485APOS 1 d184075d485apos.htm RBC FUNDS TRUST RBC Funds Trust

As filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 18, 2021

File No. 333-111986

File No. 811-21475

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933   
Pre-Effective Amendment No.   
Post-Effective Amendment No. 151   
and/or   
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940   
Amendment No. 151   

RBC FUNDS TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350

Minneapolis, MN 55402

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (612) 376-7128

Kathleen A. Gorman

50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350

Minneapolis, MN 55402-4422

(612) 376-7128

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

 

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485

 

 

on [                 ] pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485

 

 

60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485

 

 

on [                 ] pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485

 

 

75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485

 

 

on [                 ] pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

 

This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.


PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS

August 18, 2021

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION

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

 

LOGO

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS DATED [    ], 2021 SUBJECT TO COMPLETION The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted. RBC Global Asset Management RBC Fixed Income Funds Prospectus November [1], 2021 RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund Class I: [    ] Class A: [    ] Class R6: [    ] RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund Class I: [    ] Class A: [    ] Class R6: [    ] As with all mutual funds, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have not approved or disapproved these securities of the Fund shares described in this Prospectus or determined whether this Prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.


     
  Table of Contents    
     
     

 

    Fund Summaries
This Prospectus describes the fixed income funds (the “Funds” or each a “Fund”) offered by RBC Funds Trust. Carefully review this important section, which summarizes the Funds’ investment objectives, principal investment strategies and risks, past performance, and fees.   1

5

9

 

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

Important Additional Information

     More on the Funds’ Investment
Objectives, Principal Investment
Strategies and Principal Risks
    10   Investment Objectives
    10   Principal Investment Strategies
    10   Investing for Temporary Defensive
Purposes
    10   Principal Risks
    15   Additional Risks
     Management

The Funds are managed by
RBC Global Asset
Management (U.S.) Inc.
(the “Advisor”and are sub-
advised by BlueBay Asset
Management LLP (“BlueBay”
or the “Sub-Advisor”)).

 

17

18

18

 

Investment Advisor

Investment Sub-Advisor

Portfolio Managers

     Shareholder Information
Review this section for details
on how shares are valued,
how to purchase, sell and
exchange shares, related
charges and payments of
dividends and distributions.
  19   Pricing of Fund Shares
  20   Investment Minimums
  20   Additional Policies About Transactions
  22   Instructions for Opening an Account
  23   Instructions for Purchasing and Adding to
Your Shares
  23   Automatic Investment Plan
  23   Dividends and Distributions and Directed
Dividend Option
  25   Selling Your Shares
  26   Instructions for Selling Shares
(Redemptions)
    27   Additional Policies on Selling Shares
(Redemptions)
    28   Exchanging Your Shares
    29   Additional Policies on Exchanges
    29   Additional Shareholder Services
    29   Market Timing and Excessive Trading
    30   Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
    30   Distribution Arrangements/Sales Charges
    33   Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees
    33   Shareholder Servicing Plan
    33   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes
    34   Organizational Structure
     Financial Highlights
    35    
     Privacy Policy
    38    
     Back Cover
    Where to Learn More About the Funds


     
     
     
     

 

This page has been left blank intentionally.


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund  
     
     

 

Investment Objective

The Fund seeks to provide total return.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. 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. You may qualify for sales charge discounts on purchases of Class A shares of the Fund if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in Class A shares of the RBC Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial intermediary and under the subheading “Reducing the Initial Sales Charge on Purchases of Class A Shares” on page [ ] of this Prospectus.

 

       
      Class I      Class A      Class R6  

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

          

Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a % of offering price)

     None        [4.25 ]%       None  

Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) (as a % of offering or sales price, whichever is less)1

     None        None        None  

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

          

Management Fees

     0.35      0.35      0.35

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees

     [     ]%       [0.25 ]%       [     ]% 

Other Expenses2

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement3

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses after Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

 

1   A 1.00% Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (“CDSC”) is imposed on redemptions of Class A shares made within 12 months of a purchase of $1 million or more of Class A shares on which no front-end sales charge was paid.

 

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

 

3   The Advisor has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or pay operating expenses in order to limit the Fund’s total expenses (excluding brokerage and other investment-related costs, interest, taxes, dues, fees and other charges of governments and their agencies, extraordinary expenses such as litigation and indemnification, other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business and acquired fund fees and expenses) to [0.45]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets for Class I shares [0.70]% for Class A shares and [0.40]% for Class R6 shares. This expense limitation agreement is in place until [ ] and may not be terminated by the Advisor prior to that date. The expense limitation agreement may be revised or terminated by the Fund’s board of trustees if the board consents to a revision or termination as being in the best interests of the Fund. The Advisor is entitled to recoup from the Fund or class the fees and/or operating expenses previously waived or reimbursed for a period of 3 years from the date of such waiver or reimbursement, provided that such recoupment does not cause the Fund’s expense ratio (after the repayment is taken into account) to exceed the lesser of: (i) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of the waiver or reimbursement and (ii) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of recoupment.

Example:    This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The costs for the Fund reflect the net expenses of the Fund that result from the contractual expense limitation in the [first] year only. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      Class I      Class A      Class R6  

One Year

   $ [        $ [        $ [    

Three Years

   $ [        $ [        $ [    

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund has not experienced any portfolio turnover because as of the date of this prospectus, the Fund has not commenced operations.

 

1


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund  
     
     

 

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets in fixed income securities. The fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest include, but are not limited to, bonds, municipal securities, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities, and obligations of U.S. and foreign governments (and supranational organizations) and their agencies. The Fund may invest in securities with fixed, floating or variable rates of interest. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities that are non-investment grade (high yield/junk bond).

The Fund will be managed relative to the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index. The Fund typically seeks to maintain a duration of +/- 2 years versus benchmark. Duration is a measure of price sensitivity of a debt security or a portfolio of debt securities relative to changes in interest rates. The longer a security’s duration, the more sensitive it will be to changes in interest rates. The Fund may invest in securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers. The Fund will normally invest in a portfolio of fixed income securities denominated in U.S. Dollars but may invest in securities denominated in currencies of other countries.

In addition, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from or directly linked to an underlying asset, such as equity securities, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use exchange-traded options, bond futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and currency futures for portfolio positioning and risk management purposes. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary. For purposes of meeting its 80% investment policy, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the Fund’s direct investments.

The Advisor is primarily responsible for managing the Fund’s assets, but a portion of the Fund’s assets may be managed by the Fund’s Sub-Advisor. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use a bottom-up, fundamental process combined with top-down risk management tools designed to meet the Fund’s investment objective. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use detailed credit analysis to identify investment opportunities while simultaneously seeking to minimize principal losses.

The Advisor and Sub-Advisor incorporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors as part of the investment process. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor employ an ESG negative product-based screening process which excludes from the Fund any securities from corporate issuers involved in the production of specific types of controversial weapons. Related to the ESG integration approach, ESG factors will prohibit the Fund from investing in issuers which perform most poorly on ESG matters, based on the Fundamental ESG (risk) rating assigned, as determined by the Advisor and Sub-Advisor.

Principal Risks

The value of your investment in the Fund will change daily, which means that you could lose money. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. By itself, the Fund is not a balanced investment program. There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its goal. The principal risks of investing in the Fund include:

Interest Rate Risk.    The Fund’s yield and value will fluctuate as the general level of interest rates change. During periods when interest rates are low, the Fund’s yield may also be low. When interest rates increase, securities held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors including government policy, inflation expectations, and supply and demand. Municipal securities may be issued on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, where payment and delivery take place at a future date. The Fund assumes the risk that the value of the security at delivery may be more or less than the purchase price.

Credit Spread Risk.    The Fund’s investments may be adversely affected if any of the issuers it is invested in are subject to an actual or perceived (whether by market participants, rating agencies, pricing services or otherwise) deterioration to their credit quality. Any actual or perceived deterioration may lead to an increase in the credit spreads and a decline in price of the issuer’s securities.

Issuer/Credit Risk.    There is a possibility that issuers of securities in which the Fund may invest may default on the payment of interest or principal on the securities when due, which could cause the Fund to lose money.

Market Risk.    The markets in which the Fund invests may go down in value, sometimes sharply and unpredictably. The success of the Fund’s investment program may be affected by general economic and market conditions, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws, and national and international political circumstances. Unexpected volatility or illiquidity could impair the Fund’s profitability or result in losses. A Fund’s investments may be overweighted from time to time in one or more sectors, which will increase the Fund’s exposure to risk of loss from adverse developments affecting those sectors.

Investment Grade Securities Risk.    The Fund primarily invests in investment grade rated securities. Investment grade rated securities are assigned credit ratings by ratings agencies on the basis of the creditworthiness or risk of default of a bond issue. Rating agencies review, from time to time, such assigned ratings of the securities and may subsequently downgrade the rating if economic circumstances impact the relevant bond issues.

Mortgage-Related Securities Risk.    Mortgage-related securities represent direct or indirect participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property, and include pass-through securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”). Mortgage pass-through securities are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgages in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made monthly, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the underlying residential mortgage loans. Early repayment of principal on mortgage pass-through securities may expose the Fund to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. CMOs are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage-

 

2


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund  
     
     

 

backed bonds and mortgage pass-through securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes, and each class may have its own interest rate and/or maturity. The value of some classes in which the Fund invests may be more volatile and may be subject to higher risk of non-payment.

Like other fixed-income securities, when interest rates rise, the value of a mortgage-related security generally will decline; however, when interest rates decline, the value of mortgage-related securities with prepayment features may not increase as much as other fixed-income securities. Upward trends in interest rates tend to lengthen the average life of mortgage-related securities and also cause the value of outstanding securities to drop. Thus, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of these securities held by the Fund would tend to drop and the portfolio-weighted average life of such securities held by the Fund may tend to lengthen due to this effect. Longer-term securities tend to experience more price volatility.

Asset-Backed Securities Risk.    Payments on asset-backed securities depend upon assets held by the issuer and collections of the underlying loans. The value of these securities depends on many factors, including changing interest rates, the availability of information about the pool and its structure, the credit quality of the underlying assets, the market’s perception of the servicer of the pool, and any credit enhancement provided. In certain market conditions, asset-backed securities may experience volatile fluctuations in value and periods of illiquidity.

Prepayment Risk.    The value of some mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities in which the Fund invests may fall due to unanticipated levels of principal prepayments that can occur when interest rates decline.

Reinvestment Risk.    Reinvestment risk is the risk that a fixed income security’s cash flows (coupon income and principal repayment) will be reinvested at an interest rate below that on the original security. Call risk is a type of reinvestment risk. It is the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates, issuers may call securities with higher coupon or interest rates before maturity. If a security is called, the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.

U.S. Government Obligations Risk.    Obligations of U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, the maximum potential liability of the issuers of some of these securities may greatly exceed their current resources and no assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

High Yield Securities Risk.    High yield securities, which are non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and have a higher risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific corporate developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less secondary market liquidity.

Liquidity Risk.    The Fund may be subject to the risk that a particular investment may be difficult to purchase or sell and that the Fund may be unable to sell illiquid securities (including securities deemed liquid at the time of purchase that subsequently became less liquid) at an advantageous time or price or achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain sector.

Valuation Risk.    The Fund’s assets are composed mainly of quoted investments where a valuation price can be obtained from an exchange or similarly verifiable source. However, there is a risk that where the Fund invests in unquoted and/or illiquid investments the values at which these investments are sold may be significantly different from the estimated fair values of these investments.

Derivatives Risk.    Derivatives, including options contracts, futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swap agreements (including credit default swaps and interest rate swaps), may be riskier than other types of investments and could result in losses that significantly exceed the Fund’s original investment. The performance of derivatives depends largely on the performance of their underlying asset, reference rate, or index; therefore, derivatives often have risks similar to those risks of the underlying asset, reference rate or index, in addition to other risks. However, the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with, and may be more sensitive to market events than, the underlying asset, reference rate or index. Many derivatives create leverage thereby causing the Fund to be more volatile than it would have been if it had not used derivatives. Over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives are traded bilaterally between two parties, which exposes the Fund to heightened liquidity risk, valuation risk and counterparty risk (the risk that the derivative counterparty will not fulfill its contractual obligations), including the credit risk of the derivative counterparty, compared to other types of investments. Certain derivatives are required to be exchange traded and/or cleared (which interposes a central clearinghouse to each participant’s derivative transaction) and are subject to margin requirements. Exchange trading, central clearing and margin requirements are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity and transparency, but do not make a derivatives transaction risk-free and may subject the Fund to increased costs. The use of derivatives may not be successful, and certain of the Fund’s transactions in derivatives may not perform as expected, which may prevent the Fund from realizing the intended benefits, and could result in a loss to the Fund. In addition, given their complexity, derivatives expose the Fund to risks of mispricing or improper valuation, as well as liquidity risk.

Foreign Risk.    Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political, environmental and social stability in these countries. Loss may also result from the imposition of exchange controls, confiscation of assets and property and other government restrictions, or from problems in registration, settlement or custody. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Additionally, foreign securities and dividends and interest payable on those securities may be subject to foreign taxes, including taxes withheld from payments on those securities.

 

3


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund  
     
     

 

Emerging Markets Risk.    The securities markets of most emerging market countries are less liquid, are especially subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have less government regulation and are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. In addition, the Fund is limited in its ability to exercise its legal rights or enforce a counterparty’s legal obligations in emerging market countries. These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

Sovereign Debt Risk.    Sovereign debt securities are issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities. These investments are subject to the risk that a governmental entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or repay principal on its sovereign debt, due, for example, to cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, political considerations, the relative size of the governmental entity’s debt position in relation to the economy or the failure to put in place economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund or other multilateral agencies. If a governmental entity defaults, it may ask for more time in which to pay or for further loans. There is no legal process for collecting sovereign debts that a government does not pay nor are there bankruptcy proceedings through which all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid may be collected.

Currency Risk.    Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the value of the Fund’s securities and the price of the Fund’s shares. Generally, when the value of the U.S. Dollar rises in value relative to a foreign currency, an investment in that country loses value because that currency is worth fewer U.S. Dollars. Devaluation of a currency by a country’s government or banking authority also may have a significant impact on the value of any investments denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets.

Municipal Obligations Risk.    Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories, possessions, or sovereign nations within the territorial boundaries of the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). The risk of a municipal obligation generally depends on the financial and credit status of the issuer. Changes in a municipality’s financial status may make it difficult for the municipality to make interest and principal payments when due. Municipal obligations may be more susceptible to downgrades or defaults during recessions or similar periods of economic stress. In addition, since some municipal obligations may be secured or guaranteed by banks and other institutions, the risk to the Fund could increase if the banking or financial sector suffers an economic downturn and/or if the credit ratings of the institutions issuing the guarantee are downgraded or at risk of being downgraded by a national rating organization. In addition to being downgraded, an insolvent municipality may file for bankruptcy.

U.S. Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk.    Instability in the financial markets has led the U.S. Government to take unprecedented actions to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets that experienced extreme volatility. Regulatory organizations may take future legislative or regulatory actions that may affect the operations of the Fund or the Fund’s investments. Such actions could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Active Management Risk.    The Fund is actively managed and its performance therefore will reflect in part the Advisor’s and Sub-Advisor’s ability to make investment decisions that are suited to achieve the Fund’s investment objective.

Performance Information

The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus. Once the Fund has operated for at least one calendar year, a bar chart and performance table will be included in the prospectus to show the performance of the Fund. When such information is included, this section will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance history from year to year and showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. Although past performance of the Fund is no guarantee of how it will perform in the future, historical performance may give you some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund.

Investment Advisor

RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc.

Investment Sub-Advisor

BlueBay Asset Management LLP

Portfolio Managers

The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:

 

   

Andrzej Skiba, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

 

   

Brian Svendahl, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

 

   

Brandon Swensen, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

Tax Information

The Fund’s distributions generally are taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains, or a combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account, in which case you may be taxed later upon withdrawal of your investment from such arrangement.

For important information about “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares” and “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries,” please turn to “Important Additional Information” on page [ ] of this Prospectus.

 

4


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund  
     
     

 

Investment Objective

The Fund seeks to provide total return.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. 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. You may qualify for sales charge discounts on purchases of Class A shares of the Fund if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in Class A shares of the RBC Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial intermediary and under the subheading “Reducing the Initial Sales Charge on Purchases of Class A Shares” on page [ ] of this Prospectus.

 

       
      Class I      Class A     Class R6  

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

         

Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a % of offering price)

     None        [4.25 %]      None  

Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) (as a % of offering or sales price, whichever is less)1

     None        None       None  

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

         

Management Fees

     0.45      0.45     0.45

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees

     [     ]%       [0.25 %]%      [     ]% 

Other Expenses2

     [     ]%       [     ]%      [     ]% 
    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

     [     ]%       [     ]%      [     ]% 

Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement3

     [     ]%       [     ]%      [     ]% 
    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating
Expenses after Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement

     [     ]%       [     ]%      [     ]% 

 

1   A 1.00% Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (“CDSC”) is imposed on redemptions of Class A shares made within 12 months of a purchase of $1 million or more of Class A shares on which no front-end sales charge was paid.

 

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

 

3   The Advisor has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or pay operating expenses in order to limit the Fund’s total expenses (excluding brokerage and other investment-related costs, interest, taxes, dues, fees and other charges of governments and their agencies, extraordinary expenses such as litigation and indemnification, other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business and acquired fund fees and expenses) to [0.55]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets for Class I shares [0.80]% for Class A shares and [0.50]% for Class R6. This expense limitation agreement is in place until [ ] and may not be terminated by the Advisor prior to that date. The expense limitation agreement may be revised or terminated by the Fund’s board of trustees if the board consents to a revision or termination as being in the best interests of the Fund. The Advisor is entitled to recoup from the Fund or class the fees and/or operating expenses previously waived or reimbursed for a period of 3 years from the date of such waiver or reimbursement, provided that such recoupment does not cause the Fund’s expense ratio (after the repayment is taken into account) to exceed the lesser of: (i) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of the waiver or reimbursement and (ii) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of recoupment.

Example:    This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The costs for the Fund reflect the net expenses of the Fund that result from the contractual expense limitation in the first year only. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      Class I      Class A      Class R6  

One Year

   $ [        $ [        $ [    

Three Years

   $ [        $ [        $ [    

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund has not experienced any portfolio turnover because as of the date of this prospectus, the Fund has not commenced operations.

 

5


     
  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund  
     
     

 

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in fixed income securities. The fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest include, but are not limited to, bonds, municipal securities, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities, and obligations of U.S. and foreign governments and their agencies.

The Fund will not be managed to an index. The Fund will invest primarily in US domestic investment grade bonds, but will be allowed to invest flexibly across sectors, including non-US and non-investment grade securities. The Fund may invest in securities with fixed, floating or variable rates of interest. The Fund may invest up to 30% of its net assets in securities that are non-investment grade (high yield/junk bond).

In addition, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from or directly linked to an underlying asset, such as equity securities, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use exchange-traded options, bond futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and currency futures for portfolio positioning and risk management purposes. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary.

The Advisor is primarily responsible for managing the Fund’s assets, but a portion of the Fund’s assets may be managed by the Fund’s Sub-Advisor. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use a bottom-up, fundamental process combined with top-down risk management tools designed to meet the Fund’s investment objective. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use detailed credit analysis to identify investment opportunities while simultaneously seeking to minimize principal losses.

The Advisor and Sub-Advisor incorporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors as part of the investment process. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor employ an ESG negative product-based screening process which excludes from the Fund any securities from corporate issuers involved in the production of specific types of controversial weapons. Related to the ESG integration approach, ESG factors will prohibit the Fund from investing in issuers which perform most poorly on ESG matters, based on the Fundamental ESG (risk) rating assigned, as determined by the Advisor and Sub-Advisor.

Principal Risks

The value of your investment in the Fund will change daily, which means that you could lose money. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. By itself, the Fund is not a balanced investment program. There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its goal. The principal risks of investing in the Fund include:

Interest Rate Risk.    The Fund’s yield and value will fluctuate as the general level of interest rates change. During periods when interest rates are low, the Fund’s yield may also be low. When interest rates increase, securities held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors including government policy, inflation expectations, and supply and demand. Municipal securities may be issued on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, where payment and delivery take place at a future date. The Fund assumes the risk that the value of the security at delivery may be more or less than the purchase price.

Credit Spread Risk.    The Fund’s investments may be adversely affected if any of the issuers it is invested in are subject to an actual or perceived (whether by market participants, rating agencies, pricing services or otherwise) deterioration to their credit quality. Any actual or perceived deterioration may lead to an increase in the credit spreads and a decline in price of the issuer’s securities.

Issuer/Credit Risk.    There is a possibility that issuers of securities in which the Fund may invest may default on the payment of interest or principal on the securities when due, which could cause the Fund to lose money.

Market Risk.    The markets in which the Fund invests may go down in value, sometimes sharply and unpredictably. The success of the Fund’s investment program may be affected by general economic and market conditions, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws, and national and international political circumstances. Unexpected volatility or illiquidity could impair the Fund’s profitability or result in losses. A Fund’s investments may be overweighted from time to time in one or more sectors, which will increase the Fund’s exposure to risk of loss from adverse developments affecting those sectors.

Investment Grade Securities Risk.    The Fund primarily invests in investment grade rated securities. Investment grade rated securities are assigned credit ratings by ratings agencies on the basis of the creditworthiness or risk of default of a bond issue. Rating agencies review, from time to time, such assigned ratings of the securities and may subsequently downgrade the rating if economic circumstances impact the relevant bond issues.

Mortgage-Related Securities Risk.    Mortgage-related securities represent direct or indirect participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property, and include pass-through securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”). Mortgage pass-through securities are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgages in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made monthly, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the underlying residential mortgage loans. Early repayment of principal on mortgage pass-through securities may expose the Fund to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. CMOs are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage-backed bonds and mortgage pass-through securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes, and each class may have its own interest rate and/or maturity. The value of some classes in which the Fund invests may be more volatile and may be subject to higher risk of non-payment.

Like other fixed-income securities, when interest rates rise, the value of a mortgage-related security generally will decline; however, when interest rates decline, the value of mortgage-related securities with prepayment features may not increase as much as other fixed-income securities. Upward trends in interest rates tend to lengthen the average life of mortgage-related securities and also cause the value of outstanding securities to drop. Thus, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of these securities held by the Fund

 

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  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund  
     
     

 

would tend to drop and the portfolio-weighted average life of such securities held by the Fund may tend to lengthen due to this effect. Longer-term securities tend to experience more price volatility.

Asset-Backed Securities Risk.    Payments on asset-backed securities depend upon assets held by the issuer and collections of the underlying loans. The value of these securities depends on many factors, including changing interest rates, the availability of information about the pool and its structure, the credit quality of the underlying assets, the market’s perception of the servicer of the pool, and any credit enhancement provided. In certain market conditions, asset-backed securities may experience volatile fluctuations in value and periods of illiquidity.

Prepayment Risk.    The value of some mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities in which the Fund invests may fall due to unanticipated levels of principal prepayments that can occur when interest rates decline.

Reinvestment Risk.    Reinvestment risk is the risk that a fixed income security’s cash flows (coupon income and principal repayment) will be reinvested at an interest rate below that on the original security. Call risk is a type of reinvestment risk. It is the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates, issuers may call securities with higher coupon or interest rates before maturity. If a security is called, the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.

U.S. Government Obligations Risk.    Obligations of U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, the maximum potential liability of the issuers of some of these securities may greatly exceed their current resources and no assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

High Yield Securities Risk.    High yield securities, which are non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and have a higher risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific corporate developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less secondary market liquidity.

Liquidity Risk.    The Fund may be subject to the risk that a particular investment may be difficult to purchase or sell and that the Fund may be unable to sell illiquid securities (including securities deemed liquid at the time of purchase that subsequently became less liquid) at an advantageous time or price or achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain sector.

Valuation Risk.    The Fund’s assets are composed mainly of quoted investments where a valuation price can be obtained from an exchange or similarly verifiable source. However, there is a risk that where the Fund invests in unquoted and/or illiquid investments the values at which these investments are sold may be significantly different from the estimated fair values of these investments.

Derivatives Risk.    Derivatives, including options contracts, futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swap agreements (including credit default swaps and interest rate swaps), may be riskier than other types of investments and could result in losses that significantly exceed the Fund’s original investment. The performance of derivatives depends largely on the performance of their underlying asset, reference rate, or index; therefore, derivatives often have risks similar to those risks of the underlying asset, reference rate or index, in addition to other risks. However, the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with, and may be more sensitive to market events than, the underlying asset, reference rate or index. Many derivatives create leverage thereby causing the Fund to be more volatile than it would have been if it had not used derivatives. Over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives are traded bilaterally between two parties, which exposes the Fund to heightened liquidity risk, valuation risk and counterparty risk (the risk that the derivative counterparty will not fulfill its contractual obligations), including the credit risk of the derivative counterparty, compared to other types of investments. Certain derivatives are required to be exchange traded and/or cleared (which interposes a central clearinghouse to each participant’s derivative transaction) and are subject to margin requirements. Exchange trading, central clearing and margin requirements are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity and transparency, but do not make a derivatives transaction risk-free and may subject the Fund to increased costs. The use of derivatives may not be successful, and certain of the Fund’s transactions in derivatives may not perform as expected, which may prevent the Fund from realizing the intended benefits, and could result in a loss to the Fund. In addition, given their complexity, derivatives expose the Fund to risks of mispricing or improper valuation, as well as liquidity risk.

Foreign Risk.    Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political, environmental and social stability in these countries. Loss may also result from the imposition of exchange controls, confiscation of assets and property and other government restrictions, or from problems in registration, settlement or custody. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Additionally, foreign securities and dividends and interest payable on those securities may be subject to foreign taxes, including taxes withheld from payments on those securities.

Emerging Markets Risk.    The securities markets of most emerging market countries are less liquid, are especially subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have less government regulation and are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. In addition, the Fund is limited in its ability to exercise its legal rights or enforce a counterparty’s legal obligations in emerging market countries. These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

 

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  Fund Summary   RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund  
     
     

 

Sovereign Debt Risk.    Sovereign debt securities are issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities. These investments are subject to the risk that a governmental entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or repay principal on its sovereign debt, due, for example, to cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, political considerations, the relative size of the governmental entity’s debt position in relation to the economy or the failure to put in place economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund or other multilateral agencies. If a governmental entity defaults, it may ask for more time in which to pay or for further loans. There is no legal process for collecting sovereign debts that a government does not pay nor are there bankruptcy proceedings through which all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid may be collected.

Currency Risk.    Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the value of the Fund’s securities and the price of the Fund’s shares. Generally, when the value of the U.S. Dollar rises in value relative to a foreign currency, an investment in that country loses value because that currency is worth fewer U.S. Dollars. Devaluation of a currency by a country’s government or banking authority also may have a significant impact on the value of any investments denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets.

Municipal Obligations Risk.    Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories, possessions, or sovereign nations within the territorial boundaries of the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). The risk of a municipal obligation generally depends on the financial and credit status of the issuer. Changes in a municipality’s financial status may make it difficult for the municipality to make interest and principal payments when due. Municipal obligations may be more susceptible to downgrades or defaults during recessions or similar periods of economic stress. In addition, since some municipal obligations may be secured or guaranteed by banks and other institutions, the risk to the Fund could increase if the banking or financial sector suffers an economic downturn and/or if the credit ratings of the institutions issuing the guarantee are downgraded or at risk of being downgraded by a national rating organization. In addition to being downgraded, an insolvent municipality may file for bankruptcy.

U.S. Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk.    Instability in the financial markets has led the U.S. Government to take unprecedented actions to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets that experienced extreme volatility. Regulatory organizations may take future legislative or regulatory actions that may affect the operations of the Fund or the Fund’s investments. Such actions could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Active Management Risk.    The Fund is actively managed and its performance therefore will reflect in part the Advisor’s and Sub-Advisor’s ability to make investment decisions that are suited to achieve the Fund’s investment objective.

Performance Information

The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus. Once the Fund has operated for at least one calendar year, a bar chart and performance table will be included in the prospectus to show the performance of the Fund. When such information is included, this section will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance history from year to year and showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. Although past performance of the Fund is no guarantee of how it will perform in the future, historical performance may give you some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Once the Fund commences operations, information on the Fund’s performance can be obtained by visiting www.rbcgam.us or by calling 1-800-422-2766.

Investment Advisor

RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc.

Investment Sub-Advisor

BlueBay Asset Management LLP

Portfolio Managers

The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:

 

   

Andrzej Skiba, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

 

   

Brian Svendahl, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

 

   

Brandon Swensen, Senior Portfolio Manager, of the Advisor, has been a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since its inception.

Tax Information

The Fund’s distributions generally are taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains, or a combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account, in which case you may be taxed later upon withdrawal of your investment from such arrangement.

For important information about “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares” and “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries,” please turn to “Important Additional Information” on page [ ] of this Prospectus.

 

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  Important Additional Information    
     
     

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

You may purchase or redeem (sell) shares of the Funds by phone (1-800-422-2766), by mail (RBC Funds, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701) or by wire. The following table provides the Funds’ minimum initial and subsequent investment requirements, which may be reduced or modified in some cases.

 

Minimum Initial Investment:    
 

Class I

  [    ]
 

Class A

  [    ]
 

Class R6

  [    ]
Minimum Subsequent Investment:  
 

Class I

  [    ]
 

Class A

  [    ]
 

Class R6

  [    ]

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of a Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and/or the Advisor may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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Investment Objectives

Each Fund’s investment objective described in the “Fund Summary” section of this prospectus is non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees (“Board”) without shareholder approval.

Principal Investment Strategies

The information below describes in greater detail each Fund’s principal investment strategies. The RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior notice of any change in its 80% investment policy. A full discussion of all permissible investments can be found in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund.

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets in fixed income securities. The fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest include, but are not limited to, bonds, municipal securities, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities, and obligations of U.S. and foreign governments (and supranational organizations) and their agencies. The Fund may invest in securities with fixed, floating or variable rates of interest. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities that are non-investment grade (high yield/junk bond).

The Fund will be managed relative to the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index. The Fund typically seeks to maintain a duration of +/- 2 years versus the benchmark. Duration is a measure of price sensitivity of a debt security or a portfolio of debt securities relative to changes in interest rates. The longer a security’s duration, the more sensitive it will be to changes in interest rates. The Fund may invest in securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers. The Fund will normally invest in a portfolio of fixed income securities denominated in U.S. Dollars but may invest in securities denominated in currencies of other countries.

In addition, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from or directly linked to an underlying asset, such as equity securities, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use exchange-traded options, bond futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and currency futures for portfolio positioning and risk management purposes. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary. For purposes of meeting its 80% investment policy, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the Fund’s direct investments.

The Advisor is primarily responsible for managing the Fund’s assets, but a portion of the Fund’s assets may be managed by the Fund’s Sub-Advisor. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use a bottom-up, fundamental process combined with top-down risk management tools designed to meet the Fund’s investment objective. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use detailed credit analysis to identify investment opportunities while simultaneously seeking to minimize principal losses. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor incorporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors as part of the investment process. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor employ an ESG negative product-based screening process which excludes from the Fund any securities from corporate issuers involved in the production of specific types of controversial weapons. Related to the ESG integration approach, ESG factors will prohibit the Fund from investing in issuers which perform most poorly on ESG matters, based on the Fundamental ESG (risk) rating assigned, as determined by the Advisor and Sub-Advisor.

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund.

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in fixed income securities. The fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest include, but are not limited to, bonds, municipal securities, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities, and obligations of U.S. and foreign governments and their agencies.

The Fund will not be managed to an index. The Fund will invest primarily in US domestic investment grade bonds, but will be allowed to invest flexibly across sectors, including non-US and non-investment grade securities. The Fund may invest in securities with fixed, floating or variable rates of interest.

The Fund may invest up to 30% of its net assets in securities that are non-investment grade (high yield/junk bond). In addition, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from or directly linked to an underlying asset, such as equity securities, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use exchange-traded options, bond futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and currency futures for portfolio positioning and risk management purposes. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary.

The Advisor is primarily responsible for managing the Fund’s assets, but a portion of the Fund’s assets may be managed by the Fund’s Sub-Advisor. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use a bottom-up, fundamental process combined with top-down risk management tools designed to meet the Fund’s investment objective. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor use detailed credit analysis to identify investment opportunities while simultaneously seeking to minimize principal losses. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor incorporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors as part of the investment process. The Advisor and Sub-Advisor employ an ESG negative product-based screening process which excludes from the Fund any securities from corporate issuers involved in the production of specific types of controversial weapons. Related to the ESG integration approach, ESG factors will prohibit the Fund from investing in issuers which perform most poorly on ESG matters, based on the Fundamental ESG (risk) rating assigned, as determined by the Advisor and Sub-Advisor.

Investing for Temporary Defensive Purposes

Each Fund may respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions by investing up to 100% of its assets in temporary defensive instruments, consisting of cash, short-term debt obligations or other high quality investments. This could prevent losses, but, if a Fund is investing defensively, it may not be investing according to its principal investment strategy and may not achieve its investment objective.

Principal Risks

Each of the Funds is affected by changes in the economy, or in securities and other markets. There is also the possibility that investment decisions the Advisor makes with respect to the investments of the Funds will not accomplish what they were designed to achieve or that the investments will have disappointing performance.

Because each Fund holds securities with fluctuating market prices, the value of each Fund’s shares will vary as its portfolio securities increase or decrease in value. Therefore, the value of your investment in a Fund could go down as well as up and you can lose money by investing in a Fund.

Your investment is not a bank deposit, and it is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency, entity, or person.

The principal risks of investing in each Fund are identified in the “Fund Summary” section of this Prospectus and are further described below.

Active Management Risk.    Each Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed investment portfolio. The Advisor, Sub-Advisor and each individual portfolio manager will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Funds, but there can be no guarantee that these decisions will produce the desired results. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax restrictions, policies or developments may affect the investment techniques available in connection with managing the Funds and may also adversely affect the ability of the Funds to achieve their investment objectives.

Asset-Backed Securities Risk.    Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, pools of assets including company receivables, truck and auto loans, leases and credit card receivables. These securities may be in the form of pass-through instruments or asset-backed bonds. Asset-backed securities are issued by nongovernmental entities and carry no direct or indirect government guarantee; the asset pools that back asset-backed securities are securitized through the use of privately-formed trusts or special purpose corporations. Payments on asset-backed securities depend upon assets held by the issuer and collections of the underlying loans. The value of these securities depends on many factors, including changing interest rates, the availability of information about the pool and its structure, the credit quality of the underlying assets, the market’s perception of the servicer of the pool, and any credit enhancement provided. In certain market conditions, asset-backed securities may experience volatile fluctuations in value and periods of illiquidity.

Credit Spread Risk.    The Funds’ investments may be adversely affected if any of the issuers it is invested in are subject to an actual or perceived (whether by market participants, rating agencies, pricing services or otherwise) deterioration to their credit quality. Any actual or perceived deterioration may lead to an increase in the credit spreads and a decline in price of the issuer’s securities.

Currency Risk.    Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the value of a Fund’s securities and the price of a Fund’s shares. Generally, when the value of the U.S. Dollar rises in value relative to a foreign currency, an investment in that country loses value because that currency is worth fewer U.S. Dollars. Devaluation of a currency by a country’s government or banking authority also may have a significant impact on the value of any investments denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets.

The Funds may be exposed to currency exchange risk where the assets and income are denominated in foreign currencies. Changes in exchange rates between currencies or the conversion from one currency to another may cause the value of a Fund’s investments to

 

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decline or increase. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by supply and demand in the currency exchange markets and the relative merits of investment in different countries, actual or perceived changes in interest rates and other complex factors. Currency exchange rates can also be affected unpredictably by intervention (or failure to intervene) by governments or central banks, or by currency controls or political developments. Such events may prevent or restrict a Fund’s ability to enter into foreign currency transactions, force a Fund to exit a foreign currency transaction at a disadvantageous time or price, or result in penalties for the Fund, any of which may result in a loss to the Fund.

Derivatives Risk.    The Funds may use derivatives in connection with their investment strategies. Generally, derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference, rate or index, and may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, spreads between different interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, commodities, and related indexes. Derivatives, including options contracts, futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swap agreements (including, but not limited to, credit default swaps and swaps on exchange-traded funds), may be riskier than other types of investments and could result in losses that significantly exceed a Fund’s original investment. The Funds may use derivatives for hedging and non-hedging purposes. The performance of derivatives depends largely on the performance of their underlying asset, reference rate, or index; therefore, derivatives often have risks similar to those risks of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index, in addition to other risks. However, the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with, and may be more sensitive to market events than, the underlying asset, reference rate, or index. The use of derivatives may not be successful, and certain of a Fund’s transactions in derivatives may not perform as expected, which may prevent the Fund from realizing the intended benefits, and could result in a loss to the Fund.

OTC derivatives are traded bilaterally between two parties, which exposes a Fund to heightened liquidity risk, mispricing and valuation risk and counterparty risk (the risk that the derivative counterparty will not fulfill its contractual obligations), including credit risk of the derivative counterparty. A Fund may experience a loss or delay in recovering assets if the OTC counterparty defaults on its obligations.

Under recent financial reforms, certain types of derivatives (e.g., certain swaps) are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be exchange-traded and/or cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty and transacted through an FCM and are subject to margin requirements. Exchange trading, central clearing and margin requirements are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity and transparency, but do not make derivatives transactions risk-free and may subject a Fund to increased costs. With cleared swaps and futures contracts, there is also a risk of loss by the Fund of its initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of an FCM or the central counterparty with which the Fund has an open position. Additionally, applicable regulators have recently adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps, which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps than for cleared derivatives. If an FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer. Moreover, depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and/or by the FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap.

If losses occur on derivative instruments, the Fund may have to make margin payments. In the event that a Fund does not hold sufficient cash, it may be forced to liquidate assets in order to meet margin calls, and in the event that there is insufficient liquidity in the market this may result in further losses. Investing in derivatives will result in a form of leverage. Leverage involves special risks. A Fund may be more volatile than if the Fund had not been leveraged because leverage tends to exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. The use of leverage may not result in a higher return on investments, and using leverage could result in a net loss, which in some cases could be unlimited.

Under current regulatory requirements, registered investment companies such as the Fund are limited in their ability to engage in derivative transactions and are required to identify and segregate or earmark assets or enter into offsetting transactions to provide asset coverage for derivative transactions that obligate the Fund to make future payments or deliveries to third parties. Each Fund will segregate or earmark liquid assets in an amount sufficient to cover its obligations under OTC derivatives or use other methods to cover its obligations in accordance with SEC Staff Guidance or otherwise comply with applicable SEC requirements.

A Fund’s transactions in futures contracts, swaps and other derivatives could also affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders which may result in a Fund realizing more short-term capital gain and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not engage in such transactions, which may adversely impact the Fund’s after-tax returns.

The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, may increase the cost of the Funds’ investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. For example, 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 a Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices. After an eighteen-month transition period, the final rule requires a Fund to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to a limit on notional derivatives exposure as a limited derivatives user or subject to a value-at-risk leverage limit and certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. These requirements may limit the ability of a Fund to invest in derivatives, short sales and financing transactions, limit a Fund’s ability to employ certain strategies that use these instruments and/or adversely affect a Fund’s performance, efficiency in implementing its

 

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strategy, liquidity and/or ability to pursue its investment objectives and may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

Emerging Markets Risk.    The Funds may invest in less developed or emerging markets. These markets may be volatile and illiquid and the investments of a Fund in such markets may be considered speculative and subject to significant delays in settlement. Practices in relation to settlement of securities transactions in emerging markets involve higher risks than those in developed markets, in part because a Fund will need to use brokers and counterparties which are less well capitalized, and custody and registration of assets in some countries may be unreliable. Delays in settlement could result in investment opportunities being missed if a Fund is unable to acquire or dispose of a security. Additional significant risks include a higher possibility of the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country if the United States, or other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) impose sanctions on issuers that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in the country due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war.

There may be less government supervision, legal regulation and less well defined tax laws and procedures than in countries with more developed securities markets. Some emerging markets governments exercise substantial influence over the private economic sector and the political and social uncertainties that exist for many developing countries are particularly significant. Another risk common to most such countries is that the economy is heavily export oriented and, accordingly, is dependent upon international trade. The existence of overburdened infrastructures and obsolete financial systems also presents risks in certain countries, as do environmental problems. In addition, as a result of its investments in emerging markets, a Fund may be invested in securities of smaller companies that are riskier and more volatile and vulnerable to economic, market and industry changes than securities of larger, more established companies.

