate to vote your stock. If you designate someone as your proxy in a written document, that document is also called a “proxy” or a “proxy card.” If you are a “street name” holder, you must obtain a proxy from your broker or nominee in order to vote your shares in person at the Annual Meeting.

 

What is a proxy statement?

 

A proxy statement is a document that regulations of the SEC require that we give to you when we ask you to sign a proxy card to vote your stock at the Annual Meeting.

 

 

Why did I receive a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials instead of paper copies of the proxy materials?

 

We are using the SEC’s Notice and Access model (“Notice and Access”), which allows us to deliver proxy materials over the Internet, as the primary means of furnishing proxy materials. We believe Notice and Access provides stockholders with a convenient method to access the proxy materials and vote, while allowing us to conserve natural resources and reduce the costs of printing and distributing the proxy materials. On or about April 30, 2021, we began mailing to stockholders a Notice of Internet Availability containing instructions on how to access our proxy materials on the Internet and how to vote online. The Notice of Internet Availability is not a proxy card and cannot be used to vote your shares. If you received a Notice of Internet Availability this year, you will not receive paper copies of the proxy materials unless you request the materials by following the instructions on the Notice of Internet Availability.

 

What is the purpose of the Annual Meeting?

 

At our Annual Meeting, stockholders will act upon the matters outlined in the Notice, which include the following:

 

 

(1)

election of seven directors to serve as directors on our Board of Directors to serve until our 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2022 Annual Meeting”) or until successors have been duly elected and qualified (“Proposal 1”);

 

 

(2)

a proposal to approve the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan to increase the total number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance under such plan by 2,500,000, to a total of 14,474,450 shares (“Proposal 2”);

 

 

(3)

ratification of the appointment of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2021 fiscal year (“Proposal 3”); and

 

 

(4)

such other business as may arise and that may properly be conducted at the Annual Meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

 

What should I do if I receive more than one set of voting materials?

 

You may receive more than one Notice of Internet Availability (or, if you requested a printed copy of the proxy materials, this Proxy Statement and the proxy card) or voting instruction card. For example, if you hold your shares in more than one brokerage account, you will receive a separate voting instruction card for each brokerage account in which you hold shares. Similarly, if you are a stockholder of record and hold shares in a brokerage account, you will receive a Notice of Internet Availability (or, if you requested a printed copy of the proxy materials, a proxy card) for shares held in your name and a voting instruction card for shares held in “street name.” Please follow the separate voting instructions that you received for your shares of common stock held in each of your different accounts to ensure that all of your shares are voted.

 

What is the record date and what does it mean?

 

The record date to determine the stockholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting is the close of business on April 29, 2021 (the “Record Date”). The Record Date is established by the Board as required by Delaware law. On the Record Date, 32,143,531 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. On the Record Date, 105 shares of Series C Preferred Stock were issued and outstanding, and after application of the beneficial ownership limitation pursuant to the terms of the Series C Preferred Stock as set forth in the certificate of designation for the Series C Preferred Stock, certain holders of Series C Preferred Stock are entitled to an aggregate of 50,524 votes on the proposals described in this Proxy Statement. See “What are the voting rights of the stockholders?” below.

 

Who is entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting?

 

Holders of common stock and the Series C Preferred Stock at the close of business on the Record Date may vote at the Annual Meeting.

 

 

What are the voting rights of the stockholders?

 

The Company has two outstanding classes of voting stock entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting, common stock and Series C Preferred Stock.  Each holder of common stock is entitled to one vote per share of common stock on all matters to be acted upon at the Annual Meeting.  Each holder of Series C Preferred Stock is entitled to the number of votes equal to the number of whole shares of common stock into which the shares of Series C Preferred Stock held by such holder are then convertible (subject to the 4.99% beneficial ownership limitations) with respect to any and all matters presented to the stockholders for their action or consideration. Holders of the Series C Preferred Stock vote together with the holders of common stock as a single class, except as provided by law and except as set forth in the respective certificates of designation for the Series C Preferred Stock. Holders of our common stock and Series C Preferred Stock will vote together as a single class on all matters described in this Proxy Statement.

 

The presence, in person or by proxy, of the holders of a majority of the voting power of the issued and outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting is necessary to constitute a quorum to transact business. If a quorum is not present or represented at the Annual Meeting, then either (i) chairman of the meeting or (ii) the stockholders entitled to vote thereat, present in person or represented by proxy, may adjourn the meeting from time to time, without notice other than announcement at the meeting, until a quorum is present or represented.

 

What is the difference between a stockholder of record and a street name holder?

 

If your shares are registered directly in your name with Action Stock Transfer Corporation, the Company’s stock transfer agent, you are considered the stockholder of record with respect to those shares. The Notice of Internet Availability has been sent directly to you by the Company.

 

If your shares are held in a stock brokerage account or by a bank or other nominee, the nominee is considered the record holder of those shares. You are considered the beneficial owner of these shares, and your shares are held in “street name.” The Notice of Internet Availability has been forwarded to you by your nominee. As the beneficial owner, you have the right to direct your nominee concerning how to vote your shares by using the voting instructions the nominee included in the mailing or by following such nominee’s instructions for voting.

 

What is a broker non-vote?

 

Broker non-votes occur when shares are held indirectly through a broker, bank or other intermediary on behalf of a beneficial owner (referred to as held in “street name”) and the broker submits a proxy but does not vote for a matter because the broker has not received voting instructions from the beneficial owner and (i) the broker does not have discretionary voting authority on the matter or (ii) the broker chooses not to vote on a matter for which it has discretionary voting authority. Under the rules of the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) that govern how brokers may vote shares for which they have not received voting instructions from the beneficial owner, brokers are permitted to exercise discretionary voting authority only on “routine” matters when voting instructions have not been timely received from a beneficial owner. Neither Proposal 1 nor Proposal 2 is considered a “routine matter.” In the absence of specific instructions from you, your broker does not have discretionary authority to vote your shares with respect to Proposals 1 or 2. Proposal 3 is considered a “routine matter.” Therefore, if you do not provide voting instructions to your broker regarding such proposal, your broker will be permitted to exercise discretionary voting authority to vote your shares on such proposal.

 

How do I vote my shares?

 

If you are a record holder, you may vote your shares at the Annual Meeting in person or by proxy. To vote in person, you must attend the Annual Meeting and obtain and submit a ballot. The ballot will be provided at the Annual Meeting. To vote by proxy, you may choose one of the following methods to vote your shares:

 

 

Via Internet: as prompted by the menu found at www.proxyvote.com, follow the instructions to obtain your records and submit an electronic ballot. Please have your Stockholder Control Number, which can be found on the bottom of the Notice of Internet Availability, when you access this voting site. You may vote via the Internet until 11:59 p.m., EDT, on June 27, 2021.

 

 

Via telephone: call 1-800-690-6903 and then follow the voice instructions. Please have your Stockholder Control Number, which can be found on the bottom of the Notice of Internet Availability, when you call. You may vote by telephone until 11:59 p.m., EDT, on June 27, 2021.

 

 

 

Via mail: if you requested printed proxy materials as provided in the Notice of Internet Availability and would like to vote by mail, complete and sign the accompanying proxy card and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided. If you submit a signed proxy without indicating your vote, the person voting the proxy will vote your shares according to the Board’s recommendation.

 

The proxy is fairly simple to complete, with specific instructions on the electronic ballot, telephone or card. By completing and submitting it, you will direct the designated persons (known as “proxies”) to vote your stock at the Annual Meeting in accordance with your instructions. The Board has appointed Kenneth L. Londoner and Steve Chaussy to serve as the proxies for the Annual Meeting.

 

Your proxy will be valid only if you complete and return it before the Annual Meeting. If you properly complete and transmit your proxy but do not provide voting instructions with respect to a proposal, then the designated proxies will vote your shares “FOR” each proposal as to which you provide no voting instructions in accordance with the Board’s recommendation in the manner described under “What if I do not specify how I want my shares voted?” below. We do not anticipate that any other matters will come before the Annual Meeting, but if any other matters properly come before the meeting, then the designated proxies will vote your shares in accordance with applicable law and their judgment.

 

If you hold your shares in “street name,” your bank, broker or other nominee should provide to you a request for voting instructions along with the Company’s proxy solicitation materials. By completing the voting instruction card, you may direct your nominee how to vote your shares. If you partially complete the voting instruction but fail to complete one or more of the voting instructions, then your nominee may be unable to vote your shares with respect to the proposal as to which you provided no voting instructions. See “What is a broker non-vote?” Alternatively, if you want to vote your shares in person at the Annual Meeting, you must contact your nominee directly in order to obtain a proxy issued to you by your nominee holder. Note that a broker letter that identifies you as a stockholder is not the same as a nominee-issued proxy. If you fail to bring a nominee-issued proxy to the Annual Meeting, you will not be able to vote your nominee-held shares in person at the Annual Meeting.

 

Who counts the votes?

 

All votes will be tabulated by Kenneth L. Londoner, the inspector of election appointed for the Annual Meeting. Each proposal will be tabulated separately.

 

Can I vote my shares in person at the Annual Meeting?

 

Yes. If you are a stockholder of record, you may vote your shares at the meeting by completing a ballot at the Annual Meeting.

 

If you hold your shares in “street name,” you may vote your shares in person only if you obtain a proxy issued by your bank, broker or other nominee giving you the right to vote the shares.

 

Even if you currently plan to attend the Annual Meeting, we recommend that you also return your proxy or voting instructions as described above so that your votes will be counted if you later decide not to attend the Annual Meeting or are unable to attend.

 

What are my choices when voting?

 

In the election of the nominees as directors (Proposal 1), stockholders may vote for the director nominees or may withhold their votes as to one or more director nominees. With respect to the approval of the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (Proposal 2) and the ratification of the independent registered public accounting firm (Proposal 3), stockholders may vote for the proposal, against the proposal, or abstain from voting on the proposal.

 

What are the Boards recommendations on how I should vote my shares?

 

The Board recommends that you vote your shares as follows:

 

Proposal 1—FOR the election of the nominees as directors.

 

Proposal 2—FOR the approval of the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

Proposal 3—FOR the ratification of the appointment of the independent registered public accounting firm.

 

 

What if I do not specify how I want my shares voted?

 

If you are a record holder who returns a completed proxy that does not specify how you want to vote your shares on one or more proposals, the proxies will vote your shares for each proposal as to which you provide no voting instructions, and such shares will be voted in the following manner:

 

Proposal 1—FOR the election of the nominees as directors.

 

Proposal 2—FOR the approval of the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

Proposal 3—FOR the ratification of the appointment of the independent registered public accounting firm.

 

If you are a “street name” holder and do not provide voting instructions on one or more proposals, your bank, broker or other nominee may be unable to vote those shares. See “What is a broker non-vote?” above.

 

Can I change my vote?

 

Yes. If you are a record holder, you may revoke your proxy at any time by any of the following means:

 

 

Attending the Annual Meeting and voting in person. Your attendance at the Annual Meeting will not by itself revoke a proxy. You must vote your shares by ballot at the Annual Meeting to revoke your proxy.

 

 

Completing and submitting a new valid proxy bearing a later date.

 

 

Giving written notice of revocation to the Company addressed to Steve Chaussy, Chief Financial Officer, at the Company’s address above, which notice must be received before 5:00 p.m., EDT, on June 27, 2021.

 

If you are a “street name” holder, your bank, broker or other nominee should provide instructions explaining how you may change or revoke your voting instructions.

 

What votes are required to approve each proposal?

 

Assuming the presence of a quorum, with respect to Proposal 1, the affirmative vote of the holders of a plurality of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting is required for the election of the director nominees, i.e., the seven director nominees who receive the most votes will be elected.

 

Assuming the presence of a quorum, approval of Proposal 2 will require the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast for or against the proposal.

 

Assuming the presence of a quorum, the ratification of the independent registered public accounting firm (Proposal 3) will require the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares of our voting securities represented in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting entitled to vote on such proposal that voted for or against such proposal.

 

How are abstentions and broker non-votes treated?

 

Abstentions are included in the determination of the number of shares present at the Annual Meeting for determining a quorum at the meeting. Abstentions will have no effect with respect to the election of the nominees as directors (Proposal 1) or the ratification of the independent registered public accounting firm (Proposal 3). Abstentions will have the same effect as a vote against the proposal to approve the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (Proposal 2).

 

Broker non-votes are included in the determination of the number of shares present at the Annual Meeting for determining a quorum at the meeting. Broker non-votes will have no effect upon the election of the nominees as directors (Proposal 1) and the approval of the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (Proposal 2). With respect to the proposal to ratify the appointment of the independent registered public accounting firm (Proposal 3), broker-non-votes are not applicable because such proposal is considered a routine matter and therefore a broker holding shares for a beneficial owner will have discretionary authority to vote those shares for such proposal in the absence of voting instructions from the beneficial owner.

 

 

Do I have any dissenters or appraisal rights with respect to any of the matters to be voted on at the Annual Meeting?

 

No. None of our stockholders has any dissenters’ or appraisal rights with respect to the matters to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. 

 

What are the solicitation expenses and who pays the cost of this proxy solicitation?

 

Our Board is asking for your proxy and we will pay all of the costs of asking for stockholder proxies. We will reimburse brokerage houses and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for forwarding solicitation material to the beneficial owners of common stock and collecting voting instructions. We may use officers and employees of the Company to ask for proxies, as described below.

 

Is this Proxy Statement the only way that proxies are being solicited?

 

No. In addition to the solicitation of proxies by use of the Notice of Internet Availability, officers and employees of the Company may solicit the return of proxies, either by mail, telephone, telecopy, e-mail or through personal contact. These officers and employees will not receive additional compensation for their efforts but will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. Brokerage houses and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries, in connection with shares of the common stock registered in their names, will be requested to forward solicitation material to the beneficial owners of shares of common stock.

 

Are there any other matters to be acted upon at the Annual Meeting?

 

Management does not intend to present any business at the Annual Meeting for a vote other than the matters set forth in the Notice and has no information that others will do so. If other matters requiring a vote of the stockholders properly come before the Annual Meeting, it is the intention of the persons named in the form of proxy to vote the shares represented by the proxies held by them in accordance with applicable law and their judgment on such matters.

 

Where can I find voting results?

 

We expect to publish the voting results in a current report on Form 8-K, which we expect to file with the SEC within four business days after the Annual Meeting.

 

Who can help answer my questions?

 

The information provided above in this “Question and Answer” format is for your convenience only and is merely a summary of the information contained in this Proxy Statement. We urge you to carefully read this entire Proxy Statement, including the documents we refer to in this Proxy Statement. If you have any questions, or need additional materials, please feel free to contact our Chief Financial Officer, Steve Chaussy, at (203) 409-5444 ext. 102.

 

 

PROPOSAL 1: ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

 

Nominees for Election

 

The Board currently is comprised of nine directors. Andrew L. Filler and Martha Pease will not stand for re-election and will retire from the Board upon the expiration of their terms at the Annual Meeting. Upon the retirement of Mr. Filler and Ms. Pease, the Board has determined to reduce the size of the Board to seven, which it believes is an appropriate size for a company with its market capitalization.

 

Our Board, upon the recommendation of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, has nominated the following seven individuals to serve as directors (collectively, the “Company Nominees”):

 

Name

 

Age

 

Kenneth L. Londoner

 

53

 

Jeffrey F. O’Donnell, Sr.

 

61

 

David Weild IV

 

64

 

Patrick J. Gallagher

 

56

 

Donald E. Foley

 

69

 

Anthony Zook

 

60

 

Samuel E. Navarro

 

65

 

 

If elected, respectively, the Company Nominees will serve until our 2022 Annual Meeting or until successors have been duly elected and qualified. Our Board believes that all of our current directors, including the seven nominees for election, possess personal and professional integrity, good judgment, a high level of ability and business acumen.

 

If a quorum is present, the Company Nominees will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting. Abstentions and broker non-votes have no effect on the vote. The seven Company Nominees receiving the highest number of affirmative votes will be elected directors of the Company. Shares of voting stock represented by executed proxies will be voted, if authority to do so is not withheld, for the election of the seven nominees named below. Should any Company Nominee become unable or unwilling to accept nomination or election, the proxy holders may vote the proxies for the election, in his or her stead, of any other person the Board may nominate or designate. Each Company Nominee has agreed to serve, if elected, and the Board has no reason to believe that any Company Nominee will be unable to serve.

 

The biographies of the Company Nominees are as follows:

 

Kenneth L. Londoner. Mr. Londoner has served as our director since February 2009, as our executive chairman since November 2013 and our chief executive officer since July 2017. He previously served as our chairman and chief executive officer from February 2009 to September 2013. Mr. Londoner served as the chief executive officer and president of ViralClear Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of the Company (“ViralClear”) from November 2018 through April 2020 and again since October 2020; and served as ViralClear’s chairman of the board of directors from July 2019 through April 2020 and again since October 2020. Mr. Londoner has been serving as ViralClear’s director since November 2018. Mr. Londoner has served as the managing partner of Endicott Management Partners, LLC, a firm dedicated to assisting emerging growth companies in their corporate development since February 2010. From April 2007 to October 2009, he served as executive vice president – corporate business development and senior director of business development and, from November 2009 to December 2010, he served as a consultant to NewCardio, Inc., a medical device designer and developer. Mr. Londoner also served as a director of chatAND Inc. from January 2012 to April 2015. Mr. Londoner is a co-founder and board member of Safe Ports Holdings, Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Londoner also served as a director of MedClean Technologies, Inc. from November 2008 to September 2010. Mr. Londoner was an investment officer and co-manager of the Seligman Growth Fund, Seligman Capital Fund, and approximately $2 billion of pension assets at J & W Seligman & Co, Inc. in New York from 1991 to 1997. Mr. Londoner graduated from Lafayette College in 1989 with a degree in economics and finance and received his MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business in 1994.We believe that Mr. Londoner’s extensive experience in financial and venture capital matters, as well as his intimate knowledge of our company as its co-founder make him an asset to our Board.

 

 

Jeffrey F. ODonnell, Sr. Mr. O’Donnell has been our lead independent director since January 1, 2019 and has served as our director since February 2015; he had previously served as a director from October 2011 until February 2014. Mr. O’Donnell also served as ViralClear’s director from July 2019 to July 2020. Mr. O’Donnell has extensive experience in the Healthcare industry, merging a solid, traditional corporate background with emerging growth experience. Jeff brings more than 20 years of board and chief executive experience running emerging medical device firms. Businesses under his direct leadership have achieved over $1.5 Billion in value creation from initial public offering of stock or mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, Mr. O’Donnell served as the chief executive officer and a director of Trice Medical from 2013 until June 2019. Trice is an emerging growth medical device company developing optical needles used by orthopedic surgeons to diagnose soft tissue damage of joints.

 

In 2008, Mr. O’Donnell started and ran Embrella Cardiovascular, a medical device startup company, which was sold in 2011 to Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW). Prior to Embrella Cardiovascular, Mr. O’Donnell served as president and chief executive officer of PhotoMedex (NASDAQ: PHMD) from 1999 to 2009. Prior to PhotoMedex, Mr. O’Donnell was the president and chief executive officer of Cardiovascular Dynamics. His team took CCVD public on NASDAQ in June of 1996 and purchased Radiance Medical Systems and Endologix (NASDAQ: ELGX). From 1994 to 1995, Mr. O’Donnell held the position of president and chief executive officer of Kensey Nash Corporation (NASDAQ: KNSY). Additionally, he has held several senior sales and marketing management positions at Boston Scientific Corporation, Guidant Corporation and with Johnson & Johnson’s Orthopedic Division. In 2005, Mr. O’Donnell was named LifeSciences chief executive officer of the Year by Price Waterhouse Coopers. In 2011, Mr. O’Donnell was named the Greater Philadelphia Emerging Entrepreneur of The Year by Ernst & Young. In 2017, Mr. O’Donnell assumed the role of chairman of the board of directors for SpectraWave, a cardiology device company. He joined the AdvaMed Accel board of directors in 2016 and serves as an observer on the Membership, Ethics and Technology and Regulatory committees of the AdvaMed board. Previously, Mr. O’Donnell served as chairman of the board of Strata Skin Sciences (NASDAQ: SSKN) (2 years) as well as Director on the Board at Cardiac Science (7 yrs.) and Endologix (12 yrs.). Mr. O’Donnell is a graduate of LaSalle University in Philadelphia. Mr. O’Donnell brings his experience in the healthcare industry and cardiovascular space, along with his experience with emerging growth companies, which will make him a valuable member of our Board.

 

David Weild IV. Mr. Weild has served as a director since May 2015. Mr. Weild is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Weild & Co., Inc., parent company of the investment banking firm Weild Capital, LLC. Prior to Weild & Co., Mr. Weild was vice chairman of NASDAQ, president of PrudentialFinancial.com and head of corporate finance and equity capital markets at Prudential Securities, Inc. Mr. Weild holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. Mr. Weild is currently on the board of PAVmed. From September 2010 to June 2011, Mr. Weild served on the board of Helium.com, until it was acquired by R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co. Since 2003, Mr. Weild was a director and then chairman of the board of the 9-11 charity Tuesday’s Children. He became chairman emeritus in late 2016 and still serves on its board. Mr. Weild brings extensive financial, economic, stock exchange, capital markets, and small company expertise to our Board gained throughout his career on Wall Street. He is a recognized expert in capital markets and has spoken at the White House, Congress, the SEC, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G-20 on how market structure can be bettered to improve capital formation and economic growth.

