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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

NY State Comptroller DiNapoli Announces Responsible Workforce Management Policy for Private Equity Investments

April 23, 2024

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), today announced the Fund’s adoption of its Responsible Workforce Management Policy and Principles (Policy). As part of the Fund’s investment due diligence of new investments within its $38 billion private equity asset class, the new Policy will require an evaluation of relevant workforce management policies and practices.

DiNapoli will discuss the importance of adopting strong labor principles in private equity at the White House Workers’ Capital Event later today.

“The Fund is dedicated to championing workforce management best practices because they have the ability to enhance the performance and resilience of portfolio companies and, in turn, our investments,” DiNapoli said. “Our Responsible Workforce Management Policy will ensure our private equity investment managers understand our position clearly. We expect them to support fair treatment of workers throughout their portfolio companies by encouraging adoption of workforce management practices that prioritize workers‘ rights and protections, health and safety, fair compensation, and skills development and training. A diverse, reasonably compensated, and well-trained workforce can deliver higher quality products and services, which in turn can provide a competitive advantage for companies and their investors.”

The private equity industry has faced scrutiny of its approach to workforce issues, leading a growing number of limited partners in private equity funds, including pension funds, endowments, and multiemployer benefit trust funds, to adopt labor principles. Responsible business practices within the private equity industry can help mitigate risks and add value.

The Fund will share the policy with existing managers and engage with them on these important principles. The Fund’s due diligence review of potential private equity investments will include an evaluation of prospective managers’ workforce management policies and practices as part of its consideration of a variety of investment factors.

The Responsible Workforce Management Policy builds on the Fund’s commitment to workforce and labor best practices across its portfolios which includes the adoption of its Responsible Contractor Policy that applies to the Fund’s real estate and infrastructure investments, and its Environmental, Social & Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines, which outline expectations for public companies in its global equities portfolio.

NYS Common Retirement Fund Policy 
Responsible Workforce Management Policy and Principles

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is one of the largest public pension funds in the United States. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. It has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation.