Union pension group to meet with HP officials, seeks new auditor

Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:57am EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - A union pension adviser plans to meet with Hewlett-Packard Co officials on Monday to air concerns about their corporate oversight, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The meeting follows criticism by the adviser, CtW Investment Group, of Hewlett-Packard and its audit committee last month over problems like the company's troubled acquisition of UK software company Autonomy.

A statement sent by CtW on Monday and obtained by Reuters reiterated its criticism of the deal and said "HP's board has continued to display poor judgment, a lack of accountability, and poor oversight of critical functions" despite an overhaul just over two years ago after the departure of the prior chief executive, Mark Hurd.

In the statement, the adviser blamed three directors, including Executive Chairman Raymond Lane, for what it called "continued strategic and governance challenges."

It called for the appointment of a new outside auditor to address what it called concerns over the independence of the audit function.

The source described the meeting, which will include other investors, on condition of anonymity because it was not publicly announced.

CtW, affiliated with the labor group Change to Win, advises union pension funds with roughly $200 billion in assets.

Change to Win is a federation of U.S. unions with 5.5 million members pushing to organize and represent workers in sectors like health care, hotels and ports.

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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