Categories : New Investors


I've been following lately to see who bought the newly minted shares that UBT sold last year.  I mentioned Sy Jacoby a few weeks ago, and now we learn that there are three new major shareholders.  All seem to be money managers from New York or Boston.

  • Raffles Associates LP now owns 790,000 shares (6.2%, New York City)
  • Manulife Asset Management owns 885,000 shares (6.99%, Boston MA)
  • Wellington Management Company owns 1,172,091 shares (9.25%, Boston MA)
  • As mentioned previously, Sy Jacoby owns 1,170,000 shares (9.24%, New York City)

I could not find out anything about Raffles Associates.  Manulife Asset Management seems to be an investment company that manages several portfolios.  My suspicion is that the UBT stock goes into the portfolio named "US Small Cap Opportunity" 

Wellington Management is another investment management company.  From their website:

We manage assets for institutions located around the world. We are not lenders or underwriters. Our expertise is investment management, and we focus our full resources on meeting the needs of our clients.

It's unclear whether these new shareholders are going to be active and vocal, or whether they'll just sit back and let the current management dig its way out of the hole it's in.  It would be interesting to know if these 4 companies have ever worked with each other before.  Maybe they owned other investments in the same company, and worked together to make something happen in those companies.

So right now, these four Investment/Asset Management Companies own over 30% of the shares of United Bank and Trust.  Obviously, the underwriter knows investors like these four who may be looking to own companies like UBT for their portfolios.  Also there are still over 3 Million shares unaccounted for in the capital raise last year.  Maybe there will be another big shareholder emerge from the activity.

I think it's safe to say that United Bank and Trust is no longer a locally owned bank.  And I for one, think that's a good thing.

Maybe the new shareholders will demand accountability from the current management and Board of Directors.  Maybe now, management will not be able to ignore questions about why and how it managed to take loan loss accruals of almost $70M since 2007.  Maybe now, they'll have to answer the question: What did you learn during your debacle and what are you doing differently?

Maybe now, the rest of us small shareholders will be better served now that the bank has large institutional investors, investors that management and the Board of Directors can't ignore.

 Posted on : February 20, 2011
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