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Optimumbank (OPHC)

Filed: 30 Mar 22, 4:18pm

 

 

  

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION

 

Proxy Statement

 

Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )

 

Filed by the Registrant [X]

 

Filed by a Party other than the Registrant [ ]

 

Check the appropriate box:

 

[ ]Preliminary Proxy Statement
  
[ ]Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))
  
[X]Definitive Proxy Statement
  
[ ]Definitive Additional Materials
  
[ ]Soliciting Material Pursuant to §240.14a-12

 

OptimumBank Holdings, Inc.

(Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):

 

[X]No fee required.
  
[ ]Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(4) and 0-11.

 

 1)Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:
   
 2)Aggregate number of securities to which transaction applies:
   
 3)Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0-11 (set forth the amount on which the filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):
   
 4)Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:
   
 5)Total fee paid:

 

[ ]Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.
  
[ ]Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.

 

 1)Amount previously paid:
   
 2)Form, Schedule or Registration Statement No.:
   
 3)Filing Party:
   
 4)Date Filed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROXY STATEMENT

 

2022 ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

 

PROXY VOTING OPTIONS

 

YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!

 

Whether or not you expect to attend in person, we urge you to vote your shares via the Internet, or by signing, dating, and returning the enclosed proxy card at your earliest convenience. This will ensure the presence of a quorum at the meeting. Promptly voting your shares will save us the expense and extra work of additional solicitation. Submitting your proxy now will not prevent you from voting your stock at the meeting if you want to do so, as your vote by proxy is revocable at your option.

 

Voting by the Internet is fast and convenient, and your vote is immediately confirmed and tabulated. Most important, by using the Internet or telephone, you help us reduce postage and proxy tabulation costs.

 

Or, if you prefer, you can return the enclosed Proxy Card in the envelope provided.

 

PLEASE DO NOT RETURN THE ENCLOSED PROXY CARD IF YOU ARE VOTING OVER THE INTERNET.

 

VOTE BY INTERNET:

 

http://www.cstproxyvote.com

 

24 hours a day / 7 days a week

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Read the accompanying Proxy Statement.

 

Go to the following website:

 

http://www.optimumbank.com/stockholder-information/

 

Have your Proxy Card in hand and follow the instructions.

  

 

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March 30, 2022

 

Dear Shareholder:

 

You are cordially invited to attend the 2022 annual meeting of shareholders of OptimumBank Holdings, Inc., which will be held at the executive offices of OptimumBank, 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 303, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.

 

Details of the business to be conducted at the annual meeting are given in the attached Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement.

 

Also enclosed is a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2021, which contains important information about our company.

 

Whether or not you attend the annual meeting, it is important that your shares be represented and voted at the meeting. Therefore, I urge you to promptly vote and submit your proxy by phone, via the Internet, or by signing, dating, and returning the enclosed proxy card in the enclosed envelope. If you decide to attend the annual meeting, you will be able to vote in person, even if you have previously submitted your proxy.

 

If you need directions to the annual meeting, please call our offices at (954) 900-2805.

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express our appreciation for your continued support for our company.

 

 Sincerely,
  
 Moishe Gubin, Chairman

 

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OPTIMUMBANK HOLDINGS, INC.

 

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

 

To be held on April 26, 2022

 

To the Shareholders:

 

The annual meeting of the shareholders of OptimumBank Holdings, Inc. will be held at the executive offices of OptimumBank, 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Suite 303, Florida 33308, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. for the following purposes:

 

 1.To elect seven (7) directors;
   
 2.To ratify the selection of Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. as the Company’s independent auditor for fiscal year 2022; and
   
 3.To transact such other business as may properly come before the Annual Meeting.
   
 Only shareholders of record at the close of business on March 7, 2022, are entitled to notice of, and to vote at, this meeting.

 

 By order of the Board of Directors
  
 Moishe Gubin, Chairman
  
 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
 March 30, 2022

 

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IMPORTANT

 

Whether or not you expect to attend in person, we urge you to vote your shares at your earliest convenience. This will ensure the presence of a quorum at the meeting. Promptly voting your shares by telephone, via the Internet, or by signing, dating, and returning the enclosed proxy card will save our company the expenses and extra work of additional solicitation. An addressed envelope for which no postage is required if mailed in the United States is enclosed if you wish to vote by mail. Submitting your proxy now will not prevent you from voting your shares at the meeting if you desire to do so, as your proxy is revocable at your option.

 

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Shareholder Meeting to be held on April 26, 2022. Our Proxy Statement and Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2021 are available at http://www.optimumbank.com/stockholder-information/

 

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OPTIMUMBANK HOLDINGS, INC.

