CalPERS focus list of companies with poor financial performance and corporate governance includes Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. The firms share price decreased by 36.98% in the five years ended Feb. 28, while share prices of its peer group increased by an average 29.32%, confirmed CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco.
The $229 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, holds $77.4 million of Marsh & McLennan stock. Marsh & McLennan, the parent of Putnam Investments and Mercer Human Resource Consulting, also would also not agree to adopt a policy to require shareowner approval before enacting any poison pill provisions, according to CalPERS focus list. CalPERS also said the company has provided excessive severance pay agreements to top executives.
Since late 2004, Marsh & McLennan has significantly enhanced its corporate governance practices, said Rich Myers, a company spokesman. He added that CalPERS representatives have discussed these issues with Marsh & McLennan CEO Michael Cherkasky and Peter Beshar, general counsel. Were disappointed that CalPERS has chosen to place us on this list, he said.
CalPERS named 11 companies to the annual list this year, said Mr. Pacheco. Others on the list included food industry giant Sara Lee Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., and drug company Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis.