485APOS 1 a17-1496_1485apos.htm POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT FILED PURSUANT TO SECURITIES ACT RULE 485(A)

 

Securities Act Registration No. 333-181176

Investment Company Act Registration No. 811-22696

 

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 18, 2017

 

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D. C. 20549

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 x

o Pre-Effective Amendment No.

x Post-Effective Amendment No. 54

 

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 x

x Amendment No. 57

 

Victory Portfolios II

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, OH 44144

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)

 

(877) 660-4400

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code)

 

Delaware Corporation Organizers, Inc.

1201 North Market Street, 18th Floor

P.O. Box 1347

Wilmington, DE 19801

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

With copy to:

 

Jay G. Baris

Morrison & Foerster LLP

250 West 55th Street

New York, New York, 10019

212-468-8053 (phone)

 

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:

 

o                               Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

o                               On (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

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

o                               On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

x                             75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

o                               On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

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

 

 

 



 

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

 

Preliminary Prospectus dated January 18, 2017

 

Subject to Completion

 

 

March   , 2017

 

Prospectus

 

VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (  )

VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (  )

VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (  )

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF (  )

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF (  )

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF ( )

 

Listed and traded on:

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC

 

As with all mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved the Fund’s securities or determined whether this Prospectus is accurate or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

                               .com

866-376-7890

 



 

Table of Contents

 

 

Page

Fund Summaries

 

VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF

 

VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF

 

VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF

 

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF

 

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF

 

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF

 

 

 

Additional Fund Information

 

Investments

 

Risk Factors

 

 

 

Investing with Victory

 

Organization and Management of the Fund

 

Share Price

 

How to Buy and Sell Shares

 

 

 

Distribution and Service Plan

 

 

 

Distributions and Taxes

 

 

 

Other Information

 

 

 

Other Service Providers

 

 

 

Financial Highlights

 

 

 

Appendix

 

 



 

VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.30

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.35

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.35%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to generate investment returns with less volatility than the broader market. The Index includes the common stock of companies that are selected from a universe of large- and mid-capitalization U.S. companies. The Index is designed to construct a diversified portfolio with superior risk-adjusted returns by first screening companies using a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to identify the companies that are most likely to outperform the broader market.  From this smaller set of companies, the Index uses an optimization tool to weight the individual securities to minimize volatility, measured at a portfolio level, within established portfolio constraints (such as minimum and maximum weightings of index constituents and sectors).

 

The Fund generally seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing a replication strategy that seeks to hold all of the stocks in the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·      Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·      Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·      Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·      Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. The Index may not successfully identify companies that meet its objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-sized companies may be subject to a number of risks not associated with larger, more established companies, potentially making their stock prices more volatile and increasing the risk of loss.

 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

·      Stock Market Risk. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of the Fund. Factors such as domestic and international economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels and political events affect the securities markets.

 



 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. The Fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees

(fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.35

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.40

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.40%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to generate investment returns with less volatility than the broader market. The Index includes the common stock of companies that are selected from a universe of large- and mid-capitalization companies organized or domiciled in at least three countries, which may include the United States and developed and emerging market countries. The Index is designed to construct a diversified portfolio with superior risk-adjusted returns by first screening companies using a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to identify the companies that are most likely to outperform the broader market.  From this smaller set of companies, the Index uses an optimization tool to weight the individual securities to minimize volatility, measured at a portfolio level, within established portfolio constraints (such as minimum and maximum weightings of index constituents, sectors and countries).

 

The Fund seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing, under normal circumstances, a “sampling” process to invest in a representative sample of stocks included in the Index. The Fund’s portfolio managers select these stocks using a statistical optimization process designed to produce investment characteristics that closely approximate those of the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·            Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·            Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·            Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            International Closed Market Trading Risk. Many of the Fund’s underlying securities trade on foreign exchanges that are closed when the Exchange (as defined below) is open; consequently, events may transpire while such foreign exchanges are closed but the Exchange is open that may change the value of such underlying securities relative to their last quoted prices on such foreign exchanges. Because the Fund generally relies on the last quoted prices for such securities when calculating its NAV, such events may cause Shares to trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 



 

·                                          Foreign Investment Risks.

 

·            Foreign Exposure Risk. Special risks associated with investments in foreign markets may include less liquidity, greater volatility, less developed or less efficient trading markets, lack of comprehensive company information, political instability and differing auditing and legal standards.

 

·            Emerging Markets Risk. All of the risks associated with investing in foreign securities are increased in connection with investments in emerging markets securities. Emerging market countries may have relatively unstable governments, weaker economies, and less-developed legal systems which do not protect securities holders. Emerging market economies may be based on only a few industries and security issuers may be more susceptible to economic weakness and more likely to default. Emerging market securities also tend to be less liquid.

 

·            Currency Risk. The Fund’s net asset value could decline as a result of changes in the exchange rates between foreign currencies and the US dollar. Additionally, certain foreign countries may impose restrictions on the ability of issuers of foreign securities to make payment of principal and interest to investors located outside the country, due to blockage of foreign currency exchanges or otherwise.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. The Index may not successfully identify companies that meet its objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-sized companies may be subject to a number of risks not associated with larger, more established companies, potentially making their stock prices more volatile and increasing the risk of loss.

 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

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

 

·      Stock Market Risk. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of the Fund. Factors such as domestic and international economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels and political events affect the securities markets.

 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. The Fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.40

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.45

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

 

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.45%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to generate investment returns with less volatility than the broader market. The Index includes the common stock of companies that are selected from a universe of large- and mid-capitalization companies organized or domiciled outside of the United States. The Index may include companies organized or domiciled in emerging market countries.  The Index is designed to construct a diversified portfolio with superior risk-adjusted returns by first screening companies using a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to identify the companies that are most likely to outperform the broader market.  From this smaller set of companies, the Index uses an optimization tool to weight the individual securities to minimize volatility, measured at a portfolio level, within established portfolio constraints (such as minimum and maximum weightings of index constituents, sectors and countries).

 

The Fund seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing, under normal circumstances, a “sampling” process to invest in a representative sample of stocks included in the Index. The Fund’s portfolio managers select these stocks using a statistical optimization process designed to produce investment characteristics that closely approximate those of the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·            Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·            Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·            Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            International Closed Market Trading Risk. Many of the Fund’s underlying securities trade on foreign exchanges that are closed when the Exchange (as defined below) is open; consequently, events may transpire while such foreign exchanges are closed but the Exchange is open that may change the value of such underlying securities relative to their last quoted prices on such foreign exchanges. Because the Fund generally relies on the last quoted prices for such securities when calculating its NAV, such events may cause Shares to trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 



 

·                                          Foreign Investment Risks.

 

·            Foreign Exposure Risk. Special risks associated with investments in foreign markets may include less liquidity, greater volatility, less developed or less efficient trading markets, lack of comprehensive company information, political instability and differing auditing and legal standards.

 

·            Emerging Markets Risk. All of the risks associated with investing in foreign securities are increased in connection with investments in emerging markets securities. Emerging market countries may have relatively unstable governments, weaker economies, and less-developed legal systems which do not protect securities holders. Emerging market economies may be based on only a few industries and security issuers may be more susceptible to economic weakness and more likely to default. Emerging market securities also tend to be less liquid.

 

·            Currency Risk. The Fund’s net asset value could decline as a result of changes in the exchange rates between foreign currencies and the US dollar. Additionally, certain foreign countries may impose restrictions on the ability of issuers of foreign securities to make payment of principal and interest to investors located outside the country, due to blockage of foreign currency exchanges or otherwise.

 

· Investment Strategy Risk. The Index may not successfully identify companies that meet its objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-sized companies may be subject to a number of risks not associated with larger, more established companies, potentially making their stock prices more volatile and increasing the risk of loss.

 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

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

 

·      Stock Market Risk. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of the Fund. Factors such as domestic and international economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels and political events affect the securities markets.

 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. A fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how that fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [Dividend Accelerator Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees

(fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.30

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.35

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.35%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [Dividend Accelerator] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to identify stocks with a higher likelihood of future dividend growth. The Index includes common stock of companies that are selected from the universe of large capitalization U.S. companies with a history of paying dividends.  The Index screens companies using a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to identify those companies with a higher probability of future dividend growth and then weights the constituent securities using a methodology designed to maximize divided growth, measured at a portfolio level, within established portfolio constraints (such as maximum weightings of index constituents).

 

The Fund generally seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing a replication strategy that seeks to hold all of the stocks in the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·            Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·            Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·            Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. The Fund’s dividend strategy may not be successful. Dividend paying stocks may fall out of favor relative to the overall market or a company’s dividends may not grow as projected. In addition, the Index may not successfully identify companies that meet its objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

·      Stock Market Risk. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of the Fund. Factors such as domestic and international economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels and political events affect the securities markets.

 



 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. The Fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [Quality Growth Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.30

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.35

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.35%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [Quality Growth] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to generate investment returns with consistent quality and growth factor exposure. The Index includes the common stock of companies that are selected from a universe of large and mid-capitalization U.S. companies.  The Index is designed to construct a diversified portfolio of companies that exhibit both quality and growth characteristics by ranking securities on the basis of these factors as determined by a proprietary, rules-based score. The Index selects those companies that rank highly in terms of exposure to both factors and then weights the individual securities by applying a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to favor companies with earnings stability.

 

The Fund generally seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing a replication strategy that seeks to hold all of the stocks in the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·            Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·            Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·            Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. Growth stocks may be more sensitive to changes in current or expected earnings than the values of other stocks, and they may fall out of favor if the companies’ earnings growth does not meet expectations. Similarly, quality companies may fall out of favor based on changing market sentiment. In addition, the Index may not successfully identify companies that meet the Index’s objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-sized companies may be subject to a number of risks not associated with larger, more established companies, potentially making their stock prices more volatile and increasing the risk of loss.

 



 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

·      Stock Market Risk. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of the Fund. Factors such as domestic and international economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels and political events affect the securities markets.

 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. The Fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF Summary

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that track the performance of the [Quality Value Index] before fees and expenses.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

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

 

Shareholder Fees

(fees paid directly from your investment)

 

NONE

 

 

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

 

Management Fees

 

0.30

%

Other Expenses(1)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 

 

%

Fee Waivers/Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

 

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursements(2)

 

0.35

%

 


(1)Estimated for the current fiscal year.

(2)Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”) has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or reimburse expenses through at least October 31, 2018 so that the total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and expense reimbursement (excluding certain other items such as interest, taxes and brokerage commissions) do not exceed 0.35%. The Adviser is permitted to recoup advisory fees waived and expenses reimbursed by it for up to three years after the fiscal year in which the waiver or reimbursement took place, subject to the lesser of: (a) any operating expense limits in effect at the time of the original waiver or expense reimbursement; or (b) at the time of recoupment. This agreement may only be terminated by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF Summary (continued)

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund (continued)

 

Example:

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The amounts shown reflect the fee waiver/expense reimbursement in place through October 31, 2018. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based upon these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover:

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will generally indicate higher transaction costs resulting in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced investment operations, no portfolio turnover information is available for the Fund at this time.

 



 

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF (continued)

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its net assets directly or indirectly in the stock of the issuers included in the [Quality Value] Index (the “Index”). The Index has been co-developed by the Adviser and Nasdaq, Inc. and is maintained by Nasdaq, Inc.

 

The Index utilizes a rules-based approach to generate investment returns with consistent quality and value factor exposure. The Index includes the common stock of companies that are selected from a universe of large and mid-capitalization U.S. companies.  The Index seeks to construct a diversified portfolio of companies that exhibit both quality and value characteristics by ranking securities on the basis of these factors as determined by a proprietary, rules-based score. The Index selects those companies that rank highly in terms of exposure to both factors and then weights the individual securities by applying a number of proprietary fundamental factors designed to favor companies with earnings stability.

 

The Fund generally seeks to track the returns of the Index before fees and expenses by employing a replication strategy that seeks to hold all of the stocks in the Index.

 

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

The Fund’s investments are subject to the following principal risks:

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risks. The Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·            Not Individually Redeemable. The Fund’s Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at its net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·            Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange (as defined below) may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·            Market Price Variance Risk. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares and will include a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·            Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. Value stocks may fall out of favor with investors and may underperform growth stocks in an up market. The intrinsic value of value stocks may never be fully recognized by the market or their price may decline. Similarly, quality companies may fall out of favor based on changing market sentiment. In addition, the Index may not successfully identify companies that meet the Index’s objective.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. The Fund is a new ETF and, therefore, has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-sized companies may be subject to a number of risks not associated with larger, more established companies, potentially making their stock prices more volatile and increasing the risk of loss.

 



 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and does not, therefore, seek returns in excess of the Index. The Adviser will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the Index.

 

·      Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in the valuation of securities; and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost, or liquidity constraints. If used, representative sampling may cause the Fund’s tracking error to be higher than would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index.

 

You may lose money by investing in the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

 

An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or any other government agency.

 

By itself, the Fund does not constitute a complete investment plan and should be considered a long-term investment for investors who can afford to weather changes in the value of their investment.

 



 

Performance

 

No performance information is presented since the Fund has not yet had a full calendar year of performance. Performance data for the Fund will be available online at www.   .com or by calling 1-866-376-7890. The Fund’s performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

[to be inserted by amendment]

 

Purchase and Sale of Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of Shares is called a “Creation Unit”). Creation Units are issued and redeemed for cash and/or in-kind for securities by Authorized Participants (“APs”) that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold through brokers in secondary market transactions on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (the “Exchange”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange and will trade at market prices rather than NAV. Shares of the Fund may trade at a price that is greater than (a premium), at, or less than (a discount) NAV.

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

Payment to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 



 

Additional Fund Information

 

The VictoryShares US Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (“US Fund”), VictoryShares Global Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (“Global Fund”), VictoryShares International Multi-Factor Minimum Volatility ETF (“International Fund”), VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF (“Dividend Accelerator Fund”), VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF (“Quality Growth Fund”), and VictoryShares Quality Value ETF (“Quality Value Fund”) (each a “Fund”) are each organized as an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”), each having distinct investment management objectives, strategies, risks, and policies.

 

This section describes additional information about the principal investment strategies that the Funds will use under normal market conditions to pursue their investment objectives. In managing the Funds, the Adviser uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. The Funds do not try to outperform their indexes. Under normal market conditions, each Fund pursues its investment objective by seeking to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of a particular index. Each Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in the securities comprising the Fund’s respective index.

 

The Adviser expects that, over time, the correlation between a Fund’s performance and that of its index, before fees and expenses, will be 95% or better. A number of factors may affect the Fund’s ability to achieve a high degree of correlation with its Index, and there can be no guarantee that a Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation. The Adviser monitors each Fund on an ongoing basis, and makes adjustments to its portfolio, as necessary, to minimize tracking error and to maintain liquidity.

 



 

Additional Fund Information (continued)

 

The following section describes additional information about the principal investment strategy that the Funds will use under normal conditions to pursue their investment objectives. Keep in mind that for cash management purposes, each Fund is permitted to hold all or a portion of its assets in cash, index futures, short-term money market instruments or shares of other investment companies, including money market funds. To the extent that it does so, the Fund will not benefit from any upswing in the market and may fail to meet its investment objective.

 

Each Fund’s investment objective and 80% investment policy are each a non-fundamental policy and may be changed by the Board of Trustees upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders. For purposes of the Fund’s investment strategy, “net assets” includes any borrowings for investment purposes.

 

Investments

 

The following describes the types of securities each Fund (except the International Fund) may purchase under normal market conditions to achieve its principal investment strategies.

 

U.S. Equity Securities

 

Can include common stock and securities that are convertible or exchangeable into common stock of U.S. corporations.

 

The following describes the types of securities the Global Fund and International Fund may purchase under normal market conditions to achieve its principal investment strategies.

 

Equity Securities of Foreign Companies

 

Can include common stock and convertible preferred stock of non-U.S. corporations. Also may include American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), which are receipts issued by a bank or trust company and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation.

 

The Adviser may use several types of investments and investment techniques in pursuing the Funds’ overall investment objective. The following describes the types of securities the Adviser may purchase or the investment techniques the Adviser may employ but which the Adviser does not consider to be a part of a Fund’s principal investment strategies. Additional types of securities and strategies that the Funds may utilize are included in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

Derivatives

 

From time to time, a Fund may invest in derivatives, which are financial contracts whose value is based on an underlying security or asset, a currency exchange rate, an interest rate or a market index. Many types of instruments representing a wide range of potential risks and rewards are derivatives, including but not limited to futures contracts, options on futures contracts, options, swaps and forward currency exchange contracts. A Fund may, but is not required to, use index futures for cash management (attempting to remain fully invested while maintaining liquidity) or to gain exposure to an investment in a manner other than investing in the asset directly. The Funds will not use derivatives for speculative purposes.

 

Investment Companies

 

A Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), if those companies invest in securities consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies. ETFs are investment companies that are bought and sold on a securities exchange.

 

Securities Lending

 

To enhance the return on its portfolio, the Funds may lend portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and financial institutions to realize additional income under guidelines adopted by the Board. Each loan will be secured continuously by collateral in the form of cash, high quality money market instruments or securities issued by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.

 



 

Risk Factors

 

The following describes the principal risks that you may assume as an investor in a Fund. These risks could adversely affect the net asset value, total return and the value of a Fund and your investment. The risk descriptions below provide a more detailed explanation of the principal investment risks that correspond to the risks described in each Fund’s Fund Summary section of its Prospectus.

 

There is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective. Each Fund’s Share price will fluctuate with changes in the market value of its portfolio investments. When you sell your Fund Shares, they may be worth less than what you paid for them and, accordingly, you can lose money investing in the Funds. No Fund, by itself, is intended to be a complete investment program.

 

 

 

Equity

 

ETF
Structure

 

Emerging
Markets

 

Foreign
Investment

 

Investment
Strategy

 

Limited
History

 

Mid-
Cap
Stock

 

Passive
Investment

 

Sampling

 

Stock
Market

 

Tracking

US Fund

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

Global Fund

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

International Fund

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

Dividend Accelerator Fund

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

Quality Growth Fund

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

Quality Value Fund

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

·      Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities in which the Fund invests may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

 

·      ETF Structure Risk. Each Fund is structured as an ETF and as a result is subject to special risks, including:

 

·      Not Individually Redeemable. Shares are not individually redeemable and may be redeemed by the Fund at NAV only in large blocks known as “Creation Units.” You may incur brokerage costs purchasing enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Alternatively, you may redeem your Shares by selling them on the secondary market at prevailing market prices.

 

·      Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for the Shares.

 

·      Market Price Variance Risk. Individual Shares of the Fund that are listed for trading on the Exchange can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares. There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly and you may pay more than NAV when buying Shares on the secondary market, and you may receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares. The market price of Shares, like the price of any exchange-traded security, includes a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. In times of severe market disruption, the bid-ask spread often increases significantly. This means that Shares may trade at a discount to NAV and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of Shares is falling fastest, which may be the time that you most want to sell your Shares. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the Fund over a period of time. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those creating and redeeming directly with the Fund.

 

·      International Closed Market Trading Risk. The underlying securities of the Global Fund and International Fund may trade on foreign exchanges that are closed when the Exchange (as defined below) is open; consequently, events may transpire while such foreign exchanges are closed but the Exchange is open

 



 

that may change the value of such underlying securities relative to their last quoted prices on such foreign exchanges. Because the Fund generally relies on the last quoted prices for such securities when calculating its NAV, such events may cause Shares to trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·      Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. A limited number of financial institutions may be responsible for all or a significant portion of the creation and redemption activity for the Fund. If these firms exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV.

 

·      Foreign Investment Risk. Foreign securities, including ADRs and GDRs, tend to be more volatile and less liquid than U.S. securities. Further, foreign securities may be subject to additional risks not associated with investment in U.S. securities due to differences in the economic and political environment, the amount of available public information, the degree of market regulation, and financial reporting, accounting and auditing standards, and, in the case of foreign currency denominated securities, fluctuations in currency exchange rates. In addition, during periods of social, political or economic instability in a country or region, the value of a foreign security could be affected by, among other things, increasing price volatility, illiquidity or the closure of the primary market on which the security is traded. In addition to foreign securities, the Fund may be exposed to foreign markets as a result of the Fund’s investments in U.S. companies that have international exposure.

 

·      Foreign Exchanges Risk: A Fund may place trades on exchanges in foreign markets. Regulations of U.S. governmental agencies may not apply to transactions on foreign markets. Some of these foreign markets, in contrast to U.S. exchanges, are so-called principals’ markets in which performance is the responsibility only of the individual counterparty with whom the trader has entered into a transaction and not of the exchange or clearing corporation. In these kinds of markets, there is risk of bankruptcy or other failure or refusal to perform by the counterparty.

 

·      Emerging Markets Risk: As compared to developed countries, emerging market countries may have relatively unstable governments, weaker economies, and less-developed legal systems which do not protect securities holders. Emerging market economies may be based on only a few industries and security issuers may be more susceptible to economic weakness and more likely to default. Emerging market securities also tend to be less liquid.

 

·      Currency Risk. Although each Fund will report its net asset value and pay dividends in U.S. dollars, when a Fund invests on a foreign exchange in foreign currency denominated or foreign currency-linked securities, the Fund will be exposed to currency risk. This means that the Fund’s net asset value could decline as a result of changes in the exchange rates between foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar. Additionally, certain foreign countries may impose restrictions on the ability of issuers of foreign securities to make payment of principal and interest to investors located outside the country, due to blockage of foreign currency exchanges or otherwise.

 

·     Investment Strategy Risk. A Fund’s Index may not successfully identify companies that meet the Index’s objective. For the Quality Growth Fund, growth securities might be more sensitive to changes in current or expected earnings than the values of other stocks. Growth securities may be more volatile than other stocks, causing greater fluctuations in value. A growth approach could also be impacted if the company does not realize its anticipated potential or if there is a shift in the market to favor other types of securities. For the Quality Value Fund, value stocks may fall out of favor with investors and may underperform growth stocks in an up market. The intrinsic value of value stocks may never be fully recognized by the market or their price may decline. Similarly, quality companies may fall out of favor based on changing market sentiment. The Dividend Accelerator Fund’s performance during a broad market advance could suffer because dividend paying stocks may not experience the same capital appreciation as non-dividend paying stocks or other segments of the stock market. A company’s dividends may not grow as projected and performance could also be negatively impacted if companies reduce their dividend payout. The stocks of dividend paying companies may underperform the overall stock market.

 

·      Limited History of Operations. Each Fund is a new ETF and has a limited history of operation.

 

·      Mid-Capitalization Stock Risk. Mid-cap companies often have more limited managerial and financial resources than larger, more established companies and, therefore, may be more susceptible to market downturns or changing economic conditions. Prices of mid-sized companies tend to be more volatile than those of larger companies and medium-sized issuers may be subject to greater degrees of changes in their earnings and prospects. Since mid-sized company stocks typically have narrower markets and are traded in lower volumes than larger company stocks, they may be more difficult to purchase and sell.

 



 

·      Passive Investment Risk. The Funds are not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in market segments related to their respective Index. The Funds invest in securities included in, or representative of securities included in, their respective Index, regardless of their investment merits. The Funds do not take defensive positions under any market conditions, including conditions that are adverse to the performance of the Funds, unless such defensive positions are also taken by the applicable Index. Each Index is a proprietary index of the Adviser, which may create potential conflicts of interest. Potential conflicts include the possibility of misuse or improper dissemination of non-public information about contemplated changes to the composition of an Index. The Adviser has adopted policies and procedures which it believes are reasonably designed to prevent or mitigate these potential conflicts. There is no assurance that the Index will be compiled or calculated accurately.

 

·      Sampling Risk. A Fund’s use of a representative sampling strategy will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development with one or a small number of issuers of securities held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

 

·      Tracking Risk. A Fund may not be able to replicate exactly the performance of the Index because of transaction costs incurred by the Fund in adjusting the actual balance of the investments in the Fund’s portfolio. Additionally, the use of sampling techniques may affect the Fund’s ability to achieve close correlation with its Index. The Fund’s use of a representative sampling strategy can be expected to produce a greater tracking risk than a replication strategy.

