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Securities Law

2019

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Aligning Investment Treaties With Sustainable Development Goals, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Nathan Lobel Dec 2019

Aligning Investment Treaties With Sustainable Development Goals, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Nathan Lobel

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Policy makers and other stakeholders are currently asking fundamental questions about whether and to what extent international investment agreements (IIAs) are consistent with and are helping to advance sustainable development objectives at home and abroad.

A 2019 paper from CCSI examines the alignment of IIAs with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, arguing that while FDI will play an important role in advancing development outcomes, existing treaties must be reformed and future IIAs reimagined in order to achieve deep alignment with the sustainable development goals.

The paper proposes that IIAs should be designed and evaluated with respect to their ability to ...


Equitable Fraud And Double Liability Of A Debtor Following Notice Of Equitable Assignment Of The Debt, Chee Ho Tham Dec 2019

Equitable Fraud And Double Liability Of A Debtor Following Notice Of Equitable Assignment Of The Debt, Chee Ho Tham

Research Collection School Of Law

‘Equitable fraud’ is broader in its conception than fraud at common law. Notwithstanding ambiguities as to its precise boundaries, equitable fraud can help explain why a debtor who tenders payment to his or her creditor, despite having received notice that the money debt had been equitably assigned to an assignee, may be ordered to make payment to the assignee if the creditor-assignor were to abscond with the sums tendered, leaving the assignee out of pocket. Such liability can be explained on grounds of the debtor having committed a form of equitable fraud by dishonestly assisting in the creditor-assignor’s breach ...


Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort Nov 2019

Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

“The crime of insider trading,” Judge Jed Rakoff has said, “is a straightforward concept that some courts have managed to complicate.” In the last eight years or so, insider trading law has wobbled visibly (in the Second Circuit in particular) in applying the standard for tipper-tippee liability originally set in the Supreme Court’s Dirks decision in 1983: from Obus (2012) to Newman (2014), with a detour to the Supreme Court in Salman (2016), and then two Martoma opinions (2017 and 2018). Most recently, the court of appeals offered what to many was a major surprise in its Blaszczak decision ...


Information Asymmetry And The Protection Of Ordinary Investors, Kevin S. Haeberle Nov 2019

Information Asymmetry And The Protection Of Ordinary Investors, Kevin S. Haeberle

Faculty Publications

To some, the reductions in information asymmetry provided by the main securities-specific disclosure, fraud, and insider-trading laws help ordinary investors in meaningful ways. To others, whatever their larger social value, such reductions do little, if anything for these investors. For decades, these two sides of this investor-protection divide have mostly talked past each other.

This Article builds on economic theory to reveal something striking: The reductions in information asymmetry provided by the core securities laws likely impose a long-overlooked cost on buy-and-hold ordinary investors. More specifically, I explain why there is much reason to believe that the reductions take away ...


Inconsistency's Many Forms In Investor-State Dispute Settlement And Implications For Reform, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Nov 2019

Inconsistency's Many Forms In Investor-State Dispute Settlement And Implications For Reform, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of lawyers? This primer provides an introduction to some of the key issues that arise in the negotiation of contracts linked to investments in agriculture, and practical guidance for how to approach common issues. Section 1 of this primer outlines the typical goals of three important ...


Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen Nov 2019

Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Legal frameworks, and how they interact, are often invisible in the day to day. Yet they are powerful forces that influence government actions and that help to shape who benefits and who loses from foreign investment. Understanding these legal frameworks, and how they interact, is critical for anyone concerned with how foreign investment can be better harnessed to support, rather than weaken, sustainable development and human rights.

This primer provides a brief overview of host government obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, domestic law, and relevant investor-state contracts. It also highlights some of the ways in which ...


Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in achieving ...


Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Nov 2019

Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI prepared a Scoping Study for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Also available are:

  • A summary version of the study (33 pages)
  • A webinar (March 24, 2020), hosted by CCSI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, discussed the Scoping Study and its findings (see also accompanying slides with speaking notes).
  • A webinar organized by UNCITRAL (April 21, 2020). CCSI presented the Scoping Study. A video link of the webinar along with CCSI’s slides are available in English (with speaking notes) and French at that link. CCSI Senior Fellow Karl Sauvant also presented his ...


Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer Oct 2019

Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In response to debt crises, policy makers often feature Collective Action Clauses (CACs) in sovereign bonds among the pillars of international financial architecture. However, the content of official pronouncements about CACs suggests that CACs are more like doorknobs: a process tool with limited impact on the incidence or ultimate outcome of a debt restructuring. We ask whether CACs are welfare improving and, if so, whether they are pillars or doorknobs. The history of CACs in corporate debt suggests that CACs can be good, bad or unimportant depending on their vulnerability to abuse and the available alternatives, including bankruptcy and debt ...


Linkages To The Mining Sector In Colombia, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Oct 2019

Linkages To The Mining Sector In Colombia, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

At the request of the Colombian Government and with the support of GIZ, CCSI prepared a policy brief focused on linkages from the mining sector in Colombia. The brief gives an overview of existing regulatory requirements, government policies and company programs to foster economic and infrastructure linkages. Based on the findings, the brief provides suggestions for next steps if the government is to develop a more comprehensive linkage creation program.


Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye Oct 2019

Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of lawyers? This primer provides an introduction to some of the key issues that arise in the negotiation of contracts linked to investments in agriculture, and practical guidance for how to approach common issues. Section 1 of this primer outlines the typical goals of three important ...


Law Professor Comment Letter On Harmonization Of Private Offering Rules, Elisabeth D. De Fontenay, Erik F. Gerding, John Coffee, Jr., James D. Cox, Stephen F. Diamond, Merritt B. Fox, Michael Guttentag, Colleen Honigsberg, Renee M. Jones, Donald Langevoort, Saule T. Omarova, James Park, Jeff Schwartz, Andrew F. Tuch, Urska Velikonja Sep 2019

Law Professor Comment Letter On Harmonization Of Private Offering Rules, Elisabeth D. De Fontenay, Erik F. Gerding, John Coffee, Jr., James D. Cox, Stephen F. Diamond, Merritt B. Fox, Michael Guttentag, Colleen Honigsberg, Renee M. Jones, Donald Langevoort, Saule T. Omarova, James Park, Jeff Schwartz, Andrew F. Tuch, Urska Velikonja

Research Data

Comment letter filed on Sept. 24, 2019.

"File No. S7-08-19"

"We are fifteen law professors whose scholarship and teaching focuses on securities regulation. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC” or the “Commission”) Concept Release on Harmonization of Securities Offering Exemptions (the “Concept Release”)."


Congressional Testimony: Examining Private Market Exemptions As A Barrier To Ipos And Retail Investment, Renee M. Jones Sep 2019

Congressional Testimony: Examining Private Market Exemptions As A Barrier To Ipos And Retail Investment, Renee M. Jones

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This testimony, presented to the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, focuses on the risks the growing number of large private companies present for investors, employees, consumers and society. This testimony (1) highlights the main objectives of the federal securities laws and the mechanisms Congress adopted to achieve these objectives, (2) explains the statutory bases for the principal exemptions from the securities laws registration and disclosure requirements, and (3) shows how regulatory exemptions that once sought to clarify and reinforce the principles embodied in the statutes have evolved to the point that they are ...


Towards Standard Information Privacy, Innovations Of The New General Data Protection Regulation, Ali Alibeigi, Abu Bakar Munir, Md Ershadulkarim, Adeleh Asemi Sep 2019

Towards Standard Information Privacy, Innovations Of The New General Data Protection Regulation, Ali Alibeigi, Abu Bakar Munir, Md Ershadulkarim, Adeleh Asemi

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

Protection of personal data in recent decades became more crucial affecting by emergence of the new technologies especially computer, internet, information and communications technology. However, Europeans felt this necessity at time and provided for up-to-date and supportive laws. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the latest legislation in EU to protect personal data of individuals based on the recent technological advancements. However, its’ domestic and international output still is debatable. This doctrinal legal study by using descriptive methods, aimed to evaluate the GDPR through analyzing and interpreting its’ provisions by especial focus on its’ innovations. The results show that ...


Fixing The Business Of Food: The Food Industry And The Sdg Challenge, Barilla Center For Food And Nutrition, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sanda Chiara Lab Sep 2019

Fixing The Business Of Food: The Food Industry And The Sdg Challenge, Barilla Center For Food And Nutrition, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sanda Chiara Lab

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In collaboration with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Santa Chiara Lab of the University of Siena, CCSI presented its first report on Fixing the Business of Food.

