Global Pension Fund Activism
20 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2012
Date Written: June 30, 2011
Public pension funds, as some of the world’s largest institutional investors, can command substantial ownership and influence over corporate governance and strategy. This influence can extend to shareholder activism, and can be at odds with other corporate owners. This study analyzes the role of the largest public pension systems in corporate activism in North America, Western Europe and Asia. The paper compares formal fund guidelines for socially responsible investing and ownership, along with shareholder actions such as proxy proposals, class action lawsuits and communication with corporate management. In addition, the study considers possible contradictions between public pension activism and the retirement funds’ dependence from the government sponsor. Implications for India’s civil service pension funds are considered.
Keywords: Pension funds, shareholder activism, corporate governance
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