485BPOS 1 d766789d485bpos.htm 485BPOS 485BPOS

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 1, 2014

No. 333-138490

No. 811-21977

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

   FORM N-1A  
   REGISTRATION STATEMENT  
   UNDER  
   THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933   x
   Pre-Effective Amendment No.   ¨
   Post-Effective Amendment No. 459   x
   and/or  
   REGISTRATION STATEMENT  
   UNDER  
   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940   x
   Amendment No. 460   x
   (Check appropriate box or boxes)  

 

 

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

(Address of Principal Executive Office)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 983-0903

 

 

 

  With a copy to:
Anna Paglia   Alan P. Goldberg
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700   K&L Gates LLP
Downers Grove, IL 60515   70 W. Madison Street, Suite 3100
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)   Chicago, IL 60602

 

 

APPROXIMATE DATE OF PROPOSED PUBLIC OFFERING:

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

 

¨ Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485.
x On August 15, 2014 pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485.
¨ 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485.
¨ On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485.
¨ 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.
¨ On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

 

 

 


LOGO

 

 

 

Prospectus    August 15, 2014

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II

 

LDRI   PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio   The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

 

LOGO

 

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


Table of Contents

 

Summary Information

     3   

Additional Information About the Fund’s Strategies and Risks

     6   

Tax-Advantaged Structure of ETFs

     9   

Portfolio Holdings

     9   

Management of the Fund

     9   

How to Buy and Sell Shares

     10   

Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Fund Shares

     10   

Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes

     11   

Distributor

     12   

Net Asset Value

     12   

Fund Service Providers

     12   

Financial Highlights

     12   

Index Provider

     13   

Disclaimers

     13   

Premium/Discount Information

     13   

Other Information

     13   

 

 

  2  

 


 

LDRI

   PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio

 

 

Summary Information

Investment Objective

The PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that generally correspond (before fees and expenses) to the price and yield of the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index (the “Underlying Index”).

Fund Fees and Expenses

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). Investors may pay brokerage commissions on their purchases and sales of Shares, which are not reflected in the table or the example below.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses       
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)      
Management Fees     0.22%   
Other Expenses(1)     0.00%   
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses     0.22%   

 

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

Example

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds.

This example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. This example does not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay to buy and sell Shares. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, your costs, based on these assumptions, would be:

 

1 Year   3 Years

$23

 

$71

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it purchases and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example, may affect the Fund’s performance. At the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has not yet commenced operations and turnover data therefore is not available.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund generally will invest at least 80% of its total assets in U.S. and foreign investment grade corporate bonds that comprise the Underlying Index. The Underlying Index measures potential returns of a theoretical portfolio of fixed income securities with a yield curve based upon remaining effective terms to maturity of five years or less. Using a “laddered strategy,” The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (the “Index Provider”) includes in the Underlying Index a portfolio of bonds with short- to intermediate-term maturities, meaning

 

 

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that it divides the components of the Underlying Index into five equally weighted groups of bonds with staggered terms to maturity in an annual, sequential (“laddered”) structure from zero to five years.

Strictly in accordance with its guidelines and mandated procedures, the Index Provider selects such bonds issued by companies domiciled in the U.S. and other developed countries for inclusion in the Underlying Index that: (i) are denominated in U.S. dollars; (ii) pay fixed amounts of taxable interest; (iii) are rated as “investment grade” by at least one of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or Fitch Ratings Inc. (“Fitch”) (i.e., have a grade of BBB- or higher from Fitch or S&P or of Baa3 or higher from Moody’s); (iv) have an outstanding face value of at least $500 million; and (v) have five years or less to maturity. Bonds must have an initial term to maturity of at least one year to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. As of the date of this prospectus, the Underlying Index may include bonds from companies domiciled in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The Fund does not purchase all of the securities in the Underlying Index; instead, the Fund utilizes a “sampling” methodology to seek to achieve its investment objective.

Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., invest more than 25% of the value of its net assets) in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries only to the extent that the Underlying Index reflects a concentration in that industry or group of industries. The Fund will not otherwise concentrate its investments in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

The following summarizes the principal risks of the Fund.

The Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

Fixed-Income Securities Risk. Fixed-income securities are subject to interest rate risk and credit risk. Interest rate risk refers to fluctuations in the value of a fixed-income security resulting from changes in the general level of interest rates. When the general level of interest rates goes up, the prices of most fixed-income securities go down. The current historically low interest rate environment increases the risk that interest rates will again rise, which could adversely affect the Fund. Fixed-income securities with longer maturities typically are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, making them more volatile than securities with shorter maturities. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will be unable and/or unwilling to make timely interest payments and/or repay the principal on its debt. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in credit ratings. There is a possibility that the credit rating of a fixed-income security may be downgraded after purchase, which may adversely affect the value of the security.

Foreign Investment Risk. Investments in the securities of non-U.S. issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. Foreign securities may have relatively low market liquidity, greater market volatility, decreased publicly available information and less reliable financial information about issuers, and inconsistent and potentially less stringent accounting, auditing and financial reporting requirements and standards of practice comparable to those applicable to domestic issuers. Foreign securities also are subject to the risks of expropriation, nationalization, political instability or other adverse political or economic developments and the difficulty of enforcing obligations in other countries. Investments in foreign securities also may be subject to dividend withholding or confiscatory taxes, currency blockage and/or transfer restrictions and higher transactional costs.

Short-Term and Intermediate-Term Bond Risk. The Fund will invest in bonds with short or intermediate terms (i.e., five years or less) until maturity. The amount of time until a fixed income security matures can lead to various risks, including changes in interest rates over the life of a bond. Short-term and intermediate-term fixed income securities generally provide lower returns than longer-term fixed income securities. The average maturity of the Fund’s investments will affect the volatility of the Fund’s share price.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when a particular investment is difficult to purchase or sell. If the Fund invests in illiquid securities or portfolio securities become illiquid, it may reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price.

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

Valuation Risk. Financial information related to securities of non-U.S. issuers may be less reliable than information related to securities of U.S. issuers, which may make it difficult to obtain a current price for a non-U.S. security held by the Fund. In certain circumstances, market quotations may not be readily available for some Fund securities, and those securities may be fair valued. The value established for a security through fair valuation may be different from what would be produced if the security had been valued using market quotations. Fund securities that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their value from one day to the next than would be the case if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund could sell a portfolio security for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund would incur a loss because a security is sold at a discount to its established value.

Valuation Time Risk. The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in foreign bonds and, because foreign exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the non-U.S. securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares. As a result, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on

 

 

 

  4  

 


the Shares may widen, and, therefore, increase the difference between the market price of the Shares and the net asset value (“NAV”) of such Shares.

Market Risk. Securities in the Underlying Index are subject to market fluctuations. You should anticipate that the value of the Shares will decline, more or less, to the same extent as any decline in value of the securities in the Underlying Index.

Market Trading Risk. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for the Shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. Any of these factors may lead to the Shares trading at a premium or discount to the Fund’s NAV.

Geographic Concentration Risk. The Fund may invest a significant portion of its total assets in securities of issuers from a specific country or geographic region. A natural or other disaster could occur in a country or geographic region in which the Fund invests, which could affect the economy or particular business operations of companies in that specific country or geographic region and adversely impact the Fund’s investments in the affected country or region.

Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund’s return may not exactly match the return of the Underlying Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Underlying Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Underlying Index. Additionally, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund not to be as well-correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index. In addition, the performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary due to asset valuation differences and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from legal restrictions, costs or liquidity constraints.

Sampling Risk. The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may result in it holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Underlying Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting an issuer of securities held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Underlying Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Index Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not utilize an investing strategy that seeks returns in excess of the Underlying Index. Therefore, the Fund would not necessarily buy or sell a security unless that security is added or removed, respectively, from its Underlying Index, even if that security generally is underperforming.

Non-Diversified Fund Risk. Because the Fund is non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of its assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in Share price

than would occur in a diversified fund. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively small number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.

Issuer-Specific Changes. The value of an individual security or particular type of security may be more volatile than the market as a whole and may perform differently from the value of the market as a whole.

Performance

The Fund has not commenced operations and therefore does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible on the Fund’s website at www.invescopowershares.com and will provide some indication of the risk of investing in the Fund.

Management of the Fund

Investment Adviser. Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (the “Adviser”).

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

 

Name    Title with Adviser/Trust    Date Began
Managing
the Fund
Peter Hubbard    Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management of the Adviser and Vice President of the Trust    Since inception
Jeffrey W. Kernagis    Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Gary Jones    Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Richard Ose    Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Philip Fang    Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception

Purchase and Sale of Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only with authorized participants (“APs”) and only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”), or multiples thereof (“Creation Unit Aggregations”), in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a basket of securities. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

Individual Shares may be purchased and sold only on a national securities exchange through brokers. Shares will be listed for trading on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) and because the Shares will trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at prices greater than NAV (at a premium), at NAV, or less than NAV (at a discount).

Tax Information

The Fund’s distributions will be taxable, generally as either ordinary income or long-term capital gains. A sale of Shares may result in capital gain or loss.

 

 

 

  5  

 


 

Additional Information About the Fund’s Strategies and Risks

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund generally will invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Underlying Index. The Fund operates as an index fund and will not be actively managed. The Fund uses an “indexing” investment approach to attempt to correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Underlying Index. The Adviser seeks correlation over time of 0.95 or better between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index; a figure of 1.00 would represent perfect correlation. Another means of evaluating the relationship between the returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index is to assess the “tracking error” between the two. Tracking error means the variation between the Fund’s annual return and the return of the Underlying Index, expressed in terms of standard deviation. The Fund seeks to have a tracking error of less than 5%, measured on a monthly basis over a one-year period by taking the standard deviation of the difference in the Fund’s returns versus the Underlying Index’s returns. Because the Fund uses an “indexing” approach to try to achieve its investment objective, the Fund will not take temporary defensive positions during periods of adverse market, economic or other conditions.

Because of the practical difficulties and expense of purchasing all of the securities in the Fund’s Underlying Index, the Fund does not purchase all of the securities in its Underlying Index; instead, the Fund utilizes a “sampling” methodology to seek to achieve its investment objective. Sampling means that the Adviser uses a quantitative analysis to select securities from the Underlying Index universe to obtain a representative sample of securities that, in the aggregate, have investment characteristics similar to the Underlying Index in terms of key risk factors, performance attributes and other characteristics. These performance attributes and other characteristics include duration, maturity, credit quality, yield and coupon. The Adviser generally expects the Fund to hold less than the total number of securities in the Underlying Index, but reserves the right to hold as many securities as it believes necessary to achieve the Fund’s investment objective.

There also may be instances in which the Adviser may choose to (i) overweight a security in the Underlying Index, (ii) purchase securities not contained in the Underlying Index that the Adviser believes are appropriate to substitute for certain securities in the Underlying Index, or (iii) utilize various combinations of other available investment techniques, in seeking to track the Underlying Index. The Fund may sell securities included in the Underlying Index in anticipation of their removal from the Underlying Index, or purchase securities not included in the Underlying Index in anticipation of their addition to the Underlying Index.

Additional information about the construction of the Underlying Index is set forth below.

NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index

The NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index is designed to track a basket of investment grade bonds issued by U.S. and foreign corporations. The Underlying Index uses an

equally weighted annual maturity ladder with bond durations up to five years until maturity.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index, a bond must: (i) be denominated in U.S. dollars; (ii) pay fixed amounts of taxable interest; (iii) be rated as “investment grade” by at least any one of S&P, Moody’s or Fitch (i.e., have a grade of BBB- or higher from Fitch or S&P or of Baa3 or higher from Moody’s); (iv) have an outstanding face value of at least $500 million; and (v) have five years or less to maturity. Bonds must have an initial term to maturity of at least one year to be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index. As of the date of this prospectus, the Underlying Index may include bonds from companies domiciled in the United States, Canada, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Regulation S bonds, Rule 144A bonds, Eurodollar, retail bonds, zero coupon bonds, convertible bonds, inflation- or index-linked bonds, and bonds guaranteed by an agency, national or supranational government are excluded from the Underlying Index.

The Index Provider initially separates each constituent bond into groups based on each year of maturity (each, a “maturity tranche”), with equal weights being given to each maturity tranche. Within each maturity tranche, the Index Provider employs a market value weighting methodology to weight individual positions. On a monthly basis, the Index Provider will rebalance each maturity tranche to incorporate any new bonds that qualify for inclusion (subject to a minimum seasoning period of 45 days for new securities) and to remove any bonds that no longer qualify for inclusion. On a monthly basis, the Index Provider rebalances the Underlying Index only if the maturity allocations have moved beyond limits set by the Index Provider. Once added to the Underlying Index, a bond will be held to maturity unless it ceases to meet the criteria for inclusion. If a bond pays a coupon, is called or reaches maturity, the Index Provider will keep the value of the proceeds as cash until the next rebalancing date.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

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

Fixed-Income Securities Risk

Fixed-income securities are subject to interest rate risk and credit risk. Interest rate risk refers to fluctuations in the value of a fixed-income security resulting from changes in the general level of interest rates. When the general level of interest rates goes up, the prices of most fixed-income securities go down. The current historically low interest rate environment increases the risk that interest rates will again rise, which could adversely affect the Fund. Fixed-income securities with longer maturities typically are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, making them more volatile than securities with shorter maturities. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will be unable and/or unwilling to make timely interest payments and/or repay the principal on its debt. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in credit ratings.

 

 

 

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There is a possibility that the credit rating of a fixed-income security may be downgraded after purchase, which may adversely affect the value of the security.

Foreign Investment Risk

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

Short-Term and Intermediate-Term Bond Risk

The Fund will invest in bonds with short terms or intermediate terms (i.e., five years or less) until maturity. The amount of time until a fixed income security matures can lead to various risks, including changes in interest rates over the life of a bond. Short-term and intermediate-term fixed income securities generally provide lower returns than longer-term fixed income securities. The average maturity of the Fund’s investments will affect the volatility of the Fund’s share price.

Liquidity Risk

Liquidity risk exists when a particular investment is difficult to purchase or sell. If the Fund invests in illiquid securities or portfolio securities become illiquid, it may reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. In the event that the Fund voluntarily or involuntarily liquidates portfolio assets during periods of infrequent trading, it may not receive full value for those assets.

Call Risk

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

Valuation Risk

Financial information related to securities of non-U.S. issuers may be less reliable than information related to securities of U.S. issuers, which may make it difficult to obtain a current price for a non-U.S. security held by the Fund. In certain circumstances, market quotations may not be readily available for some Fund securities, and those securities may be fair valued. The value established for a security through fair valuation may be different from what would be produced if the security had been valued using market quotations. Fund securities that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their value

from one day to the next than would be the case if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund could sell a portfolio security for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund would incur a loss because a security is sold at a discount to its established value.

Valuation Time Risk

The Fund will invest a portion of its assets in foreign bonds and, because foreign exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the non-U.S. securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares. As a result, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Shares may widen, and, therefore, increase the difference between the market price of the Shares and the NAV of such Shares.

Market Risk

Securities in the Underlying Index are subject to market fluctuations. You should anticipate that the value of the Shares will decline, more or less, to the same extent as any decline in value of the securities in the Underlying Index.

Market Trading Risk

The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for the Shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. Any of these factors may lead to Shares trading at a premium or discount to the Fund’s NAV.

Geographic Concentration Risk

The Fund may invest a significant portion of its total assets in securities of issuers from a specific country or geographic region. To the extent that the Fund is less diversified across geographic regions or countries, it will face greater risks. The economies and financial markets of certain regions, including western Europe, can be interdependent and may all decline at the same time. A natural or other disaster could occur in a country or geographic region in which the Fund invests, which could affect the economy or particular business operations of companies in that country or geographic region and adversely impact the Fund’s investments in the affected country or region.

Non-Correlation Risk

The Fund’s return may not exactly match the return of the Underlying Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Underlying Index and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Underlying Index. Additionally, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund not to be as well-correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index. The Fund may fair value certain of the securities it holds. To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices, the Fund’s ability to track the Underlying Index may be adversely affected. Since the Underlying Index is not subject to the tax diversification requirements to which the Fund must adhere, the Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the

 

 

 

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securities and relative weightings of the Underlying Index. The Fund may not invest in certain securities included in the Underlying Index due to legal restrictions, costs or liquidity constraints. Liquidity constraints also may delay the Fund’s purchase or sale of securities included in the Underlying Index.

The Fund attempts to remain fully invested in those securities included in the Underlying Index. However, the Adviser may not fully invest the Fund at times, either as a result of cash flows into the Fund, to retain a reserve of cash to meet redemptions and expenses, or because of low assets (particularly when the Fund is new and has operated only for a short period).

The investment activities of one or more of the Adviser’s affiliates, including other subsidiaries of the Adviser’s parent company, Invesco Ltd., for their proprietary accounts and for client accounts also may adversely impact the Fund’s ability to track the Underlying Index. For example, in regulated industries, certain emerging or international markets and in corporate and regulatory ownership definitions, there may be limits on the aggregate amount of investment by affiliated investors that may not be exceeded, or that may not be exceeded without the grant of a license or other regulatory or corporate consent or, if exceeded, may cause the Adviser, the Fund or other client accounts to suffer disadvantages or business restrictions. As a result, the Fund may be restricted in its ability to acquire particular securities due to positions held by the Adviser’s affiliates.

Sampling Risk

The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may result in it holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Underlying Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting an issuer of securities held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Underlying Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Index Risk

Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not utilize an investing strategy that seeks returns in excess of the Underlying Index. Therefore, the Fund would not necessarily buy or sell a security unless that security is added or removed, respectively, from the Underlying Index, even if that security generally is underperforming.

Non-Diversified Fund Risk

Because the Fund is non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in Share price than would occur in a diversified fund. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively small number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.

Issuer-Specific Changes

The value of an individual security or particular type of security may be more volatile than the market as a whole and may perform differently from the value of the market as a whole.

Non-Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund, after investing 80% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Underlying Index, may invest its remaining assets in securities not included in the Underlying Index and in money market instruments, including repurchase agreements or funds that invest exclusively in money market instruments (subject to applicable limitations under the Investment Company of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or exemptions therefrom). The Adviser anticipates that it may take approximately three business days (a business day is any day that the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open) for the Adviser to reflect fully any additions to, or deletions from, the composition of the Underlying Index in the portfolio of the Fund.

In accordance with 1940 Act rules, the Fund normally will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in securities suggested by its name — that is, in debt securities (the “80% investment policy”). The Fund anticipates meeting the 80% investment policy because it already is required to invest at least 80% of its total assets in debt securities, in the form of bonds that comprise the Underlying Index, in accordance with its principal investment strategies and the terms of its exemptive relief.

The Fund’s investment objective and the 80% investment policy each constitute a non-fundamental policy that the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II (the “Trust”) may change without shareholder approval, upon 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders. The fundamental and non-fundamental policies of the Fund are set forth in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) under the section “Investment Restrictions.”

Borrowing Money

The Fund may borrow money to the extent permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, (ii) the rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC under the 1940 Act, or (iii) an exemption or other relief applicable to the Fund from the provisions of the 1940 Act.

Additional Risks of Investing in the Fund

The following provides additional risk information regarding investing in the Fund.

Trading Issues

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

Index Rebalancing Risk

Pursuant to the methodology that the Index Provider uses to calculate and maintain the Underlying Index, a security may be removed from the Underlying Index in the event that it does not comply with the eligibility requirements of the Underlying Index.

 

 

 

  8  

 


As a result, the Fund may be forced to sell securities at inopportune times or for prices other than at current market values or may elect not to sell such securities on the day that they are removed from the Underlying Index, due to market conditions or otherwise. Due to these factors, the variation between the Fund’s annual return and the return of the Underlying Index may increase significantly.

Shares May Trade at Prices Different Than NAV

The NAV of the Shares generally will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The market prices of Shares generally will fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV, as well as the relative supply of and demand for Shares on NASDAQ. The Adviser cannot predict whether the Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due largely to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for the Shares will be related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of the Fund’s Underlying Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or the existence of extreme market volatility may result in trading prices that differ significantly from NAV. If a shareholder purchases at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses.

 

 

Tax-Advantaged Structure of ETFs

Unlike interests in conventional mutual funds, which typically are bought and sold only at their closing NAV per share, the Shares are traded throughout the day in the secondary market on a national securities exchange, and are created and redeemed principally in-kind in Creation Units at each day’s next calculated NAV. These in-kind arrangements are designed to protect ongoing shareholders from the adverse effects on the portfolio of the Fund that could arise from frequent cash redemption transactions. In a conventional mutual fund, redemptions can have an adverse tax impact on taxable shareholders because of the mutual fund’s need to sell portfolio securities to obtain cash to meet fund redemptions. These sales may generate taxable gains that must be distributed to the shareholders of the mutual fund, whereas the Shares’ in-kind redemption mechanism generally will not lead to such taxable events for the Fund or its ongoing shareholders.

 

 

Portfolio Holdings

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s SAI, which is available at www.InvescoPowerShares.com.

 

 

Management of the Fund

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is a registered investment adviser with its offices at 3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. The Adviser serves as the investment adviser to the Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust and

PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, a family of ETFs with combined assets under management of more than $47.5 billion as of June 30, 2014.

As the Fund’s investment adviser, the Adviser has overall responsibility for selecting and continuously monitoring the Fund’s investments, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain clerical, bookkeeping and other administrative services for the Trust.

The Fund pays the Adviser an annual unitary management fee equal to 0.22% of its average daily net assets. Out of the unitary management fee, the Adviser pays substantially all expenses of the Fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, except for distribution fees, if any, brokerage expenses, taxes, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any, interest, litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses.

The Adviser’s unitary management fee is designed to pay the Fund’s expenses and to compensate the Adviser for providing services for the Fund.

The Fund may invest in money market funds that are managed by affiliates of the Adviser. The indirect portion of the management fee that the Fund incurs through such investments is in addition to the Adviser’s management fee. Therefore, the Adviser has agreed voluntarily to waive the fees that it receives in an amount equal to the indirect management fees that the Fund incurs through its investments in affiliated money market funds.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Trust’s Investment Advisory Agreement on behalf of the Fund will be available in the Trust’s Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014.

Portfolio Managers

The Adviser uses a team of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages the Adviser’s extensive resources.

Peter Hubbard, Vice President of the Trust, oversees all research, portfolio management and trading operations of the Fund. In this capacity, Mr. Hubbard oversees a team of portfolio managers (collectively, with Mr. Hubbard, the “Portfolio Managers”) who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Mr. Hubbard receives management assistance from Jeffrey W. Kernagis, Gary Jones, Richard Ose and Philip Fang. Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including investing cash flows, coordinating with other team members to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy and researching and reviewing investment strategy. Each Portfolio Manager has limitations on his authority for risk management and compliance purposes that the Adviser believes to be appropriate.

