SACRAMENTO, Calif. - CalPERS and Providence Capital urged Aetna to improve its corporate governance and eliminate anti-takeover devices. The $149 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System called on Aetna to allow shareholders to vote on implementing its poison pill anti-takeover device, while Providence called on Aetna to remove it. Both urged Aetna to eliminate its staggered board, where one-third of its directors are elected annually, preferring that all directors to be elected annually; and Providence, a shareholder activist investment firm, has nominated three candidates to the company's board.
Roy E. Clason Jr., Aetna vice president, said, "Aetna believes its nominees are far more qualified than the Providence slate." He also said the company believes its poison-pill shareholder rights plan is designed "to assure all shareholders are treated fairly and equally."
Aetna's annual shareholder meeting is April 26.