EX-99.PROXYVOTE 4 d293279dex99proxyvote.htm PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

Nuveen Asset Management, LLC

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

Effective Date: January 1, 2011, as last amended March 05, 2020

 

 

 

 

I.

General Principles

A.        Nuveen Asset Management, LLC (“NAM”) is an investment sub-adviser for certain of the Nuveen Funds (the “Funds”) and investment adviser for institutional and other separately managed accounts (collectively, with the Funds, “Accounts”). As such, Accounts may confer upon NAM complete discretion to vote proxies.1

B.        When NAM has proxy voting authority, it is NAM’s duty to vote proxies in the best interests of its clients (which may involve affirmatively deciding that voting the proxies may not be in the best interests of certain clients on certain matters). In voting proxies, NAM also seeks to enhance total investment return for its clients.

C.        If NAM contracts with another investment adviser to act as a sub-adviser for an Account, NAM may delegate proxy voting responsibility to the sub-adviser. Where NAM has delegated proxy voting responsibility, the sub-adviser will be responsible for developing and adhering to its own proxy voting policies, subject to oversight by NAM.

D.        NAM’s Proxy Voting Committee (“PVC”) provides oversight of NAM’s proxy voting policies and procedures, including (1) providing an administrative framework to facilitate and monitor the exercise of such proxy voting and to fulfill the obligations of reporting and recordkeeping under the federal securities laws; and (2) approving the proxy voting policies and procedures.

 

II.

Policies

The PVC after reviewing and concluding that such policies are reasonably designed to vote proxies in the best interests of clients, has approved and adopted the proxy voting policies (“Policies”) of Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (“ISS”), a leading national provider of proxy voting administrative and research services.i As a result, such Policies set forth NAM’s positions on recurring proxy issues and criteria for addressing non-recurring issues. These Policies are reviewed periodically by ISS, and therefore are subject to change. Even though it has adopted the Policies as drafted by ISS, NAM maintains the fiduciary responsibility for all proxy voting decisions.

 

 

 

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NAM does not vote proxies where a client withholds proxy voting authority, and in certain non- discretionary and model programs NAM votes proxies in accordance with its Policies in effect from time to time. Clients may opt to vote proxies themselves, or to have proxies voted by an independent third party or other named fiduciary or agent, at the client’s cost. i ISS has separate polices for Taft Hartley plans and it is NAM’s policy to apply the Taft Hartley polices to accounts that are Taft Hartley plans and have requested the application of such policies.

 

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III.

Procedures

A.        Supervision of Proxy Voting. Day-to-day administration of proxy voting may be provided internally or by a third-party service provider, depending on client type, subject to the ultimate oversight of the PVC. The PVC shall supervise the relationships with NAM’s proxy voting services, ISS. ISS apprises Nuveen Global Operations (“NGO”) of shareholder meeting dates, and casts the actual proxy votes. ISS also provides research on proxy proposals and voting recommendations. ISS serves as NAM’s proxy voting record keepers and generate reports on how proxies were voted. NGO periodically reviews communications from ISS to determine whether ISS voted the correct amount of proxies, whether the votes were cast in a timely manner, and whether the vote was in accordance with the Policies or NAM’s specific instructions

B.        General Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest.

 

  1.

NAM believe that most conflicts of interest faced by NAM in voting proxies can be avoided by voting in accordance with the Policies. Examples of such conflicts of interest are as follows:2

 

  a.

The issuer or proxy proponent (e.g., a special interest group) is TIAA- CREF, the ultimate principal owner of NAM, or any of its affiliates.

 

  b.

The issuer is an entity in which an executive officer of NAM or a spouse or domestic partner of any such executive officer is or was (within the past three years of the proxy vote) an executive officer or director.

 

  c.

The issuer is a registered or unregistered fund or other client for which NAM or another affiliated adviser has a material relationship as investment adviser or sub-adviser (e.g., Nuveen Funds and TIAA Funds) or an institutional separate account.

 

  d.

Any other circumstances that NAM is aware of where NAM’s duty to serve its clients’ interests, typically referred to as its “duty of loyalty,” could be materially compromised.

