IPE Awards: Pension funds warming to activist shareholding strategies

first_imgMore than half of respondents to a poll of European pension funds believe activist shareholding strategies have a role within institutional investment.The question whether activism should become part of institutional investors’ strategies was posed to an audience of European pension funds during the last session of the 2014 IPE Conference & Awards in Vienna, by a panel moderated by Craig Stevenson, senior investment consultant at Towers Watson.Pension funds attending the conference also agreed on the style of activist shareholding they would pursue, with most investors saying they preferred a mix of a collaborative and an aggressive style.The majority of investors in the poll said they were ‘agnostic’ as to where their activist allocation should sit in their portfolio, as they believe it should not necessarily take one single, specific form – such as equity, hedge funds or private equity.  With regards to returns from activist shareholding strategies, most said they would expect them to add alpha to their portfolios to the tune of 3% or more.This finding seems to represent a realistic expectation if compared with scientific evidence.Julian Franks, professor at the London Business School and academic director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research of the European Corporate Governance Institute, cited data from his several studies showing that activist strategies that are successful in bringing about change do deliver additional alpha returns for investors.All panellists agreed that activism was compatible with the way institutional investors operated, but there was disagreement as to how institutional investors and other activist investors, such as activist hedge funds, should join forces to make an impact on company management strategy.Franks pointed out that, while there has been a cultural change, and management are far more comfortable with activist ownership, that should not mean activist fund managers should disregard companies that do not show an immediate willingness to engage in a discussion.He said: “You cannot walk away simply because the company’s management does not return your phone calls. That is not what I would call responsible ownership.”Jens Tischendorf, partner and director of Cevian Capital, an activist hedge fund, explained that his fund’s strategy consisted of joining the boards of companies and changing management from the inside.As a result, the fund spends a considerable amount of time studying individual investments before acting, and the fund’s portfolio is highly concentrated. Peter Borgdorff, director of Pensioenfonds Zorg & Welzijn (PFZW) and chairman of Eumedion, the Netherlands’ corporate governance forum, pointed out that a large pension fund such as PFZW, with equity stakes in hundreds of companies, cannot systematically follow a strategy consisting of putting representatives on the boards of companies.However, he said, PZWF did pursue an activist strategy, using its weight to influence companies – especially in order to rectify issues at companies, as observed by PZWF directly or raised by other shareholders and the public.The fund uses proxy voting, as well as more direct dialogue, to have an impact on companies, on a case-by-case basis.Borgdorff added: “For me, activism is more than just generating additional alpha. That should not be the goal in itself. Activism is about our responsibility to society. Through activism, you can create a better market. I can’t imagine investing without taking responsibility about the companies you invest in.”Tischendorf agreed that activism could help improve society as a whole: “If through being an activist investor you make companies more competitive, it is better for society.” Anne Simpson, director of corporate governance and senior portfolio manager at CalPERS, US public-employee pension fund, said the fund had gradually developed an activist approach that now focused on several areas, from governance to gender issues.Simpson, who manages a team of 20 people dedicated to monitoring corporate governance at the companies that the fund is a shareholder of, said: “CalPERS has moved to an integrated approach to active ownership, to make sure all our activist strategies are managed in an integrated way across the portfolio.”Simpson added that, while CalPERS has worked with external “governance managers” in the past, the fund has now also trimmed that programme.She said: “We are finding can be more effective working directly with companies. We’re being thoughtful about the role of this kind of manager.“First, intermediation can dilute the conversations with the companies. Also, we have a long-term investment horizon, as we are simply a permanent investor in companies.”Panellists, however, highlighted a set of challenges in activist ownership of shares.Tischendorf said it was key for activist investors to make sure their strategy represented the long-term interests of all shareholders, and pointed out that that had not always been the case.Franks also expressed concern about the costs of activist strategies.He said: “Activism is quite expensive, at 1.5% to 2% performance bonus per year. Such high costs may be justified by the expenses paid by managers, but the question is, how can we make activist ownership less expensive?”last_img read more

