Forum Home Page [see Broadridge note below]

 The Shareholder ForumTM`

Fair Investor Access

This public program was initiated in collaboration with The Conference Board Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies. The Forum is providing continuing reports of the issues that concern this program's participants, as summarized  in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

"Fair Access" Home Page

"Fair Access" Program Reference


Related Projects 2012-2019

For graphed analyses of company and related industry returns, see

Returns on Corporate Capital

See also analyses of

Shareholder Support Rankings


Forum distribution:

Activist professionals adapt old stockbroker's "buying opportunity" pitch to promote their uncorrelated assets


Source: TheStreet, February 6, 2018 article

Carl Icahn and Other Activists Eye New Possibilities Following Market Plunge

Icahn raises concerns about the broader market. However, he and activist investment experts argue that there are investment opportunities ahead.

By Ronald Orol 

Feb 6, 2018 5:43 PM EST

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the stock market overall bounced back on Tuesday from a massive market plunge the day before.

However, major market volatility following a massive jaw-dropping 1,175 point plunge on Monday hasn't dampened expectations for activist investors and their continued efforts to push for share-price improvement at U.S. corporate targets.

Consider, Carl Icahn, who plans to reveal a new investment and possibly a new campaign in the coming days. The corporate raider turned activist investor said on CNBC that there are severe problems with Exchange-Traded Funds and index fund investments, all of which could eventually lead to an earthquake in the markets if regulators don't step in soon.

However, for now, he added, that the fundamentals of U.S. companies are sound, especially following sweeping corporate tax break legislation approved in December. Icahn said he continues to find great values in the market today, and he may reveal a new investment and possibly a campaign shortly.

"There are stocks that are cheap, and you can buy them. They're badly managed, or they have some hidden jewels," Icahn said. "You can burnish that jewel. There are great values around in the market today. I look for things that are simplistic and obvious. You're going after companies; you are going to see me in another one in a couple of days."

The possibility that Icahn will launch a new campaign in the coming days may not be surprising to Jim Rossman, managing director and head of shareholder advisory services at Lazard. Rossman argues that the market downturn, in his view, has provided new openings for activists.

"It widens and makes more attractive, discounts to intrinsic value at targeted companies, and it creates new targets at companies who make missteps in reaction to the new volatility," Rossman said.

Rossman added that he continues to expect to see activists set new records for activism in 2018 when it comes to the number of dollars allocated to campaigns. In an exclusive to The Deal, Rossman said that his team has calculated that activists deployed $6 billion in new activist campaigns in January, significantly ahead of last year's pace, which was a record year.

"We are expecting 2018 to set new records in activism, driven by the opportunity to catalyze M&A and now this downturn in valuations," Rossman said.

Also, Charles Elson, director of the Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, noted that it now will be that much cheaper for an activist to allocate capital at a company if they have already identified an issue that they believe can be rectified.

"If there is an issue it will be cheaper for them to get involved," Elson said. "It certainly produces a situation where stocks are cheaper, and it is easier for an activist to get involved. If you have the guts, this is a good time."

However, Elson, who has previously served on activist fund director nomination slates, suggested that he didn't believe that the market downturn would act as a further driver of activist Nelson Peltz and his efforts to shake up Procter & Gamble (PG). The iconic packaged goods company settled with Peltz in December, granting him a seat on the company's board. Peltz has been pushing for a revamped look at P&G's R&D, and he wants to see the company reduce the number of its global business units from four to three. P&G's shares closed on Thursday at $85.85 a share, dropping over the next few trading days to trade recently at $80.93 a share.

Even so, Elson argued that P&G's problems must be compared to its rivals, adding that if the packaged goods company's competitors lost market capitalization value during the past few days, then the downturn shouldn't put a special new focus on P&G. Indeed, some major competitors to P&G had a rocky few recent days, including Unilever NV (UN) , Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL), and Avon Products Inc. (AVP).

"The fundamental issues at P&G are still there," Elson said. "But everything is relative. The key is how you perform relative to your peers."

Al Zdenek, president of New York-based Traust Sollus Wealth Management, suggested that activist investors have companies in mind for campaigns but that they often won't allocate capital to those targets until a correction of some sort like Monday's plunge occurs.

"If you are Carl Icahn or another activist you will wait until the right time to make your investment," Zdenek said. "You see a company that you think is kind of rich right but but you know that somewhere along the way a correction like this will occur."


© 1996-2018 TheStreet, Inc.



This Forum program was open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of marketplace standards for expanded access to information for securities valuation and shareholder voting decisions. As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the purpose of this public Forum's program was to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant was expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

This Forum program was initiated in 2012 in collaboration with The Conference Board and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies to address issues and objectives defined by participants in the 2010 "E-Meetings" program relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices. The website is being maintained to provide continuing reports of the issues addressed in the program, as summarized in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

Inquiries about this Forum program and requests to be included in its distribution list may be addressed to

The information provided to Forum participants is intended for their private reference, and permission has not been granted for the republishing of any copyrighted material. The material presented on this web site is the responsibility of Gary Lutin, as chairman of the Shareholder Forum.

Shareholder Forum™ is a trademark owned by The Shareholder Forum, Inc., for the programs conducted since 1999 to support investor access to decision-making information. It should be noted that we have no responsibility for the services that Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., introduced for review in the Forum's 2010 "E-Meetings" program and has since been offering with the “Shareholder Forum” name, and we have asked Broadridge to use a different name that does not suggest our support or endorsement.