Leading Proxy Advisor Says CalSTRS Resolution Deserves Support
Resolution Calls for More Board Diversity at Liberty Global
SACRAMENTO, CA – Leading proxy advisor, RiskMetrics Group, states a California State Teachers’ Retirement System resolution filed with Liberty Global Inc. warrants shareholder support. The CalSTRS resolution, if enacted, would result in a diverse board of directors.
Proposal #3, filed by CalSTRS, calls for Liberty Global to:
- Include women and minorities in the candidate pool for directors
- Commit to a policy of board inclusiveness
- Report to shareholders on its efforts toward diversifying its board of directors.
The proposal will be voted on at the company’s June 17, 2009, annual meeting in Littleton, Colo.
CalSTRS filed the resolution because research shows a significant positive relationship between the value of a company and the percentage of women and minorities on its board. In its analysis of the CalSTRS proposal, RiskMetrics said that, “unlike some of its industry peers, Liberty’s board does not appear to include any women or racial minorities…”
RiskMetrics states the CalSTRS resolution warrants shareholder support by citing Liberty Global’s:
- Lack of transparency regarding its non-discrimination policy
- Lack of diversity on the company’s board
- Lack of language in its nominating committee charter related to seeking diverse board candidates
“In an increasingly complex global marketplace, the ability to draw on varied views, backgrounds, skills and experiences is important to a company’s success,” said CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan. “We made this proposal because we want to build Liberty’s long-term value.”
CalSTRS, which owns more than one million shares of Liberty Global, has a $117.4 billion portfolio and 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.