New York City Comptroller Touts Progress in Latest Corporate Governance Push

New York City Comptroller Touts Progress in Latest Corporate Governance Push


Get the DealBook newsletter to make sense of major business and policy headlines — and the power-brokers who shape them.
__________

The New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, started pushing company boards to revamp their corporate governance nearly four years ago.

Since then, that mission has broadened from giving investors more power to nominate directors to including greater disclosures about a board’s diversity.

Mr. Stringer’s office, which oversees five New York City public pension funds that together manage about $175 billion, plans to announce on Wednesday the latest results of its Board Accountability Project 2.0. It’s a nearly year-old effort to overhaul corporate governance, focusing on mandatory disclosures about directors’ ethnicity, gender and experience. (Here’s the information that Mr. Stringer’s office has been seeking from the 151 companies that it has targeted.)

The context

Since 2014, Mr. Stringer has pushed for changes to the way corporate America oversees itself, arguing that better corporate governance leads to better returns for investors. The first part of the accountability campaign focused on so-called proxy access that lets investors nominate board candidates. When that campaign began, six companies offered proxy access; now, more than 520 do.

Mr. Stringer’s efforts are part of a larger movement among major investors to get companies to become better citizens. The most notable example to date is BlackRock, the $6 trillion investment giant that has pushed the companies in which it has invested to contribute to society or risk running afoul of a major shareholder.

“This is not just about changing the who’s who on corporate boards,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement to DealBook. “This is about setting the best foundation for future generations and enshrining the highest standards for our investments.”

The progress so far

■ Mr. Stringer’s office has held talks with more than 85 of the companies it has set its sights on, to address improving transparency over the diversity of their boards.

■ Of those, 35 now disclose information on the qualifications of their boards, as well as racial and gender diversity. They include companies like PepsiCo, Honeywell International, Duke Energy and Jeffries.

■ Some 49 companies have chosen 59 new directors who are women or minorities.

Mr. Stringer’s office even went so far as to file with six companies shareholder proposals that call for mandatory disclosures about board diversity. The comptroller withdrew five of those proposals after coming to an agreement with companies on disclosure rules.

The sixth company was Exxon Mobil, which held talks with the comptroller’s office but declined to offer diversity disclosures. Mr. Stringer’s proposal did not pass, collecting 16.5 percent of the shareholder vote.



Source link

About The Author

Momizat Team specialize in designing WordPress themes ... Momizat Team specialize in designing WordPress themes

Related posts

Leave a Reply