 

2929 East Commercial Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308

 

PROXY STATEMENT

 

2022 ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

 

TO BE HELD ON April 26, 2022

 

This Proxy Statement will be first mailed to shareholders on or about March 30, 2022. It is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the Board of Directors of OptimumBank Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) to be voted at the annual meeting of the shareholders of the Company, which will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at the executive offices of OptimumBank (the “Bank”), 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 303, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, for the purposes set forth in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Shareholders who execute proxies retain the right to revoke them at any time before the shares are voted by proxy at the meeting. A shareholder may revoke a proxy by delivering a signed statement to the Secretary of the Company at or prior to the annual meeting or by executing and delivering another proxy dated as of a later date. The Company will pay the cost of solicitation of proxies.

 

Shareholders of record at the close of business on March 7, 2022 will be entitled to vote at the meeting on the basis of one vote for each share held. On the record date, there were 4,897,502 outstanding shares of common stock held of record by 1,303 shareholders. There were approximately 1,179 shareholders who hold the shares through in “street name.”

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

 

When and where will the annual meeting take place?

 

The annual meeting will be held on April 26, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (local time), at the executive offices of the Bank, 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 303, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308.

 

Why did I receive this proxy statement?

 

You received this proxy statement because you held shares of the Company’s common stock on March 7, 2022 (the “Record Date”) and are entitled to vote at the annual meeting. The Board of Directors is soliciting your proxy to vote at the meeting.

 

What am I voting on?

 

You are being asked to vote on seven items:

 

 1.The election of seven (7) Directors (see page 11); and
   
 2.The ratification of the appointment of Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the 2022 fiscal year (see page 15).

 

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How do I vote?

 

Shareholders of Record

 

If you are a shareholder of record, there are three ways to vote:

 

● By internet at http://www.cstproxyvote.com;

 

● If you request printed copies of the proxy materials, you may vote by proxy by completing and returning your proxy card in the postage-paid envelope provided by the Company; or

 

● By voting in person at the meeting.

 

Street Name Holders

 

Shares which are held in a brokerage account in the name of the broker are said to be held in “street name.”

 

If your shares are held in street name, you should follow the voting instructions provided by your broker. If you requested printed copies of the proxy materials, you may complete and return a voting instruction card to your broker, or, in many cases, your broker may also allow you to vote via the telephone or Internet. Check your notice from your broker for more information. If you hold your shares in street name and wish to vote at the meeting, you must obtain a legal proxy from your broker and bring that proxy to the meeting.

 

Regardless of how your shares are registered, if you request printed copies of the proxy materials, complete and properly sign the accompanying proxy card and return it to the address indicated, it will be voted as you direct.

 

What is the deadline for voting via Internet or telephone?

 

Internet voting is available through 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) on Monday, April 25, 2022 (the day before the annual meeting).

 

What are the voting recommendations of the Board of Directors?

 

The Board of Directors recommends that you vote in the following manner:

 

 1.FOR each of the persons nominated by the Board of Directors to serve as Directors; and
   
 2.FOR the ratification of the appointment of Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the 2022 fiscal year.

 

Unless you give contrary instructions in your proxy, the persons named as proxies will vote your shares in accordance with the recommendations of the Board of Directors.

 

Will any other matters be voted on?

 

We do not know of any other matters that will be brought before the shareholders for a vote at the annual meeting. If any other matter is properly brought before the meeting, your proxy would authorize Moishe Gubin and Joel Klein of the Company to vote on such matters in their discretion.

 

Who is entitled to vote at the meeting?

 

Only shareholders of record at the close of business on the Record Date are entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the annual meeting. If you were a shareholder of record on that date, you will be entitled to vote all of the shares that you held on that date at the annual meeting, or any postponement or adjournment of the meeting.

 

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How many votes do I have?

 

You will have one vote for each share of the Company’s common stock that you owned on the Record Date.

 

How many votes can be cast by all shareholders?

 

The Company had 4,897,502 outstanding shares of common stock on the Record Date. Each of these shares is entitled to one vote. There is no cumulative voting.

 

How many votes must be present to hold the meeting?

 

The holders of a majority of the Company’s common stock outstanding on the Record Date must be present at the meeting in person or by proxy in order to fulfill the quorum requirement necessary to hold the meeting. This means at least 2,448,752 shares must be present in person or by proxy.

 

If you vote, your shares will be part of the quorum. Abstentions and broker non-votes will also be counted in determining the quorum. A broker non-vote occurs when a bank or broker holding shares in street name submits a proxy that states that the broker does not vote for some or all of the proposals because the broker has not received instructions from the beneficial owners on how to vote on the proposals and does not have discretionary authority to vote in the absence of instructions.

