EX-99.(C)(1) 5 d380012_ex99-c1.htm EX-99.(C)(1)

General Compliance Policies for Trust & Adviser

Section 5: Fiduciary Standards & Affiliated Persons Issues

5E. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures for the Adviser

Version Effective Date
1 01-01-2012
2 02-01-2015
3 Sept. 2015
4 05-01-2017
5 12/1/2019
 
 
 

Versions prior to 01-01-2012 available from the CCO’s Office upon request.



5E. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures for the Adviser

General

The SEC adopted Rule 206(4)-6 under the Advisers Act, which requires investment advisers with voting authority to adopt and implement written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to ensure that the investment adviser votes client securities in the best interest of clients. The procedures must include how the investment adviser addresses material conflicts that may arise between the interests of the investment adviser and those of its clients. The Advisers are registered investment advisers under the Advisers Act and serve as the investment advisers to the Funds. The Advisers generally retain one or more sub-advisers to manage the assets of the Funds, including voting proxies with respect to a Fund’s portfolio securities. From time to time, however, the Advisers may elect to manage directly the assets of a Fund, including voting proxies with respect to such Fund’s portfolio securities, or a Fund’s Board may otherwise delegate to the Advisers authority to vote such proxies. Rule 206(4)-6 under the Advisers Act requires that a registered investment adviser adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it votes proxies with respect to a client’s securities in the best interest of the client.

Firms are required by Advisers Act Rule 204-2(c)(2) to maintain records of their voting policies and procedures, a copy of each proxy statement that the investment adviser receives regarding client securities, a record of each vote cast by the investment adviser on behalf of a client, a copy of any document created by the investment adviser that was material to making a decision how to vote proxies on behalf of a client, and a copy of each written client request for information on how the adviser voted proxies on behalf of the client, as well as a copy of any written response by the investment adviser to any written or oral client request for information on how the adviser voted that client’s proxies.

Investment companies must disclose information about the policies and procedures used to vote proxies on the investment company’s portfolio securities and must file the fund’s proxy voting record with the SEC annually on Form N-PX.

Pursuant thereto, the Advisers have adopted and implemented these proxy voting policies and procedures (the “Proxy Procedures”).

Policy

It is the Advisers’ policy to comply with Rule 206(4)-6 and Rule 204-2(c)(2) under the Advisers Act as described above. In general, the Advisers delegate proxy voting decisions to the sub-advisers managing the funds. If an instance occurs where a conflict of interest arises between the shareholders and a particular sub-adviser, however, the Adviser retains the right to influence and/or direct the conflicting proxy voting decisions.

Procedure

Fiduciary Duty
The Advisers have a fiduciary duty to vote proxies on behalf of a Fund in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

Voting of Proxies - Advisers
The Advisers will vote proxies with respect to a Fund’s portfolio securities when authorized to do so by the Fund and subject to the Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures and any further direction or delegation of authority by the Fund’s Board. The decision on how to vote a proxy will be made by the person(s) to whom the Advisers have from time to time delegated such responsibility (the “Designated Person”). The Designated Person may include the Fund’s portfolio manager(s) or a Proxy Voting Committee, as described below.

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5E. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures for the Adviser

When voting proxies with respect to a Fund’s portfolio securities, the following standards will apply:

The Designated Person will vote based on what it believes is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders and in accordance with the Fund’s investment guidelines.
   
Each voting decision will be made independently. To assist with the analysis of voting issues and/or to carry out the actual voting process the Designated Person may enlist the services of (1) reputable professionals (who may include persons employed by or otherwise associated with the Advisers or any of its affiliated persons) or (2) independent proxy evaluation services such as Institutional Shareholder Services. However, the ultimate decision as to how to vote a proxy will remain the responsibility of the Designated Person.
   
The Advisers believe that a good management team of a company will generally act in the best interests of the company. Therefore, the Designated Person will take into consideration as a key factor in voting proxies with respect to securities of a company that are held by the Fund the quality of the company’s management. In general, the Designated Person will vote as recommended by company management except in situations where the Designated Person believes such recommended vote is not in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders.
   
As a general principle, voting with respect to the same portfolio securities held by more than one Fund should be consistent among those Funds having substantially the same investment mandates.
   
The Advisers will provide the Fund, from time to time in accordance with the Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures and any applicable laws and regulations, a record of the Advisers’ voting of proxies with respect to the Fund’s portfolio securities.

