CREF Participants Thumbs Down on Four Initiatives

November 7, 2002 ( - Participants in the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), TIAA-CREF's investment component, have turned aside four resolutions including those urging CREF to divest its tobacco holdings and holdings in firms backing gun control.

Participants in the $106-billion investment company also signaled a thumbs down on two other initiatives including:

  • one urging CREF to reveal its social and environmental agenda including how it voted its shareholder proxies on resolutions on those issues
  • one advocating that the same person should be prevented from being both CREF chief executive officer and chairman.

Based on total votes cast, the tobacco and gun control resolutions were defeated in respective votes of 73.16% to 22.22% (4.62% abstaining); and 85.28% to 12.17% (2.55% abstaining).

This marks the ninth consecutive year the tobacco resolution or ones similar to it were defeated, and the third consecutive defeat for the gun-control resolution.

The resolutions on proxy voting and the separation of the CEO and chairman positions were defeated in respective votes of 76.51% to 18.70% (4.79% abstaining); and 69.62% to 23.46% (6.92% abstaining).

The results were announced Thursday at the CREF Annual Meeting, held at TIAA-CREF’s Southern Service Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

TIAA-CREF has approximately $249 billion in assets under management and serves 2.5 million participants at 15,000 education and research institutions.