NETHERLANDS William Crist, the former chairman of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), has won the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) award for contributions to corporate governance.

The other winner is the Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance (CACG) set up in 1998 to promote excellence in corporate government in the Commonwealth.

The ICGN, a worldwide organisation of investors with assets totalling 10 trillion dollars ( , made the awards at its annual conference in Amsterdam. The awards recognise people ‘who have made the greatest contribution to furthering standards of good corporate governance.’

Alastair Ross Goobey, chairman of the ICGN, said “The ICGN acknowledges the contributions made in all parts of the world by leaders in corporate governance. In their own ways Dr Crist and the CACG each have pioneered strategies to make corporate governance work.”

The winners were chosen from a shortlist that included French investment manager Axa, Elliot Spitzer, the New York State attorney general, and the trustees of the BT Pension Scheme in the UK. Previous winners have included the UK industrialist Sir Adrian Cadbury, the Philippine corporate governance expert Jesus Estanislao. and US shareholder activist Bob Monks.

ICGN members also ratified the ICGN’s code of practice on institutional shareholder responsibilities. Ross Goobey said that the final version would be published on the ICGN website next month. “There are still some words that need to be adjusted, but these are matters of nuance rather than principle. The principles involved have been very much accepted and adopted.”