Profiles: Tony Jensen

Tony Jensen

Tony Jensen

Cert. Finance

CEO, Royal Gold, Inc.

Modern-day Prospector

Tony Jensen is a gold prospector in the 21st century. As the CEO of Royal Gold, Inc., he leads a $4.5-billion company holding interests in more than 200 gold-focused mineral properties that are either producing, in development, or being evaluated.

It's the kind of business strategy that has propelled his company to the top in the mining royalties industry. Last year, Royal Gold continued its thirteen-year growth trend under Jensen's leadership by delivering a total shareholder return of 84 percent, with more than $53 million going to shareholders. And it's all being done by a staff of 22.

"We have an unusually efficient business plan that enables us to have only a couple dozen people worldwide for a market-capitalized company of $4.5 billion."

Like most Golden Gate working students, he spent his days at the office and his evenings in class, with course projects often tied to his workday world. Specifically, in one class project, he proposed a merger between a mining company with assets in South Dakota and Ontario with Placer Dome. It was a thorough proposal, and one that got the attention of his boss, who suggested that Jensen take it to the business development division. Jensen then needed to change the names of companies and mines in order to turn in the project, it was now a working confidential corporate opportunity.

Jensen was charged to run the Cortez, near Elko, Nevada. During those four years he spent in Elko, he got to know Royal Gold, which had a royalty on the Cortez. After 18 years with Placer Dome, Tony Jensen left to become the president of Royal Gold. In 2006, he was named CEO.

Royal Gold, Inc. -- one of the largest royalty and streaming companies in the world -- doesn't actually mine gold or silver. Instead, it buys rights to the royalties paid out by precious metal mines in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and West Africa.

Just days into 2015, Jensen announced that revenue for the first quarter was $69 million, up from $56.5 million the year before, despite the drop in gold.

Currently they have royalty claims on gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, coal and potash mines in more than twenty countries -- a dozen in the Americas, and the rest spread between Africa, Western Europe and Australia--totaling nearly 200 royalties on six different continents.

"There are only twenty two of us who manage a $4.5 billion company. I'm not aware of better efficiency in any business."