Activists go to Washington

One can only wait to see what the 'luminaries' of the Activist investment scene want to achieve by setting up a lobbying group.
Have they not already influence way beyond their actual investment stake in the companies they try to influence - for better or worse, depending on your point of view.
The purpose of their grouping can only be to have a freer hand when getting involved in 'activist' investments, stifling criticism from the media, politics and - most importantly - other shareholders (we may call them the silent majority).
Their aims may often make sense, managements may need a nudge in the right direction. But basically that would just mean to give advice, and free advice. Management should then react in a fashion that it considers appropriate. If the outcome is contrary to the interests of ALL shareholders there is the Shareholders meeting that can decide to change management if that is considered appropriate.
But efforts to get paid off (blackmail in effect) or being able to place a disproportionate number of directors on the board are nefarious practises that have been going on for much too long. If the efforts of the Lobby group are directed towards extending these and similar practises the real aims would be exposed as just another scheme to make a buck at the expense of shareholders and the welfare of companies and their stakeholders.
(19 May 2016)


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