The New Capitalists

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The “New Capitalists” is a term used by Stephen Davis, Jon Lukomnik and David Pitt-Watson in a book of the same title.[1] It describes the increasing ownership of companies by collective investment schemes representing millions of savers. The millions of savers are defined as the “New Capitalists.” They include individuals with retirement savings, life insurance and other direct and indirect equity investments. Currently they represent between one half and one third of the adult population of most developed countries, and own between 40% and 80% of the outstanding shares on the stock markets of the developed world.[2][3][4][5]

The Book[edit]

The book describes how the existence of millions of beneficial owners changes the nature of company goals, and the meaning of shareholder value. Though companies may avoid the influence of these new owners, the book argues that a series of forces, collectively known as the civil economy are strengthening markedly the influence of the New Capitalists. The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Australian Financial Review named The New Capitalists as one of the best business books of 2006. Fast Company Magazine’s review said: "Combine Adam Smith’s capitalist self-interest in The Wealth of Nations with Peter Drucker, who predicted the rise of institutional investors repping everyday people, to get The New Capitalists, which says, listen to your investors—or pay the consequences".

A Book By The Same Name[edit]

The New Capitalists was preceded by Louis Kelso's book The New Capitalists in 1961.


  1. ^ Davis, Lukomnik, Pitt-Watson 2006
  2. ^ Hawley, James P.; Williams, Andrew T. (2000). The Rise of Fiduciary Capitalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 
  3. ^ Mallin, Chris (19 April 1999). Shareholders and the Modern Corporation. The Corporate Governance in Practice Conference, London, England. 
  4. ^ Institutional Investment Report: Turnover, Investment Strategies, and Ownership Patterns. New York: The Conference Board. November 2000. 
  5. ^ Barca, Fabrizio; Becht, Marco, eds. (2001). The Control of Corporate Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 


  • Davis, Stephen; Lukomnik, Jon; Pitt-Watson, David (2006). The New Capitalists: How Citizen Investors and Reshaping the Corporate Agenda. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 1-4221-0101-0.