The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which is the largest U.S. public pension fund, announced on Tuesday that it will vote against the re-election of the entire Bank of America board of Directors, including Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ken Lewis.
The company, which owns 22.7 million of Bank of America shares, cites various incidents in its decision, including matters related to the company’s acquisition of investing company Merrill Lynch.
“The entire board failed in its duties to shareowners and should be removed,” CalPERS Board President Rob Feckner said.
He noted company’s poor condition, the “failure” of directors to disclose Merrill Lynch’s losses before the deal was completed, the payment of billions of dollars of bonuses to Merrill executives “for failure,” and the “failure” of the board to act in the best interests of shareowners in overseeing management.
CalPERS is calling for a special election if the board is removed to install new directors. The pension fund said it is willing to assist Bank of America in replacing the board.