485APOS 1 vvtdigitalassetminingetf48.htm 485APOS VVTDigitalAssetMiningETF485aDecember12021

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 1, 2021
Securities Act File No. 333-123257
Investment Company Act File No. 811-10325
United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM N-1A
Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933
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Pre-Effective Amendment No.
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Post Effective Amendment No. 2,755
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and/or
Registration Statement Under the Investment Company Act of 1940
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Amendment No. 2,759
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VANECK ETF TRUST
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
(212) 293-2000
Registrant’s Telephone Number
Jonathan R. Simon, Esq.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Van Eck Associates Corporation
666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)
Copy to:
Allison M. Fumai, Esq.
Dechert LLP
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.
IT IS PROPOSED THAT THIS FILING WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE (CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX)



Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
On [date] pursuant to paragraph (b)
60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
On [date] pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
X75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
On [date] pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of rule 485



 


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

Subject to Completion

Preliminary Prospectus dated December 1, 2021

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PROSPECTUS
[ ], 2021

VANECK
Digital Asset Mining ETF    [ ]
    























Principal U.S. Listing Exchange for the Fund: [ ]
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
    800.826.2333         vaneck.com






VANECK DIGITAL ASSET MINING ETF
SUMMARY INFORMATION
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE
VanEck Digital Asset Mining ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the MVIS® [Global Digital Asset Mining] Index (the “Index”).
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES
The following tables describe the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below.
Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment) None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fee[ ]
Other Expenses(a) (b)
[ ]
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses(b)
[ ]
(a)    “Other Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.
(b)    Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) will pay all expenses of the Fund, except for the fee payment under the investment management agreement, acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Adviser has agreed to pay the offering costs until at least [ ].
EXPENSE EXAMPLE
This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell or hold all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% annual return and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
YEAR EXPENSES
1[ ]
3[ ]
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER
The Fund will pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it purchases and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, may affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund is newly organized, no portfolio turnover figures are available.
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
The Fund normally invests at least 80% of its total assets in securities of Digital Asset Mining Companies, as defined below. The Index is a global index that tracks the performance of Digital Asset Mining Companies. “Digital Asset Mining Companies” are companies that engage in and/or assist digital asset mining activities, including mining-technology companies that provide hardware, software services or other technologies to companies engaged in digital asset mining activities.
The Fund will not invest in digital assets (including cryptocurrencies) (i) directly or (ii) indirectly through the use of digital asset derivatives. The Fund also will not invest in initial coin offerings. Therefore the Fund is not expected to track the price movement of any digital asset. The Fund may, however, have indirect exposure to digital assets by virtue of its investments in Digital Asset Mining Companies that use one or more digital assets as part of their business activities or that hold digital assets as proprietary investments.
To be initially eligible for inclusion in the Index, a company must (i) generate at least 50% of its revenues from digital assets mining activities or mining-related technology or (ii) have projects that, when developed, have the potential to generate at least 50% of their revenues from digital asset mining activities or mining-related technologies.
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“Digital assets” are assets issued and transferred using distributed ledger or blockchain technology. As used herein, “digital assets” refers to all digital assets, including both digital asset securities (i.e., digital assets that are securities under U.S. securities laws) and cryptocurrencies. Many digital assets and, consequently, many Digital Asset Mining Companies, rely on "blockchain" technologies. A “blockchain” is a peer-to-peer shared, distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. [A blockchain stores transaction data in "blocks" that are linked together to form a "chain." As the number of transactions grow, so does the blockchain. Blocks record and confirm the time and sequence of transactions, which are then logged into the blockchain, within a discrete network governed by rules agreed on by the network participants. Although initially associated with digital commodities, it can be used to track tangible, intangible and digital assets and companies in all business sectors.]
Digital Asset Mining Companies process, validate, and securely transfer digital assets. The digital asset mining industry is a necessary and core component of the digital asset ecosystem. Any party that chooses to participate in digital asset mining will run various computers and machines to solve a variety of math problems. As a result of solving these problems, the digital asset network is secured, and transactions are recorded and stored on the blockchain. For example, if someone (a sender) wanted to send two units of a digital asset to another person (the recipient), digital asset miners would play the role of processing, validating, and securely transferring the transaction. Due to Digital Asset Mining Companies providing value to the ecosystem, they are rewarded with newly issued units of the digital asset and/or transaction fees when they successfully validate and secure transactions.
Digital Asset Mining Companies may include small- and medium-capitalization companies and foreign and emerging market issuers, and the Fund may invest in depositary receipts and securities denominated in foreign currencies. As of [ ], the Index included [ ] securities of companies with a market capitalization range of between approximately $[ ] and $[ ] and a weighted average market capitalization of $[ ]. These amounts are subject to change. [A significant portion of the Fund’s assets is expected to be invested in Canadian issuers.] The Fund’s 80% investment policy is non-fundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders. The Index is published by MV Index Solutions GmbH (the “Index Provider” or “MVIS”), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser. The Index is reconstituted and rebalanced quarterly.
The Fund, using a “passive” or indexing investment approach, attempts to approximate the investment performance of the Index by investing in a portfolio of securities that generally replicates the Index. Unlike many investment companies that try to “beat” the performance of a benchmark index, the Fund does not try to “beat” the Index and does not seek temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its investment objective of seeking to track the Index.
The Fund is classified as a non-diversified fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) and, therefore, may invest a greater percentage of its assets in a particular issuer. The Fund may concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. [As of [ ], the information technology sector represented a significant portion of the Index.]
PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND
Investors in the Fund should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility in the price of the Fund’s Shares and the possibility of significant losses. An investment in the Fund involves a substantial degree of risk. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Therefore, you should consider carefully the following risks before investing in the Fund, each of which could significantly and adversely affect the value of an investment in the Fund.

Risk of Investing in Digital Asset Miners. Digital asset miners and other hardware necessary for digital asset mining are subject to the risk of malfunction, technological obsolescence, the global supply chain issues and difficulty and cost in obtaining new hardware. Malfunctions and normal wear and tear will, at any point in time, cause a certain number of digital asset miners to be taken off-line for maintenance or repair. Any major digital asset miner malfunction could cause significant economic damage. The physical degradation of miners will require replacement of miners. Additionally, as technology evolves, there may be a need to acquire newer models of miners to remain competitive, which can be costly and may be in short supply. Given the long production period to manufacture and assemble digital asset miners and the current global semiconductor chip shortage, there can be no assurance that miners can acquire or maintain enough digital asset mining computers or replace parts on a cost-effective basis for efficient and profitable digital asset mining operations. Many engaged in mining rely on third parties, principally located in China, to supply digital asset miners and shortages of digital asset miners or their component parts, material increases in digital asset miner costs, or delays in delivery of orders, including due to trade restrictions and COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, could significantly interrupt plans for expanding digital asset mining capacity in the near term and future.
Mining operations are energy-intensive. Digital asset mining operations consume significant amounts of electricity, which may have a negative environmental impact and give rise to public opinion against allowing, or government regulations restricting, the use of electricity for mining operations. Many digital asset mining operations rely on fossil fuels to power their operations. Public perception of the impact of digital asset mining on climate change may reduce the demand for digital asset and increase the likelihood of government regulation. Given the energy-intensiveness and electricity costs of mining, miners may be restricted in where they can locate mining operations. Any shortage of electricity supply or increase in related costs will negatively impact the viability and expected economic return from digital asset mining.
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Miners generate revenue from both newly created digital assets, known as the “block reward” and from fees taken upon verification of transactions. If the aggregate revenue from transaction fees and the block reward is below a miner’s cost, the miner may cease operations. The fixed reward for solving a new block on the certain networks, like the Bitcoin network, is being progressively reduced. This reduction in incentives for certain digital asset mining activity, including bitcoin mining, may cause miners to reduce or cease operations, which may reduce the collective processing power on the applicable network. This would make such network more vulnerable to a malicious attack and hinder transactions. While miners have previously accepted relatively low transaction confirmation fees, there is a risk that miners could collude to demand higher fees, which would increase costs to digital asset users.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers. Investments in securities of Canadian issuers, including issuers located outside of Canada that generate significant revenue from Canada, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources. The Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. There is a risk that any changes in natural resources sectors could have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy. Additionally, the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners including the United States, countries in the European Union (“EU”) and China. Because the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, the Canadian economy is dependent on and may be significantly affected by the U.S. economy. Reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or changes in the U.S. economy may adversely impact the Canadian economy. Trade agreements may further increase Canada’s dependency on the U.S. economy, and uncertainty as to future trade agreements may cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares. Past periodic demands by the Province of Quebec for sovereignty have significantly affected equity valuations and foreign currency movements in the Canadian market and such demands may have this effect in the future. In addition, certain sectors of Canada’s economy may be subject to foreign ownership limitations. This may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in Canadian issuers and to track the Index.
[Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Chinese Issuers. Investments in securities of Chinese issuers, including issuers located outside of China that generate significant revenues from China, involve certain risks and considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. These risks, include, among others, (i) more frequent (and potentially widespread) trading suspensions and government interventions with respect to Chinese issuers resulting in lack of liquidity and in price volatility, (ii) currency revaluations and other currency exchange rate fluctuations or blockage, (iii) the nature and extent of intervention by the Chinese government in the Chinese securities markets, whether such intervention will continue and the impact of such intervention or its discontinuation, (iv) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets, (v) the risk that the Chinese government may decide not to continue to support economic reform programs, (vi) limitations on the use of brokers, (vii) higher rates of inflation, (viii) greater political, economic and social uncertainty, (ix) market volatility caused by any potential regional or territorial conflicts or natural disasters and (x) the risk of increased trade tariffs, embargoes, sanctions, investment restrictions and other trade limitations. Certain securities are, or may in the future become restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such restricted securities and incur a loss as a result. In addition, the economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, interest rates, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. The Chinese central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, previously the Chinese government has from time to time taken actions that influence the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encourage companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induce mergers between companies in certain industries and induce private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, control the rate of inflation or otherwise regulate economic expansion. The Chinese government may do so in the future as well, potentially having a significant adverse effect on economic conditions in China.]
Equity Securities Risk. The value of the equity securities held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the markets in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or factors relating to specific issuers in which the Fund invests. Equity securities are subordinated to preferred securities and debt in a company’s capital structure with respect to priority in right to a share of corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred securities or debt instruments. In addition, while broad market measures of equity securities have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, equity securities have generally also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns, although under certain market conditions fixed income securities may have comparable or greater price volatility.
Risk of Investing in Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies. Small- and medium-capitalization companies may be more volatile and more likely than large-capitalization companies to have narrower product lines, fewer financial resources, less management depth and experience and less competitive strength. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of large-capitalization companies.
Risk of Investing in the Information Technology Sector. The Fund will be sensitive to, and its performance will depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies face intense
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competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.
Risk of Investing in Foreign Securities. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments.
Risk of Investing in Depositary Receipts. The Fund may invest in depositary receipts which involve similar risks to those associated with investments in foreign securities. Depositary receipts are receipts listed on U.S. or foreign exchanges issued by banks or trust companies that entitle the holder to all dividends and capital gains that are paid out on the underlying foreign shares. Investments in depositary receipts may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market and, if not included in the Index, may negatively affect the Fund’s ability to replicate the performance of the Index.
Market Risk. The prices of the securities in the Fund are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. An investment in the Fund may lose money.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Index Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses, including taxes, not applicable to the Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index, or (to the extent the Fund effects creations and redemptions for cash) raising cash to meet redemptions or deploying cash in connection with newly created Creation Units (as defined herein), which are not factored into the return of the Index. Transaction costs, including brokerage costs, will decrease the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) to the extent not offset by the transaction fee payable by an Authorized Participant (“AP”). Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. Errors in the Index data, the Index computations and/or the construction of the Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders. Shareholders should understand that any gains from the Index provider’s errors will be kept by the Fund and its shareholders and any losses or costs resulting from the Index provider’s errors will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. When the Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund may not be fully invested at times either as a result of cash flows into the Fund (if the Fund effects creations and redemptions for cash) or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions or pay expenses. Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to the Index. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index provider or its agents to the Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of the Fund. In addition, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities included in the Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund’s performance may also deviate from the return of the Index due to legal restrictions or limitations imposed by the governments of certain countries, certain listing standards of the Fund’s listing exchange (the “Exchange”), a lack of liquidity on stock exchanges in which such securities trade, potential adverse tax consequences or other regulatory reasons (such as diversification requirements). The Fund may value certain of its investments, underlying securities and/or currencies, and/or other assets assets based on fair value prices. To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of the Index is based on securities’ closing prices (i.e., the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices), the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. When markets are volatile, the ability to sell securities at fair value prices may be adversely impacted and may result in additional trading costs and/or increase the index tracking risk. For tax efficiency purposes, the Fund may sell certain securities, and such sale may cause the Fund to realize a loss and deviate from the performance of the Index. In light of the factors discussed above, the Fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Index. Changes to the composition of the Index in connection with a
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rebalancing or reconstitution of the Index may cause the Fund to experience increased volatility, during which time the Fund’s index tracking risk may be heightened.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. The Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as APs, none of which are obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those APs exit the business, or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other AP is able to step forward to create and redeem, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares or Shares may trade like closed-end funds at a greater discount (or premium) to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or de-listing. The AP concentration risk may be heightened in scenarios where APs have limited or diminished access to the capital required to post collateral.
New Fund Risk. The Fund is a new fund, with a limited or no operating history and a small asset base. There can be no assurance that the Fund will grow to or maintain a viable size. Due to the Fund's small asset base, certain of the Fund's expenses and its portfolio transaction costs may be higher than those of a fund with a larger asset base. To the extent that the Fund does not grow to or maintain a viable size, it may be liquidated, and the expenses, timing and tax consequences of such liquidation may not be favorable to some shareholders.
Absence of Prior Active Market. The Fund is a newly organized series of an investment company and thus has no operating history. While the Fund’s Shares are expected to be listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that active trading markets for the Shares will develop or be maintained. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods in times of market stress because market makers and APs may step away from making a market in the Shares and in executing creation and redemption orders, which could cause a material deviation in the Fund’s market price from its NAV.
Trading Issues. 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 the Exchange’s “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.
Passive Management Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund invested in equity securities traded on an exchange, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. However, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble. Additionally, unusual market conditions may cause the Index provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance or reconstitution, which could cause the Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. Therefore, the Fund’s performance could be lower than funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.
Fund Shares Trading, Premium/Discount Risk and Liquidity of Fund Shares. The market price of the Shares may fluctuate in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade above, below, or at their most recent NAV. Disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares (including through a trading halt), as well as other factors, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV or to the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may pay significantly more or receive significantly less than the underlying value of the Shares that were bought or sold or the shareholder may be unable to sell his or her Shares. The securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the Exchange. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the Exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid-ask spreads on the Exchange and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ NAV may widen. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell Shares. Investors should consult their financial intermediaries before purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.
Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” fund under the 1940 Act. Therefore, the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. Moreover, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s NAV and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds. The Fund may be particularly vulnerable to this risk because the Index is comprised of securities of a limited number of companies.
Concentration Risk. The Fund’s assets may be concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries to the extent the Index concentrates in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Fund is concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries, the Fund will be subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on those sectors and/or industries may negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries.
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PERFORMANCE
The Fund has not yet commenced operations and therefore does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible on the Fund’s website at www.vaneck.com.



PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation.
Portfolio Managers. The following individuals are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:
NameTitle with AdviserDate Began Managing the Fund
[ ]Portfolio Manager[ ]
[ ]Portfolio Manager[ ]
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
For important information about the purchase and sale of Fund Shares, tax information and payments to broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries, please turn to the “Summary Information About Purchases and Sales of Fund Shares, Taxes and Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” section of this Prospectus.

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SUMMARY INFORMATION ABOUT PURCHASES AND SALES OF FUND SHARES, TAXES
AND PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through a broker or dealer at a market price. Shares of the Fund are listed on the Exchange, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than NAV (i.e., a “premium”) or less than NAV (i.e., a “discount”).
An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”).

Recent information, including information about the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads, is included on the Fund’s website at www.vaneck.com.
TAX INFORMATION
The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
The Adviser and its related companies may pay broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries (such as a bank) for the sale of the Fund Shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing your broker-dealer or other intermediary or its employees or associated persons to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your financial adviser or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
The Adviser anticipates that, generally, the Fund will hold or gain exposure to all of the securities that comprise the Index in proportion to their weightings in the Index. However, under various circumstances, it may not be possible or practicable to purchase all of those securities in those weightings. In these circumstances, the Fund may purchase a sample of securities in the Index. There also may be instances in which the Adviser may choose to underweight or overweight a security in the Index, purchase securities not in the Index that the Adviser believes are appropriate to substitute for certain securities in the Index or utilize various combinations of other available investment techniques in seeking to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Index. The Fund may sell securities that are represented in the Index in anticipation of their removal from the Index or purchase securities not represented in the Index in anticipation of their addition to the Index. The Fund may also, in order to comply with the tax diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), temporarily invest in securities not included in the Index and are expected to be highly correlated with the securities included in the Index.
FUNDAMENTAL AND NON-FUNDAMENTAL POLICIES
The Fund’s investment objective and each of its other investment policies are non-fundamental policies that may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board of Trustees”) without shareholder approval, except as noted in this Prospectus or the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) under the section entitled “Investment Policies and Restrictions— Investment Restrictions.”
RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND
The following section provides additional information regarding the principal risks identified under “Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” in the Fund’s “Summary Information” section followed by additional risk information.
Investors in the Fund should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility in the price of the Fund’s Shares and the possibility of significant losses. An investment in the Fund involves a substantial degree of risk. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Therefore, you should consider carefully the following risks before investing in the Fund, each of which could significantly and adversely affect the value of an investment in the Fund.
Risk of Investing in Digital Asset Miners. Digital asset miners and other hardware necessary for digital asset mining are subject to the risk of malfunction, technological obsolescence, the global supply chain issues and difficulty and cost in obtaining new hardware. Malfunctions and normal wear and tear will, at any point in time, cause a certain number of digital asset miners to be taken off-line for maintenance or repair. Any major digital asset miner malfunction could cause significant economic damage. The physical degradation of miners will require replacement of miners. Additionally, as technology evolves, there may be a need to acquire newer models of miners to remain competitive, which can be costly and may be in short supply. Given the long production period to manufacture and assemble digital asset miners and the current global semiconductor chip shortage, there can be no assurance that miners can acquire or maintain enough digital asset mining computers or replace parts on a cost-effective basis for efficient and profitable digital asset mining operations. Many engaged in mining rely on third parties, principally located in China, to supply digital asset miners and shortages of digital asset miners or their component parts, material increases in digital asset miner costs, or delays in delivery of orders, including due to trade restrictions and COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, could significantly interrupt plans for expanding digital asset mining capacity in the near term and future.
Mining operations are energy-intensive. Digital asset mining operations consume significant amounts of electricity, which may have a negative environmental impact and give rise to public opinion against allowing, or government regulations restricting, the use of electricity for mining operations. Many digital asset mining operations rely on fossil fuels to power their operations. Public perception of the impact of digital asset mining on climate change may reduce the demand for digital assets and increase the likelihood of government regulation. Given the energy-intensiveness and electricity costs of mining, miners may be restricted in where they can locate mining operations. Any shortage of electricity supply or increase in related costs will negatively impact the viability and expected economic return from digital asset mining.
Miners generate revenue from both newly created digital assets, known as the “block reward” and from fees taken upon verification of transactions. If the aggregate revenue from transaction fees and the block reward is below a miner’s cost, the miner may cease operations. The fixed reward for solving a new block on the certain networks, like the Bitcoin network, is being progressively reduced. This reduction in incentives for certain digital asset mining activity, including bitcoin mining, may cause miners to reduce or cease operations, which may reduce the collective processing power on the applicable network. This would make such network more vulnerable to a malicious attack and hinder transactions. While miners have previously accepted relatively low transaction confirmation fees, there is a risk that miners could collude to demand higher fees, which would increase costs to digital asset users.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers. Investments in securities of Canadian issuers, including issuers located outside of Canada that generate significant revenue from Canada, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources. The Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. There is a risk that any changes in natural resources sectors could have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy. Additionally, the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners, including the United States, countries in the EU and China. Because the United States is Canada’s largest trading
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partner and foreign investor, the Canadian economy is dependent on and may be significantly affected by the U.S. economy. Reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or changes in the U.S. economy may adversely impact the Canadian economy. Trade agreements may further increase Canada’s dependency on the U.S. economy, and uncertainty as to the future of such trade agreements may cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares. Past periodic demands by the Province of Quebec for sovereignty have significantly affected equity valuations and foreign currency movements in the Canadian market and such demands may have this effect in the future. In addition, certain sectors of Canada’s economy may be subject to foreign ownership limitations. This may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in Canadian issuers and to track the Index.
[Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Chinese Issuers. Investments in securities of Chinese issuers, including issuers outside of China, involve certain risks and considerations not typically associated with investments in U.S. securities. These risks include, among others, (i) more frequent (and potentially widespread) trading suspensions and government interventions with respect to Chinese issuers resulting in a lack of liquidity and in price volatility, (ii) currency revaluations and other currency exchange rate fluctuations or blockage, (iii) the nature and extent of intervention by the Chinese government in the Chinese securities markets, whether such intervention will continue and the impact of such intervention or its discontinuation, (iv) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets, (v) the risk that the Chinese government may decide not to continue to support economic reform programs, (vi) limitations on the use of brokers, (vii) higher rates of inflation, (viii) greater political, economic and social uncertainty, (ix) market volatility caused by any potential regional or territorial conflicts or natural or other disasters, and (x) the risk of increased trade tariffs, embargoes, sanctions, investment restrictions and other trade limitations. Certain securities are, or may in the future become, restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such securities and incur a loss as a result. In addition, the economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, interest rates, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. The Chinese central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, the Chinese government has from time to time taken actions that influence the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encourage companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induce mergers between companies in certain industries and induce private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, control the rate of inflation or otherwise regulate economic expansion. The Chinese government may do so in the future as well, potentially having a significant adverse effect on economic conditions in China.]
Equity Securities Risk. The value of the equity securities held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the markets in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or factors relating to specific issuers in which the Fund invests. For example, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may result in a decline in the value of equity securities of an issuer held by the Fund; the price of the equity securities of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the securities markets; or a drop in the securities markets may depress the price of most or all of the equities securities held by the Fund. In addition, the equity securities of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments. Equity securities are subordinated to preferred securities and debt in a company’s capital structure with respect to priority in right to a share of corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred securities or debt instruments. In addition, while broad market measures of equity securities have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, equity securities have generally also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns, although under certain market conditions fixed income securities may have comparable or greater price volatility. A change in the financial condition, market perception or the credit rating of an issuer of securities included in the Index may cause the value of its securities to decline.
Risk of Investing in Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies. The Fund may invest in small- and/or medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with small- and medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience, smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Risk of Investing in the Information Technology Sector. The Fund will be sensitive to, and its performance will depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.
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Risk of Investing in Foreign Securities. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. Certain foreign markets that have historically been considered relatively stable may become volatile in response to changed conditions or new developments. Increased interconnectivity of world economies and financial markets increases the possibility that adverse developments and conditions in one country or region will affect the stability of economies and financial markets in other countries or regions. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Because the Fund may invest in securities denominated in foreign currencies and some of the income received by the Fund may be in foreign currency, changes in currency exchange rates may negatively impact the Fund’s return. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries.

Foreign issuers are often subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are U.S. issuers, and, therefore, not all material information may be available or reliable. Securities exchanges or foreign governments may adopt rules or regulations that may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in foreign securities or may prevent the Fund from repatriating its investments. The Fund may also invest in depositary receipts which involve similar risks to those associated with investments in foreign securities. In addition, the Fund may not receive shareholder communications or be permitted to vote the securities that it holds, as the issuers may be under no legal obligation to distribute shareholder communications.

Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trade patterns, trade barriers and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. The United States and other nations or international organizations may impose economic sanctions or take other actions that may adversely affect issuers of specific countries. Economic sanctions could, among other things, effectively restrict or eliminate the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities or groups of securities for a substantial period of time, and may make the Fund’s investments in such securities harder to value. These sanctions, any future sanctions or other actions, or even the threat of future sanctions or other actions, may negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund. Also, certain issuers located in foreign countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, may be indirectly subject to those risks.

Risk of Investing in Depositary Receipts. The Fund may invest in depositary receipts (including American Depositary Receipts ("ADRs"), which involve similar risks to those associated with investments in foreign securities. Depositary receipts are receipts listed on U.S. or foreign exchanges issued by banks or trust companies that entitle the holder to all dividends and capital gains that are paid out on the underlying foreign shares. The issuers of certain depositary receipts are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities. Investments in depositary receipts may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market and, if not included in the Fund’s Index, may negatively affect the Fund’s ability to replicate the performance of its Index. In addition, investments in depositary receipts that are not included in the Fund’s Index may increase tracking error.
Market Risk. The prices of the securities in the Fund are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or could underperform other investments. An investment in the Fund may lose money.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Index Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses, including taxes, not applicable to the Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index or (to the extent the Fund effects creations and redemptions for cash) raising cash to meet redemptions or deploying cash in connection with newly created Creation Units, which are not factored into the return of the Index. Transaction costs, including brokerage costs, will decrease the Fund’s NAV to the extent not offset by the transaction fee payable by an AP. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required
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levels in order to track the Index. Unusual market conditions may cause the Index Provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance, which could cause the Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. There is no assurance that the Fund’s Index Provider (defined herein) or any agents that may act on its behalf will compile the Index accurately, or that the Index will be determined, composed or calculated accurately. Errors in respect of the quality, accuracy and completeness of the data used to compile the Index may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, particularly where the Index is less commonly used as benchmarks by funds or managers. Therefore, gains, losses or costs associated with errors of the Index Provider or its agents will generally be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. For example, during a period where the Index contains incorrect constituents, the Fund would have market exposure to such constituents and would be underexposed to the Index’s other constituents. Such errors may negatively or positively impact the Fund and its shareholders. Any gains due to the Index Provider’s or others’ errors will be kept by the Fund and its shareholders and any losses resulting from the Index Provider’s or others’ errors will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. When the Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. In addition, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities and/or other assets included in the Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Index, due to legal restrictions or limitations imposed by the governments of certain countries, certain Exchange listing standards, a lack of liquidity in markets in which such securities trade, potential adverse tax consequences or other regulatory reasons (such as diversification requirements). A lack of liquidity may be due to various events, including markets events, economic conditions or investor perceptions. Illiquid securities may be difficult to value and their value may be lower than market price of comparable liquid securities, which would negatively affect the Fund's performance. Moreover, the Fund may be delayed in purchasing or selling securities included in the Index. When markets are volatile, the ability to sell securities at fair value prices may be adversely impacted and may result in additional trading costs and/or increase the index tracking risk. For tax efficiency purposes, the Fund may sell certain securities, and such sale may cause the Fund to realize a loss and deviate from the performance of its Index.
The Fund may accept cash in connection with a purchase of Creation Units or effect its redemptions in cash rather than in-kind and, as a result, the Fund’s ability to match the return of the Index will be affected.
The Fund may fair value certain of the securities, underlying currencies and/or other assets it holds, except those securities primarily traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV. To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of its Index is based on securities’ closing prices on local foreign markets (i.e., the value of its Index is not based on fair value prices) or if the Fund otherwise calculates its NAV based on prices that differ from those used in calculating the Index, the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. The need to comply with the tax diversification and other requirements of the Code may also impact the Fund’s ability to replicate the performance of the Index. In addition, if the Fund utilizes depositary receipts or other derivative instruments, its return may not correlate as well with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all the securities in the Index directly. Actions taken in response to proposed corporate actions could result in increased tracking error. In light of the factors discussed above, the Fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Index.
Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index Provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to the Index in order, for example, to correct an error in the selection of index constituents. When the Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index Provider to the Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of the Fund.

