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20 Oct. 2011 | Comments (0)

The next episode of Governance Watch, a new webcast produced by The Conference Board Governance Center and sponsored by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, will focus on how boards deal with shareholder activism in uncertain economic times. It will air at 3 p.m. EST Nov. 2 and will be available on demand afterward. Specifically, the webcast will address how boards are trying to resolve the tension among the competing objectives of: spending cash on capital expenditures and acquisitions to grow, returning cash to shareholders and maintaining a healthy balance sheet and liquidity outlook. Shareholder activists have grown increasingly frustrated with the focus on balance sheet prudence and are pushing in a number of sectors for boards to accelerate growth through spending, to return greater amounts to shareholders and to fuel these activities through the use of debt. The panel will examine the economic variables relating to these competing considerations and the appropriate way for directors and officers to approach this conundrum from a fiduciary duty perspective. It will also look at how this approach may be supplemented when activists enter the scene. Those activists usually have a special focus on acceleration of growth and returning cash to shareholders through extraordinary buybacks and dividends. The moderator of the webcast will be Ethan Klingsberg, a partner with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. The speakers include Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for The Conference Board Economics Program; Glenn Eisenberg, CFO for Timken Co. and a director at Alpha Natural Resources and Family Dollar Stores; and Timothy Ingrassia, co-chair of Global Mergers & Acquisitions with Goldman Sachs. To sign up for the webcast, click here. Members of The Conference Board can just log in. Non-members need to contact Governance Center Manager Brandi Mathis (brandi.mathis@conference-board.org) or Governance Center Business Development Manager Guy Halperin (guy.halperin@conference-board.org).
  • About the Author:Gary Larkin

    Gary Larkin

    Gary Larkin is a research associate in the corporate leadership department at The Conference Board in New York. His research focuses on corporate governance, including succession planning, board compo…

    Full Bio | More from Gary Larkin

     

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