485BPOS 1 d755444d485bpos.htm GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST Goldman Sachs ETF Trust

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 6, 2020

1933 Act Registration No. 333-200933

1940 Act Registration No. 811-23013

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
   Pre-Effective Amendment No.  
   Post-Effective Amendment No. 281  

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940  
   Amendment No. 284  

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

 

GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (212) 902-1000

 

 

Copies to:

CAROLINE L. KRAUS, ESQ.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

 

STEPHEN H. BIER, ESQ.

ALLISON M. FUMAI, ESQ.

Dechert LLP

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)  

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of the Registration Statement

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

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

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

 

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

 

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.

Title of Securities Being Registered:

Shares of the Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (previously filed as Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF)

 

 

 


Prospectus

 

GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST

 

July 6, 2020

 

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

 

   

NYSE Arca: GSIG

 

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

 

   

NYSE Arca: GLIG

 

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

 

   

NYSE Arca: GCOR

 

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

 

   

NYSE Arca: GGOV

 

It is our intention that beginning on January 1, 2021, paper copies of the Funds’ annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will not be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from your financial intermediary. 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. At any time, you may elect to receive reports and certain communications from the Funds electronically by contacting your financial intermediary.

You may elect to receive all future shareholder reports in paper free of charge. You can inform your financial intermediary that you wish to receive paper copies of reports by contacting your financial intermediary. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all Goldman Sachs Funds held in your account.

THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS NOT APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THESE SECURITIES OR PASSED UPON THE ADEQUACY OF THIS PROSPECTUS. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

 

AN INVESTMENT IN A FUND IS NOT A BANK DEPOSIT AND IS NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY. AN INVESTMENT IN A FUND INVOLVES INVESTMENT RISKS, AND YOU MAY LOSE MONEY IN THE FUND.

 

LOGO


Table of Contents

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF – Summary        1  
Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF – Summary        6  
Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF – Summary        11  
Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF – Summary        17  
Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs – Additional Summary Information        21  
Investment Management Approach        22  
Risks of the Funds        29  
Tax Advantaged Product Structure        37  
Service Providers        38  
Distributions        42  
Shareholder Guide        43  

BUYING AND SELLING SHARES

     43    

PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

     43    

NET ASSET VALUE

     44    

BOOK ENTRY

     45    

CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS

     45    
Taxation        47  
Index Provider        49  
Other Information        50  
Appendix A
Additional Information on Portfolio Risks, Securities and Techniques
       51  
Appendix B
Financial Highlights
       64  
Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs Prospectus     


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: GSIG            Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 1-5 Years Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee

    0.14%  

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    0.00%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    0.14%  

 

1

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of 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. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$14   $45

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) with remaining maturities between one and five years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria.

As of June 5, 2020, there were 1,998 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 3.03 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Bond Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

1


Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”). Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $250 million outstanding, remaining maturities between one and five years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of constituents of the Reference Index with remaining maturities between one and five years.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage, subject to certain exceptions. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities. An issuer weight cap is applied to each Index constituent.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing. The Fund’s principal risks are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Call/Prepayment Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Extension Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and the Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

 

2


Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign Risk.  Securities of foreign issuers may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in such foreign countries. The imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States or other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Liquidity Risk.  The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value. Liquidity risk may be the result of, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed income securities or the lack of an active market. The potential for liquidity risk may be magnified by a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income funds may be higher than normal, potentially causing increased supply in the market due to selling activity. Redemptions by large shareholders (including seed investors) may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

 

3


Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also significantly impact the Fund and its investments.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

The securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the stock exchange on which the Fund’s Shares are listed. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the Fund’s listing exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid-ask spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ NAV may widen.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

 

4


Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

 

5


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year ETF—Summary

Ticker: GLIG            Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 10+ Years Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee

    0.14%  

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    0.00%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    0.14%  

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of 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. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$14   $45

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) with remaining maturities greater than ten years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of June 5, 2020, there were 2,174 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 23.29 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Bond Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

 

6


The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”). Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $250 million outstanding, remaining maturities greater than ten years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of constituents of the Reference Index with remaining maturities greater than ten years.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage, subject to certain exceptions. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities. An issuer weight cap is applied to each Index constituent.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing. The Fund’s principal risks are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Call/Prepayment Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Extension Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and the Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group.

 

7


Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign Risk.  Securities of foreign issuers may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in such foreign countries. The imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States or other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Liquidity Risk.  The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value. Liquidity risk may be the result of, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed income securities or the lack of an active market. The potential for liquidity risk may be magnified by a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income funds may be higher than normal, potentially causing increased supply in the market due to selling activity. Redemptions by large shareholders (including seed investors) may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also significantly impact the Fund and its investments.

 

8


Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

The securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the stock exchange on which the Fund’s Shares are listed. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the Fund’s listing exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid-ask spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ NAV may widen.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

 

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Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

 

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LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: GCOR            Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Broad Bond Market Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee

    0.14%  

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    0.00%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    0.14%  

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of 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. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$14   $45

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. To-Be-Announced (“TBA”) transactions representing securities included in the Fund’s underlying index are counted towards the Fund’s 80% investment policy.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, U.S. dollar (“USD”)-denominated bonds issued in the United States that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. The Index consists of the following fixed income asset class sectors: U.S. Treasury Securities (as defined below), corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities. As of June 5, 2020, there were 7,354 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 7.56 years. In addition, as of June 5, 2020, the percentage breakdown of bonds included in the Index was as follows: U.S. Treasury Securities (37.4%), corporate bonds (28.8%), mortgage-backed securities (26.9%), government-sponsored securities (2.3%), non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities (4.5%), and asset backed securities (0.2%).

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the

 

11


FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Index (the “Reference Index”), using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to constituents of the Reference Index as described below. All constituents of the Reference Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”).

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

“U.S. Treasury Securities” refer to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury where the payment of principal and interest is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account (“SOMA”) holdings). Only fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Securities within the Reference Index are included in the Universe.

 

   

Corporate Bonds:

Corporate bonds that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $250 million outstanding. Only corporate bonds within the Reference Index from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

 

   

Mortgage-Backed Securities:

Mortgage-backed securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Only mortgage-backed securities within the Reference Index that have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion are included in the Universe.

 

   

Government-Sponsored Securities, Non-U.S. Sovereign and Provincial Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $1 billion, $500 million and $250 million outstanding, respectively. All government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities within the Reference Index are included in the Universe, except for callable zero coupon bonds, bonds callable less than one year from the issue date, and bonds issued by supranational entities.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

U.S. Treasury Securities within the Universe are screened to exclude securities that are “on-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining U.S. Treasury Securities are divided into “maturity sectors” according to their weighted average maturities. The weight of each U.S. Treasury Security within its maturity sector is determined through an optimization process with the goal of maximizing projected one-month return net of transaction costs subject to a cap on volatility.

 

   

Corporate Bonds:

Corporate bond issuers within the Universe are grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage, subject to certain exceptions. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group and screening out lowest ranking eligible securities. An issuer weight cap is applied to each Index constituent.

 

12


   

Mortgage-Backed Securities:

Mortgage-backed securities within the Universe are grouped by issuer agency and are ranked within each issuer agency group based on “seasoning” (i.e., the length of time the security has been publicly traded). “Unseasoned” mortgage-backed securities (i.e., securities with less than six months of loan age) within each issuer agency group are removed from the Index. In addition, the most “negatively convex” mortgage-backed securities within each issuer agency group are removed from the Index (“negative convexity” refers to the tendency for a security’s price to fall when interest rates fall). The weights of the remaining mortgage-backed securities in the Index are determined according to their market capitalizations within the Reference Index, and the weight of each issuer agency group is adjusted to match the weighted average effective duration of such group within the Reference Index.

 

   

Government-Sponsored Securities, Non-U.S. Sovereign and Provincial Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities within the Universe are included in the Index in accordance with their market capitalizations.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the corporate bond constituents of the Index on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may invest in mortgage-back securities included in the Index through TBA transactions. TBA transactions are forward agreements for the purchase or sale of securities, including mortgage-backed securities, for a fixed price, with payment and delivery on an agreed upon future settlement date. The specific securities to be delivered are not identified at the trade date. However, delivered securities must meet specified terms, including, for TBA mortgage-backed securities, issuer, rate and mortgage terms.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing. The Fund’s principal risks are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign Risk.  Securities of foreign issuers may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in such foreign countries. The imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States or other governments or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses.

Index Risk. The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would

 

13


not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also significantly impact the Fund and its investments.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk.  Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks, including “extension risk” (i.e., in periods of rising interest rates, issuers may pay principal later than expected) and “prepayment risk” (i.e., in periods of declining interest rates, issuers may pay principal more quickly than expected, causing the Fund to reinvest proceeds at lower prevailing interest rates). Mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers are subject to other risks as well, including failures of private insurers to meet their obligations and unexpectedly high rates of default on the mortgages backing the securities. Other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as risks associated with the nature and servicing of the assets backing the securities. Asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral comparable to that of mortgage assets, resulting in additional credit risk.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the

 

14


Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Sovereign Default Risk.  An issuer of non-U.S. sovereign debt, or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt, may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest when due. This may result from political or social factors, the general economic environment of a country, levels of foreign debt or foreign currency exchange rates.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

U.S. Government Securities Risk.  The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law. U.S. Government Securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk.  A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

 

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Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

 

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LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: GGOV Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Treasury Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee

    0.14%  

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    0.00%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    0.14%  

 

1

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of 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. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$14   $45

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index designed to measure the performance of fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Securities. “U.S. Treasury Securities” refer to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury where the payment of principal and interest is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. The Fund expects to invest 100% of its assets in (i) U.S. Treasury Securities and (ii) cash. As of June 5, 2020, there were 129 issues in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 7.63 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade Treasury Bond Index (the “Reference Index”), using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

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Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account (“SOMA”) holdings). Only fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Security constituents of the Reference Index are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude securities that are “on-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining U.S. Treasury Securities are divided into “maturity sectors” according to their weighted average maturities. The weight of each U.S. Treasury Security within its maturity sector is determined through an optimization process with the goal of maximizing projected one-month return net of transaction costs subject to a cap on volatility.

The Index is rebalanced on the last business day of each month.

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

THE FUND IS NOT A MONEY MARKET FUND AND DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN A STABLE NET ASSET VALUE.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing. The Fund’s principal risks are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Calculation Methodology Risk. The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index, including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Interest Rate Risk. When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment

 

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Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also significantly impact the Fund and its investments.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies.

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk.  A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

 

19


Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers: Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 25,000 Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on NYSE Arca, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page 21 of the Prospectus.

 

20


 

Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs – Additional Summary Information

 

Tax Information

The Funds’ distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may become taxable upon withdrawal from such arrangements.

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), GSAM or other related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund Shares or 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.

 

21


 

Investment Management Approach

 

  INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES     

Each Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of its Index. A Fund’s investment objective may be changed without shareholder approval.

 

  PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES     

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 1-5 Years Index (the “Index”). The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in USD with remaining maturities between one and five years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria.

As of June 5, 2020, there were 1,998 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 3.03 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Bond Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $250 million outstanding, remaining maturities between one and five years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of constituents of the Reference Index with remaining maturities between one and five years.

Step 2

Corporate bond issuers within the Universe are grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin, while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, positively by operating margin and negatively by leverage, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. When only one fundamental factor is available for an issuer, the percentile ranking for that fundamental factor will be used to calculate the issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index, and the top 90% are included, together with bonds of issuers that satisfy the criteria in Step 1 but for which neither fundamental factor is available. The corporate bond issuers included in the Index are market-capitalization weighted. In addition, issuer weights are capped at 5% for issuers with fundamental factors and 3% for issuers where fundamental factors are not observable.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

 

22


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 10+ Years Index (the “Index”). The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in USD with remaining maturities greater than ten years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of June 5, 2020, there were 2,174 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 23.29 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Bond Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that a minimum of $250 million outstanding, remaining maturities greater than ten years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of constituents of the Reference Index with remaining maturities greater than ten years.

Step 2

Corporate bond issuers within the Universe are grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin, while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, positively by operating margin and negatively by leverage, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. When only one fundamental factor is available for an issuer, the percentile ranking for that fundamental factor will be used to calculate the issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index, and the top 90% are included, together with bonds of issuers that satisfy the criteria in Step 1 but for which neither fundamental factor is available.

The corporate bond issuers included in the Index are market-capitalization weighted. In addition, issuer weights are capped at 5% for issuers with fundamental factors and 3% for issuers where fundamental factors are not observable.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. TBA transactions representing securities included in the Fund’s underlying index are counted towards the Fund’s 80% investment policy. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

 

23


The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Broad Bond Market Index (the “Index”). The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, USD-denominated bonds issued in the United States that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. The Index consists of the following fixed income asset class sectors: U.S. Treasury Securities, corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities. As of June 5, 2020, there were 7,354 constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 7.56 years. In addition, as of June 5, 2020, the percentage breakdown of bonds included in the Index was as follows: U.S. Treasury Securities (37.4%), corporate bonds (28.8%), mortgage-backed securities (26.9%), government-sponsored securities (2.3%), non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities (4.5%), and asset backed securities (0.2%).

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Index (the “Reference Index”), using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to constituents of the Reference Index as described below. All constituents of the Reference Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings). Only fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Securities within the Reference Index are included in the Universe.

 

   

Corporate Bonds:

Corporate bonds that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $250 million outstanding. Only corporate bonds within the Reference Index from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

 

   

Mortgage-Backed Securities:

Mortgage-backed securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Only mortgage-backed securities within the Reference Index that have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion are included in the Universe.

 

   

Government-Sponsored Securities, Non-U.S. Sovereign and Provincial Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $1 billion, $500 million and $250 million outstanding, respectively. All government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities within the Reference Index are included in the Universe, except for callable zero coupon bonds, bonds callable less than one year from the issue date, and bonds issued by supranational entities.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

U.S. Treasury Securities within the Universe are screened to exclude securities that are “on-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining U.S. Treasury Securities are divided into “maturity sectors” according to their weighted average maturities. The weight of each U.S. Treasury Security within its maturity sector is determined through an optimization process with the goal of maximizing projected one-month return net of transaction costs subject to a cap on volatility.

 

24


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

   

Corporate Bonds:

Corporate bond issuers within the Universe are grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin, while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, positively by operating margin and negatively by leverage, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. When only one fundamental factor is available for an issuer, the percentile ranking for that fundamental factor will be used to calculate the issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index, and the top 90% are included, together with bonds of issuers that satisfy the criteria in Step 1 but for which neither fundamental factor is available.

The corporate bond issuers included in the Index are market-capitalization weighted. In addition, issuer weights are capped at 5% for issuers with fundamental factors and 3% for issuers where fundamental factors are not observable.

 

   

Mortgage-Backed Securities:

Mortgage-backed securities within the Universe are grouped by issuer agency and are ranked within each issuer agency group based on “seasoning” (i.e., the length of time the security has been publicly traded). “Unseasoned” mortgage-backed securities (i.e., securities with less than six months of loan age) within each issuer agency group are removed from the Index. In addition, the most “negatively convex” mortgage-backed securities within each issuer agency group are removed from the Index (“negative convexity” refers to the tendency for a security’s price to fall when interest rates fall). Securities representing approximately 10% of the market capitalization of mortgage-backed securities within the Universe are removed based on the seasoning screen and negative convexity screen. The weights of the remaining mortgage-backed securities in the Index are determined according to their market capitalizations within the Reference Index, and the weight of each issuer agency group is adjusted to match the weighted average effective duration of such group within the Reference Index.

 

   

Government-Sponsored Securities, Non-U.S. Sovereign and Provincial Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Government-sponsored securities, non-U.S. sovereign and provincial securities and asset-backed securities within the Universe are included in the Index in accordance with their market capitalizations.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the corporate bond constituents of the Index on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Fund may invest in mortgage-back securities included in the Index through TBA transactions. TBA transactions are forward agreements for the purchase or sale of securities, including mortgage-backed securities, for a fixed price, with payment and delivery on an agreed upon future settlement date. The specific securities to be delivered are not identified at the trade date. However, delivered securities must meet specified terms, including, for TBA mortgage-backed securities, issuer, rate and mortgage terms.

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Treasury Index (the “Index”). The Index is a rules-based index designed to measure the performance of fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Securities. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. The Fund expects to invest 100% of its assets in (i) U.S. Treasury Securities and (ii) cash. As of June 5, 2020, there were 129 issues in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of 7.63 years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade Treasury Bond Index (the “Reference Index”), using concepts developed with GSAM.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

 

25


The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the Reference Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings). Only fixed-rate U.S. Treasury Securities within the Reference Index are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude securities that are “on-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining U.S. Treasury Securities are divided into “maturity sectors” according to their weighted average maturities. The weight of each U.S. Treasury Security within its maturity sector is determined through an optimization process with the goal of maximizing projected one-month return net of transaction costs subject to a cap on volatility.

The Index is rebalanced on the last business day of each month.

THE FUND IS NOT A MONEY MARKET FUND AND DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN A STABLE NET ASSET VALUE.

All Funds

Each Fund (except the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF) may also invest up to 20% of its assets in securities and other instruments not included in the Index but which the Investment Adviser believes are correlated to the Index, as well as in, among other instruments, futures (including index futures), swaps, other derivatives, investment companies (including ETFs), cash and cash equivalents and money market instruments, consistent with the Fund’s overall investment objective of seeking to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Index.

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage each Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which a Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of its Index. The securities selected for investment by a Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of its Index. A Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in its Index.

The Index Provider may delay or change a scheduled rebalancing or reconstitution of an Index or the implementation of certain rules at its sole discretion.

Each Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time. The U.S. government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries for this purpose.

 

  OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND SECURITIES     

Although each Fund’s principal investment strategy is described in the Fund’s Summary—Principal Investment Strategies section of the Prospectus, the following tables identify some of the investment techniques that may (but are not required to) be used by the Funds in seeking to achieve their investment objectives. The Funds may be subject to additional limitations on their investments not shown here. Numbers in these tables show allowable usage only; for actual usage, consult the Funds’ annual/semi-annual reports (when available). For more information about these and other investment practices and securities, see Appendix A. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Fund Shares on NYSE Arca, each Fund will disclose on its website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) the identities and quantities of the portfolio securities and other assets held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund’s calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. In addition, a description of the Funds’ policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio holdings is available in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

26


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

10   Percent of total assets (including securities lending collateral) (italic type)
10   Percent of net assets (excluding borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
  No specific percentage limitation on usage;
limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund.
  A Fund may only invest up to 20% of its assets in securities and other instruments not included in its underlying index.

 

                                                                                                           
     Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
1-5 Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year
Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs

Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF

  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury
Bond ETF
Investment Practices        

Borrowings

  3313   3313   3313   3313

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

       

Foreign Currency Transactions (including forward contracts)

       

Derivatives, including Futures, Options and Swaps

       

Illiquid Investments*

  15   15   15   15

Investment Company Securities (including ETFs)**

  10   10   10   10

Repurchase Agreements

       

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

       

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

             
       

 

  *

Illiquid investments are any investments that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.

**

This percentage limitation does not apply to a Fund’s investments in other investment companies where a higher percentage limitation is permitted under the terms of an SEC exemptive order or SEC exemptive rule.

 

27


  No specific percentage limitation on usage;
limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund

 

                                                                                                           
     Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
1-5 Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year
Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs

Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF

 

Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury
Bond ETF

Investment Securities        

Asset-Backed Securities

       

Bank Obligations

       

Convertible Securities1

       

Corporate Debt Obligations and Trust Preferred Securities

       

Emerging Country Securities

       

Fixed Income Securities

       

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations

       

Foreign Securities

       

Foreign Government Securities

       

Mortgage-Backed Securities

       

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans

       

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations

       

Fixed Rate Mortgage Loans

       

Government Issued Mortgage Backed Securities

       

Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities

       

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities

       

U.S. Government Securities

       

U.S. Treasury Securities

       

Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds

             
       

 

1 

Convertible securities purchased by the Fund use the same rating criteria for convertible and non-convertible debt securities.

 

28


 

Risks of the Funds

 

Loss of money is a risk of investing in each Fund. An investment in each Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency. The principal risks of each Fund are discussed in the Summary section of the Prospectus. The following section provides additional information on the risks that apply to the Funds, which may result in a loss of your investment. The risks applicable to each Fund are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure. None of the Funds should be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in a Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

 

  Principal Risk
  Additional Risk

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
     Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
1-5 Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury
Bond ETF

Absence of Active Market Risk

       

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk

       

Calculation Methodology Risk

       

Call/Prepayment Risk

       

Counterparty Risk

       

Credit/Default Risk

       

Derivatives Risk

       

Emerging Countries Risk

       

Extension Risk

       

Financial Services Industry Group Risk

       

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations Risk

       

Foreign Risk

       

Geographic Risk

       

Index Risk

       

Industrials Industry Group Risk

       

Industry Concentration Risk

       

Interest Rate Risk

       

Large Shareholder Risk

       

Liquidity Risk

       

Market Risk

       

Market Trading Risk

       

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk

       

Sampling Risk

       

Secondary Listing Risk

       

Sector Risk

       

Seed Investor Risk

       

Sovereign Default Risk

       

Economic Risk

       

Political Risk

       

Repayment Risk

       

Tracking Error Risk

       

Trading Issues Risk

       

U.S. Government Securities Risk

       

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk

       

Utilities Industry Group Risk

       

Valuation Risk

       
       

 

29


 

Absence of Active Market Risk—The Funds are newly organized series of an investment company and thus have no operating history. While the Funds’ Shares are expected to be listed on NYSE Arca, there can be no assurance that active trading markets for the Shares will develop or be maintained by market makers or authorized participants, and there are no obligations of market makers to make a market in a Fund’s Shares or of authorized participants to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. ALPS Distributors, Inc., the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”), does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares.

Although market makers will generally take advantage of differences between the NAV and the trading price of Fund Shares through arbitrage opportunities, there is no guarantee that they will do so. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or “step away” from market making or creation/redemption activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying value of a Fund’s portfolio securities and a Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Shares trading at a discount to NAV and also in greater than normal intraday bid/ask spreads for Shares. Market makers and authorized participants may be less willing to create or redeem Fund Shares if there is a lack of an active market for the Shares or its underlying investments, which may also contribute a Fund’s Shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk—Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with a Fund, and a Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as authorized participants. None of those authorized participants is obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those authorized participants exit the business or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other authorized participant is able to step forward to create and redeem Shares, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares. As a result, Shares may trade at a discount (or premium) to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or de-listing.

 

Calculation Methodology Risk—Each Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including fundamental and governance information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Funds, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that an Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

 

Call/Prepayment Risk—An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by a Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, a Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

 

Counterparty Risk—Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearing house, might not be available in connection with certain OTC transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF enters into certain OTC transactions, the Fund will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses. However, recent regulatory developments require margin on certain uncleared OTC transactions which may reduce, but not eliminate, this risk.

 

Credit/Default Risk—An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by a Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. The credit quality of a Fund’s portfolio securities or instruments may deteriorate after purchase, and such a deterioration can occur rapidly. In certain instances, the downgrading or default of a single holding or guarantor of a Fund’s holding may impair the Fund’s liquidity and have the potential to cause significant deterioration in NAV.

 

Derivatives Risk—A Fund’s use of derivative instruments may result in losses. These instruments, which may pose risks in addition to and greater than those associated with investing directly in securities, currencies or other instruments, may be illiquid or less liquid, volatile, difficult to price and leveraged so that small changes in the value of the underlying instruments may produce disproportionate losses to a Fund. Certain derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligations, liquidity risk and risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that a Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions.

