M&A was on fire around the world in the first half of 2018, reflecting the impact on business of continued, seemingly unlimited capital availability; competition among buyers; and the relentless pressure of technology. In spite of a bullish outlook at the midway mark, third-quarter activity decreased more than 30 percent compared to the second quarter. Even though the first nine months set an all-time record for dealmaking, sentiment was unsettled and became even more so with the volatility in the equity capital markets in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, on the corporate governance front, board composition and refreshment issues remained a focal point for companies, their boards, and their investors in 2018. Much attention focused on whether the board’s composition and leadership, and its directors’ experience and skill sets, fit with the company’s business, industry, size, geographic footprint, and other factors.
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