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Shakeup at AIG, Ryan Cohen's Nordstrom stake: Hedge funds and C-suites weekly

Published 2023/02/06, 13:22
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Here is your weekly roundup of the biggest news out of hedge funds and company top brass that you may have missed on InvestingPro. Sign up for real-time coverage of all the biggest corporate news.

AIG abruptly fires CFO

AIG (NYSE:AIG) terminated Mark Lyons from his position as interim CFO on January 24, 2023, after discovering violations regarding confidentiality/non-disclosure obligation to the company. The company said these violations were unrelated to its financial statements, financial reporting generally, and related disclosure controls and procedures, or reserves.

Sabra Purtill has been named the company’s interim CFO and Turab Hussain has been named interim Global chief actuary.

Shares fell more than 7% last week.

Dollar General’s CFO retires, surprising analysts

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) announced John Garratt’s intent to retire from his position as president and CFO effective June 2, 2023. Given its robust succession plans, the company will evaluate options for its next CFO without conducting an external search.

Oppenheimer said it was surprised by the news, noting that the company did not provide an updated outlook, "which is consistent with recent practices (i.e., CEO announcement in July 2022)."

Shares closed the week with a 3% decline.

Wintrust Financial names Timothy Crane as CEO

Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC) announced the planned CEO transition with Timothy Crane, the current president, taking on the CEO role on May 1, 2023, and appointed to the Wintrust Board of Directors. To ensure a smooth leadership transition, Edward Wehmer will remain as Wintrust's founder and CEO until April 30, 2023, then potentially serve as executive chairman through May 23, 2024, if reelected by the company’s shareholders. Afterward, he will take on the role of founder and senior advisor until December 31, 2026.

Shares gained nearly 5% last week.

Apple drops Industrial Design chief role

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to eliminate the position of Industrial Design chief, with designers to directly report to COO Jeff Williams, according to Bloomberg.

Apple shares rose more than 2% on Friday despite a Q4 EPS and revenue miss, closing the week with nearly a 6% gain.

Ryan Cohen takes a big stake in Nordstrom

Turning to hedge funds, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) shares surged more than 24% on Friday on news that billionaire and activist investor Ryan Cohen is building a "sizeable" investment in the company and pushing for board changes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The investor, who aims to address the 75% decline in shares since their all-time high in 2015, is targeting the compensation committee chair, former Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) CEO Mark Tritton, whom he views as "conflicted and unqualified." Nordstrom stated they will listen to Cohen's views, but make decisions in the best interest of the company and shareholders.

Nelson Peltz urges Disney shareholders to replace board director Froman

Activist investor Nelson Peltz's hedge fund Trian Fund Management has asked The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) shareholders to replace board director Michael Froman with Peltz. Trian, which owns a $1 billion stake in Disney, suggested Peltz was more qualified to serve, but didn't explain why they chose to target Froman among the company’s directors.

Disney issued a letter to shareholders, stating Peltz "has demonstrated that he does not understand Disney’s businesses" and lacks experience to deliver shareholder value in a changing media industry.

A major investor in 3M questions CEO's leadership

A major investor in 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is questioning the need for a change in CEO due to concerns about current CEO Mike Roman's leadership. According to WSJ, German mutual-fund firm Flossbach von Storch co-founder Bert Flossbach wrote to Roman stating that 3M's revenue and earnings have been disappointing since he took over in 2018, citing a -32% total shareholder return during that time.

The company, facing litigation over its military earplugs and PFAS chemicals, has seen a 28% drop in shares over the past 12 months. Flossbach stated that his main concern is 3M's operations versus litigation.

Shares fell more than 2% on Friday following the news.

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