jerryking + boards_&_directors_&_governance   181

The management wisdom of Bill Campbell - Bartleby
May 23rd 2019

three Google executives—Eric Schmidt (a former director of The Economist), Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle—who have written a book in praise of their mentor, Bill Campbell. His influence on Silicon Valley was so profound that they have called the book “Trillion Dollar Coach”.

Most outsiders will not have heard of Campbell, who began his career as a college coach of American football. Later, he worked at Apple, heading the marketing campaign for the original Macintosh, and then became chief executive at Intuit, a financial-software company. But his most effective role, until his death in 2016, was in the background, as a board member at Apple (and close friend of Steve Jobs) and as a coach to companies backed by Kleiner Perkins, a venture-capital firm.

Google was one of Kleiner’s investments and when Mr Schmidt was appointed chief executive of the company in 2001, Kleiner’s John Doerr suggested that he recruit Campbell as his coach. Although Mr Schmidt was initially reluctant to accept the need for coaching, he learned to value Campbell’s advice. In 2004 Campbell helped to persuade the Google boss not to quit when his roles as chairman and chief executive were split.

Campbell acted as an unpaid mentor at Google until his death in 2016. He also coached executives at eBay, Facebook and Twitter, among others. In 2000 he advised the Amazon board not to replace Jeff Bezos as chief executive of the e-commerce company.

As a coach, Campbell’s role was not to be in charge of particular projects, or to make strategic decisions, but to make other people work better. Although he advised individuals, his focus was on ensuring that teams were able to co-operate properly. His motto was that “your title makes you a manager, your people make you a leader.”

While he was happy to dish out praise in group meetings, and was a generous man in his spare time, he was not a soft touch. He simply believed in giving harsh feedback in private, and was usually adept enough to make the recipient grateful for the telling-off.

When he talked to people, he gave them his undivided attention; the discussions were never interrupted and he never checked his smartphone. But coaching had to be a two-way process. Some people were temperamentally incapable of responding properly. To be coachable, Campbell believed, managers need to be honest, humble and willing to learn.

A sign of his unique personality is that he has not been replaced since he died. Instead Google is attempting to incorporate his principles into the way the company is run. All managers should, in part, be coaches. The idea seems to be gaining popularity. In their book, “It’s the Manager”, Jim Clifton and Jim Harter of Gallup, a polling organisation, include a whole section called “Boss to Coach”.

This is linked to the importance of employee engagement. Gallup cites research showing that when managers involve employees in setting their own work goals, the latter are four times more likely to report feeling engaged. Managers are responsible for 70% of the variance in how engaged employees were.

The primary job of any manager is to help people be more effective in their job. One benefit should be that workers will stay with the company; the main reason they change jobs, according to what they tell Gallup, is for “career growth opportunities”. Workers should get regular feedback from their managers—daily if possible, surveys show. An annual performance review is of little use.

But this approach will only work if it comes from the top down. Middle managers tend to emulate their superiors and to respond to incentives; they will coach underlings if this behaviour is reinforced and rewarded.

Of course, even the best coaches and managers have to give their employees scope to find their own way, and make their own mistakes.
advice  boards_&_directors_&_governance  books  book_review  coaching  Google  mentoring  Silicon_Valley 
2 days ago by jerryking
Andrea Illy: adapting a family business to a multinational world
JULY 20, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Rachel Sanderson.

*The coffee group chairman argues his style of capitalism is good for business, workers and the consumer*

Andrea Illy, third generation heir of the Illycaffè dynasty, last year struck an alliance with investment group JAB Holdings to produce and distribute Illy coffee capsules...he makes it clear that he does not intend to sell the closely held family company..... “It is a very simple principle about preserving our freedom,” he says of his and his family’s decision, one....Freedom is a word that comes up frequently in conversation with Mr Illy.....who espouses a sort of pick-and-mix version of capitalism, resolutely refusing to focus only on sales and profits. Illy argues his style of capitalism is not charity but good business.......Illy has paid its growers on average 30% more over market value for decades in order to maintain its supply of top Arabica beans. “....The company is rooted in the border city of Trieste....which is also ingrained in the nature of the family......globalisation and increasing competition in the coffee sector has forced Illy to adapt. Staying closely held does not work any more. Co-opetition is his new mantra."“It is like the way to adapt in the savannah. If you do not want to be prey to the big lion, you live in a tree.”"

Part of that adaptation has been the deal with JAB, which allowed Illy coffee capsules to be produced and distributed in supermarkets globally, something that Illy could not do alone......The global coffee industry has become increasingly like the beer tie-ups of the 1990s, with big groups such as JAB and Nestlé snapping up smaller companies. Illy has risked being squeezed between these behemoths and the microroasters emerging as the hip caffeine hit for millennials and Gen Z.....Bigger groups have circled Illy for years. Mr Illy says the family chose JAB because it had the technology he wanted and accepted a licensing agreement rather than an equity one.....To build its global presence, Mr Illy is now looking for a retail partner in the US to help launch Illy coffee bars in the world’s largest coffee market. He says he could even sell a slice of equity. But he is very specific who it would be to: a private financial investor, not an industrial group.....there have been other adaptations. Three years ago, Illy hired an outside chief executive — Massimiliano Pogliani, a former executive at Nestlé’s Nespresso — for the first time since the company was founded in 1933 by Mr Illy’s grandfather, Francesco. Mr Illy has also built a board including executives from clothing group Moncler and Italian cosmetics group Kiko...... studies show that family businesses often fail in the third generation. The move to hire outside management and governance comes as studies also show that family-owned, professionally-run companies are among the best performing in the long term. ......Mr Illy sees these alliances as the only way for a family business model to thrive and to not have to cede control to a multinational when “complexity is becoming too big for a single person to manage”.
.....good stewardship is good business......The Illy family is a supporter of arts and culture, including Trieste’s annual sailing regatta, the Barcolana, where hundreds of boats race across the bay. Mr Illy says this creates a virtuous circle: the more attractive Trieste becomes, the more talented people Illy can attract to work for it and the more visitors come to the city and raise its brand profile........A portrait of his father Ernesto hangs opposite his desk. “I put the painting there to ask him to control what I do,” Mr Illy says.

