Activist shareholders take stakes in businesses and seek changes in management and objectives to increase their returns
The Growth of "Shareholder Activism"
Is this new breed of shareholder activists an important voice and counter-balance to the power of entrenched management and willing to stand up to corporate corruption and highlight poor management? Can they help to overcome the principle-agent problem? Or are they aggressive corporate raiders seeking short-term corporate change merely for their own personal gain?
Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have latched onto the potential for shareholder activism to impact on businesses especially in the areas of the environmental impact of their business activities.
It remains the case that ownership and control within British industry is dispersed. Typically the largest shareholder in any large business listed on the stock market is likely to own a minority of the shares. Majority ownership by a single shareholder is unusual.
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