Green Dot ends feud with activist shareholder who sought to oust CEO
The feud between Green Dot Corp. and its largest shareholder has ended.
Jeffrey Osher, who led a bare-knuckle fight last year to oust Green Dot’s CEO and chairman, will serve as an adviser to the prepaid card company’s board, it said Monday.
Osher, a managing director at Harvest Capital Strategies LLC, masterminded the 2016 effort to remove Steve Streit as Green Dot’s chairman. The campaign featured attacks on Streit’s integrity, which drew counterattacks from Green Dot’s management on certain board candidates proposed by Harvest.
The activist shareholder campaign fell just short of the votes necessary to remove Streit from the company’s board, but it did lead to significant changes in the board’s composition, including the appointment of a new chairman. Streit, who founded Green Dot in 1999, remains the firm’s CEO.
Five of Green Dot’s nine board members have joined since January 2016, when Harvest, a San Francisco hedge fund, launched its activist campaign. Also since that time, Green Dot’s share price has risen by about 75%.
Harvest owned 4.5 million shares in Green Dot, or roughly 9% of the outstanding common shares, as of Dec. 30.
In an interview Monday, Osher said: “Despite differences of opinion in the past, I think the existing management team led by Steve is creating shareholder value. And I think the pieces are in place for the company to be a much larger enterprise that creates a lot of shareholder value relative to where it is today. And I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Streit said in a press release, “Jeff’s firm, Harvest, and I, personally, are among the company’s largest shareholders, and I expect our financial alignment will further serve to enhance the company’s significant progress over the past year.”
Green Dot, of Pasadena, Calif., also announced Monday that it repurchased $50 million in common stock this month, part of a previously announced $150 million repurchase plan.