 

We urge you to vote by proxy even if you plan to attend the meeting so that we will know as soon as possible that a quorum has been achieved.

 

What vote is required to approve each proposal?

 

For the election of Directors (Proposal No. 1), the affirmative vote of a plurality of the votes present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at the meeting is required. A proxy that has properly withheld authority with respect to the election of one or more Directors will not be voted with respect to the Director or Directors indicated, although it will be counted for the purposes of determining whether there is a quorum.

 

For the ratification of the appointment of Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. (Proposal No. 2), the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at the meeting will be required for approval. An abstention with respect to this proposal will be counted for the purposes of determining the number of shares entitled to vote that are present in person or by proxy. Accordingly, an abstention will have the effect of a negative vote.

 

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Can I change my vote?

 

Yes. If you are a shareholder of record, you may change your vote at any time before your proxy is voted at the annual meeting. You can do this in one of three ways. First, you can send a written notice stating that you would like to revoke your proxy. Second, you can submit new proxy instructions either on a new proxy card, by telephone or via the Internet. Third, you can attend the meeting, and vote in person. Your attendance alone will not revoke your proxy. If you have instructed a broker to vote your shares, you must follow directions received from your broker to change those instructions.

 

Who can attend the annual meeting?

 

Any person who was a shareholder of the Company on March 7, 2022 may attend the meeting. If you own shares in street name, you should ask your broker or bank for a legal proxy to bring with you to the meeting. If you do not receive the legal proxy in time, bring your most recent brokerage statement so that we can verify your ownership of the Company’s stock and admit you to the meeting. However, you will not be able to vote your shares at the meeting without a legal proxy.

 

What happens if I sign and return the proxy card but do not indicate how to vote on an issue?

 

If you return a proxy card without indicating your vote, your shares will be voted as follows:

 

 FOR each of the nominees for Director named in this proxy statement; and
   
 FOR ratification of the appointment of Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2022 fiscal year.

 

Who can help answer my questions?

 

If you are a shareholder, and would like additional copies, without charge, of this proxy statement or if you have questions about the annual meeting, including the procedures for voting your shares, you should contact:

 

Mary Franco, Operations Assistant - (954) 900-2805

 

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PROPOSAL NO. 1

 

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

 

Our Board of Directors currently has 7 members, and directors are elected annually to one-year terms. Each of our current directors have been nominated for election by the Board to hold office until the 2023 annual meeting and the election of their successors.

 

All of the nominees currently serve on our Board. Each of the nominees has previously been elected by the shareholders.

 

The accompanying proxy will be voted in favor of the following persons to serve as directors unless the shareholder indicates to the contrary on the proxy. The election of the Company’s Directors requires a plurality of the votes cast in person or by proxy at the meeting. Management expects that each of the nominees will be available for election, but if any of them is unable to serve at the time the election occurs, the proxy will be voted for the election of another nominee to be designated by the Board of Directors.

 

Moishe Gubin, age 45, has served as a Director of the Company and OptimumBank since March 2010. Mr. Gubin is Chief Executive Officer of Strawberry Fields REIT, Inc., an owner of a portfolio of healthcare properties. From 2004 to 2014, Mr. Gubin was the Chief Financial Officer and manager of Infinity Healthcare Management, LLC, a company engaged in managing skilled nursing facilities and other health care facilities. Mr. Gubin graduated from Touro Liberal Arts and Science College, in New York, New York, with a BS in Accounting and Information Systems and a Minor in Jewish Studies. Mr. Gubin is the founder of the Midwest Torah Center Inc., a non-profit spiritual outreach center (www.midwesttorah.org). He also attended Yeshiva Bais Israel where he received a BA in Talmudic Literature. Mr. Gubin has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York since 2010. As a long-time director and significant shareholder of the Company, Mr. Gubin brings extensive experience with the Company and a shareholder perspective to the Board. Mr. Gubin’s experience in accounting provides the Board with expertise in accounting matters and his experience as the CEO of a large healthcare company provides the Board’s with the general management expertise.

 

Joel Klein, age 74, became a Director of the Company and OptimumBank in February 2012. Since February 2020, Mr. Klein has also been serving as the Company’s interim Chief Financial Officer, until the Company designates his replacement. Mr. Klein worked in accounting and finance for more than 41 years, including six years as a CPA in public accounting. From 1989 to 1990, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Choice Drug Systems, Inc., a medical supply company primarily to skilled nursing facilities. From 1991 to 1994, he was a Vice-President of Equilease Corporation, an equipment leasing company. He then served as a Vice President of The Stamford Capital Group, Inc., an independent corporate advisory company, from 1994 to 2005, providing high quality advisory services to medium market clients, particularly mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, management buy outs and other strategic financial advisory services. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Taxi Affiliation Services, LLC, a taxi company located in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Klein has been a private investor since 2010. Mr. Klein received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Brooklyn College in 1969. He has been licensed as a CPA in the State of New York since 1972. Mr. Klein’s significant experience in finance and accounting provides the Board with expertise in financing management and accounting issues. His long service as director also aids the Board by providing a deep understanding of the Company’s business.

