Avoiding Distraction, Focusing on Delivering Value

John W. Rogers, Jr., the founder of Ariel Investments and director of the Aon, Exelon and McDonald’s corporate boards, offered practical leadership for corporate directors at the Directors Roundtable at Katten Muchin on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Activist investors have become a factor in today’s boardrooms, Rogers said.  “It’s important that boards don’t become distracted by activist investors,” Rogers said.  “That’s the challenge. For that reason, it’s important for boards to become knowledgeable about all shareholder concerns.  Directors should understand all shareholder issues, in addition to activist investors.  They can become knowledgeable by reading and understanding the issues that buy-side and sell-side analysts raise. I have seen activist investors become quite destructive when not properly addressed.”

While Rogers is well known for founding Ariel Investments 29 years ago, the former basketball star from Princeton University has the distinction of beating Michael Jordan one-on-one.  The YouTube video has garnered more than five million views.