Activism Archive

Jun 12, 2019
Canadian activism seen as ongoing despite slowdown
Industry advisers say activist investing in Canada is very much still on the agenda despite a drop-off from last year’s mini boom, a new report finds. A record 75 Canada-based companies faced public activist campaigns in 2018, according to Activist Insight Online research. That number is up sharply from the 56 subjected to public demands the year before though up more modestly from the total of 70 and 66 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Similarly, there were a reco...
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Jun 10, 2019
Shareholder activism down 15 percent globally so far this year
Worldwide, there has been a 15 percent drop in the number of companies publicly subjected to activist demands so far this year, according to Activist Insight data on campaigns to the end of May.   Even so, more than 500 companies globally have been publicly subjected to activist demands so far in 2019, ‘although that is down from 619 in 2018’s record-breaking start to the year,’ notes Activist Insight. The decline in activism this year has actually pic...
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May 02, 2019
Surviving an activist and dealing with broken windows
When Vivendi rode into Ubisoft’s town in October 2015, the consensus view was that the latter was condemned, facing an opponent that was both financially strong and shrewd. Fast-forward to the present and the picture is very different: the activist raider has left town, leaving little more than ripples in the sand. ‘Here we are, stronger than ever, with amazing support from our employees and shareholders and an evolved shareholding structure that has met with ov...
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Apr 30, 2019
Shareholder activism down more than 40 percent in Canada
The number of Canadian firms publicly targeted by activist investors in the first quarter of 2019 is down 43 percent on the same period last year. Whereas Q1 2018 saw 32 firms come under attack by activists, data from Activist Insight shows that just 18 were the subject of a campaign in Q1 2019. ‘Activism has slowed in Canada this year, partly because mining stocks have rallied after last year’s bear market and begun to address their weakness through M&am...
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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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