485APOS 1 s117193_485apos.htm 485APOS

 

FORM N-1A

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

  REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

  Pre-Effective Amendment No.
  Post-Effective Amendment No. 248

 

and/or

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 ☒

 

  Amendment No. 251

 

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

10900 Hefner Pointe Drive

Suite 207

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

(Address of Principal Executive Offices, Zip Code) 

 

(405) 778-8377

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code)

 

J. Garrett Stevens

Exchange Traded Concepts Trust

10900 Hefner Pointe Drive

Suite 207

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copy to:

Christopher Menconi 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

1111 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20004

 

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)
  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.

 

 

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED APRIL 2, 2019

 

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 U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IS EFFECTIVE. THIS PROSPECTUS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL THESE SECURITIES AND IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.

 

Exchange Traded Concepts Trust

 

Prospectus

 

______, 20__

 

ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF (Ticker Symbol: THNQ)

ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF (Ticker Symbol: HTEC)

 

Principal Listing Exchange for the Funds: NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the SEC, paper copies of the Funds’ shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

 

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. Please contact your financial intermediary to elect to receive shareholder reports and other Fund communications electronically.

 

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to inform them that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports and for details about whether your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with your financial intermediary.

 

 

 

About This Prospectus

 

This Prospectus has been arranged into different sections so that you can easily review this important information. For detailed information about the Funds, please see:

 

Page
Fund Summaries 1
ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF 1
ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF 9
Summary Information About Purchasing And Selling Shares, Taxes, And Financial Intermediary Compensation 18
Index Information/Trademark License/Disclaimers 19
Additional Principal Investment Strategies 20
Additional Principal Risk Information 21
Portfolio Holdings 30
Fund Management 30
Portfolio Managers 31
Buying and Selling Fund Shares 31
Distribution and Service Plan 33
Dividends, Distributions and Taxes 33
Additional Information 37
Financial Highlights 38
How to Obtain More Information About the Funds Back Cover

 

 

 

Fund Summary: ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence Index (the “Index”).

 

Fees and Expenses

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. This table and the Example below do not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay on their purchases and sales of shares.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee [  ]%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses1 [  ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [  ]%

 

1 Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

 

Example

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your cost 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 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. Because the Fund is new, portfolio turnover information is not yet available.

 

1 

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities of the Index or in depositary receipts representing securities of the Index. The Index, which was developed and is provided by ROBO Global (the “Index Provider”), is designed to measure the performance of publicly-traded companies that have a portion of their business and revenue derived from the field of artificial intelligence as described below, and the potential to grow within this space through innovation and market adoption of such companies’ products and services (“Artificial Intelligence Companies”). Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies. This investment policy may be changed without shareholder approval, upon 60 days’ notice to shareholders.

 

Companies eligible for inclusion in the Index are those included in the ROBO Global Artificial Intelligence Database (the “AI Database”), a proprietary database, created and maintained by the Index Provider, of companies that have a portion of their business associated with artificial intelligence. To construct the AI Database, the Index Provider applies the ROBO Global Artificial Intelligence Industry Classification, which classifies companies included in the AI Database by “Infrastructure” or “Applications & Services” and further divides such classifications into sub-sectors. Infrastructure companies include companies that build artificial intelligence engine and platform solutions that enable the use of artificial intelligence technology. Within the Infrastructure classification are the following subsectors: (1) big data/analytics; (2) cloud providers; (3) cognitive computing; (4) network and security; and (5) semiconductors. Applications & Services companies include companies that apply artificial intelligence technology to their business. Within the Applications & Services classification are the following subsectors: (1) healthcare; (2) factory automation; (3) eCommerce; (4) consumer; (5) consulting services; and (6) business process.

 

Each eligible company is individually analyzed and then given a “THNQ Score” ranging from 1 to 100 that is determined based on factors representing the levels of revenue the company receives from Artificial Intelligence activities, levels of investment the firm makes in Artificial Intelligence, and the marketing positioning of the firm in the Artificial Intelligence universe. Companies whose THNQ Score is greater than or equal to 50 and that meet the market capitalization and liquidity requirements described below are eligible for inclusion in the Index. The Index is comprised of a minimum of 50 constituents and a maximum of 100 constituents. Companies in the Index are reweighted at each rebalance according to their THNQ Score. Scores are reviewed on an ongoing basis by reevaluating the factors described above.

 

Eligible Index components are exchange-listed equity securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies that have a market capitalization exceeding $200 million at the time of inclusion on the Index and a minimum trailing 3-month composite average daily value of $1,000,000 at the time of inclusion.

 

2 

 

The Index consists of securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers, including securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. The Index Provider expects, under normal circumstances, at least 25% of the Index components to represent securities of non-U.S. issuers, including China A-shares, which are shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the Chinese stock exchanges. As of [ ], 2019, a significant portion of the Index consists of securities of [ ] issuers. The Index is rebalanced and additions are made quarterly. Deletions from the Index may be made at any time due to changes in business, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, suspensions, de-listings and spin-offs, or for other reasons as determined at the sole discretion of the Index Provider. The Index is unmanaged and cannot be invested in directly.

 

The Fund employs a “passive management” investment strategy in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The Fund generally will use a replication methodology, meaning it will invest in all of the securities comprising the Index in proportion to the weightings in the Index. However, the Fund may utilize a sampling methodology under various circumstances, including when it may not be possible or practicable to purchase all of the securities in the Index. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Adviser”) expects that over time, if the Fund has sufficient assets, the correlation between the Fund’s performance, before fees and expenses, and that of the Index will be 95% or better. A figure of 100% would indicate perfect correlation.

 

The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., invest more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. As of [ ], 2019, the Index was concentrated in the [ ] industry. In addition, in replicating the Index, the Fund may from time to time invest a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies in one or more sectors. As of [    ], 2019, the Index had a significant amount of investment exposure in the information technology sector.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in investments that are not included in the Index, but which the Adviser believes will help the Fund track the Index.

 

The Index Provider is not affiliated with the Fund or the Adviser. The Index Provider developed the methodology for determining the securities to be included in the Index and for the ongoing maintenance of the Index. The Index is calculated by Solactive AG, which is not affiliated with the Fund or the Adviser.

 

Principal Risks

 

As with all funds, a shareholder is subject to the risk that his or her investment could lose money. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any government agency. The principal risks affecting shareholders’ investments in the Fund are set forth below.

 

Artificial Intelligence Companies Risk: The Fund invests primarily in the equity securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies and, as such, is particularly sensitive to risks to those types of companies. These risks include, but are not limited to, small or limited markets for such securities, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Artificial Intelligence Companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies, especially smaller, start-up companies, tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Rapid change to technologies that affect a company’s products could have a material adverse effect on such company’s operating results. Artificial Intelligence Companies also rely heavily on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights in their products and technologies. There can be no assurance that the steps taken by these companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. Artificial Intelligence Companies typically engage in significant amounts of spending on research and development, and there is no guarantee that the products or services produced by these companies will be successful.

 

3 

 

China A-Shares Investment Risk:  The liquidity of the A-shares market and trading prices of A-shares could be more severely affected than the liquidity and trading prices of other markets because the Chinese government restricts the flow of capital into and out of the A-shares market. The Fund may experience losses due to illiquidity of the Chinese securities markets or delay or disruption in execution or settlement of trades. The Fund’s investments in A-shares may become subject to frequent and widespread trading halts.

 

In addition, Stock Connect, which is a securities trading and clearing link between the mainland China stock exchanges and the Hong Kong stock exchange, only operates on days when the Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets are each open for trading and when banks in each market are open on the corresponding settlement days. The Fund may purchase and sell A-shares through Stock Connect only on days when Stock Connect and U.S. markets are open for trading. Therefore, if it is a normal trading day for the Chinese market but Hong Kong and/or U.S. markets are closed, the Fund will not be able to trade any A-shares. The Fund may be subject to the risk of price fluctuations in A-shares on such days. The Fund is also subject to the risk that it will not be able to buy or sell A-shares in a timely manner on days when the U.S. markets are open but Stock Connect is not.

 

Common Stock Risk: Common stock holds the lowest priority in the capital structure of a company, and therefore takes the largest share of the company’s risk and its accompanying volatility. The value of the common stock held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or facts relating to specific companies in which the Fund invests.

 

Currency Exchange Rate Risk: The Fund may invest a relatively large percentage of its assets in securities denominated in non-U.S. currencies. Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-U.S. currencies will affect the value of the Fund’s investment and the value of your shares. Because the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) is determined in U.S. dollars, the Fund’s NAV could decline if the currency of the non-U.S. market in which the Fund invests depreciates against the U.S. dollar, even if the value of the Fund’s holdings, measured in the foreign currency, increases. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning and you may lose money.

 

4 

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk: An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

Emerging Markets Securities Risk: Emerging markets are subject to greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets and more governmental limitations on foreign investment than more developed markets. In addition, securities in emerging markets may be subject to greater price fluctuations than securities in more developed markets. The Fund’s investment in securities of foreign companies may be in the form of depositary receipts or other securities convertible into securities of foreign issuers.

 

Foreign Securities Risk: Investments in non-U.S. securities involve certain risks that may not be present with investments in U.S. securities. For example, investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to risk of loss due to foreign currency fluctuations or to expropriation, nationalization or adverse political or economic developments. Foreign securities may have relatively low market liquidity and decreased publicly available information about issuers. Investments in non-U.S. securities also may be subject to withholding or other taxes and may be subject to additional trading, settlement, custodial, and operational risks. Non-U.S. issuers may also be subject to inconsistent and potentially less stringent accounting, auditing, financial reporting and investor protection standards than U.S. issuers. These and other factors can make investments in the Fund more volatile and potentially less liquid than other types of investments.

 

Geographic Investment Risk: To the extent the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies of a single country or region, it is more likely to be impacted by events or conditions affecting that country or region.

 

Illiquid Investments Risk: This risk exists when particular Fund investments are difficult to purchase or sell, which can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.

 

Index Tracking Risk: The Fund’s return may not match or achieve a high degree of correlation with the return of the Index. To the extent the Fund utilizes a sampling approach, it may experience tracking error to a greater extent than if the Fund sought to replicate the Index.

 

Industry Concentration Risk:  Because the Fund’s assets will be concentrated in an industry or group of industries to the extent the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund is subject to loss due to adverse occurrences that may affect that industry or group of industries. As of [-], 2019, the Index was not concentrated in any particular industry or group of industries.

 

5 

 

Issuer-Specific Risk: Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. Issuer-specific events, including changes in the financial condition of an issuer, can have a negative impact on the value of the Fund.

 

Large-Capitalization Risk: Returns on investments in securities of large companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of smaller and mid-sized companies.

 

Limited Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Risk: Because the Fund is an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”), only a limited number of institutional investors (known as “Authorized Participants”) are authorized to purchase and redeem shares directly from the Fund. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, shares of the Fund may trade at a material discount to their NAV per share and possibly face delisting: (i) Authorized Participants exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other Authorized Participants step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

Management Risk: Because the Fund may not fully replicate the Index and may hold fewer than the total number of securities in the Index and may hold securities not included in the Index, the Fund is subject to management risk. This is the risk that the Adviser’s security selection process, which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

 

Market Risk: The market price of a security or instrument could decline, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably, due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic or political conditions throughout the world, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. The market value of a security may also decline because of factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry.

 

Micro-Capitalization Risk: The micro-capitalization companies in which the Fund may invest may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of micro-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

New/Smaller Fund Risk: A new or smaller fund is subject to the risk that its performance may not represent how the fund is expected to or may perform in the long term. In addition, new funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve an economically viable size, in which case it could ultimately liquidate. The Fund may be liquidated by the Board of Trustees without a shareholder vote. In a liquidation, shareholders of the Fund will receive an amount equal to the Fund’s NAV, after deducting the costs of liquidation, including the transaction costs of disposing of the Fund’s portfolio investments. Receipt of a liquidation distribution may have negative tax consequences for shareholders. Additionally, during the Fund’s liquidation all or a portion of the fund’s portfolio may be invested in a manner not consistent with its investment objective and investment policies.

 

6 

 

Non-Diversification Risk: The Fund is non-diversified, meaning that, as compared to a diversified fund, it can invest a greater percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers.  As a result, the performance of these issuers can have a substantial impact on the Fund’s performance.

 

Operational Risk: The Fund and its service providers may experience disruptions that arise from human error, processing and communications errors, counterparty or third-party errors, technology or systems failures, any of which may have an adverse impact on the Fund.

 

Passive Investment Risk: The Fund is not actively managed and, therefore, the Fund would not sell a security due to current or projected underperformance of the security, industry or sector, unless that security is removed from the Index or selling is the security is otherwise required upon a rebalancing of the Index.

 

Preferred Securities Risk: Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. In addition, preferred securities are subject to other risks, such as having no or limited voting rights, being subject to special redemption rights, having distributions deferred or skipped, having limited liquidity, changing tax treatments and possibly being in heavily regulated industries.

 

Sector Focus Risk:  The Fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in one or more sectors and thus will be more susceptible to the risks affecting those sectors.  While the Fund’s sector exposure is expected to vary over time based on the composition of the Index, the Fund anticipates that it may be subject to some or all of the risks described below. The list below is not a comprehensive list of the sectors to which the Fund may have exposure over time and should not be relied on as such.

 

Information Technology Sector Risk: The Fund is subject to the risk that market or economic factors impacting technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology advances could have a major effect on the value of the Fund’s investments in the information technology sector. The value of stocks of technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technology product cycles, rapid product obsolescence, government regulation and competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from foreign competitors with lower production costs.

 

Small- and Mid-Capitalization Risk:  The small- and mid-capitalization companies in which the Fund invests may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

7 

 

Trading Risk: Shares of the Fund may trade on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) above or below their NAV. The NAV of shares of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. In addition, although the Fund’s shares are currently listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for shares will develop or be maintained.  Trading in Fund shares may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares of the Fund inadvisable. 

 

Performance Information

 

The Fund is new and therefore has no performance history. Once the Fund has completed a full calendar year of operations, a bar chart and table will be included that will provide some indication of risks of investing in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s return to a broad measure of market performance.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC serves as the investment adviser to the Fund.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Andrew Serowik, Portfolio Manager of the Adviser, has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in [ ].

 

Travis Trampe, Portfolio Manager of the Adviser, has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in [ ].

 

For important information about the purchase and sale of shares of the Fund and tax information, please turn to “Summary Information about Purchasing and Selling Shares, Taxes, and Financial Intermediary Compensation” on page 18 of the Prospectus.

 

8 

 

Fund Summary: ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index (the “Index”).

 

Fees and Expenses

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. This table and the Example below do not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay on their purchases and sales of shares.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee [  ]%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses1 [  ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [  ]%

 

1 Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

 

Example

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your cost 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 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. Because the Fund is new, portfolio turnover information is not yet available.

 

9 

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities of the Index or in depositary receipts representing securities of the Index. The Index, which was developed and is provided by ROBO Global (the “Index Provider”), is designed to measure the performance of companies that have a portion of their business and revenue derived from the field of healthcare technology as described below, and the potential to grow within this space through innovation and market adoption of such companies’ products and services (“Healthcare Technology Companies”). Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of Healthcare Technology Companies. This investment policy may be changed without shareholder approval, upon 60 days’ notice to shareholders.

 

Companies eligible for inclusion in the Index are those included in the ROBO Global Healthcare Technology Database (the “HTEC Database”), a proprietary database, created and maintained by the Index Provider, of companies that have a portion of their business associated with medical technology and health care innovation. To construct the Index, the Index Provider applies the ROBO Global HealthCare Technology Industry Classification, which classifies Healthcare Technology Companies included in the HTEC Database into the following sub-sectors: (1) diagnostic; (2) lap process automation; (3) regenerative medicine; (4) precision medicine; (5) data and analytics; (6) telehealth; (7) robotics; (8) medical instruments.

 

Each eligible company is individually analyzed and then given a “HTEC Score” ranging from 1 to 100, comprised of factors representing levels of revenue a company receives from innovative healthcare technologies, as well as technology and market leadership within the healthcare technology space. Companies whose HTEC Score is greater than or equal to 50 and that meet the market capitalization and liquidity requirements described below are eligible for inclusion in the Index. The Index is comprised of a minimum of 50 constituents and a maximum of 100 constituents. Companies in the Index are reweighted at each rebalance according to their HTEC Score. Scores are reviewed on an ongoing basis by reevaluating the factors described above.

 

Eligible Index components are exchange-listed equity securities of Healthcare Technology Companies that have a market capitalization exceeding $200 million at the time of inclusion on the Index and a minimum trailing 3-month composite average daily value of $1,000,000 at the time of inclusion.

 

The Index consists of securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers, including securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. The Index Provider expects, under normal circumstances, at least 20% of the Index components to represent securities of non-U.S. issuers, including China A-shares, which are shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the Chinese stock exchanges. As of [ ], 2019, a significant portion of the Index consists of securities of [ ] issuers. The Index is rebalanced and additions are made quarterly. Deletions from the Index may be made at any time due to changes in business, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, suspensions, de-listings and spin-offs, or for other reasons as determined at the sole discretion of the Index Provider. The Index is unmanaged and cannot be invested in directly.

 

10 

 

The Fund employs a “passive management” investment strategy in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The Fund generally will use a replication methodology, meaning it will invest in all of the securities comprising the Index in proportion to the weightings in the Index. However, the Fund may utilize a sampling methodology under various circumstances, including when it may not be possible or practicable to purchase all of the securities in the Index. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Adviser”) expects that over time, if the Fund has sufficient assets, the correlation between the Fund’s performance, before fees and expenses, and that of the Index will be 95% or better. A figure of 100% would indicate perfect correlation.

 

The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., invest more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. As of [ ], 2019, the Index was concentrated in the healthcare equipment and services industry group and the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences industry group. In addition, in replicating the Index, the Fund may from time to time invest a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies in one or more sectors. As of [ ], 2019, the Index had a significant amount of investment exposure in the healthcare sector.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in investments that are not included in the Index, but which the Adviser believes will help the Fund track the Index.

 

The Index Provider is not affiliated with the Fund or the Adviser. The Index Provider developed the methodology for determining the securities to be included in the Index and for the ongoing maintenance of the Index. The Index is calculated by Solactive AG, which is not affiliated with the Fund or the Adviser.

 

Principal Risks

 

As with all funds, a shareholder is subject to the risk that his or her investment could lose money. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any government agency. The principal risks affecting shareholders’ investments in the Fund are set forth below.

 

China A-Shares Investment Risk:  The liquidity of the A-shares market and trading prices of A-shares could be more severely affected than the liquidity and trading prices of other markets because the Chinese government restricts the flow of capital into and out of the A-shares market. The Fund may experience losses due to illiquidity of the Chinese securities markets or delay or disruption in execution or settlement of trades. The Fund’s investments in A-shares may become subject to frequent and widespread trading halts.

 

In addition, Stock Connect, which is a securities trading and clearing link between the mainland China stock exchanges and the Hong Kong stock exchange, only operates on days when the Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets are each open for trading and when banks in each market are open on the corresponding settlement days. The Fund may purchase and sell A-shares through Stock Connect only on days when Stock Connect and U.S. markets are open for trading. Therefore, if it is a normal trading day for the Chinese market but Hong Kong and/or U.S. markets are closed, the Fund will not be able to trade any A-shares. The Fund may be subject to the risk of price fluctuations in A-shares on such days. The Fund is also subject to the risk that it will not be able to buy or sell A-shares in a timely manner on days when the U.S. markets are open but Stock Connect is not.

 

11 

 

Common Stock Risk: Common stock holds the lowest priority in the capital structure of a company, and therefore takes the largest share of the company’s risk and its accompanying volatility. The value of the common stock held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or facts relating to specific companies in which the Fund invests.

 

Currency Exchange Rate Risk: The Fund may invest a relatively large percentage of its assets in securities denominated in non-U.S. currencies. Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-U.S. currencies will affect the value of the Fund’s investment and the value of your Shares. Because the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) is determined in U.S. dollars, the Fund’s NAV could decline if the currency of the non-U.S. market in which the Fund invests depreciates against the U.S. dollar, even if the value of the Fund’s holdings, measured in the foreign currency, increases. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning and you may lose money.

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk: An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

Emerging Markets Securities Risk: Emerging markets are subject to greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets and more governmental limitations on foreign investment than more developed markets. In addition, securities in emerging markets may be subject to greater price fluctuations than securities in more developed markets. The Fund’s investment in securities of foreign companies may be in the form of depositary receipts or other securities convertible into securities of foreign issuers.

 

Foreign Securities Risk: Investments in non-U.S. securities involve certain risks that may not be present with investments in U.S. securities. For example, investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to risk of loss due to foreign currency fluctuations or to expropriation, nationalization or adverse political or economic developments. Foreign securities may have relatively low market liquidity and decreased publicly available information about issuers. Investments in non-U.S. securities also may be subject to withholding or other taxes and may be subject to additional trading, settlement, custodial, and operational risks. Non-U.S. issuers may also be subject to inconsistent and potentially less stringent accounting, auditing, financial reporting and investor protection standards than U.S. issuers. These and other factors can make investments in the Fund more volatile and potentially less liquid than other types of investments.

 

12 

 

Geographic Investment Risk: To the extent the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies of a single country or region, it is more likely to be impacted by events or conditions affecting that country or region.

 

Healthcare Technology Companies Risk: The Fund invests primarily in the equity securities of Medical Technology Companies and, as such, is particularly sensitive to risks to those types of companies. These risks include, but are not limited to, small or limited markets for such securities, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Healthcare Technology Companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Securities of Healthcare Technology Companies, especially smaller, start-up companies, tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Rapid change to technologies that affect a company’s products could have a material adverse effect on such company’s operating results. Healthcare Technology Companies also rely heavily on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights in their products and technologies. There can be no assurance that the steps taken by these companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. Healthcare Technology Companies typically engage in significant amounts of spending on research and development, and there is no guarantee that the products or services produced by these companies will be successful.

 

Illiquid Investments Risk: This risk exists when particular Fund investments are difficult to purchase or sell, which can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.

 

Index Tracking Risk: The Fund’s return may not match or achieve a high degree of correlation with the return of the Index.

 

Industry Concentration Risk:  Because the Fund’s assets will be concentrated in an industry or group of industries to the extent the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund is subject to loss due to adverse occurrences that may affect that industry or group of industries. As of [ ], 2019, the Index was concentrated in the healthcare equipment and services industry group and the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences industry group.

 

Health Care Equipment & Services Industry Risk: Health care equipment and services companies are affected by rising costs of medical products, devices and services and the increased emphasis on the delivery of health care through outpatient services. Competition among health care equipment and services companies is high and can be significantly affected by extensive government regulation or government reimbursement for medical expenses. The equipment and services may be subject to extensive litigation based on malpractice claims, product liability claims or other litigation. Medical equipment manufacturers are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect their profitability. Many new health care products are subject to the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The process of obtaining FDA approval is often long and expensive.

 

13 

 

Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Risk: The Fund is subject to risks faced by companies in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences economic sector to the same extent as the Index is so concentrated, including: heavy dependence on patents and intellectual property rights, with profitability affected by the loss or impairment of such rights; risks of new technologies and competitive pressures; large expenditures on research and development of products or services that may not prove commercially successful or may become obsolete quickly; regulations and restrictions imposed by the FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), state and local governments, and foreign regulatory authorities; and thin capitalization and limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Moreover, stock prices of biotechnology companies are very volatile, particularly when their products are up for regulatory approval and/or under regulatory scrutiny. The biotechnology sector may also be affected by risks that affect the broader health care industry, including expenses and losses from extensive litigation on product liability and similar claims.

 

Issuer-Specific Risk: Fund performance depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund has exposure. Issuer-specific events, including changes in the financial condition of an issuer, can have a negative impact on the value of the Fund.

 

Large-Capitalization Risk: Returns on investments in securities of large companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of smaller and mid-sized companies.

 

Limited Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Risk: Because the Fund is an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”), only a limited number of institutional investors (known as “Authorized Participants”) are authorized to purchase and redeem shares directly from the Fund. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, shares of the Fund may trade at a material discount to its net asset value (“NAV”) per share and possibly face delisting: (i) Authorized Participants exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other Authorized Participants step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

Management Risk: Because the Fund may not fully replicate the Index and may hold fewer than the total number of securities in the Index and may hold securities not included in the Index, the Fund is subject to management risk. This is the risk that the Adviser’s security selection process, which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

 

Market Risk: The market price of a security or instrument could decline, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably, due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic or political conditions throughout the world, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. The market value of a security may also decline because of factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry.

 

14 

 

Micro-Capitalization Risk: The micro-capitalization companies in which the Fund may invest may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of micro-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

New/Smaller Fund Risk: A new or smaller fund is subject to the risk that its performance may not represent how the fund is expected to or may perform in the long term. In addition, new funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve an economically viable size, in which case it could ultimately liquidate. The Fund may be liquidated by the Board of Trustees without a shareholder vote. In a liquidation, shareholders of the Fund will receive an amount equal to the Fund’s NAV, after deducting the costs of liquidation, including the transaction costs of disposing of the Fund’s portfolio investments. Receipt of a liquidation distribution may have negative tax consequences for shareholders. Additionally, during the Fund’s liquidation all or a portion of the fund’s portfolio may be invested in a manner not consistent with its investment objective and investment policies.

 

Non-Diversification Risk: The Fund is non-diversified, meaning that, as compared to a diversified fund, it can invest a greater percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers.  As a result, the performance of these issuers can have a substantial impact on the Fund’s performance.

 

Operational Risk: The Fund and its service providers may experience disruptions that arise from human error, processing and communications errors, counterparty or third-party errors, technology or systems failures, any of which may have an adverse impact on the Fund.

 

Passive Investment Risk: The Fund is not actively managed and therefore the Fund would not sell the security due to current or projected underperformance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is removed from the Index or the selling of shares is otherwise required upon a rebalancing of the Index.

