Currently, the following Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures apply only in the event that Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. has agreed to, or has been instructed to, vote proxies on behalf of a client. Otherwise, it is the general policy of Mesirow Financial that the firm’s registered investment advisors do not vote proxies on behalf of clients.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. (MFIM) has adopted and implemented policies and procedures that we believe are reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in the best interest of clients, in accordance with our fiduciary duties and SEC rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Our authority to vote the proxies of certain of our clients (as described below in the Statement of Policies, Paragraphs A. and B.), is established by certain of our advisory contracts executed by those clients, and our proxy voting policy and procedures have been tailored to reflect these specific contractual obligations. In addition to SEC requirements governing advisers, our proxy voting policies reflect the long-standing fiduciary standards and responsibilities for ERISA accounts set out in Department of Labor Bulletin 94-2, 29 C.F.R. 2509.94-2 (July 29, 1994).
Statement of policies
A.Except as otherwise agreed to in writing with an individual client, it is the long-standing policy of MFIM that it has no authority or obligation to take any action or render any advice with respect to the voting of proxies on behalf of its individual (non-institutional) clients.1 This position is stated in MFIM (non-institutional) client agreements. The agreements further state that the client expressly retains the authority and responsibility for the voting of proxies and that the client will be sent any applicable information and documents that MFIM receives to help the client take whatever action the client deems advisable.
B.It is also the long-standing policy of MFIM to accept the discretionary authority to vote proxies on behalf of its institutional clients. This position of accepting such authority is clearly stated in standard MFIM (institutional) Advisory Agreements. These contracts or agreements further state that MFIM will accept such proxy voting authority unless the right to vote proxies is specifically and contractually reserved to the Portfolio’s Trustee(s) under the terms of the Portfolio’s Plan documents.
1. In those instances in which MFIM agrees to vote proxies for individual clients, such proxies will be voted in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth herein with respect to institutional clients.