485APOS 1 d734601d485apos.htm SSGA ACTIVE ETF TRUST SSgA Active ETF Trust
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 30, 2014

Securities Act File No. 333-173276

Investment Company Act of 1940 File No. 811-22542

 

 

 

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.  
   Post-Effective Amendment No. 22   x

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940   x
   Amendment No. 28   x

 

 

SSgA Active ETF Trust

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

One Lincoln Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02111

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number: (866) 787-2257

Christopher A. Madden, Esq.

State Street Bank and Trust Company

One Lincoln Street/CPH0326

Boston, Massachusetts 02111

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

W. John McGuire

Bingham McCutchen LLP

2020 K Street NW

Washington, DC 20006

 

 

It is proposed that this filing will become effective:

¨ immediately upon filing pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (b)
¨ on             pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (b)
¨ 60 days after filing pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (a)(1)
¨ on             pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (a)(1)
x 75 days after filing pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (a)(2)
¨ on             pursuant to Rule 485, paragraph (a)(2)
¨ As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.

SSGA MASTER TRUST HAS ALSO EXECUTED THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT

 

 

 


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SUBJECT TO COMPLETION. THE INFORMATION IN THIS PROSPECTUS IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. WE 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 IT IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY STATE WHERE THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.

SSgA Active ETF Trust

Prospectus

[            ], 2014

SPDR® DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF ([            ])

Principal U.S. Listing Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc.

The SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF is part of a “master-feeder” structure, under which the Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing substantially all of its assets in a corresponding “master fund,” which is a separate mutual fund that has an investment objective, investment policies and risks substantially identical to the Fund.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 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. Shares in the Fund are not guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other agency of the U.S. government, nor are shares deposits or obligations of any bank. Such shares in the Fund involve investment risks, including the loss of principal.

Precise in a world that isn’t. SM


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FUND SUMMARY

     3   

SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

     3   

ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES INFORMATION

     8   

ADDITIONAL RISK INFORMATION

     8   

MANAGEMENT

     12   

TRADEMARK LICENSE/DISCLAIMERS

     13   

ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION

     13   

INVESTMENTS BY REGISTERED INVESTMENT COMPANIES

     14   

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

     14   

DISTRIBUTIONS

     14   

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

     15   

ADDITIONAL TAX INFORMATION

     15   

GENERAL INFORMATION

     18   

PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

     18   

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

     18   

WHERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FUND

     Back Cover   

 

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FUND SUMMARY

SPDR® DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

The SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to maximize total return.

FEES AND EXPENSES OF THE FUND

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). This table and the example below reflect the expenses of both the Fund and the Portfolio (defined below) and do not reflect brokerage commissions you may pay on purchases and sales of the Fund’s Shares.

 

ANNUAL FUND OPERATING EXPENSES(1) (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment):

  

MANAGEMENT FEES(1)[2)

     X.XX

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE (12b-1) FEES(3)

     0.00

OTHER EXPENSES(4)

     X.XX

TOTAL ANNUAL FUND OPERATING EXPENSES

     X.XX

 

(1) The Fee Table and the Example reflect the fees and expenses of both the Fund and the Portfolio.
(2) The management fee paid to the Adviser is reduced by the proportional amount of the advisory fee, as well as acquired fund fees and expenses, of the Portfolio.
(3) The Fund has adopted a Distribution and Service (12b-1) Plan pursuant to which payments of up to 0.25% of average daily net assets may be made, however, the Board has determined that no such payments will be made through the next twelve (12) months of operation.
(4) Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

EXAMPLE:

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated, and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year 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 1    YEAR 3  

$[XX]

   $ [XX

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER:

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher 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, affect the Fund’s performance.

THE FUND’S PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets in the SSgA DoubleLine Total Return Tactical Portfolio (the “Portfolio”), a separate series of the SSgA Master Trust with an identical investment objective as the Fund. As a result, the Fund invests indirectly through the Portfolio.

Under normal circumstances, DoubleLine Capital LP (the “Sub-Adviser” or “DoubleLine”) invests in a diversified portfolio of fixed income securities. Fixed income securities include, but are not limited to, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored corporations; inflation protected public obligations of the U.S. Treasury (commonly known as “TIPS”); agency mortgage-backed securities; non-agency mortgage-backed securities (both investment grade and non-investment grade); commercial mortgage-backed securities; asset-backed securities; foreign and domestic corporate bonds; fixed income securities issued by corporations and governments in foreign countries including emerging markets; securities issued by municipalities; and other securities bearing fixed interest rates of any maturity.

The Portfolio may invest, without limitation, in mortgage- or asset-backed securities, subject to applicable law. The Portfolio will limit its investments in non-agency mortgage-backed securities to no more than 25% of its total assets under normal circumstances.

 

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The Portfolio may invest up to 25% of its assets in corporate and sovereign high yield securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”). Under normal circumstances, the combined total of corporate, sovereign, and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities and all other debt rated below investment grade will not exceed 40% of the Fund’s total assets. The Sub-Adviser allocates below investment grade securities broadly by industry and issuer in an attempt to reduce the impact of negative events on an industry or issuer. Below investment grade securities are instruments that are rated BB+ or lower by Standard & Poor’s, Inc. (“S&P”) or Fitch Inc. or Ba1 or lower by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or, if unrated by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”), of comparable quality in the opinion of the Sub-Adviser.

The Portfolio may invest up to 15% of its total assets in securities denominated in foreign currencies, and may invest beyond this limit in U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers. The Portfolio may invest up to 25% of its total assets in securities and instruments that are economically tied to emerging market countries.

The Sub-Adviser also monitors the duration of the securities held by the Portfolio to seek to mitigate exposure to interest rate risk. Under normal circumstances, the Sub-Adviser seeks to maintain an investment portfolio with a weighted average effective duration of no less than 1 year and no more than 8 years. The duration of the portfolio may vary materially from its target, from time to time, and there is no assurance that the duration of the portfolio will meet its target. Duration is a measure used to determine the sensitivity of a security’s price to changes in interest rates. The longer a security’s duration, the more sensitive it will be to changes in interest rates.

In managing the Fund’s investments, under normal market conditions, the portfolio manager uses a controlled risk approach. The techniques of this approach attempt to control the principal risk components of the fixed income markets and include consideration of:

 

    security selection within a given sector;

 

    relative performance of the various market sectors;

 

    the shape of the yield curve; and

 

    fluctuations in the overall level of interest rates.

PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND

As with all investments, there are certain risks of investing in the Fund, and you could lose money on an investment in the Fund. Because the Fund invests substantially all of its assets in the Portfolio, it is subject to substantially the same risks as those associated with the direct ownership of the securities in which the Portfolio invests.

DEBT SECURITIES INVESTING RISK: The value of debt securities may increase or decrease as a result of the following: market fluctuations, increases in interest rates, inability of issuers to repay principal and interest or illiquidity in the debt securities markets; the risk of low rates of return due to reinvestment of securities during periods of falling interest rates or repayment by issuers with higher coupon or interest rates; and/or the risk of low income due to falling interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. This may result in a reduction in income from debt securities income. Certain risks are embedded within debt securities investing risk:

Credit Risk: Credit risk is the risk that an issuer or counterparty will fail to pay its obligations to the Fund when they are due. As a result, the Portfolio’s income might be reduced, the value of the Portfolio’s investment might fall, and/or the Portfolio could lose the entire amount of its investment. Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic, social or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or other instrument or an issuer, and changes in economic, social or political conditions generally can increase the risk of default by an issuer or counterparty, which can affect a security’s or other instrument’s credit quality or value and an issuer’s or counterparty’s ability to pay interest and principal when due. The values of lower-quality debt securities, including floating rate loans, tend to be particularly sensitive to these changes. The values of securities also may decline for a number of other reasons that relate directly to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services, as well as the historical and prospective earnings of the issuer and the value of its assets.

Extension Risk: Extension risk is the risk that if interest rates rise, repayments of principal on certain debt securities, including, but not limited to, floating rate loans and mortgage-related securities, may occur at a slower rate than expected and the expected maturity of those securities could lengthen as a result. Securities that are subject to extension risk generally have a greater potential for loss when prevailing interest rates rise, which could cause their values to fall sharply.

 

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Interest Rate Risk: Interest rate risk is the risk that debt securities will decline in value because of increases in interest rates. The value of a security with a longer duration will be more sensitive to changes in interest rates than a similar security with a shorter duration. Interest-only and principal-only securities are especially sensitive to interest rate changes, which can affect not only their prices but can also change the income flows and repayment assumptions about those investments.

HIGH YIELD SECURITIES RISK: Securities rated below investment grade, commonly referred to as “junk bonds,” include bonds that are rated Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below by Moody’s, Fitch Inc., or S&P, respectively, or unrated securities considered to be of equivalent quality by the Sub-Adviser, and may involve greater risks than securities in higher rating categories. Such bonds are regarded as speculative in nature, involve greater risk of default by the issuing entity and may be subject to greater market fluctuations than higher rated debt securities. They are usually issued by companies without long track records of sales and earnings, or by those companies with questionable credit strength. The retail secondary market for these “junk bonds” may be less liquid than that of higher rated securities and adverse conditions could make it difficult at times to sell certain securities without taking a discount, which could be significant. High yield securities also may present greater credit risk because such securities may be issued in connection with corporate restructuring by highly leveraged issuers or may not be current in the payment of interest or principal or in default.

U.S. TREASURY OBLIGATIONS RISK: U.S. Treasury obligations may differ from other securities in their interest rates, maturities, times of issuance and other characteristics. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government may cause the value of the Fund’s U.S. Treasury obligations to decline.

U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCY SECURITIES RISK: Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. Securities issued by U.S. government agencies or government-sponsored entities may not be guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. If a government-sponsored entity is unable to meet its obligations, the performance of the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund will be adversely impacted.

INFLATION PROTECTED SECURITIES RISK: Inflation protected securities, such as TIPS, generally fluctuate in response to changes in “real” interest rates. Real interest rates represent nominal (stated) interest rates reduced by the expected impact of inflation. Generally, an inflation protected security’s value will decrease when real interest rates rise and increase when real interest rates fall. Interest payments on inflation-protected debt securities can be unpredictable and will vary as the principal and/or interest is adjusted for inflation. During periods of “deflation,” the principal and income of an inflation protected security may decline in price, which could result in losses for the Portfolio and, thus, the Fund.

ASSET-BACKED AND MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES RISK: Asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities (residential and commercial) represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. These securities, in most cases, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and there can be no assurance that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies or instrumentalities where it is not obligated to do so. These securities are subject to the risk of default on the underlying asset or mortgage, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities. In particular, during periods of falling interest rates, mortgage-backed securities will be called or prepaid, which may result in the Portfolio having to reinvest proceeds in other investments at a lower interest rate. During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of a mortgage-backed security may extend, which may lock in a below-market interest rate, increase the security’s duration, and reduce the value of the security. Enforcing rights against the underlying assets or collateral may be difficult, or the underlying assets or collateral may be insufficient if the issuer defaults. The values of certain types of mortgage-backed securities, such as inverse floaters and interest-only and principal-only securities, may be extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates and prepayment rates.

PREPAYMENT RISK: Mortgage-related securities may be paid off early if the borrower on the underlying mortgage prepays the mortgage or refinances the mortgage prior to the maturity date. If interest rates are falling, the Portfolio may have to reinvest the unanticipated proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Portfolio’s and, therefore, the Fund’s income.

SOVEREIGN OBLIGATIONS RISK: The Portfolio invests in securities issued by or guaranteed by sovereign governments, which may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due. In times of economic uncertainty, the prices of these securities may be more volatile than those of corporate debt obligations or of other government debt obligations.

 

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FOREIGN INVESTMENT RISK: Returns on investments in foreign securities could be more volatile than, or trail the returns on, investments in U.S. securities. Investments in securities issued by entities based outside the U.S. pose distinct risks since political and economic events unique to a country or region will affect those markets and their issuers. Further, such entities and/or their securities may also be affected by currency controls; different accounting, auditing, financial reporting, and legal standards and practices; different practices for clearing and settling trades; expropriation; changes in tax policy; greater market volatility; differing securities market structures; higher transaction costs; and various administrative difficulties, such as delays in clearing and settling portfolio transactions or in receiving payment of dividends. Securities traded on foreign markets may be less liquid (harder to sell) than securities traded domestically. In addition, the value of the currency of the country in which the Portfolio has invested could decline relative to the value of the U.S. dollar, which may affect the value of the investment to U.S. investors. These risks may be heightened in connection with investments in developing or emerging countries.

EMERGING MARKETS RISK: Investment in emerging markets subjects the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund, to a greater risk of loss than investments in a developed market. This is due to, among other things, greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, high levels of inflation, deflation or currency devaluation, greater risk of market shut down, and more governmental limitations on foreign investment policy than those typically found in a developed market. There is also the potential for unfavorable action such as expropriation, nationalization, embargo, and acts of war. In addition, the financial stability of issuers (including governments) in emerging market countries may be more precarious than in other countries. As a result, there will tend to be an increased risk of price volatility associated with investments in issuers domiciled in emerging market countries, which may be magnified by currency fluctuations relative to the U.S. dollar. Settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in U.S. markets. Such differences include delays beyond periods customary in the United States and practices, such as delivery of securities prior to receipt of payment, which increase the likelihood of a “failed settlement.” Failed settlements can result in losses to the Portfolio. For these and other reasons, investments in emerging markets are often considered speculative.

FINANCIAL SECTOR RISK: Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, and the interest rates and fees they can charge. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds, and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change or due to increased competition. In addition, the recent deterioration of the credit markets generally has caused an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. Recent events in the financial sector have resulted, and may continue to result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign, and cause certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Numerous financial services companies have experienced substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, taken action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. These actions have caused the securities of many financial services companies to experience a dramatic decline in value. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers and financial losses associated with investment activities can negatively impact the sector. Insurance companies may be subject to severe price competition.

REAL ESTATE RISK: Real estate risk is the risk that real estate related investments may decline in value as a result of factors affecting the real estate industry, such as the supply of real property in certain markets, changes in zoning laws, delays in completion of construction, changes in real estate values, changes in property taxes, levels of occupancy, and local and regional market conditions.

MANAGEMENT RISK: The Portfolio is actively managed, and therefore the Portfolio is subject to the risk that the investments selected by the Sub-Adviser may cause the Portfolio to underperform relative to its benchmark or other funds with a similar investment objective.

FUND PERFORMANCE

The Fund has not yet completed a full calendar year of investment operations and therefore does not have any performance history. Once the Fund has completed a full calendar year of operations, a bar chart and table will be included that will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing the variability of the Fund’s returns based on net assets and comparing the Fund’s performance to a broad-based securities index.

 

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PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

INVESTMENT ADVISER AND SUB-ADVISER

SSgA FM serves as the investment adviser to the Fund and the Portfolio. DoubleLine Capital LP serves as the investment sub-adviser to the Fund and the Portfolio, subject to supervision by the Adviser and the Board of Trustees.

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and the Portfolio are Jeffrey Gundlach and Philip Barach.

Jeffrey E. Gundlach is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of DoubleLine.

Philip A. Barach is co-founder and President of DoubleLine.

PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION

The Fund will issue (or redeem) Shares to certain institutional investors (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares known as “Creation Units.” Creation Unit transactions are typically conducted in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a designated portfolio of in-kind securities and/or cash.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the NYSE Arca, Inc., (the “Exchange”) other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market prices. Because Fund Shares trade at market prices rather than at net asset value (“NAV”), Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).

TAX INFORMATION

The Fund’s distributions are expected to be taxed as ordinary income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account, in which case your investment may be subject to taxes upon withdrawal.

 

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ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES INFORMATION

GENERAL. The Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) may change the Fund’s investment objective, investment strategy and other policies without shareholder approval, except as otherwise indicated in this Prospectus or in the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). Members of the Board also serve as the trustees for the SSgA Master Trust, and may change the Portfolio’s investment objective, investment strategy and other policies without shareholder approval, except as otherwise indicated.

PRINCIPAL STRATEGIES

MASTER-FEEDER INVESTMENT STRUCTURE. The Fund is intended to be managed in a “master-feeder” structure, under which the Fund invests substantially all of its assets in a corresponding Portfolio (i.e., a “master fund”), which is a separate mutual fund that has an identical investment objective. As a result, the Fund (i.e., a “feeder fund”) has an indirect interest in all of the securities owned by the Portfolio. Because of this indirect interest, the Fund’s investment returns should be the same as those of the Portfolio, adjusted for the expenses of the Fund. In extraordinary instances, the Fund reserves the right to make direct investments in securities.

The Adviser and Sub-Adviser manage the investments of the Portfolio. Under the master-feeder arrangement, and pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and the SSgA Active ETF Trust (the “Trust”), investment advisory fees charged at the Portfolio level are deducted from the advisory fees charged at the Fund level. This arrangement avoids a “layering” of fees, e.g., the Fund’s total annual operating expenses would be no higher as a result of investing in a master-feeder arrangement than they would be if the Fund pursued its investment objective directly. In addition, the Fund may discontinue investing through the master-feeder arrangement and pursue its investment objective directly if the Fund’s Board of Trustees determines that doing so would be in the best interests of shareholders.

NON-PRINCIPAL STRATEGIES

CERTAIN OTHER INVESTMENTS. The Fund may (either directly or through its investments in its corresponding Portfolio) invest in the following types of investments: money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements, money market funds (including money market funds managed by the Adviser); variable rate demand notes; and commercial paper.

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS. In certain situations or market conditions, the Fund may (either directly or through the corresponding Portfolio) temporarily depart from its normal investment policies and strategies provided that the alternative is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and is in the best interest of the Fund. For example, the Fund may hold a higher than normal proportion of its assets in cash in times of extreme market stress.

BORROWING MONEY. The Fund may (either directly or through its investments in its corresponding Portfolio) borrow money from a bank as permitted by the 1940 Act, or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund, but only for temporary or emergency purposes. The 1940 Act presently allows the Fund to borrow from any bank (including pledging, mortgaging or hypothecating assets) in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (not including temporary borrowings not in excess of 5% of its total assets). The Fund may (either directly or through its investments in the corresponding Portfolio) also invest in reverse repurchase agreements, which are considered borrowings under the 1940 Act. Although there is no limit on the percentage of Fund assets that can be used in connection with reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund does not expect to engage, under normal circumstances, in reverse repurchase agreements with respect to more than 33 1/3% of its total assets.

ADDITIONAL RISK INFORMATION

The following section provides additional information regarding certain of the principal risks identified under “Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” in the Fund Summary along with additional risk information. Because the Fund is expected to invest substantially all of its assets in a corresponding Portfolio, the description of risks below relate to the direct investments made by the Portfolio; however, to the extent the Fund makes direct investments, these risks apply to those investments as well.

PRINCIPAL RISKS

MARKET RISK: An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. The values of securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. Different types of securities tend to go through cycles of out-performance and under-performance in comparison to the general securities markets. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally.

 

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ISSUER RISK: There may be economic or political changes that impact the ability of issuers to repay principal and to make interest payments on securities. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of issuers may also adversely affect the value of the Portfolio’s securities.

LIQUIDITY RISK: Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. If the Portfolio invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, it may reduce the returns of the Fund investing in such Portfolio because the Portfolio may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. Additionally, the market for certain investments may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. In such cases, the Portfolio, due to limitations on investments in illiquid securities and/or the difficulty in purchasing and selling such investments, may be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain market or sector.

REINVESTMENT RISK: The Portfolio’s and, therefore, the Fund’s performance may be adversely impacted when interest rates fall because the Portfolio must invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature. This risk is typically greater with respect to short-term bond funds and lower for long-term bond funds.

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

INCOME RISK: The Portfolio’s income may decline due to falling interest rates. During a period of falling interest rates, income risk is generally higher for short term bond funds, moderate for intermediate term bond funds and low for long term bond funds. Therefore, investors should expect the Fund’s monthly income to fluctuate accordingly.

U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCY SECURITIES RISK: Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. Securities issued by U.S. government agencies or government-sponsored entities may not be guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), a wholly owned U.S. government corporation, is authorized to guarantee, with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, the timely payment of principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by GNMA and backed by pools of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Portfolio may also invest in obligations issued by other entities such as Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), which are supported solely by the credit of the agency or instrumentality itself, and are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government. FHLMC and FNMA have each been placed into conservatorship by the U.S. government under the authority of the Federal Housing Finance Agency with a stated purpose to preserve and conserve each entity’s assets and property, and to put each entity in a sound and solvent condition. No assurance can be given that these purposes will be met or that the U.S. government will provide adequate, or any, financial support to these and other agencies if needed. If a government-sponsored entity is unable to meet its obligations, the performance of the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund will be adversely impacted.

FOREIGN ISSUER RISK: Securities of foreign issuers involve special risks and costs. Returns on investments in securities of foreign issuers could be more volatile than, or trail the returns on, investments in securities of U.S. issuers.

FOREIGN SECURITIES INVOLVE SPECIAL RISKS AND COSTS: Investment in foreign securities may involve higher costs than investment in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs as well as the imposition of additional taxes by foreign governments. Foreign investments may also involve risks associated with the level of currency exchange rates, less complete financial information about the issuers, less market liquidity, more market volatility and political instability. Future political and economic developments, the possible imposition of withholding taxes on income, the possible seizure or nationalization of foreign holdings, the possible establishment of exchange controls or freezes on the convertibility of currency, or the adoption of other governmental restrictions might adversely affect an investment in securities of foreign issuers. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of foreign issuers may also adversely affect the value of the Portfolio’s debt securities. Additionally, foreign issuers may be subject to less stringent regulation, and to different accounting, auditing and recordkeeping requirements.

CURRENCY RISK: Investments in securities of foreign issuers may be denominated in a foreign currency. As a result, changes in the value of those currencies compared to the U.S. dollar may affect (positively or negatively) the value of a Portfolio’s investments. These currency movements may occur separately from, and in response to, events that do not otherwise affect the value of the security in the issuer’s home country. The value of the Portfolio’s holdings may be

 

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influenced by currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. dollar, and devaluation may occur subsequent to investments in these currencies by the Portfolio.

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC RISK: The Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund is subject to foreign political and economic risk not associated with investments in securities of U.S. issuers, meaning that political events (civil unrest, national elections, changes in political conditions and foreign relations, imposition of exchange controls and repatriation restrictions), social and economic events (labor strikes, rising inflation) and natural disasters occurring in a foreign country could cause the Portfolio’s investments to experience gains or losses. The Portfolio also could be unable to enforce its ownership rights or pursue legal remedies in countries where it invests.

FOREIGN MARKET AND TRADING RISK: The trading markets for many foreign securities are not as active as U.S. markets and may have less governmental regulation and oversight. Foreign markets also may have clearance and settlement procedures that make it difficult for the Portfolio to buy and sell securities. These factors could result in a loss to the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund by causing the Portfolio to be unable to dispose of an investment or to miss an attractive investment opportunity, or by causing Portfolio assets to be uninvested for some period of time.

EMERGING MARKETS RISK: Some foreign markets in which the Funds may invest are considered to be emerging markets. Investment in these emerging markets subjects the Fund to a greater risk of loss than investments in a developed market. This is due to, among other things, greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, high levels of inflation, deflation or currency devaluation, greater risk of market shut down, and more governmental limitations on foreign investment policy than those typically found in a developed market. These economies are less developed and can be overly reliant on particular industries and more vulnerable to changes in international trade, trade barriers and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. High levels of debt tend to make emerging economies heavily reliant on foreign capital and vulnerable to capital flight and the volatility of emerging markets may be heightened by the actions of a few major investors. Some governments exercise substantial influence over the private economic sector and the social and political uncertainties that exist for many developing countries is significant. In adverse social and political circumstances, governments have been involved in policies of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, nationalism, intervention in the securities markets and trade settlement, and imposition of foreign investment restrictions and exchange controls, and these could be repeated in the future. In certain emerging markets, investments may be subject to heightened risks with regard to ownership and custody of securities. For example, security ownership may be evidenced by entries in the books of a company or its registrar, which may not be independent of the issuer, instead of through a central registration system and without effective government supervision. Particularly with respect to the Portfolio’s investment in actual foreign securities, the possibility of fraud, negligence, undue influence being exerted by the issuer or refusal to recognize ownership exists could, along with other factors, result in the registration of the Portfolio’s shareholding being completely lost and cause the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund, to suffer an investment loss. For these and other reasons, investments in emerging markets are often considered speculative.

NON-PRINCIPAL RISKS

TRADING ISSUES. Although Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to Exchange “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged or that the Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange.

FLUCTUATION OF NET ASSET VALUE. The net asset value of the Shares will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s securities holdings. The market prices of Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value and supply and demand of Shares on the Exchange. It cannot be predicted whether Shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value. 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 trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. The market price of Shares may deviate significantly from the net asset value of the Shares during periods of market volatility. However, given that Shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of Shares should not be sustained over long periods. While the

 

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creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that Shares normally will trade close to the Fund’s net asset value, disruptions to creations and redemptions or market volatility may result in trading prices that differ significantly from the Fund’s net asset value. If an investor purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the net asset value of the Shares or sells at a time when the market price is at a discount to the net asset value of the Shares, then the investor may sustain losses.

COSTS OF BUYING OR SELLING SHARES. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price that an investor is willing to pay for Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread.” The bid/ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund’s Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if the Fund’s Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

MASTER-FEEDER STRUCTURE RISK. Unlike traditional funds that invest directly in securities, the Fund pursues its objective by investing substantially all of its assets in the related Portfolio, which has substantially the same investment objectives, policies and restrictions as the Fund. The ability of the Fund to meet its investment objective is directly related to the ability of the Portfolio to meet its objective. The ability of the Fund to meet redemption requests depends on its ability to redeem its interest in the Portfolio. The Adviser also serves as investment adviser to the Portfolio. Therefore, conflicts may arise as the Adviser fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities to the Fund and the Portfolio.

MONEY MARKET FUND INVESTMENTS: Although money market funds generally seek to preserve the value of their shares at $1.00 per share, it is possible that the Fund could lose money by investing in a money market fund (either directly or through its investments in its corresponding Portfolio). Investments in money market funds have traditionally not been and currently are not federally insured.

CONTINUOUS OFFERING. The method by which Creation Units are purchased and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur.

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 principal underwriter, breaks them down into individual 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 categorization as an underwriter.

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a statutory or summary prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the Securities Act is not available with respect to such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act.

 

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MANAGEMENT

ADVISER. SSgA FM, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund and corresponding Portfolio, and, subject to the supervision of the Board, is responsible for the investment management of the Fund. The Adviser provides an investment management program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. The Adviser and other affiliates of State Street Corporation make up State Street Global Advisors (“SSgA”), the investment management arm of State Street Corporation. As of [            ], 2014, the Adviser managed approximately $[            ] billion in assets and SSgA managed approximately $[            ] trillion in assets. The Adviser’s principal business address is State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.

For the services provided to the Fund under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Fund expects to pay the Adviser the annual fee based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets, as set forth below. With respect to the Fund, the management fee is reduced by the proportional amount of the advisory fee, as well as acquired fund fees and expenses, of the Portfolio.

 

SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

     [X.XX ]% 

From time to time, the Adviser may waive all or a portion of its fee, although it does not currently intend to do so. The Adviser pays all expenses of the Fund other than the management fee, distribution fee pursuant to the Fund’s Distribution and Service Plan, if any, brokerage, taxes, interest, fees and expenses of the Independent Trustees (including any Trustee’s counsel fees), litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses.

INVESTMENT SUB-ADVISER. DoubleLine Capital LP serves as the investment sub-adviser to the Fund and its Portfolio, and is responsible for providing the investment program for the Fund and Portfolio. The Sub-Adviser is located at 333 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1800, Los Angeles, California 90071. As of March 31, 2014, the Sub-Adviser had approximately $49 billion of assets under management.

In accordance with the Sub-Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and DoubleLine, the Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser a portion of the advisory fee paid by the Fund to the Adviser (after deducting payments to the fund service providers and fund expenses). The Fund is not responsible for the fees paid to the Sub-Adviser.

A discussion regarding the Board’s consideration of the Investment Advisory Agreement and Sub-Advisory Agreement will be available in the Trust’s [Semi-]Annual Report to Shareholders for the period ended [            ], 2014.

SSgA FM, as the investment adviser for the Portfolio and the Fund, may hire one or more sub-advisers to oversee the day-to-day investment activities of the Portfolio and the Fund. The sub-advisers are subject to oversight by the Adviser. The Adviser, the Trust and SSgA Master Trust are seeking an exemptive order from the SEC that will permit the Adviser, with the approval of the Independent Trustees of the respective Trust, to retain and amend existing sub-advisory agreements with unaffiliated investment sub-advisers for the Portfolio and the Fund without submitting the sub-advisory agreement to a vote of the respective Portfolio’s and Fund’s shareholders. The respective Trust will notify shareholders in the event of any change in the identity of such sub-adviser or sub-advisers. The Adviser has ultimate responsibility for the investment performance of the Portfolio and the Fund due to its responsibility to oversee each sub-adviser and recommend their hiring, termination and replacement. If the exemptive relief is obtained, the Adviser will not be required to disclose fees paid to sub-advisers.

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and Portfolio are:

Jeffrey E. Gundlach:

Mr. Gundlach is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of the Sub-Adviser. He was formerly associated with TCW, where he was Chief Investment Officer and head of fixed income activities. He is recognized as an expert in bonds and fixed income investments. His investment strategies have been featured in leading publications, including The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Barron’s, Forbes, and Fortune. In 2010, Mr. Gundlach was named to the SmartMoney Power 30. In 2011, he was featured as “The King of Bonds” in Barron’s, and named one of “5 Mutual Fund All-Stars” by Fortune Magazine. In 2012, he was named to Bloomberg’s “50 Most Influential.” He is a graduate of Dartmouth College summa cum laude holding a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy. He attended Yale University as a PhD candidate in Mathematics.

 

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Philip A. Barach:

Mr. Barach is co-founder and President of the Sub-Adviser. Mr. Barach is a member of the DoubleLine Executive Committee. Prior to DoubleLine, Mr. Barach was Co-Founder and Group Managing Director of the TCW Mortgage Group, where he spent over 23 years. He has over 32 years of fixed income investment experience. Before joining TCW, Mr. Barach was Senior Vice President of Chief Investments for Sun Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for the asset/liability management of the firm and oversight and management of the company’s $5 billion investment portfolio. Previously, he served as Principal Fixed Income Officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest pension plan in the country. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing the fixed income portion of the fund, which was 100% internally managed. Mr. Barach was heavily involved in the creation of the collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO) while at CalPERS and he oversaw the issuance of one of the first private label CMOs using the retirement system’s MBS portfolio. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received a BA in International Relations and an MBA in Finance.

Additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers, and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund is available in the SAI.

ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street Bank”), part of State Street Corporation, is the Administrator for the Fund, the Custodian for the Fund’s assets and serves as Transfer Agent to the Fund.

DISTRIBUTOR. State Street Global Markets, LLC (the “Distributor”), part of State Street Corporation, is the distributor of the Fund’s Shares. The Distributor will not distribute Shares in less than Creation Units, and it does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares. The Distributor may enter into selected dealer agreements with other broker-dealers or other qualified financial institutions for the sale of Creation Units of Shares.

TRADEMARK LICENSE/DISCLAIMERS

SPDR TRADEMARK. The “SPDR” trademark is used under license from Standard and Poor’s Financial Services LLC, an affiliate of The McGraw Hill Companies (“S&P”). No Fund offered by the Trust or its affiliates is sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P. S&P makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of any Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly. S&P is not responsible for and has not participated in any determination or calculation made with respect to issuance or redemption of the Fund. S&P has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.

WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION

The Shares are listed for secondary trading on the Exchange and individual Fund Shares may only be purchased and sold in the secondary market through a broker-dealer. The secondary markets are closed on weekends and also are generally closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Exchange may close early on the business day before certain holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. Exchange holiday schedules are subject to change without notice. If you buy or sell Shares in the secondary market, you will pay the secondary market price for Shares. In addition, you may 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.

The trading prices of the Fund’s Shares will fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than the Fund’s net asset value, which is calculated at the end of each business day. The Shares will trade on the Exchange at prices that may be above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount), to varying degrees, the daily net asset value of the Shares. The trading prices of the Fund’s Shares may deviate significantly from its net asset value during periods of market volatility. Given, however, that Shares can be issued and redeemed daily in Creation Units, the Adviser believes that large discounts and premiums to net asset value should not be sustained for very long. Information showing the number of days the market price of the Fund’s Shares was greater than the Fund’s net asset value and the number of days it was less than the Fund’s net asset value (i.e., premium or discount) for various time periods is available by visiting the Fund’s website at http://www.spdrs.com.

 

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The Exchange will disseminate, every fifteen seconds during the regular trading day, an indicative optimized portfolio value (“IOPV”) relating to the Fund. The IOPV calculations are estimates of the value of the Fund’s net asset value per Share using market data converted into U.S. dollars at the current currency rates. The IOPV price is based on quotes and closing prices from the securities’ local market and may not reflect events that occur subsequent to the local market’s close. Premiums and discounts between the IOPV and the market price may occur. This should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the net asset value per Share of the Fund, which is calculated only once a day. Neither the Fund, nor the Adviser or any of their affiliates are involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of such IOPVs and make no warranty as to their accuracy.

The Fund does not impose any restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions; however, the Fund reserves the right to reject or limit purchases at any time as described in the SAI. When considering that no restriction or policy was necessary, the Board evaluated the risks posed by market timing activities, such as whether frequent purchases and redemptions would interfere with the efficient implementation of the Fund’s investment strategy, or whether they would cause the Fund to experience increased transaction costs. The Board considered that, unlike traditional mutual funds, Fund Shares are issued and redeemed only in large quantities of Shares known as Creation Units available only from the Fund directly, and that most trading in the Fund occurs on the Exchange at prevailing market prices and does not involve the Fund directly. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by the Fund’s shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time the Fund by shareholders would result in negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders.

INVESTMENTS BY REGISTERED INVESTMENT COMPANIES

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares of the Fund. These restrictions are discussed in the Fund’s SAI.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN. The Fund has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act pursuant to which payments of up to 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets may be made for the sale and distribution of its Shares. No payments pursuant to the Distribution and Service Plan will be made through at least the next twelve (12) months of operation. Additionally, the implementation of any such payments would have to be approved by the Board prior to implementation. Because these fees would be paid out of the Fund’s assets on an on-going basis, if payments are made in the future, these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.

DISTRIBUTIONS

DIVIDENDS AND CAPITAL GAINS. As a Fund shareholder, you are entitled to your share of the Fund’s income and net realized gains on its investments. The Fund pays out substantially all of its net earnings to its shareholders as “distributions.”

Through its investment in the Portfolio, the Fund typically earns interest from debt securities, dividends from stock investments and, if participating, securities lending income. These amounts, net of expenses and taxes (if applicable), are passed along to Fund shareholders as “income dividend distributions.” The Fund will generally be treated as realizing short-term capital gains or losses whenever the Portfolio sells or exchanges assets held for one year or less. Net short-term capital gains will generally be treated as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders. The Fund will generally be treated as realizing long-term capital gains or losses whenever the Portfolio sells or exchanges assets held for more than one year. Net capital gains (the excess of the Fund’s net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses) are distributed to shareholders as “capital gain distributions.”

Income dividend distributions, if any, are generally distributed by the Fund to shareholders monthly, but may vary significantly from period to period.

Net capital gains for the Fund are distributed at least annually. Dividends may be declared and paid more frequently or at other times to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”).

 

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Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available. Dividends which are reinvested will nevertheless be taxable to the same extent as if such dividends had not been reinvested.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s, as well as the Portfolio’s, portfolio securities is available in the SAI. In addition, the identities and quantities of the securities held by the Portfolio are disclosed on the Trust’s website.

ADDITIONAL 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.

The Fund has elected or will elect to be a regulated investment company and intends to qualify each year to be treated as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code by meeting the applicable character of income, diversification and distribution qualification requirements. The Portfolio expects to be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. Thus, the Portfolio generally will not itself be subject to federal income tax. Instead, the Portfolio will allocate to the Fund the Fund’s share of the Portfolio’s net investment income, net realized capital gains, and any other items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit.

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:

 

    The Fund makes distributions;

 

    You sell Shares listed on the Exchange; and

 

    You create or redeem Creation Units.

TAXES ON DISTRIBUTIONS. In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in the Fund. The income dividends and short-term capital gains distributions you receive from the Fund will be taxed as either ordinary income or qualified dividend income. Dividends that are reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income are generally taxable to noncorporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%. Any distributions of the excess of the Fund’s net long-term capital gain over its net short-term capital loss are taxable as long-term capital gain regardless of how long you have owned your Shares. Long-term capital gains are taxed to noncorporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%. Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your basis in the Shares and generally as capital gain thereafter.

In general, the Fund will not recognize gain or loss for federal income tax purposes when it invests in the Portfolio or when it receives distributions or makes withdrawals from the Portfolio unless cash distributions or withdrawals exceed the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in its interest in the Portfolio.

Dividends may be reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income if they are attributable to qualified dividend income received by the Portfolio, which, in general, includes dividend income received by the Portfolio from taxable U.S. corporations and certain foreign corporations (i.e.,, certain foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or in certain countries with a comprehensive tax treaty with the United States and certain other foreign corporations if the stock with respect to which the dividend is paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States), provided that the Portfolio and Fund satisfy certain holding period requirements in respect of the stock of such corporations and have not hedged their position in the stock in certain ways. A dividend generally will not be treated as qualified dividend income if the dividend is received with respect to any share of stock held by the Portfolio for fewer than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning at the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend or, in the case of certain preferred stock, for fewer than 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date. These holding period requirements will also apply to your ownership of Fund Shares. Holding periods may be suspended for these purposes for stock that is hedged.

 

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U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly), are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on their “net investment income,” which includes taxable interest, dividends and capital gains (including capital gains realized upon the sale or exchange of Fund Shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts. If the Fund redeems Creation Units in cash, it may recognize more capital gains than it will if it redeems Creation Units in-kind.

If you lend your Fund Shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the Shares are held by the borrower) as qualified dividend income. You should consult your financial intermediary or tax advisor to discuss your particular circumstances.

Distributions paid in January, but declared by the Fund in October, November or December of the previous year payable to shareholders of record in such a month, may be taxable to you in the calendar year in which they were declared. The Fund will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income dividends, qualified dividend income and capital gain distributions shortly after the close of each calendar year.

A distribution will reduce the Fund’s net asset value per Share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an investment standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.

DERIVATIVES AND OTHER COMPLEX SECURITIES. The Portfolio may invest in complex securities. These investments may be subject to numerous special and complex rules. These rules could affect whether gains and losses recognized by the Fund are treated as ordinary income or capital gain, accelerate the recognition of income to the Fund and/or defer the Fund’s ability to recognize losses. In turn, these rules may affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to you by the Fund.

FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS. The Portfolio’s transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned.

