Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting started off peacefully Tuesday, until Bruce Marks spotted his moment.
Marks stood up to interrupt the meeting about half an hour in, yelling that board members individually should explain “what they knew” about the San Francisco-based bank’s sales scandal “and when they knew it.” His outburst, which immediately followed the roll call of all 15 board members in the room, led nine minutes later to security guards dragging him out the meeting held in a Florida hotel.
For Marks, CEO of a Boston nonprofit that helps homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments, it was his latest confrontation with a large U.S. bank. As head of Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which he founded in the 1980s and has Charlotte offices, Marks has long been known as a flamethrower toward financial firms.
Over the years, the 61-year-old has taken on banks when, for example, he’s felt they weren’t lending enough to minority communities. During the financial crisis, NACA once scattered furniture on the lawn of a mortgage investor in Connecticut to protest the loss of homes to foreclosure. NACA also once attempted “an amphibious assault” with rafts on a waterfront home of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon during the crisis.