485APOS 1 c71493_485apos.htm
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 2, 2012
Securities Act File No. 333-123257
Investment Company Act File No. 811-10325



 

 

 

United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

 

FORM N-1A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933

x

 

Pre-Effective Amendment No.

o

 

Post Effective Amendment No. 889

x

 

and/or

 

 

Registration Statement Under the Investment Company Act of 1940

x

 

Amendment No. 893

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARKET VECTORS ETF TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

 

335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor

New York, New York 10017

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(212) 293-2000

Registrant’s Telephone Number

Joseph J. McBrien, Esq.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Van Eck Associates Corporation

335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor

New York, New York 10017

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

 

Copy to:

Stuart M. Strauss, Esq.

Dechert LLP

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036

 

 

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.

 

 

 

 

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THIS FILING WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE (CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX)

 

 

o

Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

o

On [date] pursuant to paragraph (b)

o

60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

o

On [date] pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

x

75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

o

On [date] pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of rule 485




The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. The Trust may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

Subject to Completion

Preliminary Prospectus dated November 2, 2012

 

 

(MARKET VECTORS ETFS LOGO)


 

 

 

(PROSPECTUS LOGO)

 

 

 

[     ], 2012

[LOGO]

 


Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF ([     ])




Principal U.S. Listing Exchange for the Fund: NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

 

 

(VAN ECK GLOBAL LOGO)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 




Table of Contents

 

 

Summary Information

3

Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF

3

Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks

9

Portfolio Holdings

16

Management of the Fund

16

Portfolio Managers

17

Shareholder Information

18

Index Provider

23

Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond Index

24

License Agreement and Disclaimers

26

Financial Highlights

27

Premium/Discount Information

28

General Information

29



SUMMARY INFORMATION

MARKET VECTORS-ALTMAN DEFAULTED & DISTRESSED BOND ETF

Investment Objective

Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond Index (the “Index”).

Fund Fees and Expenses

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”).

 

 

 

 

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

 

None

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

 

 

Management Fee

 

[     ]%

 

Other Expenses(a)

 

[     ]%

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses(b)

 

[     ]%

 

Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursement(b)

 

[     ]%

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and Expense Reimbursement(b)

 

[     ]%

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

(a)

“Other Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

 

 

(b)

Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding [     ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until at least [       ], 2013. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Fund’s Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.

Expense Example

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.

The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% annual return and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

 

 

YEAR

EXPENSES

1

$[     ]

3

$[     ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund will pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it purchases and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, may affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund is newly organized, no portfolio turnover figures are available.

3


Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund normally invests at least 80% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Fund’s benchmark index. The Index is comprised of defaulted bonds and distressed bonds that trade at no less than a 10% spread (yield to worst) over a comparable Treasury security. [Yield to worst measures the lowest potential yield that can be received on a bond based on the terms of the bond indenture. Defaulted bonds are bonds that are issued by companies that have failed to make timely payment of interest or principal or to otherwise comply with the provisions of the bond indenture. Distressed bonds are bonds that, in the judgment of Market Vectors Index Solutions GmbH (the “Index Provider”), are issued by companies that are, or might be, involved in reorganizations or financial restructurings, either out of court or in bankruptcy.] Qualifying securities must have a below investment grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (“S&P”) and Fitch International Rating Agency (“Fitch”)). The Index includes bonds issued by both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Index included [    ] below investment grade bonds of [    ] issuers from the following countries: Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and approximately [    ]% of the Index is comprised of Rule 144A securities and [    ]% of Regulation S securities. The Fund’s 80% investment policy is non-fundamental and requires 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders before it can be changed.

The Fund, using a “passive” or indexing investment approach, attempts to approximate the investment performance of the Index. The Adviser expects that, over time, the correlation between the Fund’s performance before fees and expenses and that of the Index will be 95% or better. A figure of 100% would indicate perfect correlation. Because of the practical difficulties and expense of purchasing all of the securities in the Index, the Fund does not purchase all of the securities in the Index. Instead, the Adviser utilizes a “sampling” methodology in seeking to achieve the Fund’s objective. As such, the Fund may purchase a subset of the bonds in the Index in an effort to hold a portfolio of bonds with generally the same risk and return characteristics of the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Index is concentrated in the industrials sector and the financial services sector represented a significant portion of the Index.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

Investors in the Fund should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility in the price of the Fund’s Shares and the possibility of significant losses. An investment in the Fund involves a substantial degree of risk. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Therefore, you should consider carefully the following risks before investing in the Fund.

4


Defaulted and Distressed Securities Risk. Defaulted and distressed bonds are rated below investment grade or deemed to be of comparable quality and are commonly referred to as high yield bonds or “junk bonds.” Defaulted and distressed bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities and are considered speculative. The prices of defaulted and distressed bonds are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual issuer developments than higher rated securities. During an economic downturn or substantial period of rising interest rates, distressed security issuers may experience financial stress that would adversely affect their ability to service their principal and interest payment obligations, to meet their projected business goals or to obtain additional financing. In the event of a default, the Fund may incur additional expenses to seek recovery. The repayment of defaulted bonds is subject to significant uncertainties. Defaulted bonds might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Workout or bankruptcy proceedings typically result in only partial recovery of cash payments or an exchange of the defaulted bond for other debt or equity securities of the issuer or its affiliates, which may in turn be illiquid or speculative. The secondary market for defaulted and distressed bonds may be less liquid than the markets for higher quality securities and, as such, may have an adverse effect on the market prices of certain bonds. The illiquidity of the market may also, at certain times, adversely affect the Fund’s ability to arrive at a fair value for certain defaulted and distressed bonds. The illiquidity of the market also could make it difficult for the Fund to sell certain securities in connection with a rebalancing of the Index. In addition, periods of economic uncertainty and change probably would result in an increased volatility of market prices of defaulted and distressed bonds and a corresponding volatility in the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”).

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Risk. Defaulted obligations might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Many events in a bankruptcy proceeding are the product of contested matters and adversary proceedings and are beyond the control of the creditors. There are also a number of significant risks inherent in the bankruptcy process. A bankruptcy filing by an issuer may adversely and permanently affect the market position and operations of the issuer. Many factors of the bankruptcy process, including court decisions, the size and priority of other claims, and the duration and costs of the bankruptcy process, are beyond the control of the Fund and can adversely affect the Fund’s return on investment. For example, a court could invalidate or subordinate a debt obligation of, or reclaim amounts paid by a debtor to, the Fund. To the extent that any such payments are recaptured from the Fund the resulting loss will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. [The Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, may also participate on committees formed by creditors to negotiate with debtors with respect to restructuring issues. There can be no assurance that the Adviser’s participation would yield favorable results for the Fund, and such participation may subject the Fund to additional duties, and trading restrictions in a particular investment.]

Credit Risk. Bonds are subject to credit risk. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will be unable and/or unwilling to make timely interest payments and/or repay the principal on its debt. Bonds are subject to varying degrees of credit risk which may be reflected in credit ratings. There is a possibility that the credit rating of a bond may be downgraded after purchase, which may adversely affect the value of the security.

Interest Rate Risk. Bonds are also subject to interest rate risk. Interest rate risk refers to fluctuations in the value of a bond resulting from changes in the general level of interest rates. When the general level of interest rates goes up, the prices of most bonds go down. When the general level of interest rates goes down, the prices of most bonds go up.

Restricted Securities Risk. Rule 144A securities and Regulation S securities are restricted securities. They may be less liquid than other investments because, at times, such securities cannot be readily sold and the Fund might be unable to dispose of such securities promptly or at reasonable prices. A restricted security that was liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid.

5


Market Risk. The prices of the securities in the Fund are subject to the risks associated with investing in bonds, including general economic conditions and sudden and unpredictable drops in value. An investment in the Fund may lose money.

Call Risk. The Fund may invest in callable bonds, and such issuers may “call” or repay these securities with higher coupon or interest rates before the security’s maturity date. If interest rates are falling, the Fund may have to reinvest the unanticipated proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.

Risk of Investing in Foreign Securities. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Foreign issuers are often subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are U.S. issuers, and therefore, not all material information may be available or reliable. Securities exchanges or foreign governments may adopt rules or regulations that may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in foreign securities or may prevent the Fund from repatriating its investments. In addition, the Fund may not receive shareholder communications or be permitted to vote the securities that it holds, as the issuers may be under no legal obligation to distribute shareholder communications.

Risk of Investing in the Industrials Sector. Because as currently constituted the Index is concentrated in the industrials sector, the Fund is sensitive to changes in, and its performance may depend on, the overall condition of the industrials sector. The industrials sector includes companies engaged in the manufacture and distribution of capital goods, such as those used in defense, construction and engineering, companies that manufacture and distribute electrical equipment and industrial machinery and those that provide commercial and transportation services and supplies. Companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by changes in government regulation, world events and economic conditions. In addition, companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by environmental damages, product liability claims and exchange rates. The success of these companies is affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. The products of manufacturing companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction. In addition, the industrials sector may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced or characterized by unpredictable factors.

Risk of Investing in the Financial Services Sector. Because as currently constituted the financial services sector represents a significant portion of the Index, the Fund will be sensitive to changes in, and its performance may depend on, the overall condition of the financial services sector. The financial services sector includes companies engaged in banking, commercial and consumer finance, investment banking, brokerage, asset management, custody or insurance. Companies in the financial services sector may be subject to extensive government regulation that affects the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. The profitability of companies in the financial services sector may be adversely affected by increases in interest rates. The profitability of companies in the financial services sector may be adversely affected by loan losses, which usually increase in economic downturns. In addition, the financial services sector is undergoing numerous changes, including continuing consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. Furthermore, increased government involvement in the financial services sector, including measures such as taking ownership positions in financial institutions, could result in a dilution of the Fund’s investments in financial institutions. Recent developments in the credit markets have caused companies operating in the financial services sector to incur large losses, experience declines in the value of their assets and even cease operations.

6


Sampling Risk. The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting an issuer of securities held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to an issuer of securities in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Index Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index and raising cash to meet redemptions or deploying cash in connection with newly created Creation Units (defined herein). In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions represented in the Index. The Fund is expected to value certain of its investments based on fair value prices. To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of the Index is based on securities’ closing prices on local foreign markets (i.e., the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices), the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. Because the Fund bears the costs and risks associated with buying and selling securities while such costs and risks are not factored into the return of the Index, the Fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Index.

Replication Management Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any bond fund, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. However, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble. Therefore, the Fund’s performance could be lower than mutual funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.

Premium/Discount Risk. Disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses.

Risk of Cash Transactions. Unlike most other exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), the Fund expects to effect a portion of its creations and redemptions for cash. As such, investments in Shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in a conventional ETF.

7


Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”). Therefore, the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in the obligations of a single issuer. As a result, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s NAV and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds.

Concentration Risk. The Fund’s assets may be concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries to the extent the Index concentrates in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries. Based on the current composition of the Index, it is expected that the Fund’s assets will be concentrated in the industrials sector and that the Fund will be subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on that sector will negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries.

Performance

The Fund has not yet commenced operations and therefore does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible on the Fund’s website at www.marketvectorsetfs.com.

Portfolio Management

Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation.

Portfolio Managers. The following individuals are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:

 

 

 

Name

Title with Adviser

Date Began Managing the Fund

     

Michael F. Mazier

Portfolio Manager

Since inception

     

Francis G. Rodilosso

Portfolio Manager

Since inception

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares, each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 200,000 Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are expected to be approved for listing, subject to notice of issuance, on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and because Shares will trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains.

8


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
AND RISKS

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund uses a sampling approach in seeking to achieve its investment objective. Sampling means that the Adviser uses quantitative analysis to select a representative sample of securities that the Adviser believes collectively have an investment profile similar to the underlying Index. The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics (such as return variability, duration, maturity or credit ratings and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The quantity of holdings in the Fund will be based on a number of factors, including asset size of the Fund. The Adviser generally expects the Fund to hold less than the total number of securities in the Index, but reserves the right to hold as many securities as it believes necessary to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. In addition, from time to time, securities are added to or removed from the Index. The Fund may sell securities that are represented in the Index, or purchase securities that are not yet represented in the Index, in anticipation of their removal from or addition to the Index. Further, the Adviser may choose to underweight or overweight securities, purchase or sell securities not in the Index, or utilize various combinations of other available investment techniques, in seeking to track the Index.

Additional Investment Strategies

The Fund may invest in securities not included in the Index, money market instruments, including repurchase agreements or other funds which invest exclusively in money market instruments, convertible securities, structured notes (notes on which the amount of principal repayment and interest payments are based on the movement of one or more specified factors, such as the movement of a particular stock or stock index), and certain derivatives. Convertible securities, certain derivatives and depositary receipts may be used the Fund in seeking performance that corresponds to the Index, and in managing cash flows, and may count towards compliance with the Fund’s 80% policy. The Fund will not invest in money market instruments as part of a temporary defensive strategy to protect against potential stock market declines. The Fund may also invest, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, in other affiliated and unaffiliated funds, such as open-end or closed-end management investment companies, including other ETFs.

An authorized participant (i.e., a person eligible to place orders with the Distributor (defined below) to create or redeem Creation Units of the Fund) that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), will not be able to receive, as part of a redemption, restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Borrowing Money

The Fund may borrow money from a bank up to a limit of one-third of the market value of its assets. To the extent that the Fund borrows money, it will be leveraged; at such times, the Fund will appreciate or depreciate in value more rapidly than the Index.

Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Policies

The Fund’s investment objective and each of its other investment policies are non-fundamental policies that may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval, except as noted in this Prospectus or the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) under the section entitled “Investment Policies and Restrictions—Investment Restrictions.”

9


Lending Portfolio Securities

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions desiring to borrow securities to complete transactions and for other purposes. In connection with such loans, the Fund receives liquid collateral equal to at least 102% of the value of the portfolio securities being loaned. This collateral is marked-to-market on a daily basis. Although the Fund will receive collateral in connection with all loans of its securities holdings, the Fund would be exposed to a risk of loss should a borrower fail to return the borrowed securities (e.g., the Fund would have to buy replacement securities and the loaned securities may have appreciated beyond the value of the collateral held by the Fund) or become insolvent. The Fund may pay fees to the party arranging the loan of securities. In addition, the Fund will bear the risk of loss of any cash collateral that it invests.

Risks of Investing in the Fund

The following section provides additional information regarding certain of the principal risks identified under “Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” in the Fund’s “Summary Information” section along with additional risk information.

Investors in the Fund should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility in the price of the Fund’s Shares and the possibility of significant losses. An investment in the Fund involves a substantial degree of risk. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Therefore, you should consider carefully the following risks before investing in the Fund.

Defaulted and Distressed Securities Risk. Defaulted and distressed bonds are rated below investment grade or deemed to be of comparable quality and are commonly referred to as high yield bonds or “junk bonds.” Defaulted and distressed bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities and are considered speculative. The prices of defaulted and distressed bonds are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual issuer developments than higher rated securities. During an economic downturn or substantial period of rising interest rates, distressed security issuers may experience financial stress that would adversely affect their ability to service their principal and interest payment obligations, to meet their projected business goals or to obtain additional financing. In the event of a default, the Fund may incur additional expenses to seek recovery. The repayment of defaulted bonds is subject to significant uncertainties. Defaulted bonds might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Workout or bankruptcy proceedings typically result in only partial recovery of cash payments or an exchange of the defaulted bond for other debt or equity securities of the issuer or its affiliates, which may in turn be illiquid or speculative. The secondary market for defaulted and distressed bonds may be less liquid than the markets for higher quality securities and, as such, may have an adverse effect on the market prices of certain bonds. The illiquidity of the market may also, at certain times, adversely affect the Fund’s ability to arrive at a fair value for certain defaulted and distressed bonds. The illiquidity of the market also could make it difficult for the Fund to sell certain securities in connection with a rebalancing of the Index. In addition, periods of economic uncertainty and change probably would result in an increased volatility of market prices of defaulted and distressed bonds and a corresponding volatility in the Fund’s NAV.

10


Insolvency and Bankruptcy Risk. Defaulted obligations might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Many events in a bankruptcy proceeding are the product of contested matters and adversary proceedings and are beyond the control of the creditors. There are also a number of significant risks inherent in the bankruptcy process. A bankruptcy filing by an issuer may adversely and permanently affect the market position and operations of the issuer. Many factors of the bankruptcy process, including court decisions, the size and priority of other claims, and the duration and costs of the bankruptcy process, are beyond the control of the Fund and can adversely affect the Fund’s return on investment. For example, a court could invalidate or subordinate a debt obligation of, or reclaim amounts paid by a debtor to, the Fund. To the extent that any such payments are recaptured from the Fund the resulting loss will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. [The Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, may also participate on committees formed by creditors to negotiate with debtors with respect to restructuring issues. There can be no assurance that the Adviser’s participation would yield favorable results for the Fund, and such participation may subject the Fund to additional duties, and trading restrictions in a particular investment.]

Credit Risk. Debt securities, such as bonds, are subject to credit risk. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will be unable and/or unwilling to make timely interest payments and/or repay the principal on its debt. Debt securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk which may be reflected in credit ratings. There is a possibility that the credit rating of a debt security may be downgraded after purchase or the perception of an issuer’s credit worthiness may decline, which may adversely affect the value of the security.

Interest Rate Risk. Debt securities, such as bonds, are also subject to interest rate risk. Interest rate risk refers to fluctuations in the value of a debt security resulting from changes in the general level of interest rates. When the general level of interest rates goes up, the prices of most debt securities go down. When the general level of interest rates goes down, the prices of most debt securities go up.

Restricted Securities Risk. Rule 144A securities and Regulation S securities are restricted securities. Restricted securities are securities that are not registered under the Securities Act. They may be less liquid and more difficult to value than other investments because such securities may not be readily marketable. The Fund may not be able to sell a restricted security promptly or at a reasonable price. Although there may be a substantial institutional market for these securities, it is not possible to predict exactly how the market for such securities will develop. A restricted security that was liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid and its value may decline as a result. Restricted securities that are deemed illiquid will count towards the Fund’s 15% limitation on illiquid securities. In addition, transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than for more liquid securities. The Fund may have to bear the expense of registering restricted securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration.

Market Risk. The prices of the securities in the Fund are subject to the risks associated with investing in bonds, including general economic conditions and sudden and unpredictable drops in value. Overall securities values could decline generally or could underperform other investments. An investment in the Fund may lose money.

Call Risk. The Fund may invest in callable bonds. If interest rates fall, it is possible that issuers of callable securities with high interest coupons will “call” (or prepay) their bonds before their maturity date. If a call were exercised by the issuer during a period of declining interest rates, the Fund is likely to have to replace such called security with a lower yielding security. If that were to happen, it would decrease the Fund’s net investment income.

11


Risk of Investing in Foreign Securities. Investments in the securities of non-U.S. issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Foreign issuers are often subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are U.S. issuers, and therefore, not all material information may be available or reliable. Securities exchanges or foreign governments may adopt rules or regulations that may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in foreign securities or may prevent the Fund from repatriating its investments. In addition, the Fund may not receive shareholder communications or be permitted to vote the securities that it holds, as the issuers may be under no legal obligation to distribute shareholder communications.

Risk of Investing in the Industrials Sector. Because as currently constituted the Index is concentrated in the industrials sector, the Fund will be sensitive to changes in, and its performance may depend on, the overall condition of the industrials sector. The industrials sector includes companies engaged in the manufacture and distribution of capital goods, such as those used in defense, construction and engineering, companies that manufacture and distribute electrical equipment and industrial machinery and those that provide commercial and transportation services and supplies. Companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by changes in government regulation, world events and economic conditions. In addition, companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by environmental damages, product liability claims and exchange rates. The success of these companies is affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. The products of manufacturing companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction. In addition, the industrials sector may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced or characterized by unpredictable factors.

Risk of Investing in the Financial Services Sector. Because as currently constituted the financial services sector represents a significant portion of the Index, the Fund will be sensitive to changes in, and its performance may depend on, the overall condition of the financial services sector. The financial services sector includes engaged in banking, commercial and consumer finance, investment banking, brokerage, asset management, custody or insurance. Companies in the financial services sector may be subject to extensive government regulation that affects the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. The profitability of companies in the financial services sector may be adversely affected by increases in interest rates. The profitability of companies in the financial services sector may be adversely affected by loan losses, which usually increase in economic downturns. In addition, the financial services sector is undergoing numerous changes, including continuing consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. Furthermore, increased government involvement in the financial services sector, including measures such as taking ownership positions in financial institutions, could result in a dilution of the Fund’s investments in financial institutions. Recent developments in the credit markets have caused companies operating in the financial services sector to incur large losses, experience declines in the value of their assets and even cease operations.

Sampling Risk. The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting an issuer of securities held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to an issuer of securities in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

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Index Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index and raising cash to meet redemptions or deploying cash in connection with newly created Creation Units. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions represented in such Index and can be expected to result in greater tracking error than if the Fund used a replication indexing strategy. The Fund’s return may also deviate significantly from the return of the Index because the Fund bears the costs and risks associated with buying and selling securities while such costs and risks are not factored into the return of the Index. The Fund may not be fully invested at times either as a result of cash flows into the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions and pay expenses. In addition, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities included in the Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Index, due to legal restrictions or limitations or a lack of liquidity on stock exchanges in which such securities trade. Moreover, the Fund may be delayed in purchasing or selling securities included in the Index.

To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices or on prices that differ from those used in calculating the Index, the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. The need to comply with the tax diversification and other requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“Internal Revenue Code”), to qualify as a regulated investment company may also impact the Fund’s ability to replicate the performance of the Index. In addition, if the Fund utilizes depositary receipts and other derivative instruments, its return may not correlate as well with the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all the securities in the Index directly.

Replication Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer is in financial trouble. If a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund may be forced to sell such security at an inopportune time or for prices other than at current market values. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund of fixed income securities traded on an exchange, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. The Fund’s Index may not contain the appropriate or a diversified mix of securities for any particular economic cycle. The timing of changes in the securities of the Fund’s portfolio in seeking to replicate the Index could have a negative effect on the Fund. Unlike with an actively managed fund, the Adviser does not use techniques or defensive strategies designed to lessen the effects of market volatility or to reduce the impact of periods of market decline. This means that, based on market and economic conditions, the Fund’s performance could be lower than other types of mutual funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.

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Premium/Discount Risk. Disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV. The NAV of the Shares will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s securities holdings. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV and supply and demand on NYSE Arca. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of the Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses.

Risk of Cash Transactions. Unlike most other ETFs, the Fund expects to effect a portion of its creations and redemptions for cash. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in a more conventional ETF. Other ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid realizing gains in connection with transactions designed to raise cash to meet redemption requests. Because the Fund currently intends to effect a portion of redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind distributions, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds, which involves transaction costs. If the Fund recognizes gain on these sales, this generally will cause the Fund to recognize gain it might not otherwise have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required. The Fund generally intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the Fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than, if they had made an investment in a different ETF.

In addition, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, will be passed on to purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. See “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units” in the Fund’s SAI. Certain countries may also impose higher local tax rates on transactions involving certain companies. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s Shares than for more conventional ETFs.

Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is a separate investment portfolio of Market Vectors ETF Trust (the “Trust”), which is an open-end investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that it will be more volatile than a diversified fund because the Fund may invest its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in the obligations of a single issuer. As a result, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s NAV and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds.

Concentration Risk. The Fund’s assets may be concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index concentrates in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries. The securities of many or all of the companies in the same sector or industry may decline in value due to developments adversely affecting such sector or industry. By concentrating its assets in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries, the Fund is subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on that sector or industry will negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries. Based on the current composition of the Index, it is expected that the Fund’s assets will be concentrated in the industrials sector and that the Fund will be subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on that sector will negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries.

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Additional Risks

Risk of Investing in Derivatives. Derivatives are financial instruments whose values are based on the value of one or more indicators, such as a security, asset, currency, interest rate, or index. The Fund’s use of derivatives involves risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying indicator, a derivative does not carry the same rights as would be the case if the Fund invested directly in the underlying securities.

Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments or as a result of the counterparty’s credit quality and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect the Adviser anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage, may be highly volatile, and the Fund could lose more than the amount it invests. The use of derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders of the Fund.

Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” (not on an exchange or contract market); as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on the ability and the willingness of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the Fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the Fund’s derivative positions at any time.

Zero-Coupon and Payment-in-Kind Securities Risk. Zero-coupon securities are securities that are sold at a discount to par value and on which interest payments are not made during the life of the security. Upon maturity, the holder is entitled to receive the par value of the security. Payment-in-kind securities are securities that have interest payable by delivery of additional securities. Upon maturity, the holder is entitled to receive the aggregate par value of the securities. The Fund accrues income with respect to zero-coupon and payment-in-kind securities prior to the receipt of cash payments. Even though periodic interest payments are not made on such securities, tax rules require the Fund to distribute accrued income, which may require the Fund to liquidate securities at unfavorable prices or borrow money in order to make these distributions.

Leverage Risk. To the extent that the Fund borrows money or utilizes certain derivatives, it will be leveraged. Leveraging generally exaggerates the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

Absence of Prior Active Market. The Fund is a newly organized series of an investment company and thus has no operating history. While the Fund’s Shares are expected to be listed on NYSE Arca, there can be no assurance that active trading markets for the Shares will develop or be maintained. Van Eck Securities Corporation, the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”), does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares.

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Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on NYSE Arca may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of NYSE Arca, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on NYSE Arca is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to NYSE Arca’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of NYSE Arca necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s SAI.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees of the Trust has responsibility for the general oversight of the management of the Fund, including general supervision of the Adviser and other service providers, but is not involved in the day-to-day management of the Trust. A list of the Trustees and the Trust officers, and their present positions and principal occupations, is provided in the Fund’s SAI.

Investment Adviser. Under the terms of an investment management agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Associates Corporation with respect to the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), Van Eck Associates Corporation serves as the adviser to the Fund and, subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees, will be responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the Fund. As of June 30, 2012, the Adviser managed approximately $32 billion in assets. The Adviser has been an investment adviser since 1955 and also acts as adviser or sub-adviser to other mutual funds, ETFs, other pooled investment vehicles and separate accounts. The Adviser’s principal business address is 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017. A discussion regarding the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Investment Management Agreement will be available in the Trust’s [semi-]annual report for the [year/period] ended [           ].

For the services provided to the Fund under the Investment Management Agreement, the Fund will pay the Adviser monthly fees based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets at the annual rate of [    ]%. From time to time, the Adviser may waive all or a portion of its fee. Until at least [    ], 2013, the Adviser has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding [    ]% of its average daily net assets per year. Offering costs excluded from the expense cap are: (a) legal fees pertaining to the Fund’s Shares offered for sale; (b) SEC and state registration fees; and (c) initial fees paid for Shares of the Fund to be listed on an exchange.

The Fund is responsible for all of its expenses, including the investment advisory fees, costs of transfer agency, custody, legal, audit and other services, interest, taxes, any distribution fees or expenses, offering fees or expenses and extraordinary expenses.

Manager of Managers Structure. The Adviser and the Trust may rely on an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that permits the Adviser to enter into investment sub-advisory agreements with unaffiliated sub-advisers without obtaining shareholder approval. The Adviser, subject to the review and approval of the Board of Trustees, may select sub-advisers for the Fund and supervise, monitor and evaluate the performance of each sub-adviser.

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The Order also permits the Adviser, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, to replace sub-advisers and amend investment sub-advisory agreements, including fees, without shareholder approval whenever the Adviser and the Board of Trustees believe such action will benefit the Fund and its shareholders. The Adviser thus would have the responsibility (subject to the oversight of the Board of Trustees) to recommend the hiring and replacement of sub-advisers as well as the discretion to terminate any sub-adviser and reallocate the Fund’s assets for management among any other sub-adviser(s) and itself. This means that the Adviser would be able to reduce the sub-advisory fees and retain a larger portion of the management fee, or increase the sub-advisory fees and retain a smaller portion of the management fee. The Adviser would compensate each sub-adviser out of its management fee.

Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. Van Eck Associates Corporation is the administrator for the Fund (the “Administrator”), and The Bank of New York Mellon is the custodian of the Fund’s assets and provides transfer agency and fund accounting services to the Fund. The Administrator is responsible for certain clerical, recordkeeping and/or bookkeeping services which are provided pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement.

Distributor. Van Eck Securities Corporation is the distributor of the Shares. The Distributor will not distribute Shares in less than Creation Units, and does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares. The Shares are expected to be traded in the secondary market.

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The portfolio managers who share joint responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio are Michael F. Mazier and Francis G. Rodilosso. Mr. Mazier has been employed by the Adviser since August 2007 as a senior fixed income strategist and portfolio manager. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Mazier served as a bond analyst in the Fixed Income Research Department of Morgan Stanley. He was also Vice President at Merrill Lynch Global Research Department, where he covered closed-end funds. Mr. Mazier graduated from Syracuse University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Electrical Engineering; graduated from Villanova University in 1986 with a Master of Science in Computer Engineering; and graduated from Columbia Business School in 1990 with a Master of Business Administration. Mr. Mazier serves as the portfolio manager of [    ] other funds of the Trust. Mr. Mazier also serves as a portfolio manager for certain other investment companies advised by the Adviser. Mr. Rodilosso has been employed by the Adviser as a portfolio manager since March 2012. Mr. Rodilosso graduated from Princeton University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts and from the Wharton School of Business in 1993 with a Masters of Business Administration. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Rodilosso was Managing Director, Global Emerging Markets at The Seaport Group (January 2010 to March 2012), Founding Partner of Soundbrook Capital, LLC (June 2008 to December 2009) and Managing Director, Portfolio Manager and Head of Risk Management at Greylock Capital Management (2001 to 2008). Because the Fund is new, Messrs. Mazier and Rodilosso will be serving as the portfolio managers of the Fund since its inception. See the Fund’s SAI for additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and their respective ownership of Shares.

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SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION

Determination of NAV

The NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including the management fee, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is determined each business day as of the close of trading (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.

The values of the Fund’s portfolio securities are based on the securities’ closing prices on their local principal markets, where available. In the absence of a last reported sales price, or if no sales were reported, and for other assets for which market quotes are not readily available, values may be based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers or by an outside independent pricing service. Fixed income securities are normally valued on the basis of quotes from brokers or dealers, established market makers or an outside independent pricing service using data reflecting the earlier closing of the principal markets for those securities. Prices obtained by an outside independent pricing service use information provided by market makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data related to investments or securities with similar characteristics and may use a computerized grid matrix of securities and its evaluations in determining what it believes is the fair value of the portfolio securities. Short-term investments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost. If a market quotation for a security is not readily available or the Adviser believes it does not otherwise accurately reflect the market value of the security at the time the Fund calculates its NAV, the security will be fair valued by the Adviser in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The Fund may also use fair value pricing in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations where the value of a security in the Fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded (such as a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. In addition, the Fund currently expects that it will fair value certain of the foreign securities held by the Fund each day the Fund calculates its NAV, except those securities principally traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV. Accordingly, the Fund’s NAV is expected to reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices at the time the exchanges on which they principally trade close. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Index. This may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to track the Index. With respect to securities traded in foreign markets, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares.

Buying and Selling Exchange-Traded Shares

The Shares of the Fund are expected to be approved for listing on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance. If you buy or sell Shares in the secondary market, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges and may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. In times of severe market disruption or low trading volume in the Fund’s Shares, this spread can increase significantly. It is anticipated that the Shares will trade in the secondary market at prices that may differ to varying degrees from the NAV of the Shares. During periods of disruptions to creations and redemptions or the existence of extreme market volatility, the market prices of Shares are more likely to differ significantly from the Shares’ NAV.

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The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) serves as securities depository for the Shares. (The Shares may be held only in book-entry form; stock certificates will not be issued.) DTC, or its nominee, is the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or its participants (described below). Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares, each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of: (i) DTC; (ii) “DTC Participants,” i.e., securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC; and (iii) “Indirect Participants,” i.e., brokers, dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly, through which such beneficial owner holds its interests. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a beneficial owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes. For more information, see the section entitled “Book Entry Only System” in the Fund’s SAI.

The NYSE Arca is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares.

Market Timing and Related Matters. The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions. The Board of Trustees considered the nature of the Fund (i.e., a fund whose shares are expected to trade intra-day), that the Adviser monitors the trading activity of authorized participants for patterns of abusive trading, that the Fund reserves the right to reject orders that may be disruptive to the management of or otherwise not in the Fund’s best interests, and that the Fund fair values certain of its securities. Given this structure, the Board of Trustees determined that it is not necessary to impose restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions for the Fund at the present time.

Distributions

Net Investment Income and Capital Gains. As a shareholder of the Fund, you are entitled to your share of the Fund’s distributions of net investment income and net realized capital gains on its investments. The Fund pays out substantially all of its net earnings to its shareholders as “distributions.”

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The Fund typically earns income from interest debt securities. These amounts, net of expenses, are typically passed along to Fund shareholders as dividends from net investment income. The Fund realizes capital gains or losses whenever it sells securities. Net capital gains are distributed to shareholders as “capital gain distributions.” Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including any net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. Any long-term capital gains distributions you receive from the Fund are taxable as long-term capital gains.

Net investment income, if any, is typically distributed to shareholders at least annually while capital gains, if any, are typically distributed to shareholders at least annually. Dividends may be declared and paid more frequently to improve index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the Fund may determine to distribute at least annually amounts representing the full dividend yield net of expenses on the underlying investment securities, as if the Fund owned the underlying investment securities for the entire dividend period in which case some portion of each distribution may result in a return of capital, which, for tax purposes, is treated as a return on your investment in Shares. You will be notified regarding the portion of the distribution which represents a return of capital.

Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional Shares of the Fund only if the broker through which you purchased Shares makes such option available.

Tax Information

As with any investment, you should consider how your Fund investment will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in the Fund, including the possible application of foreign, state and local taxes. Unless your investment in the Fund is through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when: (i) the Fund makes distributions, (ii) you sell Shares in the secondary market or (iii) you create or redeem Creation Units.

Taxes on Distributions. As noted above, the Fund expects to distribute net investment income, if any, at least annually, and any net realized long-term or short-term capital gains, if any, annually. The Fund may also pay a special distribution at any time to comply with U.S. federal tax requirements.

Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including any net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. In general, your distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in the Fund. Distributions of net investment income are generally taxable as ordinary income. Whether distributions represent long-term or short-term capital gains is determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long you have owned your Shares. Distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long–term capital losses, if any, are generally taxable as ordinary income. Distributions of net long-term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses, if any, that are properly reported as capital gain dividends are generally taxable as long-term capital gains. Long-term capital gains of non-corporate shareholders are generally taxable at a maximum rate of 15%. Absent further legislation, the maximum tax rate on long-term capital gains of non-corporate shareholders will generally return to 20% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012.The Fund does not expect that any of its distributions will be qualified dividends eligible for lower tax rates or for the corporate dividends received deduction.

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Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of your investment to the extent of your basis in the Shares, and generally as capital gain thereafter. A return of capital, which for tax purposes is treated as a return of your investment, reduces your basis in Shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition of Shares. A distribution will reduce the Fund’s NAV per Share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an economic standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.

Dividends, interest and gains from non-U.S. investments of the Fund may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may, in some cases, reduce or eliminate such taxes.

