485APOS 1 etf3_485a.htm POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 1, 2020

 

1933 Act Registration No. 333-176976

1940 Act Registration No. 811-22245

 

United States

Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form N-1A
 

Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933 [   ]
Pre-Effective Amendment No. __ [   ]
Post-Effective Amendment No. 114 [X]
and/or
Registration Statement Under the Investment Company Act of 1940 [   ]
Amendment No. 115 [X]

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 621-1675

W. Scott Jardine, Esq., Secretary

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III

First Trust Advisors L.P.

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to:

Eric F. Fess, Esq.

Chapman and Cutler LLP

111 West Monroe Street

Chicago, Illinois 60603

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

[   ] immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

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

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

[X] 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

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

If appropriate, check the following box:

[   ] this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

 
 

Contents of Post-Effective Amendment No. 114

This Registration Statement comprises the following papers and contents:

The Facing Sheet

Part A - Prospectus for Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF

Part B - Statement of Additional Information for Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF

Part C - Other Information

Signatures

Index to Exhibits

Exhibits

First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund III

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS DATED MAY 1, 2020
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION
Prospectus
Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF
Ticker Symbol: ____
Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc.
Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF (the “Fund”) will list and principally trade its shares on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca" or the “Exchange”). Market prices may differ to some degree from the net asset value of the shares. Unlike mutual funds, the Fund issues and redeems shares at net asset value, only in large specified blocks each consisting of 50,000 shares (each such block of shares called a “Creation Unit, and collectively, the “Creation Units”). The Fund’s Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed in-kind for securities in which the Fund invests and, in certain circumstances, for cash, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements.
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III (the “Trust”) and an actively managed exchange-traded fund organized as a separate series of a registered management investment company.
Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
NOT FDIC INSURED    MAY LOSE VALUE    NO BANK GUARANTEE
The Information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
___________, 2020


Summary Information
Investment Objective
The investment objective of Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF (the “Fund”) is to provide long-term total return.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The following table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares may be subject to costs (including customary brokerage commissions) charged by their broker, which are not reflected in the table below.
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price) None
    
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees 0.__%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses 0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 0.__%
Example
The example below is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This example does not take into account customary brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling shares of the Fund in the secondary market.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
1 Year 3 Years
$___ $___
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance.
Principal Investment Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in equity securities of companies listed on a U.S. securities exchange, including common stocks and American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”). During periods when the U.S. equity market is determined to be unfavorable by the Fund’s sub-advisor, Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC (the “Sub-Advisor”), the Fund may invest all or a portion of its assets in cash, cash equivalents and fixed income exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”).
In order to determine the Fund’s allocation between (i) equity securities and (ii) cash, cash equivalents and fixed income ETFs, the Sub-Advisor employs its proprietary MACROCASTTM scoring system. On a periodic basis (at least monthly), the Sub-Advisor analyzes data across key indicators of the U.S. securities markets to determine a current MACROCASTTM score for overall market conditions. Based on the resulting score and its indications for expected overall market performance, the Sub-Advisor allocates the Fund’s assets to (i) U.S.-listed equity securities, (ii) cash, cash equivalents and fixed income ETFs or (iii) a combination of both.
The equity securities held by the Fund will generally be classified as “core” or “opportunistic” holdings. Core stocks are typically large-cap companies (greater than $10 billion in market cap), with consistent revenue growth and sustainable earnings.
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Opportunistic stocks may be of any market cap and typically comprise companies that the Sub-Advisor believes have the potential to perform favorably under current market conditions. When the Fund is fully allocated to equity securities, it is expected that core stocks and opportunistic stocks will make up 60% and 40% of the Fund’s assets, respectively. For additional information on how the Sub-Advisor selects individual securities for the Fund’s portfolio, see “Additional Information on the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies.”
The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
Principal Risks
You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value and possibly face delisting.
CALL RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Some debt securities may be redeemed, or “called,” at the option of the issuer before their stated maturity date. In general, an issuer will call its debt securities if they can be refinanced by issuing new debt securities which bear a lower interest rate. An underlying ETF is subject to the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates an issuer will call its high yielding debt securities. An underlying ETF would then be forced to invest the proceeds at lower interest rates, likely resulting in a decline in the ETF’s income.
COUNTERPARTY RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Fund transactions involving a counterparty are subject to the risk that the counterparty will not fulfill its obligation to the underlying ETF. Counterparty risk may arise because of the counterparty’s financial condition (i.e., financial difficulties, bankruptcy, or insolvency), market activities and developments, or other reasons, whether foreseen or not. A counterparty’s inability to fulfill its obligation may result in significant financial loss to an underlying ETF. An underlying ETF may be unable to recover its investment from the counterparty or may obtain a limited recovery, and/or recovery may be delayed.
CREDIT RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. An issuer or other obligated party of a debt security held by an underlying ETF may be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due. In addition, the value of a debt security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability or unwillingness to make such payments.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests or the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. Although the Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.
DEBT SECURITIES RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Investments in debt securities subject the holder to the credit risk of the issuer. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer or other obligor of a security will not be able or willing to make payments of interest and principal when due. Generally, the value of debt securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. During periods of falling interest rates, the income received by an underlying ETF may decline. If the principal on a debt security is prepaid before expected, the prepayments of principal may have to be reinvested in obligations paying interest at lower
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rates. Debt securities generally do not trade on a securities exchange making them generally less liquid and more difficult to value than common stock.
DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS RISK. Depositary receipts may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market. Any distributions paid to the holders of depositary receipts are usually subject to a fee charged by the depositary. Holders of depositary receipts may have limited voting rights, and investment restrictions in certain countries may adversely impact the value of depositary receipts because such restrictions may limit the ability to convert the equity shares into depositary receipts and vice versa. Such restrictions may cause the equity shares of the underlying issuer to trade at a discount or premium to the market price of the depositary receipts.
DIVIDENDS RISK. The Fund’s investment in dividend-paying securities could cause the Fund to underperform similar funds that invest without consideration of an issuer’s track record of paying dividends. Companies that issue dividend-paying securities are not required to continue to pay dividends on such securities. Therefore, there is the possibility that such companies could reduce or eliminate the payment of dividends in the future.
EQUITY SECURITIES RISK. The value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities in which it invests. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting an issuer occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market.
ETF RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. The Fund’s investment in shares of ETFs subjects it to the risks of owning the securities underlying the ETF, as well as the same structural risks faced by an investor purchasing shares of the Fund, including authorized participant concentration risk, market maker risk, premium/discount risk and trading issues risk. As a shareholder in another ETF, the Fund bears its proportionate share of the ETF’s expenses, subjecting Fund shareholders to duplicative expenses.
EXTENSION RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Extension risk is the risk that, when interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the issuer (or other obligated party) more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these debt securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of debt securities, making their market value more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term debt securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term debt securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.
INCOME RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. An underlying ETF’s income may decline when interest rates fall or if there are defaults in its portfolio. This decline can occur because an underlying ETF may subsequently invest in lower-yielding securities as debt securities in its portfolio mature, are near maturity or are called, or the ETF otherwise needs to purchase additional debt securities.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline.
INTEREST RATE RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of the debt securities in an underlying ETF’s portfolio will decline because of rising market interest rates. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term debt securities and higher for longer-term debt securities. An underlying ETF may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. Duration is a reasonably accurate measure of a debt security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates and a common measure of interest rate risk. Duration measures a debt security’s expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security’s yield, interest payments and final maturity. In general, duration represents the expected percentage change in the value of a security for an immediate 1% change in interest rates. For example, the price of a debt security with a three-year duration would be expected to drop by approximately 3% in response to a 1% increase in interest rates. Therefore, prices of debt securities with shorter durations tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than debt securities with longer durations. As the value of a debt security changes over time, so will its duration.
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MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund is only limited as to the percentage of its assets which may be invested in the securities of any one issuer by the diversification requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to a single adverse economic or regulatory occurrence affecting one or more of these issuers, experience increased volatility and be highly invested in certain issuers.
NON-U.S. SECURITIES RISK. Non-U.S. securities are subject to higher volatility than securities of domestic issuers due to possible adverse political, social or economic developments, restrictions on foreign investment or exchange of securities, capital controls, lack of liquidity, currency exchange rates, excessive taxation, government seizure of assets, the imposition of sanctions by foreign governments, different legal or accounting standards, and less government supervision and regulation of securities exchanges in foreign countries.
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RISK. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs and may generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund’s performance to be less than expected.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. The Fund’s investment advisor cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), the Fund’s investment advisor believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value.
SECTION 351 RISK. The initial capital raise from investors is expected to be made through in-kind contributions of securities from such investors in exchange for shares of the Fund under Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 351”). Section
6

