A Santa Monica, Calif., banking company that caters to doctors, dentists, and other professionals is under pressure from an activist investor to find a buyer.

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Oct. 5, Basswood Management Inc. said it is convinced that the sale of Professional Bancorp is in the best interest of the shareholders. The New York-based hedge fund, which owns a 5.1% stake in Professional, said management has not communicated any reasonable prospect for "material improvement in the bank's performance."

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