Peter Hubbard is a Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management of the Adviser and has been one of the Portfolio Managers primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Hubbard has been a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser since June 2007. Mr. Hubbard was a

 

 

 

  9  

 


Research Analyst for the Adviser from May 2005 to June 2007. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Hubbard was employed by Ritchie Capital, a hedge fund operator, where he was a Research Analyst and Trader from September 2003 to May 2005.

Jeffrey W. Kernagis is a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager of the Adviser and has been one of the Portfolio Managers primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Kernagis has been a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser since September 2007. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Kernagis was a Portfolio Manager at Claymore Securities, Inc. from October 2005 to September 2007. Prior to that, Mr. Kernagis was a Senior Trader at Mid-States Corporate Federal Credit Union from January 2004 to October 2005 and a Vice President of Institutional Futures Sales at ABN Amro, Inc. from March 1994 to February 2003.

Gary Jones is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser and has been one of the Portfolio Managers primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Jones has been a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser since December 2010. Previously, he was a Portfolio Manager of Van Kampen Investments from 2007 to 2009.

Richard Ose is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser and has been employed by the Adviser since 2011. He has been one of the Portfolio Managers primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Ose has been a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser since July 2011. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Ose was an equity and derivatives trader at Claymore Advisors from 2007 to 2011 and a principal with Melvin Securities from 1997 to 2007.

Philip Fang is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser and has been one of the Portfolio Managers primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Fang has served as a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser since 2007. Prior to joining the Adviser Mr. Fang was a portfolio manager and Executive Vice President at Lord Abbett & Co. from 1992 to 2007.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation structure, other accounts that the Portfolio Managers manage and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership of Shares.

 

 

How to Buy and Sell Shares

The Fund issues or redeems its Shares at NAV per Share only in Creation Units or Creation Unit Aggregations.

Most investors will buy and sell Shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the secondary market on NASDAQ, under the symbol “LDRI”. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment required. When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction.

Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per Share.

APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV per Share only in Creation Units or Creation Unit Aggregations, and in accordance with the procedures described in the SAI.

The Fund may liquidate and terminate at any time without shareholder approval.

Book Entry

Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.

Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book entry or “street name” form.

Share Trading Prices

The trading prices of Shares of the Fund on NASDAQ may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV. Market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors may affect the trading prices of Shares of the Fund.

The approximate value of Shares of the Fund, an amount representing on a per share basis the sum of the current market price of the securities accepted by the Fund in exchange for Shares of the Fund and an estimated cash component will be disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association. This approximate value should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV per Share of the Fund because the approximate value will not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed once a day, generally at the end of the business day. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the approximate value of the Shares and the Fund does not make any warranty as to its accuracy.

 

 

Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Fund Shares

Shares of the Fund may be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units by APs. The vast majority of trading in Shares of the Fund occurs on the secondary market and does not involve the Fund directly. In-kind purchases and redemptions of Creation Units by APs and cash trades on the secondary market are unlikely to cause many of the harmful

 

 

 

  10  

 


effects of frequent purchases or redemptions of Shares of the Fund. Cash purchases or redemptions of Creation Units, however, can result in increased tracking error, disruption of portfolio management, dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, and may lead to the realization of capital gains. These consequences may increase as the frequency of cash purchases and redemptions of Creation Units by APs increases. However, direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that Shares trade at or close to NAV.

To minimize these potential consequences of frequent purchases and redemptions of Shares, the Fund employs fair valuation pricing and imposes transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs the Fund incurs in effecting trades. In addition, the Adviser monitors trades by APs for patterns of abusive trading, and the Fund reserves the right to not accept orders from APs that the Adviser has determined may be disruptive to the management of the Fund or otherwise are not in the best interests of the Fund. For these reasons, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures with respect to frequent purchases and redemptions of Shares of the Fund.

 

 

Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes

Dividends and Other Distributions

Ordinarily, dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid monthly by the Fund. The Fund also intends to distribute its net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually.

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

Taxes

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

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

 

  Ÿ  

The Fund makes distributions,

 

  Ÿ  

You sell your Shares, and

 

  Ÿ  

You purchase or redeem Creation Units.

Taxes on Distributions

As stated above, dividends from net investment income, if any, ordinarily are declared and paid monthly. The Fund also may pay a special distribution at the end of a calendar year to comply with federal tax requirements and/or to minimize or eliminate federal tax liability. In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or Shares (if reinvestment is available from the broker through

which you purchased your Shares). Dividends paid to you out of the Fund’s net investment income and net realized short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable as ordinary income. Although (1) the Fund’s dividends attributable to its “qualified dividend income” generally will be subject to federal income tax for individual and certain other non-corporate shareholders (each, an “individual shareholder”) who satisfy certain restrictions with respect to their Shares at the lower maximum rates for long-term capital gains described in the next paragraph and (2) a portion of the Fund’s dividends also may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction allowed to corporations, the Fund does not expect to distribute a significant amount of dividends eligible for those lower rates or deduction.

Distributions to you of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses are taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Shares. Those gains of individual shareholders generally are subject to federal income tax at the maximum rates of 15% (20% for certain high income taxpayers).

Distributions to you in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, if any, are treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your basis in your Shares and as capital gain thereafter. A distribution will reduce the Fund’s NAV per Share and may be taxable to you (as ordinary income or long-term capital gain) even though, from an investment standpoint, the distribution constitutes a partial return of capital.

By law, the Fund is required to withhold 28% of distributions otherwise payable to you if you are an individual shareholder and have not provided a correct social security number or other taxpayer identification number or otherwise are subject to backup withholding.

Taxes on Share Sales

Any capital gain or loss you realize upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if you held the Shares for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if you held the Shares for one year or less. Your ability to deduct capital losses realized on a sale of Shares may be limited.

Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units

An AP that exchanges equity securities for a Creation Unit generally will recognize a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Unit and the sum of the AP’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus any cash component paid. An AP that redeems a Creation Unit in exchange for equity securities generally will recognize a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the AP’s basis in the Creation Unit and the aggregate market value of the securities received plus or minus an amount, if any, equal to the difference between the NAV of the redeemed Shares, as next determined after receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of those securities. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for a Creation Unit, or of a Creation Unit for securities, cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the ground that there has been no significant change in the AP’s economic position. An AP exchanging securities should consult its own tax advisor(s) with

 

 

 

  11  

 


respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss otherwise might not be deductible.

Any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of a Creation Unit generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. If you purchase or redeem one or more Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many Shares you purchased or sold and at what price.

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the more important possible consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You also may be subject to state, local, and/or foreign tax on Fund distributions and sales and/or redemptions of Shares. Consult your personal tax advisor(s) about the potential tax consequences of an investment in Shares under all applicable tax laws. For more information, please see the section entitled “Taxes” in the SAI.

 

 

Distributor

Invesco Distributors, Inc. (the “Distributor”) serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The Distributor is an affiliate of the Adviser.

 

 

Net Asset Value

The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) calculates the Fund’s NAV at the close of regular trading (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) every day that the NYSE is open. NAV is calculated by deducting all of the Fund’s liabilities from the total value of its assets and dividing the result by the number of Shares outstanding, rounding to the nearest cent. All valuations are subject to review by the Trust’s Board or its delegate. In determining NAV, expenses are accrued and applied daily, and securities and other assets for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value. Securities listed or traded on an exchange generally are valued at the last sales price or official closing price that day as of the close of the exchange where the security primarily is traded. The NAV for the Fund will be calculated and disseminated daily on each day that the NYSE is open. If a security’s market price is not readily available, the security will be valued using pricing provided from independent pricing services or by another method in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board.

Even when market quotations are available for portfolio securities, they may be stale or unreliable because the security is not traded frequently, trading on the security ceased before the close of the trading market or issuer-specific events occurred after the security ceased trading or because of the passage of time between the close of the market on which the security trades and the close of NYSE and when the Fund calculates its NAV. Events that may cause the last market quotation to be unreliable include a merger or insolvency, events which affect a geographical area or an industry segment, such as political events or natural disasters, or

market events, such as a significant movement in the U.S. market. Where market quotations are not readily available, including where the Adviser determines that the closing price of the security is unreliable, the Adviser will value the security at fair value in good faith using procedures approved by the Board. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Fund’s Underlying Index. This may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to track the Underlying Index.

 

 

Fund Service Providers

BNYM, 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286, is the administrator, custodian, transfer agent and fund accounting and dividend disbursing agent for the Fund.

K&L Gates LLP, 70 W. Madison Street, Suite 3100, Chicago, Illinois 60602, and 1601 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, One North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of the Fund and performs other related audit services.

 

 

Financial Highlights

The Fund is new and has no performance history as of the date of this Prospectus. Financial information therefore is not available.

 

 

 

  12  

 


 

Index Provider

The Index Provider is not affiliated with the Trust, the Adviser or the Distributor. The Underlying Index is a trademark of the Index Provider and has been licensed for use for certain purposes by the Adviser. The Fund is entitled to use the Underlying Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser.

No entity that creates, compiles, sponsors or maintains the Underlying Index is or will be an affiliated person, as defined in Section 2(a)(3) of the 1940 Act, or an affiliated person of an affiliated person, of the Trust, the Adviser, the Distributor or a promoter of the Fund.

Neither the Adviser nor any affiliate of the Adviser has any rights to influence the selection of the securities in the Underlying Index.

 

 

Disclaimers

The NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index is a trademark jointly owned by The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. and LadderRite Portfolios LLC and has been licensed for use for certain purposes by the Adviser.

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., LadderRite Portfolios LLC or their affiliates (collectively referred to as the “Corporations”). The Corporations have not passed on the legality or suitability of, or the accuracy or adequacy of descriptions and disclosures relating to, the Fund. The Corporations make no representation or warranty, express or implied to the owners of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly, or the ability of the Fund’s Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. The Corporations’ only relationship to the Adviser is in the licensing of the trade/service marks of NASDAQ OMX®, and the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index, and certain trade names of the Corporations and the use of the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index, which is determined, composed and calculated by NASDAQ OMX without regard to the Adviser or the Fund. NASDAQ OMX has no obligation to take the needs of the Adviser or the owners of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index. The Corporations are not responsible for, and have not participated in, the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Fund is to be converted into cash. The Corporations have no liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund. “NASDAQ®” is a registered trademark and is used under license. “LadderRite®” is a registered trademark and is used under license.

THE CORPORATIONS DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR UNINTERRUPTED CALCULATION OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE ADVISER, OWNERS OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE

UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CORPORATIONS HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The Adviser does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein, and the Adviser shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, restatements, re-calculations or interruptions therein. The Adviser makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Fund, owners of the Shares of the Fund or any other person or entity from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. The Adviser makes no express or implied warranties, and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Adviser have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits) arising out of matters relating to the use of the Underlying Index even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

 

Premium/Discount Information

Information regarding how often the Shares of the Fund traded on NASDAQ at a price above (at a premium) or below (at a discount) the NAV of the Fund during the past four calendar quarters, when available, will be found at www.InvescoPowerShares.com.

 

 

Other Information

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. However, registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Fund prior to exceeding the limits imposed by Section 12(d)(1). Additionally, the Fund is permitted to invest in other registered investment companies beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in another exemptive order the SEC has issued to the Trust. If the Fund relies on this exemptive relief, however, other investment companies may not invest in the Fund beyond the statutory provisions of Section 12(d)(1).

Continuous Offering

The method by which Creation Unit Aggregations of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Unit Aggregations of

 

 

 

  13  

 


Shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirement and liability provisions of the Securities Act.

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

Broker-dealer firms also should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, generally are required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions), and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the Securities Act only is available with respect to transactions on a national exchange.

Delivery of Shareholder Documents—Householding

Householding is an option available to certain investors of the Fund. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Householding for the Fund is available through certain broker-dealers. If you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of the Prospectus and other shareholder documents, please contact your broker-dealer. If you currently are enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status, please contact your broker-dealer.

For More Information

For more detailed information on the Fund and Shares, you may request a copy of the Fund’s SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI legally is a part of this

Prospectus. Additional information about the Fund’s investments also will be available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual Reports to Shareholders, when available. In the Fund’s Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its most recent fiscal year. If you have questions about the Fund or Shares or you wish to obtain the SAI, Annual Report and/or Semi-Annual Report, when available, free of charge, or to make shareholder inquiries, please:

 

  Call: Invesco Distributors, Inc. at 1-800-983-0903 Monday through Friday
     Central Time
     8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

  Write: PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II
     c/o Invesco Distributors, Inc.
     11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000
     Houston, Texas 77046-1173

 

  Visit: www.InvescoPowerShares.com

Information about the Fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20549, and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its Shares not contained in this Prospectus, and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep this Prospectus for future reference.

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

The Trust’s registration number under the 1940 Act is 811-21977.

 

 

 

  14  

 


LOGO

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II    P-LDRI-PRO-1
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700
Downers Grove, IL 60515
  
www.InvescoPowerShares.com    800.983.0903   LOGO   @PowerShares   


Investment Company Act File No. 811-21977

 

 

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II

 

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Dated August 15, 2014

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus dated August 15, 2014, for the PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II (the “Trust”), relating to the series of the Trust listed below, as it may be revised from time to time (the “Prospectus”).

 

Fund

 

Principal U.S. Listing Exchange

    

Ticker

PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

     LDRI

Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust’s Distributor, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (the “Distributor”), 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173, or by calling toll free 1-800-983-0903.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

General Description of the Trust and the Fund

     1   

Exchange Listing and Trading

     1   

Investment Restrictions

     2   

Investment Strategies and Risks

     3   

Portfolio Turnover

     8   

Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

     8   

Management

     9   

Brokerage Transactions

     21   

Additional Information Concerning the Trust

     22   

Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations

     25   

Taxes

     31   

Determination of NAV

     36   

Dividends and Other Distributions

     37   

Miscellaneous Information

     37   

Financial Statements

     37   

Appendix A

     A-1   


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST AND THE FUND

The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on October 10, 2006 and is authorized to have multiple series or portfolios. The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Trust currently consists of 58 funds. This SAI relates to one series of the Trust, the PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio (the “Fund”). The Fund is “non-diversified,” and as such, the Fund’s investments are not required to meet certain diversification requirements under the 1940 Act. The shares of the Fund are referred to herein as “Shares.”

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek investment results that generally correspond (before fees and expenses) to the price and yield of the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index (the “Underlying Index”). Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (the “Adviser”), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd., manages the Fund.

The Fund issues and redeems Shares at net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of 50,000 Shares (each a “Creation Unit” or a “Creation Unit Aggregation.” The Fund issues and redeems Creation Units principally in exchange for a basket of securities included in the Underlying Index (the “Deposit Securities”), together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”), plus a transaction fee. However, the Fund also reserves the right to permit or require Creation Units to be issued in exchange for cash.

The Fund is expected to be approved for listing, subject to notice of issuance, on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ” or the “Exchange”). Shares will trade throughout the day on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at, or above NAV. In the event of the liquidation of the Fund, the Trust may decrease the number of Shares in a Creation Unit.

The Fund may issue Shares in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to 105% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. See the “Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations” section. In each instance of permitting or requiring Creation Units to be exchanged for cash, the Fund may impose transaction fees that will be higher than the transaction fees associated with in-kind creations or redemptions.

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

There can be no assurance that the Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of its Shares. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of the Fund from listing if: (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares of the Fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days; (ii) the value of the Fund’s Underlying Index no longer is calculated or available; or (iii) such other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on such Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.

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

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

In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares of the Fund, the Exchange or a market data vendor will disseminate every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or other widely disseminated means, an updated “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”) for the Fund, as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust is not involved in, or responsible for any aspect of, the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.

 

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INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The Fund has adopted as fundamental policies the investment restrictions numbered (1) through (7) below. Except as otherwise noted below, the Fund, as a fundamental policy, may not:

(1)    Invest more than 25% of the value of its net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries, except to the extent that the underlying index that the Fund replicates concentrates in an industry or group of industries. This restriction does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities.

(2)    Borrow money, except the Fund may borrow money to the extent permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, (ii) the rules and regulations promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the 1940 Act, or (iii) an exemption or other relief applicable to the Fund from the provisions of the 1940 Act.

(3)    Act as an underwriter of another issuer’s securities, except to the extent that the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.

(4)    Make loans to other persons, except through (i) the purchase of debt securities permissible under the Fund’s investment policies, (ii) repurchase agreements or (iii) the lending of portfolio securities, provided that no such repurchase agreements or loan of portfolio securities may be made by the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate of such repurchase agreements and loans would exceed 33 1/3% of the value of the Fund’s total assets.

(5)    Purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent the Fund (i) from purchasing or selling options, futures contracts or other derivative instruments, or (ii) from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).

(6)    Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prohibit the Fund from purchasing or selling securities or other instruments backed by real estate or of issuers engaged in real estate activities).

(7)    Issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.

Except for restrictions (2), (4)(ii) and (iii), and (7), if the Fund adheres to a percentage restriction at the time of investment, a later increase in percentage resulting from a change in market value of the investment or the total assets, or the sale of a security out of its portfolio, will not constitute a violation of that restriction. With respect to restrictions (2), (4)(ii) and (iii), and (7), in the event that the Fund’s borrowings, repurchase agreements and loans of portfolio securities at any time exceed 33 1/3% of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed and the collateral received) less the Fund’s liabilities (other than borrowings or loans) due to subsequent changes in the value of the Fund’s assets or otherwise, within three days (excluding Sundays and holidays), the Fund will take corrective action to reduce the amount of its borrowings, repurchase agreements and loans of portfolio securities to an extent that such borrowings, repurchase agreements and loans will not exceed 33 1/3% of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed and the collateral received) less the Fund’s liabilities (other than borrowings or loans).

The foregoing fundamental investment policies cannot be changed as to the Fund without approval by holders of a “majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities.” As defined in the 1940 Act, this means the vote of (i) 67% or more of the Shares present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the Shares are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the Shares, whichever is less.

 

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In addition to the foregoing fundamental investment policies, the Fund also is subject to the following non-fundamental investment restrictions and policies, which may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval. The Fund may not:

(1)    Sell securities short, unless the Fund owns or has the right to obtain securities equivalent in kind and amount to the securities sold short at no added cost, and provided that transactions in options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts or other derivative instruments are not deemed to constitute selling securities short.

(2)    Purchase securities on margin, except that the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as are necessary for the clearance of transactions; and provided that margin deposits in connection with futures contracts, options on futures contracts or other derivative instruments shall not constitute purchasing securities on margin.

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

(4)    Invest in direct interests in oil, gas or other mineral exploration programs or leases; however, the Fund may invest in the securities of issuers that engage in these activities.

(5)    Invest in illiquid securities if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets would be invested in illiquid securities.

The Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental policy that the Board can change without approval by shareholders upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders.

In accordance with 1940 Act rules, the Fund normally will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in securities suggested by its name—that is, in debt securities (the “80% investment policy”). The Fund anticipates meeting the 80% investment policy because it already is required to invest at least 80% of its total assets in debt securities, in the form of bonds that comprise the Underlying Index, pursuant to its principal investment strategies and the terms of its exemptive relief. If, subsequent to an investment, the Fund has invested less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in such debt securities, the Fund will make future investments in such securities to satisfy this policy. The 80% investment policy for the Fund is a non-fundamental policy, and the Fund will provide its shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any change in the 80% investment policy.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

Investment Strategies

The Fund’s investment objective is to seek investment results that generally correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Underlying Index. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in securities that comprise its Underlying Index. The Fund operates as an index fund and will not be actively managed. The Fund typically will not invest in all of the securities comprising the Underlying Index in proportion to the weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index; instead, the Fund will employ a “sampling” methodology to seek to achieve its investment objective, which may cause the Fund not to be as well-correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index.

Investment Risks

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

 

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An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding that the value of the Fund’s portfolio holdings may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of an issuer, the value of securities in general and other factors that affect the market.

An investment in the Fund also should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in securities, including the risk that the financial condition of the issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the securities market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the portfolio holdings and thus in the value of Shares). The Fund’s portfolio holdings are susceptible to general securities market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions of the companies issuing the securities change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation and interest rates, economic expansion or contraction, and global or regional political, economic or banking crises.

The Fund is not actively managed, and therefore the adverse financial condition of any one issuer will not result in the elimination of its securities from the Fund’s portfolio unless the The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (the “Index Provider”) removes the securities from the Underlying Index.

An investment in the Fund also should be made with an understanding that the Fund will not be able to replicate exactly the performance of the Underlying Index, because the total return that the securities generate will be reduced by transaction costs incurred in adjusting the actual balance of the securities and other Fund expenses, whereas such transaction costs and expenses are not included in the calculation of the Underlying Index.

In addition, the Fund will use a representative sampling approach, which may cause the Fund not to be as well correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index. It also is possible that, for short periods of time, the Fund’s performance may not correlate well to the performance of the Underlying Index due to the temporary unavailability of certain Underlying Index securities in the secondary market or due to other extraordinary circumstances. Such events are unlikely to continue for an extended period of time because the Fund is required to correct such imbalances by means of adjusting the composition of its portfolio holdings. It also is possible that the Fund may have to adjust its portfolio holdings to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” (a “RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”).

Correlation and Tracking Error.  Correlation measures the degree of association between the returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index. The Fund seeks a correlation over time of 0.95 or better between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index; a figure of 1.00 would indicate perfect correlation. Correlation is calculated at the Fund’s fiscal year-end by comparing the Fund’s average monthly total returns, before fees and expenses, to the Underlying Index’s average monthly total returns over the prior one-year period or since inception if the Fund has been in existence for less than one year. Another means of evaluating the degree of correlation between the returns of the Fund and the Underlying Index is to assess the “tracking error” between the two. Tracking error means the variation between the Fund’s annual return and the return of the Underlying Index, expressed in terms of standard deviation. The Fund seeks to have a tracking error of less than 5%, measured on a monthly basis over a one-year period by taking the standard deviation of the difference in the Fund’s returns versus the Underlying Index’s returns.

Bonds.  The Fund will invest in bonds. A bond is an interest-bearing security issued by a company, governmental unit or non-U.S. entity. The issuer of a bond has a contractual obligation to pay interest at a stated rate on specific dates and to repay principal (the bond’s face value) periodically or on a specified maturity date. Bonds generally are used by corporations and governments to borrow money from investors.

An issuer may have the right to redeem or “call” a bond before maturity, in which case the investor may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Most bonds bear interest income at a “coupon” rate that is fixed for the life of the bond. The value of a fixed-rate bond usually rises when market interest rates fall and falls when market interest rates rise. Accordingly, a fixed-rate bond’s yield (income as a percent of the bond’s current

 

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value) may differ from its coupon rate as its value rises or falls. Other types of bonds bear income at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the value of “floating-rate” or “variable-rate” bonds fluctuates much less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of fixed-rate bonds. Generally, prices of higher quality issues tend to fluctuate less with changes in market interest rates than prices of lower quality issues and prices of longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices of shorter maturity issues. Bonds may be senior or subordinated obligations. Senior obligations generally have the first claim on a corporation’s earnings and assets and, in the event of liquidation, are paid before subordinated obligations. Bonds may be unsecured (backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness) or secured (backed by specified collateral). There is a risk that the issuers of the bonds may not be able to meet their obligations on interest or principal payments at the time called for by the bond.

