PIMCO Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
PIMCO has adopted written proxy voting policies and procedures (“Proxy Policy”) as required by Rule 206(4)-6 under the Advisers Act. The Proxy Policy has been adopted by each of PIMCO Funds, PIMCO Variable Insurance Trust, PIMCO Equity Series, PIMCO Equity Series VIT, and PIMCO ETF Trust (each a “Trust,” and, collectively, the “Trusts”) as the policies and procedures that PIMCO will use when voting proxies on behalf of each series of the Trusts (each a “Fund” and, collectively, the “Funds”). In addition to covering the voting of equity securities, the Proxy Policy also applies generally to voting and/or consent rights of fixed income securities, including but not limited to, plans of reorganization, and waivers and consents under applicable indentures. The Proxy Policy does not apply, however, to consent rights that primarily entail decisions to buy or sell investments, such as tender or exchange offers, conversions, put options, redemption and Dutch auctions. The Proxy Policy is designed and implemented in a manner reasonably expected to ensure that voting and consent rights (collectively, “proxies”) are exercised in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders.
With respect to the voting of proxies relating to equity securities, PIMCO has selected an unaffiliated third party proxy research and voting service (“Proxy Voting Service”), to assist it in researching and voting proxies. With respect to each proxy received, the Proxy Voting Service researches the financial implications of the proposals and provides a recommendation to PIMCO as to how to vote on each proposal based on the Proxy Voting Service’s research of the individual facts and circumstances and the Proxy Voting Service’s application of its research findings to a set of guidelines that have been approved by PIMCO. Upon the recommendation of the applicable portfolio managers, PIMCO may determine to override any recommendation made by the Proxy Voting Service. In the event that the Proxy Voting Service does not provide a recommendation with respect to a proposal, PIMCO may determine to vote on the proposals directly.
With respect to the voting of proxies relating to fixed income securities, PIMCO’s fixed income credit research group (the “Credit Research Group”) is responsible for researching and issuing recommendations for voting proxies. With respect to each proxy received, the Credit Research Group researches the financial implications of the proxy proposal and makes voting recommendations specific for each Fund that holds the related fixed income security. PIMCO considers each proposal regarding a fixed income security on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration any relevant contractual obligations as well as other relevant facts and circumstances at the time of the vote. Upon the recommendation of the applicable portfolio managers, PIMCO may determine to override any recommendation made by the Credit Research Group. In the event that the Credit Research Group does not provide a recommendation with respect to a proposal, PIMCO may determine to vote the proposal directly.
PIMCO may determine not to vote a proxy for an equity or fixed income security if: (1) the effect on the applicable Fund’s economic interests or the value of the portfolio holding is insignificant in relation to the Fund’s portfolio; (2) the cost of voting the proxy outweighs the possible benefit to the applicable Fund, including, without limitation, situations where a jurisdiction imposes share blocking restrictions which may affect the ability of the portfolio managers to effect trades in the related security; or (3) PIMCO otherwise has determined that it is consistent with its fiduciary obligations not to vote the proxy.
In the event that the Proxy Voting Service or the Credit Research Group, as applicable, does not provide a recommendation, or the portfolio managers of a Fund propose to override a recommendation by the Proxy Voting Service, or the Credit Research Group, as applicable, PIMCO will review the proxy to determine whether there is a material conflict between PIMCO and the applicable Fund or between the Fund and another Fund or PIMCO-advised account. If no material conflict exists, the proxy will be voted according to the portfolio managers’ recommendation. If a material conflict does exist, PIMCO will seek to resolve the conflict in good faith and in the best interests of the applicable Fund, as provided by the Proxy Policy. The Proxy Policy permits PIMCO to seek to resolve material conflicts of interest by pursuing any one of several courses of action. With respect to material conflicts of interest between PIMCO and a Fund, the Proxy Policy permits PIMCO to either: (i) convene a committee to assess and resolve the conflict (the “Proxy Conflicts Committee”); or (ii) vote in accordance with protocols previously established by the Proxy Policy, the Proxy Conflicts Committee and/or other relevant procedures approved by PIMCO’s Legal and Compliance department with respect to specific types of conflicts. With respect to material conflicts of interest between a Fund and one or more other Funds or PIMCO-advised accounts, the Proxy Policy permits PIMCO to: (i) designate a PIMCO portfolio manager who is not subject to the conflict to determine how to vote the proxy if the conflict exists between two Funds or accounts with at least one portfolio manager in common; or (ii) permit the respective portfolio managers to vote the proxies in accordance with each Fund’s or account’s best interests if the conflict exists between Funds or accounts managed by different portfolio managers.
PIMCO will supervise and periodically review its proxy voting activities and the implementation of the Proxy Policy. Information about how each Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities it held during the most recent twelve month period ended June 30th will be available no later than the following August 31st without charge, upon request, by calling the Trusts at 866.746.2606, on the Trusts’ respective websites (http://www.pimcoetfs.com and http://pvit.pimco-funds.com/), on the PIMCO Investments LLC website at http://www.pimco.com/investments, and on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.