April 13, 2012
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
CalPERS Again Seeks Support for Majority Vote at Graco
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is asking shareowners to support its proposal to introduce majority voting for director elections at the upcoming annual meeting of Graco Inc., a Minneapolis, Minnesota, industrial equipment manufacturer.
CalPERS non-binding proposal No. 6 at Graco’s April 20 annual meeting asks the company to replace its plurality vote rule in uncontested Board of Director elections with election by a majority vote. The plurality standard, which allows uncontested candidates to be elected by a single “For” vote, would be retained for contested elections.
Over the last two years Graco shareowners approved similar CalPERS-backed proposals – in 2010 the proposal received 63 percent support and in 2011 over 70 percent support.
“Majority voting is a basic good governance practice and a hallmark of accountability,” said Anne Simpson, CalPERS Senior Portfolio Manager in charge of Corporate Governance. “It’s time for Graco to respond positively to shareowners and join the growing number of companies that are bringing democracy to the corporate boardroom.”
About 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 and 60 percent of the companies in the Russell 1000 have adopted some form of majority voting. In February, Apple Inc. agreed to implement a CalPERS proposal for a majority vote standard for its Board of Directors which received support from 80 percent of the voting shares.
CalPERS owned 207,761 shares of Graco common stock on the Feb. 21, 2012 record date.
CalPERS, with assets of approximately $235 billion, is the largest public pension fund in the U.S. It administers retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million California State, local government, and public school employees, retirees, and their families on behalf of more than 3,000 public employers, and health benefits for more than 1.3 million enrollees. The average CalPERS pension benefit is $2,332 per month. The average benefit for those who retired in the recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, is $3,065 per month. For more about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.