Ratings.  An investment grade rating means the security or issuer is rated investment grade by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or another nationally recognized statistical rating organization, or is unrated but considered to be of equivalent quality by the Adviser. Bonds rated Baa by Moody’s or BBB by S&P or above are considered “investment grade” securities; bonds rated Baa are considered medium grade obligations which lack outstanding investment characteristics and have speculative characteristics; and bonds rated BBB are regarded as having adequate capacity to pay principal and interest.

Repurchase Agreements.  The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements, which are agreements pursuant to which the Fund acquires securities from a third party with the understanding that the seller will repurchase them at a fixed price on an agreed date. These agreements may be made with respect to any of the portfolio securities in which the Fund is authorized to invest. Repurchase agreements may be characterized as loans secured by the underlying securities. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with (i) member banks of the Federal Reserve System having total assets in excess of $500 million and (ii) securities dealers (“Qualified Institutions”). The Adviser will monitor the continued creditworthiness of Qualified Institutions.

The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the seller of securities under a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying securities, as a result of its bankruptcy or otherwise, the Fund will seek to dispose of such securities, which action could involve costs or delays. If the seller becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under applicable bankruptcy or other laws, the Fund’s ability to dispose of the underlying securities may be restricted. Finally, it is possible that the Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying securities. To minimize this risk, the custodian will hold the securities underlying the repurchase agreement at all times in an amount at least equal to the repurchase price, including accrued interest. If the seller fails to repurchase the securities, the Fund may suffer a loss to the extent proceeds from the sale of the underlying securities are less than the repurchase prices. The resale price reflects the purchase price plus an agreed upon market rate of interest. The collateral is marked-to-market daily.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements.  The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing. The securities purchased with the funds obtained from the agreement and securities collateralizing the agreement will have maturity dates no later than the repayment date. Generally, the effect of such transactions is that the Fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while in many cases the Fund is able to keep some of the interest income associated with those securities. Such transactions are advantageous only if the Fund has an opportunity to earn a greater rate of return on the cash derived from these transactions than the interest cost of obtaining the same amount of cash. Opportunities to realize earnings from the use of the proceeds equal to or greater than the interest required to be paid may not always be available and the Fund intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when the Adviser believes it will be advantageous to the Fund. The use of reverse repurchase agreements may exaggerate any interim increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s assets. The custodian bank will maintain a separate account for the Fund with securities having a value equal to or greater than such commitments. Under the 1940 Act, reverse repurchase agreements are considered borrowings.

 

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U.S. Registered Securities of Foreign Issuers.  The Fund will invest in U.S. registered, dollar-denominated bonds of foreign corporations. Investing in U.S. registered, dollar-denominated, investment grade bonds issued by non-U.S. issuers involves some risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability that could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries, and potential restrictions of the flow of international capital. Foreign companies may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. issuers.

Money Market Instruments.  The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in high-quality money market instruments on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity. The instruments in which the Fund may invest include: (i) short-term obligations issued by the U.S. Government; (ii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), fixed time deposits and bankers’ acceptances of U.S. and foreign banks and similar institutions; (iii) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase “Prime-1” by Moody’s or “A-1+” or “A-1” by S&P, or, if unrated, of comparable quality, as the Adviser determines; (iv) repurchase agreements; and (v) money market mutual funds, including affiliated money market funds. CDs are short-term negotiable obligations of commercial banks. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Banker’s acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.

U.S. Government Obligations.  The Fund may invest in short-term U.S. government obligations. Short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities include bills, notes and bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, as well as “stripped” or “zero coupon” U.S. Treasury obligations representing future interest or principal payments on U.S. Treasury notes or bonds. Stripped securities are sold at a discount to their “face value,” and may exhibit greater price volatility than interest-bearing securities because investors receive no payment until maturity. Short-term obligations of certain agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; others, such as those of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others, such as those of the former Student Loan Marketing Association (“SLMA”), are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase the agency’s obligations; still others, although issued by an instrumentality chartered by the U.S. Government, like the Federal Farm Credit Bureau (“FFCB”), are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. In 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. Since that time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received significant capital support through U.S. Treasury preferred stock purchases as well as U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve purchases of their mortgage backed securities. While the purchase programs for mortgage-backed securities ended in 2010, the U.S. Treasury continued its support for the entities’ capital as necessary to prevent a negative net worth. From the end of 2007 through the third quarter of 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac required U.S. Treasury support of approximately $187.5 billion through draws under the U.S. Treasury’s preferred stock purchase agreements. They have repaid approximately $146.6 billion in dividends. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ended the third quarter of 2013 with positive net worth, and neither has required a draw from the U.S. Treasury since the second quarter of 2012. However, FHFA previously predicted that cumulative U.S. Treasury draws (including dividends) at the end of 2015 could range from $191 billion to $209 billion. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury, or FHFA initiatives discussed above will ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will remain successful in meeting their obligations with respect to the debt and mortgage-backed securities they issue. In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also are the subject of several continuing class action lawsuits and investigations by federal regulators, which (along with any resulting financial restatements) may adversely affect the guaranteeing entities. Importantly, the future of the entities is in serious question as the U.S. government is considering multiple options, ranging from significant reform, nationalization, privatization, consolidation, or abolishment of the entities.

The FHFA and the U.S. Treasury (through its agreements to purchase preferred stock of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) also have imposed strict limits on the size of the mortgage portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In August 2012, the U.S. Treasury amended its preferred stock purchase agreements to provide that the

 

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portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be wound down at an annual rate of 15 percent (up from the previously agreed annual rate of 10 percent), requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reach the $250 billion target four years earlier than previously planned. Further, when a ratings agency downgraded long-term U.S. government debt in August 2011, the agency also downgraded the bond ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from AAA to AA+, based on their direct reliance on the U.S. government (although that rating did not directly relate to their mortgage-backed securities). The U.S. government’s commitment to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have sufficient capital to meet their obligations was, however, unaffected by the downgrade.

The U.S. Treasury has put in place a set of financing agreements to help ensure that these entities continue to meet their obligations to holders of bonds they have issued or guaranteed. The U.S. Government may choose not to provide financial support to U.S. Government-sponsored agencies or instrumentalities if it is not legally obligated to do so, in which case, if the issuer were to default, the Fund holding securities of such issuer might not be able to recover their investment from the U.S. Government.

In the United States, on August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”), lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. federal government debt to “AA+” from “AAA.” The downgrade by S&P increased volatility in financial markets, and could result in higher interest rates and higher U.S. Treasury yields and increase the costs of capital and financing. In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region.

Investment Companies.  The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies (excluding closed-end funds) beyond the limits permitted under the 1940 Act, subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust in 2012 (the “2012 Order”). Absent such exemptive relief, the Fund’s investments in investment companies would be limited to, subject to certain exceptions, (i) 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any one investment company, (ii) 5% of the Fund’s total assets with respect to any one investment company and (iii) 10% of the Fund’s total assets of investment companies in the aggregate. However, as a non-fundamental restriction, the Fund may not acquire any securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) and 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.

Under the pertinent terms of the 2012 Order, the Fund may invest in registered investment companies in excess of the limitations imposed by Sections 12(d)(1)(A) and 12(d)(1)(C) of the 1940 Act. The total amount of securities held by the Fund, both individually and when aggregated with all other shares of the acquired fund held by other registered investment companies or private investment pools advised by the Adviser or its affiliates (as well as shares held by the Adviser and its affiliates) cannot exceed 25% of the outstanding voting securities of the acquired investment company, and the none of these entities (including the Fund) may individually or collectively exert a controlling influence over the acquired investment company. The Fund may not rely on 2012 Order to acquire an investment company that itself has ownership of investment company shares in excess of the limitations contained in Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act. To the extent necessary to comply with the provisions of the 1940 Act or the 2012 Order, on any matter upon which an underlying investment company’s shareholders are solicited to vote, the Adviser will vote the underlying investment company shares in the same general proportion as shares held by other shareholders of the underlying investment company.

In addition, the Trust previously obtained exemptive relief in 2007 that allows other investment companies to acquire shares of the Trust in excess of the limitations imposed by Section 12(d)(1)(A) (the “2007 Order”). This relief is conditioned on those acquiring funds obtaining a participation agreement signed by both the acquiring fund and the fund that it wishes to acquire in excess of the 12(d)(1)(A) limitations. If the Fund relies on the 2012 Order, it will not enter into a participation agreement pursuant to the 2007 Order, and if the Fund has a signed participation agreement in effect pursuant to the 2007 Order, it will not rely on the 2012 Order.

Illiquid Securities.  The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment). Illiquid securities include securities subject to contractual or

 

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other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets. The Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets are held in illiquid securities or other illiquid assets. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that dealers will make or maintain a market or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of the Fund’s Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities are limited or absent, or if bid/ask spreads are wide.

Borrowing.  The Fund may borrow money from a bank or another person up to the limits set forth in the section “Investment Restrictions” to meet shareholder redemptions, for temporary or emergency purposes and for other lawful purposes. Borrowed money will cost the Fund interest expense and/or other fees. The costs of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing also may cause the Fund to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations to repay borrowed monies. To the extent that the Fund has outstanding borrowings, it will be leveraged. Leveraging generally exaggerates the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

The Fund calculates its portfolio turnover rate by dividing the value of the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal period by the monthly average of the value of portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the fiscal period. A 100% portfolio turnover rate would occur, for example, if all of the portfolio securities (other than short-term securities) were replaced once during the fiscal period. Portfolio turnover rates will vary from year to year, depending on market conditions. At the date of this SAI, the Fund is new and has no operating history, therefore portfolio turnover information is not yet available.

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

Quarterly Portfolio Schedule.  The Trust is required to disclose, after its first and third fiscal quarters, the complete schedule of the Fund’s portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-Q. The Trust also discloses a complete schedule of the Fund’s portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-CSR after its second and fourth fiscal quarters.

The Trust’s Forms N-Q and Forms N-CSR on behalf of the Fund will be available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Trust’s Forms N-Q and Forms N-CSR also may be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling 1-202-551-8090. The Trust’s Forms N-Q and Forms N-CSR will be available without charge, upon request, by calling 1-630-933-9600 or 1-800-983-0903 or by writing to PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II at 3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515.

Portfolio Holdings Policy.  The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Trust’s portfolio holdings. The Board must approve all material amendments to this policy.

The Fund’s portfolio holdings are disseminated publicly each day that the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet websites. In addition, for in-kind creations, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is disseminated publicly each day prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund. The Trust, the Adviser and The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM” or the “Administrator”) will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust.

Access to information concerning the Fund’s portfolio holdings may be permitted at other times to personnel of third-party service providers, including the Fund’s custodian, transfer agent, auditors and counsel, as may be necessary to conduct business in the ordinary course in a manner consistent with such service providers’ agreements with the Trust on behalf of the Fund.

 

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MANAGEMENT

The primary responsibility of the Board is to represent the interests of the Fund and to provide oversight of the management of the Fund. The Trust currently has eight Trustees. Seven Trustees have no affiliation or business connection with the Adviser or any of its affiliated persons and do not own any stock or other securities issued by the Adviser. These are the “non-interested” (as such term is defined under the 1940 Act) or “independent” Trustees (“Independent Trustees”). The other Trustee (the “Interested Trustee”) is affiliated with the Adviser.

The Independent Trustees of the Trust, their term of office and length of time served, their principal business occupations during at least the past five years, the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex (defined below) that they oversee and other directorships, if any, that they hold are shown below. The “Fund Complex” includes all open and closed-end funds (including all of their portfolios) advised by the Adviser and any funds that have an investment adviser that is an affiliated person of the Adviser. As of the date of this SAI, the “Fund Family” consists of the Trust and three other exchange-traded fund trusts advised by the Adviser.

 

Name, Address and Year of Birth of
Independent Trustees

  

Position(s) Held
with Trust

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served*

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Independent
Trustees

 

Other Directorships
Held by
Independent Trustee
During the Past 5 Years

Ronn R. Bagge—1958

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2007    Founder and Principal, YQA Capital Management LLC (1998-Present); formerly Owner/CEO of Electronic Dynamic Balancing Co., Inc. (high-speed rotating equipment service provider).    116   None

Todd J. Barre—1957

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2010    Assistant Professor of Business, Trinity Christian College (2010-Present); formerly Vice President and Senior Investment Strategist (2001-2008), Director of Open Architecture and Trading (2007-2008), Head of Fundamental Research (2004-2007) and Vice President and Senior Fixed Income Strategist (1994-2001), BMO Financial Group/Harris Private Bank.    116   None

Marc M. Kole—1960

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2007    Chief Financial Officer, Hope Network (social services) (2008-2012); formerly, Assistant Vice President and Controller, Priority Health (health insurance) (2005-2008); Senior Vice President of Finance, United Healthcare (2004-2005); Senior Vice President of Finance, Oxford Health Plans (2000-2004).    116   None

Yung Bong Lim—1964

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2013    Managing Partner, Residential Dynamics Group LLC (2008-Present); formerly, Managing Director, Citadel Investment Group, L.L.C. (1999-2007).    116   None

 

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Name, Address and Year of Birth of
Independent Trustees

  

Position(s) Held
with Trust

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served*

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Independent
Trustees

 

Other Directorships
Held by
Independent Trustee
During the Past 5 Years

Philip M. Nussbaum—1961

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2007    Chairman, Performance Trust Capital Partners (2004-Present).    116   None

Gary R. Wicker—1961

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Trustee    Since 2013    Senior Vice President of Global Finance and Chief Financial Officer at RBC Ministries (publishing company) (since 2013); formerly, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Zondervan Publishing (a division of Harper Collins/NewsCorp) (2007-2012); Senior Vice President and Group Controller (2005-2006), Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2003-2004), Chief Financial Officer (2001-2003), Vice President, Finance and Controller (1999-2001) and Assistant Controller (1997-1999), divisions of The Thomson Corporation (information services provider).    116   None

Donald H. Wilson—1959

c/o Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Chairman of the Board and Trustee    Chairman since 2012; Trustee since 2007    Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Financial Shares, Inc. and Community Bank—Wheaton/Glen Ellyn (subsidiary) (2013-Present); Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stone Pillar Advisers, Ltd. (2010-Present); formerly, Chief Operating Officer, AMCORE Financial, Inc. (bank holding company) (2007-2009); Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, AMCORE Financial, Inc. (2006-2007); Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Marshall & Ilsley Corp. (bank holding company) (1995-2006).    116   None

 

* This is the date the Independent Trustee began serving the Trust. Each Trustee serves an indefinite term, until his successor is elected.

 

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The Interested Trustee and the executive officers of the Trust, their term of office and length of time served, their principal business occupations during at least the past five years, the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex overseen by the Interested Trustee and the other directorships, if any, held by the Interested Trustee, are shown below.

 

Name, Address and Year of Birth of
Interested Trustee

  

Position(s) Held
with Trust

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served*

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Interested
Trustees

 

Other Directorships
Held by Interested
Trustee
During the Past 5 Years

Kevin M. Carome—1956

Invesco Ltd.

Two Peachtree Pointe

1555 Peachtree St., N.E.,

Suite 1800

Atlanta, GA 30309

   Trustee    Since 2010    Senior Managing Director, Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Ltd. (2006-Present); Director, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (2009-Present); Director, Invesco Advisers, Inc., Invesco Finance PLC, INVESCO Funds Group, Inc., and Invesco Holding Company Limited; Director and Executive Vice President, Invesco Finance, Inc., Invesco Group Services, Inc., Invesco Investments (Bermuda) Ltd., Invesco North American Holdings, Inc., and IVZ, Inc.; Director and Secretary, IVZ Bahamas Private Limited; formerly, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (2003-2005); Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Liberty Financial Companies, Inc. (2000-2001); General Counsel of certain investment management subsidiaries of Liberty Financial Companies, Inc. (1998-2000); Associate General Counsel, Liberty Financial Companies, Inc. (1993-1998); Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP.    116   None

 

* This is the date the Interested Trustee began serving the Trust. Each Trustee serves an indefinite term, until his successor is elected.

 

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Name, Address and Year of Birth
of Executive Officer

   Position(s) Held
with Trust
   Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served*
  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Andrew Schlossberg—1974

Invesco Management
Group, Inc.

11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000

Houston, TX 77046

   President    Since 2009    Director, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (2012-Present); Managing Director—U.S. Strategy and Marketing, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (2010-Present); Managing Director, U.S. head of business strategy and chief marketing officer for Invesco Ltd. in the United States (2008-Present); Director, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (2012-Present); and Senior Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment adviser) (2009-Present); formerly, Mr. Schlossberg served in multiple roles within Invesco, including head of corporate development, as well as global leadership roles in strategy and product development in the company’s North American Institutional and Retirement divisions (2002-2007).

Peter Hubbard—1981

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Vice President    Since 2009    Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management—Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (2008-Present); formerly, Portfolio Manager, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (2007-2008); Research Analyst, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (2005-2007); Research Analyst and Trader, Ritchie Capital, a hedge fund operator (2003-2005).

David Warren—1957

Invesco Canada Ltd.

5140 Yonge Street,

Suite 900

Toronto, Ontario M2N 6X7

   Vice President    Since 2009    Managing Director—Chief Administrative Officer, Americas, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC; Senior Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (2009-Present); Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Invesco Inc. (2009-Present); Senior Vice President, Invesco Management Group, Inc. (2007-Present); Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Invesco Canada Ltd. (formerly, Invesco Trimark Ltd.) and Chief Administrative Officer, North American Retail, Invesco Ltd. (2007-Present); Senior Vice President, Invesco Management Group, Inc. (2007-Present); Director, Invesco Canada Holdings Inc. (2002-Present), Invesco Corporate Class Inc., and Invesco Canada Fund Inc.; Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Invesco, Inc.; formerly, Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Invesco Canada Ltd. (formerly, Invesco Trimark Ltd.) (2000-2006).

Sheri Morris—1964

Invesco Management Group, Inc.

11 Greenway Plaza,

Suite 1000

Houston, TX 77046-1173

   Vice President    Since 2012    Vice President, Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer, The Invesco Funds; Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment adviser) (2009-Present) and Vice President, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust; formerly, Treasurer, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust; Vice President, Invesco Aim Advisers, Inc., Invesco Aim Capital Management, Inc. and Invesco Aim Private Asset Management, Inc.; Assistant Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, The Invesco Funds and Assistant Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc., Invesco Aim Capital Management, Inc. and Invesco Aim Private Asset Management, Inc.

 

12


Name, Address and Year of Birth
of Executive Officer

   Position(s) Held
with Trust
   Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served*
  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Rudolf E. Reitmann—1971

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Vice President    Since 2013    Vice President, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust (since 2013); Head of Global Exchange Traded Funds Operations, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (since 2013).

Daniel E. Draper—1968

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Vice President    Since 2013    Senior Vice President, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (since 2014); Vice President, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust (since 2013); Managing Director, Invesco PowerShares Global ETFs (since 2013); formerly, Managing Director, Credit Suisse Asset Management (2010-2013) and Lyxor Asset Management/Societe Generale (2007-2010).

Steven M. Hill—1964

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Vice President
and Treasurer
   Since 2013    Vice President and Treasurer of PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust (since 2013); Head of Global ETF Administration, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (since 2011); formerly, Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Destra Capital Management LLC and its subsidiaries (2010-2011); Chief Financial Officer, Destra Investment Trust and Destra Investment Trust II (2010-2011); Senior Managing Director, Claymore Securities, Inc. (2003-2010); and Chief Financial Officer, Claymore sponsored mutual funds (2003-2010).

Christopher Joe—1969

Invesco Management
Group, Inc.

11 Greenway Plaza,

Suite 1000

Houston, TX 77046-1173

   Chief Compliance
Officer
   Since 2012    U.S. Compliance Director, Invesco, Ltd. (since 2006); formerly, Chief Compliance Officer, Invesco Investment Advisers, LLC (registered investment adviser) (2010-2013); formerly, Assistant Fund Accounting Manager, Invesco, Ltd. (1998-1999).

Anna Paglia—1974

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC

3500 Lacey Road,

Suite 700

Downers Grove, IL 60515

   Secretary    Since 2011    Secretary, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, and PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust (2011-present); Head of Legal, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (2010-Present); formerly, Partner, K&L Gates LLP (formerly, Bell Boyd & Lloyd LLP) (2007-2010); Associate Counsel at Barclays Global Investors Ltd. (2004-2006).

 

* This is the date the officer began serving the Trust. Each officer serves an indefinite term, until his successor is elected.

The Fund is newly established. As of the date of this SAI, none of the Trustees held equity securities in the Fund. As of December 31, 2013, each Trustee held in the aggregate over $100,000 in equity securities in all of the registered investment companies overseen by the Trustees.

The dollar range of Shares for Mr. Bagge, Mr. Lim and Mr. Nussbaum includes Shares of certain funds in which each of Mr. Bagge, Mr. Lim and Mr. Nussbaum is deemed to be invested pursuant to the Trust’s deferred compensation plan (“DC Plan”), which is described below.

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

 

13


Board and Committee Structure.  As noted above, the Board is responsible for oversight of the Fund, including oversight of the duties performed by the Adviser for the Fund under the investment advisory agreement (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”). The Board generally meets in regularly scheduled meetings five times a year, and may meet more often as required. During the Trust’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, the Board held seven meetings.

The Board has three standing committees, the Audit Committee, the Investment Oversight Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee, and has delegated certain responsibilities to those Committees.

Messrs. Kole (Chair), Wicker and Wilson currently serve as members of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) approve and recommend to the Board the selection of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm, (ii) review the scope of the independent registered public accounting firm’s audit activity, (iii) review the audited financial statements and (iv) review with such independent registered public accounting firm the adequacy and the effectiveness of the Trust’s internal controls over financial reporting. During the Trust’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, the Audit Committee held four meetings.

Messrs. Bagge (Chair), Barre, Kole, Lim, Nussbaum, Wicker and Wilson currently serve as members of the Nominating and Governance Committee. The Nominating and Governance Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to identify and recommend individuals for Board membership and evaluate candidates for Board membership. The Board will consider recommendations for trustees from shareholders. Nominations from shareholders should be in writing and sent to the Secretary of the Trust to the attention of the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee, as described below under the caption “Shareholder Communications.” During the Trust’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, the Nominating and Governance Committee held five meetings.

Messrs. Bagge, Barre, Lim (Chair) and Nussbaum currently serve as members of the Investment Oversight Committee. The Investment Oversight Committee has the responsibility, among other things, (i) to review the investment performance of the Fund, including its tracking error and correlation to its Underlying Index, (ii) to review any proposed changes to the Fund’s investment policies, comparative benchmark indices or Underlying Index, and (iii) to review the Fund’s market trading activities and portfolio transactions. The Investment Oversight Committee was established in 2014, and therefore the Committee did not meet during the Trust’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2013.

