Mary Ann Deignan Speaks at Bloomberg Invest

Lazard in the News — New York, Shareholder Activism, Shareholder Advisory

June 15, 2023


On June 8, Mary Ann Deignan, Head of Capital Markets Advisory, participated in a panel discussion at the Bloomberg Invest conference held in New York.

During the wide-ranging discussion moderated by Bloomberg News' Kriti Gupta, Mary Ann touched upon issues including shareholder rights and activism, as well as where she sees pressure manifesting itself in the markets at present. 

"I see pressure in public company board rooms and in the c-suite. The investing and operating environment has changed so much in the last 18 months and, unfortunately, there are many business plans that have not been refreshed and updated for the fact that the cost of capital is dramatically higher for most companies than it was, supply chains has been disrupted, and labor markets have been disrupted. There is a lot of pressure from activist shareholders and generally unhappy shareholders," she told Kriti.

Mary Ann went on to elaborate on her theme of the impact outdated business plans may have. "In the c-suite there is a tremendous amount of focus on how you are going to finance capital plans. Capital allocation strategies have been built for a different environment where there was seemingly endless liquidity and the cost of capital was cheap. That has changed: not only has the cost of capital changed, but the availability of capital has changed too. Companies really have had to re-envision what their future looks like. They really have to question how am I going to access capital and how am I going to fund my growth plan? If I can’t clear my return hurdles based on new cost of capital assumptions, what is plan B?"

A three minute-clip of Mary Ann's remarks can be found here.

To watch the 21-minute discussion in full, click here.