The Benefits and Costs of Shareholder Activism
17.30 Tuesday, 27 May 2014
London Business School

A presentation of the academic research paper "The Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study" followed by a panel discussion and a reception, organised by the LBS Centre for Corporate Governance and the ECGI held at the London Business School.
Attendance by invitation only.


17.00 Registration
17.30 Welcome
Presentation: The Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study
by Marco Becht, Université Libre de Bruxelles and ECGI Julian Franks, London Business School and ECGI Jeremy Grant, CM-CIC Securities and Hannes Wagner, Bocconi University. ECGI Finance Working Paper No. 402/2014
  The paper examines almost 1800 cases of shareholder activism across three regions Asia, Europe and North America. It investigates the profitability of activist engagements and the underlying factors of success.
  Professor Marco Becht
Professor of Finance and Economics
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
ECGI Executive Director
and ECGI Fellow

Professor Julian Franks
Professor of Finance
Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance
London Business School
and ECGI Fellow

18.15 Panel discussion
  What are the impacts of shareholder activism on governance and performance of the target companies? This panel will discuss the costs and benefits of shareholder activism. It will also investigate whether activists act as catalysts for change, force companies to adopt short term objectives or simply put them ‘into play’ as good takeover target. Other aspects addressed by the panel are how institutional investors can become more active shareholders, if hedge fund activists facilitate or hinder stewardship, whether the skill set of the average fund manager was suitable for identifying and intervening when there is underperformance and whether activism was compatible with the low costs of fund management particularly of indexed funds.
  David Pitt-Watson (Moderator)
Former Head, Hermes Focus Funds
Executive Fellow, LBS
  John Connolly
AMEC and G4S
  Conor Kehoe
McKinsey & Company
  Harlan Zimmerman
Senior Partner
Cevian Capital
19.35 Drinks Reception