PRIM Board Approves Treasurer Goldberg's Proposed Proxy Voting Guidelines Increasing Board Diversity, Banning Guns at Work, and Prohibiting Discrimination Against People with Disabilities

March 10, 2020

The New Guidelines Build on Treasurer Goldberg’s Commitment to Ensure Responsible Corporate Governance Strategies for Pension Fund Investments

 

Andrew Napolitano

Deputy Communications Director 

anapolitano@tre.state.ma.us

(617) 367-9333 x614

 

The Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which oversees the state’s $76 billion pension fund, voted unanimously in favor to approve new proxy voting guidelines proposed by State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. These guidelines are designed to require companies to have 35% of their board comprised of women and people of color, support companies that ban guns on their private property with the exception for security use, and are designed to protect employees with disabilities who work at the companies in which PRIM invests.

 

The fund votes as a shareholder in over 11,000 companies it owns stock in, and these guidelines build upon previous reforms introduced by Goldberg and implemented by the Board since 2015.  During this proxy voting season, the PRIM Board will:

 

  • Vote against board nominees if less than 35% of the board is diverse in terms of gender and race

  • Vote for shareholder proposals banning guns on company property, except for security related uses, including parking lots on property

  • Vote for shareholder proposals that explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability

 

“The pension fund invests billions of dollars in publicly-traded companies, and we want to do all we can to ensure these organizations are following best practices,” said Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.  “Encouraging diversity, preventing workplace violence, and protecting employees from discrimination is not only good for the people who work at these companies, but it is good for business and their 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 advocate for policies that advance effective corporate governance and ensures sustained value for the fund, fostering long-term growth for its investments.

 

In prior years, Goldberg proposed, and the PRIM Board unanimously approved a series of reforms, which in addition to targeting board diversity and wage equality, also focused on renewable energy, human rights standards, executive pay, LGBTQ rights, and limiting the number of boards a director may sit on.

 

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Alethea Harney

Communications Director

(617) 367-9333 x241

alethea.harney@tre.state.ma.us

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