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CalSTRS Updates Corporate Governance Principles; Supports Board Nomination Power For Prominent Shareholders

CalSTRS has updated its set of corporate governance principles to include support for proxy access – the right of a shareholder to nominate corporate board members. The pension fund supports giving proxy access to shareholders that own at least three percent of a company’s shares for at least three years. More from a release: The updated principles, ...
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Pension Funds, Other Shareholders Pressure Oracle CEO Over High Pay With Letter to SEC

The CEO of the Oracle software company, Larry Ellison, is one of the highest paid executives in the United States ($67.3 million in 2014) despite numerous calls by shareholders to reduce his compensation package. Shareholders are fed up. They, led by two of Europe’s largest pension funds, are on Monday filing a letter with the Securities and Exchange ...
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Private Equity Firms May Inflate Returns, Claims Research

Private equity firms now manage hundreds of billions of dollars of public pension money, in part because the asset class advertises its ability to deliver strong returns without the volatility of the stock market. Due to the illiquid nature of private equity, the industry’s return figures are often estimates – a valuation of what the firm’s investment ...
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Towers Watson Sued Over Advice That Allegedly Led to “Substantial Losses” For Pension Fund

Consulting firm Towers Watson faces a lawsuit from the UK’s British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme. The pension fund, one of the UK’s largest, alleges that Towers Watson gave them “negligent investment consulting advice” that eventually led to significant investment losses. Towers Watson denies the allegation. From Chief Investment Officer: Global ...
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Private Equity Firm Allows Investors to Hire Advisor to Monitor Governance, Review Financial Records

A New York Times report over the weekend posed the question: is private equity becoming less private? One private equity firm, Freeman Spogli & Company, recently revealed that it allowed investors in one of its funds to hire an outside adviser to “monitor the fund’s practices”. Investors in the fund include several of the country’s largest ...
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More Details Emerge About SEC, DOJ Probe Into State Street Pension Business

State Street won a $32 billion contract from Ohio’s retirement systems after the firm hired a lobbyist who had a cushy relationship with Ohio’s then-deputy treasurer. The deputy treasurer, in turn, had oversight of the contract. That allegation is one among several levied against State Street by the Department of Justice and the SEC, who are probing ...
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Private Equity Firm Threatens To Shut Out Iowa Pension Over FOIA Request

Over at Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith has penned a long post expounding on the practice of private equity firms dissuading public pension funds from complying with FOIA requests related to investment data – often with the threat of shutting out pension funds from future investment opportunities. The post stems from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ...
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CalPERS Board Asks Private Equity Consultants: Are “Investors Having Their Pockets Picked” By Evergreen Fees?

Over at Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith has posted an extensive analysis of the October 13th meeting of CalPERS’ investment committee. At the meeting, the committee heard presentations from three consultants: Albourne America, Meketa Investment Group, Pension Consulting Alliance. The meeting gets interesting when one committee member asks the consultants ...
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Governorship Presents Conflict of Interest For Bruce Rauner, Pension System

  Illinois’ GOP candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, touts in a recent ad (above) that his investment firm, GTCR, made millions for the state by helping the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) invest its pension assets in private equity investments. The investments apparently returned 17 percent – but returns aren’t the issue. There may ...
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Some Private Equity Firms Want More Opacity In Dealings With Pension Funds

Private equity firms are growing uncomfortable with the amount of information disclosed by pension funds about their private equity investments. PE firms are cautioning their peers to make sure non-disclosure agreements are in place to prevent the public release of information that firms don’t want to be made public. Stephen Hoey, chief financial ...
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