NY Pension Fund Supports Disney Board

February 11, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Breaking from his usual cohorts at the California Public Employees' Pension System (CalPERS), New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi has said that the New York State Common Retirement Fund has chosen to vote in favor of all the directors for the board of Walt Disney Co.

“In light of a number of positive developments at Disney, including improved performance, the separation the positions of chair of the board and CEO, the commitment to find a new CEO and the addition of independent directors, the New York State Common Retirement Fund will vote in favor of all the directors,” Hevesi said in a  Web statement .

This is a break from CalPERS – which Hevesi often sides with – because the West Coast pension giant has said that it will withhold its vote for CEO Michael Eisner. Last year, the New York fund voted against Eisner.

CalPERS holds 9.44 million shares of Walt Disney Co., and said Wednesday that it has lost confidence in Eisner’s ability to create shareholder value (See CalPERS to Withhold Support for Eisner Reelection ). It said it would also vote against a proposed stock incentive plan at the Disney annual meeting on Thursday, citing a lack of performance-based incentives.