This is the first thing I contributed to at CFA Institute. The date is approximate.
In 1817, the Romantic poet Shelley wrote a sonnet about a king whose legacy is not what he thought it would be. The tale is told from the perspective of a traveler who happens upon ruins next to a pedestal that reads: “‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’” The next few lines—“Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.” —underscore what can happen when succession plans are not well crafted.