Investor activism is growing in force across Europe, with the UK consistently coming top of the target list. The most recent A&M Activist Alert (AAA) statistical study suggests that this growth is set to continue, as wolf packs of like-minded investors pool their strength to force change.
The foremost items on an activist’s menu are well known: prolonged underperformance of a fundamentally strong business which gives rise to declining shareholder returns and perceived poor management practices.
Yet there is a sense amongst activist watchers that board composition, including the diversity of a board, is becoming an increasingly important factor when lining up potential targets. We put this to the test, and the AAA indeed found that companies with a higher makeup of women on the board are less likely to be targeted by activists.
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