This article focuses on the history of financialized management and its connections to shareholder value, which is often viewed as undermining patient strategies of investments. We argue that the rise of financialized management has in fact a long history that goes back to the conglomerate movement in 1960s America. As we show, the conglomerates pioneered the use of financial markets as a baseline for strategy, and the emphasis on financial transactions as an engine for growth. They developed key techniques—high leverage, share-price maximization and accounting manipulation—that later came to be associated with managerial strategies of the shareholder value era. This legacy has important implications for how we think about patient capital. It challenges the idea that patient capital consists foremost in shielding non-financial companies from capital markets and highlights the central role of management too often neglected in these debates.

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