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Alternative Market Briefing

Investor activism encourages younger and more independent boards, but erodes gender, racial and ethnic diversity

Friday, August 25, 2017

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

A study commissioned by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) and undertaken by Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS) has found that shareholder activism at S&P 1500 companies results in corporate board members who are younger and more independent boards.

However, activism also results in less diverse along gender, racial and ethnic lines, according to a new report called The Impact of Shareholder Activism on Board Refreshment Trends at S&P 1500 Firms. The study examines hundreds of new directors who joined S&P 1500 company boards as a result of activist campaigns over the study period from 2011 through 2014.

Financial versus executive experience

It said, "Activist investors typically favored nominees with financial experience, while incumbent boards favored nominees with executive experience. In all, some 380 new board candidates were put forth during those four years as a result of activist efforts."

The report also provides in-depth data on the boardroom impacts of activism in a number of areas. For example, with regard to board diversity, the analysis reveals study company boards were less likely to have at least one female director following an activist campaign than they were preceding one, decreasing from 87.1% to 82.8%. Similarly, the analysis finds that company boards were less likely to have at l......................

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