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Source: CNBC, February 5, 2014 interview

[interview of Glenn Booraem, Principal of the Vanguard Group]


Case against activist investors

Wed 05 Feb 14 | 12:43 PM ET



Case against activist investors

Wed 05 Feb 14 | 12:43 PM ET

The following transcript has not been checked for accuracy.

you know, we don't think either activists or companies have a monopoly on the best ideas. and what we want to understand as long-term investors in a case of our index funds, practically permanent investors, what's the best course of action to ensure long-term value creation for all shareholders. but can you make the argument that you guys at vanguard, you're buying, you kn apple, for example, because you have to. you're not doing the, let's say, the deep work that an activist may be doing. maybe they have an advantage and that maybe they know more, maybe they can cause significant change that would actually add shareholder value. well, and that may, in fact, be the case. but i don't think it's either one way or the other. and the fact that we're in the case of the index funds not buying particular stocks because we want to but because they're included in the index means we've got to engage to make sure that companies are taking those actions that are positive from a long-term standpoint because we don't have an exit strategy. my last question. does this suggest that the vanguards of the world, the black rocks of the world, are going to be more public and more vocal in the way that they view activism on a specific stock basis, because ordinarily you really don't hear that much from the big institutional holders. i don't think this translates into a higher public profile for our views on individual firms or individual activists. i think what it sets the stage for is a broader discussion and dialogue with companies. if we think about engagement only as activists insurance, if you will, we're really missing the bigger picture. the opportunity for investors and companies to engage on issues of long-term consequences really the benefit to investors here.


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