Monitor Group

Monitor Group
Type Partnership
Industry Management Consulting
Founded 1983
Founder(s) Mark Fuller,
Michael Porter,
Joseph Fuller,
Thomas Craig,
Mark T Thomas
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Number of locations 27 offices
Key people Stephen Jennings (Managing Partner)
Employees 1,500 employees worldwide

Monitor Group is a global management consulting firm headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States and with 27 offices in 26 major cities around the world.[1] It provides strategy consultation services to the senior management of organizations and governments. Monitor was founded in 1983 by a group of six entrepreneurs with ties to the Harvard Business School, including Michael Porter.

Monitor helps clients address a variety of management areas, including Strategy, Innovation, Organization and Leadership, Economic Development and Security, and Marketing and Pricing. Monitor has been ranked among the most prestigious consulting firms and recruits top graduate (MBA or otherwise) and undergraduate candidates from Ivy League schools and their international equivalents.[2][3] They have also appeared on the "Best Firms to Work For" list compiled by Consulting Magazine.[4]



Monitor Group was founded in 1983 by six entrepreneurs with ties to Harvard Business School, including Michael Porter, Mark Fuller and Joseph Fuller. Stephen M. Jennings is managing partner.[5] Monitor is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has 27 offices in 17 countries.[6]

Its consulting areas include: Strategy and Uncertainty, Leadership and Organization, Innovation, Economic Development, Marketing Pricing and Sales, and Social Action. Monitor has a number of business units that specialize in these areas and work together on client projects and the development of intellectual property, including its own white papers and research reports. They include: Global Business Network (GBN),[7] experts in scenario planning and experiential learning; Doblin specializes in innovation and design thinking; Monitor Regional Competitiveness supports economic development and regional competitiveness initiatives; Monitor Institute consults on strategy for the philanthropy and non-profit sectors; Monitor 360 works on strategy for government and non-governmental agencies; and Monitor Talent, a network of authors, experts, and academics who share ideas about the future of business, science and society.[8] According to Monitor Group, about 85 percent of its revenues come from repeat clients.[9]

Several authors affiliated with the firm have written business consulting books related to Monitor's work, including Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, by Michael Porter;[10] Knowledge for Action: A Guide to Overcoming Barriers to Organizational Change, by Chris Argyris;[11] A Theory of the Firm: Governance, Residual Claims and Organizational Forms, by Michael C. Jensen;[12] The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably, by Thomas T. Nagle, John E. Hogan and Joseph Zale;[13] and The Art of the Long View: Paths to Strategic Insight for Yourself and Your Company by Peter Schwartz.[14]

In 2008, the Corporation for National and Community Service honored Monitor for outstanding pro bono service[15] for its 10-year partnership with and providing consulting resources for New Profit Inc., a national venture philanthropy fund, as well as its consulting work through Monitor Institute. More than 250 Monitor Group consultants have participated in projects supporting New Profit and its portfolio organizations.[16]

Monitor was hit by the 2008 economic crisis. In September 2008 the company laid off nearly 20% of its workforce and closed several small offices. According to co-founder Joe Fuller, 2008 revenue was up on the previous year, but he stated that Monitor continued to anticipate "a demanding and tough market in the short term".[17] Monitor also operated a research captive called Grail Research [18] which was sold to Integreon in 2010, which is a member company of the Ayala Corporation


Monitor’s main competitors in the high-level strategy consulting market are McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Booz & Company, and Bain & Company.[19]


Monitor Group does not disclose its list of clients. Even when discussing clients in-house, Monitor uses acronyms to protect client's identities, a mark of Monitor's hyper-confidentiality.[20] Some engagements that have appeared in the press due to their public nature include a major initiative with the Libyan government[21][22] and an organizational effort with the University of California.[23]


Monitor has been featured in numerous publications for the quality of its learning- and feedback-oriented culture, as well as its collegial workplace morale.[2] The company was chosen as one of “10 Best Firms to Work For” by the Consulting Magazine in three of the last ten years that the list was compiled (2002, 2006, and 2008)[24] and was ranked 6th in the 2010 “50 Most Prestigious Consulting Firms” ranking by Vault Guide.[25] According to editor-in-chief of Consulting Magazine, Jack Sweeney, Monitor Group is "well-known for being different".[20]


Monitor Group recruits both at MBA and undergraduate levels, including online recruiting, for the "consultant" position, the title given to all of Monitor's professional staff.[26] Monitor's candidates typically come from top Ivy League schools and their international equivalents, liberal arts colleges and business schools across the world. Only around 2% of the undergraduate applicant pool receives offers.[27]

Work for Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya

Monitor was first hired by the Muammar Gaddafi-led Libyan government in 2005 to assess the state of Libya’s economy, develop plans for economic modernization and reform of the banking system, and train leaders from different sectors of society.[28] The work did not involve any wider political reforms in the North African nation.[29][30] According to a 2007 memo from Monitor to Libya's intelligence chief which was subsequently obtained by the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition and posted on the internet in 2009, Monitor entered into further contracts with the Libyan regime in 2006 which were worth at least $3m (£1.8m) per year plus expenses. According to the memo these contracts were for a campaign to "enhance international understanding and appreciation of Libya... emphasize the emergence of the new Libya... [and] introduce Muammar Qadhafi as a thinker and intellectual."[31] In connection with these contracts Monitor engaged and flew to Libya several leading Western academics, including Anthony Giddens of the London School of Economics (LSE), Joseph Nye of Harvard’s Kennedy School, Benjamin Barber of Rutgers University and Michael Porter.[32] Monitor also provided research support for a doctoral thesis which Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, submitted to the LSE. During this period Monitor also proposed a separate project to write a book for a fee of $2.45 million, to be published in Gaddafi's name and which would "allow the reader to hear Gaddafi elaborate, in his own words and in conversation with renowned international experts, his core ideas on individual freedom, direct democracy vs. representative democracy, [and] the role of state and religion". The book was never completed and Monitor later stated that the project had been a "serious mistake on our part".[33][34]

