In Focus

Colorado PERA Executive Director Greg Smith Passes Away

CII is deeply saddened by the death on December 12 of our long-time board member Gregory W. Smith, the executive director of the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association.  Greg was CII co-chair for public pension funds, and served on the CII board from 2014 to the present, and from 2008 to 2012.
Colorado PERA announced the news, noting Greg’s more than 15 years of service on CoPERA staff, including five as PERA’s executive director.  “Colorado PERA and its membership have lost a true leader and dedicated servant to the public workforce,” said Timothy M. O’Brien, Chairman, PERA Board of Trustees. “Those who knew Greg knew he loved his family, was a proud fourth-generation Coloradan, and was fully dedicated to PERA and its members."

CII and Investors Oppose Proxy Advisor Bills

CII and 45 CII members, other investors and investor organizations sent a letter November 9 to members of the House Financial Services Committee strongly opposing legislation that would set stringent regulations on proxy advisory firms. The legislation would "weaken corporate governance, undercut proxy advisory firms' ability to uphold their fiduciary obligation to their investor clients and reorient any surviving firms to serve companies rather than investors," the letter states. A bill to regulate proxy advisors is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives before Christmas. CII underlined objections to the legislation in a Decmeber 12 letter to House leadership.

CII and ILPA Write to Hill Conferees on New Proposed Tax on Public Funds

CII and the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) on December 7 wrote to House and Senate tax bill conferees opposing provisions of the House-approved bill that would subject some alternative investments to the unrelated business income tax (UBIT). “These provisions would have immediate, harmful impacts on the beneficiaries of public pension plans” wrote CII General Counsel Jeff Mahoney and ILPA Director, Industry Affairs Chris Hayes. The provisions would impose a tax of 39.6% on thousands of existing private equity investments and contractual obligations, with significant effects on returns and portfolio diversification in the longer-term.

CII Report Underlines Risks with Convoluted Chinese Corporate Structure

A new CII report highlights the risks posed to investors by a common structure called a variable interest entity (VIE), which is employed by many Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Firms using this structure include internet giants like Alibaba, which in 2014 conducted the largest IPO in history. U.S. exchanges are seeing a resurgence of these Chinese VIE IPOs, with 20 filings this year including 15 since September 1, compared to six in 2016 and seven in 2015. 

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Fair Financial RulesSensible, effective rules safeguard investors and strengthen markets.

Dual-Class StockEach share of a public company's common stock should have one vote.

Majority Voting for DirectorsIn uncontested elections, directors should be elected by majority vote.

Universal ProxyIn contests, investors should be free to vote for the nominees they prefer.

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