The Bank Slate


Vernon Hill to resign as Republic First’s CEO

Vernon Hill is resigning as CEO of Republic First Bancorp in Philadelphia. 

The announcement that Hill will step down on Aug. 8 comes two days after an appeals court ruled that a rival faction of directors could remove him as chairman and appoint a director to replace Ted Flacco, who died in May. 

Those developments have “given me no choice but to resign,” Hill said in a statement. “I made this decision reluctantly, as the actions of this faction of the board show they are serving their own narrow interests ahead of those of the shareholders.” 

The Madonna-led faction, following the appeals court ruling, appointed Benjamin Duster IV to fill the vacant board seat. Harris Wildstein, who chairs the board’s nominating and governance committee, said in a press release that the board is evaluating candidates to serve as interim CEO.
The appeals court on Wednesday overturned a judge’s ruling that had kept Hill in power at the $5.7 billion-asset company. 

Judge Paul Diamond had previously blocked a group of directors from ousting Hill and had appointed a custodian to schedule an election to fill a board vacancy to resolve a longstanding dispute between Hill and certain investors.

The three-judge Third Circuit federal appeals court panel ruled that Diamond must draft a new order letting a group led by former Republic First CEO Harry Madonna take control of the board and fill the vacancy.  

The board had been deadlocked for months until Flacco’s unexpected death gave Madonna’s group a 4-3 board majority. That group appointed Madonna to replace Hill as chairman. 

The appeals court determined that Madonna’s faction followed the company’s bylaws and is entitled to find a successor for Flacco to create a 5-3 majority. 

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