Social Shareholder Activism: We Need More Women Board Members
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A University of Notre Dame study finds that more female board members leads to less M&A. The companies that have 2 women directors is less active when it comes to buyouts. So much that their acquisition rate is 20% lower than other companies. And for the deals they are doing, the average buyout size is 10% lower than other companies.
Why is that? Are women just more risk averse? Or are they more prudent, where over half of M&A deals end up being worthless. It might just be that more diverse boardrooms, whether it be women or those with diverse backgrounds, is good for corporate governance.
But back to women, it goes beyond just M&A. Having women on the board, of which 20% of S&P 500 companies have a woman on the board, lead to higher returns on equity and better stock performance. At what point does social activism find its way into the activist playbook? The idea of a more diverse boardroom yielding a better company is nothing new. But, yet again, the majority of the activist hedge fund world is compiled of older white guys.
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