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Former CFO of Hanover Bancorp urges bank to go public

Hanover Bancorp, the parent company of Hanover Community

Hanover Bancorp, the parent company of Hanover Community Bank, said the move will help it grow in New York City, where it has an existing branch in Forest Hills.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

The former CFO at Mineola-based Hanover Bancorp is calling on the company to go public or sell itself.

Paul Hagan, who was chief financial officer at the bank until May 2017, owns about 3 percent of Hanover’s outstanding shares. He made his request in a letter to the bank’s board on June 29.

Shareholders “recapitalized the bank five years ago, and after that amount of time, you want to create a liquidity event for the investors,” Hagan said in an interview with Newsday late last week. “They’re not valuing the bank properly.”

Hanover chief executive Michael Puorro said the bank isn’t large enough to effectively trade on a stock exchange.

“A liquidity event has always been our plan, and we will have one, but it’s all about timing,” Puorro said. “But we are at around $600 million in assets, and you don’t see all too many IPOs until about $1 billion. Me listing the stock on a bulletin board [an exchange for extremely small companies] doesn’t lead to proper trading volume.”

Hanover was founded in 2009 and went through a recapitalization a few years later while Hagan was with the bank. After Hagan left, Hanover named Brian Finneran its executive vice president and chief financial officer. Finneran had been with Suffolk County National Bank for five years before the bank was sold to People’s United Financial.

Before joining SCNB, Finneran had been with State Bank of Long Island for 22 years. That company was sold to Valley National Bancorp in 2011.

Hanover reported net income of $1.5 million in the quarter ended June 30. The company said it closed the quarter with $602.5 million in assets, up 26 percent from the same period a year ago.

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