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2019 CalPERS CalSTRS Diversity Forum

2019 CalPERS CalSTRS Diversity Forum lived up to its billing as a unique opportunity to engage with industry leaders and experts on diversity and inclusion topics such as:

  • The “Why” and “How” of driving diversity and inclusion
  • Building and sustaining a positive corporate culture
  • Human Capital Management metrics and their value to investors

In the following post, I reflect on the day, highlight findings from a recent Conference Board Report, and suggest possible improvement by incorporating a proxy roundup day. Looking for a recap? Go to the CalPERS YouTube Channel and/or CalSTRS YouTube Channel in about a week to watch posted videos. In the meantime, check out the posts to Twitter at #CADiversityForum.

If you attended the Forum, please post your impressions and recommendations in the comment field below. What were your takeaways? How can the Forum be improved?

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We Three Kings: Sharetopia

We Three Kings: Disintermediating Voting at the Index Fund Giants (download at SSRN) by Caleb N. Griffin provides insight as to how investors could influence the Big Three index funds — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, as those funds exercise increasing power over the economy. Like me, Griffin is interested in extending democracy to corporate governance, ensuring that index funds and the companies they influence are “controlled by the individual human investors who make up its (their) constituents.” (p. 3) Continue Reading →

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Internet Will Drive Public Opinion and Proxy Voting to Reflect American Values

American values were recognized as at risk in 1932 when Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means argued that with dispersed shareholders, ownership has been separated from their control. (The Modern Corporation and Private Property) Ironically, concentration of equities under the umbrella of three or four indexed funds presents an opportunity to end that divide and make companies better reflect American values by being more accountable to their beneficial owners. Accomplishing that goal depends on transparent governance, such as proxy voting, and fostering real dialogue on the issues faced by corporations and investors. As I have argued, real-time disclosure of proxy votes could drive these huge funds to compete with each other based on not only profits and costs but their governance efforts, as reflected in proxy voting records. Continue Reading →

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