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Issues: Shareholder Activism

Related Research and Writings

Just What Is the Corporate Director's Job? Activist Hedge Fund Perspectives on the Board Member's Job Description
May 2018 | Key Business Issues Listing
The perspectives of activist hedge investors differ from the stakeholders in the previous five installments of this series—proxy advisors, directors, active investors, passive investors, and corporate secretaries. Activist hedge funds are the one class of stakeholders who actually seat people on the board of portfolio companies. Unlike the directors, they bring in a truly outside, independent point of view that tends to affect all aspects of the corporate director’s job description. 

On Governance: Communications Challenges for the Post Activist Proxy Contest World
September 05, 2017 | Governance Center Blog
Kal Goldberg is a Partner and Head of the US capital markets and transactions group and Charles Nathan is a Senior Advisor at Finsbury LLC. This post is based on a Finsbury publication by Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Nathan.

Taking Short-Termism Seriously: A Response to Charles Nathan
September 12, 2016 | Governance Center Blog
The Conference Board Governance Center has been heavily engaged in the current discussion in the marketplace on “long-termism versus short-termism,” most notably with our publication of the report “Is Short-Term Behavior Jeopardizing the Future Prosperity of Business.” At the Governance Center, we believe in presenting differing points of view. The following is a response from lawyers at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to a post on Governance Center Blog by Charles Nathan of Finsbury.   

Activists Are Not the Culprit: So Don't Shoot the Messenger
Augustus 25, 2016 | Governance Center Blog
The Conference Board Governance Center has been heavily engaged in the current discussion in the marketplace on “long-termism versus short-termism,” most notably with our publication of the report “Is Short-Termism Jeopardizing the Future Prosperity of Business.” At the Governance Center, we believe in presenting differing points of view. In the following post, Charles Nathan presents a contrarian view and challenges some of the conclusions of our report. We encourage others to engage in the debate and consider other points of view. 

The Activism of Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman
May 2014 | Director Notes
Activist hedge funds merit the attention of corporate directors, as the value of the assets under management increases and activist funds’ targets expand well beyond small capitalization companies. This report reviews the tactics used by two prominent activist hedge fund managers to create change in 13 companies in their portfolio and highlights four perceived governance failures at target companies that attracted activist funds’ attention. 

Activism and the Move toward Annual Director Elections
December 2011 | Director Notes
The effect of pressure to move to annual director elections has been dramatic: the proportion of public companies with staggered boards fell from 60 percent in 2002 to less than half in 2011 (and less than a third among the S&P 500). This report documents the extent to which activism pushes corporations to implement annual elections and compares the influence different forms of activism.

Past Programs and Webcasts

Book Discussion: The Activist Director 
April 13, 2017 | Special Webcast
Attorney Ira M. Millstein counseled boards at iconic companies and governments through some of the most notable corporate failures and successes, ranging from the near-bankruptcy of New York City to the board revolt at GM. In this webcast, Millstein will discuss his new book, "The Activist Director," his reflections on working through these historic events, and his vision for the future: activist directors who work with management to plan for the long term.

Do Activist Investors Create Long Term Shareholder Value? 
December 12, 2014 | Special Webcast
On November 14, Dr. Yvan Allaire presented at the Annual Meeting of The Conference Board Governance Center on his work on that question. His talk was titled Do activist interventions create long term shareholder value? Here is a video of Dr. Allaire’s full remarks.