Dwight B. Crane

Emeritus Professor

Mr. Crane was a member of the Finance Faculty at Harvard Business School for a number of years, working primarily in the field of financial institutions and corporate governance.  He taught in the MBA and executive education programs at the School, most recently serving as Chair of the Owner/President Management Program and teaching Financial Management in this program for entrepreneurial executives. He continues to be a faculty member in "Making Corporate Boards More Effective" and other executive programs at the Harvard Business School.

Professor Crane was Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School for eight years, including service as Director of Faculty Development and Director of Research. Most recently he was the Chair of the School's European Research Initiative. He was also one of the faculty coordinators of the HBS Global Corporate Governance Initiative.

He has been a consultant to a number of financial institutions and companies in the United States and abroad. Professor Crane is a member of the Board of Legg Mason Partners Equity Funds and serves as Lead Director. He was formerly a Director of the Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation and has served on the boards of other private and public companies.  He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of Old South Church in Boston.

Professor Crane's research work has included a number of topics related to financial service firms, financial management and coporate governance.  This work has led to several co-authored books, including The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective and Doing Deals: Investment Banks at Work. He has also published numerous articles in Harvard Business Review, Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management, Journal of Financial Services Research, California Management Review, and other journals.

Prior to joining the Harvard Business School faculty, Professor Crane was an economist and Director of Operations Research at Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the University of Michigan for his MBA. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University.


  1. The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective

    D. B. Crane, K. A. Froot, Scott P. Mason, André Perold, R. C. Merton, Z. Bodie, E. R. Sirri and P. Tufano

    Keywords: corporate finance; Imperfect markets; behavioral finance; Asset Pricing;


    Crane, D. B., K. A. Froot, Scott P. Mason, André Perold, R. C. Merton, Z. Bodie, E. R. Sirri, and P. Tufano. The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1995. View Details

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  1. The Strategy of a Merger: Fleet and Bank of New England

    D. B. Crane and J.C. Linder

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Strategy; Banks and Banking; Banking Industry; New England;


    Crane, D. B., and J.C. Linder. "The Strategy of a Merger: Fleet and Bank of New England." In Proceedings of the Twenty-ninth Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition. Chicago, IL: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1993. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Spyder Active Sports - 2004

    Belen Villalonga, Dwight B. Crane and James Quinn

    David Jacobs founded a high-end ski apparel company in 1978. He successfully built and grew the company, establishing a major international brand that appealed to ski racers and other active skiers. In 1995, he sought external financing to support further growth of the company and structured a financial deal with CHB Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Denver. By 2004, Jacobs was ready to consider alternative types of equity transactions that would provide a source of liquidity to him and his family, including sale of Spyder to another apparel company and sale of a large block of stock to a private equity firm. Poses issues of valuation of a privately owned company and presents alternative ways to harvest wealth from a private company. Also brings up family business issues because the transaction would have a significant effect on two of his children who are involved in the business.

    Keywords: Private Ownership; Private Equity; Financial Liquidity; Business Exit or Shutdown; Valuation; Brands and Branding; Wealth; Family Business; Financing and Loans; Globalization; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Sports Industry; Colorado;


    Villalonga, Belen, Dwight B. Crane, and James Quinn. "Spyder Active Sports - 2004." Harvard Business School Case 206-027, September 2005. (Revised April 2007.) View Details
  2. Ultra: The Quest for Leadership (A)

    Dwight B. Crane and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho

    Ultra is one of a small group of competing Brazilian petrochemical companies, each of which buys raw material and is a minority owner of Copene, a "cracking" company that provides ethylene and other materials. Because of an industry restructuring, an auction of shares is being held that would provide a controlling position in Copene if Ultra was successful with its bid. Students must decide what Ultra should bid for this controlling position. The case provides cash flows and cost of capital information for estimating the present value of the company. Estimating the amount to bid is complicated by several factors. First, one of the competing owners is a likely bidder in the auction. Thus, if Copene did not win, it would end up with an illiquid minority position in a key supplier that was owned by a competitor. In addition, the valuation must take into account the uncertain Brazilian economic environment. Finally, the CEO and other senior decision makers have an ownership stake in Ultra, so they have a significant incentive not to overpay and destroy shareholder value.