 

Patrick J. Gallagher. Mr. Gallagher has served as our director since July 2014. Mr. Gallagher, MBA, CFA, is an accomplished capital markets executive, advisor, and investor with a distinguished record of success in both the public and private markets. He has nearly 20 years of experience on Wall Street and extensive expertise in alternative investments, capital markets, and marketing. Since September 2014, Mr. Gallagher has served as senior managing director and head of healthcare sales at Laidlaw & Co. (UK) Ltd. Mr. Gallagher serves as a strategic consultant for Athenex, Inc., a biopharmaceutical firm focused on next-generation therapies in oncology and immunology and was the vice president of business development and investor relations from September 2012 to October 2013. He also sits on the board of directors of Cingulate Therapeutics since July 2013, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative new products for ADHD, as well as Evermore Global Advisors, a global money manager since May 2015. In November 2010, he was appointed by broker Concept Capital, a division of Sanders Morris Harris, as a managing director and the head of institutional sales. In 2001, Mr. Gallagher co-founded BDR Research Group, LLC, an independent sell-side research firm specializing in healthcare investing, financing and operations, and served as its chief executive officer until November 2010. Prior to 2001, he held various sales positions at investment and research firms Kidder Peabody, PaineWebber and New Vernon Associates. Mr. Gallagher is a CFA charter holder, received his MBA from Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.S. degree in finance from the University of Vermont. We believe that Mr. Gallagher’s experience in capital markets and marketing, with extensive expertise concentrated in the life sciences space, make him a valuable resource on our Board.

 

 

Donald E. Foley. Mr. Foley has served as our director since October 2015. Mr. Foley was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Wilmington Trust Corporation from 2010-2011. Prior to Wilmington Trust Corporation, Mr. Foley was senior vice president, treasurer and director of tax for ITT Corporation, a supplier of advanced technology products and services. Prior experiences include executive positions with International Paper Company, Mobil Corporation and General Electric Company. Mr. Foley currently serves on the board of directors of Equitable EQAT and Wilmington Trust Mutual Fund Complexes. Mr. Foley also served on the boards of directors of M&T Corporation from 2011-2012 and of Wilmington Trust Company, Wilmington Funds,  and Wilmington Trust Corporation from 2007-2011. In addition, Mr. Foley serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute, as well as the W. Burke Foundation since 2009 during which time the Hospital merged with the MonteFiore Hospital System. Mr. Foley served as an advisory board member of M&T Corporation Trust and Investment Committee, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Groups and Northern Trust Company. Mr. Foley holds an M.B.A. from New York University, and a B.A. from Union College where he had served as a trustee, and as chairman of the President’s Council. He also served as a trustee of the Covent of the Sacred Heart; and currently serves as a trustee at the Sacred Heart Network of schools and chairman of the board at New Beginning Family Academy, a charter school in Bridgeport, CT. Mr. Foley brings extensive financial, economic, capital markets and executive leadership expertise to our Board gained through his successful career on Wall Street and the Fortune 500.

 

Anthony Zook. Mr. Zook has served as our director since July 2020. Mr. Zook was executive vice president of global commercial operations of AstraZeneca Plc from 2010 until 2012. He also served as president and chief executive officer of the North American division of AstraZeneca Plc from 2006 until 2009, and president of Medimmune, the company’s wholly-owned biologics division from 2009 until 2010. Mr. Zook has served as a member of the board of directors of AltheRx from 2013-2014, InHibikase in 2014, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals in 2009, the National Pharmaceutical Council from 2007-2009, PhRMA from 2011-2012, the Pennsylvania Division of the American Cancer Society from 2005-2007 and his alma mater, Frostburg State University from 2016-2018 and re-joined in 2021, where he earned a B.S. degree. Mr. Zook also earned an A.A. degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Zook brings extensive commercialization experience and expertise in executive leadership, making him a valuable resource on our Board.

 

Samuel E. Navarro. Mr. Navarro has served as our director since June 2019. Mr. Navarro also served as ViralClear’s director from April 2020 until July 2020. Mr. Navarro has over 30 years of experience in investment banking, business development and medical technology. He currently serves as managing partner of Gravitas Healthcare, LLC, a strategic advisory/mergers and acquisition firm that specializes in emerging growth medical device companies. Since its founding in 2008, the firm has completed over 30 strategic medical device partnership transactions with some of the largest medical device companies in the industry. From 2005 through 2008, Mr. Navarro served as a managing director and global head of Medical Technology Investment Banking at Cowen & Company. From 2001 through 2005, Mr. Navarro served as a senior investment manager at The Galleon Group running the Galleon Healthcare Fund. From 1998 through 2001, he was global head of Healthcare Investment Banking at ING Barings, and prior to that, he was senior medical technology research analyst at UBS, Furman Selz and Needham & Company. From March 2014 to January 2017, Mr. Navarro served as a board director on the Audit and Nominating and Governance Committees of Derma Sciences, Inc. Since May 2018, Mr. Navarro has been serving on the board of directors of StrataSkin Sciences, Inc. and since 2019 as a member of their Audit Committee. Mr. Navarro serves or has served on the board of directors of other medical device companies, such as Arstasis, Dextera Surgical, Fixes-4-Kids, Jomed, MicroTherapeutics, and one non-medical company, Pixelux Entertainment. Mr. Navarro also served in the past as an advisory board member of OrthoPediatrics. Mr. Navarro received an MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Navarro brings extensive expertise in executive leadership and strategic medical device partnership transactions, making him a valuable resource on our Board.

 

Family Relationships

 

There are no family relationships amongst our directors and executive officers.

 

Required Vote and Board Recommendation

 

If a quorum is present and voting, the seven Company Nominees receiving the highest number of votes will be elected as directors. If you hold your shares in your own name and abstain from voting on the election of directors, your abstention will have no effect on the vote. If you hold your shares through a broker and you do not instruct the broker on how to vote for the seven Company Nominees, your broker will not have the authority to vote your shares. Abstentions and broker non-votes will each be counted as present for purposes of determining the presence of a quorum but will not have any effect on the outcome of the vote.

 

The Board recommends that you vote FOR each Company Nominee.

 

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

BioSig, with the oversight of the Board and its committees, operates within a comprehensive plan of corporate governance for the purpose of defining independence, assigning responsibilities, setting high standards of professional and personal conduct and assuring compliance with such responsibilities and standards. We regularly monitor developments in the area of corporate governance.

 

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

 

We have adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that applies to our officers, directors and employees, including our principal financial officer and principal accounting officer. The Code of Business Conduct and Ethics addresses, among other things, conflicts of interest, protection and proper use of Company assets, government relations, compliance with laws, rules and regulations and the process for reporting violations of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, improper conflicts of interest or other violations. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is available on our website at www.biosigtech.com in the “Governance Documents” section found under the “Investors” tab. We intend to disclose any future amendments to certain provisions of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, or waivers of such provisions granted to executive officers and directors, on this website within four business days following the date of any such amendment or waiver.

 

Board Composition

 

Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, and our Amended and Restated Bylaws, as amended (“Bylaws”), provide that our Board will consist of one or more members, such number of directors to be determined from time to time pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of authorized directors. Vacancies or newly created directorships resulting from an increase in the authorized number of directors elected by all of the stockholders having the right to vote as a single class may be filled by a majority of the directors then in office, although less than a quorum, or by a sole remaining director.

 

We have no formal policy regarding Board diversity. Our Board believes that each director should have a basic understanding of the principal operational and financial objectives and plans and strategies of the Company, our results of operations and financial condition and relative standing in relation to our competitors. We take into consideration the overall composition and diversity of the Board and areas of expertise that director nominees may be able to offer, including business experience, knowledge, abilities and customer relationships. Generally, we will strive to assemble a Board that brings to us a variety of perspectives and skills derived from business and professional experience as we may deem are in our and our stockholders’ best interests. In doing so, we will also consider candidates with appropriate non-business backgrounds.

 

Director Independence

 

We are currently listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market and therefore rely on the definition of independence set forth in the NASDAQ Listing Rules (“NASDAQ Rules”). Under the NASDAQ Rules, a director will only qualify as an “independent director” if, in the opinion of our Board, that person does not have a relationship that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director. Based upon information requested from and provided by each director concerning his background, employment, and affiliations, including family relationships, we have determined that each of David Weild IV, Patrick J. Gallagher, Donald E. Foley, Andrew L. Filler, Jeffrey F. O’Donnell, Sr., Anthony Zook, Samuel E. Navarro and Martha Pease has no material relationships with us that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment and is an “independent director” as that term is defined in the NASDAQ Listing Rules.

 

Board Committees, Meetings and Attendance

 

During 2020, the Board held four meetings. We expect our directors to attend Board meetings, meetings of any committees and subcommittees on which they serve and each annual meeting of stockholders, either in person or teleconference. During 2020, we had no incumbent director who attended fewer than 75% of the total number of meetings held by the Board and Board committees of which such director was a member. Due to the pandemic, one of the nine directors attended our 2020 annual meeting of stockholders.

 

The Board delegates various responsibilities and authority to different Board committees. Committees regularly report on their activities and actions to the full Board. Currently, the Board has established an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Committee assignments are re-evaluated annually. Each of these committees operates under a charter that has been approved by our Board. 

 

 

As of April 29, 2021, the following table sets forth the membership of each of the Board committees listed above.

 

Name

 

Audit Committee

 

Compensation Committee 

 

Nominating and
Corporate Governance
Committee

Kenneth L. Londoner*

           

Jeffrey F. O’Donnell, Sr.

 

Member

 

Chairman

   

Andrew L. Filler

         

Chairman

David Weild IV

 

Chairman

       

Patrick J. Gallagher

 

Member

 

Member

   

Donald E. Foley

         

Member

Anthony Zook

         

Member

 

*

Chairman of the Board of Directors

 

Audit Committee

 

Our Audit Committee is responsible for, among other matters:

 

 

approving and retaining the independent auditors to conduct the annual audit of our financial statements;

 

 

reviewing the proposed scope and results of the audit;

 

 

reviewing and pre-approving audit and non-audit fees and services;

 

 

reviewing accounting and financial controls with the independent auditors and our financial and accounting staff;

 

 

reviewing and approving transactions between us and our directors, officers and affiliates;

 

 

recognizing and preventing prohibited non-audit services;

 

 

establishing procedures for complaints received by us regarding accounting matters;

 

 

overseeing internal audit functions, if any; and

 

 

preparing the report of the audit committee that the rules of the SEC require to be included in our annual meeting proxy statement.

 

Our Audit Committee is composed of Messrs. Weild, Gallagher and O’Donnell, each of whom our board has determined to be financially literate and qualifies as an independent director under Section 5605(a)(2) and Section 5605(c)(2)(A) of the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market. Further, each member of our Audit Committee is also considered independent under SEC Rule 10A-3. Mr. Weild is the chairman of our audit committee. In addition, Mr. Weild qualifies as a financial expert, as defined in Item 407(d)(5)(ii) of Regulation S-K. The Audit Committee met five times during 2020. Our Audit Committee’s charter is available on our website at www.biosigtech.com in the “Governance Documents” section found under the “Investors” tab.

 

 

Compensation Committee

 

Our Compensation Committee is responsible for, among other matters:

 

 

reviewing and recommending the compensation arrangements for management, including the compensation for our president and chief executive officer;

 

 

appointing, compensating and overseeing the work of any compensation consultant, legal counsel or other advisor retained by the Compensation Committee;

 

 

establishing and reviewing general compensation policies with the objective to attract and retain superior talent, to reward individual performance and to achieve our financial goals;

 

 

administering our stock incentive plans; and

 

 

preparing the report of the compensation committee that the rules of the SEC require to be included in our annual meeting proxy statement.

 

Our Compensation Committee is composed of Messrs. O’Donnell and Gallagher, each of whom qualifies as an independent director under Section 5605(a)(2) of the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market, an “outside director” for purposes of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code and a “non-employee director” for purposes of Section 16b-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and does not have a relationship to us which is material to his ability to be independent from management in connection with the duties of a compensation committee member, as described in Section 5605(d)(2) of the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market. Mr. O’Donnell is the chairman of our compensation committee. The Compensation Committee met five times during 2020. We did not engage any consultants in determining or recommending the amount or form of executive and director compensation during 2020. Our Compensation Committee’s charter is available on our website at www.biosigtech.com in the “Governance Documents” section found under the “Investors” tab.

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for, among other matters:

 

 

evaluating the current composition, organization and governance of the Board and its committees, and making recommendations for changes thereto;

 

 

reviewing each director and nominee annually;

 

 

determining desired Board member skills and attributes and conducting searches for prospective members accordingly;

 

 

evaluating nominees, and making recommendations to the Board concerning the appointment of directors to Board committees, the selection of Board committee chairs, proposal of the slate of directors for election to the Board, and the termination of membership of individual directors in accordance with the Board’s governance principles;

 

 

overseeing the process of succession planning for the chief executive officer and, as warranted, other senior officers of the Company;

 

 

developing, adopting and overseeing the implementation of a code of business conduct and ethics; and

 

 

administering the annual Board performance evaluation process.

 

Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is composed of Messrs. Filler, Foley, and Zook, each of whom qualifies as an independent director under Section 5605(a)(2) of the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market. Mr. Filler is the chairman of our nominating and corporate governance committee. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee met two times during 2020. Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee’s charter is available on our website at www.biosigtech.com in the “Governance Documents” section found under the “Investors” tab.

 

 

Director Nominations

 

Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee considers all qualified candidates identified by members of the Board, by senior management and by stockholders. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee follows the same process and uses the same criteria for evaluating candidates proposed by stockholders, members of the Board and members of senior management. We did not pay fees to any third party to assist in the process of identifying or evaluating director candidates during 2020.

 

Our Bylaws contain provisions that address the process by which a stockholder may nominate an individual to stand for election to the Board at our annual meetings of stockholders. To recommend a nominee for election to the Board, a stockholder must submit his or her recommendation to our Secretary at our corporate offices at 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880. Such nomination must satisfy the notice, information and consent requirements set forth in our Bylaws and must be received by us prior to the date set forth under “Submission of Future Stockholder Proposals” below. A stockholder’s recommendation must be accompanied by the information with respect to stockholder nominees as specified in our Bylaws, including among other things, the name, age, address and occupation of the recommended person, the proposing stockholder’s name and address, the ownership interests of the proposing stockholder and any beneficial owner on whose behalf the nomination is being made (including the number of shares beneficially owned, any hedging, derivative, short or other economic interests and any rights to vote any shares) and any material monetary or other relationships between the recommended person and the proposing stockholder and/or the beneficial owners, if any, on whose behalf the nomination is being made.

 

In evaluating director nominees, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee considers the following factors:

 

 

the appropriate size and diversity of our Board;

 

 

our needs with respect to the particular knowledge, skills and experience of nominees, including experience in corporate finance, technology, business, administration and sales, in light of the prevailing business conditions and the knowledge, skills and experience already possessed by other members of the Board;

 

 

experience with accounting rules and practices, and whether such a person qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” pursuant to SEC rules; and

 

 

balancing continuity of our Board with periodic injection of fresh perspectives provided by new Board members.

 

Our Board believes that each director should have a basic understanding of our principal operational and financial objectives and plans and strategies, our results of operations and financial condition and our relative standing in relation to our competitors.

 

In identifying director nominees, the Board will first evaluate the current members of the Board willing to continue in service. Current members of the Board with skills and experience that are relevant to our business and who are willing to continue in service will be considered for re-nomination.

 

If any member of the Board does not wish to continue in service or if the Board decides not to re-nominate a member for re-election, the Board will identify another nominee with the desired skills and experience described above. The Board takes into consideration the overall composition and diversity of the Board and areas of expertise that director nominees may be able to offer, including business experience, knowledge, abilities and customer relationships. Generally, the Board will strive to assemble a Board that brings to us a variety of perspectives and skills derived from business and professional experience as it may deem are in our and our stockholders’ best interests. In doing so, the Board will also consider candidates with appropriate non-business backgrounds.

 

Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight

 

The Board is committed to promoting effective, independent governance of the Company. Our Board believes it is in the best interests of the stockholders and the Company for the Board to have the flexibility to select the best director to serve as chairman at any given time, regardless of whether that director is an independent director or the chief executive officer. Consequently, we do not have a policy governing whether the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer should be separate or combined. This decision is made by our board of directors, based on the best interests of the Company considering the circumstances at the time.

 

 

Currently, the positions of Chairman of the Board and principal executive officer are filled by one individual, Kenneth L. Londoner, coupled with a lead independent director position to further strengthen the leadership structure. The Board acknowledges that there are different leadership structures that could allow it to effectively oversee the management of the risks relating to the Company’s operations and believes its current leadership structure enables it to effectively provide oversight with respect to such risks. However, our Board believes the current structure provides an efficient and effective leadership model for the Company and that combining the Chairman of the Board and principal executive officer roles fosters clear accountability, effective decision-making and alignment on corporate strategy.

 

Moreover, the Board believes that its governance practices provide adequate safeguards against any potential risks that might be associated with having a combined Chairman and principal executive officer.

 

Specifically:

 

 

Eight of the nine current directors of the Company (six of the seven Company Nominees) are independent directors;

 

 

All of the members of the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are independent directors;

 

 

The Board and its committees regularly conduct scheduled meetings in executive session, out of the presence of Mr. Londoner and other members of management; and

 

 

The Board and its committees remain in close contact with, and receive reports on, various aspects of the Company’s management and enterprise risk directly from, the Company’s senior management and independent auditors.

 

Jeffrey F. O’Donnell has served as the lead independent director of the Company since January 2019. The lead independent director is primarily responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of the goals and objectives of the Company established by the Board, working with the Company’s sales and marketing team to develop a launch plan and go-to-market strategy, and communicating with the Board regarding progress at quarterly Board meetings. Our Audit Committee is primarily responsible for overseeing the Company’s risk management processes on behalf of the full Board. The Audit Committee receives reports from management concerning the Company’s assessment of risks. In addition, the Audit Committee reports regularly to the full Board, which also considers the Company’s risk profile. The Audit Committee and the full Board focus on the most significant risks facing the Company and the Company’s general risk management strategy. In addition, as part of its oversight of our Company’s executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee considers the impact of such program, and the incentives created by the compensation awards that it administers, on our Company’s risk profile. In addition, the Compensation Committee reviews all of our compensation policies and procedures, including the incentives that they create and factors that may reduce the likelihood of excessive risk taking, to determine whether they present a significant risk to our Company. The Compensation Committee has determined that, for all employees, our compensation programs do not encourage excessive risk and instead encourage behaviors that support sustainable value creation.

 

Communications with Directors

 

The Board welcomes communication from our stockholders. Stockholders and other interested parties who wish to communicate with a member or members of our Board or a committee thereof may do so by addressing correspondence to the Board member, members or committee, c/o Secretary, BioSig Technologies, Inc., 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880. Our Secretary will review and forward correspondence to the appropriate person or persons.

 

All communications received as set forth in the preceding paragraph will be opened by our Secretary for the sole purpose of determining whether the contents represent a message to our directors. Any contents that are not in the nature of advertising, promotions of a product or service or patently offensive material will be forwarded promptly to the addressee(s). In the case of communications to the Board or any group or committee of directors, our Secretary will make sufficient copies of the contents to send to each director who is a member of the group or committee to whom the communication is addressed. If the amount of correspondence received through the foregoing process becomes excessive, our Board may consider approving a process for review, organization and screening of the correspondence by our Secretary or another appropriate person.

 

Involvement in Certain Legal Proceedings

 

There have been no material legal proceedings that would require disclosure under the federal securities laws that are material to an evaluation of the ability or integrity of our directors or executive officers, or in which any director, officer, nominee or principal stockholder, or any affiliate thereof, is a party adverse to us or has a material interest adverse to us.

 

 

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

 

The following table presents the total compensation for each person who served as a non-employee director of our Board during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. Other than as set forth in the table and described more fully below, we did not pay any compensation, reimburse any expense of, make any equity awards or non-equity awards to, or pay any other compensation to any of the other members of our Board in such period.

 

Director Compensation Table I (excluding subsidiary awards)

 

2020

 

Name

 

Fees Earned

or Paid in

Cash ($)

   

Stock

Awards ($)

(1)

     

Option

Awards ($)

(1)

     

All Other

Compensation ($) (1)(2)

     

Total ($)

 

Donald E. Foley

  $ 50,000     $ - (3

)

  $ 178,194 (4

)

            $ 228,194  

Andrew L. Filler

  $ 50,000     $ - (5

)

  $ 267,291 (6

)

            $ 317,291  

Patrick J Gallagher

  $ 50,000     $ - (7

)

  $ 383,507 (8

)

            $ 433,507  

Jeffrey F O’Donnell, Sr

  $ 194,000     $ 527,003 (9

)

  $ 267,291 (10

)

  $ 300,000 (11 )   $ 1,288,294  

David Weild, IV

  $ 50,000     $ - (12 )   $ 267,291 (13

)

            $ 317,291  

Samuel E. Navarro

  $ 50,000     $ 713,000 (14

)

  $ 178,194 (15

)

  $ 300,000 (16 )   $ 1,241,194  

Martha Pease

  $ 50,000     $ - (17

)

  $ 178,194 (18

)

            $ 228,194  

Jerome Zeldis, M.D. Ph.D.*

  $ 37,500     $ 360,500 (19

)

  $ 178,194 (20

)

  $ 158,775 (21 )   $ 734,969  

Anthony Zook#

  $ 25,000     $ 356,000 (22

)

  $ - (23

)

  $ 28,750 (24 )   $ 409,750  

Total:

  $ 556,500     $ 1,956,503       $ 1,898,156       $ 787,525       $ 5,198,684  

 

(1)

In accordance with SEC rules, this column reflects the aggregate fair value of stock or option awards granted during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, computed as of their respective grant dates in accordance with Financial Accounting Standard Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 for share-based compensation transactions.

