In Focus

CII Re-elects Ash Williams as Board Chair

CII named Ash Williams, executive director and CIO, State Board of Administration of Florida, board chair for the second year in a row. In keeping with CII’s bylaws, Williams was elected chair by CII’s public fund members. The other board officers were also elected to a second term. They are: Co-chairs Mary Francis (Chevron), Michael Garland (New York City Pension Funds) and John Keenan (AFSCME Employees Pension Plan); Treasurer Scott Zdrazil (Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association); and Cambria Allen-Ratzlaff (UAW Medical Benefits Trust). View all board members for 2019-20 here.

CII Says Lyft's Planned Dual-Class Structure is Harmful to Investors

CII expressed deep concern about Lyft Inc.'s initial public offering (IPO) filing because of its egregious dual-class share capital structure and the lack of "sunset provisions" to unwind it within a reasonable time period. Sunset provisions are an essential tool for protecting public investors in dual-class companies by ensuring adoption of "one-share, one-vote" voting power that is directly proportional to an investor's capital at risk.

CII Responds to Calls to Limit Share Buybacks

Lawmakers should be cautious about making it too difficult for companies to recycle excess cash back to investors through stock repurchases, CII said in a statement in response to an op-ed by Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders that is critical of stock buybacks. In many cases, buybacks will be the optimal capital allocation decision. CII noted that shareholders generally reinvest cash from buybacks into companies they believe hold promise, helping to fuel the growth of firms that are powering the U.S. economy. Tying companies’ hands on capital allocation could lead executives to pour money into wasteful businesses that falter or fail to create additional jobs. And there is no compelling evidence that companies that repurchase their own shares fail to invest in research, development, human capital or equipment. CII noted, however, that buybacks done to boost the company’s stock price in the short-term are not appropriate. CII supports robust disclosure by corporate boards about the rationale for buybacks, and management disclosure of how buybacks affect performance metrics.

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CII Priorities

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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