Index tracking risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Changes to the composition of the Index in connection with a rebalancing or reconstitution of the Index may cause the Fund to experience increased volatility, during which time the Fund’s index tracking risk may be heightened.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. The Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as APs, none of which are obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those APs exit the business, or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other AP is able to step forward to create and redeem, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares or Shares may trade like closed-end funds at a greater discount (or premium) to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or de-listing. The AP concentration risk may be heightened in scenarios where APs have limited or diminished access to the capital required to post collateral.
New Fund Risk. The Fund is a new fund, with a limited or no operating history and a small asset base. There can be no assurance that the Fund will grow to or maintain a viable size. Due to the Fund's small asset base, certain of the Fund's expenses and its portfolio transaction costs may be higher than those of a fund with a larger asset base. To the extent that the Fund does not grow to or maintain a viable size, it may be liquidated, and the expenses, timing and tax consequences of such liquidation may not be favorable to some shareholders.
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Absence of Prior Active Market. The Fund is a newly organized series of an investment company and thus has no operating history. While Shares are expected to be listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for the Shares will develop or be maintained. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods in times of market stress because market makers and APs may step away from making a market in the Shares and in executing creation and redemption orders, which could cause a material deviation in the Fund’s market price from its NAV. Van Eck Securities Corporation, the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”), does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those APs creating and redeeming directly with the Fund.
Decisions by market makers or APs to reduce their role or “step away” from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund Shares trading at a price which differs materially from NAV and also in greater than normal intraday bid/ask spreads for Fund Shares.
Trading Issues. 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 the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. If a trading halt or unanticipated early close of the Exchange occurs, a shareholder may be unable to purchase or sell Shares of the Fund. 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.
Passive Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer is in financial trouble. If a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund may be forced to sell such security at an inopportune time or for prices other than at current market values. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund that invests in equity securities traded on an exchange, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. The Index may not contain the appropriate or a diversified mix of securities for any particular economic cycle. The timing of changes in the securities of the Fund’s portfolio in seeking to track the Index could have a negative effect on the Fund. Unlike with an actively managed fund, the Adviser does not use techniques or defensive strategies designed to lessen the effects of market volatility or to reduce the impact of periods of market decline. Additionally, unusual market conditions may cause the Fund’s Index Provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance or reconstitution, which could cause the Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. This means that, based on market and economic conditions, the Fund’s performance could be lower than funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.
Fund Shares Trading, Premium/Discount Risk and Liquidity of Fund Shares. Disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares (including through a trading halt), as well as other factors, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV or to the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings. The NAV of the Shares may fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s securities holdings. The market price of Shares will fluctuate, in some cases materially, in accordance with changes in NAV and the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings as well as supply and demand on the Exchange. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Given the fact that Shares can be created and redeemed by APs in Creation Units, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained in the long-term. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that Shares normally will trade close to the value of the Fund’s holdings, market prices are not expected to correlate exactly to the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances and other factors. The 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 may be closely related to, but not necessarily identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of the Fund’s portfolio of investments trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may pay significantly more or receive significantly less than the underlying value of the Shares that were bought or sold or the shareholder may be unable to sell his or her Shares. Any of these factors, discussed above and further below, may lead to the Shares trading at a premium or discount to the Fund’s NAV. In addition, because certain of the Fund’s underlying securities trade on exchanges that are closed when the Exchange (i.e., the exchange that Shares of the Fund trade on) is open, there are likely to be deviations between the expected value of an underlying security and the closing security’s price (i.e., the last quote from its closed foreign market) resulting in premiums or discounts to NAV that may be greater than those experienced by other ETFs. In addition, the securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the Exchange. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the Exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid/ask spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ NAV may widen. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell Shares. Investors should consult their financial intermediaries before purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.
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When you buy or sell Shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers. In addition, the market price of Shares, like the price of any exchange-traded security, includes a bid/ask spread charged by the market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. The spread of the Fund’s Shares varies over time based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity and may increase if the Fund’s trading volume, the spread of the Fund’s underlying securities, or market liquidity decrease. In times of severe market disruption, including when trading of the Fund’s holdings may be halted, the bid/ask spread may increase significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a discount to the Fund’s NAV, and the discount is likely to be greatest during significant market volatility.
Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is a separate investment portfolio of VanEck ETF Trust (the “Trust”), which is an open-end investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” fund under the 1940 Act. Moreover, the Fund is subject to the risk that it will be more volatile than a diversified fund because the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. The Fund may be particularly vulnerable to this risk because the Index is comprised of securities of a limited number of companies. Moreover, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s NAV and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds.
Concentration Risk. The Fund’s assets may be concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index concentrates in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries. The securities of many or all of the companies in the same sector or industry may decline in value due to developments adversely affecting such sector or industry. By concentrating its assets in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries, the Fund is subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on those sectors and/or industries may negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries.
ADDITIONAL NON-PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
The Fund may invest in securities not included in the Index, money market instruments, including repurchase agreements or other funds which invest exclusively in money market instruments, convertible securities, structured notes (notes on which the amount of principal repayment and interest payments are based on the movement of one or more specified factors, such as the movement of a particular stock or stock index) and/or certain derivatives, which the Adviser believes will help the Fund track the Index. Depositary receipts not included in the Fund’s Index may be used by the Fund in seeking performance that corresponds to the Index and in managing cash flows, and may count towards compliance with the Fund’s 80% policy. The Fund may also invest, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, in other affiliated and unaffiliated funds, such as open-end or closed-end management investment companies, including other ETFs. The Fund does not have a temporary defensive strategy to protect against potential stock market declines.
BORROWING MONEY
The Fund may borrow money from a bank up to a limit of one-third of the market value of its assets. The Fund is expected to enter into a credit facility to borrow money for temporary, emergency or other purposes, including the funding of shareholder redemption requests, trade settlements and as necessary to distribute to shareholders any income required to maintain the Fund’s status as a regulated investment company. To the extent that the Fund borrows money, it may be leveraged; at such times, the Fund will appreciate or depreciate in value more rapidly than the Index. Leverage generally has the effect of increasing the amount of loss or gain the Fund might realize, and may increase volatility in the value of the Fund’s investments.
LENDING PORTFOLIO SECURITIES
The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions desiring to borrow securities to complete transactions and for other purposes. In connection with such loans, the Fund receives cash, U.S. government securities and stand-by letters of credit not issued by the Fund’s bank lending agent equal to at least 102% of the value of the portfolio securities being loaned. This collateral is marked-to-market on a daily basis. Although the Fund will receive collateral in connection with all loans of its securities holdings, the Fund would be exposed to a risk of loss should a borrower fail to return the borrowed securities (e.g., the Fund would have to buy replacement securities and the loaned securities may have appreciated beyond the value of the collateral held by the Fund) or become insolvent. The Fund may pay fees to the party arranging the loan of securities. In addition, the Fund will bear the risk that it may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of any cash collateral or in the value of investments made with the cash collateral. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. Substitute payments for dividends received by the Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered qualified dividend income.
ADDITIONAL NON-PRINCIPAL RISKS
[Special Risk Considerations of Investing in European Issuers. Investments in securities of European issuers involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) of the EU requires member countries to comply with restrictions on inflation rates, deficits, interest rates, debt levels and fiscal and monetary controls, each of which may significantly affect every country in Europe. Decreasing imports or exports, changes in governmental or EU regulations on trade, changes in the exchange rate of the euro, the default or threat of default by an EU member country on its sovereign debt, and/or an economic recession in an EU member country may have a significant
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adverse effect on the economies of other EU countries and on major trading partners outside Europe. The European financial markets have previously experienced, and may continue to experience, volatility and have been adversely affected, and may in the future be affected, by concerns about economic downturns, credit rating downgrades, rising government debt levels and possible default on or restructuring of government debt in several European countries. These events have adversely affected, and may in the future affect, the value and exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect the economies of every country in Europe, including EU member countries that do not use the euro and non-EU member countries. In a referendum held on June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom (“UK”) voted to leave the EU, creating economic and political uncertainty in its wake. On January 31, 2020, the UK officially withdrew from the EU and the UK entered a transition period which ended on December 31, 2020. On December 30, 2020, the EU and UK signed the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA"), an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU's and the UK's relationship following the end of the transition period. Notwithstanding the TCA, following the transition period, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the UK's post-transition framework. ]
Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and other entities of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world. In addition, one or more countries may abandon the euro and/or withdraw from the EU. The impact of these actions, especially if they occur in a disorderly fashion, is not clear but could be significant and far-reaching.

Risk of Investing in Emerging Market Issuers. Investments in securities of emerging market issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of your investment in the Fund. Such heightened risks may include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision making, armed conflict, the impact on the economy as a result of civil war, crime (including drug violence) and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Issuers in certain emerging market countries are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. Emerging markets are also more likely than developed markets to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades, as well as the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities markets are, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Securities Markets. Securities markets in emerging market countries are underdeveloped and are often considered to be less correlated to global economic cycles than those markets located in more developed countries. Securities markets in emerging market countries are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in emerging market countries, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The prices of certain securities listed on securities markets in emerging market countries have been subject to sharp fluctuations and sudden declines, and no assurance can be given as to the future performance of listed securities in general. Volatility of prices may be greater than in more developed securities markets. Moreover, securities markets in emerging market countries may be closed for extended periods of time or trading on securities markets may be suspended altogether due to political or civil unrest. Market volatility may also be heightened by the actions of a small number of investors. Brokerage firms in emerging market countries may be fewer in number and less established than brokerage firms in more developed markets. Since the Fund may need to effect securities transactions through these brokerage firms, the Fund is subject to the risk that these brokerage firms will not be able to fulfill their obligations to the Fund. This risk is magnified to the extent the Fund effects securities transactions through a single brokerage firm or a small number of brokerage firms. In addition, the infrastructure for the safe custody of securities and for purchasing and selling securities, settling trades, collecting dividends, initiating corporate actions, and following corporate activity is not as well developed in emerging market countries as is the case in certain more developed markets.
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Political and Economic Risk. Certain emerging market countries have historically been subject to political instability, and their prospects are tied to the continuation of economic and political liberalization in the region. Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision making, terrorism, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities between neighboring countries. Any of these factors, including an outbreak of hostilities could negatively impact the Fund’s returns. Limited political and democratic freedoms in emerging market countries might cause significant social unrest. These factors may have a significant adverse effect on an emerging market country’s economy.
Many emerging market countries may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. They also have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of certain emerging market countries’ exports and these economies are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. In addition, most emerging market countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth. Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. The political history of certain emerging market countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
Also, from time to time, certain issuers located in emerging market countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, may be indirectly subject to those risks.
The economies of one or more countries in which the Fund may invest may be in various states of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy. The economies of such countries differ from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including levels of government involvement, states of development, growth rates, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Economic growth in these economies may be uneven both geographically and among various sectors of their economies and may also be accompanied by periods of high inflation. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in these countries could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of securities included in the Index. There is no guarantee that the governments of these countries will not revert back to some form of planned or non-market oriented economy, and such governments continue to be active participants in many economic sectors through ownership positions and regulation. The allocation of resources in such countries is subject to a high level of government control. Such countries’ governments may strictly regulate the payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and set monetary policy. Through their policies, these governments may provide preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The policies set by the government of one of these countries could have a substantial effect on that country’s economy.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. The government in an emerging market country may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in such emerging market countries. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to track its Index. In addition, the Fund may not be able to buy or sell securities or receive full value for such securities. Moreover, certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval or special licenses prior to investments by foreign investors and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer; may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of such emerging market countries; and/or may impose additional taxes on foreign investors. A delay in obtaining a required government approval or a license would delay investments in those emerging market countries, and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities while approval is pending. The government of certain emerging market countries may also withdraw or decline to renew a license that enables the Fund to invest in such country. These factors make investing in issuers located or operating in emerging market countries significantly riskier than investing in issuers located or operating in more developed countries, and any one of them could cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares.
Additionally, investments in issuers located in certain emerging market countries may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. Moreover, there is the risk that if the balance of payments in an emerging market
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country declines, the government of such country may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Furthermore, investments in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.
Available Disclosure About Emerging Market Issuers. Issuers located or operating in emerging market countries are not subject to the same rules and regulations as issuers located or operating in more developed countries. Therefore, there may be less financial and other information publicly available with regard to issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and such issuers are not subject to the uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to issuers located or operating in more developed countries.
Foreign Currency Considerations. The Fund’s assets that are invested in equity securities of issuers in emerging market countries will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, and the proceeds received by the Fund from these investments will be principally in foreign currencies. The value of an emerging market country’s currency may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors.
The Fund’s exposure to an emerging market country’s currency and changes in value of such foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may reduce the Fund’s investment performance and the value of your investment in the Fund. Meanwhile, the Fund will compute and expects to distribute its income in U.S. dollars, and the computation of income will be made on the date that the income is earned by the Fund at the foreign exchange rate in effect on that date. Therefore, if the value of the respective emerging market country’s currency falls relative to the U.S. dollar between the earning of the income and the time at which the Fund converts the relevant emerging market country’s currency to U.S. dollars, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain positions in order to make distributions if the Fund has insufficient cash in U.S. dollars to meet distribution requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
Certain emerging market countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many such currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Furthermore, if permitted, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and an emerging market country’s currency. Foreign exchange dealers realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer normally will offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire immediately to resell that currency to the dealer. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Operational and Settlement Risk. In addition to having less developed securities markets, emerging market countries have less developed custody and settlement practices than certain developed countries. Rules adopted under the 1940 Act permit the Fund to maintain its foreign securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Banks in emerging market countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain emerging market countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Because settlement systems in emerging market countries may be less organized than in other developed markets, there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws in many emerging market countries, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares, creating a risk that the Fund may surrender cash or securities without ever receiving securities or cash from the other party. Settlement systems in emerging market countries also have a higher risk of failed trades and back to back settlements may not be possible.
The Fund may not be able to convert a foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for the settlement of redemption requests. In the event of a redemption request from an AP, the Fund will be required to deliver U.S. dollars to the AP on the settlement date. In the event that the Fund is not able to convert the foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for settlement, which may occur as a result of the delays described above, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain investments and/or borrow money in order to fund such redemption. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or
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otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance (e.g., by causing the Fund to overweight foreign currency denominated holdings and underweight other holdings which were sold to fund redemptions). In addition, the Fund will incur interest expense on any borrowings and the borrowings will cause the Fund to be leveraged, which may magnify gains and losses on its investments.
In certain emerging market countries, the marketability of quoted shares may be limited due to the restricted opening hours of stock exchanges, and a narrow range of investors and a relatively high proportion of market value may be concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of shareholders. In addition, because certain emerging market countries’ stock exchanges on which the Fund’s portfolio securities may trade are open when the relevant Exchanges are closed, the Fund may be subject to heightened risk associated with market movements. Trading volume may be lower on certain emerging market countries’ stock exchanges than on more developed securities markets and equities may be generally less liquid. The infrastructure for clearing, settlement and registration on the primary and secondary markets of certain emerging market countries are less developed than in certain other markets and under certain circumstances this may result in the Fund experiencing delays in settling and/or registering transactions in the markets in which it invests, particularly if the growth of foreign and domestic investment in certain emerging market countries places an undue burden on such investment infrastructure. Such delays could affect the speed with which the Fund can transmit redemption proceeds and may inhibit the initiation and realization of investment opportunities at optimum times.
Certain issuers in emerging market countries may utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions have the effect of barring the purchase and sale of certain voting securities within a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where a vote of shareholders will be taken. Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed. As a result of the ramifications of voting ballots in markets that allow share blocking, the Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in those markets.
Corporate and Securities Laws. Securities laws in emerging market countries are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and shareholder rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In addition, the systems of corporate governance to which emerging market issuers are subject may be less advanced than those systems to which issuers located in more developed countries are subject, and therefore, shareholders of issuers located in emerging market countries may not receive many of the protections available to shareholders of issuers located in more developed countries. In circumstances where adequate laws and shareholder rights exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law. In addition, the enforcement of systems of taxation at federal, regional and local levels in emerging market countries may be inconsistent and subject to sudden change. The Fund has limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring enforcement actions in emerging markets may be limited.
Risk of Investing in Derivatives. Derivatives are financial instruments whose values are based on the value of one or more reference assets or indicators, such as a security, currency, interest rate, or index. The Fund’s use of derivatives involves risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying asset or indicator, a derivative typically does not carry the same rights as would be the case if the Fund invested directly in the underlying securities, currencies or other assets.
Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments or, in the case of “over-the-counter” derivatives, as a result of a counterparty’s credit quality and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect the Adviser anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not achieve the desired correlation with the underlying asset or indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage, and may be highly volatile, and the Fund could lose more than the amount it invests. The use of derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders of the Fund.
Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” without a central clearinghouse; as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on, among other factors, the ability and the willingness of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the Fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the Fund’s derivative positions at any time, and the Fund may not be able to initiate or liquidate a swap position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
In October 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that will rescind and
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withdraw the guidance of the SEC and its staff regarding asset segregation and cover transactions. The final rule requires funds to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless a fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the final rule. Under the final rule, when a fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the fund’s asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions aggregated with other indebtedness do not need to be included in the calculation of whether a fund is a limited derivatives user, but for funds subject to the VaR testing, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions must be included for purposes of such testing whether treated as derivatives transactions or not. The SEC also provided guidance in connection with the new rule regarding use of securities lending collateral that may limit a fund's securities lending activities. Compliance with these new requirements will be required after an eighteen-month transition period.
Shareholder Risk. Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Adviser or an affiliate of the Adviser, an AP, a market maker, or another entity may invest in the Fund and hold its investment for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment. Redemptions by shareholders could have a negative impact on the Fund. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the Exchange and may, therefore, have a material effect on the market price of the Shares.
Leverage Risk. To the extent that the Fund borrows money or utilizes certain derivatives, it may be leveraged. Leveraging generally exaggerates the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. To manage the risk associated with leveraging, the Fund may segregate liquid assets, or otherwise “cover” its derivatives position in a manner consistent with the 1940 Act and the rules and SEC interpretations thereunder. The Fund may modify its asset segregation policies at any time to comply with any changes in the SEC’s positions regarding asset segregation.
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TAX ADVANTAGED PRODUCT STRUCTURE
[Unlike many conventional mutual funds which are only bought and sold at closing NAVs, the Shares of the Fund have been designed to be tradable in a secondary market on an intra-day basis and to be redeemed principally in-kind in Creation Units at each day’s market close. These in-kind arrangements are designed to mitigate the adverse effects on the Fund’s portfolio that could arise from frequent cash redemption transactions that affect the NAV of the Fund. Moreover, in contrast to conventional mutual funds, where frequent redemptions can have an adverse tax impact on taxable shareholders because of the need to sell portfolio securities which, in turn, may generate taxable gain, the in-kind redemption mechanism of the Fund, to the extent used, generally is not expected to lead to a tax event for shareholders whose Shares are not being redeemed.]

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PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS
A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s SAI.
MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND
Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees of the Trust has responsibility for the general oversight of the management of the Fund, including general supervision of the Adviser and other service providers, but is not involved in the day-to-day management of the Trust. A list of the Trustees and the Trust officers, and their present positions and principal occupations, is provided in the Fund’s SAI.
Investment Adviser. Under the terms of an investment management agreement between the Trust and Van Eck Associates Corporation with respect to the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), Van Eck Associates Corporation serves as the adviser to the Fund and, subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the Fund. As of [ ], the Adviser managed approximately [ ] billion in assets. The Adviser has been an investment adviser since 1955 and also acts as adviser or sub-adviser to mutual funds, other ETFs, other pooled investment vehicles and separate accounts. The Adviser’s principal business address is 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017. A discussion regarding the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Investment Management Agreement will be available in the Trust’s [semi-annual] report for the period ended [ ].
Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser is responsible for all expenses of the Fund, including the costs of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, except for the fee payment under the Investment Management Agreement, acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses. For its services to the Fund, the Fund has agreed to pay the Adviser an annual unitary management fee equal to [ ]% of its average daily net assets. Offering costs excluded from the annual unitary management fee are: (a) legal fees pertaining to the Fund’s Shares offered for sale, (b) SEC and state registration fees; and (c) initial fees paid for Shares of the Fund to be listed on an exchange. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Adviser has agreed to pay all such offering costs until at least [ ].
Manager of Managers Structure. The Adviser and the Trust may rely on an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that permits the Adviser to enter into investment sub-advisory agreements with unaffiliated sub-advisers without obtaining shareholder approval. The Adviser, subject to the review and approval of the Board of Trustees, may select one or more sub- advisers for the Fund and supervise, monitor and evaluate the performance of each sub-adviser.
The Order also permits the Adviser, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, to replace sub-advisers and amend investment sub-advisory agreements, including applicable fee arrangements, without shareholder approval whenever the Adviser and the Board of Trustees believe such action will benefit the Fund and its shareholders. The Adviser thus would have the responsibility (subject to the oversight of the Board of Trustees) to recommend the hiring and replacement of sub-advisers as well as the discretion to terminate any sub-adviser and reallocate the Fund’s assets for management among any other sub-adviser(s) and itself. This means that the Adviser would be able to reduce the sub-advisory fees and retain a larger portion of the management fee, or increase the sub-advisory fees and retain a smaller portion of the management fee. The Adviser would compensate each sub-adviser out of its management fee.
Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. Van Eck Associates Corporation is the administrator for the Fund (the “Administrator”), and State Street Bank and Trust Company is the custodian of the Fund’s assets and provides transfer agency and fund accounting services to the Fund. The Administrator is responsible for certain clerical, recordkeeping and/or bookkeeping services which are required to be provided pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement.
Distributor. Van Eck Securities Corporation is the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”). The Distributor will not distribute Shares in less than a specified number of Shares, each called a “Creation Unit,” and does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares. The Shares are traded in the secondary market.
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PORTFOLIO MANAGERS
The portfolio managers who currently share joint responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio are [ ].
SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION
DETERMINATION OF NAV
The NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including the management fee, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is determined each business day as of the close of trading (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on the New York Stock Exchange.
The values of the Fund’s portfolio securities are based on the securities’ closing prices on the markets on which the securities trade, when available. Due to the time differences between the United States and certain countries in which the Fund invests, securities on these exchanges may not trade at times when Shares of the Fund will trade. In the absence of a last reported sales price, or if no sales were reported, and for other assets for which market quotes are not readily available, values may be based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers or by an outside independent pricing service. Debt instruments with remaining maturities of more than 60 days are valued at the evaluated mean price provided by an outside independent pricing service. If an outside independent pricing service is unable to provide a valuation, the instrument is valued at the mean of the highest bid and the lowest asked quotes obtained from one or more brokers or dealers selected by the Adviser. Prices obtained by an outside independent pricing service may use information provided by market makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data related to investments or securities with similar characteristics and may use a computerized grid matrix of securities and its evaluations in determining what it believes is the fair value of the portfolio securities. Short-term debt instruments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources. If a market quotation for a security or other asset is not readily available or the Adviser believes it does not otherwise accurately reflect the market value of the security or asset at the time the Fund calculates its NAV, the security or asset will be fair valued by the Adviser in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The Fund may also use fair value pricing in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations when the value of a security in the Fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded (such as a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. In addition, the Fund currently expects that it will fair value certain of the foreign equity securities held by the Fund, if any, each day the Fund calculates its NAV, except those securities principally traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV.
Accordingly, the Fund’s NAV may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices at the time the exchanges on which they principally trade close. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security or other asset is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of such security or asset. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Fund’s Index. This may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to track its Index. With respect to securities that are principally traded on foreign exchanges, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares.
INTRADAY VALUE
The trading prices of the Fund’s Shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as the supply of and demand for Fund Shares and underlying securities held by the Fund, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of the Fund’s Shares (“IIV”) may be disseminated throughout each trading day by the Exchange or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IIV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IIV is generally determined by using current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers and other market intermediaries that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund and valuations based on current market rates. The quotations and/or valuations of certain Fund holdings may not be
updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IIV and makes no warranty as to its accuracy.
RULE 144A AND OTHER UNREGISTERED SECURITIES
An AP (i.e., a person eligible to place orders with the Distributor to create or redeem Creation Units of the Fund) that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), will not be able to receive, as part of a redemption, restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A or other unregistered securities.
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BUYING AND SELLING EXCHANGE-TRADED SHARES
The Shares of the Fund are expected to be listed on the Exchange. If you buy or sell Shares in the secondary market, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges and may pay some or all of the “spread,” which is any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for the Fund’s Shares based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has high trading volume and market liquidity, and generally higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity (which is often the case for funds that are newly launched or small in size). In times of severe market disruption or low trading volume in the Fund’s Shares, this spread can increase significantly. It is anticipated that the Shares will trade in the secondary market at prices that may differ to varying degrees from the NAV of the Shares. During periods of disruptions to creations and redemptions or the existence of extreme market volatility, the market prices of Shares are more likely to differ significantly from the Shares’ NAV.
The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) serves as securities depository for the Shares. (The Shares may be held only in book- entry form; stock certificates will not be issued.) DTC, or its nominee, is the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or its participants (described below). Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares, each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of: (i) DTC; (ii) “DTC Participants,” i.e., securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC; and (iii) “Indirect Participants,” i.e., brokers, dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly, through which such beneficial owner holds its interests. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a beneficial owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes. For more information, see the section entitled “Book Entry Only System” in the Fund’s SAI.
The Exchange is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares.
The right of redemption by an AP may be suspended or the date of payment postponed (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 its NAV is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
Market Timing and Related Matters. The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions. Frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund Shares may attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”). The Board of Trustees considered the nature of the Fund (i.e., a fund whose Shares are expected to trade intraday), that the Adviser monitors the trading activity of APs for patterns of abusive trading, that the Fund reserves the right to reject orders that may be disruptive to the management of or otherwise not in the Fund’s best interests, and that the Fund may fair value certain of its securities. Given this structure, the Board of Trustees determined that it is not necessary to impose restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions for the Fund at the present time.
DISTRIBUTIONS
Net Investment Income and Capital Gains. As a shareholder of the Fund, you are entitled to your share of the Fund’s distributions of net investment income and net realized capital gains on its investments. The Fund pays out substantially all of its net earnings to its shareholders as “distributions.”

