Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida in Stuart has reached an agreement with an activist investor after signs had emerged of a potential proxy battle.

The $3.5 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that it would give non-voting observer status on its board to Matthew Lindenbaum, a managing member at Basswood Capital Management in New York. Lindenbaum, who will be a board observer for a least six months, "agreed to abide by other certain agreements for the same term," Seacoast said, without providing any specifics.

Lindenbaum earlier this year had asked for a Seacoast board seat, and later asked for nonvoting, observer status. As of Monday, Seacoast and Lindenbaum had not reached an agreement, prompting Basswood to disclose in a regulatory filing that it could explore other options, including discussions with potential acquirers of Seacoast.

Basswood is Seacoast's second-largest shareholder with a 6.9% stake. Lindenbaum did not return a call seeking comment.

Seacoast also named two new directors on Wednesday, expanding its board to 14 members. Seacoast will appoint Herb Lurie, a senior adviser at Guggenheim Securities, at its April board meeting. Later this year, the company will appoint Tim Huval, chief human resources officer at Humana.

Lurie, 55, is a former chairman of the financial institutions group at Guggenheim. Before joining Humana, the 55-year-old Huval was chief information officer for global wealth and investment management at Bank of America.

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