 

The Adviser may use several types of investments in furtherance of the Funds’ overall investment objective. The following risks are those that the Adviser does not consider to be principal risks of the Funds. Additional risks are included in the Funds’ SAI.

 

·      Derivatives Risk. Derivatives, such as futures contracts and options on futures contracts, are subject to the risk that small price movements can result in substantial gains or losses. Derivatives also entail exposure to counterparty risk, the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in value of the derivative may not correlate perfectly with the relevant securities, assets or indices. A Fund “covers” its exposure to certain derivative contracts by segregating or designating liquid assets on its records sufficient to satisfy current payment obligations, which may expose the Fund to the market through both the underlying assets subject to the contract and the assets used as cover. The use of derivatives may cause the Fund to incur losses greater than those that would have occurred had derivatives not been used.

 

·      Investment Company Risk. A Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective may be directly related to the ability of the underlying funds (including ETFs) held by the Fund to meet their investment objectives. In addition, shareholders of the Fund will indirectly bear the fees and expenses of the underlying investment companies. Lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in an ETF being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities.

 

·      Securities Lending Risk. The risk in lending portfolio securities, as with other extensions of credit, consists of the possibility of loss to a Fund due to (i) the inability of the borrower to return the securities, (ii) a delay in receiving additional collateral to adequately cover any fluctuations in the value of securities on loan, (iii) a delay in recovery of the securities, or (iv) the loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. In addition, each Fund is responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the borrower’s collateral. In determining whether to lend securities, the Adviser or the Funds’ securities lending agent will consider relevant facts and circumstances, including the creditworthiness of the borrower.

 



 

Organization and Management of the Funds

 

The Funds’ Board of Trustees has the overall responsibility for overseeing the management of the Funds.

 

The Funds have an Advisory Agreement with the Adviser. The Adviser is a New York corporation registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Adviser oversees the operations of the Funds according to investment policies and procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. As of December 31, 2016, the Adviser managed or advised assets totaling in excess of $   billion for individual and institutional clients. The Adviser’s address is 4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144.

 

The Adviser is a multi-boutique asset manager comprised of multiple investment teams, referred to as investment franchises, each of which utilizes an independent approach to investing.

 

The Funds have not yet commenced operations as of the date hereof; accordingly, no advisory fees have been paid to the Adviser.

 

A discussion of the Board’s most recent considerations in approving the Advisory Agreement will be included in the Funds’ first available shareholder report.

 

From time to time, the Adviser may voluntarily waive fees and/or reimburse expenses in amounts exceeding those required to be waived or reimbursed under the contractual agreement in place with respect to a Fund.

 

Portfolio Management

 

[ ] are Co-Portfolio Managers of the Funds and are jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds’ portfolios.

 

[Portfolio Manager bios to be inserted by amendment]

 

The Funds’ SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ method of compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Funds.

 



 

Share Price

 

The net asset value (“NAV”) and offering price (NAV plus any applicable sales charges) of each Fund is determined at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on each day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for business. NAV is computed by determining the aggregate market value of all assets of a Fund, less its liabilities, divided by the total number of shares outstanding (NAV = (assets - liabilities)/number of shares). The NYSE is closed on weekends and New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The NAV takes into account the expenses and fees of a Fund, including management, administration, and distribution fees (if any), which are accrued daily. The determination of NAV for a Fund for a particular day is applicable to all applications for the purchase of Shares, as well as all requests for the redemption of Shares, received by a Fund (or an authorized broker or agent, or its authorized designee) before the close of trading on the NYSE on that day.

 

Generally, the Funds’ investments are valued each day at the last quoted sales price on each investment’s primary exchange. Investments traded or dealt in upon one or more exchanges (whether domestic or foreign) for which market quotations are readily available and not subject to restrictions against resale shall be valued at the last quoted sales price on the primary exchange or, in the absence of a sale on the primary exchange, at the last bid on the primary exchange. Securities primarily traded in the National Association of Securities Dealers’ Automated Quotation System (“NASDAQ”) National Market System for which market quotations are readily available shall be valued using the NASDAQ Official Closing Price. If market quotations are not readily available, investments will be valued at their fair market value as determined in good faith by the Adviser in accordance with procedures approved by the Board and evaluated by the Board as to the reliability of the fair value method used. In these cases, a Fund’s NAV will reflect certain portfolio investments’ fair value rather than their market price. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determined for an investment is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of that investment. The fair value prices can differ from market prices when they become available or when a price becomes available.

 

A Fund may use independent pricing services to assist in calculating the value of the Fund’s securities or other assets. In addition, market prices for foreign securities are not determined at the same time of day as the NAV for a Fund. In computing the NAV, a Fund values foreign securities held by a Fund at the latest closing price on the exchange in which they are traded immediately prior to closing of the NYSE. Prices of foreign securities quoted in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at current rates. The value of a Fund’s securities may change on days when shareholders are not able to purchase and redeem the Fund’s Shares if the Fund has portfolio securities that are primarily traded in foreign markets that are open on weekends or other days when the Fund does not price its Shares. If events materially affecting the value of a security in a Fund’s portfolio, particularly foreign securities, occur after the close of trading on a foreign market but before a Fund prices its shares, the security will be valued at fair value. For example, if trading in a portfolio security is halted and does not resume before a Fund calculates its NAV, the Adviser may need to price the security using a Fund’s fair value pricing guidelines. Without a fair value price, short-term traders could take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity and dilute the NAV of long-term investors. Fair valuation of a Fund’s portfolio securities can serve to reduce arbitrage opportunities available to short-term traders, but there is no assurance that fair value pricing policies will prevent dilution of a Fund’s NAV by short term traders. The determination of fair value involves subjective judgments. As a result, using fair value to price a security may result in a price materially different from the prices used by other mutual funds to determine net asset value, or from the price that may be realized upon the actual sale of the security.

 

With respect to any portion of a Fund’s assets that are invested in one or more open-end management investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”), each Fund’s net asset value is calculated based upon the net asset values of those open-end management investment companies, and the prospectuses for these companies explain the circumstances under which those companies will use fair value pricing and the effects of using fair value pricing.

 

Short-term debt obligations with remaining maturities in excess of 60 days are valued at current market prices, as discussed above. Short-term debt obligations with 60 days or less remaining to maturity are, unless conditions indicate otherwise, amortized to maturity based on their cost to the Fund if acquired within 60 days of maturity or, if already held by the Fund on the 60th day, based on the value determined on the 61st day.

 

Premium/Discount Information

 

Most investors will buy and sell Shares of the Funds in secondary market transactions through brokers at market prices and a Fund’s Shares will trade at market prices. The market price of Shares may be greater than, equal to,

 



 

or less than NAV. Market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors may affect the trading prices of Shares of each Fund.

 

Information about each Fund’s daily market price and how often Shares traded on the listing exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of each Fund, once available, will be found at www.[ ].com.

 



 

How to Buy and Sell Shares

 

Shares of each Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange under the ticker symbols listed on the cover of this Prospectus. Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per Share. Shares can be bought and sold on the secondary market throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares, and shares typically trade in blocks of less than a Creation Unit. There is no minimum investment required. Shares may only be purchased and sold on the secondary market when the Exchange is open for trading. The Exchange is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays, as observed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

 

When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges. The commission is often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell smaller amounts of Shares. You may also pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if a Fund’s Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if a Fund’s Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity.

 

Only an Authorized Participant (“AP”) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Funds’ APs are institutions and large investors, such as market makers or other large broker-dealers, which have entered into a Participation Agreement with the Funds’ Distributor to undertake the responsibility of obtaining or selling the underlying assets needed to purchase or redeem, respectively, Creation Units of the Funds. APs may acquire Shares directly from a Fund, and APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to a Fund, at NAV per share only in large blocks, or Creation Units, of 50,000 shares. Purchases and redemptions directly with a Fund must follow the Funds’ procedures, which are described in the SAI.

 

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

 

Share Trading Prices

 

The trading prices of a Fund’s Shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as the supply of and demand for ETF shares and shares of underlying securities held by the Fund, economic conditions and other factors. The approximate value of Shares will be disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association. This approximate value should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV per share of a Fund because the approximate value may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed once a day, generally at the end of the business day. The approximate value generally is determined by using current market quotations. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the U.S. The Funds are not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the approximate value of the Shares and the Funds do not make any warranty as to the accuracy of these values.

 

Book Entry

 

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

 

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

 

Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Fund Shares

 

Each Fund’s Shares can only be purchased and redeemed directly from a Fund by APs in Creation Units. Direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that a Fund’s Shares trade at or close to NAV. The cash to be contributed to (or received from) the Fund in connection with a Creation Unit generally is negligible compared to the total amount of the trade. The Funds with exposure to non-U.S. securities employ fair valuation pricing to minimize arbitrage

 



 

opportunities that attempt to exploit the differences between a security’s market quotation and its fair value. In addition, the Funds impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Shares to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Funds in effecting trades. These fees increase if an investor substitutes cash in part or in whole for securities, reflecting the fact that a Fund’s trading costs increase in those circumstances.

 

The vast majority of trading in a Fund’s Shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not directly involve the Funds, it is unlikely those trades would cause the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in a Fund’s trading costs and the realization of capital gains.

 

Given this structure, the Board has determined that it is not necessary to monitor for frequent in-kind purchases and redemptions of Shares or market timing activity by the APs or on the Shares’ secondary market.

 



 

Distribution and Service Plans

 

Distribution Plans

 

The Funds have adopted a distribution and service plan (“Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. Under the Plan, the Funds are authorized to pay distribution fees to the distributor and other firms that provide distribution and shareholder services (“Service Providers”). If a Service Provider provides these services, the Funds may pay fees at an annual rate not to exceed 0.25% of average daily net assets, pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the1940 Act.

 

No distribution or service fees are currently paid by the Funds and there are no current plans to impose these fees. In the event Rule 12b-1 fees were charged, over time they would increase the cost of an investment in the Funds.

 



 

Distributions and Taxes

 

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

 

Ordinarily, dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid monthly by each Fund. Each Fund distributes its net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

·  A Fund makes distributions,

 

·  You sell your shares listed on the Exchange, and

 

·  You purchase or redeem Creation Units.

 

Taxes on Distributions

 

As stated above, each Fund ordinarily declares and pays dividends from net investment income, if any, monthly. The Funds may also pay a special distribution at the end of a calendar year to comply with federal tax requirements. Distributions from a Fund’s net investment income, including net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income, except that a Fund’s dividends attributable to its “qualified dividend income” (i.e., dividends received on stock of most domestic and certain foreign corporations with respect to which a Fund satisfies certain holding period and other restrictions), if any, generally are taxable to non-corporate shareholders at preferential rates. A part of a Fund’s dividends also may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction allowed to corporations, subject to similar restrictions.

 

In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in a Fund (if that option is available). Distributions reinvested in additional shares of a Fund through the means of a dividend reinvestment service, if available, will be taxable to shareholders acquiring the additional shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash. Distributions of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses are taxable as long-term capital gains (at the 20% maximum rate referred to above for non-corporate shareholders), regardless of how long you have held the shares.

 

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

 

By law, the Funds are required to withhold 28% of your distributions and redemption proceeds if you have not provided the Funds with a correct Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number and in certain other situations.

 

Taxes on Exchange-Listed Share Sales

 

Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of shares is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for one year or less. The ability to deduct capital losses from sales of shares may be limited.

 



 

Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units

 

An AP who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus any Cash Component it pays. An AP 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 plus any cash equal to the difference between the NAV of the shares being redeemed and the value of the securities. The Internal Revenue Service (“Service”), however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales” or for other reasons. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

Any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for one year or less.

 

If you purchase or redeem Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many shares you purchased or sold and at what price. See “Taxes” in the SAI for a description of the requirement regarding basis determination methods applicable to Share redemptions and the Fund’s obligation to report basis information to the Service.

 

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

 



 

Other Information

 

Investments by Investment Companies

 

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares of the Funds. 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 the Adviser, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Funds.

 

Continuous Offering

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Portfolio Holdings Disclosure

 

A description of the Funds’ policies regarding disclosure of the securities in each Fund’s portfolio is found in the Statement of Additional Information. Each Fund’s portfolio is disclosed daily on the Funds’ website at www.   .com. Shareholders may also request portfolio holdings schedules at no charge by calling toll free 1-866-376-7890.

 

Shareholder Communications

 

In order to eliminate duplicate mailings to an address at which two or more shareholders with the same last name reside, the Victory Funds may send only one copy of any shareholder reports, proxy statements, prospectuses and their supplements, unless you have instructed us to the contrary. You may request that the Victory Funds send these documents to each shareholder individually by calling the Victory Funds at1-866-376-7890, and they will be delivered promptly.

 

While this Prospectus and the SAI of the Trust describe pertinent information about the Trust and each Fund, neither this Prospectus nor the SAI represents a contract between the Trust or a Fund and any shareholder.

 



 

Disclaimers

 

Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Shares or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Funds to track the total return performance of their respective Index or the ability of each Index identified herein to track stock market performance. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of each Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of the Shares to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of the Shares in connection with the administration, marketing, or trading of the Shares.

 

The Exchange does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of each Index or the data included therein. The Exchange makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the Funds, owners of the Shares, or any other person or entity from the use of each Index or the data included therein.

 

The Exchange makes no express or implied warranties, and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Index or the data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any lost profits or indirect, punitive, special, or consequential damages even if notified of the possibility thereof.

 



 

Other Service Providers

 

Victory Capital Management Inc., 4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144, also serves as the administrator and fund accountant for the Fund.

 

[Distributor], [address], serves as distributor for the continuous offering of the Fund’s shares.

 

Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc., 3435 Stelzer Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219, serves as the sub-administrator and sub-fund accountant of the Fund’s investments and cash and settles trades made by the Funds.

 

Citibank, N.A., [address] serves as the transfer agent for the Funds.

 

Cohen & Company, Ltd., 1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 800, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, serves as the Independent Registered Public Accounting firm for the Funds.

 

Morrison & Foerster LLP, 250 West 55th Street, New York, New York 10019, serves as legal counsel to the Funds.

 



 

Financial Highlights

 

No financial information is presented for the Funds since they had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus.

 



 

Appendix

 

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

 

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

 



 

 

c/o P.O. Box 182593

Columbus, OH 43218-2593

 

Statement of Additional Information (SAI): The SAI contains more information about the Funds’ operations, investment restrictions, policies and practices. The SAI is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus, which means that it is legally part of this Prospectus, even if you don’t request a copy.

 

Annual and Semi-Annual Reports: Annual and semi-annual reports (when available) contain more information about the Funds’ investments and the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Funds’ performance during the most recent fiscal period.

 

How to Obtain Information: You may obtain a free copy of the SAI or annual and semi-annual reports, and ask questions about the Funds or your accounts, online at    .com, by contacting the Victory Funds at the following address or telephone number, or by contacting your financial intermediary.

 

By telephone:
Call Victory Funds at
1-866-376-7890

By mail:
Victory Funds
c/o P.O. Box 182593
Columbus, OH 43218-2593

 

 

You also can get information about the Fund (including the SAI and other reports) from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC charges a duplicating fee to provide copies of this information.

 

In person: SEC Public Reference Room
Washington, D.C.
Call 202-551-8090 for location and hours.

By mail:
SEC Public Reference Section
Washington, D.C. 20549-1520

On the Internet:
EDGAR database at sec.gov or by email request at
publicinfo@sec.gov

 

Investment Company Act File Number 811-22696

 

VS-6ETF-PRO (3/17)

 



 

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

 

Preliminary Statement of Additional Information dated January 18, 2017

 

Subject to Completion

 

Victory Funds

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

March [ ], 2017

 

 

 

Ticker

VictoryShares US Managed Volatility ETF

 

 

VictoryShares Global Managed Volatility ETF

 

 

VictoryShares International Managed Volatility ETF

 

 

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF

 

 

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF

 

 

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF

 

 

 

(each a “Fund” and together, the “Funds”)

 

Each Fund is a series of Victory Portfolios II

 

Listed and traded on:

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with each Fund’s prospectus, dated March [ ], 2017, as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). Copies of the Prospectus of each Fund can be obtained without charge upon request made to the Victory Funds, [ ], or by calling toll free 1-866-376-7890.

 



 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

General Information

 

 

Investment Objectives, Policies and Limitations

 

 

Investment Practices, Instruments and Risks

 

 

Investments by Other Registered Investment Companies

 

 

Determining Net Asset Value (“NAV”) and Valuing Portfolio Securities

 

 

Purchase and Redemption of Shares

 

 

Performance

 

 

Management of the Trust

 

 

Investment Adviser and Other Service Providers

 

 

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

 

 

Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage

 

 

Dividends, Capital Gains and Distributions

 

 

Tax Status

 

 

Additional Information

 

 

Appendix A — List of Regular Holidays in Non-US Markets

 

A-1

 



 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

This SAI relates to the shares of six series of the Trust (each a “Fund,” and collectively, the “Funds”). The Funds are each diversified series of Victory Portfolios II (formerly, Compass EMP Funds Trust) (the “Trust”), a Delaware statutory trust organized on April 11, 2012. The Trust is registered as an open-end management investment company. The Trust currently consists of multiple series of beneficial interest (“shares”).

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”), is the Funds’ investment adviser. Each Fund’s investment objective, restrictions and policies are more fully described here and in the Fund’s Prospectus. The Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board” or “Trustees”) may organize and offer shares of a new fund or new share class of an existing Fund under the Trust or liquidate a Fund or share class at any time.

 

Much of the information contained in this SAI expands on subjects discussed in each Fund’s Prospectus. Capitalized terms not defined herein are used as defined in the Prospectuses. No investment in shares of a Fund should be made without first reading that Fund’s Prospectus.

 

The VictoryShares International Managed Volatility ETF and VictoryShares Global Managed Volatility ETF are sometimes referred to collectively in this SAI as the “International Funds.”

 

The Funds’ shares are offered at net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of 50,000 shares (each a “Creation Unit”). The Funds will issue and redeem Creation Units principally in exchange for a basket of securities included in the respective Fund’s underlying index (the “Deposit Securities”), together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”), plus a transaction fee. The Funds are approved for listing on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC (“NASDAQ” or the “Exchange”). Shares trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at, or above NAV. The Trust reserves the right to adjust the prices of shares 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 the applicable Fund.

 

The Funds reserve the right to offer creations and redemptions of Shares for cash. In addition, Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash equal to up to 105% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. In each instance of such cash creations or redemptions, transaction fees may be imposed and may be higher than the transaction fees associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. See “Purchase and Redemption of Shares” below.

 

Shares of each Fund are listed for trading and trade throughout the day on NASDAQ.

 

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

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, POLICIES AND LIMITATIONS

 

Investment Objectives

 

Each Fund’s investment objective is non-fundamental. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective.

 

Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds

 

Unless a policy of a Fund is expressly deemed to be a fundamental policy of the Fund, changeable only by an affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of that Fund’s outstanding voting securities, the Fund’s policies are non-fundamental and may be changed without a shareholder vote.

 

1



 

A Fund may, following notice to its shareholders, employ other investment practices that presently are not contemplated for use by the Fund or that currently are not available but that may be developed to the extent such investment practices are both consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and legally permissible for the Fund. Such investment practices, if they arise, may involve risks that exceed those involved in the activities described in the Fund’s Prospectus.

 

A Fund’s classification and sub-classification is a matter of fundamental policy. Each Fund is classified as an open-end investment company. Each Fund is sub-classified as a diversified investment company, which under the Investment Company Act of 1940 Act, as amended, (the “1940 Act”) means that, with respect to 75% of a Fund’s total assets, the Fund may not invest in securities of any issuer if, immediately after such investment, (i) more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund (taken at current value) would be invested in the securities of that issuer or (ii) more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer would be held by the Fund (this limitation does not apply to obligations of the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities and securities of other investment companies). A Fund is not subject to this limitation with respect to the remaining 25% of its total assets.

 

Under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), to qualify as a regulated investment company, a Fund must meet certain diversification requirements (among other requirements) as determined at the close of each quarter of each taxable year. For instance, no more than 25% of a Fund’s assets can be invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns 20% or more voting stock interest, in the securities of any one issuer other than U.S. Government securities and securities of other regulated investment companies, of two or more issuers which the regulated investment company controls and which are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or of one or more publicly traded partnerships. In addition, at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s assets must be represented by cash or cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to a value not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer.

 

The policies and limitations stated in this SAI supplement the Funds’ investment policies set forth in each Fund’s Prospectus. Unless otherwise noted, whenever an investment policy or limitation states a maximum percentage of a Fund’s assets that may be invested in any security or other asset, or sets forth a policy regarding quality standards, such standard or percentage limitation will be determined immediately after and as a result of the Fund’s acquisition of such security or other asset except in the case of borrowing (or other activities that may be deemed to result in the issuance of a “senior security” under the 1940 Act). Accordingly, any subsequent change in values, net assets, or other circumstances will not be considered when determining whether the investment complies with a Fund’s investment policies and limitations. If the value of a Fund’s holdings of illiquid securities at any time exceeds the percentage limitation applicable at the time of acquisition due to subsequent fluctuations in value or other reasons, the Trust’s Board will consider what actions, if any, are appropriate to maintain adequate liquidity.

 

Fundamental Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds. The following investment policies and limitations are fundamental and may not be changed without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding shares, as defined under the 1940 Act.

 

1. Senior Securities

 

None of the Funds may issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction.

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) takes the position that transactions that have the effect of increasing the leverage of the capital structure of a fund are the economic equivalent of borrowing, and they can be viewed as a type of borrowing known as a “senior security” for purposes of the 1940 Act. Examples of such transactions and trading practices include reverse repurchase agreements; mortgage-dollar-roll transactions; selling securities short (other than selling short “against the box”); buying and selling certain derivatives contracts, such as futures contracts; writing or selling put and call options; engaging in sale-buybacks; firm commitment and standby commitment agreements; when-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions; and other similar transactions. A transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance by a fund of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% minimum asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund maintains an

 

2



 

offsetting financial position by segregating liquid assets (as determined by the Adviser under the general oversight of the fund board) at least equal to the value of the fund’s potential economic exposure as measured daily on a mark-to market basis; or otherwise “covers” the transaction in accordance with applicable SEC guidance (collectively defined as “covers” the transaction). In most cases the fund need not physically segregate the assets. Instead, the fund’s custodian may note on the fund’s books the assets that are “segregated.” Segregated liquid assets may not be used to cover other obligations, and if disposed of, must be replaced. In order to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements regarding cover, a fund may be required to buy or sell securities at a disadvantageous time or when the prices then available are deemed disadvantageous. In addition, segregated assets may not be readily available to satisfy redemption requests or for other purposes.

 

2. Underwriting

 

None of the Funds may underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that a Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), in the disposition of restricted securities.

 

3. Borrowing

 

None of the Funds may borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, or by order of the SEC and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction.

 

A fund’s ability to borrow money is limited by its investment policies and limitations, by the 1940 Act, and by applicable exemptions, no action letters, interpretations, and other pronouncements issued from time to time by regulatory authorities, including the SEC and its staff. Under the 1940 Act, a fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage (that is, total assets including the proceeds of borrowings, less liabilities excluding borrowings) of not less than 300% of the amount borrowed, with an exception for borrowings not in excess of 5% of the fund’s total assets made for temporary purposes. Any borrowings for temporary purposes in excess of 5% are subject to the minimum 300% asset coverage requirement. If the value of the assets set aside to meet the 300 percent asset coverage were to decline below 300% due to market fluctuations or other causes, a fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio holdings within three days (excluding Sundays and holidays) to reduce the debt and comply with the 300% minimum asset coverage requirement, even in circumstances where it is considered disadvantageous from an investment perspective to sell securities at that time or at the prices then available.