The Fund typically earns income dividends from stocks and interest from debt securities. These amounts, net of expenses, are typically passed along to Fund shareholders as dividends from net investment income. The Fund realizes capital gains or losses whenever it sells securities. Net capital gains are distributed to shareholders as “capital gain distributions.” Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. Any long-term capital gains distributions you receive from the Fund are taxable as long-term capital gains.
Net investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, is typically distributed to shareholders annually. Dividends may be declared and paid more frequently to improve index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Code. In addition, in situations where the Fund acquires investment securities after the beginning of a dividend period, the Fund may elect to distribute at least annually amounts representing the full dividend yield net of expenses on the underlying investment securities, as if the Fund owned the underlying investment securities for the entire dividend period. If the Fund so elects, some portion of
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each distribution may result in a return of capital, which, for tax purposes, is treated as a return of your investment in Shares. You will be notified regarding the portion of the distribution which represents a return of capital.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional Shares of the Fund only if the broker through which you purchased Shares makes such option available.
TAX INFORMATION
As with any investment, you should consider how your Fund investment will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in the Fund, including the possible application of foreign, state and local taxes. Unless your investment in the Fund is through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when: (i) the Fund makes distributions, (ii) you sell Shares in the secondary market or (iii) you create or redeem Creation Units.
Taxes on Distributions. As noted above, the Fund expects to distribute net investment income, if any, at least annually, and any net realized long-term or short-term capital gains, if any, annually. The Fund may also pay a special distribution at any time to comply with U.S. federal tax requirements.
In general, your distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in the Fund. Distributions of net investment income, including net short-term gains, if any, are generally taxable as ordinary income. Whether distributions of capital gains represent long-term or short-term capital gains is determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long you have owned your Shares. Distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses, if any, are generally taxable as ordinary income. Distributions of net long- term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses, if any, that are properly reported as capital gain dividends are generally taxable as long-term capital gains. Long-term capital gains of a non-corporate shareholder are generally taxable at a maximum rate of 15% or 20%, depending on whether the shareholder’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts.
The Fund may receive dividends, the distribution of which the Fund may report as qualified dividends. In the event that the Fund receives such a dividend and reports the distribution of such dividend as a qualified dividend, the dividend may be taxed at the maximum capital gains rates of 15% or 20%, provided holding period and other requirements are met at both the shareholder and the Fund level. There can be no assurance that any significant portion of the Fund’s distributions will be eligible for qualified dividend treatment.
Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of your investment to the extent of your basis in the Shares, and generally as capital gain thereafter. A return of capital, which for tax purposes is treated as a return of your investment, reduces your basis in Shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition of Shares. A distribution will reduce the Fund’s NAV per Share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an economic standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.
Dividends, interest and gains from non-U.S. investments of the Fund may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may, in some cases, reduce or eliminate such taxes.
If more than 50% of the Fund’s total assets at the end of its taxable year consist of foreign securities, the Fund may elect to “pass through” to its investors certain foreign income taxes paid by the Fund, with the result that each investor will (i) include in gross income, even though not actually received, the investor’s pro rata share of the Fund’s foreign income taxes, and (ii) either deduct (in calculating U.S. taxable income) or credit (in calculating U.S. federal income), subject to certain holding period and other limitations, the investor’s pro rata share of the Fund’s foreign income taxes.
Backup Withholding. The Fund may be required to withhold a percentage of your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or otherwise established a basis for exemption from backup withholding. The backup withholding rate for individuals is currently 24%. This is not an additional tax and may be refunded, or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, provided certain required information is furnished to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).
Taxes on the Sale or Cash Redemption of Exchange Listed Shares. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if held for one year or less. However, any capital loss on a sale of Shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such Shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited. To the extent that the Fund shareholder’s Shares are redeemed for cash, this is normally treated as a sale for tax purposes.
Taxes on Creations and Redemptions of Creation Units. A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid
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for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities for Creation Units or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax adviser with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible and the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.
Under current U.S. federal income tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units held as capital assets is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.
If you create or redeem Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many Shares you created or sold and at what price.
Medicare Tax. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.
Non-U.S. Shareholders. Dividends paid by the Fund to Non-U.S. shareholders are generally subject to withholding tax at a 30% rate or a reduced rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty to the extent derived from investment income and short-term capital gains. Dividends paid by the Fund from net tax-exempt income or long-term capital gains are generally not subject to such withholding tax. Properly-reported dividends are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax where they (i) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the Fund’s U.S. source interest income, other than certain contingent interest and interest from obligations of a corporation or partnership in which the Fund is at least a 10% shareholder, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income); or (ii) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain over the Fund’s long-term capital loss for such taxable year). However, depending on its circumstances, the Fund may report all, some or none of its potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term capital gains and/or treat such dividends, in whole or in part, as ineligible for this exemption from withholding.
Any capital gain realized by a Non-U.S. shareholder upon a sale of Shares of the Fund will generally not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless (i) the gain is effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the United States, or in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met or (ii) the Fund is or has been a U.S. real property holding corporation, as defined below, at any time within the five-year period preceding the date of disposition of the Fund’s Shares or, if shorter, within the period during which the Non-U.S. shareholder has held the Shares. Generally, a corporation is a U.S. real property holding corporation if the fair market value of its U.S. real property interests, as defined in the Code and applicable regulations, equals or exceeds 50% of the aggregate fair market value of its worldwide real property interests and its other assets used or held for use in a trade or business. The Fund may be, or may prior to a Non-U.S. shareholder’s disposition of Shares become, a U.S. real property holding corporation. If the Fund is or becomes a U.S. real property holding corporation, so long as the Fund’s Shares are regularly traded on an established securities market, only a Non-U.S. shareholder who holds or held (at any time during the shorter of the five year period preceding the date of disposition or the holder’s holding period) more than 5% (directly or indirectly as determined under applicable attribution rules of the Code) of the Fund’s Shares will be subject to United States federal income tax on the disposition of Shares.
As part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, (“FATCA”), the Fund may be required to withhold 30% tax on certain types of U.S. sourced income (e.g., dividends, interest, and other types of passive income) paid to (i) foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”), including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain nonfinancial foreign entities (“NFFEs”), unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid possible withholding, FFIs will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information, including the names, account numbers and balances, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers of U.S. account holders and comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts as well as agree to withhold tax on certain types of withholdable payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to applicable foreign account holders who fail to provide the required information to the IRS, or similar account information and required documentation to a local revenue authority, should an applicable intergovernmental agreement be implemented. NFFEs will need to provide certain information regarding each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership, unless certain exceptions apply, or agree to provide certain information to the IRS.
The Fund may be subject to the FATCA withholding obligation, and also will be required to perform due diligence reviews to classify foreign entity investors for FATCA purposes. Investors are required to agree to provide information necessary to allow the
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Fund to comply with the FATCA rules. If the Fund is required to withhold amounts from payments pursuant to FATCA, investors will receive distributions that are reduced by such withholding amounts.
Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, including the possible applicability of the U.S. estate tax.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current U.S. federal income tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. Consult your own tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws. Changes in applicable tax authority could materially affect the conclusions discussed above and could adversely affect the Fund, and such changes often occur.
INDEX PROVIDER
The Index is published by MVIS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser.
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MVIS® [GLOBAL DIGITAL ASSET MINING] INDEX

[The Index is a rules based, modified market capitalization weighted, float adjusted index intended to give investors a means of tracking the overall performance of companies involved in the digital asset mining segment.
To be initially eligible for the Index, a company must (i) generate at least 50% of its revenues from digital assets mining activities or mining-related technology or (ii) have projects that, when developed, have the potential to generate at least 50% of their revenues from digital asset mining activities or mining-related technologies.
Companies that are current components of the Index must generate at least 25% of their revenues from digital assets mining activities or mining-related technology or have projects that, when developed, have the potential to generate at least 25% of their revenues from digital asset mining activities or mining-related technologies in order to remain in the Index. The Index currently includes a minimum of 25 Index components.
The Index is the exclusive property of MVIS (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser), which has contracted with Solactive AG to maintain and calculate the Index. Solactive AG uses its best efforts to ensure that the Index is calculated correctly. Irrespective of its obligations towards MVIS, Solactive AG has no obligation to point out errors in the Index to third parties. The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by MVIS and MVIS makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Fund.
The Index is reconstituted and rebalanced quarterly. MVIS may delay or change a scheduled rebalancing or reconstitution of the Index or the implementation of certain rules at its sole discretion.]

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LICENSE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMERS
The Adviser has entered into a licensing agreement with MVIS to use the Index. The Index Provider is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser. The Fund is entitled to use the Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser.
Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by MVIS. MVIS makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Shares of the Fund particularly or the ability of the Index to track the performance of its respective securities market. The Index is determined and composed by MVIS without regard to the Adviser or the Shares of the Fund. MVIS has no obligation to take the needs of the Adviser or the owners of Shares of the Fund into consideration in determining and composing the Index.
MVIS is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of prices at, or quantities of the Shares of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. MVIS has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Shares of the Fund.
The Index is the exclusive property of MVIS, which has contracted with Solactive AG to maintain and calculate the Index. Solactive AG uses its best efforts to ensure that the Index is calculated correctly. Irrespective of its obligations towards the MVIS, Solactive AG has no obligation to point out errors in the Index to third parties including but not limited to investors and/or financial intermediaries of the financial instrument.

The Fund is not sponsored, promoted, sold or supported in any other manner by Solactive AG nor does Solactive AG offer any express or implicit guarantee or assurance either with regard to the results of using the Index and/or its trademark or its price at any time or in any other respect. Neither publication of the Index by Solactive AG nor the licensing of the Index or its trademark for the purpose of use in connection with the Fund constitutes a recommendation by Solactive AG to invest capital in the Fund nor does it in any way represent an assurance or opinion of Solactive AG with regard to any investment in the Fund. Solactive AG is not responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements concerning the accuracy and completeness of the prospectus of the Fund.

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


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




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PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION
The Fund has not yet commenced operations and, therefore, does not have information about the differences between the Fund’s daily market price on the Exchange and its NAV. Information regarding how often the closing trading price of the Shares of the Fund was above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund for the most recently completed calendar year and the most recently completed calendar quarter(s) since that year (or the life of the Fund, if shorter) can be found at www.vaneck.com.
GENERAL INFORMATION
CONTINUOUS OFFERING
The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act may occur at any point. Broker dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.
For example, a broker dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells such Shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.
Broker dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary trading transactions), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(A) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that, under Rule 153 of the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the 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.
In addition, certain affiliates of the Fund and the Adviser may purchase and resell Fund Shares pursuant to this Prospectus.
OTHER INFORMATION
The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 15, 2001. Its Declaration of Trust currently permits the Trust to issue an unlimited number of Shares of beneficial interest. If shareholders are required to vote on any matters, each Share outstanding would be entitled to one vote. Annual meetings of shareholders will not be held except as required by the 1940 Act and other applicable law. See the Fund’s SAI for more information concerning the Trust’s form of organization. Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares of the Fund. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order or SEC regulations, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund.
The Prospectus, SAI and any other Fund communication do not create any contractual obligations between the Fund’s shareholders and the Trust, the Fund, the Adviser and/or the Trustees. Further, shareholders are not intended third party beneficiaries of any contracts entered into by (or on behalf of) the Fund, including contracts with the Adviser or other parties who provide services to the Fund.
Dechert LLP serves as counsel to the Trust, including the Fund. [ ] serves as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and will audit the Fund’s financial statements annually.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This Prospectus does not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC with respect to the Fund’s Shares. The Fund’s Registration Statement, including this Prospectus, the Fund’s SAI and the exhibits are available on the EDGAR database at the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov), and copies may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following email address: publicinfo@sec.gov.
The SAI for the Fund, which has been filed with the SEC, provides more information about the Fund. The SAI for the Fund is incorporated herein by reference and is legally part of this Prospectus. Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year. The SAI and the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports may be obtained without charge by writing to the Fund at Van Eck Securities Corporation, the Fund’s Distributor, at 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017 or by calling the Distributor at the following number: Investor Information: 800.826.2333.
Shareholder inquiries may be directed to the Fund in writing to 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017 or by calling 800.826.2333.
The Fund’s SAI is available at www.vaneck.com.
(Investment Company Act file no. 811-10325)

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For more detailed information about the Fund, see the SAI dated [ ], as may be supplemented from time to time. Additional information about the Fund’s investments is or will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year.
Call VanEck at 800.826.2333 to request, free of charge, the annual or semi-annual reports, the SAI, or other information about the Fund or to make shareholder inquiries. You may also obtain the SAI or the Fund’s annual or semi-annual reports, by visiting the VanEck website at www.vaneck.com.
Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following email address: publicinfo@sec.gov.
ve_logonotagkrgba05a.jpg
Transfer Agent: State Street Bank and Trust Company
SEC Registration Number: 333-123257
1940 Act Registration Number: 811-10325
[ ]
800.826.2333
www.vaneck.com

 

The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. The Trust may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
 
Subject to Completion
 
Preliminary Statement of Additional Information dated December 1, 2021.


VANECK ETF TRUST 
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Dated [XX], 2021
    This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus dated [ ] (the “Prospectus”) for the VanEck® ETF Trust (the “Trust”), relating to the series of the Trust listed below, as it may be revised from time to time.
FundPrincipal U.S. Listing ExchangeTicker
VanEck Digital Asset Mining ETF[ ][ ]
    A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust or the Distributor (defined herein). The Trust’s address is 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017. Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST 
    The Trust is an open-end management investment company. The Trust currently consists of [ ] investment portfolios. This SAI relates to one investment portfolio, VanEck Digital Asset Mining ETF (the “Fund”). The Fund is classified as a non-diversified fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), and, as a result, may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 15, 2001. The shares of the Fund are referred to herein as “Shares.”
    The Fund will offer and issue Shares at their net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). Similarly, Shares will be redeemable by the Fund only in Creation Units. The Shares of the Fund expected to be approved for listing, subject to notice of issuance, on [ ] or (the “Exchange”). Shares of the Fund trade in the secondary market at market prices that may differ from the Shares’ NAV. The Trust reserves the right to permit or require a “cash” option for creations and redemptions of Shares (subject to applicable legal requirements) to the extent Shares are not created and redeemed in-kind.

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RESTRICTIONS
Repurchase Agreements
    The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements with commercial banks, brokers or dealers to generate income from its excess cash balances and to invest securities lending cash collateral. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a money market instrument (generally a security issued by the U.S. Government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed-upon price and date (normally, the next business day). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed-upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by the Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.
    In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by the Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value at least equal to the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Trust’s custodian bank until repurchased. In addition, the Trust’s Board of Trustees (“Board” or “Trustees”) has established guidelines and standards for review of the creditworthiness of any bank, broker or dealer counterparty to a repurchase agreement with the Fund. No more than an aggregate of 15% of the Fund’s net assets will be invested in repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days.
    The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, the Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may incur delays in disposing of the security and/or may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
Futures Contracts and Options
    Futures contracts generally provide for the future purchase or sale of a specified instrument, index or commodity at a specified future time and at a specified price. Stock index futures contracts and other types of futures contracts are settled daily with a payment by the Fund (or exchange) to an exchange (or Fund) of a cash amount based on the difference between the level of the stock index or underlying instrument specified in the contract from one day to the next. Futures contracts are standardized as to maturity date and underlying instrument and are traded on futures exchanges. The Fund may use futures contracts and options on futures contracts based on other indices or combinations of indices that Van Eck Associates Corporation (“VEAC” or the “Adviser”) believes to be representative of the MVIS® [Global Digital Asset Mining] Index (the “Index”).
    An option is a contract that provides the holder of the option the right to buy or sell shares or other assets at a fixed price, within a specified period of time. An American call option gives the option holder the right to buy the underlying security from the option writer at the option exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. A European call option gives the option holder the right to buy the underlying security from the option writer only on the option expiration date. An American put option gives the option holder the right to sell the underlying security to the option writer at the option exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. A European put option gives the option holder the right to sell the underlying security to the option writer at the option exercise price only on the option expiration date.
    Although futures contracts (other than cash-settled futures contracts including most stock index futures contracts) by their terms call for actual delivery or acceptance of the underlying instrument or commodity, in most cases the contracts are
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closed out before the maturity date without the making or taking of delivery. Closing out an open futures position is done by taking an opposite position (buying the same contract which was previously sold or selling the same contract previously purchased) in an identical contract to terminate the position. Brokerage commissions are incurred when a futures contract position is opened or closed.
    Futures traders are required to make a margin deposit (typically in cash or government securities) with a broker or custodian to initiate and maintain open positions in futures contracts. A margin deposit is intended to assure completion of the contract (delivery or acceptance of the underlying instrument or commodity or payment of the cash settlement amount) if it is not terminated prior to the specified delivery date. Brokers may establish deposit requirements that are higher than the exchange minimums. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margin deposits that may vary.
    After a futures contract position is opened, the value of the contract is marked-to-market daily. If the futures contract price changes to the extent that the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, payment of additional “variation” margin will be required.
    Conversely, a change in the contract value may reduce the required margin, resulting in a repayment of excess margin to the contract holder. Variation margin payments are made to and from the futures broker for as long as the contract remains open. The Fund expects to earn interest income on its margin deposits in the form of cash.
    The Fund may use futures contracts and options thereon, together with positions in cash and money market instruments, to simulate full investment in the Index. Under such circumstances, the Adviser may seek to utilize other instruments that it believes to be correlated to the Index components or a subset of the components. Liquid futures contracts may not be currently available for the Index.
    Positions in futures contracts and options may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market therefor. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular futures contract or option at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position. In the event of adverse price movements, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if the Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, the Fund may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying futures contracts it has sold.
    The Fund will seek to minimize the risk that it will be unable to close out a futures or options contract by only entering into futures and options for which there appears to be a liquid secondary market.
    The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered stock index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The Fund does not plan to use futures and options contracts in this way. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit.
    Utilization of futures transactions by the Fund involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to the Index if the index underlying the futures contracts differs from the Index. There is also the risk of loss by the Fund of margin deposits in the event of the bankruptcy or other similar insolvency with respect to a broker with whom the Fund has an open position in the futures contract or option.
    Certain financial futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses, because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of future positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses.
    Except as otherwise specified in the Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI, there are no limitations on the extent to which the Fund may engage in transactions involving futures and options thereon. The Fund will take steps to prevent its futures positions from “leveraging” its securities holdings. When the Fund has a long futures position requiring physical settlement, it will maintain with its custodian bank, cash or liquid securities having a value equal to the notional value of the contract (less any margin deposited in connection with the position). When the Fund has a short futures position requiring physical settlement, the Fund will maintain with its custodian bank assets substantially identical to those underlying the contract or cash and liquid securities (or a combination of the foregoing) having a value equal to the net obligation of the Fund under the contract (less the value of any margin deposits in connection with the position).
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Swaps
    Over-the-counter (“OTC”) swap agreements are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make payments to the other party based on the change in market value or level of a specified index or asset. In return, the other party agrees to make payments to the first party based on the return of a different specified index or asset, usually an interest rate. Although OTC swap agreements entail the risk that a party will default on its payment obligations thereunder, the Fund seeks to reduce this risk generally by receiving (or paying) collateral daily and entering into agreements that involve payments no less frequently than quarterly. The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or highly liquid securities having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess is maintained in an account at the Trust’s custodian bank.
    In addition, the Fund may enter into interest rate swaps and credit default swaps. Interest rate swaps are typically exchange-traded contracts in which a party agrees to make periodic payments on certain referenced interest rates (e.g., a fixed rate or a floating rate) applied to a specified notional amount. A credit default swap on a security is a bilateral contract that enables an investor to buy or sell protection against a defined-issuer credit event. Credit default swaps referencing fixed income indices are generally traded on exchanges. The Fund may enter into credit default swap agreements either as a buyer or a seller. The Fund may buy protection to attempt to mitigate the risk of default or credit quality deterioration in one or more of its individual holdings or in a segment of the fixed income securities market to which it has exposure, or to take a “short” position in individual bonds or market segments which it does not own. The Fund may sell protection in an attempt to gain exposure to the credit quality characteristics of particular bonds or market segments without investing directly in those bonds or market segments. As the protection seller in a credit default swap, the Fund effectively adds economic leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to being subject to investment exposure on its total net assets, the Fund is subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
    The use of such swap agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the counterparty under an OTC swap agreement defaults on its obligation to make payments due from it as a result of its bankruptcy or otherwise, the Fund may lose such payments altogether or collect only a portion thereof, which collection could involve costs or delays.
    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and related regulatory developments require the clearing and exchange-trading of certain standardized OTC derivative instruments that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) defined as “swaps” and “security-based swaps,” respectively. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing is occurring on a phased-in basis based on the type of market participant and CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and exchange trading. In a cleared swap, the Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a swap dealer, bank or other financial institution. The Fund enters into cleared swaps through an executing broker. Such transactions are then submitted for clearing and, if cleared, will be held at regulated futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty. When the Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the central counterparty (via an FCM) an amount referred to as “initial margin.” Initial margin requirements are determined by the central counterparty, but an FCM may require additional initial margin above the amount required by the central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, a “variation margin” amount may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts, depending upon changes in the price of the underlying reference asset subject to the swap agreement. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.
    Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. There is also a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a swap contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers or central counterparty’s clearing members. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty. Certain swaps have begun trading on exchanges called swap execution facilities. Exchange-trading is expected to, but may not necessarily, increase the liquidity of swaps trading.
    In addition, with respect to cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for an uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally impose position limits or additional margin requirements for certain types of swaps in which the Fund may invest. Central counterparties and FCMs generally can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions at any time, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the
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initiation of the swap agreement. Margin requirements for cleared swaps vary on a number of factors, and the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap. However, regulators recently adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums and required daily margin transfers on uncleared swaps. The Fund is also subject to the risk that, after entering into a cleared swap with an executing broker, no FCM or central counterparty is willing or able to clear the transaction. In such an event, the central counterparty would void the trade. Before the Fund can enter into a new trade, market conditions may become less favorable to the Fund.
    The Adviser will continue to monitor developments regarding trading and execution of cleared swaps on exchanges, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the Fund’s ability to enter into swap agreements and the costs and risks associated with such investments.
SEC Regulatory Changes

In October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund's asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. Subject to certain exceptions, the final rule requires the Fund to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit and certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless the Fund satisfies a “limited derivatives users” exception that is included in the final rule. Under the final rule, when the Fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness (e.g., bank borrowings, if applicable) when calculating the Fund’s asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions aggregated with other indebtedness do not need to be included in the calculation of whether the Fund satisfies the limited derivatives users exception, but for funds subject to the VaR testing requirement, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions must be included for purposes of such testing whether treated as derivatives transactions or not. The SEC also provided guidance in connection with the final rule regarding the use of securities lending collateral that may limit securities lending activities. Compliance with these new requirements will be required after an eighteen-month transition period. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives, short sales, and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund. The Investment Adviser intends to monitor developments and seek to manage the Fund in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective.

In October 2020, the SEC adopted certain regulatory changes and took other actions related to the ability of an investment company to invest in another investment company. These changes include, among other things, amendments to Rule 12d1-1, the rescission of Rule 12d1-2, the adoption of Rule 12d1-4, and the rescission of certain exemptive relief issued by the SEC permitting such investments in excess of statutory limits. These regulatory changes may adversely impact each Fund’s investment strategies and operations.
Warrants and Subscription Rights
    Warrants are equity securities in the form of options issued by a corporation which give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase stock, usually at a price that is higher than the market price at the time the warrant is issued. A purchaser takes the risk that the warrant may expire worthless because the market price of the common stock fails to rise above the price set by the warrant.
Currency Forwards
    A currency forward transaction is a contract to buy or sell a specified quantity of currency at a specified date in the future at a specified price which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties at a price set at the time of the contract. Currency forward contracts may be used to increase or reduce exposure to currency price movements.
    The use of currency forward transactions involves certain risks. For example, if the counterparty under the contract defaults on its obligation to make payments due from it as a result of its bankruptcy or otherwise, the Fund may lose such payments altogether or collect only a portion thereof, which collection could involve costs or delays.

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Convertible Securities
A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock, right, warrant or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other security of the same or a different issuer or into cash within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt securities or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure but are usually subordinated to comparable nonconvertible securities. Convertible securities generally do not participate directly in any dividend increases or decreases of the underlying securities although the market prices of convertible securities may be affected by any dividend changes or other changes in the underlying securities.
Market Risk
The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. The prices of the securities in the Fund are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. Market risk arises mainly from uncertainty about future values of financial instruments and may be influenced by price, currency and interest rate movements. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. As global systems, economies and financial markets are increasingly interconnected, events that occur in one country, region or financial market will, more frequently, adversely impact issuers in other countries, regions or markets. During a general market downturn, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Changes in market conditions and interest rates generally do not have the same impact on all types of securities and instruments.
Economies and financial markets throughout the world have experienced periods of increased volatility, uncertainty and distress as a result of conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To the extent these conditions continue, the risks associated with an investment in the Fund, including those described below, could be heightened and the Fund’s investments (and thus a shareholder’s investment in the Fund) may be particularly susceptible to sudden and substantial losses, reduced yield or income or other adverse developments.
Floating Rate LIBOR Risk
    Certain financial instruments in which a Fund invests may pay interest based on, or otherwise have payments tied to, the London Inter-bank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"), Euro Interbank Offered Rate and other similar types of reference rates (each, a "Reference Rate"). Due to the uncertainty regarding the future utilization of LIBOR and the nature of any replacement rate, the potential effect of a transition away from LIBOR on a Fund or the financial instruments in which a Fund invests cannot yet be fully determined.
On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA will no longer persuade nor require banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates after 2021. In March 2021, the FCA and LIBOR’s administrator, ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (“IBA”) announced that all Sterling, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc and Euro and certain U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will no longer be published after the end of 2021 and the remaining (being the majority of the) U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will no longer be published after June 30, 2023. It is possible that the FCA, using new statutory powers to be granted to it, will compel the IBA to publish a subset of LIBOR settings after these dates on a “synthetic” basis. These announcements and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on a Fund or its investments.
In advance of 2022, public and private sector industry initiatives, regulators and market participants are currently engaged in identifying successor Reference Rates (“Alternative Reference Rates”), (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which is likely to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR and measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury securities). The Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing SOFR in 2018, and it has been used increasingly on a voluntary basis in new instruments and transactions. At times, SOFR has proven to be more volatile than the 3-month USD LIBOR. Working groups and regulators in other countries have suggested other alternatives for their markets, including the Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate (“SONIA”) in England. In many cases, in the event that an instrument falls back to a so-called risk free Alternative Reference Rate, including the SOFR, the risk free Alternative Reference Rate will not perform the same as LIBOR because the risk free Alternative Reference Rate does not include a credit sensitive component in the calculation of the rate. SOFR, for example, generally reflects the performance of the market for overnight repurchase transactions secured by U.S. treasury securities and not the performance of inter-bank lending
8


markets. In the event of a credit crisis, floating rate instruments using certain risk free Alternative Reference Rates could therefore perform differently than those instruments using a rate indexed to the inter-bank lending market. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any such Alternative Reference Rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that it will have the same volume or liquidity as did LIBOR prior to its discontinuance or unavailability, which may affect the value or liquidity or return on certain of a Fund’s investments and result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades.
Additionally, prior to the end of 2021 (or a later date, if a particular Reference Rate is expected to continue beyond 2021), it is expected that market participants will focus on the transition mechanisms by which the Reference Rates in existing contracts or instruments may be amended, whether through marketwide protocols, fallback contractual provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to a Fund. At this time, it is not possible to completely identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of Alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the UK or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any securities or payments linked to those Reference Rates and other financial obligations held by a Fund or on its overall financial condition or results of operations.
The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that currently rely on Reference Rates to determine interest rates. It could also lead to a reduction in the value of some Reference Rate-based investments held by a Fund and reduce the effectiveness of new hedges placed against existing Reference Rate-based instruments. While market participants are endeavoring to minimize the economic impact of the transition from Reference Rates to Alternative Reference Rates, the transition away from LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates could, among other negative consequences:
■    Adversely impact the pricing, liquidity, value of, return on and trading for a broad array of financial products, including any Reference Rate-linked securities, loans and derivatives in which a Fund may invest;

■    Require extensive negotiations of and/or amendments to agreements and other documentation governing Reference Rate-linked investments products;

■    Lead to disputes, litigation or other actions with counterparties or portfolio companies regarding the interpretation and enforceability of “fallback” provisions that provide for an Alternative Reference Rate in the event of Reference Rate unavailability; or

■    Cause a Fund to incur additional costs in relation to any of the above factors.

