Leading Wall Street firms and Ford announce directors’ races and genders

The Ford nameplate is seen on the interior of a Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck during a press event in New York City, the United States, May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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May 12 (Reuters) – Four leading Wall Street companies and Ford Motor Co (FN) will begin disclosing the race and gender of individual directors under agreements with New York pension officials, the city’s Comptroller Brad Lander said , on Thursday. while a utility company has pushed back on the idea.

According to a Lander representative, in addition to Ford, the companies include JPMorgan Chase & Co, (JPM.N) BlackRock Inc, (BLK.N) Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N). , will provide self-identified race, ethnicity and gender disclosures.

Such personal disclosures are increasingly used as tables in company annual proxy statements as companies seek to convey to investors their concerns about boardroom and workforce diversity. Continue reading

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However, not all boardrooms have embraced the idea. Lander’s statement said the city’s pension funds have filed a shareholder resolution with NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) calling for similar disclosures, but that NextEra has recommended investors at the meeting scheduled for May 19 Annual general meeting of the company to vote against the idea.

In its proxy statement, NextEra said it has previously released details on the capabilities of individual directors and infographics detailing overall diversity statistics about the board.

“The imposition of a mandatory matrix by the individual director may encourage a check-the-box approach to refreshment, thereby increasing the risk of bypassing a well-qualified candidate,” NextEra said in its proxy statement.

It could also lead shareholders to “erroneously believe that only a subset of directors contribute to certain decisions or represent the board on certain matters,” NextEra said.

Lander said director-to-director disclosure is required so investors can assess the composition of the board in alignment with the company’s mission and fiscal health.

“Outspoken commitments to diversity and inclusion ring hollow if those values ​​are not reflected in the boardroom, where decisions are made that impact the entire workforce,” Lander said in a statement sent out Thursday.

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reporting by Ross Kerber; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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