Mr. Wilson, one of the Independent Trustees, serves as the chair of the Board (the “Independent Chair”). The Independent Chair, among other things, chairs the Board meetings, participates in the preparation of the Board agendas and serves as a liaison between, and facilitates communication among, the other Independent Trustees, the full Board, the Adviser and other service providers with respect to Board matters. The Chairs of each Committee also serve as liaisons between the Adviser and other service providers and the other Independent Trustees for matters pertaining to the respective Committee. The Board believes that its current leadership structure is appropriate taking into account the assets and number of funds overseen by the Trustees, the size of the Board and the nature of the funds’ business, as the Interested Trustee and officers of the Trust provide the Board with insight as to the daily management of the funds while the Independent Chair promotes independent oversight of the funds by the Board.

Risk Oversight.  The Fund is subject to a number of risks, including operational, investment and compliance risks. The Board, directly and through its Committees, as part of its oversight responsibilities, oversees the services provided by the Adviser and the Trust’s other service providers in connection with the management and operations of the Fund, as well as their associated risks. Under the oversight of the Board, the Trust, the Adviser and other service providers have adopted policies, procedures and controls to address these risks. The Board, directly and through its Committees, receives and reviews information from the Adviser, other service providers, the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm, Trust counsel and counsel to the Independent Trustees to assist it in its oversight responsibilities. This information includes, but is not limited to, reports regarding the Fund’s investments, including Fund performance and investment practices, valuation of Fund portfolio securities, and compliance. The Board also reviews, and must approve any proposed changes to, the Fund’s investment

 

14


objective, policies and restrictions, and reviews any areas of non-compliance with the Fund’s investment policies and restrictions. The Audit Committee monitors the Trust’s accounting policies, financial reporting and internal control system and reviews any internal audit reports impacting the Trust. As part of its compliance oversight, the Board reviews the annual compliance report issued by the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer on the policies and procedures of the Trust and its service providers, proposed changes to those policies and procedures and quarterly reports on any material compliance issues that arose during the period.

Experience, Qualifications and Attributes.  As noted above, the Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for identifying, evaluating and recommending trustee candidates. The Nominating and Governance Committee reviews the background and the educational, business and professional experience of trustee candidates and the candidates’ expected contributions to the Board. Trustees selected to serve on the Board are expected to possess relevant skills and experience, time availability and the ability to work well with the other Trustees. In addition to these qualities and based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications and attributes and the Trustees’ combined contributions to the Board, following is a brief summary of the information that led to the conclusion that each Board member should serve as a Trustee.

Mr. Bagge has served as a trustee and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee with the Fund Family since 2003. He founded YQA Capital Management, LLC in 1998 and has since served as a principal. Previously, Mr. Bagge was the owner and CEO of Electronic Dynamic Balancing Company from 1988 to 2001. He began his career as a securities analyst for institutional investors, including CT&T Asset Management and J.C. Bradford & Co. The Board considered that Mr. Bagge has served as a board member or advisor for several privately held businesses and charitable organizations and the executive, investment and operations experience that Mr. Bagge has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

Mr. Barre has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2010. He has served as Assistant Professor of Business at Trinity Christian College since 2010. Previously, he served in various positions with BMO Financial Group/Harris Private Bank, including Vice President and Senior Investment Strategist (2001-2008), Director of Open Architecture and Trading (2007-2008), Head of Fundamental Research (2004-2007) and Vice President and Senior Fixed Income Strategist (1994-2001). From 1983 to 1994, Mr. Barre was with the Office of the Manager of Investments at Commonwealth Edison Co. He also was a staff accountant at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. from 1981 to 1983. The Board considered the executive, financial and investment experience that Mr. Barre has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

Mr. Carome has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2010. He has served as the Senior Managing Director and General Counsel of Invesco Ltd. since 2006, and has held various senior executive positions with Invesco Ltd. since 2003. Previously, he served in various positions with Liberty Financial Companies, Inc., including Senior Vice President and General Counsel (2000-2001), General Counsel of certain investment management subsidiaries (1998-2000) and Associate General Counsel (1993-1998). Prior to his employment with Liberty Financial Companies, Inc., Mr. Carome was an associate with Ropes & Gray LLP. The Board considered Mr. Carome’s senior executive position with Invesco Ltd.

Mr. Kole has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2006 and Chairman of the Audit Committee since 2008. He was the Chief Financial Officer of Hope Network from 2008 to 2012. Previously, he was the Assistant Vice President and Controller at Priority Health from 2005 to 2008, Senior Vice President of Finance of United Healthcare from 2004 to 2005 and Senior Vice President of Finance of Oxford Health Plans from 2000 to 2004. The Board of the Trust has determined that Mr. Kole is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the SEC. The Board considered the executive, financial and operations experience that Mr. Kole has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

Mr. Lim has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2013 and Chairman of the Investment Oversight Committee since 2014. He has been a Managing Partner of Residential Dynamics Group LLC since 2008. Previously, he was a Managing Director and the Head of the Securitized Products Group of Citadel Investment Group, L.L.C. (1999-2007). Prior to his employment with Citadel Investment Group, L.L.C., he was a Managing Director with Salomon Smith Barney. The Board considered the executive, financial and operations experience that Mr. Lim has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

 

15


Mr. Nussbaum has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2003. He has served as the Chairman of Performance Trust Capital Partners since 2004 and was the Executive Vice President of Finance from 1994 to 1999. Mr. Nussbaum also served as Managing Director of the Communication Institute from 2002 to 2003. Prior to joining Performance Trust Capital Partners in 1994, he was a Vice President at Clayton Brown & Associates. Before that, he was a senior examiner with the Financial Markets Unit of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Board of the Trust has determined that Mr. Nussbaum is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the SEC. The Board considered the executive, financial, investment and operations experience that Mr. Nussbaum has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

Mr. Wicker has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2013. He has served as Senior Vice President of Global Finance and Chief Financial Officer at RBC Ministries since 2013. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Zondervan Publishing from 2007 to 2012. Previously, he held various positions with divisions of The Thomson Corporation, including Senior Vice President and Group Controller (2005-2006), Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2003-2004), Chief Financial Officer (2001-2003), Vice President, Finance and Controller (1999-2001) and Assistant Controller (1997-1999). Prior to that, Mr. Wicker was Senior Manager in the Audit and Business Advisory Services Group of Price Waterhouse (1985-1996). The Board of the Trust has determined that Mr. Wicker is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the SEC. The Board considered the executive, financial and operations experience that Mr. Wicker has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

Mr. Wilson has served as a trustee with the Fund Family since 2006 and as the Independent Chair since 2012. He also served as lead Independent Trustee in 2011. Mr. Wilson has served as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Financial Shares, Inc. and its subsidiary, Community Bank—Wheaton/Glen Ellyn since 2013. He has also served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stone Pillar Advisers, Ltd. since 2010. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer (2007-2009) and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2006-2007) of AMCORE Financial, Inc. Mr. Wilson also served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. from 1995 to 2006. He started his career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, serving in several roles in the bank examination division and the economic research division. The Board of the Trust has determined that Mr. Wilson is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the SEC. The Board considered the executive, financial and operations experience that Mr. Wilson has gained over the course of his career and through his financial industry experience.

This disclosure is not intended to hold out any Trustee as having any special expertise and shall not impose greater duties, obligations or liabilities on the Trustees. The Trustees’ principal occupations during the past five years or more are shown in the above tables.

Effective January 1, 2013, for his services as a Trustee of the Trust and other trusts in the Fund Family, each Independent Trustee receives an annual retainer of $225,000 (the “Retainer”). Prior to January 1, 2013, each Independent Trustee received a Retainer of $195,000. The Retainer is allocated half pro rata among all the funds in the Fund Family and the other half is allocated among all of the funds in the Fund Family based on average net assets. Mr. Wilson receives an additional $70,000 per year for his service as the Independent Chair, allocated in the same manner as the Retainer. The chair of the Audit Committee receives an additional fee of $25,000 per year and the chairs of the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Investment Oversight Committee receives an additional fee of $15,000 per year, all allocated in the same manner as the Retainer. Each Trustee also is reimbursed for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending Board and committee meetings.

The Trust’s DC Plan allows each Independent Trustee to defer payment of all, or a portion, of the fees that the Trustee receives for serving on the Board throughout the year. Each eligible Trustee generally may elect to have deferred amounts credited with a return equal to the total return on one to five of the funds of PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust or the Trust that are offered as investment options under the DC Plan. At the Trustee’s election, distributions are either in one lump sum payment, or in the form of equal annual installments over a period of years designated by the Trustee. The rights of an eligible Trustee and the beneficiaries to the amounts held under the DC Plan are unsecured, and such amounts are subject to the claims of the creditors of the Fund. The Independent Trustees are not eligible for any pension or profit sharing plan in their capacity as Trustees.

 

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The following sets forth the fees paid to each Trustee for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013.

 

Name of Trustee

   Aggregate
Compensation From
Trust (1)
     Pension or Retirement
Benefits accrued as part of
Fund  Expenses
     Total Compensation Paid
From Fund Complex (2)
 
Ronn R. Bagge      $ 119,809        N/A         $ 235,000   
Todd J. Barre      $ 112,150        N/A         $ 220,000   
Marc M. Kole      $ 124,916         N/A         $ 245,000   
Yung Bong Lim (3)      $ 40,119         N/A         $ 150,000   
Philip M. Nussbaum      $ 112,150         N/A         $ 220,000   
Gary R. Wicker (3)      $ 40,119         N/A         $ 150,000   
Donald H. Wilson      $ 147,891        N/A        $ 290,000   
Kevin M. Carome      N/A         N/A         N/A   

 

(1) Because the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI, the Fund did not pay any portion of the amounts shown in this table.
(2) The amounts shown in this column represent the aggregate compensation paid by all funds of the trusts in the Fund Family (except as noted in the prior footnote) for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013 before deferral by the Trustees under the DC Plan. Mr. Bagge deferred 10% of his compensation, and each of Mr. Lim and Mr. Nussbaum deferred 100% of his compensation, with such amounts reflected in the above table.
(3) Messrs. Lim and Wicker were appointed as Trustees of the other trusts in the Fund Family in March 2013 and elected as Trustees of the Trust in June 2013.

As of the date of this SAI, the Trustees and officers, as a group, owned less than 1% of the Fund’s outstanding Shares.

Principal Holders and Control Persons.  The Fund is new and, as of the date of this SAI, no person owned of record more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.

Shareholder Communications.  Shareholders may send communications to the Trust’s Board by addressing the communications directly to the Board (or individual Board members) and/or otherwise clearly indicating in the salutation that the communication is for the Board (or individual Board members). The shareholder may send the communication to either the Trust’s office or directly to such Board members at the address specified for each Trustee. Management will review and generally respond to other shareholder communications the Trust receives that are not directly addressed and sent to the Board. Such communications will be forwarded to the Board at management’s discretion based on the matters contained therein.

Investment Adviser.  The Adviser provides investment tools and portfolios for advisers and investors. The Adviser is committed to theoretically sound portfolio construction and empirically verifiable investment management approaches. Its asset management philosophy and investment discipline is rooted deeply in the application of intuitive factor analysis and model implementation to enhance investment decisions.

The Adviser acts as investment adviser for, and manages the investment and reinvestment of, the assets of the Fund. The Adviser also administers the Trust’s business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services, and permits any of its officers or employees to serve without compensation as Trustees or officers of the Trust if elected to such positions.

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC, organized February 7, 2003, is located at 3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. Invesco Ltd. is the parent company of Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC and is located at Two Peachtree Pointe, 1555 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Invesco Ltd. and its subsidiaries are an independent global investment management group.

Portfolio Managers.  The Adviser uses a team of portfolio managers (the “Portfolio Managers”), investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages the Adviser’s extensive resources. Peter Hubbard oversees all research, portfolio management and trading operations of the Adviser. In this capacity, he oversees a team of the Portfolio Managers responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund.

 

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

 

Name

 

Title with Adviser/Trust

  

Date Began Managing the Fund

Peter Hubbard   Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management of the Adviser; Vice President of the Trust    Since inception
Jeffrey W. Kernagis   Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Richard Ose   Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Gary Jones   Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception
Philip Fang   Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Adviser    Since inception

As of June 30, 2014, Mr. Hubbard managed 114 registered investment companies with a total of approximately $47.5 billion in assets, 33 other pooled investment vehicles with approximately $3.6 billion in assets and no other accounts.

As of June 30, 2014, Mr. Kernagis managed 17 registered investment companies with a total of approximately $16.0 billion in assets, 16 other pooled investment vehicles with approximately $2.0 billion in assets and no other accounts.

As of June 30, 2014, Mr. Ose managed 20 registered investment companies with a total of approximately $16.3 billion in assets, 16 other pooled investment vehicles with approximately $2.0 billion in assets and no other accounts.

As of June 30, 2014, Mr. Jones managed 17 registered investment companies with a total of approximately $16.0 billion in assets, 1 other pooled investment vehicle with approximately $65.2 million in assets and no other accounts.

As of June 30, 2014, Mr. Fang managed 17 registered investment companies with a total of approximately $16.0 billion in assets, 1 other pooled investment vehicle with approximately $65.2 million in assets and no other accounts.

Although the other funds that the Portfolio Managers manage may have different investment strategies, each fund has an investment objective of seeking returns that generally correspond to its underlying index. The Adviser does not believe that management of these different funds presents a material conflict of interest for the Portfolio Managers or the Adviser.

Description of Compensation Structure.  The Portfolio Managers are compensated with a fixed salary amount by the Adviser. The Portfolio Managers are eligible, along with other senior employees of the Adviser, to participate in a year-end discretionary bonus pool. The Compensation Committee of the Adviser will review management bonuses and, depending upon the size, the Compensation Committee may approve the bonus in advance. There is no policy regarding, or agreement with, the Portfolio Managers or any other senior executive of the Adviser to receive bonuses or any other compensation in connection with the performance of any of the accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund had not yet commenced operations, and none of the Portfolio Managers beneficially own any Shares of the Fund.

Investment Advisory Agreement.  Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and the Trust, the Adviser is responsible for all expenses of the Fund, including the costs of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, except for the advisory fees, distribution fees, if any, brokerage expenses, taxes, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any, interest, litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses. For the Adviser’s services, the Fund has agreed to pay a unitary management fee equal to 0.22% of its average daily net assets (the “Advisory Fee”).

The Adviser has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Trust. The Adviser provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets.

 

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Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser will not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Fund in connection with the performance of the Investment Advisory Agreement, except a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Adviser in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard of its duties and obligations thereunder. The Investment Advisory Agreement continues in effect only if approved annually by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees. The Investment Advisory Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable at any time without penalty as to the Fund by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by vote of the holders of a majority of that Fund’s outstanding voting securities on 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser, or by the Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Fund.

Payments to Financial Intermediaries.  The Adviser may pay certain broker-dealers, banks and other financial intermediaries for participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives and other professionals more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems. As of the date of this SAI, the Adviser had arrangements to make payments, other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, only to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Pursuant to the arrangement with Schwab, Schwab has agreed to promote select exchange-traded funds advised by the Adviser to Schwab’s customers and not to charge certain of its customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of those funds. Payments to a broker-dealer or intermediary may create potential conflicts of interest between the broker-dealer or intermediary and its clients. These amounts are paid by the Adviser from its own resources and not from the assets of the Fund.

Administrator.  BNYM serves as administrator for the Fund. Its principal address is 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286.

BNYM serves as Administrator pursuant to a fund administration and accounting agreement (the “Administrative Services Agreement”) with the Trust. Under the Administrative Services Agreement, BNYM is obligated, on a continuous basis, to provide such administrative services as the Board reasonably deems necessary for the proper administration of the Trust and the Fund. BNYM generally will assist in many aspects of the Trust’s and the Fund’s operations, including accounting, bookkeeping and record keeping services (including, without limitation, the maintenance of such books and records as are required under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder, except as maintained by other agency agents), assisting in preparing reports to shareholders or investors; assist in the preparation and filing of tax returns; supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC; and supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board.

Pursuant to the Administrative Services Agreement, the Trust has agreed to indemnify the Administrator for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws, unless such loss or liability results from negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties.

Custodian, Transfer Agent and Fund Accounting Agent.  BNYM, located at 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286, also serves as custodian for the Fund pursuant to a custodian agreement (the “Custodian Agreement”). As custodian, BNYM holds the Fund’s assets, calculates the NAV of Shares and calculates net income and realized capital gains or losses. BNYM also serves as transfer agent for the Fund pursuant to a transfer agency agreement (the “Transfer Agency Agreement”). Further, BNYM serves as Fund accounting agent pursuant to a fund accounting agreement (the “Fund Accounting Agreement”). BNYM may be reimbursed for its out-of-pocket expenses, and it also receives transaction fees and asset-based fees. Such reimbursements and fees are paid by the Adviser out of the assets that it receives from the Fund pursuant to its unitary management fee; under that fee agreement, the Adviser is responsible for custodian and transfer agent fees.

Distributor.  Invesco Distributors, Inc. (previously defined as the “Distributor”) is the distributor of the Fund’s Shares. The Distributor’s principal address is 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173. The Distributor has entered into a distribution agreement (the “Distribution Agreement”) with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes the Fund’s Shares. The Fund continuously offers Shares for sale through the

 

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Distributor only in Creation Unit Aggregations, as described in the Prospectus and below under the heading “Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations.”

Aggregations.  The Distributor does not distribute Shares in less than Creation Unit Aggregations. The Distributor will deliver a Prospectus (or a Summary Prospectus) and, upon request, this SAI to persons purchasing Creation Unit Aggregations and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

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

The Distributor also may enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Unit Aggregations of the Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers also may be Participating Parties (as defined in “Procedures for Creation of Creation Unit Aggregations” below) and DTC Participants (as defined in “DTC Acts as Securities Depository for Fund Shares” below).

Index Provider.   No entity that creates, compiles, sponsors or maintains the Underlying Index is or will be an affiliated person, as defined in Section 2(a)(3) of the 1940 Act, or an affiliated person of an affiliated person, of the Trust, the Adviser, the Distributor or a promoter of the Fund.

Neither the Adviser nor any affiliate of the Adviser has any rights to influence the selection of the securities in the Underlying Index.

Set forth below is the Underlying Index upon which the Fund is based.

 

Fund

 

Underlying Index

PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio   NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index

The NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index is designed to measure potential returns of a theoretical portfolio of fixed income securities with a yield curve based upon remaining effective terms to maturity of five years or less. Using a “laddered strategy,” the Index Provider includes in the Underlying Index a portfolio of bonds with short- to intermediate-term maturities, meaning that it divides the components of the Underlying Index into five equally weighted groups of bonds with staggered terms to maturity in an annual, sequential (“laddered”) structure from zero to five years.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Underlying Index, a bond must: (i) be denominated in U.S. dollars; (ii) pay fixed amounts of taxable interest; (iii) be rated as “investment grade” by either S&P, Moody’s or Fitch Ratings, Inc.; (iv) have at least $500 million outstanding when issued; and (v) have five years or fewer to maturity. However, bonds must have at least one year to maturity at the time they are issued. As of the date of this SAI, the Underlying Index may include bonds from companies domiciled in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Disclaimers.  The Underlying Index is a trademark of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (“NASDAQ OMX Group”). NASDAQ OMX Group is not affiliated with the Fund or with the Adviser. The Fund is entitled to use the Underlying Index pursuant to a sub-licensing arrangement with the Adviser, which in turn has a licensing agreement with NASDAQ OMX Group. The Fund reimburses the Adviser for the licensing fee payable to NASDAQ OMX Group.

The only relationship that NASDAQ OMX Group has with the Adviser or Distributor is that NASDAQ OMX Group has licensed certain of its intellectual property, including the determination of the component stocks of the Underlying Index and the name of the Underlying Index. The Underlying Index is selected and calculated without regard to the Adviser, Trust, Distributor or owners of the Fund. NASDAQ OMX Group has no obligation

 

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to take the specific needs of the Adviser, Distributor or owners of the Fund into consideration in the determination and calculation of the Underlying Index. NASDAQ OMX Group is not responsible for, and has not participated in, the determination of pricing or the timing of the issuance or sale of the Shares of the Fund or in the determination or calculation of the asset value of the Fund. NASDAQ OMX Group does not have any obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by NASDAQ OMX Group or its affiliates (NASDAQ OMX Group, with its affiliates, are referred to as the “Corporations”). The Corporations have not passed on the legality or suitability of, or the accuracy or adequacy of descriptions and disclosures relating to, the Fund. The Corporations make no representation or warranty, express or implied to the owners of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly, or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. The Corporations’ only relationship to the Adviser (“Licensee”) is in the licensing of the NASDAQ™, OMX™, NASDAQ OMX™, NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index trade/service marks, and certain trade names of the Corporations and the use of the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index, which is determined, composed and calculated by NASDAQ OMX without regard to Licensee or the Fund. NASDAQ OMX has no obligation to take the needs of the Licensee or the owners of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the NASDAQ LadderRite® 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index. The Corporations are not responsible for, and have not participated in, the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Fund is to be converted into cash. The Corporations have no liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.

THE CORPORATIONS DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR UNINTERRUPTED CALCULATION OF THE NASDAQ LADDERRITE® 0-5 YEAR USD CORPORATE BOND INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY LICENSEE, OWNERS OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE NASDAQ LADDERRITE® 0-5 YEAR USD CORPORATE BOND INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE NASDAQ LADDERRITE® 0-5 YEAR USD CORPORATE BOND INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CORPORATIONS HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The Adviser does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein, and the Adviser shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, restatements, re-calculations, or interruptions therein. The Adviser makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Fund, owners of the Shares of the Fund or any other person or entity from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. The Adviser makes no express or implied warranties, and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability, title or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Adviser have any liability for any special, exemplary, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability or tort (including negligence or otherwise), resulting from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein, even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS

The policy of the Adviser regarding purchases and sales of securities is to give primary consideration to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions under the circumstances. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the Adviser’s policy is to pay

 

21


commissions that are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, the Adviser relies upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions various brokers generally charge. The sale of Shares by a broker-dealer is not a factor in the selection of broker-dealers.

In seeking to implement its policies, the Adviser effects transactions with those brokers and dealers that the Adviser believes provide the most favorable prices and are capable of providing efficient executions. The Adviser and its affiliates currently do not participate in soft dollar transactions.

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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE TRUST

The Trust is an open-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on October 10, 2006 pursuant to a Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration”).

The Trust is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares in one or more series or “funds.” The Trust currently offers shares of 58 funds. The Board has the right to establish additional series in the future, to determine the preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges thereof and to modify such preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges, without shareholder approval.