(2)

This column excludes the aggregate fair value of ViralClear stock and option awards granted during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. Please see Director Compensation Table II for additional information.

(3)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Foley had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(4)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Foley had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 199,000 shares of common stock.

(5)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Filler had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(6)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Filler had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 95,000 shares of common stock.

(7)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Gallagher had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(8)

Represents (i) a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030 and (ii) a stock option granted October 9, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Gallagher had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 232,211 shares of common stock.

(9)

Represents (i) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 6, 2020 and (ii) a restricted stock unit granted October 5, 2020 of 50,000 shares of common stock vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell had 50,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(10)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 221,240 shares of common stock.

(11)

Represents cash of $300,000 consulting fees.

(12)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Weild had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(13)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Weild had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 320,372 shares of common stock.

 

 

(14)

Represents (i) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 2, 2020 and (ii) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares on August 13, 2020.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Navarro had 25,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(15)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030 As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Navarro had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 79,000 shares of common stock.

(16)

Represents cash of $300,000 consulting fees.

(17)

As of December 31, 2020, Ms. Pease had 20,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(18)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Ms. Pease had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock.

(19)

Represents a restricted stock unit, dated July 14, 2020, of 50,000 shares of common stock vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

(20)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

(21)

Represents (i) salary from ViralClear of $155,929 and (ii) reimbursement of medical insurance of $2,846 from ViralClear. As of December 31, 2020, Dr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board.

(22)

Represents a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 10, 2020.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zook had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(23)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zook had no outstanding options representing the right to purchase shares of common stock.

(24)

Represents payments from ViralClear of $28,750 for consulting services.

 

* Effective as of October 29, 2020, Dr. Jerome Zeldis retired as a director of the Company.

# Mr. Zook was appointed to the Board on July 1, 2020.

 

The following table presents the total compensation for each person who served as a non-employee director of our Board during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, including the aggregate fair value of ViralClear stock or option awards granted during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. The ViralClear stock or option awards granted during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 were granted in connection with the development of merimepodib, a broad-spectrum anti-viral agent that showed potential for the treatment COVID-19. As disclosed on October 26, 2020, the Company announced that it no longer intended to further develop merimepodib, and as such, the fair value of the ViralClear stock and options are negligible.

 

Director Compensation Table II (including subsidiary awards)

 

2020

 

Name

 

Fees Earned

or Paid in

Cash ($)

   

Stock

Awards ($)

(1)

     

Option

Awards ($)

(1)

     

All Other

Compensation ($) (1)

(subsidiary awards)

     

All Other Compensation($) (1)

(other than subsidiary awards)

     

Total ($)

 

Donald E. Foley

  $ 50,000     $ - (2

)

  $ 178,194 (3

)

                      $ 228,194  

Andrew L. Filler

  $ 50,000     $ - (4

)

  $ 267,291 (5

)

                      $ 317,291  

Patrick J Gallagher

  $ 50,000     $ - (6

)

  $ 383,507 (7

)

                      $ 433,507  

Jeffrey F O’Donnell, Sr

  $ 194,000     $ 527,003 (8

)

  $ 267,291 (9

)

  $ 1,645,000 (10 )   $ 300,000 (11 )   $ 2,933,294  

David Weild, IV

  $ 50,000     $ - (12

)

  $ 267,291 (13

)

                      $ 317,291  

Samuel E. Navarro

  $ 50,000     $ 713,000 (14

)

  $ 178,194 (15

)

  $ 1,645,000 (16 )   $ 300,000 (17 )   $ 2,886,194  

Martha Pease

  $ 50,000     $ - (18

)

  $ 178,194 (19

)

                      $ 228,194  

Jerome Zeldis, M.D. Ph.D.*

  $ 37,500     $ 360,500 (20

)

  $ 178,194 (21

)

  $ 1,790,861 (22 )   $ 158,775 (23 )   $ 2,525,830  

Anthony Zook#

  $ 25,000     $ 356,000 (24

)

  $ - (25

)

  $ 466,998 (26 )   $ 28,750 (27 )   $ 876,748  
                                                         

Total:

  $ 556,500     $ 1,956,503       $ 1,898,156       $ 5,547,859       $ 787,525       $ 10,746,543  

 

 

(1)

In accordance with SEC rules, this column reflects the aggregate fair value of stock or option awards granted during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, computed as of their respective grant dates in accordance with Financial Accounting Standard Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 for share-based compensation transactions.

(2)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Foley had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(3)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Foley had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 199,000 shares of common stock.

(4)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Filler had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(5)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Filler had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 95,000 shares of common stock.

(6)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Gallagher had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(7)

Represents (i) a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030 and (ii) a stock option granted October 9, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Gallagher had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 232,211 shares of common stock.

(8)

Represents (i) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 6, 2020 and (ii) a restricted stock unit granted October 5, 2020 of 50,000 shares of common stock vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell had 50,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(9)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 221,240 shares of common stock.

(10)

Represents (i) a restricted stock unit, dated March 25, 2020, of 169,000 shares of ViralClear common stock, vesting immediately, and (ii) a restricted stock unit, dated March 30, 2020, for 160,000 shares of ViralClear common stock with 80,000 that will vest upon filing of Form S-1 for ViralClear and 80,000 that will vest upon completion of a spin-off of ViralClear. At December 31, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell had outstanding 329,000 restricted stock units representing rights to shares of ViralClear common stock.

(11)

Represents cash of $300,000 consulting fees.

(12)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Weild had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(13)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 75,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Weild had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 320,372 shares of common stock.

(14)

Represents (i) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 2, 2020 and (ii) a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares on August 13, 2020.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Navarro had 25,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(15)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030 As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Navarro had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 79,000 shares of common stock.

(16)

Represents (i) a restricted stock unit, dated March 25, 2020, of 169,000 shares of ViralClear common stock, vesting immediately and (ii) a restricted stock unit, dated March 30, 2020, for 160,000 shares of ViralClear common stock with 80,000 that will vest upon filing of Form S-1 for ViralClear and 80,000 that will vest upon completion of a spin-off of ViralClear. At December 31, 2020, Mr. Navarro had outstanding 329,000 restricted stock units representing rights to shares of ViralClear common stock.

(17)

Represents cash of $300,000 consulting fees.

(18)

As of December 31, 2020, Ms. Pease had 20,000 outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(19)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Ms. Pease had outstanding options representing the right to purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock.

(20)

Represents a restricted stock unit, dated July 14, 2020, of 50,000 shares of common stock vesting 1/3 on first anniversary, 2/3 quarterly for remaining 2 years.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

(21)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 50,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 per share and termination date of April 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

(22)

Represents a stock option granted by ViralClear on July 14, 2020 to purchase 426,333 shares of ViralClear common stock vesting immediately, at an exercise price of $5.00 and termination date of July 14, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Dr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

 

 

(23)

Represents (i) salary from ViralClear of $155,929 and (ii) reimbursement of medical insurance of $2,846 from ViralClear. As of December 31, 2020, Dr. Zeldis is no longer a member of the Board of Directors.

(24)

Represents a common stock award of 50,000 fully vested shares granted on July 10, 2020.  As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zook had no outstanding stock awards of shares of common stock.

(25)

As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zook had no outstanding options representing the right to purchase shares of common stock.

(26)

Represents (i) Payments from ViralClear of $28,750 for consulting services and (ii) a stock option granted by ViralClear on April 21, 2020 to purchase 100,000 shares of ViralClear common stock vesting quarterly for three years, at an exercise price of $5.00 and termination on April 21, 2030. As of December 31, 2020, Mr. Zook had outstanding ViralClear options representing the right to purchase 100,000 shares of ViralClear common stock.

(27) Represents payments from ViralClear of $28,750 for consulting services.

 

* Effective as of October 29, 2020, Dr. Jerome Zeldis retired as a director of the Company.

# Mr. Zook was appointed to the Board on July 1, 2020.

 

On December 21, 2018, the Board elected Jeffrey F. O’Donnell as lead independent director of the Company for a term of one (1) year, commencing January 1, 2019, or until his replacement is elected. For his services as lead director, Mr. O’Donnell received cash compensation of $12,000 per month in 2020, in addition to the compensation paid to Mr. O’Donnell as a member of the Board. On September 24, 2019, the Company, as the majority stockholder of ViralClear, approved the adoption of ViralClear Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2019 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “ViralClear Plan”), and compensation for certain of ViralClear’s executive officers and directors. Mr. O’Donnell also served as a director on the board of directors of ViralClear and has been granted awards under the ViralClear Plan. On March 25, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell was granted 169,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear’s common stock, vested immediately. On March 30, 2020, Mr. O’Donnell was granted 160,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear’s common stock with 50% that will vest upon filing of a Form S-1 for ViralClear and 50% that will vest upon successful spin-off of ViralClear, under the ViralClear Plan. In addition, Mr. O’Donnell received an aggregate of $300,000 cash payments, 50,000 shares of the Company’s common stock and 50,000 restricted stock units with 33% vesting on the one-year anniversary and 67% vesting quarterly thereafter over two years for consulting services.

 

On April 29, 2020, Dr. Zeldis was granted 426,333 options to purchase ViralClear common stock with an exercise price of $5.00 per share and expiration date of April 29, 2030, vesting immediately and on July 14, 2020, Dr. Zeldis was granted 50,000 restricted stock units of the Company with 33% vesting on the one-year anniversary and 67% vesting quarterly thereafter over two years, in addition to a salary and insurance reimbursements of $158,775 in 2020 for services as Chief Medical Officer of ViralClear.

 

Mr. Navarro was granted 169,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear’s common stock, vested immediately and on March 30, 2020 granted 160,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear’s common stock with 50% that will vest upon filing of a Form S-1 for ViralClear and 50% that will vest upon successful spin-off of ViralClear, under the ViralClear Plan. In addition, Mr. Navarro received an aggregate of $300,000 cash payments and 100,000 shares of the Company’s common stock for consulting services.

 

On October 9, 2020, Mr. Gallagher was granted 50,000 options to purchase the Company’s common stock at an exercise price of $5.03 per share for 10 years, with 33% vesting on one-year anniversary and 67% vesting quarterly thereafter over two years for consulting services.

 

On July 1, 2020, the Board appointed Anthony Zook as a director of the Company, effective as of the same date. For Mr. Zook’s service on the Board, Mr. Zook receives compensation consistent with market practices of similarly situated companies that is consistent with the Company’s non-employee director compensation policy as may be then in effect. In addition, Mr. Zook was granted 50,000 restricted stock awards, vested immediately. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Zook was granted 100,000 options to purchase ViralClear common stock at an exercise price of $5.00 and expiration date of April 21, 2030 vesting quarterly for three years and was paid advisory fees of $28,750.

 

Starting in January 2020, directors of the Company are entitled to receive $12,500 per quarter to attend board meetings in person and $7,500 per quarter if attended telephonically (although this was waived due to pandemic).

 

 

STOCK OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

 

The following table sets forth information regarding the beneficial ownership of our voting securities as of April 29, 2021 by (i) each person known to us to beneficially own five percent (5%) or more of any class of our voting securities; (ii) each of our named executive officers and directors; and (iii) all of our named directors and executive officers as a group. The percentages of voting securities beneficially owned are reported on the basis of regulations of the SEC governing the determination of beneficial ownership of securities. Under the rules of the SEC, a person is deemed to be a beneficial owner of a security if that person has or shares voting power, which includes the power to vote or to direct the voting of the security, or investment power, which includes the power to dispose of or to direct the disposition of the security. Except as indicated in the footnotes to this table, to our knowledge and subject to community property laws where applicable, each beneficial owner named in the table below has sole voting and sole investment power with respect to all shares beneficially owned and each person’s address is c/o BioSig Technologies, Inc, 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880. Percentage of common stock ownership is based on 32,143,531 shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of April 29, 2021. Percentage of Series C Preferred Stock ownership is based on 105 shares of Series C Preferred Stock issued and outstanding as of April 29, 2021.

 

Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC. For the purpose of calculating the number of shares beneficially owned by a stockholder and the percentage ownership of that stockholder, shares of common stock subject to options or warrants that are currently exercisable or exercisable within sixty (60) days of April 29, 2021 by that stockholder are deemed outstanding.

 

Name

  Number of Shares of Common Stock Beneficially Owned (1)    

Percentage Class (1) (2)

   

Number of Shares of Series C Preferred Stock Beneficially Owned

    Percentage Class (13)     Total Voting Power  

Directors and Named Executive Officers

                                         

Kenneth L. Londoner

    2,926,882 (3 )     9.08

%

                9.08

%

Anthony Zook

    50,000 (4 )     *                       *  

Samuel Navarro

    232,500 (5 )     *                   *  

Patrick J. Gallagher

    232,505 (6 )     *                   *  

Jeffrey F. O’Donnell, Sr.

    372,869 (7 )     1.15

%

                1.15

%

Steve Chaussy

    842,128 (8 )     2.62

%

                2.62

%

Andrew L. Filler

    195,008 (9 )     *                   *  

David Weild IV

    340,372 (10 )     1.05

%

                1.05

%

Donald E. Foley

    326,000 (11 )     1.01

%

                1.01

%

Martha Pease

    59,437 (12 )     *                   *  

All directors and executive officers as a group of ten persons

    5,597,701         16.23

%

                16.23

%

Series C Holders

                                         

Ray Weber

    21,597 (14 )     *       45       42.86

%

    *  

INTL FCStone Financial Inc C/F Raymond E Weber IRA

    16,874 (15 )     *       35       33.33

%

    *  

Martin F. Sauer

    12,053 (16 )             25       23.81

%

    *  

5% Beneficial Owners

                                         

BlackRock Inc.

    1,733,676 (17 )     5.38

%

                 

 

*

Less than 1%.

 

(1)

Shares of common stock beneficially owned and the respective percentages of beneficial ownership of common stock assume the exercise of all options and other securities convertible into common stock beneficially owned by such person or entity currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of April 29, 2021, except as otherwise noted. Shares issuable pursuant to the exercise of stock options and other securities convertible into common stock exercisable within 60 days are deemed outstanding and held by the holder of such options or other securities for computing the percentage of outstanding common stock beneficially owned by such person, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the percentage of outstanding common stock beneficially owned by any other person.

 

 

(2)

These percentages have been calculated based on 32,143,531 shares of common stock outstanding as of April 29, 2021.

 

(3)

Comprised of (i) 1,645,558 shares of common stock directly held by Mr. Londoner, (ii) 1,181,324 shares of common stock held by Endicott Management Partners, LLC, an entity for which Mr. Londoner is deemed the beneficial owner, (iii) options to purchase 100,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable. Mr. Londoner has sole voting and dispositive power over the securities held for the account of Endicott Management Partners, LLC.

 

(4)

Comprised of shares of common stock.

 

(5)

Comprised of (i) 128,500 shares of common stock, (ii) 25,000 restricted stock units that vest within 60 days of April 29, 2021, and (iii) options to purchase 79,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of April 29, 2021.

   

(6)

Comprised of (i) 45,494 shares of common stock directly held by Mr. Gallagher, (ii) 2,400 shares of common stock held by Amy E Gallagher Educational Trust for which Mr. Gallagher is deemed the beneficial owner with sole voting and dispositive power over the securities held by the trust, (iii) 2,400 shares of common stock held by Hans Gallagher Educational Trust for which Mr. Gallagher is deemed the beneficial owner with sole voting and dispositive power over the securities held by the trust, and (iv) options to purchase 182,211 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of April 29, 2021.

 

(7)

Comprised of (i) 151,629 shares of common stock and (ii) options to purchase 221,240 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable.

 

(8)

Comprised of (i) 830,128 shares of common stock and (ii) options to purchase 12,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable.

 

(9)

Comprised of (i) 98,808 shares of common stock, (ii) options to purchase 95,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable and (iii) warrants to purchase 1,200 shares of common stock.

 

(10)

Comprised of (i) 20,000 shares of common stock and (ii) options to purchase 320,372 shares of common stock that is currently exercisable.

 

(11)

Comprised of (i) 127,000 shares of common stock, (ii) options to purchase 199,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of April 29, 2021.

 

(12)

Comprised of (i) 29,437 shares of common stock, (ii) options to purchase 50,000 shares of common stock that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of April 29, 2021.

 

(13)

These percentages have been calculated based on 105 shares of Series C Preferred Stock outstanding as of April 29, 2021.

 

(14)

Comprised of shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of shares of our Series C Preferred Stock, including dividends accrued thereon as of April 29, 2021. Ray Weber may also be deemed beneficial owner of shares held by INTL FCStone Financial Inc C/F Raymond E Weber IRA. Mr. Weber’s address is 27 Zabriskie St., Jersey City, NJ 07307.

 

(15)

Comprised of shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of shares of our Series C Preferred Stock, including dividends accrued thereon as of April 29, 2021. This stockholder’s address is 27 Zabriskie St., Jersey City, NJ 07307.

 

(16)

Comprised of shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of shares of our Series C Preferred Stock, including dividends accrued thereon as of April 29, 2021. This stockholder’s address is 1028 Steeplechase Dr. Lancaster, PA 17601.

 

(17)

This information is derived from the Schedule 13G filed with the SEC on February 2, 2021, by BlackRock, Inc. According to this Schedule 13G, BlackRock, Inc. reported the following beneficial ownership in the Company’s common stock: sole voting power 1,722,671 shares, shared voting power 0 shares, sole dispositive power 1,722,671 shares, and shared dispositive power 0 shares. The address for BlackRock, Inc. is 55 East 52nd Street, New York, New York 10055.

 

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

 

Transactions with related persons are governed by our Code of Conduct and Ethics, which applies to all of our directors, officers and employees. This code covers a wide range of potential activities, including, among others, conflicts of interest, self-dealing and related party transactions. Waiver of the policies set forth in this code will only be permitted when circumstances warrant. Such waivers for directors and executive officers, or that provide a benefit to a director or executive officer, may be made only by our Board, as a whole, or the Audit Committee. Absent such a review and approval process in conformity with the applicable guidelines relating to the particular transaction under consideration, such arrangements are not permitted. All related party transactions for which disclosure is required to be provided herein were approved in accordance with our Code of Conduct and Ethics.

 

On November 1, 2017, in connection with Mr. Filler joining our Board, we entered into a Master Services Agreement (the “Agreement”) with 3LP Advisors LLC (d/b/a Sherpa Technology Group) (“Sherpa”) and an initial statement of work (the “SOW”), pursuant to which Sherpa will develop, execute and expand our intellectual property strategy over the course of the next approximately 18 months by evaluating the business and technology landscape in which the Company operates, and charting and executing a strategy of patent filing and licensing.

 

In connection with the SOW, the Company paid Sherpa a fee of (i) $200,000 in cash, of which $25,000 was paid on January 1, 2018, and the remainder was paid in the first quarter of 2018 upon completion of certain objectives, and (ii) a ten-year option to purchase up to 120,000 shares of the Company’s common stock at an exercise of $3.625 per share of common stock, of which 60,000 options vested immediately and 60,000 options vested at completion of performance-related conditions (subsequently, conditions met). The SOW has been subsequently extended through 2021 at a monthly rate of $15,000 per month. Mr. Filler is the general counsel and partner of Sherpa. During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company paid $266,863 and $279,030 as patent costs, consulting fees and expense reimbursements. As of December 31, 2020, and 2019, there was an unpaid balance of $15,000 and $27,623, respectively.

 

On March 30, 2020, the Company’s subsidiary, ViralClear, entered into an engagement agreement with Weild & Co, a FINRA-registered broker-dealer controlled by Mr. Weild, a member of our Board, to act as ViralClear’s non-exclusive agent to provide investment banking and financial advisory services to assist ViralClear in a potential financing transaction for an initial term of nine months.

 

In connection with the engagement agreement, ViralClear agreed to pay Weild & Co a 5% cash and a 5% warrant or other securities of the aggregate subscriptions placed by Weild & Co. No costs have been incurred as of the date of this filing. No cash or warrant fees have been paid under this agreement.

 

On March 24, 2020, ViralClear entered into the Asset Purchase Agreement with Trek Therapeutics, PBC, an entity controlled by Dr. Zeldis, who, at the time of the transaction, was a member of our Board.  Pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement, Trek sold to ViralClear all right, title and interest of Trek and its affiliates to certain assets. As consideration for the Purchased Assets, ViralClear agreed to pay Trek in upfront and milestone payments a combination of cash, shares of ViralClear’s common stock.

 

ViralClear Equity Awards

 

In connection with their respective role as a director and/or an executive officer of ViralClear, the individuals listed below were granted the following equity awards by ViralClear from January 1, 2020 to April 28, 2020.

 

On March 25, 2020, each of Mr. Navarro and Mr. O’Donnell was granted 169,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear, 100% which were fully vested on the date of grant.

