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UPDATE 1-Hedge fund calls for removal of First NBC Bank CEO

(Adds company statement)

By Michael Flaherty

Nov 29 A shareholder of First NBC Bank Holding Co has called for the chief executive officer's removal, saying a change at the top would give more confidence to the New Orleans lender's investors.

Activist hedge fund Clinton Group, which has not disclosed the size of its holding in the small bank, first began agitating for changes early this month. Clinton's second letter to the board, disclosed on Tuesday, is the first time the hedge fund has called for the removal of President and CEO Ashton Ryan.

"I would strongly suggest that the board properly execute its fiduciary duty and address the material weaknesses in management by replacing the current chief executive officer as soon as practicable," Clinton Group Managing Director Scott Arnold said in the letter.

A spokesman for First NBC Bank said in an emailed statement that the company was open to input from shareholders and that it had multiple discussions with the Clinton Group.

"First NBC is largely aligned with Clinton Group's objectives and will continue to engage with Clinton Group as it does with all of its shareholders," the statement said. (Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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