Topic Results: Activism

July 2, 2020

Some Thoughts for Boards of Directors in 2020: A Mid-Year Update

The past six months have been marked by a profound upheaval that has accelerated the growing focus on both the purpose of the corporation and the role of the board in overseeing and leading the corporation in ways that promote sustainable business success. For a number of years, there has been a growing sense of […]

January 29, 2020

Regulations to rein in short-sellers must not overlook the good they do

A thick hide is a necessary qualification for the job of activist short-seller. When Spruce Point Capital Management released a negative report on Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. in late 2019, it prompted Yvan Allaire, the executive chair of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations, to fire back in the Financial Post: “What […]

January 10, 2020

The Angels of Market Efficiency

Mr. Ben Axler, Chief Investment Officer and founder of Spruce Point Capital responds (Financial Post, December 17th, 2019) to my article on short sellers of his kind (Financial Post, December 13th, 2019). He trots out the worn-out argument that short sellers only reveal the sordid truths hidden in the bosom of corporations. In short, “professional” […]

December 13, 2019

Limiting the damage of short-sellers

When any individual investor or fund comes to the conclusion after careful analysis that a company is over-valued, it may very well sell short the shares of that company. Fair enough. If the analysis proves right, facts on the ground will confirm it eventually and the stock price will drop. But that’s not the game plan […]

November 6, 2019

Mergers and acquisitions: Feds, activists disrupt US economic growth

By all indications mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is on the rise. In the first five months of 2019, companies announced over $1 trillion in mergers and acquisitions, a 14% increase from the same period in 2018. This is generally good for the economy, the consumer and the shareholders alike. In fact, all Americans benefit […]

July 31, 2019

Finding Friends is Hard: Long-Term Investors’ Relationship with Proxy Advisors, Activists and Private Equity Funds

Institutional investors are howling for US public companies to focus more on the long-term.[1]  This is unsurprising. Long-term focused companies produce significantly better results over time, reporting far greater revenue growth with less volatility, far higher levels of economic profit, and greater total return to shareholders.[2] So if you are holding stock for a long time, a […]

May 14, 2019

Short-term thinking forcing companies to delay IPOs, opt for dual-class shares: Governance expert

Yvan Allaire, executive chair at the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations, joins BNN Bloomberg to discuss “quarterly capitalism” in light of WestJet CEO Ed Sims’ warning on the destruction it brings to long-term company plans. To watch this interview, please click here.  

February 4, 2019

IGOPP defends dual-class share structures

Dual-class share structures have drawn the ire of some investors, citing concerns with shareholder rights. For more on this and why he thinks there’s a place for dual-class shares, BNN Bloomberg spoke with Yvan Allaire, executive chair at the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations. To view the interview, please click here

December 19, 2018

The Case for Dual-Class of Shares

There are now 69 dual-class companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from 100 in 2005. Only 23 Canadian companies went public since 2005 with a dual-class of shares while 16 of the 100 have since converted to a single-class and another 38 have disappeared since 2006 for other reasons (acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies and […]

August 20, 2018

Activist Hedge Funds Aren’t Good for Companies or Investors, So Why Do They Exist?

Activist hedge funds have become capital market and financial media darlings. The Economist famously called them “capitalism’s unlikely heroes” in a cover story, and the FT published an article saying we “should welcome” them. But they are utterly reviled by CEOs. And at best, their performance is ambiguous. The most comprehensive study of activist hedge fund performance that I have read […]

April 5, 2018

It’s hunting season, as activists and regulators open fire on Canada’s businesses

The corporate hunting season is officially underway, an annual ritual during which shareholder parties, armed with proxies and other weapons of democratic destruction, set out to bag executives and directors for failing to deliver. The list of potential corporate failings is all encompassing. Anything and everything is a target, from executive compensation to diversity policies […]

November 17, 2017

Pershing Square, Ackman and CP Rail: A Case of Successful ”Activism” ?

Pershing Square, an activist hedge fund owned and managed by William Ackman, began hostile maneuvers against the board of CP Rail in September 2011 and ended its association with CP in August 2016, having netted a profit of $2.6 billion for his fund. This Canadian saga, in many ways, an archetype of what hedge fund […]

June 12, 2017

On becoming an «activist board»… In the age of activist shareholders

After some 15 years of tweaking and polishing the theory and practice of “good” governance, perfectly independent board members remain surprise-prone, estranged from the goings-on in the company, partially informed and lacking the wherewithal to challenge management. No doubt that the legitimacy and credibility of boards have suffered as a result. In the current age, […]

January 11, 2017

Corporate Governance: The New Paradigm

[ … ] a growing body of academic research has confirmed that short-term financial activists are a major contributor to systemic short-termism in managing businesses and investments. The notion that activist attacks increase, rather than undermine, long-term value creation has been resoundingly discredited. Economists Yvan Allaire and François Dauphin, for example, demonstrated in a series […]

December 23, 2016

Pershing Square, Ackman and CP Rail: A Case of Successful «Activism»?

Pershing Square, an activist hedge fund owned and managed by William Ackman, began hostile maneuvers against the board of CP Rail in September 2011 and ended its association with CP in August 2016, having netted a profit of $2.6 billion for his fund. This Canadian saga, in many ways, an archetype of what hedge fund […]

December 23, 2016

A «Successful» Case of Activism at the Canadian Pacific Railway: Lessons in Corporate Governance

Pershing Square Capital Management, an activist hedge fund owned and managed by William Ackman, began hostile maneuvers against the board of CP Rail in September 2011 and ended its association with CP in August 2016, having netted a profit of $2.6 billion for his fund. This Canadian saga, in many ways, an archetype of what […]