 

Preferred Securities Risk: Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. In addition, preferred securities are subject to other risks, such as having no or limited voting rights, being subject to special redemption rights, having distributions deferred or skipped, having limited liquidity, changing tax treatments and possibly being in heavily regulated industries.

 

Sector Focus Risk:  The Fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in one or more sectors and thus will be more susceptible to the risks affecting those sectors.  While the Fund’s sector exposure is expected to vary over time based on the composition of the Index, the Fund anticipates that it may be subject to some or all of the risks described below. The list below is not a comprehensive list of the sectors to which the Fund may have exposure over time and should not be relied on as such.

 

15 

 

Health Care Sector Risk: Companies in the health care sector are subject to extensive government regulation and their profitability can be significantly affected by restrictions on government reimbursement for medical expenses, rising costs of medical products and services, pricing pressure (including price discounting), limited product lines and an increased emphasis on the delivery of healthcare through outpatient services. Companies in the health care sector are heavily dependent on obtaining and defending patents, which may be time consuming and costly, and the expiration of patents may also adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Health care companies are also subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and similar claims. In addition, their products can become obsolete due to industry innovation, changes in technologies or other market developments. Many new products in the health care sector require significant research and development and may be subject to regulatory approvals, all of which may be time consuming and costly with no guarantee that any product will come to market.

 

Small- and Mid-Capitalization Risk:  The small- and mid-capitalization companies in which the Fund invests may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

Trading Risk: Shares may trade on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) above or below their NAV. The NAV of shares of the Fund will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. In addition, although the Fund’s shares are currently listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for shares will develop or be maintained.  Trading in Fund shares may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares of the Fund inadvisable. 

 

Performance Information

 

The Fund is new and therefore has no performance history. Once the Fund has completed a full calendar year of operations, a bar chart and table will be included that will provide some indication of risks of investing in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s return to a broad measure of market performance.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC serves as the investment adviser to the Fund.

 

16 

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Andrew Serowik, Portfolio Manager of the Adviser, has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in [ ].

 

Travis Trampe, Portfolio Manager of the Adviser, has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in [ ].

 

For important information about the purchase and sale of shares of the Fund and tax information, please turn to “Summary Information about Purchasing and Selling Shares, Taxes, and Financial Intermediary Compensation” on page 18 of the Prospectus.

 

17 

 

Summary Information About Purchasing and Selling Shares,
Taxes, and Financial Intermediary Compensation

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

Each of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF (each a “Fund”, and together, the “Funds) will issue (or redeem) shares to certain institutional investors (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of at least 25,000 shares known as “Creation Units.” Creation Unit transactions are typically conducted in exchange for the deposit or delivery of in-kind securities and/or cash constituting a substantial replication, or a representation, of the securities included in a Fund’s Index. Individual shares of each Fund may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. You can purchase and sell individual shares of each Fund throughout the trading day like any publicly traded security. Each Fund’s shares are listed on the Exchange. The price of each Fund’s shares is based on market price, and because exchange-traded fund shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). Investors buying or selling Fund shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, each Fund’s shares are not redeemable securities.

 

Tax Information

 

Distributions made by each Fund may be taxable as ordinary income, qualified dividend income or long-term capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. In that case, you may be taxed when you take a distribution from such account, depending on the type of account, the circumstances of your distribution, and other factors.

 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

If you purchase shares of a Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and its related companies 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 a Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

18 

 

Index Information/Trademark License/Disclaimers

 

The ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence Index was created on [ ] and is designed to measure the performance of publicly-traded companies that have a portion of their business and revenue derived from the field of artificial intelligence, and the potential to grow within this space through innovation and/or market adoption of such companies’ products and/or services (“Artificial Intelligence Companies”) Artificial Intelligence Companies. Artificial Intelligence Companies eligible for inclusion in the Index will derive a distinct portion of their business and revenue the Artificial Intelligence field. Eligible Index components are companies that are exchange listed, have a market capitalization exceeding $200 million at the time of inclusion on the Index and a minimum trailing 3-month average daily volume of USD $1,000,000 at the time of inclusion. Existing Index components must maintain a market capitalization of at least $100 million. Index components that meet the foregoing eligibility requirements are selected from a proprietary database of Artificial Intelligence Companies (“AI Database”) that are organized into two general categories: infrastructure and applications and services. The Index consists of securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers, including securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. The Index Provider expects, under normal circumstances, at least 25% of the Index components to represent securities of non-U.S. issuers, including China A shares, which are shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the Chinese stock exchanges. Index constituents are weighted according to their THNQ Score. Such weighting is calculated by dividing a company’s THNQ score by the sum of all available THNQ Scores in the AI Database (except that China A Shares’ weightings are subject to reduction if their weight exceeds a certain number and such excess is redistributed pro-rata across the remaining constituents). The Index is rebalanced and additions are made quarterly. Deletions from the Index may be made at any time due to changes in business, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, suspensions, de-listings and spin-offs, or for other reasons as determined at the sole discretion of the Index Provider. As of [ ], the Index comprised [ ] securities. As of [ ], the average market capitalization and one-year trading volume of the Index components were $[ ] and [ ], respectively.

 

The ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index was created on [ ] and is designed to measure the performance of companies that have a portion of their business and revenue derived from the field of healthcare technology, and the potential to grow within this space through innovation and/or market adoption of such companies’ products and/or services (“Healthcare Technology Companies”). Healthcare Technology Companies eligible for inclusion in the Index will derive a distinct portion of their business and revenue the Healthcare Technology field. Eligible Index components are companies that are exchange listed, have a market capitalization exceeding $200 million at the time of inclusion on the Index and a minimum trailing 3-month average daily volume of USD $1,000,000 at the time of inclusion. Existing Index components must maintain a market capitalization of at least $100 million. Index components that meet the foregoing eligibility requirements are selected from a proprietary database of Healthcare Technology Companies (“HTEC Database”) that are organized into several different sub-sectors. The Index consists of securities of both U.S. and foreign issuers, including securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. The Index Provider expects, under normal circumstances, at least 20% of the Index components to represent securities of non-U.S. issuers, including China A shares, which are shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the Chinese stock exchanges. Index constituents are weighted according to their HTEC Score. Such weighting is calculated by dividing a company’s HTEC score by the sum of all available HTEC Scores in the eligible universe (except that China A Shares’ weightings are subject to reduction if their weight exceeds a certain number and such excess is redistributed pro-rata across the remaining constituents). The Index is rebalanced and additions are made quarterly. Deletions from the Index may be made at any time due to changes in business, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, suspensions, de-listings and spin-offs, or for other reasons as determined at the sole discretion of the Index Provider. As of [ ], the Index comprised [ ] securities. As of [ ], the average market capitalization and one-year trading volume of the Index components were $[ ] and [ ], respectively.

 

19 

 

Daily index values can be viewed on Bloomberg and Reuters. More information about each Index may be reviewed on the following website: www.roboglobal.com.

 

The Index Provider is ROBO Global®. The Index Provider is not affiliated with Exchange Traded Concepts Trust (the “Trust”), the Adviser, the Funds’ administrator, custodian, transfer agent or distributor, or any of their respective affiliates. The Adviser has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider pursuant to which the Adviser pays a fee to use the Index. The Adviser is sub-licensing rights to each Index to the Funds at no charge.

 

The ROBO Global® indexes are the exclusive property of ROBO Global®. ROBO Global®, ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence Index, and ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology Index are service mark(s) of ROBO Global® or its affiliates and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by the Adviser. The shares referred to herein are not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by ROBO Global®, and ROBO Global® bears no liability with respect to any such shares. No purchaser, seller or holder of this product, or any other person or entity, should use or refer to any ROBO Global® trade name, trademark or service mark to sponsor, endorse, market or promote this product without first contacting ROBO Global® to determine whether ROBO Global®’s permission is required. Under no circumstances may any person or entity claim any affiliation with ROBO Global® without the prior written permission of ROBO Global®.

 

The Index is calculated by Solactive AG. Solactive AG is not affiliated with the Trust, the Adviser, the Fund’s administrator, custodian, transfer agent or distributor, or any of their respective affiliates.

 

Additional Principal Investment Strategies

 

Each Fund, using an “indexing” investment approach, seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of its Index. A number of factors may affect a Fund’s ability to achieve a high correlation with its Index, including the degree to which a Fund utilizes a sampling methodology, a Fund’s expenses, rounding of share prices, the timing or magnitude of changes to the composition of the Index, regulatory policies, and portfolio turnover. There can be no guarantee that a Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation.

 

Each Fund may sell securities that are represented in its Index or purchase securities not yet represented in such Index, in anticipation of their removal from or addition to the Index. There may also be instances in which the Adviser may choose to overweight securities in either Index, thus causing the Adviser to purchase or sell securities not in an Index that the Adviser believes are appropriate to substitute for certain securities in such Index or utilize various combinations of other available investment techniques in seeking to track the performance of an Index. The Funds will not take defensive positions.

 

Each Fund may change its investment objective and Index without shareholder approval.

 

20 

 

Additional Principal Risk Information

 

The following section provides additional information regarding the principal risks of the Funds. Risk information is applicable to each Fund unless otherwise noted.

 

Artificial Intelligence Companies Risk (ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF only): The ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF invests primarily in the equity securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies and, as such, is particularly sensitive to risks to those types of companies. These risks include, but are not limited to, small or limited markets for such securities, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Artificial Intelligence Companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Securities of Artificial Intelligence Companies, especially smaller, start-up companies, tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Rapid change to technologies that affect a company’s products could have a material adverse effect on such company’s operating results. Artificial Intelligence Companies also rely heavily on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights in their products and technologies. There can be no assurance that the steps taken by these companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. Artificial Intelligence Companies typically engage in significant amounts of spending on research and development, and there is no guarantee that the products or services produced by these companies will be successful.

 

China A-Shares Investment Risk:  The liquidity of the A-shares market and trading prices of A-shares could be more severely affected than the liquidity and trading prices of other markets because the Chinese government restricts the flow of capital into and out of the A-shares market. The nature, duration and impact of a market disruption on the A-shares market and the Fund’s investments cannot be predicted. Depending on its allocation to A-shares, the Fund may experience significant losses, or may not be able fully to implement or pursue its investment objectives or strategies, due to illiquidity of the Chinese securities markets or delay or disruption in execution or settlement of trades. The Fund’s investments in A-shares may become subject to frequent and widespread trading halts. The Chinese government previously has acted in a manner that has benefitted holders of A-shares, but there can be no guarantee that it will do so in the future.

 

Stock Connect, which is a securities trading and clearing link between the mainland China stock exchanges and the Hong Kong stock exchange, only operates on days when the Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets are each open for trading and when banks in each market are open on the corresponding settlement days. The Fund may purchase and sell A-shares through Stock Connect only on days when Stock Connect and U.S. markets are open for trading. Therefore, if it is a normal trading day for the Chinese market but Hong Kong and/or U.S. markets are closed, the Fund will not be able to trade any A-shares. The Fund may be subject to the risk of price fluctuations in A-shares on such days. The Fund is also subject to the risk that it will not be able to buy or sell A-shares in a timely manner on days when the U.S. markets are open but Stock Connect is not.

 

21 

 

Common Stock Risk: Common stock holds the lowest priority in the capital structure of a company, and therefore takes the largest share of the company’s risk and its accompanying volatility. Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, generally have inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks. Further, unlike debt securities, which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, is subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks, which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. An adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of a particular common stock. Also, prices of common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and economic conditions, and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic or banking crises.

 

Currency Exchange Rate Risk: Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-U.S. currencies will affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the value of your shares. Because the Fund’s NAV is determined on the basis of U.S. dollars, the U.S. dollar value of your investment in the Fund may go down if the value of the local currency of the non-U.S. markets in which the Fund invests depreciates against the U.S. dollar. This is true even if the local currency value of securities in the Fund’s holdings goes up. Conversely, the dollar value of your investment in the Fund may go up if the value of the local currency appreciates against the U.S. dollar. The value of the U.S. dollar measured against other currencies is influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include: national debt levels and trade deficits, changes in balances of payments and trade, domestic and foreign interest and inflation rates, global or regional political, economic or financial events, monetary policies of governments, actual or potential government intervention, and global energy prices. Political instability, the possibility of government intervention and restrictive or opaque business and investment policies may also reduce the value of a country’s currency. Government monetary policies and the buying or selling of currency by a country’s government may also influence exchange rates. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning, and you may lose money.

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk: An exchange or market may close early or issue trading halts on specific securities or financial instruments. The ability to trade certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may disrupt a Fund’s creation and redemption process, potentially affect the price at which a Fund’s shares trade in the secondary market, and/or result in a Fund being unable to trade certain securities or financial instruments. In these circumstances, such Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

22 

 

Emerging Markets Securities Risk: Emerging markets are subject to greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets and more governmental limitations on foreign investment than more developed markets. In addition, securities in emerging markets may be subject to greater price fluctuations than securities in more developed markets. Investments in debt securities of foreign governments present special risks, including the fact that issuers may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt, or may be unable to make such repayments when due in the currency required under the terms of the debt. Political, economic and social events also may have a greater impact on the price of debt securities issued by foreign governments than on the price of U.S. securities. In addition, brokerage and other transaction costs on foreign securities exchanges are often higher than in the United States and there is generally less government supervision and regulation of exchanges, brokers and issuers in foreign countries.

 

Foreign Securities Risk: Investments in non-U.S. securities involve certain risks that may not be present with investments in U.S. securities. For example, investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to risk of loss due to foreign currency fluctuations or to political or economic instability. There may be less information publicly available about a non-U.S. issuer than a U.S. issuer. Non-U.S. issuers may be subject to inconsistent and potentially less stringent accounting, auditing, financial reporting and investor protection standards than U.S. issuers. Investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to withholding or other taxes and may be subject to additional trading, settlement, custodial, and operational risks. With respect to certain countries, there is the possibility of government intervention and expropriation or nationalization of assets. Because legal systems differ, there is also the possibility that it will be difficult to obtain or enforce legal judgments in certain countries. Because foreign exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its shares, the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s shares. Conversely, shares may trade on days when foreign exchanges are closed. Each of these factors can make investments in the Fund more volatile and potentially less liquid than other types of investments.

 

Geographic Investment Risk: To the extent a Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies of a single country or region, it is more likely to be impacted by events or conditions affecting that country or region. For example, political and economic conditions and changes in regulatory, tax, or economic policy in a country could significantly affect the market in that country and in surrounding or related countries and have a negative impact on a Fund’s performance. Currency developments or restrictions, political and social instability, and changing economic conditions have resulted in significant market volatility.

 

Healthcare Technology Companies Risk (ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF only): The Fund invests primarily in the equity securities of Healthcare Technology Companies and, as such, is particularly sensitive to risks to those types of companies. These risks include, but are not limited to, small or limited markets for such securities, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Healthcare Technology Companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Securities of Healthcare Technology Companies, especially smaller, start-up companies, tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Rapid change to technologies that affect a company’s products could have a material adverse effect on such company’s operating results. Healthcare Technology Companies also rely heavily on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights in their products and technologies. There can be no assurance that the steps taken by these companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. Healthcare Technology Companies typically engage in significant amounts of spending on research and development, and there is no guarantee that the products or services produced by these companies will be successful.

 

23 

 

Illiquid Investments Risk: In certain circumstances, it may be difficult for a Fund to purchase and sell particular portfolio investments due to infrequent trading in such investments. The prices of such securities may experience significant volatility, make it more difficult for a Fund to transact significant amounts of such securities without an unfavorable impact on prevailing market prices, or make it difficult for the Adviser to dispose of such securities at a fair price.

 

Index Tracking Risk: Tracking error refers to the risk that the Adviser may not be able to cause a Fund’s performance to match or correlate to that of its Index, either on a daily or aggregate basis. There are a number of factors that may contribute to the Funds’ tracking error, such as Fund expenses, imperfect correlation between each Fund’s investments and those of each Index, rounding of share prices, the timing or magnitude of changes to the composition of each Index, regulatory policies, and high portfolio turnover rate. Each Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to its Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing each Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of its Index. To the extent a Fund utilizes a sampling approach, it may experience tracking error to a greater extent that if a Fund sought to replicate its Index. Tracking error may cause the Funds’ performance to be less than expected.

 

Industry Concentration Risk: Because each Fund’s assets will be concentrated in an industry or group of industries to the extent the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries, the Funds are subject to loss due to adverse occurrences that may affect that industry or group of industries. To the extent the Funds concentrate in the securities of issuers in a particular industry, the Funds may face more risks than if it were diversified more broadly over numerous industries. Such industry-based risks, any of which may adversely affect the Funds may include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions or cyclical market patterns that could negatively affect supply and demand in a particular industry; competition for resources, adverse labor relations, political or world events; obsolescence of technologies; and increased competition or new product introductions that may affect the profitability or viability of companies in an industry. In addition, at times, an industry may be out of favor and underperform other industries or the market as a whole. As of [-], 2019, the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence Index was not concentrated in any particular industry or group of industries. As of [ ], 2019, the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index was concentrated in the health care equipment and services industry group and the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences industry group.

 

24 

 

Health Care Equipment and Services Industry Risk (ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF only): Health care equipment and services companies are affected by rising costs of medical products, devices and services and the increased emphasis on the delivery of health care through outpatient services. Competition is high among health care equipment and services companies and can be significantly affected by extensive government regulation or government reimbursement for medical expenses. The equipment and services may be subject to extensive litigation based on malpractice claims, product liability claims or other litigation. Medical equipment manufacturers are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect their profitability. Many new health care products are subject to the approval of the FDA. The process of obtaining FDA approval is often long and expensive.

 

Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Risk (ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF only): The Fund is subject to risks faced by companies in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences economic sector to the same extent as the Index is so concentrated, including: heavy dependence on patents and intellectual property rights, with profitability affected by the loss or impairment of such rights; risks of new technologies and competitive pressures; large expenditures on research and development of products or services that may not prove commercially successful or may become obsolete quickly; regulations and restrictions imposed by the FDA, the EPA, state and local governments, and foreign regulatory authorities; and thin capitalization and limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. Moreover, stock prices of biotechnology companies are very volatile, particularly when their products are up for regulatory approval and/or under regulatory scrutiny. The biotechnology sector may also be affected by risks that affect the broader health care industry, including expenses and losses from extensive litigation on product liability and similar claims.

 

Issuer-Specific Risk: Changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular type of security or issuer, and changes in general economic or political conditions can affect a security’s or instrument’s value. The value of securities of smaller, less well-known issuers can be more volatile than that of larger issuers. Issuer-specific events can have a negative impact on the value of the Funds.

 

Large-Capitalization Risk: Returns on investments in securities of large companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of smaller and mid-sized companies. The securities of large capitalization companies may also be relatively mature compared to smaller companies and therefore subject to slower growth during times of economic expansion. Large capitalization companies may also be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges, such as changes in technology and consumer tastes.

 

Limited Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Risk: Only an Authorized Participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with a Fund. Each Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, a Fund’s shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) Authorized Participants exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other Authorized Participants step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions. An active trading market for shares of a Fund may not develop or be maintained, and, particularly during times of market stress, Authorized Participants or market makers may step away from their respective roles in making a market in shares of the Funds and in executing purchase or redemption orders. This could, in turn, lead to variances between the market price of the Funds’ shares and the value of its underlying securities.

 

25 

 

Management Risk: Because a Fund may not fully replicate its Index and may hold fewer than the total number of securities in the Index and may hold securities not included in the Index, each Fund is subject to management risk. This is the risk that the Adviser’s security selection process, which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results.

 

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

 

Micro-Capitalization Risk: The micro-capitalization companies in which a Fund may invest may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of micro-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

New/Smaller Fund Risk: A new or smaller fund’s performance may not represent how the fund is expected to or may perform in the long term if and when it becomes larger and has fully implemented its investment strategies. Investment positions may have a disproportionate impact (negative or positive) on performance in new and smaller funds. New and smaller funds may also require a period of time before they are fully invested in securities that meet their investment objectives and policies and achieve a representative portfolio composition. Fund performance may be lower or higher during this “ramp-up” period, and may also be more volatile, than would be the case after the fund is fully invested. Similarly, a new or smaller Fund’s investment strategy may require a longer period of time to show returns that are representative of the strategy. New funds have limited performance histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. If a new or smaller Fund were to fail to successfully implement its investment strategies or achieve its investment objective, performance may be negatively impacted. Further, when a fund’s size is small, the fund may experience low trading volumes and wide bid/ask spreads. In addition, the fund may face the risk of being delisted if the fund does not meet certain conditions of the listing exchange. If the fund were to be required to delist from the listing exchange, the value of the fund may rapidly decline and performance may be negatively impacted. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve an economically viable size. Any of the foregoing may result in a Fund being liquidated. The Fund may be liquidated by the Board of Trustees without a shareholder vote. In a liquidation, shareholders of a Fund will receive an amount equal to the Fund’s NAV, after the deducting the costs of liquidation, including the transaction costs of disposing of the Fund’s portfolio investments. Receipt of a liquidation distribution may have negative tax consequences for shareholders. Additionally, during a Fund’s liquidation all or a portion of the Fund’s portfolio may be invested in a manner not consistent with its investment objective and investment policies.

 

26 

 

Non-Diversification Risk: Each Fund is non-diversified, meaning that, as compared to a diversified fund, it can invest a greater percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers.  As a result, the performance of these issuers can have a substantial impact on the Fund’s performance.

 

Operational Risk: Each Fund and its service providers may experience disruptions that arise from human error, processing and communications errors, counterparty or third-party errors, technology or systems failures, any of which may have an adverse impact on the Funds. Although each Fund and its service providers seek to mitigate these operational risks through their internal controls and operational risk management processes, these measures may not identify or may be inadequate to address all such risks.

 

Passive Investment Risk: The Funds are not actively managed. Therefore, unless a specific security is removed from a Fund’s Index, or the selling of that security is otherwise required upon a rebalancing of the Index, a Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble. If a specific security is removed from a Fund’s Index, a Fund may be forced to sell such security at an inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s current market value. An investment in a Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any equity securities traded on an exchange, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. It is anticipated that the value of a Fund’s shares will decline, more or less, in correspondence with any decline in value of its Index. An Index may not contain the appropriate mix of securities for any particular point in the business cycle of the overall economy, particular economic sectors, or narrow industries within which the commercial activities of the companies comprising the portfolio securities holdings of the Funds are conducted, and the timing of movements from one type of security to another in seeking to replicate an Index could have a negative effect on a Fund. Unlike other funds that select investments based on analyses of financial or other information relating to companies, the economy or markets, each Fund, like other sector-focused or other narrowly-focused index funds, invests in companies included in its Index in accordance with its investment objective of tracking the performance of such Index.  There can be no assurance that an investment in such companies would not underperform the broader market or investments with a different focus. A Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. Unlike with an actively managed fund, the Adviser does not use techniques or defensive strategies designed to lessen the effects of market volatility or to reduce the impact of periods of market decline. This means that, based on market and economic conditions, the Funds’ performance could be lower than other types of mutual funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline.

 

27 

 

Preferred Securities Risk: Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. In addition, preferred securities are subject to other risks, such as having no or limited voting rights, being subject to special redemption rights, having distributions deferred or skipped, having limited liquidity, changing tax treatments and possibly being in heavily regulated industries.

 

Sector Focus Risk:  Each Fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in one or more sectors and thus will be more susceptible to the risks affecting those sectors.  While each Fund’s sector exposure is expected to vary over time based on the composition of its Index, each Fund anticipates that it may be subject to some or all of the risks described below. The list below is not a comprehensive list of the sectors to which the Funds may have exposure over time and should not be relied on as such.

 

Information Technology Sector Risk (ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF): The Fund is subject to the risk that market or economic factors impacting information technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology advances could have a major effect on the value of the Fund’s investments. The value of stocks of technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technology product cycles, rapid product obsolescence, government regulation and competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from foreign competitors with lower production costs. Technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Technology companies are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights, the loss or impairment of which may adversely affect profitability. Additionally, companies in the technology sector may face dramatic and often unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel.

 

Health Care Sector Risk (ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF only): Companies in the health care sector are subject to extensive government regulation and their profitability can be significantly affected by restrictions on government reimbursement for medical expenses, rising costs of medical products and services, pricing pressure (including price discounting), limited product lines and an increased emphasis on the delivery of healthcare through outpatient services. Companies in the health care sector are heavily dependent on obtaining and defending patents, which may be time consuming and costly, and the expiration of patents may also adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Health care companies are also subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and similar claims. In addition, their products can become obsolete due to industry innovation, changes in technologies or other market developments. Many new products in the health care sector require significant research and development and may be subject to regulatory approvals, all of which may be time consuming and costly with no guarantee that any product will come to market.

 

28 

 

Small- and Mid-Capitalization Risk:  The small- and mid-capitalization companies in which each Fund invests may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies, and may underperform other segments of the market or the equity market as a whole. Securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes, are often more vulnerable to market volatility, and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole. Some small- and mid-capitalization companies have limited product lines, markets, financial resources, and management personnel and tend to concentrate on fewer geographical markets relative to large capitalization companies. Also, there is typically less publicly available information concerning smaller capitalization companies than for larger, more established companies. Small capitalization companies also may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, government regulation, borrowing costs and earnings.

 

Trading Risk: Although the shares of a Fund are listed for trading on a listing exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Secondary market trading in a Fund’s shares may be halted by a listing exchange because of market conditions or for other reasons. In addition, trading in a Fund’s shares is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing of the shares of a Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

Shares of a Fund may trade at, above or below their most recent NAV. The per share NAV of a Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of a Fund’s holdings since the prior most recent calculation. The trading prices of a Fund’s shares will fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand. The trading prices of a Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. These factors, among others, may lead to a Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV. However, given that shares can be created and redeemed only in Creation Units at NAV (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs), the Adviser does not believe that large discounts or premiums to NAV will exist for extended periods of time. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that a Fund’s shares normally will trade close to its NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or the existence of extreme volatility may result in trading prices that differ significantly from NAV. If a shareholder purchases at a time when the market price of a Fund is at a premium to its NAV or sells at time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses.

