Former SEC official, Beese, joins SafeNet

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 30, 2006|By STACEY HIRSH | STACEY HIRSH,SUN REPORTER

SafeNet Inc., the Belcamp network security company, announced yesterday that former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner J. Carter Beese Jr. has been named to its board.

The appointment comes about six weeks after SafeNet acknowledged that it had received a federal subpoena and an inquiry from the SEC involving stock option grants. Beese will serve on a special committee investigating shareholders' complaints against SafeNet's officers and directors involving allegations of backdating stock options, according to a SafeNet regulatory filing.

SafeNet announced earlier this month that it had ordered the special committee to investigate the complaints, which were filed in Harford County Circuit Court.

Beese said yesterday that he has been interested in SafeNet's technology for years, attending the company's annual meetings, investing in its stock and following its growth closely. The federal probes did not deter him from joining SafeNet's board, he said.

"I met with the board and discussed all these issues to the point where I'm comfortable integrating to join the board," he said. "Obviously I will learn more once I get on the board, but I think I did a prudent analysis of the situation to date."

SafeNet said Beese will consult with company executives on corporate governance issues as well as day-to-day operations.

"Carter's deep knowledge of the financial world and his sense of appropriate governance procedures will be an enormous asset to SafeNet moving forward," Anthony A. Caputo, SafeNet chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Beese will also serve on the nominating committee for SafeNet, which recommends directors for the company and members of board committees. The nominating committee also helps monitor corporate governance, the company said.

Also yesterday, SafeNet said it had hired John W. Frederick, a former fast-food company executive, as controller to manage its accounting and financial reporting.

Both Frederick's and Beese's appointments are effective immediately, a company spokeswoman said.

Beese was an SEC commissioner from 1992 to 1994, and is a former Alex. Brown executive. He currently is a senior adviser at Legacy Partners Group, a boutique investment bank with offices in New York and Washington.

Frederick was formerly vice president and corporate controller for Arby's Restaurant Group Inc., where he put into place new accounting systems and reporting controls to help the company comply with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, according to the SafeNet announcement.

Shares of SafeNet rose 8.11 percent, or $1.31, to close at $17.46 yesterday.

stacey.hirsh@baltsun.com

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