FOREIGN INCOME TAXES. Investment income received by the Portfolio from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income taxes withheld at the source. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries which may entitle the Portfolio to a reduced rate of such taxes or exemption from taxes on such income. It is impossible to determine the effective rate of foreign tax for the Fund in advance since the amount of the assets to be invested within various countries is not known. If more than 50% of the total assets of the Fund at the close of its taxable year consist of stocks or securities of foreign corporations (generally including stocks or securities of foreign corporations held indirectly through the Portfolio), the Fund may elect to “pass through” to you certain foreign income taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by the Fund or the Portfolio. If the Fund is eligible to and makes such an election, you will be considered to have received as an additional dividend your share of such foreign taxes, but you may be entitled to either a corresponding tax deduction in calculating your taxable income, or, subject to certain limitations, a credit in calculating your federal income tax. If the Fund does not so elect, the Fund will be entitled to claim a deduction for certain foreign taxes incurred by the Fund.

TAXES ON EXCHANGE-LISTED SHARE SALES. 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 short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less, except that any capital loss on the 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.

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 and the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus any cash paid for the 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 aggregate market value of the securities and the amount of cash received. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of 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 should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

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Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption of Creation Units 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 the Shares 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 purchased or sold and at what price.

The Trust on behalf of the Fund has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or group of purchasers) 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 securities different from the market value of the 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. If the Trust does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund, the purchaser (or group of purchasers) may not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.

CERTAIN TAX EXEMPT INVESTORS. The Fund, if investing in certain limited real estate investments and other publicly traded partnerships, may be required to pass through certain “excess inclusion income” and other income as “unrelated business taxable income” (“UBTI”). Prior to investing in the Fund, tax-exempt investors sensitive to UBTI should consult their tax advisors regarding this issue and recent IRS pronouncements addressing the treatment of such income in the hands of such investors.

NON-U.S. INVESTORS. Ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund to shareholders who are non-resident aliens or foreign entities (other than, for tax years of the Fund beginning on or before December 31, 2013, the Fund’s interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends) 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. In general, the Fund may report interest-related dividends to the extent of its net income derived from U.S.-source interest, and the Fund may report short-term capital gain dividends to the extent its net short-term capital gain for the taxable year exceeds its net long-term capital loss. Gains on the sale of Shares and dividends that are, in each case, effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. will generally be subject to U.S. federal net income taxation at regular income tax rates. Non-U.S. shareholders that own, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of Fund Shares are urged to consult their own tax advisors concerning special tax rules that may apply to their investments.

Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to Fund distributions payable to such entities after June 30, 2014 (or, in certain cases, after later dates) and redemption proceeds and certain capital gain dividends payable to such entities after December 31, 2016. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement.

BACKUP WITHHOLDING. The Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) has provided the Fund either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all, (2) is subject to backup withholding by the Internal Revenue Service for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, (3) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or (4) has not certified that such shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is 28%. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.

CERTAIN POTENTIAL TAX REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the Internal Revenue Service 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 are not excepted. 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.

 

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OTHER TAX ISSUES. The Fund may be subject to tax in certain states where the Fund does business (or is treated as doing business because of its investment in the Portfolio). Furthermore, in those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of the Fund and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by the Fund may differ from federal tax treatment.

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

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on March 30, 2011. If shareholders of the Fund are required to vote on any matters, shareholders are entitled to one vote for each Share they own. Annual meetings of shareholders will not be held except as required by the 1940 Act and other applicable law. See the SAI for more information concerning the Trust’s form of organization.

From time to time, the Fund may advertise yield and total return figures. Yield is a historical measure of dividend income, and total return is a measure of past dividend income (assuming that it has been reinvested) plus capital appreciation. Neither yield nor total return should be used to predict the future performance of the Fund.

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

PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

The Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus and therefore does not have information regarding how often the Shares of the Fund traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the net asset value of the Fund during the past calendar year. When available, such information will be provided at http://www.spdrs.com.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus and therefore does not have financial information.

 

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WHERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FUND

This Prospectus does not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC with respect to the Fund’s Shares. The SAI is on file with the SEC and provides more information about the Fund. The SAI is incorporated herein by reference (i.e., it is legally part of this Prospectus). These materials may be obtained without charge, upon request, by writing to the Distributor, State Street Global Markets, LLC, State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, by visiting the Fund’s website at http://www.spdrs.com or by calling the following number:

INVESTOR INFORMATION: 1-866-787-2257

The Registration Statement, including this Prospectus, the SAI, and the exhibits as well as any shareholder reports may be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room (100 F Street NE, Washington D.C. 20549) or on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Information on the operation of the public reference room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. You may get copies of this and other information after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the Public Reference Section of the SEC, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

Shareholder inquiries may be directed to the Fund in writing to State Street Global Markets, LLC, State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111 or by calling the Investor Information number listed above.

No person has been authorized to give any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this Prospectus in connection with the offer of the Fund’s Shares, and, if given or made, the information or representations must not be relied upon as having been authorized by the Trust or the Fund. Neither the delivery of this Prospectus nor any sale of Shares shall under any circumstance imply that the information contained herein is correct as of any date after the date of this Prospectus.

Dealers effecting transactions in the Fund’s Shares, whether or not participating in this distribution, are generally required to deliver a Prospectus. This is in addition to any obligation of dealers to deliver a Prospectus when acting as underwriters.

The Trust’s Investment Company Act Number is 811-22542.

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SUBJECT TO COMPLETION. THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. WE 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 IT IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY STATE WHERE THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.

SSgA ACTIVE ETF TRUST (THE “TRUST”)

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Dated [            ], 2014

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. With respect to the Trust’s series listed below, this SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectus dated [            ], 2014, as may be revised from time to time (“Prospectus”).

 

FUND    TICKER  

SPDR® DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

     ([            ])   

The SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (the “Fund”) is an exchange-traded fund, a series of the Trust, and is discussed in this SAI. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. is the investment adviser (referred to herein as “SSgA FM” or the “Adviser”) for the Fund. State Street Global Markets, LLC is the principal underwriter (referred to herein as “Distributor” or “Principal Underwriter”) for the Fund’s shares (“Shares”).

The Fund had not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI and therefore does not have financial information to report for the Trust’s June 30, 2013 fiscal year end.

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

Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. Copies of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to State Street Global Markets, LLC, State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, by visiting the Trust’s website at www.spdrs.com or by calling 1-866-787-2257.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

General Description of the Trust

     3   

Investment Policies

     3   

Special Considerations and Risks

     20   

Investment Restrictions

     22   

Exchange Listing and Trading

     23   

Management of the Trust

     24   

Brokerage Transactions

     34   

Book Entry Only System

     35   

Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units

     36   

Determination of Net Asset Value

     41   

Dividends and Distributions

     41   

Taxes

     42   

Capital Stock and Shareholder Reports

     47   

Counsel and Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     48   

Local Market Holiday Schedules

     48   

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     A-1   

 

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), consisting of multiple investment series, including the Fund. The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on March 30, 2011. The offering of the Fund’s shares (“Shares”) is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). SSgA Funds Management, Inc. serves as the investment adviser for the Fund (the “Adviser”). The Fund is sub-advised by a sub-adviser as further described herein (the “Sub-Adviser”). To the extent that a reference in this SAI refers to the “Adviser,” such reference should be read to refer to the Sub-Adviser where the context requires.

The Fund pursues its investment objective indirectly by investing through what is referred to as a “master-feeder” structure. Under the master-feeder arrangement, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets in a corresponding “master fund,” which is a separate mutual fund with an identical investment objective. Except as otherwise designated, the Fund reserves the right to invest in the types of instruments as its corresponding master fund. However, the Fund has no present intention to pursue its investment strategy other than by investing substantially all of its assets in its corresponding master fund.

The Fund offers and issues Shares at its net asset value (sometimes referred to herein as “NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). The Fund generally offers and issues Shares either in exchange for (i) a basket of securities (“Deposit Securities”) together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (“Cash Component”) or (ii) a cash payment equal in value to the Deposit Securities (“Deposit Cash”) together with the Cash Component. The primary consideration accepted by the Fund (i.e., Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash) is set forth under “Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units” later in this SAI. The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security and reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Securities in lieu of Deposit Cash (subject to applicable legal requirements). The Shares have been approved for listing and secondary trading on a national securities exchange (the “Exchange”). The Shares will trade on the Exchange at market prices. These prices may differ from the Shares’ net asset values. The Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, and generally in exchange either for (i) portfolio securities and a specified cash payment or (ii) cash (subject to applicable legal requirements). A Creation Unit of the Fund consists of 50,000 Shares.

Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities as set forth in the Participant Agreement (as defined below). See “Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units.” The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. In addition to the fixed creation or redemption transaction fee, an additional transaction fee of up to three times the fixed creation or redemption transaction fee and/or an additional variable charge may apply.

INVESTMENT POLICIES

The Fund may directly, or indirectly through a series of SSgA Master Trust (the “Portfolio”) or the Portfolio’s investment in an exchange traded product (“ETP”), invest in any of the instruments or engage in any of the investment practices described below if such investment or activity is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies. The Prospectus describes the Fund’s principal investment strategies. The following provides information that supplements the information provided in the Prospectus.

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

DIVERSIFICATION STATUS

The Portfolio and Fund are each classified as a “diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, a diversified investment company, as to 75% of its total assets, may not purchase securities of any issuer (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agents or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies) if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets would be invested in the securities of such issuer, or more than 10% of the issuer’s outstanding voting securities would be held by the investment company.

CONCENTRATION

The Portfolio and Fund do not intend to concentrate their investments in any particular industry. The Portfolio and Fund look to the Global Industry Classification Standard Level 3 (Industries) in making industry determinations.

BONDS

The Portfolio may invest in bonds. A bond is an interest-bearing security issued by a company, governmental unit or, in some cases, a non-U.S. entity. The issuer of a bond has a contractual obligation to pay interest at a stated rate on specific dates and to repay principal (the bond’s face value) periodically or on a specified maturity date; provided, however, a zero coupon bond pays no interest to its

 

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holder during its life. The value of a zero coupon bond to a fund consists of the difference between such bond’s face value at the time of maturity and the price for which it was acquired, which may be an amount significantly less than its face value (sometimes referred to as a “deep discount” price).

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. Fixed rate bonds generally are also subject to inflation risk, which is the risk that the value of the bond or income from the bond will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. This could mean that, as inflation increases, the “real” value of the assets of a fund holding fixed rate bonds can decline, as can the value of the fund’s distributions. Other types of bonds bear income at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the value of “floating-rate” or “variable-rate” bonds fluctuates much less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of fixed rate bonds. The Portfolio may treat some of these bonds as having a shorter maturity for purposes of calculating the weighted average maturity of its investment portfolio. 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).

In addition, the Portfolio may invest in corporate bonds. The investment return of corporate bonds reflects interest on the bond and changes in the market value of the bond. The market value of a corporate bond may be affected by the credit rating of the corporation, the corporation’s performance and perceptions of the corporation in the market place. There is a risk that the issuers of the securities may not be able to meet their obligations on interest or principal payments at the time called for by such a security.

HIGH YIELD SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in high yield debt securities. Investment in high yield securities generally provides greater income and increased opportunity for capital appreciation than investments in higher quality securities, but they also typically entail greater price volatility and credit risk. These high yield securities are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s continuing ability to meet principal and interest payments. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of debt securities that are high yield may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities. In addition, high yield securities are often issued by smaller, less creditworthy companies or by highly leveraged (indebted) firms, which are generally less able than more financially stable firms to make scheduled payments of interest and principal. The risks posed by securities issued under such circumstances are substantial.

Investing in high yield debt securities involves risks that are greater than the risks of investing in higher quality debt securities. These risks include: (i) changes in credit status, including weaker overall credit conditions of issuers and risks of default; (ii) industry, market and economic risk; and (iii) greater price variability and credit risks of certain high yield securities such as zero coupon and payment-in-kind securities. While these risks provide the opportunity for maximizing return over time, they may result in greater volatility of the value of the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund, than a fund that invests in higher-rated securities.

Furthermore, the value of high yield securities may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic, company or industry conditions than is the case for higher quality securities. The market values of certain of these lower-rated and unrated debt securities tend to reflect individual corporate developments to a greater extent than do higher-rated securities which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates, and tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than are higher-rated securities. Adverse market, credit or economic conditions could make it difficult at certain times to sell certain high yield securities held by the Portfolio.

The secondary market on which high yield securities are traded may be less liquid than the market for higher grade securities. Less liquidity in the secondary trading market could adversely affect the price at which the Portfolio could sell a high yield security, and could adversely affect the daily net asset value per share of the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund. When secondary markets for high yield securities are less liquid than the market for higher grade securities, it may be more difficult to value the securities because there is less reliable, objective data available.

The use of credit ratings as a principal method of selecting high yield securities can involve certain risks. For example, credit ratings evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments, not the market value risk of high yield securities. Also, credit rating agencies may fail to change credit ratings in a timely fashion to reflect events since the security was last rated.

INFLATION-PROTECTED OBLIGATIONS

The Portfolio may invest in inflation-protected public obligations, commonly known as “TIPS,” of the U.S. Treasury, as well as TIPS of major governments and emerging market countries, excluding the United States. TIPS are a type of security issued by a government that are designed to provide inflation protection to investors. TIPS are income-generating instruments whose interest and principal payments are adjusted for inflation - a sustained increase in prices that erodes the purchasing power of money. The inflation adjustment, which is typically applied monthly to the principal of the bond, follows a designated inflation index, such as the Consumer Price Index. A fixed coupon rate is applied to the inflation-adjusted principal so that as inflation rises or falls, both the principal value

 

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and the interest payments will increase or decrease. This can provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of an investment. Because of this inflation adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate bonds.

SOVEREIGN DEBT OBLIGATIONS

The Portfolio may invest in sovereign debt. Sovereign debt obligations are issued or guaranteed by foreign governments or their agencies. Sovereign debt may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loans or loan participations. Governmental entities responsible for repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and pay interest when due, and may require renegotiation or reschedule of debt payments. In addition, prospects for repayment of principal and payment of interest may depend on political as well as economic factors. Although some sovereign debt, such as Brady Bonds, is collateralized by U.S. Government securities, repayment of principal and payment of interest is not guaranteed by the U.S. Government.

U.S. GOVERNMENT OBLIGATIONS

The Portfolio may invest in U.S. government obligations. U.S. government obligations are a type of bond. U.S. government obligations include securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities.

One type of U.S. government obligation, U.S. Treasury obligations, are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years.

Other U.S. government obligations are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLB”), Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, Ginnie Mae pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by Fannie Mae, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, while the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law.

On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the “Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement” or “Agreement”). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. As a result of this Agreement, the investments of holders, including the Portfolio, of mortgage-backed securities and other obligations issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are protected to the extent of such commitment.

MUNICIPAL SECURITIES

General. The Portfolio may invest in securities issued by states, municipalities and other political subdivisions, agencies, authorities and instrumentalities of states and multi-state agencies or authorities. Municipal securities share the attributes of debt/fixed income securities in general, but are generally issued by states, municipalities and other political subdivisions, agencies, authorities and instrumentalities of states and multi-state agencies or authorities. The municipal securities which the Portfolio may purchase include general obligation bonds and limited obligation bonds (or revenue bonds), including industrial development bonds issued pursuant to former federal tax law. General obligation bonds are obligations involving the credit of an issuer possessing taxing power and are payable from such issuer’s general revenues and not from any particular source. Limited obligation bonds are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Tax-exempt industrial development bonds generally are also revenue bonds and thus are not payable from the

 

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issuer’s general revenues. The credit and quality of industrial development bonds are usually related to the credit of the corporate user of the facilities. Payment of interest on and repayment of principal of such bonds is the responsibility of the corporate user (and/or any guarantor).

Some longer-term municipal securities give the investor the right to “put” or sell the security at par (face value) within a specified number of days following the investor’s request—usually one to seven days. This demand feature enhances a security’s liquidity by shortening its effective maturity and enables it to trade at a price equal to or very close to par. If a demand feature terminates prior to being exercised, the Portfolio would hold the longer-term security, which could experience substantially more volatility.

The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, than non-municipal securities. There may also be less information available on the financial condition of issuers of municipal securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the Portfolio to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the Portfolio invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the Portfolio’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities. In addition, the municipal securities market is generally characterized as a buy and hold investment strategy. As a result, the accessibility of municipal securities in the market is generally greater closer to the original date of issue of the securities and lessens as the securities move further away from such issuance date.

Municipal securities are subject to credit and market risk. 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.

Prices and yields on municipal securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including general money-market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, general conditions of the municipal security market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation and the rating of the issue. A number of these factors, including the ratings of particular issues, are subject to change from time to time. Information about the financial condition of an issuer of municipal securities may not be as extensive as that which is made available by corporations whose securities are publicly traded. As a result, municipal securities may be more difficult to value than securities of public corporations.

Obligations of issuers of municipal securities are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors. Congress or state legislatures may seek to extend the time for payment of principal or interest, or both, or to impose other constraints upon enforcement of such obligations. In addition, municipal securities are subject to the risk that their tax treatment could be changed by Congress or state legislatures, thereby affecting the value of outstanding municipal securities. There is also the possibility that as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of issuers to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal on their municipal securities may be materially affected or their obligations may be found to be invalid or unenforceable. Such litigation or conditions may from time to time have the effect of introducing uncertainties in the market for municipal securities or certain segments thereof, or of materially affecting the credit risk with respect to particular bonds. Adverse economic, business, legal or political developments might affect all or a substantial portion of the Portfolio’s municipal securities in the same manner.

Municipal Leases and Certificates of Participation. Also included within the general category of municipal securities are municipal leases, certificates of participation in such lease obligations or installment purchase contract obligations (hereinafter collectively called “Municipal Lease Obligations”) of municipal authorities or entities. Although a Municipal Lease Obligation does not constitute a general obligation of the municipality for which the municipality’s taxing power is pledged, a Municipal Lease Obligation is ordinarily backed by the municipality’s covenant to budget for, appropriate and make the payments due under the Municipal Lease Obligation. However, certain Municipal Lease Obligations contain “non-appropriation” clauses which provide that the municipality has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a yearly basis. In the case of a “non-appropriation” lease, the Portfolio’s ability to recover under the lease in the event of non-appropriation or default will be limited solely to the repossession of the leased property, without recourse to the general credit of the lessee, and disposition or releasing of the property might prove difficult.

Municipal Insurance. A municipal security may be covered by insurance that guarantees the bond’s scheduled payment of interest and repayment of principal. This type of insurance may be obtained by either (i) the issuer at the time the bond is issued (primary market insurance), or (ii) another party after the bond has been issued (secondary market insurance).

Both primary and secondary market insurance guarantee timely and scheduled repayment of all principal and payment of all interest on a municipal security in the event of default by the issuer, and cover a municipal security to its maturity, enhancing its credit quality and value.

 

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Municipal security insurance does not insure against market fluctuations or fluctuations in the Portfolio’s share price. In addition, a municipal security insurance policy will not cover: (i) repayment of a municipal security before maturity (redemption), (ii) prepayment or payment of an acceleration premium (except for a mandatory sinking fund redemption) or any other provision of a bond indenture that advances the maturity of the bond, or (iii) nonpayment of principal or interest caused by negligence or bankruptcy of the paying agent. A mandatory sinking fund redemption may be a provision of a municipal security issue whereby part of the municipal security issue may be retired before maturity.

Because a significant portion of the municipal securities issued and outstanding is insured by a small number of insurance companies, an event involving one or more of these insurance companies could have a significant adverse effect on the value of the securities insured by that insurance company and on the municipal markets as a whole.

Municipal Market Disruption Risk. The value of municipal securities may be affected by uncertainties in the municipal market related to legislation or litigation involving the taxation of municipal securities or the rights of municipal securities holders in the event of a bankruptcy. Proposals to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on municipal securities are introduced before Congress from time to time. Proposals also may be introduced before state legislatures that would affect the state tax treatment of a municipal fund’s distributions. If such proposals were enacted, the availability of municipal securities and the value of a municipal fund’s holdings would be affected, and the Trustees would reevaluate the Portfolio’s investment objectives and policies. Municipal bankruptcies are relatively rare, and certain provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code governing such bankruptcies are unclear and remain untested. Further, the application of state law to municipal issuers could produce varying results among the states or among municipal securities issuers within a state. These legal uncertainties could affect the municipal securities market generally, certain specific segments of the market, or the relative credit quality of particular securities. Any of these effects could have a significant impact on the prices of some or all of the municipal securities held by the Portfolio.

U.S. REGISTERED SECURITIES OF FOREIGN ISSUERS

The Portfolio may purchase publicly traded common stocks and preferred securities of foreign corporations, as well as U.S. registered, dollar-denominated bonds of foreign corporations, governments, agencies and supra-national entities. Investing in U.S. registered, dollar-denominated, securities issued by non-U.S. issuers involves some risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries, and potential restrictions of the flow of international capital. Foreign companies may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. issuers. Moreover, individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payment positions.

The Fund’s investments in common stock of foreign corporations may also be in the form of American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) (collectively “Depositary Receipts”). Depositary Receipts are receipts, typically issued by a bank or trust company, which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. For ADRs, the depository is typically a U.S. financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a foreign issuer. For other Depositary Receipts, the depository may be a foreign or a U.S. entity, and the underlying securities may have a foreign or a U.S. issuer. Depositary Receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. Generally, ADRs, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities market, and EDRs, in bearer form, are designated for use in European securities markets. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. The Portfolio may invest in unsponsored Depositary Receipts. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.

ASSET-BACKED AND MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES

Mortgage-backed securities, including CMOs and certain stripped mortgage-backed securities, represent a participation in, or are secured by, mortgage loans. Asset-backed securities are structured like mortgage-backed securities, but instead of mortgage loans or interests in mortgage loans, the underlying assets may include such items as motor vehicle installment sales or installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property and receivables from credit card agreements. The cash flow generated by the underlying assets is applied to make required payments on the securities and to pay related administrative expenses. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a particular issue of asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities depends on, among other things, the characteristics of the underlying assets, the coupon rates on the securities, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the actual prepayment experience on the underlying assets. The Portfolio may invest in any such instruments or variations as may be developed, to the extent consistent with its investment objective and policies and applicable regulatory requirements. In general, the collateral supporting asset-backed securities is of a shorter maturity than mortgage loans and is likely to experience substantial prepayments.

 

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Mortgage-backed securities have yield and maturity characteristics corresponding to the underlying assets. Unlike traditional debt securities, which may pay a fixed rate of interest until maturity, when the entire principal amount comes due, payments on certain mortgage-backed securities include both interest and a partial repayment of principal. Besides the scheduled repayment of principal, repayments of principal may result from the voluntary prepayment, refinancing or foreclosure of the underlying mortgage loans. If property owners make unscheduled prepayments of their mortgage loans, these prepayments will result in early payment of the applicable mortgage-backed securities. In that event the Portfolio may be unable to invest the proceeds from the early payment of the mortgage-backed securities in an investment that provides as high a yield as the mortgage-backed securities. Consequently, early payment associated with mortgage-backed securities may cause these securities to experience significantly greater price and yield volatility than that experienced by traditional fixed-income securities. The occurrence of mortgage prepayments is affected by factors including the level of interest rates, general economic conditions, the location and age of the mortgage and other social and demographic conditions. During periods of falling interest rates, the rate of mortgage prepayments tends to increase, thereby tending to decrease the life of mortgage-backed securities. During periods of rising interest rates, the rate of mortgage prepayments usually decreases, thereby tending to increase the life of mortgage-backed securities. If the life of a mortgage-backed security is inaccurately predicted, the Portfolio may not be able to realize the rate of return it expected.

Adjustable rate mortgage securities (“ARMs”), like traditional mortgage-backed securities, are interests in pools of mortgage loans that provide investors with payments consisting of both principal and interest as mortgage loans in the underlying mortgage pool are paid off by the borrowers. Unlike fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities, ARMs are collateralized by or represent interests in mortgage loans with variable rates of interest. These interest rates are reset at periodic intervals, usually by reference to an interest rate index or market interest rate. Although the rate adjustment feature may act as a buffer to reduce sharp changes in the value of adjustable rate securities, these securities are still subject to changes in value based on, among other things, changes in market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Because the interest rates are reset only periodically, changes in the interest rate on ARMs may lag changes in prevailing market interest rates. Also, some ARMs (or the underlying mortgages) are subject to caps or floors that limit the maximum change in the interest rate during a specified period or over the life of the security. As a result, changes in the interest rate on an ARM may not fully reflect changes in prevailing market interest rates during certain periods.

The Portfolio may also invest in hybrid ARMs, whose underlying mortgages combine fixed-rate and adjustable rate features.

Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities are less effective than other types of securities as a means of locking in attractive long-term interest rates. One reason is the need to reinvest prepayments of principal; another is the possibility of significant unscheduled prepayments resulting from declines in interest rates. These prepayments would have to be reinvested at lower rates. The automatic interest rate adjustment feature of mortgages underlying ARMs likewise reduces the ability to lock-in attractive rates. As a result, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities may have less potential for capital appreciation during periods of declining interest rates than other securities of comparable maturities, although they may have a similar risk of decline in market value during periods of rising interest rates. Prepayments may also significantly shorten the effective maturities of these securities, especially during periods of declining interest rates. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, a reduction in prepayments may increase the effective maturities of these securities, subjecting them to a greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates than traditional debt securities, and, therefore, potentially increasing the volatility of the Fund.

At times, some mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities will have higher than market interest rates and therefore will be purchased at a premium above their par value. Prepayments may cause losses on securities purchased at a premium.

CMOs may be issued by a U.S. government agency or instrumentality or by a private issuer. Although payment of the principal of, and interest on, the underlying collateral securing privately issued CMOs may be guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities, these CMOs represent obligations solely of the private issuer and are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities or any other person or entity.

Prepayments could cause early retirement of CMOs. CMOs are designed to reduce the risk of prepayment for certain investors by issuing multiple classes of securities, each having different maturities, interest rates and payment schedules, and with the principal and interest on the underlying mortgages allocated among the several classes in various ways. Payment of interest or principal on some classes or series of CMOs may be subject to contingencies or some classes or series may bear some or all of the risk of default on the underlying mortgages. CMOs of different classes or series are generally retired in sequence as the underlying mortgage loans in the mortgage pool are repaid. If enough mortgages are repaid ahead of schedule, the classes or series of a CMO with the earliest maturities generally will be retired prior to their maturities. Thus, the early retirement of particular classes or series of a CMO would have the same effect as the prepayment of mortgages underlying other mortgage-backed securities. Conversely, slower than anticipated prepayments can extend the effective maturities of CMOs, subjecting them to a greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates than traditional debt securities, and, therefore, potentially increasing their volatility.

Prepayments could result in losses on stripped mortgage-backed securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities are usually structured with two classes that receive different portions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage loans. The yield to maturity on an interest only or “IO” class of stripped mortgage-backed securities is extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying assets. A rapid rate of principal prepayments may have a measurable adverse effect on the Portfolio’s yield to maturity to the extent it invests in IOs. If the

 

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assets underlying the IO experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Portfolio may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in these securities. Principal only or “POs” tend to increase in value if prepayments are greater than anticipated and decline if prepayments are slower than anticipated. The secondary market for stripped mortgage-backed securities may be more volatile and less liquid than that for other mortgage-backed securities, potentially limiting the Portfolio’s ability to buy or sell those securities at any particular time.

Subprime mortgage loans, which typically are made to less creditworthy borrowers, have a higher risk of default than conventional mortgage loans. Therefore, mortgage-backed securities backed by subprime mortgage loans may suffer significantly greater declines in value due to defaults or the increased risk of default.

The risks associated with other asset-backed securities (including in particular the risks of issuer default and of early prepayment) are generally similar to those described above for CMOs. In addition, because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in the underlying assets that is comparable to a mortgage, asset-backed securities present certain additional risks that are not present with mortgage-backed securities. The ability of an issuer of asset-backed securities to enforce its security interest in the underlying assets may be limited. For example, revolving credit receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles, rather than by real property.

Asset-backed securities may be collateralized by the fees earned by service providers. The values of asset-backed securities may be substantially dependent on the servicing of the underlying asset and are therefore subject to risks associated with the negligence or malfeasance by their servicers and to the credit risk of their servicers. In certain circumstances, the mishandling of related documentation may also affect the rights of the security holders in and to the underlying collateral. The insolvency of entities that generate receivables or that utilize the assets may result in added costs and delays in addition to losses associated with a decline in the value of the underlying assets.

Federal, state and local government officials and representatives as well as certain private parties have proposed actions to assist homeowners who own or occupy property subject to mortgages. Certain of those proposals involve actions that would affect the mortgages that underlie or relate to certain mortgage-related securities, including securities or other instruments which the Portfolio may hold or in which it may invest. Some of those proposals include, among other things, lowering or forgiving principal balances; forbearing, lowering or eliminating interest payments; or utilizing eminent domain powers to seize mortgages, potentially for below market compensation. The prospective or actual implementation of one or more of these proposals may significantly and adversely affect the value and liquidity of securities held by the Portfolio and could cause the Fund’s net asset value to decline, potentially significantly. Tremendous uncertainty remains in the market concerning the resolution of these issues; the range of proposals and the potential implications of any implemented solution is impossible to predict.

The Portfolio may invest in any level of the capital structure of an issuer of mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities, including the equity or “first loss” tranche. See “COLLATERALIZED DEBT OBLIGATIONS.”

Consistent with the Portfolio and Fund’s investment objective and policies, the Sub-Adviser may also cause the Portfolio to invest in other types of mortgage- and asset-backed securities offered currently or in the future, including certain yet-to-be-developed types of mortgage- and asset-backed securities which may be created as the market evolves.

COLLATERALIZED DEBT OBLIGATIONS

Collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) are a type of asset-backed security and include, among other things, collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured securities. A CBO is a trust which is backed by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed income securities. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. The cash flows from the CDO trust are generally split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. Senior tranches are paid from the cash flows from the underlying assets before the junior tranches and equity or “first loss” tranches. Losses are first borne by the equity tranches, next by the junior tranches, and finally by the senior tranches. Senior tranches pay the lowest interest rates but are generally safer investments than more junior tranches because, should there be any default, senior tranches are typically paid first. The most junior tranches, such as equity tranches, would attract the highest interest rates but suffer the highest risk should the holder of an underlying loan default. If some loans default and the cash collected by the CDO is insufficient to pay all of its investors, those in the lowest, most junior tranches suffer losses first. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CDO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, more senior CDO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults and aversion to CDO securities as a class.

 

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The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the quality and type of the collateral and the tranche of the CDO in which the Portfolio invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Portfolio as illiquid securities; however, an active dealer market, or other relevant measures of liquidity, may exist for CDOs allowing a CDO potentially to be deemed liquid by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser under liquidity policies approved by the Board. In addition to the risks associated with debt instruments (e.g., interest rate risk and credit risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the possibility that the Portfolio may invest in CDOs that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.

COLLATERALIZED MORTGAGE OBLIGATIONS (CMOS) AND MULTICLASS PASS-THROUGH SECURITIES

CMOs are debt obligations collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities. CMOs may be collateralized by Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) certificates, but also may be collateralized by whole loans or private mortgage pass-through securities (such collateral is collectively hereinafter referred to as “Mortgage Assets”). Mortgage Assets may be collateralized by commercial or residential uses. Multiclass pass-through securities are equity interests in a trust composed of Mortgage Assets. Payments of principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets, and any reinvestment income thereon, may require the Portfolio to pay debt service on the CMOs or make scheduled distributions on the multiclass pass-through securities. CMOs may be issued by federal agencies, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The issuer of a series of mortgage pass-through securities may elect to be treated as a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC). REMICs include governmental and/or private entities that issue a fixed pool of mortgages secured by an interest in real property. REMICs are similar to CMOs in that they issue multiple classes of securities, but unlike CMOs, which are required to be structured as debt securities, REMICs may be structured as indirect ownership interests in the underlying assets of the REMICs themselves. Although CMOs and REMICs differ in certain respects, characteristics of CMOs described below apply in most cases to REMICs, as well.

In a CMO, a series of bonds or certificates is issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs, often referred to as a tranche, is issued at a specific fixed or floating coupon rate and has a stated maturity or final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the Mortgage Assets may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates. Interest is paid or accrues on all classes of the CMOs on a monthly, quarterly or semiannual basis. Certain CMOs may have variable or floating interest rates and others may be stripped mortgage securities. For more information on stripped mortgage securities, see “STRIPPED MORTGAGE SECURITIES.”

The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of a CMO series in a number of different ways. Generally, the purpose of the allocation of the cash flow of a CMO to the various classes is to obtain a more predictable cash flow to certain of the individual tranches than exists with the underlying collateral of the CMO. As a general rule, the more predictable the cash flow is on a CMO tranche, the lower the anticipated yield will be on that tranche at the time of issuance relative to prevailing market yields on other mortgage-backed securities. As part of the process of creating more predictable cash flows on most of the tranches in a series of CMOs, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the cash flows on the underlying mortgage loans. The yields on these tranches are generally higher than prevailing market yields on mortgage-backed securities with similar maturities. As a result of the uncertainty of the cash flows of these tranches, the market prices of and yield on these tranches generally are more volatile. See “COLLATERALIZED DEBT OBLIGATIONS” for a discussion on investments in structured products with multiple tranches.

CMO RESIDUALS

CMO residuals are mortgage securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, homebuilders, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose entities of the foregoing. The cash flow generated by the mortgage assets underlying a series of a CMO is applied first to make required payments of principal and interest on the securities or certificates issued by the CMO and second to pay the related administrative expenses and any management fee of the issuer. The residual in a CMO structure generally represents the interest in any excess cash flow remaining after making the foregoing payments. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the coupon rate of each class of CMO, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the pre-payment experience on the mortgage assets. In particular, the yield to maturity on CMO residuals is extremely sensitive to pre-payments on the related underlying mortgage assets. In addition, if a series

 

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of a CMO includes a class that bears interest at an adjustable rate, the yield to maturity on the related CMO residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. As described below with respect to stripped mortgage-backed securities, in certain circumstances the Portfolio may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in a CMO residual. CMO residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. In addition, CMO residuals may, or pursuant to an exemption therefrom, may not have been registered under the Securities Act. CMO residuals, whether or not registered under the Securities Act, may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, and may be deemed “illiquid.”

GOVERNMENT MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in mortgage pass-through securities representing participation interests in pools of residential mortgage loans purchased from individual lenders by an agency, instrumentality or sponsored corporation of the United States government (“Federal Agency”) or originated by private lenders and guaranteed, to the extent provided in such securities, by a Federal Agency. Such securities, which are ownership interests in the underlying mortgage loans, differ from conventional debt securities, which provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts (usually semiannually) and principal payments at payments (not necessarily in fixed amounts) that are a pass-through of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the guarantor of such securities and the servicer of the underlying mortgage loans.

The government mortgage pass-through securities in which the Portfolio may invest include those issued or guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ginnie Mae certificates are direct obligations of the U.S. government and, as such, are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Fannie Mae is a federally chartered, privately owned corporation and Freddie Mac is a corporate instrumentality of the United States. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certificates are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States but the issuing agency or instrumentality has the right to borrow, to meet its obligations, from an existing line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury has no legal obligation to provide such line of credit and may choose not to do so.

Certificates for these types of mortgage-backed securities evidence an interest in a specific pool of mortgages. These certificates are, in most cases, modified pass-through instruments, wherein the issuing agency guarantees the payment of principal and interest on mortgages underlying the certificates, whether or not such amounts are collected by the issuer on the underlying mortgages.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (“HERA”) authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to support Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBs”) (collectively, the “GSEs”) by purchasing obligations and other securities from those government-sponsored enterprises. HERA gave the Secretary of the Treasury broad authority to determine the conditions and amounts of such purchases.

On September 6, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. As the conservator, FHFA succeeded to all rights, titles, powers and privileges of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and of any stockholder, officer or director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the assets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA selected a new chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In connection with the conservatorship, the U.S. Treasury, exercising powers granted to it under HERA, entered into a Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) with each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pursuant to which the U.S. Treasury will purchase up to an aggregate of $100 billion of each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to maintain a positive net worth in each enterprise. This agreement contains various covenants that severely limit each enterprise’s operations. In exchange for entering into these agreements, the U.S. Treasury received $1 billion of each enterprise’s senior preferred stock and warrants to purchase 79.9% of each enterprise’s common stock. On February 18, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was doubling the size of its commitment to each enterprise under the Senior Preferred Stock Program to $200 billion. The U.S. Treasury’s obligations under the Senior Preferred Stock Program are for an indefinite period of time for a maximum amount of $200 billion per enterprise. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced further amendments to the SPAs which included additional financial support for each GSE through the end of 2012 and changes to the limits on their retained mortgage portfolios. Although legislation has been enacted to support certain GSEs, including the FHLBs, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, there is no assurance that GSE obligations will be satisfied in full, or that such obligations will not decrease in value or default. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict the future political, regulatory or economic changes that could impact the GSEs and the values of their related securities or obligations.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are continuing to operate as going concerns while in conservatorship and each remain liable for all of its obligations, including its guaranty obligations, associated with its mortgage-backed securities. The SPA is intended to enhance each of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s ability to meet its obligations.

Under the Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008 (the “Reform Act”), which was included as part of Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, FHFA, as conservator or receiver, has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to FHFA’s appointment as conservator or receiver, as applicable, if FHFA determines, in its sole discretion,

 

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that performance of the contract is burdensome and that repudiation of the contract promotes the orderly administration of Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s affairs. The Reform Act requires FHFA to exercise its right to repudiate any contract within a reasonable period of time after its appointment as conservator or receiver.

FHFA, in its capacity as conservator, has indicated that it has no intention to repudiate the guaranty obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac because FHFA views repudiation as incompatible with the goals of the conservatorship. However, in the event that FHFA, as conservator or if it is later appointed as receiver for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, were to repudiate any such guaranty obligation, the conservatorship or receivership estate, as applicable, would be liable for actual direct compensatory damages in accordance with the provisions of the Reform Act. Any such liability could be satisfied only to the extent of Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s available assets. The future financial performance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is heavily dependent on the performance of the U.S. housing market.

In the event of repudiation, the payments of interest to holders of Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities would be reduced if payments on the mortgage loans represented in the mortgage loan groups related to such mortgage-backed securities are not made by the borrowers or advanced by the servicer. Any actual direct compensatory damages for repudiating these guaranty obligations may not be sufficient to offset any shortfalls experienced by such mortgage-backed security holders.

Further, in its capacity as conservator or receiver, FHFA has the right to transfer or sell any asset or liability of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac without any approval, assignment or consent. Although FHFA has stated that it has no present intention to do so, if FHFA, as conservator or receiver, were to transfer any such guaranty obligation to another party, holders of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities would have to rely on that party for satisfaction of the guaranty obligation and would be exposed to the credit risk of that party.

