The largest shareholder of Midlothian-based Village Bank has stepped away from the company’s board of directors, three years after he grabbed his controlling stake with an $8 million infusion.
Ken Lehman, who owns 42 percent of the $488 million bank, resigned from the board May 14, Village disclosed in an SEC filing May 17.
The filing did not explain the reason for the departure, other than to say Lehman’s resignation is “not the result of any disagreement on matters relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.”
CEO Bill Foster also did not explain why Lehman has left, saying in an email last week that the bank and Lehman will continue to talk and work together, despite him giving up his seat.
“He wants to help us be successful,” Foster said of Lehman. “We want his support and input. Our goals and targets align with what he would like to see us achieve.”
An email to Lehman was not returned by press time.
Lehman, a seasoned investor in smaller banks and former SEC attorney, remains by far Village’s largest shareholder, with a claim to 608,593 shares. Those shares have a current market value of $20.7 million based on the stock’s $34-per-share closing price at press time.
Foster pointed to that share price in responding to questions about Lehman’s departure, saying “we would expect the share price to grow nicely and build on the 34 percent compounded annual returns we have provided to shareholders since the capital raise in 2015.”
Lehman purchased his controlling stake in Village in 2015, when he led a capital raise that netted the bank $14.5 million. Lehman put up $8 million of that total, buying in at $13.87 per share.
Lehman, 58, first leapt into the Richmond banking market in 2012 when he bought a large stake in the former First Capital Bancorp. He successfully exited that investment when First Capital was acquired in 2016 by Park Sterling Bank, which has since been gobbled up by South State Bank.
In addition to his 40 percent ownership stake of Village Bank, Lehman’s previous investments include Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Tower Bancorp, Four Oaks Bank & Trust, Marine Bank & Trust, The Bank of Delmarva and Liberty Bell Bank.
One of his more recent investments came in 2016 when he bought a chunk of Fredericksburg-based Virginia Partners Bank.