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Much has been made of the rise of activist hedge funds over the past five years. But the shifts in the makeup of the investor community run much deeper than that, impacting both capital formation and capital deployment.

From the proliferation of hedge funds and the emergence of SRI and other new investment strategies, to the massive shift of funds to passive investors, the intermediation of the investment chain, and the concentration of ownership in the largest institutional investors, understanding the trend lines in the capital markets is integral to understanding where governance and the performance of public corporations goes from here.

This essay will explore those elements of those trends and the implications for how we think about public corporations and the capital markets going forward.