Anchor Bancorp in Lacey, Wash., has named an accountant to its board, to settle a dispute with an activist investor.
The $379 million-asset company named Varonica Ragan to the board on Wednesday. Ragan is chief compliance officer and director of accounting and finance at Brighton Jones, a Seattle wealth management firm.
Ragan was nominated by Joel Lawson 4th, a Berwyn, Pa., activist investor who had previously sought election to Anchor's board. A company bylaw prevented Lawson from becoming a director, despite earning support from two-thirds of Anchor's shareholders, because he did not reside in Washington state.
Anchor negotiated a standstill agreement with Lawson to let him designate a board representative. However, the agreement prevents Lawson, Ragan or their affiliates from pursuing a proxy contest. Ragan will chair a committee to hire an investment bank and explore strategic alternatives for Anchor.
Lawson, who owned about 9% of Anchor at Nov. 12, began pushing for Anchor to sell itself in 2013 and renewed the effort in 2014, before facing resistance from fellow activist investor Joseph Stilwell.
Ragan also previously was a senior audit manager at KPMG, handling audits for financial institutions, and was chief financial officer at Core Business Bank in Bellevue, Wash.