Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker sold SIVB stock in January, making a fortune

Greg Becker, the chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bank, made a personal profit of $3.37 million in January, after converting SIVB options and selling stock.

The trades were made just weeks before The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation closed the bank and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as its receiver.

According to documents filed with the SEC, Greg Becker exercised options – converting them to stock – on January 27, then immediately sold the stock. This trade netted him a profit of around $2.27 million.

The options were awarded to Becker as part of an executive remuneration plan.

But Becker was seemingly intent on selling.

SEC filings also show that four days later, on January 31, Becker was hitting the sell button once again.

This time he sold SIVB stock at prices between $285 to $302, netting him $1.1 million. According to the bank, this sale was to “cover a tax liability”.

By Friday, SVB shares were halted, and are now likely to be worthless.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is the second-biggest U.S. bank collapse in history, only eclipsed by the Washington Mutual Bank collapse in 2008.

Greg Becker
Greg Becker was a 30-year veteran at SVB.

Greg Becker’s salary

Greg Becker’s salary in 2022 was $2.6 million and he also earned a bonus of $1.5 million. That’s on top of his profitable options and stock sales.

He had a 30-year career at the bank, starting as a loan officer in 1993.

The news of Greg Beckers profitable trades, follows Asia Markets’ report about a trader who turned $4000 into $1.2 million after trading put options on the bank just hours before it announced it was facing bankruptcy.

Update timeline of the SVB bank collapse

  • February 2023: Rumors surface about Silicon Valley Bank facing pressure on $91 billion in bonds due to rising interest rates. Articles including this Financial Times piece emerged.
  • February 2023: SVB announces firesale of $21 billion bond portfolio which is executed at a $1.8 billion loss.
  • March 8, 2023: SVB announces $2.3 billion share sale to cover bond losses.
  • March 9, 2023: SVB depositors reportedly scramble to withdraw funds as the bank tries to reassure clients their deposits are safe. A SVB bank run is reportedly underway. 
  • March 9, 2023: Credit rating agencies such as Moodys downgrade the bank.
  • March 9, 2023: The four largest banks in the United States shed $50bn in market value as fears spread about the health on the U.S. banking system. SVB Financial Group stock falls over 60%.
  • March 9: Rumours circulate that the bank has been desperately trying to find a buyer, however no buyer can be found.
  • March 10, 2023: Financials and bank stocks across global markets are aggressively sold off amid fears stoked by Silicon Valley Bank.
  • March 10, 2023: California state regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank and appoint the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as its receiver, taking control of its deposits.
  • March 10, 2023: SVB Financial stock tumbles another 60% in pre-market on Thursday night/Friday morning. The stock is put into a trading halt on Friday and trading never resumes.