 

4. Real Estate

 

None of the Funds may purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of direct ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction shall not prevent any of these Funds from investing in the following: (i) securities or other instruments backed by real estate; (ii) securities of real estate operating companies; or (iii) securities of companies engaged in the real estate business, including real estate investment trusts. This restriction does not preclude any of these Funds from buying securities backed by mortgages on real estate or securities of companies engaged in such activities.

 

5. Lending

 

None of the Funds may make loans, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction. Generally, the 1940 Act prohibits loans if a fund’s investment policies do not permit loans, and if the loans are made, directly or indirectly, to persons deemed to control or to be under common control with the registered investment company.

 

6. Commodities

 

None of the Funds may purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent a Fund from purchasing or selling options and futures contracts or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).

 

7. Concentration

 

None of the Funds may concentrate its investments in a particular industry, as the term “concentration” is used in the 1940 Act, and as interpreted or modified from time to time by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction. This restriction shall not prevent any Fund from investing all of its assets in a “master” fund that has adopted similar investment objectives, policies and restrictions.

 

3



 

Concentration means investing more than 25% of a Fund’s net assets in a particular industry or a specified group of industries.

 

Non-Fundamental Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds. The following investment restrictions are non-fundamental and may be changed by a vote of a majority of the Trustees.

 

1. Illiquid Securities

 

Illiquid securities are securities that are not readily marketable or cannot be disposed of promptly within seven days and, in the usual course of business, at approximately the price at which a Fund has valued them. Such securities include, but are not limited to, time deposits and repurchase agreements with maturities longer than seven days. Securities that may be resold under Rule 144A, securities offered pursuant to Section 4(2) of, or securities otherwise subject to restrictions or limitations on resale under the Securities Act shall not be deemed illiquid solely by reason of being unregistered. Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”), the Fund’s investment adviser, under oversight of the Board, determines whether a particular security is deemed to be liquid based on the trading markets for the specific security and other factors.

 

No Fund may invest more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities.

 

2. Short Sales and Purchases on Margin

 

No Fund may make short sales of securities, other than short sales “against the box,” or purchase securities on margin except for short-term credits necessary for clearance of portfolio transactions, provided that this restriction will not be applied to limit the use of options, futures contracts and related options, in the manner otherwise permitted by the investment restrictions, policies and investment program of the Fund.

 

3. Other Investment Companies

 

No Fund may purchase the securities of any registered open-end investment company or registered unit investment trust in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(G) or Section 12(d)(1)(F) of the 1940 Act, which permits operation as a “fund of funds.”  Except as provided in the next paragraph, none of the Funds may: (1) invest more than 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one investment company; (2) own more than 3% of the securities of any one investment company; or (3) invest more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of other investment companies.

 

Each Fund may purchase and redeem shares issued by a money market fund without limit, provided that either: (1) the acquiring Fund pays no “sales charge” or “service fee” (as each of those terms is defined in the FINRA Conduct Rules); or (2) the Adviser waives its advisory fee in an amount necessary to offset any such sales charge or service fee. For purposes of this investment restriction, a “money market fund” is either: (1) an open-end investment company registered under the 1940 Act and regulated as a money market fund in accordance with Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; or (2) a company that is exempt from registration as in investment company under Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act and that: (a) limits its investments to those permitted under Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (b) undertakes to comply with all the other requirements of Rule 2a-7, except that, if the company has no board of directors, the company’s investment adviser performs the duties of the board of directors.

 

INVESTMENT PRACTICES, INSTRUMENTS AND RISKS

 

In addition to the principal investment strategies and the principal risks of the Funds described in the Prospectus, each Fund may, but will not necessarily, employ other investment practices and may be subject to additional risks which are described further below. Because the following is a combined description of investment strategies and risks for all of the Funds, certain strategies and/or risks described below may not apply to your Fund. Unless a strategy or policy described below is specifically prohibited with respect to a particular Fund by the investment restrictions listed in the Prospectus, under “Investment Policies and Limitations of the Funds” in this SAI, or by applicable law, a Fund may, but will not necessarily, engage in each of the practices described below.

 

The Funds may, following notice to their shareholders, take advantage of other investment practices that presently are not contemplated for use by the Fund or that currently are not available but that may be developed, to the extent such investment practices are both consistent with a Fund’s investment objective and are legally permissible for the

 

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Fund. Such investment practices, if they arise, may involve risks that exceed those involved in the activities described in a Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI.

 

Equity Securities

 

Equity securities in which a Fund invests include common stocks, preferred stocks and securities convertible into common stocks, such as convertible bonds, warrants, rights and options. The value of equity securities varies in response to many factors, including the activities and financial condition of individual companies, the business market in which individual companies compete and general market and economic conditions. Equity securities fluctuate in value, often based on factors unrelated to the value of the issuer of the securities, and such fluctuations can be significant.

 

Common Stock

 

Common stock represents an equity (ownership) interest in a company, and usually possesses voting rights and earns dividends. Dividends on common stock are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the issuer. Common stock generally represents the riskiest investment in a company. In addition, common stock generally has the greatest appreciation and depreciation potential because increases and decreases in earnings are usually reflected in a company’s stock price.

 

Preferred Stock

 

A Fund may invest in preferred stock with no minimum credit rating. Preferred stock is a class of stock having a preference over common stock as to the payment of dividends and the recovery of investment should a company be liquidated, although preferred stock is usually junior to the debt securities of the issuer. Preferred stock typically does not possess voting rights and its market value may change based on changes in interest rates.

 

The fundamental risk of investing in common and preferred stock is the risk that the value of the stock might decrease. Stock values fluctuate in response to the activities of an individual company or in response to general market and/or economic conditions. Historically, common stocks have provided greater long-term returns and have entailed greater short-term risks than preferred stocks, fixed income securities and money market investments. The market value of all securities, including common and preferred stocks, is based upon the market’s perception of value and not necessarily the book value of an issuer or other objective measures of a company’s worth.

 

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Convertible Securities

 

A Fund may invest in convertible securities with no minimum credit rating. Convertible securities include fixed income securities that may be exchanged or converted into a predetermined number of shares of the issuer’s underlying common stock at the option of the holder during a specified period. Convertible securities may take the form of convertible preferred stock, convertible bonds or debentures, units consisting of “usable” bonds and warrants or a combination of the features of several of these securities. Convertible securities are senior to common stocks in an issuer’s capital structure, but are usually subordinated to similar non-convertible securities. While providing a fixed income stream (generally higher in yield than the income derivable from common stock but lower than that afforded by a similar nonconvertible security), a convertible security also gives an investor the opportunity, through its conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation of the issuing company depending upon a market price advance in the convertible security’s underlying common stock.

 

Participation Notes

 

A Fund may buy participation notes from a bank or broker-dealer (“issuer”) that entitle the Fund to a return measured by the change in value of an identified underlying security or basket of securities (collectively, the “underlying security”). Participation notes are typically used when a direct investment in the underlying security is restricted due to country-specific regulations. Investing in participation notes involves the same risks associated with a direct investment in the shares of the companies the notes seek to replicate. However, the performance results of participation notes will not replicate exactly the performance of the issuers or markets that the notes seek to replicate due to transaction costs and other expenses. In addition, participation notes are subject to counterparty risks. Participation notes may be considered illiquid.

 

Warrants

 

A Fund may invest in warrants. Warrants are options to purchase common stock at a specific price (usually at a premium above the market value of the optioned common stock at issuance) valid for a specific period of time. Warrants may have a life ranging from less than one year to twenty years, or they may be perpetual. However, most warrants have expiration dates after which they are worthless. In addition, a warrant is worthless if the market price of the common stock does not exceed the warrant’s exercise price during the life of the warrant. Warrants have no voting rights, pay no dividends, and have no rights with respect to the assets of the corporation issuing them. The percentage increase or decrease in the market price of the warrant may tend to be greater than the percentage increase or decrease in the market price of the optioned common stock.

 

Depositary Receipts

 

A Fund may invest in sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), which are receipts issued by an American bank or trust company evidencing ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign issuer. ADRs, in registered form, are designed for use in U.S. securities markets. Unsponsored ADRs may be created without the participation of the foreign issuer. Holders of these ADRs generally bear all the costs of the ADR facility, whereas foreign issuers typically bear certain costs in a sponsored ADR. The bank or trust company depositary of an unsponsored ADR may be under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the foreign issuer or to pass through voting rights. Many of the risks described below regarding foreign securities apply to investments in ADRs. European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) are receipts issued in Europe that evidence a similar ownership arrangement. Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) are receipts issued throughout the world that evidence a similar arrangement.

 

Income Trusts

 

A Fund may invest in income trusts which are investment trusts that hold assets that are income producing. The income is passed on to the “unitholders.” Each income trust has an operating risk based on its underlying business. The term may also be used to designate a legal entity, capital structure and ownership vehicle for certain assets or businesses. Shares or “trust units” are traded on securities exchanges just like stocks. Income is passed on to the investors, called unitholders, through monthly or quarterly distributions. Historically, distributions have typically been higher than dividends on common stocks. The unitholders are the beneficiaries of a trust, and their units

 

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represent their right to participate in the income and capital of the trust. Income trusts generally invest funds in assets that provide a return to the trust and its beneficiaries based on the cash flows of an underlying business. This return is often achieved through the acquisition by the trust of equity and debt instruments, royalty interests or real properties. The trust can receive interest, royalty or lease payments from an operating entity carrying on a business, as well as dividends and a return of capital.

 

Each income trust has an operating risk based on its underlying business; and, typically, the higher the yield, the higher the risk. They also have additional risk factors, including, but not limited to, poorer access to debt markets. Similar to a dividend paying stock, income trusts do not guarantee minimum distributions or even return of capital. If the business starts to lose money, the trust can reduce or even eliminate distributions; this is usually accompanied by sharp losses in a unit’s market value. Since the yield is one of the main attractions of income trusts, there is the risk that trust units will decline in value if interest rates offering in competing markets, such as in the cash/treasury market, increase. Interest rate risk is also present within the trusts themselves because they hold very long term capital assets (e.g. pipelines, power plants, etc.), and much of the excess distributable income is derived from a maturity (or duration) mismatch between the life of the asset, and the life of the financing associated with it. In an increasing interest rate environment, not only does the attractiveness of trust distributions decrease, but quite possibly, the distributions may themselves decrease, leading to a double whammy of both declining yield and substantial loss of unitholder value. Because most income is passed on to unitholders, rather than reinvested in the business, in some cases, a trust can become a wasting asset unless more equity is issued. Because many income trusts pay out more than their net income, the unitholder equity (capital) may decline over time. To the extent that the value of the trust is driven by the deferral or reduction of tax, any change in government tax regulations to remove the benefit will reduce the value of the trusts. Generally, income trusts also carry the same risks as dividend paying stocks that are traded on stock markets.

 

Publicly Traded Partnerships

 

A Fund may invest in publicly traded partnerships (“PTPs”). PTPs are limited partnerships the interests in which (known as “units”) are traded on public exchanges, just like corporate stock. PTPs are limited partnerships that provide an investor with a direct interest in a group of assets (generally, oil and gas properties). Publicly traded partnership units typically trade publicly, like stock, and thus may provide the investor more liquidity than ordinary limited partnerships. Publicly traded partnerships are also called master limited partnerships and public limited partnerships. A limited partnership has one or more general partners (they may be individuals, corporations, partnerships or another entity) which manage the partnership, and limited partners, which provide capital to the partnership but have no role in its management. When an investor buys units in a PTP, he or she becomes a limited partner. PTPs are formed in several ways. A non-traded partnership may decide to go public. Several non-traded partnerships may “roll up” into a single PTP. A corporation may spin off a group of assets or part of its business into a PTP of which it is the general partner, either to realize what it believes to be the assets’ full value or as an alternative to issuing debt. A corporation may fully convert to a PTP, although since 1986 the tax consequences have made this an unappealing option; or, a newly formed company may operate as a PTP from its inception.

 

There are different types of risks to investing in PTPs including regulatory risks and interest rate risks. Currently most partnerships enjoy pass through taxation of their income to partners, which avoids double taxation of earnings. If the government were to change PTP business tax structure, unitholders would not be able to enjoy the relatively high yields in the sector for long. In addition, PTP’s which charge government-regulated fees for transportation of oil and gas products through their pipelines are subject to unfavorable changes in government-approved rates and fees, which would affect a PTPs revenue stream negatively. PTPs also carry some interest rate risks. During increases in interest rates, PTPs may not produce decent returns to shareholders.

 

Real Estate Investment Trusts

 

A Fund may invest in securities of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). REITs are publicly traded corporations or trusts that specialize in acquiring, holding and managing residential, commercial or industrial real estate. A REIT is not taxed at the entity level on income distributed to its shareholders or unitholders if it distributes to shareholders or unitholders at least 95% of its taxable income for each taxable year and complies with regulatory requirements relating to its organization, ownership, assets and income.

 

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REITs generally can be classified as “Equity REITs,” “Mortgage REITs” and “Hybrid REITs.” An Equity REIT invests the majority of its assets directly in real property and derives its income primarily from rents and from capital gains on real estate appreciation, which are realized through property sales. A Mortgage REIT invests the majority of its assets in real estate mortgage loans and services its income primarily from interest payments. A Hybrid REIT combines the characteristics of an Equity REIT and a Mortgage REIT. Although a Fund can invest in all three kinds of REITs, its emphasis is expected to be on investments in Equity REITs.

 

Investments in the real estate industry involve particular risks. The real estate industry has been subject to substantial fluctuations and declines on a local, regional and national basis in the past and may continue to be in the future. Real property values and income from real property continue to be in the future. Real property values and income from real property may decline due to general and local economic conditions, overbuilding and increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, casualty or condemnation losses, regulatory limitations on rents, changes in neighborhoods and in demographics, increases in market interest rates, or other factors. Factors such as these may adversely affect companies that own and operate real estate directly, companies that lend to such companies, and companies that service the real estate industry.

 

Investments in REITs also involve risks. Equity REITs will be affected by changes in the values of and income from the properties they own, while Mortgage REITs may be affected by the credit quality of the mortgage loans they hold. In addition, REITs are dependent on specialized management skills and on their ability to generate cash flow for operating purposes and to make distributions to shareholders or unitholders REITs may have limited diversification and are subject to risks associated with obtaining financing for real property, as well as to the risk of self-liquidation. REITs also can be adversely affected by their failure to qualify for tax-free pass-through treatment of their income under the Code or their failure to maintain an exemption from registration under the 1940 Act. By investing in REITs indirectly through a Fund, a shareholder bears not only a proportionate share of the expenses of a Fund, but also may indirectly bear similar expenses of some of the REITs in which it invests.

 

Fixed Income/Debt/Bond Securities

 

Yields on fixed income securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money market and other fixed income securities markets, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation and the rating of the issue. An investment in a Fund will be subjected to risk even if all fixed income securities in the Fund’s portfolio are paid in full at maturity. All fixed income securities, including U.S. Government securities, can change in value when there is a change in interest rates or the issuer’s actual or perceived creditworthiness or ability to meet its obligations.

 

There is normally an inverse relationship between the market value of securities sensitive to prevailing interest rates and actual changes in interest rates. In other words, an increase in interest rates produces a decrease in market value. The longer the remaining maturity (and duration) of a security, the greater will be the effect of interest rate changes on the market value of that security. Changes in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal and in the markets’ perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness will also affect the market value of the debt securities of that issuer. Obligations of issuers of fixed income securities (including municipal securities) are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency, and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. In addition, the obligations of municipal issuers may become subject to laws enacted in the future by Congress, state legislatures, or referenda extending the time for payment of principal and/or interest, or imposing other constraints upon enforcement of such obligations or upon the ability of municipalities to levy taxes. Changes in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal and in the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness will also affect the market value of the debt securities of that issuer. The possibility exists, therefore, that, the ability of any issuer to pay, when due, the principal of and interest on its debt securities may become impaired.

 

The corporate debt securities in which a Fund may invest include corporate bonds and notes and short-term investments such as commercial paper and variable rate demand notes. Commercial paper (short-term promissory notes) is issued by companies to finance their or their affiliate’s current obligations and is frequently unsecured. Variable and floating rate demand notes are unsecured obligations typically redeemable upon not more than 30 days’ notice. These obligations include master demand notes that permit investment of fluctuating amounts at varying rates of interest pursuant to a direct arrangement with the issuer of the instrument. The issuer of these

 

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obligations often has the right, after a given period, to prepay the outstanding principal amount of the obligations upon a specified number of days’ notice. These obligations generally are not traded, nor generally is there an established secondary market for these obligations. To the extent a demand note does not have a 7-day or shorter demand feature and there is no readily available market for the obligation, it is treated as an illiquid security.

 

A Fund may invest in debt securities, including non-investment grade debt securities. The following describes some of the risks associated with fixed income debt securities:

 

Interest Rate Risk. Debt securities have varying levels of sensitivity to changes in interest rates. In general, the price of a debt security can fall when interest rates rise and can rise when interest rates fall. Securities with longer maturities and mortgage securities can be more sensitive to interest rate changes although they usually offer higher yields to compensate investors for the greater risks. The longer the maturity of the security, the greater the impact a change in interest rates could have on the security’s price. In addition, short-term and long-term interest rates do not necessarily move in the same amount or the same direction. Short-term securities tend to react to changes in short-term interest rates and long-term securities tend to react to changes in long-term interest rates.

 

Credit Risk. Fixed income securities have speculative characteristics and changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of those issuers to make principal or interest payments, as compared to issuers of more highly rated securities.

 

Extension Risk. A Fund is subject to the risk that an issuer will exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund (such as mortgage-backed securities) later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. These events may lengthen the duration (i.e. interest rate sensitivity) and potentially reduce the value of these securities.

 

Prepayment Risk. Certain types of debt securities, such as mortgage-backed securities, have yield and maturity characteristics corresponding to underlying assets. Unlike traditional debt securities, which may pay a fixed rate of interest until maturity when the entire principal amount comes due, payments on certain mortgage-backed securities may include both interest and a partial payment of principal. Besides the scheduled repayment of principal, payments of principal may result from the voluntary prepayment, refinancing, or foreclosure of the underlying mortgage loans.

 

Securities subject to prepayment are less effective than other types of securities as a means of “locking in” attractive long-term interest rates. One reason is the need to reinvest prepayments of principal; another is the possibility of significant unscheduled prepayments resulting from declines in interest rates. These prepayments would have to be reinvested at lower rates. As a result, these securities may have less potential for capital appreciation during periods of declining interest rates than other securities of comparable maturities, although they may have a similar risk of decline in market value during periods of rising interest rates. Prepayments may also significantly shorten the effective maturities of these securities, especially during periods of declining interest rates. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, a reduction in prepayments may increase the effective maturities of these securities, subjecting them to a greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates than traditional debt securities, and, therefore, potentially increasing the volatility of the Fund.

 

At times, some of the mortgage-backed securities in which a Fund may invest will have higher than market interest rates and therefore will be purchased at a premium above their par value. Prepayments may cause losses in securities purchased at a premium, as unscheduled prepayments, which are made at par, will cause the Fund to experience a loss equal to any unamortized premium.

 

International and Foreign Debt Securities

 

International bonds include Yankee and Euro obligations, which are U.S. dollar-denominated international bonds for which the primary trading market is in the United States (“Yankee Bonds”), or for which the primary trading market is abroad (“Eurodollar Bonds”). International bonds also include Canadian and supranational agency bonds (e.g., those issued by the International Monetary Fund). (See “Foreign Debt Securities” for a description of risks associated with investments in foreign securities.)

 

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Investments in securities of foreign companies generally involve greater risks than are present in U.S. investments. Compared to U.S. companies, there generally is less publicly available information about foreign companies and there may be less governmental regulation and supervision of foreign stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies.

 

Foreign companies generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those prevalent in the U.S. Securities of some foreign companies are less liquid, and their prices more volatile, than securities of comparable U.S. companies. Settlement of transactions in some foreign markets may be delayed or may be less frequent than in the U.S., which could affect the liquidity of a Fund’s investment.

 

In addition, with respect to some foreign countries, there is the possibility of nationalization, expropriation, or confiscatory taxation; limitations on the removal of securities, property, or other assets of a Fund; political or social instability; increased difficulty in obtaining legal judgments; or diplomatic developments that could affect U.S. investments in those countries. The Adviser will take such factors into consideration in managing a Fund’s investments.

 

Since most foreign debt securities are not rated, a Fund will invest in those foreign debt securities based on the Adviser’s analysis without relying on published ratings. Achievement of a Fund’s goals, therefore, may depend more upon the abilities of the Adviser than would otherwise be the case. The value of the foreign debt securities held by a Fund, and thus the net asset value of a Fund’s shares, generally will fluctuate with (a) changes in the perceived creditworthiness of the issuers of those securities, (b) movements in interest rates, and (c) changes in the relative values of the currencies in which a Fund’s investments in debt securities are denominated with respect to the U.S. dollar. The extent of the fluctuation will depend on various factors, such as the average maturity of a Fund’s investments in foreign debt securities, and the extent to which a Fund hedges its interest rate, credit and currency exchange rate risks. A longer average maturity generally is associated with a higher level of volatility in the market value of such securities in response to changes in market conditions. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal recourse in that, generally, remedies for defaults must be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party.

 

Certificates of Deposit and Bankers’ Acceptances

 

Certificates of deposit are receipts issued by a depository institution in exchange for the deposit of funds. The issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the receipt on the date specified on the certificate. The certificate usually can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity.

 

A Fund may invest in insured bank obligations. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insures the deposits of federally insured banks and savings and loan associations (collectively referred to as “banks”) up to $250,000. A Fund may purchase bank obligations that are fully insured as to principal by the FDIC. Currently, to remain fully insured as to principal, these investments must be limited to $250,000 per bank; if the principal amount and accrued interest together exceed $250,000, the excess principal and accrued interest will not be insured. Insured bank obligations may have limited marketability.

 

Bankers’ acceptances typically arise from short-term credit arrangements designed to enable businesses to obtain funds to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an earning asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of discount for a specific maturity. Although maturities for acceptances can be as long as 270 days, most acceptances have maturities of six months or less.

 

Time Deposits and Variable Rate Notes

 

A Fund may invest in fixed time deposits, whether or not subject to withdrawal penalties. The commercial paper obligations, which the Fund may buy are unsecured and may include variable rate notes. The nature and terms of a variable rate note (i.e., a “Master Note”) permit the Fund to invest fluctuating amounts at varying rates of interest pursuant to a direct arrangement between the Fund as Lender, and the issuer, as borrower. It permits daily changes

 

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in the amounts borrowed. A Fund has the right at any time to increase, up to the full amount stated in the note agreement, or to decrease the amount outstanding under the note. The issuer may prepay at any time and without penalty any part of or the full amount of the note. The note may or may not be backed by one or more bank letters of credit. Because these notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and the issuer, it is not generally contemplated that they will be traded; moreover, there is currently no secondary market for them. Except as specifically provided in the Prospectus, there is no limitation on the type of issuer from whom these notes may be purchased; however, in connection with such purchase and on an ongoing basis, the Adviser will consider the earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios of the issuer, and its ability to pay principal and interest on demand, including a situation in which all holders of such notes made demand simultaneously. Variable rate notes are subject to the Fund’s investment restriction on illiquid securities unless such notes can be put back to the issuer on demand within seven days.

