California Public Employees Retirement System

News & Analysis as of

California's Legislature Puts Additional Disclosure Pressure on Fund Managers with the Passage of AB 2833

On August 24th, the California Legislature approved Assembly Bill No. 2833 (“AB 2833”), which is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. If Governor Brown signs the bill, as is expected, all public pension...more

The Entrepreneurs Report - 1H 2016

Dual-Class Stock: A Founder Favorite Faces Growing Investor Disapproval - Earlier this year, the investment firm T. Rowe Price adopted new voting policies that penalize companies with dual-class stock structures. They...more

Blog: How Do Activists Get Corporate Boards To Focus On Climate Change Issues? Talk Softly And Carry A Big Stick

With today’s signing of the Paris climate change accord, one question that now arises is how do activists get corporate boards to focus on climate change issues? They talk softly and carry a big stick. And, according to this...more

Board Refreshment: Investors Respond to Trends in Mandatory Retirement Age and Tenure with More Stringent Voting Policies

As many institutional investors have concluded, prevailing governance policies and practices have not produced desired board refreshment, which these investors would support in order to strengthen expertise, promote diversity...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Davis and Yolo County take charge of electricity purchases - Sacramento Bee - Mar 21 - Yolo County and the City of Davis are joining a growing number of communities in California in...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - March 2016

For those gearing up for the 2015 conflict minerals report, due June 1, 2016, note that nothing on the legal front has changed. The D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling that requiring a company to state whether its products are “DRC...more

IREG Update - California Commissioner calls for divestiture from carbon-based investments

California Commissioner calls for divestiture from carbon-based investments - California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones calls for insurance industry divestment from thermal coal and announces a new requirement for...more

Insurance Commissioner Calls For Thermal Coal Divestment And Disclosure

Late last month, California’s Insurance Commissioner announced that he had “asked all insurance companies doing business in California to voluntarily divest from their investments in thermal coal”. Thermal coal, also known...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2016: Proxy Access

Proxy Access - 2015 was a turning point for shareholder proposals seeking to implement proxy access, which gives certain shareholders the ability to nominate directors and include those nominees in a company’s proxy...more

CalPERS To Consider Support For Corporate Political Spending Disclosure Mandate

Next week, the California Public Employees Retirement System will consider a staff recommendation “to update the legislative and policy guidelines to include support for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rulemaking on...more

I’m Guessing That The DOL Didn’t Have in Mind Negative Weighing OF ESG Factors

In this post, I noted a recent study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of Tennessee concluding that social-issue shareholder-proposal activism appears to be negatively related to firm value. I therefore raised...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - CalPERS set to divest from thermal-coal companies: Los Angeles Times - Oct 18: The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Investment Committee will have a new task at...more

Defending The SEC’s Choice Of The Administrative Home Court

Wharton Associate Professor David Zaring has written an article defending the Securities and Exchange Commission’s choice to litigate in administrative rather than federal courts.  He argues that administrative adjudication...more

What Exactly Is “Constructive Engagement”?

Yesterday, I wrote about SB 185 (De León) which mandates that California’s two giant pension funds to liquidate their investments in thermal coal companies on or before July 1, 2017.  One aspect of the bill that I didn’t...more

California’s New “Thermal Coal” Divestment Law Forces Fiduciary Duty Question

Public pension funds exist to provide retirement benefits to public employees.  Cal. Const. Art. XVI, § 17(a).  In 1992, the voters of California tried to eliminate political interference with the state’s retirement funds by...more

Do Public Pension Funds Breach Their Fiduciary Duties By Pursuing Social Issue Proposals?

Yesterday, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge noted the publication of a recent study that reaches some devastating conclusions for public pension funds.  The study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of...more

Make Room for the Independent Sponsor

It’s no secret that it has become more difficult for traditional private equity firms to raise captive funds. In fact, California Public Employees’ Retirement System is looking to further reduce its number of private equity...more

Proxy Access In The 2015 Season

Rhonda Brauer is a senior managing director of corporate governance at Georgeson Inc. where she helps companies enhance their shareholder communications and analyze their governance practices. She recently joined Latham &...more

CalPERS And Pay For Performance

A few weeks ago, CalPERS’ Director of Corporate Governance, Anne Simpson, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in support of the SEC’s proposed pay for performance disclosure rule. Her letter notes CalPERS’...more

CalPERS And Pay Equity

The Securities and Exchange Commission has given notice of its intent to adopt final pay ratio disclosure rules at its meeting next week.  In applauding the SEC’s proposed rules, the California Public Employees’ Retirement...more

CalPERS Claims Success; Proxy Monitor Says CalPERS Success Leads To Lower Stock Prices

“Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair” - In this press release issued last week, CalPERS congratulated itself on the “success” of its proxy voting initiatives:...more

Is Buying Stock The Same As Providing Capital?

A report issued by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) implies otherwise.  The report entitled “CalPERS for California 2014” trumpets CalPERS’ investment in California businesses and its indirect...more

Appellate Court Warning: Pension Funds May Get Stuck with Unintended Oral Contracts with Their Investment Managers

On May 8, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles revived a $35 million lawsuit against CalPERS in Centinela Capital Partners LLC v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System. In an unpublished opinion,...more

CalPERS Board Member Contests Attorney General’s Conflicts Position

Last December, I wrote about J.J. Jelincic, a long-term CalPERS employee who was elected for a four-year term to the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System (aka CalPERS). Following Mr....more

A Sea Change in Proxy Access?

Proxy access has suddenly leap-frogged to the top of seemingly everyone’s corporate governance list after various setbacks over the past few years. In fact, a March 17th Wall Street Journal article quoted Anne Simpson, head...more

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