Quality Shareholders Initiative
C-LEAF's Initiative on Quality Shareholders is intended to research and report on an understudied force in contemporary corporate America: the traditional investor that studies individual companies, acquires substantial stakes in only a few, holds them for the long-term, and is available as needed to engage with management on challenges of the day.
In contrast to this vanishing breed, dubbed by Warren Buffett quality shareholders, today's shareholder bases are dominated by: (1) index funds, which buy all companies in a market basket without focusing on any of them; (2) transients, which may buy large stakes in given companies but never hold for long; and (3) activists, whose small stakes are amplified by rapid-fire, high-profile campaigns for immediate corporate change.
The first major publication in the Initiative, led by C-LEAF Director Lawrence Cunningham, is his research article, The Case for Empowering Quality Shareholders. This contribution, intended to advance prevailing debate on shareholder empowerment, will be published during the Fall of 2020 in the Brigham Young University Law Review; the working paper may be downloaded now free from SSRN here.
The second major publication of this Initiative will be an empirical and normative research book, Quality Shareholders: How the Best Managers Attract and Keep Them, also to be published during the Fall of 2020 by Columbia University Press. This book will: (a) identify today's most distinctive quality shareholders, measured by high concentration levels in particular companies along with long average holding periods; (b) identify the companies that are most successful in attracting a high density of such shareholders; and (c) demonstrate the policies and practices such companies use to attract a high density of quality shareholders.
The Initiative will explore the advantages and disadvantages of various types of shareholders present to individual companies and corporate America taken as a whole. In particular, it will explain why a substantial cohort of quality shareholders is a valuable asset and how policies and practices can be harnessed to generate value for corporations and all their constituents.
C-LEAF selects a distinguished group of accomplished scholars as Academic Fellows of its Quality Shareholders Initiative, as follows:
More on the Quality Shareholders Initiative
Financial Technology Initiative
Financial Technology, or FinTech, refers to a spectrum of technology innovations and startups that demonstrate disruptive potential in applications, processes, products, or business models in the financial industry. Launched in March 2016, C-LEAF's Financial Technology Initiative holds public forums to bring together industry leaders, academic experts, government regulators, and legal scholars in the heartland of innovation. In addition to these forums, the Financial Technology Initiative organizes roundtable meetings and a cross-disciplinary research project on state regulation of FinTech-related financial services.
COVID-19 Whistleblower Protection
How do we remove legal, technological, and cultural barriers that prevent whistleblowers from connecting with oversight channels quickly? C-LEAF is supporting urgent efforts to do so concerning COVID-19 related antitrust violations. A team, led by Professor Scott Kieff, is on the leading edge of this effort, having written a white paper, model statute, and highlights sheet. They responded to the call to action by the Global Legal Hackathon, in partnership with The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Program.