Protesters Disrupt 13D Activist Conference in New York City

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About 20 protesters interrupted 13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York City Monday, chanting and carrying placards demanding fairer wages.

Signs included “Dignity at Darden,” referring to the restaurant group targeted by activist shareholders Starboard Value and Barington Capital. The protest interrupted an off-the-record activism panel for about 20 minutes at the one-day event at the Crowne Plaza Times Square hotel in Manhattan.

The conference is an annual forum used by activists to highlight campaigns and announce new ones. Security intervened and managed to usher the noisy-but-peaceful protesters outside of the fourth-floor Broadway Ballroom. The program continued, though the panel that was interrupted didn’t restart.

Some of the largest hedge funds are in attendance, including Jana Partners and Pershing Square Capital Management. Earlier in the day, Jana’s Barry Rosenstein said Qualcomm Inc. should consider spinning off its chipset business as part of a strategic review of options to boost shareholder value.

Activist investors generally acquire equity stakes in publicly traded companies and agitate executives and directors to make changes they believe will boost shareholder returns.

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