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

Filed by the Registrant

 

Filed by a Party other than the Registrant

 

Check the appropriate box:

 

Preliminary Proxy Statement

 

Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))

 

Definitive Proxy Statement

 

Definitive Additional Materials

 

Soliciting Material under § 240.14a-12

NUVVE HOLDING CORP.

(Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

N/A

_________________________________________________________________

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

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

 

No fee required.

 

Fee paid previously with preliminary materials

 

Fee computed on table in exhibit required by Item 25(b) per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11

  

 

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NUVVE HOLDING CORP.
2488 Historic Decatur Road, Ste 200
San Diego, California 92106

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
TO BE HELD AT 1:00 P.M EASTERN TIME ON JUNE 2, 2023

To the Stockholders of Nuvve Holding Corp.:

We cordially invite you to attend the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of Nuvve Holding Corp., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”, “we” or “us”), to be held on June 2, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time via live audio webcast at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NVVE2023, where you will be able to listen to the meeting live, submit questions and vote online. You will be asked to enter the control number located on your Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials, proxy card or voting instruction form, as applicable. Please see the “Questions and Answers about These Proxy Materials and Voting” in the accompanying proxy statement for more details.

The Annual Meeting is being held for the following purposes:

1.      To elect the Class B members of the Company’s board of directors (the “Board”) named in the accompanying proxy statement, to serve for a three-year term;

2.      To approve a proposed amendment and restatement of the Company’s 2020 Equity Incentive Plan to increase the number of shares available for the grant of awards by 4,000,000 shares and (ii) add an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards under the Incentive Plan will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and, through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board;

3.      To ratify the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered certified public accounting firm for fiscal the year ending December 31, 2023; and

4.      To transact any other business as may properly come before the Annual Meeting or any postponements or adjournment thereof.

The Board has fixed the close of business on April 14, 2023 as the record date for the determination of stockholders who will be entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting (the “record date”). Further information regarding voting rights and the matters to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting is presented in the accompanying proxy statement. A list of stockholders of record will be available at the Annual Meeting and, during the 10 days prior to the Annual Meeting, at our principal executive offices located at 2488 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200, San Diego, California 92106. On or about April 21, 2023, we intend to send to our stockholders a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (the “Notice”) containing instructions on how to access our proxy statement for the 2023 Annual Meeting and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.

YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT. We urge you to submit your vote via the Internet, telephone or mail as soon as possible to ensure your shares are represented. For additional instructions on voting by telephone or the Internet, please refer to your Notice, proxy card or voting instructions. Returning the proxy or voting instructions does not deprive you of your right to virtually attend the Annual Meeting and to vote your shares during the Annual Meeting.

 

By Order of the Board of Directors

   

/s/ Rashida La Lande

   

Rashida La Lande

   

Chairperson of the Board

April 18, 2023

   

San Diego, California

   

 

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NUVVE HOLDING CORP.
2488 Historic Decatur Road, Ste 200
San Diego, California 92106

PROXY STATEMENT
FOR
ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
TO BE HELD AT 1;00 P.M. EASTERN TIME ON JUNE 2, 2023

INTRODUCTION

This proxy statement is being furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by our Board for use at the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of Nuvve Holding Corporation, a Delaware corporation, and any postponements or adjournments thereof. The Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, via live audio webcast at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NVVE2023, where you will be able to listen to the meeting live, submit questions and vote online.

The information provided under “Questions and Answers About These Proxy Materials and Voting” below is for your convenience only. You should read this entire proxy statement carefully. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not intended to be incorporated by reference into this proxy statement and references to our website address in this proxy statement are inactive textual references only.

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the
Stockholder Meeting to be Held on JUNE 2, 2023

This proxy statement, the Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, our form of proxy card and our 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 are available for viewing, printing and downloading at www.proxyvote.com. To view these materials, please have available your 16-digit control number(s) that appears on your notice or proxy card. On this website, you can also elect to receive future distributions of our proxy statements and annual reports to stockholders by electronic delivery.

Additionally, you can find a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which includes our financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) at www.sec.gov, or in the “SEC Filings” section of the “Investors” section of our website at https://nuvve.com/. You may also obtain a printed copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our financial statements, free of charge, from us by sending a written request to: Corporate Secretary, Nuvve Holding Corp., 2488 Historic Decatur Road, Ste 200, San Diego, California 92106. Exhibits will be provided upon written request and payment of an appropriate processing fee.

If you have questions about how to vote or direct a vote in respect of your shares or about the proposals, or if you need additional copies of the proxy statement or proxy card, you may view the Proxy Statement, and Annual Report on Form 10-K online OR you can receive a free paper or email copy of the material(s) by requesting prior to May 19, 2023. If you would like to request a copy of the material(s) for this and/or future stockholder meetings, you may (1) visit www.ProxyVote.com, (2) call 1-800-579-1639 or (3) send an email to sendmaterial@proxyvote.com. If sending an email, please include your control number (indicated below) in the subject line. Unless requested, you will not otherwise receive a paper or email copy.

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Questions and Answers About These Proxy Materials and Voting

Q:     What matters am I voting on?

A:     You will be voting on:

        Proposal 1:    The election of three members of the Board as Class B directors, to hold office until the third succeeding annual meeting and until his or her respective successor is duly elected and qualified (the “Director Election Proposal”);

        Proposal 2:    To approve a proposed amendment and restatement of the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan (the “Incentive Plan”) to (i) increase the number of shares available for the grant of awards by 4,000,000 shares and (ii) add an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards under the Incentive Plan will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board (the “2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal”); and

        Proposal 3:    The ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered certified public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023 (the “Accountant Ratification Proposal”); and

        any other business as may properly come before the Annual Meeting.

Q:     How does the Board recommend I vote on these proposals?

A:     Our Board recommends a vote:

        “FOR” the election of the Class B director nominees named in this proxy statement;

        “FOR” the proposed amendment and restatement of the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan to (i) increase the number of shares available for the grant of awards by 4,000,000 shares and (ii) add an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards under the Incentive Plan will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board; and

        “FOR” the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered certified public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.

Q:     When is the Annual Meeting and where will it be held?

A:     The Annual Meeting will be held on June 2, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., Eastern Time, via live audio webcast at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NVVE2023, where you will be able to listen to the meeting live, submit questions and vote online.

Q:     Why are you holding a virtual Annual Meeting?

A:     We believe a virtual-only meeting format facilitates shareholder attendance and participation by enabling all shareholders to participate fully, equally and without cost, using an Internet-connected device from any location around the world. In addition, the virtual-only meeting format increases our ability to engage with all shareholders, regardless of size, resources or physical location and enables us to protect the health and safety of all attendees. Our shareholders will be afforded the same opportunities to participate at the virtual Annual Meeting as they would at an in-person annual meeting of shareholders.

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Q:     What do I need to do to attend the Annual Meeting?

A:     You will be able to attend the Annual Meeting, submit your questions during the meeting and vote your shares electronically at the meeting by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NVVE2023. To participate in the Annual Meeting, you will need the control number included on your Notice, proxy card or voting instruction form, as applicable. The Annual Meeting webcast will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We encourage you to access the Annual Meeting prior to the start time. Online check-in will begin at 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time, and you should allow ample time for the check-in procedures.

        We will have technicians ready to assist you with any technical difficulties you may have accessing the Annual Meeting. If you encounter any difficulties accessing the virtual-only Annual Meeting platform, including any difficulties with your control number or submitting questions, you may call the technical support number that will be posted on the Annual Meeting log-in page.

        Shareholders will have the opportunity to submit questions during the Annual Meeting by following the instructions on the virtual-only Annual Meeting platform. Following the presentation of all proposals at the Annual Meeting, we will answer as many shareholder-submitted questions as time permits.

Q:     Who is entitled to vote?

A:     Only holders of record of our common stock at the close of business on April 14, 2023 will be entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting. As of the close of business on the record date, 25,042,469 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. Every shareholder is entitled to one vote for each share of common stock held on the record date.

        Registered Shareholders.    If our shares of common stock are registered directly in your name with our transfer agent, Continental Stock Transfer and Trust Company, you are considered the shareholder of record with respect to those shares, and the Notice or a printed set of the proxy materials was provided to you directly by us. As the stockholder of record, you have the right to grant your proxy directly to the individuals listed on the proxy card or to virtually vote live during the Annual Meeting. Throughout this proxy statement, we refer to these registered stockholders as “stockholders of record.”

        Street Name Stockholders.    If our shares of common stock are held on your behalf by a broker, bank or other nominee, you are considered to be the beneficial owner of shares that are held in “street name,” and the Notice or a printed set of the proxy materials was forwarded to you by your broker or nominee, who is considered the stockholder of record with respect to those shares. As the beneficial owner, you have the right to direct your broker, bank or other nominee as to how to vote your shares.

Q:     How do I vote?

A:     If you are a stockholder of record, there are four ways to vote:

        by Internet at www.proxyvote.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1, 2023 (have your Notice or proxy card in hand when you visit the website);

        by toll-free telephone at 1-800-690-6903, until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1, 2023 (have your Notice or proxy card in hand when you call);

        by completing the enclosed proxy card and returning it in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope provided to you (if you received printed proxy materials); or

        by attending the virtual meeting by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NVVE2023, where you may vote and submit questions during the meeting. Please have your control number located on your proxy card or Notice in hand when you visit the website.

If you hold your shares in street name through a broker, bank or other nominee, you will receive instructions from your broker, bank or other nominee on how to vote your shares. Your broker, bank or other nominee will allow you to deliver your voting instructions over the Internet and may also permit you to vote by telephone.

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In addition, if you received a printed copy of this proxy statement, you may submit your voting instructions by completing, dating and signing the voting instruction form that was included with this proxy statement and promptly returning it in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope provided to you.

Q:     How may my brokerage firm vote my shares if I fail to provide timely directions?

A:     Brokerage firms holding common shares in street name for their customers are generally required to vote such shares in the manner directed by their customers. If you hold your shares in street name through a brokerage firm and do not submit voting instructions to your broker, your broker will have discretion to vote your shares on routine matters. However, a broker cannot vote shares held in street name on non-routine matters unless the broker receives voting instructions from the stockholder. Proposal 3 (the Accountant Ratification Proposal) is a routine matter, while each of Proposal 1 (the Director Election Proposal) and Proposal 2 (2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal) is considered non-routine. Accordingly, if you hold your shares in street name and you do not submit voting instructions to your broker, your broker may exercise its discretion to vote your shares on Proposal 3, but will not be permitted to vote your shares on Proposal 1 and Proposal 2. If your broker exercises this discretion, your shares will be counted as present and entitled to vote for determining the presence of a quorum at the Annual Meeting and will be voted on Proposal 3 in the manner directed by your broker, but your shares will constitute “broker non-votes” for Proposal 1 and Proposal 2.

Q:     How will voting on any other business be conducted?

A:     We are not aware of any business to be brought before the stockholders at the Annual Meeting other than as described in this proxy statement. However, if any other business is properly presented for stockholder consideration, your signed proxy card gives authority to Gregory Poilasne and David Robson to vote on those matters in their discretion.

Q:     What constitutes a quorum?

A:     Stockholders may not take action during the Annual Meeting unless there is a quorum present at the meeting. A meeting of stockholders is duly constituted, and a quorum is present, if, at the commencement of the meeting, there are present in person or by proxy holders of a majority of the common stock outstanding and entitled to vote at the meeting. Abstentions and broker non-votes (as described above) will be included in the calculation of the number of shares considered to be present at the meeting for quorum purposes.

Q:     How many votes are needed for approval of each proposal presented in this proxy statement?

