Profiles in Mediocrity

Two professors take part-time jobs as activist investors in Tejon Ranch Company, which has underperformed the S&P 500 (chart) while the top managers get fatter and happier. Then the profs write about the experience: “Frank and Steven’s Excellent Corporate-Raiding Adventure” (Atlantic).



  1. dean

    April 20, 2017 @ 5:32 pm


    Interesting. Shareholder activism, seems like a great retirement idea. Article quotes large shareholder saying ‘grandchildren would see the fruits of his investment’. It could mean anything: 1. that the shareholder does not necessary want large present valuation to limit death tax 2. same shareholder wants paper investment losses for same purposes 3. or could just mean that the stock is going to be in limited financial trust and that the shareholders really does not care about current returns. I think authors could not or were afraid to make their points in the article. And they even did not have summary of their first management meeting signed. Shareholder activism is a tough business and not really suited for someone with such soft approaches.

  2. Shimon

    April 22, 2017 @ 9:48 pm


    Why is it so expensive to force a proxy fight? Is there some other way to give activist shareholders a less expensive tool to threaten lazy managers?

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