Activism and Mainstream Institutional Investors

International Corporate Governance Network Yearbook, 2008

2 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2008


Institutional investors play a crucial, yet paradoxical, role in activist campaigns. With their significant holdings, large "mainstream" institutional investors - pension funds, insurance companies, and their asset managers - can often determine the success or failure of these crusades. As such, they are targeted by both the instigating activists and company management. The paradox is that, despite their substantial ownership stakes, mainstream investors appear to spearhead only a small fraction of activist campaigns.

This article sheds light on how institutional investors approach activist crusades and, more broadly, explores why they are rarely viewed as agents of change.

Keywords: corporate governance, activism, institutional investors

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Wong, Simon C. Y., Activism and Mainstream Institutional Investors. International Corporate Governance Network Yearbook, 2008 . Available at SSRN:

Simon C. Y. Wong (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

London School of Economics

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom


Tapestry Networks ( email )

404 Wyman St.
Suite 225
Waltham, MA 02451
United States

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