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

Shareholders are entitled to vote on any matter as required by the 1940 Act or other applicable laws, but otherwise the Trustees are permitted to take any action without seeking the consent of shareholders. The Trustees, without shareholder approval, may amend the Declaration in any respect or authorize the merger or consolidation of the Trust or any Fund into another trust or entity, reorganize the Trust or the Fund into another trust or entity or a series or class of another entity, sell all or substantially all of the assets of the Trust or the Fund to another entity, or a series or class of another entity, or terminate the Trust or any Fund.

The Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold an annual meeting of shareholders, but will call special meetings of shareholders whenever required by the 1940 Act or by the terms of the Declaration.

Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all funds of the Trust vote together as a single class except as otherwise required by the 1940 Act, or if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund, and, if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, the shares of that fund will vote separately on such matter.

The Declaration provides that by becoming a shareholder of the Fund, each shareholder shall be held expressly to have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Declaration. The holders of Shares are required to disclose information on direct or indirect ownership of Shares as may be required to comply with various laws applicable to the Fund or as otherwise determined by the Trustees, and ownership of Shares may be disclosed by the Fund if so required by law or regulation or as the Trustees may otherwise determine.

 

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Under Massachusetts law applicable to Massachusetts business trusts, shareholders of such a trust may, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for its obligations. However, the Declaration contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust and requires that notice of this disclaimer be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees. The Declaration further provides for indemnification out of the assets and property of the Trust for all losses and expenses of any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which both inadequate insurance existed and the Trust or Fund itself was unable to meet its obligations. The Trust believes the likelihood of the occurrence of these circumstances is remote.

The Trust’s Declaration also provides that a Trustee acting in his or her capacity of trustee is not liable personally to any person other than the Trust or its shareholders for any act, omission, or obligation of the Trust. The Declaration further provides that a Trustee or officer is liable to the Trust or its shareholders only for his or her bad faith, willful misfeasance, gross negligence or reckless disregard of his or her duties, and shall not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. The Declaration requires the Trust to indemnify any persons who are or who have been Trustees, officers or employees of the Trust for any liability for actions or failure to act except to the extent prohibited by applicable federal law. In making any determination as to whether any person is entitled to the advancement of expenses in connection with a claim for which indemnification is sought, such person is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that he or she did not engage in conduct for which indemnification is not available.

The Declaration provides that any Trustee who serves as chair of the Board or of a committee of the Board, lead independent Trustee, or audit committee financial expert, or in any other similar capacity will not be subject to any greater standard of care or liability because of such position.

The Declaration provides a detailed process for the bringing of derivative actions by shareholders in order to permit legitimate inquiries and claims while avoiding the time, expense, distraction, and other harm that can be caused to the Fund or its shareholders as a result of spurious shareholder demands and derivative actions. Prior to bringing a derivative action, a demand by the complaining shareholder must first be made on the Trustees. The Declaration details various information, certifications, undertakings and acknowledgements that must be included in the demand. Following receipt of the demand, the Trustees have a period of 90 days, which may be extended by an additional 60 days, to consider the demand. If a majority of the Trustees who are considered independent for the purposes of considering the demand determine that maintaining the suit would not be in the best interests of the Fund, the Trustees are required to reject the demand and the complaining shareholder may not proceed with the derivative action unless the shareholder is able to sustain the burden of proof to a court that the decision of the Trustees not to pursue the requested action was not a good faith exercise of their business judgment on behalf of the Fund. Trustees are not considered to have a personal financial interest by virtue of being compensated for their services as Trustees.

If a demand is rejected, the complaining shareholder will be responsible for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the Fund in connection with the consideration of the demand, if a court determines that the demand was made without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose. If a derivative action is brought in violation of the Trust’s Declaration, the shareholders bringing the action may be responsible for the Fund’s costs, including attorneys’ fees.

The Declaration further provides that the Fund shall be responsible for payment of attorneys’ fees and legal expenses incurred by a complaining shareholder only if required by law, and any attorneys’ fees that the Fund is obligated to pay on the basis of hourly rates shall be calculated using reasonable hourly rates. The Declaration also requires that actions by shareholders against the Fund be brought only in a certain federal court in Illinois, or if not permitted to be brought in federal court, then in an Illinois state court, and that the right to jury trial be waived to the full extent permitted by law.

The Trust does not have information concerning the beneficial ownership of Shares held by DTC Participants (as defined below).

 

23


Shareholders may make inquiries by writing to the Trust, c/o the Distributor, Invesco Distributors, Inc., 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173.

Book Entry Only System.  The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Book Entry.”

DTC Acts as Securities Depository for Fund Shares.  Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC.

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

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

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

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

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

DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to Shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost.

 

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Proxy Voting.  The Board has delegated responsibility for decisions regarding proxy voting for securities the Fund holds to the Adviser. The Adviser will vote such proxies in accordance with its proxy policies and procedures, which are summarized in Appendix A to this SAI. The Board periodically will review the Fund’s proxy voting record.

The Trust is required to disclose annually the Fund’s complete proxy voting record on Form N-PX covering the period July 1 through June 30 and file it with the SEC no later than August 31. Form N-PX for the Fund also will be available at no charge upon request by calling 1-800-983-0903 or by writing to PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II at 3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. The Trust’s Form N-PX will also be available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Codes of Ethics.  Pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act, the Board has adopted a Code of Ethics for the Trust and approved Codes of Ethics adopted by the Adviser and the Distributor (collectively 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 apply to the personal investing activities of Trustees and officers of the Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor (“Access Persons”). Rule 17j-1 and the Codes are designed to prevent unlawful practices in connection with the purchase or sale of securities by Access Persons. Under the Codes, Access Persons may engage in personal securities transactions, but must report their personal securities transactions for monitoring purposes. The Codes permit personnel subject to the Codes to invest in securities subject to certain limitations, including securities that the Fund may purchase or sell. In addition, certain Access Persons must obtain approval before investing in initial public offerings or private placements. The Codes are on file with the SEC and are available to the public.

CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNIT AGGREGATIONS

Creation.  The Trust issues Shares of the Fund only in Creation Unit Aggregations on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at its NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined below), of an order in proper form. A “Business Day” is any day on which the NYSE is open for business. As of the date of this SAI, the NYSE observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Deposit of Securities and Deposit or Delivery of Cash.  The consideration for purchase of Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund consists of the in-kind deposit of the Deposit Securities per each Creation Unit Aggregation constituting a substantial replication of the securities included in the Underlying Index (“Fund Securities”) and the Cash Component computed as described below, plus a fixed and a variable transaction fee, as discussed below; however, the Fund also reserves the right to permit or require Creation Units to be issued in exchange for cash. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund.

The Cash Component also is sometimes called the “Balancing Amount.” The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit Aggregation and the Deposit Amount (as defined below). The Cash Component is an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares (per Creation Unit Aggregation) and the “Deposit Amount”—an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit Aggregation exceeds the Deposit Amount), the creator will deliver the Cash Component. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit Aggregation is less than the Deposit Amount), the creator will receive the Cash Component.

The Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time), the list of the names and the required number of shares of

 

25


each Deposit Security to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, to effect creations of Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities is made available.

The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for a Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected within the Fund from time to time by the Adviser, with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities also may change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the securities of the Fund’s Underlying Index. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash—i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount—to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or that may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC or the Clearing Process (discussed below), or which might not be eligible for trading by an AP (as defined below) or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason. Brokerage commissions incurred in connection with the acquisition of Deposit Securities not eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC, and hence not eligible for transfer through the Clearing Process (discussed below), will be at the expense of the Fund and will affect the value of all Shares; but the Adviser may adjust the transaction fee (as discussed below) to protect ongoing shareholders. These adjustments will reflect changes known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, in the composition of the Underlying Index or resulting from certain corporate actions. In addition to the list of names and numbers of securities constituting the current Deposit Securities of a Fund Deposit, the Custodian, through the NSCC, also makes available on each Business Day, the estimated Cash Component, effective through and including the previous Business Day, per outstanding Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund.

Orders to create Creation Units of the Fund may be placed through the Clearing Process (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process”) or outside the Clearing Process (see “—Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process”).

Procedures for Creation of Creation Unit Aggregations.  To be eligible to place orders with the Distributor and to create a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund, an entity must be (i) a “Participating Party,” i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the “Clearing Process”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC Participant (see the “Book Entry Only System” section), and, in each case, must have executed an agreement with the Distributor, with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations (“Participant Agreement”) (discussed below). A Participating Party and DTC Participant are collectively referred to as an “AP.” Investors should contact the Distributor for the names of APs that have signed a Participant Agreement. All Shares, however created, will be entered on the records of DTC in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC Participant.

The Distributor must receive all orders to create Creation Unit Aggregations no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on the NYSE (“Closing Time”) (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) in each case on the date such order is placed in order for creation of Creation Unit Aggregations to be effected based on the NAV of Shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. In the case of custom orders, the Distributor must receive the order no later than 3:00 p.m., Eastern time on the trade date. With respect to in-kind creations, an AP may place a custom order where cash replaces any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or which may not be eligible for trading by such AP or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason. The date on which an order to create Creation Unit Aggregations (or an order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations, as discussed below) is placed is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.” Orders must be transmitted by an AP by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement, as described below (see the “Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process” and the “Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process” sections). Severe economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure may impede the ability to reach the Distributor or an AP.

 

26


All orders from investors who are not APs to create Creation Unit Aggregations shall be placed with an AP in the form required by such AP. In addition, the AP may request the investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order, e.g., to provide for payments of cash, when required. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to create Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an AP that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement. Those placing orders for Creation Unit Aggregations through the Clearing Process should afford sufficient time to permit proper submission of the order to the Distributor prior to the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date. Orders for Creation Unit Aggregations that are effected outside the Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the DTC Participant earlier on the Transmittal Date than orders effected using the Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Cash Component.

Placement of Creation Orders Using Clearing Process.  The Clearing Process is the process of creating or redeeming Creation Unit Aggregations through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC. Fund Deposits made through the Clearing Process must be delivered through a Participating Party that has executed a Participant Agreement. The Participant Agreement authorizes the Distributor to transmit through the Custodian to NSCC, on behalf of the Participating Party, such trade instructions as are necessary to effect the Participating Party’s creation order. Pursuant to such trade instructions to NSCC, the Participating Party agrees to deliver the requisite Deposit Securities and the Cash Component to the Trust, together with such additional information as may be required by the Distributor. An order to create Creation Unit Aggregations through the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor not later than the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.

Placement of Creation Orders Outside Clearing Process.  Fund Deposits made outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement pre-approved by the Adviser and the Distributor. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order creating Creation Unit Aggregations to be effected outside the Clearing Process does not need to be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the creation of Creation Unit Aggregations will instead be effected through a transfer of securities and cash directly through DTC. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the DTC Participant on the Transmittal Date in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of the Fund by 11:00 a.m., Eastern time, by the “regular way” settlement date.

All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The amount of cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than 2:00 p.m., Eastern time, by the “regular way” settlement date. An order to create Creation Unit Aggregations outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Distributor on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Distributor no later than the Closing Time on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. However, if the Custodian does not receive both the required Deposit Securities and the Cash Component by 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Eastern time, respectively, by the “regular way” settlement date, such order will be canceled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the then current Deposit Securities and Cash Component. The delivery of Creation Unit Aggregations so created will occur no later than the third Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor.

Additional transaction fees may be imposed with respect to transactions effected outside the Clearing Process (through a DTC Participant) and in the limited circumstances in which any cash can be used in lieu of

 

27


Deposit Securities to create Creation Units. (See the section “Creation and Redemption Transaction Fees” below.)

Acceptance of Orders for Creation Unit Aggregations.  The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of the Fund if: (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s), upon obtaining the Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of that Fund; (iii) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as designated for that date by the Custodian, as described above; (iv) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (v) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (vi) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust, the Adviser or the rights of Beneficial Owners; or (vii) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Distributor or the Adviser make it for all practical purposes impossible to process creation orders. Examples of such circumstances include acts of God; public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Adviser, the Distributor, DTC, NSCC, the Federal Reserve, the transfer agent, the Custodian or sub-custodian or any other participant in the creation process, and similar extraordinary events. The Distributor shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit Aggregation and/or the AP acting on behalf of such prospective creator of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall any of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.

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

Creation and Redemption Transaction Fees.  APs may be required to pay an administrative fee and a variable transaction fee for purchasing or redeeming Creation Units. Creation and redemption transactions for the Fund are subject to a fixed administrative fee of $500, payable to BNYM, irrespective of the size of the order. In addition to the fixed administrative fee, the Fund may impose an additional variable transaction fee of up to four times the fixed administrative fee. This variable transaction fee is determined by the Adviser, payable to the Fund and is incurred for (i) in-kind creations/redemptions effected outside the normal Clearing Process, and (ii) cash creations/redemptions. Finally, to the extent that the Fund permits or requires APs to substitute cash in lieu of Deposit Securities, the Adviser may set additional variable fees separate from the fees already described that also are payable to the Fund up to 2%. These cash-in-lieu fees will be negotiated between the Adviser and the AP and are charged to offset the transaction cost to the Fund of buying (or selling) those particular Deposit Securities, to cover spreads and slippage costs and to protect existing shareholders against sudden movements in the prices of the portfolio investments due to market events. From time to time, the Adviser, in its sole discretion, may adjust the Fund’s variable transaction fees or reimburse APs for all or a portion of the creation or redemption transaction fees.

Redemption of Shares in Creation Unit Aggregations.  Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Unit Aggregations at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the Custodian and only on a Business Day. The Fund will not redeem Shares in amounts less than Creation Unit Aggregations. Beneficial Owners must accumulate enough Shares in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit Aggregation in order to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit Aggregation. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit Aggregation.

The Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time) on each Business Day, the identity of the Fund Securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as

 

28


described below) on that day. Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities that are applicable to creations of Creation Unit Aggregations.

Unless cash redemptions are permitted or required for the Fund, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit Aggregation generally consist of Fund Securities—as announced on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper form—plus or minus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (the “Cash Redemption Amount”), less a redemption transaction fee as discussed above (see “—Creation and Redemption Transaction Fees” above). In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of the Shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the difference is required to be made by or through an AP by the redeeming shareholder.

Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws, and the Fund reserves the right to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations for cash if the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws.

An AP or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular security included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of a Creation Unit Aggregation may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. This would specifically prohibit delivery of Fund Securities that are not registered in reliance upon Rule 144A under the Securities Act to a redeeming investor that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act. The AP may request the redeeming beneficial owner of the Shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment.

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

Placement of Redemption Orders Using Clearing Process.  Orders to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations must be delivered through an AP that has executed a Participant Agreement. Investors other than APs are responsible for making arrangements for an order to redeem to be made through an AP. An order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations is deemed received by the Trust on the Transmittal Date if: (i) such order is received by the Custodian not later than the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.

An order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations using the Clearing Process made in proper form but received by the Trust after 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, will be deemed received on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date and will be effected at the NAV next determined on such next Business Day. The requisite Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount will be transferred by the third NSCC Business Day following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received.

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process.  Orders to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed the Participant Agreement. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations to be effected outside the Clearing Process does not need to be a Participating Party, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations will instead be effected through transfer of Fund Shares directly through DTC. An order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations outside the Clearing Process is deemed received by the Trust on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by the Transfer Agent not later than 4:00 p.m., Eastern time on such Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is accompanied or followed by the requisite number of Shares of the Fund, which delivery must be made through DTC and the Cash Redemption Amount, if any owed to the Fund, to the Custodian no later than 11:00 a.m., Eastern time on the contractual settlement date; and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant

 

29


Agreement are properly followed. After the Trust has deemed an order for redemption outside the Clearing Process received, the Trust will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities that are expected to be delivered within three Business Days and the Cash Redemption Amount, if any owed to the redeeming Beneficial Owner to the AP on behalf of the redeeming Beneficial Owner by the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Trust.

In the event that the number of Shares is insufficient on the contractual settlement date, the Trust may deliver the Deposit Securities notwithstanding such deficiency in reliance on the undertaking of the AP to deliver the missing Shares as soon as possible. This undertaking shall be secured by such the AP’s delivery on the contractual settlement date and subsequent maintenance of collateral consisting of cash having a value at least equal to 105% of the value of the missing Shares. The AP’s agreement permits the Trust, acting in good faith, to purchase the missing Shares at any time and the AP will be subject to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such shares and the value of the collateral, which may be sold by the Trust at such time, and in such manner, as the Trust may determine in its sole discretion.

On days when the Exchange closes earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations to be placed earlier in the day. For example, on days when the generally accepted close of the bond market occurs earlier than normal (such as the day before a holiday) orders requesting substitution of a “cash-in-lieu” amount must be received by the Distributor no later than 11:00 a.m., Eastern time.

The chart below describes in further detail the placement of creation and redemption orders through the NSCC and outside the Clearing Process.

 

   

Transmittal Date (T)

 

Next Business Day (T+1)

 

Second Business Day (T+2)

 

Third Business Day (T+3)

Creation through NSCC
Standard Orders  

4:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Distributor.

  No action.   No action.   Creation Unit Aggregations will be delivered.
Custom Orders  

3:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Distributor.

 

Orders received after 3:00 p.m. (ET) will be treated as standard orders.

  No action.   No action.   Creation Unit Aggregations will be delivered.
Creation Outside NSCC
Standard Orders  

4:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order in proper form must be received by the Distributor.

 

11:00 a.m. (ET)

 

Deposit Securities must be received by the Fund’s account through DTC.

 

2:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Cash Component must be received by the Custodian.

  No action.   Creation Unit Aggregations will be delivered.
Standard Orders created in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the Deposit Securities  

4:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order in proper form must be received by the Distributor.

 

11:00 a.m. (ET)

 

Available Deposit Securities.

 

Cash in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component, plus (ii) 105% of the market value of the undelivered Deposit Securities.

  No action.   Creation Unit Aggregations will be delivered.

 

30


   

Transmittal Date (T)

 

Next Business Day (T+1)

 

Second Business Day (T+2)

 

Third Business Day (T+3)

Custom Orders  

3:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order in proper form must be received by the Distributor.

 

Orders received after 3:00 p.m. (ET) will be treated as standard orders.

  11:00 a.m. (ET) Deposit Securities must be received by the Fund’s account through DTC. 2:00 p.m. (ET) Cash Component must be received by the Custodian.   No action.   Creation Unit Aggregations will be delivered.
Redemption Through NSCC
Standard Orders  

4:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Transfer Agent.

 

Orders received after 4:00 p.m. (ET) will be deemed received on the next business day (T+1).

  No action.   No action.   Fund Securities and Cash Redemption Amount will be transferred.
Custom Orders  

3:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Transfer Agent.

 

Orders received after 3:00 p.m. (ET) will be treated as standard orders.

  No action.   No action.   Fund Securities and Cash Redemption Amount will be transferred.
Redemption Outside of NSCC
Standard Orders  

4:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Transfer Agent.

 

Orders received after 4:00 p.m. (ET) will be deemed received on the next business day (T+1)

 

11:00 a.m. (ET)

 

Shares must be delivered through DTC to the Custodian.

 

2:00 p.m. (ET) Cash Component, if any, is due.

 

*If the order is not in proper form or the Shares are not delivered, then the order will not be deemed received as of T.

  No action.   Fund Securities and Cash Redemption Amount is delivered to the redeeming beneficial owner.
Custom Orders  

3:00 p.m. (ET)

 

Order must be received by the Transfer Agent.

 

Orders received after 3:00 p.m. (ET) will be treated as standard orders.

 

11:00 a.m. (ET)

 

Shares must be delivered through DTC to the Custodian.

 

2:00 p.m. (ET) Cash Component, if any, is due.

 

*If the order is not in proper form or the Shares are not delivered, then the order will not be deemed received as of T.

  No action.   Fund Securities and Cash Redemption Amount is delivered to the redeeming beneficial owner.

TAXES

The following is a summary of certain additional tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that are not described in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of the

 

31


tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning.

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

General; Qualification as a Regulated Investment Company.  The Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal tax purposes and, therefore, is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein and in the Prospectus. Losses in the Fund do not offset gains in another series of the Trust, and the requirements (other than a certain organizational requirement that the Trust satisfies) for qualifying for RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than the Trust level.

The Fund intends to qualify each taxable year to be treated as a RIC. If the Fund satisfies the requirements referred to in the next sentence, it will not be subject to federal income tax on the portion of its net investment income and net realized capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders. To qualify for that treatment, the Fund annually must distribute to its shareholders at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes dividends, interest, the excess of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss (“net short-term gain”), and net gains and losses from certain foreign currency transactions, if any, all determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid) (“Distribution Requirement”) and must meet several other requirements, including those described below, relating to the nature of its gross income and the diversification of its assets.

Income Requirement.  The Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from (1) 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 (including superfluous gains from options, futures, or forward contracts) derived from its business of investing in stock, securities, or such currencies and (2) net income derived from qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”).

Asset Diversification Requirements.  The Fund must satisfy the following asset diversification requirements at the close of each quarter of its taxable year: (1) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets must consist of cash and cash items, Government securities, securities of other RICs, and securities of any other issuer (as to which (a) more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is in securities of the issuer and (b) 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 Government securities or securities of other RICs) or of two or more issuers that the Fund controls and are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or, collectively, in the securities of QPTPs.

If the Fund failed to qualify for any taxable year for treatment as a RIC—either (1) by failing to satisfy the Distribution Requirement or (2) by failing to satisfy one or more of the gross income and asset diversification requirements and is unable, or determines not to, avail itself of Code provisions that enable a RIC to cure a failure to satisfy any of those requirements as long as the failure “is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect” and the RIC pays a deductible tax calculated in accordance with those provisions and meets certain other requirements—all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at regular federal corporate income tax rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders. In addition, for federal income tax purposes (a) the Fund’s shareholders would treat all those distributions, including distributions of net capital gain (i.e., the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), as dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, taxable as ordinary income, except that, for individual and certain other non-corporate shareholders (each, an “individual shareholder”), the part thereof that is “qualified dividend income” (“QDI”) would be subject to federal income tax at the rates for net capital gain—a maximum of 15% (20% for certain high income taxpayers)—and (b) all or part of those distributions might be eligible for the dividends-received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders that meet certain holding period and other requirements regarding their Shares. Furthermore, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before requalifying for RIC treatment.

 

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The Fund will be subject to a 4% federal excise tax (“Excise Tax”) to the extent it fails to distribute to its shareholders by the end of any calendar year an amount equal to at least the sum of (1) 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus (2) 98.2% of its net capital gains for the twelve months ended October 31 of such year. Generally, the Fund may make sufficient distributions to avoid liability for federal income and excise taxes but can give no assurance that all or a portion of such liability will be avoided.

The Trust has the right to reject an order to purchase Shares if the purchaser (or group of purchasers) would, on obtaining the ordered Shares, own 80% or more of the Fund’s outstanding Shares and if, pursuant to sections 351 and 362 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund would have a basis in the Deposit Securities to be received in exchange for the ordered Shares different from their market value on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination.