In addition, certain rights provided to holders of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the operative documents related to such securities may not be enforced against FHFA, or enforcement of such rights may be delayed, during the conservatorship or any future receivership. The operative documents for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities may provide (or with respect to securities issued prior to the date of the appointment of the conservator may have provided) that upon the occurrence of an event of default on the part of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, in its capacity as guarantor, which includes the appointment of a conservator or receiver, holders of such mortgage-backed securities have the right to replace Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac as trustee if the requisite percentage of mortgage-backed security holders consent. The Reform Act prevents mortgage-backed security holders from enforcing such rights if the event of default arises solely because a conservator or receiver has been appointed. The Reform Act also provides that no person may exercise any right or power to terminate, accelerate or declare an event of default under certain contracts to which Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is a party, or obtain possession of or exercise control over any property of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or affect any contractual rights of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, without the approval of FHFA, as conservator or receiver, for a period of 45 or 90 days following the appointment of FHFA as conservator or receiver, respectively.

INVERSE FLOATERS

An inverse floater is a type of instrument that bears a floating or variable interest rate that moves in the opposite direction to interest rates generally or the interest rate on another security or index. Changes in interest rates generally, or the interest rate of the other security or index, inversely affect the interest rate paid on the inverse floater, with the result that the inverse floater’s price will be considerably more volatile than that of a fixed-rate bond. Brokers typically create inverse floaters by depositing an income-producing instrument, which may be a mortgage-backed security, in a trust. The trust in turn issues a variable rate security and inverse floaters. The returns on the inverse floaters may be leveraged, increasing substantially their volatility and interest rate sensitivity. The rate at which interest is paid by the trust on an inverse floater may vary by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in a reference rate of interest (typically a short term interest rate), and the market prices of inverse floaters may as a result be highly sensitive to changes in interest rates and in prepayment rates on the underlying securities, and may decrease significantly when interest rates increase or prepayment rates change. The interest rate for the variable rate security is typically determined by an index or an auction process, while the inverse floater holder receives the balance of the income from the underlying income-producing instrument less an auction fee.

MORTGAGE DOLLAR ROLLS

The Portfolio may enter into mortgage dollar rolls with a bank or a broker-dealer. A mortgage dollar roll is a transaction in which a fund sells mortgage-related securities for immediate settlement and simultaneously purchases the same type of securities for forward settlement at a discount. While a fund begins accruing interest on the newly purchased securities from the purchase or trade date, it is able to invest the proceeds from the sale of its previously owned securities, which will be used to pay for the new securities. The use of mortgage dollar rolls is a speculative technique involving leverage, and can have an economic effect similar to borrowing money for investment purposes.

 

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PRIVATE MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH SECURITIES

Private mortgage pass-through securities are structured similarly to the Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage pass-through securities and are issued by United States and foreign private issuers such as originators of and investors in mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. These securities usually are backed by a pool of conventional fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage loans. Since private mortgage pass-through securities typically are not guaranteed by an entity having the credit status of Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, such securities generally are structured with one or more types of credit enhancement.

Mortgage Assets often consist of a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties. There are usually fewer properties in a pool of assets backing commercial mortgage-backed securities than in a pool of assets backing residential mortgage-backed securities hence they may be more sensitive to the performance of fewer Mortgage Assets. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, those securities may contain elements of credit support, which fall into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from ultimate default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pool of assets, to ensure that the receipt of payments on the underlying pool occurs in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. This protection may be provided through guarantees, insurance policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties, through various means of structuring the transaction or through a combination of such approaches. The degree of credit support provided for each issue is generally based on historical information respecting the level of credit risk associated with the underlying assets. Delinquencies or losses in excess of those anticipated could adversely affect the return on an investment in a security.

STRIPPED MORTGAGE SECURITIES

Stripped mortgage securities may be issued by Federal Agencies, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. Stripped mortgage securities not issued by Federal Agencies will be treated by the Portfolio as illiquid securities so long as the staff of the SEC maintains its position that such securities are illiquid. Stripped mortgage securities issued by Federal Agencies generally will be treated by the Portfolio as liquid securities under procedures adopted by the Fund and approved by the Fund’s Board.

Stripped mortgage securities usually are structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distribution of a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of stripped mortgage security will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the interest-only or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). PO classes generate income through the accretion of the deep discount at which such securities are purchased, and, while PO classes do not receive periodic payments of interest, they receive monthly payments associated with scheduled amortization and principal prepayment from the mortgage assets underlying the PO class. The yield to maturity on a PO or an IO class security is extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets. A slower than expected rate of principal payments may have an adverse effect on a PO class security’s yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience slower than anticipated principal repayment, the Portfolio may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities. Conversely, a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on an IO class security’s yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments or principal, the Portfolio may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities.

The Portfolio may purchase stripped mortgage securities for income, or for hedging purposes to protect the Portfolio against interest rate fluctuations. For example, since an IO class will tend to increase in value as interest rates rise, it may be utilized to hedge against a decrease in value of other fixed-income securities in a rising interest rate environment.

NON-PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

PREFERRED SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in preferred securities. Preferred securities pay fixed or adjustable rate dividends to investors, and have “preference” over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of a company’s assets. This means that a company must pay dividends on preferred stock before paying any dividends on its common stock. In order to be payable, distributions on preferred securities must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors. Income payments on typical preferred securities currently outstanding are cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accrue even if not declared by the board of directors or otherwise made payable. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on the preferred securities in which the Portfolio invests will be declared or otherwise made payable.

The market value of preferred securities may be affected by favorable and unfavorable changes impacting companies in the utilities and financial services sectors, which are prominent issuers of preferred securities, and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws.

 

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Because the claim on an issuer’s earnings represented by preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, the Portfolio’s holdings of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced and the Portfolio would be unable to acquire securities paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.

CONVERTIBLE SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted or exchanged (by the holder or by the issuer) into shares of the underlying common stock (or cash or securities of equivalent value) at a stated exchange ratio. A convertible security may also be called for redemption or conversion by the issuer after a particular date and under certain circumstances (including a specified price) established upon issue. If a convertible security held by the Portfolio is called for redemption or conversion, the Portfolio could be required to tender it for redemption, convert it into the underlying common stock, or sell it to a third party.

Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain or loss than common stocks. Convertible securities generally provide yields higher than the underlying common stocks, but generally lower than comparable non-convertible securities. Because of this higher yield, convertible securities generally sell at a price above their “conversion value,” which is the current market value of the stock to be received upon conversion. The difference between this conversion value and the price of convertible securities will vary over time depending on changes in the value of the underlying common stocks and interest rates. When the underlying common stocks decline in value, convertible securities will tend not to decline to the same extent because of the interest or dividend payments and the repayment of principal at maturity for certain types of convertible securities. However, securities that are convertible other than at the option of the holder generally do not limit the potential for loss to the same extent as securities convertible at the option of the holder. When the underlying common stocks rise in value, the value of convertible securities may also be expected to increase. At the same time, however, the difference between the market value of convertible securities and their conversion value will narrow, which means that the value of convertible securities will generally not increase to the same extent as the value of the underlying common stocks. Because convertible securities may also be interest-rate sensitive, their value may increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. Convertible securities are also subject to credit risk, and are often lower-quality securities.

FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS

The Portfolio may conduct foreign currency transactions on a spot (i.e., cash) or forward basis (i.e., by entering into forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies). Although foreign exchange dealers generally do not charge a fee for such conversions, they do realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the counterparty desire to resell that currency to the dealer. Forward contracts are customized transactions that generally require a specific amount of a currency to be delivered at a specific exchange rate on a specific date or range of dates in the future although the Portfolio may also enter into non-deliverable currency forward contracts (“NDFs”) that contractually require the netting of the parties’ liabilities. Forwards, including NDFs, can have substantial price volatility. Forward contracts are generally traded in an interbank market directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. The parties to a forward contract may agree to offset or terminate the contract before its maturity, or may hold the contract to maturity and complete the contemplated currency exchange. At the discretion of the Adviser, the Portfolio may enter into forward currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes to help reduce the risks and volatility caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates, or to gain exposure to certain currencies. When used for hedging purposes, they tend to limit any potential gain that may be realized if the value of the Portfolio’s foreign holdings increases because of currency fluctuations.

SENIOR LOANS

Senior loans include senior floating rate loans and institutionally traded senior floating rate debt obligations issued by asset-backed pools and other issues, and interests therein. Senior loan interests may be acquired from U.S. or foreign commercial banks, insurance companies, finance companies or other financial institutions that have made loans or are members of a lending syndicate or from other holders of loan interests. Senior loans typically pay interest at rates which are re-determined periodically on the basis of a floating base lending rate (such as the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) plus a premium. Senior loans are typically of below investment grade quality. Senior loans generally (but not always) hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a borrower and are often secured with collateral.

From time to time, the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates may borrow money from various banks in connection with their business activities. Such banks may also sell senior loans to or acquire them from the Portfolio or may be intermediate participants with respect to senior loans in which the Portfolio owns interests. Such banks may also act as Agents for senior loans held by the Portfolio.

To the extent that the collateral, if any, securing a senior loan consists of the stock of the borrower’s subsidiaries or other affiliates, the Portfolio will be subject to the risk that this stock will decline in value. Such a decline, whether as a result of bankruptcy proceedings or otherwise, could cause the senior loan to be undercollateralized or unsecured. In most credit agreements there is no formal requirement to pledge additional collateral. In addition, a senior loan may be guaranteed by, or fully secured by assets of, shareholders

 

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or owners, even if the senior loans are not otherwise collateralized by assets of the borrower. There may be temporary periods when the principal asset held by a borrower is the stock of a related company, which may not legally be pledged to secure a secured senior loan. On occasions when such stock cannot be pledged, the secured senior loan will be temporarily unsecured until the stock can be pledged or is exchanged for or replaced by other assets, which will be pledged as security for such senior loan. However, the borrower’s ability to dispose of such securities, other than in connection with such pledge or replacement, will be strictly limited for the protection of the holders of secured senior loans.

If a borrower becomes involved in bankruptcy proceedings, a court potentially could invalidate the Portfolio’s security interest in any loan collateral or subordinate the Portfolio’s rights under a secured senior loan to the interests of the borrower’s unsecured creditors. Such action by a court could be based, for example, on a “fraudulent conveyance” claim to the effect that the borrower did not receive fair consideration for granting the security interest in the loan collateral to the Portfolio. For secured senior loans made in connection with a highly leveraged transaction, consideration for granting a security interest may be deemed inadequate if the proceeds of such loan were not received or retained by the borrower, but were instead paid to other persons, such as shareholders of the borrower, in an amount which left the borrower insolvent or without sufficient working capital. There are also other events, such as the failure to perfect a security interest due to faulty documentation or faulty official filings, which could lead to the invalidation of the Portfolio’s security interest in any loan collateral. If the Portfolio’s security interest in loan collateral is invalidated or a secured senior loan is subordinated to other debt of a borrower in bankruptcy or other proceedings, it is unlikely that the Portfolio would be able to recover the full amount of the principal and interest due on the secured senior loan.

VARIABLE AND FLOATING RATE SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in variable and floating rate securities. Variable rate securities are instruments issued or guaranteed by entities such as (1) US Government, or an agency or instrumentality thereof, (2) corporations, (3) financial institutions, (4) insurance companies or (5) trusts that have a rate of interest subject to adjustment at regular intervals but less frequently than annually. A variable rate security provides for the automatic establishment of a new interest rate on set dates. Variable rate obligations whose interest is readjusted no less frequently than annually will be deemed to have a maturity equal to the period remaining until the next readjustment of the interest rate. The Portfolio may also purchase floating rate securities. A floating rate security provides for the automatic adjustment of its interest rate whenever a specified interest rate changes. Interest rates on these securities are ordinarily tied to, and are a percentage of, a widely recognized interest rate, such as the yield on 90-day US Treasury bills or the prime rate of a specified bank. These rates may change as often as twice daily. Generally, changes in interest rates will have a smaller effect on the market value of variable and fixed rate floating rate securities than on the market value of comparable fixed rate fixed income obligations. Thus, investing in variable and fixed rate floating rate securities generally allows less opportunity for capital appreciation and depreciation than investing in comparable fixed rate fixed income securities.

VARIABLE RATE DEMAND OBLIGATIONS

The Portfolio may invest in Variable Rate Demand Obligations (VRDO). VRDOs are short-term tax exempt fixed income instruments whose yield is reset on a periodic basis. VRDO securities tend to be issued with long maturities of up to 30 or 40 years; however, they are considered short-term instruments because they include a put feature which coincides with the periodic yield reset. For example, a VRDO whose yield resets weekly will have a put feature that is exercisable upon seven days’ notice. VRDOs are put back to a bank or other entity that serves as a liquidity provider, who then tries to resell the VRDOs or, if unable to resell, holds them in its own inventory. VRDOs are generally supported by either a Letter of Credit or a Stand-by Bond Purchase Agreement to provide credit enhancement.

RESTRICTED SECURITIES

The Portfolio may invest in restricted securities. Restricted Securities are securities that are not registered under the Securities Act, but which can be offered and sold to “qualified institutional buyers” under Rule 144A under the Securities Act. Institutional markets for restricted securities have developed as a result of the promulgation of Rule 144A under the Securities Act, which provides a “safe harbor” from Securities Act registration requirements for qualifying sales to institutional investors. When Rule 144A restricted securities present an attractive investment opportunity and meet other selection criteria, the Portfolio may make such investments whether or not such securities are “illiquid” depending on the market that exists for the particular security. The Board has delegated the responsibility for determining the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities that the Portfolio may invest in to the Adviser. In reaching liquidity decisions, the Adviser may consider the following factors: the frequency of trades and quotes for the security; the number of dealers wishing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential purchasers; dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace in which it trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers and the mechanics of transfer).

EXCHANGE-TRADED PRODUCTS

ETPs include exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) registered under the 1940 Act; exchange traded commodity trusts; and exchange traded notes (“ETNs”). The Adviser may receive management or other fees from the ETPs (“Affiliated ETPs”) in which the Portfolio or Fund may invest, as well as a management fee for managing the Fund. It is possible that a conflict of interest among the Portfolio and

 

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Fund and Affiliated ETPs could affect how the Adviser fulfills its fiduciary duties to the Portfolio and Fund and the Affiliated ETPs. Because the amount of the investment management fees to be retained by the Adviser may differ depending upon the Affiliated ETPs in which the Portfolio or Fund invests, there is a conflict of interest for the Adviser in selecting the Affiliated ETP. In addition, the Adviser may have an incentive to take into account the effect on an Affiliated ETP in which the Portfolio or Fund may invest in determining whether, and under what circumstances, to purchase or sell shares in that Affiliated ETP. Although the Adviser takes steps to address the conflicts of interest, it is possible that the conflicts could impact the Portfolio and Fund.

The Portfolio may invest in new ETPs or ETPs that have not yet established a deep trading market at the time of investment. Shares of such ETPs may experience limited trading volume and less liquidity, in which case the “spread” (the difference between bid price and ask price) may be higher.

INVESTMENT COMPANIES

The Portfolio may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including affiliated funds, money market funds and closed-end funds, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act. The Fund invests substantially all of its assets in the corresponding Portfolio. Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), a fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the “acquired company”) provided that the fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the fund; (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than Treasury stock of the fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the fund; or (iv) in the case of investment in a closed-end fund, more than 10% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company. A fund may also invest in the securities of other investment companies if such securities are the only investment securities held by the fund, such as through a master-feeder arrangement. The Fund currently pursues its respective investment objective through such an arrangement. To the extent allowed by law, regulation, the Fund’s investment restrictions and the Trust’s exemptive relief, the Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are affiliated funds and/or money market funds in excess of the limits discussed above.

To the extent a fund invests in and, thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the fund to the fund’s own investment adviser and the other expenses that the fund bears directly in connection with the fund’s own operations.

EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS

The Portfolio may invest in other exchange-traded funds (including ETFs managed by the Adviser). ETFs may be structured as investment companies that are registered under the 1940 Act, typically as open-end funds or unit investment trusts. These ETFs are generally based on specific domestic and foreign market securities indices. An “index-based ETF” seeks to provide investment results that match the performance of an index by holding in its portfolio either the contents of the index or a representative sample of the securities in the index. An “enhanced ETF” seeks to provide investment results that match a positive or negative multiple of the performance of an underlying index. In seeking to provide such results, an ETF, and in particular, an enhanced ETF, may engage in short sales of securities included in the underlying index and may invest in derivatives instruments, such as equity index swaps, futures contracts, and options on securities, futures contracts, and stock indices. Alternatively, ETFs may be structured as grantor trusts or other forms of pooled investment vehicles that are not registered or regulated under the 1940 Act. These ETFs typically hold commodities, precious metals, currency or other non-securities investments. ETFs, like mutual funds, have expenses associated with their operation, such as advisory and custody fees. When a fund invests in an ETF, in addition to directly bearing expenses associated with its own operations, including the brokerage costs associated with the purchase and sale of shares of the ETF, the fund will bear a pro rata portion of the ETF’s expenses. In addition, it may be more costly to own an ETF than to directly own the securities or other investments held by the ETF because of ETF expenses. The risks of owning shares of an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities or other investments held by the ETF, although lack of liquidity in the market for the shares of an ETF could result in the ETF’s value being more volatile than the underlying securities or other investments.

EXCHANGE-TRADED NOTES

The Portfolio may invest in exchange-traded notes. ETNs are debt obligations of investment banks which are traded on exchanges and the returns of which are linked to the performance of market indexes. In addition to trading ETNs on exchanges, investors may redeem ETNs directly with the issuer on a weekly basis, typically in a minimum amount of 50,000 units, or hold the ETNs until maturity. ETNs may be riskier than ordinary debt securities and may have no principal protection. A fund’s investment in an ETN may be influenced by many unpredictable factors, including highly volatile commodities prices, changes in supply and demand relationships, weather, agriculture, trade, changes in interest rates, and monetary and other governmental policies, action and inaction. Investing in ETNs is not equivalent to investing directly in index components or the relevant index itself. Because ETNs are debt securities, they possess credit risk; if the issuer has financial difficulties or goes bankrupt, the investor may not receive the return it was promised.

 

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QUALIFIED PUBLICLY TRADED PARTNERSHIPS

Regulated investment companies are subject to favorable tax treatment under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). For purposes of determining whether the Fund when investing in the Portfolio qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company, it is generally expected to be treated as if it held its share of the Portfolio’s investments directly. To enable the Fund investing all of its assets in the Portfolio to qualify as a regulated investment company, the Portfolio must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from sources generating “qualifying income.” Income derived from direct and certain indirect investments in commodities is not qualifying income. Thus, income from certain commodities-related investments may cause the Fund investing in the Portfolio not to qualify as a regulated investment company. The Portfolio may invest up to 25% of its total assets in one or more ETPs that are qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”) and whose principal activities are the buying and selling of commodities or options, futures, or forwards with respect to commodities. Income from QPTPs is generally qualifying income. A QPTP is an entity that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, subject to certain requirements. If such an ETP fails to qualify as a QPTP, the income generated from the Portfolio’s investment in the ETP may not be qualifying income. The Portfolio will only invest in such an ETP if it intends to qualify as a QPTP, but there is no guarantee that each such ETP will be successful in qualifying as a QPTP. In addition, there is little regulatory guidance concerning the application of the rules governing qualification as a QPTP, and it is possible that future guidance may adversely affect the qualification of such ETPs as QPTPs. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company, the Fund will be subject to tax, which will reduce returns to the Fund’s shareholders. Such a failure will also alter the treatment of distributions to the Fund’s shareholders.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (“REITs”)

The Portfolio may invest in REITs. REITs pool investor’s funds for investment primarily in income producing real estate or real estate loans or interests. A REIT is not taxed on income distributed to shareholders if it complies with several requirements relating to its organization, ownership, assets, and income and a requirement that it distribute to its shareholders at least 90% of its taxable income (other than net capital gains) for each taxable year. REITs can generally be classified as Equity REITs, Mortgage REITs and Hybrid REITs. Equity REITs, which invest the majority of their assets directly in real property, derive their income primarily from rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs, which invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages, derive their income primarily from interest payments. Hybrid REITs combine the characteristics of both Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. The Portfolio will not invest in real estate directly, but only in securities issued by real estate companies. However, the Portfolio may be subject to risks similar to those associated with the direct ownership of real estate (in addition to securities markets risks). These include declines in the value of real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, dependency on management skill, heavy cash flow dependency, possible lack of availability of mortgage funds, overbuilding, extended vacancies of properties, increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to costs resulting from the clean-up of environmental problems, liability to third parties for damages resulting from environmental problems, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, the appeal of properties to tenants and changes in interest rates. Investments in REITs may subject Portfolio shareholders to duplicate management and administrative fees.

In addition to these risks, Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while Mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, Equity and Mortgage REITs are dependent upon management skills and generally may not be diversified. Equity and Mortgage REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, Equity and Mortgage REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the beneficial tax treatment available to REITs under the Internal Revenue Code, or to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. The above factors may also adversely affect a borrower’s or a lessee’s ability to meet its obligations to the REIT. In the event of a default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting investments.

FUTURES CONTRACTS, OPTIONS AND SWAP AGREEMENTS

The Portfolio may invest up to 20% of its assets in derivatives, including exchange-traded futures and options contracts and swap agreements (including credit default swaps). The Portfolio will segregate cash and/or appropriate liquid assets if required to do so by SEC or Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulation or interpretation.

Futures contracts generally provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified commodity or security at a specified future time and at a specified price. 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 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.

A fund is required to make a good faith margin deposit in cash or U.S. 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 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.

 

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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, 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. In such case, the Portfolio would expect to earn interest income on its margin deposits. 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.

The Portfolio may purchase and sell put and call options. Such options may relate to particular securities and may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange and issued by the Options Clearing Corporation. Options trading is a highly specialized activity that entails greater than ordinary investment risk. Options on particular securities may be more volatile than the underlying securities, and therefore, on a percentage basis, an investment in options may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying securities themselves.

Swap Agreements. The Portfolio may enter into swap agreements, including interest rate, index and total return swap agreements. Swap agreements are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to the other party based on the change in market value or level of a specified rate, index or asset. In return, the other party agrees to make payments to the first party based on the return of a different specified rate, index or asset. Swap agreements will usually be done on a net basis, i.e., where the two parties make net payments with the Portfolio receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Portfolio’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or equivalents having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess is maintained by the Portfolio.

In the case of a credit default swap (“CDS”), the contract gives one party (the buyer) the right to recoup the economic value of a decline in the value of debt securities of the reference issuer if the credit event (a downgrade or default) occurs. This value is obtained by delivering a debt security of the reference issuer to the party in return for a previously agreed payment from the other party (frequently, the par value of the debt security). As the seller of a CDS contract, the Portfolio would be required to pay the par (or other agreed upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default or other credit event by the reference issuer, such as a U.S. or foreign corporate issuer, with respect to debt obligations. In return, the Portfolio would receive from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the Portfolio would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As the seller, the Portfolio would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.

CDSs may require initial premium (discount) payments as well as periodic payments (receipts) related to the interest leg of the swap or to the default of a reference obligation. The Portfolio will segregate assets necessary to meet any accrued payment obligations when it is the buyer of CDSs. In cases where the Portfolio is a seller of a CDS, if the CDS is physically settled, the Portfolio will be required to segregate the full notional amount of the CDS. Such segregation will not limit the Portfolio’s exposure to loss.

CDS agreements involve greater risks than if the Portfolio had invested in the reference obligation directly since, in addition to general market risks, illiquidity risk associated with a particular issuer, and credit risk, each of which will be similar in either case, CDSs are subject to the risk of illiquidity within the CDS market on the whole, as well as counterparty risk. The Portfolio will enter into CDS agreements only with counterparties that meet certain standards of creditworthiness.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

The Portfolio may take advantage of opportunities in the area of options and futures contracts, options on futures contracts, warrants, swaps and any other investments which are not presently contemplated for use by the Portfolio or which are not currently available but which may be developed, to the extent such opportunities are both consistent with the Portfolio’s and Fund’s investment objective and legally permissible for the Portfolio and Fund. Before entering into such transactions or making any such investment, the Portfolio will provide appropriate disclosure.

LEVERAGING

While the Portfolio and Fund do not anticipate doing so, the Portfolio and Fund may borrow money in an amount greater than 5% of the value of their respective total assets. However, the Portfolio or Fund may not borrow money from a bank in an amount greater than 33 1/3% of the value of the Portfolio’s or Fund’s total assets. Borrowing for investment purposes is one form of leverage. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique that increases investment risk, but also increases investment opportunity. Because substantially all of the Portfolio’s and Fund’s assets will fluctuate in value, whereas the interest obligations on borrowings may be fixed, the NAV of the Portfolio or Fund will increase more when such Portfolio’s or Fund’s portfolio assets increase in value and decrease more when the Portfolio’s or Fund’s portfolio assets decrease in value than would otherwise be the case. Moreover, interest costs on borrowings may fluctuate with changing market rates of interest and may partially offset or exceed the returns on the borrowed funds.

 

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REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS

The Portfolio 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 a fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., 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 – as defined below). 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 a fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.

In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by a fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Custodian until repurchased. No more than an aggregate of 15% of the Portfolio’s net assets will be invested in illiquid securities, including repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days and securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, or for which there are no readily available market quotations.

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, a 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 U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by a fund not within the control of the fund and, therefore, the fund 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.

REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS

The Portfolio may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing. The securities purchased with the funds obtained from the agreement and securities collateralizing the agreement will have maturity dates no later than the repayment date. Generally the effect of such transactions is that a fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while in many cases a fund is able to keep some of the interest income associated with those securities. Such transactions are only advantageous if a fund has an opportunity to earn a greater rate of interest on the cash derived from these transactions than the interest cost of obtaining the same amount of cash. Opportunities to realize earnings from the use of the proceeds equal to or greater than the interest required to be paid may not always be available and the Portfolio intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when the Adviser believes it will be advantageous to the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund. The use of reverse repurchase agreements may exaggerate any interim increase or decrease in the value of the Portfolio’s and, therefore, the Fund’s assets. The Portfolio’s exposure to reverse repurchase agreements will be covered by securities having a value equal to or greater than such commitments. Under the 1940 Act, reverse repurchase agreements are considered borrowings. Although there is no limit on the percentage of fund assets that can be used in connection with reverse repurchase agreements, the Portfolio does not expect to engage, under normal circumstances, in reverse repurchase agreements with respect to more than 33 1/3% of its total assets.

COMMERCIAL PAPER

The Portfolio may invest in commercial paper. Commercial paper consists of short-term, promissory notes issued by banks, corporations and other entities to finance short-term credit needs. These securities generally are discounted but sometimes may be interest bearing.

OTHER SHORT-TERM INSTRUMENTS

The Portfolio may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, (including money market funds advised by the Adviser), repurchase agreements, cash and cash equivalents, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) shares of money market funds (including those advised by the Adviser); (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), bankers’ acceptances, fixed time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and foreign banks (including foreign branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase “Prime-1” by Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) or “A-1” by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), or if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Adviser; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that satisfy the rating requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of the Adviser, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by the Portfolio. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or a forward-settled basis. Money market instruments also include shares of money market funds. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.

 

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RATINGS

An investment-grade rating means the security or issuer is rated investment-grade by Moody’s, S&P, Fitch, Inc., Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited, or another credit rating agency designated as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization by the SEC, or is unrated but considered to be of equivalent quality by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser.

Subsequent to purchase by the Portfolio, a rated security may cease to be rated or its investment grade rating may be reduced below an investment grade rating. Securities rated Ba1 or lower by Moody’s or BB+ or lower by S&P are below investment grade quality and are obligations of issuers that are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal according to the terms of the obligation and, therefore, carry greater investment risk, including the possibility of issuer default and bankruptcy and increased market price volatility. Such securities (“lower-rated securities”) are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” and are subject to a substantial degree of credit risk. Lower-rated securities are often issued by smaller, less creditworthy companies or by highly leveraged (indebted) firms, which are generally less able than more financially stable firms to make scheduled payments of interest and principal. The risks posed by securities issued under such circumstances are substantial. Bonds rated below investment-grade tend to be less marketable than higher-quality bonds because the market for them is less broad. The market for unrated bonds is even narrower. See “HIGH YIELD SECURITIES” above for more information relating to the risks associated with investing in lower rated securities.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RISKS

A discussion of the risks associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus.

PRINCIPAL RISKS

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 securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the securities markets may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the portfolio securities and thus in the value of Shares). Securities are susceptible to general market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence in and perceptions of their issuers change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation and interest rates, economic expansion or contraction, and global or regional political, economic and banking crises.

Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, have generally inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks issued by, the issuer. Further, unlike debt securities which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, will be subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.

The principal trading market for some securities may be in the over-the-counter market. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of the Fund’s Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities are limited or absent or if bid/ask spreads are wide.

NON-PRINCIPAL RISKS

TAX RISKS

As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares of the Fund.

Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund Shares.

 

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FUTURES AND OPTIONS TRANSACTIONS

Positions in futures contracts and options may be closed out only on an exchange which provides a secondary market for such financial instruments. 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 Portfolio would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if the Portfolio 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 Portfolio may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying futures contracts it has sold.

The Portfolio will 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 index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. 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. The Portfolio, however, may utilize futures and options contracts in a manner designed to limit its risk exposure to that which is comparable to what it would have incurred through direct investment in securities.

Utilization of futures transactions by the Portfolio involves the risk of loss by the Portfolio of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom the Portfolio 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 futures positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses.

RISKS OF SWAP AGREEMENTS

Swap agreements are subject to the risk that the swap counterparty will default on its obligations. If such a default occurs, the Portfolio will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws which could affect the Portfolio’s rights as a creditor.

The use of interest-rate and index swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. These transactions generally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal.

The absence of a regulated execution facility or contract market and lack of liquidity for swap transactions has led, in some instances, to difficulties in trading and valuation, especially in the event of market disruptions. Financial reform legislation requires many major categories of swaps to be executed on a regulated exchange or contract market and to be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse. Once implemented, new regulations, including margin, clearing and trade execution requirements, may make derivatives such as swaps more costly, may limit their availability, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of these instruments.

Certain swaps, such as interest rate swaps and credit default swaps that are based on an index, are required under applicable law to be cleared by a regulated clearinghouse. Swaps subject to this requirement are typically submitted for clearing through brokerage firms that are members of the clearinghouse. The Portfolio would establish an account with a brokerage firm to facilitate clearing such a swap, and the clearinghouse would become the Portfolio’s counterparty. A brokerage firm would guarantee the Portfolio’s performance on the swap to the clearinghouse. The Portfolio and the Fund would be exposed to the credit risk of the clearinghouse and the brokerage firm that holds the cleared swap. The brokerage firm also would impose margin requirements with respect to open cleared swap positions held by the Portfolio, and the brokerage firm would be able to require termination of those positions in certain circumstances. These margin requirements and termination provisions may adversely affect the Portfolio’s ability to trade cleared swaps. In addition, the Portfolio may not be able to recover the full amount of its margin from a brokerage firm if the firm were to go into bankruptcy. It is also possible that the Portfolio would not be able to enter into a swap transaction that is required to be cleared if no clearinghouse will accept the swap for clearing.

 

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Swaps that are required to be cleared must be traded on a regulated execution facility or contract market that makes them available for trading. The transition from trading swaps bilaterally to trading them on such a facility or market may not result in swaps being easier to trade or value and may present certain execution risks if these facilities and markets do not operate properly. On-facility trading of swaps is also expected to lead to greater standardization of their terms. It is possible that the Portfolio may not be able to enter into swaps that fully meet its investment needs, or that the costs of entering into customized swaps, including any applicable margin requirements, will be significant.

Because they are two party contracts that may be subject to contractual restrictions on transferability and termination and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid and subject to the Portfolio’s and Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. To the extent that a swap is not liquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. Like most other investments, swap agreements are subject to the risk that the market value of the instrument will change in a way detrimental to the Portfolio’s and Fund’s interest.

If the Portfolio uses a swap as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the Portfolio and Fund will be exposed to the risk that the swap will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation with the portfolio investment. This could cause substantial losses for the Portfolio and, therefore, the Fund. While hedging strategies involving swap instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other Portfolio investments. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively.

CONTINUOUS OFFERING

The method by which Creation Units of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of Shares are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur. 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-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. 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. Firms that incur a prospectus-delivery obligation with respect to Shares of the Fund are reminded that under Securities Act Rule 153, a prospectus-delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the Fund’s Prospectus is available at the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

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

 

1. Purchase securities of an issuer that would cause the Fund or Portfolio to fail to satisfy the diversification requirement for a diversified management company under the 1940 Act, the rules or regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time;

 

2. Concentrate investments in a particular industry or group of industries, as concentration is defined under the 1940 Act, the Rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time;1

 

1 The SEC Staff considers concentration to involve more than 25% of a fund’s assets to be invested in an industry or group of industries.

 

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3. Make loans to another person except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund or Portfolio;

 

4. Issue senior securities or borrow money except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund or Portfolio;

 

5. Invest directly in real estate unless the real estate is acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction shall not preclude the Fund from investing in companies that deal in real estate or in instruments that are backed or secured by real estate;

 

6. Act as an underwriter of another issuer’s securities, except to the extent the Fund or Portfolio may be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with the Fund’s or Portfolio’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities; or

 

7. Invest in commodities except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund or Portfolio.

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

 

1. Invest in the securities of a company for the purpose of exercising management or control, provided that the Trust or the SSgA Master Trust may vote the investment securities owned by the Fund or Portfolio in accordance with its views; or

 

2. Hold illiquid assets in excess of 15% of its net assets. An illiquid asset is any asset which may not be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value at which the Fund or Portfolio has valued the investment.

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 observed continuously. With respect to the limitation on borrowing, in the event that a subsequent change in net assets or other circumstances cause the Fund or Portfolio to exceed its limitation, the Fund or Portfolio will take steps to bring the aggregate amount of borrowing back within the limitations within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays). With respect to the limitation on illiquid securities, in the event that a subsequent change in net assets or other circumstances cause the Fund or Portfolio to exceed its limitation, the Fund or Portfolio will take steps to bring the aggregate amount of illiquid instruments back within the limitations as soon as reasonably practicable.

The 1940 Act currently permits each of the Portfolio and the Fund to loan up to 33 1/3% of its total assets. With respect to borrowing, the 1940 Act presently allows each of the Portfolio and the Fund to: (1) borrow from any bank (including pledging, mortgaging or hypothecating assets) in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets, (2) borrow money for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of each of the Portfolio’s and the Fund ’s total assets at the time of the loan, and (3) enter into reverse repurchase agreements. However, under normal circumstances any borrowings by the Fund will not exceed 10% of the Fund’s total assets. The 1940 Act generally prohibits funds from issuing senior securities, although it does not treat certain transactions as senior securities, such as certain borrowings, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements, firm commitment agreements and standby commitments, with appropriate earmarking or segregation of assets to cover such obligation. With respect to investments in commodities, the 1940 Act presently permits each of the Portfolio and the Fund to invest in commodities in accordance with investment policies contained in its prospectus and SAI. Any such investment shall also comply with the Commodity Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.

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 “PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION” and “ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION.” The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Prospectus.

The Shares of the Fund are approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance. The Shares trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ to some degree from their net asset value. 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.

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 portfolio of securities on which the Fund is based is no longer calculated or available; (3) the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”) of the Fund is no longer calculated or available; or (4) 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 or the Fund.

 

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The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share price of the Fund in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.

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

The base and trading currencies of the Fund is the U.S. dollar. The base currency is the currency in which the Fund’s net asset value per Share is calculated and the trading currency is the currency in which Shares of the Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange.

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

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

Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series, including the Fund described in this SAI, are overseen by the Trustees. The Board has approved contracts, as described in this SAI, under which certain companies provide essential management services to the Trust.

Like most mutual funds, the day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third party service providers, such as the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, Distributor and Administrator. The Trustees are responsible for overseeing the Trust’s service providers and, thus, have oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. Risk management seeks 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 Fund. The Fund and its service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various of those 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. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust’s business (e.g., an adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio investments) and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to the Fund’s service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.

The Trustees’ role in risk oversight begins before the inception of the Fund, at which time the Fund’s Adviser and Sub-Adviser present the Board with information concerning the investment objectives, strategies and risks of the Fund, as well as proposed investment limitations for the Fund. Additionally, the Fund’s Adviser and Sub-Adviser provide the Board with an overview of, among other things, their investment philosophies, brokerage practices and compliance infrastructures. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, as well as personnel of the Adviser, Sub-Adviser and other service providers, such as the Fund’s independent accountants, make periodic reports to the Audit Committee or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board and the Audit Committee oversee efforts by management and service providers to manage risks to which the Fund may be exposed.

The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the Fund by the Adviser and Sub-Adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis, in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the Advisory Agreement and Sub-Advisory Agreement with the Adviser and Sub-Adviser, respectively, the Board meets with the Adviser and Sub-Adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the Adviser’s and Sub-Adviser’s adherence to the Fund’s investment restrictions and compliance with various Fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the Fund’s investments.

The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues. At least annually, the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer provides the Board with a report reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s policies and procedures and those of its service providers, including the Adviser. The report addresses the operation of the policies and procedures of the Trust and each service provider since the date of the last report; any material changes to the policies and procedures since the date of the last report; any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures; and any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.

The Board receives reports from the Fund’s service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. Regular reports are made to the Board concerning investments for which market quotations are not readily available. Annually, the independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit Committee its audit of the Fund’s financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the Fund and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the Fund’s internal controls. Additionally, in connection with its oversight function, the Board oversees Fund management’s implementation of disclosure controls and procedures, which are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Trust in its periodic reports with the SEC are recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods. The Board also oversees the Trust’s internal controls over financial reporting, which comprise policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the Trust’s financial reporting and the preparation of the Trust’s financial statements.

 

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From their review of these reports and discussions with the Adviser and Sub-Adviser, the Chief Compliance Officer, the independent registered public accounting firm and other service providers, the Board and the Audit Committee learn in detail about the material risks of the Fund, thereby facilitating a dialogue about how management and service providers identify and mitigate those risks.

The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified and/or quantified, 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 Fund’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 as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Fund’s investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Fund’s Adviser, Sub-Adviser and other service providers, each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the Fund’s and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.

Trustees and Officers. There are six members of the Board of Trustees, five of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (“Independent Trustees”). Frank Nesvet, an Independent Trustee, serves as Chairman of the Board. The Board has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Board made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees constitute a super-majority (greater than 75%) of the Board, the fact that the chairperson of each Committee of the Board is an Independent Trustee, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds (and classes of shares) overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from fund management.

The Board of Trustees has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and Trustee Committee. The Audit Committee and Trustee Committee are each chaired by an Independent Trustee and composed of all of the Independent Trustees.

Set forth below are the names, year of birth, position with the Trust, length of term of office, and the principal occupations during the last five years and other directorships held of each of the persons currently serving as a Trustee or Officer of the Trust.