The use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with investments in more traditional securities and instruments, and there is no guarantee that the use of derivatives will achieve their intended result. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuation in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables, the use of derivatives could result in losses, which in some cases may be significant. A lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivatives and the value of the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged could also result in losses. In addition, there is a risk that the performance of the derivatives or other instruments used by

 

30


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

the Investment Adviser to replicate the performance of a particular asset class may not accurately track the performance of that asset class. In addition, a Fund’s use of derivatives may increase or accelerate the amount of taxes payable by shareholders.

Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearing house, might not be available in connection with over-the-counter (“OTC”) transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which a Fund enters into OTC transactions, the Fund will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses.

As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. For more information about these practices, see Appendix A.

 

Emerging Countries Risk—The securities markets of most emerging countries are less liquid, are especially subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have more or less government regulation and are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. Further, investment in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involves risk of loss resulting from problems in registration, settlement or custody, substantial economic, political and social disruptions and the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions). These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

 

Extension Risk—An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by a Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and such Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

 

Financial Services Industry Group Risk—An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of a Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles. For example, deteriorating economic and business conditions can disproportionately impact companies in the financial services industry group due to increased defaults on payments by borrowers. Moreover, political and regulatory changes can affect the operations and financial results of companies in the financial services industry group, potentially imposing additional costs and expenses or restricting the types of business activities of these companies.

 

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations Risk—Floating rate and variable rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly; quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on which the interest rate is based. For floating and variable rate obligations, there may be a lag between an actual change in the underlying interest rate benchmark and the reset time for an interest payment of such an obligation, which could harm or benefit a Fund, depending on the interest rate environment or other circumstances. In a rising interest rate environment, for example, a floating or variable rate obligation that does not reset immediately would prevent a Fund from taking full advantage of rising interest rates in a timely manner. However, in a declining interest rate environment, a Fund may benefit from a lag due to an obligation’s interest rate payment not being immediately impacted by a decline in interest rates.

Certain floating and variable rate obligations have an interest rate floor feature, which prevents the interest rate payable by the security from dropping below a specified level as compared to a reference interest rate (the “reference rate”), such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Such a floor protects a Fund from losses resulting from a decrease in the reference rate below the specified level. However, if the reference rate is below the floor, there will be a lag between a rise in the reference rate and a rise in the interest rate payable by the obligation, and a Fund may not benefit from increasing interest rates for a significant amount of time.

In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) warned that LIBOR may cease to be available or appropriate for use by 2021. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any pricing adjustments to a Fund’s investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV.

 

Foreign Risk—When a Fund invests in securities of foreign issuers, it may be subject to risk of loss not typically associated with U.S. issuers. Loss may result because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information, less liquid, developed or efficient trading markets, greater volatility and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the issuers of a Fund’s portfolio securities are located. Loss may also result from, among other things, deteriorating economic and business conditions in other countries, including the United States, regional and global conflicts, the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, foreign taxes, confiscation of assets and property, trade restrictions (including

 

31


 

tariffs), expropriations and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, higher transaction costs, difficulty enforcing contractual obligations or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody. A Fund or the Investment Adviser may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization. Such actions may increase a Fund’s tracking error relative to its Index. A Fund will also be subject to the risk of negative foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities or other instruments in which a Fund invests to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign risks will normally be greatest when a Fund invests in issuers located in emerging countries.

 

Geographic Risk—If the Funds focus their investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or region, the Funds may be subjected, to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.

 

Index Risk— A Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in its Index. In addition, because the Funds are not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from an Index, a Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. A Fund also does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets. Therefore, a Fund’s performance could be lower than funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.

Neither a Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider guarantee the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing each Index, but it does not guarantee the quality, accuracy or availability of any such third party data. Errors in index data, index computation or the construction of an Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, which may negatively or positively impact the applicable Fund and its shareholders. For example, during a period where an Index contains incorrect constituents, a Fund would have market exposure to such constituents and would be underexposed to the Index’s other constituents.

Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index Provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to an Index in order, for example, to correct an error in the selection of index constituents. When an Index is rebalanced and a Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and its Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing may be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index Provider or its agents to an Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of a Fund.

 

Industrials Industry Group Risk—Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

 

Industry Concentration Risk—In following its methodology, an Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that its Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, a Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, a Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If its Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, a Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

 

Interest Rate Risk—When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by a Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. A wide variety of market factors can cause interest rates to rise, including central bank monetary policy, rising inflation and changes in general economic conditions. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and a Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by a Fund.

 

Large Shareholder Risk—Certain large shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of a Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in a Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale.

 

32


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment. Dispositions of a large number of Shares by these shareholders, which may occur rapidly or unexpectedly, may adversely affect a Fund’s liquidity and net assets to the extent such transactions are executed directly with the Fund in the form of redemptions through an authorized participant, rather than executed in the secondary market. To the extent effected in cash, these redemptions may also force a Fund to sell portfolio securities when it might not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and increase the Fund’s brokerage costs. Such cash redemptions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders, which could make investments in Shares less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that is able to effect redemptions in-kind. Similarly, large Fund share purchases through an authorized participant may adversely affect the performance of a Fund to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash or otherwise maintains a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. To the extent these large shareholders transact in Shares on the secondary market, such transactions may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on NYSE Arca and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.
 

Liquidity Risk—A Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, a Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, a Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect a Fund’s value.

To the extent that the traditional dealer counterparties that engage in fixed income trading do not maintain inventories of bonds (which provide an important indication of their ability to “make markets”) that keep pace with the growth of the bond markets over time, relatively low levels of dealer inventories could lead to decreased liquidity and increased volatility in the fixed income markets. Additionally, market participants other than a Fund may attempt to sell fixed income holdings at the same time as the Fund, which could cause downward pricing pressure and contribute to illiquidity.

To the extent a Fund engages in cash redemptions, then liquidity risk may also refer to the risk that a Fund will not be able to pay redemption proceeds within the allowable time period or without significant dilution to remaining investors’ interests because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, a redemption request by a large shareholder (such as a seed investor) or other reasons. If a Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV and diluting remaining investors’ interests.

 

Market Risk—The value of the securities in which a Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, local, regional and global events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also adversely impact issuers, markets and economies, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. A Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. In addition, governmental and quasi-governmental organizations have taken a number of unprecedented actions designed to support the markets. Such conditions, events and actions may result in greater market risk.

 

Market Trading Risk— The NAV of a Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to a Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of a Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. Each Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. The Investment Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of a Fund’s Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it more likely that a Fund’s Shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances, perception of unreliability of disclosed NAV, and other factors. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spread and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares

 

33


 

may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for a Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell Shares and various orders that may be placed. Investors should consult their financial intermediary before purchasing or selling Shares of a Fund.

An investor that buys or sells Shares through a broker will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charge imposed by the broker. In addition, the market price of Shares, like other exchange-traded securities, includes a “bid-ask spread” (the difference between the price at which investors are willing to buy Shares and the price at which investors are willing to sell Shares). The bid-ask spread will vary over time based on a Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity and may increase as a result of a decrease in a Fund’s trading volume, the spread of a Fund’s underlying securities, or market liquidity. The bid-ask spread may increase significantly in times of market disruption, meaning that Shares may trade at a discount to a Fund’s NAV and that discount is likely to be greatest during significant market volatility. During such periods, you may be unable to sell your Shares or may incur significant losses if you sell your Shares.

Shares of a Fund, like other publicly-traded securities, may be sold short. Shares are therefore subject to the risk of price decreases and increased volatility associated with being sold short.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk—Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. Generally, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, if the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF holds mortgage-backed securities, it may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. In addition, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates.

The Fund’s investments in other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. Asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral comparable to that of mortgage assets, resulting in additional credit risk.

The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities issued by the U.S. Government. (See “U.S. Government Securities Risk”) To the extent that the Fund invests in mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, the Fund may be subject to additional risks. Timely payment of interest and principal of non-governmental issuers are supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance purchased by the issuer. There can be no assurance that the private insurers can meet their obligations under the policies. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the mortgages held by a mortgage pool may adversely affect the value of a mortgage-backed security and could result in losses to the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their mortgages.

 

Sampling Risk—A Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in its Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by a Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in an Index that is not held by a Fund could cause the Fund to underperform its Index. To the extent the assets in a Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

 

Secondary Listing Risk— Each Fund’s Shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that a Fund’s Shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s Shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. A Fund’s Shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund Shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient. Shares of a Fund may trade in the secondary market outside of the trading hours of the Fund’s primary exchange. At such times, Shares may trade with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced otherwise.

 

Sector Risk—To the extent a Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers in one or more sectors (such as the financial services or telecommunications sectors), the Fund may be subjected, to a greater extent than if its investments were diversified

 

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RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  across different sectors, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that sector, such as: adverse economic, business, political, environmental or other developments.
 

Seed Investor Risk—GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to a Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not a Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in a Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem all or part of their investments in a Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. The timing of a redemption by a seed investor could benefit the seed investor. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on a Fund, including by reducing the Fund’s liquidity, causing the Fund to realize gains that will be distributed and taxable to remaining shareholders and increasing the Fund’s transaction costs. A large redemption may also have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of a Fund’s Shares.

 

Sovereign Default Risk—The issuer of the non-U.S. sovereign debt held by the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest when due. This may result from political or social factors, the general economic environment of a country or levels of foreign debt or foreign currency exchange rates.

   

Economic Risk—The risks associated with the general economic environment of a country. These can encompass, among other things, low quality and growth rate of GDP, high inflation or deflation, high government deficits as a percentage of GDP, weak financial sector, overvalued exchange rate, and high current account deficits as a percentage of GDP.

   

Political Risk—The risks associated with the general political and social environment of a country. These factors may include among other things government instability, poor socioeconomic conditions, corruption, lack of law and order, lack of democratic accountability, poor quality of the bureaucracy, internal and external conflict, and religious and ethnic tensions. High political risk can impede the economic welfare of a country.

   

Repayment Risk—A country may be unable to pay its external debt obligations in the immediate future. Repayment risk factors may include but are not limited to high foreign debt as a percentage of GDP, high foreign debt service as a percentage of exports, low foreign exchange reserves as a percentage of short- term debt or exports, and an unsustainable exchange rate structure.

 

Tracking Error Risk—Tracking error is the divergence of a Fund’s performance from that of its Index. The performance of a Fund may diverge from that of its Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, a Fund’s holding of cash, changes to its Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike a Fund, the returns of an Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. The frequency at which its Index is rebalanced may result in higher trading costs for a Fund and, as a result, greater tracking error. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, a Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of its Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in its Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. To the extent that a Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of its Index is based on securities’ closing prices (i.e., the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices), the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. A Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of its respective Index to comply with the Investment Company Act, to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons. A Fund’s investments may also vary from the securities of its respective Index due to the Fund’s inability to invest in certain securities as a result of legal and compliance restrictions applicable to the Fund and/or the Investment Adviser and regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates. For tax efficiency purposes, a Fund may sell certain securities to realize losses, which will result in a deviation from its Index.

 

Trading Issues Risk— Trading in Shares on NYSE Arca may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of NYSE Arca, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on NYSE Arca is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to NYSE Arca’s “circuit breaker” rules. If a trading halt or unanticipated closing of the exchange occurs, a shareholder may be unable to purchase or sell Shares. There can be no assurance that the requirements of NYSE Arca necessary to maintain the listing of the Funds will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

U.S. Government Securities Risk—The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so bylaw. U.S. Government Securities (as defined below) issued by those agencies, instrumentalities, and sponsored enterprises, including those issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

 

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The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under conservatorship, with the Federal Housing Finance Administration (“FHFA”) acting as their conservator, since September 2008. The entities are dependent upon the continued support of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FHFA in order to continue their business operations. These factors, among others, could affect the future status and role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the value of their securities and the securities which they guarantee. Additionally, the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market values of their securities, which may fluctuate. U.S. Government Securities include U.S. Treasury obligations and obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”).

 

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk—A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

 

Utilities Industry Group Risk—Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

 

Valuation Risk—The sale price a Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. Each Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

More information about the Funds’ portfolio securities and investment techniques, and their associated risks, is provided in Appendix A. You should consider the investment risks discussed in this section and in Appendix A. Both are important to your investment choice.

 

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Tax Advantaged Product Structure

 

Unlike many conventional mutual funds which are only bought and sold at closing NAVs, the Shares of each Fund, like shares of certain other ETFs, have been designed to be created and/or redeemed principally in-kind in Creation Units at each day’s market close. These in-kind arrangements are designed to mitigate adverse effects on a Fund’s portfolio that could arise from frequent cash purchase and/or redemption transactions that affect the NAV of the Fund. Moreover, in contrast to conventional mutual funds, where frequent redemptions can have an adverse tax impact on taxable shareholders because of the need to sell portfolio securities which, in turn, may generate taxable gain, the in-kind redemption mechanism of the Funds, to the extent used, generally is not expected to lead to a tax event for shareholders whose Shares are not being redeemed.

 

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Service Providers

 

  INVESTMENT ADVISER     

 

Investment Adviser   Fund

Goldman Sachs Asset Management L.P.

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

200 West Street

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

New York, NY 10282

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

 

GSAM has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990 and is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”). Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. As of March 31, 2020, GSAM, including its investment advisory affiliates, had assets under supervision of approximately $1.66 trillion.

The Investment Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds and places purchase and sale orders for the Funds’ portfolio transactions in U.S. and foreign markets. As permitted by applicable law, these orders may be directed to any executing brokers, dealers, futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) or other counterparties, including Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. While the Investment Adviser is ultimately responsible for the management of the Funds, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to managing certain portfolio securities. In addition, the Investment Adviser has access to proprietary tools developed by Goldman Sachs (subject to legal, internal, regulatory and Chinese wall restrictions), and will apply quantitative and qualitative analysis in determining the appropriate allocations among categories of issuers and types of securities.

The Investment Adviser also performs the following additional services for the Funds, to the extent such services are not required to be performed by others pursuant to the fund administration and accounting agreement, the custodian agreement, the transfer agency agreement, distribution agreement or such other agreements with service providers to the Funds that the Board has approved:

   

Supervises non-advisory operations of the Funds, including oversight of vendors hired by the Funds, oversight of Fund liquidity and risk management, oversight of regulatory inquiries and requests with respect to the Funds made to the Investment Adviser, valuation and accounting oversight and oversight of ongoing compliance with federal and state securities laws, tax regulations, and other applicable law

   

Provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Funds

   

Arranges for: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities

   

Maintains the records of each Fund

   

Provides office space and necessary office equipment and services for the Investment Adviser

   

Markets the Funds

An investment in a Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although the Funds attempt to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect a Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. A Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

GSAM may manage other funds, accounts, additional pooled vehicles and/or separate accounts that have similar investment strategies to those of the Funds. These funds, pooled vehicles or accounts may perform differently than a Fund despite their similar strategies. Because the pooled vehicles may not be registered under the Investment Company Act, they are subject to fewer regulatory restraints than the Funds (e.g., fewer trading constraints) and may employ strategies that are not subject to the same constraints as the Funds.

 

38


                        SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

GSAM and/or its affiliates expect to make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to a Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Funds). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in a Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in a Fund. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Funds.

From time to time, Goldman Sachs or any of its affiliates may purchase and hold Shares of the Funds. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates reserve the right to redeem or sell at any time some or all of the Shares acquired for their own accounts.

 

  MANAGEMENT FEE AND OTHER EXPENSES     

Pursuant to a Fund’s Management Agreement, as compensation for its services to the Fund, the Investment Adviser is entitled to a management fee, computed daily and payable monthly, at an annual rate listed below (as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets). Under the Management Agreement for each Fund, the Investment Adviser is responsible for substantially all the expenses of the Fund, excluding payments under the Fund’s 12b-1 plan (if any), interest expenses, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage fees, costs of holding shareholder meetings and litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses.

 

                                       
Fund   Fee as a
Percentage of
Average Daily
Net Assets

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

  0.14%

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

  0.14%

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

  0.14%

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

  0.14%
 

The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee, including fees earned as the Investment Adviser to any of the affiliated funds in which a Fund invests, from time to time, and may discontinue or modify any such waiver in the future, consistent with the terms of any fee waiver arrangements in place.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Management Agreement for each Fund will be available in the Fund’s first annual or semi-annual report following its launch.

 

  FUND MANAGERS     

The individuals jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds are listed below. The Funds’ portfolio managers’ individual responsibilities may differ and may include, among other things, oversight and maintenance of allocations to index securities, selecting the composition of creation and redemption baskets, general oversight of the implementation processes and management of each Fund’s portfolio.

 

Name and Title   Fund Responsibility  

Years

Primarily

Responsible Since

  Five Year Employment History

Jason Singer

Managing Director

 

Portfolio Manager—

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

  2020
2020
2020
2020
  Mr. Singer is a portfolio manager in the Global Fixed Income team. He is also responsible for global oversight of the Fixed Income ETF business. Mr. Singer joined GSAM in 1999.

David Westbrook

Vice President

 

Portfolio Manager—

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

  2020
2020
2020
2020
  Mr. Westbrook is a portfolio manager on the U.S. Fixed Income team within GSAM. He joined GSAM in 2012.
     

For information about portfolio manager compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and portfolio manager ownership of securities in the Funds, see the SAI.

 

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  DISTRIBUTOR     

ALPS Distributors, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1000, Denver, Colorado 80203, serves as the exclusive distributor of Creation Units of shares of the Funds pursuant to a “best efforts” arrangement as provided by a distribution agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Funds. Shares of the Funds are offered and sold on a continuous basis by the Distributor, acting as agent. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in the Funds’ Shares.

 

  TRANSFER AGENT, CUSTODIAN AND PROVIDER OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES     

The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”), 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the Trust’s transfer and dividend disbursing agent. Under its transfer agency agreement with the Trust, BNYM has undertaken with the Trust to provide the following services with respect to each Fund: (i) perform and facilitate the performance of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units, (ii) prepare and transmit by means of Depository Trust Company’s (“DTC”) book-entry system payments for dividends and distributions on or with respect to the Shares declared by the Trust on behalf of the applicable Fund, (iii) prepare and deliver reports, information and documents as specified in the transfer agency agreement, (iv) perform the customary services of a transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent, and (v) render certain other miscellaneous services as specified in the transfer agency agreement or as otherwise agreed upon.

BNYM is the custodian of the Trust’s portfolio securities and cash. The custodian of the Trust may change from time to time. BNYM also maintains the Trust’s accounting records. BNYM may appoint domestic and foreign sub-custodians and use depositories from time to time to hold securities and other instruments purchased by the Trust in foreign countries and to hold cash and currencies for the Trust.

BNYM provides administrative services pursuant to a fund administration agreement with the Trust (the “Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement”) pursuant to which BNYM provides certain services, including, among others, (i) preparation of certain shareholder reports and communications; (ii) preparation of certain reports and filings with the SEC; (iii) certain NAV computation services; and (iv) such other services for the Trust as may be mutually agreed upon between the Trust and BNYM. For its services under the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement, BNYM receives such fees based on a stated percentage of net assets as are agreed upon from time to time between the parties. In addition, BNYM is reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement. In addition, an affiliate of BNYM will also provide certain other services for the Trust, including, (i) providing foreign exchange transaction services and (ii) executing trades in connection with certain creation and redemption transactions effected partially in cash. For these services, the BNYM affiliate will receive compensation based on levels that are negotiated with the Trust and/or the Investment Adviser. BNYM also provides certain middle office services to GSAM pursuant to a service agreement.

 

  ACTIVITIES OF GOLDMAN SACHS AND ITS AFFILIATES AND OTHER
ACCOUNTS MANAGED BY GOLDMAN SACHS
    

The involvement of the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, other accounts and other activities of Goldman Sachs will present conflicts of interest with respect to a Fund and will, under certain circumstances, limit a Fund’s investment activities. Goldman Sachs is a worldwide, full service investment banking, broker dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. As such, it acts as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, derivatives dealer, lender, counterparty, agent and principal. In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates advise clients in all markets and transactions and purchase, sell, hold and recommend a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products for their own accounts or for the accounts of their customers and have other direct and indirect interests in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loans and other markets in which the Funds directly and indirectly invest. Thus, it is expected that the Funds will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from entities for which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates perform or seek to perform investment banking or other services. The Investment Adviser and/or certain of its affiliates are the managers of the Goldman Sachs Funds. The Investment Adviser and its affiliates earn fees from this and other relationships with the Funds. Although management fees paid by the Funds to the Investment Adviser and certain other fees paid to the Investment Adviser’s affiliates are based on asset levels, the fees are not directly contingent on Fund performance, and the

 

40


                        SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

Investment Adviser and its affiliates will still receive significant compensation from the Funds even if shareholders lose money. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds which have investment objectives similar to those of the Funds or which are based on the same, or substantially similar, strategies that are used in the operation of an Index and/or which engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and instruments as the Funds. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates will not have any obligation to make available any information regarding their proprietary activities or strategies, or the activities or strategies used for other accounts managed by them, for the benefit of the management of the Funds. The results of a Fund’s investment activities, therefore, will likely differ from those of Goldman Sachs, its affiliates and other accounts managed by Goldman Sachs, and it is possible that a Fund could sustain losses during periods in which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates and other accounts achieve significant profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. In addition, the Funds may enter into transactions in which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates or their other clients have an adverse interest. For example, a Fund may take a long position in a security at the same time that Goldman Sachs and its affiliates or other accounts managed by the Investment Adviser take a short position in the same security (or vice versa). These and other transactions undertaken by Goldman Sachs, its affiliates or Goldman Sachs-advised clients may, individually or in the aggregate, adversely impact the Funds. In some cases, such adverse impacts may result from differences in the timing of transactions by Accounts relative to when the Funds execute transactions in the same securities. Transactions by one or more Goldman Sachs-advised clients or the Investment Adviser may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Funds. A Fund’s activities will, under certain circumstances, be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. As a global financial services firm, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates also provide a wide range of investment banking and financial services to issuers of securities and investors in securities. Goldman Sachs, its affiliates and others associated with it are expected to create markets or specialize in, have positions in and/or effect transactions in, securities of issuers held by the Funds, and will likely also perform or seek to perform investment banking and financial services for one or more of those issuers. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates are expected to have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Funds or who engage in transactions with or for the Funds.

For more information about conflicts of interest, see the section entitled “Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.

The Funds will, from time to time, make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Funds’ portfolio investment transactions in accordance with applicable law.

 

41


 

Distributions

 

Each Fund pays distributions from its investment income and from net realized capital gains.

Distributions from net investment income, if any, are normally declared and paid monthly for each Fund, and distributions from net capital gains, if any, are normally declared and paid annually for each Fund. In addition, a Fund may occasionally make a distribution at a time when it is not normally made.

In addition to the net investment income dividends paid monthly or quarterly, a Fund may also earn additional net investment income throughout the year. Any additional net investment income will be distributed annually as a declared event and paid to shareholders of record for such events.

From time to time a portion of a Fund’s distributions may constitute a return of capital for tax purposes, and/or may include amounts in excess of the Fund’s net investment income for the period calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Dividends and other distributions on Shares of a Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants (each as described in the Book Entry section below) to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from a Fund.

No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Funds. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service for use by beneficial owners of the Funds for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares of a Fund purchased in the secondary market.

 

42


 

Shareholder Guide

 

  BUYING AND SELLING SHARES     

Shares of a Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of the Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section below) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with a Fund. Once created, Shares of the Funds generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Funds are listed for trading on a national securities exchange during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. However, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market will develop or be maintained, or that the Fund Shares listing will continue or remain unchanged. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for Shares of a Fund purchased on an exchange. Buying or selling a Fund’s Shares involves certain costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling Shares of a Fund through a financial intermediary, you may incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your financial intermediary. Due to these brokerage costs, if any, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment returns. In addition, you may also incur the cost of the spread (the difference between the bid price and the ask price). The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of Shares. The spread varies over time for Shares of a Fund based on its trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally less if the Fund has more trading volume and market liquidity and more if the Fund has less trading volume and market liquidity.

