May 10, 2012
Goodbye, Evelyn Davis, Shareholder Activist
Posted by David Zaring

The 82 year-old Evelyn Davis is no longer attending annual meetings, which will lead to plenty fewer stick-up photos in her $600/year newsletter.

Davis has, on average, submitted proposals to about 20 companies a year. Goldman Sachs has long been one of her favorite targets and in 2010 she called for the resignation of CEO Lloyd Blankfein.....Her recent successes were few. Only one Davis proposal received a majority of votes since 2006: a Bank of New York proposal for cumulative voting in board member elections. Five other proposals came close, with more than 40 percent approval.

Davis could make shareholder activism look quite kooky.  But it's a new era of painful annual meetings, as Lucian Bebchuk could tell you, with savvy hedge funds engineering CEO resignations - and Davis didn't complain about them in her valedictory interview.  There's also, interestingly, the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

Davis did have some views about OWS:

Davis said the Occupy Wall Street movement is one reason she is skipping 2012 meetings. The protesters "should have made a point and then left. They overstayed their welcome," she said.

The distinction between OWS and Greenlight Capital is interesting, if you think that knowing whom people think their competition is is interesting.

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