Rhode Island pension fund to push for corporate diversity

RI Treasurer Seth Magaziner stands next to NAACP Providence President Jim Vincent during Wednesday morning's news conference. (Photo: Scott Del Sole | WPRI 12)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner says the state’s pension fund will begin using its shareholder vote to push for diversity on corporate boards.

Magaziner held a news conference to announce which companies it plans to target.

Late spring is the proxy season when many publicly traded companies hold investor meetings asking shareholders to vote on board members and other decisions.

Magaziner says the $7.5 billion fund will vote “no” against a slate of corporate board nominees if fewer than 30 percent of directors are women or racial minorities.

He says research shows diverse leadership helps companies perform better, which will improve returns for the state pension system.

The Massachusetts pension board adopted a similar practice last year.

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