Taxation of Shareholders.  Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income and net short-term gain, if any, are generally taxable as ordinary income (except for QDI, as described below). Distributions a shareholder reinvests in additional Shares through the means of a dividend reinvestment service will be taxable to the shareholder to the same extent as if the distributions had been received in cash. Distributions to a shareholder of net capital gain, if any, are taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long the shareholder has held his or her Shares. Distributions of ordinary income and capital gains may also be subject to state and local taxes.

Distributions that the Fund declares in October, November, or December and pays to shareholders of record in one of those months during the following January are treated as having been received by the shareholders on December 31 of the year the distributions were declared.

If, for any taxable year, the total distributions that the Fund makes exceed its current and accumulated earnings and profits, the excess will, for federal income tax purposes, be treated as a return of capital up to the amount of a shareholder’s basis in his or her Shares and thereafter as gain from the sale of those Shares. The amount so treated as a return of capital will reduce the shareholder’s adjusted basis in his or her Shares, thereby increasing his or her potential gain or reducing his or her potential loss on the subsequent sale of those Shares.

The sale or redemption (“disposition”) of Shares may give rise to a capital gain or loss, which generally will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and otherwise as short-term capital gain or loss. Long-term capital gains of individual shareholders generally are subject to federal income tax at the 15%/20% maximum rates noted above. In addition, the Fund’s distributions to such a shareholder of QDI—which the Fund does not expect to distribute a significant amount of—will qualify for federal income taxation at those rates, provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met by the Fund and the shareholder. The Fund will report to shareholders annually the amount of any distributions taxable as ordinary income (from net investment income and net short-term gain), the amount of any distributions from net capital gain, and the portion, if any, of dividends that may qualify as QDI.

A loss realized on a disposition of Shares may be disallowed if other Shares are acquired (whether through the automatic reinvestment of distributions, if available, or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date that the Shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis in the acquired Shares must be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss on a shareholder’s disposition of Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain distributions received by the shareholder.

An individual is required to pay a 3.8% federal tax on the lesser of (1) the individual’s “net investment income,” which generally will include distributions the Fund pays and gains recognized from the disposition of Shares, or (2) the excess of the individual’s “modified adjusted gross income” over $200,000 for single taxpayers ($250,000 for married persons filing jointly). This tax is in addition to any other taxes due on that income. A similar tax applies to estates and trusts. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, this provision may have on their investment in Shares.

A shareholder who wants to use the average basis method for determining his or her basis in Shares must elect to do so in writing (which may be electronic) with the broker through which he or she purchased the Shares.

 

33


A shareholder who wishes to use a different Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”)-acceptable method for basis determination (e.g., a specific identification method) may elect to do so. Shareholders are urged to consult with their brokers regarding the application of the basis determination rules to them.

If more than 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of any taxable year consists of securities of foreign corporations, it will be eligible to, and may, file an election that would enable it to pass through to its shareholders foreign tax credits or deductions with respect to foreign taxes it pays. Pursuant to the election, the Fund would treat those taxes as dividends paid to its shareholders and each shareholder (1) would be required to include in gross income, and treat as paid by the shareholder, the shareholder’s proportionate share of those taxes, (2) would be required to treat that share of those taxes and of any dividend the Fund paid that represents income from foreign sources as the shareholder’s own income from those sources, and (3) could either use the foregoing information in calculating the foreign tax credit against the shareholder’s federal income tax or, alternatively, deduct the foreign taxes deemed paid by the shareholder in computing taxable income. If the Fund makes this election for a taxable year, it will report to its shareholders shortly after that year their respective shares of the foreign taxes it paid and its foreign-source income for that year. No deduction for foreign taxes may be claimed by a shareholder who does not itemize deductions. A shareholder who or that is a nonresident alien individual or foreign entity (a “foreign shareholder”) may not deduct or claim a credit for foreign taxes in determining its U.S. income tax liability unless the Fund dividends paid to it are effectively connected with the foreign shareholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States (“effectively connected”).

The Fund must withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury 28% of distributions of ordinary income, capital gains, and any cash received on redemption of Creation Units (regardless of the extent to which gain or loss may be realized) otherwise payable to any individual shareholder who fails to certify that the taxpayer identification number furnished to the Fund is correct or who furnishes an incorrect number (together with the withholding described in the next sentence, “backup withholding”). Withholding at that rate also is required from the Fund’s dividends and capital gain distributions otherwise payable to such a shareholder who is subject to backup withholding for any other reason. Backup withholding is not an additional tax, and any amounts so withheld may be credited against a shareholder’s federal income tax liability or refunded. When establishing an account, an investor must certify under penalty of perjury that such number is correct and that the investor is not otherwise subject to backup withholding.

Distributions of ordinary income paid to a foreign shareholder that are not effectively connected generally will be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax (unless a reduced rate of withholding or a withholding exemption is provided under an applicable treaty). However, a foreign shareholder generally will not be subject to withholding or income tax on gains realized on the sale of Shares or on net capital gain distributions unless (1) the gain or distribution is effectively connected or (2) in the case of an individual, the shareholder is present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the year of the sale or distribution and certain other conditions are met; those gains and distributions generally will be subject to federal income taxation at regular income tax rates. Foreign shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors concerning the applicability of the federal withholding tax. Nonresident alien individuals also may be subject to federal estate tax.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).  Under FATCA, “foreign financial institutions” (“FFIs”) or “non-financial foreign entities” (“NFFEs”) that are shareholders in the Fund may be subject to a generally nonrefundable 30% withholding tax on (a) income dividends paid by the Fund after June 30, 2014, and (b) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds of a sale (or redemption) of Shares paid after December 31, 2016. As discussed in more detail below, the FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided (1) by an FFI, if it reports certain information regarding direct and indirect ownership of financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI and (2) by an NFFE, if (i) it certifies that it has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or (ii) it does have any such owners and reports information relating to them to the withholding agent. The U.S. Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (“IGAs”) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with a number of other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA; an entity in one of those countries may be required to comply with the terms of an IGA instead of U.S. Treasury regulations.

 

34


An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a tax compliance agreement with the IRS under section 1471(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Under such an agreement, a participating FFI agrees to (1) verify and document whether it has U.S. accountholders, (2) report certain information regarding their accounts to the IRS, and (3) meet certain other specified requirements.

An FFI resident in a country that has entered into a Model I IGA with the United States must report to the government of that country (pursuant to the terms of the applicable IGA and applicable law), which will, in turn, report to the IRS. An FFI resident in a Model II IGA country generally must comply with U.S. regulatory requirements, with certain exceptions, including the treatment of recalcitrant accountholders. An FFI resident in one of those countries that complies with whichever of the foregoing applies will be exempt from FATCA withholding.

An NFFE that is the beneficial owner of a payment from the Fund can avoid FATCA withholding generally by certifying that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or by providing the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each such owner. The NFFE will report to the Fund or other applicable withholding agent, which will, in turn, report information to the IRS.

Such foreign shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted, or deemed compliant categories established by U.S. Treasury regulations, IGAs, and other guidance regarding FATCA. An FFI or NFFE that invests in the Fund will need to provide the Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding. The requirements imposed by FATCA are different from, and in addition to, the tax certification rules to avoid backup withholding described above. Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the application of these requirements to their own situation.

Taxation of Fund Investments.  The Fund may make investments that are subject to special federal income tax rules. Those rules can, among other things, affect the timing of the recognition of income or gain, the treatment of income as capital or ordinary, and the treatment of capital gain or loss as long-term or short-term. The application of those special rules would therefore also affect the amount, timing and character of distributions that the Fund makes and could require the Fund to borrow money or dispose of some of its investments earlier than anticipated in order to meet its distribution requirements.

Investment income received, and gains realized, by the 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 that entitle the Fund to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, tax on such income. Some countries require the filing of a tax reclaim or other form(s) to receive the benefit of the reduced tax rate; whether or when the Fund will receive a tax reclaim is within the control of the individual country. Information required on those forms may not be available, such as shareholder information; therefore, the Fund may not receive one or more reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries have conflicting and changing instructions and restrictive timing requirements that also may cause the Fund to not receive one or more reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries may subject capital gains realized by the Fund on the sale or other disposition of securities of that country to taxation. It is impossible to determine the effective rate of foreign tax in advance, since the amount of the Fund’s assets to be invested in various countries is not known.

Some futures contracts, foreign currency contracts traded in the interbank market, and “nonequity” options (i.e., certain listed options, such as those on a “broad-based” securities index)—except any “securities futures contract” that is not a “dealer securities futures contract” (both as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) and 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 which the Fund invests may be subject to Internal Revenue Code section 1256 (collectively, “Section 1256 contracts”). Any Section 1256 contracts that the Fund holds at the end of its taxable year (and generally for purposes of the Excise Tax, on October 31 of each year) must be “marked to market” (that is, treated as having been sold at that time for their fair market value) for federal tax purposes, with the result that unrealized gains or losses will be treated as though they were realized. Sixty percent of any net gain or loss recognized on these deemed sales, and 60% of any net realized gain or loss from any actual sales of Section 1256 contracts, will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss, and the balance

 

35


will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss; however, certain foreign currency gains or losses arising from Section 1256 contracts will be treated as ordinary income or loss. These rules may operate to increase the amount that the Fund must distribute to satisfy the Distribution Requirement (i.e., with respect to the portion treated as short-term capital gain, which will be includible in its investment company taxable income and thus taxable to its shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them), and to increase the net capital gain that the Fund recognizes, even though the Fund may not have closed the transactions and received cash to pay the distributions. The Fund may elect not to have the foregoing rules apply to any “mixed straddle” (that is, a straddle, which the Fund clearly identifies in accordance with applicable regulations, at least one (but not all) of the positions of which are Section 1256 contracts), although doing so may have the effect of increasing the relative proportion of short-term capital gain (distributions of which are taxable to its shareholders as ordinary income) and thus increasing the amount of dividends it must distribute.

Offsetting positions that the Fund enters into or holds in any actively traded security, option, futures, or forward contract may constitute a “straddle” for federal income tax purposes. Straddles are subject to certain rules that may affect the amount, character, and timing of recognition of the Fund’s gains and losses with respect to positions of the straddle by requiring, among other things, that (1) loss realized on disposition of one position of a straddle be deferred to the extent of any unrealized gain in an offsetting position until the latter position is disposed of, (2) the Fund’s holding period for certain straddle positions not begin until the straddle is terminated (possibly resulting in gain being treated as short-term rather than long-term capital gain), and (3) losses recognized with respect to certain straddle positions, that otherwise would constitute short-term capital losses, be treated as long-term capital losses. Applicable regulations also provide certain “wash sale” rules, which apply to transactions where a position is sold at a loss and a new offsetting position is acquired within a prescribed period, and “short sale” rules applicable to straddles. Different elections are available to the Fund, which may mitigate the effects of the straddle rules, particularly with respect to mixed straddles.

* * * * *

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

DETERMINATION OF NAV

The following information should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Net Asset Value.”

The Custodian calculates and determines the NAV per Share as of the close of the regular trading session on NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that such exchange is open. NAV is calculated by deducting all of the Fund’s liabilities from the total value of its assets and dividing the result by the number of Shares outstanding, rounding to the nearest cent. All valuations are subject to review by the Trust’s Board or its delegate. In determining NAV, expenses are accrued and applied daily, and securities and other assets for which market quotations are available are valued at market value. Securities listed or traded on an exchange generally are valued at the last sales price or official closing price of the exchange where the security primarily is traded. Debt and securities not listed on an exchange normally are valued on the basis of prices provided by independent pricing services. The Adviser may use various pricing services or discontinue the use of any pricing service at any time. When price quotes are not readily available, securities will be valued using pricing provided from independent pricing services or by another method in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board.

Even when market quotations are available for portfolio securities, they may be stale or unreliable because the security is not traded frequently, trading on the security ceased before the close of the trading market or issuer specific events occurred after the security ceased trading or because of the passage of time between the close of

 

36


the market on which the security trades and the close of the NYSE and when the Fund calculates its NAV. Events that may cause the last market quotation to be unreliable include a merger or insolvency, events which affect a geographical area or an industry segment, such as political events or natural disasters, or market events, such as a significant movement in the U.S. market. Where market quotations are not readily available, including where the Adviser determines that the closing price of the security is unreliable, the Adviser will value the security at fair value in good faith using procedures approved by the Board. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments, and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of that security.

DIVIDENDS AND OTHER DISTRIBUTIONS

The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes.”

General Policies.  Ordinarily, dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid monthly for the Fund.

Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the status of the Fund as a RIC or to avoid imposition of income tax or Excise Tax on undistributed income.

Dividends and other distributions on Shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of the Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

Dividend Reinvestment Service.  No reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of Shares for reinvestment of their distributions. Beneficial Owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require Beneficial Owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Counsel.  K&L Gates LLP, 70 W. Madison Street, Suite 3100, Chicago, Illinois 60602 and 1601 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.  PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, One North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has been retained to audit the Fund’s annual financial statements and performs other related audit services.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Fund is new and has no performance history as of the date of this SAI. Financial information therefore is not yet available. The audited financial statements for the Fund will appear in the Trust’s Annual Report to shareholders when available. You may request a copy of the Trust’s Annual Report at no charge by calling 1-800-983-0903 during normal business hours.

 

37


APPENDIX A

INVESCO POWERSHARES CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC

PROXY VOTING POLICY—OVERVIEW

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (“Invesco PowerShares”) has adopted proxy voting policies with respect to securities owned by the exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) for which it serves as investment adviser and has the authority to vote proxies. Invesco PowerShares’ proxy voting policies are designed to ensure that proxies are voted in the best interests of an ETF. With respect to implementation of its proxy voting policies, Invesco PowerShares:

1) applies its proxy voting policies consistently;

2) documents the reasons for voting;

3) maintains records of voting activities; and

4) monitors to ensure voting recommendations of an independent service provider are in the best interests of shareholders.

Proxy Voting

Invesco PowerShares has retained Glass Lewis & Co. to provide in-depth proxy research and has retained Broadridge to provide vote execution and the recordkeeping services necessary for tracking proxy voting for the ETFs. Invesco PowerShares intends to vote according to Glass Lewis & Co.’s voting recommendations. Glass Lewis & Co. specializes in providing a variety of fiduciary-level services related to proxy voting. Please see Exhibit A, Glass Lewis & Co. Proxy Paper Policy Guidelines-An Overview of the Glass Lewis Approach to Proxy Advice 2013 Proxy Season.

Share blocking

Invesco PowerShares may choose not to vote proxies in certain situations or for certain accounts either where it deems the cost of doing so to be prohibitive or where the exercise of voting rights could restrict the ability of an ETF’s portfolio manager to freely trade the security in question. For example, in accordance with local law or business practices, many foreign companies prevent the sale of shares that have been voted for a certain period beginning prior to the shareholder meeting and ending on the day following the meeting (“share blocking”). Due to these restrictions, Invesco PowerShares must balance the benefits of voting proxies against the potentially serious portfolio management consequences of a reduced flexibility to sell the underlying shares at the most advantageous time. For companies in countries with share blocking periods, the disadvantage of being unable to sell the stock regardless of changing conditions generally outweighs the advantages of voting at the shareholder meeting for routine items. Accordingly Invesco PowerShares will not vote those proxies in the absence of an unusual or significant vote.

Special Policy

With respect to the PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity Portfolio, PowerShares CEF Income Composite Portfolio, PowerShares KBW High Dividend Yield Financial Portfolio, PowerShares Financial Preferred Portfolio, and PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio the Adviser will vote proxies in accordance with Section 12(d)(1)(E), which requires that the Adviser vote the shares in the portfolio of the PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity Portfolio, PowerShares CEF Income Composite Portfolio, PowerShares KBW High Dividend Yield Financial Portfolio, PowerShares Financial Preferred Portfolio, and PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio in the same proportion as the vote of all other holders of such security.

 

A-1


Exhibit A

 

Proxy Paper Guidelines

2013 PROXY SEASON

United States

AN OVERVIEW OF THE GLASS LEWIS APPROACH TO

PROXY ADVICE

 

LOGO

 

A-2


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

I. Overview of Significant Updates for 2013

     A-5   

II. A Board of Directors That Serves the Interests of Shareholders

     A-6   

Election of Directors

     A-6   

Independence

     A-6   

Performance

     A-9   

Experience

     A-18   

Other Considerations

     A-18   

Controlled Companies

     A-20   

Unofficially Controlled Companies and 20-50% Beneficial Owners

     A-21   

Exceptions for Recent IPOs

     A-21   

Mutual Fund Boards

     A-21   

Declassified Boards

     A-22   

Mandatory Director Term and Age Limits

     A-23   

Requiring Two or More Nominees per Board Seat

     A-24   

Proxy Access

     A-24   

Majority Vote for the Election of Directors

     A-24   

The plurality vote standard

     A-24   

Advantages of a majority vote standard

     A-25   

III. Transparency and Integrity of Financial Reporting

     A-26   

Auditor Ratification

     A-26   

Voting Recommendations on Auditor Ratification

     A-26   

Pension Accounting Issues

     A-27   

IV. The Link Between Compensation and Performance

     A-28   

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

     A-28   

Say-on-Pay Voting Recommendations

     A-29   

Additional Scrutiny for Companies with Significant Opposition in 2012

     A-29   

Short-Term Incentives

     A-30   

Long-Term Incentives

     A-30   

Pay for Performance

     A-31   

Recoupment (“Clawback”) Provisions

     A-31   

Frequency of Say-on-Pay

     A-31   

Vote on Golden Parachute Arrangements

     A-32   

Equity-Based Compensation Plan Proposals

     A-32   

Option Exchanges

     A-33   

Option Backdating, Spring-Loading, and Bullet-Dodging

     A-33   

162(m) Plans

     A-34   

Director Compensation Plans

     A-35   

V. Governance Structure and the Shareholder Franchise

     A-36   

Anti-Takeover Measures

     A-36   

Poison Pills (Shareholder Rights Plans)

     A-36   

NOL Poison Pills

     A-36   

Fair Price Provisions

     A-37   

 

A-3


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

Reincorporation

     A-37   

Exclusive Forum Provisions

     A-38   

Authorized Shares

     A-38   

Advance Notice Requirements

     A-39   

Voting Structure

     A-39   

Cumulative Voting

     A-39   

Supermajority Vote Requirements

     A-40   

Transaction of Other Business

     A-40   

Anti-Greenmail Proposals

     A-40   

Mutual Funds: Investment Policies and Advisory Agreements

     A-40   

Real Estate Investment Trusts

     A-41   

Preferred Stock Issuances at REITs

     A-41   

Business Development Companies

     A-41   

Authorization to Sell Shares at a Price below Net Asset Value

     A-41   

VI. Compensation, Environmental, Social and Governance Shareholder Initiatives

     A-43   

 

A-4


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

I. OVERVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT UPDATES FOR 2013

Glass Lewis evaluates these guidelines on an ongoing basis and formally updates them on an annual basis. This year we’ve made noteworthy enhancements in the following areas, which are summarized below but discussed in greater detail throughout this document:

BOARD RESPONSIVENESS TO A SIGNIFICANT SHAREHOLDER VOTE

 

   

We’ve included a general section clarifying our long-standing approach in this area. Glass Lewis believes that any time 25% or more of shareholders vote against the recommendation of management, the board should demonstrate some level of engagement and responsiveness to address the shareholder concerns.

THE ROLE OF A COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

 

   

We’ve included a general section explaining our analysis of the role of a committee chairman. Glass Lewis believes that a designated committee chairman maintains primary responsibility for the actions of his or her respective committee. As such, many of our committee-specific vote recommendations deal with the applicable committee chair rather than the entire committee (depending on the seriousness of the issue). However, in cases where we would ordinarily recommend voting against a committee chairman but the chair is not specified, we apply the following general rules, which apply throughout our guidelines:

 

   

If there is no committee chair, we recommend voting against the longest-serving committee member or, if the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, the longest-serving board member serving on the committee (i.e. in either case, the “senior director”);

 

   

If there is no committee chair, but multiple senior directors serving on the committee, we recommend voting against both (or all) such senior directors.

PUBLIC COMPANY EXECUTIVES AND EXCESSIVE BOARD MEMBERSHIPS

 

   

We typically recommend voting against a director who serves as an executive officer of any public company while serving on more than two other public company boards. However, we will not recommend voting against the director at the company where he or she serves as an executive officer, only at the other public companies where he or she serves on the board.

EQUITY-BASED COMPENSATION PLAN PROPOSALS

 

   

We’ve added an item to our list of overarching principles on which we evaluate equity compensation plans, namely, that plans should not count shares in ways that understate the potential dilution, or cost, to common shareholders. This refers to “inverse” full-value award multipliers.

EXCLUSIVE FORUM PROVISIONS

 

   

While our general approach to exclusive forum provisions remains unchanged—that we recommend that shareholders vote against any bylaw or charter amendment seeking to adopt such a provision—we further explain that in certain cases we may support such a provision if the company: (i) provides a compelling argument on why the provision would directly benefit shareholders; (ii) provides evidence of abuse of legal process in other, non-favored jurisdictions; and (iii) maintains a strong record of good corporate governance practices.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS

 

   

We’ve included a general section on REITs and our approach to evaluating preferred stock issuances at these firms.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES

 

   

We’ve included a new section on our approach to analyzing business development companies and requests to sell shares at prices below Net Asset Value.

 

A-5


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

II. A BOARD OF DIRECTORS THAT SERVES THE INTERESTS OF SHAREHOLDERS

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

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

Independence

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

A-6


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

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

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

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

1% of either company’s consolidated gross revenue for other business relationships (e.g., where the director is an executive officer of a company that provides services or products to or receives services or products from the company).6

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

6 This includes cases where a director is employed by, or closely affiliated with, a private equity firm that profits from an acquisition made by the company. Unless disclosure suggests otherwise, we presume the director is affiliated.

 

A-7


Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

Inside Director—An inside director simultaneously serves as a director and as an employee of the company. This category may include a chairman of the board who acts as an employee of the company or is paid as an employee of the company. In our view, an inside director who derives a greater amount of income as a result of affiliated transactions with the company rather than through compensation paid by the company (i.e., salary, bonus, etc. as a company employee) faces a conflict between making decisions that are in the best interests of the company versus those in the director’s own best interests. Therefore, we will recommend voting against such a director.

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Board Independence

Glass Lewis believes a board will be most effective in protecting shareholders’ interests if it is at least two-thirds independent. We note that each of the Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, and the Council of Institutional Investors advocates that two-thirds of the board be independent. Where more than one-third of the members are affiliated or inside directors, we typically7 recommend voting against some of the inside and/or affiliated directors in order to satisfy the two-thirds threshold.

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

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

Committee Independence

We believe that only independent directors should serve on a company’s audit, compensation, nominating, and governance committees.8 We typically recommend that shareholders vote against any affiliated or inside director seeking appointment to an audit, compensation, nominating, or governance committee, or who has served in that capacity in the past year.

