BYU Law Dean D. Gordon Smith Appointed Academic Fellow for Initiative on Quality Shareholders

August 28, 2020

Dean D. Gordon Smith has been selected to serve as an academic fellow with George Washington University’s Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF).

As an academic fellow, Smith will work with a distinguished group of scholars supporting the Quality Shareholders Initiative to research and report on financial investment. Specifically, the initiative focuses on the traditional investor that studies individual companies, acquires substantial stakes in only a few, holds them for the long-term, and is available as needed to engage with management on challenges of the day.

The initiative will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of various types of shareholders present to individual companies and corporate America taken as a whole. In particular, it will explain why a substantial cohort of quality shareholders is a valuable asset, and how policies and practices can be harnessed to generate value for corporations and all their constituents.

The first major publication in the initiative, led by C-LEAF Director Lawrence Cunningham, is his research article, The Case for Empowering Quality Shareholders. This contribution, intended to advance prevailing debate on shareholder empowerment, will be published during the fall of 2020 in the Brigham Young University Law Review.

Smith, who has served as Dean of BYU Law since May 2016, is one of 17 academic fellows of the organization. An expert in law and entrepreneurship, Smith has written extensively on the role of law in promoting entrepreneurial action, and he co-founded the Law and Entrepreneurship Association. He was also a founding faculty member of the Crocker Innovation Fellowship at BYU. A Delaware corporate lawyer, Smith has published foundational articles on the theory of fiduciary relationships.