Topic Results: Harvard Law School Forum

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

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 […]

December 8, 2015

Is 2015, Like 1985, an Inflection Year?

In an October 2015 post, I posed the question: Will a New Paradigm for Corporate Governance Bring Peace to the Thirty Years’ War? As we approach the end of 2015, I thought it would be useful to note some of the most cogent recent developments on which the need, and hope, for a new paradigm […]

October 5, 2015

Will a New Paradigm for Corporate Governance Bring Peace?

The decades-long conflict that is currently raging over short-termism and activist hedge funds strikes me as analogous to the Thirty Years’ War of the 17th Century, albeit fought with statistics (“empirical evidence”), op-eds and journal articles rather than cannon, pike and sword. I decided, after some thirty-six years in the front line of the army […]

May 7, 2015

Why Run Away from the Evidence?

“Martin Lipton is a founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and this post is based on a Wachtell Lipton memorandum. The post puts forward criticism of an empirical study by Lucian Bebchuk, Alon Brav, and Wei Jiang on the long-term effects of hedge fund activism; this study is available here, and its results […]

April 11, 2015

Further Recognition of the Adverse Effects of Activist Hedge Funds

“Despite the continued support of attacks by activist hedge funds by the Chair of the SEC, and many “Chicago school” academics who continue to rely on discredited statistics, there is growing recognition by institutional investors and prominent “new school” economists of the threat to corporations and their shareholders and to the economy of these attacks […]

February 6, 2015

Engagement and Activism in the 2015 Proxy Season

“Yet companies, boards, and other investors should keep in mind that shareholder activism is often merely a tactic in a self-interested investment strategy. Shareholder activists such as hedge funds typically are pursuing short-term financial gain at the expense of long-term shareholders and stakeholders. These funds welcome the support of academics and theorists who argue that […]

January 30, 2015

The State of Corporate Governance for 2015

Financial Activism ” Over the past three years, the number and intensity of financial activism initiatives has increased. The ongoing debate on the wealth effects of hedge fund activism is worth following and is well-covered on Harvard’s corporate governance blog (blogs.law.harvard.edu/corpgov). Although financial activism may return immediate wealth to some shareholders through the sale of […]

January 14, 2015

The Threat to Shareholders and the Economy from Activist Hedge Funds

“ A paper by Dr. Yvan Allaire entitled “The Value of ‘Just Say No,’” and also memos by our firm (here and here, the latter memo discussed on the Forum here), demonstrated that an ISS client note entitled “The IRR of No,” which argued that companies that had “just said no” to hostile takeover bids […]

December 9, 2014

“Just Say No”

On October 22, 2014, Institutional Shareholder Services issued a note to clients entitled “The IRR of ‘No’.” The note argues that shareholders of companies that have successfully “just said no” to hostile takeover bids have incurred “profoundly negative” returns. In a note we issued the same day, we called attention to critical methodological and analytical […]