Independent Chairman

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

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

A CEO should set the strategic course for the company, with the board’s approval, and the board should enable the CEO to carry out the CEO’s vision for accomplishing the board’s objectives. Failure to achieve the board’s objectives should lead the board to replace that CEO with someone in whom the board has confidence.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Glass Lewis believes that the installation of an independent chairman is almost always a positive step from a corporate governance perspective and promotes the best interests of shareholders. Further, the presence of an independent chairman fosters the creation of a thoughtful and dynamic board, not dominated by the views of senior management. Encouragingly, many companies appear to be moving in this direction—one study even indicates that less than 12 percent of incoming CEOs in 2009 were awarded the chairman title, versus 48 percent as recently as 2002.9 Another study finds that 41 percent of S&P 500 boards now separate the CEO and chairman roles, up from 26 percent in 2001, although the same study found that of those companies, only 21 percent have truly independent chairs.10

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

Performance

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

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Performance

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

1.    A director who fails to attend a minimum of 75% of board and applicable committee meetings, calculated in the aggregate.11

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

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

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

 

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

 

10 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 6

 

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

 

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

Board Responsiveness to a Significant Shareholder Vote

Glass Lewis believes that any time 25% or more of shareholders vote against the recommendation of management, the board should demonstrate some level of engagement and responsiveness to address the shareholder concerns. These include instances when 25% or more of shareholders (excluding abstentions and broker non-votes): WITHOLD votes from (or vote AGAINST) a director nominee, vote AGAINST a management-sponsored proposal, or vote FOR a shareholder proposal. In our view, a 25% threshold is significant enough to warrant a close examination of the underlying issues and an evaluation of whether or not the board responded appropriately following the vote. While the 25% threshold alone will not automatically generate a negative vote recommendation from Glass Lewis on a future proposal (e.g. to recom-mend against a director nominee, against a say-on-pay proposal, etc.), it will bolster our argument to vote against management’s recommendation in the event we determine that the board did not respond appropriately.

As a general framework, our evaluation of board responsiveness involves a review of publicly available disclosures (e.g. the proxy statement, annual report, 8-Ks, company website, etc.) released following the date of the company’s last annual meeting up through the publication date of our most current Proxy Paper. Depending on the specific issue, our focus typically includes, but is not limited to, the following:

 

   

At the board level, any changes in directorships, committee memberships, disclosure of related party transactions, meeting attendance, or other responsibilities.

 

   

Any revisions made to the company’s articles of incorporation, bylaws or other governance documents.

 

   

Any press or news releases indicating changes in, or the adoption of, new company policies, business practices or special reports.

 

   

Any modifications made to the design and structure of the company’s compensation program.

Our Proxy Paper analysis will include a case-by-case assessment of the specific elements of board responsiveness that we examined along with an explanation of how that assessment impacts our current vote recommendations.

The Role of a Committee Chairman

Glass Lewis believes that a designated committee chairman maintains primary responsibility for the actions of his or her respective committee. As such, many of our committee-specific vote recommendations deal with the applicable committee chair rather than the entire committee (depending on the seriousness of the issue). However, in cases where we would ordinarily recommend voting against a committee chairman but the chair is not specified, we apply the following general rules, which apply throughout our guidelines:

 

   

If there is no committee chair, we recommend voting against the longest-serving committee member or, if the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, the longest-serving board member serving on the committee (i.e. in either case, the “senior director”);

 

   

If there is no committee chair, but multiple senior directors serving on the committee, we recommend voting against both (or all) such senior directors.

In our view, companies should provide clear disclosure of which director is charged with overseeing each committee. So in cases where that simple framework is ignored and a reasonable analysis cannot determine which committee member is the designated leader, we believe shareholder action against the longest serving committee member(s) is warranted. Again, this only applies if we would ordinarily recommend voting against the committee chair but there is either no such position or no designated director in such role.

 

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On the contrary, in cases where there is a designated committee chair and the recommendation is to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern with regard to the committee chair.

Audit Committees and Performance

Audit committees play an integral role in overseeing the financial reporting process because “vibrant and stable capital markets depend on, among other things, reliable, transparent, and objective financial information to support an efficient and effective capital market process. The vital oversight role audit committees play in the process of producing financial information has never been more important.”12

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

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

Standards for Assessing the Audit Committee

For an audit committee to function effectively on investors’ behalf, it must include members with sufficient knowledge to diligently carry out their responsibilities. In its audit and accounting recommendations, the Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise said “members of the audit committee must be independent and have both knowledge and experience in auditing financial matters.”13

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

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

When assessing the decisions and actions of the audit committee, we typically defer to its judgment and would vote in favor of its members, but we would recommend voting against the following members under the following circumstances:14

 

12 Audit Committee Effectiveness—What Works Best.” PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Institute of Internal Auditors Re-search Foundation. 2005.

 

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

 

14 As discussed under the section labeled “Committee Chairman,” where the recommendation is to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against the members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern with regard to the committee chair.

 

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

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

3.    The audit committee chair, if the audit committee did not meet at least 4 times during the year.

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

5.    Any audit committee member who sits on more than three public company audit committees, unless the audit committee member is a retired CPA, CFO, controller or has similar experience, in which case the limit shall be four committees, taking time and availability into consideration including a review of the audit committee member’s attendance at all board and committee meetings.15

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

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

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

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

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

11.    The audit committee chair16 if the committee failed to put auditor ratification on the ballot for shareholder approval. However, if the non-audit fees or tax fees exceed audit plus audit-related fees in either the current or the prior year, then Glass Lewis will recommend voting against the entire audit committee.

12.    All members of an audit committee where the auditor has resigned and reported that a section 10A17 letter has been issued.

13.    All members of an audit committee at a time when material accounting fraud occurred at the company.18

 

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

 

16 As discussed under the section labeled “Committee Chairman,” in all cases, if the chair of the committee is not specified, we recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

   

The restatement involves fraud or manipulation by insiders;

 

   

The restatement is accompanied by an SEC inquiry or investigation;

 

   

The restatement involves revenue recognition;

 

   

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

 

   

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

15.    All members of an audit committee if the company repeatedly fails to file its financial reports in a timely fashion. For example, the company has filed two or more quarterly or annual financial statements late within the last 5 quarters.

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

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

18.    All members of the audit committee when there is a disagreement with the auditor and the auditor resigns or is dismissed (e.g. the company receives an adverse opinion on its financial statements from the auditor)

19.    All members of the audit committee if the contract with the auditor specifically limits the auditor’s liability to the company for damages.19

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

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

Compensation Committee Performance

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

When assessing the performance of compensation committees, we will recommend voting against for the following:20

1.    All members of the compensation committee who are up for election and served at the time of poor pay-for-performance (e.g., a company receives an F grade in our pay-for-performance analysis) when shareholders are not provided with an advisory vote on executive compensation at the annual meeting.21

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

3.    The compensation committee chair if the company received two D grades in consecutive years in our pay-for-performance analysis, and if during the past year the Company performed the same as or worse than its peers.22

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

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

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

 

20 As discussed under the section labeled “Committee Chairman,” where the recommendation is to vote against the committee chair and the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern with regard to the committee chair.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14.    All members of the compensation committee during whose tenure the committee failed to implement a shareholder proposal regarding a compensation-related issue, where the proposal received the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting shares at a shareholder meeting, and when a reasonable analysis suggests that the compensation committee (rather than the governance committee) should have taken steps to implement the request.23

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

Nominating and Governance Committee Performance

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

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

 

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

 

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Regarding the nominating and or governance committee, we will recommend voting against the following:24

1.    All members of the governance committee25 during whose tenure the board failed to implement a shareholder proposal with a direct and substantial impact on shareholders and their rights—i.e., where the proposal received enough shareholder votes (at least a majority) to allow the board to implement or begin to implement that proposal.26 Examples of these types of shareholder proposals are majority vote to elect directors and to declassify the board.

2.    The governance committee chair,27 when the chairman is not independent and an independent lead or presiding director has not been appointed.28

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

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

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

6.    The governance committee chair, when during the past year the board adopted a forum selection clause (i.e. an exclusive forum provision)29 without shareholder approval, or, if the board is currently seeking shareholder approval of a forum selection clause pursuant to a bundled bylaw amendment rather than as a separate proposal.

 

24 As discussed in the guidelines section labeled “Committee Chairman,” where we would recommend to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern regarding the committee chair.

 

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

 

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

 

27 As discussed in the guidelines section labeled “Committee Chairman,” if the committee chair is not specified, we recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest. If the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, we will recommend voting against the longest-serving board member serving on the committee.

 

28 We believe that one independent individual should be appointed to serve as the lead or presiding director. When such a position is rotated among directors from meeting to meeting, we will recommend voting against as if there were no lead or presiding director.

 

29 A forum selection clause is a bylaw provision stipulating that a certain state, typically Delaware, shall be the exclusive forum for all intra-corporate disputes (e.g. shareholder derivative actions, assertions of claims of a breach of fiduciary duty, etc.). Such a clause effectively limits a shareholder’s legal remedy regarding appropriate choice of venue and related relief offered under that state’s laws and rulings.

 

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Regarding the nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the following:30

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

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

3.    In the absence of a governance committee, the nominating committee chair31 when the chairman is not independent, and an independent lead or presiding director has not been appointed.32

4.    The nominating committee chair, when there are less than five or the whole nominating committee when there are more than 20 members on the board.33

5.    The nominating committee chair, when a director received a greater than 50% against vote the prior year and not only was the director not removed, but the issues that raised shareholder concern were not corrected.34

Board-level Risk Management Oversight

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

Our views on risk oversight are consistent with those expressed by various regulatory bodies. In its December 2009 Final Rule release on Proxy Disclosure Enhancements, the SEC noted that risk oversight is a key competence of the board and that additional disclosures would improve investor and shareholder

 

30 As discussed in the guidelines section labeled “Committee Chairman,” where we would recommend to vote against the committee chair but the chair is not up for election because the board is staggered, we do not recommend voting against any members of the committee who are up for election; rather, we will simply express our concern regarding the committee chair.

 

31 As discussed under the section labeled “Committee Chairman,” if the committee chair is not specified, we will recommend voting against the director who has been on the committee the longest. If the longest-serving committee member cannot be determined, we will recommend voting against the longest-serving board member on the committee.

 

32 In the absence of both a governance and a nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the board on this basis, unless if the chairman also serves as the CEO, in which case we will recommend voting against the director who has served on the board the longest.

 

33 In the absence of both a governance and a nominating committee, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the board on this basis, unless if the chairman also serves as the CEO, in which case we will recommend voting against the director who has served on the board the longest.

 

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

 

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understanding of the role of the board in the organization’s risk management practices. The final rules, which became effective on February 28, 2010, now explicitly require companies and mutual funds to describe (while allowing for some degree of flexibility) the board’s role in the oversight of risk.

When analyzing the risk management practices of public companies, we take note of any significant losses or writedowns on financial assets and/or structured transactions. In cases where a company has disclosed a sizable loss or writedown, and where we find that the company’s board-level risk committee contributed to the loss through poor oversight, we would recommend that shareholders vote against such committee members on that basis. In addition, in cases where a company maintains a significant level of financial risk exposure but fails to disclose any explicit form of board-level risk oversight (committee or otherwise)35, we will consider recommending to vote against the chairman of the board on that basis. However, we generally would not recommend voting against a combined chairman/CEO except in egregious cases.

Experience

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

Voting Recommendations on the Basis of Director Experience

We typically recommend that shareholders vote against directors who have served on boards or as executives of companies with records of poor performance, inadequate risk oversight, overcompensation, audit- or accounting-related issues, and/or other indicators of mismanagement or actions against the interests of shareholders.36

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

Other Considerations

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

Conflicts of Interest

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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2.    A director who is on an excessive number of boards: We will typically recommend voting against a director who serves as an executive officer of any public company while serving on more than two other public company boards and any other director who serves on more than six public company boards typically receives an against recommendation from Glass Lewis.37 Academic literature suggests that one board takes up approximately 200 hours per year of each member’s time. We believe this limits the number of boards on which directors can effectively serve, especially executives at other companies.38 Further, we note a recent study has shown that the average number of outside board seats held by CEOs of S&P 500 companies is 0.6, down from 0.8 in 2006 and 1.2 in 2001.39

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

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

5.    Interlocking directorships: CEOs or other top executives who serve on each other’s boards create an interlock that poses conflicts that should be avoided to ensure the promotion of shareholder interests above all else.40

6.    All board members who served at a time when a poison pill was adopted without shareholder approval within the prior twelve months.41 In the event a board is classified and shareholders are therefore unable to vote against all directors, we will recommend voting against the remaining directors the next year they are up for a shareholder vote.

Size of the Board of Directors

While we do not believe there is a universally applicable optimum board size, we do believe boards should have at least five directors to ensure sufficient diversity in decision-making and to enable the formation of key board committees with independent directors. Conversely, we believe that boards with more than 20 members will typically suffer under the weight of “too many cooks in the kitchen” and have difficulty

 

37 Glass Lewis will not recommend voting against the director at the company where he or she serves as an executive officer, only at the other public companies where he or she serves on the board.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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reaching consensus and making timely decisions. Sometimes the presence of too many voices can make it difficult to draw on the wisdom and experience in the room by virtue of the need to limit the discussion so that each voice may be heard.

To that end, we typically recommend voting against the chairman of the nominating committee at a board with fewer than five directors. With boards consisting of more than 20 directors, we typically recommend voting against all members of the nominating committee (or the governance committee, in the absence of a nominating committee).42

Controlled Companies

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

Independence Exceptions

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Size of the Board of Directors

We have no board size requirements for controlled companies.

Audit Committee Independence

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

 

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

 

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Unofficially Controlled Companies and 20-50% Beneficial Owners

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

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

Exceptions for Recent IPOs

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

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

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

2.    Adoption of an exclusive forum provision: consistent with our general approach to boards that adopt exclusive forum provisions without shareholder approval (refer to our discussion of nominating and governance committee performance in Section I of the guidelines), in cases where a board adopts such a provision for inclusion in a company’s charter or bylaws before the company’s IPO, we will recommend voting against the chairman of the governance committee, or, in the absence of such a committee, the chairman of the board, who served during the period of time when the provision was adopted.

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

Mutual Fund Boards

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.    Multiple funds overseen by the same director: Unlike service on a public company board, mutual fund boards require much less of a time commitment. Mutual fund directors typically serve on dozens of other mutual fund boards, often within the same fund complex. The Investment Company Institute’s (“ICI”) Overview of Fund Governance Practices, 1994-2010, indicates that the average number of funds served by an independent director in 2010 was 49. Absent evidence that a specific director is hindered from being an effective board member at a fund due to service on other funds’ boards, we refrain from maintaining a cap on the number of outside mutual fund boards that we believe a director can serve on.

DECLASSIFIED BOARDS

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

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

In our view, there is no evidence to demonstrate that staggered boards improve shareholder returns in a takeover context. Research shows that shareholders are worse off when a staggered board blocks a transaction. A

 

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study by a group of Harvard Law professors concluded that companies whose staggered boards prevented a takeover “reduced shareholder returns for targets … on the order of eight to ten percent in the nine months after a hostile bid was announced.”43 When a staggered board negotiates a friendly transaction, no statistically significant difference in premiums occurs.44 Further, one of those same professors found that charter-based staggered boards “reduce the market value of a firm by 4% to 6% of its market capitalization” and that “staggered boards bring about and not merely reflect this reduction in market value.”45 A subsequent study reaffirmed that classified boards reduce shareholder value, finding “that the ongoing process of dismantling staggered boards, encouraged by institutional investors, could well contribute to increasing shareholder wealth.”46

Shareholders have increasingly come to agree with this view. In 2011 more than 75% of S&P 500 companies had declassified boards, up from approximately 41% a decade ago.47 Clearly, more shareholders have supported the repeal of classified boards. Resolutions relating to the repeal of staggered boards garnered on average over 70% support among shareholders in 2008, whereas in 1987, only 16.4% of votes cast favored board declassification.48

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

MANDATORY DIRECTOR TERM AND AGE LIMITS

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

47 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 2011, p. 14

 

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

 

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

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

REQUIRING TWO OR MORE NOMINEES PER BOARD SEAT

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

PROXY ACCESS

Proxy Access has garnered significant attention in recent years. As in 2012, we expect to see a number of shareholder proposals regarding this topic in 2013 and perhaps even some companies unilaterally adopting some elements of proxy access. However, considering the uncertainty in this area and the inherent case-by-case nature of those situations, we refrain from establishing any specific parameters at this time.

For a discussion of recent regulatory events in this area, along with a detailed overview of the Glass Lewis approach to Shareholder Proposals regarding Proxy Access, refer to Glass Lewis’ Guidelines on Shareholder Resolutions and Initiatives.

MAJORITY VOTE FOR THE ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

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

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

During the first half of 2012, Glass Lewis tracked over 35 shareholder proposals seeking to require a majority vote to elect directors at annual meetings in the U.S., roughly on par with what we reviewed in each of the past several years, but a sharp contrast to the 147 proposals tracked during all of 2006. The large drop in the number of proposals being submitted in recent years compared to 2006 is a result of many companies having already adopted some form of majority voting, including approximately 79% of companies in the S&P 500 index, up from 56% in 2008.49 During 2012 these proposals received on average 61.2% shareholder support (based on for and against votes), up from 54% in 2008.

The plurality vote standard

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

 

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Advantages of a majority vote standard

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

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

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

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

 

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III. TRANSPARENCY AND INTEGRITY OF FINANCIAL REPORTING

AUDITOR RATIFICATION

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

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

As such, shareholders should demand an objective, competent and diligent auditor who performs at or above professional standards at every company in which the investors hold an interest. Like directors, auditors should be free from conflicts of interest and should avoid situations requiring a choice between the auditor’s interests and the public’s interests. Almost without exception, shareholders should be able to annually review an auditor’s performance and to annually ratify a board’s auditor selection. Moreover, in October 2008, the Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession went even further, and recommended that “to further enhance audit committee oversight and auditor accountability … disclosure in the company proxy statement regarding shareholder ratification [should] include the name(s) of the senior auditing partner(s) staffed on the engagement.”50

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

Voting Recommendations on Auditor Ratification

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

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

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

2.    Recent material restatements of annual financial statements, including those resulting in the reporting of material weaknesses in internal controls and including late filings by the company where the auditor bears some responsibility for the restatement or late filing.51

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

5.    When the company has aggressive accounting policies.

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

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

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

PENSION ACCOUNTING ISSUES

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

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

 

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IV. THE LINK BETWEEN COMPENSATION AND PERFORMANCE

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

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

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

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

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) required most companies52 to hold an advisory vote on executive compensation at the first shareholder meeting that occurs six months after enactment of the bill (January 21, 2011).

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

   

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

 

   

The quality and content of the Company’s disclosure;

 

   

The quantum paid to executives; and

 

   

The link between compensation and performance as indicated by the Company’s current and past pay-for-performance grades We also review any significant changes or modifications, and rationale for such changes, made to the Company’s compensation structure or award amounts, including base salaries.

Say-on-Pay Voting Recommendations

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

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

 

   

Inappropriate peer group and/or benchmarking issues

 

   

Inadequate or no rationale for changes to peer groups

 

   

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

 

   

Guaranteed bonuses

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

Performance targets lowered, without justification

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

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

Additional Scrutiny for Companies with Significant Opposition in 2012

At companies that received a significant shareholder vote (anything greater than 25%) against their say on pay proposal in 2012, we believe the board should demonstrate some level of engagement and responsiveness to the shareholder concerns behind the discontent. While we recognize that sweeping changes cannot be made to a compensation program without due consideration and that a majority of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal, we will look for disclosure in the proxy statement and other publicly-disclosed filings that indicates the compensation committee is responding to the prior year’s vote results including engaging with large shareholders

 

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to identify the concerns causing the substantial vote against. In the absence of any evidence that the board is actively engaging shareholders on this issue and responding accordingly, we will recommend holding compensation committee members accountable for a failure to respond in consideration of the level of the vote against and the severity and history of the compensation problems.

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

Short-Term Incentives

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

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

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

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

Long-Term Incentives

Glass Lewis recognizes the value of equity-based incentive programs. When used appropriately, they can provide a vehicle for linking an executive’s pay to company performance, thereby aligning their interests with those of shareholders. In addition, equity-based compensation can be an effective way to attract, retain and motivate key employees.

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

 

   

No re-testing or lowering of performance conditions

 

   

Performance metrics that cannot be easily manipulated by management

 

   

Two or more performance metrics

 

   

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

 

   

Performance periods of at least three years

 

   

Stretching metrics that incentivize executives to strive for outstanding performance

 

   

Individual limits expressed as a percentage of base salary

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

 

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

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

Pay for Performance

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

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

Recoupment (“Clawback”) Provisions

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

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

Frequency of Say-on-Pay

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

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

 

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Vote on Golden Parachute Arrangements

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

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

Equity-Based Compensation Plan Proposals

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

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

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

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

We evaluate equity plans based on certain overarching principles:

1.    Companies should seek more shares only when needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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9.    Plans should not permit re-pricing of stock options.

10.    Plans should not contain excessively liberal administrative or payment terms.

11.    Plans should not count shares in ways that understate the potential dilution, or cost, to common shareholders. This refers to “inverse” full-value award multipliers.

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

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

Option Exchanges

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

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

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

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

1.    Officers and board members cannot participate in the program;

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

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

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

Option Backdating, Spring-Loading, and Bullet-Dodging

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

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

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

 

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

A 2006 study of option grants made between 1996 and 2005 at 8,000 companies found that option backdating can be an indication of poor internal controls. The study found that option backdating was more likely to occur at companies without a majority independent board and with a long-serving CEO; both factors, the study concluded, were associated with greater CEO influence on the company’s compensation and governance practices.53

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

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

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

162(m) Plans

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Director Compensation Plans

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

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

 

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V. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE AND THE SHAREHOLDER FRANCHISE

ANTI-TAKEOVER MEASURES

Poison Pills (Shareholder Rights Plans)

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.    There is no fairness opinion requirement; and

5.    There is a low to no premium requirement.

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

NOL Poison Pills

Similarly, Glass Lewis may consider supporting a limited poison pill in the unique event that a company seeks shareholder approval of a rights plan for the express purpose of preserving Net Operating Losses (NOLs). While companies with NOLs can generally carry these losses forward to offset future taxable income, Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code limits companies’ ability to use NOLs in the event of a “change of ownership.”54 In this case, a company may adopt or amend a poison pill (“NOL pill”) in order to prevent an inadvertent change of ownership by multiple investors purchasing small chunks of stock at the same time, and thereby preserve the ability to carry the NOLs forward. Often such NOL pills have trigger thresholds much lower than the common 15% or 20% thresholds, with some NOL pill triggers as low as 5%.

