Activism Archive

Dec 20, 2021
A matter of good governance: What criteria do investors use to differentiate?
What good does it do to have an ideal governance structure if the management of the company isn’t fully behind it? Investors have a clear answer: they prefer to invest in stocks that compare favorably with the rest of the market in terms of both governance structure and corporate management, thus benefiting from a sustainably lower cost of capital. Violations of the law and deviations from recognized governance norms not only have a negative impact on the value of...
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Nov 16, 2021
‘Companies aren’t making change at the speed needed’
Can you explain As You Sow’s history of shareholder advocacy on climate-related issues? We’ve been working on climate for more than a decade. What’s been interesting about climate and shareholders is that it’s been an evolving arena. When we first started working on it, climate wasn’t part of the dialogue. Our goal when we started out was the need for finance to be taking account of climate. Every shareholder should be looking at th...
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Oct 27, 2021
New report shows rise in success of ESG shareholder activism in 2021
A new report released by Diligent Institute finds an increase in successful ESG shareholder activism campaigns, with a lack of modern governance practices cited as a key catalyst for activist action. Diligent’s report focuses on the steps companies are taking to be better prepared for shareholder activism, analyzing the governance data of companies targeted by investor activists. The sample includes data from 726 companies that engaged with investors, focusing sol...
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Oct 12, 2021
Activism is back in the UK as campaigns double
The number of activist shareholder campaigns targeting UK companies has almost doubled in the past 12 months, according to research from Squarewell Partners, which shows that 42 companies were targeted – up from 24 companies in the previous year. ‘The rise was most pronounced in FTSE 250 and AIM companies,’ says Squarewell in its new report. ‘In the FTSE 250, there were campaigns by Goph...
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Oct 09, 2021
The week in investor relations: Private equity pays top dollar, Engine No 1 invests in GM and UK companies make progress on board diversity
– Private equity firms are paying premiums for public companies not seen for two decades, according to the Financial Times (paywall). The paper reported that the average premium paid for European companies is 45 percent in 2021, the highest level since data firm Refinitiv began keeping records in 1980. The average premium for US companies this year is 42 percent, the highest for 22 yea...
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Sep 27, 2021
Tenured IROs can serve as activist deterrent, study finds
In a letter to CEOs, BlackRock’s Larry Fink opines that a ‘central reason for the rise of activism – and wasteful proxy fights – is that companies have not been explicit enough about their long-term strategies.’ Now comes the strongest evidence yet that having a dedicated IR function is a potent defense against contemporary activist tactics. According to a new study that samples a broad set of US firms from 2001 to 2016, the appointment of an IRO is associ...
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Aug 27, 2021
The week in investor relations: Box in fight with Starboard Value, call to end fossil fuel listings in London and SEC probes asset manager over ESG claims
­– Reuters reported that ISS-backed cloud storage vendor Box in its fight with activist investor Starboard Value by recommending that shareholders vote for the company’s directors instead of the hedge fund firm’s nominees. In its report, ISS said shareholders should vote for Box directors Peter Leav and Aaron Levie, arguing that the existin...
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Jul 30, 2021
New investor campaign targets 50 food companies over emissions reductions
A new investor campaign has called on North American food companies to take stronger action over climate change as the buy-side focus on reducing emissions shifts beyond the oil and gas sector. The initiative, coordinated by sustainability non-profit Ceres, has published a list of 50 ‘high-emitting’ food and agriculture companies alongside an analysis of their Scope 3 emissions and reduction targets. Most of the companies are ‘lagging in key areas that ...
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Jul 29, 2021
Shareholder activism down at half year mark
The number of companies targeted by an activist during the first half of the year was at its lowest level in more than six years, according to Insightia’s half-year shareholder activism review.   Between January 1 and June 30 this year, 518 companies were targeted by activist investors. This is a notable decrease compared to the first half of 2020, when 594 companies were...
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