 

On March 30, 2020, Mr. Londoner was granted 160,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear and Mr. Chaussy was granted 80,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear, 100% of which were fully vested on the date of grant. In addition, on March 30, 2020, each of Mr. Londoner, Mr. O’Donnell and Mr. Navarro was granted 160,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear, which will vest upon meeting certain milestones. Mr. Chaussy was also granted 80,000 restricted stock units of ViralClear, which will vest upon meeting certain milestones.

 

On April 28, 2020, Dr. Zeldis was granted an option to purchase up to 426,333 shares of common stock of ViralClear at an exercise price of $5.00 per share, 100% of which fully vested on the date of grant.

 

 

DELINQUENT SECTION 16(A) REPORTS

 

Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, requires our directors and officers, and persons who own more than ten percent of our common stock, to file with the SEC initial reports of ownership and reports of changes in ownership of our common stock.

 

To our knowledge, based solely on a review of the copies of such reports furnished to us, during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the following is the number of late reports filed since the beginning of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, under Section 16(a) and the number of transactions reflected therein as not reported on a timely basis during such fiscal year by such executive officers and directors:

 

 

One Form 4 was filed late for Mr. O’Donnell with respect to 1 transaction.

  ●  One Form 4 was filed late for Mr. Gallagher with respect to 1 transaction.

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

Compensation Philosophy and Practices

 

We believe that the performance of our executive officers significantly impacts our ability to achieve our corporate goals. We, therefore, place considerable importance on the design and administration of our executive officer compensation program. This program is intended to enhance stockholder value by attracting, motivating and retaining qualified individuals to perform at the highest levels and to contribute to our growth and success. Our executive officer compensation program is designed to provide compensation opportunities that are tied to individual and corporate performance.

 

Our compensation packages are also designed to be competitive in our industry. The Compensation Committee from time-to-time consults with other advisors in designing our compensation program, including in evaluating the competitiveness of individual compensation packages and in relation to our corporate goals.

 

Our overall compensation philosophy has been to pay our executive officers an annual base salary and to provide opportunities, through cash and equity incentives, to provide higher compensation if certain key performance goals are satisfied.

 

The main principles of our fiscal year 2020 compensation strategy included the following:

 

 

An emphasis on pay for performance. A significant portion of our executive officers’ total compensation is variable and at risk and tied directly to measurable performance, which aligns the interests of our executives with those of our stockholders;

 

Performance results are linked to Company and individual performance. When looking at performance over the year, we equally weigh individual performance as well as that of the Company as a whole. Target annual compensation is positioned to allow for above-median compensation to be earned through an executive officer’s and the Company’s extraordinary performance; and

 

Equity as a key component to align the interests of our executives with those of our stockholders. Our Compensation Committee continues to believe that keeping executives interests aligned with those of our stockholders is critical to driving toward achievement of long-term goals of both our stockholders and the Company.

 

The following table sets forth the names, ages and positions of our executive officers and certain significant employees as of April 29, 2021:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position with the Company

Kenneth L. Londoner

 

53

 

Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Director

Steve Chaussy

 

67

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

For information on the business background of Mr. Londoner, see page 7 of this Proxy Statement.

 

Steve Chaussy. Mr. Chaussy has served as our chief financial officer on a full-time basis since January 2018.  Mr. Chaussy served as our chief financial officer on a part time basis from May 2011 to January 2018. Mr. Chaussy has been serving as ViralClear’s chief financial officer, secretary and treasurer since November 2018. Since 2005, Mr. Chaussy has been the sole proprietor of Anna & Co., Inc., a consulting company that offers services to small publicly traded companies. Anna & Co., Inc. provides general financial and accounting services, with a special emphasis towards SEC reporting and compliance, to companies that lack sufficient resources to hire full-time employees to provide such services. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Chaussy provided services as both a chief financial officer and as a consultant to small publicly traded companies. Prior to 2001, Mr. Chaussy served as chief financial officer for a large private distribution and wholesaling company, where he gained international experience. Mr. Chaussy is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a licensed certified public accountant in Virginia, California and Florida.

 

 

Summary Compensation Table

 

The following table sets forth the names and positions of: (i) each person who served as our principal executive officer during the year ended December 31, 2020; (ii) our most highly compensated executive officer, other than our principal executive officer, who was serving as an executive officer, as determined in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC, as of December 31, 2020, with compensation of $100,000 or more, and (iii) an additional individual for whom disclosure would have been provided pursuant to clause (ii) but for the fact that the individual was not serving as our executive officer at December 31, 2020 (collectively our “Named Executive Officers”):  

 

Name and principal position

 

Year

 

Salary

($)

     

Bonus

($)

 

   

Stock Awards

($) (1)

     

Option

Awards ($)(1)

     

All Other

Compensation

($)

     

Total

($)

 

Kenneth L. Londoner, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Chairman and Director (18)

 

2020

    741,667 (2 )     395,000         1,600,000 (3 )     356,388 (4 )     62,000 (5 )     3,155,055  
   

2019

    700,000 (6 )     275,000         3,287,850 (7 )     737,500 (8 )     59,500 (9 )     5,059,850  

Steven Chaussy, Chief Financial Officer (19)

 

2020

    418,417 (10 )     340,000 (11

)

    800,000 (12 )     -         6,000 (13 )     1,564,417  
   

2019

    385,000 (14 )     82,500         1,158,500 (15 )     442,500 (16 )     4,750 (17 )     2,073,250  

 

(1)

In accordance with SEC rules, this column reflects the aggregate fair value of the stock awards or option awards, as applicable, granted during the respective fiscal year computed as of their respective grant dates in accordance with Financial Accounting Standard Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 for share-based compensation transactions. The assumptions made in the valuation of the share-based payments are contained in Notes 9 and 10 to our financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.

(2)

Represents (i) salary of $625,000 from Company and (ii) salary of $116,667 from ViralClear.

(3)

Represents (i) restricted stock unit, granted March 30, 2020, for 160,000 shares of ViralClear common stock, fully vested and (ii) a restricted stock unit, dated March 30, 2020, for 160,000 shares of ViralClear common stock with 80,000 vesting upon filing of Form S-1 for ViralClear and 80,000 vesting upon completion of a spin-off of ViralClear.

(4)

Represents a stock option granted April 14, 2020 for the purchase of 100,000 shares of common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $4.66 and termination date of April 14, 2030

(5)

Represents (i) director fees of $50,000 and (ii) $12,000 auto allowance in lieu for reimbursement of mileage.

(6)

Represents (i) salary of $625,000 from Company and (ii) salary of $75,000 from ViralClear.

(7)

Represents (i) common stock award of 240,000 fully vested shares granted on January 18, 2019, (ii) common stock award of 60,000 fully vested shares granted on July 8, 2019, (iii) common stock award of 30,000 fully vested shares granted on October 18, 2019 and (iv) common stock award of 225,000 fully vested shares granted on December 18, 2019.

(8)

Represents a stock option granted October 11, 2019 for the purchase of 250,000 shares of ViralClear common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $5.00 and termination date of October 11, 2029.

(9)

Represents (i) director fees of $50,000 and (ii) $9,500 auto allowance in lieu for reimbursement of mileage.

(10)

Represents (i) salary of $351,750 from Company and (ii) salary of $66,667 from ViralClear.

(11)

Represents (i) bonus of $290,000 from Company and (ii) bonus of $50,000 from ViralClear.

(12)

Represents a restricted stock unit, dated March 30, 2020, for 160,000 shares of ViralClear common stock with 80,000 vesting upon filing of Form S-1 for ViralClear and 80,000 vesting upon completion of a spin-off of ViralClear.

(13)

Represents an auto allowance in lieu of reimbursement for mileage.

(14)

Represents (i) salary of $335,000 from Company and (ii) salary of $50,000 from ViralClear.

(15)

Represents (i) common stock award of 100,000 fully vested shares granted on January 18, 2019, (ii) common stock award of 25,000 fully vested shares granted on July 8, 2019 and (iii) common stock award of 75,000 fully vested shares granted on December 18, 2019.

(16)

Represents a stock option granted October 11, 2019 for the purchase of 150,000 shares of ViralClear common stock, vesting immediately at an exercise price of $5.00 and termination date of October 11, 2029.

(17)

Represents an auto allowance in lieu of reimbursement for mileage.

(18)

Mr. Londoner served as our Executive Chairman and Director through the entirety of our last two fiscal years.  Mr. Londoner has served as our Chief Executive Officer since July 31, 2017.

(19)

Mr. Chaussy served as our Chief Financial Officer through the entirety of our last two fiscal years.  Mr. Chaussy has served as our Chief Financial Officer since January 1, 2018.

 

 

Narrative Disclosure to Summary Compensation Table

 

Executive Employment Agreements

 

Mr. Londoner and Mr. Chaussy are at-will employees and neither have an employment agreement with us. Additionally, we do not have any agreements that would provide for payment to any of Mr. Londoner or Mr. Chaussy following, or in connection with the resignation, retirement, or other termination of either of them, a change of control of us, or a change in either of their responsibilities following a change of control of us.

 

Mr. Londoner and Mr. Chaussy received additional equity awards during 2020 from ViralClear for their roles as executive officers at ViralClear. For more detailed discussion of such awards, please see under the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions” in this Proxy Statement.

 

Kenneth L. Londoner

 

Mr. Londoner’s salary, bonus and stock awards were determined by the Compensation Committee with consultation from members of the board of directors.

 

Mr. Londoner also serves as the director of ViralClear, and from September 24, 2019 to April 28, 2020 and again since October 30, 2020, Mr. Londoner serves as the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of ViralClear. Mr. Londoner receives $150,000 annually from ViralClear for his services (which was partially paid in 2020). Mr. Londoner has received and may be granted awards under the ViralClear Plan.

 

Steve Chaussy

 

Mr. Chaussy’s salary, bonus and stock awards were determined by the chairman of the board with consultation from members of the board of directors.

 

Steve Chaussy also serves as the chief financial officer of ViralClear and, commencing on September 24, 2019, receives an annual salary of $100,000 from ViralClear (which was partially paid in 2020). Mr. Chaussy has received and may be granted awards under the ViralClear Plan.

 

Retirement Plans

 

As part of our overall compensation program, we provide all full-time employees, including our named executive officers, with the opportunity to participate in a defined contribution 401(k) plan. Our 401(k) plan is intended to qualify under Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code so that employee pre-tax contributions and income earned on such contributions are not taxable to employees until withdrawn. Employees may elect to defer up to 100 percent of their eligible compensation (not to exceed the statutorily prescribed annual limit) in the form of elective deferral contributions to our 401(k) plan. Our 401(k) plan also has a “catch-up contribution” feature for employees aged 50 or older (including those who qualify as “highly compensated” employees) who can defer amounts over the statutory limit that applies to all other employees.

 

Employee Benefits and Perquisites

 

Along with all other full-time employees, Mr. Londoner and Mr. Chaussy are eligible to participate in our health and welfare plans which are comprised of medical, vision, life, and dental insurance benefits and an FSA plan.

 

No Tax Gross-Ups

 

We do not make gross-up payments to cover our executives’ personal income taxes that may pertain to any of the compensation paid by us.

 

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

 

The following table sets forth information regarding equity awards that have been previously awarded to each of the named executive officers and which remained outstanding as of December 31, 2020.

 

Name

 

Number of Securities underlying Unexercised Options (#) Exercisable

   

Number of Securities underlying Unexercised Options (#) Unexercisable

   

Option Exercise Price ($/Sh)

 

Option Expiration Date

 

Number of Shares or Units of Stock that have not Vested (#)

   

Market Value of Shares of Units That Have Not Vested ($)

   

Equity Incentive Plan Awards: Number of Unearned Shares, Units or Other Rights that Have Not Vested (#)

   

Equity Incentive Plan Awards: Market of Payout Value of Unearned Shares, Units or Other Rights that Have Not Vested ($)

 

Kenneth

   

100,000

(1)

   

-

   

$

4.66

 

4/14/2030

   

-

   

$

-

     

-

   

$

-

 

Londoner

                                                         
                                                           

Steven

   

12,000

(2)

   

-

   

$

5.23

 

6/11/2023

   

-

   

$

-

     

-

   

$

-

 

Chaussy

                                                         

 

(1) Each of these options vested immediately

(2) Each of these options vested immediately

 

BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan

 

On October 19, 2012, our board of directors adopted the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2012 Plan”), which provides for the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock and restricted stock units to employees, directors and consultants, to be granted from time to time as determined by our board of directors or its designees. Our stockholders approved the 2012 Plan on October 17, 2012. The 2012 Plan was amended as of September 29, 2013 to, among other things, increase the number of shares of our common stock authorized under the plan. The 2012 Plan was amended seven subsequent times (as of September 29, 2013, October 14, 2014, May 5, 2015, May 22, 2015, November 18, 2016, July 30, 2018, November 18, 2019 and June 26, 2020 to increase the number of shares of our common stock authorized under the plan. An aggregate of 11,974,450 shares of common stock are reserved for issuance under the 2012 Plan, and, as of April 29, 2020, there were 1,320,565 shares remaining available for future issuance of awards under the 2012 Plan. As of April 29, 2021, the number of shares issuable upon exercise of outstanding options and underlying restricted stock awards granted under the 2012 Plan are 9,526,533. The Incentive Plan will expire by its terms ten (10) years from the earlier of the date of its adoption by our Board and its approval by our stockholders. For description of the 2012 Plan, see “Proposal 2: Approval of the Ninth Amendment to the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.”

 

ViralClear Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2019 Equity Incentive Plan

 

On September 24, 2019, the board of directors (the “ViralClear Board”) of ViralClear approved the ViralClear Plan, subject to stockholder approval, which provides for the grant of incentive stock options, nonqualified stock options, stock appreciation rights (“SARs”), restricted stock, and restricted stock units to key employees, key contractors, and outside directors of ViralClear, to be granted from time to time as determined by the ViralClear Board or its designee. An aggregate of 4,000,000 shares of the ViralClear common stock are reserved for issuance under the ViralClear Plan. The material features of the ViralClear Plan are described below.

 

Purpose.  The purpose of the ViralClear Plan is to enable ViralClear to attract and retain the services of key employees, key contractors, and outside directors of ViralClear and its subsidiaries and to provide such persons with a proprietary interest in ViralClear. The ViralClear Plan provides for the granting of incentive stock options, nonqualified stock options, SARs, restricted stock, and restricted stock units, which may be granted singly, in combination, or in tandem; which may be paid in cash, shares of common stock, or a combination of cash and shares of common stock, as described in more detail below; and which will increase the interest of such persons in ViralClear’s welfare, furnish an incentive to such persons to continue their services for ViralClear or its subsidiaries, and provide a means through which ViralClear may attract able persons as employees, contractors, and outside directors.

 

 

Effective Date and Expiration The ViralClear Plan became effective on September 24, 2019 and will continue in effect for a term of 10 years, unless earlier terminated by the ViralClear Board.

 

Share Authorization. Subject to certain adjustments, the maximum aggregate number of shares of our common stock that may be delivered pursuant to awards under the ViralClear Plan is currently 4,000,000 shares, 100% of which may be delivered pursuant to incentive stock options.

 

Shares to be issued may be made available from authorized but unissued common stock, common stock held by ViralClear in its treasury, or common stock purchased by ViralClear on the open market or otherwise. During the term of the ViralClear Plan, ViralClear will at all times reserve and keep available the number of shares of common stock sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the ViralClear Plan. If an award under the ViralClear Plan is forfeited, expires, or is canceled, in whole or in part, then the number of shares of common stock covered by the award or stock option so forfeited, expired, or canceled may again be awarded pursuant to the provisions of the ViralClear Plan. In the event that previously acquired shares of common stock are delivered to ViralClear in full or partial payment of the exercise price for the exercise of a stock option granted under the ViralClear Plan, the number of shares of common stock available for future awards under the ViralClear Plan shall be reduced only by the net number of shares of common stock issued upon the exercise of the stock option. Awards that may be satisfied either by the issuance of shares of common stock or by cash or other consideration shall be counted against the maximum number of shares of common stock that may be issued under the ViralClear Plan only during the period that the award is outstanding or to the extent the award is ultimately satisfied by the issuance of shares of common stock. Awards will not reduce the number of shares of common stock that may be issued pursuant to the ViralClear Plan if the settlement of the award will not require the issuance of shares of common stock, as, for example, a SAR that can be satisfied only by the payment of cash. Notwithstanding any provisions of the ViralClear Plan to the contrary, only shares forfeited back to ViralClear, shares canceled on account of termination, expiration or lapse of an award, shares surrendered in payment of the exercise price of a stock option or shares withheld for payment of applicable employment taxes and/or withholding obligations resulting from the exercise of an option shall again be available for grant of incentive stock options under the ViralClear Plan, but shall not increase the maximum number of shares of common stock that may be delivered pursuant to awards under the ViralClear Plan as the maximum number of shares of common stock that may be delivered pursuant to incentive stock options.

 

Administration. The ViralClear Plan may be administered by our ViralClear Board or such committee of the ViralClear Board as is designated by it to administer the ViralClear Plan (the “Committee”).  The ViralClear Board or the Committee will determine and designate the persons to whom awards are to be made and set forth the award period, date of grant, terms, provisions, limitations, and performance requirements of awards. The Committee will determine whether an award shall include one type of equity incentive, two or more equity incentives granted in combination, or two or more equity incentives granted in tandem. The ViralClear Board may authorize one or more officers of ViralClear to designate one or more employees as eligible persons to whom nonqualified stock options, incentive stock options, or SARs will be granted under the ViralClear Plan and determine the number of shares of common stock that will be subject to such stock options, incentive stock options, or SARs. The Committee will interpret the ViralClear Plan and award agreements; prescribe, amend, and rescind any rules and regulations, as necessary or appropriate for the administration of the ViralClear Plan; and establish performance goals for an award and certify the action as it deems necessary or advisable in the administration of the ViralClear Plan. The Committee may delegate to officers of ViralClear the authority to perform specified functions under the ViralClear Plan. With respect to restrictions in the ViralClear Plan that are based on the requirements of Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the rules of any exchange or inter-dealer quotation system upon which ViralClear’s securities are listed or quoted, or any other applicable law, to the extent that any such restrictions are no longer required by applicable law, the Committee shall have the sole discretion and authority to grant awards that are not subject to such mandated restrictions and/or to waive any such mandated restrictions with respect to outstanding awards. Subject to the provisions of the ViralClear Plan, the ViralClear Board and Committee’s decisions, determinations, and interpretations will be final, binding, and conclusive on all ViralClear Plan participants and any other award holders.

 

Eligibility. Employees (including any employee who is also a director or an officer), contractors, and outside directors of ViralClear whose judgment, initiative, and efforts contributed to, or may be expected to contribute to, the successful performance of ViralClear are eligible to participate in the ViralClear Plan, provided that only employees of a corporation shall be eligible to receive incentive stock options. 

 

 

Grant of Awards. The grant of an award shall be authorized by the Committee and shall be evidenced by an award agreement setting forth the applicable award being granted; the total number of shares or units to be granted; the price to be paid, if any; the award period; the date of grant; and such other terms, provisions, limitations, and performance objectives, as are approved by the Committee. The Company shall execute an award agreement with a participant after the Committee approves the issuance of an award. Any award granted pursuant to the ViralClear Plan must be granted within 10 years of the date of adoption of the ViralClear Plan by the ViralClear Board. The ViralClear Plan shall be submitted to ViralClear’s stockholders for approval; however, the Committee may grant awards under the ViralClear Plan prior to the time of stockholder approval. Any such award granted prior to such stockholder approval shall be made subject to such stockholder approval. The grant of an award to a participant shall not be deemed either to entitle the participant to, or to disqualify the participant from, receipt of any other award under the ViralClear Plan. If the Committee establishes a purchase price for an award, the participant must accept such award within a period of 30 days (or such shorter period as the Committee may specify) after the date of grant by executing the applicable award agreement and paying such purchase price. Any award under the ViralClear Plan that is settled in whole or in part in cash on a deferred basis may provide for interest equivalents to be credited with respect to such cash payment. Interest equivalents may be compounded and shall be paid upon such terms and conditions as may be specified by the grant.

 

Stock Options. The Committee may grant either incentive stock options, qualifying under Section 422 of the Code, or nonqualified stock options, provided that only employees of ViralClear are eligible to receive incentive stock options. The option price for any share of common stock which may be purchased under a nonqualified stock option for any share of common stock must be equal to or greater than the fair market value of such share on the date of grant. The option price for any share of common stock which may be purchased under an incentive stock option must be at least equal to the fair market value of such share on the date of grant. If an incentive stock option is granted to an employee who owns or is deemed to own more than 10% of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of ViralClear (or any parent or subsidiary), the option price shall be at least 110% of the fair market value of our common stock on the date of grant. No dividends may be paid or granted with respect to any stock option. No stock option shall be granted with a term of greater than 10 years from its date of grant; however, if an employee owns or is deemed to own more than 10% of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of ViralClear (or any parent or subsidiary), and an incentive stock option is granted to such employee, the term of such incentive stock option shall be no more than five years from the date of grant. The Committee may not grant incentive stock options under the ViralClear Plan to any employee that would permit the aggregate fair market value (determined on the date of grant) of the common stock with respect to which incentive stock options (under the ViralClear Plan and any other plan of ViralClear and its subsidiaries) are exercisable for the first time by such employee during any calendar year to exceed $100,000. To the extent any stock option granted under the ViralClear Plan that is designated as an incentive stock option exceeds this limit or otherwise fails to qualify as an incentive stock option, such stock option (or any such portion thereof) shall be a nonqualified stock option. In such case, the Committee shall designate which stock will be treated as incentive stock option stock by causing the issuance of a separate stock certificate and identifying such stock as incentive stock option stock on ViralClear’s stock transfer records.

