Barron’s – Larry Robbins usually describes the approach of his $6.4 billion hedge-fund firm, Glenview Capital Management, as “suggestivist,” cultivating amicable working relationships with corporate management to propose shareholder-friendly changes. Now he’s becoming an activist for the first time, challenging one of his holdings in a proxy contest that is under way.
The switch in tactics isn’t the result of any shortfall in Glenview’s performance. Its flagship, the $4.8 billion Glenview fund, returned 26.8% last year, and over 10 years has provided an annualized 13.4% gain to its investors, due in large part to Robbins’ focus on health-care stocks. His 13-year-old firm today has 72 employees and occupies the 44th floor of the prestigious General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue.