Document

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )



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Franchise Group, Inc.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

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

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FRANCHISE GROUP, INC.
2387 Liberty Way
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456




April 5, 2021

Dear Fellow Stockholder:

You are cordially invited to attend Franchise Group, Inc.'s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be held via live webcast on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time. In light of the continued public health concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to support the health and well-being of our employees, directors and stockholders, we have made the decision to hold the Annual Meeting virtually this year. You will not be able to attend the Annual Meeting physically. Details regarding access to the meeting and the business to be conducted are described in this Proxy Statement. We have also made available with this Proxy Statement a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020, which includes our 2020 audited consolidated financial statements and provides information about our business.

The attached Proxy Statement, with the accompanying notice of the meeting, describes the matters expected to be acted upon at the meeting. We urge you to review these materials carefully and to take part in the affairs of our Company by voting on the matters described in the accompanying Proxy Statement. We hope that you will be able to attend the meeting via the webcast. Our directors and management team will be available to answer questions, and you will have an opportunity to vote during the meeting.

The Company’s Board of Directors welcomes and appreciates the interest of all our stockholders in Franchise Group, Inc.’s affairs and encourages those entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting to take the time to do so. We hope you will attend the Annual Meeting via the webcast, but if you are unable to do so, please vote your shares by either: (1) signing, dating and promptly returning the enclosed proxy card in the accompanying postage-paid envelope, (2) online at www.proxypush.com/frg until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021, or (3) you may call 1-866-883-3382 via a touch-tone telephone to vote your proxy until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021. We look forward to your attendance at the virtual meeting and the opportunity to review our developments over the past year and to share with you our plans for the future.

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I'd like to thank you for your commitment and support.


                            
Sincerely,
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Matthew Avril
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Franchise Group, Inc.





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FRANCHISE GROUP, INC.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
TO BE HELD MAY 4, 2021



The Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Franchise Group, Inc. (the "Company") will be held via live webcast on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (the "2021 Annual Meeting").

The 2021 Annual Meeting will be held for the following purposes:

1.Election of seven (7) directors to the Board of Directors, each to serve until the 2022 annual meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified; 

2.Approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as disclosed in the Proxy Statement;

3.Ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP ("Deloitte") as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 25, 2021 ("Fiscal 2021"); and

4.Transaction of any other business that properly comes before the 2021 Annual Meeting and any adjournment or postponement thereof.

The foregoing items of business are more fully described in the Proxy Statement accompanying this notice. The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on March 22, 2021 as the record date for determining stockholders of the Company entitled to receive notice of and vote at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Stockholders of record of the Company's common stock, par value $0.01 per share ("Common Stock"), as of the close of business on March 22, 2021 are entitled to receive notice of, and to vote at, the 2021 Annual Meeting. Included in these materials are the Proxy Statement and the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “2020 Annual Report”) as described in this Proxy Statement, which includes the Company's audited consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 ("Fiscal 2020"). The notice and proxy card are filed as part of the Proxy Statement. These materials are being sent to stockholders on or about April 5, 2021 and are also available online at the Company's website at www.franchisegrp.com and at the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") website at www.sec.gov.

By Order of the Board of Directors,
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Brian R. Kahn
President and Chief Executive Officer
Franchise Group, Inc.

Virginia Beach, Virginia
April 5, 2021




PROXY STATEMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS





QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE 2021 ANNUAL MEETING AND VOTING 

PROXY STATEMENT

This proxy statement ("Proxy Statement") is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the Board of Directors (the "Board") of Franchise Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the "Company") for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders which will be held via live webcast on May 4, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time (the "2021 Annual Meeting"). References to the 2021 Annual Meeting in this Proxy Statement include any adjournment or postponement of the 2021 Annual Meeting. The proxy materials were first mailed to stockholders on or about April 5, 2021.

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Stockholder Meeting to be Held on May 4, 2021

    The notice of the 2021 Annual Meeting, this Proxy Statement and the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 ("2020 Annual Report") are available online at the Company's website at www.franchisegrp.com.

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION

Who may vote at the 2021 Annual Meeting?

Each holder of the 40,157,102 shares of the Company's Common Stock issued and outstanding at the close of business on March 22, 2021 ("Record Date") will be entitled to receive a notice of the 2021 Annual Meeting, and to attend and vote at the 2021 Annual Meeting. These persons are considered "holders of record," and will be entitled to cast one vote per share owned for each proposal to be considered at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

What proposals will be voted on at the 2021 Annual Meeting?

Stockholders will vote on three proposals at the 2021 Annual Meeting:

1.Election of seven (7) directors to serve on our Board of Directors (the "Board") (Proposal 1);

2.Approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as disclosed in the Proxy Statement (Proposal 2);

3.Ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 25, 2021 ("Fiscal 2021") (Proposal 3); and

4.Transaction of any other business that properly comes before the meeting and any adjournment or postponement thereof.

We are not aware of any matters to be presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting other than those described in this Proxy Statement. If any matters not described in the Proxy Statement are properly presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting, the proxies will use their own judgment to determine how to vote your shares. If the 2021 Annual Meeting is adjourned, the proxies may vote your shares at the adjournment or postponement as well.

How does the Board recommend that I vote on these proposals?

The Board recommends that you vote your shares:

1.    "FOR" each of the Board's nominees for director (Proposal 1);

2.     "FOR" the approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as disclosed in the Proxy Statement (Proposal 2); and

3.     "FOR" the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for Fiscal 2021 (Proposal 3).

Who will bear the cost of this proxy solicitation?

The Company will bear the entire cost of this proxy solicitation, including the preparation, assembly, printing and mailing of this Proxy Statement, the proxy card, 2020 Annual Report, and any additional solicitation materials sent by the Company to stockholders. The Company may reimburse brokerage firms and other persons representing beneficial owners of Common Stock and Preferred Stock for their expenses in forwarding the proxy materials to those beneficial owners. In addition, proxies may be solicited by directors, officers and regular employees of the Company, who will not receive any additional compensation for solicitation, by mail, email, facsimile, telephone or personal contact.


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What is included in the proxy materials?

The proxy materials include:

This Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting, including a proxy card; and 
Our 2020 Annual Report.

If I am a stockholder of record, how do I vote?

You may vote by the following methods:

By Mail. To vote by mail, you will need to sign, date and return the accompanying proxy card that was sent to you with the proxy materials.
By Phone. To vote by phone use a touch-tone telephone and dial 1-866-883-3382. You may only vote your proxy by phone until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021.
By Internet. To vote by internet you may visit www.proxypush.com/frg. You may only vote your proxy by Internet until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021.

How may I attend the 2021 Annual Meeting?

The 2021 Annual Meeting will be via live webcast on May 4, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST. To participate in the online meeting:

You must first register. Visit register.proxypush.com/frg on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
As a shareholder, you will then be required to enter your control number which is located in the upper right hand corner of your proxy card.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. Approximately one (1) hour prior to the start of the meeting you will receive an email with a unique link to the virtual meeting.

    We recommend accessing the Annual Meeting webcast using an up-to-date internet browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.

You may submit questions during the registration process as described above or any time during the virtual Annual Meeting.

If you are a stockholder whose shares are held in "street name" (i.e., in the name of a broker, bank or other similar organization), you must contact the broker, bank or other nominee that holds your shares to request an access code and meeting code and, if you would like to vote during the virtual Annual Meeting, a legal proxy giving you the right to vote your shares. To access the Annual Meeting, visit the link provided above, have your access code and meeting code available, and follow the instructions. You may only vote during the Annual Meeting by emailing a copy of your legal proxy to EQSS-ProxyTabulation@equiniti.com.

How do I vote before the 2021 Annual Meeting?
    
You may vote either by mail, phone or you may vote online.

Voting by mail.

To vote on the proposals on the agenda by mail, simply complete the proxy card, sign and date it, and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided. If you are a stockholder whose shares are held in "street name" (i.e., in the name of a broker, bank or other similar organization), you may obtain a proxy, executed in your favor, from the record holder. You may sign the proxy card and return it to the Company or to Equiniti Group plc at the address indicated on the proxy card, or you may direct the record holder of your shares to vote your proxy in the manner you specify. Further, if your shares are held in street name, you must communicate your instructions respecting the voting of your shares to the record holder, or your broker will be prohibited from voting your shares. Voting by mail will not affect your right to vote during the meeting if you decide to attend the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Voting by phone.

To vote on the proposals on the agenda by phone, please dial 1-866-883-3382 and follow the instructions provided by the operator. Please note that you may only vote your proxy by phone until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021.

Voting by internet.
    
    To vote on the proposals on the agenda by internet, please visit www.proxypush.com/frg. Please note that you may only vote your proxy online until 9:59 a.m. (ET) on May 4, 2021.



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How do I vote during the 2021 Annual Meeting?

     To vote during the Annual Meeting you must vote by phone or internet. The meeting website referenced above will direct you to the voting link to vote online or provide instructions on how to vote on the phone. You will need a control number in order to vote during the Annual Meeting. You may vote during the Annual Meeting until the operator indicates that voting has been cut off.

What does it mean if I receive more than one set of proxy materials for the 2021 Annual Meeting?

It means your shares are held in more than one account. You should vote all of your shares, using the separate proxy card provided with each set of proxy materials.

What is householding?

As permitted by the SEC, only one set of the proxy materials is being delivered to stockholders residing at the same address, unless the stockholders have notified the Company of their desire to receive multiple copies of proxy materials. This is known as householding.
       
The Company will promptly deliver, upon request, a separate copy of the Proxy Statement or the 2020 Annual Report to any stockholder residing at an address to which only one copy was mailed. Requests for additional copies for the current year or future years should be directed to the Company's Assistant General Counsel in writing at 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, Attention: Assistant General Counsel, or by email at tiffany.mcwaters@franchisegrp.com.

How may I view the voting results?

The results of voting at the 2021 Annual Meeting will be filed with the SEC within four business days after the 2021 Annual Meeting and will be available on the SEC's website (www.sec.gov) or on our website (www.franchisegrp.com). If the final results are not available at that time, we will provide preliminary voting results in a Current Report on Form 8-K and will provide the final voting results in an amendment to the Current Report on Form 8-K as soon as they are available.

How may I revoke my proxy?

You may change or revoke your proxy at any time before it is voted at the 2021 Annual Meeting. You can send a written notice of revocation of your proxy to the Assistant General Counsel so that it is received before the taking of the vote at the 2021 Annual Meeting. In order to revoke your proxy, you must also notify the Assistant General Counsel of your intent to vote in another acceptable form, e.g., either by mail, by phone or by voting online, and then vote your shares before the meeting. If you require assistance in changing or revoking your proxy, please contact the Assistant General Counsel at 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, Attention: Assistant General Counsel or by email at tiffany.mcwaters@franchisegrp.com.

What constitutes a quorum?

Holders of a majority of the voting power represented by the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock of the Company entitled to vote who are present in person or represented by proxy, will constitute a quorum at the 2021 Annual Meeting. A quorum is required to transact business at the 2021 Annual Meeting. A representative of Equiniti Group plc has been appointed by the Company's Board of Directors to act as the inspector of elections. The inspector of elections will tabulate the votes cast by proxy or in person at the 2021 Annual Meeting and will determine whether or not a quorum is present. If a quorum is not present, the 2021 Annual Meeting may be adjourned in order to solicit additional proxies.

How are votes counted?

Each holder of Common Stock will be entitled to one vote for each share of Common Stock held by such stockholder. Except for the election of directors and except as otherwise required by law, the Second Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended (the “Certificate of Incorporation”) and the Second Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares of capital stock present or represented by proxy at the 2021 Annual Meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the stockholders. A plurality of the voting power of the shares of capital stock present in person or represented by proxy at the 2021 Annual Meeting and entitled to vote with respect to the election of directors shall elect directors.

Election of Directors (Proposal 1)
        
To be elected as a director, a nominee must receive a plurality of the voting power of the shares of capital stock present in person or represented by proxy and entitled to vote and, therefore, "withhold votes" will not impact the outcome of the elections.

Advisory and Non-Binding Vote to Approve the Compensation of the Company’s Named Executive Officers (Proposal 2)

    Approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares of capital stock present or represented by proxy and entitled to vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Under Delaware law, abstentions are counted as shares present and entitled to vote at the meeting.
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Therefore, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote "against" the approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers.

Ratification of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (Proposal 3)

    Ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm for Fiscal 2021 requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting power of the shares present or represented by proxy and entitled to vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Under Delaware law, abstentions are counted as shares present and entitled to vote at the meeting. Therefore, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote "against" the ratification of the Company's independent registered public accounting firm.

    Shares represented by proxy will be voted as directed on the proxy form and, if no direction is given, will be voted as follows:

1."FOR" the election of each of the director nominees; 

2."FOR" the approval, in an advisory and non-binding vote, of the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as disclosed in the Proxy Statement;

3."FOR" the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm for Fiscal 2021; and

4.In the best judgment of the persons named in the proxies, with respect to any other matters that may properly come before the 2021 Annual Meeting.

What are broker non-votes, and how are they counted?

Brokers, banks or other similar organizations holding shares in street name for customers who are beneficial owners of such shares are prohibited from voting customers' shares on non-routine matters in the absence of specific instructions from those customers. This is commonly referred to as a "broker non-vote." With respect to the proposals in question, broker non-votes will be counted for quorum purposes but will not be counted as "votes cast" either for or against such proposals.

