Returns to hedge fund activism: an international study

Becht, M and Franks, J R and Wagner, H F (2017) Returns to hedge fund activism: an international study. The Review of Financial Studies, 30 (9). pp. 2933-2971. ISSN 0893-9454

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This paper provides evidence on the incidence, characteristics, and performance of activist engagements across countries. We find that the incidence of activism is greatest with high institutional ownership, particularly for U.S. institutions. We use a sample of 1,740 activist engagements across 23 countries and find that almost one-quarter of engagements are by multi-activists engaging the same target. These engagements perform strikingly better than single activist engagements. Engagement outcomes, such as board changes and takeovers, vary across countries and significantly contribute to the returns to activism. Japan is an exception, with high initial expectations and low outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: (Winner of CAMRI Prize in Asset Management). This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in 'Review of Financial Studies' following peer review. The version of record is available online at: and
Subjects: S > Share ownership
Subject Areas: Finance
DOI: 10.1093/rfs/hhx048
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 13:57
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2017 18:08

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