 

If a stock option is exercisable prior to the time it is vested, the common stock obtained on the exercise of the stock option shall be restricted stock that is subject to the applicable provisions of the ViralClear Plan and the award agreement. If the Committee imposes conditions upon exercise, then subsequent to the date of grant, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, accelerate the date on which all or any portion of the stock option may be exercised. No stock option may be exercised for a fractional share of common stock. The granting of a stock option shall impose no obligation upon the participant to exercise that stock option. The Committee will determine the manner in which recipients of stock options may pay the option exercise price, which may include payment by cash or check, bank draft, or money order payable to the order of ViralClear; by delivery of common stock owned by the participant on the exercise date, valued at its fair market value on the exercise date, and which the participant has not acquired from ViralClear within six months prior to the exercise date; by delivery (including by FAX or electronic transmission) to ViralClear or its designated agent of an executed irrevocable option exercise form (or, to the extent permitted by ViralClear, exercise instructions, which may be communicated in writing, telephonically, or electronically) together with irrevocable instructions from the participant to a broker or dealer, reasonably acceptable to ViralClear, to sell certain of the shares of common stock purchased upon exercise of the stock option or to pledge such shares as collateral for a loan and promptly deliver to ViralClear the amount of sale or loan proceeds necessary to pay such purchase price; by requesting ViralClear to withhold the number of shares otherwise deliverable upon exercise of the stock option by the number of shares of Common Stock having an aggregate fair market value equal to the aggregate option price at the time of exercise (i.e., a cashless net exercise); and/or in any other form of valid consideration that is acceptable to the Committee in its sole discretion.

 

 

Stock Appreciation Rights. The Committee may grant SARs to any participant, either as a separate award or in connection with a stock option, and impose terms and conditions on such SARs. A SAR may be exercised by the delivery (including by FAX) of written notice to the Committee setting forth the number of shares of common stock with respect to which the SAR is to be exercised and the exercise date, which shall be at least three days after giving such notice, unless an earlier time shall have been mutually agreed upon. The grant of the SAR may provide that the holder may be paid for the value of the SAR either in cash, in shares of common stock, or a combination thereof. In the event of the exercise of a SAR payable in shares of common stock, the holder of the SAR shall receive that number of whole shares of common stock having an aggregate fair market value on the date of exercise equal to the value obtained by multiplying the difference between the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date of exercise over the SAR price as set forth in such SAR (or other value specified in the agreement granting the SAR), by the number of shares of common stock as to which the SAR is being exercised, with a cash settlement to be made for any fractional shares of common stock. The SAR price for any share of common stock subject to a SAR may be equal to or greater than the fair market value of such share on the date of grant. The Committee, in its sole discretion, may place a ceiling on the amount payable upon exercise of a SAR, but any such limitation shall be specified at the time the SAR is granted.

 

Restricted Stock. Restricted stock consists of shares of our common stock that may not be sold, transferred, pledged, assigned, or otherwise alienated or hypothecated and that may be forfeited in the event of certain terminations of employment or service prior to the end of a restricted period, as specified by the Committee in the applicable award agreement.  The Committee may, in its sole discretion, remove any or all of the restrictions on such restricted stock. The Committee will set forth in the award agreement: the number of shares of common stock awarded; the price, if any, to be paid by the participant for such restricted stock and the method of payment of the price; the time or times within which such award may be subject to forfeiture; specified performance goals of ViralClear, a subsidiary, any division thereof or any group of employees of ViralClear, or other criteria, which the Committee determines must be met in order to remove any restrictions (including vesting) on such award; and all other terms, limitations, restrictions, and conditions applicable to the restricted stock.

 

Restricted Stock Units. Restricted stock units are the right to receive shares of common stock, cash, or a combination thereof at a future date in accordance with the terms of such grant upon the attainment of certain conditions specified by the Committee, which include a substantial risk of forfeiture and restrictions on their sale or other transfer by the participant. Restricted stock units shall be subject to such restrictions as the Committee determines, including, without limitation, a prohibition against sale, assignment, transfer, pledge, hypothecation, or other encumbrance for a specified period of time or a requirement that the holder forfeit (or in the case of shares of common stock or units sold to the participant, resell to ViralClear at cost) such shares or units in the event of termination of employment or service during the applicable period of restriction.

 

Vesting, Forfeiture, Assignment. The Committee, in its sole discretion, may determine that an award will be immediately vested, in whole or in part, or that all or any portion may not be vested until a date, or dates, subsequent to its date of grant, or until the occurrence of one or more specified events, subject in any case to the terms of the ViralClear Plan. If the Committee imposes conditions upon vesting, then, except as otherwise provided below, subsequent to the date of grant, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, accelerate the date on which all or any portion of the award may be vested.

 

The Committee may impose on any award, at the time of grant or thereafter, such additional terms and conditions as the Committee determines. Except as otherwise provided in the particular award agreement, upon termination of service during the applicable restriction period, nonvested shares of restricted stock shall be forfeited by the participant.

 

Incentive stock options may not be transferred, assigned, pledged, hypothecated, or otherwise conveyed or encumbered other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution and may be exercised during the lifetime of the participant only by the participant or the participant’s legally authorized representative, and each award agreement in respect of an incentive stock option shall so provide, except that the Committee may waive or modify such limitation that is not required for compliance with Section 422 of the Code. Other awards granted under the ViralClear Plan generally may not be transferred, assigned, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise conveyed or encumbered other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may, in its discretion, authorize all or a portion of a nonqualified stock option or SAR to be granted to a participant on terms which permit transfer by such participant to the spouse (or former spouse), children, or grandchildren of the participant (“Immediate Family Members”); a trust or trusts for the exclusive benefit of such Immediate Family Members; a partnership in which the only partners are such Immediate Family Members and/or entities which are controlled by the participant and/or Immediate Family Members; an entity exempt from federal income tax pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Code or any successor provision; or a split interest trust or pooled income fund described in Section 2522(c)(2) of the Code or any successor provision, provided that there shall be no consideration for any such transfer; the award agreement pursuant to which such nonqualified stock option or SAR is granted must be approved by the Committee and must expressly provide for transferability in a manner consistent with the ViralClear Plan; and subsequent transfers of transferred nonqualified stock options or SARs shall be prohibited except those by will or the laws of descent and distribution. Following any transfer, any such nonqualified stock option and SAR shall continue to be subject to the same terms and conditions as were applicable to such award immediately prior to transfer. The events of termination of service shall continue to be applied with respect to the original participant, following which the nonqualified stock options and SARs shall be exercisable or convertible by the transferee only to the extent and for the periods specified in the applicable award agreement. The Committee and ViralClear shall have no obligation to inform any transferee of a nonqualified stock option or SAR of any expiration, termination, lapse, or acceleration of such stock option or SAR. The Company shall have no obligation to register with any federal or state securities commission or agency any common stock issuable or issued under a nonqualified stock option or SAR that has been transferred by a participant under the ViralClear Plan.

 

 

Capital Adjustments. In the event that any dividend or other distribution (whether in the form of cash, common stock, other securities, or other property), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, rights offering, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, split-off, combination, subdivision, repurchase, or exchange of common stock or other securities of ViralClear, issuance of warrants or other rights to purchase common stock or other securities of ViralClear, or other similar corporate transaction or event affects the fair value of an award, then the Committee shall adjust any or all of the following so that the fair market value of the award immediately after the transaction or event is equal to the fair market value of the award immediately prior to the transaction or event: the number of shares and type of common stock (or the securities or property) which thereafter may be made the subject of awards; the number of shares and type of common stock (or other securities or property) subject to outstanding awards; the number of shares and type of common stock (or other securities or property) specified as the annual per-participant limitation; the option price of each outstanding award; the amount, if any, ViralClear pays for forfeited shares of common stock; and the number of or SAR price of shares of common stock then subject to outstanding SARs previously granted and unexercised under the ViralClear Plan, to the end that the same proportion of ViralClear’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock in each instance shall remain subject to exercise at the same aggregate SAR price; provided, however, that the number of shares of common stock (or other securities or property) subject to any award shall always be a whole number. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no such adjustment shall be made or authorized to the extent that such adjustment would cause the ViralClear Plan or any stock option to violate Section 422 of the Code or Section 409A of the Code, and such adjustments shall be made in accordance with the rules of any securities exchange, stock market, or stock quotation system to which ViralClear is subject.

 

Amendment or Discontinuance of the ViralClear Plan. The ViralClear Board may at any time and from time to time, without the consent of participants, alter, amend, revise, suspend, or discontinue the ViralClear Plan in whole or in part, except that we will obtain stockholder approval of any ViralClear Plan amendment to the extent necessary and desirable to comply with the requirements relating to the administration of equity-based awards under U.S. state corporate laws, U.S. federal and state securities laws, the Code, any stock exchange or quotation system on which our common stock is listed or quoted, and the applicable laws of any foreign country or jurisdiction where awards are, or will be, granted under the ViralClear Plan. Any amendments made shall, to the extent deemed necessary or advisable by the Committee, be applicable to any outstanding awards theretofore granted under the ViralClear Plan, notwithstanding any contrary provisions contained in any award agreement. In the event of any such amendment to the ViralClear Plan, the holder of any award outstanding under the ViralClear Plan shall, upon request of the Committee and as a condition to the exercisability thereof, execute a conforming amendment in the form prescribed by the Committee to any award agreement relating thereto. Notwithstanding anything contained in the ViralClear Plan to the contrary, unless required by law, no action contemplated or permitted by the ViralClear Board or Committee for the alteration, amendment, revision, suspension, or termination of the ViralClear Plan shall adversely affect any rights of participants or obligations of ViralClear to participants with respect to any award theretofore granted under the ViralClear Plan without the consent of the affected participant.

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

The following table provides certain information as of December 31, 2020, with respect to our equity compensation plans under which our equity securities are authorized for issuance:

 

Plan category

 

Number of

securities to

be issued

upon

exercise of

outstanding

options

(a)

   

Weighted-

average

exercise

price of

outstanding

options

(b)

   

Securities remaining

available for future

issuance under equity

compensation plans

(excluding securities

reflected in column (a))

(c)

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders(1)

    3,568,497     $ 5.59       2,629,172  

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders(2)

    1,527,666     $ 5.00       1,051,618  

Total

    5,096,163     $ 5.41       3,680,790  

 

(1) Represents shares available for issuance under the 2012 Plan.

(2) Represents shares available for issuance under the ViralClear Plan.

 

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE MATTERS

 

Audit Committee Report

 

The Audit Committee assists the Board in its general oversight of the Company’s financial reporting processes. The Audit Committee Charter describes in greater detail the full responsibilities of the Audit Committee. During each fiscal year, the Audit Committee reviews the Company’s financial statements, management reports, internal control over financial reporting and audit matters. In connection with these reviews, the Audit Committee meets with management and independent public accountants at least once each quarter. The Audit Committee schedules its meetings with a view to ensuring that it devotes appropriate attention to all of its tasks. These meetings include, whenever appropriate, executive sessions in which the Audit Committee meets separately with the independent public accountants, financial management personnel and legal counsel.

 

As part of its review of audit matters, the Audit Committee supervises the relationship between the Company and its independent registered public accountants, including: having direct responsibility for their appointment, compensation and retention; reviewing the scope of their audit services; approving audit and non-audit services; and confirming the independence of the independent public accountants. Together with senior members of the Company’s financial management team, the Audit Committee reviewed the overall audit scope and plans of the independent public accountants, the results of external audit examinations, and evaluations by management of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and the quality of the Company’s financial reporting.

 

In addition, the Audit Committee reviewed key initiatives and programs aimed at designing and maintaining an effective internal and disclosure control structure. As part of this process, the Audit Committee continued to monitor the scope and adequacy of the steps taken to maintain the effectiveness of internal procedures and controls.

 

In performing all of these functions, the Audit Committee acts in an oversight capacity. The Audit Committee reviews and discusses the quarterly and annual consolidated financial statements with management, and the Company’s independent public accountants prior to their issuance. In its oversight role, the Audit Committee relies on the work and assurances of the Company’s management, which is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, preparing the financial statements and other reports and maintaining policies relating to legal and regulatory compliance, ethics and conflicts of interest. Liggett & Webb, P.A. is responsible for performing an independent audit of the consolidated financial statements and expressing an opinion on the conformity of those financial statements with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The Audit committee has reviewed and discussed the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements and related footnotes for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the independent auditor’s report on those financial statements, with management and with our independent auditor, Friedman, LLP.

 

The Audit Committee has reviewed with the independent public accountants the matters required to be discussed by the applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the SEC including a discussion with management and the independent public accountants of the quality (and not merely the acceptability) of the Company’s accounting principles, the reasonableness of significant estimates and judgments and the disclosures in the Company’s financial statements. In addition, the Audit Committee reviewed and discussed with Friedman LLP matters related to its independence, including a review of audit and non-audit fees and the written disclosures in the letter from Friedman LLP to the Audit Committee required by applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding the independent public accountant’s communication with the Audit Committee concerning independence. The Audit Committee concluded that Friedman LLP is independent from the Company and its management.

 

Taking all these reviews and discussions into account, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board that the audited financial statements be included in BioSig’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2020, for filing with the SEC.

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

David Weild IV, Chairman

Patrick J. Gallagher

Jeffrey F. O’Donnell, Sr.

 

 

The Report of the Audit Committee set forth in this Proxy Statement shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C under the Exchange Act or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act. In addition, it shall not be deemed incorporated by reference by any statement that incorporates this Proxy Statement by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates this information by reference.

 

Change in Registrants Certifying Accountant

 

On June 24, 2020, the Audit Committee approved the dismissal of Liggett & Webb, P.A. as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, effective as of June 24, 2020, and informed Liggett & Webb, P.A. of such dismissal on the date thereof.

 

Liggett & Webb, P.A.’s audit reports on the consolidated financial statements of the Company for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2019, did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles, except for the audit report on the consolidated financial statements of the Company as of and for the year ended December 31, 2018, which included an explanatory paragraph describing conditions that raise substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern.

 

During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2019, and through June 24, 2020, the date of Liggett & Webb, P.A.’s dismissal, there were no disagreements, as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K, with Liggett & Webb, P.A. on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreement, had it not been resolved to the satisfaction of Liggett & Webb, P.A., would have caused Liggett & Webb, P.A. to make reference thereto in its reports on the Company’s consolidated financial statements for such periods. During the same periods, there were no “reportable events,” as that term is described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K.

 

At the time of its dismissal, we provided Liggett & Webb, P.A. with a copy of the above disclosure and requested that Liggett & Webb, P.A. furnish the Company with a letter addressed to the SEC stating whether or not it agreed with the statements made by the Company above. A copy of Liggett & Webb’s letter dated June 26, 2020, is attached as Exhibit 16.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 26, 2020.

 

On June 24, 2020, the Audit Committee approved the engagement of Friedman LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm.

 

Prior to the appointment of Friedman LLP, neither the Company nor anyone on its behalf had consulted with Friedman LLP with respect to (i) the application of accounting principles to any specified transaction, either completed or proposed or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on the Company’s consolidated financial statements, and neither a written report nor oral advice was provided to the Company that Friedman LLP concluded was an important factor considered by the Company in reaching a decision as to any accounting, auditing, or financial reporting issue, or (ii) any matter that was either the subject of a “disagreement,” as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K, or a “reportable event,” as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K. 

 

Fees to Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms

 

The following is a summary of the fees billed to us by Friedman LLP and Liggett & Webb, P.A. for professional services rendered in the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:

 

   

2020

   

2019

 

Audit Fees

  $ 147,206     $ 79,500  

Audit-Related Fees

    78,250       17,500  

Tax Fees

    10,750       5,000  

All Other Fees

    85,000        

Total Fees

  $ 321,206     $ 102,000  

 

Audit Fees. This category includes the audit of our annual consolidated financial statements, reviews of our financial statements included in our Form 10-Qs and services that are normally provided by our independent registered public accounting firm in connection with its engagements for those years. This category also includes advice on audit and accounting matters that arose during, or as a result of, the audit or the review of our interim financial statements.

 

Audit-Related Fees. This category consists of assurance and related services by our independent registered public accounting firm that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of our financial statements and are not reported above under “Audit Fees.” The services for the fees disclosed under this category include consents regarding equity issuances.

 

 

Tax Fees. This category typically consists of professional services rendered by our independent registered public accounting firm for tax compliance and tax advice.

 

All Other Fees. This category includes aggregate fees billed in each of the last two fiscal years for products and services provided by Friedman LLP or Liggett & Webb, P.A., other than the services reported in the categories above.

 

Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

 

Our audit committee pre-approves all auditing services and all permitted non-auditing services (including the fees and terms thereof) to be performed by our independent registered public accounting firm, except for de minimis non-audit services that are approved by the audit committee prior to the completion of the audit. The audit committee may form and delegate authority to subcommittees consisting of one or more members when appropriate, including the authority to grant pre-approvals of audit and permitted non-auditing services, provided that decisions of such subcommittee to grant pre-approval is presented to the full audit committee at its next scheduled hearing.

 

 

PROPOSAL 2: APPROVAL OF THE NINTH AMENDMENT TO THE BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2012 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

 

Our Board is seeking the approval of our stockholders of an amendment to the 2012 Plan, which was adopted by our Board on September 24, 2019, subject to stockholder approval (the “Ninth Amendment”). The 2012 Plan was originally approved by our Board on October 19, 2012, and by our stockholders on October 17, 2012. Under the 2012 Plan as originally adopted, we reserved 2,000,000 shares of our common stock, plus (i) any shares of our common stock that had previously been reserved for issuance, but had not been so issued, pursuant to awards under the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2011 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “2011 Plan”) and (ii) any shares of common stock subject to stock options or similar awards under the 2011 Plan that (x) expire or otherwise terminate without having been exercised in full or (y) are forfeited to or repurchased by the Company (with the maximum number of shares to be added pursuant to (x) and (y) equal to 1,500,000 shares), for a total of 3,500,000 shares of our common stock that could be issued pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan. The 2012 Plan has been amended seven times, six of which amendments increased the number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan. The First Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by 2,506,123 shares, to a total of 6,006,123 shares of our common stock. The Second Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,800,000 shares, to a total of 8,806,123 shares of our common stock. The Third Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,880,000 shares, to a total of 11,686,123 shares of our common stock. The Fourth Amendment to the 2012 Plan revised the plan’s definition of fair market value for purposes of certain awards granted under the 2012 Plan. The Fifth Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 3,500,000 shares, to a total of 15,186,123 shares of our common stock. The Sixth Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 3,500,000 shares, to a total of 18,686,123 shares of our common stock available for issuance under the 2012 Plan. On September 10, 2018, the Company effected a 1-for-2.5 reverse stock split, such that after giving effect to the reverse stock split there were 7,474,450 shares of our common stock available for issuance under the 2012 Plan. The Seventh Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,000,000 shares, to a total of 9,474,450 shares of our common stock. The Eighth Amendment to the 2012 Plan increased the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,500,000 shares, to a total of 11,974,450 shares of our common stock. As of April 29, 2021, there were 1,320,565 shares remaining available for future issuance of awards under the 2012 Plan. The Ninth Amendment would further increase the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,500,000 shares, to a total of 14,474,450 shares of our common stock.

 

We believe that operation of the 2012 Plan is a necessary and powerful tool in enabling us to attract and retain the best available personnel for positions of substantial responsibility; to provide additional incentive to employees, consultants, and directors; and to promote the success of our business. The 2012 Plan is expected to provide flexibility to our compensation methods in order to adapt the compensation of employees, consultants, and directors to a changing business environment, after giving due consideration to competitive conditions and the impact of federal tax laws. We have strived to use our 2012 Plan resources effectively and to maintain an appropriate balance between stockholder interests and the ability to recruit and retain valuable employees. However, we believe that there is an insufficient number of shares remaining under our 2012 Plan to meet our current and projected needs. Accordingly, it is the judgment of our Board that the Ninth Amendment is in the best interest of the Company and its stockholders. We believe that the Ninth Amendment, which increases the number of shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan, reflects best practices in our industry and is appropriate to permit the grant of equity awards at expected levels for the future.

 

A copy of the Ninth Amendment and the 2012 Plan, as amended by the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth amendments, are included as Annex A and Annex B, respectively, to this Proxy Statement. Described below is a summary of certain key provisions of the 2012 Plan, which is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the 2012 Plan.

 

The Board recommends that the stockholders vote “FOR” the approval of the Ninth Amendment.

 

 

Summary of the Proposed Ninth Amendment

 

Our Board adopted the Ninth Amendment on April 28, 2021, subject to stockholder approval, to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for issuance pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan by an additional 2,500,000 shares, to a total of 14,474,450 shares of common stock (which includes 1,500,000 shares of our common stock previously reserved for issuance for awards under the 2011 Plan, but never so issued, or which expired or were terminated, forfeited, or repurchased by the Company).

 

Description of the 2012 Plan

 

Purpose. The purpose of the 2012 Plan is to enable the Company to attract and retain the best available personnel for positions of substantial responsibility; to provide additional incentive to employees, directors, and consultants; and to promote the success of the Company’s business. The 2012 Plan provides for the granting of incentive stock options, nonstatutory stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, and restricted stock units, which may be granted singly, in combination, or in tandem, and which may be paid in cash, shares of common stock, or a combination of cash and shares of common stock, as described in more detail below. The 2012 Plan is expected to provide flexibility to our compensation methods in order to adapt the compensation of employees, consultants, and directors to a changing business environment, after giving due consideration to competitive conditions and the impact of tax laws.