The election of directors and the advisory approval of the compensation of the Company's named executive officers are considered non-routine matters and, therefore, if you hold your shares through a bank, broker or other similar organization, the organization may not vote your shares on these matters absent specific instructions from you. As such, there may be broker non-votes with respect to these matters. Because broker non-votes with respect to these matters will not be counted as "votes cast," if your shares are held in street name, it is critical that you vote or provide specific instructions to your broker, bank or similar organization if you want your vote to count.

If you received more than one proxy card, you may hold shares in more than one account. To ensure that all of your shares are voted, you must vote each proxy card by one of the approved methods: either by signing and return each proxy card by mail, voting each proxy card by phone or voting each proxy card online as described above. You also may attend and vote during the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Is my vote confidential?

Yes, it is our policy that documents identifying your vote are confidential. The vote of any stockholder will not be disclosed to any third party before the final vote count at the 2021 Annual Meeting except:

To meet any legal requirements; 
To assert claims for or defend claims against the Company; 
To allow authorized individuals to count and certify the results of the stockholder vote; 
To facilitate a successful proxy solicitation; or 
To respond to stockholders who have written comments on proxy cards.

What is the Company's internet address?

The Company's internet address is www.franchisegrp.com. The Company's filings with the SEC are available free of charge via the "Financial Information" link at this website (click on the "SEC Filings" heading) and may also be found at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

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PROPOSAL 1 - ELECTION OF DIRECTORS 

BOARD MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA AND PROCESS


In assessing the candidates for recommendation to the Board as director nominees, the Nominating Committee of the Board (the "Nominating Committee") considers the appropriate balance of skills, knowledge, diversity of background and experience, and expertise useful and appropriate to the effective oversight of our business. Additionally, the Nominating Committee takes into account the qualifications of the individual candidate as well as the composition of the Board as a whole. The Nominating Committee is committed to advancing diversity and the Company believes that its director nominees further its commitment to enhancing diversity at the Board level. While the Company does not have a formal policy on Board diversity, we believe a director’s ability to contribute to the diversity of perspectives necessary in Board deliberations is an attribute that is critical to the Company’s long-term success.

The Nominating Committee’s process for identifying and evaluating candidates to be nominees to the Board is typically initiated by identifying a candidate who meets the criteria for selection as a nominee and has the specific qualities or skills being sought based on input from members of the Board, management and, if the Nominating Committee deems appropriate, a third-party search firm which would help to identify candidates. The Nominating Committee considers candidates who are recommended by directors or stockholders, and who satisfy the qualifications we seek in our directors. A stockholder may recommend a director candidate. Instruction for submitting a director nominee is included under the "Nominating Committee" section below.

Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws provide that except as may be provided in a resolution or resolutions of the Board providing for any series of preferred stock with respect to any directors elected (or to be elected) by the holders of that series, the total number of directors constituting the entire Board shall consist of not less than five nor more than fifteen members, with the precise number of directors to be determined from time to time by a vote of the Board.

By resolution of the Board, the present size of the Board has been established at seven.  The Bylaws include an advance notice procedure for stockholder approvals to be brought before an annual meeting of stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to the Board. No nominations were received for the 2021 Annual Meeting, and the seven nominees for the Board being recommended for election at the 2021 Annual Meeting are being recommended by the Board, acting upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee. Each of the seven nominees, if elected, will hold office until the next annual meeting of stockholders and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Four of the seven nominees are current directors of the Board. The Board has nominated Matthew Avril, Patrick A. Cozza, Cynthia S. Dubin, Lisa M. Fairfax, Thomas Herskovits, Brian R. Kahn, and Megan Foster Starr for election as directors of the Company. Each nominee has consented to be named and to serve if elected. If any of the nominees becomes unavailable for election for any reason, the proxies will be voted for any substitute nominees.

DIRECTOR NOMINEES
    
 The following table sets forth information regarding our director nominees and designees, as of the date of this Proxy Statement:
NameAgePosition(s)
Matthew Avril60Director
Patrick A. Cozza65Director
Cynthia S. Dubin59Director
Lisa M. Fairfax50Director
Thomas Herskovits74Director
Brian R. Kahn47Director
Megan Foster Starr33Director

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE OF DIRECTOR NOMINEES

Matthew Avril. Mr. Avril, age 60, has served as a director of the Company since September 2018 and is a self-employed consultant. He was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors in March 2020. He is currently a member of the strategic advisory board of Vintage Capital Management, LLC (“Vintage”). From January 2018 to June 2020, he served as a director of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (“Babcock & Wilcox”), a global leader in energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets. From November 2016 to March 2017, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts International, Inc., a hospitality and vacation ownership company. From July 2014 until June 2016, Mr. Avril was a director of Aaron’s, Inc., a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories. From March 2011 to April 2016, Mr. Avril was a director of API Technologies Corporation, a developer of radio frequency and microwave, power and securities applications. From February 2015 to March 2016, he was consultant to and Chief Executive Officer-elect for Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. (“Vistana”), a vacation ownership business. Previously, he served as President, Hotel Group, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (“Starwood”), an international hotel and leisure company with extensive franchise operations, from August 2008 to July 2012. From 2002 to 2008, he served
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in a number of executive leadership positions with Starwood, and from 1989 to 1998, held various senior leadership positions with Vistana. Mr. Avril’s management background provides substantial additional expertise to the Board. Mr. Avril is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive status). Mr. Avril received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Miami.

Patrick A. Cozza. Mr. Cozza, age 65, has served as a Director of the Company since May 2018. Mr. Cozza also serves as an Executive in Residence, Lecturer and Professor at the Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Cozza was formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Insurance North America, which operated four insurance companies with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom, from January 2006 to December 2014. Concurrently, Mr. Cozza served as Senior Executive Vice President, Retail Banking and Wealth Management – North America for HSBC from January 2011 to December 2014, and previously served as Group Executive, Taxpayer Financial Services and North America and Mexico Insurance for HSBC Holdings plc, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, from January 2002 to December 2006. Mr. Cozza was also Chief Executive Officer of Taxpayer Financial Services from 2000 to 2002 and held a variety of senior leadership positions, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and President of the Beneficial Insurance Group subsidiaries of Beneficial Corporation from 1985 to 1998. Mr. Cozza serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors, where he holds the designation of Board Leadership Fellow, Private Directors Association, Junior Achievement and the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Cozza provides substantial management, leadership and strategic business experience and expertise to the Board of Directors. Mr. Cozza received a B.S. from Seton Hall University and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Cynthia S. Dubin. Ms Dubin, age 59, is an experienced chief financial officer and board director. In February 2019, Ms. Dubin was appointed to the board of the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") and is the Interim-Chair of its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and Chair of the Nominations Committee. The CMA is a non-ministerial government department, responsible for strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities. In March of 2019, she was appointed to the board of Hurco Group Companies and sits on their Audit Committee. Hurco, Nasdaq-listed, is an industrial technology company that designs and produces interactive computer controls, software and computerized machine tools. From 2015 to September 2020, she served on the Board of Directors of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc., a NYSE-listed global leader in advanced energy and environmental technologies and services. During her service, she served as the Chair of its Audit and Finance Committee and a member of its Governance Committee. Since July 2020, Ms. Dubin has served as a director for Synthomer plc, a London Stock Exchange traded chemicals manufacturer and is the Chair of its Audit Committee and a member of its Remuneration Committee. Since December 2020, Ms. Dubin has also served as a director for ICE Futures Europe, an exchange for futures and options contracts for crude oil, interest rates, equity derivatives, natural gas, power, coal, emissions, and soft commodities, and is a member of its Risk and Audit Committee. Ms. Dubin served as the CFO of Pivot Power LLP, an emerging leader in power storage and electric vehicle infrastructure in the U.K., from August 2018 to March 2019. Ms. Dubin was also the CFO for JKX Oil & Gas plc, from 2011 to 2016 and CFO for Canamens Ltd. from 2006 to 2011. These companies were London Stock Exchange listed and private equity-backed oil and gas exploration and production companies, respectively. Previously, Ms. Dubin was European CFO for a pre-eminent builder, owner and operator of large-scale power generation projects and started her career as a project finance banker. Ms. Dubin received a B.S. (finance and economics) from Georgetown University.

Lisa M. Fairfax. Ms. Fairfax, age 50, is currently a tenured and chaired professor at the George Washington University Law School ("GW") where she is the Alexander Hamilton Professor of Business Law, and the Founder and Director of the GW Corporate Law and Governance Initiative. From September 2015 to August 2019, Ms. Fairfax served as an appointed member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). From January 2008 to December 2011, Ms. Fairfax served as a
member of the National Adjudicatory Council of the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”). From June 2008 to June 2012, Ms. Fairfax served on FINRA’s NASDAQ Market Regulation Committee. Ms. Fairfax is currently Chair of the Board of Georgetown Day School, an independent K-12 school in Washington, D.C. Ms. Fairfax serves on the Board of DirectWomen, a nonprofit focused on increasing public company board diversity, and is a member of DirectWomen’s finance and audit committee. Ms. Fairfax is an elected member of the American Law Institute (“ALI”), and serves on the Advisory Group for the ALI’s Restatement of the Law, Corporate Governance. Ms. Fairfax is a member of the SEC Historical Society Board of Advisors. Prior to joining GW, Ms. Fairfax was a tenured professor and Director of the Business Law Program at the University of Maryland School of Law. Before entering academia, Ms. Fairfax practiced corporate and securities law with Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston and the District of Columbia. Ms. Fairfax’s financial services, securities, capital markets, regulatory environment, board oversight and duties, and corporate governance background provides substantial additional expertise to the Board. Ms. Fairfax received a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School with honors and an A.B. from Harvard College with honors.

Thomas Herskovits. Mr. Herskovits, age 74, served as a director of the Company from October 2015 until November 2017 and was reappointed to serve as a director in March 2018. Since 2014, Mr. Herskovits has been managing director of Feldman Advisors, a middle market investment banking firm based in Chicago, and since 1996, he has managed private investments through Herskovits Enterprises. From 2013 through February 2014, he was CEO of WinView, Inc., a privately-held technology company, and served on the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015. He previously served as non-operating Chairman of the Board of Directors of Natural Golf Corporation, a golf equipment and instruction company, as President & CEO of Specialty Foods, and as President of Kraft Dairy and Frozen Products. Mr. Herskovits was President of the Breakfast Foods Division of General Foods and spent the first nine years of his career in brand management at The Procter & Gamble Company. Mr. Herskovits’ management, finance and consumer products backgrounds provide substantial additional expertise to the Board. Mr. Herskovits received a B.S. in Architecture and Finance and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Syracuse University.

Brian R. Kahn. Mr. Kahn, age 47, has served as a director of the Company since September 2018 and as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2019. Mr. Kahn founded and has served as the investment manager of Vintage and its predecessor, Kahn Capital Management, LLC, since 1998. Vintage is a value-oriented, operations-focused, private and public equity investor specializing in the consumer, aerospace and defense, and manufacturing sectors. Mr. Kahn has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Buddy’s Newco LLC, an operator and franchisor of rent-to-own stores under the banners of Buddy’s Home Furnishings, Chairman of the Board of
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Directors of API Technologies Corporation, a developer of radio frequency and microwave, power and securities applications, from 2011 until 2016 and White Electronic Designs Corporation from 2009 until 2010. Mr. Kahn has also served as a director of Aaron’s, Inc., a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories from 2014 until 2015, Integral Systems, Inc., a provider of products, systems and services for satellite command and control, telemetry and digital signal processing, data communications, enterprise network management and communications information assurance, from 2011 to 2012, and Babcock & Wilcox, a global leader in energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets, from 2018 to 2020. Mr. Kahn brings to the Board extensive management and consumer finance expertise, as well as public company experience. Mr. Kahn received a B.A. from Harvard University.

Megan Foster Starr. Ms. Starr, age 33, is the Global Head of Impact for The Carlyle Group (“Carlye”), a global investment firm, where she works to design and execute Carlyle’s cohesive, long-term impact strategy. Ms. Starr also oversees Carlye’s environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) team, which leads the firm’s investment diligence and portfolio company engagement work on material ESG issues. Prior to joining Carlyle, Ms. Starr was within Goldman Sachs’ Investment Management Division, where she helped build the ESG and impact investing business. Previously, Ms. Starr served in roles at The JPB Foundation, a $3.8 billion private family foundation based in New York City. Ms. Starr is on the Board of Directors for Falmouth Academy, an independent college-preparatory school, as well as the Board of Directors of The Carbon Endowment, an environmental non-profit. Ms. Starr received an M.B.A. and a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow, and an A.B. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, where she graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in field of concentration.
        
COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Our Board currently has four standing committees: the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Risk Committee. The responsibilities of each committee are described below. Members serve on these committees until their resignation or until otherwise determined by our Board. The chart below reflects the current composition of each of the standing committees.

Name of DirectorAudit CommitteeCompensation CommitteeNominating CommitteeRisk Committee
Matthew AvrilXX
Patrick A. CozzaXX(1)X
Thomas HerskovitsX(1)X
Brian R. Kahn
Andrew M. LaurenceX
Lawrence MillerXX(1)
G. William Minner, Jr.X(1)X
(1) Chairperson of Committee

Audit Committee

Our Audit Committee, which met thirteen times during Fiscal 2020, provides oversight of our accounting and financial reporting process, the audit of our financial statements and our internal control function. Among other matters, the Audit Committee assists the Board of Directors in oversight of the independent auditors' qualifications, independence and performance; is responsible for the engagement, retention and compensation of the independent auditors; reviews the scope of the annual audit; reviews and discusses with management and the independent auditors the results of the annual audit and the review of our quarterly consolidated financial statements, including the disclosures in our annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC; reviews and oversees risk management related to financial matters; establishes procedures for receiving, retaining and investigating complaints received by us regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or audit matters; approves audit and permissible non-audit services provided by our independent auditor; and reviews and approves related party transactions under Item 404 of Regulation S-K. In addition, our Audit Committee oversees our internal audit function.

All members of our Audit Committee meet the requirements for financial literacy under the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and NASDAQ. Our Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Minner has been designated the Company’s audit committee financial expert as defined under the applicable rules of the SEC and NASDAQ. All of the current members of our Audit Committee are, and all of the members who served on the Audit Committee during Fiscal 2020 were, independent as defined under the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and NASDAQ. The Board has adopted a written Audit Committee Charter, which is available at the Company's website at www.franchisegrp.com or upon written request to the Assistant General Counsel, Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.

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Compensation Committee

Our Compensation Committee, which met four times during Fiscal 2020, adopts and administers the compensation policies, plans and benefit programs for our executive officers and all other members of our executive team. In addition, among other things, our Compensation Committee annually evaluates, in consultation with the Board of Directors, the performance of our Chief Executive Officer, reviews and approves corporate goals and objectives relevant to compensation of our Chief Executive Officer and other executives and evaluates the performance of these executives in light of those goals and objectives. Our Compensation Committee also adopts and administers our equity compensation plans.

The current members of the Compensation Committee are listed above. All of the current members of our Compensation Committee are, and all of the members who served on the Compensation Committee during Fiscal 2020 were, independent under the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and NASDAQ, and Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). The Board has adopted a written Compensation Committee Charter, which is available at the Company's website at www.franchisegrp.com or upon written request to the Assistant General Counsel, Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.

Nominating Committee

Our Nominating Committee, which met four times during Fiscal 2020, is responsible for, among other things, making recommendations regarding the composition of our Board, identification, evaluation and nomination of director candidates and the structure and composition of committees of our Board. The Nominating Committee is also responsible for considering candidates nominated by stockholders for election to the Board, evaluating the proposed candidates and making recommendations regarding the candidates to the Board. The Nominating Committee considers candidates for Board membership recommended by its members and other Board members, as well as by management and stockholders.  While there are no formal procedures for stockholders to submit director candidate recommendations, the Nominating Committee will consider candidates recommended in writing by stockholders entitled to vote in the election of directors. Such written submissions should include the name, address, and telephone number of the recommended candidate, along with a brief statement of the candidate's qualifications to serve as a director. All such stockholder recommendations should be submitted to the attention of the Assistant General Counsel at the Company’s principal office located at Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456 and must be received in a reasonable time prior to the next annual election of directors to be considered by the Nominating Committee. Any director candidate recommended by a stockholder will be reviewed and considered by the Nominating Committee in the same manner as all other director candidates based on the qualifications described in this section. In addition, our Nominating Committee approves our Committee charters, oversees compliance with our code of business conduct and ethics, reviews actual and potential conflicts of interest of our directors and officers other than related party transactions reviewed by the Audit Committee and oversees the Board self-evaluation process.

The current members of the Nominating Committee are listed above. All of the current members of our Nominating Committee are, and all members who served on the Nominating Committee during Fiscal 2020 were, independent under the rules and regulations of NASDAQ. The Board has adopted a written Nominating Committee Charter, which is available at the Company’s website at www.franchisegrp.com or upon written request to the Assistant General Counsel, Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.

Risk Committee

Our Risk Committee, which met four times during Fiscal 2020, is responsible for, among other things, risk governance structure, risk management, and review of operational risk assessment guidelines and policies. In addition, our Risk Committee oversees the performance of the internal compliance department, evaluates and reports on the adequacy of our system of internal controls and processes governing all aspects of compliance operations. Our Risk Committee is also responsible for assisting the Board of Directors in its oversight and review of information regarding our risk management approach. The current members of the Risk Committee are listed above.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PRACTICES

The Company maintains robust governance practices and is committed to strong corporate governance practices that are designed to maintain high standards of oversight, accountability, integrity and ethics. The Board believes this commitment promotes and benefits the long-term interests of our stockholders. We regularly review and update our corporate governance practices in response to best practices, changes in law, and other corporate developments, as well as the evolving needs of our business. Additionally, the Company documents key components of its corporate governance system, including through its written Code of Conduct, Insider Trading Policy, Company Corporate Governance Guideline, Disclosure Committee Charter, and Board of Directors Charter and Corporate Governance Guidelines.

Code of Conduct

All directors, officers and employees of the Company must adhere to the ethical standards as set forth in the Company's Code of Conduct (the "Code of Conduct"), which was amended in July 2018 to address policies and procedures including, but not limited to, conflicts of interests and related party transactions. The fundamental principles outlined in the Code of Conduct serve as a guide for matters, including but not limited to, adhering to ethical standards in day to day activities, engaging in fair dealings and best business practices, complying with state, federal and foreign laws, identifying conflicts of interest, ensuring financial integrity and reporting violations of the Code of Conduct.
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There are many resources in which potential violations of the Code of Conduct may be reported as well as related concerns or to seek guidance on ethical matters through in-person, email and telephone communications. The Company has established an anonymous Code of Conduct and Compliance Hotline at 844-989-1499 or by email at www.franchisegroup.ethicspoint.com and reports of possible violations can also be made to the Human Resources Officer. The Code of Conduct is available at the Company’s website at www.franchisegrp.com or upon written request directed to the Assistant General Counsel in writing at 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, Attention: Assistant General Counsel, or by email at tiffany.mcwaters@franchisegrp.com.

Director Independence and Board Structure

Our Board has undertaken a review of its composition, the composition of its committees and the independence of each director. Based on the review of each director's background, employment and affiliations, including family relationships, the Board has determined that, except for Mr. Kahn and Mr. Laurence, all of our current directors are “independent” under the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and NASDAQ. In making this determination, our Board considered the current and prior relationships that each non-employee director has with the Company and all other facts and circumstances our Board of Directors deemed relevant in determining their independence, including the beneficial ownership of our capital stock.

In March 2020, the Board of Directors appointed Matthew Avril to serve as Chairman of the Board, replacing Andrew Laurence who served as Chairman of Board from September 2018 until March 2020. The Board historically has not designated a “lead independent director,” but the Company’s Board of Directors Charter and Governance Guidelines provide that the Board may, at its election, select an independent director to serve as lead independent director. The Board has determined that it is in the best interest of the Company’s stockholders at this time for the positions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer to be separated.

The Risk Committee was established to have oversight responsibility of the Company’s risk governance structure, risk management and to monitor the Company's operational risks. However, the Board expects the Company’s management to take primary responsibility for identifying material risks the Company faces and communicating them to the Risk Committee and to the Board, developing and implementing appropriate risk management strategies responsive to those risks with oversight from the Risk Committee, and integrating risk management into the Company's decision-making processes. The Board of Directors regularly reviews information regarding the Company’s credit, liquidity, regulatory and operational risks as well as strategies for addressing and managing these risks. Certain other committees of the Board, such as the Audit and Compensation Committees, manage risks within their area of responsibility. In particular, the Audit Committee monitors financial, credit and liquidity risk issues, and the Compensation Committee monitors the Company's compensation programs so that those programs do not encourage excessive risk-taking by Company employees.

Meeting Attendance

During Fiscal 2020, our Board of Directors held twenty-one meetings, either in person or by telephone. Each director attended at least 75% of the aggregate of (1) the total number of meetings of the Board of Directors held while he was a director, and (2) the total number of meetings held by all committees on which he served during the periods that he served on the committee.

Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance

Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), requires our officers and directors, and beneficial owners of more than 10% of our Common Stock, to file with the SEC reports detailing their ownership of our Common Stock and changes in such ownership. Officers, directors and greater than 10% beneficial owners are required by SEC regulations to furnish us with copies of all Section 16(a) reports they file.

To the Company's knowledge, there were no late filings of Section 16(a) reports during Fiscal 2020 by our executive officers and directors who served during Fiscal 2020.

Director Attendance at Annual Meeting of Stockholders

All Board members attended the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on June 3, 2020.

Communications with the Board

Stockholders and other interested parties wishing to communicate with the Board, the non-employee directors, or an individual Board member concerning the Company may do so by writing to the Board, to the non-employee directors, or to the particular Board member, and mailing the correspondence to the Assistant General Counsel, Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456. Please indicate on the envelope whether the communication is from a stockholder or other interested party. In addition, our Board members have made and may in the future make themselves available for consultation and direct communication with significant stockholders.

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote "FOR" the election to the Board each of the seven nominees identified above as "Director Nominees."

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COMPENSATION COMMITTEE INTERLOCKS AND INSIDER PARTICIPATION

During Fiscal 2020, none of the members of the Compensation Committee was an officer or employee of the Company. No executive officer of the Company served on the compensation committee (or other board committee performing equivalent functions) or on the board of directors of any entity having an executive officer who served on the Compensation Committee.

NON-EMPLOYEE DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

Non-employee director compensation is reviewed and approved by the Board based on the recommendations of the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee periodically reviews non-employee director compensation in an effort to determine if the Company pays competitive compensation to attract and retain highly-qualified directors. In Fiscal 2020, non-employee directors received an annual retainer of $55,000 or an equal amount of compensation in the form of restricted stock. In addition, directors who served as Chairperson of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating Committee and Risk Committee received annual retainers of $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $10,000, respectively. Additionally, directors who served on the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating Committee and Risk Committee received annual retainers of $10,000, $7,500, $5,000 and $5,000, respectively. Our committee members are also entitled to receive this cash compensation in the form of restricted stock, if they so elect. In Fiscal 2020, we also granted each of our non-employee directors stock-based compensation in the form of restricted stock units (“RSUs”) in an approximate value of $120,000. The Chairman of the Board received an additional RSU retainer equivalent to approximately $100,000.

For Fiscal 2021, the Compensation Committee approved a change in the mix of cash compensation and stock-based compensation for non-employee directors to provide an annual retainer of $87,500 or an equal amount of compensation in the form of restricted stock. In addition, those directors who serve as Chairperson of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating Committee and Risk Committee will receive annual retainers of $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $10,000, respectively. Additionally, directors who serve on the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating Committee and Risk Committee received annual retainers of $10,000, $7,500, $5,000 and $5,000, respectively. Our committee members are also entitled to receive this cash compensation in the form of restricted stock, if they so elect. For Fiscal 2021, we also granted each of our non-employee directors stock-based compensation in the form of RSUs with an approximate value of $87,500. The Chairman of the Board will receive an additional RSU retainer equivalent to approximately $100,000.

The table below sets forth all compensation paid to our non-employee directors for Fiscal 2020. Information regarding Mr. Kahn and Mr. Laurence's compensation for Fiscal 2020 is included under “Executive Compensation.”

NameFees Earned or Paid in CashStock Awards (1) (2)Option Awards (3) (4)All Other CompensationTotal
Matthew Avril (5)$79,830 $220,001 $— $— $299,831 
Patrick A. Cozza (6)91,250 120,007 — — 211,257 
Thomas Herskovits (7)78,533 120,007 — — 198,540 
Lawrence Miller (8)80,248 120,007 — — 200,255 
G. William Minner, Jr. (9)87,972 120,007 — — 207,979 

(1)Amounts in this column reflect the grant date fair value of the RSUs granted to each non-employee director under the Company's 2019 Omnibus Plan, calculated in accordance with FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 ("ASC Topic 718"), based on the fair market value, as determined by the Board of Directors, of the Company's stock on the effective date of grant. Assumptions used in the calculation of these amounts for Fiscal 2020 are included in Note 11 to the Company's audited financial statements for Fiscal 2020. 

(2)The value reported in the “Stock Awards” column represents RSUs granted to directors which generally vest and become subject to settlement 12 months after the date of grant. Each RSU represents the right to receive upon settlement of one share of the Company’s Common Stock. The aggregate amount of RSUs outstanding as of December 26, 2020 for Mr. Avril was 8,871, Mr. Cozza was 4,839, Mr. Herskovits was 4,839, Mr. Miller was 4,839 and Mr. Minner was 4,839. For each of the awards, the grant date fair value of these awards is calculated using the closing price of the Company's Common Stock on the date of grant.

(3)Amounts in this column reflect the grant date fair value of the options granted to each director, under the Company's 2019 Omnibus Plan calculated in accordance with ASC Topic 718, based on the fair market value, as determined by the Board of the Company's Common Stock on the date of grant.

(4)The aggregate number of option awards outstanding as of December 26, 2020 for each of Messrs. Avril, Cozza, Herskovits. Miller, and Minner was 23,188 options.

(5)Fees earned for Mr. Avril includes a $55,000 annual board retainer fee, a $10,000 Audit Committee member retainer fee and a $7,500 Compensation Committee member retainer fee.

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(6)Fees earned for Mr. Cozza includes a $55,000 annual board retainer fee, a $10,000 Audit Committee member retainer fee, a $15,000 Compensation Committee chairman retainer fee and a $5,000 Nominating Committee member retainer fee.

(7)Fees earned for Mr. Herskovits includes a $55,000 annual board retainer fee, a $10,000 Nominating Committee chairman retainer fee, and a $5,000 Risk Committee member retainer fee.

(8)Fees earned for Mr. Miller includes a $55,000 annual board retainer fee, a $7,500 Compensation Committee member retainer fee and a $10,000 Risk Committee chairman retainer fee.

