Corporate Governance London

Feb. 26, 2020

About This Event

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In the U.K., the recent growth of shareholder activism has been driven by U.S. insurgent fund managers, but there is no shortage of homegrown activist funds. The traditional tactics of U.S.-based investors might not always be the right approach for the market, but activist managers have learned to adapt. Pension funds, family offices, private equity funds and large asset-managers are all becoming more influential in the boardrooms of public companies, and even large, well performing companies are not safe from a shareholder attack.

Senior management and boards need to be aware of and understand how to proactively position themselves and prepare for engaged shareholders. Is the company up to speed on the latest ESG initiatives? What happens if an activist tries to block a merger or acquisition from closing?

Join senior journalists from The Deal, the leading U.S. news source on activism, mergers, acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control, at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms for an exclusive conference which will examine the current state of shareholder activism, outline best practices and provide vital guidance around the new age of activism in Europe.

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LOCATION

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

61 – 65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA

Speakers

Anne-Sophie D'Andlau
Partner, Deputy CEO, CIAM
Anne-Sophie D'Andlau is a Co-Founder, Partner, and Deputy CEO of CIAM.
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Raman Bet-Mansour
Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
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Antonio Curie
Executive Director, Wimmer Family Office
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Gianluca Ferrari
Director, Shareholder Value Management AG
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Till Hufnagel
Partner, Petrus Advisers Ltd.
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Ele Klein
Partner, Co-Chair Global Shareholder Activism Group, Schulte Roth & Zabel
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Patrick McHugh
Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Okapi Partners
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Liad Meidar
Managing Partner, Gatemore Capital Management
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Dr. Giulia Nobili
Member of the Board of Directors, Sterling Strategic Value Fund
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Jeffrey Pierce
Managing Partner, Snow Park Capital Partners
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Cas Sydorowitz
Global Head of Activism, Georgeson
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Rishi Varma
SVP & General Counsel, Legal Department, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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Agenda

9:00 – 9:30
Registration and Breakfast
9:30 – 9:35
Opening Remarks
9:35 – 10:25
Activism: Behind-the-Scenes
So much activism occurs in private conversations behind-the-scenes, and never makes it into the public domain. This panel will look at private engagement between companies and activists in the U.K and Europe, and whether insurgents can effect change without public agitation.

Panelist: Till Hufnagel, Partner, Petrus Advisers Ltd.

Panelist: Dr. Giulia Nobili, Member of the Board of Directors, Sterling Strategic Value Fund

Panelist: Cas Sydorowitz, Global Head of Activism, Georgeson

Panelist: Stephen Zelkowicz, Analyst, Wynnefield Capital, Inc.
10:25 – 11:10
The New ESG Push
Investors are mobilizing across borders on large global issues such as burning rainforests in Brazil’s Amazon or efforts to have target companies sever ties with industry lobby groups. This panel will take a closer look at ESG-focused investing and whether investor groups in the UK and Europe are achieving their goals through mobilization.

Panelist: Antonio Curie, Executive Director, Wimmer Family Office

Panelist: Anne-Sophie D'Andlau, Partner, Deputy CEO, CIAM

Panelist: Rishi Varma, SVP & General Counsel, Legal Department, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Panelist: Amy Wilson, Associate Director, Engagement, Hermes Investment Management
11:10 – 11:30
Networking Break
11:30 – 12:00
Spotlight Session
12:00 – 12:30
Keynote Interview
12:30 – 13:30
Networking Luncheon
13:30 – 14:45
Activists Push to Drive and Block M&A
In 2019, U.S. activists continued to push for European deals and take-privates while other insurgents tried to scuttle mergers, and sometimes insurgents are opposing each other on mergers. Finally, bumpitrage continues to be big in Europe, with activists pushing for improved transaction terms. This panel will examine what to expect next.

Panelist: Gianluca Ferrari, Director, Shareholder Value Management AG

Panelist: Ele Klein, Partner, Co-Chair Global Shareholder Activism Group, Schulte Roth & Zabel

Panelist: Patrick McHugh, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Okapi Partners
14:45 – 15:30
What’s Next for Activists and Brexit
The House of Commons voted in favor of Boris Johnson’s amended Brexit bill, bringing the U.K. one step closer to leaving the EU. The UK, which is already Europe’s largest market for shareholder activism, is at risk of drawing even more attention from investors during all of the disruption caused by Brexit. Johnson’s Brexit deal contains significant requirements around labor law, regional work permits and the employment of foreign workers providing services into the EU, which could offer opportunity for Activists to target company boards for their lack of preparation and mitigation plans. This panel will examine how market uncertainty around Brexit could result in a major buying opportunity for U.S. activist funds in the U.K., with M&A driven insurgencies to follow.

Panelist: Liad Meidar, Managing Partner, Gatemore Capital Management

Panelist: Jeffrey Pierce, Managing Partner, Snow Park Capital Partners
15:30 – 15:45
Networking Break
15:45 – 16:30
Active is the New Activist – Why Active Managers Are Becoming Insurgents
U.K. active managers are issuing public press releases criticizing deal terms, raising issues with corporate operations and even launching cross-border proxy fights. In other situations, active managers are collaborating and forming groups through the U.K. Investor Forum to target specific companies on operational, listing and M&A-related issues. In other cases, publicly vocal active managers are able to convince traditional insurgent hedge funds, to join their efforts. As more capital shifts from active to passive funds, active managers are taking concerns with their investments public in an effort to differentiate themselves and show they are working for their investors.

Panelist: Raman Bet-Mansour, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
16:30 – 17:00
Closing Keynote Interview
17:00 - 17:05
Closing Remarks

Sponsors

Apply to Attend

Please complete the form to apply to attend. 

The Corporate Governance conference attracts senior executives, board members and investors from a variety of sectors. Attendees will walk away with smart strategies, actionable tactics and connections to the people shaping the future of shareholder engagement.

 

Sponsorship: Jenney Smith E: [email protected] P: 212-224-3026

Register/Press: Nicole Harris E: [email protected] P: 212-224-3040

Speakers: Eric Salvarezza E: [email protected] P: 631-664-1311

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