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  • Writer's pictureJosh Rovner

Why Starboard Value? / Overview of Starboard Value

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Starboard Value is an activist investment adviser with an AUM of $9.2B. It served as investment bank Cowen & Co.'s hedge fund arm from 2008 to 2011, at which point it went independent.

Starboard Value was founded in 2002 by Jeffrey Smith and it is headquartered in New York. The firm takes an activist approach to investing and focuses on companies with significant potential for operational improvement and long-term value creation. Starboard Value invests across various sectors, with a particular focus on technology, consumer, and healthcare companies.

Starboard's past campaign targets include AOL, Darden Restaurants, Macy's, Papa John's Pizza, and Yahoo.

Starboard Value Overview

Remember that in order to craft a great answer to the common question "Why this Firm?", it's your responsibility to read articles and speak with employees. If you are interviewing with Starboard Value, you should make sure you know:

  • 1 deal that the investment team you are recruiting with has done

  • 1 person at the firm (ideally someone who would have influence over your recruiting process)

  • 1 business model-specific detail to mention

We explain how to answer qualitative questions and research private equity firms in our Private Equity Course. We also teach how to build LBO models and prepare for case study interviews.

Big 3 Qualitative Questions

Selected Activist Impact

In late 2014, Starboard launched a major PR campaign against Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden among other restaurant chains. Despite owning less than 10% of the company, Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith eventually ended up appointing himself as chairman and elected four new directors onto the board. Over the following eighteen months, Darden's stock jumped nearly 50%, eight times higher than the S&P.

Fact Sheet

  • Company Name: Starboard Value

  • Description: Starboard Value is a New York-based investment adviser that invests in deeply undervalued companies and actively engages with management teams and boards of directors to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders

  • Firm Category: Activist Investor

  • Status: Starboard Value is a privately held company

  • Founded: 2002

  • Assets Under Management: $9.2B

  • Chief Executive Officer: Jeffrey Smith

  • Headquarters: New York City, USA



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