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July 31, 2023 Asked and Answered

First quarter of 2023 had some of highest activist shareholder activity ever, say equity investor counsel

By Stephanie Francis Ward

As stories of some CEOs' outrageous behaviors continue, the amount of activist shareholder activities keeps growing, say Kenneth Mantel and Megan Reda, partners at Olshan Frome Wolosky in New York. They represent investment funds, family offices and people trying to bring change at public companies—and maybe get a seat on the board.

According to them, the first quarter of 2023 had some of the highest activist shareholder activity on record. They say the increase started with the #MeToo movement in 2017, when the New York Times published an article about Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, a former film producer, focusing on three decades of his alleged sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.

Other CEO conduct, such as embellishing a resumé or making controversial comments, can invite activist shareholder activity too, they say. And as long as the media continues to cover the improprieties, public companies will continue to be targets.

Send ideas for future episodes to ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward.

In This Podcast

Kenneth Mantel

Kenneth Mantel, a partner at Olshan Frome Wolosky, represents equity investors in shareholder activist campaigns, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

Meagan Reda

Meagan Reda, a partner at Olshan Frome Wolosky, represents hedge funds and other investors on shareholder activism activities, including merger and acquisition activities.