TIAA-CREF's handling of an auditor independence issue that led to the resignations of two company trustees last December was "ultimately successful, although there were substantial missteps" along the way, according to a report released Thursday.

The conflict arose from a business relationship between TIAA-CREF's outgoing independent auditor, Ernst & Young, William H. Waltrip, a former trustee of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and Professor Stephen A. Ross, a former trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund.

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