CalPERS Pushes Governance Changes at UnitedHealth
CalPERS is petitioning UnitedHealth Group to overhaul its corporate governance policies to allow large shareholders to nominate directors, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.
Under CalPERS' proposal, shareholders who for at least two years have held at least a 3% stake in the health insurer are allowed to nominate two directors (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 5/7).
The pension fund is mailing letters to thousands of UnitedHealth shareholders seeking their support for the measure in advance of the company's annual meeting on May 29. The measure appears on the company's proxy ballot as Proposal 4.
In making its case for the proposal, CalPERS cites concerns stemming from the backdating of stock options at the company (CalPERS release, 5/7).
CalPERS is lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the nation's second-largest managed care company alleging that improper stock-option grant procedures caused the pension plan to lose more than $20 million (California Healthline, 9/15/06).
UnitedHealth officials said the company has been in negotiations with CalPERS and already has made some changes in its corporate governance to give shareholders more power (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 5/7).
CalPERS holds 6.4 million shares of UnitedHealth (CalPERS release, 5/7).