Foreign Risk.    Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political, environmental and social stability in these countries. Loss may also result from political, diplomatic, or regional conflicts; terrorism or war; internal or external policies or economic sanctions limiting or restricting foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity, such as the imposition of exchange controls, confiscation of assets and property and other government restrictions; or from problems in registration, settlement or custody. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Additionally, foreign securities and dividends and interest payable on those securities may be subject to foreign taxes, including taxes withheld from payments on those securities.

High Yield Securities Risk.    The Funds may invest in high yield, high risk securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”) which are considered to be speculative. These investments may be issued by companies which are highly leveraged, less creditworthy or financially distressed. Although non-investment grade debt securities tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than investment grade debt securities, non-investment grade debt securities can be more sensitive to short-term corporate, economic and market developments.

During periods of economic uncertainty and change, the market price of the Funds’ investments and the Funds’ net asset value may be volatile. Furthermore, though these investments generally provide a higher yield than higher-rated debt securities, the high degree of risk involved in these investments can result in substantial or total losses. These securities have a higher risk of loss, valuation difficulties, and a potential lack of a secondary or public market for securities. The market price of these securities can change suddenly and unexpectedly. Junk bonds have a higher risk of default or are already in default and are considered speculative. As a result, the Funds are intended for investors who are able and willing to assume a high degree of risk.

Interest Rate Risk.    Interest rate risk is the risk that fixed income securities and other instruments in a Fund’s portfolio will decline in value because of an increase in interest rates. As nominal interest rates rise, the value of certain fixed income securities held by a Fund is likely to decrease. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors including government policy, inflation expectations, and supply and demand. This is especially true under current conditions because interest rates and bond yields are near historically low levels. Thus, Funds currently face a heightened level of risk associated with rising interest rates and/or bond yields. A Fund assumes the risk that the value of the security at delivery may be more or less than the purchase prices. A nominal interest rate can be described as the sum of a real interest rate and an expected inflation rate. Fixed income securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to changes in interest rates, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Convertible securities may or may not decline in value in response to higher interest rates. The values of equity and other non-fixed income securities may also decline due to fluctuations in interest rates. Municipal securities may be issued on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, where payment and delivery take place at a future date.

Investment Grade Securities Risk.    The Funds may invest in investment grade rated securities. Investment grade rated securities are assigned credit ratings by ratings agencies on the basis of the creditworthiness or risk of default of a bond issue. Rating agencies review, from time to time, such assigned ratings of the securities and may subsequently downgrade the rating if economic circumstances impact the relevant bond issues. Investments in the Funds are subject to additional risks associated with municipal securities.

Issuer/Credit Risk.    A Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a fixed income security (including a security purchased with securities lending collateral), or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or a loan of portfolio securities, is unable or unwilling, or is perceived (whether by market participants, ratings agencies, pricing services or otherwise) as unable or

 

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unwilling, to make timely principal and/or interest payments, or to otherwise honor its obligations. If an issuer’s financial condition worsens, the credit quality of the issuer may deteriorate, making it difficult for the Fund to sell such investments. The downgrade of the credit of a security held by the Fund may decrease its value. Securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which are often reflected in credit ratings.

Information about a security’s credit quality may be imperfect and a security’s credit rating may be downgraded at any time. Investments in the Funds are subject to additional risks associated with the obligor’s ability to make payments on the municipal securities. Municipal securities that the Funds purchase may be backed by letters of credit issued by banks and other financial institutions. Adverse developments affecting banks could have a negative effect on the Funds’ portfolio securities. Municipal obligations which the Funds may acquire include municipal lease obligations which are issued by a state or local government to acquire land and a wide variety of equipment and facilities. If the funds are not appropriated for the following year’s lease payments, the lease may terminate, with the possibility of default on the lease obligation and significant loss to the Funds.

LIBOR Discontinuance or Unavailability Risk.    The London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) is intended to represent the rate at which contributing banks may obtain short-term borrowings from each other in the London interbank market. The regulatory authority that oversees financial services firms and financial markets in the United Kingdom has announced that, after the end of 2021, it would no longer persuade or compel contributing banks to make rate submissions for purposes of determining LIBOR rate. However, subsequent announcements by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, the LIBOR administrator and other regulators indicate that it is possible that certain LIBOR tenors may continue beyond 2021. As a result, it is possible that commencing in 2022 (or on a later date, if a particular LIBOR tenor is expected to continue beyond the end of 2021) LIBOR may no longer be available or no longer deemed an appropriate reference rate upon which to determine the interest rate on or impacting certain loans, notes, derivatives and other instruments or investments comprising some or all of the Fund’s portfolio.

Liquidity Risk.    Each Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. Illiquid securities are securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. The SEC defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that a Fund may not be able to meet redemption requests without significantly diluting the interests of remaining shareholders. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. A Fund’s investments in illiquid securities may reduce the returns of the Funds because it may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. Additionally, the market for certain investments deemed liquid at the time of purchase may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. In such cases, a Fund, due to limitations on investments in illiquid securities and the difficulty in purchasing and selling such securities or instruments, may be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain sector. Because the Funds’ principal investment strategies involve foreign (non-U.S.) securities, derivatives and other securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Funds will tend to have relatively greater liquidity risk. Liquidity risk may be magnified in a rising interest rate environment, when credit quality is deteriorating or in other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income mutual funds may be higher than normal. Redemptions by large shareholders may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

Market Risk.    One or more markets in which a Fund invests may go down in value, sometimes sharply and unpredictably, and the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities may fall or fail to rise. Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. Events in one market may adversely impact a seemingly unrelated market. The success of a Fund’s investment program may be affected by general economic and market conditions, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws, and national and international political circumstances. These factors may affect the level and volatility of securities prices and the liquidity of investments held by a Fund. Unexpected volatility or illiquidity could impair a Fund’s profitability or result in losses.

Market risk includes the risk that geopolitical and other events will disrupt the economy on a national or global level. For example, war, terrorism, market manipulation, government defaults, government shutdowns, political changes or diplomatic developments, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics) and natural/environmental disasters can all negatively impact the securities markets, which could cause a Fund to lose value. These events could reduce consume demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and significantly adversely impact the economy. In addition, the current contentious domestic political environment, as well as political and diplomatic events within the United States and abroad, such as the U.S. government’s inability at times to agree on a long-term budget and deficit reduction plan, has in the past resulted, and may in the future result, in a government shutdown, which could have an adverse impact on a Fund’s investments and operations. Additional and/or prolonged U.S. federal government shutdowns may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree.

Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world have previously responded to serious economic disruptions with a variety of significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including but not limited to, direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs and dramatically lower interest rates. An unexpected or sudden reversal of these policies, or the ineffectiveness of these policies, could increase volatility in securities markets, which could adversely affect the Fund’s investments. To the extent that a Fund focuses its investments in a region enduring geopolitical market disruption, it will face higher risk of loss, although the increasing interconnectivity between global economies and financial markets can lead to events or conditions in one country, region or financial market adversely impacting a different country, region or financial market.

Mortgage-Related Securities Risk.    Mortgage-related securities represent direct or indirect participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property, and include pass-through securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations

 

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(“CMOs”). Mortgage pass-through securities are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgages in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made monthly, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the residential mortgage loans which underlie the securities (net of fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities). Early repayment of principal on mortgage pass-through securities (arising from prepayments of principal due to sale of the underlying property, refinancing, or foreclosure, net of fees and costs which may be incurred) may expose the Funds to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. CMOs are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage-backed bonds and mortgage pass-through securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes, and each class may have its own interest rate and/or maturity. Monthly payments of principal, including prepayments, are first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class; investors holding longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. As a result, the value of some classes in which the Fund invests may be more volatile and may be subject to higher risk of non-payment.

Like other fixed-income securities, when interest rates rise, the value of a mortgage-related security generally will decline; however, when interest rates decline, the value of mortgage-related securities with prepayment features may not increase as much as other fixed-income securities. Upward trends in interest rates tend to lengthen the average life of mortgage-related securities and also cause the value of outstanding securities to drop. Thus, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of these securities held by the Funds would tend to drop and the portfolio-weighted average life of such securities held by the Funds may tend to lengthen due to this effect. Longer-term securities tend to experience more price volatility. Under these circumstances, the Funds may, but are not required to, sell securities in part in order to maintain an appropriate portfolio-weighted average life.

Municipal Obligations Risk.    Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories, possessions, or sovereign nations within the territorial boundaries of the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). These obligations are generally classified as either “general obligation” or “revenue” bonds. Municipal bonds are usually issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, to refund outstanding obligations, to meet general operating expenses or to obtain funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. The risk of a municipal obligation generally depends on the financial and credit status of the issuer. Changes in a municipality’s financial status may make it difficult for the municipality to make interest and principal payments when due. This could decrease the Fund’s income or adversely impact the ability to preserve capital and liquidity. Under some circumstances, municipal obligations might not pay interest unless the state legislature or municipality authorizes money for that purpose. Municipal obligations may be more susceptible to downgrades or defaults during recessions or similar periods of economic stress. In addition, since some municipal obligations may be secured or guaranteed by banks and other institutions, the risk to the Fund could increase if the banking or financial sector suffers an economic downturn and/or if the credit ratings of the institutions issuing the guarantee are downgraded or at risk of being downgraded by a national rating organization. Such a downward revision or risk of being downgraded may have an adverse effect on the market prices of the bonds and thus the value of the Fund’s investments. In addition to being downgraded, an insolvent municipality may file for bankruptcy. Given the recent bankruptcy-type proceedings by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, risks associated with municipal obligations are heightened.

Prepayment Risk.    The value of some mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities in which a Fund invests also may fall because of unanticipated levels of principal prepayments that can occur when interest rates decline. Principal and interest payments on such securities depend on payment of the underlying loans, though issuers may support creditworthiness via letters of credit or other instruments.

Reinvestment Risk.    Reinvestment risk is the risk that a fixed income security’s cash flows (coupon income and principal repayment) will be reinvested at an interest rate below that on the original security. If interest rates decline, the underlying security may rise in value, but the cash flows received from that security may have to be reinvested at a lower interest rate. Call risk is a type of reinvestment risk. Call risk is the possibility that an issuer may redeem a fixed-income security before maturity (a call) at a price below or above its current market price. An increase in the likelihood of a call may reduce a security’s price. If a fixed-income security is called, a Fund may have to reinvest proceeds in other fixed-income securities with lower interest rates, higher credit risks, or other less favorable characteristics.

Sovereign Debt Risk.    The Funds may invest in sovereign debt securities. These securities are issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities. These investments are subject to the risk that a governmental entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or repay principal on its sovereign debt, due, for example, to cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, political considerations, the relative size of the governmental entity’s debt position in relation to the economy or the failure to put in place economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund or other multilateral agencies. If a governmental entity defaults, it may ask for more time in which to pay or for further loans. There is no legal process for collecting sovereign debts that a government does not pay nor are there bankruptcy proceedings through which all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid may be collected.

U.S. Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk.    Instability in the financial markets has led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity. Federal, state, and other governments, their regulatory agencies, or self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which a Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which a Fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such a program may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of a Fund’s portfolio holdings. Furthermore, volatile financial

 

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markets can expose a Fund to greater market and liquidity risk and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio instruments held by the Fund. Each Fund has established procedures to assess the liquidity of portfolio holdings and to value instruments for which market prices may not be readily available. The Advisor will monitor developments and seek to manage each Fund in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful in doing so.

U.S. Government Obligations Risk.    Obligations of U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, the maximum potential liability of the issuers of some of these securities may greatly exceed their current resources and no assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law. In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be placed into a conservatorship under FHFA. The effect that this conservatorship will have on the entities’ debt and securities guaranteed by the entities remains unclear. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are continuing to operate as going concerns while in conservatorship and each remain liable for all of its obligations, including its guaranty obligations, associated with its mortgage-backed securities. In January 2019, the FHFA announced plans to consider taking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship. In the event that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed and what effects, if any, there will be on their creditworthiness and guarantees of certain mortgage-backed securities. Should FHFA take Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause losses to a Fund. Under the direction of the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of a uniform mortgage-backed security (the “Single Security Initiative”) that aligns the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certificates. The Single Security Initiative was implemented in June 2019, and the effects it may have on the market for mortgage-backed securities are uncertain.

Valuation Risk.    The Funds’ assets are composed mainly of quoted investments where a valuation price can be obtained from an exchange or similarly verifiable source. However, there is a risk that where a Fund invests in unquoted and/or illiquid investments the values at which these investments are sold may be significantly different to the estimated fair values of these investments.

Additional Risks

In addition to the principal investment risks described above, the Funds will generally be subject to the following additional risks:

Commodity Pool Operator Exclusions and Regulations.    The Advisor is registered as a “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and the rules of the CFTC and is subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator. However, the Advisor has claimed on behalf of the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under CFTC Regulation 4.5, and the Advisor is exempt from registration as a “commodity trading advisor” with respect to both of the Funds. Accordingly, the Advisor is not subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator or commodity trading advisor with respect to the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund. .

The terms of CFTC Regulation 4.5 require the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forwards. The RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund is not intended as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Advisor’s or the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s reliance on this exclusion.

Generally, CFTC Regulation 4.5 requires the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund to meet one of the following tests for its commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. If, in the future, the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, the Advisor would be subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator with respect to the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund. In that case, the Advisor and the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund would need to comply with all applicable CFTC disclosure, reporting, operational, and other regulations, which could increase the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund’s expenses.

The Advisor operates the RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund in its capacity as a registered commodity pool operator. Operation as such requires the Advisor and the RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund to comply with all applicable CFTC disclosure, reporting, operational, and other regulations, which could increase the RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund’s expenses.

The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Funds’ investment strategies, this Prospectus or the SAI

Counterparty Risk.    A Fund may be subject to the risk of the failure of any markets in which its positions trade, of their clearinghouses, of any counterparty or guarantor to the Funds’ transactions or of any service provider to the Funds. Their inability or unwillingness to honor obligations can subject the Fund to credit losses incurred from late payments, failed payments and default. In times of general market turmoil, even large, well-established financial institutions may fail rapidly with little warning.

 

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Large Shareholder Transactions Risk.    A Fund may experience adverse effects when certain large shareholders purchase or redeem large amounts of shares of the Fund. Such large shareholder redemptions may cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities at times when it would not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) and liquidity. Similarly, large Fund share purchases may adversely affect the Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. Large redemptions also could accelerate the realization of capital gains, increase a Fund’s transaction costs and impact a Fund’s performance.

Liquidation Risk.    To the extent authorized by law, the Funds reserve the right to discontinue offering shares at any time, merge, reorganize itself or any class of shares or cease operations and liquidate.

Operational Risk.    The Funds’ investments may be adversely affected due to the operational process of the Funds’ service providers, including the Advisor, Sub-Advisor, transfer agent, custodian or administrator. The Funds may be subject to losses arising from inadequate or failed internal controls, processes and systems, or from human or external events.

Portfolio Turnover Risk.    Increased portfolio turnover may result in higher transaction costs, which may have a negative effect on a Fund’s performance. In addition, higher portfolio turnover may result in the acceleration of capital gains and the recognition of greater levels of short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary federal income tax rates when distributed to shareholders.

Regulatory Risk.    Entities that are part of banking organizations, such as the Advisor and its affiliates, are subject to extensive government regulation. Government regulation may change frequently and may have significant effects, including limiting the ability of the Advisor and its affiliates from engaging in certain trading activities, which may adversely impact the Funds. For example, the so-called “Volcker Rule” prohibits the Advisor and its affiliates from engaging in certain trading activities. A Fund may be adversely impacted by this rule if the Advisor or its affiliates own 25% or more of the Fund’s shares outside of any seeding period permitted by the rule. These restrictions may prevent a Fund from maintaining sufficient seed capital and may cause the Fund to liquidate at the end of the period if the Fund is not able to achieve sufficient scale. Funds that are not managed by entities that are part of banking organizations are not subject to these limitations.

Tax Risk.    The Funds may be more adversely impacted by changes in tax rates and policies than the money market funds. Because interest income on municipal obligations is normally not subject to regular federal income taxation, the attractiveness of municipal obligations in relation to other investment alternatives is affected by changes in federal and state income tax rates applicable to, or the continuing tax-exempt status of, such interest income. Any proposed or actual changes in such rates or exempt status can therefore significantly affect the demand for and supply, liquidity and marketability of municipal obligations, which could in turn affect a Fund’s ability to acquire and dispose of municipal obligations at desirable yield and price levels. Also, in some cases, the Internal Revenue Service has not ruled on whether the interest received on a municipal security is tax-exempt, and accordingly, purchases of these securities are based on the opinion of bond counsel provided to the issuers at the time of issuance. The Advisor relies on these opinions and will not review the basis for them, so there is a risk that income from these securities could be taxable.

Variable Rate Demand Note Risk.    The absence of an active secondary market for certain variable and floating rate notes could make it difficult to dispose of the instruments, and a Fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults during periods in which the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights.

 

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Investment Advisor

The Funds are advised by RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”). RBC is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. RBC employs approximately 86,000 people who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries around the world. The Advisor has been registered with the SEC as an investment advisor since 1983, and has been a portfolio manager of publicly-offered mutual funds since 1986. The Advisor maintains its offices at 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402. As of June 30, 2021, the Advisor’s investment team managed approximately $[    ] billion in assets for corporations, public and private pension plans, Taft-Hartley plans, charitable institutions, foundations, endowments, municipalities, registered mutual funds, private investment funds, trust programs, foreign funds such as UCITS funds, individuals (including high net worth individuals), wrap sponsors and other U.S. and international institutions.

For the advisory services the Advisor provides, each Fund has agreed to pay the following fee (expressed as a percentage of average daily net assets):

 

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

     [0.35]%  
  

 

 

 

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

     [0.45]%  

The Advisor has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or pay operating expenses through [ ] for each of the Funds in order to maintain net annual fund operating expenses of the Funds as set forth below:

 

     Class I        Class A        Class R6  

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

     [0.45]%        [0.70]%        [0.40]%  
  

 

 

 

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

     [0.55]%        [0.80]%        [0.50]%  

The expense limitation agreement excludes brokerage and other investment-related costs, interest, taxes, dues, fees and other charges of governments and their agencies, extraordinary expenses such as litigation (including legal and audit fees and other costs in contemplation of or incident thereto) and indemnification, other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of each Fund’s business and fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund as a result of investment in shares of another investment company. The Advisor is entitled to recoup from each Fund or class the fees and/or operating expenses previously waived or reimbursed for a period of 3 years from the date of such waiver or reimbursement, provided that such recoupment does not cause the Fund’s expense ratio (after repayment is taken into account) to exceed the lesser of: (i) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of the waiver or reimbursement and (ii) the Fund’s expense limitation at the time of recoupment.

The Advisor provides certain administrative services necessary for the operation of the Funds, including among other things, (i) providing office space, equipment and facilities for maintaining the Funds’ organization, (ii) preparing the Trust’s registration statement, proxy statements and all annual and semi-annual reports to Fund shareholders, and (iii) general supervision of the operation of the Funds, including coordination of the services performed by the Funds’ Advisor, Quasar Distributions, LLC (the “Distributor”), custodian, independent accountants, legal counsel and others.

Additional Payments.    The Advisor may make payments, out of its own resources and at no additional cost to the Funds or shareholders, to certain broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets, or other financial institutions (“Intermediaries”) in connection with the provision of administrative services; the distribution of the Funds’ shares; and reimbursement of ticket or operational charges (fees that an institution charges its representatives for effecting transactions in the Funds’ shares). In addition, certain Intermediaries may receive fees from the Funds for providing recordkeeping and other services for individual shareholders and/or retirement plan participants.

 

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Investment Sub-Advisor

The Funds are sub-advised by BlueBay Asset Management LLP (“BlueBay” or the “Sub-Advisor”) The Sub-Advisor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBC, which is the parent company of the Advisor. The Sub-Advisor is a specialist fixed income manager that was established in 2001, offering clients a diverse range of investment strategies with different return/risk profiles, in order to cater to a variety of investor-specific return/risk appetites. More specifically, BlueBay manages a range of absolute return-style portfolios for both funds and separate accounts across the following sub-asset classes of global fixed income markets: investment grade debt, emerging market debt, high yield/distressed debt and loans, convertible bonds, private debt, multi-asset credit and structured debt. The Sub-Advisor seeks to provide asset management services characterized by a belief in the value of active management, a strong investment process, an emphasis on capital preservation and the generation of attractive risk-adjusted returns for all its investment strategies. The Sub-Advisor is located at 77 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 3JR, United Kingdom. The Sub-Advisor has been registered with the SEC as an investment adviser since 2002, and is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The Sub-Advisor employed 434 individuals and had $75.1 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020.

BlueBay is paid by the Advisor out of the advisory fee the Advisor is paid by each Fund, and

Information regarding the factors considered by the Board in connection with the approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Advisor and the Sub-Advisory Agreement with the Sub-Advisor for the Funds will be provided in the Funds’ Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021.

Conflicts of Interest Risk.    An investment in a Fund may be subject to actual or potential conflicts of interest. For example, the Advisor, Sub-Advisor and/or their affiliates may face conflicts of interest when receiving compensation for services provided by affiliates or in the side-by-side management of Funds and other client accounts. The Advisor, Sub-Advisor and/or their affiliates may make investment decisions that differ from and/or negatively impact those made on behalf of a Fund. For more information about conflicts of interest, see the Potential Conflicts of Interest section in the SAI.

Portfolio Managers

The Advisor and Sub-Advisor are responsible for the overall management of each Fund’s portfolio, including security analysis, industry recommendations, cash positions, the purchase and sell decision making process and general daily oversight of the Funds’ portfolios. The individuals jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of each Fund’s portfolio are set forth below:

 

Portfolio
Manager
  Title   Role on
Fund Since
  Total Years
of Financial
Industry
Experience
  Degrees and
Designations
  Experience for
Last 5 Years
Brandon Swensen  

Senior Portfolio Manager

  Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since inception   23 years   BS, St. Cloud State University and MBA, University of St. Thomas, CFA Member   Managing Director and Co-Head, U.S. Fixed Income, at the Advisor since 2012, Senior Portfolio Manager at the Advisor since 2008, and Research and Financial analyst at the Advisor since 2000.
Brian Svendahl  

Senior Portfolio Manager

  Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since inception   30 years   BS, University of Minnesota, BBA and MBA, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Director and CFA Member   Managing Director and Co-Head, U.S. Fixed Income, at the Advisor since 2012, Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager at the Advisor since 2005.
Andrzej Skiba  

Senior Portfolio Manager

  Co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since inception   20 years   BS (hons), Management (International Business), University of Manchester, CFA Member   Head, U.S. Fixed Income, Senior Portfolio Manager at the Sub-Advisor (2005 to present)

Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation arrangements, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, as applicable, and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities of the funds they manage is available in the Funds’ SAI.

 

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Pricing of Fund Shares

How NAV Is Calculated.    The NAV is the value of a single share. A separate NAV is calculated for each share class of a Fund. The NAV is calculated by adding the total value of a Fund’s investments and other assets, determining the proportion of that total allocable to the particular class, subtracting the liabilities allocable to the class and then dividing that figure by the number of outstanding shares of that class.

 

1.

NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares.

 

2.

You can find the Funds’ NAVs daily in various newspapers, at www.bloomberg.com, www.rbcgam.us, or by calling 1-800-422-2766.

 

NAV =

  Total Assets of Class – Liabilities
  Number of Shares Outstanding

The per share NAV of each Fund is determined each day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for trading or (at the Fund’s option) on days the primary trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio instruments are open (“Value Date”) as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time or such other time as determined by the NYSE). The Funds will not treat an intraday unscheduled disruption in NYSE trading as a closure of the NYSE and will price their shares as of the regularly scheduled NYSE closing time, if the particular disruption directly affects only the NYSE (“Value Time”).

Your order for purchase, sale or exchange of shares is generally based on the next applicable price calculated after your order is received in good order by the Funds’ transfer agent. For example: If you place a purchase order to buy shares of a Fund, it must be received before 4:00 p.m. Eastern time in order to receive the NAV, plus any applicable sales charge, calculated at 4:00 p.m. If your order is received after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, it will be based on the NAV, plus any applicable sales charge, calculated on the next business day at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Also, as further explained in the “Purchasing and Adding to Your Shares” section, if a purchase order in proper form is received by an authorized financial intermediary, the order will be treated as if it had been received by the Funds’ transfer agent at the time it is received by the intermediary.

You may purchase, redeem, or exchange shares of the Funds on any day when the NYSE is open. Purchases, redemptions, and exchanges may be restricted in the event of an early or unscheduled close of the NYSE if the primary trading markets of the Funds are disrupted as well. Even if the NYSE is closed, a Fund may accept purchase, redemption, and exchange orders on a Value Date if the Fund’s management believes there is an adequate market to meet purchase, redemption, and exchange requests. On such days, the Funds would also price shares in accordance with the above procedures.

Because the Funds may own securities that are primarily traded outside of the United States, which may trade on days when the Funds do not price their shares, the value of the Funds’ investments may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem shares.

Valuation of Portfolio Securities.    On behalf of each Fund, the Board of Trustees has adopted Pricing and Valuation Procedures for determining the value of Fund shares in accordance with applicable law. The Funds’ securities are generally valued at current market prices. In accordance with the Funds’ pricing and valuation procedures, fixed income securities are generally valued based on evaluated prices received from third-party pricing services or from broker-dealers who make markets in the securities. In general, when the market value of a portfolio security is readily available, the Funds will rely on independent pricing services or market quotes from independent broker-dealers to determine the market value of portfolio securities. The market value of an equity security is generally determined on the basis of last reported sales prices, or if no sales are reported, based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers or pricing services. Domestic and foreign fixed income securities and non-exchange traded derivatives are generally priced using valuations provided by independent pricing vendors. Prices obtained from pricing vendors utilize both dealer-supplied valuations and electronic data processing techniques that take into account appropriate factors such as institutional-size trading in similar groups of securities, yield, quality, coupon rate, maturity and type of issue. Exchange traded options, futures and options on futures are valued at their most recent sale price on the exchange on which they are primarily traded. Investments in open-end investment companies are valued at the net asset value of those companies, and those companies may use fair value pricing as described in their prospectuses.

The Pricing and Valuation Procedures provide that, in situations where it is determined that market quotations are not readily available from a pricing service or independent broker-dealer, or the valuations are deemed to be unreliable or do not accurately reflect the value of the securities, Board approved “fair valuation” methodologies will be used. Under the Pricing and Valuation Procedures, fair valuation methodologies may also be used in situations such as the following: a price is determined to be stale (for example, it cannot be valued using the standard pricing method because a recent sale price is not available) on more than five consecutive days on which the Fund calculates its NAV; a foreign market is closed on a day when the U.S. markets are open and the last available price in the foreign market is determined not to represent a fair value; or a significant valuation event is determined to have occurred pursuant to the Pricing and Valuation Procedures. Significant valuation events may include, but are not limited to, the following: an event affecting the value of a security traded on a foreign market occurs between the close of that market and the Value Time; an

 

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extraordinary event like a natural disaster or terrorist act occurs; a large market fluctuation occurs; or an adverse development arises with respect to a specific issuer, such as a bankruptcy filing. These methodologies are intended to ensure that each Fund’s NAV accurately reflects the value for the underlying portfolio securities. As a result, effective use of fair valuations may prevent shareholder dilution. In addition, for Funds that invest in foreign securities, fair valuations may diminish opportunities for a short-term trader to take advantage of time zone differences between the foreign markets on which the securities are traded and the Value Time. “Fair value” is deemed to be the amount that the Fund might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale. Each such determination shall be based on a consideration of all relevant factors, which are likely to vary from one pricing context to another.

Investments initially valued in currencies other than the U.S. Dollar are converted to the U.S. Dollar using foreign exchange rate quotations received from a pricing vendor as of the Value Time on each Value Date. The value of securities traded in markets outside the United States may be affected on a day that is not a Value Date and an investor is not able to purchase, exchange or redeem shares of the Funds

Investment Minimums

You may purchase shares of the Funds through the Funds’ Distributor or through banks, brokers and other investment representatives, which may charge additional fees and may require higher minimum investments or impose other limitations or requirements on buying and selling shares.1 For qualified retirement benefit plans, there is no minimum requirement for initial investment in the Funds. If you purchase shares through an investment representative, that party is responsible for transmitting orders by close of business and may have an earlier cut-off time for purchase and sale requests. Consult your investment representative or institution for specific information.

 

 
Minimum Initial Investment

 

Class A Shares

     Amount  

Regular Account

   $ [            

IRA

   $ [            
   

Class I Shares

    

Regular Account

   $ [            

Through Qualified Retirement Benefit Plans

   $ [0
   

Class R6 Shares

    

Institutional Investors

   $ [            

Eligible Investors

   $ [0
   
 
Minimum Subsequent Investment

 

       Amount  

Class I

     [None
   

Class A

     [None
   

Class R6

     [None

 

1   Certain broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries are authorized to accept purchase orders on behalf of a Fund which are processed based on the Fund’s net asset value next determined after your order is received by an organization in proper order before 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, or such earlier time as may be required by an organization. These organizations may be authorized to designate other intermediaries to act in this capacity. These organizations may vary in terms of how they process your orders, and they may charge you transaction fees on purchases of Fund shares and may also impose other charges or restrictions or account options that differ from those applicable to shareholders who purchase shares directly through the Fund or its transfer agent, U.S. Bank Global Fund Services. These organizations may be the shareholders of record of your shares. These intermediaries are responsible for transmitting requests and delivering funds on a timely basis. The Funds are not responsible for ensuring that the organizations carry out their obligations to their customers.

Additional Policies About Transactions

The Funds cannot process transaction requests unless they are properly completed as described in this section. The Funds may cancel or change their transaction policies without notice. To avoid delays, please call us if you have any questions about these policies.

All purchases must be in U.S. Dollars. All checks must be in U.S. Dollars drawn on a domestic bank. The Funds will not accept payment in cash or money orders. To prevent check fraud, the Funds will not accept third party checks, Treasury checks, credit card checks, traveler’s checks, starter checks, post dated checks, or any conditional order or payment.

The transfer agent will charge a $25 fee against a shareholder’s account, in addition to any loss sustained by the Funds, for any payment that is returned.

The Funds may waive their minimum purchase requirement. Each of the Funds, the Distributor, the Advisor or the transfer agent reserves the right to reject any application for any reason in its sole discretion, including rejection of orders not accompanied by proper payment and orders that are not in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders. The Funds do not accept applications under certain circumstances or in amounts considered disadvantageous to shareholders.

 

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Telephone Purchase, Exchange and Redemption Privileges.

Shareholders who open accounts with the RBC Funds can accept telephone purchase, exchange and redemption privileges on the account application. If you call the Funds, the Funds’ representative may request personal identification and may record the call. IRA account holders may redeem or exchange shares by telephone. If you have an IRA, you must indicate on your written redemption request whether or not to withhold federal income tax. Redemption requests failing to indicate an election to have tax withheld will be subject to 10% withholding. Shareholders redeeming from IRA accounts by telephone will be asked whether or not to withhold taxes from any distribution.

Class A Eligibility.    Each Fund offers Class A shares to investors who meet the minimum initial investment requirements. There is a [$1,000] minimum initial investment requirement for Class A shares ($250 minimum for IRA accounts) and no minimum required for additional investments.

Class I Eligibility.    Each Fund offers Class I shares to individuals or institutions with a [$1,000,000] minimum requirement for initial investment, and no minimum required for additional investments. There is no minimum requirement for initial investment for participants of qualified retirement plans. The minimum requirement may be waived, at Fund management’s discretion, for certain persons who are charged fees for advisory, investment, consulting or similar services by a financial intermediary or other service provider. The minimum requirement for initial investment for Class I does not apply to investments by employees of the Advisor or its affiliates, officers and trustees of the Funds, partners or employees of law firms that serve as counsel to the Funds or the Funds’ independent trustees, or members of the immediate families of the foregoing (e.g., spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, sons and daughters-in-law, siblings, a sibling’s spouse, and a spouse’s siblings).

Investors who hold Class I shares of the Fund through a fee-based program, but who subsequently become ineligible to participate in the program or withdraw from the program, may be subject to conversion of their Class I shares by their program provider to another class of shares of the Fund having expenses (including Rule 12b-1 fees) that may be higher than the expenses of the Class I shares. Investors should contact their program provider to obtain information about their eligibility for the provider’s program and the class of shares they would receive upon such a conversion.

Class R6 Eligibility.    Class R6 shares are offered by the Funds to Institutional Investors that meet a [$1,000,000] minimum requirement for initial investment and to Eligible Investors. Institutional Investors (including endowments and foundations) are investors deemed appropriate by the Advisor that hold shares of the Fund through an account held directly with the Fund and that are not traded through an intermediary, subject to a minimum initial investment of [$1,000,000]. Eligible Investors are not subject to a minimum initial investment and include (a) retirement and benefit plans that have plan-level or omnibus accounts held on the books of the Fund and do not collect servicing or record keeping fees from the Fund; (b) plans or platforms sponsored by a financial intermediary whereby shares are held on the books of the Fund through omnibus accounts, either at the plan or platform level or the level of the plan administrator, and where an unaffiliated third party intermediary provides administrative, distribution and/or other support services to the plan or platform and does not charge the Fund servicing, record keeping or sub-transfer agent fees; and (c) collective investment trusts. Class R6 shares are not available directly to traditional or Roth IRAs, Coverdell Savings Accounts, KEOGHs, SEPs, SARSEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, individual 401(k) plans or individual 403(b) plans. There is no minimum required for additional investments.

IRA and Keogh Account Maintenance Fees.    A $15 annual maintenance fee is charged on all IRA and Keogh accounts. Multiple IRA or Keogh accounts associated with a single social security number are charged a maximum annual maintenance fee of $30. If an annual maintenance fee has not yet been charged when the last IRA or Keogh account associated with a particular social security number is completely liquidated, the full annual maintenance fee will be charged to the account at that time. Additionally, a $25 fee will be imposed on non-periodic withdrawals or terminations from IRAs and Keogh plans.

Corporations, Trusts and Other Entities.    Additional documentation is normally required for corporations, fiduciaries and others who hold shares in a representative or nominee capacity. We cannot process your request until we have all documents in the form required. Please call us first to avoid delays.

Sales Limited to U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens.    Shares of the Funds are generally offered to only United States citizens and United States resident aliens having a social security number or individual tax identification number. This Prospectus should not be considered a solicitation or offering of Fund shares to non-U.S. citizens or non-resident aliens.

Anti-Money Laundering Procedures.    Shareholder information is subject to independent identity verification and may be shared, as permitted by law and as permitted by the Funds’ Privacy Policy, for identifying and reporting suspected money laundering and terrorist activity. In compliance with the USA PATRIOT Act, all financial institutions (including mutual funds) are required, among other matters, to obtain, verify and record the following information for all registered owners and, in certain circumstances, for others who may be authorized to act on an account: full name, date of birth (for individuals), taxpayer identification number (usually your social security number), and permanent street address. If you are opening the account in the name of a legal entity (e.g., partnership, limited liability company, business trust, corporation, etc.), you must also supply the identity of the beneficial owners. Mailing addresses containing only a P. O. Box will not be accepted. In order to verify your identity, we may cross-reference your identification information with a consumer report or other electronic database, or by requesting a copy of your driver’s license, passport or other identifying document. Corporate, trust and other entity accounts require additional documentation. If we are unable to verify your identity in accordance with the Funds’ policies and procedures, we may reject and return your application, close your account, or take such other action as we deem reasonable and as permitted by law. Please review your account application for additional information.

 

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Instructions for Opening an Account

If opening an account through your financial advisor or brokerage account, simply tell your advisor or broker that you wish to purchase shares of the Funds and he or she will take care of the necessary documentation.

You may purchase shares directly from a Fund by completing a new account application. Contact U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, the Funds’ transfer agent at 1-800-422-2766 or go to www.rbcgam.us to obtain an application. Once completed, you may submit your application by following one of the steps below.

 

     
By Mail  

Initial Purchases and
All Correspondence

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

P.O. Box 701

Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701

 

Registered/Overnight Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

615 East Michigan Street, 3rd Floor

Milwaukee, WI 53202-5207

 

1.  Carefully read, complete and sign the application. Establishing your account privileges now saves you the inconvenience of having to add them later.

 

2.  Make check payable to “RBC Funds” and include the name of the Fund in which you are investing on the check.

 

3.  Mail or courier application and payment to the applicable address above.

   

4.  The Funds do not consider the U.S. Postal Service or other independent delivery services to be their agents. Therefore, deposit in the mail or with such services, or receipt at U.S. Bank Global Fund Services’ post office box, of purchase orders or redemption requests does not constitute receipt by the transfer agent of the Funds. Receipt of purchase orders or redemption requests is based on when the order is received at the transfer agent’s offices.

By Wire  

U.S. Bank N.A.

ABA # 075000022

Credit: U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

Account: 182380369377

Further credit: RBC Funds Shareholder Name and Account Number

  To open an account by wire, a completed account application is required before your wire can be accepted. You may mail or deliver overnight your account application to the transfer agent. Upon receipt of your completed application, an account will be established for you. The account number assigned will be required as part of the instruction that should be provided to your bank to send the wire. Your bank must include the name of the Fund you are purchasing, the account number, and your name so that monies can be correctly applied. Your bank should transmit funds by wire as indicated here. Wired funds must be received by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time to be eligible for same day pricing. The Funds and U.S. Bank, N.A. are not responsible for the consequences of delays resulting from the banking or Federal Reserve wiring system, or from incomplete wiring instructions.
By Exchange from Another RBC Fund  

1-800-422-2766

or

www.rbcgam.us

  If you already have an account with us and your account is authorized for telephone and/or Internet transaction privileges, you may open an account in all RBC Funds except the following: U.S. Government Money Market Fund (RBC Institutional Class 2 and RBC Investor Class). The names and registrations on the accounts must be identical. The exchange must meet the applicable minimum exchange amount requirement.
Lost Accounts/ Unclaimed Assets   Please note that based upon statutory requirements for returned mail, the Funds and the transfer agent will attempt to locate the investor or rightful owner of the account. If the Funds are unable to locate the investor, then they will determine whether the investor’s account can legally be considered abandoned. Your mutual fund account may be transferred to your state of residence if no activity occurs within your account during the “inactivity period” specified in your State’s abandoned property laws. The Funds are legally obligated to escheat (or transfer) abandoned property to the appropriate state’s unclaimed property administrator in accordance with statutory requirements. The investor’s last known address of record determines which state has jurisdiction. Investors with a state of residence in Texas have the ability to designate a representative to receive legislatively required unclaimed property due diligence notifications. Please contact the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for further information.

 

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Instructions for Purchasing and Adding to Your Shares

If purchasing through your financial advisor or brokerage account, simply tell your advisor or broker that you wish to purchase shares of the Funds and he or she will take care of the necessary documentation. For all other purchases, follow the instructions below.

 

     
By Telephone   1-800-422-2766   If you elected telephone options on your account application, and your account has been open for at least 7 business days, telephone orders will be accepted via electronic funds transfer from your bank account through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. You must have banking information established on your account prior to making a purchase. If your order is received prior to the Funds’ deadline, your shares will be purchased at the net asset value calculated on the day your order is placed.
By Mail  

Subsequent Purchases –

Regular Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

P.O. Box 701

Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701

 

Subsequent Purchases – Registered/Overnight Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

615 East Michigan Street, 3rd Floor

Milwaukee, WI 53202-5207

 

1.  Mail the detachable stub from your confirmation statement. Or, if unavailable, provide the following information with your payment:

 

•  Account name and account number

 

•  Fund name

 

•  Share class

 

2.  Make check payable to “RBC Funds” and include your account number on the check.

 

3.  Mail or courier stub and payment to the applicable address above.

 

4.  The Funds do not consider the U.S. Postal Service or other independent delivery services to be their agents. Therefore, deposit in the mail or with such services, or receipt at U.S. Bank Global Fund Services’ post office box, of purchase orders or requests does not constitute redemption receipt by the transfer agent of the Funds. Receipt of purchase orders or redemption requests is based on when the order is received at the transfer agent’s offices.

By Wire  

U.S. Bank, N.A.

ABA #075000022

Credit: U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC

Account: 182380369377

Further Credit: RBC Funds Shareholder Name and Account Number

 

Wire share purchases should include the names of each account owner, your account number and the name of the Fund in which you are purchasing shares. You should notify the Funds by telephone that you have sent a wire purchase order to U.S. Bank, N.A.

Wired funds must be received prior to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time to be eligible for same day pricing. The Funds and U.S. Bank, N.A. are not responsible for the consequences of delays resulting from the banking or Federal Reserve wire system, or from incomplete wiring instructions.

By Exchange

from Another

RBC Fund

  Please refer to the information under “Exchanging Your Shares” below.
Automatic Investment Plan (Class A Shares only)   You may establish an Automatic Investment Plan to make additional purchases at regular intervals from your pre-established bank account. Your financial institution must be a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to participate.

