Back to News
Podcasts

Activist Investing Today: Snow Park’s Pierce Talks Activism in Australia

|
Published: June 22nd, 2020
Jeffrey Pierce, managing partner at activist fund Snow Park Capital, discussed his experiences investing in Australian companies, Elliott’s recent bout with BHP and more in the latest edition of the Activist Investing Today podcast.

Shareholders of Australian companies don’t always welcome the views of activist investors, and often view dissident proposals as hostile, non-constructive events, said Jeffrey Pierce, managing partner at Snow Park Capital Partners.

That’s different than in the U.S., at least, where these proposals are seen generally as neutral, the activist fund’s founder said in an interview featured on The Deal’s Activist Investing Today podcast. Pierce reflected on a director contest he launched in 2011 at an Australian REIT with U.S. assets, during the interview. New York-based Snow Park ultimately lost the campaign but received the backing of roughly 30% of shares.

“Activism [in Australia] isn’t looked at as a neutral event to be evaluated and in some situations, it is viewed as a hostile event, disrupting a small market,” Pierce said. “There was a bit of a cultural barrier we had to face, as well.”

Pierce also discussed his experience of initially receiving a lot of support for pushing the REIT to divest its U.S. assets, followed by some significant push back.

“Most institutional investors [in Australia] have connections with people who may have had vested interest in this company and the external adviser of this company,” he said. “As we started to push our case, we found that people were reticent to take a public stance or a vocal stand that was in opposition to management.”

On the podcast, Pierce also discussed Elliott Management’s campaign at BHP Ltd., and how Australia’s federal corporate governance system can be much more shareholder-friendly, when it comes to nominating director candidates, than its diffused counterpart in the U.S. Pierce noted that a large segment of U.S. REITs are incorporated in Maryland, which can be particularly pro-management.

Here’s the podcast:

More podcasts from The Deal are available on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud and on TheDeal.com.

More From Podcasts

Mergers & Acquisitions

Drinks With The Deal: Debevoise's Paul Bird

By David Marcus
|
Published: November 19th, 2020
Debevoise's Paul Bird discusses his work for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Aveva's purchase of OSIsoft on the latest episode of the Drinks With The Deal podcast.
Podcasts

Behind the Buyouts: Checkpoint's Weber Talks Fintech, M&A

By Steve Gelsi
|
Published: November 18th, 2020
Billy Weber, a former banker and current CEO of fintech company Checkpoint Capital, provides perspective on monetary policy, the community banking space and increased transparency in the bond market looking ahead to 2021 in the latest episode of the Behind the Buyouts.
Mergers & Acquisitions

Drinks With The Deal: Latham's Luke Bergstrom

By David Marcus
|
Published: November 6th, 2020
The San Francisco-based partner discusses managing the firm's global M&A and technology groups and how he uses his love of cocktails as a way to build client relationships.