 

Effective Date and Expiration. The 2012 Plan became effective on October 19, 2012, subject to and conditioned upon stockholder approval of the 2012 Plan and will continue in effect for a term of 10 years from the later of (a) the 2012 Plan’s effective date of October 19, 2012, or (b) the earlier of the most recent Board or stockholder approval of an increase in the number of shares reserved for issuance under the 2012 Plan.

 

Share Authorization. Subject to certain adjustments, the maximum aggregate number of shares of our common stock that may be delivered pursuant to awards under the 2012 Plan is currently 11,974,450 shares (which includes 1,500,000 shares of our common stock previously reserved for issuance for awards under the 2011 Plan, but never so issued, or which expired or were terminated, forfeited, or repurchased by the Company), 100% of which may be delivered pursuant to incentive stock options. If the Ninth Amendment is approved, the total number of shares that may be issued pursuant to awards will be increased by 2,500,000 shares for a total of 14,474,450 shares.

 

Shares to be issued may be made available from authorized but unissued or reacquired shares of our common stock. During the term of the 2012 Plan, we will at all times reserve and keep enough shares available to satisfy the requirements of the 2012 Plan. If an award under the 2012 Plan is cancelled, forfeited to or repurchased by the Company; expires (in whole or in part); or is surrendered pursuant to an “Exchange Program” (as defined in the 2012 Plan), the shares subject to such cancelled, forfeited, repurchased, expired, or surrendered award may again be awarded under the 2012 Plan. With respect to stock appreciation rights, only shares of common stock actually issued pursuant to a stock appreciation right will cease to be available under the 2012 Plan, with the remaining shares of common stock subject to the stock appreciation right remaining available for future awards under the 2012 Plan. If shares of common stock are delivered to the Company in full or partial payment of the exercise price of a stock option or the tax withholding obligations related to awards granted under the 2012 Plan, the number of shares available for future awards under the 2012 Plan shall be reduced only by the net number of shares issued upon the exercise of the stock option or settlement of an award. Awards that may be satisfied either by the issuance of common stock or by cash or other consideration shall be counted against the maximum number of shares that may be issued under the 2012 Plan only to the extent the award is ultimately satisfied by the issuance of shares.

 

Administration. The 2012 Plan may be administered by our Board or one or more of its committees as may be designated by the Board to administer the 2012 Plan (the “Administrator”). The Administrator will determine the persons to whom awards are to be made; determine the fair market value, form, type, size, and terms of awards; construe and interpret the 2012 Plan and awards granted thereunder; prescribe, amend, and rescind rules and regulations relating to the 2012 Plan; modify or amend awards; institute and determine the terms and conditions of any Exchange Program; allow participants to satisfy withholding tax obligations in any manner permitted by the terms of the 2012 Plan; authorize any person to execute on behalf of the Company an instrument required to effect the grant of an award; allow a participant to defer the receipt of the payment of cash or the delivery of shares that otherwise would be due to such participant under an award, to the extent permitted under Code Section 409A; and make any other determinations it believes necessary for the administration of the 2012 Plan. Subject to the provisions of the 2012 Plan, the Administrator’s decisions, determinations, and interpretations will be final and binding on all plan participants and any other award holders.

 

Eligibility. Employees (including any employee who is also a director or an officer), consultants, and non-employee directors of the Company who render services to the Company are eligible to participate in the 2012 Plan. As of April 29, 2021, there were approximately 52 employees, 7 directors, and 11 consultants who would be eligible for awards under the 2012 Plan.

 

 

Stock Options. The Administrator may grant either incentive stock options (“ISOs”) qualifying under Code Section 422, or nonstatutory stock options, provided that only employees of the Company and its subsidiaries (excluding subsidiaries that are not corporations) are eligible to receive ISOs. Stock options may not be granted with an option price less than 100% of the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date the stock option is granted. If an ISO is granted to an employee who owns or is deemed to own more than 10% of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (or any parent or subsidiary), the option price shall be at least 110% of the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date of grant. The Administrator will determine the terms of each stock option at the time of grant, including, without limitation, the methods by or forms in which shares will be delivered to participants. The maximum term of each option, the times at which each option will be exercisable, and provisions requiring forfeiture of unexercised options at or following a termination of employment or service generally are fixed by the Administrator, except that the Administrator may not grant stock options with a term exceeding ten years or, in the case of an ISO granted to an employee who owns or is deemed to own more than 10% of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (or any parent or subsidiary), a term exceeding five years.

 

The Administrator will determine the manner in which recipients of stock options may pay the option exercise price, which may include payment: (i) by cash, check, or promissory note, to the extent permitted by applicable laws; (ii) in shares of our common stock, provided such shares have a fair market value equal to the aggregate exercise price of the options exercised, and provided further that accepting such shares will not result in any adverse tax consequences to the Company, as the Administrator may determine it its sole discretion; (iii) under a cashless exercise program (whether through a broker or otherwise); (iv) by net exercise; (v) by such other methods of payment for the issuance of shares of common stock, to the extent permitted by applicable laws; or (vi) any combination of the foregoing.

 

Stock Appreciation Rights. The Administrator is authorized to grant stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) as a stand-alone award, or freestanding SARs, or in conjunction with options granted under the 2012 Plan, or tandem SARs. SARs entitle a participant to receive an amount, in cash, shares, or a combination thereof, equal to the excess of the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date of exercise over the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date of grant. The grant price of a SAR cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of a share of common stock on the date of grant. The Administrator will determine the terms of each SAR at the time of grant, including, without limitation, the methods by or forms in which shares will be delivered to participants. The maximum term of each SAR, the times at which each SAR will be exercisable, and provisions requiring forfeiture of unexercised SARs at or following a termination of employment or service generally are fixed by the Administrator, except that no freestanding SAR may have a term exceeding ten years and no tandem SAR may have a term exceeding the term of the option granted in conjunction with the tandem SAR.

 

Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units. The Administrator is authorized to grant restricted stock and restricted stock units. Restricted stock consists of shares of common stock that may not be sold, transferred, pledged, assigned, or otherwise alienated or hypothecated, and that may be forfeited in the event of certain terminations of employment or service prior to the end of the restricted period as specified by the Administrator in the applicable award agreement. Restricted stock units are the right to receive shares of common stock, cash, or a combination thereof at a future date in accordance with the terms of such grant upon the attainment of certain conditions specified by the Administrator, which include a substantial risk of forfeiture and restrictions on their sale or other transfer by the participant. The Administrator determines the eligible participants to whom, and the time or times at which, grants of restricted stock or restricted stock units will be made; the number of shares or units to be granted; the price to be paid, if any; the time or times within which the shares covered by such grants will be subject to forfeiture; the time or times at which the restrictions will terminate; and all other terms and conditions of the grants. Restrictions or conditions could include, but are not limited to, the attainment of certain Company-wide, business unit, or individual goals (including, without limitation, continued employment with or service to the Company), or any other basis determined by the Administrator in its discretion.

 

Vesting, Forfeiture, Assignment. The Administrator, in its sole discretion, may determine that an award will be immediately vested in whole or in part, or that all or any portion may not be vested until a date, or dates, subsequent to its date of grant, or until the occurrence of one or more specified events, subject in any case to the terms of the 2012 Plan. If the Administrator imposes conditions upon vesting, then, except as otherwise provided below, subsequent to the date of grant, the Administrator may, in its sole discretion, accelerate the date on which all or any portion of the award may be vested.

 

The Administrator may impose on any award at the time of grant or thereafter, such additional terms and conditions as the Administrator determines, including, without limitation, terms requiring forfeiture of awards in the event of a participant’s termination of employment or service. Except as otherwise determined by the Administrator, restricted stock will be forfeited upon a participant’s termination of employment or service during the applicable restriction period.

 

 

Awards granted under the 2012 Plan generally may not be sold, pledged, assigned, hypothecated, or otherwise transferred in any manner except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution, except that the Administrator may, in its discretion and pursuant to the terms of an award agreement, permit transfers of awards (i) by will, (ii) by the laws of descent and distribution, or (iii) as permitted by Rule 701 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

Adjustments Upon Changes in Capitalization. In the event that any dividend or other distribution (whether in the form of cash, common stock, other securities, or other property), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, combination, repurchase, or exchange of shares of common stock or other securities of the Company, or other change in the corporate structure of the Company affecting shares of common stock occurs, then the Administrator, in order to prevent diminution or enlargement of the benefits or potential benefits intended to be made available under the 2012 Plan, will adjust the number and class of shares of common stock that may be delivered under the 2012 Plan and/or the number, class, and price of shares of common stock covered by each outstanding award. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no such adjustment shall be made or authorized to the extent that such adjustment would cause the 2012 Plan or any stock option to violate Section 422 or Section 409A of the Code. All such adjustments must be made in accordance with the rules of any securities exchange, stock market, or stock quotation system to which the Company is subject.

 

Amendment or Discontinuance of the 2012 Plan. The Board may at any time and from time to time, without the consent of the participants, alter, amend, revise, suspend, or discontinue the 2012 Plan in whole or in part, except that the Company will obtain stockholder approval of any plan amendment to the extent necessary and desirable to comply with the requirements relating to the administration of equity-based awards under state corporate laws, federal and state securities laws, the Code, any securities exchange, stock market, or quotation system on which our common stock is listed or quoted, and the applicable laws of any foreign country or jurisdiction where awards are, or will be, granted under the 2012 Plan. Any amendments made shall, to the extent deemed necessary or advisable by our Board, be applicable to any outstanding awards theretofore granted under the 2012 Plan, notwithstanding any contrary provisions contained in any award agreement, provided that no amendment, alteration, suspension, or termination of the 2012 Plan will impair the rights of any participant unless mutually agreed to between the participant and the Administrator in a writing signed by both the participant and an authorized representative of the Company. Termination of the 2012 Plan will not affect the Administrator’s ability to exercise its powers granted under the 2012 Plan with respect to awards granted under the 2012 Plan prior to the date of its termination.

 

Federal Income Tax Consequences

 

The following is a brief summary of certain federal income tax consequences relating to the transactions described under the 2012 Plan as set forth below. This summary does not purport to address all aspects of federal income taxation and does not describe state, local, or foreign tax consequences. This discussion is based upon provisions of the Code and the Treasury Regulations issued thereunder, and judicial and administrative interpretations under the Code and the Treasury Regulations, all as in effect as of the date hereof, and all of which are subject to change (possibly on a retroactive basis) or different interpretation.

 

Law Affecting Deferred Compensation. In 2004, Section 409A was added to the Code to regulate all types of deferred compensation. If the requirements of Section 409A of the Code are not satisfied, deferred compensation and earnings thereon will be subject to tax as it vests, plus an interest charge at the underpayment rate plus 1% and a 20% penalty tax. Certain stock options, SARs, restricted stock units, and certain types of restricted stock are subject to Section 409A of the Code.

 

Incentive Stock Options. A participant will not recognize income at the time an ISO is granted. When a participant exercises an ISO, a participant also generally will not be required to recognize income (either as ordinary income or capital gain). However, to the extent that the fair market value (determined as of the date of grant) of the shares with respect to which the participant’s ISOs are exercisable for the first time during any year exceeds $100,000, the ISOs for the shares over $100,000 will be treated as nonstatutory stock options, and not ISOs, for federal tax purposes, and the participant will recognize income as if the ISOs were nonstatutory stock options. In addition to the foregoing, if the fair market value of the shares received upon exercise of an ISO exceeds the exercise price, then the excess may be deemed a tax preference adjustment for purposes of the federal alternative minimum tax calculation. The federal alternative minimum tax may produce significant tax repercussions depending upon the participant’s particular tax status.

 

The tax treatment of any shares acquired by exercise of an ISO will depend upon whether the participant disposes of his or her shares prior to the later of (i) two years after the date the ISO was granted and (ii) one year after the shares were transferred to the participant (referred to as, the “Holding Period”). If a participant disposes of shares acquired by exercise of an ISO after the expiration of the Holding Period, any amount received in excess of the participant’s tax basis for such shares will be treated as short-term or long-term capital gain, depending upon how long the participant has held the shares. If the amount received is less than the participant’s tax basis for such shares, the loss will be treated as short-term or long-term capital loss, depending upon how long the participant has held the shares.

 

 

If the participant disposes of shares acquired by exercise of an ISO prior to the expiration of the Holding Period, the disposition will be considered a disqualifying disposition. If the amount received for the shares is greater than the fair market value of the shares on the exercise date, then the difference between the ISO’s exercise price and the fair market value of the shares at the time of exercise will be treated as ordinary income for the tax year in which the disqualifying disposition occurs. The participant’s basis in the shares will be increased by an amount equal to the amount treated as ordinary income due to such “disqualifying disposition.” In addition, the amount received in such disqualifying disposition over the participant’s increased basis in the shares will be treated as capital gain. However, if the price received for shares acquired by exercise of an ISO is less than the fair market value of the shares on the exercise date and the disposition is a transaction in which the participant sustains a loss which otherwise would be recognizable under the Code, then the amount of ordinary income that the participant will recognize is the excess, if any, of the amount realized on the “disqualifying disposition” over the basis of the shares.

 

Nonstatutory Stock Options. A participant generally will not recognize income at the time a nonstatutory stock option is granted. When a participant exercises a nonstatutory stock option, the difference between the option price and any higher market value of the shares of common stock on the date of exercise will be treated as compensation taxable as ordinary income to the participant. The participant’s tax basis for the shares acquired under a nonstatutory stock option will be equal to the option price paid for such shares, plus any amounts included in the participant’s income as compensation. When a participant disposes of shares acquired by exercise of a nonstatutory stock option, any amount received in excess of the participant’s tax basis for such shares will be treated as short-term or long-term capital gain, depending upon how long the participant has held the shares. If the amount received is less than the participant’s tax basis for such shares, the loss will be treated as short-term or long-term capital loss, depending upon how long the participant has held the shares.

 

Special Rule if Option Price is Paid for in Shares. If a participant pays the option price of a nonstatutory stock option with previously-owned shares of our common stock and the transaction is not a disqualifying disposition of shares previously acquired under an ISO, the shares received equal to the number of shares surrendered are treated as having been received in a tax-free exchange. The participant’s tax basis and holding period for these shares received will be equal to the participant’s tax basis and holding period for the shares surrendered. The shares received in excess of the number of shares surrendered will be treated as compensation taxable as ordinary income to the participant to the extent of such shares’ fair market value. The participant’s tax basis in such shares will be equal to their fair market value on the date of exercise, and the participant’s holding period for such shares will begin on the date of exercise.

 

If the use of previously acquired shares to pay the exercise price of a nonstatutory stock option constitutes a disqualifying disposition of shares previously acquired under an ISO, the participant will have ordinary income as a result of the disqualifying disposition in an amount equal to the excess of the fair market value of the shares surrendered, determined at the time such shares were originally acquired on exercise of the ISO, over the aggregate option price paid for such shares. As discussed above, a disqualifying disposition of shares previously acquired under an ISO occurs when the participant disposes of such shares before the end of the Holding Period. The other tax results from paying the exercise price with previously-owned shares are as described above, except that the participant’s tax basis in the shares that are treated as having been received in a tax-free exchange will be increased by the amount of ordinary income recognized by the participant as a result of the disqualifying disposition.

 

Restricted Stock. A participant who receives a grant of restricted stock generally will recognize as ordinary income the excess, if any, of the fair market value of the shares granted as restricted stock at such time as the shares are no longer subject to forfeiture or restrictions, over the amount paid, if any, by the participant for such shares. However, a participant who receives restricted stock may make an election under Section 83(b) of the Code within 30 days of the date of transfer of the shares to recognize ordinary income on the date of transfer of the shares equal to the excess of the fair market value of such shares (determined without regard to the restrictions on such shares) over the purchase price, if any, paid for such shares. If a participant does not make an election under Section 83(b) of the Code, then the participant will recognize as ordinary income any dividends received with respect to such shares. At the time of the sale of such shares, any gain or loss realized by the participant will be treated as either short-term or long-term capital gain (or loss) depending on how long the participant has held the shares. For purposes of determining any gain or loss realized, the participant’s tax basis will be the amount previously taxable as ordinary income, plus the purchase price paid by the participant, if any, for such shares.

 

Stock Appreciation Rights. Generally, a participant who receives a stand-alone SAR will not recognize taxable income at the time the stand-alone SAR is granted, provided that the SAR is exempt from or complies with Section 409A of the Code. If an employee receives the appreciation inherent in the SARs in cash, the cash will be taxed as ordinary income to the recipient at the time it is received. If a recipient receives the appreciation inherent in the SARs in stock, the spread between the then current fair market value of the shares and the grant price, if any, will be taxed as ordinary income to the employee at the time it is received. In general, there will be no federal income tax deduction allowed to us upon the grant or termination of SARs. However, upon the exercise of a SAR, we will be entitled to a deduction equal to the amount of ordinary income the recipient is required to recognize as a result of the exercise.

 

 

Restricted Stock Units. In the case of an award of restricted stock units, the recipient will generally recognize ordinary income in an amount equal to any cash received and the fair market value of any shares received on the date of payment or delivery, provided that the award is exempt from or complies with Section 409A of the Code. In that taxable year, we will receive a federal income tax deduction in an amount equal to the ordinary income which the participant has recognized.

 

Federal Tax Withholding. Any ordinary income realized by a participant upon the exercise of an award under the 2012 Plan is subject to withholding of federal, state, and local income tax and to withholding of the participant’s share of tax under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. To satisfy federal income tax withholding requirements, we will have the right to require that, as a condition to delivery of cash, any certificates for shares of common stock, or the registration of the shares in the participant’s name, as applicable, the participant remit to us an amount sufficient to satisfy the withholding requirements.

 

Such payment may be made in whole or in part by: (i) paying cash; (ii) electing to have the Company withhold otherwise deliverable shares of common stock that have a fair market value equal to the minimum statutory amount required to be withheld; (iii) delivering to the Company shares of the Company’s common stock already owned by the participant that have a fair market value equal to the statutory amount required to be withheld, provided the delivery of such shares will not result in any adverse accounting consequences to the Company, as the Administrator may determine in its sole discretion; or (iv) selling a sufficient number of shares of common stock otherwise deliverable to the participant through such means as the Administrator may determine in its sole discretion (whether through a broker or otherwise) equal to the amount required to be withheld.

 

Withholding does not represent an increase in the participant’s total income tax obligation, since it is fully credited toward his or her tax liability for the year. Additionally, withholding does not affect the participant’s tax basis in the shares. Compensation income realized and tax withheld will be reflected on Forms W-2 supplied by the Company to employees by January 31 of the succeeding year. Deferred compensation that is subject to Section 409A of the Code will be subject to certain federal income tax withholding and reporting requirements.

 

Tax Consequences to the Company. To the extent that a participant recognizes ordinary income in any of the circumstances described above, we will be entitled to a corresponding tax deduction provided that, among other things, the income meets the test of reasonableness, is an ordinary and necessary business expense, is not an “excess parachute payment” within the meaning of Section 280G of the Code, and is not disallowed by the $1,000,000 limitation on certain executive compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code.

 

Million Dollar Deduction Limit and Other Tax Matters. We may not deduct compensation of more than $1,000,000 that is paid to “covered employees” (as defined in Section 162(m) of the Code), which include (i) an individual (or, in certain circumstances, his or her beneficiaries) who, at any time during the taxable year, is either our principal executive officer or principal financial officer; (ii) an individual who is among our three highest compensated officers for the taxable year (other than an individual who was either our principal executive officer or principal financial officer at any time during the taxable year); or (iii) anyone who was a covered employee for purposes of Section 162(m) of the Code for any tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2017. This limitation on deductions (x) only applies to compensation paid by a publicly-traded corporation (and not compensation paid by non-corporate entities) and (y) may not apply to certain types of compensation, such as qualified performance-based compensation that is payable pursuant to a written, binding contract that was in effect as of November 2, 2017 (each, a “Grandfathered Award”), so long as the contract is not materially modified after that date. To the extent that compensation is payable pursuant to any Grandfathered Awards, and if we determine that Section 162(m) of the Code will apply to any such Grandfathered Award, the Company intends to construe and interpret and operate the 2012 Plan so that the terms of the Grandfathered Award will not be materially modified and will be constructed so as to constitute qualified performance-based compensation and, as such, will be exempt from the $1,000,000 limitation on deductible compensation.

 

If an individual’s rights under the 2012 Plan are accelerated as a result of a change in control and the individual is a “disqualified individual” under Section 280G of the Code, the value of any such accelerated rights received by such individual may be included in determining whether or not such individual has received an “excess parachute payment” under Section 280G of the Code, which could result in (i) the imposition of a 20% federal excise tax (in addition to federal income tax) payable by the individual on the value of such accelerated rights; and (ii) the loss by the Company of a compensation deduction.

 

New Plan Benefits

 

With respect to the increased number of shares reserved under the 2012 Plan pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, we cannot currently determine the benefits or number of shares subject to awards that may be granted in the future to eligible participants under the 2012 Plan because the grant of awards and terms of such awards are to be determined in the sole discretion of the Administrator.

 

The market value of our common stock is $3.68 per share based on the closing price of our common stock on April 29, 2021.

