Joseph Stilwell is at it again — so it must be proxy season.
It separate filings, the activist investor said he wants Fairmount Bancorp (FMBI) in Baltimore to find a buyer and that he plans to promote an alternate slate of directors at Harvard Illinois Bancorp (HARI). In a third filing, Stilwell says he supports Jefferson Bancshares' (JFBI) decision to sell itself to HomeTrust Bancshares (HTBI).
Stilwell said in a filing last week that he wants the $76 million-asset Fairmount Bancorp sold. "With the passage of time, we now believe the issuer should be sold to maximize shareholder value," the filing said.
"We believe the issuer's return on equity is inadequate and unlikely to adequately improve for the foreseeable future," added Stilwell, who owns 5.8% of the company's stock through various funds.
Fairmount's ROE was 2.07% in 2013, down from 3.97% in 2012, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. The average ROE for banks with less than $100 million of assets last year was 6.63%
Stilwell said in a separate filing that he has nominated three people — Peter Wilson, Mark Saladin and Scott Ripkey — to join the board of the $167 million-asset Harvard Illinois. Stilwell's funds own 9.6% of the company's stock.
"We believe that management has failed to take the steps necessary to maximize shareholder value which is a clear indication that management's interests are not aligned with those of the stockholders," Stilwell said. "As the issuer has been unable to earn a normalized return on equity within a reasonable timeframe, we believe the institution should be sold."
Harvard Illinois" ROE last year was 4.72%, compared to 6.29% in 2012.
This is the third straight year that Stilwell has tried to place directors on Harvard Illinois' board. In 2013, he fell 140,033 votes short of unseating an incumbent director.
Stilwell also filed documents last week disclosing that his funds had reduced their stake in Jefferson Bancshares in Morristown, Tenn., to 2.8%. "Our purpose in acquiring shares of common stock of the issuer was to profit from the appreciation in the market price of the shares of common stock through asserting shareholder rights," the filing said.
"We believe the issuer's recently announced merger is fair to the shareholders, and we support it," Stilwell added.
Stilwell launched a proxy challenge earlier this year designed to force the $289 million-asset Poage Bancshares (PBSK) in Ashland, Ky., to sell itself.