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Poorly run = undervalued: Activist seeks to prove his theory

Stephen Griggs is putting one of his firmest beliefs to a real-world test, setting out to prove companies’ profits will climb if their corporate governance is improved.

Mr. Griggs has launched a new foray into activist investing with Smoothwater Capital Corp., marrying his long-time interest in board governance with his earlier background in the mutual fund sector to help build a new investment portfolio that will acquire and restructure mid-tier companies that have good hard assets but are undervalued in the market and have weak boards or poor strategic oversight.