NAPERVILLE, Ill., Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The PL Capital Group is pleased to announce that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), one of the nation's leading independent proxy advisory firms, has recommended that shareholders of HF Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: HFFC) vote to elect PL Capital Group's nominee, John Palmer, to the board of HF Financial. Last week, PL Capital's nominee also received the recommendation of Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis), another leading independent proxy advisory firm.
In its recently issued report ISS noted, "The dissidents [PL Capital] have demonstrated that the bank has materially underperformed relative to peers, and that greater board oversight – particularly oversight of the financial implications for shareholders of major capital decisions – may be warranted. Most notably among these was the decision to pursue a highly dilutive capital raise in 2009 that appears to have been ill timed, unnecessary, and significantly destructive to shareholder value. Given this particular case for change, dissident nominee Palmer's significant banking, financial, and strategic experience seem especially significant."
The ISS report also took issue with one of HF Financial's arguments against electing Mr. Palmer: "The company has asserted that the real motive behind the proxy contest is to force a sale of the company. This is a strange argument to make to the shareholders who actually own the company, and who would presumably evaluate for themselves the wisdom of any proposed transaction before actually casting their votes to approve it."PL Capital principal Richard Lashley noted, "We are extremely pleased to have John Palmer get a strong recommendation from ISS. John has now received the endorsement of both ISS and Glass Lewis, the two leading independent proxy advisory firms, and their analysis supports the view that John's experience and expertise would benefit the board and all of the company's shareholders." Mr. Palmer added, "I look forward to getting elected to the board so I can work with the board and management of HF Financial to improve the company's financial performance and corporate governance. I will also encourage the board and management to evaluate all strategic alternatives available to the company, for the benefit of all shareholders."