A:     Assuming a quorum is present at the Annual Meeting:

Proposal 1 (Director Election Proposal):    The Directors shall be elected by the plurality of the votes cast by the holders of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock, represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon. Abstentions and broker non-votes are not considered votes cast for the foregoing purpose, and will have no effect on the election of director nominees.

Proposal 2 (2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal):    The 2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal shall be approved by the plurality of the votes cast by the holders of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock, represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon. Abstentions and broker non-votes are not considered votes cast for the foregoing purpose, and will have no effect on the approval of the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal.

Proposal 3 (Accountant Ratification Proposal):    Approval of Proposal 3 requires the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock, represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon. Abstentions, which are considered present and entitled to vote on this matter, will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” this proposal. Brokerage firms have authority to vote customers’ unvoted shares held by the firms in street name on this proposal. If a broker does not exercise this authority, such broker non-votes on this matter, which are not considered present and entitled to vote on this matter, will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” this proposal.

Notwithstanding the vote standard required by our certificate of incorporation, Proposal 3, is only an advisory vote and is not binding on us. Our Board of Directors will consider the outcome of the vote on Proposal 3 in considering what action, if any, should be taken in response to the advisory vote by stockholders.

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Q:     Can I change my vote?

A:     Yes. If you are a stockholder of record, you can change your vote or revoke your proxy by:

        entering a new vote by Internet or by telephone until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1, 2023;

        completing and returning a later-dated proxy card at any time before the Annual Meeting; and

        by virtually attending and voting at the Annual Meeting.

If you are a street name stockholder, your broker, bank or other nominee can provide you with instructions on how to change your vote.

Q:     How are my shares voted if I submit a proxy but do not specify how I want to vote?

A:     If you are a stockholder of record and you submit a properly executed proxy card or complete the telephone or Internet voting procedures but do not specify how you want to vote, your shares will be voted: (1) FOR the election of the Class B nominees for director; (2) “FOR” the proposed amendment and restatement to the Incentive Plan to (i) increase the number of shares available for the grant of awards by 4,000,000 shares and (ii) add an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards under the Incentive Plan will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board; (3) FOR the ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2023; and (4) in the discretion of the persons named as proxies on all other matters that may be brought before the Annual Meeting.

Q:     Who will count the vote?

A:     A representative of Broadridge Financial Services, Inc., an independent tabulator, will count the vote and act as the inspector of elections.

Q:     Who will pay for this proxy solicitation?

A:     We will pay all the costs of soliciting these proxies, except for costs associated with individual stockholder use of the Internet and telephone. In addition to mailing proxy solicitation material, our directors and employees may solicit proxies in person, by telephone or by other electronic means of communication. We will also reimburse brokerage houses and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for forwarding proxy and solicitation materials to our stockholders. We have engaged Advantage Proxy, Inc. as our proxy solicitor, and we estimate that we will pay Advantage Proxy. Inc. a fee of approximately $5,500, plus reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, to solicit proxies, though the costs of this proxy solicitation process could be lower or higher than our estimate.

Q:     Where can I find the voting results of the Annual Meeting?

A:     We will announce preliminary voting results at the Annual Meeting. We will also disclose voting results on a current report on Form 8-K that we will file with the SEC within four business days after the Annual Meeting. If final voting results are not available to us in time to file a current report on Form 8-K within four business days after the Annual Meeting, we will file a current report on Form 8-K to publish preliminary results and will provide the final results in an amendment to the current report on Form 8-K as soon as they become available.

Q:     I share an address with another stockholder, and we received only one paper copy of the proxy materials. How may I obtain an additional copy of the proxy materials?

A:     We have adopted a procedure called “householding,” which the SEC has approved. Under this procedure, we deliver a single copy of the Notice and, if applicable, our proxy materials to multiple stockholders who share the same address, unless we have received contrary instructions from one or more of such stockholders. This procedure reduces our printing costs, mailing costs and fees. Stockholders who participate in householding will continue to be able to access and receive separate proxy cards. Upon written or oral request, we will deliver promptly a separate copy of the Notice and, if applicable, our proxy materials to any stockholder at a

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shared address to which we delivered a single copy of any of these materials. To receive a separate copy, or, if a stockholder is receiving multiple copies, to request that we only send a single copy of the Notice and, if applicable, our proxy materials, such stockholder may contact via e-mail at sendmaterial@proxyvote.com.

Street name stockholders may contact their broker, bank or other nominee to request information about householding.

Q:     How was the Company formed?

A:     In February 2020, the Company’s predecessor, Newborn Acquisition Corp. (“Newborn”), completed its initial public offering. Newborn was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses.

In March 2021, Newborn and Nuvve Corporation (“Nuvve”), consummated a business combination (the “Business Combination”), which was effected in two steps: (i) Newborn reincorporated to the State of Delaware through the merger of Newborn with and into the Company, with the Company surviving as the publicly traded entity and the security holders of Newborn becoming security holders of the Company (the “Reincorporation Merger”); and (ii) immediately after such merger, the Company acquired Nuvve through the merger of a subsidiary with and into Nuvve, with Nuvve surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and the security holders of Nuvve becoming security holders of the Company (the “Acquisition Merger”). As a result, the Company became a public holding company with Nuvve as its operating subsidiary.

Q:     Who can help answer my questions?

A:     This proxy statement, the Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, our form of proxy card and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 are available for viewing, printing and downloading at www.proxyvote.com. To view these materials, please have available your 16-digit control number(s) that appears on your notice or proxy card. On this website, you can also elect to receive future distributions of our proxy statements and annual reports to stockholders by electronic delivery.

Additionally, you can find a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which includes our financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) at www.sec.gov, or in the “SEC Filings” section of the “Investors” section of our website at https://nuvve.com/. You may also obtain a printed copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our financial statements, free of charge, from us by sending a written request to: Corporate Secretary, Nuvve Holding Corp., 2488 Historic Decatur Road, Ste 200, San Diego, California 92106. Exhibits will be provided upon written request and payment of an appropriate processing fee.

If you have questions about how to vote or direct a vote in respect of your shares or about the proposals, or if you need additional copies of the proxy statement or proxy card, you may view the Proxy Statement, and Annual Report on Form 10-K online OR you can receive a free paper or email copy of the material(s) by requesting prior to May 19, 2023. If you would like to request a copy of the material(s) for this and/or future stockholder meetings, you may (1) visit www.ProxyVote.com, (2) call 1-800-579-1639 or (3) send an email to sendmaterial@proxyvote.com. If sending an email, please include your control number (indicated below) in the subject line. Unless requested, you will not otherwise receive a paper or email copy.

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PROPOSAL 1

THE DIRECTOR ELECTION PROPOSAL

The Board is divided into three classes, Class A, Class B and Class C. Currently, there are two directors in Class A, Jon M. Montgomery and Rashida La Lande, whose terms expire at the 2025 annual meeting of stockholders, two directors in Class B, H. David Sherman and Angela Strand, whose terms expire at the Annual Meeting, and three directors in Class C, Gregory Poilasne, Ted Smith and Kenji Yodose, whose terms expire at the 2024 annual meeting of stockholders.

At the Annual Meeting, the Company’s stockholders will elect two Class B directors, to hold office until the third succeeding annual meeting and until the respective successor is duly elected and qualified. The Board is nominating H. David Sherman and Angela Strand, current Class B directors, for re-election as Class B directors. Biographical information about the nominees can be found in “Directors and Executive Officers” below.

The nominees have agreed to be named in this proxy statement and to serve as directors if elected. Unless otherwise specified by you when you give your proxy, the shares subject to your proxy will be voted “FOR” the election of the nominees. In case the nominees become unavailable for election to the Board, an event which is not anticipated, the proxy holders, or their substitutes, shall have full discretion and authority to vote or refrain from voting your shares for any other person in accordance with their best judgment.

Required Vote and Recommendation

Nominees that receive the affirmative vote of a plurality of the votes cast by the holders of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock, represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon, will be elected as a director.

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THE NOMINEES LISTED ABOVE.

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PROPOSAL 2

THE 2020 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN AMENDMENT AND RESTATEMENT PROPOSAL

On March 24, 2023, the Board approved, subject to and contingent on stockholder approval, an amendment and restatement of the Nuvve Holding Corp. 2020 Equity Incentive Plan. In this Proposal 2, we refer to this plan as it is proposed to be amended and restated as the “Amended and Restated Plan,” and we refer to this plan as it is currently in effect as the “2020 Plan.” The 2020 Plan provides for the grant of incentive stock options, non-qualified stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, restricted stock units, dividend equivalent rights and other stock and cash-based awards, and it is designed to hire and retain top talent, to provide additional incentives to our service providers and to promote the success of our business. We originally adopted the 2020 Plan on March 19, 2021 in connection with the Business Combination.

At the Annual Meeting, the Company’s stockholders will be asked to approve a proposed amendment and restatement of the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan to (i) increase the number of shares available for the grant of awards by 4,000,000 shares and (ii) add an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards under the Incentive Plan will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board.

Our Board, the compensation committee and management believe that the effective use of stock-based long-term incentive compensation is vital to our ability to achieve strong performance in the future. The Amended and Restated Plan will maintain and enhance the key policies and practices adopted by our management and board of directors to align employee and stockholder interests and to link compensation to Company performance. In addition, our future success depends, in large part, upon our ability to maintain a competitive position in attracting, retaining and motivating key personnel. We believe that the increase in the number of shares available for issuance under our Amended and Restated Plan is essential to permit our management to continue to provide long-term, equity-based incentives to present and future key employees, consultants and directors. We also believe that without the ability to grant competitive amounts of equity compensation, we will not be able to hire and retain the highly-skilled, specialized and experienced employees we need to continue executing our strategy. The labor market from which we seek to draw talent is extremely competitive. In order to support the projected growth of our company, we need talented and skilled individuals with extensive experience in the electric vehicle industry. Appropriate equity awards are an important aspect to attracting, retaining, and incentivizing these talented and skilled individuals.

Unless otherwise specified by you when you give your proxy, the shares subject to your proxy will be voted “FOR” the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal.

Required Vote and Recommendation

The approval of the 2020 Equity Incentive Plan Amendment and Restatement Proposal requires the affirmative vote of a plurality of the votes cast by holders of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock, represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon.

Summary of the Amended and Restated Plan

The Amended and Restated Plan contains several features designed to protect stockholder interests and to reflect our compensation principles and practices, including:

        not granting discounted stock options or stock appreciation rights (“SARs”);

        limiting the size of individual grants;

        prohibiting award repricing without stockholder approval;

        allowing certain discretion to determine the treatment of awards upon a change of control (as defined in the Amended and Restated Plan); and

        permitting clawback of benefits during and after the grantee’s service.

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Material Terms of the Amended and Restated Plan

The complete text of the Amended and Restated Plan is set forth as Annex A attached hereto. The following is a summary of the material features of the Amended and Restated Plan and is qualified in its entirety by reference to Annex A.

Eligible Persons

Persons eligible to receive awards under the Amended and Restated Plan include our employees, officers, directors and consultants of the Company or any of its subsidiaries who are qualified to receive awards under the regulations governing Form S-8 registration statements under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). The compensation committee of our Board determines from time to time the participants to whom awards will be granted.

As of April 14, 2023, there were approximately 68 individuals eligible to participate in the Amended and Restated Plan.

