Private Company Director

Rocking the Boat: The Growing Impact of Shareholder Activism and What Directors Need to Know and Do

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Hardly a day goes by without a business news headline about shareholder activism: Pershing Square/Valent/Allergan, Sotheby’s/Third Point, Starboard/Darden, and so on. While some shareholder activists continue to focus on the implementation of structural reforms, such as seeking to eliminate classified boards, others have become more vocal in emphasizing “operational,” “financial” or “strategic” changes. 

This webinar will help board members prepare to respond to an increasing number of shareholder activists with growing influence that are seeking to change a company’s operating plan, strategic direction (including by advocating for spin-offs and other M&A transactions) or management. These shareholder activists are positioning themselves as significant “value creators,” rather than merely proponents of best corporate governance practices.
Among the key topics that will be addressed:

  • trends in activism
  • understanding directors’ duties in relation to activist campaigns; and
  • effective board engagement with activist investors
David J.P. Meachin

David J.P. Meachin is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cross Border Enterprises, L.L.C.  Meachin has served on public SEC-reporting company boards for 16 years, during which time he has been a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee, and Member of the Compensation and Governance Committees. Companies on whose boards he has served include Lyondell Chemical Company (NYSE), Millennium Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE), The Ground Round ( NASDAQ), and Metha Energy Solutions Inc. (OTC).  He has also served on the board of an Indian Emerging Growth Fund and is currently Chairman of the Board of LivePlatform, Inc., a social-media focused company. He serves or has served on a number of non-profit organization’s boards as Chairman, Vice Chairman or a Director, including the British American Educational Foundation and University of Cape Town Fund in the US. He is an Advisory Board Member of Structured Credit International Corp. (SCIC), WoodLake Group LLC, the South African Chamber of Commerce America (SACCA), The SABLE Accelerator, and an XCEO Ambassador of XCEO, Inc. He is a Member of The Economic Club of New York, the National Association of Corporate Directors, Corporate Directors Group (Advanced Professional Director) and European American Chamber of Commerce NY.  David Meachin is a frequent speaker and forum participant on issues of corporate governance, private equity and investment banking at Director Conferences and at university Business and Law Schools in the US and internationally. 

Robert Katz

Robert Katz represents clients in a broad range of M&A transactions—public and private, negotiated and unsolicited—including tender and exchange offers, leveraged buyouts, takeover defense strategies, joint ventures, divestitures and cross-border transactions. In 2013 Katz advised Southeastern Asset Management, Inc., Dell's largest unaffiliated stockholder, in connection with evaluating and pursuing alternative proposals related to Dell's proposed take-private transaction.

Clare O'Brien

Clare O’Brien regularly advises major US and international clients on their public and private mergers and acquisition transactions, including public company restructurings, joint ventures and large public transactions. She also provides counsel on corporate law questions, including corporate governance matters. O’Brien is co-author of “Activists at the Gate: The Continuing Evolution of Shareholder Activism in the US,” published earlier this year on 

Peter Begalla

Peter Begalla is Directors & Boards' Education Director, and an Adjunct Professor with Stetson University. He develops and coordinates content for the Private Company Governance Summit, Directors & Boards' Director Roundtables and for the renowned Family Business Magazine Transitions conferences.


  • 60 minutes--maximum value for time
  • Completely free to attend
  • Time for questions and comments
  • All participants receive a copy of the webinar materials after the event
  • Unbiased third party director education


Shearman & Sterling

Directors Record