The risks associated with the above factors, including decreased liquidity, are heightened with respect to investments in Reference Rate-based products that do not include a fallback provision that addresses how interest rates will be determined if LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates stop being published. Even with some Reference Rate-based instruments that may contemplate a scenario where Reference Rates are no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain Reference Rate-related instruments or financing transactions, there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies, resulting in prolonged adverse market conditions for a Fund. Since the usefulness of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates as benchmarks could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur prior to the end of 2021 and beyond until the anticipated discontinuance date in 2023 for the majority of the LIBOR rates. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments. In addition, when a Reference Rate is discontinued, the Alternative Reference Rate may be lower than market expectations, which could have an adverse impact on the value of preferred and debt securities with floating or fixed-to-floating rate coupons. In addition, any substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect a Fund’s performance or NAV.
Laws in some states, such as in New York, and pending legislation, including in the U.S. Congress, may affect the transition of LIBOR-based instruments as well by permitting trustees and calculation agents to transition instruments with no LIBOR transition language to a risk free Alternative Reference Rate selected by relevant regulators or committees designated by those regulators. The New York law and the proposed federal legislation both include safe harbors shielding such trustees and calculation agents from liability, including in the event that a Fund suffers losses as a result of the transition of an instrument from LIBOR to the applicable designated risk free Alternative Reference Rate. It is uncertain whether any of the pending legislation will be signed into law. Furthermore, no assurances can be given as to which investments of a Fund would be subject to any existing, pending or future law related to the LIBOR transition.
Structured Notes
    A structured note is a derivative security for which the amount of principal repayment and/or interest payments is based on the movement of one or more “factors.” These factors include, but are not limited to, currency exchange rates, interest rates (such as the prime lending rate or LIBOR), referenced bonds and stock indices. Some of these factors may or may not
9


correlate to the total rate of return on one or more underlying instruments referenced in such notes. Investments in structured notes involve risks including interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk. Depending on the factor(s) used and the use of multipliers or deflators, changes in interest rates and movement of such factor(s) may cause significant price fluctuations. Structured notes may be less liquid than other types of securities and more volatile than the reference factor underlying the note.
Participation Notes
    Participation notes (“P-Notes”) are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to offer a return linked to the performance of a particular underlying equity security or market. P-Notes can have the characteristics or take the form of various instruments, including, but not limited to, certificates or warrants. The holder of a P-Note that is linked to a particular underlying security may, among other things, be entitled to receive any dividends paid in connection with the underlying security. However, the holder of a P-Note generally does not receive voting rights as it would if it directly owned the underlying security. P-Notes constitute direct, general and unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, which therefore subject the subscriber to counterparty risk, as discussed below. Investments in P-Notes involve certain risks in addition to those associated with a direct investment in the underlying foreign securities or foreign securities markets whose return they seek to replicate. For instance, there can be no assurance that the trading price of a P-Note will equal the value of the underlying foreign security or foreign securities market that it seeks to replicate. As the purchaser of a P-Note, the Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of the counterparty issuing the P-Note and has no rights under a P-Note against the issuer of the underlying security. Therefore, if such counterparty were to become insolvent, the Fund would lose its investment. The risk that the Fund may lose its investments due to the insolvency of a single counterparty may be amplified to the extent the Fund purchases P-Notes issued by one issuer or a small number of issuers. P-Notes also include transaction costs in addition to those applicable to a direct investment in securities. In addition, the Fund’s use of P-Notes may cause the Fund’s performance to deviate from the performance of the portion of the Index to which the Fund is gaining exposure through subscription to P-Notes.
Due to liquidity and transfer restrictions, the secondary markets on which P-Notes are traded may be less liquid than the markets for other securities, which may lead to the absence of readily available market quotations for securities in the Fund’s portfolio and may cause the value of the P-Notes to decline. The ability of the Fund to value its securities becomes more difficult and the Adviser’s judgment in the application of fair value procedures may play a greater role in the valuation of the Fund’s securities due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations will be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for the Fund to accurately assign a daily value to such securities.
Future Developments
    The Fund may take advantage of opportunities in the area of options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, warrants, swaps and any other investments which are not presently contemplated for use or which are not currently available, but which may be developed, to the extent such investments are considered suitable for the Fund by the Adviser.
Investment Restrictions
    The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For purposes of the 1940 Act, a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund means the vote, at an annual or a special meeting of the security holders of the Trust, of the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. The following investment restrictions are applicable to the Fund:
1.The Fund may not make loans, except that the Fund may (i) lend portfolio securities, (ii) enter into repurchase agreements, (iii) purchase all or a portion of an issue of debt securities, bank loan or participation interests, bank certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, debentures or other securities, whether or not the purchase is made upon the original issuance of the securities and (iv) participate in an interfund lending program with other registered investment companies;
2.The Fund may not borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified by regulation from time to time;
3.The Fund may not issue senior securities except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified by regulation from time to time;
4.The Fund may not purchase or sell real estate, except that the Fund may (i) invest in securities of issuers that invest in real estate or interests therein; (ii) invest in mortgage-related securities and other securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein; and (iii) hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities;
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5.The Fund may not engage in the business of underwriting securities issued by others, except to the extent that the Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), in the disposition of restricted securities or in connection with its investments in other investment companies;
6.The Fund may not purchase or sell commodities, unless acquired as a result of owning securities or other instruments, but it may purchase, sell or enter into financial options and futures, forward and spot currency contracts, swap transactions and other financial contracts or derivative instruments and may invest in securities or other instruments backed by commodities; and
7.The Fund may not purchase any security if, as a result of that purchase, 25% or more of its total assets would be invested in securities of issuers having their principal business activities in the same industry, except that the Fund may invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries if the index that the Fund tracks concentrates in an industry or group of industries. These limits do not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities.
In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, the Fund observes the following non-fundamental investment restrictions, which may be changed by the Board without a shareholder vote. Under these restrictions:
1.The Fund will not invest in securities which are “illiquid” securities if the result is that more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets would be invested in such securities.
2.The Fund will not make short sales of securities.
3.The Fund will not purchase any security on margin, except for such short-term loans as are necessary for clearance of securities transactions. The deposit or payment by the Fund or initial or variation margin in connection with futures contracts or related options thereon is not considered the purchase of a security on margin.
4.The Fund will not participate in a joint or joint-and-several basis in any trading account in securities, although transactions for the Fund and any other account under common or affiliated management may be combined or allocated between the Fund and such account.
5.[The Fund will not purchase securities of open-end or closed-end investment companies except in compliance with the 1940 Act, although the Fund may not acquire any securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.]
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 limitation with respect to the borrowing of money described above in fundamental restriction 2 will be continuously complied with.
With respect to fundamental restriction 2, the 1940 Act permits the Fund to borrow money from banks in an amount up to one-third of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) less its liabilities (not including any borrowings but including the fair market value at the time of computation of any other senior securities then outstanding). The Fund may also borrow an additional 5% of its total assets without regard to the foregoing limitation for temporary purposes such as clearance of portfolio transactions. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings are not subject to the policy.
With respect to fundamental restriction 3, the 1940 Act prohibits the Fund from issuing senior securities, except that the Fund may borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the Fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose. The Fund may also borrow money or engage in economically similar transactions if those transactions do not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act. The policy above will be interpreted not to prevent collateral arrangements with respect to swaps, options, forward or futures contracts or other derivatives, or the posting of initial or variation margin.
With respect to fundamental restriction 7, investment companies are not considered to be part of an industry. Additionally, the securities of state and municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.
The Fund may invest its remaining assets in securities not included in its Index, which may include but is not limited to money market instruments or funds which reinvest exclusively in money market instruments, in stocks that are in the relevant market but not the Fund’s Index, and/or in combinations of certain stock index futures contracts, options on such futures
11


contracts, stock options, stock index options, options on the Shares, and stock index swaps and swaptions, each with a view towards providing the Fund with exposure to the securities in its Index. These investments may be made to invest uncommitted cash balances or, in limited circumstances, to assist in meeting shareholder redemptions of Creation Units. The Fund does not take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its investment objective of seeking to replicate its Index.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RISKS 
    A discussion of the risks associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Fund’s Prospectus under the headings “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” and “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund.” The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Fund’s Prospectus.
General
    An 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.
    The Fund is not actively managed by traditional methods, and therefore the adverse financial condition of any one issuer will not result in the elimination of its securities from the securities held by the Fund unless the securities of such issuer are removed from the Index.
    An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in equity securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the portfolio securities and thus in the value of Shares). Common stocks are susceptible to general stock 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. In the event that the securities in the Fund’s Index are not listed on a national securities exchange, the principal trading market for some 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.
    An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding that the Fund will not be able to track exactly the performance of its Index because the total return generated by the securities will be reduced by transaction costs incurred in adjusting the actual balance of the securities and other Fund expenses, whereas such transaction costs and expenses are not included in the calculation of its Index. It is also possible that for periods of time, the Fund may not fully track the performance of the Index due to the temporary unavailability of certain Index securities in the secondary market or due to other extraordinary circumstances. Such events are unlikely to continue for an extended period of time because the Fund is required to correct such imbalances by means of adjusting the composition of the securities. It is also possible that the composition of the Fund may not exactly track the composition of the Index if the Fund has to adjust its portfolio holdings in order to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”).
    The Fund is subject to the risks of an investment in an economic sector or industry in which the Index is highly concentrated. In addition, because it is the policy of the Fund to generally invest in the securities that comprise the Index, the portfolio of securities (“Fund Securities”) held by the Fund also will be concentrated in that economic sector or industry.
    Regulatory developments affecting the exchange-traded and OTC derivatives markets may impair the Fund’s ability to manage or hedge its investment portfolio through the use of derivatives. The Dodd-Frank Act and the rules promulgated thereunder may limit the ability of the Fund to enter into one or more exchange-traded or OTC derivatives transactions.
    The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has filed a notice of eligibility with the National Futures Association claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) pursuant to CFTC Regulation 4.5, as promulgated under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) with respect to the Fund’s operations. Therefore, neither the Fund
12


nor the Adviser (with respect to the Fund) is subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool or CPO under the CEA. If the Fund becomes subject to these requirements, the Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses.
    The Fund’s use of derivatives may also be limited by the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code for qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
    With respect to investments in swap transactions, commodity futures, commodity options or certain other derivatives used for purposes other than bona fide hedging purposes, an investment company must meet one of the following tests under the amended regulations in order to claim an exemption from being considered a “commodity pool” or CPO. First, the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish an investment company’s positions in such investments may not exceed five percent (5%) of the liquidation value of the investment company’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such investments). Alternatively, the aggregate net notional value of such instruments, determined at the time of the most recent position established, may not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the liquidation value of the investment company’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, the investment company may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps and derivatives markets. In the event that the Adviser is required to register as a CPO, the disclosure and operations of the Fund would need to comply with all applicable CFTC regulations. Compliance with these additional registration and regulatory requirements would increase operational expenses. Other potentially adverse regulatory initiatives could also develop.
U.S. Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts and Certain Option Contracts
    The Fund may be required for federal income tax purposes to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year their net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts and option contracts as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures contracts required to be marked-to-market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts or certain option contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund.
    In order for the Fund to continue to qualify for U.S. federal income tax treatment as a RIC, at least 90% of its gross income for a taxable year must be derived from qualifying income, i.e., dividends, interest, income derived from loans of securities, gains from the sale of securities or of foreign currencies or other income derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in securities. It is anticipated that any net gain realized from the closing out of futures contracts or certain option contracts will be considered gain from the sale of securities and therefore will be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% requirement.
    The Fund distributes to shareholders annually any net capital gains which have been recognized for U.S. federal income tax purposes (including unrealized gains at the end of the Fund’s fiscal year on certain futures transactions and certain option contracts). Such distributions are combined with distributions of capital gains realized on the Fund’s other investments and shareholders are advised on the nature of the distributions.
Concentration Considerations
    To the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries, the Fund will be subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on that sector or industry will negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of sectors or industries. The securities of state and municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.
Cyber Security
    The Fund, its service providers, the Exchange and Authorized Participants (defined below) are susceptible to cyber security risks that include, among other things, theft, unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential and highly restricted data; denial of service attacks; unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Fund and its service providers use to service the Fund’s operations; or operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Fund and its service providers. Cyber attacks against or security breakdowns of the Fund, its service providers, the Exchange or Authorized Participants may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses; the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions; inability to calculate the Fund’s NAV; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; and/or additional compliance costs. The Fund may incur additional costs for cyber security risk management and remediation purposes. In addition, cyber security risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which may cause the Fund’s investment in such issuers to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Fund, its service providers, the Exchange or Authorized Participants will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.
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Securities Lending
    The Fund may lend securities to approved borrowers, including affiliates of the Fund’s securities lending agent, State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”). Securities lending allows the Fund to retain ownership of the securities loaned and, at the same time, earn additional income. The borrower provides cash or non-cash collateral equal to at least 102% (105% for foreign securities) of the value of the securities loaned. Collateral is maintained by State Street on behalf of the Fund. Cash received as collateral through loan transactions is generally invested in shares of a money market fund. Investing this cash subjects that investment, as well as the securities loaned, to market appreciation or depreciation. Non-cash collateral consists of securities issued or guaranteed by the United States government or one of its agencies and cannot be re-hypothecated by the Fund.  The Fund maintains the ability to vote or consent on proxy proposals involving material events affecting securities loaned. If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return the securities loaned because of insolvency or other reasons, the Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities loaned or in gaining access to the collateral. These delays and costs could be greater for foreign securities. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities loaned, the collateral may be sold and a replacement investment may be purchased in the market. The value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement investment by the time the replacement investment is purchased.
EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING
    A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the Fund’s Prospectus under the headings “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund,” “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund,” “Shareholder Information—Determination of NAV” and “Shareholder Information—Buying and Selling Exchange-Traded Shares.” The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Fund’s Prospectus.
    The Shares of the Fund are expected to be approved for listing on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and will trade in the secondary market at prices that may differ to some degree from their NAV. The Exchange may but is not required to remove the Shares of the Fund from listing if: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Shares, (2) the Exchange becomes aware that the Fund is no longer eligible to operate in reliance on Rule 6c-11 under the 1940 Act, (3) the Fund no longer complies with certain listing exchange rules, 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. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of the Fund will continue to be met.
    As in the case of other securities traded on the Exchange, brokers’ commissions on secondary market transactions in Shares of the Fund will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
    In order to provide investors with a basis to gauge whether the market price of the Shares on the Exchange is approximately consistent with the current value of the assets of the Fund on a per Share basis, an “intra-day indicative value” (“IIV” and also known as the Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value) for the Fund may be disseminated through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association’s Network B. IIVs are disseminated during regular Exchange trading hours. The Fund is not involved in or responsible for the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.
    The IIV has a securities component and a cash component reflecting cash and other assets that may be held by the Fund. The securities values included in the IIV are the values of the Deposit Securities (as defined below under the heading “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units—Fund Deposit”) for the Fund. While the IIV reflects the approximate current value of the Deposit Securities required to be deposited in connection with the purchase of a Creation Unit, it does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time because the current portfolio of the Fund may include securities that are not a part of the current Deposit Securities. Therefore, the Fund’s IIV disseminated during the Exchange trading hours should not be viewed as a real-time update of the Fund’s NAV, which is calculated only once a day.
    The cash component included in the IIV could consist of estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, the IIV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the applicable currency.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TRUST
Trustees and Officers of the Trust
    The Board of the Trust consists of six Trustees, five of whom are not “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act), of the Trust (the “Independent Trustees”). Mr. David H. Chow, an Independent Trustee, serves as Chairman of the Board. The
14


Board is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Trust, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Adviser and other service providers to the Trust. The Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day administration and business affairs of the Trust.
    The Board believes that each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees lead to the conclusion that the Board possesses the requisite skills and attributes to carry out its oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust. The Board believes that the Trustees’ ability to review, critically evaluate, question and discuss information provided to them, to interact effectively with the Adviser, other service providers, counsel and independent auditors, and to exercise effective business judgment in the performance of their duties, support this conclusion. The Board also has considered the following experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, among others, of its members in reaching its conclusion: such person’s character and integrity; length of service as a board member of the Trust; such person’s willingness to serve and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of a Trustee; and as to each Trustee other than Mr. van Eck, his status as not being an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust. In addition, the following specific experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills apply as to each Trustee: Mr. Chow, significant business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, experience with trading and markets through his involvement with the Pacific Stock Exchange, and service as a chief executive officer, board member, partner or executive officer of various businesses and non-profit organizations; Ms. Hesslein, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as a president, board member and/or executive officer of various businesses; Mr. Short, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as a president, board member or executive officer of various businesses; Mr. Sidebottom, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as partner and/or executive officer of various businesses; Mr. Stamberger, business and financial experience and service as the president and chief executive officer of SmartBrief, LLC., a media company; and Mr. van Eck, business and financial experience, particularly in the investment management industry, and service as a president, executive officer and/or board member of various businesses, including the Adviser, Van Eck Securities Corporation (“VESC”), and Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corporation (“VEARA”). References to the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills of Trustees are pursuant to requirements of the SEC, do not constitute holding out of the Board or any Trustee as having any special expertise or experience, and shall not impose any greater responsibility or liability on any such person or on the Board by reason thereof.
    The Trustees of the Trust, their addresses, positions with the Trust, year of birth, term of office and length of time served, principal occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex overseen by each Trustee and other directorships, if any, held by the Trustees, are set forth below.
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Independent Trustees
Name, Address1
and Year of
Birth
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of
Office2 and
Length of
Time Served
Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex3
Overseen
Other
Directorships
Held Outside the Fund Complex3 During
Past Five
Years
David H. Chow,
1957*
Chairman
Trustee
Since 2008
Since 2006
Founder and CEO, DanCourt Management LLC (financial/strategy consulting firm and Registered Investment Adviser), March 1999 to present. [ ]
Trustee, Berea College of Kentucky, May 2009 to present and currently Chairman of the Investment Committee; Member of the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council, October 2012 to September 2020; Trustee, MainStay Fund Complex4, January 2016 to present and currently Chairman of the Risk and Compliance Committee.
Laurie A. Hesslein, 1959*†
TrusteeSince 2019Citigroup, Managing Director and Business Head, Local Consumer Lending North America, and CEO and President, CitiFinancial Servicing LLC (2013 - 2017).
 [ ]Trustee, First Eagle Senior Loan Fund, Formerly Eagle Growth and Income Opportunities Fund; March 2017 to December 2020.
R. Alastair Short, 1953*
TrusteeSince 2006President, Apex Capital Corporation (personal investment vehicle). [ ]Chairman and Independent Director, EULAV Asset Management; Trustee, Kenyon Review; Trustee, Children's Village. Formerly, Independent Director, Tremont offshore funds.
16


Peter J. Sidebottom,
1962*
TrusteeSince 2012Lead Partner, North America Banking and Capital Markets Strategy, Accenture, May 2017 to present; Partner, PWC/Strategy & Financial Services Advisory, February 2015 to March 2017; Founder and Board Member, AspenWoods Risk Solutions, September 2013 to February 2016; Independent consultant, June 2013 to February 2015; Partner, Bain & Company (management consulting firm), April 2012 to December 2013; Executive Vice President and Senior Operating Committee Member, TD Ameritrade (on-line brokerage firm), February 2009 to January 2012. [ ]Board Member, Special Olympics, New Jersey, November 2011 to September 2013; Director, The Charlotte Research Institute, December 2000 to 2009; Board Member, Social Capital Institute, University of North Carolina Charlotte, November 2004 to January 2012; Board Member, NJ-CAN, July 2014 to 2016.
Richard D. Stamberger, 1959*
TrusteeSince 2006Senior Vice President, B@B Future Plc (global media company), July 2020 to present; President, CEO and co-founder, SmartBrief, Inc., 1999 to 2019. [ ]Director, Food and Friends, Inc., 2013 to present.
________________________

1The address for each Trustee and officer is 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017.
2Each Trustee serves until resignation, death, retirement or removal. Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.
3The Fund Complex consists of the VanEck Funds, VanEck VIP Trust and the Trust.
4The MainStay Fund Complex consists of MainStay Funds, MainStay Funds Trust, MainStay VP Funds Trust and MainStay MacKay Defined Term Municipal Opportunities Fund.
*Member of the Audit Committee.
    Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Interested Trustee
Name, Address1 and Year of Birth
Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
Term of Office2
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund Complex3
Overseen
Other
Directorships
Held Outside the Fund Complex3
During Past Five
Years
Jan F. van Eck, 19634
Trustee, Chief Executive Officer and PresidentTrustee (Since 2006); Chief Executive Officer and President (Since 2009)Director, President
and Chief Executive
Officer of VEAC,
VEARA and VESC;
Officer and/or
Director of other
companies affiliated
with VEAC and/or
the Trust.
 [ ]Director, National Committee on US-China Relations.
________________________

1The address for each Trustee and officer is 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017.
2Each Trustee serves until resignation, death, retirement or removal. Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.
3The Fund Complex consists of the VanEck Funds, VanEck VIP Trust and the Trust.
4“Interested person” of the Trust within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Mr. van Eck is an officer of VEAC, VEARA and VESC.

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Officer Information
    The Officers of the Trust, their addresses, positions with the Trust, year of birth and principal occupations during the past five years are set forth below.
Officers Name,
Address1 and Year of
Birth
Position(s)
Held with the
Trust
Term of
Office2 and
Length of
Time
Served
Principal Occupation(s) During Past Five
Years
Matthew A. Babinsky, 1983Assistant Vice President and Assistant SecretarySince 2016
Assistant Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of VEAC, VEARA and VESC; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Associate, Clifford Chance US LLP.

Russell G. Brennan, 1964Assistant Vice President and Assistant TreasurerSince 2008Assistant Vice President of VEAC; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA.
Charles T. Cameron, 1960Vice PresidentSince 2006Portfolio Manager of VEAC; Officer and/or Portfolio Manager of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Director of Trading of VEAC.
John J. Crimmins, 1957Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting OfficerVice President, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer (Since 2012); Treasurer (Since 2009)Vice President of VEAC and VEARA; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Vice President of VESC.
Eduardo Escario, 1975Vice PresidentSince 2012Regional Director, Business Development/Sales for Southern Europe and South America of VEAC.
F. Michael Gozzillo, 1965Chief Compliance OfficerSince 2018Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of VEAC and VEARA; Chief Compliance Officer of VESC; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Chief Compliance Officer of City National Rochdale, LLC and City National Rochdale Funds.
Laura Hamilton, 1977Vice PresidentSince 2019
Assistant Vice President of VEAC and VESC; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Operations Manager of Royce & Associates.


Nicholas Jackson, 1974Assistant Vice PresidentSince 2018Director, Business Development of VanEck Australia Pty Ltd. Formerly, Vice President, Business Development of VanEck Australia Pty Ltd.
Laura I. Martínez, 1980Vice President and Assistant SecretaryVice President (Since 2016); Assistant Secretary (Since 2008)Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of VEAC, VEARA and VESC; Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA. Formerly, Assistant Vice President of VEAC, VEARA and VESC.
18


Officers Name,
Address1 and Year of
Birth
Position(s)
Held with the
Trust
Term of
Office2 and
Length of
Time
Served
Principal Occupation(s) During Past Five
Years
Matthew McKinnon, 1970Assistant Vice PresidentSince 2018Head of Business Development of Asia Pacific of VanEck Australia Pty Ltd. Formerly, Director, Intermediaries and Institutions of VanEck Australia Pty Ltd.
 
