Wayne Savings Bancshares in Wooster, Ohio, narrowly beat a proxy challenge by an activist investor to supplant a director.

Stilwell Group, which owns about 9.7% of Wayne’s common stock, had nominated a candidate to stand for election to the $449 million-asset company’s board at its May 25 annual meeting. The candidate fell about 36,000 votes shy of election despite receiving more than 1.1 million votes.

Wayne's use of plurality voting meant that the two nominees that received the most votes, both of which were its candidates, were elected.

Stilwell called for Wayne to consider selling itself earlier this year after Stewart Fitz Gibbon resigned as the company’s CEO and president. A representative for Stilwell said in an email that it plans to mount another challenge next year if the company is not sold.

Joseph Stilwell of Stilwell Group.
Stilwell Group, led by Joseph Stilwell, is trying to pressure Wayne Savings Bancshares to sell itself.

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