CalPERS Changes Mind on American Express Proxy Vote

April 21, 2004 ( - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has reversed course in a proxy fight with American Express Co. in a disagreement over the financial services company's auditing policies.

After saying last week that it would withhold its votes for the election of independent directors Daniel Akerson , William Bowen, Richard McGinn and Robert Walter, who are members of the audit committee, CalPERS now says it will support the directors’ reelection.

The pension fund changed its decision because American Express agreed not to use its auditor for unrelated work, CalPERS said in a statement.

“American Express has stepped up to the plate and agreed to not use their auditor for any other work than the audit,” Mark Anson, CalPERS chief investment officer, said in a statement. CalPERS holds about 5.5 million shares of American Express.

For more information, go to .  A list of CalPERS proxy targets is at .