Administration

Our Board or a committee appointed by our Board will administer the Amended and Restated Plan. For this purpose, our Board has delegated general administrative authority for the Amended and Restated Plan to the compensation committee. Along with other authority granted to the compensation committee under the Amended and Restated Plan, the compensation committee may (i) determine the recipients of awards, (ii) prescribe the restrictions, terms and conditions of all awards, including the number of shares subject to the award and the share exercise price, (iii) interpret the Amended and Restated Plan and terms of the awards, (iv) make all determinations with respect to a participant’s service and the termination of such service for purposes of any award, (v) correct any defects or omissions or reconcile any ambiguities or inconsistencies in the Amended and Restated Plan or any award thereunder, (vi) decide all disputes arising in connection with the Amended and Restated Plan and to otherwise supervise the administration of the Amended and Restated Plan, (vii) subject to the terms of the Amended and Restated Plan, amend the terms of an award in any manner that is not inconsistent with the Amended and Restated Plan, (viii) accelerate the vesting or, to the extent applicable, exercisability of any award at any, and make decisions with respect to outstanding awards upon a change of control, asset sale or an event that triggers anti-dilution adjustments under the terms of an outstanding award, (ix) adopt such procedures, modifications or subplans as are necessary or appropriate to permit participation in the Amended and Restated Plan by eligible persons who are foreign nationals or employed outside of the United States, and (x) generally, to exercise such powers and to perform such acts as the committee deems necessary or expedient to promote the best interests of the Company that are not in conflict with the provisions of the Amended and Restated Plan or awards. The committee also will have the authority to adopt, alter and repeal rules, guidelines and practices governing the Amended and Restated Plan as it deems advisable, to interpret the terms and provisions of the Amended and Restated Plan and awards and to otherwise supervise the administration of the Amended and Restated Plan.

Incentive Awards

The Amended and Restated Plan authorizes stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, restricted stock units, as well as other awards (described in the Amended and Restated Plan) that are responsive to changing developments in management compensation. The Amended and Restated Plan retains the flexibility to offer competitive incentives and to tailor benefits to specific needs and circumstances. Awards will vest in accordance with the schedule set forth in the applicable award agreement.

Stock Options.    A stock option is the right to purchase shares of our common stock at a future date at a specified price per share generally equal to, but no less than, the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of grant. An option may either be an Incentive Stock Option (“ISO”) or a nonstatutory stock option (“NSO”). ISO benefits are taxed differently from NSOs, as described under “Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences,” below. ISOs also are subject to more restrictive terms and are limited in amount by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) and the Amended and Restated Plan. For instance, an ISO granted to a person who, at the time of grant, owns stock possessing more than 10% of the total combined voting power of all classes of voting stock of the Company may expire no later than five years from the date of grant and may have an exercise price of no less than 110% of the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of grant. No ISO may be granted to a person who is not an employee of the Company or one of its subsidiaries (including any non-employee directors) at the time of grant.

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Full payment for shares of our common stock purchased on the exercise of any option must be made at the time of such exercise in a manner approved by the compensation committee. An option will expire no later than ten years from the date of grant.

SARs.    An SAR is the right to receive payment of an amount equal to the excess of the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of exercise of the SAR over the base price of the SAR. The base price will be the exercise price of any stock option granted in tandem with the SAR or the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of grant of the SAR. SARs may be granted in connection with other awards or independently.

Restricted Stock.    A restricted stock award is a grant of a fixed number of shares of our common stock, typically subject to restrictions. The compensation committee specifies the number of shares, the price, if any, the participant must pay for such shares and the restrictions (which may include, for example, continued service and/or performance standards) imposed on such shares. A stock bonus may be granted to any eligible person to reward exceptional or special services, contributions or achievements in the manner and on such terms and conditions (including without any restrictions on such shares) as determined from time to time by the compensation committee. The number of shares so awarded shall be determined by the compensation committee and may be granted independently or in lieu of a cash bonus.

Restricted Stock Units.    A restricted stock unit is similar to an SAR except that it entitles the recipient to receive a number of shares of our common stock, or an amount in cash or other consideration determined to be of equal value, in the future.

Authorized Shares; Limits on Awards; Lapsed Awards

The maximum number of shares of our common stock that may be issued pursuant to awards under the Amended and Restated Plan is 7,300,000 shares, subject to certain adjustments under the Amended and Restated Plan, including the “evergreen” provision. If any shares granted pursuant to a stock option cease to be subject to a stock option, or if any shares subject to an SAR, restricted stock, restricted stock unit or other award are forfeited, an such award terminates without a payment being made in our common stock, such shares will again be available for future awards under the Amended and Restated Plan. Any shares withheld in payment in connection with an award, or withheld for tax obligations, will not be available for future awards under the Amended and Restated Plan.

Under the Amended and Restated Plan, there is an “evergreen” provision whereby the number of shares authorized for issuance pursuant to awards will be automatically increased on each January 1 beginning on January 1, 2024 and through and including January 1, 2030, by a number of shares equal to the smaller of (a) five percent (5%) of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding on the immediately preceding December 31, and (b) an amount determined by the Board.

In addition, no more than 20,000,000 shares of our common stock may be issued pursuant to the exercise of ISOs. No person may be granted awards exercisable for in excess of 750,000 shares of common stock during any calendar year. Non-employee directors may not be granted awards during any calendar year in excess of the lesser of 400,000 shares of common stock or $100,000 (calculating the value of any awards based on the grant date fair value).

Adjustments or Changes in Capitalization

In the event of stock dividend, stock split, reverse stock split, combination, exchange of shares or other extraordinary or unusual event which results in a change in the shares of our common stock as a whole, the compensation committee will determine, in its sole discretion, whether such change equitably requires an adjustment in the aggregate number of shares of our common stock available under the Amended and Restated Plan or in the terms of or the number of shares of our common stock subject to outstanding awards.

Termination of or Changes to the Amended and Restated Plan

Our Board may amend or terminate the Amended and Restated Plan at any time and in any manner. Unless required by the Code or other applicable law or listing rules of a national securities exchange, stockholder approval for any amendment will not be required. Unless terminated by Our Board, the Amended and Restated Plan will continue in effect until such time as no further awards may be granted and all awards previously granted are no longer outstanding, except that ISOs may be granted only until February 9, 2031. Generally speaking, the compensation committee may amend outstanding awards in a manner consistent with the Amended and Restated Plan, subject, however, to the consent of the holder if the amendment would impair the rights of such holder.

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Acceleration of Awards; Possible Early Termination of Awards

If there is a change of control, and our Board does not authorize or otherwise approve such transaction, then any and all outstanding awards will immediately and entirely vest, and all performance goals will be deemed achieved at 100% of target levels and all other terms and conditions will be deemed met.

In the event of an asset sale (as defined in the Amended and Restated Plan) or if there is a change of control that has been approved by our Board, then the compensation committee may (i) accelerate the vesting of any and all outstanding awards granted and outstanding under the Amended and Restated Plan; (ii) require a holder to relinquish such award to the Company upon the tender by the Company to the holder of cash, stock or other property, or any combination thereof, in an amount equal to the value of such award, which may be subject to any terms and conditions to which the tender of consideration to our stockholders in connection with the acquisition is subject; and/or (iii) terminate all incomplete performance periods in respect of awards in effect on the date the acquisition occurs, and cause to be paid to the holder all or the applicable portion of the award based upon the compensation committee’s determination of the degree of attainment of performance goals, or on such other basis determined by the compensation committee.

A change of control, as defined in the Amended and Restated Plan, includes the acquisition by any person or group of persons of ownership of more than 50% of the fair market value or voting power of the stock of the Company.

Transfer Restrictions

Subject to certain exceptions, awards under the Amended and Restated Plan are not assignable or transferable by the recipient and shall not be subject in any manner to assignment, alienation, pledge, encumbrance, or charge.

Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences

The following is a general summary as of the date of this Proxy Statement of the federal income tax consequences to us and to U.S. participants for awards granted under the Amended and Restated Plan. The federal tax laws may change and the federal, state and local tax consequences for any participant will depend upon his or her individual circumstances. Tax consequences for any particular individual may be different. This summary does not purport to be complete, and does not discuss state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences.

Non-Qualified Stock Options.    The grant of a non-qualified stock option under the Amended and Restated Plan will not result in any federal income tax consequences to the participant or to us. Upon exercise of a non-qualified stock option, the participant is subject to income taxes at the rate applicable to ordinary compensation income on the difference between the option exercise price and the fair market value of the shares at the time of exercise. This income is subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes. We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by the participant, subject to possible limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Code and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the participant’s total compensation is deemed reasonable in amount. Any gain or loss on the participant’s subsequent disposition of the shares of common stock will receive long or short-term capital gain or loss treatment, depending on whether the shares are held for more than one year following exercise. We do not receive a tax deduction for any such gain.

Incentive Stock Options.    The grant of an incentive stock option under the Amended and Restated Plan will not result in any federal income tax consequences to the participant or to us. A participant recognizes no federal taxable income upon exercising an incentive stock option (subject to the alternative minimum tax rules discussed below), and we receive no deduction at the time of exercise. In the event of a disposition of stock acquired upon exercise of an incentive stock option, the tax consequences depend upon how long the participant has held the shares of common stock. If the participant does not dispose of the shares within two years after the incentive stock option was granted, nor within one year after the incentive stock option was exercised, the participant will recognize a long-term capital gain (or loss) equal to the difference between the sale price of the shares and the exercise price. We are not entitled to any deduction under these circumstances.

If the participant fails to satisfy either of the foregoing holding periods (referred to as a “disqualifying disposition”), he or she must recognize ordinary income in the year of the disposition. The amount of ordinary income generally is the lesser of (i) the difference between the amount realized on the disposition and the exercise price, or (ii) the difference between the fair market value of the stock at the time of exercise and the exercise price. Any gain in excess of the amount taxed as ordinary income will be treated as a long or short-term capital gain, depending on

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whether the stock was held for more than one year. We, in the year of the disqualifying disposition, are entitled to a deduction equal to the amount of ordinary income recognized by the participant, subject to possible limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Code and so long as the participant’s total compensation is deemed reasonable in amount.

The “spread” under an incentive stock option — i.e., the difference between the fair market value of the shares at exercise and the exercise price — is classified as an item of adjustment in the year of exercise for purposes of the alternative minimum tax. If a participant’s alternative minimum tax liability exceeds such participant’s regular income tax liability, the participant will owe the larger amount of taxes. In order to avoid the application of alternative minimum tax with respect to incentive stock options, the participant must sell the shares within the calendar year in which the incentive stock options are exercised. However, such a sale of shares within the year of exercise will constitute a disqualifying disposition, as described above.

Stock Appreciation Rights.    Recipients of SARs generally should not recognize income until the SAR is exercised (assuming there is no ceiling on the value of the right). Upon exercise, the recipient will normally recognize taxable ordinary income for federal income tax purposes equal to the amount of cash and fair market value of the shares, if any, received upon such exercise. Recipients who are employees will be subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes with respect to income recognized upon exercise of a SAR. Recipients will recognize gain upon the disposition of any shares received on exercise of a SAR equal to the excess of (i) the amount realized on such disposition, over (ii) the ordinary income recognized with respect to such shares under the principles set forth above. That gain will be taxable as long or short-term capital gain depending on whether the shares were held for more than one year. We will be entitled to a tax deduction to the extent and in the year that ordinary income is recognized by the recipient, subject to possible limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Code and so long as the appropriate taxes are withheld with respect to such income (if required) and the recipient’s total compensation is deemed reasonable in amount.

Restricted Stock.    A restricted stock award is subject to a “substantial risk of forfeiture” within the meaning of Section 83 of the Code to the extent the award will be forfeited in the event that the participant ceases to provide services to us. As a result of this substantial risk of forfeiture, the recipient will not recognize ordinary income at the time of the award (absent certain vesting acceleration provisions). Instead, the recipient will recognize ordinary income on the date when the stock is no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture, or when the stock becomes transferable, if earlier. The recipient’s ordinary income is measured as the difference between the amount paid for the stock, if any, and the fair market value of the stock on the earlier of those two dates.

