ValueAct reveals bet on Strayer Education due to its A.I. investments


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Jeffrey Ubben, CEO of ValueAct Capital Partners

Ubben sees a big growth market for Strayer in its enterprise business.

“The idea is …. to use technology to keep tuition [low enough] to the point it could be a corporate benefit and pretty soon we’re educating the masses in a sense on the corporate tab,” he said.

On another matter, Ubben acknowledged that one of the reasons Twenty-First Century Fox agreed to sell assets to Disney was competition from Amazon. ValueAct Capital on Friday announced that Ubben has stepped down from the board of directors of Twenty-First Century Fox.

“Love the Disney deal … The work from here is pretty much regulatory work. To a certain extent I feel my job is done,” he said. “When you look at Amazon and how they do Prime. None of us really expected that they would give away video … So my view on this is that you need the Disney fly wheel. You need the content to drive to [Disney] parks, that drives the retail.”

He also shared his views on the recent controversy over the social media business:

“I think the ad driven model where you centralized the internet on a single platform where the dopamine you can generate distributing polarized messages to sell more ads because you stay online longer is just a disaster.”

Ubben is founder and chief executive officer of ValueAct Capital. Previously, the hedge fund manager was a managing partner at Blum Capital Partners and a portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments. The firm has more than $15 billion of assets under management, according to its website.

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