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New York City Comptroller Launches Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0

Seeks to Engage on Board Composition, Diversity, and Refreshment

On September 8, 2017, Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller who serves as the investment adviser to the New York City Pension Funds, issued a press release announcing the launch of the Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0, through which the Comptroller is seeking to engage with U.S. public companies on board composition, diversity, and refreshment. The initial phase of the Boardroom Accountability Project, which was launched in 2014, was a driving force behind the widespread adoption of proxy access—the right of large, long-term stockholders to nominate board candidates for inclusion in a company's proxy materials.

As part of the launch of the Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0, Comptroller Stringer sent letters to 151 public companies calling for disclosure of the race, gender, and skills of their directors in a standardized "matrix" format. Additionally, the Comptroller seeks to enter into a dialogue regarding the board refreshment process of these companies. The press release includes hyperlinks to (1) the full list of companies that received letters, (2) an example of both versions of the letter (for companies with and without proxy access), and (3) an example of a board matrix.

Companies that received the Comptroller's letter should consider governance practices, culture, and other relevant factors when determining how to appropriately respond. Based on the letter and recent statements made by various institutional investors, including Vanguard, Blackrock, and State Street, it is expected that board composition, diversity, and refreshment will be areas of significant focus for investors in the upcoming proxy season.

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© 2020 Jones Walker LLPNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 257
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About this Author

Monique A. Cenac Corporate Securities Attorney Jones Walker Law Firm
Partner

Monique Cenac is a partner in Jones Walker’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group. She joined Jones Walker in 2002 and was elected to partner in 2009. Ms. Cenac’s practice focuses on the representation of public companies with an emphasis on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting, corporate governance, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Since 2004, Ms. Cenac has played a critical role in the representation of a group of public companies that share managerial and administrative resources, and with whom Jones Walker has a full-service...

602-366-7604
Edward Garitty, Jones Walker Law Firm, New Orleans, Corporate Securities Attorney
Associate

Ed Garitty is an associate in the firm’s New Orleans office and a member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group. He is a 2012 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where he served as associate editor of the Texas Review of Law and Politics. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance, summa cum laude, from Louisiana State University.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Garitty interned for The Honorable James J. Brady of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana and The Honorable Lance...

504-582-8225
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