Activist investor Blue Harbour's Clifton Robbins on Monday escalated his campaign at Investors Bancorp (ISBC) , arguing that the de-mutualized bank could become an acquisition candidate in the not-to-distant future.
"We'd like to see significant share [buyback] increase and we'd like to see increasing dividends, and we think they will be the beneficiary from tax relief and regulatory reform," Robbins told the Sohn 2017 investor conference. "if that happens that'd be a good thing. We would support them if they find accretive M&A to do. And at some time... at the right price we think the company is an attractive acquisition candidate."
Robbins first discussed the fund's Investors Bancorp investment in May 2015 at the Las Vegas hedge fund conference SALT. At the time he argued that it would pay regular dividends and produce large share buybacks in the coming years. Robbins praised Investors Bancorp's management at both conferences. "We know them we like them we trust them, they have a lot of equity in the business," Robbins said at Sohn.