The New Guideline Builds on Treasurer Goldberg’s Commitment to Ensure Responsible Corporate Governance Strategies for Pension Fund Investments
The Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which oversees the state’s 71 billion pension fund, yesterday voted unanimously in favor to approve a new proxy voting guideline proposed by Treasurer Deb Goldberg designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) employees who work at the companies in which PRIM invests.
The guideline, which impacts how the fund votes as a shareholder in over 10,000 companies it owns stock in, builds on previous reforms introduced by Goldberg and implemented by the Board over the last 3 years. This proxy voting season the PRIM Board will vote against shareholder proposals that seek to eliminate protection already afforded to LGBTQ employees.
“The pension fund invests billions of dollars in publicly-traded companies, and we want to do all we can to protect the employees who work within those organizations,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “Protecting employees from discrimination and harassment is not only good for the people who work for you, but it is good for business and the bottom line.”
The proxy voting guidelines do not restrict or determine which companies the pension fund invests in. Instead, they allow the fund to use its power as a shareholder to support and advocate for policies that advance effective corporate governance strategies and foster long-term, sustained economic growth and fiscal stability.
In 2015, Goldberg proposed, and the PRIM Board approved unanimously, a series of other reforms, which in addition to targeting board diversity and wage equality, also focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, human rights standards, executive pay and overboarding.
Treasurer Goldberg works closely with PRIM staff and consultants before presenting proposed reforms to the Administration and Audit Committee. That committee took up this proposed change earlier this month, and it was approved at the committee level unanimously.