The Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study

66 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2015

See all articles by Marco Becht

Marco Becht

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Julian R. Franks

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Jeremy Grant

London School of Economics

Hannes F. Wagner

Bocconi University - Department of Finance; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that returns to hedge fund activism are driven by engagement outcomes. We use a sample of 1,740 activist engagements from 23 countries to estimate performance of activism across North America, Europe and Asia. Striking differences emerge across countries in outcomes of the engagements. It is these differences that explain the variation in performance of activism. Although there is evidence that activists put companies into play, frequently those takeovers are preceded by significant and profitable governance changes. While the U.S. model of activism has been copied by foreign activists, non-U.S. activists outperform U.S. activists in their domestic markets.

Keywords: active ownership, hedge funds, institutional investors, shareholder activism

JEL Classification: G32

Suggested Citation

Becht, Marco and Franks, Julian R. and Grant, Jeremy and Wagner, Hannes F., The Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study (March 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10507. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2584024

Marco Becht (Contact Author)

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) ( email )

42 Avenue F. D. Roosevelt
1050
Brussels, 1050
Belgium
+32 2 6504466 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.solvay.edu/profile/marcobecht

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

Palace of the Academies
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogstraat
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.global/users/marco-becht

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Julian R. Franks

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting ( email )

Institute of Finance and Accounting
Sussex Place - Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
+44 20 7262 5050 x3449 (Phone)
+44 20 7724 3317 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Jeremy Grant

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton St
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Hannes F. Wagner

Bocconi University - Department of Finance ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milano, MI 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.unibocconi.eu/hanneswagner

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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