Proxy Voting

Shareholders in public companies typically have voting rights associated with their shareholders. These voting rights allow shareholders (including institutions such as Fidelity, acting on behalf of all the mutual funds it manages) to vote at annual and special company meetings. Most shareholders, including the Fidelity Funds, generally submit votes by proxy rather than attend each meeting.

The typical agenda for a company meeting will include more than one proposal, such as the election of Directors, adoption of a stock option plan, or approval of a merger or acquisition. Proposals are more commonly put forth by the company’s management, but may be submitted by a shareholder as well. The company’s management may provide a voting recommendation for each proposal, and each proposal is evaluated separately by Fidelity relative to our Proxy Voting Guidelines.

Voting Results

Mutual funds in Canada, including the Fidelity Funds, must display their proxy voting records on their websites by August 31st of each year, covering the 12 month period ending June 30th of that year. Unitholders may also request a copy of the proxy voting record for this same period be delivered to them, at no charge, after August 31st of each year.

Please note that we do not provide proxy voting results for certain funds that invest their assets in other Fidelity Funds. When a Fidelity Fund invests in an underlying fund also managed by Fidelity, Fidelity will either abstain from voting those securities of the underlying Fidelity Fund, or will arrange for those securities of the underlying Fidelity Fund to be voted by the beneficial holders of the top Fidelity Fund. When a Fidelity Fund invests in an underlying mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that is not managed by Fidelity, Fidelity will vote in the same proportion as all other security holders of such underlying fund or class (“echo voting”). Fidelity may choose not to vote if “echo voting” is not operationally feasible.

View proxy voting results by selecting a Fidelity fund

Fidelity's Approach to Voting Proxies

Effective December 31, 2015, Fidelity replaced FIAM LLC ("FIAM") as the portfolio adviser to the Fidelity retail mutual funds that are trust funds (the “Trust Funds”).  Fidelity has hired Fidelity Management & Research Company to manage the proxy voting on behalf of the Trust Funds (except for the Trust Funds that are sub-advised by FIL Limited (“FIL”)), in accordance with the following sub-advisers proxy voting guidelines:

  • FIAM Proxy Voting Guidelines (includes FIAM Trust Company)
  • Fidelity (Canada) Asset Management ULC Proxy Voting Guidelines
  • FMR Co. Inc. Proxy Voting Guidelines (includes Fidelity Institutional Money Management, Ltd.)

For the Trust Funds that are sub-advised by FIL, FIL manages the proxy voting in accordance with the FIL Proxy Voting Guidelines. Fidelity’s approach to proxy voting decisions is consistent with our approach to investment decisions: we evaluate proposals on economic merit and support those that are reasonably likely to enhance shareholder returns. With the focus on enhancing shareholder returns as the guiding theme, social considerations are generally not emphasized, in voting decisions.

To the extent that a company’s management is committed and incentivized to maximize shareholder value, we generally vote in favour of management’s proposal. However, adhering to our proxy voting guidelines does in fact sometimes result in our submitting proxy votes that are contrary to the recommendations in every proxy voting season. One example includes our voting against overly dilutives share compensation plans that do not adequately align management and shareholder interests. Fidelity can ultimately voice its opinions on the policies of management through the level of ownership the Fidelity Funds maintain in the individual companies.

In addition, Fidelity may choose not to exercise its voting rights at certain company meetings in instances where trading restrictions are placed on voted shares. This situation occurs most often in foreign countries in which voted shares cannot be traded from the time the vote is cast until the day after the meeting.