Activistmonitor Quotes Steve Wolosky on the Evolution of Shareholder Activism

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Activistmonitor (subscription required) quoted Olshan Activist & Equity Investment Practice Co-Chair Steve Wolosky on how the shareholder activism space has evolved in recent years. “Established shareholder activists and some of their highest profile corporate targets continued to seek campaign resolutions that didn’t lead to the corporate ballot box in 2019,” he noted. Of the 207 activist campaigns mounted in 2019 (up from 205 in 2018), only about 30 campaigns went to a vote in 2019. “Targets in general have opted for behind-the-scenes dialogue, which can help both parties find common ground,” Mr. Wolosky said, adding that large cap companies especially have increasingly adopted the idea that activists can prove instrumental in devising helpful solutions for a company. In 2019, activists targeted 28 companies with market caps exceeding $10 billion, with the industrials, consumer, leisure, and services sectors being the most heavily targeted. The heightened degree of trust exemplified in the uptick in informal settlement agreements, coupled with the broad range of industries that activists are targeting, should make 2020 an energetic year for activist campaigns.  

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