    Keywords: Capital; Capital Budgeting; Investment; Risk and Uncertainty; Risk Management; Industry Structures; Cash Flow; Cost of Capital; Valuation; Bids and Bidding; Economy; Ownership Stake; Chemical Industry; Brazil;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho. "Ultra: The Quest for Leadership (A)." Harvard Business School Case 204-146, May 2004. (Revised April 2006.) View Details
  3. Deutsche Borse and the European Markets

    Dwight B. Crane and Monika Stachowiak

    In December 2004, Deutsche Borse proposed an offer for the London Stock Exchange. Some shareholders opposed the acquisition, leading to the offer's withdrawal and replacement of management, including the CEO and board members. Written from the viewpoint of Deutsche Borse and addresses a number of issues: Was the attempted acquisition of the London Stock Exchange a reasonable strategy? Was the announced offer price reasonable? Why were dissident shareholders so opposed to the transaction? What allowed them to prevail? What could management or the supervisory board have done differently that might have led to a different outcome?

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Strategy; Governing and Advisory Boards; Capital Structure; Stocks; Valuation; Corporate Governance; Price; Change Management; Commercialization; Financial Services Industry; Europe;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Monika Stachowiak. "Deutsche Borse and the European Markets." Harvard Business School Case 206-082, January 2006. (Revised February 2006.) View Details
  4. Susan Griffin: Formulation of a Long-Term Investment Strategy

    Dwight B. Crane and Julia Stevens

    Susan Griffin, owner and cofounder of a small manufacturing company, is formulating a long-term investment strategy. Griffin plans to sell her $10 million company and invest the revenue. She must decide how to allocate her investment so that she can rely entirely on investment income for her financial needs, while still maintaining a comfortable standard of living. In addition, Griffin wants to be able to offer financial help to her two children and her elderly mother.

    Keywords: Strategy; Business Exit or Shutdown; Investment;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Julia Stevens. "Susan Griffin: Formulation of a Long-Term Investment Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 203-072, February 2003. (Revised December 2005.) View Details
  5. Kinetic Concepts, Inc.

    Jay W. Lorsch, Dwight B. Crane and Ashley Robertson

    Raises issues about how the nature and function of a board changes as a company moves from ownership by its employees, including the founder, to ownership by a private equity firm, Fremont Partners, culminating in a highly successful IPO. Gives students the opportunity to consider changes in board membership, board duties, and responsibilities. Teaching Purpose: To enable students to think about improving corporate governance at a specific company.

    Keywords: Private Equity; Governing and Advisory Boards; Initial Public Offering; Behavior; Organizations; Employee Ownership; Health Care and Treatment; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Health Industry; United States;


    Lorsch, Jay W., Dwight B. Crane, and Ashley Robertson. "Kinetic Concepts, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 405-042, October 2004. (Revised July 2005.) View Details
  6. Hancock Land Company and Hancock Lumber Company (A)

    John A. Davis, Dwight B. Crane and Kelly M. Mulderry

    After inheriting the leadership of their family's land and lumber companies, Matt and Kevin Hancock struggled with how to revise their internally focused governance system.

    Keywords: Family Business; Governance; Leadership Style; Growth Management; Organizational Change and Adaptation;


    Davis, John A., Dwight B. Crane, and Kelly M. Mulderry. "Hancock Land Company and Hancock Lumber Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 805-056, September 2004. (Revised June 2005.) View Details
  7. Hancock Land Company and Hancock Lumber Company (C)

    John A. Davis, Dwight B. Crane and Kelly M. Mulderry

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Forest Products Industry; Real Estate Industry;


    Davis, John A., Dwight B. Crane, and Kelly M. Mulderry. "Hancock Land Company and Hancock Lumber Company (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 805-097, January 2005. (Revised June 2005.) View Details
  8. VendQuest (A): The Business Idea

