In recent years, the California Public Employees Pension System (CalPERS) has received extensive attention for its active participation in corporate governance. CalPERS's activities established it as a leader among activist institutions. CalPERS's strategy was based on identifying underperforming companies with poor governance practices and then working to change those governance practices and improve performance. The authors reports results from a unique survey of public pension funds gauging the participation of these funds in a wide range of corporate governance-related activities. While some highly visible funds, such as CalPERS, engage in a number of different governance activities, most funds in their study engage in only a limited subset of activities. Their results demonstrate that size is strongly correlated with non-litigation activism. Larger funds have a greater ability to spread the fixed cost of engaging in activism across their greater asset base. Surprisingly, however, size is not correlated with the incidence of litigation activism.
On Beyond CalPERS: Survey Evidence on the D
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