The New York City pension funds soon will unveil a list of nearly 50 companies they have targeted with shareholder proposals on corporate governance and social proposals, including Champion International Corp, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., Armstrong World Industries and Citizens Utilities Corp.
Officials at those four companies have acknowledged receiving proposals from various New York City funds, although fund officials wouldn't release the list.
Champion received a proposal to separate the role of chairman and chief executive officer; Cracker Barrel, on equal employment for gays and lesbians; and Armstrong, confidential voting.
The fund is asking Citizens Utilities' board to create an independent nominating committee. The utility is the target of a lawsuit by individual shareholders and the California Public Employees' Retirement System over the chief executive's pay level and alleged questionable transactions allowed by the board.
A spokeswoman for Citizens said she is confident the issue can be resolved amicably in light of discussions the company representatives have had with fund officials.
Last year, the funds filed 33 corporate governance proposals. This year, they likely will file about 30. In addition, they will file 15 to 20 social proposals.
1994's proposals will focus on the same corporate governance issues as in 1993: a call for a majority of independent directors in general as well as on compensation and nominating committees; confidential voting; and separation of the role of chairman and CEO.