In July 2018, the Korean National Pension Service (KNPS), one of the world’s largest pension funds, introduced a stewardship code, and in February 2019 it first exercised active shareholder engagement in an investee. Using an event study methodology, we examine whether this institutional investor’s active shareholder engagement affected the stock market. We find that the stock value of the KNPS’s investees was reduced after the active shareholder engagement. The effect was larger in the case of small-cap stocks, companies in which the KNPS has a 5–10% share, and firms with a lower environmental, social, and governance grade. This implies that market concerns about government intervention are valid, and institutional reforms are necessary, including specific guidelines to balance shareholder and management rights.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.