The recipient may accelerate his or her recognition of ordinary income, if any, and begin his or her capital gains holding period by timely filing (i.e., within 30 days of the award) an election pursuant to Section 83(b) of the Code. In such event, the ordinary income recognized, if any, is measured as the difference between the amount paid for the stock, if any, and the fair market value of the stock on the date of award, and the capital gain holding period commences on such date. The ordinary income recognized by a recipient that is an employee or former employee will be subject to tax withholding by us.

Restricted Stock Units.    With respect to awards of RSUs, no taxable income is reportable when the RSUs are granted to a participant or upon vesting of the RSUs. Upon settlement, the recipient will recognize ordinary income in an amount equal to the value of the payment received pursuant to the RSUs. The ordinary income recognized by a recipient that is an employee or former employee will be subject to tax withholding by us.

Dividends and Dividend Equivalents.    Recipients of stock-based awards that earn dividends or dividend equivalents will recognize taxable ordinary income on any dividend payments received with respect to unvested and/or unexercised shares subject to such awards, which income is subject to withholding for federal income and employment tax purposes. We are entitled to an income tax deduction in the amount of the income recognized by a participant, subject to possible limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Code and so long as we withhold the appropriate taxes with respect to such income (if required) and the individual’s total compensation is deemed reasonable in amount.

Tax Effect for the Company.    Unless limited by Section 162(m) of the Code, we generally will be entitled to a tax deduction in connection with an award under the Amended and Restated Plan in an amount equal to the ordinary income realized by a recipient at the time the recipient recognizes such income (for example, when restricted stock is no longer subject to the risk of forfeiture).

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The Amended and Restated Plan is not subject to any of the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended. The Amended and Restated Plan is not, nor is it intended to be, qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code.

Plan Benefits

Since the adoption of the Incentive Plan through April 14, 2023, we have granted the following stock options under the Plan to the individuals and groups listed below. In all cases, the securities underlying such stock options were shares of our common stock. As of the date hereof we have granted only stock options and restricted stock units no other type of award under the Plan.:

Name and Position

 

Number of
shares subject
to Stock
Options

 

Number of
restricted
stock units

Gregory Poilasne, Chief Executive Officer*

 

600,000

 

212,134

Ted Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer*

 

350,000

 

58,933

David Robson, Chief Financial Officer*

 

300,000

 

168,000

All Current Executive Officers as a group

 

1,250,000

 

439,067

All Current Directors who are not executive officers as a group

 

 

454,007

Each Director Nominee

 

 

98,235

Each Associate of all directors, nominees and executive officers

 

 

Each person who received 5% of such awards

 

 

All Employees who are not executive officers as a group

 

445,475

 

197,909

____________

*        The named executive officers above include the three most highly compensated executive officers.

New Plan Benefits

The amounts of future grants under the Plan are not determinable and will be granted at the sole discretion of the compensation committee or other delegated persons. We cannot determine at this time either the persons who will receive such awards under the Plan or the amount or types of any such awards.

On April 17, 2023, the closing market price per share of our common stock was $0.69, as reported by the Nasdaq Capital Market.

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” APPROVAL OF THE 2020 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN AMENDMENT AND RESTATEMENT PROPOSAL.

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PROPOSAL 3

THE ACCOUNTANT RATIFICATION PROPOSAL

The Audit Committee has appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023. At the Annual Meeting, stockholders will vote on a proposal to ratify this appointment.

While stockholder ratification of the Board’s decision to retain Deloitte & Touche LLP is not required by the Company’s bylaws or otherwise, the Board has chosen to submit that selection to the Company’s stockholders for ratification. If the Company’s stockholders fail to ratify the selection, the Board may, but is not required to, reconsider whether to retain that firm. Additionally, even if the selection is ratified, the Board may in its discretion direct the appointment of a different independent registered public accounting firm at any time during the fiscal year, if it determines that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders.

Deloitte & Touche LLP has advised the Company that the firm is independent with respect to the Company and its subsidiaries. The Company expects that representatives of Deloitte & Touche LLP will be present at the Annual Meeting to make statements and to respond to appropriate questions from the Company’s stockholders.

Changes in Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

Moss Adams LLP (“Moss Adams”)

The Board appointed Moss Adams LLP to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021 following the Business Combination as of March 19, 2021.

Moss Adams had served as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company since the Business Combination and served as the accounting firm for Nuvve from 2018 until the Business Combination. Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP (“MBP”) served as the independent registered public accounting firm for Newborn from its inception until the Business Combination.

As previously disclosed, on August 18, 2022, the audit committee received notice from Moss Adams, that it had made the decision to resign as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, effective August 18, 2022. The audit committee accepted the resignation of Moss Adams also on August 18, 2022.

Moss Adams’s reports on the financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 did not contain an adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion, nor was it qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principles. During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, and the subsequent interim periods preceding Moss Adams’s resignation on August 18, 2022, there were no disagreements with Moss Adams on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreement(s), if not resolved to the satisfaction of Moss Adams, would have caused it to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreement(s) in connection with its report. Additionally, during this time period, there were no reportable events as described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K, except that, as previously disclosed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2022 and June 30, 2022, the Company identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting related to (i) segregation of duties related to roles and responsibilities; and (ii) documentation of financial closing policies and procedures, including consistently establishing approval thresholds, adhering to appropriate document retention and record-keeping practices, and documenting the review of agreements and accounting estimates.

During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021 and the subsequent interim period through the date of the audit committee’s approval of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s new independent registered public accounting firm effective October 20, 2022, neither the Company nor anyone on its behalf has consulted with Deloitte & Touche LLP regarding: (i) the application of accounting principles to a specific transaction, either completed or proposed, or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on the Company’s financial statements, and neither a written report nor oral advice was provided to the Company that Deloitte concluded was an important factor considered by the Company in reaching a decision as to any accounting, auditing, or financial reporting issue; (ii) any matter that was the subject of a disagreement within the meaning of Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K and the related instructions; or (iii) any reportable event within the meaning of Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K.

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Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP (“MBP”)

On March 19, 2021, in connection with the Business Combination, the Board appointed Moss Adams as the Company’s principal accountant to audit its financial statements, replacing MBP, who had served as Newborn’s principal accountant until such time.

MBP’s report on Newborn’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the period from April 12, 2019 (inception) through December 31, 2019 did not contain an adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion, and was not otherwise qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principles.

During Newborn’s year ended December 31, 2020 and the period from April 12, 2019 (inception) through December 31, 2019 and the subsequent interim period preceding the change in principal accountants, Newborn did not have any disagreements with MBP on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreement, if not resolved to the satisfaction of MBP, would have caused it to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreement in connection with its report. No “reportable events” (as described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K) occurred within Newborn’s year ended December 31, 2020 or the period from April 12, 2019 (inception) through December 31, 2019 or during the subsequent interim period preceding the change in principal accountants.

During Newborn’s year ended December 31, 2020 and the period from April 12, 2019 (inception) through December 31, 2019 and the subsequent interim period preceding the change in principal accountants, Newborn and the Company did not consult Moss Adams regarding: either the application of accounting principles to a specified transaction, either completed or proposed, or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on Newborn’s or the Company’s financial statements; or any matter that was either the subject of a disagreement (as described above) or a “reportable event” (as described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K).

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms’ Fees and Services

The following table sets forth the fees billed for or in the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 by Deloitte & Touche LLP, Moss Adams LLP, the Company’s former principal accountant until August 18, 2022, and MBP, Newborn’s principal accountant prior to the Business Combination.

 

Year Ended
December 31,

   

2022

 

2021

Deloitte & Touche LLP

 

 

   

 

 

Audit Fees(1)

 

$

1,124,750

 

$

Audit-Related Fees(2)

 

 

 

 

Tax Fees(3)

 

 

 

 

All Other Fees

 

 

 

 

Total Fees

 

$

1,124,750

 

$

Moss Adams LLP

 

 

   

 

 

Audit Fees(1)

 

$

509,700

 

$

630,250

Audit-Related Fees(2)

 

 

 

 

Tax Fees(3)

 

 

 

 

All Other Fees

 

 

 

 

Total Fees

 

$

509,700

 

$

630,250

Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP

 

 

   

 

 

Audit Fees(1)

 

$

 

$

12,360

Audit-Related Fees(2)

 

 

15,150

 

 

3,090

Tax Fees(3)

 

 

 

 

All Other Fees

 

 

 

 

Total Fees

 

$

15,150

 

$

15,450

Grand Total Fees

 

$

1,649,600

 

$

645,700

____________

(1)      Audit fees consist of fees billed for professional services by the accounting firm for audits and quarterly reviews of financial statements during the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 and for services that are normally provided by the accounting firm in connection with statutory and regulatory filings or engagements for those fiscal years, including the review of and issuance of consents in connection with registration statement filings with the SEC.

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(2)      Audit related fees represent the aggregate fees billed for assurance and related professional services rendered by the accounting firm that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of financial statements and are not reported under “Audit Fees.”

(3)      Tax fees represent the aggregate fees billed for professional services rendered by the accounting firm for tax compliance, tax advice, and tax planning services.

The aggregate fees included in Audit Fees are those billed for the fiscal year. The aggregate fees included in the Audit-Related Fees and Tax Fees are those fees billed in the fiscal year.

Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

The audit committee of the Board has adopted policies and procedures for the pre-approval of audit and non-audit services for the purpose of maintaining the independence of the Company’s independent auditor. The Company may not engage its independent auditor to render any audit or non-audit service unless either the service is approved in advance by the audit committee, or the engagement to render service is entered into pursuant to the audit committee’s pre-approval policies and procedures. All accountant services and fees noted above were either approved in advance by the audit committee or rendered pursuant to such pre-approval policies and procedures.

Required Vote and Recommendation

Ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock represented in person or by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote thereon.

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THE RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP AS THE COMPANY’S INDEPENDENT REGISTERED
PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM.

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DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Executive Officers and Directors

The following table sets forth the name, age and position of each of the Company’s executive officers and directors immediately after the Annual Meeting, assuming the election of the Board’s nominees at the Annual Meeting.

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Gregory Poilasne

 

51

 

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Ted Smith

 

56

 

President, Chief Operating Officer and Director

David G. Robson

 

56

 

Chief Financial Officer

Angela Strand

 

54

 

Director

Kenji Yodose

 

40

 

Director

H. David Sherman

 

75

 

Director

Jon M. Montgomery

 

74

 

Director

Rashida La Lande

 

49

 

Chairperson of the Board and Director

Executive Officers

The following individuals serve as executive officers of the Company.

Gregory Poilasne serves as our Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board since the closing of the Business Combination. He is a co-founder of Nuvve and previously served as its Chairman. Mr. Poilasne is directly responsible for managing and overseeing all different activities related to the successful development, deployment and commercialization of Nuvve’s technologies, as well as developing and supporting the overall strategy. Since February 2019, he also has served as a board member of Dreev, a business venture between EDFRenewables, Inc. (“EDF”) and Nuvve. Mr. Poilasne has more than 20 years of experience in the start-up and technology space. He was Chief Executive Officer of DockOn AG, a Radio-Frequency technology company from February 2011 to January 2016. He was also Vice-President of Business Development of Rayspan, another Radio-Frequency technology company, from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Poilasne was Director of Engineering at Kyocera Wireless, a handset company from 2003 to 2006 and was a founding engineer and director of engineering at Ethertronics, a wireless antenna company, from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Poilasne holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rennes 1, France and a Diplome d’ingenieur from the Ecole Superieur d’Electronique de l’Ouest (“ESEO”), France. We believe Mr. Poilasne is well-qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive experience with Nuvve, his business leadership, his strategic perspective and his contacts in and knowledge of the energy industry and EV industry.

