Marc J. Lane
|Marc J. Lane|
|Born||30 August 1946|
|Alma mater||Northwestern University School of Law
University of Illinois
|Occupation||Attorney, Financial Advisor, Social Activist and Author|
|Known for||Advocacy Investing, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Governance and L3C|
Marc J. Lane (born 30 August 1946) is a business, trust, estate, and tax attorney, Master Registered Financial Planner, Registered Financial Counselor, and Certified Investment Specialist. By appointment of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Lane served as Chairman of the State of Illinois' Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise, and by appointment of Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, now serves as Vice Chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation. He designed and taught the Social Enterprise course as an adjunct Professor of Law at his alma mater, Northwestern University School of Law, and has also served as an adjunct Professor of Business in the MBA program at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Business Administration's Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Lane is the author of thirty-five books on corporate organization, management, taxation, investment, personal finance and social enterprise. Out of his proprietary research, he developed a new socially responsible investing approach, Advocacy Investing, which allows investors to positively express their values on corporate behavior issues such as social justice and the environment through stock selection—without sacrificing portfolio diversification or long-term performance. Lane drafted the Illinois legislation to create an entity called the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company (L3C), a new hybrid structure intended for use by for-profit ventures that have a primary goal of achieving a socially beneficial purpose. The law was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on 4 August 2009, and took effect on 1 January 2010. Lane continues to support economic growth in Illinois and was the recipient of the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization's 2016 "Legal Eagle" Award. Marc Lane's 34th book, Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs, was published in 2011  and his 35th book, "The Mission-Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World's Most Vexing Social Problems," was published in 2015 and was nominated by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management for the 2016 Terry McAdam Book Award which recognizes new publications in the nonprofit sector that effectively inspire, connect ideas and share new practices. In "The Mission-Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World's Most Vexing Social Problems," Lane highlights personal stories of individuals that chose to deal with a social issue using business principles, and the impediments that they overcame through the use of legal and strategic tactics.
Lane graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1971 and subsequently founded The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane, P.C.. 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, P.C.; Marc J. Lane Investment Management, Inc., an Illinois-registered investment advisory firm; Marc J. Lane & Company, a FINRA-registered, full-service general securities firm; and Marc J. Lane Risk Management, Inc., an insurance agency.
Upon a request by one of his wealth clients, Lane embarked on an eight-year research project to determine how investment choices can be utilized to communicate clients' values, along with their money, to heirs. Lane's study methodically examined the performance of stocks grouped by positive screening methods in two categories, social justice and respect for the environment. Over the eight years ending 31 December 2003, Lane was able to generate a result that beat the Russell 3000 benchmark by an annual return of 2.53%. In 2003, out of his proprietary research, Lane developed Advocacy Investing, a new approach to socially responsible investing ("SRI"). Unlike traditional approaches to SRI, Lane's approach, also called "mission-based investing" is "positive" or "inclusionary" (identifying companies to invest in) rather than "negative" or "exclusionary" (identifying companies or entire industries to exclude from the portfolio). Lane's proprietary method involves the selection of investment securities based on a company's financial and governance standards as well as criteria driven by the investor's unique social values.
In 2005, Lane published a book on the subject, entitled Profitable Socially Responsible Investing? An Institutional Investor's Guide. As a result, his approach was widely 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."  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." Stasia Swisler, President and CEO for the Giving Trust praised the approach by stating that "In the wake of ethics and governance scandals, this guide boldly takes socially responsible investing to a new level." Acknowledging that Lane's approach provides an invaluable tool for fiduciaries considering socially responsible investing and advances original research finding competitive financial performance for positive screening, book commentator, William Baue cautioned readers to take the findings with the same grain of salt that Lane sprinkles on others' research as Lane excluded mutual funds from the purview of his study for practical reasons. Marc J. Lane handles $50 million in SRI assets, and he is often cited as an expert on socially responsible investing as a result of his proprietary research and innovation of Advocacy Investing.
Lane is the author of Advising Entrepreneurs: Dynamic Strategies for Financial Growth (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001) along with a number of other titles published since 1974. His book provides a comprehensive approach to starting a business, locating sources of financing, lowering taxes, shielding assets, compensating the entrepreneur and employees, preparing for an IPO, growing wealth, and much more by promoting prudent risk taking. Thomas Morsch, Director of the Small Business Opportunity Center at the Northwestern University School of Law, commented that "Marc J. Lane has done a wonderful job of addressing all of these in one very readable and sensible book." 
