As part of their ongoing bid to reshape Republic First Bancorp, South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George Norcross and former T.D. Bank U.S. CEO Greg Braca filed notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opposing the renomination of Vernon Hill as Republic First’s chairman.
Norcross and Braca also announced today that they have increased their collective holdings in the bank to 9.6%, up from 6.6% at the beginning of the month.
At the end of January, Norcross, Braca, and Norcross’ brother Philip released a letter calling for changes at Republic First, citing the bank’s underperformance. The most substantial of the changes they recommended was the appointment of Braca himself as the bank’s next CEO.
“We are of the opinion that the Company’s depressed stock performance over several years is directly attributable to weak operating results, including return on assets and return on capital of less than half that of its peers and efficiency ratios and cost of funds for its deposits running higher than industry norms,” they wrote at the time.
Today’s notice with the SEC also opposes the renomination of two of Hill’s allies, Barry Spevak and Theodore Flocco, to the Republic First board and advocates for Peter Bartholow, Pamela Bundy, and Richard Sinkfield as their replacements.
Hill and Norcross have a history together; Hill was the founder of Commerce Bank, which was the base of Norcross’ power until it was sold to TD Bank in 2007. As part of that deal, Norcross was able to buy back the insurance business and form Conner Strong, his insurance firm.