April 20, 2018 Corporate diversity is latest trend in activist investing – Bruce Goldfarb in the NY Post

April 21, 2018

By Carleton English

Achieving diversity on corporate boards is quickly becoming the next hot spot in activist investing. At least that was the assessment of a bunch of white men speaking on a panel at the 13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit Tuesday in Manhattan.

The irony wasn’t lost on the group, the Post reports.

“What are three white men doing talking about diversity,” Bruce Goldfarb, CEO of proxy solicitor Okapi Partners, asked the crowd — also mostly comprised of white males — leaving them seemingly bewildered.

Amid the #MeToo movement and broader discussions about equal pay, having women and minorities better represented in C-suites and on corporate boards has been a hotly discussed topic.

While representation on boards is increasing, women and minorities only account for 30.8 percent of the seats on Fortune 500 companies, according to a 2016 Deloitte study.

The thinking is that diverse representation at the top can avoid issues of discrimination and harassment throughout the company.

“People will agree or disagree, but Elaine Wynn’s campaign at Wynn Resorts was certainly about issues of diversity, and you can look at where the company is today and whether or not there’s conclusions to be drawn there,” Goldfarb said, referring to Wynn’s fight to stay on the board of her ex-husband’s company three years ago. Steve Wynn resigned in February after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Goldfarb’s Okapi was the proxy solicitor for Elaine Wynn’s 2015 campaign at Wynn Resorts.

Read online here.

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