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Keeping ahead of the activists

In Deloitte’s perspective, Activist Investors: Keeping ahead of the Activists, we look at the features of a company that attract Activist Investors, and what can be done in short order to improve the chances of retaining control and delivering value with or without an Activist Investor’s disruptive presence.

The report, part of a three-part series released in 2020, also provides insight from executives and leaders who have been on the receiving end of an Activist Investor campaign.

Key findings

  • Penetration rates of financially-minded Activist Investors in major Europe markets are half those seen in the mature US market. Other developed markets, including Japan, Australia, Canada and Korea, are lower still.
  • To date, the largest companies have been disproportionately targeted outside the US, attracting both the large US and local Activist Investors.
  • Mid-size companies need to beware: As markets become more attuned to activism and more home-grown Activist Investors emerge, penetration rates outside the US are more likely to catch up with those in the US as they have with the largest companies.
  • Some markets and sectors are more accessible to Activist Investors whilst in others, it is easier to defend against their advances.
  • There are growing suspicions that established shareholders are inviting Activist Investors to become involved, and their increasing interest around Environmental, Social and Governance issues may provide useful traction for financially-minded Activist Investors.

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