 

Martin Z. Schmidt, age 74, became a Director of the Company and OptimumBank in August 2015. Mr. Schmidt has been in the financial and estate planning, securities and insurance industries since 1975. From 1993 to 2000, he served as a Vice President and Branch Manager for multiple branches of Advest, Inc., a major regional securities and investment management firm. In 2007, he served in a marketing capacity and liaison to the national senior accounting firms for Twenty-First Securities, Inc., introducing market based solutions for tax and corporate based problems within their institutional client base. Since 2013, he has been an independent financial consultant with National Holdings Corp/Gilman Ciocia. Mr. Schmidt served with the 423rd Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, for five years, completed 3 years of coursework towards an MBA in Management Science and Statistics at the Lubin Graduate School of Business Administration in 1973, and graduated Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Economics in 1969. Mr. Schmidt’s significant experience in the financial services industry provides the Board with expertise in operating a financing services business.

 

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Avi M. Zwelling, age 49, became a Director of the Company and OptimumBank in December 2017. Mr. Zwelling is the managing partner of Zwelling Law, PLLC, which has offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Chicago, Illinois. The firm handles commercial litigation, insurance defense, banking, and real estate matters. Mr. Zwelling graduated from Columbia University in New York, New York, with a B.A. in Comparative Religion, and earned a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, also in New York, New York. Mr. Zwelling has been providing legal services to the Company since 2012. As an experienced attorney, Mr. Zwelling’s knowledge and expertise in legal matters assists the Board in addressing legal issues faced by the Company.

 

Thomas Procelli, age 68, has served as a Director of the Company since July 2017 and OptimumBank since October 2012. Mr. Procelli is Director of Operations for Better Living Solutions, a Tallahassee counseling and wellness outpatient center specializing in eating disorder treatment and offers financial institution and business support services through his firm TAP Independent Consulting. Mr. Procelli served as an Executive Vice President since the founding of OptimumBank in October 2000 through September 2015 in the positions of Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Procelli has been in banking for over 40 years having a diverse background in operations, information systems, compliance and audit. Outside of banking, he has worked in public accounting at the firm of Coopers and Lybrand and in mortgage origination software product development at Fiserv. He received his MBA in Finance in 1979 and his BBA degree in Accounting in 1976 from Hofstra University located in Hempstead, New York. Mr. Procelli’s 15 years of service as an executive of OptimumBank provides the Board with the benefit his expertise in banking and accounting matters, as well as insight into the operations of OptimumBank.

 

Chan Heng Fai Ambrose, age 77, has served as a Director since June 2018. Mr. Chan is an expert in banking and finance, with years of experience in these industries. He has also restructured 35 companies in various industries and countries in the past 40 years. Mr. Chan serves as the CEO of Singapore eDevelopment Limited (“Singapore eDevelopment”), a limited company listed on the Catalist of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. Singapore eDevelopment is a diversified holding company. He was appointed as a director of Singapore eDevelopment in March 2014. He is also Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed bio-technology company Holista Colltech Limited, a position he has held since July of 2013. From September of 1992 until July 2015, Mr. Chan also served as Managing Chairman of HKSE-listed Heng Fai Enterprises Limited, a holding company now known as ZH International Holdings Limited. He also served as director of Global Medical REIT Inc. (NYSE: GMRE) from December 2013 until July 2015 and as director of American Housing REIT Inc. from October 2013 to July 2015. Mr. Chan’s significant ownership interest in the Company and his expertise in banking and finance provide the Board with both a shareholder perspective as well as expertise in the Company’s business.

 

Michael Blisko, age 45, has served as a Director since May 2021. Mr. Blisko is the Chief Executive Officer for Infinity Healthcare Management, LLC, a company engaged in managing skilled nursing facilities and other health care facilities. Mr. Blisko is currently a director of Strawberry Fields REIT, Inc., an owner of a portfolio of healthcare properties. Mr. Blisko is a principal for a myriad of ancillary companies including United Rx, a long-term pharmacy, Xcel Med, Bella Monte Recovery, and Core Centers Recovery. Currently, Mr. Blisko serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Healthcare Association and is on the committee for Post-Acute Care for the American Healthcare Association. Previously, Mr. Blisko was the Chairman of the Regulatory Committee with the Illinois Council for Long Term Care from 2014 to 2016, and was also on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Council of Long Term Care. Mr. Blisko is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator with a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University and a BA in Talmudic Law from Bais Yisroel, Jerusalem. As a significant shareholder of the Company, Mr. Blisko provides a shareholder perspective to the Board. Mr. Blisko’s experience as an executive of several healthcare companies provides the Board’s with the general management expertise.