351 allows for the tax-free transfer of assets from a contributing investor to the Fund in exchange for shares of the Fund, assuming that the requirements of Section 351 are met.
Risk to Contributing Investors. If for any reason, including the failure of the contributing investors to provide the Fund with accurate information, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351, the contribution of assets will be treated as a taxable event and the contributing investors would recognize an immediate gain or loss on the contributed assets. Additionally, future changes in the Internal Revenue Code or regulations and interpretations applicable to Section 351 may impact the ability of contributing investors to take advantage of the deferral of immediate gains or losses on contributed assets. Neither the Fund nor the Advisor give any assurance to the initial investors as to the tax characterization of their contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for shares of the Fund.
Litigation Risk. If, for any reason, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351 and the contributing shareholders recognize a gain or loss, they may seek to recover damages from the Fund. Any resulting litigation would likely result in expenses to the Fund which would negatively impact the value of Fund shares. The Fund may experience additional expenses should the Internal Revenue Service challenge the validity of the initial contribution of assets under Section 351.
Tax Law Changes Risk. Future changes in the Internal Revenue Code or regulations and interpretations applicable to Section 351 could result in the negative impacts to the Fund discussed above.
Tax Reporting Risk. If for any reason, including the failure of the contributing investors to provide the Fund with accurate information, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351, the Fund may incorrectly report gain upon the disposition of assets and be responsible for interest and penalties. The interest and penalties imposed at the Fund level may reduce the Fund’s return to investors. For additional information, please see the section entitled “Federal Tax Matters.”
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a large percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Although the shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity and wide bid-ask spreads (which may be especially pronounced for smaller funds). Trading in shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Fund’s shares, and authorized participants are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. In the event market makers cease making a market in the Fund's shares or authorized participants stop submitting purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to their net asset value. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small or the Fund does not have enough shareholders.
VALUATION RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Unlike publicly traded securities that trade on national securities exchanges, there is no central place or exchange for trading most debt securities. Debt securities generally trade on an “over-the-counter” market. Due to the lack of centralized information and trading, and variations in lot sizes of certain debt securities, the valuation of debt securities may carry more uncertainty and risk than that of publicly traded securities. Accordingly, determinations of the fair value of debt securities may be based on infrequent and dated information. Also, because the available information is less reliable and more subjective, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities.
Performance
The Fund does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information, and information that gives some indication of the risks of an investment in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s performance with a broad measure of market performance, will be available on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.
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Management
Investment Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”)
Investment Sub-Advisor
Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC (“Corbett Road” or the “Sub-Advisor”)
Portfolio Managers
The following persons serve as portfolio managers of the Fund:
C. Scott Airey, CFP, President of Corbett Road
Rush Zarrabian, CFA, Portfolio Manager of Corbett Road
The portfolio managers are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each portfolio manager has served as part of the portfolio management team of the Fund since ____.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value, only in Creation Units consisting of 50,000 shares. The Fund’s Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed in-kind for securities in which the Fund invests and, in certain circumstances, for cash and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements. Individual shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the Exchange and other eligible securities exchanges through a broker-dealer. Shares of the Fund trade on the Exchange at market prices rather than net asset value, which may cause the shares to trade at a price greater than net asset value (premium) or less than net asset value (discount).
Tax Information
The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains. Distributions on shares held in a tax-deferred account, while not immediately taxable, will be subject to tax when the shares are no longer held in a tax-deferred account.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), First Trust and First Trust Portfolios L.P., the Fund's distributor, may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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Additional Information on the Fund's Investment Objective and Strategies
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III and is regulated as an “investment company” under the 1940 Act. The Fund is actively managed and does not seek to track the performance of an index. The Fund’s investment objective is fundamental and may not be changed without approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Unless an investment policy is identified as being fundamental, all investment policies included in this prospectus and the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without shareholder approval. If there is a material change to the Fund’s principal investment strategies, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment for you. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.
In selecting individual equity securities for the Fund’s portfolio, the Sub-Advisor begins with a universe of U.S.-listed common stocks and ADRs. The Sub-Advisor then utilizes a combination of qualitative, quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify individual securities for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio. Each equity security selected will generally be classified as a “core” or “opportunistic” holding. Core stocks are typically large-cap companies with consistent revenue growth and sustainable earnings, while opportunistic stocks may be of any market cap and typically comprise companies that the Sub-Advisor believes have the potential to perform favorably under current market conditions.
In addition to considering larger sector and industry trends, the qualitative assessment consists of analyzing a company’s business model, revenue drivers, competitive advantages, management competency, key competitors, and supply/demand for the products and services offered. The quantitative assessment is a technical analysis of factors such as: price performance; relative strength and momentum; pattern recognition and buy/sell timing; price and volume analysis; historical earnings surprise and price action; volatility and drawdown analysis; historical sales/earnings growth and sell-side projections; and sell point determination. Finally, the fundamental assessment is an analysis of factors including: current valuation level relative to growth, historical levels, and industry peers; financial statements; earnings drivers and growth rates; profit and loss; and shareholder returns.
Section 351
The initial capital raise from investors is expected to be made through in-kind contributions of securities from such investors in exchange for shares of the Fund under Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 351”). Section 351 allows for the tax-free transfer of assets from a contributing investor to the Fund in exchange for shares of the Fund, assuming that the requirements of Section 351 are met.
If for any reason the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351, the in-kind contributions will result in the recognition of gain or loss to the contributing investors and the Fund itself may incorrectly report gain upon the disposition of assets and be responsible for interest and penalties.
Fund Investments
Principal Investments
Equity Securities
The Fund invests in equity securities, including common stocks and ADRs. Common stock represents an equity ownership interest in issuers. Holders of common stock are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the issuers after all debt obligations and obligations to preferred stockholders are satisfied. ADRs are U.S. dollar-denominated receipts representing shares of foreign-based corporations. ADRs are issued by U.S. banks or trust companies and entitle the holder to all dividends and capital gains that are paid out on the underlying foreign shares..
Investment Companies
The Fund may invest in securities of money market funds and fixed income ETFs. ETFs are managed registered investment companies which invest in various types of securities. ETFs issue shares of common stock that are traded on a securities exchange. ETFs trade on a securities exchange and their shares may, at times, trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. As a shareholder in a pooled investment vehicle, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that vehicle’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the ETF’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested. Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other pooled investment vehicles. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of money market funds and ETFs. Securities
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of other pooled investment vehicles may be leveraged, in which case the value and/or yield of such securities will tend to be more volatile than securities of unleveraged vehicles.
The Fund's ability to invest in other investment companies is limited by the 1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations. The Fund may invest in other investment companies in excess of the limits imposed under the 1940 Act pursuant to exemptive orders obtained by certain investment companies and their sponsors from the Securities and Exchange Commission, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to a contractual arrangement between the Fund and such investment companies.
Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
The Fund may invest in securities with maturities of less than one year, cash equivalents and fixed income ETFs, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions. See “Principal Investment Strategies.”
In addition, for temporary defensive purposes and during periods of high cash inflows or outflows, the Fund may invest part or all of its assets in these securities or it may hold cash. During such periods, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may adopt a defensive strategy when the portfolio managers believe securities in which the Fund normally invests have elevated risks due to political or economic factors and in other extraordinary circumstances. For more information on eligible short-term investments, see the SAI.
Non-Principal Investments
Illiquid Securities
The Fund may invest up to 15% of their net assets in securities and other instruments that are, at the time of investment, illiquid (determined using the Securities and Exchange Commission’s standard applicable to investment companies, i.e., any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment). For this purpose, illiquid securities may include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), certain securities that may only be sold pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act, that are deemed to be illiquid, and certain repurchase agreements, among others.
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
The Fund’s portfolio holdings are available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com. A description of the policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund's portfolio securities is included in the Fund's SAI, which is also available on the Fund's website.
Risks of Investing in the Fund
Risk is inherent in all investing. Investing in the Fund involves risk, including the risk that you may lose all or part of your investment. There can be no assurance that the Fund will meet its stated objective. Before you invest, you should consider the following supplemental disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
Principal Risks
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. However, participants are not obligated to make a market in the Fund’s shares or submit purchase and redemption orders for creation units. To the extent that these institutions exit the business, reduce their role or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value and possibly face delisting.
CALL RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Some debt securities may be redeemed at the option of the issuer, or “called,” before their stated maturity date. In general, an issuer will call its debt securities if they can be refinanced by issuing new debt securities which bear a lower interest rate. An underlying ETF is subject to the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates an issuer will call its high yielding debt securities. An underlying ETF would then be forced to invest the unanticipated proceeds at lower interest rates, likely resulting in a decline in the ETF’s
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income. Such redemptions and subsequent reinvestments would also increase an underlying ETF’s portfolio turnover. If a called debt security was purchased by an underlying ETF at a premium, the value of the premium may be lost in the event of a redemption.
COUNTERPARTY RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. If an underlying ETF enters into an investment or transaction that depends on the performance of another party, an underlying ETF becomes subject to the credit risk of that counterparty. An underlying ETF's ability to profit from these types of investments and transactions depends on the willingness and ability of an underlying ETF’s counterparty to perform its obligations. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, an underlying ETF may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, resulting in a loss to an underlying ETF. An underlying ETF may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in an insolvency, bankruptcy, or other reorganization proceeding involving a counterparty (including recovery of any collateral posted by it) and may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. If an underlying ETF holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. Under applicable law or contractual provisions, including if an underlying ETF enters into an investment or transaction with a financial institution and such financial institution (or an affiliate of the financial institution) experiences financial difficulties, then the Fund may in certain situations be prevented or delayed from exercising its rights to terminate the investment or transaction, or to realize on any collateral and may result in the suspension of payment and delivery obligations of the parties under such investment or transactions or in another institution being substituted for that financial institution without the consent of an underlying ETF. Further, an underlying ETF may be subject to “bail-in” risk under applicable law whereby, if required by the financial institution's authority, the financial institution's liabilities could be written down, eliminated or converted into equity or an alternative instrument of ownership. A bail-in of a financial institution may result in a reduction in value of some or all of securities and, if an underlying ETF holds such securities or has entered into a transaction with such a financial security when a bail-in occurs, an underlying ETF may also be similarly impacted.
CREDIT RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. An issuer or other obligated party of a debt security held by an underlying ETF may be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due. In addition, the value of a debt security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability or unwillingness to make such payments. Debt securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk which are often reflected in credit ratings. The credit rating of a debt security may be lowered if the issuer or other obligated party suffers adverse changes to its financial condition. These adverse changes may lead to greater volatility in the price of the debt security and affect the security’s liquidity. High yield and comparable unrated debt securities, while generally offering higher yields than investment grade debt with similar maturities, involve greater risks, including the possibility of dividend or interest deferral, default or bankruptcy, and are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay dividends or interest and repay principal. To the extent that an underlying ETF holds debt securities that are secured or guaranteed by financial institutions, changes in credit quality of such financial institutions could cause values of the debt security to deviate.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. These risks typically are not covered by insurance. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber security failures by or breaches of the systems of the Advisor, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, sub-advisors, index providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, authorized participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses; interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value; disclosure of confidential trading information; impediments to trading; submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders; the inability of the Fund or its service providers to transact business; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; or additional compliance costs. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents in the future. While the Fund has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber
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security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, market makers or authorized participants. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, and the Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
DEBT SECURITIES RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Investments in debt securities subject the holder to the credit risk of the issuer. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer or other obligor of a security will not be able or willing to make payments of interest and principal when due. Generally, the value of debt securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. During periods of falling interest rates, the income received by an underlying ETF may decline. If the principal on a debt security is prepaid before expected, the prepayments of principal may have to be reinvested in obligations paying interest at lower rates. Debt securities generally do not trade on a centralized securities exchange making them generally less liquid and more difficult to value than common stock. The values of debt securities may also increase or decrease as a result of market fluctuations, actual or perceived inability or unwillingness of issuers, guarantors or liquidity providers to make scheduled principal or interest payments or illiquidity in debt securities markets generally.
DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS RISK. Depository receipts are securities issued by a bank or trust company reflecting ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign company. An investment in depositary receipts involves further risks due to certain unique features. Any distributions paid to the holders of depositary receipts are usually subject to a fee charged by the depositary. Holders of depositary receipts may have limited voting rights pursuant to a deposit agreement between the underlying issuer and the depositary. In certain cases, the depositary will vote the shares deposited with it as directed by the underlying issuer’s board of directors. Furthermore, investment restrictions in certain countries may adversely impact the value of depositary receipts because such restrictions may limit the ability to convert shares into depositary receipts and vice versa. Such restrictions may cause shares of the underlying issuer to trade at a discount or premium to the market price of the depositary receipt. Moreover, if depositary receipts are converted into shares, the laws in certain countries may limit the ability of a non-resident to trade the shares and to reconvert the shares to depositary receipts. Depositary receipts may be “sponsored” or “unsponsored.” Sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depositary and the underlying issuer, whereas unsponsored depositary receipts may be established by a depositary without participation by the underlying issuer. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs associated with establishing the unsponsored depositary receipts. In addition, the issuers of the securities underlying unsponsored depositary receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the U.S. and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the depositary receipts.
DIVIDENDS RISK. The Fund invests in dividend-paying securities. The Fund’s investment in dividend-paying securities could cause the Fund to underperform similar funds that invest without consideration of an issuer’s track record of paying dividends. Companies that issue dividend-yielding securities are not required to continue to pay dividends on such securities. Therefore, there is the possibility that such companies could reduce or eliminate the payment of dividends in the future especially if the companies are facing an economic downturn.
EQUITY SECURITIES RISK. The value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities in which it invests. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors' perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market. Additionally, holders of an issuer's common stock may be subject to greater risks than holders of its preferred stock and debt securities because common stockholders' claims are subordinated to those of holders of preferred stocks and debt securities upon the bankruptcy of an issuer.
ETF RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Most ETFs use a “passive” investment strategy and seek to replicate the performance of a market index. Such ETFs do not take defensive positions in volatile or declining markets their shares may trade below net asset value. While some ETFs seek to achieve the same return as a particular market index, the performance of the ETF may diverge from the performance of the index. Some ETFs are actively managed ETFs and do not track a particular index which indirectly subjects an investor to active management risk. An active secondary market in ETF shares may not develop or be maintained and may be halted or interrupted due to actions by its listing exchange, unusual market conditions or other reasons. There can be no assurance that an ETF’s shares will continue to be listed on an active exchange. In addition, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of the Fund’s expenses and,
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indirectly, the ETF’s expenses, incurred through the Fund’s ownership of the ETF. Because the expenses and costs of an ETF are shared by its investors, redemptions by other investors in the ETF could result in decreased economies of scale and increased operating expenses for such ETF. These transactions might also result in higher brokerage, tax or other costs for the ETF. This risk may be particularly important when one investor owns a substantial portion of the ETF. There is a risk that ETFs in which the Fund invests may terminate due to extraordinary events. For example, any of the service providers to ETFs, such as the trustee or sponsor, may close or otherwise fail to perform their obligations to the ETF, and the ETF may not be able to find a substitute service provider. Also, certain ETFs may be dependent upon licenses to use various indexes as a basis for determining their compositions and/or otherwise to use certain trade names. If these licenses are terminated, the ETFs may also terminate. In addition, an ETF may terminate if its net assets fall below a certain amount.
EXTENSION RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Extension risk is the risk that, when interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the issuer (or other obligated party) more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these debt securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of debt securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term debt securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term debt securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value. Extension risk is particularly prevalent for a callable debt security where an increase in interest rates could result in the issuer of that security choosing not to redeem the debt security as anticipated on the security’s call date. Such a decision by the issuer could have the effect of lengthening the debt security’s expected maturity, making it more vulnerable to interest rate risk and reducing its market value.
INCOME RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. An underlying ETF’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because an underlying ETF may subsequently invest in lower-yielding securities as debt securities in its portfolio mature, are near maturity or are called, or the ETF otherwise needs to purchase additional debt securities. In addition, an underlying ETF’s income could decline when the ETF experiences defaults on the debt securities it holds.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline. This risk is more prevalent with respect to debt securities held by an underlying ETF. Inflation creates uncertainty over the future real value (after inflation) of an investment. Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and the Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to Fund investors.
INTEREST RATE RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. The value of debt securities held by an underlying ETF will fluctuate in value with changes in interest rates. In general, debt securities will increase in value when interest rates fall and decrease in value when interest rates rise. An underlying ETF may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments and higher for longer term investments. Duration is a common measure of interest rate risk. Duration measures a debt security’s expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security’s yield, interest payments and final maturity. Duration is a reasonably accurate measure of a debt security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. The longer the duration of a debt security, the greater the debt security’s price sensitivity is to changes in interest rates. Rising interest rates also may lengthen the duration of debt securities with call features, since exercise of the call becomes less likely as interest rates rise, which in turn will make the securities more sensitive to changes in interest rates and result in even steeper price declines in the event of further interest rate increases. An increase in interest rates could also cause principal payments on a debt security to be repaid at a slower rate than expected. This risk is particularly prevalent for a callable debt security where an increase in interest rates could cause the issuer of that security to not redeem the security as anticipated on the call date, effectively lengthening the security’s expected maturity, in turn making that security more vulnerable to interest rate risk and reducing its market value. When interest rates fall, an underlying ETF may be required to reinvest the proceeds from the sale, redemption or early prepayment of a debt security at a lower interest rate.
MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective(s), meet relevant benchmarks or perform as well as other funds with similar objectives.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce
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their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. The Fund is operated in a non-diversified manner. As a “non-diversified” fund, the Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds and may be more sensitive to any single economic, business, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund. To the extent the Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers due to the high percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in that security, a decline in the market value of a particular security held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of the Fund’s shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds.
NON-U.S. SECURITIES RISK. An investment in securities of non-U.S. companies involves risks not associated with domestic issuers. Investment in non-U.S. securities may involve higher costs than investment in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs as well as the imposition of additional taxes by non-U.S. governments. Non-U.S. investments may also involve risks associated with the level of currency exchange rates, less complete financial information about the issuers, less market liquidity, more market volatility and political instability. Future political and economic developments, the possible imposition of withholding taxes on dividend income, the possible seizure or nationalization of non-U.S. holdings, the imposition of sanctions by foreign governments, the possible establishment of capital controls, exchange controls or freezes on the convertibility of currency or the adoption of other governmental restrictions might adversely affect an investment in non-U.S. securities. Additionally, non-U.S. issuers may be subject to less stringent regulation, and to different accounting, auditing and recordkeeping requirements. The U.S. and non-U.S. markets often rise and fall at different times or by different amounts due to economic or other regional developments particular to a given country or region.
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RISK. The Fund has an investment strategy that may frequently involve buying and selling portfolio securities. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other costs and may generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund’s performance to be less than expected.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. First Trust cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), First Trust believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained absent disruptions to the creation and redemption mechanism, extreme market volatility or potential lack of authorized participants. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value.
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SECTION 351 RISK. The initial capital raise from investors is expected to be made through in-kind contributions of securities from such investors in exchange for shares of the Fund under Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 351”). Section 351 allows for the tax-free transfer of assets from a contributing investor to the Fund in exchange for shares of the Fund, assuming that the requirements of Section 351 are met.
Risk to Contributing Investors. If for any reason, including the failure of the contributing investors to provide the Fund with accurate information, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351, the contribution of assets will be treated as a taxable event and the contributing investors would recognize an immediate gain or loss on the contributed assets. Additionally, future changes in the Internal Revenue Code or regulations and interpretations applicable to Section 351 may impact the ability of contributing investors to take advantage of the deferral of immediate gains or losses on contributed assets. Neither the Fund nor the Advisor give any assurance to the initial investors as to the tax characterization of their contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for shares of the Fund.
Litigation Risk. If, for any reason, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351 and the contributing shareholders recognize a gain or loss, they may seek to recover damages from the Fund. Any resulting litigation would likely result in expenses to the Fund which would negatively impact the value of Fund shares. The Fund may experience additional expenses should the Internal Revenue Service challenge the validity of the initial contribution of assets under Section 351.
Tax Law Changes Risk. Future changes in the Internal Revenue Code or regulations and interpretations applicable to Section 351 could result in the negative impacts to the Fund discussed above.
Tax Reporting Risk. If for any reason, including the failure of the contributing investors to provide the Fund with accurate information, the initial contribution of assets to the Fund in exchange for Fund shares fails to meet the requirements of Section 351, the Fund may incorrectly report gain upon the disposition of assets and be responsible for interest and penalties. The interest and penalties imposed at the Fund level may reduce the Fund’s return to investors. For additional information, please see the section entitled “Federal Tax Matters.”
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a large percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development that affected a particular asset class, region or industry may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater volatility and market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Although the shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity and wide bid-ask spreads (which may be especially pronounced for smaller funds). Trading in shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Fund’s shares, and authorized participants are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. In the event market makers cease making a market in the Fund’s shares or authorized participants stop submitting purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to their net asset value. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small or the Fund does not have enough shareholders.
VALUATION RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs that hold debt securities. Unlike publicly traded securities that trade on national securities exchanges, there is no central place or exchange for trading most debt securities. Debt securities generally trade on an “over-the-counter” market which may be anywhere in the world where the buyer and seller can settle on a price. Due to the lack of centralized information and trading, and variations in lot sizes of certain debt securities, the valuation of debt securities may carry more uncertainty and risk than that of publicly traded securities. Accordingly, determinations of the fair value of debt securities may be based on infrequent and dated information. Also, because the available information is less reliable and more subjective, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities. Typically, debt securities are valued using information provided by a third-party pricing service utilizing a range of market-based inputs and assumptions, including broker quotations and transactions in comparable securities to value the securities. There is no assurance that an underlying ETF will be able to sell a portfolio security at the price established by the pricing service.
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Non-Principal Risks
BORROWING AND LEVERAGE RISK. If the Fund borrows money, it must pay interest and other fees, which may reduce the Fund’s returns. Any such borrowings are intended to be temporary. However, under certain market conditions, including periods of low demand or decreased liquidity, such borrowings might be outstanding for longer periods of time. As prescribed by the 1940 Act, the Fund will be required to maintain specified asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to any bank borrowing immediately following such borrowing and at all times thereafter. The Fund may be required to dispose of assets on unfavorable terms if market fluctuations or other factors reduce the Fund’s asset coverage to less than the prescribed amount.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, effect a portion of its creations and redemptions for cash rather than in-kind. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects its creations and redemptions only in-kind. ETFs are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid being taxed on gains on the distributed portfolio securities at the fund level. A Fund that effects redemptions for cash may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. Any recognized gain on these sales by the Fund will generally cause the Fund to recognize a gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required if it were to distribute portfolio securities only in-kind. The Fund intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than if they had made an investment in a different ETF. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, will be passed on to those purchasing and redeeming Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s shares than for ETFs that distribute portfolio securities in-kind.
DEPENDENCE ON KEY PERSONNEL. The Sub-Advisor is dependent upon the experience and expertise of the Fund's portfolio managers in providing advisory services with respect to the Fund's investments. If the Sub-Advisor were to lose the services of any of these portfolio managers, its ability to service the Fund could be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that a suitable replacement could be found for any of the portfolio managers in the event of their death, resignation, retirement or inability to act on behalf of the Sub-Advisor.
FAILURE TO QUALIFY AS A REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY RISK. If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. In such circumstances, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders generally would be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. For additional information, please see the section entitled “Federal Tax Matters.”
ISSUER SPECIFIC CHANGES RISK. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole.
LEGISLATION/LITIGATION RISK. From time to time, various legislative initiatives are proposed in the United States and abroad, which may have a negative impact on certain companies in which the Fund invests. In addition, litigation regarding any of the issuers of the securities owned by the Fund, or industries represented by these issuers, may negatively impact the value of the securities. Such legislation or litigation may cause the Fund to lose value or may result in higher portfolio turnover if the Sub-Advisor determines to sell such a holding.
OPERATIONAL RISK. The Fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. Although the Fund and the Advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
Fund Organization
The Fund is a series of the Trust, an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is treated as a separate fund with its own investment objective and policies. The Trust is organized as a Massachusetts business trust. The Board is
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responsible for the overall management and direction of the Trust. The Board elects the Trust’s officers and approves all significant agreements, including those with the Advisor, Sub-Advisor, custodian and fund administrative and accounting agent.
Management of the Fund
First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. In this capacity, First Trust is responsible overseeing the Sub-Advisor in the investment of the Fund's assets, managing the Fund's business affairs and providing certain clerical, bookkeeping and other administrative services.
First Trust is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. is a limited partnership with one general partner, The Charger Corporation, and a number of limited partners. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, the Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust discharges its responsibilities subject to the policies of the Board.
First Trust serves as advisor or sub-advisor for six mutual fund portfolios, 10 exchange-traded funds consisting of ___ series and 15 closed-end funds. It is also the portfolio supervisor of certain unit investment trusts sponsored by First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), an affiliate of First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. FTP specializes in the underwriting, trading and distribution of unit investment trusts and other securities. FTP is the principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund.
The Fund and First Trust have retained Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC to serve as investment sub-advisor pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement (the "Sub-Advisory Agreement"). In this capacity, Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC was formed in 2019 and serves as investment adviser to investment portfolios with approximately $____ billion in assets as of ______________.
C. Scott Airey and Rush Zarrabian are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolios.
Mr. Airey has over twenty three years of professional experience and over seventeen years of investment management/consulting experience. Prior to founding the Corbett Road, Mr. Airey spent a year as a Branch Manager at Charles Schwab & Co. in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Airey began his career in the financial services industry at Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Airey is a CFP Practitioner, holds the FINRA Series 7, 9, 10, 63, 65 licenses and Life, Health and Variable Annuity Insurance licenses.
Mr. Zarrabian is a Portfolio Manager for Corbett Road. He heads the Asset Management Division and manages all the Corbett Road strategies. Mr. Zarrabian is also a member of the Corbett Road Investment Committee. Before joining the Corbett Road, Mr. Zarrabian worked at two of the largest financial institutions in the country in a variety of roles, including management, operations, and lending. Mr. Zarrabian has a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from Virginia Tech and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Washington, D.C.
For additional information concerning First Trust and Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC, including a description of the services provided to the Fund, see the Fund’s SAI. Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund is provided in the SAI.
Management Fee
Pursuant to an investment management agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust oversees the Sub-Advisor's management of the Fund's assets and pays the Sub-Advisor for its services as Sub-Advisor. First Trust is paid an annual management fee by the Fund equal to __% of the Fund's average daily net assets. First Trust and the Sub-Advisor are responsible for the Fund's expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, but excluding fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the Board’s approval of the Investment Management Agreement and the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be available in the Fund’s Annual Report to Shareholders for the period ended __________, 20__.
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How to Buy and Sell Shares
Most investors buy and sell shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment when buying shares on the Exchange. Although shares are generally purchased and sold in “round lots” of 100 shares, brokerage firms typically permit investors to purchase or sell shares in smaller “odd lots,” at no per-share price differential. When buying or selling shares through a broker, investors should expect to incur customary brokerage commissions, investors may receive less than the net asset value of the shares because shares are bought and sold at market prices rather than at net asset value, and investors may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offer 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.
For purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund is treated as a registered investment company, and, absent an available exemption or exemptive relief, the acquisition of shares by other registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.
Book Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no share 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 share 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 stocks that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.
Share Trading Prices
The trading price of shares of the Fund on the Exchange is based on market price and may differ from the Fund’s daily net asset value and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors.
Information regarding the intra-day value of the shares of the Fund, also referred to as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the Fund’s trading day by the national securities exchange on which the shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities or other assets and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit and includes any expenses of the Fund. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities or other assets held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the net asset value per share of the Fund because the IOPV may not be calculated in the same manner as the net asset value, which is computed once a day, generally at the end of the business day. The IOPV is generally determined by using current market quotations. The price of a non-U.S. security that is primarily traded on a non-U.S. exchange will be updated, using the last sale price, every 15 seconds throughout the trading day, provided that upon the closing of such non-U.S. exchange, the closing price of the security, after being converted to U.S. dollars, will be used. Furthermore, in calculating the IOPV of the Fund’s shares, exchange rates may be used throughout the day (9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time) that may differ from those used to calculate the net asset value per share of the Fund and consequently may result in differences between the net asset value and the IOPV. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV of shares of the Fund and the Fund does not make any warranty as to its accuracy.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of the Fund's Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions (“market timing”). In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund's shareholders. The Board considered that the Fund's shares can only be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund in Creation Units by broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (i.e., authorized participants (“APs”)) and that the vast majority of trading in the Fund's shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary
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market trades do not involve the Fund directly, it is unlikely those trades would cause many of the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund's trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With respect to trades directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), those trades do not cause any of the harmful effects that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent that the Fund may effect the purchase or redemption of Creation Units in exchange wholly or partially for cash, the Board noted that such trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund's ability to achieve their investment objective. However, the Board noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the shares trade at or close to net asset value. In addition, the Fund imposes fixed and variable transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. Finally, the Advisor monitors purchase and redemption orders from APs for patterns of abusive trading and the Fund reserves the right to not accept purchase and redemption orders from APs that the Advisor has determined may be disruptive to the management of the Fund, or otherwise not in the Fund's best interests.
Dividends, Distributions and Taxes
Dividends from net investment income of the Fund, if any, are declared and paid quarterly by the Fund. The Fund distributes its net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders at least annually.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole shares only if the broker through whom you purchased shares makes such option available. Such shares will generally be reinvested by the broker based upon the market price of those shares and investors may be subject to customary brokerage commissions charged by the broker.
Federal Tax Matters
This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of this prospectus. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker-dealer, or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences.
This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, counsel to the Fund was not asked to review, and has not reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be included in the Fund. This may not be sufficient for you to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, you should seek advice based on your individual circumstances from your own tax advisor.
Fund Status
The Fund intends to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the federal tax laws. If the Fund qualifies as a regulated investment company and distributes its income as required by the tax law, the Fund generally will not pay federal income taxes.
Distributions
The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable. After the end of each year, you will receive a tax statement that separates the distributions of the Fund into two categories: ordinary income distributions and capital gain dividends. Ordinary income distributions are generally taxed at your ordinary tax rate, however, as further discussed below, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at the capital gains tax rates. Generally, you will treat all capital gain dividends as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares.
To determine your actual tax liability for your capital gain dividends, you must calculate your total net capital gain or loss for the tax year after considering all of your other taxable transactions, as described below. In addition, the Fund may make distributions that represent a return of capital for tax purposes and thus will generally not be taxable to you; however, such distributions may reduce your tax basis in your shares, which could result in you having to pay higher taxes in the future when shares are sold, even if you sell the shares at a loss from your original investment. The tax status of your distributions from the Fund is not affected by whether you reinvest your distributions in additional shares or receive them in cash. The income from the Fund that you must take into account for federal income tax purposes is not reduced by amounts used to pay a deferred
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sales fee, if any. The tax laws may require you to treat distributions made to you in January as if you had received them on December 31 of the previous year.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to your net investment income if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.
Dividends Received Deduction
A corporation that owns shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Capital Gains and Losses and Certain Ordinary Income Dividends
If you are an individual, the maximum stated marginal federal tax rate for net capital gain is generally 20% (15% or 0% for taxpayers with taxable income below certain thresholds). Some portion of your capital gain dividends may be taxed at a higher maximum stated tax rate. Capital gains may also be subject to the Medicare tax described above.
Net capital gain equals net long-term capital gain minus net short-term capital loss for the taxable year. Capital gain or loss is long-term if the holding period for the asset is more than one year and is short-term if the holding period for the asset is one year or less. You must exclude the date you purchase your shares to determine your holding period. However, if you receive a capital gain dividend from the Fund and sell your shares at a loss after holding it for six months or less, the loss will be recharacterized as long-term capital loss to the extent of the capital gain dividend received. The tax rates for capital gains realized from assets held for one year or less are generally the same as for ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, treats certain capital gains as ordinary income in special situations.
Ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain (as discussed above), provided certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. Dividends from real estate investment trusts and foreign corporations are qualifying dividends only in limited circumstances. The Fund will provide notice to their shareholders of the amount of any distribution which may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates.
Sale of Shares
If you sell or redeem your shares, you will generally recognize a taxable gain or loss. To determine the amount of this gain or loss, you must subtract your tax basis in your shares from the amount you receive in the transaction. Your tax basis in your shares is generally equal to the cost of your shares, generally including sales charges. In some cases, however, you may have to adjust your tax basis after you purchase your shares.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If you exchange securities for Creation Units, you will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and your aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the cash component paid. If you exchange Creation Units for securities, you will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between your basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the cash redemption amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Treatment of Fund Expenses
Expenses incurred and deducted by the Fund will generally not be treated as income taxable to you.
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Non-U.S. Tax Credit
Because the Fund may invest in non-U.S. securities, the tax statement that you receive may include an item showing non-U.S. taxes the Fund paid to other countries. In this case, dividends taxed to you will include your share of the taxes the Fund paid to other countries. You may be able to deduct or receive a tax credit for your share of these taxes.
Non-U.S. Investors
If you are a non-U.S. investor, distributions from the Fund treated as dividends will generally be subject to a U.S. withholding tax of 30% of the distribution. Certain dividends, such as capital gains dividends, short-term capital gains dividends, and distributions that are attributable to certain interest income may not be subject to U.S. withholding taxes. In addition, some non-U.S. investors may be eligible for a reduction or elimination of U.S. withholding taxes under a treaty. However, the qualification for those exclusions may not be known at the time of the distribution.
Separately, the United States, pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) imposes a 30% tax (the "FATCA Tax") on certain non-U.S. entities that receive U.S. source interest or dividends if the non-U.S. entity does not comply with certain U.S. disclosure and reporting requirements. The FATCA Tax is also scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends after December 31, 2018. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
It is the responsibility of the entity through which you hold your shares to determine the applicable withholding.
Investments in Certain Non-U.S. Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain non-U.S. corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such PFIC shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax. Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Distribution Plan
FTP serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. FTP does not maintain a secondary market in shares.
The Board has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Rule 12b-1 plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to reimburse FTP for amounts expended to finance activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units or the provision of investor services. FTP may also use this amount to compensate securities dealers or other persons that are APs for providing distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services.
The Fund does not currently pay 12b-1 fees, and pursuant to a contractual arrangement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before _______________. However, in the event 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of the Fund's assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
Net Asset Value
The Fund's net asset value is determined as of the close of trading (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) on each day the New York Stock Exchange is open for trading. If the NYSE closes early on a valuation day, the Fund’s net asset value will be determined as of that time. Net asset value is calculated for the Fund by taking the market price of the Fund’s total assets, including interest or dividends accrued but not yet collected, less all liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid),
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and dividing such amount by the total number of shares outstanding. The result, rounded to the nearest cent, is the net asset value per share. All valuations are subject to review by the Board or its delegate.
The Fund's investments are valued daily at market value or, in the absence of market value with respect to any portfolio securities, at fair value, in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Portfolio securities listed on any exchange other than The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC ("Nasdaq") and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) are valued at the last sale price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. Securities listed on Nasdaq or AIM are valued at the official closing price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. If there has been no sale on such day, or no official closing price in the case of securities traded on Nasdaq or AIM, the securities are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and ask price on such day..
Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the business day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities. For securities traded on an exchange that provides both an official closing price and a last sale price, the Advisor's Pricing Committee, at its discretion, shall determine to use either the last sale price or the official closing price, depending on which price reflects the appropriate market value. Portfolio securities traded in the over-the-counter market, but excluding securities trading on Nasdaq or AIM, are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at the closing bid price. Short-term investments that mature in less than 60 days when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discount, provided the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of fair value given market and issuer-specific conditions existing at the time of the determination. Net asset value may change on days when investors may not sell or redeem Fund shares.
Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. The use of fair value pricing by the Fund is governed by valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities which may not be publicly sold without registration under the Securities Act of 1933) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market or fair value price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of the Fund's net asset value or make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not reflect the security’s fair value. As a general principle, the current fair value of a security would appear to be the amount which the owner might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale. When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from the current market quotations or official closing prices on the applicable exchange. A variety of factors may be considered in determining the fair value of such securities. See the Fund's SAI for details.
Fund Service Providers
The Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, acts as the administrator, custodian and fund accounting and transfer agent for the Fund. Chapman and Cutler LLP, 111 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, serves as legal counsel to the Fund.
Premium/Discount Information
The Fund has not yet commenced operations and, therefore, does not have information about the differences between each Fund's daily market price on the Exchange and its net asset value. Once the Fund has commenced operations, this information will be available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com.
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Other Information
Continuous Offering
The Fund issues, on a continuous offering basis, its shares in one or more groups of a fixed number of Fund shares (each such group of such specified number of individual Fund shares, a “Creation Unit Aggregation”). The method by which Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Unit Aggregations of shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery 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 FTP, 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 should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares are reminded that, under the Securities Act Rule 153, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to a broker-dealer in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available from the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is available with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange, a trading facility or an alternative trading system.
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First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund III

Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF
For More Information
For more detailed information on the Fund, several additional sources of information are available to you. The SAI, incorporated by reference into this prospectus, contains detailed information on the Fund's policies and operation. Additional information about the Fund's investments is available in the annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In each Fund's annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly impacted the Fund's performance during the last fiscal year. The Fund's most recent SAI, annual and semi-annual reports and certain other information are available free of charge by calling the Fund at (800) 621-1675, on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com or through your financial advisor. Shareholders may call the toll-free number above with any inquiries.
You may obtain this and other information regarding the Fund, including the SAI and the Codes of Ethics adopted by First Trust, FTP and the Trust, directly from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Information on the SEC’s website is free of charge. Visit the SEC’s online EDGAR database at www.sec.gov or in person at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., or call the SEC at (202) 551-8090 for information on the Public Reference Room. You may also request information regarding the Fund by sending a request (along with a duplication fee) to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549-1520 or by sending an electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov.
First Trust Advisors L.P.
120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
(800) 621-1675
www.ftportfolios.com
SEC File #: 333-176976
811-22245

 

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Investment Company Act File No. 811-22245
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III
Preliminary Statement of Additional Information
Dated May 1, 2020
Subject to Completion
FUND NAME   TICKER SYMBOL   EXCHANGE
Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF   ____   NYSE Arca
DATED ____________, 2020
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the prospectus dated ____________, 2020, as it may be revised from time to time (the “Prospectus”), for Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF (the “Fund”), a series of the First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III (the “Trust”). 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, First Trust Portfolios L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, or by calling toll free at (800) 621-1675.
The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer of sale is not permitted.