 

 

Vote Required

 

The affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares of our voting securities represented in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting entitled to vote on such proposal that cast a vote for, against, or abstain from such proposal is required for the approval of the Ninth Amendment.

 

The Board recommends that a vote FOR approval of the Ninth Amendment.

 

 

 

 

 

PROPOSAL 3: RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF FRIEDMAN LLP AS OUR INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE 2021 FISCAL YEAR

 

The Audit Committee of the Board has selected Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021, and the Board has directed that management submit the selection of independent registered public accountants for ratification by the stockholders at the Annual Meeting.

 

Stockholder ratification of the selection of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm is not required by our Bylaws or otherwise. However, the Board is submitting the selection of Friedman LLP to the stockholders for ratification as a matter of good corporate practice. If the stockholders fail to ratify the selection, the Audit Committee will reconsider whether or not to retain Friedman LLP. Even if the selection is ratified, the Audit Committee, at its discretion, may direct the appointment of a different independent registered public accounting firm at any time during the year if it determines that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders.

 

Required Vote and Board Recommendation

 

The affirmative vote of a majority of the shares present cast for or against the proposal is required to ratify the appointment of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. If your shares are held by a broker and you do not give the broker specific instructions on how to vote your shares, your broker may vote your shares at its discretion. Abstentions will have no effect on the outcome of the vote on this proposal.

 

 

 

The Board recommends a vote FOR the ratification of Friedman LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2021 fiscal year.

 

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

The Board knows of no other business to be brought before the Annual Meeting. If, however, any other business should properly come before the Annual Meeting, the persons named in the accompanying proxy will vote the proxy in accordance with applicable law and as they may deem appropriate in their discretion, unless directed by the proxy to do otherwise.

 

SUBMISSION OF FUTURE STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALS

 

Pursuant to Rule 14a-8 under the Exchange Act (“Rule 14a-8”), a stockholder who intends to present a proposal at our 2022 Annual Meeting and who wishes the proposal to be included in the proxy statement and form of proxy for that meeting must submit the proposal in writing no later than December 31, 2021, after which date such stockholder proposal will be considered untimely. Such proposal must be submitted on or before the close of business to our corporate offices at 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880, Attn: Secretary.

 

Stockholders wishing to nominate a director or submit proposals to be presented directly at the 2022 Annual Meeting instead of by inclusion in next year’s proxy statement must follow the submission criteria and deadlines set forth in our Bylaws concerning stockholder nominations and proposals. Stockholder nominations for director and other proposals that are not to be included in such materials must be received by our Secretary in writing at our corporate offices at 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880 no earlier than February 14, 2022 and no later than the close of business on March 16, 2022. Any such stockholder proposals or nominations for director must also satisfy the requirements set forth in our Bylaws. To be eligible for inclusion in our proxy materials, stockholder proposals must also comply with the requirements of Rule 14a-8. Stockholders are also advised to review our Bylaws, which contain additional advance notice requirements, including requirements with respect to advance notice of stockholder proposals and director nominations. A proxy granted by a stockholder will give discretionary authority to the proxies to vote on any matters introduced pursuant to the above advance notice provisions in the Bylaws, subject to applicable rules of the SEC.

 

A copy of our 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K, is available without charge (except for exhibits, which are available upon payment of a reasonable fee) upon written request to BioSig Technologies, Inc., Attention: Investor Relations, 54 Wilton Road, 2nd Floor, Westport, Connecticut 06880.

 

 

Annex A

 

NINTH AMENDMENT

TO THE

BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2012 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

 

This NINTH AMENDMENT TO THE BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2012 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN (this “Amendment”), effective as of [ ], 2021, is made and entered into by BioSig Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”). Terms used in this Amendment with initial capital letters that are not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings ascribed to such terms in the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (the “Plan”).

 

RECITALS

 

WHEREAS, Section 18 of the Plan provides that the Board may amend the Plan at any time; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board desires to amend the Plan, to increase the number of shares of Common Stock that may be delivered pursuant to Awards under the Plan by an additional two million five hundred thousand shares (2,500,000).

 

NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Section 18 of the Plan the Company hereby amends the Plan as follows:

 

1.     Section 3(a) of the Plan is hereby amended by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new Section 3(a):

 

(a)      Stock Subject to the Plan. Subject to the provisions of Section 13 of the Plan, the maximum aggregate number of Shares that may be subject to Awards and sold under the Plan is 14,474,450 Shares, plus (i) any Shares that, as of the date of stockholder approval of this Plan, have been reserved but not issued pursuant to any awards granted under the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2011 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “2011 Plan”) and are not subject to any awards granted thereunder, and (ii) any Shares subject to stock options or similar awards granted under the 2011 Plan that expire or otherwise terminate without having been exercised in full and Shares issued pursuant to awards granted under the 2011 Plan that are forfeited to or repurchased by the Company, with the maximum number of Shares to be added to the Plan pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) equal to 1,500,000 Shares. The Shares may be authorized but unissued, or reacquired Common Stock.

 

2.      Except as expressly amended by this Amendment, the Plan shall continue in full force and effect in accordance with the provisions thereof.

 

[Remainder of Page Intentionally Left Blank;

Signature Page Follows.]

 

 

 

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has caused this Amendment to be duly executed as of the date first written above.

 

BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

 

 

 

By:                                            

Name:                                         

Title:                                         

 

 

 

 

 

Annex B

 

BIOSIG TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 2012 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN AS AMENDED BY THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH, SEVENTH AND EIGHTH AMENDMENTS

 

1. Purposes of the Plan.  The purposes of this Plan are:

 

●to attract and retain the best available personnel for positions of substantial responsibility,

 

●to provide additional incentive to Employees, Directors and Consultants, and

 

●to promote the success of the Company’s business.

 

The Plan permits the grant of Incentive Stock Options, Nonstatutory Stock Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units.

 

2. Definitions.  As used herein, the following definitions will apply:

 

(a) “Administrator” means the Board or any of its Committees as will be administering the Plan, in accordance with Section 4 of the Plan.

 

(b) “Applicable Laws” means the requirements relating to the administration of equity-based awards under U.S. state corporate laws, U.S. federal and state securities laws, the Code, any stock exchange or quotation system on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted and the applicable laws of any foreign country or jurisdiction where Awards are, or will be, granted under the Plan.

 

(c) “Award” means, individually or collectively, a grant under the Plan of Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock, or Restricted Stock Units.

 

(d) “Award Agreement” means the written or electronic agreement setting forth the terms and provisions applicable to each Award granted under the Plan.  The Award Agreement is subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.

 

(e) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

 

(f) Change in Control” means the occurrence of any of the following events:

 

(i) Change in Ownership of the Company.  A change in the ownership of the Company which occurs on the date that any one person, or more than one person acting as a group (“Person”), acquires ownership of the stock of the Company that, together with the stock held by such Person, constitutes more than 50% of the total voting power of the stock of the Company, except that any change in the ownership of the stock of the Company as a result of a private financing of the Company that is approved by the Board will not be considered a Change in Control; or

 

(ii) Change in Effective Control of the Company.  If the Company has a class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act, a change in the effective control of the Company which occurs on the date that a majority of members of the Board is replaced during any twelve (12) month period by Directors whose appointment or election is not endorsed by a majority of the members of the Board prior to the date of the appointment or election.  For purposes of this clause (ii), if any Person is considered to be in effective control of the Company, the acquisition of additional control of the Company by the same Person will not be considered a Change in Control; or

 

 

(iii) Change in Ownership of a Substantial Portion of the Companys Assets.  A change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the Company’s assets which occurs on the date that any Person acquires (or has acquired during the twelve (12) month period ending on the date of the most recent acquisition by such person or persons) assets from the Company that have a total gross fair market value equal to or more than 50% of the total gross fair market value of all of the assets of the Company immediately prior to such acquisition or acquisitions.  For purposes of this subsection (iii), gross fair market value means the value of the assets of the Company, or the value of the assets being disposed of, determined without regard to any liabilities associated with such assets.

 

For purposes of this Section 2(f), persons will be considered to be acting as a group if they are owners of a corporation that enters into a merger, consolidation, purchase or acquisition of stock, or similar business transaction with the Company.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a transaction will not be deemed a Change in Control unless the transaction qualifies as a change in control event within the meaning of Code Section 409A, as it has been and may be amended from time to time, and any proposed or final Treasury Regulations and Internal Revenue Service guidance that has been promulgated or may be promulgated thereunder from time to time.

 

Further and for the avoidance of doubt, a transaction will not constitute a Change in Control if: (i) its sole purpose is to change the jurisdiction of the Company’s incorporation, or (ii) its sole purpose is to create a holding company that will be owned in substantially the same proportions by the persons who held the Company’s securities immediately before such transaction.

 

(g) “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.  Any reference to a section of the Code herein will be a reference to any successor or amended section of the Code.

 

(h) “Committee” means a committee of Directors or of other individuals satisfying Applicable Laws appointed by the Board, or by the compensation committee of the Board,  in accordance with Section 4 hereof.

 

(i) “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company.

 

(j) “Company” means BioSig Technologies, a Delaware corporation, or any successor thereto.

 

(k) “Consultant” means any person, including an advisor, engaged by the Company or a Parent or Subsidiary to render services to such entity.

 

(l) “Director” means a member of the Board.

 

(m) “Disability” means total and permanent disability as defined in Code Section 22(e)(3), provided that in the case of Awards other than Incentive Stock Options, the Administrator in its discretion may determine whether a permanent and total disability exists in accordance with uniform and non-discriminatory standards adopted by the Administrator from time to time.

 

(n) “Employee” means any person, including officers and Directors, employed by the Company or any Parent or Subsidiary of the Company.  Neither service as a Director nor payment of a director’s fee by the Company will be sufficient to constitute “employment” by the Company.

 

(o) “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

 

(p) “Exchange Program” means a program under which (i) outstanding Awards are surrendered or cancelled in exchange for Awards of the same type (which may have higher or lower exercise prices and different terms), Awards of a different type, and/or cash, (ii) Participants would have the opportunity to transfer any outstanding Awards to a financial institution or other person or entity selected by the Administrator, and/or (iii) the exercise price of an outstanding Award is reduced or increased.  The Administrator will determine the terms and conditions of any Exchange Program in its sole discretion.

 

(q) “Fair Market Value” means, as of any date, the value of Common Stock determined as follows:

 

 

(i) If the Common Stock is listed on any established stock exchange or a national market system, including, without limitation, the Nasdaq Global Select Market, the Nasdaq Global Market, or the Nasdaq Capital Market of The Nasdaq Stock Market, its Fair Market Value will be the arithmetic mean of the sales prices for such stock (or the closing bids, if no sales were reported) for the ten (10) trading days immediately preceding the day of determination, as quoted on such exchange or system for each such trading day, as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Administrator deems reliable;

 

(ii) If the Common Stock is regularly quoted by a recognized securities dealer but selling prices are not reported, the Fair Market Value of a Share will be the mean between the high bid and low asked prices for the Common Stock on the day of determination (or, if no bids and asks were reported on that date, as applicable, on the last trading date such bids and asks were reported), as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Administrator deems reliable; or

 

(iii) In the absence of an established market for the Common Stock, the Fair Market Value will be determined in good faith by the Administrator.

 

(r)  “Incentive Stock Option” means an Option that by its terms qualifies and is otherwise intended to qualify as an incentive stock option within the meaning of Code Section 422 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

(s) “Nonstatutory Stock Option” means an Option that by its terms does not qualify or is not intended to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option.

 

(t) “Option” means a stock option granted pursuant to the Plan.

 

(u) “Parent” means a “parent corporation,” whether now or hereafter existing, as defined in Code Section 424(e).

 

(v) “Participant” means the holder of an outstanding Award.

 

(w) “Period of Restriction” means the period during which the transfer of Shares of Restricted Stock are subject to restrictions and therefore, the Shares are subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture.  Such restrictions may be based on the passage of time, the achievement of target levels of performance, or the occurrence of other events as determined by the Administrator.

 

(x) “Plan” means this 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

(y) “Restricted Stock” means Shares issued pursuant to an Award of Restricted Stock under Section 8 of the Plan, or issued pursuant to the early exercise of an Option.

 

(z) “Restricted Stock Unit” means a bookkeeping entry representing an amount equal to the Fair Market Value of one Share, granted pursuant to Section 9.  Each Restricted Stock Unit represents an unfunded and unsecured obligation of the Company.

 

(aa) “Service Provider” means an Employee, Director or Consultant.

 

(bb) “Share” means a share of the Common Stock, as adjusted in accordance with Section 13 of the Plan.

 

(cc) “Stock Appreciation Right” means an Award, granted alone or in connection with an Option, that pursuant to Section 7 is designated as a Stock Appreciation Right.

 

(dd) “Subsidiary” means a “subsidiary corporation,” whether now or hereafter existing, as defined in Code Section 424(f).

 

 

3. Stock Subject to the Plan.

 

(a) Stock Subject to the Plan.  Subject to the provisions of Section 13 of the Plan, the maximum aggregate number of Shares that may be subject to Awards and sold under the Plan is 11,974,450 Shares, plus (i) any Shares that, as of the date of stockholder approval of this Plan, have been reserved but not issued pursuant to any awards granted under the BioSig Technologies, Inc. 2011 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “2011 Plan”) and are not subject to any awards granted thereunder, and (ii) any Shares subject to stock options or similar awards granted under the 2011 Plan that expire or otherwise terminate without having been exercised in full and Shares issued pursuant to awards granted under the 2011 Plan that are forfeited to or repurchased by the Company, with the maximum number of Shares to be added to the Plan pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) equal to 1,500,000 Shares. The Shares may be authorized but unissued, or reacquired Common Stock.

 

(b) Lapsed Awards.  If an Award expires or becomes unexercisable without having been exercised in full, is surrendered pursuant to an Exchange Program, or, with respect to Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units, is forfeited to or repurchased by the Company due to the failure to vest, the unpurchased Shares (or for Awards other than Options or Stock Appreciation Rights the forfeited or repurchased Shares) which were subject thereto will become available for future grant or sale under the Plan (unless the Plan has terminated).  With respect to Stock Appreciation Rights, only Shares actually issued pursuant to a Stock Appreciation Right will cease to be available under the Plan; all remaining Shares under Stock Appreciation Rights will remain available for future grant or sale under the Plan (unless the Plan has terminated).  Shares that have actually been issued under the Plan under any Award will not be returned to the Plan and will not become available for future distribution under the Plan; provided, however, that if Shares issued pursuant to Awards of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units are repurchased by the Company or are forfeited to the Company due to the failure to vest, such Shares will become available for future grant under the Plan.  Shares used to pay the exercise price of an Award or to satisfy the tax withholding obligations related to an Award will become available for future grant or sale under the Plan.  To the extent an Award under the Plan is paid out in cash rather than Shares, such cash payment will not result in reducing the number of Shares available for issuance under the Plan.  Notwithstanding the foregoing and, subject to adjustment as provided in Section 13, the maximum number of Shares that may be issued upon the exercise of Incentive Stock Options will equal the aggregate Share number stated in Section 3(a), plus, to the extent allowable under Code Section 422 and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder, any Shares that become available for issuance under the Plan pursuant to Section 3(b).

 

(c) Share Reserve.  The Company, during the term of this Plan, will at all times reserve and keep available such number of Shares as will be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Plan.

 

4. Administration of the Plan.

 

(a) Procedure.

 

(i) Multiple Administrative Bodies.  Different Committees with respect to different groups of Service Providers may administer the Plan.

 

(ii) Other Administration.  Other than as provided above, the Plan will be administered by (A) the Board or (B) a Committee, which Committee will be constituted to satisfy Applicable Laws.

 

(b) Powers of the Administrator.  Subject to the provisions of the Plan, and in the case of a Committee, subject to the specific duties delegated by the Board to such Committee, the Administrator will have the authority, in its discretion:

 

(i) to determine the Fair Market Value;

 

(ii) to select the Service Providers to whom Awards may be granted hereunder;

 

(iii) to determine the number of Shares to be covered by each Award granted hereunder;

 

(iv) to approve forms of Award Agreements for use under the Plan;

 

 

(v) to determine the terms and conditions, not inconsistent with the terms of the Plan, of any Award granted hereunder.  Such terms and conditions include, but are not limited to, the exercise price, the time or times when Awards may be exercised (which may be based on performance criteria), any vesting acceleration or waiver of forfeiture restrictions, and any restriction or limitation regarding any Award or the Shares relating thereto, based in each case on such factors as the Administrator will determine;

 

(vi) to institute and determine the terms and conditions of an Exchange Program;

 

(vii) to construe and interpret the terms of the Plan and Awards granted pursuant to the Plan;

 

(viii) to prescribe, amend and rescind rules and regulations relating to the Plan, including rules and regulations relating to sub-plans established for the purpose of satisfying applicable foreign laws or for qualifying for favorable tax treatment under applicable foreign laws;

 

(ix) to modify or amend each Award (subject to Section 18(c) of the Plan), including but not limited to the discretionary authority to extend the post-termination exercisability period of Awards and to extend the maximum term of an Option (subject to Section 6(d));

 

(x) to allow Participants to satisfy withholding tax obligations in a manner prescribed in Section 14;

 

(xi) to authorize any person to execute on behalf of the Company any instrument required to effect the grant of an Award previously granted by the Administrator;

 

(xii) to allow a Participant to defer the receipt of the payment of cash or the delivery of Shares that otherwise would be due to such Participant under an Award; and

 

(xiii) to make all other determinations deemed necessary or advisable for administering the Plan.

 

(c) Effect of Administrators Decision.  The Administrator’s decisions, determinations and interpretations will be final and binding on all Participants and any other holders of Awards.

 

5. Eligibility.  Nonstatutory Stock Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock, and Restricted Stock Units may be granted to Service Providers.  Incentive Stock Options may be granted only to Employees.

 

6. Stock Options.

 

(a) Grant of Options.  Subject to the terms and provisions of the Plan, the Administrator, at any time and from time to time, may grant Options in such amounts as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, will determine.

 

(b) Option Agreement.  Each Award of an Option will be evidenced by an Award Agreement that will specify the exercise price, the term of the Option, the number of Shares subject to the Option, the exercise restrictions, if any, applicable to the Option, and such other terms and conditions as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, will determine.

 

(c) Limitations.  Each Option will be designated in the Award Agreement as either an Incentive Stock Option or a Nonstatutory Stock Option.  Notwithstanding such designation, however, to the extent that the aggregate Fair Market Value of the Shares with respect to which Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by the Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company and any Parent or Subsidiary) exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), such Options will be treated as Nonstatutory Stock Options.  For purposes of this Section 6(c), Incentive Stock Options will be taken into account in the order in which they were granted, the Fair Market Value of the Shares will be determined as of the time the Option with respect to such Shares is granted, and calculation will be performed in accordance with Code Section 422 and Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

 

(d) Term of Option.  The term of each Option will be stated in the Award Agreement; provided, however, that the term will be no more than ten (10) years from the date of grant thereof.  In the case of an Incentive Stock Option granted to a Participant who, at the time the Incentive Stock Option is granted, owns stock representing more than ten percent (10%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any Parent or Subsidiary, the term of the Incentive Stock Option will be five (5) years from the date of grant or such shorter term as may be provided in the Award Agreement.

 

(e) Option Exercise Price and Consideration.

 

(i) Exercise Price.  The per Share exercise price for the Shares to be issued pursuant to the exercise of an Option will be determined by the Administrator, but will be no less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the effective date of grant of such Option.  At any time the Common Stock is listed on any established stock exchange or a national market system, the period for determining the exercise price for the Shares to be issued pursuant to the exercise of an Option must be irrevocably established at least ten (10) trading days prior to the effective date of grant of such Option and must be determined in accordance with the terms of Section 2(q)(i) of the Plan.  In addition, in the case of an Incentive Stock Option granted to an Employee who owns stock representing more than ten percent (10%) of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any Parent or Subsidiary, the per Share exercise price will be no less than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the effective date of grant.  Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section 6(e)(i), Options may be granted with a per Share exercise price of less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the effective date of grant pursuant to a transaction described in, and in a manner consistent with, Code Section 424(a).

 

(ii) Waiting Period and Exercise Dates.  At the time an Option is granted, the Administrator will fix the period within which the Option may be exercised and will determine any conditions that must be satisfied before the Option may be exercised.

 

(iii) Form of Consideration.  The Administrator will determine the acceptable form of consideration for exercising an Option, including the method of payment.  In the case of an Incentive Stock Option, the Administrator will determine the acceptable form of consideration at the time of grant.  Such consideration may consist entirely of: (1) cash; (2) check; (3) promissory note, to the extent permitted by Applicable Laws, (4) other Shares, provided that such Shares have a Fair Market Value on the date of surrender equal to the aggregate exercise price of the Shares as to which such Option will be exercised and provided further that accepting such Shares will not result in any adverse accounting consequences to the Company, as the Administrator determines in its sole discretion; (5) consideration received by the Company under cashless exercise program (whether through a broker or otherwise) implemented by the Company in connection with the Plan; (6) by net exercise, (7) such other consideration and method of payment for the issuance of Shares to the extent permitted by Applicable Laws, or (8) any combination of the foregoing methods of payment.  In making its determination as to the type of consideration to accept, the Administrator will consider if acceptance of such consideration may be reasonably expected to benefit the Company.

 

(f) Exercise of Option.