Lane's book on best corporate governance practices, Representing Corporate Officers and Directors, has been described as "the authoritative guide to corporate governance." First published in 1987, Lane's treatise on corporate governance was revised in 2004. The new, expanded edition, Representing Corporate Officers, Directors, Managers, and Trustees, was published in 2010. With the goal of promoting positive social change, Lane provides companies and their directors, officers, auditors, and shareholders with insights for the compliance of new legislation, rules and responsibilities in response to the avalanche of corporate accounting scandals.
Lane is seen as one of the chief authorities on the L3C movement. Described by Forbes as a "leader in developing the L3C concept," he has been a force behind L3C legislation in several states. He helped spearhead the establishment of the low-profit limited liability company (L3C) in Illinois, making Illinois the fifth state to authorize the creation of L3Cs. Lane authored Illinois' L3C bill, which passed unanimously in both houses of the General Assembly and was signed into law on 4 August 2009. The law aims to make it easier for social enterprises to attract capital, said Sen. Heather Steans (D-7th District), who sponsored the bill. L3Cs leverage foundations' program-related investments (PRIs) to access trillions of dollars of market-driven capital for ventures with modest financial prospects, but the possibility of major social impact. The L3C "preserves the financial advantages and governance flexibility of the traditional limited liability company while placing social mission ahead of profits," Lane said in a press interview regarding the use of the L3C as the legal platform for former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's The Sustainability Exchange.
An amendment to the L3C bill, also drafted by Lane, unanimously passed the Senate on April 17, 2013, and has been referred to the House Rules Committee. The amendment would allow for a more expansive description of the purposes for which L3Cs can be created, consistent with the proposed examples of PRIs set forth by the IRS in 2012. The expanded clause would make Illinois the first state to authorize L3Cs whose purposes may reflect the whole range of statutorily sanctioned PRIs.
Lane also drafted a bill that establishes a new type of entity called the "benefit LLC," a new class of LLCs whose purpose requires them to create benefit for society generally as well as members. Through the benefit LLC, Illinois limited liability companies would have the same opportunities afforded to Illinois corporations under the state's new Benefit Corporation Law (which took effect January 1, 2013). Passage of the bill would make Illinois the first state to offer a social enterprise the opportunity to be a benefit L3C. Sen. Heather A. Steans (D-7th District) filed the bill on February 15, 2013; it has received its first reading and been referred to the Senate Assignments Committee.
By appointment of Governor Pat Quinn, Lane served as Chairman of the State of Illinois' Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise, an initiative that seeks actionable recommendations on how to further social enterprise in the state and advises the General Assembly, the Governor, and agency heads on how to strengthen the capacity of Illinois to work cooperatively to create, scale, and sustain innovative social programs; build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and government to pursue entrepreneurial ventures; and attract funding to Illinois to support these ventures. The Task Force provided its preliminary report in January 2013, which was prepared by Lane along with other members of the Task Force. The Six Month Report was published in April 2013 and the third report was published in January 2014. A past Director for the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA), the national association of enterprising nonprofits and social-purpose businesses, Lane founded the SEA's Chicago Chapter, which he serves as President and Director. SEA's Chicago Chapter houses the Social Enterprise Survey and began collecting survey responses in April 2013 with the ultimate goal of creating an Illinois Social Enterprise Directory. Lane additionally chairs SEA's affiliate, the Center for Social Enterprise Accreditation.
Lane serves as the founding partner for Social Venture Partners Chicago, a partnership and network of philanthropically minded investors, and of the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He also served as the Chairman of the Board for Grant A Wish, Inc. and the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Lane is an active member of several other organizations as well, including the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc., the American Association of Retired Persons Legal Services Network, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago and the Chicago Council of Lawyers, among many others.
Lane is a frequent guest on national business and public affairs television and radio networks such as CNBC, ABC, PBS and Sirius Satellite Radio and online media such as TheStreet.com and Forbes.com. He is also a regular columnist for Crain's Chicago Business. He is an often-requested expert source for publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times,Money, Christian Science Monitor and Business Ethics. Lane regularly gives lectures and seminars on business, taxation and personal finance, and is frequently asked to sit on panels, conduct interviews and opine as to developments in corporate governance and social enterprise.
Lane joined other law professors in supporting Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The letter, signed by over 850 professors of law, was delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 29 June 2010.
- The Mission-Drive Venture: Business Solutions to the World's Most Vexing Social Problems, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2015
- Contributor to Dan Pallotta, Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World, Jossey-Bass, 2012
- Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs, American Bar Association, 2011
- Representing Corporate Officers, Directors, Managers, and Trustees, Aspen Publishers, 2010 [supplemented, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017]
- Profitable Socially Responsible Investing? An Institutional Investor's Guide, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2005
- Representing Corporate Officers and Directors, Aspen Publishers, 2005 [supplemented, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]
- Advising Entrepreneurs: Dynamic Strategies for Financial Growth, John Wiley and Sons, 2001
- Elder Law: Meeting the New Challenges When Advising Elderly Clients, with others, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1997
- Business Advice & Financial Planning for Lawyers, with others, Illinois State Bar Association, 1995
- Purchase and Sale of Small Businesses: Forms, Second Edition, Wiley Law Publications, 1991
- Purchase and Sale of Small Businesses, Second Edition, Wiley Law Publications, 1991
- Legal Handbook for Small Business, Revised Edition, American Management Association, 1989
- Due Diligence: Process, Participants and Liability, with others, College for Financial Planning, 1988
- Representing Corporate Officers and Directors, Wiley Law Publications, 1987
- Impact of 1986 Tax Code on Closely Held Businesses, The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane, a Professional Corporation, 1986
- Purchase and Sale of Small Businesses: Tax and Legal Aspects, Wiley Law Publications, 1985
- Amortization of Intangibles, Bureau of National Affairs, 1983
- Taxation for Small Business, second edition, John Wiley and Sons, 1982
- Legal Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations, American Management Association, 1981
- Corporations: Pre-Organization Planning, Bureau of National Affairs, 1980
- Taxation for the Computer Industry, John Wiley and Sons, 1980
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- Taxation for Engineering and Technical Consultants, John Wiley and Sons, 1980
- Taxation for Small Manufacturers, John Wiley and Sons, 1980
- Twenty-Third Annual Federal Tax Course, with others, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1980
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- Meyer, Ann (10 August 2009). "New corporate category could aid fundraising for low-profit companies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
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- Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Marc J. Lane (June 23, 2016). "Cook County, Illinois: An Agent of Change". Triple Pundit.
- "72nd Annual Independents' Day Dinner". www.iviipo.org. Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
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- Lagasse, Paul (September–October 2008). "Double Duty: How Mission-related investing not only furthers your mission, but also provides desirable financial returns". Advancing Philanthropy: 24.
- Feigenbaum, Cliff; Ketcham, Ted, eds. (Fall 2004). "New Financial Study Shows Stocks Can Reflect Investor Values Without Sacrificing Performance; Study Measures Effect of Positive Corporate Behavior". Green Money Journal.
- Penn, Michael (19 July 2006). "The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane and Its Financial-Services Affiliates Join United Nations' Global Compact; Sole U.S. Law Firm Joins International Initiative to Support Globalization and Social Change". Business Wire. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
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- Zwetsch, Rick (3 June 2010). "The L3C is so revolutionary and potentially so threatening..." InterSector Partners, L3C. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
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- Lane, Marc J. "The Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C)" (PDF). InterSector Partners, L3C. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Segal, Jeff (12 October 2012). "How Social Entrepreneurship is Changing Chicago (and the World)". Technori. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Lane, Marc; Bodor, Brandon; Agha, Mavara (January 2013). Preliminary Report (PDF) (Report). Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013.
- Marc J. Lane (March 11, 2014). "Emerging Legal Forms Allow Social Entrepreneurs to Blend Mission And Profits". Triple Pundit.
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- 805 ILCS 40/1 to 40/5.01.
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- Lane, Marc (19 December 2012). Graham, Madeline, ed. "Spotlight on Chicago Chapter". Social Enterprise Alliance (Interview). Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
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- Report 3 (PDF) (Report). Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. January 2014.
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- "Nonprofit, For-Profit, L3C, B Corp...How to Choose?". Grant Space. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
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- "Superlawyers". Thomson Reuters. 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
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- Lane, Marc J. (2012). "Chapter 5: Enact a National Civil Rights Act for Charity and Social Enterprise". In Pallotta, Dan. Charity Case. Jossey-Bass. pp. 165–167. ISBN 9781118117521.
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- Staff Writer (6 May 2011). "Chicago Microfinance Conference – A Closing "Fireside" Chat with Premal Shah of Kiva". Interview of Premal Shah by Marc. J. Lane. Opportunity International.
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