Backup Withholding. The Fund may be required to withhold a percentage of your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or otherwise established a basis for exemption from backup withholding. The backup withholding rate for individuals is currently 28% and is scheduled to increase to 31% after 2012. This is not an additional tax and may be refunded, or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, provided certain required information is furnished to the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxes on the Sale or Cash Redemption of Exchange Listed Shares. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares is generally treated as long term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short -term capital gain or loss if held for one year or less. However, any capital loss on a sale of Shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such Shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited. To the extent that a shareholder’s Shares are redeemed for cash, this is normally treated as a sale for tax purposes.

Taxes on Creations and Redemptions of Creation Units. A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities for Creation Units or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax adviser with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible and the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.

Under current U.S. federal income tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.

If you create or redeem Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many Shares you created or sold and at what price.

Medicare Tax. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, an additional 3.8% Medicare tax will be imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.

21


Non-U.S. Shareholders. If you are not a citizen or resident alien of the United States or if you are a non-U.S. entity, the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

Effective January 1, 2014, the Fund will be required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of dividends and (effective January 1, 2015) redemption proceeds made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.

Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, including the possible applicability of the U.S. estate tax.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal income tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. Consult your own tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

22


INDEX PROVIDER

The Index is published by the Index Provider, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser. The Index Provider does not sponsor, endorse, or promote the Fund and bears no liability with respect to the Fund or any security

23


MARKET VECTORS-ALTMAN DEFAULTED & DISTRESSED BOND INDEX

The Index is comprised of defaulted bonds and distressed bonds that trade at no less than a 10% spread (yield to worst) over a comparable Treasury security. The Index is designed to track the defaulted and distressed bond markets with a target allocation between 50% to 80% in defaulted bonds and the remaining allocation in distressed bonds depending on the circumstances described below. Qualifying securities must have a below investment grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch). The Index includes bonds issued by both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Index included [    ] below investment grade bonds of [    ] issuers from the following countries: Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and approximately [    ]% of the Index is comprised of Rule 144A securities and [    ]% of Regulation S securities.

Qualifying securities must have at least one year remaining term to final maturity, a fixed coupon schedule and a minimum amount outstanding of $[ ] million. Original issue zero coupon bonds, Rule 144A securities, both with and without registration rights, and payment-in-kind securities, including toggle notes, qualify for inclusion in the Index. Payment-in-kind securities pay distributions or interest in the form of additional securities. Toggle notes are a type of payment-in-kind bond where the issuer has the option to defer an interest payment by agreeing to pay an increased coupon in the future. Callable perpetual securities qualify provided they are at least one year from the first call date. A callable perpetual security is a type of bond that has no maturity date but may be redeemed by the issuer at certain times. Fixed-to-floating rate securities also qualify provided they are callable within the fixed rate period and are at least one year from the last call prior to the date the bond transitions from a fixed to a floating rate security. Eurodollar bonds (USD) bonds not issued in the U.S. domestic market), taxable and tax-exempt U.S. municipal, warrant-bearing and dividends-received deduction (“DRD”)-eligible securities are excluded from the Index. DRD-eligible securities are securities whose distributions may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction.

The Index is a total-return modified market-capitalization weighted index comprised of defaulted bonds and distressed bonds. In order to be eligible for inclusion in the Index, defaulted bonds must: (i) default as of the twentieth day of the prior month; (ii) have no less than $100 million outstanding; (iii) be priced by a third-party pricing service for at least the past two prior month-ends; (iv) be domiciled in the United States or Canada, and denominated in the U.S. dollar; and (v) have a price at or greater than $0.05 per dollar of original par value. In order to be eligible for inclusion in the Index, distressed bonds must: (i) trade at no less than a 10% spread over comparable Treasury securities; (ii) have no less than $300 million outstanding; and (iii) be priced by a third-party pricing service [for a consistent period of time]. The Index shall have a target allocation between defaulted bonds and distressed bonds based on a 12-month trailing Altman-Kuehne Default Rate (the “Default Rate”). [The Default Rate measures and monitors the performance of defaulted debt securities and the distressed bank loan market.] The quarterly triggers and monthly target allocations are applied as follows: (i) 50% defaulted bonds and 50% distressed bonds when the Default Rate is at or below 4%; (ii) 65% defaulted bonds and 35% distressed bonds when the Default Rate is greater than 4% and at or below 7%; and (iii) 80% defaulted bonds and 20% distressed bonds when the Default Rate is above than 7%. Rebalancing between the target allocations shall be staggered at 5% monthly increments. For example, an index rebalance from 50% to 65% defaulted securities would take place over three months.

24


Index constituents are capitalization-weighted based on their current amount outstanding and issuers are capped at 5%. However, if this rule becomes infeasible due to a small number of issuers, then the issuers are equal-weighted within the defaulted bond and/or distressed bond category of the Index. Accrued interest is calculated assuming next-day settlement. Cash flows from bond payments that are received during each month are retained in the Index until the end of the month and then are removed as part of the rebalancing. Cash does not earn any reinvestment income while it is held in the Index.

The Index is rebalanced on the last calendar day of each month, based on information available up to and including the third business day before the last business day of the month. Issues that meet the qualifying criteria are included in the Index for the following month. Issues that no longer meet the criteria during the course of the month remain in the Index until the next month-end rebalancing at which point they are removed from the Index.

25


LICENSE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMERS

The Adviser has entered into a licensing agreement with the Index Provider to use the Index. The Fund is entitled to use the Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser.

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Index Provider. The Index Provider has not passed on the legality or suitability of, or the accuracy or adequacy of descriptions and disclosures relating to, the Fund, nor makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the Fund or the advisability of investing in the Fund, particularly the ability of the Index to track performance of any market or strategy. The Index Provider’s only relationship to the Adviser is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names and indices or components thereof. The Index is determined, composed and calculated by the Index Provider without regard to the Adviser or the Fund or its shareholders. The Index Provider has no obligation to take the needs of the Adviser or the shareholders of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Index. The Index Provider is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of the Shares of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares of the Fund are to be priced, sold, purchased, or redeemed. The Index Provider has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing, or trading of the Fund.

THE INDEX PROVIDER DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND THE INDEX PROVIDER SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, UNAVAILABILITY, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. THE INDEX PROVIDER MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE ADVISER, SHAREHOLDERS OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE INDEX PROVIDER MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE INDEX PROVIDER HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OR LOST PROFITS, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

26


FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus and therefore it does not have a financial history.

27


PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

The Fund has not yet commenced operations and, therefore, does not have information about the differences between the Fund’s daily market price on NYSE Arca and its NAV. Information regarding how often the Shares of the Fund traded on NYSE Arca at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund during the past four calendar quarters, as applicable, can be found at www.marketvectorsetfs.com.

28


GENERAL INFORMATION

Continuous Offering

The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.

For example, a broker dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells such Shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.

Broker dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary trading transactions), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the Securities Act. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(3)(A) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that, under Rule 153 of the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on NYSE Arca is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at NYSE Arca upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

Other Information

The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 15, 2001. Its Declaration of Trust currently permits the Trust to issue an unlimited number of Shares of beneficial interest. If shareholders are required to vote on any matters, each Share outstanding would be entitled to one vote. Annual meetings of shareholders will not be held except as required by the 1940 Act and other applicable law. See the Fund’s SAI for more information concerning the Trust’s form of organization. Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares of the Fund. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund.

29


Dechert LLP serves as counsel to the Trust, including the Fund. [          ] serves as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and will audit the Fund’s financial statements annually.

30


Additional Information

This Prospectus does not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC with respect to the Fund’s Shares. Information about the Fund can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1.202.551.8090. The Fund’s Registration Statement, including this Prospectus, the Fund’s SAI and the exhibits may be examined at the offices of the SEC (100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549) or on the EDGAR database at the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov), and copies may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following email address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, DC 20549-1520. These documents and other information concerning the Trust also may be inspected at the offices of NYSE Arca (20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005).

The SAI for the Fund, which has been filed with the SEC, provides more information about the Fund. The SAI for the Fund is incorporated herein by reference and is legally part of this Prospectus. Additional information about the Fund’s investments will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual report, when available, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year. The SAI and the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports may be obtained without charge by writing to the Fund at Van Eck Securities Corporation, the Fund’s distributor, at 335 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017 or by calling the distributor at the following number: Investor Information: 1.888.MKT.VCTR (658-8287).

Shareholder inquiries may be directed to the Fund in writing to 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017 or by calling 1.888.MKT.VCTR (658-8287).

The Fund’s SAI will be available at www.marketvectorsetfs.com.

(Investment Company Act file no. 811-10325)

31


For more detailed information about the Fund, see the SAI dated [    ], 2012, which is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. Additional information about the Fund’s investments will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual report, when available, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year.

Call Van Eck at 888.MKT.VCTR to request, free of charge, the annual or semi-annual reports, when available, the SAI, or other information about the Fund or to make shareholder inquiries. You may also obtain the SAI or the Fund’s annual or semi-annual reports, when available, by visiting the Van Eck website at www.marketvectorsetfs.com

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can also be reviewed and copied at the SEC Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information about the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling 202.551.8090.

Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following email address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, DC 20549-0102.

 

 

 

(VAN ECK GLOBAL LOGO)

 

 

Transfer Agent: The Bank of New York Mellon
SEC Registration Number: 333-123257
1940 Act Registration Number: 811-10325

888.MKT.VCTR
vaneck.com


The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. The Trust may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

Subject to Completion

Preliminary Statement of Additional Information dated November 2, 2012

MARKET VECTORS ETF TRUST

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Dated [         ], 2012

          This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus dated [          ], 2012 (the “Prospectus”) for the Market Vectors ETF Trust (the “Trust”), relating to the series of the Trust listed below, as it may be revised from time to time.

 

 

 

Fund

Principal U.S. Listing Exchange

Ticker

Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF

NYSE Arca, Inc.

[          ]

          A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust or the Distributor. The Trust’s address is 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017. Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RESTRICTIONS

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

Repurchase Agreements

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

Futures Contracts and Options

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

Swaps

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

Warrants and Subscription Rights

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

Currency Forwards

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

Convertible Securities

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

Structured Notes

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Participation Notes

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Future Developments

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Investment Restrictions

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RISKS

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

General

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TRUST

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

Trustees and Officers of the Trust

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Trustees

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

Interested Trustee

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

Officer Information

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

Remuneration of Trustees

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

QUARTERLY PORTFOLIO SCHEDULE

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

CODE OF ETHICS

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

MANAGEMENT

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Investment Adviser

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

The Administrator

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

Custodian and Transfer Agent

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

The Distributor

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

Index Provider

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Manager Compensation

 

21

 

- i -



 

 

 

 

Portfolio Manager Share Ownership

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

General

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

Fund Deposit

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

Procedures for Creation of Creation Units

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance of Creation Orders

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

Creation Transaction Fee

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

Redemption of Creation Units

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

Redemption Transaction Fee

 

29

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Redemption Orders Using Clearing Process

 

29

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

 

32

 

 

 

 

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

General Policies

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT SERVICE

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

TAXES

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

Reportable Transactions

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

CAPITAL STOCK AND SHAREHOLDER REPORTS

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

COUNSEL AND INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

38

 

 

 

 

 

LICENSE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMERS

 

39

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A VAN ECK GLOBAL PROXY VOTING POLICIES

 

40

 

- ii -


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

          The Trust is an open-end management investment company. The Trust currently consists of [    ] investment portfolios. This SAI relates to one investment portfolio, Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF (the “Fund”). The Fund is classified as a non-diversified management investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”), and, as a result, is not required to meet certain diversification requirements under the 1940 Act. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 15, 2001. The shares of the Fund are referred to herein as “Shares.”

          The Fund will offer and issue Shares at their net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units will be issued and redeemed partially for cash and partially in exchange for specified securities included in the Fund’s Index. The Shares of the Fund are expected to be approved for listing, subject to notice of issuance, on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” or the “Exchange”), and will trade in the secondary market at market prices that may differ from the Shares’ NAV. A Creation Unit consists of 200,000 Shares of the Fund.

          The Trust reserves the right to permit or require a “cash” option for creations and redemptions of Shares of the Fund (subject to applicable legal requirements) to the extent such Shares are not created and redeemed in cash. In each instance of cash creations or redemptions, the Trust may impose transaction fees based on transaction expenses related to the particular exchange that will be higher than the transaction fees associated with in-kind purchases or redemptions.

- 1 -


INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RESTRICTIONS

Repurchase Agreements

          The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements with commercial banks, brokers or dealers to generate income from its excess cash balances and to invest securities lending cash collateral. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a money market instrument (generally a security issued by the U.S. Government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next business day). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by the Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.

          In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by the Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value at least equal to the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Trust’s custodian bank until repurchased. In addition, the Trust’s Board of Trustees (“Board” or “Trustees”) has established guidelines and standards for review of the creditworthiness of any bank, broker or dealer counterparty to a repurchase agreement with the Fund. No more than an aggregate of 15% of the Fund’s net assets will be invested in repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days.

          The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, the Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may incur delays in disposing of the security and/or may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.

Futures Contracts and Options

          Futures contracts generally provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified instrument, index or commodity at a specified future time and at a specified price. Bond index futures contracts are settled daily with a payment by one party to the other of a cash amount based on the difference between the level of the bond index specified in the contract from one day to the next. Futures contracts are standardized as to maturity date and underlying instrument and are traded on futures exchanges. The Fund may use futures contracts and options on futures contracts based on other indexes or combinations of indexes that Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) believes to be representative of the Fund’s benchmark index (the “Index”).

          An option is a contract that provides the holder the right to buy or sell shares at a fixed price, within a specified period of time. A call option gives the option holder the right to buy the underlying security from the option writer at the option exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. A put option gives the option holder the right to sell the underlying security to the option writer at the option exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option.

          Although futures contracts (other than cash settled futures contracts including most bond index futures contracts) by their terms call for actual delivery or acceptance of the underlying instrument or commodity, in most cases the contracts are closed out before the maturity date without the making or taking of delivery. Closing out an open futures position is done by taking an opposite position (“buying” a contract which has previously been “sold” or “selling” a contract previously “purchased”) in an identical contract to terminate the position. Brokerage commissions are incurred when a futures contract position is opened or closed.

          Futures traders are required to make a good faith margin deposit in cash or government securities with a broker or custodian to initiate and maintain open positions in futures contracts. A margin deposit is intended to assure completion of the contract (delivery or acceptance of the underlying instrument or commodity or payment of the cash settlement amount) if it is not terminated prior to the specified delivery date. Brokers may establish deposit requirements which are higher than the exchange minimums. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margin deposits which may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the contract being traded.

- 2 -


          After a futures contract position is opened, the value of the contract is marked-to-market daily. If the futures contract price changes to the extent that the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, payment of additional “variation” margin will be required.

          Conversely, a change in the contract value may reduce the required margin, resulting in a repayment of excess margin to the contract holder. Variation margin payments are made to and from the futures broker for as long as the contract remains open. The Fund expects to earn interest income on its margin deposits.

          The Fund may use futures contracts and options thereon, together with positions in cash and money market instruments, to simulate full investment in the Index. Under such circumstances, the Adviser may seek to utilize other instruments that it believes to be correlated to the Index components or a subset of the components. Liquid futures contracts may not be currently available for the Index.

          Positions in futures contracts and options may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market therefor. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular futures contract or option at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position. In the event of adverse price movements, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if the Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, the Fund may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying futures contracts it has sold.

          The Fund will seek to minimize the risk that it will be unable to close out a futures or options contract by only entering into futures and options for which there appears to be a liquid secondary market.

          The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered bond index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The Fund does not plan to use futures and options contracts in this way. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit.

          Utilization of futures transactions by the Fund involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to the Index if the index underlying the futures contracts differs from the Index. There is also the risk of loss by the Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom the Fund has an open position in the futures contract or option.

          Certain financial futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movement during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses, because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of future positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses.

          Except as otherwise specified in the Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI, there are no limitations on the extent to which the Fund may engage in transactions involving futures and options thereon. The Fund will take steps to prevent its futures positions from “leveraging” its securities holdings. When the Fund has a long futures position, it will maintain with its custodian bank, cash or liquid securities having a value equal to the notional value of the contract (less any margin deposited in connection with the position). When the Fund has a short futures position, as part of a complex bond replication strategy the Fund will maintain with its custodian bank assets substantially identical to those underlying the contract or cash and liquid securities (or a combination of the foregoing) having a value equal to the net obligation of the Fund under the contract (less the value of any margin deposits in connection with the position).

- 3 -


Swaps

          Swap agreements are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make payments to the other party based on the change in market value or level of a specified index or asset. In return, the other party agrees to make payments to the first party based on the return of a different specified index or asset. Although swap agreements entail the risk that a party will default on its payment obligations thereunder, the Fund seeks to reduce this risk by entering into agreements that involve payments no less frequently than quarterly. The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or highly liquid securities having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess is maintained in an account at the Trust’s custodian bank.

          The use of swap agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the counterparty, under a swap agreement, defaults on its obligation to make payments due from it as a result of its bankruptcy or otherwise, the Fund may lose such payments altogether or collect only a portion thereof, which collection could involve costs or delays.

Warrants and Subscription Rights

          Warrants are equity securities in the form of options issued by a corporation which give the holder the right to purchase stock, usually at a price that is higher than the market price at the time the warrant is issued. A purchaser takes the risk that the warrant may expire worthless because the market price of the common stock fails to rise above the price set by the warrant.

Currency Forwards

          A currency forward transaction is a contract to buy or sell a specified quantity of currency at a specified date in the future at a specified price which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. Currency forward contracts may be used to increase or reduce exposure to currency price movements.

          The use of currency forward transactions involves certain risks. For example, if the counterparty under the contract defaults on its obligation to make payments due from it as a result of its bankruptcy or otherwise, the Fund may lose such payments altogether or collect only a portion thereof, which collection could involve costs or delays.

Convertible Securities

          A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock, right, warrant or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other security of the same or a different issuer or into cash within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt securities or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure but are usually subordinated to comparable nonconvertible securities. Convertible securities generally do not participate directly in any dividend increases or decreases of the underlying securities although the market prices of convertible securities may be affected by any dividend changes or other changes in the underlying securities.

- 4 -


Structured Notes

          A structured note is a derivative security for which the amount of principal repayment and/or interest payments is based on the movement of one or more “factors.” These factors include, but are not limited to, currency exchange rates, interest rates (such as the prime lending rate or LIBOR), referenced bonds and stock indices. Some of these factors may or may not correlate to the total rate of return on one or more underlying instruments referenced in such notes. Investments in structured notes involve risks including interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk. Depending on the factor(s) used and the use of multipliers or deflators, changes in interest rates and movement of such factor(s) may cause significant price fluctuations. Structured notes may be less liquid than other types of securities and more volatile than the reference factor underlying the note.

Participation Notes

          Participation notes (“P-Notes”) are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to offer a return linked to the performance of a particular underlying equity security or market. P-Notes can have the characteristics or take the form of various instruments, including, but not limited to, certificates or warrants. The holder of a P-Note that is linked to a particular underlying security is entitled to receive any dividends paid in connection with the underlying security. However, the holder of a P-Note generally does not receive voting rights as it would if it directly owned the underlying security. P-Notes constitute direct, general and unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, which therefore subject the Fund to counterparty risk, as discussed below. Investments in P-Notes involve certain risks in addition to those associated with a direct investment in the underlying foreign securities or foreign securities markets whose return they seek to replicate. For instance, there can be no assurance that the trading price of a P-Note will equal the value of the underlying foreign security or foreign securities market that it seeks to replicate. As the purchaser of a P-Note, the Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of the counterparty issuing the P-Note and has no rights under a P-Note against the issuer of the underlying security. Therefore, if such counterparty were to become insolvent, the Fund would lose its investment. The risk that the Fund may lose its investments due to the insolvency of a single counterparty may be amplified to the extent the Fund purchases P-Notes issued by one issuer or a small number of issuers. P-Notes also include transaction costs in addition to those applicable to a direct investment in securities. In addition, the Fund’s use of P-Notes may cause the Fund’s performance to deviate from the performance of the portion of the Index to which the Fund is gaining exposure through the use of P-Notes.

          Due to liquidity and transfer restrictions, the secondary markets on which P-Notes are traded may be less liquid than the markets for other securities, which may lead to the absence of readily available market quotations for securities in the Fund’s portfolio and may cause the value of the P-Notes to decline. The ability of the Fund to value its securities becomes more difficult and the Adviser’s judgment in the application of fair value procedures may play a greater role in the valuation of the Fund’s securities due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations will be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for the Fund to accurately assign a daily value to such securities.

Future Developments

          The Fund may take advantage of opportunities in the area of options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, options on the Fund, warrants, swaps and any other investments which are not presently contemplated for use or which are not currently available, but which may be developed, to the extent such investments are considered suitable for the Fund by the Adviser.

Investment Restrictions

          The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For purposes of the 1940 Act, a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund means the vote, at an annual or a special meeting of the security holders of the Trust, of the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Under these restrictions:

- 5 -



 

 

 

 

1.

The Fund may not make loans, except that the Fund may (i) lend portfolio securities, (ii) enter into repurchase agreements, (iii) purchase all or a portion of an issue of debt securities, bank loan or participation interests, bank certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, debentures or other securities, whether or not the purchase is made upon the original issuance of the securities and (iv) participate in an interfund lending program with other registered investment companies;

 

 

 

 

2.

The Fund may not borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified by regulation from time to time;

 

 

 

 

3.

The Fund may not issue senior securities except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified by regulation from time to time;

 

 

 

 

4.

The Fund may not purchase or sell real estate, except that the Fund may (i) invest in securities of issuers that invest in real estate or interests therein; (ii) invest in mortgage-related securities and other securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein; and (iii) hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

 

 

 

5.

The Fund may not engage in the business of underwriting securities issued by others, except to the extent that the Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), in the disposition of restricted securities or in connection with its investments in other investment companies;

 

 

 

 

6.

The Fund may not purchase or sell commodities, unless acquired as a result of owning securities or other instruments, but it may purchase, sell or enter into financial options and futures, forward and spot currency contracts, swap transactions and other financial contracts or derivative instruments and may invest in securities or other instruments backed by commodities; and

 

 

 

 

7.

The Fund may not purchase any security if, as a result of that purchase, 25% or more of its total assets would be invested in securities of issuers having their principal business activities in the same industry, except that the Fund may invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries if the index that the Fund replicates concentrates in an industry or group of industries. This limit does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities.

 

 

 

          In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, the Fund observes the following restrictions, which may be changed by the Board without a shareholder vote. The Fund will not:

 

 

 

 

1.

Invest in securities which are “illiquid” securities, including repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days and options traded over-the-counter, if the result is that more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets would be invested in such securities.

 

 

 

 

2.

Make short sales of securities.

 

 

 

 

3.

Purchase any security on margin, except for such short-term loans as are necessary for clearance of securities transactions. The deposit or payment by the Fund or initial or variation margin in connection with futures contracts or related options thereon is not considered the purchase of a security on margin.

 

 

 

 

4.

Participate in a joint or joint-and-several basis in any trading account in securities, although transactions for the Fund and any other account under common or affiliated management may be combined or allocated between the Fund and such account.

 

 

 

 

5.

Purchase securities of open-end or closed-end investment companies except in compliance with the 1940 Act, although the Fund may not acquire any securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.

- 6 -


          If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitations with respect to the borrowing of money and illiquid securities will be continuously complied with.

          As long as the aforementioned investment restrictions are complied with, the Fund may invest in securities not included in the Index, money market instruments or funds which reinvest exclusively in money market instruments, in bonds that are in the relevant market but not the Index, and/or in combinations of certain bond index futures contracts, options on such futures contracts, bond options, bond index options, options on the Shares, and bond index swaps and swaptions, each with a view towards providing the Fund with exposure to the securities in the Index. These investments may be made to invest uncommitted cash balances or, in limited circumstances, to assist in meeting shareholder redemptions of Creation Units. The Fund will not invest in money market instruments as part of a temporary defensive strategy to protect against potential bond market declines.

- 7 -


SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RISKS

          A discussion of the risks associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Prospectus under the headings “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” and “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund.” The discussion above and below supplement, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Prospectus.

General

          Investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding that the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of the issuers of the portfolio securities, the value of securities generally and other factors.

          An investment in the Fund should also be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in fixed income securities. An issuer may have the right to redeem or “call” a bond before maturity, in which case the investor may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Most bonds bear interest income at a “coupon” rate that is fixed for the life of the bond. The value of a fixed rate bond usually rises when market interest rates fall, and falls when market interest rates rise. Accordingly, a fixed rate bond’s yield (income as a percent of the bond’s current value) may differ from its coupon rate as its value rises or falls. Other types of bonds bear income at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the values of “floating-rate” or “variable-rate” bonds generally fluctuate less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of similar fixed rate bonds. The Fund may treat some of these bonds as having a shorter maturity for purposes of calculating the weighted average maturity of its investment portfolio. Generally, prices of higher quality issues tend to fluctuate more with changes in market interest rates than prices of lower quality issues and prices of longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices of shorter maturity issues. Bonds may be senior or subordinated obligations. Senior obligations generally have the first claim on a corporation’s earnings and assets and, in the event of liquidation, are paid before subordinated obligations. Bonds may be unsecured (backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness) or secured (also backed by specified collateral).

          The Fund is not actively managed by traditional methods, and therefore the adverse financial condition of any one issuer will not result in the elimination of its securities from the securities held by the Fund unless the securities of such issuer are removed from the Index.

          An investment in the Fund should also be made with an understanding that the Fund will not be able to replicate exactly the performance of the Index because the total return generated by the securities will be reduced by transaction costs incurred in adjusting the actual balance of the securities and other Fund expenses, whereas such transaction costs and expenses are not included in the calculation of the Index. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions represented in the Index. The risk of non-correlation may be higher than other exchange-traded funds which utilize a sampling approach to the extent that the Fund invests a portion of its assets in securities that have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the securities comprising the Index, but which are not included in the Index. It is also possible that for periods of time, the Fund may not fully replicate the performance of the Index due to the temporary unavailability of certain Index securities in the secondary market or due to other extraordinary circumstances. Such events are unlikely to continue for an extended period of time because the Fund is required to correct such imbalances by means of adjusting the composition of the securities. It is also possible that the composition of the Fund may not exactly replicate the composition of the Index if the Fund has to adjust its portfolio holdings in order to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”).

          Pursuant to a claim for exemption filed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) on behalf of the Fund, neither the Fund nor the Trust is deemed to be a “commodity pool” or “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”), respectively, under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), and they are not subject to registration or regulation as such under the CEA. The Adviser is not deemed to be a “commodity trading advisor” with respect to its services as an investment adviser to the Fund. In February 2012, however, the CFTC adopted certain regulatory changes that will subject the adviser of an investment company to registration with the CFTC as a CPO if the investment company is unable to comply with certain trading and marketing limitations.

- 8 -


          With respect to investments in swap transactions, commodity futures, commodity options or certain other derivatives used for purposes other than bona fide hedging purposes, an investment company must meet one of the following tests under the amended regulations in order to claim an exemption from being considered a “commodity pool” or CPO. First, the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish an investment company’s positions in such investments may not exceed five percent (5%) of the liquidation value of the investment company’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such investments). Alternatively, the aggregate net notional value of such instruments, determined at the time of the most recent position established, may not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the liquidation value of the investment company’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, the investment company may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps and derivatives markets. In the event that the Adviser were required to register as a CPO, the disclosure and operations of the Fund would need to comply with all applicable CFTC regulations. Compliance with these additional registration and regulatory requirements would increase operational expenses. Other potentially adverse regulatory initiatives could also develop. A related CFTC proposal to harmonize applicable CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) regulations could, if adopted, mitigate certain disclosure and operational burdens if CPO registration were required.

U.S. Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts

          The Fund may be required for federal income tax purposes to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year their net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures contracts on broad-based indexes required to be marked-to-market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund.

          In order for the Fund to continue to qualify for U.S. federal income tax treatment as a regulated investment company, at least 90% of its gross income for a taxable year must be derived from qualifying income, i.e., dividends, interest, income derived from loans of securities, gains from the sale of securities or of foreign currencies or other income derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in securities. It is anticipated that any net gain realized from the closing out of futures contracts will be considered gain from the sale of securities and therefore will be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% requirement.

          The Fund distributes to shareholders annually any net capital gains which have been recognized for U.S. federal income tax purposes (including unrealized gains at the end of the Fund’s fiscal year) on futures transactions. Such distributions are combined with distributions of capital gains realized on the Fund’s other investments and shareholders are advised on the nature of the distributions.

- 9 -


EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

          A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Prospectus under the headings “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund,” “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund,” “Shareholder Information—Determination of NAV” and “Shareholder Information—Buying and Selling Exchange-Traded Shares.” The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Prospectus.

          The Shares of the Fund are expected to be approved for listing on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance, and will trade in the secondary market at prices that may differ to some degree from their NAV. The Exchange may but is not required to remove the Shares of the Fund from listing if: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Shares for 30 or more consecutive trading days, (2) the value of the Index or portfolio of securities on which the Fund is based is no longer calculated or available or (3) such other event shall occur or condition exists that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. In addition, the Exchange will remove the Shares from listing and trading upon termination of the Trust. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of the Fund will continue to be met.

          As in the case of other securities traded on the Exchange, brokers’ commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.

          In order to provide investors with a basis to gauge whether the market price of the Shares of the Fund on the Exchange is approximately consistent with the current value of the assets of the Fund on a per Share basis, an updated Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Value is disseminated intra-day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association’s Network B Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Values are disseminated every 15 seconds during regular Exchange trading hours based on the most recently reported prices of Fund Securities. The Fund is not involved in or responsible for the calculation or dissemination of the Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Value and makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Value.

          The Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Value has a net other assets value component, which is summed and divided by the total estimated Fund Shares outstanding, including Shares expected to be issued by the Fund on that day, to arrive at an Intra-Day Optimized Portfolio Value. The net other assets value component consists of estimates of all other assets and liabilities of the Fund including, among others, current day estimates of interest income and expense accruals.

- 10 -


BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TRUST

Trustees and Officers of the Trust

          The Board of the Trust consists of five Trustees, four of whom are not “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act), of the Trust (the “Independent Trustees”). Mr. David H. Chow, an Independent Trustee, serves as Chairman of the Board. The Board is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Trust, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Adviser and other service providers to the Trust. The Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day administration and business affairs of the Trust.

          The Board believes that each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees lead to the conclusion that the Board possesses the requisite skills and attributes to carry out its oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust. The Board believes that the Trustees’ ability to review, critically evaluate, question and discuss information provided to them, to interact effectively with the Adviser, other service providers, counsel and independent auditors, and to exercise effective business judgment in the performance of their duties, support this conclusion. The Board also has considered the following experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, among others, of its members in reaching its conclusion: such person’s character and integrity; length of service as a board member of the Trust; such person’s willingness to serve and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of a Trustee; and as to each Trustee other than Mr. van Eck, his status as not being an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust. In addition, the following specific experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills apply as to each Trustee: Mr. Chow, significant business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, experience with trading and markets through his involvement with the Pacific Stock Exchange, and service as a chief executive officer, board member, partner or executive officer of various businesses and non-profit organizations; Mr. Short, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as a president, board member or executive officer of various businesses; Mr. Sidebottom, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as partner and/or executive officer of various businesses; Mr. Stamberger, business and financial experience and service as the president and chief executive officer of SmartBrief Inc., a media company; and Mr. van Eck, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as a president, executive officer and/or board member of various businesses, including the Adviser, Van Eck Securities Corporation, and Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corporation. References to the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills of Trustees are pursuant to requirements of the SEC, do not constitute holding out of the Board or any Trustee as having any special expertise or experience, and shall not impose any greater responsibility or liability on any such person or on the Board by reason thereof.

          The Trustees of the Trust, their addresses, positions with the Trust, ages, term of office and length of time served, principal occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex overseen by each Trustee and other directorships, if any, held by the Trustees, are set forth below.

Independent Trustees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name, Address1
and Age

Position(s)
Held with
the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
3
Overseen

Other
Directorships
Held By
Trustee During
Past Five
Years

David H. Chow,
54*†

Chairman
Trustee

Since 2008
Since 2006

Founder and CEO, DanCourt Management LLC - March 1999 to present (financial/strategy consulting firm and Registered Investment Advisor).

[  ]

Director, Forward Management, LLC and Audit Committee Chairman; Trustee, Berea College of Kentucky and Vice-Chairman of the Investment Committee; Member of the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council; Secretary and Board Member of the CFA Society of Stamford.

- 11 -



 

 

 

 

 

 

Name, Address1
and Age

Position(s)
Held with
the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
3
Overseen

Other
Directorships
Held By
Trustee During
Past Five
Years

R. Alastair Short,
59*†

Trustee

Since 2006

President, Apex Capital Corporation (personal investment vehicle), January 1988 to present; Vice Chairman, W.P. Stewart & Co., Inc. (asset management firm), September 2007 to September 2008; and Managing Director, The GlenRock Group, LLC (private equity investment firm), May 2004 to September 2007.

[  ]

Chairman and Independent Director, EULAV Asset Management, January 2011 to present; Independent Director, Tremont offshore funds, June 2009 to present; Director, Kenyon Review.

Peter J.
Sidebottom,
49*†

Trustee

Since 2012

Partner, Bain & Company (management consulting firm), April 2012 to present; Executive Vice President and Senior Operating Committee Member, TD Ameritrade (on-line brokerage firm), February 2009 to January 2012; Executive Vice President, Wachovia Corporation (financial services firm), December 2004 to February 2009.

[  ]

Board Member, Special Olympics, New Jersey, November 2011 to present; Director, The Charlotte Research Institute, December 2000 to present; Board Member, Social Capital Institute, University of North Carolina Charlotte, November 2004 to January 2012.

Richard D.
Stamberger, 53*†

Trustee

Since 2006

President and CEO, SmartBrief, Inc. (media company).

[  ]

None.


   

 

1

The address for each Trustee and officer is 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

2

Each Trustee serves until resignation, death, retirement or removal. Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.

3

The Fund Complex consists of the Van Eck Funds, Van Eck VIP Trust and the Trust.

*

Member of the Audit Committee.

Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

- 12 -


Interested Trustee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name, Address1
and Age

Position(s)
Held with
the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
3
Overseen

Other
Directorships
Held By
Trustee During
Past Five Years

Jan F. van Eck,
484

Trustee, President and Chief Executive Officer

Trustee (Since 2006); President and Chief Executive Officer (Since 2009)

Director, President and Owner of the Adviser, Van Eck Associates Corporation; Director and President, Van Eck Securities Corporation (“VESC”); Director and President, Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corp. (“VEARA”).

[  ]

Director, National Committee on US-China Relations.


 

 

 

1

The address for each Trustee and officer is 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

2

Each Trustee serves until resignation, death, retirement or removal. Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.

3

The Fund Complex consists of the Van Eck Funds, Van Eck VIP Trust and the Trust.

4

“Interested person” of the Trust within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Mr. van Eck is an officer of the Adviser.

Officer Information

          The Officers of the Trust, their addresses, positions with the Trust, ages and principal occupations during the past five years are set forth below.

 

 

 

 

Officer’s Name,
Address
1 and Age

Position(s) Held
with the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal Occupation(s) During The Past Five
Years

Russell G. Brennan, 47

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Treasurer

Since 2008

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Treasurer of the Adviser (Since 2008); Manager (Portfolio Administration) of the Adviser (September 2005 to October 2008); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

- 13 -



 

 

 

 

Officer’s Name,
Address
1 and Age

Position(s) Held
with the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal Occupation(s) During The Past Five
Years

Charles T. Cameron, 52

Vice President

Since 2006

Director of Trading (Since 1995) and Portfolio Manager (Since 1997) for the Adviser; Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Simon Chen, 40

Assistant Vice President

Since 2012

Greater China Director of the Adviser (Since January 2012); General Manager, SinoMarkets Ltd. (June 2007 to December 2011).

