The Third Wave of Shareholder Influence and the Emergence of Informational Activism in Australia
Australian Journal of Corporate Law, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2019, pp. 305-340
26 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 14, 2019
The role and functions of the shareholder have continually evolved to adapt to changing commercial realities. The first two ‘waves’ or categories of shareholder influence are outlined in both theory and Australian law according to a proposed ‘member-investor’ paradigm. Viewed through such a lens, this analysis exposes a steady downward trajectory of shareholder influence over time. A deconstruction of three prominent shareholder activism campaigns then reveals the emergence of a new form of ‘informational activism’ which is incompatible with prevailing contemporary views of the shareholder. Following its genesis in the United States and spreading as a global phenomenon, this new third ‘wave’ or category of shareholder influence represents an emerging view and function of shareholders as participatory investors with a substantial level of power in the market.
Keywords: law, corporate law, shareholder activism, markets, Australia, governance, corporate, business, public markets, commercial, activist, investor
JEL Classification: K22, K20, G10, P10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation