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Merrill Insight™ Video | Shareholder Activism

Date: Sep 25, 2018
Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Venue: Webinar

Activist attacks accelerate in 2018 – are corporates prepared for the onslaught?

Shareholder activism has not only increased in volume and size between 2017 and 2018, the complexity of issues and speed by which activists gain support has overwhelmed many corporate executives, IR and legal teams. Activist objectives in new areas are being pursued more aggressively alongside the traditional governance areas. Activists are turning higher powered spotlights on M&A decisions and adding activist campaign defense to the already-challenging processes of due diligence and integration.


Activists leveraging fintech to drive faster campaign initiation, and using social media and digital marketing techniques to rally allied voting blocks to their cause, is further challenging corporates. It’s no wonder many CEO's and their teams are overwhelmed and outmaneuvered by today’s activists.


There are bright spots and we’ll discuss examples of what makes up today’s successful corporate responses. Our panelists will share their experiences and discuss the keys to building stronger, more effective, Activist Shareholder Management Programs.


Key issues addressed:

  • Who are the new activists, what new changes are they advocating and which corporate segments will experience the greatest volume of activist attacks?
  • How will corporates respond when activists rally other voting blocks around their causes using social media to accelerate dissent?
  • How will CEO’s think like an activist, and turn a critical eye toward key strategic, financial and operational areas to prepare their best defense?
  • Why do CEO’s that foster proactive communications and transparency with activists see fewer attacks long-term?
  • What role will analytics, data sharing tools, and social media play in an effective activist shareholder management strategy?

Panelist Bios

Dennis K. Berman is a Lazard Managing Director, specializing in the firm’s Shareholder Advisory practice and in media-industry advisory assignments. Mr. Berman came to Lazard after 17 years at the Wall Street Journal, where most recently he served as its Financial Editor, after serving as the Journal’s Business Editor from 2011 to 2015, as well as the Journal’s mergers and acquisitions correspondent and Global Deals Editor for six years.

David L. Dragics is CACI Senior Vice President of Investor Relations who since 1998 manages the company's overall investor relations program, and has implemented the concept of a Corporate Governance Team, using the resources of investor relations, legal, and risk management to interface with the compliance members of the financial community who are CACI shareholders. Mr. Dragics also has 10 years of strategic planning and merger and acquisition experience is also a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and is highly active within the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI).

Shaun J. Mathew is a corporate partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice focuses on counseling public companies and their boards of directors on shareholder activism and hostile takeover response and preparedness, investor engagement, and complex corporate governance matters.

Jeff Golterman is a Merrill Senior Director, specializing in product marketing, M&A. Prior to joining Merrill, Mr. Golterman was with Gartner Inc., the worlds leading IT Research and Advisory firm where he led product management, product marketing for a portfolio of offerings within the high technology and financial services industries. Mr. Golterman was part of the founding corporate development team at Gartner and led due diligence as well as integration initiatives for several Gartner acquisitions.

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