Annual Review of Shareholder Activism 2022

Reports and studies — Financial Advisory, Shareholder Advisory, Shareholder Activism

January 18, 2023


Lazard’s 2022 review of shareholder activism highlights key trends and data in shareholder activism activity in Q4 and for the year. New campaign activity in 2022 represented a 36% increase y/y and the busiest year in the last four years.

Each quarter in 2022 saw a material y/y increase in new campaign activity, with Q4 marking the second busiest single quarter in the last four years after a record-setting Q1.

Technology was the most frequently targeted sector in 2022, representing 21% of activist targets; the extraordinary decline in valuations created an opportune environment for activists who approached the sector in record volumes—especially in the U.S., where the Technology sector accounted for 27% of 2022 campaign activity.

SAFY22 Graphics 3

After a slow start to the year, M&A-related campaigns made a comeback by year-end and represented 41% of all 2022 campaigns.  The rebound in M&A objectives was primarily driven by an increase in break up demands in Q4, as challenging market conditions shone a spotlight on the logic behind keeping disparate businesses together.


Finally, activists won 108 Board seats in 2022, representing a 21% y/y increase. With the universal proxy rule now in effect, and a majority of corporate advance notice deadlines occurring in Q1, the seasonal peak in Q1 2023 has the potential to be even more pronounced.