Robert A. G. Monks is the Founder and Chairman of ValueEdge Advisors. He is a globally respected author, and pioneering practitioner in corporate governance. Mr. Monks is an advisor to Trucost, the environmental research company and is a co-founder of GMIRatings (formerly The Corporate Library). He is also the founder of Lens Governance Advisors, a law firm that advises on corporate governance in the settlement of shareholder litigation. Mr. Monks was the founder and president of Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., now the leading corporate governance consulting firm, advising shareholders with assets in excess of $1 trillion on how to vote their proxies. He founded the investment fund known as LENS, which since 1992 has developed the “institutional activist” mode of investment. Mr. Monks served as the President of Henley Management College’s Center for Board Effectiveness from 2000 to October 2003. He is also the board chairman of Governance for Owners – G40 – for both the London and U.S. based share-ownership services venture which has initially focused on a European fund informed by the principles of value to be added by proper governance.
He is a graduate of Harvard College, Cambridge University and Harvard Law School. He was a partner in a Boston law firm and served as vice president of Gardner Associates, an investment management company. He was president and chief executive officer of C.H.Sprague & Son Company, a coal and oil concern and served as a board member and chairman of the Board of The Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company and the Boston Company. He served as director of the United States Synthetic Fuels Corporation through appointment by President Reagan who also appointed him one of the founding Trustees of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System. He served in the Department of Labor as Administrator of the Office of Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs having jurisdiction over the entire U.S. pension system.
Mr. Monks has co-authored three books with Nell Minow including, Power and Accountability (Harper Business, 1991), Corporate Governance (Blackwell Publishing, 1995), the 5th edition is scheduled to be published in spring 2011, and Watching the Watchers (Blackwell Publishers, 1996). He wrote The Emperor’s Nightingale (Capstone, April 1998), The New Global Investors: How Shareowners Can Unlock Sustainable Prosperity Worldwide (Capstone, May 2001) and Corpocracy (Wiley, 2007). With Alexandra Lajoux he wrote, Corporate Valuation for Portfolio Investment, (Wiley, 2011). His latest books include Citizens DisUnited: Passive Investors, Drone CEOs and the Corporate Capture of the American Dream (2013) and Trusting Harvard: The Cost of Unprincipled Investing (2014). Mr. Monks was also the subject of a biography chronicling the corporate governance movement – A Traitor to His Class – by Hilary Rosenberg published by Wiley in 1999. Mr. Monks’ first novel, Reel and Rout was published by the Brook Street Press, February 2004.
Mr. Monks has received a number of awards and accolades in the course of his distinguished career,including:
- 2013 Frankel Fiduciary Prize from the Institute for Fiduciary Standard
- 2008 Directorship 100 Hall of Fame Award from the Directorship Magazine
- 2007 Outstanding Financial Executive Award
- 2004 Special Award for Corporate Accountability from the Investor Relations Magazine
- 2002 International Corporate Governance Award from the ICGN