Arian Neiron, 1979Vice PresidentSince 2018Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific of VanEck Australia Pty Ltd.; Officer and/or Director of other companies affiliated with VEAC and/or the Trust.
James Parker, 1969Assistant TreasurerSince 2014Assistant Vice President of VEAC; Manager, Portfolio Administration of VEAC and VEARA. Officer of other investment companies advised by VEAC and VEARA.
Adam Phillips, 1970Vice PresidentSince 2018ETF Chief Operating Officer of VEAC, Director of other companies affiliated with VEAC.
Philipp Schlegel, 1974Vice PresidentSince 2016Managing Director of Van Eck Switzerland AG.
Jonathan R. Simon, 1974Senior Vice President, Secretary and Chief Legal OfficerSenior Vice President (Since 2016); Secretary and Chief Legal Officer (Since 2014)Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of VEAC, VEARA and VESC; Officer and/or Director of other companies affiliated with VEAC and/or the Trust. Formerly, Vice President of VEAC, VEARA and VESC.
Andrew Tilzer, 1971Assistance Vice PresidentSince 2021Vice President of Portfolio Administration. Formerly, Assistant Vice President, Portfolio Operations of VEAC.
________________________

1The address for each Officer is 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017.
2Officers are elected yearly by the Trustees.
    The Board of the Trust met [ ] times during the fiscal year ended [ ].
    The Board has an Audit Committee consisting of five Trustees who are Independent Trustees. Ms. Hesslein and Messrs. Chow, Short, Sidebottom and Stamberger currently serve as members of the Audit Committee and each of Ms. Hesslein and Messrs. Chow, Short, Sidebottom and Stamberger has been designated as an “audit committee financial expert” as defined under Item 407 of Regulation S-K of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Mr. Short is the Chairman of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) oversee the accounting and financial reporting processes of the Trust and its internal control over financial reporting; (ii) oversee the quality and integrity of the Trust’s financial statements and the independent audit thereof; (iii) oversee or, as appropriate, assist the Board’s oversight of the Trust’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements that relate to the Trust’s accounting and financial reporting, internal control over financial reporting and independent audit; (iv) approve prior to appointment the engagement of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and, in connection therewith, to review and evaluate the qualifications, independence and performance of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm; and (v) act as a liaison between the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and the full Board. The Audit Committee met [ ] times during the fiscal year ended [ ].
    The Board also has a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee consisting of five Independent Trustees. Ms. Hesslein and Messrs. Chow, Short, Sidebottom and Stamberger currently serve as members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Stamberger is the Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) evaluate, as necessary, the composition of the Board, its committees and sub-committees and make such recommendations to the Board as deemed appropriate by the Committee; (ii) review and define Independent Trustee qualifications; (iii) review the qualifications of individuals serving as Trustees on the Board and its committees; (iv) evaluate, recommend and nominate qualified individuals
19


for election or appointment as members of the Board and recommend the appointment of members and chairs of each Board committee and subcommittee; and (v) review and assess, from time to time, the performance of the committees and subcommittees of the Board and report the results to the Board. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee met [ ] times during the fiscal year ended [ ].
    The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate given the business and nature of the Trust. In connection with its determination, the Board considered that the Chairman of the Board is an Independent Trustee. The Chairman of the Board can play an important role in setting the agenda of the Board and also serves as a key point person for dealings between management and the other Independent Trustees. The Independent Trustees believe that the Chairman’s independence facilitates meaningful dialogue between the Adviser and the Independent Trustees. The Board also considered that the Chairman of each Board committee is an Independent Trustee, which yields similar benefits with respect to the functions and activities of the various Board committees. The Independent Trustees also regularly meet outside the presence of management and are advised by independent legal counsel. The Board has determined that its committees help ensure that the Trust has effective and independent governance and oversight. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from management of the Trust, including the Adviser. The Board reviews its structure on an annual basis.
    As an integral part of its responsibility for oversight of the Trust in the interests of shareholders, the Board, as a general matter, oversees risk management of the Trust’s investment programs and business affairs. The function of the Board with respect to risk management is one of oversight and not active involvement in, or coordination of, day-to-day risk management activities for the Trust. The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Trust can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Trust’s goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees that may relate to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information.
    The Board exercises oversight of the risk management process primarily through the Audit Committee, and through oversight by the Board itself. The Trust faces a number of risks, such as investment-related and compliance risks. The Adviser’s personnel seek to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Trust. Under the overall supervision of the Board or the applicable Committee of the Board, the Trust, the Adviser, and the affiliates of the Adviser employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify such possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks. Various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, as well as various personnel of the Adviser and other service providers such as the Trust’s independent accountants, may report to the Audit Committee and/or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management, as well as events and circumstances that have arisen and responses thereto.
    The officers and Trustees of the Trust, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the Shares of the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
    For each Trustee, the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned (including ownership through the Trust’s Deferred Compensation Plan) by the Trustee in the Trust and in all registered investment companies advised by the Adviser (“Family of Investment Companies”) that are overseen by the Trustee is shown below.
Name of TrusteeDollar Range of Equity
Securities in the Fund [(As
of )]
Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in all Registered Investment
Companies Overseen By Trustee in
Family of Investment Companies
[(As of )]
David H. Chow[ ][$ ]
Laurie A. Hesslein[ ][ ]
R. Alastair Short[ ][ ]
Peter J. Sidebottom[ ][ ]
Richard D. Stamberger[ ][ ]
Jan F. van Eck[ ][ ]
As to each Independent Trustee and his immediate family members, no person owned beneficially or of record securities in an investment manager or principal underwriter of the Fund, or a person (other than a registered investment company) directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the investment manager or principal underwriter of the Fund.
20



Remuneration of Trustees
    The Trust pays each Independent Trustee an annual retainer of $110,000, a per meeting fee of $20,000 for scheduled quarterly meetings of the Board and each special meeting of the Board and a per meeting fee of $10,000 for telephonic meetings. Additionally, the Trust pays the Chairman of the Board an annual retainer of $62,000, the Chairman of the Audit Committee an annual retainer of $26,000 and the Chairman of the Governance Committee an annual retainer of $18,000. The Trust also reimburses each Trustee for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending such meetings. No pension or retirement benefits are accrued as part of Trustee compensation.
    The table below shows the compensation paid to the Trustees by the Trust for the fiscal year ended [ ]. Annual Trustee fees may be reviewed periodically and changed by the Trust’s Board.
Name of TrusteeAggregate
Compensation
From the Trust
Deferred
Compensation
From the Trust
Pension or
Retirement
Benefits
Accrued as Part
of the Trusts
Expenses
Estimated
Annual Benefits Upon Retirement
Total
Compensation
From the Trust
and the Fund
Complex(1) Paid
to Trustee
David H. Chow $ [ ]$ [ ]N/AN/A[ ]
Laurie A. Hesslein $ [ ] $ [ ]N/AN/A[ ]
R. Alastair Short $ [ ]$— N/AN/A[ ]
Peter J. Sidebottom $ [ ]$— N/AN/A[ ]
Richard D. Stamberger $ [ ]$ [ ]N/AN/A[ ]
Jan F. van Eck(2)
$— $— N/AN/A$— 
(1)
The Fund Complex consists of VanEck Funds, VanEck VIP Trust and the Trust.
(2)
Interested person under the 1940 Act.
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE
    The Fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet web sites, such as www.vaneck.com. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Creation Units, together with estimates and actual cash components is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (the “NSCC”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC. The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund. The Trust, Adviser, Custodian (defined below) and Distributor (defined below) will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust.
QUARTERLY PORTFOLIO SCHEDULE
    The Trust is required to disclose, after its first and third fiscal quarters, the complete schedule of the Fund’s portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-PORT. The Trust’s Form N-PORT filings are available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. You can write or email the SEC's Public Reference section and ask them to mail you information about the Fund. They will charge you a fee for this service. The Fund’s complete schedule of portfolio holdings is also available through the Fund’s website, at www.vaneck.com or by calling 800.826.2333.
POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
    The Adviser (and its principals, affiliates or employees) may serve as investment adviser to other client accounts and conduct investment activities for their own accounts. Such “Other Clients” may have investment objectives or may implement investment strategies similar to those of the Fund, or may track the same index the Fund tracks. When the Adviser implements investment strategies for Other Clients that are similar or directly contrary to the positions taken by the Fund, the prices of the Fund’s securities may be negatively affected. For example, when purchase or sales orders for the Fund are aggregated with those of other funds and/or Other Clients and allocated among them, the price that the Fund pays or receives may be more in the case of a purchase or less in a sale than if the Adviser served as adviser to only the Fund. When Other Clients are selling a security that the Fund owns, the price of that security may decline as a result of the sales. The compensation that the Adviser receives from Other Clients may be higher than the compensation paid by the Fund to the Adviser. The Adviser has implemented procedures to monitor trading across the Fund and its Other Clients.
CODE OF ETHICS
    The Fund, the Adviser and the Distributor have each adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act (“Rule 17j-1”). Such Codes of Ethics require, among other things, that “access persons” (as defined in Rule 17j-1) conduct
21


personal securities transactions in a manner that avoids any actual or potential conflict of interest or any abuse of a position of trust and responsibility. The Codes of Ethics allow such access persons to invest in securities that may be purchased and held by the Fund, provided such investments are done consistently with the provisions of the Codes of Ethics.
PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
    The Fund’s proxy voting record will be available upon request, by calling 800.826.2333, and on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Proxies for the Fund’s portfolio securities are voted in accordance with the Adviser’s proxy voting policies and procedures, which are set forth in Appendix A to this SAI.
    The Trust is required to disclose annually the Fund’s complete proxy voting record on Form N-PX covering the period July 1 through June 30 and file it with the SEC no later than August 31. Form N-PX for the Fund is available by calling 800.826.2333 or by writing to 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017. The Fund’s Form N-PX is also available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
MANAGEMENT
    The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the “Management of the Fund” section of the Prospectus.
Investment Adviser
    Van Eck Associates Corporation acts as investment adviser to the Fund and, subject to the general supervision of the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the Fund. The Adviser is a private company with headquarters in New York and manages numerous pooled investment vehicles and separate accounts. The Adviser has been wholly owned by members of the van Eck family since its founding in 1955 and its shares are held by the Adviser’s Chief Executive Officer, Jan van Eck, and his family. Mr. van Eck’s positions with the Trust and the Adviser are discussed above.
    The Adviser serves as investment adviser to the Fund pursuant to an investment management agreement between the Trust and the Adviser (the “Investment Management Agreement”). Under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser, subject to the supervision of the Board and in conformity with the stated investment policies of the Fund, manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. The Adviser is responsible for placing purchase and sale orders and providing continuous supervision of the investment portfolio of the Fund.
    Indemnification. Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, the Trust has agreed to indemnify the Adviser for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws, unless such loss or liability results from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties or the reckless disregard of its obligations and duties.
    Compensation. As compensation for its services under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser will be paid a monthly fee based on a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets at the annual rate of [ ]%. From time to time, the Adviser may waive all or a portion of its fees.
    Under the Investment Management Agreement for the Fund, VEAC is responsible for all expenses of the Fund, including the costs of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, except for the fee payment under the Investment Management Agreement, acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes (including accrued deferred tax liability) and extraordinary expenses. Offering costs excluded from the annual unitary management fee are: (a) legal fees pertaining to the Fund’s Shares offered for sale; (b) SEC and state registration fees; and (c) initial fees paid for Shares of the Fund to be listed on an exchange. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Adviser has agreed to pay such offering costs until at least [ ].
    Term. The Investment Management Agreement is subject to annual approval by (1) the Board or (2) a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, provided that in either event such continuance also is approved by a majority of the Board who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust by a vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Investment Management Agreement is terminable without penalty, on 60 days’ notice, by the Board or by a vote of the holders of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. The Investment Management Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days’ notice by the Adviser and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
The Administrator
    Van Eck Associates Corporation also serves as administrator (in such capacity, the “Administrator”) for the Trust pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement. Under the Investment Management Agreement, the Adviser is obligated on a continuous basis to provide such administrative services as the Board of the Trust reasonably deems necessary for the proper administration of the Trust and the Fund. The Adviser will generally assist in all aspects of the Trust’s and the Fund’s operations; supply and maintain office facilities, statistical and research data, data processing services, clerical, bookkeeping
22


and record keeping services (including without limitation the maintenance of such books and records as are required under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder, except as maintained by other agents), internal auditing, executive and administrative services, and stationery and office supplies; prepare reports to shareholders or investors; prepare and file tax returns; supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC and various state Blue Sky authorities; supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board; provide monitoring reports and assistance regarding compliance with the Declaration of Trust, by-laws, investment objectives and policies and with federal and state securities laws; arrange for appropriate insurance coverage; calculate NAV, net income and realized capital gains or losses; and negotiate arrangements with, and supervise and coordinate the activities of, agents and others to supply services. VEAC owns 100% of the common stock of Van Eck Securities Corporation (the “Distributor”).
Custodian and Transfer Agent
    State Street, located at One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111, serves as custodian (in such capacity, the “Custodian”) for the Fund pursuant to a custodian agreement. As Custodian, State Street holds the Fund’s assets. As compensation for these custodial services, State Street receives, among other items, transaction fees, asset-based safe keeping fees and overdraft charges and may be reimbursed by the Fund for its out-of-pocket expenses. State Street serves as the Fund’s transfer agent (in such capacity, the “Transfer Agent”) pursuant to a transfer agency agreement. In addition, State Street provides various accounting services to the Fund, pursuant to a fund accounting agreement.
The Distributor
    Van Eck Securities Corporation is the principal underwriter and distributor of Shares. Its principal address is 666 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017 and investor information can be obtained by calling 800.826.2333. The Distributor has entered into an agreement with the Trust which will continue from its effective date unless terminated by either party upon 60 days’ prior written notice to the other party by the Trust and the Adviser, or by the Distributor, or until termination of the Trust or the Fund offering its Shares, and which is renewable annually thereafter (the “Distribution Agreement”), pursuant to which it distributes Shares. Shares will be continuously offered for sale by the Trust through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described below under “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units—Procedures for Creation of Creation Units.” Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver a prospectus to persons purchasing Shares in Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Exchange Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust.
    The Distributor may also enter into sales and investor services agreements with broker-dealers or other persons that are Participating Parties and DTC Participants (as defined below) to provide distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services but must pay such broker-dealers or other persons, out of its own assets.
    The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty: (i) by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or (ii) by vote of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, on at least 60 days’ written notice to the Distributor. The Distribution Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days’ notice by the Distributor and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
Securities Lending
    Pursuant to a securities lending agreement (the “Securities Lending Agreement”) between the Fund and State Street (in such capacity, the “Securities Lending Agent”), the Fund may lend its securities through the Securities Lending Agent to certain qualified borrowers. The Securities Lending Agent administers the Fund’s securities lending program. These services include arranging the securities loans with approved borrowers and collecting fees and rebates due to the Fund from each borrower. The Securities Lending Agent maintains records of loans made and income derived therefrom and makes available such records that the Fund deems necessary to monitor the securities lending program.
    [For the fiscal year ended [ ], there was no securities lending activity by the Fund.]

Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers
    The following table lists the number and types of other accounts (excluding the Fund) advised by the Fund’s portfolio managers and assets under management in those accounts as of [ ], 2021:
23


Other Accounts Managed
(As of [ ])
Accounts with respect to which
the advisory fee is based on the
performance of the account
Name of
Portfolio
Manager
Category of
Account
Number of
Accounts in
Category
Total Assets in
Accounts in
Category
Number of
Accounts in
Category
Total Assets in
Accounts in
Category
[ ]Registered
investment
companies
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
Other pooled
investment
vehicles
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
Other accounts
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
[ ]Registered
investment
companies
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
Other pooled
investment
vehicles
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
Other accounts
[ ]
[ ]
[ ][ ]
None of the portfolio managers manage accounts that are subject to performance-based advisory fees.
Although the funds in the Trust that are managed by [ ] and [ ] may have different investment strategies, each Fund, (except certain actively-managed exchange-traded funds), has an investment objective of seeking to replicate or track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of its underlying index. The Adviser does not believe that management of the various accounts presents a material conflict of interest for [ ] and [ ] or the Adviser.
Portfolio Manager Compensation
    The portfolio managers are paid a fixed base salary and a bonus. The bonus is based upon the quality of investment analysis and the management of the funds. The quality of management of the funds includes issues of replication, rebalancing, portfolio monitoring and efficient operation, among other factors. Portfolio managers who oversee accounts with significantly different fee structures are generally compensated by discretionary bonus rather than a set formula to help reduce potential conflicts of interest. At times, the Adviser and its affiliates manage accounts with incentive fees. The portfolio managers may serve as portfolio managers to other clients. Such “Other Clients” may have investment objectives or may implement investment strategies similar to those of the Fund, or may track the same index the Fund tracks. When the portfolio managers implement investment strategies for Other Clients that are similar or directly contrary to the positions taken by the Fund, the prices of the Fund’s securities may be negatively affected. The compensation that the Fund’s portfolio managers receive for managing other client accounts may be higher than the compensation the portfolio managers receive for managing the Fund. The Adviser has implemented procedures to monitor trading across funds and its Other Clients.
Portfolio Manager Share Ownership
    As of the date of this SAI, [ ] and [ ] did not beneficially own any Shares of the Fund.
BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS
    When selecting brokers and dealers to handle the purchase and sale of portfolio securities, the Adviser looks for prompt execution of the order at a favorable price. Generally, the Adviser works with recognized dealers in these securities, except when a better price and execution of the order can be obtained elsewhere. The Fund will not deal with affiliates in principal transactions unless permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation. The Adviser owes a duty to its clients to seek best execution on trades effected. Since the investment objective of the Fund is investment performance that corresponds to that of an Index, the Adviser does not intend to select brokers and dealers for the purpose of receiving research services in addition to a favorable price and prompt execution either from that broker or an unaffiliated third party.
    The Adviser assumes general supervision over placing orders on behalf of the Trust for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Trust and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the Adviser are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable to all by the Adviser. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Trust is concerned. However, in other cases,
24


it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower brokerage commissions will be beneficial to the Trust. The primary consideration is best execution.
    Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates are likely to result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses, additional taxable income at the Fund level and additional taxable distributions. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.
    Because the Fund commenced operations on or following the date of this SAI, there have been no payments by the Fund for brokerage commissions.
BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM
    The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Fund’s Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Buying and Selling Exchange-Traded Shares.”
    The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for the Shares. Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Certificates will not be issued for Shares.
    DTC, a limited-purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).
    Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares.
    Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the depositary agreement between the Trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the Shares holdings of each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
    Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
    The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspects of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.
    DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to the Shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such a replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.
25


CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS
General
    The Fund will issue and sell Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without an initial sales load, at their NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined herein), of an order in proper form. An Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive, as part of a redemption, restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
    A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is any day on which the NYSE is open for business. As of the date of this SAI, the NYSE observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday), Good Friday, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The times described below may change due to certain events such as the early closing of trading on the NYSE.
Fund Deposit
    The consideration for a purchase of Creation Units generally consists of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (the “Deposit Securities”) and an amount of cash computed as described below (the “Cash Component”). The Cash Component together with the Deposit Securities, as applicable, are referred to as the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for Shares. The Cash Component represents the difference between the NAV of a Creation Unit and the market value of the Deposit Securities plus applicable transaction fees (as described below).
    The Administrator, through the NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the NYSE (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time), the list of the names and the required amounts of each Deposit Security that the Fund would accept as Fund Deposit that day. Such Fund Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, until such time as the next-announced Fund Deposit composition is made available.
    The Fund reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash—referred to as "cash in lieu" - to replace any Deposit Security. This may occur, for example, if a Deposit Security is not available in sufficient quantity for delivery, not eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC, the Federal Reserve System or the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC, not permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Trust as a result of an in-kind purchase order pursuant to local law or market convention, restricted under the securities laws or not eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting. In such cases where the Trust makes Market Purchases (as defined below) because a Deposit Security may not be permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Trust as a result of an in-kind creation order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities were purchased by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Advisers’ discretion, may be capped), applicable registration fees and taxes. Brokerage commissions incurred in connection with the Trust’s acquisition of Deposit Securities may be at the expense of the Fund and, to the extent such commissions are at the expense of the Fund, will affect the value of all Shares of the Fund, but the Advisers may adjust the transaction fee to protect ongoing shareholders.
    The Administrator, through the NSCC, also makes available on each Business Day, the estimated Cash Component effective through and including the previous Business Day, per outstanding Shares of the Fund.
Procedures for Creation of Creation Units
    To be eligible to place orders with the Distributor to create Creation Units of the Fund, an entity or person must be an “Authorized Participant” which is a member or participant of a clearing agency registered with the SEC, which has a written agreement with the Fund that allows the Authorized Participant to place orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units (as it may be amended from time to time in accordance with its terms) ("Participant Agreement").
    All orders to create Creation Units, whether through the Clearing Process or outside the Clearing Process, must be received by the Distributor no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on the NYSE (“Closing Time”) (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on the date such order is placed in order for creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of the Fund as determined on such date. The Business Day on which a creation order (or order to redeem as discussed below) is placed is herein referred to as the “Transmittal Date.” Orders must be transmitted by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor, as generally described below (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process”). Severe economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure, may impede the ability to reach the Distributor or an Authorized Participant.
    Creation Units may be created in advance of the receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the Fund Deposit. In such cases, the Authorized Participant will remain liable for the full deposit of the missing portion(s) of the Fund Deposit and will be required to post collateral with the Trust consisting of cash at least equal to a percentage of the marked-to-market value of such missing portion(s). The Trust may use such collateral to buy the missing portion(s) of the Fund Deposit at any time and will subject such Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such securities and
26


the value of such collateral. The Trust will have no liability for any such shortfall. The Trust will return any unused portion of the collateral to the Authorized Participant once the entire Fund Deposit has been properly received by the Distributor and deposited into the Trust.
    Orders to create Creation Units of the Fund shall be placed with an Authorized Participant, as applicable, in the form required by such Authorized Participant. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement, and that, therefore, orders to create Creation Units of the Fund may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. At any given time there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement. Those placing orders to create Creation Units of the Fund through the Clearing Process should afford sufficient time to permit proper submission of the order to the Distributor prior to the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date.
    Orders for creation that are effected outside the Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the Authorized Participant earlier on the Transmittal Date than orders effected using the Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Cash Component.
    Orders to create Creation Units of the Fund may be placed through the Clearing Process utilizing procedures applicable to funds holding domestic securities (“Domestic Funds”) (see “Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process”) or outside the Clearing Process utilizing the procedures applicable to either Domestic Funds or funds holding foreign securities (“Foreign Funds”) (see “Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process--Domestic Funds” and “Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds”). In the event that the Fund includes both domestic and foreign securities, the time for submitting orders is as stated in the “Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds” and “Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds” sections below shall operate.
Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process
    Fund Deposits created through the Clearing Process, if available, must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement.
    The Participant Agreement authorizes the Distributor to transmit to NSCC on behalf of the Authorized Participant such trade instructions as are necessary to effect the Authorized Participant’s creation order. Pursuant to such trade instructions from the Distributor to NSCC, the Authorized Participant agrees to transfer the requisite Deposit Securities (or contracts to purchase such Deposit Securities that are expected to be delivered in a “regular way” manner) and the Cash Component to the Trust by the second (2nd) Business Day, together with such additional information as may be required by the Distributor. An order to create Creation Units of the Fund through the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor not later than the Closing Time on such Transmittal Date and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. The delivery of Creation Units so created will occur no later than the second (2nd) Business Day following the day on which the creation order is deemed received by the Distributor (“T+2”).
Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing ProcessDomestic Funds
    Fund Deposits created outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. An Authorized Participant who wishes to place an order creating Creation Units of the Fund to be effected outside the Clearing Process must state in such order that the Authorized Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the creation of Creation Units will instead be effected through a transfer of securities and cash. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the Authorized Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite amounts of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of the Trust by no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern time, of the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date.
All questions as to the amounts of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Distributor through the Federal Reserve wire system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Distributor no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern time, on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. An order to create Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor not later than the Closing Time on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. However, if the Distributor does not receive both the requisite Deposit Securities and the Cash Component in a timely fashion on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date, such order may be cancelled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using the Fund Deposit as newly
27


constituted to reflect the current NAV of the Fund. The delivery of Creation Units so created will occur no later than the second (2nd) Business Day following the day on which the creation order is deemed received by the Distributor.
    Additional transaction fees may be imposed with respect to transactions effected outside the Clearing Process (through an Authorized Participant) and in circumstances in which any cash can be used in lieu of Deposit Securities to create Creation Units. (See “Creation Transaction Fee” section below.)
Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds
     The Distributor will inform the Transfer Agent, the Adviser and the Custodian upon receipt of a Creation Order. The Custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate sub-custodian. The Custodian will cause the sub-custodian of the Fund to maintain an account into which the Deposit Securities (or the cash value of all or part of such securities, or “cash in lieu” amount) will be delivered. Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local custodian. The Trust must also receive, on or before the contractual settlement date, immediately available or same day funds estimated by the Custodian to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after receipt in proper form of the purchase order, together with the creation transaction fee described below.
 
    Once the Transfer Agent has accepted a creation order, the Transfer Agent will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit of the Fund against receipt of payment, at such NAV as will have been calculated after receipt in proper form of such order. The Transfer Agent will then transmit a confirmation of acceptance of such order.

    Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the sub-custodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian, the Distributor and the Adviser will be notified of such delivery and the Transfer Agent will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units.
Acceptance of Creation Orders
    The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor, for any reason, including but not limited to the following: (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the creator or creators, upon obtaining the Shares, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of the Fund; (c) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by the Administrator, as described above; (d) the acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of Beneficial Owners; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and the Adviser make it for all practical purposes impossible to process creation orders. Examples of such circumstances include, without limitation, acts of God or public service or utility problems such as earthquakes, fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; wars; civil or military disturbances, including acts of civil or military authority or governmental actions; terrorism; sabotage; epidemics; riots; labor disputes; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Adviser, the Distributor, DTC, the NSCC or any other participant in the creation process, and similar extraordinary events. The Transfer Agent will notify an Authorized Participant if an order is rejected. The Trust, the Custodian, any sub-custodian, the Distributor and the Transfer Agent are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits to Authorized Participants nor shall any of them incur any liability to Authorized Participants for the failure to give any such notification.
    All questions as to the amounts of 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.
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Creation Transaction Fee
A standard (fixed) creation transaction fee for the Fund payable to the Custodian, in the amount set forth in the table found under the "General Description of the Trust - Creation and Redemption Features" section of this SAI, is imposed on each creation transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased in the transaction. However, the Custodian may increase the standard (fixed) creation transaction fee for administration and settlement of non-standard orders requiring additional administrative processing by the Custodian.
In addition, a variable charge for cash creations or for creations outside the Clearing Process may be imposed. In the case of cash creations or where the Trust permits or requires a creator to substitute cash in lieu of depositing a portion of Deposit Securities, the creator may be assessed an additional variable charge to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with purchasing the applicable securities. (See “Fund Deposit” section above.) As a result, in order to seek to replicate the in-kind creation order process, the Trust expects to purchase, in the secondary market or otherwise gain exposure to, the portfolio securities that could have been delivered as a result of an in-kind creation order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons (“Market Purchases”). In such cases where the Trust makes Market Purchases, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities and/or financial instruments were purchased by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Adviser’s discretion, may be capped), the costs associated with certain derivative transactions, applicable registration fees, brokerage commissions and certain taxes. The Adviser may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the creation securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders. Creators of Creation Units are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting the Deposit Securities to the account of the Trust. The Fund may adjust or waive all or a portion of its creation transaction fee (including both the fixed and variable components) from time to time.
Redemption of Creation Units
Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor, only on a Business Day and only through an Authorized Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. The Trust will not redeem Shares in amounts less than Creation Units. Beneficial Owners also may sell Shares in the secondary market, but must accumulate enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit. See the section entitled “Summary Information—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” and “Additional Information About the Fund’s Investment Strategies and Risks—Risks of Investing in the Fund” in the Prospectus.
    The Fund Securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) are made available by the Administrator, through NSCC, prior to the opening of business on the NYSE (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time) on each day that the NYSE is open for business. An Authorized Participant submitting a redemption request is deemed to make certain representations to the Trust. The Trust reserves the right to verify these representations at its discretion, and 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.
    The redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally consist of Fund Securities as announced by the Administrator on the Business Day of the request for redemption, plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities, less the redemption transaction fee and variable fees described below. Should the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, a compensating cash payment to the Trust equal to the differential plus the applicable redemption transaction fee will be required to be arranged for by or on behalf of the redeeming shareholder. The Fund reserves the right to honor a redemption request by delivering a basket of securities or cash that differs from the Fund Securities.
Redemption Transaction Fee
The standard (fixed) redemption transaction fee for the Fund payable to the Custodian, in the amount set forth in the chart found under the "General Description of the Trust - Creation and Redemption Features" section of this SAI, is imposed on each redemption transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. However, the Custodian may increase the standard (fixed) redemption transaction fee for administration and settlement of non-standard orders requiring additional administrative processing by the Custodian.
In addition, a variable charge for cash redemptions or redemptions outside the Clearing Process may be imposed. In the case of cash redemptions or partial cash redemptions (when cash redemptions are permitted or required for the Fund), an additional variable charge may also be imposed to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with selling the applicable
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securities. As a result, in order to seek to replicate the in-kind redemption order process, the Trust expects to sell, in the secondary market, the portfolio securities or settle any financial instruments that may not be permitted to be re-registered in the name of the Authorized Participant as a result of an in-kind redemption order pursuant to local law or market convention, or for other reasons (“Market Sales”). In such cases where the Trust makes Market Sales, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the Trust for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities and/or financial instruments were sold or settled by the Trust and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at the Adviser’s discretion, may be capped), the costs associated with certain derivatives transactions, applicable registration fees, brokerage commissions and certain taxes (“Transaction Costs”). The Adviser may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the redemption securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders. In no event will the variable fees charged by the Fund in connection with a redemption exceed 2% of the value of each Creation Unit. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. To the extent the Fund cannot recoup the amount of Transaction Costs incurred in connection with a redemption from the redeeming shareholder because of the 2% cap or otherwise, those Transaction Costs will be borne by the Fund’s remaining shareholders and negatively affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund may adjust or waive all or a portion of its redemption transaction fee (including both the fixed and variable components) from time to time.
Portfolio Trading by Authorized Participants
    When creation or redemption transactions consist of cash, the transactions may require the Fund to contemporaneously transact with broker-dealers for purchases or sales of portfolio securities, as applicable. Depending on the timing of the transactions and certain other factors, such transactions may be placed with the purchasing or redeeming Authorized Participant in its capacity as a broker-dealer or with its affiliated broker-dealer and conditioned upon an agreement with the Authorized Participant or its affiliated broker-dealer to transact at guaranteed prices in order to reduce transaction costs incurred as a consequence of settling creations or redemptions in cash rather than in-kind. Specifically, following the Fund’s receipt of a creation or redemption order, to the extent such purchases or redemptions consist of a cash portion, the Fund may enter an order with the Authorized Participant or its affiliated broker-dealer to purchase or sell the portfolio securities, as applicable. Such Authorized Participant or its affiliated broker-dealer will be required to guarantee that the Fund will achieve execution of its order at a price at least as favorable to the Fund as the Fund’s valuation of the portfolio securities used for purposes of calculating the NAV applied to the creation or redemption transaction giving rise to the order. Whether the execution of the order is at a price at least as favorable to the Fund will depend on the results achieved by the executing firm and will vary depending on market activity, timing, and a variety of other factors. An Authorized Participant is required to deposit an amount with the Fund in order to ensure that the execution of the order on the terms noted above will be honored on orders arising from creation transactions executed by an Authorized Participant or its affiliate as broker-dealer. If the broker-dealer executing the order achieves executions in market transactions at a price equal to or more favorable than the Fund’s valuation of the portfolio securities, the Fund receives the benefit of the favorable executions and the deposit is returned to the Authorized Participant. If, however, the broker-dealer executing the order is unable to achieve a price at least equal to the Fund’s valuation of the securities, the Fund retains the portion of the deposit equal to the full amount of the execution shortfall (including any taxes, brokerage commissions or other costs) and may require the Authorized Participant to deposit any additional amount required to cover the full amount of the actual execution transaction.
    An Authorized Participant agrees to pay the shortfall amount in order to ensure that a guarantee on execution will be honored for brokerage orders arising from redemption transactions executed by an Authorized Participant or its affiliate as broker-dealer. If the broker-dealer executing the order achieves executions in market transactions at a price equal to or more favorable than the Fund’s valuation of the portfolio securities, the Fund receives the benefit of the favorable executions. If, however, the broker-dealer is unable to achieve executions in market transactions at a price at least equal to the Fund’s valuation of the securities, the Fund will be entitled to the portion of the offset equal to the full amount of the execution shortfall (including any taxes, brokerage commissions, or other costs).
Placement of Redemption Orders Using Clearing Process
    Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund through the Clearing Process, if available, must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. An order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund using the Clearing Process is deemed received on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Transfer Agent not later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed; such order will be effected based on the NAV of the Fund as next determined. An order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund using the Clearing Process made in proper form but received by the Fund after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, will be deemed received on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. The requisite Fund Securities (or contracts to purchase such Fund Securities which are expected to be delivered in a “regular way” manner) and the applicable cash payment will be transferred by the second (2nd) Business Day following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received.

