Bob Monks on shareholder rights and conflicts of interest

“…shareholders as a class are no more worthy than employees, or customers, or suppliers, or communities in which companies live. It is simply that they are positioned to have money and to be able to take on a role”.

So says legendary activist Bob Monks in a Yale online interview.

The Q&A is short and simple to read. It’s here.

According to Monks, conflicts of interest are at the root of the financial meltdown:

“we’ve had this pattern over the last ten years of the institutional shareholders — the majority shareholders — essentially being silent because, in their capacity as banks, they had commercial relationships with the companies that were more valuable to them than the shareholder interests they represent, and there was no enforcement mechanism to require them to perform their legal fiduciary duty.”

I met Bob and interviewed him for the Guardian a few years ago. The interview is here.

His blog is here. Bookmark it. The issues he writes about are two important not to keep up to date with.

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