Candidate for NY comptroller says he'd stop shareholder activism

Ryan Delaney
September 2, 2014

The Republican challenger for state comptroller, Robert Antonacci, says he would end the shareholder activism that current comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, has practiced during his time in office.

The state comptroller oversees the state’s $180 billion pension system. DiNapoli has used his role as the fund’s sole trustee to pressure companies to adopt certain policies.

Antonacci said during an appearance on Capitol Pressroom that the first goal of the comptroller should be maximizing the return from investments.

"I’m not going to invest, as the sole trustee, in a company that’s not following our laws, whether it’s gay marriage, put anything out there," said Antonacci. "They have to follow our laws. But then after that, we need a rate of return to keep those taxpayers solvent because it’s just not working what we got right now.

DiNapoli has pressured Exxon Mobil to expand its anti-discrimination policies and brought a lawsuit to force Qualcomm to make public its political contributions.

Antonacci says he would also push for a switch to 401(k)-style retirement plans for new state workers so taxpayers don’t have to make up the difference when the fund underperforms.