(9)Fees earned for Mr. Minner includes a $55,000 annual board retainer fee, a $20,000 Audit Committee chairman retainer fee and a $5,000 Nominating Committee member retainer fee.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our current executive officers:

NameAgePosition(s)
Brian R. Kahn47President and Chief Executive Officer
Eric F. Seeton49Chief Financial Officer
Andrew M. Laurence46Executive Vice President
Andrew F. Kaminsky52Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Kenneth Todd Evans57Chief Franchising Officer

Brian R. Kahn. Mr. Kahn has served as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2, 2019. Mr. Kahn currently serves on the Board. Additional information about Mr. Kahn’s business experience is disclosed under the Qualifications and Experience of Director Nominees section in this Proxy Statement.

Eric F. Seeton. Mr. Seeton has served as the Company's Chief Financial Officer since October 28, 2019. From September 2015 until October 2019, Mr. Seeton served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of API Technologies Corporation, a developer of radio frequency and microwave, power and securities applications. Prior to API Technologies Corporation, Mr. Seeton served as the Business Unit Finance Director for the radio frequency and microwave business unit from July 2014 until September 2015 at Analog Devices, Inc. and as the Director of Corporate Finance for Hittite Microwave Corp. from July 2011 until its acquisition by Analog Devices, Inc. in July 2014. Mr. Seeton is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive status) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bentley College (now Bentley University) and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

Andrew M. Laurence. Mr. Laurence has served as a director of the Company since September 2018 and its Executive Vice President since October 2019. Mr. Laurence will be retiring from the Board at the end of his term at the 2021 Annual Meeting. Mr. Laurence is a partner of Vintage since January 2010 and is responsible for all aspects of its transaction sourcing, due diligence and execution. Since January 2015, Mr. Laurence has been a director and member of the audit committee of IEC Electronics Corp., a provider of electronic manufacturing services to advanced technology companies that produce products for the medical, industrial, aerospace and defense sectors. Mr. Laurence also serves as Manager of East Coast Welding & Fabrication, LLC, a metals fabrication and machining business. Mr. Laurence served as Corporate Secretary of API Technologies from January 2011 until February 2016; he also served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer from January 2011 to June 2011. He is also a director of non-profits Good Sports, Inc. and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Milton. Mr. Laurence received a B.A. from Harvard University.

Andrew F. Kaminsky. Mr. Kaminsky has served as the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer since October 2, 2019. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kaminsky held various executive and operating positions with Viavi Solutions Inc., Cobham plc and Aeroflex Holding Corp. From April 2018 through June 2019, Mr. Kaminsky was an Executive Consultant in Strategic Initiatives to the CEO of Viavi Solutions Inc., focusing on mergers and acquisitions, their subsequent integration and driving operational efficiencies across the company. From September 2014 through April 2018, Mr. Kaminsky held various roles with Cobham plc, most recently as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. From March 2010 through its sale to Cobham plc in September 2014, Mr. Kaminsky was a Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development, Investor Relations and Human Resources for Aeroflex Holding Corp. Prior to his corporate roles, Mr. Kaminsky spent over 15 years as an investment banker, including as a Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and CIBC. In 2001, Mr. Kaminsky co-founded and presently serves as the Chairman and Executive Director of the Greg Richards, Larry Polatsch and Scott Weingard Memorial Fund, a 9/11 not-for-profit charity. Mr. Kaminsky holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a M.B.A. in Finance and Management from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Kenneth Todd Evans. Mr. Evans has served as Chief Franchising Officer of Franchise Group since August 1, 2020. Prior to joining Franchise Group, Mr. Evans served as Vice President of Franchising with UBREAKIFIX/Asurion, a franchised consumer electronics repair company, from May 2015 through July 2020. From April 2014 through May 2015, Mr. Evans served as Vice President of Franchising with Rent A Tire. From June 1991 through Mach 2014, Mr. Evans served various executive roles including Vice President of Franchising with
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Aaron’s, Inc., a franchised consumer durables leasing company. Mr. Evans holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University.

COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS 

Our compensation discussion and analysis (“CD&A”) describes the Company's compensation philosophy and pay programs that we provided to our named executive officers (“NEOs”) in Fiscal 2020. The below CD&A provides an overview of our business performance for Fiscal 2020, highlights the key components and structure of our executive compensation program, discusses the principles underlying our compensation policies and procedures and addresses other matters we believe explain and demonstrate our performance-based compensation philosophy. Our NEOs during Fiscal 2020 are listed below:

NamePosition(s)
Brian R. KahnPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Eric F. SeetonChief Financial Officer
Andrew M. LaurenceExecutive Vice President
Andrew F. KaminskyExecutive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Kenneth Todd Evans (1) Chief Franchising Officer

(1)Mr. Evans joined the Company on August 1, 2020.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Compensation

As a result of the business and market volatility and uncertainty caused by the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company temporarily reduced the base salaries for Mr. Kahn by 50%, Mr. Kaminsky and Mr. Laurence by 40%, and Mr. Seeton by 30% in March 2020. In July 2020, the Board restored the NEO compensation to its previous levels. Additionally, there were no merit increases for any of NEOs in Fiscal 2020.

The Company also announced several other additional cost-saving measures to mitigate the operating and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including approaching landlords to seek rent deferrals and abatements, furloughing employees in stores that were temporarily closed, suspending all non-essential capital expenditures, dramatically reducing non-committed or contractual marketing activities and delaying non-essential projects and programs.

Executive Summary, Compensation Overview and Objectives

We strive to establish compensation practices that attract, retain and reward our senior management, motivate our executives to achieve our overall business objectives, and strengthen alignment between our senior management and our stockholders. Under the oversight of the Compensation Committee, we have developed and implemented a pay-for-performance executive compensation program that is conservative, but competitive and rewards senior management for the achievement of certain financial and performance objectives.

Our program consists primarily of three direct compensation elements: (i) salary, (ii) annual incentive compensation, and (iii) long-term equity compensation as detailed in the table below.

Base Salary
Annual Incentive Compensation
Restricted Stock Units (“RSUs”)
Performance Restricted Stock Units (“PRSUs”)
Form of Compensation
Cash
Cash
Equity
Equity
Performance Timing
Short-Term Emphasis
Short-Term Emphasis
Long-Term Emphasis
Long-Term Emphasis
Compensation Period
N/A
Annual Performance
3 Years
3 Years
Key Performance Measures
N/A
Annual Financial, Operational & Individual Performance
Annual Financial Performance & Stock Price Appreciation
Multi-Year Financial Performance & Stock Price Appreciation
Determination of Performance-Based Payouts
N/A
70% Formulaic/30% Discretion based on Individual Performance
Time Vested
Formulaic

Our NEOs’ total direct compensation reflects a mix of the above elements. We achieve the philosophy of pay-for-performance and alignment with stockholder value creation primarily by providing a substantial portion of each executive's total annual compensation through annual performance bonuses and grants of long-term equity compensation. The Compensation Committee also believes that there must be a meaningful link between the compensation paid to our executives and our goal of long-term, sustainable growth for our stockholders. For
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Fiscal 2020, the Compensation Committee tied the level of potential bonus payments for each of the named executive officers as follows: 70% of the potential payout allocated to the achievement of pro-forma adjusted EBITDA of the Company, and 30% to the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer based on a review of individual performance, components of which are discussed further in the "Fiscal 2020 Compensation Components" section in this Proxy Statement. For the Chief Executive Officer, 30% of the potential payment was at the discretion of the Board based on a review of his individual performance, components of which are discussed further in the "Fiscal 2020 Compensation Components" section in this Proxy Statement.
    
Determination of Compensation

Our Compensation Committee is responsible for determining our compensation and benefit plans generally and has established and reviewed all compensatory plans and arrangements with respect to our NEOs. The Compensation Committee meets not less than four times annually to specifically review and determine adjustments, if any, to all elements of compensation, including base salary, annual bonus compensation and long-term equity awards. The Compensation Committee annually evaluates the achievement of performance goals for the prior fiscal year and sets new performance goals for the current fiscal year. The Compensation Committee also meets additionally as needed to discuss compensation-related matters as they arise during the year. The Compensation Committee is also responsible for reviewing and approving total compensation packages for new executive officers, as well as severance payments for departing executive officers.

In addition, with respect to the compensation of our NEOs, other than our Chief Executive Officer, the Compensation Committee seeks the input and recommendation of our Chief Executive Officer. Our Chief Executive Officer reviews each of the other NEO’s overall performance and contribution to the Company at the end of each fiscal year and makes recommendations regarding their compensation to the Compensation Committee. Our Board Chairman reviews the Chief Executive Officer’s overall performance and contribution to the Company at the end of each fiscal year and his compensation is determined by the Compensation Committee.

The Compensation Committee maintains a flexible compensation program that allows it to adapt components and levels of compensation to motivate and reward individual executives within the context of our desire to attain certain strategic and financial goals. Subjective factors considered in compensation determinations include an executive’s skills and capabilities, contributions as a member of the executive management team, contributions to our overall performance and the sufficiency of total compensation potential and structure to ensure the retention of an executive when considering the compensation potential that may be available elsewhere.

Independent Compensation Consultant
In 2020, the Compensation Committee engaged Pearl Meyer & Partners LLC (“Pearl Meyer”), an independent compensation consultant, to provide a complete market analysis and assessment of the competitiveness of the Company’s executive compensation program. During 2020, Pearl Meyer advised the Compensation Committee on a variety of subjects, including compensation plan design and trends, pay-for-performance analytics, benchmarking data and related matters. Additionally, as part of its engagement, Pearl Meyer assisted the Compensation Committee in reviewing market data regarding salary, annual cash incentive award targets, and equity-based and other long-term incentive compensation awards to assess the competitiveness of the compensation of our executives. In connection with the analysis of equity-based and other long-term incentive compensation for our executives, Pearl Meyer provided market data for performance-based restricted stock unit plans using financial measures. During 2020, a Pearl Meyer representative attended one Compensation Committee meeting, which included a presentation to the Compensation Committee on the topic of COVID-19 trends in connection with executive compensation.

Our Compensation Peer Group

The Compensation Committee believes it is important to clearly understand the relevant market for executive talent to inform its decision-making and ensure that our executive compensation program supports our recruitment and retention needs. In designing the 2020 compensation program, the Compensation Committee worked with Pearl Meyer to assess the competitiveness of our executive compensation practices using a peer group of the companies listed below, which we refer to as the Peer Group. The Compensation Committee intends to periodically review compensation data for the Peer Group derived from available compensation survey data, including public filings. The Peer Group is used by the Compensation Committee solely for the purpose of benchmarking executive compensation. We do not use the relative financial performance of the Peer Group as a performance metric in our incentive compensation programs.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
Carriage Services, Inc.
Domino's Pizza, Inc.
H&R Block, Inc.
RE/MAX Holdings, Inc.
Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc.
Aaron's, Inc.
CBIZ, Inc.
Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.
Jack in the Box Inc.
Regional Management Corp.
Strategic Education, Inc.
At Home Group Inc.
Conn's, Inc.
EZCORP, Inc.
Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc.
Regis Corporation
The Wendy's Company
Best Buy Co.
Denny's Corporation
FirstCash, Inc.
OneMain Holdings, Inc.
Rent-A-Center, Inc.
World Acceptance Corporation
Big Lots, Inc.
Dine Brands Global, Inc.
GNC Holdings, Inc.
Papa John's International, Inc.
Resources Connection, Inc.

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The Compensation Committee selected companies for inclusion in this Peer Group based on the following criteria:

the similarity of their industry classification to the Company’s classification;
the business model of the peers compared to the Company;
the extent to which they compete with the Company for executive talent and for investors; and
general comparability of key size measures, primarily revenue and market capitalization.

The Compensation Committee does not rely solely on data from the Peer Group in establishing the compensation for our executive officers. Furthermore, the Compensation Committee does not target a specific competitive position versus the market in determining the compensation of our executive officers because, in light of our diverse mix of businesses, it believes strict benchmarking against a selected group of companies would not provide a meaningful basis for establishing compensation. While the Compensation Committee considers the data from the Peer Group helpful in assessing our competitive position, it also refers to additional resources, including publicly available compensation data for other potential competitors for executive talent. The Compensation Committee considers Peer Group and competitor pay, alongside our pay for performance and long-term value creation objectives, in determining the compensation for our executive officers that best aligns compensation and stakeholder interests.

2020 Say-on-Pay

    The Compensation Committee values the input of our stockholders regarding the design and effectiveness of our executive compensation program. At the 2020 annual meeting of stockholders, the Company asked its stockholders to vote to approve, on an advisory basis, the Company’s executive compensation. Although the advisory stockholder vote on executive compensation was non-binding, the Compensation Committee has considered, and will continue to consider, the outcome of this vote each year when making compensation decisions for our Chief Executive Officer and other executive officers. Approximately 99% of the stockholders who voted on the “say-on-pay” proposal at the 2020 annual meeting of stockholders approved the compensation of our named executive officers, while approximately 1% voted against the proposal. In light of such strong support, the Compensation Committee determined that no significant additional changes were needed to the executive compensation program for Fiscal 2020. Nonetheless, because market practice and our business needs continue to evolve, the Compensation Committee continually evaluates our compensation program and makes changes when warranted.

Decisions and Oversight

We summarize the allocation of responsibilities for executive compensation decisions in the table below:
Compensation Committee
Determines our compensation program and policies for our NEOs and approves the compensation levels applicable to our NEOs.
Board of Directors and Management
The Compensation Committee consults the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and other members of management as the Committee evaluates performance of, and establishes the compensation program and policies for our NEOs.
Independent Compensation Consultant
Provides guidance to the Compensation Committee with respect to our compensation levels and our compensation programs.


