Genesis Financial Partners has accused directors of Central Co-operative Bank, Somerville, Mass., of violating state law by not providing the hedge fund with a shareholder list.
In a letter, Stephen H. Gordon, president of Genesis, told the thrift's directors and top executives that he was preparing to sue them over the issue. He demanded that they pay their own legal costs in such an action and reimburse Genesis for its costs.
Central officials were not available for comment.
In the letter, Mr. Gordon also questioned the board's independence from management in decision-making. And he suggested making director compensation consist mostly of stock, while significantly cutting chairman Joseph R. Doherty's pay, which he alleged was 10 times that of other directors.
Finally, he recommended eliminating change-of-control provisions requiring a staggered board and a supermajority vote on such issues.
"Shareholders who represent a significant percentage of the ownership of Central Bank have recently contacted us to applaud our efforts and to encourage dramatic change at our bank," Mr. Gordon wrote. "While we have no present intention to harness their support, we believe they would support a variety of alternatives available to us under the law."