In the news: Starboard Value has taken an approximately 4.4 percent stake in Regis Corp. and intends to nominate a slate of three directors at the hair styling chain's yet-to-be-scheduled 2011 annual meeting.

Founded: March 2011

Headquarter: New York

Business: Starboard is an activist hedge fund spun off from Cowen Group's value and opportunity business. Ramius LLC operates Cowen's alternative investment strategies management business and also has a minority interest in Starboard Value.

Leadership: Starboard is led by Jeff Smith, Mark Mitchell and Peter Feld, former executives of Ramius.

Recent actions: Ramius had a 12 percent stake in Eden Prairie-based biopharmaceutical company SurModics. In January, SurModics shareholders appointed two of three board members that Ramius had nominated for the SurModics board in 2010.


Headquarter: Edina

Founded: 1922

Business: Regis owns, operates and franchises hairstyling and hair care salons in the United States and internationally. Regis has annual revenue of $2.3 billion for the year ended June 30 - down 1.4 percent from the previous year. While fourth quarter sales were up 0.3 percent, the company is still losing customer traffic and has been losing traffic since before the recession.

Leadership: Chairman and CEO Paul Finkelstein

Compensation: Finkelstein's total compensation for year ended June 30, 2010 was $3.2 million, including a $1.4 million annual salary.

Recent actions: A year ago, Regis hired an investment banker to explore strategic options. But no acceptable buyer or other options were found, the company said in December.