Marc J. Lane

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Marc J. Lane
Alma materNorthwestern University School of Law
University of Illinois
Occupationattorney, financial advisor, author

Marc J. Lane (born 1946) is an American attorney and businessman. He is also a founding partner of the Chicago chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance, a network of philanthropy-minded investors.[1] Lane was involved in creation of the legislation to allow low-profit limited liability companies in Illinois.[2]

Education and early career[edit]

Lane graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1971[citation needed] and subsequently founded The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane. In 1985, he established his own NASD-licensed (now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)-licensed) broker-dealer. By the year 2002, Marc J. Lane Wealth Group included The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane, an investment advisory, a broker-dealer and a merchant banking affiliate.[3][verification needed]


Lane undertook an eight-year research project to determine how investment choices can be utilized to communicate clients' values, along with their money, to heirs.[4] In 2003, Lane developed a new socially responsible investing approach, termed Advocacy Investing.[citation needed] In 2005, he published a book on the subject entitled Profitable Socially Responsible Investing? An Institutional Investor's Guide.[5] Lane's investment strategy generated a result that beat the Russell 3000 benchmark by an annual return of 2.53% over the eight years ending December 31, 2003.[4][6][7]

Lane's approach was discussed with both affirmative and skeptical views by the mainstream media. The Wall Street Journal commented that Lane's theories added a new variation to the socially responsible theme. "Lane made the case that the way to do right by your conscience and your portfolio is to drop the typical SRI strategy of 'negative screening.' Instead, Lane's way is to match the specific values of an investor with companies that have similar operational values. For example, a food bank with an endowment to invest would want to buy the stock of a company with a good human rights record, despite the fact that this company might also happen to produce beer."[5] Elizabeth Wine, reporter for On Wall Street magazine, noted that Advocacy Investing has become the new generation of socially responsible investing. She wrote, "Advocacy investing pushes the idea of sustainability, not just in the narrow environmental sense, but also in the sense of a company's long term potential to compete and succeed."[8] William Baue cautioned the readers to take his findings with the same grain of salt as he sprinkles on others' research as Lane excluded mutual funds outside the purview of his study in his book for practical reasons.[citation needed]

A book on corporate governance, Representing Corporate Officers and Directors, was published in 1987,[9][10] and revised in 2005[11][12] and in 2010.[citation needed] His Advising Entrepreneurs: Dynamic Strategies for Financial Growth was published by Wiley in 2001.

He is vice chair of the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation,[13][14] and was formerly chairman of the Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise of Illinois.[15]

Lane is one of the drafters of the Illinois legislation to allow low-profit limited liability companies, which took effect January 1, 2010.[16]

Lane has previously taught a course on social enterprise at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law,[17] and is currently an instructor for University of Illinois at Chicago's Social Enterprise Certificate program.[18]


  1. ^ "Marc J. Lane Profile". University of Illinois. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  2. ^ Meyer, Ann (August 10, 2009). "New corporate structure could give social entrepreneurs new funding stream". Chicago, IL: Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  3. ^ Brunts, Julia (9 December 2002). "From seed of law, he grew a business". Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Geoff. ""Advocacy Investing – Catnip for Wealthy Clients?"". Registered Rep. Retrieved 12 May 2005.
  5. ^ a b Colter, Gene (13 May 2005). "Sin, Revisited". New York: The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ Staff writer (1 September 2004). "SRI with an Active Twist". Research Reporter. Retrieved 12 May 2005.
  7. ^ Write, Staff. "SRI with an Active Twist". Research Reporter. Retrieved 12 May 2005.
  8. ^ Wine, Elizabeth. "SRI Plows the Path to Profitability". On Wall Street.
  9. ^ Staff Writer (2009). "Marc Jay Lane". Avvo. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  10. ^ Lane, Marc J. (Jan 1987). "Representing Corporate Officers and Directors (Business Practice Library) (Hardcover)". ISBN 978-0471817888.
  11. ^ Penn, Michael (19 July 2006). "The law offices of marc j. lane and its financial-services affiliates join united nations' global compact". Northwestern Law. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  12. ^ Lane, Marc J. (13 October 2004). "Representing Corporate Officers & Directors (Ring-bound)". ISBN 978-0735550964.
  13. ^ "About Us". Cook County Commission on Social Innovation. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  14. ^ Field, Anne. "Chicago's Commission on Social Innovation: Enlisting Impact Entrepreneurs To Boost The Economy". Forbes. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Illinois Board, Commission, Task Force and Council List - Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force". Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  16. ^ Meyer, Ann (August 10, 2009). "New corporate structure could give social entrepreneurs new funding stream". Chicago, IL: Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  17. ^ Hill, Julianne. "For more good: Law firms find other ways to provide service to society". ABA Journal. American Bar Association. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  18. ^ "UIC-SEA Social Enterprise Certificate". University of Illinois. Retrieved 29 June 2021.