 

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

 

29 

 

Portfolio Holdings

 

A description of the Funds’ policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio securities is available in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”).

 

Fund Management

 

Adviser. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, or the Adviser, an Oklahoma limited liability company, is located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, its primary place of business, and 295 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017. The Adviser was formed in 2009 and provides investment advisory services to other exchange-traded funds. Under an investment advisory agreement between the Trust, on behalf of the Funds, and the Adviser, the Adviser provides investment advice to the Fund. The Adviser is responsible for, among other things, trading portfolio securities on behalf of the Funds, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions or in connection with any rebalancing or reconstitution of a Fund’s portfolio, subject to the supervision of the Board. The Adviser also arranges for transfer agency, custody, fund administration and accounting, and other non-distribution related services necessary for the Funds to operate. The Adviser administers the Funds’ business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services, and provides its officers and employees to serve as officers or Trustees of the Trust. For the services it provides to the Funds, each Fund pays the Adviser a fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate based on of the average daily net assets of each Fund as follows:

 

ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF [ ]%

ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF [ ]%

 

Under the investment advisory agreement, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by each Fund except for the advisory fee, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, extraordinary expenses, and distribution fees and expenses paid by a Fund under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act.

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser will be available in the Fund’s first Annual or Semi-Annual Report.

 

Pursuant to an SEC exemptive order and subject to the conditions of that order, the Adviser may, with Board approval but without shareholder approval, change or select new sub-advisers, materially amend the terms of an agreement with a sub-adviser (including an increase in its fee), or continue the employment of a sub-adviser after an event that would otherwise cause the automatic termination of services. Shareholders will be notified of any sub-adviser changes.

 

30 

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Andrew Serowik and Travis Trampe are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds.

 

Mr. Serowik joined the Adviser from Goldman Sachs. He began his career at Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, continuing with Goldman after its acquisition of SLK. During his career of more than 18 years at the combined companies, he held various roles, including managing the global Quant ETF Strats team and One Delta ETF Strats. He designed and developed systems for portfolio risk calculation, algorithmic ETF trading, and execution monitoring, with experience across all asset classes. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.

 

Mr. Trampe has over 17 years of investment management experience, including over 10 years as Portfolio Manager for passive and active strategies including fully replicated, optimized and swap-based funds for Invesco PowerShares, FocusShares and other sponsors. He has extensive knowledge in trading, research, and analysis within US and Global Equity markets, including UCITS. He was responsible for building internal portfolio management capabilities, trading and infrastructure and daily operations. He graduated with Highest Distinction Honors from the Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a minor in Mathematics.

 

The SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed, and ownership of Fund shares.

 

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

 

Shares of each Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange. When you buy or sell shares of a Fund on the secondary market, you will pay or receive the market price. You may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges and may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. The shares of a Fund will trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ to varying degrees from the daily NAV of such shares. A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is any day on which the Exchange is open for business. The Exchange is generally open Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

 

NAV per share for a Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e. the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by its total number of shares outstanding. Expenses and fees, including management and distribution fees, if any, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. NAV is determined each business day, normally as of the close of regular trading of the New York Stock Exchange (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time).

 

31 

 

The Exchange (or market data vendors or other information providers) will disseminate, every fifteen seconds during the regular trading day, an intraday value of the shares of each Fund, also known as the “intraday indicative value,” or IIV. The IIV calculations are estimates of the value of a Fund’s NAV per share and are based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. Premiums and discounts between the IIV and the market price may occur. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by a Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, it should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV per share of a Fund, which is calculated only once a day. The quotations of certain holdings of a Fund may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. Neither the Funds, the Adviser, nor any of their affiliates are involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IIV and make no warranty as to its accuracy.

 

When determining NAV, the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities is based on market prices of the securities, which generally means a valuation obtained from an exchange or other market (or based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of the value supplied by an exchange or other market) or a valuation obtained from an independent pricing service. If a security’s market price is not readily available or does not otherwise accurately reflect the fair value of the security, the security will be valued by another method that the Trust’s Fair Value Committee believes will better reflect fair value in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures, which were approved by the Board. Fair value pricing may be used in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations when the value of a security in the Fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded but prior to the close of the Exchange (such as in the case of a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. Accordingly, a Fund’s NAV may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices.

 

Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security will materially differ from the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate a Fund’s NAV and the prices used by such Fund’s Index. This may result in a difference between a Fund’s performance and the performance of its Index.

 

Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Fund Shares

 

The Funds do not impose any restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units; however, each Fund reserves the right to reject or limit purchases at any time as described in the SAI. When considering that no restriction or policy was necessary, the Board evaluated the risks posed by arbitrage and market timing activities, such as whether frequent purchases and redemptions would interfere with the efficient implementation of a Fund’s investment strategy, or whether they would cause a Fund to experience increased transaction costs. The Board considered that, unlike traditional mutual funds, shares of each Fund are issued and redeemed only in large quantities of shares known as Creation Units available only from the Funds directly to Authorized Participants, and that most trading in the Funds occurs on the Exchange at prevailing market prices and does not involve the Funds directly. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is unlikely that trading due to arbitrage opportunities or market timing by shareholders would result in negative impact to a Fund or its shareholders. In addition, frequent trading of shares of a Fund done by Authorized Participants and arbitrageurs is critical to ensuring that the market price remains at or close to NAV.

 

32 

 

Distribution and Service Plan

 

Each Fund has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act pursuant to which payments of up to 0.25% of a Fund’s average daily net assets may be made for the sale and distribution of its shares. However, the Board has determined that no payments pursuant to the Distribution and Service Plan will be made for at least the first twelve (12) months of operation. Thereafter, 12b-1 fees may only be imposed after approval by the Board. Because these fees, if imposed, would be paid out of a Fund’s assets on an on-going basis, if payments are made in the future, these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.

 

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Fund Distributions

 

Each Fund pays out dividends from its net investment income and distributes its net capital gains, if any, to investors at least annually.

 

Dividend Reinvestment Service

 

Brokers may make available to their customers who own shares of a Fund the Depository Trust Company book-entry dividend reinvestment service. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and capital gains will automatically be reinvested in additional whole shares of the applicable Fund purchased on the secondary market. Without this service, investors would receive their distributions in cash. To determine whether the dividend reinvestment service is available and whether there is a commission or other charge for using this service, consult your broker. Brokers may require a Fund’s shareholders to adhere to specific procedures and timetables.

 

Tax Information

 

The following is a summary of some important U.S. federal income tax issues that affect each Fund and its shareholders. The summary is based on current tax laws, which may be changed by legislative, judicial or administrative action. You should not consider this summary to be a comprehensive explanation of the tax treatment of the Funds, or the tax consequences of an investment in the Funds. More information about taxes is located in the SAI.

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and only apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules applicable to a regulated investment company, such as the Funds. The Tax Act, however, makes numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and a Fund. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Funds.

 

33 

 

You are urged to consult your tax adviser regarding specific questions as to federal, state and local income taxes.

 

Tax Status of the Funds

 

Each Fund intends to qualify for the special tax treatment afforded to regulated investment companies under the Internal Revenue Code. If a Fund maintains its qualification as a regulated investment company and meets certain minimum distribution requirements, then the Funds are generally not subject to tax at the fund level on income and gains that are timely distributed to shareholders. However, if a Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company or to meet minimum distribution requirements it would result (if certain relief provisions were not available) in fund-level taxation and consequently a reduction in income available for distribution to shareholders.

 

Unless you are a tax-exempt entity or your investment in shares of a Fund is made through a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when a Fund makes distributions, you sell your shares, and you purchase or redeem Creation Units (institutional investors only).

 

Tax Status of Distributions

 

Each Fund intends to distribute for each year substantially all of its net investment income and net capital gains income.

 

Dividends and distributions are generally taxable to you whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares.

 

The income dividends you receive from a Fund may be taxed as either ordinary income or “qualified dividend income.” Dividends that are reported by the Funds as qualified dividend income are generally taxable to non-corporate shareholders at a maximum tax rate currently set at 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets). Qualified dividend income generally is income derived from dividends paid to the Funds by U.S. corporations or certain foreign corporations that are either incorporated in a U.S. possession or eligible for tax benefits under certain U.S. income tax treaties. In addition, dividends that a Fund receives in respect of stock of certain foreign corporations may be qualified dividend income if that stock is readily tradable on an established U.S. securities market. For such dividends to be taxed as qualified dividend income to a non-corporate shareholder, a Fund must satisfy certain holding period requirements with respect to the underlying stock and the non-corporate shareholder must satisfy holding period requirements with respect to his or her ownership of a Fund’s shares. Holding periods may be suspended for these purposes for stock that is hedged.

 

34 

 

Distributions of a Fund’s short-term capital gains are generally taxable as ordinary income. Distributions of a Fund’s net capital gain (the excess of the Fund’s net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses) are taxable as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares. For non-corporate shareholders, long-term capital gains are generally taxable at a maximum tax rate currently set at 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets).

 

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

 

Corporate shareholders may be entitled to a dividends-received deduction for the portion of dividends they receive from a Fund that are attributable to dividends received by such Fund from U.S. corporations, subject to certain limitations.

 

Distributions paid in January but declared by a Fund in October, November or December of the previous year payable to shareholders of record in such a month may be taxable to you in the previous year.

 

You should note that if you purchase shares of a Fund just before a distribution, the purchase price would reflect the amount of the upcoming distribution. In this case, you would be taxed on the entire amount of the distribution received, even though, as an economic matter, the distribution simply constitutes a return of your investment. This is known as “buying a dividend” and should be avoided by taxable investors.

 

A Fund (or your broker) will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income dividends, qualified dividend income, and net capital gain distributions shortly after the close of each calendar year.

  

Tax Status of Share Transactions. Each sale of a Fund’s shares or redemption of Creation Units will generally be a taxable event to you. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of shares of a Fund is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if such shares have been held for more than twelve months. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of shares of a Fund held for twelve months or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss. Any capital loss on the sale of shares of a Fund held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent distributions of long-term capital gain were paid (or treated as paid) with respect to such shares. Any loss realized on a sale will be disallowed to the extent shares of a Fund are acquired, including through reinvestment of dividends, within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of such shares. For tax purposes, an exchange of shares for shares of a different fund is the same as a sale.

 

35 

 

A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize gain or loss from the exchange. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between (i) the market value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange plus any cash received in the exchange and (ii) the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus any cash paid for the Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between (i) the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and (ii) the aggregate market value of the securities and the amount of cash received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss that is realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units may not be currently deducted under the rules governing “wash sales” (for a person who does not mark-to-market their holdings), or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.

 

A Fund may include cash when paying the redemption price for Creation Units in addition to, or in place of, the delivery of a basket of securities. A Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. This may cause a Fund to recognize investment income and/or capital gains or losses that it might not have recognized if it had completely satisfied the redemption in-kind. As a result, a Fund may be less tax efficient if it includes such a cash payment than if the in-kind redemption process was used.

 

To the extent a Fund invests in foreign securities, it may be subject to foreign withholding taxes with respect to dividends or interest the Fund received from sources in foreign countries. If more than 50% of the total assets of a Fund consist of foreign securities, the Fund will be eligible to elect to treat some of those taxes as a distribution to shareholders, which would allow shareholders to offset some of their U.S. federal income tax. A Fund (or your broker) will notify you if it makes such an election and provide you with the information necessary to reflect foreign taxes paid on your income tax return.

 

Non-U.S. Investors

 

If you are a nonresident alien individual or a foreign corporation, trust or estate, (i) a Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies but (ii) gains from the sale or other disposition of shares of a Fund generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless you are a nonresident alien individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. A Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Different tax consequences may result if you are a foreign shareholder engaged in a trade or business within the United States or if you are a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty.

 

Backup Withholding. A Fund (or financial intermediaries, such as brokers, through which shareholders own shares of a Fund) generally is required to withhold and to remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and the sale or redemption proceeds paid to any shareholder who fails to properly furnish a correct taxpayer identification number, who has under-reported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify that he, she, or it is not subject to such withholding.

 

36 

 

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

 

Additional Information

 

Investments by Other Registered Investment Companies

 

For purposes of the 1940 Act, each Fund is treated as a registered investment company. Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including shares of the Funds. The SEC has issued an exemptive order to the Trust permitting registered investment companies to invest in exchange-traded funds offered by the Trust, including the Funds, beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions, including that such registered investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust.

 

Continuous Offering

 

The method by which Creation Units are purchased and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by each Fund on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the Prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.

 

For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Fund’s distributor, breaks them down into individual shares of a Fund, 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 of a Fund. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to categorization as an underwriter.

 

37 

 

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares of a Fund, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares of a Fund, 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 with respect to 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 shares of a Fund that are part of an over-allotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(a) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares of a Fund are reminded that under Rule 153 under the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that such Fund’s Prospectus is available on the SEC’s electronic filing system. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

 

Premium/Discount Information

 

When available, information regarding how often the shares of a Fund traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e. at a premium) or below (i.e. at a discount) the NAV of the Fund at www.roboglobaletfs.com.

 

Financial Highlights

 

No financial highlights information is available for the Funds because they are new and have not commenced operations.

 

38 

 

Exchange Traded Concepts Trust 

10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

 

ANNUAL/SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS TO SHAREHOLDERS

 

Additional information about each Fund’s investments will be available in the Funds’ annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the annual report, when available, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected each Fund’s performance during the last fiscal period.

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (SAI)

 

The SAI provides more detailed information about the Funds. The SAI is incorporated by reference into, and is thus legally a part of, this Prospectus.

 

HOUSEHOLDING

 

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

 

HOW TO OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

To request a free copy of the latest annual or semi-annual report (when available) or the SAI, or to request additional information about the Funds or to make other inquiries, please contact us as follows:

 

Call:        1-855-456-ROBO

Monday through Friday

8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Write:     Exchange Traded Concepts Trust

10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

   

Visit:       www.roboglobaletfs.com

 

 

The SAI and other information are also available from a financial intermediary (such as a broker-dealer or bank) through which the Funds’ shares may be purchased or sold.

 

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

Reports and other information about the Funds are available in the EDGAR Database at http://www.sec.gov, and copies of this information also may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by emailing the SEC at publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

The Trust’s Investment Company Act file number: 811-22263

 

[Marketing Code]

 

39 

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED APRIL 2, 2019

 

THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. WE MAY NOT SELL THESE SECURITIES UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IS EFFECTIVE. THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL THESE SECURITIES AND IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED. 

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

Robo Global® ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ETF

 

Ticker Symbol: THNQ

 

Robo Global® Healthcare Technology and innovation Etf

 

Ticker symbol: htec

 

(THE “FUNDs”)

 

each, a series of EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS TRUST (the “Trust”)

 

[   ], 2019

 

Principal Listing Exchange for the Funds: NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

Investment Adviser: 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC

 

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a prospectus. The SAI should be read in conjunction with the Funds’ Prospectus, dated [  ], 2019, as may be revised from time to time (the “Prospectus”). 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 the Funds’ distributor, SEI Investments Distribution Co. at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456, by visiting the Fund’s website at [www.roboglobaletfs.com], or by calling [1-855-456-ROBO].

 

[Marketing Code]

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST 1
INFORMATION ABOUT INVESTMENT POLICIES, PERMITTED INVESTMENTS, AND RELATED RISKS 1
INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS 17
EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING 18
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST 19
CODES OF ETHICS 25
PROXY VOTING POLICIES 26
INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES 26
THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS 27
THE DISTRIBUTOR 27
THE ADMINISTRATOR 29
THE CUSTODIAN 29
THE TRANSFER AGENT 29
LEGAL COUNSEL 29
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM 29
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 29
DESCRIPTION OF SHARES 30
LIMITATION OF TRUSTEESLIABILITY 30
BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS 31
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RATE 32
BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM 33
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES 34
PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES IN CREATION UNITS 34
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE 41
DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS 41
FEDERAL INCOME TAXES 42
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 49
EXHIBIT A: PROXY VOTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES A-1

  

 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST

 

The Trust is an open-end management investment company consisting of multiple investment series. This SAI relates to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF (each a “Fund” and, together, the “Funds). The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on July 17, 2009. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company and the offering of a Fund’s shares is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Adviser”) serves as the investment adviser to the Funds. The investment objective of the Funds is to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specified market index (each, an “Index”).

 

Each Fund offers and issues its shares at their net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). Each Fund generally offers and issues shares in exchange for a basket of securities included in its Index (“Deposit Securities”) together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (“Cash Component”). The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount (“Deposit Cash”) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. Each Fund’s shares are listed on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and trade on the Exchange at market prices. These prices may differ from the shares’ NAV per share. Each Fund’s shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, and generally in exchange for portfolio securities and a specified cash payment. A Creation Unit of the Fund consists of at least 25,000 shares.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT INVESTMENT POLICIES, PERMITTED INVESTMENTS, AND RELATED RISKS

 

Each Fund’s principal investment strategies and principal risks are described in the Prospectus. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus.

 

An investment in a Fund should be made with an understanding that the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of the issuers of the portfolio securities, the value of securities generally and other factors.

 

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

 

The following are descriptions of investment policies, permitted investments, and the associated risk factors. A Fund will only invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices if such investment or activity is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies. A discussion of the principal risks associated with an investment in a Fund is contained in the Funds’ Prospectus. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus.

 

CONCENTRATION

 

Each Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., invest more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent its Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. The securities of issuers in particular industries may dominate an Index and consequently a Fund’s investment portfolio. This may adversely affect a Fund’s performance or subject its shares to greater price volatility than that experienced by less concentrated investment companies.

 

1 

 

 

NON-DIVERSIFICATION

 

Each Fund is classified as a non-diversified investment company under the 1940 Act. A “non-diversified” classification means that a Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. This means that a Fund may invest a greater portion of its assets in the securities of a single issuer than a diversified fund. The securities of a particular issuer may constitute a greater portion of a Fund’s Index and, therefore, the securities may constitute a greater portion of a Fund’s portfolio. This may have an adverse effect on a Fund’s performance or subject a Fund’s shares to greater price volatility than more diversified investment companies. Moreover, in pursuing its objective, a Fund may hold the securities of a single issuer in an amount exceeding 10% of the market value of the outstanding securities of the issuer, subject to restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). In particular, as a Fund’s size grows and its assets increase, it will be more likely to hold more than 10% of the securities of a single issuer if the issuer has a relatively small public float as compared to other components in its Index.

 

EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Equity securities represent ownership interests in a company and include common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants to acquire common stock, and securities convertible into common stock. Investments in equity securities in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities will cause the net asset value of a Fund to fluctuate. Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, have generally inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks issued by, the issuer. Further, unlike debt securities which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, will be subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.

 

Common Stocks. Common stocks represent units of ownership in a company. Common stocks usually carry voting rights and earn dividends. Unlike preferred stocks, which are described below, dividends on common stocks are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the company’s board of directors.

 

Preferred Stocks. Preferred stocks are also units of ownership in a company. Preferred stocks normally have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the company. However, in all other respects, preferred stocks are subordinated to the liabilities of the issuer. Unlike common stocks, preferred stocks are generally not entitled to vote on corporate matters. Types of preferred stocks include adjustable-rate preferred stock, fixed dividend preferred stock, perpetual preferred stock, and sinking fund preferred stock. Generally, the market values of preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate and no conversion element varies inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk.

 

Convertible Securities. Convertible securities are securities that may be exchanged for, converted into, or exercised to acquire a predetermined number of shares of the issuer’s common stock at a fund’s option during a specified time period (such as convertible preferred stocks, convertible debentures and warrants). A convertible security is generally a fixed income security that is senior to common stock in an issuer’s capital structure, but is usually subordinated to similar non-convertible securities. In exchange for the conversion feature, many corporations will pay a lower rate of interest on convertible securities than debt securities of the same corporation. In general, the market value of a convertible security is at least the higher of its “investment value” (i.e., its value as a fixed income security) or its “conversion value” (i.e., its value upon conversion into its underlying common stock).

 

Convertible securities are subject to the same risks as similar securities without the convertible feature. The price of a convertible security is more volatile during times of steady interest rates than other types of debt securities. The price of a convertible security tends to increase as the market value of the underlying stock rises, whereas it tends to decrease as the market value of the underlying common stock declines.

 

2 

 

 

Rights and Warrants. A right is a privilege granted to existing shareholders of a corporation to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before it is issued. Rights normally have a short life of usually two to four weeks, are freely transferable and entitle the holder to buy the new common stock at a lower price than the public offering price. Warrants are securities that are usually issued together with a debt security or preferred stock and that give the holder the right to buy proportionate amount of common stock at a specified price. Warrants are freely transferable and are traded on major exchanges. Unlike rights, warrants normally have a life that is measured in years and entitles the holder to buy common stock of a company at a price that is usually higher than the market price at the time the warrant is issued. Corporations often issue warrants to make the accompanying debt security more attractive.

 

An investment in warrants and rights may entail greater risks than certain other types of investments. Generally, rights and warrants do not carry the right to receive dividends or exercise voting rights with respect to the underlying securities, and they do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuer. In addition, their value does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities, and they cease to have value if they are not exercised on or before their expiration date. Investing in rights and warrants increases the potential profit or loss to be realized from the investment as compared with investing the same amount in the underlying securities.

 

Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”). MLPs are limited partnerships or limited liability companies, whose partnership units or limited liability interests are listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange, and are treated as publicly traded partnerships for federal income tax purposes. To qualify to be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, an MLP must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources as set forth in Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. These qualifying sources include activities such as the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of mineral or natural resources. MLPs generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners. MLPs that are formed as limited liability companies generally have two analogous classes of owners, the managing member and the members. For purposes of this section, references to general partners also apply to managing members and references to limited partners also apply to members. The general partner is typically owned by a major energy company, an investment fund, the direct management of the MLP or is an entity owned by one or more of such parties. The general partner may be structured as a private or publicly traded corporation or other entity. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an equity interest of as much as 2% in the MLP plus, in many cases, ownership of common units and subordinated units. Limited partners own the remainder of the MLP through ownership of common units and have a limited role in the MLP’s operations and management.

 

MLPs are typically structured such that common units and general partner interests have first priority to receive quarterly cash distributions up to an established minimum amount (“minimum quarterly distributions” or “MQD”). Common and general partner interests also accrue arrearages in distributions to the extent the MQD is not paid. Once common and general partner interests have been paid, subordinated units receive distributions of up to the MQD; however, subordinated units do not accrue arrearages. Distributable cash in excess of the MQD paid to both common and subordinated units is distributed to both common and subordinated units generally on a pro rata basis. The general partner is also eligible to receive incentive distributions if the general partner operates the business in a manner which results in distributions paid per common unit surpassing specified target levels. As the general partner increases cash distributions to the limited partners, the general partner receives an increasingly higher percentage of the incremental cash distributions. A common arrangement provides that the general partner can reach a tier where it receives 50% of every incremental dollar paid to common and subordinated unit holders. These incentive distributions encourage the general partner to streamline costs, increase capital expenditures and acquire assets in order to increase the partnership’s cash flow and raise the quarterly cash distribution in order to reach higher tiers.

 

General partner interests of MLPs are typically retained by an MLP’s original sponsors, such as its founders, corporate partners, entities that sell assets to the MLP and investors such as us. A holder of general partner interests can be liable under certain circumstances for amounts greater than the amount of the holder’s investment in the general partner interest. General partner interests often confer direct board participation rights and in many cases, operating control, over the MLP. These interests themselves are not publicly traded, although they may be owned by publicly traded entities. General partner interests receive cash distributions, typically 2% of the MLP’s aggregate cash distributions, which are contractually defined in the partnership agreement. In addition, holders of general partner interests typically hold incentive distribution rights (“IDRs”), which provide them with a larger share of the aggregate MLP cash distributions as the distributions to limited partner unit holders are increased to prescribed levels. General partner interests generally cannot be converted into common units. The general partner interest can be redeemed by the MLP if the MLP unitholders choose to remove the general partner, typically with a supermajority vote by limited partner unitholders.

 

3 

 

 

Royalty Trusts. A royalty trust generally acquires an interest in natural resource companies or chemical companies and distributes the income it receives to the investors of the royalty trust. A sustained decline in demand for crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products could adversely affect income and royalty trust revenues and cash flows. Factors that could lead to a decrease in market demand include a recession or other adverse economic conditions, an increase in the market price of the underlying commodity, higher taxes or other regulatory actions that increase costs, or a shift in consumer demand for such products. A rising interest rate environment could adversely impact the performance of royalty trusts. Rising interest rates could limit the capital appreciation of royalty trusts because of the increased availability of alternative investments at more competitive yields.

 

General Risks of Investing in Stocks. While investing in stocks allows investors to participate in the benefits of owning a company, such investors must accept the risks of ownership. Unlike bondholders, who have preference to a company’s earnings and cash flow, preferred stockholders, followed by common stockholders in order of priority, are entitled only to the residual amount after a company meets its other obligations. For this reason, the value of a company’s stock will usually react more strongly to actual or perceived changes in the company’s financial condition or prospects than its debt obligations. Stockholders of a company that fares poorly can lose money.

 

Stock markets tend to move in cycles with short or extended periods of rising and falling stock prices. The value of a company’s stock may fall because of:

 

Factors that directly relate to that company, such as decisions made by its management or lower demand for the company’s products or services;

Factors affecting an entire industry, such as increases in production costs; and

Changes in general financial market conditions that are relatively unrelated to the company or its industry, such as changes in interest rates, currency exchange rates or inflation rates.

 

Because preferred stock is generally junior to debt securities and other obligations of the issuer, deterioration in the credit quality of the issuer will cause greater changes in the value of a preferred stock than in a more senior debt security with similar stated yield characteristics.