 

Commercial Paper

 

A Fund may purchase commercial paper. Commercial paper consists of short-term (usually from 1 to 270 days) unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations in order to finance their current operations. It may be secured by letters of credit, a surety bond or other forms of collateral. Commercial paper is usually repaid at maturity by the issuer from the proceeds of the issuance of new commercial paper. As a result, investment in commercial paper is subject to the risk the issuer cannot issue enough new commercial paper to satisfy its outstanding commercial paper, also known as rollover risk. Commercial paper may become illiquid or may suffer from reduced liquidity in certain circumstances. Like all fixed income securities, commercial paper prices are susceptible to fluctuations in interest rates. If interest rates rise, commercial paper prices will decline. The short-term nature of a commercial paper investment makes it less susceptible to interest rate risk than many other fixed income securities because interest rate risk typically increases as maturity lengths increase. Commercial paper tends to yield smaller returns than longer-term corporate debt because securities with shorter maturities typically have lower effective yields than those with longer maturities. As with all fixed income securities, there is a chance that the issuer will default on its commercial paper obligation.

 

Repurchase Agreements

 

A Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. In a repurchase agreement, an investor (such as the Fund) purchases a security (known as the “underlying security”) from a securities dealer or bank. Any such dealer or bank must be deemed creditworthy by the Adviser. At that time, the bank or securities dealer agrees to repurchase the underlying security at a mutually agreed upon price on a designated future date. The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to the Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at an agreed upon rate due to the Fund on repurchase. In either case, the income to the Fund generally will be unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying securities. Repurchase agreements must be “fully collateralized,” in that the market value of the underlying securities (including accrued interest) must at all times be equal to or greater than the repurchase price. Therefore, a repurchase agreement can be considered a loan collateralized by the underlying securities.

 

Repurchase agreements are generally for a short period of time, often less than a week, and will generally be used by a Fund to invest excess cash or as part of a temporary defensive strategy. Repurchase agreements that do not provide for payment within seven days will be treated as illiquid securities. In the event of a bankruptcy or other default by the seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience both delays in liquidating the underlying security and losses. These losses could result from: (a) possible decline in the value of the underlying security while the Fund is seeking to enforce its rights under the repurchase agreement; (b) possible reduced levels of income or lack of access to income during this period; and (c) expenses of enforcing its rights.

 

High Yield Securities

 

A Fund may invest in high yield securities. High yield, high risk bonds are securities that are generally rated below investment grade by the primary rating agencies (BB+ or lower by S&P and Ba1 or lower by Moody’s). Other terms used to describe such securities include “lower rated bonds,” “non-investment grade bonds,” “below investment grade bonds,” and “junk bonds.” These securities are considered to be high-risk investments. The risks include the following:

 

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Greater Risk of Loss. These securities are regarded as predominately speculative. There is a greater risk that issuers of lower rated securities will default than issuers of higher rated securities. Issuers of lower rated securities generally are less creditworthy and may be highly indebted, financially distressed, or bankrupt. These issuers are more vulnerable to real or perceived economic changes, political changes or adverse industry developments. In addition, high yield securities are frequently subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness. If an issuer fails to pay principal or interest, a Fund would experience a decrease in income and a decline in the market value of its investments.

 

Sensitivity to Interest Rate and Economic Changes. The income and market value of lower-rated securities may fluctuate more than higher rated securities. Although non-investment grade securities tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than investment grade securities, non-investment grade securities are more sensitive to short-term corporate, economic and market developments. During periods of economic uncertainty and change, the market price of the investments in lower-rated securities may be volatile. The default rate for high yield bonds tends to be cyclical, with defaults rising in periods of economic downturn. For example, in 2000, 2001 and 2002, the default rate for high yield securities was significantly higher than in the prior or subsequent years.

 

Valuation Difficulties. It is often more difficult to value lower rated securities than higher rated securities. If an issuer’s financial condition deteriorates, accurate financial and business information may be limited or unavailable. In addition, the lower rated investments may be thinly traded and there may be no established secondary market. Because of the lack of market pricing and current information for investments in lower rated securities, valuation of such investments is much more dependent on judgment than is the case with higher rated securities.

 

Liquidity. There may be no established secondary or public market for investments in lower rated securities. Such securities are frequently traded in markets that may be relatively less liquid than the market for higher rated securities. In addition, relatively few institutional purchasers may hold a major portion of an issue of lower-rated securities at times. As a result, the Fund may be required to sell investments at substantial losses or retain them indefinitely when an issuer’s financial condition is deteriorating.

 

Credit Quality. Credit quality of non-investment grade securities can change suddenly and unexpectedly, and even recently-issued credit ratings may not fully reflect the actual risks posed by a particular high-yield security.

 

New Legislation. Future legislation may have a possible negative impact on the market for high yield, high risk bonds. As an example, in the late 1980’s, legislation required federally-insured savings and loan associations to divest their investments in high yield, high risk bonds. New legislation, if enacted, could have a material negative effect on a Fund’s investments in lower rated securities.

 

High yield, high risk investments may include the following:

 

Straight fixed income debt securities. These include bonds and other debt obligations that bear a fixed or variable rate of interest payable at regular intervals and have a fixed or resettable maturity date. The particular terms of such securities vary and may include features such as call provisions and sinking funds.

 

Zero-coupon debt securities. These bear no interest obligation but are issued at a discount from their value at maturity. When held to maturity, their entire return equals the difference between their issue price and their maturity value.

 

Zero-fixed-coupon debt securities. These are zero-coupon debt securities that convert on a specified date to interest-bearing debt securities.

 

Pay-in-kind bonds. These are bonds which allow the issuer, at its option, to make current interest payments on the bonds either in cash or in additional bonds. These are bonds sold without registration under the Securities Act, usually to a relatively small number of institutional investors.

 

Convertible Securities. These are bonds or preferred stock that may be converted to common stock.

 

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Preferred Stock. These are stocks that generally pay a dividend at a specified rate and have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and in liquidation.

 

Loan Participations and Assignments. These are participations in, or assignments of all or a portion of loans to corporations or to governments, including governments of less developed countries (“LDCs”).

 

Securities issued in connection with Reorganizations and Corporate Restructurings. In connection with reorganizing or restructuring of an issuer, an issuer may issue common stock or other securities to holders of its debt securities. A Fund may hold such common stock and other securities even if it does not invest in such securities.

 

Municipal Government Obligations

 

In general, municipal obligations are debt obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities. Municipal obligations generally include debt obligations issued to obtain funds for various public purposes. Certain types of municipal obligations are issued in whole or in part to obtain funding for privately operated facilities or projects. Municipal obligations include general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, industrial development bonds, notes and municipal lease obligations. Municipal obligations also include additional obligations, the interest on which is exempt from federal income tax, that may become available in the future as long as the Fund’s Board determines that an investment in any such type of obligation is consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives. Municipal obligations may be fully or partially backed by local government, the credit of a private issuer, current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets or domestic or foreign entities providing credit support such as letters of credit, guarantees or insurance.

 

Bonds and Notes. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of interest and principal. Revenue bonds are payable only from the revenues derived from a project or facility or from the proceeds of a specified revenue source. Industrial development bonds are generally revenue bonds secured by payments from and the credit of private users. Municipal notes are issued to meet the short-term funding requirements of state, regional and local governments. Municipal notes include tax anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes, construction loan notes, short-term discount notes, tax-exempt commercial paper, demand notes and similar instruments.

 

Municipal Lease Obligations. Municipal lease obligations may take the form of a lease, an installment purchase or a conditional sales contract. They are issued by state and local governments and authorities to acquire land, equipment and facilities, such as vehicles, telecommunications and computer equipment and other capital assets. A Fund may purchase these lease obligations directly, or it may purchase participation interests in such lease obligations (See “Participation Interests” section). States have different requirements for issuing municipal debt and issuing municipal leases. Municipal leases are generally subject to greater risks than general obligation or revenue bonds because they usually contain a “non-appropriation” clause, which provides that the issuer is not obligated to make payments on the obligation in future years unless funds have been appropriated for this purpose each year. Such non-appropriation clauses are required to avoid the municipal lease obligations from being treated as debt for state debt restriction purposes. Accordingly, such obligations are subject to “non-appropriation” risk. Municipal leases may be secured by the underlying capital asset and it may be difficult to dispose of any such asset in the event of non-appropriation or other default.

 

United States Government Obligations

 

These consist of various types of marketable securities issued by the United States Treasury, i.e., bills, notes and bonds. Such securities are direct obligations of the United States government and differ mainly in the length of their maturity. Treasury bills, the most frequently issued marketable government security, have a maturity of up to one year and are issued on a discount basis. A Fund may also invest in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”). TIPS are special types of treasury bonds that were created in order to offer bond investors protection from inflation. The values of the TIPS are automatically adjusted to the inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”). If the CPI goes up by half a percent, the value of the bond (the TIPS) would also go up by half a percent. If the CPI falls, the value of the bond does not fall because the government guarantees that the original investment will stay the same. TIPS decline in value when real interest rates rise. However, in certain interest rate environments,

 

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such as when real interest rates are rising faster than nominal interest rates, TIPS may experience greater losses than other fixed income securities with similar duration.

 

United States Government Agency Obligations

 

These consist of debt securities issued by agencies and instrumentalities of the United States government, including the various types of instruments currently outstanding or which may be offered in the future. Agencies include, among others, the Federal Housing Administration, Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), Farmer’s Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Maritime Administration, and General Services Administration. Instrumentalities include, for example, each of the Federal Home Loan Banks, the National Bank for Cooperatives, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), the Farm Credit Banks, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), and the United States Postal Service. These securities are either: (i) backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government (e.g., United States Treasury Bills); (ii) guaranteed by the United States Treasury (e.g., GNMA mortgage-backed securities); (iii) supported by the issuing agency’s or instrumentality’s right to borrow from the United States Treasury (e.g., FNMA Discount Notes); or (iv) supported only by the issuing agency’s or instrumentality’s own credit (e.g., Tennessee Valley Association). On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Authority (the “FHFA”) announced that FNMA and FHLMC had been placed into conservatorship, a statutory process designed to stabilize a troubled institution with the objective of returning the entity to normal business operations. The U.S. Treasury Department and the FHFA at the same time established a secured lending facility and a Secured Stock Purchase Agreement with both FNMA and FHLMC to ensure that each entity had the ability to fulfill its financial obligations. The FHFA announced that it does not anticipate any disruption in pattern of payments or ongoing business operations of FNMA and FHLMC.

 

Government-related guarantors (e.g., not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government) include FNMA and FHLMC. FNMA is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders. It is subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. FNMA purchases conventional (e.g., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. Pass-through securities issued by FNMA are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.

 

FHLMC was created by Congress in 1970 for the purpose of increasing the availability of mortgage credit for residential housing. It is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks and now owned entirely by private stockholders. FHLMC issues Participation Certificates (“PC’s”), which represent interests in conventional mortgages from FHLMC’s national portfolio. FHLMC guarantees the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal, but PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may, in addition, be the originators and/or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities. Pools created by such nongovernmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in the former pools. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit. The insurance and guarantees are issued by governmental entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers.

 

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities

 

Interests in pools of mortgage pass-through securities differ from other forms of debt securities (which normally provide periodic payments of interest in fixed amounts and the payment of principal in a lump sum at maturity or on specified call dates). Instead, mortgage pass-through securities provide monthly payments consisting of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the underlying residential mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Unscheduled payments of principal may be made if the underlying mortgage loans are repaid or

 

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refinanced or the underlying properties are foreclosed, thereby shortening the securities’ weighted average life. Some mortgage pass-through securities (such as securities guaranteed by GNMA) are described as “modified pass-through securities.” These securities entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, on the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether the mortgagor actually makes the payment.

 

The principal governmental guarantor of mortgage pass-through securities is GNMA. GNMA is authorized to guarantee, with the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, the timely payment of principal and interest on securities issued by lending institutions approved by GNMA (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers) and backed by pools of mortgage loans. These mortgage loans are either insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. A “pool” or group of such mortgage loans is assembled and after being approved by GNMA, is offered to investors through securities dealers.

 

Government-related guarantors of mortgage pass-through securities (i.e., not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury) include FNMA and FHLMC. FNMA is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders. It is subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. FNMA purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved sellers/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. Mortgage pass-through securities issued by FNMA are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury.

 

Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may, in addition, be the originators and/or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related pass-through securities. A Fund does not purchase interests in pools created by such non-governmental issuers.

 

Resets. The interest rates paid on the Adjustable Rate Mortgage Securities (“ARMs”) in which a Fund may invest generally are readjusted or reset at intervals of one year or less to an increment over some predetermined interest rate index. There are two main categories of indices: 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. Commonly utilized indices include the one-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury Note rates, the three-month Treasury Bill rate, the 180-day Treasury Bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month or three-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury Note rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others tend to lag changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile.

 

Caps and Floors. The underlying mortgages which collateralize the ARMs in which a Fund invests will frequently have caps and floors which limit the maximum amount by which the loan rate to the residential borrower may change up or down: (1) per reset or adjustment interval, and (2) over the life of the loan. Some residential mortgage loans restrict periodic adjustments by limiting changes in the borrower’s monthly principal and interest payments rather than limiting interest rate changes. These payment caps may result in negative amortization. The value of mortgage securities in which a Fund invests may be affected if market interest rates rise or fall faster and farther than the allowable caps or floors on the underlying residential mortgage loans. Additionally, even though the interest rates on the underlying residential mortgages are adjustable, amortization and prepayments may occur, thereby causing the effective maturities of the mortgage securities in which the Fund invests to be shorter than the maturities stated in the underlying mortgages.

 

Securities of Other Investment Companies

 

General. Except as described in the following paragraphs, each Fund currently intends to limit its investments in securities issued by other investment companies so that, as determined immediately after a purchase of such securities is made: (i) not more than 5% of the value of a Fund’s total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company; (ii) not more than 10% of the value of its total assets will be invested in the aggregate in

 

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securities of investment companies as a group; and (iii) not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by a Fund.

 

A Fund may purchase and redeem shares issued by a money market fund without limit, provided that either: (1) the Fund pays no “sales charge” or “service fee” (as each of those terms is defined in the FINRA Conduct Rules); or (2) the Adviser waives its advisory fee in an amount necessary to offset any such sales charge or service fee.

 

Pursuant to an order issued by the SEC exempting certain ETFs exemptive relief from Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act (SEC Order”), in addition to procedures approved by the Board, each Fund may invest in such ETFs in excess of the 5% and 10% limits described above, provided that the Fund complies with the conditions of the relevant SEC Order, as it may be amended, and any other applicable investment limitations.

 

For purposes of determining compliance with a Fund’s policy on concentrating its investments in any one industry, the Fund generally does not look through investments in any underlying funds for purposes of applying their concentration limitations, unless an underlying fund itself has a policy to concentrate in a particular industry. In that case, the particular industry in which the underlying investment company invests would be counted for purposes of calculating the Fund’s concentration limitation.

 

As a shareholder of an investment company, a Fund indirectly will bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by such investment company in addition to the fees and expenses a Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations. These securities represent interests in professionally managed portfolios that may invest in various types of instruments pursuant to a wide range of investment styles. A Fund would also bear the risk of all of the underlying investments held by the other investment company. An investment company may not achieve its investment objective.

 

Exchange-Traded Funds. (“ETFs”) are investment companies whose primary objective is to achieve the same rate of return as a particular market index or commodity while trading throughout the day on an exchange. Certain ETFs are actively managed portfolios rather than being based upon an underlying index. ETF shares are sold initially in the primary market in units of 50,000 or more (“creation units”). A creation unit represents a bundle of securities or commodities that replicates, or is a representative sample of, a particular index or commodity and that is deposited with the ETF. Once owned, the individual shares comprising each creation unit are traded on an exchange in secondary market transactions for cash. The secondary market for ETF shares allows them to be readily converted into cash, like commonly traded stocks. The combination of primary and secondary markets permits ETF shares to be traded throughout the day close to the value of the ETF’s underlying portfolio securities. A Fund would purchase and sell individual shares of ETFs in the secondary market. These secondary market transactions require the payment of commissions.

 

Unit Investment Trusts.  (“UITs”) are investment companies that hold a fixed portfolio of securities until the fixed maturity date of the UIT. A Fund would generally only purchase UITs in the secondary market for cash, which would result in the payment of commissions.

 

Risk Factors Associated with Investments in ETFs and UITs. ETF and UIT shares are subject to the same risk of price fluctuation due to supply and demand as any other stock traded on an exchange, which means that a Fund could receive less from the sale of shares of an ETF or UIT it holds than it paid at the time it purchased those shares. Furthermore, there may be times when the exchange halts trading, in which case a Fund owning ETF or UIT shares would be unable to sell them until trading is resumed. There can be no assurance that an ETF or UIT will continue to meet the listing requirements of the exchange or that an active secondary market will develop for shares. In addition, because ETFs and UITs invest in a portfolio of common stocks or other instruments or commodities, the value of an ETF or UIT could decline if prices of those instruments or commodities decline. An overall decline of those instruments or commodities comprising an ETF’s or UIT’s benchmark index could have a greater impact on the ETF or UIT and investors than might be the case in an investment company with a more widely diversified portfolio. Losses could also occur if the ETF or UIT is unable to replicate the performance of the chosen benchmark index. There may be times when the market price for an ETF or UIT and its NAV vary significantly and a Fund may pay more than (premium) or less than (discount) NAV when buying shares on the secondary market. The market price of an ETF’s or UIT’s shares includes a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialists, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. In times of severe market disruption, the bid-ask spread often increases

 

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significantly. This means that the shares may trade at a discount to NAV and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of shares is falling fastest.

 

Other risks associated with ETFs and UITs include the possibility that: (i) an ETF’s or UIT’s distributions may decline if the issuers of the ETF’s or UIT’s portfolio securities fail to continue to pay dividends; and (ii) under certain circumstances, an ETF or UIT could be terminated. Should termination occur, the ETF or UIT could have to liquidate its portfolio securities when the prices for those securities are falling. In addition, inadequate or irregularly provided information about an ETF or UIT or its investments, because ETFs and UITs are generally passively managed, could expose investors in ETFs and UITs to unknown risks. Actively managed ETFs are also subject to the risk of underperformance relative to their chosen benchmark.

 

Foreign Securities

 

General. A Fund may invest in foreign securities and ETFs and other investment companies that hold a portfolio of foreign securities. Investing in securities of foreign companies and countries involves certain considerations and risks that are not typically associated with investing in U.S. government securities and securities of domestic companies. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign issuer than a domestic one, and foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. There may also be less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies than exists in the United States. Interest and dividends paid by foreign issuers may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may decrease the net return on such investments as compared to dividends and interest paid to a Fund by domestic companies or the U.S. government. There may be the possibility of expropriations, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, confiscatory taxation, political, economic or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of a Fund held in foreign countries. Finally, the establishment of exchange controls or other foreign governmental laws or restrictions could adversely affect the payment of obligations.

 

To the extent a Fund’s currency exchange transactions do not fully protect the Fund against adverse changes in currency exchange rates, decreases in the value of currencies of the foreign countries in which the Fund will invest relative to the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding decrease in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets denominated in those currencies (and possibly a corresponding increase in the amount of securities required to be liquidated to meet distribution requirements). Conversely, increases in the value of currencies of the foreign countries in which a Fund invests relative to the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding increase in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets (and possibly a corresponding decrease in the amount of securities to be liquidated).

 

Emerging Markets Securities. A Fund may purchase securities of emerging market issuers and ETFs and other investment companies that invest in emerging market securities. Investing in emerging market securities imposes risks different from, or greater than, risks of investing in foreign developed countries. These risks include: smaller market capitalization of securities markets, which may suffer periods of relative illiquidity; significant price volatility; restrictions on foreign investment; and possible repatriation of investment income and capital. In addition, foreign investors may be required to register the proceeds of sales. Future economic or political crises could lead to price controls, forced mergers, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization, or creation of government monopolies. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. dollar, and devaluation may occur subsequent to investments in these currencies by a Fund. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries.

 

Additional risks of emerging markets securities may include: greater social, economic and political uncertainty and instability; more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation; unavailability of currency hedging techniques; companies that are newly organized and small; differences in auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; and less developed legal systems. In addition, emerging securities markets may have different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions. Settlement problems may cause a Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities, hold a portion of its assets in cash pending investment, or be delayed in disposing of a portfolio security. Such a delay could result in possible liability to a purchaser of the security.

 

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Investing through Stock Connect. Certain of the Funds may invest in developing markets through trading structures or protocols that subject them to certain risks (such as risks associated with illiquidity, custody of assets, different settlement and clearance procedures, asserting legal title under developing legal and regulatory regimes and other risks) to a greater degree than in developed markets or even other developing markets. For example, a Fund may invest in certain eligible Chinese securities (“China A-Shares”) listed and traded on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”) through the Hong Kong—Shanghai Stock Connect (“Stock Connect”) program. Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing program developed by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“SEHK”), SSE, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited for the establishment of mutual market access between SEHK and SSE. Stock Connect is subject to regulations promulgated by regulatory authorities for both SSE and SEHK. Further regulations or restrictions, such as limitations on redemptions or suspension of trading, may adversely affect Stock Connect and the value of the China A-Shares held by a Fund. There is no guarantee that the systems required to operate Stock Connect will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in both markets or that both exchanges will continue to support Stock Connect in the future. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Stock Connect could be disrupted. Because Stock Connect commenced operations in November 2014, the actual effect on the market for trading China A-Shares with the introduction of large numbers of foreign investors through Stock Connect is largely unknown.

 

Although trading through Stock Connect is not subject to individual investment quotas, daily and aggregate investment quotas apply to the aggregate volume of trading on Stock Connect, which may restrict or preclude a Fund’s ability to invest in Stock Connect securities or to enter into or exit trades on a timely basis. In addition, Stock Connect securities generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect pursuant to the program’s rules, which may further subject a Fund to liquidity risk in respect of China A-Shares. Stock Connect can only operate when both Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. As a result, if either or both of these markets are closed on a U.S. trading day, a Fund may not be able to dispose of its China A-Shares in a timely manner, which could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Because of the way in which China A-Shares are held through Stock Connect, a Fund may not be able to exercise the rights of a shareholder and may be limited in its ability to pursue claims against the issuer of a security, and may suffer losses in the event the depository of the SSE becomes insolvent. Only certain China A shares are eligible to be accessed through Stock Connect. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they presumably could be sold but could no longer be purchased through Stock Connect. Investments in China A-shares may not be covered by the securities investor protection programs of either exchange and, without the protection of such programs, will be subject to the risk of default by the broker.

 

Options

 

A Fund may purchase and write (i.e., sell) put and call options. Such options may relate to particular securities, stock indices, other index, reference asset or reference item and may or may not be listed on a domestic or foreign securities exchange and may or may not be issued by the Options Clearing Corporation. Options trading is a highly specialized activity that entails greater than ordinary investment risk. Options may be more volatile than the underlying instruments, and therefore, on a percentage basis, an investment in options may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying instruments themselves.

 

A call option for a particular security gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer (seller) the obligation to sell, the underlying security at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option, regardless of the market price of the security. The premium paid to the writer is in consideration for undertaking the obligation under the option contract. A put option for a particular security gives the purchaser the right to sell the security at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration date of the option, regardless of the market price of the security.

