Recent CLARS Seminar Examines the Resurgence of Retail Investment

On 9 July 2021, Monash Law School’s Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS) held a webinar titled, The 21st Century Berle  & Means Corporation: A  Revolution in Retail Investing.

A Panel of experts from Australia and United States examined the changing profile of shareholders from the early 20th century, when shareholders were depicted as dispersed and vulnerable individuals, who were incapable of playing a significant role in corporate governance, to the late 20th century rise of powerful institutional investors  to current developments involving a resurgence of individual (often young) retail investors.

The webinar, chaired by Professor Jennifer Hill, the Director of CLARS and the Bob Baxt AO Chair of Corporate and Commercial Law at Monash Law School, examined the benefits and possible downsides of the growing trend to direct retail investment. The Panelists included:

  • Professor David H. Webber, Boston University (discussing Gen Z and Millenial Investors)
  • Professor Jill Fisch, University of Pennsylvania) (discussing the issue of whether the resurgence of retail investors is likely to be a permanent phenomenon)
  • Professor Christina M. Sautter, Louisiana State University (LSU) and Dr Sergio Gramitto, Monash University Business School (considering the implications of the rise of “wireless investors” in light of the GameStop controversy)
  • Dr Steve Kourabas, Senior Lecturer & Deputy Director of CLARS, Monash Law School (exploring these issues through the prism of equity crowd funding).

Following these presentation, there was a general Panel discussion on a wide range of issues involving retail investment, such as:- corporate governance implications of the generational profile of retail investors; the impact of the trend to direct investing on citizens’ investment plans and strategies; and the regulatory challenges necessary to address the potential risks  involved in the resurgence of retail investing. A link to the webinar the recording of the webinar is now available here.

Registrants for this event covered a broad field and included academics, corporate lawyers and business people, government officials and regulators, both in Australia and internationally.

Forthcoming CLARS events which may be of interest, include the following:

17 August 2021 – Associate Professor Scott Hirst, Boston University will speak on the topic, How Much do Investors Care About Social Responsibility? (Commentator: Dean Paatsch Ownership Matters).

Monash Law School will also run a new intensive subject entitled “Regulating Shareholder Activism”, which commences on 15 September 2021.

Please note: This subject is open for single unit enrolment for professional development purposes. If you are interested in enrolling for this subject, please contact CLARS Administrator, Janice Hugo ( for further information.