John J. Crimmins, 55

Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer (Since 2012); Treasurer (Since 2009)

Vice President of Portfolio Administration of the Adviser (Since 2009); Vice President of VESC and VEARA (Since 2009); Chief Financial, Operating and Compliance Officer, Kern Capital Management LLC (September 1997 to February 2009); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Eduardo Escario, 36

Vice President

Since 2012

Regional Director, Business Development/Sales for Southern Europe and South America of the Adviser (Since July 2008); Regional Director (Spain, Portugal, South America and Africa) of Dow Jones Indexes and STOXX Ltd. (May 2001 to July 2008).

Lars Hamich, 43

Vice President

Since 2012

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Van Eck Global (Europe) GmbH (Since 2009); Chief Executive Officer of Market Vectors Index Solutions GmbH (“MVIS”) (Since June 2011); Managing Director of STOXX Ltd. (Until 2008).

Wu-Kwan Kit, 31

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary

Since 2011

Assistant Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since 2011); Associate, Schulte Roth & Zabel (September 2007 to 2011); University of Pennsylvania Law School (August 2004 – May 2007).

Susan C. Lashley, 57

Vice President

Since 2006

Vice President of the Adviser and VESC; Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Thomas K. Lynch, 56

Chief Compliance Officer

Since 2007

Chief Compliance Officer of the Adviser and VEARA (Since December 2006) and of VESC (Since August 2008); Vice President of the Adviser, VEARA and VESC; Treasurer (April 2005 to December 2006); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Laura I. Martínez, 32

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary

Since 2008

Assistant Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since 2008); Associate, Davis Polk & Wardwell (October 2005 to June 2008); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

- 14 -



 

 

 

 

Officer’s Name,
Address
1 and Age

Position(s) Held
with the Trust

Term of
Office
2 and
Length of
Time Served

Principal Occupation(s) During The Past Five
Years

Joseph J. McBrien, 64

Senior Vice President, Secretary and Chief Legal Officer

Since 2006

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since December 2005); Director of VESC and VEARA (Since October 2010); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Ferat Oeztuerk, 29

Assistant Vice President

Since 2012

Sales Associate, Van Eck Global (Europe) GmbH (Since November 2011); Account Manager, Vodafone Global Enterprise Limited (January 2011 to October 2011).

Jonathan R. Simon, 38

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

Since 2006

Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since 2006); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.

Bruce J. Smith, 57

Senior Vice President

Since 2006

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Controller of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since 1997); Director of the Adviser, VESC and VEARA (Since October 2010); Officer of other investment companies advised by the Adviser.


 

 

 

1

The address for each Officer is 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

2

Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.

          The Board has an Audit Committee consisting of four Trustees who are Independent Trustees. Messrs. Chow, Short, Sidebottom and Stamberger currently serve as members of the Audit Committee and each has been designated as an “audit committee financial expert” as defined under Item 407 of Regulation S-K of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Mr. Short is the Chairman of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) oversee the accounting and financial reporting processes of the Trust and its internal control over financial reporting; (ii) oversee the quality and integrity of the Trust’s financial statements and the independent audit thereof; (iii) oversee or, as appropriate, assist the Board’s oversight of the Trust’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements that relate to the Trust’s accounting and financial reporting, internal control over financial reporting and independent audit; (iv) approve prior to appointment the engagement of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and, in connection therewith, to review and evaluate the qualifications, independence and performance of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm; and (v) act as a liaison between the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and the full Board.

          The Board also has a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee consisting of four Independent Trustees. Messrs. Chow, Short, Sidebottom and Stamberger currently serve as members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Stamberger is the Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) evaluate, as necessary, the composition of the Board, its committees and sub-committees and make such recommendations to the Board as deemed appropriate by the Committee; (ii) review and define Independent Trustee qualifications; (iii) review the qualifications of individuals serving as Trustees on the Board and its committees; (iv) evaluate, recommend and nominate qualified individuals for election or appointment as members of the Board and recommend the appointment of members and chairs of each Board committee and subcommittee; and (v) review and assess, from time to time, the performance of the committees and subcommittees of the Board and report the results to the Board.

- 15 -


          The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate given the business and nature of the Trust. In connection with its determination, the Board considered that the Chairman of the Board is an Independent Trustee. The Chairman of the Board can play an important role in setting the agenda of the Board and also serves as a key point person for dealings between management and the other Independent Trustees. The Independent Trustees believe that the Chairman’s independence facilitates meaningful dialogue between the Adviser and the Independent Trustees. The Board also considered that the Chairman of each Board committee is an Independent Trustee, which yields similar benefits with respect to the functions and activities of the various Board committees. The Independent Trustees also regularly meet outside the presence of management and are advised by independent legal counsel. The Board has determined that its committees help ensure that the Trust has effective and independent governance and oversight. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from management of the Trust, including the Adviser. The Board reviews its structure on an annual basis.

          As an integral part of its responsibility for oversight of the Trust in the interests of shareholders, the Board, as a general matter, oversees risk management of the Trust’s investment programs and business affairs. The function of the Board with respect to risk management is one of oversight and not active involvement in, or coordination of, day-to-day risk management activities for the Trust. The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Trust can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Trust’s goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees that may relate to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information.

          The Board exercises oversight of the risk management process primarily through the Audit Committee, and through oversight by the Board itself. The Trust faces a number of risks, such as investment-related and compliance risks. The Adviser’s personnel seek to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Trust. Under the overall supervision of the Board or the applicable Committee of the Board, the Trust, the Adviser, and the affiliates of the Adviser employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify such possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks. Various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, as well as various personnel of the Adviser and other service providers such as the Trust’s independent accountants, may report to the Audit Committee and/or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management, as well as events and circumstances that have arisen and responses thereto.

          The officers and Trustees of the Trust, in the aggregate, own less than 1% of the Shares of the Fund.

          For each Trustee, the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned (including ownership through the Trust’s Deferred Compensation Plan) by the Trustee in the Trust and in all registered investment companies advised by the Adviser (“Family of Investment Companies”) that are overseen by the Trustee is shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name of Trustee

 

Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in Market Vectors-
Altman Defaulted & Distressed
Bond ETF (As of December 31,
2011)

 

Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in all
Registered Investment
Companies Overseen By
Trustee In Family of
Investment Companies
(As of December 31, 2011)

 

David H. Chow

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

R. Alastair Short

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

Peter J. Sidebottom(1)

 

None

 

[          ]

 

Richard D. Stamberger

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

Jan F. van Eck

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

 

 

 

(1)

Peter J. Sidebottom was appointed to the position of Trustee of the Trust effective September 12, 2012.

- 16 -


          As to each Independent Trustee and his immediate family members, no person owned beneficially or of record securities in an investment manager or principal underwriter of the Fund, or a person (other than a registered investment company) directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the investment manager or principal underwriter of the Fund.

Remuneration of Trustees

          The Trust pays each Independent Trustee an annual retainer of $40,000, a per meeting fee of $15,000 for scheduled quarterly meetings of the Board and each special meeting of the Board and a per meeting fee of $7,500 for telephonic meetings. The Trust pays the Chairman of the Board an annual retainer of $42,875, the Chairman of the Audit Committee an annual retainer of $18,375 and the Chairman of the Governance Committee an annual retainer of $12,250. The Trust also reimburses each Trustee for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending such meetings. No pension or retirement benefits are accrued as part of Trustee compensation.

          The table below shows the estimated compensation that is contemplated to be paid to the Trustees by the Trust for the calendar year ending December 31, 2012. Annual Trustee fees may be reviewed periodically and changed by the Trust’s Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name of Trustee

 

Aggregate
Compensation
From the Trust

 

Deferred
Compensation
From the Trust

 

Pension or
Retirement
Benefits
Accrued as Part
of the Trust’s
Expenses(2)

 

Estimated
Annual Benefits
Upon
Retirement

 

Total
Compensation
From the Trust
and the Fund
Complex
(1) Paid
to Trustee
(2)

 

David H. Chow

 

$

0

 

 

$

172,875

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

$

172,875

 

 

R. Alastair Short

 

$

155,875

 

 

$

0

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

$

255,875

 

 

Peter J. Sidebottom(3)

 

$

[  ]

 

 

$

[  ]

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

$

[  ]

 

 

Richard D. Stamberger

 

$

71,125

 

 

$

71,125

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

$

252,250

 

 

Jan F. van Eck(4)

 

$

0

 

 

$

0

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

$

0

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

The “Fund Complex” consists of Van Eck Funds, Van Eck VIP Trust and the Trust.

(2)

Because the funds of the Fund Complex have different fiscal year ends, the amounts shown are presented on a calendar year basis.

(3)

Peter J. Sidebottom was appointed to the position of Trustee of the Trust effective September 12, 2012.

(4)

“Interested person” under the 1940 Act.

- 17 -


PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE

          The Fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet web sites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Creation Units, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (the “NSCC”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC. The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund. The Trust, Adviser, Custodian and Distributor will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust.

QUARTERLY PORTFOLIO SCHEDULE

          The Trust is required to disclose, after its first and third fiscal quarters, the complete schedule of the Fund’s portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-Q. Form N-Q for the Fund will be available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Fund’s Form N-Q may also be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling 202.551.8090. The Fund’s Form N-Q will be available through the Fund’s website, at www.vaneck.com or by writing to 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

CODE OF ETHICS

          The Fund, the Adviser and the Distributor have each adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act, designed to monitor personal securities transactions by their personnel (the “Personnel”). The Code of Ethics requires that all trading in securities that are being purchased or sold, or are being considered for purchase or sale, by the Fund must be approved in advance by the Head of Trading, the Director of Research and the Chief Compliance Officer of the Adviser. Approval will be granted if the security has not been purchased or sold or recommended for purchase or sale for the Fund on the day that the Personnel of the Adviser requests pre-clearance, or otherwise if it is determined that the personal trading activity will not have a negative or appreciable impact on the price or market of the security, or is of such a nature that it does not present the dangers or potential for abuses that are likely to result in harm or detriment to the Fund. At the end of each calendar quarter, all Personnel must file a report of all transactions entered into during the quarter. These reports are reviewed by a senior officer of the Adviser.

          Generally, all Personnel must obtain approval prior to conducting any transaction in securities. Independent Trustees, however, are not required to obtain prior approval of personal securities transactions. Personnel may purchase securities in an initial public offering or private placement, provided that he or she obtains preclearance of the purchase and makes certain representations.

PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

          The Fund’s proxy voting record will be available upon request and on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Proxies for the Fund’s portfolio securities are voted in accordance with the Adviser’s proxy voting policies and procedures, which are set forth in Appendix A to this SAI.

          The Trust is required to disclose annually the Fund’s complete proxy voting record on Form N-PX covering the period July 1 through June 30 and file it with the SEC no later than August 31. Form N-PX for the Fund will be available through the Fund’s website, at www.vaneck.com, or by writing to 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017. The Fund’s Form N-PX will also be available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

- 18 -


MANAGEMENT

          The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Management of the Fund.”

Investment Adviser

          Van Eck Associates Corporation acts as investment adviser to the Trust and, subject to the general supervision of the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the Fund. The Adviser is a private company with headquarters in New York and manages other mutual funds and separate accounts.

          The Adviser serves as investment adviser to the Fund pursuant to an investment management agreement between the Trust and the Adviser (the “Investment Management Agreement”). Under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser, subject to the supervision of the Board and in conformity with the stated investment policies of the Fund, manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. The Adviser is responsible for placing purchase and sale orders and providing continuous supervision of the investment portfolio of the Fund.

          Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, the Trust has agreed to indemnify the Adviser for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws, unless such loss or liability results from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties or the reckless disregard of its obligations and duties.

          Compensation. As compensation for its services under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser will be paid a monthly fee based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets at the annual rate of [     ]%. Until at least September 1, 201[          ], the Adviser has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding [     ]% of its average daily net assets per year. From time to time, the Adviser may waive all or a portion of its fees. Offering costs excluded from the expense cap are: (a) legal fees pertaining to the Fund’s Shares offered for sale; (b) SEC and state registration fees; and (c) initial fees paid for Shares of the Fund to be listed on an exchange.

          Term. The Investment Management Agreement is subject to annual approval by (1) the Board or (2) a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, provided that in either event such continuance also is approved by a majority of the Board who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust by a vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Investment Management Agreement is terminable without penalty, on 60 days notice, by the Board or by a vote of the holders of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. The Investment Management Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days notice by the Adviser and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

The Administrator

          Van Eck Associates Corporation also serves as administrator for the Trust pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement. Under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser is obligated on a continuous basis to provide such administrative services as the Board of the Trust reasonably deems necessary for the proper administration of the Trust and the Fund. The Adviser will generally assist in all aspects of the Trust’s and the Fund’s operations; supply and maintain office facilities, statistical and research data, data processing services, clerical, bookkeeping and record keeping services (including without limitation the maintenance of such books and records as are required under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder, except as maintained by other agents), internal auditing, executive and administrative services, and stationery and office supplies; prepare reports to shareholders or investors; prepare and file tax returns; supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC and various state Blue Sky authorities; supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board; provide monitoring reports and assistance regarding compliance with the Declaration of Trust, by-laws, investment objectives and policies and with federal and state securities laws; arrange for appropriate insurance coverage; calculate NAVs, net income and realized capital gains or losses; and negotiate arrangements with, and supervise and coordinate the activities of, agents and others to supply services.

- 19 -


Custodian and Transfer Agent

          The Bank of New York Mellon (“The Bank of New York”), located at 101 Barclay Street, New York, NY, 10286, serves as custodian for the Fund pursuant to a Custodian Agreement. As Custodian, The Bank of New York holds the Fund’s assets. The Bank of New York serves as the Fund’s transfer agent pursuant to a Transfer Agency Agreement. The Bank of New York may be reimbursed by the Fund for its out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, The Bank of New York provides various accounting services to the Fund pursuant to a fund accounting agreement.

The Distributor

          Van Eck Securities Corporation (the “Distributor”) is the principal underwriter and distributor of Shares. Its principal address is 335 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017 and investor information can be obtained by calling 1-888-MKT-VCTR. The Distributor has entered into an agreement with the Trust which will continue from its effective date unless terminated by either party upon 60 days’ prior written notice to the other party by the Trust and the Adviser, or by the Distributor, or until termination of the Trust or the Fund offering its Shares, and which is renewable annually thereafter (the “Distribution Agreement”), pursuant to which it distributes Shares. Shares will be continuously offered for sale by the Trust through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described below under “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units—Procedures for Creation of Creation Units.” Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver a prospectus to persons purchasing Shares in Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Exchange Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust.

          The Distributor may also enter into sales and investor services agreements with broker-dealers or other persons that are Participating Parties and DTC Participants (as defined below) to provide distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services but must pay such broker-dealers or other persons, out of its own assets.

          The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty: (i) by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or (ii) by vote of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, on at least 60 days’ written notice to the Distributor. The Distribution Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days’ notice by the Distributor and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

          Index Provider

          The Index is published by MVIS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser. In order to minimize any potential conflicts caused by the fact that the Adviser or its affiliates act as the index provider to the Fund, the Adviser has retained an unaffiliated third party to calculate the Index (the “Calculation Agent”). The Calculation Agent, using a rules-based methodology, will calculate, maintain and disseminate the Index on a daily basis. The Adviser will monitor the results produced by the Calculation Agent to help ensure that the Index is being calculated in accordance with the applicable rules-based methodology. In addition, the Adviser and MVIS have established policies and procedures designed to prevent non-public information about pending changes to the Index from being used or disseminated in an improper manner. Furthermore, the Adviser and MVIS have established policies and procedures designed to prevent improper use and dissemination of non-public information about the Fund’s portfolio strategies and to prevent the Fund’s portfolio managers from having any influence on the construction of the Index’s methodology.

- 20 -


Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

          As of the date indicated below, Messrs. Mazier and Rodilosso managed the following other accounts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Accounts Managed
(As of [     ], 2012)

 

 

Accounts with respect to which the
advisory fee is based on the
performance of the account

 

Name of
Portfolio
Manager

 

 

Category of
Account

 

 

Number of
Accounts in
Category

 

 

Total Assets in
Accounts in
Category

 

 

Number of
Accounts in
Category

 

 

Total Assets in
Accounts in
Category

 

Michael F. Mazier

 

 

Registered
investment
companies

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

 

 

Other pooled
investment
vehicles

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

 

 

Other accounts

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

Francis G. Rodilosso

 

 

Registered
investment
companies

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

 

 

Other pooled
investment
vehicles

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

 

 

Other accounts

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

 

[   ]

 

          Although the funds in the Trust that are managed by Messrs. Mazier and Rodilosso may have different investment strategies, each has an investment objective of seeking to replicate, before fees and expenses, its respective underlying index. The Adviser does not believe that management of the various accounts presents a material conflict of interest for Messrs. Mazier and Rodilosso or the Adviser.

Portfolio Manager Compensation

          The portfolio managers are paid a fixed base salary and a bonus. The bonus is based upon the quality of investment analysis and the management of the funds. The quality of management of the funds includes issues of replication, rebalancing, portfolio monitoring and efficient operation, among other factors. Portfolio managers who oversee accounts with significantly different fee structures are generally compensated by discretionary bonus rather than a set formula to help reduce potential conflicts of interest. At times, the Adviser and its affiliates manage accounts with incentive fees.

Portfolio Manager Share Ownership

          As of the date of this SAI, Messrs. Mazier and Rodilosso did not beneficially own any Shares of the Fund.

- 21 -


BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS

          When selecting brokers and dealers to handle the purchase and sale of portfolio securities, the Adviser looks for prompt execution of the order at a favorable price. Generally, the Adviser works with recognized dealers in these securities, except when a better price and execution of the order can be obtained elsewhere. The Fund will not deal with affiliates in principal transactions unless permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation. The Adviser owes a duty to its clients to seek best execution on trades effected. Since the investment objective of the Fund is investment performance that corresponds to that of the Index, the Adviser does not intend to select brokers and dealers for the purpose of receiving research services in addition to a favorable price and prompt execution either from that broker or an unaffiliated third party.

          The Adviser assumes general supervision over placing orders on behalf of the Trust for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Trust and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the Adviser are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable to all by the Adviser. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Trust is concerned. However, in other cases, it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower brokerage commissions will be beneficial to the Trust. The primary consideration is best execution.

          Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates are likely to result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses and taxable distributions. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.

- 22 -


BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

          The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Buying and Selling Exchange-Traded Shares.”

          The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for the Shares. Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Certificates will not be issued for Shares.

          DTC, a limited-purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).

          Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares.

          Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the Depositary Agreement between the Trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the Shares holdings of each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

          Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.

          The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspects of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.

          DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to the Shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such a replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.

- 23 -


CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS

General

          The Fund will issue and sell Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without an initial sales load, at their NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined herein), of an order in proper form. An Authorized Participant (defined below) that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, will not be able to receive, as part of a redemption, restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

          A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is any day on which the NYSE is open for business. As of the date of the Prospectus, the NYSE observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday), Good Friday, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Fund Deposit

          The consideration for a purchase of Creation Units is partially for cash and/or the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of fixed income securities (the “Deposit Securities”) that comprise the Index and an amount of cash computed as described below (the “Cash Component”). The Cash Component together with the Deposit Securities, as applicable, are referred to as the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for Shares. The specified Deposit Securities generally will correspond, pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the component securities of the Fund’s portfolio. The Cash Component represents the difference between the NAV of a Creation Unit and the market value of Deposit Securities and may include a Dividend Equivalent Payment. The “Dividend Equivalent Payment” enables the Fund to make a complete distribution of dividends on the next dividend payment date, and is an amount equal, on a per Creation Unit basis, to the dividends on all the securities held by the Fund (“Fund Securities”) with ex-dividend dates within the accumulation period for such distribution (the “Accumulation Period”), net of expenses and liabilities for such period, as if all of the Fund Securities had been held by the Trust for the entire Accumulation Period. The Accumulation Period begins on the ex-dividend date for the Fund and ends on the next ex-dividend date.

          The Administrator, through the NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern time), the list of the names and the required principal amounts of each Deposit Security to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) as well as the Cash Component for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, in order to effect creations of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next-announced Fund Deposit composition is made available.

          The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for the Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Adviser with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the securities constituting the Index. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to accept a basket of securities or cash that differs from Deposit Securities or to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security which may, among other reasons, not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery, not be permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Trust as a result of an in-kind creation order pursuant to local law or market convention or which may not be eligible for transfer through the Clearing Process (described below), or which may not be eligible for trading by a Participating Party (defined below). In light of the foregoing, in order to seek to replicate the in-kind creation order process, the Trust expects to purchase the Deposit Securities represented by the cash in lieu amount in the secondary market (“Market Purchases”). In such cases where the Trust makes Market Purchases because a Deposit Security may not be permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Trust as a result of an in-kind creation order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities were purchased by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Adviser’s discretion, may be capped), applicable registration fees and taxes. Brokerage commissions incurred in connection with the Trust’s acquisition of Deposit Securities will be at the expense of the Fund and will affect the value of all Shares of the Fund; but the Adviser may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the Deposit Securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, in the composition of the Index or resulting from stock splits and other corporate actions.

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          Pursuant to a patent pending process, and subject to the receipt of appropriate regulatory relief, the Fund may in the future divide the daily list of Deposit Securities into different “categories,” based on various risk and return characteristics that may include (but not be limited to): (1) credit rating; (2) sector (e.g., revenue, pre-refunded or insured bonds); (3) issuer (or state of issuer); (4) call date; (5) maturity; and (6) coupon yield. With respect to each category, an Authorized Participant (as defined below) would be required, pursuant to rules established by the Fund, to contribute one bond from each category in-kind as a Deposit Security in a Fund Deposit. There is no assurance that such relief will be granted.

          In addition to the list of names and numbers of securities constituting the current Deposit Securities of a Fund Deposit, the Administrator, through the NSCC, also makes available (i) on each Business Day, the Dividend Equivalent Payment, if any, and the estimated Cash Component effective through and including the previous Business Day, per outstanding Shares of the Fund, and (ii) on a continuous basis throughout the day, the Indicative Per Share Portfolio Value.

Procedures for Creation of Creation Units

          To be eligible to place orders with the Distributor to create Creation Units of the Fund, an entity or person either must be (1) a “Participating Party,” i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the Clearing Process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC; or (2) a DTC Participant (see “Book Entry Only System”); and, in either case, must have executed an agreement with the Trust and with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Units outside the Clearing Process (“Participant Agreement”) (discussed below). A Participating Party and DTC Participant are collectively referred to as an “Authorized Participant.” All Creation Units of the Fund, however created, will be entered on the records of the Depository in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC Participant.

          All orders to create Creation Units must be placed in multiples of 200,000 Shares (i.e., a Creation Unit) of the Fund. All orders to create Creation Units, whether through the Clearing Process or outside the Clearing Process, must be received by the Distributor no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on NYSE Arca (“Closing Time”) (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on the date such order is placed in order for creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of the Fund as determined on such date. A “Custom Order” may be placed by an Authorized Participant in the event that the Trust permits or requires the substitution of an amount of cash to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or which may not be eligible for trading by such Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting, or other relevant reason. The date on which a creation order (or order to redeem as discussed below) is placed is herein referred to as the “Transmittal Date.” Orders must be transmitted by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement, as described below (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process”). Severe economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure, may impede the ability to reach the Distributor, a Participating Party or a DTC Participant.

          Creation Units may be created in advance of the receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the Fund Deposit. In such cases, the Participating Party will remain liable for the full deposit of the missing portion(s) of the Fund Deposit and will be required to post collateral with the Trust consisting of cash at least equal to a percentage of the marked-to-market value of such missing portion(s) that is specified in the Participant Agreement. The Trust may use such collateral to buy the missing portion(s) of the Fund Deposit at any time and will subject such Participating Party to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such securities and the value of such collateral. The Trust will have no liability for any such shortfall. The Trust will return any unused portion of the collateral to the Participating Party once the entire Fund Deposit has been properly received by the Distributor and deposited into the Trust.

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          Orders to create Creation Units of the Fund shall be placed with a Participating Party or DTC Participant, as applicable, in the form required by such Participating Party or DTC Participant. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement, and that, therefore, orders to create Creation Units of the Fund may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through a Participating Party or a DTC Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. At any given time there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement. Those placing orders to create Creation Units of the Fund through the Clearing Process should afford sufficient time to permit proper submission of the order to the Distributor prior to the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date.

          Orders for creation that are effected outside the Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the DTC Participant earlier on the Transmittal Date than orders effected using the Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Cash Component.

          Orders to create Creation Units of the Fund may be placed through the Clearing Process utilizing procedures applicable to domestic funds for domestic securities (“Domestic Funds”) (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process”) or outside the Clearing Process utilizing the procedures applicable to either Domestic Funds or foreign funds for foreign securities (“Foreign Funds”) (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds” and “—Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds”). In the event that the Fund includes both domestic and foreign securities, the time for submitting orders is as stated in the “Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds” and “Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds” sections below shall operate.

Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process

          Fund Deposits must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement with the Distributor and with the Trust. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order creating Creation Units of the Fund need not be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that the creation of Creation Units will be effected through a transfer of securities and cash. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the DTC Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of the Trust by no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, on the Settlement Date. The “Settlement Date” for the Fund is generally the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Distributor through the Federal Reserve wire system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Distributor no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. An order to create Creation Units of the Fund is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor not later than the Closing Time on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. Upon written notice to the Distributor, a cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the current NAV of the Fund. The delivery of Creation Units so created will occur no later than the third (3rd) Business Day following the day on which the creation order is deemed received by the Distributor.

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Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds

          Fund Deposits created outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement with the Distributor and with the Trust. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order creating Creation Units of the Fund to be effected outside the Clearing Process need not be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the creation of Creation Units will instead be effected through a transfer of securities and cash. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the DTC Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of the Trust by no later than 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, of the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Distributor through the Federal Reserve wire system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Distributor no later than 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. An order to create Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor not later than the Closing Time on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. However, if the Distributor does not receive both the requisite Deposit Securities and the Cash Component in a timely fashion on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date, such order will be cancelled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the current NAV of the Fund. The delivery of Creation Units so created will occur no later than the third (3rd) Business Day following the day on which the creation order is deemed received by the Distributor.

          Additional transaction fees may be imposed with respect to transactions effected outside the Clearing Process (through a DTC participant) and in circumstances in which any cash can be used in lieu of Deposit Securities to create Creation Units. (See “Creation Transaction Fee” section below.)

Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds

          The Distributor will inform the Transfer Agent, the Adviser and the Custodian upon receipt of a Creation Order. The Custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate subcustodian. The Custodian will cause the subcustodian of the Fund to maintain an account into which the Deposit Securities (or the cash value of all or part of such securities, in the case of a permitted or required cash purchase or “cash in lieu” amount) will be delivered. Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local custodian. The Trust must also receive, on or before the contractual settlement date, immediately available or same day funds estimated by the Custodian to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after receipt in proper form of the purchase order, together with the creation transaction fee described below.

          Once the Trust has accepted a creation order, the Trust will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit of the Fund against receipt of payment, at such NAV as will have been calculated after receipt in proper form of such order. The Distributor will then transmit a confirmation of acceptance of such order.

          Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the subcustodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant subcustodian, the Distributor and the Adviser will be notified of such delivery and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units.

Acceptance of Creation Orders

          The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor if, for any reason, (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the creator or creators, upon obtaining the Shares, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of the Fund; (c) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by the Administrator, as described above; (d) the acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and the Adviser make it for all practical purposes impossible to process creation orders. Examples of such circumstances include, without limitation, acts of God or public service or utility problems such as earthquakes, fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; wars; civil or military disturbances, including acts of civil or military authority or governmental actions; terrorism; sabotage; epidemics; riots; labor disputes; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Adviser, the Distributor, DTC, the NSCC or any other participant in the creation process, and similar extraordinary events. The Trust shall notify a prospective creator of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.

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          All questions as to the number of shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust’s determination shall be final and binding.

Creation Transaction Fee

          A fixed creation transaction fee of $500 payable to the Custodian is imposed on each creation transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased in the transaction. In addition, a variable charge for cash creations or for creations outside the Clearing Process currently of up to four times the basic creation transaction fee will be imposed. In the case of cash creations or where the Trust permits or requires a creator to substitute cash in lieu of depositing a portion of the Deposit Securities, the creator may be assessed an additional variable charge to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with purchasing the applicable securities. (See “Fund Deposit” section above.) As a result, in order to seek to replicate the in-kind creation order process, the Trust expects to purchase, in the secondary market or otherwise gain exposure to, the portfolio securities that could have been delivered as a result of an in-kind creation order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons (“Market Purchases”). In such cases where the Trust makes Market Purchases, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities and/or financial instruments were purchased by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Adviser’s discretion, may be capped), applicable registration fees, brokerage commissions and certain taxes. The Adviser may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the creation securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders. Creators of Creation Units are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting the Deposit Securities to the account of the Trust.

Redemption of Creation Units

          Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor, only on a Business Day and only through a Participating Party or DTC Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. The Trust will not redeem Shares in amounts less than Creation Units. Beneficial Owners also may sell Shares in the secondary market, but must accumulate enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit. See the section entitled “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” and “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund” in the Prospectus.

          The Administrator, through NSCC, makes available immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern time) on each day that the Exchange is open for business, the Fund Securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day. The Fund Securities generally will correspond, pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the component securities of the Fund’s portfolio. If the Trust determines, based on information available to the Trust when a redemption request is submitted by an Authorized Participant, that (i) the short interest of the Fund in the marketplace is greater than or equal to 100% and (ii) the orders in the aggregate from all Authorized Participants redeeming Fund Shares on a Business Day represent 25% or more of the outstanding Shares of the Fund, such Authorized Participant will be required to verify to the Trust the accuracy of its representations that are deemed to have been made by submitting a request for redemption. If, after receiving notice of the verification requirement, the Authorized Participant does not verify the accuracy of its representations that are deemed to have been made by submitting a request for redemption in accordance with this requirement, its redemption request will be considered not to have been received in proper form.

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          As with respect to the purchase of Creation Units, pursuant to a patent pending process, the Fund may, in the future, subject to the receipt of appropriate regulatory relief, divide the daily list of Fund Securities into different “categories,” based on similar criteria set forth above regarding the division of the Fund’s Deposit Securities into categories. In determining the Fund Securities and the order in which they are listed within each category, the Adviser would seek to construct a redemption basket that will reflect the general characteristics of the Fund’s portfolio. Upon each request for a redemption of Creation Units, the Custodian, acting on behalf of the Adviser, would allocate the first bond on the list from each category (as of the time such redemption request is received by the Transfer Agent) to such redeemer to receive in-kind. There is no assurance that such relief will be granted.

          Unless cash redemptions are permitted or required for the Fund, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally consist of Fund Securities as announced by the Administrator on the Business Day of the request for redemption, plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities, less the redemption transaction fee and variable fees described below. Should the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, a compensating cash payment to the Trust equal to the differential plus the applicable redemption transaction fee will be required to be arranged for by or on behalf of the redeeming shareholder. The Fund reserves the right to honor a redemption request by delivering a basket of securities or cash that differs from the Fund Securities.

Redemption Transaction Fee

          The basic redemption transaction fee of $500 is the same no matter how many Creation Units are being redeemed pursuant to any one redemption request. An additional charge up to four times the redemption transaction fee will be charged with respect to cash redemptions or redemptions outside of the Clearing Process. An additional variable charge for cash redemptions or partial cash redemptions (when cash redemptions are permitted or required) may also be imposed to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with selling the applicable securities. As a result, in order to seek to replicate the in-kind redemption order process, the Trust expects to sell, in the secondary market, the portfolio securities or settle any financial instruments that may not be permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Participating Party as a result of an in-kind redemption order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons (“Market Sales”). In such cases where the Trust makes Market Sales, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities and/or financial instruments were sold or settled by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Adviser’s discretion, may be capped), applicable registration fees, brokerage commissions and certain taxes (“Transaction Costs”). The Adviser may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the redemption securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders. In no event will fees charged by the Fund in connection with a redemption exceed 2% of the value of each Creation Unit. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. To the extent the Fund cannot recoup the amount of Transaction Costs incurred in connection with a redemption from the redeeming shareholder because of the 2% cap or otherwise, those Transaction Costs will be borne by the Fund’s remaining shareholders and negatively affect the Fund’s performance.

Placement of Redemption Orders Using Clearing Process

          Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed the Participant Agreement with the Distributor and with the Trust. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Units of the Fund to be effected need not be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that redemption of Creation Units of the Fund will instead be effected through transfer of Creation Units of the Fund directly through DTC. An order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund is deemed received by the Administrator on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Administrator not later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on such Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is preceded or accompanied by the requisite number of Shares of Creation Units specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to the Administrator no later than 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, on such Transmittal Date (the “DTC Cut-Off-Time”); and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.

          After the Administrator has deemed an order for redemption received, the Administrator will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities (or contracts to purchase such Fund Securities) which are expected to be delivered within three Business Days and the cash redemption payment to the redeeming Beneficial Owner by the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Administrator.

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Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds

          Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed the Participant Agreement with the Distributor and with the Trust. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Units of the Fund to be effected outside the Clearing Process need not be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that redemption of Creation Units of the Fund will instead be effected through transfer of Creation Units of the Fund directly through DTC. An order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Administrator on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Administrator not later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on such Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is preceded or accompanied by the requisite number of Shares of Creation Units specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to the Administrator no later than 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, on such Transmittal Date (the “DTC Cut-Off-Time”); and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.

          After the Administrator has deemed an order for redemption outside the Clearing Process received, the Administrator will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities (or contracts to purchase such Fund Securities) which are expected to be delivered within three Business Days and the cash redemption payment to the redeeming Beneficial Owner by the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Administrator. An additional variable redemption transaction fee of up to four times the basic transaction fee is applicable to redemptions outside the Clearing Process.

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds

          Arrangements satisfactory to the Trust must be in place for the Participating Party to transfer the Creation Units through DTC on or before the settlement date. Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable U.S. federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits or requires cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Fund could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Deposit Securities under such laws.

          In connection with taking delivery of Shares for Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. If neither the redeeming shareholder nor the entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder has appropriate arrangements to take delivery of the Fund Securities in the applicable foreign jurisdiction and it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities in such jurisdictions, the Trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming shareholder will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash.

          Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within three business days. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of redemption proceeds may take longer than three business days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods.

          The holidays applicable to Foreign Funds are listed below. The proclamation of new holidays, the treatment by market participants of certain days as “informal holidays” (e.g., days on which no or limited securities transactions occur, as a result of substantially shortened trading hours), the elimination of existing holidays or changes in local securities delivery practices, could affect the information set forth herein at some time in the future. The dates in calendar years 2012 and 2013 in which the regular holidays affect the relevant securities markets of the below listed countries are as follows (the following holiday schedule is subject to potential changes in the securities market):

          [To come.]

