Activist Investor Scott Murray Urges Getty Images to Enter AI Partnerships

Murray's firm, Trillium Capital, also urges the digital image company to look for a buyer or go private.

Man walks outside of building with Getty Images logo
Getty Images corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Robert Giroux/Getty Images

Scott Murray, founder and CEO of activist investor Trillium Capital, wants Getty Images to begin pursuing artificial intelligence collaborations with technology companies.

In order to expand revenue, Getty should expand its current generative AI partnership with Nvidia (NVDA), which was announced in March, in addition to teaming up with Microsoft (MSFT) and Bing’s Open API system, according to a statement from Trillium Capital released today (April 17).

Boston-based Trillium Capital said its principals currently hold more than 500,000 shares of Getty, which amounts to roughly 0.15 percent of the company.

The investor also urged Getty to combine its image collection with that of Adobe (ADBE), in addition to suggesting it begin uploading its photos and videos to Meta (META)’s Facebook and Instagram platforms.

“There’s so much going on with artificial intelligence, so much that can be done,” said Murray, who is also a member of venture capital firm Converge Venture Partners. He formerly held CEO positions at educational software provider The Learning Company, business process outsourcing company Stream Global Services and digital electronics manufacturer 3Com.

Trillium also suggested the digital company build relationships with universities in order for students to upload and share images with friends and family using AI, and requested the platform expand its photo library to include special events like sports, religious ceremonies, museums and graduations.

“They’ve not leveraged some of the obvious opportunities, whether that be with churches or universities,” said Murray, who suggested Getty should partner with various institutions in order to document or livestream their events.

Trillium Capital previously launched a 2020 activist campaign against Conduent, a New Jersey-based business process outsourcing company, which Murray claimed was responsible for doubling the company’s stock price.

What is Getty Images’ potential?

Getty went public in July after a $4.8 billion merger with blank-check company CC Neuberger Principal II. The company’s current valuation of $2.45 billion marks a significant fall from its record valuation of $15 billion in August.

According to Murray, Getty has the potential to be valued $1.1 billion higher. Earlier this month, the investor released an open letter to Getty urging the company either be sold or taken private to improve shareholder value.

“I think it’s really simple, Getty should be sold,” said Murray, who suggested Microsoft, Adobe, Nvidia and Meta as potential strategic buyers. “It shouldn’t be a stand-alone company.”

Another option would be for the Getty Family, Koch Icon Investments and CC Neuberger—Getty’s three largest stakeholders who own more than 80 percent of the outstanding shares—to take the company private, he said.

Trillium Capital, which has additionally demanded Getty hire an investment bank to seek out strategic alternatives, also requested on April 14 that Murray join the company’s board of directors as either a member of its audit or compensation committees. According to Murray, he hasn’t yet received feedback from the company on any of Trillium Capital’s requests.

“‘Do nothing’ is not a strategy,” he said. “You have a public responsibility to your shareholders to executive and deliver, and this company and board has done neither.”

Getty did not respond to requests for comment.

Activist Investor Scott Murray Urges Getty Images to Enter AI Partnerships