Shareholder activism is a rough business.
Investors who amass large stockholdings and then demand changes are usually resisted and excoriated by the companies' managements, who do everything they can to defeat them. The resulting fights for control can often be public and ugly, with both sides seeking to dig up dirt or arguments with which to discredit the other side. In the end, either the activist shareholders or the incumbent managers emerge victorious, and the losers withdraw in bloody defeat.
One of the most famous and successful activist investors in the United States is hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb of Third Point.
Early in his career, Loeb became known for writing acid-tongued letters to managements, publicly ridiculing them for their incompetence. In recent years, Loeb's rhetoric has mellowed, but his punches have landed with even more sting. Last year, for example, after buying a big stake in the reeling Yahoo, Inc.,Read More »from Sony Stock Soars As Hedge Fund Manager and Investor Dan Loeb (Politely) Demands Change