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

Podcasts

Drinks With The Deal: Author Marc Levinson

By David Marcus
|
Published: September 17th, 2020
Marc Levinson discusses his new book, "Outside the Box," a study of the history and current state of the globalization of the economy, in the latest edition of the Drinks With The Deal podcast.
Mergers & Acquisitions

T-Mobile/Sprint: Building the Strategy for an 'Unwinnable Case'

By Tom Terrarosa
|
Published: September 11th, 2020
In part one of The Deal’s podcast series in partnership with Cleary Gottlieb, T-Mobile and its advisers discuss the strategy to navigate the company's blockbuster deal with Sprint.
Activism

Activist Investing Today: Columbia’s Ogawa on Abe, Toshiba

By Ronald Orol
|
Published: September 9th, 2020
The director of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School says it will take some time to determine the legacy of outgoing Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on governance and corporate stewardship.