Lead Director Networks: Viewpoints - April 2014


Dealing with shareholder activism -

On March 4, 2014, Lead Director Network (LDN)1 members met in New York City to discuss shareholder activism. Ralph Whitworth, founder, principal, and investment committee member of Relational Investors and non-executive chairman at Hewlett-Packard, joined members for dinner to provide an activist’s perspective. Members were also joined by King & Spalding corporate partner Bill Baxley during the meeting.

Executive summary -

This ViewPoints synthesizes member discussion on four key topics relating to shareholder activism:

A new era of activist investing:

Lead directors shared their views on the evolution of activist investing. While companies and boards once viewed activist investors in a negative light, lead directors now recognize that in some instances activists can bring positive change to companies. This is consistent with evidence of trends in shareholder activism that demonstrate both an increase in activist activity at large public companies and a more widespread acceptance by institutional investors of activist tactics.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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