Tag Archives | CalPERS

CalPERS Focus List Methodology to be Revised

A recent examination of the “CalPERS Effect” by Wilshire found that Non-Focus List companies outperformed Focus List companies. Only the “worst” offenders are “named and shamed” on the Focus List. More receptive companies may already have engaged reform and are likely to move more quickly to better governance standards, improving the performance of those stocks […]

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CalSTRS to Stream Meetings

With all the criticism lately of public pension funds it is good to see increasing transparency on several fronts. CalPERS, for example, recently announced they will essentially be posting travel claims. (CalPERS Boosts Transparency: Will Post Travel Expense Claims) Now, CalSTRS has stepped up from live audio streaming to live video streaming and archiving of […]

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Diehr Wins in Low Turnout CaPERS Election

George Diehr has been officially re-elected to the board of administration of CalPERS, as the state elected member. Diehr received 77.5% of the votes cast; Inderjit Kallirai received 22.4% of the eligible vote. Only 28,373 votes cast by eligible state and California State University employees out of about 340,000 eligible voters. I did my part […]

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CalPERS Boosts Transparency: Will Post Travel Expense Claims

Taking another step to increase transparency, the CalPERS Board has approved publishing on the CalPERS website all travel expense claims and statements of economic interests submitted by Board Members and key staff personnel. The travel information will be posted online within one month of the date of reimbursement. The statements of economic interest – known […]

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Rating the Raters

I applaud CalPERS for proposing that credit rating agencies (CRAs) should be hired by investors instead of by corporate management. This proposal was in CalPERS’ October 4, 2010 comment letter to the SEC: “Current legislation through the Dodd-Frank Act … appoints the Comptroller General through Section 939D, to study an alternative means to compensate the […]

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CorpGov WayBack Machine

Ten years ago at CorpGov.net: The CalPERS board voted to invest $125 million in CIM California Urban Real Estate Fund, despite objections from investment staff who recommended only $50 million because of the firm’s (more…)

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Incumbent Wins CalPERS Race: But…

The following is a table with the unofficial results of the most recent CalPERS election. No real surprise; with an incredibly low turnout, the incumbent won by a large margin. George Diehr 21,988 votes Inderjit Kallirai 6,360 votes Board candidate uses CalPERS address, phone writes Ed Mendel in his post to CalPensions. CalPERS board member running […]

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Symantec Audio-Only Meeting Gets National Coverage

At last, there have been a couple of articles in the national press on the Symantec Corp. virtual-only meeting. First, Ross Kerber reported for Reuters, Shareholder meetings via Web mute dissident voices (9/24/2010) Kerber observed, Soon movies might be the only place to hear pointed outbursts from investors. This year more than a dozen companies […]

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Consulting Solicitation by CalPERS for Corporate Governance Analysis

CalPERS posted a new Consulting solicitation. Solicitation: 2010-5478 Global Equity General Consultant Services Spring-Fed Pool on 9/23/2010. Description: The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) seeks to establish a Global Equity General Consultant Services Spring-Fed pool to provide services, tools/technology, and data needs to the Investment Office (INVO), Global Equity Unit for a term of […]

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Protesting Symantec's All-Virtual Meeting

Steven Towns, writing for Seeking Alpha (Questioning Symantec’s ‘Virtual’ Shareholder Meetings, 9/20/2010) joined CII, CalSTRS, CalPERS, USPX and others in objecting to an all virtual meeting held buy Symantec. This follows up on Ted Allen’s September 16, 2010 article for RiskMetrics, Investors Object to Symantec’s Virtual Annual Meeting, my post of September 7, 2010 (also […]

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CalPERS Bonuses

The AP’s Cathy Bussewitz has done a very good job on a topic that I warned needed more attention. (AP Investigation: Calif. pension bonuses examined, 10/21/2010) CalPERS’ plunging value came as stock values tumbled around the world, the state’s economy suffered its worst decline in decades and basic state services faced severe budget cuts. Virtually […]

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Video Friday

Through PERSWatch.net, I had the distinct pleasure of sponsoring a second CalPERS Candidate Forum (the first was last year), thanks to co-sponsorship by the Sacramento Central Labor Council, facilitation by the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County, use of the CalSTRS Boardroom, video by CalPERS and cooperation from 2010 State Board Election candidate Inderjit […]

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CalPERS Gets Hotline

CalPERS announced two significant reforms designed to restore confidence in CalPERS and ethical conduct – the establishment of a Senior Level Enterprise Risk Management Office and  the launch of a new Ethics Helpline to identify fraud and waste. The CalPERS Board of Administration approved the new Office of Enterprise Risk Management to identify risks in […]

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Routes to Becoming a Director

Toronto’s Globe & Mail ran one of the better articles I have seen on the subject (How to land a seat on a corporate board, 9/7/10). It seems the Institute of Corporate Directors has seen a 25% rise in executives enrolling in its director education program, a series of courses to prepare graduates for serving […]

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At CalPERS: One Pleads the 5th, One Quits