You can also add to your account by using the convenient options described below. The Funds reserve the right to change or eliminate these privileges at any time without notice, to the extent permitted by applicable law.

Automatic Investment Plan

Once your account has been established, you may make additional purchases of Class A shares at regular intervals through the Automatic Investment Plan (AIP). This Plan provides a convenient method to have monies deducted from your bank account, for investment into a Fund, on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis in amounts of $50 or more. In order to participate in the Plan your financial institution must be a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. If your bank rejects your payment, the Fund’s transfer agent will charge a $25 fee to your account. To begin participating in the Plan, please complete the Automatic Investment Plan section on the account application or call the Fund’s transfer agent at 1-800-422-2766 for instructions. Any request to change or terminate your Automatic Investment Plan should be submitted to the transfer agent 5 days prior to the effective date.

Dividends and Distributions and Directed Dividend Option

Dividends and distributions will be automatically reinvested unless you request otherwise. There are no sales charges for reinvested distributions. Dividends will differ among classes of a Fund due to differences in distribution and other class-specific operating expenses. Capital gains, if any, are distributed at least annually. By selecting the appropriate box on the account application, you can elect to receive your distributions (capital gains and/or dividends) in cash (check), have distributions deposited in a pre-authorized bank account via ACH, have distributions reinvested in the Funds, or into another eligible RBC Fund (as set forth under the caption “Exchanging Your Shares”) without a sales charge. You should maintain the minimum balance in each Fund into which you plan to reinvest distributions. You can change or terminate your participation in the reinvestment option at any time in writing or by telephone at least five days prior to the record date of the distribution.

 

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If you elect to receive distributions and/or capital gains paid in cash, and if the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver the check, or if a check remains outstanding for six months, the Fund reserves the right to reinvest the distribution check in your account, at the Fund’s current net asset value, and to reinvest all subsequent distributions.

DISTRIBUTIONS ARE MADE ON A PER SHARE BASIS REGARDLESS OF HOW LONG YOU HAVE OWNED YOUR SHARES. THEREFORE, IF YOU INVEST SHORTLY BEFORE THE DISTRIBUTION DATE, SOME OF YOUR INVESTMENT WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU IN THE FORM OF A DISTRIBUTION THAT MAY BE TAXABLE. (See “Shareholder Information — Dividends, Distributions and Taxes”).

 

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Selling Your Shares

You may withdraw from your account at any time. Certain redemptions will however require a signature guarantee. Signature guarantees will generally be accepted from domestic banks, brokers, dealers, credit unions, national securities exchanges, registered securities associations, clearing agencies and savings associations, as well as from participants in the New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program and the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (“STAMP”). A notary public is not an acceptable signature guarantor.

 

Withdrawing Money From Your Fund Investment

 

As a mutual fund shareholder, you are technically selling shares when you request a withdrawal in cash. This is also known as redeeming shares or a redemption of shares.

A signature guarantee from either a Medallion program member or a non-Medallion program member is required to redeem shares in the following situations:

 

   

If you are requesting a change in ownership on your account;

 

   

When redemption proceeds are payable or sent to any person, address or bank account not on record;

 

   

When a redemption request is received by the transfer agent and the account address has changed within the last 30 calendar days;

 

   

For all redemptions in excess of $50,000 from any shareholder account.

The Funds may waive any of the above requirements in certain instances. In addition to the situations described above, the Funds and/or the transfer agent reserve the right to require a signature guarantee or other acceptable signature authentication in other instances based on the circumstances relative to the particular situation. Non-financial transactions, including establishing or modifying certain services on an account, may require a signature guarantee, signature verification from a Signature Validation Program member, or other acceptable form of authentication from a financial institution source.

Please refer to “Additional Policies on Selling Shares (Redemptions)” below.

 

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Instructions for Selling Shares (Redemptions)

If selling your shares through your financial advisor or broker, ask him or her for redemption procedures. Your advisor and/or broker may have transaction minimums and/or transaction times that will affect your redemption. For all other sales transactions, follow the instructions below.

 

     
By Telephone   1-800-422-2766   You may withdraw any amount up to $50,000 by telephone, provided that your account is authorized for telephone redemptions. The Funds will send proceeds only to the address or bank of record. You must provide the Fund’s name, your account number, the name(s) of each account owner (exactly as registered), and the number of shares or dollar amount to be redeemed prior to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time for the trade to be processed with that day’s closing price.
By Mail  

Regular Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

P.O. Box 701

Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701

 

Registered/Overnight Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

615 East Michigan Street, 3rd Floor

Milwaukee, WI 53202-5207

 

1.  In a letter, include the genuine signature of each registered owner (exactly as registered), the name of each account owner, the account number and the number of shares or dollar amount to be redeemed.

 

2.  Mail or courier the letter to the applicable address above.

   

3.  The Funds do not consider the U.S. Postal Service or other independent delivery services to be their agents. Therefore, deposit in the mail or with such services, or receipt at U.S. Bank Global Fund Services’ post office box, of purchase orders or redemption requests does not constitute receipt by the transfer agent of the Funds. Receipt of purchase orders or redemption requests is based on when the order is received at the transfer agent’s offices.

By Wire   Redemption proceeds may be wired to your pre-identified bank account. A $15 fee may be deducted from your redemption proceeds for complete and share redemptions. In the case of a partial redemption, the fee of $15 may be deducted from the remaining account balance. If your written request is received in good order before 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Funds will normally wire the money on the following business day. If the Funds receive your request after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Funds will normally wire the money on the second business day. Contact your financial institution about the time of receipt and availability.
Systematic Withdrawal Plan (Class A shares only)  

As another convenience, you may redeem your Fund shares through the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP). Under the Plan, you may choose to receive a specified dollar amount, generated from the redemption of shares in your account, on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In order to participate in the Plan, your account balance must be at least $10,000. If you elect this method of redemption, the Fund will send a check to your address of record or will send the payment via electronic funds transfer through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network directly to your bank account. For payment through the ACH network, your bank must be an ACH member and your bank account information must be maintained on your Fund account. This Program may be terminated at any time by the Fund. You may also elect to terminate your participation in this Plan at any time by contacting the transfer agent at least five days prior to the next scheduled withdrawal.

A withdrawal under the Plan involves a redemption of shares and may result in a gain or loss for federal income tax purposes. In addition, if the amount requested to be withdrawn exceeds the amount available in your account, which includes any dividends credited to your account, the account will ultimately be depleted.

You may specify a dollar amount to be withdrawn monthly, quarterly or annually. You must own shares in an open account valued at $10,000 or more when you first authorize the systematic withdrawal plan (SWP). If you wish to establish a SWP, please complete this section of the account application or contact the transfer agent for further instructions. Depending upon how long you have held your shares, redemption fees and contingent deferred sales charges may apply.

 

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Additional Policies on Selling Shares (Redemptions)

For accounts held directly with the Funds, the length of time that the Funds typically expect to pay redemption proceeds depends on whether payment is made by ACH, wire or check. The Funds typically expect to make payments of redemption proceeds by wire or ACH within two business days following receipt of the redemption order by the Funds. For payment by check, the Funds typically expect to mail the check within two business days following receipt of the redemption order by the Funds.

For accounts held through a financial intermediary, the length of time that the Funds typically expect to pay redemption proceeds depends on the method of payment and the agreement between the financial intermediary and the Funds. For redemption proceeds that are paid directly to you by the Fund, the Fund typically expects to make payments by wire or ACH or by mailing a check within two business days following receipt of a redemption order from the financial intermediary by the Funds. For payments that are made to your financial intermediary for transmittal to you, the Funds expect to pay redemption proceeds to the financial intermediary within one to two business days following receipt of the redemption order from the financial intermediary by the Funds. The settlement of redemption proceeds is determined by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”) based on the order transmitted through Fund/SERV.

Each Fund intends to pay redemption proceeds promptly and in any event within seven days after the request for redemption is received in good order. In case of emergencies or other unusual circumstances, each Fund may suspend redemptions or postpone payment for more than seven days, as permitted by law. Redemptions of Fund shares may be suspended when trading on the NYSE is closed or is restricted, in the event of an early or unscheduled close of the primary trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio instruments, or during an emergency which makes it impracticable for the applicable Fund to dispose of its securities or to determine the value of its net assets, or during any other period as permitted by the SEC for the protection of investors. Under these and other unusual circumstances, a Fund may delay redemption payments for more than seven days, as permitted by law.

In addition, a temporary hold may be placed on the payment of redemption proceeds if there is a reasonable belief that financial exploitation of a Specified Adult (as defined below) has occurred, is occurring, has been attempted, or will be attempted. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “Specified Adult” refers to an individual who is (A) a natural person age 65 and older; or (B) a natural person age 18 and older who is reasonably believed to have a mental or physical impairment that renders the individual unable to protect his or her own interests. Notice of such a delay will be provided in accordance with regulatory requirements. This temporary hold will be for an initial period of no more than 15 business days while an internal review of the facts and circumstances of the suspected financial exploitation is conducted, but the temporary hold may be extended for up to 10 additional business days if the internal review supports the belief that financial exploitation has occurred, is occurring, has been attempted, or will be attempted. Both the initial and additional hold on the disbursement may be terminated or extended by a state regulator or an agency or court of competent jurisdiction.

The Funds cannot accept requests that contain special conditions or effective dates. The Funds may request additional documentation to ensure that a request is genuine. Examples may include a certified copy of a death certificate or divorce decree.

If you request a redemption within 15 calendar days of purchase, the Funds will delay sending your proceeds until it has collected unconditional payment, which may take up to 15 calendar days from the date of purchase. You can avoid this delay by purchasing shares with a federal funds wire. For your protection, if your account address has been changed within the last 30 calendar days, your redemption request must be in writing and signed by each account owner, with signature guarantees. The right to redeem shares may be temporarily suspended in emergency situations only as permitted under federal law.

Redemption in Kind.    Each Fund typically expects to satisfy redemption requests by selling portfolio assets or by using holdings of cash or cash equivalents. In addition to paying redemption proceeds in cash, each Fund reserves the right to make payment in securities rather than cash, known as “redemption in kind,” for amounts redeemed by a shareholder, in any 90-day period, in excess of $250,000 or 1% of Fund net assets, whichever is less. If a Fund deems it advisable for the benefit of all shareholders, redemption in kind will consist of securities equal in market value to your shares. When you convert these securities to cash, you will pay brokerage charges. You will also bear the market risk of the securities you hold until the securities are sold. While the Funds do not routinely use redemptions in-kind, the Funds reserve the right to use redemptions in-kind to manage the impact of large redemptions on the Funds. Redemption in-kind proceeds will typically be made by delivering a pro-rata amount of a Fund’s holdings that are readily marketable securities to the redeeming shareholder within seven days after receipt of the redemption order by the Fund. In addition, a redemption in liquid portfolio securities would be treated as a taxable event for you and may result in the recognition of gain or loss for federal income tax purposes.

Minimum Account Size for Class I and Class A Shares.    You must maintain a minimum account value equal to the current minimum initial investment, which is [$1,000] for Class A shareholder accounts and [$1,000,000] for Class I shareholder accounts. There is no minimum account size requirement for retirement plans. If your account falls below a minimum due to redemptions and not market action, the Funds may ask you to increase the account size back to the minimum. If you do not bring the account up to the minimum amount within 60 days after the Funds contact you, the Funds may close the account and send your money to you or begin charging you a fee for remaining below the minimum account size. No CDSC will be imposed on shares redeemed as a result of involuntary account closing.

Minimum Account Size for Class R6 Shares.    Institutional Investors in Class R6 shares must maintain a minimum account value equal to the current minimum regular initial investment, which is [$1,000,000] for Class R6 shareholder accounts. There is no minimum account size requirement for Eligible Investors. If your account falls below a minimum due to redemptions and not market action, the Funds may ask you to increase the account size back to the minimum. If you do not bring the account up to the minimum amount

 

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within 60 days after the Funds contact you, the Funds may close the account and send your money to you or begin charging you a fee for remaining below the minimum account size.

Exchanging Your Shares

If exchanging shares through your financial advisor or brokerage account, simply tell your advisor or broker that you wish to exchange shares of the Funds and he or she will take care of the necessary documentation. To open a new account through an exchange from an existing RBC Fund account, please refer to “Instructions for Opening an Account” above.

An exchange of shares is technically a sale of shares in one fund followed by a purchase of shares in another fund, and therefore may have tax consequences. By following the instructions below, and subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the RBC Funds, you may exchange shares between all RBC Funds except the following: U.S. Government Money Market Fund (RBC Institutional Class 2 and RBC Investor Class).

 

     
By Telephone   1-800-422-2766   You may make exchanges from one identically registered RBC Fund account into another eligible RBC Fund account, provided that your account is authorized for telephone exchanges.
By Mail  

Regular Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

P.O. Box 701

Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701

 

Registered/Overnight Mail

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

615 East Michigan Street, 3rd Floor

Milwaukee, WI 53202-5207

 

1.  In a letter, include the genuine signature of each registered owner, the account number, the number of shares or dollar amount to be exchanged, the name of the RBC Fund from which the amount is being sold, and the name of the RBC Fund into which the amount is being purchased.

 

2  Mail or courier the letter to the applicable address above.

   

3.  The Funds do not consider the U.S. Postal Service or other independent delivery services to be their agents. Therefore, deposit in the mail or with such services, or receipt at U.S. Bank Global Fund Services’ post office box, of purchase orders or redemption requests does not constitute receipt by the transfer agent of the Funds. Receipt of purchase orders or redemption requests is based on when the order is received at the transfer agent’s office.

Monthly Exchanges   You may authorize monthly exchanges from one eligible RBC Fund into another eligible RBC Fund. Exchanges will be continued until all shares have been exchanged or until you terminate the service.

 

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Additional Policies on Exchanges

With the exception of exchanges to or from the U.S. Government Money Market Fund (whose shares are offered through another prospectus), the share class must be the same in the two funds involved in the exchange. Except for exchanges of Class A shares of the Funds into Class A shares of any other RBC Fund, no front-end sales charge will be assessed. Because Class A shares of the Funds are not subject to a front-end sales charge, you will be subject to the payment of a sales charge at the time of exchange into Class A shares of any other RBC Fund based on the amount that you would have owed if you directly purchased Class A shares of that RBC Fund (less any sales charge previously paid in connection with shares exchanged for such shares of the Funds, as applicable). In addition, purchases of Class A shares of the Funds are not included in the calculations of rights of accumulation and other reductions of sales charges applicable to purchases of other RBC Funds. For complete information on the RBC Fund you are exchanging into, including fees and expenses, read that fund’s prospectus carefully. Call us for a free copy or contact your investment representative. With the exception of exchanges to the U.S. Government Money Market Fund, you must meet the minimum investment requirement of the Fund you are exchanging into. Exchanges to the U.S. Government Money Market Fund will be into the RBC Institutional Class 1 shares. The names and registrations on the two accounts must be identical. You should review the prospectus of the fund you are exchanging into. Call us for a free copy or contact your investment representative. The exchange privilege (including automatic exchanges) may be changed or eliminated at any time upon 60 days’ notice to shareholders.

Additional Shareholder Services

Services for the following types of accounts are also available to shareholders. Please call 1-800-422-2766 for more information.

 

   

Uniform Transfers/Gifts to Minors Accounts

 

   

TOD Accounts

 

   

Accounts for corporations, partnerships and retirement plans

 

   

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

 

   

Traditional IRA accounts

 

   

Roth IRA accounts

 

   

Simplified Employee Pensions

Telephone Services.    Telephone trades must be received by or prior to market close. During periods of increased market activity, you may have difficulty reaching the Funds by telephone or may encounter higher than usual call waits. If this happens, contact the Funds by mail or allow sufficient time to place your telephone transaction. The Funds may refuse a telephone request, including a request to redeem shares of a Fund. The Funds will use reasonable procedures to confirm that telephone instructions are genuine. If such procedures are followed, neither the Funds nor any persons or entity that provides services to the RBC Funds will be liable for any losses due to unauthorized or fraudulent instructions. If an account has more than one owner or authorized person, the Fund will accept telephone instructions from any one owner or authorized person. The Funds reserve the right to limit the frequency or the amount of telephone redemption requests. Once a telephone transaction has been placed, it cannot be cancelled or modified after the close of regular trading on the NYSE (generally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time).

Shareholder Mailings.    To help lower operating costs, the Funds attempt to eliminate mailing duplicate documents to the same address. When two or more RBC Fund shareholders have the same last name and address, the Funds may send only one prospectus, annual report, semiannual report, general information statement or proxy statement to that address rather than mailing separate documents to each shareholder. This practice is known as “householding.” Shareholders may opt out of this single mailing at any time by calling the RBC Funds at 1-800-422-2766 and requesting the additional copies of Fund documents.

Market Timing and Excessive Trading

Market timing may interfere with the management of a Fund’s portfolio and result in increased costs. The RBC Funds do not accommodate market timers. On behalf of the RBC Funds, the Board of Trustees has adopted policies and procedures to discourage short-term trading or to compensate the Funds for costs associated with it.

Restriction and Rejection of Purchase or Exchange Orders.    The RBC Funds reserve the right to restrict or reject, for any reason, without any prior notice, any purchase or exchange order. These include transactions representing excessive trading or suspected excessive trading, transactions that may be disruptive to the management of a Fund’s portfolio, and purchase orders not accompanied by proper payment. The RBC Funds reserve the right to delay for up to one business day the processing of exchange requests in the event that, in a Fund’s judgment, such delay would be in the Fund’s best interest, in which case both the redemption and purchase will be processed at the conclusion of the delay period. Redemptions may be suspended or postponed at times when the NYSE is closed, when trading is restricted, or under certain emergency circumstances as determined by the SEC.

If detected, once an accountholder makes five exchanges between RBC Funds during a calendar year, the ability to make additional exchanges for that account may be suspended. In applying these exchange limits, the Funds may consider trading done in multiple accounts under common ownership, control or influence. These exchange limits do not apply to purchases made through the monthly exchange program. In addition, these limits may be modified at the Fund’s discretion for retirement plans to conform to plan exchange features and applicable law and regulation, and for automated or pre-established exchange, asset allocation or dollar cost averaging programs.

The RBC Funds’ policy imposing redemption fees and limiting the number of exchanges applies uniformly to all investors. However, some financial intermediaries, such as investment advisors, broker-dealers, transfer agents and third-party administrators, maintain

 

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omnibus accounts in which they aggregate orders of multiple investors and forward aggregated orders to the RBC Funds. Because the Funds receive these orders on an aggregated basis and because these omnibus accounts may not be identified by the financial intermediaries as omnibus accounts, the RBC Funds may be limited in their ability to detect excessive trading or enforce their market timing policy with respect to those omnibus accounts and investors purchasing and redeeming Fund shares through those accounts.

If the RBC Funds identify an investor as a potential market timer or an intermediary as a potential facilitator for market timing in the Funds, even if the above limits have not been reached, the RBC Funds may take steps to restrict or prohibit further trading in the Funds by that investor or through that intermediary. As stated above, the Funds reserve the right to restrict or reject a purchase order for any reason without prior notice. The Funds also reserve the right to terminate an investor’s exchange privilege without prior notice.

Risks Presented by Excessive Trading Practices.    Parties engaged in market timing may use many techniques to seek to avoid detection. Despite the efforts of the Funds and their agents to prevent market timing, there is no guarantee that the Funds will be able to prevent all such practices. For example, the Funds receive purchase, exchange and redemption orders through financial intermediaries and cannot always reasonably detect market timing that may be facilitated by these intermediaries or by the use of omnibus account arrangements offered by these intermediaries to investors. Omnibus account arrangements typically aggregate the share ownership positions of multiple shareholders and often result in the Funds being unable to monitor the purchase, exchange and redemption activity of a particular shareholder. To the extent that the Funds and their agents are unable to curtail excessive trading practices in a Fund, those practices may interfere with the efficient management of the Fund’s investment portfolio, and may, for example, cause the Fund to maintain a higher cash balance than it otherwise would have maintained or to experience higher portfolio turnover than it otherwise would have experienced. This could hinder performance and lead to increased brokerage and administration costs. Those increased costs would be borne by Fund shareholders.

For a Fund that invests significantly in foreign securities traded on markets that may close prior to when the Fund determines its NAV, excessive trading by certain shareholders may cause dilution in the value of Fund shares held by other shareholders. The RBC Funds have procedures designed to adjust closing market prices of foreign securities under certain circumstances to reflect what it determines to be the fair value of those securities at the time when the Fund determines its NAV, which are intended to mitigate this risk.

To the extent that a Fund invests in securities that may trade infrequently, such as securities of smaller companies, it may be susceptible to market timing by investors who seek to exploit perceived price inefficiencies in the Fund’s investments. This is commonly referred to as price arbitrage. In addition, the market for securities of smaller companies may at times show market momentum, in which positive or negative performance may continue for a period of time for reasons unrelated to the fundamentals of the issuer. Certain investors may seek to capture this momentum by trading frequently in the Fund’s shares. Because securities of smaller companies may be less liquid than securities of larger companies, the Fund may be unable to purchase or sell investments at favorable prices in response to cash inflows or outflows caused by timing activity.

Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

A description of the Funds’ policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of portfolio holdings is available in the Funds’ SAI. The Funds also make certain portfolio securities information available on their website which is accessed by using the Funds’ link at www.rbcgam.us. Within 15 calendar days of month-end, each Fund’s top ten holdings and related weightings, the total number of Fund holdings and a Fund’s sector/industry weightings (all as of month-end) are posted until replaced by the next month’s information. Within 10 business days of fiscal quarter-end, each Fund’s portfolio holdings and their weightings are posted until replaced by the next quarter’s information.

Distribution Arrangements/Sales Charges

This section describes the sales charges and fees you will pay as an investor in different share classes offered by the Funds and ways to qualify for reduced sales charges. The Class I shares, and Class R6 shares and Class IS shares of the Funds have no sales charges or distribution/service (12b-1) fees and, generally, have lower annual expenses than Class A shares. The class of shares that is better for you depends on a number of factors, including the amount you plan to invest and how long you plan to hold the shares. Your financial advisor can help you decide which class of shares is more appropriate for you.

 

     Class A   Class I   Class R6   Class IS
Sales Charge (Load)   Maximum sales charge of 3.75%. See Schedule below. CDSC of 1.00% on purchases of $1 million or more for redemptions within 12 months of purchase.   No sales charge   No sales charge   No sales charge
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee   0.25%1   None   None   None
Fund Expenses   Higher annual expenses than Class I, Class R6 and Class IS shares   Lower annual expenses than Class A shares   Lower annual expenses than Class A and Class I shares   Lower annual expenses than Class A and Class I shares

 

1   Under the 12b-1 plan, Class A is authorized to pay expenses directly or reimburse the Distributor for costs and expenses incurred in connection with distribution and marketing of Fund shares subject to a maximum annual limit of up to 0.50% of average daily net assets attributable to Class A shares of a Fund. Currently, the Board of Trustees has approved an annual limit of 0.25% for Class A shares.

 

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Front-End Sales Charges.    Front-end sales charges are imposed on sales of Class A shares at the rates listed in the table below. The sales charge decreases with larger purchases. For example, if you invest more than $100,000, or if your cumulative purchases or the value on your account is more than $100,000, then the sales charge is reduced. (See “Reducing the Initial Sales Charge on Purchases of Class A Shares” below.) These sales charges will be waived for purchases (i) in accounts invested through wrap programs in which the Fund participates, (ii) through “one-stop” mutual fund networks, (iii) through trust companies and banks acting in a fiduciary, advisory, agency, custodial or similar capacity, or (iv) through group retirement plans. The amount paid for an investment, known as the “offering price,” includes any applicable front-end sales charges. Because of rounding in the calculation of the “offering price,” the actual sales charge you pay may be more or less than that calculated using the percentages shown below. There is no sales charge on reinvested dividends and distributions. Also shown in the table is the portion of the front-end sales charge that is paid to dealers, expressed as a percentage of the offering price of the Fund’s shares.

 

     Sales Charges as a
Percentage of
       Dealer Concession
as a Percentage of Offering Price
 
For Purchases:    Offering
Price
       Net
Amount
Invested
 

Less than $100,000

     3.75%          3.90%          3.00%  

$100,000 — $249,999.99

     3.50%          3.63%          2.75%  

$250,000 — $499,999.99

     2.50%          2.56%          2.00%  

$500,000 — $749,999.99

     2.00%          2.04%          1.60%  

$750,000 — $999,999.99

     1.50%          1.52%          1.20%  

$1,000,000 and over

     0.00%        0.00%          0.00% ** 

 

*   A 1.00% CDSC is imposed on redemptions made within 12 months of a purchase of $1 million or more on which no front-end sales charge was paid. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge” below.
**   The Distributor may pay dealers up to 1.00% on investments made in Class A shares with no initial sales charge.

Reducing the Initial Sales Charge on Purchases of Class A Shares

Combining Accounts of Family Members.    You may combine accounts in RBC Funds Class A shares of the Funds listed in this Prospectus and all other RBC Funds Class A shares offered in separate prospectuses (except for Class A shares of the RBC Short Duration Fixed Income Fund and RBC Ultra-Short Fixed Income Fund) in order to qualify for a reduced sales charge (load). The following types of accounts may be aggregated for purposes of reducing the initial sales charge:

 

   

Accounts owned by you and your immediate family (your spouse and your children under 21 years of age)

 

   

Trust accounts established by you or your immediate family

You need to provide your financial advisor with the information as to which of your accounts qualify as family accounts and this information should be included with your account application.

Letter of Intent.    By signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) you can reduce your Class A sales charge. Your individual purchases will be made at the applicable sales charge based on the amount you intend to invest over a 13-month period. The LOI will apply to all purchases of the Fund and all other RBC Funds Class A shares offered in separate prospectuses (except for Class A shares of the RBC Short Duration Fixed Income Fund and RBC Ultra-Short Fixed Income Fund). Any shares purchased within 90 days prior to the date you sign the LOI may be used as credit toward completion, but the reduced sales charge will only apply to new purchases made on or after that date. Purchases resulting from the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains do not apply toward fulfillment of the LOI. Shares equal to 3.75% of the amount of the LOI will be held in escrow during the 13-month period. If, at the end of that time the total amount of purchases made is less than the amount intended, you will be required to pay the difference between the reduced sales charge and the sales charge applicable to the individual purchases had the LOI not been in effect. This amount will be obtained from redemption of the escrow shares. Any remaining escrow shares will be released to you.

 

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If you establish an LOI with the Fund you can aggregate your accounts as well as the accounts of your immediate family members. You will need to provide written instructions with respect to the other accounts whose purchases should be considered in fulfillment of the LOI.

Rights of Accumulation.    For the purpose of qualifying for the lower sales charge rates that apply to larger purchases, you may combine your new purchase of Class A shares with shares of currently owned holdings in Class A shares of the Fund and all other RBC Funds Class A shares offered in separate prospectuses (except for Class A shares of the RBC Short Duration Fixed Income Fund and RBC Ultra-Short Fixed Income Fund). The applicable sales charge for the new purchase is based on the total of your current purchase and the current value based on NAV of all other Class A shares you own. You may need to provide your financial advisor with account statements or other information to demonstrate that you qualify for a sales charge reduction.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT TO RECEIVE A REDUCTION IN THE INITIAL SALES CHARGE OF YOUR PURCHASES OF CLASS A SHARES OF THE FUND, YOU MUST NOTIFY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR AT THE TIME YOU PURCHASE YOUR SHARES THAT YOU QUALIFY FOR SUCH A REDUCTION. IF YOU DO NOT NOTIFY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR THAT YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A SALES CHARGE REDUCTION, YOU MAY NOT RECEIVE A REDUCTION TO WHICH YOU ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED.

Contingent Deferred Sales Charges.    For Class A shares, a 1.00% CDSC is imposed on redemptions made within 12 months of a purchase of $1 million or more of Class A shares on which no front-end sales charge was paid. Shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends or capital gain distributions are not subject to a CDSC. For purposes of determining the CDSC, if you sell only some of your shares, shares that are not subject to any CDSC will be sold first, followed by shares that you have owned the longest. The CDSC is based on the initial offering price or the current sales price of the shares, whichever is less.

Waiving Contingent Deferred Sales Charges.    The contingent deferred sales charge on Class A shares may be waived in the following cases:

 

   

Redemptions due to death or disability of the shareholder

 

   

Redemptions due to the complete termination of a trust upon the death of the trustor/grantor or beneficiary

 

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Permitted exchanges of shares between funds (However, if shares acquired in the exchange are subsequently redeemed within the period during which a contingent deferred sales charge would have applied to the initial shares purchased, the contingent deferred sales charge will not be waived.)

The contingent deferred sales charge on Class A shares may also be waived for redemptions through a systematic withdrawal plan if such transactions do not exceed 12% of the value of an account annually.

The Funds do not provide additional information on sales charges on their website because the information is contained in the Prospectus, which is available on the Funds’ website at www.rbcgam.us.

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees

The Funds have adopted a plan under Rule 12b-1. Rule 12b-1 fees paid pursuant to the plan compensate the Distributor and other dealers and investment representatives for services and expenses relating to the sale and distribution of the Fund’s shares and/or for providing shareholder services. Because 12b-1 fees are paid from Fund assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.

Under the 12b-1 plan, Class A is authorized to pay directly or reimburse the Distributor in connection with the distribution and marketing of Fund shares subject to an annual limit of up to 0.50% of average daily net assets attributable to Class A shares of a Fund. Up to 0.25% of this fee may be used for shareholder servicing. Currently, the Board of Trustees has approved an annual limit of 0.25% for Class A shares.

Shareholder Servicing Plan

The Trust has adopted an Amended and Restated Shareholder Servicing Plan (the “Servicing Plan”) that allows Class A, Class I and Class IS shares of the Funds, as applicable, to pay service fees to firms that provide shareholder services (“Intermediaries”). Under the Servicing Plan, if an Intermediary provides shareholder services, including responding to shareholder inquiries and assisting shareholders with their accounts, the Funds may pay shareholder servicing fees to the Intermediary at an annual rate not to exceed 0.15% of the average daily value of net assets of the relevant share class. Because these fees are paid out of the Funds’ assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than other types of charges.

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

Dividends and Distributions.    Each Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code. As a regulated investment company, a Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to you. Each Fund expects to declare dividends monthly and distribute its net investment income, if any, to shareholders as dividends monthly. Each Fund will distribute net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually, generally in December. A Fund may distribute such income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee a Fund will pay either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution.

Annual Statements.    Each year, the Funds will send you an annual statement (Form 1099) of your account activity to assist you in completing your federal, state and local tax returns. Distributions declared in October, November, or December to shareholders of record in such month, but paid in January, are taxable as if they were paid in December. Prior to issuing your statement, the Funds make every effort to reduce the number of corrected forms mailed to you. However, if a Fund finds it necessary to reclassify its distributions or adjust the cost basis of any covered shares (defined below) sold or exchanged after you receive your tax statement, the Fund will send you a corrected Form 1099.

Avoid “Buying a Dividend.”    At the time you purchase your Fund shares, a Fund’s net asset value may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in value of portfolio securities held by the Fund. For taxable investors, a subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable. Buying shares in a Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gains distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.”

Tax Considerations.    Each Fund expects, based on its investment objective and strategies, that its distributions, if any, will be taxable as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund shares or receive them in cash.

For federal income tax purposes, Fund distributions of short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income. Fund distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gains no matter how long you have owned your shares. A portion of income dividends reported by a Fund may be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation by individual shareholders at long-term capital gain rates provided certain holding period requirements are met. Because the income of each Fund is primarily derived from investments earning interest rather than dividend income, generally none or only a small portion of the income dividends paid to you by a Fund is anticipated to be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation by individuals at long-term capital gain tax rates.

If a Fund qualifies to pass through to you the tax benefits from foreign taxes it pays on its investments, and elects to do so, then any foreign taxes it pays on these investments may be passed through to you as a foreign tax credit.

Sale or Redemption of Fund Shares.    You will recognize taxable gain or loss on a sale, exchange or redemption of your shares in a Fund, including an exchange for shares of another RBC Fund, based on the difference between your tax basis in the shares and the amount you receive for them. Generally, you will recognize long-term capital gain or loss if you have held your Fund shares for over one year at the time you sell or exchange them. Any loss incurred on a redemption or exchange of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributed to you by the Fund on those shares. A Fund is required to report to you and the Internal Revenue Service annually on Form 1099-B not only the gross proceeds of Fund shares you sell or redeem but also their cost basis for shares purchased or acquired on or after January 1, 2012 (“covered shares”). Cost basis will be calculated using the Funds’ default method of average cost, unless you instruct a Fund to use a different calculation method. Shareholders should carefully review the cost basis information provided by a Fund and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on their federal income tax returns. If your account is held

 

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  Shareholder Information    
     
     

 

by your investment representative (financial advisor or other broker), please contact that representative with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for your account. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts will not be affected.

Medicare Tax.    An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a 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. This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

Backup Withholding.    By law, if you do not provide a Fund with your proper taxpayer identification number and certain required certifications, you may be subject to backup withholding at the applicable rate on any distributions of income, capital gains, or proceeds from the sale of your shares. A Fund also must withhold if the Internal Revenue Service instructs it to do so.

State and Local Taxes.    Fund distributions and gains from the sale or exchange of your Fund shares also may be subject to state, local and foreign taxes.

Non-U.S. Shareholders.    Shareholders other than U.S. persons may be subject to a different U.S. federal income tax treatment, including withholding tax at the rate of 30% on amounts treated as ordinary dividends from a Fund, as discussed in more detail in the SAI.

This discussion of “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” is not intended or written to be used as tax advice. Because everyone’s tax situation is unique, you should consult your tax professional about federal, state, local, or foreign tax consequences before making an investment in a Fund.

Organizational Structure

RBC Funds Trust, formerly known as Tamarack Funds Trust, was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on December 16, 2003. Overall responsibility for the management of the Funds is vested in the Board of Trustees.

 

34


     
  Financial Highlights    
     
     

 

This section would ordinarily include Financial Highlights. The Financial Highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s performance for the Fund’s periods of operations. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, no financial highlights are shown.

 

35


     
     
     
     

 

This page has been left blank intentionally.

 

36


     
     
     
     

 

This page has been left blank intentionally.

 

37


     
  Privacy Policy         
     
     

 

RBC Funds

Notice of Privacy Policy & Practices

The RBC Funds recognize and respect the privacy concerns and expectations of our customers, including individuals who provide their nonpublic personal information to the RBC Funds but do not invest in the RBC Funds’ shares.

We provide this notice to you so that you will know what kinds of information we collect about our customers and the circumstances in which that information may be disclosed to our affiliates and to third parties who are not affiliated with the RBC Funds. Our affiliates are companies that are related by common ownership or control.

 

Collection of Customer Information  

We collect nonpublic personal information about our customers from the following sources:

•  Account Applications and Other Forms, which may include a customer’s name, address, social security number, and information about a customer’s investment goals and risk tolerance;

•  Account History, including information about the transactions and balances in a customer’s accounts; and

•  Correspondence, written, telephonic or electronic between a customer and the RBC Funds or service providers to the RBC Funds.

Disclosure of Customer Information  

We may disclose all of the information described above to our affiliates and to certain third parties who are not affiliated with the RBC Funds under one or more of these circumstances:

•  As Authorized — if you request or authorize the disclosure of the information.

•  As Permitted by Law — for example, sharing information with companies who maintain or service customer accounts for the RBC Funds is permitted and is essential for us to provide shareholders with necessary or useful services with respect to their accounts.

•  Under Joint Agreements — we may also share information with companies that perform marketing services on our behalf or to other financial institutions with whom we have joint marketing agreements.

Security, Safeguarding and Destruction of Customer Information and Reports  

We require service providers to the RBC Funds:

•  To maintain policies and procedures designed to assure only appropriate access to, and use of information about customers of, the RBC Funds;

•  To maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal standards to guard nonpublic personal information of customers of the RBC Funds;

•  To maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards for the proper disposal of consumer report information, as defined in Rule 30(b)(1)(ii) of Regulation S-P.

Delegation   The RBC Funds have delegated the responsibility to implement appropriate written procedures for such safeguarding and disposal of consumer report information and records to the Funds’ transfer agent and/or any other service provider who may come into possession of such information.

We will adhere to the policies and practices described in this notice regardless of whether you are a current or former shareholder of the RBC Funds.

 

38


For more information about the Funds, the following documents are available free upon request:

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports (Reports):

The Funds’ Reports to shareholders contain additional information on the Funds’ investments. In the annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Funds’ performance during their last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI):

The Funds’ SAI provides more detailed information about the Funds, including their operations and investment policies. It is incorporated by reference and is legally considered a part of this Prospectus.

 

You can get free copies of the Reports and the SAI, or request other information and discuss your questions about the Funds by contacting a broker or bank that sells the Funds, or contacting the Funds at:

RBC Funds

c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services

P.O. Box 701

Milwaukee, WI 53201-0701

Telephone: 1-800-422-2766

You may also visit the Funds’ website at www.rbcgam.us for a free copy of the Funds’ Prospectus, SAI or Reports.

Information from the Securities and Exchange Commission:

You can review and obtain copies of Fund documents from the SEC as follows:

On the EDGAR database via the Internet:

www.sec.gov

By electronic request:

publicinfo@sec.gov

(The SEC charges a fee to copy any documents.)

 

LOGO

 

Investment Company Act File No. 811-21475.   RBC FI PROSP [    ]/21


PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED [            ], 2021

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION

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

RBC FUNDS TRUST

50 SOUTH SIXTH STREET, SUITE 2350

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA 55402

GENERAL AND ACCOUNT INFORMATION

(800) 422-2766

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

[            ], 2021

For each of the following Funds:

 

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

         Class I:

 

[TICKER]

         Class A

 

[TICKER]

         Class R6

 

[TICKER]

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

         Class I:

 

[TICKER]

         Class A

 

[TICKER]

         Class R6

 

[TICKER]

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) describes the Class I, Class A and Class R6 shares of the RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund and RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund (each, a “Fund” and together the “Funds”) of RBC Funds Trust (the “Trust”) advised by RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc. (the “Advisor” and are sub-advised by BlueBay Asset Management LLP (the “Sub-Advisor” or “BlueBay”)).

[Each Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. Shares of the Funds are sold to the public by Quasar Distributors, LLC (the “Distributor”) and are sold as investment vehicles for individuals, institutions, corporations and fiduciaries, including customers of the Advisor or its affiliates.]

The Trust is offering an indefinite number of shares of each class of shares offered by the particular Fund. See “Additional Purchase and Redemption Information” and “Other Information — Capitalization” below.

This SAI is not a prospectus and is authorized for distribution only when preceded or accompanied by the prospectus for each of the Funds dated [            ], 2021 (the “Prospectus”). This SAI contains additional and more detailed information than that set forth in each Prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses. Copies of the Annual and Semi-Annual Reports for the Funds and the Prospectuses for the Funds are available without charge, and may be obtained by writing or calling the Funds at the address or telephone number printed above, or on the Funds’ website at www.rbcgam.us.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


   PAGE

Investment Policies

     1

Description of Securities, Investment Practices and Risks

     1

Cash Management

     1

Commercial Paper

     1

Convertible Securities

     1

Corporate Debt Securities

     2

Credit Linked Notes

     3

Cybersecurity

     3

Debt Securities

     3

Derivatives

     3

Futures

     4

Options

     5

Options on Futures Contracts

     6

Risks of Futures and Related Options Investments

     6

Foreign Currency Options

     7

Risks of Foreign Currency Options

     7

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

     7

Risks of Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

     7

Swap Agreements

     8

Risks of Swap Agreements

     9

Risks of Potential Regulation of Swaps and Other Derivatives

     10

Commodity Pool Operator Exclusions and Regulation

     10

Distressed Debt Securities

     11

Emerging Markets

     11

Equity Securities

     11

Exchange-Traded Notes

     12

Foreign Securities

     12

Forward Commitments and When-Issued Securities

     13

High Yield Securities

     13

Illiquid and Restricted Securities

     14

Investment Companies

     14

Investment Grade Securities

     15

Legislation and Regulation Risks

     15

Loan Assignments and Participations

     16

Market Risk

     17

Private Placement Securities

     20

Qualified Financial Contracts

     20

Repurchase Agreements

     20

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

     21

Securities of Smaller Companies

     21

Sovereign Bonds

     21

Subordinated Debt

     21

Temporary Defensive Positions

     21

Variable and Floating Rate Demand and Master Demand Notes

     23

Investment Restrictions

     23

Supplemental (Non-Fundamental) Clarification of Certain Fundamental Investment Policies/Restrictions

     24

Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

     24

Additional Purchase and Redemption Information

     24

Exchange of Fund Shares

         

Management

     26

Trustees and Officers

     26

Control Persons and Principal Holders of Securities

     33

Investment Advisor and Investment Sub-Advisor

     33

Portfolio Managers

     35


Proxy Voting Policies

     36

Distribution of Fund Shares

     36

Shareholder Servicing Plan

     38

Administrative Services

     38

Determination of Net Asset Value

     38

Portfolio Transactions

     39

Portfolio Turnover

     42

Taxation

     42

Other Information

     51

Capitalization

     51

Voting Rights

     52

Other Service Providers

     52

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     52

Code of Ethics

     52

Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies and Procedures

     52

Registration Statement

     53

Financial Statements

     53

Appendix A – Ratings of Debt Instruments

     A-1

Appendix B – Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     B-1


INVESTMENT POLICIES

The investment objective and principal investment strategies of each Fund are set forth in that Fund’s Prospectus. This SAI contains supplemental information concerning certain types of securities and other instruments in which the Funds may invest, the investment policies and portfolio strategies that the Funds may utilize, and certain risks attendant to such investments, policies and strategies. The investment objectives of the Funds are not fundamental and may, therefore, be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. Unless otherwise indicated, each investment policy and practice applies to all Funds.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES AND INVESTMENT PRACTICES

ASSET-BACKED SECURITIES. Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, pools of assets including, but not limited to, company receivables, truck and auto loans, leases and credit card receivables. These securities may be in the form of pass-through instruments or asset-backed bonds. Asset-backed securities are issued by non-governmental entities and carry no direct or indirect government guarantee; the asset pools that back asset-backed securities are securitized through the use of privately-formed trusts or special purpose corporations. Asset-backed securities differ from conventional debt securities and are subject to certain additional risks because principal is paid back over the life of the security rather than at maturity. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate.

Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present. Payments on asset-backed securities depend upon assets held by the issuer and collections of the underlying loans. The value of these securities depends on many factors, including changing interest rates, the availability of information about the pool and its structure, the credit quality of the underlying assets, the market’s perception of the servicer of the pool, and any credit enhancement provided.

Like mortgages underlying mortgage-backed securities, automobile sales contracts or credit card receivables underlying asset-backed securities are also subject to prepayment, which may reduce the overall return to certificate holders. Nevertheless, principal prepayment rates tend not to vary much with interest rates, and the short-term nature of the underlying car loans or other receivables tends to dampen the impact of any change in the prepayment level. Certificate holders may also experience delays in prepayment on the certificates if the full amounts due on underlying sales contracts or receivables are not realized because of unanticipated legal or administrative costs of enforcing the contracts or because of depreciation or damage to the collateral (usually automobiles) securing certain contracts, or other factors. In certain market conditions, asset-backed securities may experience volatile fluctuations in value and periods of illiquidity. If consistent with its investment objective and policies, a Fund may invest in other asset-backed securities that may be developed in the future. Certain asset-backed securities may be considered derivative instruments.

Asset-backed securities also include collateralized loan obligations, collateralized bond obligations and collateralized debt obligations. With regard to such securities, the underlying asset pool generally consists of non-investment grade loans, interests in non-investment grade loans, high yield debt securities and other debt instruments, which are subject to liquidity, market value, credit, interest rate, reinvestment and certain other risks. The underlying assets will generally be subject to greater risks than investment-grade corporate obligations. Such investments are normally considered speculative in nature. The underlying assets are typically actively managed by an investment manager, and as a result will be traded, subject to rating agency and other constraints, by such investment managers.

The aggregate return on the underlying assets will depend in part upon the ability of the relevant investment manager to actively manage the related portfolio.

CASH MANAGEMENT. Cash and cash equivalents may be used for cash management purposes and to maintain liquidity in order to satisfy redemption requests or pay unanticipated expenses, or they may be used while a Fund looks for suitable investment opportunities. There may also be times when a Fund attempts to respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions by investing up to 100% of its assets in these types of investments for temporary, defensive purposes. During these times, the Fund may not be able to pursue its primary investment objective and, instead, will focus on preserving its assets.

COMMERCIAL PAPER. The term commercial paper generally refers to short-term unsecured promissory notes. Commercial paper may be issued by both foreign and domestic entities, which may include bank holding companies, corporations, special purpose corporations, financial institutions, and at times government agencies and financial instrumentalities. Investments in commercial paper may be in the form of discounted securities, be issued at par, and be variable rate demand notes and variable rate master demand notes, all with stated or anticipated maturities within 397 days. Commercial paper may be issued as taxable or tax-exempt securities. All commercial paper purchased by a Fund must meet minimum rating criteria for that Fund.

CONVERTIBLE SECURITIES. Convertible securities give the holder the right to exchange the security for a specific number of shares of common stock, and entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities include convertible preferred stocks, convertible bonds, notes and debentures, and other securities. Convertible securities typically

 

1


involve less credit risk than common stock of the same issuer because convertible securities are “senior” to common stock — i.e., they have a prior claim against the issuer’s assets. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally

(i) have higher yields than common stocks, but pay lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

Investments in convertible bonds may, in addition to normal bond risks and fluctuations, be subject to fluctuations in response to numerous factors, including but not limited to, variations in the periodic operating results of the issuer, changes in investor perceptions of the issuer, the depth and liquidity of the market for convertible bonds and changes in actual or forecasted global or regional economic conditions. In addition, the global bond markets have from time to time experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. Any such broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of convertible bonds. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock or sell it to a third party. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund.

Contingent convertible bonds (“CoCo bonds”) are hybrid bonds typically issued by banks. When the issuer’s capital ratio falls below a specified trigger level, or in a regulator’s discretion depending on the regulator’s judgment about the issuer’s solvency prospects, a CoCo bond may be written down, written off or converted into an equity security. Due to the contingent write-down, write-off and conversion feature, CoCo bonds may have substantially greater risk than other securities in times of financial stress. If the trigger level is breached, the issuer’s decision to write down, write off or convert a CoCo bond may be outside a Fund’s control. Any such action could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s returns, and the Fund may suffer a complete loss on an investment in CoCo bonds with no chance of recovery even if the issuer remains in existence.

In addition, coupon payments on contingent convertible securities are discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer at any point, for any reason, and for any length of time. The discretionary cancellation of payments is not an event of default and there are no remedies to require re-instatement of coupon payments or payment of any past missed payments. Coupon payments may also be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves. Due to uncertainty surrounding coupon payments, contingent convertible securities may be volatile and their price may decline rapidly in the event that coupon payments are suspended.

Contingent convertible securities typically are structurally subordinated to traditional convertible bonds in the issuer’s capital structure. In certain scenarios, investors in contingent convertible securities may suffer a loss of capital ahead of equity holders or when equity holders do not. Contingent convertible securities are perpetual instruments and may only be callable at predetermined dates upon approval of the applicable regulatory authority. There is no guarantee that a Fund will receive return of principal on contingent convertible securities. Moreover, convertible contingent securities are a newer form of instrument and the regulatory environment for these instruments continues to evolve. Because the market for contingent convertible securities is evolving, it is uncertain how the larger market for contingent convertible securities would react to an issuer’s capital ratio falling below a specific trigger level or a coupon suspension applicable to a single issuer.

Contingent convertible securities are subject to additional risk factors. A contingent convertible security is a hybrid debt security typically issued by a non-U.S. bank that may be convertible into equity or may be written down if a pre-specified trigger event such as a decline in capital ratio below a prescribed threshold occurs. If such a trigger event occurs, a Fund may lose the principal amount invested on a permanent or temporary basis or the contingent convertible security may be converted to equity. Coupon payments on contingent convertible securities may be discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer. Holders of contingent convertible securities may suffer a loss of capital when comparable equity holders do not.

CORPORATE DEBT SECURITIES. The Funds may invest in corporate debt securities (corporate bonds, debentures, notes and similar corporate debt instruments) which meet the applicable rating criteria established for each Fund. The Funds may also invest in hybrid corporate debt, including Tier I and Tier II bank capital securities and bank trust preferred securities.

Corporate debt securities are taxable debt obligations issued by corporations, are subject to the risk of the issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to factors such as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity. The market value of a debt security generally reacts inversely to interest rate changes. When prevailing interest rates decline, the price of the debt obligation usually rises, and when prevailing interest rates rise, the price usually declines.

After purchase by a Fund, a security may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by the Fund. Neither event will require a sale of such security by the Fund. However, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor will consider such event in its determination of whether the Fund should continue to hold the security. To the extent the ratings given by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”) or another rating agency change as a result of changes in such

 

2


organizations or their rating systems, the Funds will attempt to use comparable ratings as standards for investments in accordance with the investment policies contained in the Prospectus and in this SAI.

CREDIT LINKED NOTES. Credit linked notes and similar structured notes involve a counterparty structuring a note whose value is intended to move in line with the underlying security specified in the note. Unlike financial derivative instruments, cash is transferred from the buyer to the seller of the note. In the event that the counterparty (the party that structures the note) defaults, the risk to the Fund is to that of the counterparty, irrespective of the value of the underlying security within the note. Additional risks result from the fact that the documentation of such notes tends to be highly customized. The liquidity of a credit linked note or similar notes can be less than that for the underlying security, a regular bond or debt instrument, and this may adversely affect either the ability to sell the position or the price at which such a sale is transacted.

CYBERSECURITY. With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet to conduct business, the Funds are susceptible to operational, information security and related risks. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber-attacks include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber-attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cybersecurity failures or breaches by the Funds’ Advisor Sub-Advisor, and other service providers (including, but not limited to, Fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), and the issuers of securities in which a Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, impediments to trading, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. While the Funds and their service providers have established business continuity plans in the event of, and systems designed to reduce the risks associated with, such cyber-attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified. Furthermore, the Funds cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Funds and issuers in which the Funds invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

DEBT SECURITIES. Investments in certain debt securities will be especially subject to the risk that, during certain periods, the liquidity of particular issuers or industries, or all securities within a particular investment category, may shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political events, or adverse investor perceptions whether or not accurate.

Current market conditions pose heightened risks for Funds because they invest in debt securities. Interest rates and bond yields are near historically low levels. Thus, Funds currently face a heightened level of risk associated with rising interest rates and/or bond yields. Any additional future interest rate increases or other adverse conditions (e.g., inflation/deflation, increased selling of certain fixed-income investments across other pooled investment vehicles or accounts, changes in investor perception, or changes in government intervention in the markets) could cause the value of any Fund that invests in debt securities to decrease. As such, debt securities markets may experience heightened levels of interest rate and liquidity risk, as well as increased volatility. If rising interest rates cause a Fund to lose value, the Fund could also face increased shareholder redemptions, which would further impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives.

The capacity for traditional dealers to engage in fixed-income trading for certain fixed-income instruments has not kept pace with the growth of the fixed income market, and in some cases has decreased. As a result, because dealers acting as market makers provide stability to a market, the significant reduction in certain dealer inventories could potentially lead to decreased liquidity and increased volatility in the fixed-income markets. Such issues may be exacerbated during periods of economic uncertainty or market volatility.

DERIVATIVES. A derivative is a financial instrument which has a value that is based on (“derived from”) the value of one or more other assets, such as securities, interest rates, currencies, commodities or market indexes (“reference assets”). Derivatives include futures, options, options on futures, forwards, and swap agreements (see additional disclosure below). The risks associated with the use of derivatives are different from, and may be greater than, the risks associated with investing in the reference asset on which the derivative is based. Derivatives are highly specialized instruments that require investment and analysis techniques different from those associated with standard bond and equity securities. Using derivatives requires an understanding not only of the reference asset, but of the derivative instrument itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the derivative under all potential market conditions. The Funds, as described in more detail below, may invest in various types of derivatives for the purpose of risk management, for investment purposes, seeking to reduce transaction costs, modifying the target duration of a Fund’s portfolio, managing a Fund’s cash position or otherwise seeking to add value to an individual portfolio when a derivative instrument is more favorably priced relative to the underlying security. However, there is no guarantee that a particular derivative strategy will meet these objectives. Further, the Funds are not obligated to actively engage in hedging. For example, a Fund may not have attempted to hedge its exposure to a particular risk at a time when doing so might have avoided a loss. The Funds may create long and short positions

 

3


through derivatives on currencies, interest rates, equities, bonds, and/or debt instruments issued by corporate issuers globally. The RBC Equity Funds and RBC Impact Investment Funds will not use derivatives solely for speculative purposes.

In addition to the risks associated with specific types of derivatives as described below, derivatives may be subject to the following risks: 1) Counterparty risk: the risk of loss due to the failure of the other party to the contract to make required payments or otherwise comply with contract terms; 2) Liquidity risk: the risk that a portfolio may not be able to purchase or sell a derivative at the most advantageous time or price due to difficulty in finding a buyer or seller; or 3) Pricing or Valuation risk: the risk that a derivative may not be correctly priced within a portfolio due to the fluctuating nature of the underlying reference asset and other factors. There is also the risk that the fluctuations in value of a derivative will not correlate perfectly with that of the underlying reference asset. Finally, the decision to purchase or sell a derivative depends in part upon the ability of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor to forecast certain economic trends, such as interest rates. If the Advisor or Sub-Advisor incorrectly forecasts these trends, or in the event of unanticipated market movement, there is a risk of loss to the portfolio upon liquidation of the derivative.

Leverage exists when a Fund purchases or sells a derivative instrument or enters into a transaction without investing cash in an amount equal to the full economic exposure of the instrument or transaction and the Fund could lose more than it invested. Leverage may cause a Fund to be more volatile because it may exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. The use of some derivative instruments may result in economic leverage, which does not result in the possibility of a Fund incurring obligations beyond its investment, but that nonetheless permits the Fund to gain exposure that is greater than would be the case in an unlevered instrument.

The SEC takes the position that financial instruments that involve a Fund’s obligation to make future payments to third parties can be viewed as issuances of “senior securities” by a Fund. To prevent such transactions from being viewed as “senior securities” subject to the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), prohibition, under current requirements, a Fund may (1) maintain an offsetting investment; (2) segregate or earmark on the books of the Fund an appropriate amount of liquid assets (assets that are not “illiquid” as described below) to “cover” the Fund’s potential exposure under the leveraged transactions; or (3) maintain other “cover” for the transaction as permitted by SEC or SEC staff guidance. In many cases, a Fund is required to segregate or earmark liquid assets equal to the derivative contract’s full, notional value. However, with respect to certain instruments that are contractually required to “cash-settle,” a Fund is permitted to segregate or earmark liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market (net) obligation (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability if any) rather than the notional value. By segregating or earmarking assets equal to only its net obligation under cash-settled contracts, a Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to segregate or earmark assets equal to the full notional value of such contracts. Fund transactions subject to the “senior security” prohibition are marked-to-market daily to assure that liquid assets equal to the potential exposure created by these transactions are maintained. These “cover” requirements may force a Fund to liquidate or purchase assets in adverse market conditions. Further, maintaining segregated assets to cover “senior securities” transactions may result in such securities being unavailable for other investment purposes or to satisfy redemptions. The Funds have adopted asset segregation policies to comply with the SEC’s requirements relating to cover and senior securities. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future to comply in the positions from time to time articulated by the SEC or its staff regarding asset segregation. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

Futures. The Funds may enter into futures contracts, which are standardized exchange-traded contracts between two parties for the sale of an underlying reference asset, such as a security, currency or commodity with delivery deferred until a future date. The buyer agrees to pay a fixed price at the agreed future date and the seller agrees to deliver the reference asset. Futures contracts may be bought and sold on U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts in the U.S. are traded on exchanges and must be transacted through a futures commission merchant (“FCM”), which is a brokerage firm. Because futures contracts are exchange-traded and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty, the primary credit risk on such contract is the creditworthiness of the Funds’ FCM. Futures contracts may also be entered into on certain exempt markets, including exempt boards of trade and electronic trading facilities, available to certain market participants. The purchase of a futures contract allows a Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying reference asset without having to buy or sell the actual asset. Futures contracts may be based on various securities, securities indexes, interest rates, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indexes. A Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in premiums and margins on options and futures.

A futures contract on a securities index is an agreement obligating either party to pay, and entitling the other party to receive, while the contract is outstanding, cash payments based on the level of a specified securities index. Each Fund may engage in such futures transactions in an effort to hedge against market risks and to manage its cash position. This investment technique is designed primarily to hedge against anticipated future changes in market conditions which otherwise might adversely affect the value of securities which these Funds hold or intend to purchase. For example, when interest rates are expected to rise or market values of portfolio securities are expected to fall, a Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its portfolio securities. When interest rates are expected to fall or market values are expected to rise, a Fund, through the purchase of such contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it affects anticipated purchases. The Funds may also engage in futures transactions for investment purposes in order to efficiently or quickly attain exposure to desired securities or markets, and such investments may involve leverage.

 

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While certain futures contracts provide for the delivery of an underlying reference asset, actual delivery usually does not occur. Futures contracts can be terminated by entering into offsetting transactions. In addition, a Fund may invest in futures contracts that are contractually required to be “cash-settled,” rather than requiring the delivery of the reference asset. The Fund will cover its obligations under the futures transactions in which it participates by either (i) holding offsetting positions; or (ii) accruing such amounts on a daily basis and maintaining segregated or earmarked assets to cover the futures contract. With respect to a futures contract that is not contractually required to “cash-settle,” a Fund must cover its open position by maintaining segregated or earmarked assets equal to the contract’s full, notional value. However, the Fund may net non-cash settled futures contracts if the futures have the same expiration date and underlying instruments. With respect to a futures contract that is contractually required to “cash-settle” the Fund is permitted to maintain segregated or earmarked assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market (net) obligation (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability if any) rather than the notional value. By segregating or earmarking assets equal to only its net obligation under

cash-settled future contracts a Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to segregate or earmark assets equal to the full notional value of such contracts. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

Options. A Fund may sell (or “write”) put and call options on the securities that the Fund is authorized to buy or already holds in its portfolio. A Fund may also purchase put and call options. A call option gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, to buy, and the writer the obligation to sell, the underlying security at the agreed-upon exercise (or “strike”) price at certain times during the option period. A put option gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, to sell, and the writer the obligation to buy, the underlying security at the strike price at certain times during the option period. Purchasers of options pay an amount, known as a premium, to the option writer in exchange for the right under the option contract. A Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in premiums and margins on options and futures.

A Fund may sell “covered” put and call options as a means of hedging the price risk of securities in the Fund’s portfolio. The sale of a put option against an amount of cash equal to the potential liability of the put constitutes a “covered put.” When a Fund sells an option, if the underlying securities do not increase (in the case of a call option) or decrease (in the case of a put option) to a price level that would make the exercise of the option profitable to the holder of the option, the option will generally expire without being exercised and the Fund will realize as profit the premium paid for such option. When a call option of which a Fund is the writer is exercised, the option holder purchases the underlying security at the strike price and the Fund does not participate in any increase in the price of such securities above the strike price. When a put option of which a Fund is the writer is exercised, the Fund will be required to purchase the underlying securities at the strike price, which may be in excess of the market value of such securities. At the time a Fund writes a put option or a call option on a security it does not hold in its portfolio in the amount required under the option, it will segregate or earmark liquid assets equal to its liability under the option or enter into an offsetting transaction, in accordance with procedures approved by the Board of Trustees that are intended to address potential leveraging issues. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

Over-the-counter (“OTC”) options differ from exchange-traded options in several respects. They are transacted directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation, and there is a risk of non-performance by the dealer. OTC options are available for a greater variety of securities and for a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than exchange-traded options. Because OTC options are not traded on an exchange, pricing is normally done by reference to information from a market maker. This information is carefully monitored by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor and verified in appropriate cases. All OTC derivative counterparties will be approved consistent with the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s policies and procedures. To the extent an OTC option is deemed to be illiquid, such OTC option would be subject to the Funds’ 15% limit on investments in securities which are illiquid or not readily marketable (see “Investment Restrictions”).

It may be a Fund’s policy, in order to avoid the exercise of an option it has sold, to cancel its obligation under the option by entering into a closing purchase transaction, if available, unless it is determined to be in the Fund’s interest to sell (in the case of a call option) or to purchase (in the case of a put option) the underlying securities. A closing purchase transaction consists of a Fund purchasing an option having the same terms as the option sold by the Fund, which effectively cancels the Fund’s position as a seller. The premium which a Fund will pay in executing a closing purchase transaction may be higher than the premium received when the option was sold, depending in large part upon the relative price of the underlying security at the time of each transaction. To the extent options sold by a Fund are exercised and the Fund either delivers portfolio securities to the holder of a call option or liquidates securities in its portfolio as a source of funds to purchase securities put to the Fund, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may increase, resulting in a possible increase in short-term capital gains and a possible decrease in long-term capital gains.

Purchasing and writing options involve certain risks. During the option period, the covered call writer has, in return for the premium on the option, given up the opportunity to profit from a price increase in the underlying securities above the exercise price, but, as long as its obligation as a writer continues, has retained the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. The writer of an option has no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation as a writer of the option. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying securities at the exercise price. If a put or call option purchased by a Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put) or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option.

Also, where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in a related security, the price

 

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of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the related security. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when a Fund seeks to close out an option position. Furthermore, if trading restrictions or suspensions are imposed on the options market, a Fund may be unable to close out a position. If a Fund cannot affect a closing transaction, it will not be able to sell the underlying security while the previously written option remains outstanding, even if it might otherwise be advantageous to do so.

Options on Futures Contracts. The Funds may purchase and write put and call options on futures contracts that are traded on a U.S. exchange or board of trade and enter into related closing transactions to attempt to gain additional protection against the effects of interest rate, currency or equity market fluctuations. There can be no assurance that such closing transactions will be available at all times. In return for the premium paid, such an option gives the purchaser the right to assume a position in a futures contract at specific times during the option period for a specified exercise price.

A Fund may purchase put options on futures contracts in lieu of, and for the same purpose as, the sale of a futures contract. It also may purchase such put options in order to hedge a long position in the underlying futures contract.

The purchase of call options on futures contracts is intended to serve the same purpose as the actual purchase of the futures contracts. A Fund may purchase call options on futures contracts in anticipation of a market advance when it is not fully invested.

A Fund may write a call option on a futures contract in order to hedge against a decline in the prices of the index or debt securities underlying the futures contracts. If the price of the futures contract at expiration is below the exercise price, the Fund would retain the option premium, which would offset, in part, any decline in the value of its portfolio securities.

The writing of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of the futures contracts, except that, if market price declines, a Fund would pay more than the market price for the underlying securities or index units. The net cost to that Fund would be reduced, however, by the premium received on the sale of the put, less any transaction costs.

At the time a Fund writes a put option or a call option on a futures contract, it will segregate or earmark liquid assets equal to its liability under the option or enter into an offsetting transaction, in accordance with procedures approved by the Board of Trustees that are intended to address potential leveraging issues. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

Risks of Futures and Related Options Investments. There are several risks associated with the use of futures contracts and options on futures contracts. While a Fund’s use of futures contracts and related options for hedging may protect the Fund against adverse movements in the general level of interest rates or securities prices, such transactions could also preclude the opportunity to benefit from favorable movement in the level of interest rates or securities prices. There can be no guarantee that the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s forecasts about market value, interest rates and other applicable factors will be correct or that there will be a correlation between price movements in the hedging vehicle and in the securities being hedged. The skills required to invest successfully in futures and options may differ from the skills required to manage other assets in a Fund’s portfolio. An incorrect forecast or imperfect correlation could result in a loss on both the hedged securities in a Fund and the hedging vehicle so that the Fund’s return might have been better had hedging not been attempted.

There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist at a time when a Fund seeks to close out a futures contract or option on a futures contract. Most futures exchanges and boards of trade limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single day; once the daily limit has been reached on a particular contract, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond that limit. In addition, certain of these instruments are relatively new and without a significant trading history. As a result, there is no assurance that an active secondary market will develop or continue to exist. Lack of a liquid market for any reason may prevent a Fund from liquidating an unfavorable position and the Fund would remain obligated to meet margin requirements until the position is closed. The potential risk of loss to a Fund from a futures transaction is unlimited.

A Fund will enter into only those futures contracts or futures options which are standardized and traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange or board of trade, or similar entity, or are quoted on an automated quotation system. Foreign markets may offer advantages such as trading in indices that are not currently traded in the United States. Foreign markets, however, may have greater risk potential than domestic markets. Unlike domestic commodity exchanges, foreign commodity exchanges are not regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and, as such, trading on foreign exchanges may be subject to greater risk than trading on domestic exchanges. In addition, some foreign exchanges are principal markets so that no common clearing facility exists and a trader may look only to the broker for performance of the contract. Finally, any profits that a Fund might realize in trading in foreign markets could be eliminated by adverse changes in the exchange rate of the currency in which the transaction is denominated, or a Fund could incur losses as a result of changes in the exchange rate.

A Fund will incur brokerage fees in connection with its futures and options on futures transactions, and it will be required to deliver funds for the benefit of brokers as margin to guarantee performance of these contracts. In addition, while such contracts may be entered into to reduce certain risks, trading in these contracts entails certain other risks. Thus, while a Fund may benefit from the use of futures contracts and related options, unanticipated changes in interest rates may result in a poorer overall performance for that Fund than if it had not entered into any such contracts. Moreover, in the event of an imperfect correlation between the futures position

 

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and the portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to risk of loss. A Fund may be required to segregate certain of its assets in respect of derivative transactions entered into by a Fund. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

There is a risk of loss by a Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of an FCM or a central counterparty with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of an 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 in certain circumstances. 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.

The regulation of futures, options on futures and other derivatives is a rapidly changing area of law. For more information, see “Risks of Potential Regulation of Swaps and Other Derivatives” below.

Foreign Currency Options. The Funds may purchase and write put and call options on foreign currencies and enter into related closing transactions to attempt to gain additional protection against adverse movements of currency exchange rates. A foreign currency option is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for the premium paid, the right to buy the underlying foreign currency from the writer of the option (in the case of a call option), or to sell the underlying foreign currency to the writer of the option (in the case of a put option), at a designated price during the term of the option. Foreign currency options are traded on U.S. and other exchanges as well as in the OTC market.

Risks of Foreign Currency Options. Foreign currency options traded on U.S. or other exchanges may be subject to position limits which may limit the ability of a Fund to reduce foreign currency risk using such options. OTC options differ from exchange-traded options in that they are two-party contracts with price and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-traded options. Employing hedging strategies with options on currencies does not eliminate fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities or prevent losses if the prices of such securities decline. Furthermore, such hedging transactions reduce or preclude the opportunity for gain if the value of the hedged currency should change relative to the U.S. dollar. The Funds will not speculate in options on foreign currencies.

There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular foreign currency option or at any particular time. In the event no liquid secondary market exists, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions, in particular options. If a Fund cannot close out an option which it holds, it would have to exercise its option in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs on the sale of underlying assets.

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. Each Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in order to protect against uncertainty in the level of future foreign exchange rates. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific non-U.S. currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars at a future date, which may be three days or more from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at an exchange rate (price) set at the time of the contract. These contracts are entered into in the interbank market conducted between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. At the maturity of a forward foreign currency exchange contract, a Fund may either exchange the reference asset and fixed price specified in the contract or, prior to maturity, a Fund may enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward foreign currency exchange contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original contract. A Fund may also enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts that do not provide for physical settlement of the reference asset but instead provide for settlement by a single cash payment (“non-deliverable forwards”). Under definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, non-deliverable forwards are considered swaps. Although non-deliverable forwards have historically been traded in the OTC market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared or subject to execution facility requirements. For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see “Swap Agreements,” “Risks of Swap Agreements” and “Risks of Potential Regulation of Swaps and Other Derivatives” below.

Risks of Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. Forward foreign currency exchange contracts may be bought or sold to attempt to protect the Funds against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar, or between foreign currencies. Although such contracts are intended to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, at the same time, they tend to limit any potential gain which might result should the value of such currency increase. The precise matching of the value of forward contracts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible since the future value of the securities in currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date the forward contract is entered into and the date it matures. The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s ability to accurately forecast currency exchange rate movements. Should exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, a Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or it may realize losses. Projection of short- term currency exchange rate movements is extremely difficult, and the successful execution of a short-term hedging strategy is uncertain. There can be no assurance that new forward contracts or offsets will always be available to the Funds.

 

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Investors should bear in mind that the Funds are not obligated to actively engage in hedging or other currency transactions. For example, a Fund may not have attempted to hedge its exposure to a particular foreign currency at a time when doing so might have avoided a loss.

Swap Agreements. The Funds may engage in swap transactions, including, but not limited to, interest rate swaps and options thereon, swaps on specific securities or security indexes, total return swaps, credit default swaps (“CDS”) and credit default index swaps (“CDX”). A swap agreement is an agreement between two parties (generally referred to as the counterparties) to exchange payments at specified dates calculated on a specific asset, interest rate, or index. The payments under a swap agreement are based on the specified dollar amount (generally referred to as the notional amount). Generally, swap agreements are structured so that the specified payments due from each counterparty with respect to a particular swap are netted, with net payment being made only to the counterparty entitled to receive such payment. Where a swap contract provides for the netting of payments, the net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to the swap contract will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of segregated or earmarked liquid assets having an aggregate market value at least equal to the accrued excess will be maintained to cover the transaction. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

The purchaser of an option on an interest rate swap, also known as a “swaption,” upon payment of a fee (either at the time of purchase or in the form of higher payments or lower receipts within an interest rate swap transaction) has the right, but not the obligation, to initiate a new swap transaction of a pre-specified notional amount with pre-specified terms with the seller of the swaption as the counterparty.

The purchaser of a CDS has the right to recoup the economic value of a decline in the value of obligations of the reference issuer if a credit event (e.g. a downgrade or default) occurs with respect to such debt obligations. CDS are contracts on individual debt obligations, while CDX transactions are contracts on indexes of debt obligations. CDS and CDX may require initial premium (discount) payments as well as periodic payments (receipts) related to the interest leg of the swap or to the default of a reference obligation. Certain CDS indices are subject to mandatory central clearing and execution requirements, which may reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to other credit default swaps or CDS index transactions; however, central clearing and execution requirements do not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. In cases where a Fund is the buyer of a CDS or a CDX contract, a Fund will segregate or earmark assets, in cash or liquid securities, with a value at least equal to the Fund’s exposure (any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed by the Fund to any counterparty), on a marked-to-market basis. In cases where a Fund is a seller of a CDS or CDX contract, the Fund will segregate or earmark assets, in cash or liquid securities, equal to the full notional value of the CDS or CDX. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below.

A total return swap is an agreement between two parties under which the parties agree to make payments to each other so as to replicate the economic consequences that would apply had a purchase or short sale of the underlying reference instrument taken place. For example, one party agrees to pay the other party the total return earned or realized on the notional amount of an underlying equity security and any dividends declared with respect to that equity security. In return the other party makes payments, typically at a floating rate, calculated based on the notional amount.

A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through an FCM and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. During the term of an uncleared swap, a Fund is usually required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if the swap were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments. Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, changes in the market value of the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. Likewise, the counterparty may be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to the Fund.

Applicable regulators have adopted margin requirements for uncleared swaps. The Funds have not typically provided initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. The margin requirements will be implemented on a phased-in basis and currently require the Funds to make variation margin payments and may require the Funds to make initial margin payments. Margin requirements are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk by do not make derivatives transactions risk free. The requirements may impact the Funds’ ability to engage in uncleared swaps because margin for uncleared swaps is expected to be higher than margin for cleared swaps (discussed below).

As a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and related regulatory developments, which imposed comprehensive regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants, certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory central clearing, which interposes a central clearinghouse to each participant’s swap, and exchange trading. In a cleared swap, a Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. Cleared swaps are transacted and submitted for clearing through each party’s FCM, which must be a member of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty. Mandatory clearing and exchange-trading of swaps will occur on a phased-in basis based on CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and public trading facilities making such cleared swaps

 

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available to trade. To date, the CFTC has designated only certain of the most common types of CDX and interest rate swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and certain public trading facilities have made certain of those swaps available to trade, but it is expected that additional categories of swaps will in the future be designated as subject to mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements.

Exchange trading and central clearing are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but exchange trading and central clearing do not eliminate these risks and may involve additional costs and risks not associated with uncleared swaps. For more information, see “Risks of Swap Agreements” and “Risks of Potential Regulation of Swaps and Other Derivatives” below.

When a 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 value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying instrument, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. 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.

Risks of Swap Agreements. As is the case with most investments, swap agreements are subject to market risk, and there can be no guarantee that the Advisor or Sub-Advisor will correctly forecast the future movements of interest rates, indexes or other economic factors. The use of swaps requires an understanding of investment techniques, risk analysis and tax treatment different than those of the Fund’s underlying portfolio investments. Swap agreements may be subject to liquidity risk, when a particular contract is difficult to purchase or sell at the most advantageous time. However, in recent years the swaps market has become increasingly liquid, and central clearing and the trading of cleared swaps on public facilities are intended to further increase liquidity. Nevertheless, certain swap agreements may be subject to the Fund’s limitations on illiquid securities.

Swap agreements are also subject to pricing risk which can result in significant fluctuations in value relative to historical prices. Significant fluctuations in value may mean that it is not possible to initiate or liquidate a swap position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of a specific market opportunity. In addition, there may be disputes between the buyer and seller of a credit default swap agreement or within the swaps market as a whole as to whether a credit event has occurred or what the payment should be. Such disputes could result in litigation or other delays, and the outcome could be adverse for the buyer or seller.

Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act require centralized reporting of detailed information about swaps, whether cleared or uncleared. This information is available to regulators and also, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data is intended to result in greater market transparency. This may be beneficial to Funds should they use swaps in their trading strategies. However, public reporting imposes additional recordkeeping burdens on these Funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity are not yet tested and may not provide protection of trader identities as intended.

Uncleared swaps are typically executed bilaterally with a swap dealer rather than traded on exchanges. As a result, swap participants may not be as protected as participants on organized exchanges. Performance of a swap agreement is the responsibility only of the swap counterparty and not of any exchange or clearinghouse. As a result, the Funds are subject to counterparty risk (i.e. the risk that a counterparty will be unable or will refuse to perform under such agreement, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency). The Funds risk the loss of the accrued but unpaid amounts under a swap agreement, which could be substantial, in the event of a default, insolvency or bankruptcy by a swap counterparty. In such an event, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, but bankruptcy and insolvency laws could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. If the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would likely decline, potentially resulting in losses. Additionally, applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on OTC swaps, which may cause a Fund and its counterparties to post higher margin.

As noted above, under recent financial reforms, certain types of swaps are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be traded on an exchange and cleared through a central counterparty, which may affect counterparty risk and other risks faced by a Fund. Exchange trading and central clearing are designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity and transparency compared to bilateral swaps, but do not eliminate those risks completely and may increase expense. There is also a risk of loss by a Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM or the central counterparty with which the Fund has an open position. The assets of a 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 in certain circumstances. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Funds are also subject to the risk that the FCM could use a 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. Credit risk of cleared swap participants is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and the consequences of insolvency of a clearinghouse are not clear.

 

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With cleared swaps, a Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with a Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. Central counterparties and FCMs can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions upon the occurrence of certain events, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement. Currently, depending on a number of factors, the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap.

The Funds are 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, a Fund may be required to break the trade and make an early termination payment to the executing broker.

Swaps that are subject to mandatory clearing are also required to be traded on a Swap Execution Facility (“SEF”), if any SEF makes the swap available to trade. A SEF is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. As noted above, transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps that it has used in the past.

Certain payment obligations under many swaps are based on a floating rate based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). As discussed in more detail under “Legislation and Regulation Risks,” it is expected that the continuation of LIBOR on its current basis (or at all) cannot be guaranteed after 2021 or 2023 (for the most widely used LIBORs). The industry is engaging in ongoing efforts to identify alternative reference interest rates that can be used to replace LIBOR in various contexts, including for swaps, and to implement related protocols to implement such alternative reference rates. However, it is not possible to predict the full effect of these changes on swaps with payment obligations that are based on LIBOR. As such, the potential effect and ultimate outcome of any such event on a Fund that invests in such swaps cannot yet be determined.

Risks of Potential Regulation of Swaps and Other Derivatives. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.

It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, such as speculative position limits on certain types of derivatives, or limits or restrictions on the counterparties with which the Funds engage in derivative transactions, may limit or prevent a Fund from using or limit a Fund’s use of these instruments effectively as a part of its investment strategy, and could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor will continue to monitor developments in the area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect a Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Funds, may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

Commodity Pool Operator Exclusions and Regulation. The Advisor is registered as a “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and the rules of the CFTC. However, the Advisor has claimed with respect to each Fund an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under CFTC Regulation 4.5, and the Advisor is exempt from registration as a “commodity trading advisor” with respect to the Funds. Accordingly, the Advisor is not subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator or commodity trading advisor with respect to these Funds. The Funds are also not subject to registration or regulation as commodity pool operators.

The terms of CFTC Regulation 4.5 require each of these Funds, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forwards. The Funds are not intended as vehicles for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Advisor’s or the Funds’ reliance on these exclusions, the Funds’ investment strategies or Prospectus, or this SAI.

Generally, CFTC Regulation 4.5 requires each Fund to meet one of the following tests for its commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Fund’s positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, a Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. If, in the future, a Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, the Advisor would be subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator with respect to the Fund in accordance

 

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with CFTC rules that apply to CPOs of registered investment companies. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the Advisor’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements.

However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Funds, the Funds may incur additional compliance and other expenses.

DISTRESSED DEBT SECURITIES. A Fund may invest in distressed debt securities. Investment in such distressed debt securities involves purchases of obligations of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business distress, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Acquired investments may include senior or subordinated debt securities, bank loans, promissory notes and other evidences of indebtedness, as well as payables to trade creditors. Although such purchases may result in significant investor returns, they involve a substantial degree of risk and may not show any return for a considerable period of time. In fact, many of these investments ordinarily remain unpaid unless and until the company reorganizes and/or emerges from bankruptcy proceedings, and as a result may have to be held for an extended period of time. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful investment in companies experiencing significant business and financial distress is unusually high.

EMERGING MARKETS. A Fund may invest in less developed or emerging markets. These markets may be volatile and illiquid and the investments of the Fund in such markets may be considered speculative and subject to significant delays in settlement. Practices in relation to settlement of securities transactions in emerging markets involve higher risks than those in developed markets, in part because the Fund will need to use brokers and counterparties which are less well capitalized, and custody and registration of assets in some countries may be unreliable. Delays in settlement could result in investment opportunities being missed if a Fund is unable to acquire or dispose of a security.

The risk of significant fluctuations in the NAV and of the suspension of redemptions in those Funds may be higher than for Funds investing in major world markets. In addition, there may be a higher than usual risk of political, economic, social and religious instability and adverse changes in government regulations and laws in emerging markets, assets could be compulsorily acquired without adequate compensation. The assets of a Fund investing in such markets, as well as the income derived from the Fund, may also be affected unfavorably by fluctuations in currency rates and exchange control and tax regulations and consequently the NAV of shares of these Funds may be subject to significant volatility. Some of these markets may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those of more developed countries and the securities markets of such countries may be subject to unexpected closure.

Due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war, it is possible that the United States, other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) could impose sanctions on certain issuers that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in a country that is involved in such conflicts. Such sanctions or other intergovernmental actions could result in the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. In addition, an imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. Counter measures could be taken by the country’s government, which could involve the seizure of the Fund’s assets. In addition, such actions could adversely affect a country’s economy, possibly forcing the economy into a recession.

There may be less government supervision, legal regulation and less well defined tax laws and procedures than in countries with more developed securities markets. Certain emerging market countries may be subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping and therefore, all material information may not be available tor reliable. In addition, a Fund is limited in its ability to exercise its legal rights or enforce a counterparty’s legal obligations in certain jurisdictions outside of the United States, in particular, in emerging market countries. In addition, due to jurisdictional limitations, U.S. regulators may be limited in their ability to enforce regulatory or legal obligations in emerging market countries. Some emerging markets governments exercise substantial influence over the private economic sector and the political and social uncertainties that exist for many developing countries are particularly significant. Another risk common to most such countries is that the economy is heavily export oriented and, accordingly, is dependent upon international trade. The existence of overburdened infrastructures and obsolete financial systems also presents risks in certain countries, as do environmental problems.

Although the Funds value their assets daily in terms of U.S. dollars, the Funds do not intend to convert their holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. The Funds will do so from time to time, and investors should be aware of the costs of currency conversion. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (“spread”) between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire to sell that currency to the dealer.

EQUITY SECURITIES. A Fund may invest in equity or equity-related investments. The values of equity securities may decline due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. They may also decline due to factors which affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased

 

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production costs and competitive conditions within an industry. Equity securities generally have greater price volatility than fixed income securities.

A Fund may invest in preferred stock, which are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Preferred stock is a class of a capital stock that typically pays dividends at a specified rate. Preferred stock is generally senior to common stock, but subordinate to debt securities, with respect to the payment of dividends and on liquidation of the issuer. The market value of preferred stock generally decreases when interest rates rise and is also affected by the issuer’s ability to make payments on the preferred stock. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default or other non-compliance by the issuer of the preferred stock.

