CalPERS files with SEC on Exxon

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Summary

California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), a co-lead on the Climate Action 100+ engagement with ExxonMobil, has underlined its support for changes to the board of directors by filing a letter with the SEC that allows it to share its views with ExxonMobil shareholders ahead of the company's May 26 AGM. 

Business case

The filing can be accessed here.

Climate Action 100+ is flagging key proposals and other votes at focus companies in the 2021 proxy season related to the goals of the initiative. While Climate Action 100+ does not take a formal position on shareholder voting, it may flag relevant shareholder votes, and circulate information from lead investors and/or investor signatories filing or co-filing resolutions. Our proxy season web page lists all measures flagged by Climate Action 100+ for consideration by signatories,  including two ExxonMobil votes addressed in CalPERS' letter to the SEC.

Board candidates

In its Notice of Exempt Solicitation to the SEC, CalPERS stated its support for the Engine 1 proxy card supporting four new candidates plus a number of management nominees:

“We believe that additional board refreshment is necessary due to the long-term financial underperformance at ExxonMobil and the need for a greater depth of skill sets and experience on the board to address the significant challenges the company faces. In order to effectively oversee the transition to a low-carbon economy, we believe the board would benefit from additional expertise in both its core business and in renewable energy technologies.”

Lobbying objectives

In addition, CalPERS stated its support for Proposal #10, Requesting Improved Transparency of Climate Lobbying Objectives, which was filed by BNP Paribas Asset Management:

“We believe that shareowners would benefit from improved disclosure of the company's climate lobbying objectives and how they align with the goal of limiting average global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (the Paris Climate Agreement's goal). The requested disclosure would help ensure that the company is transparent in its policy objectives, mitigate against reputational risks, and affirm that company funds were spent in a manner that is consistent with stated objectives.”

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CalPERS is the largest state public pension fund in the U.S. with approximately $450 billion in total assets under management and a long-term owner of approximately 9.6 million shares of ExxonMobil. CalPERS earlier expressed its intent to support the alternative board slate proposal, along with Climate Action 100+ signatories New York State Common Retirement Fund and the California Teachers Retirement System.

If you have questions about these ballot issues, please contact Craig Rhines, CalPERS Associate Investment Manager at engagements@calpers.ca.gov. Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee Chair Anne Simpson can also be reached via this email address. Anne is Managing Investment Director, Board Governance & Sustainability for CalPERS.

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Collaboration details

Type
Shareholder resolution
Status
Completed
ESG theme
  • Governance
Created on
Deadline
Geography
Global