Credit crunch breeds investor activists

Listed companies, particularly those affected by the credit crunch, should
prepare for a strong investor backlash, turning the heat on boards of listed
companies to lift their performance, a newly released report from

The key findings of the report, based on a survey of UK’s 57 investor
relations leaders, shows two-thirds of investor relations professionals found
investor activism had increased as a result of the credit crunch; more than half
said investors were increasingly ‘short-termist’; an average 20% said chief
executive chairmen and chief financial officers’ time was spent on investor
relations activity; and two-thirds of the companies surveyed did not have a
specific plan in place to deal with activist investors.

Margaret Ewing, Deloitte partner and vice-chairman, said pressures in the UK
had grown to the extent many CEOs and CFOs now spent more than one-fifth of
their time liaising with investors and their representatives.

‘Whilst it is clearly very important for shareholders to take an engaged
interest in their investments, managers have to be careful not to lose focus on
driving the success of their enterprises in these difficult times,’ she said.

Further reading:

Northern Rock shareholders take fight to High Court

New disclosure rules for banks

Related reading