EXCHANGE-TRADED NOTES. Exchange-Traded Notes or “ETNs” are a type of debt security that trade on exchanges and promise a return linked to a market index or other benchmark. ETNs are unsecured debt obligations of the issuer—typically a bank or another financial institution. They differ from traditional bonds in certain ways. For example, unlike traditional bonds, ETNs typically do not pay any interest payments to investors. Instead, the issuer promises to pay the holder of the ETN an amount determined by the performance of the underlying index or benchmark on the ETN’s maturity date (typically 10, 30 or in some cases even 40 years from issuance), minus any specified fees. The performance of an ETN over long periods can differ significantly from the performance of the underlying index or benchmark. Some ETNs are callable at the issuer’s discretion. In addition, unlike traditional bonds, ETNs trade on exchanges throughout the day at prices determined by the market, similar to stocks or exchange-traded funds. But unlike exchange-traded funds, ETNs do not buy or hold assets to replicate or approximate the performance of the underlying index. The secondary market price of an ETN may differ significantly from its indicative value as calculated by the issuer.

The issuer of an ETN may engage in trading activity that is at odds with the interests of investors who hold the ETNs.

ETNs carry various risks, including credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk. The absence of an active secondary market for ETNs could make it difficult to dispose of the ETNs. Although ETNs are traded on an exchange, an active trading market may not develop. A Fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults on an ETN.

FOREIGN SECURITIES. Investing in the securities of issuers in any foreign country, including American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. issuers. ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. These special risks include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards; generally higher commission rates on foreign portfolio transactions; the possibility of nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation; adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a country); political instability which could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries; and diplomatic developments imposed by other countries or government entities. Additionally, foreign securities and dividends and interest payable on those securities may be subject to foreign taxes, including taxes withheld from payments on those securities. Foreign securities often trade with less frequency and volume than domestic securities and, therefore, may exhibit greater price volatility. Additional costs associated with an investment in foreign securities may include higher custodial fees than apply to domestic custodial arrangements and transaction costs of foreign currency conversions. Changes in foreign exchange rates also will affect the value of securities denominated or quoted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. A Fund’s objective may be affected either unfavorably or favorably by fluctuations in the relative rates of exchange between the currencies of different nations, by exchange control regulations and by indigenous economic and political developments. For example, the Funds may face potential risks associated with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU and the European Economic Area on January 31, 2020 (commonly known as “Brexit”) and entered into a transition period, during which period EU law continued to apply in the United Kingdom. New EU legislation that took effect before the end of the transition period also applies in the United Kingdom. The transition period ended on December 31, 2020. On December 30, 2020, the EU and United Kingdom signed an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and the United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period, the EU- UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). Notwithstanding the TCA, following the transition period, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s post-transition framework, and in particular as to the arrangements which will apply to the United Kingdom’s relationships with the EU and with other countries. This uncertainty may, at any stage, adversely affect the Funds and their investments. There may be detrimental implications for the value of a Fund’s investments and/or its ability to implement its investment program. This may be due to, among other things: increased uncertainty and volatility in the United Kingdom, the EU and other financial markets; fluctuations in asset values; fluctuations in exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of financial and other counterparties to enter into transactions or the price and terms on which other counterparties are willing to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which Fund investments are or become subject. Any of these events, as well as an exit or expulsion of an EU member state other than the United Kingdom from the EU, could negatively impact Fund returns. The ultimate effects of these events and other socio-political or geo-political issues are not known but could profoundly affect global economies and markets.

 

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A decline in the value of any particular currency against the U.S. dollar will cause a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a Fund’s holdings of securities denominated in such currency and, therefore, will cause an overall decline in the Fund’s NAV and any net investment income and capital gains to be distributed in U.S. dollars to shareholders of the Fund. The rate of exchange between the

U.S. dollar and other currencies is determined by several factors including the supply and demand for particular currencies, central bank efforts to support particular currencies, the movement of interest rates, the pace of business activity in certain other countries and the United States, and other economic and financial conditions affecting the world economy. Although a Fund may engage in forward foreign currency transactions and foreign currency options to protect its portfolio against fluctuations in currency exchange rates in relation to the U.S. dollar, there is no assurance that these techniques will be successful.

Although the Funds value their assets daily in terms of U.S. dollars, the Funds do not intend to convert their holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. The Funds will do so from time to time, and investors should be aware of the costs of currency conversion. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (“spread”) between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire to sell that currency to the dealer.

FORWARD COMMITMENTS AND WHEN-ISSUED SECURITIES. A Fund may purchase when-issued securities and enter into agreements to purchase securities for a fixed price for settlement and delivery at a future date beyond the customary settlement time if a Fund maintains liquid assets in a segregated or earmarked account in accordance with procedures approved by the Board of Trustees that are intended to address potential leveraging issues, or if a Fund enters into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities it owns. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” below. Purchasing forward commitments and securities on a when-issued basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date, which risk is in addition to the risk of decline in value of a Fund’s other assets. No income accrues on securities purchased on a when-issued basis prior to the time delivery of the securities is made, although a Fund may earn interest on securities it has deposited in the segregated account because it does not pay for the when-issued securities until they are delivered. Investing in when-issued securities has the effect of (but is not the same as) leveraging a Fund’s assets.

Although a Fund would generally purchase securities on a when-issued basis or enter into forward commitments with the intention of actually acquiring securities, the Fund may dispose of a when-issued security or forward commitment prior to settlement if the Advisor or Sub-Advisor deems it appropriate to do so. A Fund may realize short-term profits or losses upon such sales. Obligations purchased on a when-issued basis or held in the Funds’ portfolios are subject to changes in market value based not only upon the public’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer but also upon changes in the level of interest rates. In the absence of a change in credit characteristics, which, of course, will cause changes in value, the value of portfolio investments can be expected to decline in periods of rising interest rates and to increase in periods of declining interest rates.

When payment is made for when-issued securities, a Fund will meet its obligations from its then available cash flow, sale of securities held in the separate account, sale of other securities or, although it would normally not expect to do so, from sale of the when-issued securities themselves (which may have a market value greater or less than the Fund’s obligation). Sale of securities to meet these obligations would involve a greater potential for the realization of capital gains.

“To Be Announced” contracts or “TBA contracts” are forward contracts for the future purchase of “to be announced” debt obligations of the three U.S. government-sponsored agencies that issue or guarantee mortgage-backed securities. These bilateral contracts have two distinguishing features. First, the mortgage-backed securities to be bought or sold are not specified when the parties enter into the agreement. The parties agree on six general parameters of the debt obligations to be transferred: date, issuing agency, interest rate, maturity date, total face amount of the obligation and price. Then, immediately prior to the time of performance, the seller will specify how many and which securities will be used to satisfy the contract. Second, these contracts contemplate delayed delivery.

Forward contracts, including TBA contracts, and delayed-delivery transactions are subject to the risk that a counterparty may become bankrupt or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments to a Fund. A Fund may obtain no or only limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. In addition, certain rules of the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that will require a Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to a Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to a Fund and add operational complexity.

HIGH YIELD SECURITIES. High yield fixed income securities (i.e., securities rated BB+ or below by S&P, Ba1 or below by Moody’s or comparable rated and unrated securities (also known as junk bonds)) typically are subject to greater market fluctuations and to greater risk of loss of income and principal, due to default by the issuer, than are higher-rated fixed income securities. Lower- rated fixed income securities’ values tend to reflect short term corporate, economic and market developments and investor perceptions of the issuer’s credit quality to a greater extent than lower yielding higher-rated fixed income securities’ values. In addition, it may be more difficult to dispose of, or to determine the value of, high yield fixed income securities. There are fewer investors in lower-rated

 

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securities, and it may be harder to buy and sell securities at an optimum time. Fixed income securities rated BB or Ba or lower are described by the ratings agencies as having speculative characteristics.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. Investments in non-investment grade and comparable unrated obligations will be more dependent on the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s credit analysis, as applicable, than would be the case with investments in investment-grade debt obligations.

The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by the Funds in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by the Funds of their initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, the Funds may incur additional expenses to the extent that they are required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect their interests. The Funds may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Funds in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Funds have not received any cash payments of such interest.

ILLIQUID AND RESTRICTED SECURITIES. A Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments, defined as investments that it cannot sell or dispose of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Illiquid investments include, for example, repurchase agreements and time deposits with notice/termination dates of more than seven days, certain variable-amount master demand notes that cannot be called within seven days, certain insurance funding agreements, certain unlisted OTC options and other securities that are traded in the U.S. but are subject to trading restrictions because they are not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Because illiquid and restricted securities may be difficult to sell at an acceptable price, they may be subject to greater volatility and may result in a loss to the Funds. The continued viability of a market is dependent upon the willingness of market participants to purchase such securities. Securities that are liquid may become illiquid.

Restricted securities are subject to legal restrictions on resale. Each Fund may also, when consistent with its investment objective and policies, purchase commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the 1933 Act and domestically traded securities that are not registered under the 1933 Act but can be sold to “qualified institutional buyers” in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act (“Rule 144A Securities”). The practice of investing in Rule 144A Securities could increase the level of a Fund’s illiquidity during any period that qualified buyers become uninterested in purchasing these securities.

Rule 144A is a nonexclusive safe-harbor for certain secondary market transactions involving securities subject to restrictions on resale under federal securities laws. Rule 144A provides an exemption from registration for resales of otherwise restricted securities to qualified institutional buyers. Rule 144A was expected to further enhance the liquidity of the secondary market for securities eligible for resale.

The SEC defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that a Fund may not be able to meet redemption requests without significantly diluting the interests of remaining shareholders. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are or become difficult to purchase or sell at the price at which the Fund has valued the security, whether because of current market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, or the specific type of investment. If the market for a particular security becomes illiquid (for example, due to changes in the issuer’s financial condition), the Fund may be unable to sell such security at an advantageous time or price due to the difficulty in selling such securities. Additionally, the market for certain equity or debt securities may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer.

INVESTMENT COMPANIES. A Fund may purchase securities issued by other investment companies. Each Fund will limit its investments in accordance with restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act so that, as determined immediately after a securities purchase is made: (a) not more than 5% of the value of its total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company; (b) not more than 10% of the value of its total assets will be invested in the aggregate in securities of investment companies as a group;

(c) not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by any of the Funds; and (d) not more than 10% of the outstanding voting stock of any one closed-end investment company will be owned in the aggregate by the Funds. These limitations do not apply to investments in securities of companies that are excluded from the definition of an investment company under the 1940 Act. These restrictions do not apply to investments by the Funds in investment companies that are money market mutual funds to the extent that those investments are made in accordance with applicable exemptive rules or other authority.

As a shareholder of another investment company, a Fund would bear, along with other shareholders, its pro rata portion of that company’s expenses, including advisory fees. These expenses would be in addition to the advisory and other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations. Investment companies in which a Fund may invest may also impose a sales or

 

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distribution charge in connection with the purchase or redemption of their shares and other types of commissions or charges. Such charges will be payable by the Funds and, therefore, will be borne indirectly by shareholders.

A Fund’s investments in investment companies may include various exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), subject to the Fund’s investment objective, policies, and strategies as described in the Prospectus. ETFs are baskets of securities that, like stocks, trade on exchanges such as the American Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. ETFs are priced continuously and trade throughout the day. ETFs may track a securities index, a particular market sector, or a particular segment of a securities index or market sector.

ETFs can experience many of the same risks associated with individual stocks. ETFs are subject to market risk where the market as a whole, or that specific sector, may decline. ETFs that invest in volatile stock sectors, such as foreign issuers, smaller companies, or technology, are subject to the additional risks to which those sectors are subject. ETFs may trade at a discount to the aggregate value of the underlying securities. The underlying securities in an ETF may not follow the price movements of an entire industry or sector. Trading in an ETF may be halted if the trading in one or more of the ETF’s underlying securities is halted. Although expense ratios for ETFs are generally low, frequent trading of ETFs by a Fund can generate brokerage expenses.

In addition, investments in ETFs involve the risk that the market prices of ETF shares will fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and materially, in response to changes in the ETF’s NAV, the value of ETF holdings, and supply and demand for ETF shares. Although the creation/redemption feature of ETFs generally makes it more likely that ETF shares will trade close to NAV, market volatility, lack of an active trading market for ETF shares, disruptions at market participants (such as Authorized Participants or market makers) and any disruptions in the ordinary functioning of the creation/redemption process may result in ETF shares trading significantly above (at a “premium”) or below (at a “discount”) NAV. Significant losses may result when transacting in ETF shares in these and other circumstances. Neither the Advisor, Sub-Advisor nor the Trust can predict whether ETF shares will trade above, below or at NAV. An ETF’s investment results are based on the ETF’s daily NAV. Investors transacting in ETF shares in the secondary market, where market prices may differ from NAV, may experience investment results that differ from results based on the ETF’s daily NAV.

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. Compliance with these new requirements will be required by January 19, 2022. Following the compliance date, these regulatory changes may adversely impact each Fund’s investment strategies and operations.

INVESTMENT GRADE SECURITIES. A Fund may invest in investment grade securities. Investment grade rated securities are assigned credit ratings by ratings agencies on the basis of the creditworthiness or risk of default of a bond issue. Rating agencies review, from time to time, such assigned ratings of the securities and may subsequently downgrade the rating if economic circumstances impact the relevant bond issues.

LEGISLATION AND REGULATION RISKS. Financial entities, such as investment companies and investment advisers, are generally subject to extensive government regulation and intervention. Government regulation and/or intervention may change the way a Fund is regulated, affect the expenses incurred directly by the Fund and the value of its investments, and limit and/or preclude a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. Government regulation may change frequently and may have significant adverse consequences. Moreover, government regulation may have unpredictable and unintended effects. Actions by governmental entities may also impact certain instruments in which a Fund invests.

For example, certain instruments in which a Fund may invest rely in some fashion upon LIBOR. LIBOR collectively refers to several interbank reference rates that function as a reference rate or benchmark for many investments, securities and transactions. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, has announced plans to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrator and other regulators indicate that it is possible that the most widely used LIBORs may continue until mid-2023. Accordingly, it is expected that the continuation of LIBOR on its current basis (or at all) cannot be guaranteed after 2021 or 2023 (for the most widely used LIBORs). There remains uncertainty regarding the future utilization of LIBOR and the nature of any replacement rate (e.g. the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBORs with certain adjustments and measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury Securities). The industry is engaging in ongoing efforts to identify alternative reference interest rates that can be used to replace LIBOR in various contexts and to implement related protocols to implement such alternative reference rates. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on a Fund or on certain instruments in which a Fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on factors that include, but are not limited to: (i) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and (ii) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments. For example, certain of a Fund’s investments may involve individual contracts that have no existing fallback provision or language that contemplates the discontinuation of LIBOR, and those investments could experience increased volatility or reduced liquidity as a result of the transition process. In addition, interest rate provisions included in such contracts may need to be renegotiated in contemplation of the transition away from LIBOR. The transition may also result in a reduction in the value of certain instruments held by a Fund or a reduction in the effectiveness of related

 

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Fund transactions such as hedges. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, could result in losses to a Fund. However, it is not possible to predict the full effect of these changes on a Fund’s investments and, as such, the potential effect and ultimate outcome of any such event on a Fund cannot yet be determined.

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 that will rescind and withdraw the guidance of the SEC and its staff regarding asset segregation and cover transactions reflected in a Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. The final rule requires a Fund 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 and 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 a 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. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of a Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities throughout the world have in the past responded to major economic disruptions with a variety of significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including but not limited to, direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs and dramatically lower interest rates. For example, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus disease, the U.S. Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March 2020, which established loan programs for certain issuers impacted by COVID-19. Among other conditions, borrowers under these loan programs are generally restricted from paying dividends. The adoption of any future legislation could further limit or restrict the ability of issuers to pay dividends. There can be no guarantee that the CARES Act or other economic stimulus bills (within the United States or other affected countries throughout the world) will be sufficient or will have their intended effect. In addition, an unexpected or quick reversal of such policies could increase volatility in securities markets, which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments.

Regulation as a Bank Holding Company. The Advisor is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada, which is a Bank Holding Company (a “BHC”) under the U.S. Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”). The activities of BHCs and their affiliates are subject to certain restrictions imposed by the BHCA and related regulations. As an affiliate of the Royal Bank of Canada, the Advisor is subject to these restrictions. Under certain circumstances, the Advisor may be deemed to “control” a Fund within the meaning of the BHCA and therefore certain of these restrictions could apply to the Fund as well. These restrictions may materially adversely affect the Fund, among other ways, by imposing restrictions on certain of the Fund’s investments; restricting the ability of the Advisor, or its affiliates to invest in the Fund; or affecting the ability of the Advisor to pursue certain strategies within the Fund’s investment program. Under certain circumstances, the Fund may be limited in the amount it may invest in portfolio companies to five percent of the portfolio’s company’s voting securities. In addition, if the Advisor or an affiliate provides seed capital to a Fund and the Fund cannot gain sufficient outside investment after of its initial seeding period, then the Fund may be forced to cease investment operations.

LOAN ASSIGNMENTS AND PARTICIPATIONS. A Fund may invest in fixed and floating rate loans from one or more financial institutions (“lender(s)”) to a borrower (“borrower”) by way of: (i) assignment/transfer of; or (ii) participation in the whole or part of the loan amount outstanding. In both instances, assignments or participations of such loans must be capable of being freely traded and transferred between investors in the loans. Participations typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with a lender as grantor of the participation but not with the borrower. The Fund acquires a participation interest only if the lender(s) positioned between the Fund and the borrower is determined by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor to be creditworthy. When purchasing loan participations, the Fund assumes the economic risk associated with the corporate borrower and the credit risk associated with an interposed bank or other financial intermediary. Loan assignments typically involve a transfer of debt from a lender to a third party. When purchasing loan assignments, the Fund assumes the credit risk associated with the corporate borrower only.

Such loans may be secured or unsecured. Loans that are fully secured offer the Fund more protection than an unsecured loan in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. However, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the corporate borrower’s obligation. In addition, investments in loans through a direct assignment include the risk that if a loan is terminated, the Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral.

 

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Loan participations typically represent direct participation in a loan to a corporate borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates.

A loan is often administered by an agent bank acting as agent for all holders. Unless, under the terms of the loan or other indebtedness, the Fund has direct recourse against the corporate borrower, the Fund may have to rely on the agent bank or other financial intermediary to apply appropriate credit remedies against a corporate borrower.

The loan participations or assignments in which the Fund invests may not be rated by any internationally recognized rating service.

The Fund may incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a loan assignment or suffer a loss of principal and/or interest if assets or interests held by the agent bank or other financial intermediary are determined to be subject to the claims of the agent bank’s or other financial intermediary’s creditors. In addition, it is unclear whether loan assignments and other forms of direct indebtedness offer securities law protections against fraud and misrepresentation. Also, if the Fund invests in publicly traded securities the Advisor or Sub-Advisor may not have access to material non-public information to which other investors have access. Although certain loan assignments are secured by collateral, the Fund could experience delays or limitations in realizing the value on such collateral or have its interest subordinated to other indebtedness. Loan assignments are vulnerable to market conditions such that economic conditions or other events may reduce the demand for assignments and certain assignments that were liquid, when purchased, may become illiquid and they may be difficult to value. In addition, the settlement period for loans is uncertain as there is no standardized settlement schedule applicable to such investments. Therefore, the Fund may not receive the proceeds from a sale of such investments for a period after the sale.

MARKET RISK. One or more markets in which a Fund invests may go down in value, sometimes sharply and unpredictably, and the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities may fall or fail to rise. Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. The success of a Fund’s investment program may be affected by general economic and market conditions, such as interest rates, availability of credit, inflation rates, economic uncertainty, changes in laws, and national and international political circumstances. These factors may affect the level and volatility of securities prices and the liquidity of investments held by a Fund.

Unexpected volatility or illiquidity could impair a Fund’s profitability or result in losses.

In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and political, economic and other conditions and events (including, but not limited to, natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics, and social unrest) in one country, region, or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, the occurrence of, among other events, natural or man-made disasters, severe weather or geological events, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of disease (such as COVID-19, avian influenza or H1N1/09), epidemics, pandemics, malicious acts, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts or the occurrence of climate change, may also adversely impact the performance of a Fund. Such events may result in, among other things, closing borders, exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. Such events could adversely impact issuers, markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. A Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. Moreover, such negative political and economic conditions and events could disrupt the processes necessary for a Fund’s operations.

In a negative interest rate environment, debt instruments may trade at negative yields, which means the purchaser of the instrument may receive at maturity less than the total amount invested. In addition, in a negative interest rate environment, if a bank charges negative interest rates, instead of receiving interest on deposits, a depositor must pay the bank fees to keep money with the bank. To the extent a Fund holds a debt instrument or has a bank deposit with a negative interest rate, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment.

In light of current market conditions, interest rates and bond yields in the United States and many other countries are at or near historic lows, and in some cases, such rates and yields are negative. During periods of very low or negative interest rates, the Fund’s susceptibility to interest rate risk (i.e., the risks associated with changes in interest rates) may be magnified, its yield and income may be diminished and its performance may be adversely affected (e.g., during periods of very low or negative interest rates, the Fund may be unable to maintain positive returns). These levels of interest rates (or negative interest rates) may magnify the risks associated with rising interest rates. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, including market volatility and reduced liquidity, and may adversely affect a Fund’s yield, income and performance.

MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIES. Mortgage-related securities represent direct or indirect participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property, and include pass-through securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”). These securities may be issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities, or private issuers, including commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers. Payment of principal and interest on some mortgage pass-through securities (but not the market value of the securities themselves) may be guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government (such as securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae; or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government (such as securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which are supported only by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase the agency’s obligations.

 

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No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to U.S. Government-sponsored agencies or instrumentalities if it is not obligated to do so by law. Mortgage pass-through securities issued by private issuers may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance, and letters of credit issued by governmental entities, private insurers or the mortgage poolers.

Mortgage pass-through securities are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgages in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made monthly, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the residential mortgage loans which underlie the securities (net of fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities). Early repayment of principal on mortgage pass-through securities (arising from prepayments of principal due to sale of the underlying property, refinancing, or foreclosure, net of fees and costs which may be incurred) may expose a Fund to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. Also, if a security subject to prepayment has been purchased at a premium, in the event of prepayment the value of the premium would be lost. Like other fixed-income securities, when interest rates rise, the value of a mortgage-related security generally will decline; however, when interest rates decline, the value of mortgage-related securities with prepayment features may not increase as much as other fixed-income securities. In recognition of this prepayment risk to investors, the Public Securities Association (the “PSA”) has standardized the method of measuring the rate of mortgage loan principal prepayments. The PSA formula, the Constant Prepayment Rate (the “CPR”), or other similar models that are standard in the industry will be used by a Fund in calculating maturity for purposes of its investment in mortgage-related securities. Upward trends in interest rates tend to lengthen the average life of mortgage-related securities and also cause the value of outstanding securities to drop. Thus, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of these securities held by a Fund would tend to drop and the portfolio-weighted average life of such securities held by the Fund may tend to lengthen due to this effect. Longer-term securities tend to experience more price volatility. Under these circumstances, a Fund may, but is not required to, sell securities in part in order to maintain an appropriate portfolio-weighted average life.

A Fund may also invest in investment grade CMOs which are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage-backed bonds and mortgage pass-through securities. Similar to a bond, interest and prepaid principal on a CMO are paid, in most cases, semiannually. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. CMOs are structured into multiple classes, with each class bearing a different stated maturity. Monthly payments of principal, including prepayments, are first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class; investors holding longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. CMOs may be issued by government and non-governmental entities. Some CMOs are debt obligations of Freddie Mac issued in multiple classes with different maturity dates secured by the pledge of a pool of conventional mortgages purchased by Freddie Mac. Other types of CMOs are issued by corporate issuers in several series, with the proceeds used to purchase mortgages or mortgage pass- through certificates. With some CMOs, the issuer serves as a conduit to allow loan originators (primarily builders or savings and loan associations) to borrow against their loan portfolios. To the extent a particular CMO is issued by an investment company, a Fund’s ability to invest in such CMOs will be limited. See “Investment Restrictions.”

Assumptions generally accepted by the industry concerning the probability of early payment may be used in the calculation of maturities for debt securities that contain put or call provisions, sometimes resulting in a calculated maturity different from the stated maturity of the security. It is anticipated that governmental, government-related or private entities may create mortgage loan pools and other mortgage-related securities offering mortgage pass-through and mortgage-collateralized investments in addition to those described above.

MUNICIPAL BONDS AND NOTES. Municipal bonds are issued to obtain funds for various public purposes. They are generally classified as general obligation bonds or revenue bonds. General obligation bonds are issued by states or municipal subdivisions such as counties, cities, towns, school districts, and special districts. General obligation bonds are secured by the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the issuer. For municipal subdivisions this includes a pledge of ad valorem property taxes.

Revenue bonds are payable solely from a particular stream of revenues from a project, enterprise, loan program, or special tax. Such projects and enterprises include toll roads, water and sewer systems, electric systems, ports, airports, state universities, and community colleges. Lease revenue bonds and certificates of participation are secured by lease rental payments made by states or municipalities, often from their general revenues. Revenue bonds also include loans to not-for-profit entities such as private colleges, hospitals, and healthcare systems, which are secured solely by repayments by those entities. Industrial development and pollution control revenue bonds are secured by loans to corporations, which are solely responsible for repayment.

Notes are temporary borrowings by state and local governments, usually for periods of less than 13 months. Bond anticipation notes are used to temporarily finance capital projects and are expected to be repaid through the issuance of long-term bonds. Other types of notes are used to even out cash flows throughout the year. These include tax anticipation, revenue anticipation, and grant anticipation notes. Such notes are repaid from the collection of the various sources of revenues.

Changes in a municipality’s financial health may make it difficult for the municipality to make interest and principal payments when due. A number of municipalities have had significant financial problems recently, and these and other municipalities could, potentially, continue to experience significant financial problems resulting from lower tax revenues and/or decreased aid from state

 

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and local governments in the event of an economic downturn. This could decrease the Fund’s income or hurt the ability to preserve capital and liquidity.

Although the interest on most municipal bonds and notes is exempt from federal income taxes, some are not eligible for this exemption. Some of these were issued for purposes which do not qualify for tax-exempt treatment. Others, known as Build America Bonds, were issued under a federal government program in 2009 and 2010. The federal government provides a partial interest subsidy to the issuer of these bonds. These payments are not considered to be a partial guarantee by the U.S. Government of these bonds.

Legislation to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on certain municipal obligations that may be purchased by the Fund may be introduced in the future by Congress or by state legislatures. If enacted, any such legislation could adversely affect the availability of municipal obligations for the Fund’s portfolio. Upon the effectiveness of any legislation that materially affects the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives, the Board of Trustees of the Trust will reevaluate the Fund’s investment objectives and submit to its shareholders for approval necessary changes in its objectives and policies.

MUNICIPAL OBLIGATIONS. Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories, possessions, or sovereign nations within the territorial boundaries of the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). These obligations are generally classified as either “general obligation” or “revenue” bonds.

General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power for the repayment of interest and principal. Revenue bonds are payable solely from the revenues generated from the operations of the facility or facilities being financed or from other non-tax sources. These bonds are often secured by debt service revenue funds, rent subsidies and/or mortgage collateral to finance the construction of housing, highways, bridges, tunnels, hospitals, university and college buildings, port and airport facilities, and electric, water, gas and sewer systems. Industrial development revenue bonds and pollution control revenue bonds are usually issued by local government bodies or their authorities to provide funding for commercial or industrial facilities, privately operated housing, sports facilities, health care facilities, convention and trade show facilities, port facilities and facilities for controlling or eliminating air and water pollution. Payment of principal and interest on these bonds is not secured by the taxing power of the governmental body. Rather, payment is dependent solely upon the ability of the users of the facilities financed by the bonds to meet their financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property financed as security for payment.

Bond anticipation notes are issued in anticipation of a later issuance of bonds and are usually payable from the proceeds of the sale of the bonds anticipated or of renewal notes. Construction loan notes, issued to provide construction financing for specific projects, are often redeemed after the projects are completed and accepted with funds obtained from the FHA under Fannie Mae or Ginnie Mae.

Revenue anticipation notes are issued by governmental entities in anticipation of revenues to be received later in the current fiscal year. Tax anticipation notes are issued by state and local governments in anticipation of collection of taxes to finance the current operations of these governments. These notes are generally repayable only from tax collections and often only from the proceeds of the specific tax levy whose collection they anticipate.

Municipal bonds are usually issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, to refund outstanding obligations, to meet general operating expenses or to obtain funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. They are generally classified as either “general obligation” or “revenue” bonds and frequently have maturities in excess of 397 days at the time of issuance, although a number of these issues now have variable or floating interest rates and demand features that may permit the Fund to treat them as having maturities of less than 397 days. There are many variations in the terms of, and the underlying security for, the various types of municipal bonds. General obligation bonds are issued by states, counties, regional districts, cities, towns and school districts for a variety of purposes including mass transportation, highway, bridge, school, road, and water and sewer system construction, repair or improvement. Payment of these bonds is secured by a pledge of the issuer’s full faith and credit and taxing (usually property tax) power.

A Fund that invests in municipal bonds may be affected significantly by the economic, regulatory or political developments affecting the ability of issuers of municipal bonds to pay interest or repay principal. In addition, the ability of an issuer to make payments or repay interest may be affected by litigation or bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy of such an issuer, a Fund investing in the issuer’s securities could experience delays in collecting principal and interest, and the Fund may not, in all circumstances, be able to collect all principal and interest to which it is entitled. To enforce its rights in the event of a default in the payment of interest or repayment of principal, or both, a Fund may, in some instances, take possession of, and manage, the assets securing the issuer’s obligations on such securities, which may increase the Fund’s operating expenses. Any income derived from the Fund’s ownership or operation of such assets may not be tax-exempt.

Revenue bonds are payable solely from the revenues generated from the operations of the facility or facilities being financed or from other non-tax sources. These bonds may be used to finance the construction of housing, highways, bridges, tunnels, hospitals, university and college buildings, port and airport facilities, and electric, water, gas and sewer systems. Industrial development revenue bonds and pollution control revenue bonds are usually issued by local government bodies or their authorities to provide funding for commercial or industrial facilities, privately operated housing, sports facilities, health care facilities, convention and trade show facilities, port facilities and facilities for controlling or eliminating air and water pollution. Payment of principal and interest on these

 

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bonds is not secured by the taxing power of the governmental body. Rather, payment is dependent solely upon the ability of the users of the facilities financed by the bonds to meet their financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property financed as security for payment.

The interest on these obligations is generally exempt from federal income tax. Although the interest on most municipal bonds is exempt from federal income taxes, some are not eligible for this exemption. These are known as taxable municipal securities. These bonds are issued for certain purposes which do not qualify for tax-exempt treatment, and their designation as taxable municipal securities is determined at the time of issuance. They may be either general obligation or revenue bonds.

The identification of the issuer of a tax-exempt security for purposes of the 1940 Act depends on the terms and conditions of the security. When the assets and revenues of an agency, authority, instrumentality or other political subdivision are separate from those of the government creating the subdivision and the security is backed only by the assets and revenues of the subdivision, the subdivision would be deemed to be the sole issuer. Similarly, in the case of an industrial development bond, if that bond is backed by the assets and revenues of the non-governmental user, then the non-governmental user would be deemed to be the sole issuer. Generally, the District of Columbia, each state, each of its political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities and authorities, and each multi-state agency of which a state is a member, is a separate “issuer” as that term is used in the Prospectuses and this SAI, and the non-governmental user of facilities financed by industrial development or pollution control revenue bonds is also considered to be an issuer.

Legislation to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on certain municipal obligations that may be purchased by the Fund may be introduced in the future by Congress or by state legislatures. If enacted, any such legislation could adversely affect the availability of municipal obligations for the Fund’s portfolio. Upon the effectiveness of any legislation that materially affects the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives, the Board of Trustees will reevaluate the Fund’s investment objectives and policies.

MUNICIPAL VARIABLE RATE DEMAND OBLIGATIONS (U.S. GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET FUND). Variable

Rate Demand Obligations (VRDOs) are financial instruments whose yield is reset on a regular basis, usually daily or weekly. Rates are adjusted to bring them in line with the current level of interest rates and current market supply and demand dynamics. VRDOs also have a put feature whereby the investor may, at his option, return the instrument to the issuer or its agent at face value plus accrued interest. Such puts can usually be made either on a same-day basis or with one week notice. Although the underlying bond usually has a maturity that exceeds the 397 day maximum investment term of money market funds, the interest reset and put features of VRDOs are intended to provide the investor with many of the characteristics of short maturity securities. In many cases, interest and scheduled principal payments of VRDOs are guaranteed by a bank or insurance company under a letter of credit or insurance guarantee. Also, the ability of the issuer to repay the investor when the VRDOs are put back may be guaranteed under a letter of credit or liquidity agreement by a bank or other financial institution. In such cases the Fund may rely on the financial strength of the bank or financial institution for payment rather than on the issuer.

The absence of an active secondary market for certain variable rate obligations could make it difficult to dispose of the instruments, and the Fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults during periods in which the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights.

PRIVATE PLACEMENT SECURITIES. Fund investments may include private placement debt securities. The Fund may often be the sole buyer of such securities designed for purchase by the Fund. There is no limit as to the percentage of the Fund’s portfolio that may be invested in such securities; however, the securities purchased by the Fund may be, by definition, illiquid investments for which there is currently no secondary market. The Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. When making portfolio purchases, the Fund may pay a premium for the community benefits embedded in each transaction. When making sales of portfolio investments, the Fund will seek to obtain a premium from the purchaser; however, there can be no assurances as to the exact amount of premium that will be received, if any.

QUALIFIED FINANCIAL CONTRACTS. Qualified financial contracts include agreements relating to swaps, currency forwards and other derivatives as well as repurchase agreements and securities lending agreements. Beginning in 2019, regulations adopted by prudential regulators will require that certain qualified financial contracts entered into with certain counterparties that are part of a

U.S. or foreign banking organization designated as a global-systemically important banking organization to include contractual provisions that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as the Funds, to exercise certain close-out, cross-default and similar rights under certain conditions. Qualified financial contracts are subject to a stay for a specified time period during which counterparties, such as the Funds, will be prevented from closing out a qualified financial contract if the counterparty is subject to resolution proceedings and prohibit the Funds from exercising default rights due to a receivership or similar proceeding of an affiliate of the counterparty. Implementation of these requirements may increase credit and other risks to the Funds.

REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS. A Fund may invest in securities subject to repurchase agreements with certain U.S. banks or broker-dealers. Such agreements may be considered to be loans by the Fund for the purpose of the 1940 Act. A repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the seller of a security commits itself at the time of the sale to repurchase that security from the buyer at a mutually agreed-upon time and price. The repurchase price exceeds the sale price, reflecting an agreed-upon interest rate effective for

 

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the period the buyer owns the security subject to repurchase. The agreed-upon rate is unrelated to the interest rate on that security. These agreements permit the Funds to earn income for periods as short as overnight. For purposes of the 1940 Act, repurchase agreements may be considered to be loans by the purchaser collateralized by the underlying securities. These agreements will be fully collateralized at all times and the collateral will be marked-to-market daily. The Funds will enter into repurchase agreements only with dealers, domestic banks or recognized financial institutions which, in the opinion of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor present minimal credit risks in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor will monitor the value of the underlying security at the time the transaction is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement to insure that the value of the security always equals or exceeds the repurchase price.

REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS. A Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. In a reverse repurchase agreement, a Fund sells a security to another party, such as a bank or a broker-dealer, in exchange for cash, and agrees to repurchase the security at an agreed-upon time and price. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities a Fund relinquishes may decline below the price a Fund must pay when the transaction closes. All reverse repurchase agreement counterparties will be approved consistent with the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s policies and procedures, as applicable. Engaging in reverse repurchase transactions may increase fluctuations in the market value of a Fund’s assets or yield. These transactions may be treated as borrowing by a Fund and may be deemed to create leverage, in that the Fund may reinvest the cash it receives in additional securities. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of a Fund’s outstanding shares. In addition, reverse repurchase agreements expose the Fund to credit risk (that is, the risk that the counterparty will fail to resell the security to the Fund).

SECURITIES OF SMALLER COMPANIES. A Fund may invest in securities of smaller companies. Investing in securities of smaller companies involves additional risks compared to investing in larger companies. Compared to larger companies, smaller companies may have more limited product lines and capital resources, less established markets for their products or services, have earnings that are more sensitive to changes in the broader economy and be more dependent on key members of management. The risk that the value of securities issued by a smaller company may go up or down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably, is greater than compared to more widely held securities of larger companies, due to narrow markets and limited resources of smaller companies.

Furthermore, securities of smaller companies have less active trading markets and may be harder to sell at the time and prices that the Advisor or Sub-Advisor considers appropriate. A Fund’s investments in smaller companies subject it to greater levels of credit, market and issuer risk.

SOVEREIGN BONDS. A Fund may invest in debt obligations issued or guaranteed by governments or their agencies (sovereign bonds). The governmental entity that controls the repayment of sovereign bonds may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest arrearage on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debt on a timely basis. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their sovereign bonds.

Holders of sovereign bonds may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental entities. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which sovereign bonds, on which a governmental entity has defaulted, may be collected in whole or in part.

SUBORDINATED DEBTS. A Fund may invest in subordinated debt. Subordinated debt is debt which, in the case of insolvency of the issuer, ranks after other debts in relation to repayment. Because subordinated debt is repayable after senior debts have been re-paid the chance of receiving any repayment on insolvency are reduced and therefore subordinated debt represents a greater risk to the investor.

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS. In an attempt to respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, the Funds may temporarily invest without limit in a variety of short-term instruments. These instruments may include U.S. Government securities; certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and other short-term debt obligations of banks with total assets of at least

$1 billion; debt obligations of corporations, corporate debt instruments; variable rate demand notes, commercial paper; and repurchase agreements with respect to securities in which a Fund is authorized to invest. These instruments may have speculative characteristics. Each Fund may also, to a limited extent and consistent with its objective, invest in these types of securities or hold cash while looking for suitable investment opportunities or to maintain liquidity.

During such periods when the Funds are not investing according to their principal investment strategies, it is possible the Funds may not achieve their investment objectives.

 

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U.S. GOVERNMENT SECURITIES (ALL FUNDS EXCEPT RBC BLUEBAY FUNDS). U.S. Government securities are obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities (“Government Obligations”). Government Obligations are backed in a variety of ways by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities. The Government Obligations in which the Funds may invest include:

 

   

Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury, such as U.S. Treasury bills, which have a maturity of up to one year, and notes and bonds, which have longer maturities;

 

   

Notes, bonds and discount notes issued and guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities supported by the full faith and credit of the United States, such as mortgage-backed certificates issued by Ginnie Mae;

 

   

Notes, bonds and discount notes of U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities which are able to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, subject to certain limits, such as obligations of the Federal Home Loan Bank;

 

   

Notes, bonds and discount notes of other U.S. Government instrumentalities backed by the credit of the agency or instrumentality issuing the obligation, and in certain circumstances, also supported by discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of the agency or instrumentality; and

 

   

Other obligations backed only by the credit of the agency or instrumentality issuing the obligation, such as obligations of the Federal Farm Credit Banks. In the case of obligations not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the investor must look principally to the agency issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment.

In none of these cases, however, does the U.S. Government guarantee the value or yield of the Government Obligations themselves or the NAV of any Fund’s shares.

On September 6, 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) to provide stability in the financial markets, mortgage availability and taxpayer protection by preserving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s assets and property and putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a sound and solvent condition. Under the conservatorship, the management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was replaced.

On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced steps taken by it in connection with the conservatorship. Among other things, the

U.S. Treasury entered into a Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) with each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pursuant to which the U.S. Treasury has become the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock of each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to maintain a positive net worth in each enterprise. This agreement contains various covenants that severely limit each enterprise’s operations. Under these SPAs, the U.S. Treasury has pledged to provide up to $100 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. On May 6, 2009, the U.S. Treasury increased its maximum commitment to each instrumentality under the SPAs to $200 billion per instrumentality. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury further amended the SPAs to allow the cap on U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s net worth through the end of 2012. On August 17, 2012, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was again amending the SPA to terminate the requirement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each pay a 10% dividend annually on all amounts received under the funding commitment. Instead, they will transfer to the U.S. Treasury on a quarterly basis all profits earned during a quarter that exceed a capital reserve amount of $3 billion. It is anticipated that the new amendment would put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a better position to service their debt. At the start of 2013, the unlimited support the U.S. Treasury extended to the two companies expired – Fannie Mae’s bailout is capped at $125 billion and Freddie Mac has a limit of $149 billion.