General Description of the Trust and the Fund
The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on January 9, 2008 and is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares in one or more series. The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). This SAI relates to the Fund, a non-diversified series.
The Fund, as a series of the Trust, represents a beneficial interest in a separate portfolio of securities and other assets, with its own objective and policies.
The Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board,” “Board of Trustees” or “Trustees”) 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. Shares of any series may also be divided into one or more classes at the discretion of the Trustees.
The Trust or any series or class thereof may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees upon written notice to the shareholders.
Each share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all series of the Trust 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 series, and, if a matter affects a particular series differently from other series, the shares of that series will vote separately on such matter. The Trust’s Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration”) requires a shareholder vote only on those matters where the 1940 Act requires a vote of shareholders and otherwise permits the Trustees to take actions without seeking the consent of shareholders. For example, the Declaration gives the Trustees broad authority to approve reorganizations between the Fund and another entity, such as another exchange traded fund, or the sale of all or substantially all of the Fund's assets, or the termination of the Trust or any Fund without shareholder approval if the 1940 Act would not require such approval.
The Declaration provides that by becoming a shareholder of the Fund, each shareholder shall be expressly held to have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Declaration and to any By-laws adopted by the Trust. The Declaration provides that, except as set forth therein and authorized by the Trustees, shareholders have no rights, privileges, claims or remedies under any contract or agreement entered into by the Trust or the Fund with any service provider or other agent to or contractor with the Trust or the Fund including, without limitation, any third party beneficiary rights.
The Declaration may, except in limited circumstances, be amended by the Trustees in any respect without a shareholder vote. The Declaration provides that the Trustees may establish the number of Trustees and that vacancies on the Board of Trustees may be filled by the remaining Trustees, except when election of Trustees by the shareholders is required under the 1940 Act. Trustees are then elected by a plurality of votes cast by shareholders at a meeting at which a quorum is present. The Declaration also provides that Trustees may be removed, with or without cause, by a vote of shareholders holding at least two-thirds of the voting power of the Trust, or by a vote of two-thirds of the remaining Trustees. The provisions of the Declaration relating to the election and removal of Trustees may not be amended without the approval of two-thirds of the Trustees.
The holders of Fund shares are required to disclose information on direct or indirect ownership of Fund shares as may be required to comply with various laws applicable to the Fund or as the Trustees may determine, and ownership of Fund shares may be disclosed by the Fund if so required by law or regulation. In addition, pursuant to the Declaration, the Trustees may, in their discretion, require the Trust to redeem shares held by any shareholder for any reason under terms set by the Trustees.
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. In addition, the Declaration provides that actions that are derivative in nature may not be brought directly. Prior to bringing a derivative action, a demand 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. In making such a determination, a Trustee is not considered to have a personal financial interest by virtue of being compensated for his or her services as a
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Trustee. 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 under a number of circumstances. In addition, if a court determines that a derivative action was made without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose, or if a derivative or direct action is dismissed on the basis of a failure to comply with the procedural provisions relating to shareholder actions as set forth in the Declaration, or if a direct action is dismissed by a court for failure to state a claim, the shareholder bringing the action may be responsible for the Fund's costs, including attorneys’ fees.
The provisions of the Declaration provide that any direct or derivative action commenced by a shareholder must be brought only in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston Division) or if any such action may not be brought in that court, then in the Business Litigation Session of Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts (the “Chosen Courts”). Except as prohibited by applicable law, if a shareholder commences an applicable action in a court other than a Chosen Court without the consent of the Fund, then such shareholder may be obligated to reimburse the Fund and any applicable Trustee or officer of the Fund made party to such proceeding for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred in connection with any successful motion to dismiss, stay or transfer of the action. The Declaration also provides that any shareholder bringing an action against the Fund waives the right to trial by jury to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The Trust is not required to and does not intend to hold annual meetings of shareholders.
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 the Fund itself was unable to meet its obligations.
The Declaration further provides that a Trustee acting in his or her capacity as Trustee is not personally liable to any person other than the Trust, for any act, omission, or obligation of the Trust. 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 of Trustees or of a committee of the Board of Trustees, as lead independent Trustee or as 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 further provides that no provision of the Declaration will restrict any shareholder rights expressly granted by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended or the 1940 Act, or any rule, regulation or order of the Securities Exchange Commission thereunder.
The Fund is advised by First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor” or “First Trust”) and sub-advised by Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC (the “Sub-Advisor” or “Corbett Road”).
The shares of the Fund list and principally trade on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” or the “Exchange”). The shares will trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at or above net asset value. The Fund offers and issues shares at net asset value only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (each a “Creation Unit” or a “Creation Unit Aggregation”), generally in exchange for a basket of securities, (the "Deposit Securities"), together with the deposit of a specified cash payment, (the "Cash Component"), or for cash as specified in the Prospectus. Creation Units are aggregations of 50,000 shares of the Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to permit creations and redemptions of Fund shares to be made in whole or in part on a cash basis under certain circumstances. Fund shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Fund cash at least equal to 115% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. See the section entitled “Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations.” In each instance of such cash creations or redemptions, transaction fees may be imposed that will be higher than the transaction fees associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities.
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Exchange Listing and Trading
There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the shares of the Fund from listing if (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 or (ii) such other event shall occur or condition exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the 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 Fund reserves the right to adjust the price levels of 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.
The Fund is required by the Exchange to comply with certain listing standards (which includes certain investment parameters) in order to maintain its listing on the Exchange. Compliance with these listing standards may compel the Fund to sell securities at an inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s then-current market value. The sale of securities in such circumstances could limit the Fund's profit or require the Fund to incur a loss, and as a result, the Fund's performance could be impacted.
Investment Objective and Policies
The Prospectus describes the investment objective and certain policies of the Fund. The following supplements the information contained in the Prospectus concerning the investment objective and policies of the Fund.
The Fund is subject to the following fundamental policies, which may not be changed without approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund:
(1) The Fund may not issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.
(2) The Fund may not borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.
(3) The Fund will not underwrite the securities of other issuers except to the extent the Fund may be considered an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.
(4) The Fund will not purchase or sell real estate or interests therein, 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).
(5) The Fund may not 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 loan of portfolio securities may be made by the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate of such loans would exceed 33⅓% of the value of the Fund's total assets.
(6) The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options, futures contracts, forward contracts or other derivative instruments, or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).
(7) The Fund may not invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries. This restriction does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities.
For purposes of applying restriction (1) above, under the 1940 Act as currently in effect, the Fund is not permitted to issue senior securities, except that the Fund may borrow from any bank if, immediately after such borrowing and at all times thereafter, the value of the Fund’s total assets is at least 300% of the principal amount of all of the Fund's borrowings (i.e., the principal amount of the borrowings may not exceed 33⅓% of the Fund's total assets). In the event that such asset
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coverage shall at any time fall below 300% the Fund shall, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays), reduce the amount of its borrowings to an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowings shall be at least 300%.
Except for restriction (2) above, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of investment, a later increase in percentage resulting from a change in market value of the investment or the total assets will not constitute a violation of that restriction. With respect to restriction (2), if the limitations are exceeded as a result of a change in market value then the Fund will reduce the amount of borrowings within three days thereafter to the extent necessary to comply with the limitations (not including Sundays and holidays).
The fundamental investment limitations set forth above limit the Fund's ability to engage in certain investment practices and purchase securities or other instruments to the extent permitted by, or consistent with, applicable law. As such, these limitations will change as the statute, rules, regulations or orders (or, if applicable, interpretations) change, and no shareholder vote will be required or sought.
The Fund's investment objective and the foregoing fundamental policies of the Fund may not be changed without the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. The 1940 Act defines a majority vote as the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the voting securities represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding securities are represented; or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities. With respect to the submission of a change in an investment policy to the holders of outstanding voting securities of the Fund, such matter shall be deemed to have been effectively acted upon with respect to the Fund if a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund vote for the approval of such matter, notwithstanding that such matter has not been approved by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of any other series of the Trust affected by such matter.
In addition to the foregoing fundamental policies, the Fund is also subject to strategies and policies discussed herein which, unless otherwise noted, are non-fundamental restrictions and policies and may be changed by the Board of Trustees.
Investment Strategies
The following information supplements the discussion of the Fund’s investment objective, policies and strategies that appears in the Prospectus.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in equity securities of companies listed on a U.S. securities exchange, including common stocks and American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”). During periods when the U.S. equity market is determined to be unfavorable by the Fund’s Sub-Advisor, the Fund may invest all or a portion of its assets in cash, cash equivalents and fixed income exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”).
TYPES OF INVESTMENTS
Depositary Receipts. The Fund may hold securities of certain non-U.S. companies in the form of depositary receipts (“Depositary Receipts”). Depositary Receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. ADRs are receipts typically issued by an American bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation.
Equities. Equity securities represent an ownership position in a company. The prices of equity securities fluctuate based on, among other things, events specific to their issuers and market, economic, and other conditions. Equity securities may include common or preferred stocks. Common stocks may be common stock of any class or series of a domestic or foreign corporation or any similar equity interest, such as a trust or partnership interest. These investments may or may not pay dividends and may or may not carry voting rights. Common stock occupies the most junior position in a company’s capital structure. The Fund may also invest in warrants and rights related to common stocks.
Fixed Income Investments and Cash Equivalents. The Fund may invest in securities with maturities of less than one year and cash equivalents, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions.
Fixed income investments and cash equivalents held by each Fund may include, without limitation, the types of investments set forth below:
(1) The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities, including bills, notes and bonds differing as to maturity and rates of interest, which are either issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by U.S. government agencies
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  or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities include securities that are issued or guaranteed by the United States Treasury, by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities that have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States. Securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. government-sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Some of the U.S. government agencies that issue or guarantee securities include the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Farmers Home Administration, the Federal Housing Administration, the Maritime Administration, the Small Business Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority. An instrumentality of the U.S. government is a government agency organized under federal charter with government supervision. Instrumentalities issuing or guaranteeing securities include, among others, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal Land Banks, the Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks and Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”). In the case of those U.S. government securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the investor must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the security for ultimate repayment, and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event that the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitment. The U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities; consequently, the value of such securities may fluctuate. In addition, each Fund may invest in sovereign debt obligations of non-U.S. countries. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest in a timely manner may be affected by a number of factors, including its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-U.S. reserves, the availability of sufficient non-U.S. exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders and the political constraints to which it may be subject.
(2) The Fund may invest in certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association. Such certificates are for a definite period of time, earn a specified rate of return, and are normally negotiable. If such certificates of deposit are non-negotiable, they may be considered illiquid securities and be subject to the Fund’s 15% restriction on investments in illiquid securities. Pursuant to the certificate of deposit, the issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the certificate on the date specified thereon. Under current FDIC regulations, the maximum insurance payable as to any one certificate of deposit is $250,000; therefore, certificates of deposit purchased by the Fund may not be fully insured. The Fund may only invest in certificates of deposit issued by U.S. banks with at least $1 billion in assets.
(3) The Fund may invest in bankers’ acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of interest for a specific maturity.
(4) The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements, which involve purchases of debt securities with counterparties that are deemed by the Advisor to present acceptable credit risks. In such an action, at the time the Fund purchases the security, it simultaneously agrees to resell and redeliver the security to the seller, who also simultaneously agrees to buy back the security at a fixed price and time. This assures a predetermined yield for the Fund during its holding period since the resale price is always greater than the purchase price and reflects an agreed-upon market rate. Such actions afford an opportunity for the Fund to invest temporarily available cash. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements only with respect to obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; certificates of deposit; or bankers’ acceptances in which the Fund may invest. Repurchase agreements may be considered loans to the seller, collateralized by the underlying securities. The risk to the Fund is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the repurchase date; in the event of default, the repurchase agreement provides that the affected Fund is entitled to sell the underlying collateral. If the value of the collateral declines after the agreement is entered into, however, and if the seller defaults under a repurchase agreement when the value of the underlying collateral is less than the repurchase price, the Fund could incur a loss of both principal and interest. The portfolio managers monitor the value of the collateral at the time the action is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement. The portfolio managers do so in an effort to determine that the value of the collateral always equals or exceeds
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  the agreed-upon repurchase price to be paid to the Fund. If the seller were to be subject to a federal bankruptcy proceeding, the ability of the Fund to liquidate the collateral could be delayed or impaired because of certain provisions of the bankruptcy laws.
(5) The Fund may invest in bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest. There may be penalties for the early withdrawal of such time deposits, in which case the yields of these investments will be reduced.
(6) The Fund may invest in commercial paper, which are short-term unsecured promissory notes, including variable rate master demand notes issued by corporations to finance their current operations. Master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and a corporation. There is no secondary market for the notes. However, they are redeemable by the Fund at any time. The Fund’s portfolio managers will consider the financial condition of the corporation (e.g., earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios) and will continuously monitor the corporation’s ability to meet all of its financial obligations, because the Fund’s liquidity might be impaired if the corporation were unable to pay principal and interest on demand. The Fund may invest in commercial paper only if it has received the highest rating from at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, judged by First Trust to be of comparable quality.
(7) The Fund may invest in shares of money market funds, as consistent with its investment objective and policies. Shares of money market funds are subject to management fees and other expenses of those funds. Therefore, investments in money market funds will cause the Fund to bear proportionately the costs incurred by the money market funds’ operations. At the same time, the Fund will continue to pay its own management fees and expenses with respect to all of its assets, including any portion invested in the shares of other investment companies. It is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in money market funds.
Illiquid Securities. The Fund may invest in illiquid securities (i.e., any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment). For purposes of this restriction, illiquid securities may include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), securities that may only be resold pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, and repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, among others. However, the Fund will not acquire illiquid securities if, as a result, such securities would comprise more than 15% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. The Advisor, subject to oversight by the Board of Trustees, has the ultimate authority to determine, to the extent permissible under the federal securities laws, which securities are liquid or illiquid for purposes of this 15% limitation under the Fund’s liquidity risk management programs adopted pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act.
Restricted securities may be sold only in privately negotiated transactions or in a public offering with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the 1933 Act. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than that which prevailed when it decided to sell. Illiquid securities will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. If, through the appreciation of illiquid securities or the depreciation of liquid securities, the Fund should be in a position where more than 15% of the value of its net assets are invested in illiquid securities, including restricted securities which are not readily marketable, the Fund will repot such occurrence to the Board of Trustees and take such steps as are deemed advisable to protect liquidity in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program.
Investment Companies. The Fund may invest in securities of money market funds and fixed income ETFs. ETFs are managed registered investment companies which invest in various types of securities. ETFs issue shares of common stock that are traded on a securities exchange. ETFs trade on a securities exchange and their shares may, at times, trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. As a shareholder in a pooled investment vehicle, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that vehicle’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the ETF’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested. Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other pooled investment vehicles. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of money market funds and ETFs. Securities of other pooled investment vehicles may be leveraged, in which case the value and/or yield of such securities will tend to be more volatile than securities of unleveraged vehicles.
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Portfolio Turnover
The Fund buys and sells portfolio securities in the normal course of their investment activities. The proportion of the Fund’s investment portfolio that is bought and sold during a year is known as the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate. A turnover rate of 100% would occur, for example, if all of the portfolio securities (other than short-term securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year. A high portfolio turnover rate could result in the payment by the Fund of increased brokerage costs, expenses and taxes.
Lending Of Portfolio Securities
In order to generate additional income, as a non-principal investment strategy, First Trust is authorized to select certain First Trust Funds, including the Fund, with notice to the Board of Trustees, to lend portfolio securities representing up to 33⅓% of the value of their total assets to broker-dealers, banks or other institutional borrowers of securities. As with other extensions of credit, there may be risks of delay in recovery of the securities or even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. However, such First Trust Funds will only enter into loan arrangements with broker-dealers, banks or other institutions which First Trust has determined are creditworthy under guidelines approved by the Board of Trustees. The First Trust Funds will pay a portion of the income earned on the lending transaction to the placing broker and may pay administrative and custodial fees in connection with these loans. First Trust may select any First Trust Fund to participate in securities lending program, at its discretion with notice to the Board of Trustees.
In these loan arrangements, the First Trust Funds will receive collateral in the form of cash, U.S. government securities or bank letters of credit equal to at least 102% (for domestic securities) or 105% (for international securities) of the market value of the securities loaned as determined at the time of loan origination. This collateral must be valued daily by First Trust or the applicable First Trust Fund’s lending agent and, if the market value of the loaned securities increases, the borrower must furnish additional collateral to the lending First Trust Fund. During the time portfolio securities are on loan, the borrower pays the lending First Trust Fund any dividends or interest paid on the securities. Loans are subject to termination at any time by the lending First Trust Fund or the borrower. While a First Trust Fund does not have the right to vote securities on loan, it would terminate the loan and regain the right to vote if that were considered important with respect to the investment. When a First Trust Fund lends portfolio securities to a borrower, payments in lieu of dividends made by the borrower to the First Trust Fund will not constitute “qualified dividends” taxable at the same rate as long-term capital gains, even if the actual dividends would have constituted qualified dividends had the First Trust Fund held the securities. Please see "Securities Lending Risk" below for a description of the risks associated with securities lending activities.
Investment Risks
The following risk disclosure supplements the discussion of the Fund's investment risks that appears in the Prospectus.
Overview
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks that an investment in the Fund's shares entails, including the risk that the financial condition of the issuers of the securities held by the Fund or the general condition of the securities market may worsen and the value of the securities and therefore the value of the Fund may decline. The Fund may not be an appropriate investment for those who are unable or unwilling to assume the risks involved generally with such an investment. The past market and earnings performance of any of the securities included in the Fund is not predictive of their future performance.
Depositary Receipts Risk
Depositary Receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. ADRs are receipts typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. EDRs are receipts issued by a European bank or trust company evidencing ownership of securities issued by a foreign corporation. New York shares are typically issued by a company incorporated in the Netherlands and represent a direct interest in the company. Unlike traditional Depositary Receipts, New York share programs do not involve custody of the Dutch shares of the company. GDRs are receipts issued throughout the world that evidence a similar arrangement. ADRs, EDRs and GDRs may trade in foreign currencies that differ from the currency the underlying security for each ADR, EDR or GDR principally trades in. Global shares are the actual (ordinary) shares of a non‑U.S. company which trade both in the home market and the United States. Generally, ADRs and New York shares, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets. EDRs, in registered form, are used to access European markets. GDRs, in registered form, are tradable
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both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. Global shares are represented by the same share certificate in the United States and the home market, and separate registrars in the United States and the home country are maintained. In most cases, purchases occurring on a U.S. exchange would be reflected on the U.S. registrar. Global shares may also be eligible to list on exchanges in addition to the United States and the home country. The Fund may hold unsponsored Depositary Receipts. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States; therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.
Equity Securities Risk
Equity securities are especially susceptible to general market movements and to volatile increases and decreases of value as market confidence in and perceptions of the issuers change. These perceptions are based on 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. First Trust cannot predict the direction or scope of any of these factors. Shareholders of common stocks have rights to receive payments from the issuers of those common stocks that are generally subordinate to those of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks of, such issuers.
Shareholders of common stocks of the type held by the Fund have a right to receive dividends only when and if, and in the amounts, declared by the issuer’s board of directors and have a right to participate in amounts available for distribution by the issuer only after all other claims on the issuer have been paid or otherwise been settled. Common stocks do not represent an obligation of the issuer and, therefore, do not offer any assurance of income or provide the same degree of protection of capital as do debt securities. The issuance of additional debt securities or preferred stock will create prior claims for payment of principal, interest and dividends which could adversely affect the ability and inclination of the issuer to declare or pay dividends on its common stock or the rights of holders of common stock with respect to assets of the issuer upon liquidation or bankruptcy. The value of common stocks is subject to market fluctuations for as long as the common stocks remain outstanding, and thus the value of the equity securities in the Fund will fluctuate over the life of the Fund and may be more or less than the price at which they were purchased by the Fund. The equity securities held in the Fund may appreciate or depreciate in value (or pay dividends) depending on the full range of economic and market influences affecting these securities, including the impact of the Fund's purchase and sale of the equity securities and other factors.
Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the entity, have generally inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks issued by, the issuer. Cumulative preferred stock dividends must be paid before common stock dividends and any cumulative preferred stock dividend omitted is added to future dividends payable to the holders of cumulative preferred stock. Preferred stockholders are also generally entitled to rights on liquidation which are senior to those of common stockholders.
Listing Standards Risk
The Fund is required by the Exchange to comply with certain listing standards (which includes certain investment parameters) in order to maintain its listing on the Exchange. Compliance with these listing standards may compel the Fund to sell securities at inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s then-current market value. The sale of securities in such circumstances could limit the Fund’s profit or require the Fund to incur a loss, and as a result, the Fund’s performance could be impacted.
Litigation Risk
At any time litigation may be instituted on a variety of grounds with respect to the common stocks held by the Fund. The Fund is unable to predict whether litigation that has been or will be instituted might have a material adverse effect on the Fund.
Market Risk
Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic
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regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
Health crises caused by the outbreak of infectious diseases or other public health issues, may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social, economic, market and financial risks. The impact of any such events, could negatively affect the global economy, as well as the economies of individual countries or regions, the financial performance of individual companies, sectors and industries, and the markets in general in significant and unforeseen ways. Any such impact could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the securities and other instruments in which the Fund invests and negatively impact the Fund’s investment return. For example, an outbreak of a respiratory disease designated as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and subsequently spread internationally. The transmission of COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread have resulted in international, national and local border closings and other significant travel restrictions and disruptions, significant disruptions to business operations, supply chains and customer activity, event cancellations and restrictions, service cancellations, reductions and other changes, significant challenges in healthcare service preparation and delivery, and quarantines, as well as general concern and uncertainty that has negatively affected the economic environment. These impacts also have caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. The impact of this COVID-19 pandemic may be short term or may last for an extended period of time, and in either case could result in a substantial economic downturn or recession.
In addition, the operations of the Fund, the Advisor and the Fund’s other service providers may be significantly impacted, or even temporarily or permanently halted, as a result of government quarantine measures, voluntary and precautionary restrictions on travel or meetings and other factors related to a public health emergency, including its potential adverse impact on the health of any such entity’s personnel.
Non-U.S. Securities Risk
Investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers, which are generally denominated in non-U.S. currencies, may involve certain risks not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. issuers. These risks include: (i) there may be less publicly available information about non-U.S. issuers or markets due to less rigorous disclosure or accounting standards or regulatory practices, as non-U.S. companies are generally not subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards as are U.S. companies; (ii) non-U.S. markets may be smaller, less liquid and more volatile than the U.S. market; (iii) potential adverse effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates or controls on the value of the Fund’s investments; (iv) the economies of non-U.S. countries may grow at slower rates than expected or may experience a downturn or recession; (v) the impact of economic, political, social or diplomatic events, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments; (vi) certain non-U.S. countries may impose restrictions on the ability of non-U.S. issuers to make payments of principal and interest to investors located in the United States due to blockage of non-U.S. currency exchanges or otherwise; and (vii) withholding and other non-U.S. taxes may decrease the Fund’s return. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments. In the event of nationalization, expropriation or other confiscation, the Fund could lose its entire investment in non-U.S. securities. In addition to the foregoing risks, there may be difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad.
Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Furthermore, many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse affect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.
Securities Lending Risk
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including counterparty risk, collateral risk and operational risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the borrower may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. As a result, a First Trust Fund engaged in securities lending transactions may suffer a loss and there may be a delay in recovering the lent securities.
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Any delay in the return of securities on loan may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Collateral risk is the risk that the collateral received may be realized at a value lower than the value of the securities lent, whether due to inaccurate pricing of the collateral, adverse market movements in the value of the collateral, intra-day increases in the value of the securities lent, a deterioration in the credit rating of the collateral issuer, or the illiquidity of the market in which the collateral is traded. Securities lending also entails operational risks, such as settlement failures or delays in the settlement of instructions. Such failures or delays may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Lastly, securities lending activities may result in adverse tax consequences for the Fund and its shareholders. For instance, substitute payments for dividends received by the Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered qualified dividend income. The Fund could lose money if its short-term investment of the collateral declines in value over the period of the loan.
Management of the Fund
Trustees and Officers
The general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. There are five Trustees of the Trust, one of whom is an “interested person” (as the term is defined in the 1940 Act) and four of whom are Trustees who are not officers or employees of First Trust or any of its affiliates (“Independent Trustees”). The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Trust’s investment advisor. The officers of the Trust manage its day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board of Trustees. The following is a list of the Trustees and executive officers of the Trust and a statement of their present positions and principal occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios each Trustee oversees and the other directorships they have held during the past five years, if applicable. Each Trustee has been elected for an indefinite term. The officers of the Trust serve indefinite terms. Each Trustee, except for James A. Bowen, is an Independent Trustee. Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) (“Interested Trustee”) of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor to the Fund. The following table identifies the Trustees and Officers of the Trust. Unless otherwise indicated, the address of all persons below is c/o First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
TRUSTEE WHO IS AN INTERESTED PERSON OF THE TRUST
James A. Bowen (1)
1955
Chairman of the Board and Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Chief Executive Officer, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Chairman of the Board of Directors, BondWave LLC (Software Development Company) and Stonebridge Advisors LLC (Investment Advisor) ___ Portfolios None
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Richard E. Erickson
1951
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Physician; Officer, Wheaton Orthopedics; Limited Partner, Gundersen Real Estate Limited Partnership (June 1992 to December 2016); Member, Sportsmed LLC (April 2007 to November 2015) ___ Portfolios None
Thomas R. Kadlec
1957
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
President, ADM Investor Services, Inc. (Futures Commission Merchant) ___ Portfolios Director of ADM Investor Services, Inc., ADM Investor Services International, Futures Industry Association, and National Futures Association
Robert F. Keith
1956
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
President, Hibs Enterprises (Financial and Management Consulting) ___ Portfolios Director of Trust Company of Illinois
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Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Niel B. Nielson
1954
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Advisor (August 2018 to present), Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer (January 2015 to August 2018), Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation (Educational Products and Services); President and Chief Executive Officer (June 2012 to September 2014), Servant Interactive LLC (Educational Products and Services); President and Chief Executive Officer (June 2012 to September 2014), Dew Learning LLC (Educational Products and Services) ___ Portfolios
None
    
