BankFinancial, Burr Ridge, IL (BFIN)

An 18-Year Old Prodigal Bank Conversion

Image of Boy Throwing Confetti
Under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Morgan Gasior, BankFinancial has been squandering assets with the arrogance of inherited affluence for nearly two decades.

Despite his repeated promises, in no year has Gasior produced "peer-like" returns, and this prodigal son shows no signs of changing his ways. 

Clearly, BankFinancial's Board of Directors needs a serious kick in the pants, which any shareholder who meets the SEC Rule §240.14a-8 criteria can deliver by submitting a proposal recommending the bank be sold to a more mature operator. 

Per BankFinancial's April 2023 Proxy, the deadline to submit a shareholder proposal is December 13, 2023.

Disclosure: As of this posting, I own shares of BFIN and may subsequently either dispose of them or purchase more.

Prospective Buyers

Any of these neighboring banks would have no trouble putting BankFinancial's assets to better use if they could acquire the franchise at a small premium to book value.

Byline Bancorp, Chicago, IL (BY)
Old Second Bancorp, Aurora, IL (OSBC)
Wintrust Financial, Rosemont, IL (WTFC)

Financial Snapshot
as of 09/30/2023

Total assets:
Tangible book value per share:   
NPAs to assets:
Price to book:
Market cap:
Dividend yield:
Trailing 12-month ROA:
Trailing 12-month ROE:


F. Morgan Gasior, Chairman, President, and CEO
John M. Hausmann, Director since 1990
Terry R. Wells, Director since 1994
Glen R. Wherfel, Director since 2001

Red Flags

In preparation for publishing this review, I re-read all 18 years of transcripts from BankFinancial’s quarterly conference calls
In those transcripts, Gasior tosses glowing projections for future performance like a kid with confetti. 

Over the past 18 years, Gasior took nearly $13M in total compensation from BankFinancial. That money was real. The projections — mostly fairy dust. 

Since BankFinancial’s conversion in 2005, both its stock price and book value have declined. Share price is down 34%. Book value per share is down 5%. During that same period, the NASDAQ Bank Index has climbed by 15%. Under Gasior, BankFinancial has flagrantly underperformed its peers, year after year after year. 

All of this surprises me so much less now that I know Gasior was just 19 years old when his father, CEO Frank Gasior, made him a Bank Director, and just 24 years old when Dad appointed him COO. It's also no mystery now why Gasior has kept BankFinancial's Board of Directors so small.

Perhaps Gasior can't be expected to treat this publicly traded institution responsibly, but that's why banks have Boards of Directors. 

BankFinancial is publicly traded. Its board has a legally binding fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders. BankFinancial directors are accountable for hiring and firing the bank's CEO. Given BankFinancial's dreadful performance, its directors are obligated to either replace the CEO or sell the bank.