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Lazard's Quarterly Review of Shareholder Activism – Q1 2021

Apr 14 2021

Lazard's quarterly review of shareholder activism compiles and analyzes data on key activism trends globally.


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Key observations from Q1 2021 report include:

  • Q1 2021 saw a second consecutive quarter of elevated global activity (53 new campaigns initiated, in-line with Q1 2020 levels) following the pandemic-related downturn of mid-2020

graph 1

  • The significant U.S. rebound continues, with 37 new campaigns (up 48% from Q1 2020 levels) accounting for 70% of all global activity

graph 2

    - Q1 2021 U.S. activity is already approaching ~50% of U.S. activity for all of 2020

    - In contrast to late 2020’s emphasis on mega-cap activity in the U.S., three-quarters of all Q1 2021 activity targeted sub-$10bn market cap companies

  • Following a record-setting Q4 2020, activity in Europe pulled back slightly, with only 10 new campaigns initiated

graph 3

  • 42 Board seats were won by activists in Q1 2021 (in line with Q1 2020), and Board change was an objective in ~42% of all new campaigns initiated
  • Even with many of Q1 2021’s live situations having recently settled, 66 Board seats remain “in play” heading into proxy season

graph 4



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