Design Consideration Factors

In designing our Fiscal 2020 executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee considered the factors listed below, with input and guidance from Pearl Meyer and by our overall compensation philosophy. We refer to these factors as the Design Consideration Factors:

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The Competitive Landscape for Executive Talent
The Compensation Committee considered the competitive demand for our executive officers based on their prior experience and success. While the Compensation Committee did not target a specific competitive position versus the market in determining the compensation of our executive officers, how our executive compensation package compares to those of our peer group companies was an important factor in the design of our 2020 compensation program.

The Company’s and Individual Executive’s Performance
The Compensation Committee considered the performance of the Company, the executive officers’ respective roles and their contributions to our performance. As such, the program includes “at-risk” elements that appropriately motivate and reward NEOs for our continued high performance and align them with the goal of long-term value creation for our shareholders.

An Executive Officer’s Potential to Assume Additional Leadership Responsibility
In designing individual compensation for each NEO, the Compensation Committee considered the historical performance of such executive officer, readiness of such executive officer to assume greater leadership responsibility, and the ability to execute on succession planning.

The Relative Complexity and Importance of the Executive Officer’s Position within Franchise Group

The Compensation Committee considered the importance of pay equity among the executive officers based on the relative complexity and importance of the position and each executive officer’s historical performance, tenure and leadership potential.



Based on the Design Consideration Factors noted above, the Compensation Committee established each NEOs total target compensation for Fiscal 2020. After establishing each NEOs total target compensation, the Compensation Committee then allocated the total target compensation amount among each of the elements of compensation described below.

Timeline for Compensation Decisions

The Compensation Committee followed the process shown below in making Fiscal 2020 annual pay decisions for each principal component of compensation included in Fiscal 2020 total direct compensation, which includes the fiscal 2021 long-term incentive awards. Total direct compensation for each of our NEOs is shown in the “Summary Compensation Table.”
March 2020
June 2020
December 2020
March 2021
Reviewed Pearl Meyer market data analysis and approved 2020 performance goals for Fiscal 2020 bonuses and long-term incentive awards and related performance targets.
                                          Temporarily reduced NEO & Director compensation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reviewed executive and non-employee director compensation trends in the COVID-19 environment.
                                            Approved restoration of executive base salaries effective July 1, 2020 following reduction in light of COVID-19.
Reviewed preliminary Fiscal 2020 Company and business unit performance and status of NEO performance goals.
Reviewed final Fiscal 2020 Company, business unit and individual NEO performance.
                                                                   Approved performance factors and individual payout levels for Fiscal 2020 annual incentive awards.
                                                                   Approved and granted fiscal 2021 LTIP awards reflective of Fiscal 2020 performance.
                                                                   Payout of Fiscal 2020 annual incentive awards.


Fiscal 2020 Compensation Components

During Fiscal 2020, the compensation provided to our NEOs consisted of base salary, annual bonus, long-term equity-based compensation and performance-based equity incentives, each of which is described in more detail below. We believe that the mix of cash- and equity-based compensation, as well as the relationship of fixed to performance-based compensation, is properly balanced and provides us with an effective means to attract, motivate and retain our NEOs, as well as reward them for creation of stockholder value.

Base Salary

The base salary payable to each NEO is intended to provide a fixed component of compensation reflecting the executive's skill set, experience, role and responsibilities. Base salary amounts are established at the time of each NEO's initial employment with the Company, but are subject to adjustment by the Compensation Committee after its consideration of, among other factors, the scope of the executive's responsibilities, individual performance for the prior year, the mix of fixed compensation to overall compensation and consistency with what the Compensation Committee considers to be the market standard for compensation paid to similarly-situated executives at other companies. None of our NEOs received a change in base salary in Fiscal 2020.

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Annual Bonuses

The Company has an annual performance bonus plan through which we provide cash bonuses to certain of our senior employees, including all of our NEOs. Annual bonuses are intended to compensate executives for achieving annual company-wide financial and operating goals, as well as individual performance. Under our bonus plan, our Compensation Committee establishes a financial target that can be earned at a threshold amount, target amount or maximum payout. The actual percentages applied to each metric are established in each NEOs employment agreement with the Company. In Fiscal 2020, our NEOs could earn up to 70% of their bonus based on the Company’s achievement of the financial target of pro-forma adjusted EBITDA of $232.1 million and 30% based on individual performance. In Fiscal 2020, the Company achieved pro-forma adjusted EBITDA of $258.4 million, which exceeded the target amount. Accordingly, the bonus payments earned for Fiscal 2020 were as follows: Mr. Kahn received $1,250,000, Messrs. Laurence and Kaminsky received $700,000 and Mr. Seeton received $600,000. Mr. Evans non-equity incentive plan is a commission equal to 10% of all amounts paid to the Company and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates in connection with the sale of any franchise subject to certain conditions which was $110,764 for Fiscal 2020.

In determining the discretionary bonuses for Fiscal 2020, the Chief Executive Officer and Board evaluated certain achievements including, but not limited to, the following:

the successful navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the prioritization of the health and welfare of our employees, customers and communities;
completion of the American Freight acquisition and subsequent integration;
the successful signing and integration planning of the acquisition of Furniture Factory Ultimate Holding, L.P.;
the refranchising of forty-seven Buddy’s locations, including a twenty store development agreement;
the integration of Vitamin Shoppe;
the successful completion of five financing transactions for over $940 million;
the significant improvement in the Company’s balance sheet; and
the overall performance of our business.

Long-term equity compensation

2019 Omnibus Plan

    On November 10, 2019, in consideration of the benefits of long-term equity incentive awards and upon the recommendation of our Compensation Committee, our Board of Directors adopted 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan (also referred to in this Proxy Statement as the “2019 Omnibus Plan” or the “2019 Plan”). The 2019 Plan, which reserved 5,000,000 shares of Common Stock for issuance, was subsequently approved by our stockholders by written consent on December 4, 2019. Simultaneously with stockholder approval of the 2019 Plan, the Company’s prior equity incentive compensation plan, the JTH Holding, Inc. 2011 Equity and Cash Incentive Plan (the “2011 Plan”), was terminated. No new awards will be granted under the 2011 Plan, although awards previously granted under the 2011 Plan and still outstanding will continue to be subject to all terms and conditions of the 2011 Plan.

    We consider the 2019 Plan to be an important element of our compensation programs with two complementary goals of (i) attracting and retaining outstanding individuals to serve as officers, directors, employees and consultants to our Company and (ii) to increasing stockholder value by providing a direct link between stockholder value and executive compensation.

    Key features of the 2019 Plan include:

All stock options, stock appreciation rights and other purchase rights must have an exercise price that is not less than the fair market value of the underlying stock on the grant date. 
The maximum number of shares of our Common Stock remaining available for future issuance under the 2019 Plan is 4,062,558 (as of December 26, 2020). The maximum number of shares of our Common Stock that may be issued under the 2019 Plan may be issued under any type of award, including incentive stock options. 
The 2019 Plan does not include any reload or “evergreen” share replenishment features. 
Without stockholder approval, we may not reprice awards or repurchase awards that are subject to forfeiture or have not yet vested. 
Any material amendments to the 2019 Plan require stockholder approval. 
The 2019 Plan is administered by our Compensation Committee.

In determining the Fiscal 2020 target dollars values for the NEOs' equity awards, the Compensation Committee considered the completed and pending transactions that will result in incremental complexity of the business operations, assumption of additional responsibilities of our NEOs and the market analysis provided by Pearl Meyer. The Fiscal 2020 RSU awards will vest equally over a three-year period and represent 50% of an NEO's total award. The Fiscal 2020 PRSU awards will vest based on the achievement of two independent performance goals: (i) 50% of the performance goal is based on a cumulative proforma adjusted EBITDA target for fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022 (the "Performance Period") and (ii) 50% of the performance goal is based on a cumulative free cash flow target during the Performance Period.

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The Company has entered into compensation arrangements with each NEO, which are described in more detail below under the heading “Individual Compensation Arrangements with Named Executive Officers.”

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The following table sets forth information about our outstanding stock grants and remaining shares available as of December 26, 2020 under the 2019 Omnibus Plan and 2011 Equity and Cash Incentive Plan:

Plan CategoryNumber of Securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rightsWeighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rightsNumber of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a)
(a)(b)(c)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders965,036 $10.82 4,062,558 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders— — — 
Total965,036 $10.82 4,062,558 

Retirement Benefits, Perquisites and Other Benefits

In Fiscal 2020, our named executive officers were eligible to receive the same benefits, including life and health benefits, which were available to all employees. Additionally, each of our NEOs have the opportunity to participate in our 401(k) plan on the same basis as our other employees. Our 401(k) plan has a discretionary match feature which allows the Company to make annual contributions to the 401(k) plan. In Fiscal 2020, the Company did not make a discretionary match under the 401(k) plan.

Compensation Governance Practices and Policies

Management Succession Planning

Our Board believes that effective succession planning and talent management and development play a critical role in safeguarding business capabilities, developing strong leadership quality and executive bench strength, and optimizing overall business development, operating performance, profitability and shareholder value. In order to ensure that qualified candidates are available for the position of Chief Executive Officer and also for each senior management positions, the Compensation Committee is charged with reviewing the development of internal candidates and corporate succession plans and making recommendations to the Board. The Board views succession planning as a continual process and intends to continue to engage in management succession planning.

Regulatory Considerations under Section 162(m)

As a general matter, the Compensation Committee considers tax deductibility pursuant to Section 162(m) of the Code when setting performance goals for our NEOs. Section 162(m) of the Code generally set a limit of $1 million on the amount of compensation that we could deduct for federal income tax purposes in any given year with respect to the compensation of each of our named executive officers. The Compensation Committee has considered Section 162(m)’s conditions for deductibility, as one of several relevant factors, when structuring compensation arrangements for our executive officers, including our NEOs. However, we believe that the Compensation Committee needs flexibility to pursue its incentive and retention objectives, even if this means that we would not be able to deduct a portion of executive compensation.

Compensation Risk Assessment

As part of its oversight of our executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee considers the impact of our executive compensation program, and the incentives created by the compensation awards that it administers, on our 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 increase the likelihood of excessive risk taking, to determine whether they present a material risk to us. The Compensation Committee believes that our compensation programs are designed with the appropriate balance of risk and reward in relation to our overall business strategy and that the various components of our overall compensation program, taken as a whole, do not encourage undesired or unintentional risk taking of a material nature. This conclusion is based on, among other factors, the level of base salaries paid by us, the balance of short-term and long-term incentive compensation, and the establishment of goals and thresholds in compensation plans and awards that are believed to be aggressive, but achievable. The Compensation Committee believes that the risks arising from our employee compensation policies and practices are not reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on us.

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Executive Compensation Practices

What we do                                    What we don't do                    
Establish core executive compensation principles designed                     No excise tax gross-ups
to promote alignment with the interest of stockholders
                                        No "single trigger" change-of-control    
Utilize performance measures that align with business objectives                severance benefits or change-of-control
equity vesting
Pay for performance (based on financial objectives and individual performance)                             
No pledging of our Common Stock by
Maintain stock ownership requirements (including multiple                 executive officers
of five times base salary of Chief Executive Officer)
No hedging transactions by executive
Maintain compensation recoupment policy                        officers

Maintain     long vesting for equity awards                        No evergreen provision in stock incentive
plan
Require minimum vesting schedule under our equity policy
No repricing of stock options    
Monitor for risk-taking incentives

Engage independent compensation consultant                        No liberal share recycling under stock
incentive plan
Limit perquisites                                 
No liberal definition of change-of-control

No defined benefit plans for executive
officers        

Fiscal 2021 Executive Compensation Design

The Company continues to work to shape our practices related to environmental, social and governance ("ESG") matters. In 2021 we engaged Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") to assist the Company in enhancing and improving our ESG initiatives. Our Board and management strongly believe in the value of developing goals and metrics into our business strategies to mitigate ESG risks. To that end, the Company intends to tie certain executive annual bonus performance targets in Fiscal 2021 to progress surrounding ESG initiatives.

Stock Ownership Guidelines

    In April 2020, the Board approved stock ownership guidelines that apply to all of our directors and executive officers. We believe our guidelines further align management’s and stockholders’ interests and we based the guidelines on practices at comparable companies.

Stock ownership guidelines for the Company’s executive officers are determined as a multiple of their annual salary in effect at the end of the Company’s most recent fiscal year, calculated using the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the last business day of the Company’s most recent fiscal year as follows:
PositionMultiple of Annual Base Salary
CEO5x
EVP3x
SVP2x
    

Stock ownership guidelines for the Company’s non-employee directors are determined as a multiple of the annual cash retainer in effect at the end of the Company’s most recent fiscal year, calculated using the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the last business day of the Company’s most recent fiscal year as follows:
PositionMultiple of Annual Cash Retainer
Non-Employee Director5x
    

The Compensation Committee may, from time to time, temporarily suspend or reevaluate and revise participants’ guidelines to give effect to changes in our common stock price or other factors the committee deems relevant. Shares that count towards satisfaction of the guidelines include: (i) shares owned individually by the executive officer or director and by his or her immediate family members residing in the same household, (ii) shares held in trust for the benefit of the executive officer or director or his or her family and (iii) unvested restricted shares or restricted stock units granted under 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan (or any successor plan).

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    Participants are required to achieve their guideline within five years of becoming subject to the guidelines. The Compensation Committee reviews each participant’s compliance (or progress towards compliance) with the guidelines annually. In its discretion, the Compensation Committee may impose conditions, restrictions or limitations on any non-compliant participant as the committee determines to be necessary or appropriate.

