Jan Fichtner is Senior Research Fellow in the CORPNET project at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests lie in the interdisciplinary field of International Political Economy, particularly Global Finance (index funds, index providers, concentration of corporate ownership, structural power, financialization, hedge funds, and offshore financial centers). In the CORPNET group Jan leads the subproject on the rise of index providers and the ascent of very large passive asset managers, such as BlackRock and Vanguard – and their impact on global corporate governance, corporate control and climate change.
Steering capital: the growing private authority of index providers in the age of passive asset management. Review of International Political Economy. By Johannes Petry, Jan Fichtner & Eelke M. Heemskerk.
Based on the above paper we have published an article in The Washington Post:
Index funds might sound boring. But who decides which countries and companies to include? and at TheConversation.com: Three financial firms could change the direction of the climate crisis – and few people have any idea (15,380 readers since 24 February 2020.) Both pieces are by Jan Fichtner, Eelke Heemskerk & Johannes Petry.
Our “Steering capital” paper has been featured by the Financial Times “The index providers are quietly building up enormous powers“, Bloomberg “Private Equity Is Eating the U.K. Stock Market“, the Financieele Dagblad “Indexbouwers zijn de nieuwe poortwachters van de financiële markten, maar wie controleert ze?” and Morningstar “The Spotlight Turns on Index Providers“.
The CORPNET working paper The New Permanent Universal Owners: Index Funds, (Im)patient Capital, and the Claim of Long-termism has been featured by Institutional Investor “Research: Asset Management Giants Don’t Walk the Walk On Long-Termism“.
Our CORPNET paper Hidden Power of the Big Three? Passive Index Funds, Re-Concentration of Corporate Ownership, and New Financial Risk (published in Business and Politics) has been featured by Bloomberg “BlackRock Takes on Ivory Tower Over Stock-Ownership Research“, Bloomberg Markets Magazine “We’re in the Middle of a Revolution“, CNN “Shareholder activism is on the rise, but companies are fighting back“, The Economist “Stealth socialism“, the Financial Times “Index fund managers are too big for comfort“, the Financieele Dagblad “Warren Buffett betoont zich een ware indexbelegger“, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (1) “Die unheimliche Macht der ETF-Fonds“, (2) “Wie Blackrock & Co Unternehmen beeinflussen“, Harvard Business Review “How Big a Problem Is It That a Few Shareholders Own Stock in So Many Competing Companies?” and by The Wall Street Journal (1) “Are Index Funds Eating the World?” and (2) “Meet the New Corporate Power Brokers: Passive Investors“. We have published a short version of the paper for the general public at TheConversation.com under the title These three firms own corporate America (over 138,670 readers by May 2020).
The inaugural David P. Baron Award for the best article published in Business and Politics (BAP) in 2017 was awarded to our paper Hidden Power of the Big Three?
Our CORPNET paper Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network (published in Scientific Reports) has been featured by Algemeen Dagblad “Nederland met stip op 1 in lijst belastingontwijking“, by Bloomberg “Is the U.K. Already the Kind of Tax Haven It Claims It Won’t Be?“, by Der Standard “Niederlande größter Finanzkanal für Steueroasen“, by Malta Today “Scientists have found a way of showing how Malta is a global top ten tax haven“, by Technology Review Germany “Über die Niederlande ins Paradies“, by The Guardian “Netherlands and UK are biggest channels for corporate tax avoidance“, and by Spiegel Online “Paradise Papers: Niederlande – das Steuerparadies nebenan“. We have published a short version of the paper for the general public at TheConversation.com under the title These five countries are conduits for the world’s biggest tax havens (over 84,350 readers by May 2020).
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