WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced overwhelming corporate governance success during the 2014 proxy season, as 86 of the 93 companies it engaged adopted a majority voting standard in corporate board elections.
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), in collaboration with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), sent the 131 California companies in their portfolios that lack women directors a letter offering their combined expertise to help diversify their boards.
Startup activist Legion Partners Asset Management LLC revealed on July 17 that it had joined forces with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to launch an activist campaign to press retailer Perry Ellis International Inc. to consider strategic alternatives…
“We can only make a co-investment with a manager that has a fund they are managing for us,” says Philip Larrieu, investment officer at CalSTRS’ corporate governance unit. “When we do the engagement we only do those with managers we’ve hired already. We understand their philosophy, they understand our interest, we have similar governance goals. The activist comes to us with a target company and we decide whether to participate,” he adds.
It’s not just fat cat hedge funds, banks or Wall Street investment companies that benefit when U.S. companies cut their tax bills by moving their headquarters overseas via mergers with foreign concerns.
More than a dozen state government pension funds that run retirement accounts for government workers like teachers, cops and firemen own big chunks in these “corporate deserters,” too.
Says investors have two options: do nothing, or do something.
Trucost, the environmental data group, says it has expanded its service recently to include the “embedded emissions from fossil fuels” – or potential ‘stranded assets’ – as major investors worldwide debate their exposure to fossil fuels.
The firm said: “Investors need to incorporate these distinct yet convergent risks into their existing analyses. Doing so, however, is no mean feat. As with many areas of ESG analysis, there is currently a lot of noise enveloping the subject of fossil fuel stranded assets, and it can be a task in itself to separate the objective analysis from the polemic.”
The cash register is a little quiet lately at Frontier Firearms in Kingston, Tenn., but the shooting range is still hopping.
Gun sales are always slow in the summer, but they’ve been even slower than usual this year. People rushed to buy assault rifles following the December 2012 school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., thinking they were about to be banned, but the highly charged incident also caused some high-profile U.S. pension funds to pull their money from the companies, with the result that sales have since dropped off.
California pension giants CalPERS and CalSTRS have racked up success in a new campaign to encourage board diversity at companies in their own ‘backyard’. The pair’s joint campaign has led to 15 companies in the state adding at least one woman to their boards of directors.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System had written to 131 California companies. “In just four months, 35 companies have responded to the letter and 15 companies have added at least one woman to their boards of directors,” they said in a joint statement.
“We are pleased that a number of companies we contacted recognized board diversity as an important governance practice. In fact, [cloud IT firm] ServiceNow added two women to their board this July,” said CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan.
Money talks, but investors don’t always get to decide what it says. Sometimes investors can’t even hear it.
When public companies give cash to candidates for office, lobbies or political-action committees, the money comes out of shareholders’ pockets. But companies aren’t required to disclose to investors how much they give or where it goes. Business contributors gave more than $2.7 billion to federal candidates, national parties and “super PAC” funding groups in the 2012 elections and another $1 billion in this year’s midterm elections, estimates OpenSecrets.org.
If the fuzzy disclosure bothers you, you will probably have to take matters into your own hands.
CalSTRS and CalPERS board diversity campaign targeting California companies receives 35 letters from all-male boards indicating willingness to add women
At least 15 companies based in California have added a female director to their all-male boards and 35 have indicated a willingness to do so after a board gender diversity campaign launched by state pension giants CalSTRS and CalPERS targeting 131 companies in the state.
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