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NYC pension funds to oppose 9 Wal-Mart director candidates

John Liu
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu

New York City Retirement Systems will vote against nine of 14 director nominees for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at the company's shareholder meeting Friday, according to a statement from city Comptroller John C. Liu, who oversees the combined $127.5 billion in assets of the five pension funds.

“The votes reflect the funds' persistent concerns with the board's poor oversight of compliance — with laws and regulations as well as the company's own policies — and its overall lack of independence,” the statement said. “As they did last year, the funds will once again vote against CEO Michael T. Duke, former CEO H. Lee Scott Jr., Chairman S. Robson Walton, and audit committee Chairman Christopher J. Williams,” the statement said.

The funds also will vote against audit committee members Aida M. Alvarez and James I. Cash Jr. “for failing to ensure adequate internal compliance controls since 2006 and nominating committee members Douglas N. Daft, Steven S. Reinemund, and Linda S. Wolf for failing to ensure adequate board independence.”

The five funds — the New York City Employees' Retirement System, New York City Teachers' Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and New York City Board of Education Retirement System — have a combined 5.1 million Wal-Mart shares, valued at $390 million.

Wal-Mart media relations representatives did not respond to a request for comment.