CalPERS President is Removed

Andrew Williams, a director of the Center for the Study of Fiduciary Capitalism at Saint Mary's College, was quoted in a Contra Costa Times article about the ouster of the president of the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The pension fund is expected to remain at the forefront in efforts to improve how companies are governed, said Williams.

"CalPERS will continue to be a leader in corporate governance reform and activism by institutional investors," Williams said. "After all, these policies are CalPERS board policies. Though Harrigan was the president of the board, he was one vote on the board."

"There will not be any fundamental change in the CalPERS position," Williams said. "They have held this activist position for 15 or 20 years. They have a big reputation in this area, and they have been very effective."

In a previous article in the Contra Costa Times on Dec. 1, Williams was quoted as saying that the jury is still out on the total effect an activist CalPERS has had during Harrigan's tenure as president, yet he said he was convinced CalPERS has an impact.

"This has pushed CalPERS in new directions," Williams said. "And it affects other institutional investors. When the elephant in the room moves, all the mice start looking out for themselves."

* Link to Dec. 2 Article
* Link to Dec. 1 Article