TRUSTEES

 

NAME, ADDRESS

AND YEAR OF BIRTH

  

POSITION(S)

WITH FUND

  

TERM OF

OFFICE AND

LENGTH OF

TIME SERVED

  

PRINCIPAL

OCCUPATION(S)

DURING PAST

5 YEARS

  

NUMBER OF
PORTFOLIOS

IN FUND
COMPLEX
OVERSEEN
BY TRUSTEE

  

OTHER

DIRECTORSHIPS

HELD BY TRUSTEE
DURING THE PAST
5 YEARS

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES               

FRANK NESVET

c/o SSgA Active ETF Trust

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111-2900

1943

  

Independent

Trustee,

Chairman, Trustee Committee Chair

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

March 2011

   Chief Executive Officer, Libra Group, Inc. (1998-present) (a financial services consulting company).    175    SPDR Index Shares Funds (Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee).

DAVID M. KELLY

c/o SSgA Active ETF Trust

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111-2900

1938

  

Independent

Trustee, Audit Committee Chair

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since March 2011

   Retired.    175    Penson Worldwide Inc. (Former Director, retired); SPDR Index Shares Funds (Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee).

BONNY EUGENIA BOATMAN

c/o SSgA Active ETF Trust

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111-2900

1950

  

Independent

Trustee

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

March 2011

  

Retired (2005 -present);

Managing Director, Columbia Management Group, Bank of America (1984-2005).

   175   

SPDR Index

Shares Funds

(Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee).

 

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NAME, ADDRESS

AND YEAR OF BIRTH

  

POSITION(S)

WITH FUND

  

TERM OF

OFFICE AND

LENGTH OF

TIME SERVED

  

PRINCIPAL

OCCUPATION(S)

DURING PAST

5 YEARS

  

NUMBER OF
PORTFOLIOS

IN FUND
COMPLEX
OVERSEEN
BY TRUSTEE

  

OTHER

DIRECTORSHIPS

HELD BY TRUSTEE
DURING THE PAST
5 YEARS

DWIGHT D. CHURCHILL

c/o SSgA Active ETF Trust

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111-2900

1953

  

Independent

Trustee

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

March 2011

   Self-employed consultant since 2010; Head of Fixed Income and other Senior Management roles, Fidelity Investments (1993-2009).    175    SPDR Index Shares Funds (Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee); Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (Director).

CARL G. VERBONCOEUR

c/o SSgA Active ETF Trust

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111-2900

1952

  

Independent

Trustee

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

March 2011

   Self-employed consultant since 2009; Chief Executive Officer, Rydex Investments (2003-2009).    175    The Motley Fool Funds Trust (Trustee); SPDR Index Shares Funds (Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee).

INTERESTED TRUSTEE

              

JAMES E. ROSS*

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111

1965

  

Interested

Trustee

  

Term: Unlimited

Served as

Trustee: since

March 2011

  

Chairman and Director, SSgA

Funds Management,

Inc. (2005-present); Senior Managing Director and

Principal, State Street Global Advisors (2006-present); President, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (2005-2012).

   203   

SPDR Index

Shares Funds (Trustee); SPDR Series Trust (Trustee); SSgA Master Trust (Trustee); Select Sector SPDR Trust (Trustee); State Street Master Funds (Trustee); and State Street Institutional Investment Trust (Trustee).

 

* Mr. Ross is an Interested Trustee because of his employment with the Adviser and ownership interest in an affiliate of the Adviser.

 

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OFFICERS

 

NAME, ADDRESS

AND YEAR OF BIRTH

  

POSITION(S)

WITH FUNDS

  

TERM OF

OFFICE AND

LENGTH OF

TIME SERVED

  

PRINCIPAL

OCCUPATION(S)

DURING PAST

5 YEARS

ELLEN M. NEEDHAM

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111

1967

   President   

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

October 2012

   President and Director, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (June 2012-present); Chief Operating Officer, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (May 2010-June 2012); Senior Managing Director, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (1992-2012)*; Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors (1992-present).*

ANN M. CARPENTER

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111

1966

  

Vice

President

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

August 2012

   Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (2005-present).*

MICHAEL P. RILEY

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111

1969

  

Vice

President

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

February 2005

   Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (2008-present); Principal, State Street Global Advisors and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (2005-2008).

CHRISTOPHER A. MADDEN

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Four Copley Place, CPH0326

Boston, MA 02116

1967

   Secretary   

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

August 2013

   Senior Vice President and Managing Counsel, State Street Bank and Trust Company (2013-present); Counsel, Atlantic Fund Services (2009-2013); Vice President, Citigroup Fund Services, LLC (2005-2009).*

DANIO MASTROPIERI

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Four Copley Place, CPH0326

Boston, MA 02116

1972

  

Assistant

Secretary

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

August 2013

   Vice President and Counsel, State Street Bank and Trust Company (2013-present); Vice President, Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (2007-2013).*

CHAD C. HALLETT

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Four Copley Place, CPH0328

Boston, MA 02116

1969

   Treasurer   

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

November 2010

   Vice President, State Street Bank and Trust Company (2001-present).*

MATTHEW FLAHERTY

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Four Copley Place, CPH0328

Boston, MA 02116

1971

  

Assistant

Treasurer

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

May 2005

   Vice President, State Street Bank and Trust Company (1994-present).*

LAURA F. DELL

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Four Copley Place, CPH0328

Boston, MA 02116

1964

  

Assistant

Treasurer

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

November 2007

   Vice President, State Street Bank and Trust Company (2002-present).*

BRIAN HARRIS

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

State Street Financial Center

One Lincoln Street

Boston, MA 02111

1973

  

Chief Compliance

Officer

  

Term: Unlimited

Served: since

November 2013

  

Vice President, State Street Global

Advisors and SSgA Funds

Management, Inc. (2013-Present);

Senior Vice President and Global

Head of Investment Compliance,

BofA Global Capital Management

(2010-2013); Director of Compliance,

AARP Financial Inc. (2008-2010).

 

* Served in various capacities and/or with various affiliated entities during noted time period.

 

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Individual Trustee Qualifications

The Board has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve on the Board because of his or her ability to review and understand information about the Fund provided to him or her by management, to identify and request other information he or she may deem relevant to the performance of his or her duties, to question management and other service providers regarding material factors bearing on the management and administration of the Fund, and to exercise his or her business judgment in a manner that serves the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders. The Board has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve as a Trustee based on his or her own experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as described below.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Nesvet should serve as Trustee because of the experience he has gained serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a financial services consulting company, serving on the boards of other investment companies, and serving as chief financial officer of a major financial services company; his knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since 2000.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Kelly should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Securities Clearing Corporation, his previous directorship experience, and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since 2000.

The Board has concluded that Ms. Boatman should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as Managing Director of the primary investment division of one of the nation’s leading financial institutions, her knowledge of the financial services industry and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since April 2010.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Churchill should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as the Head of the Fixed Income Division of one of the nation’s leading mutual fund companies and provider of financial services, his knowledge of the financial services industry and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since April 2010.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Verboncoeur should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a large financial services and investment management company, his knowledge of the financial services industry and his experience serving on the boards of other investment companies, including SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since April 2010.

The Board has concluded that Mr. Ross should serve as Trustee because of the experience he has gained in his various roles with the Adviser, his knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds and SPDR Series Trust since 2005 (Mr. Ross did not serve as Trustee of SPDR Index Shares Funds or SPDR Series Trust from December 2009 until April 2010).

In its periodic assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board’s overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the Fund.

REMUNERATION OF THE TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

No officer, director or employee of the Adviser, its parent or subsidiaries receives any compensation from the Trust for serving as an officer or Trustee of the Trust. The Trust, SSgA Master Trust, SPDR Series Trust and SPDR Index Shares Funds (together with the Trust, the “Trusts”) pay, in the aggregate, each Independent Trustee an annual fee of $170,000 plus $10,000 per in-person meeting attended. An Independent Trustee will receive $1,250 for each telephonic or video conference meeting attended. The Chairman of the Board receives an additional annual fee of $50,000 and the Chairman of the Audit Committee receives an additional annual fee of $20,000. Prior to July 1, 2013, each Independent Trustee received an annual fee of $150,000 plus $10,000 per in-person meeting attended and $1,250 for each telephonic or video conference meeting attended. The Chairman of the Board received an additional annual fee of $50,000 and the Chairman of the Audit Committee received an additional annual fee of $20,000. The Trust also reimburses each Independent Trustee for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by him/her in connection with attending such meetings and in connection with attending industry seminars and meetings. Trustee fees are allocated between the Trusts and each of their respective series in such a manner as deemed equitable, taking into consideration the relative net assets of the series.

 

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Table of Contents

The table below shows the compensation that the Independent Trustees received during the Trust’s fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

 

NAME OF

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEE

   AGGREGATE
COMPENSATION
FROM THE TRUST
    PENSION OR
RETIREMENT
BENEFITS
ACCRUED AS
PART OF TRUST

EXPENSES
     ESTIMATED
ANNUAL
BENEFITS UPON
RETIREMENT
     TOTAL
COMPENSATION
FROM THE TRUST
AND FUND
COMPLEX PAID
TO TRUSTEES(1)
 

Frank Nesvet

     [—   (2)]      N/A         N/A       $ 262,500.00   

Bonny Boatman

     [—   (2)]      N/A         N/A       $ 212,500.00   

Dwight Churchill

     [—   (2)]      N/A         N/A       $ 212,500.00   

David M. Kelly

     [—   (2)]      N/A         N/A       $ 232,500.00   

Carl Verboncoeur

     [—   (2)]      N/A         N/A       $ 212,500.00   

 

(1) The Fund Complex includes the Trust.
(2) [De minimis Amount]

STANDING COMMITTEES

Audit Committee. The Board has an Audit Committee consisting of all Independent Trustees. Mr. Kelly serves as Chair. The Audit Committee meets with the Trust’s independent auditors to review and approve the scope and results of their professional services; to review the procedures for evaluating the adequacy of the Trust’s accounting controls; to consider the range of audit fees; and to make recommendations to the Board regarding the engagement of the Trust’s independent auditors. The Audit Committee met four (4) times during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Trustee Committee. The Board has established a Trustee Committee consisting of all Independent Trustees. Mr. Nesvet serves as Chair. The responsibilities of the Trustee Committee are to: 1) nominate Independent Trustees; 2) review on a periodic basis the governance structures and procedures of the Fund; 3) review proposed resolutions and conflicts of interest that may arise in the business of the Fund and may have an impact on the investors of the Fund; 4) review matters that are referred to the Committee by the Chief Legal Officer or other counsel to the Trust; and 5) provide general oversight of the Fund on behalf of the investors of the Fund. The Trustee Committee met three (3) times during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013. The Trustee Committee does not have specific procedures in place with respect to the consideration of nominees recommended by security holders, but may consider such nominees in the event that one is recommended

OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES

As of December 31, 2013, neither the Independent Trustees nor their immediate family members owned beneficially or of record any securities in the Fund, Trust, Adviser, Sub-Adviser, Principal Underwriter or any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser, Sub-Adviser or Principal Underwriter.

CODES OF ETHICS

The Trust, Adviser (which includes applicable reporting personnel of the Distributor) and Sub-Adviser each have adopted a code of ethics as required by applicable law, which is designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Adviser, Sub-Adviser and Distributor from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Fund (which may also be held by persons subject to the codes of ethics).

There can be no assurance that the codes of ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. Each code of ethics, filed as exhibits to this registration statement, may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C. or on the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

PROXY VOTING POLICIES

The Board of Trustees of the SSgA Master Trust believes that the voting of proxies on securities held by the Portfolio is an important element of the overall investment process. As such, the Board of the SSgA Master Trust has delegated the responsibility to vote such proxies to the Sub-Adviser. The Adviser’s and Sub-Adviser’s proxy voting policies are attached at the end of this SAI. Information regarding how the Portfolio voted proxies relating to its portfolio securities during the most recent twelve-month period ended June 30 is available: (1) without charge by calling 1-866-787-2257; (2) on the Portfolio’s website at www.spdrs.com; and (3) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

 

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Table of Contents

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS POLICY

The Trust and the SSgA Master Trust have each has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the respective Trust’s portfolio holdings. The respective Board must approve all material amendments to this policy. The Fund’s or Portfolio’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund or Portfolio 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 Fund/Portfolio Shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund or the Portfolio. Each Trust, the Adviser, Sub-Adviser or State Street will not disseminate non-public information concerning either Trust, except: (i) to a party for a legitimate business purpose related to the day-to-day operations of the Fund or the Portfolio, or (ii) to any other party for a legitimate business or regulatory purpose, upon waiver or exception.

THE INVESTMENT ADVISER

SSgA FM acts as investment adviser to the Trust and, subject to the supervision of the Board, is responsible for the investment management of the Fund. As of [            ], 2014, the Adviser managed approximately $[            ] billion in assets. The Adviser’s principal address is State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. The Adviser, a Massachusetts corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation, a publicly held bank holding company. State Street Global Advisors (“SSgA”), consisting of the Adviser and other investment advisory affiliates of State Street Corporation, is the investment management arm of State Street Corporation.

The Adviser serves as investment adviser to the Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement (“Investment Advisory Agreement”) between the Trust and the Adviser. The Investment Advisory Agreement, with respect to the Fund, continues in effect for two years from its effective date, and thereafter is subject to annual approval by (1) the Board or (2) 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 Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund 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 Advisory Agreement is also terminable upon 90 days’ notice by the Adviser and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

Under the Investment Advisory 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 Advisory 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 (a) willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties; (b) the reckless disregard of its obligations and duties; or (c) a loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty with respect to the receipt of compensation for services.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreements regarding the Fund will be available in the Trust’s [Semi-]Annual Report to Shareholders dated [            ], 2014.

For the services provided to the Fund under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Fund pays the Adviser monthly fees based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets as set forth in the Fund’s Prospectus. With respect to the Fund, the management fee is reduced by the proportional amount of the advisory fee, as well as acquired fund fees and expenses, of the Portfolio. The Adviser pays all expenses of the Fund other than the management fee, distribution fees pursuant to the Distribution and Service Plan, if any, brokerage, taxes, interest, fees and expenses of the Independent Trustees (including any Trustee’s counsel fees), litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses. The Adviser may, from time to time, waive all or a portion of its fee, although it does not currently intend to do so. The Adviser has agreed to pay all costs associated with the organization of the Trust and the Fund.

The Fund had not commenced operations as of June 30, 2013 and therefore did not pay fees to the Adviser for the past three fiscal years.

INVESTMENT SUB-ADVISER

Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement between the Fund and the Adviser, the Adviser is authorized to engage one or more sub-advisers for the performance of any of the services contemplated to be rendered by the Adviser. The Adviser has retained DoubleLine Capital LP (the “Sub-Adviser”) as sub-adviser, to be responsible for the day to day management of the Fund’s investments, subject to supervision of the Adviser and the Board while the Adviser will provide administrative, compliance and general management services to the Fund. The Sub-Adviser is located at 333 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1800, Los Angeles, California 90071. As of March 31, 2014, the Sub-Adviser had approximately $49 billion of assets under management. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be available in the Trust’s [Semi-]Annual Report to Shareholders dated [            ], 2014.

In accordance with the Sub-Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser, the Adviser will pay the Sub-Adviser an annual investment sub-advisory fee equal to a portion of average daily net assets of the Fund.

 

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Table of Contents

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund are:

 

Fund

  

Portfolio Managers

SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF    Jeffrey E. Gundlach and Philip A. Barach

The following table lists the number and types of accounts managed by each of the key professionals involved in the day-to-day portfolio management for the Fund and assets under management in those accounts as of [            ], 2014. The Portfolio Managers are primarily responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund.

 

Portfolio Manager

   Registered
Investment
Company
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
(billions)*
    Pooled
Investment
Vehicle
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
(billions)*
    Other
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
(billions)*
    Total
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
 

Jeffrey E. Gundlach

     [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [       $ [    

Philip A. Barach

     [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [       $ [    

 

* There are no performance fees associated with these portfolios.

The Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI and therefore the portfolio managers did not beneficially own any Fund Shares.

Portfolio Manager Compensation – DoubleLine

The overall objective of the compensation program for portfolio managers is for the Sub-Adviser to attract competent and expert investment professionals and to retain them over the long-term. Compensation is comprised of several components which, in the aggregate are designed to achieve these objectives and to reward the portfolio managers for their contribution to the success of their clients and the Sub-Adviser. Portfolio managers are generally compensated through a combination of base salary, discretionary bonus and equity participation in the Sub-Adviser. Bonuses and equity generally represent most of the portfolio managers’ compensation. However, in some cases, portfolio managers may have a profit sharing interest in the revenue or income related to the areas for which the portfolio managers are responsible. Such profit sharing arrangements can comprise a significant portion of a portfolio manager’s overall compensation.

Salary. Salary is agreed to with managers at time of employment and is reviewed from time to time. It does not change significantly and often does not constitute a significant part of a portfolio manager’s compensation.

Discretionary Bonus/Guaranteed Minimums. Portfolio managers receive discretionary bonuses. However, in some cases, pursuant to contractual arrangements, some portfolio managers may be entitled to a mandatory minimum bonus if the sum of their salary and profit sharing does not reach certain levels.

Equity Incentives. Portfolio managers participate in equity incentives based on overall firm performance of the Sub-Adviser, through direct ownership interests in the Sub-Adviser or participation in stock option or stock appreciation plans of Sub-Adviser. These ownership interests or participation interests provide eligible portfolio managers the opportunity to participate in the financial performance of the Sub-Adviser as a whole. Participation is generally determined in the discretion of the Sub-Adviser, taking into account factors relevant to the portfolio manager’s contribution to the success of the Sub-Adviser.

Other Plans and Compensation Vehicles. Portfolio managers may elect to participate in the Sub-Adviser’s 401(k) plan, to which they may contribute a portion of their pre- and post-tax compensation to the plan for investment on a tax-deferred basis. The Sub-Adviser may also choose, from time to time to offer certain other compensation plans and vehicles, such as a deferred compensation plan, to portfolio managers.

Summary. As described above, an investment professional’s total compensation is determined through a subjective process that evaluates numerous quantitative and qualitative factors, including the contribution made to the overall investment process. Not all factors apply to each investment professional and there is no particular weighting or formula for considering certain factors. Among the factors considered are: relative investment performance of portfolios (although there are no specific benchmarks or periods of time used in measuring performance); complexity of investment strategies; participation in the investment team’s dialogue; contribution to business results and overall business strategy; success of marketing/business development efforts and client servicing; seniority/length of service with the firm; management and supervisory responsibilities; and fulfillment of the Sub-Adviser’s leadership criteria.

Potential Conflicts of Interest

The Sub-Adviser seeks to identify potential conflicts of interest resulting from a portfolio manager’s management of both the Fund and other accounts, and has adopted policies and procedures designed to address such potential conflicts.

 

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Table of Contents

From time to time, potential and actual conflicts of interest may arise between a portfolio manager’s management of the investments of the Fund, on the one hand, and the management of other accounts, on the other. Potential and actual conflicts of interest also may result because of the Sub-Adviser’s other business activities. Other accounts managed by a portfolio manager might have similar investment objectives or strategies as the Fund, be managed (benchmarked) against the same index the Fund tracks, or otherwise hold, purchase, or sell securities that are eligible to be held, purchased or sold by the Fund. The other accounts might also have different investment objectives or strategies than the Fund.

Knowledge and Timing of Fund Trades. A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the portfolio manager’s management of the Fund. Because of their positions with the Fund, the portfolio managers know the size, timing and possible market impact of the Fund’s trades. It is theoretically possible that a portfolio manager could use this information to the advantage of other accounts under management, and also theoretically possible that actions could be taken (or not taken) to the detriment of the Fund.

Investment Opportunities. A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the portfolio manager’s management of a number of accounts with varying investment guidelines. Often, an investment opportunity may be suitable for both the Fund and other accounts managed by the portfolio manager, but securities may not be available in sufficient quantities for both the Fund and the other accounts to participate fully. Similarly, there may be limited opportunity to sell an investment held by the Fund and another account. The Sub-Adviser has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to allocate investment opportunities on a fair and equitable basis over time.

Under the Sub-Adviser’s allocation procedures, investment opportunities are allocated among various investment strategies based on individual account investment guidelines, the Sub-Adviser’s investment outlook, cash availability and a series of other factors. The Sub-Adviser has also adopted additional internal practices to complement the general trade allocation policy that are designed to address potential conflicts of interest due to the side-by-side management of the Fund and certain pooled investment vehicles, including investment opportunity allocation issues.

Conflicts potentially limiting the Fund’s investment opportunities may also arise when the Fund and other clients of the Sub-Adviser invest in, or even conduct research relating to, different parts of an issuer’s capital structure, such as when the Fund owns senior debt obligations of an issuer and other clients own junior tranches of the same issuer. In such circumstances, decisions over whether to trigger an event of default, over the terms of any workout, or how to exit an investment may result in conflicts of interest. In order to minimize such conflicts, a portfolio manager may avoid certain investment opportunities that would potentially give rise to conflicts with other clients of the Sub-Adviser or result in the Sub-Adviser receiving material, non-public information, or the Sub-Adviser may enact internal procedures designed to minimize such conflicts, which could have the effect of limiting the Fund’s investment opportunities. Additionally, if the Sub-Adviser acquires material non-public confidential information in connection with its business activities for other clients, a portfolio manager or other investment personnel may be restricted from purchasing securities or selling certain securities for the Fund or other clients. When making investment decisions where a conflict of interest may arise, the Sub-Adviser will endeavor to act in a fair and equitable manner between the Fund and other clients; however, in certain instances the resolution of the conflict may result in the Sub-Adviser acting on behalf of another client in a manner that may not be in the best interest, or may be opposed to the best interest, of the Fund.

Broad and Wide-Ranging Activities. The portfolio managers, the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates engage in a broad spectrum of activities. In the ordinary course of their business activities, the portfolio managers, the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates may engage in activities where the interests of certain divisions of the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates or the interests of their clients may conflict with the interests of the shareholders of the Fund.

Possible Future Activities. The Sub-Adviser and its affiliates may expand the range of services that it provides over time. Except as provided herein, the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates will not be restricted in the scope of its business or in the performance of any such services (whether now offered or undertaken in the future) even if such activities could give rise to conflicts of interest, and whether or not such conflicts are described herein. The Sub-Adviser and its affiliates have, and will continue to develop, relationships with a significant number of companies, financial sponsors and their senior managers, including relationships with clients who may hold or may have held investments similar to those intended to be made by the Fund. These clients may themselves represent appropriate investment opportunities for the Fund or may compete with the Fund for investment opportunities.

Performance Fees and Personal Investments. A portfolio manager may advise certain accounts with respect to which the advisory fee is based entirely or partially on performance or in respect of which the portfolio manager may have made a significant personal investment. Such circumstances may create a conflict of interest for the portfolio manager in that the portfolio manager may have an incentive to allocate the investment opportunities that he or she believes might be the most profitable to such other accounts instead of allocating them to the Fund. The Sub-Adviser has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to allocate investment opportunities between the Fund and performance fee based accounts on a fair and equitable basis over time.

 

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THE ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

State Street, located at State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, serves as Administrator for the Trust pursuant to an administration agreement (“Administration Agreement”). Under the Administration Agreement, State Street is responsible for certain administrative services associated with day-to-day operations of the Fund.

Pursuant to the Administration Agreement, the Trust has agreed to a limitation on damages and to indemnify the Administrator for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws; provided, however, such indemnity of the Administrator shall not apply in the case of the Administrator’s gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties. Under the Custodian Agreement and Transfer Agency Agreement, as described below, the Trust has also provided indemnities to State Street for certain liabilities.

State Street also serves as Custodian for the Fund pursuant to a custodian agreement (“Custodian Agreement”). As Custodian, State Street holds the Fund’s assets, calculates the net asset value of the Shares and calculates net income and realized capital gains or losses. State Street and the Trust will comply with the self-custodian provisions of Rule 17f-2 under the 1940 Act.

State Street also serves as Transfer Agent of the Fund pursuant to a transfer agency agreement (“Transfer Agency Agreement”).

Compensation. As compensation for its services under the Administration Agreement, the Custodian Agreement, and Transfer Agency Agreement, State Street shall receive a fee for its services, calculated based on the average aggregate net assets of the Trusts, as follows: 0.0125% of average net assets for all series of the Trust. In addition, State Street shall receive global safekeeping and transaction fees, which are calculated on a per-country basis, in-kind creation (purchase) and redemption transaction fees (as described below) and revenue on certain cash balances. State Street may be reimbursed by the Fund for its out-of-pocket expenses. The Investment Advisory Agreement provides that the Adviser will pay certain operating expenses of the Trust, including the fees due to State Street under each of the Administration Agreement, the Custodian Agreement and the Transfer Agency Agreement.

THE DISTRIBUTOR

State Street Global Markets, LLC is the principal underwriter and Distributor of Shares. Its principal address is State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. Investor information can be obtained by calling 1-866-787-2257. The Distributor has entered into a distribution agreement (“Distribution Agreement”) with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes Shares of the Fund. The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable annually thereafter. Shares will be continuously offered for sale by the Trust through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described in the Prospectus and below under “PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS.” Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver the Prospectus to persons purchasing 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 Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (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 assist Authorized Participants (as defined below) in assembling shares to purchase Creation Units or upon redemption, for which it may receive commissions or other fees from such Authorized Participants. The Distributor also receives compensation from State Street for providing on-line creation and redemption functionality to Authorized Participants through its Fund Connect application.

The Adviser or Distributor, or an affiliate of the Adviser or Distributor, may directly or indirectly make cash payments to certain broker-dealers for participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives and other professionals more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems. Payments to a broker-dealer or intermediary may create potential conflicts of interest between the broker-dealer or intermediary and its clients. These amounts, which may be significant, are paid by the Adviser and/or Distributor from their own resources and not from the assets of the Fund. As of February 7, 2013, the Adviser and/or Distributor had arrangements to make payments, other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, only to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Pursuant to the arrangement with Schwab, Schwab has agreed to promote certain SPDR Funds to Schwab’s customers and not to charge certain of its customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of certain SPDR Funds.

The Fund has adopted a Distribution and Service (Rule 12b-1) Plan (a “Plan”) pursuant to which payments of up to 0.25% may be made. No payments pursuant to the Plan will be made during the next twelve (12) months of operation. Under its terms, the Plan remains in effect from year to year, provided such continuance is approved annually by vote of the Board, including a majority of the “Independent Trustees” (Trustees who are not interested persons of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any agreement related to the Plan). The Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount to be spent for the services provided by the Distributor without approval by the shareholders of the Fund to which the Plan applies, and all material amendments of the Plan also require Board approval (as described above). The Plan may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees, or, by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as such vote is defined in the 1940 Act). Pursuant to the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor will provide the Board with periodic reports of any amounts expended under the Plan and the purpose for which such expenditures were made.

 

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The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, as to the Fund: (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).

Pursuant to agreements entered into with such persons, the Distributor will make payments under the Plan to certain broker-dealers or other persons (“Investor Services Organizations”) that enter into agreements with the Distributor in the form approved by the Board to provide distribution assistance and shareholder support, account maintenance and educational and promotional services (which may include compensation and sales incentives to the registered brokers or other sales personnel of the broker-dealer or other financial entity that is a party to an investor services agreement) (“Investor Services Agreements”). No such Investor Services Agreements will be entered into during the first twelve months of operation. Each Investor Services Agreement will be a “related agreement” under the Plan. No Investor Services Agreement will provide for annual fees of more than 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets per annum attributable to Shares subject to such agreement.

Subject to an aggregate limitation of 0.25% of the Fund’s average net assets per annum, the fees paid by the Fund under the Plan will be compensation for distribution, investor services or marketing services for the Fund. To the extent the Plan fees aggregate less than 0.25% per annum of the average daily net assets of the Fund, the Fund may also reimburse the Distributor and other persons for their respective costs incurred in printing prospectuses and producing advertising or marketing material prepared at the request of the Fund. The aggregate payments under the Plan will not exceed, on an annualized basis, 0.25% of average daily net assets of the Fund. The continuation of the Distribution Agreement, any Investor Services Agreements and any other related agreements is subject to annual approval of the Board, including by a majority of the Independent Trustees, as described above.

Each of the Investor Services Agreements will provide 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 of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, on at least 60 days’ written notice to the other party. Each of the Distribution Agreement and the Investor Services Agreements 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). Each Investor Services Agreement is also terminable by the applicable Investor Service Organization upon 60 days’ notice to the other party thereto.

The allocation among the Trust’s series of fees and expenses payable under the Distribution Agreement and the Investor Services Agreements will be made pro rata in accordance with the daily net assets of the respective series.

The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Unit aggregations of Fund Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Participating Parties (as defined in the “Book Entry Only System” section below), DTC Participants (as defined below) and/or Investor Services Organizations.

Pursuant to the Distribution Agreement, the Trust has agreed to indemnify the Distributor, and may indemnify Soliciting Dealers and Authorized Participants (as described below) entering into agreements with the Distributor, 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 under the Distribution Agreement or other agreement, as applicable.

BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS

The policy of the Trust regarding purchases and sales of securities for the Fund is that primary consideration will be given to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the Trust’s policy is to pay commissions which are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. The Trust believes that a requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund, Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser relies upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage and research services received from the broker effecting the transaction. Such determinations are necessarily subjective and imprecise, as in most cases an exact dollar value for those services is not ascertainable. The Trust has adopted policies and procedures that prohibit the consideration of sales of the Fund’s Shares as a factor in the selection of a broker or dealer to execute its portfolio transactions.

In selecting a broker/dealer for each specific transaction, the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser chooses the broker/dealer deemed most capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable execution and does not take the sales of Fund Shares into account. The Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser considers the full range of brokerage services applicable to a particular transaction that may be considered when making this judgment, which may include, but is not limited to: liquidity, price, commission, timing, aggregated trades, capable floor brokers or traders, competent block trading coverage, ability to position, capital strength and stability, reliable and accurate communications and settlement processing, use of automation, knowledge of other buyers or sellers, arbitrage skills, administrative ability, underwriting and provision of information on a particular security or market in which the transaction is to

 

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occur. The specific criteria will vary depending upon the nature of the transaction, the market in which it is executed, and the extent to which it is possible to select from among multiple broker/dealers. The Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser will also use electronic crossing networks when appropriate.

The Adviser does not currently use the Fund’s assets for, or participate in, third party soft dollar arrangements, although the Adviser may receive proprietary research from various full service brokers, the cost of which is bundled with the cost of the broker’s execution services. The Adviser does not “pay up” for the value of any such proprietary research. The Adviser may aggregate trades with clients of SSgA, whose commission dollars may be used to generate soft dollar credits for SSgA. Although the Adviser’s clients’ commissions are not used for third party soft dollars, the Adviser’s and SSgA’s clients may benefit from the soft dollar products/services received by SSgA.

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 and consistent with its fiduciary obligations 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 prompt execution of orders at the most favorable net price.

The Fund will not deal with affiliates in principal transactions unless permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation.

The Fund had not commenced operations as of June 30, 2013 and therefore did not pay brokerage commissions during the past fiscal year.

Securities of “Regular Broker-Dealer.” The Fund is required to identify any securities of its “regular brokers and dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) which it may hold at the close of its most recent fiscal year. “Regular brokers or dealers” of the Trust are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year: (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from the Trust’s portfolio transactions; (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of portfolio transactions of the Trust; or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of the Trust’s shares. The Fund was not operational and has not engaged in transactions prior to the date of this SAI.

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 or transaction costs. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions and transaction costs is evaluated by the Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions and transaction costs paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION.”

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, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Except in the limited circumstance provided below, 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 of the Fund held by each DTC Participant. The Trust, either directly or through a third party service, 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, either directly or through a third party service, shall provide each such DTC Participant with

 

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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 and/or third party service 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 of the Fund 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 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.

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

The Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI and therefore did not have any beneficial owners that owned greater than 5% of the outstanding voting securities as of the date of this SAI.

An Authorized Participant (as defined below) may hold of record more than 25% of the outstanding Shares of the Fund. From time to time, Authorized Participants may be a beneficial and/or legal owner of the Fund, may be affiliated with an index provider, may be deemed to have control of the Fund and/or may be able to affect the outcome of matters presented for a vote of the shareholders of the Fund. Authorized Participants may execute an irrevocable proxy granting the Distributor or another affiliate of State Street (the “Agent”) power to vote or abstain from voting such Authorized Participant’s beneficially or legally owned Shares of the Fund. In such cases, the Agent shall mirror vote (or abstain from voting) such Shares in the same proportion as all other beneficial owners of the Fund.

The Trustees and Officers of the Trust, as a group, own less than 1% of the Trust’s voting securities as of the date of this SAI.

PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS

The Fund issues and redeems its Shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value, only in a large specified number of Shares called a “Creation Unit,” either principally in-kind for a designated portfolio of securities or in cash for the value of such securities. The value of the Fund is determined once each business day, as described under “Determination of Net Asset Value.” Creation Unit sizes are [50,000] Shares per Creation Unit. The Creation Unit size for the Fund may change. Authorized Participants (as defined below) will be notified of such change. The principal consideration for creations and redemptions for the Fund is set forth in the table below:

 

FUND

   CREATION*   REDEMPTION*

SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

   [Cash]   [Cash]

 

* May be revised at any time without notice.

PURCHASE (CREATION). The Trust issues and sells Shares of the Fund only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Principal Underwriter, without a sales load (but subject to transaction fees), at their NAV per share next determined after receipt of an order, on any Business Day (as defined below), in proper form pursuant to the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement (“Participant Agreement”). A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is, generally, any day on which the NYSE is open for business.

FUND DEPOSIT. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of either (i) the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (the “Deposit Securities”) per each Creation Unit and the Cash Component (defined below), computed as described below or (ii) the cash value of the Deposit Securities (“Deposit Cash”) and “Cash Component,” computed as described below. When accepting purchases of Creation Units for cash, the Fund may incur additional costs associated with the acquisition of Deposit Securities that would otherwise be provided by an in-kind purchaser.

 

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Together, the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of the Fund. The “Cash Component,” which may include a Dividend Equivalent Payment, is an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the Shares (per Creation Unit) and the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. The “Dividend Equivalent Payment” enables the Fund to make a complete distribution of dividends on the day preceding the next dividend payment date, and is an amount equal, on a per Creation Unit basis, to the dividends on all the portfolio securities of the Fund (“Dividend 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 Dividend Securities had been held by the Fund for the entire Accumulation Period. The Accumulation Period begins on the ex-dividend date for the Fund and ends on the day preceding the next ex-dividend date. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the net asset value per Creation Unit exceeds the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such positive amount. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the net asset value per Creation Unit is less than the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such negative amount and the creator will be entitled to receive cash in an amount equal to the Cash Component. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the net asset value per Creation Unit and the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. Computation of the Cash Component excludes any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities, if applicable, which shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant (as defined below).

The Custodian, through 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 number of shares of each Deposit Security or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is subject to any applicable adjustments as described below, in order to effect purchases of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, is made available.

The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities or the amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, required for a Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments, interest payments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Adviser with a view to the investment objective of the Fund.

As noted above, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Cash to replace any Deposit Security, which shall be added to the Cash Component, including, without limitation, in situations where the Deposit Security: (i) may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery, (ii) may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC for corporate securities and municipal securities; (iii) may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant (as defined below) or the investor for which it is acting; (iv) would be restricted under the securities laws or where the delivery of the Deposit Security to the Authorized Participant would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the Authorized Participant becoming restricted under the securities laws, or (v) in certain other situations (collectively, “non-standard orders”). The Trust also reserves the right to: permit or require the substitution of Deposit Securities in lieu of Deposit Cash. 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 resulting from certain corporate actions.

PROCEDURES FOR PURCHASE OF CREATION UNITS. To be eligible to place orders with the Principal Underwriter, as facilitated via the Transfer Agent, to purchase a Creation Unit of the Fund, an entity must be (i) a “Participating Party”, i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the “Clearing Process”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC Participant (see “BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM”). In addition, each Participating Party or DTC Participant (each, an “Authorized Participant”) must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Principal Underwriter and the Transfer Agent, and that has been accepted by the Trust, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Each Authorized Participant will agree, pursuant to the terms of a Participant Agreement, on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that it will pay to the Trust, an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component together with the creation transaction fee (described below) and any other applicable fees, taxes and additional variable charge.

All orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund, including non-standard orders, must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or the applicable order form. The date on which an order to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units, as set forth below) is received and accepted is referred to as the “Order Placement Date.”

An Authorized Participant may require an investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order (e.g., to provide for payments of cash, when required). Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund in Creation Units have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement and only a small number of such Authorized Participants may have international capabilities. The Fund may direct an Authorized Participant to deliver Deposit Securities, Deposit Cash and Cash Component directly to the Portfolio on behalf of the Fund.

 

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On days when the Exchange or the bond markets close earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to create Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. In addition, if a market or markets on which the Fund’s investments are primarily traded is closed, the Fund will also generally not accept orders on such day(s). Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement and in accordance with the applicable order form. Those placing orders through an Authorized Participant should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the purchase order by the cut-off time on such Business Day. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure may impede the ability to reach the Distributor or an Authorized Participant.

Fund Deposits must be delivered by an Authorized Participant through the Federal Reserve System (for cash and U.S. government securities), or through DTC (for corporate securities and municipal securities), through a subcustody agent (for foreign securities) and/or through such other arrangements allowed by the Trust or its agents. With respect to foreign Deposit Securities, the Custodian shall cause the subcustodian of the Fund to maintain an account into which the Authorized Participant shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, such Deposit Securities. Foreign Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local subcustodian. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the Authorized Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, to the account of the Fund or its agents by no later than the Settlement Date. The “Settlement Date” for the Fund is generally the third Business Day after the Order Placement Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash to be delivered, as applicable, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities or cash, as applicable, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The amount of cash represented by the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than the Settlement Date. If the Cash Component and the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, are not received in a timely manner by the Settlement Date, the creation order may be cancelled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the then current NAV of the Fund. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the third Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor.

The order shall be deemed to be received on the Business Day on which the order is placed provided that the order is placed in proper form prior to the applicable cut-off time and the federal funds in the appropriate amount are deposited by 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (per applicable instructions), with the Custodian on the Settlement Date. If the order is not placed in proper form as required, or federal funds in the appropriate amount are not received by 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (per applicable instructions) on the Settlement Date, then the order may be deemed to be rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. A creation request is considered to be in “proper form” if all procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement, order form and this SAI are properly followed.

ISSUANCE OF A CREATION UNIT. Except as provided herein, Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities or payment of Deposit Cash, as applicable, 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 or subcustodians, the Principal Underwriter and the Adviser shall be notified of such delivery, and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units.

