$49bn MassPRIM announces governance tie-up with Bebchuk’s Shareholder Rights Project

Collaboration on annual director elections

The $49bn (€39bn) Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM) has announced it is collaborating with Harvard Professor Lucian Bebchuk’s Shareholder Rights Project on getting companies to move to annual director elections.

The SRP, which aims to help pension funds and foundations improve corporate governance at listed companies, is headed by Bebchuk, Director of the Program on Corporate Governance at Harvard Law School.

Its board includes leading academics and financial industry figures such as former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Richard Breeden, CalPERS’ General Counsel Peter Mixon and Michael McCauley, Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance at Florida’s State Board of Administration.PRIM has submitted shareholder proposals to 20 companies with classified boards, with advice coming from the SRP.

“The SRP and PRIM are currently engaging with a number of the companies that received declassification proposals, and are pleased to report negotiated outcomes with four of these companies,” the pair said in a statement.

The SRP has advised six institutional investors this year. Alongside MassPRIM, they are the Illinois State Board of Investment, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the North Carolina State Treasurer, and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Announcement