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Articles/Essays

2014

AN OUTSIDER’S HISTORY OF HARVARD AND RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT: 1970-2014 [PDF]
A brief history of investment practices at Harvard.

2012

It’s plain for all to see, ESG research works
Opinion for the Financial Times - The evidence is clear that corporate governance and other “extra-financial” research can help to improve the performance of investment portfolios. That may sound like a bold statement, but to people steeped in this research, this is old news extensively chronicled in the growing literature on this subject.

2009

Chief Justice Roberts: Judicial Activist for Corporate Power [PDF]
Bob Monks and Peter Murray's essay about the Supreme Court choosing to re-hear the Citizens United v. F.E.C. court case and granting corporations expanded rights to contribute to political campaigns.  Often portrayed as a free speech  or First Amendment case, this case opened the way for increased corporation influence in politics and marked the Roberts Court as a major actor in increasing corporate power.

My Last Exxon Annual Meeting [PDF]
Annual Meetings are one of the least commented upon contradictions in contemporary capitalism. Statutes advertise them as the time and place for management and owners to meet; for corporate executives to account for their stewardship of the investors resources; and for the shareholders to have the opportunity to hold these managers to account. The reality, alas, is otherwise –

Return of the Shareholder [PDF]
Bob Monks' on responsible ownership and corporate governance, 2009.  "Less than two decades after Francis Fukuyama famously enshrined market-based liberal democracy as an optimal system at ―the "end of history," Barack Obama used his inaugural address to warn the nation that, "without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control."  The change in tenor from capitalist triumphalism to our current trepidation is indeed remarkable..." February 24, 2009.

1994

Tommorow's Corporation [PDF]
What do U.S. share owners really want? What should be the roles of the different stakeholders such as employee owners and institutional investors? In what ways will ownership structures change? What tools will be available for motivating employees, managers, share owners, etc.? What will be the structure of tomorrow's corporation?   Bob Monks discusses the future of corporations, including issues of globaliazation and institutional ownership.  1994

1992

Letter to Newsweek regarding CEO pay [HTML]
A 1992 letter from Bob Monks and Nell Minow to Newsweek regarding CEO pay.

 

1991

My Run for the Sears Board [PDF]
Bob Monks wrote about running for a seat on the Sears board of directors in 1991.    "But Sears shrunk its board by eliminating three director seats, which meant that I needed 21 percent of the vote to win a seat -- virtually impossible to obtain. because 25 percent of the vote was held by Sears employees (and voted by Sears  trustees) and 37 percent  was held by individuals who I could not possibly solicit without spending millions of dollars."

The Oxymoron in the Board Room [PDF]
Independent directors?  Take a closer look at how boards are chosen. 1991 article by Bob Monks in the New York Times.

Bob Monks to Run for Seat on Sears Board [PDF]
Press release announcing Bob Monks intention to run for a seat on the Sears Board of Directors in March 1991.  It also quotes Sears CEO Edward A. Brennan regarding Sears' intent to keep Monks off the board, "after meeting with Mr. Monks we are convinced that his personal agenda is incompatible with the current needs of Sears and its shareholders."

Comments on the AT&T/NCR Proxy Contest [PDF]
Bob Monks comments on the hostile takeover bid of NCR by AT&T in 1991.
 

1990

Shareholder Agenda [PDF]
"...But the informed involvement by owners in appropriate areas not only is essential to the proper functioning of corporations, it is essential for the long term enhancement of values."  An essay by Bob Monks for employees of ISS.  Also submitted as an op-ed for the New York Times, 1990.

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Copyright 2014 by Robert A. G. Monks