CalSTRS endorses new UK investor governance code

US pension fund backs UK code following Walker review.

CalSTRS has endorsed the new code of responsibility for institutional investors developed by the UK’s Institutional Shareholders’ Committee. It’s the first US-based fund to back the policy, which it called a “standard for good corporate governance.” The move follows last week’s UK Walker review of governance, which backed the ISC code as the benchmark for investor activity. Anne Sheehan, CalSTRS’ director of corporate governance, said: “We believe there is a universal standard for good corporate governance. It includes transparency and disclosure of activities, and engaging the companies to help maximize their performance—a best practice that we’ve followed for years.” The ISC code identifies best practices for institutional investors that choose toengage with the companies in which they invest. It also aims to enhance the quality of the dialogue of institutional investors with companies to help improve long-term returns to shareholders. CalSTRS said its governance policies reflect the new code in terms of: public disclosure of governance policies; conflicts of interest; working collectively with other institutional investors and disclosure of proxy votes. The ISC is an investor governance body made up the Association of British Insurers, the Association of Investment Companies, the Investment Management Association and the National Association of Pension Funds.
Link to ISC code