Name and
Year of Birth
Position and
Offices with Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Service
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
OFFICERS OF THE TRUST
James M. Dykas
1966
President and Chief Executive Officer • Indefinite term
• Since January 2016
Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (January 2016 to present), Controller (January 2011 to January 2016), Senior Vice President (April 2007 to January 2016), First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Chief Financial Officer (January 2016 to present), BondWave LLC (Software Development Company) and Stonebridge Advisors LLC (Investment Advisor)
W. Scott Jardine
1960
Secretary and Chief Legal Officer • Indefinite term
• Since inception
General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Secretary and General Counsel, BondWave LLC; and Secretary, Stonebridge Advisors LLC
Daniel J. Lindquist
1970
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Managing Director, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Kristi A. Maher
1966
Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Deputy General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Donald P. Swade
1972
Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer • Indefinite term
• Since January 2016
Senior Vice President (July 2016 to Present), Vice President (April 2012 to July 2016), First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Roger F. Testin
1966
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Stan Ueland
1970
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
(1) Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor of the Fund.
Unitary Board Leadership Structure
Each Trustee serves as a trustee of all open-end and closed-end funds in the First Trust Fund Complex (as defined below), which is known as a “unitary” board leadership structure. Each Trustee currently serves as a trustee of First Trust Series Fund and First Trust Variable Insurance Trust, open-end funds with ___ portfolios advised by First Trust; First Trust Senior Floating Rate Income Fund II, Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund, First Trust Energy Income and Growth Fund, First Trust Enhanced Equity Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Global Opportunity Income Fund, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Emerging Opportunity Fund, First Trust Specialty Finance and Financial Opportunities Fund, First Trust High Income Long/Short Fund, First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund, First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund, First Trust Intermediate Duration Preferred & Income Fund, First Trust Dynamic Europe Equity Income Fund, First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund and First Trust Senior Floating Rate 2022 Target Term Fund, closed-end funds advised by First Trust; and First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund II, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund V, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VI, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund and First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund II, exchange-traded funds with ___ portfolios advised by First Trust (each a “First Trust
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Fund” and collectively, the “First Trust Fund Complex”). None of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust, nor any of their immediate family members, has ever been a director, officer or employee of, or consultant to, First Trust, FTP or their affiliates.
The management of the Fund, including general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and the Advisor, is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Fund's investment advisor, sub-advisors and other service providers. The officers of the Trust manage the day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board. The Board is composed of four Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Interested Trustee, James A. Bowen, serves as the Chairman of the Board for each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex.
The same five persons serve as Trustees on the Board and on the Boards of all other First Trust Funds. The unitary board structure was adopted for the First Trust Funds because of the efficiencies it achieves with respect to the governance and oversight of the First Trust Funds. Each First Trust Fund is subject to the rules and regulations of the 1940 Act (and other applicable securities laws), which means that many of the First Trust Funds face similar issues with respect to certain of their fundamental activities, including risk management, portfolio liquidity, portfolio valuation and financial reporting. Because of the similar and often overlapping issues facing the First Trust Funds, including among the First Trust exchange-traded funds, the Board of the First Trust Funds believes that maintaining a unitary board structure promotes efficiency and consistency in the governance and oversight of all First Trust Funds and reduces the costs, administrative burdens and possible conflicts that may result from having multiple boards. In adopting a unitary board structure, the Trustees seek to provide effective governance through establishing a board the overall composition of which will, as a body, possess the appropriate skills, diversity, independence and experience to oversee the Fund's business.
Annually, the Board reviews its governance structure and the committee structures, their performance and functions, and it reviews any processes that would enhance Board governance over the Fund's business. The Board has determined that its leadership structure, including the unitary board and committee structure, is appropriate based on the characteristics of the funds it serves and the characteristics of the First Trust Fund Complex as a whole.
In order to streamline communication between the Advisor and the Independent Trustees and create certain efficiencies, the Board has a Lead Independent Trustee who is responsible for: (i) coordinating activities of the Independent Trustees; (ii) working with the Advisor, Fund counsel and the independent legal counsel to the Independent Trustees to determine the agenda for Board meetings; (iii) serving as the principal contact for and facilitating communication between the Independent Trustees and the Fund's service providers, particularly the Advisor; and (iv) any other duties that the Independent Trustees may delegate to the Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee is selected by the Independent Trustees and serves a three-year term or until his or her successor is selected.
The Board has established four standing committees (as described below) and has delegated certain of its responsibilities to those committees. The Board and its committees meet frequently throughout the year to oversee the Fund's activities, review contractual arrangements with and performance of service providers, oversee compliance with regulatory requirements and review Fund performance. The Independent Trustees are represented by independent legal counsel at all Board and committee meetings (other than meetings of the Pricing and Dividend Committee). Generally, the Board acts by majority vote of all the Trustees, including a majority vote of the Independent Trustees if required by applicable law.
The three Committee Chairmen and the Lead Independent Trustee rotate every three years in serving as Chairman of the Audit Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee or the Valuation Committee, or as Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee and immediately preceding Lead Independent Trustee also serve on the Executive Committee with the Interested Trustee.
The four standing committees of the First Trust Fund Complex are: the Executive Committee (and Pricing and Dividend Committee), the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Valuation Committee and the Audit Committee. The Executive Committee, which meets between Board meetings, is authorized to exercise all powers of and to act in the place of the Board of Trustees to the extent permitted by the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and By Laws. Such Committee is also responsible for the declaration and setting of dividends. Mr. Nielson, Mr. Bowen and Dr. Erickson are members of the Executive Committee.
The Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for appointing and nominating non-interested persons to the Board of Trustees. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson are members of the Nominating and Governance Committee. If there is no vacancy on the Board of Trustees, the Board will not actively seek recommendations from other parties, including shareholders. The Board of Trustees adopted a mandatory retirement age of 75 for Trustees, beyond which age Trustees are
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ineligible to serve. The Committee will not consider new trustee candidates who are 72 years of age or older or will turn 72 years old during the initial term. When a vacancy on the Board of Trustees occurs or is anticipated to occur and nominations are sought to fill such vacancy, the Nominating and Governance Committee may seek nominations from those sources it deems appropriate in its discretion, including shareholders of the Fund. To submit a recommendation for nomination as a candidate for a position on the Board of Trustees, shareholders of the Fund should mail such recommendation to W. Scott Jardine, Secretary, at the Trust’s address, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. Such recommendation shall include the following information: (i) evidence of Fund ownership of the person or entity recommending the candidate (if a Fund shareholder); (ii) a full description of the proposed candidate’s background, including education, experience, current employment and date of birth; (iii) names and addresses of at least three professional references for the candidate; (iv) information as to whether the candidate is an “interested person” in relation to the Fund, as such term is defined in the 1940 Act, and such other information that may be considered to impair the candidate’s independence; and (v) any other information that may be helpful to the Committee in evaluating the candidate. If a recommendation is received with satisfactorily completed information regarding a candidate during a time when a vacancy exists on the Board or during such other time as the Nominating and Governance Committee is accepting recommendations, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee and to counsel to the Independent Trustees.
The Valuation Committee is responsible for the oversight of the valuation procedures of the Fund (the “Valuation Procedures”), for determining the fair value of the Fund's securities or other assets under certain circumstances as described in the Valuation Procedures and for evaluating the performance of any pricing service for the Fund. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson are members of the Valuation Committee.
The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing the Fund’s accounting and financial reporting process, the system of internal controls and audit process and for evaluating and appointing independent auditors (subject also to Board approval). Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson serve on the Audit Committee.
Executive Officers
The executive officers of the Trust hold the same positions with each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex (representing ___ portfolios) as they hold with the Trust, except Mr. Ueland who is an executive officer of only the ETFs advised by First Trust and Mr. Testin who is an executive officer of only the ETFs and open-end funds advised by First Trust.
Risk Oversight
As part of the general oversight of the Fund, the Board is involved in the risk oversight of the Fund. The Board has adopted and periodically reviews policies and procedures designed to address the Fund’s risks. Oversight of investment and compliance risk is performed primarily at the Board level in conjunction with the Advisor’s investment oversight group and the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”). Oversight of other risks also occurs at the committee level. The Advisor’s investment oversight group reports to the Board at quarterly meetings regarding, among other things, Fund performance and the various drivers of such performance. The Board reviews reports on the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance policies and procedures at each quarterly Board meeting and receives an annual report from the CCO regarding the operations of the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance programs. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet privately each quarter with the CCO. The Audit Committee reviews with the Advisor the Fund’s major financial risk exposures and the steps the Advisor has taken to monitor and control these exposures, including the Fund’s risk assessment and risk management policies and guidelines. The Audit Committee also, as appropriate, reviews in a general manner the processes other Board committees have in place with respect to risk assessment and risk management. The Nominating and Governance Committee monitors all matters related to the corporate governance of the Trust. The Valuation Committee monitors valuation risk and compliance with the Fund's Valuation Procedures and oversees the pricing services and actions by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee with respect to the valuation of portfolio securities.
Not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified nor can controls be developed to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects. It may not be practical or cost effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, the processes and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness, and some risks are simply beyond the reasonable control of the Fund or the Advisor or other service providers. For instance, as the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the Fund and its service providers have become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security (generally, intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund or a service provider to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity).  There can be no guarantee that any risk management systems established by the Fund, its service providers, or issuers of the securities in which the Fund invests to reduce cyber security
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risks will succeed, and the Fund cannot control such systems put in place by service providers, issuers or other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and/or its shareholders. Moreover, it is necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund's goals. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Fund's ability to manage risk is subject to substantial limitations.
Board Diversification and Trustee Qualifications
As described above, the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board oversees matters related to the selection and nomination of Trustees. The Nominating and Governance Committee seeks to establish an effective Board with an appropriate range of skills and diversity, including, as appropriate, differences in background, professional experience, education, vocation, and other individual characteristics and traits in the aggregate. Each Trustee must meet certain basic requirements, including relevant skills and experience, time availability and, if qualifying as an Independent Trustee, independence from the Advisor, underwriters or other service providers, including any affiliates of these entities.
Listed below for each current Trustee are the experiences, qualifications and attributes that led to the conclusion, as of the date of this SAI, that each current Trustee should serve as a Trustee in light of the Trust’s business and structure.
Richard E. Erickson, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon. He also has been President of Wheaton Orthopedics, a co-owner and director of a fitness center and a limited partner of two real estate companies. Dr. Erickson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999. Dr. Erickson has also served as the Lead Independent Trustee (20082009 and 20172019) and on the Executive Committee (20082009 and 2017present), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20032007 and 20142016), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20122013) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (June 20062007 and 20102011) of the First Trust Funds. He currently serves as Chairman of the Valuation Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
Thomas R. Kadlec is President of ADM Investor Services Inc. (“ADMIS”), a futures commission merchant and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Company (“ADM”). Mr. Kadlec has been employed by ADMIS and its affiliates since 1990 in various accounting, financial, operations and risk management capacities. Mr. Kadlec serves on the boards of several international affiliates of ADMIS and served as a member of ADM’s Integrated Risk Committee from 20082018, which was tasked with the duty of implementing and communicating enterprise-wide risk management. In 2014, Mr. Kadlec was elected to the board of the Futures Industry Association. In 2017, Mr. Kadlec was elected to the board of the National Futures Association. Mr. Kadlec has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception. Mr. Kadlec also served on the Executive Committee from the organization of the first First Trust closed-end fund in 2003 through 2005 (and 20142019) until he was elected as the first Lead Independent Trustee in December 2005, serving as such through 2007 (and 20142016). He also served as Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20082009 and 20172019), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20122013). He currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
Robert F. Keith is President of Hibs Enterprises, a financial and management consulting firm. Mr. Keith has been with Hibs Enterprises since 2003. Prior thereto, Mr. Keith spent 18 years with ServiceMaster and Aramark, including three years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Consumer Services, where he led the initial expansion of certain products overseas; five years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Management Services; and two years as President of Aramark ServiceMaster Management Services. Mr. Keith is a certified public accountant and also has held the positions of Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of ServiceMaster, at which time he oversaw the financial aspects of ServiceMaster’s expansion of its Management Services division into Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Mr. Keith has served as a Trustee of the First Trust Funds since June 2006. Mr. Keith has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20082009 and 20172019), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20142016) of the First Trust Funds. He served as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (20122016) and currently serves as Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
Niel B. Nielson, Ph.D., has been the Senior Advisor of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation, a global provider of educational products and services since August 2018. Prior thereto, Mr. Nielson served as the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation for three years. Mr. Nielson formerly served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dew Learning LLC from June 2012 through September 2014. Mr. Nielson formerly served as President of Covenant College (20022012), and as a partner and trader (of options and futures contracts for hedging options) for Ritchie Capital Markets Group (19961997), where he held an administrative management position at this proprietary derivatives trading company. He also held prior positions in new business development for ServiceMaster Management Services Company and in personnel and human resources for NationsBank of North Carolina, N.A. and Chicago Research and Trading Group, Ltd.
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(“CRT”). His international experience includes serving as a director of CRT Europe, Inc. for two years, directing out of London all aspects of business conducted by the U.K. and European subsidiary of CRT. Prior to that, Mr. Nielson was a trader and manager at CRT in Chicago. Mr. Nielson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999. Mr. Nielson has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20032006 and 20142016), Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20072008), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20082009 and 20172019) and Lead Independent Trustee and a member of the Executive Committee (20102011). He currently serves as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
James A. Bowen is Chief Executive Officer of First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P. Mr. Bowen is involved in the day-to-day management of the First Trust Funds and serves on the Executive Committee. He has over 35 years of experience in the investment company business in sales, sales management and executive management. Mr. Bowen has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999.
Effective January 1, 2016, the fixed annual retainer paid to the Independent Trustees is $230,000 per year and an annual per fund fee of $2,500 for each closed-end fund and actively managed fund and $250 for each index fund. The fixed annual retainer is allocated equally among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex rather than being allocated pro rata based on each fund’s net assets. Additionally, the Lead Independent Trustee is paid $30,000 annually, the Chairman of the Audit Committee or Valuation Committee are each paid $20,000 annually and the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee is paid $10,000 annually to serve in such capacities with compensation allocated pro rata among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex based on its net assets.
The following table sets forth the estimated compensation (including reimbursement for travel and out-of-pocket expenses) to be paid by the Fund for one fiscal year and the actual compensation paid by the First Trust Fund Complex to each of the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2019, respectively. The Trust has no retirement or pension plans. The officers and Trustee who are “interested persons” as designated above serve without any compensation from the Trust. The Trust has no employees. Its officers are compensated by First Trust.
Name of Trustee Estimated Compensation from
the Fund (1)
Total Compensation from
the First Trust Fund Complex (2)
Richard E. Erickson $_____ $________
Thomas R. Kadlec $_____ $________
Robert F. Keith $_____ $________
Niel B. Nielson $_____ $________
(1) The estimated compensation to be paid by the Fund to the Independent Trustees for one fiscal year for services to the Fund.
(2) The total compensation paid to the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2019 for services to the 171 portfolios, which consisted of 7 open-end mutual funds, 15 closed-end funds and 149 exchange-traded funds.
The following table sets forth the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by the Trustees in the Fund and in other funds overseen by the Trustees in the First Trust Fund Complex as of December 31, 2019:
Trustee Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund
(Number of Shares Held)
Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All Registered
Investment Companies
Overseen by Trustee in the
First Trust Fund Complex
Interested Trustee
James A. Bowen None Over $100,000
Independent Trustees
Richard E. Erickson None Over $100,000
Thomas R. Kadlec None Over $100,000
Robert F. Keith None Over $100,000
Niel B. Nielson None Over $100,000
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As of _____, 20__, the Independent Trustees of the Trust and their immediate family members did not own beneficially or of record any class of securities of an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund.
As of _____, 20__, the officers and Trustees, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the shares of the Fund.
As of _____, 20__, First Trust Portfolios was the sole shareholder of the Fund. As sole shareholder, First Trust Portfolios has the ability to control the outcome of any item presented to shareholders for approval.
As of _____, 20__, the Advisor did not own any shares of the Fund.
Investment Advisor. First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. First Trust is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. is a limited partnership with one general partner, The Charger Corporation, and a number of limited partners. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, the Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust discharges its responsibilities to the Fund subject to the policies of the Board of Trustees.
First Trust provides investment tools and portfolios for advisors and investors. First Trust is committed to theoretically sound portfolio construction and empirically verifiable investment management approaches. Its asset management philosophy and investment discipline are deeply rooted in the application of intuitive factor analysis and model implementation to enhance investment decisions.
First Trust acts as investment advisor for and supervises the Sub-Advisor’s investment and reinvestment of the assets of the Fund. First Trust 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.
Pursuant to an investment management agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust oversees the Sub-Advisor’s management of the Fund’s assets and pays the Sub-Advisor for its services as Sub-Advisor and is responsible for paying all expenses of the Fund, excluding the fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses. The Fund has agreed to pay First Trust an annual unitary management fee equal to 0.__% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Management Agreement, First Trust shall not be liable for any loss sustained by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security, whether or not such purchase, sale or retention shall have been based upon the investigation and research made by any other individual, firm or corporation, if such recommendation shall have been selected with due care and in good faith, except loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith, or gross negligence on the part of First Trust in the performance of its obligations and duties, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties. The Investment Management Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable at any time without penalty as to the Fund by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities on 60 days’ written notice to First Trust, or by First Trust on 60 days’ written notice to the Fund.
Sub-Advisor
The Fund and First Trust have retained Corbett Road Capital Management, LLC to serve as the Fund’s investment sub-advisor pursuant to an investment sub-advisory agreement (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”). The Sub-Advisor is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. [However, First Trust will be responsible for effecting all security transactions for the Fund’s assets and, in placing orders for the sale and purchase of securities for the Fund, First Trust will be responsible for seeking the best execution of such orders.] Corbett Road, with principal offices at 7901 Jones Branch Dr. Suite 800, McLean, Virginia 22102, was founded in 2002, [and is a Delaware LLC]. Corbett Road had approximately $_____ under management or committed to management as of _____, 2020.
C. Scott Airey and Rush Zarrabian are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolios.
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Mr. Airey has over twenty three years of professional experience and over seventeen years of investment management/consulting experience. Prior to founding the Corbett Road, Mr. Airey spent a year as a Branch Manager at Charles Schwab & Co. in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Airey began his career in the financial services industry at Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Airey is a CFP Practitioner, holds the FINRA Series 7, 9, 10, 63, 65 licenses and Life, Health and Variable Annuity Insurance licenses.
Mr. Zarrabian is a Portfolio Manager for Corbett Road. He heads the Asset Management Division and manages all the Corbett Road strategies. Mr. Zarrabian is also a member of the Corbett Road Investment Committee. Before joining the Corbett Road, Mr. Zarrabian worked at two of the largest financial institutions in the country in a variety of roles, including management, operations, and lending. Mr. Zarrabian has a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from Virginia Tech and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Washington, D.C.
As of ______________, the portfolio managers did not beneficially own any shares of the Fund.
Compensation. [Investment professionals of the Sub-Advisor are compensated through a combination of base salary and an annual performance-based bonus.  The performance-based bonus is based on the investment professional’s individual contribution to the performance of their given investment mandate and success of the firm.  Investment managers who are also members of Corbett Road may also receive periodic distributions based on the profitability of the firm.]
Accounts Managed By Portfolio Managers
The portfolio managers manage the investment vehicles (other than the Fund) with the number of accounts and assets as of ________, 20__, set forth in the table below:
Portfolio Manager Registered
Investment Companies
Number of Accounts
($ Assets)
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
Number of Accounts
($ Assets)
Other Accounts
Number of Accounts
($ Assets)
___________ __ ($____________) N/A ____ ($____________)
___________ __ ($____________) __ ($____________) ____ ($____________)
___________ N/A N/A ____ ($____________)
[UPDATE?]
None of the accounts managed by the portfolio managers pay an advisory fee that is based upon performance of the accounts.
Conflicts of Interest. Actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or other account. More specifically, portfolio managers who manage multiple funds and/or other accounts may be presented with one or more of the potential conflicts described below.
The management of multiple funds and/or other accounts may result in a portfolio manager devoting unequal time and attention to the management of each fund and/or other account. The Sub-Advisor seeks to manage such competing interests for the time and attention of a portfolio manager by having the portfolio manager focus on a particular investment discipline. Most other accounts managed by a portfolio manager are managed using a similar investment model that is used in connection with the management of the Fund. The Fund is expected to be included as part of a broader investment program developed by the Sub-Advisor and managed by the portfolio managers. The portfolio managers will be required to satisfy their duties to both the Fund and the accounts that invest in these broader programs. Conflicts may potentially arise when the portfolio managers attempt to satisfy the needs of each type of customer. The Sub-Advisor has developed procedures to address these potential conflicts.
If a portfolio manager identifies a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable for more than one fund or other account, a fund may not be able to take full advantage of that opportunity due to an allocation of filled purchase or sale orders across all eligible funds and other accounts. To deal with these situations, the Sub-Advisor has adopted procedures for allocating portfolio transactions across multiple accounts. However, First Trust will be responsible for effecting all security transactions for the Fund's assets and, in placing orders for the sale and purchase of securities for the Fund, First Trust will be responsible for seeking the best execution of such orders.
With respect to securities transactions for the Fund, First Trust determines which broker to use to execute each order, consistent with its duty to seek best execution of the transaction. However, with respect to certain other accounts (such as
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mutual funds for which the Sub-Advisor acts as sub-advisor, other pooled investment vehicles that are not registered mutual funds, and other accounts managed for organizations and individuals), the Sub-Advisor may be limited by the client with respect to the selection of brokers or may be instructed to direct trades through a particular broker. In these cases, trades for the Fund in a particular security may be placed separately from, rather than aggregated with, such other accounts. Having separate transactions with respect to a security may temporarily affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the possible detriment of the Fund or other account(s) involved.
The Sub-Advisor, the Advisor and the Fund have adopted certain compliance procedures that are designed to address these types of conflicts. However, there is no guarantee that such procedures will detect each and every situation in which a conflict arises.
Sub-Advisory Agreement. The Sub-Advisor, subject to the Board of Trustees’ and Advisor’s supervision, provides the Fund with discretionary investment services. Specifically, the Sub-Advisor is responsible for managing the investments of the Fund in accordance with the Fund's investment objectives, policies and restrictions as provided in the Prospectus and this SAI, as may be subsequently changed by the Board of Trustees and communicated to the Sub-Advisor in writing. The Sub-Advisor further agrees to conform to all applicable laws and regulations of the SEC in all material respects and to conduct its activities under the Sub-Advisory Agreement in all material respects in accordance with applicable regulations of any governmental authority pertaining to its investment advisory services. In the performance of its duties, the Sub-Advisor will in all material respects satisfy any applicable fiduciary duties it may have to the Fund, will monitor the Fund's investments and will comply with the provisions of the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, as amended from time to time, and the stated investment objective, policies and restrictions of the Fund. First Trust is responsible for effecting all security transactions for the Fund's assets. The Sub-Advisory Agreement provides that the Sub-Advisor shall generally not be liable for any loss suffered by the Fund or the Advisor (including, without limitation, by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security) in connection with the performance of the Sub-Advisor’s duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, except for a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Sub-Advisor in performance of its duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement.
Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Advisor has agreed to pay for the services and facilities provided by the Sub-Advisor through sub-advisory fees. The Sub-Advisor’s fees are paid by the Advisor out of the Advisor’s management fee. For the Fund, the Sub-Advisor receives a sub-advisory fee equal to ___% of any remaining monthly unitary management fee paid to the Advisor after the average Fund’s expenses accrued during the most recent twelve months are subtracted from the unitary management fee for that month. The following table sets forth the sub-advisory fees paid to the Sub-Advisor by the Advisor for the specified periods.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement may be terminated without the payment of any penalty by First Trust, the Board of Trustees, or a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), upon 60 days’ written notice to the Sub-Advisor.
All fees and expenses are accrued daily and deducted before payment of dividends to investors. The Sub-Advisory Agreement has been approved by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Fund, and the initial shareholder of the Fund.
Brokerage Allocations
[UPDATE?]
First Trust is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for the Fund and for the placement of the Fund's securities business, the negotiation of the commissions to be paid on brokered transactions, the prices for principal trades in securities, and the allocation of portfolio brokerage and principal business. It is the policy of First Trust to seek the best execution at the best security price available with respect to each transaction, and with respect to brokered transactions in light of the overall quality of brokerage and research services provided to First Trust and its clients. The best price to the Fund means the best net price without regard to the mix between purchase or sale price and commission, if any. Purchases may be made from underwriters, dealers and, on occasion, the issuers. Commissions will be paid on the Fund's futures and options transactions, if any. The purchase price of portfolio securities purchased from an underwriter or dealer may include underwriting commissions and dealer spreads. The Fund may pay markups on principal transactions. In selecting broker-dealers and in negotiating commissions, First Trust considers, among other things, the firm’s reliability, the quality of its execution services on a continuing basis and its financial condition. Fund portfolio transactions may be effected with broker-dealers who have assisted investors in the purchase of shares.
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Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits an investment advisor, under certain circumstances, to cause an account to pay a broker or dealer who supplies brokerage and research services a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction. Brokerage and research services include (a) furnishing advice as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing, purchasing or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities; (b) furnishing analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and the performance of accounts; and (c) effecting securities transactions and performing functions incidental thereto (such as clearance, settlement and custody). Such brokerage and research services are often referred to as “soft dollars.” First Trust has advised the Board of Trustees that it does not currently intend to use soft dollars.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in selecting brokers, First Trust may in the future consider investment and market information and other research, such as economic, securities and performance measurement research, provided by such brokers, and the quality and reliability of brokerage services, including execution capability, performance and financial responsibility. Accordingly, the commissions charged by any such broker may be greater than the amount another firm might charge if First Trust determines in good faith that the amount of such commissions is reasonable in relation to the value of the research information and brokerage services provided by such broker to First Trust or the Trust. In addition, First Trust must determine that the research information received in this manner provides the Fund with benefits by supplementing the research otherwise available to the Fund. The Investment Management Agreement provides that such higher commissions will not be paid by the Fund unless First Trust determines in good faith that the amount is reasonable in relation to the services provided. The investment advisory fees paid by the Fund to First Trust under the Investment Management Agreement would not be reduced as a result of receipt by First Trust of research services.
First Trust places portfolio transactions for other advisory accounts advised by it, and research services furnished by firms through which the Fund effects its securities transactions may be used by First Trust in servicing all of its accounts; not all of such services may be used by First Trust in connection with the Fund. First Trust believes it is not possible to measure separately the benefits from research services to each of the accounts (including the Fund) advised by it. Because the volume and nature of the trading activities of the accounts are not uniform, the amount of commissions in excess of those charged by another broker paid by each account for brokerage and research services will vary. However, First Trust believes such costs to the Fund will not be disproportionate to the benefits received by the Fund on a continuing basis. First Trust seeks to allocate portfolio transactions equitably whenever concurrent decisions are made to purchase or sell securities by the Fund and another advisory account. In some cases, this procedure could have an adverse effect on the price or the amount of securities available to the Fund. In making such allocations between the Fund and other advisory accounts, the main factors considered by First Trust are the respective investment objective, the relative size of portfolio holding of the same or comparable securities, the availability of cash for investment and the size of investment commitments generally held.
Administrator, Fund Accounting Agent, Custodian, Transfer Agent, Distributor and Exchange
Administrator.    The Fund has appointed Bank of New York Mellon Corporation ("BNYM"), located at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York, 10286, to serve as the Fund’s administrator and provide the Fund with accounting services pursuant to a fund administration and accounting agreement (the “Administration and Accounting Agreement”). Under the Administration and Accounting 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 service providers), assist in preparing reports to shareholders or investors, prepare and file tax returns, supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC and various state Blue Sky authorities and supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board.
Custodian.     Pursuant to a custody agreement, BNYM serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets. The custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolios.
Transfer Agent.    Pursuant to a transfer agency and service agreement, BNYM provides the Trust with transfer agency services, which includes Creation Unit Aggregation order processing.
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has agreed to indemnify BNYM 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
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of its duties. As compensation for these services, BNYM is paid a fee based on the Fund’s total average daily net assets. BNYM also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services described above. This fee is subject to reduction for assets over $1 billion. The Fund has not paid any fees to BNYM for the services provided as the Advisor has assumed responsibility for payment of these fees as part of the unitary management fee.
Distributor.    First Trust Portfolios L.P., an affiliate of First Trust, is the distributor (“FTP” or the “Distributor”) and principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund. Its principal address is 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. The Distributor has entered into a Distribution Agreement with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes Fund shares. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Fund through the Distributor only in Creation Unit Aggregations, as described in the Prospectus under the heading "Creation and Redemption of Creation Aggregations."
12b-1 Plan.    The Trust has adopted a Plan of Distribution pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the “Plan”) pursuant to which the Fund may reimburse the Distributor up to a maximum annual rate of 0.25% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Plan and as required by Rule 12b-1, the Trustees will receive and review after the end of each calendar quarter a written report provided by the Distributor of the amounts expended under the Plan and the purpose for which such expenditures were made. With the exception of the Distributor and its affiliates, no “interested person” of the Trust (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) and no Trustee of the Trust has a direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any related agreement.
No fee is currently paid by the Fund under the Plan and, pursuant to a contractual agreement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before _____________.
Aggregations. Fund shares in less than Creation Unit Aggregations are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver the 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 1934 Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).
The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated 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 has entered into agreements with participants that utilize the facilities of the Depositary Trust Company (the "DTC Participants"), which have international operational capabilities and place orders for Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares. Participating Parties (which are participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation) shall be DTC Participants.
Exchange.    The only relationship that the Exchange has with First Trust or the Distributor of the Fund in connection with the Fund is that the Exchange lists the shares of the Fund and disseminates the intra-day portfolio values of the Fund pursuant to its listing agreement with the Trust. The Exchange 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. The Exchange has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.
Additional Payments to Financial Intermediaries
First Trust or its affiliates may from time to time make payments, out of their own resources, to certain financial intermediaries that sell shares of First Trust Funds to promote the sales and retention of Fund shares by those firms and their customers. The amounts of these payments vary by intermediary. The level of payments that First Trust is willing to provide to a particular intermediary may be affected by, among other factors, (i) the firm’s total assets or Fund shares held in and recent net investments into First Trust Funds, (ii) the value of the assets invested in the First Trust Funds by the intermediary’s customers, (iii) redemption rates, (iv) its ability to attract and retain assets, (v) the intermediary’s reputation in the industry, (vi) the level and/or type of marketing assistance and educational activities provided by the intermediary, (vii) the firm’s level of participation in First Trust Funds’ sales and marketing programs, (viii) the firm’s compensation program for its registered
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representatives who sell Fund shares and provide services to Fund shareholders, and (ix) the asset class of the First Trust Funds for which these payments are provided. Such payments are generally asset-based but also may include the payment of a lump sum.
First Trust may also make payments to certain intermediaries for certain administrative services and shareholder processing services, including record keeping and sub-accounting of shareholder accounts pursuant to a sub-transfer agency, omnibus account service or sub-accounting agreement. All fees payable by First Trust under this category of services may be charged back to the Fund, subject to approval by the Board.
First Trust and/or its affiliates may make payments, out of its own assets, to those firms as compensation and/or reimbursement for marketing support and/or program servicing to selected intermediaries that are registered as holders or dealers of record for accounts invested in one or more of the First Trust Funds or that make First Trust Fund shares available through certain selected Fund no-transaction fee institutional platforms and fee-based wrap programs at certain financial intermediaries. Program servicing payments typically apply to employee benefit plans, such as retirement plans, or fee-based advisory programs but may apply to retail sales and assets in certain situations. The payments are based on such factors as the type and nature of services or support furnished by the intermediary and are generally asset-based. Services for which an intermediary receives marketing support payments may include, but are not limited to, business planning assistance, advertising, educating the intermediary’s personnel about First Trust Funds in connection with shareholder financial planning needs, placement on the intermediary’s preferred or recommended fund list, and access to sales meetings, sales representatives and management representatives of the intermediary. In addition, intermediaries may be compensated for enabling representatives of First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other employees, client and investor events and other events sponsored by the intermediary. Services for which an intermediary receives program servicing payments typically include, but are not limited to, record keeping, reporting or transaction processing and shareholder communications and other account administration services, but may also include services rendered in connection with Fund/investment selection and monitoring, employee enrollment and education, plan balance rollover or separation, or other similar services. An intermediary may perform program services itself or may arrange with a third party to perform program services. These payments, if any, are in addition to the service fee and any applicable omnibus sub-accounting fees paid to these firms with respect to these services by the First Trust Funds out of Fund assets.
From time to time, First Trust and/or its affiliates, at its expense, may provide other compensation to intermediaries that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of the First Trust Funds, which may be in addition to marketing support and program servicing payments described above. For example, First Trust and/or its affiliates may: (i) compensate intermediaries for National Securities Clearing Corporation networking system services (e.g., shareholder communication, account statements, trade confirmations and tax reporting) on an asset-based or per-account basis; (ii) compensate intermediaries for providing Fund shareholder trading information; (iii) make one-time or periodic payments to reimburse selected intermediaries for items such as ticket charges (i.e., fees that an intermediary charges its representatives for effecting transactions in Fund shares) or exchange order, operational charges (e.g., fees that an intermediary charges for establishing the Fund on its trading system), and literature printing and/or distribution costs; (iv) at the direction of a retirement plan’s sponsor, reimburse or pay direct expenses of an employee benefit plan that would otherwise be payable by the plan; and (v) provide payments to broker-dealers to help defray their technology or infrastructure costs.
When not provided for in a marketing support or program servicing agreement, First Trust and/or its affiliates may also pay intermediaries for enabling First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other intermediary employees, client and investor events and other intermediary-sponsored events, and for travel expenses, including lodging incurred by registered representatives and other employees in connection with prospecting, asset retention and due diligence trips. These payments may vary depending upon the nature of the event. First Trust and/or its affiliates make payments for such events as it deems appropriate, subject to its internal guidelines and applicable law.
