November 12, 2019

NACD Directorship – Broader Stakeholder Concerns Drive Board Engagement

By Aeisha Mastagni and Robin Ferracone

Seven Lessons From Engaged Investors is the title of a recent study by Farient Advisors and its partners in the Global Governance and Executive Compensation Group, a collective of independent advisory firms that represent clients in more than 30 countries. Based on in-depth interviews with 25 of the largest investors around the world, the study finds that these investors place great importance on engagement with boards related to both shareholder and stakeholder issues—especially environmental, social, and governance (ESG).

One of those interviewed for the study was Aeisha Mastagni, portfolio manager of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the largest public-school educators fund in the world, and the second-largest pension fund in the United States (after the California Public Employees’ Retirement System). As of September 30, CalSTRS managed assets of $242.1 billion on behalf of more than 94,000 members and their beneficiaries. CalSTRS owns shares in just about every public company in the United States and in a significant number of issuers abroad. In addition, it has been influential in the sustainability movement: In 1978 and at regular intervals since, CalSTRS has published a policy statement on how it accounts for ESG risks when considering where to invest.

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