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Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Domestic Funds
    Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. An Authorized Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Units of the Fund to be effected outside the Clearing Process must state in such order that the Authorized Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that redemption of Creation Units of the Fund will instead be effected through transfer of Creation Units of the Fund directly through DTC. An order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Transfer Agent on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Transfer Agent not later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on such Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is preceded or accompanied by the requisite number of Shares of Creation Units specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to the Transfer Agent on such Transmittal Date; and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.
    After the Transfer Agent has deemed an order for redemption outside the Clearing Process received, the Transfer Agent will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities (or contracts to purchase such Fund Securities) which are expected to be delivered within two Business Days and the cash redemption payment to the redeeming Beneficial Owner by the second (2nd) Business Day following the Transmittal Date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Transfer Agent (T+2). An additional variable redemption transaction fee may also be imposed.

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process—Foreign Funds
     Arrangements satisfactory to the Trust must be in place for the Authorized Participant to transfer the Creation Units through DTC on or before the settlement date. Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable U.S. federal and state securities laws and the Fund reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Fund could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Deposit Securities under such laws.
     In connection with taking delivery of Shares for Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. If neither the redeeming shareholder nor the entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder has appropriate arrangements to take delivery of the Fund Securities in the applicable foreign jurisdiction and it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities in such jurisdictions, the Trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming shareholder will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash.
    Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within two Business Days following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received (T+2). Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries or for other reasons, however, the delivery of redemption proceeds may take longer than two business days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods. For redemptions submitted on a dividend declaration date, the Fund intends to settle redemption transactions on the third (3rd) Business Day following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received date (“T+3”).
The Fund may effect deliveries of Creation Units and redemption proceeds on a basis other than as described above in order to accommodate local holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates, or under certain other circumstances. If in-kind creations are permitted or required by the Fund, the ability of the Trust to effect in-kind creations and redemptions as described above, of receipt of an order in good form is subject to, among other things, the condition that, within the time period from the date of the order to the date of delivery of the securities, there are no days that are holidays in the applicable foreign market.
     For every occurrence of one or more intervening holidays in the applicable non-U.S. market that are not holidays observed in the U.S. equity market, the redemption settlement cycle may be extended by the number of such intervening holidays. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a non-U.S. market due to emergencies may also prevent the Foreign Funds from delivering securities within the normal settlement period.
     The securities delivery cycles currently practicable for transferring portfolio securities to redeeming investors, coupled with non-U.S. market holiday schedules, will require a delivery process longer than seven calendar days, in certain circumstances. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods. The timing of settlement may also be affected by 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.

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DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE
    The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Fund’s Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Determination of NAV.”
    The NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including the management fee, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is determined each business day as of the close of trading (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on the New York Stock Exchange.
    The values of the Fund’s portfolio securities are based on the securities’ closing prices on the markets on which the securities trade, when available. Due to the time differences between the United States and certain countries in which the Fund invests, securities on these exchanges may not trade at times when Shares of the Fund will trade. In the absence of a last reported sales price, or if no sales were reported, and for other assets for which market quotes are not readily available, values may be based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers or by an outside independent pricing service. Debt instruments with remaining maturities of more than 60 days are valued at the evaluated mean price provided by an outside independent pricing service. If an outside independent pricing service is unable to provide a valuation, the instrument is valued at the mean of the highest bid and the lowest asked quotes obtained from one or more brokers or dealers selected by the Adviser. Prices obtained by an outside independent pricing service may use information provided by market makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data related to investments or securities with similar characteristics and may use a computerized grid matrix of securities and its evaluations in determining what it believes is the fair value of the portfolio securities. Short-term debt instruments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources. If a market quotation for a security or other asset is not readily available or the Adviser believes it does not otherwise accurately reflect the market value of the security or asset at the time the Fund calculates its NAV, the security or asset will be fair valued by the Adviser in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The Fund may also use fair value pricing in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations when the value of a security in the Fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded (such as a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. In addition, the Fund currently expects that it will fair value certain of the foreign equity securities held by the Fund, if any, each day the Fund calculates its NAV, except those securities principally traded on exchanges that close at the same time the Fund calculates its NAV.
    Accordingly, the Fund’s NAV may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices at the time the exchanges on which they principally trade close. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security or other asset is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of such security or asset. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Index. This may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to track the Index. With respect to securities that are principally traded on foreign exchanges, the value of the Fund’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 Fund’s Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Distributions.”
General Policies
    Dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid annually for the Fund. Distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund to improve its Index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act. In addition, in situations where the Fund acquired investment securities after the beginning of the dividend period, the Fund may elect to distribute at least annually amounts representing the full dividend yield on the underlying portfolio securities of the Fund, net of expenses of the Fund, as if the Fund owned such underlying portfolio securities for the entire dividend period. If the Fund so elects, some portion of each distribution may result in a return of capital, which, for tax purposes, is treated as a return of your investment in Shares.
    Dividends and other distributions on Shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Trust. The Trust makes additional distributions to the minimum extent necessary (i) to distribute the entire annual taxable income of the Trust, plus any net capital gains and (ii) to avoid imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Internal Revenue Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special
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dividends if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the status of the Fund as a RIC or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT SERVICE 
    No reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. If this service is used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares of the Fund. Beneficial Owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require Beneficial Owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. Distributions reinvested in additional Shares of the Fund will nevertheless be taxable to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash.
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS
    As of the date of this SAI, no entity beneficially owned any voting securities of the Fund.
TAXES
    The following information also supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Fund’s Prospectus entitled “Shareholder Information—Tax Information” and the section in this Statement of Additional Information entitled “Special Considerations and Risks.” The following summary of certain relevant tax provisions is subject to change, and does not constitute legal or tax advice.
    The following general discussion of certain federal income tax consequences is based on provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this SAI. 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.
    Shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding the application of the provisions of tax law described in this SAI in light of the particular tax situations of the shareholders and regarding specific questions as to foreign, federal, state, or local taxes.
Tax Status of the Fund

    The Fund intends to qualify for and to elect treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. As a RIC, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its taxable investment income and capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders. To qualify for treatment as a RIC, a company must annually distribute at least 90% of its net investment company taxable income (which includes dividends, interest, net short‑term capital gains and net ordinary income from certain MLPs) and at least 90% of its tax-exempt interest income, for each tax year, if any, to its shareholders and meet several other requirements relating to the nature of its income and the diversification of its assets, among others. If the Fund fails to qualify for any taxable year as a RIC, all of its taxable income will be subject to tax at regular corporate income tax rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions generally will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.
    The Fund will be subject to a 4% excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of 98% of its ordinary income (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) for the calendar year, 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the twelve months ended October 31 of such year, and 100% of any undistributed amounts from the prior years. Although the Fund generally 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 retain a portion of its income and gains, and in such a case, the Fund may be subject to excise tax.
Tax Considerations with respect to Investments and Dividends

    As a result of U.S. federal income tax requirements, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has the right to reject an order for a creation of Shares if the creator (or group of creators) would, upon obtaining the Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares of the Fund and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund would have a basis in the Deposit Securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. See “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units-Procedures for Creation of Creation Units.”
    Dividends, interest and gains received by the Fund from a non‑U.S. investment may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes. If more than 50% of the Fund’s total assets at the end of its taxable year consist of foreign stock or
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securities or if at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of each quarter of its taxable year is represented by interests in RICs, the Fund may elect to “pass through” to its investors certain foreign income taxes paid by the Fund, with the result that each investor will (i) include in gross income, as an additional dividend, even though not actually received, the investor’s pro rata share of the Fund’s foreign income taxes, and (ii) either deduct (in calculating U.S. taxable income) or credit (in calculating U.S. federal income), subject to certain holding period and other limitations, the investor’s pro rata share of the Fund’s foreign income taxes.
    Under Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code, special rules are provided for certain transactions in a foreign currency other than the taxpayer’s functional currency (i.e., unless certain special rules apply, currencies other than the U.S. dollar). In general, foreign currency gains or losses from forward contracts, from futures contracts that are not “regulated futures contracts,” and from unlisted options will be treated as ordinary income or loss under Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code. Also, certain foreign exchange gains or losses derived with respect to foreign fixed income securities are also subject to Section 988 treatment. In general, therefore, Section 988 gains or losses will increase or decrease the amount of the Fund’s investment company taxable income available to be distributed to shareholders as ordinary income, rather than increasing or decreasing the amount of the Fund’s net capital gain.
    Special tax rules may change the normal treatment of gains and losses recognized by the Fund if the Fund makes certain investments such as investments in structured notes, swaps, options, futures transactions, and non-U.S. corporations classified as passive foreign investment companies (“PFICs”). Those special tax rules can, among other things, affect the treatment of capital gain or loss as long‑term or short‑term and may result in ordinary income or loss rather than capital gain or loss and may accelerate when the Fund has to take these items into account for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The application of these special rules would therefore also affect the timing and character of distributions made by the Fund. See “U.S. Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts and Certain Option Contracts” for certain federal income tax rules regarding futures contracts.
    The Fund may make investments, both directly and/or through swaps or other derivative positions, in PFICs. Investments in PFICs are subject to special tax rules which may result in adverse tax consequences to the Fund and its shareholders. To the extent the Fund invests in PFICs, it generally intends to elect to “mark to market” these investments at the end of each taxable year. By making this election, the Fund will recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such shares as of the close of the taxable year over their adjusted basis and as ordinary loss any decrease in such investment (but only to the extent of prior income from such investment under the mark to market rules). Gains realized with respect to a disposition of a PFIC that the Fund has elected to mark to market will be ordinary income. By making the mark to market election, the Fund may recognize income in excess of the distributions that it receives from its investments. Accordingly, the Fund may need to borrow money or dispose of some of its investments in order to meet its distribution requirements. If the Fund does not make the mark to market election with respect to an investment in a PFIC, the Fund could become subject to U.S. federal income tax with respect to certain distributions from, and gain on the dispositions of, the PFIC which cannot be avoided by distributing such amounts to the Fund’s shareholders.
    Under current law, the Fund may serve to block unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) from being realized by their tax-exempt shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in the Fund if shares in the Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Section 514(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Certain types of income received by the Fund may cause the Fund to report some of its distributions as “excess inclusion income.”
    In general, excess inclusion income allocated to shareholders (i) cannot be offset by net operating losses (subject to a limited exception for certain thrift institutions), (ii) will constitute unrelated business taxable income to entities (including a qualified pension plan, an individual retirement account, a 401(k) plan, a Keogh plan or other tax-exempt entity) subject to tax on unrelated business income, thereby potentially requiring such an entity that is allocated excess inclusion income, and that otherwise might not be required to file a tax return, to file a tax return and pay tax on such income, and (iii) in the case of a non-U.S. shareholder, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax.
    If at any time during any taxable year a “disqualified organization” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) is a record holder of a share in a RIC, then the RIC will be subject to a tax equal to that portion of its excess inclusion income for the taxable year that is allocable to the disqualified organization, multiplied by the highest federal income tax rate imposed on corporations.
    The Fund may make investments in which it recognizes income or gain prior to receiving cash with respect to such investment. For example, under certain tax rules, the Fund may be required to accrue a portion of any discount at which certain securities are purchased as income each year even though the Fund receives no payments in cash on the security during the year. To the extent that the Fund makes such investments, it generally would be required to pay out such income or gain as a distribution in each year to avoid taxation at the Fund level.
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    The Fund will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends received from ordinary income and the amount of distributions received from capital gains and the portion of dividends, if any, which may qualify for the dividends received deduction. Certain ordinary dividends paid to non-corporate shareholders may constitute qualified dividend income eligible for taxation at a lower tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains provided holding period and other requirements are met at both the shareholder and Fund levels. In the event that Funds receive such a dividend and report the distribution of such dividend as a qualified dividend, the dividend may be taxed at maximum capital gains rates of 15% or 20%, provided holding period and other requirements are met at both the shareholder and the Fund level.
    A portion of the dividend income received by the Fund may constitute qualified dividend income eligible to be taxed at a maximum rate of 20% to individuals, trusts and estates. If the aggregate amount of qualified dividend income received by the Fund during any taxable year is less than 95% of the Fund’s gross income (as specifically defined for that purpose), qualified dividend treatment applies only if and to the extent reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income. The Fund may report such dividends as qualified dividend income only to the extent the Fund itself has qualified dividend income for the taxable year with respect to which such dividends are made. Qualified dividend income is generally dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations (e.g., foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or in certain countries with comprehensive tax treaties with the United States, or whose stock is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States), provided the Fund has held the stock in such corporations for more than 60 days during the 121 day period beginning on the date which is 60 days before the date on which such stock becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (the “holding period requirement”). In order to be eligible for the 20% maximum rate on dividends from the Fund attributable to qualified dividends, shareholders must separately satisfy the holding period requirement with respect to their Fund 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 redemption of a shareholder’s Fund Shares is normally treated as a sale for tax purposes. Fund Shares held for a period of one year or less at the time of such sale or redemption will, for tax purposes, generally result in short‑term capital gains or losses, and those held for more than one year will generally result in long‑term capital gains or losses. The maximum tax rate on long‑term capital gains available to a non‑corporate shareholder generally is 15% or 20%, depending on whether the shareholder’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts.
    Gain or loss on the sale or redemption of Fund Shares is measured by the difference between the amount of cash received (or the fair market value of any property received) and the adjusted tax basis of the Shares. Shareholders should keep records of investments made (including Shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends and distributions) so they can compute the tax basis of their Fund Shares. Legislation passed by Congress requires reporting of adjusted cost basis information for covered securities, which generally include shares of a RIC acquired after January 1, 2012, to the IRS and to taxpayers.  Shareholders should contact their financial intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for their accounts.
    A loss realized on a sale or exchange of Shares of the Fund may be disallowed if other Fund Shares or substantially identical shares are acquired (whether through the automatic reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a sixty-one (61) day period beginning thirty (30) days before and ending thirty (30) days after the date that the Shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis of the Shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss upon the sale or exchange of Shares held for six (6) months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends received by the shareholders. Distribution of ordinary income and capital gains may also be subject to foreign, state and local taxes.
    Distributions reinvested in additional Fund Shares through the means of a dividend reinvestment service (see “Dividend Reinvestment Service”) will nevertheless be taxable dividends to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such dividends had been received in cash.
    An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.
Some shareholders may be subject to a withholding tax on distributions of ordinary income, capital gains and any cash received on redemption of Creation Units (“backup withholding”). The backup withholding rate for individuals is currently 24%. Generally, shareholders subject to backup withholding will be those for whom no certified taxpayer identification number is on file with the Fund or who, to the Fund’s knowledge, have furnished an incorrect number. When establishing an account, an investor must certify under penalty of perjury that such number is correct and that such investor is not otherwise subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld will be allowed as a credit against shareholders’ U.S. federal income tax liabilities, and may entitle them to a refund, provided that the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.
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Distributions of ordinary income paid to shareholders who are nonresident aliens or foreign entities will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax unless a reduced rate of withholding or a withholding exemption is provided under applicable treaty law. Prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding such withholding.

Non-U.S. Shareholders
    If you are not a citizen or resident alien of the United States or if you are a non-U.S. entity (a “Non-U.S. Shareholder”), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.
    Any capital gain realized by a Non-U.S. Shareholder upon a sale of shares of the Fund will generally not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless (i) the gain is effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the United States, or in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met or (ii) the Fund is or has been a U.S. real property holding corporation, as defined below, at any time within the five-year period preceding the date of disposition of the Fund’s Shares or, if shorter, within the period during which the Non-U.S. Shareholder has held the Shares. Generally, a corporation is a U.S. real property holding corporation if the fair market value of its U.S. real property interests, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code and applicable regulations, equals or exceeds 50% of the aggregate fair market value of its worldwide real property interests and its other assets used or held for use in a trade or business. The Fund may be, or may prior to a Non-U.S. Shareholder’s disposition of Shares become, a U.S. real property holding corporation. If the Fund is or becomes a U.S. real property holding corporation, so long as the Fund’s Shares are regularly traded on an established securities market, only a Non-U.S. Shareholder who holds or held (at any time during the shorter of the five year period preceding the date of disposition or the holder’s holding period) more than 5% (directly or indirectly as determined under applicable attribution rules of the Internal Revenue Code) of the Fund’s Shares will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the disposition of Shares. Any Non-U.S. Shareholder who is described in one of the foregoing cases is urged to consult his, her or its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the redemption, sale, exchange or other disposition of shares of the Fund.

Properly reported dividends received by a nonresident alien or foreign entity are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax when they (i) are paid in respect of the Fund’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the Fund’s U.S. source interest income, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income), or (ii) are paid in connection with the Fund’s “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain over the Fund’s long-term capital loss for such taxable year). However, depending on the circumstances, the Fund may report all, some or none of the Fund’s potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term capital gains, and a portion of the Fund’s distributions (e.g. interest from non-U.S. sources or any foreign currency gains) would be ineligible for this potential exemption from withholding.
    As part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, (“FATCA”), the Fund may be required to withhold 30% on certain types of U.S. sourced income (e.g., dividends, interest, and other types of passive income) paid to (i) foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”), including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the IRS information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain nonfinancial foreign entities (“NFFEs”), unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid possible withholding, FFIs will need to enter into agreements with the IRS which state that they will provide the IRS information, including the names, account numbers and balances, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers of U.S. account holders and comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of direct and indirect U.S. accounts as well as agree to withhold tax on certain types of withholdable payments made to non-compliant FFIs or to applicable foreign account holders who fail to provide the required information to the IRS, or similar account information and required documentation to a local revenue authority, should an applicable intergovernmental agreement be implemented. NFFEs will need to provide certain information regarding each substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership, unless certain exceptions apply, or agree to provide certain information to the IRS.
    The Fund may be subject to the FATCA withholding obligation, and also will be required to perform extensive due diligence reviews to classify foreign entity investors for FATCA purposes. Investors are required to agree to provide information necessary to allow the Fund to comply with the FATCA rules. If the Fund is required to withhold amounts from payments pursuant to FATCA, investors will receive distributions that are reduced by such withholding amounts.
    Non-U.S. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, including the possible applicability of the U.S. estate tax.
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    The foregoing discussion is a summary only and is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Purchasers of Shares of the Trust should consult their own tax advisers as to the tax consequences of investing in such Shares, including under state, local and other tax laws. Finally, the foregoing discussion is based on applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, judicial authority and administrative interpretations in effect on the date hereof. Changes in applicable authority could materially affect the conclusions discussed above and could adversely affect the Fund, and such changes often occur.

Reportable Transactions
Under promulgated Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of the Fund’s Shares of $2 million or more in any one taxable year (or $4 million or more over a period of six taxable years) for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more in any taxable year (or $20 million or more over a period of six taxable years) for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC that engaged in a reportable transaction are not excepted. Future guidance may extend the current exception from this reporting requirement to shareholders of most or all RICs. In addition, significant penalties may be imposed for the failure to comply with the reporting requirements. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
CAPITAL STOCK AND SHAREHOLDER REPORTS
    The Trust currently is comprised of [ ] investment portfolios. The Trust issues Shares of beneficial interest with no par value. The Board may designate additional funds of the Trust.
    Each Share issued by the Trust has a pro rata interest in the assets of the Fund. Shares have no pre-emptive, exchange, subscription or conversion rights and are freely transferable. Each Share is entitled to participate equally in dividends and distributions declared by the Board with respect to the Fund, and in the net distributable assets of the Fund on liquidation. The Fund may liquidate and terminate at any time and for any reason, including as a result of the termination of the license agreement between the Fund’s Adviser and the Fund’s Index Provider, without shareholder approval.
    Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder and each fractional Share has a proportional fractional vote. Shares of all funds vote together as a single class except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund, and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. Under Delaware law, the Trust is not required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. The policy of the Trust is not to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. All Shares of the Trust have noncumulative voting rights for the election of Trustees. Under Delaware law, Trustees of the Trust may be removed by vote of the shareholders.
    Under Delaware law, the shareholders of the Fund are not generally subject to liability for the debts or obligations of the Trust. Similarly, Delaware law provides that the Fund will not be liable for the debts or obligations of any other series of the Trust. However, no similar statutory or other authority limiting statutory trust shareholder liability may exist in other states. As a result, to the extent that a Delaware statutory trust or a shareholder is subject to the jurisdiction of courts of such other states, the courts may not apply Delaware law and may thereby subject the Delaware statutory trust’s shareholders to liability for the debts or obligations of the Trust. The Trust’s Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration of Trust”) provides for indemnification by the Fund for all loss suffered by a shareholder as a result of an obligation of the Fund. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Fund shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of the Fund and satisfy any judgment thereon. The Trust will issue through DTC Participants to its shareholders semi-annual reports containing unaudited financial statements and annual reports containing financial statements audited by an independent auditor approved by the Trust’s Trustees and by the shareholders when meetings are held and such other information as may be required by applicable laws, rules and regulations. Beneficial Owners also receive annually notification as to the tax status of the Trust’s distributions.
    Shareholder inquiries may be made by writing to the Trust, c/o Van Eck Associates Corporation, 666 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10017.
COUNSEL AND INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
    Dechert LLP, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, is counsel to the Trust and has passed upon the validity of the Fund’s Shares.
    [ ], is the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and audits the Fund’s financial statements and performs other related audit services.
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FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    [ ]
LICENSE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMERS
    The information contained herein regarding the Index (the “Index”) was provided by MV Index Solutions GmbH (“MVIS”), which is an indirectly wholly owned subsidiary of the Adviser .
    The Adviser has entered into a licensing agreement with MVIS to use the Index. The Fund is entitled to use its Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser.
Shares of the Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by MVIS. MVIS makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Shares of the Fund, particularly or the ability of the Index to track the performance of its respective securities markets.
MVIS’s only relationship to the Adviser is the licensing of certain service marks and trade names and of the Index that is determined and composed by MVIS without regard to the Adviser or the Shares of the Fund. MVIS has no obligation to take the needs of the Adviser or the owners of the Shares of the Fund into consideration in determining or composing the Index.

