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Starboard Takes Willis Towers Stake, Says Broker Undervalued

  • Activist says shares could nearly double in three years
  • Shareholders must hold management accountable, Smith says
Jeff Smith, chief executive officer of Starboard Value.

Jeff Smith, chief executive officer of Starboard Value.

Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg
Updated on

Activist investor Starboard Value disclosed a new position in Willis Towers Watson Plc Thursday, and said it believes the insurance broker could nearly double its share price in the next three years.

Jeff Smith, Starboard’s chief executive officer, said Willis Towers is undervalued and that the company has underperformed since 2016 because of poor execution and failed promises, among other things. At the same time, he sees no evidence that the company has a structural disadvantage to its peers.