First Trust and/or its affiliates occasionally sponsor due diligence meetings for registered representatives during which they receive updates on various First Trust Funds and are afforded the opportunity to speak with portfolio managers. Although invitations to these meetings are not conditioned on selling a specific number of shares, those who have shown an interest in First Trust Funds are more likely to be considered. To the extent permitted by their firm’s policies and procedures, all or a portion of registered representatives’ expenses in attending these meetings may be covered by First Trust and/or its affiliates.
The amounts of payments referenced above made by First Trust and/or its affiliates could be significant and may create an incentive for an intermediary or its representatives to recommend or offer shares of the First Trust Funds to its customers.
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The intermediary may elevate the prominence or profile of the First Trust Funds within the intermediary’s organization by, for example, placing the First Trust Funds on a list of preferred or recommended funds and/or granting First Trust and/or its affiliates preferential or enhanced opportunities to promote the First Trust Funds in various ways within the intermediary’s organization. These payments are made pursuant to negotiated agreements with intermediaries. The payments do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of a share or the amount the Fund will receive as proceeds from such sales. Furthermore, many of these payments are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fee table section of the Fund's Prospectus because they are not paid by the Fund. The types of payments described herein are not mutually exclusive, and a single intermediary may receive some or all types of payments as described.
Other compensation may be offered to the extent not prohibited by state laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as FINRA. Investors can ask their intermediaries for information about any payments they receive from First Trust and/or its affiliates and the services it provides for those payments. Investors may wish to take intermediary payment arrangements into account when considering and evaluating any recommendations relating to Fund shares.
Additional Information
Book Entry Only System. The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus.
DTC Acts as Securities Depository for Fund Shares. Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee, Cede & Co., 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 NYSE and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).
Beneficial ownership of shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase and sale of shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to a letter agreement between DTC and the Trust, 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 notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participants 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, as the registered holder of all Fund 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
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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.
Intra-Day Portfolio Value. The price of a non-U.S. security that is primarily traded on a non-U.S. exchange shall be updated every 15 seconds throughout its trading day, provided that, upon the closing of such non-U.S. exchange, the closing price of the security will be used throughout the remainder of the business day where the markets remain open. These exchange rates may differ from those used by the Sub-Advisor and consequently result in intra-day portfolio values (“IPV”) that may vary. Furthermore, in calculating the intra-day portfolio values of the Fund’s shares, the exchange rates used throughout the day (9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time) shall be those that are deemed to be most appropriate.
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
The Trust has adopted a proxy voting policy that seeks to ensure that proxies for securities held by the Fund are voted consistently with the best interests of the Fund.
The Board has delegated to First Trust the proxy voting responsibilities for the Fund and has directed First Trust to vote proxies consistent with the Fund's best interests. First Trust has engaged the services of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) to make recommendations to First Trust on the voting of proxies relating to securities held by the Fund. If First Trust manages the assets of a company or its pension plan and any of First Trust’s clients hold any securities of that company, First Trust will vote proxies relating to such company’s securities in accordance with the ISS recommendations to avoid any conflict of interest.
First Trust has adopted the ISS Proxy Voting Guidelines. While these guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive, they do provide guidance on First Trust’s general voting policies. The ISS Proxy Voting Guidelines are attached hereto as Exhibit A.
Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies (if any) relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 is available upon request and without charge on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com, by calling (800) 621-1675 or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Portfolio Schedule.    The Fund files portfolio holdings information for each month in a fiscal quarter within 60 days after the end of the relevant fiscal quarter on Form N-PORT. Portfolio holdings information for the third month of each fiscal quarter will be publicly available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The Fund’s complete schedule of portfolio holdings for the second and fourth quarters of each fiscal year is included in the semi-annual and annual reports to shareholders, respectively, and is filed with the SEC on Form N-CSR. A semi-annual or annual report for the Fund will become available to investors within 60 days after the period to which it relates. The Fund’s Forms N-PORT and Forms N-CSR are available on the SEC’s website listed above.
Policy Regarding Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings.    The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The Board of Trustees must approve all material amendments to this policy. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet websites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Fund shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated each day the NYSE is open for trading via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are also available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com. The Trust, First Trust, FTP and BNYM will not disseminate non‑public information concerning the Trust.
Codes of Ethics.    In order to mitigate the possibility that the Fund will be adversely affected by personal trading, the Trust, First Trust and FTP adopted Codes of Ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These Codes of Ethics contain policies restricting securities trading in personal accounts of the officers, Trustees and others who normally come into possession of information on portfolio transactions. Personnel subject to the Codes of Ethics may invest in securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund; however, the Codes of Ethics require that each transaction in such securities be reviewed by the CCO or his or her designee. These Codes of Ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.
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Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations
Creation. The Trust issues and sells shares of the Fund only in Creation Unit Aggregations on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at their net asset values 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, Presidents’ Day, 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 may consist of (i) cash in lieu of all or a portion of the Deposit Securities, as defined below, and/or (ii) a designated portfolio of securities determined by First Trustthe “Deposit Securities”per each Creation Unit Aggregation and generally an amount of cashthe “Cash Component”computed as described below. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component (including the cash in lieu amount) constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund.
The Cash Component is sometimes also referred to as the Balancing Amount. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the net asset value per Creation Unit Aggregation and the Deposit Amount (as defined below). The Cash Component is an amount equal to the difference between (i) the net asset value of Fund shares (per Creation Unit Aggregation) and (ii) the “Deposit Amount”an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities and/or cash in lieu of all or a portion of the Deposit Securities. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the net asset value 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 net asset value 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 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 applicable adjustments, in order 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 change as corporate action events are reflected within the Fund from time to time by First Trust with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cashi.e., a “cash in lieu” amountto be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available, that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or that might not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant (as defined below) or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason. The Trust also reserves the right to permit or require, under certain circumstances, the substitution of a different security in lieu of depositing some or all of the Deposit Securities. The adjustments described above will reflect changes known to First Trust on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit 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, for the current day as well as the Cash Component for the previous Business Day, per outstanding Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund.
Procedures for Creation of Creation Unit Aggregations. In order to be eligible to place orders with the Distributor and to create a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund, an entity must be a DTC Participant (see the section entitled “Book Entry Only System”), must have executed an agreement with the Distributor and transfer agent, with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations (“Participant Agreement”), and must have international operational capabilities. A DTC Participant is also referred to as an “Authorized Participant.” Investors should contact the Distributor for the names of Authorized Participants that have signed a Participant Agreement. All Fund shares, however created, will be entered on the records of DTC in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC Participant.
All standard orders to create Creation Unit Aggregations must be received by the transfer agent 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 the creation of Creation Unit Aggregations to be effected based on the net asset value of shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. Subject to the provisions of the applicable Participant Agreement, in the case of custom orders, the order must generally be received by the transfer
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agent no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the trade date. A custom order may be placed by an Authorized Participant in the event that the Trust permits or requires the substitution of an amount of cash to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available, which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or which may not be eligible for trading by such Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason. The date on which 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 Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the transfer agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement. Severe economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communications failure may impede the ability to reach the transfer agent or an Authorized Participant.
All orders from investors who are not Authorized Participants to create Creation Unit Aggregations shall be placed with an Authorized Participant, as applicable, in the form required by such Authorized Participant. In addition, the Authorized Participant 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 Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement. Those persons placing orders 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.
Deposit Securities must be delivered to the Trust through DTC or NSCC, subject to and in accordance with the applicable provisions set forth in the Participant Agreement and Deposit Securities that are non-U.S. securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local subcustodian of the Trust on or before the International Contractual Settlement Date, as defined below all in accordance with the terms of the Participant Agreement. If a Deposit Security is an ADR or similar domestic instrument, it may be delivered to the Custodian. The Authorized Participant must also pay on or before the International Contractual Settlement Date immediately available or same-day funds estimated by Trust to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after acceptance of the creation order, together with the applicable Creation Transaction Fee (as defined below) and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes. The “International Contractual Settlement Date” is the earlier of (i) the date upon which all of the required Deposit Securities, the Cash Component and any other cash amounts which may be due are delivered to the Fund or (ii) the latest day for settlement on the customary settlement cycle in the jurisdiction(s) where any of the securities of the Fund are customarily traded. Any excess funds will be returned following settlement of the issue of the Creation Unit Aggregation.
Issuance of Creation Unit Aggregations. A Creation Unit Aggregation will generally not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the portfolio of Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component, the payment of the Creation Transaction Fee (as defined below) and the payment of any other required cash amounts have been completed. When the required Deposit Securities which are U.S. securities have been delivered to the Trust through DTC or NSCC, and each relevant subcustodian confirms to Custodian that the required Deposit Securities which are non-U.S. securities (or, when permitted in the sole discretion of Trust, the cash in lieu thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant subcustodian, the Custodian shall notify the Distributor and the transfer agent which, acting on behalf of the Trust, will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Unit Aggregations. The Trust may in its sole discretion permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or for other relevant reasons. If the Distributor, acting on behalf of the Trust, determines that a “cash in lieu” amount will be accepted, the Distributor will notify the Authorized Participant and the transfer agent, and the Authorized Participant shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, the “cash in lieu” amount, with any appropriate adjustments as advised by the Trust.
In the event that an order for a Creation Unit is incomplete because certain or all of the Deposit Securities are missing, the Trust may issue a Creation Unit notwithstanding such deficiency in reliance on the undertaking of the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by an additional cash deposit (described below) with respect to the undelivered Deposit Securities. To the extent contemplated by the applicable Participant Agreement, Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund will be issued to such Authorized Participant notwithstanding the fact that the corresponding Fund Deposits have not been received in part or in whole, in reliance on the undertaking of the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by such Authorized Participant’s delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash in the form of U.S. dollars in immediately available funds having a value (marked to market daily) at least equal to 115% which First Trust may change from time to time of the value
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of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participant Agreement will permit the Fund to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such securities and the value of the collateral.
Acceptance of Orders for Creation Unit Aggregations. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor with respect to the Fund if: (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s), upon obtaining the Fund shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of the Fund; (iii) the required Fund Deposit is not delivered; (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 the Trust, be unlawful; (vi) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise have an adverse effect on the Trust, the Fund or the rights of Beneficial Owners; or (vii) circumstances outside the control of the Trust or the Fund make it impossible to process creation orders for all practical purposes. Examples of such circumstances include: acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Fund, the Trust, First Trust, the Distributor, the transfer agent, DTC, NSCC, the Custodian or sub-custodian or any other participant in the creation process; the imposition by a foreign government or a regulatory body of controls, or other monetary, currency or trading restrictions that directly affect the portfolio securities held; and similar extraordinary events. The Distributor shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such prospective creator of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, 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 Transaction Fee. Purchasers of Creation Units must pay a creation transaction fee (the “Creation Transaction Fee”) that is currently $___ for the Fund. The Creation Transaction Fee is applicable to each purchase transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased in the transaction. The Creation Transaction Fee may vary and is based on the composition of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio and the countries in which the transactions are settled. The price for each Creation Unit will equal the daily net asset value per share times the number of shares in a Creation Unit plus the fees described above and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes. When the Fund permits an Authorized Participant to substitute cash or a different security in lieu of depositing one or more of the requisite Deposit Securities, the Authorized Participant may also be assessed an amount to cover the cost of purchasing the Deposit Securities and/or disposing of the substituted securities, including operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes, and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to such Deposit Securities and/or substitute securities.
As discussed above, shares of the Fund may be issued in advance of receipt of all Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Fund cash at least equal to 115% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities.
Redemption of Fund Shares in Creation Unit Aggregations. Fund shares may be redeemed only in Creation Unit Aggregations at their net asset value next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the transfer agent and only on a Business Day. A 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. Shares generally will be redeemed in Creation Unit Aggregations in exchange for a particular portfolio of securities (“Fund Securities”), although the Fund has the right to make redemption payments in cash, in-kind or a combination of each. 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 customary brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Fund shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit Aggregation.
With respect to the Fund, 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 on that day. Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities that are applicable to creations of Creation Unit Aggregations.
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Unless cash redemptions are available or specified for the Fund (as discussed below), the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit Aggregation generally consist of Fund Securitiesas announced on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper formplus or minus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the Creation Unit Aggregation 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 the applicable Redemption Transaction Fee as listed below and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the net asset value of the Fund shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the difference plus, the applicable Redemption Transaction Fee and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder.
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 net asset value is not reasonably practicable; or (iv) in such other circumstances as are permitted by the SEC.
Redemption Transaction Fee. Parties redeeming Creation Units must pay a redemption transaction fee (the “Redemption Transaction Fee”) that is currently $___ for the Fund. The Redemption Transaction Fee is applicable to each redemption transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. The Redemption Transaction Fee may vary and is based on the composition of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio and the countries in which the transactions are settled. Investors will also bear the costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order and may also be assessed an amount to cover other costs including operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to such securities. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary in addition to an Authorized Participant to effect a redemption of a Creation Unit Aggregation may also be assessed an amount to cover the cost of such services.
Placement of Redemption Orders. Orders to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement and must comply with the applicable provisions of such Participant Agreement. Investors other than APs are responsible for making arrangements for a redemption request to be made through an Authorized Participant. An order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund is deemed received by the Trust on the Transmittal Date if: (i) such order is received by BNYM (in its capacity as transfer agent) not later than the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is accompanied or followed by the requisite number of shares of the Fund specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to BNYM; and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed.
Deliveries of Fund Securities to investors are generally expected to be made within two business days. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of in-kind redemption proceeds for the Fund may take longer than two Business Days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods. See below for a list of the local holidays in the foreign countries relevant to the Fund. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund would generally be required to make payment of redemption proceeds within seven days after a security is tendered for redemption. However, because the settlement of redemptions of Fund Shares is contingent not only on the settlement cycle of the United States securities markets, but also on delivery cycles of foreign markets, pursuant to an exemptive order on which the Fund may rely, the Fund’s in-kind redemption proceeds must be paid within the maximum number of calendar days required for such payment or satisfaction in the principal local markets where transactions in portfolio securities customarily clear and settle, but generally no later than twelve calendar days following tender of a Creation Unit Aggregation.
In connection with taking delivery of shares of non-U.S. Fund Securities upon redemption of shares of the Fund, a redeeming Beneficial Owner, or AP acting on behalf of such Beneficial Owner, must maintain appropriate security arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody provider in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered.
To the extent contemplated by a Participant Agreement, in the event the Authorized Participant has submitted a redemption request in proper form but is unable to transfer all or part of the Creation Unit Aggregation to be redeemed to the Fund’s transfer agent, the transfer agent may nonetheless accept the redemption request in reliance on the undertaking by the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing shares as soon as possible. Such undertaking shall be secured by the Authorized Participant’s delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash having a value (marked to market daily) at least equal to 115%, which First Trust may change from time to time, of the value of the missing shares.
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The current procedures for collateralization of missing shares require, among other things, that any cash collateral shall be in the form of U.S. dollars in immediately available funds and shall be held by BNYM and marked to market daily, and that the fees of BNYM and any sub-custodians in respect of the delivery, maintenance and redelivery of the cash collateral shall be payable by the Authorized Participant. If the Participant Agreement provides for collateralization, it will permit the Trust, on behalf of the affected Fund, to purchase the missing shares at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such shares and the value of the collateral.
The calculation of the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered/received upon redemption will be made by BNYM according to the procedures set forth in this SAI under “Determination of Net Asset Value” computed on the Business Day on which a redemption order is deemed received by the Trust. Therefore, if a redemption order in proper form is submitted to BNYM by a DTC Participant not later than Closing Time on the Transmittal Date, and the requisite number of shares of the Fund are delivered to BNYM prior to the specified time, then the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered will be determined by BNYM on such Transmittal Date. If, however, a redemption order is submitted to BNYM by a DTC Participant not later than the Closing Time on the Transmittal Date but either (i) the requisite number of shares of the relevant Fund are not delivered by the specified time, as described above, on such Transmittal Date, or (ii) the redemption order is not submitted in proper form, then the redemption order will not be deemed received as of the Transmittal Date. In such case, the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered/received will be computed on the Business Day that such order is deemed received by the Trust, i.e., the Business Day on which the shares of the Fund are delivered through DTC to BNYM by the specified time on such Business Day pursuant to a properly submitted redemption order.
If it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities, the Trust may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem such Fund shares in cash, and the redeeming Beneficial Owner will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash that the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the net asset value of its Fund shares based on the net asset value of shares of the relevant Fund next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee and additional charges for requested cash redemptions specified above, to offset the Trust’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities). A Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer cash in lieu of some securities added to the Cash Redemption Amount, but in no event will the total value of the securities delivered and the cash transmitted differ from the net asset value.
Redemptions of Fund shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations for cash to the extent that the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular stock included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of a Creation Unit Aggregation may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming Beneficial Owner of the Fund shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment, beneficial ownership of shares or delivery instructions.
Federal Tax Matters
This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of the SAI. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker-dealer or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or foreign tax consequences.
This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, our counsel was not asked to review, and has not reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be deposited in the Fund. This may not be sufficient for prospective investors to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, prospective investors should seek advice based on their individual circumstances from their own tax advisor.
The Fund intends to qualify annually and to elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
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To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to regulated investment companies, the Fund must, among other things, (i) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, or net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships; (ii) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund's assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities, with such other securities of any one issuer generally limited for the purposes of this calculation to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, or two or more issuers which the Fund controls which are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more of certain publicly traded partnerships; and (iii) distribute at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses) and at least 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income each taxable year. There are certain exceptions for failure to qualify if the failure is for reasonable cause or is de minimis, and certain corrective action is taken and certain tax payments are made by the Fund.
As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code, but without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, that it distributes to shareholders. The Fund intends to distribute to its shareholders, at least annually, substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain. If the Fund retains any net capital gain or investment company taxable income, it will generally be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. In addition, amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax unless, generally, the Fund distributes during each calendar year an amount equal to the sum of (1) at least 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, (2) at least 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ending October 31 of the calendar year, and (3) any ordinary income and capital gains for previous years that were not distributed during those years. In order to prevent application of the excise tax, the Fund intends to make its distributions in accordance with the calendar year distribution requirement. A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of the current calendar year if it is declared by the Fund in October, November or December with a record date in such a month and paid by the Fund during January of the following calendar year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
Subject to certain reasonable cause and de minimis exceptions, if the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company or fails to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement in any taxable year, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation on its taxable income (even if such income were distributed to its shareholders) and all distributions out of earnings and profits would be taxed to shareholders as ordinary income.
Distributions
Dividends paid out of the Fund's investment company taxable income are generally taxable to a shareholder as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits, whether paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares. However, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at capital gains tax rates. In particular, ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain, provided that certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. Dividends received by the Fund from REITs and foreign corporations are qualifying dividends eligible for this lower tax rate only in certain circumstances. The Fund will provide notice to its shareholders of the amount of any distributions that may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates. The Fund cannot make any guarantees as to the amount of any distribution which will be regarded as a qualifying dividend.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to net investment income if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.
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A corporation that owns shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain domestic corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Distributions of net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, properly reported as capital gain dividends are taxable to a shareholder as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long the shareholder has held Fund shares. Shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares, rather than cash, generally will have a tax basis in each such share equal to the value of a share of the Fund on the reinvestment date. A distribution of an amount in excess of the Fund's current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated by a shareholder as a return of capital which is applied against and reduces the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares. To the extent that the amount of any such distribution exceeds the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, the excess will be treated by the shareholder as gain from a sale or exchange of the shares.
Shareholders will be notified annually as to the U.S. federal income tax status of distributions and shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares will receive a report as to the value of those shares.
Sale or Exchange of Fund Shares
Upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund, which a shareholder holds as a capital asset, such a shareholder may realize a capital gain or loss which will be long-term or short-term, depending upon the shareholder’s holding period for the shares. Generally, a shareholder’s gain or loss will be a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year.
Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent that shares disposed of are replaced (including through reinvestment of dividends) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after disposition of shares or to the extent that the shareholder, during such period, acquires or enters into an option or contract to acquire, substantially identical stock or securities. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on a disposition of Fund shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions of long-term capital gain received by the shareholder with respect to such shares.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If a shareholder exchanges securities for Creation Units, the shareholder will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the shareholder’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the Cash Component paid. If a shareholder exchanges Creation Units for securities, then the shareholder will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the Cash Redemption Amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Nature of Fund Investments
Certain of the Fund's investment practices are subject to special and complex federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions; (ii) convert lower taxed long-term capital gain into higher taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income; (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited); (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash; (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur; and (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions.
Investments in Certain Foreign Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain foreign corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive
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income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such PFIC shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax (described above). Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Backup Withholding
The Fund may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax from all taxable distributions and sale proceeds payable to shareholders who fail to provide the Fund with their correct taxpayer identification number or fail to make required certifications, or who have been notified by the Internal Revenue Service that they are subject to backup withholding. Corporate shareholders and certain other shareholders specified in the Code generally are exempt from such backup withholding. This withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.
Non-U.S. Shareholders
U.S. taxation of a shareholder who, as to the United States, is a nonresident alien individual, a foreign trust or estate, a foreign corporation or foreign partnership (“non-U.S. shareholder”) depends on whether the income of the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the shareholder.
In addition to the rules described in this section concerning the potential imposition of withholding on distributions to non-U.S. persons, distributions to non-U.S. persons that are “financial institutions” may be subject to a withholding tax of 30% unless an agreement is in place between the financial institution and the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose information about accounts, equity investments or debt interests in the financial institution held by one or more U.S. persons or the institution is resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury. For these purposes, a “financial institution” means any entity that (i) accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business; (ii) holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business; or (iii) is engaged (or holds itself out as being engaged) primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities, partnership interests, commodities or any interest (including a futures contract or option) in such securities, partnership interests or commodities. Dispositions of shares by such persons may be subject to such withholding after December 31, 2018.
Distributions to non-financial non-U.S. entities (other than publicly traded foreign entities, entities owned by residents of U.S. possessions, foreign governments, international organizations or foreign central banks) will also be subject to a withholding tax of 30% if the entity does not certify that the entity does not have any substantial U.S. owners or provide the name, address and TIN of each substantial U.S. owner. This withholding tax is also scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends after December 31, 2018. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
Income Not Effectively Connected.    If the income from the Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the non-U.S. shareholder, distributions of investment company taxable income will generally be subject to a U.S. tax of 30% (or lower treaty rate), which tax is generally withheld from such distributions.
Distributions of capital gain dividends and any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains will not be subject to U.S. tax at the rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate) unless the non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual and is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements. However, this 30% tax on capital gains of nonresident alien individuals who are physically present in the United States for more than the 182 day period only applies in exceptional cases because any individual present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year is generally treated as a resident for U.S. income tax purposes; in that case, he or she would be subject to U.S. income tax on his or her worldwide income at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, rather than the 30% U.S. tax. In the case of a non-U.S. shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the Fund may be required to withhold U.S. income tax from distributions of net capital gain unless the non-U.S. shareholder certifies his or her non-U.S. status under penalties of perjury or otherwise establishes an exemption. If a non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual, any gain such shareholder realizes upon the sale or exchange of such shareholder’s shares of the Fund in the United States will ordinarily be exempt from U.S. tax unless the gain is U.S. source
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income and such shareholder is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements.
Distributions from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as an interest-related dividend attributable to certain interest income received by the Fund or as a short-term capital gain dividend attributable to certain net short-term capital gain income received by the Fund may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes when received by certain non-U.S. investors, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met.
In addition, capital gain distributions attributable to gains from U.S. real property interests (including certain U.S. real property holding corporations) will generally be subject to United States withholding tax and will give rise to an obligation on the part of the foreign shareholder to file a United States tax return.
Income Effectively Connected.    If the income from the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a non-U.S. shareholder, then distributions of investment company taxable income and capital gain dividends, any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares of the Fund will be subject to U.S. income tax at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, residents and domestic corporations. Non-U.S. corporate shareholders may also be subject to the branch profits tax imposed by the Code. The tax consequences to a non-U.S. shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may differ from those described herein. Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Capital Loss Carry-forward
Under the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, net capital losses of the Fund incurred in taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010 may be carried forward indefinitely, and their character is retained as short-term and/or long-term losses. To the extent that these loss carry-forwards are used to offset future capital gains, it is probable that the capital gains so offset will not be distributed to Fund shareholders. The Fund is subject to certain limitations, under U.S. tax rules, on the use of capital loss carry-forwards and net unrealized built-in losses. These limitations generally apply when there has been a 50% change in ownership.
Other Taxation
Fund shareholders may be subject to state, local and foreign taxes on their Fund distributions. Shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Determination of Net Asset Value
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Net Asset Value.”
The per share net asset value of the Fund is determined by dividing the total value of the securities and other assets, less liabilities, by the total number of shares outstanding. Under normal circumstances, daily calculation of the net asset value will utilize the last closing sale price of each security held by the Fund at the close of the market on which such security is principally listed. In determining net asset value, portfolio securities for the Fund for which accurate market quotations are readily available will be valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
(1) Common stocks and other equity securities listed on any national or foreign exchange other than The Nasdaq Stock Exchange LLC (“Nasdaq”) and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) will be valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded, or the official closing price for Nasdaq and AIM securities. Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the Business Day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities.
(2) Shares of open-end mutual funds are valued at fair value which is based on NAV per share.
(3) Securities traded in the OTC market are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
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(4) Exchange-traded options and futures contracts are valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded. If no closing price is available, they will be fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price. OTC options and futures contracts are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
(5) Forward foreign currency contracts are fair valued at the current day’s interpolated foreign exchange rate, as calculated using the current day’s spot rate, and the 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day forward rates provided by an independent pricing service or by certain independent dealers in such contracts.
In addition, the following types of securities will be fair valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
(1) Fixed-income securities, convertible securities, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return swaps, currency swaps, currency-linked notes, credit-linked notes and other similar instruments will be fair valued using a pricing service.
(2) Fixed-income and other debt securities having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts (amortized cost), provided the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of fair value given market and issuer specific conditions existing at the time of the determination. Factors that may be considered in determining the appropriateness of the use of amortized cost include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) the credit conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(ii) the liquidity conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(iii) the interest rate conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto (such as significant changes in interest rates);
(iv) issuer-specific conditions (such as significant credit deterioration); and
(v) any other market-based data the Advisor’s Pricing Committee considers relevant. In this regard, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may use last-obtained market-based data to assist it when valuing portfolio securities using amortized cost.
(3) Repurchase agreements will be valued as follows. Overnight repurchase agreements will be fair valued at amortized cost when it represents the best estimate of fair value. Term repurchase agreements (i.e., those whose maturity exceeds seven days) will be fair valued by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee at the average of the bid quotations obtained daily from at least two recognized dealers.
If the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the accuracy or reliability of a price supplied or the use of the amortized cost methodology, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine if “it needs to fair value” such portfolio security pursuant to established valuation procedures.  From time to time, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee will request that the Fund accounting agent submit price challenges to a pricing service, usually in response to any updated broker prices received.
Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board of Trustees or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities that may not be publicly sold without registration under the 1933 Act) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market or fair value price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of Fund net asset value (as may be the case in foreign markets on which the security is primarily traded) or is likely to make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not reflect the security’s fair value. Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a pricing service or are determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee.  Market value prices represent last sale or official closing prices from a national or foreign exchange (i.e., a regulated market) and are primarily obtained from pricing services.  If no market price or official close price is available from either a pricing service or no quotations are available from one or more brokers or if the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the reliability or accuracy of a price supplied or the use of amortized cost, the value of any portfolio security held by the Fund for which reliable market prices/quotations
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are not readily available will be determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee in a manner that most appropriately reflects fair market value of the security on the valuation date, based on a consideration of all available information.  When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from market quotations or official closing prices on the applicable exchange.
Because foreign markets may be open on different days than the days during which a shareholder may buy or sell shares of the Fund, the value of the Fund's investments may change on the days when shareholders are not able to buy or sell shares of the Fund. For foreign securities, if an extraordinary market event occurs between the time the last “current” market quotation is available for a security in the Fund’s portfolio and the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined and calls into doubt whether that earlier market quotation represents fair value at the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined, the Fund accounting agent will immediately notify the Advisor’s Pricing Committee and the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine the fair valuation.  For foreign securities, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may seek to determine the “fair value” of such securities by retaining a pricing service to determine the value of the securities.
Foreign securities, currencies and other assets denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of such currencies against the U.S. dollar as provided by a pricing service. All assets denominated in foreign currencies will be converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rates in effect at the time of valuation.
Dividends and Distributions
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes.”
General Policies.    Dividends from net investment income of the Fund, if any, are declared and paid [monthly]. 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 regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
Dividends and other distributions of Fund shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the 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 the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial Owners should contact their brokers in order 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. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
Miscellaneous Information
Counsel.     Chapman and Cutler LLP, 111 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, is counsel to the Trust.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.    Deloitte & Touche LLP, 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm. The firm audits the Fund's financial statements and performs other related audit services.
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Exhibit AProxy Voting Guidelines
UNITED STATES
Concise Proxy Voting Guidelines