 

Small- and Medium-Sized Companies. Investors in small- and medium-sized companies typically take on greater risk and price volatility than they would by investing in larger, more established companies. This increased risk may be due to the greater business risks of their small or medium size, limited markets and financial resources, narrow product lines and frequent lack of management depth. The securities of small- and medium-sized companies are often traded in the over-the-counter market and might not be traded in volumes typical of securities traded on a national securities exchange. Thus, the securities of small and medium capitalization companies are likely to be less liquid, and subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements, than securities of larger, more established companies.

 

Large-Sized Companies. Investments in large capitalization companies may go in and out of favor based on market and economic conditions and may underperform other market segments. Some large capitalization companies may be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges, such as changes in technology and consumer tastes, and may not be able to attain the high growth rate of successful smaller companies, especially during extended periods of economic expansion. As such, returns on investments in stocks of large capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in stocks of small and mid-capitalization companies.

 

4 

 

 

FOREIGN SECURITIES

 

Foreign Issuers. Each Fund may invest in securities of issuers located outside the United States directly, or in financial instruments that are indirectly linked to the performance of foreign issuers. Examples of such financial instruments include depositary receipts, which are described further below, “ordinary shares,” and “New York shares” issued and traded in the United States. Ordinary shares are shares of foreign issuers that are traded abroad and on a United States exchange. New York shares are shares that a foreign issuer has allocated for trading in the United States. American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), ordinary shares, and New York shares all may be purchased with and sold for U.S. dollars, which protects the Funds from the foreign settlement risks described below.

 

Investing in foreign companies may involve risks not typically associated with investing in United States companies. The U.S. dollar value of securities of foreign issuers and of distributions in foreign currencies from such securities, can change significantly when foreign currencies strengthen or weaken relative to the U.S. dollar. Foreign securities markets generally have less trading volume and less liquidity than United States markets, and prices in some foreign markets can be very volatile compared to those of domestic securities. Therefore, a Fund’s investment in foreign securities may be less liquid and subject to more rapid and erratic price movements than comparable securities listed for trading on U.S. exchanges. Non-U.S. equity securities may trade at price/earnings multiples higher than comparable U.S. securities and such levels may not be sustainable. There may be less government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, brokers, banks and listed companies abroad than in the U.S. Moreover, settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in U.S. markets. Such differences may include delays beyond periods customary in the U.S. and practices, such as delivery of securities prior to receipt of payment, which increase the likelihood of a failed settlement, which can result in losses to the Fund. The value of non-U.S. investments and the investment income derived from them may also be affected unfavorably by changes in currency exchange control regulations. Foreign brokerage commissions, custodial expenses and other fees are also generally higher than for securities traded in the U.S. This may cause the Fund to incur higher portfolio transaction costs than domestic equity funds. Fluctuations in exchange rates may also affect the earning power and asset value of the foreign entity issuing a security, even one denominated in U.S. dollars. Dividend and interest payments may be repatriated based on the exchange rate at the time of disbursement, and restrictions on capital flows may be imposed. Many foreign countries lack uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards comparable to those that apply to United States companies, and it may be more difficult to obtain reliable information regarding a foreign issuer’s financial condition and operations. In addition, the costs of foreign investing, including withholding taxes, brokerage commissions, and custodial fees, generally are higher than for United States investments.

 

Investing in companies located abroad carries political and economic risks distinct from those associated with investing in companies located in the United States. Foreign investment may be affected by actions of foreign governments adverse to the interests of United States investors, including the possibility of expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation, restrictions on United States investment, or on the ability to repatriate assets or to convert currency into U.S. dollars. There may be a greater possibility of default by foreign governments or foreign-government sponsored enterprises. Losses and other expenses may be incurred in converting between various currencies in connection with purchases and sales of foreign securities. Investments in foreign countries also involve a risk of local political, economic, or social instability, military action or unrest, or adverse diplomatic developments.

 

Investing in companies domiciled in emerging market countries may be subject to greater risks than investments in developed countries. These risks include: (i) less social, political, and economic stability; (ii) greater illiquidity and price volatility due to smaller or limited local capital markets for such securities, or low or non-existent trading volumes; (iii) foreign exchanges and broker-dealers may be subject to less scrutiny and regulation by local authorities; (iv) local governments may decide to seize or confiscate securities held by foreign investors and/or local governments may decide to suspend or limit an issuer’s ability to make dividend or interest payments; (v) local governments may limit or entirely restrict repatriation of invested capital, profits, and dividends; (vi) capital gains may be subject to local taxation, including on a retroactive basis; (vii) issuers facing restrictions on dollar or euro payments imposed by local governments may attempt to make dividend or interest payments to foreign investors in the local currency; (viii) investors may experience difficulty in enforcing legal claims related to the securities and/or local judges may favor the interests of the issuer over those of foreign investors; (ix) bankruptcy judgments may only be permitted to be paid in the local currency; (x) limited public information regarding the issuer may result in greater difficulty in determining market valuations of the securities, and (xi) lax financial reporting on a regular basis, substandard disclosure, and differences in accounting standards may make it difficult to ascertain the financial health of an issuer.

 

5 

 

 

Depositary Receipts. A Fund’s investment in securities of foreign companies may be in the form of depositary receipts or other securities convertible into securities of foreign issuers. ADRs are dollar-denominated receipts representing interests in the securities of a foreign issuer, which securities may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted. ADRs are receipts typically issued by United States banks and trust companies which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. Generally, ADRs in registered form are designed for use in domestic securities markets and are traded on exchanges or over-the-counter in the United States. American Depositary Shares (ADSs) are U.S. dollar-denominated equity shares of a foreign-based company available for purchase on an American stock exchange. ADSs are issued by depository banks in the United States under an agreement with the foreign issuer, and the entire issuance is called an ADR and the individual shares are referred to as ADSs. Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), and International Depositary Receipts (“IDRs”) are similar to ADRs in that they are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer, however, GDRs, EDRs, and IDRs may be issued in bearer form and denominated in other currencies, and are generally designed for use in specific or multiple securities markets outside the U.S. EDRs, for example, are designed for use in European securities markets while GDRs are designed for use throughout the world. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities.

 

All Depositary Receipts generally must be sponsored. However, a Fund may invest in unsponsored Depositary Receipts under certain limited circumstances. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts. The use of Depositary Receipts may increase tracking error relative to an Index.

 

When-Issued Securities. A when-issued security is one whose terms are available and for which a market exists, but which has not been issued. When a fund engages in when-issued transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the sale. If the other party fails to complete the sale, the fund may miss the opportunity to obtain the security at a favorable price or yield.

 

When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis, a fund assumes the rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield changes. At the time of settlement, the market value of the security may be more or less than the purchase price. The yield available in the market when the delivery takes place also may be higher than those obtained in the transaction itself. Because the fund does not pay for the security until the delivery date, these risks are in addition to the risks associated with its other investments.

 

Decisions to enter into “when-issued” transactions will be considered on a case-by-case basis when necessary to maintain continuity in a company’s index membership. If the Fund enters into such transactions directly, it will segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to commitments for the when-issued transactions. The Fund will segregate additional liquid assets daily so that the value of such assets is equal to the amount of the commitments.

 

DEBT-RELATED INVESTMENTS

 

Debt securities include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions, foreign governments, their authorities, agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions, supra-national agencies, corporate debt securities, master-demand notes, Yankee dollar and Eurodollar bank certificates of deposit, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances, commercial paper and other notes, inflation-indexed securities, and other debt securities. Debt securities may be investment grade securities or high yield securities.

 

Debt and other fixed income securities include fixed and floating rate securities of any maturity. Fixed rate securities pay a specified rate of interest or dividends. Floating rate securities pay a rate that is adjusted periodically by reference to a specified index or market rate. Fixed and floating rate securities include securities issued by federal, state, local, and foreign governments and related agencies, and by a wide range of private issuers, and generally are referred to in this SAI as “fixed income securities.” Indexed bonds are a type of fixed income security whose principal value and/or interest rate is adjusted periodically according to a specified instrument, index, or other statistic (e.g., another security, inflation index, currency, or commodity).

 

6 

 

 

Holders of fixed income securities are exposed to both market and credit risk. Market risk (or “interest rate risk”) relates to changes in a security’s value as a result of changes in interest rates. In general, the values of fixed income securities increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise. Given the historically low interest rate environment, risks associated with rising rates are heightened. Credit risk relates to the ability of an issuer to make payments of principal and interest. Obligations of issuers are subject to bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws that affect the rights and remedies of creditors.

 

Because interest rates vary, the future income of a fund that invests in fixed income securities cannot be predicted with certainty. The future income of a fund that invests in indexed securities also will be affected by changes in those securities’ indices over time (e.g., changes in inflation rates, currency rates, or commodity prices).

 

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

 

An issuer may have the right to redeem or “call” a bond before maturity, in which case the investor may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Most bonds bear interest income at a “coupon” rate that is fixed for the life of the bond. The value of a fixed-rate bond usually rises when market interest rates fall and falls when market interest rates rise. Accordingly, a fixed-rate bond’s yield (income as a percent of the bond’s current value) may differ from its coupon rate as its value rises or falls. Other types of bonds bear income at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the value of “floating-rate” or “variable-rate” bonds fluctuates much less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of fixed-rate bonds. Generally, prices of higher quality issues tend to fluctuate less with changes in market interest rates than prices of lower quality issues and prices of longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices of shorter maturity issues. Bonds may be senior or subordinated obligations. Senior obligations generally have the first claim on a corporation’s earnings and assets and, in the event of liquidation, are paid before subordinated obligations. Bonds may be unsecured (backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness) or secured (backed by specified collateral).

 

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

 

U.S. Government Securities. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities such as Fannie Mae, the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac).

 

7 

 

 

Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, Ginnie Mae pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by Fannie Mae, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, while the U.S. Government provides financial support to such U.S. Government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. Government will always do so, since the U.S. Government is not so obligated by law. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity.

 

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

 

The total public debt of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 2008-2009 financial downturn. Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high national debt can raise concerns that the U.S. Government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due. This increase has also necessitated the need for the U.S. Congress to negotiate adjustments to the statutory debt limit to increase the cap on the amount the U.S. Government is permitted to borrow to meet its existing obligations and finance current budget deficits. In August 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. In explaining the downgrade at that time, S&P cited, among other reasons, controversy over raising the statutory debt limit and growth in public spending. Continuing controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the statutory debt ceiling negotiations may impact the U.S. long-term sovereign credit rating and may cause market uncertainty. As a result, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government may be adversely affected.

 

U.S. Treasury Obligations. U.S. Treasury obligations consist of bills, notes and bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury and separately traded interest and principal component parts of such obligations that are transferable through the federal book-entry system known as Separately Traded Registered Interest and Principal Securities (“STRIPS”) and Treasury Receipts (“TRs”).

 

Receipts. Interests in separately traded interest and principal component parts of U.S. government obligations that are issued by banks or brokerage firms and are created by depositing U.S. government obligations into a special account at a custodian bank. The custodian holds the interest and principal payments for the benefit of the registered owners of the certificates or receipts. The custodian arranges for the issuance of the certificates or receipts evidencing ownership and maintains the register. TRs and STRIPS are interests in accounts sponsored by the U.S. Treasury. Receipts are sold as zero coupon securities.

 

U.S. Government Zero Coupon Securities. STRIPS and receipts are sold as zero coupon securities, that is, fixed income securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons. Zero coupon securities are sold at a (usually substantial) discount and redeemed at face value at their maturity date without interim cash payments of interest or principal. The amount of this discount is accreted over the life of the security, and the accretion constitutes the income earned on the security for both accounting and tax purposes. Because of these features, the market prices of zero coupon securities are generally more volatile than the market prices of securities that have similar maturity but that pay interest periodically. Zero coupon securities are likely to respond to a greater degree to interest rate changes than are non-zero coupon securities with similar maturity and credit qualities.

 

8 

 

 

U.S. Government Agencies. Some obligations issued or guaranteed by agencies of the U.S. Government are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, others are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, while still others are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. Guarantees of principal by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government may be a guarantee of payment at the maturity of the obligation so that in the event of a default prior to maturity there might not be a market and thus no means of realizing on the obligation prior to maturity. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of these securities nor to the value of a Fund’s shares.

    

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

 

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (“REITs”)

 

A REIT is a corporation or business trust (that would otherwise be taxed as a corporation) which meets the definitional requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code) permits a qualifying REIT to deduct from taxable income the dividends paid, thereby effectively eliminating corporate level federal income tax and making the REIT a pass-through vehicle for federal income tax purposes. To meet the definitional requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, a REIT must, among other things: invest substantially all of its assets in interests in real estate (including mortgages and other REITs), cash and government securities; derive most of its income from rents from real property or interest on loans secured by mortgages on real property; and, in general, distribute annually 90% or more of its otherwise taxable income to shareholders.

 

REITs are sometimes informally characterized as Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. An Equity REIT invests primarily in the fee ownership or leasehold ownership of land and buildings; a Mortgage REIT invests primarily in mortgages on real property, which may secure construction, development or long-term loans.

 

REITs may be affected by changes in underlying real estate values, which may have an exaggerated effect to the extent that REITs in which a Fund invests may concentrate investments in particular geographic regions or property types. Additionally, rising interest rates may cause investors in REITs to demand a higher annual yield from future distributions, which may in turn decrease market prices for equity securities issued by REITs. Rising interest rates also generally increase the costs of obtaining financing, which could cause the value of a Fund’s investments to decline. During periods of declining interest rates, certain Mortgage REITs may hold mortgages that the mortgagors elect to prepay, which prepayment may diminish the yield on securities issued by such Mortgage REITs. In addition, Mortgage REITs may be affected by the ability of borrowers to repay when due the debt extended by the REIT and Equity REITs may be affected by the ability of tenants to pay rent.

 

Certain REITs have relatively small market capitalization, which may tend to increase the volatility of the market price of securities issued by such REITs. Furthermore, REITs are dependent upon specialized management skills, have limited diversification and are, therefore, subject to risks inherent in operating and financing a limited number of projects. By investing in REITs indirectly through a Fund, a shareholder will bear not only his or her proportionate share of the expenses of such Fund, but also, indirectly, similar expenses of the REITs. REITs depend generally on their ability to generate cash flow to make distributions to shareholders.

 

9 

 

 

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

 

REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS

 

A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., a security issued by the U.S. Government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next Business Day). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by the Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.

 

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

 

The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, the Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by the Fund not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.

 

BORROWING

 

Each Fund may borrow money for investment purposes. Borrowing for investment purposes is one form of leverage. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique that increases investment risk, but also increases investment opportunity. Because substantially all of a Fund’s assets will fluctuate in value, whereas the interest obligations on borrowings may be fixed, the NAV of a Fund will increase more when a Fund’s portfolio assets increase in value and decrease more when a Fund’s portfolio assets decrease in value than would otherwise be the case. Moreover, interest costs on borrowings may fluctuate with changing market rates of interest and may partially offset or exceed the returns on the borrowed funds. Under adverse conditions, a Fund might have to sell portfolio securities to meet interest or principal payments at a time when investment considerations would not favor such sales. Each Fund intends to use leverage during periods when the Adviser believes that the Fund’s investment objective would be furthered.

 

Each Fund may also borrow money to facilitate management of the Fund’s portfolio by enabling the Fund to meet redemption requests when the liquidation of portfolio instruments would be inconvenient or disadvantageous. Such borrowing is not for investment purposes and will be repaid by the borrowing Fund promptly. As required by the 1940 Act, the borrowing Fund must maintain continuous asset coverage (total assets, including assets acquired with borrowed funds, less liabilities exclusive of borrowings) of 300% of all amounts borrowed. If, at any time, the value of the borrowing Fund’s assets should fail to meet this 300% coverage test, the Fund, within three days (not including Sundays and holidays), will reduce the amount of its borrowings to the extent necessary to meet this 300% coverage requirement. Maintenance of this percentage limitation may result in the sale of portfolio securities at a time when investment considerations otherwise indicate that it would be disadvantageous to do so.

 

10 

 

 

LENDING PORTFOLIO SECURITIES

 

Each Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain creditworthy borrowers. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current market value of the securities loaned. A Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. A Fund receives the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities. Distributions received on loaned securities in lieu of dividend payments (i.e., substitute payments) would not be considered qualified dividend income.

 

With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower will be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. A Fund is compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, the Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the market value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in certain short-term instruments either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more joint accounts or money market funds.

 

A Fund may pay a portion of the interest or fees earned from securities lending to a borrower as described above, and to one or more securities lending agents approved by the Board who administer the lending program for the Funds in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board. In such capacity, the lending agent causes the delivery of loaned securities from a Fund to borrowers, arranges for the return of loaned securities to the Fund at the termination of a loan, requests deposit of collateral, monitors the daily value of the loaned securities and collateral, requests that borrowers add to the collateral when required by the loan agreements, and provides recordkeeping and accounting services necessary for the operation of the program.

 

Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees a Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. In the event a borrower does not return a Fund’s securities as agreed, such Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities.

 

REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS

 

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

 

OTHER SHORT-TERM INSTRUMENTS

 

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

 

11 

 

 

INVESTMENT COMPANIES

 

A Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including money market funds, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.  Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), a Fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the “acquired company”) provided that the Fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate:  (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than Treasury stock of the Fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of a Fund.   To the extent allowed by law or regulation, a Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are money market funds in excess of the limits discussed above.

 

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

 

Consistent with the restrictions discussed above, a Fund may invest in different types of investment companies from time to time, including business development companies (“BDCs”).  A BDC is a less common type of investment company that more closely resembles an operating company than a typical investment company.  BDCs generally focus on investing in, and providing managerial assistance to, small, developing, financially troubled, private companies or other companies that may have value that can be realized over time and with managerial assistance.  Similar to an operating company, a BDC’s total annual operating expense ratio typically reflects all of the operating expenses incurred by the BDC, and is generally greater than the total annual operating expense ratio of a mutual fund that does not bear the same types of operating expenses.  However, as a shareholder of a BDC, a Fund does not directly pay for a portion of all of the operating expenses of the BDC, just as a shareholder of a computer manufacturer does not directly pay for the cost of labor associated with producing such computers. As a result of investing in a BDC, the fees and expenses of a Fund that invests in a BDC will be effectively overstated by an amount equal to the “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses.” Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are not included as an operating expense of a Fund in the Fund’s financial statements, which more accurately reflect the Fund’s actual operating expenses.

 

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in securities of other registered investment companies, including the Funds. The acquisition of shares of a Fund by registered investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, except as may be permitted by exemptive rules under the 1940 Act or as permitted by an exemptive order obtained by the Trust that permits registered investment companies to invest in a Fund beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions, including that the registered investment company enter into an agreement with the Fund regarding the terms of the investment.

 

FUTURES CONTRACTS, OPTIONS AND SWAP AGREEMENTS

 

Each Fund may utilize futures contracts, options contracts and swap agreements. The SEC has proposed a rule related to the use of derivatives and financial commitment transactions (including short sales, described below) by registered investment companies. Whether and when this proposed rule will be adopted and its potential effects on either Fund are unclear, although they could be substantial and adverse to either Fund. The regulation of these types of transactions in the United States is a changing area of law and is subject to ongoing modification by government, self-regulatory and judicial action.

 

12 

 

 

Futures Contracts. Futures contracts generally provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified commodity or security at a specified future time and at a specified price. Index futures contracts are settled daily with a payment by one party to the other of a cash amount based on the difference between the level of the index specified in the contract from one day to the next. Futures contracts are standardized as to maturity date and underlying instrument and are traded on futures exchanges.

 

A Fund is required to make a good faith margin deposit in cash or U.S. government securities with a broker or custodian to initiate and maintain open positions in futures contracts. A margin deposit is intended to assure completion of the contract (delivery or acceptance of the underlying commodity or payment of the cash settlement amount) if it is not terminated prior to the specified delivery date. Brokers may establish deposit requirements which are higher than the exchange minimums. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margin deposits which may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the contract being traded.

 

After a futures contract position is opened, the value of the contract is marked to market daily. If the futures contract price changes to the extent that the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, payment of additional “variation” margin will be required. Conversely, change in the contract value may reduce the required margin, resulting in a repayment of excess margin to the contract holder. Variation margin payments are made to and from the futures broker for as long as the contract remains open. In such case, a Fund would expect to earn interest income on its margin deposits. Closing out an open futures position is done by taking an opposite position (“buying” a contract which has previously been “sold” or “selling” a contract previously “purchased”) in an identical contract to terminate the position. Brokerage commissions are incurred when a futures contract position is opened or closed.

 

Options. Each Fund may purchase and sell put and call options. A call option gives a holder the right to purchase a specific security or an index at a specified price (“exercise price”) within a specified period of time. A put option gives a holder the right to sell a specific security or an index at a specified price within a specified period of time. The initial purchaser of a call option pays the “writer,” i.e., the party selling the option, a premium which is paid at the time of purchase and is retained by the writer whether or not such option is exercised. The Funds may purchase put options to hedge their portfolios against the risk of a decline in the market value of securities held and may purchase call options to hedge against an increase in the price of securities it is committed to purchase. The Funds may write put and call options along with a long position in options to increase their ability to hedge against a change in the market value of the securities they hold or are committed to purchase.

 

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

 

Restrictions on the Use of Futures and Options. Under Rule 4.5 of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), the investment adviser of a registered investment company may claim exclusion from registration as a commodity pool operator only if the registered investment company that it advises uses futures contracts solely for “bona fide hedging purposes” or limits its use of futures contracts for non-bona fide hedging purposes such that (i) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish non-bona fide hedging positions with respect to futures contracts do not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the registered investment company’s portfolio, or (ii) the aggregate “notional value” of the non-bona fide hedging commodity interests do not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the registered investment company’s portfolio (taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). The Adviser has claimed exclusion on behalf of each Fund under Rule 4.5. Rule 4.5 effectively limits a Fund’s use, and its investment in funds that make use of futures, options on futures, swaps, or other commodity interests. The Funds currently intend to comply with the terms of Rule 4.5 so as to avoid regulation as a commodity pool, and as a result, the ability of a Fund to utilize, or invest in funds that utilize, futures, options on futures, swaps, or other commodity interests may be limited in accordance with the terms of the rule.

 

13 

 

 

Risks of Futures and Options Transactions. Positions in futures contracts and options may be closed out only on an exchange which provides a secondary market therefore. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular futures contract or option at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position. In the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if a Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, a Fund may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying futures contracts it has sold.

 

Each Fund will minimize the risk that it will be unable to close out a futures or options contract by only entering into futures and options for which there appears to be a liquid secondary market.

 

The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit.

 

Utilization of futures transactions by a Fund involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to its Index if the index underlying the futures contracts differs from such Fund’s Index. There is also the risk of loss by a Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom such Fund has an open position in the futures contract or option.

 

Certain financial futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movement during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses, because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of futures positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses.

 

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

 

In a total return swap transaction, one party agrees to pay the other party an amount equal to the total return on a defined underlying asset or a non-asset reference during a specified period of time. The underlying asset might be a security or basket of securities, and the non-asset reference could be a securities index. In return, the other party would make periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or on the total return from a different underlying asset or non-asset reference. The payments of the two parties could be made on a net basis.

 

14 

 

 

Options on Swaps.  An option on a swap agreement, or a “swaption,” is a contract that gives a counterparty the right (but not the obligation) to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement, at some designated future time on specified terms. In return, the purchaser pays a “premium” to the seller of the contract. The seller of the contract receives the premium and bears the risk of unfavorable changes on the underlying swap. The Funds may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions. The Funds may also enter into swaptions on either an asset-based or liability-based basis, depending on whether such Fund is hedging its assets or its liabilities. The Funds may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions to the same extent it may make use of standard options on securities or other instruments. The Funds may enter into these transactions primarily to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or portion of its holdings, as a duration management technique, to protect against an increase in the price of securities such Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or for any other purposes, such as for speculation to increase returns. Swaptions are generally subject to the same risks involved in a Fund’s use of options.

 

Risks of Swap Agreements. The risk of loss with respect to swaps generally is limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. Swap agreements are subject to the risk that the swap counterparty will default on its obligations. If such a default occurs, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws which could affect a Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., a Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it contractually is entitled to receive).

 

The use of interest-rate and index swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. These transactions generally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal.

 

Total return swaps could result in losses if the underlying asset or reference does not perform as anticipated. Total return swaps can have the potential for unlimited losses. A Fund may lose money in a total return swap if the counterparty fails to meet its obligations.

 

SHORT SALES

 

The Funds may engage in short sales that are either “uncovered” or “against the box.” A short sale is “against the box” if at all times during which the short position is open, a Fund owns at least an equal amount of the securities or securities convertible into, or exchangeable without further consideration for, securities of the same issue as the securities that are sold short. A short sale against the box is a taxable transaction to each Fund with respect to the securities that are sold short.

 

Uncovered short sales are transactions under which a Fund sells a security it does not own. To complete such a transaction, a Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. Such Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing the security at the market price at the time of the replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by a Fund. Until the security is replaced, a Fund is required to pay the lender amounts equal to any dividends or interest that accrue during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, a Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. The proceeds of the short sale will be retained by the broker, to the extent necessary to meet margin requirements, until the short position is closed out.

 

Until a Fund closes its short position or replaces the borrowed security, such Fund may: (a) segregate cash or liquid securities at such a level that the amount segregated plus the amount deposited with the broker as collateral will equal the current value of the security sold short; or (b) otherwise cover its short position.

