Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation Names John K. Stephens President and Chief Executive Officer

  Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation Names John K. Stephens President and
  Chief Executive Officer

Business Wire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- September 10, 2013

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation (the "Company" or "Atlantic Coast
Financial," NASDAQ symbol: ACFC), the holding company for Atlantic Coast Bank
(the "Bank"), today announced that its Board of Directors has named John K.
Stephens President and Chief Executive Officer of both Atlantic Coast
Financial and Atlantic Coast Bank, contingent upon receipt of regulatory
non-objection from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Stephens will replace Thomas B. Wagers, Sr.,
who has served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since July

Stephens is a 23-year veteran of the banking and financial services industry.
From 2006 to 2011, he served as Chief Lending Officer for the Central and
North Florida affiliate banks of Fifth Third Bank, N.A., overseeing a loan
portfolio of almost $2 billion and responsible for strategic leadership for
all wholesale banking activities. Stephens began his career in 1986 with
Wachovia Bank, N.A., where he started as a regional banking officer, later
became a relationship manager responsible for originating and managing senior
debt and ancillary service relationships with corporate clients, and was
ultimately selected to start and lead a leveraged finance group. Most
recently, Stephens served as President of Orlando, Florida-based Tower Bridge
Capital, Inc.

Stephens received an MBA, with a concentration in corporate finance and
capital markets, from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza Graduate School of
Business, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South

In commenting on the announcement, Jay Sidhu, who led the CEO search committee
for the Company, said, "Our Board is very excited that John has accepted our
invitation to lead the Company as its CEO, and we believe all of our
constituents – shareholders, customers and employees – will be equally excited
once they get to know him. John is a proven leader who brings significant
banking experience to our company, including working in our northeast Florida
market. During his more than 23 years in the financial industry, he has been a
key player in all aspects of the banking industry, advancing to virtually
every critical position in a bank's structure. We expect his diverse
experience and excellent track record to be invaluable to Atlantic Coast
Financial as we continue to develop and implement our strategic initiatives."

In commenting on his new position, Stephens added, "I am indeed honored to
become part of the Atlantic Coast Financial management team. I am impressed by
the Company's potential, the markets in which it operates and the
opportunities they present, as well as the energy and commitment demonstrated
by the entire team to strengthening the Company's capital structure and
building Atlantic Coast Bank's community banking model. I look forward to
working with such a talented team of management and associates to build a
strong future for the Company."

About the Company

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is the holding company for Atlantic Coast
Bank, a federally chartered and insured stock savings bank. It is a
community-oriented financial institution serving northeastern Florida and
southeastern Georgia markets through 12 locations, with a focus on the
Jacksonville metropolitan area. Investors may obtain additional information
about Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation on the Internet at, under Investor Information.

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
the federal securities laws. Statements in this release that are not strictly
historical are forward-looking and are based upon current expectations that
may differ materially from actual results. These forward-looking statements,
identified by words such as "will," "expected," "believe," and "prospects,"
involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those anticipated by the statements made herein. These risks
and uncertainties involve general economic trends and changes in interest
rates, increased competition, changes in consumer demand for financial
services, the possibility of unforeseen events affecting the industry
generally, the uncertainties associated with newly developed or acquired
operations, market disruptions and other effects of terrorist activities. The
Company undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking
statements publicly to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof
or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be
reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange


Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation
Thomas B. Wagers, Sr., 904-565-8570
Chief Financial Officer
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