Treasurer Summers stands with SEIU on corporate board diversity

CTO Seal 3.9.15


—Treasurer Kurt Summers joins group of fiduciaries from funds with more than $1 trillion under management— 

June 1, 2016 — Treasurer Summers today joined a group of state and local officials in arguing that corporate boards have been too slow to diversify their ranks and that institutional investors should increase their focus on board diversity as a corporate governance priority.

The joint statement emphasizes that racial and LGBT diversity as well as gender diversity are critical dimensions of effective board composition and performance.

“ Diversity in leadership is a winning business strategy that results in a greater market understanding, better problem solving, and success in the long-term. I have personally seen the impact in my current team and other high performing teams I have been apart of.”

Statistics show that board diversification has been slow—or has even regressed. White directors hold 85 percent of the board seats at the largest 200 S&P 500 companies and the percentage of those boards with exclusively white directors has increased over the last decade.

Men occupy 80 percent of all S&P 500 board seats. It is also estimated that there are fewer than 10 openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender directors among Fortune 500 companies.

The 14 co-signers, many of them longtime leaders on the issue of board diversity, are fiduciaries for pension funds responsible for the retirement security of six million participants and with more than $1 trillion in assets under management.

Research has shown that increased board diversity strengthens the financial performance of companies. In 2014, McKinsey & Company found that the top companies with board racial diversity were 35% more likely to have greater returns than their respective national industry median. I strongly encourage these corporate boards to expand their efforts in diversifying its membership to ensure their adaptability and success in a rapidly changing market.”

The elected officials will be reaching out to other pension fund leaders urging them to join the call for an increased focus on board diversity.  The complete list of joint statement signers is below and a copy of the joint statement is attached.

For more information, please contact:

Contact: Alexandra Sims, Senior Advisor

Phone: 312-744-3363,





Joint Statement of Corporate Board Diversity – List of Signers


John Chiang

California State Treasurer


Contact: Marc Lifsher, Communications Director

Phone: 916-653-2995,



Betty Yee

California State Controller


Contact: Taryn Kinney, Public Information Officer
Phone: 916-324-2709, Email:


Kurt Summers

Chicago City Treasurer


Contact: Alexandra Sims, Senior Advisor

Phone: 312-744-3363,



Denise Nappier

Connecticut State Treasurer


Contact: David Barrett, Communications Director

Phone: 860-702-3164, Email:


Michael Frerichs

Illinois State Treasurer


Contact:  Greg Rivara, Press Secretary

Phone: 312-814-1901,



Peter Franchot

Maryland State Comptroller


Contact: Peter Hamm, Communications Director

Phone: 410-260-7060,



Nancy Kopp

Maryland State Treasurer


Contact: Susanne Brogan,

Deputy Treasurer- Public Policy

Phone: 443-924-9540, Email:

Deborah Goldberg

Massachusetts State Treasurer


Contact: Chandra Allard, Communications Director 

Phone: 617-367-6900 Ext. 620,



Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller


Contact:  Eric Sumberg, Director of Communications

Phone: 212-669-3535,



Thomas DiNapoli

New York State Comptroller


Contact: Matthew Sweeney,

Assistant Communications Director

Phone: 212-383-1388,



Ted Wheeler

Oregon State Treasurer


Contact: James Sinks, Communications Director

Phone: 503-378-4329,



Alan Butkovitz

Philadelphia City Controller


Contact:  Brian Dries, Communications Director

Phone: 215-686-8869, Email:


Seth Magaziner

Rhode Island General Treasurer


Contact:  David Ortiz, Communications Director

Phone: 401-403-6674, Email:


Dan McAllister

San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector


Contact:  Antoinette Chandler, Chief Deputy Treasurer





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