Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Appoints CalSTRS’ Anne Sheehan to Board of Directors
CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance among 13 selected to inaugural board.
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s (CalSTRS) Corporate Governance Director, Anne Sheehan, has been named to the board of directors of the newly-launched Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
Sheehan joins a board whose members bring to the organization decades of experience and expertise in areas ranging from academia, law, and philanthropy, to investment, integrated reporting and the capital market.
SASB, launched on Oct. 4, aims to fill a current void in corporate reporting by developing and publicly distributing comprehensive, industry-specific sustainability accounting standards, which can be incorporated into standardized reporting. Its 13-member board of directors will play an integral role in achieving the organization’s goals by engaging in four key activities: fundraising, public relations, strategic planning and oversight of programs. In addition, board members will serve on various board committees capitalizing on their expertise.
SASB is also benefitting from different perspectives on investing through board members Catherine Odelbo, executive vice president of Corporate Strategy and Partnership for Morningstar and Sheehan, head of Corporate Governance for CalSTRS.
“SASB will enable investors to obtain essential information about material sustainability issues free of charge, thereby minimizing the costs of research associated with integrating sustainability considerations into governance and portfolio construction activities,” Sheehan said. “We’ll be able to evaluate sustainability fundamentals right alongside financial fundamentals and conduct peer-to-peer comparison with regard to sustainability performance.”
Among the board members is Steven O. Gunders, CPA, MBA, retired partner of the management consulting practice of Deloitte & Touche, where he managed several geographic consulting practices, as well as the Strategy and Operations practice for Deloitte for the U.S. and Europe.
“The U.S. capital markets enjoy extraordinary depth and liquidity due in part to the rigor of financial accounting standards, and the ability to audit the information,” said Steve Gunders. “SASB will create the accounting system necessary for the capital markets to recognize and react to the full range of sustainability risks and opportunities facing companies now and in the future, further strengthening our capital markets.”
Adding market expertise are Dan Hansen, CFA, managing director and member of the Fundamental Equity Division of BlackRock’s Portfolio Management Group, and Erika Karp, managing director and head of Global Sector Research for USB Investment Bank.
The new board will include several legal experts, whose insights will help guide SASB as it seeks to revolutionize corporate reporting. Those members include: Suz Mac Cormac, partner, Corporate Group of Morrison & Foerster; Ed Waitzer, partner, Stikeman Elliott; and John Katovich, founder and partner, K2 Katovich and Kassan Law Group, and former general counsel and secretary of the Pacific Stock Exchange.
Joining in January, 2013, will be Aulana Peters, retired partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutches of Los Angeles, and former commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
With an extensive and successful background in local, national and international fundraising, Bob Carter, CEO of Bob Carter Companies, will bolster SASB’s philanthropy efforts.
Bob Eccles, PhD, professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School has been named chairman of the board, and will be responsible for overseeing the board and executive committee, working with the executive director to ensure board resolutions are implemented, and serving as a spokesperson for the organization, among other duties.
“SASB is extremely fortunate to have such a diverse and accomplished team as its board of directors,” said Dr. Jean Rogers, SASB executive director, who serves in an ex officio, non-voting member of the board. “Each member will bring a unique and vital perspective to the organization as we work toward establishing standards that will enable sustainable value creation.”
Rogers will be joined on the board by Steve Lydenberg, CFA, with whom she co-authored a report in 2010, From Transparency to Performance: Industry-Based Sustainability Reporting on Key Issues. Lydenberg recently elaborated on that publication with a white paper focused on issues surrounding materiality, On Materiality and Sustainability: The Value of Disclosure in Capital Markets.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $154.8 billion as of October 31, 2012, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans, as well as disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 856,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is an independent 501(c)3 organization that will establish and maintain industry tailored key performance indicators for use in disclosing material sustainability issues for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the public.
For a more background on SASB’s board of directors, go to http://www.sasb.org/sasb/board-directors/.