What, then, has he learnt from his family? “Society is made by the private sector, mostly. And if you want to improve society then we need to be able to pursue long-term goals which are beyond profitability, and then you have to be free and accountable only to yourself,” he says.

Three questions for Andrea Illy
Who is your leadership hero? I have three: Muhtar Kent, former chairman of Coca-Cola; my father; Sebastião Salgado [the photojournalist].

If you were not a CEO/leader, what would you be? A neurosurgeon.

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt? My father asked me when I turned 14 years old where I wanted to go to school. Do you want to start a journey to be a leader or do you want to have fun? I chose the first option and as a result chose boarding school in Switzerland over a local school at home. There I learnt about discipline and hard work but also about the power of a charismatic leader from my headmaster.
alliances  boards_&_directors_&_governance  climate_change  coffee  coopetition  dynasties  family  family_business  family-owned_businesses  financial_buyers  heirs  high-quality  Illycaffè  investors  JAB  licensing  Nestlé  premium  private_equity  privately_held_companies  stewardship  sustainability  the_counsel_of_the_dead  virtuous_cycles 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019 by jerryking
Dump the PowerPoints and do data properly — or lose money
APRIL 15, 2018 | FT| Alan Smith.

So what can data analysts in organisations do to get their messages heard?

Board members and senior managers certainly need to consider new ways of thinking that give primacy to data. But reasoning with data requires what psychologist Daniel Kahneman describes as “System 2 thinking” — the rational, reasoning self — and a move away from the “gut intuition” of System 1. That’s not an easy culture change to achieve overnight.

Freelance consultant, author and data visualisation expert Andy Kirk believes there is a duty of care on both analysts and their audiences to develop skills, particularly in relation to how data is communicated through an organisation.......many senior managers “neither have the visual literacy nor the confidence to be exposed to [data presentations] they don't understand — and they just don't like change”. Mr Kirk describes it as a kind of “Stockholm syndrome” in data form — “I’ve always had my report designed like this, I don't want anything different”.......data analysts need to nurture their communication skills, taking a responsibility for encouraging change and critical thinking, not just being “the data people”. Acting as agents of change, they need to be effective marketers of their skills and sensitive educators that show a nuanced appreciation of the needs of the business. Organisations that bind data to the business model — and data literacy to the board — will inevitably stand a better chance of achieving long-term change.....The truth is that data in the boardroom enjoys a patchy reputation, typified by dull, overlong PowerPoint presentations. A cynic might suggest that even the most recent addition to boardroom structures — the chief data officer — is used by many boards simply as a device to prevent other members needing to worry about the numbers.

Here are 3 techniques that can be used to encourage progressive change in the boardroom.
(1) Use KPIs that are meaningful and appropriate for answering the central questions about the business and the market it operates in. Try to eliminate “inertia metrics” — i.e. “we report this because we always do”.

(2) Rework boardroom materials so that they encourage board members to read data, preferably in advance of meetings, rather than glance at it during one. This might mean transforming the dreaded PowerPoint deck into something a little more journalistic, a move that will help engage “System 2” thinking.

(3) Above all, be aware of unconscious bias in the boardroom and focus on debunking it. Most of us are poor intuitive statisticians with biases that lurk deep in our “System 1” view of the world. There is insight, value and memorability in the surprise that comes with highlighting our own ignorance — so use data to shine a light on surprising trends, not to simply reinforce that which is already known.
absenteeism  boards_&_directors_&_governance  change  change_agents  Communicating_&_Connecting  Daniel_Kahneman  data  data_driven  gut_feelings  infographics  insights  KPIs  PowerPoint  psychologists  storytelling  surprises  visualization 
april 2018 by jerryking
After 20 Years of Financial Turmoil, a Columnist’s Last Shot - The New York Times
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON NOV. 10, 2017

For the past 20 years or so, as a business columnist for The New York Times, I’ve had a front-row seat for bull and bear markets, scandals, crises and management mischief.

But I am leaving The Times, and this is my last shot at Fair Game. So it seems a fitting moment to look back at what’s changed and what hasn’t in the financial world, for better or worse.

In addition to a string of garden-variety banking and business scandals, four seismic financial events occurred during my time as a columnist: the collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002, and the mother of them all — the mortgage debacle — in 2008. That one brought world economies to the precipice and wiped out Lehman Brothers and a raft of troubled banks.

......“Sarbanes-Oxley came into effect 15 years ago, and there have been fewer accounting scandals and more accountability,”...It’s too bad that the mortgage crisis six years later didn’t result in heightened accountability.

Here’s another sign of progress: Believe it or not, corporate directors are more active in their oversight than they used to be. Egregious board practices and chummy appointments are less common......Something else that hasn’t changed over the decades is analyst and investor reliance on companies’ creative earnings calculations. These figures, which do not conform to generally accepted accounting practices, typically exclude costs that companies incur in their operations.....Inventive earnings calculations, while more prevalent today, were very popular in the lead-up to the dot-com crash. Back then, analysts valued companies based on imaginative, nonfinancial metrics like the number of page views a retail website received or the percentage of “engaged shoppers” visiting a site. ....My search for truths on Wall Street and elsewhere over the years has sometimes raised hackles. That’s to the good. It wasn’t my job to be part of a company’s spin machine.
financial_communications  farewells  NYT  women  retrospectives  Wall_Street  seismic_shifts  LTCM  bubbles  scandals  SOX  truth-telling  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
november 2017 by jerryking
Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company
OCT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times | By BROOKS BARNES and JOHN KOBLIN.

