TIAA-CREF Institutional Mutual Funds will hold a special shareholder meeting in New York Wednesday to vote on an investment advisory agreement for eight mutual funds with Teachers Advisors that would raise advisory fees. That same fee increase agreement was rejected last August in a shareholder vote "as a result of the voting by a few large institutional shareholders," some of which have since "indicated a willingness to re-examine their vote," according to a TIAA-CREF statement.
Under the proposal, fees for the International Equity Fund would rise to 0.5% from 0.09%; Large-Cap Value to 0.45% from 0.08; Small-Cap Equity to 0.48% from 0.08%; Social Choice Equity to 0.15% from 0.04%; Real Estate Securities to 0.5% from 0.09%; Bond to 0.3% from 0.08%; Inflation-Linked Bond, to 0.3% from 0.09%; and Money Market to 0.1% from 0.04%
TIAA-CREF didn't pursue a revote for the Growth Equity Fund, whose fee increase was also rejected last August, because "its performance has been in question," said Stephanie Cohen Glass, director of corporate media relations.
Teachers Advisors, a unit of TIAA-CREF Enterprises, would have difficulty operating the funds without the fee increases, according to the TIAA-CREF Institutional Mutual Funds proxy statement. TIAA-CREF could close the funds and set up new funds with higher fees if the increase is again rejected, the proxy statement added.
The biggest institutional holders, according to the proxy statement, include JPMorgan Retirement Plans Program, whose holdings of four of the funds range from 9% to 12.18%; SEI Private Trust, whose holdings of seven of the funds range from 14.28% to 60.01%; California Golden State ScholarShare College Savings Trust 529 Plan, Sacramento, whose holding of six of the funds range from 14.39% to 39.99%; and TIAA-CREF Trust, whose holdings of seven of the funds range from 14.2% to 53.26%.
Voting closes at 4 p.m. EST Wednesday.
Also, members of the Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition plan to demonstrate at the shareholders meeting to urge TIAA-CREF to use its clout to either influence companies to improve practices involving human rights, public health and environmental issues or to divest shares in such corporations, according to Neil Wollman, group representative and professor of psychology, Manchester College, North Manchester, Ind.