CalPERS announced that Kurato Shimada resigned yesterday to focus on “personal matters.” “It’s with sadness that I accepted Kurato Shimada’s resignation from our Board today,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President. “We appreciate his desire to focus on personal matters and wish him well.” CalPERS will be scheduling a special election to fill his vacant […]

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CorpGov News Bites

CalPERS. A report from consultant Wilshire Associates found that activist involvement by CalPERS increased returns at many of  the 142 “Focus List” companies. Prior to the pension’s involvement, the companies’ returns averaged 83.3% below their various benchmarks; afterward they yielded returns 12.7% above the benchmarks. Although the cumulative 12.7% is not as high as past results, their corporate governance program […]

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2010 Board Member Election & Candidate Forum

The CalPERS Board of Administration consists of 13 members – six elected by members, three are appointed, and four are “ex officio” representatives. A State Board member election will be held this fall. The term of office will be January 16, 2011 – January 15, 2015. You are eligible to vote if you are an […]

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Funds Preparing Candidate Pool

As I have reported previously (CorpGov Bites), CalPERS and CalSTRS are cooperating to create a database of prospective  director candidates with diverse backgrounds and talents for possible nomination to boards through proxy access. At the Yale forum in June, representatives of the two funds led a workshop aimed at developing a questionnaire to be used […]

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Corporate Accountability, Web 2.0 & CorpGov Functions at Public Funds

Bill Baue and Marcy Murninghan have authored a recent working paper that deserves wide circulation and thoughtful consideration. The Accountability Web: Weaving Corporate Accountability and Interactive Technology can be downloaded from the website of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Since I’m trying to get you to read the […]

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How I Voted: Home Depot, Interface & Talbots

Home Depot: Since I’m only getting around to voting the day before the meeting I knew I couldn’t vote at MoxyVote.com but I went there anyway because it is very easy to pull up the proxy there. I also went to CalPERS but they had no voting advice on HD. I then went to ProxyDemocracy.org, […]

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CorpGov Bites

Boston Scientific Corp., which posted a $1.6 billion first-quarter loss, is on probation for concealment of safety defects in its heart defibrillators earlier in the decade and is faces charges of overpaying its CEO, is barring media from its shareholders meeting tomorrow morning. Beth Young, of the Corporate Library said, I think it’s not the […]

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Former CalPERS Officials Sued for $95 Million

California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced his office has filed a civil suit against former CalPERS Board Member Alfred Villalobos, his company ARVCO Capital, and former CalPERS CEO Fred Buenrostro, charging them with fraud. Explained Brown, Working as a placement agent for ARVCO, Villalobos spent tens of thousands of dollars to lavishly entertain […]

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How I Voted at Citigroup

ProxyDemocracy.org was very helpful, with several funds reporting their votes in advance. Also very helpful was CalPERS’ site, which provided reasons for their votes.  I voted for most of the directors, along with most of the funds who reported voting in advance on ProxyDemocracy. However, I joined with CalPERS in withholding my vote from the […]

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CorpGov Bites

“In many ways, 2010 is the Foundation Proxy Season. By next year, the world will be changed. It is likely that both say-on-pay and proxy-access measures will be mandated. Directors will undoubtedly face greater scrutiny and more challenges than ever before. As a result of these impending challenges, boards must use the 2010 season to […]

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July 2009 News Archives

Mutual Funds: Pass Through Voting? Various studies have shown that mutual funds often place their own interest in asset gathering ahead of their fiduciary duties. After studying proxy voting by US funds, Jennifer S. Taub (of UMass) concludes one option might be to “borrow from British reforms by creating a uniform set of best practices […]

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Archives: November 2008

Noteworthy What Will TARP Bring? (RMG, 11/24/08), see especially comments from Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier Issues to Consider: Special Meetings to Authorize TARP Preferred Stock(TheCorporateCounsel.net Blog, 11/25/08). Most companies don’t have the authority to issue preferred shares under their charter and are scrambling to file preliminary proxy materials for a special meeting to obtain shareholder […]

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July 2008

ESG Gaining Acceptance Since 2005, KLD has studied the S&P 100’s sustainability reporting practices for the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network, a working group of the Social Investment Forum. The 2008 Sustainability Report Comparison reveals encouraging news. Of the 100 largest U.S. publicly-traded companies, 86 maintain corporate sustainability websites and 49 produced sustainability reports in 2007. These numbers represent significant progress […]

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October 2002

Webster Named The US Securities and Exchange Commission voted to approve five members of a new national accounting oversight board to be headed by ex-FBI-CIA chief William Webster whose only experience in accounting, as far as we know, was heading the auditing committee of U.S. Technologies, now bankrupt and facing fraud accusations. Shortly before Webster […]

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CalPERS muzzles critics: Ballot rules protect board, keep others in the dark

“Self-serving” is what one critic called the vote last week to sharply limit what candidates for the California Public Employees Retirement System board can include in their ballot statements. Certainly, “self-serving” is one word that characterizes that vote. “Anti-democratic,” “chilling” and “wrong” are among the others. In a decision sweeping in its arrogance and disregard […]

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