CEO Roger Ferguson stresses the link between corporate governance and public company performance

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. - Color Portrait
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

To our Participants,

TIAA-CREF has a long history of advocating for sound governing practices at companies in which we invest. We believe that over the long term, good governance provides a company's shareholders better financial performance and exposes them to less risk – both essential contributors to the return that we seek to provide on your investments and savings.

Today we're releasing a new edition of our Policy Statement on Corporate Governance (PDF). It describes how TIAA-CREF will vote on proxy resolutions at our more than 8,000 portfolio companies in the U.S. and abroad. We also hope it will serve as a basis for robust dialogue with boards of directors and executive managers.

I encourage you to review the Policy Statement. It discusses TIAA-CREF's expectations for portfolio companies with regard to such questions as:

  • How can one ensure that company directors are independent of management and accountable to shareholders?
  • What should a company tell shareholders about its executives' pay?
  • How should companies weigh the impact of environmental and social responsibility on shareholder value?
  • And what are the governance responsibilities of shareholders (including us)?

As repeated corporate crises of the past decade show, shareholders have a significant role to play in creating corporate accountability.

Our goal is mutual understanding and trust between our portfolio companies and ourselves, and with you, our participants. We figure the best way to achieve it is a clear and thorough statement of our policies, accompanied by an ongoing openness to dialogue. This document begins that process anew.

Good governance creates sustainable value and builds public trust. Investing with TIAA-CREF makes you part of that effort.

Sincerely,

Roger W. Ferguson Signature
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

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