Shareholder activism defense

EY teams help companies design their shareholder activism defense programs that proactively address concerns and preempt challenges. If an activist surfaces, we guide our clients to achieve the best outcome for their company, the board and its shareholders.

What EY's shareholder activism defense team can do for you

Is your company vulnerable to an activist attack and are you ready to respond? Shareholder activism has become part of the new normal and can be highly disruptive to an organization.

Designing and advising on proactive activism defense programs

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) provides strategic and tactical advice to public companies before and during activist campaigns to help preempt shareholder challenges and secure their objectives. We collaborate closely with other activism defense advisors including legal advisors, proxy solicitors and communications firms.

Proactive preparedness by companies

Activist response

  • Proactively addressing vulnerabilities and preparing for activist investors
  • Responding to and defending the company against activists during a live campaign
Company objectives
  • Identify risks and anticipate potential challenges
  • Mitigate vulnerabilities and execute initiatives to unlock value
  • Understand objectives and perspectives of major shareholders
  • Assemble response team and develop emergency
  • Establish framework for communications and interactions between the company, activist and media
  • Engage with shareholders and key constituencies to keep them onside
  • Evaluate the threat and decide on the best course of action
  • Navigate the situation while minimizing disruption to the company’s long-term strategy and day-to-day operations
Key considerations
  • What structural protections does your company have and how effective are they?
  • How does your company engage with its stakeholders?
  • Which areas of your company are an activist likely to attack?
  • What are the responsibilities of various constituencies?
  • What actions should your company take when approached by an activist?
  • How does your company maintain control of the situation and narrative?
  • How does your company constructively respond to an activist demand?
  • How can your company garner the necessary support to meet its objectives?
EY illustrative work streams
  • Education sessions and market updates
  • Shareholder base analysis
  • Corporate governance review
  • Board composition assessment
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Benchmarking analysis
  • Strategic alternatives analysis
  • Attack simulation/scenario analysis
  • Shareholder engagement review
  • Outside-in valuation/financial analysis
  • Review of activist profile, history, strategy, reputation, track record, style and tactics
  • Evaluation of activist claims, strength of thesis and likely outcomes
  • Day-to-day coordination between activist, company/board and other advisors
  • Preparation of responses to activist demands with supporting analyses
  • Assist management with the drafting of investor communications

Why work with EY's shareholder activism defense team?


  • Globally recognized brand known for objectivity, trust and credibility
  • Relationships focused on long-term value, not solely mergers, acquisitions or capital markets transactions
  • High-quality advice unencumbered by conflicts or other distractions

Scale, depth and breadth

  • Network of 290,000+ professionals aligned to specific industries and dedicated practice areas offer rich sector experience combined with deep functional knowledge and skills — from strategy to execution
  • Multidisciplinary approach that applies strategic, financial, operational and governance lenses to deliver holistic solutions that go beyond the standard activism defense playbook

Proven shareholder activist defense experience

  • In-depth understanding of activists, their tactics and market dynamics — brings better analysis, faster insights and stronger execution to your preparedness and defense strategy
  • Distinguished leadership team with more than two decades of experience advising on some of the most high-profile campaigns in history

How do we go beyond traditional financial advisors?

EY US is an end-to-end provider that can quickly and seamlessly address vulnerabilities — from identification through implementation — to better defend clients against activist threats. Learn more about how EY can help companies enhance value, mitigate vulnerabilities and prepare for activist investors.

Shareholder activism defense

Learn more about how EY can help companies enhance value, mitigate vulnerabilities and prepare for activist investors.

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