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Fidelio Board breakfast – "Activism and the Board", 13 June 2017

Shareholder activism is on the rise globally, with 758 companies worldwide receiving public demands in 2016 – up 13% on the previous year (Activist Investing Annual Review 2017). Board Directors are therefore increasingly likely to encounter an activist on the shareholder register – hence the importance of understanding what drives activism, as well as how Boards should respond. The rise of activism clearly has implications for Board composition.

As a Board Development and Search firm, Fidelio’s focus is on building Boards and leadership teams fit for the future. Navigating complexity, including managing complex shareholder and stakeholder expectations, is critical to success. Shareholder activism has become a reality for public company Board Directors in Europe, as in the US.

Underlining the critical role of the Board with regard to activism, Fidelio was pleased to host our second Board breakfast on this theme on 13th June, once again with the support of Cas Sydorowitz, CEO of Georgeson. We were pleased to welcome two leading activists Behdad Alizadeh, Co-Founder and managing Partner of AltaOne Capital and Nick Paris, Portfolio Manager, LIM Advisors. To provide insight into what activists expect from Boards, and how Board Directors best prepare and respond, we asked three questions:

  • What is the activist agenda?
  • What is the role of the Board in pre-empting shareholder activism? If an activist does invest, how should the Board engage and what is the role of the Non-Executive Director?
  • What are the implications of activism for the Chairman and for Board composition?

Our guests at this Fidelio Board breakfast were Chairmen, Non-Executive and Executive Directors. This breakfast was by personal invitation only and was held at Aquavit London, St James’s Market 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ.

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