The future status and role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be impacted by (among other things) the actions taken and restrictions placed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the FHFA in its role as conservator, the restrictions placed on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s operations and activities as a result of the senior preferred stock investment made by the U.S. Treasury, market responses to developments at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the future legislative and regulatory action that alters the operations, ownership, structure and/or mission of these institutions, each of which may, in turn, impact the value of, and cash flows on, any mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including any such mortgage-backed securities held by the Funds. Congress has recently considered, and may consider in the future, proposals to reduce the U.S. government’s role in the mortgage market and to wind down or restructure the operations of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In January 2019, the FHFA announced plans to consider taking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship. Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear whether the U.S. Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the SPAs. It is also unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed post- conservatorship, and what effects, if any, there will be on their creditworthiness and guarantees of certain mortgage-backed securities. Should the federal government adopt any such proposal, the value of a fund’s investments in securities issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would be impacted.

 

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Any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. Government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government sponsored entities.

Under the direction of the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of a uniform mortgage-backed security (the “Single Security Initiative”) that aligns the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certificates. The Single Security Initiative was implemented in June 2019, and the effects it may have on the market for mortgage-backed securities are uncertain.

VARIABLE AND FLOATING RATE DEMAND AND MASTER DEMAND NOTES. A Fund may, from time to time, buy

variable rate demand notes issued by corporations, bank holding companies and financial institutions and similar taxable and tax- exempt instruments issued by government agencies and instrumentalities. These securities will typically have a maturity longer than five years, but carry with them the right of the holder to put the securities to a remarketing agent or other entity on short notice, typically seven days or less. The obligation of the issuer of the put to repurchase the securities is backed by a letter of credit or other obligation issued by a financial institution. The purchase price is ordinarily par plus accrued and unpaid interest. Ordinarily, the remarketing agent will adjust the interest rate every seven days (or at other intervals corresponding to the notice period for the put), in order to maintain the interest rate at the prevailing rate for securities with a seven-day or other designated maturity.

The absence of an active secondary market for certain variable and floating rate notes could make it difficult to dispose of the instruments, and a Fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults during periods in which a Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The following restrictions are fundamental policies of each Fund and, except as otherwise indicated, may not be changed with respect to a Fund without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that Fund which, as defined in the 1940 Act, means the lesser of (1) 67% of the shares of such Fund present at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of such Fund are present in person or by proxy, or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting shares of such Fund.

 

  (1)

Each Fund is an open-end management investment company and each Fund has elected to be classified as a diversified series and will invest its assets only in a manner consistent with this classification under applicable law.

 

  (2)

Each Fund will not borrow money, except to the extent that the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or SEC staff interpretation thereof, may permit. Current regulation permits a Fund to borrow money in an amount not exceeding 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) less liabilities (other than borrowings).

 

  (3)

Each Fund will not issue any class of senior securities, except to the extent that the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or SEC staff interpretation thereof, may permit.

 

  (4)

Each Fund will not engage in the business of underwriting securities issued by others, except to the extent that the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter under applicable laws in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities.

 

  (5)

Each Fund will not purchase or sell real estate, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, although it may purchase securities secured by real estate or interests therein, or securities issued by companies which invest, deal or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein.

 

  (6)

Each Fund will not make loans, except as permitted under, or to the extent not prohibited by, the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, or as may otherwise be permitted from time to time by a regulatory authority having jurisdiction.

 

  (7)

Each Fund will not concentrate its investments in the securities of issuers primarily engaged in the same industry, as that term is used in the 1940 Act and as interpreted or modified from time to time by a regulatory authority having jurisdiction, except that this restriction will not apply to a Fund’s investments in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities.

 

  (8)

Each Fund will not purchase or sell physical commodities or contracts relating to physical commodities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, or as may otherwise be permitted from time to time by a regulatory authority having jurisdiction.

 

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Supplemental (Non-Fundamental) Clarification of Certain Fundamental Investment Policies/Restrictions

The Funds are diversified funds and as such intend to meet the diversification requirements of the 1940 Act. Current 1940 Act diversification requirements require that with respect to 75% of the assets of a Fund, the Fund may not invest more than 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one issuer or own more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer, except cash or cash items, obligations of the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities, and securities of other investment companies. As for the other 25% of a Fund’s assets not subject to the limitation described above, there is no limitation on investment of these assets under the 1940 Act, so that all of such assets may be invested in securities of any one issuer. Investments not subject to the limitations described above could involve an increased risk to a Fund should an issuer be unable to make interest or principal payments or should the market value of such securities decline.

For purposes of investment restriction number 7, public utilities are not deemed to be a single industry but are separated by industrial categories, such as telephone or gas utilities. For purposes of investment restriction number 8, with respect to its futures transactions and writing of options (other than fully covered call options), a Fund will maintain liquid assets in a segregated or earmarked account for the period of its obligation under such contract or option in an amount equal to its obligations under such contracts or options, in accordance with procedures approved by the Trust that are intended to address potential leveraging issues or otherwise comply with SEC requirements. See “Legislation and Regulation Risks” above.

For purposes of the fundamental investment policies regarding industry concentration, “to concentrate” generally means to invest more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets, taken at market value at the time of investment. For purposes of the fundamental investment policy regarding industry concentration, the Advisor may classify issuers by industry in accordance with classifications set forth in the Directory of Companies Filing Annual Reports with the SEC or the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS).

Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

The Funds are subject to restrictions and policies that are not fundamental and may, therefore, be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. These non-fundamental policies/restrictions are described below.

Each Fund may not invest more than 15% of the value of its net assets in investments which are illiquid or not readily marketable (including repurchase agreements having maturities of more than seven calendar days and variable and floating rate demand and master demand notes not requiring receipt of the principal note amount within seven days’ notice).

The RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund has adopted a non-fundamental policy as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets in securities that are consistent with its name, measured as of the time of purchase. This policy is set forth in the Prospectus for the Fund.

The following provisions apply to each of the 80% policies discussed above.

The RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund has adopted a policy to provide its shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any change in the 80% investment policy. If, subsequent to an investment, the 80% requirement is no longer met, the Fund’s future investments will be made in a manner that will bring the Fund into compliance with this 80% policy. For purposes of these policies, a Fund may “look through” a repurchase agreement to the collateral underlying the agreement, and apply the repurchase agreement toward the 80% investment requirement based on the type of securities comprising its collateral. For purposes of these 80% policies, “assets” is defined as net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes.

ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION INFORMATION

Purchases

Neither the Funds nor the entities that provide services to them (the “Fund Complex”) will be responsible for the consequences of delays, including delays in the banking or Federal Reserve wire systems. The Fund Complex cannot process transaction requests that are not completed properly. Examples of improper transaction requests may include lack of a signature guarantee when required, lack of proper signatures on a redemption request or a missing social security or tax ID number. If you use the services of any other broker to purchase or redeem shares of the Funds, that broker may charge you a fee. Shares of the Funds may be purchased directly from the Funds without this brokerage fee. Each order accepted will be fully invested in whole and fractional shares, unless the purchase of a certain number of whole shares is specified, at the NAV per share next effective after the order is accepted by the Funds.

Each investment is confirmed by a year-to-date statement that provides the details of the immediate transaction, plus all prior transactions in your account during the current year. This includes the dollar amount invested, the number of shares purchased or redeemed, the price per share, and the aggregate shares owned. A transcript of all activity in your account during the previous year will be furnished each January. By retaining each annual summary and the last year-to-date statement, you have a complete detailed history of your account, which provides necessary tax information. A duplicate copy of a past annual statement is available from the Funds’ transfer agent or your financial consultant at its cost, subject to a minimum charge of $5 per account, per year requested.

 

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The shares you purchase are held by the Funds in an open account, thereby relieving you of the responsibility of providing for the safekeeping of a negotiable share certificate. The Funds reserve the right in their sole discretion to redeem shares involuntarily or to reject purchase orders when, in the judgment of Fund management, such withdrawal or rejection is in the best interest of a Fund and its shareholders. The Funds also reserve the right at any time to waive or increase the minimum requirements applicable to initial or subsequent investments with respect to any person or class of persons, which includes Fund shareholders who hold shares through other financial intermediaries.

The Funds reserve the right to refuse to accept orders for shares of a Fund unless accompanied by payment, but may choose not to refuse the order if indemnified against losses resulting from the failure of investors to make payment. If an order to purchase shares must be canceled due to non-payment, the purchaser will be responsible for any loss incurred by the Funds arising out of such cancellation. To recover any such loss, the Funds reserve the right to redeem shares by any purchaser whose order is canceled, and such purchaser may be prohibited or restricted from placing further orders.

Sales (Redemptions)

The Fund Complex will not be responsible for the consequences of delays, including delays in the banking or Federal Reserve wire systems. The Fund Complex cannot process transaction requests that are not completed properly.

Each Fund intends to pay redemption proceeds promptly and in any event within seven days after the request for redemption is received in good order.

In case of emergencies or other unusual circumstances, each Fund may suspend redemptions or postpone payment for more than seven days, as permitted by law. The Funds must receive an endorsed share certificate with a signature guarantee, where a certificate has been issued. Transmissions are made by mail unless an expedited method has been authorized and properly specified in the redemption request. In the case of redemption requests made within 15 calendar days of the date of purchase, the Funds may delay transmission of proceeds until it is certain that unconditional payment has been collected for the purchase of shares being redeemed or 15 calendar days from the date of purchase, whichever occurs first. You can avoid this delay by purchasing shares with a federal fund wire. The Telephone/Fund Web Site Redemption Service may only be used for non-certificated shares held in an open account. The Funds may pay such redemption by wire or check at the Funds’ option, and reserve the right to refuse a telephone or fund website redemption request. The Funds may reduce or waive the charge for wiring redemption proceeds in connection with certain accounts. This fee is currently $15, but is subject to change without prior notice.

Due to the high cost of maintaining smaller accounts, the Funds have retained the authority to close shareholder accounts whose value falls below the current minimum initial investment requirement at the time of initial purchase as a result of redemptions but not as the result of market action. An account may be closed if the account value remains below this level for 60 days after each such shareholder account is mailed a notice of: (1) the Fund’s intention to close the account, (2) the minimum account size requirement, and (3) the date on which the account will be closed if the minimum requirement is not met. Since the minimum investment amount and the minimum account size are the same, any redemption from an account containing only the minimum investment amount may result in redemption of that account.

The Funds have elected to be governed by Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act pursuant to which they are obligated to redeem shares solely in cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of a Fund’s NAV during any 90-day period for any one shareholder. Should redemptions by any shareholder exceed such limitation, a Fund may redeem the excess in kind. If shares are redeemed in kind, the redeeming shareholder may incur brokerage costs in converting the assets to cash. The method of valuing securities used to make redemptions in kind will be the same as the method of valuing portfolio securities described under “Pricing of Fund Shares” in the Prospectus, and such valuation will be made as of the same time the redemption price is determined.

Each Fund may suspend the right of redemption or postpone the date of payment for shares during any period when: (a) trading on the primary markets is restricted by applicable rules and regulations of the SEC; (b) the primary markets are closed for other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (c) the SEC has by order permitted such suspension; or (d) an emergency exists as a result of which: (i) disposal by the Fund of securities owned by it is not reasonably practicable, or (ii) it is not reasonably practicable for the Fund to determine the value of its net assets. Each Fund may redeem shares involuntarily if redemption appears appropriate in light of the Trust’s responsibilities under the 1940 Act.

Large Sale (Redemption) Conditions. Large redemptions can adversely affect a portfolio manager’s ability to implement a Fund’s investment strategy by causing the premature sale of securities that would otherwise be held longer. Accordingly, we request that you give us three business days’ notice for any redemption of $2 million or more.

 

25


Shares

Each of the classes of shares of the Funds is sold on a continuous basis by the Funds’ Distributor, and the Distributor has agreed to use appropriate efforts to solicit all purchase orders. There is no minimum requirement for subsequent investment for all shares of the Funds. The Funds offer the following classes of shares:

 

Class A Shares:   All Funds.
Class I Shares:   All Funds offer Class I shares to individuals and institutions with a $[1,000,000] minimum requirement for initial investment.
Class R6 Shares:   All Funds offer Class R6 shares to Institutional Investors that meet a $[1,000,000] minimum requirement for initial investment and to Eligible Investors. Institutional Investors (including endowments and foundations) are investors deemed appropriate by the Advisor that hold shares of a Fund through an account held directly with the Fund and that are not traded through an intermediary, subject to a minimum initial investment amount of $[1,000,000]. Eligible Investors are not subject to a minimum initial investment and include (a) retirement and benefit plans that have plan-level or omnibus accounts held on the books of a Fund and do not collect servicing or recordkeeping fees from the Fund; (b) plans or platforms sponsored by a financial intermediary whereby shares are held on the books of a Fund through omnibus accounts, either at the plan or platform level or the level of the plan administrator, and where an unaffiliated third party intermediary provides administrative, distribution and/or other support services to the plan or platform and does not charge the Fund servicing, recordkeeping or sub-transfer agent fees; and (c) collective investment trusts. Class R6 shares are not available directly to traditional or Roth IRAs, Coverdell Savings Accounts, Keoghs, SEPs, SARSEPs, Simple IRAs, individual 401(k) plans or individual 403(b) plans.

MANAGEMENT

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

The Board of Trustees governs the Trust and is responsible for protecting the interests of shareholders. The Board of Trustees is composed of experienced business persons who meet throughout the year to establish the Funds’ policies and oversee the management of the Funds. In addition, the Trustees review contractual arrangements with companies that provide services to the Trust and review the Funds’ performance.

The Role of the Board

Overall responsibility for overseeing and managing the business and affairs of the Trust rests with its Board of Trustees. Like most mutual funds, the day-to-day management and operation of the Trust is performed by various service providers to the Trust, such as the Advisor the Sub-Advisor, the Distributor, the Administrator, the custodian and the transfer agent. The Board of Trustees has appointed senior employees of certain of these service providers as officers of the Trust, with responsibility for supervising actively the day-to-day operations of the Trust and reporting back to the Board. The Board of Trustees has also appointed a Chief Compliance Officer who administers the Trust’s compliance program and regularly reports to the Board on compliance matters. From time to time, one or more members of the Board of Trustees may meet with management in less formal settings, between scheduled Board meetings, to discuss various topics. In all cases, however, the role of the Board of Trustees and any individual Trustee is one of oversight and not of active management of the day-to-day operations or affairs of the Trust.

Board Structure and Leadership

The Board of Trustees has five standing committees: an Audit Committee, a Nominating Committee, a Corporate Governance Committee, a Valuation, Portfolio Management and Performance Committee, and a Compliance Committee. The committee structure enables the Board to manage efficiently and effectively the large volume of information relevant to the Board’s oversight of the Funds. The Board is composed of seven trustees, and six of the seven Trustees are not “interested persons” of the Trust as that term is defined by the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). The Board believes that the number of Trustees is adequate for the number of Funds overseen by the Board and the current size of the Board is conducive to Board interaction, debate and dialogue which results in an effective decision making body. The Independent Trustees have engaged their own independent legal counsel to advise them on matters relating to their responsibilities in connection with the Trust. The Chairman of the Board is an Independent Trustee. The Chairman participates in the preparation of the agenda for meetings of the Board and the preparation of information to be presented to the Board with respect to matters to be acted upon by the Board. The Chairman also presides at all meetings of the Board and is involved in discussions regarding matters pertaining to the oversight of the management of the Funds between meetings. In developing its current structure, the Board of Trustees recognized the importance of having a significant majority of Independent Trustees. The Board of Trustees believes that its current leadership structure, including the composition of the Board and its Committees, is an appropriate means to provide effective oversight on behalf of shareholders.

 

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As needed between regular meetings, the Board of Trustees or a specific committee receives and reviews reports relating to the Trust and engages in discussions with appropriate parties relating to the Funds’ operations and related risks.

The Audit Committee of the Trust is currently composed of the following Independent Trustees: Messrs. Garner, Goff and Seward. The Audit Committee acts as a liaison between the Funds’ independent auditors and the Board of Trustees. As set forth in its charter, the Audit Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to (1) approve the appointment of the independent auditors and recommend the selection of the independent auditors to the Board of Trustees for ratification by the Independent Trustees; (2) review and approve the scope of the independent auditors’ audit activity; (3) review the financial statements which are the subject of the independent auditors’ certifications; and (4) review with such independent auditors the adequacy of the Funds’ accounting system and the effectiveness of the internal accounting controls of the Funds and their service providers. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, the Audit Committee met three times.

The Nominating Committee of the Trust is currently composed of the following Independent Trustees: Ms. Bode and Messrs. MacDonald and James. In the event of vacancies on, or increases in the size of, the Board, the Nominating Committee is responsible for evaluating the qualifications of and nominating all persons for appointment or election as Trustees of the Trust. Candidates may be identified by the Nominating Committee, management of the Trust or Trust shareholders. The Nominating Committee may utilize third-party services to help identify and evaluate candidates. In addition, the Nominating Committee identifies individuals qualified to serve as Independent Trustees of the Trust and recommends its nominees for consideration by the full Board. For non-Independent Trustees (management candidates), the Nominating Committee will look to the President of the Trust to produce background and other reference materials necessary for the Nominating Committee to consider non-Independent Trustee candidates. The Nominating Committee does consider Independent Trustee candidates recommended by shareholders of the Trust. Recommendations, along with appropriate background material concerning the candidate that demonstrates his or her ability to serve as an Independent Trustee of the Trust, should be submitted to the Secretary of the Trust or any member of the Committee in writing at the address of the Trust. The Nominating Committee will evaluate shareholder candidates using the same criteria applied to other Independent Trustee candidates along with additional requirements as listed in the Nominating Committee charter. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, the Nominating Committee met one time.

The Corporate Governance Committee of the Trust is currently composed of the following Independent Trustees: Ms. Bode and Messrs. MacDonald and James. The Board of Trustees has developed a set of Principles of Corporate Governance (“Governance Principles”) to guide the Board and the Corporate Governance Committee in considering governance issues. The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing the Governance Principles periodically and, if deemed appropriate, recommending changes to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will then consider whether to approve the changes. The Corporate Governance Committee is also responsible for evaluating the performance of the Board of Trustees and the Trust in light of the Governance Principles, considering whether improvements or changes are warranted, and making recommendations for any necessary or appropriate changes. The Committee also coordinates the annual Board Self-Assessment required by the SEC governance rules, the annual review of Trustee independence, and an annual review of independent legal counsel for the Independent Trustees relating to independence and general performance. The Governance Principles include a commitment to ongoing Trustee education, and the Corporate Governance Committee oversees the process of identifying educational topics, and facilitating quarterly Board education sessions covering industry, regulatory and governance issues relevant to the Funds. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, the Corporate Governance Committee met three times.

The Valuation, Portfolio Management and Performance Committee (the “Valuation Committee”) of the Trust is currently composed of Ms. Bode and Messrs. MacDonald and Seward. As set forth in its charter, the primary duties of the Trust’s Valuation Committee are: (1) to review the actions of the Trust’s Pricing Committee and to ratify or revise such actions; (2) to review and recommend for Board approval pricing agents to be used to price Fund portfolio securities; (3) to recommend changes to the Trust’s Pricing and Valuation Procedures, as necessary or appropriate; (4) to obtain from the Funds’ portfolio managers information sufficient to permit the Valuation Committee to evaluate the Funds’ performance, use or proposed use of benchmarks and any additional indexes, and compliance with their investment objectives and policies; (5) to obtain from the Funds’ investment advisor information sufficient to permit the Committee to evaluate the quality of the advisor’s exercise of brokerage discretion when buying and selling portfolio securities for the Funds; (6) to investigate matters brought to its attention within the scope of its duties; (7) to assure that all its actions are recorded in minutes of its meetings and maintained with the Funds’ records; and (8) to report its activities to the full Board on a regular basis and to make such recommendations with respect to the above and other matters as the Valuation Committee may deem necessary or appropriate. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, the Valuation Committee met four times.

The Compliance Committee of the Trust is currently composed of the following Independent Trustees: Messrs. Garner, Goff and James. As set forth in its charter, the Compliance Committee’s primary duties and responsibilities include: developing and maintaining a strong compliance program by providing a forum for the Independent Trustees to consider compliance matters; assisting the Board in its oversight pursuant to Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act; formulating action to be taken with respect to the Trust’s compliance program or the Trust’s key service providers’ programs, or related matters; and participating in industry forums and/or reviews on regulatory issues as appropriate. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, the Compliance Committee met four times.

 

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Risk Oversight

As part of its oversight of the management and operations of the Trust, the Board of Trustees also has a risk oversight role, which includes (without limitation) the following: (i) requesting and reviewing reports on the operations of the Funds; (ii) reviewing compliance reports and approving certain compliance policies and procedures of the Funds and their service providers; (iii) working with management to consider key risk areas and to seek assurances that adequate resources are available and appropriate plans are in place to address risks; (iv) meeting with service providers, including Fund auditors, to review Fund activities; (v) meeting with the Chief Compliance Officer and other officers of the Trust and its service providers to receive information about compliance, and risk assessment and management matters; and (vi) meeting regularly with independent legal counsel. The Board of Trustees has emphasized to the Advisor and Sub-Advisor the importance of maintaining rigorous risk management programs at the Advisor and Sub-Advisor other service providers. The Board of Trustees recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Funds can be identified, that it may not be practical or cost- effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary for the Funds to bear certain risks (such as disclosed investment-related risks) to achieve the Funds’ goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the oversight of risk management by the Board of Trustees is subject to practical limitations. Nonetheless, the Board of Trustees expects Trust service providers to implement rigorous risk management programs.

Trustee Attributes

The Board of Trustees believes that each of the Trustees has the qualifications, experiences, attributes and skills (“Trustee Attributes”) appropriate to continued service as a Trustee of the Trust in light of the Trust’s business and structure. The Board of Trustees has established a Nominating Committee, which evaluates potential candidates based on a variety of factors. Among those factors are the particular skill sets of a potential Trustee that complement skills and expertise of existing Board members. In addition to a demonstrated record of academic, business and/or professional accomplishment, all of the Trustees have served on the Board of Trustees for a number of years. In their service to the Trust, the Trustees have gained substantial insight into the operation of the Trust and have demonstrated a commitment to discharging oversight duties as Trustees in the interests of shareholders. The Corporate Governance Committee annually directs a Board “self-assessment” process wherein the effectiveness of the Board, the Board’s Committees, and individual Trustees is reviewed. In its most recent self-assessment, the Board concluded that the Board has a favorable mix of skills and experience, balanced and meaningful contributions by Board members, good chemistry and working relationships, and mutual respect among Board members.

In addition to the general Trustee Attributes described above, Mr. Seward has extensive board, executive and institutional investor experience from roles with public and private companies and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder; Ms. Bode has business experience as a healthcare industry consultant, real estate developer and as a political consultant; Mr. Garner has executive and public sector experience gained in connection with his role as president and CEO of a metropolitan community foundation and as a college president; Mr. James, as the former president of a non-profit organization focused on corporate governance and ethical business cultures, is a national expert and college professor focused on business ethics and has experience as a senior corporate executive as well as public company board experience; Mr. MacDonald has over 35 years of experience in investment management and asset manager evaluation earned during his career with a major charitable foundation and a private trust company, and also serves in a variety of not-for profit board and advisory capacities (including board investment committees); Mr. Goff is a seasoned entrepreneurial business leader and executive with expertise in the areas of Mutual Funds Administration, Board Governance, Accounting M&A, Offshore Operations and General Management in the financial services industry and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA); and Ms. Gorman is a seasoned financial services executive with experience overseeing compliance for investment management businesses. The foregoing discussion and the Trustees and officers tables below are included in this SAI pursuant to requirements of the SEC, do not constitute holding out the Board or any Trustee as having special expertise or experience and shall not be deemed to impose any greater responsibility or liability on any Trustee by reason thereof. Additional information about Trustee Attributes is contained in the table below. The age, address, and principal occupations for the past five years and additional information relevant to his or her professional background of each Trustee and executive officer of the Trust are listed below. No Trustee serves as a director or trustee of another mutual fund.

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES

 

      Position,                  
      Term of         Number of      
      Office(2) and         Portfolios in    Other
      Length of         Fund Complex    Director/Trustee
      Time Served    Principal Occupation(s)    Overseen by    Positions Held by
  Name, Age and Address (1)    with the Trust    During Past 5 Years    Trustee          Trustee During Past 5 Years      
                     

 

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      Position,                  
      Term of         Number of      
      Office(2) and         Portfolios in    Other
      Length of         Fund Complex    Director/Trustee
      Time Served    Principal Occupation(s)    Overseen by    Positions Held by
  Name, Age and Address (1)    with the Trust    During Past 5 Years    Trustee          Trustee During Past 5 Years      

Lucy Hancock Bode (69)

   Trustee since January 2004    Healthcare consultant (self-employed) (1986 to present)    18    BioSignia (2006 to 2010); Franklin Street Partners (2014 to 2018 and 2019 to present)
                     

Leslie H. Garner Jr. (70)

   Trustee since January 2004    President and Chief Executive Officer, The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation (2010 to present); President, Cornell College (1994 to 2010)    18    None
                     

Phillip G. Goff (57)

   Trustee since January 2020    Senior Vice President/Corporate Controller and Funds Treasurer, TIAA (2006 to 2017)    18    None
                     

Ronald James (70)

   Trustee since January 2004    Faculty member (part time), University of St. Thomas (2004 to present); President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Ethical Business Cultures (2000 to January 2017)    18    Bremer Financial Corporation (2004 to present); Greater Twin Cities United Way (2012 to 2020)
                     

 

29


Name, Age and Address (1)   

Position,

Term of

Office(2) and

Length of

Time Served

with the Trust

  

    Principal Occupation(s)    

During Past 5 Years

  

Number of

Portfolios in

Fund Complex

Overseen by

Trustee

  

Other

Director/Trustee

Positions Held by

Trustee During Past 5 Years

John A. MacDonald (72)

   Trustee since January 2004   

Investment Consultant since 2021. Vice President and Treasurer, Hall Family Foundation (1988 to 2020);

Chief Investment Officer, Chinquapin Trust Company (1999 to 2020)

   18    None
                     

James R. Seward, CFA (68)

  

Chairman of the Board

and Trustee since January 2004

  

Private investor (2000 to present); CFA (1987 to present)

   18    Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (2008 to 2019)
                     

INTERESTED TRUSTEE

 

Kathleen A. Gorman (3) (56)

   Trustee since September 2012   

President and Chief Executive Officer, RBC Funds (2012 to present); Assistant Secretary, RBC Funds (March 2018 to present); Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Funds (2006 to 2012)

   18    None
  (1)

The mailing address for each Trustee is 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402.

 

  (2)

All Trustees must retire on or before December 31 of the year in which they reach the age of 75. The Board may temporarily waive this requirement when necessary to avoid depriving the Board of a Trustee with critical skills.

 

  (3)

Kathleen A. Gorman has been determined to be an interested Trustee by virtue of her position with the Advisor.

Executive Officers

 

Name, Age and Address (1)   

Position, Term of

Office(2) and Length of

Time Served

With the Trust

   Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
           

Kathleen A. Gorman (56)

   President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2012 and Assistant Secretary since March 2018   

President and Chief Executive Officer, RBC Funds (2012 to present); Assistant Secretary, RBC Funds (March 2018 to

present); Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Funds (2006 to 2012)

           

Christina M. Weber (52)

   Chief Compliance Officer since December 2012 and Secretary since October 2017   

Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc. (June 2018 to present); Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Funds (2012 to present); Assistant Secretary, RBC Funds (2013 to 2017); Senior Compliance Officer, RBC

Funds (March 2012 to December 2012)

           

Kathleen A. Hegna (53)

   Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer since May 2009 and Treasurer since March 2014    Associate Vice President and Director, Mutual Fund Services, RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc. (2009 to present)

 

(1) 

Except as otherwise noted, the address of each officer is 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402.

 

(2) 

Each officer serves in such capacity for an indefinite period of time until his or her removal, resignation or retirement.

The table below shows the aggregate dollar range of each Trustee’s holdings in the Funds as of [                ].

 

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Independent Trustees

 

  

Dollar Range of Shares in the Funds

 

  

 

 

Aggregate Dollar Range of

Shares in All

Registered Investment

Companies Overseen by

Trustee in Family of

Investment Companies

 

Lucy Hancock Bode

     
     None    [                ]

Leslie H. Garner Jr.

     
   None    [                ]

Phillip G. Goff

         
     None    [                ]

Ronald James

     
   None    [                ]

John A. MacDonald

         
     None    [                ]

James R. Seward

     
   None    [                ]

Kathleen A. Gorman

         
     None    [                ]

Independent Trustees (Trustees of the Trust who are not directors, officers or employees of the Advisor, either Co-Administrator or Distributor) receive from the Trust an annual retainer of $68,000. The annual retainer was previously $63,000 and was increased to

$68,000 effective October 1, 2020. The Board Chairperson and Audit Committee Chairperson each receive an additional retainer of

$2,500 annually, and all other Trustees serving as Chair of a Board committee each receive an additional retainer of $1,000 annually. In addition, Independent Trustees receive a quarterly meeting fee of $6,500 for each in-person Board of Trustees meeting attended. Each Independent Trustee also receives a meeting fee of $1,500 for each telephonic or Special Board meeting attended, and a $1,500 fee for each Board committee meeting attended. Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at such meetings. Trustees who are directors, officers or employees of the Advisor, either Co-Administrator or Distributor do not receive compensation from the Trust. The table below sets forth the compensation received by each Trustee from the Trust during the Funds’ fiscal year ended September 30, 2020.

 

      Aggregate
Compensation from
Trust
 

Pension or

Retirement

Benefits Accrued

as Part of Fund

Expenses

    

Estimated Annual

Benefits Upon
Retirement

    

Total Compensation

for Fund Complex

Paid to Trustee†

Independent Trustees

          

Lucy Hancock Bode

     $107,000           None        None        $107,000      

Leslie H. Garner, Jr.

     103,500       None        None        103,500  

Phillip G. Goff*

     77,250       None        None        77,250  

Ronald James

     108,000       None        None        108,000  

John A. MacDonald

     108,000       None        None        108,000  

James R. Seward

     105,000       None        None        105,000  

William B. Taylor**

     109,500       None        None        109,500  

Interested Trustee

          

Kathleen A. Gorman

     None       None        None        None  

 

31


†      The Fund Complex consists of the Trust, which currently offers [18] portfolios.

 

32


*

Mr. Goff became a Trustee on January 1, 2020.

**

Mr. Taylor retired on December 18, 2020 pursuant to the Board’s retirement policy.

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

Because the Funds had not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI, no person owned of record or beneficially 5% or more of the indicated class of shares of each Fund. A shareholder who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of a Fund’s voting securities may be deemed a “control person” (as defined under applicable securities laws) of the Fund. “Control” is defined by the 1940 Act as the beneficial ownership, either directly or through one or more controlled companies, of more than 25% of the voting securities of a fund. Any person owning more than 25% of the voting securities of a Fund may be deemed to have effective voting control over the operation of that Fund, which would diminish the voting rights of other shareholders. Additionally, the Trustees and officers of the Trust, as a group, owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of each class of each of the Funds.

INVESTMENT ADVISOR AND SUB-ADVISOR

Investment Advisor

The Advisor, located at 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, serves as investment advisor to the Funds. The Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”). RBC is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. RBC employs approximately 86,000 people who serve more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries around the world. The Advisor has been registered with the SEC as an investment advisor since 1983, and has been a portfolio manager of publicly offered mutual funds since 1986. Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Advisor manages the day-to-day investment of assets of the Funds in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Trust. As of December 31, 2020, the Advisor’s investment team managed approximately $55.9 billion in assets for corporations, public and private pension plans, Taft-Hartley plans, charitable institutions, foundations, endowments, municipalities, registered mutual funds, private investment funds, trust programs, foreign funds such as UCITS funds, individuals (including high net worth individuals), wrap sponsors and other U.S. and international institutions.

For its services to the Funds, the Advisor receives from each Fund a fee, paid monthly, at an annual rate based on each Fund’s average daily net assets. Each class of shares of a Fund pays its respective pro rata portion of the total advisory fees payable by the Fund. The rates for each Fund are as follows:

 

Fund    Fee Rate
        

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

   0.35% of average daily net assets
      

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

   0.45% of average daily net assets

Under the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreements for the Funds between the Trust and the Advisor, the investment advisory services of the Advisor to the Funds are not exclusive. The Advisor is free to, and does, render investment advisory services to others.

The Investment Advisory Agreement for each Fund will remain in effect after its initial term only as long as such continuance is approved for that Fund at least annually (i) by vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund or by the Board of Trustees and (ii) by a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Investment Advisory Agreement or “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of any such party.

Each Investment Advisory Agreement may be terminated with respect to a Fund at any time without payment of any penalty, by a vote of a majority of the outstanding securities of that Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) or by a vote of a majority of the Board of Trustees on 60 days’ written notice to the Advisor, or by the Advisor on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust. An Investment Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

For each Fund, the Advisor has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or reimburse expenses of a Fund pursuant to an Expense Limitation Agreement in order to maintain the Fund’s net annual operating expense at the levels and on the terms set forth in the Prospectus through [    ].

Investment Sub-Advisor

The Sub-Advisor, located at 77 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 3JR, United Kingdom, serves as investment sub-advisor to the Funds. The Sub-Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of RBC, which is the parent company of the Advisor. The Sub-Advisor is a specialist fixed income manager that was established in 2001, offering clients a diverse range of investment strategies with different return/risk profiles, in order to cater to a variety of investor-specific return/risk appetites. More specifically, the Sub-Advisor manages a range of absolute return-style portfolios for both funds and separate accounts across the following sub-asset classes of global fixed income markets: investment grade debt, emerging market debt, high yield/distressed debt and loans, convertible bonds, private debt and multi-asset credit and structured debt. The Sub-Advisor seeks to provide asset management services characterized by a belief in the value of active management, a strong investment process, an emphasis on capital preservation and the generation of attractive risk-adjusted returns for all its investment strategies. The Sub-Advisor has been registered with the SEC as an investment advisor since 2002, and is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The Sub-Advisor employed 434 individuals and had 75.1 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020.

[For its services to the Funds, the Sub-Advisor will be paid by the Advisor a fee, calculated by (1) deducting the amounts of any fees waived or Fund expenses paid by the Advisor for the Fund pursuant to an Expense Limitation Agreement, with respect to such Fund, from the total advisory fee paid to the Advisor pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement and (2) multiplying such amount by [ ], or formulaically:

(Advisory Fee – Expense Limitation Subsidy) x.[ ] = Sub-Advisory Fee]

 

33


Potential Conflicts of Interest

The Advisor, Sub-Advisor and/or its affiliates (together, the “Advisor”) provide a variety of discretionary and non-discretionary investment advisory services and products to their clients. As a result, the following potential and actual conflicts of interest, among others, are presented to RBC in the operation of its investment advisory services:

 

   

The Advisor faces conflicts of interest when rendering investment advisory services to several clients and may provide dissimilar investment advice to different clients.

 

   

The Advisor may, in certain circumstances, have discretion when making distributions as part of redemptions in the form of securities or other assets, and in that case, the composition of such distributions. Accordingly, the Advisor may face conflicts of interest with respect to redeeming investors and remaining investors.

 

   

The Advisor may collect greater compensation for certain Funds or accounts than that received for a Fund, or may receive performance-based compensation. This may create a potential conflict of interest for the Advisor or its portfolio managers to incentivize certain accounts. Conflicts of interest may also arise when a portfolio manager has management responsibilities to more than one account or Fund, such as devotion of unequal time or attention.

 

   

Potential conflicts of interest may arise with both the aggregation of trade orders and the allocation of securities transactions/investment opportunities/investment ideas. For allocations of aggregated trades, particularly trade orders that were only partially filled due to limited availability, the Advisor may have an incentive to allocate trades or investment opportunities to certain accounts or Funds.

 

   

As a result of information barriers, personnel within the Advisor may trade differently from the Funds. Also, if the Advisor obtains material non-public confidential information as part of its business activities for or with other clients, it may be restricted from purchasing or selling securities for a Fund.

 

   

If the Advisor pays a broker-dealer with “soft” or commission dollars in order to obtain access to statistical information and research, the Advisor faces conflicts of interest because the information and research could benefit certain Funds more than others.

 

   

The Funds may be subject to conflicts of interest if they engage in principal transactions with other Funds or with the Advisor, to the extent permitted by law. The Advisor may have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in these transactions.

 

   

Where the Advisor advises both sides of a transaction (cross-transactions) there may be potential conflicts of interest or regulatory issues relating to these transactions which could limit the Advisor’s decision to engage in these transactions for the Funds. The Advisor may have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in such transactions, and has developed policies and procedures in relation to such transactions and conflicts. Cross-transactions may disproportionately benefit some accounts relative to other accounts due to the relative amount of market savings obtained by the accounts. Any principal, cross- or agency cross-transactions will be effected in accordance with fiduciary requirements and applicable law.

 

   

The Advisor’s participation in certain markets or its actions for particular clients could also restrict or affect a Fund’s ability to transact in those markets.

 

   

Potential conflicts of interest also exist when the Advisor has certain overall investment limitations on positions in securities or other financial instruments due to, among other things, investment restrictions imposed upon the Advisor by law, regulation, contract or internal policies. They could prevent a Fund from purchasing particular securities or financial instruments, even if such securities or financial instruments would otherwise meet the Fund’s objectives.

 

   

Although the Advisor is not the primary valuation agent of the Funds, it performs certain valuation services related to securities and assets in the Funds. The Advisor may value an identical asset differently than another division or unit within the Advisor values the asset. The Advisor may also value an identical asset differently in different accounts or Funds.

 

   

Conflicts of interest may arise in the voting of proxies, with for instance, different teams voting proxies differently or the Advisor voting differently than its affiliates or the advice given by its affiliates to their clients (more information on proxy voting is available at page 70 within the Proxy Voting section).

 

   

Subject to applicable law, the Advisor may, from time to time and without notice to investors, in-source or outsource certain processes or functions in connection with a variety of services that they provide to the Funds in their administrative or other capacities. Such in-sourcing or outsourcing may give rise to additional conflicts of interest.

 

34


   

The Advisor maintains a Code of Ethics (“the Codes”). The Codes are intended to ensure that the interests of shareholders and other clients are placed ahead of any personal interest, that no undue personal benefit is obtained from the person’s employment activities, and that actual and potential conflicts of interest are avoided. The Codes are designed to detect and prevent improper personal trading. The Codes permit personnel subject to the Codes to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased, sold or held by the Fund, subject to a number of restrictions and controls, including prohibitions against purchases of securities in an initial public offering and a pre-clearance requirement with respect to personal securities transactions.

 

   

The Advisor and/or its affiliates may, to the extent permitted by applicable regulations, contribute to various non-cash and cash arrangements to promote the sale of Fund shares, as well as sponsor various educational programs, sales contests and/or promotions. The Advisor, Distributor and their affiliates may also pay for the travel expenses, meals, lodging and entertainment of Intermediaries and their salespersons and guests in connection with educational, sales and promotional programs subject to applicable regulations. Other compensation may also be offered from time to time to the extent not prohibited by applicable laws or regulations. Such arrangements may give rise to potential conflicts of interest.

 

   

To address the types of conflicts referred to above, the Advisor has adopted policies and procedures under which it will detect, manage or mitigate them in a manner that it believes is consistent with its obligations as an investment adviser.

The Advisor and the Funds have implemented policies and procedures to minimize the conflicts of interest described above, although they may be ineffective in achieving that goal.

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

Other Accounts Managed

The following table provides information regarding other mutual funds and accounts for which each Fund’s portfolio managers are jointly and primarily, as applicable, responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management as of [    ].

 

Portfolio
Manager
  RBC Funds Managed   

Account

Type

  

Number  

of  
Accounts  

  

Value

of Accounts

 

Number of
Performance
Fee

Accounts

   

Value of All
Performance
Fee

Accounts

 

Andrzej Skiba

  RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund    Pooled    [            ]      $[            ]     [               $ [            
    RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund    Separate Accounts    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            
         Registered Inv. Co.    [            ]0    [            ]     [                 [            

Brian Svendahl

  RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund    Pooled    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            
   

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

   Separate Accounts    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            
         Registered Inv. Co.    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            

Brandon Swensen

  RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund    Pooled    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            
   

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

   Separate Accounts    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            
         Registered Inv. Co.    [            ]      [            ]     [                 [            

Portfolio Manager Compensation

The following portfolio manager compensation information is presented as of the end of the Funds’ most recent fiscal year.

The Advisor’s Overall Compensation Philosophy

Portfolio manager compensation consists of three components: a base salary, an annual bonus, and for senior investment team members, profit sharing plans.

The Advisor calibrates salaries by position and gears them to be competitive in the market. Annual bonuses for all employees are determined by two factors: the firm’s financial performance and individual performance. All portfolio managers, analysts and traders for both the equity and fixed income groups are compensated in the same manner for all accounts, regardless of whether they are mutual funds, separately managed accounts or pooled vehicles.

