Five additional U.S. companies have agreed to disclose their political spending under agreements with the New York State Common Retirement Fund, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Thursday.
The companies including Verisign Inc and Las Vegas Sands Corp will publish annual or semiannual reports on their donations, as well as publish annual or semiannual reports on their donations, said DiNapoli.
Since January, the total number of companies that DiNapoli has successfully pressed for similar changes brings to 54 the total number of companies.
A Verisign representative said that it was taking steps to improve transparency around a number of issues, including political contributions, which align with the point of view expressed by some of our shareholders. A Las Vegas Sands representative said transparency was a key part of its efforts to meet the goals around environmental, social and governance ESG issues.
In the past few years, investors concerned about ESG risks have paid more attention to portfolio company donations, which can be hard to track.
DiNapoli, who oversees $280 billion in state pension assets, said investors need full transparency and accountability on the use of corporate dollars to further political agendas so we can determine if it helps a company's strategy or puts it at risk.
A record 370 S&P 500 companies disclosed their political spending in 2021, or prohibited at least one form of it, according to a study from the Non-profit Center for Political Accountability.
A shareholder resolution submitted by DiNapoli's office urging Twitter Inc to disclose details about its political spending received 53% of the vote at the social media company's annual meeting on May 25.
A Twitter representative didn't say anything about how it would respond to the vote.