 

Stock index options are put options and call options on various stock indices. In most respects, they are identical to listed options on common stocks. The primary difference between stock options and index options occurs when index options are exercised. In the case of stock options, the underlying security, common stock, is delivered. However, upon the exercise of an index option, settlement does not occur by delivery of the securities comprising

 

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the index. The option holder who exercises the index option receives an amount of cash if the closing level of the stock index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call, or less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option. This amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the stock index and the exercise price of the option expressed in dollars times a specified multiple. A stock index fluctuates with changes in the market value of the stocks included in the index. For example, some stock index options are based on a broad market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500® Index or the Value Line Composite Index or a narrower market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 100®. Indices may also be based on an industry or market segment, such as the AMEX Oil and Gas Index or the Computer and Business Equipment Index. Options on stock indices are currently traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the Pacific Stock Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

 

A Fund’s obligation to sell an instrument subject to a call option written by it, or to purchase an instrument subject to a put option written by it, may be terminated prior to the expiration date of the option by the Fund’s execution of a closing purchase transaction, which is effected by purchasing on an exchange an option of the same series (i.e., same underlying instrument, exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously written. A closing purchase transaction will ordinarily be effected to realize a profit on an outstanding option, to prevent an underlying instrument from being called, to permit the sale of the underlying instrument or to permit the writing of a new option containing different terms on such underlying instrument. The cost of such a liquidation purchase plus transactions costs may be greater than the premium received upon the original option, in which event a Fund will have paid a loss in the transaction. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option. An option writer unable to effect a closing purchase transaction will not be able to sell the underlying instrument or liquidate the assets held in a segregated account, as described below, until the option expires or the optioned instrument is delivered upon exercise. In such circumstances, the writer will be subject to the risk of market decline or appreciation in the instrument during such period.

 

If an option purchased by a Fund expires unexercised, the Fund realizes a loss equal to the premium paid. If the Fund enters into a closing sale transaction on an option purchased by it, the Fund will realize a gain if the premium received by the Fund on the closing transaction is more than the premium paid to purchase the option, or a loss if it is less. If an option written by the Fund expires on the stipulated expiration date or if the Fund enters into a closing purchase transaction, it will realize a gain (or loss if the cost of a closing purchase transaction exceeds the net premium received when the option is sold). If an option written by the Fund is exercised, the proceeds of the sale will be increased by the net premium originally received and the Fund will realize a gain or loss.

 

Certain Risks Regarding Options. There are several risks associated with transactions in options. For example, there are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. In addition, a liquid secondary market for particular options, whether traded over-the-counter or on an exchange, may be absent for reasons which include the following: there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities or currencies; unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading value; or 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 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.

 

Successful use by a Fund of options on stock indices will be subject to the ability of the Adviser to correctly predict movements in the directions of the stock market. This requires different skills and techniques than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. In addition, a fund’s ability to effectively hedge all or a portion of the securities in its portfolio, in anticipation of or during a market decline, through transactions in put options on stock indices, depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying index correlate with the price movements of the securities held by the Fund. Inasmuch as a Fund’s securities will not duplicate the components of an index, the correlation will not be perfect. Consequently, the Fund bears the risk that the prices of its securities being hedged will not move in the same amount as the prices of its put options on the stock indices. It is also

 

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possible that there may be a negative correlation between the index and the Fund’s securities that would result in a loss on both such securities and the options on stock indices acquired by the Fund.

 

The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying securities, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. The purchase of options is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The purchase of stock index options involves the risk that the premium and transaction costs paid by a Fund in purchasing an option will be lost as a result of unanticipated movements in prices of the securities comprising the stock index on which the option is based.

 

There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and for some options no secondary market on an exchange or elsewhere may exist. If a Fund is unable to close out a call option on securities that it has written before the option is exercised, the Fund may be required to purchase the optioned securities in order to satisfy its obligation under the option to deliver such securities. If a Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options on securities that it has purchased, it would have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the purchase and sale of the underlying securities.

 

Cover for Options Positions. Transactions using options (other than options that a Fund has purchased) expose the Fund to an obligation to another party. The Fund will not enter into any such transactions unless it owns either (i) an offsetting (“covered”) position in securities or other options or (ii) cash or liquid securities with a value sufficient at all times to cover its potential obligations not covered as provided in (i) above. A Fund will comply with SEC guidelines regarding cover for these instruments and, if the guidelines so require, set aside cash or liquid securities in a segregated account with the Fund’s custodian in the prescribed amount. Under current SEC guidelines, the Fund will segregate assets to cover transactions in which the Fund writes or sells options.

 

Assets used as cover or held in a segregated account cannot be sold while the position in the corresponding option is open, unless they are replaced with similar assets. As a result, the commitment of a large portion of a Fund’s assets to cover or segregated accounts could impede portfolio management or the Fund’s ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.

 

Options on Futures Contracts. A Fund may purchase and sell options on the same types of futures in which it may invest. Options on futures are similar to options on underlying instruments except that options on futures give the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in a futures contract (a long position if the option is a call and a short position if the option is a put), rather than to purchase or sell the futures contract, at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise of the option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by the delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account which represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract, at exercise, exceeds (in the case of a call) or is less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option on the futures contract. Purchasers of options who fail to exercise their options prior to the exercise date suffer a loss of the premium paid.

 

Dealer Options. A Fund may engage in transactions involving dealer options as well as exchange-traded options. Certain additional risks are specific to dealer options. While the Fund might look to a clearing corporation to exercise exchange-traded options, if the Fund were to purchase a dealer option it would need to rely on the dealer from which it purchased the option to perform if the option were exercised. Failure by the dealer to do so would result in the loss of the premium paid by the Fund as well as loss of the expected benefit of the transaction.

 

Exchange-traded options generally have a continuous liquid market while dealer options may not. Consequently, a Fund may generally be able to realize the value of a dealer option it has purchased only by exercising or reselling the option to the dealer who issued it. Similarly, when a Fund writes a dealer option, it may generally be able to close out the option prior to its expiration only by entering into a closing purchase transaction with the dealer to whom the Fund originally wrote the option. While a Fund will seek to enter into dealer options only with dealers who will agree to and which are expected to be capable of entering into closing transactions with the Fund, there can be no assurance that the Fund will at any time be able to liquidate a dealer option at a favorable price at any time prior to

 

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expiration. Unless a Fund, as a covered dealer call option writer, is able to effect a closing purchase transaction, it will not be able to liquidate securities (or other assets) used as cover until the option expires or is exercised. In the event of insolvency of the other party, the Fund may be unable to liquidate a dealer option. With respect to options written by the Fund, the inability to enter into a closing transaction may result in material losses to the Fund. For example, because a Fund must maintain a secured position with respect to any call option on a security it writes, the Fund may not sell the assets, which it has segregated to secure the position while it is obligated under the option. This requirement may impair the Fund’s ability to sell portfolio securities at a time when such sale might be advantageous.

 

The Staff of the SEC has taken the position that purchased dealer options are illiquid securities. A Fund may treat the cover used for written dealer options as liquid if the dealer agrees that the Fund may repurchase the dealer option it has written for a maximum price to be calculated by a predetermined formula. In such cases, the dealer option would be considered illiquid only to the extent the maximum purchase price under the formula exceeds the intrinsic value of the option. Accordingly, a Fund will treat dealer options as subject to the Fund’s limitation on illiquid securities. If the SEC changes its position on the liquidity of dealer options, the Fund will change its treatment of such instruments accordingly.

 

Spread Transactions

 

A Fund may purchase covered spread options from securities dealers. These covered spread options are not presently exchange-listed or exchange-traded. The purchase of a spread option gives the Fund the right to put securities that it owns at a fixed dollar spread or fixed yield spread in relationship to another security that the Fund does not own, but which is used as a benchmark. The risk to a Fund, in addition to the risks of dealer options described above, is the cost of the premium paid as well as any transaction costs. The purchase of spread options will be used to protect the Fund against adverse changes in prevailing credit quality spreads, i.e., the yield spread between high quality and lower quality securities. This protection is provided only during the life of the spread options.

 

Futures Contracts

 

A futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified amount of a specific financial instrument (e.g., units of a stock index or reference item such as stock volatility) for a specified price, date, time and place designated at the time the contract is made. Brokerage fees are paid when a futures contract is bought or sold and margin deposits must be maintained. Entering into a contract to buy is commonly referred to as buying or purchasing a contract or holding a long position. Entering into a contract to sell is commonly referred to as selling a contract or holding a short position.

 

Unlike when a Fund purchases or sells a security, no price would be paid or received by the Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract. Upon entering into a futures contract, and to maintain the Fund’s open positions in futures contracts, the Fund would be required to deposit with its custodian or futures broker in a segregated account in the name of the futures broker an amount of cash, U.S. government securities, suitable money market instruments, or other liquid securities, known as “initial margin.” The margin required for a particular futures contract is set by the exchange on which the contract is traded, and may be significantly modified from time to time by the exchange during the term of the contract. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margins that may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the contract being traded.

 

If the price of an open futures contract changes (by increase in underlying instrument or index in the case of a sale or by decrease in the case of a purchase) so that the loss on the futures contract reaches a point at which the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, the broker will require an increase in the margin. However, if the value of a position increases because of favorable price changes in the futures contract so that the margin deposit exceeds the required margin, the broker will pay the excess to a Fund.

 

These subsequent payments, called “variation margin,” to and from the futures broker, are made on a daily basis as the price of the underlying assets fluctuate making the long and short positions in the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking to the market.” A Fund expects to earn interest income on its margin deposits.

 

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Although certain futures contracts, by their terms, require actual future delivery of and payment for the underlying instruments, in practice most futures contracts are usually closed out before the delivery date. Closing out an open futures contract purchase or sale is effected by entering into an offsetting futures contract sale or purchase, respectively, for the same aggregate amount of the identical underlying instrument or index and the same delivery date. If the offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, a Fund realizes a gain; if it is more, the Fund realizes a loss. Conversely, if the offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a gain; if it is less, the Fund realizes a loss. The transaction costs must also be included in these calculations. There can be no assurance, however, that the Fund will be able to enter into an offsetting transaction with respect to a particular futures contract at a particular time. If the Fund is not able to enter into an offsetting transaction, the Fund will continue to be required to maintain the margin deposits on the futures contract.

 

For example, one contract in the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index future is a contract to buy 25 pounds sterling multiplied by the level of the UK Financial Times 100 Share Index on a given future date. Settlement of a stock index futures contract may or may not be in the underlying instrument or index. If not in the underlying instrument or index, then settlement will be made in cash, equivalent over time to the difference between the contract price and the actual price of the underlying asset at the time the stock index futures contract expires.

 

Swap Agreements

 

A Fund may enter into swap agreements for purposes of attempting to gain exposure to equity, debt, commodities or other asset markets without actually purchasing those assets, or to hedge a position. A Fund does not invest more than 25% of its assets in swap contracts with any one counterparty. Security investments are made without restriction as to the issuer’s country. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a day to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index.

 

Most swap agreements entered into by a Fund calculate the obligations of the parties to the agreement on a “net basis.” Consequently, the Fund’s current obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). Payments may be made at the conclusion of a swap agreement or periodically during its term.

 

Swap agreements do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Accordingly, if a swap is entered into on a net basis, if the other party to a swap agreement defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.

 

The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to a swap agreement entered into on a net basis will be accrued daily and an amount of cash or liquid asset having an aggregate net asset value at least equal to the accrued excess will be maintained in an account with the Custodian. A Fund will also establish and maintain such accounts with respect to its total obligations under any swaps that are not entered into on a net basis. Obligations under swap agreements so covered will not be construed to be “senior securities” for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities.

 

Because they are two-party contracts and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid for the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. A Fund will not enter into any swap agreement unless the Adviser believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. 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 agreement counter-party.

 

A Fund may enter into a swap agreement in circumstances where the Adviser believes that it may be more cost effective or practical than buying the securities represented by such index or a futures contract or an option on such index. such index or a futures contract or an option on such index. `` The counter-party to any swap agreement will

 

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typically be a bank, investment banking firm or broker/dealer. The counter-party will generally agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the swap agreement would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks represented in the index, plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. A Fund will agree to pay to the counter-party a floating rate of interest on the notional amount of the swap agreement plus the amount, if any, by which the notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stocks. Therefore, the return to a Fund on any swap agreement should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends on the stocks less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount.

 

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 that are traded in the OTC market.

 

Precious Metals and Other Commodities

 

Certain Funds are subject to the risk of sharp price volatility of metals or other commodities, and of shares of companies principally engaged in activities related to metals or other commodities. Investments related to metals or other commodities may fluctuate in price significantly over short periods of time because of a variety of global economic, financial, and political factors. These factors include: economic cycles; changes in inflation or expectations about inflation in various countries; interest rates; currency fluctuations; metal sales by governments, central banks, or international agencies; investment speculation; resource availability; commodity prices; fluctuations in industrial and commercial supply and demand; government regulation of the metals and other commodities industries; and government prohibitions or restrictions on the private ownership of certain precious and rare metals.

 

When-Issued, Forward Commitments and Delayed Settlements

 

A Fund may purchase and sell securities on a when-issued, forward commitment or delayed settlement basis. In this event, the Custodian (as defined under the section entitled “Custodian”) will segregate liquid assets equal to the amount of the commitment in a separate account. Normally, the Custodian will set aside portfolio securities to satisfy a purchase commitment. In such a case, the Fund may be required subsequently to segregate additional assets in order to assure that the value of the account remains equal to the amount of the Fund’s commitment. It may be expected that the Fund’s net assets will fluctuate to a greater degree when it sets aside portfolio securities to cover such purchase commitments than when it sets aside cash.

 

A Fund does not intend to engage in these transactions for speculative purposes but only in furtherance of its investment objectives. Because the Fund will segregate liquid assets to satisfy its purchase commitments in the manner described, the Fund’s liquidity and the ability of the Adviser to manage them may be affected in the event the Fund’s forward commitments, commitments to purchase when-issued securities and delayed settlements ever exceeded 15% of the value of its net assets.

 

A Fund will purchase securities on a when-issued, forward commitment or delayed settlement basis only with the intention of completing the transaction. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, the Fund may dispose of or renegotiate a commitment after it is entered into, and may sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. In these cases, the Fund may realize a taxable capital gain or loss. When the Fund engages in when-issued, forward commitment and delayed settlement transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the trade. Failure of such party to do so may result in the Fund incurring a loss or missing an opportunity to obtain a price credited to be advantageous.

 

The market value of the securities underlying a when-issued purchase, forward commitment to purchase securities, or a delayed settlement and any subsequent fluctuations in their market value is taken into account when determining the market value of a Fund starting on the day the Fund agrees to purchase the securities. A Fund does not earn interest on the securities it has committed to purchase until it has paid for and delivered on the settlement date.

 

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Illiquid and Restricted Securities

 

A Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. Illiquid securities include securities subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale (e.g., because they have not been registered under the Securities Act and securities that are otherwise not readily marketable (e.g., because trading in the security is suspended or because market makers do not exist or will not entertain bids or offers). Securities that have not been registered under the Securities Act are referred to as private placements or restricted securities and are purchased directly from the issuer or in the secondary market. Foreign securities that are freely tradable in their principal markets are not considered to be illiquid.

 

Restricted and other illiquid securities may be subject to the potential for delays on resale and uncertainty in valuation. A Fund might be unable to dispose of illiquid securities promptly or at reasonable prices and might thereby experience difficulty in satisfying redemption requests from shareholders. A Fund might have to register restricted securities in order to dispose of them, resulting in additional expense and delay. Adverse market conditions could impede such a public offering of securities.

 

A large institutional market exists for certain securities that are not registered under the Securities Act, including foreign securities. The fact that there are contractual or legal restrictions on resale to the general public or to certain institutions may not be indicative of the liquidity of such investments. Rule 144A under the Securities Act allows such a broader institutional trading market for securities otherwise subject to restrictions on resale to the general public.

 

Rule 144A establishes a “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resale of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers. Rule 144A has produced enhanced liquidity for many restricted securities, and market liquidity for such securities may continue to expand as a result of this regulation and the consequent existence of the PORTAL system, which is an automated system for the trading, clearance and settlement of unregistered securities of domestic and foreign issuers sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”).

 

Under guidelines adopted by the Trust’s Board, the Adviser may determine that particular Rule 144A securities, and commercial paper issued in reliance on the private placement exemption from registration afforded by Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act, are liquid even though they are not registered. A determination of whether such a security is liquid or not is a question of fact. In making this determination, the Adviser will consider, as it deems appropriate under the circumstances and among other factors: (1) the frequency of trades and quotes for the security; (2) the number of dealers willing to purchase or sell the security; (3) the number of other potential purchasers of the security; (4) dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; (5) the nature of the security (e.g., debt or equity, date of maturity, terms of dividend or interest payments, and other material terms) and the nature of the marketplace trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers, and the mechanics of transfer); and (6) the rating of the security and the financial condition and prospects of the issuer. In the case of commercial paper, the Adviser will also determine that the paper (1) is not traded flat or in default as to principal and interest, and (2) is rated in one of the two highest rating categories by at least two National Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSROs”) or, if only one NRSRO rates the security, by that NRSRO, or, if the security is unrated, the Adviser determines that it is of equivalent quality.

 

Rule 144A securities and Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper that have been deemed liquid as described above will continue to be monitored by the Adviser to determine if the security is no longer liquid as the result of changed conditions. Investing in Rule 144A securities or Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper could have the effect of increasing the amount of a Fund’s assets invested in illiquid securities if institutional buyers are unwilling to purchase such securities.

 

Passive Investment Strategies

 

The Funds pursue a passive or “indexing” strategy. The Funds will not buy or sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected performance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is added to or removed, respectively, from the respective index each is designed to track. An Underlying Fund’s return may not match the return of its index for a number of reasons, including: the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities; the Fund may not be fully invested at times; differences in

 

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the valuation of securities and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the index resulting from legal restrictions, cost or liquidity constraints.  For example, it is also possible that a Fund may not replicate the performance of its index due to the temporary unavailability of certain index securities in the secondary market or due to other extraordinary circumstances. A Fund may also have to vary its portfolio holdings from the composition of the Index in order to qualify, and continue to qualify, as a “regulated investment company” under the Code.

 

It is also possible that a Fund may not replicate the performance of the Index due to the temporary unavailability of certain Index securities in the secondary market or due to other extraordinary circumstances. A Fund may also have to vary its portfolio holdings from the composition of the Index in order to qualify, and continue to qualify, as a “regulated investment company” under the Code. See Taxes below for additional information on the Fund’s tax treatment.

 

Lending Portfolio Securities

 

A Fund may from time to time lend securities from their portfolios to broker-dealers, banks, financial institutions and institutional borrowers of securities and receive collateral in the form of cash or U.S. government obligations. Under the Fund’s current practices (which are subject to change), a Fund must receive initial collateral equal to 102% of the market value of the loaned securities, plus any interest due in the form of cash or U.S. government obligations. This collateral must be valued daily and should the market value of the loaned securities increase, the borrower must furnish additional collateral to a Fund sufficient to maintain the value of the collateral equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. The lending agent receives a pre-negotiated percentage of the net earnings on the investment of the collateral. A Fund will not lend portfolio securities to: (a) any “affiliated person” (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) of any Fund; (b) any affiliated person of the Adviser; or (c) any affiliated person of such an affiliated person. During the time portfolio securities are on loan, the borrower will pay the Fund any dividends or interest paid on such securities plus any fee negotiated between the parties to the lending agreement. Loans will be subject to termination by the Funds or the borrower at any time. While a Fund will not have the right to vote securities on loan, they intend to terminate loans and regain the right to vote if that is considered important with respect to the investment. A Fund will enter into loan arrangements only with broker-dealers, banks or other institutions that either the Adviser or the lending agent has determined are creditworthy under guidelines established by the Board. Although these loans are fully collateralized, there are risks associated with securities lending. A Fund’s performance could be hurt if a borrower defaults or becomes insolvent, or if the Fund wishes to sell a security before its return can be arranged. The return on invested cash collateral will result in gains and losses for the Funds. Each Fund will limit its securities lending to 33-1/3% of its total assets.

 

Short Sales

 

A Fund may sell securities short as an outright investment strategy and to offset potential declines in long positions in similar securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own or have the right to acquire (or that it owns but does not wish to deliver) in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline.

 

When a Fund makes a short sale, the broker-dealer through which the short sale is made must borrow the security sold short and deliver it to the party purchasing the security. The Fund is required to make a margin deposit in connection with such short sales; the Fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and will often be obligated to pay over any dividends and accrued interest on borrowed securities.

 

If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time a Fund covers its short position, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss increased, by the transaction costs described above. The successful use of short selling may be adversely affected by imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the security sold short and the securities being hedged.

 

To the extent a Fund sells securities short, it will provide collateral to the broker-dealer and (except in the case of short sales “against the box”) will maintain additional asset coverage in the form of cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid securities with its custodian in a segregated account in an amount at least equal to the difference between the current market value of the securities sold short and any amounts required to be deposited as collateral

 

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with the selling broker (not including the proceeds of the short sale). A Fund does not intend to enter into short sales (other than short sales “against the box”) if immediately after such sales the aggregate of the value of all collateral plus the amount in such segregated account exceeds 30% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. This percentage may be varied by action of the Board. A short sale is “against the box” to the extent the Fund contemporaneously owns, or has the right to obtain at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short.

 

Temporary Defensive Measures

 

In response to market, economic, political or other conditions, the Adviser may temporarily use a different investment strategy for a Fund for defensive purposes. Such a strategy could include investing up to 100% of a Fund’s assets in cash or cash equivalent securities. This could affect a Fund’s performance and the Fund might not achieve its investment objectives.

 

Brexit

 

In a referendum held on June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted by a narrow majority to leave the European Union (“Brexit”).  For the time being, the UK remains a member of the European Union (EU), and all existing EU-derived laws and regulations continue to apply in the UK.  However, the uncertainty as to the timing and nature of the UK’s exit and future relationship with the EU has resulted in market and currency volatility, and there are potentially major implications for business and issuers.

 

Brexit adds to the structural stresses in the countries which use the Euro as currency (“Eurozone”), and the EU, generally, that have contributed to global economic and market uncertainty over several years.  A central issue for the UK in negotiating the terms of its exit will be its relationship with the EU going-forward.  The resulting uncertainty may adversely affect business activity and economic conditions across the Eurozone and the EU, generally. This uncertainty may increase as one or more EU countries may come under pressure to leave the EU as well.  The exit of other countries from the EU, or the perception that other countries may leave, could have a material adverse effect on economic growth or business activity in the UK, the Eurozone and the entire EU.

 

Regulation as a Commodity Pool Operator

 

The Trust, on behalf of the Funds, has filed with the National Futures Association, a notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission promulgated thereunder, with respect to the Funds’ operations. Accordingly, the Funds will not be subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool operator.

 

Special Risks Related to Cyber Security

 

The Funds and their service providers have administrative and technical safeguards in place with respect to information security. Nevertheless, the Funds and their service providers are potentially susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from a cyber-attack as the Funds are highly dependent upon the effective operation of their computer systems and those of their business partners. These risks include, among other things, the theft, misuse, corruption and destruction of data maintained online or digitally, denial of service on websites and other operational disruption and unauthorized release of confidential customer information. Cyber-attacks affecting the Adviser, [ ], (the “Distributor”), the Funds, the custodian, the transfer agent, financial intermediaries and other affiliated or third-party service providers may adversely affect the Funds and their shareholders owners. For instance, cyber-attacks may interfere with the processing of Fund transactions, including the processing of orders, impact a Fund’s ability to calculate net asset values, cause the release and possible destruction of confidential customer or business information, impede trading, subject a Fund and/or its service providers and intermediaries to regulatory fines and financial losses and/or cause reputational damage. Cyber security risks may also affect the issuers of securities in which a Fund invests, which may cause a Fund’s investments to lose value. A Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management in the future. Although the Funds and their service providers have adopted security procedures to minimize the risk of a cyber-attack, there can be no assurance that the Funds or their service providers will avoid losses affecting the Funds due to cyber-attacks or information security breaches in the future.

 

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INVESTMENTS BY OTHER REGISTERED INVESTMENT COMPANIES

 

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including shares of a Fund. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in a Fund beyond the limits set forth in section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust, including that such investing investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund pursuant to which the Fund agrees it will not operate as a fund of funds.

 

DETERMINING NET ASSET VALUE (“NAV”) AND VALUING PORTFOLIO SECURITIES

 

Each Fund’s NAV is determined and the shares of each Fund are priced as of the valuation time(s) indicated in the Prospectuses on each Business Day. A “Business Day” is a day on which the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. (the “NYSE”) is open. The NYSE will not open in observance of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Investment Company Securities

 

Shares of another open-end investment company (mutual fund) held by a Fund are valued at the latest closing NAV of such mutual fund. Shares of ETFs are valued in the manner described below under “Equity Securities.”

