Philadelphia Pension Board Supports Efforts to Hold Southern Company Accountable for Performance

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2017

Contact:  Brian Dries
215-686-8869

Philadelphia Pension Board Supports Efforts to Hold Southern Company Accountable for Performance
City Controller’s resolution approved by Pension Board

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz commended the actions taken today by the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement for unanimously approving a resolution that supports the national effort to hold The Southern Company, a gas and electric utility company, accountable for its corporate performance.

As an investor with more than 40,000 shares of common stock in The Southern Company, the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement will join institutional investors such as the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the Seattle Pension Board and the Nathan Cummings Foundation to vote against approving executive compensation and against the re-election of top board members.

The City Controller’s resolution states that the investment policies and voting guidelines of the city’s Pension Board support long term creation of shareholder value, and further recognize that long-term shareholder depends on holding directors accountable for corporate performance.

“Our move is an attempt to strengthen The Southern Company’s Board governance, holding them accountable for their performance,” said Butkovitz, who is a trustee on the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement.  “One way to ensure accountability is to link pay and performance.”

“We must continue to make smart investments with companies that will provide the greatest return for Philadelphia,” said Butkovitz.

The Southern Company’s performance has suffered in the last few years due to problems with major construction projects undertaken by the company.  This includes the Kemper project which is a clean coal power plant in Mississippi that is $4 billion over its original budget and four years behind schedule. In addition, the expansion of the Vogtle nuclear plant is $3 billion over budget and three years behind schedule.  

The investors will vote at The Southern Company’s annual meeting on May 24, 2017.

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