Monitor's work for the Libyan government, and its hiring of academics in connection with it, became the subject of increasing scrutiny and controversy after Gaddafi’s forces attacked anti-government protesters in February 2011.[35][36][37] Questions arose about whether Monitor should have registered as a foreign lobbyist under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in connection with its work in Libya.[38][39][40] During this time details also came to public notice of the role which Monitor had played in the writing of Saif Gaddafi's thesis submitted to the LSE. This, combined with public exposure of wider connections between the LSE and Libya, resulted in the resignation of its director, Howard Davies.[41] In March 2011, Monitor announced that it had launched an internal investigation into its work for the Libyan government.[34] In May 2011, Monitor announced it would register some of its past work in Libya with the U.S. Department of Justice in accordance with FARA.[42] Around the same time, Mark Fuller, Monitor Group's founder, chairman, and CEO, announced his resignation,[43] which, according to Monitor executives, had been planned for several months.[44] The company said it would also register for work with Jordan.[45]

Notable current and former employees

External links


  1. ^ "Global Offices". Monitor. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Monitor Group Profile Overview". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Monitor Group Profile Overview". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  5. ^ "History and Facts". Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Global Offices". Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Lohr, Steve (7 April 2003). "New Economy; 'Scenario planning' explores the many routes chaos could take for business in these very uncertain days". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Monitor: Specialist Business Units" [1], retrieved August 13, 2010.
  9. ^ "Our Clients". Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Porter, Michael (1980). Competitive strategy : techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0029253608. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Argyris, Chris (1993). Knowledge for action a guide to overcoming barriers to organizational change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 1555425194. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Jensen, Michael (2003). A Theory of The Firm. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674012291. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Nagle, Thomas T.; Hogan, John E.; Zale, Joseph (2011). The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably. Boston: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780136106814. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  14. ^ Schwartz, Peter (1996). The Art of the Long View: Paths to Strategic Insight for Yourself and Your Company. New York: Currency Doubleday. ISBN 0385267320. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Six Organizations Honored for Outstanding Pro Bono Service". National 12 February 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "New Profit Inc."
  17. ^ "Giving advice in adversity" [2] Economist, retrieved December 23, 2008.
  18. ^ "Grail Research" [3]
  19. ^ "Tuning into Monitor" [4] Boston Business Journal, retrieved January 6, 2008.
  20. ^ a b "Tuning into Monitor" [5] Boston Business Journal, retrieved January 21, 2008.
  21. ^ "Harvard Guru to Help Libya" [6] BusinessWeek, retrieved January 6, 2008
  22. ^ "Libya Gingerly Begins Seeking Economic but Not Political Reform" [7] New York Times, retrieved on January 6, 2008
  23. ^ "Q&A on University of California Restructuring Efforts"
  24. ^ "Best Firms to Work For" [8] Consulting Magazine
  25. ^ "Consulting Firm Rankings 2010: Vault Consulting 50" [9] Vault Guides
  26. ^ "Tuning into Monitor" [10] Boston Business Journal, retrieved January 21, 2008.
  27. ^ "Monitor Group Employment: Vault Monitor Employment Snapshot"
  28. ^ Andrew Solomon (May 8, 2006). "Letter from Libya: Circle of Fire". The New Yorker. 
  29. ^ Thomas Crampton (January 28, 2005). "Qaddafi son sets out economic reforms: Libya plans to shed old and begin a new era". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ Michael Slackman (March 2, 2007). "Libya Gingerly Begins Seeking Economic but Not Political Reform". The New York Times. 
  31. ^ "". The National Conference of the Libyan Oppositio. March 30, 2009. 
  32. ^ Farah Stockman (March 4, 2011). "Local consultants aided Khadafy". Boston Globe. 
  33. ^ Ed Pilkington (March 4, 2011). "US firm Monitor Group admits mistakes over $3m Gaddafi deal". Guardian. 
  34. ^ a b "Statement by Monitor Group Concerning Libya". Monitor Group. March 24, 2011. 
  35. ^ Benjamin Barber (August 15, 2007). "Gaddafi’s Libya: An Ally for America?". Washington Post. 
  36. ^ Joseph S. Nye Jr. (December 10, 2007). "Tripoli Diarist". The New Republic. 
  37. ^ Anthony Giddens (August 28, 2006). "The colonel and his third way". New Statesman. 
  38. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (March 1, 2011). "US Consulting Group Working for Libya Did Not Register As Foreign Agent". Sunlight Foundation. 
  39. ^ David Corn and Siddhartha Mahanta (March 3, 2011). "From Libya With Love". Mother Jones. 
  40. ^ Peter Overby (March 10, 2011). "U.S. firm Under Fire for Gadhafi Makeover Contract". NPR. 
  41. ^ Jeevan Vasagar and Rajeev Syal (March 4, 2011). "LSE head quits over Gaddafi scandal". Guardian. 
  42. ^ Stockman, Farah (6 May 2011). "Firm says it erred on Libya consulting". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  43. ^ "Monitor Announcement Regarding Mark Fuller". 3 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  44. ^ "Firm says it erred on Libya consulting". 6 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  45. ^ "Monitor Statement: Regarding F.A.R.A. Registration". 6 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 

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