Slideshow Proxy Battles Brewing at Main Street Banks

Published
  • March 25 2015, 11:56am EDT

The economy is getting better, and banks are doing a better job of making money, but activist investors are still putting pressure on certain community banks. Here is an overview of banks that are facing proxy battles in coming months.

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Tug-Of-War in Pennsylvania

PL Capital, upset that Metro Bancorp in Harrisburg, Pa., refuses to sell itself, nominated Richard Lashley, one of the firm's principals, and investment banking veteran William Houlihan as directors. PL Capital recently withdrew Houlihan's nomination after the SEC hit him with a cease-and-desist order tied to dealings with another company.

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Will Persistence Pay Off?

Joseph Stilwell hopes his company's fourth challenge of Harvard Illinois Bancorp will finally prove successful. The company's prospects have soured since it fought off Stilwell last year; it lost $10.6 million in 2014 after being exposed to a fraud scheme tied to fake U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.


Angling for Change

Commerce Street Investment Management plans to offer at least three nominees to the board of Orange County Business Bank in Irvine, Calif. The Dallas firm wants Orange County to overhaul its governance practices.

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Under Pressure

Back to the ubiquitous Stilwell … In addition to his demands of Harvard Illinois, he has vowed to pursue board representation at Fairmount Bancorp in Baltimore as he tries to force it to find a buyer.

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Crisis Averted

MutualFirst Financial reached a truce with PL Capital in advance of its annual meeting, adding PL's Richard Lashley to its board. Landing PL Capital's support, along with a corporate governance change, persuaded another activist investor to scrap an effort to secure board seats.

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Summer Slugfest on Tap?

Riverview Bancorp in Vancouver, Wash., is facing pressure from Ancora Advisors to sell itself. It is still too early to tell if the investor will launch a proxy battle; Riverview typically holds its annual meeting during the summer.

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