Ted Smith has served as our President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board since the consummation of the Business Combination. Mr. Smith was a founding investor in Nuvve and has served as a member of its board of directors since 2010 and as its Chief Operating Officer since April 2018. Mr. Smith is directly responsible for managing the successful development, deployment and commercialization of Nuvve’s technologies, as well as supporting global regulatory compliance efforts. He previously served as Nuvve’s Chief Administrative Officer from March 2017 until becoming Chief Operating Officer. He also previously served as a board member of Dreev, a business venture between EDF and Nuvve, in 2019 and also serves as a board member of Levo Mobility, and as a Board Observer of Switch. Mr. Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the finance industry and previously served in various roles at Wall Street Associates, a San Diego-based investment advisory firm, including Principal, Chief Operating Officer from 2007 to January 2017, Chief Compliance Officer from 2003 to January 2017, and Quantitative Analyst from 1999 to 2003. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Smith also served as Quantitative Analyst at Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, a San Diego-based investment advisory firm. Mr. Smith also served as an officer in the United States Navy from 1989 to 1996. Mr. Smith holds an MBA from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering/Technology from Maine Maritime Academy. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder, held the Chartered Investment Counselor certification, and is NACD Directorship Certified®. We believe Mr. Smith is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to his extensive experience with Nuvve, his business leadership, his operational and compliance experience and his contacts in and knowledge of the energy industry.

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David G. Robson has served as our Chief Financial Officer since the consummation of the Business Combination. Mr. Robson has over twenty-five years of finance, accounting and operational experience and has held senior positions with both public and private companies in a variety of industries. Mr. Robson has served on the board of directors of Payference, a software business, since February 2020. Mr. Robson recently served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Farmer Brothers Co., a national distributor of coffee, tea and culinary products from February 2017 to November 2019. His responsibilities included overseeing finance, information technology, mergers and acquisitions and investor relations. Mr. Robson served as the Chief Financial Officer of PIRCH, a curator and retailer of kitchen, bath and outdoor home brands, from September 2014 to September 2016. He oversaw all aspects of accounting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, merchandise planning and legal, with responsibility for developing strategies, processes and operating priorities to upscale a high growth retailer while building strong finance and merchandising teams. From January 2012 to September 2014, Mr. Robson was the Chief Financial Officer of U.S. AutoParts, an online provider of auto parts and accessories. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mervyns LLC, a former discount department store chain, from 2007 to 2011. From 2001 to 2007, he served as the Senior Vice President of Finance and Principal Accounting Officer for Guitar Center, Inc. Mr. Robson began his career with the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. Robson graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California and is a certified public accountant (inactive) in the State of California.

Directors

Rashida La Lande has served as a member of the Board since January 2022, and serves as the Chairperson of the Board effective after the 2022 Annual Meeting. Ms. La Lande currently serves as Executive Vice President, Global General Counsel and Chief Sustainability and Government Affairs Officer for The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC). In addition to her general counsel duties, she leads all corporate environmental social responsibility and government affairs functions. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, La Lande was a partner at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, private equity deals, and joint ventures. Throughout her career, La Lande has advised companies and private equity sponsors in various industries including consumer products, retail, financial services, and technology. The Company believes Ms. La Lande is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to her extensive legal and corporate governance experience.

Jon M. Montgomery has served as a member of the Board since the consummation of the Business Combination. Mr. Montgomery is a managing director at Meredith Financial Group Inc., a financial management and advisory firm located in New York City. From 2010 to 2013, he was managing partner at project finance advisory firm AGlobal Partners LLC where he assisted in arranging long-term, limited-recourse financing for private investments in renewable energy, telecommunications, mining & metals, PPPs, and other infrastructure projects in emerging and other international markets. He also advised clients on foreign direct investments, including those utilizing development finance institutions, export credit agencies, and political risk insurers. In addition, Mr. Montgomery has more than 25 years of marketing consulting and market research experience, informing and guiding clients’ branding, communications, segmentation and innovation challenges across a range of industries, particularly in the information technology, telecommunications, financial services, CPG, pharmaceutical, and retail sectors. He is experienced in applying model-based quantitative analysis — particularly choice-based modeling — to solving competitive problems. Previously, from 1996 to 2010, Mr. Montgomery co-founded Hudson Group Inc. in New York, a research-based marketing consultancy. He also held prior positions as executive vice president at Marketing Strategy & Planning Inc./Synovate, and vice president at Hase Schannen Research Associates Inc. Mr. Montgomery holds an M.B.A from Northeastern University and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2000-2022 he was Adjunct Faculty in Marketing at the University of Georgia. We believe Mr. Montgomery is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to his investment banking, structuring and strategic expertise, his contacts in emerging and other international markets and his extensive experience in marketing and market research.

H. David Sherman MBA, DBA, CPA has served as an Independent Director of Nuvve since March 2021. Professor Sherman has been a professor at Northeastern University since 1985, specializing in, among other areas, financial and management accounting, global financial statement analysis and contemporary accounting issues. Professor Sherman is Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the oldest English language acting school in the world, since January 2014. Professor Sherman served on the board and as audit committee chair for Dunxin Financial Holdings Ltd. (AMEX: DXF) from January 2018 to August 2019, Kingold Jewelry Inc. (Nasdaq: KGJI) from February 2011 to May 2016, China HGS Real Estate Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSH) from January 2010 to August 2012, Agfeed Corporation from January 2012 to November 2014, and China Growth

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Alliance, Ltd., a business acquisition company formed to acquire an operating business in China, from 2007 through 2008. He currently serves on the board of two SPACs, Lakeshore Acquisition II Corp (LBBBU). and Prime Number Acquisition I Corp (PNACU), and is on the board of Xiao-I Corp (AIXI), and Universe Pharmaceutical Inc. (UPC). Professor Sherman was previously on the faculty of the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) and also, among other academic appointments, held an adjunct professorship at Tufts Medical School and was a visiting professor at Harvard Business School (2015). From 2004 to 2005, Professor Sherman was an Academic Fellow at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporate Finance’s Office of Chief Accountant. Professor Sherman received his A.B. in Economics from Brandeis University and both an MBA and doctoral degrees from Harvard Business School. He is a Certified Public Accountant and previously practiced with Coopers & Lybrand. Professor Sherman’s research has been published in management and academic journals including Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Accounting Review and European Journal of Operations Research. We believe Mr. Sherman is well qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to his extensive expertise in global financial statement analysis and contemporary accounting issues and his public company experience.

Angela Strand has served as a member of Board since the consummation of the Business Combination. Ms. Strand is the founder and Managing Director of Strand Strategy, a consulting firm specializing in disruptive technology commercialization. She is presently a director and member of the compensation committee, and previously served as interim CEO, chairwoman, chair of the compensation committee and member of the nominating and governance committee for Lordstown Motors (Nasdaq: RIDE). Previously, from 2016 to 2020, she served as Vice Chairman of Integrity Applications (Nasdaq:GCTK), including chairman of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees, and as a member of the audit committee. From April 2017 to December 2018, Ms. Strand served as Vice President of Workhorse Group Inc; from July 2015 to December 2016, she was a co-founder and senior executive of Chanje, a joint venture between Smith Electric Vehicles and FDG Electric Vehicles Ltd. (HK: 729HK); and from 2011 to 2015, she served as the Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development and Government Affairs for Smith Electric Vehicles. In 2018, she was a founder of In-Charge, an electric vehicle infrastructure solutions provider. Ms. Strand has also served in various management and executive roles at medical device, biotech and digital health firms. Ms. Strand is a named inventor with seven issued patents. Ms. Strand holds a B.Sc. in Communications and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Tennessee. We believe Ms. Strand is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to her business leadership, her contacts in and knowledge of the EV industry and her public company experience.

Kenji Yodose has been a member of Board since the consummation of the Business Combination. Mr. Yodose has been designated for appointment as a director by Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“TTC”), a significant shareholder of Nuvve prior to the Business Combination and of Nuvve after the Business Combination, pursuant to an agreement between TTC and Nuvve. He has served as a member of Nuvve’s board of directors since May 2019. Mr. Yodose has currently served as Sr. Project Manager for Toyota Tsusho America, Inc, dedicating to carbon neutral solutions activities since April 2022. Mr. Yodose also served in various roles at TTC, including as a Group Leader in charge of V2G from April 2020 to March 2022, as a Project Manager in charge of V2G from April 2019 until March 2020, and as a Project Manager in charge of investing in hydro and wind fields, from October 2017 until March 2019. Previously, from October 2015 to September 2017, Mr. Yodose held the position of Senior Vice President at Eurus Energy Uruguay, where he was directly responsible for developing South American strategy and the formation of the Uruguay country office operations. From 2012 to September 2015, Mr. Yodose also held a key role within Eurus Energy Holdings Planning Department, where he supported business expansion and investment into numerous IPP projects totaling over $1 billion. Mr. Yodose also served in Japan and Europe from 2006 to 2012 in key accounting management roles for TTC focused on J-SOX Act control procedure implementation, hedging currency risks and tax management. Mr. Yodose holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Ritsumeikan University in Siga, Japan.

Family Relationships

There are no familial relationships among the Company’s directors and executive officers.

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Leadership Structure

The Company’s business and affairs are organized under the direction of the Board. The Board consists of seven members. The primary responsibilities of the Board are to provide oversight, strategic guidance, counseling, and direction to the Company’s management. The Board will meet on a regular basis and additionally as required.

In accordance with the Company’s amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the Board is divided into three classes, Class A, Class B and Class C, with members of each class serving staggered three-year terms. The Company’s directors are assigned to the following classes:

        Class A consists of Jon M. Montgomery and Rashida La Lande, whose terms will expire at the 2025 Annual Meeting;

        Class B consists of H. David Sherman and Angela Strand, whose terms will expire at Annual Meeting; and

        Class C consists of Gregory Poilasne, Ted Smith and Kenji Yodose, whose terms will expire at the 2024 annual meeting of stockholders.

At each annual meeting of stockholders, the successors to directors whose terms then expire will be elected to serve from the time of election and qualification until the third annual meeting following their election and until their successors are duly elected and qualified. This classification of the Board may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control or management of the Company.

Ms. La Lande currently serves as our Chairperson of the Board. This structure ensures a greater role for the non-management directors in the oversight of the Company and active participation of these directors in setting agendas and establishing priorities and procedures for the work of the Board. In addition, this structure allows the Chief Executive Officer to focus his attention on implementing the Company’s strategic plans, while a separate Chairperson can devote full attention to Board leadership functions. The Board will continue to periodically review the Company’s leadership structure and may make such changes in the future as it deems appropriate and in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. While the Board does not have a lead independent director, the independent directors meet in executive session regularly without the presence of management.

Independence of Directors

As a result of the Company’s common stock being listed on the Capital Market of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”), the Company adheres to the listing rules of the Nasdaq in affirmatively determining whether a director is independent. The Board has consulted, and will consult, with its counsel to ensure that the Board’s determinations are consistent with those rules and all relevant securities and other laws and regulations regarding the independence of directors. The rules of Nasdaq generally define an “independent director” as a person, other than an executive officer of a company or any other individual having a relationship which, in the opinion of the issuer’s board of directors, would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director.

The Board has determined that each of Ms. La Lande, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Sherman, Ms. Strand and Mr. Yodose qualifies as an independent director, and that the Board consists of a majority of independent directors, as such term is defined under the rules of the SEC and Nasdaq. In addition, the Company is subject to the rules of the SEC and Nasdaq relating to the membership, qualifications, and operations of the audit committee, the compensation committee, and the nominating and corporate governance committee, as discussed below.

