Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shareholder Activism Papers Worth Reading

Shareholder Activism & CEO Pay
August 2009
Yonca Ertimur, Duke University
Volkan Muslu, University of Texas at Dallas
Fabrizio Ferri, NYU – Stern School of Business
The Paper is Available Here

Wealth Effects of Hedge Fund Activism
(Interesting study on effects to bondholders)
June 2009
Hadiye Aslan, University of Houston
Hilda Maraachlian, University of Houston
The Paper is Available Here

Liquidity and Shareholder Activism
June 2009
Oyvind Norli, Norwegian School of Management
Charlotte Ostergaard, Norwegian School of Management; Central Bank of Norway
Ibolya Schindele, Norwegian School of Management
The Paper is Available Here

The Role of the Board in Turbulent Times: Avoiding Shareholder Activism
April 2009
Damien Park, Hedge Fund Solutions
Matteo Tonello, The Conference Board
The Paper is Available Here

Stock Picking in Disguise?
New Evidence that Hedge Fund Activism Adds Value
April 2009
Benjamin Solarz
The Paper is Available Here

Hedge Fund Activism and Corporate Governance: The State of the Art
August 2008
Faysal Barrachdi
The Paper is Available Here

Shareholder Activism and the "Eclipse of the Public Corporation": Is the Current Wave of Activism Causing Another Tectonic Shift in the American Corporate World?
The 2008 Directors Forum of The University of Minnesota Law School
Martin Lipton, Partner
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
The Paper is Available Here

Equity and Debt Decoupling and Empty Voting II: Importance and Extensions
The University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January 2008
Henry Hu & Bernard Black
The Paper is Available Here

Influences of Hedge Fund Activism on the Medium Term Target Firm Value
August 2007
Nick W.A. Stokman
Erasmus University Rotterdam
This Paper is Available Here

Hedge Fund Investor Activism & Takeovers
Harvard Business School, July 2007
Robin Greenwood & Michael Schor
The Paper is Available Here

The Evolution of Shareholder Activism in the United States
January 2007
Stuart Gillan, Texas Tech University
Laura Starks, Texas Tech University
The Paper is Available Here

Hedge Fund Activism, Corporate Governance and Firm Performance
September 2006
Alon Brav, Duke University
Wei Jiang, Columbia University
Frank Portnoy, University of San Diego
Randall Thomas, Vanderbilt University
The Paper if Available Here

Hedge Fund Activism
October 2006
April Klein, New York University
Emanuel Zur, New York University
The Paper is Available Here

Removing Poison Pills: A Case of Shareholder Activism
October 2006
Ali C. Akyol, University of Melbourne
Carolyn Carrol, University of Alabama
The Paper is Available Here

Significant Increase in Director Opposition

Proxy Governance, Inc. released data on September 19 that revealed close to 10% of unopposed director nominees had at least 20% of shares voted against them, or withheld, in 2009. This is up from 5.5% in 2008.

The report also lists 50 companies where at least one director failed to obtain majority support.

Click here to read the summary data and list of companies.

August Activist Investments - 29 Companies Targeted

Below is a summary list of 29 companies targeted by 33 shareholder activists during August.

This information was extracted from Hedge Fund Solutions' Catalyst Equity Research Report(TM), a free in-depth weekly research on activist investments.

Click Here to subscribe to the FREE report.

This report is sponsored by a number of firms with expertise in the activist investing space.

Legal Advisers:

Olshan Grundman Frome Rosenzweig & Wolosky
Schulte Roth & Zabel
Lowenstein Sandler

Proxy Solicitors:

Innisfree M&A
MacKenzie Partners
Laurel Hill Advisory Group
The Altman Group

Ticker Company Investor
ADPT Adaptec Inc. Steel Partners
ANR Alpha Natural Resources Duquesne Capital Management
BARE Bare Escentuals Sandler Capital Management
CAMD California Micro Devices Corp Gamco Investors
CITZ CFS Bancorp Financial Edge Fund
DCS Claymore Dividend & Income Fund Bulldog Investors
FCM First Trust Four Corners Senior Floating Rate Income Fund Bulldog Investors
FPU Florida Public Utilities Co Energy Inc
FRZ Reddy Ice Holdings Inc. Avenir Corp
GBNK Guaranty Bancorp Patriot Financial Partners
GCS DWS Global Commodities Stock Fund, Inc. Western Investment
HBRF.OB Highbury Financial Inc. North Star Investment Management Co
HFFC HF Financial Corp Finacial Edge Fund
KFS Kingsway Financial Services Inc Joseph Stillwell
MRVC.PK MRV Communications Boston Avenue Capital; Spencer Capital
NUF Nuveen Florida Quality Income Municipal Fund Western Investment
PXD Pioneer Natural Resources Southeastern Asset Management
RATE Bankrate Inc. Coatue Management
RUSS.OB Whitney Information Network Inc Kingstown Capital Partners
SBSA Spanish Broadcasting System Inc Attica Capital Partners
SCSS Select Comfort Clinton Group
SNG Canadian Superior Energy Palo Alto Investors
SNS Steak & Shake Co The Lion Fund
SPA Sparton Corp Lawndale Capital Management
TMNG The Management Network Group Mill Road Capital
TXI Texas Industries Inc. Shamrock Activist Value Fund
VXGN.OB VaxGen Inc. Boston Avenue Capital; Spencer Capital
VXGN.OB VaxGen Inc. Steven Bronson; Mark Boyer
XOHO.OB XO Holdings Inc Amalgamated Gadget

Thursday, September 10, 2009

HFS Launches Catalyst Investment Research(TM) on Activist Investments


Research Uncovers Fundamentally Solid Companies With A Value Investment Catalyst Driven By Activist Investors

Press Release

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) September 10, 2009 -- Hedge Fund Solutions LLC a leading investment research and strategy consulting firm focused exclusively on issues involving shareholder activism, has launched Catalyst Investment Research™. This new investment research product is designed to identify undervalued publicly traded companies that have the potential to generate outsized returns due to an activist investor's involvement.