Anti-Hedging and Anti-Pledging Policy and Trading Restrictions

    Our insider trading policy limits the timing and types of transactions in our securities by our directors, officers and other employees. These persons are permitted to trade in our securities only during window periods (as defined in our Insider Trading Policy) and, in some cases, only after they have pre-cleared transactions with our Compliance Officer. In addition, the policy provides that none of our directors, officers or other employees may engage in the following transactions:

trading in Company stock on a short-term basis;
trading in Company stock on margin;
short-selling Company stock;
entering into transactions designed to hedge the risks and benefits of ownership of Company securities, including the purchase and/or sale of derivatives, as well as any other transaction that is designed to hedge or offset, or that has the effect of hedging or offsetting, any change in the value of Company securities; or
pledging Company securities as collateral for a loan.

Clawback Policy
     
    In April 2020, the Board approved a clawback policy because it believes that it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders to reinforce the Company’s “pay-for-performance” philosophy and as such, the Company has a policy whereby we will, in all appropriate circumstances, require reimbursement of any annual incentive payment or long-term incentive payment to an executive officer where: (i) the payment was predicated upon achieving certain financial results that were subsequently the subject of a substantial restatement of our financial statements filed with the SEC; (ii) our Board determines the executive engaged in intentional misconduct that caused or substantially caused the need for the substantial restatement; (iii) the amount of the performance-based compensation that would have been received by the executive officer, had the financial results been properly reported, would have been lower than the amount actually received; and (iv) the Board determines, in its sole discretion, that it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders for the executive officer to repay or forfeit all or any portion of the performance-based compensation. In each such instance, we will, to the extent practicable, seek to recover from the individual executive the amount by which the individual executive’s incentive payments for the relevant period exceeded the lower payment that would have been made based on the restated financial results.

COMPENSATION COMMITTEE REPORT 

Management of the Company has prepared the Compensation Discussion and Analysis (the "CD&A"), and the Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed the CD&A with management. Based on this review and discussion, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board that the CD&A be included in this Proxy Statement.

 Members of the Compensation Committee:
 
Patrick A. Cozza (Chair)
Matthew Avril
Lawrence Miller

EMPLOYMENT/SEVERANCE, NON-COMPETITION AND NON-SOLICITATION AGREEMENTS 

We are parties to employment agreements with each of the Company's NEOs, the material terms of which are described below.  The agreements are automatically renewed for successive one-year terms, unless the Company or the NEO gives the other written notice of non-renewal at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the term. These employment agreements entitle each NEO to severance benefits upon certain qualifying terminations of their respective employment. The following descriptions are summaries of these agreements and are qualified by reference to the full text of the employment agreements which are filed as exhibits to certain of the Company's SEC filings.

Employment Agreements with Messrs. Kahn (President and Chief Executive Officer), Seeton (Chief Financial Officer), Laurence (Executive Vice President) and Kaminsky (Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer)

    Following the Compensation Committee’s deliberation, including the review of the findings of Pearl Meyer, on October 2, 2019, the Company entered into employment agreements with Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence, and Kaminsky for an initial three-year term. The terms of the employment agreements are substantially similar to each other, except as described below.

    Mr. Kahn's employment agreement entitles him to an annual base salary of $900,000, subject to review for potential increases at least once per year by the Board, and an initial grant of 200,000 PRSUs. Mr. Seeton's employment agreement entitles him to an annual base
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salary of $400,000, subject to review for potential increases at least once per year by the Board. In addition, Mr. Seeton received an initial grant of 20,833 PRSUs and 20,833 RSUs. Messrs. Laurence and Kaminsky’s employment agreements entitle each of them to an annual base salary of $500,000, subject to review for potential increases at least once per year by the Board. In addition, Mr. Laurence received an initial grant of 110,000 PRSUs and 60,000 restricted stock units ("RSUs") and Mr. Kaminsky received an initial grant of 70,000 PRSUs and 55,000 RSUs. The PRSU and RSU awards are subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the applicable plan and award agreements.

Under the terms of the employment agreements, Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence and Kaminsky are eligible to participate in annual cash incentive plans and programs of the Company that are generally provided to senior executives pursuant to such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe from time to time; provided that, for Messrs. Kahn, Laurence, and Kaminsky, the cash incentive plan will provide them the opportunity to earn a payout of (A) at least 50% of the target payout amount if the threshold annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved, (B) at least 100% of their base salary if the target annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved, and (C) at least 150% of the target payout amount if the maximum annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved. For Mr. Seeton, the cash incentive plan will provide him the opportunity to earn a payout of (A) at least 50% of the target payout amount if the threshold annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved, (B) at least 75% of his target payout amount if the target annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved, and (C) at least 100% of the target payout amount if the maximum annual performance goals established by the Board are achieved.

Finally, Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence, and Kaminsky receive certain standard employee and executive benefits, perquisites, reimbursement of expenses consistent with the benefits provided to executive officers and as otherwise set forth in each of their respective employment agreement, and Mr. Seeton's employment agreement provides for vacation consistent with other executives with similar benefits.

Employment Agreement with Mr. Evans (Chief Franchising Officer)

On August 1, 2020, the Company entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Evans. Under Mr. Evans employment agreement, he is entitled to an annual base salary of $400,000. In addition, Mr. Evans received an initial grant of 20,161 PRSUs and 20,161 RSUs. Under the terms of his employment agreement, Mr. Evans is also entitled to a commission equal to 10% of all Initial Fees (as defined in the employment agreement) paid to the Company and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates in connection with the sale of any franchise subject to certain conditions.

Finally, Mr. Evans received certain standard employee and executive benefits, perquisites, reimbursement of expenses and vacation consistent with the benefits provided to executive officers and as otherwise set forth in his employment agreement.
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SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE 

The following table summarizes information concerning the compensation awarded to, earned by, or paid for services rendered in all capacities by our named executive officers during the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 and the Transition Period ended December 28, 2019. The compensation described in this table does not include medical, group life insurance or other benefits that are available generally to all of our salaried employees.

Name and Principal PositionFiscal Year EndedSalary ($)Bonus ($)Stock Awards ($) (1)Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation ($) (2)All Other Compensation ($) (3)Total ($)
Brian R. Kahn, President and Chief Executive Officer
2020$810,000 $— $3,000,006 $1,250,000 $— $5,060,006 
Transition Period$183,462 $— $2,876,000 $— $90,270 $3,149,732 
Andrew M. Laurence, Executive Vice President2020$463,846 $999,986 $700,000 $— $2,163,832 
Transition Period$101,923 $— $2,444,600 $— $130,532 $2,677,055 
Andrew F. Kaminsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer2020$463,846 $— $999,986 $700,000 $— $2,163,832 
Transition Period$101,923 $— $1,797,500 $— $— $1,899,423 
Eric F. Seeton, Chief Financial Officer2020$382,153 $— $999,986 $600,000 $— $1,982,139 
Transition Period$53,846 $— $599,158 $— $— $653,004 
Kenneth Todd Evans, Executive Vice President and Chief Franchising Officer2020$161,539 $— $1,006,840 $110,764 $— $1,279,143 
Transition Period$— $— $— $— $— $— 

(1)Amounts in this column reflect the grant date fair value of stock awards granted to each named executive officer under the Company’s 2019 Omnibus Plan or 2011 Equity and Cash Incentive Plan, calculated in accordance with ASC Topic 718, based on the fair market value as determined by the Board of Directors, of the Company's stock on the date of the grant. Assumptions used in the calculation of these amounts are included in Note 11 to the Company's audited financial statements for Fiscal 2020, included in our 2020 Annual Report.

(2)Amounts in this column were earned under the Company's annual cash bonus plans. The amounts for Fiscal 2020 were paid on March 12, 2021. No bonuses were earned or paid in the Transition Period.

(3)The Transition Period amounts for Mr. Kahn and Mr. Laurence of $90,270 and $130,532, respectively, represent compensation received for their service as directors on the Company's Board of Directors, prior to their employment with the Company.

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GRANTS OF PLAN BASED AWARDS

The following table sets forth information regarding grants of plan based awards to each of the named executive officers during Fiscal 2020.

All Other RSU Awards: Number of Securities Underlying RSUs (#) (3)Grant Date Fair Value of Stock Awards (4)
Estimated Future Payments under Non-Equity Incentive Plan Awards (1)Estimated Securities under Equity Incentive Plan Awards (2)
NameGrant DateThresholdTargetMaximumThresholdTargetMaximum
Brian R. Kahn$450,000 $900,000 $1,350,000 — — — — $— 
3/5/2020— — — — — — 60,484 $1,500,003 
3/5/2020— — — 30,242 60,484 120,968 — $1,500,003 
Andrew M. Laurence250,000 500,000 750,000 — — — — — 
3/5/2020— — — — — — 20,161 499,993 
3/5/2020— — — 10,081 20,161 40,322 — 499,993 
Andrew F. Kaminsky250,000 500,000 750,000 — — — — — 
3/5/2020— — — — — — 20,161 499,993 
3/5/2020— — — 10,081 20,161 40,322 — 499,993 
Eric F. Seeton100,000 300,000 400,000 — — — — — 
3/5/2020— — — — — — 20,161 499,993 
3/5/2020— — — 10,081 20,161 40,322 — 499,993 
Kenneth Todd Evans— — — — — — — — 
8/1/2020— — — — — — 20,161 503,420 
8/1/2020— — — 10,081 20,161 40,322 — 503,420 

(1)Based on achievement of performance targets the bonus payments earned for Fiscal 2020 were as follows: Mr. Kahn $1,250,000, Messrs. Laurence and Kaminsky $700,000 and Mr. Seeton $600,000. Mr. Evans non-equity incentive plan is a commission equal to 10% of all amounts paid to the Company and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates in connection with the sale of any franchise subject to certain conditions which was $110,764 for Fiscal 2020. These amounts were all paid on March 12, 2021.

(2)Represents PRSUs. The number of shares to be issued under the plan ranges from 0% to 200% of the target based on the achievement of performance targets.

(3)Represents RSUs that vest in equal amounts over a three-year period.

(4)Amounts in this column reflect the grant date fair value of the RSUs and PRSUs granted to each named executive officer under the Company’s 2019 Omnibus Plan, calculated in accordance with ASC Topic 718, based on the fair market value, as determined by the Board of Directors, of the Company's stock on the date of grant. Assumptions used in the calculation of these amounts are included in Note 11 to the Company's audited financial statements for Fiscal 2020, included in our 2020 Annual Report.

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OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT FISCAL YEAR END 

The following table sets forth information regarding outstanding stock awards held by our named executive officers at December 26, 2020. All grants noted below were made under the 2019 Omnibus Plan.

Number of Securities Underlying Unexercised Options (#)Stock Awards
NameGrant DateExercisableUnexercisableOption Exercise PriceOption Expiration DateNumber of Units that have not Vested (#)Market Value of Units that have not Vested ($) (1)
Brian R. Kahn12/13/201813,889 — $12.01 12/13/2023— $— 
9/12/20199,299 — 11.93 9/12/2024— — 
— — — 320,968 $9,192,524 
Andrew M Lawrence12/13/201820,833 — 12.01 12/13/2023— — 
9/12/201913,948 — 11.93 9/12/2024— — 
— — — 190,322 $5,450,822 
Andrew F. Kaminsky— — — 146,989 $4,209,765 
Eric F. Seeton— — — 75,044 $2,149,260 
Kenneth Todd Evans— — — 40,322 $1,154,822 

(1)Amounts reflect the number of RSUs and the target number of PRSUs that have not vested multiplied by the market value of $28.64 per share, which was the closing market price of the Company's Common Stock on December 24, 2020, the last business day of Fiscal Year 2020.

OPTIONS EXERCISED AND STOCK VESTED

The following table sets forth information regarding stock options exercised or RSUs vested during the year ended December 26, 2020:

Option AwardsRSU Awards
NameNumber of Shares Acquired on Exercise (#)Value Realized on Exercise ($)Number of Shares Acquired on Vesting (#)Value Realized on Vesting ($)
Brian R. Kahn— $— 1,816 $46,980 
Andrew M. Laurence— $— 22,724 $564,140 
Andrew F. Kaminsky— $— 18,333 $469,691 
Eric F. Seeton— $— 6,944 $177,905 
Kenneth Todd Evans— $— — $— 

ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL PAYMENTS UPON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT OR CHANGE OF CONTROL

The employment agreements we entered into with each of the named executive officers entitle them to certain payments under their respective employment agreements upon certain qualifying terminations. In addition, the employment agreements with Messrs. Kahn, Laurence and Kaminsky entitle them to certain payments as a result of a change of control.

Under the employment agreements with Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence, Kaminsky and Evans, the named executive is entitled to certain payments as follows:

If their respective employment agreement is terminated for any reason, he will be entitled to receive: (i) base salary that has accrued but is unpaid as of the date of termination; (ii) reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses; (iii) any and all other cash earned and deferred through any deferred compensation plan then in effect; and (iv) all other payments and benefits to which he is entitled on the
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termination date under the terms of any benefit plan of the Company, excluding severance payments under any Company severance policy, practice or agreement in effect on the termination (collectively, the "Accrued Benefits").

    Subject to the execution of a form release by Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence and Kaminsky, if the named executive during the employment term of his respective employment agreement is terminated by the Company without Cause or if he resigns for Good Reason, will be entitled to (i) his “Severance Payment,” as described further below; (ii) a lump sum amount equal to the product of (A) the annual cash incentive award in which the termination date occurs based on the actual performance for such fiscal year had the executive’s employment not terminated by (B) a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days that have elapsed during the annual performance period through the termination date and the denominator of which is 365; and (iii) group health and dental benefits for up to 18 months. The “Severance Payment” will be a payment of one times the sum of: (i) the executive’s base salary and (ii) a pro-rata Target Bonus (as defined in each of their respective employment agreements), calculated by multiplying the Target Bonus times a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days that have elapsed during the fiscal year of the termination date and the denominator is 365; provided that if the termination occurs on or within the one-year period following a Change of Control (as defined in each of their respective employment agreements), then for Messrs. Kahn, Laurence, and Kaminsky, the payment will be two times the sum of the executive’s (i) base salary and (ii) Target Bonus. The Severance Payment will be paid in equal installments over a 12-month period; however, if the executive’s termination occurs on or within the one-year period following a Change of Control, then the Severance Payments for Messrs. Kahn, Laurence, and Kaminsky will be paid in equal installments over a 24-month period.

