CalSTRS Praises Senate Passage of Financial Reform Bill
Proxy access provisions strengthen shareholder’s rights.
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) praised Senate passage of federal financial reform legislation as an important step toward greater transparency, accountability and management of risk at the corporate level.
By a 59-39 vote, senators approved the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, which must be reconciled with the bill adopted by the House in December. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer both voted in favor of the bill.
The legislation contains language reaffirming the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue rules providing shareholder access to the proxy to nominate directors. The bill also requires majority voting for directors in uncontested elections. Corporate governance provisions will provide strong consumer protections and oversight authority aimed at preventing a repeat of the crisis that paralyzed financial markets worldwide and triggered the deepest recession in nearly a century.
“The proxy access, majority vote and say on pay provisions contained in this legislation will help restore investor confidence in corporate boards and management, who are supposed to be accountable for properly serving the interests of the business and its owners,” said Anne Sheehan, corporate governance director at CalSTRS.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $138.5 billion, is the second largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 848,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.