Each Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca is each open for trading Monday through Friday and are closed on 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.

A “business day” with respect to the Funds is each day the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Arca, and the Trust are open and includes any day that a Fund is required to be open under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act. Orders from Authorized Participants to create or redeem Creation Units will only be accepted on a business day. On days when NYSE Arca closes earlier than normal, the Funds may require orders to create or redeem Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. See the SAI for more information.

The Trust’s Board of Trustees has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund Shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of potential arbitrage opportunities presented by a lag between a change in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”). The Trust believes this is appropriate because ETFs, such as the Funds, are intended to be attractive to arbitrageurs, as trading activity is critical to ensuring that the market price of Fund Shares remains at or close to NAV. Since the Funds issue and redeem Creation Units at NAV plus applicable transaction fees, and the Funds’ Shares may be purchased and sold on NYSE Arca at prevailing market prices, the risks of frequent trading are limited.

Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act restricts investments by registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to GSAM and the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust.

The Funds and the Distributor will have the sole right to accept orders to purchase Shares and reserve the right to reject any purchase order in whole or in part.

 

  PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES     

GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of a Fund) may make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisers or other financial intermediaries (each, a “Financial Intermediary”) related to activities that are designed to make registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors more knowledgeable about the Funds or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, the support or purchase of technology platforms/software and/or reporting systems. GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of a Fund) may also make payments to Financial Intermediaries for certain printing, publishing and mailing costs associated with the Funds or materials relating to

 

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exchange-traded funds in general and/or for the provision of analytical or other data to GSAM or its affiliates relating to sales of Fund Shares. In addition, GSAM and/or the Distributor may make payments to Financial Intermediaries that make Fund Shares available to their clients or for otherwise promoting the Funds, including through the provision of consultative services to GSAM or its affiliates relating to marketing of a Fund and/or sale of Shares of a Fund and other Goldman Sachs Funds. Such payments, which may be significant to the Financial Intermediary, are not made by a Fund. Rather, such payments are made by GSAM and/or the Distributor from their own resources, which may come directly or indirectly in part from management fees paid by the Funds. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as marketing support or revenue-sharing payments. A Financial Intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the marketing support payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to a Financial Intermediary create conflicts of interest between the Financial Intermediary and its customers and may cause the Financial Intermediary to recommend a Fund over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the SAI. A shareholder should contact his or her Financial Intermediary’s salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments the Financial Intermediary firm may receive from GSAM and/or the Distributor.

 

  NET ASSET VALUE     

Each Fund generally calculates its NAV as follows:

 

NAV =  

(Value of Assets of the Fund)

– (Liabilities of the Fund)

  Number of Outstanding Shares of the Fund

Each Fund’s NAV per share is generally calculated by the Funds’ provider of administrative services on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. A Fund’s investments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value on the basis of quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. If accurate quotations are not readily available, if the Funds’ provider of administrative services is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Funds’ NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value, the fair value of the Funds’ investments may be determined in good faith under valuation procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Thus, such pricing may be based on subjective judgments and it is possible that the prices resulting from such valuation procedures may differ materially from the value realized on a sale. Cases where there is no clear indication of the value of a Fund’s investments include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source or a price is unavailable.

Equity securities listed on an exchange are generally valued at the last available sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded.

Fixed income securities are generally valued on the basis of prices (including evaluated prices) and quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models, which utilize certain inputs and assumptions, including, but not limited to, yield or price with respect to comparable fixed income securities, to determine current value. Pricing services generally value fixed income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Funds may hold or transact in such securities in smaller odd lot sizes. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than institutional round lots.

Investments in other open-end registered investment companies (if any), excluding investments in ETFs, are valued based on the NAV of those open-end registered investment companies (which may use fair value pricing as discussed in their prospectuses). Investments in ETFs will generally be valued at the last sale price or official closing price on the exchange on which they are principally traded.

In addition, the Investment Adviser, consistent with its procedures and applicable regulatory guidance, may (but need not) determine to make an adjustment to the previous closing prices of securities in light of significant events, to reflect what it believes to be the fair value of the securities at the time of determining a Fund’s NAV. Significant events that could affect a large number of securities in a particular market may include, but are not limited to: situations relating to one or more single issuers in a market sector; significant fluctuations in U.S. or foreign markets; market dislocations; market disruptions or unscheduled market closings; equipment failures; natural or man-made disasters or acts of God; armed conflicts; governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the

 

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                        SHAREHOLDER GUIDE

 

securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions such as reorganizations, mergers and buy-outs; corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading limits or suspensions.

Fair valuation involves the risk that the values used by a Fund to price its investments may be different from those used by other investment companies and investors to price the same investments.

Foreign securities may trade in their local markets on days a Fund is closed. As a result, if the Fund holds foreign securities, its NAV may be impacted on days when investors may not purchase or sell Fund Shares on the secondary market or purchase or redeem Creation Units through the Fund.

Each Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Funds’ provider of administrative services to calculate the NAV per share of each Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of a Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Funds may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which a Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be utilized to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.

 

  BOOK ENTRY     

DTC serves as securities depository for the Shares. (The Shares may be held only in book-entry form; stock certificates will not be issued.) DTC, or its nominee, is the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or its participants (described below). Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares, each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of: (i) DTC; (ii) “DTC Participants, “i.e., securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC; and (iii) “Indirect Participants,” i.e., brokers, dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly, through which such beneficial owner holds its interests. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a beneficial owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.

 

  CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS     

Prior to trading in the secondary market, Shares of the Funds are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Funds’ Distributor. The following table sets forth the number of Shares of each Fund that constitute a Creation Unit for the Fund:

 

Fund   Creation Unit Size  

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

    50,000  

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

    50,000  

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

    50,000  

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

    25,000  

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by BNYM, as the Trust’s transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into a Fund cash in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. Additionally, when permitted or required by the Funds, the consideration may be a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Funds in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro

 

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rata to the positions of a Fund’s portfolio (including cash positions). However, creation and redemption baskets may differ under certain circumstances.

Similarly, Shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by a Fund and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable by the Funds.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

Please note the following with respect to the price at which transactions are processed:

   

NAV per Share is generally calculated by the Funds’ fund accounting agent on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. Fund Shares will generally not be priced on any day the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

   

The Trust reserves the right to reprocess purchase and redemption transactions that were processed at a NAV that is subsequently adjusted, and to recover amounts from (or distribute amounts to) shareholders accordingly based on the official closing NAV, as adjusted.

   

The Trust reserves the right to advance the time by which purchase and redemption orders must be received for same business day credit as otherwise permitted by the SEC.

   

Consistent with industry practice, investment transactions not settling on the same day are recorded and factored into a Fund’s NAV on the business day following trade date (T+1). The use of T+1 accounting generally does not, but may, result in a NAV that differs materially from the NAV that would result if all transactions were reflected on their trade dates.

Note: The time at which transactions and shares are priced and the time by which orders must be received may be changed in case of an emergency or if regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange is stopped at a time other than its regularly scheduled closing time. In the event the New York Stock Exchange does not open for business, the Trust may, but is not required to, open one or more Funds for creation and redemption transactions if the Federal Reserve wire payment system is open. To learn whether a Fund is open for business during this situation, please call the appropriate phone number located on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with a Fund.

In the event of a system failure or other interruption, including disruptions at market makers or Authorized Participants, orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units either may not be executed according to a Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

In connection with certain cash creations, the Investment Adviser may provide the creating Authorized Participants with information regarding securities that a Fund would be willing to purchase with the proceeds of the cash creation, which may not be the current holdings of the Fund. In certain cases, a Fund may purchase such securities from an Authorized Participant that has submitted a creation order. Regardless of whether a Fund purchases securities with the proceeds of a cash creation order from the creating Authorized Participant, the Authorized Participant may be assessed a variable charge to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with purchasing the applicable securities, as described in the SAI. For more information, see the SAI.

To the extent a Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC Participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) and the applicable transaction fees is included in the Funds’ SAI.

 

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Taxation

 

As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in the Funds will be taxed. The tax information below is provided as general information. More tax information is available in the SAI. You should consult your tax adviser about the federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences of your investment in the Funds. Except as otherwise noted, the tax information provided assumes that you are a U.S. citizen or resident.

Unless your investment is through an IRA or other tax-advantaged account, you should carefully consider the possible tax consequences of Fund distributions and the sale of your Fund Shares.

 

  DISTRIBUTIONS     

Each Fund contemplates declaring as dividends each year all or substantially all of its taxable income. Distributions you receive from the Funds are generally subject to federal income tax, and may also be subject to state or local taxes. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund Shares or receive them in cash. For federal tax purposes, the Funds’ distributions attributable to net investment income and short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income while distributions of long-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, no matter how long you have owned your Fund Shares.

Under current provisions of the Code, the maximum individual rate applicable to long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts. The preferential rate described above also applies to certain qualifying dividend income, but Fund distributions will generally not qualify for that favorable treatment and also will generally not qualify for the corporate dividends received deduction because the Funds will be earning interest income rather than dividend income.

Distributions in excess of a Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of your investment to the extent of your basis in the Shares, and generally as capital gain thereafter. A return of capital, which for tax purposes is treated as a return of your investment, reduces your basis in shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition of shares. A distribution will reduce a Fund’s NAV per share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an economic standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.

An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.

A Fund’s transactions in derivatives (such as futures contracts and swaps) will be subject to special tax rules, the effect of which may be to accelerate income to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund’s securities and convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to you. A Fund’s use of derivatives may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gains and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not use derivatives.

Although distributions are generally treated as taxable to you in the year they are paid, distributions declared in October, November or December but paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December. A percentage of the Funds’ dividends paid to corporate shareholders may be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. This percentage may, however, be reduced as a result of a Fund’s securities lending activities or high portfolio turnover rate. Given the Funds’ investment strategies, it is not anticipated that a significant portion of the Funds’ dividends will be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. Character and tax status of all distributions will be available to shareholders after the close of each calendar year.

If you buy Shares of a Fund before it makes a distribution, the distribution will be taxable to you even though it may actually be a return of a portion of your investment. This is known as “buying into a dividend.”

 

  TAXES ON CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS OF CREATION UNITS     

A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis

 

47


in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities for Creation Units or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax adviser with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible and the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.

Under current U.S. federal income tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.

 

  SALES OF FUND SHARES     

Your sale of Fund Shares is a taxable transaction for federal income tax purposes, and may also be subject to state and local taxes. When you sell your Shares, you will generally recognize a capital gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between your adjusted tax basis in the Shares and the amount received. Generally, this capital gain or loss is long-term or short-term depending on whether your holding period exceeds one year, except that any loss realized on Shares held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends that were received on the Shares. Additionally, any loss realized on a sale or redemption of Shares of a Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent the Shares disposed of are replaced with other Shares of that Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of disposition, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in Shares of that Fund. If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the Shares acquired.

 

  OTHER INFORMATION     

You may be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% with respect to taxable distributions if you do not provide your correct taxpayer identification number, or certify that it is correct, or if you have been notified by the IRS that you are subject to backup withholding.

Non-U.S. investors are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax and may be subject to estate tax with respect to their Fund Shares. However, withholding is generally not required on properly designated distributions to non-U.S. investors of long-term capital gains. Non-U.S. investors generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by a Fund. Although this designation will generally be made by the Funds for distributions of long-term and short-term capital gains, the Funds do not anticipate making any designations of interest income. Therefore, all distributions of interest income will generally be subject to withholding when paid to non-U.S. investors. More information about U.S. taxation and non-U.S. investors is included in the SAI.

Withholding of U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) is required with respect to payments of taxable dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to enable the applicable withholding agent to determine whether withholding is required.

Reporting to you and the IRS is required annually on Form 1099-B not only the gross proceeds of Fund Shares you sell or redeem but also their cost basis. Shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections with respect to their accounts. You should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the applicable intermediary and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on your federal income tax returns.

 

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Index Provider

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 1-5 Years Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 10+ Years Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Broad Bond Market Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs US Treasury Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

 

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Other Information

 

  PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION     

The Funds have not yet commenced operations and, therefore, do not have information regarding how often the Shares of the Funds traded on NYSE Arca at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund to report.

 

  CONTINUOUS OFFERING     

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

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

Broker dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary trading transactions), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act. As a result, broker dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(A) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that, under Rule 153 of the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on NYSE Arca is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at NYSE Arca upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

In addition, certain affiliates of the Funds and the Investment Adviser may purchase and resell Fund Shares pursuant to the Prospectus.

 

  DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN     

The Board of Trustees of the Trust has adopted a distribution and service plan (“Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. Under the Plan, each Fund is authorized to pay distribution fees in connection with the sale and distribution of its Shares and pay service fees in connection with the provision of ongoing services to shareholders of the Fund and the maintenance of shareholder accounts in an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year.

No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Funds, and there are no current plans to impose these fees. However, in the event Rule 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of each Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, these fees will increase the cost of your investment in the Funds. By purchasing Shares subject to distribution fees and service fees, you may pay more over time than you would by purchasing Shares with other types of sales charge arrangements. Long-term shareholders may pay more than the economic equivalent of the maximum front-end sales charge permitted by the rules of FINRA. The net income attributable to Shares will be reduced by the amount of distribution fees and service fees and other expenses of the Funds.

 

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Appendix A

Additional Information on Portfolio Risks,

Securities and Techniques

 

  A.    General Portfolio Risks     

The Funds will be subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. These risks include, among others, interest rate risk and credit/default risk. In general, interest rate risk involves the risk that when interest rates decline, the market value of fixed income securities tends to increase. Conversely, when interest rates increase, the market value of fixed income securities tends to decline. Credit/default risk involves the risk that an issuer or guarantor could default on its obligations, and a Fund will not recover its investment. Call risk and extension risk are normally present in adjustable rate mortgage loans (“ARMs”), mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. For example, homeowners have the option to prepay their mortgages. Therefore, the duration of a security backed by home mortgages can either shorten (call risk) or lengthen (extension risk). In general, if interest rates on new mortgage loans fall sufficiently below the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to increase. Conversely, if mortgage loan interest rates rise above the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to decrease. In either case, a change in the prepayment rate can result in losses to investors. The same would be true of asset-backed securities, such as securities backed by car loans.

A rising interest rate environment could cause the value of a Fund’s fixed income securities to decrease, and fixed income markets to experience increased volatility in addition to heightened levels of liquidity risk. Additionally, decreases in the value of fixed income securities could lead to increased redemptions, which could impair a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and a Fund’s investments.

To the extent a Fund invests in pooled investment vehicles (including investment companies and ETFs) and partnerships, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performances of such entities in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.

To the extent a Fund’s net assets decrease or increase in the future due to price volatility or share redemption or purchase activity, the Fund’s expense ratio may correspondingly increase or decrease from the expense ratio disclosed in the Prospectus.

A Fund’s investments in derivative instruments, including financial futures contracts, options and swaps, can be significant. These transactions can result in sizeable realized and unrealized capital gains and losses relative to the gains and losses from the Funds’ investments in bonds and other securities. Short-term and long-term realized capital gains distributions paid by the Funds are taxable to their shareholders.

Interest rates, fixed income securities prices, the prices of futures and other derivatives, and currency exchange rates can be volatile, and a variance in the degree of volatility or in the direction of the market from the Investment Adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses in a Fund’s investments in derivatives. In addition, a perfect correlation between a derivatives position and a fixed income security position is generally impossible to achieve. As a result, the Investment Adviser’s use of derivatives may not be effective in fulfilling the Investment Adviser’s investment strategies and may contribute to losses that would not have been incurred otherwise.

Financial futures contracts used by a Fund include interest rate futures contracts including, among others, Eurodollar futures contracts. Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward LIBOR of a three-month deposit. Further information is included in the Prospectus regarding futures contracts, swaps and other derivative instruments used by a Fund, including information on the risks presented by these instruments and other purposes for which they may be used by the Fund.

The following sections provide further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Funds, including their associated risks. Additional information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request. Among other things, the SAI describes certain fundamental investment restrictions that cannot be changed without shareholder approval. You should note, however, that all investment objectives, and all investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental are non-fundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval. If there is a change in a Fund’s investment objective, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment in light of your then current financial position and needs.

 

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  B.    Other Portfolio Risks     

Risks of Foreign Investments.  Certain Funds may make investments in securities of foreign issuers. Foreign investments involve special risks that are not typically associated with securities of U.S. issuers. Foreign investments may be affected by changes in currency rates, changes in foreign or U.S. laws or restrictions applicable to such investments and changes in exchange control regulations (e.g., currency blockage). A decline in the exchange rate of the currency (i.e., weakening of the currency against the U.S. dollar) to which the issuers of a Fund’s portfolio securities have exposure may negatively impact such issuers.

Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trading patterns, trade barriers, and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. International trade barriers or economic sanctions against foreign countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals may adversely affect a Fund’s foreign holdings or exposures.

Brokerage commissions, custodial services and other costs relating to investment in international securities markets generally are more expensive than in the United States. In addition, clearance and settlement procedures may be different in foreign countries and, in certain markets, such procedures have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, thus making it difficult to conduct such transactions.

Foreign issuers are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign issuer than about a U.S. issuer. In addition, there is generally less government regulation of foreign markets, companies and securities dealers than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and securities of many foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable domestic issuers. Furthermore, with respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, imposition of withholding or other taxes on dividend or interest payments (or, in some cases, capital gains distributions), limitations on the removal of funds or other assets from such countries, and risks of political or social instability or diplomatic developments which could adversely affect investments in those countries.

Certain foreign investments may become less liquid in response to social, political or market developments or adverse investor perceptions, or become illiquid after purchase by a Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Certain foreign investments may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers and sellers or when dealers are unwilling to make a market for certain securities. When a Fund holds illiquid investments, its portfolio may be harder to value, especially in changing markets.

Concentration of a Fund’s assets in one or a few countries will subject the Fund to greater risks than if the Fund’s assets were not geographically concentrated.

Investments in foreign securities may take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Notes (“GDNs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers. ADRs, GDRs and EDRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a bank or other depository. GDNs are issued by a bank or other depository and evidence ownership of a debt security denominated in local currency. ADRs and certain GDRs are traded in the United States. GDRs may be traded in either the United States or in foreign markets. EDRs are traded primarily outside the United States. Prices of ADRs and GDNs are quoted in U.S. dollars. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security.

Risks of Sovereign Debt.  Investment in sovereign debt obligations by a Fund involves risks not present in debt obligations of corporate issuers. The issuer of the debt or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt, and a Fund may have limited recourse to compel payment in the event of a default. Periods of economic uncertainty may result in the volatility of market prices of sovereign debt, and in turn a Fund’s NAV, to a greater extent than the volatility inherent in debt obligations of U.S. issuers.

A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and pay interest in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy towards international lenders, and the political constraints to which a sovereign debtor may be subject.

 

52


APPENDIX A

 

Risks of Emerging Countries.  Certain Funds may invest in securities of issuers located in emerging countries. The risks of foreign investment are heightened when the issuer is located in an emerging country. Emerging countries are generally located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central and South America. A Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations relating to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of a Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees which may limit investment in such countries or increase the administrative costs of such investments. For example, certain Asian countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. In addition, certain countries may restrict or prohibit investment opportunities in issuers or industries deemed important to national interests. Such restrictions may affect the market price, liquidity and rights of securities that may be purchased by a Fund. The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from certain emerging countries is subject to restrictions such as the need for governmental consents, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in such emerging countries. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. In situations where a country restricts direct investment in securities (which may occur in certain Asian and other countries), a Fund may invest in such countries through other investment funds in such countries.

Many emerging countries have experienced currency devaluations and substantial (and, in some cases, extremely high) rates of inflation. Other emerging countries have experienced economic recessions. These circumstances have had a negative effect on the economies and securities markets of such emerging countries. Economies in emerging countries generally are dependent heavily upon commodity prices and international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by the economies of their trading partners, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

Many emerging countries are subject to a substantial degree of economic, political and social instability. Governments of some emerging countries are authoritarian in nature or have been installed or removed as a result of military coups, while governments in other emerging countries have periodically used force to suppress civil dissent. Disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization, and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection, among other factors, have also led to social unrest, violence and/or labor unrest in some emerging countries. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. Investing in emerging countries involves greater risk of loss due to expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested. As an example, in the past, some Eastern European governments have expropriated substantial amounts of private property, and many claims of the property owners have never been fully settled. There is no assurance that similar expropriations will not occur in other countries.

A Fund’s investment in emerging countries may also be subject to withholding or other taxes, which may be significant and may reduce the return to the Fund from an investment in issuers in such countries.

Settlement procedures in emerging countries are frequently less developed and reliable than those in the United States and may involve a Fund’s delivery of securities before receipt of payment for its sale. In addition, significant delays may occur in certain markets in registering the transfer of securities. Settlement or registration problems may make it more difficult for a Fund to value its portfolio securities and could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities, to have a portion of its assets uninvested or to incur losses due to the failure of a counterparty to pay for securities the Fund has delivered or the Fund’s inability to complete its contractual obligations because of theft or other reasons.

The creditworthiness of the local securities firms used by a Fund in emerging countries may not be as sound as the creditworthiness of firms used in more developed countries. As a result, a Fund may be subject to a greater risk of loss if a securities firm defaults in the performance of its responsibilities.

The small size and inexperience of the securities markets in certain emerging countries and the limited volume of trading in securities in those countries may make a Fund’s investments in such countries less liquid and more volatile than investments in countries with more developed securities markets (such as the United States, Japan and most Western European countries). A Fund’s

 

53


investments in emerging countries are subject to the risk that the liquidity of a particular investment, or investments generally, in such countries will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political conditions or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, a Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price. Investments in emerging countries may be more difficult to value precisely because of the characteristics discussed above and lower trading volumes.

A Fund’s use of foreign currency management techniques in emerging countries may be limited. Due to the limited market for these instruments in emerging countries, all or a significant portion of a Fund’s currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by those techniques. The Investment Adviser anticipates that a significant portion of a Fund’s currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by those techniques.

Foreign Custody Risk.  Certain Funds that invest in foreign securities may hold such securities and cash with foreign banks, agents, and securities depositories appointed by a Fund’s custodian (each a “Foreign Custodian”). Some Foreign Custodians may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In some countries, Foreign Custodians may be subject to little or no regulatory oversight over or independent evaluation of their operations. Further, the laws of certain countries may place limitations on a Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a Foreign Custodian enters bankruptcy. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to even greater custody risks than investments in more developed markets. Custody services in emerging market countries are very often undeveloped and may be considerably less well regulated than in more developed countries, and thus may not afford the same level of investor protection as would apply in developed countries.

Geographic Risk.  If a Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or region, the Fund may be subjected to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.

Risks of Derivative Investments.  The Funds may invest in derivative instruments, including without limitation, options, futures, options on futures, forwards, participation notes, swaps, options on swaps, forward contracts, structured securities and other derivatives relating to foreign currency transactions. Losses from derivative instruments can result from a lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivative instruments and the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged, the potential illiquidity of the markets for derivative instruments, the failure of the counterparty to perform its contractual obligations, or the risks related to leverage factors associated with such transactions. Derivatives are also subject to risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that a Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions and the risk of loss by a Fund of margin deposits in the event of the bankruptcy or other similar insolvency with respect to a broker or counterparty with whom a Fund has an open derivative position. Losses may also arise if the Funds receive cash collateral under the transactions and some or all of that collateral is invested in the market. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and a Fund may be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the counterparty’s cash collateral. If cash collateral is not invested, a Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss in the event of the insolvency of its custodian holding such collateral. The use of these management techniques also involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuations in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables. Derivative instruments may be harder to value, subject to greater volatility and more likely subject to changes in tax treatment than other investments.

