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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the phenomenon of shareholder activism within the context of corporate governance and its place in today’s debate on shareholders and shareholder empowerment. It first reviews the concept of shareholder activism and emphasizes the importance of the shareholder structure under which it operates before turning to the historical developments of shareholder activism, with particular emphasis on the U.K., US, and continental Europe. It then describes the various methods employed by activist shareholders and the corresponding regulatory constraints. It also discusses the impact of the global financial crisis of 2007–2011 on shareholder activism. The chapter suggests that shareholder activism has been enjoying something of a renaissance lately, with hedge fund activism becoming more refined, as well as a surge in success following the global financial crisis.

Keywords: shareholder activism, corporate governance, shareholder empowerment, shareholder structure, UK, United States, Europe, activist shareholders, financial crisis, hedge fund activism

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