 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS A VOTE “FOR” ALL DIRECTOR NOMINEES.

 

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Director Independence

 

The Board of Directors analyzed the independence of each director and determined that Chan Heng Fai Ambrose, Moishe Gubin, Thomas Procelli, Martin Schmidt, Avi Zwelling, and Michael Blisko each meet the standards of independence under the listing standards of The NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”).

 

The Board of Directors Meetings and Committees

 

The Company’s Board of Directors met 11 times during 2021. The independent directors met once in executive session without management during 2021. With one exception, the current members of the Board of Directors attended at least 75% of the meetings of the Board and committees on which he served held while he has been a Director. The Company’s Board of Directors has established several standing committees, including the following:

 

Compensation Committee

 

The Compensation Committee currently consists of Moishe Gubin (Chairman), Thomas Procelli, and Avi Zwelling. Messrs. Gubin, Zwelling, and Procelli are independent under the NASDAQ listing standards. The Compensation Committee reviews and recommends to the Board of Directors the compensation arrangements for executive management and non-employee directors. The Compensation Committee met three times during 2021 and operates under a written charter. A copy of the current Compensation Committee Charter can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.optimumbank.com/information-center/corporate-governance.

 

In 2021, no executive officer had a role in determining or recommending the amount or form of outside director compensation. The Compensation Committee does not delegate its authority to any other persons. The Compensation Committee does not use consultants to determine or recommend the amount or form of compensation arrangements.

 

Nominating Committee

 

The Nominating Committee currently consists of Mr. Gubin (Chairman), Mr. Procelli, and Mr. Zwelling. The committee evaluates new candidates and current directors and recommends candidates to the Board to fill vacancies occurring between annual shareholder meetings. A copy of the charter for the Nominating Committee can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.optimumbank.com/information-center/corporate-governance.

 

All of the director nominees of the Company set forth in the Proposal entitled “Election of Directors” were recommended by a majority of the independent directors of the Company. The Nominating Committee held one meeting during 2021.

 

The Nominating Committee will initially consider nominating the Company’s existing directors for re-election to the Board as appropriate or other director nominees proposed, as appropriate, by the directors, and in doing so considers each director’s independence, if required, share ownership, skills, performance and attendance at a minimum of 75% of the Board and respective committee meetings. In evaluating any candidates for potential director nomination, the Nominating Committee will consider candidates that are independent, if required, who possess personal and professional integrity, have good business judgment, relevant experience and skills, including banking, financial, real estate and/or legal expertise, who would be effective as a director in conjunction with the full Board, who would commit to attend Board and committee meetings, and whose interests are aligned with the long-term interests of the Company’s shareholders.

 

The Nominating Committee will consider director candidates recommended by shareholders, provided the recommendation is in writing and delivered to the Corporate Secretary of the Company at the principal executive offices of the Company not later than the close of business on the 120th day prior to the first anniversary of the date on which the Company first mailed its proxy materials to shareholders for the preceding year’s annual meeting of shareholders. For the 2023 annual meeting, recommendations must be received by November 24, 2022. The nomination and notification must contain the nominee’s name, address, principal occupation, total number of shares owned, consent to serve as a director, and all information relating to the nominee and the nominating shareholder as would be required to be disclosed in solicitation of proxies for the election of such nominee as a director pursuant to the SEC’s proxy rules.

 

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Audit Committee

 

The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of the Company’s financial and accounting reporting processes and the audits of the Company’s financial statements. The Audit Committee is currently composed of three non-employee directors consisting of Thomas Procelli (Chairman), Martin Schmidt and Avi Zwelling. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter adopted and approved by the Board of Directors. A copy of the current Audit Committee Charter can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.optimumbank.com/information-center/corporate-governance.

 

The Board determined that all of the members of the Audit Committee were financially literate and independent in accordance with the NASDAQ listing standards applicable to audit committee members. The Board has determined that Thomas Procelli is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by SEC rules. The Audit Committee met 4 times during 2021. A Report from the Audit Committee is included on page 15.

 

Attendance by Directors at Annual Shareholders’ Meetings

 

The Company expects its directors to attend the annual meeting. All of the current directors attended the 2021 annual meeting (held in May 2021).

