David L. Yermack, Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation, New York University Stern School of Business

This paper investigates of the role of proxy solicitors, outside firms retained by management and dissidents to drive voter turnout among their supporters in contested corporate board elections. We find that companies are more likely to hire solicitors if they face stronger opposition from outside activists. They are more likely to choose solicitors they have hired before and those that have been associated with successful voting outcomes for the company. Paying greater fees to solicitors improves vote totals for board candidates, with estimates implying that proxy solicitors represent a surprisingly cheap method for companies to blunt the success of shareholder activist campaigns.

Speaker bio

David L. Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at New York University Stern School of Business. He serves as Chairman of the Finance Department and Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business. Professor Yermack teaches joint MBA – Law School courses in Restructuring Firms & Industries and Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies, as well as PhD research courses in corporate governance, executive compensation, and distress and restructuring.

Professor Yermack has been with NYU Stern since 1994. His primary research areas include boards of directors, executive compensation, and corporate finance. Professor Yermack has published more than 25 articles in leading academic journals in Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Law. He is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been a Visiting Scholar at the US Federal Reserve Bank.

Professor Yermack received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1985), Master of Business Administration (1991), Juris Doctor (1991), Master of Arts in Business Economics (1993), and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Economics (1994) from Harvard University.

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Date: 15 March 2022
Start Time: 13:00
End Time: 14:15

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Open to: Members of the University of Cambridge

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Date: 15 March 2022
Start Time: 13:00
End Time: 14:15