PHILADELPHIA – George E. Norcross III has opened a new front in the battle of shareholders in the parent company Republic Bank.
An entrepreneur from South Jersey is requesting records of “related party” transactions between Republic First Bancorp Inc. and its directors, officers or shareholders, said in a submission Thursday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The request also applies to transactions with the “wives, children and business partners” of this group, according to a letter sent by Norcross to a banking firm.
Norcross plans to share the records with other shareholders, “to determine whether the board has properly performed its duties with respect to such transactions,” the February 16 letter said.
The letter also asks for contact information for the bank’s shareholders.
The letter states that Pennsylvania law allows Norcross, a Republic shareholder, to “view books and records” in a banking company.
A group of investors led by Norcross, which owns 9.6 percent of Republic shares, wants changes to boost the value of Republic shares.
Among other measures, he proposed replacing Vernon Hill II as chairman and director general of the Republic. The group has suggested that one of its members, former TD Bank CEO Greg Brack, may take the position of CEO.
The representative of the republic did not respond to a request for comment.
The company has previously stated that it “remains open to any offers of maximum value” to shareholders.
The bank, located in Philadelphia, has 33 offices in the South Jersey-Philadelphia area and in New York City. The company, which ended 2021 with assets of $ 5.62 billion, also manages Oak Mortgage Co.
Norcross and Hill once served together on the board of Commerce Bank NA in Cherry Hill, which Hill founded in 1973.
Hill left Commerce in 2007 after federal regulators expressed concern about insider transactions involving bankers and others.
The bank, which was later sold to TD Bank, signed an order initiating a “change in governance” and obliging its new management to work more closely with regulators.
The group of investors includes Norcross – a businessman from South Jersey, chairman of the Cooper University of Camden Health and leader of the Democratic Organization of South Jersey – and the trust created for his descendants.
It also includes Braque, former president and CEO of TD Bank, and Philip Norcross, a lawyer at Mount Laurel, who is the brother of George Norcross.
Jim Walsh covers state security, economic development and other articles for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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