Risks of Illiquid Investments.  Each Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that a Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, the Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.

Investments purchased by a Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid. If one or more investments in a Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15 percent limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that

 

54


APPENDIX A

 

changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force a Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

In cases where no clear indication of the value of a Fund’s portfolio instruments is available, the portfolio instruments will be valued at their fair value according to the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. These cases include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source, or the secondary markets on which an investment has previously been traded are no longer viable, due to its lack of liquidity. For more information on fair valuation, please see “Shareholder Guide—Net Asset Value.”

 

  C.    Portfolio Securities and Techniques     

This section provides further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Funds, including their associated risks.

The Funds may purchase other types of securities or instruments similar to those described in this section if otherwise consistent with the Funds’ investment objectives and policies. Further information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request.

Foreign Currency Transactions.  Certain Funds may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase or sell foreign currencies on a cash basis. A Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, a Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark. A Fund may also enter into such transactions to seek to increase total return, which is considered a speculative practice.

A Fund may hold foreign currency received in connection with investments in foreign securities when, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, it would be beneficial to convert such currency into U.S. dollars at a later date (e.g. the Investment Adviser may anticipate the foreign currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar).

Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, causing, along with other factors, a Fund’s NAV to fluctuate (when the Fund’s NAV fluctuates, the value of your shares may go up or down). Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by the intervention of U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or the failure to intervene, or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad.

The market in currency swaps and other privately negotiated currency instruments offers less protection against defaults by the other party to such instruments than is available for currency instruments traded on an exchange. Such contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or could force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price.

A Fund is not required to post cash collateral with its counterparties in certain foreign currency transactions. Accordingly, a Fund may remain more fully invested (and more of the Fund’s assets may be subject to investment and market risk) than if it were required to post collateral with its counterparties (which is the case with certain transactions). Where a Fund’s counterparties are not required to post cash collateral with the Fund, the Fund will be subject to additional counterparty risk.

Bank Obligations.  Certain Funds may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulations. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.

Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds.  A Fund may invest in zero coupon bonds, deferred interest, pay-in-kind and capital appreciation bonds. These bonds are issued at a discount from their face value because interest payments are typically postponed until maturity. Pay-in-kind securities are securities that have interest payable by the delivery of additional securities. The market prices of these securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of

 

55


interest-bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest-bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls.  A Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls. A mortgage dollar roll involves the sale by a Fund of securities for delivery in the current month. A Fund simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, a Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, a Fund benefits to the extent of any difference between (a) the price received for the securities sold and (b) the lower forward price for the future purchase and/or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold. Unless the benefits of a mortgage dollar roll exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss due to mortgage prepayments that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the roll, the use of this technique will diminish a Fund’s performance.

Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls depends upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to predict correctly interest rates and mortgage prepayments. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its prediction, a Fund may experience a loss. The Funds do not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and do not treat them as borrowings.

Options on Securities, Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies.  A put option gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to buy, the underlying instrument during the option period. A call option gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to sell, the underlying instrument during the option period. A Fund may write (sell) call and put options and purchase put and call options on any securities and other instruments in which the Fund may invest or any index consisting of securities or other instruments in which it may invest. A Fund may also, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase and sell (write) put and call options on foreign currencies.

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves special investment risks. Options may be used for either hedging or cross-hedging purposes, or to seek to increase total return (which presents additional risk). The successful use of options depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to anticipate future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in market prices or determination of the correlation between the instruments or indices on which options are written and purchased and the instruments in a Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The use of options can also increase a Fund’s transaction costs. Options written or purchased by the Funds may be traded on either U.S. or foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. Foreign and over-the-counter options will present greater possibility of loss because of their greater illiquidity and credit risks.

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations.  A Fund may purchase floating and variable rate obligations. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels. The issuers or financial intermediaries providing demand features may support their ability to purchase the obligations by obtaining credit with liquidity supports. These may include lines of credit, which are conditional commitments to lend, and letters of credit, which will ordinarily be irrevocable both of which may be issued by domestic banks or foreign banks. A Fund may purchase variable or floating rate obligations from the issuers or may purchase certificates of participation, a type of floating or variable rate obligation, which are interests in a pool of debt obligations held by a bank or other financial institutions.

Floating and variable rate obligations may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating and variable rate obligations are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating and variable rate obligations. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating and variable rate obligations, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating and variable rate obligations may have an adverse effect on the value of such obligations and may make it more difficult to value the obligations for purposes of calculating their respective net asset value.

For floating and variable rate obligations, there may be a lag between an actual change in the underlying interest rate benchmark and the reset time for an interest payment of such an obligation, which could harm or benefit a Fund, depending on the interest rate environment or other circumstances. In a rising interest rate environment, for example, a floating or variable rate obligation that does not reset immediately would prevent a Fund from taking full advantage of rising interest rates in a timely manner. However, in a declining interest rate environment, a Fund may benefit from a lag due to an obligation’s interest rate payment not being immediately impacted by a decline in interest rates.

 

56


APPENDIX A

 

Certain floating and variable rate obligations have an interest rate floor feature, which prevents the interest rate payable by the security from dropping below a specified level as compared to a reference interest rate (the “reference rate”), such as LIBOR. Such a floor protects a Fund from losses resulting from a decrease in the reference rate below the specified level. However, if the reference rate is below the floor, there will be a lag between a rise in the reference rate and a rise in the interest rate payable by the obligation, and a Fund may not benefit from increasing interest rates for a significant amount of time.

U.S. Treasury Securities and U.S. Government Securities.  A Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury Securities, which include, among other things, the separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury if such components are traded independently under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities program. U.S. Treasury Securities also include Treasury inflation-protected securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation.

A Fund may also invest in other U.S. Government Securities. Unlike U.S. Treasury Securities, U.S. Government Securities can be supported by either (i) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury (such as the Government National Mortgage Association); (ii) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer; or (iv) only the credit of the issuer.

U.S. Government Securities are deemed to include (i) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities; and (ii) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are so guaranteed. Certain of these participations may be regarded as illiquid. U.S. Government Securities also include zero coupon bonds.

A Fund may also invest in U.S. Treasury Securities and certain U.S. Government Securities, the interest from which is generally exempt from state income taxation. Securities generally eligible for this exemption include those issued by the U.S. Treasury and certain agencies, authorities or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, including the Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Farm Credit Banks and Tennessee Valley Authority.

U.S. Treasury Securities have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will be able or willing to repay the principal or interest when due or provide financial support to U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises that issue U.S. Government Securities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates.  A Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certain securities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. If for tax purposes a Fund is not considered to be the owner of the underlying securities held in the custodial or trust account, the Fund may suffer adverse tax consequences. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. A Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

Mortgage-Backed Securities.  A Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participations in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property. Mortgage-backed securities can be backed by either fixed rate mortgage loans or adjustable rate mortgage loans, and may be issued by either a governmental or non-governmental entity. The value of some mortgage-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. The value of these securities may also fluctuate in response to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers. Early repayment of principal on mortgage- or asset-backed securities may expose a Fund to the risk of earning a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal.

A Fund may invest in privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities that represent interests in pools of mortgage loans that are issued by trusts formed by originators of and institutional investors in mortgage loans (or represent interests in custodial arrangements administered by such institutions). These originators and institutions include commercial banks, savings and loans associations, credit unions, savings banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, investment banks or special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The pools underlying privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities consist of mortgage loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust creating a first lien on commercial, residential, residential multi-family and mixed residential/

 

57


commercial properties. These mortgage-backed securities typically do not have the same credit standing as U.S. government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.

Privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities generally offer a higher yield than similar securities issued by a government entity because of the absence of any direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. However, timely payment of interest and principal on mortgage loans in these pools may be supported by various other forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, pool and hazard insurance, subordination and letters of credit. Such insurance and guarantees may be issued by private insurers, banks and mortgage poolers. There is no assurance that private guarantors or insurers, if any, will meet their obligations. Mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees may also be purchased by a Fund if they have the required rating from an NRSRO. Some mortgage-backed securities issued by private organizations may not be readily marketable, may be more difficult to value accurately and may be more volatile than similar securities issued by a government entity.

Mortgage-backed securities may include multiple class securities, including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”) pass-through or participation certificates. A REMIC is a CMO that qualifies for special tax treatment under the Code and invests in certain mortgages principally secured by interests in real property and other permitted investments. CMOs provide an investor with a specified interest in the cash flow from a pool of underlying mortgages or of other mortgage-backed securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes each with a specified fixed or floating interest rate and a final scheduled distribution date. In many cases, payments of principal are applied to the CMO classes in the order of their respective stated maturities, so that no principal payments will be made on a CMO class until all other classes having an earlier stated maturity date are paid in full.

Sometimes, however, CMO classes are “parallel pay,” i.e., payments of principal are made to two or more classes concurrently. In some cases, CMOs may have the characteristics of a stripped mortgage-backed security whose price can be highly volatile. CMOs may exhibit more or less price volatility and interest rate risk than other types of mortgage-backed securities, and under certain interest rate and payment scenarios, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its investment in certain of these securities regardless of their credit quality.

To the extent a Fund concentrates its investments in pools of mortgage-backed securities sponsored by the same sponsor or serviced by the same servicer, it may be subject to additional risks. Servicers of mortgage-related pools collect payments on the underlying mortgage assets for pass-through to the pool on a periodic basis. Upon insolvency of the servicer, the pool may be at risk with respect to collections received by the servicer but not yet delivered to the pool.

Mortgaged-backed securities also include stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiple class mortgage-backed securities. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments from a pool of mortgage loans. The market value of SMBS consisting entirely of principal payments generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on SMBS that receive all or most of the interest from mortgage loans are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other mortgage-backed securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. Throughout 2008, the market for mortgage-backed securities began experiencing substantially, often dramatically, lower valuations and greatly reduced liquidity. Markets for other asset-backed securities have also been affected. These instruments are increasingly subject to liquidity constraints, price volatility, credit downgrades and unexpected increases in default rates and, therefore, may be more difficult to value and more difficult to dispose of than previously. These events may have an adverse effect on the Funds to the extent they invest in mortgage-backed or other fixed income securities or instruments affected by the volatility in the fixed income markets.

Asset-Backed Securities.  A Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities are securities whose principal and interest payments are collateralized by pools of assets such as auto loans, credit card receivables, leases, installment contracts and personal property. Asset-backed securities may also include home equity line of credit loans and other second-lien mortgages. Asset-backed securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. Asset-backed securities present credit risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. This is because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Some asset-backed securities have only a subordinated claim or security interest in collateral. If the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations,

 

58


APPENDIX A

 

there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that a Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on the securities. In the event of a default, a Fund may suffer a loss if it cannot sell collateral quickly and receive the amount it is owed. The value of some asset-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in the prevailing interest rates. There is no guarantee that private guarantors, or insurers of an asset-backed security, if any, will meet their obligations. Asset-backed securities may also be subject to increased volatility and may become illiquid and more difficult to value even when there is no default or threat of default due to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers and market conditions impacting asset-backed securities more generally.

Corporate Debt Obligations, Trust Preferred Securities and Convertible Securities.  Certain Funds may invest in corporate debt obligations, trust preferred securities and convertible securities. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures, commercial paper and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. A trust preferred security is a long dated bond (for example, 30 years) with preferred features. The preferred features are that payment of interest can be deferred for a specified period without initiating a default event. The securities are generally senior in claim to standard preferred stock but junior to other bondholders. Certain Funds may also invest in other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities.

Convertible securities are preferred stock or debt obligations that are convertible into common stock. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality. Convertible securities have both equity and fixed income risk characteristics. Like all fixed income securities, the value of convertible securities is susceptible to the risk of market losses attributable to changes in interest rates. Generally, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. However, when the market price of the common stock underlying a convertible security exceeds the conversion price of the convertible security, the convertible security tends to reflect the market price of the underlying common stock. As the market price of the underlying common stock declines, the convertible security, like a fixed income security, tends to trade increasingly on a yield basis, and thus may not decline in price to the same extent as the underlying common stock.

Other Investment Companies.  Each Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Investment Company Act, or exemptive relief thereunder. These statutory limitations include in certain circumstances a prohibition on any Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting Shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of a Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in securities of all investment companies.

Subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, a Fund may invest in certain other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, beyond the statutory limits described above or otherwise. Some of those investment companies may be funds for which the Investment Adviser or any of their affiliates serves as investment adviser, administrator or distributor.

A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by such other investment companies, in addition to the fees and expenses regularly borne by the Fund. Although the Funds do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, each Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund.

Repurchase Agreements.  Repurchase agreements involve the purchase of securities subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price. Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligations. The collateral may consist of any type of security in which a Fund is eligible to invest directly. Repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. government securities may be subject to additional risks.

If the other party or “seller” defaults, a Fund might suffer a loss to the extent that the proceeds from the sale of the underlying securities and other collateral held by the Fund are less than the repurchase price and the Fund’s costs associated with delay and enforcement of the repurchase agreement. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy of the seller, a Fund could suffer additional losses if a court determines that the Fund’s interest in the collateral is not enforceable.

Each Fund, together with other registered investment companies having advisory agreements with the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

 

59


Borrowings and Reverse Repurchase Agreements.  Each Fund can borrow money from banks and other financial institutions and may enter into reverse repurchase agreements in amounts not exceeding one-third of the Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed or received).

Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by a Fund subject to the Fund’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price (including interest). These transactions may be entered into as a temporary measure for emergency purposes or to meet redemption requests. Reverse repurchase agreements may also be entered into when the Investment Adviser expects that the interest income to be earned from the investment of the transaction proceeds will be greater than the related interest expense.

Borrowings and reverse repurchase agreements involve leveraging. If the securities held by a Fund decline in value while these transactions are outstanding, the NAV of the Fund’s outstanding Shares will decline in value by proportionately more than the decline in value of the securities. In addition, reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the investment return earned by a Fund (from the investment of the proceeds) will be less than the interest expense of the transaction, that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund will decline below the price the Fund is obligated to pay to repurchase the securities, and that the securities may not be returned to the Fund. The Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to its transactions in reverse repurchase agreements.

Futures Contracts and Options and Swaps on Futures Contracts.  Futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that provide for the sale or purchase of a specified financial instrument or currency at a future time at a specified price. An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right (and the writer of the option the obligation) to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price within a specified period of time. A swap on a futures contract provides an investor with the ability to gain economic exposure to a particular futures market. A futures contract may be based on particular securities, foreign currencies, securities indices and other financial instruments and indices. The Funds may engage in futures transactions on U.S. and foreign exchanges.

Each Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase and sell futures contracts, purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts, and enter into swaps on futures contracts, in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices, or currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

Futures contracts and related options and swaps present the following risks:

   

While a Fund may benefit from the use of futures and options and swaps on futures, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in poorer overall performance than if the Fund had not entered into any futures contracts, options transactions or swaps.

   

Because perfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position that is intended to be protected is impossible to achieve, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss.

   

The loss incurred by a Fund in entering into futures contracts and in writing call options and entering into swaps on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received.

   

Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of a Fund’s NAV.

   

As a result of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to a Fund.

   

Futures contracts and options and swaps on futures may be illiquid, and exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices during a single day.

   

Foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges.

Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars.  A Fund may enter into some or all of the following swap transactions and option agreements, including interest rate swaps, mortgage swaps, credit swaps, currency swaps, total return swaps, options on swaps and interest rate caps, floors and collars. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest, such as an exchange of fixed-rate payments for floating rate payments. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages. Credit swaps (also referred to as credit default swaps) involve the receipt of floating or fixed rate payments in exchange for assuming potential credit losses on an underlying security or pool of securities. Credit swaps give one party to a transaction (the buyer of the credit swap) the right to dispose of or acquire an asset (or group of assets or exposure to the

 

60


APPENDIX A

 

performance of an index), or the right to receive a payment from the other party, upon the occurrence of specified credit events. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps give a party the right to receive the appreciation in the value of a specified security, index or other instrument in return for a fee paid to the counterparty, which will typically be based on an agreed upon interest rate. If the underlying asset in a total return swap declines in value over the term of the swap, the party may also be required to pay the dollar value of that decline to the counterparty.

A Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions. A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than the Fund incurs in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A Fund may enter into the transactions described above for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As an example, when a Fund is the buyer of a credit default swap (commonly known as buying protection), it may make periodic payments to the seller of the credit default swap to obtain protection against a credit default on a specified underlying asset (or group of assets). If a default occurs, the seller of a credit default swap may be required to pay the Fund the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities). On the other hand, when a Fund is a seller of a credit default swap (commonly known as selling protection), in addition to the credit exposure the Fund has on the other assets held in its portfolio, the Fund is also subject to the credit exposure on the notional amount of the swap since, in the event of a credit default, the Fund may be required to pay the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities) to the buyer of the credit default swap. A Fund will be the seller of a credit default swap only when the credit of the underlying asset is deemed by the Investment Adviser to meet the Fund’s minimum credit criteria at the time the swap is first entered into.

When a Fund writes (sells) credit swaps on individual securities or instruments, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the swaps while the positions are open.

The use of interest rate, mortgage, credit, currency and total return swaps, options on swaps, and interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates and currency exchange rates, or in its evaluation of the creditworthiness of swap counterparties and the issuers of the underlying assets, the investment performance of a Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if these investment techniques were not used.

Currently, certain standardized swap transactions are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange trading. Although central clearing and exchange trading is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilaterally negotiated swaps, central clearing and exchange trading does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. Depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral, uncleared swap. However, certain applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher amounts for uncleared swaps.

Collateralized Loan Obligations.  A Fund may invest in collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”). A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees. The cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Because it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CLO securities as a class.

 

61


The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CLO in which a Fund invests. Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CLOs may be characterized by a Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify under the Rule 144A “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers, and such CLOs may be characterized by a Fund as liquid securities.

Loan-Related Investments.  A Fund may invest in loan-related investments such as loan participations and assignments. A loan participation is an interest in a loan to a U.S. or foreign company or other borrower (the “borrower”) which is administered and sold by a financial intermediary. A Fund may only invest in loans to issuers in whose obligations it may otherwise invest. Loan interests may take the form of a direct or co-lending relationship with the borrower, an assignment of an interest in the loan by a co-lender or another participant, or a participation in the seller’s share of the loan. When a Fund acts as co-lender in connection with a loan interest or when it acquires certain interests, the Fund will have direct recourse against the borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and interest. In cases where a Fund lacks direct recourse, it will look to an agent for the lenders (the “agent lender”) to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. In these cases, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation (such as commercial paper) of such borrower.

An assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning institution and becomes a lender under the credit agreement with respect to the debt obligation; however, the purchaser’s rights can be more restricted than those of the assigning institution, and, in any event, a Fund may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under the loan and with regard to any associated collateral. A participation typically results in a contractual relationship only with the institution participating out the interest, not with the borrower. In purchasing participations, a Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, a Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of both the borrower and the institution selling the participation. Investors in loans, such as a Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies.

The market for loan obligations may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because transactions in many loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, a Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet a Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. During periods of heightened redemption activity or distressed market conditions, a Fund may seek to obtain expedited trade settlement, which will generally incur additional costs (although expedited trade settlement will not always be available).

Senior loans hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a borrower, are typically secured with specific collateral and have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the borrower. The proceeds of senior loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, refinancings and to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior loans typically have a stated term of between five and nine years, and have rates of interest which typically are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. Longer interest rate reset periods generally increase fluctuations in a Fund’s net asset value as a result of changes in market interest rates. As a result, as short-term interest rates increase, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in senior loans should increase, and as short-term interest rates decrease, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in senior loans should decrease. Second lien loans have the same characteristics as senior loans except that such loans are subordinated or unsecured and thus lower in priority of payment to senior loans. Accordingly, the risks associated with second lien loans are higher than the risk of loans with first priority over the collateral. In the event of default on a second lien loan, the first priority lien holder has first claim to the underlying collateral of the loan. It is possible that no collateral value would remain for the second priority lien holder and therefore result in a loss of investment to a Fund. Second lien loans typically have adjustable floating rate interest payments. Generally, loans have the benefit of restrictive covenants that limit the ability of the borrower to further encumber its assets or impose other obligations. To the extent a loan does not have certain covenants (or has less restrictive covenants), an investment in the loan will be particularly sensitive to the risks associated with loan investments.

Asset Segregation.  As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover”

 

62


APPENDIX A

 

open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, the Funds must identify on their books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where a Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, a Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when a Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party FCM or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future in their discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, the Funds will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Funds were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments.  A Fund may purchase when-issued securities and make contracts to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. When-issued securities are securities that have been authorized, but not yet issued. When-issued securities are purchased in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous price or yield to a Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. A forward commitment involves entering into a contract to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond the customary settlement period.

The purchase of securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines before the settlement date. Conversely, the sale of securities on a forward commitment basis involves the risk that the value of the securities sold may increase before the settlement date. Although a Fund will generally purchase securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis with the intention of acquiring the securities for its portfolio, the Fund may dispose of when-issued securities or forward commitments prior to settlement if the Investment Adviser deems it appropriate. When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis or entering into a forward commitment, a Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” its obligations.

 

63


 

Appendix B

Financial Highlights

 

Because the Funds had not commenced investment operations as of the end of the Funds’ fiscal year, financial highlights are not available.

 

 

64


 

 

Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs Prospectus

 

  FOR MORE INFORMATION     

Annual/Semi-Annual Report

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

Statement of Additional Information

Additional information about the Funds and their policies is also available in the Funds’ SAI. The SAI is incorporated by reference into the Prospectus (i.e., is legally considered part of the Prospectus).

The Funds’ annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI are available free upon request by calling Goldman Sachs Funds at 1-800-621-2550. You can also access and download the annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI at the Funds’ website: http://www.gsamfunds.com/ETFfunds.

From time to time, certain announcements and other information regarding the Funds may be found at http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements-ind for individual investors or http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements for advisers.

To obtain other information and for shareholder inquiries:

 

   Shareholders/Authorized Participants    Financial Advisors

  By telephone:

   1-800-621-2550    1-800-292-4726

  By mail:

  

Goldman Sachs Funds

P.O. Box 06050

Chicago, IL 60606-6306

  

  On the Internet:

   SEC EDGAR database – http://www.sec.gov

Other information about the Funds is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov. You may obtain copies of this information, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

ACFIETFPROV2   

The Trust’s investment company registration number is 811-23013

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

  LOGO


STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED JULY 6, 2020

 

FUND

 

PRINCIPAL U.S.
LISTING
EXCHANGE

 

TICKER
SYMBOL

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS INVESTMENT GRADE CORPORATE 1-5 YEAR BOND ETF   NYSE Arca, Inc.   GSIG
GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS INVESTMENT GRADE CORPORATE 10+ YEAR BOND ETF   NYSE Arca, Inc.   GLIG
GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS U.S. AGGREGATE BOND ETF   NYSE Arca, Inc.   GCOR
GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS U.S. TREASURY BOND ETF   NYSE Arca, Inc.   GGOV

(Portfolios of Goldman Sachs ETF Trust)

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a Prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (each, a “Fund,” and together, the “Funds”), dated July 6, 2020, as it may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). The Prospectus may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling 1-800-621-2550 or writing to Goldman Sachs Funds, P.O. Box 06050, Chicago, Illinois 60606.

