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CalPERS pension fund includes public interest as central to investing decisions

The changing relationship between corporations and society is at play in the evolving investing strategies of pension funds.

CalPERS CEO Ann Stausboll

CalPERS CEO Ann Stausboll

Rather than electing to exclusively pursue the strongest possible financial returns, some pension funds are investing with other concerns in mind. When CalPERS adopted a set of investment principles Amanda White reported on the announcement. In 2013 California’s largest pension fund published a list of formal investment principles that included an expanded definition of fiduciary responsibilities.

According to CalPERS chief executive Ann Stausboll, “The fiduciary responsibility of pension funds should extend to issues outside the parameters typically understood as being directly related to beneficiaries’ financial interest, says to CalPERS chief executive Ann Stausboll. “It is our job to make sure investors, businesses and policymakers are responding aggressively and creatively to the opportunities associated with climate change and other sustainability issues.”

In step with companies such as Patagonia, CalPERS has emerged as a bold innovator by adopting a more comprehensive view corporate purpose. Patagonia uses “flex hours” in order to enable employees to live active lifestyles. As CalPERS, Patagionia, and other companies continue to broaden their corporate philosophies beyond exclusively serving the interests of shareholders, policymakers also evaluate the existing rules in order to accommodate the changing understanding of corporate purpose.

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