For two days in June 2017, Disney’s board of directors wrestled with one topic: how technology was disrupting the company’s traditional movie, television and theme park businesses, and what to do about it?.....Cord cutting was accelerating much faster than expected. Live viewing for some children’s programming was in free fall......Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive and chairman, proposed a legacy-defining move. It was time for Disney to double down on streaming..... bet the entertainment giant’s future on a wonky, little-known technology company housed in a former cookie factory: BamTech.....Based in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, the 850-employee company has a strong track record — no serious glitches, even when delivering tens of millions of live streams at a time. BamTech also has impressive advertising technology (inserting ads in video based on viewer location) and a strong reputation for attracting and keeping viewers, not to mention billing them.....BamTech grew out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or Bam for short, which was founded in 2000 as a way to help teams create websites. By 2002, Bam was experimenting with streaming video as a way for out-of-town fans to watch games.

Soon, Bam developed technology that attracted outside clients, including the WWE, Fox Sports, PlayStation Vue and Hulu. HBO went to Bam in 2014 after failing to create a reliable stand-alone streaming service on its own. Could Bam get HBO up and running — in just a few months? Bam built HBO Now for roughly $50 million, delivering it just in time for the Season 5 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which went off flawlessly. “They were nothing short of herculean for us,” said Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive.

In 2015, Bam decided to spin off its streaming division, calling it BamTech. With an eye toward its own direct-to-consumer future, particularly with ESPN, Disney paid $1 billion in 2016 for a 33 percent stake and an option to buy a controlling interest in 2020. To run the stand-alone company, M.L.B. and Disney recruited Michael Paull, 46, from Amazon, where he oversaw Prime Video and the introduction of Amazon Channels.....Disney contends that a big part of BamTech’s value has been overlooked. Down the road, as other media companies move toward streaming, BamTech intends to sign them up as clients.....Though BamTech has proved its streaming bona fides, it still lacks the algorithms and the personalization skills that have helped propel Netflix to success. To fill that gap, Mr. Paull recently hired the former chief technology officer of the F.B.I. to be the head of analytics.....The level of engineering required for that enormous volume of content is no small matter. Each bit of streamable content has to be made to fit a dizzying number of requirements. Start with web browsers, ranging from Safari to Chrome or Explorer, all of which have slightly different demands. It also has to fit every iPhone and Android phone. And then there are connected living room devices like Apple TV.
algorithms  BamTech  big_bets  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs  cord-cutting  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  Disney  disruption  entertainment  game_changers  personalization  Quickplay  sports  sportscasting  streaming  theme_parks  direct-to-consumer 
october 2017 by jerryking
Infosys: foundering on the rocks
August 2017 | Financial Times LEX
Founders of well-run companies tend not to believe in luck. Commercial success to them comes from hard work and smart thinking, usually from the founder. In time, some pass the management of their enterprises on to others, recognizing a need for a change.
hard_work  Infosys  boards_&_directors_&_governance  founders  artificial_intelligence  luck  succession  chance  contingency 
august 2017 by jerryking
It’s a Diverse City, but Most Big Museum Boards Are Strikingly White
AUG. 22, 2017 | The New York Times | By ROBIN POGREBIN.

Whether arts groups will make real progress is an open question. Cultural organizations have often struggled to identify minority board members capable of meeting the high donations — often millions of dollars — demanded by the city’s leading arts organizations.

“The hardest nut to crack is going to be the boards,” Mr. Finkelpearl said, adding that executives need to think about ways besides money that trustees of color can add value, namely through their art collections, personal connections or professional expertise.
Bill_de_Blasio  Darren_Walker  New_York_City  Manhattan  museums  cultural_institutions  diversity  leadership  curation  Ford_Foundation  visible_minorities  MoMA  boards_&_directors_&_governance  theatre  African-Americans 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Angst of Endangered CEOs: ‘How Much Time Do I Have?’ - WSJ
By Vanessa Fuhrmans and Joann S. Lublin
Updated July 5, 2017

An array of challenges—from increasing impatience on Wall Street and in boardrooms to a corporate landscape rapidly transformed by new technologies and rival upstarts—have made the top job tougher and more precarious than just a few years ago, top executives say.
CEOs  turnover  boards_&_directors_&_governance  unsentimental  Joann_S._Lublin  endangered 
july 2017 by jerryking
The Decline of the Baronial C.E.O. - The New York Times
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZJUNE 17, 2017

General Electric is just the latest storied name in corporate America to show its leader the door. Ford’s chief executive, Mark Fields, had been in the job for less than three years when he was fired in late May. Two weeks earlier, Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel abruptly stepped down. With these departures, the American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.....Jeffrey Immelt tried to change G.E., yet couldn’t react quickly enough to the forces affecting companies like his......[(Amazon + Whole Foods) shows how] the digital age has upended the competitive landscape, pitting companies in vastly different industries against one another.

These include the rising power of activist investors, who buy up stakes in companies and then demand changes. Activists are now hunting much bigger game, demanding double-digit annual earnings growth in a stagnant economy. Or else.....Boards, too, have changed, evolving from country-club-like collections of the same familiar faces into a much more diverse and demanding constituency.....for most of the Fortune 500, the unquestioned power and perks, the imperviousness to criticism from the likes of shareholders, and the outsize public profile that once automatically came with the corner office have gone the way of the typewriter and the Dictaphone.....[today] ...wading into bitterly partisan public debates offers little upside for corporate leaders, and risks damage to their company’s reputation.