The Funds’ Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll free at 1-800-621-2550.

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

INTRODUCTION

     B-1  

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

     B-2  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     B-3  

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-4  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-41  

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-43  

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-54  

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-59  

CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS

     B-73  

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

     B-91  

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN

     B-92  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-93  

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

     B-95  

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-97  

TAXATION

     B-99  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-105  

PROXY VOTING

     B-106  

PAYMENTS TO OTHERS (INCLUDING INTERMEDIARIES)

     B-108  

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-110  

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-111  

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A  

APPENDIX B GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-B  

 

i


GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.    ALPS DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
Investment Adviser    Distributor
200 West Street    1290 Broadway, Suite 1000
New York, New York 10282    Denver, Colorado 80203
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON   
Transfer Agent   
240 Greenwich Street   
New York, New York 10286   

Toll-free (in U.S.) 1-800-621-2550 (for Shareholders/Authorized Participants) or 1-800-292-4726 (for Financial Advisors).

 

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INTRODUCTION

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by an Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated December 16, 2009. The following series of the Trust are described in this SAI: the Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF. Each Fund is passively-managed and seeks to track a specified index: FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 1-5 Years Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment-Grade Corporate Bond 10+ Years Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs US Broad Bond Market Index and FTSE Goldman Sachs US Treasury Index, respectively (each, an “Index” and collectively, the “Indexes”).

The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify Shares of the Trust into separate series. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Funds and other series. Additional series may be added in the future from time to time. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the Investment Adviser to the Funds. In addition, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ALPS” or the “Distributor”) serves as the Funds’ distributor, and The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM” or the “Transfer Agent”) serves as the Funds’ transfer agent. The Funds’ custodian is BNYM, which also provides administrative services to the Funds.

The Funds have been developed solely by GSAM. The Funds are not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the Indexes vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Indexes. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Indexes are calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Indexes or (b) investment in or operation of the Funds. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Funds or the suitability of the Indexes for the purpose to which they are being put by GSAM.

The following information relates to and supplements the description of each Fund’s investment policies contained in the Prospectus. See the Prospectus for a more complete description of the Funds’ investment objectives and policies. Investing in a Fund entails certain risks, and there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectus.

 

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EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Funds is contained in the “Shareholder Guide” section of the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such section of the Prospectus.

Shares of the Funds are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”), subject to notice of issuance. Shares trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ from their net asset value (“NAV”). There can be no assurance that a Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares.

The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of a Fund from listing if: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of a Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Shares for 30 or more consecutive trading days; (2) the value of its underlying index or portfolio of securities on which a Fund is based is no longer calculated or available; (3) the “intra-day indicative value” (“IIV”) of a Fund is no longer calculated or available; (4) certain continued listing standards relating to index composition set forth in the Exchange rules are not continuously maintained; or (5) such other event shall occur or condition exists that, in the opinion of such Exchange, makes further dealings on such Exchange inadvisable. In addition, the Exchange will remove the Shares of a Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Trust or the Fund.

As in the case of other publicly-traded securities, when you buy or sell shares through a broker, you will incur a brokerage commission determined by that broker.

In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares of each Fund, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or through other widely disseminated means, an IIV for each Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust, GSAM, and their affiliates, are not responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.

Each Fund’s IIV is based on a securities component and a cash component which comprises that day’s Fund Deposit (as defined below), as disseminated prior to that Business Day’s (as defined below) commencement of trading. 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, the IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of a Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IIV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by a Fund. 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.

The cash component included in an IIV consists of estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, each IIV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the applicable currency.

The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share prices 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 or an investor’s equity interest in a Fund.

The base and trading currencies of the Funds are 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.

 

 

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INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

Each Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. The investment objective of each Fund is to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of its respective Index. The Funds generally issue shares for cash and redeem shares in exchange for in-kind securities or instruments. There can be no assurance that a Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. Each Fund is a diversified series of an open-end management company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act” or the “Act”). The investment objective and policies of each Fund, and the associated risks of each Fund, are discussed in the Prospectus, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, shareholders will be provided with sixty (60) days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in a Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

Each Fund offers and issues Shares at its NAV per Share only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (“Creation Units”), generally in exchange for cash. When permitted or required by each Fund, the consideration for a Creation Unit may consist of a basket of securities and/or instruments (the “Deposit Securities”) together with a deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”), if any. Shares are redeemable by the applicable Fund only in Creation Units and, generally, in exchange for securities and instruments. Shares trade in the secondary market and elsewhere at market prices that may be at, above or below NAV. Creation Units typically are a specified number of Shares.

A Fund may charge creation/redemption transaction fees for each creation and redemption. In all cases, transaction fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. See the “CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS” section below.

To the extent a Fund invests in commodity interests, it intends to do in reliance on an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore would not be subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

The investment securities and practices and related risks applicable to each Fund are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Asset Segregation

As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, a Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where the Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, a Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Funds have entered into contractual arrangements with a third party futures commission merchant or other counterparty to off-set the Funds’ exposure under the contract, and, failing that, to assign their delivery obligations under the contract to the counterparty. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future in their discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, a Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

In November 2019, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking related to the use of derivatives and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that would, if adopted, for the most part rescind the guidance of the SEC and its staff regarding asset segregation and cover transactions. Instead of complying with current guidance, a Fund would need to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, certain other derivatives risk management program and testing requirements and requirements related to board and SEC reporting. These new requirements would apply unless a Fund qualified as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the SEC’s proposal. If a Fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, it would need to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the Fund’s asset coverage ratio. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions would not be included in the calculation of whether a Fund is a limited derivatives user. Any new requirements, if adopted, may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

Asset-Backed Securities

Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.

A Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that a Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.

Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are

 

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secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.

Bank Obligations

Certain Funds may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be obligations only of the issuing branch pursuant to the terms of the specific obligations or government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operations of this industry.

Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on the demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. The Fund may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks.

Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations

The Funds may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.

Convertible Securities

The Funds may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed-income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock or sell it to a third party or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that a Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.

 

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Corporate Debt Obligations

The Funds may invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.

Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non-rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in a Fund’s NAV. Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

The Funds may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For purposes of certain securities laws, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. Each Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate a Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.

Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.

 

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Events Relating to the Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Markets and the Overall Economy

The unprecedented disruption in the residential mortgage-backed securities market (and in particular, the “subprime” residential mortgage market), the broader mortgage-backed securities market and the asset-backed securities market in 2008 and 2009 resulted in downward price pressures and increasing foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, the availability and cost of credit, the mortgage market and a depressed real estate market contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets going forward, and contributed to dramatic declines in the housing market, with falling home prices and increasing foreclosures and unemployment, and significant asset write-downs by financial institutions. These conditions prompted a number of financial institutions to seek additional capital, to merge with other institutions and, in some cases, to fail or seek bankruptcy protection. Between 2008 and 2009, the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities (as well as other asset-backed securities) was particularly adversely impacted by, among other factors, the failure and subsequent sale of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to J.P. Morgan Chase, the merger of Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch & Co., the insolvency of Washington Mutual Inc., the failure and subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the extension of approximately $152 billion in emergency credit by the U.S. Treasury to American International Group Inc., and, as described above, the conservatorship and the control by the U.S. Government of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”). The global markets also saw an increase in volatility due to uncertainty surrounding the level and sustainability of sovereign debt of certain countries that are part of the European Union (“EU”), including Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, as well as the sustainability of the EU itself. Concerns over the level and sustainability of the sovereign debt of the United States have aggravated this volatility. No assurance can be made that this uncertainty will not lead to further disruption of the credit markets in the United States or around the globe. These events, coupled with the general global economic downturn, have resulted in a substantial level of uncertainty in the financial markets, particularly with respect to mortgage-related investments.

These events may lead to further declines in income from, or the value of, real estate, including the real estate which secures the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by a Fund. Additionally, a lack of credit liquidity, adjustments of mortgages to higher rates and decreases in the value of real property have occurred and may reoccur, and potentially prevent borrowers from refinancing their mortgages, which may increase the likelihood of default on their mortgage loans. These economic conditions, coupled with high levels of real estate inventory and elevated incidence of underwater mortgages, may also adversely affect the amount of proceeds the holder of a mortgage loan or mortgage-backed securities (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities in which certain Funds may invest) would realize in the event of a foreclosure or other exercise of remedies. Moreover, even if such Mortgage-Backed Securities are performing as anticipated, the value of such securities in the secondary market may nevertheless fall or continue to fall as a result of deterioration in general market conditions for such Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed or structured products. Trading activity associated with market indices may also drive spreads on those indices wider than spreads on Mortgage-Backed Securities, thereby resulting in a decrease in value of such Mortgage-Backed Securities, including the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be owned by a Fund.

The U.S. Government, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) and other governmental and regulatory bodies have taken or are considering taking actions to address the financial crisis. These actions include, but are not limited to, the enactment by the U.S. Congress of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd Frank Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010 and imposes a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general, and the promulgation of additional regulations in this area which could affect these securities. Given the broad scope, sweeping nature, and relatively recent enactment of some of these regulatory measures, the potential impact they could have on any of the asset-backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Funds is unknown. There can be no assurance that these measures will not have an adverse effect on the value or marketability of any asset-backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Funds. Furthermore, no assurance can be made that the U.S. Government or any U.S. regulatory body (or other authority or regulatory body) will not continue to take further legislative or regulatory action in response to the economic crisis or otherwise, and the effect of such actions, if taken, cannot be known.

Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the FDIC, may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies”, and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities”, in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by a Fund.

 

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Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which certain Funds may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A continued decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on Mortgage-Backed Securities generally (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities that the Funds may invest in as described above).

The foregoing adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which a Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In addition, interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities are subject to widening and increased volatility due to these adverse changes in market conditions. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by a Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which certain Funds may invest) and increased unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by a Fund may experience further declines after they are purchased by a Fund.

Floating Rate Loans and Other Variable and Floating Rate Securities

The interest rates payable on certain securities in which the Funds may invest are not fixed and may fluctuate based upon changes in market rates. Variable and floating rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on which the interest rate is based. Moreover, such obligations may fluctuate in value in response to interest rate changes if there is a delay between changes in market interest rates and the interest reset date for the obligation. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels, but they may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline.

Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies or other entities (e.g., a U.S. or foreign bank, insurance company or finance company) (collectively, “borrowers”) incurred for a variety of purposes. Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender or as an assignment of the portion of a floating rate loan previously attributable to a different lender.

Floating rate loans may be obligations of borrowers who are highly leveraged. Floating rate loans may be structured to include both term loans, which are generally fully funded at the time of the making of the loan, and revolving credit facilities, which would require additional investments upon the borrower’s demand. A revolving credit facility may require a purchaser to increase its investment in a floating rate loan at a time when it would not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the amount will ever be repaid.

A floating rate loan offered as part of the original lending syndicate typically is purchased at par value. As part of the original lending syndicate, a purchaser generally earns a yield equal to the stated interest rate. In addition, members of the original syndicate typically are paid a commitment fee. In secondary market trading, floating rate loans may be purchased or sold above, at, or below par, which can result in a yield that is below, equal to, or above the stated interest rate, respectively. At certain times when reduced opportunities exist for investing in new syndicated floating rate loans, floating rate loans may be available only through the secondary market. There can be no assurance that an adequate supply of floating rate loans will be available for purchase.

Historically, floating rate loans have not been registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. As a result, the amount of public information available about a specific floating rate loan historically has been less extensive than if the floating rate loan were registered or exchange-traded. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans.

 

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Purchasers of floating rate loans and other forms of debt obligations depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the borrower for payment of interest and repayment of principal. If scheduled interest or principal payments are not made, the value of the obligation may be adversely affected. Floating rate loans and other debt obligations that are fully secured provide more protections than unsecured obligations in the event of failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks and may be highly speculative. Borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Some floating rate loans and other debt obligations are not rated by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization. In connection with the restructuring of a floating rate loan or other debt obligation outside of bankruptcy court in a negotiated work-out or in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, equity securities or junior debt obligations may be received in exchange for all or a portion of an interest in the obligation.

From time to time, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may borrow money from various banks in connection with their business activities. These banks also may sell floating rate loans to the Funds or acquire floating rate loans from the Funds, or may be intermediate participants with respect to floating rate loans owned by the Funds. These banks also may act as agents for floating rate loans that the Funds own.

Agents. Floating rate loans typically are originated, negotiated, and structured by a bank, insurance company, finance company, or other financial institution (the “agent”) for a lending syndicate of financial institutions. The borrower and the lender or lending syndicate enter into a loan agreement. In addition, an institution (typically, but not always, the agent) holds any collateral on behalf of the lenders.

In a typical floating rate loan, the agent administers the terms of the loan agreement and is responsible for the collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and the apportionment of these payments to all lenders that are parties to the loan agreement. Purchasers will rely on the agent to use appropriate creditor remedies against the borrower. Typically, under loan agreements, the agent is given broad discretion in monitoring the borrower’s performance and is obligated to use the same care it would use in the management of its own property. Upon an event of default, the agent typically will enforce the loan agreement after instruction from the lenders. The borrower compensates the agent for these services. This compensation may include special fees paid on structuring and funding the floating rate loan and other fees paid on a continuing basis. The typical practice of an agent or a lender in relying exclusively or primarily on reports from the borrower may involve a risk of fraud by the borrower.

If an agent becomes insolvent, or has a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by the appropriate bank or other regulatory authority, or becomes a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding, the agent’s appointment may be terminated, and a successor agent would be appointed. If an appropriate regulator or court determines that assets held by the agent for the benefit of the purchasers of floating rate loans are subject to the claims of the agent’s general or secured creditors, the purchasers might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a floating rate loan or suffer a loss of principal and/or interest. Furthermore, in the event of the borrower’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the borrower’s obligation to repay a floating rate loan may be subject to certain defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.

Liquidity. Floating rate loans may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating rate loans are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating rate loans, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating rate loans may have an adverse effect on the value of such loans and may make it more difficult to value the loans for purposes of calculating their respective NAV. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in floating rate loans and other variable and floating rate securities.

Extended Trade Settlement Periods. Because transactions in many floating rate loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, the Funds may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of floating rate loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet the Funds’ redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Funds may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, if necessary to raise cash to meet their obligations.

Collateral. Most floating rate loans are secured by specific collateral of the borrower and are senior to most other securities or obligations of the borrower. The collateral typically has a market value, at the time the floating rate loan is made, that equals or exceeds the principal amount of the floating rate loan. The value of the collateral may decline, be insufficient to meet the obligations of the borrower, or be difficult to liquidate. As a result, a floating rate loan may not be fully collateralized and can decline significantly in value.

 

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Floating rate loan collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests, including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory; tangible or intangible assets; or assets or other types of guarantees of affiliates of the borrower.

Generally, floating rate loans are secured unless (i) the purchaser’s security interest in the collateral is invalidated for any reason by a court, or (ii) the collateral is fully released with the consent of the agent bank and lenders or under the terms of a loan agreement as the creditworthiness of the borrower improves. Collateral impairment is the risk that the value of the collateral for a floating rate loan will be insufficient in the event that a borrower defaults. Although the terms of a floating rate loan generally require that the collateral at issuance have a value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such floating rate loan, the value of the collateral may decline subsequent to the purchase of a floating rate loan. In most loan agreements there is no formal requirement to pledge additional collateral. There is no guarantee that the sale of collateral would allow a borrower to meet its obligations should the borrower be unable to repay principal or pay interest or that the collateral could be sold quickly or easily.

In addition, most borrowers pay their debts from the cash flow they generate. If the borrower’s cash flow is insufficient to pay its debts as they come due, the borrower may seek to restructure its debts rather than sell collateral.

Borrowers may try to restructure their debts by filing for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws or negotiating a work-out. If a borrower becomes involved in bankruptcy proceedings, access to the collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other laws. In the event that a court decides that access to the collateral is limited or void, it is unlikely that purchasers could recover the full amount of the principal and interest due.

There may be temporary periods when the principal asset held by a borrower is the stock of a related company, which may not legally be pledged to secure a floating rate loan. On occasions when such stock cannot be pledged, the floating rate loan will be temporarily unsecured until the stock can be pledged or is exchanged for, or replaced by, other assets.

Some floating rate loans are unsecured. The claims of holders under unsecured loans are subordinated to claims of creditors holding secured indebtedness and possibly also to claims of other creditors holding unsecured debt. Unsecured loans have a greater risk of default than secured loans, particularly during periods of deteriorating economic conditions. If the borrower defaults on an unsecured floating rate loan, there is no specific collateral on which the purchaser can foreclose.

Floating Interest Rates. The rate of interest payable on floating rate loans and other floating or variable rate obligations is the sum of a base lending rate plus a specified spread. Base lending rates are generally London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank, the Federal Funds Rate, or another base lending rate used by commercial lenders. A borrower usually has the right to select the base lending rate and to change the base lending rate at specified intervals. The applicable spread may be fixed at time of issuance or may adjust upward or downward to reflect changes in credit quality of the borrower.

The interest rate on LIBOR-based floating rate loans/obligations is reset periodically at intervals ranging from 30 to 180 days, while the interest rate on Prime Rate- or Federal Funds Rate-based floating rate loans/obligations floats daily as those rates change. Investment in floating rate loans/obligations with longer interest rate reset periods can increase fluctuations in the floating rate loans’ values when interest rates change.

The yield on a floating rate loan/obligation will primarily depend on the terms of the underlying floating rate loan/obligation and the base lending rate chosen by the borrower. The relationship between LIBOR, the Prime Rate, and the Federal Funds Rate will vary as market conditions change.

Maturity. Floating rate loans typically will have a stated term of five to nine years. However, because floating rate loans are frequently prepaid, their average maturity is expected to be two to three years. The degree to which borrowers prepay floating rate loans, whether as a contractual requirement or at their election, may be affected by general business conditions, the borrower’s financial condition, and competitive conditions among lenders. Prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Prepayments of principal to the purchaser of a floating rate loan may result in the principal’s being reinvested in floating rate loans with lower yields.

Supply of Floating Rate Loans. The legislation of state or federal regulators that regulate certain financial institutions may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the ability of such institutions to make loans, particularly with respect to highly leveraged transactions. The supply of floating rate loans may be limited from time to time due to a lack of sellers in the market for existing floating rate loans or the number of new floating rate loans currently being issued. As a result, the floating rate loans available for purchase may be lower quality or higher priced.

 

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Restrictive Covenants. A borrower must comply with various restrictive covenants contained in the loan agreement. In addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, these covenants may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to stockholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios, and limits on total debt. The loan agreement may also contain a covenant requiring the borrower to prepay the floating rate loan with any free cash flow. A breach of a covenant that is not waived by the agent (or by the lenders directly) is normally an event of default, which provides the agent or the lenders the right to call the outstanding floating rate loan.

Fees. Purchasers of floating rate loans may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to interest payments received and may include facility fees, commitment fees, commissions, and prepayment penalty fees. When a purchaser buys a floating rate loan, it may receive a facility fee; and when it sells a floating rate loan, it may pay a facility fee. A purchaser may receive a commitment fee based on the undrawn portion of the underlying line of credit portion of a floating rate loan or a prepayment penalty fee on the prepayment of a floating rate loan. A purchaser may also receive other fees, including covenant waiver fees and covenant modification fees.

Other Types of Floating Rate Debt Obligations. Floating rate debt obligations include other forms of indebtedness of borrowers such as notes and bonds, obligations with fixed rate interest payments in conjunction with a right to receive floating rate interest payments, and shares of other investment companies. These instruments are generally subject to the same risks as floating rate loans but are often more widely issued and traded.

Foreign Investments

Each Fund (except the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF) may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Funds’ Prospectus and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.

With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.

Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

From time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. A company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which operates in, or has dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As an investor in such companies, a Fund will be indirectly subject to those risks. Iran is subject to several United Nations sanctions and is an embargoed country by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of Treasury (the “Treasury” or “U.S. Treasury”).

In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination), impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf.

 

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As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, a Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.

The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.

Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, a Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. A Fund may be subject to currency exposure independent of its securities positions. To the extent that a Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.

Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent that a portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries. A Fund’s net currency positions may expose it to risks independent of its securities positions.

Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although a Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.

Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when some of a Fund’s assets are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities, or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities of foreign issuers.

The Funds may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Notes (“GDNs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers) (together, “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in the non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security. GDNs are issued by a bank or other depository and evidence ownership of a debt security denominated in local currency. GDNs generally mirror the terms (e.g., interest rate, maturity date, credit rating, etc.) of particular local currency-denominated bonds, though they are traded, settled and paid in U.S. dollars.

 

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To the extent a Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, a Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.

Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including a Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.

At the maturity of a forward contract a Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.

A Fund may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between a Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specific (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.

A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when a Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividend or interest payments on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

 

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Additionally, when a Fund’s investment adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which a Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of a Fund’s foreign assets.

A Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if the Fund’s investment adviser determines that there is a pattern of correlation between the two currencies.

While a Fund may enter into forward contracts to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while a Fund may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by such Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause a Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such forward foreign currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity.

Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. A Fund will not enter into such transactions unless the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty is considered to be investment grade by its investment adviser. To the extent that a substantial portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

The Funds may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. Each Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. Financial futures contracts used by a Fund include interest rate futures contracts including, among others, Eurodollar futures contracts. Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward LIBOR of a three-month deposit. A Fund will engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

Futures contracts utilized by funds have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) or with respect to certain funds on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC or on foreign exchanges.

 

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Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures or foreign options transaction occurs. For these reasons, a Fund’s investments in foreign futures or foreign options transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures or foreign options contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, those persons may not have the protection of the United States securities laws.

Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments or currencies for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).

When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, a Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, a Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, each Fund can purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, each Fund may seek to offset anticipated changes in the value of a currency in which its portfolio securities, or securities that it intends to purchase, are quoted or denominated by purchasing and selling futures contracts on such currencies. As another example, a Fund may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark.

Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While a Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities or currency in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or currency whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures on securities or currency are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.

Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. Hedging, by use of futures contracts, seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price, rate of return or currency exchange rate on portfolio securities or securities that a Fund owns or proposes to acquire. A Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, a Fund may sell futures contracts on a currency in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for a Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in a Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser may attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having the Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting the Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.

 

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On other occasions, a Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when a Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices or rates that are currently available.

Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give a Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, a Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of a Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, a Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that a Fund intends to purchase. However, a Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by a Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. A Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.

The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. A Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.

Other Considerations. Each Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts and options on futures involve brokerage costs, require margin deposits and, in certain cases, require a Fund to identify on its books cash or liquid assets. A Fund may cover its transactions in futures contracts and related options by identifying on its books cash or liquid assets or by other means, in any manner permitted by applicable law. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between a Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to risk of loss. In addition, it is not possible for a Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of a Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.

Illiquid Investments

Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, a Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. The Trust has implemented a liquidity risk management program and related procedures to categorize each Fund’s portfolio investments and identify illiquid investments pursuant to Rule 22e-4, and the Trustees have approved the designation of the Investment Adviser to administer the Trust’s liquidity risk management program and related procedures. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that a Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, the Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.

 

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In addition to actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the following factors, among others, will generally impact the classification of an investment as an “illiquid investment”: (i) any investment that is placed on the Investment Adviser’s restricted trading list; and (ii) any investment that is delisted or for which there is a trading halt at the close of the trading day on the primary listing exchange at the time of classification (and in respect of which no active secondary market exists). Investments purchased by a Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to these and other events and circumstances. If one or more investments in a Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15% limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause a Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force a Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Swaps, Caps, Floors and Collars

The Funds may enter into interest rate, index, credit, total return, mortgage and currency swaps, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars. The Funds may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions.

The Funds may enter into swap transactions for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As examples, a Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other markets, to protect against currency fluctuations, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or to gain exposure to certain markets in an economical way.

