Two Harbors CFO Brad Farrell leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost seven years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Farrell
  • Mary Riskey taking over in the interim

(exechange) — New York, October 5, 2018 — Brad Farrell, finance chief of Two Harbors, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Two Harbors Investment Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, October 5, 2018, Brad Farrell leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the real estate investment trust company after almost seven years in the role, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Farrell leaves the company effective January 31, 2019.

Farrell’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Mary K. Riskey, most recently Chief Accounting Officer of Two Harbors Investment Corp., as Acting Chief Financial Officer.

The Board of Directors intends to appoint Riskey as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer upon the effectiveness of Farrell’s resignation.

“To pursue other opportunities”

Farrell’s sudden departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Two Harbors said: “Two Harbors Investment Corp. … today announced Brad Farrell’s intention to resign from his position as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in order to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about Farrell’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Mr. Farrell’s resignation is not the result of any disagreement with respect to any matter relating to the operations, financial reporting, policies or practices of Two Harbors or Pine River,” Two Harbors said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Two Harbors Investment Corp. since March 2013.

Chaired by Brian C. Taylor

Two Harbors Investment Corp. is chaired by Brian C. Taylor.

Brian C. Taylor is the Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors. Taylor has been a director of the Company since the Company was incorporated in May 2009.

CEO: Thomas Siering

Thomas Siering serves as CEO of Two Harbors Investment Corp. Thomas E. Siering is the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Siering has been a director and executive officer since the Company was incorporated in May 2009.

In the position of CFO since 2012

Brad Farrell is the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Farrell was appointed Chief Financial Officer in January 2012, after serving as Two Harbors’ Controller.

Farrell has spent the breadth of his career overseeing financial management, reporting and business analysis for public financial service companies.

Prior to joining Pine River in 2009, he was Vice President and Executive Director of External Reporting for GMAC ResCap, a diversified real estate company.

In this role, from 2007 to 2009, he was responsible for GMAC ResCap’s public filing and bank holding company reporting initiatives.

He was also involved in GMAC ResCap’s debt restructuring and related accounting and liquidity initiatives.

From 2002 to 2007, Farrell held various positions in finance and accounting with XL Capital Ltd., a public global insurance underwriter, including the establishment of finance and accounting processes in its London based insurance segment.

Prior to 2002, he was employed with KPMG and where he gained experience managing US GAAP implementation and Securities Exchange Act compliance engagements for foreign filers in the firm’s London practice.

Farrell is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive), and graduated with a B.S.B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines, IA.

Concurrently with the effectiveness of his resignation from Two Harbors, Farrell also intends to resign his employment with Pine River Capital Management L.P., the parent of the Company’s external manager (“Pine River”).

Farrell has agreed to stay on with the Company through January 31, 2019 to assist in the transition of his duties and responsibilities.

Unplanned

Generally speaking, when a top leader announces to step down with no permanent successor in place, it is a sign that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Brad Farrell’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 41.2018 ($).