CalSTRS Improves Proxy Vote Transparency
CalSTRS offers public access to all its proxy votes through online services.
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced today its most comprehensive, transparent disclosure of proxy votes ever.
The degree and convenience of disclosure this effort offers is unique among institutional investors. Using online postings, CalSTRS will make its votes known before the annual meetings of its more than 3,800 holdings in North America.
CalSTRS now makes its individual proxy votes publicly available online through a partnership with ProxyDemocracy, Inc. Additionally, CalSTRS is offering Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. ProxyEdge subscribers access to all its proxy votes online. Last year CalSTRS cast more than 47,000 individual proxy votes.
“CalSTRS has called for greater transparency from its portfolio companies and we intend to lead the way with comprehensive disclosure of our votes,” said Anne Sheehan, CalSTRS director of corporate governance. “Information is vital for shareholders to make informed decisions about the companies they own and CalSTRS intends to let fellow shareholders, as well as management, know how we intend to vote.”
Like other large pension plans such as CalPERS and the Florida State Board of Administration, CalSTRS has, for years, announced its proxy-vote intentions on selective companies. The addition of online disclosure opens the process to all CalSTRS portfolio companies, allowing other shareholders to know how the pension fund will vote.
“Announcing our votes in advance will open the door to engagement with more of our companies. This discussion will bear fruit in better corporate governance practices,” Sheehan said.
Apart from posting upcoming votes, CalSTRS will archive its votes starting from 2007 on ProxyDemocracy.
ProxyDemocracy is a nonprofit organization that offers free online investor information about portfolio companies, their annual meetings and proxy ballots. Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. is a provider of technology-based outsourcing solutions to the financial services industry.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a $117.4 billion portfolio, is the second largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 833,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.