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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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New Sterling chairman paid $1.5 million

New Sterling Financial Corp. Chairman Les Biller was paid $1.5 million to accept the position, and will receive a total $4.5 million by Dec. 31, 2012, unless he resigns.

Biller's compensation was listed in a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also disclosed the resignatiion of all but four members of the Sterling board of directors following completion Thursday of a $730 million recapitalization.

The appointment of Biller, a former vice chairman of Wells Fargo, helped attract private investors who participated in the recapitalization. According to the letter offering Biller the job, he invested between $4 million and $7 million of his own money in Sterling.

Biller succeeds William "Ike" Eisenhart, who became chairman when Sterling co-founder Harold Gilkey was forced out last October by regulators.

Eisenhart remains on the board along with other holdovers Ellen Boyer, Michael Reuling, and Greg Seibly, Sterlings chief executive officer.

Also new to the board are David Coulter, representing Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P., and Scott Jaeckel, representing Thomas H. Lee Partners. Lee and Warburg each invested $171 million in Sterling. 

Board resignations were submitted by Katherine Anderson, Rodney Barnett, Kermit Houser, Robert Larrabee, William Wrigglesworth, Creigh Agnew, Ned Barnes, Thomas Boone, James Fugate, Marcus Lampros, Dianne Spires and William Zuppe, Sterling's other co-founder.

Senior Vice President Dave Brukardt said the company would not comment on the reasons for the board shakeup.

Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.