In instances where the Trust accepts Deposit Securities for the purchase of a Creation Unit, the Creation Unit may be purchased in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below. In these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a value greater than the net asset value of the Shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since in addition to available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component, plus (ii) an additional amount of cash equal to a percentage of the market value as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the “Additional Cash Deposit”), which shall be maintained in a general non-interest bearing collateral account. An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount at least equal to the applicable percentage, as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the daily marked to market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Trust may use such Additional Cash Deposit to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for all costs, expenses, dividends, income and taxes associated with missing Deposit Securities, including the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the market value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by the Principal Underwriter plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases. The Trust will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by the Custodian or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a transaction fee as set forth below under “Creation Transaction Fees” will be charged in all cases and an additional variable charge may also be applied. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Settlement Date.

ACCEPTANCE OF ORDERS OF CREATION UNITS. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject an order for Creation Units transmitted in respect of the Fund at its discretion, including, without limitation, if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, delivered by the Participant are not as disseminated through the facilities of the NSCC for

 

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that date by the Custodian; (c) the investor(s), upon obtaining the Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of the Fund; (d) 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; (g) the acceptance or receipt of the order for a Creation Unit would, in the opinion of counsel to the Trust, be unlawful; or (h) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent and/or the Adviser make it for all practical purposes not feasible to process orders for Creation Units. Examples of such circumstances include acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Principal Underwriter, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent, DTC, NSCC, Federal Reserve System, or any other participant in the creation process, and other extraordinary events. The Trust or its agents shall communicate to the Authorized Participant its rejection of an order. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian and the Principal Underwriter 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. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian and the Principal Underwriter shall not be liable for the rejection of any purchase order for Creation Units.

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.

REDEMPTION. Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their net asset value next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the Transfer Agent and only on a Business Day. EXCEPT UPON LIQUIDATION OF THE FUND, THE TRUST WILL NOT REDEEM SHARES IN AMOUNTS LESS THAN CREATION UNITS. Investors must accumulate enough Shares in the secondary market 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.

With respect to the Fund, the Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern time) on each Business Day, the list of the names and share quantities of the Fund’s portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities.

Redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit are paid either in-kind or in cash or a combination thereof, as determined by the Trust. With respect to in-kind redemptions of the Fund, redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit will consist of Fund Securities — as announced by the Custodian on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper form plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (the “Cash Redemption Amount”), less a fixed redemption transaction fee and any applicable additional variable charge as set forth below. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the net asset value of the Shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the differential is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the Trust’s discretion, an Authorized Participant may receive the corresponding cash value of the securities in lieu of the in-kind securities value representing one or more Fund Securities.

PROCEDURES FOR REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS. Upon receipt of a redemption request, the Fund will make a corresponding request to the Portfolio. Redemption proceeds from the Portfolio will be delivered to the redeeming Authorized Participant. The Portfolio may deliver redemption proceeds directly to a redeeming Authorized Participant. After the Trust has deemed an order for redemption received, the Trust will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to the Authorized Participant by the Settlement Date. With respect to in-kind redemptions of the Fund, the calculation of the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered upon redemption will be made by the Custodian according to the procedures set forth under “Determination of Net Asset Value”, computed on the Business Day on which a redemption order is deemed received by the Trust. Therefore, if a redemption order in proper form is submitted to the Principal Underwriter by a DTC Participant by the specified time on the Order Placement Date, and the requisite number of Shares of the Fund are delivered to the Custodian prior to 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (per applicable instructions) on the Settlement Date, then the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered will be determined by the Custodian on such Order Placement Date. If the requisite number of Shares of the Fund are not delivered by 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (per applicable instructions) on the Settlement Date, the Fund will not release the underlying securities for delivery unless collateral is posted in such percentage amount of missing Shares as set forth in the Participant Agreement (marked to market daily).

With respect to in-kind redemptions of the Fund, in connection with taking delivery of shares of Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, an Authorized Participant 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 (or such other arrangements as allowed by the Trust or its agents), to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within three Business Days of the trade date. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of in-kind redemption proceeds may take longer than three business days after the day on which the redemption request is

 

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received in proper form. The section below entitled “Local Market Holiday Schedules” identifies the instances where more than seven days would be needed to deliver redemption proceeds. Pursuant to an order of the SEC, in respect of the Fund, the Trust will make delivery of in-kind redemption proceeds within the number of days stated in the Local Market Holidays section to be the maximum number of days necessary to deliver redemption proceeds. If the Authorized Participant has not made 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 jurisdiction, the Trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the Authorized Participant will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash.

If it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities, the Trust may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming investor will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash that the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its Shares based on the NAV of Shares of the Fund next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee and additional charge for requested cash redemptions specified above, to offset the Trust’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities). The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities that differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in net asset value.

An Authorized Participant submitting a redemption request is deemed to represent to the Trust that it (or its client) (i) owns outright or has full legal authority and legal beneficial right to tender for redemption the requisite number of Shares to be redeemed and can receive the entire proceeds of the redemption, and (ii) the Shares to be redeemed have not been loaned or pledged to another party nor are they the subject of a repurchase agreement, securities lending agreement or such other arrangement which would preclude the delivery of such Shares to the Trust. The Trust reserves the right to verify these representations at its discretion, but will typically require verification with respect to a redemption request from the Fund in connection with higher levels of redemption activity and/or short interest in the Fund. If the Authorized Participant, upon receipt of a verification request, does not provide sufficient verification of its representations as determined by the Trust, the redemption request will not be considered to have been received in proper form and may be rejected by the Trust.

Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular security included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of Creation Units may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming investor of the Shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” (“QIB”) as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive Fund Securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A. An Authorized Participant may be required by the Trust to provide a written confirmation with respect to QIB status in order to receive Fund Securities.

The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to the Fund (1) for any period during which the Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the Exchange 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 the NAV of the Shares is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.

REQUIRED EARLY ACCEPTANCE OF ORDERS. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as described in the Participant Agreement and the applicable order form, the Fund may require orders to be placed up to one or more Business Days prior to the trade date, as described in the Participant Agreement or the applicable order form, in order to receive the trade date’s net asset value. Orders to purchase Shares of the Fund that are submitted on the Business Day immediately preceding a holiday or a day (other than a weekend) that the equity markets in the relevant foreign market are closed will not be accepted. Authorized Participants may be notified that the cut-off time for an order may be earlier on a particular Business Day, as described in the Participant Agreement and the applicable order form.

CREATION AND REDEMPTION TRANSACTION FEES. A transaction fee, as set forth in the table below, is imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase or redemption of Creation Units, as applicable. Authorized Participants will be required to pay a fixed creation transaction fee and/or a fixed redemption transaction fee, as applicable, on a given day regardless of the number of Creation Units created or redeemed on that day. The Fund may adjust the transaction fee from time to time. An additional charge or a variable charge (discussed below) will be applied to certain creation and redemption transactions, including non-standard orders and whole or partial cash purchases or redemptions. With respect to creation orders, Authorized Participants are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting the Deposit Securities to the account of the Trust and with respect to redemption orders, Authorized Participants are responsible for the costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may also be charged a fee for such services.

 

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Creation and Redemption Transaction Fees:

 

FUND

   TRANSACTION
FEE*, **
    MAXIMUM
TRANSACTION
FEE*, **
 

SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF

   $ [       $ [    

 

* From time to time, the Fund may waive all or a portion of its applicable transaction fee(s). An additional charge of up to three (3) times the standard transaction fee may be charged to the extent a transaction is outside of the clearing process.
** In addition to the transaction fees listed above, the Fund may charge an additional variable fee for creations and redemptions in cash to offset brokerage and impact expenses associated with the cash transaction. The variable transaction fee will be calculated based on historical transaction cost data and the Adviser’s view of current market conditions; however, the actual variable fee charged for a given transaction may be lower or higher than the trading expenses incurred by the Fund with respect to that transaction.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the sections in the Prospectus entitled “PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION” and “ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION.”

The Fund calculates net asset value using the net asset value of the Portfolio. Net asset value per Share for the Portfolio is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Portfolio (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including the management fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining net asset value. The net asset value of the Portfolio is calculated by the Custodian and determined as of the close of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on each day that such exchange is open. Fixed-income assets are generally valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. Creation/redemption order cut-off times may be earlier on any day that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (or applicable exchange or market on which the Portfolio’s investments are traded) announces an early closing time. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at market rates on the date of valuation (generally as of 4:00 p.m. London time) as quoted by one or more sources. In calculating the Portfolio’s net asset value per Share, the Portfolio’s investments are generally valued using market valuations. A market valuation generally means a valuation (i) obtained from an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer), (ii) based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of value supplied by an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer) or (iii) based on amortized cost. In the case of shares of other funds that are not traded on an exchange, a market valuation means such fund’s published net asset value per share. The Adviser may use various pricing services, or discontinue the use of any pricing service, as approved by the Board of the SSgA Master Trust from time to time. A price obtained from a pricing service based on such pricing service’s valuation matrix may be considered a market valuation.

In the event that current market valuations are not readily available or such valuations do not reflect current market value, the SSgA Master Trust’s procedures require the Pricing and Investment Committee to determine a security’s fair value if a market price is not readily available. In determining such value the Pricing and Investment Committee may consider, among other things, (i) price comparisons among multiple sources, (ii) a review of corporate actions and news events, and (iii) a review of relevant financial indicators (e.g., movement in interest rates and market indices). In these cases, the Portfolio’s net asset value may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. With respect to securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the value of the Portfolio’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares.

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

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

GENERAL POLICIES

Dividends from net investment income, if any, are generally declared and paid monthly by the Fund, but may vary significantly from period to period. Distributions of net realized securities 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 comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act.

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.

 

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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 Fund’s eligibility for treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes at the Fund level.

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT

Broker dealers, at their own discretion, may offer a dividend reinvestment service under which Shares are purchased in the secondary market at current market prices. Investors should consult their broker dealer for further information regarding any dividend reinvestment service offered by such broker dealer.

TAXES

The following is a summary of certain federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that supplements the discussion in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of the federal, state, local or foreign tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended to be a substitute for careful tax planning.

The following general discussion of certain federal income tax consequences is based on the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this Statement of Additional Information. New legislation, as well as administrative changes or court decisions, may significantly change the conclusions expressed herein, and may have a retroactive effect with respect to the transactions contemplated herein.

The following information should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “ADDITIONAL TAX INFORMATION.”

TAXATION OF THE FUND. The Fund has elected or will elect and intends to qualify for treatment each year as a separate RIC under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, the Fund should not be subject to federal income tax on its net investment income and capital gains, if any, to the extent that it timely distributes such income and capital gains to its shareholders. In order to qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund must distribute annually to its shareholders at least the sum of 90% of its net investment income (generally net investment income plus the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses) and 90% of its net tax exempt interest income, if any (“Distribution Requirement”) and also must meet several additional requirements. Among these requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of the Fund’s gross income each taxable year must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Qualifying Income Requirement”); and (ii) at the end of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year, its assets must be diversified so that (a) at least 50% of the market value of its total assets must be represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, the securities (other than securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers that it controls and that are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Diversification Requirement”).

The Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal income tax purposes. The Fund therefore is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein and in the Prospectus. Losses in one fund do not offset gains in any other fund, and the requirements (other than certain organizational requirements) for qualifying RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than at the Trust level. The Portfolio expects to be treated as a separate partnership for federal income tax purposes. The Portfolio generally will not itself be subject to federal income tax. Instead, the Portfolio will allocate to the corresponding Fund the Fund’s share of the Portfolio’s net investment income, net realized capital gains, and any other items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit.

If the Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income Requirement or the Diversification Requirement in any taxable year, the Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the Diversification Requirement where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time. In order to be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Diversification Requirement, the Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions were not available to the Fund and it were to fail to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable as ordinary income dividends to its shareholders, subject to the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by noncorporate shareholders. To requalify for treatment as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, the Fund would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and to distribute any earnings and profits from any year in which the Fund failed to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC. If the Fund or Portfolio failed to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, it

 

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would generally be required to pay an entity-level tax on certain net built-in gains recognized with respect to certain of its assets upon a disposition of such assets within ten years of qualifying as a RIC in a subsequent year. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund or the Portfolio for treatment as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

The Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and its capital gains for each taxable year. If the Fund meets the Distribution Requirement but retains some or all of its income or gains, it will be subject to federal income tax to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund may designate certain amounts retained as undistributed net capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amount so designated, (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the income tax paid by the Fund on that undistributed amount against their federal income tax liabilities and to claim refunds to the extent such credits exceed their liabilities and (iii) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for federal income tax purposes, in their Shares in the Fund by an amount equal to the excess of the amount of undistributed net capital gain included in their respective income over their respective income tax credits.

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 an amount at least equal to 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 year, subject to an increase for any shortfall in the prior year’s distribution. 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.

The Fund may elect to treat part or all of any “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year. A “qualified late year loss” generally includes net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (commonly referred to as “post-October losses”) and certain other late-year losses.

Capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”) are not permitted to be deducted against a RIC’s net investment income. Instead, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, potentially subject to certain limitations, the Fund may carry net capital losses from any taxable year forward to offset its capital gains in future years. The Fund is permitted to carry forward indefinitely a net capital loss to offset its capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss. To the extent subsequent capital gains are offset by such losses, they would not result in U.S. federal income tax liability to the Fund and may not be distributed as capital gains to its shareholders. Generally, the Fund may not carry forward any losses other than net capital losses.

TAXATION OF SHAREHOLDERS - DISTRIBUTIONS. The Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid), its net tax-exempt income and any net capital gain (net recognized long-term capital gains in excess of net recognized short-term capital losses, taking into account any capital loss carryovers). The Fund will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends paid from ordinary income, the amount of distributions of net capital gain, the portion of dividends which may qualify for the dividends received deduction, and the portion of dividends which may qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income, if any. Since the Fund’s income is derived primarily from sources that do not pay dividends, it is not expected that a substantial portion of dividends paid by the Fund will qualify either for the dividends-received deduction for corporations or the reduced U.S. federal income tax rates available to individual and certain other noncorporate shareholders on qualified dividend income.

Distributions from net short-term capital gains will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares in the Fund. Long-term capital gains are taxed to noncorporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%.

Although dividends generally will be treated as distributed when paid, any dividend declared by the Fund in October, November or December and payable to shareholders of record in such a month that is paid during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which it was declared.

If the Fund’s distributions exceed its earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made in the taxable year may be treated as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution generally will not be taxable but will reduce the shareholder’s cost basis and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when the Shares on which the distribution was received are sold. After a shareholder’s basis in the Shares has been reduced to zero, distributions in excess of earnings and profits will be treated as gain from the sale of the shareholder’s Shares.

Distributions that are reinvested in additional Shares of the Fund through the means of a dividend reinvestment service, if offered by your broker-dealer, will nevertheless be taxable dividends to the same extent as if such dividends had been received in cash.

 

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U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly) are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on their “net investment income,” which includes taxable interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (including capital gains realized on the sale or exchange of Shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts.

Distributions of ordinary income and capital gains may also be subject to foreign, state and local taxes depending on a shareholder’s circumstances.

TAXATION OF SHAREHOLDERS – SALE OF SHARES. 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 sale of Fund Shares held for a period of one year or less at the time of such sale will, for tax purposes, generally result in short-term capital gains or losses, and a sale of those held for more than one year will generally result in long-term capital gains or losses. Long-term capital gains are taxed to noncorporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%.

Gain or loss on the sale of Shares in the Fund is measured by the difference between the amount 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. A loss realized on a sale of Shares of the Fund may be disallowed if other substantially identical Shares are acquired (whether through the 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 must be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss upon the sale of Shares held for six (6) months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the shareholder of long-term capital gain (including any amounts credited to the shareholder as undistributed capital gains).

In general, the Fund will not recognize gain for federal income tax purposes when it invests in the Portfolio or when it receives distributions or makes withdrawals from the Portfolio unless cash distributions or withdrawals exceed the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in its interest in the Portfolio. In general, the Fund will not recognize loss for federal income tax purposes when it invests in the Portfolio or receives distributions or makes withdrawals from the Portfolio unless it withdraws its entire interest from the Portfolio solely in exchange for cash.

As noted above, the Fund may directly make investments in an ETP, invest in any of the instruments or engage in any of the investment practices described above if such investment activity is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies. The Fund, however, intends to make investments through its corresponding Portfolio. References made below with respect to investments by the Portfolio are intended where appropriate to describe certain tax consequences to the Fund if such Fund were to directly invest in such assets.

TAXATION OF FUND INVESTMENTS. Dividends and interest received by the Portfolio on foreign securities 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. If the Fund meets certain requirements, which include a requirement that more than 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of its respective taxable year consists of stocks or securities of foreign corporations (generally treating assets held indirectly through the Portfolio as though they were held directly by the Fund), then the Fund should be eligible to file an election with the Internal Revenue Service that may enable its shareholders, in effect, to receive either the benefit of a foreign tax credit, or a tax deduction, with respect to certain foreign and U.S. possessions income taxes paid by the Portfolio, subject to certain limitations. Pursuant to this election, the Fund would treat those taxes as dividends paid to its shareholders. Each such shareholder would be required to include a proportionate share of those taxes in gross income as income received from a foreign source and must treat the amount so included as if the shareholder had paid the foreign tax directly. The shareholder may then either deduct the taxes deemed paid by him or her in computing his or her taxable income or, alternatively, use the foregoing information in calculating any foreign tax credit the shareholder may be entitled to use against such shareholder’s federal income tax.

Certain of the Portfolio’s investments may be subject to complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (including provisions relating to hedging transactions, straddles, integrated transactions, foreign currency contracts, forward foreign currency contracts, and notional principal contracts) that, among other things, could affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Portfolio (e.g., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Portfolio and defer losses. These rules will therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require the Portfolio to mark-to-market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause the Fund to recognize income without the Portfolio receiving cash with which to make distributions. The Fund and Portfolio intend to monitor their transactions, intend to make appropriate tax elections, and intend to make appropriate entries in their books and records in order to mitigate the effect of these rules and preserve the Fund’s qualification for treatment as a RIC.

If the Portfolio acquires any equity interest (under Treasury regulations that may be promulgated in the future, generally including not only stock but also an option to acquire stock such as is inherent in a convertible bond) in certain foreign corporations (i) that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties, or capital gains) or (ii) where at least 50% of the corporation’s assets (computed based on average fair market value) either produce or are held for the

 

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production of passive income (“passive foreign investment companies” or “PFICs”), the corresponding Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and nondeductible interest charges on “excess distributions” received from such companies or on gain from the sale of stock in such companies, even if the Fund’s allocable share of all income or gain actually received by the Portfolio is timely distributed by the Fund to its shareholders. The Fund would not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such a tax. A “qualified electing fund” election or a “mark to market” election may generally be available that would ameliorate these adverse tax consequences, but such elections could require the Portfolio to recognize taxable income or gain without the concurrent receipt of cash. The Fund’s share of such income would be subject to the distribution requirements applicable to RICs, as described above. In order to enable the Fund to satisfy the distribution requirements and avoid a tax at the Fund level, the Portfolio may be required to liquidate its interest in securities that it might otherwise have continued to hold, potentially resulting in additional taxable gain or loss to the Portfolio. Gains from the sale of stock of PFICs may also be treated as ordinary income. In order for the Portfolio to make a qualified electing fund election with respect to a PFIC, the PFIC would have to agree to provide certain tax information to the Portfolio on an annual basis, which it might not agree to do. The Portfolio may limit and/or manage its holdings in PFICs to limit its tax liability or maximize its returns from these investments.

The Internal Revenue Code currently treats income and gains from trading in commodities as nonqualifying income under the Qualifying Income Requirement described above. The Portfolio intends to obtain exposure to commodities through investments that are consistent with the corresponding Fund’s intention to be taxable as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. For example, the Portfolio may invest up to 25% of its total assets in one or more ETPs that are qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”) whose principal activities are the buying and selling of commodities or options, futures, or forwards with respect to commodities. Income from QPTPs is generally qualifying income. If an ETP fails to qualify as a QPTP, the income generated from the Portfolio’s investment in the ETP may not comply with Qualifying Income Requirement. The Portfolio will only invest in such an ETP if it intends to qualify as a QPTP, but there is no guarantee that each such ETP will be successful in qualifying as a QPTP. In addition, there is little regulatory guidance concerning the application of the rules governing qualification as a QPTP, and it is possible that future guidance may adversely affect the qualification of such ETPs as QPTPs. In order for the Fund to meet the Diversification Requirement, the corresponding Portfolio generally may not acquire an interest in any QPTP (including a QPTP in which the Portfolio already invests) if more than 25% of the value of the Portfolio’s total assets after the acquisition would be invested in the securities of QPTPs.

The Portfolio is required for federal income tax purposes to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year its 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 and options 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 Portfolio may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts, options contracts and swaps to the extent of any unrecognized gains on offsetting positions held by the Portfolio. It is anticipated that certain net gain realized from the closing out of futures or options contracts will be considered gain from the sale of securities and therefore will be qualifying income for purposes of the Qualifying Income Requirement.

Investments by the Portfolio in zero coupon or other discount securities will result in income to the Portfolio equal to a portion of the excess face value of the securities over their issue price (the “original issue discount” or “OID”) each year that the securities are held, even though the Portfolio may receive no cash interest payments or may receive cash interest payments that are less than the income recognized for tax purposes. In other circumstances, whether pursuant to the terms of a security or as a result of other factors outside the control of the Portfolio, the Portfolio may recognize income without receiving a commensurate amount of cash. Such income is included in determining the amount of income that the corresponding Fund must distribute to maintain its eligibility for treatment as a RIC and to avoid the payment of federal income tax, including the nondeductible 4% excise tax described above. Where such income is not matched by a corresponding cash receipt by the Portfolio, the Portfolio may be required to borrow money or dispose of other securities to enable the Fund to make distributions to its shareholders in order to qualify for treatment as a RIC and eliminate taxes at the Fund level, potentially resulting in additional taxable gain or loss to the Portfolio.

Any market discount recognized on a market discount 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 below adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Portfolio’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

Special rules apply if the Portfolio holds inflation-indexed bonds. Generally, all stated interest on such bonds is taken into income by the Portfolio under its regular method of accounting for interest income. The amount of any positive inflation adjustment for a taxable year, which results from an increase in the inflation-adjusted principal amount of the bond, is treated as OID. The amount of the Portfolio’s OID in a taxable year with respect to a bond will increase the Portfolio’s (and the Fund’s) taxable income for such year without a corresponding receipt of cash, until the bond matures. As a result, the Fund may need to use other sources of cash to satisfy its distribution requirements for its applicable year. The amount of any negative inflation adjustments, which result from a decrease in the inflation-adjusted principal amount of the bond, reduces the amount of interest (including stated interest, OID, and market discount, if any) otherwise includable in the Portfolio’s (and corresponding Fund’s) taxable income with respect to the bond for the taxable year.

 

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TAX-EXEMPT SHAREHOLDERS. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k)s, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Under current law, the Fund generally serves to block UBTI from being realized by their tax-exempt shareholders. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, tax-exempt shareholders could realize UBTI by virtue of their investment in the Fund where, for example, (i) the Fund or the corresponding Portfolio invests in REITs that hold residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) or (ii) Shares in the Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholders within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Charitable remainder trusts are subject to special rules and should consult their tax advisors. There are no restrictions preventing the Fund or Portfolio from holding investments in REITs that hold residual interests in REMICs, and the Fund or Portfolio may do so. The IRS has issued guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisors regarding these issues.

FOREIGN SHAREHOLDERS. Dividends paid by the Fund to shareholders who are nonresident aliens or foreign entities (other than “short-term capital gain dividends” and “interest-related dividends,” described below) will be subject to a 30% United States withholding tax unless a reduced rate of withholding or a withholding exemption is provided under applicable treaty law to the extent derived from investment income and short-term capital gain or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business carried on through a permanent establishment in the United States. Nonresident shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors concerning the applicability of the United States withholding tax and the proper withholding form(s) to be submitted to the Fund. A non-U.S. shareholder who fails to provide an appropriate IRS Form W-8 may be subject to backup withholding at the appropriate rate.

Dividends reported by the Fund as (i) interest-related dividends, to the extent such dividends are derived from the Fund’s “qualified net interest income,” or (ii) short-term capital gain dividends, to the extent such dividends are derived from the Fund’s “qualified short-term gain,” are generally exempt from this 30% withholding tax. “Qualified net interest income” is the Fund’s net income derived from U.S.-source interest and original issue discount, subject to certain exceptions and limitations. “Qualified short-term gain” generally means the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain for the taxable year over its net long-term capital loss, if any. In the case of Shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the Fund reports the payment as an interest-related dividend or as a short-term capital gain dividend. Non-U.S. shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to the application of these rules to their accounts. Absent future legislation, the withholding exemptions for interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends only apply to dividends with respect to taxable years of the Fund beginning before January 1, 2014.

Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Fund Shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to Fund distributions payable to such entities after June 30, 2014 (or, in certain cases, after later dates) and redemptions and certain capital gain dividends payable to such entities after December 31, 2016. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.

BACKUP WITHHOLDING. The Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) has provided the Fund either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all, (2) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, (3) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or (4) has not certified that such shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is 28%. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.

CREATION UNITS. An Authorized Participant who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who redeems Creation Units 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 any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of 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.

Any capital gain or loss realized upon the creation of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the securities exchanged for such Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon the redemption of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares comprising the Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Otherwise, such capital gains or losses will generally be treated as short-term capital gains or losses. Any loss upon a redemption of Creation Units held for six (6) months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the applicable Authorized Participant of long-term capital gain with respect to the Creation Units (including any amounts credited to the Authorized Participant as undistributed capital gains).

 

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The Fund has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or group of purchasers) 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 Fund also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If the Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares of the Fund, the purchaser (or group of purchasers) may not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.

Persons purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.

CERTAIN POTENTIAL TAX REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. Under promulgated Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of the Fund’s Shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), 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 are not excepted. 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 advisers to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

The foregoing discussion is a summary only and is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Purchasers of Shares should consult their own tax advisors 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.

CAPITAL STOCK AND SHAREHOLDER REPORTS

The Fund issues Shares of beneficial interest, no par value per Share. The Board may designate additional funds.

Each Share issued by the Trust has a pro rata interest in the assets of the corresponding series of the Trust. Shares have no preemptive, 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. Shares of all series of the Trust (“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 Massachusetts 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 (regardless of the fund) have noncumulative voting rights for the election of Trustees. Under Massachusetts law, Trustees of the Trust may be removed by vote of the shareholders.

Under Massachusetts law, shareholders of a business trust may, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for obligations of the Trust. However, the Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust, requires that Trust obligations include such disclaimer, and provides for indemnification and reimbursement of expenses out of the Trust’s property for any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which the Trust itself would be unable to meet its obligations. Given the above limitations on shareholder personal liability, and the nature of the Fund’s assets and operations, the risk to shareholders of personal liability is believed to be remote.

Shareholder inquiries may be made by writing to the Trust, c/o the Distributor, State Street Global Markets, LLC at State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.

 

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COUNSEL AND INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

Bingham McCutchen LLP, 2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006, serves as counsel to the Trust. [            ], [            ], serves as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Trust. [            ] performs annual audits of the Fund’s financial statements and provides other audit, tax and related services.

LOCAL MARKET HOLIDAY SCHEDULES

The Trust and SSgA Master Trust generally intend to effect deliveries of portfolio securities on a basis of “T” plus three business days (i.e., days on which the NYSE is open) in the relevant foreign market of the Fund or Portfolio. The ability of the Trust or SSgA Master Trust to effect in-kind redemptions within three business days of receipt of a redemption request is subject, among other things, to the condition that, within the time period from the date of the request to the date of delivery of the securities, there are no days that are local market holidays on the relevant business days. For every occurrence of one or more intervening holidays in the local market that are not holidays observed in the United States, the redemption settlement cycle may be extended by the number of such intervening local holidays. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a foreign market due to emergencies may also prevent the Trust or SSgA Master Trust from delivering securities within three business days.

The securities delivery cycles currently practicable for transferring portfolio securities to redeeming investors, coupled with local market holiday schedules, may require a delivery process longer than the standard settlement period. In certain circumstances during the calendar year, the settlement period may be greater than seven calendar days. Such periods are listed in the table below, as are instances where more than seven days will be needed to deliver redemption proceeds. Since certain holidays may occur on different dates in subsequent years, the number of days required to deliver redemption proceeds in any given year may exceed the maximum number of days listed in the table 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 and longer (worse) redemption periods are possible.

 

MARKET   

MAX SETL

CYCLE

   TRADE DATE(S) W/ SETTLEMENT OF GREATER THAN 7 CALENDAR DAYS (MAX
DAYS IN PARENTHESIS)
Australia    7 days         —
Austria    10 days    12/19/14 (10); 12/22/14 (8); 12/23/14 (8)
Belgium    7 days   

 

  
Brazil    7 days   

 

  
Canada    7 days   

 

  
Chile    10 days    9/12/14 (10); 9/15/14 (8); 9/16/14 (8)
China    11 days    1/27/14 (8); 1/28/14 (8); 1/29/14 (8); 9/26/14 (11); 9/29/14 (8); 9/30/14 (8)
Columbia    7 days   

 

  
Czech Republic    10 days    12/19/14 (10); 12/22/14 (8); 12/23/14 (8)
Denmark    8 days    4/14/14 (8); 4/15/14 (8); 4/16/14 (8)
Egypt    7 days   

 

  
Finland    7 days      
France    7 days   

 

  
Germany    7 days   

 

  
Greece    7 days   

 

  
Hong Kong    7 days   

 

  
Hungary    7 days   

 

  
India    7 days   

 

  
Indonesia    7 days   

 

  
Ireland    7 days   

 

  
Israel    10 days    4/14/14 (9); 9/19/14 (10); 9/22/14 (8); 9/23/14 (8)
Italy    10 days    12/19/14 (10); 12/22/14 (8); 12/23/14 (8)
Japan    7 days      
Luxembourg    7 days   

 

  
Malaysia    7 days   

 

  
Mexico    7 days   

 

  
Morocco    7 days   

 

  
Netherlands    7 days   

 

  
New Zealand    7 days   

 

  
Norway    8 days    4/14/14 (8); 4/15/14 (8); 4/16/14 (8)
Pakistan    7 days   

 

  
Peru    7 days   

 

  
Philippines    7 days   

 

  

 

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MARKET   

MAX SETL

CYCLE

   TRADE DATE(S) W/ SETTLEMENT OF GREATER THAN 7 CALENDAR DAYS (MAX
DAYS IN PARENTHESIS)
Poland    7 days   

 

  
Portugal    7 days   

 

  
Russia    7 days      
Singapore    7 days   

 

  
South Africa    7 days   

 

  
South Korea    7 days   

 

  
Spain    7 days   

 

  
Sweden    10 days    4/14/14 (8); 4/15/14 (8); 4/16/14 (8); 12/19/14 (10); 12/22/14 (8); 12/23/14 (8)
Switzerland    10 days    12/19/14 (10); 12/22/14 (8); 12/23/14 (8)
Taiwan    8 days    1/27/14 (8); 1/28/14 (8); 1/29/14 (8)
Thailand    7 days      

  —

Turkey    7 days      

  —

United Kingdom    7 days      

  —

 

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LOGO

State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc. (“SSgA FM”), one of the industry’s largest institutional asset managers, is the investment management arm of State Street Bank and Trust Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation, a leading provider of financial services to institutional investors. As an investment manager, SSgA FM has discretionary proxy voting authority over most of its client accounts, and SSgA FM votes these proxies in the manner that we believe will most likely protect and promote the long-term economic value of client investments as described in the SSgA FM Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles.

SSgA FM maintains Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines for select markets, including: the US, the EU, the UK, Australia, emerging markets and Japan. International markets that do not have specific guidelines are reviewed and voted consistent with our Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles; however, SSgA FM also endeavors to show sensitivity to local market practices when voting in these various markets.

 

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SSgA FM’s APPROACH TO

PROXY VOTING AND ISSUER ENGAGEMENT

At SSgA FM, we take our fiduciary duties as an asset manager very seriously. We have a dedicated team of corporate governance professionals who help us carry out our duties as a responsible investor. These duties include engaging with companies, developing and enhancing in-house corporate governance policies, analyzing corporate governance issues on a case-by-case basis at the company level, and exercising our voting rights—all to maximize shareholder value.

SSgA FM’s Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles (the “Principles”) may take different perspectives on common governance issues that vary from one market to another and, likewise, engagement activity may take different forms in order to best achieve long-term engagement goals. We believe that proxy voting and engagement with portfolio companies is often the most direct and productive way shareholders can exercise their ownership rights, and taken together, we view these tools to be an integral part of the overall investment process.

We believe engagement and voting activity have a direct relationship. As a result, the integration of our engagement activities, while leveraging the exercise of our voting rights, provides a meaningful shareholder tool that we believe protects and enhances the long-term economic value of the holdings in our client accounts. SSgA FM maximizes its voting power and engagement by maintaining a centralized proxy voting and active ownership process covering all holdings, regardless of strategy. Despite the different investment views and objectives across SSgA FM, depending on the product or strategy, the fiduciary responsibilities of share ownership and voting for which SSgA FM has voting discretion are carried out with a single voice and objective.

The Principles support governance structures that we believe add to, or maximize shareholder value at the companies held in our clients’ portfolios. SSgA FM conducts issuer specific engagements with companies to discuss our principles, including sustainability related risks. In addition, we encourage issuers to find ways of increasing the amount of direct communication board members have with shareholders. We believe direct communication with executive board members and independent non-executive directors is critical to helping companies understand shareholder concerns. Conversely, where appropriate, we conduct collaborative engagement activities

with multiple shareholders and communicate with company representatives about common concerns.

In conducting our engagements, SSgA FM also evaluates the various factors that play into the corporate governance framework of a country, including the macroeconomic conditions and broader political system, the quality of regulatory oversight, the enforcement of property and shareholder rights and the independence of the judiciary to name a few. SSgA FM understands that regulatory requirements and investor expectations relating to governance practices and engagement activities differ from country-to-country. As a result, SSgA FM engages with issuers, regulators, or both, depending on the market. SSgA FM also is a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy at the country level as well as issuer specific concerns at a company level.

To help mitigate company specific risk, the team may collaborate with members of the active investment teams to engage with companies on corporate governance issues and address any specific concerns, or to get more information regarding shareholder items that are to be voted on at upcoming shareholder meetings. Outside of proxy voting season, SSgA FM conducts issuer specific engagements with companies covering various corporate governance and sustainability related topics.

The SSgA FM Governance Team uses a blend of quantitative and qualitative research and data to support screens to help identify issuers where active engagement may be necessary to protect and promote shareholder value. Issuer engagement may also be event driven, focusing on issuer specific corporate governance, sustainability concerns or wider industry related trends. SSgA FM also gives consideration to the size of our total position of the issuer in question and/or the potential negative governance, performance profile, and circumstance at hand. As a result, SSgA FM believes issuer engagement can take many forms and be triggered under numerous circumstances. The following methods represent how SSgA FM defines engagement methods:

Active

SSgA FM uses screening tools designed to capture a mix of company specific data including governance and sustainability profiles to help us focus our voting and engagement activity.

 

 

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SSgA FM will actively seek direct dialogue with the board and management of companies we have identified through our screening processes. Such engagements may lead to further monitoring to ensure the company improves its governance or sustainability practices. In these cases, the engagement process represents the most meaningful opportunity for SSgA FM to protect long-term shareholder value from excessive risk due to poor governance and sustainability practices.

Recurring

SSgA FM has ongoing dialogue with its largest holdings on corporate governance and sustainability issues. SSgA FM maintains regular face-to-face meetings with these issuers, allowing SSgA FM to reinforce key tenets of good corporate governance and actively advise these issuers around concerns that SSgA FM feels may negatively impact long-term shareholder value.

Reactive

Reactive engagement is initiated by the issuers. SSgA FM routinely discusses specific voting issues and items with the issuer community. Reactive engagement is an opportunity to address not only voting items, but also a wide range of governance and sustainability issues.

Measurement

Assessing the effectiveness of our issuer engagement process is often difficult. To limit the subjectivity of measuring our success we actively seek issuer feedback and monitor the actions issuers take post-engagement to identify tangible changes. By doing so, we are able to establish indicators to gauge how issuers respond to our concerns and to what degree these responses satisfy our requests. It is also important to note that successful engagement activity can be measured over differing time periods depending on the facts and circumstances involved. Engagements can last as short as a single meeting or span multiple years.

Depending on the issue and whether the engagement activity is reactive, recurring, or active, engagement with issuers can take the form of written communication, conference calls, or face-to-face meetings.

SSgA FM believes active engagement is best conducted directly with company management or board members. Collaborative

engagement, where multiple shareholders communicate with company representatives, can serve as a potential forum for issues that are not identified by SSgA FM as requiring active engagement, such as shareholder conference calls.

PROXY VOTING PROCEDURE

Oversight

The SSgA FM Corporate Governance Team is responsible for implementing the Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), case-by-case voting items, issuer engagement activities, and research and analysis of governance-related issues. The implementation of the Guidelines is overseen by the SSgA Global Proxy Review Committee (“SSgA PRC”), a committee of investment, compliance and legal professionals, who provide guidance on proxy issues as described in greater detail below. Oversight of the proxy voting process is ultimately the responsibility of the SSgA Investment Committee. The SSgA Investment Committee reviews and approves amendments to the Guidelines. The SSgA PRC reports to the SSgA Investment Committee, and may refer certain significant proxy items to that committee.

Proxy Voting Process

In order to facilitate SSgA FM’s proxy voting process, SSgA FM retains Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a firm with expertise in proxy voting and corporate governance. SSgA FM utilizes ISS’s services in three ways: (1) as SSgA FM’s proxy voting agent (providing SSgA FM with vote execution and administration services); (2) for applying the Guidelines; and (3) as providers of research and analysis relating to general corporate governance issues and specific proxy items.

The SSgA FM Corporate Governance Team reviews the Guidelines with ISS on an annual basis or on a case-by- case basis as needed. On most routine proxy voting items (e.g., ratification of auditors), ISS will affect the proxy votes in accordance with the Guidelines.

In other cases, the Corporate Governance Team will evaluate the proxy solicitation to determine how to vote based on facts and circumstances, consistent with the Principles, and the accompanying Guidelines, that seek to maximize the value of our client accounts.

 

 

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In some instances, the Corporate Governance Team may refer significant issues to the SSgA PRC for a determination of the proxy vote. In addition, in determining whether to refer a proxy vote to the SSgA PRC, the Corporate Governance Team will consider whether a material conflict of interest exists between the interests of our client and those of SSgA FM or its affiliates (as explained in greater detail below under “Conflict of Interest”).

SSgA FM votes in all markets where it is feasible; however, SSgA FM may refrain from voting meetings when power of attorney documentation is required, where voting will have a material impact on our ability to trade the security, where issuer-specific special documentation is required or where various market or issuer certifications are required. SSgA FM is unable to vote proxies when certain custodians, used by our clients, do not offer proxy voting in a jurisdiction, or when they charge a meeting specific fee in excess of the typical custody service agreement.