 

Shareholder Communications with the Board of Directors

 

The Board of Directors has adopted a formal process by which shareholders may communicate with the Board. Shareholders who wish to communicate with the Board may do so by sending written communications addressed to: Board of Directors, OptimumBank Holdings, Inc., at 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 303, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, Attention: Mary Franco. All communications will be compiled by the Corporate Secretary and submitted to the members of the Board. Concerns about accounting or auditing matters or possible violations of the Company’s Code of Ethics should be reported under the procedures outlined in the Company’s Whistleblower Policy. Our Whistleblower Policy is available on the Company’s website at www.optimumbank.com/information-center/corporate-governance.

 

Hedging Policy

 

The Company has not adopted a policy concerning hedging of the Company’s shares, although it plans to do so following the annual meeting. Accordingly, executive officers and directors of the Company are currently permitted to engage in hedging shares of the Company’s common stock, including, but not limited to, engaging in short sales or trading in puts, calls, covered calls or other derivative products.

 

Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight

 

The Company’s policy is to separate the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. At the present time, Moishe Gubin serves as the Chairman of the Board.

 

The Board believes that risk management is an important component of the Company’s corporate strategy. While we assess specific risks at the Company’s committee levels, the Board, as a whole, oversees the Company’s risk management process, and discusses and reviews with management major policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management. The Board is regularly informed through committee reports about the Company’s risks. The Audit Committee reviews and assesses the Company’s processes to manage financial reporting risk. It also reviews the Company’s policies for risk assessment and assesses steps management has taken to control significant risks. The Compensation Committee oversees risks relating to compensation practices and policies.

 

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proposal no. 2

 

RATIFICATION OF INDEPENDENT AUDITOR

 

The Audit Committee has selected Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. (“Hacker Johnson”) as the Company’s independent auditor for fiscal year 2022, and the Board asks shareholders to ratify that selection. Although current law, rules, and regulations, as well as the charter of the Audit Committee, require the Audit Committee to engage, retain, and oversee the Company’s independent auditor, the Board considers the selection of the independent auditor to be an important matter of shareholder concern and is submitting the selection of Hacker Johnson for ratification by shareholders as a matter of good corporate governance.

 

Assuming the existence of a quorum, the affirmative vote of the majority of the shares represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at the meeting is required to approve this matter.

 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS THAT SHAREHOLDERS VOTE “FOR” THE RATIFICATION OF HACKER, JOHNSON & SMITH, P.A. AS THE COMPANY’S INDEPENDENT AUDITOR FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022.

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT

 

The Audit Committee has reviewed and discussed the audited financial statements of the Company for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 with the Company’s management and has discussed with the independent auditors, Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A., communications pursuant to applicable auditing standards. In addition, Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. has provided the Audit Committee with the written disclosures and the letter required by applicable requirements of the PCAOB regarding the independent auditor’s communications with the Audit Committee concerning independence, and the Audit Committee has discussed with Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A., the independent auditor’s independence.

 

Based on these reviews and discussions, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the audited financial statements be included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and selected Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. as the Company’s independent auditor for 2022.

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE 
  
Thomas Procelli (Chairman) 
  
Martin Schmidt 
  
Avi Zwelling 

 

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INDEPENDENT ACCOUNTANTS

 

Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A., the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, audited the Company’s consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

 

Audit Fees

 

The following table is a summary of the fees billed to the Company by Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. for professional services rendered for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020:

 

Fee Category 2021 Fees  2020 Fees 
       
Audit Fees $86,000  $82,000 

 

Audit Fees. Consists of fees billed for professional services rendered for the audit of the Company’s financial statements and review of the interim financial statements included in quarterly reports and services that are normally provided by Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A. in connection with statutory and regulatory filings or engagements.

 

Pre-approved Services. Consistent with SEC rules regarding auditor independence, the Company’s Audit Committee Charter requires the Audit Committee to pre-approve all audit services and non-audit services permitted by law and Audit Committee policy (including the fees and terms of such services) to be performed for the Company by the independent auditors, subject to the “de minimis” exceptions for non-audit services described in SEC rules that are approved by the Audit Committee prior to the completion of the audit. The Audit Committee may delegate pre-approval authority to a member of the committee. The decisions of any committee member to whom pre-approval is delegated must be presented to the Audit Committee at its next scheduled meeting.

 

A representative from Hacker, Johnson & Smith, P.A., independent public auditors for the Company for 2020 and 2021, is expected to be present at the annual meeting, will have an opportunity to make a statement, and will be available to respond to appropriate questions.

 

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MANAGEMENT

 

Officers of the Company

 

The Board of Directors is seeking to appoint Moishe Gubin as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gubin has submitted requests for the required regulatory approvals to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Company. These requests are currently pending.

