Activism Annual Review - European Activism EvolvesInsihtia's 2023 Annual Activism Review has been published, reviewing activism trends globally. 16 February 2023
Insihtia’s 2023 Annual Activism Review has been published, reviewing activism trends globally. Looking specifically at Europe, shareholder activism looks to have taken a back seat, with the number of public campaigns across Europe falling to the lowest levels seen since 2015. In 2022, just 198 shareholder activism campaigns went public, compared to 287 and 232 throughout 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The downwards trend in public activist activity in Europe, according to various investors who spoke with Insightia, reflects an increase in private engagements and settlements between activists and companies.
Andrew Brady, Director at SquareWell Partners, told Insightia in an interview that while there are “many reactive elements that make up an activism defence, companies can protect themselves most effectively through pro-activity, having a good ongoing understanding of their shareholders and committing to meaningful engagement,” noting that such a culture readily exists within European boards.
The full report can be accessed here (subscription required).
Activist investors are expected to launch more and bolder campaigns for change among European companies in the year ahead, advisers told Reuters, after a record number in 2023.
AQTION, a subsidiary of SquareWell Partners, published its inaugural study – ‘Stewardship in AQTION’ – which details how the world’s largest 65 asset managers and owners steward their portfolio companies and how they incorporate extra-financial considerations into their investment decision-making processes.
Carl Icahn is preparing for a second board battle at gene-sequencing company Illumina after shareholders elected his candidate, Andrew Teno, to the company’s board and ousted the chairman, John Thompson, in May. Icahn then successfully pushed out former CEO Frances DeSouza in June.