Born in Varese, Italy, on 19 March 1943. Married, with two children.
He studied economics and management at Bocconi University, Milan and then took a post-graduate course at Yale, in Connecticut.
For most of his professional life, Mr Monti was an academic, specialising in economics and monetary theory and lecturing at the universities of Trento, Turin and Bocconi. He held various advisory posts including the chairmanship of the Italian Treasury's committee on banking law and reform and membership of the European Commission's macroeconomic policy group.
He became the European Internal Market Commissioner in 1995 and the Competition Commissioner in 1999.
Politically, Mr Monti is relatively centrist, with no obvious leanings to the left or the right. He believes in the free market economy but with tight regulatory controls.
Outside the Commission, Mr Monti is a supporter of AC Milan football club and is a keen cyclist.
* Rejected a £152m state-aid package to BMW to save the Longbridge car factory
* Blocked Time Warner's plan to take over EMI and then raised concerns about EMI's subsequent plan to merge with Bertelsmann
* Forced Unilever to sell Oxo and Batchelors as part of its take over of Best Foods
* Banned GlaxoSmithKline's dual pricing of medicines in Spain
* Outlawed English Partnerships' regeneration grant scheme, Partnership Investment Programme
* Killed off duty-free shopping within the European Union
* Blocked merger of lorry-making companies Volvo and Scania
* Rejected the merger of MCI WorldCom and Sprint
* Killed off Airtours' merger with First Choice holidays
* Raised objections to merger of KLM and BA
In Monti's sights
* Concerned by General Electric's proposed take over of Honeywell
* Investigating Microsoft's dominance of software market
* Examining DVD prices
* Looking into Intel's hold on the computer chip market
* Riled by Eléctricité de France's spending spreeReuse content