Recent studies conducted by April Klein and Emanuel Zur of NYU's Stern School of Business have shown that stock prices of companies targeted by activist investors earn 10.2% average returns during the period surrounding an activist's ownership disclosure and an additional 11.4% abnormal return during the following year.

"Our research team analyzes every activist investment disclosure filed with the SEC and finds the best investment opportunities with a near-term catalyst for value improvement." said Damien Park, Managing Partner of Hedge Fund Solutions, LLC.

Catalyst Investment Research™ singles out companies with extraordinary value potential where activist investors have taken sizeable investment positions and are pressing management to unlock hidden pockets of value. Each research report examines the activist's investment thesis, their track record of success in previous interventions and the likelihood that the activist will be instrumental in boosting value in a short period of time.

Jonathan Heller, CFA, a Partner at Hedge Fund Solutions and contributor to Catalyst Investment Research™, further commented that in conjunction with analyzing the activist's interests, "We examine the fundamental value inherent in the target's business and determine if the Company is truly trading at a discount to its intrinsic value."

Hedge Fund Solutions' unique combination of these two views on value creates a powerful investment opportunity and, ultimately, can generate outsized investment returns. "Lending credence to the value of our research is the share price performance of the companies we have recently covered. To date, companies we have examined have gained as much as 250% in value within three weeks of our research being issued," said Mr. Park

Review the performance of the Companies recently researched.

Ron Orol, the author of Extreme Value Hedging: How Activist Investors are Taking on the World, praised the new product by saying "The Catalyst Investment Research report not only finds where the hidden gems are buried, but also brings along the excavation equipment to help dig up the value."

Timothy Brog, an active value manager with Locksmith Capital Management says, "Damien and Jon deliver a very compelling research product. Nobody does a better job of analyzing solid companies with a very real and quantifiable catalyst for value improvement. I'm a subscriber and highly recommend it to others."

Companies and individuals interested in subscribing to the Catalyst Investment Research™ report can begin by requesting a free 1-month trial at Hedge Fund Solutions' website.


If you'd like more information about this research product, or about Hedge Fund Solutions, please contact Damien Park at 215-325-0514 or email Damien at

Hedge Fund Activism Conference Update

Below is an updated agenda and list of confirmed conference speakers.

IMN’s Hedge Fund Activism and Shareholder Value Summit brings together hedge funds, private equity firms and public pension funds together with corporate executives and board members, investment banks, asset managers, securities litigation firms, corporate law firms, advisory firms, and proxy solicitors for two days of networking and learning on current trends and the future outlook for hedge fund activism.

The Summit aims to inform corporations and institutional investors on innovations and opportunities in this alternative strategy, while providing insight into how active value managers operate.

A few of the topics that will be discussed include:
  • The Activist Playbook For A More Volatile Economy
  • Trends in Hedge Fund Activism: Balance Sheet vs. Operational Activism
  • The CSX Aftermath: The Use of SWAPS and the Second Circuit Court Decision
  • Case Study: Pershing Square vs. Target Corp. 2009 Proxy Contest
  • Challenging The Poison Pill and Other Defenses
  • The Court of Public Opinion And Shareholder Activism
  • The Board of Directors - Why Individuals Matter
  • Proxy Access Electrified: How Investors Can Gain Access to the Corporate Proxy and How Companies Will Prevent It
  • Activism In Asia Update - Approach and Impact
  • Rethinking the Capital Structure of Operational Activism: Steel Partners' Response to the Perfect Storm of 2008
Confirmed Conference Speakers Include:

Damien Park, Conference Co-Chairman

Managing Partner, Hedge Fund Solutions

Michael Flaherman, Conference Co-Chairman
Managing Director, New Mountain Capital

Jared Landaw, Barington Capital Group
Keith Gottfried, Partner, Blank Rome LLP
David New, Dalton Investments
Rachel Posner, Georgeson Inc

Joele Frank, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Matthew Sherman, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Stephen Fraidin, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Robert Ladd, LaddCap Value Advisors
John Siemann, Laurel Hill Advisory Group
Andrew Shapiro, Lawndale Capital Management
Timothy Brog, Locksmith Capital Management
Jeffrey Shapiro, Lowenstein Sandler
Mark Harnett, MacKenzie Partners
Howard Brownstein, NachmanHaysBrownstein
Julien Balkany, Nanes Balkany Partners
Bruce Goldfarb, Okapi Partners
Clifford Press, Oliver Press Partners
Richard Lashley, PL Capital
Jay Winship, Relational Investors
Christopher Young, RiskMetrics Group
Marc Goldstein, RiskMetrics Group
Paul Caminiti, Sard Verbinnen
Daniel Gagnier, Sard Verbinnen
Marc Weingarten, Schulte Roth & Zabel
David Rosewater, Schulte Roth & Zabel
Dennis Johnson, Shamrock Activist Value Fund
Stephen Arcano, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Richard Moore, Fmr. Treasurer, North Carolina
Daniel L├ęger, Steel Partners
David Baran, Symphony Financial Partners
Donna Anderson, T. Rowe Price
Frank Partnoy, University of San Diego School of Law
Susan Estrich, University of Southern California
David Katz, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Arthur Lipson, Western Investments

Click Here to go to the Event Home Page.

Registration and SPECIAL DISCOUNT:
Email: and reference "Activist Blog" to register and claim a 10% discount.