 

RECENT MARKET CIRCUMSTANCES

 

Since the financial crisis that started in 2008, the U.S. and many foreign economies continue to experience its after-effects. Conditions in the U.S. and many foreign economies have resulted, and may continue to result, in certain instruments experiencing unusual liquidity issues, increased price volatility and, in some cases, credit downgrades and increased likelihood of default. These events have reduced the willingness and ability of some lenders to extend credit, and have made it more difficult for some borrowers to obtain financing on attractive terms, if at all. In some cases, traditional market participants have been less willing to make a market in some types of debt instruments, which has affected the liquidity of those instruments. During times of market turmoil, investors tend to look to the safety of securities issued or backed by the U.S. Treasury, causing the prices of these securities to rise and the yields to decline. Reduced liquidity in fixed income and credit markets may negatively affect many issuers worldwide. In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. A rise in protectionist trade policies, and the possibility of changes to some international trade agreements, could affect the economies of many nations in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time.

 

15 

 

 

In response to the financial crisis, the U.S. and other governments and the Federal Reserve and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to support financial markets. In some countries where economic conditions are recovering, such countries are nevertheless perceived as still fragile. Withdrawal of government support, failure of efforts in response to the crisis, or investor perception that such efforts are not succeeding, could adversely impact the value and liquidity of certain securities. The severity or duration of adverse economic conditions may also be affected by policy changes made by governments or quasi-governmental organizations, including changes in tax laws. The impact of new financial regulation legislation on the markets and the practical implications for market participants may not be fully known for some time. Regulatory changes are causing some financial services companies to exit long-standing lines of business, resulting in dislocations for other market participants. In addition, the contentious domestic political environment, as well as political and diplomatic events within the United States and abroad, such as the U.S. Government’s inability at times to agree on a long-term budget and deficit reduction plan, the threat of a federal government shutdown and threats not to increase the federal government’s debt limit, may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree. The U.S. Government has recently reduced federal corporate income tax rates, and future legislative, regulatory and policy changes may result in more restrictions on international trade, less stringent prudential regulation of certain players in the financial markets, and significant new investments in infrastructure and national defense. Markets may react strongly to expectations about the changes in these policies, which could increase volatility, especially if the markets’ expectations for changes in government policies are not borne out.

 

Changes in market conditions will not have the same impact on all types of securities. Interest rates have been unusually low in recent years in the United States and abroad. Because there is little precedent for this situation, it is difficult to predict the impact of a significant rate increase on various markets. For example, because investors may buy securities or other investments with borrowed money, a significant increase in interest rates may cause a decline in the markets for those investments. Because of the sharp decline in the worldwide price of oil, there is a concern that oil producing nations may withdraw significant assets now held in U.S. Treasuries, which could force a substantial increase in interest rates. Regulators have expressed concern that rate increases may cause investors to sell fixed income securities faster than the market can absorb them, contributing to price volatility. In addition, there is a risk that the prices of goods and services in the U.S. and many foreign economies may decline over time, known as deflation (the opposite of inflation). Deflation may have an adverse effect on stock prices and creditworthiness and may make defaults on debt more likely. If a country’s economy slips into a deflationary pattern, it could last for a prolonged period and may be difficult to reverse. The precise details and the resulting impact of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (“EU”), commonly referred to as “Brexit,” are not yet known. The effect on the United Kingdom’s economy will likely depend on the nature of trade relations with the EU and other major economies following its exit, which are matters to be negotiated. The outcomes may cause increased volatility and have a significant adverse impact on world financial markets, other international trade agreements, and the United Kingdom and European economies, as well as the broader global economy for some time.

 

The impact of these and similar types of developments in the near- and long-term is unknown and could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world.

 

CYBER SECURITY RISK

 

Investment companies, such as the Funds, and their service providers may be subject to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized release of confidential information or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Funds or the Adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediaries and other third-party service providers may adversely impact the Funds. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact a Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential company information, impede trading, subject a Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses, and cause reputational damage. A Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes.  Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which a Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause a Fund’s investment in such portfolio companies to lose value.

 

16 

 

 

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

 

The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to each Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed with respect to each Fund without the approval of the holders of a majority of each Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For these purposes, a “majority of outstanding voting securities” means the vote of the lesser of: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of each Fund present at the meeting if the holders of more than 50% of each Fund’s outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of each Fund.

 

Except with the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, a Fund may not:

 

1.Concentrate its investments in an industry or group of industries (i.e., invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of companies in a particular industry or group of industries), except that a Fund will concentrate to approximately the same extent that its Index concentrates in the securities of companies in such particular industry or group of industries. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. Government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

 

2.Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

3.Make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

4.Purchase or sell commodities or real estate, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

5.Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, each Fund has the following non-fundamental policies, which may be changed without a shareholder vote.

 

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

 

2.Each Fund will not invest less than 80% of its total assets, exclusive of collateral held from securities lending, in securities that comprise its underlying index or in to-be-announced transactions and depositary receipts representing securities comprising its underlying index (or, if depositary receipts themselves are index securities, the underlying securities in respect of such depositary receipts).

 

17 

 

 

3.The Artificial Intelligence ETF will not, under normal circumstances, invest less than 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in Artificial Intelligence Companies, as such term is defined in the Prospectus.

 

4.The Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF will not, under normal circumstances, invest less than 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in Healthcare Technology Companies, as such term is defined in the Prospectus.

 

If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitations with respect to the borrowing of money and illiquid securities will be observed continuously. If the percentage of the Fund’s net assets invested in illiquid securities exceeds 15% due to market activity or changes in the Fund’s portfolio, the Fund will take appropriate measures to reduce its holdings of illiquid securities.

 

The following descriptions of certain provisions of the 1940 Act may assist investors in understanding the above policies and restrictions:

 

Concentration. The SEC has defined concentration as investing more than 25% of an investment company’s net assets in a particular industry or group of industries, with certain exceptions.

 

Borrowing. The 1940 Act presently allows a fund to borrow from any bank (including pledging, mortgaging or hypothecating assets) in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (not including temporary borrowings not in excess of 5% of its total assets).

 

Senior Securities. Senior securities may include any obligation or instrument issued by a fund evidencing indebtedness. The 1940 Act generally prohibits funds from issuing senior securities, although it does not treat certain transactions as senior securities, such as certain borrowings, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements, firm commitment agreements and standby commitments, with appropriate earmarking or segregation of assets to cover such obligation.

 

Lending. Under the 1940 Act, a fund may only make loans if expressly permitted by its investment policies. Each Fund’s current investment policy on lending is as follows: the Funds may not make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or any exemption therefrom, as such statute, rules or regulations may be amended or interpreted from time to time.

 

Underwriting. Under the 1940 Act, underwriting securities involves a fund purchasing securities directly from an issuer for the purpose of selling (distributing) them or participating in any such activity either directly or indirectly.

 

Real Estate. The 1940 Act does not directly restrict an investment company’s ability to invest in real estate, but does require that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy governing such investments. Each Fund will not purchase or sell real estate, except that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, a Fund may (a) invest in securities or other instruments directly or indirectly secured by real estate, and (b) invest in securities and other instruments issued by issuers that invest in real estate.

 

Commodities. The 1940 Act does not directly restrict an investment company’s ability to invest in commodities, but does require that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy governing such investments. Consistent with applicable law, the Fund may purchase or sell options, futures, forward contracts, or swaps, may invest in securities or other instruments backed by commodities, including physical commodities, and may invest in companies that are engaged in a commodities business or have a significant portion of their assets in commodities.

 

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

 

A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in each Fund is contained in the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus.

 

18 

 

 

The shares of the Funds are approved for listing and trading on the Exchange. The shares of each Fund trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ to some degree from their NAV. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Funds will continue to be met.

 

The Exchange will consider the suspension of trading in, and will initiate delisting procedures of, the shares of a Fund under any of the following circumstances: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 record and/or beneficial holders of the shares of the Fund; (2) the value of the Index or portfolio of securities on which the Fund is based is no longer calculated or available; (3) if any of the continued listing requirements set forth in the Exchange’s rules are not continuously maintained; (4) if the Exchange files separate proposals under Section 19(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and any of the statements regarding (a) the description of the index, portfolio or reference asset, (b) limitations on index or portfolio holdings or reference assets, or (c) the applicability of the Exchange listing rules specified in such proposals are not continuously maintained; or (5) such other event occurs or condition exists that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. If the “Intraday Indicative Value” (“IIV”) of the Fund or the value of the Fund’s underlying index is not being disseminated as required by Exchange rules, the Exchange may halt trading during the day in which such interruption occurs. If the interruption persists past the trading day in which it occurred, the Exchange will halt trading in the Fund’s shares. In addition, the Exchange will remove the shares from listing and trading upon termination of the Trust or the Fund.

 

The Exchange (or market data vendors or other information providers) will disseminate, every fifteen seconds during the regular trading day, an IIV relating to each Fund. The IIV calculations are estimates of the value of a Fund’s IIV per share and are based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. Premiums and discounts between the IIV and the market price may occur. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by a Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, it should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV per share of a Fund, which is calculated only once a day. The quotations of certain fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. Neither the Funds, the Adviser, nor any of their affiliates are involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IIV and make no warranty as to its accuracy.

 

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

 

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

 

The base and trading currencies of a Fund is the U.S. dollar. The base currency is the currency in which a Fund’s NAV per share is calculated and the trading currency is the currency in which shares of a Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange.

 

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

 

Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series, including the Funds described in this SAI, are overseen by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”). The Board elects the officers of the Trust who are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Trust and the Funds. The Board has approved contracts, as described below, under which certain companies provide essential services to the Trust.

 

Like most funds, the day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third party service providers, such as the Adviser, the Distributor and Administrator. The Trustees are responsible for overseeing the Trust’s service providers and, thus, have oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Funds. A Fund and its service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify many of those possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust’s business (e.g., the Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of a Fund’s portfolio investments) and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to each Fund’s service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.

 

19 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Funds can be identified and/or quantified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Funds’ goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Funds’ investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Adviser and other service providers each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the Funds’ and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.

 

20 

 

 

Members of the Board. There are five members of the Board, four of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). J. Garrett Stevens, the sole interested Trustee, serves as Chairman of the Board, and David Mahle serves as the Trust’s Lead Independent Trustee. As Lead Independent Trustee, Mr. Mahle acts as a spokesperson for the independent Trustees in between meetings of the Board, serves as a liaison for the Independent Trustees with the Trust’s service providers, officers, and legal counsel to discuss ideas informally, and participates as needed in setting the agenda for meetings of the Board and separate meetings or executive sessions of the Independent Trustees. The Board is comprised of a super-majority (i.e., 67 percent or more) of Independent Trustees. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees of the Trust constitute a super-majority of the Board, the number of Independent Trustees that constitute the Board, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from Fund management.

 

Set forth below is information about each of the persons currently serving as a Trustee of the Trust. The address of each Trustee of the Trust is c/o Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120.

 

Name and Year of Birth Position(s) Held with the Trust Term of Office and Length of Time Served(1) Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years Number of Portfolios in Fund Complex(2)
Overseen By Trustee
Other Directorships Held by Trustee During Past 5 Years
Interested Trustee

J. Garrett Stevens 

(1979)

 

Trustee and President

Trustee 

(Since 2009);

President 

(Since 2011)

 

T.S. Phillips Investments, Inc., 2000 to present— Investment Adviser/Vice President; Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, 2009 to 2011 — Chief Executive Officer and Secretary, 2011 to present — President; Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, 2009 to present — Chief Executive Officer; 

Exchange Listed Funds Trust, 2012 to present — President. 

[—] Trustee, ETF Series Solutions (2012 - 2014)
Independent Trustees

Timothy J. Jacoby 

(1952) 

Trustee Since 2014 Deloitte & Touche LLP, 2000 to 2014─ Partner. [—] Trustee, Exchange Listed Funds Trust ([—]); Trustee, Source ETF Trust (2014 - 2015); Trustee, Edward Jones Money Market Fund

 

21 

 

 

Name and Year of Birth Position(s) Held with the Trust Term of Office and Length of Time Served(1) Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years Number of Portfolios in Fund Complex(2)
Overseen By Trustee
Other Directorships Held by Trustee During Past 5 Years

David M. Mahle
(1944)

 

Trustee Since 2011 Jones Day, 2012 to present — Consultant; Jones Day, 2008 to 2011 — Of Counsel; Jones Day, 1988 to 2008 — Partner; Simplon Investments, 2012 to present — Director. [—] Trustee, Exchange Listed Funds Trust ([—]); Trustee, Source ETF Trust (2014 - 2015)

Kurt Wolfgruber 

(1950)

 

Trustee Since 2012 Amherst Asset Management, 2010 to present — Independent Advisor; Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., 2007 to 2009 — President. [—] Director, New Mountain Finance Corp.; Trustee, Exchange Listed Funds Trust ([—]); Trustee, Source ETF Trust (2014 - 2015)
Mark Zurack
(1957)
Trustee Since 2011 Columbia Business School, 2002 to present — Professor. [—] Trustee, AQR Funds (49); Trustee, Source ETF Trust (2014 - 2015)

(1) Each Trustee shall serve during the continued life of the Trust until he or she dies, resigns, is declared bankrupt or incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, or is removed. 

(2) The Fund Complex includes each series of the Trust and Exchange Listed Funds Trust.

 

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

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Stevens should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained in his roles with registered broker-dealer and investment management firms, as Chief Executive Officer of the Adviser, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained as serving as Trustee of the Trust since 2009.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Jacoby should serve as a Trustee because of the experience he has gained from over 25 years in or serving the investment management industry. Until his retirement in June 2014, Mr. Jacoby served as a partner at the audit and professional services firm Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he had worked since 2000, providing various services to asset management firms that manage mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity funds. Prior to that, Mr. Jacoby held various senior positions at financial services firms. Additionally, he served as a partner at Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. Jacoby is a Certified Public Accountant.

 

22 

 

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Mahle should serve as a Trustee because of the experience he has gained as an attorney in the investment management industry of a major law firm, representing exchange-traded funds and other investment companies as well as their sponsors and advisers and his knowledge and experience in investment management law and the financial services industry. Mr. Mahle is also a professor of law at Fordham Law School, where he lectures on investment companies and investment adviser regulations.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Wolfgruber should serve as a Trustee because of his experience as President and Chief Investment Officer of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. where he was employed from 2000 to 2009. Mr. Wolfgruber was responsible for the oversight of sales, marketing, trading, risk management and the investment process of ten investment teams which, together, managed over $200 billion across domestic and international asset classes. Mr. Wolfgruber has been involved in investment management for over 35 years with previous experience as a research analyst, portfolio manager and team and business leader at JP Morgan Investment Management from 1974 to 2000. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Zurack should serve as a Trustee because of the experience he has gained serving in various leadership roles in the equity derivatives groups of a large financial institution, his experience in teaching equity derivatives at the graduate level, as well as his knowledge of the financial services industry.

 

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

 

Officers. Set forth below is information about each of the persons currently serving as officers of the Trust. The address of J. Garrett Stevens, Richard Hogan, and James J. Baker is c/o Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, the address of Eric Kleinschmidt is SEI Investments Company, One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456, and the address of Joseph Scavetti is Cipperman Compliance Services, 480 E. Swedesford Road, Suite 300, Wayne, PA 19087.

 

Name and Year of Birth 

Position(s) Held with  

the Trust 

Term of Office and Length of Time Served1

Principal Occupation(s)  

During Past 5 Years 

J. Garrett Stevens
(1979)
Trustee and President Trustee
(Since 2009),
President
(Since 2011)
T.S. Phillips Investments, Inc., 2000 to present— Investment Adviser/Vice President; Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, 2009 to 2011 — Chief Executive Officer and Secretary, 2011 to present — President; Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, 2009 to present — Chief Executive Officer; and Exchange Listed Funds Trust, 2012 to present — President.
Richard Hogan
(1961)
Secretary Since 2011 Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, 2011 to present — Director; Private Investor — 2003 to present; Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, 2011 to present — Secretary; Exchange Listed Funds Trust, 2012 to present — Trustee and Secretary; Peconic Land Trust, 2012 to present — Board Member and Treasurer; Yorkville ETF Advisors, 2011 to 2016 — Managing Member.
James J. Baker Jr.
(1951)
Treasurer Since 2015 Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, 2011 to present — Managing Partner; Yorkville ETF Advisors, 2012 to 2016 — Managing Partner; Goldman Sachs, 2000 to 2011 — Vice President.

Eric Kleinschmidt 

(1968) 

Assistant Treasurer Since 2013 SEI Investments Global Funds Services, 2004 to present — Director, Fund Accounting.

 

23 

 

 

Name and Year of Birth 

Position(s) Held with  

the Trust 

Term of Office and Length of Time Served1

Principal Occupation(s)  

During Past 5 Years 

Joseph Scavetti 

(1968) 

Chief Compliance Officer Since 2018 Cipperman Compliance Services, LLC, 2018 to present – Compliance Director; Palladiem, LLC, 2011 to 2018  — Chief Operating Officer.

1 Each Officer serves at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees.

 

Trust Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees, which are chaired by and comprised of Independent Trustees:

 

Audit Committee. The Board has a standing Audit Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: recommending which firm to engage as the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm and whether to terminate this relationship; reviewing the independent registered public accounting firm’s compensation, the proposed scope and terms of its engagement, and the firm’s independence; pre-approving audit and non-audit services provided by the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm to the Trust and certain other affiliated entities; serving as a channel of communication between the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trustees; reviewing the results of each external audit, including any qualifications in the independent registered public accounting firm’s opinion, any related management letter, management’s responses to recommendations made by the independent registered public accounting firm in connection with the audit, reports submitted to the Committee by the internal auditing department of the Trust’s administrator that are material to the Trust as a whole, if any, and management’s responses to any such reports; reviewing the Funds’ audited financial statements and considering any significant disputes between the Trust’s management and the independent registered public accounting firm that arose in connection with the preparation of those financial statements; considering, in consultation with the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trust’s senior internal accounting executive, if any, the independent registered public accounting firms’ report on the adequacy of the Trust’s internal financial controls; reviewing, in consultation with the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm, major changes regarding auditing and accounting principles and practices to be followed when preparing the Funds’ financial statements; and other audit related matters. The Audit Committee meets periodically, as necessary, and met [—] ([—]) times during the most recently completed fiscal year.

 

Governance and Nominating Committee. The Board has a standing Governance and Nominating Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Governance and Nominating Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibility of the Governance and Nominating Committee is to consider, recommend and nominate candidates to fill vacancies on the Trust’s Board, if any. The Governance and Nominating Committee generally will not consider nominees recommended by shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee meets periodically, as necessary, and met [—] ([—]) time during the most recently completed fiscal year.

 

In addition to the foregoing standing committees of the Board, the Trust has a Fair Value Committee that is composed of certain officers of the Trust and representatives from the Adviser, and the Trust’s administrator. The Fair Value Committee operates under procedures approved by the Board. The Fair Value Committee is responsible for the valuation of any portfolio investments for which market quotations or prices are not readily available. The Fair Value Committee meets periodically, as necessary.

 

Ownership of Fund Shares. If applicable, the following table shows the dollar range of each Trustee’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of the Funds and other series of the Trust as of the end of the most recently completed calendar year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). As of [ ], 2019, the Trustees and officers owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Trust.

 

24 

 

 

Name 

Dollar Range of ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF Dollar Range of ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF Aggregate Dollar Range of Shares of Series of the Trust
Interested Trustee
Stevens None None None
Independent Trustees
Jacoby None None None
Mahle None None None
Wolfgruber None None None
Zurack None None None

 

Trustee Compensation. Effective October 1, 2018, as compensation for service on the Trust’s Board, each Independent Trustee is entitled to receive a $40,000 annual base fee, as well as a $3,000 fee for each in-person meeting and a $1,000 fee for each telephonic meeting.  In addition, Mr. Jacoby is entitled to a $5,000 annual fee for his service as Audit Committee chair, and Mr. Mahle is entitled to a $5,000 annual fee for his service as Lead Independent Trustee. Prior to October 1, 2018, as compensation for service on the Trust’s Board, each Independent Trustee was entitled to receive a $35,000 base fee, as well as a $2,500 fee for each in-person meeting and a $1,000 fee for each telephonic meeting.  In addition, Mr. Jacoby was entitled to a $5,000 annual fee for his service as Audit Committee chair.

 

The following table sets forth the compensation paid to the Trustees of the Trust for the fiscal year ended [ ], 2018. Independent Trustee fees are paid from the unitary fee paid to the Adviser by each Fund. Trustee compensation does not include reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attendance at meetings.

 

Name Aggregate Compensation Pension or Retirement Benefits Accrued as Part of Fund Expenses Estimated Annual Benefits Upon Retirement Total Compensation from the Trust and Fund Complex1
Interested Trustee
Stevens $[0] n/a n/a $[0] for service on ([1]) board
Independent Trustees
Jacoby $[  ] n/a n/a $[  ] for service on ([2]) boards
Mahle $[  ] n/a n/a $[  ] for service on ([2]) boards
Wolfgruber $[  ] n/a n/a $[  ] for service on ([2]) boards
Zurack $[  ] n/a n/a $[  ] for service on ([1]) board
1The Fund Complex includes each series of the Trust and of Exchange Listed Funds Trust.

 

CODES OF ETHICS

 

The Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor have each adopted a code of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. (each, a “Code of Ethics” and collectively, the “Codes of Ethics”). The Codes of Ethics are designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Fund (which may also be held by persons subject to the Codes of Ethics).

 

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

 

25 

 

 

PROXY VOTING POLICIES

 

The Board has delegated the responsibility to vote proxies for securities held in each Fund’s portfolio to the Adviser. Proxies for the portfolio securities are voted in accordance with the Adviser’s proxy voting guidelines, which are set forth in Exhibit A to this SAI. Information regarding how the Funds voted proxies relating to its portfolio securities during the most recent twelve-month period ended June 30 will be available: (1) without charge by calling [1-855-456-ROBO]; (2) on the Funds’ website at [www.roboglobaletfs.com]; and (3) on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (“ETC”), an Oklahoma limited liability company located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, its primary place of business, and 295 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017, serves as the investment adviser to the Funds. The Adviser is majority owned by Cottonwood ETF Holdings LLC.

 

The Trust and the Adviser have entered into an investment advisory agreement with respect to the Funds (the “Advisory Agreement”). Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser provides investment advice to the Funds. The Adviser is responsible for, among other things, trading portfolio securities on behalf of the Funds, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions or in connection with any rebalancing or reconstitution of the Index, subject to the supervision of the Board. The Adviser also arranges for transfer agency, custody, fund administration and accounting, and other non-distribution related services necessary for the Funds to operate. The Adviser administers the Funds’ business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services, and provides its officers and employees to serve as officers or Trustees of the Trust.

 

For the services the Adviser provides to the Funds, each Fund pays the Adviser a fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate as follows:

 

ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF [—]%
   
ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology ETF [—]%

 

Under the investment advisory agreement, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by the Trust except for the advisory fee, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, extraordinary expenses, and distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act.

 

After the initial two-year term, the continuance of the Advisory Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually: (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund; and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Advisory Agreement or “interested persons” or of any party thereto, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment, and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or, with respect to the Fund, by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, or by the Adviser on not more than sixty (60) days’ nor less than thirty (30) days’ written notice to the Trust. As used in the Advisory Agreement, the terms “majority of the outstanding voting securities,” “interested persons” and “assignment” have the same meaning as such terms in the 1940 Act.

 

The Trust and the Adviser have obtained exemptive relief, In the Matter of Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, et al., Investment Company Act Release Nos. 31453 (February 10, 2015) (Notice) and 31502 (March 10, 2015) (the “Order”), pursuant to which the Adviser may, with Board approval but without shareholder approval, change or select new sub-advisers, materially amend the terms of an agreement with a sub-adviser (including an increase in its fee), or continue the employment of a sub-adviser after an event that would otherwise cause the automatic termination of services, subject to the conditions of the Order. Shareholders will be notified of any sub-adviser changes.

 

26 

 

 

THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

 

Andrew Serowik and Travis Trampe serve as the Funds’ portfolio managers (the “Portfolio Managers”). This section includes information about the Portfolio Managers, including information about compensation, other accounts managed, and the dollar range of Fund shares owned.

 

Portfolio Manager Compensation. Mr. Serowik’s portfolio management compensation includes a salary and discretionary bonus based on the profitability of the Adviser. Mr. Trampe’s portfolio management compensation also includes a salary and discretionary bonus based upon the profitability of the Adviser. Neither Mr. Serowik’s nor Mr. Trampe’s compensation is directly related to the performance of the underlying assets.

 

Fund Shares Owned by the Portfolio Managers. The Funds are required to show the dollar range of a Portfolio Manager’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of the Funds as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Exchange Act. [As of [ ], 2019, the Portfolio Managers did not beneficially own shares of the Funds.]

 

Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers. In addition to the Funds, the Portfolio Managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of certain other accounts, as follows:

 

Name

Registered  

Investment Companies* 

Other Pooled  

Investment Vehicles* 

Other Accounts*

Number 

of Accounts 

Total Assets 

(in millions) 

Number of Accounts

Total Assets 

(in millions) 

Number of Accounts

Total Assets 

(in millions) 

Andrew Serowik [—] $[—] [—] $[—] [—] $[—]
Travis Trampe [—] $[—] [—] $[—] [—] $[—]

* Information provided is as of [—], 2019. None of the accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers are subject to performance based advisory fees.

 

Conflicts of Interest

 

The Portfolio Managers’ management of “other accounts” may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with their management of the Fund’s investments, on the one hand, and the investments of the other accounts, on the other. The other accounts may have the same investment objectives as the Fund. Therefore, a potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the identical investment objectives, whereby a Portfolio Manager could favor one account over another. Another potential conflict could include a Portfolio Manager’s knowledge about the size, timing, and possible market impact of Fund trades, whereby the Portfolio Manager could use this information to the advantage of other accounts and to the disadvantage of the Fund he manages. However, the Adviser has established policies and procedures to ensure that the purchase and sale of securities among all accounts the Adviser manages are fairly and equitably allocated.