Subject to the execution of a form release by Mr. Evans, if during the employment term of his employment agreement he is terminated by the Company without Cause or he resigns for Good Reason, he will be entitled to (i) one (1) times the sum of his base salary provided that, in the case of his resignation for Good Reason, if a reduction in Mr. Evan's base salary constituted a Good Reason for such resignation, then base salary for purposes of calculating the severance payment shall be the amount in effect immediately prior to such reduction and (ii) group health and dental benefits for up to 18 months..

If Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence, Kaminsky, or Evans' employment is terminated as a result of his death or Disability (other than as a consequence of Employment-Related Death or Disability), he is entitled to his Accrued Benefits.

The following table shows actual and potential payments upon each named executive officer's termination. The amounts calculated in the table assume the termination occurred on December 26, 2020 and that the named executive officer was paid in a lump sum payment. The Employment Agreements of Messrs. Kahn, Seeton, Laurence, Kaminsky, and Evans provide for multiple payments.
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Severance CompensationBenefits and Perquisites
NameSeveranceBonusUnvested Stock Awards(1)Benefits (2)Total
Brian R. Kahn
Voluntary termination without Good Reason$— $— $— $— $— 
Voluntary termination for Good Reason900,000 1,300,000 9,192,524 33,811 11,426,335 
Termination by Company for Cause900,000 — — — 900,000 
Termination by Company without Cause900,000 1,300,000 9,192,524 33,811 11,426,335 
Employment-Related Death or Disability900,000 1,300,000 9,192,524 33,811 11,426,335 
Change in Control1,800,000 1,800,000 9,192,524 33,811 12,826,335 
Other Death— — — 33,811 33,811 
Other Disability— — — 33,811 33,811 
Andrew M. Laurence
Voluntary termination without Good Reason— — — — — 
Voluntary termination for Good Reason500,000 700,000 5,450,822 33,541 6,684,363 
Termination by Company for Cause500,000 — — — 500,000 
Termination by Company without Cause500,000 700,000 5,450,822 33,541 6,684,363 
Employment-Related Death or Disability500,000 700,000 5,450,822 33,541 6,684,363 
Change in Control1,000,000 1,000,000 5,450,822 33,541 7,484,363 
Other Death— — — 33,541 33,541 
Other Disability— — — 33,541 33,541 
Andrew F. Kaminsky
Voluntary termination without Good Reason— — — — — 
Voluntary termination for Good Reason500,000 700,000 4,209,765 34,201 5,443,966 
Termination by Company for Cause500,000 — — — 500,000 
Termination by Company without Cause500,000 700,000 4,209,765 34,201 5,443,966 
Employment-Related Death or Disability500,000 700,000 4,209,765 34,201 5,443,966 
Change in Control1,000,000 1,000,000 4,209,765 34,201 6,243,966 
Other Death— — — 34,201 34,201 
Other Disability— — — 34,201 34,201 
Eric F. Seeton
Voluntary termination without Good Reason— — — — — 
Voluntary termination for Good Reason400,000 600,000 2,149,620 34,201 3,183,821 
Termination by Company for Cause400,000 — — — 400,000 
Termination by Company without Cause400,000 600,000 2,149,620 34,201 3,183,821 
Employment-Related Death or Disability400,000 — 2,149,620 34,201 2,583,821 
Other Death— — — 34,201 34,201 
Other Disability— — — 34,201 34,201 
Kenneth Todd Evans
Voluntary termination without Good Reason— — — — — 
Voluntary termination for Good Reason400,000 — 1,154,822 11,202 1,566,024 
Termination by Company for Cause400,000 — — — 400,000 
Termination by Company without Cause400,000 — 1,154,822 11,202 1,566,024 
Employment-Related Death or Disability400,000 — 1,154,822 11,202 1,566,024 
Other Death— — — 11,202 11,202 
Other Disability— — — 11,202 11,202 

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(1)Amounts reflect the number of RSUs and the target number of PRSUs that have not vested multiplied by the market value of $28.64 per share, which was the closing market price of the Company's Common Stock on December 24, 2020, the last business day of Fiscal Year 2020.
(2)Amounts reflects the cost of group health and dental benefits.

PAY RATIO

We are providing this pay ratio disclosure to comply with Item 402(u) of Regulation S-K promulgated under the Exchange Act (“Item 402(u)”). The pay ratio disclosed below is a reasonable estimate derived from our internal records using the methodology described below. This information may not be comparable to the ratio that any other company reports because other companies may have different employment and compensation practices and may use different methodologies, exclusions, estimates and assumptions in calculating their pay ratios.

In connection with determining our “median employee” for purposes of calculating our pay ratio for the fiscal year ended 2020 (the “2020 Median Employee”), we considered only those employees that we employed as of October 1, 2020. In addition, in reliance on the “de minimis” exemption provided under Item 402(u)(4), we identified the 2020 Median Employee from an employee population that excluded all 41 of our non-U.S. employees that are located in Canada, which constituted less than 5% of our 16,079 total number of employees as of October 1, 2020. Our aggregate U.S. employees consist of 8,830 full-time employees, 6,145 part time employees and 1,063 seasonal employees.

We identified the 2020 Median Employee by examining the base compensation plus cash bonuses for each of the employees in such employee population (excluding the employees we describe above), using the following methodology:

Using internal payroll records, we determined each employee’s base salary or wages plus overtime, as applicable, that we paid during the period from January 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020, which we refer to as the “compensation period.” For any permanent employee that we hired after January 1, 2020 or that was terminated during the compensation period, we adjusted his or her base salary or wages plus overtime to reflect what such individual would have earned if he or she had been employed for the entire compensation period.

We added any cash incentive compensation, sales commission, and other bonus that we actually paid during the compensation period, irrespective of when earned, without making any adjustments with regard to employees that we hired after January 1, 2020.

The total compensation of Brian Kahn, our Chief Executive Officer, and the total compensation of our 2020 Median Employee for 2020 were $5,060,006 and $20,368, respectively, resulting in a ratio of Mr. Kahn’s compensation to the median employee’s compensation of 248.4 to 1.
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AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT 

The Company's management is responsible for preparing financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the financial reporting process, including the Company's disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. The Company's independent registered accounting firm is responsible for auditing the Company's financial statements and expressing an opinion as to their conformity to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, composed solely of independent directors, meets periodically with management, including the Company's internal auditor and others in the Company, and the Company's independent registered public accounting firm to review and oversee matters relating to the Company's financial statements, internal audit activities, disclosure controls and procedures, and internal control over financial reporting and non-audit services provided by the independent accountants. In addition, the Audit Committee oversaw effective compliance with the SEC's mandatory rotation requirements for certain members of the engagement team of the Company's independent registered public accounting firm during Fiscal 2020, and, as discussed further below, pre-approved all audit and non-audit services and fees paid to such firm.

The Audit Committee has reviewed and discussed with management and Deloitte & Touche LLP ("Deloitte"), the Company's independent registered public accounting firm, the Company's audited financial statements for Fiscal 2020. The Audit Committee has also discussed with Deloitte the matters required to be discussed by the applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the SEC. In addition, the Audit Committee has received from Deloitte the written disclosures and the letter required by applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding Deloitte's communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence, has discussed with Deloitte its independence from the Company and the Company's management, oversaw effective compliance with the five-year mandatory rotation of certain members of the engagement team of Deloitte, and has considered whether Deloitte's provision of non-audit services to the Company is compatible with maintaining the auditor's independence.

Based upon the reviews and discussions referred to above, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the audited consolidated financial statements referred to above be included in the Company's 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020.
  Members of the Audit Committee
G. William Minner, Jr. (Chair)
Matthew Avril
Patrick A. Cozza

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SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT 

The following table sets forth, as of March 22, 2021, information regarding beneficial ownership of our capital stock by:

each person, or group of affiliated persons, known by us to beneficially own more than 5% of our Common Stock; 
each of our directors and director nominees; 
each of our named executive officers; and 
all of our current directors and executive officers as a group.

Beneficial ownership is determined according to the rules of the SEC and generally means that a person has beneficial ownership of a security if he, she or it possesses sole or shared voting or investment power of that security, including options that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days of March 22, 2021. Except as indicated by the footnotes below, we believe, based on the information furnished to us, that the persons named in the table below have sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares of capital stock shown that they beneficially own.

Our calculation of the percentage of beneficial ownership is based on approximately 40,157,102 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of March 22, 2021.

Shares of Common Stock subject to stock options currently exercisable, or exercisable within 60 days of March 22, 2021, and RSUs for which shares are issuable within 60 days of March 22, 2021, are deemed to be outstanding for computing the percentage ownership of the person holding those securities and the percentage ownership of any group of which the holder is a member, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the percentage of any other person.

Unless otherwise noted below, the address for each of the stockholders in the table below is c/o Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.
Shares of Common Stock Beneficially Owned
Number Voting Percent
5% Stockholders:
Vintage Capital Management, LLC (1)11,332,355 28.3%
B. Riley Financial, Inc. (2)3,968,099 9.9%
Named Executive Officers and Directors:
Matthew Avril141,623 *
Patrick A. Cozza41,647 *
Thomas Herskovits 34,318 *
Brian R. Kahn (3)11,370,800 28.3%
Andrew M. Laurence385,531 *
Lawrence Miller31,647 *
G. William Minner, Jr.31,647 *
Andrew F. Kaminsky26,453 *
Eric F. Seeton20,856 *
Kenneth Todd Evans— *
All executive officers and directors as a group (10 persons) (4)12,084,522 30.1%

The shares of Common Stock listed in the table above are rounded up to the nearest whole share.

*Represents beneficial ownership of less than 1%. 

(1) Based on Amendment No. 18 to Schedule 13D filed by Vintage Capital Management, LLC, Kahn Capital Management, LLC and Brian R. Kahn (collectively, the “Vintage Persons”) on March 15, 2021, including notice that (i) the Vintage Persons beneficially own approximately 11,332,355 shares of Common Stock, (ii) the Vintage Persons share voting power with respect to approximately 6,636,255
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shares of Common Stock and (iii) Mr. Kahn has sole voting power with respect to approximately 4,696,100 shares of Common Stock. The address for Vintage is 4705 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Suite 206, Orlando, Florida 32819.

(2) Based on Schedule 13G filed by B. Riley Financial, Inc., B. Riley Capital Management, LLC, BRC Partners Management GP, LLC, BRC Partners Opportunity Fund, LP, B. Riley Securities, Inc., and Bryant R. Riley (collectively, “B. Riley”) on January 27, 2021, including notice that B. Riley Financial, Inc. has shared voting and dispositive power as to 3,790,462 shares of Common Stock; B. Riley Capital Management, LLC has shared voting and dispositive power over 676,471 shares of Common Stock; BRC Partners Management GP, LLC has shared voting and dispositive power as to 676,471 shares of Common Stock; BRC Partners Opportunity Fund, LP has shared voting and dispositive power as to 676,471 shares of Common Stock; B. Riley Securities, Inc. has shared voting and investment power as to 3,113,991 shares of Common Stock; and Bryant R. Riley has sole voting and dispositive power as to 177,637 shares of Common Stock and has shared voting and dispositive power as to 3,790,462 shares of Common Stock. The address for B. Riley is 11100 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 800, Los Angeles, California 90025.

(3) Mr. Kahn serves as the founder and investment manager of Vintage and disclaims beneficial ownership of these shares and units for all purposes. Amount includes 15,257 shares that vested on March 9, 2021 and 23,188 options that are currently exercisable.

(4) Includes Mr. Evans who was named Chief Franchising Officer in August 2020. Mr. Evans does not beneficially own any shares.

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Audit Committee of the Board appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP ("Deloitte") as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for Fiscal 2020. Representatives of Deloitte are expected to be present at the Annual Meeting, will have an opportunity to make a statement if they so desire, and are expected to be available to respond to appropriate questions.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES 

The following table presents fees for professional services rendered by Deloitte in 2020 and Deloitte and Cherry Bekaert LLP ("Cherry Bekaert") in the Transition Period for the audit of our annual financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 and the transition period ended December 28, 2019 and fees billed for other services rendered by Deloitte and Cherry Bekaert for those years. Fees disclosed below include fees actually billed and expected to be billed for services relating to the applicable fiscal period or transition period.


Fiscal Year2020Transition Period
Audit fees (1)$3,808,300 $3,572,618 
Tax fees (2)— — 
All other fees (3)1,895 17,600 
  Total fees$3,810,195 $3,590,218 

(1) Audit fees consist of fees for professional services rendered for the audit of the Company's financial statements and review of financial statements included in our quarterly reports and services typically provided by the independent auditor in connection with statutory and regulatory filings or engagements.

(2) Tax fees consist of fees for services related to tax compliance, tax planning, tax consultation and tax advice. The amounts included in the table above consist of fees incurred relating to tax compliance, tax credit studies and other tax advisory services.

(3) All other fees consist of license fees for accounting research software, franchise disclosure document fees, and information technology infrastructure.

