On Sept. 11, Colin Blair resigned as chief financial officer of Massachusetts-based People's Bancshares Inc. of Brockton. That put a smile on Thomas F. Gillen's face.

The 54-year-old Gillen, an investor in small banks, had campaigned for months for change at People's, in which his R.C.G. Kingston fund has a 5% stake. He was particularly unhappy about People's investment strategy and the thinness of its equity, and he had been urging the company to sell out. He even sponsored a shareholder revolt in an attempt to place new directors on the board, but he lost his bid by a small margin.

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