CFO of Carriage Services steps down after 16 months

Kian Granmayeh is to step down as CFO of Carriage Services (‘CSV’) after less than 16 months at the company. CSV appointed Kathryn Shanley, the Chief Accounting Officer, as its interim CFO. Ms. Shanley only joined the company in March, though she spent many years at Service Corporation International (‘SCI’).

SCI is the market leader in deathcare products, having a market share of around 15%. CSV is a distant second, with a 2-3% market share, along with Park Lawn, a Toronto-based company. SCI, CSV and the US-headquarters of Park Lawn, are all based in Houston.

Park Lawn made a preliminary all-cash offer for CSV in June 2023 that was ultimately rejected by the company. Although the deathcare business generates strong cash flows, CSV has high leverage as it has acquired a lot of businesses in recent years. The company has decided to remain independent and improve profitability through organic growth and automation of back office processes.

CSV has engaged an executive search firm to ‘help identify a Chief Financial Officer with the financial sophistication necessary to drive and execute on the Company’s long-term strategic growth plan’.

Mr. Granmayeh joined CSV in March 2023 from Tellurian, a Houston-based public company that is trying to build an LNG export terminal.

What is strange is that the SEC filing states that Mr. Granmayeh informed CSV that he would resign from his position as CFO, effective July 1, 2024. He and the company have negotiated a new separation agreement that has lower benefits than the one he negotiated when he joined the company.

Under the new agreement, Mr. Granmayeh receives;

  • One year’s salary ($500,000) to be paid over the next year
  • Lump sum payment of $250,000
  • Monthly consultant fee of $20,000 to be paid over the next six months

Under his original agreement when he joined, were Mr. Granmayeh to have been terminated without cause, he would have received;

  • Two years’ salary to be paid over the next two years
  • Pro-rata Target Annual bonus (Target is 100% of base)
  • 100% vesting of outstanding awards of restricted stock and stock options

SEC filing – 8-K Granmayeh release


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