Posts Tagged ‘CalSTRS’

CalSTRS Releases First Annual Corporate Governance Report

Posted by Anne Sheehan, California State Teachers' Retirement System, on Thursday October 10, 2013 at 9:37 am
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Editor’s Note: Anne Sheehan is Director of Corporate Governance at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. The following post relates to the CalSTRS Corporate Governance 2013 Annual Report, available here.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) was established in 1913 for the benefit of California’s public school teachers. This year we celebrate our 100th anniversary serving the retirement needs of our 862,000 members and beneficiaries. The long-term nature of CalSTRS liabilities, and our responsibilities as fiduciaries to the educators of California, makes us keenly interested in governance issues that affect our investment portfolio. We expect the companies in our portfolio to be responsible stewards of our capital and we have an obligation to effectively engage those companies while balancing risks and rewards.

This year, CalSTRS published its inaugural corporate governance report to communicate our governance program priorities to the investment community. While we pursue a variety of initiatives throughout the year, our engagements focused on four main themes:
…continue reading: CalSTRS Releases First Annual Corporate Governance Report

Online Shareholder Participation in Annual Meetings

Posted by Noam Noked, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Thursday July 19, 2012 at 9:33 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Janice Hester Amey, corporate governance portfolio manager at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and Elizabeth Danese Mozley, vice president at Broadridge Financial Solutions. The post is based on a report, available in full here, which was issued by the Best Practices Working Group for Online Shareholder Participation in Annual Meetings.

Introduction

It is a generally accepted cornerstone of sound corporate governance that shareholder participation is a key component of a successful annual meeting of shareholders. State laws require companies to hold annual meetings of their shareholders to elect directors and act upon other matters properly brought before the meeting. From a governance perspective, the annual meeting often serves as an opportunity for management to update shareholders on company developments, for shareholders to ask questions of management and directors, to consider shareholder proposals and to review the company’s performance.

In recent years, there has been ongoing dialogue regarding best practices, or safeguards, to ensure that annual meetings are accessible, transparent, efficient and meet the corporate governance needs of shareholders, boards and management.

To that end, a group of interested constituencies, comprised of retail and institutional investors, public company representatives, as well as proxy and legal service providers, has been discussing best practices and safeguards for annual shareholder meetings, online shareholder participation in annual shareholder meetings and rules of engagement for such meetings.

…continue reading: Online Shareholder Participation in Annual Meetings

Lessons Learned: The Inaugural Year of Say-on-Pay

Posted by Anne Sheehan, California State Teachers' Retirement System, on Wednesday February 22, 2012 at 10:43 am
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Editor’s Note: Anne Sheehan is Director of Corporate Governance at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

One thing is for certain: Pay is unique at every company. There are as many iterations of pay as there are companies in America. This uniqueness makes our job as shareholders very challenging. For the most part, we must rely on the members of compensation committees to develop the compensation philosophy and structure in order to incentivize management and align their interests with those of shareholders. We believe that poorly structured pay packages harm shareholder value by unfairly enriching executives at the expense of owners – the shareholders. On the other hand, a well aligned compensation package motivates executives to perform at their best. This benefits all shareholders.

There have been many changes this proxy season and although the evaluation of compensation is still a challenge, we have learned a few things along the way. Given the unique nature of compensation, CalSTRS tried to evaluate pay holistically at every company. We not only looked at the alignment between pay practices and the performance of the companies, but also corporate peer groups, problematic pay practices, and disclosures.

…continue reading: Lessons Learned: The Inaugural Year of Say-on-Pay

 
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