Ele Klein, co-chair of Schulte’s global Shareholder Activism Group, chair of the M&A and Securities Group and Executive Committee member, recently represented Engine No. 1 in their historic proxy battle at Exxon Mobil Corp. Pushing a performance and environmental improvement agenda against the oil-giant, shareholders elected three director candidates backed by the California-based fund. In this article for Law360 Pulse, Ele discusses the David-versus-Goliath victory and what it means for shareholder activism and investing focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Widely regarded as the dominant global law firm for shareholder activism, Schulte Roth & Zabel’s global Shareholder Activism Group brings a sophisticated knowledge of market practices and unparalleled expertise in all areas related to activism. Schulte has advised on the two largest proxy contests to date — Trian’s successful proxy contest at Procter & Gamble and Engine No. 1 at Exxon — and has more than 30 years of experience advising clients on more than 1,000 shareholder activism matters, making us one of the most experienced advisers in the world.
The only full-service law firm for shareholder activism, Schulte assists with all matters relating to activism, including campaign strategies, corporate governance, proxy rules, trading and affiliate rules, Sections 13 and 16 compliance, antitrust regulations, federal and state securities and corporate laws, tax and regulatory issues and litigation. We help our clients navigate applicable law and regulations on a global scale, and our legal team provides guidance on both the strategic and tactical level in everything ranging from running proxy contests, consent solicitations or withhold campaigns, calling special meetings or engaging in exempt solicitations, strategic advice on governance vulnerabilities and partnering between activists and management and corporate boards to effectuate high-level changes that make an impact. Our team can also guide clients through issues related to M&A activism, spin-offs, split-offs, divestitures and buybacks, regulatory approvals, investigations and legislative hearings, corporate governance improvements, defensive and offensive litigation, and ESG.