As a result, while companies in many ways have more economic and political power than ever, “chief executives now shy away from weighing in on the policy level or broader societal issues,” Mr. Sharer said. “They’re more focused on running their companies.”......Mr. Immelt’s exit leaves a void at the intersection of business and public policy,.....“If you start fooling around in Washington with the Business Roundtable or writing op-eds, activist investors will ask what you’re doing,”....[GE] became a natural target for activist investors. One of those was Nelson Peltz, a onetime corporate raider who relied on Michael R. Milken’s junk bonds for financing back in the 1980s.
CEOs  GE  executive_management  shareholder_activism  digital_disruption  Jeffrey_Immelt  disruption  technological_change  decline  Vijay_Govindarajan  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
june 2017 by jerryking
How are advisory board members typically compensated? - Quora
Advisory Board members are
offered 0.25% - 0.50% stock in the company with a 1-3 year vesting period
compensation  boards_&_directors_&_governance  advice 
june 2017 by jerryking
12 Qualities to Look for in an Advisory Board Member - Business Insider
Young Entrepreneur Council, Young Entrepreneur Council

Jan. 20, 2014,

traits of an effective advisory board member
boards_&_directors_&_governance 
june 2017 by jerryking
THE ROLE AND VALUE OF AN EFFECTIVE ADVISORY BOARD •
by: Barry Reiter
Issues: September / October 2003. Categories: Governance.
boards_&_directors_&_governance  Ivey  best_of  effectiveness 
june 2017 by jerryking
Outside Voices: Why Boards Need to Hire More Marketing Experts - WSJ
MediaLink’s Wenda Harris Millard argues more CMOs are needed as directors because board positions at Fortune 500 companies remain largely homogenous
May 19, 2017
CMOs  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Fortune_500  marketing 
may 2017 by jerryking
The Evolution of a Cybersecurity Firm - WSJ
By Cat Zakrzewski
May 16, 2017

......Certainly when someone is working with us today, they’re looking for us to deliver an outcome. They’re not necessarily looking for us to just provide them with a product and move on. That’s a big evolution in our model. We’re helping them manage cybersecurity risk.....It’s a big shift to go from a company that sold several products that each performed a separate security function to one that delivers an architecture designed to help customers drive more-holistic outcomes. In many cases, our customers are now asking us to help them manage and run our products for them so that they can get more value versus doing it themselves.......The problem we see in security is that often companies take the lack of attack on their company as meaning they have a good defense, and as a result do not place enough emphasis on the urgency of patching their systems to prevent future attacks.....[Cybersecurity has] gone from a back-office function to a boardroom-level issue. Now everyone in the C-suite of an organization has at least got some basic understanding of cybersecurity issues.

That’s bringing a whole level of visibility to it that we haven’t had in the past. Boards are worried about brand implications, they’re worried about intellectual property, they’re worried about business operations being interrupted, they’re worried about losing value. .....: I think the biggest mistake technical people can make is leading with the technology in both their explanation as well as in their remedies, leading with a one-size-fits-all problem. I think that’s when people get confused about what we’re trying to do. Then they think, well I can just go buy a widget and technical widgets should solve my technical cybersecurity problem. Cybersecurity is a systemic challenge. There are people issues......One key area is making sure that your partners and vendors are part of your extended, coordinated response, and that comes through clearly understanding what potential scenarios you face and then practicing what to do when an incident occurs.......Cybersecurity has a similar set of challenges, where you constantly are operating and have risks. People can be compromised, you have complex systems. You might make an acquisition where that firm had a breach and you’ve brought that into your organization. Cybersecurity is something you need to think about in a risk-based context and think about it holistically.
CEOs  McAfee  boards_&_directors_&_governance  cyber_security  cyberthreats  outcomes  risk-management  data_breaches  network_risk  threat_intelligence  one-size-fits-all  thinking_holistically  Michael_McDerment  C-suite 
may 2017 by jerryking
An Activist Investment in Whole Foods Exposes Shifting Power on Wall St. - The New York Times
APRIL 25, 2017 | NYT | By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON.

Neuberger Berman has eschewed its nearly 80-year-old tactic of playing nice (i.e. buy and hold stocks, sit back, and hope for the best), turning to the bare-knuckled world of activist investors made famous by the likes of Carl C. Icahn and William A. Ackman. Last year, as Neuberger Berman’s roughly $200 million investment in Whole Foods Market languished, the firm quietly approached some hedge funds and urged them to agitate for change at the high-end grocer. Two weeks ago, Jana Partners took up the fight......Neuberger Berman’s behind-the-scenes campaign to shake up Whole Foods is the latest example of a dynamic that is upending relations between public companies and the big investors that own their stock.....a reflection of the shifting balance of power on Wall Street....Traditional money managers in search of market-beating returns are demanding a seat at the table, turning to activists for help and even employing some hedge fund tricks of their own. And activists, once the black sheep of the investment world, are now accepted as regular, if meddlesome, investors. ....[Activist investors], she added, “[are an] important ‘check and balance’ on management that has lost its way.”....Neuberger Berman executives prepared an inch-thick presentation--a thorough critique--the kind of document usually produced by activists.....failures in how Whole Foods handled its brand development, and to what it said were customer service deficiencies and a poor strategy for distribution......Relations between institutional investors and activists have evolved in recent years, and it is not unheard-of for big investors to support activists who have set their sights on a high-profile company. ..... be careful of what you wish for, Neuberger Berman discovered that utilizing board seats on an underperforming portfolio company can be "expensive and time-consuming.”.....it is less common for an institutional investor to share its work on a specific target with activists in the way Neuberger Berman did with Whole Foods....There is even a term for the interplay: “R.F.A.s” or “requests for activism.”....Institutional investors do not make investments predicated on an activist showing up.
Wall_Street  money_management  shareholder_activism  beat_the_market  hedge_funds  Whole_Foods  Jana_Partners  Neuberger_Berman  institutional_investors  checks_and_balances  Carl_Icahn  William_Ackman  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
april 2017 by jerryking
No Canadians need apply: the worrying trend in arts hiring - The Globe and Mail
KATE TAYLOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 05, 2016

What is worrying is the pattern: It suggests that Canadian cultural institutions are not nurturing their own talents.