Benchmark Policy Recommendations
Effective for Meetings on or after February 1, 2020
Published December 11, 2019
ISSGOVERNANCE.COM
© 2019 | Institutional Shareholder Services and/or its affiliates

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The policies contained herein are a sampling only of selected key ISS U.S. proxy voting guidelines,
and are not intended to be exhaustive. The complete guidelines can be found at:
https://www.issgovernance.com/policy-gateway/voting-policies/
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Voting on Director Nominees in Uncontested Elections
General Recommendation: Generally vote for director nominees, except under the following circumstances (with new nominees1 considered on case-by-case basis):
Independence
Vote against2 or withhold from non-independent directors (Executive Directors and Non-Independent Non-Executive Directors per ISS’ Classification of Directors) when:
Independent directors comprise 50 percent or less of the board;
The non-independent director serves on the audit, compensation, or nominating committee;
The company lacks an audit, compensation, or nominating committee so that the full board functions as that committee; or
The company lacks a formal nominating committee, even if the board attests that the independent directors fulfill the functions of such a committee.
Composition
Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings: Generally vote against or withhold from directors (except nominees who served only part of the fiscal year3) who attend less than 75 percent of the aggregate of their board and committee meetings for the period for which they served, unless an acceptable reason for absences is disclosed in the proxy or another SEC filing. Acceptable reasons for director absences are generally limited to the following:
Medical issues/illness;
Family emergencies; and
Missing only one meeting (when the total of all meetings is three or fewer).
In cases of chronic poor attendance without reasonable justification, in addition to voting against the director(s) with poor attendance, generally vote against or withhold from appropriate members of the nominating/governance committees or the full board.
If the proxy disclosure is unclear and insufficient to determine whether a director attended at least 75 percent of the aggregate of his/her board and committee meetings during his/her period of service, vote against or withhold from the director(s) in question.