In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through future commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Each Fund posts initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.

Index swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of payments based on a notional principal amount of a specified index or indices. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages.

Credit default swaps involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security or pool of securities. Loan credit default swaps are similar to credit default swaps on bonds, except that the underlying protection is sold on secured loans of a reference entity rather than a broader category of bonds or loans. Loan credit default swaps may be on single names or on baskets of loans, both tranched and untranched. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index, or an index component.

A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a

 

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predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally a Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with a Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit or mortgage swap defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.

In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for a gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. A credit swap may have as reference obligations one or more securities that may, or may not, be currently held by a Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. Each Fund may be either the protection buyer or seller in the transaction. If a Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased. As a seller, a Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, a Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap. If a credit event occurs, the value of any deliverable obligation received by a Fund as seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.

As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these cleared swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause a Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or liquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.

To the extent that a Fund’s exposure in a transaction involving a swap, swaption or an interest rate floor, cap or collar is covered by identifying cash or liquid assets on a Fund’s books or is covered by other means in accordance with SEC- or SEC staff-approved guidance or other appropriate measures, the Fund and the Investment Adviser believe that the transactions do not constitute senior securities under the Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

The use of swaps and swaptions, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions.

In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if a Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to liquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if a Fund invests in cleared swaps. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts that may have terms of greater than seven days.

 

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Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in swaps.

Investing in Emerging Countries

Emerging Markets Securities. The securities markets of emerging countries are less liquid and subject to greater price volatility, and have a smaller market capitalization, than the U.S. securities markets. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States.

Emerging country securities markets are typically marked by a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of ownership of such securities by a limited number of investors. The markets for securities in certain emerging countries are in the earliest stages of their development. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in emerging countries may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the securities markets of developed countries. The limited size of many of these securities markets can cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the soundness and competitiveness of the securities issuers. For example, prices may be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions in these markets. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The limited liquidity of emerging country securities may also affect a Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests.

A Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations as to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of a Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Market Characteristics. Securities markets of emerging countries may also have less efficient clearance and settlement procedures than U.S. markets, making it difficult to conduct and complete transactions. Delays in the settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of a Fund’s assets is uninvested and no return is earned thereon. Inability to make intended security purchases could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities could result either in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability of the Fund to the purchaser.

 

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Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions and dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the U.S. and other developed securities markets. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.

Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging markets countries may not be fully developed. To the extent a Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and will have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.

With respect to investments in certain emerging countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on a Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder of a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of investors of U.S. corporations.

Economic, Political and Social Factors. Emerging countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than the United States, Japan and most Western European countries, and unanticipated political and social developments may affect the value of a Fund’s investments in emerging countries and the availability to the Fund of additional investments in such countries. Moreover, political and economic structures in many emerging countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development. Instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes or attempted changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved economic, political and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection and conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private property. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries, inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

A Fund may invest in issuers located in former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many of these countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

Restrictions on Investment and Repatriation. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investments by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Repatriation of investment income and capital from certain emerging countries is subject to certain governmental consents. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect the operation of a Fund.

Emerging Country Government Obligations. Emerging country governmental entities are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments, international financial organizations and other financial institutions. Certain emerging country governmental entities have not been able to make payments of interest on or principal of debt obligations as those payments have come due. Obligations arising from past restructuring agreements may affect the economic performance and political and social stability of those entities.

The ability of emerging country governmental entities to make timely payments on their obligations is likely to be influenced strongly by the entity’s balance of payments, including export performance, and its access to international credits and investments. An emerging country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities could be vulnerable to a decline in the international prices of one or more of those commodities. Increased protectionism on the part of an emerging country’s trading partners could also adversely affect the country’s exports and tarnish its trade account surplus, if any. To the extent that emerging countries receive payment for their exports in currencies other than dollars or non-emerging country currencies, the emerging country governmental entity’s ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars or non-emerging market currencies could be affected.

 

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To the extent that an emerging country cannot generate a trade surplus, it must depend on continuing loans from foreign governments, multilateral organizations or private commercial banks, aid payments from foreign governments and on inflows of foreign investment. The access of emerging countries to these forms of external funding may not be certain, and a withdrawal of external funding could adversely affect the capacity of emerging country governmental entities to make payments on their obligations. In addition, the cost of servicing emerging country debt obligations can be affected by a change in international interest rates because the majority of these obligations carry interest rates that are adjusted periodically based upon international rates.

Another factor bearing on the ability of emerging countries to repay debt obligations is the level of international reserves of a country. Fluctuations in the level of these reserves affect the amount of foreign exchange readily available for external debt payments and thus could have a bearing on the capacity of emerging countries to make payments on these debt obligations.

As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially in an emerging country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, a Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of foreign government obligations to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of other foreign government obligations in the event of default under the commercial bank loan agreements.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

A Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls in which a Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase similar, but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, a Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, a Fund would benefit to the extent of any difference between the price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold until the settlement date of the forward purchase. All cash proceeds will be invested in instruments that are permissible investments for the applicable Fund. Each Fund will, until the settlement date, identify cash or liquid assets on its books, as permitted by applicable law, in an amount equal to its forward purchase price.

For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Funds treat mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. The Funds do not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and do not treat them as borrowings.

Mortgage dollar rolls involve certain risks including the following: if the broker-dealer to whom a Fund sells the security becomes insolvent, a Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase the mortgage-related securities subject to the mortgage dollar roll may be restricted. Also, the instrument which a Fund is required to repurchase may be worth less than an instrument which a Fund originally held. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls will depend upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to manage a Fund’s interest rate and mortgage prepayments exposure. For these reasons, there is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. The use of this technique may diminish the investment performance of a Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls.

Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities

A Fund may invest in mortgage loans, mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed-rate mortgage loans, including collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) and stripped mortgage-backed securities, as described below (“Mortgage-Backed Securities”).

Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.

General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities.

In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non-owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial

 

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properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential mortgage-backed securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.

The investment characteristics of adjustable and fixed rate Mortgage-Backed Securities differ from those of traditional fixed income securities. The major differences include the payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed Securities on a more frequent (usually monthly) schedule, and the possibility that principal may be prepaid at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or other assets. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed income securities. As a result, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from their anticipated levels. A prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect, increasing yield to maturity and market value. Conversely, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that a Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, the Investment Adviser may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.

Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates. Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by a Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than a Fund was earning on the Mortgage-Backed Securities that were prepaid. Due to these factors, Mortgage-Backed Securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury and other types of debt securities of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Because a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities are interest-rate sensitive, a Fund’s performance will depend in part upon the ability of the Fund to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in market interest rates and to utilize appropriate strategies to maximize returns to the Fund, while attempting to minimize the associated risks to its investment capital. Prepayments may have a disproportionate effect on certain Mortgage-Backed Securities and other multiple class pass-through securities, which are discussed below.

The rate of interest paid on Mortgage-Backed Securities is normally lower than the rate of interest paid on the mortgages included in the underlying pool due to (among other things) the fees paid to any servicer, special servicer and trustee for the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool, other costs and expenses of such trust fund, fees paid to any guarantor such as Ginnie Mae (as defined below) or to any credit enhancers, mortgage pool insurers, bond insurers and/or hedge providers, and due to any yield retained by the issuer. Actual yield to the holder may vary from the coupon rate, even if adjustable, if the Mortgage-Backed Securities are purchased or traded in the secondary market at a premium or discount. In addition, there is normally some delay between the time the issuer receives mortgage payments from the servicer and the time the issuer (or the trustee of the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool) makes the payments on the Mortgage-Backed Securities, and this delay reduces the effective yield to the holder of such securities.

The issuers of certain mortgage-backed obligations may elect to have the pool of mortgage loans (or indirect interests in mortgage loans) underlying the securities treated as a REMIC, which is subject to special federal income tax rules. A description of the types of mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities in which a Fund may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for a Fund.

Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). A Fund may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow a Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to a Fund.

 

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Adjustable interest rates can cause payment increases that some mortgagors may find difficult to make. However, certain ARMs may provide that the Mortgage Interest Rate may not be adjusted to a rate above an applicable lifetime maximum rate or below an applicable lifetime minimum rate for such ARM. Certain ARMs may also be subject to limitations on the maximum amount by which the Mortgage Interest Rate may adjust for any single adjustment period (the “Maximum Adjustment”). Other ARMs (“Negatively Amortizing ARMs”) may provide instead or as well for limitations on changes in the monthly payment on such ARMs. Limitations on monthly payments can result in monthly payments which are greater or less than the amount necessary to amortize a Negatively Amortizing ARM by its maturity at the Mortgage Interest Rate in effect in any particular month. In the event that a monthly payment is not sufficient to pay the interest accruing on a Negatively Amortizing ARM, any such excess interest is added to the principal balance of the loan, causing negative amortization, and will be repaid through future monthly payments. It may take borrowers under Negatively Amortizing ARMs longer periods of time to build up equity and may increase the likelihood of default by such borrowers. In the event that a monthly payment exceeds the sum of the interest accrued at the applicable Mortgage Interest Rate and the principal payment which would have been necessary to amortize the outstanding principal balance over the remaining term of the loan, the excess (or “accelerated amortization”) further reduces the principal balance of the ARM. Negatively Amortizing ARMs do not provide for the extension of their original maturity to accommodate changes in their Mortgage Interest Rate. As a result, unless there is a periodic recalculation of the payment amount (which there generally is), the final payment may be substantially larger than the other payments. After the expiration of the initial fixed rate period and upon the periodic recalculation of the payment to cause timely amortization of the related mortgage loan, the monthly payment on such mortgage loan may increase substantially which may, in turn, increase the risk of the borrower defaulting in respect of such mortgage loan. These limitations on periodic increases in interest rates and on changes in monthly payments protect borrowers from unlimited interest rate and payment increases, but may result in increased credit exposure and prepayment risks for lenders. When interest due on a mortgage loan is added to the principal balance of such mortgage loan, the related mortgaged property provides proportionately less security for the repayment of such mortgage loan. Therefore, if the related borrower defaults on such mortgage loan, there is a greater likelihood that a loss will be incurred upon any liquidation of the mortgaged property which secures such mortgage loan.

ARMs also have the risk of prepayment. The rate of principal prepayments with respect to ARMs has fluctuated in recent years. The value of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by ARMs is less likely to rise during periods of declining interest rates than the value of fixed-rate securities during such periods. Accordingly, ARMs may be subject to a greater rate of principal repayments in a declining interest rate environment resulting in lower yields to a Fund. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly, ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of a Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.

There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year LIBOR, the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in a Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of the Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40 years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.

Certain Legal Considerations of Mortgage Loans. The following is a discussion of certain legal and regulatory aspects of the mortgage loans in which a Fund may invest. This discussion is not exhaustive, and does not address all of the legal or regulatory aspects affecting mortgage loans. These regulations may impair the ability of a mortgage lender to enforce its rights under the mortgage documents. These regulations may also adversely affect a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities (including those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) by delaying the Fund’s receipt of payments derived from principal or interest on mortgage loans affected by such regulations.

 

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1.

Foreclosure. A foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan may be delayed due to compliance with statutory notice or service of process provisions, difficulties in locating necessary parties or legal challenges to the mortgagee’s right to foreclose. Depending upon market conditions, the ultimate proceeds of the sale of foreclosed property may not equal the amounts owed on the Mortgage-Backed Securities. Furthermore, courts in some cases have imposed general equitable principles upon foreclosure generally designed to relieve the borrower from the legal effect of default and have required lenders to undertake affirmative and expensive actions to determine the causes for the default and the likelihood of loan reinstatement.

 

2.

Rights of Redemption. In some states, after foreclosure of a mortgage loan, the borrower and foreclosed junior lienors are given a statutory period in which to redeem the property, which right may diminish the mortgagee’s ability to sell the property.

 

3.

Legislative Limitations. In addition to anti-deficiency and related legislation, numerous other federal and state statutory provisions, including the federal bankruptcy laws and state laws affording relief to debtors, may interfere with or affect the ability of a secured mortgage lender to enforce its security interest. For example, a bankruptcy court may grant the debtor a reasonable time to cure a default on a mortgage loan, including a payment default. The court in certain instances may also reduce the monthly payments due under such mortgage loan, change the rate of interest, reduce the principal balance of the loan to the then-current appraised value of the related mortgaged property, alter the mortgage loan repayment schedule and grant priority of certain liens over the lien of the mortgage loan. If a court relieves a borrower’s obligation to repay amounts otherwise due on a mortgage loan, the mortgage loan servicer will not be required to advance such amounts, and any loss may be borne by the holders of securities backed by such loans. In addition, numerous federal and state consumer protection laws impose penalties for failure to comply with specific requirements in connection with origination and servicing of mortgage loans.

 

4.

“Due-on-Sale” Provisions. Fixed-rate mortgage loans may contain a so-called “due-on-sale” clause permitting acceleration of the maturity of the mortgage loan if the borrower transfers the property. The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 sets forth nine specific instances in which no mortgage lender covered by that Act may exercise a “due-on-sale” clause upon a transfer of property. The inability to enforce a “due-on-sale“clause or the lack of such a clause in mortgage loan documents may result in a mortgage loan being assumed by a purchaser of the property that bears an interest rate below the current market rate.

 

5.

Usury Laws. Some states prohibit charging interest on mortgage loans in excess of statutory limits. If such limits are exceeded, substantial penalties may be incurred and, in some cases, enforceability of the obligation to pay principal and interest may be affected.

 

6.

Recent Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. The rise in the rate of foreclosures of properties in certain states or localities has resulted in legislative, regulatory and enforcement action in such states or localities seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures, particularly in respect of residential mortgage loans. Actions have also been brought against issuers and underwriters of residential Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by such residential mortgage loans and investors in such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions a Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans. For example, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 authorized bankruptcy courts to assist bankrupt borrowers by restructuring residential mortgage loans secured by a lien on the borrower’s primary residence. Bankruptcy judges are permitted to reduce the interest rate of the bankrupt borrower’s residential mortgage loan, extend its term to maturity to up to 40 years or take other actions to reduce the borrower’s monthly payment. As a result, the value of, and the cash flows in respect of, the Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans may be adversely impacted, and, as a consequence, a Fund’s investment in such Mortgage-Backed Securities could be adversely impacted. Other federal legislation, including the Home Affordability Modification Program (“HAMP”), encourages servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are either already in default or are at risk of imminent default. Furthermore, HAMP provides incentives for servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are contractually current. This program, as well other legislation and/or governmental intervention designed to protect consumers, may have an adverse impact on servicers of residential mortgage loans by increasing costs and expenses of these servicers while at the same time decreasing servicing cash

 

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  flows. Such increased financial pressures may have a negative effect on the ability of servicers to pursue collection on residential mortgage loans that are experiencing increased delinquencies and defaults and to maximize recoveries on the sale of underlying residential mortgaged properties following foreclosure. Other legislative or regulatory actions include insulation of servicers from liability for modification of residential mortgage loans without regard to the terms of the applicable servicing agreements. The foregoing legislation and current and future governmental regulation activities may have the effect of reducing returns to a Fund to the extent it has invested in Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans.

Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. A Fund invest in other types of Mortgage-Backed Securities that may be available in the future to the extent consistent with its investment policies and objective.

A Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities may include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ginnie Mae securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, which means that the U.S. Government guarantees that the interest and principal will be paid when due. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and as a result, they have historically been viewed by the market as high quality securities with low credit risks. From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating federal sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards such sponsorship or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities and the liquidity and value of a Fund’s portfolio.

There is risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. A Fund may purchase U.S. Government Securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest.

 

   

Ginnie Mae Certificates. Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States. Ginnie Mae is authorized to guarantee the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that are based on and backed by a pool of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (“VA”), or by pools of other eligible mortgage loans. In order to meet its obligations under any guaranty, Ginnie Mae is authorized to borrow from the U.S. Treasury in an unlimited amount. The National Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is pledged to the timely payment of principal and interest by Ginnie Mae of amounts due on Ginnie Mae certificates.

 

   

Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the U.S. Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an undivided interest in a pool of mortgage loans (a “Pool”) formed by Fannie Mae. A Pool consists of residential mortgage loans either previously owned by Fannie Mae or purchased by it in connection with the formation of the Pool. The mortgage loans may be either conventional mortgage loans (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any U.S. Government agency) or mortgage loans that are either insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA. However, the mortgage loans in Fannie Mae Pools are primarily conventional mortgage loans. The lenders originating and servicing the mortgage loans are subject to certain eligibility requirements established by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has certain contractual responsibilities. With respect to each Pool, Fannie Mae is obligated to distribute scheduled installments of principal and interest after Fannie Mae’s servicing and guaranty fee, whether or not received, to Certificate holders. Fannie Mae also is obligated to distribute to holders of Certificates an amount equal to the full principal balance of any foreclosed mortgage loan, whether or not such principal balance is actually recovered. The obligations of Fannie Mae under its guaranty of the Fannie Mae Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

 

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Freddie Mac Certificates. Freddie Mac is a publicly held U.S. Government sponsored enterprise. A principal activity of Freddie Mac currently is the purchase of first lien, conventional, residential and multifamily mortgage loans and participation interests in such mortgage loans and their resale in the form of mortgage securities, primarily Freddie Mac Certificates. A Freddie Mac Certificate represents a pro rata interest in a group of mortgage loans or participations in mortgage loans (a “Freddie Mac Certificate group”) purchased by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees to each registered holder of a Freddie Mac Certificate the timely payment of interest at the rate provided for by such Freddie Mac Certificate (whether or not received on the underlying loans). Freddie Mac also guarantees to each registered Certificate holder ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans, without any offset or deduction, but does not, generally, guarantee the timely payment of scheduled principal. The obligations of Freddie Mac under its guaranty of Freddie Mac Certificates are obligations solely of Freddie Mac. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

Under the direction of FHFA (as defined below), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (the “Single Security Initiative”), which would generally align the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Certificates. The Single Security Initiative is expected to launch in June 2019, and the effects it may have on the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities are uncertain.

Conventional Mortgage Loans. The conventional mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans normally with original terms to maturity of between five and thirty years. Substantially all of these mortgage loans are secured by first liens on one- to four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, the U.S. Treasury Department (the “Treasury”) entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock placed significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must obtain the consent of the Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.

The future status and role of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could be impacted by (among other things) the actions taken and restrictions placed on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by the FHFA in its role as conservator, the restrictions placed on Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s operations and activities as a result of the senior preferred stock investment made by the Treasury, market responses to developments at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and future legislative and regulatory action that alters the operations, ownership, structure and/or mission of these institutions, each of which may, in turn, impact the value of, and cash flows on, any Mortgage-Backed Securities guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, including any such Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund.

 

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Privately Issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. A Fund may invest in privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. Privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities are generally backed by pools of conventional (i.e., non-government guaranteed or insured) mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally will be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities

A Fund may invest in both government guaranteed and privately issued mortgage pass-through securities (“Mortgage Pass-Throughs”) that are fixed or adjustable rate Mortgage-Backed Securities which provide for monthly payments that are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees or other amounts paid to any guarantor, administrator and/or servicer of the underlying mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally may be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

The following discussion describes certain aspects of only a few of the wide variety of structures of Mortgage Pass-Throughs that are available or may be issued.

General Description of Certificates. Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be issued in one or more classes of senior certificates and one or more classes of subordinate certificates. Each such class may bear a different pass-through rate. Generally, each certificate will evidence the specified interest of the holder thereof in the payments of principal or interest or both in respect of the mortgage pool comprising part of the trust fund for such certificates.

Any class of certificates may also be divided into subclasses entitled to varying amounts of principal and interest. If a REMIC election has been made, certificates of such subclasses may be entitled to payments on the basis of a stated principal balance and stated interest rate, and payments among different subclasses may be made on a sequential, concurrent, pro rata or disproportionate basis, or any combination thereof. The stated interest rate on any such subclass of certificates may be a fixed rate or one which varies in direct or inverse relationship to an objective interest index.

Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at the applicable mortgage pass-through rate, or both. The difference between the mortgage interest rate and the related mortgage pass-through rate (less the amount, if any, of retained yield) with respect to each mortgage loan will generally be paid to the servicer as a servicing fee. Because certain adjustable rate mortgage loans included in a mortgage pool may provide for deferred interest (i.e., negative amortization), the amount of interest actually paid by a mortgagor in any month may be less than the amount of interest accrued on the outstanding principal balance of the related mortgage loan during the relevant period at the applicable mortgage interest rate. In such event, the amount of interest that is treated as deferred interest will generally be added to the principal balance of the related mortgage loan and will be distributed pro rata to certificate-holders as principal of such mortgage loan when paid by the mortgagor in subsequent monthly payments or at maturity.

Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such

 

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certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass-Throughs included in a Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.

In the recent past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of mortgage-backed securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may have invested or may in the future be invested), and they may continue to do so in the future. In the event that any Mortgage-Backed Security held by a Fund is placed on credit watch or downgraded, the value of such Mortgage-Backed Security may decline and the Fund may consequently experience losses in respect of such Mortgage-Backed Security.

Credit Enhancement. Mortgage pools created by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher yield than government and government-related pools because of the absence of direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, Mortgage Pass-Throughs may contain elements of credit support. Credit support falls generally into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pools of mortgages, the provision of a reserve fund, or a combination thereof, to ensure, subject to certain limitations, that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such credit support can be provided by, among other things, payment guarantees, letters of credit, pool insurance, subordination, or any combination thereof.

Subordination; Shifting of Interest; Reserve Fund. In order to achieve ratings on one or more classes of Mortgage Pass-Throughs, one or more classes of certificates may be subordinate certificates which provide that the rights of the subordinate certificate-holders to receive any or a specified portion of distributions with respect to the underlying mortgage loans may be subordinated to the rights of the senior certificate holders. If so structured, the subordination feature may be enhanced by distributing to the senior certificate-holders on certain distribution dates, as payment of principal, a specified percentage (which generally declines over time) of all principal payments received during the preceding prepayment period (“shifting interest credit enhancement”). This will have the effect of accelerating the amortization of the senior certificates while increasing the interest in the trust fund evidenced by the subordinate certificates. Increasing the interest of the subordinate certificates relative to that of the senior certificates is intended to preserve the availability of the subordination provided by the subordinate certificates. In addition, because the senior certificate-holders in a shifting interest credit enhancement structure are entitled to receive a percentage of principal prepayments which is greater than their proportionate interest in the trust fund, the rate of principal prepayments on the mortgage loans may have an even greater effect on the rate of principal payments and the amount of interest payments on, and the yield to maturity of, the senior certificates.

In addition to providing for a preferential right of the senior certificate-holders to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool, a reserve fund may be established relating to such certificates (the “Reserve Fund”). The Reserve Fund may be created with an initial cash deposit by the originator or servicer and augmented by the retention of distributions otherwise available to the subordinate certificate-holders or by excess servicing fees until the Reserve Fund reaches a specified amount.

The subordination feature, and any Reserve Fund, are intended to enhance the likelihood of timely receipt by senior certificate-holders of the full amount of scheduled monthly payments of principal and interest due to them and will protect the senior certificate-holders against certain losses; however, in certain circumstances the Reserve Fund could be depleted and temporary shortfalls could result. In the event that the Reserve Fund is depleted before the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, senior certificate-holders will nevertheless have a preferential right to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool to the extent of the then outstanding subordinated amount. Unless otherwise specified, until the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, on any distribution date any amount otherwise distributable to the subordinate certificates or, to the extent specified, in the Reserve Fund will generally be used to offset the amount of any losses realized with respect to the mortgage loans (“Realized Losses”). Realized Losses remaining after application of such amounts will generally be applied to reduce the ownership interest of the subordinate certificates in the mortgage pool. If the subordinated amount has been reduced to zero, Realized Losses generally will be allocated pro rata among all certificate-holders in proportion to their respective outstanding interests in the mortgage pool.