    Dwight B. Crane and David Foster

    A potential founder of a company is considering whether to start up a new enterprise that would link parts distributors with customers in the construction industries via the Internet. This case describes the industry and the potential advantages to distributors and customers.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Corporate Strategy; Business Model; Distribution; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Internet; Online Technology; Business Plan; Customer Relationship Management; Business Ventures; Construction Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B., and David Foster. "VendQuest (A): The Business Idea." Harvard Business School Case 203-065, January 2003. (Revised May 2003.) View Details
  9. Working with Your "Shadow Partner": Building a High Tech Investment Portfolio

    Dwight B. Crane and Richard L. Nolan

    Team-based exercise designed to illustrate the use of the Internet directly by executives. Requires going on the Internet to search for information required to construct a high-tech investment portfolio.

    Keywords: Investment Portfolio; Groups and Teams; Internet; Information Management;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Richard L. Nolan. Working with Your "Shadow Partner": Building a High Tech Investment Portfolio. Harvard Business School Exercise 302-029, July 2001. View Details
  10. Note on Valuing Private Businesses

    Dwight B. Crane and Indra Reinbergs

    This case provides a brief overview of valuation for owners of closely held companies. The focus is on a comparable transactions approach, although rules of thumb and discounted cash flow are mentioned. Earnings multiples and their drivers are discussed. It uses company example and transaction data on private deals as an exercise in screening for comparable companies and valuation based on multiples. It includes a three-page bibliography with references to further sources on valuation methods, private transaction data, financial databases for company screening, and professional advisors from appraisal and valuation communities.

    Keywords: Earnings Management; Finance; Cash Flow; Data and Data Sets; Private Ownership; Valuation;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Indra Reinbergs. "Note on Valuing Private Businesses." Harvard Business School Background Note 201-060, February 2001. (Revised April 2001.) View Details
  11. Be Our Guest, Inc.

    Dwight B. Crane and Penny Joseph

    Be Our Guest is a rapidly growing equipment rental company with substantial seasonality in its revenues and profits. In the spring of 1998, the senior management team is reviewing its financial plans in preparation for a meeting with the company's bank. The case provides an opportunity to forecast financial needs and consider the appropriate structure and amount of bank borrowing.

    Keywords: Financial Strategy; Borrowing and Debt; Banks and Banking; Revenue; Management Teams; Business Plan; Forecasting and Prediction; Utilities Industry; Service Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Penny Joseph. "Be Our Guest, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 299-001, April 1999. (Revised March 2001.) View Details
  12. Note on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Phantom Stock Plans

    Dwight B. Crane and Indra Reinbergs

    Provides a brief overview of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and phantom stock plans for owners of closely held companies. ESOPs can be used as a tool of corporate financing, and can provide employees with ownership interests. Phantom stock plans can reward executives for value creation without giving up ownership. Covers typical company motives for establishing such plans, regulation, tax advantages, administrative costs, issues of corporate governance, and payment of plan benefit. Includes a two-page bibliography with references to further sources of legal and tax information.

    Keywords: Financing and Loans; Employee Stock Ownership Plan; Motivation and Incentives; Management Teams; Corporate Governance; Ownership Stake; Taxation;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Indra Reinbergs. "Note on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Phantom Stock Plans." Harvard Business School Background Note 201-034, November 2000. View Details
  13. Drivers of Industry Financial Structure

    Dwight B. Crane and Indra Reinbergs

    This case contains common-size balance sheets and financial ratios for 10 companies, each representative of a different industry. Students are asked to identify the industries from the structure of the financial statements.

    Keywords: Finance;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Indra Reinbergs. "Drivers of Industry Financial Structure." Harvard Business School Exercise 201-039, September 2000. (Revised October 2000.) View Details
  14. Kendle International Inc.