Conflict of Interest

From time to time, SSgA FM will review a proxy which may present a potential conflict of interest. In general, we do not believe matters that fall within the Guidelines and are voted consistently with the Guidelines present any potential conflicts, since the vote on the matter has effectively been determined without reference to the soliciting entity. However, where matters do not fall within the Guidelines or where we believe that voting in accordance with the Guidelines is unwarranted, we conduct an additional review to determine whether there is a conflict of interest. Although various relationships could be deemed to give rise to a conflict of interest, SSgA FM has determined that two categories of relationships present a serious concern to warrant an alternative process: (1) clients of SSgA FM or its affiliates which are among the top 100 clients of State Street Corporation or its affiliates based upon revenue; and (2) the 10 largest broker-dealers used by SSgA, based upon revenue (a “Material Relationship”).

In circumstances where either: (i) the matter does not fall clearly within the Guidelines; or (ii) SSgA FM determines that voting in accordance with such policies or guidance is not in the best interests of its clients, the Head of SSgA FM’s Corporate Governance Team will determine whether a Material Relationship exists. If so, the matter is referred to the SSgA

PRC. The SSgA PRC then reviews the matter and determines whether a conflict of interest exists, and if so, how to best resolve such conflict. For example, the SSgA PRC may (i) determine that the proxy vote does not give rise to a conflict due to the issues presented, (ii) refer the matter to the SSgA Investment Committee for further evaluation or (iii) retain an independent fiduciary to determine the appropriate vote.

PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

Directors and Boards

The election of directors is one of the most important fiduciary duties SSgA FM performs as a shareholder. SSgA FM believes that well-governed companies can protect and pursue shareholder interests better and withstand the challenges of an uncertain economic environment. As such, SSgA FM seeks to vote director elections in a way which we, as a fiduciary, believe will maximize the long-term value of each portfolio’s holdings.

Principally, a board acts on behalf of shareholders by protecting their interests and preserving their rights. This concept establishes the standard by which board and director performance is measured. To achieve this fundamental principle, the role of the board, in SSgA FM’s view, is to carry out its responsibilities in the best long-term interest of the company and its shareholders. An independent and effective board oversees management, provides guidance on strategic matters, selects the CEO and other senior executives, creates a succession plan for the board and management, provides risk oversight and assesses the performance of the CEO and management. In contrast, management implements the business and capital allocation strategies and runs the company’s day-to-day operations. As part of SSgA FM’s engagement process, SSgA FM routinely discusses the importance of these responsibilities with the boards of issuers.

SSgA FM believes the quality of a board is a measure of director independence, director succession planning, board evaluations and refreshment and company governance practices. In voting to elect nominees, SSgA FM considers many factors. SSgA FM believes independent directors are crucial to good corporate governance and help management establish sound corporate governance policies and practices. A sufficiently independent

 

 

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board will effectively monitor management, maintain appropriate governance practices, and perform oversight functions necessary to protect shareholder interests. SSgA FM also believes the right mix of skills, independence and qualifications among directors provides boards with the knowledge and direct experience to deal with risks and operating structures that are often unique and complex from one industry to another.

Accounting and Audit Related Issues

SSgA FM believes audit committees are critical and necessary as part of the board’s risk oversight role. The audit committee is responsible for setting out an internal audit function to provide robust audit and internal control systems designed to effectively manage potential and emerging risks to the company’s operations and strategy. SSgA FM believes audit committees should have independent directors as members, and SSgA FM will hold the members of the audit committee responsible for overseeing the management of the audit function.

The disclosure and availability of reliable financial statements in a timely manner is imperative for the investment process. As a result, board oversight of the internal controls and the independence of the audit process are essential if investors are to rely on financial statements. Also, it is important for the audit committee to appoint external auditors who are independent from management as we expect auditors to provide assurance as of a company’s financial condition.

Capital Structure, Reorganization and Mergers

The ability to raise capital is critical for companies to carry out strategy, grow and achieve returns above their cost of capital. The approval of capital raising activities is fundamental to a shareholder’s ability to monitor the amounts of proceeds and to ensure capital is deployed efficiently. Altering the capital structure of a company is a critical decision for boards and in making such a critical decision, SSgA FM believes the company should have a well explained business rationale that is consistent with corporate strategy and not overly dilute its shareholders.

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation.

Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In evaluating mergers and acquisitions, SSgA FM considers the adequacy of the consideration and the impact of the corporate governance provisions to shareholders. In all cases, SSgA FM uses its discretion in order to maximize shareholder value.

Occasionally, companies add anti-takeover provisions that reduce the chances of a potential acquirer making an offer, or reducing the likelihood of a successful offer. SSgA FM does not support proposals that reduce shareholders’ rights, entrench management or reduce the likelihood of shareholder’s right to vote on reasonable offers.

Compensation

SSgA FM considers the board’s responsibility to include setting the appropriate level of executive compensation. Despite the differences among the types of plans and the awards possible, there is a simple underlying philosophy that guides SSgA FM’s analysis of executive compensation; SSgA FM believes that there should be a direct relationship between executive compensation and company performance over the long-term.

Shareholders should have the opportunity to assess whether pay structures and levels are aligned with business performance. When assessing remuneration reports, SSgA FM considers factors such as adequate disclosure of different remuneration elements, absolute and relative pay levels, peer selection and benchmarking, the mix of long-term and short-term incentives, alignment of pay structures with shareholder interests, as well as with corporate strategy and performance. SSgA FM may oppose remuneration reports where pay seems misaligned with shareholders’ interests. SSgA FM may also consider executive compensation practices when re-electing members of the remuneration committee.

SSgA FM recognizes that compensation policies and practices are unique from market to market; often with significant differences between the level of disclosures, the amount and forms of compensation paid, and the ability of shareholders to approve executive compensation practices. As a result, our ability to assess the appropriateness of executive compensation is often dependent on market practices and laws.

 

 

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Environmental and Social Issues

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. Environmental and social factors may not only have an impact on the reputation of companies but may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems can generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. In our view, companies that manage all risks and consider opportunities related to environmental and social issues are able to adapt faster to changes and appear to be better placed to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term. Similarly, companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change, which could be the result of anything from regulation and litigation, physical threats (severe weather, climate change), economic trends to shifts in consumer behavior.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks and shareholder proposals relating to them on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on a company, its industry, operations, and geographic footprint. SSgA FM may also take action against the re-election of board members if we have serious concerns over ESG practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder requests to amend them.

General/Routine

Although SSgA FM does not seek involvement in the day-to-day operations of an organization, SSgA FM recognizes the need for conscientious oversight and input into management decisions that may affect a company’s value. SSgA FM supports proposals that encourage economically advantageous corporate practices and governance, while leaving decisions that are deemed to be routine or constitute ordinary business to management and the board of directors.

Securities on Loan

For funds where SSgA FM acts as trustee, SSgA FM may recall securities in instances where SSgA FM believes that a particular vote will have a material impact on the fund(s). Several factors shape this process. First, SSgA FM must receive notice of the vote in sufficient time to recall the shares on or before the record date. In many cases, SSgA FM does not receive timely notice, and is unable to recall the shares on or before the record date. Second, SSgA FM, exercising its discretion may recall shares if it believes the benefit of voting shares will outweigh the foregone lending income. This determination requires SSgA FM, with the information available at the time, to form judgments about events or outcomes that are difficult to quantify. Given past experience in this area, however, we believe that the recall of securities will rarely provide an economic benefit that outweighs the cost of the foregone lending income.

Reporting

Any client who wishes to receive information on how its proxies were voted should contact its SSgA FM relationship manager.

 

 

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State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
  

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© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    7    ID1061-INST-4625 0414 Exp. Date: 4/30/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’s (“SSgA FM”) US Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines outline our expectations of companies listed on stock exchanges in the US. This policy complements and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles which provide a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

SSgA FM’s US Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines address areas including board structure, director tenure, audit related issues, capital structure, executive compensation, environmental, social and other governance related issues. Principally, we believe the primary responsibility of the board of directors is to preserve and enhance shareholder value and protect shareholder interests. In order to carry out their primary responsibilities, directors have to undertake activities that range from setting strategy, overseeing executive management to monitoring the risks that arise from a company’s business, including risks related to sustainability issues. Further, good corporate governance necessitates the existence of effective internal controls and risk management systems, which should be governed by the board.

 

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When voting and engaging with companies in global markets, SSgA FM considers market specific nuances in the manner that we believe will most likely protect and promote the long-term economic value of client investments. SSgA FM expects companies to observe the relevant laws and regulations of their respective markets as well as country specific best practice guidelines and corporate governance codes. When we feel that a country’s regulatory requirements do not address some of the key philosophical principles that SSgA FM believes are fundamental to its global voting guidelines, we may hold companies in such markets to our global standards.

In its analysis and research into corporate governance issues in the US, SSgA FM expects all companies to act in a transparent manner and provide detailed disclosure on board profiles, related-party transactions, executive compensation and other governance issues that impact shareholders’ long-term interests.

SSgA FM’S PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

In our view, corporate governance and sustainability issues are an integral part of the investment process. The Corporate Governance Team consists of investment professionals with expertise in corporate governance and company law, remuneration, accounting as well as environmental and social issues. SSgA FM has established robust corporate governance principles and practices that are backed with extensive analytical expertise to understand the complexities of the corporate governance landscape. SSgA FM engages with companies to provide insight on the principles and practices that drive our voting decisions. We also conduct proactive engagements to address significant shareholder concerns and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues in a manner consistent with maximizing shareholder value.

The team works alongside members of SSgA FM’s active investment teams; collaborating on issuer engagements and providing input on company specific fundamentals. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in the US.

SSgA FM is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) and is compliant with the UK Stewardship Code. We are committed to sustainable

investing and are working to further integrate ESG principles into investment and corporate governance practices, where applicable and consistent with our fiduciary duty.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company. SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice and availability of information on director skills and expertise. In principle, SSgA FM believes independent directors are crucial to good corporate governance and help management establish sound corporate governance policies and practices. A sufficiently independent board will most effectively monitor management and perform oversight functions necessary to protect shareholder interests.

Director related proposals at US companies include issues submitted to shareholders that deal with the composition of the board or with members of a corporation’s board of directors. In deciding which director nominee to support, SSgA FM considers numerous factors.

Director Elections

SSgA FM’s director election policy focuses on companies’ governance profile to identify if a company demonstrates appropriate governance practices or if it exhibits negative governance practices. Factors SSgA FM considers when evaluating governance practices include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Shareholder rights;

 

    Board independence; and

 

    Board structure.

If a company demonstrates appropriate governance practices, SSgA FM believes a director should be classified as independent based on the relevant listing standards or local market practice standards. In such cases, the composition of the key oversight committees of a board should meet the minimum standards of independence. Accordingly, SSgA FM will vote against a nominee at a company with

 

 

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appropriate governance practices if the director is classified as non-independent under relevant listing standards or local market practice AND serves on a key committee of the board (compensation, audit, nominating or committees required to be fully independent by local market standards).

Conversely, if a company demonstrates negative governance practices, SSgA FM believes the classification standards for director independence should be elevated. In such circumstances, we will evaluate all director nominees based on the following classification standards:

 

    Is the nominee an employee of or related to an employee of the issuer or its auditor;

 

    Does the nominee provide professional services to the issuer;

 

    Has the nominee attended an appropriate number of board meetings; or

 

    Has the nominee received non-board related compensation from the issuer.

Where companies demonstrate negative governance practices, these stricter standards will apply not only to directors who are a member of a key committee but to all directors on the board as market practice permits. Accordingly, SSgA FM will vote against a nominee (with the exception of the CEO) where the board has inappropriate governance practices and is considered not independent based on the above independence criteria.

Additionally, SSgA FM may withhold votes from directors based on the following:

 

    When overall average board tenure is excessive and/or individual director tenure is excessive. In assessing excessive tenure, SSgA FM gives consideration to factors such as the preponderance of long tenured directors, board refreshment practices, and classified board structures;

 

    When directors attend less than 75% of board meetings without appropriate explanation or providing reason for their failure to meet the attendance threshold;

 

    CEOs of a public company who sit on more than three public company boards;

 

    Director nominees who sit on more than six public company boards;
    Directors of companies that have ignored a shareholder proposal which received a majority of the shares outstanding at the last annual or special meeting, unless management submits the proposal(s) on the ballot as a binding management proposal, recommending shareholders vote for the particular proposal(s);

 

    Compensation committee members where there is a weak relationship between executive pay and performance over a five-year period;

 

    Audit committee members if non-audit fees exceed 50% of total fees paid to the auditors; and

 

    Directors who appear to have been remiss in their duties.

Director Related Proposals

SSgA FM generally votes for the following director related proposals:

 

    Discharge of board members’ duties, in the absence of pending litigation, regulatory investigation, charges of fraud or other indications of significant concern;

 

    Proposals to restore shareholders’ ability to remove directors with or without cause;

 

    Proposals that permit shareholders to elect directors to fill board vacancies; and

 

    Shareholder proposals seeking disclosure regarding the company, board, or compensation committee’s use of compensation consultants, such as company name, business relationship(s) and fees paid.

SSgA FM generally votes against the following director related proposals:

 

    Requirements that candidates for directorships own large amounts of stock before being eligible to be elected;

 

    Proposals that relate to the “transaction of other business as properly comes before the meeting”, which extend “blank check” powers to those acting as proxy; and

 

    Proposals requiring two candidates per board seat.
 

 

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Majority Voting

SSgA FM will generally support a majority vote standard based on votes cast for the election of directors.

SSgA FM will generally vote to support amendments to bylaws that would require simple majority of voting shares (i.e. shares cast) to pass or repeal certain provisions.

Annual Elections

SSgA FM generally supports the establishment of annual elections of the board of directors. Consideration is given to the overall level of board independence and the independence of the key committees as well as whether there is a shareholders rights plan.

Cumulative Voting

SSgA FM does not support cumulative voting structures for the election of directors.

Separation Chair/CEO

SSgA FM analyzes proposals for the separation of Chair/CEO on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration numerous factors, including but not limited to, a company’s performance and the overall governance structure of the company.

Proxy Access

SSgA FM will consider proposals relating to Proxy Access on a case-by-case basis.

SSgA FM will evaluate the company’s specific circumstances, the impact of the proposal on the target company and its potential effect on shareholder value.

Considerations include but are not limited to the following:

 

    The ownership thresholds and holding duration proposed in the resolution;

 

    The binding nature of the proposal;

 

    The number of directors that shareholders may be able to nominate each year;

 

    Company performance;
    Company governance structure;

 

    Shareholder rights; and

 

    Board performance.

Age/Term Limits

Generally, SSgA FM will vote against age and term limits.

Approve Remuneration of Directors

Generally, SSgA FM will support directors’ compensation, provided the amounts are not excessive relative to other issuers in the market or industry. In making our determination, we review whether the compensation is overly dilutive to existing shareholders.

Indemnification

Generally, SSgA FM supports proposals to limit directors’ liability and/or expand indemnification and liability protection if he or she has not acted in bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

Classified Boards

SSgA FM generally supports annual elections for the board of directors. In certain cases, SSgA FM will support a classified board structure; if the board is composed of 80 percent independent directors, the board’s key committees (auditing, nominating and compensation) are composed of independent directors, and consideration of other governance factors, including, but not limited to, shareholder rights and antitakeover devices.

Confidential Voting

SSgA FM will support confidential voting.

Board Size

SSgA FM will support proposals seeking to fix the board size or designate a range for the board size and will vote against proposals that give management the ability to alter the size of the board outside of a specified range without shareholder approval.

 

 

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AUDIT RELATED ISSUES

Ratifying Auditors and Approving Auditor Compensation

SSgA FM supports the approval of auditors and auditor compensation provided that the issuer has properly disclosed audit and non-audit fees relative to market practice and the audit fees are not deemed excessive. SSgA FM deems audit fees to be excessive if the non-audit fees for the prior year constituted 50% or more of the total fees paid to the auditor. SSgA FM will support the disclosure of auditor and consulting relationships when the same or related entities are conducting both activities and will support the establishment of a selection committee responsible for the final approval of significant management consultant contract awards where existing firms are already acting in an auditing function.

In circumstances where “other” fees include fees related to initial public offerings, bankruptcy emergence, and spin-offs, and the company makes public disclosure of the amount and nature of those fees which are determined to be an exception to the standard “non-audit fee” category, then such fees may be excluded from the non-audit fees considered in determining the ratio of non-audit to audit/audit-related fees/tax compliance and preparation for purposes of determining whether non-audit fees are excessive.

SSgA FM will support the discharge of auditors and requirements that auditors attend the annual meeting of shareholders.1

CAPITAL RELATED ISSUES

Capital structure proposals include requests by management for approval of amendments to the certificate of incorporation that will alter the capital structure of the company. The most common request is for an increase in the number of authorized shares of common stock, usually in conjunction with a stock split or dividend. Typically, requests that are not unreasonably dilutive or enhance the rights of common shareholders are supported. In considering authorized share proposals, the typical threshold for approval is 100% over current authorized shares. However, the threshold may be increased if the company offers a specific need or purpose (merger, stock splits, growth purposes, etc.). All proposals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis taking into account the company’s specific financial situation.

Increase in Authorized Common Shares

In general, SSgA FM supports share increases for general corporate purposes up to 100% of current authorized stock.

SSgA FM supports increases for specific corporate purposes up to 100% of the specific need plus 50% of current authorized common stock for US firms.

When applying the thresholds, SSgA FM will also consider the nature of the specific need, such as mergers and acquisitions and stock splits.

Increase in Authorized Preferred Shares

SSgA FM votes on a case-by-case basis on proposals to increase the number of preferred shares.

Generally, SSgA FM will vote for the authorization of preferred stock in cases where the company specifies the voting, dividend, conversion, and other rights of such stock and the terms of the preferred stock appear reasonable.

SSgA FM will support proposals to create “declawed” blank check preferred stock (stock that cannot be used as a takeover defense). However, SSgA FM will vote against proposals to increase the number of blank check preferred stock authorized for issuance when no shares have been issued or reserved for a specific purpose.

Unequal Voting Rights

SSgA FM will not support proposals authorizing the creation of new classes of common stock with superior voting rights and will vote against new classes of preferred stock with unspecified voting, conversion, dividend distribution, and other rights. In addition, SSgA FM will not support capitalization changes that add “blank check” classes of stock (i.e. classes of stock with undefined voting rights) or classes that dilute the voting interests of existing shareholders.

However, SSgA FM will support capitalization changes that eliminate other classes of stock and/or unequal voting rights.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation.

 

 

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Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported.

SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize shareholder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;

 

    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock, especially in some non-US markets;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price.

ANTI–TAKEOVER ISSUES

Typically, these are proposals relating to requests by management to amend the certificate of incorporation or bylaws to add or delete a provision that is deemed to have an antitakeover effect. The majority of these proposals deal with management’s attempt to add some provision that makes a hostile takeover more difficult or will protect incumbent management in the event of a change in control of the company.

Proposals that reduce shareholders’ rights or have the effect of entrenching incumbent management will not be supported.

Proposals that enhance the right of shareholders to make their own choices as to the desirability of a merger or other proposal are supported.

Shareholder Rights Plans

SSgA FM will support mandates requiring shareholder approval of a shareholder rights plans (“poison pill”) and repeals of various anti-takeover related provisions.

In general, SSgA FM will vote against the adoption or renewal of a US issuer’s shareholder rights plan (“poison pill”).

SSgA FM will vote for an amendment to a shareholder rights plan (“poison pill”) where the terms of the new plans are more favorable to shareholders’ ability to accept unsolicited offers (i.e. if one of the following conditions are met: (i) minimum trigger, flip-in or flip-over of 20%, (ii) maximum term of three years, (iii) no “dead hand,” “slow hand,” “no hand” or similar feature that limits the ability of a future board to redeem the pill, and (iv) inclusion of a shareholder redemption feature (qualifying offer clause), permitting ten percent of the shares to call a special meeting or seek a written consent to vote on rescinding the pill if the board refuses to redeem the pill 90 days after a qualifying offer is announced).

Special Meetings

SSgA FM will vote for shareholder proposals related to special meetings at companies that do not provide shareholders the right to call for a special meeting in their bylaws if:

 

    The company also does not allow shareholders to act by written consent; or

 

    The company allows shareholders to act by written consent but the ownership threshold for acting by written consent is set above 25% of outstanding shares.

SSgA FM will vote for shareholder proposals related to special meetings at companies that give shareholders (with a minimum 10% ownership threshold) the right to call for a special meeting in their bylaws if:

 

 

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    The current ownership threshold to call for a special meeting is above 25% of outstanding shares.

SSgA FM will vote for management proposals related to special meetings.

Written Consent

SSgA FM will vote for shareholder proposals on written consent at companies if:

 

    The company does not have provisions in their bylaws giving shareholders the right to call for a special meeting; or

 

    The company allows shareholders the right to call for a special meeting but the current ownership threshold to call for a special meeting is above 25% of outstanding shares; and

 

    The company has a poor governance profile.

SSgA FM will vote management proposals on written consent on a case-by-case basis.

Super–Majority

SSgA FM will generally vote against amendments to bylaws requiring super-majority shareholder votes to pass or repeal certain provisions. SSgA FM will vote for the reduction or elimination of super-majority vote requirements, unless management of the issuer was concurrently seeking to or had previously made such a reduction or elimination.

REMUNERATION ISSUES

Despite the differences among the types of plans and the awards possible there is a simple underlying philosophy that guides the analysis of all compensation plans; namely, are the terms of the plan designed to provide an incentive for executives and/or employees to align their interests with those of the shareholders and thus work toward enhancing shareholder value. Plans which benefit participants only when the shareholders also benefit are those most likely to be supported.

Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation and Frequency

SSgA FM believes executive compensation plays a critical role in aligning executives interest with shareholder’s, attracting, retaining and incentivizing key talent, and ensuring positive

correlation between the performance achieved by management and the benefits derived by shareholders. SSgA FM supports management proposals on executive compensation where there is a strong relationship between executive pay and performance over a five-year period. SSgA FM seeks adequate disclosure of different compensation elements, absolute and relative pay levels, peer selection and benchmarking, the mix of long term and short term incentives, alignment of pay structures with shareholder interests as well as with corporate strategy and performance. Further, shareholders should have the opportunity to assess whether pay structures and levels are aligned with business performance on an annual basis.

Employee Equity Award Plans

SSgA FM considers numerous criteria when examining equity award proposals. Generally, SSgA FM does not vote against plans for lack of performance or vesting criteria. Rather, the main criteria that will result in a vote against an equity award plan are:

Excessive voting power dilution To assess the dilutive effect, we divide the number of shares required to fully fund the proposed plan, the number of authorized but unissued shares and the issued but unexercised shares by the fully diluted share count. SSgA FM reviews that number in light of certain factors, including the industry of the issuer.

Historical option grants Excessive historical option grants over the past three years. Plans that provide for historical grant patterns of greater than eight to twelve percent are generally not supported.

Repricing SSgA FM will vote against any plan where repricing is expressly permitted. If a company has a history of repricing underwater options, the plan will not be supported.

Other criteria include the following:

 

    Number of participants or eligible employees;

 

    The variety of awards possible; and

 

    The period of time covered by the plan.

There are numerous factors that we view as negative, and together, may result in a vote against a proposal:

 

    Grants to individuals or very small groups of participants;
 

 

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    “Gun-jumping” grants which anticipate shareholder approval of a plan or amendment;

 

    The power of the board to exchange “underwater” options without shareholder approval; this pertains to the ability of a company to reprice options, not the actual act of repricing described above;

 

    Below market rate loans to officers to exercise their options;

 

    The ability to grant options at less than fair market value;

 

    Acceleration of vesting automatically upon a change in control; and

 

    Excessive compensation (i.e. compensation plans which are deemed by SSgA FM to be overly dilutive).

Share Repurchases If a company makes a clear connection between a share repurchase program and its intent to offset dilution created from option plans and the company fully discloses the amount of shares being repurchased, the voting dilution calculation may be adjusted to account for the impact of the buy back.

Companies who do not (i) clearly state the intentions of any proposed share buy-back plan or (ii) disclose a definitive number of the shares to be bought back and, (iii) disclose the time frame during which the shares will be bought back, will not have any such repurchase plan factored into the dilution calculation.

162(m) Plan Amendments If a plan would not normally meet the SSgA FM criteria described above, but is primarily being amended to add specific performance criteria to be used with awards designed to qualify for performance-based exception from the tax deductibility limitations of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, then SSgA FM will support the proposal to amend the plan.

Employee Stock Option Plans

SSgA FM generally votes for stock purchase plans with an exercise price of not less than 85% of fair market value. However, SSgA FM takes market practice into consideration.

Compensation Related Items

SSgA FM will generally support the following proposals:

 

    Expansions to reporting of financial or compensation-related information, within reason; and

 

    Proposals requiring the disclosure of executive retirement benefits if the issuer does not have an independent compensation committee.

SSgA FM will generally vote against the following proposals:

 

    Retirement bonuses for non-executive directors and auditors.

MISCELLANEOUS/ROUTINE ITEMS

SSgA FM generally supports the following miscellaneous/routine governance items:

 

    Reimbursement of all appropriate proxy solicitation expenses associated with the election when voting in conjunction with support of a dissident slate;

 

    Opting out of business combination provision;

 

    Proposals that remove restrictions on the right of shareholders to act independently of management;

 

    Liquidation of the company if the company will file for bankruptcy if the proposal is not approved;

 

    Shareholder proposals to put option repricings to a shareholder vote;

 

    General updating of or corrective amendments to charter and bylaws not otherwise specifically addressed herein, unless such amendments would reasonably be expected to diminish shareholder rights (e.g. extension of directors’ term limits, amending shareholder vote requirement to amend the charter documents, insufficient information provided as to the reason behind the amendment);

 

    Change in corporation name;

 

    Mandates that amendments to bylaws or charters have shareholder approval;
 

 

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    Management proposals to change the date, time, and/or location of the annual meeting unless the proposed change is unreasonable;

 

    Repeals, prohibitions or adoption of anti-greenmail provisions;

 

    Management proposals to implement a reverse stock split when the number of authorized shares will be proportionately reduced and proposals to implement a reverse stock split to avoid delisting; and

 

    Exclusive forum provisions.

SSgA FM generally does not support the following miscellaneous/ routine governance items:

 

    Proposals asking companies to adopt full tenure holding periods for their executives;

 

    Reincorporation to a location that we believe has more negative attributes than its current location of incorporation;

 

    Shareholder proposals to change the date, time, and/or location of the annual meeting unless the current scheduling or location is unreasonable;

 

    Proposals to approve other business when it appears as voting item;

 

    Proposals giving the board exclusive authority to amend the bylaws; and

 

    Proposals to reduce quorum requirements for shareholder meetings below a majority of the shares outstanding unless there are compelling reasons to support the proposal.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES

As a fiduciary, we consider the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. Environmental and social factors not only can have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business.

Well-developed environmental and social management systems can also generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. In our view, companies that manage all risks and consider opportunities related to environmental and social issues are able to adapt faster to changes and appear to be better placed to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term. Similarly, companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change, which could result in anything from regulation and litigation, physical threats (severe weather, climate change), economic trends as well as shifts in consumer behavior.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks on an issuer-by-issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint.

 

 

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1  Common for non-US issuers; request from the issuer to discharge from liability the directors or auditors with respect to actions taken by them during the previous year.
 

 

State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
  

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© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    10    ID1060-INST-4624 0414 Exp. Date: 4/30/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’, (“SSgA FM”) European Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines cover different corporate governance frameworks and practices in European markets excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland. This policy complements and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s overarching Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles which provide a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

SSgA FM’s Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines in European markets address areas including board structure, audit related issues, capital structure, remuneration, environmental, social and other governance related issues. Principally, we believe the primary responsibility of the board of directors is to preserve and enhance shareholder value and protect shareholder interests. In order to carry out their primary responsibilities, directors have to undertake activities that range from setting strategy, overseeing executive management and monitoring the risks that arise from a company’s business, including risks related to sustainability issues. Further, good corporate governance necessitates the existence of effective internal controls and risk management systems, which should be governed by the board.

 

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When voting and engaging with companies in European markets, SSgA FM considers market specific nuances in the manner that we believe will most likely protect and promote the long-term economic value of client investments. SSgA FM expects companies to observe the relevant laws and regulations of their respective markets as well as country specific best practice guidelines and corporate governance codes. When we feel that a country’s regulatory requirements do not address some of the key philosophical principles that SSgA FM believes are fundamental to its global voting guidelines, we may hold companies in such markets to our global standards.

In its analysis and research in to corporate governance issues in European companies, SSgA FM also considers guidance issued by the European Commission. Companies should provide detailed explanations under diverse ‘comply or explain’ approaches, especially where they fail to meet requirements and why any such non-compliance would serve shareholders’ long-term interests.

SSgA FM’S PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

In our view, corporate governance and sustainability issues are an integral part of the investment process. The Corporate Governance Team consists of investment professionals with expertise in corporate governance and company law, remuneration, accounting as well as environmental and social issues. SSgA FM has established robust corporate governance principles and practices that are backed with extensive analytical expertise to understand the complexities of the corporate governance landscape. SSgA FM engages with companies to provide insight on the principles and practices that drive our voting decisions. We also conduct proactive engagement to address significant shareholder concerns and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues in a manner consistent with maximizing shareholder value.

The team works alongside members of SSgA FM’s active fundamental and EMEA investment teams; collaborating on issuer engagement and providing input on company specific fundamentals. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in European markets.

SSgA FM is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) and is compliant with the UK Stewardship Code. We are committed to sustainable investing and are working to further integrate ESG principles into investment and corporate governance practice, where applicable and consistent with our fiduciary duty.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company. SSgA FM votes for the election/re–election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice and availability of information on director skills and expertise. In principle, SSgA FM believes independent directors are crucial to good corporate governance and help management establish sound corporate governance policies and practices.

A sufficiently independent board will most effectively monitor management and perform oversight functions necessary to protect shareholder interests.

SSgA FM’s broad criteria for director independence in European companies include factors such as:

 

    Participation in related–party transactions and other business relations with the company;

 

    Employment history with company;

 

    Relations with controlling shareholders;

 

    Family ties with any of the company’s advisers, directors or senior employees;

 

    Employee and government representatives; and

 

    Overall average board tenure and individual director tenure at issuers with classified and de-classified boards, respectively.

While, overall board independence requirements and board structures differ from market to market, SSgA FM considers voting against directors it deems non–independent if overall board independence is below one third. SSgA FM also assesses the division of responsibilities between chairman and CEO on a case–by–case basis, giving consideration to factors such

 

 

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as overall level of independence on the board and general corporate governance standards in the company. SSgA FM may also not support a proposal to discharge the board, if a company fails to meet adequate governance standards or board level independence.

When considering the election or re-election of a non-executive director, SSgA FM also considers the number of outside board directorships a non-executive can undertake and attendance at board meetings. In addition, SSgA FM may vote against the election of a director whose biographical disclosures are insufficient to assess his or her role on the board and/or independence.

Although we generally are in favour of the annual election of directors, we recognise that director terms vary considerably in different European markets. SSgA FM may vote against article/ bylaw changes that seek to extend director terms. In addition, in certain markets, SSgA FM may vote against directors if their director terms extend beyond four years.

SSgA FM believes companies should have relevant board level committees for audit, remuneration and nomination oversight. The audit committee is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the financial statements of the company, appointing external auditors, monitoring their qualifications and independence as well their effectiveness and resource levels. Similarly, executive pay is an important aspect of corporate governance, and it should be determined by the board of directors and SSgA FM expects companies to have in place remuneration committees to provide independent oversight over executive pay. SSgA FM may vote against nominees who are executive members of audit or remuneration committees.

In its analysis of boards, SSgA FM considers whether board members have adequate skills to provide effective oversight of corporate strategy, operations and risks, including environmental and social issues. Boards should also have a regular evaluation process in place to assess the effectiveness of the board and the skills of board members to address issues such as emerging risks, changes to corporate strategy and diversification of operations and geographic footprint.

In certain European markets it is not uncommon for the election of directors to be presented in a single slate. In these cases, where executives serve on the audit or the remuneration committees, SSgA FM may vote against the entire slate.

SSgA FM may also consider factors such as board performance and directors who appear to be remiss in the performance of their oversight responsibilities. (e.g. fraud, criminal wrongdoing, breach of fiduciary responsibilities)

Indemnification and limitations on liability

Generally, SSgA FM supports proposals to limit directors’ liability and/or expand indemnification and liability protection up to the limit provided by law, if he or she has not acted in bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

AUDIT RELATED ISSUES

Companies should have robust internal audit and internal control systems designed for effective management of any potential and emerging risks to company operations and strategy. The responsibility of setting out an internal audit function lies with the audit committee, which should have as members independent non-executive directors.

Appointment of External Auditors

SSgA FM believes that a company’s auditor is an essential feature of an effective and transparent system of external supervision and shareholders should be given the opportunity to vote on their appointment or re-appoint at the annual meeting. When appointing external auditors and approving audit fees, SSgA FM will take into consideration the level of detail in company disclosures and will generally not support such resolutions if adequate breakdown is not provided and if non-audit fees are more than 50% of audit fees. In addition, SSgA FM may vote against members of the audit committee if we have concerns with audit related issues or if the level of non-audit fees to audit fees is significant. In certain circumstances, SSgA FM may consider auditor tenure when evaluating the audit process.

Limit Legal Liability of External Auditors

SSgA FM generally opposes limiting the legal liability of audit firms as we believe this could create a negative impact on the quality of the audit function.

 

 

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SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS AND CAPITAL RELATED ISSUES

In some European markets, differential voting rights continue to exist. SSgA FM supports the “one share one vote” policy and favours a share structure where all shares have equal voting rights. SSgA FM believes pre-emption rights should be introduced for shareholders in order to provide adequate protection from being overly diluted from the issuance of new shares or convertible securities to third parties or a small number of select shareholders.

Unequal Voting Rights

SSgA FM generally opposes proposals authorizing the creation of new classes of common stock with superior voting rights and will generally oppose new classes of preferred stock with unspecified voting, conversion, dividend distribution, and other rights. In addition, SSgA FM will not support capitalization changes that add classes of stock with undefined voting rights or classes that may dilute the voting interests of existing shareholders. SSgA FM supports proposals to abolish voting caps and capitalization changes that eliminate other classes of stock and/or unequal voting rights.

Increase in Authorized Capital

The ability raise capital is critical for companies to carry out strategy, grow, and achieve returns above their cost of capital. The approval of capital raising activities is fundamental to shareholder’s ability to monitor the amounts of proceeds and to ensure capital is deployed efficiently. SSgA FM supports capital increases that have sound business reasons and are not excessive relative to a company’s existing capital base.

Pre-emption rights are a fundamental right for shareholders to protect their investment in a company. Where companies seek to issue new shares whilst dis–applying pre–emption rights, SSgA FM may vote against if such authorities are greater than 20% of the issued share capital. SSgA FM may also vote against resolutions seeking authority to issue capital with pre-emption rights if the aggregate amount allowed seems excessive and is not justified by the board. Generally, we are against capital issuance proposals greater than 100% of the issued share capital when the proceeds are not intended for a specific purpose.

Share Repurchase Programs

SSgA FM generally supports a proposal to repurchase shares, other than if the issuer does not clearly state the business purpose for the program, a definitive number of shares to be repurchased, and the time frame for the repurchase. SSgA FM may vote against share re-purchase requests that allow share re-purchases during a takeover period.

Dividends

SSgA FM generally supports dividend payouts that constitute 30% or more of net income. SSgA FM may vote against the dividend payouts if the dividend payout ratio has been consistently below 30% without adequate explanation; or, the payout is excessive given the company’s financial position. Particular attention will be paid where the payment may damage the company’s long-term financial health.

Related Party Transactions

Certain companies in European markets have a controlled ownership structure and have complex cross-shareholdings between subsidiaries and parent companies (related companies). Such structures may result in the prevalence of related-party transactions between the company and its various stakeholders such as directors and management, subsidiaries and shareholders. In markets where shareholders are required to approve such transactions, SSgA FM expects companies to provide details of the transaction, such as the nature, value and purpose of such a transaction. It also encourages independent directors to ratify such transactions. Further, SSgA FM encourages companies to describe the level of independent board oversight and the approval process, including details of any independent valuations provided by financial advisors on related-party transactions.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation. Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported.

 

 

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SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize shareholder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;

 

    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price.

Anti–Takeover Measures

European markets have diverse regulations concerning the use of share issuances as takeover defenses with legal restrictions lacking in some markets. SSgA FM supports a one-share, one-vote policy, for example, given that dual-class capital structures entrench certain shareholders and management, insulating them from possible takeovers. SSgA FM opposes unlimited share issuance authorizations as they may be used as antitakeover devices, and they have the potential for substantial voting and earnings dilution. SSgA FM also monitors the duration of authorities to issue shares and whether there are restrictions and caps on multiple issuance authorities during the specified time periods. SSgA FM opposes antitakeover defenses such as authorities for the board, when subject to a hostile takeover, to issue warrants convertible into shares to existing shareholders.

REMUNERATION

Executive Pay

Despite the differences among the types of plans and awards possible, there is a simple underlying philosophy that guides SSgA FM’s analysis of executive pay—there should be a direct relationship between remuneration and company performance over the long-term.

Shareholders should have the opportunity to assess whether pay structures and levels are aligned with business performance. When assessing remuneration reports, SSgA FM considers factors such as adequate disclosure of different remuneration elements, absolute and relative pay levels, peer selection and benchmarking, the mix of long-term and short-term incentives, alignment of pay structures with shareholder interests as well as with corporate strategy and performance. SSgA FM may oppose remuneration reports where pay seems misaligned with shareholders’ interests. SSgA FM may also vote against the re-election of members of the remuneration committee if we have serious concerns over remuneration practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure to review its approach.

Equity Incentives Plans

SSgA FM may not support proposals on equity-based incentive plans where insufficient information is provided on matters such as grant limits, performance metrics, performance and vesting periods and overall dilution. SSgA FM does not generally support options under such plans being issued at a discount to market price or plans that allow for re-testing of performance metrics.

Non–Executive Director Pay

In European markets, authorities seeking shareholder approval for non-executive directors’ fees are generally not controversial. SSgA FM generally supports resolutions regarding directors’ fees unless disclosure is poor and we are unable to determine whether they are excessive relative to fees paid by other companies in the same country or industry. SSgA FM will evaluate on a company-by-company basis any non-cash or performance related pay to non-executive directors.

 

 

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RISK MANAGEMENT

SSgA FM believes that risk management is a key function of the board, which is responsible for setting the overall risk appetite of a company and for providing oversight on the risk management process established by senior executives at a company. SSgA FM allows boards discretion over how they provide oversight in this area. However, SSgA FM expects companies to disclose how the board provides oversight on its risk management system and to identify key risks facing the company. Boards should also review existing and emerging risks as they can change with a changing political and economic landscape, or as companies diversify or expand their operations into new areas.