Navy faces BU in Patriot League quarters

first_img Associated Press For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Boston University’s Max Mahoney has averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds while Walter Whyte has put up 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds. For the Midshipmen, Cam Davis has averaged 16.4 points while Greg Summers has put up 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds.DOMINANT DAVIS: Davis has connected on 34.1 percent of the 185 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 6 for 18 over his last three games. He’s also converted 75.2 percent of his foul shots this season.WINLESS WHEN: Boston University is 0-9 this year when it scores 63 points or fewer and 18-4 when it scores at least 64.BEHIND THE ARC: Navy’s John Carter Jr. has attempted 200 3-pointers and connected on 28 percent of them, and is 4 for 22 over his last three games.DID YOU KNOW: Boston University has committed a turnover on just 16.8 percent of its possessions this season, which is the second-best percentage among all Patriot League teams. The Terriers have turned the ball over only 11.3 times per game this season.___ Navy faces BU in Patriot League quarterscenter_img March 4, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNo. 6 seed Navy (14-15, 8-10) vs. No. 3 seed Boston University (18-13, 12-6)Patriot League Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Case Gym, Boston; Thursday, 7 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Navy and Boston University are set to do battle in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 15, when the Terriers shot 56.4 percent from the field while holding Navy to just 37.7 percent en route to the 77-54 victory.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports The circuit has announced it will resume its season without fans present starting May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. The premier Cup Series will then race three more times in a 10-day span, beginning with one more at Darlington before two outside Charlotte, North Carolina.NASCAR’s revised schedule goes only through May and has a pair of Wednesday Cup races, fulfilling fans’ longtime plea for midweek events.The first race is scheduled for Darlington, NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway, followed by a second race at the 70-year-old, egg-shaped oval track three days later. Charlotte Motor Speedway will then host the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 to mark 60 consecutive years the longest race on the NASCAR schedule will be held on Memorial Day weekend. The track in Concord, outside NASCAR’s home base of Charlotte, will then host a Wednesday race three days later. There will also be lower-tier Xfinity and Trucks series races at the two tracks.The North Carolina governor has said the Charlotte races can be held as long as health conditions in the area do not deteriorate.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic: — This year’s Little League World Series and the championship tournaments in six other Little League divisions have been canceled. Little League President Stephen Keener said it would be “impossible” to hold the events amid ongoing restrictions on large gatherings and travel. The Little League World Series has been held every August since 1947 and has never been canceled. The annual major league game in Williamsport, which this year was to feature the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 23, has also been canceled.— The Dodgers will soon give fans an account credit for home games scheduled in March and April. The team hasn’t announced any plans for fans who have tickets to games later in the season. Dodger Stadium is set to host the All-Star Game in July. Officially, it has not been canceled, which the team noted in its information for fans.— Paris St. Germain has been officially crowned Ligue 1 champion of French soccer, two days after the government ruled that the league had to be canceled because of the pandemic. Handing PSG its seventh title in eight years was basically a formality, with the team 12 points ahead of second-place Marseille with 10 rounds of matches left to play. Other teams objected to the decision to finalize the league standings based on a points-per-game formula, with Lyon threatening to take legal action after missing a chance to qualify for the lucrative Champions League.— German chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) says a decision on whether the country’s soccer league can resume has been pushed back to next Wednesday. Soccer authorities had been hoping to receive the go-ahead to resume league games without fans as early as May 9. Merkel met with the country’s 16 state governors and warned there is still a danger that numbers of COVID-19 infections could rise if strict containment measures are relaxed too soon.— The New York Racing Association is seeking to resume live racing at Belmont Park without fans, and it wants to do the same thing this summer at Saratoga. NYRA says returning to racing would “provide a small sense of normalcy for fans across the country who can watch on television and online.” There has been no live racing in New York since March 15, although training has continued at Belmont Park. NYRA says thoroughbred racing provides $3 billion in annual economic impact and over 19,000 jobs in the state. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNASCAR to resume season May 17 without spectatorsUNDATED (AP) — NASCAR has set a date to green flag its Cup season. Associated Press They are the first financial institutions implicated in the FIFA scandal to reach a resolution with U.S. prosecutors. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, the institutions will forfeit $20.73 million and pay a fine of $9.33 as part of a non-prosecution agreement.The scheme took place through the banks’ Miami branch from 2010-15, with many of the payments tied to marketing rights for the Copa America.