ATLANTA, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kennesaw, Ga.-based real estate developer and activist investor Bruce W. McNeilage, co-founder of Kinloch Partners, LLC, today announced he intends to purchase 90,000 shares of Citizens Bancshares, an Atlanta-based community bank since 1921.
McNeilage spoke at the company's annual meeting today and announced he has a seven-point plan that will help increase the stock price and the company's return on investment. McNeilage has offered to share his plan with the bank's management team, but has received no commitment to meet at this time. McNeilage said that in addition to his own personal investment, he is pursuing other business contacts to purchase shares in Citizens Bancshares, as well.
"Citizens Trust Bank has historically played an important role in the Atlanta community and is an important resource for supporting businesses and individuals alike," McNeilage said. "However, the bank is undervalued and underperforming and needs to improve its performance if it is to meet the needs of the community and provide maximum value to its shareholders."
McNeilage, who started his career in banking at Citizens and Southern National Bank in 1988, has been a successful banker, Chartered Financial Consultant and real estate developer in South Florida, Nashville and Atlanta for nearly 30 years. Kinloch Partners, LLC, of which McNeilage is a co-founder, has invested nearly $25 million in metro Atlanta in the last five years. The company buys and sells nearly 100 houses per year in the region and builds and develops new houses and multifamily properties.
"Our goal as a developer is to continue to provide affordable housing for rent or purchase in Atlanta, but it's important to have a banking partner that is truly committed to meeting the needs of the entire community," McNeilage said. "Citizens Trust Bank can only meet the community's needs if it is run profitably and continues to reinvest those profits back into the Atlanta community. Our intention is to work with the current management team to make sure the bank unlocks shareholder value and increases profits to create more wealth in the community."
McNeilage believes the bank's leadership has grown complacent. He cited the fact that there have been no new board members added in the last 12 years and that the average tenure on the board is 20-plus years.
"The lack of diversity at the board level is also a concern," McNeilage said
About Kinloch Partners, LLC
Kinloch Partners, LLC is a real estate investment company formed in 2011 by childhood friends Bruce W. McNeilage and Christopher P. Zachary, who met on the playground at Kinloch Elementary School in Dearborn Heights, Mich., in 1971. The company specializes in providing a path to home ownership for new homeowners through new construction, home renovation or investment in financially distressed real estate properties.
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SOURCE Kinloch Partners, LLC