If Canadian curators cannot aspire to eventually manage the museums where they work, or Canadian stage directors need never consider running Canada’s festivals, they will not give their institutions the best of themselves. They will either slump into the self-fulfilling prophecy of lower expectations or they will go abroad.

Of course, museum and festival management is, like many a business, an increasingly global game and these things do go through cycles – Anderson was rapidly replaced by one of his Canadian curators, Matthew Teitelbaum, a Torontonian who ran the AGO for 17 years before moving to the helm of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last year.

But the recent trend suggests that the boards of large Canadian institutions need to band together to discuss how they can better mentor and nurture potential leaders.

Perhaps they should also take a careful look at the assumptions they are making in their hiring processes. These big appointments are often trumpeted with announcements that stress the long, complicated and, most of all, international searches that have been undertaken to find candidates. That may actually be part of the problem: the increasing use of headhunters to fill these jobs. Executive-recruitment agencies charging large fees to conduct searches deep into the United States or over to Europe are unlikely to conclude that the best person for the job is sitting down the hall or across the street from the incumbent.
cultural_institutions  CEOs  hiring  glass_ceilings  Canadian  museums  galleries  arts  festivals  boards_&_directors_&_governance  home_grown  mentoring  institutional_memory  executive_search  succession  leadership  curators 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Disrupters: Making New York’s Cultural Boards More Diverse
JULY 30, 2016 | The New York Times| By JACOB BERNSTEIN.

But Dr. Muhammad, the former director of the Schomburg center, cautioned against seeing Mr. Smith’s entry into New York cultural life as a sign that things will change in a meaningful way.

“White people are going to be wealthier on average, wealthier people are going to be in leadership positions more often, and in those positions they’re likely to be part of a network of people in the same social milieu,” Dr. Muhammad said. “There’ll continue to be people like Robert Smith, who happen to be African-American and do wonderful things, but there’s a giant wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it’s only widened in the wake of the great recession. Is this a sign of a trend that black people will be the heads of boards all over the country? I doubt it.”
Darren_Walker  glass_ceilings  African-Americans  high_net_worth  cultural_institutions  boards_&_directors_&_governance  diversity  New_York_City  museums  lawyers  investment_banking  Wall_Street  Harvard  Robert_Smith  racial_disparities 
august 2016 by jerryking
Death by digital: CEOs pay the price for tech trouble - The Globe and Mail
ANDREW WILLIS
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016

Recent changes in the executive suite at Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Torstar show there’s little tolerance for a boss who lacks a smart strategy for an increasingly tech-driven marketplace and even less patience for a leader who fails to deliver on digital promises....It’s this ability to blend tech savvy with the rest of the management tool box – finance, marketing, leadership – that’s essential to CEO success in every field, and critical in sectors such as retail, media and financial services. Because when the tech strategy doesn’t work, corporate boards are clearly holding the CEO responsible. That accountability was not as direct in the past: The head of IT was more likely to be sacrificed, rather than the CEO. Now, the top boss is being held responsible for coming up with the tech-based strategy and executing.
Andrew_Willis  boards_&_directors_&_governance  C-suite  CEOs  CIOs  digital_first  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  execution  IT  strategies  systems_integration 
july 2016 by jerryking
John Doerr to Step Aside and Become Chairman at Kleiner Perkins - The New York Times
By KATIE BENNER MARCH 31, 2016

John Doerr is stepping back from the day-to-day management of his firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in a changing of the guard. Mr. Doerr, 64 will become KP's first chairman. The shift reflects a reprioritization of his time from managing the firm to grooming the next generation of leaders. “I see this chair role as a ‘player coach,’” Mr. Doerr wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “I’m super enthused about our next gen leaders and the future.”....“The venture industry is changing all the time,” he wrote. “We must keep changing to better compete and serve entrepreneurs.”
Kleiner_Perkins  John_Doerr  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Silicon_Valley  venture_capital 
april 2016 by jerryking
The humbling of Valeant’s Michael Pearson - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE
The humbling of Valeant’s Michael Pearson
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016

What we’re left with: A “Canadian” company we should happily disown, and critical reminders that certain business rules should never be broken. Chief among them: Debt is never a problem until, suddenly, it is; markets will love you until, suddenly, they don’t; and the roll-up game, driven by endless acquisitions, is nearly impossible to sustain.....By slashing R&D spending costs, Mr. Pearson freed up cash flow to buy more companies – whose R&D departments were then gutted to repeat the same trick. To juice earnings, he acquired Ottawa-based Biovail in 2010, which came with a Barbados-based subsidiary. Valeant started ushering U.S. profits to offshore tax domiciles – marking the first-ever pharmaceutical tax inversion and sending its corporate tax rate to the mid-single digits.

To fuel acquisitions, Mr. Pearson borrowed tens of billions of $ of incredibly cheap debt. By mid-2015, Valeant had $31-billion (U.S.) in debt and paid over $1-billion a year in interest.

There were warning signs these bold acts would backfire. Last March, Warren Buffett’s inner circle started to inflict damage. At an investor meeting, Charlie Munger, one of the value investor’s best friends, said he was “holding his nose” by looking at Valeant, adding that the company “wasn’t moral.”

That cautionary message did little to deter two of Valeant’s top investors: the Sequoia Fund – which has ties to Mr. Buffett – and Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management. Whatever criticisms were hurled at the drug maker, they stood by it, repeatedly stressing that they believed in Mr. Pearson. Their faith in him seemed nearly biblical. And because they showed resolve, hedge funds kept piling in – momentum investing at its very worst. By the end of June, nearly 100 of them had stakes in the drug maker........One of the best lessons from the global financial crisis was that everything became correlated when the U.S. housing market crashed. The same is true for Valeant. Investigations into its pricing policy made investors worry about revenue; worries about the income statement morphed into fears about balance-sheet debt; leverage woes prevented Valeant from borrowing more to fund future acquisitions.