Glass Lewis evaluates NOL pills on a strictly case-by-case basis taking into consideration, among other factors, the value of the NOLs to the company, the likelihood of a change of ownership based on the size of the holding and the nature of the larger shareholders, the trigger threshold and whether the term of the plan is limited in duration (i.e., whether it contains a reasonable “sunset” provision) or is subject to periodic board review and/or shareholder ratification. However, we will recommend that shareholders vote against a proposal to adopt or

 

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

 

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amend a pill to include NOL protective provisions if the company has adopted a more narrowly tailored means of preventing a change in control to preserve its NOLs. For example, a company may limit share transfers in its charter to prevent a change of ownership from occurring.

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

Fair Price Provisions

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

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

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

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

REINCORPORATION

In general, Glass Lewis believes that the board is in the best position to determine the appropriate jurisdiction of incorporation for the company. When examining a management proposal to reincorporate to a different state or country, we review the relevant financial benefits, generally related to improved corporate tax treatment, as well as changes in corporate governance provisions, especially those relating to shareholder rights, resulting from the change in domicile. Where the financial benefits are de minimis and there is a decrease in shareholder rights, we will recommend voting against the transaction.

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

1.    Is the board sufficiently independent?

 

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

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

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

5.    Are there other material governance issues at the Company?

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

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

8.    Does the company have an independent chairman?

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

EXCLUSIVE FORUM PROVISIONS

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

For this reason, we recommend that shareholders vote against any bylaw or charter amendment seeking to adopt an exclusive forum provision unless the company: (i) provides a compelling argument on why the provision would directly benefit shareholders; (ii) provides evidence of abuse of legal process in other, non-favored jurisdictions; and (ii) maintains a strong record of good corporate governance practices.

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

AUTHORIZED SHARES

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

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

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

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

VOTING STRUCTURE

Cumulative Voting

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

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

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

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

Where a company has adopted a true majority vote standard (i.e., where a director must receive a majority of votes cast to be elected, as opposed to a modified policy indicated by a resignation policy only), Glass Lewis will recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals due to the incompatibility of the two election

 

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Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

methods. For companies that have not adopted a true majority voting standard but have adopted some form of majority voting, Glass Lewis will also generally recommend voting against cumulative voting proposals if the company has not adopted antitakeover protections and has been responsive to shareholders.

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

Supermajority Vote Requirements

Glass Lewis believes that supermajority vote requirements impede shareholder action on ballot items critical to shareholder interests. An example is in the takeover context, where supermajority vote requirements can strongly limit the voice of shareholders in making decisions on such crucial matters as selling the business. This in turn degrades share value and can limit the possibility of buyout premiums to shareholders. Moreover, we believe that a supermajority vote requirement can enable a small group of shareholders to overrule the will of the majority shareholders. We believe that a simple majority is appropriate to approve all matters presented to shareholders.

TRANSACTION OF OTHER BUSINESS

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

ANTI-GREENMAIL PROPOSALS

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

MUTUAL FUNDS: INVESTMENT POLICIES AND ADVISORY AGREEMENTS

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

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

In matters pertaining to a fund’s investment objective or strategy, we believe shareholders are best served when a fund’s objective or strategy closely resembles the investment discipline shareholders understood and selected when they initially bought into the fund. As such, we generally recommend voting against amendments

 

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Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

to a fund’s investment objective or strategy when the proposed changes would leave shareholders with stakes in a fund that is noticeably different than when originally contemplated, and which could therefore potentially negatively impact some investors’ diversification strategies.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS

The complex organizational, operational, tax and compliance requirements of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”) provide for a unique shareholder evaluation. In simple terms, a REIT must have a minimum of 100 shareholders (the “100 Shareholder Test”) and no more than 50% of the value of its shares can be held by five or fewer individuals (the “5/50 Test”). At least 75% of a REITs’ assets must be in real estate, it must derive 75% of its gross income from rents or mortgage interest, and it must pay out 90% of its taxable earnings as dividends. In addition, as a publicly traded security listed on a stock exchange, a REIT must comply with the same general listing requirements as a publicly traded equity.

In order to comply with such requirements, REITs typically include percentage ownership limitations in their organizational documents, usually in the range of 5% to 10% of the REITs outstanding shares. Given the complexities of REITs as an asset class, Glass Lewis applies a highly nuanced approach in our evaluation of REIT proposals, especially regarding changes in authorized share capital, including preferred stock.

Preferred Stock Issuances at REITs

Glass Lewis is generally against the authorization of preferred shares that allows the board to determine the preferences, limitations and rights of the preferred shares (known as “blank-check preferred stock”). We believe that granting such broad discretion should be of concern to common shareholders, since blank-check preferred stock could be used as an antitakeover device or in some other fashion that adversely affects the voting power or financial interests of common shareholders. However, given the requirement that a REIT must distribute 90% of its net income annually, it is inhibited from retaining capital to make investments in its business. As such, we recognize that equity financing likely plays a key role in a REIT’s growth and creation of shareholder value. Moreover, shareholder concern regarding the use of preferred stock as an anti-takeover mechanism may be allayed by the fact that most REITs maintain ownership limitations in their certificates of incorporation. For these reasons, along with the fact that REITs typically do not engage in private placements of preferred stock (which result in the rights of common shareholders being adversely impacted), we may support requests to authorize shares of blank-check preferred stock at REITs.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES

Business Development Companies (“BDCs”) were created by the U.S. Congress in 1980; they are regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and are taxed as regulated investment companies (“RICs”) under the Internal Revenue Code. BDCs typically operate as publicly traded private equity firms that invest in early stage to mature private companies as well as small public companies. BDCs realize operating income when their investments are sold off, and therefore maintain complex organizational, operational, tax and compliance requirements that are similar to those of REITs—the most evident of which is that BDCs must distribute at least 90% of their taxable earnings as dividends.

Authorization to Sell Shares at a Price below Net Asset Value

Considering that BDCs are required to distribute nearly all their earnings to shareholders, they sometimes need to offer additional shares of common stock in the public markets to finance operations and acquisitions. However, shareholder approval is required in order for a BDC to sell shares of common stock at a price below Net Asset Value (“NAV”). Glass Lewis evaluates these proposals using a case-by-case approach, but will recommend supporting such requests if the following conditions are met:

1.    The authorization to allow share issuances below NAV has an expiration date of one year or less from the date that shareholders approve the underlying proposal (i.e. the meeting date);

2.    The proposed discount below NAV is minimal (ideally no greater than 20%);

 

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Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

3.    The board specifies that the issuance will have a minimal or modest dilutive effect (ideally no greater than 25% of the Company’s then-outstanding common stock prior to the issuance); and

4.    A majority of the Company’s independent directors who do not have a financial interest in the issuance approve the sale.

In short, we believe BDCs should demonstrate a responsible approach to issuing shares below NAV, by proactively addressing shareholder concerns regarding the potential dilution of the requested share issuance, and explaining if and how the Company’s past below-NAV share issuances have benefitted the Company.

 

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Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

VI. COMPENSATION, ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE SHAREHOLDER INITIATIVES OVERVIEW

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

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

For a detailed review of compensation, environmental, social and governance shareholder initiatives, please refer to our comprehensive proxy paper guidelines on shareholder initiatives.

DISCLAIMER

This document sets forth the proxy voting policy and guidelines of Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC. The policies included herein have been developed based on Glass Lewis’ experience with proxy voting and corporate governance issues and are not tailored to any specific person. Moreover, these guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive and do not include all potential voting issues. The information included herein is reviewed periodically and updated or revised as necessary. Glass Lewis is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. This document may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner without the written permission of Glass Lewis.

Copyright © 2012 Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Column B Routine Requested Reports

 

San Francisco

Headquarters

Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC

One Sansome Street

Suite 3300

San Francisco, CA 94104

Tel: +1 415-678-4110

Tel: +1 888-800-7001

Fax: +1 415-357-0200

New York

Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC

48 Wall Street

15th Floor

New York, N.Y. 10005

Tel: +1 212-797-3777

Fax: +1 212-980-4716

Australia

CGI Glass Lewis Pty Limited

Suite 8.01, Level 8,

261 George St

Sydney NSW 2000

Australia

Tel: +61 2 9299 9266

Fax: +61 2 9299 1866

Ireland

Glass Lewis Europe, Ltd.

6th Floor, Riverpoint

Bishop’s Quay

Limerick, Ireland

Phone: +353 61 404700

Fax: +353 61 404711

 

LOGO

 

A-44


POWERSHARES EXCHANGE-TRADED FUND TRUST II

PART C. OTHER INFORMATION

Item 28. Exhibits.

 

(a)    Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust of the Registrant. (2)
(b)    Amended and Restated By-laws of the Registrant. (6)
(c)    Not applicable.
(d)   
1.    Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC. (*)
2.    Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement by and among Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC and the Sub-Advisers. (*)
3.    Management Fee Waiver Agreement. (8)
4.    Management Services Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC. (10)
5.    Memorandum of Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC. (*)
(e)    Amended and Restated Master Distribution Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco Distributors, Inc. (*)
(f)    Not applicable.
(g)   
1.    Amended and Restated Custody Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon. (*)
2.    Foreign Custody Manager Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York. (7)
(h)   
1.    Amended and Restated Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York. (*)
2.    Amended and Restated Transfer Agency and Service Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York. (*)
3.    Form of Participant Agreement between Invesco Distributors, Inc., the Participant and The Bank of New York. (*)
4.    Form of Sublicense Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC. (*)
(i)    Opinion and consent of Counsel. (*)

 

C-1


(j)    Not applicable
(k)    Not applicable.
(l)    Not applicable.
(m)    Not applicable.
(n)    Not applicable.
(o)    Not applicable.

 

C-2


(p)   
1.    Code of Ethics of the Registrant. (5)
2.    Code of Ethics of Invesco Distributors, Inc. (1)
3.    Code of Ethics of Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC. (3)
(q)   
1.    Powers of Attorney for Messrs. Bagge, Barre, Carome, Kole, Nussbaum and Wilson. (4)
2.    Powers of Attorney for Messrs. Lim and Wicker. (9)

 

* Filed herewith.

 

(1) Incorporated by reference to the Trust’s Registration Statement, filed on November 7, 2006.
(2) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 7, filed on September 18, 2007.
(3) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 192, filed on January 31, 2011.
(4) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 227, filed on July 7, 2011.
(5) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 239, filed on August 12, 2011.
(6) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 302, filed on February 28, 2012.
(7) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 390, filed on February 27, 2013.
(8) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 415, filed on June 7, 2013.
(9) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 423, filed on September 30, 2013.
(10) Incorporated by reference to Post-Effective Amendment No. 425, filed on October 25, 2013.

 

C-3


Item 29. Persons Controlled by or Under Common Control with the Fund.

None.

 

C-4


Item 30. Indemnification.

Reference is made to Article IX of the Registrant’s Declaration of Trust:

The Registrant (also, the “Trust”) is organized as a Massachusetts business trust and is operated pursuant to a Declaration of Trust, dated October 10, 2006 and Amended and Restated as of September 17, 2007 (the “Declaration of Trust”), which permits the Registrant to indemnify every person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust, including persons who serve at the request of the Trust as directors, trustees, officers, employees or agents of another organization in which the Trust has an interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise (hereinafter referred to as a “Covered Person”), to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which he becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of his being or having been such a Trustee, director, officer, employee or agent and against amounts paid or incurred by him in settlement thereof.

No indemnification shall be provided hereunder to a Covered Person to the extent such indemnification is prohibited by applicable federal law.

The rights of indemnification herein provided may be insured against by policies maintained by the Trust, shall be severable, shall not affect any other rights to which any Covered Person may now or hereafter be entitled, shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be such a Covered Person and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such a person.

Subject to applicable federal law, expenses of preparation and presentation of a defense to any claim, action, suit or proceeding subject to a claim for indemnification under this Section 9.5 shall be advanced by the Trust prior to final disposition thereof upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the recipient to repay such amount if it is ultimately determined that he is not entitled to indemnification under this Section 9.5.

To the extent that any determination is required to be made as to whether a Covered Person engaged in conduct for which indemnification is not provided as described herein, or as to whether there is reason to believe that a Covered Person ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification, the Person or Persons making the determination shall afford the Covered Person a rebuttable presumption that the Covered Person has not engaged in such conduct and that there is reason to believe that the Covered Person ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.

As used in this Section 9.5, the words “claim,” “action,” “suit” or “proceeding” shall apply to all claims, demands, actions, suits, investigations, regulatory inquiries, proceedings or any other occurrence of a similar nature, whether actual or threatened and whether civil, criminal, administrative or other, including appeals, and the words “liability” and “expenses” shall include without limitation, attorneys’ fees, costs, judgments, amounts paid in settlement, fines, penalties and other liabilities.

Further Indemnification. Nothing contained herein shall affect any rights to indemnification to which any Covered Person or other Person may be entitled by contract or otherwise under law or prevent the Trust from entering into any contract to provide indemnification to any Covered Person or other Person. Without limiting the foregoing, the Trust may, in connection with the acquisition of assets subject to liabilities pursuant to Section 4.2 hereof or a reorganization or consolidation pursuant to Section 10.2 hereof, assume the obligation to indemnify any Person including a Covered Person or otherwise contract to provide such indemnification, and such indemnification shall not be subject to the terms of this Article IX.

Amendments and Modifications. Without limiting the provisions of Section 11.1(b) hereof, in no event will any amendment, modification or change to the provisions of this Declaration or the By-laws adversely affect in any manner the rights of any Covered Person to (a) indemnification under Section 9.5 hereof in connection with any proceeding in which such Covered Person becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of being or having been a Trustee, officer or employee of the Trust or (b) any insurance payments under policies maintained by the Trust, in either case with respect to any act or omission of such Covered Person that occurred or is alleged to have occurred prior to the time such amendment, modification or change to this Declaration or the By-laws.

Item 31. Business and Other Connections of the Investment Adviser.

Reference is made to the caption “Management of the Fund” in the Prospectus constituting Part A, which is included in this Registration Statement, and “Management” in the Statement of Additional Information constituting Part B, which is included in this Registration Statement.

 

C-5


The information as to the directors and executive officers of Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is set forth in Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC’s Form ADV filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 8, 2014 and amended through the date hereof, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 32. Principal Underwriters.

The sole principal underwriter for the Funds is Invesco Distributors, Inc., which acts as distributor for the Registrant and the following other funds:

AIM Counselor Series Trust (Invesco Counselor Series Trust)

Invesco American Franchise Fund

Invesco California Tax-Free Income Fund

Invesco Core Plus Bond Fund

Invesco Equally-Weighted S&P 500 Fund

Invesco Equity and Income Fund

Invesco Floating Rate Fund

Invesco Global Real Estate Income Fund

Invesco Growth and Income Fund

Invesco Low Volatility Equity Yield Fund

Invesco Pennsylvania Tax Free Income Fund

Invesco S&P 500 Index Fund

Invesco Small Cap Discovery Fund

Invesco Strategic Real Return Fund

AIM Equity Funds (Invesco Equity Funds)

Invesco Charter Fund

Invesco Diversified Dividend Fund

Invesco Summit Fund

AIM Funds Group (Invesco Funds Group)

Invesco European Small Company Fund

Invesco Global Core Equity Fund

Invesco International Small Company Fund

Invesco Small Cap Equity Fund

AIM Growth Series (Invesco Growth Series)

Invesco Balanced-Risk Retirement Now Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Retirement 2020 Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Retirement 2030 Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Retirement 2040 Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Retirement 2050 Fund

Invesco Conservative Allocation Fund

Invesco Convertible Securities Fund

Invesco Global Low Volatility Equity Yield Fund

Invesco Growth Allocation Fund

Invesco Income Allocation Fund

Invesco International Allocation Fund

Invesco Mid Cap Core Equity Fund

 

C-6


Invesco Moderate Allocation Fund

Invesco Small Cap Growth Fund

Invesco U.S. Mortgage Fund

AIM International Mutual Funds (Invesco International Mutual Funds)

Invesco Asia Pacific Growth Fund

Invesco European Growth Fund

Invesco Global Growth Fund

Invesco Global Opportunities Fund

Invesco Global Small & Mid Cap Growth Fund

Invesco International Core Equity Fund

Invesco International Growth Fund

Invesco Select Opportunities Fund

AIM Investment Funds (Invesco Investment Funds)

Invesco All Cap Market Neutral Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation Fund

Invesco Balanced-Risk Commodities Strategy Fund

Invesco China Fund

Invesco Developing Markets Fund

Invesco Emerging Market Local Currency Debt Fund

Invesco Emerging Markets Equity Fund

Invesco Endeavor Fund

Invesco Global Health Care Fund

Invesco Global Infrastructure Fund

Invesco Global Market Neutral Fund

Invesco Global Markets Strategy Fund

Invesco Global Targeted Returns Fund

Invesco International Total Return Fund

Invesco Long/Short Equity Fund

Invesco Low Volatility Emerging Markets Fund

Invesco Marco International Equity Fund

Invesco Macro Long/Short Fund

Invesco Pacific Growth Fund

Invesco Premium Income Fund

Invesco Select Companies Fund

Invesco Strategic Income Fund

AIM Investment Securities Funds (Invesco Investment Securities Funds)

Invesco Corporate Bond Fund

Invesco Global Real Estate Fund

Invesco High Yield Fund

Invesco Limited Maturity Treasury Fund

Invesco Money Market Fund

Invesco Real Estate Fund

Invesco Short Term Bond Fund

Invesco U.S. Government Fund

AIM Sector Funds (Invesco Sector Funds)

Invesco American Value Fund

Invesco Comstock Fund

Invesco Dividend Income Fund

Invesco Energy Fund

Invesco Gold & Precious Metals Fund

Invesco Mid Cap Growth Fund

Invesco Small Cap Value Fund

Invesco Technology Fund

Invesco Technology Sector Fund

Invesco Value Opportunities Fund

 

C-7


AIM Tax-Exempt Funds (Invesco Tax-Exempt Funds)

Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund

Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund

Invesco Municipal Income Fund

Invesco New York Tax Free Income Fund

Invesco Tax-Exempt Cash Fund

Invesco Tax-Free Intermediate Fund

AIM Treasurer’s Series Trust (Invesco Treasurer’s Series Trust)

Premier Portfolio

Premier Tax-Exempt Portfolio

Premier U.S. Government Money Portfolio

AIM Variable Insurance Funds (Invesco Variable Insurance Funds)

Invesco V.I. American Franchise Fund

Invesco V.I. American Value Fund

Invesco V.I. Balanced-Risk Allocation Fund

Invesco V.I. Comstock Fund

Invesco V.I. Core Equity Fund

Invesco V.I. Diversified Dividend Fund

Invesco V.I. Diversified Income Fund

Invesco V.I. Equally-Weighted S&P 500 Fund

Invesco V.I. Equity and Income Fund

Invesco V.I. Global Core Equity Fund

Invesco V.I. Global Health Care Fund

Invesco V.I. Global Real Estate Fund

Invesco V.I. Government Securities Fund

Invesco V.I. Growth and Income Fund

Invesco V.I. High Yield Fund

Invesco V.I. International Growth Fund

Invesco V.I. Managed Volatility Fund

Invesco V.I. Mid Cap Core Equity Fund

Invesco V.I. Mid Cap Growth Fund

Invesco V.I. Money Market Fund

Invesco V.I. S&P 500 Index Fund

Invesco V.I. Small Cap Equity Fund

Invesco V.I. Technology Fund

Invesco V.I. Value Opportunities Fund

Invesco Securities Trust

Invesco Balanced-Risk Aggressive Allocation Fund

Invesco Senior Loan Fund

Invesco Management Trust

Invesco Conservative Income Fund

Short-Term Investments Trust

Government & Agency Portfolio

Government Tax Advantage Portfolio

Liquid Assets Portfolio

STIC Prime Portfolio

Tax-Free Cash Reserve Portfolio

Treasury Portfolio

PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust

PowerShares India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust

 

 

** Please note that PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II is also distributed by Invesco Distributors, Inc., but is not included in this list because it is the registrant filing the N-1A.

 

C-8


NAME AND PRINCIPAL

BUSINESS ADDRESS*

  

POSITIONS AND OFFICES

WITH REGISTRANT

  

POSITIONS AND OFFICES

WITH UNDERWRITER

Robert C. Brooks    None    Director
Peter S. Gallagher    None    Director & President
Andrew Schlossberg    President    Director
John M. Zerr    Chief Legal Officer    Senior Vice President & Secretary
Annette Lege    None    Treasurer & Chief Financial Officer
Lisa O. Brinkley    None    Chief Compliance Officer
Crissie Wisdom    Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer    Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer

 

* The principal business address for all directors and executive officers is Invesco Distributors, Inc., 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173.

Item 33. Location of Accounts and Records.

The books, accounts and other documents required by Section 31(a) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and the rules promulgated thereunder are maintained in the physical possession of The Bank of New York, 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286.

Item 34. Management Services.

Not applicable.

Item 35. Undertakings.

None

 

C-9


SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, the Registrant certifies that it meets all of the requirements for effectiveness of this registration statement under Rule 485(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, duly authorized, in the City of Downers Grove and State of Illinois, on the 1st day of August, 2014.

 

PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II
By:  

/s/ Andrew Schlossberg

  Title: Andrew Schlossberg, President

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, this registration statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities indicated on the dates indicated.

 

SIGNATURE

  

TITLE

  

DATE

/s/ Andrew Schlossberg

   President    August 1, 2014
Andrew Schlossberg      

/s/ Steven M. Hill

   Treasurer    August 1, 2014
Steven M. Hill      

/s/ Anna Paglia

   Secretary    August 1, 2014
Anna Paglia      

*/s/ Ronn R. Bagge

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Ronn R. Bagge      

*/s/ Todd J. Barre

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Todd J. Barre      

*/s/ Kevin M. Carome

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Kevin M. Carome      

*/s/ Marc M. Kole

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Marc M. Kole      

*/s/ Yung Bong Lim

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Yung Bong Lim      

*/s/ Philip M. Nussbaum

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Philip M. Nussbaum      

*/s/ Gary R. Wicker

   Trustee    August 1, 2014
Gary R. Wicker      

*/s/ Donald H. Wilson

   Chairman and Trustee    August 1, 2014
Donald H. Wilson      

*By: /s/ Anna Paglia

      August 1, 2014
Anna Paglia      
Attorney-In-Fact      

 

* Anna Paglia signs on behalf of the powers of attorney filed with Post-Effective Amendments No. 227 and No. 423 to the Trust’s Registration Statement and incorporated herein by reference herein.


EXHIBIT INDEX

 

(d)(1)   Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC
(d)(2)   Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement by and among Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC and the Sub-Advisers
(d)(5)   Memorandum of Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC
(e)   Amended and Restated Master Distribution Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco Distributors, Inc.
(g)(1)   Amended and Restated Custody Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon
(h)(1)   Amended and Restated Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York
(h)(2)   Amended and Restated Transfer Agency and Service Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York
(h)(3)   Form of Participant Agreement between Invesco Distributors, Inc., the Participant and The Bank of New York
(h)(4)   Form of Sublicense Agreement between the Registrant and Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC
(i)   Opinion and consent of counsel