Corporate Governance

The New York State Common Retirement Fund’s Corporate Governance Program identifies risks to the Fund’s investments as well as opportunities that can help strengthen its long-term value.

The Corporate Governance Program targets risks and opportunities by examining environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at portfolio companies. Sound ESG practices benefit long-term company value. When his Program identifies an issue, Comptroller DiNapoli uses his voice as a major investor to improve corporate policies and behavior, consistent with his fiduciary duty to act on behalf of the more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries of the New York State and Local Retirement System.

The Fund has several ways to bring its concerns to companies including:

  • Direct communication with corporations through letters and meetings;
  • Shareholder proposals asking corporate boards to address specific issues; and
  • Votes on board directors and shareholder proposals at companies’ annual investors meetings.

When it comes to ESG issues, the Fund looks at companies’ policies and practices in three areas:

Two green leaves

The Fund encourages sustainable corporate practices that respond to short- and long-term environmental issues and protect the health, safety and rights of employees in the company’s workforce and supply chain. Learn more


Group of people around table

The Fund actively supports diversity throughout its portfolio companies, from the boardroom to the workplace. It promotes inclusive and non-discriminatory workplaces as an integral part of responsible investment management. Learn more


A magnifying glass over three checkmarks

The Fund supports independent boards of directors that represent, and are responsive to, investors. It looks for compensation structures that incentivize long-term returns, are aligned with performance, and consider the totality of the company’s workforce. It expects portfolio companies to fully disclose their risks, opportunities and strategies, which are necessary for investors to make informed decisions. Learn more


Proxy Voting

The Fund cast nearly 30,000 votes at more than 3,000 companies during the 2019 proxy season. Voting for or against board nominees, executive compensation plans, shareholder resolutions, and other motions is part of the Fund’s engagement with portfolio companies. Learn more about Proxy Voting.

Corporate Governance Reports