Activist shareholders in 2014 helped the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape finally return to the pre-credit crisis days of 2007 – and they'll continue to make news over the next year.
"You're going to see a continuation and continued sophistication of the activist movement," John Studzinski, global head, Blackstone Advisory Partners, who has advised on deals like the global restructuring of AIG, told CNBC.
"The activist movement is a proper asset class now – a group of alternative assets. Those people are going to continue to be active regardless of the nature of the stock market."
Probably the most high-profile activist tussle of 2014 was the battle for control of Botox maker Allergan, which activist investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square tried to take over with the help of Valeant Pharmaceuticals. It concluded, however, with another pharmaceutical group, Actavis, buying Allergan in a $66 billion deal but not before Ackman and Pershing Square made a tidy profit from their investment.