Harvest Doubles Down on Call for Change at Green Dot
Harvest Capital Strategies has escalated its criticism of Green Dot Corp., and reiterated its call for the ouster of Green Dot CEO Steve Streit. In a letter sent to Green Dot’s board of directors last week, Harvest blasted what it called Green Dot’s failure to respond adequately to a previous letter Harvest sent the company in January, in which the hedge fund manager outlined concerns with Green Dot’s performance and called for the removal of Streit and other two board members. Green Dot responded quickly to Harvest’s January letter, noting it was open to cooperating with Harvest to address any issues—a position Streit repeated during Green Dot’s latest quarterly earnings call in late February. Streit also offered to collaborate with Harvest on adding additional board members and asked Harvest to recommend specific candidates.
But last week, in another strongly worded letter, Harvest rejected that overture and doubled down on its criticism of Streit and the board for what Harvest called the board’s unwillingness to “work constructively and in good faith” with Harvest, which owns 7.2 percent of Green Dot’s outstanding shares. “To say we were thoroughly disappointed by the board’s immutable position regarding the need for substantial changes at Green Dot would be an understatement,” Harvest wrote in its latest letter. Harvest rejected Green Dot’s proposal to increase the size of its board, instead saying it will nominate three candidates of Harvest’s own choosing to replace Streit and the two other board members Harvest is seeking to remove. Harvest said it will announce those candidates in the coming weeks.
Green Dot issued a response saying the company “deeply respects and values input from all of our shareholders and … we certainly respect and value the opinions and views offered by Harvest Capital Strategies.” Green Dot added that it “welcomes” the spotlight Harvest’s requests have place upon its business and that it remains focused on executing new product rollouts, including a new Walmart MoneyCard and the Green Dot Everyday Visa, for sale at Walmart stores. The company also will debut its revamped MoneyPak product in April.