CORPORATIONS: Bull's-Eye Against Allegheny

As a holding company, Alleghany Corp. controls a stock empire whose assets include 20% and working control of the giant New York Central Railroad, 50% of Missouri Pacific Class B stock. 18% of Webb & Knapp real estate firm, plus 24% of the voting stock in Investors Diversified Services, an investment trust worth close to $3 billion. All told, Alleghany's assets amount to $134 million, and they are enough to give any group of managers all the leverage they need to wheel and deal. But last week Alleghany's wheeler-dealers were laid low by a small stockholder who did not...