The Audit Committee has adopted policies and procedures for pre-approving audit and non-audit services performed by the independent auditor so that the provision of such services does not impair the auditor's independence. Under the Audit Committee's pre-approval policy, the terms and fees of all engagements require specific Audit Committee approval.

In determining whether to pre-approve audit or non-audit services, the Audit Committee considers whether such services are consistent with the SEC's rules on auditor independence. The Audit Committee also considers whether the independent auditor is best positioned to provide the most effective and efficient service and whether the service might enhance our ability to manage or control risk or improve audit quality. These factors are considered as a whole and no one factor is necessarily determinative. The Audit Committee considers the relationship between fees for audit and non-audit services in deciding whether to pre-approve any such services. The Audit Committee may determine for each fiscal year the appropriate ratio between fees for audit services and fees for audit-related services, tax services and all other services.

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The Audit Committee may delegate pre-approval authority to one or more of its members. The member or members to whom such authority is delegated are required to report any pre-approval decisions to the Audit Committee at its next scheduled meeting.

The Audit Committee has concluded that the provision of non-audit services provided to the Company by its independent accountant during Fiscal 2020 was compatible with maintaining the independent accountant's independence.

PROPOSAL 2 - ADVISORY AND NON-BINDING VOTE TO APPROVE EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Section 14A of the Exchange Act requires that our stockholders have the opportunity to provide an advisory, non-binding vote to approve our executive compensation as disclosed in this proxy statement pursuant to the SEC’s compensation disclosure rules (commonly known as a “say-on-pay” proposal). Accordingly, our stockholders are hereby given the opportunity to cast an advisory vote to approve or not approve the compensation of our named executive officers as described below, by voting for or against this proposal.

The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors has designed our executive compensation to attract, retain and reward our senior management who play a significant role in the organization’s current and future success. The Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors structure executive compensation to motivate these employees and strengthen the mutuality of interests between our senior management and our stockholders by achieving performance goals while limiting risk appropriately and maintaining the safety and soundness of the organization. For a full description of these executive compensation practices, please see the description provided under the heading “Compensation Discussion and Analysis.”

We believe that our executive compensation and compensation practices and policies are reasonable in comparison to our peer group, are focused on pay-for-performance principles, are strongly aligned with the long-term interests of stockholders and are necessary to attract and retain experienced, highly qualified executives important to our long-term success and the enhancement of stockholder value. The Board of Directors believes that our executive compensation achieves these objectives, and, therefore, recommends that stockholders vote “for” the proposal.

This say-on-pay vote is advisory, and therefore not binding on the Company, the Compensation Committee or the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors and the Compensation Committee value the opinions of our stockholders, and we will consider our stockholders’ concerns and the outcome of this vote when making future compensation decisions regarding our executive officers.

We anticipate that the next vote on a say-on-pay proposal will occur at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

The Board of Directors unanimously recommends a vote “FOR” the advisory approval of the compensation of our named executive officers.

PROPOSAL 3 - RATIFICATION OF THE COMPANY'S INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

    The Board's Audit Committee has appointed Deloitte to serve as our independent registered public accounting firm for Fiscal 2021. Deloitte has served in this capacity since September 30, 2019. Although ratification is not required under our Bylaws or otherwise, as a matter of good corporate governance, the Audit Committee submits its selection of Deloitte to our stockholders for ratification, and will consider the vote of our stockholders when appointing our independent registered accounting firm in the future. Even if this selection is ratified, the Audit Committee in its discretion may, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, select 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 our stockholders.

    No director or executive officer of the Company has any substantial interest in the appointment of Deloitte as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm.

    A representative of Deloitte is expected to attend the 2021 Annual Meeting and will be available to respond to questions. The Deloitte representative will have an opportunity to make a statement during the 2021 Annual Meeting if they so desire to do so.

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS 

Other than compensation arrangements, we describe below transactions and series of similar transactions, since the beginning of our last completed fiscal year, of which the Company is or was a participant and:

the amounts involved exceeds $120,000; and 
any of our directors, executive officers or beneficial owners of more than 5% of our Common Stock, or any member of the immediate family of the foregoing persons, has a direct or indirect material interest.

Compensation arrangements for our directors and named executive officers for Fiscal 2020 and for our current executive officers are described in other sections of this Proxy Statement.
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Messrs. Kahn and Laurence

As of December 26, 2020, Mr. Kahn held approximately 32.5% of the aggregate ownership of the Company's common stock directly or through entities under his control, including Vintage.

Vintage and its affiliates held approximately 19.0% of the aggregate voting power of the Company through their ownership of common stock as of December 26, 2020. Mr. Kahn and Mr. Laurence, principals of Vintage, are members of the Company's Board of Directors with Mr. Laurence serving as the Company's Chairman of the Board until March 31, 2020. Mr. Kahn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Mr. Laurence is an Executive Vice President of the Company.

Buddy's Franchises. Mr. Kahn's brother-in-law owns three Buddy's franchises. All transactions between the Company's Buddy's segment and Mr. Kahn's brother-in-law are conducted on a basis consistent with other franchisees.

B. Riley Financial Inc. and Bryant Riley (former director)

B. Riley held approximately 11.3% of the aggregate ownership of the Company's common stock as of December 26, 2020. Mr. Riley, through controlled entities or affiliates, including B. Riley, held approximately 11.3% of the aggregate ownership of the Company's common stock as of December 26, 2020. Mr. Riley was also a member of the Company's Board of Directors from September 2018 through March 2020.

Credit Agreements. On December 16, 2019, the Company entered into the Vitamin Shoppe Term Loan with an entity controlled by Mr. Riley. On February 14, 2020, the Company entered into a $675.0 million credit facility, which included a $575.0 million FGNH Credit Agreement and a $100.0 million FGNH ABL Term Loan with an entity controlled by Mr. Riley acting as the administrative agent. During the year ended December 26, 2020, the Company borrowed and repaid an $11.0 million promissory note with an entity controlled by Mr. Riley. On September 23, 2020, the Company repaid in full all amounts that were outstanding under the FGNH ABL Term Loan and terminated the FGNH ABL Credit Agreement.

Stock Subscription Agreements. On February 7, 2020, Mr. Riley, and entities or affiliates of Mr. Riley purchased 669,678 shares of the Company's common stock for $11.4 million under the Equity Financing as defined above in "Note 10 - Stockholder's Equity".

Fee Letters. On February 14, 2020, the Company entered into a fee letter with B. Riley pursuant to which B. Riley was entitled to receive $5.0 million for advisory services provided for the American Freight Acquisition. B. Riley received payment for these services on June 26, 2020. On February 19, 2020, the Company entered into a fee letter with B. Riley pursuant to which B. Riley received an equity fee equal to 6% of the $36.0 million of equity raised by B. Riley for the Company as part of the Equity Financing (as defined above in "Note 10 - Stockholder's Equity"). On January 11, 2021, the Company entered into a fee letter with B. Riley pursuant to which B. Riley was entitled to receive $250,000 for advisory services provided in connection with the Company's preferred equity offering.

Backstop ABL Commitment Letter. On May 1, 2020, in connection with our acquisition of American Freight and the ABL Credit Agreement, the Company entered into an ABL Commitment Letter with B. Riley pursuant to which B. Riley agreed to provide, subject to the terms and conditions set forth therein, a backstop commitment for a $100.0 million asset-based lending facility. The ABL Commitment Letter was terminated on September 25, 2020.

Underwritten Offering of Common Stock. On June 30, 2020, the Company completed an underwritten offering of its common stock in which B. Riley FBR, Inc. (“B. Riley FBR”), an affiliate of B. Riley, acted as representative of the underwriters. In connection with the offering, B. Riley FBR and the other underwriters in the offering were entitled to an underwriting discount of approximately $5.4 million and reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the offering.

September 2020 Underwritten Offering of Preferred Stock. On September 18, 2020, the Company completed an underwritten offering of its Series A Preferred Stock in which B. Riley Securities, Inc. (“B. Riley Securities”), an affiliate of B. Riley, acted as representative of the underwriters. In connection with the offering, B. Riley Securities and the other underwriters in the offering were entitled to an underwriting discount and reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred of approximately $0.9 million and B. Riley Securities was entitled to an advisory fee of approximately $0.3 million.

bebe Acquisition of 47 Buddy's Stores. The Company sold 47 Buddy's locations to bebe for $35.0 million. B. Riley is partial owner of bebe. The deal was funded by B. Riley including a 1.5 million primary share purchase for $5 per share, cash on hand, and a $22.0 million secured loan.

January 2021 Underwritten Offering of Preferred Stock. On January 11, 2021, the Company reopened its original issuance of its Series A Preferred Stock, which closed on September 18, 2020 as noted above. The Company completed the reopened underwritten offering on January 15, 2021 in which B. Riley Securities, an affiliate of B. Riley, acted as representative of the underwriters. In connection with the offering B. Riley Securities and the other underwriters in the offering were entitled to an underwriting discount and reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred of approximately $3.0 million and B. Riley Securities was entitled to a structuring fee of $0.3 million.

Debt Commitment Letter and Fee Letter. On January 23, 2021 (as amended and restated on January 29, 2021), in connection with our acquisition of Pet Supplies Plus and the refinancing of our existing indebtedness, the Company and Franchise Group Newco PSP, LLC
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entered into a debt commitment letter with, among others, BRF Finance Co., LLC (“BRF”), an affiliate of B. Riley, pursuant to which BRF committed to provide, subject to the terms and conditions set forth therein, (i) $100.0 million of a then-contemplated first lien term loan credit facility and (ii) $300.0 million of a then-contemplated senior unsecured term loan credit facility (the “Senior Unsecured Facility”). In connection therewith, on January 23, 2021, the Company and Franchise Group Newco PSP, LLC entered into a fee letter with BRF pursuant to which (a) BRF committed to provide, subject to the terms and conditions set forth therein, $100.0 million of an alternative then-contemplated first lien term loan credit facility (the “Alternative First Lien Facility”) and (b) BRF (or its affiliates) received, on March 10, 2021, (i) a $9.0 million arrangement fee as consideration for BRF’s commitments and agreements with respect to the Senior Unsecured Facility and (ii) a $1.0 million take-out fee as consideration for BRF’s commitments and agreements with respect to the Alternative First Lien Facility.

Policy for review of related party transactions

We have adopted a written policy that our executive officers, directors, nominees for election as a director, beneficial owners of more than 5% of any class of our Common Stock and any members of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons are not permitted to enter into a related person transaction with us without the prior consent of our Audit Committee. Any request for us to enter into a transaction with an executive officer, director, nominee for election as a director, beneficial owner of more than 5% of any class of our Common Stock or any member of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons, in which the amount involved exceeds $120,000 and such person would have a direct or indirect interest must first be presented to our Audit Committee for review, consideration and approval. In approving or rejecting any such proposal, our Audit Committee is to consider the material facts of the transaction, including, but not limited to, whether the transaction is on terms no less favorable than terms generally available to an unaffiliated third party under the same or similar circumstances and the extent of the related person's interest in the transaction. All of the transactions described above were entered into after presentation, consideration and approval by our Board of Directors.
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SUBMISSION OF STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALS 

A stockholder proposal may be considered for inclusion in the Company's proxy materials for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders pursuant to Rule 14a-8 of the Exchange Act. As the rules of the SEC make clear, simply submitting a proposal does not guarantee its inclusion. Stockholders who wish to present a proposal for inclusion in the Company's proxy statement pursuant to SEC Rule 14a-8 must submit their proposals so that they are received at Franchise Group, Inc.'s principal executive offices at 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, Attention: Assistant General Counsel, no later than the close of business on December 6, 2021. Applicable SEC rules and regulations govern the submission of stockholder proposals and our consideration of them for inclusion in next year's proxy statement and form of proxy.

Pursuant to the Company's Bylaws, for any business not included in the proxy statement for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders to be brought before the meeting by a stockholder, the stockholder must give timely written notice of that business to the Corporate Secretary. To be timely, the notice must be received no later than the ninetieth day, nor earlier than the close of business on the one hundred twentieth day, prior to the first anniversary of the preceding year's annual meeting (provided, however, that in the event that the date of the annual meeting is more than thirty days before or more than seventy days after that anniversary date, notice must be delivered no earlier than the one hundred twentieth day prior to the annual meeting and not later than the close of business on the later of the ninetieth day prior to the annual meeting and the tenth day following the day on which a public announcement of the date of the meeting is first made by the Company). For the 2022 Annual Meeting, , notice must be received no earlier than January 4, 2022 and no later than the later of February 3, 2022. The notice must contain the information required by the Company's Bylaws. Similarly, a stockholder wishing to submit a director nomination directly at an annual meeting of stockholders must deliver written notice of the nomination within the same time period described in this paragraph and comply with the information requirements in our Bylaws relating to stockholder nominations.

A proxy may confer discretionary authority to vote on any matter at a meeting if we do not receive notice of the matter within the time frames described above. A copy of the Company's Bylaws is available on our website at www.franchisegrp.com under the "Corporate Governance" link, or upon request to Franchise Group, Inc., 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, Attention: Assistant General Counsel. The Chair of the meeting may exclude matters that are not properly presented in accordance with the foregoing requirements.

The Board of Directors knows of no other matters that will be presented at the meeting, but if other matters do properly come before the meeting, it is intended that the persons named in the proxy will vote according to their best judgment.

By Order of the Board of Directors,
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Brian R. Kahn
President and Chief Executive Officer
Franchise Group, Inc.
A copy of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K (including exhibits) as filed with the SEC for the year ended December 26, 2020 will be furnished without charge to stockholders upon written request directed to the Company’s Corporate Secretary at 2387 Liberty Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.


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