Berle’s Conception of Shareholder Primacy: A Forgotten Perspective for Reconsideration During the Rise of Finance

43 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2010 Last revised: 1 Jun 2018

See all articles by Fenner L. Stewart

Fenner L. Stewart

University of Calgary, Faculty of Law

Abstract

Adolf A. Berle is celebrated as the grandfather of modern shareholder primacy, but this glosses over his opposition to how Henry Manne used his argument. If Berle were alive today, he would certainly reject this praise. This is not always appreciated in commentaries of his shareholder primacy argument. For this reason, this article offers a nuanced understanding of Berle’s argument, providing a clear observation point for examining the shift from his shareholder primacy argument to the one of today. From this point of observation, the reader can see distinctions within, and potentials for, the shareholder primacy argument and thus the variety of ways that investor empowerment can develop during the current “rise of finance.”

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Shareholder Primacy, Investor Empowerment, Adolf A. Berle, Rise of Finance

JEL Classification: B25, G30, G38, K22

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Fenner L., Berle’s Conception of Shareholder Primacy: A Forgotten Perspective for Reconsideration During the Rise of Finance. Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 34, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1651286

Fenner L. Stewart (Contact Author)

University of Calgary, Faculty of Law ( email )

Murray Fraser Hall
2500 University Dr. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

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