 

Since June 2016, Timothy Terry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, has been acting as the Principal Executive Officer for the Company, and since February 2020, Joel Klein, a director of the Company has been acting as the Principal Financial Officer for the Company.

 

The background of Mr. Terry is set forth below. The background of Mr. Klein is set forth in the section of this proxy statement entitled “Proposal No. 1 – Election of Directors.”

 

Timothy Terry, age 66, was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank in February 2013 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Bank in 2018. Mr. Terry has been in banking for 35 years and most recently served as President/CEO of Putnam State Bank in Palatka, Florida. Prior to joining OptimumBank, he served as President, CEO and Senior Loan Officer for Enterprise Bank of Florida in North Palm Beach, Florida, and held senior lending, branch administration & sales management positions at Palm Beach National Bank & Trust, Flagler National Bank of the Palm Beaches and Comerica Bank. Mr. Terry received his BBA degree in finance from Western Michigan University located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware.

 

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MANAGEMENT COMPENSATION

 

The following table shows the compensation paid by the Company and the Bank for 2020 and 2021 to the persons acting as principal executive officer and principal financial officer during this period.

 

Summary Compensation Table

 

Name and Principal Position Year  Salary  Bonus  All Other
Compensation
  Total
Compensation
             
Timothy Terry (1)  2020  $250,000  $-  $18,765   $268,765
President and Chief Executive Officer  2021  $250,000  $20,000  $       $270,000
                  
Joel Klein(2)  2020  $-      $14,800   $14,800
Acting Principal Financial Officer  2021  $-      $14,100   $14,100

 

(1)For 2020, Mr. Terry received a restricted stock grant with a value of $18,765.
  
(2)All of Mr. Klein’s compensation was in the form of director’s fee.

 

Stock Options

 

No stock options were granted to any of the executive officers in 2020 or 2021. None of the Company’s executive officers holds any stock options.

 

Stock Grants

 

In 2020, the Company made a restricted stock grant to Mr. Terry of 5,976 shares of common stock, valued at $18,765.

 

Director Compensation

 

Each Director receives compensation for serving on the Board of Directors and committees of the Board. Mr. Gubin, who serves as Chairman of the Board, receives a $7,500 as an annual retainer, and all other directors receive $5,000 as an annual retainer. Additionally, Mr. Gubin receives $1,650 for each Board meeting attended, and all other directors receive $1,100 for each Board meeting attended. For Audit Committee meetings, the Chairman receives compensation of $400 for each meeting attended, and the members receive $300. For Compensation Committee meetings, Mr. Gubin, as Chairman, receives compensation of $125 for each meeting attended and the other members receive $100.

 

Mr. Gubin also receives $200,000 per year for additional services as a director, payable in shares of the Company’s common stock (based on the fair market value on the date of issuance). These additional services include his generally spending one week per month in the Bank’s offices. He is also actively involved in the Bank’s marketing efforts for new loan business and deposits and in the Company’s investor relations efforts.

 

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Director Compensation Table For 2021

 

Name Cash
Compensation($)
  Stock
Awards($)
  All Other
Compensation ($)
  Total($) 
Moishe Gubin $19,625  $200,000(1) $0  $219,925 
Joel Klein  14,800   0   0   14,800 
Martin Schmidt  15,600   0   0   15,600 
Thomas Procelli  15,800   0   0   15,800 
Avi M. Zwelling  13,300   0   0   13,300 
Chan Heng Fai Ambrose  13,200   0   0   13,200 
Michael Blisko  5,500           5,500 
Jeffry Wagner (2)  12,000   0   0   12,000 
Total $110,125  $200,000  $0  $297,025 

 

(1)This amount represents the fair value of the stock grant made to Mr. Gubin in payment of a portion of his director’s fees in 2021.
(2)Mr. Wagner served as a director through May 2021.

 

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SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN
BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

 

This following table sets forth information regarding the beneficial ownership of the common stock as of February 28, 2022, for:

 

 each of the directors and executive officers of the Company and the Bank;
   
 all of the directors and executive officers of the Company and the Bank as a group; and
   
 each other person known by the Company to own beneficially more than 5% of the Company common stock.

 

Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and includes voting and investment power with respect to the securities. The persons named in the table have sole voting and investment power or have shared voting and investment power with a spouse with respect to all shares of common stock shown as beneficially owned by them, unless otherwise indicated in these footnotes.