 

THE DISTRIBUTOR

 

The Trust and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distributor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEI Investments Company (“SEI Investments”), and an affiliate of the Administrator, are parties to an distribution agreement dated November 10, 2011 (the “Distribution Agreement”), whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Trust and distributes shares of the Fund. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. Each Creation Unit is made up of at least 25,000 shares. The Distributor will not distribute shares in amounts less than a Creation Unit. The principal business address of the Distributor is One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456.

 

Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor, as agent for the Trust, will solicit orders for the purchase of shares, provided that any subscriptions and orders will not be binding on the Trust until accepted by the Trust. The Distributor will deliver prospectuses and, upon request, Statements of Additional Information to persons purchasing Creation Units and will maintain records of orders placed with it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Exchange Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

 

27 

 

 

The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Authorized Participants (as discussed in “Procedures for Creation of Creation Units” below) or DTC participants (as defined below).

 

The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable thereafter. The continuance of the Distribution Agreement with respect to the Fund must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement is terminable without penalty by a Fund on 60 days’ written notice when authorized either by majority vote of the Fund’s outstanding voting shares or by a vote of a majority of its Board (including a majority of the Independent Trustees), or by the Distributor on 60 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment.

 

The Distributor may also provide trade order processing services pursuant to a services agreement.

 

Distribution and Service Plan. The Trust has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”) in accordance with the provisions of Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, which regulates circumstances under which an investment company may directly or indirectly bear expenses relating to the distribution of its shares. No payments pursuant to the Plan will be made during the initial twelve (12) months of operation. Continuance of the Plan must be approved annually by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and by a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plan or in any agreements related to the Plan (“Qualified Trustees”). The Plan requires that quarterly written reports of amounts spent under the Plan and the purposes of such expenditures be furnished to and reviewed by the Trustees. The Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount that may be spent thereunder without approval by a majority of the outstanding shares of any class of a Fund that is affected by such increase. All material amendments of the Plan will require approval by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and of the Qualified Trustees.

 

The Plan provides that a Fund pays the Distributor an annual fee of up to a maximum of 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the shares of the Fund. Under the Plan, the Distributor may make payments pursuant to written agreements to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies including, without limit, investment counselors, broker-dealers and the Distributor’s affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively, “Agents”) as compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to other financial institutions and intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with FINRA rules concerning sales charges.

 

Under the Plan, subject to the limitations of applicable law and regulations, the Funds are authorized to compensate the Distributor up to the maximum amount to finance any activity primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units of the Funds or for providing or arranging for others to provide shareholder services and for the maintenance of shareholder accounts. Such activities may include, but are not limited to: (i) delivering copies of the Funds’ then current reports, prospectuses, notices, and similar materials, to prospective purchasers of Creation Units; (ii) marketing and promotional services, including advertising; (iii) paying the costs of and compensating others, including Authorized Participants with whom the Distributor has entered into written Authorized Participant Agreements, for performing shareholder servicing on behalf of the Funds; (iv) compensating certain Authorized Participants for providing assistance in distributing the Creation Units of the Funds, including the travel and communication expenses and salaries and/or commissions of sales personnel in connection with the distribution of the Creation Units of the Funds; (v) payments to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies and investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets and the affiliates and subsidiaries of the Trust’s service providers as compensation for services or reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance; (vi) facilitating communications with beneficial owners of shares a Fund, including the cost of providing (or paying others to provide) services to beneficial owners of shares of a Fund, including, but not limited to, assistance in answering inquiries related to shareholder accounts, and (vii) such other services and obligations as are set forth in the Distribution Agreement.

 

28 

 

 

THE ADMINISTRATOR

 

SEI Investments Global Funds Services (the “Administrator”), a Delaware statutory trust with its principal business offices at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456, serves as administrator of the Trust and the Fund. SEI Investments Management Corporation (“SIMC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEI Investments, is the owner of all beneficial interest in the Administrator. SEI Investments and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including the Administrator, are leading providers of funds evaluation services, trust accounting systems, and brokerage and information services to financial institutions, institutional investors, and money managers. The Administrator and its affiliates also serve as administrator or sub-administrator to other exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.

 

The Trust and the Administrator have entered into an administration agreement dated November 10, 2011 (the “Administration Agreement”). Under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator provides the Trust with administrative services, including regulatory reporting and all necessary office space, equipment, personnel and facilities. Pursuant to a schedule to the Administration Agreement, the Administrator also serves as the shareholder servicing agent for the Fund whereby the Administrator provides certain shareholder services to the Fund.

 

For its services under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator is entitled to a fee, based on assets under management, subject to a minimum fee.

 

THE CUSTODIAN

 

[—] serves as the custodian of the Fund. The Custodian holds cash, securities and other assets of the Fund as required by the 1940 Act.

 

THE TRANSFER AGENT

 

[—] serves as the Fund’s transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent under a transfer agency agreement with the Trust.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL

 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

Cohen & Company, Ltd., 1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 800, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, serves as the independent registered public accounting firm for each Fund.

 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

The Trust’s Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about a Fund’s security holdings. The policy is designed to prevent the possible misuse of knowledge of a Fund’s portfolio holdings and to ensure that the interests of the Adviser, the Distributor, Custodian, Transfer Agent, Fund Accountant and Administrators, or any affiliated person of a Fund or a Fund’s service providers, are not placed above those of a Fund’s shareholders. The policy applies to all officers and agents of the Funds, including employees of the Adviser.

 

A Fund’s entire portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services including publicly available internet web sites. In addition, the composition of the In-Kind Creation Basket and the In-Kind Redemption Basket, is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the NSCC.

 

29 

 

 

Greater than daily access to information concerning a Fund’s portfolio holdings will be permitted (i) to certain personnel of service providers to a Fund involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, risk management, or other support to portfolio management, and (ii) to other personnel of a Fund’s service providers who deal directly with, or assist in, functions related to investment management, administration, custody and fund accounting, as may be necessary to conduct business in the ordinary course in a manner consistent with the Trust’s exemptive relief, agreements with a Fund, and the terms of the Trust’s current registration statement. From time to time, and in the ordinary course of business, such information may also be disclosed (i) to other entities that provide services to each Fund, including pricing information vendors, and third parties that deliver analytical, statistical or consulting services to a Fund and (ii) generally after it has been disseminated to the NSCC.

 

Each Fund will disclose its complete portfolio holdings in public filings with the SEC on a quarterly basis, based on a Fund’s fiscal year-end, within 60 days of the end of the quarter, and will provide that information to shareholders, as required by federal securities laws and regulations thereunder.

 

No person is authorized to disclose any of a Fund’s portfolio holdings or other investment positions (whether in writing, by fax, by e-mail, orally, or by other means) except in accordance with this policy. The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer may authorize disclosure of portfolio holdings. The Board reviews the implementation of this policy on a periodic basis.

 

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

 

The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of funds and shares of each fund. Each share of a fund represents an equal proportionate interest in the fund with each other share. Shares of each fund are entitled upon liquidation to a pro rata share in the net assets of a fund. Shareholders have no preemptive rights. The Declaration of Trust provides that the Trustees of the Trust may create additional series or classes of shares. All consideration received by the Trust for shares of any additional funds and all assets in which such consideration is invested would belong to that fund and would be subject to the liabilities related thereto. Share certificates representing shares will not be issued. Each Fund’s shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.

 

Each share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all funds vote together as a single class, except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. As a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold annual meetings of shareholders. Approval of shareholders will be sought, however, for certain changes in the operation of the Trust and for the election of Trustees under certain circumstances. Upon the written request of shareholders owning at least 10% of the Trust’s shares, the Trust will call for a meeting of shareholders to consider the removal of one or more trustees and other certain matters. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.

 

Under the Declaration of Trust, the Trustees have the power to liquidate a Fund without shareholder approval. While the Trustees have no present intention of exercising this power, they may do so if a Fund fails to reach a viable size within a reasonable amount of time or for such other reasons as may be determined by the Board.

 

LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES’ LIABILITY

 

The Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee shall be liable only for his or her own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee, and shall not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. The Trustees shall not be responsible or liable in any event for any neglect or wrong-doing of any officer, agent, employee, investment adviser or principal underwriter of the Trust, nor shall any Trustee be responsible for the act or omission of any other Trustee. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust shall indemnify each person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust, any person who is serving or has served at the Trust’s request as a Trustee, officer, trustee, employee or agent of another organization in which the Trust has any interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise to the extent and in the manner provided in the By-Laws. However, nothing in the Declaration of Trust shall protect or indemnify a Trustee against any liability for his or her willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee. Nothing contained in this section attempts to disclaim a Trustee’s individual liability in any manner inconsistent with the federal securities laws.

 

30 

 

 

BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS

 

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

 

The Adviser owes a fiduciary duty to its clients to seek to provide best execution on trades effected. In selecting a broker/dealer for each specific transaction, the Adviser chooses the broker/dealer deemed most capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable execution. Best execution is generally understood to mean the most favorable cost or net proceeds reasonably obtainable under the circumstances. The full range of brokerage services applicable to a particular transaction may be considered when making this judgment, which may include, but is not limited to: liquidity, price, commission, timing, aggregated trades, capable floor brokers or traders, competent block trading coverage, ability to position, capital strength and stability, reliable and accurate communications and settlement processing, use of automation, knowledge of other buyers or sellers, arbitrage skills, administrative ability, underwriting and provision of information on a particular security or market in which the transaction is to occur. The specific criteria will vary depending upon the nature of the transaction, the market in which it is executed, and the extent to which it is possible to select from among multiple broker/dealers. The Adviser will also use electronic crossing networks (“ECNs”) when appropriate.

 

The Adviser may use a Fund’s assets for, or participate in, third-party soft dollar arrangements, in addition to receiving proprietary research from various full service brokers, the cost of which is bundled with the cost of the broker’s execution services. The Adviser does not “pay up” for the value of any such proprietary research. Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act permits the Adviser, under certain circumstances, to cause a Fund to pay a broker or dealer a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by the broker or dealer. The Adviser may receive a variety of research services and information on many topics, which it can use in connection with its management responsibilities with respect to the various accounts over which it exercises investment discretion or otherwise provides investment advice. The research services may include qualifying order management systems, portfolio attribution and monitoring services and computer software and access charges which are directly related to investment research. Accordingly, a Fund may pay a broker commission higher than the lowest available in recognition of the broker’s provision of such services to the Adviser, but only if the Adviser determines the total commission (including the soft dollar benefit) is comparable to the best commission rate that could be expected to be received from other brokers. The amount of soft dollar benefits received depends on the amount of brokerage transactions effected with the brokers. A conflict of interest exists because there is an incentive to: 1) cause clients to pay a higher commission than the firm might otherwise be able to negotiate; 2) cause clients to engage in more securities transactions than would otherwise be optimal; and 3) only recommend brokers that provide soft dollar benefits.

 

31 

 

 

The Adviser faces a potential conflict of interest when it uses client trades to obtain brokerage or research services. This conflict exists because the Adviser is able to use the brokerage or research services to manage client accounts without paying cash for such services, which reduces the Adviser’s expenses to the extent that the Adviser would have purchased such products had they not been provided by brokers. Section 28(e) permits the Adviser to use brokerage or research services for the benefit of any account it manages. Certain accounts managed by the Adviser may generate soft dollars used to purchase brokerage or research services that ultimately benefit other accounts managed by the Adviser, effectively cross subsidizing the other accounts managed by the Adviser that benefit directly from the product. The adviser may not necessarily use all of the brokerage or research services in connection with managing the Fund whose trades generated the soft dollars used to purchase such products.

 

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

 

The Funds may deal with affiliates in principal transactions to the extent permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation.

 

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not commenced operations and therefore did not pay brokerage commissions during the past fiscal year.

 

Brokerage with Fund Affiliates. A Fund may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealer affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser or the Distributor for a commission in conformity with the 1940 Act, the Exchange Act and rules promulgated by the SEC. These rules require that commissions paid to the affiliate by a Fund for exchange transactions not exceed “usual and customary” brokerage commissions. The rules define “usual and customary” commissions to include amounts which are “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.” The Trustees, including those who are not “interested persons” of the Trust, have adopted procedures for evaluating the reasonableness of commissions paid to affiliates and review these procedures periodically.

 

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

 

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RATE

 

Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates are likely to result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.

 

32 

 

 

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

 

Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for the shares of each Fund. Shares of the Funds are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Except in limited circumstances set forth below, certificates will not be issued for shares of a Fund.

 

DTC is a limited-purpose trust company that was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC’s 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 of a Fund is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants, and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares of a Fund (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of shares of a Fund. The Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the record owner of all shares of a Fund for all purposes. Beneficial Owners of shares of a Fund are not entitled to have such shares registered in their names, and will not receive or be entitled to physical delivery of share certificates. Each Beneficial Owner must rely on the procedures of DTC and any DTC Participant and/or Indirect Participant through which such Beneficial Owner holds its interests, to exercise any rights of a holder of shares of a Fund.

 

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

 

Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the Funds as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of shares of a Fund 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 the Funds’ shares, or for maintaining, supervising, or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.

 

DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to a Fund at any time by giving reasonable notice to such Fund and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, a Fund shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of shares of a Fund, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.

 

33 

 

 

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

 

[As of the date of this SAI, no person owned of record or beneficially 5% or more of shares of a Fund.]

 

PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES IN CREATION UNITS

 

Each Fund issues and redeems its shares on a continuous basis, at NAV, only in a large specified number of shares called a “Creation Unit,” either principally in-kind for securities included in a Fund’s Index or in cash for the value of such securities. The NAV of each Fund’s shares is determined once each Business Day (defined below), as described below under “Determination of Net Asset Value.” The Creation Unit size may change. Authorized Participants will be notified of such change.

 

PURCHASE (CREATION). The Trust issues and sells shares of the Funds only: (i) in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load (but subject to transaction fees), at their NAV per share next determined after receipt of an order, on any Business Day, in proper form pursuant to the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement (“Participant Agreement”); or (ii) pursuant to the Dividend Reinvestment Service (defined below). The Funds will not issue fractional Creation Units. A Business Day is, generally, any day on which the Exchange is open for business.

 

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

 

Together, the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of a Fund. The “Cash Component” is an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the shares of each Fund (per Creation Unit) and the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit exceeds the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such positive amount. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit is less than the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such negative amount and the creator will be entitled to receive cash in an amount equal to the Cash Component. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the market value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. Computation of the Cash Component excludes any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities, if applicable, which shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant (as defined below).

 

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

 

The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities or the amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, required for the Fund Deposit for a Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Adviser with a view to the investment objective of a Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the component securities of a Fund’s Index.

 

34 

 

 

The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Cash to replace any Deposit Security, which shall be added to the Cash Component, including, without limitation, in situations where the Deposit Security: (i) may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery; (ii) may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC for corporate securities and municipal securities or the Federal Reserve System for U.S. Treasury securities; (iii) may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant (as defined below) or the investor for which it is acting; (iv) would be restricted under the securities laws or where the delivery of the Deposit Security to the Authorized Participant would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the Authorized Participant becoming restricted under the securities laws; or (v) in certain other situations (collectively, “custom orders”). The Trust also reserves the right to (i) permit or require the substitution of Deposit Securities in lieu of Deposit Cash; and (ii) include or remove Deposit Securities from the basket in anticipation of or implementation of Index rebalancing changes. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, in the composition of the subject Index being tracked by a Fund or resulting from certain corporate actions.

 

CASH PURCHASE METHOD. The Trust may at its discretion permit full or partial cash purchases of Creation Units of a Fund. When full or partial cash purchases of Creation Units are available or specified for a Fund, they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind purchases thereof. In the case of a full or partial cash purchase, the Authorized Participant must pay the cash equivalent of the Deposit Securities it would otherwise be required to provide through an in-kind purchase, plus the same Cash Component required to be paid by an in-kind purchaser together with a Creation Transaction Fee and non-standard charges, as may be applicable.

 

PROCEDURES FOR PURCHASE OF CREATION UNITS. To be eligible to place orders with the Distributor to purchase a Creation Unit of a Fund, an entity must be (i) a “Participating Party”, i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the “Clearing Process”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC Participant (see “BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM”). In addition, each Participating Party or DTC Participant (each, an “Authorized Participant”) must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor, and that has been accepted by the Transfer Agent and the Trust, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Each Authorized Participant will agree, pursuant to the terms of a Participant Agreement, on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that it will pay to the Trust, an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component together with the Creation Transaction Fee (defined below) and any other applicable fees, taxes, and additional variable charges. The Adviser may retain all or a portion of the Creation Transaction Fee to the extent the Adviser bears the expenses that otherwise would be borne by the Trust in connection with the purchase of a Creation Unit, which the Creation Transaction Fee is designed to cover.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

35 

 

 

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

 

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

 

ISSUANCE OF A CREATION UNIT. Except as provided herein, Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities or payment of Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the subcustodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant subcustodian or subcustodians, the Distributor and the Adviser shall be notified of such delivery, and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor. However, a Fund reserves the right to settle Creation Unit transactions on a basis other than the second Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor in order to accommodate foreign market holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates (that is the last day the holder of a security can sell the security and still receive dividends payable on the security), and in certain other circumstances. The Authorized Participant shall be liable to the applicable Fund for losses, if any, resulting from unsettled orders.

 

36 

 

 

Creation Units may be purchased in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below. In these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a value greater than the NAV of the shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since in addition to available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component, plus (ii) an additional amount of cash equal to a percentage of the market value as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the “Additional Cash Deposit”), which shall be maintained in a separate non-interest bearing collateral account. The Authorized Participant must deposit with the Custodian the Additional Cash Deposit, as applicable, by the time set forth in the Participant Agreement on the Settlement Date. If a Fund or its agents do not receive the Additional Cash Deposit in the appropriate amount, by such time, then the order may be deemed rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to a Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount at least equal to the applicable percentage, as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the daily marked to market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Trust may use such Additional Cash Deposit to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for all costs, expenses, dividends, income, and taxes associated with missing Deposit Securities, including the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by the Distributor plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases. The Trust will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by the Custodian or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a Creation Transaction Fee as set forth below under “Creation Transaction Fee” may be charged and an additional variable charge may also apply. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Settlement Date.

 

ACCEPTANCE OF ORDERS OF CREATION UNITS. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject an order for Creation Units transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of each Fund including, without limitation, if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, delivered by the Participant are not as disseminated through the facilities of the NSCC for that date by the Custodian; (c) the investor(s), upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of a Fund; (d) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to a Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (g) the acceptance or receipt of the order for a Creation Unit would, in the opinion of counsel to the Trust, be unlawful; or (h) circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent and/or the Adviser make it for all practical purposes not feasible to process orders for Creation Units.

 

Examples of such circumstances include acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Distributor, the Custodian, a sub-custodian, the Transfer Agent, DTC, NSCC, Federal Reserve System, or any other participant in the creation process, and other extraordinary events. The Distributor shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of the creator of a Creation Unit of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian and the Distributor shall not be liable for the rejection of any purchase order for Creation Units.

 

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

 

CREATION TRANSACTION FEE. A fixed purchase (i.e., creation) transaction fee may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase of Creation Units (“Creation Order Costs”). The standard Creation Transaction Fees for each Fund are $[ ], respectively, regardless of the number of Creation Units created in the transaction. Each Fund may adjust the Creation Transaction Fee from time to time. The Creation Transaction Fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Creation Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.

 

In addition, a variable fee may be imposed for cash purchases, non-standard orders, or partial cash purchases of Creation Units. The variable fee is primarily designed to cover Non-Standard Charges, e.g., brokerage, taxes, foreign exchange, execution, market impact, and other costs and expenses, related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. Each Fund may determine not to charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for creation orders that facilitate the rebalance of a Fund’s portfolio in a more efficient manner than could have been achieved without such order.

 

37 

 

 

Investors who use the services of an Authorized Participant, broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services which may include an amount for the Creation Transaction Fee and non-standard charges. Investors are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting the Deposit Securities to the account of the Trust. The Adviser may retain all or a portion of the Transaction Fee to the extent the Adviser bears the expenses that otherwise would be borne by the Trust in connection with the issuance of a Creation Unit, which the Transaction Fee is designed to cover.

 

RISKS OF PURCHASING CREATION UNITS. There are certain legal risks unique to investors purchasing Creation Units directly from each Fund. Because a Fund’s shares may be issued on an ongoing basis, a “distribution” of shares could be occurring at any time. Certain activities that a shareholder performs as a dealer could, depending on the circumstances, result in the shareholder being deemed a participant in the distribution in a manner that could render the shareholder a statutory underwriter and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. For example, a shareholder could be deemed a statutory underwriter if it purchases Creation Units from a Fund, breaks them down into the constituent shares, and sells those shares directly to customers, or if a shareholder chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary-market demand for shares. Whether a person is an underwriter depends upon all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities, and the examples mentioned here should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could cause you to be deemed an underwriter.

 

Dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary-market transactions), and thus dealing with a Fund’s shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act.

 

REDEMPTION. Shares of each Fund may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by a Fund through the Transfer Agent and only on a Business Day. EXCEPT UPON LIQUIDATION OF THE FUND, THE TRUST WILL NOT REDEEM SHARES IN AMOUNTS LESS THAN CREATION UNITS. Investors must accumulate enough shares in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.

 

With respect to each 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 list of the names and share quantities of a Fund’s portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities.

 

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

 

38 

 

 

CASH REDEMPTION METHOD. Although the Trust does not ordinarily permit full or partial cash redemptions of Creation Units of a Fund, when full or partial cash redemptions of Creation Units are available or specified for a Fund, they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind redemptions thereof. In the case of full or partial cash redemptions, the Authorized Participant receives the cash equivalent of a Fund’s Securities it would otherwise receive through an in-kind redemption, plus the same Cash Redemption Amount to be paid to an in-kind redeemer.

 

REDEMPTION TRANSACTION FEES. A fixed Redemption Transaction Fee may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the redemption of Creation Units (“Redemption Order Costs”). The standard Redemption Transaction Fees for each Fund is $[ ], respectively, regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. Each Fund may adjust the Redemption Transaction Fee from time to time. The Redemption Transaction Fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Redemption Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.

 

In addition, a variable fee, payable to each Fund, may be imposed for cash redemptions, non-standard orders, or partial cash redemptions for each Fund. The variable fee is primarily designed to cover non-standard Charges, e.g., brokerage, taxes, foreign exchange, execution, market impact, and other costs and expenses, related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. Each Fund may determine not to charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for redemption orders that facilitate the rebalance of a Fund’s portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order.

 

Investors who use the services of an Authorized Participant, broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services, which may include an amount for the Redemption Transaction Fees and Non-Standard Charges. Investors are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting a Fund’s Securities to the account of the Trust. The non-standard charges are payable to a Fund as it incurs costs in connection with the redemption of Creation Units, the receipt of Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount and other transactions costs. The Adviser may retain all or a portion of the Redemption Transaction Fee to the extent the Adviser bears the expenses that otherwise would be borne by the Trust in connection with the redemption of a Creation Unit, which the Redemption Transaction Fee is designed to cover.

 

PROCEDURES FOR REDEMPTION OF CREATION UNITS. Orders to redeem Creation Units must be submitted in proper form to the Transfer Agent prior to the time as set forth in the Participant Agreement. A redemption request is considered to be in “proper form” if (i) an Authorized Participant has transferred or caused to be transferred to the Trust’s Transfer Agent the Creation Unit(s) being redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be effective by the time as set forth in the Participant Agreement and (ii) a request in form satisfactory to the Trust is received by the Transfer Agent from the Authorized Participant on behalf of itself or another redeeming investor within the time periods specified in the Participant Agreement. If the Transfer Agent does not receive the investor’s shares through DTC’s facilities by the times and pursuant to the other terms and conditions set forth in the Participant Agreement, the redemption request shall be rejected, unless, to the extent contemplated by the Participant Agreement, collateral is posted in an amount equal to a percentage of the value of the missing shares as specified in the Participant Agreement (and marked to market daily).

 

The Authorized Participant must transmit the request for redemption, in the form required by the Trust, to the Transfer Agent in accordance with procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement, and that, therefore, requests to redeem Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. Investors making a redemption request should be aware that such request must be in the form specified by such Authorized Participant. Investors making a request to redeem Creation Units should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the request by an Authorized Participant and transfer of the shares to the Trust’s Transfer Agent; such investors should allow for the additional time that may be required to effect redemptions through their banks, brokers or other financial intermediaries if such intermediaries are not Authorized Participants.

 

39 

 

 

ADDITIONAL REDEMPTION PROCEDURES. In connection with taking delivery of shares of Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of a Fund’s Securities are customarily traded, to which account the Fund Securities will be delivered. Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within two Business Days of the trade date. However, due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, the different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and dividend ex-dates (that is the last date the holder of a security can sell the security and still receive dividends payable on the security sold), and in certain other circumstances, the delivery of in-kind redemption proceeds may take longer than two Business Days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. If neither the redeeming shareholder nor the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such redeeming shareholder has appropriate arrangements to take delivery of the Fund Securities in the applicable foreign jurisdiction and it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities in such jurisdiction, the Trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such shares in cash, and the redeeming shareholders will be required to receive redemption proceeds in cash.

 

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

 

Pursuant to the Participant Agreement, an Authorized Participant submitting a redemption request is deemed to make certain representations to the Trust regarding the Authorized Participant’s ability to tender for redemption the requisite number of shares. The Trust reserves the right to verify these representations at its discretion, but will typically require verification with respect to a redemption request from the applicable Fund in connection with higher levels of redemption activity and/or short interest in either Fund. If the Authorized Participant, upon receipt of a verification request, does not provide sufficient verification of its representations as determined by the Trust, the redemption request will not be considered to have been received in proper form and may be rejected by the Trust.

 

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

 

Because the portfolio securities of a Fund may trade on the relevant exchange(s) on days that the Exchange is closed or are otherwise not Business Days for a Fund, shareholders may not be able to redeem their shares, or to purchase or sell shares on the Exchange, on days when the NAV of a Fund could be significantly affected by events in the relevant foreign markets.

 

40 

 

 

The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to each Fund (1) for any period during which the New York Stock Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the New York Stock Exchange is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the securities owned by a Fund or determination of the NAV of the shares is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.

 

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

 

NAV per share for a Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of a Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of shares outstanding, rounded to the nearest cent. Expenses and fees, including the management fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of a Fund is calculated by the Administrator and determined at the close of the regular trading session on the Exchange (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on each day that such exchange is open, provided that fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments on any day that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) announces an early closing time.

 

In calculating a Fund’s NAV per share, a Fund’s investments are generally valued using market valuations. A market valuation generally means a valuation (i) obtained from an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer), (ii) based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of value supplied by an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer) or (iii) based on amortized cost. In the case of shares of other funds that are not traded on an exchange, a market valuation means a Fund’s published NAV per share. The Adviser may use various pricing services, or discontinue the use of any pricing service, as approved by the Board from time to time. A price obtained from a pricing service based on such pricing service’s valuation matrix may be considered a market valuation. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.

 

In the event that current market valuations are not readily available or such valuations do not reflect current market value, the Trust’s procedures require the Fair Value Committee to determine a security’s fair value. In determining such value the Fair Value Committee may consider, among other things, (i) price comparisons among multiple sources, (ii) a review of corporate actions and news events, and (iii) a review of relevant financial indicators (e.g., movement in interest rates, market indices, and prices from a Fund’s index provider). In these cases, a Fund’s NAV may reflect certain portfolio securities’ fair values rather than their market prices. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate a Fund’s NAV and the prices used by each Fund’s Index. This may result in a difference between a Fund’s performance and the performance of a Fund’s Index. With respect to securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your shares.

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

 

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

 

General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid at least annually by a Fund. Distributions of remaining net realized capital gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but a Fund may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund to improve index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act.

 

Dividends and other distributions on 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 Trust.

 

41 

 

 

A Fund makes additional distributions to the extent necessary (i) to distribute the entire annual taxable income of the Fund, plus any net capital gains and (ii) to avoid imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Internal Revenue Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special dividends if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve a Fund’s eligibility for treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.

 

Dividend Reinvestment Service. The Trust will not make the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service available for use by Beneficial Owners for reinvestment of their cash proceeds, but certain individual broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of a Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Investors should contact their brokers to ascertain the availability and description of these services. Beneficial Owners should be aware that each broker may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables in order to participate in the dividend reinvestment service and investors should ascertain from their brokers such necessary details. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares issued by the Trust of the same Fund at NAV per share. Distributions reinvested in additional shares of a Fund will nevertheless be taxable to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash.

 

FEDERAL INCOME TAXES

 

The following is a summary of certain additional U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting a Fund and its shareholders that supplements the summary in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a comprehensive explanation of the federal, state, local or foreign tax treatment of a Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended to be a substitute for careful tax planning. The summary is very general, and does not address investors subject to special rules, such as investors who hold shares through an IRA, 401(k) or other tax-advantaged account.

 

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

 

Recently enacted tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) makes significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules only applicable to a RIC, such as a Fund. The Tax Act, however, makes numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and a Fund. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in a Fund.

 

Shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding the application of the provisions of tax law described in this SAI in light of the particular tax situations of the shareholders and regarding specific questions as to federal, state, or local taxes.

 

REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY (RIC) STATUS

 

A Fund will seek to qualify and elect to be treated as a RIC under the Internal Revenue Code. By following such a policy, a Fund expects to eliminate or reduce to a nominal amount the federal taxes to which it may be subject. If a Fund qualifies as a RIC, it will generally not be subject to federal income taxes on the net investment income and net realized capital gains that it timely distributes to its shareholders. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

 

42 

 

 

In order to qualify as a RIC under the Internal Revenue Code, a Fund must distribute annually to its shareholders at least an amount equal to the sum of 90% of a Fund’s net investment company taxable income for such year (including, for this purpose, dividends, taxable interest, and the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, less operating expenses), computed without regard to the dividends-paid deduction, and 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income for such year, if any (the “Distribution Requirement”), and also must meet certain additional requirements. One of these additional requirements for RIC qualification is that a Fund must receive at least 90% of a Fund’s gross income each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to a Fund’s business of investing in such stock, securities, foreign currencies and net income from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Qualifying Income Test”). A second requirement for qualification as a RIC is that a Fund must diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of a Fund’s taxable year: (a) at least 50% of the market value of a Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities, with these other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of a Fund’s total assets or 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, including the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership; and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested, including through corporations in which a Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of another RIC) of any one issuer or the securities (other than the securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers that a Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Asset Test”).

 

If a Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income Test or the Asset Test, a Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the Asset Test where a Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time. In order to be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Asset Test, a Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions are not available a Fund and it fails to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at regular corporate income tax rates (which the Tax Act reduced to 21%) without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable as ordinary income dividends to its shareholders, subject to the dividends-received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by non-corporate shareholders. In addition, a Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a RIC. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund for treatment as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders. If a Fund determines that it will not qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund will establish procedures to reflect the anticipated tax liability in the Fund’s NAV.

 

A Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the dividends-paid deduction) and any realized net capital gain (after taking into account any capital loss carryovers).  If a Fund failed to satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any taxable year, the Fund would be taxed as a regular corporation, with consequences generally similar to those described above. If a Fund meets the Distribution Requirement but retains some or all of its income or gains, it will be subject to federal income tax to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed.

 

Notwithstanding the Distribution Requirement described above, a Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute (and is not deemed to distribute) to its shareholders in each calendar year an amount at least equal to 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the twelve months ended October 31 of that year, subject to an increase for any shortfall in the prior year’s distribution. For this purpose, any ordinary income or capital gain net income retained by a Fund and subject to corporate income tax will be considered to have been distributed. A Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of this 4% excise tax, but can make no assurances that such tax will be completely eliminated. A Fund may in certain circumstances be required to liquidate Fund investments in order to make sufficient distributions to avoid federal excise tax liability at a time when the investment adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so, and liquidation of investments in such circumstances may affect the ability of the Fund to satisfy the requirement for qualification as a RIC.

 

43 

 

 

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

 

Capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”) are not permitted to be deducted against a RIC’s net investment income. Instead, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, potentially subject to certain limitations, a RIC may carry net capital losses from any taxable year forward to offset capital gains in future years. A Fund is permitted to carry net capital losses forward indefinitely. To the extent subsequent capital gains are offset by such losses, they will not result in U.S. federal income tax liability to a Fund and may not be distributed as capital gains to shareholders. Generally, a Fund may not carry forward any losses other than net capital losses. The carryover of capital losses may be limited under the general loss limitation rules if a Fund experiences an ownership change as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

 

TAXATION OF SHAREHOLDERS

 

A Fund receives income generally in the form of dividends and interest on investments. This income, plus net short-term capital gains, if any, less expenses incurred in the operation of a Fund, constitutes a Fund’s net investment income from which dividends may be paid to you. Any distributions by a Fund from such income will be taxable to you as ordinary income or at the lower capital gains rates that apply to individuals receiving qualified dividend income (as discussed below), whether you take them in cash or in additional shares.

 

Distributions of net capital gains, if any, that a Fund reports as capital gain dividends are taxable as long-term capital gains, whether paid in cash or reinvested in shares and regardless of how long a shareholder has held shares of a Fund. Long-term capital gains are generally taxed to non-corporate shareholders at a maximum rate currently set at 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets).

 

Subject to certain limitations and requirements, dividends reported by a Fund as qualified dividend income will be taxable to non-corporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%. In general, dividends may be reported by a Fund as qualified dividend income if they are paid from dividends received by a Fund on common and preferred stock of U.S. corporations or on stock of certain eligible foreign corporations, provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met by a Fund with respect to the dividend-paying stocks in its portfolio. Subject to certain limitations, eligible foreign corporations include those incorporated in possessions of the United States or in certain countries with comprehensive tax treaties with the United States, and other foreign corporations if the stock with respect to which the dividends are paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States. A dividend will not be treated as qualified dividend income to the extent that: (i) the shareholder has not held the shares on which the dividend was paid for more than 60 days during the 121-day period that begins on the date that is 60 days before the date on which the shares become “ex-dividend” (which is the day on which declared distributions (dividends or capital gains) are deducted from a Fund’s assets before it calculates the net asset value) with respect to such dividend, (ii) a Fund has not satisfied similar holding period requirements with respect to the securities it holds that paid the dividends distributed to the shareholder), (iii) the shareholder is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to substantially similar or related property, or (iv) the shareholder elects to treat such dividend as investment income under section 163(d)(4)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, if you lend your shares in a Fund, such as pursuant to a securities lending arrangement, you may lose the ability to treat dividends (paid while the shares are held by the borrower) as qualified dividend income. Distributions that a Fund receives from an ETF or an underlying fund taxable as a RIC or a REIT will be treated as qualified dividend income only to the extent so reported by such ETF, REIT or underlying fund.

 

Certain dividends received by a Fund on stock of U.S. corporations (generally, dividends received by a Fund in respect of any share of stock (1) as to which a Fund has met certain holding period requirements and (2) that is held in an unleveraged position) may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction generally available to corporate shareholders under the Internal Revenue Code, provided such dividends are also appropriately reported as eligible for the dividends-received deduction by a Fund. In order to qualify for the dividends-received deduction, corporate shareholders must also meet minimum holding period requirements with respect to their Fund shares, taking into account any holding period reductions from certain hedging or other transactions or positions that diminish their risk of loss with respect to their Fund shares.

 

44 

 

 

A Fund’s participation in loans of securities may affect the amount, timing, and character of distributions to its shareholders. If a Fund participates in a securities lending transaction and receives a payment in lieu of dividends (a “substitute payment”) with respect to securities on loan in a securities lending transaction, such income generally will not constitute qualified dividend income. In addition, dividends attributable to such income will not be eligible for taxation at the rates applicable to qualified dividend income for individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporate shareholders.

 

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

 

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

 

A Fund’s shareholders will be notified annually by a Fund (or their broker) as to the federal tax status of all distributions made by a Fund. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.

 

A taxable shareholder may wish to avoid investing in a Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because the distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of the shareholder’s investment.

 

Shareholders who have not held Fund shares for a full year should be aware that a Fund may report and distribute to a shareholder, as ordinary dividends or capital gain dividends, a percentage of income that is not equal to the percentage of a Fund’s ordinary income or net capital gain, respectively, actually earned during the shareholder’s period of investment in a Fund.

 

Sales, Exchanges or Redemptions of Shares. A sale of shares or redemption of Creation Units in a Fund may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares will be treated as capital gain or loss if the shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than twelve months, and short-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for twelve months or less. Any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term, rather than short-term, to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the shareholder of long-term capital gain with respect to the shares (including any amounts credited to the shareholder as undistributed capital gains). All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares of a Fund will be disallowed if substantially identical shares of a Fund are purchased (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

 

An Authorized Participant who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize gain or loss from the exchange. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. The ability of Authorized Participants to receive a full or partial cash redemption of Creation Units of a Fund may limit the tax efficiency of a Fund. A person who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the sum of the aggregate market value of any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units and the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), however, may assert that an Authorized Participant may not be permitted to currently deduct losses realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units under the rules governing “wash sales” (for an Authorized Participant that does not mark-to-market its holdings), or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.

 

45 

 

 

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

 

The Trust on behalf of a Fund has the right to reject an order for a purchase of shares of a Fund if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of a Fund and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code, a Fund would have a basis in the securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If a Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of a Fund, the purchaser (or group of purchasers) may not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.

 

Persons purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction and whether the wash sales rule applies and when a loss may be deductible.

 

Cost Basis Reporting. The cost basis of shares acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for the shares and then may be subsequently adjusted for other applicable transactions as required by the Internal Revenue Code. The difference between the selling price and the cost basis of shares generally determines the amount of the capital gain or loss realized on the sale or exchange of shares. Contact the broker through whom you purchased your shares to obtain information with respect to the available cost basis reporting methods and elections for your account.

 

Medicare Tax. U.S. individuals with adjusted gross income (subject to certain adjustments) exceeding certain threshold amounts ($250,000 if married and filing jointly or if considered a “surviving spouse” for federal income tax purposes, $125,000 if married filing separately, and $200,000 in other cases) are subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income.” This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts. For these purposes, interest, dividends and certain capital gains (including capital gain distributions and capital gains realized on the sale of shares of a Fund or the redemption of Creation Units), among other categories of income, are generally taken into account in computing a shareholder’s net investment income.

 

TAXATION OF FUND INVESTMENTS

 

Certain of a Fund’s investments may be subject to complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (including provisions relating to hedging transactions, straddles, integrated transactions, foreign currency contracts, forward foreign currency contracts, and notional principal contracts) that, among other things, may affect a Fund’s ability to qualify as a RIC, affect the character of gains and losses realized by a Fund (e.g., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to a Fund and defer losses and, in limited cases, subject a Fund to U.S. federal income tax on income from certain of its foreign securities. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require a Fund to mark to market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause a Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the RIC Distribution Requirement and for avoiding excise taxes. Accordingly, in order to avoid certain income and excise taxes, a Fund may be required to liquidate its investments at a time when the investment adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so. A Fund intends to monitor its transactions, intends to make appropriate tax elections, and intends to make appropriate entries in its books and records in order to mitigate the effect of these rules and preserve its qualification for treatment as a RIC. To the extent a Fund invests in an underlying fund that is taxable as a RIC, the following discussion regarding the tax treatment of complex securities will also apply to the underlying funds that also invest in such complex securities and investments.

 

46 

 

 

A Fund may invest in REITs. Investments in REIT equity securities may require a Fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. To generate sufficient cash to make the requisite distributions, a Fund may be required to sell securities in its portfolio (including when it is not advantageous to do so) that it otherwise would have continued to hold. A Fund’s investments in REIT equity securities may at other times result in a Fund’s receipt of cash in excess of the REIT’s earnings; if a Fund distributes these amounts, these distributions could constitute a return of capital to a Fund’s shareholders for federal income tax purposes. Dividends paid by a REIT, other than capital gain distributions, will be taxable as ordinary income up to the amount of the REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Capital gain dividends paid by a REIT to a Fund will be treated as long-term capital gains by a Fund and, in turn, may be distributed to Fund shareholders as capital gain distributions. Dividends received by a Fund from a REIT generally will not constitute qualified dividend income or qualify for the dividends received deduction. If a REIT is operated in a manner such that it fails to qualify as a REIT, an investment in the REIT would become subject to double taxation, meaning the taxable income of the REIT would be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders and the dividends would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.

 

The Tax Act treats “qualified REIT dividends” (i.e., ordinary REIT dividends other than capital gain dividends and portions of REIT dividends designated as qualified dividend income eligible for capital gain tax rates) as eligible for a 20% deduction by non-corporate taxpayers. This deduction, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective tax rate of 29.6% (37% top rate applied to income after 20% deduction). The Tax Act does not contain a provision permitting a RIC, such as a Fund, to pass the special character of this income through to its shareholders. Currently, direct investors in REITs will enjoy the lower rate, but investors in RICs that invest in such REITs will not. It is uncertain whether future technical corrections or administrative guidance will address this issue to enable a Fund to pass through the special character of “qualified REIT dividends” to shareholders.

 

REITs in which a Fund invests often do not provide complete and final tax information to a Fund until after the time that a Fund issues a tax reporting statement. As a result, a Fund may need to reclassify the amount and character of its distributions to you after it issues your tax reporting statement. When such reclassification is necessary, a Fund (or your broker) will send you a corrected, final Form 1099-DIV to reflect the reclassified information. If you receive a corrected Form 1099-DIV, use the information on this corrected form, and not the information on the previously issued tax reporting statement, in completing your tax returns.

 

Foreign Investments. If a Fund acquires any equity interest in certain foreign investment entities (i) that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties, or capital gains) or (ii) where at least 50% of the corporation’s assets (computed based on average fair market value) either produce or are held for the production of passive income (“passive foreign investment companies” or “PFICs”), a Fund will generally be subject to one of the following special tax regimes: (i) a Fund may be liable for U.S. federal income tax, and an additional interest charge, on a portion of any “excess distribution” from such foreign entity or any gain from the disposition of such shares, even if the entire distribution or gain is paid out by a Fund as a dividend to its shareholders; (ii) if a Fund were able and elected to treat a PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” or “QEF,” a Fund would be required each year to include in income, and distribute to shareholders in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above, a Fund’s pro rata share of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the PFIC, whether or not such earnings or gains are distributed to a Fund; or (iii) a Fund may be entitled to mark-to-market annually shares of the PFIC, and in such event would be required to distribute to shareholders any such mark-to-market gains in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above. A Fund intends to make the appropriate tax elections, if possible, and take any additional steps that are necessary to mitigate the effect of these rules. A Fund may limit and/or manage its holdings in passive foreign investment companies to limit its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments.

 

47 

 

 

A Fund may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, including taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains with respect to any investments in those countries. Any such taxes would, if imposed, reduce the yield on or return from those investments. Tax conventions between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate such taxes in some cases.

 

If more than 50 percent of the value of a Fund’s total assets at the close of any taxable year consists of certain foreign securities, then a Fund will be eligible to and intends to file and election with the IRS that may enable shareholders, in effect, to receive either the benefit of a foreign tax credit, or a deduction from such taxes, with respect to any foreign and U.S. possessions income taxes paid by a Fund, subject to certain limitations. Pursuant to this election, a Fund will treat those taxes as dividends paid to its shareholders. Each such shareholder will be required to include a proportionate share of those taxes in gross income as income received from a foreign source and must treat the amount so included as if the shareholder had paid the foreign tax directly. The shareholder may then either deduct the taxes deemed paid by him or her in computing his or her taxable income or, alternatively, use the foregoing information in calculating any foreign tax credit they may be entitled to use against the shareholders’ federal income tax. As a result of these rules, which may have different effects depending upon each shareholder’s particular tax situation, certain shareholders may not be able to claim a credit for the full amount of their proportionate share of the foreign taxes paid by a Fund. Shareholders who are not liable for U.S. federal income taxes, including tax-exempt shareholders, will ordinarily not benefit from this election. If a Fund makes the election, a Fund (or your broker) will report annually to its shareholders the respective amounts per share of a Fund’s income from sources within, and taxes paid to, foreign countries and U.S. possessions. A Fund generally may deduct any foreign taxes that are not passed through to its shareholders in computing its income available for distribution to shareholders to satisfy applicable tax distribution requirements.

 

FOREIGN SHAREHOLDERS

 

Any foreign shareholders in a Fund may be subject to U.S. withholding and estate tax and are encouraged to consult their tax advisors prior to investing in a Fund. Foreign shareholders (i.e., nonresident alien individuals and foreign corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates) are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or a lower tax treaty rate) on distributions derived from taxable ordinary income. A Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Short-term capital gain dividends received by a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the taxable year are not exempt from this 30% withholding tax. Gains realized by foreign shareholders from the sale or other disposition of shares of a Fund generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless the recipient is an individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. Foreign shareholders who fail to provide an applicable IRS form may be subject to backup withholding on certain payments from a Fund. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that are subject to the 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) withholding tax described in this paragraph. Different tax consequences may result if the foreign shareholder is engaged in a trade or business within the United States. In addition, the tax consequences to a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty may be different than those described above.

 

Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Fund shares comply with IRS requirements that generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to Fund distributions payable to such entities and may apply to redemptions and certain capital gain dividends payable to such entities after December 31, 2018. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement.

 

A beneficial holder of shares who is a foreign person may be subject to foreign, state and local tax and to the U.S. federal estate tax in addition to the federal income tax consequences referred to above. If a shareholder is eligible for the benefits of a tax treaty, any effectively connected income or gain will generally be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net basis only if it is also attributable to a permanent establishment or fixed base maintained by the shareholder in the United States.

 

48 

 

 

OTHER ISSUES

 

Backup Withholding. A Fund (or financial intermediaries, such as brokers, through which a shareholder holds shares) generally is required to withhold and to remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and sale or redemption proceeds paid to any shareholder who fails to properly furnish a correct taxpayer identification number, who has under-reported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify that he, she or it is not subject to such withholding. The backup withholding tax rate is 24%. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS.

 

Certain Potential Tax Reporting Requirements. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance shareholders of a RIC are not excepted. A shareholder who fails to make the required disclosure to the IRS may be subject to substantial penalties. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

 

Tax-Exempt Shareholders. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k)s, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Under the Tax Act, tax-exempt entities are not permitted to offset losses from one trade or business against the income or gain of another trade or business. Certain net losses incurred prior to January 1, 2018 are permitted to offset gain and income created by an unrelated trade or business, if otherwise available. Under current law, a Fund generally serves to block UBTI from being realized by its tax-exempt shareholders. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of an investment in a Fund where, for example: (i) a Fund invests in residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”), (ii) a Fund invests in a REIT that is a taxable mortgage pool (“TMP”) or that has a subsidiary that is a TMP or that invests in the residual interest of a REMIC, or (iii) shares in a Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS has issued guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult their tax advisors regarding these issues.

 

State and Local Taxes. A Fund may be subject to tax or taxes in certain states where a Fund does business. Furthermore, in those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of a Fund and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by a Fund may differ from federal tax treatment.

 

General Considerations. The federal income tax discussion set forth above is for general information only. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the specific federal income tax consequences of purchasing, holding and disposing of shares of a Fund, as well as the effect of state, local and foreign tax law and any proposed tax law changes.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

As of the date of this SAI, the Funds have not yet commenced operations and, therefore, do not have any financial statements. The Funds’ financial statements will be available after the Funds have completed their first fiscal year of operations.

 

49 

 

 

Exhibit A

 

EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS, LLC

 

PROXY VOTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES

 

Introduction

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (“ETC”) recognizes that proxies for companies whose securities are held in client portfolios have an economic value, and it seeks to maximize that economic value by ensuring that votes are cast in a manner that it believes to be in the best interest of the affected clients. Proxies are considered client assets and are to be managed with the same care, skill and diligence as all other client assets.

 

Proxy Voting Policies

 

Proxy voting will be conducted by either ETC or the sub-advisers.1 To the extent that ETC is responsible for proxy voting, ETC has engaged Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), to provide research on proxy matters and voting recommendations, and to cast votes on behalf of ETC. ISS executes and maintains appropriate records related to the proxy voting process, and ETC has access to those records. ETC maintains records of differences, if any, between this Policy and the actual votes cast. ETC may, in the future, decide to engage a different proxy advisory firm.

 

ETC has reviewed ISS’s voting guidelines and has determined that those guidelines provide guidance in the best interest of ETC’s clients. This Policy and ISS’s proxy voting guidelines will be reviewed at least annually. This review will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, any proxy voting issues that may have arisen or any material conflicts of interest that were identified and the steps that were taken to resolve those conflicts.

 

There may be times when ETC believes that the best interests of the client will be better served if ETC votes a proxy counter to ISS’s guidelines pertaining to the matter to be voted upon. In those cases, ETC will generally review the research provided by ISS on the particular issue, and it may also conduct its own research or solicit additional research from another third party on the issue. After considering this information and, as necessary, discussing the issue with other relevant parties, ETC will determine how to vote on the issue in a manner which ETC believes is consistent with this Policy and in the best interests of the client.

 

Each sub-adviser’s proxy voting policies and procedures have been approved by the Trusts’ Board of Trustees and when a sub-adviser has been delegated authority to vote a proxy, it will vote such proxy in accordance with the approved proxy voting policies and procedures.

 

In addition, the sub-advisers may engage the services of an independent third party (“Proxy Firm”) to cast proxy votes according to the sub-advisers’ established guidelines. ETC has deemed in the best interest of clients to permit a sub-adviser the authority to cast proxy votes in accordance with the proxy voting policies submitted by that firm and approved by the Trusts’ Board of Trustees. The sub-adviser must promptly notify ETC of any proxy votes that are not voted consistently with the guidelines set forth in its policy.

 

 

1 As of the date of the last revision to this Policy, ETC’s only clients are the series (or portfolios) of Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, Exchange Listed Funds Trust, and ETF Series Solutions (the “Trusts”) for which ETC serves as investment adviser.  ETC has engaged one or more sub-advisers for such series.  For some series, ETC is responsible for voting proxies and, for the remaining series, a sub-adviser is responsible for proxy voting. 

 

A-1 

 

 

Conflict of Interest Identification and Resolution

 

Although ETC does not believe that conflicts of interest will generally arise in connection with its proxy voting policies, ETC seeks to minimize the potential for conflict by utilizing the services of ISS to provide voting recommendations that are consistent with relevant regulatory requirements. Occasions may arise during the analysis and voting process in which the best financial interests of clients might conflict with the interests of ISS. ISS has developed a “separation wall” as security between its proxy recommendation service and the other services it and its affiliated companies provide to clients who may also be a portfolio company for which proxies are solicited.

 

In resolving a conflict, ETC may decide to take one of the following courses of action: (1) determine that the conflict or potential conflict is not material, (2) request that disclosure be made to clients for whom proxies will be voted to disclose the conflict of interest and the recommended proxy vote and to obtain consent from such clients, (3) ETC may vote the proxy or engage an independent third-party or fiduciary to determine how the proxies should be voted, (4) abstain from voting or (5) take another course of action that adequately addresses the potential for conflict. Employees are required to report to the CCO any attempted or actual improper influence regarding proxy voting.

 

ETC will provide clients a copy of the complete Policy. ETC will also provide to clients, upon request, information on how their securities were voted.

 

Proxy Voting Operational Procedures

 

Reconciliation Process

 

Each account’s custodian provides holdings to ISS on a daily basis. Proxy materials are sent to ISS, which verifies that materials for future shareholder meetings are received for each record date position. ISS researches and resolves situations where expected proxy materials have not been received. ISS also notifies ETC of any proxy materials received that were not expected.

