Activist Shareholders in Corporate Governance: Lessons from Australia

Much of the debate about activist shareholders is informed by experience in Northern Hemisphere markets, particularly the United States. In my recently published book, I examine the topic from an Australian perspective.

Australia is ideal for exploring shareholder activism for several reasons. It has a substantial share market, and its pensions and fund management industries are some of the largest in the world and own a considerable proportion of Australian listed equities. Australia’s public companies tend to have an ownership structure that is conducive to activism because of a low incidence of controlling blockholders. Australia also provides shareholders with generous … Read more

The Global ESG Stewardship Ecosystem

In a recent working paper, we highlight a significant transnational dimension to a remarkable corporate governance development: the dramatic increase in attempts by institutional investors to influence how the companies they invest in address material environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns. This form of investor action (or “stewardship” as it is often called) is increasingly common in many markets across the globe.

Scholars have identified various factors behind investors’ focus on ESG when engaging with their investee companies. These include investors’ desire to manage non-diversifiable (or “systematic”) investment risks such as climate change, and political and regulatory initiatives that prompt … Read more