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Hawthorn Bancshares shareholders reject separation of CEO, chairman duties

Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. shareholders rejected a shareholder proposal that called for the appointment of an independent chairman for the Jefferson City, Mo.-based company's board of directors.

The proposal was put forward by Jonathan Holtaway's investor group, which claimed, among other things, that a "board of directors is less likely to provide rigorous independent oversight of management if the Chairman is also the CEO."

For its part, the Hawthorn board recommended a vote against the proposal, arguing that the board has both the responsibility and is in the best position to determine which person should serve as chair. As such, the board deems that President and CEO David Turner is also the right person to serve as chairman.