The cynicism turned investors’ momentum strategy on its head.
Valeant  Bay_Street  CEOs  pharmaceutical_industry  Charlie_Munger  Warren_Buffett  M&A  boards_&_directors_&_governance  correlations  hedge_funds  Pershing_Square  William_Ackman  debt  R&D  cash_flows  roll_ups 
march 2016 by jerryking
How do we fill the pipeline with board-ready women?
This commentary is part of Work in Progress, The Globe's look at the global struggle for gender parity.Pamela Warren is a Toronto-based partner at Egon Zehnder, which specializes in executive search
boards_&_directors_&_governance  talent_pipelines  women  howto 
march 2016 by jerryking
Dow, DuPont Deal Cements Activists’ Rise - WSJ
By DAVID BENOIT
Updated Dec. 11, 2015

The group painstakingly went through each business’s customers, raw materials, costs and sales forces. Trian reported back to Mr. Breen on how they thought the split should work.
Dow_Chemical  Dupont  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  shareholder_activism  CEOs  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
december 2015 by jerryking
Scotiabank takes tech quest from Bay Street to Silicon Valley - The Globe and Mail
DAVID BERMAN
Scotiabank takes tech quest from Bay Street to Silicon Valley
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 24, 2015
Bay_Street  fin-tech  Scotiabank  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Silicon_Valley  Andreessen_Horowitz 
october 2015 by jerryking
How SurveyMonkey Is Coping After the Death of Dave Goldberg - The New York Times
By QUENTIN HARDY JUNE 21, 2015.

SurveyMonkey’s top executives have had to avoid “strategic paralysis from a culture of mourning, and emotional revolt from telling people ‘get over it,’ ” said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management. “There is a way to take a loss and make it into strength.”

SurveyMonkey was started in 1999 and remained small for a decade, offering online and email surveys on various topics. In 2009, private equity investors acquired it, and Mr. Goldberg, who had sold a small music company to Yahoo for $12 million in 2001, was brought in soon after to run the company. Starting with just 14 employees, Mr. Goldberg began his recruiting.
Quentin_Hardy  SurveyMonkey  Silicon_Valley  mourning  succession  paralyze  boards_&_directors_&_governance  executive_management 
june 2015 by jerryking
Why boards must strike a fine balance - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jun. 07, 2015
Harvey_Schachter  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs 
june 2015 by jerryking
Can John Thornton save Barrick Gold? - The Globe and Mail
RACHELLE YOUNGLAI
Can John Thornton save Barrick Gold?
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 29 2015
Barrick  gold  mining  John_Thornton  CEOs  relationships  legacies  Goldman_Sachs  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Bay_Street  Nevada  free_cash_flow 
may 2015 by jerryking
Boards getting better at battling activists - The Globe and Mail
JACQUELINE NELSON
Boards getting better at battling activists
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 13 2015
hedge_funds  Bay_Street  boards_&_directors_&_governance  shareholder_activism 
may 2015 by jerryking
Toronto Police’s carding reform is built on a good foundation - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 01 2015 |The Globe and Mail |MARCUS GEE.

Chief Blair promises that the force will train officers in how to conduct engagements with the public respectfully and within the law; that it will report to the board regularly on the engagement policy; that it will refrain from imposing carding quotas on officers; and that it will take care not to gather or keep masses of irrelevant data.

None of this will be enough for many of the activists, human-rights organizations and community groups that have besieged the board over the carding issue. They don’t like the fact that officers will be able to initiate contact and gather information as long as there is a “valid public safety purpose,” a pretty broad authorization. They don’t like the fact that police will not be required to issue a receipt to those it contacts (instead, officers will have business cards they can hand out) or inform people whom they stop that they have the right to walk away.
Toronto_Police_Services_Board  boards_&_directors_&_governance  racial_profiling  Bill_Blair  reforms  carding  Marcus_Gee  Alok_Mukherjee  civilian_oversight  community_policing 
april 2015 by jerryking
A fighter for immigration, inclusion and diversity - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015,

After years of running the poverty-fighting Maytree Foundation, last fall Ratna Omidvar was named head of the new Global Diversity Exchange housed at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto’s Ryerson University. The GDX, as she calls it, will do research and exchange information about diversity and the inclusion of immigrants and visible minorities – not just in Canada but all over the world.

It is essentially a “think-and-do tank,”...the GDX will tap into the great minds who have studied immigration and settlement, while sharing concrete strategies and experiences that have worked effectively.

While national governments function as the gatekeepers for immigration – letting people in or keeping them out – it is local efforts, usually at the city level, that make the difference in getting immigrants to prosper, she said.
immigration  women  diversity  Ryerson  leaders  immigrants  leadership  networking  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Maytree  talent_pipelines  under-representation  Ratna_Omidvar  Toronto  cities  think_tanks 
april 2015 by jerryking
Let’s train our leaders to be ethical - The Globe and Mail
PRESTON MANNING
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 06 2015

How about establishing an Institute of Political Managers and Directors, along the same lines as the Institute of Corporate Directors, with a similar commitment to ethical training and conduct? Such an institute would need to be cross-partisan, not non-partisan, since it would be providing ethical training for participants in the real political world, which is intensely partisan, whether we like it or not.

Its training emphasis should be heavily focused on ethics – promoting truth in communications and knowing where the lines are drawn among truth, spin and lies; advancing guidelines as to what constitutes ethical behaviour in an adversarial system and defining the limits to partisanship; demanding unwavering adherence to the rule of law by those who make laws; and inculcating a trusteeship ethic among those responsible for the handling of public money.