Board Role in Risk Oversight

The Board’s primary function is one of oversight. The Board as a whole works with the Company’s management team to promote and cultivate a corporate environment that incorporates enterprise-wide risk management into strategy and operations. Management periodically reports to the Board about the identification, assessment and management of critical risks and management’s risk mitigation strategies. Each committee of the Board is responsible for the evaluation of elements of risk management based on the committee’s expertise and applicable regulatory requirements. In evaluating risk, the Board and its committees consider whether the Company’s programs adequately identify material risks in a timely manner and implement appropriately responsive risk management strategies throughout the

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organization. The audit committee focuses on assessing and mitigating financial risk, including risk related to internal controls, and receives at least quarterly reports from management on identified risk areas. In setting compensation, the compensation committee strives to create incentives that encourage behavior consistent with the Company’s business strategy, without encouraging undue risk-taking. The nominating and corporate governance committee considers areas of potential risk within corporate governance and compliance, such as management succession. Each of the committees reports to the Board as a whole as to their findings with respect to the risks they are charged with assessing.

Board Meetings and Committees

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the Board met eighteen times and acted by written consent one time. All of the Company’s directors attended 75% or more of the aggregate number of meetings of the Board and committees on which they served. The directors are strongly encouraged to attend meetings of stockholders.

The Board has established a standing audit committee, compensation committee, and nominating and corporate governance committee. The composition and function of each committee complies with all applicable requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the SEC. The Board adopted a charter for each of these committees, which complies with the applicable rules of Nasdaq. Copies of the charters for each committee are publicly available on the Company’s website at www.nuvve.com/investors/corporate-governance.

Audit Committee

The audit committee consists of Mr. Sherman, Mr. Yodose and Mr. Montgomery. The Board has determined that each member of the audit committee is an independent director as defined by the rules of Nasdaq applicable to members of an audit committee, including that each member meets the criteria for independence set forth in Rule 10A-3(b)(1) under the Exchange Act. In addition, as required by the rules of Nasdaq, each member of the audit committee is able to read and understand fundamental financial statements, including a company’s balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows.

The audit committee meets on at least a quarterly basis. Both the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm and management periodically meet privately with the audit committee. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the audit committee met six times and acted by written consent one time.

The audit committee assists the Board in monitoring the integrity of the Company’s financial statements, its compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and the independence and performance of its internal and external auditors. The audit committee’s duties, which are specified in the Company’s audit committee charter, include, but are not limited to:

        meeting with the independent auditor prior to the audit to review the scope, planning, and staffing of the audit;

        reviewing and discussing with management and the independent auditor the annual audit report, the annual financial statements and related notes and management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations proposed to be included in the Company’s annual report, and recommending to the Board whether the audited financial statements and related notes and management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations should be included in the Company’s annual report;

        producing the report of the audit committee, as required by the rules of the SEC;

        reviewing and discussing with management and the independent auditor the Company’s quarterly financial statements prior to the filing of each quarterly report and management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations proposed to be included in such quarterly report;

        discussing with management and the independent auditor, as appropriate, the Company’s critical accounting policies and practices;

        reviewing and discussing with management and the independent auditor the Company’s major financial risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor and control such exposures, including the Company’s risk assessment and risk management policies;

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        discussing with the independent auditor the matters required to be discussed by PCAOB Auditing Standards No. 1301 and other applicable requirements of the PCAOB and the SEC;

        reviewing with management and the Company’s independent auditors the adequacy and effectiveness of the Company’s financial reporting process, internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures;

        selecting and retaining an independent registered public accounting firm to act as the Company’s independent auditors, and evaluating the qualifications, performance and independence of the independent auditor;

        reviewing and approving all related-party transactions;

        discussing with management the Company’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations and with the Company’s code of ethics in effect at such time, if any, and, where applicable, recommend policies and procedures for future compliance.

        recommending to the Board the appointment of, and continued evaluation of the performance of, independent auditors;

        approving the fees to be paid to the independent auditor for audit services and approving the retention of independent auditors for non-audit services and all fees for such services;

        reviewing periodic reports from the independent auditor regarding the auditor’s independence, including discussion of such reports with the auditor; and

        discussing with the Company’s counsel legal and regulatory matters that may have a material impact on the financial statements or the Company’s compliance policies.

Financial Experts on Audit Committee

The Board determined that Mr. Sherman qualifies as an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of the rules and regulations of the SEC. In making this determination, the Board considered Mr. Sherman’s formal education and previous experience in financial roles. In addition, as required by the rules of Nasdaq, the Company has at least one member who has past employment experience in finance or accounting, requisite professional certification in accounting, or other comparable experience or background that results in the individual’s financial sophistication. The Board determined Mr. Sherman qualifies as financially sophisticated under the rules of Nasdaq.

Report of the Audit Committee

The audit committee reviewed and discussed the Company’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022 with management, as well as with the Company’s independent auditors. The audit committee discussed with the independent auditors the matters required to be discussed by the statement on Auditing Standards No. 1301, as well as various accounting issues relating to presentation of certain items in the Company’s financial statements and compliance with Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The audit committee received the written disclosures and letter from the independent auditors required by the applicable requirements of the PCAOB regarding the independent auditors’ communications with the audit committee concerning independence, and has discussed with the independent auditors their independence.

Based upon the review and discussions referred to above, the audit committee recommended that the Company’s audited financial statements be included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, for filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Submitted by the Audit Committee:

   

H. David Sherman (Chair)

   

Kenji Yodose

   

Jon M. Montgomery

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Compensation Committee

The compensation committee consists of Ms. Strand, Mr. Montgomery and Mr. Sherman. The Board has determined that each member of the compensation committee is an independent director as defined by the rules of Nasdaq applicable to members of a compensation committee. The Board also determined that each member of the compensation committee is a non-employee director, as defined in Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act.

The compensation committee meets from time to time to consider matters for which approval by the committee is desirable or is required by law. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the compensation committee met five times and acted by written consent three times.

The compensation committee’s duties, which are specified in the Company’s compensation committee charter, include, but are not limited to:

        establishing, reviewing and approving the overall executive compensation philosophy and policies of the Company, including the establishment, if deemed appropriate, of performance-based incentives that support and reinforce the Company’s long-term strategic goals, organizational objectives, and stockholder interests;

        reviewing and approving the Company’s goals and objectives relevant to the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers, annually evaluate such officers’ performance in light of those goals and objectives and, based on this evaluation, determine such officers’ compensation level;

        determining the compensation of all other executive officers;

        receiving and evaluating performance target goals for the senior officers and employees (other than executive officers);

        producing the report of the compensation committee, if required by the rules of the SEC;

        administering or delegating the power to administer the Company’s incentive and equity-based compensation plans;

        reviewing and making recommendations to the Board with respect to the adoption of, and amendments to, incentive compensation and equity-based plans;

        reviewing and approving any annual or long-term cash bonus or incentive plans in which the executive officers of the Company may participate;

        if required under Regulation S-K, reviewing the Company’s compensation discussion and analysis, discussing it with the Company’s management, and determining whether to recommend it for inclusion in the Company’s annual report or proxy statement;

        reviewing the Company’s incentive compensation arrangements to determine whether they encourage excessive risk-taking, reviewing and discussing at least annually the relationship between risk management policies and practices and compensation, and evaluating compensation policies and practices that could mitigate any such risk; and

        reviewing all director compensation and benefits for service on the Board and committees thereof at least once a year and recommending any changes to the Board, as necessary.

The compensation committee makes all decisions regarding executive officer compensation. The compensation committee periodically reviews the elements of compensation for the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and the other executive officers and, subject to any existing employment agreements, sets each element of compensation for the executive officers, including annual base salary, annual incentive bonus and equity compensation. The compensation committee also periodically reviews the terms of employment agreements with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and other executive officers, including in connection with any new hire or the expiration of any existing employment agreements. The compensation committee will consider the recommendations of the Chief Executive Officer when determining compensation for the other executive officers. Executive officers do not determine any element or component of their own pay package or total compensation amount. The Chief Executive Officer has no role in determining and is not present for any discussions regarding his own compensation.

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The compensation committee also reviews and approves the Company’s compensation plans, policies and programs and administers the Company’s equity incentive plan. In addition, the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and other members of management make recommendations to the compensation committee with regard to overall pay strategy including program designs, annual incentive design, and long-term incentive plan design for all employees. Management from time to time provides the compensation committee with market information and relevant data analysis as requested.

The compensation committee retains sole authority to engage compensation consultants, including determining the nature and scope of services and approving the amount of compensation for those services, and legal counsel or other advisors. The compensation committee assesses the independence of any consultants pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC and the listing standards of Nasdaq. The Company will provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the compensation committee, for payment of any such investigations or studies and the compensation to any consulting firm, legal counsel or other advisors retained by the compensation committee.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

The nominating and corporate governance committee consists of Mr. Montgomery (chairperson), Ms. La Lande, Ms. Strand and Mr. Yodose. The Board has determined that each member of the nominating and corporate governance committee is an independent director as defined by the rules of Nasdaq applicable to members of a nominating committee.

The nominating and corporate governance committee meets from time to time to consider matters for which approval by the committee is desirable or is required by law. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the nominating and corporate governance committee met three times and acted by written consent zero times.

The nominating and corporate governance committee is responsible for overseeing the selection of persons to be nominated to serve on the Board. The nominating and corporate governance committee also is responsible for developing a set of corporate governance policies and principles and recommending to the Board any changes to such policies and principles.

Guidelines for Selecting Director Nominees

The nominating committee and corporate governance committee will consider persons identified by its stockholders, management, investment bankers and others. The guidelines for selecting nominees, which are specified in the nominating and corporate governance committee charter, generally provide that persons to be nominated:

        should be accomplished in their field and have a reputation, both personal and professional, that is consistent with the image and reputation of the Company;

        should possess relevant experience and expertise and knowledge of the Company and issues affecting the Company; and

        should be of high moral and ethical character and committed to enhancing stockholder value.

The nominating committee and corporate governance committee will consider a number of qualifications relating to management and leadership experience, background and integrity and professionalism in evaluating a person’s candidacy for membership on our board of directors. The nominating committee and corporate governance committee may require certain skills or attributes, such as financial or accounting experience, to meet specific board needs that arise from time to time and will also consider the overall experience and makeup of its members to obtain a broad and diverse mix of board members. The nominating committee does not distinguish among nominees recommended by stockholders and other persons.

In addition, the Company has granted board rights to certain of its investors and partners:

        In connection with the Business Combination, the Company entered into a stockholder’s agreement with TTC. Under the stockholder’s agreement, TTC will have the right to designate one member of the Board for appointment or election as a director for so long as TTC continues to beneficially own 5% of the outstanding our common stock. Subject to certain exceptions, we will agree to appoint the designee as a director and include the designee in management’s slate of director nominees. Mr. Yodose is TTC’s initial designee.

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        In connection with the formation of the Levo Mobility LLC (“Levo”) joint venture with Stonepeak Rocket Holdings LP (“Stonepeak”) and Evolve Transition Infrastructure LP (“Evolve”), the Company entered into a board rights agreement with Stonepeak. Under the board rights agreement, for so long as Stonepeak and Evolve beneficially own at least 10% of the Company’s common stock, Stonepeak has the right to designate one individual for appointment as a member of the Board and as a member of one committee of the Board (or two committees, if Stonepeak and Evovle beneficially own at least 15% of the Company’s common stock, or all committees, if Stonepeak and Evolve beneficially own at least 25% of the Company’s common stock). Any such designee must meet certain qualification requirements.

The Board’s objective is that its membership be comprised of a diverse group of experienced and dedicated individuals. Though the nominating committee does not have specific guidelines on diversity, it is one of many criteria considered by the nominating committee when evaluating candidates. In addition, the Company is subject to the requirements of California law and the rules of Nasdaq relating to diversity.

The nominating committee does not have a written policy or formal procedural requirements for stockholders to submit recommendations for director nominations. However, the nominating and corporate governance committee will consider properly submitted recommendations for candidates to the Board from stockholders in accordance with the Company’s bylaws. Stockholders should communicate nominee suggestions directly to the nominating committee and accompany the recommendation with biographical details and a statement of support for the nominee. The suggested nominee must also provide a statement of consent to being considered for nomination. There have been no material changes to the procedures by which security holders may recommend nominees to the Board.

