Financial Institutions in Warsaw, N.Y., said it had secured enough votes to prevail in a fight with a big shareholder.
The $3.4 billion-asset holding company for Five Star Bank said in a press release Friday that its four director nominees, including Chief Executive Martin Birmingham, were re-elected by "extremely wide margins" at its annual meeting.
Clover Partners, which owns about 5.5% of the company's stock, had been vying for two board seats. The Dallas firm, which had expressed frustration with Financial Institutions' nonbank acquisitions, had pressed the company to sell itself. Clover had received support from Peter Humphrey, a former Financial Institutions president.
Several proxy advisory firms, including Institutional Shareholder Services, had recommended the company's nominees.
Financial Institutions said that, excluding shares voted by Clover or its affiliates, about 18% of voting shares backed the investment firm's nominees.
"We strongly believe the voting results underscore that a vast majority of our shareholders fully comprehend our strategy and are confident in our strategic direction," Robert Latella, Financial Institutions' chairman, said in the release. "Creating value for our shareholders remains our top priority."