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ESG, Diversity & Activism with Olshan's Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman

The activist landscape is paying more attention to ESG than ever. Racial equity audits and the push for boardroom diversity, what should companies be focused on?

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Now more than ever Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) are top of mind for management teams. Olshan partner Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman sits down on our podcast to discuss many of these trends, and what companies should be focused on. 

We touch on activist investors, racial equity audits, and how a little known agitator in Engine 1 successfully won a proxy battle against behemoth Exxon Mobil. 

Elizabeth is an expert in her field and provides valuable insight on not only what's trending but how we can all do better to push the ESG, in particular diversity, agenda. 

Topics Discussed

  • Intro to Elizabeth + Olshan
  • Diversity mandates for public company boards
  • Are mandates or other methods more effective?
  • Racial equity audits + company dynamics
  • Future of disclosure at the SEC
  • How do we get get better at promoting underserved talent
  • Trends in Activism in E + S
  • Activist vulnerability, and XOM / Engine 1
  • ESG Funds and greenwashing
  • Negotiation tactics
  • Retail investors and effect on activist situations

About Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman

Elizabeth represents and provides strategic guidance to hedge funds and other large investors in shareholder activist situations, including large stock accumulations, behind-the-scenes engagements, letter writing, ESG-focused campaigns, exempt solicitations, submitting shareholder proposals, negotiating settlements, proxy contests, hostile takeovers and other activist related M&A activity. She also advises individual directors and management teams in board disputes at private and public companies. Recent representations have included negotiated settlements by various investor groups at Kohl’s Corporation, Bed Bath & Beyond and Big Lots, successful proxy campaigns by investor groups at EQT Corporation and GameStop Corp., and the successful unsolicited acquisition of Perry Ellis International by its founder George Feldenkreis.

Elizabeth also assists both public and privately-held companies in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, tender and exchange offers, and general corporate and securities law matters, including SEC reporting and corporate governance.

Prior to joining Olshan, Elizabeth practiced in the corporate finance group of O'Melveny & Myers LLP and in the corporate group of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.