Lessons from Quality Shareholders on

Corporate Governance Practice, Research and Scholarship

Lawrence A. Cunningham*


This Article presents original data and analysis addressing an understudied force in corporate America: the most patient and focused shareholders. Great attention has been devoted to short-term trading on the one hand and diversified index funds on the other,[1] but scant attention has been focused on long-term concentrated investors. The George Washington University has been redressing this problem through a research initiative focused on such buy-and-hold stock pickers, whom Warren Buffett long ago dubbed “quality shareholders.”[2] GW’s Quality Shareholders Initiative[3] (“QSI”) is pleased to present highlights of the initial installment of this work in this Article in the Business and Finance Law Review at the George Washington University’s Center for Law, Economics, and Finance.

* Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor, George Washington University Law School; Founding Faculty Director Quality Shareholders Initiative (QSI) and Faculty Director, Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF). For research and other assistance preparing this Article, thanks to the team behind the QSI, including Mareah Younes, David Templeton, Gia Arney, Annie Ezekilova, and Lori Fossum.

[1] See, e.g., Jill E. Fisch, Assaf Hamdani & Steven Davidoff Solomon, The New Titans of Wall Street: A Theoretical Framework for Passive Investors, 168 U. Pa. L. Rev. 17 (2019); Assaf Hamdani & Sharon Hannes, The Future of Shareholder Activism, 99 B.U.L. REV. 971 (2019).

[2] See Edward B. Rock, Shareholder Eugenics in the Public Corporation, 97 Cornell L. Rev. 849, 879 (2012); Warren Buffett & Lawrence Cunningham, The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America 185-188 (5th ed. 2019).

[3] C-LEAF Initiatives: Quality Shareholders Initiative, https://www.law.gwu.edu/c-leaf-initiatives (last visited Sept. 23, 2021).