When Anne Sheehan, Director of Corporate Governance for the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) speaks, companies in which the nation’s 2nd largest public pension fund invests listen.
“This is a new era,” Sheehan told the audience at the National Association of Corporate Directors. “The financial crisis of the past year has resulted in the erosion of the trust of the American public in business. We represent our members and beneficiaries but we also believe we are a proxy for the American public who invest in public companies.”
To restore trust, companies need to operate with transparency, acknowledge the role of the shareholders and demonstrate that management and directors are accountable.
“We may be seen as activist shareholders, but our interests are aligned,” said Sheehan. “We want to see companies maximize their value. If you do well, we do well for our 833,000 public school educators and their families.”