Hilton Paris Opéra
12 April 2019
ECLA General Counsel Roundtable – Shareholder activism
The General Counsel Roundtable is an invitation-only event for general counsel all across Europe, hosted by the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA). It brings 30 general counsel and decision makers from legal departments together to discuss challenges that shareholder activism brings. The event is planned as a half-day exclusive meeting. General counsel are invited to the event and only have to organise and pay for their travel arrangements.
The General Counsel Roundtable will be held under the Chatham House Rule , with no press invited nor attending. This is done to ensure the openness and integrity of the roundtable discussions.
There is an increasing momentum for shareholder activism in Europe, as European companies are becoming increasingly targeted. The number of activist investors against European companies has nearly doubled over the past five years, with over 120 European companies targeted in 2018.
In 2018 alone, a hedge fund gained an executive board position at P&G, with their white paper on restructuring the company also gaining serious consideration. In Europe, companies such as Pernod Ricard and Suez came under heavy pressure, whereas ThyssenKrupp was pressured into splitting into two separate companies. Other companies, such as Apple, AkzoNobel, Néstle, Barclays, Bayer, Stada, Whitbread, Hyundai, and many others have also come under considerable pressure in recent years. 2018 was a record year for activists – what will this year bring?
Though shareholder activism is becoming commonplace in Europe, around two-thirds of European companies do not have a well-developed strategy to combat such attacks. The roundtable discussion will demonstrate, how to address this rapidly increasing challenge and is the perfect platform for sharing experiences and best practices.
Topic of Discussion:
12 April 2019:
09:30 Light breakfast reception
10:00 Opening speeches: Jonathan Marsh, President of ECLA & Bruno Dondero, CMS France
11:30 Coffee Break
13:00 Lunch Break
15:30: Open discussion with participants
16:00: End of event