Video/In Italy, Activist Investors Hunt for the Largest Prey
The victory of US activist hedge fund Elliott in appointing 10 board members at Telecom Italia is a historic and watershed moment for shareholder activism in Italy, and Europe. Unusually, a European government actively supported a foreign investor whose goal is to shake up a firm. But nobody should be surprised that a giant hedge fund decides to pick a battle about corporate governance in Italy, explains Professor Hannes Wagner, Department of Finance, Bocconi. His research on hedge fund activism shows that after the US, Italy is the country where firms have the highest probability of being targeted by an activist hedge fund. And this is a good thing, says Wagner, as his research shows that where activists win, they generate significant shareholder value.