It is no bad thing for boards to feel shareholders breathing down their necks occasionally, and sometimes, a bellicose activist might be better met with a negotiated armistice than a war of attrition. Boards must drop the fear and loathing, there is no reason why activism should, in itself, be a cause for concern. Activists may not represent a permanent interest, but companies cannot dismiss them as a short-term minority after a quick buck, says IoD Director General Simon Walker.
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