Activist investors’ boardroom battles: New book reveals inside story

Activist investors have sent shockwaves through the business world in recent years, targeting individual directors and executives at some of the world’s largest companies in order to gain influence and become firm fixtures in the boardroom. The tactics used by these hedge fund managers are already well established in corporate America, but are now becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK and Europe, taking in and shaking up several leading companies.

Now an insightful new book, Barbarians in the Boardroom, exposes the strategies of these activist investors and reveals the inside story of how they have influenced boardroom battles at eight of the world’s most high-profile organisations, including Microsoft, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. It also tells the story of the UK’s biggest activist showdown in recent times at Alliance Trust.

The author, Owen Walker, is an award-winning financial journalist who has covered business and investment issues in the US, UK and continental Europe, witnessing high-profile boardroom battles first hand. Through a series of exclusive interviews he carried out with the people on both sides of major activist investor campaigns, as well as from corporate and legal documents, Walker reveals how an elite group of investors have managed to become so successful and increasingly influential.

Barbarians in the Boardroom explains who activist investors really are, including profiles of ten of the world’s most disruptive, strategic, philanthropic and even fear-inducing investors. The book examines what it is that these activist investors really want, then provides fascinating insights into how they identify targets and the strategies they then use to breach the boardroom walls.

Barbarians in the Boardroom by Owen Walker is out in June 2016, published by FT Publishing, priced £16.99. For more information see



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