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Dianne McKeever is number 19 on the Fortune 40 under 40 list. McKeever is an enigma on Wall Street. She’s a woman hedge fund manager, and that makes her suspect. But make no mistake about McKeever’s ability as an investor. Dianne’s investment in Boingo Wireless, the company that provides hotspots in airport terminals, has returned more than 55% since McKeever’s hedge fund, Ides Capital, bought shares in the company in 2015. Boingo Wireless lost half of its value after going public in 2011, McKeever saw an opportunity when she studied the structure of the company and its board members. She does that before taking the plunge and buying stock in any company.
When she did buy shares in Boingo, she told the board members that they were pale, stale, and male, and she pushed to get two members replaced. Her company is named after each month in the Roman calendar so there is a perception of change in the name of her company just like the famous Ides of March that was made famous by William Shakespeare. McKeever likes to say “The Ides changed everything,” and her company is all about changing the old and making companies new again, according to Fortune.com. Shares in Boingo Wireless have risen 20 percent since Ides Capital got involved.
Being the only woman manager of a hedge fund does present some challenges in a male-dominated industry. But McKeever is well equipped to handle the challenges. Dianne graduated from NYU’s College of Arts and Science with a BS degree in Chemistry. She then went to Stevens Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering. In 2001, she became a research analysis for Barington Capital Group and stayed there for seven years. She became a partner of Brecourt Capital Partners in 2008. Brecourt Capital is a hedge fund sponsor that invests in alternative markets and U.S. public equities. She is also a board member of Sielox.
McKeever corporate mission is to constructively and actively interact with corporate boards as well as management teams in order to effectively implement positive changes in underperforming companies. Ides Capital main objective is to increase the long-term value of companies and to give stockholders the returns they expect. McKeever like boardroom diversification and she is very focused on improving corporate governance practices. Boingo Wireless is a good example of what McKeever can do when she is given the financial wheel.
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