Carl Icahn: Bernie Sanders Is Wrong

Activist news for May 12 below. Hit reply with the stories you want to know more about. If you want this in your inbox each morning, please sign up here.


Also see a curated list of top hedge fund letters

Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do

michael mauboussin, Credit Suisse, valuation and portfolio positioning, capital markets theory, competitive strategy analysis, decision making, skill versus luck, value investing, Legg Mason, The Success Equation, Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition, analysts, behavioral finance, More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places, academics , valuewalkThe debate over active versus passive management continues as trends show the ongoing shift from active into passive funds. Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more At the Morningstar Investment Conference, Michael Mauboussin of Counterpoint Global argued that the rise of index funds has made it more difficult to be an active manager. Drawing Read More

Stake changes

  • Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square has put up half its Zoetis shares for sale – taking its stake from 8.4% to 5%. Valeant really putting the pressure on the fund it seems. This come as Pershing also recently cut its long-time stake in Canadian Pacific.
  • MSD Capital ups its Asbury Auto stake from 7.5% to 9%.
  • Mangrove Partners increased its stake in RPX from 5% to 6%.
  • Stone House Capital Management increased its stake in USA Truck from 8.9% to 9.5%.
  • Hayman Capital Management reduced its stake in NMI Holdings from 12.5% to 9%.

Read up on shareholder activism

  • Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism [link]


  • Sessa Capital activist at Ashford Hospitality Prime, owns 8.2%, says Ashford last-minute governance proposals will not solve the problems that have been afflicting the company since its spin-off in 2013.
  • Pentair adds Trian Fund co-founder Ed Garden to its board.
  • Red Mountain Capital, owns 6.2% of iRobot says ISS has advised IRBT shareholders vote for Red Mountain’s nominees Lawrence Peiros and Willem Mesdag.
  • Omega Protein pushes back against Wynnefield Capital, says now not the time to exit human nutrition business. Omega says they have been trying to negotiate with Wynnefield over board seats, but activist rejected settlement offer and wants all 3 of its nominees on the board.
  • Sorrento Therapeutics has already caved to Wildcat Capital – owner of 6.5% and non-typical activist (managing the TPG founder family money). Sorrento says it’s engaged financial advisors to explore strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.
  • Green Dot activist Harvest Capital, owns 9.3% of company, sends letter to GDOT shareholders. Says it’s disappointed that the company has started an “exceedingly unprofessional and desperate smear campaign” against its nominees.
  • Ambac says that ISS and Glass Lewis & Co. have advised shareholders to vote for the company’s nominees instead of Canyon Capital nominees.


  • Carl Icahn: Sanders is wrong about me, but he’s right in general [link] In his response, Icahn criticized Sanders for not “even bothering to give me a call to hear my views and the real facts.” Those facts, he said, include that “few would disagree that the Taj would have closed with thousands of job losses if I hadn’t come in and provided tens of millions in capital to save it and save those jobs.” Icahn also criticized the casino workers’ union, which has endorsed Sanders.

Other good reads

  • This Activist Investor Doesn’t Have Time for Japan’s Nice Meetings [link]
  • Hunter Harrison: Disrupting the status quo [link]
  • Are Hedge Funds Becoming Less Influential? [link]
  • Macy’s Stock Is Cheap for a Reason [link]

Mining activist investors for actionable ideas

  • Check out what we’re doing with idea generation, using activist investors [link to free trial]

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Carl Icahn: Bernie Sanders Is Wrong