In January 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted regulations regarding Proxy Voting by investment advisers (SEC Release No. IA-2106). These regulations required investment advisers to (1) adopt written proxy voting policies and procedures which describe how the adviser addresses material conflicts between its interests and those of its clients with respect to proxy voting and which also addresses how the adviser resolves those conflicts in the best interest of clients; (2) disclose to clients how they can obtain information from the adviser on how the adviser voted the proxies; and (3) describe to clients its proxy voting policies and procedures and, upon request, furnish a copy of them to clients.
Exercising proxies and voting stock is one method for investors to communicate with corporate management on a variety of issues, including corporate governance, executive compensation, and numerous social and environmental issues.
PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Karpas Strategies, LLC (KS) has adopted and implemented policies and procedures that we believe are reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in the best interest of our clients, and describe how KS addresses material conflicts between its interests and those of its clients with respect to proxy voting, in accordance with our fiduciary duties and SEC rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Proxy Voting Policy
KS has the fiduciary obligation to, at all times, make investment decisions that are in the best interest of its advisory clients. KS defines the best interest of the client to mean best economic interest of the shareholders of the company. In voting such proxies, KS will act prudently, taking into consideration those factors that may affect the value of the security and will vote proxies in a manner in which, in its opinion, is in the best interest of improving shareholder value. As a general rule, KS shall vote against any actions that would reduce the rights or options of shareholders, reduce shareholder influence over the board of directors and management, reduce the alignment of interests between management and shareholders, or reduce the value of shareholders' investments. At the same time, KS believes in supporting the management of companies in which it invests, and will accord proper weight to the views of a company's board of directors. Therefore, on most issues, our votes are cast in accordance with the recommendations of the company's board of directors, and we do not currently expect that trend to change. KS considers all relevant facts and circumstances, and retains the right to vote proxies as deemed appropriate. KS votes proxies in a bundled format, unless there is a specific conflict of interest (see Conflict of Interest policy below). Finally, consistent with our fiduciary standards, KS will vote proxies unless the client has designated otherwise.