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12:00 noon-1:00 pm EDT


April 14, 2021


Are We Having Fun Yet?


Shareholder Activist Campaigns are on the rise again in 2021, following the damper that Covid-19 put on many of these activities in 2020. These types of campaigns can cover a broad range of shareholder objectives, as activist investors attempt to influence management in multiple ways. Some of the most common campaigns focus on board composition, business strategy, corporate governance, management changes and return of capital. The retail sector over the years has had its share of activist campaigns including Sears/Kmart, JCPenney, Charming Shoppes and, more recently, Bed Bath & Beyond, Game Stop and Kohl’s. There are more likely to come.


Our outstanding panel will explore the issues surrounding activist investing, including: 


  • Why has retail been such a popular sector for activist investors to target?

  • How do activists decide which companies to target? Are there common themes?

  • Why do department stores, specialty apparel/accessories and restaurants attract more than their share of activist investors?

  • What can companies do to defend themselves against activists?

  • Are there any industry dynamics that can point us in the direction of the next set of companies that may be ripe for shareholder activist campaigns?

BONUS SESSION: Our webinar will kick off with a short, up-to-the moment summary of the latest goings-on in retail. Our Subject Matter Expert is Patrick McKeever, President and Founder of The Daily on Retail.


RMS Members: $10

Guests: $50*

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Time: 12:00 noon-1:00 pm EDT


Dail-in instructions will be emailed  prior to the event.

* If you're not an RMS member, now is the time to join. Join now and your membership fee will include complimentary attendance at this webinar.

Benefits of membership include: reduced rates on webinars, meetings and conferences; complimentary attendance at our Roundtable online discussions; "Top Takeaways"-capsule summaries of most meetings and webinars; Membership Directory for networking purposes; and Face to Face Fridays, a bi-monthly online networking session for members only.



Michael C. Appel


Appel Associates LLC

Michael Appel is President of Appel Associates LLC, an advisory firm he founded in 1991 that provides performance improvement and turnaround consulting services to retail and consumer goods companies.

An experienced retail executive, he has had direct supervisory responsibility for every functional area within a retail operation, across hard and softlines categories and multiple channels from off price to luxury, Michael has served as interim CEO, COO, turnaround advisor for such well-known retailers as Laura Ashley, rue21, Barney’s, Wilkes Bashford, Baccarat, Loehmann’s, MacKenzie-Childs and Kasper/Anne Klein, for which he won the 2004 Turnaround Management Association Turnaround Large Company Turnaround of the Year Award.

Michael served as CEO and Chairman of rue21, the 700- unit fast fashion retailer from its emergence from Chapter 11 in Sept 2017 until February 2020 and led its successful turnaround with outstanding financial results in fiscal 2019. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Ashley Stewart, the leading fashion retailer of apparel, intimates, and accessories for women sizes 10 to 36.


Jonathan Duskin


Macellum Capital Management

Jonathan Duskin is Chief Executive Officer of Macellum Capital Management, LLC, which operates a pooled investment fund as well as several special purpose vehicles used for activist campaigns.

Jonathan has over 20 years of experience investing in the consumer and retail sector. He previously served as a Managing Director and Partner at Prentice Capital Management, LP, an investment management firm, as a Managing Director at S.A.C. Capital Associates LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, and as a Managing Director, the Head of Product Management and Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee within the Research Department at Lehman Brothers Inc. He currently serves on the board of directors of Christopher & Banks Corporation and Citi Trends, Inc. He previously served on the boards of directors of The Wet Seal, Inc., Whitehall Jewelers, Inc. and Inc.  


Jan Rogers Kniffen


J Rogers Kniffen WorldWide

Jan Rogers Kniffen is a consultant to investors in retail companies and a former retail executive. He is CEO of J Rogers Kniffen WorldWide, a firm that consults with long funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity firms as they make decisions regarding 

investments in retailers. He is a regular contributor to CNBC. He also serves on the RMS Board of Directors.

Jan spent twenty years as a senior executive at The May Department Stores, a company operating department stores under the names Lord & Taylor, Filene’s, Fox, Hecht’s, May-Cohen’s, Robinson’s of Florida, Sibley’s, Horne’s, Kaufman’s, Foley’s, Marshall Field’s, Famous Barr, ZCMI, Goldwater’s, May D&F, The Denver, Meier and Frank, Robinson’s, Strawbridge’s, Thalhimer’s, May Company Cleveland, May Company California, May Company Akron, Strauss, and the Venture, Caldor discount stores, Sycamore specialty stores, Loehmann’s off-price stores, and 4,500 Payless ShoeSource stores, as well as developing, owning and operating 26 super regional shopping malls. Prior to May Company, Jan spent two years reporting to the treasurer of Icahn and Company and doing acquisitions and divestitures with Carl Icahn’s organization.


Adam Rifkin

Senior Managing Director

Guggenheim Securities

Adam Rifkin is a Senior Managing Director in the Investment Banking Group at Guggenheim Securities. He joined Guggenheim in 2013 to help build out the Firm's Investment Banking platform, with a particular focus on the retail & consumer sector. Adam also sits on the Firm’s Equity Commitment Committee.


Prior to joining Guggenheim Securities, Adam was a Managing Director and senior member of the Retail / Consumer Investment Banking team at Barclays. Prior to joining Barclays, Adam was a Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers. Adam began his career at Credit Suisse First Boston, rising from Analyst to Vice President.


Adam has spent his entire career focused on the retail sector and has advised a wide range of retail & consumer companies across the fitness, hardgoods, discount, specialty, apparel and restaurants sectors. His areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, divestitures, recapitalizations, leveraged buyouts, takeover defense, proxy contests and equity & debt capital raising. Further, Adam is involved in a number of charitable and not-for-profit organizations, including serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University.



Richard Baum

Managing Director

Consumer Growth Partners

Richard Baum is the Managing Partner of Consumer Growth Partners (CGP), a private equity investment/independent sponsor and advisory firm with an exclusive focus on middle-market specialty retail and non-perishable branded consumer products companies.

Prior to co-founding CGP in 2005, Richard spent more than 15 years as a sell-side equity research analyst at Sanford Bernstein, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse where he was consistently ranked among the industry leaders in the annual Institutional Investor and Greenwich Associates polls.  Previously, he spent six years in the merchandising organization at Bloomingdale’s. He began his career as a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.

Richard currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Harris Originals, Inc. and as a Board Director for Factory Connection, Inc. He recently stepped down as a board director of Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA) after nine years. He is also President of the Retail Marketing Society, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on leading edge topics of interest for the broad retail community.



Patrick McKeever, Jr.

President & Founder

The Daily on Retail

Patrick has followed retail for more than 20 years. Prior to founding Wall Street 313 LLC and The Daily on Retail in late 2018, he spent 11 years as a managing director, senior analyst and consumer sector head at MKM Partners. He has received a number of professional awards, including 2nd place in Multiline Retail for both 

stock picking and earnings estimation in the 2016 Thomson Reuters poll. He was awarded Top Stock Picker in Multiline Retail in the same poll, has been recognized in the Greenwich survey and has performed well in the institutional money manager voting process. He appears on CNBC and other networks to discuss retail and has been quoted extensively by industry publications and the financial press. Patrick started his career in equity research at Credit Suisse in New York. He is a graduate of Boston College and also has an economics-focused master's degree. 

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