1 A "new nominee" is a director who is being presented for election by shareholders for the first time. Recommendations on new nominees who have served for less than one year are made on a case-by-case basis depending on the timing of their appointment and the problematic governance issue in question.
2 In general, companies with a plurality vote standard use “Withhold” as the contrary vote option in director elections; companies with a majority vote standard use “Against”. However, it will vary by company and the proxy must be checked to determine the valid contrary vote option for the particular company.
3 Nominees who served for only part of the fiscal year are generally exempted from the attendance policy.

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Overboarded Directors: Generally vote against or withhold from individual directors who:
Sit on more than five public company boards; or
Are CEOs of public companies who sit on the boards of more than two public companies besides their own— withhold only at their outside boards4.
Diversity: For companies in the Russell 3000 or S&P 1500 indices, generally vote against or withhold from the chair of the nominating committee (or other directors on a case-by-case basis) at companies when there are no women on the company's board. Mitigating factors include:
Until Feb. 1, 2021, a firm commitment, as stated in the proxy statement, to appoint at least one woman to the board within a year;
The presence of a woman on the board at the preceding annual meeting and a firm commitment to appoint at least one woman to the board within a year; or
Other relevant factors as applicable.
Responsiveness
Vote case-by-case on individual directors, committee members, or the entire board of directors as appropriate if:
The board failed to act on a shareholder proposal that received the support of a majority of the shares cast in the previous year or failed to act on a management proposal seeking to ratify an existing charter/bylaw provision that received opposition of a majority of the shares cast in the previous year. Factors that will be considered are:
Disclosed outreach efforts by the board to shareholders in the wake of the vote;
Rationale provided in the proxy statement for the level of implementation;
The subject matter of the proposal;
The level of support for and opposition to the resolution in past meetings;
Actions taken by the board in response to the majority vote and its engagement with shareholders;
The continuation of the underlying issue as a voting item on the ballot (as either shareholder or management proposals); and
Other factors as appropriate.
The board failed to act on takeover offers where the majority of shares are tendered;
At the previous board election, any director received more than 50 percent withhold/against votes of the shares cast and the company has failed to address the issue(s) that caused the high withhold/against vote.
Vote case-by-case on Compensation Committee members (or, in exceptional cases, the full board) and the Say on Pay proposal if:
The company’s previous say-on-pay received the support of less than 70 percent of votes cast. Factors that will be considered are:
The company's response, including:
Disclosure of engagement efforts with major institutional investors, including the frequency and timing of engagements and the company participants (including whether independent directors participated);
Disclosure of the specific concerns voiced by dissenting shareholders that led to the say-on-pay opposition;
Disclosure of specific and meaningful actions taken to address shareholders' concerns;
Other recent compensation actions taken by the company;
Whether the issues raised are recurring or isolated;
4 Although all of a CEO’s subsidiary boards with publicly-traded common stock will be counted as separate boards, ISS will not recommend a withhold vote for the CEO of a parent company board or any of the controlled (>50 percent ownership) subsidiaries of that parent but may do so at subsidiaries that are less than 50 percent controlled and boards outside the parent/subsidiary relationships.

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The company's ownership structure; and
Whether the support level was less than 50 percent, which would warrant the highest degree of responsiveness.
The board implements an advisory vote on executive compensation on a less frequent basis than the frequency that received the plurality of votes cast.
Accountability
Problematic Takeover Defenses/Governance Structure
Poison Pills: Vote against or withhold from all nominees (except new nominees1, who should be considered case-by-case) if:
The company has a poison pill that was not approved by shareholders5. However, vote case-by-case on nominees if the board adopts an initial pill with a term of one year or less, depending on the disclosed rationale for the adoption, and other factors as relevant (such as a commitment to put any renewal to a shareholder vote).
The board makes a material adverse modification to an existing pill, including, but not limited to, extension, renewal, or lowering the trigger, without shareholder approval.
Classified Board Structure: The board is classified, and a continuing director responsible for a problematic governance issue at the board/committee level that would warrant a withhold/against vote recommendation is not up for election. All appropriate nominees (except new) may be held accountable.
Removal of Shareholder Discretion on Classified Boards: The company has opted into, or failed to opt out of, state laws requiring a classified board structure.
Director Performance Evaluation: The board lacks mechanisms to promote accountability and oversight, coupled with sustained poor performance relative to peers. Sustained poor performance is measured by one-, three-, and five-year total shareholder returns in the bottom half of a company’s four-digit GICS industry group (Russell 3000 companies only). Take into consideration the company’s operational metrics and other factors as warranted. Problematic provisions include but are not limited to:
A classified board structure;
A supermajority vote requirement;
Either a plurality vote standard in uncontested director elections, or a majority vote standard in contested elections;
The inability of shareholders to call special meetings;
The inability of shareholders to act by written consent;
A multi-class capital structure; and/or
A non-shareholder-approved poison pill.
Unilateral Bylaw/Charter Amendments and Problematic Capital Structures: Generally vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by-case) if the board amends the company's bylaws or charter without shareholder approval1 in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders' rights or that could adversely impact shareholders, considering the following factors:
The board's rationale for adopting the bylaw/charter amendment without shareholder ratification;
Disclosure by the company of any significant engagement with shareholders regarding the amendment;
The level of impairment of shareholders' rights caused by the board's unilateral amendment to the bylaws/charter;
The board's track record with regard to unilateral board action on bylaw/charter amendments or other entrenchment provisions;
The company's ownership structure;
5 Public shareholders only, approval prior to a company’s becoming public is insufficient.

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The company's existing governance provisions;
The timing of the board's amendment to the bylaws/charter in connection with a significant business development; and,
Other factors, as deemed appropriate, that may be relevant to determine the impact of the amendment on shareholders.
Unless the adverse amendment is reversed or submitted to a binding shareholder vote, in subsequent years vote case-by-case on director nominees. Generally vote against (except new nominees1, who should be considered case-by-case) if the directors:
Classified the board;
Adopted supermajority vote requirements to amend the bylaws or charter; or
Eliminated shareholders' ability to amend bylaws.
Problematic Capital Structure Newly Public Companies: For newly public companies6 , generally vote against or withhold from the entire board (except new nominees1, who should be considered case-by-case) if, prior to or in connection with the company's public offering, the company or its board implemented a multi-class capital structure in which the classes have unequal voting rights without subjecting the multi-class capital structure to a reasonable time-based sunset. In assessing the reasonableness of a time-based sunset provision, consideration will be given to the company’s lifespan, its post-IPO ownership structure and the board’s disclosed rationale for the sunset period selected. No sunset period of more than seven years from the date of the IPO will be considered to be reasonable.
Continue to vote against or withhold from incumbent directors in subsequent years, unless the problematic capital structure is reversed or removed.
Problematic Governance Structure Newly Public Companies: For newly public companies6, generally vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board (except new nominees1, who should be considered case-by-case) if, prior to or in connection with the company's public offering, the company or its board adopted the following bylaw or charter provisions that are considered to be materially adverse to shareholder rights:
Supermajority vote requirements to amend the bylaws or charter;
A classified board structure; or
Other egregious provisions.
A reasonable sunset provision will be considered a mitigating factor.
Unless the adverse provision is reversed or removed, vote case-by-case on director nominees in subsequent years.
Management Proposals to Ratify Existing Charter or Bylaw Provisions: Vote against/withhold from individual directors, members of the governance committee, or the full board, where boards ask shareholders to ratify existing charter or bylaw provisions considering the following factors:
The presence of a shareholder proposal addressing the same issue on the same ballot;
The board's rationale for seeking ratification;
Disclosure of actions to be taken by the board should the ratification proposal fail;
Disclosure of shareholder engagement regarding the board’s ratification request;
The level of impairment to shareholders' rights caused by the existing provision;
The history of management and shareholder proposals on the provision at the company’s past meetings;
Whether the current provision was adopted in response to the shareholder proposal;
The company's ownership structure; and
Previous use of ratification proposals to exclude shareholder proposals.
6 Newly-public companies generally include companies that emerge from bankruptcy, spin-offs, direct listings, and those who complete a traditional initial public offering.

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Restrictions on Shareholders’ Rights
Restricting Binding Shareholder Proposals: Generally vote against or withhold from the members of the governance committee if:
The company’s governing documents impose undue restrictions on shareholders’ ability to amend the bylaws. Such restrictions include but are not limited to: outright prohibition on the submission of binding shareholder proposals or share ownership requirements, subject matter restrictions, or time holding requirements in excess of SEC Rule 14a-8. Vote against or withhold on an ongoing basis.
Submission of management proposals to approve or ratify requirements in excess of SEC Rule 14a-8 for the submission of binding bylaw amendments will generally be viewed as an insufficient restoration of shareholders' rights. Generally continue to vote against or withhold on an ongoing basis until shareholders are provided with an unfettered ability to amend the bylaws or a proposal providing for such unfettered right is submitted for shareholder approval.
Problematic Audit-Related Practices
Generally vote against or withhold from the members of the Audit Committee if:
The non-audit fees paid to the auditor are excessive;
The company receives an adverse opinion on the company’s financial statements from its auditor; or
There is persuasive evidence that the Audit Committee entered into an inappropriate indemnification agreement with its auditor that limits the ability of the company, or its shareholders, to pursue legitimate legal recourse against the audit firm.
Vote case-by-case on members of the Audit Committee and potentially the full board if:
Poor accounting practices are identified that rise to a level of serious concern, such as: fraud; misapplication of GAAP; and material weaknesses identified in Section 404 disclosures. Examine the severity, breadth, chronological sequence, and duration, as well as the company’s efforts at remediation or corrective actions, in determining whether withhold/against votes are warranted.
Problematic Compensation Practices
In the absence of an Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (Say on Pay) ballot item or in egregious situations, vote against or withhold from the members of the Compensation Committee and potentially the full board if:
There is an unmitigated misalignment between CEO pay and company performance (pay for performance);
The company maintains significant problematic pay practices; or
The board exhibits a significant level of poor communication and responsiveness to shareholders.
Generally vote against or withhold from the Compensation Committee chair, other committee members, or potentially the full board if:
The company fails to include a Say on Pay ballot item when required under SEC provisions, or under the company’s declared frequency of say on pay; or
The company fails to include a Frequency of Say on Pay ballot item when required under SEC provisions.
Generally vote against members of the board committee responsible for approving/setting non-employee director compensation if there is a pattern (i.e. two or more years) of awarding excessive non-employee director compensation without disclosing a compelling rationale or other mitigating factors.
Problematic Pledging of Company Stock:
Vote against the members of the committee that oversees risks related to pledging, or the full board, where a significant level of pledged company stock by executives or directors raises concerns. The following factors will be considered:

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The presence of an anti-pledging policy, disclosed in the proxy statement, that prohibits future pledging activity;
The magnitude of aggregate pledged shares in terms of total common shares outstanding, market value, and trading volume;
Disclosure of progress or lack thereof in reducing the magnitude of aggregate pledged shares over time;
Disclosure in the proxy statement that shares subject to stock ownership and holding requirements do not include pledged company stock; and
Any other relevant factors.
Governance Failures
Under extraordinary circumstances, vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board, due to:
Material failures of governance, stewardship, risk oversight7, or fiduciary responsibilities at the company;
Failure to replace management as appropriate; or
Egregious actions related to a director’s service on other boards that raise substantial doubt about his or her ability to effectively oversee management and serve the best interests of shareholders at any company.
Voting on Director Nominees in Contested Elections
Vote-No Campaigns
General Recommendation: In cases where companies are targeted in connection with public “vote-no” campaigns, evaluate director nominees under the existing governance policies for voting on director nominees in uncontested elections. Take into consideration the arguments submitted by shareholders and other publicly available information.
Proxy Contests/Proxy Access Voting for Director Nominees in Contested Elections
General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on the election of directors in contested elections, considering the following factors:
Long-term financial performance of the company relative to its industry;
Management’s track record;
Background to the contested election;
Nominee qualifications and any compensatory arrangements;
Strategic plan of dissident slate and quality of the critique against management;
Likelihood that the proposed goals and objectives can be achieved (both slates); and
Stock ownership positions.
In the case of candidates nominated pursuant to proxy access, vote case-by-case considering any applicable factors listed above or additional factors which may be relevant, including those that are specific to the company, to the nominee(s) and/or to the nature of the election (such as whether there are more candidates than board seats).
7 Examples of failure of risk oversight include but are not limited to: bribery; large or serial fines or sanctions from regulatory bodies; significant adverse legal judgments or settlement; or hedging of company stock.

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Independent Board Chair
General Recommendation: Generally vote for shareholder proposals requiring that the chair position be filled by an independent director, taking into consideration the following:
The scope and rationale of the proposal;
The company's current board leadership structure;
The company's governance structure and practices;
Company performance; and
Any other relevant factors that may be applicable.
The following factors will increase the likelihood of a “for” recommendation:
A majority non-independent board and/or the presence of non-independent directors on key board committees;
A weak or poorly-defined lead independent director role that fails to serve as an appropriate counterbalance to a combined CEO/chair role;
The presence of an executive or non-independent chair in addition to the CEO, a recent recombination of the role of CEO and chair, and/or departure from a structure with an independent chair;
Evidence that the board has failed to oversee and address material risks facing the company;
A material governance failure, particularly if the board has failed to adequately respond to shareholder concerns or if the board has materially diminished shareholder rights; or
Evidence that the board has failed to intervene when management’s interests are contrary to shareholders' interests.
Proxy Access
General Recommendation: Generally vote for management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions:
Ownership threshold: maximum requirement not more than three percent (3%) of the voting power;
Ownership duration: maximum requirement not longer than three (3) years of continuous ownership for each member of the nominating group;
Aggregation: minimal or no limits on the number of shareholders permitted to form a nominating group;
Cap: cap on nominees of generally twenty-five percent (25%) of the board.
Review for reasonableness any other restrictions on the right of proxy access.
Generally vote against proposals that are more restrictive than these guidelines.
Shareholder Rights & Defenses
Ratification Proposals: Management Proposals to Ratify Existing Charter or Bylaw Provisions
General Recommendation: Generally vote against management proposals to ratify provisions of the company’s existing charter or bylaws, unless these governance provisions align with best practice.
In addition, voting against/withhold from individual directors, members of the governance committee, or the full board may be warranted, considering:
The presence of a shareholder proposal addressing the same issue on the same ballot;
The board's rationale for seeking ratification;
Disclosure of actions to be taken by the board should the ratification proposal fail;
Disclosure of shareholder engagement regarding the board’s ratification request;

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The level of impairment to shareholders' rights caused by the existing provision;
The history of management and shareholder proposals on the provision at the company’s past meetings;
Whether the current provision was adopted in response to the shareholder proposal;
The company's ownership structure; and
Previous use of ratification proposals to exclude shareholder proposals.
CAPITAL/RESTRUCTURING
Common Stock Authorization
General Recommendation: Vote for proposals to increase the number of authorized common shares where the primary purpose of the increase is to issue shares in connection with a transaction on the same ballot that warrants support.
Vote against proposals at companies with more than one class of common stock to increase the number of authorized shares of the class of common stock that has superior voting rights.
Vote against proposals to increase the number of authorized common shares if a vote for a reverse stock split on the same ballot is warranted despite the fact that the authorized shares would not be reduced proportionally.
Vote case-by-case on all other proposals to increase the number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance. Take into account company-specific factors that include, at a minimum, the following:
Past Board Performance:
The company's use of authorized shares during the last three years
The Current Request:
Disclosure in the proxy statement of the specific purposes of the proposed increase;
Disclosure in the proxy statement of specific and severe risks to shareholders of not approving the request; and
The dilutive impact of the request as determined relative to an allowable increase calculated by ISS (typically 100 percent of existing authorized shares) that reflects the company's need for shares and total shareholder returns.
ISS will apply the relevant allowable increase below to requests to increase common stock that are for general corporate purposes (or to the general corporate purposes portion of a request that also includes a specific need):
A. Most companies: 100 percent of existing authorized shares.
B. Companies with less than 50 percent of existing authorized shares either outstanding or reserved for issuance: 50 percent of existing authorized shares.
C. Companies with one- and three-year total shareholder returns (TSRs) in the bottom 10 percent of the U.S. market as of the end of the calendar quarter that is closest to their most recent fiscal year end: 50 percent of existing authorized shares.
D. Companies at which both conditions (B and C) above are both present: 25 percent of existing authorized shares.
If there is an acquisition, private placement, or similar transaction on the ballot (not including equity incentive plans) that ISS is recommending FOR, the allowable increase will be the greater of (i) twice the amount needed to support the transactions on the ballot, and (ii) the allowable increase as calculated above.

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Share Repurchase Programs
General Recommendation: For U.S.-incorporated companies, and foreign-incorporated U.S. Domestic Issuers that are traded solely on U.S. exchanges, vote for management proposals to institute open-market share repurchase plans in which all shareholders may participate on equal terms, or to grant the board authority to conduct open-market repurchases, in the absence of company-specific concerns regarding:
Greenmail,
The use of buybacks to inappropriately manipulate incentive compensation metrics,
Threats to the company's long-term viability, or
Other company-specific factors as warranted.
Vote case-by-case on proposals to repurchase shares directly from specified shareholders, balancing the stated rationale against the possibility for the repurchase authority to be misused, such as to repurchase shares from insiders at a premium to market price.
Share Repurchase Programs Shareholder Proposals
General Recommendation: Generally vote against shareholder proposals prohibiting executives from selling shares of company stock during periods in which the company has announced that it may or will be repurchasing shares of its stock. Vote for the proposal when there is a pattern of abuse by executives exercising options or selling shares during periods of share buybacks.
Financial issues company’s financial situation; degree of need of capital; use of proceeds; effect of the financing on the company’s cost of capital;
Management efforts to pursue other alternatives;
Control issues change in management; change in control, guaranteed board and committee seats; standstill provisions; voting agreements; veto power over certain corporate actions; and
Conflict of interest arm’s length transaction, managerial incentives.
Vote for the debt restructuring if it is expected that the company will file for bankruptcy if the transaction is not approved.
Mergers and Acquisitions
General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on mergers and acquisitions. Review and evaluate the merits and drawbacks of the proposed transaction, balancing various and sometimes countervailing factors including:
Valuation - Is the value to be received by the target shareholders (or paid by the acquirer) reasonable? While the fairness opinion may provide an initial starting point for assessing valuation reasonableness, emphasis is placed on the offer premium, market reaction, and strategic rationale.
Market reaction - How has the market responded to the proposed deal? A negative market reaction should cause closer scrutiny of a deal.
Strategic rationale - Does the deal make sense strategically? From where is the value derived? Cost and revenue synergies should not be overly aggressive or optimistic, but reasonably achievable. Management should also have a favorable track record of successful integration of historical acquisitions.
Negotiations and process - Were the terms of the transaction negotiated at arm's-length? Was the process fair and equitable? A fair process helps to ensure the best price for shareholders. Significant negotiation "wins" can also signify the deal makers' competency. The comprehensiveness of the sales process (e.g., full auction, partial auction, no auction) can also affect shareholder value.

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Conflicts of interest - Are insiders benefiting from the transaction disproportionately and inappropriately as compared to non-insider shareholders? As the result of potential conflicts, the directors and officers of the company may be more likely to vote to approve a merger than if they did not hold these interests. Consider whether these interests may have influenced these directors and officers to support or recommend the merger. The CIC figure presented in the "ISS Transaction Summary" section of this report is an aggregate figure that can in certain cases be a misleading indicator of the true value transfer from shareholders to insiders. Where such figure appears to be excessive, analyze the underlying assumptions to determine whether a potential conflict exists.
Governance - Will the combined company have a better or worse governance profile than the current governance profiles of the respective parties to the transaction? If the governance profile is to change for the worse, the burden is on the company to prove that other issues (such as valuation) outweigh any deterioration in governance.
COMPENSATION
Executive Pay Evaluation
Underlying all evaluations are five global principles that most investors expect corporations to adhere to in designing and administering executive and director compensation programs:
1. Maintain appropriate pay-for-performance alignment, with emphasis on long-term shareholder value: This principle encompasses overall executive pay practices, which must be designed to attract, retain, and appropriately motivate the key employees who drive shareholder value creation over the long term. It will take into consideration, among other factors, the link between pay and performance; the mix between fixed and variable pay; performance goals; and equity-based plan costs;
2. Avoid arrangements that risk “pay for failure”: This principle addresses the appropriateness of long or indefinite contracts, excessive severance packages, and guaranteed compensation;
3. Maintain an independent and effective compensation committee: This principle promotes oversight of executive pay programs by directors with appropriate skills, knowledge, experience, and a sound process for compensation decision-making (e.g., including access to independent expertise and advice when needed);
4. Provide shareholders with clear, comprehensive compensation disclosures: This principle underscores the importance of informative and timely disclosures that enable shareholders to evaluate executive pay practices fully and fairly;
5. Avoid inappropriate pay to non-executive directors: This principle recognizes the interests of shareholders in ensuring that compensation to outside directors is reasonable and does not compromise their independence and ability to make appropriate judgments in overseeing managers’ pay and performance. At the market level, it may incorporate a variety of generally accepted best practices.
Advisory Votes on Executive CompensationManagement Proposals (Say-on-Pay)
General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on ballot items related to executive pay and practices, as well as certain aspects of outside director compensation.
  Vote against Advisory Votes on Executive Compensation (Say-on-Pay or “SOP”) if:
There is an unmitigated misalignment between CEO pay and company performance (pay for performance);
The company maintains significant problematic pay practices;
The board exhibits a significant level of poor communication and responsiveness to shareholders.

