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The Wall Street Journal: ValueAct’s Ubben to step down at the $16 billion investment fund

May 15, 2017
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Activist investor Jeffrey Ubben is handing his $16 billion portfolio to the next generation.

Ubben’s ValueAct Capital Management LP has tapped Mason Morfit, 41 years old, to serve as the firm’s chief investment officer, entrusting him with the final say on what and when the fund buys and sells.

Morfit, ValueAct’s president, has served on the board of some of the firm’s biggest bets, including Microsoft Corp.












MSFT, +2.01%










 and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.












VRX, -0.64%










  Ubben will remain ValueAct’s chief executive.

ValueAct investors long have expected the move, which Ubben has publicly hinted was in the works. Yet the transition marks a significant rite of passage in the world of activist investors, still largely dominated by the towering personalities that pioneered the strategy of agitating for change at public companies.

While activist investors regularly pressure companies to get serious about succession planning, few have structured their own firms to allow a new generation of leaders to take control. Young partners routinely leave large, established firms to start their own funds rather than wait for the founder to step down, raising questions about the funds’ long-term prospects.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com

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