When reviewing shareholder activism in the United States in 2016, members of Olshan Frome Wolosky’s activist and equity investment group considered it “another very strong year.” And the same members predict that 2017 will be “another banner year for activism, with a few twists and turns.”
According to the members, like in 2016, activists will focus on small to mid-cap targets, and there will be fewer higher-profile proxy fights against mega-cap companies.
Unlike 2016, however, activists won’t be so eager to get a jump on the new year. Instead, it’s predicted they’ll wait until after the Jan. 20 inauguration to see how corporate America and the financial markets are affected by the new presidency’s policies. More specifically, how proposed deregulation and tax reforms influence corporate balance sheets and governance as well as M&A activity.
Internationally, the members foresee new activist situations popping up, for example in Japan, where corporate governance reforms are in being implemented.
Overall, according to the Olshan Frome Wolosky members, experienced shareholder activists will lead the activist charge, inspiring other activists to follow suit.