The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

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 ( or Governance Center Business Development Manager Guy Halperin (
  • 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


0 Comment Comment Policy

Please Sign In to post a comment.

    Subscribe to the Governance Blog
    Support Our Work

    Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.