Chris Davis of Kleinberg Kaplan at 13D Monitor’s annual Active-Passive Investor Summit
Firm News | April 20, 2016
New York, NY – Christopher P. Davis, Chair of Kleinberg Kaplan’s Investor Activism Group, was a featured panelist at the recent 13D Monitor annual Active-Passive Investor Summit that took place on April 19, 2016 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The event brought together more than 350 activist investors, institutional investors, hedge funds, board directors, CEOs, proxy solicitors, corporate and securities attorneys, investor relations professionals, investment bankers and others for dynamic sessions and a full day of networking.
Chris took part in a lively round-table discussion with other leaders in the field of representing hedge funds in activist situations. Chris emphasized that:
- The debate about so-called “short-termism”, as highlighted by the proposed Brokaw Act, is largely propaganda because activists are not responsible for the system of quarterly and annual reporting and annual elections that entrenched Boards are bemoaning. Activists are merely seeking accountability from their fiduciaries on the Boards.
- For all the talk about engagement by Boards, evidence of continued abuses such as wrongfully excluding shareholder proposals and the now impermissible adoption of fee shifting bylaws shows the lengths to which underperforming Boards are willing to go until stopped by the courts and the SEC, and how important it is for institutional investors to vote against Boards engaging in abusive tactics.
- Boards hiring lawyers inexperienced in responding to activists often add unnecessary costs and delays, and make it more likely that disputes are taken to a shareholder vote because those inexperience lawyers are not adept at settling disagreements amicably.
Throughout its seven year history, the 13D Monitor annual Active-Passive Investor Summit has been the ideal forum for the industry to meet, discuss, analyze and shape the development of the activist investing space.