We consider customer privacy to be a fundamental aspect of our relationships with shareholders and are committed to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and security of our current, prospective and former shareholders’ personal information. To ensure our shareholders’ privacy, we have developed policies that are designed to protect this confidentiality, while allowing shareholders’ needs to be served.
Obtaining Personal Information
In the course of providing shareholders with products and services, we may obtain non-public personal information about shareholders, which may come from sources such as account applications and other forms, from other written, electronic or verbal correspondence, from shareholder transactions, from a shareholder’s brokerage or financial advisory firm, financial adviser or consultant, and/or from information captured on our internet web sites.
Respecting Your Privacy
As a matter of policy, we do not disclose any personal or account information provided by shareholders or gathered by us to non-affiliated third parties, except as required for our everyday business purposes, such as to process transactions or service a shareholder’s account, or as otherwise permitted by law. As is common in the industry, non-affiliated companies may from time to time be used to provide certain services, such as preparing and mailing prospectuses, reports, account statements and other information, and gathering shareholder proxies. We may also retain non-affiliated financial services providers, such as broker-dealers, to market our shares or products and we may enter into joint-marketing arrangements with them and other financial companies. We may also retain marketing and research service firms to conduct research on shareholder satisfaction. These companies may have access to a shareholder’s personal and account information, but are permitted to use this information solely to provide the specific service or as otherwise permitted by law. We may also provide a shareholder’s personal and account information to their respective brokerage or financial advisory firm, Custodian, and/or to their financial advisor or consultant.
Sharing Information with Third Parties
We reserve the right to disclose or report personal information to non-affiliated third parties, in limited circumstances, where we believe in good faith that disclosure is required under law to cooperate with regulators or law enforcement authorities, to protect our rights or property or upon reasonable request by any Fund in which a shareholder has chosen to invest. In addition, we may disclose information about a shareholder or a shareholder’s accounts to a non-affiliated third party only if we receive a shareholder’s written request or consent.
Sharing Information with Affiliates
We may share shareholder information with our affiliates in connection with our affiliates’ everyday business purposes, such as servicing a shareholder’s account, but our affiliates may not use this information to market products and services to you except in conformance with applicable laws or regulations. The information we share includes information about our experiences and transactions with a shareholder and may include, for example, a shareholder’s participation in one of the Funds or in other investment programs, a shareholder’s ownership of certain types of accounts (such as IRAs), or other data about a shareholder’s transactions or accounts. Our affiliates, in turn, are not permitted to share shareholder information with non-affiliated entities, except as required or permitted by law.
Procedures to Safeguard Private Information
We take seriously the obligation to safeguard shareholder non-public personal information. In addition to this policy, we have also implemented procedures that are designed to restrict access to a shareholder’s non-public personal information only to internal personnel who need to know that information in order to provide products or services to such shareholders. In addition, we have physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in place to guard a shareholder’s non-public personal information.
Disposal of Confidential Records
We will dispose of records, if any, that are knowingly derived from data received from a consumer reporting agency regarding a shareholder that is an individual in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of the data is maintained. Such records include, among other things, copies of consumer reports and notes of conversations with individuals at consumer reporting agencies.
Cookies and Web Beacons
Certain pages of this Site and promotional e-mail messages or newsletters we send may contain electronic images known as Web beacons – sometimes called single-pixel gifs – that allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon. Some of these Web beacons may be placed by third party service providers to help determine the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns or e-mail communications. These Web beacons may be used by these service providers to place a persistent cookie on your computer. Doing this allows the service provider to recognize your computer each time you visit certain pages or e-mails and compile anonymous information in relation to those page views. These third parties are not permitted to use Web beacons to collect or access your personal information.