Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago, hired Proxy Voting Services, a unit of ISS, to assist with proxy voting, and for the most part adopted the service's guidelines for corporate governance, said William Atwood, executive director of the $10.3 billion fund. The board reserves discretion to override any proxy recommendations, he said.
Although external managers run its $10.3 billion in assets, the board had voted all of its proxies. Its previous guidelines, however, mostly defaulted to management, he said, adding, "The board wanted to adopt a more aggressive standard toward dealing with protecting the rights of shareholders." The Illinois board supports more corporate transparency, splitting the positions of chairman and CEO, and director independence.