Talk of changes to the board at United Airlines and Valeant this week are just one sign of the growth of shareholder activism, which one expert believes has benefited the average investor. Hedge fund manager Jeff Gramm has penned a book on the topic, entitled Dear Chairman. ‘Even if you have a few bad interventions and a few bad activists, the fact that every board member has to know that there are shareholders looking over their shoulder, that accountability is in the system now,’ explained Gramm. ‘The threat of activism is pervasive. I think that’s a good thing for everybody.’ Gramm’s book includes letters that activist investors sent to managers at targeted companies. Gramm believes activism has exploded thanks to support from big institutional investors, who are supportive of the activist strategy.

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