Banks Attract Activists In 2018

A total of 18 banks have been publicly subjected to activist demands since the beginning of 2018, including three in Europe, Activist Insight reports.

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See 2017 Hedge Fund Letters.

In the week U.K.-based Barclays disclosed an investment by Edward Bramson’s Sherborne Investors, the data confirm the appeal of financial institutions, especially larger ones. A total of 48 banks were publicly subjected to activist demands in 2017 and 51 in 2016, the highpoint of global activism.

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Since 2013, 25% of banking industry companies publicly subjected to activist demands had a market capitalization of above $10 billion.

Barclays is not included in the above figures, as Sherborne has not made public demands since taking its position. But Europe has seen a boom in activism at its banks, with 14 such companies publicly subjected to demands in 2017, up more than 50% on 2016.

General levels of activism in the U.K. have slowed, meanwhile. A total of 36 companies were targeted in 2017, down from a peak of 43 in 2016. So far this year, 8 U.K.-based companies have been targeted, below year-to-date figures for 2016 and 2017.

Number of banking industry companies publicly subjected to activist demands by company HQ, each year.


Proportion of banking industry companies publicly subjected to activist demands by market cap, each year.


Large cap: More than $10 billion

Mid cap: $2 billion - $10 billion

Small cap: $250 million- $2 billion

Micro cap: $50 million - $250 million

Nano cap: Less than $50 million

Number of U.K.-headquartered companies publicly subjected to activist demands, each year.


Number of U.K.-headquartered companies publicly subjected to activist demands in the same period of each year (up to March 20).


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About Activist Insight

Since 2012, Activist Insight ( has provided its diverse range of clients with the most comprehensive information on activist investing worldwide. Regularly quoted in the financial press, Activist Insight is the trusted source for data in this evolving space. Activist Insight offers five industry-leading products: Activist Insight Online, Activist Insight Shorts, Activist Insight Governance, Activist Insight Vulnerability – a tool for identifying potential activist targets – and Activist Insight Monthly – the world's only magazine dedicated to activist investing.