According to the website of the New York City Comptroller, the Comptroller is “the City’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for providing an independent voice to safeguard the fiscal health of the City, root out waste, fraud and abuse in City government and ensure the effective performance of City agencies to achieve their goals of serving the needs of all New Yorkers.” The Comptroller’s responsibilities include serving as “fiduciary to the City’s five public pension funds.”
Given these job responsibilities, NYCF finds it problematic that City Comptroller Scott Stringer recently co-authored an op-ed entitled “Expanding LGBT Diversity On Corporate Boards Is Good Business.” In this rather self-congratulatory op-ed, Stringer and his co-author state that “the New York City Pension Funds have been leaders in advocating for increased representation of women and people of color, and of diverse skills and experience, in the all-too-often homogeneous board rooms of corporate America.” The op-ed goes on to indicate that the Pension Funds recently approved “an LGBT-inclusive director standard for the companies in which they invest billions of dollars.”
By taking this action, Comptroller Stringer (who is rumored to be interested in becoming Mayor of New York City) clearly seeks to pander to the City’s powerful LGBT lobby. However, like other government officials that use their investing authority to meddle in the affairs of private businesses, Comptroller Stringer is also sticking his nose where it does not belong. To put it simply, the sexual preferences of corporate board members are none of the Comptroller’s business. It is hoped that companies will respond to this new “LGBT-inclusive director standard” by ignoring it completely.