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Wells shareholders clamor for change; First NBC exercises 'abundance of caution'

The following is a summary of recentactivist investor news from the bank and thrift space. Each company "inplay" is listed along with the activist group and that group's ownershipstake in the company, where applicable.

SanFrancisco-based Wells Fargo &Co.

Investors: Public Citizen's Bartlett Naylor, Needmor Fund, John Chevedden

Sept. 16: Known investor activists disclosed they had filed proposals to be taken up at the San Francisco-basedcompany's next annual shareholder meeting. Among their suggestions are theseparation of the chairman and CEO roles and the divestiture of noncore bankingassets. The moves are in reaction to the ongoing scandal over fake accounts at Wells.

Sept. 22 to 28: Other shareholdersare Wells, claiming securities fraudand breach of fiduciary duty. 

NewOrleans-based First NBC BankHolding Co.

Investor: HoldCo Asset Management

Sept. 2: Soon after HoldCo Asset Management, whichdeclared itself net short on First NBC, posted letters questioning the bank's ability to staywell-capitalized and the accuracy of its financial statements, Ernst &Young declined to stand for re-appointment as First NBC's .

Sept. 8: First NBC held a conferencecall to announce it would look into capital strategies, split its chairman and CEO roles, aswell as name a new COO.

Sept. 23: The bank said it would againdelay the filing ofits 10-Q reports, as it continues to work with accountants "in anabundance of caution."

Irvine,Calif.-based Banc of CaliforniaInc.

Investor: John Palmer and RichardLashley's PL Capital Group, 4.8%

Sept. 8: Richard Lashley wrote toBanc of California CEO Steven Sugarman, criticizing the bank management'srefusal to meet with the group and their decision to spend $100 million onnaming rights for a soccer stadium.

Sept.12: Anincrease in the number of Banc of California's outstanding shares caused PLCapital's stake to drop to 4.8% from 5.9%.

Lacey,Wash.-based AnchorBancorp

Investor: Joseph Stilwell

Sept. 1: Gordon Stephenson, arepresentative of the Stilwell Group, gained a of Anchor Bancorp andsubsidiary AnchorBank. He also got a seat on the strategic planning committee. TheStilwell Group has called for Anchor Bancorp to sell itself, but, in exchangefor the board seat, will refrain from pushing for a merger until March 1, 2017.