For training resources, the institute could draw in part upon business schools with well-developed courses in ethics, as well as Carleton University’s graduate program in political management. Carleton already includes an ethical component in each of its political management courses.
Preston_Manning  training  leaders  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Carleton  political_infrastructure  institutions  politicians  institution-building  ethics 
april 2015 by jerryking
Female-Run Venture Capital Funds Alter the Status Quo - NYTimes.com
APRIL 1, 2015| NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER.

Venture capitalists are, in a way, the gatekeepers to Silicon Valley, and if they are a group of white men who studied at places like Stanford, it is no wonder that most of the entrepreneurs fit the same mold. Venture firms with women as partners are three times as likely to invest in a company with a female chief executive and twice as likely to invest in one with women on the management team, according to the Babson College report.

The lack of female investors has cascading effects. Start-ups’ boards are composed mostly of venture capitalists, so they are often all men. A recent Fortune analysis found that of the 81 start-ups worth more than $1 billion, 5 percent had a female chief executive and 6 percent had a woman on the board. Other studies have found that male founders and directors are less likely to hire women as executives and engineers, or pay men and women equally.

“Honestly, there will be more female entrepreneurs if there are more female venture capitalists,
venture_capital  Silicon_Valley  vc  entrepreneur  founders  start_ups  women  gender_gap  boards_&_directors_&_governance  angels  gatekeepers  white_men 
april 2015 by jerryking
Korn/Ferry’s CEO: What Boards Want in Executives - WSJ
By LAUREN WEBER
Dec. 9, 2014

Korn/Ferry has been trying to boost its business in talent management, offering recruiting and development tools aimed at professional employees....Korn/Ferry’s slow transition by acquiring leadership-development firms like PDI Ninth House and Global Novations LLC, and converting its bank of knowledge about executive careers into a portfolio of products that organizations can buy or license, from interview guides to software that helps managers identify and cultivate high-potential employees.

Mr. Burnison: For the boardroom or the C-suite, the technical competencies are a starting point. What we’ve seen through our research is that the No. 1 predictor of executive success is learning agility. So we want to get a real line of sight into a person’s thinking style and leadership style. Right now, you’re seeing me how I want you to see me. What you really want to know is “How does Gary make decisions under pressure?”

WSJ: What is learning agility?

Mr. Burnison: It comes down to people’s willingness to grow, to learn, to have insatiable curiosity. Think about the levers of growth that a CEO has. You can consolidate, or tap [new markets], or innovate. When it comes down to the last two, particularly innovation, you want a workforce that is incredibly curious.
Korn_Ferry  executive_search  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs  talent_management  turnover  executive_management  learning_agility  adaptability  C-suite 
december 2014 by jerryking
When Yahoo Met Alibaba: The Third Time Was the Charm
August 6, 2014 | Deckposts | Susan Decker

I serve on two boards with noted investor Charlie Munger — Costco and Berkshire Hathaway. Munger is a legendary business leader with an abundance of wisd...
boards_&_directors_&_governance  lessons_learned  Charlie_Munger  Costco  Berkshire_Hathaway  learning_agility  quotes  from notes
december 2014 by jerryking
The man with the key to China: Barrick Gold’s quest to open new doors - The Globe and Mail
RACHELLE YOUNGLAI - MINING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 06 2013

John Thorton is a man who “loves flawless execution” and prefers to work behind the scenes.

When Goldman won the contract to take some of China’s government-controlled telecom services public in 1998, it stemmed from Mr. Thornton’s work.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Thornton got wind that the vice-premier at the time, Zhu Rongji, wanted to reform some of the country’s state-owned telecoms.

Mr. Thornton, who had taken Britain’s Vodafone public in the late-1980s, arranged for a meeting with the number 2 banker at the newly formed state-owned Chinese investment bank, a Chinese national who did not speak English.

Through a translator late at night in Beijing, Mr. Thornton said: “Here’s the real situation, you call yourself a banker and yet you know nothing about banking. I am in charge of Goldman Sachs Asia and China and I know nothing about any one of those. So we have a perfect marriage here. You’re going to teach me China and I am going to teach you banking and I am going to make you look like a hero in front of Zhu Rongji and everyone else who is important to you. And I don’t need any visibility, credit, anything. All I want to do is understand China out of this whole process.”

Mr. Thornton stressed his experience with Vodafone and the Chinese banker took Mr. Thornton’s request to Wang Qishan, then the head of China Construction Bank (one of China’s four biggest banks) and a protege of Mr. Zhu. Mr. Wang then spoke to Mr. Zhu and Goldman made its foray into China.

Mr. Thornton, Mr. Evans and former U.S. treasury secretary and Goldman chief executive Hank Paulson met Mr. Zhu in Beijing and Goldman got the deal.
mining  Barrick  Goldman_Sachs  boards_&_directors_&_governance  optics  China  relationships  dealmakers  protégés 
december 2014 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs Names Ogunlesi New Lead Director - NYTimes.com
By WILLIAM ALDEN JULY 25, 2014

"We benefited from his wise counsel and probing questions, and admired his graciousness and professionalism. Jim is in our thoughts and we wish him and his family all the best"
Goldman_Sachs  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Wall_Street 
july 2014 by jerryking
Breaking into the boys' club of investment banking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
Breaking into the boys' club of investment banking Add to ...
Subscribers Only

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Mar. 11 2014
women  Bay_Street  investment_banking  glass_ceilings  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Boyd_Erman  gender_gap  diversity 
march 2014 by jerryking
Wes Hall: From mail room clerk to Bay Street power broker
Jan. 30 2014 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Steiner.