 

  2.

To further minimize this risk, Compliance will review ISS’ conflict avoidance policy at least annually to ensure that it adequately addresses both the actual and perceived conflicts of interest ISS may face.

 

 

 

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A conflict of interest shall not be considered material for the purposes of these Policies and Procedures with respect to a specific vote or circumstance if the matter to be voted on relates to a restructuring of the terms of existing securities or the issuance of new securities or a similar matter arising out of the holding of securities, other than common equity, in the context of a bankruptcy or threatened bankruptcy of the issuer.

 

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  3.

In the event that ISS faces a material conflict of interest with respect to a specific vote, the PVC shall direct ISS how to vote. The PVC shall receive voting direction from appropriate investment personnel. Before doing so, the PVC will consult with Legal to confirm that NAM faces no material conflicts of its own with respect to the specific proxy vote.

 

  4.

Where ISS is determined to have a conflict of interest, or NAM determines to override the Policies and is determined to have a conflict, the PVC will recommend to NAM’s Compliance Committee or designee a course of action designed to address the conflict. Such actions could include, but are not limited to:

 

  a.

Obtaining instructions from the affected client(s) on how to vote the proxy;

 

  b.

Disclosing the conflict to the affected client(s) and seeking their consent to permit NAM to vote the proxy;

 

  c.

Voting in proportion to the other shareholders;

 

  e.

Recusing the individual with the actual or potential conflict of interest from all discussion or consideration of the matter, if the material conflict is due to such person’s actual or potential conflict of interest; or

 

  f.

Following the recommendation of a different independent third party.

 

  5.

In addition to all of the above-mentioned and other conflicts, the Head of Equity Research, NGO and any member of the PVC must notify NAM’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) of any direct, indirect or perceived improper influence exerted by any employee, officer or director of TIAA or its subsidiaries with regard to how NAM should vote proxies. NAM Compliance will investigate any such allegations and will report the findings to the PVC and, if deemed appropriate, to NAM’s Compliance Committee. If it is determined that improper influence was attempted, appropriate action shall be taken. Such appropriate action may include disciplinary action, notification of the appropriate senior managers, or notification of the appropriate regulatory authorities. In all cases, NAM will not consider any improper influence in determining how to vote proxies, and will vote in the best interests of clients.

C.        Proxy Vote Override. From time to time, a portfolio manager of an account (a “Portfolio Manager”) may initiate action to override the Policies’ recommendation for a particular vote. Any such override by a NAM Portfolio Manager (but not a sub-adviser Portfolio Manager)

 

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shall be reviewed by NAM’s Legal Department for material conflicts. If the Legal Department determines that no material conflicts exist, the approval of one member of the PVC shall authorize the override. If a material conflict exists, the conflict and, ultimately, the override recommendation will be rejected and will revert to the original Policies recommendation or will be addressed pursuant to the procedures described above under “Conflicts of Interest.”

In addition, the PVC may determine from time to time that a particular recommendation in the Policies should be overridden based on a determination that the recommendation is inappropriate and not in the best interests of shareholders. Any such determination shall be reflected in the minutes of a meeting of the PVC at which such decision is made.

D.        Securities Lending.

 

  1.

In order to generate incremental revenue, some clients may participate in a securities lending program. If a client has elected to participate in the lending program then it will not have the right to vote the proxies of any securities that are on loan as of the shareholder meeting record date. A client, or a Portfolio Manager, may place restrictions on loaning securities and/or recall a security on loan at any time. Such actions must be affected prior to the record date for a meeting if the purpose for the restriction or recall is to secure the vote.

 

  2.

Portfolio Managers and/or analysts who become aware of upcoming proxy issues relating to any securities in portfolios they manage, or issuers they follow, will consider the desirability of recalling the affected securities that are on loan or restricting the affected securities prior to the record date for the matter. If the proxy issue is determined to be material, and the determination is made prior to the shareholder meeting record date the Portfolio Manager(s) will contact the Securities Lending Agent to recall securities on loan or restrict the loaning of any security held in any portfolio they manage, if they determine that it is in the best interest of shareholders to do so.