Code of Ethics

The Company adopted a code of ethics that applies to all of its directors, officers and employees. A copy of the code of ethics is publicly available on the Company’s website at www.nuvve.com/investors/corporate-governance. We also intend to disclose future amendments to, or waivers of, its code of ethics, as and to the extent required by SEC regulations, on its website.

Policy Against Hedging and Pledging

We maintain an Insider Trading Policy that, among other things, generally prohibits all officers, including our NEOs, directors and employees from engaging in “hedging” transactions with respect to our shares. This includes short sales, hedging of share ownership positions, and transactions involving derivative securities relating to our shares. The Insider Trading Policy also generally prohibits borrowing or other arrangements involving the non-recourse pledge of our shares.

Stockholder Communications

Stockholders and interested parties may communicate with the Board, any committee or committee chairperson or the independent directors as a group by writing to the board, committee, committee chairperson or independent directors in care of Nuvve Holding Corp., 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, California 92106. Each communication will be forwarded, depending on the subject matter, to the board, the appropriate committee or committee chairperson or all independent directors.

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DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

The Board has established, based upon the recommendation of the compensation committee, a compensation program for the non-employee members of the Board. The compensation program is designed to align the directors’ compensation with the combined company’s business objectives and the creation of stockholder value. The compensation committee and the Board expect to review non-employee director compensation periodically to ensure that such compensation remains competitive and enables the combined company to recruit and retain qualified directors.

Under the non-employee directors’ compensation program, each non-employee director will receive an annual cash retainer and will receive cash fees for serving as chair or as a member of the audit, compensation or nominating and corporate governance committees, as follows:

 

Amount

Annual Director Compensation Cash Retainer

 

$

40,000

Additional Annual Compensation for Committee Chairs

 

 

 

Audit Committee

 

$

20,000

Compensation Committee

 

$

15,000

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

$

10,000

Additional Annual Compensation for Committee Members (Other than Chairs)

 

 

 

Audit Committee

 

$

10,000

Compensation Committee

 

$

7,500

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

$

5,000

In addition, each non-employee director, upon their initial appointment or election, and on an annual basis, will receive a grant of restricted stock units with a fair market value as of the grant date equal to $200,000, with the initial grant vesting in three equal installments on the first second and third anniversary of the grant date, and with the annual grants vesting in full on the first anniversary of the grant date.

The following table sets forth compensation earned during the year ended December 31, 2022 by each director who is not a named executive officer and served during the year ended December 31, 2022.

Name

 

Fees
Earned(1)

 

Stock
Awards(2)

 

Total

Rashida La Lande

 

$

40,712

 

$

54,029

 

$

94,741

Jon M. Montgomery

 

$

58,925

 

$

220,921

 

$

279,846

H. David Sherman

 

$

67,500

 

$

220,921

 

$

288,421

Angela Strand

 

$

60,000

 

$

220,921

 

$

280,921

Kenji Yodose

 

$

47,500

 

$

220,921

 

$

268,421

Richard A. Ashby(3)

 

$

30,000

 

$

220,921

 

$

250,921

____________

(1)      Represents annual director fees paid. The director fees paid to each person listed are consistent with the director fees described herein above, including annual retainer and as a member and/or chair of a committee of the Board.

(2)      The amounts reported under “Stock Awards” are the estimated grant date fair value of restricted stock units granted during the respective year, with such amount as determined under the ASC 718, with respect to accounting for stock-based compensation expense. Such estimated fair value amounts do not necessarily correspond to the potential actual value realized of such awards. The assumptions made in computing the estimated fair value of such awards are disclosed in note 13 to the Company’s consolidated financial statements included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.

(3)      Richard A. Ashby resigned as a member of the Board effective August 10, 2022.

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The following table presents information as of December 31, 2022 regarding the outstanding stock options held by each director who is not a named executive officer and who served during the year ended December 31, 2022.

 

Stock Option Grants

 

Stock Awards

Name

 

Number
of
Securities
Underlying
Stock
Options Exercisable

 

Number
of
Securities
Underlying
Stock
Options
Unexercisable

 

Stock
Option
Exercise
Price

 

Stock
Option
Expiration
Date

 

Number
of
Shares or
Units of
Stock
That Have
Not Vested

 

Market Value
of
Shares or Units of
Stock
That Have
Not Vested

Rashida La Lande

 

 

 

$

 

 

62,887

 

$

42,134

Jon M. Montgomery

 

 

 

$

 

 

65,913

 

$

44,162

H. David Sherman

 

 

 

$

 

 

65,913

 

$

44,162

Angela Strand

 

6,858

 

3,762

 

$

8.71

 

1/20/2031

 

65,913

 

$

44,162

Kenji Yodose

 

 

 

$

 

 

65,913

 

$

44,162

Richard A. Ashby(1)

 

 

 

$

 

0

 

 

$

____________

(1)      Richard A. Ashby resigned as a member of the Board effective August 10, 2022.

As compensation for consulting services prior to becoming a director, on August 11, 2020, Ms. Strand received an option to purchase 10,620 shares of the Company’s common stock at an exercise price of $8.71 per share (which had a grant date fair value of $56,842, as calculated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model). The option vests in 48 equal monthly installments commencing on September 11, 2020 and ending on August 11, 2024.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICER COMPENSATION

Summary Compensation Table

The following table sets forth information concerning the compensation of the named executive officers for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.

Name

 

Year

 

Salary

 

Stock
Awards
(4)(5)

 

Option Awards(5)

 

Bonus(6)(9)

 

All Other
Compensation

 

Total

Gregory Poilasne(1)

 

2022

 

$

325,663

 

$

198,328

 

$

 

$

172,125

 

$

18,000

 

 

$

714,116

Chief Executive Officer

 

2021

 

$

451,000

 

$

126,803

 

$

894,841

 

$

218,750

 

$

1,628,747

(7)

 

$

3,320,141

       

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ted Smith(2)

 

2022

 

$

383,808

 

$

67,528

 

$

 

$

286,875

 

$

14,368

 

 

$

752,579

President and Chief
Operating Officer

 

2021

 

$

388,906

 

$

90,520

 

$

611,211

 

$

336,875

 

$

289,579

(8)

 

$

1,717,091

       

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

David G. Robson(3)

 

2022

 

$

310,383

 

$

130,280

 

$

 

$

135,000

 

$

 

 

$

575,663

Chief Financial Officer

 

2021

 

$

312,500

 

$

101,441

 

$

444,555

 

$

185,000

 

$

 

 

$

1,043,496

____________

(1)      Mr. Poilasne serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. The compensation set forth in this table includes compensation paid by Nuvve prior to the Business Combination.

(2)      Mr. Smith serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company. The compensation set forth in this table includes the compensation paid by Nuvve prior to the Business Combination.

(3)      Mr. Robson serves as Chief Financial Officer of the Company.

(4)      Some stock awards were in lieu of cash compensation or bonuses.

(5)      Represents the estimated grant date fair value of the restricted stock units and stock options as determined under the provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standard Codification Topic 718. Such estimated fair value amounts do not necessarily correspond to the potential actual value realized from such awards. The assumptions made in computing the estimated fair value of such awards are discussed in note 13 of the consolidated financial statements included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022.

(6)      Represents (i) for Mr. Poilasne a 2021 Annual Bonus in the amount of $172,125 paid in 2022, a signing bonus in the amount of $50,000 paid in 2021 and a 2020 Annual Bonus in the amount of $168,750 paid in 2021; (ii) for Mr. Smith a 2021 Annual Bonus in the amount of $286,875 paid in 2022, a signing bonus in the amount of $50,000 paid in 2021 and a 2020 Annual Bonus in the amount of $286,875 paid in 2021 and (iii) for Mr. Robson, a 2021 Annual Bonus in the amount of $135,000 paid in 2022, a signing bonus in the amount of $50,000 paid in 2021 and a 2020 Annual Bonus in the amount of $135,000 paid in 2021. For each of Mr. Poilasne and Mr. Robson, their 2021 Annual Bonus was paid in the form of immediately vested restricted stock units granted on August 12, 2022 in the amounts of 31,543 shares and 25,234 shares, respectively.

(7)      Represents $18,000 of auto reimbursement in 2022. In 2021, represents deferred compensation ($1,617,347) earned during the first five years of the Company’s operations which represents 1% of the value of the Company as of the date the closing of Business Combination on March 16, 2021 and $11,400 of auto reimbursement.

(8)      Represents $14,368 of auto reimbursement in 2022. In 2021 represents deferred compensation ($289,579) earned during the first five years of the Company’s operations which represents 1% of the value of the Company as of the closing of the Business Combination on March 16, 2021 of which $29,579 was an auto reimbursement.

(9)      The Company has not paid bonuses to the named executive officers with respect to 2022 services, but we may pay such bonuses at a later date in 2023.

Narrative Disclosure to Summary Compensation Table

For 2022 and 2021, the compensation program for the Company’s named executive officers consisted of base salary and incentive compensation delivered in the form of cash bonuses and equity awards. Base salary was set at a level that was commensurate with the executive’s duties and authorities, contributions, prior experience and sustained performance. Cash bonuses and equity awards were also set at a level that was commensurate with the executive’s duties and authorities, contributions, prior experience and sustained performance, subject to any employment or similar agreement with the executive.

The Company provides benefits to its named executive officers on the same basis as it provides them to all of its employees, including health, dental and vision insurance; life and disability insurance; and a tax-qualified Section 401(k) plan for which no match by the Company is provided. In 2022 and 2021, the Company did not maintain any executive-specific benefit or perquisite programs.

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The Company maintains two equity plans. Upon consummation of the Business Combination, the Company established the Incentive Plan. In addition, in connection with the Business Combination, the Company assumed the Nuvve Corporation 2010 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2010 Plan”) and the options granted under such plan. However, the 2010 Plan was amended so that no further awards may be granted under such plan.

Employment Agreements

Gregory Poilasne

Until the Business Combination, Mr. Poilasne served as Nuvve’s Chief Executive Officer pursuant to an offer letter with Nuvve dated July 1, 2017. Under the offer letter, Mr. Poilasne earned base salary at a rate of $276,000 per year. In addition, Mr. Poilasne was eligible to receive an annual bonus based on the achievement of criteria as approved by Nuvve’s board of directors with a target equal to 100% of his annual base salary. In connection with the entry into the offer letter, Mr. Poilasne was granted an option to purchase 350,000 shares of Nuvve common stock (which became 74,341 shares of the Company’s common stock after assumption by the Company of such option) at an exercise price of $0.27 per share (which became an exercise price of $1.27 per share upon assumption by the Company of such option). The option vests in equal monthly installments over a five-year period.

Upon consummation of the Business Combination, Mr. Poilasne entered into a new employment agreement with the Company providing for him to serve as the Company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Poilasne’s agreement has a term of three years. Under the agreement, Mr. Poilasne (i) earns base salary at a rate of $500,000 per year, (ii) is eligible to receive an annual bonus based on key performance indicators established by the compensation committee with a target equal to 100% of his base salary, (iii) is eligible to receive a bonus of up to $100,000 per year at the discretion of the compensation committee, and (iv) received a signing bonus of $50,000. In addition, Mr. Poilasne received a grant under the Incentive Plan of options to purchase 600,000 shares of the Company’s common stock and a grant under the Incentive Plan of 43,796 shares of restricted stock (with a value of $600,000 based on the closing market price on the date of grant). The options have an exercise price of $13.70 (the closing market price on the date of grant), vest as to one-quarter of the shares March 31, 2022 and in 12 equal quarterly installments during the following three years. The restricted stock vests in three equal installments on the first, second and third anniversary of the grant date. The Company will reimburse Mr. Poilasne for the costs of his automobile lease (up to a maximum of $20,000 for the down payment and $1,500 per month) and his mobile phone. Furthermore, Mr. Poilasne received approximately $1,548,000 in compensation in respect of his services to Nuvve in prior years, which became payable in connection with the successful completion of the Business Combination.