Key executives performing services for the Trust are eligible to participate in the Advisor’s Mid-Term Incentive Plan in addition to base salary and annual bonuses. The value of units issued under the plan is tied to the operating results of RBC and GAM in certain instances; and serves as a proxy for ownership benefits. Senior investment professionals and team members may also participate in profit sharing plans that provide them with a share of the operating profits, which serve as a proxy for ownership benefits.

 

35


The Sub-Advisor’s Overall Compensation Philosophy

Portfolio manager compensation may consist of three components: a base salary (or drawings for partners), a discretionary bonus (or discretionary profit allocations for partners), and an additional discretionary award.

All portfolio managers are evaluated and rewarded annually during the yearly compensation review process. BlueBay has a Remuneration Committee which reviews the compensation arrangements annually. Compensation for any given individual is paid according to both quantitative and qualitative considerations. BlueBay operates a discretionary bonus scheme. Remuneration of all investment professionals is geared to fund performance and takes into account the profitable growth of each investment team’s business.

BlueBay has established a deferral ratio for all partners and employees who are awarded discretionary profit allocations (partners) or discretionary bonuses (employees) over a certain threshold. Partners and employees may also be given additional discretionary awards which are all deferred. Deferrals will track RBC BlueBay Funds and/or a combination of RBC BlueBay Funds and the reference index, a shadow equity vehicle aligned to the performance of BlueBay and RBC Global Asset Management. Deferrals will vest on a cliff basis after a period of three years.

Portfolio Managers’ Beneficial Ownership of the Funds

A portfolio manager’s beneficial ownership of a Fund is defined as the portfolio manager having the opportunity to share in any profit from transactions in the Fund, either directly or indirectly, as the result of any contract, understanding, arrangement, relationship or otherwise. Therefore, ownership of Fund shares by members of the portfolio manager’s immediate family or by a trust of which the portfolio manager is a trustee could be considered ownership by the portfolio manager. The reporting of Fund share ownership in this SAI shall not be construed as an admission that the portfolio manager has any direct or indirect beneficial ownership in the Fund listed. The table below shows each portfolio manager’s beneficial ownership of the Fund(s) under his management as of [ ].

 

     Dollar Range of Fund Shares Beneficially Owned  

RBC BlueBay Core Plus Bond Fund

  

Andrzej Skiba

     $[                ]  

Brian Svendahl

     $[                ]  

Brendon Swensen

     $[                ]  
  

RBC BlueBay Strategic Income Fund

  

Andrzej Skiba

     $[                ]  

Brian Svendahl

     $[                ]  

Brendon Swensen

     $[                ]  

PROXY VOTING POLICIES

The Funds are the beneficial owners of their portfolio securities, and therefore, the Board of Trustees, acting on the Funds’ behalf, is responsible for voting proxies. The Advisor has been delegated the authority by the Board of Trustees to vote proxies with respect to the investments held by the Funds.

The Trust seeks to assure that proxies received by the Trust or its delegate are voted in the best interests of the Trust’s shareholders, and has accordingly adopted proxy voting policies and procedures on behalf of each Fund. The Trust’s Proxy Voting Policies and Guidelines are included in Appendix B of this SAI.

The Board fulfills its oversight responsibilities in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, review and approval of the Trust’s Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures, annual review of the adequacy and effectiveness of implementation of the Trust’s Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures in connection with the Rule 38a-1 annual report and annual review and adoption of the Proxy Voting Guidelines.

The Board, after reviewing and concluding that such policies are reasonably designed to vote proxies in the best interests of each Fund’s shareholders, has approved and adopted the custom proxy voting guidelines of the Advisor. The Advisor reviews and updates these guidelines on an ongoing basis as corporate governance best practices evolve. While proxies will generally be voted in accordance with the guidelines, there may be circumstances where the Advisor believes it is in the best interests of the Funds’ shareholders to vote differently than as contemplated by the guidelines, or to withhold a vote or abstain from voting. If a portfolio manager or other personnel of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor would like to recommend that a particular proxy be voted in a manner different from the guidelines, such request shall be reviewed by the Advisor’s Proxy Voting Committee.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) has been engaged by the Advisor and Trust for proxy research and voting services. The Advisor has satisfied itself that ISS has implemented adequate policies and procedures, including information barriers, to reasonably guard against and to resolve any conflicts of interest which may arise in connection with its provision of research analyses, vote recommendations and proxy voting services. Representatives of the Advisor’s Proxy Committee conduct an annual review of ISS’s policies regarding the management of ISS conflicts of interest and present the results of such review to the Proxy Committee.

The Advisor has no affiliation or material business, professional or other relationship with ISS.

Each year the Trust files its proxy voting record for the twelve-month period ended June 30 with the SEC on Form N-PX no later than August 31. The records can be obtained on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and without charge by calling the Funds at 1-800-422- 2766.

DISTRIBUTION OF FUND SHARES

Quasar Distributors, LLC (the “Distributor”), located at 111 E. Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 2200, Milwaukee, WI 53202, is the principal underwriter for shares of the Funds. The Distributor serves pursuant to a Distribution Agreement, which specifies the obligations of

 

36


the Distributor with respect to offers and sales of Fund shares. The Distribution Agreement provides, among other things, that the Distributor may enter into selling group agreements with responsible dealers and dealer managers as well as sell a Fund’s shares to individual investors. The Distributor is not obligated to sell any specific amount of shares.

The Distributor did not pay any aggregate commissions on sales of Class A shares of the Funds because Class A shares of the Funds had not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

Additional Payments. The Advisor may make additional payments, out of its own resources and at no additional cost to the Funds or their shareholders, to certain broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets, or other financial institutions, including affiliates of the Advisor (“Intermediaries”) in connection with: the provision of administrative services; the distribution of the Funds’ shares; and/or reimbursement of ticket or operational charges (fees that an institution charges its representatives for effecting transactions in the Funds’ shares). No one factor is determinative of the type or amount of such additional payments to be provided and all factors are weighed in the assessment of such determination. Generally, no Intermediary is precluded from considering any of these factors in negotiating such additional payments on its behalf and, unless otherwise disclosed as a special arrangement, no Intermediary is precluded from negotiating the same or similar additional payments arrangement on the same terms as another Intermediary. The Advisor also may make inter-company payments out of its own resources, and at no additional cost to the Funds or shareholders, to RBC Capital Markets, LLC, in recognition of administrative and distribution-related services provided by RBC Capital Markets, LLC to shareholders. In addition, certain Intermediaries may receive fees from the Funds for providing recordkeeping and other services for individual shareholders and/or retirement plan participants. Financial consultants and other registered representatives of Intermediaries may receive compensation payments from their firms in connection with the distribution or servicing of Fund shares.

Distribution Plan

The Trust has adopted a Master Distribution Plan (the “Plan”) in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act with respect to each of the Funds. The Plan applies to the Class A Shares (the “Plan Funds”). The Plan permits each Fund to make payments for, or to reimburse the Distributor for, costs and expenses incurred in connection with the distribution and marketing of Fund shares subject to an annual limit of up to 0.50% of the average daily net assets attributable to Class A shares of the respective Fund. Currently, the Board of Trustees has approved an annual limit of 0.25% for Class A shares. Class I shares and Class R6 shares of the Funds are not subject to fees under the Plan.

Plan fees are based on average annual daily net assets of Class A Shares. Up to 0.25% of each Plan fee may be designated as a Service Fee, as defined in applicable rules of FINRA. A Plan fee may be waived voluntarily, in whole or in part, by the Distributor, subject to applicable legal requirements.

Covered costs and expenses include: (i) advertising by radio, television, newspapers, magazines, brochures, sales literature, direct mail or any other form of advertising; (ii) expenses of sales employees or agents of the Distributor, including salary, commissions, travel and related expenses; (iii) payments to broker-dealers and financial institutions for services in connection with the distribution of shares, including fees calculated with reference to the average daily NAV of shares held by shareholders who have a brokerage or other service relationship with the broker-dealer or institution receiving such fees; (iv) costs of printing prospectuses and other materials to be given or sent to prospective investors; and (v) such other similar services as an executive officer of the Trust determines to be reasonably calculated to result in the sale of shares of a Plan Fund.

The Plan contains standard provisions conforming to the requirements of Rule 12b-1, requiring quarterly reports to the Board regarding expenses under the Plan, and provisions regarding the commencement, continuation, amendment and termination of the Plan. Any agreement related to the Plan shall be in writing and contain standard provisions conforming to the requirements of Rule 12b-1 regarding commencement, continuation, amendment and termination.

The Plan provides that it may not be amended to increase materially the costs which the Plan Funds or a class of shares of the Plan Funds may bear pursuant to the Plan without shareholder approval and that other material amendments of the Plan must be approved by the Board of Trustees, and by the Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any related agreement (“Plan Trustees”), by vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of considering such amendments. The selection and nomination of the Trustees of the Trust have been committed to the discretion of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust. The Plan with respect to each of the Plan Funds was approved by the Board of Trustees and by the Plan Trustees. The continuance of the Plan is subject to annual approval by the Trustees and the Plan Trustees. The Plan is terminable with respect to a class of shares of a Plan Fund at any time by a vote of a majority of the Plan Trustees or by vote of the

 

37


holders of a majority of the shares of the class. The Board of Trustees has concluded that there is a reasonable likelihood that the Plan will benefit the Plan Funds and their shareholders.

The Plan is designed to enhance distribution and sales of the Plan Funds and increase assets in the Plan Funds, benefiting Plan Fund shareholders by permitting potential economies of scale in service provider fees.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, no 12b-1 fees were paid by the Funds because Class A shares of the Funds had not yet commenced operations.

SHAREHOLDER SERVICING PLAN

The Trust has adopted a Shareholder Servicing Plan (the “Servicing Plan”) that allows Class I, Class A and Class R6 shares of the Funds, as applicable, to pay service fees to firms that provide shareholder services (“Intermediaries”). Under the Servicing Plan, if an Intermediary provides shareholder services, including responding to shareholder inquiries and assisting shareholders with their accounts, the Fund may pay shareholder servicing fees to the Intermediary at an annual rate not to exceed 0.15% of the average daily value of net assets of the relevant share class. Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than other types of charges.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, no shareholder servicing fees were paid by the Funds because the Funds had not yet commenced operations.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

The Advisor serves as Co-Administrator to the Funds and provides certain administrative services necessary for the operation of the Funds, including among other things, (i) providing office space, equipment and facilities for maintaining the Funds’ organization,

(ii)

preparing the Trust’s registration statement, proxy statements and all annual and semi-annual reports to Fund shareholders, and

(iii) supervising and managing all aspects of the operation of the Funds, including supervising the relations with, and monitoring the performance of, the Funds’ Advisor, Distributor, custodian, independent accountants, legal counsel and other service providers. In addition, the Advisor furnishes office space and facilities required for conducting the business of the Funds and pays the compensation of the Funds’ officers, employees and Trustees affiliated with the Advisor. The Advisor does not receive a fee for the administrative services it provides to the Funds.

[The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”) serves as Co-Administrator to the Funds and provides facilities, equipment and personnel to carry out certain administrative services related to the Funds. BNY Mellon also serves as the fund accounting agent for each of the Funds and provides certain accounting services such as computation of the Funds’ NAV and maintenance of the Funds’ books and financial records. Under the Administration and Accounting Services Agreement, BNY Mellon receives a fee for its services payable by the Funds based on the Funds’ average net assets. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, no fund administration and accounting services were paid by the Funds to BNY Mellon because the Funds had not yet commenced operations.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

Orders for purchases and redemptions of Class A shares are effected at the offering price next calculated after receipt of the order by the Fund, its agent or certain other authorized persons. Orders for purchases and redemptions of Class I and Class R6 shares are effected at the NAV per share next calculated after receipt of the order by the Fund, its agent, or certain other authorized persons.

Selling dealers are responsible for transmitting orders promptly.

The offering price for Class A shares consists of the per share NAV plus any applicable sales charges. Offering price or per share NAV for each class of shares of each Fund is determined each day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for trading or (at the Fund’s option) on days the primary trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio instruments are open (“Value Date”) as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time or such other time as determined by the NYSE). The Funds will not treat an intraday unscheduled disruption in NYSE trading as a closure of the NYSE and will price their shares as of the regularly scheduled NYSE closing time, if the particular disruption directly affects only the NYSE (“Value Time”). The NAV per share of each class of shares of the Funds is computed by dividing the value of net assets of each class (i.e., the value of the assets less the liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the class. All expenses, including fees paid to the Advisor and Co-Administrators, are accrued daily and taken into account for the purpose of determining the NAV.

Portfolio Security Valuation. The value of an equity security traded on one or more U.S. exchanges (and not subject to restrictions against sale by the Fund on such exchanges) will be valued at the last available quoted sale price on the primary trading exchange for

 

38


the security as of the Value Time on the Value Date. If there was no sale on the primary exchange on the Value Date, the most recent bid shall be used. Securities for which the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc. (“NASDAQ”) provides a NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”) will be valued at the NOCP. OTC common and preferred stocks quoted on NASDAQ or in another medium for which no NOCP is calculated by NASDAQ and securities traded on an exchange for which no sales are reported on the Value Date are valued at the most recent bid quotation on the Value Date on the relevant exchange or market as of the Value Time. An equity security not traded in the United States but listed on a foreign exchange shall be valued at the closing price on the principal foreign exchange where the security is traded, and if a closing price is not available the last bid price shall be used. Investment company securities are valued at the NAV per share calculated for such securities on the Value Date. Exchange-traded options, futures and options on futures are valued at their most recent sale price on the exchange on which they are primarily traded. Equity securities for which market quotations (i) are not readily available or (ii) do not accurately reflect the value of the securities, as determined by the Advisor, are valued at fair value using the Trust’s pricing and valuation procedures. Significant bid-ask spreads, or infrequent trading may indicate a lack of readily available market quotations.

Debt securities will generally be valued at the evaluated price determined by an approved pricing agent using methods such as matrix pricing, its proprietary calculation model or dealer-supplied valuations. When an evaluated price is not readily available from a pricing service or independent broker-dealer, the value obtained is deemed to be unreliable, or there is a significant valuation event affecting the value of a security, the “fair value” of a security shall be determined by the Valuation Committee in accordance with Trust procedures.

Generally, foreign equity securities denominated in foreign currencies are valued in the foreign currency and then converted into its

U.S. dollar equivalent using the foreign exchange quotation in effect at the Value Time on the day the security’s value is determined.

Other types of securities and assets owned by a Fund (for example, rights and warrants) are valued using procedures contained in the Trust’s pricing and valuation procedures.

In situations where it is determined that market quotations are not readily available from a pricing service or independent broker- dealer, or if the valuations are deemed to be unreliable or do not accurately reflect the value of the securities, Board-approved “fair valuation” methodologies will be used. “Fair value” shall be deemed to be the amount that the Fund might reasonably expect to receive for the security (or asset) upon its current sale. Each such determination will be based on a consideration of all relevant factors, which are likely to vary from one pricing context to another. Under the Trust’s pricing and valuation procedures, fair valuation methodologies may also be used in situations such as (i) a price is determined to be stale (for example, it cannot be valued using the standard pricing method because a recent sale price is not available) on more than five consecutive days on which a Fund calculates its NAV; or (ii) a significant valuation event is determined to have occurred pursuant to the Trust’s pricing and valuation procedures. A significant valuation event may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following: (i) a significant event affecting the value of a security or other asset of the Fund that is traded on a foreign exchange or market has occurred between the time when the foreign exchange or market closes and the Value Time; (ii) one or more markets in which a security or other asset of the Fund trades is closed for a holiday on a Fund Value Date or, has closed or is disrupted as a result of unusual or extraordinary events (e.g., natural disasters, civil unrest, imposition of capital controls, etc.); (iii) there is an unusually large movement, between the Value Time on the previous day and today’s Value Time, in the value of one or more securities indexes that the Fund uses as a “benchmark” or that are determined by the Pricing Committee to be relevant to the Fund’s portfolio investments; or (iv) some other market or economic event (e.g., a bankruptcy filing) would cause a security or other asset of the Fund to experience a significant change in value. If it has been determined that a significant valuation event has occurred, the Board may value each security pursuant to the Trust’s fair value pricing procedures.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreements and Investment Sub-Advisory Agreements, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor places orders for the purchase and sale of portfolio investments for the Funds’ accounts with brokers or dealers it selects in its discretion.

Purchases and sales of securities can be principal transactions in the case of debt securities and equity securities traded other than on an exchange. The purchase or sale of equity securities will frequently involve the payment of a commission to a broker-dealer who effects the transaction on behalf of a Fund. Debt securities normally will be purchased or sold from or to issuers directly or to dealers serving as market makers for the securities at a net price. Generally, money market securities are traded on a net basis and do not involve brokerage commissions. Under the 1940 Act, persons affiliated with the Funds, the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor or the Distributor are prohibited from dealing with the Funds as a principal in the purchase and sale of securities unless a permissive order allowing such transactions is obtained from the SEC or the transaction complies with requirements of certain SEC rules applicable to affiliated transactions.

Advisor’s Trade Allocation and Aggregation

Investment decisions for the Funds are made with a view to achieving their respective investment objectives. Investment decisions are the product of many factors in addition to basic suitability for the particular client involved. Thus, a particular security may be bought

 

39


or sold for certain clients even though it could have been bought or sold for other clients at the same time. Likewise, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more other clients are selling the security. In some instances, one client may sell a particular security to another client. At times, two or more clients may also simultaneously purchase or sell the same security, in which event each day’s transactions in such security are, insofar as possible, averaged as to price and allocated between such clients in a manner which in the opinion of the Advisor is equitable to each and in accordance with the amount being purchased or sold by each. There may be circumstances when purchases or sales of portfolio securities for one or more clients will have an adverse effect on other clients.

The Advisor has established and implemented an Order Allocation policy, setting out the most important and/or relevant aspects of the order allocation arrangements to ensure fair allocation. Generally the portfolio managers will allocate trades across portfolios with similar mandates to bring the holding in each account to a similar percentage of the value of the portfolio. The portfolio manager will take into account factors impacting the allocation, including:

 

   

Each portfolio’s investment guidelines that exclude a particular security or type of security;

 

   

Each portfolio’s guidelines that restrict the amount (usually as a percentage of the portfolio value) of a particular security or security type;

 

   

Minimum tradable lot sizes applicable to a security; and round lot sizes.

The trader aggregates orders and places a block order with one or more brokers. Block trades are entered into for efficient trading purposes, to limit market impact and to achieve the best price at execution. If the block trade is filled in its entirety, all participating clients receive the order amount. If the trade is partially filled or executed with more than one broker, each tranche of the trade is allocated among the participating accounts pro rata according to the order size specified by the portfolio manager at the time of order placement. Tranches are executed and allocated on this pro rata basis until the order has been filled or the outstanding order has been cancelled by the portfolio manager.

Sub-Advisor’s Trade Allocation and Aggregation

Investment decisions for the Funds, and for the other investment advisory clients of the Sub-Advisor, are made with a view to achieving their respective investment objectives. Investment decisions are the product of many factors in addition to basic suitability for the particular client involved. Thus, a particular security may be bought or sold for certain clients even though it could have been bought or sold for other clients at the same time. Likewise, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more other clients are selling the security. In some instances, one client may sell a particular security to another client. At times, two or more clients may also simultaneously purchase or sell the same security, in which event each day’s transactions in such security are, insofar as possible, averaged as to price and allocated between such clients in a manner which in the opinion of the Sub-Advisor is equitable to each and in accordance with the amount being purchased or sold by each. There may be circumstances when purchases or sales of portfolio securities for one or more clients will have an adverse effect on other clients.

The Sub-Advisor has established and implemented an Order Allocation policy, setting out the most important and/or relevant aspects of the order allocation arrangements to ensure fair allocation. Generally the portfolio managers will allocate trades across portfolios with similar mandates to bring the holding in each account to a similar percentage of the value of the portfolio. The portfolio manager will take into account factors impacting the allocation, including:

   

Each portfolio’s investment guidelines that exclude a particular security or type of security;

   

Each portfolio’s guidelines that restrict the amount (usually as a percentage of the portfolio value) of a particular security or security type;

   

Minimum tradable lot sizes applicable to a security; and round lot sizes.

The trader aggregates orders and places a block order with one or more brokers. Block trades are entered into for efficient trading purposes, to limit market impact and to achieve the best price at execution. If the block trade is filled in its entirety, all participating clients receive the order amount. If the trade is partially filled or executed with more than one broker, each tranche of the trade is allocated among the participating accounts pro rata according to the order size specified by the portfolio manager at the time of order placement. Tranches are executed and allocated on this pro rata basis until the order has been filled or the outstanding order has been cancelled by the portfolio manager.

Trading Costs

Trading involves transaction costs. Transactions with dealers serving as primary market makers reflect the spread between the bid and asked prices. The Funds may purchase securities during an underwriting, which will include an underwriting fee paid to the underwriter. Purchases and sales of common stocks are generally placed by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor with broker-dealers which, in the judgment of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor provide prompt and reliable execution at favorable security prices and reasonable commission rates.

The Advisor or Sub-Advisor is obligated to exercise their fiduciary obligations to seek best execution of the Funds’ transactions under the circumstances of the particular transaction. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor seeks to satisfy their best execution obligations by creating the conditions under which best execution is most likely to occur, i.e., by following policies and procedures designed to achieve it. In effecting purchases and sales of portfolio securities for the account of a Fund, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor will seek the best execution of the Fund’s orders.

The Funds have no obligation to deal with any dealer or group of dealers in the execution of transactions in portfolio securities. Subject to policies established by the Board of Trustees, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor are primarily responsible for portfolio decisions and the placing of portfolio transactions. In placing orders, it is the policy of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor to obtain the best results taking into account the broker- dealer’s general execution and operational facilities, the type of transaction involved and other factors such as the dealer’s risk in positioning the securities. While the Advisor or Sub-Advisor generally seeks reasonably competitive spreads or commissions, the Funds will not necessarily be paying the lowest spread or commission available.

Advisor’s Broker-Dealer Selection

Many factors affect the selection of a broker, including the overall reasonableness of commissions or spreads paid to a broker, the firm’s general execution and operational capabilities, its reliability and financial condition and counterparty risk. Additionally, some of the brokers with whom the Advisor effects transactions may have also referred investment advisory clients to the Advisor.

However, any transactions with such brokers will be subject to best execution obligations. The Advisor may not consider sales of Fund shares as a factor in the selection of broker-dealers to execute portfolio transactions for the Funds.

Consistent with seeking best execution, a Fund may participate in “commission recapture” programs, under which brokers or dealers used by the Fund remit a portion of brokerage commissions to the particular Fund from which they were generated. Subject to oversight by the Funds’ Board of Trustees and the Advisor is responsible for the selection of brokers or dealers with whom a Fund executes trades and for ensuring that a Fund receives best execution in connection with its portfolio brokerage transactions.

Participation in a commission recapture program is not expected to have a material impact on either expenses or returns of those Funds utilizing the program.

Sub-Advisor’s Broker-Dealer Selection

Many factors affect the selection of a broker, including the overall reasonableness of commissions or spreads paid to a broker, the firm’s general execution and operational capabilities, its reliability and financial condition and counterparty risk. Additionally, some of the brokers with whom the Sub-Advisor effects transactions may have also referred investment advisory clients to the Sub-Advisor. However, any transactions with such brokers will be subject to best execution obligations. The Sub-Advisor may not consider sales of BlueBay fund shares as a factor in the selection of broker-dealers to execute portfolio transactions for the Funds.

Consistent with seeking best execution, a Fund may participate in “commission recapture” programs, under which brokers or dealers used by the Fund remit a portion of brokerage commissions to the particular Fund from which they were generated. Subject to oversight by the Funds’ Board of Trustees and the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor is responsible for the selection of brokers or dealers with whom a Fund executes trades and for ensuring that a Fund receives best execution in connection with its portfolio brokerage transactions. Participation in a commission recapture program is not expected to have a material impact on either expenses or returns of those Funds utilizing the program.

 

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Execution Factors and Criteria

When giving effect to decisions to deal on behalf of its clients, the exact nature of the best possible result will be determined by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor by reference to a wide variety of factors including: price, costs, speed, likelihood of execution and settlement, size, nature of the order, or any other consideration relevant to the execution of the order.

Price will ordinarily merit a high relative importance in obtaining the best possible result. However, in some circumstances the Advisor or Sub-Advisor may appropriately determine that other factors are more important than price. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor determines the relative importance of the various factors by using its commercial judgment and experience in light of market information and taking into account the following criteria: the characteristics of the portfolio, the characteristics of the order, the characteristics of the instrument or product and the characteristics of the Brokers or Execution Venues to which that order can be directed.

Choosing Between Order Placement and Direct Execution

Once the Advisor or Sub-Advisor has made a decision to deal, the trader decides whether to place the order with a Broker or to execute the transaction directly on an Execution Venue. This decision is made having regard to the relative importance of the execution factors for the instrument or product in question. For some instruments or products, there is no choice. So, for example, when trading “over the counter” derivatives, the transaction will always be effected by way of direct execution with a Counterparty.

Order Placement with Brokers

Each portfolio manager and trader specializes in one of the four main mandate types managed by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor: emerging market, high yield/distressed, convertibles and investment grade. The core senior portfolio managers for each of the four mandate types have focused on their asset class for more than 10 years, gaining insight and experience under a variety of market conditions. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor has dedicated an execution team of traders to each of the three asset classes, providing them with in-depth knowledge of the instruments and products traded and the Brokers/Counterparties with which to trade.

Where the Advisor or Sub-Advisor places an order with a Broker for execution, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor is not responsible for controlling or influencing the arrangements made by the Broker relating to the execution of that order (for example, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor does not control the Broker’s choice of Execution Venues) and is not required to duplicate the efforts of the Broker in ensuring the best possible result. The Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s obligation is therefore to ensure that the Brokers included in the Approved Broker/Counterparty List are those which will enable it to comply with its obligation to seek best execution and that orders are passed only to those Brokers.

RBC group as a global financial services company may act in variety of roles including those of a broker, underwriter, agent or lender in connection with transactions in which the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s clients have an interest and will receive remuneration or other benefits in connections with these trades. The Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s traders will choose to execute a transaction with RBC group entities only if the transaction is executed at arm’s length basis and achieves previously stated threshold for best execution. The Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s policies address conflicts of interest that may arise from such transactions and furthermore create information barriers between the Advisor or Sub-Advisor and RBC designed to ensure that information is not improperly shared among these companies and their employees; and prohibit the portfolio managers from investing in RBC shares on behalf of its clients.

Direct Execution with Execution Venues

Traders will use their professional judgment, skill and experience to decide the most appropriate Execution Venue when seeking to comply with its obligation to seek best execution. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor executes the majority of its trades with the Counterparties listed in the Approved Broker/Counterparty List rather than on an exchange or other trading system.

The traders have built relationships with the Counterparties with which the Advisor or Sub-Advisor trades, enabling them to ascertain which organization is likely to provide the product or instrument required in a way that allows the Advisor or Sub-Advisor to satisfy its obligation to seek best execution. Typically the traders approach a range of Counterparties to obtain the best price available for a security. However, it may not be advantageous for the Advisor or Sub-Advisor to seek multiple quotes if a security has limited liquidity and a small number of market makers, in which case placing an order may lead to a price movement that is unfavorable to the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s clients as a result of informing the market of the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s trading intentions. At all times the traders use their professional judgment to obtain the best possible result in the circumstances.

“Over the counter” trading in derivatives is effected by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor with Counterparties that act as principal under ISDA and related master documentation. Owing to factors beyond the Advisor’s or Sub-Advisor’s reasonable control, relationships with some of these Counterparties may have been established only for particular clients and so may not be available for all clients. Any decision to execute a transaction with a particular Counterparty on behalf of a client is made from the available pool of Counterparties for that client.

Counterparty Approval Process

Before undertaking business with a Counterparty for the first time, an approval process is followed to ensure that the Advisor or Sub-Advisor only trades with appropriate counterparties. The Advisor or Sub-Advisor maintains an Approved Broker/Counterparty List which formally records the

 

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parties with which a trader may do business. All approved counterparties are programmed into Charles River, the Advisor’s and Sub-Advisor’s Investment Management System.

The Market Risk Committee has authority to approve new counterparties. On the basis of the completed initial approval form, financial statements, credit rating, and clearing arrangements, the Market Risk Committee considers whether the trading risk of the Counterparty is acceptable in light of the type of trading for which approval is sought.

Ongoing Review of Counterparties

The Advisor or Sub-Advisor performs daily, quarterly and annual reviews or its counterparties as appropriate. On a daily basis, the Risk team monitors market indicators such as credit default swap spreads for OTC and depositor counterparties. If these indicators raise concern about the credit quality of any Counterparty, the Market Risk Committee may prohibit further trading or remove the Counterparty from the Approved Broker/Counterparty List. On an annual basis approved counterparties may be reviewed by the Market Risk Committee on the basis of the following non-exhaustive list: legal/regulatory actions, trading volumes, financial standing and most recent ratings. Based on the reviews of these factors, the Head of Trade Execution or the Market Risk Committee may determine to prohibit trading with certain counterparties that no longer meet the requirements by the Advisor or Sub-Advisor.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, no brokerage commissions were paid because the Funds had not yet commenced operations.

The Funds did not engage in any brokerage transactions involving any broker-dealers that are affiliated with the Trust, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor during the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021.

Because the Funds have not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI, the Funds did not hold any investments in securities of their regular broker-dealers.

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

Changes may be made in the Funds’ portfolios consistent with the investment objectives and policies of the Funds whenever such changes are believed to be in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders. The portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of total purchases or sales of portfolio securities by the average monthly value of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

Higher portfolio turnover rates may result in higher brokerage expenses. The portfolio turnover rates for each of the Funds are set forth in the Financial Highlights section of each Fund’s Prospectus.

TAXATION

The following is a summary of certain additional tax considerations generally affecting a Fund and its shareholders that are not described in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of the tax treatment of a Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning.

This “Taxation” section is based on the Internal Revenue Code (“the Code”) and applicable regulations in effect on the date of this SAI. Future legislative, regulatory or administrative changes, including provisions of current law that sunset and thereafter no longer apply, or court decisions may significantly change the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders. Any of these changes or court decisions may have a retroactive effect.

This is for general information only and not tax advice. All investors should consult their own tax advisors as to the federal, state, local and foreign tax provisions applicable to them.

TAXATION OF THE FUNDS. Each Fund has elected and intends to qualify each year as a RIC (sometimes referred to as a “regulated investment company” or “fund”) under Subchapter M of the Code. If a Fund so qualifies, the Fund will not be subject to federal income tax on the portion of its investment company taxable income (that is, generally, taxable interest, dividends, net short- term capital gains, and other taxable ordinary income, net of expenses, without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (that is, the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that it distributes to shareholders. In order to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company, each Fund must satisfy the following requirements:

 

   

Distribution Requirement—A Fund must distribute an amount equal to the sum of at least 90% of its investment company taxable income and 90% of its net tax-exempt income, if any, for the tax year (including, for purposes of satisfying this distribution requirement, certain distributions made by the Fund after the close of its taxable year that are treated as made during such taxable year).

 

   

Income Requirement—A Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, certain payments with respect to securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income

 

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(including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived from its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”).

 

   

Asset Diversification Test—A Fund must satisfy the following asset diversification test at the close of each quarter of the Fund’s tax year: (1) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets must consist of cash and cash items, U.S. Government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and securities of other issuers (as to which the Fund has not invested more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets in securities of an issuer and as to which the Fund does not hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer); and (2) no more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets may be invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. Government securities or securities of other regulated investment companies) or of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses, or, in the securities of one or more QPTPs.

In some circumstances, the character and timing of income realized by a Fund for purposes of the Income Requirement or the identification of the issuer for purposes of the Asset Diversification Test is uncertain under current law with respect to a particular investment, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) with respect to such type of investment may adversely affect a Fund’s ability to satisfy these requirements. See, “Tax Treatment of Portfolio Securities” below with respect to the application of these requirements to certain types of investments. In other circumstances, a Fund may be required to sell portfolio holdings in order to meet the Income Requirement, Distribution Requirement, or Asset Diversification Test which may have a negative impact on the Fund’s income and performance. In lieu of potential disqualification, a Fund may be permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the Asset Diversification Test or Income Requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.

Each Fund may use “equalization accounting” (in lieu of making some cash distributions) in determining the portion of its income and gains that has been distributed. If a Fund uses equalization accounting, it will allocate a portion of its undistributed investment company taxable income and net capital gain to redemptions of Fund shares and will correspondingly reduce the amount of such income and gains that it distributes in cash. If the IRS determines that a Fund’s allocation is improper and that the Fund has under- distributed its income and gain for any taxable year, the Fund may be liable for federal income and/or excise tax. If, as a result of such adjustment, the Fund fails to satisfy the Distribution Requirement, the Fund will not qualify that year as a regulated investment company the effect of which is described in the following paragraph.

If for any taxable year a Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders, and the dividends would be taxable to the shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Failure to qualify as a regulated investment company would thus have a negative impact on a Fund’s income and performance. Subject to savings provisions for certain failures to satisfy the Income Requirement or Asset Diversification Test which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, it is possible that a Fund will not qualify as a regulated investment company in any given tax year. Even if such savings provisions apply, a Fund may be subject to a monetary sanction of $50,000 or more. Moreover, the Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund as a regulated investment company if it determines such a course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

Portfolio Turnover. For investors that hold their Fund shares in a taxable account, a high portfolio turnover rate may result in higher taxes. This is because a fund with a high turnover rate is likely to accelerate the recognition of capital gains and more of such gains are likely to be taxable as short-term rather than long-term capital gains in contrast to a comparable fund with a low turnover rate. Any such higher taxes would reduce the Fund’s after-tax performance. See, “Taxation of Fund Distributions—Distributions of Capital Gains” below.

Capital Loss Carryovers. The capital losses of a Fund, if any, do not flow through to shareholders. Rather, a Fund may use its capital losses, subject to applicable limitations, to offset its capital gains without being required to pay taxes on or distribute to shareholders such gains that are offset by the losses. Under the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, rules similar to those that apply to capital loss carryovers of individuals are applicable to RICs. Thus, if a Fund has a “net capital loss” (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains) for a taxable year beginning after December 22, 2010, the excess (if any) of the Fund’s net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the Fund’s net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long- term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year. Any such net capital losses of a Fund that are not used to offset capital gains may be carried forward indefinitely to reduce any future capital gains realized by the Fund in succeeding taxable years. The amount of capital losses that can be carried forward and used in any single year is subject to an annual limitation if there is a more than 50% “change in ownership” of a Fund. An ownership change generally results when shareholders owning 5% or more of a Fund increase their aggregate holdings by more than 50% over a three-year look-back period. An ownership change could result in capital loss carryovers being used at a slower rate, thereby reducing a Fund’s ability to offset capital gains with those losses. An increase in the amount of taxable gains distributed to a Fund’s shareholders could result from an ownership change. The Funds undertake no obligation to avoid or prevent an ownership change, which can occur in the normal course of shareholder purchases and

 

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redemptions or as a result of engaging in a tax-free reorganization with another fund. Moreover, because of circumstances beyond a Fund’s control, there can be no assurance that a Fund will not experience, or has not already experienced, an ownership change.

Additionally, if a Fund engages in a tax-free reorganization with another fund, the effect of these and other rules not discussed herein may be to disallow or postpone the use by a Fund of its capital loss carryovers (including any current year losses and built-in losses when realized) to offset its own gains or those of the other fund, or vice versa, thereby reducing the tax benefits Fund shareholders would otherwise have enjoyed from use of such capital loss carryovers.

Deferral of Late Year Losses. A Fund may elect to treat part or all of any “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year (see, “Taxation of Fund Distributions—Distributions of capital gains” below). A “qualified late year loss” includes:

 

  (i)

any net capital loss attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31, or if there is no net capital loss, any net long-term capital loss or any net short-term capital loss attributable to the portion of the taxable year after that date (“post-October losses”), and

 

  (ii)

the sum of (a) specified losses incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year over specified gains incurred after October 31 of such taxable year, and (b) other ordinary losses incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year, over other ordinary gains incurred after December 31 of such taxable year.

The terms “specified losses” and “specified gains” mean ordinary losses and gains from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property (including the termination of a position with respect to such property), foreign currency losses and gains, and losses and gains resulting from holding stock in a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for which a mark-to-market election is in effect. The terms “ordinary losses” and “ordinary gains” mean other ordinary losses and gains that are not described in the preceding sentence.

Undistributed Capital Gains. A Fund may retain or distribute to shareholders its net capital gain for each taxable year. The Funds currently intend to distribute net capital gains. If a Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, the Fund will be taxed thereon (except to the extent of any available capital loss carryovers) at the highest corporate tax rate. If a Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, it is expected that the Fund also will elect to have shareholders treated as if each received a distribution of its pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each shareholder will be required to report its pro rata share of such gain on its tax return as long-term capital gain, will receive a refundable tax credit for its pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain, and will increase the tax basis for its shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.

Federal Excise Tax. To avoid a 4% non-deductible excise tax, a Fund must distribute by December 31 of each year an amount equal to at least: (1) 98% of its ordinary income (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) for the calendar year, (2) 98.2% of capital gain net income (that is, the excess of the gains from sales or exchanges of capital assets over the losses from such sales or exchanges, adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ended on October 31 of such calendar year, and (3) any prior year undistributed ordinary income and capital gain net income. A Fund may elect to defer to the following year any net ordinary loss incurred for the portion of the calendar year which is after the beginning of the Fund’s taxable year. Also, a Fund will defer any “specified gain” or “specified loss” which would be properly taken into account for the portion of the calendar year after October 31. Any net ordinary loss, specified gain, or specified loss deferred shall be treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. Generally, each Fund intends to make sufficient distributions prior to the end of each calendar year to avoid any material liability for federal income and excise tax, but can give no assurances that all or a portion of such liability will be avoided. In addition, under certain circumstances, temporary timing or permanent differences in the realization of income and expense for book and tax purposes can result in the Fund having to pay an excise tax.

Foreign Income Tax. Investment income received by a Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income tax withheld at the source and the amount of tax withheld generally will be treated as an expense of the Fund. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries which entitle a Fund to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, tax on such income. It is impossible to determine the effective rate of foreign tax in advance since the amount of a Fund’s assets to be invested in various countries is not known. Under certain circumstances (described below), a Fund may elect to pass-through foreign tax credits to shareholders, although it reserves the right not to do so.

TAXATION OF FUND DISTRIBUTIONS. Each Fund anticipates distributing substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain for each taxable year. Distributions by a Fund will be treated in the manner described below regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares of the Fund (or of another fund). The Funds will send you information annually as to the federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year.

Distributions of Net Investment Income. Each Fund receives ordinary income generally in the form of dividends and/or interest on its investments. The Fund may also recognize ordinary income from other sources, including, but not limited to, certain gains on foreign currency-related transactions. This income, less expenses incurred in the operation of a Fund, constitutes a Fund’s net

 

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investment income from which dividends may be paid to you. If you are a taxable investor, distributions of net investment income generally are taxable as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits. In the case of a Fund whose strategy includes investing in stocks of corporations, a portion of the income dividends paid to you may be qualified dividends eligible to be taxed at reduced rates. See the discussion below under the headings, “Qualified Dividend Income for Individuals” and “Dividends-Received Deduction for Corporations”.

Distributions of Capital Gains. Each Fund may derive capital gain and loss in connection with sales or other dispositions of its portfolio securities. Distributions derived from the excess of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss will be taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions paid from the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss will be taxable to you as long-term capital gain, regardless of how long you have held your shares in a Fund. Any net short-term or long-term capital gain realized by a Fund (net of any capital loss carryovers) generally will be distributed once each year and may be distributed more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund.

Returns of Capital. Distributions by a Fund that are not paid from earnings and profits will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of (and in reduction of) the shareholder’s tax basis in his shares; any excess will be treated as gain from the sale of his shares. Thus, the portion of a distribution that constitutes a return of capital will decrease the shareholder’s tax basis in his Fund shares (but not below zero), and will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the shareholder for tax purposes on the later sale of such Fund shares. Return of capital distributions can occur for a number of reasons including, among others, a Fund over-estimates the income to be received from certain investments such as those classified as partnerships or equity REITs (see, “Tax Treatment of Portfolio Securities—Investments in U.S. REITs” below).

