News: Goldman holds top rank in activism defense, Spotlight takes No. 2 spot.
BOSTON (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs was named the best financial advisor to companies targeted by activists in 2020, according to data released by Refinitiv on Monday, and held the top for the second straight year.
In 2020 Goldman advised 49 campaigns, including Twitter, EBay and Harley Davidson fell slightly from 53 in 2019.
The top 10 advisors were working on 186 campaigns last year when the pandemic slowed activism, compared to 197 in 2019.
Morgan Stanley, who was number one for several years, slipped to number three after working on 26 campaigns in 2020 after 44 campaigns in 2019.
Spotlight Advisors, which works for both corporations and activists, moved up to second place with 31 campaigns.
Bank of America, Lazard and Evercore followed with 22, 17 and 14 exposures, respectively.
Different providers create ranking lists that are often used as data points to attract new customers. But they seldom tell the full story, bankers say, noting that disagreements can arise as many companies privately fend off activists and ask their advisors to remain silent about their involvement.
Elliott Management held its own as the busiest activist after launching 17 campaigns last year, down from 11 in 2019.
Olshan Frome Wolosky was the busiest law firm, working on 85 activist engagements. Vinson & Elkins LLP, which handled 47 campaigns, including six for activists and 41 for corporations, followed in 2nd place. Sidley Austin LLP linked V&E with 41 corporate commitments and ranked 3rd.
Innisfree and Okapi Partners were the top proxy attorneys.
Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Dan Grebler
Original Source © Reuters