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The DealMaker Quarterly: The Eve of Disruption - Activism 2019

Partner Shaun Mathew discussed trends and themes driving activist campaigns during the 2019 proxy season in The Deal’s DealMaker Quarterly for the third quarter of 2019. Shaun discussed a variety of topics, including: the growing intersection of activism and M&A; the evolving roles and influence of active managers, index funds and proxy advisory firms; activist control slates; and the impact of growing calls for gender diversity on shareholder activism.

Notably, Shaun observed that "Activism is continuing to have a significant impact on the M&A markets in the U.S. and internationally… In a meaningful percentage of these situations, deals ultimately happen after activists show up.”

Additionally, he commented that “Active managers are charging higher fees than BlackRock or Vanguard and they are looking for ways to justify them… We're seeing them employ activist tactics, which gives their own investors more of a reason to invest with them."

Shaun also discussed the importance of gender diversity in activist slates, saying, “Today it is almost malpractice for an activist to not have one or more women on a slate… These are things [gender diversity, sustainability] that Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street care about [and] it is no surprise that these issues are now coming to the forefront of campaigns."

Read the full report

This article appeared in its entirety in the September 30, 2019 edition of The DealMaker Quarterly, published by The Deal.