A fascinating biography of the visionary behind the shareholder activist movement
“Bob Monks is a truly rare creature, not only a businessman turned political activist, which is rare enough, but an activist in and on behalf of business, which makes him virtually unique.” –Nelson W. Aldrich, Jr. author, Old Money: The Making of America′s Upper Class.
“A Traitor to His Class is a fascinating account of an idealistic visionary in action.” –Ben Makihara, Chairman, Mitsubishi Corporation.
“A superbly written book that provides a fascinating and candid insight on the brilliant but complex Bob Monks. A must read for any director, corporate shareholder, or employee of a public enterprise.” –L. Dennis Kozlowski, Chairman and CEO, Tyco International Ltd.
“One of the most interesting players in the development of corporate governance has been (the often controversial) Bob Monks. This well–written and lively biography puts him and his role in perspective–scholars, for information, and CEOs, for survival, ought to read it.” –John Biggs, Chairman, President and CEO, TIAA–CREF.
“An interesting story of one of the early proponents of changes in corporate governance and a formidable personal opponent in several corporate battles.” –Martin Lipton, Esq., Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Ask anyone who knows Robert Monks to describe him, and words such as “visionary,” “determined,” and “passionate” will surface. He is, in fact, all this and much more. At six–foot–six, he is a formidable presence, but the respect he demands has less to do with his physical stature than with his influential status as a driving force behind the shareholder activist movement – an initiative that began as a self–proclaimed “mission” to improve corporate governance and accountability, and that is now an integral part of contemporary business and investing. Now, the remarkable history of the movement and one of its pioneers is told.
Though born into a wealthy and powerful Boston family whose roots were established in New England before the Revolution, Robert Augustus Gardner Monks was never intent on simply leading a life of privileged luxury. Driven by a deep desire to make himself “useful to the world,” he took steps to meet this end. He graduated from Harvard University –Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude–and Harvard Law School, and subsequently joined Boston′s second largest law firm where he became one of its youngest partners ever. Monks then embarked on a new path which led him towards his ultimate goal of far–reaching public service.
Vividly tracing his extraordinary journey, A Traitor to His Class follows Monks′s experiences as businessman, corporate attorney, venture capitalist, regulator, and finally, shareholder activist. Written with exclusive access to Monks himself, as well as his collection of notes, speeches, and correspondence, it covers his numerous accomplishments –as well as a few defeats. Included are his term as the Department of Labor′s pensions administrator; his bid for the Sears board of directors, a run that won him recognition as “the leader of the battle to reform American corporate governance”; and his three attempts at the Senate, all of which were invaluable training for the guerrilla war he would wage on big business.
Instrumental to his battle is his brainchild, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which today handles voting for hundreds of corporate and government pension funds and represents a deciding factor in many contentious proxy votes at large companies both here and abroad. A Traitor to His Class intricately details ISS′s growing impact, as well as that of the Lens Fund, whose forays into poorly managed corporations have set new precedents for shareholder activism.
The biography of a man who dared to demand that Corporate America be answerable to both its owners and society, A Traitor to His Class is an engaging and enthralling look at one of today′s hottest, most controversial movements in business.
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Leaders insist on sticking to the time-tested formulae of either functional leadership that focusses on operational excellence or smart leadership that focusses on growth. When a leader′s focus is too functional, the organization becomes introverted and can focus too much on bottom-line profitability while missing out on top-line growth opportunities. But when leaders focus too much on smart leadership, the organization may experience quick growth but lose its effectiveness quickly. To strike a fine balance between the two From Smart to Wise provides a fresh and timely approach to nurturing wise, resilient and flexible leadership in a world of growing complexity. Drawing on inspiring real-life stories of historical and contemporary wise leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Indra Nooyi, Ratan Tata and N.R. Narayana Murthy the authors identify six characteristics of wise leaders and offer a practical framework to help readers develop their own style of wise leadership that is both functional and smart.
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When the school lunch lady asks Al and Keith to report back to her on their friend Beth's whereabouts, they thinks its really bizarre and are determined to find out why, especially when a lot of strange men with guns start showing up.
A #1 New York Times bestseller and the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Pulitzer Prize–winning Angela’s Ashes, this masterpiece from Frank McCourt tells of his American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur.Frank McCourt’s glorious childhood memoir, Angela’s Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.And now we have ’Tis, the story of Frank’s American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this “classless country,” and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank’s incomparable voice—his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue—that renders these experiences spellbinding.When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should “stick to their own kind” once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach—and to write—that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela’s Ashes comes of age.As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela’s Ashes, “It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best.” Frank McCourt's ’Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.
‘A wonderfully warm tale of weddings, funerals, marathon sauna contests – and the incomparable thrill of your first kiss, from “the Nick Hornby of the Arctic”.’ Marina Warner, Sunday TimesIts the 1960s, and pop records are gradually finding their way into the eager hands of teenagers in the far north of Sweden. Young Matti dreams of being a rock star – but in the tiny ice-bound village of Pajala, a boy should really spend his time cultivating more manly pursuits, such as hunting elk, drinking moonshine and fighting on dancefloors…‘Popular Music’ is one of the freshest, funniest debuts of recent years, and winner of the August prize, Sweden’s equivalent of the Man Booker. So wrap up warm and join Matti and the unforgettable community of Pajala in a wonderful tale of weddings, funerals and marathon sauna contests, the incomparable thrill of your first kiss – and of finally hearing the Beatles.