Source: Simi Kedia, Laura Starks, Xianjue Wang, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Advance Articles, December 30, 2020
From the abstract:
Hedge fund activists have ambiguous relationships with the institutional shareholders in their target firms. While some support their activities, others counter their actions. Due to their relatively small holdings in target firms, activists typically need the cooperation of other institutional shareholders that are willing to influence the activists’ campaign success. We find the presence of “activism-friendly” institutions as owners is associated with an increased probability of being a target, higher long-term stock returns, and higher operating performance. Overall, we provide evidence suggesting the composition of a firm’s ownership has significant effects on hedge fund activists’ decisions and outcomes.