 

Fixed Income Securities

 

Fixed income securities held by the Funds are valued on the basis of security valuations provided by an independent pricing service, approved by the Board, that determines value by using information with respect to transactions of a security, quotations from dealers, market transactions in comparable securities and various relationships between securities. Specific investment securities that are not priced by the approved pricing service will be valued according to quotations obtained from dealers who are market makers in those securities. Investment securities with less than 60 days to maturity when purchased are valued at amortized cost that approximates market value. Investment securities not having readily available market quotations will be priced at fair value using a methodology approved in good faith by the Board.

 

Equity Securities

 

Each equity security (including ETFs) held by a Fund is valued at the closing price on the exchange where the security is principally traded. Each security traded in the over-the-counter market (but not including securities the trading activity of which is reported on NASDAQ’s Automated Confirmation Transaction (“ACT”) System) is valued at the bid based upon quotes furnished by market makers for such securities. Each security the trading activity of which is reported on NASDAQ’s ACT System is valued at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price. Convertible debt securities are valued in the same manner as any debt security. Non-convertible debt securities are valued on the basis of prices provided by independent pricing services. Prices provided by the pricing service may be determined without exclusive reliance on quoted prices and may reflect appropriate factors such as institution-sized trading in similar groups of securities, developments related to special securities, yield, quality, coupon rate, maturity, type of issue, individual trading characteristics, and other market data. Securities for which market quotations are not readily available are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Trust’s officers in a manner specially authorized by the Board. Short-term obligations having 60 days or less to maturity are valued on the basis of amortized cost, except for convertible debt securities. For purposes of determining NAV, futures and options contracts generally will be valued 15 minutes after the close of trading of the NYSE.

 

Generally, trading in foreign securities, corporate bonds, U.S. government securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of each Fund’s shares generally are determined at such times. Foreign currency exchange rates are also generally determined prior the close of the NYSE. Occasionally, events affecting the values of such securities and such exchange rates may occur between the times at which such values are determined and the close of the NYSE. If events affecting the value of securities occur during such a period, and a Fund’s NAV is

 

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materially affected by such changes in the value of the securities, then these securities will be valued at their fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Board.

 

International Funds

 

Time zone arbitrage. The International Funds invest a significant amount of their assets in foreign securities, which may expose them to attempts by investors to engage in “time-zone arbitrage.” Using this technique, investors seek to take advantage of differences in the values of foreign securities that might result from events that occur after the close of the foreign securities market on which a security is traded and before the close of the NYSE that day, when the Funds calculate their net asset value.

 

If successful, time zone arbitrage might dilute the interests of other shareholders. The International Funds use “fair value pricing” under certain circumstances, to adjust the closing market prices of foreign securities to reflect what the Adviser and the Board consider to be their fair value. Fair value pricing may also help to deter time zone arbitrage.

 

Fair value pricing for the International Funds. If market quotations are not readily available, or (in the Adviser’s judgment) do not accurately reflect the fair value of a security, or if after the close of the principal market on which a security held by an International Fund is traded and before the time as of which the International Fund’s net asset value is calculated that day, an event occurs that the Adviser learns of and believes in the exercise of its judgment will cause a material change in the value of that security from the closing price of the security on the principal market on which it is traded, that security may be valued by another method that the Board believes would more accurately reflect the security’s fair value.

 

The Board has adopted valuation procedures for the Funds and has delegated the day-to-day responsibility for fair valuation determinations to the Adviser and its Pricing Committee. Those determinations may include consideration of recent transactions in comparable securities, information relating to a specific security, developments in and performance of foreign securities markets, current valuations of foreign or U.S. indices, and adjustment co-efficients based on fair value models developed by independent service providers. The Adviser may, for example, adjust the value of portfolio securities based on fair value models supplied by the service provider when the Adviser believes that the adjustments better reflect actual prices as of the close of the NYSE.

 

The International Funds’ use of fair value pricing procedures involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determined for a security may be materially different from the value that could be realized upon the sale of that security. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that an International Fund could obtain the fair value assigned to a security if it were to sell the security at approximately the same time at which the Fund determines its net asset value per share.

 

Other Valuation Information

 

Generally, trading in foreign securities, corporate bonds, U.S. government securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of each Fund’s shares generally are determined at such times. Foreign currency exchange rates are also generally determined prior the close of the NYSE. Occasionally, events affecting the values of such securities and such exchange rates may occur between the times at which such values are determined and the close of the NYSE. If events affecting the value of securities occur during such a period, and a Fund’s NAV is materially affected by such changes in the value of the securities, then these securities will be valued at their fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Board.

 

Other securities and assets for which market quotations are not readily available or for which valuation cannot be provided are valued as determined in good faith in accordance with procedures approved by the Board.

 

The NYSE holiday closing schedule indicated in this SAI under “Determining Net Asset Value (“NAV”) and Valuing Portfolio Securities” is subject to change. When the NYSE is closed or when trading is restricted for any reason other than its customary weekend or holiday closings, or under emergency circumstances as determined by the SEC to warrant such action, the Funds may not be able to accept purchase or redemption requests. A Fund’s

 

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NAV may be affected to the extent that its securities are traded on days that are not Business Days. Each Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase order in whole or in part.

 

PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES

 

Creation Units

 

Each Fund sells and redeems shares in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at the NAV next determined after receipt of an order in proper form on any Business Day. A “Business Day” is any day on which the NYSE is open for business.

 

A Creation Unit is an aggregation of 50,000 shares. The Board may declare a split or a consolidation in the number of shares outstanding of each Fund or Trust, and make a corresponding change in the number of shares in a Creation Unit.

 

Authorized Participants

 

To purchase or redeem any Creation Units, you must be, or transact through, an Authorized Participant. In order to be an Authorized Participant, you must be either a broker-dealer or other participant (“Participating Party”) in the Continuous Net Settlement System (“Clearing Process”) of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) or a participant in DTC with access to the DTC system (“DTC Participant”), and you must execute an agreement (“Participant Agreement”) with the Distributor that governs transactions in each Fund’s Creation Units.

 

Investors who are not Authorized Participants but want to transact in Creation Units may contact the Distributor for the names of Authorized Participants. An Authorized Participant may require investors to enter into a separate agreement to transact through it for Creation Units and may require orders for purchases of shares placed with it to be in a particular form. Investors transacting through a broker that is not itself an Authorized Participant and therefore must still transact through an Authorized Participant may incur additional charges. There are expected to be a limited number of Authorized Participants at any one time.

 

Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor. Market disruptions and telephone or other communication failures may impede the transmission of orders.

 

Transaction Fees

 

A fixed fee payable to the Custodian is imposed on each creation and redemption transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units involved in the transaction (“Fixed Fee”). Purchases and redemptions of Creation Units for cash or involving cash-in-lieu (as defined below) are required to pay an additional variable charge to compensate each Fund and its ongoing shareholders for brokerage and market impact expenses relating to Creation Unit transactions (“Variable Charge,” and together with the Fixed Fee, the “Transaction Fees”). With the approval of the Board, the Adviser may waive or adjust the Transaction Fees, including the Fixed Fee and/or Variable Charge (shown in the table below), from time to time. In such cases, the Authorized Participant will reimburse each Fund for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities and/or financial instruments were purchased by each Fund and the cash-in-lieu amount, applicable registration fees, brokerage commissions and certain taxes. In addition, purchasers of Creation Units are responsible for the costs of transferring the Deposit Securities to the account of each Fund.

 

Investors who use the services of a broker, or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. The Transaction Fees for each Fund are listed in the table below.

 

29



 

 

 

Fee for In-Kind and
Cash Purchases and
Redemptions

 

Maximum
Additional Variable
Charge for Cash
Purchases and
Redemptions*

 

VictoryShares US Managed Volatility ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

VictoryShares Global Managed Volatility ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

VictoryShares International Managed Volatility ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF

 

$

 

 

2.00

%

 


* As a percentage of the amount invested.

 

The Clearing Process

 

Transactions by an Authorized Participant that is a Participating Party using the NSCC system are referred to as transactions “through the Clearing Process.” Transactions by an Authorized Participant that is a DTC Participant using the DTC system are referred to as transactions “outside the Clearing Process.” The Clearing Process is an enhanced clearing process that is available only for certain securities and only to DTC participants that are also participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC. In-kind (portions of) purchase orders not subject to the Clearing Process will go through a manual clearing process run by DTC. Portfolio Deposits that include government securities must be delivered through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system (“Federal Reserve System”). Fund Deposits that include cash may be delivered through the Clearing Process or the Federal Reserve System. In-kind deposits of securities for orders outside the Clearing Process must be delivered through the Federal Reserve System (for government securities) or through DTC (for corporate securities).

 

Foreign Securities

 

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

 

Purchasing Creation Units

 

Portfolio Deposit

 

The consideration for a Creation Unit generally consists of the in-kind deposit of designated securities (“Deposit Securities”) and an amount of cash in U.S. dollars (“Cash Component”). Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Portfolio Deposit.” The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the net asset value per Creation Unit and the Deposit Securities. Thus, the Cash Component is equal to the difference between (x) the net asset value per Creation Unit of each Fund and (y) the market value of the Deposit Securities. If (x) is more than (y), the Authorized Participant will pay the Cash Component to each Fund. If (x) is less than (y), the Authorized Participant will receive the Cash Component from each Fund.

 

On each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time), the Adviser through the Custodian makes available through NSCC the name and amount of each Deposit Security in the current Portfolio Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for each Fund and the (estimated) Cash Component, effective through and including the previous Business Day, per Creation Unit. The Deposit Securities announced are applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, to purchases of Creation Units until the next announcement of Deposit Securities.

 

The Deposit Securities may change as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events of the Underlying Index are reflected from time to time by the Adviser in each Fund’s portfolio. The Deposit Securities may also change in response to the rebalancing and/or reconstitution of the Underlying Index. These adjustments will reflect changes known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Portfolio Deposit.

 

Payment of any stamp duty or the like shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant purchasing a Creation Unit. The Authorized Participant must ensure that all Deposit Securities properly denote change in beneficial ownership.

 

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Custom Orders and Cash-in-lieu

 

Each Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (“cash-in-lieu”) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. Each Fund may permit or require cash-in-lieu when, for example, a Deposit Security may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC or the Clearing Process. Similarly, each Fund may permit or require cash in lieu of Deposit Securities when, for example, the Authorized Participant or its underlying investor is restricted under U.S. or local securities laws or policies from transacting in one or more Deposit Securities. Each Fund will comply with the federal securities laws in accepting Deposit Securities including that the Deposit Securities are sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act. All orders involving cash-in-lieu are considered to be “Custom Orders.”

 

Purchase Orders

 

To order a Creation Unit, an Authorized Participant must submit an irrevocable purchase order to the Distributor.

 

Timing of Submission of Purchase Orders

 

All orders to purchase shares of any Fund (other than an International Fund) directly from a Fund must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time (the “Cut-off Time”) set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The date on which such an order to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units, as set forth below) is received and accepted is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.”

 

All orders to purchase shares of any International Fund directly from such Fund on the next Business Day must be submitted as a “Future Dated Trade” for one or more Creation Units between 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time and 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on the prior Business Day and in the manner set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The Business Day following the day on which such an order is submitted to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units, as set forth below) is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.”

 

Persons placing or effectuating custom orders and/or orders involving cash should be mindful of time deadlines imposed by intermediaries, such as DTC and/or the Federal Reserve Bank wire system, which may impact the successful processing of such orders to ensure that cash and securities are transferred by the “Settlement Date,” which is generally the Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date (“T+1”) for cash and the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date for domestic securities (“T+3”).

 

Orders Using the Clearing Process

 

If available, (portions of) orders may be settled through the Clearing Process. In connection with such orders, the Distributor or its agent transmits, on behalf of the Authorized Participant, such trade instructions as are necessary to effect the creation order. Pursuant to such trade instructions, the Authorized Participant agrees to deliver the requisite Portfolio Deposit to each Fund, together with such additional information as may be required by the Distributor. Cash Components will be delivered using either the Clearing Process or the Federal Reserve System.

 

Orders Outside the Clearing Process

 

If the Clearing Process is not available for (portions of) an order, Portfolio Deposits will be made outside the Clearing Process. Orders outside the Clearing Process must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the creation of Creation Units will be effected through DTC. The Portfolio Deposit transfer must be ordered by the DTC Participant on the Transmittal Date in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of Deposit Securities (whether standard or custom) through DTC to each Fund account by 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time, on T+1. The Cash Component, along with any cash-in-lieu and Transaction Fee, must be transferred directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve System in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on T+1. If the Custodian does not receive both the Deposit Securities and the cash by the appointed time, the order may be canceled. A canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day but

 

31



 

must conform to that Business Day’s Portfolio Deposit. Authorized Participants that submit a canceled order will be liable to each Fund for any losses incurred by each Fund in connection therewith.

 

Orders involving foreign Deposit Securities are expected to be settled outside the Clearing Process. Thus, upon receipt of an irrevocable purchase order, the Distributor will notify the Adviser and the Custodian of such order. The Custodian, who will have caused the appropriate local sub-custodian(s) of each Fund to maintain an account into which an Authorized Participant may deliver Deposit Securities (or cash -in-lieu), with adjustments determined by each Fund, will then provide information of the order to such local sub-custodian(s). The ordering Authorized Participant will then deliver the Deposit Securities (and any cash-in-lieu) to each Fund’s n account at the applicable local sub-custodian. The Authorized Participant must also make available on or before the contractual settlement date, by means satisfactory to each Fund, immediately available or same day funds in U.S. dollars estimated by each Fund to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component and Transaction Fee. When a relevant local market is closed due to local market holidays, the local market settlement process will not commence until the end of the local holiday period. Settlement must occur by 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the contractual settlement date.

 

Acceptance of Purchase Order

 

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

 

Each Fund reserves the absolute right to reject or revoke acceptance of a purchase order transmitted to it by the Distributor if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the investor(s), upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of each Fund; (c) the Deposit Securities delivered do not conform to the Deposit Securities for the applicable date; (d) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to each Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Portfolio Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Portfolio Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust, Fund or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust, Fund or the rights of beneficial owners; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and the Adviser make it for all practical purposes impossible to process purchase orders. Examples of such circumstances include acts of God; public service or utility problems resulting in telephone, telecopy or computer failures; fires, floods or extreme weather conditions; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other informational systems affecting the Trust, the Distributor, DTC, NSCC, the Adviser, each Fund’s Custodian, a sub-custodian or any other participant in the creation process; and similar extraordinary events. The Distributor shall notify an Authorized Participant of its rejection of the order. Each Fund, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Portfolio Deposits, and they shall not incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.

 

Issuance of a Creation Unit

 

Once a Fund has accepted an order, upon next determination of the Fund’s NAV, the Fund will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit, against receipt of payment, at such NAV. The Distributor will transmit a confirmation of acceptance to the Authorized Participant that placed the order.

 

Except as provided below, a Creation Unit will not be issued until a Fund obtains good title to the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component, along with any cash-in-lieu and Transaction Fee. The delivery of Creation Units will generally occur no later than T+3.

 

In certain cases, Authorized Participants will create and redeem Creation Units on the same trade date. In these instances, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.

 

With respect to orders involving foreign Deposit Securities, when the applicable local sub-custodian(s) have confirmed to the Custodian that the Deposit Securities (or cash-in-lieu) have been delivered to a Fund’s account at the applicable local sub-custodian(s), the Distributor and the Adviser shall be notified of such delivery, and a Fund will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Unit. While, as stated above, Creation Units are generally delivered on T+3, a Fund may settle Creation Unit transactions on a basis other than T+3 in order to accommodate foreign

 

32



 

market holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates (that is the last day the holder of a security can sell the security and still receive dividends payable on the security), and in certain other circumstances.

 

A Fund may issue a Creation Unit prior to receiving good title to the Deposit Securities, under the following circumstances. Pursuant to the applicable Participant Agreement, a Fund may issue a Creation Unit notwithstanding that (certain) Deposit Securities have not been delivered, in reliance on an undertaking by the relevant Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking is secured by such Authorized Participant’s delivery to and maintenance with the Custodian of collateral having a value equal to at least 105% of the value of the missing Deposit Securities (“Collateral”), as adjusted by time to time by the Adviser. Such Collateral will have a value greater than the NAV of the Creation Unit on the date the order is placed. Such collateral must be delivered no later than 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on T+1. The only Collateral that is acceptable to the Fund is cash in U.S. Dollars.

 

While (certain) Deposit Securities remain undelivered, the Collateral shall at all times have a value equal to at least 105% (as adjusted by the Adviser) of the daily marked-to-market value of the missing Deposit Securities. At any time, a Fund may use the Collateral to purchase the missing securities, and the Authorized Participant will be liable to the Fund for any costs incurred thereby or losses resulting therefrom, whether or not they exceed the amount of the Collateral, including any Transaction Fee, any amount by which the purchase price of the missing Deposit Securities exceeds the market value of such securities on the Transmittal Date, brokerage and other transaction costs. The Trust will return any unused Collateral once all of the missing securities have been received by a Fund. More information regarding a Fund’s current procedures for collateralization is available from the Distributor.

 

Cash Purchase Method

 

When cash purchases of Creation Units are available or specified for a Fund, they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind purchases In the case of a cash purchase, the investor must pay the cash equivalent of the Portfolio Deposit. In addition, cash purchases will be subject to Transaction Fees, as described above.

 

Redeeming a Creation Unit

 

Redemption Basket

 

The consideration received in connection with the redemption of a Creation Unit generally consists of an in-kind basket of designated securities (“Redemption Securities”) and an amount of cash in U.S. dollars (“Cash Component”). Together, the Redemption Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Redemption Basket.”

 

There can be no assurance that there will be sufficient liquidity in Shares in the secondary market to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. In addition, investors may incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a Creation Unit.

 

The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the net asset value per Creation Unit and the Redemption Securities. Thus, the Cash Component is equal to the difference between (x) the net asset value per Creation Unit of the Fund and (y) the market value of the Redemption Securities. If (x) is more than (y), the Authorized Participant will receive the Cash Component from the Fund. If (x) is less than (y), the Authorized Participant will pay the Cash Component to the Fund.

 

If the Redemption Securities on a Business Day are different from the Deposit Securities, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time), the Adviser through the Custodian makes available through NSCC the name and amount of each Redemption Security in the current Redemption Basket (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for a Fund and the (estimated) Cash Component, effective through and including the previous Business Day, per Creation Unit. If the Redemption Securities on a Business Day are different from the Deposit Securities, all redemption requests that day will be processed outside the Clearing Process.

 

33



 

The Redemption Securities may change as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Adviser in the Fund’s portfolio. These adjustments will reflect changes known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Redemption Basket.

 

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

 

Custom Redemptions and Cash-in-lieu

 

A Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (“cash-in-lieu”) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Redemption Security. The Fund may permit or require cash-in-lieu when, for example, a Redemption Security may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC or the Clearing Process. Similarly, a Fund may permit or require cash-in-lieu of Redemption Securities when, for example, the Authorized Participant or its underlying investor is restricted under U.S. or local securities law or policies from transacting in one or more Redemption Securities. Each Fund will comply with the federal securities laws in satisfying redemptions with Redemption Securities, including that the Redemption Securities are sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act. All redemption requests involving cash-in-lieu are considered to be “Custom Redemptions.”

 

Redemption Requests

 

To redeem a Creation Unit, an Authorized Participant must submit an irrevocable redemption request to the Distributor. An Authorized Participant submitting a redemption request is deemed to represent to a Fund that it or, if applicable, the investor on whose behalf it is acting, (i) owns outright or has full legal authority and legal beneficial right to tender for redemption the Creation Unit to be redeemed and can receive the entire proceeds of the redemption, and (ii) all of the Shares that are in the Creation Unit to be redeemed have not been borrowed, loaned or pledged to another party nor are they the subject of a repurchase agreement, securities lending agreement or such other arrangement which would preclude the delivery of such Shares to a Fund. Each Fund reserves the absolute right, in its sole discretion, to verify these representations, but will typically require verification in connection with higher levels of redemption activity and/or short interest in a Fund. If the Authorized Participant, upon receipt of a verification request, does not provide sufficient verification of the requested representations, the redemption request will not be considered to be in proper form and may be rejected by a Fund.

 

Timing of Submission of Redemption Requests

 

All orders to redeem shares of any Fund (other than an International Fund) directly from a Fund must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time (the “Cut-off Time”) set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The date on which such an order to redeem Creation Units is received and accepted is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.”

 

All orders to redeem shares of any International Fund directly from such Fund on the next Business Day must be submitted as a “Future Dated Trade” for one or more Creation Units between 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time and 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on the prior Business Day and in the manner set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The Business Day following the day on which such an order is submitted to redeem Creation Units is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.”

 

A redemption request is deemed received if (i) such order is received by the Distributor by the Cut-off Time on such day and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. Persons placing or effectuating Custom Redemptions and/or orders involving cash should be mindful of time deadlines imposed by intermediaries, such as DTC and/or the Federal Reserve System, which may impact the successful processing of such orders to ensure that cash and securities are transferred by the Settlement Date, as defined above.

 

34



 

Requests Using the Clearing Process

 

If available, (portions of) redemption requests may be settled through the Clearing Process. In connection with such orders, the Distributor transmits on behalf of the Authorized Participant, such trade instructions as are necessary to effect the redemption. Pursuant to such trade instructions, the Authorized Participant agrees to deliver the requisite Creation Unit(s) to a Fund, together with such additional information as may be required by the Distributor. Cash Components will be delivered using either the Clearing Process or the Federal Reserve System, as described above.

 

Requests Outside the Clearing Process

 

If the Clearing Process is not available for (portions of) an order, Redemption Baskets will be delivered outside the Clearing Process. Orders outside the Clearing Process must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the redemption will be effected through DTC. The Authorized Participant must transfer or cause to be transferred the Creation Unit(s) of shares being redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be delivered through DTC to the Custodian by 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time, on receivedT+1. In addition, the Cash Component must be received by the Custodian by 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on T+1. If the Custodian does not receive the Creation Unit(s) and Cash Component by the appointed times on T+1, the redemption will be rejected, except in the circumstances described below. A rejected redemption request may be resubmitted the following Business Day.

 

Orders involving foreign Redemption Securities are expected to be settled outside the Clearing Process. Thus, upon receipt of an irrevocable redemption request, the Distributor will notify the Adviser and the Custodian. The Custodian will then provide information of the redemption to the Fund’s local sub-custodian(s). The redeeming Authorized Participant, or the investor on whose behalf is acting, will have established appropriate arrangements with a broker-dealer, bank or other custody provider in each jurisdiction in which the Redemption Securities are customarily traded and to which such Redemption Securities (and any cash-in-lieu) can be delivered from the Fund’s accounts at the applicable local sub-custodian(s).

 

Acceptance of Redemption Requests

 

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

 

Delivery of Redemption Basket

 

Once a Fund has accepted a redemption request, upon next determination of the Fund’s NAV, the Fund will confirm the issuance of a Redemption Basket, against receipt of the Creation Unit(s) at such NAV, any cash-in-lieu and Transaction Fee. A Creation Unit tendered for redemption and the payment of the Cash Component, any cash-in-lieu and Transaction Fee will be effected through DTC. The Authorized Participant, or the investor on whose behalf it is acting, will be recorded on the book-entry system of DTC.

 

The Redemption Basket will generally be delivered to the redeeming Authorized Participant within T+3. Except under the circumstances described below; however, a Redemption Basket generally will not be issued until the Creation Unit(s) are delivered to a Fund, along with the Cash Component, any cash-in-lieu and Transaction Fee.

