CalSTRS to disclose proxy votes in advance

CalSTRS will reveal all its proxy votes before the annual meetings of the more than 3,800 North American companies whose stock it owns, the $117.4 billion Sacramento-based system announced today in a statement.

“Announcing our votes in advance will open the door to engagement with more of our companies. This discussion will bear fruit in better corporate governance practices,” Anne Sheehan, director of corporate governance at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, said in the statement.

“CalSTRS has called for greater transparency from its portfolio companies, and we intend to lead the way with comprehensive disclosure of our votes,” she said. “Information is vital for shareholders to make informed decisions about the companies they own, and CalSTRS intends to let fellow shareholders, as well as management, know how we intend to vote.”

CalSTRS is now making its individual proxy votes available online through a partnership with ProxyDemocracy, an organization that offers free online information about companies, the statement said.

Additionally, CalSTRS is offering Broadridge Financial Solutions’ ProxyEdge subscribers access to all its proxy votes online. Last year, CalSTRS cast more than 47,000 individual proxy votes, the statement said. Broadridge provides products and support services in the global financial industry.

“Apart from posting upcoming votes, CalSTRS will archive its votes starting from 2007 on ProxyDemocracy,” the statement said.

The statement will be posted on CalSTRS’ website, http://www.calstrs.com, spokeswoman Sherry Reser said.