E.        Proxy Voting Records. As required by Rule 204-2 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, NAM shall make and retain five types of records relating to proxy voting; (1) NAM’s Policies; (2) proxy statements received for securities in client accounts; (3) records of proxy votes cast by NAM on behalf of clients accounts; (4) records of written requests from clients about how NAM voted their proxies, and written responses from NAM to either a written or oral request by clients; and (5) any documents prepared by the adviser that were material to making a proxy voting decision or that memorialized the basis for the decision. NAM relies on ISS to make and retain on NAM’s behalf certain records pertaining to Rule 204-2.

 

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F.        Fund of Funds Provision. In instances where NAM provides investment advice to a fund of funds that acquires shares of affiliated funds or three percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of an unaffiliated fund, the acquiring fund shall vote the shares in the same proportion as the vote of all other shareholders of the acquired fund. If compliance with this procedure results in a vote of any shares in a manner different than the Policies’ recommendation, such vote will not require compliance with the Proxy Vote Override procedures set forth above.

G.        Legacy Securities. To the extent that NAM receives proxies for securities that are transferred into an account’s portfolio that were not recommended or selected by it and are sold or expected to be sold promptly in an orderly manner (“legacy securities”), NAM will generally refrain from voting such proxies. In such circumstances, since legacy securities are expected to be sold promptly, voting proxies on such securities would not further NAM’s interest in maximizing the value of client investments. NAM may agree to an account’s special request to vote a legacy security proxy, and would vote such proxy in accordance with the Policies.

H.        Terminated Accounts. Proxies received after the termination date of an account generally will not be voted. An exception will be made if the record date is for a period in which an account was under NAM’s discretionary management or if a separately managed account (“SMA”) custodian failed to remove the account’s holdings from its aggregated voting list.

I. Non-votes. NGO shall be responsible for obtaining reasonable assurance from ISS that it voted proxies on NAM’s behalf, and that any special instructions from NAM about a given proxy or proxies are submitted to ISS in a timely manner. It should not be considered a breach of this responsibility if NGO or NAM does not receive a proxy from ISS or a custodian with adequate time to analyze and direct to vote or vote a proxy by the required voting deadline.

NAM may determine not to vote proxies associated with the securities of any issuer if as a result of voting such proxies, subsequent purchases or sales of such securities would be blocked. However, NAM may decide, on an individual security basis that it is in the best interests of its clients to vote the proxy associated with such a security, taking into account the loss of liquidity. In addition, NAM may determine not to vote proxies where the voting would in NAM’s judgment result in some other financial, legal, regulatory disability or burden to the client (such as imputing control with respect to the issuer) or to NAM or its affiliates.

NAM may determine not to vote securities held by SMAs where voting would require the transfer of the security to another custodian designated by the issuer. Such transfer is generally outside the scope of NAM’s authority and may result in significant operational limitations on NAM’s ability to conduct transactions relating to the securities during the period of transfer. From time to time, situations may arise (operational or otherwise) that prevent NAM from voting proxies after reasonable attempts have been made.

 

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J.        Review and Reports.

 

  1.

The PVC shall maintain a review schedule. The schedule shall include reviews of the Policies and the policies of any Sub-adviser engaged by NAM, the proxy voting record, account maintenance, and other reviews as deemed appropriate by the PVC. The PVC shall review the schedule at least annually.

 

  2.

The PVC will report to NAM’s Compliance Committee with respect to all identified conflicts and how they were addressed. These reports will include all accounts, including those that are sub-advised. NAM also shall provide the Funds that it sub-advises with information necessary for preparing Form N-PX.

K.        Vote Disclosure to Clients. NAM’s institutional and SMA clients can contact their relationship manager for more information on NAM’s Policies and the proxy voting record for their account. The information available includes name of issuer, ticker/CUSIP, shareholder meeting date, description of item and NAM’s vote.

 

IV.

Responsible Parties

PVC

NGO

NAM Compliance

Legal Department

 

 

 

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