New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, the fiduciary for the five pension funds within the $217.9 billion New York City Retirement Systems, announced Tuesday negotiated diversity search policies with 13 companies regarding his proposal for companies to establish policies to consider women and minorities when hiring board of trustees members and CEOs.
Mr. Stringer has likened his proposal, announced in October 2019, to the "Rooney Rule," a policy of the NFL that requires teams to interview minority candidates whenever a head coaching, general manager or "equivalent front office" job is open.
The boards at the companies have approved and publicly disclosed policies requiring the consideration of "qualified woman and racially and/or ethnically diverse candidates for director or external CEO searches," according to a news release from Mr. Stringer's office.
The companies are Activision Blizzard, Dover, Expedia, Fastenal, Genuine Parts, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, L Brands, MarketAxess Holdings, Nektar Therapeutics, Robert Half International, Ross Stores, UDR and Verisign.
"In 2020, there's simply no excuse for everyone in the boardroom to look the same. Companies are strongest when their boardrooms and C-suites reflect the diversity that is America," Mr. Stringer said in the news release. "That's why the New York City Retirement Systems are committed to working with our portfolio companies to increase diversity in their leadership — because that's the only way to meet the business challenges of today and tomorrow. I applaud these boards for taking a stand and doing their part to create better representation at the top."
The retirement systems have withdrawn shareholder proposals at the 13 companies as a result of the agreements.