The Council of Institutional Investors is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of U.S. public, corporate and union employee benefit funds, other employee benefit plans, state and local entities charged with investing public assets, and foundations and endowments with combined assets under management of approximately $4 trillion. Our member funds include major long-term shareowners with a duty to protect the retirement savings of millions of workers and their families, including public pension funds with more than 15 million participants – true “Main Street” investors through their pension funds. Our associate members include non-U.S. asset owners with about $4 trillion in assets, and a range of asset managers with more than $35 trillion in assets under management. CII is a leading voice for effective corporate governance, strong shareowner rights and sensible financial regulations that foster fair, vibrant capital markets. CII promotes policies that enhance long-term value for U.S. institutional asset owners and their beneficiaries.
CII is a diverse community of professionals who come together to learn, share perspectives and advocate. CII educates members, and the public, about best corporate governance practices and provides opportunities for members to interact with peers, investment executives and policymakers.
CII enjoys a reputation for honesty, leadership, thoughtful analysis and creative consensus-building. Investors, lawmakers, regulators, corporate officials and leaders of other public interest groups look to CII for expertise and ideas.
By joining CII, your organization can extend its influence and stand at the forefront of a growing, global movement. For more information about joining CII, please see our Join and Support page.
CII was founded in 1985, a time of corporate takeovers, imperial CEOs and insulated boards of directors. Shareowners had little say in most corporate decisions and did not appreciate the potential power of their proxy votes. The founders were a group of 21 visionaries, most public pension fund officials, who believed that the companies in which they were investing their members’ retirement assets needed more oversight by shareholders. They also felt that by pooling their resources, institutional investors could use their burgeoning proxy power to hold companies accountable. CII's founding co-chairs were State Treasurer of California Jesse Unruh, New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin and State of Wisconsin Investment Board Chair John Konrad.
From that day forward, CII's goal has been constant as our membership has grown larger and more diverse: strong governance standards at public companies and strong shareholder rights. Members use their proxy votes, shareowner resolutions, pressure on regulators, discussions with companies and litigation where necessary to effect change.
Today, many CII corporate governance policies once considered radical are commonly accepted standards. Our voting membership has grown to more than 140 public, union and corporate employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations with combined assets under management of approximately $4 trillion. Our associate members include non U.S. asset managers with more than $4 trillion in assets and a range of asset managers with more than $35 trillion in assets under management. They and other Institutional shareowners have a much greater voice today than they did in 1985 in part because of the constant vigilance and hard work of CII to protect and strengthen that voice.