Few companies today are immune from shareholder activism, and the pace of new campaigns continues to accelerate. While front-page headlines highlight large company activist campaigns, smaller-cap companies are the primary target of activist investors. What trends are emerging in public activism? Besides board composition, what are the focus areas for campaigns? This program includes key learnings and case-study sharing from an experienced team of board directors with direct involvement in activist campaigns.
Don't miss this program for directors who want to be prepared for a high-probability encounter with activist shareholders.
Keith E. Gottfried focuses his practice on advising public companies in a broad array of industries on shareholder activism defense matters. As the head of the firm’s top-ranked shareholder activism defense practice, Keith advises public companies on preparing for and/or responding to activist shareholder campaigns, including high-profile proxy contests, special meeting demands, consent solicitations, and withhold vote campaigns, as well as unsolicited takeover offers and negotiated and contested M&A situations. Keith also advises public companies and their boards on strategies for making a company less vulnerable to activist shareholders, shareholder engagement, investor communications, corporate governance issues, board composition enhancement, and other board advisory matters.
Evelyn D'An is an experienced independent board director and chair of audit, compensation, and nominating/governance committees, as well as a CFO, former Big 4 audit partner, and Hispanic business leader. She spent 18 years with EY where she served clients in retail, consumer products, technology, financial services, media, and other sectors. She was also senior vice president of Finance and Accounting for Brightstar Corp., a Miami-based $5 billion global distributor and service provider for the wireless industry, and the CFO of Brightstar ERV (ERecycling Verizon).
John Quelch became dean of the University of Miami Business School on July 1, 2017. He is the Leonard M. Miller University Professor and also serves as the University’s vice provost for executive education. Quelch has a wealth of senior leadership experience, having previously served as the dean and senior associate dean at three internationally-recognized business schools.
Prior to joining Miami Business School, Quelch was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He also held a joint appointment as professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – the first to hold dual primary appointments in those two schools, and one of only a few faculty members across Harvard University with this distinction.
Prior to his most recent time at Harvard, Quelch was dean, vice president and distinguished professor of international management of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) from 2011 to 2013. Under his leadership, annual revenues increased by more than 25% to over $100 million; the school’s MBA global ranking in the Financial Times improved from 24 to 15 and its Executive MBA ranking from 18 to 7; and the school launched programs to integrate faculty and staff activities across four CEIBS operations in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Ghana.
Mr. Robinson is a highly regarded executive with over thirty years of senior global strategic, financial, M&A, operational and governance experience at both Fortune 100 consumer and fashion/retail corporations and diversified financial services (Kraft, The Jones Group and Citigroup) and high growth public companies in marketing services/media, technology and digital (Valassis/Advo, HotJobs/YAHOO! and MIVA) where he was CFO/CAO. In addition, he has served on over seven public boards, two that exited C-11, five that were involved with activists and has chaired five audit committees, two compensation committees, transaction committees, and special committees of the board. The boards include The Jones Group (Jones Apparel $5 billion Fortune 200), Edison Schools, Independent Wireless One ($450 million), HigherOne, EVINE ($700 million) and International Wire Group ($1.5 billion). He was also Chairman of two GE Capital company media/publishing digital boards.
He is currently on the board of Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), The Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences and the University of Wisconsin Economics Advisory Board. Previously, he was on the boards of The Smithsonian Libraries, The Council for Economic Education and The Metropolitan Opera Guild.
He earned a MBA in Finance from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from The University of Wisconsin.
A highly respected veteran retailer, J. David Scheiner is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Perry Ellis International, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Strategic Forum and a board member of the Florida Chapter of NACD. David is a board member and business consultant for SIB, a fixed cost reduction company and a member of the Board of Directors of Anatomie, a Luxury Woman’s apparel company. He is also an international business consultant to companies in the retail and wholesale fields, as well as investment banks and private equity groups investing in the consumer retail industry.
David served as the president and chief operating officer of Macy's Florida/Puerto Rico, a division of Macy's Inc., before retiring in 2009. With $2 billion in revenue and over 10,000 employees, Macy's Florida/Puerto Rico is a department store well known for its ability to understand its diverse market.