Increase in Large and Small Shareholder Activists
It has been reported that this year is seeing a significant increase in large and small shareholder activists communicating requests for change to many public companies. That makes it a good time for the public companies in turn to increase their level of self-reflection and self-due diligence. Different activists frequently have different objectives. Some seek board changes while others have specific strategic objectives they want accomplished. Public companies internally, and with outside help, should assess their vulnerabilities. In many cases, that will help them to defend against a possible activist. In other instances, the companies will be able and willing to make positive changes before hearing from the activist.
A down market for stocks has helped drive up the volume of activist campaigns, as investors pounce on opportunities to push for change at underperforming companies. There were 135 activist campaigns in the U.S. in 2022, a 41% jump from the prior year, Lazard found.
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