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Companies Win More Proxy Contests in 2017

July 24, 2017, Agenda

Keir Gumbs is quoted in an Agenda article regarding the increased number of proxy fights won by companies this year when compared to those won by activists. “Boards are much more aware of understanding the way to deal with activists, and I think that’s a huge factor [in settlements],” Gumbs says. “Companies can get activists to settle when persuading that the case isn’t that strong or the support is not as broad or deep as the investor thought it was.”

Gumbs adds that at client companies where activists have taken a stake, “very few” proxy disputes have ultimately resulted in contests. “Much of that is attributable to the fact that the company puts in place reasonable defenses, but, more importantly, they are aware those investors have taken a position and engaged with them to identify what the issues were, and ultimately have been able to persuade investors that the company is on a good path forward from a strategic value perspective,” he says.

 

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