Shareholder Activist

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Definition of 'Shareholder Activist'

A shareholder activist is an individual or group of investors who use their ownership stake in a company to influence its policies and practices. Activist shareholders typically have a long-term investment horizon and are motivated by a desire to improve the company's performance and create value for all shareholders.

Shareholder activists can use a variety of tactics to influence companies, including submitting shareholder proposals, engaging in proxy fights, and filing lawsuits. Shareholder proposals are requests that the company's board of directors take specific actions, such as adopting a new corporate governance policy or increasing the company's dividend payout. Proxy fights occur when an activist shareholder tries to replace the company's board of directors with directors who are more aligned with the activist's goals. Shareholder lawsuits are filed against the company or its directors for alleged violations of the law or the company's charter.

Shareholder activism can be a powerful tool for improving corporate governance and creating value for shareholders. However, it can also be controversial, as some critics argue that activist shareholders are too focused on short-term profits and that they can disrupt companies' operations.

Despite the controversy, shareholder activism is a growing trend. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of shareholder proposals, proxy fights, and shareholder lawsuits. This trend is likely to continue, as more and more investors become aware of the power of shareholder activism and as they seek to use their ownership stake to improve the companies in which they invest.

Here are some of the benefits of shareholder activism:

* It can help to improve corporate governance. Activist shareholders can push companies to adopt more transparent and accountable corporate governance practices.
* It can help to create value for shareholders. Activist shareholders can pressure companies to make changes that will improve their financial performance and create value for all shareholders.
* It can help to hold companies accountable. Activist shareholders can help to ensure that companies are acting in the best interests of all shareholders, not just the management team or the board of directors.

Here are some of the risks of shareholder activism:

* It can be disruptive. Activist shareholders can disrupt companies' operations by filing lawsuits, submitting shareholder proposals, and engaging in proxy fights.
* It can be costly. Activist shareholders can spend a lot of money on their campaigns, which can eat into the profits of the companies they are targeting.
* It can be counterproductive. Activist shareholders can sometimes push companies to make changes that are not in the best interests of all shareholders.

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