The Impact of COVID-19 on Shareholder Activism in the Retail Industry

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM Central Daylight Time
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Join us for a virtual forum with Morgan Lewis partners Keith E. Gottfried and Christina Edling Melendi together with a panel of shareholder activism and retail industry advisors and thought leaders for a timely discussion on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may uniquely impact shareholder activism in the retail industry.

The primary focus of many retailers in the near-term will likely be on staying afloat and addressing their liquidity needs, their ability to rebound from COVID-19, the health and safety of their employees and customers, and the overall health of their businesses. However, as the retail industry has been upended by COVID-19 as never before, retailers should also be concerned with how the turmoil caused by COVID-19 has made them attractive targets for activist investors.

Our panel will discuss several top-of-mind topics for retailers concerned with being in the crosshairs of an activist investor, including: 

  • Recent trends in shareholder activism against retailers 
  • Why activist investors like the retail industry 
  • Retail sectors that attract activist investors 
  • Why an activist investor would target retailers 
  • Types of activist demands at retailers 
  • How a retailer could be vulnerable to an activist investor in the wake of COVID-19 
  • Steps retailers can take now to avoid being a "sitting duck" for activist investors


  • Keith E. Gottfried | Partner and Shareholder Activism Defense Leader, Morgan Lewis
  • Rodolfo S. Araujo | Senior Managing Director and Head of Corporate Governance and Shareholder Activism, FTI Consulting
  • Stephen L. Brown | Senior Advisor, KPMG LLP Board Leadership Center
  • Kevin J. Daniels | Managing Director – Mergers & Acquisitions/Activism and Raid Defense, BofA Securities, Inc.
  • Sydney R. Isaacs | Managing Director, Abernathy MacGregor 
  • Gregory Rice | Partner and Co-Head Shareholder Advisory & Activism, Boston Consulting Group
  • Gregory P. Taxin | Managing Member, Spotlight Advisors LLC


  • Christina Edling Melendi | Partner and Co-Leader of Retail and Ecommerce Industry Initiative, Morgan Lewis


CLE credit: CLE credit in CA, CT, FL, IL, NY, NJ, PA, TX, and VA is currently pending approval.