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Corvex's Keith Meister Talks Strategy, Recent Success In Bio-Rad

Corvex's Keith Meister Talks Strategy, Recent Success In Bio-Rad

Keith Meister, founder of Corvex Management, was interviewed by CNBC's David Faber at the 13D Monitor's 8th annual Active-Passive Investor Summit.

Meister said he will be presenting a case-story on how an activist investor can collaborate with a company to achieve mutually desired outcomes. Specifically, Meister and his firm invested in a little-known science research and clinical diagnostics called Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO) in 2016.

Over the past year, the stock has gained more than 50 percent as Meister worked with the company to implement many positive changes, including improved governance, a change in capital allocation, putting out growth targets and a focus on margins.

With that said, Meister believes his firm acts more of a "helpful partner" and provides shareholder-driven ideas.

'Idea Business'

"I think of the active investing business as the idea business," Meister explained. "How can we share good ideas with a management team or board and make our idea theirs and make them go and implement the idea."

Meister did add that one of the tools available to convince a company to implement an outsider's idea is through public exposure and getting other constitutions to buy into the concept. However, this isn't the norm as in some cases it's better to work with a company privately and out of the spotlight.

Meister emphasized that he won't shy away from engaging with a management team to drive better outcomes. But at the end of the day, activism "is a tool not a strategy."

Finally, Meister said he will be presenting a new idea at the Sohn Investment Conference which "may very well be" turn out to be his newest stake in a company.

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