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Does Oil Need An Activist Investor?


The entire oil industry needs an activist investor these days.

This comes as plenty of activist investors have tried to shake up the industry, to no avail.

The answer for investors looking for oil exposure is to find the ones that don’t need an activist.

What the entire oil industry needs is an activist investor to help force it to cut supply and refocus resources. That, of course, is a pipe dream. The true answer for investors looking for some oil exposure is to avoid activist investors all together. The oil routing sent shock waves throughout the activist community. Everyone thought they could be saviors or had magical abilities to cut costs overnight. Big name activist hedge funds Corvex Management, Elliott Management and even Jeff Ubben's ValueAct Capital have tried their hand in oil-focused activism over the last year or so.

Corvex made a big bet on Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) in 2014, and shares have been more than cut in half in the last two years. Elliott has been a major holder of Hess (NYSE:HES), and ValueAct Capital failed at attempting to force Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) into a merger. Then, of course, there's Carl Icahn, who's lost millions on the energy front...