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Apr 14, 2015

Banks see talent flee amid healthcare M&A boom

NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) – Several high-ranking bankers
have left their jobs at major investment banks in the last 13
months amid a surge in U.S. healthcare deal activity to seek
better compensation at boutique investment banks as well as to
participate in the growth of the industry at biotech companies
themselves.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America have both lost
senior healthcare investment bankers to boutique investment bank
Guggenheim Partners, showing that banks face challenges in being
able to pay competitive rates. The biggest U.S. banks are under
pressure from regulators to preserve more capital, rather than
use M&A fees to pay higher bonuses.

Apr 13, 2015

Trian complains about executive pay at DuPont

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Trian Fund Management, fighting for seats on the board at chemicals and agricultural conglomerate giant DuPont, said top company executives were still well paid last year even though the board acknowledged that the operating performance was poor.

The hedge fund said in a presentation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that the board’s compensation committee exercised “negative discretion” and gave management a 0 percent payout for “corporate performance” under the company’s short-term incentive program.

Apr 13, 2015

Protesters disrupt hedge fund conference in midtown Manhattan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Roughly 400 hedge fund managers, investors, lawyers and journalists got something that was not on the lunchtime menu at an industry conference on Monday when roughly two dozen protesters interrupted the meal, shouting out prominent names of attendees and demanding better wages at fast-food restaurants.

Shouting “Burger King, Mickey Ds” and holding signs saying “Dignity at Darden, No poverty wages,” the protesters trooped through the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Manhattan, interrupting the 13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Apr 10, 2015

Symantec has been exploring Veritas sale for months: sources

By Greg Roumeliotis and Nadia Damouni

(Reuters) – Security software maker Symantec Corp has been seeking buyers for its storage software business, Veritas, or the entire company for several months, sources familiar with the matter said.

Symantec has approached NetApp Inc, EMC Corp and several private equity firms to gauge their interest, the people said, asking asked not to be identified as the deliberations are confidential.

Apr 2, 2015

Exclusive: IBM hired advisers to deal with restless investors – sources

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – Some top shareholders of IBM, disappointed by 11 straight quarters of falling revenues, are seeking help from activist investors to shake up the company, but have been turned down by both Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square and Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

International Business Machines Corp is concerned about a possible attack by prominent activist hedge funds, and is working with two investment banks to formulate a defense plan, according to the people, who declined to be identified.

Apr 2, 2015

IBM hired advisers to deal with restless investors-sources

NEW YORK/BOSTON, April 2 (Reuters) – Some top shareholders
of IBM, disappointed by 11 straight quarters of falling
revenues, are seeking help from activist investors to shake up
the company, but have been turned down by both Bill Ackman’s
Pershing Square and Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct, according to
people with knowledge of the matter.

International Business Machines Corp is concerned
about a possible attack by prominent activist hedge funds, and
is working with two investment banks to formulate a defense
plan, according to the people, who declined to be identified.

Mar 30, 2015

Exclusive: Fidelity moves to end DuPont proxy battle – sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fidelity Investments, a major investor in DuPont (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), has put pressure on activist fund Trian Fund Management LP and the chemical conglomerate to reach a settlement in what it sees as a detrimental proxy fight, according to people close to the matter.

Fidelity, whose 2.5 percent stake makes it DuPont’s sixth largest shareholder, has not publicly revealed what sort of compromise it was seeking. Yet its unusual intervention as peacemaker could influence other mutual fund investors in DuPont and pre-empt what could be this year’s biggest battle over board representation.

Mar 30, 2015

Fidelity moves to end DuPont proxy battle-sources

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) – Fidelity Investments, a major
investor in DuPont, has put pressure on activist fund
Trian Fund Management LP and the chemical conglomerate to reach
a settlement in what it sees as a detrimental proxy fight,
according to people close to the matter.

Fidelity, whose 2.5 percent stake makes it DuPont’s sixth
largest shareholder, has not publicly revealed what sort of
compromise it was seeking. Yet its unusual intervention as
peacemaker could influence other mutual fund investors in DuPont
and pre-empt what could be this year’s biggest battle over board
representation.

Mar 20, 2015

Many US boards lack vision, just tick boxes in search for women directors

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) – Linda Hudson, former CEO of
the U.S. arm of British defense company BAE Systems Plc, is
among the women that boards call on when they are looking for a
female director. In the past two years, she has been approached
about 18 times, but the retired executive turns down most of the
approaches, she said.

The demand for the 64-year-old Hudson underscores an issue
women directors are noticing: companies may be talking about how
they want to have more diverse boards but a lot aren’t putting
in the effort needed to make it happen. This is reflected in the
many requests women already on boards get to join more, while
those who are qualified but haven’t yet tasted life as a
director get none.

Mar 12, 2015

Exclusive: TIAA-CREF joins ‘proxy access’ push with letter to top holdings

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – TIAA-CREF, one of the largest U.S. assets managers, is asking the top 100 companies in which it invests to make it easier for shareholders to nominate board candidates, according to sources close to the matter.

TIAA-CREF joins Vanguard Group and BlackRock Inc in backing a reform that is gaining traction ahead of the spring proxy season as investors seek greater influence. At issue is shareholders’ ability to get their candidates listed on company ballots, alongside management’s candidates.