Resolutions Filed by Investors Call for Appointment of an Independent Chair and Elimination of Dual Class Structure
NEW YORK – May 8, 2013 – Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) in Canada have filed a joint shareholder proposal calling for the establishment of an independent Chair of the Board at News Corporation. The resolution is also supported by the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) in the U.K.
Concurrent with the CBIS filing is a resolution by the Nathan Cummings Foundation calling for the elimination of the company’s dual-class share structure, which gives the Murdoch family de-facto control of the Corporation despite their ownership of only about 14 percent.
A resolution introduced at last year’s meeting which called for an independent chairman was approved by two-thirds of the independent shareholders, while another calling for the elimination of the company’s dual-class share structure was approved by 62 percent of the public shareholders. The shareholders believe that by responding positively to these corporate governance issues, News Corporation can improve oversight of management, reduce business risk and better represent the interests of all shareholders.
These two resolutions are the latest salvos in an ongoing campaign by concerned institutional investors to dramatically revise the corporate governance practices at News Corporation.
The resolutions have been filed in advance of the May 7 deadline to be considered at the 2013 annual general meeting.
About Christian Brothers Investment Services
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS) is a leader in Catholic socially responsible investing (SRI) with approximately $4.6 billion in AUM for Catholic institutions worldwide, including dioceses, religious institutes, educational institutions and health care organizations. CBIS’ combination of premier institutional asset managers, diversified product offerings, and careful risk-control strategies constitutes a unique investment approach for Catholic institutions and their fiduciaries. CBIS strives to integrate faith-based values into the investment process through a disciplined approach to socially responsible investing that includes principled purchasing (stock screens), active ownership strategies (proxy voting, dialogues, and shareholder resolutions) and community investment. www.cbisonline.com
The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF, www.lapfforum.org), which was set up in 1991, is a voluntary association of 55 public sector pension funds based in the UK. It exists ‘to promote the long-term investment interests of local authority pension funds, and to maximize their influence as shareholders to promote corporate responsibility and high standards of corporate governance amongst the companies in which they invest.’ The Forum’s members currently have combined assets of over £115 billion. PIRC is the Research and Engagement partner of the Forum.
About The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC)
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is one of Canada’s largest institutional investors managing a global investment portfolio of C$98.7 (gross assets) as at December 31, 2012. As a responsible investor, bcIMC incorporates environmental, social and governance considerations into our investment processes to protect and grow the long-term financial value of our clients’ funds. Based in Victoria, British Columbia, bcIMC invests in all major asset classes including infrastructure and other strategic investments. bcIMC’s clients include public sector pension plans, public trusts, and insurance funds. For more information visit www.bcimc.com.
About Nathan Cummings Foundation
The Nathan Cummings Foundation is a private foundation and an institutional shareholder, and submits shareholder resolutions on issues that lie at the intersection of its programmatic interests and long-term shareholder value. More information regarding the Foundation can be found at www.nathancummings.org.