Investor Activism:
A Joint Meeting with CFA Society San Francisco

Date Wednesday, September 17, 2014      11:30 AM - 1:00 PM 
Location The City Club of San Francisco
155 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94104

To kick off the Investor Relations Series, the SF chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) partnered with the CFA Society of San Francisco on the topic of Investor Activism. The meeting was led by Jason Golz, Partner at the Brunswick Group, who provided a behind-the-scenes look at eBay’s defense against activist Carl Icahn.

Investor Activism – Fast Facts

  • 90 proxy fights and approximately 237 companies publically targeted by activists worldwide in 2013, double the amount in 2010
  • Number of targeted companies worth more than $10B has increased about three-fold over the last five years
  • In 2013, 60% of proxy contests were successful for the dissident, 10 out of 14 campaigns for higher takeover prices were successful, and 10 U.S. companies agreed to break up or exit business due to an activist, up from only 3 in 2009

About the eBay Icahn Defense
In January 2014, Carl Icahn notified eBay that he had purchased a stake in the company and would be nominating two employees to their Board as well as presenting a proposal to spinoff PayPal. EBay and its advisors developed a communications strategy, which included the proactive announcement of Icahn’s nominees and proposal during its 4Q13 earnings announcement. Over the next three months eBay defended itself against Icahn’s public letters with its “Better Together” campaign. EBay’s campaign included the use of social media, infographics, a microsite to promote the virtues of a combined eBay and Paypal, as well as traditional PR and IR communications strategy. On April 10th, 2014, eBay and Icahn agreed that Icahn would drop his spinoff proposal and nominations in exchange for the appointment of David Dorman to eBay’s Board. After the settlement, the SEC amended their rules regarding use of social media during the proxy fight based in part to eBay’s trailblazing efforts.

We look forward to having you join us for our next meeting in our Investor Relations series, which is designed to bring together both investors and IR practitioners by addressing topics of common interest.