Melissa Sawyer Discusses Post-Pandemic Activism With Acuris

April 6, 2020

Melissa Sawyer, co-head of S&C's corporate governance practice, spoke with Acuris about what shareholder activism may look like when the market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Melissa told Acuris that there is potential for increased activist activity in the 2021 proxy season, as these investors have had a unique buying opportunity given the market's downturn.
 
Melissa also pointed out that companies may find themselves subject to scrutiny for the actions they took in responding to the crisis. “One of the most important functions of a board and management team is to help navigate a crisis,” Sawyer told Acuris, “and companies struggling with coronavirus either due to lack of preparedness or responsiveness in the face of it may see the activists use this as part of an argument to seek out new talent in the boardroom.”
 
Read S&C's memo on the impact of COVID-19 on shareholder activism and unsolicited offers here.