Material Conflicts of Interest
In carrying out its proxy voting responsibilities, the Advisers will monitor and resolve potential material conflicts (“Material Conflicts”) between the interests of (a) a Fund and (b) the Advisers or any of its affiliated persons. Affiliates of the Advisers include Manulife Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries. Material Conflicts may arise, for example, if a proxy vote relates to matters involving any of these companies or other issuers in which the Advisers or any of their affiliates has a substantial equity or other interest.

If the Advisers or a Designated Person become aware that a proxy voting issue may present a potential Material Conflict, the issue will be referred to the Advisers’ Legal Department and/or the Office of the CCO. If the Legal Department and/or the Office of the CCO, as applicable determines that a potential Material Conflict does exist, a Proxy Voting Committee will be appointed to consider and resolve the issue. The Proxy Voting Committee may make any determination that it considers reasonable and may, if it chooses, request the advice of an independent, third-party proxy service on how to vote the proxy.

Voting Proxies of Underlying Funds of a Fund of Funds
The Advisers or the Designated Person will vote proxies with respect to the shares of a Fund that are held by another Fund that operates as a Fund of Funds”) in the manner provided in the proxy voting policies and procedures of the Fund of Funds (including such policies and procedures relating to material conflicts of interest) or as otherwise directed by the board of trustees or directors of the Fund of Funds.

Proxy Voting Committee(s)
The Advisers will from time to time, and on such temporary or longer-term basis as they deem appropriate, establish one or more Proxy Voting Committees. A Proxy Voting Committee shall include the Advisers’ CCO and may include legal counsel. The terms of reference and the procedures under which a Proxy Voting Committee will operate will be reviewed from time to time by the Legal and Compliance Department. Records of the deliberations and proxy voting recommendations of a Proxy Voting Committee will be maintained in accordance with applicable law, if any, and these Proxy Procedures. Requested shareholder proposals or other Shareholder Advocacy must be submitted for consideration pursuant to the Shareholder Advocacy Policy and Procedures.

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5E. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures for the Adviser

Records Retention
The Advisers will retain (or arrange for the retention by a third party of) such records relating to proxy voting pursuant to these Proxy Procedures as may be required from time to time by applicable law and regulations, including the following:

1.

These Proxy Procedures and all amendments hereto;

   
2.

All proxy statements received regarding Fund portfolio securities;

   
3.

Records of all votes cast on behalf of a Fund;

   
4.

Records of all Fund requests for proxy voting information;

   
5.

Any documents prepared by the Designated Person or a Proxy Voting Committee that were material to or memorialized the basis for a voting decision;

   
6.

All records relating to communications with the Funds regarding Conflicts; and

   
7.

All minutes of meetings of Proxy Voting Committees.

The Office of the CCO, and/or the Legal Department are responsible for maintaining the documents set forth above as needed and deemed appropriate. Such documents will be maintained in the Office of the CCO, and/or the Legal Department for the period set forth in the Records Retention Schedule.

Voting of Proxies - SubAdvisers
In the case of proxies voted by a sub-adviser to a Fund pursuant to the Fund’s proxy voting procedures, the Advisers will request the sub-adviser to certify to the Advisers that the sub-adviser has voted the Fund’s proxies as required by the Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures and that such proxy votes were executed in a manner consistent with these Proxy Procedures and to provide the Advisers with a report detailing any instances where the sub-adviser voted any proxies in a manner inconsistent with the Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures. The COO of the Advisers will then report to the Board on a quarterly basis regarding the sub-adviser certification and report to the Board any instance where the sub-adviser voted any proxies in a manner inconsistent with the Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures.

The Fund Administration Department maintains procedures affecting all administration functions for the mutual funds. These procedures detail the disclosure and administration of the Trust’s proxy voting records.

The Trust’s Chief Legal Counsel is responsible for including, in the SAI of each Trust, information about the proxy voting of the Advisers and each sub-adviser.

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5E. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures for the Adviser

Reporting to Fund Boards
The CCO of the Advisers will provide the Board with a copy of these Proxy Procedures, accompanied by a certification that represents that the Proxy Procedures have been adopted by the Advisers in conformance with Rule 206(4)-6 under the Advisers Act. Thereafter, the Advisers will provide the Board with notice and a copy of any amendments or revisions to the Procedures and will report quarterly to the Board all material changes to these Proxy Procedures.

The CCO’s annual written compliance report to the Board will contain a summary of material changes to the Proxy Procedures during the period covered by the report.

If the Advisers or the Designated Person vote any proxies in a manner inconsistent with either these Proxy Procedures or a Fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures, the CCO will provide the Board with a report detailing such exceptions.

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