Connecture widens Q1 loss, eliminates EVP position

Spehr earned $1.3 million in compensation last year

Jeff Surges
Connecture CEO Jeff Surges.

Brookfield-based health care software developer Connecture Inc. has eliminated its executive vice president of sales & marketing position.

Jeff Surges
Connecture CEO Jeff Surges.

The company revealed in an SEC filing Tuesday that William Spehr, 53, who has served in the role since April 2015, will discontinue those duties immediately and will end employment with Connecture on May 31. Spehr previously served as chief sales officer at WebMD Health Services Group Inc. from 2010 to 2015. His responsibilities and duties will now be taken on by the Connecture’s sales and marketing leadership teams, the filing says.

Under his separation pay agreement, if Spehr’s employment is terminated by the company without cause, he is eligible for all accrued unpaid wages through the termination date as well as separation payments of 1/12 of his base salary and reimbursement for COBRA premium expenses for nine months.

Spehr was paid a $230,359 base salary from when he joined the company in April 2015 to December 2015. He also earned $563,875 in stock awards, $551,000 in option awards and $4,756 in other compensation last year, for total compensation of $1.3 million. He was the second highest paid executive at the company in 2015.

Last week, Connecture received a $52 million investment from Francisco Partners, a San Francisco, California-based private equity firm, and in conjunction with that investment, changed the makeup of its board of directors.

“We are excited to officially have Francisco as a new partner as we focus on both our near and longer-term growth objectives,” said Jeff Surges, chief executive officer of Connecture, in the filing.

The company, which develops web-based information systems used to create health insurance marketplaces, also today reported it widened its losses in the first quarter.

Connecture reported a first-quarter net loss of $7.3 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $5.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

The first-quarter operating loss was $6 million, compared with a $3.7 million operating loss in the same period last year.

Revenue totaled $17.6 million in the first quarter, down from $20.6 million in the first quarter of 2015.

The company had $200,000 in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, prior to the Francisco Partners investment.

Surges pointed out bright spots in the quarter, which included strong new customer additions in the Medicare segment and the positive impact of upselling in the Enterprise/Commercial segment.

“As we look forward, our pipeline heading into the peak 2016 selling season is strong, especially among health plans, which positions us well to gain further traction in the provider-sponsored health plan, or Payvider, market in particular,” Surges said.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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