All five directors at Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida in Stuart were re-elected despite a protest vote from the company's biggest investor.
Each nominee received a majority of votes among shares cast during Tuesday's annual meeting, the $4 billion-asset company disclosed in a regulatory filing. Still, Dennis Hudson Jr., the father of Seacoast's current chief executive and chairman, narrowly avoided an embarrassing result, with just 52.5% of shares supporting his nomination.
CapGen Capital Group III, which owned about a fifth of Seacoast's stock as of May 10, had vowed to withhold its support for the nominees, including Hudson, based on its belief that the company needed to improve results or consider finding a buyer. The fund, managed by a company run by former Comptroller Eugene Ludwig, has also been pressing Seacoast to overhaul its corporate governance policies.
Dennis Hudson 3rd, prior to the annual meeting, called the timing of CapGen's complaints "puzzling." He also argued that the protest reflected short-term considerations, while claiming that "the fund in which CapGen holds its investment in Seacoast will terminate in the near term."
Seacoast uses a form of plurality voting to elect directors. Any director who fails to receive a majority of votes is required to submit a resignation, though the board's corporate governance committee can refuse to accept the resignation.
During the annual meeting, shareholders also approved Seacoast's executive compensation in a nonbinding vote.
Another Seacoast investor, Basswood Capital Management, was recently given a non-voting observer status on the board.