 

Voting Identified Proxies

 

A proxy is identified when it is reported through the ISS automated system or when a custodian bank notifies ISS of its existence. As a general rule, ETC votes all proxies that it is entitled to vote that are identified within the solicitation period. ETC may apply a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether to vote a proxy. For example, if ETC is required to re-register shares of a company in order to vote a proxy and that re-registration process imposes trading and transfer restrictions on the shares, commonly referred to as “blocking,” ETC generally abstains from voting that proxy.

 

Although not necessarily an exhaustive list, other instances in which ETC may be unable or may determine not to vote a proxy are as follows: (1) situations where the underlying securities have been lent out pursuant to an account’s participation in a securities lending program and the cost-benefit ETC analysis indicates that the cost to recall the security outweighs the benefit; (2) instances when proxy materials are not delivered or are delivered in a manner that does not provide ETC sufficient time to analyze the proxy and make an informed decision by the voting deadline; and (3) occasions when required local-market documentation cannot be filed and approved prior to the proxy voting deadline.

 

Proxy Oversight Procedures

 

In order to fulfill its oversight responsibilities related to the use of a proxy advisory firm, ETC will conduct a due diligence review of ISS annually and requests, at a minimum, the following information:

 

ISS’ Policies, Procedures and Practices Regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest

ISS’ Regulatory Code of Ethics

The most recent SSAE 16 report of ISS controls conducted by an independent auditor (if available)

ISS’ Form ADV Part 2 to determine whether ISS disclosed any new potential conflicts of interest

 

A-2 

 

 

On a quarterly basis, ETC will request from ISS a certification indicating that all proxies were voted and voted in accordance with pre-determined guidelines and a summary of any material changes to the firm’s policies and procedures designed to address conflicts of interest. In addition, a Proxy Voting Record Report is reviewed by ETC on a periodic basis. The Proxy Voting Record Report includes all proxies that were voted during a period of time.

 

In order to fulfill its oversight responsibilities when a sub-adviser is responsible for voting proxies, ETC will request a certification of compliance and completion and review the sub-advisers’ Proxy Voting Record Report on a periodic basis.

 

Maintenance of Proxy Voting Records

 

The following records are maintained for a period of five years, with records being maintained for the first two years on site:

 

These policy and procedures, and any amendments thereto;

Each proxy statement (the majority of which are maintained on a third-party automated system);

Record of each vote cast;

Documentation, if any, created by ETC that was material to making a decision how to vote proxies on behalf of a client or that memorializes the basis for a decision;

Various reports related to the above procedures; and

Each written client request for information and a copy of any written response by ETC to a client’s written or oral request for information.

 

A-3 

 

 

PART C: OTHER INFORMATION

 

Item 28.Exhibits

 

(a)(1)Certificate of Trust dated July 17, 2009 of Exchange Traded Concepts Trust (formerly, FaithShares Trust) (the “Trust” or the “Registrant”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(1) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-023575 on July 20, 2009.

 

(a)(2)Written Instrument dated July 14, 2011, amending the Registrant’s Certificate of Trust dated July 17, 2009, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 2 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-11-078120 on August 17, 2011.

 

(a)(3)Registrant’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated October 13, 2009 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(2) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 3 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-068184 on December 4, 2009.

 

(a)(4)Registrant’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated October 3, 2011 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 4 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-11-100027 on November 22, 2011.

 

(b)(1)Registrant’s By-Laws dated October 20, 2009 are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (b) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-023575 on July 20, 2009.

 

(b)(2)Registrant’s Amended and Restated By-Laws dated October 3, 2011 are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (b)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 4 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-11-100027 on November 22, 2011.

 

(c)Not applicable.

 

(d)(1)Advisory Agreement dated May 26, 2015 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Advisory Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 131 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-004099 on June 29, 2015.

 

(d)(2)Addendum to Schedule A, as revised September 12, 2018, to the Advisory Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

 

 

 

(d)(3)Revised Addendum to Schedule A to the Advisory Agreement, reflecting the addition of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(4)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated June 1, 2015 between Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and HTAA, LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 131 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-004099 on June 29, 2015.

 

(d)(5)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated June 1, 2015 between Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and Vident Investment Advisory, LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 131 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-004099 on June 29, 2015.

 

(d)(6)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated May 26, 2015 between Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and Vident Investment Advisory, LLC (the “Multi-Fund Vident Sub-Advisory Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 135 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-005799 on August 28, 2015.

 

(d)(7)Schedule A, dated August 1, 2018, to the Multi-Fund Vident Sub-Advisory Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 245 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-014749 on December 21, 2018.

 

(d)(8)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated May 26, 2015 between Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and Penserra Capital Management LLC (the “Penserra Capital Sub-Advisory Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(7) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 131 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-004099 on June 29, 2015.

 

(d)(9)Addendum to Schedule A, as revised January 24, 2018, to the Penserra Capital Sub-Advisory Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(9) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(d)(10)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated October 1, 2016 between Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and Amplify Investments LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 202 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-005613 on May 1, 2017.

 

2 

 

 

(e)(1)Amended and Restated Distribution Agreement dated November 10, 2011 between the Registrant and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distribution Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(l) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-12-014210 on March 12, 2012.

 

(e)(2)Amendment No. 2 and revised Schedule A, effective December 6, 2012, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 43 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-15629 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-13-004545 on January 29, 2013.

 

(e)(3)Amendment No. 3 and revised Schedule A, effective as of February 28, 2013, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 69 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-003416 on July 26, 2013.

 

(e)(4)Amendment No. 4, effective as of November 11, 2013, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 90 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-14-001917 on March 28, 2014.

 

(e)(5)Amendment No. 5 and revised Schedule A, effective as of October 1, 2013, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 78 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-004927 on October 18, 2013.

 

(e)(6)Amendment No. 6 and revised Schedule A, effective February 18, 2014, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002138 on March 30, 2015.

 

(e)(7)Amendment No. 7 and revised Schedule A, effective November 11, 2014, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(7) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002138 on March 30, 2015.

 

(e)(8)Amendment No. 8 and revised Schedule A, effective September 29, 2015, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(8) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 150 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-16-008944 on January 11, 2016.

 

(e)(9)Amendment No. 9 and revised Schedule A, effective December 8, 2015, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(9) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 202 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-005613 on May 1, 2017.

 

3 

 

 

(e)(10)Amendment No. 10 and revised Schedule A, effective February 28, 2017, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(e)(11)Amendment No. 11 and revised Schedule A, effective December 7, 2017, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(e)(12)Amendment No. 12 and revised Schedule A, effective September 17, 2018, to the Distribution Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(12) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(e)(13)Amendment and revised Schedule A to the Distribution Agreement, reflecting the addition of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(e)(14)Form of Authorized Participant Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-12-014210 on March 12, 2012.

 

(f)Not applicable.

 

(g)(1)Custodian Agreement dated September 28, 2009 between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (the “Custodian Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-059434 on November 6, 2009.

 

(g)(2)Amendment to Schedule II, dated August 6, 2018, to the Custodian Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(g)(3)Custody Agreement between the Registrant and [Custodian], relating to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(g)(4)Foreign Custody Manager Agreement dated November 2, 2017 between the Registrant and The Bank of Mellon New York (the “Foreign Custody Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

4 

 

 

(g)(5)Amendment to Annex I, dated January 24, 2018, to the Foreign Custody Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(g)(6)Foreign Custody Agreement between the Registrant and [Foreign Custodian], relating to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(1)Amended and Restated Administration Agreement dated November 10, 2011 between the Registrant and SEI Investments Global Funds Services (the “Administration Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(l) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-12-014210 on March 12, 2012.

 

(h)(2)Amendment and revised Schedule I, effective as of April 19, 2012, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 69 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-003416 on July 26, 2013.

 

(h)(3)New Fund Addendum, dated April 19, 2012, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 43 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC on January 29, 2013.

 

(h)(4)Amendment, dated March 1, 2013, to the New Fund Addendum, dated April 19, 2012, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(8) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 69 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-003416 on July 26, 2013.

 

(h)(5)Amendment No. 2 and revised Schedule I, effective December 6, 2012, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 43 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC on January 29, 2013.

 

(h)(6)New Fund Addendum, dated January 15, 2013, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 43 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC on January 29, 2013.

 

(h)(7)Amendment No. 3 and revised Schedule I, effective as of February 28, 2013, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(7) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 69 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-003416 on July 26, 2013.

 

5 

 

 

(h)(8)Amendment No. 4 and revised Schedule I, effective as of October 1, 2013, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(9) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 78 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-004927 on October 18, 2013.

 

(h)(9)New Fund Addendum, dated October 1, 2013, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 78 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-13-004927 on October 18, 2013.

 

(h)(10)Amendment No. 5 and revised Schedule I, effective as of February 18, 2014, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 218 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 33-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-011107 on August 28, 2017.

 

(h)(11)New Fund Addendum, dated June 1, 2015, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 131 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-004099 on June 29, 2015.

 

(h)(12)Amendment No. 6 and revised Schedule I, effective as of November 11, 2014, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002138 on March 30, 2015.

 

(h)(13)New Fund Addendum, dated November 11, 2014, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(12) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002138 on March 30, 2015.

 

(h)(14)Amendment No. 7 and revised Schedule I, effective as of September 29, 2015, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(14) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 218 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 33-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-011107 on August 28, 2017.

 

(h)(15)Amendment No. 8 and revised Schedule I, effective as of December 8, 2015, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(15) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 218 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 33-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-011107 on August 28, 2017.

 

6 

 

 

(h)(16)New Fund Addendum, dated March 30, 2016, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(13) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 212 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-009252 on July 28, 2017.

 

(h)(17)Amendment No. 9 and revised Schedule I, effective as of February 28, 2017, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(17) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(h)(18)New Fund Addendum, dated February 28, 2017, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(18) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(h)(19)Amendment No. 10 and revised Schedule I, effective as of December 7, 2017, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(19) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(h)(20)New Fund Addendum, dated November 2017, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(20) of the Post-Effective Amendment No. 234 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-005010 on March 30, 2018.

 

(h)(21)Amendment No. 11 and revised Schedule I, effective as of September 17, 2018, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(21) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 245 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-014749 on December 21, 2018.

 

(h)(22)New Fund Addendum, dated July 25, 2018, to the Administration Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(22) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(h)(23)Amendment and revised Schedule I to the Administration Agreement, reflecting the addition of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(24)New Fund Addendum to the Administration Agreement, reflecting the addition of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

7 

 

 

(h)(25)Transfer Agency Services Agreement dated September 28, 2009 between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (the “Transfer Agency Services Agreement”) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-059434 on November 6, 2009.

 

(h)(26)Amendment, dated May 17, 2012, to the Transfer Agency Services Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 21 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-12-034055 on June 8, 2012.

 

(h)(27)Amendment to Appendix A, dated August 7, 2018, to the Transfer Agency Services Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(25) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(h)(28)Transfer Agency Agreement between the Registrant and [Transfer Agent], relating to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(29)Fee Waiver Agreement dated January 23, 2018 between the Registrant, on behalf of the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF and Innovation Shares NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF, and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(26) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(h)(30)Sublicense Agreement dated February 15, 2017 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the Bernstein U.S. Research Fund and Bernstein Global Research Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(32) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(h)(31)Sublicense Agreement dated November 11, 2014 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(33) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 228 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-016146 on December 22, 2017.

 

(h)(32)Sublicense Agreement dated January 26, 2018 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF and Innovation Shares NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(35) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

8 

 

 

(h)(33)Sublicense Agreement dated August 7, 2015 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the FLAG-Forensic Accounting Long-Short ETF (formerly, the WeatherStorm Forensic Accounting Long-Short ETF), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(36) of the Post-Effective Amendment No. 234 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-005010 on March 30, 2018.

 

(h)(34)Sublicense Agreement dated February 1, 2017 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the ETF Industry Exposure & Financial Services ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(37) of the Post-Effective Amendment No. 234 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-005010 on March 30, 2018.

 

(h)(35)Sublicense Agreement dated September 3, 2014 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(36) of the Post-Effective Amendment No. 239 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-008631 on August 27, 2018.

 

(h)(36)Sublicense Agreement dated September 18, 2018 between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the Vesper U.S. Large Cap Short-Term Reversal Strategy ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(36) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(h)(37)Sub-License Agreement between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, relating to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(38)Sublicense, Marketing Support and Expense Reimbursement Agreement dated April 4, 2013 by and among the Registrant, on behalf of the YieldShares High Income ETF, Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC and YieldShares LLC, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(38) of the Post-Effective Amendment No. 237 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-006085 on April 27, 2018.

 

(i)(1)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(1) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 144 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-008340 on December 21, 2015.

 

(i)(2)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the FLAG-Forensic Accounting Long-Short ETF (formerly, the WeatherStorm Forensic Accounting Long-Short ETF), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002138 on March 30, 2015.

 

9 

 

 

(i)(3)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the YieldShares High Income ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 125 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-002915 on April 30, 2015.

 

(i)(4)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the Hull Tactical US ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 128 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-003642 on June 1, 2015.

 

(i)(5)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the ROBO GlobalTM Robotics and Automation Index ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 135 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-005799 on August 28, 2015.

 

(i)(6)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the ETF Industry Exposure & Financial Services ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(9) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 201 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-005034 on April 19, 2017.

 

(i)(7)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the Bernstein U.S. Research Fund and Bernstein Global Research Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(9) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(i)(8)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF and Innovation Shares NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 232 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-001016 on January 26, 2018.

 

(i)(9)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the Vesper U.S. Large Cap Short-Term Reversal Strategy ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (i)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(i)(10)Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, with respect to the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

10 

 

 

(j)Not applicable.

 

(k)Not applicable.

 

(l)Seed Capital Subscription Agreement between the Registrant and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (formerly, FaithShares Advisors, LLC) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (l) of Pre-Effective Amendment No. 3 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0000950123-09-068184 on December 4, 2009.

 

(m)(1)Distribution and Service Plan dated October 20, 2009, as revised (the “Distribution and Service Plan”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(1) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 201 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-005034 on April 19, 2017.

 

(m)(2)Revised Exhibit A to the Distribution and Service Plan is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N1-A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-18-009735 on September 20, 2018.

 

(m)(3)Revised Exhibit A to the Distribution and Service Plan, reflecting the addition of the ROBO Global® Artificial Intelligence ETF and the ROBO Global® Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(n)Not applicable.

 

(o)Not applicable.

 

(p)(1)Code of Ethics of the Registrant is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(l) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 11 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001144204-12-014210 on March 12, 2012.

 

(p)(2)Code of Ethics of Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC dated March 2017 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(p)(3)Code of Ethics of Penserra Capital Management LLC dated March 2016 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 228 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-016146 on December 22, 2017.

 

(p)(4)Code of Ethics of HTAA, LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 128 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-15-003642 on June 1, 2015.

 

11 

 

 

(p)(5)Code of Ethics of Vident Investment Advisory, LLC is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 223 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-013041 on October 13, 2017.

 

(p)(6)Code of Ethics of Amplify Investments LLC dated September 23, 2016 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 202 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), as filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-17-005613 on May 1, 2017.

 

(q)Powers of Attorney dated March 5, 2019 are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (q) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 247 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File Nos. 333-156529 and 811-22263), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001615774-19-004978 on March 29, 2019.

 

Item 29.Persons Controlled by or under Common Control with the Fund

 

None.

 

Item 30.Indemnification

 

The Trustees shall not be responsible or liable in any event for any neglect or wrongdoing of any officer, agent, employee, adviser or principal underwriter of the Trust, nor shall any Trustee be responsible for the act or omission of any other Trustee, and, subject to the provisions of the By-Laws, the Trust out of its assets may indemnify and hold harmless each and every Trustee and officer of the Trust from and against any and all claims, demands, costs, losses, expenses, and damages whatsoever arising out of or related to such Trustee’s or officer’s performance of his or her duties as a Trustee or officer of the Trust; provided that nothing herein contained shall indemnify, hold harmless or protect any Trustee or officer from or against any liability to the Trust or any Shareholder to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

 

Every note, bond, contract, instrument, certificate or undertaking and every other act or thing whatsoever issued, executed or done by or on behalf of the Trust or the Trustees or any of them in connection with the Trust shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued, executed or done only in or with respect to their or his or her capacity as Trustees or Trustee, and such Trustees or Trustee shall not be personally liable thereon.

 

Insofar as indemnification for liability arising under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) may be permitted to Trustees, officers and controlling persons of the Registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the SEC such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the Registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such Trustee, officer, or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the Registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

 

12 

 

 

Item 31.Business and other Connections of the Investment Adviser

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Adviser”) serves as the investment adviser for each series of the Trust. The principal address of the Adviser is 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73013. The Advisor also is located at 295 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017.

 

HTAA, LLC (“HTAA”), Penserra Capital Management LLC (“Penserra Capital”), Vident Investment Advisory, LLC (“Vident”) and Amplify Investments LLC (“Amplify”) (each a “Sub-Adviser” and, collectively, the “Sub-Advisers”) serve as sub-advisers for certain series of the Trust. HTAA serves as sub-adviser for the Registrant’s Hull Tactical US ETF. Penserra serves as sub-adviser for the Registrant’s EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF, ETF Industry Exposure & Financial Services ETF, Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF and Innovation Shares NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF. Vident serves as sub-adviser for the Registrant’s FLAG-Forensic Accounting Long-Short ETF, Hull Tactical US ETF, YieldShares High Income ETF, ROBO GlobalTM Robotics and Automation Index ETF, Bernstein U.S. Research Fund and Bernstein Global Research Fund. Amplify serves as sub-adviser for the Registrant’s YieldShares High Income ETF. The principal address of HTAA is 141 W. Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1650, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The principal address of Penserra Capital is 140 Broadway, 26th Floor New York, New York 10005. The principal address of Vident is 300 Colonial Center Parkway, Suite 330, Roswell, Georgia 30076. The principal address of Amplify is 310 S. Hale Street, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. The Adviser and the Sub-Advisers are investment advisers registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

 

Any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature in which each director or principal officer of the Adviser and each Sub-Adviser is or has been, at any time during the last two fiscal years, engaged for his or her own account or in the capacity of director, officer, employee, partner or trustee are as follows:

 

Adviser

 

Name and

Position with Adviser*

Name of Other Company*

Connection

 with Other Company*

J. Garrett Stevens

Chief Executive Officer

T.S. Phillips Investments, Inc. Vice President
Phillips Capital Advisors, Inc. Vice President

James J. Baker, Jr.

Member

N/A N/A

* Information provided is as of March 22, 2019.

 

Penserra Capital

 

Name and Position

with Penserra Capital* 

Name of Other Company*

Connection

with Other Company*

Dustin Lewellyn, CIO

Penserra Securities LLC

Penserra Transition

Management LLC

Employee

Employee

 

George Madrigal, CEO

Penserra Securities LLC 

Penserra Transition

Management LLC

CEO

CEO

 

 * Information provided is as of March 22, 2019.

 

 13

 

 

Name and Position

with Penserra Capital* 

Name of Other Company*

Connection

with Other Company*

Anthony Castelli, CCO

Penserra Securities LLC

Penserra Transition

Management LLC

CCO and COO

CCO and COO

 

 

HTAA

 

Name and Position

with HTAA*

Name of Other Company*

Connection with Other Company*

 Blair Hull, Founder and CEO Hull Investments, LLC Founder and CEO
 Petra Bakosova, COO N/A N/A

* Information provided is as of March 22, 2019.

 

Vident

 

Name and Position

with Vident*

Name of Other Company*

Connection

with Other Company*

Anne Czizek, CCO                               

Gordian Compliance Solutions, LLC

Operational Compliance Services, LLC

Sr. Compliance Consultant

Managing Member & Compliance Consultant

* Information provided is as of March 27, 2019.

 

Amplify

 

Name and Position

with Amplify*

Name of Other Company*

Connection

with Other Company*

Christian Magoon, Founder and CEO

Magoon Capital

YieldShares, LLC 

CEO

CEO

Edward Keiley, CCO Trader Compliance, Inc. CCO

* Information provided is as of April 25, 2018.

 

Additional information as to any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature engaged in by each such officer and director is included in the Registrant’s Statements of Additional Information.

 

Item 32.Principal Underwriters

 

(a)Furnish the name of each investment company (other than the Registrant) for which each principal underwriter currently distributing the securities of the Registrant also acts as a principal underwriter, distributor or investment adviser.

 

 14

 

 

Registrant’s distributor, SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distributor”), acts as distributor for:

 

SEI Daily Income Trust July 15, 1982
SEI Tax Exempt Trust December 3, 1982
SEI Institutional Managed Trust January 22, 1987
SEI Institutional International Trust August 30, 1988
The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund November 14, 1991
The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II January 28, 1993
Bishop Street Funds January 27, 1995
SEI Asset Allocation Trust April 1, 1996
SEI Institutional Investments Trust June 14, 1996
City National Rochdale Funds (f/k/a CNI Charter Funds) April 1, 1999
Causeway Capital Management Trust September 20, 2001
ProShares Trust November 14, 2005
Community Capital Trust (f/k/a Community Reinvestment Act Qualified Investment Fund) January 8, 2007
TD Asset Management USA Funds Inc. July 25, 2007
SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP July 31, 2007
Global X Funds October 24, 2008
ProShares Trust II November 17, 2008
Exchange Traded Concepts Trust (f/k/a FaithShares Trust) August 7, 2009
Schwab Strategic Trust October 12, 2009
RiverPark Funds Trust September 8, 2010
Adviser Managed Trust December 10, 2010
New Covenant Funds March 23, 2012
Cambria ETF Trust August 30, 2012
Highland Funds I (f/k/a Pyxis Funds I) September 25, 2012
KraneShares Trust December 18, 2012
SEI Insurance Products Trust September 10, 2013
The KP Funds September 19, 2013
The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III February 12, 2014
SEI Catholic Values Trust March 24, 2015
SEI Hedge Fund SPC June 26, 2015
SEI Energy Debt Fund June 30, 2015
Gallery Trust January 8, 2016
RiverPark Floating Rate CMBS Fund (f/k/a RiverPark Commercial Real Estate Fund) August 12, 2016
Schroder Series Trust February 10, 2017
Schroder Global Series Trust February 10, 2017
City National Rochdale Select Strategies Fund March 1, 2017
Metaurus Equity Component Trust October 2, 2017
Causeway ETMF Trust December 28, 2017
Impact Shares Trust March 1, 2018
City National Rochdale Strategic Credit Fund May 16, 2018
Symmetry Panoramic Trust July 23, 2018

 

The Distributor provides numerous financial services to investment managers, pension plan sponsors, and bank trust departments. These services include portfolio evaluation, performance measurement and consulting services (“Funds Evaluation”) and automated execution, clearing and settlement of securities transactions (“MarketLink”).

 

(b)Furnish the Information required by the following table with respect to each director, officer or partner of each principal underwriter named in the answer to Item 20 of Part B. Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each director or officer is One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456.

 

 15

 

 

Name 

Positions and Offices with

Underwriter

Positions and Offices with

Registrant

William M. Doran Director
Paul F. Klauder Director
Wayne M. Withrow Director
Kevin P. Barr Director, President & Chief Executive Officer
Maxine J. Chou Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer & Treasurer
Jennifer H. Campisi Chief Compliance Officer, Anti-Money Laundering Officer & Assistant Secretary
John C. Munch General Counsel & Secretary
Mark J. Held Senior Vice President
John P. Coary Vice President & Assistant Secretary
Lori L. White Vice President & Assistant Secretary
Judith A. Hirx Vice President
Jason McGhin Vice President
Gary Michael Reese Vice President
Robert M. Silvestri Vice President

 

Item 33.Location of Accounts and Records

 

State the name and address of each person maintaining principal possession of each account, book or other document required to be maintained by section 31(a) of the 1940 Act Section 15 U.S.C. 80a-30(a) and the rules under that section.

 

All accounts, books, and other documents required to be maintained by Section 31(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and the rules promulgated thereunder are maintained at the following offices:

 

(a) Registrant:
  c/o Exchange Traded Concepts Trust
  10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207
  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120
   
(b) Adviser:
  Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC
  10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207
 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

 

230 Park Avenue

Helmsley Building, Office 142

New York, New York 10169

 

 16

 

 

(c) Sub-Advisers:
 

HTAA, LLC

141 W. Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1650

Chicago, Illinois 60604

Penserra Capital Management LLC

140 Broadway, 26th Floor 

New York, New York 10005

Vident Investment Advisory, LLC

300 Colonial Center Parkway, Suite 330

Roswell, Georgia 30076

Amplify Investments LLC

310 S. Hale Street

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

 

(d) Principal Underwriter:
  SEI Investments Distribution Co.
  One Freedom Valley Drive
  Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456
   
(e) Custodian:
  Brown Brothers Harriman
  50 Post Office Square
 

Boston, Massachusetts 02109

 

(f)

Administrator:

SEI Investments Global Funds Services

One Freedom Valley Drive

Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456

   
Item 34.Management Services

 

Not Applicable.

 

Item 35.Undertakings

 

Not Applicable.

 

 17

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”) and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this Post-Effective Amendment No. 248 to Registration Statement No. 333-156529 to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereto duly authorized, in the City of Oklahoma City, State of Oklahoma, on this 2nd day of April, 2019.

 

  Exchange Traded Concepts Trust
   
  /s/ J. Garrett Stevens  
  J. Garrett Stevens
  Trustee and President

  

Pursuant to the requirements of the 1933 Act, this Post-Effective Amendment No. 248 has been signed below by the following persons in the capacity and on the date indicated.

 

Signature   Title   Date
         
*   Trustee   April 2, 2019
David M. Mahle        
         
*   Trustee   April 2, 2019
Kurt Wolfgruber        
         
*   Trustee   April 2, 2019
Mark A. Zurack        
         

*

  Trustee   April 2, 2019
Timothy Jacoby        
         
/s/ J. Garrett Stevens   Trustee and President   April 2, 2019
J. Garrett Stevens        
         
*   Treasurer   April 2, 2019
James J. Baker Jr.        

 

* /s/ J. Garrett Stevens  
  J. Garrett Stevens  

 

* Attorney-in-Fact, pursuant to power of attorney

 

 18