Before we dive into Lazard’s shareholder activism report, we want to highlight a GPP article published this week that delves into a growing challenge that companies face when it comes to engaging with a broadening range of individual investors. The article, titled “The New Investor Paradigm: Reaching Retail,” explores ways to communicate and engage with this younger generation of stock owners.
And now for some key takeaways from Lazard’s Q1 activism data:
- A sharp uptick in U.S. activism – campaign activity is already around half of 2020 total
- Elliott Management, after averaging four campaigns per quarter since 2017, launched only one in Q1
- New activity has been dominated by institutional investors, occasional activists and new/small cap activists
- The amount of board seats being filled by activist PMs vs. external directors (supported by activists) is growing
- Short activism aimed at de-SPAC transactions is on the rise, with eight coming since the beginning of 2020 and four in Q1 alone
- Activist’s focus is shifting toward consumer, financial, and healthcare, rather than the traditional tech and industrial targets
Top quote in the Lazard report: The “Say-on-Climate” proposals from TCI Fund Management at Union Pacific and Charter Communication – and its pledge to bring such proposals to “hundreds of companies” over the next several years – demonstrate how activists are diversifying their tactics to place pressure on companies regarding ESG issues.
Have a great weekend,