Robert A.G. Monks is the publisher of www.ragm.com, which is focused on the assembly and dissemination of information and opinion about global issues of corporate governance and government capture. Mr. Monks is a substantial shareholder in, and advisor to, Trucost, the environmental research company. He is also the founder of Lens Governance Advisors, a law firm that advises on corporate governance in the settlement of shareholder litigation. His principal occupation is the development of ideas harmonizing corporate energies with the long-term interests of global society.
He was the founder of Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., and served as its president from 1985-1990. ISS is now the leading corporate governance consulting firm, advising shareholders with assets in excess of $1 trillion on how to vote their proxies. In January 2007, ISS was sold to Riskmetrics. He founded the investment fund known as LENS, which since 1992 has developed the “institutional activist” mode of investment. The fund has achieved returns in excess of the S&P average throughout its life. In 1998, in partnership with British Telephone Pension Scheme to promote the same investment principles in the United Kingdom, he founded Hermes LENS Asset Management Company of which he served as Joint Deputy Chairman. This fund also exceeded its index performance standard. 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 formed by former Hermes directors Peter Butler and Steve Brown 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 served as a member of the board of directors of ten publicly held companies.