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          The longest redemption cycle for Foreign Funds is a function of the longest redemption cycle among the countries whose securities comprise the Fund. In the calendar years 2012 and 2013, the dates of regular holidays affecting the following securities markets present the worst-case (longest) redemption cycle* for Foreign Funds as follows:

 

 

 

[To come.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

These worst-case redemption cycles are based on information regarding regular holidays, which may be out of date. Based on changes in holidays, longer (worse) redemption cycles are possible.

          The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed (1) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the NYSE is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the Shares of the Fund or determination of its NAV is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.

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DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

          The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Determination of NAV.”

          The NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including the management fee, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is determined each business day as of the close of trading (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on the NYSE. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.

          The values of the Fund’s portfolio securities are based on the securities’ closing prices on their local principal markets, where available. In the absence of a last reported sales price, or if no sales were reported, and for other assets for which market quotes are not readily available, values may be based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers or by an outside independent pricing service. Fixed income securities are normally valued on the basis of quotes from brokers or dealers, established market makers or an outside independent pricing service using data reflecting the earlier closing of the principal markets for those securities. Prices obtained by an outside independent pricing service use information provided by market makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data related to investments or securities with similar characteristics and may use a computerized grid matrix of securities and its evaluations in determining what it believes is the fair value of the portfolio securities. Short-term investments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost. If a market quotation for a security is not readily available or the Adviser believes it does not otherwise accurately reflect the market value of the security at the time the Fund calculates its NAV, the security will be fair valued by the Adviser in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The Fund may also use fair value pricing in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations where the value of a security in the Fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded (such as a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. In addition, the Fund currently expects that it will fair value certain of the foreign securities held by the Fund each day the Fund calculates its NAV, except those securities principally traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV. In addition, the Fund that expects to invest in foreign securities expects to fair value certain of the foreign securities held by the Fund each day the Fund calculates its NAV, except those securities principally traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV. Accordingly, the Fund’s NAV may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices at the time the exchanges on which they principally trade close. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Index. This may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to track the Index. With respect to securities traded in foreign markets, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares.

- 32 -


DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

          The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Distributions.”

General Policies

          Dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid at least annually by the Fund. Distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund to improve its Index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act. It is currently expected that the Fund will distribute virtually all of its net income (interest less expenses) [annually] while capital gains distributions will generally occur annually in December. In addition, the Trust may distribute at least annually amounts representing the full dividend yield on the underlying portfolio securities of the Fund, net of expenses of the Fund, as if the Fund owned such underlying portfolio securities for the entire dividend period in which case some portion of each distribution may result in a return of capital for tax purposes for certain shareholders.

          Dividends and other distributions on Shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Trust. The Trust makes additional distributions to the minimum extent necessary (i) to distribute the entire annual taxable income of the Trust, plus any net capital gains and (ii) to avoid imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Internal Revenue Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special dividends if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the status of the Fund as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT SERVICE

          No reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. If this service is used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares of the Fund. Beneficial Owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require Beneficial Owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables.

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

          As of the date of this SAI, no entity beneficially owned any voting securities of the Fund.

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TAXES

          The following information also supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Tax Information.”

          The Fund intends to qualify for and to elect treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. As a RIC, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its taxable investment income and capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders. To qualify for treatment as a RIC, a company must annually distribute at least 90% of its net investment company taxable income (which includes dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains) and at least 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income, for each tax year, if any, to its shareholders and meet several other requirements relating to the nature of its income and the diversification of its assets, among others. If the Fund fails to qualify for any taxable year as a RIC, all of its taxable income will be subject to tax at regular corporate income tax rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions generally will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.

          The Fund will be subject to a 4% excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year at least 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the twelve months ended October 31 of such years. The Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of this 4% excise tax.

          A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.

          As a result of U.S. federal income tax requirements, the Trust on behalf of the Fund, has the right to reject an order for a creation of Shares if the creator (or group of creators) would, upon obtaining the Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares of the Fund and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund would have a basis in the Deposit Securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. See “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units—Procedures for Creation of Creation Units.”

          Dividends and interest received by the Fund from a non-U.S. investment may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes.

          Under Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code, special rules are provided for certain transactions in a foreign currency other than the taxpayer’s functional currency (i.e., unless certain special rules apply, currencies other than the U.S. dollar). In general, foreign currency gains or losses from forward contracts, from futures contracts that are not “regulated futures contracts,” and from unlisted options will be treated as ordinary income or loss under Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code. Also, certain foreign exchange gains or losses derived with respect to foreign fixed income securities are also subject to Section 988 treatment. In general, therefore, Section 988 gains or losses will increase or decrease the amount of the Fund’s investment company taxable income available to be distributed to shareholders as ordinary income, rather than increasing or decreasing the amount of the Fund’s net capital gain.

          The Fund will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends received from ordinary income, the amount of distributions received from capital gains and the portion of dividends, if any, which may qualify for the dividends received deduction. For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2013, certain ordinary dividends paid to non-corporate shareholders may qualify for taxation at a lower tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains provided holding period and other requirements are met at both the shareholder and Fund levels. The Fund does not expect that any of its distributions will be qualified dividends eligible for lower tax rates or for the corporate dividends received deduction.

- 34 -


          In general, a sale of Shares results in capital gain or loss, and for individual shareholders, is taxable at a federal rate dependent upon the length of time the Shares were held. A redemption of a shareholder’s Fund Shares is normally treated as a sale for tax purposes. Fund Shares held for a period of one year or less at the time of such sale or redemption will, for tax purposes, generally result in short-term capital gains or losses, and those held for more than one year will generally result in long-term capital gains or losses. Under current law, the maximum tax rate on long-term capital gains available to non-corporate shareholders generally is 15%. Without future congressional action, the maximum tax rate on long-term capital gains will return to 20% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013.

          Special tax rules may change the normal treatment of gains and losses recognized by the Fund if and when the Fund invests in structured notes, swaps, options and futures transactions. Those special tax rules can, among other things, affect the treatment of capital gain or loss as long-term or short-term and may result in ordinary income or loss rather than capital gain or loss and may accelerate when the Fund has to take these items into account for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The application of these special rules would therefore also affect the timing and character of distributions made by the Fund. See “U.S. Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts” for certain federal income tax rules regarding futures contracts.

          There may be uncertainty as to the appropriate treatment of certain of the Fund’s investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In particular, the Fund may invest a portion of its net assets in below investment grade instruments. Investments in these types of instruments may present special tax issues for the Fund. U.S. federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when the Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. These and other issues will be addressed by the Fund, to the extent necessary, in order to seek to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to ensure that it does not become subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.

          For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, an additional 3.8% Medicare tax will be imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceed certain threshold amounts.

          Gain or loss on the sale or redemption of Fund Shares is measured by the difference between the amount of cash received (or the fair market value of any property received) and the adjusted tax basis of the Shares. Shareholders should keep records of investments made (including Shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends and distributions) so they can compute the tax basis of their Shares. The broker or other financial intermediary that holds Shares has generally been required since January 1, 2011 to report cost basis information to shareholders.

          A loss realized on a sale or exchange of Shares of the Fund may be disallowed if other Fund Shares (or substantially identical shares) are acquired (whether through the automatic reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a sixty-one (61) day period beginning thirty (30) days before and ending thirty (30) days after the date that the Shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis of the Shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss upon the sale or exchange of Shares held for six (6) months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends received by the shareholders. Distribution of ordinary income and capital gains may also be subject to foreign, state and local taxes.

          Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

- 35 -


          The Fund may make investments in which it recognizes income or gain prior to receiving cash with respect to such investment. For example, under certain tax rules, the Fund may be required to accrue a portion of any discount at which certain securities are purchased as income each year even though the Fund receives no payments in cash on the security during the year. To the extent that the Fund makes such investments, it generally would be required to pay out such income or gain as a distribution in each year to avoid taxation at the Fund level.

          Distributions reinvested in additional Fund Shares will nevertheless be taxable dividends to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such dividends had been received in cash.

          If you are not a citizen or resident alien of the United States or if you are a non-U.S. entity, the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

          For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2012, properly designated dividends received by non-U.S. Shareholders are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax when they (a) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the Fund’s U.S. source interest income, other than certain contingent interest and interest from obligations of a corporation or partnership in which the Fund is at least a 10% stockholder, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income), or (b) are paid in connection with the Fund’s “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain over the Fund’s long-term capital loss for such taxable year). However, depending on the circumstances, the Fund may designate all, some or none of the Fund’s potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term capital gains, and/or treat such dividends, in whole or in part, as ineligible for this exemption from withholding. In order to qualify for this exemption from withholding, a Non-U.S. Shareholder must comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN or an acceptable substitute or successor form). Legislation has been proposed that would extend this exemption to taxable years beginning before January 1, 2013, but there can be no assurance as to whether or not this legislation will be enacted. Thus, an investment in the shares of the Fund by a Non-U.S. Shareholder may have adverse tax consequences as compared to a direct investment in the assets in which the Fund will invest.

          A non-U.S. Shareholder whose income from the Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income tax on capital gain dividends, any amounts retained by the Fund that are designated as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares of the Fund. If, however, such a non-U.S. Shareholder is a nonresident alien individual and is physically present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements such capital gain dividends, undistributed capital gains and gains from the sale or exchange of shares will be subject to a 30% U.S. tax.

          Effective January 1, 2014, the Fund will be required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of dividends and (effective January 1, 2015) redemption proceeds made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply ( or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.

          Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, including the possible applicability of the U.S. estate tax.

          Some shareholders may be subject to a withholding tax on distributions of ordinary income, capital gains and any cash received on redemption of Creation Units (“backup withholding”). The backup withholding rate for individuals is currently 28% and is currently scheduled to increase to 31% in 2013. Generally, shareholders subject to backup withholding will be those for whom no certified taxpayer identification number is on file with the Fund or who, to the Fund’s knowledge, have furnished an incorrect number. When establishing an account, an investor must certify under penalty of perjury that such number is correct and that such investor is not otherwise subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld will be allowed as a credit against shareholders’ U.S. federal income tax liabilities, and may entitle them to a refund, provided that the required information is timely furnished to the Internal Revenue Service.

- 36 -


          The foregoing discussion is a summary only and is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Purchasers of Shares of the Trust should consult their own tax advisers as to the tax consequences of investing in such Shares, including under state, local and other tax laws. Finally, the foregoing discussion is based on applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, judicial authority and administrative interpretations in effect on the date hereof. Changes in applicable authority could materially affect the conclusions discussed above, and such changes often occur.

Reportable Transactions

          Under promulgated Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of the Fund’s Shares of $2 million or more in any one taxable year (or $4 million or more over a period of six taxable years) for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more in any taxable year (or $20 million or more over a period of six taxable years) for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC that engaged in a reportable transaction are not excepted. Future guidance may extend the current exception from this reporting requirement to shareholders of most or all RICs. In addition, significant penalties may be imposed for the failure to comply with the reporting requirements. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

CAPITAL STOCK AND SHAREHOLDER REPORTS

          The Trust currently is comprised of [  ] investment funds. The Trust issues Shares of beneficial interest with no par value. The Board may designate additional funds of the Trust.

          Each Share issued by the Trust has a pro rata interest in the assets of the Fund. Shares have no pre-emptive, exchange, subscription or conversion rights and are freely transferable. Each Share is entitled to participate equally in dividends and distributions declared by the Board with respect to the Fund, and in the net distributable assets of the Fund on liquidation.

          Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder and each fractional Share has a proportional fractional vote. Shares of all funds vote together as a single class except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund, and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. Under Delaware law, the Trust is not required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. The policy of the Trust is not to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. All Shares of the Trust have noncumulative voting rights for the election of Trustees. Under Delaware law, Trustees of the Trust may be removed by vote of the shareholders.

          Under Delaware law, shareholders of a statutory trust may have similar limitations on liability as shareholders of a corporation.

          The Trust will issue through DTC Participants to its shareholders semi-annual reports containing unaudited financial statements and annual reports containing financial statements audited by an independent auditor approved by the Trust’s Trustees and by the shareholders when meetings are held and such other information as may be required by applicable laws, rules and regulations. Beneficial Owners also receive annually notification as to the tax status of the Trust’s distributions.

- 37 -


          Shareholder inquiries may be made by writing to the Trust, c/o Van Eck Associates Corporation, 335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

COUNSEL AND INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

          Dechert LLP, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York, 10036, is counsel to the Trust and has passed upon the validity of the Fund’s Shares.

          [            ], [            ], is the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and audits the Fund’s financial statements and performs other related audit services.

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LICENSE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMERS

          The Adviser has entered into a licensing agreement with the Index Provider to use the Index. The Fund is entitled to use the Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser.

          [To come.]

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APPENDIX A

VAN ECK GLOBAL PROXY VOTING POLICIES

Van Eck Global (the “Adviser”) has adopted the following policies and procedures which are reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of its clients in accordance with its fiduciary duties and Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. When an adviser has been granted proxy voting authority by a client, the adviser owes its clients the duties of care and loyalty in performing this service on their behalf. The duty of care requires the adviser to monitor corporate actions and vote client proxies. The duty of loyalty requires the adviser to cast the proxy votes in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the client.

Rule 206(4)-6 also requires the Adviser to disclose information about the proxy voting procedures to its clients and to inform clients how to obtain information about how their proxies were voted. Additionally, Rule 204-2 under the Advisers Act requires the Adviser to maintain certain proxy voting records.

An adviser that exercises voting authority without complying with Rule 206(4)-6 will be deemed to have engaged in a “fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative” act, practice or course of business within the meaning of Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act.

The Adviser intends to vote all proxies in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, and in the best interests of clients without influence by real or apparent conflicts of interest. To assist in its responsibility for voting proxies and the overall voting process, the Adviser has engaged an independent third party proxy voting specialist, Glass Lewis & Co., LLC. The services provided by Glass Lewis include in-depth research, global issuer analysis, and voting recommendations as well as vote execution, reporting and recordkeeping.

Resolving Material Conflicts of Interest

When a material conflict of interest exists, proxies will be voted in the following manner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Strict adherence to the Glass Lewis guidelines, or

 

 

 

 

2.

The potential conflict will be disclosed to the client:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.

with a request that the client vote the proxy,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

with a recommendation that the client engage another party to determine how the proxy should be voted or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

if the foregoing are not acceptable to the client, disclosure of how Van Eck intends to vote and a written consent to that vote by the client.

Any deviations from the foregoing voting mechanisms must be approved by the Chief Compliance Officer with a written explanation of the reason for the deviation.

          A material conflict of interest means the existence of a business relationship between a portfolio company or an affiliate and the Adviser, any affiliate or subsidiary, or an “affiliated person” of a Van Eck mutual fund. Examples of when a material conflict of interest exists include a situation where the adviser provides significant investment advisory, brokerage or other services to a company whose management is soliciting proxies; an officer of the Adviser serves on the board of a charitable organization that receives charitable contributions from the portfolio company and the charitable organization is a client of the Adviser; a portfolio company that is a significant selling agent of the Adviser’s products and services solicits proxies; a broker-dealer or insurance company that controls 5% or more of the Adviser’s assets solicits proxies; the Adviser serves as an investment adviser to the pension or other investment account of the portfolio company; the Adviser and the portfolio company have a lending relationship. In each of these situations voting against management may cause the Adviser a loss of revenue or other benefit.

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Client Inquiries

All inquiries by clients as to how the Adviser has voted proxies must immediately be forwarded to Portfolio Administration.

Disclosure to Clients:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Notification of Availability of Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.

Client Brochure - The Client Brochure or Part II of Form ADV will inform clients that they can obtain information from the Adviser on how their proxies were voted. The Client Brochure or Part II of Form ADV will be mailed to each client annually. The Legal Department will be responsible for coordinating the mailing with Sales/Marketing Departments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Availability of Proxy Voting Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.

At the client’s request or if the information is not available on the Adviser’s website, a hard copy of the account’s proxy votes will be mailed to each client.

Recordkeeping Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Van Eck will retain the following documentation and information for each matter relating to a portfolio security with respect to which a client was entitled to vote:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.

proxy statements received;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

identifying number for the portfolio security;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

shareholder meeting date;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.

brief identification of the matter voted on;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.

whether the vote was cast on the matter;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f.

how the vote was cast (e.g., for or against proposal, or abstain; for or withhold regarding election of directors);

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

g.

records of written client requests for information on how the Adviser voted proxies on behalf of the client;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

h.

a copy of written responses from the Adviser to any written or oral client request for information on how the Adviser voted proxies on behalf of the client; and any documents prepared by the Adviser that were material to the decision on how to vote or that memorialized the basis for the decision, if such documents were prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Copies of proxy statements filed on EDGAR, and proxy statements and records of proxy votes maintained with a third party (i.e., proxy voting service) need not be maintained. The third party must agree in writing to provide a copy of the documents promptly upon request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

If applicable, any document memorializing that the costs of voting a proxy exceed the benefit to the client or any other decision to refrain from voting, and that such abstention was in the client’s best interest.

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4.

Proxy voting records will be maintained in an easily accessible place for five years, the first two at the office of the Adviser. Proxy statements on file with EDGAR or maintained by a third party and proxy votes maintained by a third party are not subject to these particular retention requirements.

Voting Foreign Proxies

At times the Adviser may determine that, in the best interests of its clients, a particular proxy should not be voted. This may occur, for example, when the cost of voting a foreign proxy (translation, transportation, etc.) would exceed the benefit of voting the proxy or voting the foreign proxy may cause an unacceptable limitation on the sale of the security. Any such instances will be documented by the Portfolio Manager and reviewed by the Chief Compliance Officer.

Securities Lending

Certain portfolios managed by the Adviser participate in securities lending programs to generate additional revenue. Proxy voting rights generally pass to the borrower when a security is on loan. The Adviser will use its best efforts to recall a security on loan and vote such securities if the Portfolio Manager determines that the proxy involves a material event.

Proxy Voting Policy

The Adviser has reviewed the Glass Lewis Proxy Guidelines (“Guidelines”) and has determined that the Guidelines are consistent with the Adviser’s proxy voting responsibilities and its fiduciary duty with respect to its clients. The Adviser will review any material amendments to the Guidelines.

While it is the Adviser’s policy to generally follow the Guidelines, the Adviser retains the right, on any specific proxy, to vote differently from the Guidelines, if the Adviser believes it is in the best interests of its c6

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(COVER)

PROXY PAPER GUIDELINES

2012 PROXY SEASON

A N  O V E R V I E W  O F

T H E  G L A S S  L E W I S  A P P R O A C H  T O

P R O X Y  A D V I C E

U N I T E D  S T A T E S




(BANNER)

CONTENTS


 

 

 

I. A Board That Serves the Interests of Shareholders

 

1

Election of Directors

 

1

Independence

 

1

Performance

 

4

Experience

 

13

Other Considerations

 

13

Controlled Companies

 

15

Unofficially Controlled Companies and 20-50% Beneficial Owners

 

16

Exceptions for Recent IPOs

 

16

Mutual Fund Boards

 

17

Declassified Boards

 

18

Mandatory Director Term and Age Limits

 

19

Requiring Two or More Nominees per Board Seat

 

19

Shareholder Access

 

19

Majority Vote for the Election of Directors

 

19

The plurality vote standard

 

20

Advantages of a majority vote standard

 

20

II. Transparency and Integrity of Financial Reporting

 

21

Auditor Ratification

 

21

Voting Recommendations on Auditor Ratification

 

21

Pension Accounting Issues

 

22

III. The Link Between Compensation and Performance

 

23

Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (“Say-on-Pay”)

 

23

Say-on-Pay Voting Recommendations

 

24

Additional Scrutiny for Companies with Significant Opposition in 2011

 

25

Short-Term Incentives

 

25

Long-Term Incentives

 

25

Pay for Performance

 

26

Recoupment (“Clawback”) Provisions

 

27

Frequency of Say-on-Pay

 

27

Vote on Golden Parachute Arrangements

 

27

Equity-Based Compensation Plan Proposals

 

27

Option Exchanges

 

28

Option Backdating, Spring-Loading, and Bullet-Dodging

 

29

162(m) Plans

 

30

Director Compensation Plans

 

31


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IV. Governance Structure and the Shareholder Franchise

 

32

Anti-Takeover Measures

 

32

Poison Pills (Shareholder Rights Plans)

 

32

NOL Poison Pills

 

32

Fair Price Provisions

 

33

Reincorporation

 

33

Exclusive Forum Provisions

 

34

Authorized Shares

 

34

Advance Notice Requirements

 

35

Voting Structure

 

36

Cumulative Voting

 

36

Supermajority Vote Requirements

 

36

Transaction of Other Business

 

37

Anti-Greenmail Proposals

 

37

Mutual Funds: Investment Policies and Advisory Agreements

 

37

V. Compensation, Environmental, Social and Governance Shareholder Initiatives

 

38

Compensation

 

38

Disclosure of Individual Compensation

 

38

Linking Pay with Performance

 

39

Retirement Benefits & Severance

 

39

Bonus Recoupments (“Clawbacks”)

 

39

Golden Coffins

 

40

Retention of Shares until Retirement

 

40

Tax Gross-Ups

 

41

Linking Executive Pay to Environmental and Social Criteria

 

41

Governance

 

41

Declassification of the Board

 

41

Right of Shareholders to Call a Special Meeting

 

41

Right of Shareholders to Act by Written Consent

 

42

Board Composition

 

42

Reimbursement of Solicitation Expenses

 

43

Majority Vote for the Election of Directors

 

43

Cumulative Vote for the Election of Directors

 

43

Supermajority Vote Requirements

 

44

Independent Chairman

 

44

Proxy Access

 

44

Environment

 

45

Climate Change and Green House Gas Emission Disclosure

 

46


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Sustainability and other Environmentally-Related Reports

 

46

Oil Sands

 

47

Sustainable Forestry

 

47

Social Issues

 

48

Non-Discrimination Policies

 

48

MacBride Principles

 

48

Human Rights

 

48

Military and US Government Business Policies

 

49

Foreign Government Business Policies

 

49

Health Care Reform Principles

 

49

Tobacco

 

50

Reporting Contributions and Political Spending

 

50

Animal Welfare

 

51

Internet Censorship

 

51

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(BANNER)

I. A BOARD THAT SERVES THE INTERESTS OF SHAREHOLDERS


ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

The purpose of Glass Lewis’ proxy research and advice is to facilitate shareholder voting in favor of governance structures that will drive performance, create shareholder value and maintain a proper tone at the top. Glass Lewis looks for talented boards with a record of protecting shareholders and delivering value over the medium- and long-term. We believe that boards working to protect and enhance the best interests of shareholders are independent, have directors with diverse backgrounds, have a record of positive performance, and have members with a breadth and depth of relevant experience.

Independence

The independence of directors, or lack thereof, is ultimately demonstrated through the decisions they make. In assessing the independence of directors, we will take into consideration, when appropriate, whether a director has a track record indicative of making objective decisions. Likewise, when assessing the independence of directors we will also examine when a director’s service track record on multiple boards indicates a lack of objective decision-making. Ultimately, we believe the determination of whether a director is independent or not must take into consideration both compliance with the applicable independence listing requirements as well as judgments made by the director.

We look at each director nominee to examine the director’s relationships with the company, the company’s executives, and other directors. We do this to evaluate whether personal, familial, or financial relationships (not including director compensation) may impact the director’s decisions. We believe that such relationships make it difficult for a director to put shareholders’ interests above the director’s or the related party’s interests. We also believe that a director who owns more than 20% of a company can exert disproportionate influence on the board and, in particular, the audit committee.

Thus, we put directors into three categories based on an examination of the type of relationship they have with the company:

 

 

 

Independent Director - An independent director has no material financial, familial or other current relationships with the company, its executives, or other board members, except for board service and standard fees paid for that service. Relationships that existed within three to five years1 before the inquiry are usually considered “current” for purposes of this test.

 

 

 

In our view, a director who is currently serving in an interim management position should be considered an insider, while a director who previously served in an interim management position for less than one year and is no longer serving in such capacity is considered independent. Moreover, a director who previously served in an interim management position for over one year and is no longer serving in such capacity is considered an affiliate for five years following the date of his/her resignation or departure from the interim management position. Glass Lewis applies a three-year look-back period to all directors who have an affiliation with the company other than former employment, for which we apply a five-year look-back.


 

 

 

 

1 NASDAQ originally proposed a five-year look-back period but both it and the NYSE ultimately settled on a three-year look-back prior to finalizing their rules. A five-year standard is more appropriate, in our view, because we believe that the unwinding of conflicting relationships between former management and board members is more likely to be complete and final after five years. However, Glass Lewis does not apply the five-year look-back period to directors who have previously served as executives of the company on an interim basis for less than one year.

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Affiliated Director - An affiliated director has a material financial, familial or other relationship with the company or its executives, but is not an employee of the company.2 This includes directors whose employers have a material financial relationship with the company.3 In addition, we view a director who owns or controls 20% or more of the company’s voting stock as an affiliate.4

 

 

 

We view 20% shareholders as affiliates because they typically have access to and involvement with the management of a company that is fundamentally different from that of ordinary shareholders. More importantly, 20% holders may have interests that diverge from those of ordinary holders, for reasons such as the liquidity (or lack thereof) of their holdings, personal tax issues, etc.


 

 

 

Definition of “Material”: A material relationship is one in which the dollar value exceeds:


 

 

 

 

$50,000 (or where no amount is disclosed) for directors who are paid for a service they have agreed to perform for the company, outside of their service as a director, including professional or other services; or

 

 

 

 

$120,000 (or where no amount is disclosed) for those directors employed by a professional services firm such as a law firm, investment bank, or consulting firm where the company pays the firm, not the individual, for services. This dollar limit would also apply to charitable contributions to schools where a board member is a professor; or charities where a director serves on the board or is an executive;5 and any aircraft and real estate dealings between the company and the director’s firm; or

 

 

 

 

1% of either company’s consolidated gross revenue for other business relationships (e.g., where the director is an executive officer of a company that provides services or products to or receives services or products from the company).


 

 

 

Definition of “Familial”: Familial relationships include a person’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and anyone (other than domestic employees) who shares such person’s home. A director is an affiliate if the director has a family member who is employed by the company and who receives compensation of $120,000 or more per year or the compensation is not disclosed.

 

 

 

Definition of “Company”: A company includes any parent or subsidiary in a group with the company or any entity that merged with, was acquired by, or acquired the company.


 

 

 

Inside Director - An inside director simultaneously serves as a director and as an employee of the company. This category may include a chairman of the board who acts as an employee of the company or is paid as an employee of the company. In our view, an inside director who derives


 

 

 

 

2 If a company classifies one of its non-employee directors as non-independent, Glass Lewis will classify that director as an affiliate.

3 We allow a five-year grace period for former executives of the company or merged companies who have consulting agreements with the surviving company. (We do not automatically recommend voting against directors in such cases for the first five years.) If the consulting agreement persists after this five-year grace period, we apply the materiality thresholds outlined in the definition of “material.”

4 This includes a director who serves on a board as a representative (as part of his or her basic responsibilities) of an investment firm with greater than 20% ownership. However, while we will generally consider him/her to be affiliated, we will not recommend voting against unless (i) the investment firm has disproportionate board representation or (ii) the director serves on the audit committee.

5 We will generally take into consideration the size and nature of such charitable entities in relation to the company’s size and industry along with any other relevant factors such as the director’s role at the charity. However, unlike for other types of related party transactions, Glass Lewis generally does not apply a look-back period to affiliated relationships involving charitable contributions; if the relationship ceases, we will consider the director to be independent.

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a greater amount of income as a result of affiliated transactions with the company rather than through compensation paid by the company (i.e., salary, bonus, etc. as a company employee) faces a conflict between making decisions that are in the best interests of the company versus those in the director’s own best interests. Therefore, we will recommend voting against such a director.


 

 

 

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Board Independence

 

 

 

Glass Lewis believes a board will be most effective in protecting shareholders’ interests if it is at least two-thirds independent. We note that each of the Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, and the Council of Institutional Investors advocates that two-thirds of the board be independent. Where more than one-third of the members are affiliated or inside directors, we typically6 recommend voting against some of the inside and/or affiliated directors in order to satisfy the two-thirds threshold.

 

 

 

In the case of a less than two-thirds independent board, Glass Lewis strongly supports the existence of a presiding or lead director with authority to set the meeting agendas and to lead sessions outside the insider chairman’s presence.

 

 

 

In addition, we scrutinize avowedly “independent” chairmen and lead directors. We believe that they should be unquestionably independent or the company should not tout them as such.

 

 

 

Committee Independence

 

 

 

We believe that only independent directors should serve on a company’s audit, compensation, nominating, and governance committees.7 We typically recommend that shareholders vote against any affiliated or inside director seeking appointment to an audit, compensation, nominating, or governance committee, or who has served in that capacity in the past year.

 

 

 

Independent Chairman

 

 

 

Glass Lewis believes that separating the roles of CEO (or, more rarely, another executive position) and chairman creates a better governance structure than a combined CEO/chairman position. An executive manages the business according to a course the board charts. Executives should report to the board regarding their performance in achieving goals the board set. This is needlessly complicated when a CEO chairs the board, since a CEO/chairman presumably will have a significant influence over the board.

 

 

 

It can become difficult for a board to fulfill its role of overseer and policy setter when a CEO/ chairman controls the agenda and the boardroom discussion. Such control can allow a CEO to have an entrenched position, leading to longer-than-optimal terms, fewer checks on management, less scrutiny of the business operation, and limitations on independent, shareholder-focused goal-setting by the board.

 

 

 

A CEO should set the strategic course for the company, with the board’s approval, and the board should enable the CEO to carry out the CEO’s vision for accomplishing the board’s objectives.


 

 

 

 

6 With a staggered board, if the affiliates or insiders that we believe should not be on the board are not up for election, we will express our concern regarding those directors, but we will not recommend voting against the other affiliates or insiders who are up for election just to achieve two-thirds independence. However, we will consider recommending voting against the directors subject to our concern at their next election if the concerning issue is not resolved.

7 We will recommend voting against an audit committee member who owns 20% or more of the company’s stock, and we believe that there should be a maximum of one director (or no directors if the committee is comprised of less than three directors) who owns 20% or more of the company’s stock on the compensation, nominating, and governance committees.

Copyright 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
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Failure to achieve the board’s objectives should lead the board to replace that CEO with someone in whom the board has confidence.

 

 

 

Likewise, an independent chairman can better oversee executives and set a pro-shareholder agenda without the management conflicts that a CEO and other executive insiders often face. Such oversight and concern for shareholders allows for a more proactive and effective board of directors that is better able to look out for the interests of shareholders.

 

 

 

Further, it is the board’s responsibility to select a chief executive who can best serve a company and its shareholders and to replace this person when his or her duties have not been appropriately fulfilled. Such a replacement becomes more difficult and happens less frequently when the chief executive is also in the position of overseeing the board.

 

 

 

Glass Lewis believes that the installation of an independent chairman is almost always a positive step from a corporate governance perspective and promotes the best interests of shareholders. Further, the presence of an independent chairman fosters the creation of a thoughtful and dynamic board, not dominated by the views of senior management. Encouragingly, many companies appear to be moving in this direction—one study even indicates that less than 12 percent of incoming CEOs in 2009 were awarded the chairman title, versus 48 percent as recently as 2002.8 Another study finds that 41 percent of S&P 500 boards now separate the CEO and chairman roles, up from 26 percent in 2001, although the same study found that of those companies, only 21 percent have truly independent chairs.9

 

 

 

We do not recommend that shareholders vote against CEOs who chair the board. However, we typically encourage our clients to support separating the roles of chairman and CEO whenever that question is posed in a proxy (typically in the form of a shareholder proposal), as we believe that it is in the long-term best interests of the company and its shareholders.

Performance

 

The most crucial test of a board’s commitment to the company and its shareholders lies in the actions of the board and its members. We look at the performance of these individuals as directors and executives of the company and of other companies where they have served.


 

 

 

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Performance

 

 

 

We disfavor directors who have a record of not fulfilling their responsibilities to shareholders at any company where they have held a board or executive position. We typically recommend voting against:


 

 

 

 

1.

A director who fails to attend a minimum of 75% of board and applicable committee meetings, calculated in the aggregate.10

 

 

 

2.

A director who belatedly filed a significant form(s) 4 or 5, or who has a pattern of late filings if the late filing was the director’s fault (we look at these late filing situations on a case-by-case basis).


 

 

 

 

8 Ken Favaro, Per-Ola Karlsson and Gary Neilson. “CEO Succession 2000-2009: A Decade of Convergence and Compression.” Booz & Company (from Strategy+Business, Issue 59, Summer 2010).

9 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 6.

10 However, where a director has served for less than one full year, we will typically not recommend voting against for failure to attend 75% of meetings. Rather, we will note the poor attendance with a recommendation to track this issue going forward. We will also refrain from recommending to vote against directors when the proxy discloses that the director missed the meetings due to serious illness or other extenuating circumstances.

Copyright 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
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3.

A director who is also the CEO of a company where a serious and material restatement has occurred after the CEO had previously certified the pre-restatement financial statements.

 

 

 

 

4.

A director who has received two against recommendations from Glass Lewis for identical reasons within the prior year at different companies (the same situation must also apply at the company being analyzed).

 

 

 

 

5.

All directors who served on the board if, for the last three years, the company’s performance has been in the bottom quartile of the sector and the directors have not taken reasonable steps to address the poor performance.


 

 

 

Audit Committees and Performance

 

 

 

Audit committees play an integral role in overseeing the financial reporting process because “[v]ibrant and stable capital markets depend on, among other things, reliable, transparent, and objective financial information to support an efficient and effective capital market process. The vital oversight role audit committees play in the process of producing financial information has never been more important.”11

 

 

 

When assessing an audit committee’s performance, we are aware that an audit committee does not prepare financial statements, is not responsible for making the key judgments and assumptions that affect the financial statements, and does not audit the numbers or the disclosures provided to investors. Rather, an audit committee member monitors and oversees the process and procedures that management and auditors perform. The 1999 Report and Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees stated it best:


 

A proper and well-functioning system exists, therefore, when the three main groups responsible for financial reporting - the full board including the audit committee, financial management including the internal auditors, and the outside auditors - form a ‘three legged stool’ that supports responsible financial disclosure and active participatory oversight. However, in the view of the Committee, the audit committee must be ‘first among equals’ in this process, since the audit committee is an extension of the full board and hence the ultimate monitor of the process.


 

 

 

Standards For Assessing The Audit Committee

 

 

 

For an audit committee to function effectively on investors’ behalf, it must include members with sufficient knowledge to diligently carry out their responsibilities. In its audit and accounting recommendations, the Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise said “members of the audit committee must be independent and have both knowledge and experience in auditing financial matters.”12

 

 

 

We are skeptical of audit committees where there are members that lack expertise as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or corporate controller or similar experience. While we will not necessarily vote against members of an audit committee when such expertise


 

 

 

 

11 “Audit Committee Effectiveness - What Works Best.” PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation. 2005.

12 Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise. The Conference Board. 2003.

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is lacking, we are more likely to vote against committee members when a problem such as a restatement occurs and such expertise is lacking.

 

 

 

Glass Lewis generally assesses audit committees against the decisions they make with respect to their oversight and monitoring role. The quality and integrity of the financial statements and earnings reports, the completeness of disclosures necessary for investors to make informed decisions, and the effectiveness of the internal controls should provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements are materially free from errors. The independence of the external auditors and the results of their work all provide useful information by which to assess the audit committee.

 

 

 

When assessing the decisions and actions of the audit committee, we typically defer to its judgment and would vote in favor of its members, but we would recommend voting against the following members under the following circumstances:13

 

 

 

1.

