By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Jessica DiNapoli
BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Proxy solicitor Morrow Sodali this week hired Paul Schulman from rival MacKenzie Partners, a prominent shakeup in the tight-knit world of vote-counting for corporate battles.
Schulman will be co-head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Activism and Contested Situations along with Michael Verrechia, a Morrow veteran, according to his LinkedIn profile and two sources who could not speak publicly about the personnel matter.
A spokeswoman for Morrow, which worked with Newell Brands
Schulman spent the last decade steeped in corporate battles at MacKenzie where he was widely seen as one of founder Dan Burch’s top two lieutenants. Alongside Burch, Schulman worked on corporate fights at Procter & Gamble
Separately Charles Koons, who had been a managing director for Activism & Contested Situations at Morrow Sodali resigned from Morrow last week to move to another position, two sources said. Koons declined to comment.
Last year was the biggest on record for campaigns by new activist investors as newcomers joined seasoned veterans like Nelson Peltz, Daniel Loeb, Barry Rosenstein, Jeffrey Smith, Jesse Cohn, and William Ackman in pressing for changes at corporations.
The number of firms targeted decreased in 2019 but activism is fast becoming a tool for investment managers to help make their bets more valuable over time, widening the playing field for firms like Morrow, MacKenzie and competitors Innisfree and Okapi Partners who offer shareholder intelligence, strategic advice and solicitation services to companies.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by David Gregorio)