Environmental and Social Issues

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. In this regard, SSgA FM supports environmental and social related items that we believe would protect or enhance shareholder value. Environmental and social factors not only can have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems can also generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. In our view, companies that manage all risks and consider opportunities related to environmental and social issues are able to adapt faster to changes and appear to be better placed to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term. Similarly, Companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change, which could result in anything from regulation and litigation, physical threats (severe weather, climate change), economic trends as well as shifts in consumer behavior.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks and shareholder proposals relating to them on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint. SSgA FM may also take action against the re-election of members of the board if we have serious concerns over ESG practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure.

 

 

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State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
  

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© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    7    ID1058-INST-4622 0414 Exp. Date: 3/31/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’, (“SSgA FM”) UK Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines outline our expectations of companies listed on stock exchanges in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This policy complements and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles which provide a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

SSgA FM’s UK Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines address areas including board structure, audit related issues, capital structure, remuneration, environmental, social and other governance related issues. Principally, we believe the primary responsibility of the board of directors is to preserve and enhance shareholder value and protect shareholder interests. In order to carry out their primary responsibilities, directors have to undertake activities that range from setting strategy, overseeing executive management to monitoring the risks that arise from a company’s business, including risks related to sustainability issues. Further, good corporate governance necessitates the existence of effective internal controls and risk management systems, which should be governed by the board.

 

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When voting and engaging with companies in global markets, SSgA FM considers market specific nuances in the manner that we believe will most likely protect and promote the long-term economic value of client investments. SSgA FM expects companies to observe the relevant laws and regulations of their respective markets as well as country specific best practice guidelines and corporate governance codes. When we feel that a country’s regulatory requirements do not address some of the key philosophical principles that SSgA FM believes are fundamental to its global voting guidelines, we may hold companies in such markets to our global standards.

In its analysis and research into corporate governance issues in the UK and Ireland, SSgA FM expects all companies, regardless of domicile, that obtain a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange or the Irish Stock Exchange to comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code. Companies should provide detailed explanations under the Code’s ‘comply or explain’ approach, especially where they fail to meet requirements and why any such non-compliance would serve shareholders’ long-term interests.

SSgA FM’S PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

In our view, corporate governance and sustainability issues are an integral part of the investment process. The Corporate Governance Team consists of investment professionals with expertise in corporate governance and company law, remuneration, accounting as well as environmental and social issues. SSgA FM has established robust corporate governance principles and practices that are backed with extensive analytical expertise to understand the complexities of the corporate governance landscape. SSgA FM engages with companies to provide insight on the principles and practices that drive our voting decisions. We also conduct proactive engagement to address significant shareholder concerns and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues in a manner consistent with maximizing shareholder value.

The team works alongside members of SSgA FM’s active fundamental and EMEA investment teams; collaborating on issuer engagement and providing input on company specific fundamentals. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in the UK and European markets.

SSgA FM is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) and is compliant with the UK Stewardship Code. We are committed to sustainable investing and are working to further integrate ESG principles into investment and corporate governance practice, where applicable and consistent with our fiduciary duty.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company. SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice and availability of information on director skills and expertise. In principle, SSgA FM believes independent directors are crucial to good corporate governance and help management establish sound corporate governance policies and practices.

A sufficiently independent board will most effectively monitor management and perform oversight functions necessary to protect shareholder interests.

SSgA FM’s broad criteria for director independence in UK companies include factors such as:

 

    Participation in related-party transactions and other business relations with the company;

 

    Employment history with company;

 

    Excessive tenure and a preponderance of long-tenured directors:

 

    Relations with controlling shareholders; and

 

    Family ties with any of the company’s advisers, directors or senior employees.

When considering the election or re-election of a director, SSgA FM also considers the number of outside board directorships a non-executive and an executive may undertake as well as attendance at board meetings. In addition, SSgA FM monitors other factors that may influence the independence

 

 

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of a non-executive director, such as performance related pay, cross-directorships, significant shareholdings and tenure. SSgA FM supports the annual election of directors.

While SSgA FM is generally supportive of having the roles of chairman and CEO separated in the UK market, SSgA FM assesses the division of responsibilities between chairman and CEO on a case-by-case basis, giving consideration to factors such as the company’s specific circumstances, overall level of independence on the board and general corporate governance standards in the company. Similarly, SSgA FM will monitor for circumstances where a combined chairman/CEO is appointed or where a former CEO becomes chairman.

SSgA FM may also consider factors such as board performance and directors who appear to be remiss in the performance of their oversight responsibilities when considering their suitability for reappointment. (e.g. fraud, criminal wrongdoing, breach of fiduciary responsibilities).

SSgA FM believes companies should have committees for audit, remuneration and nomination oversight. The audit committee is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the financial statements of the company, appointing external auditors, monitoring their qualifications and independence as well their effectiveness and resource levels. Similarly, executive pay is an important aspect of corporate governance, and it should be determined by the board of directors and SSgA FM expects companies to have in place remuneration committees to provide independent oversight over executive pay. SSgA FM will vote against nominees who are executive members of audit or remuneration committees.

In its analysis of boards, SSgA FM considers whether board members have adequate skills to provide effective oversight of corporate strategy, operations and risks, including environmental and social issues. Boards should also have a regular evaluation process in place to assess the effectiveness of the board and the skills of board members to address issues such as emerging risks, changes to corporate strategy and diversification of operations and geographic footprint. The nomination committee is responsible for evaluating and keeping under review the balance of skills, knowledge and experience of the board and ensuring that adequate succession plans are in place for directors and the CEO. SSgA FM may vote against the

re-election of members of the nomination committee if, over time, the board has failed to address concerns over board structure or succession.

Indemnification and limitations on liability

Generally, SSgA FM supports proposals to limit directors’ liability and/or expand indemnification and liability protection up to the limit provided by law, if he or she has not acted in bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

AUDIT RELATED ISSUES

Companies should have robust internal audit and internal control systems designed for effective management of any potential and emerging risks to company operations and strategy. The responsibility of setting out an internal audit function lies with the audit committee, which should have as members independent non-executive directors.

Appointment of External Auditors

SSgA FM believes that a company’s auditor is an essential feature of an effective and transparent system of external supervision and shareholders should be given the opportunity to vote on their appointment or re-appoint at the annual meeting. When appointing external auditors and approving audit fees, SSgA FM will take into consideration the level of detail in company disclosures and will generally not support such resolutions if an adequate breakdown is not provided and if non-audit fees are more than 50% of audit fees. In addition, SSgA FM may vote against members of the audit committee if we have concerns with audit related issues or if the level of non-audit fees to audit fees is significant. In certain circumstances, SSgA FM may consider auditor tenure when evaluating the audit process.

Limit Legal Liability of External Auditors

SSgA FM generally opposes limiting the legal liability of audit firms as we believe this could create a negative impact on the quality of the audit function.

 

 

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SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS AND CAPITAL RELATED ISSUES

Share Issuances

The ability to raise capital is critical for companies to carry out strategy, grow, and achieve returns above their cost of capital. The approval of capital raising activities is fundamental to shareholder’s ability to monitor the amounts of proceeds and to ensure capital is deployed efficiently. SSgA FM supports capital increases that have sound business reasons and are not excessive relative to a company’s existing capital base.

Pre-emption rights are a fundamental right for shareholders to protect their investment in a company. Where companies seeks to issue new shares whilst dis-applying pre-emption rights, SSgA FM may vote against if such authorities are greater than 20% of the issued share capital. SSgA FM may also vote against resolutions seeking authority to issue capital with pre-emption rights if the aggregate amount allowed seems excessive and is not justified by the board. Generally, we are against capital issuance proposals greater than 100% of the issued share capital when the proceeds are not intended for a specific purpose.

Share Repurchase Programs

SSgA FM generally supports a proposal to repurchase shares, other than if the issuer does not clearly state the business purpose for the program, a definitive number of shares to be repurchased, and the time frame for the repurchase. SSgA FM may vote against share re-purchase requests that allow share re-purchases during a takeover period.

Dividends

SSgA FM generally supports dividend payouts that constitute 30% or more of net income. SSgA FM may vote against the dividend payouts if the dividend payout ratio has been consistently below 30% without adequate explanation; or, the payout is excessive given the company’s financial position. Particular attention will be paid where the payment may damage the company’s long term financial health.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation. Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders,

demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported.

SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize share-holder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;

 

    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price.

Anti-Takeover Measures

SSgA FM opposes antitakeover defenses such as authorities for the board when subject to a hostile takeover to issue warrants convertible into shares to existing shareholders.

REMUNERATION

Executive Pay

Despite the differences among the types of plans and awards possible, there is a simple underlying philosophy that guides SSgA FM’s analysis of executive pay—there should be a direct relationship between remuneration and company performance over the long-term.

 

 

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Shareholders should have the opportunity to assess whether pay structures and levels are aligned with business performance. When assessing remuneration policies and reports, SSgA FM considers factors such as adequate disclosure of different remuneration elements, absolute and relative pay levels, peer selection and benchmarking, the mix of long-term and short-term incentives, alignment of pay structures with shareholder interests as well as with corporate strategy and performance. SSgA FM may oppose remuneration reports where pay seems misaligned with shareholders’ interests. SSgA FM may also vote against the re-election of members of the remuneration committee if we have serious concerns over remuneration practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure.

Equity Incentives Plans

SSgA FM may not support proposals on equity-based incentive plans where insufficient information is provided on matters such as grant limits, performance metrics, performance and vesting periods and overall dilution. SSgA FM does not generally support options under such plans being issued at a discount to market price or plans that allow for re-testing of performance metrics.

Non-Executive Director Pay

Authorities seeking shareholder approval for non-executive directors’ fees are generally not controversial. SSgA FM generally supports resolutions regarding directors’ fees unless disclosure is poor and we are unable to determine whether they are excessive relative to fees paid by other companies in the same country or industry. SSgA FM will evaluate on a company-by-company basis any non-cash or performance related pay to non-executive directors.

RISK MANAGEMENT

SSgA FM believes that risk management is a key function of the board, which is responsible for setting the overall risk appetite of a company and for providing oversight on the risk management process established by senior executives at a company. SSgA FM allows boards discretion over how they provide oversight in this area. However, SSgA FM expects companies to disclose how the board provides oversight on its

risk management system and to identify key risks facing the company. Boards should also review existing and emerging risks as they can change with a changing political and economic landscape, or as companies diversify or expand their operations into new areas.

Environmental and Social Issues

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. In this regard, SSgA FM supports environmental and social related items that we believe would protect or enhance shareholder value. Environmental and social factors not only can have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems can also generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. In our view, companies that manage all risks and consider opportunities related to environmental and social issues are able to adapt faster to changes and appear to be better placed to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term. Similarly, companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change, which could result in anything from regulation and litigation, physical threats (severe weather, climate change), economic trends as well as shifts in consumer behavior.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks and shareholder proposals relating to them on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint. SSgA FM may also take action against the re-election of members of the board if we have serious concerns over ESG practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure.

 

 

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State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.   
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© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    6    ID1059-INST-4623 0414 Exp. Date: 4/30/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’, (“SSgA FM”) Emerging Market Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines cover different corporate governance frameworks and practices in emerging markets. This policy complements and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s overarching Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles which provides a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

At SSgA FM, we recognize that countries in emerging markets are disparate in their corporate governance frameworks and practices. Concurrent with developing a company specific voting and engagement program, SSgA FM also evaluates the various factors that play into the corporate governance framework of a country. These factors include: (i) the macroeconomic conditions and broader political system in a country: (ii) quality of regulatory oversight, enforcement of property and shareholder rights; and (iii) the independence of judiciary—to name a few. While emerging market countries tend to pose broad common governance issues across all markets, such as concentrated ownership, poor disclosure of financial and related-party transactions, and weak enforcement of rules and regulation, SSgA FM’s emerging market proxy voting policy is designed to identify and address specific governance concerns in each market.

 

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SSgA FM’S PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY IN EMERGING MARKETS

SSgA FM’s approach to proxy voting and issuer engagement in emerging markets is designed to increase the value of our investments through the mitigation of governance risks. Since the overall quality of the corporate governance framework in an emerging market country drives the level of governance risks investors assign to a country, improving the macro governance framework in a country may help reduce governance risks, in turn, increasing the overall value of SSgA FM’s holdings over time. Therefore, in order to improve the overall governance framework and practices in a country, members of our proxy voting and engagement team endeavor to visit emerging market countries and meet with representatives from regulatory agencies and stock markets to highlight potential concerns with the macro governance framework of a country. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in emerging markets. To help mitigate company specific risk, the team works alongside members of the active fundamental and emerging market teams to engage with emerging market companies on governance issues and address any specific concerns or to get more information regarding shareholder items that are to be voted on at upcoming shareholder meetings. This integrated approach to engagement drives SSgA FM’s proxy voting and engagement philosophy in emerging markets.

SSgA FM’s proxy voting guidelines in emerging markets addresses six broad areas:

 

    Directors and Boards;

 

    Accounting and Audit Related Issues;

 

    Shareholder Rights and Capital Related Issues;

 

    Remuneration;

 

    Environmental and Social Issues; and

 

    General/Routine Issues.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company.

However, several factors such as low overall independence level requirements by market regulators, poor biographical disclosure of director profiles, prevalence of related-party transactions and the general resistance from controlling shareholders to increase board independence renders the election of directors as one of the most important fiduciary duties SSgA FM performs in emerging market companies.

SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice and availability of information on director skills and expertise.

SSgA FM’s broad criteria for director independence in emerging market companies include factors such as:

 

    Participation in related-party transactions;

 

    Employment history with company;

 

    Relations with controlling shareholders and other employees; and

 

    Attendance levels.

AUDIT RELATED ISSUES

The disclosure and availability of reliable financial statements in a timely manner is imperative for the investment process. As a result, board oversight of internal controls and the independence of the audit process are essential if investors are to rely on financial statements. SSgA FM believes that audit committees provide the necessary oversight on the selection and appointment of auditors, a company’s internal controls and accounting policies, and the overall audit process. In emerging markets, SSgA FM encourages boards to appoint an audit committee composed of a majority of independent auditors.

Appointment of External Auditors

SSgA FM believes that a company’s auditor is an essential feature of an effective and transparent system of external supervision and shareholders should be given the opportunity to vote on their appointment or re-appoint at the annual meeting. SSgA FM believes that it is imperative for audit committees to select outside auditors who are independent from management.

 

 

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SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS AND CAPITAL RELATED ISSUES

SSgA FM believes that changes to a company’s capital structure such as changes in authorized share capital, share repurchase and debt issuances are critical decisions made by the board. SSgA FM believes the company should have a well explained business rationale that is consistent with corporate strategy and should not overly dilute its shareholders.

Related Party Transactions

Most companies in emerging markets have a controlled ownership structure that often include complex cross- shareholding between subsidiaries and parent companies (related companies). As a result, there is a high prevalence of related-party transactions between the company and its various stakeholders such as directors and management. In addition, inter-group loan and loan guarantees provided to related companies are some of the other related-party transactions that increase the risk profile of companies. In markets where shareholders are required to approve such transactions, SSgA FM expects companies to provide details of the transaction, such as the nature, value and purpose of such a transaction. It also encourages independent directors to ratify such transactions. Further, SSgA FM encourages companies to describe the level of independent board oversight and the approval process, including details of any independent valuations provided by financial advisors on related-party transactions.

Share Repurchase Programs

With regard to share repurchase programs, SSgA FM expects companies to clearly state the business purpose for the program, a definitive number of shares to be repurchased, and the time frame for the repurchase.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation. Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as

economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported.

SSgA FM evaluates mergers and structural reorganizations on a case-by-case basis. SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize shareholder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;

 

    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price.

REMUNERATION

SSgA FM considers it to be the board’s responsibility to set appropriate level of executive compensation. Despite the differences among the types of plans and the awards possible, there is a simple underlying philosophy that guides SSgA FM’s analysis of executive compensation; there should be a direct relationship between executive compensation and company performance over the long term. In emerging markets we encourage companies to disclose information on senior executive remuneration.

With regard to director remuneration, SSgA FM supports director pay provided the amounts are not excessive relative to other issuers in the market or industry and are not overly dilutive to existing shareholders.

 

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. In this regard, SSgA FM supports environmental and social related items that we believe would protect or enhance shareholder value. Environmental and social factors can not only have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. Companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support

efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint.

In emerging markets, shareholders seldom vote on environmental and social issues. Therefore, SSgA FM addresses a company’s approach to identifying and managing environmental and social risks stemming for various aspects of its operations in its one-on-one engagement with companies.

GENERAL /ROUTINE ISSUES

Some of the other issues that are routinely voted on in emerging markets include approving the allocation of income and accepting financial statements and statutory reports. For these voting items, SSgA FM’s policies consider several factors including historical dividend payouts, pending litigation, governmental investigation, charges of fraud or other indication of significant concerns.

 

 

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State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without State Street Global Advisors’ express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
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© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    5    ID1056-INST-4621 0414 Exp. Date: 4/30/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’s, (“SSgA FM”) Japan Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines complement and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s overarching Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles, which provide a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

SSgA FM’s Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines in Japan address areas including; board structure, audit related issues, capital structure, remuneration, environmental, social and other governance related issues. Principally, we believe the primary responsibility of the board of directors is to preserve and enhance shareholder value and protect shareholder interests. In order to carry out their primary responsibilities, directors have to undertake activities that range from setting strategy, overseeing executive management to monitoring the risks that arise from a company’s business, including risks related to sustainability issues. Further, good corporate governance necessitates the existence of effective internal controls and risk management systems, which should be governed by the board.

 

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When voting and engaging with companies in Japan, SSgA FM takes into consideration the unique aspects of Japanese corporate governance structures. We recognize that under Japanese corporate law, companies may choose between two structures of corporate governance: the statutory auditor system or the committee structure. Most Japanese boards predominantly consist of executives and non-independent outsiders affiliated through commercial relationships or cross-shareholdings. Nonetheless, when evaluating companies, SSgA FM expects Japanese companies to address conflicts of interest, risk management and demonstrate an effective process for monitoring management. In its analysis and research into corporate governance issues in Japanese companies, SSgA FM also considers guidance issued by the Corporate Law Subcommittee of the Legislative Council within the Ministry of Justice as well as private study groups.

SSgA FM’s PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

In our view, corporate governance and sustainability issues are an integral part of the investment process. The Corporate Governance Team consists of investment professionals with expertise in corporate governance and company law, remuneration, and environmental and social issues. SSgA FM has established robust corporate governance principles and practices that are backed with extensive analytical expertise to understand the complexities of the corporate governance landscape. SSgA FM engages with companies to provide insight on the principles and practices that drive our voting decisions. We also conduct proactive engagement to address significant shareholder concerns and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues in a manner consistent with maximizing shareholder value.

The team works alongside members of SSgA FM’s active investment teams; collaborating on issuer engagement and providing input on company specific fundamentals. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in Japan.

SSgA FM is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) and is compliant with UK Stewardship Code. We are committed to sustainable investing and are working to further integrate ESG principles

into investment and corporate governance practice, where applicable and consistent with our fiduciary duty.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company. SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice.

Japanese companies have the option of having a traditional board of directors with statutory auditors, or a board with a committee structure. Most Japanese issuers prefer the traditional statutory auditor structure. Statutory auditors act in a quasi-compliance role as they are not involved in strategic decision-making nor are they part of the formal management decision process. Statutory auditors attend board meetings but do not have voting rights at the board; however, they have the right to seek an injunction and conduct broad investigations of unlawful behavior in the company’s operations.

SSgA FM will support the election of statutory auditors, unless the outside statutory auditor nominee is regarded as non-independent based on SSgA FM criteria, the outside statutory auditor has attended less than 75 percent of meetings of the board of directors or board of statutory auditors during the year under review, or the statutory auditor has been remiss in the performance of their oversight responsibilities (fraud, criminal wrong doing, breach of fiduciary responsibilities).

For companies with a statutory auditor structure there is no legal requirement that boards have outside directors, however, SSgA FM believes there should be a transparent process of independent and external monitoring of management on behalf of shareholders.

 

    SSgA FM believes that non-controlled Japanese companies should appoint at least one outside director, otherwise, SSgA FM will oppose the top executive who is responsible for the director nomination process; and

 

    For controlled companies with a statutory auditor structure, SSgA FM will oppose the top executive, if the board does not have at least two outside directors.
 

 

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For companies with a committee structure, SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering general market practice, as well as the independence of the nominee. SSgA FM also takes into consideration the overall independence level of the committees. In determining director independence, SSgA FM considers the following factors:

 

    Participation in related-party transactions and other business relations with the company;

 

    Past employment with the company;

 

    Provides professional services to the company; and

 

    Family ties with the company.

Regardless of board structure, SSgA FM may oppose the election of a director for the following reasons:

 

    Failure to attend board meetings; or

 

    In instances of egregious actions related to a director’s service on the board.

Indemnification and Limitations on Liability

Generally, SSgA FM supports proposals to limit directors’ and statutory auditors’ liability and/or expand indemnification and liability protection up to the limit provided by law, if he or she has not acted in bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office. SSgA FM believes limitations and indemnification are necessary to attract and retain qualified directors.

AUDIT RELATED ITEMS

SSgA FM believes that a company’s auditor is an essential feature of an effective and transparent system of external supervision and shareholders should have the opportunity to vote on their appointment at the annual meeting.

Ratifying External Auditors

SSgA FM will generally support the appointment of external auditors unless the external auditor is perceived as being non-independent and there are concerns about the accounts presented and the audit procedures followed.

Limit Legal Liability of External Auditors

SSgA FM generally opposes limiting the legal liability of audit firms as we believe this could create a negative impact on the quality of the audit function.

CAPITAL STRUCTURE, REORGANIZATION AND MERGERS

SSgA FM supports the “one share one vote” policy and favors a share structure where all shares have equal voting rights. SSgA FM supports proposals to abolish voting caps or multiple voting rights and will oppose measures to introduce these types of restrictions on shareholder rights.

SSgA FM believes pre-emption rights should be introduced for shareholders in order to provide adequate protection from being overly diluted from the issuance of new shares or convertible securities to third parties or a small number of select shareholders.

Unequal Voting Rights

SSgA FM generally opposes proposals authorizing the creation of new classes of common stock with superior voting rights and will generally oppose new classes of preferred stock with unspecified voting, conversion, dividend distribution, and other rights. In addition, SSgA FM will not support capitalization changes that add classes of stock with undefined voting rights or classes that may dilute the voting interests of existing shareholders.

However, SSgA FM will support capitalization changes that eliminate other classes of stock and/or unequal voting rights.

Increase in Authorized Capital

SSgA FM generally supports increases in authorized capital where the company provides an adequate explanation for the use of shares. In the absence of an adequate explanation, SSgA FM may oppose the request if the increase in authorized capital exceeds 100 percent of the currently authorized capital or if it leaves the company with less than 30 percent of the proposed authorized capital outstanding. Where share issuance requests exceed our standard threshold, SSgA FM will consider the nature of the specific need, such as mergers and acquisitions and stock splits

 

 

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Dividends

SSgA FM generally supports dividend payouts that constitute 30% or more of net income. SSgA FM may vote against the dividend payouts if the dividend payout ratio has been consistently below 30% without adequate explanation; or, the payout is excessive given the company’s financial position. Particular attention will be paid where the payment may damage the company’s long term financial health.

Share Repurchase Programs

Companies are allowed under Japan Corporate Law to amend their articles to authorize the repurchase of shares at the board’s discretion. SSgA FM will oppose an amendment to articles allowing the repurchase of shares at the board’s discretion. SSgA FM believes the company should seek shareholder approval for a share repurchase program at each year’s AGM, providing shareholders the right to evaluate the purpose of the repurchase.

SSgA FM generally supports a proposal to repurchase shares, other than if the issuer does not clearly state the business purpose for the program, a definitive number of shares to be repurchased, and the time frame for the repurchase. SSgA FM may vote against share repurchase requests that allow share repurchases during a takeover period.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation. Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported.

SSgA FM evaluates mergers and structural reorganizations on a case-by-case basis. SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize shareholder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;
    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price.

Anti-Takeover Measures

In general, SSgA FM believes that adoption of poison pills that have been structured to protect management and to prevent takeover bids from succeeding is not in shareholders’ interest. A shareholder rights plan may lead to management entrenchment and discourage legitimate tender offers and acquisitions. Even if the premium paid to companies with a shareholder rights plan is higher than that offered to unprotected firms, a company’s chances of receiving a takeover offer in the first place may be reduced by the presence of a shareholder rights plan.

Proposals that reduce shareholders’ rights or have the effect of entrenching incumbent management will not be supported.

Proposals that enhance the right of shareholders to make their own choices as to the desirability of a merger or other proposal are supported.

Shareholder Rights Plans

In evaluating poison pills, the following conditions must be met before SSgA FM will recommend a vote in favor.

 

 

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SSgA FM will support the adoption or renewal of a Japanese issuer’s shareholder rights plans (“poison pill”) if the following conditions are met: (i) minimum trigger, flip-in or flip-over of 20%, (ii) maximum term of three years, (iii) no “dead hand,” “slow hand,” “no hand” or similar feature that limits the ability of a future board to redeem the pill, and (iv) inclusion of a shareholder redemption feature (qualifying offer clause), permitting ten percent of the shares to call a special meeting or seek a written consent to vote on rescinding the pill if the board refuses to redeem the pill 90 days after a qualifying offer is announced.

SSgA FM will vote for an amendment to a shareholder rights plan (“poison pill”) where the terms of the new plans are more favorable to shareholders’ ability to accept unsolicited offers (i.e. if one of the following conditions are met: (i) minimum trigger, flip-in or flip-over of 20%, (ii) maximum term of three years, (iii) no “dead hand,” “slow hand,” “no hand” or similar feature that limits the ability of a future board to redeem the pill, or (iv) inclusion of a shareholder redemption feature (qualifying offer clause), permitting ten percent of the shares to call a special meeting or seek a written consent to vote on rescinding the pill if the board refuses to redeem the pill 90 days after a qualifying offer is announced).

COMPENSATION

In Japan, excessive compensation is rarely an issue. Rather, the problem is the lack of connection between pay and performance. Fixed salaries and cash retirement bonuses tend to comprise a significant portion of the compensation structure while performance-based pay is generally a small portion of the total pay. SSgA FM, where possible, seeks to encourage the use of performance based compensation in Japan as an incentive for executives and as a way to align interests with shareholders.

Approve Adjustment to Aggregate Compensation Ceiling for Directors

Remuneration for directors is generally reasonable. Typically, each company sets the director compensation parameters as an aggregate thereby limiting the total pay to all directors. When requesting a change, a company must disclose the last time the ceiling was adjusted and management provides the rationale for the ceiling increase. SSgA FM will generally support proposed increases to the ceiling if the company discloses the rationale for the increase. SSgA FM may oppose proposals to increase the

ceiling if there has been corporate malfeasance or sustained poor performance.

Approve Annual Bonuses for Directors/Statutory Auditors

In Japan, since there are no legal requirements that mandate companies to seek shareholder approval before awarding a bonus, SSgA FM believes that existing shareholder approval of the bonus should be considered best practice. As a result, SSgA FM supports management proposals on executive compensation where there is a strong relationship between executive pay and performance over a five-year period.

Approve Retirement Bonuses for Directors/Statutory Auditors

Retirement bonuses make up a sizeable portion of directors’ and auditors’ lifetime compensation and are based on board tenure. While many companies in Japan have abolished this practice, there remain many proposals seeking shareholder approval for the total amounts paid to directors and statutory auditors as a whole. In general, SSgA FM supports these payments unless the recipient is an outsider or in instances where the amount is not disclosed.

Approve Stock Plan

Most option plans in Japan are conservative, particularly at large companies. Japan corporate law requires companies to disclose the monetary value of the stock options for directors and/or statutory auditors. Some companies do not disclose the maximum number of options that can be issued per year and shareholders are unable to evaluate the dilution impact. In this case, SSgA FM cannot calculate the dilution level and, therefore, SSgA FM may oppose such plans for poor disclosure. SSgA FM also opposes plans that allow for the repricing of the exercise price.

Deep Discount Options

As Japanese companies move away from the retirement bonus system, deep discount options plans have become more popular. Typically, the exercise price is set at JPY 1 per share. SSgA FM evaluates deep discount options using the same criteria used to evaluate stock options as well as considering the vesting period.

 

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. In this regard, SSgA FM supports environmental and social related items that we believe would protect or enhance shareholder value. Environmental and social factors can not only have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. Companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change.

In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability

fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint.

MISCELLANEOUS/ROUTINE ITEMS

Expansion of Business Activities

Japanese companies’ articles of incorporation strictly define the types of businesses in which a company is permitted to engage. In general, SSgA FM views proposals to expand and diversify the company’s business activities as routine and non-contentious. SSgA FM will monitor instances where there has been an inappropriate acquisition and diversification away from the company’s main area of competence, which resulted in a decrease of shareholder value.

MORE INFORMATION

Any client who wishes to receive information on how its proxies were voted should contact its SSgA FM relationship manager.

 

 

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State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
   ssga.com

 

© 2014 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.    7    ID1057-INST-4649 0414 Exp. Date: 4/30/2015


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State Street Global Advisors Funds Management, Inc.’, (“SSgA FM”) Australia Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines outline our expectations of companies listed on stock exchanges in Australia. This policy complements and should be read in conjunction with SSgA FM’s Global Proxy Voting and Engagement Principles which provide a detailed explanation of SSgA FM’s approach to voting and engaging with companies.

SSgA FM’s Australia Proxy Voting and Engagement Guidelines address areas including board structure, audit related issues, capital structure, remuneration, environmental, social and other governance related issues. Principally, we believe the primary responsibility of the board of directors is to preserve and enhance shareholder value and protect shareholder interests. In order to carry out their primary responsibilities, directors have to undertake activities that range from setting strategy, overseeing executive management to monitoring the risks that arise from a company’s business, including risks related to sustainability issues. Further, good corporate governance necessitates the existence of effective internal controls and risk management systems, which should be governed by the board.

 

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When voting and engaging with companies in global markets, SSgA FM considers market specific nuances in the manner that we believe will most likely protect and promote the long-term economic value of client investments. SSgA FM expects companies to observe the relevant laws and regulations of their respective markets as well as country specific best practice guidelines and corporate governance codes. When we feel that a country’s regulatory requirements do not address some of the key philosophical principles that SSgA FM believes are fundamental to its global voting guidelines, we may hold companies in such markets to our global standards.

In its analysis and research in to corporate governance issues in Australia, SSgA FM expects all companies at a minimum to comply with the ASX Corporate Governance Principles. Companies should provide detailed explanations under the Principles’ ‘comply or explain’ approach, especially where they fail to meet requirements and why any such non-compliance would serve shareholders’ long-term interests. On some governance matters, such as composition of audit committees, we hold Australian companies to our global standards requiring all directors on the committee to be independent of management.

SSgA FM’s PROXY VOTING AND ENGAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

In our view, corporate governance and sustainability issues are an integral part of the investment process. The Corporate Governance Team consists of investment professionals with expertise in corporate governance and company law, remuneration, accounting as well as environmental and social issues. SSgA FM has established robust corporate governance principles and practices that are backed with extensive analytical expertise to understand the complexities of the corporate governance landscape. SSgA FM engages with companies to provide insight on the principles and practices that drive our voting decisions. We also conduct proactive engagement to address significant shareholder concerns and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues in a manner consistent with maximizing shareholder value.

The team works alongside members of SSgA FM’s active fundamental and the Asia-Pacific (“APAC”) investment teams; collaborating on issuer engagement and providing input on

company specific fundamentals. SSgA FM is also a member of various investor associations that seek to address broader corporate governance related policy issues in the region.

SSgA FM is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (“UNPRI”) and is compliant with the UK Stewardship Code. We are committed to sustainable investing and are working to further integrate ESG principles into investment and corporate governance practice, where applicable and consistent with our fiduciary duty.

DIRECTORS AND BOARDS

SSgA FM believes that a well constituted board of directors, with a good balance of skills, expertise and independence, provides the foundations for a well governed company. SSgA FM votes for the election/re-election of directors on a case-by-case basis after considering various factors including general market practice and availability of information on director skills and expertise. In principle, SSgA FM believes independent directors are crucial to good corporate governance and help management establish sound ESG policies and practices. A sufficiently independent board will most effectively monitor management and perform oversight functions necessary to protect shareholder interests.

SSgA FM’s broad criteria for director independence in Australian companies include factors such as:

 

    Participation in related-party transactions and other business relations with the company;

 

    Employment history with company;

 

    Relations with controlling shareholders; and

 

    Family ties with any of the company’s advisers, directors or senior employees.

When considering the election or re-election of a director, SSgA FM also considers the number of outside board directorships a non-executive and an executive may undertake as well as attendance at board meetings. In addition, SSgA FM monitors other factors that may influence the independence of a non-executive director, such as performance related pay, cross-directorships, significant shareholdings and tenure.

 

 

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SSgA FM supports the annual election of directors and encourages Australian companies to adopt this practice.

While SSgA FM is generally supportive of having the roles of chairman and CEO separated in the Australia market, SSgA FM assesses the division of responsibilities between chairman and CEO on a case-by-case basis, giving consideration to factors such as the company’s specific circumstances, overall level of independence on the board and general corporate governance standards in the company. Similarly, SSgA FM will monitor for circumstances where a combined chairman/CEO is appointed or where a former CEO becomes chairman.

SSgA FM may also consider factors such as board performance and directors who appear to be remiss in the performance of their oversight responsibilities when considering their suitability for reappointment. (e.g. fraud, criminal wrongdoing, breach of fiduciary responsibilities)

SSgA FM believes companies should have committees for audit, remuneration and nomination oversight. The audit committee is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the financial statements of the company, appointing external auditors, monitoring their qualifications and independence as well their effectiveness and resource levels. Australian Corporate Governance Principles requires ASX listed companies to have an audit committee of at least three members all of whom are non-executive directors and a majority of whom are independent directors. It also requires that the committee be chaired by an independent director who is not the chair of the board. SSgA FM holds Australian companies to its global standards for developed financial markets, by requiring that all members of the audit committee be independent directors.

In its analysis of boards, SSgA FM considers whether board members have adequate skills to provide effective oversight of corporate strategy, operations and risks, including environmental and social issues. Boards should also have a regular evaluation process in place to assess the effectiveness of the board and the skills of board members to address issues such as emerging risks, changes to corporate strategy and diversification of operations and geographic footprint. The nomination committee is responsible for evaluating and keeping under review the balance of skills, knowledge and experience of the board and ensuring that adequate succession plans are in place for directors and the CEO. SSgA FM may vote against the

re-election of members of the nomination committee if, over time, the board has failed to address concerns over board structure or succession.

Executive pay is another important aspect of corporate governance. SSgA FM believes that executive pay should be determined by the board of directors and SSgA FM expects companies to have in place remuneration committees to provide independent oversight over executive pay. Australian Corporate Governance Principles requires ASX listed companies to have a remuneration committee of at least three members all of whom are non-executive directors and a majority of whom are independent directors. Since Australia has a binding vote on pay with a two-strike rule requiring a board spill in the event of a second strike, SSgA FM believes that the vote provides investors a mechanism to address concerns it may have on the quality of oversight provided by the board on remuneration issues. Accordingly SSgA FM voting guidelines accommodate local market practice.

Indemnification and limitations on liability

Generally, SSgA FM supports proposals to limit directors’ liability and/or expand indemnification and liability protection up to the limit provided by law, if he or she has not acted in bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

AUDIT RELATED ISSUES

Companies should have robust internal audit and internal control systems designed for effective management of any potential and emerging risks to company operations and strategy. The responsibility of setting out an internal audit function lies with the audit committee, which should have as members independent non-executive directors.

Appointment of External Auditors

SSgA FM believes that a company’s auditor is an essential feature of an effective and transparent system of external supervision and shareholders should be given the opportunity to vote on their appointment or re-appoint at the annual meeting. When appointing external auditors and approving

 

 

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audit fees, SSgA FM will take into consideration the level of detail in company disclosures and will generally not support such resolutions if adequate breakdown is not provided and if non-audit fees are more than 50% of audit fees. In addition, SSgA FM may vote against members of the audit committee if we have concerns with audit related issues or if the level of non-audit fees to audit fees is significant. In certain circumstances, SSgA FM may consider auditor tenure when evaluating the audit process.

SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS AND CAPITAL RELATED ISSUES

Share Issuances

The ability to raise capital is critical for companies to carry out strategy, grow, and achieve returns above their cost of capital. The approval of capital raising activities is fundamental to shareholders’ ability to monitor the amounts of proceeds and to ensure capital is deployed efficiently. SSgA FM supports capital increases that have sound business reasons and are not excessive relative to a company’s existing capital base.

Pre-emption rights are a fundamental right for shareholders to protect their investment in a company. Where companies seeks to issue new shares whilst dis-applying pre-emption rights, SSgA FM may vote against if such authorities are greater than 20% of the issued share capital. SSgA FM may also vote against resolutions seeking authority to issue capital with pre-emption rights if the aggregate amount allowed seems excessive and is not justified by the board. Generally, we are against capital issuance proposals greater than 100% of the issued share capital when the proceeds are not intended for a specific purpose.

Share Repurchase Programs

SSgA FM generally supports a proposal to repurchase shares, other than if the issuer does not clearly state the business purpose for the program, a definitive number of shares to be repurchased, and the time frame for the repurchase. SSgA FM may vote against share re-purchase requests that allow share re-purchases during a takeover period.

Dividends

SSgA FM generally supports dividend payouts that constitute 30% or more of net income. SSgA FM may vote against the dividend payouts if the dividend payout ratio has been consistently below 30% without adequate explanation; or, the payout is excessive given the company’s financial position. Particular attention will be paid where the payment may damage the company’s long-term financial health.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers or reorganizing the structure of a company often involve proposals relating to reincorporation, restructurings, mergers, liquidations, and other major changes to the corporation. Proposals that are in the best interests of the shareholders, demonstrated by enhancing share value or improving the effectiveness of the company’s operations, will be supported. In general, provisions that are not viewed as economically sound or are thought to be destructive to shareholders’ rights are not supported. SSgA FM will generally support transactions that maximize shareholder value. Some of the considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

 

    Offer premium;

 

    Strategic rationale;

 

    Board oversight of the process for the recommended transaction, including, director and/or management conflicts of interest;

 

    Offers made at a premium and where there are no other higher bidders; and

 

    Offers in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value.

SSgA FM may vote against a transaction considering the following:

 

    Offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock;

 

    Offers where we believe there is a reasonable prospect for an enhanced bid or other bidders; and

 

    At the time of voting, the current market price of the security exceeds the bid price
 

 

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Anti-Takeover Measures

SSgA FM opposes antitakeover defenses, such as authorities for the board, when subject to a hostile takeover, to issue warrants convertible into shares to existing shareholders.

