Nicholas Stuart, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Group, KeyBanc Capital Markets, says the drivers of the increase in activist investor interests are commodity prices, corporate evaluations and S&P 500’s energy portion being less than 5% of that index.

Stuart says institutional investors on the buy side just don’t really care about oil and gas right now. He also says active shareholders aren’t new. They are looking for higher near-term stock prices. Complaints coming from investors center around concern for financial discipline, operational inefficiencies and management alignment of incentives.

Stuart says there is more pressure on executives right now and from that we may say asset sales, full corporate sells, board appointments and even executives being terminated.