All members of the audit committee when options were backdated, there is a lack of adequate controls in place, there was a resulting restatement, and disclosures indicate there was a lack of documentation with respect to the option grants.

 

 

 

 

2.

The audit committee chair, if the audit committee does not have a financial expert or the committee’s financial expert does not have a demonstrable financial background sufficient to understand the financial issues unique to public companies.

 

 

 

 

3.

The audit committee chair, if the audit committee did not meet at least four times during the year.

 

 

 

 

4.

The audit committee chair, if the committee has less than three members.

 

 

 

 

5.

Any audit committee member who sits on more than three public company audit committees, unless the audit committee member is a retired CPA, CFO, controller or has similar experience, in which case the limit shall be four committees, taking time and availability into consideration including a review of the audit committee member’s attendance at all board and committee meetings.14

 

 

 

 

6.

All members of an audit committee who are up for election and who served on the committee at the time of the audit, if audit and audit-related fees total one-third or less of the total fees billed by the auditor.

 

 

 

 

7.

The audit committee chair when tax and/or other fees are greater than audit and audit-related fees paid to the auditor for more than one year in a row (in which case we also recommend against ratification of the auditor).

 

 

 

 

8.

All members of an audit committee where non-audit fees include fees for tax services (including, but not limited to, such things as tax avoidance or shelter schemes) for senior executives of the company. Such services are now prohibited by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”).


 

 

 

 

13 Where the recommendation is to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against the members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern with regard to the committee chair.

14 Glass Lewis may exempt certain audit committee members from the above threshold if, upon further analysis of relevant factors such as the director’s experience, the size, industry-mix and location of the companies involved and the director’s attendance at all the companies, we can reasonably determine that the audit committee member is likely not hindered by multiple audit committee commitments.

Copyright 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
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  9.

All members of an audit committee that reappointed an auditor that we no longer consider to be independent for reasons unrelated to fee proportions.

 

 

 

 

10.

All members of an audit committee when audit fees are excessively low, especially when compared with other companies in the same industry.

 

 

 

 

11.

The audit committee chair15 if the committee failed to put auditor ratification on the ballot for shareholder approval. However, if the non-audit fees or tax fees exceed audit plus audit-related fees in either the current or the prior year, then Glass Lewis will recommend voting against the entire audit committee.

 

 

 

 

12.

All members of an audit committee where the auditor has resigned and reported that a section 10A16 letter has been issued.

 

 

 

 

13.

All members of an audit committee at a time when material accounting fraud occurred at the company.17

 

 

 

 

14.

All members of an audit committee at a time when annual and/or multiple quarterly financial statements had to be restated, and any of the following factors apply:


 

 

 

 

The restatement involves fraud or manipulation by insiders;

 

 

 

 

The restatement is accompanied by an SEC inquiry or investigation;

 

 

 

 

The restatement involves revenue recognition;

 

 

 

 

The restatement results in a greater than 5% adjustment to costs of goods sold, operating expense, or operating cash flows; or

 

 

 

 

The restatement results in a greater than 5% adjustment to net income, 10% adjustment to assets or shareholders equity, or cash flows from financing or investing activities.


 

 

 

 

15.

All members of an audit committee if the company repeatedly fails to file its financial reports in a timely fashion. For example, the company has filed two or more quarterly or annual financial statements late within the last five quarters.

 

 

 

16.

All members of an audit committee when it has been disclosed that a law enforcement agency has charged the company and/or its employees with a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

 

 

 

17.

All members of an audit committee when the company has aggressive accounting policies and/or poor disclosure or lack of sufficient transparency in its financial statements.

 

 

 

18.

All members of the audit committee when there is a disagreement with the auditor and the auditor resigns or is dismissed.


 

 

 

 

15 In all cases, if the chair of the committee is not specified, we recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest.

16 Auditors are required to report all potential illegal acts to management and the audit committee unless they are clearly inconsequential in nature. If the audit committee or the board fails to take appropriate action on an act that has been determined to be a violation of the law, the independent auditor is required to send a section 10A letter to the SEC. Such letters are rare and therefore we believe should be taken seriously.

17 Recent research indicates that revenue fraud now accounts for over 60% of SEC fraud cases, and that companies that engage in fraud experience significant negative abnormal stock price declines—facing bankruptcy, delisting, and material asset sales at much higher rates than do non-fraud firms (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. “Fraudulent Financial Reporting: 1998-2007.” May 2010).

Copyright 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
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19.

All members of the audit committee if the contract with the auditor specifically limits the auditor’s liability to the company for damages.18

 

 

 

 

20.

All members of the audit committee who served since the date of the company’s last annual meeting, and when, since the last annual meeting, the company has reported a material weakness that has not yet been corrected, or, when the company has an ongoing material weakness from a prior year that has not yet been corrected.

 

 

 

 

We also take a dim view of audit committee reports that are boilerplate, and which provide little or no information or transparency to investors. When a problem such as a material weakness, restatement or late filings occurs, we take into consideration, in forming our judgment with respect to the audit committee, the transparency of the audit committee report.

 

 

 

Compensation Committee Performance

 

 

 

Compensation committees have the final say in determining the compensation of executives. This includes deciding the basis on which compensation is determined, as well as the amounts and types of compensation to be paid. This process begins with the hiring and initial establishment of employment agreements, including the terms for such items as pay, pensions and severance arrangements. It is important in establishing compensation arrangements that compensation be consistent with, and based on the long-term economic performance of, the business’s long-term shareholders returns.

 

 

 

Compensation committees are also responsible for the oversight of the transparency of compensation. This oversight includes disclosure of compensation arrangements, the matrix used in assessing pay for performance, and the use of compensation consultants. In order to ensure the independence of the compensation consultant, we believe the compensation committee should only engage a compensation consultant that is not also providing any services to the company or management apart from their contract with the compensation committee. It is important to investors that they have clear and complete disclosure of all the significant terms of compensation arrangements in order to make informed decisions with respect to the oversight and decisions of the compensation committee.

 

 

 

Finally, compensation committees are responsible for oversight of internal controls over the executive compensation process. This includes controls over gathering information used to determine compensation, establishment of equity award plans, and granting of equity awards. Lax controls can and have contributed to conflicting information being obtained, for example through the use of nonobjective consultants. Lax controls can also contribute to improper awards of compensation such as through granting of backdated or spring-loaded options, or granting of bonuses when triggers for bonus payments have not been met.

 

 

 

Central to understanding the actions of a compensation committee is a careful review of the Compensation Discussion and Analysis (CD&A) report included in each company’s proxy. We review the CD&A in our evaluation of the overall compensation practices of a company, as overseen by the compensation committee. The CD&A is also integral to the evaluation of compensation proposals at companies, such as advisory votes on executive compensation, which allow shareholders to vote on the compensation paid to a company’s top executives.


 

 

 

 

18 The Council of Institutional Investors. “Corporate Governance Policies,” p. 4, April 5, 2006; and “Letter from Council of Institutional Investors to the AICPA,” November 8, 2006.

Copyright 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
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When assessing the performance of compensation committees, we will recommend voting against for the following: 19

 

 

 

  1.

All members of the compensation committee who are up for election and served at the time of poor pay-for-performance (e.g., a company receives an F grade in our pay-for-performance analysis) when shareholders are not provided with an advisory vote on executive compensation at the annual meeting.20

 

 

 

 

  2.

Any member of the compensation committee who has served on the compensation committee of at least two other public companies that received F grades in our pay-for-performance model and who is also suspect at the company in question.

 

 

 

 

  3.

The compensation committee chair if the company received two D grades in consecutive years in our pay-for-performance analysis, and if during the past year the Company performed the same as or worse than its peers.21

 

 

 

 

  4.

All members of the compensation committee (during the relevant time period) if the company entered into excessive employment agreements and/or severance agreements.

 

 

 

 

  5.

All members of the compensation committee when performance goals were changed (i.e., lowered) when employees failed or were unlikely to meet original goals, or performance-based compensation was paid despite goals not being attained.

 

 

 

 

  6.

All members of the compensation committee if excessive employee perquisites and benefits were allowed.

 

 

 

 

  7.

The compensation committee chair if the compensation committee did not meet during the year, but should have (e.g., because executive compensation was restructured or a new executive was hired).

 

 

 

 

  8.

All members of the compensation committee when the company repriced options or completed a “self tender offer” without shareholder approval within the past two years.

 

 

 

 

  9.

All members of the compensation committee when vesting of in-the-money options is accelerated or when fully vested options are granted.

 

 

 

 

10.

All members of the compensation committee when option exercise prices were backdated. Glass Lewis will recommend voting against an executive director who played a role in and participated in option backdating.

 

 

 

 

11.

All members of the compensation committee when option exercise prices were spring-loaded or otherwise timed around the release of material information.


 

 

 

 

19 Where the recommendation is to vote against the committee chair and the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern with regard to the committee chair.

20 Where there are multiple CEOs in one year, we will consider not recommending against the compensation committee but will defer judgment on compensation policies and practices until the next year or a full year after arrival of the new CEO. In addition, if a company provides shareholders with a say-on-pay proposal and receives an F grade in our pay-for-performance model, we will recommend that shareholders only vote against the say-on-pay proposal rather than the members of the compensation committee, unless the company exhibits egregious practices. However, if the company receives successive F grades, we will then recommend against the members of the compensation committee in addition to recommending voting against the say-on-pay proposal.

21 In cases where the company received two D grades in consecutive years, but during the past year the company performed better than its peers or improved from an F to a D grade year over year, we refrain from recommending to vote against the compensation chair. In addition, if a company provides shareholders with a say-on-pay proposal in this instance, we will consider voting against the advisory vote rather than the compensation committee chair unless the company exhibits unquestionably egregious practices.

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12.

All members of the compensation committee when a new employment contract is given to an executive that does not include a clawback provision and the company had a material restatement, especially if the restatement was due to fraud.

 

 

 

 

13.

The chair of the compensation committee where the CD&A provides insufficient or unclear information about performance metrics and goals, where the CD&A indicates that pay is not tied to performance, or where the compensation committee or management has excessive discretion to alter performance terms or increase amounts of awards in contravention of previously defined targets.

 

 

 

 

14.

All members of the compensation committee during whose tenure the committee failed to implement a shareholder proposal regarding a compensation-related issue, where the proposal received the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting shares at a shareholder meeting, and when a reasonable analysis suggests that the compensation committee (rather than the governance committee) should have taken steps to implement the request.22

 

 

 

 

15.

All members of a compensation committee during whose tenure the committee failed to address shareholder concerns following majority shareholder rejection of the say-on-pay proposal in the previous year. Where the proposal was approved but there was a significant shareholder vote (i.e., greater than 25% of votes cast) against the say-on-pay proposal in the prior year, if there is no evidence that the board responded accordingly to the vote including actively engaging shareholders on this issue, we will also consider recommending voting against the chairman of the compensation committee or all members of the compensation committee, depending on the severity and history of the compensation problems and the level of vote against.

 

 

 

 

Nominating and Governance Committee Performance

 

 

 

The nominating and governance committee, as an agency for the shareholders, is responsible for the governance by the board of the company and its executives. In performing this role, the board is responsible and accountable for selection of objective and competent board members. It is also responsible for providing leadership on governance policies adopted by the company, such as decisions to implement shareholder proposals that have received a majority vote.

 

 

 

 

Consistent with Glass Lewis’ philosophy that boards should have diverse backgrounds and members with a breadth and depth of relevant experience, we believe that nominating and governance committees should consider diversity when making director nominations within the context of each specific company and its industry. In our view, shareholders are best served when boards make an effort to ensure a constituency that is not only reasonably diverse on the basis of age, race, gender and ethnicity, but also on the basis of geographic knowledge, industry experience and culture.

 

 

 

Regarding the nominating and or governance committee, we will recommend voting against the following:23


 

 

 

 

22 In all other instances (i.e. a non-compensation-related shareholder proposal should have been implemented) we recommend that shareholders vote against the members of the governance committee.

23 Where we would recommend to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern regarding the committee chair

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1.

All members of the governance committee24 during whose tenure the board failed to implement a shareholder proposal with a direct and substantial impact on shareholders and their rights - i.e., where the proposal received enough shareholder votes (at least a majority) to allow the board to implement or begin to implement that proposal.25 Examples of these types of shareholder proposals are majority vote to elect directors and to declassify the board.

 

 

 

 

2.

The governance committee chair,26 when the chairman is not independent and an independent lead or presiding director has not been appointed.27

 

 

 

 

3.

In the absence of a nominating committee, the governance committee chair when there are less than five or the whole nominating committee when there are more than 20 members on the board.

 

 

 

 

4.

The governance committee chair, when the committee fails to meet at all during the year.

 

 

 

 

5.

The governance committee chair, when for two consecutive years the company provides what we consider to be “inadequate” related party transaction disclosure (i.e. the nature of such transactions and/or the monetary amounts involved are unclear or excessively vague, thereby preventing an average shareholder from being able to reasonably interpret the independence status of multiple directors above and beyond what the company maintains is compliant with SEC or applicable stock-exchange listing requirements).

 

 

 

 

6.

The governance committee chair, when during the past year the board adopted a forum selection clause (i.e. an exclusive forum provision) 28 without shareholder approval, or, if the board is currently seeking shareholder approval of a forum selection clause pursuant to a bundled bylaw amendment rather than as a separate proposal.


 

 

 

Regarding the nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the following:29


 

 

 

 

1.

All members of the nominating committee, when the committee nominated or renominated an individual who had a significant conflict of interest or whose past actions demonstrated a lack of integrity or inability to represent shareholder interests.


 

 

 

 

 

24 If the board does not have a governance committee (or a committee that serves such a purpose), we recommend voting against the entire board on this basis.

25 Where a compensation-related shareholder proposal should have been implemented, and when a reasonable analysis suggests that the members of the compensation committee (rather than the governance committee) bear the responsibility for failing to implement the request, we recommend that shareholders only vote against members of the compensation committee.

26 If the committee chair is not specified, we recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest. If the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, we will recommend voting against the longest-serving board member serving on the committee.

27 We believe that one independent individual should be appointed to serve as the lead or presiding director. When such a position is rotated among directors from meeting to meeting, we will recommend voting against as if there were no lead or presiding director. 28 A forum selection clause is a bylaw provision stipulating that a certain state, typically Delaware, shall be the exclusive forum for all intra-corporate disputes (e.g. shareholder derivative actions, assertions of claims of a breach of fiduciary duty, etc.). Such a clause effectively limits a shareholder’s legal remedy regarding appropriate choice of venue and related relief offered under that state’s laws and rulings.

29 Where we would recommend to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern regarding the committee chair.

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2.

The nominating committee chair, if the nominating committee did not meet during the year, but should have (i.e., because new directors were nominated or appointed since the time of the last annual meeting).

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

In the absence of a governance committee, the nominating committee chair30 when the chairman is not independent, and an independent lead or presiding director has not been appointed.31

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

The nominating committee chair, when there are less than five or the whole nominating committee when there are more than 20 members on the board.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

The nominating committee chair, when a director received a greater than 50% against vote the prior year and not only was the director not removed, but the issues that raised shareholder concern were not corrected.33


 

 

 

Board-level Risk Management Oversight

 

 

 

Glass Lewis evaluates the risk management function of a public company board on a strictly case-by-case basis. Sound risk management, while necessary at all companies, is particularly important at financial firms which inherently maintain significant exposure to financial risk. We believe such financial firms should have a chief risk officer reporting directly to the board and a dedicated risk committee or a committee of the board charged with risk oversight. Moreover, many non-financial firms maintain strategies which involve a high level of exposure to financial risk. Similarly, since many non-financial firms have significant hedging or trading strategies, including financial and non-financial derivatives, those firms should also have a chief risk officer and a risk committee.

 

 

 

Our views on risk oversight are consistent with those expressed by various regulatory bodies. In its December 2009 Final Rule release on Proxy Disclosure Enhancements, the SEC noted that risk oversight is a key competence of the board and that additional disclosures would improve investor and shareholder understanding of the role of the board in the organization’s risk management practices. The final rules, which became effective on February 28, 2010, now explicitly require companies and mutual funds to describe (while allowing for some degree of flexibility) the board’s role in the oversight of risk.

 

 

 

When analyzing the risk management practices of public companies, we take note of any significant losses or writedowns on financial assets and/or structured transactions. In cases where a company has disclosed a sizable loss or writedown, and where we find that the company’s board-level risk committee contributed to the loss through poor oversight, we would recommend that shareholders vote against such committee members on that basis. In addition, in cases where a


 

 

 

 

30 If the committee chair is not specified, we will recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest. If the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, we will recommend voting against the longest-serving board member on the committee.

31 In the absence of both a governance and a nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the board on this basis.

32 In the absence of both a governance and a nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the board on this basis.

33 Considering that shareholder discontent clearly relates to the director who received a greater than 50% against vote rather than the nominating chair, we review the validity of the issue(s) that initially raised shareholder concern, follow-up on such matters, and only recommend voting against the nominating chair if a reasonable analysis suggests that it would be most appropriate. In rare cases, we will consider recommending against the nominating chair when a director receives a substantial (i.e., 25% or more) vote against based on the same analysis.

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company maintains a significant level of financial risk exposure but fails to disclose any explicit form of board-level risk oversight (committee or otherwise)34, we will consider recommending to vote against the chairman of the board on that basis. However, we generally would not recommend voting against a combined chairman/CEO except in egregious cases.

EXPERIENCE

We find that a director’s past conduct is often indicative of future conduct and performance. We often find directors with a history of overpaying executives or of serving on boards where avoidable disasters have occurred appearing at companies that follow these same patterns. Glass Lewis has a proprietary database of directors serving at over 8,000 of the most widely held U.S. companies. We use this database to track the performance of directors across companies.

 

 

 

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Director Experience

 

 

 

We typically recommend that shareholders vote against directors who have served on boards or as executives of companies with records of poor performance, inadequate risk oversight, overcompensation, audit- or accounting-related issues, and/or other indicators of mismanagement or actions against the interests of shareholders.35

 

 

 

Likewise, we examine the backgrounds of those who serve on key board committees to ensure that they have the required skills and diverse backgrounds to make informed judgments about the subject matter for which the committee is responsible.

Other Considerations

In addition to the three key characteristics - independence, performance, experience - that we use to evaluate board members, we consider conflict-of-interest issues as well as the size of the board of directors when making voting recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

Conflicts of Interest

 

 

 

 

 

We believe board members should be wholly free of identifiable and substantial conflicts of interest, regardless of the overall level of independent directors on the board. Accordingly, we recommend that shareholders vote against the following types of affiliated or inside directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

A CFO who is on the board: In our view, the CFO holds a unique position relative to financial reporting and disclosure to shareholders. Because of the critical importance of financial disclosure and reporting, we believe the CFO should report to the board and not be a member of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

A director who is on an excessive number of boards: We will typically recommend voting against a director who serves as an executive officer of any public company while serving on more than two other public company boards and any other director who serves on more than six public company boards typically receives an against recommendation from Glass Lewis. Academic literature suggests that one board takes up approximately


 

 

 

 

34 A committee responsible for risk management could be a dedicated risk committee, or another board committee, usually the audit committee but occasionally the finance committee, depending on a given company’s board structure and method of disclosure. At some companies, the entire board is charged with risk management.

35 We typically apply a three-year look-back to such issues and also research to see whether the responsible directors have been up for election since the time of the failure, and if so, we take into account the percentage of support they received from shareholders.

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200 hours per year of each member’s time. We believe this limits the number of boards on which directors can effectively serve, especially executives at other companies.36 Further, we note a recent study has shown that the average number of outside board seats held by CEOs of S&P 500 companies is 0.6, down from 0.8 in 2006 and 1.2 in 2001.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

A director, or a director who has an immediate family member, providing material consulting or other material professional services to the company: These services may include legal, consulting, or financial services. We question the need for the company to have consulting relationships with its directors. We view such relationships as creating conflicts for directors, since they may be forced to weigh their own interests against shareholder interests when making board decisions. In addition, a company’s decisions regarding where to turn for the best professional services may be compromised when doing business with the professional services firm of one of the company’s directors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

A director, or a director who has an immediate family member, engaging in airplane, real estate, or similar deals, including perquisite-type grants from the company, amounting to more than $50,000: Directors who receive these sorts of payments from the company will have to make unnecessarily complicated decisions that may pit their interests against shareholder interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Interlocking directorships: CEOs or other top executives who serve on each other’s boards create an interlock that poses conflicts that should be avoided to ensure the promotion of shareholder interests above all else.38

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

All board members who served at a time when a poison pill was adopted without shareholder approval within the prior twelve months.39 In the event a board is classified and shareholders are therefore unable to vote against all directors, we will recommend voting against the remaining directors the next year they are up for a shareholder vote.

 

 

 

 

 

Size of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

 

 

While we do not believe there is a universally applicable optimum board size, we do believe boards should have at least five directors to ensure sufficient diversity in decision-making and to enable the formation of key board committees with independent directors. Conversely, we believe that boards with more than 20 members will typically suffer under the weight of “too many cooks in the kitchen” and have difficulty reaching consensus and making timely decisions. Sometimes the presence of too many voices can make it difficult to draw on the wisdom and experience in the room by virtue of the need to limit the discussion so that each voice may be heard.


 

 

 

 

36 Our guidelines are similar to the standards set forth by the NACD in its “Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism,” 2001 Edition, pp. 14-15 (also cited approvingly by the Conference Board in its “Corporate Governance Best Practices: A Blueprint for the Post-Enron Era,” 2002, p. 17), which suggested that CEOs should not serve on more than 2 additional boards, persons with full-time work should not serve on more than 4 additional boards, and others should not serve on more than six boards.

37 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 8.

38 We do not apply a look-back period for this situation. The interlock policy applies to both public and private companies. We will also evaluate multiple board interlocks among non-insiders (i.e. multiple directors serving on the same boards at other companies), for evidence of a pattern of poor oversight.

39 Refer to Section IV. Governance Structure and the Shareholder Franchise for further discussion of our policies regarding anti-takeover measures, including poison pills.

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To that end, we typically recommend voting against the chairman of the nominating committee at a board with fewer than five directors. With boards consisting of more than 20 directors, we typically recommend voting against all members of the nominating committee (or the governance committee, in the absence of a nominating committee).40

Controlled Companies

Controlled companies present an exception to our independence recommendations. The board’s function is to protect shareholder interests; however, when an individual or entity owns more than 50% of the voting shares, the interests of the majority of shareholders are the interests of that entity or individual. Consequently, Glass Lewis does not apply our usual two-thirds independence rule and therefore we will not recommend voting against boards whose composition reflects the makeup of the shareholder population.

          Independence Exceptions

          The independence exceptions that we make for controlled companies are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

We do not require that controlled companies have boards that are at least two-thirds independent. So long as the insiders and/or affiliates are connected with the controlling entity, we accept the presence of non-independent board members.

 

 

 

 

2.

The compensation committee and nominating and governance committees do not need to consist solely of independent directors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.

We believe that standing nominating and corporate governance committees at controlled companies are unnecessary. Although having a committee charged with the duties of searching for, selecting, and nominating independent directors can be beneficial, the unique composition of a controlled company’s shareholder base makes such committees weak and irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

Likewise, we believe that independent compensation committees at controlled companies are unnecessary. Although independent directors are the best choice for approving and monitoring senior executives’ pay, controlled companies serve a unique shareholder population whose voting power ensures the protection of its interests. As such, we believe that having affiliated directors on a controlled company’s compensation committee is acceptable. However, given that a controlled company has certain obligations to minority shareholders we feel that an insider should not serve on the compensation committee. Therefore, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against any insider (the CEO or otherwise) serving on the compensation committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Controlled companies do not need an independent chairman or an independent lead or presiding director. Although an independent director in a position of authority on the board – such as chairman or presiding director – can best carry out the board’s duties, controlled companies serve a unique shareholder population whose voting power ensures the protection of its interests.


 

 

 

 

40 The Conference Board, at p. 23 in its May 2003 report “Corporate Governance Best Practices, Id.,” quotes one of its roundtable participants as stating, “[w]hen you’ve got a 20 or 30 person corporate board, it’s one way of assuring that nothing is ever going to happen that the CEO doesn’t want to happen.”

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Size of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

We have no board size requirements for controlled companies.

 

 

 

Audit Committee Independence

 

 

 

We believe that audit committees should consist solely of independent directors. Regardless of a company’s controlled status, the interests of all shareholders must be protected by ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the company’s financial statements. Allowing affiliated directors to oversee the preparation of financial reports could create an insurmountable conflict of interest.

Unofficially Controlled Companies and 20-50% Beneficial Owners

Where an individual or entity owns more than 50% of a company’s voting power but the company is not a “controlled” company as defined by relevant listing standards, we apply a lower independence requirement of a majority of the board but believe the company should otherwise be treated like another public company; we will therefore apply all other standards as outlined above.

Similarly, where an individual or entity holds between 20-50% of a company’s voting power, but the company is not “controlled” and there is not a “majority” owner, we believe it is reasonable to allow proportional representation on the board and committees (excluding the audit committee) based on the individual or entity’s percentage of ownership.

Exceptions for Recent IPOS

We believe companies that have recently completed an initial public offering (“IPO”) should be allowed adequate time to fully comply with marketplace listing requirements as well as to meet basic corporate governance standards. We believe a one-year grace period immediately following the date of a company’s IPO is sufficient time for most companies to comply with all relevant regulatory re-quirements and to meet such corporate governance standards. Except in egregious cases, Glass Lewis refrains from issuing voting recommendations on the basis of corporate governance best practices (eg. board independence, committee membership and structure, meeting attendance, etc.) during the one-year period following an IPO.

However, two specific cases warrant strong shareholder action against the board of a company that completed an IPO within the past year:

 

 

 

 

1.

Adoption of a poison pill: in cases where a board implements a poison pill preceding an IPO, we will consider voting against the members of the board who served during the period of the poison pill’s adoption if the board (i) did not also commit to submit the poison pill to a shareholder vote within 12 months of the IPO or (ii) did not provide a sound rationale for adopting the pill and the pill does not expire in three years or less. In our view, adopting such an anti-takeover device unfairly penalizes future shareholders who (except for electing to buy or sell the stock) are unable to weigh in on a matter that could potentially negatively impact their ownership interest. This notion is strengthened when a board adopts a poison pill with a 5-10 year life immediately prior to having a public shareholder base so as to insulate management for a substantial amount of time while postponing and/or avoiding allowing public shareholders the ability to vote on the pill’s adoption. Such instances are indicative of boards that may subvert shareholders’ best interests following their IPO.

 

 

 

 

2.

Adoption of an exclusive forum provision: consistent with our general approach to boards that adopt exclusive forum provisions without shareholder approval (refer to our discussion of nominating and governance committee performance in Section I of the guidelines), in cases

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where a board adopts such a provision for inclusion in a company’s charter or bylaws before the company’s IPO, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the governance committee, or, in the absence of such a committee, the chairman of the board, who served during the period of time when the provision was adopted.

Further, shareholders should also be wary of companies in this category that adopt supermajority voting requirements before their IPO. Absent explicit provisions in the articles or bylaws stipulating that certain policies will be phased out over a certain period of time (e.g. a predetermined declassification of the board, a planned separation of the chairman and CEO, etc.) long-term shareholders could find themselves in the predicament of having to attain a supermajority vote to approve future proposals seeking to eliminate such policies.

Mutual Fund Boards

Mutual funds, or investment companies, are structured differently from regular public companies (i.e., operating companies). Typically, members of a fund’s adviser are on the board and management takes on a different role from that of regular public companies. Thus, we focus on a short list of requirements, although many of our guidelines remain the same.

The following mutual fund policies are similar to the policies for regular public companies:

 

 

 

 

1.

Size of the board of directors: The board should be made up of between five and twenty directors.

 

 

 

 

2.

The CFO on the board: Neither the CFO of the fund nor the CFO of the fund’s registered investment adviser should serve on the board.

 

 

 

 

3.

Independence of the audit committee: The audit committee should consist solely of independent directors.

 

 

 

 

4.

Audit committee financial expert: At least one member of the audit committee should be designated as the audit committee financial expert.

 

 

 

The following differences from regular public companies apply at mutual funds:

 

 

 

 

1.

Independence of the board: We believe that three-fourths of an investment company’s board should be made up of independent directors. This is consistent with a proposed SEC rule on investment company boards. The Investment Company Act requires 40% of the board to be independent, but in 2001, the SEC amended the Exemptive Rules to require that a majority of a mutual fund board be independent. In 2005, the SEC proposed increasing the independence threshold to 75%. In 2006, a federal appeals court ordered that this rule amendment be put back out for public comment, putting it back into “proposed rule” status. Since mutual fund boards play a vital role in overseeing the relationship between the fund and its investment manager, there is greater need for independent oversight than there is for an operating company board.

 

 

 

 

2.

When the auditor is not up for ratification: We do not recommend voting against the audit committee if the auditor is not up for ratification because, due to the different legal structure of an investment company compared to an operating company, the auditor for the investment company (i.e., mutual fund) does not conduct the same level of financial review for each investment company as for an operating company.

 

 

 

 

3.

Non-independent chairman: The SEC has proposed that the chairman of the fund board be independent. We agree that the roles of a mutual fund’s chairman and CEO should be separate.

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Although we believe this would be best at all companies, we recommend voting against the chairman of an investment company’s nominating committee as well as the chairman of the board if the chairman and CEO of a mutual fund are the same person and the fund does not have an independent lead or presiding director. Seven former SEC commissioners support the appointment of an independent chairman and we agree with them that “an independent board chairman would be better able to create conditions favoring the long-term interests of fund shareholders than would a chairman who is an executive of the adviser.” (See the comment letter sent to the SEC in support of the proposed rule at http://sec.gov/rules/proposed/s70304/ s70304-179.pdf)

Declassified Boards

Glass Lewis favors the repeal of staggered boards and the annual election of directors. We believe staggered boards are less accountable to shareholders than boards that are elected annually. Furthermore, we feel the annual election of directors encourages board members to focus on shareholder interests.

Empirical studies have shown: (i) companies with staggered boards reduce a firm’s value; and (ii) in the context of hostile takeovers, staggered boards operate as a takeover defense, which entrenches management, discourages potential acquirers, and delivers a lower return to target shareholders.

In our view, there is no evidence to demonstrate that staggered boards improve shareholder returns in a takeover context. Research shows that shareholders are worse off when a staggered board blocks a transaction. A study by a group of Harvard Law professors concluded that companies whose staggered boards prevented a takeover “reduced shareholder returns for targets ... on the order of eight to ten percent in the nine months after a hostile bid was announced.”41 When a staggered board negotiates a friendly transaction, no statistically significant difference in premiums occurs.42 Further, one of those same professors found that charter-based staggered boards “reduce the market value of a firm by 4% to 6% of its market capitalization” and that “staggered boards bring about and not merely reflect this reduction in market value.”43 A subsequent study reaffirmed that classified boards reduce shareholder value, finding “that the ongoing process of dismantling staggered boards, encouraged by institutional investors, could well contribute to increasing shareholder wealth.”44

Shareholders have increasingly come to agree with this view. In 2011 more than 75% of S&P 500 companies had declassified boards, up from approximately 41% a decade ago.45 Clearly, more shareholders have supported the repeal of classified boards. Resolutions relating to the repeal of staggered boards garnered on average over 70% support among shareholders in 2008, whereas in 1987, only 16.4% of votes cast favored board declassification.46

Given the empirical evidence suggesting staggered boards reduce a company’s value and the increasing shareholder opposition to such a structure, Glass Lewis supports the declassification of boards and the annual election of directors.

 

 

 

 

41 Lucian Bebchuk, John Coates IV, Guhan Subramanian, “The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Further Findings and a Reply to Symposium Participants,” 55 Stanford Law Review 885-917 (2002), page 1.

42 Id. at 2 (“Examining a sample of seventy-three negotiated transactions from 2000 to 2002, we find no systematic benefits in terms of higher premia to boards that have [staggered structures].”).

43 Lucian Bebchuk, Alma Cohen, “The Costs of Entrenched Boards” (2004).

44 Lucian Bebchuk, Alma Cohen and Charles C.Y. Wang, “Staggered Boards and the Wealth of Shareholders: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1706806 (2010), p. 26.

45 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 14

46 Lucian Bebchuk, John Coates IV and Guhan Subramanian, “The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Theory, Evidence, and Policy,” 54 Stanford Law Review 887-951 (2002).

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MANDATORY DIRECTOR TERM AND AGE LIMITS

Glass Lewis believes that director age and term limits typically are not in shareholders’ best interests. Too often age and term limits are used by boards as a crutch to remove board members who have served for an extended period of time. When used in that fashion, they are indicative of a board that has a difficult time making “tough decisions.”

Academic literature suggests that there is no evidence of a correlation between either length of tenure or age and director performance. On occasion, term limits can be used as a means to remove a director for boards that are unwilling to police their membership and to enforce turnover. Some shareholders support term limits as a way to force change when boards are unwilling to do so.

While we understand that age limits can be a way to force change where boards are unwilling to make changes on their own, the long-term impact of age limits restricts experienced and potentially valuable board members from service through an arbitrary means. Further, age limits unfairly imply that older (or, in rare cases, younger) directors cannot contribute to company oversight.

In our view, a director’s experience can be a valuable asset to shareholders because of the complex, critical issues that boards face. However, we support periodic director rotation to ensure a fresh perspective in the boardroom and the generation of new ideas and business strategies. We believe the board should implement such rotation instead of relying on arbitrary limits. When necessary, shareholders can address the issue of director rotation through director elections.

We believe that shareholders are better off monitoring the board’s approach to corporate governance and the board’s stewardship of company performance rather than imposing inflexible rules that don’t necessarily correlate with returns or benefits for shareholders.

However, if a board adopts term/age limits, it should follow through and not waive such limits. If the board waives its term/age limits, Glass Lewis will consider recommending shareholders vote against the nominating and/or governance committees, unless the rule was waived with sufficient explanation, such as consummation of a corporate transaction like a merger.

REQUIRING TWO OR MORE NOMINEES PER BOARD SEAT

In an attempt to address lack of access to the ballot, shareholders sometimes propose that the board give shareholders a choice of directors for each open board seat in every election. However, we feel that policies requiring a selection of multiple nominees for each board seat would discourage prospective directors from accepting nominations. A prospective director could not be confident either that he or she is the board’s clear choice or that he or she would be elected. Therefore, Glass Lewis generally will vote against such proposals.

SHAREHOLDER ACCESS

We expect to see a number of shareholder proposals regarding this topic in 2012. For a discussion of recent regulatory events in this area, along with a detailed overview of the Glass Lewis approach to Shareholder Proposals regarding Proxy Access, refer to Section V. Compensation, Environmental, Social and Governance Shareholder Initiatives.

MAJORITY VOTE FOR THE ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

In stark contrast to the failure of shareholder access to gain acceptance, majority voting for the election of directors is fast becoming the de facto standard in corporate board elections. In our view, the majority voting proposals are an effort to make the case for shareholder impact on director elections

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on a company-specific basis.

While this proposal would not give shareholders the opportunity to nominate directors or lead to elections where shareholders have a choice among director candidates, if implemented, the proposal would allow shareholders to have a voice in determining whether the nominees proposed by the board should actually serve as the overseer-representatives of shareholders in the boardroom. We believe this would be a favorable outcome for shareholders.

