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Hedge Fund Activism: A Review


  • Brav, Alon
  • Jiang, Wei
  • Kim, Hyunseob


This monograph reviews shareholder activism by hedge funds. We first describe the nature and characteristics of hedge fund activism, including the objectives, tactics, and choices of target companies. We then analyze possible value creation brought about by activist hedge funds, both for shareholders in the target companies and for investors in the hedge funds. The evidence generally supports the view that hedge fund activism creates value for shareholders by effectively influencing the governance, capital structure decisions, and operating performance of target firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Brav, Alon & Jiang, Wei & Kim, Hyunseob, 2010. "Hedge Fund Activism: A Review," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 185-246, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntfin:0500000026
    DOI: 10.1561/0500000026

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    Cited by:

    1. Mike Burkart & Amil Dasgupta, 2014. "Activist Funds, Leverage, and Procyclicality," FMG Discussion Papers dp733, Financial Markets Group.
    2. repec:spr:reaccs:v:24:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11142-018-9479-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Atanas Mihov, 2016. "Predisclosure Accumulations by Activist Investors and Price Impact of Trading," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(1), pages 231-263.
    4. 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.
    5. Boyson, Nicole M. & Gantchev, Nickolay & Shivdasani, Anil, 2017. "Activism mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 54-73.
    6. Burkart, Mike & Dasgupta, Amil, 2013. "Why is hedge fund activism procyclical?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Borghesi, Richard & Houston, Joel F. & Naranjo, Andy, 2014. "Corporate socially responsible investments: CEO altruism, reputation, and shareholder interests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 164-181.
    8. Raluca Roman, 2015. "Shareholder activism in banking," Research Working Paper RWP 15-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 01 Aug 2015.
    9. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Alon Brav & Wei Jiang, 2015. "The Long-Term Effects of Hedge Fund Activism," NBER Working Papers 21227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Brav, Alon & Dasgupta, Amil & Mathews, Richmond, 2016. "Wolf Pack Activism," CEPR Discussion Papers 11507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Ljungqvist, Alexander P. & Raff, Konrad, 2017. "Busy Directors: Strategic Interaction and Monitoring Synergies," CEPR Discussion Papers 12361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Kedia, Simi & Rajgopal, Shivaram & Zhou, Xing (Alex), 2017. "Large shareholders and credit ratings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 632-653.
    13. Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Hyunseob Kim, 2011. "The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Asset Allocation, and Labor Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 17517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Burkart, Mike & Lee, Samuel, 2018. "Activism and Takeovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 12616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Hamao, Yasushi & Matos, Pedro, 2018. "U.S.-style investor activism in Japan: The first ten years?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 29-54.
    16. Appel, Ian R. & Gormley, Todd A. & Keim, Donald B., 2016. "Passive investors, not passive owners," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 111-141.
    17. Calluzzo, Paul & Kedia, Simi, 2019. "Mutual fund board connections and proxy voting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(3), pages 669-688.
    18. Travis L. Johnson & Nathan Swem, 2017. "Reputation and Investor Activism," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-036, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), revised Feb 2017.
    19. Sergey Chernenko & Josh Lerner & Yao Zeng, 2017. "Mutual Funds as Venture Capitalists? Evidence from Unicorns," NBER Working Papers 23981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Nickolay Gantchev & Oleg R Gredil & Chotibhak Jotikasthira, 2019. "Governance under the Gun: Spillover Effects of Hedge Fund Activism," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 23(6), pages 1031-1068.

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