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 — British boxing’s governing body says it hopes fights can be staged from July. The British Boxing Board of Control says events would likely be held without fans initially and with an emphasis on “minimal numbers” of officials and broadcast personnel. Anyone at the events will have to have been in pre-fight quarantine and had tests for COVID-19. There will initially be a maximum of five contests in a show.NFL-NEWSChiefs pick up Mahomes option, work on long-term dealUNDATED (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have exercised their fifth-year option on Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’), ensuring their star quarterback will be under contract for at least two more seasons.But general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid are hoping to reach a long-term deal with the reigning Super Bowl MVP by the start of training camp. The contract could last four or five years and make Mahomes the first player in NFL history to make at least $40 million per season. The memo to outline the changes was another step in the tour trying to figure out what’s equitable in a season that will be without 13 previously scheduled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The decision will prevent anyone competing in the Korn Ferry Tour to graduate to the PGA Tour.NCAA-TRANSFER WAIVERNCAA board recommends delaying change to transfer waiverUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA Board of Governors has recommended delaying a change to the transfer waiver process that would permit all athletes to switch schools once without sitting out a season.center_img UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA is facing a federal lawsuit accusing the organization of failing to address gender-based violence by male athletes against female students at colleges and universities.The suit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Michigan. Plaintiffs in the suit include women who have been athletes at Michigan State, Nebraska and an unidentified America East school. Other plaintiffs have been students at Michigan State or Nebraska.SOCCER-FIFA SCANDALTwo financial institutions settle in FIFA scandalNEW YORK (AP) — An Israeli bank and its Swiss subsidiary have agreed to pay over $30 million for their role in conspiring to launder more than $20 million in kickbacks to soccer officials. The NCAA announced the board’s recommendation Thursday after several days of meetings but added the Division I council could still a vote on making the waiver change in May and having it take effect immediately.Currently, NCAA rules require football, baseball, men’s hockey and men’s and women’s basketball players to sit out a season after transferring. Athletes in all other sports are allowed by rule a one-time exception so they can play right away after switching schools.A change to the waiver was recommended by a working group in February that would mirror the one-time exception and go into effect this year. That was before college sports were shut down and thrown into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic.NCAA-LAWSUITNCAA sued for gender-based violence Mahomes has completed almost 66% of his passes for 9,412 yards, 76 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions since being taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft.If the Chiefs are unable to sign Mahomes to a long-term deal, he would be due a base salary of $25 million for the 2021 season.In other NFL news:— The Bengals have released quarterback Andy Dalton, clearing the way for reigning Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow to lead a team that remade itself in the draft. Dalton set several Bengals passing records in his nine seasons and led the team to a club-record five straight playoff berths without winning a postseason game. Coach Zac Taylor benched Dalton for three games last season, an indication his time in Cincinnati was finished. Burrow was taken first overall in the draft last week.— The Giants have picked up the fifth-year options for tight end Evan Engram and safety Jabrill Peppers, thus extending their rookie contracts through the 2021 season. Engram has made 25 starts and 34 appearances overall in three seasons, catching 153 passes for 1,766 yards and 12 touchdowns. Peppers was acquired in March of last year in the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. The hiring comes less than a week after the school fired Danny Manning.Forbes is coming off a five-year run at ETSU that ended with a 30-win season and the Southern Conference Tournament championship before the NCAA Tournament was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic. He went 130-43 in his time with the Buccaneers, winning at least 24 games each year while also winning the league tournament in 2017 to reach the NCAA Tournament.PGA-EXEMPTIONSPGA players to retain exemptionsUNDATED (AP) — The PGA Tour has issued a memo to its members saying players exempt for this season will keep the same status for the 2020-21 season that is scheduled to start in September. However, players can earn a higher ranking after this shortened season. — Seahawks general manager John Schneider said starting linebacker K.J. Wright underwent offseason shoulder surgery and is unsure of the timeline of when he’ll be healthy. Wright finished the 2019 regular season with a career-high 132 total tackles and didn’t miss a game.— NFL Players Association President JC Tretter is calling for a re-examination of a portion of the labor agreement with the league affecting disability coverage for former players. Tretter, a center with the Cleveland Browns, succeeded Eric Winston as union president earlier this year. Tretter wants the NFLPA’s executive board and the leadership of former players to come together to discuss some offsets in the collective bargaining agreement narrowly approved by the players in March. The language the overall union membership voted on is not the same as what wound up in the deal that runs through the 2030 season.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-WAKE FOREST-FORBESWake Forest turns to ETSU’s Forbes as men’s basketball coachWINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest has hired East Tennessee State’s Steve Forbes as its men’s basketball coach. April 30, 2020last_img read more

French Open: Bad light stops Andy Murray in clawback against Radek Stepanek

first_imgDusk put an end to play at the French Open, with the umpire pulling Andy Murray off the Court Philippe Chatrier after the Briton clawed back from losing the first two sets. He won the third set against Radek Stepanek and led 4-2 in the fourth set.”It is getting dark,” the second-seeded Murray conceded just before what turned out to be his last game of the day.Murray was furious with himself after losing the first two sets 6-3, 6-3 against the tournament’s oldest player. With cries of “Let’s go!” he reversed the momentum by taking the third set 6-0, losing only two points on serve.With the first-round match starting to go back his way, Murray wanted to play as long as possible. He was unhappy with what he considered to be time-wasting tactics by his 37-year-old opponent from the Czech Republic.”How many things can he do to slow the play down?” Murray asked the umpire as Stepanek took a bathroom break after losing the third set.last_img read more