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Digital Engagement Study: Investor Views on Shareholder Activism

Strategic Communications

November 6, 2013

The FTI Consulting Digital Engagement Study underscores the proliferation of digital and social engagement by investors, shareholder activists and financial media alike; and an ill-defined, digital defense strategy among organizations’ investor relations (IR) and corporate communications entities. The “Investor Views on Shareholder Activism” presents the abridged findings from the Digital Engagement Study, specific to the rising adoption of digital and social media by activist investors.

As the financial community becomes increasingly reliant upon digital channels, financial and corporate communications teams are being challenged to engage a cross-section of audiences on shared, social media platforms. Among financial audiences, IR departments commonly do not have an active role in the company’s daily social media management; while corporate communications functions, which typically oversee these social channels, are being forced to make real-time decisions about financial matters typically outside of their remit.

Findings from the global study show that an overwhelming majority (80 percent) of investors believe shareholder activists will increasingly leverage social media to target companies. However, only 11 percent are confident companies are adequately prepared to defend themselves on social-media platforms against these attacks.

Research Methodology

The findings presented in the “Digital Engagement Study: Investor Views on Shareholder Activism” were gathered by the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting through an online survey among institutional investors between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11, 2013. The survey sample consisted of 201 global, institutional investors (e.g., analysts, portfolio managers).