    Dwight B. Crane, Paul W. Marshall and Indra Reinbergs

    Candace Kendle and Christopher Bergen, the CEO and COO of Kendle International, Inc., are reviewing ways to finance the growth of their privately-owned company. Kendle is a contract research organization that conducts clinical drug trials for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. To compete more effectively, Kendle plans to grow through international acquisitions. It is now time to decide whether to go ahead with a full program of two European acquisitions, a large debt financing through Nationsbank, and an initial public offering to repay the debt and provide cash for future acquisitions. The falling stock prices of Kendle's competitors add pressure to the situation. Teaching purpose: To develop skills in designing and implementing an integrated financial and acquisition strategy.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Financing and Loans; Venture Capital; Stock Options; Banks and Banking; Debt Securities; International Finance; Financial Strategy; Management Skills; Private Ownership; Initial Public Offering; Biotechnology Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B., Paul W. Marshall, and Indra Reinbergs. "Kendle International Inc." Harvard Business School Case 200-033, February 2000. (Revised October 2000.) View Details
  15. Wiegandt GmbH Cologne

    Dwight B. Crane and Mathew M Millett

    The credit department of Wiegandt, a furniture manufacturer, is evaluating the financial condition of two stores that retail the company's furniture.

    Keywords: Financial Condition; Credit; Financial Management; Distribution Channels; Profit; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Financial Strategy; Manufacturing Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B., and Mathew M Millett. "Wiegandt GmbH Cologne." Harvard Business School Case 298-159, June 1998. (Revised April 1999.) View Details
  16. Dean Witter, Discover & Co.

    Dwight B. Crane and W. James Whalen

    Early in 1993, Sears was in the process of spinning off its Dean Witter, Discover subsidiary. This subsidiary consisted of a securities brokerage that was acquired in 1981 and also the Discover Card, a general purpose credit card, the firm introduced in 1985. The key issue was the price per share of the initial public offering. Because Dean Witter, Discover was a unique company, consisting of a credit card coupled with a retail-oriented securities brokerage, valuing the firm was not necessarily a straightforward issue.

    Keywords: Valuation; Business Subsidiaries; Initial Public Offering; Credit Cards; Corporate Strategy; Asset Pricing; Financial Services Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B., and W. James Whalen. "Dean Witter, Discover & Co." Harvard Business School Case 294-046, January 1994. (Revised June 1994.) View Details
  17. Salomon and the Treasury Securities Auction: 1992 Update

    Dwight B. Crane

    Briefly summarizes the events that transpired after the investment bank Salomon Brothers revealed that it had repeatedly violated the rules governing the auction of new U.S. Government securities. Includes a description of the violations, the management shake-up that occurred after the firm's August 8, 1991 announcements, the regulatory response to the violations, and the recovery of the firm under the direction of interim chairman, Warren Buffett.

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Financial Instruments; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry; United States;


    Crane, Dwight B. "Salomon and the Treasury Securities Auction: 1992 Update." Harvard Business School Supplement 293-057, October 1992. (Revised December 1992.) View Details
  18. Salomon and the Treasury Securities Auction

    Dwight B. Crane

    Set in June 1991, two months prior to Salomon Brothers' announcement that the firm had violated the Treasury Department's rules governing the auctions of new Treasury securities. Salomon Vice Chairman John Meriwether must decide how to address problems that continue to appear in the management of the firm's government bond trading activities. In April 1991, one of his managers admitted that he had submitted an illegal auction bid in February 1991. Now, one month later, there is mounting speculation in the press that Salomon tried to corner the market for May 2-year notes. Structured to allow students to analyze the ethical, legal and managerial dimensions of John Meriwether's situation. Background information about the history of Salomon Brothers and the investment banking industry, the markets for government securities, and the regulation of securities dealers and brokers is interwoven with Meriwether's story. Accessible to individuals with and without experience in investment banking.

    Keywords: Debt Securities; Managerial Roles; Ethics; Market Transactions; Bonds; Investment Banking; Crisis Management; Auctions; Legal Liability; Banking Industry;


    Crane, Dwight B. "Salomon and the Treasury Securities Auction." Harvard Business School Case 292-114, March 1992. (Revised December 1992.) View Details

Other Publications and Materials