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Global Pension Fund Activism: A Review of the Largest Government Pension Systems

Siona Listokin

The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 2011, vol. VI, issue 3, 35-49

Abstract: Public pension funds, as some of the world’s largest institutional investors, can command substantial ownership and influence over corporate governance and strategy. This influence can extend to shareholder activism, and can be at odds with other corporate owners. This study analyses the role of the largest public pension systems in corporate activism in North America, Western Europe and Asia. The paper compares formal fund guidelines for socially responsible investing and ownership, along with shareholder actions such as proxy proposals, class action lawsuits and communication with corporate management. In addition, the study considers possible contradictions between public pension activism and the retirement funds’ dependence from the government sponsor. Implications for India’s civil service pension funds are considered.

Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:icf:icfjgp:v:06:y:2011:i:3:p:35-49