In late January 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted new rules for investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) requiring them to adopt and disclose to clients proxy voting policies and procedures. Concurrently, the SEC adopted new rules for registered investment companies (funds) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act) requiring them to disclose their proxy voting policies and procedures to their shareholders and to file their voting records with the SEC. The compliance dates for the new Rules are approaching fast. The Rules should have a significant impact on disclosure of proxy voting by advisers and funds. In a recent survey it conducted, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) noted that, of the approximately 3,700 fund groups that will be affected by the Rules, only eleven funds publicly disclose their proxy voting policies on their public websites. Of the eleven funds, seven disclose their proxy voting records and none discloses its policies with respect to conflicts of interest.
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