The overwhelming view from Silicon Valley is that D.C. and Delaware just don’t understand how they do business. Whether examining the rules and regulations that govern how corporations operate or reviewing M&A transactions and investments to further American industrial development, there is a clear disconnect between agendas on both sides.
Activist hedge funds with strong track records have upped the ante and taken on much more than minority shares of companies they are seeking to change. How can boards, investors and management teams stay on the same page? How can boards balance short-term and long-term goals, enact pro-ESG practices and maintain transparency through the M&A processes?
Senior journalists from The Deal, the leading U.S. news source on activism, M&A and changes in corporate control, will be joined by the most respected investors and corporate executives to examine the types of governance initiatives, assessments, engagement programs and communication strategies companies should institute in preparation for these market trends and if an activist comes calling.
The lines between private equity and activist hedge funds continue to blur. Activist hedge funds have taken on much more than minority shares of companies they are seeking to change, and some have even set up separate private equity arms. Often, no matter the agitator or would-be acquirer, the two groups of private capital are going after the same so-called undervalued companies. How has the trend affected competition in the public markets for targets?
Acquisitions from Big Tech are often viewed with skepticism by regulators grappling with a rapidly evolving technology industry where the pace of innovation and the laws that govern new technology don’t always occur at the same pace. How are tech companies dealing with the increased regulatory scrutiny on M&A transactions? How has Cfius and antitrust regulation affected Silicon Valley? What lies ahead on the political horizon in 2020 that may alter the way tech companies do business?
Managing innovation and profits is a difficult task. Activists and other investors are often criticized for their short-termism, while management teams are publicly lambasted over entrenchment and sluggish pace of change. In many cases, the best path forward is a track that balances both short-term and long-term profits. How do management teams encourage shareholders to buy into the long-term plan and see past the short-term view?
Founder-led upstarts with lofty valuations are shaking up conventions of governance with supercharged voting shares and other provisions that give insiders control of corporate boards. At the same time, some at the SEC and within other groups are looking more closely at these types of offerings. How do boards deal with high-profile founders and executives, and how does a company plan ahead for the future while keeping the founders’, customers’ and shareholders’ interests in mind?
Innovation and pro-ESG practices don’t always go hand in hand, at least according to some. And while eco-friendly, socially conscious investments have been hailed recently, many question whether such investments are really a worthwhile proposition. This panel seeks to explore the balance of sustainable investments versus profitability and shareholder returns. How much do activist investors, who often complain about companies’ ESG practices, really care about these initiatives, or are they just a lever to enact greater short-term change?
With activists getting involved in M&A deals as acquirers and not just agitators, communication is key. As if public M&A deals weren’t hard enough, the added pressure of shareholder activists can put even more pressure on boards to communicate clearly and openly with investors. How do boards properly communicate with shareholders throughout the M&A process, and how do they ensure they do not leave their companies open to attacks from insurgent investors during this sensitive time?
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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
Celebrating the leaders of The Deal Economy: The Deal will recognize the leading lawyers, bankers, investors and advisers in middle-market transactions at Bryant Park Grill. Join us as we celebrate the people and firms who are setting the trends.
The Corporate Governance Conference explores the evolving relationship between companies, activists, institutional investors and shareholders and what’s really going on in the boardroom while managing companies to maximize shareholder value.