Will the Real Owners Please Stand Up?

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What is an owner? And, what is an owner of a publicly traded corporation? It’s clear that they are not the same thing. We don’t own a corporation like we own a car or property. Even individual owners of corporate stock don’t really “own” the corporations. We have neither the rights nor responsibilities commonly associated with the term ownership.

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ICGN speech 2015

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202I’m in London at ICGN and gave my speech this afternoon. I wasn’t able to present this entire paper due to time constraints but I’m offering it here for anyone who wants to read the entire thing.

Busy time in London: Spoke yesterday at the Responsible Investor conference, speaking at CSFI, Institute of Directors and Investor Forum next week. Many, many superb people here and I’m enjoying the chance to catch up with old friends.

When a Child Rules the Parent: The Problem of Corporate Domicile in a Global World

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A corporation is the creature of the state. There is no such thing as corporate Common Law. Each of the earliest corporations was literally created by specific statute, a condition which has been diluted over the last four centuries. The original social contract that made creation of corporations attractive was explicit: what business, what term, what invested capital. These corporations were created to serve human interests and they were tied inextricably to the interests of society.

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