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Vote against or withhold from the members of the Compensation Committee and potentially the full board if:
There is no SOP on the ballot, and an against vote on an SOP would otherwise be warranted due to pay-for-performance misalignment, problematic pay practices, or the lack of adequate responsiveness on compensation issues raised previously, or a combination thereof;
The board fails to respond adequately to a previous SOP proposal that received less than 70 percent support of votes cast;
The company has recently practiced or approved problematic pay practices, such as option repricing or option backdating; or
The situation is egregious.
Primary Evaluation Factors for Executive Pay
Pay-for-Performance Evaluation
ISS annually conducts a pay-for-performance analysis to identify strong or satisfactory alignment between pay and performance over a sustained period. With respect to companies in the S&P1500, Russell 3000, or Russell 3000E Indices8, this analysis considers the following:
1. Peer Group9 Alignment:
The degree of alignment between the company's annualized TSR rank and the CEO's annualized total pay rank within a peer group, each measured over a three-year period.
The rankings of CEO total pay and company financial performance within a peer group, each measured over a three-year period.
The multiple of the CEO's total pay relative to the peer group median in the most recent fiscal year.
2. Absolute Alignment10 the absolute alignment between the trend in CEO pay and company TSR over the prior five fiscal years i.e., the difference between the trend in annual pay changes and the trend in annualized TSR during the period.
If the above analysis demonstrates significant unsatisfactory long-term pay-for-performance alignment or, in the case of companies outside the Russell indices, a misalignment between pay and performance is otherwise suggested, our analysis may include any of the following qualitative factors, as relevant to an evaluation of how various pay elements may work to encourage or to undermine long-term value creation and alignment with shareholder interests:
The ratio of performance- to time-based incentive awards;
The overall ratio of performance-based compensation to fixed or discretionary pay;
The rigor of performance goals;
The complexity and risks around pay program design;
The transparency and clarity of disclosure;
The company's peer group benchmarking practices;
Financial/operational results, both absolute and relative to peers;
Special circumstances related to, for example, a new CEO in the prior FY or anomalous equity grant practices (e.g., bi-annual awards);
8 The Russell 3000E Index includes approximately 4,000 of the largest U.S. equity securities.
9 The revised peer group is generally comprised of 14-24 companies that are selected using market cap, revenue (or assets for certain financial firms), GICS industry group, and company's selected peers' GICS industry group, with size constraints, via a process designed to select peers that are comparable to the subject company in terms of revenue/assets and industry, and also within a market-cap bucket that is reflective of the company's. For Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels companies, market cap is the only size determinant.
10 Only Russell 3000 Index companies are subject to the Absolute Alignment analysis.

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Realizable pay11 compared to grant pay; and
Any other factors deemed relevant.
Any other factors deemed relevant.
Problematic Pay Practices
The focus is on executive compensation practices that contravene the global pay principles, including:
Problematic practices related to non-performance-based compensation elements;
Incentives that may motivate excessive risk-taking or present a windfall risk; and
Pay decisions that circumvent pay-for-performance, such as options backdating or waiving performance requirements.
Problematic Pay Practices related to Non-Performance-Based Compensation Elements
Pay elements that are not directly based on performance are generally evaluated case-by-case considering the context of a company's overall pay program and demonstrated pay-for-performance philosophy. Please refer to ISS' U.S. Compensation Policies FAQ document for detail on specific pay practices that have been identified as potentially problematic and may lead to negative recommendations if they are deemed to be inappropriate or unjustified relative to executive pay best practices. The list below highlights the problematic practices that carry significant weight in this overall consideration and may result in adverse vote recommendations:
Repricing or replacing of underwater stock options/SARS without prior shareholder approval (including cash buyouts and voluntary surrender of underwater options);
Extraordinary perquisites or tax gross-ups;
New or materially amended agreements that provide for:
Excessive termination or CIC severance payments (generally exceeding 3 times base salary and average/target/most recent bonus);
CIC severance payments without involuntary job loss or substantial diminution of duties ("single" or "modified single" triggers) or in connection with a problematic Good Reason definition;
CIC excise tax gross-up entitlements (including "modified" gross-ups);
Multi-year guaranteed awards that are not at risk due to rigorous performance conditions;
Liberal CIC definition combined with any single-trigger CIC benefits;
Insufficient executive compensation disclosure by externally-managed issuers (EMIs) such that a reasonable assessment of pay programs and practices applicable to the EMI's executives is not possible;
Any other provision or practice deemed to be egregious and present a significant risk to investors.
Compensation Committee Communications and Responsiveness
Consider the following factors case-by-case when evaluating ballot items related to executive pay on the board’s responsiveness to investor input and engagement on compensation issues:
Failure to respond to majority-supported shareholder proposals on executive pay topics; or
Failure to adequately respond to the company's previous say-on-pay proposal that received the support of less than 70 percent of votes cast, taking into account:
Disclosure of engagement efforts with major institutional investors, including the frequency and timing of engagements and the company participants (including whether independent directors participated);
Disclosure of the specific concerns voiced by dissenting shareholders that led to the say-on-pay opposition;
Disclosure of specific and meaningful actions taken to address shareholders’ concerns;
Other recent compensation actions taken by the company;
11 ISS research reports include realizable pay for S&P1500 companies.

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Whether the issues raised are recurring or isolated;
The company's ownership structure; and
Whether the support level was less than 50 percent, which would warrant the highest degree of responsiveness.
Equity-Based and Other Incentive Plans
Please refer to ISS' U.S. Equity Compensation Plans FAQ document for additional details on the Equity Plan Scorecard policy.
General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on certain equity-based compensation plans12 depending on a combination of certain plan features and equity grant practices, where positive factors may counterbalance negative factors, and vice versa, as evaluated using an "Equity Plan Scorecard" (EPSC) approach with three pillars:
Plan Cost: The total estimated cost of the company’s equity plans relative to industry/market cap peers, measured by the company's estimated Shareholder Value Transfer (SVT) in relation to peers and considering both:
SVT based on new shares requested plus shares remaining for future grants, plus outstanding unvested/unexercised grants; and
SVT based only on new shares requested plus shares remaining for future grants.
Plan Features:
Quality of disclosure around vesting upon a change in control (CIC);
Discretionary vesting authority;
Liberal share recycling on various award types;
Lack of minimum vesting period for grants made under the plan;
Dividends payable prior to award vesting.
Grant Practices:
The company’s three-year burn rate relative to its industry/market cap peers;
Vesting requirements in CEO's recent equity grants (3-year look-back);
The estimated duration of the plan (based on the sum of shares remaining available and the new shares requested, divided by the average annual shares granted in the prior three years);
The proportion of the CEO's most recent equity grants/awards subject to performance conditions;
Whether the company maintains a sufficient claw-back policy;
Whether the company maintains sufficient post-exercise/vesting share-holding requirements.
Generally vote against the plan proposal if the combination of above factors indicates that the plan is not, overall, in shareholders' interests, or if any of the following egregious factors ("overriding factors") apply:
Awards may vest in connection with a liberal change-of-control definition;
The plan would permit repricing or cash buyout of underwater options without shareholder approval (either by expressly permitting itfor NYSE and Nasdaq listed companiesor by not prohibiting it when the company has a history of repricingfor non-listed companies);
The plan is a vehicle for problematic pay practices or a significant pay-for-performance disconnect under certain circumstances;
The plan is excessively dilutive to shareholders' holdings;
The plan contains an evergreen (automatic share replenishment) feature; or
Any other plan features are determined to have a significant negative impact on shareholder interests.
21 Proposals evaluated under the EPSC policy generally include those to approve or amend (1) stock option plans for employees and/or employees and directors, (2) restricted stock plans for employees and/or employees and directors, and (3) omnibus stock incentive plans for employees and/or employees and directors; amended plans will be further evaluated case-by-case.

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SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Global Approach
Issues covered under the policy include a wide range of topics, including consumer and product safety, environment and energy, labor standards and human rights, workplace and board diversity, and corporate political issues. While a variety of factors goes into each analysis, the overall principle guiding all vote recommendations focuses on how the proposal may enhance or protect shareholder value in either the short or long term.
General Recommendation: Generally vote case-by-case, examining primarily whether implementation of the proposal is likely to enhance or protect shareholder value. The following factors will be considered:
If the issues presented in the proposal are more appropriately or effectively dealt with through legislation or government regulation;
If the company has already responded in an appropriate and sufficient manner to the issue(s) raised in the proposal;
Whether the proposal's request is unduly burdensome (scope or timeframe) or overly prescriptive;
The company's approach compared with any industry standard practices for addressing the issue(s) raised by the proposal;
Whether there are significant controversies, fines, penalties, or litigation associated with the company's environmental or social practices;
If the proposal requests increased disclosure or greater transparency, whether reasonable and sufficient information is currently available to shareholders from the company or from other publicly available sources; and
If the proposal requests increased disclosure or greater transparency, whether implementation would reveal proprietary or confidential information that could place the company at a competitive disadvantage.
Climate Change/Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
General Recommendation: Generally vote for resolutions requesting that a company disclose information on the financial, physical, or regulatory risks it faces related to climate change on its operations and investments or on how the company identifies, measures, and manages such risks, considering:
Whether the company already provides current, publicly-available information on the impact that climate change may have on the company as well as associated company policies and procedures to address related risks and/or opportunities;
The company’s level of disclosure compared to industry peers; and
Whether there are significant controversies, fines, penalties, or litigation associated with the company’s climate change-related performance.
Generally vote for proposals requesting a report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from company operations and/or products and operations, unless:
The company already discloses current, publicly-available information on the impacts that GHG emissions may have on the company as well as associated company policies and procedures to address related risks and/or opportunities;
The company's level of disclosure is comparable to that of industry peers; and
There are no significant, controversies, fines, penalties, or litigation associated with the company's GHG emissions.
Vote case-by-case on proposals that call for the adoption of GHG reduction goals from products and operations, taking into account:
Whether the company provides disclosure of year-over-year GHG emissions performance data;
Whether company disclosure lags behind industry peers;

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The company's actual GHG emissions performance;
The company's current GHG emission policies, oversight mechanisms, and related initiatives; and
Whether the company has been the subject of recent, significant violations, fines, litigation, or controversy related to GHG emissions.
Board Diversity
General Recommendation: Generally vote for requests for reports on a company's efforts to diversify the board, unless:
The gender and racial minority representation of the company’s board is reasonably inclusive in relation to companies of similar size and business; and
The board already reports on its nominating procedures and gender and racial minority initiatives on the board and within the company.
Vote case-by-case on proposals asking a company to increase the gender and racial minority representation on its board, taking into account:
The degree of existing gender and racial minority diversity on the company’s board and among its executive officers;
The level of gender and racial minority representation that exists at the company’s industry peers;
The company’s established process for addressing gender and racial minority board representation;
Whether the proposal includes an overly prescriptive request to amend nominating committee charter language;
The independence of the company’s nominating committee;
Whether the company uses an outside search firm to identify potential director nominees; and
Whether the company has had recent controversies, fines, or litigation regarding equal employment practices.
Gender, Race, or Ethnicity Pay Gap
General Recommendation: Generally vote case-by-case on requests for reports on a company's pay data by gender, race, or ethnicity, or a report on a company’s policies and goals to reduce any gender, race, or ethnicity pay gap, taking into account:
The company's current policies and disclosure related to both its diversity and inclusion policies and practices and its compensation philosophy and fair and equitable compensation practices;
Whether the company has been the subject of recent controversy, litigation, or regulatory actions related to gender, race, or ethnicity pay gap issues; and
Whether the company's reporting regarding gender, race, or ethnicity pay gap policies or initiatives is lagging its peers.
Sustainability Reporting
General Recommendation: Generally vote for proposals requesting that a company report on its policies, initiatives, and oversight mechanisms related to social, economic, and environmental sustainability, unless:
The company already discloses similar information through existing reports or policies such as an environment, health, and safety (EHS) report; a comprehensive code of corporate conduct; and/or a diversity report; or
The company has formally committed to the implementation of a reporting program based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines or a similar standard within a specified time frame.

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Lobbying
General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on proposals requesting information on a company’s lobbying (including direct, indirect, and grassroots lobbying) activities, policies, or procedures, considering:
The company’s current disclosure of relevant lobbying policies, and management and board oversight;
The company’s disclosure regarding trade associations or other groups that it supports, or is a member of, that engage in lobbying activities; and
Recent significant controversies, fines, or litigation regarding the company’s lobbying-related activities.
Political Contributions
General Recommendation: Generally vote for proposals requesting greater disclosure of a company's political contributions and trade association spending policies and activities, considering:
The company's policies, and management and board oversight related to its direct political contributions and payments to trade associations or other groups that may be used for political purposes;
The company's disclosure regarding its support of, and participation in, trade associations or other groups that may make political contributions; and
Recent significant controversies, fines, or litigation related to the company's political contributions or political activities.
Vote against proposals barring a company from making political contributions. Businesses are affected by legislation at the federal, state, and local level; barring political contributions can put the company at a competitive disadvantage.
Vote against proposals to publish in newspapers and other media a company's political contributions. Such publications could present significant cost to the company without providing commensurate value to shareholders.

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First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III

Part C – Other Information

Item 28.Exhibits

Exhibit No. Description

(a)(1) Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust is incorporated by reference to the Post-Effective Amendment No. 71 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on June 16, 2017.

(2) Amended and Restated Establishment and Designation of Series will be filed by Amendment.

(b)By-Laws of the Registrant is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.
(c)Not Applicable.
(d)(1) Investment Management Agreement will be filed by Amendment.

(2) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement will be filed by Amendment.

(e)(1) Distribution Agreement is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.

(2) Exhibit A to Distribution Agreement will be filed by Amendment.

(f)Not Applicable.
(g)(1) Custodian Agreement between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.

(2) Schedule A to the Custodian Agreement between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. will be filed by Amendment.

(h)(1) Administrative Agency Agreement between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.

(2) Appendix A to Administrative Agency Agreement between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. will be filed by Amendment.

(3) Form of Participant Agreement is incorporated by reference to the Post-Effective Amendment No. 62 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on February 28, 2017.

(4) Form of Subscription Agreement is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.

(i)(1) Opinion and Consent of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP will be filed by Amendment.

(2) Opinion and Consent of Chapman and Cutler LLP will be filed by Amendment

(j)Not Applicable.
(k)Not Applicable.
(l)Not Applicable.
(m)(1) 12b-1 Service Plan is incorporated by reference to the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 31, 2013.

(2) Exhibit A to 12b-1 Service Plan will be filed by Amendment.

(n)Not Applicable.
(o)Not Applicable.
(p)(1) First Trust Advisors L.P., First Trust Portfolios L.P. Code of Ethics, amended on July 1, 2013 is incorporated by reference to the Post-Effective Amendment No. 7 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on April 3, 2014.

(2) First Trust Funds Code of Ethics, amended on October 30, 2013 is incorporated by reference to the Post-Effective Amendment No. 7 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on April 13, 2014.

(q)Powers of Attorney for Messrs. Bowen, Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson authorizing James A. Bowen, W. Scott Jardine, James M. Dykas, Kristi A. Maher and Eric F. Fess to execute the Registration Statement is incorporated by reference to the Post-Effective Amendment No. 31 filed on Form N-1A (File No. 333-176976) for Registrant on January 7, 2016.
Item 29.Persons Controlled by or under Common Control with Registrant

Not applicable.

Item 30.Indemnification

Section 5.3 of the Registrant’s Declaration of Trust provides as follows:

Section 5.3. Mandatory Indemnification. (a) Subject to the exceptions and limitations contained in paragraph (b) below:

(i) every person who is or has been a Trustee or officer of the Trust (hereinafter referred to as a “Covered Person”) shall be indemnified by the Trust against all liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him or her in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which that individual becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of being or having been a Trustee or officer and against amounts paid or incurred by that individual in the settlement thereof;

(ii) the words “claim,” “action,” “suit” or “proceeding” shall apply to all claims, actions, suits or proceedings (civil, criminal, administrative or other, including appeals), actual or threatened; and the words “liability” and “expenses” shall include, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, costs, judgments, amounts paid in settlement or compromise, fines, penalties and other liabilities.

(b) No indemnification shall be provided hereunder to a Covered Person:

(i) against any liability to the Trust or the Shareholders by reason of a final adjudication by the court or other body before which the proceeding was brought that the Covered Person engaged in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of that individual’s office;

(ii) with respect to any matter as to which the Covered Person shall have been finally adjudicated not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that that individual’s action was in the best interest of the Trust; or

(iii) in the event of a settlement involving a payment by a Trustee or officer or other disposition not involving a final adjudication as provided in paragraph (b)(i) or (b)(ii) above resulting in a payment by a Covered Person, unless there has been either a determination that such Covered Person did not engage in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of that individual’s office by the court or other body approving the settlement or other disposition or by a reasonable determination, based upon a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry) that that individual did not engage in such conduct:

(A) by vote of a majority of the Disinterested Trustees (as defined below) acting on the matter (provided that a majority of the Disinterested Trustees then in office act on the matter); or

(B) by written opinion of (i) the then-current legal counsel to the Trustees who are not Interested Persons of the Trust or (ii) other legal counsel chosen by a majority of the Disinterested Trustees (or if there are no Disinterested Trustees with respect to the matter in question, by a majority of the Trustees who are not Interested Persons of the Trust) and determined by them in their reasonable judgment to be independent.

(c) 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 a Covered Person and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such person. Nothing contained herein shall limit the Trust from entering into other insurance arrangements or affect any rights to indemnification to which Trust personnel, including Covered Persons, may be entitled by contract or otherwise under law.

(d) Expenses of preparation and presentation of a defense to any claim, action, suit, or proceeding of the character described in paragraph (a) of this Section 5.3 shall be advanced by the Trust prior to final disposition thereof upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the Covered Person to repay such amount if it is ultimately determined that the Covered Person is not entitled to indemnification under this Section 5.3, provided that either:

(i) such undertaking is secured by a surety bond or some other appropriate security or the Trust shall be insured against losses arising out of any such advances; or

(ii) a majority of the Disinterested Trustees acting on the matter (provided that a majority of the Disinterested Trustees then in office act on the matter) or legal counsel meeting the requirement in Section 5.3(b)(iii)(B) above in a written opinion, shall determine, based upon a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry), that there is reason to believe that the Covered Person ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.

As used in this Section 5.3 a “Disinterested Trustee” is one (i) who is not an “Interested Person” of the Trust (including anyone who has been exempted from being an “Interested Person” by any rule, regulation or order of the Commission), and (ii) against whom none of such actions, suits or other proceedings or another action, suit or other proceeding on the same or similar grounds is then or had been pending.

(e) With respect to any such determination or opinion referred to in clause (b)(iii) above or clause (d)(ii) above, a rebuttable presumption shall be afforded that the Covered Person has not engaged in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such Covered Person’s office in accordance with pronouncements of the Commission.

Item 31.Business and Other Connections of the Investment Adviser

First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust”), investment adviser to the Registrant, serves as adviser or sub-adviser to various other open-end and closed-end management investment companies and is the portfolio supervisor of certain unit investment trusts. The principal business of certain of First Trust’s principal executive officers involves various activities in connection with the family of unit investment trusts sponsored by First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”). The principal address for all these investment companies, First Trust, FTP and the persons below is 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.

A description of any business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature in which the officers of First Trust who serve as officers or trustees of the Registrant have engaged during the last two years for his or her account or in the capacity of director, officer, employee, partner or trustee appears under “Management of the Fund” in the Statement of Additional Information. Such information for the remaining senior officers of First Trust appears below:

Name and Position with First Trust Employment During Past Two Years
Andrew S. Roggensack, President Managing Director and President, First Trust
R. Scott Hall, Managing Director Managing Director, First Trust
Ronald D. McAlister, Managing Director Managing Director, First Trust
David G. McGarel, Chief Investment Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Managing Director; Senior Vice President, First Trust
Kathleen Brown, Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President, First Trust
Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, First Trust
Item 32.Principal Underwriter

(a) FTP serves as principal underwriter of the shares of the Registrant, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund II, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund V, First Trust Exchange Traded Fund VI, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund II, First Trust Variable Insurance Trust and First Trust Series Fund. FTP serves as principal underwriter and depositor of the following investment companies registered as unit investment trusts: the First Trust Combined Series, FT Series (formerly known as the First Trust Special Situations Trust), the First Trust Insured Corporate Trust, the First Trust of Insured Municipal Bonds and the First Trust GNMA.

(b) Positions and Offices with Underwriter.

 

Name and Principal
Business Address*
Positions and Offices
with Underwriter
Positions and
Offices with Fund
The Charger Corporation General Partner None
Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. Limited Partner None
James A. Bowen Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Trustee and Chairman of the Boardv
James M. Dykas Chief Financial Officer President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank L. Fichera Managing Director None
R. Scott Hall Managing Director None
W. Scott Jardine General Counsel, Secretary and Managing Director Secretary
Daniel J. Lindquist Managing Director Vice President
Ronald D. McAlister Managing Director None
David G. McGarel Chief Investment Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director None
Richard A. Olson Managing Director None
Marisa Bowen Managing Director None
Andrew S. Roggensack President and Managing Director None
Kristi A. Maher Deputy General Counsel Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary

 

* All addresses are 120 East
Liberty Drive, Wheaton,
Illinois 60187.

   

(c) Not Applicable.

Item 33.Location of Accounts and Records

First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, maintains the Registrant’s organizational documents, minutes of meetings, contracts of the Registrant and all advisory material of the investment adviser.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 50 Post Office Square, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 (“BBH”) maintains all general and subsidiary ledgers, journals, trial balances, records of all portfolio purchases and sales, and all other requirement records not maintained by First Trust.

BBH also maintains all the required records in its capacity as transfer, accounting, dividend payment and interest holder service agent for the Registrant.

Item 34.Management Services

Not Applicable

Item 35.Undertakings

Not Applicable

 

 
 

Signatures

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, duly authorized, in the City of Wheaton, and State of Illinois, on the 1st day of May, 2020.

  First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III
  By: /s/ James M. Dykas
    James M. Dykas, President and
Chief Executive Officer

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the date indicated: 

Signature Title   Date
/s/ James M. Dykas President and Chief Executive
Officer
May 1, 2020
James M. Dykas      
/s/ Donald P. Swade Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer
and Chief Accounting Officer
May 1, 2020
Donald P. Swade      
James A. Bowen* )
Trustee )
   
  )    
Richard E. Erickson* )
Trustee )
   
  )    
Thomas R. Kadlec* )
Trustee )
   
  ) By: /s/ W. Scott Jardine
Robert F. Keith* )
Trustee )
  W. Scott Jardine
Attorney-In-Fact
  )   May 1, 2020
Niel B. Nielson * )
Trustee )
   
  )    
*Original powers of attorney authorizing James A. Bowen, W. Scott Jardine, James M. Dykas, Eric F. Fess and Kristi A. Maher to execute Registrant’s Registration Statement, and Amendments thereto, for each of the trustees of the Registrant on whose behalf this Registration Statement is filed, were previously executed, filed as an exhibit and are incorporated by reference herein.

 

Index to Exhibits