Angelides Proposes CalPERS, CalSTRS Corporate Watchdog Unit

March 7, 2003 ( - Phil Angelides has unveiled a plan to create an office to spearhead assertive corporate and market governance reform.

The California State Treasurer’s plan calls for the state’s two public pension funds, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), to combine their resources in creating the California Office of Pension Protection and Market Reform.   This office would then act as a corporate governance watchdog, building on the leverage the nation’s largest and third largest public pension funds have, according to a Reuters report.

“We are going to put the muscle of our pension funds behind the push for corporate reform,” said Angelides told Reuters. “Everything we do we want to reverberate across the marketplace.”

The move is the latest in a series of corporate governance crackdowns the state treasurer has taken in recent months.   In December, Angelides introduced his“Power of the Purse”plan to use California’s $270 billion in pension investments and large market presence to influence corporate governance and accountability.   Through his plan, Angelides laid out a list of principles investors can follow when deciding in which companies to invest (See   Angelides Posits Purse Power).

Prior to that,Angelides, who also sits on the board of both CalSTRS and CalPERS, announced his desire to pull state money out of companies that leave the US for offshore tax havens, proposing a “blacklist” of 23 firms that have undertaken such moves to avoid taxes (See  Cal. Treasurer Targets Firms Heading Offshore ).