"We were probably a little late to the game on governance issues," says CommonWealth (CWH +3.8%) President Adam Portnoy after an arbitration panel handed dissident shareholders a big victory. "We didn't realize how big a deal it was to investors."
Portnoy says governance changes made since the battle with Corvex and Related began have solved the issues which led to the dispute in the first place. "They got 70% of shareholders to sign a card. We realized that was a problem. That is what led us to go out and talk to our whole shareholder base ... We've checked a lot of boxes. It's very hard for investors to criticize us anymore on the governance side." Maybe not. "We firmly believe it is a foregone conclusion that shareholders will take back CommonWealth," say Corvex's Keith Meister and Related's Jeff Blau.