November 7, 2018

Shareholder Activism: What Do the Activists Think?

This Schulte Roth study reports the results of a survey of activist investors about their experience with shareholder activism & their expectations for activity over the next 12 months. Here are some of the key findings:

– 33% of activists believe that activism is becoming crowded in the U.S. and targets are becoming increasingly hard to find.

– The median number of campaigns that respondents expect to launch in the next 12 months is 3.

– 75% of respondents expect the assets allocated to activist strategies to¬† increase”significantly” (25%) or “somewhat” (50%) over the next 12 months.

– 72% of respondents expect to raise “some” or “a lot” of new capital over the next 12 months.

– 80% of respondents disagree (72%) or strongly disagree (8%) that increased engagement by institutional investors with portfolio companies will decrease the role of activist investors.

– The U.S. remains the most popular market for activism, with 85% of respondents seeing some (51%) or a lot (34%) of opportunity for shareholder activism over the next 12 months

The survey says that activists see the greatest opportunity over the next 12 months at the lower end of the corporate food chain, with respondents identifying micro, small & mid-cap companies as the most promising targets for activism. Interestingly, the respondents also say that key stakeholders – including institutional investors, boards, management and retail investors – have become more accepting of shareholder activism over the past 12 months.

John Jenkins