 

(i) Procedure for Exercise; Rights as a Stockholder.  Any Option granted hereunder will be exercisable according to the terms of the Plan and at such times and under such conditions as determined by the Administrator and set forth in the Award Agreement.  An Option may not be exercised for a fraction of a Share.

 

An Option will be deemed exercised when the Company receives: (i) notice of exercise (in such form as the Administrator may specify from time to time) from the person entitled to exercise the Option, and (ii) full payment for the Shares with respect to which the Option is exercised (together with applicable tax withholding).  Full payment may consist of any consideration and method of payment authorized by the Administrator and permitted by the Award Agreement and the Plan.  Shares issued upon exercise of an Option will be issued in the name of the Participant or, if requested by the Participant, in the name of the Participant and his or her spouse.  Until the Shares are issued (as evidenced by the appropriate entry on the books of the Company or of a duly authorized transfer agent of the Company), no right to vote or receive dividends or any other rights as a stockholder will exist with respect to the Shares subject to an Option, notwithstanding the exercise of the Option.  The Company will issue (or cause to be issued) such Shares promptly after the Option is exercised.  No adjustment will be made for a dividend or other right for which the record date is prior to the date the Shares are issued, except as provided in Section 13 of the Plan.

 

 

Exercising an Option in any manner will decrease the number of Shares thereafter available, both for purposes of the Plan and for sale under the Option, by the number of Shares as to which the Option is exercised.

 

(ii) Termination of Relationship as a Service Provider.  If a Participant ceases to be a Service Provider, other than upon the Participant’s termination as the result of the Participant’s death or Disability, the Participant may exercise his or her Option within thirty (30) days of termination, or such longer period of time as is specified in the Award Agreement (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Award Agreement) to the extent that the Option is vested on the date of termination.  Unless otherwise provided by the Administrator, if on the date of termination the Participant is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option will revert to the Plan.  If after termination the Participant does not exercise his or her Option within the time specified by the Administrator, the Option will terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option will revert to the Plan.

 

(iii) Disability of Participant.  If a Participant ceases to be a Service Provider as a result of the Participant’s Disability, the Participant may exercise his or her Option within six (6) months of termination, or such longer period of time as is specified in the Award Agreement (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Award Agreement) to the extent the Option is vested on the date of termination.  Unless otherwise provided by the Administrator, if on the date of termination the Participant is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option will revert to the Plan.  If after termination the Participant does not exercise his or her Option within the time specified herein, the Option will terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option will revert to the Plan.

 

(iv) Death of Participant.  If a Participant dies while a Service Provider, the Option may be exercised within six (6) months following the Participant’s death, or within such longer period of time as is specified in the Award Agreement (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Award Agreement) to the extent that the Option is vested on the date of death, by the Participant’s designated beneficiary, provided such beneficiary has been designated prior to the Participant’s death in a form acceptable to the Administrator.  If no such beneficiary has been designated by the Participant, then such Option may be exercised by the personal representative of the Participant’s estate or by the person(s) to whom the Option is transferred pursuant to the Participant’s will or in accordance with the laws of descent and distribution.  Unless otherwise provided by the Administrator, if at the time of death Participant is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option will immediately revert to the Plan.  If the Option is not so exercised within the time specified herein, the Option will terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option will revert to the Plan.

 

7. Stock Appreciation Rights.

 

(a) Grant of Stock Appreciation Rights.  Subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan, a Stock Appreciation Right may be granted to Service Providers at any time and from time to time as will be determined by the Administrator, in its sole discretion.

 

(b) Number of Shares.  The Administrator will have complete discretion to determine the number of Shares subject to any Award of Stock Appreciation Rights.

 

(c) Exercise Price and Other Terms.  The per Share exercise price for the Shares that will determine the amount of the payment to be received upon exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right as set forth in Section 7(f) will be determined by the Administrator and will be no less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the date of grant.  Otherwise, the Administrator, subject to the provisions of the Plan, will have complete discretion to determine the terms and conditions of Stock Appreciation Rights granted under the Plan.

 

(d) Stock Appreciation Right Agreement.  Each Stock Appreciation Right grant will be evidenced by an Award Agreement that will specify the exercise price, the term of the Stock Appreciation Right, the conditions of exercise, and such other terms and conditions as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, will determine.

 

 

(e) Expiration of Stock Appreciation Rights.  A Stock Appreciation Right granted under the Plan will expire upon the date determined by the Administrator, in its sole discretion, and set forth in the Award Agreement.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the rules of Section 6(d) relating to the maximum term and Section 6(f) relating to exercise also will apply to Stock Appreciation Rights.

 

(f) Payment of Stock Appreciation Right Amount.  Upon exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right, a Participant will be entitled to receive payment from the Company in an amount determined by multiplying:

 

(i) The difference between the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of exercise over the exercise price; times

 

(ii) The number of Shares with respect to which the Stock Appreciation Right is exercised.

 

At the discretion of the Administrator, the payment upon Stock Appreciation Right exercise may be in cash, in Shares of equivalent value, or in some combination thereof.

 

8. Restricted Stock.

 

(a) Grant of Restricted Stock.  Subject to the terms and provisions of the Plan, the Administrator, at any time and from time to time, may grant Shares of Restricted Stock to Service Providers in such amounts as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, will determine.

 

(b) Restricted Stock Agreement.  Each Award of Restricted Stock will be evidenced by an Award Agreement that will specify the Period of Restriction, the number of Shares granted, and such other terms and conditions as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, will determine.  Unless the Administrator determines otherwise, the Company as escrow agent will hold Shares of Restricted Stock until the restrictions on such Shares have lapsed.

 

(c) Transferability.  Except as provided in this Section 8 or as the Administrator determines, Shares of Restricted Stock may not be sold, transferred, pledged, assigned, or otherwise alienated or hypothecated until the end of the applicable Period of Restriction.

 

(d) Other Restrictions.  The Administrator, in its sole discretion, may impose such other restrictions on Shares of Restricted Stock as it may deem advisable or appropriate.

 

(e) Removal of Restrictions.  Except as otherwise provided in this Section 8, Shares of Restricted Stock covered by each Restricted Stock grant made under the Plan will be released from escrow as soon as practicable after the last day of the Period of Restriction or at such other time as the Administrator may determine.  The Administrator, in its discretion, may accelerate the time at which any restrictions will lapse or be removed.

 

(f) Voting Rights.  During the Period of Restriction, Service Providers holding Shares of Restricted Stock granted hereunder may exercise full voting rights with respect to those Shares, unless the Administrator determines otherwise.

 

(g) Dividends and Other Distributions.  During the Period of Restriction, Service Providers holding Shares of Restricted Stock will be entitled to receive all dividends and other distributions paid with respect to such Shares, unless the Administrator provides otherwise.  If any such dividends or distributions are paid in Shares, the Shares will be subject to the same restrictions on transferability and forfeitability as the Shares of Restricted Stock with respect to which they were paid.

 

(h) Return of Restricted Stock to Company.  On the date set forth in the Award Agreement, the Restricted Stock for which restrictions have not lapsed will revert to the Company and again will become available for grant under the Plan.

 

 

9. Restricted Stock Units.

 

(a) Grant.  Restricted Stock Units may be granted at any time and from time to time as determined by the Administrator.  After the Administrator determines that it will grant Restricted Stock Units, it will advise the Participant in an Award Agreement of the terms, conditions, and restrictions related to the grant, including the number of Restricted Stock Units.

 

(b) Vesting Criteria and Other Terms.  The Administrator will set vesting criteria in its discretion, which, depending on the extent to which the criteria are met, will determine the number of Restricted Stock Units that will be paid out to the Participant.  The Administrator may set vesting criteria based upon the achievement of Company-wide, business unit, or individual goals (including, but not limited to, continued employment or service), or any other basis determined by the Administrator in its discretion.

 

(c) Earning Restricted Stock Units.  Upon meeting the applicable vesting criteria, the Participant will be entitled to receive a payout as determined by the Administrator.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, at any time after the grant of Restricted Stock Units, the Administrator, in its sole discretion, may reduce or waive any vesting criteria that must be met to receive a payout.

 

(d) Form and Timing of Payment.  Payment of earned Restricted Stock Units will be made as soon as practicable after the date(s) determined by the Administrator and set forth in the Award Agreement.  The Administrator, in its sole discretion, may settle earned Restricted Stock Units in cash, Shares, or a combination of both.

 

(e) Cancellation.  On the date set forth in the Award Agreement, all unearned Restricted Stock Units will be forfeited to the Company.

 

10. Compliance With Code Section 409A.  Awards will be designed and operated in such a manner that they are either exempt from the application of, or comply with, the requirements of Code Section 409A, except as otherwise determined in the sole discretion of the Administrator.  The Plan and each Award Agreement under the Plan is intended to meet the requirements of Code Section 409A and will be construed and interpreted in accordance with such intent, except as otherwise determined in the sole discretion of the Administrator.  To the extent that an Award or payment, or the settlement or deferral thereof, is subject to Code Section 409A the Award will be granted, paid, settled or deferred in a manner that will meet the requirements of Code Section 409A, such that the grant, payment, settlement or deferral will not be subject to the additional tax or interest applicable under Code Section 409A.

 

11. Leaves of Absence/Transfer Between Locations.  Unless the Administrator provides otherwise, vesting of Awards granted hereunder will be suspended during any unpaid leave of absence.  A Participant will not cease to be an Employee in the case of (i) any leave of absence approved by the Company or (ii) transfers between locations of the Company or between the Company, its Parent, or any Subsidiary.  For purposes of Incentive Stock Options, no such leave may exceed three (3) months, unless reemployment upon expiration of such leave is guaranteed by statute or contract.  If reemployment upon expiration of a leave of absence approved by the Company is not so guaranteed, then six (6) months following the first (1st) day of such leave, any Incentive Stock Option held by the Participant will cease to be treated as an Incentive Stock Option and will be treated for tax purposes as a Nonstatutory Stock Option.

 

12. Limited Transferability of Awards.

 

(a) Unless determined otherwise by the Administrator, Awards may not be sold, pledged, assigned, hypothecated, or otherwise transferred in any manner other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution, and may be exercised, during the lifetime of the Participant, only by the Participant.  If the Administrator makes an Award transferable, such Award may only be transferred (i) by will, (ii) by the laws of descent and distribution, or (iii) as permitted by Rule 701 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).

 

 

(b) Further, until the Company becomes subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, or after the Administrator determines that it is, will, or may no longer be relying upon the exemption from registration under the Exchange Act as set forth in Rule 12h-1(f) promulgated under the Exchange Act, an Option, or prior to exercise, the Shares subject to the Option, may not be pledged, hypothecated or otherwise transferred or disposed of, in any manner, including by entering into any short position, any “put equivalent position” or any “call equivalent position” (as defined in Rule 16a-1(h) and Rule 16a-1(b) of the Exchange Act, respectively), other than to (i) persons who are “family members” (as defined in Rule 701(c)(3) of the Securities Act) through gifts or domestic relations orders, or (ii) to an executor or guardian of the Participant upon the death or disability of the Participant.  Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, the Administrator, in its sole discretion, may determine to permit transfers to the Company or in connection with a Change in Control or other acquisition transactions involving the Company to the extent permitted by Rule 12h-1(f).

 

13. Adjustments; Dissolution or Liquidation; Merger or Change in Control.

 

(a) Adjustments.  In the event that any dividend or other distribution (whether in the form of cash, Shares, other securities, or other property), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, spin-off, combination, repurchase, or exchange of Shares or other securities of the Company, or other change in the corporate structure of the Company affecting the Shares occurs, the Administrator, in order to prevent diminution or enlargement of the benefits or potential benefits intended to be made available under the Plan, will adjust the number and class of shares of stock that may be delivered under the Plan and/or the number, class, and price of shares of stock covered by each outstanding Award; provided, however, that the Administrator will make such adjustments to an Award required by Section 25102(o) of the California Corporations Code to the extent the Company is relying upon the exemption afforded thereby with respect to the Award.

 

(b) Dissolution or Liquidation.  In the event of the proposed dissolution or liquidation of the Company, the Administrator will notify each Participant as soon as practicable prior to the effective date of such proposed transaction.  To the extent it has not been previously exercised, an Award will terminate immediately prior to the consummation of such proposed action.

 

(c) Merger or Change in Control.  In the event of a merger of the Company with or into another corporation or other entity or a Change in Control, each outstanding Award will be treated as the Administrator determines (subject to the provisions of the following paragraph) without a Participant’s consent, including, without limitation, that (i) Awards will be assumed, or substantially equivalent Awards will be substituted, by the acquiring or succeeding corporation (or an affiliate thereof) with appropriate adjustments as to the number and kind of shares and prices; (ii) upon written notice to a Participant, that the Participant’s Awards will terminate upon or immediately prior to the consummation of such merger or Change in Control; (iii) outstanding Awards will vest and become exercisable, realizable, or payable, or restrictions applicable to an Award will lapse, in whole or in part prior to or upon consummation of such merger or Change in Control, and, to the extent the Administrator determines, terminate upon or immediately prior to the effectiveness of such merger or Change in Control; (iv) (A) the termination of an Award in exchange for an amount of cash and/or property, if any, equal to the amount that would have been attained upon the exercise of such Award or realization of the Participant’s rights as of the date of the occurrence of the transaction (and, for the avoidance of doubt, if as of the date of the occurrence of the transaction the Administrator determines in good faith that no amount would have been attained upon the exercise of such Award or realization of the Participant’s rights, then such Award may be terminated by the Company without payment), or (B) the replacement of such Award with other rights or property selected by the Administrator in its sole discretion; or (v) any combination of the foregoing.  In taking any of the actions permitted under this subsection 13(c), the Administrator will not be obligated to treat all Awards, all Awards held by a Participant, or all Awards of the same type, similarly.

 

In the event that the successor corporation does not assume or substitute for the Award (or portion thereof), the Participant will fully vest in and have the right to exercise all of his or her outstanding Options and Stock Appreciation Rights, including Shares as to which such Awards would not otherwise be vested or exercisable, all restrictions on Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units will lapse, and, with respect to Awards with performance-based vesting, all performance goals or other vesting criteria will be deemed achieved at one hundred percent (100%) of target levels and all other terms and conditions met.  In addition, if an Option or Stock Appreciation Right is not assumed or substituted in the event of a merger or Change in Control, the Administrator will notify the Participant in writing or electronically that the Option or Stock Appreciation Right will be exercisable for a period of time determined by the Administrator in its sole discretion, and the Option or Stock Appreciation Right will terminate upon the expiration of such period.

 

 

For the purposes of this subsection 13(c), an Award will be considered assumed if, following the merger or Change in Control, the Award confers the right to purchase or receive, for each Share subject to the Award immediately prior to the merger or Change in Control, the consideration (whether stock, cash, or other securities or property) received in the merger or Change in Control by holders of Common Stock for each Share held on the effective date of the transaction (and if holders were offered a choice of consideration, the type of consideration chosen by the holders of a majority of the outstanding Shares); provided, however, that if such consideration received in the merger or Change in Control is not solely common stock of the successor corporation or its Parent, the Administrator may, with the consent of the successor corporation, provide for the consideration to be received upon the exercise of an Option or Stock Appreciation Right or upon the payout of a Restricted Stock Unit, for each Share subject to such Award, to be solely common stock of the successor corporation or its Parent equal in fair market value to the per share consideration received by holders of Common Stock in the merger or Change in Control.

 

Notwithstanding anything in this Section 13(c) to the contrary, an Award that vests, is earned or paid-out upon the satisfaction of one or more performance goals will not be considered assumed if the Company or its successor modifies any of such performance goals without the Participant’s consent; provided, however, a modification to such performance goals only to reflect the successor corporation’s post-Change in Control corporate structure will not be deemed to invalidate an otherwise valid Award assumption.

 

Notwithstanding anything in this Section 13(c) to the contrary, if a payment under an Award Agreement is subject to Code Section 409A and if the change in control definition contained in the Award Agreement does not comply with the definition of “change of control” for purposes of a distribution under Code Section 409A, then any payment of an amount that is otherwise accelerated under this Section will be delayed until the earliest time that such payment would be permissible under Code Section 409A without triggering any penalties applicable under Code Section 409A.

 

14. Tax Withholding.

 

(a) Withholding Requirements.  Prior to the delivery of any Shares or cash pursuant to an Award (or exercise thereof), the Company will have the power and the right to deduct or withhold, or require a Participant to remit to the Company, an amount sufficient to satisfy federal, state, local, foreign or other taxes (including the Participant’s FICA obligation) required to be withheld with respect to such Award (or exercise thereof).

 

(b) Withholding Arrangements.  The Administrator, in its sole discretion and pursuant to such procedures as it may specify from time to time, may permit a Participant to satisfy such tax withholding obligation, in whole or in part by (without limitation) (i) paying cash, (ii) electing to have the Company withhold otherwise deliverable Shares having a Fair Market Value equal to the minimum statutory amount required to be withheld, (iii) delivering to the Company already-owned Shares having a Fair Market Value equal to the statutory amount required to be withheld, provided the delivery of such Shares will not result in any adverse accounting consequences, as the Administrator determines in its sole discretion, or (iv) selling a sufficient number of Shares otherwise deliverable to the Participant through such means as the Administrator may determine in its sole discretion (whether through a broker or otherwise) equal to the amount required to be withheld.  The amount of the withholding requirement will be deemed to include any amount which the Administrator agrees may be withheld at the time the election is made, not to exceed the amount determined by using the maximum federal, state or local marginal income tax rates applicable to the Participant with respect to the Award on the date that the amount of tax to be withheld is to be determined.  The Fair Market Value of the Shares to be withheld or delivered will be determined as of the date that the taxes are required to be withheld.

 

15. No Effect on Employment or Service.  Neither the Plan nor any Award will confer upon a Participant any right with respect to continuing the Participant’s relationship as a Service Provider with the Company, nor will they interfere in any way with the Participant’s right or the Company’s right to terminate such relationship at any time, with or without cause, to the extent permitted by Applicable Laws.

 

 

16. Date of Grant.  The date of grant of an Award will be, for all purposes, the date on which the Administrator makes the determination granting such Award, or such other later date as is determined by the Administrator.  Notice of the determination will be provided to each Participant within a reasonable time after the date of such grant.

 

17. Term of Plan.  Subject to Section 21 of the Plan, the Plan will become effective upon its adoption by the Board.  Unless sooner terminated under Section 18, it will continue in effect for a term of ten (10) years from the later of (a) the effective date of the Plan, or (b) the earlier of the most recent Board or stockholder approval of an increase in the number of Shares reserved for issuance under the Plan.

 

18. Amendment and Termination of the Plan.

 

(a) Amendment and Termination.  The Board may at any time amend, alter, suspend or terminate the Plan.

 

(b) Stockholder Approval.  The Company will obtain stockholder approval of any Plan amendment to the extent necessary and desirable to comply with Applicable Laws.

 

(c) Effect of Amendment or Termination.  No amendment, alteration, suspension or termination of the Plan will impair the rights of any Participant, unless mutually agreed otherwise between the Participant and the Administrator, which agreement must be in writing and signed by the Participant and the Company.  Termination of the Plan will not affect the Administrator’s ability to exercise the powers granted to it hereunder with respect to Awards granted under the Plan prior to the date of such termination.

 

19. Conditions Upon Issuance of Shares.

 

(a) Legal Compliance.  Shares will not be issued pursuant to the exercise of an Award unless the exercise of such Award and the issuance and delivery of such Shares will comply with Applicable Laws and will be further subject to the approval of counsel for the Company with respect to such compliance.

 

(b) Investment Representations.  As a condition to the exercise of an Award, the Company may require the person exercising such Award to represent and warrant at the time of any such exercise that the Shares are being purchased only for investment and without any present intention to sell or distribute such Shares if, in the opinion of counsel for the Company, such a representation is required.

 

20. Inability to Obtain Authority.  The inability of the Company to obtain authority from any regulatory body having jurisdiction, which authority is deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any Shares hereunder, will relieve the Company of any liability in respect of the failure to issue or sell such Shares as to which such requisite authority will not have been obtained.

 

21. Stockholder Approval.  The Plan will be subject to approval by the stockholders of the Company within twelve (12) months after the date the Plan is adopted by the Board.  Such stockholder approval will be obtained in the manner and to the degree required under Applicable Laws.

 

22. Information to Participants.  Beginning on the earlier of (i) the date that the aggregate number of Participants under this Plan is five hundred (500) or more and the Company is relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h-1(f)(1) under the Exchange Act and (ii) the date that the Company is required to deliver information to Participants pursuant to Rule 701 under the Securities Act, and until such time as the Company becomes subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, is no longer relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h-1(f)(1) under the Exchange Act or is no longer required to deliver information to Participants pursuant to Rule 701 under the Securities Act, the Company shall provide to each Participant the information described in paragraphs (e)(3), (4), and (5) of Rule 701 under the Securities Act not less frequently than every six (6) months with the financial statements being not more than 180 days old and with such information provided either by physical or electronic delivery to the Participants or by written notice to the Participants of the availability of the information on an Internet site that may be password-protected and of any password needed to access the information.  The Company may request that Participants agree to keep the information to be provided pursuant to this section confidential.  If a Participant does not agree to keep the information to be provided pursuant to this section confidential, then the Company will not be required to provide the information unless otherwise required pursuant to Rule 12h-1(f)(1) under the Exchange Act or Rule 701 of the Securities Act.

 

 

biosig-proxycard_page1.jpg

 

 

 

biosig-proxycard_page2.jpg