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Activists On Defensive, But No Step Back For Governance

Taub Stephen | December 21, 2004

According to press reports, a series of recent, unrelated events may deal a big blow to the activist investor movement.

In just the past few weeks, Sean Harrigan was ousted as president of the California Public Employees' Retirement System; Roy Disney and Stanley Gold decided not to further pursue their aggressive tactics toward Walt Disney; TIAA-CREF disclosed it was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible auditor independence violations involving two former trustees; reports began to surface that William Donaldson would be replaced at the SEC; and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer—who has almost single-handedly altered the way the financial services industry operates—has decided to run for New York governor.

But those involved in the process claim that the current emphasis on corporate governance is not likely to dissipate...

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