Welcome to the full-combat world of activist investing. Wall Street agitators such as Bill Ackman, Barry Rosenstein and Carl Icahn, and a small but growing number of Canadians, such as Greg Boland of West Face Capital, want underperforming executives to raise shareholder returns fast, or get out of the way. And they come armed with detailed business makeover plans, lawyers, investment bankers, PR reps and what, over the past decade, has become one of the most powerful weapons in their arsenal: the proxy solicitation and advisory specialist....What does a proxy specialist do? A generation ago, the job was little more than an administrative position–arranging annual meetings and monitoring the collection of proxy forms from docile shareholders who didn’t have the inclination to attend, and whose shares would then be voted in favour of existing directors and management. Hall began his career in that routine end of the business in the 1990s. He founded Kingsdale in 2003 because he saw a growing and profitable niche: Activists and target regimes needed high-level advice and coaching in shareholder disputes.

Now Hall and a handful of other top Canadian specialists are like the superstar managers who hatch U.S. presidential campaigns. They plot strategy, control written communications to investors, stage cross-country tours, corral shareholder votes and whip their candidates–be it the activist or the target company–into shape, keeping them focused and on-message.
Doug_Steiner  Bay_Street  entrepreneur  movingonup  power_brokers  hedge_funds  West_Face  shareholder_activism  boards_&_directors_&_governance  William_Ackman  Pershing_Square  CP  public_relations  African_Canadians  Wes_Hall  proxy-advisory  niches  insights  superstars 
february 2014 by jerryking
The man with the key to China: Barrick Gold’s quest to open new doors - The Globe and Mail
Dec. 06 2013 | The Globe and Mail | RACHELLE YOUNGLAI - MINING REPORTER.

The former Goldman Sachs president has spent more than 20 years working with Chinese policymakers. He shares Mr. Munk’s vision of turning Barrick into a diversified mining giant and tapping China to join the effort...Mr. Thornton said his Barrick talks with the Chinese have been with the highest levels of the communist government right on down the system. He stresses he does not want what he calls a “transactional” or one-off deal with the Chinese. He wants to build an enduring relationship with the government...Mr. Thornton envisions Barrick first doing one “thing that is relatively modest” with the Chinese. For example, he says Barrick could consider a Chinese construction company for Pascua Lama. Mr. Thornton has not spoken to any such companies about the South American mine and says it’s only an example.

Michael Evans, a Goldman vice-chairman who worked with Mr. Thornton for years in London and Asia, describes Mr. Thornton as a hugely strategic operator who “loves flawless execution” and prefers to work behind the scenes...In the mid-1990s, Mr. Thornton got wind that the vice-premier at the time, Zhu Rongji, wanted to reform some of the country’s state-owned telecoms.

Mr. Thornton, who had taken Britain’s Vodafone public in the late-1980s, arranged for a meeting with the number 2 banker at the newly formed state-owned Chinese investment bank, a Chinese national who did not speak English.

Through a translator late at night in Beijing, Mr. Thornton said: “Here’s the real situation, you call yourself a banker and yet you know nothing about banking. I am in charge of Goldman Sachs Asia and China and I know nothing about any one of those. So we have a perfect marriage here. You’re going to teach me China and I am going to teach you banking and I am going to make you look like a hero in front of Zhu Rongji and everyone else who is important to you. And I don’t need any visibility, credit, anything. All I want to do is understand China out of this whole process.”

Mr. Thornton stressed his experience with Vodafone...
Barrick  gold  mining  John_Thornton  CEOs  relationships  Goldman_Sachs  personal_connections  Tsinghua  boards_&_directors_&_governance  barter  transactional_relationships 
december 2013 by jerryking
Boardroom shifts spell trouble for big banks
Nov. 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail | BOYD ERMAN.
New directors bring new relationships, and Canada’s greying boardrooms herald an opportunity for foreign and independent investment banks that are steadily making inroads in the Canadian market...The days are long gone of an investment banker sitting on a Canadian company’s board and steering all the advisory business to his own bank (let’s be honest, odds are it was a man). Rules on director conflicts have largely ended that. But name a Canadian company and most people in finance can recite the house banker, and it’s often one that does the lending.

Those relationships are not going to just go away. But the potential for conflict of interest is going to mean that the major banks are going to find themselves sharing merger fees more often with outside firms that are independent. Board renewal is only going to accelerate that.
Boyd_Erman  boards_&_directors_&_governance  conflicts_of_interest  advice  banks  demographic_changes  investment_banking  Bay_Street  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  relationships 
november 2013 by jerryking
More Boards Recruit Former CEOs
Nov. 19, 2013 | WSJ.com | ByJoann S. Lublin.

More corporate boards are seeking former public-company chiefs like Mr. Bennett to serve as directors, and that is creating new headaches for current corner-office occupants. While these prior chiefs often serve as useful advisers to the CEO, they can also help orchestrate a leader's exit. And sometimes, they do both....Outside board members with previous corner-office stints now hold 9.8% of the independent seats at Fortune 1000 companies, and nearly 21% have board leadership titles, up from 5.5% and 13.2% respectively in 2008, concludes an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by researchers Equilar...."Boards see corner-office experience elsewhere as a much more valuable asset today because directors must both monitor management and help lead the company," adds Mr. Useem, co-author of the new book, "Boards That Lead."
CEOs  Joann_S._Lublin  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
november 2013 by jerryking
Boardrooms Rethink Tactics to Defang Activist Investors - NYTimes.com
November 11, 2013 | NYT | By DAVID GELLES.

...with dozens of activist hedge funds pushing for change at companies large and small, executives, directors and advisers are scrambling to calibrate their defenses to this new and in many ways more challenging threat.

“Activism is here to stay,” said Paul Verbinnen, co-founder of Sard Verbinnen, a public relations firm. “People are at a heightened state of readiness.”

But with activists varying widely in their tactics and intentions, there is no one cookie-cutter defense that works. Instead, companies and advisers are adopting more nuanced tactics.
calibration  boards_&_directors_&_governance  shareholder_activism  hedge_funds  public_relations  financial_communications 
november 2013 by jerryking
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