The Man in the Front Row

Roughly once a month you'll find Ekkehard Wenger, 48, hunched over his notes in the front row of some big German shareholder meeting. You can be sure the executives on the stage know he's there. He's sometimes alone and sometimes with a gaggle of students, sometimes keeping an eye on his investments and sometimes — like at the DaimlerChrysler meetings — blasting holes in the walls that obscure the maneuverings of the men who sit on Germany's corporate boards.

He gained international attention after taking the podium at a Daimler-Benz shareholder meeting in 1993. Trading volume had surged...

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