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Returns to Shareholder Activism: Evidence from a Clinical Study of the Hermes UK Focus Fund

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Author Info

  • Marco Becht
  • Julian Franks
  • Colin Mayer
  • Stefano Rossi

Abstract

This article reports a unique analysis of private engagements by an activist fund. It is based on data made available to us by Hermes, the fund manager owned by the British Telecom Pension Scheme, on engagements with management in companies targeted by its UK Focus Fund. In contrast with most previous studies of activism, we report that the fund executes shareholder activism predominantly through private interventions that would be unobservable in studies purely relying on public information. The fund substantially outperforms benchmarks and we estimate that abnormal returns are largely associated with engagements rather than stock picking. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 3093-3129

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:8:p:3093-3129

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Cited by:
  1. Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Hyunseob Kim, 2012. "The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Risk, and Product Market Competition," Working Papers 12-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Jacob Oded & Yu Wang, 2010. "On the different styles of large shareholders’ activism," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 229-267, June.
  3. Bruno, Valentina & Claessens, Stijn, 2010. "Corporate governance and regulation: Can there be too much of a good thing?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 461-482, October.
  4. Chris Mallin & Andrea Melis, 2012. "Shareholder rights, shareholder voting, and corporate performance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 171-176, May.
  5. Ayers, Benjamin C. & Ramalingegowda, Santhosh & Eric Yeung, P., 2011. "Hometown advantage: The effects of monitoring institution location on financial reporting discretion," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-61, June.
  6. Illoong Kwon & Katherine Guthrie & Jan Sokolowsky, 2008. "On the Objective of Corporate Boards: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 08-08, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  7. Nicole Boyson & Robert Mooradian, 2011. "Corporate governance and hedge fund activism," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 169-204, July.
  8. Renneboog, Luc & Ter Horst, Jenke & Zhang, Chendi, 2011. "Is ethical money financially smart? Nonfinancial attributes and money flows of socially responsible investment funds," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 562-588, October.
  9. Viral V. Acharya & Paolo F. Volpin, 2010. "Corporate Governance Externalities," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(1), pages 1-33.
  10. Alex Edmans & Vivian W. Fang & Emanuel Zur, 2011. "The Effect of Liquidity on Governance," NBER Working Papers 17567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Timothy A. Kruse & Kazunori Suzuki, 2012. "Steel Partners' activism efforts at United Industrial, Ronson, and BKF Capital: The good, the bad, and the ugly," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 587-605, May.
  12. Goergen, Marc & Renneboog, Luc, 2011. "Managerial compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1068-1077, September.
  13. Cronqvist, Henrik & Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, 2013. "CEO contract design: How do strong principals do it?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 659-674.
  14. Renneboog, Luc & Szilagyi, Peter G., 2011. "The role of shareholder proposals in corporate governance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 167-188, February.
  15. Gollier, Christian & Pouget, Sébastien, 2014. "The "Washing Machine": Investment Strategies and Corporate Behavior with Socially Responsible Investors," IDEI Working Papers 813, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  16. Gollier, Christian & Pouget, Sébastien, 2014. "The "Washing Machine": Investment Strategies and Corporate Behavior with Socially Responsible Investors," TSE Working Papers 14-457, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  17. Santella, Paolo & Baffi, Enrico & Drago, Carlo & Lattuca, Dino, 2008. "A Comparative Analysis of the Legal Obstacles to Institutional Investor Activism in Europe and in the US," MPRA Paper 8929, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Hyunseob Kim, 2011. "The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Risk, and Product Market Competition," NBER Working Papers 17517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Barbara Katz & Joel Owen, 2013. "Activism's Impact on Diversified Investors and the Market," Working Papers 13-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  20. Helwege, Jean & Intintoli, Vincent J. & Zhang, Andrew, 2012. "Voting with their feet or activism? Institutional investors’ impact on CEO turnover," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 22-37.

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