 

Name of Beneficial Owners Number of Shares Beneficially Owned  Percent of Class1 
Directors and Executive Officers        
Moishe Gubin, Director  366,154   7.5%
Joel Klein, Director and Interim Chief Financial Officer  94,404   1.9%
Thomas Procelli, Director  3,623   (2)
Martin Schmidt, Director  22,500   (2)
Avi Zwelling, Director  31,118   (2)
Chan Heng Fai Ambrose, Director  396,000   8.1 
Michael Blisko, Director  396,388   8.1%
Timothy Terry, President of the Bank  45,976   1.0 
All directors and executive officers as a group  1,356,163   27.7%
         
Principal Shareholders        
David Gross
6633 N. Sacramento Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60645
  245,000   5.0%

 

(1)Based on 4,897,503 shares of common stock outstanding on February 28, 2022.
  
(2)Less than 1.0%.

 

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DELINQUENT SECTION 16(A) REPORTS

 

Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires the Company’s executive officers and directors, as well as persons who own 10% or more of a class of the Company’s equity securities, to file reports of their ownership of the Company’s securities, as well as statements of changes in such ownership, with the SEC. The Company believes that all such filings required during 2021 were made on a timely basis, except for two Form 4s and one Form 5 for Moishe Gubin, two Form 4s for Martin Schmidt, two Form 4s for Michael Blisko and one Form 4 for Tim Terry.

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

 

Since January 1, 2021, except as described below, there have been no transactions or any proposed transactions in which the Company was or is a party, in which the amount involved exceeded $120,000, and in which a director, director nominee, executive officer, holder of more than 5% of the Company’s common stock or any member of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons had or will have a direct or indirect material interest.

 

Purchase of Shares

 

During 2021, the Company sold 282,377 shares of common stock to an affiliate of Chan Heng Fai Ambrose at a cash price of $3.00 per share, or a total of $847,130.

 

During 2021, the Company issued 207,550 shares of common stock to an affiliate of Michael Blisko at a price of $3.00 per share, or a total of $622,650, in exchange for trust preferred securities issued by an affiliate of the Company. The trust preferred securities were repurchased as par.

 

Loans to Officers, Directors and Affiliates

 

The Bank offers loans in the ordinary course of business to its directors and employees, including executive officers, their related interests and immediate family members. Applicable law and Bank policy require that these loans be on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with unrelated parties, and must not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features. Loans to individual employees, directors and executive officers must also comply with the Bank’s lending policies and statutory lending limits, and directors with a personal interest in any loan application are excluded from the consideration of such loan application.

 

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SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS FOR 2022 ANNUAL MEETING

 

Proposals of shareholders of the Company that are intended to be presented by such shareholders at the Company’s 2023 annual meeting of shareholders and that shareholders desire to have included in the Company’s proxy materials relating to such meeting must be received by the Company at its corporate offices no later than November 24, 2022, which is 120 calendar days prior to the anniversary of this year’s mailing date. Upon timely receipt of any such proposal, the Company will determine whether or not to include such proposal in the proxy statement and proxy in accordance with applicable regulations governing the solicitation of proxies.

 

If a shareholder wishes to present a proposal at the Company’s 2023 annual meeting or to nominate one or more Directors and the proposal is not intended to be included in the Company’s proxy statement relating to that meeting, the shareholder must give advance written notice to the Company by February 7, 2023, as required by SEC Rule 14a-4(c)(1).

 

Any shareholder filing a written notice of nomination for Director must describe various matters regarding the nominee and the shareholder, including such information as name, address, occupation and shares held. Any shareholder filing a notice to bring other business before a shareholder meeting must include in such notice, among other things, a brief description of the proposed business and the reasons for the business, and other specified matters. Copies of those requirements will be forwarded to any shareholder upon written request.

 

SOLICITATION OF PROXIES

 

The proxy accompanying this Proxy Statement is solicited by the Board of Directors of the Company. All of the costs of solicitation of proxies will be paid by the Company. We may also reimburse brokerage firms and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them in sending proxy materials to the beneficial owners of the Company’s shares of common stock. In addition to solicitations by mail, the Company’s directors, officers and employees, including those of the Bank, may solicit proxies personally, by telephone or otherwise, but will not receive any additional compensation for their services.

 

OTHER MATTERS

 

Management does not know of any matters to be presented at the meeting other than those set forth above. However, if other matters come before the meeting, it is the intention of the persons named in the accompanying proxy to vote the shares represented by the proxy in accordance with the recommendations of management on such matters, and discretionary authority to do so is included in the proxy.

 

HOW TO OBTAIN EXHIBITS TO FORM 10-K AND OTHER INFORMATION

 

A copy of the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 is included with this proxy statement. We will mail without charge copies of any particular exhibit to the Company’s Form 10-K upon written request. Requests should be sent to OptimumBank Holdings, Inc., Attn: Mary Franco, 2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 303, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308. Our proxy statement, annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, as well as any amendment to those reports, are also available free of charge through the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov.

 

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