Activism in Europe: Leading from behind
A quiet activist hedge fund finds success behind the scenes.
“Sclerotic companies abound in Europe,” says Christer Gardell, co-founder and managing partner of Cevian Capital, an activist hedge fund based in Sweden.
总部设在瑞典的激进维权投资基金（Cevian Capital）的联合创始人兼管理合伙人嘉戴尔（Christer Gardell）说：“公司的僵化在欧洲随处可见。”
That is an uncommonly pugnacious statement for a firm that operates behind the scenes and uses public pressure as a last resort.
Unlike its louder American peers, such as Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, Paul Singer's Elliott Management or Dan Loeb's Third Point, Cevian has never written a pointed open letter to a chief executive or waged a proxy battle (although Carl Icahn, an activist who has been known to call bosses “morons”, is one of its investors).
Its calm approach seems to suit corporate Europe.
Cevian is the region's largest activist fund, and one of the world's biggest, with over $15.4bn in assets.
It was founded by Mr Gardell and Lars Forberg in Stockholm in 2002; both still run it.
Its “constructive” activism, focusing on only a dozen companies at a time, goes back to the founders' time as chief executive and chief investment officer of Custos, a listed investment firm, in the mid-1990s.
Although European corporate governance is often compared unfavourably with America's, Mr Gardell says it has many advantages.
American management largely controls the process for nominating new board members, so an activist fund may need to wage a loud campaign just to get a seat at the table.
In the countries where Cevian operates, its typical ownership stake of 5-20% is enough to easily, or even automatically, get a board seat.
That said, it operates mainly in the Nordic countries, Britain, Germany and Switzerland, regarding governance in the wilds of southern Europe as too unpredictable.
1.behind the scenes 幕后
例句:The deal was closed behind the scenes.
2.hedge fund 对冲基金
例句:She wants to work in investment banking and securities and eventually hopes to set up a hedge fund.
3.go back to 追溯到...；返回
例句:We will go back to normal when things calm down.
4.public pressure 公众压力
例句:Eventually the government was forced to bow to public pressure and reform the tax.