If Mr. Poilasne is terminated without “cause,” he will continue to receive his then current base salary for the ensuing 18 months at the rate then in effect in accordance with the Company’s standard payroll procedures and will continue to receive health insurance benefits during such period. If Mr. Poilasne is terminated without “cause” or resigns for “good reason” within 12 months after the Company is subject to change in control, he will receive a severance payment equal to four times his then current base salary in one lump sum.

On August 10, 2022, Mr. Poilasne entered into an employment agreement amendment with the Company. Under the amendment, Mr. Poilasne agreed to adjust his annual compensation, from September 1, 2022 until August 31, 2023 (the “New Salary Period”), to a base salary of $65,000 and a number of restricted stock units equal to $182,430 in shares of common stock based on a value per share equal to the closing price of the common stock on August 12, 2022 (rounded up to the nearest whole share) that will vest monthly at the end of each month over the course of the New Salary Period in accordance with the table below.

Grant
Date
November 30,
2022

 

Grant
Date
December 31,
2022

 

Grant
Date
January 31,
2023

 

Grant
Date
February 28,
2023

 

Grant
Date
March 31,
2023

 

Grant
Date
April 30,
2023

 

Grant
Date
May 31,
2023

 

Grant
Date
June 30,
2023

 

Grant
Date
July 31,
2023

 

Grant
Date
August 31,
2023

36,850

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

 

15,203

The compensation committee also approved a 5% increases in base salary for Mr. Poilasne, effective as of May 1, 2022, from $500,000 to $525,000.

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Table of Contents

Ted Smith

Until the Business Combination, Mr. Smith served as Nuvve’s Chief Operating Officer pursuant to an offer letter with Nuvve dated December 16, 2016. Under the offer letter, Mr. Smith earned base salary at a rate of $227,500 per year, which was increased to $260,000 during 2020. In addition, Mr. Smith was eligible to receive an annual bonus based on the achievement of criteria as approved by Nuvve’s board of directors with a target equal to 100% of his annual base salary. In connection with the entry into his original offer letter dated December 16, 2016, Mr. Smith was granted an option to purchase 660,000 shares of Nuvve common stock (which became 161,426 shares of the Company’s common stock after assumption by the Company of such option) at an exercise price of $0.27 per share (which became an exercise price of $1.27 per share upon assumption by the Company of such option). The option vests as to 25% of the shares on the anniversary of the grant date and thereafter vests as to the remaining 75% of the shares monthly in equal installments over a three-year period. During the term of his employment, Mr. Smith was granted additional option awards by Nuvve, which are described below under “Outstanding Equity Awards Table” and in the narrative disclosure to the table. Mr. Smith was awarded a discretionary cash bonus of $150,000 for 2022 and $100,000 for 2021.

Upon consummation of the Business Combination, Mr. Smith entered into a new employment agreement with the Company providing for him to serve as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Smith’s agreement has a term of three years. Under the agreement, Mr. Smith (i) earns base salary at a rate of $425,000 per year, (ii) is eligible to receive an annual bonus based on key performance indicators established by the compensation committee with a target equal to 100% of his base salary, (iii) is eligible to receive a bonus of up to $75,000 per year at the discretion of the compensation committee, and (iv) received a signing bonus of $50,000. In addition, Mr. Smith received a grant under the Incentive Plan of options to purchase 350,000 shares of the Company’s common stock and a grant under the Incentive Plan of 25,547 shares of restricted stock (with a value of $350,000 based on the closing market price on the date of grant). The options have an exercise price of $13.70 (the closing market price on the date of grant), vest as to one-quarter of the shares March 31, 2022 and in equal quarterly installments during the following three years. The restricted stock vests in three equal installments on the first, second and third anniversary of the grant date. The Company will reimburse Mr. Smith for the costs of his automobile lease (up to a maximum of $20,000 for the down payment and $1,200 per month) and his mobile phone. Furthermore, Mr. Smith received approximately $260,000 in compensation in respect of his services to Nuvve in prior years, which became payable in connection with the successful completion of the Business Combination.

If Mr. Smith is terminated without “cause,” he will continue to receive his then current base salary for the ensuing 18 months at the rate then in effect in accordance with the Company’s standard payroll procedures and will continue to receive health insurance benefits during such period. If Mr. Smith is terminated without “cause” or resigns for “good reason” within 12 months after the Company is subject to change in control, he will receive a severance payment equal to three times his then current base salary in one lump sum.

On August 10, 2022, Mr. Smith entered into an employment agreement amendment with the Company. Under the amendment, Mr. Smith agreed to adjust his annual compensation, during the New Salary Period, to a base salary of $401,625 and a number of restricted stock units equal to $44,625 in shares of common stock based on a value per share equal to the closing price of the common stock on August 12, 2022 (rounded up to the nearest whole share) that will vest monthly at the end of each month over the course of the New Salary Periodin accordance with the table below.

Grant
Date
November 30, 2022

 

Grant
Date
December 31, 2022

 

Grant
Date
January 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
February 28, 2023

 

Grant
Date
March 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
April 30, 2023

 

Grant
Date
May 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
June 30, 2023

 

Grant
Date
July 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
August 31,
2023

8,918

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

 

3,719

The compensation committee also approved a 5% increases in base salary for Mr. Smith, effective as of May 1, 2022, from $425,000 to $446,250.

David G. Robson

Upon consummation of the Business Combination, Mr. Robson entered into an employment agreement with the Company providing for him to serve as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer.

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Mr. Robson’s agreement has a term of three years. Under the agreement, Mr. Robson (i) earns base salary at a rate of $400,000 per year, (ii) is eligible to receive an annual bonus based on key performance indicators established by the compensation committee with a target equal to 100% of his base salary, and (iii) received a signing bonus of $50,000. In addition, Mr. Robson received a grant under the Incentive Plan of options to purchase 300,000 shares of the Company’s common stock and a grant under the Incentive Plan of 18,248 shares of restricted stock (with a value of $250,000 based on the closing market price on the date of grant). The options have an exercise price of $13.70 (the closing market price on the date of grant), vest as to one-quarter of the shares March 31, 2022 and in equal quarterly installments during the following three years. The restricted stock vests in three equal installments on the first, second and third anniversary of the grant date. The Company will reimburse Mr. Robson for the costs of his mobile phone.

If Mr. Robson is terminated without “cause,” he will continue to receive his then current base salary for the ensuing 12 months at the rate then in effect in accordance with the Company’s standard payroll procedures and will continue to receive health insurance benefits during such period. If Mr. Robson is terminated without “cause” or resigns for “good reason” within 12 months after the Company is subject to change in control, he will receive a severance payment equal to three times his then current base salary in one lump sum.

On August 10, 2022, Mr. Robson entered into an employment agreement amendment with the Company. Under the amendment, Mr. Robson agreed to adjust his annual compensation, during the New Salary Period, to a base salary of $166,472 and a number of restricted stock units equal to $166,472 in shares of common stock based on a value per share equal to the closing price of the common stock on August 12, 2022 (rounded up to the nearest whole share) that will vest monthly at the end of each month over the course of the New Salary Period.

Grant
Date
November 30, 2022

 

Grant
Date
December 31, 2022

 

Grant
Date
January 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
February 28, 2023

 

Grant
Date
March 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
April 30, 2023

 

Grant
Date
May 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
June 30, 2023

 

Grant
Date
July 31, 2023

 

Grant
Date
August 31,
2023

33,269

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

 

13,873

The compensation committee also approved a 5% increases in base salary for Mr. Robson, effective as of May 1, 2022, from $400,000 to $420,000.

401(k) Retirement Plan

For 2022 and 2021, the Company provided a tax-qualified Section 401(k) plan for all employees, including its named executive officers. The Company did not provide a match for participants’ elective contributions to the 401(k) plan, nor did the Company provide to employees, including its named executive officers, any other retirement benefits, including but not limited to tax-qualified defined benefit plans, supplemental executive retirement plans and nonqualified defined contribution plans.

Outstanding Equity Awards at Year End

The following table presents information regarding the outstanding stock options and restricted stock units held by the Company’s named executive officers at December 31, 2022.

 

Stock Option Grants

 

Stock Awards

Name

 

Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Exercisable

 

Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Unexercisable

 

Option
Exercise
Price
($)

 

Option
Expriation
Date

 

Number of
Shares or
Units of Stock
That Have
Not Vested
(4)

 

Market Value
of Shares of
Units of Stock That Have Not Vested

Gregory Poilasne

 

74,341

(1)

 

(1)

 

$

1.27

 

6/30/2027

 

 

 

Gregory Poilasne

 

262,500

 

 

337,500

(3)

 

$

13.70

 

3/23/2031

 

29,197

 

$

19,562

Ted Smith

 

21,240

(2)

 

 

 

$

1.27

 

9/24/2025

 

 

 

Ted Smith

 

140,186

(2)

 

 

 

$

1.27

 

6/30/2027

 

 

 

 

Ted Smith

 

84,076

(2)

 

22,126

(2)

 

$

6.97

 

8/10/2030

 

 

 

Ted Smith

 

153,125

 

 

196,875

(3)

 

$

13.70

 

3/23/2031

 

17,032

 

$

11,411

David D. Robson

 

131,250

 

 

168,750

(3)

 

$

13.70

 

3/23/2031

 

12,166

 

$

8,151

____________

(1)      Option vests monthly in equal installments over a five year period.

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(2)      Option vests as to 25% of the shares on the anniversary of the grant date and thereafter vests as to the remaining 75% of the shares monthly in equal installments over a three year period.

(3)      The options vest as to 25% of the shares March 31, 2022 and thereafter vests in 12 equal quarterly installments during the following three years.

(4)      The restricted stock will vest in three equal installments on the first, second and third anniversary of the grant date.

Potential Payments upon Termination or Change in Control

As indicated above, each of Mr. Poilasne, Mr. Smith and Mr. Robson is entitled to a severance payment if his employment is terminated under specified circumstances, including upon certain terminations in connection with a change in control of the Company.

In addition, the vesting of stock options and restricted stock units granted to the Company’s named executive officers under the Incentive Plan will be accelerated upon the occurrence of certain non-negotiated change of control transactions. In the event of certain negotiated change of control transactions, the compensation committee or the Board may (i) accelerate the vesting of the stock options and restricted stock awards under the Incentive Plan, or (ii) require the executive to relinquish the stock options or restricted stock awards under the Incentive Plan to the Company upon the tender by the Company to the executive of cash in an amount equal to the repurchase value of such award. Furthermore, in the event of a corporate transaction (as defined in the 2010 Plan), the administrator of the 2010 Plan may arrange for acceleration of the vesting of the awards and/or for the acquiring corporation to assume or continue the awards under the 2010 Plan.

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Table of Contents

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS

The following table sets forth information regarding the beneficial ownership of the Company’s common stock as of April 14, 2023, by:

        each person known by the Company to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock;

        each of the Company’s executive officers and directors; and

        all of the Company’s executive officers and directors as a group.

Beneficial ownership is determined according to the rules of the SEC, which generally provide that a person has beneficial ownership of a security if he, she or it possesses sole or shared voting or investment power over that security, including options and warrants that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days.

Unless otherwise indicated, the Company believes that all persons named in the table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all the Company’s common stock beneficially owned by them.

Name and Address of Beneficial Owner(1)

 

Amount and Nature of Beneficial Ownership

 

Percentage of Outstanding Shares(2)

Directors and Executive Officers

       

 

Gregory Poilasne(3)(5)