Qualified Dividend Income for Individuals. Ordinary income dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as derived from qualified dividend income will be taxed in the hands of individuals and other noncorporate shareholders at the rates applicable to long- term capital gain. “Qualified dividend income” means dividends paid to a Fund (a) by domestic corporations, (b) by foreign corporations that are either (i) incorporated in a possession of the United States, or (ii) are eligible for benefits under certain income tax treaties with the United States that include an exchange of information program, or (c) with respect to stock of a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States. Both a Fund and the investor must meet certain holding period requirements to qualify Fund dividends for this treatment. Specifically, a Fund must hold the stock for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend. Similarly, investors must hold their Fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before a Fund distribution goes ex-dividend. Income derived from investments in derivatives, fixed-income securities, U.S. REITs, PFICs, and income received “in lieu of” dividends in a securities lending transaction generally is not eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income. If the qualifying dividend income received by a Fund is equal to or greater than 95% of the Fund’s gross income (exclusive of net capital gain) in any taxable year, all of the ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund will be qualifying dividend income.

Dividends-Received Deduction for Corporations. For corporate shareholders, a portion of the dividends paid by a Fund may qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction. The portion of dividends paid by a Fund that so qualifies will be reported by the Fund to shareholders each year and cannot exceed the gross amount of dividends received by the Fund from domestic (U.S.) corporations. The availability of the dividends-received deduction is subject to certain holding period and debt financing restrictions that apply to both a Fund and the investor. Specifically, the amount that a Fund may report as eligible for the dividends-received deduction will be reduced or eliminated if the shares on which the dividends earned by the Fund were debt-financed or held by the Fund for less than a minimum period of time, generally 46 days during a 91-day period beginning 45 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend.

Similarly, if your Fund shares are debt-financed or held by you for less than a 46-day period then the dividends-received deduction for Fund dividends on your shares may also be reduced or eliminated. Income derived by a Fund from investments in derivatives, fixed- income and foreign securities generally is not eligible for this treatment.

Impact of Realized but Undistributed Income and Gains, and Net Unrealized Appreciation of Portfolio Securities. At the time of your purchase of shares, a Fund’s NAV may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation of portfolio securities held by the Fund. A subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable, and would be taxed as ordinary income (some portion of which may be taxed as qualified dividend income), capital gains, or some combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. A Fund may be able to reduce the amount of such distributions from capital gains by utilizing its capital loss carryovers, if any.

Pass-Through of Foreign Tax Credits. If more than 50% of a Fund’s total assets at the end of a fiscal year is invested in foreign securities, the Fund may elect to pass through to you your pro rata share of foreign taxes paid by the Fund. If this election is made, the Fund may report more taxable income to you than it actually distributes. You will then be entitled either to deduct your share of these taxes in computing your taxable income, or to claim a foreign tax credit for these taxes against your U.S. federal income tax (subject to limitations for certain shareholders). A Fund will provide you with the information necessary to claim this deduction or credit on your personal income tax return if it makes this election. No deduction for foreign tax may be claimed by a noncorporate shareholder who does not itemize deductions or who is subject to the alternative minimum tax. Shareholders may be unable to claim a credit for

 

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the full amount of their proportionate shares of the foreign income tax paid by a Fund due to certain limitations that may apply. The Fund reserves the right not to pass through to its shareholders the amount of foreign income taxes paid by the Fund. Additionally, any foreign tax withheld on payments made “in lieu of” dividends or interest will not qualify for the pass-through of foreign tax credits to shareholders. See, “Tax Treatment of Portfolio Securities—Securities Lending” below.

U.S. Government Securities. Income earned on certain U.S. government obligations is exempt from state and local personal income taxes if earned directly by you. States also grant tax-free status to dividends paid to you from interest earned on direct obligations of the U.S. government, subject in some states to minimum investment or reporting requirements that must be met by a Fund. Income on investments by a Fund in certain other obligations, such as repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government obligations, commercial paper and federal agency-backed obligations (e.g., Ginnie Mae or Fannie Mae securities), generally does not qualify for tax-free treatment. The rules on exclusion of this income are different for corporations.

Dividends Declared in December and Paid in January. Ordinarily, shareholders are required to take distributions by the Fund into account in the year in which the distributions are made. However, dividends declared in October, November or December of any year and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month will be deemed to have been received by the shareholders (and made by the Fund) on December 31 of such calendar year if such dividends are actually paid in January of the following year.

Shareholders will be advised annually as to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year in accordance with the guidance that has been provided by the IRS.

Medicare Tax. A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on net investment income earned by certain individuals, estates and trusts. “Net investment income,” for these purposes, means investment income, including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund shares, reduced by the deductions properly allocable to such income. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (1) the shareholder’s net investment income or (2) the amount by which the shareholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (in any other case). This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

SALES, EXCHANGES, AND REDEMPTIONS. Sales, exchanges and redemptions (including redemptions in-kind) of Fund shares are taxable transactions for federal and state income tax purposes. If you redeem your Fund shares, the IRS requires you to report any gain or loss on your redemption. If you held your shares as a capital asset, the gain or loss that you realize will be a capital gain or loss and will be long-term or short-term, generally depending on how long you have held your shares. Capital losses in any year are deductible only to the extent of capital gains plus, in the case of a noncorporate taxpayer, $3,000 of ordinary income.

Tax Basis Information. The Funds are required to report to you and the IRS annually on Form 1099-B the cost basis of shares where the cost basis of the shares is known by the Funds (referred to as “covered shares”). However, cost basis reporting is not required for certain shareholders, including shareholders investing in a Fund through a tax-advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, or shareholders investing in a money market fund that maintains a stable NAV. When required to report cost basis, the Funds will calculate it using the Funds’ default method of average cost, unless you instruct a Fund in writing to use a different calculation method. In general, average cost is the total cost basis of all your shares in an account divided by the total number of shares in the account. To determine whether short-term or long-term capital gains taxes apply, the IRS presumes you redeem your oldest shares first.

The IRS permits the use of several methods to determine the cost basis of mutual fund shares. The method used will determine which specific shares are deemed to be sold when there are multiple purchases on different dates at differing share prices, and the entire position is not sold at one time. The Funds do not recommend any particular method of determining cost basis, and the use of other methods may result in more favorable tax consequences for some shareholders. It is important that you consult with your tax advisor to determine which method is best for you and then notify a Fund in writing if you intend to utilize a method other than average cost for covered shares.

In addition to the Funds’ default method of average cost, other cost basis methods offered by the Trust, which you may elect to apply to covered shares, include:

 

   

Single Account Average Cost (SAAC) — the total cost basis of both covered shares and “noncovered shares” (as defined below) in an account are averaged to determine the basis of shares. By electing the single account average cost method, your noncovered shares will be redesignated as covered shares. This election is only available for current shareholders of the Funds.

 

   

First-In First-Out (FIFO) — depletes shares in the order of the acquisition date; the oldest shares are redeemed first.

 

   

Last-In First-Out (LIFO) — depletes shares in the order of the acquisition date; the newest shares are redeemed first.

 

   

High Cost (HIFO) — depletes shares in the order of highest cost per share; the most expensive shares are redeemed first.

 

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Low Cost (LOFO) — depletes shares in the order of lowest cost per share; the least expensive shares are redeemed first.

 

   

Loss/Gain Utilization (LGUT) — depletes shares with losses prior to shares with gains and short-term shares prior to long-term shares.

 

   

Specific Lot Identification — depletes shares according to the lots chosen by the shareholder. If insufficient shares are identified at the time of disposition, then a secondary default method of first-in first-out will be applied.

You may elect any of the available methods detailed above for your covered shares. If you do not notify a Fund in writing of your elected cost basis method upon the initial purchase into your account, the default method of average cost will be applied to your covered shares. The cost basis for covered shares will be calculated separately from any shares for which cost basis information is not known by the Fund (“noncovered shares”) you may own, unless you elect single account average cost. You may change from average cost to another cost basis method for covered shares at any time by notifying a Fund in writing, but only for shares acquired after the date of the change (the change is prospective). The basis of the shares that were averaged before the change will remain averaged after the date of the change.

With the exception of the specific lot identification method, the Trust first depletes noncovered shares in first in, first out order before applying your elected method to your remaining covered shares. If you want to deplete your shares in a different order then you must elect specific lot identification and choose the lots you wish to deplete first.

A Fund will compute and report the cost basis of your Fund shares sold or exchanged by taking into account all of the applicable adjustments to cost basis and holding periods as required by the Code and Treasury regulations for purposes of reporting these amounts to you and the IRS. However a Fund is not required to, and in many cases a Fund does not possess the information to, take all possible basis, holding period or other adjustments into account in reporting cost basis information to you. Therefore shareholders should carefully review the cost basis information provided by a Fund and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required by the Code and Treasury regulations when reporting these amounts on their federal income tax returns. Shareholders remain solely responsible for complying with all federal income tax laws when filing their federal income tax returns.

If you hold your Fund shares through a broker (or other nominee), please contact that broker (nominee) with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for your account.

Wash Sales. All or a portion of any loss that you realize on a redemption of your Fund shares will be disallowed to the extent that you buy other shares in the Fund (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after your share redemption. Any loss disallowed under these rules will be added to your tax basis in the new shares.

Redemptions at a Loss Within Six Months of Purchase. Any loss incurred on a redemption or exchange of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributed to you by the Fund on those shares.

Reportable Transactions. Under Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to a Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. 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.

TAX TREATMENT OF PORTFOLIO SECURITIES. Set forth below is a general description of the tax treatment of certain types of securities, investment techniques and transactions that may apply to a Fund and, in turn, affect the amount, character and timing of dividends and distributions payable by the Fund to its shareholders. This section should be read in conjunction with the discussion above under “Description of Securities and Investment Practices” for a detailed description of the various types of securities and investment techniques that apply to a Fund.

In General. In general, gain or loss recognized by a Fund on the sale or other disposition of portfolio investments will be a capital gain or loss. Such capital gain and loss may be long-term or short-term depending, in general, upon the length of time a particular investment position is maintained and, in some cases, upon the nature of the transaction. Property held for more than one year generally will be eligible for long-term capital gain or loss treatment. The application of certain rules described below may serve to alter the manner in which the holding period for a security is determined or may otherwise affect the characterization as long-term or short-term, and also the timing of the realization and/or character, of certain gains or losses.

Certain Fixed-Income Investments. Gain recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation purchased by a Fund at a market discount (generally, at a price less than its principal amount) will be treated as ordinary income to the extent of the portion of the market discount which accrued during the period of time the Fund held the debt obligation unless the Fund made a current inclusion election to accrue market discount into income as it accrues. If a Fund purchases a debt obligation (such as a zero coupon security or pay-in-kind security) that was originally issued at a discount, the Fund generally is required to include in gross income each year the

 

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portion of the original issue discount which accrues during such year. Therefore, a Fund’s investment in such securities may cause the Fund to recognize income and make distributions to shareholders before it receives any cash payments on the securities. To generate cash to satisfy those distribution requirements, a Fund may have to sell portfolio securities that it otherwise might have continued to hold or to use cash flows from other sources such as the sale of Fund shares.

Investments in Debt Obligations that are at Risk of or in Default Present Tax Issues for a Fund. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as whether and to what extent a Fund should recognize market discount on a debt obligation, when a Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent a Fund may take deductions for bad debts or worthless securities and how a Fund should allocate payments received on obligations in default between principal and income.

These and other related issues will be addressed by a Fund in order to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company.

Options, Futures, Forward Contracts, Swap Agreements and Hedging Transactions. In general, option premiums received by a Fund are not immediately included in the income of the Fund. Instead, the premiums are recognized when the option contract expires, the option is exercised by the holder, or the Fund transfers or otherwise terminates the option (e.g., through a closing transaction). If an option written by a Fund is exercised and the Fund sells or delivers the underlying stock, the Fund generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to (a) the sum of the strike price and the option premium received by the Fund minus (b) the Fund’s basis in the stock. Such gain or loss generally will be short-term or long-term depending upon the holding period of the underlying stock. If securities are purchased by a Fund pursuant to the exercise of a put option written by it, the Fund generally will subtract the premium received from its cost basis in the securities purchased. The gain or loss with respect to any termination of a Fund’s obligation under an option other than through the exercise of the option and related sale or delivery of the underlying stock generally will be short-term gain or loss depending on whether the premium income received by the Fund is greater or less than the amount paid by the Fund (if any) in terminating the transaction. Thus, for example, if an option written by a Fund expires unexercised, the Fund generally will recognize short-term gain equal to the premium received.

The tax treatment of certain futures contracts entered into by a Fund as well as listed non-equity options written or purchased by the Fund on U.S. exchanges (including options on futures contracts, broad-based equity indices and debt securities) may be governed by section 1256 of the Code (“section 1256 contracts”). Gains or losses on section 1256 contracts generally are considered 60% long- term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as ordinary in character. Also, any section 1256 contracts held by a Fund at the end of each taxable year (and, for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates as prescribed under the Code) are “marked to market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gain or loss is treated as ordinary or 60/40 gain or loss, as applicable. Section 1256 contracts do not include any interest rate swap, currency swap, basis swap, interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap, equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap, or similar agreement.

In addition to the special rules described above in respect of options and futures transactions, a Fund’s transactions in other derivative instruments (including options, forward contracts and swap agreements) as well as its other hedging, short sale, or similar transactions, may be subject to one or more special tax rules (including the constructive sale, notional principal contract, straddle, wash sale and short sale rules). These rules may affect whether gains and losses recognized by a Fund are treated as ordinary or capital or as short- term or long-term, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, and cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund’s securities. These rules, therefore, could affect the amount, timing and/or character of distributions to shareholders. Moreover, because the tax rules applicable to derivative financial instruments are in some cases uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether a Fund has made sufficient distributions, and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid a Fund-level tax.

Certain of a Fund’s investments in derivatives and foreign currency-denominated instruments, and the Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies and hedging activities, may produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. If a Fund’s book income is less than the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the Fund could be required to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify as a regulated investment company. If a Fund’s book income exceeds the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the distribution of any such excess will be treated as (i) a dividend to the extent of the Fund’s remaining earnings and profits (including current earnings and profits arising from tax-exempt income, reduced by related deductions), (ii) thereafter, as a return of capital to the extent of the recipient’s basis in the shares, and (iii) thereafter, as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset.

Foreign Currency Transactions. A Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. This treatment could increase or decrease a Fund’s ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the Fund’s previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital. In certain cases, a Fund may make an election to treat such gain or loss as capital.

 

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PFIC Investments. A Fund may invest in securities of foreign companies that may be classified under the Code as PFICs. In general, a foreign company is classified as a PFIC if at least one-half of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. When investing in PFIC securities, a Fund intends to mark-to-market these securities under certain provisions of the Code and recognize any unrealized gains as ordinary income at the end of the Fund’s fiscal and excise tax years.

Deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any current or previously recognized gains. These gains (reduced by allowable losses) are treated as ordinary income that a Fund is required to distribute, even though it has not sold or received dividends from these securities. You should also be aware that the designation of a foreign security as a PFIC security will cause its income dividends to fall outside of the definition of qualified foreign corporation dividends. These dividends generally will not qualify for the reduced rate of taxation on qualified dividends when distributed to you by a Fund. Foreign companies are not required to identify themselves as PFICs. Due to various complexities in identifying PFICs, a Fund can give no assurances that it will be able to identify portfolio securities in foreign corporations that are PFICs in time for the Fund to make a mark-to-market election. If a Fund is unable to identify an investment as a PFIC and thus does not make a mark-to-market election, the Fund may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the Fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on a Fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.

Investments in U.S. REITs. A U.S. REIT is not subject to federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to shareholders. Dividends paid by a U.S. REIT, other than capital gain distributions, will be taxable as ordinary income up to the amount of the U.S. REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Capital gain dividends paid by a U.S. REIT to a Fund will be treated as long term capital gains by the Fund and, in turn, may be distributed by the Fund to its shareholders as a capital gain distribution. Because of certain noncash expenses, such as property depreciation, an equity U.S. REIT’s cash flow may exceed its taxable income. The equity

U.S. REIT, and in turn a Fund, may distribute this excess cash to shareholders in the form of a return of capital distribution. However, if a U.S. REIT is operated in a manner that fails to qualify as a REIT, an investment in the U.S. REIT would become subject to double taxation, meaning the taxable income of the U.S. REIT would be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders and the dividends would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the U.S. REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Also, see, “Tax Treatment of Portfolio Securities—Investment in Taxable Mortgage Pools (Excess Inclusion Income)” below with respect to certain other tax aspects of investing in U.S. REITs.

Under recent tax legislation, individuals and certain other noncorporate entities are generally eligible for a 20% deduction with respect to ordinary dividends received from REITs (“qualified REIT dividends”). Applicable treasury regulations permit a RIC to pass through to its shareholders qualified REIT dividends eligible for the 20% deduction.

Investment in Non-U.S. REITs. While non-U.S. REITs often use complex acquisition structures that seek to minimize taxation in the source country, an investment by a Fund in a non-U.S. REIT may subject the fund, directly or indirectly, to corporate taxes, withholding taxes, transfer taxes and other indirect taxes in the country in which the real estate acquired by the non-U.S. REIT is located. A fund’s pro rata share of any such taxes will reduce the fund’s return on its investment. A fund’s investment in a non-U.S. REIT may be considered an investment in a PFIC, as discussed above in “PFIC Investments.” Additionally, foreign withholding taxes on distributions from the non-U.S. REIT may be reduced or eliminated under certain tax treaties, as discussed above in “Taxation of the Fund – Foreign Income Tax.” Also, a Fund in certain limited circumstances may be required to file an income tax return in the source country and pay tax on any gain realized from its investment in the non-U.S. REIT under rules similar to those in the United States which tax foreign persons on gain realized from dispositions of interests in U.S. real estate.

Investment in Taxable Mortgage Pools (Excess Inclusion Income). Under a Notice issued by the IRS, the Code and Treasury regulations to be issued, a portion of a Fund’s income from a U.S. REIT that is attributable to the REIT’s residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (“REMIC”) or equity interests in a “taxable mortgage pool” (referred to in the Code as an excess inclusion) will be subject to federal income tax in all events. The excess inclusion income of a regulated investment company, such as a Fund, will be allocated to shareholders of the regulated investment company in proportion to the dividends received by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related REMIC residual interest or, if applicable, taxable mortgage pool directly. 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 (“UBTI”) to entities (including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, Keogh plans or other tax-exempt entities) subject to tax on UBTI, thereby potentially requiring such an entity that is allocated excess inclusion income, and 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 foreign stockholder, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax. In addition, if at any time during any taxable year a “disqualified organization” (which generally includes certain cooperatives, governmental entities, and tax-exempt organizations not subject to UBTI) is a record holder of a share in a regulated investment company, then the regulated investment company 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 Notice imposes certain reporting requirements upon regulated

 

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investment companies that have excess inclusion income. There can be no assurance that a Fund will not allocate to shareholders excess inclusion income.

These rules are potentially applicable to a Fund with respect to any income it receives from the equity interests of certain mortgage pooling vehicles, either directly or, as is more likely, through an investment in a U.S. REIT. It is unlikely that these rules will apply to a Fund that has a non-REIT strategy.

Investments in Partnerships and QPTPs. For purposes of the Income Requirement, income derived by a Fund from a partnership that is not a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership that would be qualifying income if realized directly by the Fund. While the rules are not entirely clear with respect to a Fund investing in a partnership outside a master-feeder structure, for purposes of testing whether a Fund satisfies the Asset Diversification Test, the Fund generally is treated as owning a pro rata share of the underlying assets of a partnership. See, “Taxation of the Fund.” In contrast, different rules apply to a partnership that is a QPTP. A QPTP is a partnership (a) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market, (b) that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, and (c) that derives less than 90% of its income from sources that satisfy the Income Requirement (e.g., because it invests in commodities). All of the net income derived by a Fund from an interest in a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income but the Fund may not invest more than 25% of its total assets in one or more QPTPs. However, there can be no assurance that a partnership classified as a QPTP in one year will qualify as a QPTP in the next year. Any such failure to annually qualify as a QPTP might, in turn, cause a Fund to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company. Although, in general, the passive loss rules of the Code do not apply to RICs, such rules do apply to a Fund with respect to items attributable to an interest in a QPTP. Fund investments in partnerships, including in QPTPs, may result in a Fund’s being subject to state, local or foreign income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.

Under recent tax legislation, individuals and certain other noncorporate entities are generally eligible for a 20% deduction with respect to ordinary dividends received from REITs (“qualified REIT dividends”) and certain taxable income from MLPs (“MLP Income”).

Applicable treasury regulations permit a regulated investment company to pass through to its shareholders qualified REIT dividends eligible for the 20% deduction. However, the regulations do not provide a mechanism for a regulated investment company to pass through to its shareholders MLP Income that would be eligible for such deduction if received directly by the shareholders. It is uncertain whether future legislation or other guidance will enable a RIC to pass through the special character of MLP Income to the RIC’s shareholders.

Section 163(j) Interest Dividends. Certain distributions reported by a Fund as section 163(j) interest dividends may be treated as interest income by shareholders for purposes of the tax rules applicable to interest expense limitations under Code section 163(j). Such treatment by the shareholder is generally subject to holding period requirements and other potential limitations, although the holding period requirements are generally not applicable to dividends declared by money market funds and certain other funds that declare dividends daily and pay such dividends on a monthly or more frequent basis. The amount that a Fund is eligible to report as a section 163(j) dividend for a tax year is generally limited to the excess of the Fund’s business interest income over the sum of the Fund’s (i) business interest expense and (ii) other deductions properly allocable to the Fund’s business interest income.

Investments in Convertible Securities. Convertible debt is ordinarily treated as a “single property” consisting of a pure debt interest until conversion, after which the investment becomes an equity interest. If the security is issued at a premium (i.e., for cash in excess of the face amount payable on retirement), the creditor-holder may amortize the premium over the life of the bond. If the security is issued for cash at a price below its face amount, the creditor-holder must accrue original issue discount in income over the life of the debt. The creditor-holder’s exercise of the conversion privilege is treated as a nontaxable event. Mandatorily convertible debt (e.g., an exchange-traded note or ETN issued in the form of an unsecured obligation that pays a return based on the performance of a specified market index, exchange currency, or commodity) is often, but not always, treated as a contract to buy or sell the reference property rather than debt. Similarly, convertible preferred stock with a mandatory conversion feature is ordinarily, but not always, treated as equity rather than debt. Dividends received generally are qualified dividend income and eligible for the corporate dividends received deduction. In general, conversion of preferred stock for common stock of the same corporation is tax-free. Conversion of preferred stock for cash is a taxable redemption. Any redemption premium for preferred stock that is redeemable by the issuing company might be required to be amortized under original issue discount (“OID”) principles. Certain adjustments to the conversion ratio with respect to convertible debt could be treated as taxable income to the holder of such debt.

Investments in Securities of Uncertain Tax Character. A Fund may invest in securities the U.S. federal income tax treatment of which may not be clear or may be subject to recharacterization by the IRS. To the extent the tax treatment of such securities or the income from such securities differs from the tax treatment expected by a Fund, it could affect the timing or character of income recognized by the Fund, requiring the Fund to purchase or sell securities, or otherwise change its portfolio, in order to comply with the tax rules applicable to regulated investment companies under the Code.

 

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BACKUP WITHHOLDING. By law, a Fund may be required to withhold at the applicable rate a portion of your taxable dividends and sales proceeds unless you:

 

   

provide your correct social security or taxpayer identification number,

 

   

certify that this number is correct,

 

   

certify that you are not subject to backup withholding, and

 

   

certify that you are a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien).

A Fund also must withhold if the IRS instructs it to do so. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS. Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding and information reporting.

EFFECT OF FUTURE TAX LEGISLATION; LOCAL TAX CONSIDERATIONS. The foregoing general discussion of U.S. federal income tax consequences is based on the Code and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this SAI. Future legislative or administrative changes, including provisions of current law that sunset and thereafter no longer apply, or court decisions may significantly change the conclusions expressed herein, and any such changes or decisions may have a retroactive effect with respect to the transactions contemplated herein. Rules of state and local taxation of ordinary income, qualified dividend income and capital gain dividends may differ from the rules for U.S. federal income taxation described above. Distributions may also be subject to additional state, local and foreign taxes depending on each shareholder’s particular situation.

NON-U.S. SHAREHOLDERS. The foregoing discussion relates only to Federal income tax law as applicable to U.S. persons (i.e.,

U.S. citizens and residents and U.S. corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates).

Taxation of a shareholder who, as to the United States, is a nonresident alien individual, foreign trust or estate, or foreign corporation (“foreign shareholder”) depends on whether the income from the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by such shareholder. If the income from the Fund is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a foreign shareholder, ordinary income dividends (including distributions of any net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate) upon the gross amount of the dividend. Such a foreign shareholder would generally be exempt from U.S. federal income tax on gains realized on the sale of shares of the Fund, and distributions of net long- term capital gains that are designated as capital gain dividends. If the income from the Fund is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a foreign shareholder, then ordinary income dividends, capital gain dividends and any gains realized upon the sale of shares of the Fund will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the rates applicable to U.S. citizens or domestic corporations.

Properly designated dividends received by a foreign shareholder are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax when they

(a) are paid in respect of a 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 (b) are paid in connection with a 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, a Fund may designate all, some or none of the Fund’s potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term capital gains, and a portion of the Fund’s distributions (e.g. interest from non-U.S. sources or any foreign currency gains) may be ineligible for this potential exemption from withholding.

Payments of income dividends to a shareholder that is either a foreign financial institution (“FFI”) or a non-financial foreign entity (“NFFE”) within the meaning of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) may be subject to a generally nonrefundable 30% withholding tax. FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided: (a) by an FFI, subject to any applicable intergovernmental agreement or other exemption, if it enters into a valid agreement with the IRS to, among other requirements, report required information about certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI and (b) by an NFFE, if it: (i) certifies that it has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or (ii) if it does have such owners, reports information relating to them. A Fund may disclose the information that it receives from its shareholders to the IRS, non-U.S. taxing authorities or other parties as necessary to comply with FATCA. Withholding also may be required if a foreign entity that is a shareholder of a Fund fails to provide the Fund with appropriate certifications or other documentation concerning its status under FATCA.

Shareholders who are not U.S. persons should consult their tax advisors regarding U.S. and foreign tax consequences of ownership of shares of the Funds including the application of U.S. estate tax.

OTHER INFORMATION

CAPITALIZATION

The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust established under a Certificate of Trust dated December 16, 2003 and currently consists of [18] separately managed portfolios, each of which offers one or more classes of shares. The capitalization of the Trust consists solely of an

 

51


unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest with no par value per share. The Board of Trustees may establish additional portfolios (with different investment objectives and fundamental policies), or additional classes of shares, at any time in the future. Establishment and offering of additional portfolios or classes will not alter the rights of the Trust’s shareholders. When issued, shares are fully paid, non-assessable, redeemable and freely transferable. Shares do not have preemptive rights or subscription rights. In any liquidation of a Fund or class, each shareholder is entitled to receive his pro rata share of the net assets of that Fund or class.

VOTING RIGHTS

The Trust is an open-end investment management company and under its Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, it is not required to hold annual meetings of each Fund’s shareholders to elect Trustees or for other purposes. It is not anticipated that the Trust will hold shareholders’ meetings unless required by law or the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust. In this regard, the Trust will be required to hold a meeting to elect Trustees to fill any existing vacancies on the Board if, at any time, fewer than a majority of the Trustees have been elected by the shareholders of the Trust. In addition, under applicable law, the Trustees are required to call a meeting for the purpose of considering the removal of a person serving as Trustee if requested in writing to do so by the holders of not less than 10% of the outstanding shares of the Trust.

Each Fund may vote separately on matters affecting only that Fund, and each class of shares of each Fund may vote separately on matters affecting only that class or affecting that class differently from other classes. The Trust’s shares do not have cumulative voting rights, so that the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares may elect the entire Board of Trustees, in which case the holders of the remaining shares would not be able to elect any Trustees.

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

US Bancorp Fund Services, [    ], acts as the custodian of the Funds. US Bancorp Fund Services is responsible for the safekeeping of the Funds’ assets and for providing related services.

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Board of Trustees has appointed [ ] as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Trust for the fiscal year ending [    ]. [    ] will audit the Trust’s annual financial statements and provide services related to tax compliance and SEC filings. [    ]’s address is [    ].

CODE OF ETHICS

The Trust, the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor and the Distributor have each adopted a code of ethics, as required by applicable law, which is designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor and the Distributor from engaging in deceptive, manipulative, or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Funds (which may also be held by persons subject to a code). There can be no assurance that the codes will be effective in preventing such activities.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

It is the policy of the Trust to disclose nonpublic Fund portfolio holdings information only when there is a legitimate business purpose for doing so and the recipient is subject to a duty of confidentiality, including a duty not to trade on the nonpublic information. It is also the Trust’s policy that no compensation or other consideration may be received by the Trust, the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor or any other party in connection with such disclosures. The related procedures are reasonably designed to prevent the use of portfolio holdings information to trade against a Fund, or otherwise use the information in a way that would harm a Fund, and to prevent selected investors from having and using nonpublic information that will allow them to make advantageous decisions with respect to purchasing and selling Fund shares.

The Trust makes portfolio holdings information publicly available in three different ways. With respect to all Funds, portfolio holdings information as of the second and fourth fiscal quarter-ends is available in the Funds’ semi-annual and annual reports, which are sent to shareholders and are contained in the Funds’ Form N-CSR filings. The filings are available at www.sec.gov. No later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal quarter, each Fund files three monthly reports of portfolio holdings, relating to each month of such fiscal quarter, on Form N-PORT. The report for the third month of the fiscal quarter is publicly available at www.sec.gov. In addition, as further described below, all Funds make certain portfolio securities information available on its website which is accessed by using the Funds’ link at www.rbcgam.us. Within 15 days of month-end, each Fund’s top ten holdings are posted on the Funds’ website. Within 10 business days of fiscal quarter-end, the RBC Equity Funds’ portfolio holdings are posted on the Funds’ website. Within 10 business days of month-end, the RBC Impact Investment Funds’ portfolio holdings are posted on the Fund’s website.

Once portfolio holdings information has been made public, the Advisor or Sub-Advisor may provide portfolio holdings information to any third party as of the next business day, including actual and prospective individual and institutional shareholders, intermediaries, and affiliates of the Advisor or Sub-Advisor.

The Trust also provides Fund portfolio holdings information outside of the public disclosure described above. Such information is provided only where there is a legitimate business purpose for doing so and the recipient has a duty of confidentiality, including the

 

52


duty to not trade on such information. Such duty may be based on the recipient’s status (e.g., a fiduciary), or on an agreement between the Trust (or its authorized representative) and the recipient.

Nonpublic holdings information may not be provided without the approval of the Trust’s President or her designate (the Funds’ CFO or CCO). The President or her designate will approve such disclosure only after (1) concluding that disclosure is in the best interests of a Fund and its shareholders, including considering any conflicts of interest presented by such disclosure and (2) ensuring that the recipient has a duty by virtue of a confidentiality agreement, status, contract, or agreement to maintain the confidentiality of the information and not to trade on it.

The Trust has certain ongoing arrangements to provide nonpublic holdings information. No compensation or other consideration is received by the Trust, the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor or any other party in connection with such arrangements. The following list identifies the recipients of such information as of the date of this SAI. Unless otherwise stated, there may be no lag between the date of the information and the date on which the information is disclosed pursuant to these arrangements.

Advisor: Nonpublic holdings information and information derived therefrom is provided on a continuous basis to Advisor employees who have a need to know the information in connection with their job responsibilities, such as investment, compliance, and operations personnel. Such individuals are prohibited from trading on the basis of nonpublic holdings information and are subject to the reporting and monitoring obligations of the Advisor’s Code of Ethics and the Trust’s Code of Ethics.

Sub-Advisor: Nonpublic holdings information and information derived therefrom is provided on a continuous basis to Sub-Advisor employees who have a need to know the information in connection with their job responsibilities, such as investment, compliance, and operations personnel, without prior specific approval. Such individuals are prohibited from trading on the basis of nonpublic holdings information and are subject to the reporting and monitoring obligations of the Sub-Advisor’s Code of Ethics and the Trust’s Code of Ethics.

Advisor Affiliates RBC Global Asset Management Inc. “RBC GAM” and RBC Capital Markets, LLC “RBC CM”: Nonpublic holdings information is made available to certain employees of RBC GAM and RBC CM. Such individuals are prohibited from trading on the basis of nonpublic holdings information and are subject to reporting and monitoring obligations of the RBC GAM Personal Trading Policy.

Trust Board of Trustees: Nonpublic holdings information and information derived therefrom may be provided on a quarterly or more frequent basis to the Board of Trustees, particularly in connection with quarterly Board meetings. Such individuals are prohibited from trading on the basis of Nonpublic Holdings Information and are subject to the reporting and monitoring obligations of the Trust’s Code of Ethics.

The Trust’s outside counsel, independent trustees’ counsel and independent registered public accounting firm may receive nonpublic holdings information in connection with their services to the Trust, particularly with respect to quarterly Board meetings and the annual fund audits. Each of these is subject to pre-existing fiduciary duties or duties of confidentiality arising from established rules of professional responsibility and ethical conduct.

Fund Ranking and Ratings Organizations: Nonpublic holdings information may be provided to organizations that provide mutual fund rankings, ratings and/or analysis.

When Required by Applicable Law: Nonpublic holdings information may be disclosed to any person as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations. For example, such information may be disclosed in response to regulatory requests for information or in response to legal process in litigation matters.

On an annual basis, the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer will report to the Board of Trustees on the operation of these policies and procedures, including a list of all parties receiving material nonpublic portfolio holdings information. On a quarterly basis, the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer will report to the Board of Trustees regarding all approvals for disclosure of material nonpublic information during the previous period.

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

This SAI and the Prospectuses do not contain all the information included in the Trust’s Registration Statement filed with the SEC under the 1933 Act with respect to the securities offered hereby, certain portions of which have been omitted pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC. The Registration Statement, including the exhibits filed therewith, may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C.

Statements contained herein and in the Prospectuses as to the contents of any contract or other documents referred to are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such contract or other documents filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement, each such statement being qualified in all respects by such reference.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Copies of Annual Reports for the Funds will be available without charge upon request by writing to RBC Funds Trust, 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2350, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, or telephoning (800) 422-2766 or on the Funds’ website at www.rbcgam.us.

NO PERSON HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION OR TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS NOT CONTAINED IN THE PROSPECTUS OR THIS SAI OR INCORPORATED HEREIN BY REFERENCE, IN

 

53


CONNECTION WITH THE OFFERING MADE BY THIS SAI OR THE PROSPECTUS AND, IF GIVEN OR MADE, SUCH INFORMATION OR REPRESENTATIONS MUST NOT BE RELIED UPON AS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE FUNDS. THIS SAI DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFERING BY THE FUNDS IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH AN OFFERING MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE MADE.

 

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APPENDIX A

RATINGS OF DEBT INSTRUMENTS

CORPORATE AND MUNICIPAL BOND RATINGS.

MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. (“MOODY’S”) GLOBAL LONG-TERM RATING SCALE:

 

Aaa –

  

Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.

Aa –

  

Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

A –

  

Obligations rated A are considered upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.

Baa –

  

Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.

Ba –

  

Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.

B –

  

Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.

Caa –

  

Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.

Ca –

  

Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.

C –

  

Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2 and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms. *

Note: For more information on long-term ratings assigned to obligations in default, please see the definition “Long-Term Credit Ratings for Defaulted or Impaired Securities” in the Other Definitions section of Moody’s Rating Symbols and Definitions publication.

* By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write- downs of principal that could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.

STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC (“S&P”) LONG-TERM ISSUE CREDIT RATINGS:

Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P’s analysis of the following considerations:

– The likelihood of payment—capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation; and

– The nature of and provisions of the financial obligation and the promise S&P imputes; and;

– The protection afforded by, and relative position of, the financial obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.

 

A-1


An issue rating is an assessment of default risk, but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect the lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)

AAA – An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by S&P. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.

AA – An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is very strong.

A – An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong.

BBB – An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

BB, B, CCC, CC, and C – Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’, and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. ‘BB’ indicates the least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.

BB – An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

B – An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

CCC – An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

CC – An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The CC rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time of default.

C – An obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared to obligations that are rated higher.

D – An obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P believes that such payments will be made within five business days, in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

 

A-2


STATE, MUNICIPAL NOTES AND TAX EXEMPT DEMAND NOTES

MOODY’S SHORT-TERM OBLIGATION RATINGS:

We use the global short-term Prime rating scale for commercial paper issued by US municipalities and nonprofits. These commercial paper programs may be backed by external letters of credit or liquidity facilities, or by an issuer’s self-liquidity. For other short-term municipal obligations, we use one of two other short-term rating scales, the Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) and Variable Municipal Investment Grade (VMIG) scales discussed below. We use the MIG scale for US municipal cash flow notes, bond anticipation notes and certain other short-term obligations, which typically mature in three years or less. Under certain circumstances, we use the MIG scale for bond anticipation notes with maturities of up to five years.

MIG 1 – This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.

MIG 2 – This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.

MIG 3 – This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.

SG – This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.

MOODY’S DEMAND OBLIGATION RATINGS:

In the case of variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs), a two-component rating is assigned. The components are a long-term rating and a short-term demand obligation rating. The long-term rating addresses the issuer’s ability to meet scheduled principal and interest payments. The short-term demand obligation rating addresses the ability of the issuer or the liquidity provider to make payments associated with the purchase-price-upon-demand feature (“demand feature”) of the VRDO. The short-term demand obligation rating uses the VMIG scale. VMIG ratings with liquidity support use as an input the short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment of the support provider, or the long-term rating of the underlying obligor in the absence of third party liquidity support. Transitions of VMIG ratings of demand obligations with conditional liquidity support differ from transitions on the Prime scale to reflect the risk that external liquidity support will terminate if the issuer’s long-term rating drops below investment grade. Please see our methodology that discusses demand obligations with conditional liquidity support.

We typically assign the VMIG short-term demand obligation rating if the frequency of the demand feature is less than every three years. If the frequency of the demand feature is less than three years but the purchase price is payable only with remarketing proceeds, the short-term demand obligation rating is “NR”.

VMIG 1 – This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

VMIG 2 – This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

VMIG 3 – This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

A-3


SG – This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

Note: For VRDBs supported with conditional liquidity support, short-term ratings transition down at higher long-term ratings to reflect the risk of termination of liquidity support as a result of a downgrade below investment grade, VMIG ratings of VRDBs with unconditional liquidity support reflect the short-term debt rating (or counterparty assessment of the liquidity support provider with VMIG1 corresponding to P-1, VMIG2 to P-2, VMIG3 to P-3 and SG to not prime.

S&P MUNICIPAL SHORT-TERM NOTE RATINGS:

An S&P U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P’s opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P’s Global Ratings’ analysis will review the following considerations:

–  Amortization schedule - the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and

–  Source of payment - the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note

Note rating symbols are as follows:

SP-1 – Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.

SP-2 – Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.

SP-3 – Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.

D – ‘D’ is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions.

COMMERCIAL PAPER RATINGS

MOODY’S GLOBAL SHORT-TERM RATINGS:

Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.

Prime-1 (P-1) – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

Prime-2 (P-2) – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

Prime-3 (P-3) – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

Not Prime - (NP) – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

 

A-4


S&P SHORT-TERM ISSUE CREDIT RATINGS:

A-1 – A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated in the highest category by S&P. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.

A-2 – A short-term obligation rated ‘A-2’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory.

A-3 – A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

B – A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.

C – A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

D – A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

INTERNATIONAL LONG-TERM CREDIT RATINGS

FITCH RATINGS LTD. (“FITCH”):

International credit ratings relate to either foreign currency or local currency commitments and, in both cases, assess the capacity to meet these commitments using a globally applicable scale. As such, both foreign currency and local currency international ratings are internationally comparable assessments.

The local currency international rating measures the likelihood of repayment in the currency of the jurisdiction in which the issuer is domiciled and hence does not take account of the risk that it will not be possible to convert local currency into foreign currency, or make transfers between sovereign jurisdictions (transfer and convertibility (T&C) risk).

A Local Currency International Rating will be assigned in cases where an issuance’s original terms and conditions allow for repayment of foreign currency investors in local currency equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of repayment.

Foreign currency ratings additionally consider the profile of the issuer or note after taking into account T&C risk. This risk is usually communicated for different countries by the Country Ceiling, which “caps” the foreign currency ratings of most, though not all, issuers within a given country.

Besides T&C risks, there can be rating distinctions between an issuer’s Local Currency and Foreign Currency Ratings, when there is considered to be a risk of selective default on Local Currency obligations versus Foreign Currency obligations, or vice versa.

A Foreign Currency Rating will be assigned in cases where an issuance is denominated in local currency or local currency equivalent, but repayment of principal and/or interest is required to be made in foreign currency at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of repayment.

 

A-5


Foreign currency ratings additionally consider the profile of the issuer or note after taking into account transfer and convertibility risk. This risk is usually communicated for different countries by the Country Ceiling, which “caps” the foreign currency ratings of most, though not all, issuers within a given country.

AAA – Highest Credit Quality. ‘AAA’ ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases