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In 1950, retail investors owned more than 90 percent of the stocks issued by U.S. companies. Today, that number is closer to 30 percent, with securities markets increasingly being dominated by big, institutional and often passive holders.

On balance, the rise of passive investing, which is designed to track the performance of an index as opposed to trying to beat it, has been great for the retail investing community, generating steady, low-fee returns for millions of Americans.

But as the size and influence of these massive institutional holders has grown, so too has their power, influence and share of voice – drowning out the voices and interests of Main Street investors who, despite controlling the single largest pool of equity capital in the world today, have almost no ability to influence the decisions these funds make on their behalf, with their money.

The Main Street Investors Coalition was created to help change that. Stand with us as we seek to bring much-needed reform to a badly broken, costly and inherently unfair system.

Executive Director

George David Banks

Dave Banks is an economist, political consultant, and policy advocate, focusing on energy, environment, and trade.  He is Executive Vice President of the American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF), a DC-based business association with membership that includes Fortune 100 energy companies. Banks has published reports and opinion editorials on a variety of policy issues, including climate change, civil nuclear power, and energy markets and trade.  He is also a fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a member of the ClearPath Foundation’s advisory board. Read More »

A native southeast Missourian, Banks has been an influential voice on energy policymaking in several capacities.  He most recently served as President Donald Trump’s Special Assistant for International Energy and Environment at the National Economic and National Security Councils – a position that required him to manage workstreams related to his portfolio across the federal government.  Previous government positions include Republican deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, Senior Advisor on International Affairs and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a State Department foreign service officer, and CIA economic analyst.

During his government tenure, Banks received multiple meritorious awards, including the EPA Climate Protection Award for Diplomacy, a Department of State Superior Honor Award for promoting U.S. diplomatic objectives for the environment, and a Commendable Service Award from the Central Intelligence Agency.  He also worked as deputy director of the nuclear energy program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and a lobbyist and consultant for Boyden Gray & Associates, a Washington D.C. law firm.

Banks holds a JD from George Mason University and a MA in economics and baccalaureate degrees in history, economics, and political science from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

Advisory Council

Charles C. Cox

Charles Cox is an Executive Vice President at Compass Lexecon. Prior to joining the business he served as commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1983 – 1989) and as acting chairman (1987). From 1982 to 1983, he was chief economist of the Commission and responsible for analyzing the economic effects of proposed rules and legislation and for evaluation of established policy. Mr. Cox has testified as an expert witness in a variety of cases and has been published on financial markets and securities in titles such as The Journal of Political Economy, The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking and The Journal of Private Enterprise.

Bernard Sharfman

Bernard Sharfman is an associate fellow of the R Street Institute, a member of the Journal of Corporation Law’s editorial advisory board, and a former Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law (Spring 2018) and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Spring 2013 and 2014).

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Mr. Sharfman has written extensively on corporate governance. His articles can be found on SSRN. His most recent writings include: A Private Ordering Defense of a Company’s Right to Use Dual Class Share Structures in IPOs (Villanova Law Review 2018); The Importance of the Business Judgment Rule (The NYU Journal of Law & Business 2018), What Shareholder Proposals on Proxy Access Tell Us about Its Value (Yale Journal on Regulation Online 2016); and Activist Hedge Funds in a World of Board Independence: Creators or Destroyers of Long-Term Value? (Columbia Business Law Review 2016). His blog posts can be found on the R Street Institute’s Word on the Street, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the Columbia Law School’s Blue Sky Blog, the Conference Board’s Corporate Governance Blog, the Canadian Business Law Blog, and the Oxford Business Law Blog.

Mr. Sharfman is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2000) where he was an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics and the recipient of the journal’s Saint Thomas More Award.

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is president of the technology research firm Entropy Economics LLC, which advises institutional investors and technology companies. He is also a fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies technology’s impact on the economy. Previously he advised technology investors as executive editor of the Gilder Technology Report and later was a senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, where he directed the Center for Global Innovation. Today, Swanson is vice chair of the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) and serves on the investment subcommittee of Indiana University Health.


George David Banks: dave@mainstreetinvestors.org
General Inquiries: info@mainstreetinvestors.org