UnitedHealth Shareholders Reject CalPERS Proposals
Shareholders for UnitedHealth Group on Tuesday rejected a proposal by two California public pension funds that would have allowed shareholders with at least a 3% stake in the company to nominate directors, the Sacramento Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 5/30).
About 42% of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal, which had support from CalPERS and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.
In addition, about 41% of shareholders voted in favor of an outside proposal by AFL-CIO that would have reduced the amount of stock and stock options included in compensation packages for top UnitedHealth officials.
Shareholders also rejected two additional outside proposals (Phelps, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 5/29).
The result of the votes on the proposals "was notable because they had been unanimously opposed by UnitedHealth's board," the AP/Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports (Freed, AP/Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 5/29).
Shareholders approved proposals from UnitedHealth to increase the accountability of the board. The proposals would require a majority shareholder vote for election of directors, rather than a plurality vote, and would require annual elections for all directors and eliminate supermajority provisions for the removal of directors and other business combinations.
In addition, shareholders re-elected the UnitedHealth board, which includes Chair Richard Burke and CEO Stephen Hemsley (Forster, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5/29).
In related news, U.S. Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel on Monday ruled that UnitedHealth must provide as many as 26 million pages of documents to attorneys for shareholders involved in a civil lawsuit against the company. However, Noel delayed a decision on a request by federal prosecutors that seeks to limit access to certain documents related to backdated stock options received by UnitedHealth officials to protect a criminal investigation into the issue. In addition, Noel ruled that plaintiff attorneys cannot take depositions from individuals involved with the backdated stock options. Noel likely will issue a decision on the request from federal prosecutors by the end of June (Patterson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 5/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.