The Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study

The 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 :

January 16 2014
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  • shareholder activism • 
  • Hedge Funds • 
  • active ownership • 
  • institutional investors

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


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