The Future Role of Shareholder Activists

We obviously can't have a stock market system in which investors just sell stocks as soon as they are unhappy with them. This would encourage a "if you don't like it here, then leave" mindset, which may undermine any chance of establishing a stable stock market. Instead, if we want a steady and trustworthy market for the long haul, we should try to fix it rather than leave it. For this to happen, we may have to start with the shareholders themselves . Regulatory reforms , after all, take time and are sometimes reversed later. With the ownership clout that institutions currently have (despite their inability to effectively monitor all of their assets and the existing legal limitations), they may need to be the key agents of a fairer market. Robert Monks has called on shareholders to unite. John Bogle is asking mutual funds to engage in long-run investing and more activism. Corporate governance expert Charles Elson believes that in the end, the best watchdogs are the investors themselves. [39]

Throughout this chapter, we have used the traditional terms investor activism or investor activist when discussing investors who actively monitor a firm and try to influence its direction. However, to many people, the term activist implies an adversarial role. The relationship between an investor and the executives and board members does not have to be adversarial. Indeed, the system would work best if all participants would work on the same team instead of on opposite teams . This is really the only solution that makes sense in the long run for the corporate system. Yet, how can we bring it about?

Infectious Greed. Restoring Confidence in Americas Companies
Infectious Greed: Restoring Confidence in Americas Companies
ISBN: 0131406442
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 118 © 2008-2017.
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