On Proxy Voting

I’ve been getting proxy questions from readers. While I warn that I’m not an expert, I’ve been reading up on the process and will share some links below that have been helpful.

My understanding is that voting will open up after final proxy materials have been submitted by both TPL management and the SoftVest group. The SEC has a 10 day rule that puts a buffer between preliminary and final filings. If the rule holds (warning: I’m out of my element here) we could be looking at next week for finalization from both sides.

If we conservatively assume 4/10 as the finalization date, that leaves about 40 days to vote though (see Barrons article below) you might want to assume the window is shorter than that.

If voting remotely, it probably makes sense to take a belt and suspenders approach to make sure your vote was cast in your intended manner. Call your broker to make sure you are covered if you intend to vote that way.

It’s important to remember that TPL has retained legal counsel and a proxy soliciting service to help corral the votes. Remember that you as unit holders are paying for that service. Real time feedback from owners could be helpful in avoiding the costs of taking this vote down to the wire.

I’m assuming that ISS will issue a recommendation for mutual fund managers to adopt. I know little about this process and would be extremely grateful for any information on their process or ruling in the case of TPL. It is my understanding that they generally prefer more transparency to less.

Again, I warn I’m not an expert. I’m happy to amend this with better information as it appears. I’m sure it’s out there!

Links:

SEC Proxy Overview

Barrons: Proxy Voting Is Broken and Needs to Change

ISS 2019 Updates

Rutgers: Proxy Voting Analysis and Statistics

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