The document, part of a two-year effort, highlights the sustainable development challenge faced by the food industry. By proposing a Four Dimension framework, the report asks four overarching questions for companies in the food sector to address alignment with the SDGs:

  1. Does the company contribute to healthy and sustainable dietary patterns through its products and strategy?
  2. Are the company’s production processes economically ...


Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst Sep 2019

Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Index funds own an increasingly large proportion of American public companies. The stewardship decisions of index fund managers—how they monitor, vote, and engage with their portfolio companies—can be expected to have a profound impact on the governance and performance of public companies and the economy. Understanding index fund stewardship, and how policymaking can improve it, is thus critical for corporate law scholarship. In this Article we contribute to such understanding by providing a comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and policy analysis of index fund stewardship.

We begin by putting forward an agency-costs theory of index fund incentives. Stewardship decisions by ...


Data Regulation With Chinese Characteristics, Henry S. Gao Aug 2019

Data Regulation With Chinese Characteristics, Henry S. Gao

Centre for AI & Data Governance

Data regulation has become a key issue in today’s world. For various reasons, however, it has been challenging to understand data regulations in China, home to the largest e-commerce market in the world. This paper traces the evolution of data and Internet regulation in China, from the early days of the Chinese Internet, to the regulatory turf wars among different agencies, and all the way to the elevation of data and Internet regulation to the level of national security and the rise of a super-agency in charge of the issue in recent years. The paper argues that, the Chinese ...


How Did We Get Here? Dissecting The Hedge Fund Conundrum Through An Institutional Theory Lens, Cary Martin Shelby Jul 2019

How Did We Get Here? Dissecting The Hedge Fund Conundrum Through An Institutional Theory Lens, Cary Martin Shelby

Scholarly Articles

This article dissects both the origins and resulting harms of what the author terms the "hedge fund conundrum," in which institutional investors, such as pension plans and endowments, have consistently increased hedge fund allocations over the past decade despite pervasive evidence of excessive fees and subpar returns. It then utilizes an historical institutionalist lens to examine how lawmakers may have enabled a conundrum of this magnitude. By and large, this phenomenon is a symptom of regulatory loopholes that have permitted the private hedge fund market to increase in "publicness" through its expanding access and subsequent harm to retail investors. Such ...


Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2019

Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

If a company wants to use a community’s land for eucalyptus plantations, the community should think carefully about whether this is a good idea. Civil society organizations that support communities can use this briefing to help communities understand the potential environmental impacts the community should be aware of. The briefing explains plantation forestry and the life-cycle of eucalyptus tree plantations. It also notes the different possible negative environmental impacts of eucalyptus plantations before exploring how this information can be factored into community decision-making about a proposed eucalyptus plantation. While the briefing focuses on eucalyptus plantations, a lot of it ...


Third-Party Rights In Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Options For Reform, Jesse Coleman, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger Jul 2019

Third-Party Rights In Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Options For Reform, Jesse Coleman, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Uncitral Working Group Iii On Isds Reform: How Cross-Cutting Issues Reshape Reform Options, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Jesse Coleman Jul 2019

Uncitral Working Group Iii On Isds Reform: How Cross-Cutting Issues Reshape Reform Options, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Jesse Coleman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Split Derivatives: Inside The World's Most Misunderstood Contract, Dan Awrey Jul 2019

Split Derivatives: Inside The World's Most Misunderstood Contract, Dan Awrey

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Derivatives are the "bad boys" of modern finance: exciting, dangerous, and fundamentally misunderstood. These misunderstandings stem from the failure of scholars and policymakers to fully appreciate the unique legal and economic structure of derivative contracts, along with the important differences between these contracts and conventional equity and debt securities. This Article seeks to correct these misunderstandings by splitting derivative contracts open, identifying their constituent elements, and observing how these elements interact with one another. These elements include some of the world's most sophisticated state-contingent contracting, the allocation of property and decision-making rights, and relational mechanisms such as reputation and ...