During 2011, Glass Lewis tracked over 40 proposals seeking to require a majority vote to elect directors at annual meetings in the U.S., a slight increase over 2010 when we tracked just under 35 proposals, but a sharp contrast to the 147 proposals tracked during 2006. The large drop in the number of proposals being submitted in recent years compared to 2006 is a result of many companies having already adopted some form of majority voting, including approximately 79% of companies in the S&P 500 index, up from 56% in 2008.47 During 2009 these proposals received on average 59% shareholder support (based on for and against votes), up from 54% in 2008.

THE PLURALITY VOTE STANDARD

Today, most US companies still elect directors by a plurality vote standard. Under that standard, if one shareholder holding only one share votes in favor of a nominee (including himself, if the director is a shareholder), that nominee “wins” the election and assumes a seat on the board. The common concern among companies with a plurality voting standard was the possibility that one or more directors would not receive a majority of votes, resulting in “failed elections.” This was of particular concern during the 1980s, an era of frequent takeovers and contests for control of companies.

Advantages of a majority vote standard

If a majority vote standard were implemented, a nominee would have to receive the support of a majority of the shares voted in order to be elected. Thus, shareholders could collectively vote to reject a director they believe will not pursue their best interests. We think that this minimal amount of protection for shareholders is reasonable and will not upset the corporate structure nor reduce the willingness of qualified shareholder-focused directors to serve in the future.

We believe that a majority vote standard will likely lead to more attentive directors. Occasional use of this power will likely prevent the election of directors with a record of ignoring shareholder interests in favor of other interests that conflict with those of investors. Glass Lewis will generally support proposals calling for the election of directors by a majority vote except for use in contested director elections.

In response to the high level of support majority voting has garnered, many companies have voluntarily taken steps to implement majority voting or modified approaches to majority voting. These steps range from a modified approach requiring directors that receive a majority of withheld votes to resign (e.g., Ashland Inc.) to actually requiring a majority vote of outstanding shares to elect directors (e.g., Intel).

We feel that the modified approach does not go far enough because requiring a director to resign is not the same as requiring a majority vote to elect a director and does not allow shareholders a definitive voice in the election process. Further, under the modified approach, the corporate governance committee could reject a resignation and, even if it accepts the resignation, the corporate governance committee decides on the director’s replacement. And since the modified approach is usually adopted as a policy by the board or a board committee, it could be altered by the same board or committee at any time.

 

 

 

 

47 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 14

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(BANNER)

II. TRANSPARENCY AND INTEGRITY OF FINANCIAL REPORTING

AUDITOR RATIFICATION

The auditor’s role as gatekeeper is crucial in ensuring the integrity and transparency of the financial information necessary for protecting shareholder value. Shareholders rely on the auditor to ask tough questions and to do a thorough analysis of a company’s books to ensure that the information provided to shareholders is complete, accurate, fair, and that it is a reasonable representation of a company’s financial position. The only way shareholders can make rational investment decisions is if the market is equipped with accurate information about a company’s fiscal health. As stated in the October 6, 2008 Final Report of the Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession to the U.S. Department of the Treasury:

 

 

 

 

“The auditor is expected to offer critical and objective judgment on the financial matters under consideration, and actual and perceived absence of conflicts is critical to that expectation. The Committee believes that auditors, investors, public companies, and other market participants must understand the independence requirements and their objectives, and that auditors must adopt a mindset of skepticism when facing situations that may compromise their independence.”

 

As such, shareholders should demand an objective, competent and diligent auditor who performs at or above professional standards at every company in which the investors hold an interest. Like directors, auditors should be free from conflicts of interest and should avoid situations requiring a choice between the auditor’s interests and the public’s interests. Almost without exception, shareholders should be able to annually review an auditor’s performance and to annually ratify a board’s auditor selection. Moreover, in October 2008, the Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession went even further, and recommended that “to further enhance audit committee oversight and auditor accountability ... disclosure in the company proxy statement regarding shareholder ratification [should] include the name(s) of the senior auditing partner(s) staffed on the engagement.”48

Most recently on August 16, 2011, the PCAOB issued a Concept Release seeking public comment on ways that auditor independence, objectivity and professional skepticism could be enhanced, with a specific emphasis on mandatory audit firm rotation. The PCAOB will convene a public roundtable meeting in March 2012 to further discuss such matters. Glass Lewis believes auditor rotation can en-sure both the independence of the auditor and the integrity of the audit; we will typically recommend supporting proposals to require auditor rotation when the proposal uses a reasonable period of time (usually not less than 5-7 years) particularly at companies with a history of accounting problems.

VOTING RECOMMENDATIONS ON AUDITOR RATIFICATION

We generally support management’s choice of auditor except when we believe the auditor’s independence or audit integrity has been compromised. Where a board has not allowed shareholders to review and ratify an auditor, we typically recommend voting against the audit committee chairman. When there have been material restatements of annual financial statements or material weakness in internal controls, we usually recommend voting against the entire audit committee.

Reasons why we may not recommend ratification of an auditor include:

 

 

 

 

48 “Final Report of the Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.” p. VIII:20, October 6, 2008.

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1.

When audit fees plus audit-related fees total less than the tax fees and/or other non-audit fees.

 

 

 

 

2.

Recent material restatements of annual financial statements, including those resulting in the reporting of material weaknesses in internal controls and including late filings by the company where the auditor bears some responsibility for the restatement or late filing.49

 

 

 

 

3.

When the auditor performs prohibited services such as tax-shelter work, tax services for the CEO or CFO, or contingent-fee work, such as a fee based on a percentage of economic benefit to the company.

 

 

 

 

4.

When audit fees are excessively low, especially when compared with other companies in the same industry.

 

 

 

 

5.

When the company has aggressive accounting policies.

 

 

 

 

6.

When the company has poor disclosure or lack of transparency in its financial statements.

 

 

 

 

7.

Where the auditor limited its liability through its contract with the company or the audit contract requires the corporation to use alternative dispute resolution procedures without adequate justification.

 

 

 

 

8.

We also look for other relationships or concerns with the auditor that might suggest a conflict between the auditor’s interests and shareholder interests.

PENSION ACCOUNTING ISSUES

A pension accounting question often raised in proxy proposals is what effect, if any, projected returns on employee pension assets should have on a company’s net income. This issue often arises in the executive-compensation context in a discussion of the extent to which pension accounting should be reflected in business performance for purposes of calculating payments to executives.

Glass Lewis believes that pension credits should not be included in measuring income that is used to award performance-based compensation. Because many of the assumptions used in accounting for retirement plans are subject to the company’s discretion, management would have an obvious conflict of interest if pay were tied to pension income. In our view, projected income from pensions does not truly reflect a company’s performance.

 

 

 

 

49 An auditor does not audit interim financial statements. Thus, we generally do not believe that an auditor should be opposed due to a restatement of interim financial statements unless the nature of the misstatement is clear from a reading of the incorrect financial statements.

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(BANNER)

III. THE LINK BETWEEN COMPENSATION AND PERFORMANCE

Glass Lewis carefully reviews the compensation awarded to senior executives, as we believe that this is an important area in which the board’s priorities are revealed. Glass Lewis strongly believes executive compensation should be linked directly with the performance of the business the executive is charged with managing. We believe the most effective compensation arrangements provide for an appropriate mix of performance-based short- and long-term incentives in addition to base salary.

Glass Lewis believes that comprehensive, timely and transparent disclosure of executive pay is critical to allowing shareholders to evaluate the extent to which the pay is keeping pace with company performance. When reviewing proxy materials, Glass Lewis examines whether the company discloses the performance metrics used to determine executive compensation. We recognize performance metrics must necessarily vary depending on the company and industry, among other factors, and may include items such as total shareholder return, earning per share growth, return on equity, return on assets and revenue growth. However, we believe companies should disclose why the specific performance metrics were selected and how the actions they are designed to incentivize will lead to better corporate performance.

Moreover, it is rarely in shareholders’ interests to disclose competitive data about individual salaries below the senior executive level. Such disclosure could create internal personnel discord that would be counterproductive for the company and its shareholders. While we favor full disclosure for senior executives and we view pay disclosure at the aggregate level (e.g., the number of employees being paid over a certain amount or in certain categories) as potentially useful, we do not believe shareholders need or will benefit from detailed reports about individual management employees other than the most senior executives.

ADVISORY VOTE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION (“SAY-ON-PAY”)

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) required most companies50 to hold an advisory vote on executive compensation at the first shareholder meeting that occurs six months after enactment of the bill (January 21, 2011).

This practice of allowing shareholders a non-binding vote on a company’s compensation report is standard practice in many non-US countries, and has been a requirement for most companies in the United Kingdom since 2003 and in Australia since 2005. Although say-on-pay proposals are non-binding, a high level of “against” or “abstain” votes indicate substantial shareholder concern about a company’s compensation policies and procedures.

Given the complexity of most companies’ compensation programs, Glass Lewis applies a highly nuanced approach when analyzing advisory votes on executive compensation. We review each company’s compensation on a case-by-case basis, recognizing that each company must be examined in the context of industry, size, maturity, performance, financial condition, its historic pay for performance practices, and any other relevant internal or external factors.

We believe that each company should design and apply specific compensation policies and practices that are appropriate to the circumstances of the company and, in particular, will attract and retain competent executives and other staff, while motivating them to grow the company’s long-term shareholder value.

 

 

 

 

50 Small reporting companies (as defined by the SEC as below $75,000,000 in market capitalization) received a two-year reprieve and will only be subject to say-on-pay requirements beginning at meetings held on or after January 21, 2013.

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Where we find those specific policies and practices serve to reasonably align compensation with performance, and such practices are adequately disclosed, Glass Lewis will recommend supporting the company’s approach. If, however, those specific policies and practices fail to demonstrably link compensation with performance, Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against the say-on-pay proposal.

Glass Lewis focuses on four main areas when reviewing Say-on-Pay proposals:

 

 

 

 

The overall design and structure of the Company’s executive compensation program including performance metrics;

 

 

 

 

The quality and content of the Company’s disclosure;

 

 

 

 

The quantum paid to executives; and

 

 

 

 

The link between compensation and performance as indicated by the Company’s current and past pay-for-performance grades

We also review any significant changes or modifications, and rationale for such changes, made to the Company’s compensation structure or award amounts, including base salaries.

SAY-ON-PAY VOTING RECOMMENDATIONS

In cases where we find deficiencies in a company’s compensation program’s design, implementation or management, we will recommend that shareholders vote against the say-on-pay proposal. Generally such instances include evidence of a pattern of poor pay-for-performance practices (i.e., deficient or failing pay for performance grades), unclear or questionable disclosure regarding the overall compensation structure (e.g., limited information regarding benchmarking processes, limited rationale for bonus performance metrics and targets, etc.), questionable adjustments to certain aspects of the overall compensation structure (e.g., limited rationale for significant changes to performance targets or metrics, the payout of guaranteed bonuses or sizable retention grants, etc.), and/or other egregious compensation practices.

Although not an exhaustive list, the following issues when weighed together may cause Glass Lewis to recommend voting against a say-on-pay vote:

 

 

 

 

Inappropriate peer group and/or benchmarking issues

 

 

 

 

Inadequate or no rationale for changes to peer groups

 

 

 

 

Egregious or excessive bonuses, equity awards or severance payments, including golden handshakes and golden parachutes

 

 

 

 

Guaranteed bonuses

 

 

 

 

Targeting overall levels of compensation at higher than median without adequate justification

 

 

 

 

Bonus or long-term plan targets set at less than mean or negative performance levels

 

 

 

 

Performance targets not sufficiently challenging, and/or providing for high potential payouts

 

 

 

 

Performance targets lowered, without justification

 

 

 

 

Discretionary bonuses paid when short- or long-term incentive plan targets were not met

 

 

 

 

Executive pay high relative to peers not justified by outstanding company performance

 

 

 

 

The terms of the long-term incentive plans are inappropriate (please see “Long-Term Incentives” below)

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In the instance that a company has simply failed to provide sufficient disclosure of its policies, we may recommend shareholders vote against this proposal solely on this basis, regardless of the appropriateness of compensation levels.

ADDITIONAL SCRUTINY FOR COMPANIES WITH SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION IN 2011

At companies that received a significant shareholder vote (anything greater than 25%) against their say on pay proposal in 2011, we believe the board should demonstrate some level of engagement and responsiveness to the shareholder concerns behind the discontent. While we recognize that sweeping changes cannot be made to a compensation program without due consideration and that a majority of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal, we will look for disclosure in the proxy statement and other publicly-disclosed filings that indicates the compensation committee is responding to the prior year’s vote results including engaging with large shareholders to identify the concerns causing the substantial vote against. In the absence of any evidence that the board is actively engaging shareholders on this issue and responding accordingly, we will recommend holding compensation committee members accountable for a failure to respond in consideration of the level of the vote against and the severity and history of the compensation problems.

Where we identify egregious compensation practices, we may also recommend voting against the compensation committee based on the practices or actions of its members during the year, such as approving large one-off payments, the inappropriate, unjustified use of discretion, or sustained poor pay for performance practices.

SHORT-TERM INCENTIVES

A short-term bonus or incentive (“STI”) should be demonstrably tied to performance. Whenever possible, we believe a mix of corporate and individual performance measures is appropriate. We would normally expect performance measures for STIs to be based on internal financial measures such as net profit after tax, EPS growth and divisional profitability as well as non-financial factors such as those related to safety, environmental issues, and customer satisfaction. However, we accept variations from these metrics if they are tied to the Company’s business drivers.

Further, the target and potential maximum awards that can be achieved under STI awards should be disclosed. Shareholders should expect stretching performance targets for the maximum award to be achieved. Any increase in the potential maximum award should be clearly justified to shareholders.

Glass Lewis recognizes that disclosure of some measures may include commercially confidential information. Therefore, we believe it may be reasonable to exclude such information in some cases as long as the company provides sufficient justification for non-disclosure. However, where a short-term bonus has been paid, companies should disclose the extent to which performance has been achieved against relevant targets, including disclosure of the actual target achieved.

Where management has received significant STIs but short-term performance as measured by such indicators as increase in profit and/or EPS growth over the previous year prima facie appears to be poor or negative, we believe the company should provide a clear explanation why these significant short-term payments were made.

LONG-TERM INCENTIVES

Glass Lewis recognizes the value of equity-based incentive programs. When used appropriately, they can provide a vehicle for linking an executive’s pay to company performance, thereby aligning their

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interests with those of shareholders. In addition, equity-based compensation can be an effective way to attract, retain and motivate key employees.

There are certain elements that Glass Lewis believes are common to most well-structured long-term incentive (“LTI”) plans. These include:

 

 

 

 

No re-testing or lowering of performance conditions

 

 

 

 

Performance metrics that cannot be easily manipulated by management

 

 

 

 

Two or more performance metrics

 

 

 

 

At least one relative performance metric that compares the company’s performance to a relevant peer group or index

 

 

 

 

Performance periods of at least three years

 

 

 

 

Stretching metrics that incentivize executives to strive for outstanding performance

 

 

 

 

Individual limits expressed as a percentage of base salary

Performance measures should be carefully selected and should relate to the specific business/industry in which the company operates and, especially, the key value drivers of the company’s business.

Glass Lewis believes that measuring a company’s performance with multiple metrics serves to provide a more complete picture of the company’s performance than a single metric, which may focus too much management attention on a single target and is therefore more susceptible to manipulation. External benchmarks should be disclosed and transparent, such as total shareholder return (“TSR”) against a well-selected sector index, peer group or other performance hurdle. The rationale behind the selection of a specific index or peer group should be disclosed. Internal benchmarks (e.g. earnings per share growth) should also be disclosed and transparent, unless a cogent case for confidentiality is made and fully explained.

We also believe shareholders should evaluate the relative success of a company’s compensation programs, particularly existing equity-based incentive plans, in linking pay and performance in evaluating new LTI plans to determine the impact of additional stock awards. We will therefore review the company’s pay-for-performance grade, see below for more information, and specifically the proportion of total compensation that is stock-based.

PAY FOR PERFORMANCE

Glass Lewis believes an integral part of a well-structured compensation package is a successful link between pay and performance. Therefore, Glass Lewis developed a proprietary pay-for-performance model to evaluate the link between pay and performance of the top five executives at US companies. Our model benchmarks these executives’ pay and company performance against four peer groups and across seven performance metrics. Using a forced curve and a school letter-grade system, we grade companies from A-F according to their pay-for-performance linkage. The grades guide our evaluation of compensation committee effectiveness and we generally recommend voting against compensation committee of companies with a pattern of failing our pay-for-performance analysis.

We also use this analysis to inform our voting decisions on say-on-pay proposals. As such, if a company receives a failing grade from our proprietary model, we are likely to recommend shareholders to vote against the say-on-pay proposal. However, there may be exceptions to this rule such as when a company makes significant enhancements to its compensation programs.

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RECOUPMENT (“CLAWBACK”) PROVISIONS

Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the SEC to create a rule requiring listed companies to adopt policies for recouping certain compensation during a three-year look-back period. The rule applies to incentive-based compensation paid to current or former executives if the company is required to prepare an accounting restatement due to erroneous data resulting from material non-compliance with any financial reporting requirements under the securities laws.

These recoupment provisions are more stringent than under Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in three respects: (i) the provisions extend to current or former executive officers rather than only to the CEO and CFO; (ii) it has a three-year look-back period (rather than a twelve-month look-back period); and (iii) it allows for recovery of compensation based upon a financial restatement due to erroneous data, and therefore does not require misconduct on the part of the executive or other employees.

FREQUENCY OF SAY-ON-PAY

The Dodd-Frank Act also requires companies to allow shareholders a non-binding vote on the frequency of say-on-pay votes, i.e. every one, two or three years. Additionally, Dodd-Frank requires companies to hold such votes on the frequency of say-on-pay votes at least once every six years.

We believe companies should submit say-on-pay votes to shareholders every year. We believe that the time and financial burdens to a company with regard to an annual vote are relatively small and incremental and are outweighed by the benefits to shareholders through more frequent accountability. Implementing biannual or triennial votes on executive compensation limits shareholders’ ability to hold the board accountable for its compensation practices through means other than voting against the compensation committee. Unless a company provides a compelling rationale or unique circumstances for say-on-pay votes less frequent than annually, we will generally recommend that shareholders support annual votes on compensation.

VOTE ON GOLDEN PARACHUTE ARRANGEMENTS

The Dodd-Frank Act also requires companies to provide shareholders with a separate non-binding vote on approval of golden parachute compensation arrangements in connection with certain change-in-control transactions. However, if the golden parachute arrangements have previously been subject to a say-on-pay vote which shareholders approved, then this required vote is waived.

Glass Lewis believes the narrative and tabular disclosure of golden parachute arrangements will benefit all shareholders. Glass Lewis will analyze each golden parachute arrangement on a case-by-case basis, taking into account, among other items: the ultimate value of the payments particularly compared to the value of the transaction, the tenure and position of the executives in question, and the type of triggers involved (single vs double).

EQUITY-BASED COMPENSATION PLAN PROPOSALS

We believe that equity compensation awards are useful, when not abused, for retaining employees and providing an incentive for them to act in a way that will improve company performance. Glass Lewis evaluates equity-based compensation plans using a detailed model and analytical review.

Equity-based compensation programs have important differences from cash compensation plans and bonus programs. Accordingly, our model and analysis takes into account factors such as plan administration, the method and terms of exercise, repricing history, express or implied rights to reprice, and the presence of evergreen provisions.

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Our analysis is primarily quantitative and focused on the plan’s cost as compared with the business’s operating metrics. We run twenty different analyses, comparing the program with absolute limits we believe are key to equity value creation and with a carefully chosen peer group. In general, our model seeks to determine whether the proposed plan is either absolutely excessive or is more than one standard deviation away from the average plan for the peer group on a range of criteria, including dilution to shareholders and the projected annual cost relative to the company’s financial performance. Each of the twenty analyses (and their constituent parts) is weighted and the plan is scored in accordance with that weight.

In our analysis, we compare the program’s expected annual expense with the business’s operating metrics to help determine whether the plan is excessive in light of company performance. We also compare the option plan’s expected annual cost to the enterprise value of the firm rather than to market capitalization because the employees, managers and directors of the firm contribute to the creation of enterprise value but not necessarily market capitalization (the biggest difference is seen where cash represents the vast majority of market capitalization). Finally, we do not rely exclusively on relative comparisons with averages because, in addition to creeping averages serving to inflate compensation, we believe that some absolute limits are warranted.

We evaluate equity plans based on certain overarching principles:

 

 

 

 

1.

Companies should seek more shares only when needed.

 

 

 

 

2.

Requested share amounts should be small enough that companies seek shareholder approval every three to four years (or more frequently).

 

 

 

 

3.

If a plan is relatively expensive, it should not grant options solely to senior executives and board members.

 

 

 

 

4.

Annual net share count and voting power dilution should be limited.

 

 

 

 

5.

Annual cost of the plan (especially if not shown on the income statement) should be reasonable as a percentage of financial results and should be in line with the peer group.

 

 

 

 

6.

The expected annual cost of the plan should be proportional to the business’s value.

 

 

 

 

7.

The intrinsic value that option grantees received in the past should be reasonable compared with the business’s financial results.

 

 

 

 

8.

Plans should deliver value on a per-employee basis when compared with programs at peer companies.

 

 

 

 

9.

Plans should not permit re-pricing of stock options.

 

 

 

 

10.

Plans should not contain excessively liberal administrative or payment terms.

 

 

 

 

11.

Selected performance metrics should be challenging and appropriate, and should be subject to relative performance measurements.

 

 

 

 

12.

Stock grants should be subject to minimum vesting and/or holding periods sufficient to ensure sustainable performance and promote retention.

OPTION EXCHANGES

Glass Lewis views option repricing plans and option exchange programs with great skepticism. Shareholders have substantial risk in owning stock and we believe that the employees, officers, and directors who receive stock options should be similarly situated to align their interests with shareholder interests.

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We are concerned that option grantees who believe they will be “rescued” from underwater options will be more inclined to take unjustifiable risks. Moreover, a predictable pattern of repricing or exchanges substantially alters a stock option’s value because options that will practically never expire deeply out of the money are worth far more than options that carry a risk of expiration.

In short, repricings and option exchange programs change the bargain between shareholders and employees after the bargain has been struck.

There is one circumstance in which a repricing or option exchange program is acceptable: if macroeconomic or industry trends, rather than specific company issues, cause a stock’s value to decline dramatically and the repricing is necessary to motivate and retain employees. In this circumstance, we think it fair to conclude that option grantees may be suffering from a risk that was not foreseeable when the original “bargain” was struck. In such a circumstance, we will recommend supporting a repricing only if the following conditions are true:

 

 

 

 

1.

Officers and board members cannot participate in the program;

 

 

 

 

2.

The stock decline mirrors the market or industry price decline in terms of timing and approximates the decline in magnitude;

 

 

 

 

3.

The exchange is value-neutral or value-creative to shareholders using very conservative assumptions and with a recognition of the adverse selection problems inherent in voluntary programs; and

 

 

 

 

4.

Management and the board make a cogent case for needing to motivate and retain existing employees, such as being in a competitive employment market.

OPTION BACKDATING, SPRING-LOADING, AND BULLET-DODGING

Glass Lewis views option backdating, and the related practices of spring-loading and bullet-dodging, as egregious actions that warrant holding the appropriate management and board members responsible. These practices are similar to re-pricing options and eliminate much of the downside risk inherent in an option grant that is designed to induce recipients to maximize shareholder return.

Backdating an option is the act of changing an option’s grant date from the actual grant date to an earlier date when the market price of the underlying stock was lower, resulting in a lower exercise price for the option. Since 2006, Glass Lewis has identified over 270 companies that have disclosed internal or government investigations into their past stock-option grants.

Spring-loading is granting stock options while in possession of material, positive information that has not been disclosed publicly. Bullet-dodging is delaying the grants of stock options until after the release of material, negative information. This can allow option grants to be made at a lower price either before the release of positive news or following the release of negative news, assuming the stock’s price will move up or down in response to the information. This raises a concern similar to that of insider trading, or the trading on material non-public information.

The exercise price for an option is determined on the day of grant, providing the recipient with the same market risk as an investor who bought shares on that date. However, where options were backdated, the executive or the board (or the compensation committee) changed the grant date retroactively. The new date may be at or near the lowest price for the year or period. This would be like allowing an investor to look back and select the lowest price of the year at which to buy shares.

A 2006 study of option grants made between 1996 and 2005 at 8,000 companies found that option backdating can be an indication of poor internal controls. The study found that option backdating

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was more likely to occur at companies without a majority independent board and with a long-serving CEO; both factors, the study concluded, were associated with greater CEO influence on the company’s compensation and governance practices.51

Where a company granted backdated options to an executive who is also a director, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against that executive/director, regardless of who decided to make the award. In addition, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against those directors who either approved or allowed the backdating. Glass Lewis feels that executives and directors who either benefited from backdated options or authorized the practice have breached their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders.

Given the severe tax and legal liabilities to the company from backdating, Glass Lewis will consider recommending voting against members of the audit committee who served when options were backdated, a restatement occurs, material weaknesses in internal controls exist and disclosures indicate there was a lack of documentation. These committee members failed in their responsibility to ensure the integrity of the company’s financial reports.

When a company has engaged in spring-loading or bullet-dodging, Glass Lewis will consider recommending voting against the compensation committee members where there has been a pattern of granting options at or near historic lows. Glass Lewis will also recommend voting against executives serving on the board who benefited from the spring-loading or bullet-dodging.

162(M) PLANS

Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code allows companies to deduct compensation in excess of $1 million for the CEO and the next three most highly compensated executive officers, excluding the CFO, upon shareholder approval of the excess compensation. Glass Lewis recognizes the value of executive incentive programs and the tax benefit of shareholder-approved incentive plans.

We believe the best practice for companies is to provide robust disclosure to shareholders so that they can make fully-informed judgments about the reasonableness of the proposed compensation plan. To allow for meaningful shareholder review, we prefer that disclosure should include specific performance metrics, a maximum award pool, and a maximum award amount per employee. We also believe it is important to analyze the estimated grants to see if they are reasonable and in line with the company’s peers.

We typically recommend voting against a 162(m) plan where: a company fails to provide at least a list of performance targets; a company fails to provide one of either a total pool or an individual maximum; or the proposed plan is excessive when compared with the plans of the company’s peers.

The company’s record of aligning pay with performance (as evaluated using our proprietary pay-for-performance model) also plays a role in our recommendation. Where a company has a record of setting reasonable pay relative to business performance, we generally recommend voting in favor of a plan even if the plan caps seem large relative to peers because we recognize the value in special pay arrangements for continued exceptional performance.

As with all other issues we review, our goal is to provide consistent but contextual advice given the specifics of the company and ongoing performance. Overall, we recognize that it is generally not in shareholders’ best interests to vote against such a plan and forgo the potential tax benefit since shareholder rejection of such plans will not curtail the awards; it will only prevent the tax deduction associated with them.

 

 

 

 

51 Lucian Bebchuk, Yaniv Grinstein and Urs Peyer. “LUCKY CEOs.” November, 2006.

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DIRECTOR COMPENSATION PLANS

Glass Lewis believes that non-employee directors should receive reasonable and appropriate compensation for the time and effort they spend serving on the board and its committees. Director fees should be competitive in order to retain and attract qualified individuals. But excessive fees represent a financial cost to the company and threaten to compromise the objectivity and independence of non-employee directors. Therefore, a balance is required. We will consider recommending supporting compensation plans that include option grants or other equity-based awards that help to align the interests of outside directors with those of shareholders. However, equity grants to directors should not be performance-based to ensure directors are not incentivized in the same manner as executives but rather serve as a check on imprudent risk-taking in executive compensation plan design.

Glass Lewis uses a proprietary model and analyst review to evaluate the costs of equity plans compared to the plans of peer companies with similar market capitalizations. We use the results of this model to guide our voting recommendations on stock-based director compensation plans.

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(BANNER)

IV. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE AND THE SHAREHOLDER FRANCHISE

ANTI-TAKEOVER MEASURES

POISON PILLS (SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS PLANS)

Glass Lewis believes that poison pill plans are not generally in shareholders’ best interests. They can reduce management accountability by substantially limiting opportunities for corporate takeovers. Rights plans can thus prevent shareholders from receiving a buy-out premium for their stock. Typically we recommend that shareholders vote against these plans to protect their financial interests and ensure that they have an opportunity to consider any offer for their shares, especially those at a premium.

We believe boards should be given wide latitude in directing company activities and in charting the company’s course. However, on an issue such as this, where the link between the shareholders’ financial interests and their right to consider and accept buyout offers is substantial, we believe that shareholders should be allowed to vote on whether they support such a plan’s implementation. This issue is different from other matters that are typically left to board discretion. Its potential impact on and relation to shareholders is direct and substantial. It is also an issue in which management interests may be different from those of shareholders; thus, ensuring that shareholders have a voice is the only way to safeguard their interests.

In certain circumstances, we will support a poison pill that is limited in scope to accomplish a particular objective, such as the closing of an important merger, or a pill that contains what we believe to be a reasonable qualifying offer clause. We will consider supporting a poison pill plan if the qualifying offer clause includes each of the following attributes:

 

 

 

 

1.

The form of offer is not required to be an all-cash transaction;

 

 

 

 

2.

The offer is not required to remain open for more than 90 business days;

 

 

 

 

3.

The offeror is permitted to amend the offer, reduce the offer, or otherwise change the terms;

 

 

 

 

4.

There is no fairness opinion requirement; and

 

 

 

 

5.

There is a low to no premium requirement.

Where these requirements are met, we typically feel comfortable that shareholders will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on any legitimate offer.

NOL POISON PILLS

Similarly, Glass Lewis may consider supporting a limited poison pill in the unique event that a company seeks shareholder approval of a rights plan for the express purpose of preserving Net Operating Losses (NOLs). While companies with NOLs can generally carry these losses forward to offset future taxable income, Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code limits companies’ ability to use NOLs in the event of a “change of ownership.”52 In this case, a company may adopt or amend a poison pill (“NOL pill”) in order to prevent an inadvertent change of ownership by multiple investors purchasing small chunks of stock at the same time, and thereby preserve the ability to carry the NOLs forward. Often such NOL pills have trigger thresholds much lower than the common 15% or 20% thresholds, with some NOL pill triggers as low as 5%.

 

 

 

 

52 Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code refers to a “change of ownership” of more than 50 percentage points by one or more 5% shareholders within a three-year period. The statute is intended to deter the “trafficking” of net operating losses.

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Glass Lewis evaluates NOL pills on a strictly case-by-case basis taking into consideration, among other factors, the value of the NOLs to the company, the likelihood of a change of ownership based on the size of the holding and the nature of the larger shareholders, the trigger threshold and whether the term of the plan is limited in duration (i.e., whether it contains a reasonable “sunset” provision) or is subject to periodic board review and/or shareholder ratification. However, we will recommend that shareholders vote against a proposal to adopt or amend a pill to include NOL protective provisions if the company has adopted a more narrowly tailored means of preventing a change in control to preserve its NOLs. For example, a company may limit share transfers in its charter to prevent a change of ownership from occurring.

Furthermore, we believe that shareholders should be offered the opportunity to vote on any adoption or renewal of a NOL pill regardless of any potential tax benefit that it offers a company. As such, we will consider recommending voting against those members of the board who served at the time when an NOL pill was adopted without shareholder approval within the prior twelve months and where the NOL pill is not subject to shareholder ratification.

FAIR PRICE PROVISIONS

Fair price provisions, which are rare, require that certain minimum price and procedural requirements be observed by any party that acquires more than a specified percentage of a corporation’s common stock. The provision is intended to protect minority shareholder value when an acquirer seeks to accomplish a merger or other transaction which would eliminate or change the interests of the minority stockholders. The provision is generally applied against the acquirer unless the takeover is approved by a majority of “continuing directors” and holders of a majority, in some cases a supermajority as high as 80%, of the combined voting power of all stock entitled to vote to alter, amend, or repeal the above provisions.

The effect of a fair price provision is to require approval of any merger or business combination with an “interested stockholder” by 51% of the voting stock of the company, excluding the shares held by the interested stockholder. An interested stockholder is generally considered to be a holder of 10% or more of the company’s outstanding stock, but the trigger can vary.

Generally, provisions are put in place for the ostensible purpose of preventing a back-end merger where the interested stockholder would be able to pay a lower price for the remaining shares of the company than he or she paid to gain control. The effect of a fair price provision on shareholders, however, is to limit their ability to gain a premium for their shares through a partial tender offer or open market acquisition which typically raise the share price, often significantly. A fair price provision discourages such transactions because of the potential costs of seeking shareholder approval and because of the restrictions on purchase price for completing a merger or other transaction at a later time.

Glass Lewis believes that fair price provisions, while sometimes protecting shareholders from abuse in a takeover situation, more often act as an impediment to takeovers, potentially limiting gains to shareholders from a variety of transactions that could significantly increase share price. In some cases, even the independent directors of the board cannot make exceptions when such exceptions may be in the best interests of shareholders. Given the existence of state law protections for minority shareholders such as Section 203 of the Delaware Corporations Code, we believe it is in the best interests of shareholders to remove fair price provisions.

REINCORPORATION

In general, Glass Lewis believes that the board is in the best position to determine the appropriate jurisdiction of incorporation for the company. When examining a management proposal to reincorporate

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to a different state or country, we review the relevant financial benefits, generally related to improved corporate tax treatment, as well as changes in corporate governance provisions, especially those relating to shareholder rights, resulting from the change in domicile. Where the financial benefits are de minimis and there is a decrease in shareholder rights, we will recommend voting against the transaction.

However, costly, shareholder-initiated reincorporations are typically not the best route to achieve the furtherance of shareholder rights. We believe shareholders are generally better served by proposing specific shareholder resolutions addressing pertinent issues which may be implemented at a lower cost, and perhaps even with board approval. However, when shareholders propose a shift into a jurisdiction with enhanced shareholder rights, Glass Lewis examines the significant ways would the Company benefit from shifting jurisdictions including the following:

 

 

 

 

1.

Is the board sufficiently independent?

 

 

 

 

2.

Does the Company have anti-takeover protections such as a poison pill or classified board in place?

 

 

 

 

3.

Has the board been previously unresponsive to shareholders (such as failing to implement a shareholder proposal that received majority shareholder support)?

 

 

 

 

4.

Do shareholders have the right to call special meetings of shareholders?

 

 

 

 

5.

Are there other material governance issues at the Company?

 

 

 

 

6.

Has the Company’s performance matched or exceeded its peers in the past one and three years?

 

 

 

 

7.

How has the Company ranked in Glass Lewis’ pay-for-performance analysis during the last three years?

 

 

 

 

8.

Does the company have an independent chairman?

 

 

 

 

9.

We note, however, that we will only support shareholder proposals to change a company’s place of incorporation in exceptional circumstances.

EXCLUSIVE FORUM PROVISIONS

Glass Lewis believes that charter or bylaw provisions limiting a shareholder’s choice of legal venue are not in the best interests of shareholders. Such clauses may effectively discourage the use of shareholder derivative claims by increasing their associated costs and making them more difficult to pursue. As such, shareholders should be wary about approving any limitation on their legal recourse including limiting themselves to a single jurisdiction (e.g. Delaware) without compelling evidence that it will benefit shareholders.

For this reason, we recommend that shareholders vote against any bylaw or charter amendment seeking to adopt an exclusive forum provision. Moreover, in the event a board seeks shareholder approval of a forum selection clause pursuant to a bundled bylaw amendment rather than as a separate proposal, we will weigh the importance of the other bundled provisions when determining the vote recommendation on the proposal. We will nonetheless recommend voting against the chairman of the governance committee for bundling disparate proposals into a single proposal (refer to our discussion of nominating and governance committee performance in Section I of the guidelines).

