Atlantic Coast Federal Corp. has recruited veteran banker Jay S. Sidhu to its board.

The $911 million-asset company in Waycross, Ga., announced Friday that Sidhu's appointment expands the board to nine members. However, the appointment must be put to a shareholder vote at the annual meeting in May.

"We believe he will be able to contribute meaningfully to the board's work in evaluating strategic opportunities and offering guidance with respect to credit management," Charles E. Martin Jr., the company's chairman, said in a press release.

Sidhu is best known as the chairman and chief executive who expanded Sovereign Bancorp Inc. in Pennsylvania from a $500 million-asset thrift to a $90 billion-asset regional bank. He resigned from Sovereign in 2006 because of pressure from the board. That company was sold to Banco Santander SA last year.

In mid-2009, Sidhu became chief executive and chairman of New Century Bank in Phoenixville, Pa.

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