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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Columbia Law School

2013

Columbia Law Review

Business Organizations Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Agency Costs Of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors And The Revaluation Of Governance Rights, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffery N. Gordon Jan 2013

The Agency Costs Of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors And The Revaluation Of Governance Rights, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffery N. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

Equity ownership in the United States no longer reflects the dispersed share ownership of the canonical Berle-Means firm. Instead, we observe the reconcentration of ownership in the hands of institutional investment intermediaries, which gives rise to "the agency costs of agency capitalism." This ownership change has occurred because of (i) political decisions to privatize the provision of retirement savings and to require funding of such provision and (ii) capital market developments that favor investment intermediaries offering low-cost diversified investment vehicles. A new set of agency costs arises because in addition to divergence between the interests of record owners and the ...