New York State Fund’s Best Results Ever on Political Spending Proposals

In more than a decade of pushing companies to disclose their political spending, the New York State Common Retirement Fund has never had a year like this.

The nearly $250 billion pension fund faced off in early May against Duke Energy Corp. DUK, 0.08%, whose board of directors opposed the New York fund’s proposal asking the company for more detailed disclosure of its direct and indirect political spending. Duke shareholders were tepid on the pension fund’s political-spending proposals in years past, voting them down in 2019 and 2020. This time, the proposal passed with 52% of the vote.

 

That victory came on top of the pension fund’s successes earlier this year with companies like Molson Coors Beverage Co. TAP, 1.03% and FirstEnergy Corp. FE, 0.41%, whose agreements to more comprehensively disclose political spending resulted in the fund’s withdrawing its shareholder resolutions. If the fund can win majority shareholder support for its proposal at the cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group RCL, -1.28% early next month, it will have batted a thousand in its political-spending disclosure push this proxy season.

 

 

Shareholders fight to rein in risk by demanding transparency into public companies’ political spending

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