 

 

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Alternative Credit Enhancement. As an alternative, or in addition to the credit enhancement afforded by subordination, credit enhancement for Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be provided through bond insurers, or at the mortgage loan-level through mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, or through the deposit of cash, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, a limited guaranty or by such other methods as are acceptable to a rating agency. In certain circumstances, such as where credit enhancement is provided by bond insurers, guarantees or letters of credit, the security is subject to credit risk because of its exposure to the credit risk of an external credit enhancement provider.

Voluntary Advances. Generally, in the event of delinquencies in payments on the mortgage loans underlying the Mortgage Pass-Throughs, the servicer may agree to make advances of cash for the benefit of certificate-holders, but generally will do so only to the extent that it determines such voluntary advances will be recoverable from future payments and collections on the mortgage loans or otherwise.

Optional Termination. Generally, the servicer may, at its option with respect to any certificates, repurchase all of the underlying mortgage loans remaining outstanding at such time if the aggregate outstanding principal balance of such mortgage loans is less than a specified percentage (generally 5-10%) of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the mortgage loans as of the cut-off date specified with respect to such series.

Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. A Fund may invest in multiple class securities including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and REMIC Certificates. These securities may be issued by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by trusts formed by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage bankers, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. In general, CMOs are debt obligations of a legal entity that are collateralized by, and multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities represent direct ownership interests in, a pool of mortgage loans or Mortgage-Backed Securities the payments on which are used to make payments on the CMOs or multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities.

Fannie Mae REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae will be obligated to distribute the principal balance of each class of REMIC Certificates in full, whether or not sufficient funds are otherwise available.

Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest on Freddie Mac REMIC Certificates and also guarantees the payment of principal as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates (“PCs”). PCs represent undivided interests in specified level payment, residential mortgages or participations therein purchased by Freddie Mac and placed in a PC pool. With respect to principal payments on PCs, Freddie Mac generally guarantees ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans without offset or deduction but the receipt of the required payments may be delayed. Freddie Mac also guarantees timely payment of principal of certain PCs.

CMOs and guaranteed REMIC Certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are types of multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities. The REMIC Certificates represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust, generally consisting of mortgage loans or Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities (the “Mortgage Assets”). The obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under their respective guaranty of the REMIC Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, respectively. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”

CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.

The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in various ways. In certain structures (known as “sequential pay” CMOs or REMIC Certificates), payments of principal, including any principal prepayments, on the Mortgage Assets generally are applied to the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.

Additional structures of CMOs and REMIC Certificates include, among others, “parallel pay” CMOs and REMIC Certificates. Parallel pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates are those which are structured to apply principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets to two or more classes concurrently on a proportionate or disproportionate basis. These simultaneous payments are taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class.

 

 

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A wide variety of REMIC Certificates may be issued in parallel pay or sequential pay structures. These securities include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until all other certificates having an earlier final distribution date have been retired and are converted thereafter to an interest-paying security, and planned amortization class (“PAC”) certificates, which are parallel pay REMIC Certificates that generally require that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date to one or more classes or REMIC Certificates (the “PAC Certificates”), even though all other principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets are then required to be applied to one or more other classes of the PAC Certificates. The scheduled principal payments for the PAC Certificates generally have the highest priority on each payment date after interest due has been paid to all classes entitled to receive interest currently. Shortfalls, if any, are added to the amount payable on the next payment date. The PAC Certificate payment schedule is taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class of PAC. In order to create PAC tranches, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the underlying mortgage assets. These tranches tend to have market prices and yields that are much more volatile than other PAC classes.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) are a type of Mortgage Pass-Through that are primarily backed by a pool of commercial mortgage loans. The commercial mortgage loans are, in turn, generally secured by commercial mortgaged properties (such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property). CMBS generally entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. CMBS will be affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying mortgage loans. The underlying mortgage loans generally are secured by income producing properties such as office properties, retail properties, multifamily properties, manufactured housing, hospitality properties, industrial properties and self-storage properties. Because issuers of CMBS have no significant assets other than the underlying commercial real estate loans and because of the significant credit risks inherent in the underlying collateral, credit risk is a correspondingly important consideration with respect to the related CMBS. Certain of the mortgage loans underlying CMBS constituting part of the collateral interests may be delinquent, in default or in foreclosure.

Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks, including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks; and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy, or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.

CMBS held by a Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. Realized losses in respect of the mortgage loans included in the CMBS pool and trust expenses generally will be allocated to the most subordinated class of securities of the related series. Accordingly, to the extent any CMBS is or becomes the most subordinated class of securities of the related series, any delinquency or default on any underlying mortgage loan may result in shortfalls, realized loss allocations or extensions of its weighted average life and will have a more immediate and disproportionate effect on the related CMBS than on a related more senior class of CMBS of the same series. Further, even if a class is not the most subordinate class of securities, there can be no assurance that the subordination offered to such class will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust. CMBS are typically not guaranteed or insured, and distributions on such CMBS generally will depend solely upon the amount and timing of payments and other collections on the related underlying commercial mortgage loans.

 

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Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Funds may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiclass mortgage securities, issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities or non-governmental originators. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments (the interest-only, or “IO” and/or the high coupon rate with relatively low principal amount, or “IOette”), and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments (the principal-only, or “PO”), from a pool of mortgage loans.

Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. A Fund’s investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in SMBS.

Options on Securities; Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices. A Fund may write (sell) covered call and put options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. A Fund may write such options on securities that are listed on national domestic securities exchanges or foreign securities exchanges or traded in the over-the-counter market. A Fund may also, to the extent it invests in foreign securities, write (sell) put and call options on foreign currencies. A call option written by a Fund obligates that Fund to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. Depending upon the type of call option, the purchaser of a call option either (i) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over a fixed price (the “exercise price”) on a certain date in the future (the “expiration date”) or (ii) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over the exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. If the purchaser exercises the option, a Fund pays the purchaser the difference between the price of the security and the exercise price of the option. The premium, the exercise price and the market value of the security determine the gain or loss realized by a Fund as the seller of the call option. A Fund can also repurchase the call option prior to the expiration date, ending its obligation. In this case, the cost of entering into closing purchase transactions will determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund. All call options written by a Fund are covered, which means that such Fund will own the securities subject to the option as long as the option is outstanding or such Fund will use the other methods described below. A Fund’s purpose in writing covered call options is to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, a Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the underlying security.

A put option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. All put options written by a Fund would be covered, which means that such Fund will identify on its books cash or liquid assets with a value at least equal to the exercise price of the put option (less any margin on deposit) or will use the other methods described below. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

The purpose of writing such options is to generate additional income for the Fund. However, in return for the option premium, each Fund accepts the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the securities’ market value at the time of purchase.

In the case of a call option, the option may be “covered” if a Fund owns the instrument underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, liquid assets in such amount are identified on the Fund’s books) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held by it. A call option may also be covered if a Fund holds a call on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies liquid assets in the amount of the difference. A put option may also be covered if a Fund holds a put on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or higher than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies on its books liquid assets in the amount of the difference. A Fund may also cover options on securities by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit that is equal to the market value of the securities in the case of a call option. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency.

 

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Each Fund may also write (sell) call and put options on any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

A Fund may cover call options on a securities index by owning securities whose price changes are expected to be similar to those of the underlying index, or by having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities without additional cash consideration (or for additional consideration which has been identified by the Fund on its books) upon conversion or exchange of other securities in its portfolio. A Fund may also cover call and put options by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit, that is equal to the market value of the underlying securities in the case of a call option, or the exercise price in the case of a put option, or by owning offsetting options as described above.

A Fund may terminate its obligations under an exchange traded call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Obligations under over-the-counter options may be terminated only by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to such option. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.”

Each Fund may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. A Fund may also enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.

A Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease in the market value of securities or other instruments of the type in which it may invest (“protective puts”). The purchase of a call option would entitle a Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities or other instruments exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise a Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

The purchase of a put option would entitle a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of a Fund’s securities or other instruments. Put options may also be purchased by a Fund for the purpose of affirmatively benefiting from a decline in the price of securities or other instruments which it does not own. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities or other instruments decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of put options may be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying portfolio securities or other instruments.

A Fund would purchase put and call options on securities indices for the same purposes as it would purchase options on individual securities. For a description of options on securities indices, see “Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices” above.

Yield Curve Options. A Fund may enter into options on the yield “spread” or differential between two securities. Such transactions are referred to as “yield curve” options. In contrast to other types of options, a yield curve option is based on the difference between the yields of designated securities, rather than the prices of the individual securities, and is settled through cash payments. Accordingly, a yield curve option is profitable to the holder if this differential widens (in the case of a call) or narrows (in the case of a put), regardless of whether the yields of the underlying securities increase or decrease.

A Fund may purchase or write yield curve options for the same purposes as other options on securities. For example, A Fund may purchase a call option on the yield spread between two securities if it owns one of the securities and anticipates purchasing the other security and wants to hedge against an adverse change in the yield spread between the two securities. A Fund may also purchase or write yield curve options in an effort to increase current income if, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, the Fund will be able to profit from movements in the spread between the yields of the underlying securities. The trading of yield curve options is subject to all of the risks associated with the trading of other types of options. In addition, however, such options present risk of loss even if the yield of one of the underlying securities remains constant, if the spread moves in a direction or to an extent which was not anticipated.

 

 

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Yield curve options written by a Fund will be “covered.” A call (or put) option is covered if a Fund holds another call (or put) option on the spread between the same two securities and identifies on its books cash or liquid assets sufficient to cover the Fund’s net liability under the two options. Therefore, a Fund’s liability for such a covered option is generally limited to the difference between the amount of the Fund’s liability under the option written by the Fund less the value of the option held by the Fund. Yield curve options may also be covered in such other manner as may be in accordance with the requirements of the counterparty with which the option is traded and applicable laws and regulations. Yield curve options are traded over-the-counter and established trading markets for these options may not exist.

Risks Associated with Options Transactions. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular exchange-traded option or at any particular time. If a Fund is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction with respect to options it has written, a Fund will not be able to sell the underlying securities or dispose of the assets identified on its books to cover the position until the options expire or are exercised. Similarly, if a Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options it has purchased, it will have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit and will incur transaction costs upon the purchase or sale of underlying securities.

Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the Options Clearing Corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

There can be no assurance that higher trading activity, order flow or other unforeseen events will not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation or various exchanges inadequate. Such events have, in the past, resulted in the institution by an exchange of special procedures, such as trading rotations, restrictions on certain types of order or trading halts or suspensions with respect to one or more options. These special procedures may limit liquidity.

A Fund may purchase and sell both options that are traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges and options traded over-the-counter with broker-dealers who make markets in these options. The ability to terminate over-the-counter options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations.

Transactions by each Fund in options will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded governing the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facility or are held in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. Thus, the number of options which a Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities or securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in a Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The writing of options could increase a Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Currency. A Fund may, to the extent that it invests in foreign securities, write and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that a Fund has written is exercised, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to a Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter.

 

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Options on currency may also be used for cross-hedging purposes, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation, or to seek to increase total return when the Investment Adviser anticipates that the currency will appreciate or depreciate in value, but the securities quoted or denominated in that currency do not present attractive investment opportunities and are not included in the Fund’s portfolio.

A currency call option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to sell a specified currency to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. A currency put option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to purchase a specified currency from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. The writing of currency options involves a risk that a Fund will, upon exercise of the option, be required to sell currency subject to a call at a price that is less than the currency’s market value or be required to purchase currency subject to a put at a price that exceeds the currency’s market value. Written put and call options on foreign currencies may be covered in a manner similar to written put and call options on securities and securities indices described under “Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices” above.

A Fund may terminate its obligations under a call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.” A Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options purchased by the Fund.

A Fund may purchase call options on foreign currency in anticipation of an increase in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities to be acquired by a Fund are quoted or denominated. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

A Fund may purchase put options in anticipation of a decline in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities in its portfolio are quoted or denominated (“protective puts”). The purchase of a put option would entitle a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the dollar value of a Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying currency.

In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, the Funds may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. The Funds may write (sell) put and call options on any currency in an attempt to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, in writing call options for additional income, the Funds may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, the Funds accept, in return for the option premium, the risk that they may be required to purchase the underlying currency at a price in excess of the currency’s market value at the time of purchase.

Special Risks Associated with Options on Currency. An exchange-traded options position may be closed out only on an options exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series. Although a Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time. For some options no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that a Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of underlying securities pursuant to the exercise of put options. If a Fund as an option writer is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying currency (or security quoted or denominated in that currency), or dispose of the identified assets, until the option expires or it delivers the underlying currency upon exercise.

There is no assurance that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by an exchange of special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of customers’ orders.

A Fund may purchase and write over-the-counter options. Trading in over-the-counter options is subject to the risk that the other party will be unable or unwilling to close out options purchased or written by a Fund.

 

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The amount of the premiums that a Fund may pay or receive may be adversely affected as new or existing institutions, including other investment companies, engage in or increase their option purchasing and writing activities.

Pooled Investment Vehicles

Each Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles, including ETFs. A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by pooled investment vehicles in which it invests, in addition to the management fees (and other expenses) paid by the Fund. A Fund’s investments in pooled investment vehicles are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Act, including in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of all investment companies. Many ETFs, however, have obtained exemptive relief from the SEC to permit unaffiliated funds (such as the Funds) to invest in their shares beyond these statutory limits, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to contractual arrangements between the ETFs and the investing funds. The Funds may rely on these exemptive orders in investing in ETFs. Moreover, subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, the Funds may invest in investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, for which the Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. With respect to a Fund’s investments in money market funds, to the extent that the Fund invests in a money market fund for which the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates acts as investment adviser, the management fees payable by the Fund to the Investment Adviser will, to the extent required by the SEC, be reduced by an amount equal to the Fund’s proportionate share of the management fees paid by such money market fund to its investment adviser. Although the Funds do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, each Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund.

Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligation. The Funds may also enter into repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government Securities, which may be subject to additional risks. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement under which a Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by the Funds’ custodian (or subcustodian). The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to a Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at a stated rate due to a Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to a Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.

For purposes of the Act, and generally for tax purposes, a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan from a Fund to the seller of the security. For other purposes, it is not always clear whether a court would consider the security purchased by a Fund subject to a repurchase agreement as being owned by the Fund or as being collateral for a loan by the Fund to the seller. In the event of commencement of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings with respect to the seller of the security before repurchase of the security under a repurchase agreement, a Fund may encounter delay and incur costs before being able to sell the security. Such a delay may involve loss of interest or a decline in value of the security. If the court characterizes the transaction as a loan and a Fund has not perfected a security interest in the security, the Fund may be required to return the security to the seller’s estate and be treated as an unsecured creditor of the seller. As an unsecured creditor, a Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and interest involved in the transaction.

Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), each Fund will direct the seller of the security to deliver additional securities so that the market value of all securities subject to the repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Certain repurchase agreements which provide for settlement in more than seven days can be liquidated before the nominal fixed term on seven days or less notice.

The Funds, together with other registered investment companies having management agreements with the Investment Adviser or their affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

 

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Restricted Securities

Each Fund may purchase securities and other financial instruments that are not registered or that are offered in an exempt non-public offering (“Restricted Securities”) under the 1933 Act, including securities eligible for resale to “qualified institutional buyers” pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. The purchase price and subsequent valuation of Restricted Securities may reflect a discount from the price at which such securities trade when they are not restricted, because the restriction makes them less liquid. The amount of the discount from the prevailing market price is expected to vary depending upon the type of security, the character of the issuer, the party who will bear the expenses of registering the Restricted Securities and prevailing supply and demand conditions. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in Restricted Securities.

Risks of Qualified Financial Contracts

Regulations adopted by federal banking regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act, which are scheduled to take effect throughout 2019, require that certain qualified financial contracts (“QFCs”) with counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations be amended to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default rights. QFCs include, but are not limited to, securities contracts, commodities contracts, forward contracts, repurchase agreements, securities lending agreements and swaps agreements, as well as related master agreements, security agreements, credit enhancements, and reimbursement obligations. If a covered counterparty of a Fund or certain of the covered counterparty’s affiliates were to become subject to certain insolvency proceedings, the Fund may be temporarily unable to exercise certain default rights, and the QFC may be transferred to another entity. These requirements may impact a Fund’s credit and counterparty risks.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may borrow money by entering into transactions called reverse repurchase agreements. Under these arrangements, a Fund will sell portfolio securities to dealers in U.S. Government Securities or members of the Federal Reserve System, with an agreement to repurchase the security on an agreed date, price and interest payment. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities a Fund relinquishes may decline below the price the Fund must pay when the transaction closes. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of a Fund’s outstanding shares.

When a Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it identifies on its books cash or liquid assets that have a value equal to or greater than the repurchase price. The amount of cash or liquid assets so identified is then monitored continuously by the Investment Adviser to make sure that an appropriate value is maintained. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings under the Investment Company Act.

U.S. Government Securities

A Fund may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”). Some U.S. Government Securities (such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance) are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States (“U.S. Treasury Securities”). Others, such as obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, are supported either by (i) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (ii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer or (iii) the credit of the issuer. The U.S. Government is under no legal obligation, in general, to purchase the obligations of its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government will provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises in the future, and the U.S. Government may be unable to pay debts when due.

U.S. Government Securities include (to the extent consistent with the Act) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may also include (to the extent consistent with the Act) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The secondary market for certain of these participations is extremely limited. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in these participations.

 

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A Fund may also purchase U.S. Government Securities in private placements, subject to the Fund’s limitation on illiquid investments. A Fund may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury that are traded independently under the separate trading of registered interest and principal of securities program. A Fund may also invest in zero coupon U.S. Treasury Securities and in zero coupon securities issued by financial institutions which represent a proportionate interest in underlying U.S. Treasury Securities.

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”). Certain Funds may invest in TIPS of varying maturities issued by the U.S. Treasury, which are securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on TIPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the greater of the adjusted or original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of TIPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.

The values of TIPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates will decline, leading to an increase in the value of TIPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates will rise, leading to a decrease in the value of TIPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Funds hold TIPS, the Funds may earn less on the TIPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in TIPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for TIPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

Any increase in principal value of TIPS caused by an increase in the consumer price index is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though the Funds holding TIPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, the Funds could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy their distribution requirements as regulated investment companies.

If the Funds invest in TIPS, they will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of their taxable year. If the Funds purchase such TIPS that are issued in stripped form either as stripped bonds or coupons, they will be treated as if they had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.

Because the Funds are required to distribute substantially all of their net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), the Funds’ investments in either zero coupon bonds or TIPS may require the Funds to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income they actually receive. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, the Funds may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

A Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis beyond the customary settlement time. These transactions involve a commitment by a Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date. The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that require a Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to a Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to a Fund and impose added operational complexity. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. The Funs will generally purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis only with the intention of completing the transaction and actually purchasing or selling the securities. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, a Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. A Fund may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. A Fund may realize capital gains or losses in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining the Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities for fixed-rate obligations will be calculated from the commitment date. A Fund is generally required to identify on its books cash and liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price unless the Fund’s obligations are otherwise covered. Alternatively, a Fund may enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. Securities purchased or sold on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or if the value of the security to be sold increases prior to the settlement date.

 

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Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds

A Fund may invest in zero coupon, deferred interest, pay-in-kind (“PIK”) and capital appreciation bonds. Zero coupon, deferred interest and capital appreciation bonds are debt securities issued or sold at a discount from their face value and which do not entitle the holder to any periodic payment of interest prior to maturity or a specified date. The original issue discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or cash payment date, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. These securities also may take the form of debt securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, the coupons themselves or receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations or coupons.

PIK securities may be debt obligations or preferred shares that provide the issuer with the option of paying interest or dividends on such obligations in cash or in the form of additional securities rather than cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds and deferred interest bonds, PIK securities are designed to give an issuer flexibility in managing cash flow. PIK securities that are debt securities can be either senior or subordinated debt and generally trade flat (i.e., without accrued interest). The trading price of PIK debt securities generally reflects the market value of the underlying debt plus an amount representing accrued interest since the last interest payment.

The market prices of zero coupon, deferred interest, capital appreciation bonds and PIK securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of interest bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality. Moreover, zero coupon, deferred interest, capital appreciation and PIK securities involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, a Fund will realize no cash until a specified future payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer of such securities defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The valuation of such investments requires judgment regarding the collection of future payments. In addition, even though such securities do not provide for the payment of current interest in cash, a Fund is nonetheless required to accrue income on such investments for each taxable year and generally is required to distribute such accrued amounts (net of deductible expenses, if any) to avoid being subject to tax. Because no cash is generally received at the time of the accrual, a Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy federal tax distribution requirements applicable to the Fund. A portion of the discount with respect to stripped tax exempt securities or their coupons may be taxable. See “TAXATION.”

Special Note Regarding Regulatory Changes and Other Market Events

Federal, state, and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of a Fund or the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Future legislation or regulation or other governmental actions could limit or preclude a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective or otherwise adversely impact an investment in the Fund. Furthermore, worsened market conditions, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or the perceived creditworthiness of the United States, could have a negative impact on securities markets.

The Funds’ investments, payment obligations and financing terms may be based on floating rates, such as LIBOR, EURIBOR and other similar types of reference rates (each, a “Reference Rate”). On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA will no longer persuade nor compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates after 2021. Such announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR and other Reference Rates on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. This announcement and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on a Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition. Until then, the Funds may continue to invest in instruments that reference such rates or otherwise use such Reference Rates due to favorable liquidity or pricing.

In advance of 2021, regulators and market participants will seek to work together to identify or develop successor Reference Rates and how the calculation of associated spreads (if any) should be adjusted. Additionally, prior to 2021, it is expected that industry trade associations and participants will focus on the transition mechanisms by which the Reference Rates and spreads (if any) in existing contracts or instruments may be amended, whether through marketwide protocols, fallback contractual provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to the Funds. At this time, it is not possible to exhaustively identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades, adversely impacting a Fund’s overall financial condition or results of operations. The impact of any successor or substitute Reference Rate, if any, will vary on an investment-by-investment basis, and any differences may be material and/or create material economic mismatches, especially if investments are used for hedging or similar purposes. In addition, although certain Fund investments may provide for a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate) if the Reference Rate becomes unavailable, certain Fund investments may not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). Accordingly, there may be disputes as to: (i) any successor or substitute Reference Rate; or (ii) the enforceability of any Fund investment that does not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates

 

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may have discretion to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate, including any price or other adjustments to account for differences between the successor or substitute Reference Rate and the previous rate. The successor or substitute Reference Rate and any adjustments selected may negatively impact a Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition, including in ways unforeseen by the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates. In addition, any successor or substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect a Fund’s performance and/or NAV, and may expose a Fund to additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks.

In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the financial sector experienced reduced liquidity in credit and other fixed income markets, and an unusually high degree of volatility, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets were impacted, issuers that had exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets were particularly affected. The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted in 2010, provides for broad regulation of financial institutions, consumer financial products and services, broker-dealers, over-the-counter derivatives, investment advisers, credit rating agencies and mortgage lending.

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

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

Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks

An investment in a Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although a Fund attempts to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. A Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

A Fund is also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of-service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting a Fund or its investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with a Fund’s calculation of NAV and to lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. Similar to operational risk in general, a Fund and its service providers, including GSAM, have instituted risk management systems designed to minimize the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is a risk that these systems will not succeed (or that any remediation efforts will not be successful), especially because a Fund does not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Fund, their trading counterparties or the issuers in which the Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.

