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Investor activism dons different mantle

New form embraces concept of shared values between businesses and stakeholders of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity.

Published Mon, May 10, 2021 · 05:50 AM

ACTIVISM used to be associated with corporate raids and leveraged buyouts, immortalised by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar's expose on RJR Nabisco. Their article, Barbarians at the Gate showcased how investor activists, through the acquisition of a large stake in a business, used their voting rights to compel the board and management to undertake corporate actions to their own advantage.

In this new age of stakeholder capitalism, investor activism has evolved to take on a more compassionate form, less of a greed-driven takeover. Demands for greater transparency and disclosure around business practices have increased calls for corporate accountability.

Today, stakeholder activism has taken on the mantle of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity. The new form of activism embraces the concept of shared values between businesses and stakeholders within the ecosystem. Shareholders are not the only ones clamouring for change; society at large has pushed to get its voice heard through pressure on institutional investors.

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