Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Steel Partners Wins 5 of 7 Board Seats at PBSO.PK; Could be Bigger Win for Activist Investors Politically

As we predicted in an earlier blog, Steel Partners won their proxy contest with Point Blank Solutions yesterday. Furthermore, it seems our "unscientific" shareholder vote projection was pretty close - Steel ended up getting 51% of the voted shares and PBSO's nominees received 11%.

One interesting development is this: General Tony McPeak, one of Steel's elected nominees, is one of a dozen co-chairman for Barack Obama's Presidential election campaign. As a former US Air Force Chief of Staff and a four-star General, McPeak has offered Obama his thoughts on foreign policy and military issues.

Besides being a central figure in Obama's election campaign, McPeak serves on several board of directors at defense-related companies, including two companies controlled by Steel Partners - Del Global Technologies and Point Blank Solutions.

If Obama is elected to the office of the President, McPeak will certainly be appointed to a favorable political position within the new administration. And although it is unlikely he will play a key role in the financial services sector, his relationship with hedge fund activism and "shareholder-friendly" corporate governance could have a behind-the-scenes influence on certain SEC hot-topics, including: say-on-pay and shareholder access to proxy materials.

We'll see.