MVIS is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Shares of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash, surrendered, or redeemed, as the case may be. MVIS has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the Fund.
MVIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND MVIS SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. MVIS MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE ADVISER, OWNERS OF SHARES OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX, OR THE FUND OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. MVIS MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL MVIS HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
The Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, promoted, sold or supported in any other manner by Solactive AG nor does Solactive AG offer any express or implicit guarantee or assurance either with regard to the results of using the Index and/or its trademark or its price at any time or in any other respect. The Index is calculated and maintained by Solactive. Solactive uses its best efforts to ensure that the Index is calculated correctly. Irrespective of its obligations towards MVIS, Solactive AG has no obligation to point out errors in the Index to third parties including but not limited to investors and/or financial intermediaries of the Fund. Neither publication of the Index by Solactive AG nor the licensing of the Index or its trademark for the purpose of use in connection with the Fund constitutes a recommendation by Solactive AG to invest capital in the Fund nor does it in any way represent an assurance or opinion of Solactive AG with regard to any investment in the Fund. Solactive AG is not responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements concerning the accuracy and completeness of the prospectus of the Fund.
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APPENDIX A
VANECK PROXY VOTING POLICIES
VanEck (the “Adviser”) has adopted the following policies and procedures which are reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of its clients in accordance with its fiduciary duties and Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. When an adviser has been granted proxy voting authority by a client, the adviser owes its clients the duties of care and loyalty in performing this service on their behalf. The duty of care requires the adviser to monitor corporate actions and vote client proxies. The duty of loyalty requires the adviser to cast the proxy votes in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the client.
Rule 206(4)-6 also requires the Adviser to disclose information about the proxy voting procedures to its clients and to inform clients how to obtain information about how their proxies were voted. Additionally, Rule 204-2 under the Advisers Act requires the Adviser to maintain certain proxy voting records.
An adviser that exercises voting authority without complying with Rule 206(4)-6 will be deemed to have engaged in a “fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative” act, practice or course of business within the meaning of Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act.
The Adviser intends to vote all proxies in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, and in the best interests of clients without influence by real or apparent conflicts of interest. To assist in its responsibility for voting proxies and the overall voting process, the Adviser has engaged an independent third party proxy voting specialist, Glass Lewis & Co., LLC. The services provided by Glass Lewis include in-depth research, global issuer analysis, and voting recommendations as well as vote execution, reporting and recordkeeping.
Resolving Material Conflicts of Interest
When a material conflict of interest exists, proxies will be voted in the following manner:
1.Strict adherence to the Glass Lewis guidelines, or
2.The potential conflict will be disclosed to the client:
a.with a request that the client vote the proxy,
b.with a recommendation that the client engage another party to determine how the proxy should be voted or
c.if the foregoing are not acceptable to the client, disclosure of how VanEck intends to vote and a written consent to that vote by the client.
Any deviations from the foregoing voting mechanisms must be approved by the Chief Compliance Officer with a written explanation of the reason for the deviation.
A material conflict of interest means the existence of a business relationship between a portfolio company or an affiliate and the Adviser, any affiliate or subsidiary, or an “affiliated person” of a VanEck mutual fund. Examples of when a material conflict of interest exists include a situation where the adviser provides significant investment advisory, brokerage or other services to a company whose management is soliciting proxies; an officer of the Adviser serves on the board of a charitable organization that receives charitable contributions from the portfolio company and the charitable organization is a client of the Adviser; a portfolio company that is a significant selling agent of the Adviser’s products and services solicits proxies; a broker-dealer or insurance company that controls 5% or more of the Adviser’s assets solicits proxies; the Adviser serves as an investment adviser to the pension or other investment account of the portfolio company; the Adviser and the portfolio company have a lending relationship. In each of these situations voting against management may cause the Adviser a loss of revenue or other benefit.
Client Inquiries
All inquiries by clients as to how the Adviser has voted proxies must immediately be forwarded to Portfolio Administration.
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Disclosure to Clients
1.Notification of Availability of Information
a.Client Brochure - The Client Brochure or Part II of Form ADV will inform clients that they can obtain information from the Adviser on how their proxies were voted. The Client Brochure or Part II of Form ADV will be mailed to each client annually. The Legal Department will be responsible for coordinating the mailing with Sales/Marketing Departments.
Availability of Proxy Voting Information
b.
At the client’s request or if the information is not available on the Adviser’s website, a hard copy of the account’s proxy votes will be mailed to each client.
Recordkeeping Requirements
1.VanEck will retain the following documentation and information for each matter relating to a portfolio security with respect to which a client was entitled to vote:
a.proxy statements received;
b.identifying number for the portfolio security;
c.shareholder meeting date;
d.brief identification of the matter voted on;
e.whether the vote was cast on the matter;
f.how the vote was cast (e.g., for or against proposal, or abstain; for or withhold regarding election of directors);
g.records of written client requests for information on how the Adviser voted proxies on behalf of the client;
h.a copy of written responses from the Adviser to any written or oral client request for information on how the Adviser voted proxies on behalf of the client; and any documents prepared by the Adviser that were material to the decision on how to vote or that memorialized the basis for the decision, if such documents were prepared.
2.Copies of proxy statements filed on EDGAR, and proxy statements and records of proxy votes maintained with a third party (i.e., proxy voting service) need not be maintained. The third party must agree in writing to provide a copy of the documents promptly upon request.
3.
If applicable, any document memorializing that the costs of voting a proxy exceed the benefit to the client or any other decision to refrain from voting, and that such abstention was in the client’s best interest.
4.Proxy voting records will be maintained in an easily accessible place for five years, the first two at the office of the Adviser. Proxy statements on file with EDGAR or maintained by a third party and proxy votes maintained by a third party are not subject to these particular retention requirements.
Voting Foreign Proxies
At times the Adviser may determine that, in the best interests of its clients, a particular proxy should not be voted. This may occur, for example, when the cost of voting a foreign proxy (translation, transportation, etc.) would exceed the benefit of voting the proxy or voting the foreign proxy may cause an unacceptable limitation on the sale of the security. Any such instances will be documented by the Portfolio Manager and reviewed by the Chief Compliance Officer.
Securities Lending
Certain portfolios managed by the Adviser participate in securities lending programs to generate additional revenue. Proxy voting rights generally pass to the borrower when a security is on loan. The Adviser will use its best efforts to recall a security on loan and vote such securities if the Portfolio Manager determines that the proxy involves a material event.
Proxy Voting Policy
The Adviser has reviewed the Glass Lewis Proxy Guidelines (“Guidelines”) and has determined that the Guidelines are consistent with the Adviser’s proxy voting responsibilities and its fiduciary duty with respect to its clients. The Adviser will review any material amendments to the Guidelines.
While it is the Adviser’s policy to generally follow the Guidelines, the Adviser retains the right, on any specific proxy, to vote differently from the Guidelines, if the Adviser believes it is in the best interests of its clients. Any such exceptions will be documented by the Adviser and reviewed by the Chief Compliance Officer.
The portfolio manager or analyst covering the security is responsible for making proxy voting decisions. Portfolio Administration, in conjunction with the portfolio manager and the custodian, is responsible for monitoring corporate actions and ensuring that corporate actions are timely voted.
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ABOUT GLASS LEWIS
Glass Lewis is the world’s choice for governance solutions. We enable institutional investors and publicly listed companies to make sustainable decisions based in research and data. We cover 25,000+ meetings each year, across approximately 100 global markets. Our team has been providing in-depth analysis of companies since 2003, relying solely on publicly available information to inform its policies, research, and voting recommendations.
Our customers include the majority of the world’s largest pension plans, mutual funds, and asset managers, collectively managing over $40 trillion in assets. We have teams located across the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific giving us global reach with a local perspective on the important governance issues.
Investors around the world depend on Glass Lewis’ Viewpoint product to manage their proxy voting, policy implementation, recordkeeping, and reporting. Our industry leading Proxy Paper product provides comprehensive environmental, social, and governance research and voting recommendations weeks ahead of voting deadlines. Public companies can also use our innovative Report Feedback Statement to deliver their unfiltered opinion on our proxy research directly to the voting decision makers at every investor client in time for voting decisions to be made or changed.
The research team engages extensively with issuers, investors, regulators, and other industry stakeholders to gain relevant context into the realities surrounding companies, sectors, and the market in general. This enables us to provide the most comprehensive and pragmatic insights to our customers.



Join the Conversation
Glass Lewis is committed to ongoing engagement with all market participants.



info@glasslewis.com | www.glasslewis.com
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SUMMARY OF CHANGES
Following is a summary of the significant changes to the 2021 U.S. Summary Proxy Paper Policy Guidelines:
Board Gender Diversity
We have expanded our policy on board gender diversity. Beginning in 2021, we will note as a concern boards consisting of fewer than two female directors. Our voting recommendations in 2021 will be based on our current requirement of at least one female board member; but, beginning with shareholder meetings held after January 1, 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the nominating committee chair of a board with fewer than two female directors. For boards with six or fewer total members, our existing voting policy requiring a minimum of one female director will remain in place.
Board Tenure and Refreshment
Beginning in 2021, we will note as a potential concern instances where the average tenure of non-executive directors is 10 years or more and no new independent directors have joined the board in the past five years. We will not be making voting recommendations solely on this basis in 2021; however, insufficient board refreshment may be a contributing factor in our recommendations when additional board-related concerns have been identified.
Additionally, we have updated these guidelines to specify that where a board applies age or term limits, we generally expect these to be applied to all members equally. Where a board waives the limit for an individual without a compelling rationale, we will consider recommending against the chair of the nominating committee.
Environmental, Social & Risk Oversight
We have updated these guidelines to clarify that Glass Lewis will note a concern when a company listed on a blue-chip index in major global markets fails to clearly identify a mechanism for board-level oversight of environmental and social issues. In 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the governance chair of a board who fails to provide explicit disclosure concerning the board’s role in overseeing these issues.
Peer Group Methodology
In the section titled Linking Pay with Performance, we have clarified that, in determining the peer groups used in our A-F pay-for-performance letter grades, Glass Lewis utilizes a proprietary methodology, as previously announced in 2019. In forming this proprietary peer group, Glass Lewis considers both country-based and sector-based peers, along with each company’s network of self-disclosed peers. Each component is considered on a weighted basis and is subject to size-based ranking and screening. The peer groups used are provided to Glass Lewis by CGLytics based on Glass Lewis’ methodology and using CGLytics’ data.
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Vote Results Disclosure
For meetings held after January 1, 2021, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against the governance committee chair when a detailed record of proxy voting results from the last annual meeting has not been disclosed.
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I. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
Board of Directors
Boards are put in place to represent shareholders and protect their interests. Glass Lewis seeks boards with a proven record of protecting shareholders and delivering value over the medium- and long-term. We believe that boards working to protect and enhance the best interests of shareholders are independent, have directors with diverse backgrounds, are refreshed periodically to ensure an appropriate mix of director tenures, have a record of positive performance, and have members with a breadth and depth of relevant experience.
Board Composition
We look at each individual on the board and examine his or her relationships with the company, the company’s executives and with other board members. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether pre-existing personal, familial or financial relationships are likely to impact the decisions of that board member.

We recommend voting in favor of governance structures that will drive positive performance and enhance shareholder value. The most crucial test of a board’s commitment to the company and to its shareholders is the performance of the board and its members. The performance of directors in their capacity as board members and as executives of the company, when applicable, and in their roles at other companies where they serve is critical to this evaluation.

We believe a director is independent if he or she has no material financial, familial or other current relationships with the company, its executives or other board members except for service on the board and standard fees paid for that service. Relationships that have existed within the five years prior to the inquiry are usually considered to be “current” for purposes of this test.
In our view, a director is affiliated if he or she has a material financial, familial or other relationship with the company or its executives, but is not an employee of the company. This includes directors whose employers have a material financial relationship with the Company. This also includes a director who owns or controls 20% or more of the company’s voting stock.
We define an inside director as one who simultaneously serves as a director and as an employee of the company. This category may include a chair of the board who acts as an employee of the company or is paid as an employee of the company.
Although we typically recommend voting in favor of the election of independent directors, we will recommend voting against directors (or withholding where applicable, here and following) for the following reasons:
A director who attends less than 75% of the board and applicable committee meetings.
A director who fails to file timely form(s) 4 or 5 (assessed on a case-by-case basis).
A director who is also the CEO of a company where a serious restatement has occurred after the CEO certified the pre-restatement financial statements.
All board members who served at a time when a poison pill was adopted without shareholder approval within the prior twelve months.
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An affiliated director where the board is not sufficiently independent in accordance with market best practice standards.
The audit committee chair where fees paid to the company’s external auditor in the past year are not disclosed.
The governance committee or chair where a company amends the bylaws or other company governing documents to eliminate or decrease important shareholder rights.
The governance committee chair where a company does not disclose the directors’ attendance records for board and committee meetings in the past year, or where disclosure is sufficiently vague that it is not possible to determine which specific director’s attendance was lacking.
The governance committee or chair where a company does not adequately respond to a majority shareholder vote in favor of a shareholder proposal or submits an alternate management proposal in lieu of a shareholder proposal if the management proposal is materially different from the shareholder proposal.
The governance committee members where a company omits a shareholder proposal without receiving explicit guidance from the SEC stating that it concurs with the company’s argument that a proposal should be excluded, or where there is no publicly-available disclosure that permission was given verbally to the company by the SEC.
The governance committee chair when a detailed record of proxy voting results from the prior annual meeting has not been disclosed.
The compensation committee members where a company fails to address shareholder concerns following majority shareholder rejection of the say-on-pay proposal in the previous year. In cases where the say-on-pay proposal received between 20-50% shareholder opposition in the previous year and concerns regarding the company’s executive compensation practices are ongoing, we will consider recommending voting against the chair or members of the compensation committee, depending on the severity and history of the compensation problems and the level of shareholder opposition.
The compensation committee members where a company adopts a frequency for future advisory votes on executive compensation that differs from the frequency approved by shareholders.

We also feel that the following conflicts of interest may hinder a director’s performance and will therefore recommend voting against a:
CFO who presently sits on the board.
Director who presently sits on an excessive number of boards. Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against a director who serves as an executive officer of any public company while serving on a total of more than two public boards and any other director who serves on a total of more than five public company boards. When making this determination, we will also consider relevant factors such as the size and location of the other companies where the director serves on the board, the director’s board roles at the companies in question, whether the director serves on the board of any large privately-held companies, the director’s tenure on the boards in question, and the director’s attendance record at all companies. In the case of directors who serve in executive roles other than CEO (e.g., executive chair), we will evaluate the specific duties and responsibilities of that role in determining whether an exception is warranted.
Director, or a director whose immediate family member, provides material professional services to the company at any time during the past five years.
Director, or a director whose immediate family member, engages in airplane, real estate or other similar deals, including perquisite type grants from the company.
Director with an interlocking directorship.
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Board Committee Composition
All key committees including audit, compensation, governance, and nominating committees should be composed solely of independent directors and each committee should be focused on fulfilling its specific duty to shareholders. We typically recommend that shareholders vote against any affiliated or inside director seeking appointment to an audit, compensation, nominating or governance committee or who has served in that capacity in the past year.
Board Tenure and Refreshment
Glass Lewis strongly supports routine director evaluation, including independent external reviews, and periodic board refreshment to foster the sharing of diverse perspectives in the boardroom and the generation of new ideas and business strategies. In our view, a director’s experience can be an asset to shareholders because of the complex, critical issues that boards face. This said, we recognize that a lack of refreshment can contribute to a lack of board responsiveness to poor company performance.
Beginning in 2021, we will note as a potential concern instances where the average tenure of non-executive directors is 10 years or more and no new independent directors have joined the board in the past five years. We will not be making voting recommendations solely on this basis in 2021; however, insufficient board refreshment may be a contributing factor in our recommendations when additional board-related concerns have been identified.
Where a board has established an age or term limit, we believe these should generally be applied equally for all members of the board. If a board waives its age/term limits, Glass Lewis will consider recommending shareholders vote against the chair of the nominating committee or equivalent, unless compelling rationale is provided for why the board is proposing to waive this rule through an election/re-election.
Board Diversity
Glass Lewis recognizes the importance of ensuring that the board is comprised of directors who have a diversity of skills, thought and experience, as such diversity benefits companies by providing a broad range of perspectives and insights. As with previous years, Glass Lewis will continue to closely review the composition of the board and may note as a concern instances where we believe the board lacks representation of diverse director candidates, including those boards which have no female directors.
Beginning in 2021, Glass Lewis will note as a concern boards consisting of fewer than two female directors. Beginning with shareholder meetings held after January 1, 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the nominating committee chair of a board that has fewer than two female directors. For boards with six or fewer total directors, our existing voting policy requiring a minimum of one female director will remain in place. We may extend this recommendation to additional members of the nominating committee in cases where the committee chair is not standing for election due to a classified board, or based on other factors, including the company’s size and industry, applicable laws in its state of headquarters, and its overall governance profile. Additionally, when making these voting recommendations, we will carefully review a company’s disclosure of its diversity considerations and may refrain from recommending that shareholders vote against directors of companies outside the Russell 3000 index, or when boards have provided a sufficient rationale or plan to address the lack of diversity on the board.
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Board Responsiveness
Glass Lewis believes that any time 20% or more of shareholders vote contrary to the recommendation of management, the board should, depending on the issue, demonstrate some level of responsiveness to address the concerns of shareholders, particularly in the case of a compensation or director election proposal. While the 20% threshold alone will not automatically generate a negative vote recommendation from Glass Lewis on a future proposal (e.g., to recommend against a director nominee, against a remuneration proposal, etc.), it will be a contributing factor to recommend a vote against management's recommendation in the event we determine that the board did not respond appropriately.
As a general framework, our evaluation of board responsiveness involves a review of the publicly available disclosures released following the date of the company's last annual meeting up through the publication date of our most current Proxy Paper.
Review of the Compensation Discussion and Analysis Report
We review the CD&A in our evaluation of the overall compensation practices of a company, as overseen by the compensation committee. In our evaluation of the CD&A, we examine, among other factors, the extent to which the company has used performance goals in determining overall compensation, how well the company has disclosed performance metrics and goals and the extent to which the performance metrics, targets and goals are implemented to enhance company performance. We would recommend voting against the chair of the compensation committee where the CD&A provides insufficient or unclear information about performance metrics and goals, where the CD&A indicates that pay is not tied to performance, or where the compensation committee or management has excessive discretion to alter performance terms or increase amounts of awards in contravention of previously defined targets. However, if a company provides shareholders with an advisory vote on compensation, we will recommend that shareholders only vote against the advisory compensation vote proposal unless the compensation practices are particularly egregious or persistent.
Review of Risk Management Controls
We believe companies, particularly financial firms, should have a dedicated risk committee, or a committee of the board charged with risk oversight, as well as a chief risk officer who reports directly to that committee, not to the CEO or another executive. In cases where a company has disclosed a sizable loss or writedown, and where a reasonable analysis indicates that the company’s board-level risk committee should be held accountable for poor oversight, we would recommend that shareholders vote against such committee members on that basis. In addition, in cases where a company maintains a significant level of financial risk exposure but fails to disclose any explicit form of board-level risk oversight (committee or otherwise), we will consider recommending to vote against the chair of the board on that basis.
Environmental and Social Risk Oversight
Glass Lewis recognizes the importance of ensuring the sustainability of companies’ operations. We believe that insufficient oversight of material environmental and social issues can present direct legal, financial, regulatory and reputational risks that could serve to harm shareholder interests. Therefore, we believe that these issues should be carefully monitored and managed by companies, and that companies should have an appropriate oversight structure in place to ensure that they are mitigating attendant risks and capitalizing on related opportunities to the best extent possible.
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Beginning in 2021, Glass Lewis will note as a concern when boards of companies in the S&P 500 index do not provide clear disclosure concerning the board-level oversight afforded to environmental and/or social issues. Beginning with shareholder meetings held after January 1, 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the governance chair of a company in the aforementioned index who fails to provide explicit disclosure concerning the board’s role in overseeing these issues.
Separation of the Roles of Chair and CEO
Glass Lewis believes that separating the roles of corporate officers and the chair of the board is a better governance structure than a combined executive/chair position. The role of executives is to manage the business on the basis of the course charted by the board. Executives should be in the position of reporting and answering to the board for their performance in achieving the goals set out by such board. This becomes much more complicated when management actually sits on, or chairs, the board.
We view an independent chair as better able to oversee the executives of the company and set a pro-shareholder agenda without the management conflicts that a CEO and other executive insiders often face. This, in turn, leads to a more proactive and effective board of directors that is looking out for the interests of shareholders above all else.
We do not recommend voting against CEOs who serve on or chair the board. However, we do support a separation between the roles of chair of the board and CEO, whenever that question is posed in a proxy.
In the absence of an independent chair, we support the appointment of a presiding or lead director with authority to set the agenda for the meetings and to lead sessions outside the presence of the insider chair.
Majority Voting for the Election of Directors
Glass Lewis will generally support proposals calling for the election of directors by a majority vote in place of plurality voting. If a majority vote standard were implemented, a nominee would have to receive the support of a majority of the shares voted in order to assume the role of a director. Thus, shareholders could collectively vote to reject a director they believe will not pursue their best interests. We think that this minimal amount of protection for shareholders is reasonable and will not upset the corporate structure nor reduce the willingness of qualified shareholder-focused directors to serve in the future.
Classified Boards
Glass Lewis favors the repeal of staggered boards in favor of the annual election of directors. We believe that staggered boards are less accountable to shareholders than annually elected boards. Furthermore, we feel that the annual election of directors encourages board members to focus on protecting the interests of shareholders.
Governance Following an IPO or Spin-Off
We believe companies that recently completed an initial public offering (“IPO”) or spin-off should be allowed adequate time to fully comply with marketplace listing requirements and meet basic corporate
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governance standards, and we generally refrain from making voting recommendation on the basis of governance standards (e.g., board independence, committee membership, meeting attendance) during the one-year period following an IPO.
However, Glass Lewis will review the terms of the applicable governing documents in order to determine whether shareholder rights are being severely restricted indefinitely. When shareholder rights are severely restricted, we will consider recommending against members of the board who served when the provisions are adopted. In conducting this evaluation, Glass Lewis will consider:
The adoption of anti-takeover provisions such as a poison pill or classified board;
Supermajority vote requirements to amend governing documents;
The presence of exclusive forum or fee-shifting provisions;
Whether shareholders can call special meetings or act by written consent;
The voting standard provided for the election of directors;
The ability of shareholders to remove directors without cause;
The presence of evergreen provisions in the Company’s equity compensation arrangements; and
The presence of a multi-class share structure which does not afford common shareholders voting power that is aligned with their economic interest.
Mutual Fund Boards
Mutual funds, or investment companies, are structured differently than regular public companies (i.e., operating companies). Members of the fund's adviser are typically on the board and management takes on a different role than that of other public companies. As such, although many of our guidelines remain the same, the following differences from the guidelines at operating companies apply at mutual funds:
1.We believe three-fourths of the boards of investment companies should be made up of independent directors, a stricter standard than the two-thirds independence standard we employ at operating companies.
2.We recommend voting against the chair of the nominating committee at an investment company if the chair and CEO of a mutual fund is the same person and the fund does not have an independent lead or presiding director.



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II. FINANCIAL REPORTING
Auditor Ratification
We believe that role of the auditor is crucial in protecting shareholder value. In our view, shareholders should demand the services of objective and well-qualified auditors at every company in which they hold an interest. Like directors, auditors should be free from conflicts of interest and should assiduously avoid situations that require them to make choices between their own interests and the interests of the shareholders.
Glass Lewis generally supports management's recommendation regarding the selection of an auditor. However, we recommend voting against the ratification of auditors for the following reasons:
When audit fees added to audit-related fees total less than one-half of total fees.
When there have been any recent restatements or late filings by the company where the auditor bears some responsibility for the restatement or late filing (e.g., a restatement due to a reporting error).
When the company has aggressive accounting policies.
When the company has poor disclosure or lack of transparency in financial statements.
When there are other relationships or issues of concern with the auditor that might suggest a conflict between the interest of the auditor and the interests of shareholders.
When the company is changing auditors as a result of a disagreement between the company and the auditor on a matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedures.
Where the auditor’s tenure is lengthy (e.g. over 10 years) and when we identify any ongoing litigation or significant controversies which call into question an auditor’s effectiveness.
Auditor Rotation
We typically support audit related proposals regarding mandatory auditor rotation when the proposal uses a reasonable period of time (usually not less than 5-7 years).
Pension Accounting Issues
Proxy proposals sometimes raise the question as to whether pension accounting should have an effect on the company's net income and therefore be reflected in the performance of the business for purposes of calculating payments to executives. It is our view that pension credits should not be included in measuring income used to award performance-based compensation. Many of the assumptions used in accounting for retirement plans are subject to the discretion of a company, and management would have an obvious conflict of interest if pay were tied to pension income.



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III. COMPENSATION
Equity Based Compensation Plans
Glass Lewis evaluates option and other equity-based compensation on a case-by-case basis. We believe that equity compensation awards are a useful tool, when not abused, for retaining and incentivizing employees to engage in conduct that will improve the performance of the company.
We evaluate option plans based on certain overarching principles:
Companies should seek additional shares only when needed.
The number of shares requested should be small enough that companies need shareholder approval every three to four years (or more frequently).
If a plan is relatively expensive, it should not be granting options solely to senior executives and board members.
Dilution of annual net share count or voting power, along with the “overhang” of incentive plans, should be limited;
Annual cost of the plan (especially if not shown on the income statement) should be reasonable as a percentage of financial results and in line with the peer group.
The expected annual cost of the plan should be proportional to the value of the business.
The intrinsic value received by option grantees in the past should be reasonable compared with the financial results of the business.
Plans should not permit re-pricing of stock options.
Plans should not count shares in ways that understate the potential dilution, or cost, to common shareholders. This refers to “inverse” full-value award multipliers.
Selected performance metrics should be challenging and appropriate, and should be subject to relative performance measurements; and
Stock grants should be subject to minimum vesting and/or holding periods sufficient to ensure sustainable performance and promote retention.
Option Exchanges
Option exchanges are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, although they are approached with great skepticism. Repricing is tantamount to a re-trade. We will support a repricing only if the following conditions are true:
Officers and board members do not participate in the program.
The stock decline mirrors the market or industry price decline in terms of timing and approximates the decline in magnitude.
The exchange is value neutral or value creative to shareholders with very conservative assumptions and a recognition of the adverse selection problems inherent in voluntary programs.
Management and the board make a cogent case for needing to incentivize and retain existing employees, such as being in a competitive employment market.

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Performance Based Options
We generally recommend that shareholders vote in favor of performance-based option requirements. We feel that executives should be compensated with equity when their performance and that of the company warrants such rewards. We believe that boards can develop a consistent, reliable approach, as boards of many companies have, that would attract executives who believe in their ability to guide the company to achieve its targets.
Linking Pay with Performance
Executive compensation should be linked directly with the performance of the business the executive is charged with managing. Glass Lewis grades companies on an A to F scale based on our analysis of executive compensation relative to performance and that of the company’s peers and will recommend voting against the election of compensation committee members at companies with a pattern of failing our pay-for-performance analysis.
In determining the peer groups used in our A-F pay-for-performance letter grades, Glass Lewis utilizes a proprietary methodology that considers both country-based and sector-based peers, along with each company’s network of self-disclosed peers. Each component is considered on a weighted basis and is subject to size-based ranking and screening. The peer groups used are provided to Glass Lewis by CGLytics based on Glass Lewis’ methodology and using CGLytics’ data.
Director Compensation Plans
Glass Lewis believes that non-employee directors should receive appropriate types and levels of compensation for the time and effort they spend serving on the board and its committees. Director fees should be reasonable in order to retain and attract qualified individuals. We support compensation plans that include non performance-based equity awards. Glass Lewis compares the costs of these plans to the plans of peer companies with similar market capitalizations in the same country to help inform its judgment on this issue.
Advisory Votes on Compensation
We closely review companies’ compensation practices and disclosure as outlined in their CD&As and other company filings to evaluate management-submitted advisory compensation vote proposals. In evaluating these non-binding proposals, we examine how well the company has disclosed information pertinent to its compensation programs, the extent to which overall compensation is tied to performance, the performance metrics selected by the company and the levels of compensation in comparison to company performance and that of its peers. Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting in favor of shareholder proposals to allow shareholders an advisory vote on compensation.