Draft Text Providing For Transparency And Prohibiting Certain Forms Of Third-Party Funding In Investor–State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lorenzo Cotula, Jane Kelsey Jul 2019

Draft Text Providing For Transparency And Prohibiting Certain Forms Of Third-Party Funding In Investor–State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lorenzo Cotula, Jane Kelsey

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Draft Treaty Language: Withdrawal Of Consent To Arbitrate And Termination Of International Investment Agreements, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson Jul 2019

Draft Treaty Language: Withdrawal Of Consent To Arbitrate And Termination Of International Investment Agreements, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Jun 2019

Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

In The Prudence of Passivity, Bryon Harmon and Laura Fisher (hereafter HF) argue that "passive management become the default approach for the investment of trust funds, to be abandoned only when circumstances specifically dictate the use of active management."' In this comment we argue that their thesis could be strengthened (i) by more clearly distinguishing between default law and default investment practices, (ii) by more clearly articulating their favored altering rules.


Public And Private Enforcement Of Corporate And Securities Laws: An Empirical Comparison Of Hong Kong And Singapore, Wai Yee Wan, Christopher C. H. Chen, Say Goo Jun 2019

Public And Private Enforcement Of Corporate And Securities Laws: An Empirical Comparison Of Hong Kong And Singapore, Wai Yee Wan, Christopher C. H. Chen, Say Goo

Research Collection School Of Law

Currentscholarship emphasises the correlation between enforcement of corporate andsecurities laws and strong capital markets. Yet, the issue of how private andpublic enforcement may achieve the objectives of compensation and optimaldeterrence remains controversial. While enforcement strategies have beenstudied extensively in the US and the UK, comparatively less attention is placedon Asia where concentrated shareholdings are the norm. This study fills the gapby focusing on Hong Kong and Singapore, two leading international financial centresin Asia. Post-Asian financial crisis of 1997, Hong Kong and Singapore havechanged their laws to strengthen the private enforcement framework. Publicenforcement activities have also been significant. The question is ...


Primer: International Investment Treaties And Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment May 2019

Primer: International Investment Treaties And Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

What Are International Investment Agreements (IIAs)?
IIAs are bilateral or multilateral treaties that commit state-parties to afford specific standards of conduct to foreign investors from the other state-parties. These treaties grant foreign investors certain benefits, including recourse to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to resolve disputes with host states. Over 3,300 agreements have been concluded worldwide, including NAFTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive TransPacific Partnership.

What is Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)?
IIAs allow foreign investors (individuals and companies) to allege treaty violations by suing states through ad hoc arbitration. Arbitration tribunals are composed of party-appointed (and party-paid) private lawyers. Tribunals ...


Ccsi Submits Written Views To Us Department Of State Regarding Uncitral’S Working Group Iii, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment May 2019

Ccsi Submits Written Views To Us Department Of State Regarding Uncitral’S Working Group Iii, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In connection with the US Department of State’s Annual Advisory Committee on Private International law meeting in May 2019, CCSI submitted written views regarding UNCITRAL’s Working Group III on ISDS reform. CCSI’s comments highlighted specific areas of CCSI’s research as it relates to the US Government and its work within the Working Group. Specifically, US investment treaty negotiating objectives specify that covered foreign investors in the United States should not be accorded greater substantive rights than domestic investors. CCSI highlights the ways in which greater procedural rights afforded under investment treaties to foreign investors in practice ...


The Policy Implications Of Third-Party Funding In Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Guven, Lise Johnson May 2019

The Policy Implications Of Third-Party Funding In Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Guven, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this Working Paper, CCSI analyzes underexplored yet critical policy issues surrounding the use of third-party funding in ISDS. It considers the costs and benefits of the practice, asks whether it is desirable or undesirable that third-parties be permitted to invest in ISDS claims, and if so, under what circumstances and in order to achieve what objectives, and overviews policy responses, including a total or partial ban and various regulatory responses, that may be appropriate to manage identified impacts.


The Specter Of The Giant Three, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk May 2019

The Specter Of The Giant Three, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the large, steady, and continuing growth of the Big Three index fund managers — BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Global Advisors. We show that there is a real prospect that index funds will continue to grow, and that voting in most significant public companies will come to be dominated by the future “Giant Three.”

We begin by analyzing the drivers of the rise of the Big Three, including the structural factors that are leading to the heavy concentration of the index funds sector. We then provide empirical evidence about the past growth and current status of the Big ...