Quality of Activists' ArgumentsPartner Louis Barbier comments to Laurence Boisseau of Les Echos regarding the importance of the quality of the activists' arguments in a campaign 30 June 2019
Les Échos, the daily French financial newspaper, extensively covers SquareWell’s Activism Survey.
The recent resignation of UK-Listed First Group’s boss came following Coast Capital’s push to remove half its board due to concerns with its strategic direction. Whilst Coast Capital’s proposals did not receive majority support, it did receive the backing of approximately 20 percent of First Group’s shareholders, including two active managers – Schroders and Columbia Threadneedle.
This recent example demonstrates the clear trend of the changing dynamic between traditional investors and activists in recent years. Almost 90% of “active” managers (as opposed to “passive” managers of index funds) believe that activists have utility in the markets, according to our survey conducted by SquareWell Partners though with reservations (with close 60% of investors participating in the survey suggesting that activists fail to consider the entirety of the business).
The full article can be accessed here (in French, 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.