Signals Investor Demand For Corporate Governance Reform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Washington, D.C. – March 20, 2013) – The AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation (ITC) announced that the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund has surpassed $3 billion in investments by union, Taft-Hartley, and public employee pension funds. This milestone comes only six months after reaching $2 billion in September. To date, commitments have been made by over 50 pension plans served by 18 different consulting firms.
The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is a collective investment fund available to qualified pension plans. Launched in March 2011, the fund tracks the returns of the broad U.S. large-cap equity market, as represented by the S&P 500 Index. The fund is managed by ASB Capital Management LLC, a registered investment adviser based in Bethesda, MD.
The rapid growth of the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund signals the demand for promoting good corporate governance. Union members throughout the country are realizing that they have a voice as owners of corporations in which their pension funds are invested. This voice comes in the form of proxy voting, which allows investors to exercise their ownership rights by supporting important shareholder initiatives on corporate accountability, responsible business practices, and executive compensation. All proxy voting for the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is done in accordance with the AFL-CIO’s proxy voting guidelines.
“The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund represents a powerful opportunity for union, Taft-Hartley, and public employee pension plans. $3 billion is a major benchmark to hit in under two years,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The Fund’s rapid growth is an indicator that union members recognize the value of proxy voting power to improve corporate governance.”
“We are pleased with the size, the number, and the diversity of the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund investors,” said Michael Stotz, President of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation. “It is exciting to see the momentum behind this AFL-CIO sponsored program”
According to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch website, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay between CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies and U.S. workers widened to 380 times in 2011, up from 42 times the average worker’s pay in 1980. The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund has introduced shareholder resolutions for the 2013 proxy season that seek to reform a variety of poorly designed equity compensation practices that can reward executives regardless of performance.
The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is one of several pension investment vehicles initiated by the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT) provides competitive risk-adjusted returns through nationwide investments in institutional quality commercial real estate while promoting economic development and creating union jobs. The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is a fixed-income investment fund that invests primarily in government and agency-insured and guaranteed multifamily mortgage-backed securities.
Contact: Randy Kinder, 202-898-9190, firstname.lastname@example.org