The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to serving the interests of long-term institutional investors in advancing shareholder rights and best practices in corporate governance.
CII is a diverse community of professionals who come together to learn, share perspectives and advocate. CII educates members about best corporate governance practices and provides opportunities for members to interact with peers, policymakers and investment executives.
CII enjoys a reputation for integrity, leadership, thoughtful analysis and creative consensus-building. Investors, lawmakers, regulators, corporate officials and leaders of other public interest groups look to CII for expertise and ideas.
CII was founded in 1985, a time of corporate takeovers, imperial CEOs and insulated boards of directors. Shareowners had little say in most corporate decisions and did not appreciate the potential power of their proxy votes. The founders were a group of 21 visionaries, most public pension fund officials, who believed that the companies in which they were investing their members’ retirement assets needed more oversight by shareholders. They also felt that by pooling their resources, institutional investors could use their burgeoning proxy power to hold companies accountable. CII's founding co-chairs were State Treasurer of California Jesse Unruh, New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin and State of Wisconsin Investment Board Chair John Konrad.
From that day forward, CII's goal has been constant as its membership has grown larger and more diverse: strong governance standards at public companies and strong shareholder rights. Members use their proxy votes, shareowner resolutions, pressure on regulators, discussions with companies and litigation where necessary to effect change.
Today, many CII corporate governance policies once considered radical are commonly accepted standards. The organization’s voting membership has grown to more than 125 public, union and corporate employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations with combined assets that exceed $3 trillion. They and other Institutional shareowners have a much greater voice today than they did in 1985 in part because of the constant vigilance and hard work of CII to protect and strengthen that voice.
Fifteen members serve on the CII Board of Trustees. These 15 members serve as voluntary directors and represent public, union and corporate employee benefit funds. Michael McCauley, Senior Officer of Investment Programs & Governance at the Florida State Board of Administration, serves as the Chairman of the Board.