Activism Archive

Apr 09, 2019
NIRI endorses Copland evidence given to Senate Committee
NIRI has revealed it supports some of the criticisms made by James Copland from the Washington-based conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in his evidence to a Senate Committee last week.  Copland blamed an increased focus on ESG, regulations, special interest groups and proxy firms for having a ‘negativ...
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Apr 05, 2019
Think tank criticizes activist influence as having ‘negative’ impact on shareholder value
A leading New York policy wonk has criticized the shareholding and activist process in the US, with a particular condemnation of ESG issues and the influence of special interest groups, in testimony given to a Senate committee hearing this week. James Copland, director of legal policy at the New York-based conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, listed a number of issues to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that ...
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Apr 03, 2019
Activist hedge funds are ‘impotent’, says study
Activist hedge funds are unable to effect meaningful change at corporations, according to a new research paper by a former academic. In a critical paper, ‘The unfulfilled promise of hedge fund activism’, JB Heaton, a former professor at the business and law schools of the University of Chicago and Duke University, pans the role of activist hedge funds. He writes: ‘Hedge fund activism has mostly disappointed. While hedge fund activists are good at motiva...
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Mar 29, 2019
Investment Association committee lists three issues to grill companies on at AGMs
Britain’s upcoming AGM season could be a sparky affair, after 15 asset managers at the Investment Association’s (IA) corporate governance and engagement committee have decided on three topics to put to public companies at shareholder meetings. The committee, chaired by Jessica Ground, global head of stewardship at Schroders, is helping to set the framework for the grilling of companies on diversity, excessive pension payouts to bosses and poor-quality audits –...
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Mar 29, 2019
The week in IR: Investors to chase directors over audit failures, and shareholders oust CEO of Korean Air from board
Investors are planning to hold directors and audit partners to task for their roles in accounting scandals, according to the Financial Times. Pointing to companies such as Carillion, Interserve and Patisserie Valerie, the newspaper said investment managers have been blamed for failing in their stewardship duties and for not preventing corporate blow-ups. The FT n...
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Mar 15, 2019
European corporates lack plan to deal with activist investors
As activist investors become more numerous in reach and sophisticated in approach, European corporates are struggling to deal with activist tactics.  This is the clear message from a new study by consulting company AlixPartners, which surveyed senior executives at more than 500 publicly traded companies in the UK, France, Germany and Italy showing how vulnerable corporate Europe feels. Out of these, a mere 10 percent of company executives polled say they cou...
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Feb 25, 2019
IROs should ‘meaningfully’ engage long-term investors to defend against activists
IROs are the first line of defense for European companies facing the sustained threat of shareholder activism, according to Activistmonitor. Financially healthy companies in sectors such as industrials, chemicals, consumer and pharmaceuticals are expected to be increasingly targeted by activist investors in 2019, according to the ‘Full-Year Review 2018 – Activism in Europe’ report. There has been significant pickup (156 percent) in the number of new liv...
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Feb 07, 2019
Activist investors targeted 922 companies in 2018, report highlights
More than 900 companies were targeted with activist campaigns last year and 417 of those were outside the US, according to a new report. The Activist Investing Annual Review 2019, produced by Activist Insight in association with Schulte Roth & Zabel, notes that 922 companies were targeted in 2018 worldwide compared with 856 in 2017. Asia hit a record high in 2018, the report suggests, adding that 111 companies in the region were approached by activists, c...
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Jan 15, 2019
UK shareholder activism rose significantly in 2018
UK shareholder activism saw a sharp increase last year as investors launched campaigns at 25 companies, spending $7.35 bn on stocks, according to research by the investment bank Lazard. Just 11 UK companies faced activist campaigns in 2017, less than half of last year’s number, with the growth in activism in 2018 raising the prospect of further disruption for management of UK companies this year. Looked at within a global context, investors in UK companies ...
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Jan 11, 2019
A year in activism: Looking ahead to 2019
When stocks take the kind of nosedive they did in December 2018, market prognosticators tend to pronounce slowdowns in all types of activity from M&A to IPOs and debt financing. Shareholder activism often gets tossed into this mix. While the volatile markets certainly impacted the 2018 year-end results for a number of activists, from our vantage point we see the record shareholder activist activity that occurred in 2018 continuing into this year not despite of but – ...
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