PSAM celebrates its 20th year in 2017 and founder, Peter Schoenfeld, has been investing around corporate events for 40 years, heading up proprietary trading in banks before starting PSAM in 1997
From the outset, PSAM has had offices in London and New York. The firm invests globally, across US, European and Asian markets, and is often involved in deals with a cross-border dimension. PSAM has 45 employees including nine partners. The analytical style and compensation structure of the investment team encourages collaboration and promotes synergies.
PSAM focuses on event driven situations and invests in three main strategies: merger arbitrage, stressed and distressed credit and special situations. They seek out investments that can be impacted by complex and transformational corporate events, such as mergers, spin-offs, bankruptcies, liquidations and insolvencies. Exogenous factors like tax and regulatory changes can sometimes be critical. PSAM dynamically moves capital amongst these sub-strategies in their multi-event portfolios.
PSAM pursues activism to defend its interests as a shareholder or creditor. The firm has the gravitas to win an audience with - and win over - company boards, management and investors. PSAM has been both a discreet and a public activist. For instance, in 2011, PSAM began a private dialogue with Yahoo’s board around realising value from its Alibaba and Yahoo Japan stakes, years before other activists became involved. In 2013, PSAM’s proposed reconfiguration of the Deutsche Telekom AG/MetroPCS merger - articulated in a public proxy fight - proved to be very close to a blueprint for the final deal structure. In 2015, PSAM entered into another proxy fight, publishing a white paper arguing that Vivendi was sitting on too much cash, and attained the aim of Vivendi returning more capital to investors.