AUTHORIZED SHARES

Glass Lewis believes that adequate capital stock is important to a company’s operation. When analyzing a request for additional shares, we typically review four common reasons why a company might need

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additional capital stock:

 

 

 

 

1.

Stock Split - We typically consider three metrics when evaluating whether we think a stock split is likely or necessary: The historical stock pre-split price, if any; the current price relative to the company’s most common trading price over the past 52 weeks; and some absolute limits on stock price that, in our view, either always make a stock split appropriate if desired by management or would almost never be a reasonable price at which to split a stock.

 

 

 

 

2.

Shareholder Defenses - Additional authorized shares could be used to bolster takeover defenses such as a poison pill. Proxy filings often discuss the usefulness of additional shares in defending against or discouraging a hostile takeover as a reason for a requested increase. Glass Lewis is typically against such defenses and will oppose actions intended to bolster such defenses.

 

 

 

 

3.

Financing for Acquisitions - We look at whether the company has a history of using stock for acquisitions and attempt to determine what levels of stock have typically been required to accomplish such transactions. Likewise, we look to see whether this is discussed as a reason for additional shares in the proxy.

 

 

 

 

4.

Financing for Operations - We review the company’s cash position and its ability to secure financing through borrowing or other means. We look at the company’s history of capitalization and whether the company has had to use stock in the recent past as a means of raising capital.

Issuing additional shares can dilute existing holders in limited circumstances. Further, the availability of additional shares, where the board has discretion to implement a poison pill, can often serve as a deterrent to interested suitors. Accordingly, where we find that the company has not detailed a plan for use of the proposed shares, or where the number of shares far exceeds those needed to accomplish a detailed plan, we typically recommend against the authorization of additional shares.

While we think that having adequate shares to allow management to make quick decisions and effectively operate the business is critical, we prefer that, for significant transactions, management come to shareholders to justify their use of additional shares rather than providing a blank check in the form of a large pool of unallocated shares available for any purpose.

ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

We typically recommend that shareholders vote against proposals that would require advance notice of shareholder proposals or of director nominees.

These proposals typically attempt to require a certain amount of notice before shareholders are allowed to place proposals on the ballot. Notice requirements typically range between three to six months prior to the annual meeting. Advance notice requirements typically make it impossible for a shareholder who misses the deadline to present a shareholder proposal or a director nominee that might be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

We believe shareholders should be able to review and vote on all proposals and director nominees. Shareholders can always vote against proposals that appear with little prior notice. Shareholders, as owners of a business, are capable of identifying issues on which they have sufficient information and ignoring issues on which they have insufficient information. Setting arbitrary notice restrictions limits the opportunity for shareholders to raise issues that may come up after the window closes.

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VOTING STRUCTURE

CUMULATIVE VOTING

Cumulative voting increases the ability of minority shareholders to elect a director by allowing shareholders to cast as many shares of the stock they own multiplied by the number of directors to be elected. As companies generally have multiple nominees up for election, cumulative voting allows shareholders to cast all of their votes for a single nominee, or a smaller number of nominees than up for election, thereby raising the likelihood of electing one or more of their preferred nominees to the board. It can be important when a board is controlled by insiders or affiliates and where the company’s ownership structure includes one or more shareholders who control a majority-voting block of company stock.

Glass Lewis believes that cumulative voting generally acts as a safeguard for shareholders by ensuring that those who hold a significant minority of shares can elect a candidate of their choosing to the board. This allows the creation of boards that are responsive to the interests of all shareholders rather than just a small group of large holders.

However, academic literature indicates that where a highly independent board is in place and the company has a shareholder-friendly governance structure, shareholders may be better off without cumulative voting. The analysis underlying this literature indicates that shareholder returns at firms with good governance structures are lower and that boards can become factionalized and prone to evaluating the needs of special interests over the general interests of shareholders collectively.

We review cumulative voting proposals on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the independence of the board and the status of the company’s governance structure. But we typically find these proposals on ballots at companies where independence is lacking and where the appropriate checks and balances favoring shareholders are not in place. In those instances we typically recommend in favor of cumulative voting.

Where a company has adopted a true majority vote standard (i.e., where a director must receive a majority of votes cast to be elected, as opposed to a modified policy indicated by a resignation policy only), Glass Lewis will recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals due to the incompatibility of the two election methods. For companies that have not adopted a true majority voting standard but have adopted some form of majority voting, Glass Lewis will also generally recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals if the company has not adopted antitakeover protections and has been responsive to shareholders.

Where a company has not adopted a majority voting standard and is facing both a shareholder proposal to adopt majority voting and a shareholder proposal to adopt cumulative voting, Glass Lewis will support only the majority voting proposal. When a company has both majority voting and cumulative voting in place, there is a higher likelihood of one or more directors not being elected as a result of not receiving a majority vote. This is because shareholders exercising the right to cumulate their votes could unintentionally cause the failed election of one or more directors for whom shareholders do not cumulate votes.

SUPERMAJORITY VOTE REQUIREMENTS

Glass Lewis believes that supermajority vote requirements impede shareholder action on ballot items critical to shareholder interests. An example is in the takeover context, where supermajority vote requirements can strongly limit the voice of shareholders in making decisions on such crucial matters as selling the business. This in turn degrades share value and can limit the possibility of buyout premiums

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to shareholders. Moreover, we believe that a supermajority vote requirement can enable a small group of shareholders to overrule the will of the majority shareholders. We believe that a simple majority is appropriate to approve all matters presented to shareholders.

TRANSACTION OF OTHER BUSINESS

We typically recommend that shareholders not give their proxy to management to vote on any other business items that may properly come before an annual or special meeting. In our opinion, granting unfettered discretion is unwise.

ANTI-GREENMAIL PROPOSALS

Glass Lewis will support proposals to adopt a provision preventing the payment of greenmail, which would serve to prevent companies from buying back company stock at significant premiums from a certain shareholder. Since a large or majority shareholder could attempt to compel a board into purchasing its shares at a large premium, the anti-greenmail provision would generally require that a majority of shareholders other than the majority shareholder approve the buyback.

MUTUAL FUNDS: INVESTMENT POLICIES AND ADVISORY AGREEMENTS

Glass Lewis believes that decisions about a fund’s structure and/or a fund’s relationship with its investment advisor or sub-advisors are generally best left to management and the members of the board, absent a showing of egregious or illegal conduct that might threaten shareholder value. As such, we focus our analyses of such proposals on the following main areas:

 

 

The terms of any amended advisory or sub-advisory agreement;

 

 

Any changes in the fee structure paid to the investment advisor; and

 

 

Any material changes to the fund’s investment objective or strategy.

We generally support amendments to a fund’s investment advisory agreement absent a material change that is not in the best interests of shareholders. A significant increase in the fees paid to an investment advisor would be reason for us to consider recommending voting against a proposed amendment to an investment advisory agreement. However, in certain cases, we are more inclined to support an increase in advisory fees if such increases result from being performance-based rather than asset-based. Furthermore, we generally support sub-advisory agreements between a fund’s advisor and sub-advisor, primarily because the fees received by the sub-advisor are paid by the advisor, and not by the fund.

In matters pertaining to a fund’s investment objective or strategy, we believe shareholders are best served when a fund’s objective or strategy closely resembles the investment discipline shareholders understood and selected when they initially bought into the fund. As such, we generally recommend voting against amendments to a fund’s investment objective or strategy when the proposed changes would leave shareholders with stakes in a fund that is noticeably different than when originally contemplated, and which could therefore potentially negatively impact some investors’ diversification strategies.

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(BANNER)

V. COMPENSATION, ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE SHAREHOLDER INITIATIVES

Glass Lewis typically prefers to leave decisions regarding day-to-day management and policy decisions, including those related to social, environmental or political issues, to management and the board, except when there is a clear link between the proposal and value enhancement or risk mitigation. We feel strongly that shareholders should not attempt to micromanage the company, its businesses or its executives through the shareholder initiative process. Rather, we believe shareholders should use their influence to push for governance structures that protect shareholders and promote director accountability. Shareholders should then put in place a board they can trust to make informed decisions that are in the best interests of the business and its owners, and then hold directors accountable for management and policy decisions through board elections. However, we recognize that support of appropriately crafted shareholder initiatives may at times serve to promote or protect shareholder value.

To this end, Glass Lewis evaluates shareholder proposals on a case-by-case basis. We generally recommend supporting shareholder proposals calling for the elimination of, as well as to require shareholder approval of, antitakeover devices such as poison pills and classified boards. We generally recommend supporting proposals likely to increase and/or protect shareholder value and also those that promote the furtherance of shareholder rights. In addition, we also generally recommend supporting proposals that promote director accountability and those that seek to improve compensation practices, especially those promoting a closer link between compensation and performance.

The following is a discussion of Glass Lewis’ approach to certain common shareholder resolutions. We note that the following is not an exhaustive list of all shareholder proposals.

COMPENSATION

Glass Lewis carefully reviews executive compensation since we believe that this is an important area in which the board’s priorities and effectiveness are revealed. Executives should be compensated with appropriate base salaries and incentivized with additional awards in cash and equity only when their performance and that of the company warrants such rewards. Compensation, especially when also in line with the compensation paid by the company’s peers, should lead to positive results for shareholders and ensure the use of appropriate incentives that drives those results over time.

However, as a general rule, Glass Lewis does not believe shareholders should be involved in the approval and negotiation of compensation packages. Such matters should be left to the board’s compensation committee, which can be held accountable for its decisions through the election of directors. Therefore, Glass Lewis closely scrutinizes shareholder proposals relating to compensation to determine if the requested action or disclosure has already accomplished or mandated and whether it allows sufficient, appropriate discretion to the board to design and implement reasonable compensation programs.

DISCLOSURE OF INDIVIDUAL COMPENSATION

Glass Lewis believes that disclosure of information regarding compensation is critical to allowing shareholders to evaluate the extent to which a company’s pay is based on performance. However, we recognize that the SEC currently mandates significant executive compensation disclosure. In some cases, providing information beyond that which is required by the SEC, such as the details of individual employment agreements of employees below the senior level, could create internal personnel tension or put the company at a competitive disadvantage, prompting employee poaching by competitors. Further, it is difficult to see how this information would be beneficial to shareholders. Given these concerns, Glass Lewis typically does not believe that shareholders would benefit from additional disclosure of

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individual compensation packages beyond the significant level that is already required; we therefore typically recommend voting against shareholder proposals seeking such detailed disclosure. We will, however, review each proposal on a case by basis, taking into account the company’s history of aligning executive compensation and the creation of shareholder value.

LINKING PAY WITH PERFORMANCE

Glass Lewis views performance-based compensation as an effective means of motivating executives to act in the best interests of shareholders. In our view, an executive’s compensation should be specific to the company and its performance, as well as tied to the executive’s achievements within the company.

However, when firms have inadequately linked executive compensation and company performance we will consider recommending supporting reasonable proposals seeking that a percentage of equity awards be tied to performance criteria. We will also consider supporting appropriately crafted proposals requesting that the compensation committee include multiple performance metrics when setting executive compensation, provided that the terms of the shareholder proposal are not overly prescriptive. Though boards often argue that these types of restrictions unduly hinder their ability to attract talent we believe boards can develop an effective, consistent and reliable approach to remuneration utilizing a wide range (and an appropriate mix) of fixed and performance-based compensation.

RETIREMENT BENEFITS & SEVERANCE

As a general rule, Glass Lewis believes that shareholders should not be involved in the approval of individual severance plans. Such matters should be left to the board’s compensation committee, which can be held accountable for its decisions through the election of its director members.

However, when proposals are crafted to only require approval if the benefit exceeds 2.99 times the amount of the executive’s base salary plus bonus, Glass Lewis typically supports such requests. Above this threshold, based on the executive’s average annual compensation for the most recent five years, the company can no longer deduct severance payments as an expense, and thus shareholders are deprived of a valuable benefit without an offsetting incentive to the executive. We believe that shareholders should be consulted before relinquishing such a right, and we believe implementing such policies would still leave companies with sufficient freedom to enter into appropriate severance arrangements.

Following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), the SEC proposed rules that would require that public companies hold advisory shareholder votes on compensation arrangements and understandings in connection with merger transactions, also known as “golden parachute” transactions. Effective April 4, 2011, the SEC requires that companies seeking shareholder approval of a merger or acquisition transaction must also provide disclosure of certain “golden parachute” compensation arrangements and, in certain circumstances, conduct a separate shareholder advisory vote to approve golden parachute compensation arrangements.

BONUS RECOUPMENTS (“CLAWBACKS”)

We believe it is prudent for boards to adopt detailed and stringent policies whereby, in the event of a restatement of financial results, the board will review all performance related bonuses and awards made to senior executives during the period covered by a restatement and will, to the extent feasible, recoup such bonuses to the extent that performance goals were not achieved. While the Dodd-Frank Act mandates that all companies adopt clawback policies that will require companies to develop a policy to recover compensation paid to current and former executives erroneously paid during the three year prior to a restatement, the SEC has yet to finalize the relevant rules. As a result, we expect to see shareholder proposals regarding clawbacks in the upcoming proxy season.

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When examining proposals requesting that companies adopt recoupment policies, Glass Lewis will first review any relevant policies currently in place. When the board has already committed to a proper course, and the current policy covers the major tenets of the proposal, we see no need for further action. Further, in some instances, shareholder proposals may call for board action that contravenes legal obligations under existing employment agreements. In other cases proposals may excessively limit the board’s ability to exercise judgment and reasonable discretion, which may or may not be warranted, depending on the specific situation of the company in question. We believe it is reasonable that a mandatory recoupment policy should only affect senior executives and those directly responsible for the company’s accounting errors.

We note that where a company is entering into a new executive employment contract that does not include a clawback provision and the company has had a material restatement in the recent past, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against the responsible members of the compensation committee. The compensation committee has an obligation to shareholders to include reasonable controls in executive contracts to prevent payments in the case of inappropriate behavior.

GOLDEN COFFINS

Glass Lewis does not believe that the payment of substantial, unearned posthumous compensation provides an effective incentive to executives or aligns the interests of executives with those of shareholders. Glass Lewis firmly believes that compensation paid to executives should be clearly linked to the creation of shareholder value. As such, Glass Lewis favors compensation plans centered on the payment of awards contingent upon the satisfaction of sufficiently stretching and appropriate performance metrics. The payment of posthumous unearned and unvested awards should be subject to shareholder approval, if not removed from compensation policies entirely. Shareholders should be skeptical regarding any positive benefit they derive from costly payments made to executives who are no longer in any position to affect company performance.

To that end, we will consider supporting a reasonably crafted shareholder proposal seeking to prohibit, or require shareholder approval of, the making or promising of any survivor benefit payments to senior executives’ estates or beneficiaries. We will not recommend supporting proposals that would, upon passage, violate existing contractual obligations or the terms of compensation plans currently in effect.

RETENTION OF SHARES UNTIL RETIREMENT

We strongly support the linking of executive pay to the creation of long-term sustainable shareholder value and therefore believe shareholders should encourage executives to retain some level of shares acquired through equity compensation programs to provide continued alignment with shareholders. However, generally we do not believe that requiring senior executives to retain all or an unduly high percentage of shares acquired through equity compensation programs following the termination of their employment is the most effective or desirable way to accomplish this goal. Rather, we believe that restricting executives’ ability to exercise all or a supermajority of otherwise vested equity awards until they leave the company may hinder the ability of the compensation committee to both attract and retain executive talent. In our view, otherwise qualified and willing candidates could be dissuaded from accepting employment if he/she believes that his/her compensation could be dramatically affected by financial results unrelated to their own personal performance or tenure at the company. Alternatively, an overly strict policy could encourage existing employees to quit in order to realize the value locked in their incentive awards. As such, we will not typically recommend supporting proposals requiring the retention of significant amounts of equity compensation following termination of employment at target firms.

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Tax Gross-Ups

Tax gross-ups can act as an anti-takeover measure, as larger payouts to executives result in larger gross-ups, which could artificially inflate the ultimate purchase price under a takeover or merger scenario. Additionally, gross-ups can result in opaque compensation packages where shareholders are unlikely to be aware of the total compensation an executive may receive. Further, we believe that in instances where companies have severance agreements in place for executives, payments made pursuant to such arrangements are often large enough to soften the blow of any additional excise taxes. Finally, such payments are not performance based, providing no incentive to recipients and, if large, can be a significant cost to companies.

Given the above, we will typically recommend supporting proposals requesting that a compensation committee adopt a policy that it will not make or promise to make to its senior executives any tax gross-up payments, except those applicable to management employees of the company generally, such as a relocation or expatriate tax equalization policy.

Linking Executive Pay to Environmental and Social Criteria

We recognize that a company’s involvement in environmentally sensitive and labor-intensive industries influences the degree to which a firm’s overall strategy must weigh environmental and social concerns. However, we also understand that the value generated by incentivizing executives to prioritize environmental and social issues is difficult to quantify and therefore measure, and necessarily varies among industries and companies.

When reviewing such proposals seeking to tie executive compensation to environmental or social practices, we will review the target firm’s compliance with (or contravention of) applicable laws and regulations, and examine any history of environmental and social related concerns including those resulting in material investigations, lawsuits, fines and settlements. We will also review the firm’s current compensation policies and practice. However, with respect to executive compensation, Glass Lewis generally believes that such policies should be left to the compensation committee.

Governance

Declassification of the Board

Glass Lewis believes that classified boards (or “staggered boards”) do not serve the best interests of shareholders. Empirical studies have shown that: (i) companies with classified boards may show a reduction in firm value; (ii) in the context of hostile takeovers, classified boards operate as a takeover defense, which entrenches management, discourages potential acquirers and delivers less return to shareholders; and (iii) companies with classified boards are less likely to receive takeover bids than those with single class boards. Annual election of directors provides increased accountability and requires directors to focus on the interests of shareholders. When companies have classified boards shareholders are deprived of the right to voice annual opinions on the quality of oversight exercised by their representatives.

Given the above, Glass Lewis believes that classified boards are not in the best interests of shareholders and will continue to recommend shareholders support proposals seeking their repeal.

Right of Shareholders to Call a Special Meeting

Glass Lewis strongly believes that shareholders should have the ability to call meetings of shareholders between annual meetings to consider matters that require prompt attention. However, in order to

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prevent abuse and waste of corporate resources by a small minority of shareholders, we believe that shareholders representing at least a sizable minority of shares must support such a meeting prior to its calling. Should the threshold be set too low, companies might frequently be subjected to meetings whose effect could be the disruption of normal business operations in order to focus on the interests of only a small minority of owners. Typically we believe this threshold should not fall below 10-15% of shares, depending on company size.

In our case-by-case evaluations, we consider the following:

 

 

 

 

Company size

 

 

 

 

Shareholder base in both percentage of ownership and type of shareholder (e.g., hedge fund, activist investor, mutual fund, pension fund, etc.)

 

 

 

 

Responsiveness of board and management to shareholders evidenced by progressive shareholder rights policies (e.g., majority voting, declassifying boards, etc.) and reaction to shareholder proposals

 

 

 

 

Company performance and steps taken to improve bad performance (e.g., new executives/ directors, spin-offs, etc.)

 

 

 

 

Existence of anti-takeover protections or other entrenchment devices

 

 

 

 

Opportunities for shareholder action (e.g., ability to act by written consent)

 

 

 

 

Existing ability for shareholders to call a special meeting

Right of Shareholders to Act by Written Consent

Glass Lewis strongly supports shareholders’ right to act by written consent. The right to act by written consent enables shareholders to take action on important issues that arise between annual meetings. However, we believe such rights should be limited to at least the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize the action at a meeting at which all shareholders entitled to vote were present and voting.

In addition to evaluating the threshold for which written consent may be used (e.g. majority of votes cast or outstanding), we will consider the following when evaluating such shareholder proposals:

 

 

 

 

Company size

 

 

 

 

Shareholder base in both percentage of ownership and type of shareholder (e.g., hedge fund, activist investor, mutual fund, pension fund, etc.)

 

 

 

 

Responsiveness of board and management to shareholders evidenced by progressive shareholder rights policies (e.g., majority voting, declassifying boards, etc.) and reaction to shareholder proposals

 

 

 

 

Company performance and steps taken to improve bad performance (e.g., new executives/ directors, spin offs, etc.)

 

 

 

 

Existence of anti-takeover protections or other entrenchment devices

 

 

 

 

Opportunities for shareholder action (e.g., ability and threshold to call a special meeting)

 

 

 

 

Existing ability for shareholders to act by written consent

Board Composition

Glass Lewis believes the selection and screening process for identifying suitably qualified candidates

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for a company’s board of directors is one which requires the judgment of many factors, including the balance of skills and talents, the breadth of experience and diversity of candidates and existing board members. Diversity of skills, abilities and points of view can foster the development of a more creative, effective and dynamic board. In general, however, we do not believe that it is in the best interests of shareholders for firms to be beholden to arbitrary rules regarding its board, or committee, composition. We believe such matters should be left to a board’s nominating committee, which is generally responsible for establishing and implementing policies regarding the composition of the board. Members of this committee may be held accountable through the director election process. However, we will consider supporting reasonable, well-crafted proposals to increase board diversity where there is evidence a board’s lack of diversity lead to a decline in shareholder value.

Reimbursement of Solicitation Expenses

Where a dissident shareholder is seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred in waging a contest or submitting a shareholder proposal and has received the support of a majority of shareholders, Glass Lewis generally will recommend in favor of reimbursing the dissident for reasonable expenses. In those rare cases where a shareholder has put his or her own time and money into organizing a successful campaign to unseat a poorly performing director (or directors) or sought support for a shareholder proposal, we feel that the shareholder should be entitled to reimbursement of expenses by other shareholders, via the company. We believe that, in such cases, shareholders express their agreement by virtue of their majority vote for the dissident (or the shareholder proposal) and will share in the expected improvement in company performance.

Majority Vote for the Election of Directors

If a majority vote standard were implemented, shareholders could collectively vote to reject a director they believe will not pursue their best interests. We think that this minimal amount of protection for shareholders is reasonable and will not upset the corporate structure nor reduce the willingness of qualified shareholder-focused directors to serve in the future.

We believe that a majority vote standard will likely lead to more attentive directors. Further, occasional use of this power will likely prevent the election of directors with a record of ignoring shareholder interests. Glass Lewis will generally support shareholder proposals calling for the election of directors by a majority vote, except for use in contested director elections.

Cumulative Vote for the Election of Directors

Glass Lewis believes that cumulative voting generally acts as a safeguard for shareholders by ensuring that those who hold a significant minority of shares can elect a candidate of their choosing to the board. This allows the creation of boards that are responsive to the interests of all shareholders rather than just a small group of large holders. However, when a company has both majority voting and cumulative voting in place, there is a higher likelihood of one or more directors not being elected as a result of not receiving a majority vote. This is because shareholders exercising the right to cumulate their votes could unintentionally cause the failed election of one or more directors for whom shareholders do not cumulate votes.

Given the above, where a company (i) has adopted a true majority vote standard; (ii) has simultaneously proposed a management-initiated true majority vote standard; or (iii) is simultaneously the target of a true majority vote standard shareholder proposal, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals due to the potential incompatibility of the two election methods.

For companies that have not adopted a true majority voting standard but have adopted some form of

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majority voting, Glass Lewis will also generally recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals if the company has not adopted antitakeover protections and has been responsive to shareholders.

Supermajority Vote Requirements

We believe that a simple majority is appropriate to approve all matters presented to shareholders, and will recommend that shareholders vote accordingly. Glass Lewis believes that supermajority vote requirements impede shareholder action on ballot items critical to shareholder interests. In a takeover context supermajority vote requirements can strongly limit the voice of shareholders in making decisions on crucial matters such as selling the business. These limitations in turn may degrade share value and can reduce the possibility of buyout premiums for shareholders. Moreover, we believe that a supermajority vote requirement can enable a small group of shareholders to overrule the will of the majority of shareholders.

Independent Chairman

Glass Lewis views an independent chairman as better able to oversee the executives and set a pro-shareholder agenda in the absence of the conflicts that a CEO, executive insider, or close company affiliate may face. Separating the roles of CEO and chairman may lead to a more proactive and effective board of directors. The presence of an independent chairman fosters the creation of a thoughtful and dynamic board, not dominated by the views of senior management. We believe that the separation of these two key roles eliminates the conflict of interest that inevitably occurs when a CEO, or other executive, is responsible for self-oversight. As such, we will typically support reasonably crafted shareholder proposals seeking the installation of an independent chairman at a target company. However, we will not support proposals that include overly prescriptive definitions of “independent.”

Proxy Access

Shareholders have consistently sought mechanisms through which they could secure a meaningful voice in director elections in recent years. While many of these efforts have centered on regulatory changes at the SEC, the United States Congress and the Obama Administration have placed “Proxy Access” in the spotlight of the U.S. Government’s most recent corporate governance-related financial reforms. Regulations allowing or mandating the reimbursement of solicitation expenses for successful board candidates exist and further regulation is pending. A 2009 amendment to the Delaware Corporate Code allows companies to adopt bylaw provisions providing shareholders proxy access.

Further, in July 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). This Act provides the SEC with the authority to adopt rules permitting shareholders to use issuer proxy solicitation materials to nominate director candidates. The SEC received over 500 comments regarding proposed proxy access, some of which questioned the agency’s authority to adopt such a rule. Nonetheless, in August 2010, the SEC adopted final Rule 14a-11, which under certain circumstances, gives shareholders (and shareholder groups) who have collectively held at least 3% of the voting power of a company’s securities continuously for at least three years, the right to nominate up to 25% of a board’s directors and have such nominees included on a company’s ballot and described in its proxy statement. While final Rule 14a-11 was originally scheduled to take effect on November 15, 2010, on October 4, 2010, the SEC announced that it would delay the rule’s implementation following the filing of a lawsuit by the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. In July 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the SEC based on what it perceived to be the SEC’s failure to fully consider the costs and the benefits of the proxy access rules. On September 6, 2011, the SEC announced that it would not be seeking rehearing

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of the decision. However, while rule 14a-11 was vacated, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay on the “private ordering” amendments to Rule 14a-8, meaning that companies are no longer able to exclude shareholder proposals requesting that they adopt procedures to allow for shareholder nominees to be included in proxy statements (“Statement by SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro on Proxy Access Ligation.” SEC Press Release. September 6, 2011).

Glass Lewis will consider supporting well-crafted and reasonable proposals requesting proxy access, as we believe that in some cases, adoption of this provision allows for improved shareholder rights and ensures that shareholders who maintain a long-term interest in the target company have an ability to nominate candidates for the board. Glass Lewis reviews proposals requesting proxy access on a case-by-case basis, and will consider the following in our analysis:

 

 

 

 

Company size;

 

 

 

 

The shareholder proponent and their reasoning for putting forth the proposal at the target company;

 

 

 

 

The percentage ownership requested and holding period requirement;

 

 

 

 

Shareholder base in both percentage of ownership and type of shareholder (e.g., hedge fund, activist investor, mutual fund, pension fund, etc.);

 

 

 

 

Responsiveness of board and management to shareholders evidenced by progressive shareholder rights policies (e.g., majority voting, declassifying boards, etc.) and reaction to shareholder proposals;

 

 

 

 

Company performance and steps taken to improve bad performance (e.g., new executives/ directors, spin-offs, etc.);

 

 

 

 

Existence of anti-takeover protections or other entrenchment devices; and

 

 

 

 

Opportunities for shareholder action (e.g., ability to act by written consent or right to call a special meeting).

ENVIRONMENT

There are significant financial, legal and reputational risks to companies resulting from poor environmental practices or negligent oversight thereof. We believe part of the board’s role is to ensure that management conducts a complete risk analysis of company operations, including those that have environmental implications. Directors should monitor management’s performance in mitigating environmental risks attendant with operations in order to eliminate or minimize the risks to the company and shareholders.

When management and the board have displayed disregard for environmental risks, have engaged in egregious or illegal conduct, or have failed to adequately respond to current or imminent environmental risks that threaten shareholder value, we believe shareholders should hold directors accountable. When a substantial environmental risk has been ignored or inadequately addressed, we may recommend voting against responsible members of the governance committee, or members of a committee specifically charged with sustainability oversight.

With respect to environmental risk, Glass Lewis believes companies should actively consider their exposure to:

Direct environmental risk: Companies should evaluate financial exposure to direct environmental risks associated with their operations. Examples of direct environmental risks are those associated with

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spills, contamination, hazardous leakages, explosions, or reduced water or air quality, among others. Further, firms should consider their exposure to environmental risks emanating from systemic change over which they may have only limited control, such as insurance companies affected by increased storm severity and frequency resulting from climate change.

Risk due to legislation/regulation: Companies should evaluate their exposure to shifts or potential shifts in environmental regulation that affect current and planned operations. Regulation should be carefully monitored in all jurisdictions within which the company operates. We look closely at relevant and proposed legislation and evaluate whether the company has responded appropriately.

Legal and reputational risk: Failure to take action on important issues may carry the risk of damaging negative publicity and potentially costly litigation. While the effect of high-profile campaigns on shareholder value may not be directly measurable, in general we believe it is prudent for firms to evaluate social and environmental risk as a necessary part in assessing overall portfolio risk.

If there is a clear showing that a company has inadequately addressed these risks, Glass Lewis may consider supporting appropriately crafted shareholder proposals requesting increased disclosure, board attention or, in limited circumstances, specific actions. In general, however, we believe that boards and management are in the best position to address these important issues, and will only rarely recommend that shareholders supplant their judgment regarding operations.

Climate Change and Green House Gas Emission Disclosure

Glass Lewis will consider recommending a vote in favor of a reasonably crafted proposal to disclose a company’s climate change and/or greenhouse gas emission strategies when (i) a company has suffered financial impact from reputational damage, lawsuits and/or government investigations, (ii) there is a strong link between climate change and its resultant regulation and shareholder value at the firm, and/ or (iii) the company has inadequately disclosed how it has addressed climate change risks. Further, we will typically recommend supporting proposals seeking disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions at companies operating in carbon- or energy- intensive industries, such basic materials, integrated oil and gas, iron and steel, transportation, utilities, and construction. We are not inclined, however, to support proposals seeking emissions reductions, or proposals seeking the implementation of prescriptive policies relating to climate change.

Sustainability and other Environmentally-Related Reports

When evaluating requests that a firm produce an environmentally-related report, such as a sustainability report or a report on coal combustion waste or hydraulic fracturing, we will consider, among other things:

 

 

 

 

The financial risk to the company from the firm’s environmental practices and/or regulation;

 

 

 

 

The relevant company’s current level of disclosure;

 

 

 

 

The level of sustainability information disclosed by the firm’s peers;

 

 

 

 

The industry in which the firm operates;

 

 

 

 

The level and type of sustainability concerns/controversies at the relevant firm, if any;

 

 

 

 

The time frame within which the relevant report is to be produced; and

 

 

 

 

The level of flexibility granted to the board in the implementation of the proposal.

In general, we believe that firms operating in extractive industries should produce reports regarding the risks presented by their environmental activities, and will consider recommending a vote for reasonably

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crafted proposals requesting that such a report be produced; however, as with all shareholder proposals, we will evaluate these report requests on a case by case basis.

Oil Sands

The procedure required to extract usable crude from oil sands emits significantly more greenhouse gases than do conventional extraction methods. In addition, development of the oil sands has a deleterious effect on the local environment, such as Canada’s boreal forests which sequester significant levels of carbon. We believe firms should strongly consider and evaluate exposure to financial, legal and reputational risks associated with investment in oil sands.

We believe firms should adequately disclose their involvement in the oil sands, including a discussion of exposure to sensitive political and environmental areas. Firms should broadly outline the scope of oil sands operations, describe the commercial methods for producing oil, and discuss the management of greenhouse gas emissions. However, we believe that detailed disclosure of investment assumptions could unintentionally reveal sensitive information regarding operations and business strategy, which would not serve shareholders’ interest. We will review all proposals seeking increased disclosure of oil sands operations in the above context, but will typically not support proposals seeking cessation or curtailment of operations.

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable forestry provides for the long-term sustainable management and use of trees and other non-timber forest products. Retaining the economic viability of forests is one of the tenets of sustainable forestry, along with encouraging more responsible corporate use of forests. Sustainable land use and the effective management of land are viewed by some shareholders as important in light of the impact of climate change. Forestry certification has emerged as a way that corporations can address prudent forest management. There are currently several primary certification schemes such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (“SFI”) and the Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”).

There are nine main principles that comprise the SFI: (i) sustainable forestry; (ii) responsible practices; (iii) reforestation and productive capacity; (iv) forest health and productivity; (v) long-term forest and soil productivity; (vi) protection of water resources; (vii) protection of special sites and biodiversity; (viii) legal compliance; and (ix) continual improvement.

The FSC adheres to ten basic principles: (i) compliance with laws and FSC principles; (ii) tenure and use rights and responsibilities; (iii) indigenous peoples’ rights; (iv) community relations and workers’ rights; (v) benefits from the forest; (vi) environmental impact; (vii) management plan; (viii) monitoring and assessment; (ix) maintenance of high conservation value forests; and (x) plantations.

Shareholder proposals regarding sustainable forestry have typically requested that the firm comply with the above SFI or FSC principles as well as to assess the feasibility of phasing out the use of uncertified fiber and increasing the use of certified fiber. We will evaluate target firms’ current mix of certified and uncertified paper and the firms’ general approach to sustainable forestry practices, both absolutely and relative to its peers but will only support proposals of this nature when we believe that the proponent has clearly demonstrated that the implementation of this proposal is clearly linked to an increase in shareholder value.

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SOCIAL ISSUES

Non-Discrimination Policies

Companies with records of poor labor relations may face lawsuits, efficiency-draining turnover, poor employee performance, and/or distracting, costly investigations. Moreover, as an increasing number of companies adopt inclusive EEO policies, companies without comprehensive policies may face damaging recruitment, reputational and legal risks. We believe that a pattern of making financial settlements as a result of lawsuits based on discrimination could indicate investor exposure to ongoing financial risk. Where there is clear evidence of employment practices resulting in negative economic exposure, Glass Lewis may support shareholder proposals addressing such risks.

MacBride Principles

To promote peace, justice and equality regarding employment in Northern Ireland, Dr. Sean MacBride, founder of Amnesty International and Nobel Peace laureate, proposed the following equal opportunity employment principles:

 

 

 

1.

 

Increasing the representation of individuals from underrepresented religious groups in the workforce including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical and technical jobs;

 

 

 

2.

 

Adequate security for the protection of minority employees both at the workplace and while traveling to and from work;

 

 

 

3.

 

The banning of provocative religious or political emblems from the workplace;

 

 

 

4.

 

All job openings should be publicly advertised and special recruitment efforts should be made to attract applicants from underrepresented religious groups;

 

 

 

5.

 

Layoff, recall, and termination procedures should not, in practice, favor particular religious groupings;

 

 

 

6.

 

The abolition of job reservations, apprenticeship restrictions, and differential employment criteria, which discriminate on the basis of religion or ethnic origin;

 

 

 

7.

 

The development of training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees;

 

 

 

8.

 

The establishment of procedures to assess, identify and actively recruit minority employees with potential for further advancement; and

 

 

 

9.

 

The appointment of senior management staff member to oversee the company’s affirmative action efforts and setting up of timetables to carry out affirmative action principles.

 

 

 

10.

