Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study

Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study

Marco Becht, Julian Franks, Jeremy Grant, Hannes Wagner

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

March 01 2015

Last revised :

May 22 2017
SSRN Share


  • shareholder activism • 
  • Hedge Funds • 
  • active ownership • 
  • institutional investors

This paper provides evidence on the incidence, characteristics, and performance of activist engagements across countries. We find that the incidence of activism is greatest with high institutional ownership, particularly for U.S. institutions.

We use a sample of 1,740 activist engagements across 23 countries and find that almost one-quarter of engagements are by multi-activists engaging the same target. These engagements perform strikingly better than single activist engagements. Engagement outcomes, such as board changes and takeovers, vary across countries and significantly contribute to the returns to activism. Japan is an exception, with high initial expectations and low outcomes.

Published in

Published in: 
Publication Title: 
The Review of Financial Studies
Volume 30, Issue 9, 1 September 2017, Pages 2933–2971


Real name:
Fellow, Research Member, Board Member
Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles
Real name:
Jeremy Grant
Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva and London School of Economics