Proxy Advisors and Shareholder Activism: What is Going On and What to Expect?

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Shareholder activists are becoming increasingly aggressive, often calling for the breakup or sale of publicly traded firms, or for increased cash distributions through dividends or buybacks. The outcome of these activist campaigns often depends on decisions made by institutional investors who can lack the time and resources necessary to analyze their portfolio companies, and therefore rely on proxy advisory firms for recommendations as to how to vote their shares. The confluence of a new generation of activists with the concentration of voting control in the hands of institutional investors, and the emergence of the proxy advisory industry, has given rise to a new electoral dynamic in the battle for corporate control.

Please join Abe M. Friedman, one of the nation’s leading expert on modern corporate governance practice, and Professor Grundfest in a lively discussion about the modern governance environment and the role of proxy advisory firms.

Dinner will be provided.

Sponsored by ADSA and Rock Center for Corporate Governance.


Abe M. Friedman is the founder and managing partner of CamberView Partners. CamberView advises boards and management teams of public companies on how to succeed with their investors in the context of shareholder activism and engagement. Previously, Abe was a managing director at BlackRock where he served as the Global Head of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment. Abe lead a team of 18 professionals in 6 offices around the globe. Abe was also the Global Head of Corporate Governance at Barclays Global Investors (BGI).

Professor Joseph A. Grundfest, JD ’78, is a nationally prominent expert on capital markets, corporate governance, and securities litigation. His scholarship has been published in the Harvard, Yale, and Stanford law reviews, and he has been recognized as one of the most influential attorneys in the United States. Professor Grundfest founded the award-winning Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, which provides detailed, online information about the prosecution, defense, and settlement of federal class action securities fraud litigation. He launched Stanford Law School’s executive education programs and continues to co-direct Directors’ College, the nation’s leading venue for the continuing professional education of directors of publicly traded corporations. He is also a senior faculty member with the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance. Additionally, he is co-founder and director of Financial Engines and a director of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co.

Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1990, Professor Grundfest was a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, served on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors as counsel and senior economist for legal and regulatory matters, and was an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Early in his career he was a research associate at the Brookings Institution and an economist and consultant with the RAND Corporation.


Advanced Degree Student Association (ADSA)

Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

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