Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Monks adds ‘heavyweight’ presence

January 2005

The veteran US corporate governance activist Bob Monks has taken a ‘substantial minority equity interest’ in the London-based social and environmental research company Trucost.

Monks, who founded Institutional Shareholder Services, which has been influential in pressing for better corporate governance in the US, is thought to have taken about 25 per cent of Trucost. He said he had done so because he believed there were close links between corporate governance and CSR.

As deputy chairman he will be actively involved in Trucost, which operates in the institutional market, serving Hermes, Merrill Lynch, Prudential and other clients.

A senior social responsibility consultant told EP that Monks’s move was a ‘significant’ sign of the convergence of corporate governance and CSR agendas, and added: ‘We are starting to see an alignment of some really quite heavyweight actors coming into this area.’

He said the recent entry into the socially responsible investment market of David Blood, the former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and former US vice president Al Gore, was further evidence of this trend.

Blood and Gore have set up the London-based boutique Generation Investment Management, which will combine sustainability and financial research in its analysts’ team. Three of its ten investment analysts will have SRI expertise, enabling them to take a rounded view of the long-term prospects for individual companies and sectors. It will hold some 50 stocks for five years or longer, according to Blood.

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