The Covid-19 pandemic has launched a referendum on executive pay that has crossed the Atlantic and landed in Europe. This week, 40% of Foxton shareholders voted against the British estate company’s executive pay plan, the Financial Times reported. With AGM season around the corner, management teams are increasingly aware that the trend is spreading, at home and abroad, especially for companies hard hit by the pandemic. Shareholder patience is thin, and proxy advisors are no less sympathetic.
Activist hedge fund returns have outpaced the broader market so far this year, Reuters reported. The average activist fund returned 8.76% in the first quarter, ahead of the broader hedge-fund industry’s 6% gain and a 5.8% rise in the S&P 500 stock market index, Hedge Fund Research data shows. Top performers include Legion Partners at 15.6%, Ancora at 11%, and Third Point at 11%. Activists are targeting management teams that continue to lag peers despite the economic return and can no longer use headwinds stemming from the pandemic as a reason for underperformance.
CalPERS joined New York state’s pension fund in support of activist hedge fund, Engine No.1’s proposed slate for ExxonMobil’s board, Reuters reported. In its statement, the California pension fund said the oil and gas company would, "benefit from additional expertise in both its core business and in renewable energy technologies." CalSTRS, the California pension fund more often associated with activist support, publicly backed Engine No. 1 when it first launched its campaign.
Have a great weekend,