An activist investor is pressuring two directors at Malvern Bancorp in Paoli, Pa., to resign.

PL Capital in Naperville, Ill., disclosed in a regulatory filing last week that it wants Joseph Palmer Jr. and John Yerkes Jr. to resign rather than stand for reelection at the $542 million-asset company's Feb. 10 annual meeting. PL Capital, which owns 9.4% of Malvern's stock, said it would not support the directors at the meeting.

"While we have no specific concerns about them as individuals, both of them are long standing directors who should take their share of responsibility for the issues Malvern has faced under their watch," Richard Lashley, a PL Capital principal, wrote in a Jan. 8 letter to George Steinmetz, Malvern's chairman.

"If they do not resign, in our view it would call into question whether the board is committed to a fresh start," Lashley said, adding that his firm is eager to witness improved corporate governance at the company.

Palmer, 74, joined Malvern's board in 1986; he co-owns a real estate firm in Paoli. Yerkes, 76, has been a director since 1975; he recently retired as chief executive of an engineering firm in West Chester, Pa.

"We are not seeking board representation … and we are not suggesting any candidates for the board to consider," Lashley wrote. "It is time for a change though."

Lashley noted that PL Capital continues to support Malvern's decision to hire Anthony Weagley's as chief executive, along with Weagley's plan to turn the company around.

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