The many faces of investor activism, its evolution and prospects

REVUE INTERNATIONALE DES SERVICES FINANCIERS, Forthcoming
Abstract

The ongoing evolutionary process in corporate stock ownership and investors’ actual behavior as shareholders has turned shareholder activism into a multifaceted concept. After drawing a distinction between fundamentally activist and non-activist shareholders, and between the non-overlapping notions of activism and engagement, this Article analyzes activist-driven and non-activist-driven forms of institutions’ collective action. In order to stimulate and support mainstream institutional investors’ active ownership more effectively and promote non-activist stewardship as an actual alternative to activist-driven share ownership, collective engagement as a cost-effective stewardship tool needs to be incentivized by clarifying the grey areas still remaining within the relevant regulatory framework.