Governance Watch Webcast: Shareholder Activism: Beyond the Headlines

September 26, 2023

Event Overview Tab


Cleary Gottlieb partner Kyle Harris participated in the Governance Watch Webcast: Shareholder Activism: Beyond the Headlines.

While the first year of universal proxy cards did not drive an increase in contested elections, shareholder activism continued to be a highly dynamic arena—with new activist players, more complex M&A activism, broader settlement terms, and increased litigation relating to director nominations. As we look ahead to 2024, we expect a rising tide of anti-ESG activism in an election year. This may expose recently elected directors, who tend to have less high-level business strategy experience, to becoming targets of activist campaigns.

Panelists discussed developments in activism—and how to prepare for, and respond to, them, including:

  • Overall trends in 2023 shareholder activism
  • Multi-front M&A activism
  • Evolving settlement dynamics
  • Litigation relating to director nominations and by-law amendments
  • The future of both pro- and anti-ESG “Big A” activism
  • Assessing and addressing the company’s strategic and governance vulnerabilities
  • Communication strategies to avoid becoming a target


  • Kyle Harris, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb
  • Neil Rudisill, Managing Director, Activism and Shareholder Advisory Team, Goldman Sachs
  • Andrew Siegel, Partner, Joele Frank
  • Paul Washington, Executive Director, ESG Center, The Conference Board (Moderator)

This Governance Watch program was hosted by Cleary and The Conference Board ESG Center.

Click here to learn more. To watch an excerpt of the webinar, click here.

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