 

Proposals requesting the implementation of the above principles are typically proposed at firms that operate, or maintain subsidiaries that operate, in Northern Ireland. In each case, we will examine the company’s current equal employment opportunity policy and the extent to which the company has been subject to protests, fines, or litigation regarding discrimination in the workplace, if any. Further, we will examine any evidence of the firm’s specific record of labor concerns in Northern Ireland.

Human Rights

Glass Lewis believes explicit policies set out by companies’ boards of directors on human rights provides

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shareholders with the means to evaluate whether the company has taken steps to mitigate risks from its human rights practices. As such, we believe that it is prudent for firms to actively evaluate risks to shareholder value stemming from global activities and human rights practices along entire supply chains. Findings and investigations of human rights abuses can inflict, at a minimum, reputational damage on targeted companies and have the potential to dramatically reduce shareholder value. This is particularly true for companies operating in emerging market countries in extractive industries and in politically unstable regions. As such, while we typically rely on the expertise of the board on these important policy issues, we recognize that, in some instances, shareholders could benefit from increased reporting or further codification of human rights policies.

Military and Us Government Business Policies

Glass Lewis believes that disclosure to shareholders of information on key company endeavors is important. However, we generally do not support resolutions that call for shareholder approval of policy statements for or against government programs, most of which are subject to thorough review by the federal government and elected officials at the national level. We also do not support proposals favoring disclosure of information where similar disclosure is already mandated by law, unless circumstances exist that warrant the additional disclosure.

Foreign Government Business Policies

Where a corporation operates in a foreign country, Glass Lewis believes that the company and board should maintain sufficient controls to prevent illegal or egregious conduct with the potential to decrease shareholder value, examples of which include bribery, money laundering, severe environmental violations or proven human rights violations. We believe that shareholders should hold board members, and in particular members of the audit committee and CEO, accountable for these issues when they face reelection, as these concerns may subject the company to financial risk. In some instances, we will support appropriately crafted shareholder proposals specifically addressing concerns with the target firm’s actions outside its home jurisdiction.

Health Care Reform Principles

Health care reform in the United States has long been a contentious political issue and Glass Lewis therefore believes firms must evaluate and mitigate the level of risk to which they may be exposed regarding potential changes in health care legislation. Over the last several years, Glass Lewis has reviewed multiple shareholder proposals requesting that boards adopt principles for comprehensive health reform, such as the following based upon principles reported by the Institute of Medicine:

 

 

 

 

Health care coverage should be universal;

 

 

 

 

Health care coverage should be continuous;

 

 

 

 

Health care coverage should be affordable to individuals and families;

 

 

 

 

The health insurance strategy should be affordable and sustainable for society; and

 

 

 

 

Health insurance should enhance health and well-being by promoting access to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered and equitable.

In general, Glass Lewis believes that individual corporate board rooms are not the appropriate forum in which to address evolving and contentious national policy issues. The adoption of a narrow set of principles could limit the board’s ability to comply with new regulation or to appropriately and flexibly respond to health care issues as they arise. As such, barring a compelling reason to the contrary, we

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typically do not support the implementation of national health care reform principles at the company level.

Tobacco

Glass Lewis recognizes the contentious nature of the production, procurement, marketing and selling of tobacco products. We also recognize that tobacco companies are particularly susceptible to reputational and regulatory risk due to the nature of its operations. As such, we will consider supporting uniquely tailored and appropriately crafted shareholder proposals requesting increased information or the implementation of suitably broad policies at target firms on a case-by-case basis. However, we typically do not support proposals requesting that firms shift away from, or significantly alter, the legal production or marketing of core products.

Reporting Contributions and Political Spending

While corporate contributions to national political parties and committees controlled by federal officeholders are prohibited under federal law, corporations can legally donate to state and local candidates, organizations registered under 26 USC Sec. 527 of the Internal Revenue Code and state-level political committees. There is, however, no standardized manner in which companies must disclose this information. As such, shareholders often must search through numerous campaign finance reports and detailed tax documents to ascertain even limited information. Corporations also frequently use trade associations, which are not required to report funds they receive for or spend on political activity, as a means for corporate political action.

Further, in 2010 the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision by the Supreme Court affirmed that corporations are entitled to the same free speech laws as individuals and that it is legal for a corporation to donate to political causes without monetary limit. While the decision did not remove bans on direct contributions to candidates, companies are now able to contribute indirectly, and substantially, to candidates through political organizations. Therefore, it appears companies will enjoy greater latitude in their political actions by this recent decision.

When evaluating whether a requested report would benefit shareholders, Glass Lewis seeks answers to the following three key questions:

 

 

 

 

Is the Company’s disclosure comprehensive and readily accessible?

 

 

 

 

How does the Company’s political expenditure policy and disclosure compare to its peers?

 

 

 

 

What is the Company’s current level of oversight?

Glass Lewis will consider supporting a proposal seeking increased disclosure of corporate political expenditure and contributions if the firm’s current disclosure is insufficient, or if the firm’s disclosure is significantly lacking compared to its peers. Further, we will typically recommend voting for proposals requesting reports on lobbying or political contributions and expenditures when there is no explicit board oversight or there is evidence of inadequate board oversight. Given that political donations are strategic decisions intended to increase shareholder value and have the potential to negatively affect the company, we believe the board should either implement processes and procedures to ensure the proper use of the funds or closely evaluate the process and procedures used by management. We will also consider supporting such proposals when there is verification, or credible allegations, that the company is mismanaging corporate funds through political donations. If Glass Lewis discovers particularly egregious actions by the company, we will consider recommending voting against the governance committee members or other responsible directors.

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Animal Welfare

Glass Lewis believes that it is prudent for management to assess potential exposure to regulatory, legal and reputational risks associated with all business practices, including those related to animal welfare. A high-profile campaign launched against a company could result in shareholder action, a reduced customer base, protests and potentially costly litigation. However, in general, we believe that the board and management are in the best position to determine policies relating to the care and use of animals. As such, we will typically vote against proposals seeking to eliminate or limit board discretion regarding animal welfare unless there is a clear and documented link between the board’s policies and the degradation of shareholder value.

Internet Censorship

Legal and ethical questions regarding the use and management of the Internet and the worldwide web have been present since access was first made available to the public almost twenty years ago. Prominent among these debates are the issues of privacy, censorship, freedom of expression and freedom of access. Glass Lewis believes that it is prudent for management to assess its potential exposure to risks relating to the internet management and censorship policies. As has been seen at other firms, perceived violation of user privacy or censorship of Internet access can lead to high-profile campaigns that could potentially result in decreased customer bases or potentially costly litigation. In general, however, we believe that management and boards are best equipped to deal with the evolving nature of this issue in various jurisdictions of operation.

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(BACK COVER)

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Please direct general inquiries to info@glasslewis.com




(COVER)

PROXY PAPER GUIDELINES

2012 PROXY SEASON

A N  O V E R V I E W  O F

T H E  G L A S S  L E W I S  A P P R O A C H  T O

I N T E R N A T I O N A L  P R O X Y  A D V I C E

I N T E R N A T I O N A L




 

Contents


 

 

 

I. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

3

 

Board Composition

3

 

Slate Elections

4

 

Board Committee Composition

4

 

Review of Risk Management Controls

4

 

Classified Boards

4

II. FINANCIAL REPORTING

5

 

Accounts and Reports

5

 

Income Allocation (Distribution of Dividend)

5

 

Appointment of Auditors and Authority to Set Fees

5

III. COMPENSATION

6

 

Compensation Report/Compensation Policy

6

 

Long Term Incentive Plans

6

 

Director Compensation

7

 

Limits on Executive Compensation

7

IV. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

8

 

Amendments to the Articles of Association

8

 

Anti-Takeover Measures

8

 

Increase in Authorized Shares

8

 

Issuance of Shares

9

 

Repurchase of Shares

9

V. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL RISK

10

Please note: Glass Lewis creates separate proxy voting policies designed specifically for each individual country.

The following is a distillation of the various country-specific policies.

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I. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

Board of Directors

Boards are put in place to represent shareholders and protect their interests. Glass Lewis seeks boards with a proven record of protecting shareholders and delivering value over the medium- and long-term. In our view, boards working to protect and enhance the best interests of shareholders typically include some independent directors (the percentage will vary by local market practice and regulations), boast a record of positive performance, have directors with diverse backgrounds, and appoint directors with a breadth and depth of experience.

BOARD COMPOSITION

When companies disclose sufficient relevant information, we look at each individual on the board and examine his or her relationships with the company, the company’s executives and with other board members. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether pre-existing personal, familial or financial relationships are likely to impact the decisions of that board member. Where the company does not disclose the names and backgrounds of director nominees with sufficient time in advance of the shareholder meeting to evaluate their independence and performance, we will consider recommending abstaining on the directors’ election.

We vote in favor of governance structures that will drive positive performance and enhance shareholder value. The most crucial test of a board’s commitment to the company and to its shareholders is the performance of the board and its members. The performance of directors in their capacity as board members and as executives of the company, when applicable, and in their roles at other companies where they serve is critical to this evaluation.

We believe a director is independent if he or she has no material financial, familial or other current relationships with the company, its executives or other board members except for service on the board and standard fees paid for that service. Relationships that have existed within the three-five years prior to the inquiry are usually considered to be “current” for purposes of this test.

In our view, a director is affiliated if he or she has a material financial, familial or other relationship with the company or its executives, but is not an employee of the company. This includes directors whose employers have a material financial relationship with the Company. This also includes a director who owns or controls 10-20% or more of the company’s voting stock.

We define an inside director as one who simultaneously serves as a director and as an employee of the company. This category may include a chairman of the board who acts as an employee of the company or is paid as an employee of the company.

Although we typically vote for the election of directors, we will recommend voting against directors for the following reasons:

 

 

 

• A director who attends less than 75% of the board and applicable committee meetings.

 

 

 

• A director who is also the CEO of a company where a serious restatement has occurred after the CEO certified the pre-restatement financial statements.

We also feel that the following conflicts of interest may hinder a director’s performance and will therefore recommend voting against a:

 

 

 

• CFO who presently sits on the board.

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• Director who presently sits on an excessive number of boards.

 

 

 

• Director, or a director whose immediate family member, provides material professional services to the company at any time during the past five years.

 

 

 

• Director, or a director whose immediate family member, engages in airplane, real estate or other similar deals, including perquisite type grants from the company.

 

 

 

• Director with an interlocking directorship.

SLATE ELECTIONS

In some countries, companies elect their board members as a slate, whereby shareholders are unable to vote on the election of each individual director, but rather are limited to voting for or against the board as a whole. If significant issues exist concerning one or more of the nominees or in markets where directors are generally elected individually, we will recommend voting against the entire slate of directors.

BOARD COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

We believe that independent directors should serve on a company’s audit, compensation, nominating and governance committees. We will support boards with such a structure and encourage change where this is not the case.

REVIEW OF RISK MANAGEMENT CONTROLS

We believe companies, particularly financial firms, should have a dedicated risk committee, or a committee of the board charged with risk oversight, as well as a chief risk officer who reports directly to that committee, not to the CEO or another executive. In cases where a company has disclosed a sizable loss or writedown, and where a reasonable analysis indicates that the company’s board-level risk committee should be held accountable for poor oversight, we would recommend that shareholders vote against such committee members on that basis. In addition, in cases where a company maintains a significant level of financial risk exposure but fails to disclose any explicit form of board-level risk oversight (committee or otherwise), we will consider recommending to vote against the chairman of the board on that basis.

CLASSIFIED BOARDS

Glass Lewis favors the repeal of staggered boards in favor of the annual election of directors. We believe that staggered boards are less accountable to shareholders than annually elected boards. Furthermore, we feel that the annual election of directors encourages board members to focus on protecting the interests of shareholders.

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II. FINANCIAL REPORTING

ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS

Many countries require companies to submit the annual financial statements, director reports and independent auditors’ reports to shareholders at a general meeting. Shareholder approval of such a proposal does not discharge the board or management. We will usually recommend voting in favor of these proposals except when there are concerns about the integrity of the statements/reports. However, should the audited financial statements, auditor’s report and/or annual report not be published at the writing of our report, we will recommend that shareholders abstain from voting on this proposal.

INCOME ALLOCATION (DISTRIBUTION OF DIVIDEND)

In many countries, companies must submit the allocation of income for shareholder approval. We will generally recommend voting for such a proposal. However, we will give particular scrutiny to cases where the company’s dividend payout ratio is exceptionally low or excessively high relative to its peers and the company has not provided a satisfactory explanation.

APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS AND AUTHORITY TO SET FEES

We believe that role of the auditor is crucial in protecting shareholder value. Like directors, auditors should be free from conflicts of interest and should assiduously avoid situations that require them to make choices between their own interests and the interests of the shareholders.

We generally support management’s recommendation regarding the selection of an auditor and support granting the board the authority to fix auditor fees except in cases where we believe the independence of an incumbent auditor or the integrity of the audit has been compromised.

However, we recommend voting against ratification of the auditor and/or authorizing the board to set auditor fees for the following reasons:

 

 

 

• When audit fees added to audit-related fees total less than one-half of total fees.

 

 

 

• When there have been any recent restatements or late filings by the company where the auditor bears some responsibility for the restatement or late filing (e.g., a restatement due to a reporting error).

 

 

 

• When the company has aggressive accounting policies.

 

 

 

• When the company has poor disclosure or lack of transparency in financial statements.

 

 

 

• When there are other relationships or issues of concern with the auditor that might suggest a conflict between the interest of the auditor and the interests of shareholders.

 

 

 

• When the company is changing auditors as a result of a disagreement between the company and the auditor on a matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedures.

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III. COMPENSATION

COMPENSATION REPORT/COMPENSATION POLICY

We closely review companies’ remuneration practices and disclosure as outlined in company filings to evaluate management-submitted advisory compensation report and policy vote proposals. In evaluating these proposals, which can be binding or non-binding depending on the country, we examine how well the company has disclosed information pertinent to its compensation programs, the extent to which overall compensation is tied to performance, the performance metrics selected by the company and the levels of remuneration in comparison to company performance and that of its peers.

We will usually recommend voting against approval of the compensation report or policy when the following occur:

 

 

 

• Gross disconnect between pay and performance;

 

 

 

• Performance goals and metrics are inappropriate or insufficiently challenging;

 

 

 

• Lack of disclosure regarding performance metrics and goals as well as the extent to which the performance metrics, targets and goals are implemented to enhance company performance and encourage prudent risk-taking;

 

 

 

• Excessive discretion afforded to or exercised by management or the compensation committee to deviate from defined performance metrics and goals in making awards;

 

 

 

• Ex gratia or other non-contractual payments have been made and the reasons for making the payments have not been fully explained or the explanation is unconvincing;

 

 

 

• Guaranteed bonuses are established;

 

 

 

• There is no clawback policy; or

 

 

 

• Egregious or excessive bonuses, equity awards or severance payments.

LONG TERM INCENTIVE PLANS

Glass Lewis recognizes the value of equity-based incentive programs. When used appropriately, they can provide a vehicle for linking an employee’s pay to a company’s performance, thereby aligning their interests with those of shareholders. Tying a portion of an employee’s compensation to the performance of the Company provides an incentive to maximize share value. In addition, equity-based compensation is an effective way to attract, retain and motivate key employees.

In order to allow for meaningful shareholder review, we believe that incentive programs should generally include: (i) specific and appropriate performance goals; (ii) a maximum award pool; and (iii) a maximum award amount per employee. In addition, the payments made should be reasonable relative to the performance of the business and total compensation to those covered by the plan should be in line with compensation paid by the Company’s peers.

Performance-Based Equity Compensation

Glass Lewis believes in performance-based equity compensation plans for senior executives. We feel that executives should be compensated with equity when their performance and that of the company warrants such rewards. While we do not believe that equity-based compensation plans for all employees need to be based on overall company performance, we do support such limitations for grants to senior

Copyright 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC
6

executives (although even some equity-based compensation of senior executives without performance criteria is acceptable, such as in the case of moderate incentive grants made in an initial offer of employment).

Boards often argue that such a proposal would hinder them in attracting talent. We believe that boards can develop a consistent, reliable approach, as boards of many companies have, that would still attract executives who believe in their ability to guide the company to achieve its targets. We generally recommend that shareholders vote in favor of performance-based option requirements.

There should be no retesting of performance conditions for all share- and option- based incentive schemes. We will generally recommend that shareholders vote against performance-based equity compensation plans that allow for re-testing.

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

Glass Lewis believes that non-employee directors should receive appropriate types and levels of compensation for the time and effort they spend serving on the board and its committees. Director fees should be reasonable in order to retain and attract qualified individuals. In particular, we support compensation plans that include non performance-based equity awards, which help to align the interests of outside directors with those of shareholders.

Glass Lewis compares the costs of these plans to the plans of peer companies with similar market capitalizations in the same country to help inform its judgment on this issue.

Retirement Benefits for Directors

We will typically recommend voting against proposals to grant retirement benefits to non-executive directors. Such extended payments can impair the objectivity and independence of these board members. Directors should receive adequate compensation for their board service through initial and annual fees.

LIMITS ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

As a general rule, Glass Lewis believes that shareholders should not be involved in setting executive compensation. Such matters should be left to the board’s compensation committee. We view the election of directors, and specifically those who sit on the compensation committee, as the appropriate mechanism for shareholders to express their disapproval or support of board policy on this issue. Further, we believe that companies whose pay-for-performance is in line with their peers should be granted the flexibility to compensate their executives in a manner that drives growth and profit.

However, Glass Lewis favors performance-based compensation as an effective means of motivating executives to act in the best interests of shareholders. Performance-based compensation may be limited if a chief executive’s pay is capped at a low level rather than flexibly tied to the performance of the company.

Copyright 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC
7





 

IV. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

AMENDMENTS TO THE ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION

We will evaluate proposed amendments to a company’s articles of association on a case-by-case basis. We are opposed to the practice of bundling several amendments under a single proposal because it prevents shareholders from evaluating each amendment on its own merits. In such cases, we will analyze each change individually and will recommend voting for the proposal only when we believe that the amendments on balance are in the best interests of shareholders.

ANTI-TAKEOVER MEASURES

Poison Pills (Shareholder Rights Plans)

Glass Lewis believes that poison pill plans generally are not in the best interests of shareholders. Specifically, they can reduce management accountability by substantially limiting opportunities for corporate takeovers. Rights plans can thus prevent shareholders from receiving a buy-out premium for their stock.

We believe that boards should be given wide latitude in directing the activities of the company and charting the company’s course. However, on an issue such as this where the link between the financial interests of shareholders and their right to consider and accept buyout offers is so substantial, we believe that shareholders should be allowed to vote on whether or not they support such a plan’s implementation.

In certain limited circumstances, we will support a limited poison pill to accomplish a particular objective, such as the closing of an important merger, or a pill that contains what we believe to be a reasonable ‘qualifying offer’ clause.

Supermajority Vote Requirements

Glass Lewis favors a simple majority voting structure. Supermajority vote requirements act as impediments to shareholder action on ballot items that are critical to our interests. One key example is in the takeover context where supermajority vote requirements can strongly limit shareholders’ input in making decisions on such crucial matters as selling the business.

INCREASE IN AUTHORIZED SHARES

Glass Lewis believes that having adequate capital stock available for issuance is important to the operation of a company. We will generally support proposals when a company could reasonably use the requested shares for financing, stock splits and stock dividends. While we think that having adequate shares to allow management to make quick decisions and effectively operate the business is critical, we prefer that, for significant transactions, management come to shareholders to justify their use of additional shares rather than providing a blank check in the form of large pools of unallocated shares available for any purpose.

In general, we will support proposals to increase authorized shares up to 100% of the number of shares currently authorized unless, after the increase the company would be left with less than 30% of its authorized shares outstanding.

Copyright 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
8

ISSUANCE OF SHARES

Issuing additional shares can dilute existing holders in some circumstances. Further, the availability of additional shares, where the board has discretion to implement a poison pill, can often serve as a deterrent to interested suitors. Accordingly, where we find that the company has not disclosed a detailed plan for use of the proposed shares, or where the number of shares requested are excessive, we typically recommend against the issuance. In the case of a private placement, we will also consider whether the company is offering a discount to its share price.

In general, we will support proposals to issue shares (with pre-emption rights) when the requested increase is the lesser of (i) the unissued ordinary share capital; or (ii) a sum equal to one-third of the issued ordinary share capital. This authority should not exceed five years. In some countries, if the proposal contains a figure greater than one-third, the company should explain the nature of the additional amounts.

We will also generally support proposals to suspend pre-emption rights for a maximum of 5-20% of the issued ordinary share capital of the company, depending on the country in which the company is located. This authority should not exceed five years, or less for some countries.

REPURCHASE OF SHARES

We will recommend voting in favor of a proposal to repurchase shares when the plan includes the following provisions: (i) a maximum number of shares which may be purchased (typically not more than 15% of the issued share capital); and (ii) a maximum price which may be paid for each share (as a percentage of the market price).





















Copyright 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
9





 

V. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL RISK

We believe companies should actively evaluate risks to long-term shareholder value stemming from exposure to environmental and social risks and should incorporate this information into their overall business risk profile. In addition, we believe companies should consider their exposure to changes in environmental or social regulation with respect to their operations as well as related legal and reputational risks. Companies should disclose to shareholders both the nature and magnitude of such risks as well as steps they have taken or will take to mitigate those risks.

When we identify situations where shareholder value is at risk, we may recommend voting in favor of a reasonable and well-targeted shareholder proposal if we believe supporting the proposal will promote disclosure of and/or mitigate significant risk exposure. In limited cases where a company has failed to adequately mitigate risks stemming from environmental or social practices, we will recommend shareholders vote against: (i) ratification of board and/or management acts; (ii) approving a company’s accounts and reports and/or; (iii) directors (in egregious cases).





















Copyright 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., llc
10



























This document sets forth the proxy voting policy and guidelines of Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC. The policies included herein have been developed based on Glass Lewis’ experience with proxy voting and corporate governance issues and are not tailored to any specific person. Moreover, these guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive and do not include all potential voting issues. The information included herein is reviewed periodically and updated or revised as necessary. Glass Lewis is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. This document may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner without the written permission of Glass Lewis.

Copyright © 2011 Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.





(BACK COVER)

SAN FRANCISCO
Headquarters
Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC
One Sansome Street
Suite 3300
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel: +1 415-678-4110
Tel: +1 888-800-7001
Fax: +1 415-357-0200

NEW YORK
Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC
48 Wall Street
15th Floor
New york, N.y. 10005
Tel: +1 212-797-3777
Fax: +1 212-980-4716

AUSTRALIA
CGI Glass Lewis Pty Limited
Suite 8.01, Level 8,
261 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia
Tel: +61 2 9299 9266
Fax: +61 2 9299 1866

SWITZERLAND
Glass Lewis International, Ltd.
Via Pazzalino 25
6962 Lugano Viganello
Switzerland
Phone: +41 76 346 0673
Fax: +41 91 260 6182

IRELAND
Glass Lewis Europe, Ltd.
6th Floor, Riverpoint
Bishop’s Quay
Limerick, Ireland
Phone: +353 61 404700
Fax: +353 61 404711

Please direct general inquiries to info@glasslewis.com



PART C: OTHER INFORMATION

 

 

Item 28.

Exhibits:


 

 

 

(a)

 

Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust. ‡‡‡‡

 

 

 

(b)

 

Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Trust. >>>>

 

 

 

(c)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(d)(1)

 

Form of Investment Management Agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Associates Corporation (with respect to Market Vectors—Gold Miners ETF).*

 

 

 

(d)(2)

 

Form of Investment Management Agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Associates Corporation (with respect to all portfolios except for Market Vectors—Gold Miners ETF).***

 

 

 

(d)(3)

 

Form of Investment Management Agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Associates Corporation (with respect to certain municipal portfolios). ###

 

 

 

(e)(1)

 

Form of Distribution Agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Securities Corporation.**

 

 

 

(e)(2)

 

Form of Participant Agreement.*

 

 

 

(f)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(g)

 

Form of Custodian Agreement between the Trust and The Bank of New York.*

 

 

 

(h)(1)

 

Form of Fund Accounting Agreement between the Trust and The Bank of New York.*

 

 

 

(h)(2)

 

Form of Transfer Agency Services Agreement between the Trust and The Bank of New York.*

 

 

 

(h)(3)

 

Form of Sub-License Agreement between the Trust and the Van Eck Associates Corp.*

 

 

 

(i)(1)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Environmental Services ETF, Market Vectors—Gold Miners ETF and Market Vectors—Steel ETF).***

 

 

 

(i)(2)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Global Alternative Energy ETF and Market Vectors—Russia ETF).****

 

 

 

(i)(3)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Global Agribusiness ETF and Market Vectors—Global Nuclear Energy ETF).*****

 

 

 

(i)(4)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers Intermediate Municipal ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers Long Municipal ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers 1-5 Year Municipal ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers Non-Investment Grade Municipal ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers California Municipal ETF and Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers New York Municipal ETF).******




 

 

 

(i)(5)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Coal ETF and Market Vectors—Gaming ETF).†

 

 

 

(i)(6)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers AMT-Free Massachusetts Municipal Index ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers AMT-Free New Jersey Municipal Index ETF, Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers AMT-Free Ohio Municipal Index ETF and Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers AMT-Free Pennsylvania Municipal Index ETF).††

 

 

 

(i)(7)

 

Opinion of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Hard Assets ETF and Market Vectors—Solar Energy ETF).†††

 

 

 

(i)(8)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP with respect to Market Vectors—Africa Index ETF, Market Vectors—Emerging Eurasia Index ETF, Market Vectors—Global Frontier Index ETF and Market Vectors—Gulf States Index ETF).††††

 

 

 

(i)(9)

 

Consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors—Lehman Brothers High-Yield Municipal Index ETF).†††††

 

 

 

(i)(10)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF). ‡

 

 

 

(i)(11)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Vietnam ETF). ‡‡

 

 

 

(i)(12)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Pre-Refunded Municipal Index ETF). ‡‡‡

 

 

 

(i)(13)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF).^^^^

 

 

 

(i)(14)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Kuwait Index ETF).^^^^

 

 

 

(i)(15)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Latin America Small-Cap Index ETF). ^^^^^

 

 

 

(i)(16)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors China ETF).^

 

 

 

(i)(17)

 

Opinion and consent of Clifford Chance US LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF).‡‡‡‡‡‡

 

 

 

(i)(18)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF).^^

 

 

 

(i)(19)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Poland ETF).^^^

 

 

 

(i)(20)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF).#

 

 

 

(i)(21)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF).##




 

 

 

(i)(22)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors GDP – International Equity ETF and Market Vectors GDP – Emerging Markets Equity ETF). §§§

 

 

 

(i)(23)

 

Opinion and consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Investment Grade Floating Rate Bond ETF). ##

 

 

 

(i)(24)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors MLP ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(25)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF). ####

 

 

 

(i)(26)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors LatAm Aggregate Bond ETF). §

 

 

 

(i)(27)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors High Yield Floating Rate ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(28)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Fixed Income II ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(29)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Colombia ETF). #####

 

 

 

(i)(30)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors CM Commodity Index ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(31)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF). ######

 

 

 

(i)(32)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Germany Small-Cap ETF). ######

 

 

 

(i)(33)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Germany Mid-Cap ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(34)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors CEF Municipal Income ETF). §§

 

 

 

(i)(35)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors GDP – Emerging Markets Small-Cap Equity ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(36)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Japanese Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(37)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors European Currency High Yield Bond ETF). <

 

 

 

(i)(38)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors European Sovereign Bond ETF). >>>>>




 

 

 

(i)(39)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Business Development Company/Specialty Finance ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(40)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Asia ex-Japan Aggregate Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(41)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF). §§§

 

 

 

(i)(42)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors International High Yield Bond ETF). <<<<<

 

 

 

(i)(43)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Business Development Company ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(44)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Mongolia ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(45)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Nigeria ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(46)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Greater China Corporate Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(47)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Greater China High Yield Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(48)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Renminbi Bond ETF). §§§§§

 

 

 

(i)(49)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Biotech ETF, Market Vectors Bank and Brokerage ETF, Market Vectors Oil Services ETF, Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF, Market Vectors Retail ETF and Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF). <<

 

 

 

(i)(50)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF). <<<<

 

 

 

(i)(51)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Yuan Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(52)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF). <<<

 

 

 

(i)(53)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Nigeria-Focused Western Africa ETF). >>>

 

 

 

(i)(54)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF). >>




 

 

 

(i)(55)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF). >

 

 

 

(i)(56)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Global High Yield Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(57)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Global High Yield US$Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(58)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Global Fallen Angel Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(59)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond ETF). >

 

 

 

(i)(60)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors International US$High Yield Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(61)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Global Chemicals ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(62)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Preferred Securities ex Financials ETF). >>>>

 

 

 

(i)(63)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Saudi Arabia ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(64)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Saudi Arabia Small-Cap ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(65)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Short High-Yield Municipal Index ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(66)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Emerging Markets USD Aggregate Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(67)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Emerging Markets Aggregate Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(68)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors Non-Agency RMBS ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(i)(69)

 

Opinion and Consent of Dechert LLP (with respect to Market Vectors-Altman Defaulted & Distressed Bond ETF). >>>>>

 

 

 

(j)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(k)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(l)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(m)

 

Not applicable.




 

 

 

(n)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(o)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

(p)(1)

 

Code of Ethics. ‡‡‡‡‡


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 28, 2006.

**

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on May 11, 2006.

***

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on October 6, 2006.

****

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 9, 2007.

*****

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on July 30, 2007.

******

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on November 2, 2007.

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on December 31, 2007.

††

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on February 15, 2008.

†††

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 21, 2008.

††††

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on July 8, 2008.

†††††

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on August 8, 2008.

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on November 25, 2008.

‡‡

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on December 23, 2008.

‡‡‡

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on January 28, 2009.

‡‡‡‡

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on February 6, 2009.

‡‡‡‡‡

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 21, 2009.

‡‡‡‡‡‡

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on May 8, 2009.

^

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on September 4, 2009.

^^

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on November 9, 2009.

^^^

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on November 20, 2009.

^^^^

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on February 16, 2010.

^^^^^

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on March 29, 2010.

#

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 5, 2010.

##

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on June 28, 2010.

###

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on August 27, 2010.

####

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on October 20, 2010.

#####

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on March 4, 2011.

######

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 1, 2011.

§

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on May 10, 2011.

§§

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on July 7, 2011.

§§§

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on August 15, 2011.

§§§§

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on August 24, 2011.

§§§§§

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on October 11, 2011.

<

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on October 26, 2011.

<<

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on October 31, 2011.

<<<

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on February 8, 2012.

<<<<

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on March 14, 2012.

<<<<<

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on March 29, 2012.

>

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 3, 2012.

>>

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on April 13, 2012.

>>>

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on May 17, 2012.

>>>>

 

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement filed on July 5, 2012.

>>>>>

 

To be filed by amendment.


 

 

Item 29.

Persons Controlled by or Under Common Control with Registrant

          None.



 

 

Item 30.

Indemnification

          Pursuant to Section 10.2 of the Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust, all persons that are or have been a Trustee or officer of the Trust (collectively, the “Covered Persons”) shall be indemnified by the Trust to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him in connection with any claim, action, suit, or proceeding in which he or she becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of his being or having been a Trustee or officer and against amounts paid or incurred by him in the settlement thereof. No indemnification will be provided to a Covered Person who shall have been adjudicated by a court or body before which the proceeding was brought to be liable to the Trust or its shareholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his office or not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his action was in the best interest of the Trust; or in the event of a settlement, unless there has been a determination that such Trustee or officer did not engage in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his office.

          Article XII of the Trust’s Bylaws, to the maximum extent permitted by Delaware law in effect from time to time, the Trust shall indemnify and, without requiring a preliminary determination of the ultimate entitlement to indemnification, shall pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to (a) any individual who is a present or former trustee or officer of the Trust and who is made a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity or (b) any individual who, while a director of the Trust and at the request of the Trust, serves or has served as a trustee, officer, partner or trustee of another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise and who is made a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity. The Trust may, with the approval of its Board of Trustees, provide such indemnification and advance for expenses to a person who served a predecessor of the Trust in any of the capacities described in (a) or (b) above and to any employee or agent of the Trust or a predecessor of the Trust; provided that no provision of Article XII shall be effective to protect or purport to protect any trustee or officer of the Trust against liability to the Trust or its stockholders to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

          The Trust has agreed to indemnify and hold harmless the Trustees against any and all expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the Trustee in any proceeding arising out of or in connection with the Trustee’s service to the Trust, to the fullest extent permitted by the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust and Bylaws of the Fund and Title 12, Part V, Chapter 38 of the Delaware Code, and applicable law.

 

 

Item 31.

Business and Other Connections of Investment Manager

          See “Management” in the Statement of Additional Information. Information as to the directors and officers of the Adviser is included in its Form ADV filed with the SEC and is incorporated herein by reference thereto.

 

 

Item 32.

Principal Underwriters


 

 

 

 

(a)

Van Eck Securities Corporation is the Trust’s principal underwriter. Van Eck Securities Corporation also acts as a principal underwriter, depositor, or investment manager for the following other investment companies: each series of Van Eck Funds and Van Eck VIP Trust.




 

 

 

 

(b)

The following is a list of the officers, directors and partners of Van Eck Securities Corporation:


 

 

 

 

 

Name and Principal
Business Address

 

Positions and Offices
with Underwriter

 

Positions and Offices with
Trust

 

 

 

 

 

Jan F. van Eck
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Director and President

 

President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph J. McBrien
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Director, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

 

Senior Vice President, Secretary and Chief Legal Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce J. Smith
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Director, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Controller

 

Senior Vice President

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Marino
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Senior Vice President

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Harvey Hirsch
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Senior Vice President

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Crimmins
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President

 

Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Susan C. Lashley
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President

 

Vice President

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan R. Simon
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary

 

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas K. Lynch
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

 

Chief Compliance Officer

 

 

 

 

 

John Wolfe
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Laura I. Martinez
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary

 

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

Wu-Kwan Kit
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary

 

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary




 

 

 

 

 

Name and Principal
Business Address

 

Positions and Offices
with Underwriter

 

Positions and Offices with
Trust

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Smith
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Allison Lovett
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Lulley
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Vice President

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan S. Paisley
335 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

 

Assistant Vice President

 

N/A


 

 

Item 33.

Location of Accounts and Records

          All accounts, books and other documents required to be maintained by Section 31(a) of the 1940 Act and the Rules thereunder will be maintained at the offices of The Bank of New York Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286.

 

 

Item 34.

Management Services

          Not applicable.

 

 

Item 35.

Undertakings

          Not applicable.


SIGNATURES

          Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of New York and State of New York on the 2nd day of November 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

MARKET VECTORS ETF TRUST

 

 

 

 

 

 

By:

/s/ Jan F. van Eck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Jan F. van Eck

 

 

 

Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

          Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following person in the capacities and on the date indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ David H. Chow*

 

Trustee

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

David H. Chow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ R. Alastair Short*

 

Trustee

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

R. Alastair Short

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ Peter J. Sidebottom*

 

Trustee

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Peter J. Sidebottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ Richard D. Stamberger*

 

Trustee

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Richard D. Stamberger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ Jan F. van Eck

 

President, Chief
Executive Officer and
Trustee

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan F. van Eck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ John J. Crimmins*

 

Treasurer, Chief
Financial Officer and
Principal Accounting
Officer

 

November 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Crimmins

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

*By:

/s/ Jonathan R. Simon

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan R. Simon

 

 

Attorney in Fact