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PENSION FUND LEADERS CALL FOR MORE CORPORATE BOARD DIVERSITY
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JUNE 1, 2016 - San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister today joined a group of state and local officials across the U.S. in contending that corporate boards have been too slow to diversify their ranks. They believe institutional investors should increase their focus on board diversity as a corporate governance priority. 

The joint statement emphasizes that racial, LGBT and gender diversity are critical dimensions of effective board composition and performance.

The 14 co-signers, many of them longtime leaders on the issue of board diversity, are fiduciaries for pension funds responsible for the retirement security of an estimated six million participants and with more than $1 trillion in assets under management. 

“Corporate boards have been much too slow to mirror the changing demographics of America,” said McAllister. “Maintaining leadership that is primarily white and male means these companies are potentially missing out on the many benefits diversity can bring to the board room.”

Statistics show that board diversification has been slow—or has even regressed. White directors hold 85 percent of the board seats at the largest 200 S&P 500 companies, and the percentage of those boards with exclusively white directors has increased over the last decade. Men occupy 80 percent of all S&P 500 board seats.

“Simply stated, this is a matter of inclusion versus exclusion. By excluding the many ideas a diverse board room can bring, these companies are short-changing consumers and investors,” said McAllister. “Diversity doesn’t mean compromising excellence. Instead, embracing diversity means more profitability for the companies involved, better returns for institutional investors such as pension funds, and an ability to sleep at night because you did the right thing.”

Below, please find a list of joint statement signers as of June 1. Click here for a copy of the joint statement.

Dan McAllister - San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector

John Chiang - California State Treasurer

Betty Yee - California State Controller

Kurt Summers - Chicago City Treasurer

Denise Nappier - Connecticut State Treasurer

Michael Frerichs - Illinois State Treasurer

Peter Franchot - Maryland State Comptroller  

Nancy Kopp - Maryland State Treasurer 

Deborah Goldberg - Massachusetts State Treasurer

Scott Stringer -  New York City Comptroller

Seth Magaziner - Rhode Island General Treasurer

Thomas DiNapoli - New York State Comptroller

Ted Wheeler - Oregon State Treasurer

Alan Butkovitz - Philadelphia City Controller