The anatomy of block accumulations by activist shareholders

Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal, Jan Schnitzler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We conduct a large-sample analysis of investor activism in the US based on all 13D filings from 2001 to 2016. While hedge funds represent the largest filer group, the sample contains a diverse set of other activist shareholders. This raises the question to what extent other investors perform a governance role similar to hedge funds. Based on target firms' outcome variables, like announcement returns of activist campaigns and changes in operating performance measures, we find surprisingly few differences. However, hedge funds play a special role when it comes towards takeovers. They stimulate monitoring activities among relatively larger firms and they help to set payout policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101620
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
Early online date18 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Activist blockholders
  • Hedge funds
  • Investor activism
  • Stock ownership

Cite this