How it works

Author: | Published: 1 Nov 2007

The days of the apathetic shareholder are numbered. The growth in the number of cases of shareholder activism in recent years in the UK reflects the increasing willingness of investors to intervene in the day-to-day control, strategy and management of UK public companies. Investors are progressively using the rights afforded to them by UK company law and regulation to make their voices heard rather than voting with their feet and selling their shares. Over the past few years, the UK markets have seen shareholders target a wide spectrum of corporate issues and implement tactics that have left board rooms increasingly concerned. The open letters sent by the principals at Knight Vinke Asset Management to the board of HSBC in September and October of 2007 were a very public example of sustained shareholder lobbying. The HSBC situation clearly demonstrates the increasing willingness amongst investors to broadcast their perceptions about the management...