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Activist Investors Aren't Going Anywhere

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Carl Icahn will retire some day. Some time after that, probably, Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb and Paul Singer and Barry Rosenstein, too. But for now, they and people like them have more money with which to seek to oust directors, executives and lavish organic dinner throwersthan ever before.

Whether they’re castigated as corporate raiders or lauded as activist investors, Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman, Dan Loeb and other troublemaking billionaires aren’t going away any time soon. That means investors need to be prepared for more crusades to replace CEOs, Twitter campaigns lobbying for special dividends, and letters urging management to find white-knight bidders, as well as quieter efforts to convince corporate boards to change strategy or return cash to shareholders...At the end of 2013, an estimated $93.1 billion sat in activist hedge funds, according to Hedge Fund Research, up from $65.5 billion at the end of 2012 and nearly triple the $32.3 billion in assets seen at the end of 2008... In another crucial twist, institutional investors who were once suspicious of outside agitators are now embracing activist proposals or even helping to trigger shake-ups on their own.

Activists here to stay as war chests near $100 billion [MarketWatch]


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