 

In certain cases, Authorized Participants will create and redeem Creation Units on the same trade date. In these instances, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.

 

With respect to orders involving foreign Redemption Securities, a Fund may settle Creation Unit transactions on a basis other than T+3 in order to accommodate foreign market holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates (that is the last day the holder of a security can sell the security and still receive dividends payable on the security), and in certain other circumstances. When a relevant local market is closed due to local market holidays, the local market settlement process will not commence until the end of the local holiday period.

 

35



 

Cash Redemption Method. When cash redemptions of Creation Units are available or specified for a Fund, they will be effected in essentially the same manner as in-kind redemptions. In the case of a cash redemption, the investor will receive the cash equivalent of the Redemption Basket minus any Transaction Fees, as described above.

 

Regular Holidays

 

The Funds generally intend to effect deliveries of Creation Units and portfolio securities on a basis of T+3. The Funds may effect deliveries of Creation Units and portfolio securities on a basis other than T+3 to accommodate local holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates, or under certain other circumstances. The ability of the Trust to effect in-kind creations and redemptions within three Business Days of receipt of an order in good form is subject, among other things, to the condition that, within the time period from the date of the order to the date of delivery of the securities, there are no days that are holidays in the applicable foreign market. For every occurrence of one or more intervening holidays in the applicable foreign market that are not holidays observed in the U.S. equity market, the redemption settlement cycle will be extended by the number of such intervening holidays. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a foreign market due to emergencies may also prevent the Trust from delivering securities within the normal settlement period.

 

The securities delivery cycles currently practicable for transferring portfolio securities to redeeming investors, coupled with foreign market holiday schedules, will require a delivery process longer than seven calendar days for some Funds, in certain circumstances. The holidays applicable to the Funds during such periods are listed below, as are instances where more than seven days will be needed to deliver redemption proceeds. Although certain holidays may occur on different dates in subsequent years, the number of days required to deliver redemption proceeds in any given year is not expected to exceed the maximum number of days listed below for the Fund. The proclamation of new holidays, the treatment by market participants of certain days as “informal holidays” (e.g., days on which no or limited securities transactions occur, as a result of substantially shortened trading hours), the elimination of existing holidays, or changes in local securities delivery practices could affect the accuracy of information set forth herein.

 

Listed in Appendix A are the dates of regular holidays between October 1, 2016 — September 30, 2017 in non-US markets that may impact Fund settlement.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

From time to time, the “standardized yield,” “distribution return,” “dividend yield,” “average annual total return,” “total return,” and “total return at NAV” of an investment in each class of the Fund shares may be advertised. An explanation of how yields and total returns are calculated for each class and the components of those calculations are set forth below.

 

Yield and total return information may be useful to investors in reviewing a Fund’s performance. A Fund’s advertisement of its performance must, under applicable SEC rules, include the average annual total returns for a Fund for the 1, 5 and 10-year period (or the life of the Fund, if less) as of the most recently ended calendar quarter. This enables an investor to compare the Fund’s performance to the performance of other funds for the same periods. However, a number of factors should be considered before using such information as a basis for comparison with other investments. Investments in a Fund are not insured; their yield and total return are not guaranteed and normally will fluctuate on a daily basis. When redeemed or sold, an investor’s shares may be worth more or less than their original cost. Yield and total return for any given past period are not a prediction or representation by the Trust of future yields or rates of return on its shares. The yield and total returns of the Funds are affected by portfolio quality, portfolio maturity, the types of investments held and operating expenses.

 

Standardized Yield. The “yield” (referred to as “standardized yield”) of the Funds for a given 30-day period for a class of shares is calculated using the following formula set forth in rules adopted by the SEC that apply to all funds that quote yields:

 

Standardized Yield = 2 [(a-b + 1)6 - 1]

cd

 

36



 

The symbols above represent the following factors:

 

a = dividends and interest earned during the 30-day period.

 

b = expenses accrued for the period (net of any expense reimbursements).

 

c = the average daily number of shares of the Fund outstanding during the 30-day period that were entitled to receive dividends.

 

d = the maximum offering price per share of the Fund on the last day of the period, adjusted for undistributed net investment income.

 

The standardized yield for a 30-day period may differ from its yield for any other period. The SEC formula assumes that the standardized yield for a 30-day period occurs at a constant rate for a six-month period and is annualized at the end of the six-month period. This standardized yield is not based on actual distributions paid by a Fund to shareholders in the 30-day period, but is a hypothetical yield based upon the net investment income from a Fund’s portfolio investments calculated for that period. The standardized yield may differ from the “dividend yield,” described below.

 

Dividend Yield and Distribution Returns. From time to time a Fund may quote a “dividend yield” or a “distribution return”. Dividend yield is based on the dividends derived from net investment income during a one-year period. Distribution return includes dividends derived from net investment income and from net realized capital gains declared during a one-year period. The distribution return for a period is not necessarily indicative of the return of an investment since it may include capital gain distributions representing gains not earned during the period. Distributions, since they result in the reduction in the price of Fund shares, do not, by themselves, result in gain to shareholders. The “dividend yield” is calculated as follows:

 

Dividend Yield of Fund

 

=

Dividends for a Period of One-Year

 

 

 

Max. Offering Price (last day of period)

 

Total Returns — General. Total returns assume that all dividends and net capital gains distributions during the period are reinvested to buy additional shares at NAV and that the investment is redeemed at the end of the period. After-tax returns reflect the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions less the taxes due on those distributions. After-tax returns are calculated using the highest individual federal marginal income tax rates in effect on the reinvestment date and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on your tax situation and may differ from those shown in the Prospectuses.

 

Total Returns Before Taxes. The “average annual total return before taxes” of a Fund is an average annual compounded rate of return before taxes for each year in a specified number of years. It is the rate of return based on the change in value of a hypothetical initial investment of $1,000 (“P” in the formula below) held for a number of years (“n”) to achieve an Ending Redeemable Value (“ERV”), according to the following formula:

 

(ERV/P)1/n-1 = Average Annual Total Return Before Taxes

 

The cumulative “total return before taxes” calculation measures the change in value of a hypothetical investment of $1,000 over an entire period greater than one year. Its calculation uses some of the same factors as average annual total return, but it does not average the rate of return on an annual basis. Total return is determined as follows:

 

ERV - P = Total Return Before Taxes

P

 

Total Returns After Taxes on Distributions. The “average annual total return after taxes on distributions” of a Fund is an average annual compounded rate of return after taxes on distributions for each year in a specified number of years. It is the rate of return based on the change in value of a hypothetical initial investment of $1,000 (“P” in the formula below) held for a number of years (“n”) to achieve an ending value at the end of the periods shown (“ATVD”), according to the following formula:

 

37



 

(ATVD/P)1/n-1 = Average Annual Total Return After Taxes on Distributions

 

Total Returns After Taxes on Distributions and Redemptions. The “average annual total return after taxes on distributions and redemptions” of a Fund is an average annual compounded rate of return after taxes on distributions and redemption for each year in a specified number of years. It is the rate of return based on the change in value of a hypothetical initial investment of $1,000 (“P” in the formula below) held for a number of years (“n”) to achieve an ending value at the end of the periods shown (“ATVDR”), according to the following formula:

 

(ATVDR/P)1/n-1 = Average Annual Total Return After Taxes on Distributions and Redemptions

 

The cumulative “total return after taxes on distributions and redemptions” calculation measures the change in value of a hypothetical investment of $1,000 over an entire period greater than one year. Its calculation uses some of the same factors as average annual total return after taxes on distributions and redemptions, but it does not average the rate of return on an annual basis. Total return after taxes on distributions is determined as follows:

 

ATVDR - P = Total Return After Taxes on Distributions and Redemptions

P

 

From time to time the Funds also may quote an “average annual total return at NAV” or a cumulative “total return at NAV.” It is based on the difference in NAV at the beginning and the end of the period for a hypothetical investment in the Fund and takes into consideration the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions.

 

Other Performance Comparisons

 

From time to time a Fund may publish the ranking of its performance by Lipper, Inc. (“Lipper”), a widely-recognized independent mutual fund monitoring service. Lipper monitors the performance of regulated investment companies and ranks the performance of the Funds against all other funds in similar categories, for both equity and fixed income funds. The Lipper performance rankings are based on total return that includes the reinvestment of capital gains distributions and income dividends but does not take sales charges or taxes into consideration.

 

From time to time a Fund may publish its rating by Morningstar, Inc., an independent mutual fund monitoring service that rates mutual funds, in broad investment categories (domestic equity, international equity, taxable bond, or municipal bond) monthly, based upon each Fund’s three, five and ten-year average annual total returns (when available) and a risk adjustment factor that reflects Fund performance relative to three-month U.S. Treasury bill monthly returns. Such returns are adjusted for fees and sales loads. There are five rating categories with a corresponding number of stars: highest (5), above average (4), neutral (3), below average (2) and lowest (1).

 

The total return on an investment made in a Fund may be compared with the performance for the same period of one or more broad-based securities market indices, as described in the Prospectuses. These indices are unmanaged indices of securities that do not reflect reinvestment of capital gains or take investment costs into consideration, as these items are not applicable to indices. The Funds’ total returns also may be compared with the Consumer Price Index, a measure of change in consumer prices, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

From time to time, the yields and the total returns of the Funds may be quoted in and compared to other mutual funds with similar investment objectives in advertisements, shareholder reports or other communications to shareholders. A Fund also may include calculations in such communications that describe hypothetical investment results. (Such performance examples are based on an express set of assumptions and are not indicative of the performance of any Fund.) Such calculations may from time to time include discussions or illustrations of the effects of compounding in advertisements. “Compounding” refers to the fact that, if dividends or other distributions on a Fund’s investment are reinvested by being paid in additional Fund shares, any future income or capital appreciation of a Fund would increase the value, not only of the original Fund investment, but also of the additional Fund shares received through reinvestment. As a result, the value of a Fund investment would increase more quickly than if dividends or other distributions had been paid in cash.

 

38



 

A Fund also may include discussions or illustrations of the potential investment goals of a prospective investor (including but not limited to tax and/or retirement planning), investment management techniques, policies or investment suitability of a Fund, economic conditions, legislative developments (including pending legislation), the effects of inflation and historical performance of various asset classes, including but not limited to stocks, bonds and Treasury bills.

 

From time to time advertisements or communications to shareholders may summarize the substance of information contained in shareholder reports (including the investment composition of a Fund, as well as the views of the Adviser as to current market, economic, trade and interest rate trends, legislative, regulatory and monetary developments, investment strategies and related matters believed to be of relevance to a Fund). A Fund also may include in advertisements, charts, graphs or drawings that illustrate the potential risks and rewards of investment in various investment vehicles, including but not limited to stock, bonds and Treasury bills, as compared to an investment in shares of a Fund, as well as charts or graphs that illustrate strategies such as dollar cost averaging and comparisons of hypothetical yields of investment in tax-exempt versus taxable investments. In addition, advertisements or shareholder communications may include a discussion of certain attributes or benefits to be derived by an investment in a Fund. Such advertisements or communications may include symbols, headlines or other material that highlight or summarize the information discussed in more detail therein. With proper authorization, a Fund may reprint articles (or excerpts) written regarding a Fund and provide them to prospective shareholders. The Funds’ performance information is generally available by calling toll free 1-866-376-7890.

 

Investors also may judge, and a Fund may at times advertise, the performance of a Fund by comparing it to the performance of other mutual funds or mutual fund portfolios with comparable investment objectives and policies, which performance may be contained in various unmanaged mutual fund or market indices or rankings. In addition to yield information, general information about a Fund that appears in a publication may also be quoted or reproduced in advertisements or in reports to shareholders.

 

Advertisements and sales literature may include discussions of specifics of a portfolio manager’s investment strategy and process, including, but not limited to, descriptions of security selection and analysis. Advertisements may also include descriptive information about the investment adviser, including, but not limited to, its status within the industry, other services and products it makes available, total assets under management and its investment philosophy.

 

When comparing yield, total return and investment risk of an investment in shares of a Fund with other investments, investors should understand that certain other investments have different risk characteristics than an investment in shares of a Fund. For example, CDs may have fixed rates of return and may be insured as to principal and interest by the FDIC, while a Fund’s returns will fluctuate and its share values and returns are not guaranteed. Money market accounts offered by banks also may be insured by the FDIC and may offer stability of principal. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

 

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

 

Board Leadership Structure

 

The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of ten Trustees, nine of whom are not “interested persons” of the Trust within the meaning of that term under the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). The Chair of the Board is an Independent Trustee, who functions as the lead Trustee. The Chair serves as liaison between the Board and its Committees, and the Adviser and other service providers. The Chair is actively involved in setting the Board meeting agenda, and participates on certain of the Board’s Committees.

 

Board Role in Risk Oversight

 

In considering risks related to the Funds, the Board consults and receives reports from officers of the Funds and personnel of the Adviser, who are charged with the day-to-day risk oversight function. Matters regularly reported to the Board or a designated committee include certain risks involving the Funds’ investment portfolios, trading practices, operational matters, financial and accounting controls, and legal and regulatory compliance. The Board has delegated to the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee overall responsibility for reviewing reports relating to

 

39



 

compliance and enterprise risk, including operational risk and personnel. The Board relies on the Investment Committee to review reports relating to investment risks, that is, risks to the Funds resulting from pursuing the Funds’ investment strategies (e.g., credit risk, liquidity risk and market risk).

 

Trustees and Officers

 

The following tables list the Trustees and Officers, their ages, position with the Trust, length of time served, principal occupations during the past five years and, where applicable, any directorships of other investment companies or companies whose securities are registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or who file reports under that Act. Each Trustee oversees [24] portfolios in the Trust, 48 portfolios in the Victory Portfolios, 9 portfolios in Victory Variable Insurance Funds and one portfolio in Victory Institutional Funds, each a registered investment company that, together with the Trust, comprise the Victory Fund Complex. There is no defined term of office and each Trustee serves until the earlier of his or her resignation, retirement, removal, death, or the election of a qualified successor. Each Trustee’s and Officer’s address is c/o Victory Funds, 4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, OH 44144.

 

Independent Trustees

 

Name and Age

 

Position(s)
Held
with
Registrant

 

Date Commenced
Service

 

Principal
Occupation(s)
During Past 5
Years

 

Other Directorships
Held During Past 5
Years

David Brooks Adcock, 65

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Consultant (since 2006).

 

FBR Funds (2011-2012); Chairman, Board of Trustees, Turner Funds (December 2016-present).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigel D.T. Andrews, 69

 

Vice Chair and Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Retired.

 

Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc. (since 2012); Old Mutual US Asset Management (2002-2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Lee Beard, 65

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Retired (since 2015); Consultant, The Henlee Group, LLC (consulting) (2005-2015).

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis M. Bushe, 72

 

Trustee

 

July 2016

 

Retired since May 2010; Trustee, RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust (November 2011-July 2016).

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally M. Dungan, 62

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Chief Investment Officer, Tufts University, since 2002.

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John L. Kelly 63

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Adviser, Endgate Commodities LLC (since January 2016); Managing Partner, Endgate Commodities LLC (August 2014 to January 2016); Chief Operating Officer, Liquidnet

 

Director, Caledonia Mining Corporation (since May 2012).

 

40



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holdings, Inc. (2011-2014); Managing Director, Crossroad LLC (Consultants) (April 2009 to December 2011).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David L. Meyer, 59

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Retired.

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria S. Nelund, 55

 

Trustee

 

July 2016

 

Chair, CEO, and Co-Founder of TriLinc Global, LLC, an investment firm; Trustee, RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust (November 2007-July 2016).

 

TriLinc Global Impact Fund, LLC (2012- present).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leigh A. Wilson, 72

 

Chair and Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Private Investor.

 

Chair (since 2013) and Director (since 2012 and March-October 2008), Caledonia Mining Corporation.

 

Interested Trustee

 

Name and Age

 

Position(s)
Held
with
Registrant

 

Date Commenced
Service

 

Principal
Occupation(s)
During Past 5
Years

 

Other Directorships
Held During Past 5
Years

David C. Brown*, 44

 

Trustee

 

May 2015

 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (since August 2013), Co-Chief Executive Officer, (2011-2013), President — Investments and Operations (2010-2011) and Chief Operating Officer (2004-2011), the Adviser; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (since 2013), Victory Capital Holdings, Inc.

 

None.

 


*Mr. Brown is an “Interested Person” by reason of his relationship with the Adviser.

 

Trustee Qualifications

 

The following summarizes the experience and qualifications of the Trustees.

 

41



 

·                  David Brooks Adcock. Mr. Adcock served for many years as general counsel to Duke University and Duke University Health System, where he provided oversight to complex business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions and dispositions. He has served for more than 20 years as a public interest arbitrator for, among others, the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the National Futures Association, FINRA and the American Arbitration Association. The Board believes that Mr. Adcock’s knowledge of complex business transactions and the securities industry combined with his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve on the Board.

 

·                  Nigel D.T. Andrews. Mr. Andrews served for many years as a management consultant for a nationally recognized consulting company and as a senior executive at GE, including Vice President of Corporate Business Development, reporting to the Chairman, and as Executive Vice President of GE Capital. He also served as a Director and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Old Mutual plc, a large publicly traded company whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Mr. Andrews also formerly served as the non-executive chairman of Old Mutual’s US asset management business, where he also served on the audit and risk committee. Mr. Andrews also served as a Governor of the London Business School. He serves as a director of Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc., a business development company. The Board believes that his experience in these positions, particularly with respect to oversight of risk and the audit function of public companies, as well as his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.

 

·                  E. Lee Beard. Ms. Beard, a certified public accountant, has served as the president, chief executive officer and director, and as a chief financial officer, of public, federally insured, depository institutions. As such, Ms. Beard is familiar with issues relating to audits of financial institutions. The Board believes that Ms. Beard’s experience as the chief executive officer of a depository institution, her service on the boards of other mutual funds and her knowledge of audit and accounting matters qualifies her to serve as a Trustee.

 

·                  David C. Brown. Mr. Brown serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (since 2013) of the Adviser, and, as such is an “interested person” of the Trust. Previously, he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer (2011-2013), and President — Investments and Operations (2010-2011) and Chief Operating Officer (2004-2011) of the Adviser. The Board believes that his position and experience with the Adviser and his previous experience in the investment management business qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.

 

·                  Dennis M. Bushe. Mr. Bushe has experience in fixed income investment management and research. He is a former chief investment risk officer of a large investment management firm.  Mr. Bushe previously served as a Trustee of the boards of the RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust.

 

·                  Sally M. Dungan. Ms. Dungan, a Chartered Financial Analyst, has been in the investment and financial management business for many years. She currently serves as Chief Investment Officer for Tufts University, a position she has held since 2002, and previously served as Director of Pension Fund Management for Siemens Corporation (2000-2002), Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Senior Investment Officer of Public Markets of the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1995-2000) and Administrative Manager for Lehman Brothers (1990-1995). Ms. Dungan has served on the boards, including their audit and investment committees, of private institutions and mutual funds. The Board believes Ms. Dungan’s extensive knowledge of the investment process and financial markets qualifies her to serve as a Trustee.

 

·                  John L. Kelly. Mr. Kelly has more than 35 years of experience and leadership roles in the financial services industry including institutional electronic trading, capital markets, corporate and investment banking, retail brokerage, private equity, asset/wealth management, institutional services, mutual funds and related technology enabled services.  He previously served as an Independent Trustee of Victory Portfolios, Victory Institutional Funds, and Victory Variable Insurance Funds from 2008 to 2011. The Board believes that this experience qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.

 

42



 

·                  David L. Meyer. For six years, Mr. Meyer served as chief operating officer, Investment Wealth Management Division of Mercantile Bankshares Corp (now PNC Financial Services Corp.) and has served as an officer or on the board of other mutual funds for many years. The Board believes that his experience, particularly as it related to the operation of registered investment companies, qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.

 

·                  Gloria S. Nelund. Ms. Nelund has executive and investment management industry experience, including service as chief executive officer of two investment advisory firms. Ms. Nelund also has experience as a co-founder and chief executive officer of an investment firm. Ms. Nelund previously served as the Chair and Trustee of the boards of the RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust.

 

·                  Leigh A. Wilson. Mr. Wilson served for many years as Chief Executive Officer of Paribas North America and as such has extensive experience in the financial sector. He serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Caledonia Mining Corporation, a Canadian mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. As a former director of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum (“MFDF”), he is familiar with the operation and regulation of registered investment companies. He served on a MFDF steering committee created at the request of then-SEC Chairman William Donaldson to recommend best practices to independent mutual fund directors. He received the Small Fund Trustee of the Year award from Institutional Investor Magazine in 2006. The Board believes that this experience and his previous service on the boards of other mutual funds qualifies him to serve as a Trustee.

 

Committees of the Board

 

The following standing Committees of the Board are currently in operation: Audit and Risk Oversight, Continuing Education, Investment, Service Provider, Board Governance and Nominating, and Agenda. In addition to these standing Committees, the Board may form temporary Special Committees to address particular areas of concern. In addition, a Committee may form a Sub-Committee to address particular areas of concern to that Committee.

 

The members of the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee, all of whom are Independent Trustees, are Mr. Meyer (Chair), Mr. Adcock, Ms. Beard, and Mr. Wilson. The primary purpose of this Committee is to oversee the Trust’s accounting and financial reporting policies, practices and internal controls, as required by the statutes and regulations administered by the SEC, including the 1940 Act. The Committee also has overall responsibility for reviewing periodic reports with respect to compliance and enterprise risk, including operational risk and personnel. The Board has designated Mr. Meyer and Ms. Beard as its Audit Committee Financial Experts.

 

The members of the Continuing Education Committee are Mr. Meyer (Chair), Ms. Beard, and Ms. Dungan. The function of this Committee is to develop programs to educate the Trustees to enhance their effectiveness as a Board and individually.

 

The Investment Committee consists of all of the Independent Trustees. Ms. Dungan currently serves as the Chair of this Committee. The function of this Committee is to oversee the Fund’s compliance with investment objectives, policies and restrictions, including those imposed by law or regulation, and assists the Board in its annual review of the Funds’ investment advisory agreements.

 

The members of the Service Provider Committee are Ms. Beard (Chair), Mr. Adcock, and Mr. Meyer. This Committee negotiates the terms of the written agreements with the Funds’ service providers, evaluates the quality of periodic reports from the service providers (including reports submitted by sub-service providers) and assists the Board in its review of each Fund’s service providers, other than the investment adviser and independent auditors.

 

The Board Governance and Nominating Committee consists of all of the Independent Trustees. Mr. Andrews currently serves as the Chair of this Committee. The functions of this Committee are: to oversee Fund governance, including the nomination and selection of Trustees; to evaluate and recommend to the Board the compensation and expense reimbursement policies applicable to Trustees; and periodically, to coordinate and facilitate an evaluation of the performance of the Board.

 

43



 

The Board Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominee recommendations from Fund shareholders, in accordance with procedures established by the Committee. A Fund shareholder should submit a nominee recommendation in writing to the attention of the Chair of the Trust, 4900 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144. The Committee (or a designated sub-committee) will screen shareholder recommendations in the same manner as it screens nominations received from other sources, such as current Trustees, management of the Fund or other individuals, including professional recruiters. The Committee need not consider any recommendations when no vacancy on the Board exists, but the Committee will consider any such recommendation if a vacancy occurs within six months after receipt of the recommendation. In administering the shareholder recommendation process, the Chair, in the Chair’s sole discretion, may retain the services of counsel to the Trust or to the Independent Trustees, management of the Fund or any third party. The Committee will communicate the results of the evaluation of any shareholder recommendation to the shareholder who made the recommendation.

 

The Agenda Committee consists of the Chair of the Board and the Chair of each other Committee.

 

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016 the Board held seven meetings; the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee held four meetings; the Investment Committee held four meetings; the Service Provider Committee held four meetings; and the Board Governance and Nominating Committee held four meetings. The Continuing Education Committee met informally during the fiscal year.

