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Mar 06, 2016

Who’s who in governance: Anne Sheehan of CalSTRS

With companies and investors increasingly talking about governance, IROs should add these names to their contact list

Anne Sheehan, director of corporate governance, CalSTRS
Instead of waiting to hear from public companies, Anne Sheehan often reaches out to express concern. When it comes to adopting a majority vote standard for contested elections, for instance, she estimates that 400 companies have changed their practices ‘upon our request’. Recently, she has also written to 100 companies within the Russell 2000 to ask them to reconsider their stance on majority voting.

Anne SheehanExecutive compensation, board refreshment and board diversity are key issues for CalSTRS (Sheehan notes that two thirds of CalSTRS’ members are female). In addition, she’s recently focused greater attention on environmental issues ranging from ESG integration to climate change, water usage, hydraulic fracturing and methane emissions.

– Each proxy season, Sheehan estimates she talks to between 200 and 300 companies. ‘It’s our preference to talk [outside] proxy season,’ she says. ‘It gets very busy when you’re voting all the proxies.’

– Sheehan prides herself on being transparent about her stance on governance issues. ‘Do your homework when you contact us. Know what our policies are,’ she advises.

– Born in Colorado, Sheehan loves skiing, hiking and travel.