SOURCE: Putnam Investments

Putnam Investments

August 09, 2011 13:03 ET

Putnam Funds Report Proxy Voting Results

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Aug 9, 2011) - The Putnam Funds have reported their proxy voting records for the twelve month period ended June 30, 2011. During this period, the Putnam Funds voted against approximately 29% of the proposals by U.S.-based companies to adopt or amend stock option or restricted stock equity compensation plans in which company executives or directors would participate. In most instances, the Funds opposed these proposals because they did not meet the Funds' guidelines limiting dilution. The Funds also withheld votes from approximately 11% of the nominees for director at U.S.-based companies, generally because the nominees failed to satisfy the Funds' independence standards or failed to meet the Funds' standards for sound corporate governance, which require among other things establishing reasonable executive compensation programs.

"The Trustees are dedicated to voting proxies on behalf of Fund shareholders in a way that promotes sound corporate governance practices," said Jameson A. Baxter, independent Chair of the Funds. "We have long believed that this can enhance shareholder value by encouraging principled conduct and accountability at the companies in which the Putnam Funds invest."

"Stockholders of public companies are entitled to the honest services of boards of directors that are effectively independent from company management," said Ms. Baxter. "The Funds employ strict criteria for director independence that are in some respects even more demanding than the NYSE standards, and will generally withhold votes from entire boards or individual director nominees if these criteria are not satisfied. The Funds may also withhold votes from directors who fail to observe good corporate governance practices or who demonstrate a disregard for the interests of shareholders. In assessing whether directors have met our high standards for corporate governance, we pay particular attention to the executive compensation arrangements -- including equity-based compensation plans, severance arrangements, and perquisites -- that they have approved. We consider on a case by case basis whether a company's directors have approved compensation arrangements for company management that are excessive by reasonable corporate standards or that fail to align the incentives of company management with the long-term interest of stockholders in the company's performance. We also evaluate the quality of the company's compensation disclosure; we believe that shareholders are entitled to complete and forthright disclosure of compensation practices. When the Funds withhold votes from some or all of a company's directors to register dissatisfaction with the company's corporate governance practices or executive compensation arrangements, we send a letter to the company explaining the reasons for the Funds' action. We will continue our diligent focus on critical elements of corporate governance in future years."

The Putnam Funds' 2011 proxy voting guidelines and their proxy voting records for the twelve-months ended June 30, 2011 are available on Putnam's website at

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