 

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A Fund may be subject to third-party litigation, which could give rise to legal liability. These matters involving a Fund may arise from their activities and investments and could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund, including the expense of defending against claims and paying any amounts pursuant to settlements or judgments. There can be no guarantee that these matters will not arise in the normal course of business. If a Fund were to be found liable in any suit or proceeding, any associated damages and/or penalties could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund’s finances, in addition to being materially damaging to their reputation.

 

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INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The investment restrictions set forth below have been adopted by the Trust as fundamental policies that cannot be changed with respect to a Fund without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of the Fund. The investment objective of each Fund and all other investment policies or practices of the Fund are considered by the Trust not to be fundamental and accordingly may be changed without shareholder approval. For purposes of the Act, a “majority” of the outstanding voting securities means the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Trust or the applicable Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or the applicable Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or the applicable Fund.

For purposes of the following limitations (except for the asset coverage requirement with respect to borrowings, which is subject to different requirements under the Act), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage shall not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, the Funds. In applying fundamental investment restriction number (1) below to derivative transactions or instruments, including, but not limited to, futures, swaps, forwards, options and structured notes, the Funds will look to the industry of the reference asset(s) and not to the counterparty or issuer. With respect to the Funds’ fundamental investment restriction number (2) below, in the event that asset coverage (as defined in the Act) at any time falls below 300%, the applicable Fund, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays) or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations, will reduce the amount of its borrowings to the extent required so that the asset coverage of such borrowings will be at least 300%.

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

As a matter of fundamental policy, each Fund may not:

 

  (1)

Invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry except that the Fund may invest more than 25% of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in the same industry if the index that the Fund replicates concentrates in an industry (for the purposes of this restriction, the U.S. Government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries);

 

  (2)

Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction;

The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;

 

  (3)

Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies; (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions; (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act; and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;

 

  (4)

Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;

 

  (5)

Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

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  (6)

Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including, without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity; and

 

  (7)

Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.

Each Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same fundamental investment restrictions and policies as the Fund.

 

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TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

The Trust’s Leadership Structure

The business and affairs of the Funds are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise the Funds’ daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of four Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chairman, whose duties include presiding at meetings of the Board and acting as a focal point to address significant issues that may arise between regularly scheduled Board and Committee meetings. In the performance of the Chairman’s duties, the Chairman will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Funds’ officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chairman may perform other functions as requested by the Board from time to time.

The Board meets as often as necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Currently, the Board conducts regular, in-person meetings at least four times a year, and holds special in-person or telephonic meetings as necessary to address specific issues that require attention prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet at least annually to review, among other things, investment management agreements, distribution and/or service plans and related agreements, transfer agency agreements and certain other agreements providing for the compensation of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates by the Funds, and to consider such other matters as they deem appropriate.

The Board has established five standing committees – Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance, Valuation and Contract Review Committees. The Board may establish other committees, or nominate one or more Trustees to examine particular issues related to the Board’s oversight responsibilities, from time to time. Each Committee meets periodically to perform its delegated oversight functions and reports its findings and recommendations to the Board. For more information on the Committees, see the section “STANDING BOARD COMMITTEES,” below.

The Trustees have determined that the Trust’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Trustees to effectively perform their oversight responsibilities.

 

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Trustees of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust as of July 6, 2020 is set forth below.

Independent Trustees

 

Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  

Number

of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by

Trustee3

  

Other
Directorships

Held by

Trustee4

Lawrence W.

Stranghoener

Age: 66

   Chairman of the Board of Trustees    Trustee since 2015; Chairman since 2017   

Mr. Stranghoener is retired. He is Chairman, Kennametal, Inc. (a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials) (2003-Present); and was formerly Director, Aleris Corporation and Aleris International, Inc. (a producer of aluminum rolled products) (2011-2020); Interim Chief Executive Officer (2014) and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2004–2014), Mosaic Company (a fertilizer manufacturing company).

 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   46    Kennametal, Inc. (a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials)

Caroline Dorsa

Age: 61

   Trustee    Since 2016   

Ms. Dorsa is retired. She is Director, Biogen Inc. (a biotechnology company) (2010–Present); Director, Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (a gene-editing company) (2015–Present); and Director, Illumina, Inc. (a life sciences company) (2017–Present). She was formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. (a generation and energy services company) (2009–2015); Senior Vice President, Merck & Co, Inc. (a pharmaceutical company) (2008-2009 and 1987–2007); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (a pharmaceutical company) (2007-2008); and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Avaya, Inc. (a technology company) (2007).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   46    Biogen Inc. (a biotechnology company); Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (a gene-editing company); Illumina, Inc. (a life sciences company)

 

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Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  

Number

of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by

Trustee3

  

Other
Directorships

Held by

Trustee4

Linda A. Lang

Age: 62

   Trustee    Since 2016   

Ms. Lang is retired. She was formerly Chair of the Board of Directors (2016–2019); and Member of the Board of Directors, WD-40 Company (a global consumer products company) (2004–2019); Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (2005–2014); and Director, President and Chief Operating Officer, Jack in the Box, Inc. (a restaurant company) (2003–2005). Previously, Ms. Lang served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund and Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund (February 2016 – March 2016).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   46    None

Michael Latham

Age: 54

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Mr. Latham is retired. Formerly, he held senior management positions with the iShares exchange-traded fund business, including Chairman (2011–2014); Global Head (2010–2011); U.S. Head (2007–2010); and Chief Operating Officer (2003–2007).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   46    None

 

Interested Trustee

 

  

James A. McNamara*

Age: 57

   President and Trustee    Since 2014   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000–December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998–December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993–April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund

.

   168    None

 

*

Mr. McNamara is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he holds positions with Goldman Sachs and owns securities issued by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. McNamara holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

 

 

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1

Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline Kraus.

 

2

Subject to such policies as may be adopted by the Board from time-to-time, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term, until the earliest of: (a) the election of his or her successor; (b) the date the Trustee resigns or is removed by the Board or shareholders, in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust; or (c) the termination of the Trust. The Board has adopted policies which provide that (a) no Trustee shall hold office for more than 15 years and (b) a Trustee shall retire as of December 31st of the calendar year in which he or she reaches his or her 74th birthday, unless a waiver of such requirement shall have been adopted by a majority of the other Trustees. These policies may be changed by the Trustees without shareholder vote.

 

3

The Goldman Sachs Fund Complex includes certain other companies listed above for each respective Trustee. As of July 6, 2020, Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 42 portfolios (24 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 90 portfolios (89 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 13 portfolios; Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 19 portfolios (17 of which offered shares to the public); and Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund, Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund, Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund each consisted of one portfolio. Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund did not offer shares to the public.

 

4

This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.

The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of the Funds and their shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of July 6, 2020 that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.

Lawrence W. Stranghoener. Mr. Stranghoener has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2017. Mr. Stranghoener is retired. Mr. Stranghoener is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kennametal, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials. Previously, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Aleris Corporation and Aleris International, Inc., which provided aluminum rolled products and extrusions, aluminum recycling, and specification alloy production, where he served as Chair of the Audit Committee and also served on the Compensation Committee. Mr. Stranghoener also held several senior management positions at Mosaic Company, a fertilizer manufacturing company, where he worked for 10 years, most recently as Interim Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Mosaic Company, Mr. Stranghoener implemented public company processes, policies and performance standards to transition the company from private to public ownership and oversaw the company’s controller, treasury, tax, investor relations, strategy and business development, and internal audit functions. He also led the integration of Mosaic Company with IMC Global, Inc. during their merger. Previously, Mr. Stranghoener served for three years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Thrivent Financial, a non-profit, financial services organization and Techies.com, an internet-based professional services company. Mr. Stranghoener also held several senior management positions at Honeywell International, Inc. where he worked for 17 years, most recently as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Stranghoener is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Caroline Dorsa. Ms. Dorsa has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2016. Ms. Dorsa is retired. Ms. Dorsa has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given her extensive accounting and finance experience. Ms. Dorsa is a member of the Board of Directors of Biogen Inc., a biotechnology company, where she chairs the Audit Committee and also serves on the Risk Committee. In addition, Ms. Dorsa also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Intellia Therapeutics Inc., a gene-editing company, where she chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Furthermore, Ms. Dorsa serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Illumina, Inc., a life sciences company, where she serves on the Audit Committee. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. (“PSEG”), a generation and energy services company. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Dorsa was responsible for finance, accounting and internal audit, risk management and investor relations. Prior to becoming Chief Financial Officer, she was a member of PSEG’s Board of Directors and a member of its Audit, Corporate Governance and Finance committees for six years. Prior to joining PSEG, Ms. Dorsa held various management positions at Merck &Co, Inc., where she worked for over 20 years, most recently in the position of Senior Vice President of Global Human Health Strategy and Integration. As Vice President and Treasurer of Merck from 1994 through 2006, her responsibilities also included the global tax function, transfer pricing, global entity management and financial planning for both the research and manufacturing divisions. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Dorsa is experienced with financial and investment matters.

 

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Linda A. Lang. Ms. Lang has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2016. Ms. Lang is retired. Ms. Lang was formerly Chair of the Board of Directors of WD-40 Company, a global consumer products company, where she served on the Compensation and Finance Committees. Ms. Lang also previously held several senior management positions at Jack in the Box, Inc., a restaurant company listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, where she worked for 30 years, most recently as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Over that time, she was involved in the areas of strategic planning, capital structure and deployment, and enterprise risk management. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Lang is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Michael Latham. Mr. Latham has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015. Mr. Latham is retired. Previously, he held several senior management positions for 15 years with the iShares exchange-traded fund business owned by BlackRock, Inc. and previously owned by Barclays Global Investors, most recently as Chairman and Global Head of the business. In that capacity he was one of the lead executives responsible for the growth of the business. He was also involved in governance of the iShares funds, serving initially as Principal Financial Officer and later as President and Principal Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Latham is a certified public accountant, and before joining Barclays Global Investors, he worked at Ernst and Young for over five years. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Latham is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as a Trustee and President of the Trust since 2014. Mr. McNamara is an Advisory Director to Goldman Sachs. Prior to retiring as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in 2017, Mr. McNamara was head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM and was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Officers of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Officers of the Trust as of July 6, 2020 is set forth below.

 

Name

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time

Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

James A. McNamara

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 57

  

Trustee and

President

   Since 2014   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000 – December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 – December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 – April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Joseph F. DiMaria

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 51

   Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer    Since 2017 (Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer since 2019)   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (November 2015 – Present) and Vice President – Mutual Fund Administration, Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC (May 2010 – October 2015).

 

Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Trust II (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

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Name

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time

Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Julien Yoo

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 49

   Chief Compliance Officer    Since 2014   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (December 2014–December 2019); and Vice President, Morgan Stanley Investment Management (2005–2010).

 

Chief Compliance Officer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Peter W. Fortner

30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 62

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (July 2000–Present); Principal Accounting Officer, Commerce Bank Mutual Fund Complex (2008–Present); and Treasurer of Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund (2019–Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Allison Fracchiolla

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 37

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2013 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.

Tyler Hanks

222 S. Main St

Salt Lake City, UT

84101

Age: 38

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2016 — Present); and Associate, Goldman Sachs (January 2014 — January 2016).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Kirsten Frivold Imohiosen

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 50

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (May 1999 – December 2017).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Steven Z. Indich

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 51

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (February 2010 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II

; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

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Name

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time

Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Carol Liu

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 45

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (October 2017 – Present); Tax Director, The Raine Group LLC (August 2015 – October 2017); and Tax Director, Icon Investments LLC (January 2012 – August 2015).

 

Assistant Treasurer— Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund

.

Christopher Bradford

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 38

   Vice President   

Since 2020

  

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2014–Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Michael Crinieri

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 55

   Vice President    Since 2014   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2002 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (April 2000 – January 2002).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Patrick Hyland

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 46

   Vice President    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2010 – Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Emily Stecher

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 32

   Vice President    Since 2020   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2015–December 2019).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Michael Twohig

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 54

   Vice President    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2014 – Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

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Name

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time

Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Caroline L. Kraus

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 43

   Secretary    Since 2014   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016 – Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2006 – December 2015); Senior Counsel, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (2012 – December 2019); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2006 – December 2011); and Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP (2002 – 2006).

 

Secretary—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Robert Griffith

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 45

   Assistant Secretary    Since 2018   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (December 2014 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – December 2014); Vice President and Counsel, Nomura Holding America, Inc. (2010 – 2011); and Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005 – 2010).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

1 

Officers hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each officer holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

Standing Board Committees

The Audit Committee oversees the audit process and provides assistance to the Board with respect to fund accounting, tax compliance and financial statement matters. In performing its responsibilities, the Audit Committee selects and recommends annually to the Board an independent registered public accounting firm to audit the books and records of the Trust for the ensuing year, and reviews with the firm the scope and results of each audit. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Audit Committee and Ms. Dorsa serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee met five times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019.

The Governance and Nominating Committee has been established to: (i) assist the Board in matters involving fund governance, which includes making recommendations to the Board with respect to the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities in governing the Funds and overseeing their management; (ii) select and nominate candidates for appointment or election to serve as Independent Trustees; and (iii) advise the Board on ways to improve its effectiveness. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Governance and Nominating Committee. As stated above, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Funds’ Prospectus and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs ETF Trust Governance and Nominating Committee. The Governance and Nominating Committee met three times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019.

The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Funds; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Funds, of the Funds’ Investment Adviser, Distributor, administrator (if any), and Transfer Agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Compliance Committee. The Compliance Committee met four times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019.

 

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The Valuation Committee is authorized to act for the Board in connection with the valuation of portfolio securities held by the Funds in accordance with the Trust’s Valuation Procedures. Messrs. McNamara and DiMaria serve on the Valuation Committee. The Valuation Committee was established by the Board on September 21, 2018.

The Contract Review Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the processes of the Board for reviewing and monitoring performance under the Funds’ investment management, distribution, transfer agency, and certain other agreements with the Funds’ Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Funds’ distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans. The Contract Review Committee also provides appropriate assistance to the Board in connection with the Board’s approval, oversight and review of the Funds’ other service providers including, without limitation, the Funds’ custodian/accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee. The Contract Review Committee met one time during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019.

Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Funds, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Funds is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Funds include, but are not limited to, liquidity risk, investment risk, compliance risk, operational risk, reputational risk, credit risk and counterparty risk. Each of GSAM and the other service providers have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management 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, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Funds or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Funds or GSAM, their respective affiliates or other service providers.

The Board effectuates its oversight role primarily through regular and special meetings of the Board and Board committees. In certain cases, risk management issues are specifically addressed in reports, presentations and discussions. For example, on an annual basis, GSAM will provide the Board with a written report that addresses the operation, adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s liquidity risk management program, which is designed to assess and manage the Fund’s liquidity risk. In addition, investment risk is discussed in the context of regular presentations to the Board on Fund strategy. Other types of risk are addressed as part of presentations on related topics (e.g., compliance policies) or in the context of presentations focused specifically on one or more risks. The Board also receives reports from GSAM management on operational risks, reputational risks and counterparty risks relating to the Funds.

Board oversight of risk management is also performed by various Board committees. For example, the Audit Committee meets with both the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm and GSAM’s internal audit group to review risk controls in place that support the Funds as well as test results, and the Compliance Committee meets with the CCO and representatives of GSAM’s compliance group to review testing results of the Funds’ compliance policies and procedures and other compliance issues. Board oversight of risk is also performed as needed between meetings through communications between the GSAM and the Board. The Board may, at any time and in its discretion, change the manner in which it conducts risk oversight. The Board’s oversight role does not make the Board a guarantor of the Funds’ investments or activities.

Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares

The following table shows the dollar range of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Funds and other portfolios of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex as of December 31, 2019.

 

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Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Funds1
  

Aggregate Dollar Range of

Equity Securities in All

Portfolios in Fund Complex
Overseen By Trustee

Lawrence W. Stranghoener

      Over $100,000

Caroline Dorsa

      Over $100,000

Linda A. Lang

      Over $100,000

Michael Latham

      Over $100,000

James A. McNamara

      Over $100,000

 

1 

Includes the value of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Funds.

As of July 6, 2020, the Funds had not commenced operations, and therefore the Trustees and Officers of the Trust did not own any of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest of the Funds.

Board Compensation

Each Independent Trustee is compensated with a unitary annual fee for his or her services as a Trustee of the Trust and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Compliance Committee, Contract Review Committee, and Audit Committee. The Chairman and “audit committee financial expert” receive additional compensation for their services. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses incurred in connection with attending such meetings. The Trust may also pay the reasonable incidental costs of a Trustee to attend training or other types of conferences relating to the investment company industry.

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the compensation of each Trustee of the Trust for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019:

Trustee Compensation

 

Name of Trustee

   Goldman Sachs Access
Investment Grade
Corporate 1-5 Year Bond
ETF*
     Goldman Sachs Access
Investment Grade
Corporate 10+ Year Bond
ETF*
     Goldman Sachs Access U.S.
Aggregate Bond ETF*
 

Lawrence W. Stranghoener(1)

     —          —          —     

Caroline Dorsa(2)

     —          —          —     

Linda A. Lang

     —          —          —     

Michael Latham

     —          —          —     

James A. McNamara(3)

     —          —          —     

Name of Trustee

   Goldman Sachs Access U.S.
Treasury Bond ETF*
     Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued as Part
Of the Trust’s Expenses
     Total Compensation From
the Fund Complex(4)
 

Lawrence W. Stranghoener(1)

     —        $ 0      $ 231,964  

Caroline Dorsa(2)

     —        $ 0      $ 190,408  

Linda A. Lang

     —        $ 0      $ 199,642  

Michael Latham

     —        $ 0      $ 201,736  

James A. McNamara(3)

     —          —          —    

 

* 

The Funds had not commenced operations as of July 6, 2020. Under current compensation arrangements, it is estimated that the Trustees will receive the following compensation from each Fund for the current fiscal year: Mr. Stranghoener $0; Ms. Dorsa $0; Ms. Lang $0; Mr. Latham $0; and Mr. McNamara $0.

1 

Includes compensation as Board Chair.

2 

Includes compensation as “audit committee financial expert,” as defined in Item 3 of Form N-CSR.

3 

Mr. McNamara is an Interested Trustee, and as such, receives no compensation from the Funds or the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex.

4 

Represents fees paid to each Trustee during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019 from the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex. Includes fees paid with respect to Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC, Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund (B) LLC.

 

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Miscellaneous

The Trust, its Investment Adviser and the Distributor have adopted codes of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the Act that permit personnel subject to their particular codes of ethics to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds.

 

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MANAGEMENT SERVICES

As stated in the Funds’ Prospectus, GSAM, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, serves as Investment Adviser to the Funds. GSAM is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. See “Service Providers” in the Funds’ Prospectus for a description of the Investment Adviser’s duties to the Funds.

Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs is a leader in developing portfolio strategies and in many fields of investing and financing, participating in financial markets worldwide and serving individuals, institutions, corporations and governments. Goldman Sachs is also among the principal market sources for current and thorough information on companies, industrial sectors, markets, economies and currencies, and trades and makes markets in a wide range of equity and debt securities 24 hours a day. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in countries throughout the world. It has trading professionals throughout the United States, as well as in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul, Sao Paulo and other major financial centers around the world. The active participation of Goldman Sachs in the world’s financial markets enhances its ability to identify attractive investments. Goldman Sachs has agreed to permit the Funds to use the name “Goldman Sachs” or a derivative thereof as part of each Fund’s name for as long as the Funds’ management agreements (each, a “Management Agreement” and collectively, the “Management Agreements”) are in effect.

Each Management Agreement provides that GSAM, in its capacity as Investment Adviser, may render similar services to others so long as the services under the Management Agreement are not impaired thereby. The Funds’ Management Agreements were approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the Trustees of the Trust who are not parties to such agreement or “interested persons” (as such term is defined in the Act) of any party thereto (the “non-interested Trustees”), on September 17-18, 2019. A discussion regarding the Board of Trustees’ basis for approving the Management Agreements will be available in the Funds’ first annual or semi-annual report following its launch.

The Management Agreements will remain in effect for an initial two-year period and will continue in effect with respect to each Fund from year to year thereafter provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (i) the vote of a majority of such Fund’s outstanding voting securities or a majority of the Trustees of the Trust, and (ii) the vote of a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.

Each Management Agreement will terminate automatically if assigned (as defined in the Act). A Management Agreement is also terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of a Fund on 60 days’ written notice to the Investment Adviser or by the Investment Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust.

Pursuant to each Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is entitled to receive the fees set forth below, payable monthly based on each Fund’s average daily net assets. Under the Management Agreement for each Fund, the Investment Adviser is responsible for substantially all the expenses of the Fund, excluding payments under the Fund’s 12b-1 plan (if any), interest expenses, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage fees, costs of holding shareholder meetings and litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses.

 

Fund

   Contractual Rate  

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

     0.14

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

     0.14

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

     0.14

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Bond ETF

     0.14

Since the Funds are newly-organized, they did not pay management fees during the last three fiscal years.

The imposition of the Investment Adviser’s fees will have the effect of reducing the total return to investors. From time to time, the Investment Adviser may waive receipt of its fees, which would have the effect of lowering each Fund’s overall expense ratio and increasing total return to investors at the time such amounts are waived.

The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee, including fees earned as the Investment Adviser to the any of affiliated funds in which a Fund invests, from time to time, and may discontinue or modify any such waiver in the future, consistent with the terms of any fee waiver arrangements in place. Any such waiver would be voluntary and may be terminated at any time.

 

 

B-54


In addition to providing advisory services, under its Management Agreements, the Investment Adviser also, to the extent such services are not required to be performed by others pursuant to the fund administration and accounting agreement, the custodian agreement, the transfer agency agreement, distribution agreement or such other agreements with service providers to the Funds that the Board has approved: (i) supervises all non-advisory operations of each Fund that it advises; (ii) provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of each Fund; (iii) arranges for: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (iv) maintains each Fund’s records; and (v) provides office space and all necessary office equipment and services.

 

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Portfolio Managers – Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

The following table discloses accounts within each type of category listed below for which the portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for day to day portfolio management as of July 6, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

For each portfolio manager listed below, the total number of accounts managed is a reflection of accounts within the strategy he oversees or manages. There may be multiple portfolio managers involved with each account.

 

     Number of Other Accounts Managed and Total Assets by Account
Type
     Number of Accounts and Total Assets for Which Advisory Fee is
Performance Based
 
Name of
Portfolio
Manager
  

Registered

Investment

Companies

    

Other Pooled

Investment Vehicles

    

Other

Accounts

    

Registered

Investment

Companies

    

Other Pooled

Investment Vehicles

    

Other

Accounts

 
     Number
of
Accounts
    

Assets

Managed

     Number
of
Accounts
    

Assets

Managed

    

Number

of
Accounts

     Assets
Managed
    

Number

of
Accounts

     Assets
Managed
     Number
of
Accounts
    

Assets

Managed

     Number
of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
 

Portfolio Management Team

                                   

Jason Singer

     6      $ 4,140        —          —          7,068      $ 39,184        —          —          —          —          —          —    

David Westbrook

     6      $ 4,140        10      $ 13,312        42      $ 11,559        —          —          —          —          —          —    

 

† Footnotes:

 

  1.

Asset information is in USD millions unless otherwise specified.

  2.

“Other Pooled Investment Vehicles” includes private investment funds and SICAVs (a type of open-end investment company organized outside the U.S.).

  3.

“Other Accounts” includes a separately managed account platform, advisory mutual fund platform, advisory relationships and others. For purposes of the above, a platform is included as a single account.