REMUNERATION

Executive Pay

There is a simple underlying philosophy that guides SSgA FM’s analysis of executive pay—there should be a direct relationship between remuneration and company performance over the long-term. Shareholders should have the opportunity to assess whether pay structures and levels are aligned with business performance. When assessing remuneration reports, SSgA FM considers factors such as adequate disclosure of different remuneration elements, absolute and relative pay levels, peer selection and benchmarking, the mix of long term and short term incentives, alignment of pay structures with shareholder interests as well as with corporate strategy and performance. SSgA FM may oppose remuneration reports where there seems to be a misalignment between pay and shareholders’ interests and where incentive policies and schemes have a re-test option or feature. SSgA FM may also vote against the re-election of members of the remuneration committee if we have serious concerns over remuneration practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure to review its approach.

Equity Incentives Plans

SSgA FM may not support proposals on equity-based incentive plans where insufficient information is provided on matters such as grant limits, performance metrics, performance and vesting periods and overall dilution. SSgA FM does not generally support options under such plans being issued at a discount to market price or plans that allow for re-testing of performance metrics.

Non-Executive Director Pay

Authorities seeking shareholder approval for non-executive directors’ fees are generally not controversial. SSgA FM generally supports resolutions regarding directors’ fees unless disclosure is poor and we are unable to determine whether they are excessive relative to fees paid by other companies in the

same country or industry. SSgA FM will evaluate on a company-by-company basis any non-cash or performance related pay to non-executive directors.

RISK MANAGEMENT

SSgA FM believes that risk management is a key function of the board, which is responsible for setting the overall risk appetite of a company and for providing oversight on the risk management process established by senior executives at a company. SSgA FM allows boards discretion over how they provide oversight in this area. However, SSgA FM expects companies to disclose how the board provides oversight on its risk management system and to identify key risks facing the company. Boards should also review existing and emerging risks as they can change with a changing political and economic landscape, or as companies diversify or expand their operations into new areas.

Environmental and Social Issues

As a fiduciary, SSgA FM considers the financial and economic implications of environmental and social issues first and foremost. In this regard, SSgA FM supports environmental and social related items that we believe would protect or enhance shareholder value. Environmental and social factors not only can have an impact on the reputation of companies; they may also represent significant operational risks and costs to business. Well-developed environmental and social management systems can also generate efficiencies and enhance productivity, both of which impact shareholder value in the long-term.

SSgA FM encourages companies to be transparent about the environmental and social risks and opportunities they face and adopt robust policies and processes to manage such issues. In our view, companies that manage all risks and consider opportunities related to environmental and social issues are able to adapt faster to changes and appear to be better placed to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term. Similarly, companies with good risk management systems, which include environmental and social policies, have a stronger position relative to their peers to manage risk and change, which could result in anything from regulation and litigation, physical threats (severe weather, climate change), economic trends as well as shifts in consumer behavior.

 

 

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In their public reporting, we expect companies to disclose information on relevant management tools and material environmental and social performance metrics. We support efforts by companies to try to demonstrate how sustainability fits into operations and business activities. SSgA FM’s team of analysts evaluates these risks and shareholder proposals relating to them on an issuer by issuer basis; understanding that environmental and social risks can vary widely depending on company industry, its operations, and geographic footprint. SSgA FM may also take action against the re-election of members of the board if we have serious concerns over ESG practices and the company has not been responsive to shareholder pressure.

State Street Global Advisors Worldwide Entities

Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL Number 238276). Registered Office: Level 17, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia • Telephone: +612 9240-7600 • Facsimile: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Office Park Nysdam, 92 Avenue Reine Astrid, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium • Telephone: +32 2 663 2036 • Facsimile: +32 2 672 2077. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 770 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 1200 Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1G1, 1-514-282-2484 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6 • Telephone: +647-775-5900. Dubai: State Street Bank and Trust Company (Representative Office), Boulevard Plaza 1, 17th Floor, Office 1703 Near Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, P.O Box 26838, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Telephone: +971 (0)4-4372800 • Facsimile: +971 (0)4-4372818. France: State Street Global Advisors France. Authorised and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Registered with the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre under the number: 412 052 680. Registered Office: Immeuble Défense Plaza, 23-25 rue Delarivière-Lefoullon, 92064 Paris La Défense Cedex, France • Telephone: (+33) 1 44 45 40 00 • Facsimile: (+33) 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich • Telephone: +49 (0)89-55878-100 • Facsimile: +49 (0)89-55878-440. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong • Telephone: +852 2103-0288 • Facsimile: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Incorporated and registered in Ireland at Two Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 145221. Member of the Irish Association of Investment Managers • Telephone: +353 (0)1 776 3000 • Facsimile: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Italy, Sede Secondaria di Milano, Via dei Bossi, 4 20121 Milan, Italy • Telephone: +39 02 32066 100 • Facsimile: +39 02 32066 155. State Street Global Advisors Italy is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6239 • Telephone: +813 4530 7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345). Japan Investment Advisers Association, Investment Trusts Association Japan, Japan Securities Dealers Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Adam Smith Building, Thomas Malthusstraat 1-3, 1066 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands • Telephone: + 31 (0)20 7181701. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Limited. State Street Global Advisors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Registered Number: 200002719D) • Telephone: +65 6826-7500 • Facsimile: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich • Telephone: +41 (0)44 245 70 00 • Facsimile: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered Number: 2509928. VAT Number: 5776591 81. Registered Office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ • Telephone: +020 3395 6000 • Facsimile: +020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111-2900 • Telephone: (617) 664-4738.

Web: ssga.com

The views expressed in this material are the views of State Street Global Advisors Corporate Governance Team through the period ended March 17, 2014 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

State Street Global Advisors generally delegates commodities management for separately managed accounts to State Street Global Advisors FM, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Street and an affiliate of State Street Global Advisors. State Street Global Advisors FM is registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association.

This communication is not specifically directed to investors of separately managed accounts (SMA) utilizing futures, options on futures or swaps. State Street Global Advisors FM CTA clients should contact State Street Global Advisors Relationship Management for important CTA materials.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSgA FM’s express written consent.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

 

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State Street Global Advisors is the investment management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.

  
   ssga.com

 

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DoubleLine Funds Trust

DoubleLine Equity Funds

DoubleLine Capital LP

DoubleLine Equity LP

DoubleLine Private Funds

DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund

DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund

Proxy Voting, Corporate Actions and Class Actions

November 2013

I. Background

This Proxy Voting, Corporate Actions and Class Actions Policy (“Policy”) is adopted by DoubleLine Capital LP and DoubleLine Equity LP (each, as applicable, “DoubleLine”, the “Adviser” or the “Firm”), DoubleLine Funds Trust and DoubleLine Equity Funds (each, as applicable, the “Trust”) and each series of the Trusts (each an “Open-End Fund”), the DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund (“DBL”) and DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund (“DSL” and, together with DBL and all of the Open-End Funds collectively, the “Funds”) to govern the voting of proxies related to securities held by the Funds and actions taken with respect to corporate actions and class actions affecting such securities, and to provide a method of reporting the actions taken and overseeing compliance with regulatory requirements.

Each private investment fund (such as, but not limited to, the DoubleLine Opportunistic Income Master Fund LP (and its related entities) and the DoubleLine Leverage Fund LP (and its related entities), each of which is a “Private Fund” and, collectively, the “Private Funds”) managed by DoubleLine also adopts this policy.

DoubleLine generally will exercise voting authority on behalf of its separate account clients (“Separate Account Clients” and together with the Funds and Private Funds, the “Clients”) pursuant to contractual delegation of such authority. Separate Account Clients that do not provide written authorization for DoubleLine to exercise voting authority are responsible for their own proxy voting, corporate actions and class actions and this Policy does not apply to them.

To the extent that voting a proxy or taking action with respect to a class action or corporate action (in each case, a “proposal”) is desirable, DoubleLine (or its designee) will seek to take action on such proposal in a manner that it believes is most likely to enhance the economic value of the underlying securities held in Client accounts and, with respect to proposals not otherwise covered by the guidelines herein, DoubleLine (or its designee) will seek to consider each proposal on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration any relevant contractual obligations as well as other relevant facts and circumstances at the time of the vote. DoubleLine will not respond to proxy solicitor requests unless DoubleLine determines that it is in the best interest of Clients to do so.

II. Issue

Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Rule”), requires every investment adviser who exercises voting authority with respect to client securities to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the adviser votes proxies in the best interest of its clients. The procedures must address material conflicts that may arise between DoubleLine and a Client in connection with proxy voting. The Rule further requires the adviser to provide a concise summary of the adviser’s proxy voting policies and procedures and to provide copies of the complete proxy voting policy and procedures to clients upon request. Lastly, the Rule requires that the adviser disclose to clients how they may obtain information on how the adviser voted their proxies.


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III. Policy – Proxies and Corporate Actions; Role of Third-Party Proxy Agent

DoubleLine has primary responsibility for taking actions on proposals related to securities held in a Client’s portfolio. To carry out its obligations, DoubleLine has retained a third-party proxy voting service provider, currently Glass, Lewis & Co. (“Glass Lewis”), as its proxy voting agent. Pursuant to an agreement with DoubleLine, Glass Lewis obtains proxy ballots with respect to securities held by one or more Clients, evaluates the individual facts and circumstances relating to any proposal, and, except as otherwise provided below, votes on any such proposal in accordance with the Guidelines set forth in Attachment A hereto (the “Guidelines”). In the event that a proposal is not adequately addressed by the Guidelines, Glass Lewis will make recommendations to DoubleLine as to how to vote on such proposal. The portfolio manager or other authorized person of the relevant Client will review the recommendation made by Glass Lewis and will instruct Glass Lewis when a determination is made to vote against the recommendation made. Upon the recommendation of the applicable portfolio manager or other authorized person of a particular Client, DoubleLine may override a recommendation made by Glass Lewis if DoubleLine believes such action is in the best interests of the Client. In the event that Glass Lewis does not provide a recommendation with respect to a proposal, DoubleLine may vote on such proposal. DoubleLine personnel are responsible for managing the relationship with Glass Lewis and/or any other third-party proxy voting service provider and for overseeing its compliance with this Policy. DoubleLine, in its discretion, may retain another third-party proxy voting service provider in addition to or in lieu of Glass Lewis.

The Guidelines provide a basis for making decisions in the voting of proxies and taking action with respect to class actions or corporate actions for Clients. When voting proxies or taking action with respect to class actions or corporate actions, DoubleLine’s utmost concern is that all decisions be made in the best interests of the Client and with the goal of maximizing the value of the Client’s investments. With this goal in mind, the Guidelines cover various categories of voting decisions and generally specify whether DoubleLine (or its designee) will vote (assuming it votes at all) for or against a particular type of proposal. The applicable portfolio managers who are primarily responsible for evaluating the individual holdings of the relevant Client are ultimately responsible for overseeing the voting of proxies and taking action with respect to class actions or corporate actions for such Client (though they are not expected to review each such vote or action). Such portfolio managers may, in their discretion, vote proxies or take action with respect to class actions or corporate actions in a manner that is inconsistent with the Guidelines (or instruct Glass Lewis to do so) when they determine that doing so is in the best interests of the Client. In making any such determination, the portfolio managers may, in their discretion, take into account the recommendations of appropriate members of DoubleLine’s, executive and senior management, other investment personnel and, if desired, an outside service.

Limitations of this Policy. This Policy applies to voting and/or consent rights of securities held by Clients. DoubleLine (or its designee) will, on behalf of each Client (including the Funds or the Private Funds) vote in circumstances such as, but not limited to, plans of reorganization, and waivers and consents under applicable indentures. This Policy does not apply, however, to consent rights that primarily represent decisions to buy or sell investments, such as tender or exchange offers, conversions, put options, redemption and Dutch auctions. Such decisions, while considered not to be covered within this Policy, shall be made with the Client’s best interests in mind. In certain limited circumstances, particularly in the area of structured finance, DoubleLine may, on behalf of clients, enter into voting agreements or other contractual obligations that govern the voting of shares. In the event of a conflict between any such contractual requirements and the Guidelines, DoubleLine (or its designee) will vote in accordance with its contractual obligations.

In addition, where DoubleLine determines that there are unusual costs and/or difficulties associated with voting on a proposal, which more typically might be the case with respect to proposals relating to non-U.S. issuers, DoubleLine reserves the right to not vote on a proposal unless DoubleLine determines that the expected benefits of voting on such proposal exceed the expected cost to the Client, such as in situations where a jurisdiction imposes share blocking restrictions which may affect the ability of the portfolio managers to effect trades in the related security.

All proxies, class actions or corporate actions received shall be retained by the Chief Risk Officer or designee. Such records shall include whether DoubleLine voted such proxy or corporate actions and, if so, how the proxy was voted. The records also shall be transcribed into a format such that any Client’s overall proxy and corporate actions voting record can be provided upon request.


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DoubleLine provides no assurance to former clients that applicable proxy, class actions or corporate actions information will be delivered to them.

IV. Proofs of Claim

DoubleLine does not complete proofs-of-claim on behalf of Clients for current or historical holdings; however, DoubleLine will provide reasonable assistance to Clients with collecting information relevant to filing proofs-of-claim when such information is in the possession of DoubleLine. DoubleLine does not undertake to complete or provide proofs-of-claim for securities that had been held by any former client. DoubleLine will complete proofs-of-claim for the Funds and Private Funds, or provide reasonable access to the applicable Fund’s or Private Fund’s Administrator to file such proofs-of-claim when appropriate.

V. Class Actions Policy

In the event that Client securities become the subject of a Class Action lawsuit, the applicable portfolio manager(s) will assess the value to Clients in participating in such legal action. If the portfolio manager decides that participating in the Class Action is in the Client’s best interest, DoubleLine will recommend that the Client or its Custodian submit appropriate documentation on the Client’s behalf, subject to contractual or other authority. DoubleLine may consider any relevant information in determining whether participation in a Class Action lawsuit is in a Client’s best interest, including the costs that would be incurred by the Client and the resources that would be expended in participating in the Class Action, including in comparison to the Client pursuing other legal recourse against the issuer. DoubleLine also may choose to notify Clients (other than the Funds and the Private Funds) of the Class Action without making a recommendation as to participation, which would allow Clients to decide how or if to proceed.

DoubleLine provides no assurance to former clients that applicable class action information will be delivered to them.

VI. Procedures for Lent Securities and Issuers in Share-blocking Countries

At times, DoubleLine may not be able to take action in respect of a proposal on behalf of a Client when the Client’s relevant securities are on loan in accordance with the Client’s securities lending program and/or are controlled by a securities lending agent or custodian acting independently of DoubleLine. Notwithstanding this fact, in the event that DoubleLine becomes aware of a proposal on which a Client’s securities may be voted and with respect to which the outcome of such proposal could reasonably be expected to enhance the economic value of the Client’s position and some or a portion of that position is lent out, DoubleLine will make reasonable efforts to inform the Client that DoubleLine is not able to take action with respect to such proposal until and unless the Client recalls the lent security. When such situations relate to the Funds or the Private Funds, DoubleLine will take reasonable measures to recall the lent security in order to take action timely. There can be no assurance that any lent security will be returned timely.

In certain markets where share blocking occurs, shares must be frozen for trading purposes at the custodian or sub-custodian in order to vote. During the time that shares are blocked, any pending trades will not settle. Depending on the market, this period can last from one day to three weeks. Any sales that must be executed will settle late and potentially be subject to interest charges or other punitive fees. For this reason, in blocking markets, DoubleLine retains the right to vote or not, based on the determination of DoubleLine’s investment personnel as to whether voting would be in the Client’s best interest.

VII. Proxy Voting Committee

DoubleLine has established a proxy voting committee (the “Committee”) with a primary responsibility of overseeing compliance with the Policy. The Committee, made up of non-investment executive officers, the Chief Risk Officer, and the Chief Compliance Officer (or his designee), meets on an as needed basis. The Committee will monitor compliance with the Policy and will review potential conflicts of interest that may arise under this Policy.


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VIII. Procedures for Material Conflicts of Interest

The portfolio managers will make every reasonable effort to monitor for conflicts of interest arising between DoubleLine and a Client and for reporting any such conflict identified by the portfolio managers to the Committee. Should material conflicts of interest arise between DoubleLine and a Client as to a proposal, the proposal shall be brought to the attention of the Committee, who shall involve other executive managers, legal counsel (which may be DoubleLine’s in-house counsel or outside counsel) or the Chief Compliance Officer as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by the Committee to attempt to resolve such conflicts. The Committee shall determine the materiality of such conflict if the conflict cannot be resolved. (An example of a specific conflict of interest that should be brought to the Committee is a situation where a proxy contest involves securities issued by a DoubleLine Client. When in doubt as to a potential conflict, portfolio managers shall bring the proxy to the attention of the Committee.)

If, after appropriate review, a material conflict between DoubleLine and a Client is deemed to exist, DoubleLine will seek to resolve any such conflict in the best interest of the Client whose assets it is voting by pursuing any one of the following courses of action: (i) voting (or not voting) in accordance with the Guidelines; (ii) convening a Committee meeting to assess and resolve the conflict; (iii) voting in accordance with the recommendation of an independent third-party service provider chosen by the Committee; (iv) voting (or not voting) in accordance with the instructions of such Client; (v) or not voting with respect to the proposal if consistent with DoubleLine’s fiduciary obligations.

IX. Procedures for Proxy Solicitation

In the event that any Employee of DoubleLine receives a request to reveal or disclose DoubleLine’s voting intention on a specific proxy event to a third party, the Employee must forward the solicitation request to the Chief Compliance Officer or designee. Such requests shall be reviewed with the Committee or appropriate executive and senior management. Any written requests shall be retained with the proxy files maintained by the Chief Operating Officer or designee.

X. Additional Procedures for the Funds

A. Filing Form N-PX

Rule 30b1-4 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 requires mutual funds to file an annual record of proxies voted by a Fund on Form N-PX. Form N-PX must be filed each year no later than August 31 and must contain the Funds’ proxy voting record for the most recent twelve-month period ending June 30.

The Funds rely upon their respective fund administrator to prepare and make their filings on Form N-PX. DoubleLine shall assist the fund administrator by providing information (including by causing such information to be provided by any third party proxy voting service for record comparison purposes as deemed necessary) regarding any proxy votes made for the Funds within the most recent twelve-month period ending June 30. DoubleLine shall retain records of any such votes with sufficient information to make accurate annual Form N-PX filings.

B. Providing Policies and Procedures

Mutual funds (including the Funds) that invest in voting securities are required to describe in their statements of additional information (“SAIs”) the policies and procedures that they use to determine how to vote proxies relating to securities held in their portfolios. The Funds also may choose to include these policies and procedures as part of their registration statement. Closed-end funds (such as DBL and DSL) must disclose their proxy voting policies and procedures annually on Form N-CSR.

Funds are required to disclose in shareholder reports that a description of the fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures is available (i) without charge, upon request, by calling a specified toll-free (or collect) telephone number; (ii) on the fund’s website, if applicable; and (iii) on the Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The fund administrator shall ensure that such disclosures are included when preparing shareholder reports on the Funds’ behalf. The DoubleLine Funds currently do not provide the proxy policies and procedures on their website.


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A Fund is required to send the description of the fund’s proxy voting policies and procedures within three business days of receipt of the request, by first-class mail or other means designed to ensure equally prompt delivery. The Funds rely upon the fund administrator to provide this service.

XI. Recordkeeping

 

  A. DoubleLine must maintain the documentation described in this policy for a period of not less than five (5) years from the end of the fiscal year during which the last entry was made on such record, the first two (2) years at its principal place of business. DoubleLine will be responsible for the following procedures and for ensuring that the required documentation is retained.

 

  B. Client request to review proxy votes:

Any written request from a Client related to actions taken with respect to a proposal received by any Employee of DoubleLine must be retained. Only written responses to oral requests need to be maintained.

The Client Service group will record the identity of the Client, the date of the request, and the disposition (e.g., provided a written or oral response to Client’s request, referred to third party, not a proxy voting client, other dispositions, etc.).

In order to facilitate the management of proxy voting record keeping process, and to facilitate dissemination of such proxy voting records to clients, the Client Service group will distribute to any Client requesting proxy voting information DoubleLine’s complete proxy voting record for the Client for the period requested. If deemed operationally more efficient, DoubleLine may choose to release its entire proxy voting record for the requested period, with any information identifying a particular client redacted. The Client Service group shall furnish the information requested, free of charge, to the Client within a reasonable time period (within 10 business days) and maintain a copy of the written record provided in response to Client’s written (including e-mail) or oral request. A copy of the written response should be attached and maintained with the Client’s written request, if applicable, and stored in an appropriate file.

Clients can require the delivery of the proxy voting record relevant to their accounts for the five year period prior to their request.

 

  C. Examples of proxy voting records:

Documents prepared or created by DoubleLine that were material to making a decision on how to vote, or that memorialized the basis for the decision.

Documentation or notes or any communications received from third parties, other industry analysts, third party service providers, company’s management discussions, etc. that were material in the basis for the decision.

XII. Disclosure

The CCO or designee will ensure that Form ADV Part 2A is updated as necessary to reflect: (i) all material changes to this policy; and (ii) regulatory requirements related to proxy voting disclosure.


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Attachment A to DoubleLine Capital LP, DoubleLine Equity LP, DoubleLine Funds Trust, DoubleLine Equity Funds, DoubleLine Private Funds, DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund and DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund Proxy Voting, Corporate Action and Class Action Policy

Guidelines

The proxy voting decisions set forth below refer to proposals by company management except for the categories of “Shareholder Proposals” and “Social Issue Proposals.” The voting decisions in these latter two categories refer to proposals by outside shareholders.

Governance

 

    For trustee nominees in uncontested elections

 

    For management nominees in contested elections

 

    For ratifying auditors, except against if the previous auditor was dismissed because of a disagreement with the company or if the fees for non-audit services exceed 51% of total fees

 

    For changing the company name

 

    For approving other business

 

    For adjourning the meeting

 

    For technical amendments to the charter and/or bylaws

 

    For approving financial statements

Capital Structure

 

    For increasing authorized common stock

 

    For decreasing authorized common stock

 

    For amending authorized common stock

 

    For the issuance of common stock, except against if the issued common stock has superior voting rights

 

    For approving the issuance or exercise of stock warrants

 

    For authorizing preferred stock, except against if the board has unlimited rights to set the terms and conditions of the shares

 

    For increasing authorized preferred stock, except against if the board has unlimited rights to set the terms and conditions of the shares

 

    For decreasing authorized preferred stock

 

    For canceling a class or series of preferred stock

 

    For amending preferred stock

 

    For issuing or converting preferred stock, except against if the shares have voting rights superior to those of other shareholders

 

    For eliminating preemptive rights

 

    For creating or restoring preemptive rights

 

    Against authorizing dual or multiple classes of common stock

 

    For eliminating authorized dual or multiple classes of common stock

 

    For amending authorized dual or multiple classes of common stock

 

    For increasing authorized shares of one or more classes of dual or multiple classes of common stock, except against if it will allow the company to issue additional shares with superior voting rights

 

    For a stock repurchase program

 

    For a stock split

 

    For a reverse stock split, except against if the company does not intend to proportionally reduce the number of authorized shares


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Mergers and Restructuring

 

    For merging with or acquiring another company

 

    For recapitalization

 

    For restructuring the company

 

    For bankruptcy restructurings

 

    For liquidations

 

    For reincorporating in a different state

 

    For spinning off certain company operations or divisions

 

    For the sale of assets

 

    Against eliminating cumulative voting

 

    For adopting cumulative voting

Board of Trustees

 

    For limiting the liability of trustees

 

    For setting the board size

 

    For allowing the trustees to fill vacancies on the board without shareholder approval

 

    Against giving the board the authority to set the size of the board as needed without shareholder approval

 

    For a proposal regarding the removal of trustees, except against if the proposal limits the removal of trustees to cases where there is legal cause

 

    For non-technical amendments to the company’s certificate of incorporation, except against if an amendment would have the effect of reducing shareholders’ rights

 

    For non-technical amendments to the company’s bylaws, except against if an amendment would have the effect of reducing shareholder’s rights

Anti-Takeover Provisions

 

    Against a classified board

 

    Against amending a classified board

 

    For repealing a classified board

 

    Against ratifying or adopting a shareholder rights plan (poison pill)

 

    Against redeeming a shareholder rights plan (poison pill)

 

    Against eliminating shareholders’ right to call a special meeting

 

    Against limiting shareholders’ right to call a special meeting

 

    For restoring shareholders’ right to call a special meeting

 

    Against eliminating shareholders’ right to act by written consent

 

    Against limiting shareholders’ right to act by written consent

 

    For restoring shareholders’ right to act by written consent

 

    Against establishing a supermajority vote provision to approve a merger or other business combination

 

    For amending a supermajority vote provision to approve a merger or other business combination, except against if the amendment would increase the vote required to approve the transaction

 

    For eliminating a supermajority vote provision to approve a merger or other business combination

 

    Against adopting supermajority vote requirements (lock-ins) to change certain bylaw or charter provisions

 

    Against amending supermajority vote requirements (lock-ins) to change certain bylaw or charter provisions

 

    For eliminating supermajority vote requirements (lock-ins) to change certain bylaw or charter provisions

 

    Against expanding or clarifying the authority of the board of trustees to consider factors other than the interests of shareholders in assessing a takeover bid

 

    Against establishing a fair price provision

 

    Against amending a fair price provision

 

    For repealing a fair price provision

 

    For limiting the payment of greenmail


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    Against adopting advance notice requirements

 

    For opting out of a state takeover statutory provision

 

    Against opt into a state takeover statutory provision

Compensation

 

    For adopting a stock incentive plan for employees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of outstanding common stock or if the potential dilution from all company plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of outstanding common stock

 

    For amending a stock incentive plan for employees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the minimum potential dilution from all company plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of outstanding common stock

 

    For adding shares to a stock incentive plan for employees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of outstanding common stock or if the potential dilution from all company plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of outstanding common stock

 

    For limiting per-employee option awards

 

    For extending the term of a stock incentive plan for employees

 

    Case-by-case on assuming stock incentive plans

 

    For adopting a stock incentive plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of outstanding common equity

 

    For amending a stock incentive plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of outstanding common equity

 

    For adding shares to a stock incentive plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For adopting an employee stock purchase plan, except against if the proposed plan allows employees to purchase stock at prices of less than 85% of the stock’s fair market value

 

    For amending an employee stock purchase plan, except against if the proposal allows employees to purchase stock at prices of less than 85% of the stock’s fair market value

 

    For adding shares to an employee stock purchase plan, except against if the proposed plan allows employees to purchase stock at prices of less than 85% of the stock’s fair market value

 

    For adopting a stock award plan, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of the outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For amending a stock award plan, except against if the amendment shortens the vesting requirements or lessens the performance requirements

 

    For adding shares to a stock award plan, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of the outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For adopting a stock award plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of the outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For amending a stock award plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the minimum potential dilution from all plans is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity.

 

    For adding shares to a stock award plan for non-employee trustees, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of the outstanding common equity or if the minimum potential dilution from all plans, including the one proposed, is more than 10% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For approving an annual bonus plan

 

    For adopting a savings plan


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    For granting a one-time stock option or stock award, except decide on a case-by-case basis if the plan dilution is more than 5% of the outstanding common equity

 

    For adopting a deferred compensation plan

 

    For approving a long-term bonus plan

 

    For approving an employment agreement or contract

 

    For amending a deferred compensation plan

 

    For amending an annual bonus plan

 

    For reapproving a stock option plan or bonus plan for purposes of OBRA

 

    For amending a long-term bonus plan

Shareholder Proposals

 

    For requiring shareholder ratification of auditors

 

    Against requiring the auditors to attend the annual meeting

 

    Against limiting consulting by auditors

 

    Against requiring the rotation of auditors

 

    Against restoring preemptive rights

 

    For asking the company to study sales, spin-offs, or other strategic alternatives

 

    For asking the board to adopt confidential voting and independent tabulation of the proxy ballots

 

    Against asking the company to refrain from counting abstentions and broker non-votes in vote tabulations

 

    Against eliminating the company’s discretion to vote unmarked proxy ballots.

 

    For providing equal access to the proxy materials for shareholders

 

    Against requiring a majority vote to elect trustees

 

    Against requiring the improvement of annual meeting reports

 

    Against changing the annual meeting location

 

    Against changing the annual meeting date

 

    Against asking the board to include more women and minorities as trustees.

 

    Against seeking to increase board independence

 

    Against limiting the period of time a trustee can serve by establishing a retirement or tenure policy

 

    Against requiring minimum stock ownership by trustees

 

    Against providing for union or employee representatives on the board of trustees

 

    For increasing disclosure regarding the board’s role in the development and monitoring of the company’s long-term strategic plan

 

    For creating a nominating committee of the board

 

    Against urging the creation of a shareholder committee

 

    Against asking that the chairman of the board of trustees be chosen from among the ranks of the non-employee trustees

 

    Against asking that a lead trustee be chosen from among the ranks of the non-employee trustees

 

    For adopting cumulative voting

 

    Against requiring trustees to place a statement of candidacy in the proxy statement

 

    Against requiring the nomination of two trustee candidates for each open board seat

 

    Against making trustees liable for acts or omissions that constitute a breach of fiduciary care resulting from a trustee’s gross negligence and/or reckless or willful neglect

 

    For repealing a classified board

 

    Against asking the board to redeem or to allow shareholders to vote on a poison pill shareholder rights plan

 

    Against repealing fair price provisions

 

    For restoring shareholders’ right to call a special meeting


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    For restoring shareholders’ right to act by written consent

 

    For limiting the board’s discretion to issue targeted share placements or requiring shareholder approval before such block placements can be made

 

    For seeking to force the company to opt out of a state takeover statutory provision

 

    Against reincorporating the company in another state

 

    For limiting greenmail payments

 

    Against advisory vote on compensation

 

    Against restricting executive compensation

 

    For enhance the disclosure of executive compensation

 

    Against restricting trustee compensation

 

    Against capping executive pay

 

    Against calling for trustees to be paid with company stock

 

    Against calling for shareholder votes on executive pay

 

    Against calling for the termination of trustee retirement plans

 

    Against asking management to review, report on, and/or link executive compensation to non-financial criteria, particularly social criteria

 

    Against seeking shareholder approval to reprice or replace underwater stock options

 

    For banning or calling for a shareholder vote on future golden parachutes

 

    Against seeking to award performance-based stock options

 

    Against establishing a policy of expensing the costs of all future stock options issued by the company in the company’s annual income statement

 

    Against requesting that future executive compensation be determined without regard to any pension fund income

 

    Against approving extra benefits under Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs)

 

    Against requiring option shares to be held

 

    For creating a compensation committee

 

    Against requiring that the compensation committee hire its own independent compensation consultants-separate from the compensation consultants working with corporate management-to assist with executive compensation issues

 

    For increasing the independence of the compensation committee

 

    For increasing the independence of the audit committee

 

    For increasing the independence of key committees

Social Issue Proposals

 

    Against asking the company to develop or report on human rights policies

 

    Against asking the company to limit or end operations in Burma

 

    For asking management to review operations in Burma

 

    For asking management to certify that company operations are free of forced labor

 

    Against asking management to implement and/or increase activity on each of the principles of the U.S. Business Principles for Human Rights of Workers in China.

 

    Against asking management to develop social, economic, and ethical criteria that the company could use to determine the acceptability of military contracts and to govern the execution of the contracts

 

    Against asking management to create a plan of converting the company’s facilities that are dependent on defense contracts toward production for commercial markets

 

    Against asking management to report on the company’s government contracts for the development of ballistic missile defense technologies and related space systems

 

    Against asking management to report on the company’s foreign military sales or foreign offset activities

 

    Against asking management to limit or end nuclear weapons production

 

    Against asking management to review nuclear weapons production

 

    Against asking the company to establish shareholder-designated contribution programs


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    Against asking the company to limit or end charitable giving

 

    For asking the company to increase disclosure of political spending and activities

 

    Against asking the company to limit or end political spending

 

    For requesting disclosure of company executives’ prior government service

 

    Against requesting affirmation of political nonpartisanship

 

    For asking management to report on or change tobacco product marketing practices, except against if the proposal calls for action beyond reporting

 

    Against severing links with the tobacco industry

 

    Against asking the company to review or reduce tobacco harm to health

 

    For asking management to review or promote animal welfare, except against if the proposal calls for action beyond reporting

 

    For asking the company to report or take action on pharmaceutical drug pricing or distribution, except against if the proposal asks for more than a report

 

    Against asking the company to take action on embryo or fetal destruction

 

    For asking the company to review or report on nuclear facilities or nuclear waste, except against if the proposal asks for cessation of nuclear-related activities or other action beyond reporting

 

    For asking the company to review its reliance on nuclear and fossil fuels, its development or use of solar and wind power, or its energy efficiency, except vote against if the proposal asks for more than a report.

 

    Against asking management to endorse the Ceres principles

 

    For asking the company to control generation of pollutants, except against if the proposal asks for action beyond reporting or if the company reports its omissions and plans to limit their future growth or if the company reports its omissions and plans to reduce them from established levels

 

    For asking the company to report on its environmental impact or plans, except against if management has issued a written statement beyond the legal minimum

 

    For asking management to report or take action on climate change, except against if management acknowledges a global warming threat and has issued company policy or if management has issued a statement and committed to targets and timetables or if the company is not a major emitter of greenhouse gases

 

    For asking management to report on, label, or restrict sales of bioengineered products, except against if the proposal asks for action beyond reporting or calls for a moratorium on sales of bioengineered products

 

    Against asking the company to preserve natural habitat

 

    Against asking the company to review its developing country debt and lending criteria and to report to shareholders on its findings

 

    Against requesting the company to assess the environmental, public health, human rights, labor rights, or other socioeconomic impacts of its credit decisions

 

    For requesting reports and/or reviews of plans and/or policies on fair lending practices, except against if the proposal calls for action beyond reporting

 

    Against asking the company to establish committees to consider issues related to facilities closure and relocation of work

 

    For asking management to report on the company’s affirmative action policies and programs, including releasing its EEO-1 forms and providing statistical data on specific positions within the company, except against if the company releases its EEO-1 reports

 

    Against asking management to drop sexual orientation from EEO policy

 

    Against asking management to adopt a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy

 

    For asking management to report on or review Mexican operations

 

    Against asking management to adopt standards for Mexican operations

 

    Against asking management to review or implement the MacBride principles

 

    Against asking the company to encourage its contractors and franchisees to implement the MacBride principles


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    For asking management to report on or review its global labor practices or those of its contractors, except against if the company already reports publicly using a recognized standard or if the resolution asks for more than a report

 

    Against asking management to adopt, implement, or enforce a global workplace code of conduct based on the International Labor Organization’s core labor conventions

 

    For requesting reports on sustainability, except against if the company has already issued a report in GRI format

Adopted by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board: March 25, 2010

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board: March 1, 2011

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board: August 25, 2011

Renewed and approved by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board of Trustees: March 19, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board: May 22, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Funds Trust Board: November 20, 2013

Adopted by the DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund Board of Trustees: August 24, 2011

Renewed and approved by the DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund Board of Trustees: March 19, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund Board of Trustees: May 22, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Opportunistic Credit Fund Board of Trustees: November 20, 2013

Adopted by the DoubleLine Equity Funds Board of Trustees: March 19, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Equity Funds Board: May 22, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Equity Funds Board: November 20, 2013

Adopted by the DoubleLine Income Solutions Board of Trustees: March 19, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Income Solutions Board of Trustees: May 22, 2013

Renewed, reviewed and approved by the DoubleLine Income Solutions Board of Trustees: November 20, 2013


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PART C

OTHER INFORMATION

Item 28. Exhibits

 

(a)

   Registrant’s Declaration of Trust is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a) to the Trust’s initial registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on April 1, 2011.

(b)

   Registrant’s By-Laws are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (b) to the Trust’s initial registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on April 1, 2011.

(c)

   Not applicable.

(d)(i)

   Advisory Agreement between the Trust and SSgA Funds Management, Inc., dated April 25, 2012, are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(d)(ii)

   Revised Exhibit A (Schedule of Series) to the Advisory Agreement between the Trust and SSgA Funds Management, Inc., adding SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF, to be filed by amendment.

(d)(iii)

   Sub-Advisory Agreement between SSgA Funds Management, Inc. and GSO/Blackstone Debt Funds Management, LLC (“GSO/Blackstone”), dated March 27, 2013, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(d)(iv)

   Sub-Advisory Agreement between SSgA Funds Management, Inc. and Massachusetts Financial Services Company (“MFS”), to be filed by amendment.

(d)(v)

   Sub-Advisory Agreement between SSgA Funds Management, Inc. and DoubleLine Capital LP (“DoubleLine”), to be filed by amendment.

(e)(i)

  

Distribution Agreement between the Trust and State Street Global Markets, LLC, dated April 18, 2012, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form

N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(e)(ii)

   Form of Authorized Participant Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(ii) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on January 6, 2012.

(e)(iii)

   Amended Annex I (Schedule of Series) to the Distribution Agreement between the Trust and State Street Global Markets adding SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF, to be filed by amendment.

(f)

   Not applicable.


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(g)(i)

  

Custodian Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company, dated April 18, 2012, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form

N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(g)(ii)

   Amended Schedule of Series to the Custodian Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company adding SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF, to be filed by amendment.

(h)(i)

   Administration Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company dated April 18, 2012, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(h)(ii)

   Transfer Agency and Services Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company dated April 18, 2012 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(h)(iii)

   Form of Master-Feeder Participation Agreement between SSgA Master Trust and the Trust is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(iii) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 4 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A filed with the SEC on April 20, 2012.

(h)(iv)

   Amended Exhibit A (Schedule of Series) to the Administration Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company adding SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF, to be filed by amendment.

(h)(v)

   Amended Annex A (Schedule of Series) to the Transfer Agency Services Agreement between the Trust and State Street Bank and Trust Company adding SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF, to be filed by amendment.

(i)

   Not applicable.

(j)

   Not applicable.

(k)

   Not applicable.

(l)

   Form of Subscription Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (l) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 4 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A filed with the SEC on April 20, 2012.

(m)

   Distribution and Service Plan is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on January 6, 2012.

(n)

   Not applicable.

(o)

   Not applicable.

(p)(i)

   Registrant’s Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(i) to the Trust’s initial registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on April 1, 2011.


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(p)(ii)

   Code of Ethics of SSgA Funds Management, Inc., dated April 1, 2012 (which also applies to applicable reporting personnel of the Distributor), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(p)(iii)

   Code of Ethics of MFS, in its capacity as investment sub-adviser to SPDR MFS Systematic Core Equity ETF, SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF and SPDR MFS Systematic Value Equity ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 18 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on January 8, 2014.

(q)(i)

   Power of Attorney for Ms. Boatman, Ms. Needham, and Messrs. Churchill, Verboncoeur, Kelly, Nesvet, Ross and Hallett, dated August 21, 2013, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (q)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on October 9, 2013.

(r)

   Secretary’s Certificate is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (r) to the Trust’s initial registration statement on Form N-1A as filed with the SEC on April 1, 2011.

Item 29. Persons Controlled By or Under Common Control With Registrant