Bank investor David Harvey has apparently won his battle for a seat on the board of California Center Bank in Los Angeles.
Mr. Harvey, president of Everest Managers in Gardnerville, Nev., said last month that he would seek a board seat because he felt that the current group of directors - made up entirely of Korean-Americans - did not adequately represent the institutions and hedge funds that own about half of the bank's stock.
Though bank officials said they were initially hesitant about allowing an outsider on the board, the bank said last week that it would nominate Mr. Harvey at its June 28 shareholder meeting.
"As a long-term shareholder, David has demonstrated his commitment to both the bank and the markets we serve," said Chang Hwi Kim, chairman of $372 million-asset California Center. "Moreover, we feel his contacts with a number of shareholders will further enhance the bank's visibility."
Everest Managers invests almost exclusively in community banks and thrifts, and it owns a 3.5% stake in California Center.
Though Mr. Harvey has repeatedly praised the bank for its product offerings and profitability, he has not hidden his frustration with its stock price. In an interview last month, he said the stock price was suffering in part because management has refused to consider buyout offers.
California Center had a record first quarter, more than doubling its earnings against the year-earlier quarter. Yet its stock continues to trade at around $15© - roughly 5.6 times earnings - and well below its peers.
The bank has created a ninth seat on its board, for which Mr. Harvey is the only nominee. Mr. Harvey, a former commercial lender and banking attorney, said he would use his contacts in the investment community to promote California Center's stock.