A coalition led by South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George Norcross, Norcross’ brother Philip Norcross, and former TD Bank CEO Greg Braca released a call this morning for an independent committee to investigate “allegations of self-dealing [and] breaches of fiduciary responsibilities” by Republic First Bancorp’s board of directors, including its chairman Vernon Hill.
Such a committee would be appointed by Hill himself, along with the current board of directors. According to a press release from Norcross, “the trio has the authority to make such a demand as shareholders under the law in Pennsylvania, where Republic First is based.”
Braca and the Norcrosses are in the midst of an extended takeover bid at Republic First, which began in January of this year when the pair wrote a letter expressing their desire for changes at the bank, including the installment of Braca as CEO. Since that initial letter, the coalition has increased its shares in the bank to 9.6% and offered to invest as much as $156 million in the bank.
Last week, the group sued Hill and three members of the board of directors for what they characterized as “unlawful actions to interfere with shareholders’ voting rights [and] entrench current leadership.”