Rhode Island pension fund to push for corporate diversity

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's treasurer says the state's $7.5 billion pension fund will vote "no" any time a company in which it invests nominates a slate of corporate board nominees that would cause fewer than 30 percent of directors to be women or racial minorities.

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner (MAG'-uh-zeen-er) announced Wednesday that the Fortune 500 companies it will soon target include ConocoPhillips, EMC, Phillips 66, Hess and Hershey.

Late spring is the proxy season when many publicly traded companies hold investor meetings asking shareholders to vote on board members and other decisions.

Magaziner says research shows diverse leadership helps companies perform better. The Democrat says that will improve returns for the state pension system.

The Massachusetts pension board adopted a similar practice last year.