MIB: Jeff Gramm on Activist Investing

This week on Masters in Business I sit with Jeff Gramm — son of Senator Phil Gramm — and author of Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism.

Gramm discusses looking for one of Warren Buffett’s early and unpublished activist letters described in other works such as The Snowball. He wrote to Berkshire Hathaway, asking about it and was surprised to receive a package from Buffett a few weeks later. It contained the unpublished letter, along with permission to use it in his work. Something similar occurred with Ross Perot, and his unpublished letters to General Motors when he was a board member. It soon became clear that a book on activist investing was in the making.

Gramm also discusses his prior life as Guitarist for the indie band Aden. (Their eponymously named first album was deemed “an underrated classic by Heavemedia). He describes the lessons one learns touring in a small vehicle in close quarters with 3 other guys, and how those experiences eventually led him to Columbia Business School.

You can hear the full interview, including the podcast extras, below, or by downloading the podcast at iTunes, Soundcloud or Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts can be found iTunesSoundcloud and Bloomberg.

(The show broadcasts all weekend on Bloomberg radio and SiriusXM, at Friday at 9pm, Saturdays at 10am, 6pm, and 11pm, and Sundays at 3am).

 

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