Communications Challenges for the Post-Activist Proxy Contest World

The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation 2017-07-17

Posted by Kal Goldberg and Charles Nathan, Finsbury LLC, on Monday, July 17, 2017
Editor's Note: Kal Goldberg is a Partner and Head of the US capital markets and transactions group and Charles Nathan is a Senior Advisor at Finsbury LLC. This post is based on a Finsbury publication by Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Nathan.

The New Normal for Activist Investor Campaigns

Over the past several years, the end game for activist investor campaigns has increasingly become a consensual settlement of some sort, rather than a proxy contest to “the death”. In 2016, 45 percent of activist proxy contests ended in a settlement, up from 35 percent in 2012. Looking further back, the trend becomes even starker—less than 20 percent of proxy fights in 2001 ended in settlement. The percentage of activist campaigns ending in settlements prior to initiation of a proxy contest, of course, is far higher.