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Advisory Votes on Compensation Frequency
We believe companies should submit say-on-pay votes to shareholders every year and therefore will generally support annual votes on compensation absent a compelling reason. We believe annual say-on-pay votes encourage beneficial board and shareholder dialogue on compensation and that the relatively minor additional financial burdens on a company with regard to an annual vote are outweighed by the benefits to shareholders of more frequent accountability.
Additionally, in cases where a company adopts a frequency for future advisory votes on executive compensation that differs from the frequency approved by shareholders, we will recommend voting against all members of the compensation committee.
Limits on Executive Compensation
Proposals to limit executive compensation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule, we believe that executive compensation should be left to the board's compensation committee. We view the election of directors, and specifically those who sit on the compensation committee, as the appropriate mechanism for shareholders to express their disapproval or support of board policy on this issue.
Limits on Executive Stock Options
We favor the grant of options to executives. Options are a very important component of compensation packages designed to attract and retain experienced executives and other key employees. Tying a portion of an executive's compensation to the performance of the company also provides an excellent incentive to maximize share values by those in the best position to affect those values. Accordingly, we typically vote against caps on executive stock options.
Hedging of Stock
Glass Lewis believes that the hedging of shares by executives in the shares of the companies where they are employed severs the alignment of interests of the executive with shareholders. We believe companies should adopt strict policies to prohibit executives from hedging the economic risk associated with their shareownership in the company.
CEO Pay Ratio
As mandated by Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer and Protection Act, beginning in 2018, issuers will be required to disclose the median annual total compensation of all employees except the CEO, the total annual compensation of the CEO or equivalent position, and the ratio between the two amounts. Glass Lewis will display the pay ratio as a data point in our Proxy Papers, as available. While we recognize that the pay ratio has the potential to provide additional insight when assessing a company’s pay practices, at this time it will not be a determinative factor in our voting recommendations.
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IV. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
Anti-Takeover Measures
Poison Pills (Shareholder Rights Plans)
Glass Lewis believes that poison pill plans generally are not in the best interests of shareholders. Specifically, they can reduce management accountability by substantially limiting opportunities for corporate takeovers. Rights plans can thus prevent shareholders from receiving a buy-out premium for their stock.
We believe that boards should be given wide latitude in directing the activities of the company and charting the company's course. However, on an issue such as this where the link between the financial interests of shareholders and their right to consider and accept buyout offers is so substantial, we believe that shareholders should be allowed to vote on whether or not they support such a plan's implementation.
In certain limited circumstances, we will support a limited poison pill to accomplish a particular objective, such as the closing of an important merger, or a pill that contains what we believe to be a reasonable ‘qualifying offer’ clause. However, when a board adopts a poison pill without shareholder approval, we will vote against the entire board.
Right of Shareholders to Call a Special Meeting
We will vote in favor of proposals that allow shareholders to call special meetings. In order to prevent abuse and waste of corporate resources by a very small minority of shareholders, we believe that such rights should be limited to a minimum threshold of at least 10-15% of the shareholders requesting such a meeting.
Shareholder Action by Written Consent
We are generally supportive of the right for shareholders to act by written consent. However, we believe that special meetings are preferable to action by written consent, as special meetings provide more protection for minority shareholders and better ensure that management is able to respond to the concerns raised by shareholders. Accordingly, in instances where companies have established other means for shareholders to influence a company’s proxy or act outside the annual meeting cycle, Glass Lewis may consider recommending against shareholder proposals requesting that companies adopt a right for shareholders to act by written consent. Specifically, if a company has adopted a special meeting right of 15% or below and has adopted reasonable proxy access provisions, Glass Lewis will generally recommend that shareholders vote against shareholder proposals asking companies to amend their bylaws to provide shareholders with the right to action by written consent.



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Authorized Shares
Proposals to increase the number of authorized shares will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Adequate capital stock is important to the operation of a company. When analyzing a request for additional shares, we typically review four common reasons why a company might need additional capital stock beyond what is currently available:
1.Stock split
2.Shareholder defenses
3.Financing for acquisitions
4.Financing for operations

Unless we find that the company has not disclosed a detailed plan for use of the proposed shares, or where the number of shares far exceeds those needed to accomplish a detailed plan, we typically recommend in favor of the authorization of additional shares.
Voting Structure
Cumulative Voting
Glass Lewis will vote for proposals seeking to allow cumulative voting unless the company has majority voting for the election of directors in which case we will vote against. However, Glass Lewis will vote support the use of cumulative voting in contested elections. Cumulative voting is a voting process that maximizes the ability of minority shareholders to ensure representation of their views on the board. Cumulative voting generally operates as a safeguard for by ensuring that those who hold a significant minority of shares are able to elect a candidate of their choosing to the board.
Multi-Class Share Structures
Glass Lewis believes multi-class voting structures are typically not in the best interests of common shareholders. We believe the economic stake of each shareholder should match their voting power and that no small group of shareholders, family or otherwise, should have voting rights different from those of other shareholders.
We generally consider a multi-class share structure to reflect negatively on a company's overall corporate governance. Because we believe that allowing one vote per share best protects the interests of shareholders, we typically recommend that shareholders vote in favor of recapitalization proposals to eliminate multi-class share structures. Similarly, we will generally recommend voting against proposals to adopt a new class of common stock.
Supermajority Vote Requirements
Glass Lewis favors a simple majority voting structure except where a supermajority voting requirement is explicitly intended to protect the rights of minority shareholders in a controlled company. In the case of non-controlled companies, supermajority vote requirements act as impediments to shareholder action on ballot items that are critical to their interests. One key example is in the takeover context where supermajority vote requirements can strongly limit shareholders’ input in making decisions on such crucial matters as selling the business.
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Access to the Proxy
Glass Lewis supports the ability of shareholders to nominate directors to company boards. However, to prevent abuse of this right, we believe shareholders seeking to nominate a director should meet minimum ownership thresholds and holding periods. Therefore, we will generally support reasonable, well-crafted proposals to allow shareholders access to the management proxy but, in formulating our recommendation, we will examine the proposed percentage ownership threshold, the minimum ownership period requirement and the number or percentage of board seats subject to nomination under this authority. We will also analyze the performance of the company and the board, the adoption of other means for shareholders to effect change such as through the ability to call a special meeting and the responsiveness of the board to shareholders. When there are conflicting management and shareholder proposals to adopt proxy access, we will review the differences of the proposals’ terms, and generally support the proposal with terms more friendly to shareholders.
Virtual Shareholder Meetings
A growing number of companies have elected to hold shareholder meetings by virtual means only. We believe that virtual meeting technology can be a useful complement to a traditional, in-person shareholder meeting by expanding participation to shareholders who are unable to attend a shareholder meeting in person (i.e., a “hybrid meeting”). However, we also believe that virtual-only meetings have the potential to curb the ability of a company’s shareholders to meaningfully communicate with the company’s management.
When analyzing the governance profile of companies that choose to hold virtual-only shareholder meetings, we look for robust disclosure in a company’s proxy statement which assures shareholders that they will be afforded the same rights and opportunities to participate as they would at an in-person meeting. Examples of effective disclosure include: (i) addressing the ability of shareholders to ask questions during the meeting, including time guidelines for shareholder questions, rules around what types of questions are allowed, and rules for how questions and comments will be recognized and disclosed to meeting participants; (ii) procedures, if any, for posting appropriate questions received during the meeting and the company’s answers, or on the investor page of their website as soon as is practical after the meeting; (iii) addressing technical and logistical issues related to accessing the virtual meeting platform; and (iv) procedures for accessing technical support to assist in the event of any difficulties accessing the virtual meeting.
Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against members of the governance committee of a board where the board is planning to hold a virtual-only shareholder meeting and the company does not provide such disclosure.
Shareholder Proposals
Shareholder proposals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We generally favor proposals that are likely to increase shareholder value and/or promote and protect shareholder rights. We typically prefer to leave decisions regarding day-to-day management of the business and policy decisions related to political, social or environmental issues to management and the board except when we see a clear and direct link between the proposal and some economic or financial issue for the company.

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V. ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL & GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES

Glass Lewis believes it is important for companies to effectively oversee and manage material environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues. We believe shareholders should seek to promote governance structures that protect shareholders, support effective ESG oversight and reporting, and encourage director accountability. It is our belief that companies’ management of governance and shareholder rights-related issues are often indicative of their management of other issues, including those that are environmental and social in nature. Accordingly, Glass Lewis places a significant emphasis on promoting transparency, robust governance structures and companies’ responsiveness to and engagement with shareholders.
We believe that part of the board’s role is to ensure that management conducts a complete risk analysis of company operations, including those that have environmental and social implications. We believe that directors should monitor management’s performance in mitigating environmental and social risks in order to eliminate or minimize the risks to a company and its shareholders. Companies face significant financial, legal and reputational risks resulting from poor ESG-related practices, or negligent oversight thereof. Therefore, in cases where the board or management has neglected to take action on pressing issues that could negatively impact shareholder value, we believe shareholders should take necessary action in order to effect changes that will safeguard their financial interests.
To that end, Glass Lewis generally supports shareholder resolutions that seek to enhance companies’ governance structures, as we believe that, in most cases, this enhancement benefits shareholders. With respect to shareholder resolutions related to environmental and social issues, we evaluate each on a case-by-case basis and in the context of financial materiality. We believe that all companies face risks associated with ESG issues. However, we recognize that these risks manifest themselves differently at each company as a result of its unique operations, workforce, structure, and geography, among other factors. With a view to these risks, Glass Lewis will generally recommend in favor of resolutions that we believe will promote more and better disclosure of relevant risk factors where such disclosure is lacking or inadequate or that will otherwise serve the best long-term interests of shareholders. Further, when we believe that a company has not adequately managed environmental or social issues to the detriment of shareholders, Glass Lewis will note our concerns and may recommend that shareholders vote to signal these concerns on any applicable management or shareholder proposal.
For a detailed review of our policies concerning compensation, environmental, social and governance shareholder initiatives, please refer to our comprehensive Proxy Paper Guidelines for Environmental, Social & Governance Initiatives, available at www.glasslewis.com.


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CONNECT WITH US
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DISCLAIMER
© 2021 Glass, Lewis & Co., and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

This document supplements Glass Lewis’ country-specific proxy voting policies and guidelines and should be read in conjunction with those guidelines, which are available on Glass Lewis’ website – http://www.glasslewis.com. This document is not intended to be exhaustive and does not address all potential voting issues, whether alone or together with Glass Lewis’ country-specific proxy voting policies and guidelines. These guidelines have not been set or approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or any other regulatory body. Additionally, none of the information contained herein is or should be relied upon as investment advice. The content of this document has been developed based on Glass Lewis’ experience with proxy voting and corporate governance issues, engagement with clients and issuers and review of relevant studies and surveys, and has not been tailored to any specific person or entity.

Glass Lewis’ proxy voting guidelines are grounded in corporate governance best practices, which often exceed minimum legal requirements. Accordingly, unless specifically noted otherwise, a failure to meet these guidelines should not be understood to mean that the company or individual involved has failed to meet applicable legal requirements.

No representations or warranties express or implied, are made as to the accuracy or completeness of any information included herein. In addition, Glass Lewis shall not be liable for any losses or damages arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use, reliance on, or inability to use any such information. Glass Lewis expects its subscribers to possess sufficient experience and knowledge to make their own decisions entirely independent of any information contained in this document.

All information contained in this report is protected by law, including but not limited to, copyright law, and none of such information may be copied or otherwise reproduced, repackaged, further transmitted, transferred, disseminated, redistributed or resold, or stored for subsequent use for any such purpose, in whole or in part, in any form or manner or by any means whatsoever, by any person without Glass Lewis’ prior written consent.
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International Proxy Paper Policy Guidelines
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ABOUT GLASS LEWIS
Glass Lewis is the world’s choice for governance solutions. We enable institutional investors and publicly listed companies to make sustainable decisions based in research and data. We cover 25,000+ meetings each year, across approximately 100 global markets. Our team has been providing in-depth analysis of companies since 2003, relying solely on publicly available information to inform its policies, research, and voting recommendations.
Our customers include the majority of the world’s largest pension plans, mutual funds, and asset managers, collectively managing over $40 trillion in assets. We have teams located across the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific giving us global reach with a local perspective on the important governance issues.
Investors around the world depend on Glass Lewis’ Viewpoint product to manage their proxy voting, policy implementation, recordkeeping, and reporting. Our industry leading Proxy Paper product provides comprehensive environmental, social, and governance research and voting recommendations weeks ahead of voting deadlines. Public companies can also use our innovative Report Feedback Statement to deliver their unfiltered opinion on our proxy research directly to the voting decision makers at every investor client in time for voting decisions to be made or changed.
The research team engages extensively with issuers, investors, regulators, and other industry stakeholders to gain relevant context into the realities surrounding companies, sectors, and the market in general. This enables us to provide the most comprehensive and pragmatic insights to our customers.



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International Proxy Paper Policy Guidelines
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SUMMARY OF CHANGES
2021 International Proxy Paper Guidelines

Following is a summary of the significant changes to the 2021 International Proxy Paper Policy Guidelines:
Board Diversity
We have updated these guidelines to note that we expect companies listed on a blue-chip index in major global markets to have at least one woman on the board, and that we apply a higher standard where applicable.
Virtual Meetings
We have updated these guidelines to account for the growth of virtual shareholder meetings across the globe. Glass Lewis supports the facilitation of virtual attendance by shareholders at the general meeting. However, we may recommend against members of the governance committee (or other appropriate directors or proposals) in egregious cases where a company holds a virtual-only shareholder meeting and provides inadequate disclosure on if, how and when shareholders can participate or ask questions.
Environmental, Social & Risk Oversight
We have updated these guidelines to clarify that Glass Lewis will note a concern when a company listed on a blue-chip index in major global markets fails to clearly identify a mechanism for board-level oversight of environmental and social issues. In 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the governance chair of a board who fails to provide explicit disclosure concerning the board’s role in overseeing these issues.
Board Refreshment
We have updated these guidelines to specify that where a board applies age or term limits, we generally expect these to be applied to all members equally. Where a board waives the limit for an individual without a compelling rationale, we will consider recommending against the chair of the nominating committee.
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INTRODUCTION
These guidelines provide a general overview of the Glass Lewis approach to proxy advice globally. Glass Lewis publishes separate, detailed policy guidelines for all major global markets, which are publicly available on the Glass Lewis website. Glass Lewis policies are largely based on the regulations, listing rules, codes of best practice and other relevant standards set in each country. While these guidelines provide a high-level overview of our general policy approach, implementation varies in accordance with relevant requirements or best practices in each market. For detailed information on the implementation of the policy approach described below, refer to the Glass Lewis policy guidelines for the relevant country.
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I. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

Board of Directors
Boards are put in place to represent shareholders and protect their interests. Glass Lewis seeks boards with a proven record of protecting shareholders and delivering value over the medium- and long-term. In our view, boards working to protect and enhance the best interests of shareholders typically include some independent directors (the percentage will vary by local market practice and regulations), boast a record of positive performance, have directors with diverse backgrounds, and appoint directors with a breadth and depth of experience.

Board Composition
We look at each individual on the board and examine his or her relationships with the company, the company’s executives and with other board members. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether pre-existing personal, familial or financial relationships are likely to impact the decisions of that board member.
Where the company does not disclose the names or backgrounds of director nominees with sufficient time in advance of the shareholder meeting to evaluate their independence, performance or skills we will consider recommending voting against or abstaining from voting on the directors’ election.
We recommend voting in favor of governance structures that will drive positive performance and enhance shareholder value. The most crucial test of a board’s commitment to the company and to its shareholders is the performance of the board and its members. The performance of directors in their capacity as board members and as executives of the company, when applicable, and in their roles at other companies where they serve is critical to this evaluation.
We believe a director is independent if he or she has no material financial, familial or other current relationships with the company, its executives or other board members except for service on the board and standard fees paid for that service. Relationships that have existed within the three-five years prior to the inquiry are usually considered to be “current” for purposes of this test.
In our view, a director is affiliated if he or she has a material financial, familial or other relationship with the company or its executives, but is not an employee of the company. This includes directors whose employers have a material financial relationship with the Company. This also includes a director who owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the company’s voting stock (except where local regulations or best practice set a different threshold).
We define an inside director as one who simultaneously serves as a director and as an employee of the company. This category may include a chairman of the board who acts as an employee of the company or is paid as an employee of the company.


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Although we typically vote for the election of independent directors, we will recommend voting against directors for the following reasons:
A director who attends less than 75% of the board and applicable committee meetings.
A director who is also the CEO of a company where a serious restatement has occurred after the CEO certified the pre-restatement financial statements.
An affiliated director where the board is not sufficiently independent in accordance with market best practice standards.

We also feel that the following conflicts of interest may hinder a director’s performance and will therefore recommend voting against a:
Director who presently sits on an excessive number of boards.
Director, or a director whose immediate family member, provides material professional services to the company at any time during the past five years.
Director, or a director whose immediate family member, engages in airplane, real estate or other similar deals, including perquisite type grants from the company.
Director with an interlocking directorship.

Slate Elections
In some countries, companies elect their board members as a slate, whereby shareholders are unable to vote on the election of each individual director, but rather are limited to voting for or against the board as a whole. If we have concerns about the independence of the board or any of its key committees, significant concerns regarding the background or experience of one or more of the nominees, or any other board-related concerns in markets where directors are generally elected individually, we will recommend voting against the entire slate of directors.
Board Committee Composition
We believe that independent directors should serve on a company’s audit, compensation, nominating and governance committees. We will support boards with such a structure and encourage change where this is not the case.
Review of Risk Management Controls
We believe companies, particularly financial firms, should have a dedicated risk committee, or a committee of the board charged with risk oversight, as well as a chief risk officer who reports directly to that committee, not to the CEO or another executive. In cases where a company has disclosed a sizable loss or writedown, and where a reasonable analysis indicates that the company’s board-level risk committee should be held accountable for poor oversight, we would recommend that shareholders vote against such committee members on that basis. In addition, in cases where a company maintains a significant level of financial risk exposure but fails to disclose any explicit form of board-level risk oversight (committee or otherwise), we will consider recommending to vote against the chairman of the board on that basis.
Classified Boards
Glass Lewis favors the repeal of staggered boards in favor of the annual election of directors. We believe that staggered boards are less accountable to shareholders than annually elected boards.
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Furthermore, we feel that the annual election of directors encourages board members to focus on protecting the interests of shareholders.
Board Tenure and Refreshment
Glass Lewis strongly supports routine director evaluation, including independent external reviews, and periodic board refreshment to foster the sharing of diverse perspectives in the boardroom and the generation of new ideas and business strategies. In our view, a director’s experience can be a valuable asset to shareholders because of the complex, critical issues that boards face. This said, we recognize a lack of refreshment can contribute to a lack of board responsiveness to poor company performance. We may consider recommending voting against directors with a lengthy tenure (e.g. over 12 years) when we identify significant performance or governance concerns indicating that a fresh perspective would be beneficial and we find no evidence of board refreshment.
Where a board has established an age or term limit, we believe these should generally be applied equally for all members of the board. If a board waives its age/term limits, Glass Lewis will consider recommending shareholders vote against the chair of the nominating committee or equivalent, unless compelling rationale is provided for why the board is proposing to waive this rule through an election/re-election.
Board Diversity
Glass Lewis values the importance of board diversity, believing there are a number of benefits from having individuals with a variety of backgrounds serving on boards. We consider the diversity of gender, backgrounds, skills and experience of directors when evaluating board diversity. If a board has failed to address material concerns regarding the mix of skills and experience of the non-executive directors or when it fails to meet legal requirements or the best practice standard prevalent in the market for gender quotas and has not disclosed any cogent explanation or plan regarding its approach to board diversity, we will consider recommending voting against the chair of the nominating committee. We expect boards of companies listed on blue chip indices in major global markets (Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, United Kingdom and United States), to comprise at least one female director. We apply a higher standard where best practice recommendations or listing regulations set a higher target.
Environmental and Social Risk Oversight
Glass Lewis recognises the importance of ensuring the sustainability of companies’ operations. We believe that insufficient oversight of material environmental and social issues can present direct legal, financial, regulatory and reputational risks that could serve to harm shareholder interests. Therefore, we believe that these issues should be carefully monitored and managed by companies, and that companies should have an appropriate oversight structure in place to ensure that they are mitigating attendant risks and capitalizing on related opportunities to the best extent possible. Beginning in 2021, Glass Lewis will note as a concern when boards of companies listed on a major blue-chip index in key global markets do not provide clear disclosure concerning the board-level oversight afforded to environmental and/or social issues. Beginning with shareholder meetings held after January 1, 2022, we will generally recommend voting against the governance chair of these boards which fail to provide explicit disclosure concerning the board’s role in overseeing these issues.
Board Responsiveness
Glass Lewis believes that any time 20% or more of shareholders vote contrary to the recommendation of management, the board should, depending on the issue, demonstrate some level of responsiveness
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to address the concerns of shareholders, particularly in the case of a compensation or director election proposal. While the 20% threshold alone will not automatically generate a negative vote recommendation from Glass Lewis on a future proposal (e.g., to recommend against a director nominee, against a remuneration proposal, etc.), it will be a contributing factor to recommend a vote against management's recommendation in the event we determine that the board did not respond appropriately.
As a general framework, our evaluation of board responsiveness involves a review of the publicly available disclosures released following the date of the company's last annual meeting up through the publication date of our most current Proxy Paper.
Separation of the Roles of Chair and CEO
Glass Lewis believes that separating the roles of corporate officers and the chair of the board is a better governance structure than a combined executive/chair position. The role of executives is to manage the business on the basis of the course charted by the board. Executives should be in the position of reporting and answering to the board for their performance in achieving the goals set out by such board. This becomes much more complicated when management actually sits on, or chairs, the board.
We view an independent chair as better able to oversee the executives of the company and set a pro-shareholder agenda without the management conflicts that a CEO and other executive insiders often face. This, in turn, leads to a more proactive and effective board of directors that is looking out for the interests of shareholders above all else.
In the absence of an independent chair, we support the appointment of a presiding or lead director with authority to set the agenda for the meetings and to lead sessions outside the presence of the insider chair.
We may recommend voting against the chair of the nominating committee when the chair and CEO roles are combined and the board has not appointed an independent presiding or lead director.


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II. FINANCIAL REPORTING
Accounts and Reports
Many countries require companies to submit the annual financial statements, director reports and independent auditors’ reports to shareholders at a general meeting. We will usually recommend voting in favor of these proposals except when there are concerns about the integrity of the statements/reports. However, should the audited financial statements, auditor’s report and/or annual report not be published at the writing of our report, we will recommend that shareholders abstain from voting on this proposal.
Income Allocation (Distribution of Dividends)
In many countries, companies must submit the allocation of income for shareholder approval. We will generally recommend voting for such a proposal. However, we will give particular scrutiny to cases where the company’s dividend payout ratio is exceptionally low or excessively high relative to its peers and the company has not provided a satisfactory explanation.
Appointment of Auditors and Authority to Set Fees
We believe that role of the auditor is crucial in protecting shareholder value. Like directors, auditors should be free from conflicts of interest and should assiduously avoid situations that require them to make choices between their own interests and the interests of the shareholders. We generally support management’s recommendation regarding the selection of an auditor and support granting the board the authority to fix auditor fees except in cases where we believe the independence of an incumbent auditor or the integrity of the audit has been compromised. However, we generally recommend voting against ratification of the auditor and/or authorizing the board to set auditor fees for the following reasons:
When audit fees added to audit-related fees total less than one-half of total fees.
When there have been any recent restatements or late filings by the company where the auditor bears some responsibility for the restatement or late filing (e.g., a restatement due to a reporting error).
When the company has aggressive accounting policies.
When the company has poor disclosure or lack of transparency in financial statements.
When there are other relationships or issues of concern with the auditor that might suggest a conflict between the interest of the auditor and the interests of shareholders.
When the company is changing auditors as a result of a disagreement between the company and the auditor on a matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedures.
Where the auditor’s tenure is lengthy (e.g. over 10 years) and when we identify any ongoing litigation or significant controversies which call into question an auditor's effectiveness



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III. COMPENSATION
Compensation Report/Compensation Policy
We closely review companies’ remuneration practices and disclosure as outlined in company filings to evaluate management-submitted advisory compensation report and policy vote proposals. In evaluating these proposals, which can be binding or non-binding depending on the country, we examine how well the company has disclosed information pertinent to its compensation programs, the extent to which overall compensation is tied to performance, the performance metrics selected by the company and the levels of remuneration in comparison to company performance and that of its peers.
We will usually recommend voting against approval of the compensation report or policy when the following occur:
Gross disconnect between pay and performance;
Performance goals and metrics are inappropriate or insufficiently challenging;
Lack of disclosure regarding performance metrics and goals as well as the extent to which the performance metrics, targets and goals are implemented to enhance company performance and encourage prudent risk-taking;
Excessive weighting of short-term (e.g., generally less than three year) performance measurement in incentive plans;
Excessive discretion afforded to or exercised by management or the compensation committee to deviate from defined performance metrics and goals in making awards;
Ex gratia or other non-contractual payments have been made and the reasons for making the payments have not been fully explained or the explanation is unconvincing;
Guaranteed bonuses are established;
Egregious or excessive bonuses, equity awards or severance payments;
Excessive increases (e.g. over 10%) in fixed payments such as salary or pension entitlements that are not adequately justified

In addition, we look for the presence of other structural safeguards, such as clawback and malus policies for incentive plans. The absence of such safeguards may contribute to a negative recommendation.
Long-Term Incentive Plans
Glass Lewis recognizes the value of equity-based incentive programs. When used appropriately, they can provide a vehicle for linking an employee’s pay to a company’s performance, thereby aligning their interests with those of shareholders. Tying a portion of an employee’s compensation to the performance of the Company provides an incentive to maximize share value. In addition, equity-based compensation is an effective way to attract, retain and motivate key employees. In order to allow for meaningful shareholder review, we believe that incentive programs should generally include: (i) specific and appropriate performance goals; (ii) a maximum award pool; and (iii) a maximum award amount per employee. In addition, the payments made should be reasonable relative to the performance of the business and total compensation to those covered by the plan should be in line with compensation paid by the Company’s peers.
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Performance-Based Equity Compensation
Glass Lewis believes in performance-based equity compensation plans for senior executives. We feel that executives should be compensated with equity when their performance and that of the company warrants such rewards. While we do not believe that equity-based compensation plans for all employees need to be based on overall company performance, we do support such limitations for grants to senior executives (although even some equity-based compensation of senior executives without performance criteria is acceptable, such as in the case of moderate incentive grants made in an initial offer of employment). Boards often argue that such a proposal would hinder them in attracting talent. We believe that boards can develop a consistent, reliable approach, as boards of many companies have, that would still attract executives who believe in their ability to guide the company to achieve its targets.
We generally recommend that shareholders vote in favor of performance-based option requirements. There should be no retesting of performance conditions for all share- and option- based incentive schemes. We will generally recommend that shareholders vote against performance-based equity compensation plans that allow for re-testing.
Director Compensation
Glass Lewis believes that non-employee directors should receive appropriate types and levels of compensation for the time and effort they spend serving on the board and its committees. Director fees should be reasonable in order to retain and attract qualified individuals. We support compensation plans that include non performance-based equity awards. Glass Lewis compares the costs of these plans to the plans of peer companies with similar market capitalizations in the same country to help inform its judgment on this issue.
Retirement Benefits for Directors
We will typically recommend voting against proposals to grant retirement benefits to non-executive directors. Such extended payments can impair the objectivity and independence of these board members. Directors should receive adequate compensation for their board service through initial and annual fees.
Limits on Executive Compensation
As a general rule, Glass Lewis believes that shareholders should not seek to micromanage executive compensation programs. Such matters should be left to the board’s compensation committee. We view the election of directors, and specifically those who sit on the compensation committee, as an appropriate mechanism for shareholders to express their disapproval or support of board policy on this issue. Further, we believe that companies whose pay-for-performance is in line with their peers should be granted the flexibility to compensate their executives in a manner that drives sustainable growth. However, Glass Lewis favors performance-based compensation as an effective means of motivating executives to act in the best interests of shareholders. Performance-based compensation may be limited if a chief executive’s pay is capped at a low level rather than flexibly tied to the performance of the company.

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IV. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
Amendments to the Articles of Association
We will evaluate proposed amendments to a company’s articles of association on a case-by-case basis. We are opposed to the practice of bundling several amendments under a single proposal b