Deep underground, tectonic plates are continuously shifting, generally unnoted by all but the most dedicated geologists. That is, until those small, inexorable changes manifest into literally earth-shaking events: volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, new land masses, and majestic mountains.

 In the world of corporate governance, fiduciary obligation underpins the legal responsibilities of everyone from corporate directors to institutional shareowners. Like tectonic changes, evolution in fiduciary duty is hard to spot. With the exception of the current debate over whether a fiduciary standard should replace suitability as the professional standard for brokers, the current interpretation and application of fiduciary duty has been relatively stable ...