Activism Archive

Feb 19, 2021
The week in investor relations: Republicans fight Nasdaq diversity plans, flying taxi fraud denial and a 30-year high in Japan
– Republicans on the US Senate Banking Committee urged the SEC to reject a proposed rule from Nasdaq requiring public companies to adopt new racial and gender diversity standards for their boards, according to Bloomberg. They argue Nasdaq should not use its ‘quasi-regulatory authority to impose social policies’ and say the p...
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Jan 06, 2021
Proxy campaign outlook: What’s in the activists’ playbook for 2021?
Looking ahead at 2021, corporate management teams will be facing a very different operating environment from the one that prevailed through most of 2020. While the availability of Covid-19 vaccines may allow the economy to return to something akin to normalcy, some changes accelerated by the coronavirus – such as working from home, increased digitization of commerce and shifts in consumer behavior – will leave a lasting impact on businesses. At the same time, a heighte...
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Dec 11, 2020
The week in investor relations: The Vatican’s Inclusive Capitalism, UK firms face activism risk and Airbnb’s IPO
– Pope Francis gave his blessing to a new alliance that includes large investors, companies, unions and foundations, reported the Financial Times (paywall). Founding members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism include the managers of around $10.5 tn in assets, companies with a combined market cap of more than $2 tn and groups representing more than 200 mn workers ar...
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Dec 06, 2020
Australian climate change lawsuit a ‘shot across the bow’ of directors and trustees worldwide
A 25-year-old Australian who sued his A$57 bn ($42 bn) pension fund over climate change has settled out of court in a case widely seen as a wake-up call for trustees and company directors. The David-versus-Goliath case was brought by Mark McVeigh against his pension fund, Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (Rest), known as a ‘superfund’ in Australia. The landscape...
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Nov 27, 2020
TCI goes global with ‘say on climate’ campaign
The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) has significantly expanded its ‘say on climate’ campaign, with resolutions filed at several US-listed companies and plans to target ‘hundreds’ more. The hedge fund, managed by Sir Christopher Hohn, will also focus on companies in Canada, the UK and continental Europe as it seeks to push management into more urgent action over global warming.  On a ...
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Nov 13, 2020
Activism in a pandemic: Tampered appetites and the rise of climate activism
Companies across the US, Canada, continental Europe and the UK had something of a respite from shareholder activism this year. The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with uncertainty over the US election, saw the number of public campaigns globally drop from 757 by the end of Q3 2019 to 652 by the end of Q3 this year. Numbers from Activist Insight show activism was down across almost all regions. In the US alone, those numbers were 412 campaigns by the end of Q3 last year a...
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Nov 10, 2020
Expect increased scrutiny at European AGMs in 2021, says Morrow Sodali
While investors were broadly supportive of companies during this year’s European AGM season, boards should expect more scrutiny in 2021 over their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from Morrow Sodali, the advisory firm. Across European markets, investors showed little change from last year in their votes on board elections and executive compensation i...
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Oct 30, 2020
The week in investor relations: Pushing back against activists and bringing back dividends
– Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s CEO, Christophe Cuvillier, expressed confidence ‘that shareholders will back plans for a controversial capital increase’, according to the Financial Times (paywall). Activists are pushing instead for an asset sale to address the company’s high debt levels.  – Royal Dutch Shell brought back its progressive dividend in a bid to win over inv...
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