Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism

Jeff Gramm. Harper Business, $29.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-236983-3
Gramm, a value-oriented hedge fund manager and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, explores the history of shareholder activism from the 1920s though today in this insightful and well-written narrative. Gramm centers his study on eight shareholder letters that he views as key to the evolution of shareholder involvement and power, dedicating a chapter to each. These include Benjamin Graham’s 1927 letter to John D. Rockefeller Jr., which advocates for excess-capital distribution; Warren Buffett’s 1964 letter to American Express president and CEO Howard Clerk, a turning point in Buffett’s career; and Ross Perot’s 1985 letter to Roger Smith, chairman and CEO of General Motors, which exemplifies Perot’s candid, in-your-face style. Taken cumulatively, the letters give insight into how shareholder activism can both benefit and harm companies. Gramm’s findings will intrigue and inform history buffs and activist shareholders alike. Agent: Chris Pariss Lamb, Gernert Company. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/09/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-236984-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-244504-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9566-4
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