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. Financial Markets and Corporate Governance

    by Dwight B. Crane

    Corporate scandals beginning in the late 1990s focused renewed attention on corporate governance, but significant cracks in the governance system also contributed to recent problems. Deregulation and growth of financial markets, as well as changes in the competitive environment, have had important consequences that weakened corporate governance. In essence, institutions that historically have played a significant role in governance now play a lesser role, as more reliance has been placed on the financial markets. Other aspects of the system have not picked up the slack. Banks, for example, have played a governance role in their credit approval process and monitoring of corporate performance after a loan has been granted. However, as companies increasingly by-pass financial institutions and go directly to the debt markets, the markets themselves must provide the monitoring and discipline.

    The changing role of institutions places a greater burden on the quality of information available to the markets and the regulatory environment, but “information intermediaries” and regulation have not been up to the task. As a co-coordinator of the School’s Global Corporate Governance Initiative, Professor Crane is exploring with other faculty members the implications of this shift from institutions to a greater reliance on debt and equity markets in the US and elsewhere. This shift affects many aspects of governance and raises important questions about the design of effective corporate governance systems.