 

Officers of the Trust

 

The officers of the Trust are elected by the Board of Trustees to actively supervise the Trust’s day-to-day operations. The officers of the Trust, their ages, the length of time served, and their principal occupations during the past five years, are detailed in the following table. Each individual holds the same position with the other registered investment companies in the Victory Fund Complex, and each officer serves until the earlier of his or her resignation, removal, retirement, death, or the election of a successor. The mailing address of each officer of the Trust is 4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, OH 44144. Except for the Chief Compliance Officer, the officers of the Trust receive no compensation directly from the Trust for performing the duties of their offices.

 

Name and Age

 

Position with
the Trust

 

Date
Commenced
Service

 

Principal Occupation During Past 5 Years

Christopher K. Dyer, 54

 

President

 

May 2015

 

Director of Mutual Fund Administration, the Adviser.

Scott A. Stahorsky, 47

 

Vice President

 

May 2015

 

Manager, Fund Administration, the Adviser (since 2015). Senior Analyst, Fund Administration, the Adviser (prior to 2015).

Erin G. Wagner, 42

 

Secretary

 

May 2015

 

Associate General Counsel, the Adviser (since 2013); Associate, Dechert LLP (2001-2010).

Christopher A. Ponte, 32

 

Treasurer

 

May 2015

 

Senior Analyst, Fund Administration, the Adviser; registered Principal, Victory Capital Advisers, Inc. (since 2011).

Edward J. Veilleux, 72

 

Chief Compliance Officer

 

May 2015

 

President of EJV Financial Services (mutual fund consulting).

 

44



 

Name and Age

 

Position with
the Trust

 

Date
Commenced
Service

 

Principal Occupation During Past 5 Years

Chuck Booth, 56

 

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Identity Theft Officer

 

May 2015

 

Director, Regulatory Administration and CCO Support Services, Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc.

Jay G. Baris, 62

 

Assistant Secretary

 

May 2015

 

Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP (since 2011).

 

Trustees’ Fund Ownership

 

The following tables show the dollar ranges of Fund shares (and of shares of all series of the Victory Fund Complex) beneficially owned by the Trustees as of December 31, 2016.  The Funds are new and had no outstanding shares as of the date of this SAI. No Independent Trustee (or any immediate family member) owns beneficially or of record an interest in the Adviser or the Distributor or in any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or the Distributor (other than Funds in the Victory Funds Complex). As of December 31, 2016, the Trustees and officers as a group owned beneficially less than 1% of each class of outstanding shares of those series of the Trust.

 

Independent Trustees

 

Trustee

 

Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership of Fund Shares

 

Aggregate Dollar Range of Ownership
of Shares of All Series
of the Victory Fund Complex

Mr. Adcock

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Mr. Andrews

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Ms. Beard

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Mr. Bushe

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Ms. Dungan

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Mr. Kelly

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Mr. Meyer

 

None

 

Over $100,000

Ms. Nelund

 

None

 

$50,001-$100,000

Mr. Wilson

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

Interested Trustee

 

Trustee

 

Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership of Fund Shares

 

Aggregate Dollar Range of Ownership
of Shares of All Series
of the Victory Fund Complex

Mr. Brown

 

None

 

Over $100,000

 

Compensation of Trustees and Officers

 

Effective August 1, 2016, the Victory Fund Complex pays each Independent Trustee $283,000 per year for his or her services to the Complex. Immediately prior to that date, the Victory Fund Complex paid each Independent Trustee $219,000 per year for his or her services to the Complex. In each case, the Board Chair is paid an additional retainer of 50% of the base retainer per year. The Board reserves the right to award reasonable compensation to any Interested Trustee. No “interested persons” who serve as a Trustee of the Trust receive any compensation for their services as Trustee.

 

The following tables indicate the compensation received by each Trustee and the Chief Compliance Officer from the Trust and from the Victory Fund Complex for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, there were 80 mutual funds in the Victory Fund Complex for which the Trustees listed below were compensated. The Trust does not maintain a retirement plan for its Trustees.

 

45



 

Independent Trustees

 

Name and Position

 

Aggregate Compensation from
Trust

 

Total Compensation from Trust and Fund
Complex
Paid to Trustees

 

Mr.  Adcock

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Mr. Andrews

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Ms. Beard

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Mr. Bushe*

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Ms. Dungan

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Mr. Kelly

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Mr. Meyer

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Ms. Nelund*

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Mr. Wilson

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 


*                                         Commenced service on July 30, 2016.

 

Interested Trustee

 

Trustee

 

Aggregate Compensation from the Trust

 

Total Compensation from
the Victory Fund Complex

 

Mr. Brown

 

None

 

None

 

 

Chief Compliance Officer

 

Chief Compliance Officer

 

Aggregate Compensation from the Trust

 

Total Compensation from
the Victory Fund Complex

 

Edward J. Veilleux

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

 

The Funds did not offer deferred compensation for the year ended June 30, 2016.

 

INVESTMENT ADVISER AND OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

Investment Adviser

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (the “Adviser”), a New York corporation located at 4900 Tiedeman Road, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144, serves as investment adviser to the Funds. Subject to the authority of the Board, the Adviser is responsible for the overall management of the Funds’ business affairs. The Adviser is responsible for selecting each Fund’s investments according to its investment objective, policies, and restrictions. The Adviser is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Victory Capital Holdings, Inc. (“VCH”) and is registered as an investment adviser with the SEC.  A majority interest in VCH is owned by Crestview Partners II, L.P. and its affiliated funds (together, “Crestview”) with the remaining portion owned by Victory employees and a limited number of outside investors. As of December 31, 2016, the Adviser and its affiliates managed and advised assets totaling in excess of $[ ] billion for numerous clients including large corporate and public retirement plans, Taft-Hartley plans, foundations and endowments, high net worth individuals and mutual funds.

 

The Adviser is a multi-boutique asset manager comprised of multiple investment teams, referred to as investment franchises, each of which utilizes an independent approach to investing.

 

The Advisory Agreement

 

The Adviser serves as the Funds’ investment adviser pursuant to an advisory agreement effective as of May 1, 2015, as amended (the “Advisory Agreement”). Unless sooner terminated, the Advisory Agreement between the Adviser

 

46



 

and the Trust, on behalf of the Funds, provides that it will continue in effect as to the Funds for two years and for consecutive one-year terms thereafter, provided that such renewal is approved at least annually by the Trustees or by vote of the majority of the outstanding shares of each such Fund (as defined under “Additional Information—Miscellaneous”) and, in either case, by a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Advisory Agreement or “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of any party to the Advisory Agreement, by votes cast in person at a meeting called for such purpose. The Advisory Agreement is terminable as to any particular Fund at any time on 60 days written notice without penalty by a vote of the majority of the outstanding shares of a Fund, by vote of the Trustees, or as to all applicable Funds by the Adviser. The Advisory Agreement also terminates automatically in the event of any assignment, as defined by the 1940 Act.

 

The Advisory Agreement provides that the Adviser shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Funds in connection with the performance of the services pursuant thereto, except a loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty with respect to the receipt of compensation for services or a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence on the part of the Adviser in the performance of its duties, or from reckless disregard by the Adviser of its duties and obligations thereunder.

 

Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser may delegate a portion of its responsibilities to a sub-adviser. In addition, the agreements provide that the Adviser may render services through its own employees or the employees of one or more affiliated companies that are qualified to act as an investment adviser of the Fund provided all such persons are functioning as part of an organized group of persons, managed by authorized officers of the Adviser.

 

The following schedule lists the advisory fee of each Fund, as an annual percentage of its average daily net assets.

 

Fund

 

Advisory Fee

 

VictoryShares US Managed Volatility ETF

 

0.30

%

VictoryShares Global Managed Volatility ETF

 

0.35

%

VictoryShares International Managed Volatility ETF

 

0.45

%

VictoryShares Dividend Accelerator ETF

 

0.30

%

VictoryShares Quality Growth ETF

 

0.30

%

VictoryShares Quality Value ETF

 

0.30

%

 

The Funds have not paid any advisory fees to the Adviser since the Funds had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

 

Manager of Managers Structure

 

Subject to the review and approval of the Board, and notice to shareholders, the Funds may adopt a “manager of managers” structure in the future. In a manager of managers structure, the Adviser implements the Funds’ investment strategies primarily by selecting one or more sub-advisers, rather than relying on its portfolio managers. To the extent that the Funds rely on a manager of managers structure in the future, the Adviser could enter into one or more sub-advisory agreements without first obtaining shareholder approval when the Adviser and the Board believe that the selection of the subadviser would benefit a Fund and its shareholders. In evaluating a prospective sub-adviser, the Adviser would consider, among other things, the firm’s experience, investment philosophy and historical performance. The Adviser would remain ultimately responsible for supervising, monitoring and evaluating the performance of any sub-adviser retained to manage a Fund. The Funds have received an order from the SEC enabling them to adopt a manager of managers structure, and they may rely on that order or any amended or superseding order obtained in the future (together, the “SEC Order”).

 

To the extent a Fund relies on the SEC Order, the Fund and the Adviser will comply with the relevant restrictions and conditions contained in the SEC Order, which are designed to protect Fund shareholders from potential conflicts of interests, including a requirement that the Fund notify shareholders and provide them with certain information in connection with the retention of any new sub-adviser or a material amendment of any existing sub-adviser agreement.

 

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Portfolio Managers

 

This section includes information about the Funds’ portfolio managers, including information concerning other accounts they manage, the dollar range of Fund shares they own and how they are compensated.

 

Other Accounts

 

The following table lists the number and types of accounts managed by each individual and assets under management in those accounts as of December 31, 2016.

 

 

 

Registered Investment
Company Accounts

 

Pooled Investment Vehicle
Accounts

 

Other Accounts

 

 

 

 

 

Assets
Managed
(In Millions)

 

Number of
Accounts

 

Assets
Managed
(In Millions)

 

Number of
Accounts

 

Assets
Managed
(In Millions)

 

Number of
Accounts

 

Total Assets
Managed
(In Millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fund Ownership

 

As of the end of the last completed calendar year, the portfolio managers of the Funds owned equity securities of the Funds in the amount indicated in the table below.

 

Portfolio Manager

 

Fund

 

Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership of Fund Shares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation

 

The Adviser has designed the structure of its portfolio managers’ compensation to (1) align portfolio managers’ interests with those of the Adviser’s clients with an emphasis on long-term, risk-adjusted investment performance, (2) help the Adviser attract and retain high-quality investment professionals, and (3) contribute to the Adviser’s overall financial success. Each of the portfolio managers receives a base salary plus an annual incentive bonus for managing a Fund, separate accounts, other investment companies, other pooled investment vehicles and other accounts (including any accounts for which the Adviser receives a performance fee) (together, “Accounts”). A portfolio manager’s base salary is dependent on the manager’s level of experience and expertise. The Adviser monitors each manager’s base salary relative to salaries paid for similar positions with peer firms by reviewing data provided by various independent third-party consultants that specialize in competitive salary information. Such data, however, is not considered to be a definitive benchmark.

 

Each of the Adviser’s investment franchises may earn incentive compensation based on a percentage of the Adviser’s revenue attributable to fees paid by Accounts managed by the team. The chief investment officer of each team, in coordination with the Adviser, determines the allocation of the incentive compensation earned by the team among the team’s portfolio managers by establishing a “target” incentive for each portfolio manager based on the manager’s level of experience and expertise in the manager’s investment style. Individual performance is based on objectives established annually using performance metrics such as portfolio structure and positioning, research, stock selection, asset growth, client retention, presentation skills, marketing to prospective clients and contribution to the Adviser’s philosophy and values, such as leadership, risk management and teamwork. The annual incentive bonus also factors in individual investment performance of each portfolio manager’s portfolio or Fund relative to a selected peer group(s). The overall performance results for a manager are based on the composite performance of all Accounts managed by that manager on a combination of one, three and five year rolling performance periods as compared to the performance information of a peer group of similarly-managed competitors.

 

The Adviser’s portfolio managers may participate in the equity ownership plan of the Adviser’s parent company. There is an ongoing annual equity pool granted to certain employees based on their contribution to the firm. Eligibility for participation in these incentive programs depends on the manager’s performance and seniority.

 

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Conflicts of Interest

 

The Adviser’s portfolio managers are often responsible for managing one or more Funds as well as other accounts, such as separate accounts, and other pooled investment vehicles, such as collective trust funds or unregistered hedge funds. A portfolio manager may manage other accounts which have materially higher fee arrangements than a Fund and may, in the future, manage other accounts which have a performance-based fee. A portfolio manager also may make personal investments in accounts they manage or support. The side-by-side management of the Funds along with other accounts may raise potential conflicts of interest by incenting a portfolio manager to direct a disproportionate amount of: (1) their attention; (2) limited investment opportunities, such as less liquid securities or initial public offering; and/or (3) desirable trade allocations, to such other accounts. In addition, certain trading practices, such as cross-trading between Funds or between a Fund and another account, raise conflict of interest issues. The Funds and the Adviser have policies and procedures in place, including the Adviser’s internal review process and oversight by the Board of Trustees, that are intended to mitigate those conflicts.

 

Administrator and Fund Accountant

 

Victory Capital Management Inc. (“Victory Capital”) serves as administrator and fund accountant to the Trust pursuant to an agreement dated July 1, 2006, as amended (the “Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement”). Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (“Citi”) serves as sub-administrator and sub-fund accountant to the Trust pursuant to an agreement with Victory Capital dated as of October 1, 2015, as amended (the “Sub-Administration and Sub-Fund Accounting Agreement”). As administrator, Victory Capital supervises the Trust’s operations, including the services that Citi provides to the Funds as sub-administrator, but excluding those that Victory Capital provides as investment adviser, all subject to the supervision of the Board.

 

Under the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement, for the administration and fund accounting services that Victory Capital renders to the Funds, the Trust pays Victory Capital an annual fee, accrued daily and paid monthly, at the following annual rates based on the aggregate average daily net assets of the Trust, Victory Portfolios (“VP”) and Victory Variable Insurance Funds (“VVIF” and, together, the “Victory Trusts”): 0.08% of the first $15 billion of aggregate Victory Trust net assets, plus 0.05% of aggregate Victory Trust net assets in excess of $15 billion to $30 billion, plus 0.04% of aggregate Victory Trust net assets in excess of $30 billion. Victory Capital may periodically waive all or a portion of the amount of its fee that is allocated to any Fund in order to increase the Fund’s net income available for distribution to shareholders. In addition, the Victory Trusts reimburse Victory Capital for all of their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of providing the services under the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement.

 

Except as otherwise provided in the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement, Victory Capital pays all expenses that it incurs in performing its services and duties as administrator. Unless sooner terminated, the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement continues in effect for consecutive one-year terms through August 31, 2019, provided that such continuance is specifically approved by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of each Fund and, in either case, by a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Agreement or “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of any party to the Agreement. The Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement provides that Victory Capital shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with the matters to which the Agreement relates, except a loss resulting from bad faith, willful misfeasance, negligence or reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under the Agreement.

 

Under the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement, Victory Capital coordinates the preparation, filing and distribution of amendments to the Trust’s registration statement on Form N-1A, supplements to prospectuses and SAIs, and proxy materials in connection with shareholder meetings; drafts shareholder communications, including annual and semi-annual reports; administers the Trust’s other service provider contracts; monitors compliance with investment restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, each Fund’s investment objective, defined investment policies, and restrictions, tax diversification, and distribution and income requirements; coordinates the Funds’ service arrangements with financial institutions that make the Funds’ shares available to their customers; assists with regulatory compliance; supplies individuals to serve as Trust officers; prepares Board meeting materials; and annually determines whether the services that it provides (or the services that Citi provides as sub-administrator) are adequate and complete.

 

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Victory Capital also performs fund accounting services for each Fund, excluding those services that Citi performs as sub-fund accountant. The fund accountant calculates each Fund’s NAV, the dividend and capital gain distribution, if any, and the yield. The fund accountant also provides a current security position report, a summary report of transactions and pending maturities, a current cash position report, and maintains the general ledger accounting records for the Funds. The fees that Citi receives for sub-administration and sub-fund accounting services are described in the SAI section entitled “Sub-Administrator and Sub-Fund Accountant.”

 

No amounts have been paid by the Funds to Victory Capital under the Administration and Fund Accounting Agreement since the Funds had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

 

Sub-Administrator and Sub-Fund Accountant

 

Citi serves as sub-administrator and sub-fund accountant to the Funds pursuant to a Sub-Administration and Sub-Fund Accounting Services Agreement dated October 1, 2015, as amended, by and between Victory Capital and Citi (the “Sub-Administration and Sub-Fund Accounting Agreement”). Citi assists in supervising all operations of the Funds (other than those performed by Victory Capital either as investment adviser or administrator), subject to the supervision of the Board. Under the Sub-Administration and Sub-Fund Accounting Agreement, for the sub-administration services that Citi renders to the exchange-traded fund series of the Trust (the “Trust ETFs”), Victory Capital pays Citi an annual fee, computed daily and paid monthly, at the following annual rates: 0.05% of the first $500 million of aggregate Trust ETF net assets; plus 0.025% of aggregate Trust ETF net assets in excess of $500 million. Citi may periodically waive all or a portion of the amount of its fee that is allocated to any Fund in order to increase the net income of the Funds available for distribution to shareholders. In addition, the Trust, VP and VVIF reimburse Citi for all of their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of providing the services under the Sub-Administration and Sub-Fund Accounting Agreement.

 

Transfer Agent

 

Citibank N.A. (“Citibank”), located at 388 Greenwich St., New York, New York 10013, serves as transfer agent for the Funds pursuant to a Transfer Agency Services Agreement. Under its agreement with the Funds, Citibank has agreed, among other things, to (1) perform and facilitate the performance of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units by Authorized Participants; (2) record and calculate the number of outstanding Fund shares; (3) maintain shareholder accounts; (4) perform duties relating to anti-money laundering and identity theft prevention; and (5) make periodic reports to the Board and regulators regarding its operations.

 

Custodian

 

General.

 

Citibank also serves as the custodian of each Fund’s assets pursuant to a Master Global Custodial Services Agreement dated August 19, 2015, as amended. The Custodian’s responsibilities include safeguarding and controlling each Fund’s cash and securities, handling the receipt and delivery of securities, and collecting interest and dividends on the Fund’s investments. Pursuant to the Custody Agreement, the Custodian also maintains original entry documents and books of record and general ledgers; posts cash receipts and disbursements; and records purchases and sales based upon communications from the Adviser. The Custodian may, with the approval of a Fund and at its own expense, open and maintain a subcustody account or accounts on behalf of a Fund, provided that it shall remain liable for the performance of all of its duties under its respective custody agreement.

 

Foreign Custody.

 

Rule 17f-5 under the 1940 Act, which governs the custody of investment company assets outside the United States, allows a mutual fund’s board of directors to delegate to a “Foreign Custody Manager” the selection and monitoring of foreign sub-custodian arrangements for the Trust’s assets. Accordingly, the Board delegated these responsibilities to the Custodian pursuant to the Master Global Custodial Services Agreement. As Foreign Custody Manager, the Custodian must (a) determine that the assets of the International Funds held by a foreign subcustodian will be subject to reasonable care, based on the standards applicable to custodians in the relevant market; (b) determine that the Trust’s foreign custody arrangements are governed by written contracts in compliance with Rule 17f-5 (or, in the

 

50



 

case of a compulsory depository, by such a contract and/or established practices or procedures); and (c) monitor the appropriateness of these arrangements and any material change in the relevant contract, practices or procedures. In determining appropriateness, the Custodian will not evaluate a particular country’s investment risks, such as (a) the use of compulsory depositories, (b) such country’s financial infrastructure, (c) such country’s prevailing custody and settlement practices, (d) nationalization, expropriation or other governmental actions, (e) regulation of the banking or securities industry, (f) currency controls, restrictions, devaluations or fluctuations, and (g) market conditions that affect the orderly execution of securities transactions or affect the value of securities. The Custodian will provide to the Board quarterly written reports regarding the Trust’s foreign custody arrangements.

 

Distributor

 

The Trust and [ ] (the “Distributor”) are parties to a distribution agreement (“Distribution Agreement”), whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Funds and distributes the shares. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. The Distributor will not distribute shares in amounts less than a Creation Unit nor will the Distributor maintain a secondary market in shares of a Fund.  The principal business address of the Distributor is [ ].

 

Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor, as agent for the Trust, will solicit orders for the purchase of shares, provided that any subscriptions and orders will not be binding on the Trust until accepted by the Trust. The Distributor will deliver Prospectuses and, upon request, SAIs to persons purchasing Creation Units and will maintain records of orders placed with it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and a member of FINRA.

 

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

 

The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable thereafter. The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement is terminable, without penalty, by the Trust on 60 days’ written notice when authorized either by majority vote of its outstanding voting Shares or by a vote of a majority of its Board (including a majority of the Independent Trustees), or by the Distributor on 60 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The Distribution Agreement provides that in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Distributor, or reckless disregard by it of its obligations thereunder, the Distributor shall not be liable for any action or failure to act in accordance with its duties thereunder.

 

Rule 12b-1 Plan

 

The Trust has adopted a Distribution Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (“Rule 12b-1 Plan” or “Plan”). In accordance with its Plan, the Funds are authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year for certain distribution-related activities. In addition, if the payment of management fees by the Fund is deemed to be indirect financing by the Funds of the distribution of its Shares, such payment is authorized by the Rule 12b-1 Plan. The Plan specifically recognizes that the Adviser and other persons may use management fee revenue, as well as past profits or other resources, to pay for expenses incurred in connection with providing services intended to result in the sale of shares. The Adviser and such other persons, as well as their affiliates, may pay amounts to third parties for distribution or marketing services on behalf of the Funds. The making of the types of payments described in this paragraph could create a conflict of interest for the party receiving such payments.

 

The Rule 12b-1 Plan was adopted in order to permit the implementation of the Funds’ method of distribution. No fees are currently paid by the Funds under the Plan, and there are no current plans to impose such fees. In the event such fees were to be charged, over time they would increase the cost of an investment in the Funds.

 

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The Distributor is required to provide a written report, at least quarterly to the Board, specifying in reasonable detail the amounts (if any) expended pursuant to the Rule 12b-1 Plan and the purposes for which such expenditures were made. Further, the Distributor will inform the Board of any Rule 12b-1 fees to be paid by the Distributor to Recipients. From time to time, the Adviser or Distributor, at its expense, may provide additional compensation to dealers that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of a Fund. Such compensation provided by the Adviser or Distributor may include financial assistance to dealers that enable the Adviser or Distributor to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other employees, client and investor events and other dealer-sponsored events. Other compensation may be offered to the extent not prohibited by state laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as FINRA. The Adviser and Distributor make payments for events they deem appropriate, subject to applicable law. These payments may vary depending upon the nature of the event.

 

The Rule 12b-1 Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount of the Distributor’s compensation to be paid by the Fund, unless such amendment is approved by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the affected Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act). All material amendments must be approved by a majority of the Board and a majority of the Rule 12b-1 Trustees by votes cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on a Rule 12b-1 Plan. During the term of the Rule 12b-1 Plan, the selection and nomination of non-interested Trustees of the Trust will be committed to the discretion of current non-interested Trustees. The Distributor will preserve copies of the Rule 12b-1 Plan, any related agreements, and all reports, for a period of not less than six years from the date of such document and for at least the first two years in an easily accessible place.

 

Any agreement related to the Rule 12b-1 Plan will be in writing and provide that: (a) it may be terminated by the Trust or the applicable Fund at any time upon sixty days’ written notice, without the payment of any penalty, by vote of a majority of the respective Rule 12b-1 Trustees, or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Trust or the Fund; (b) it will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act); and (c) it will continue in effect for a period of more than one year from the date of its execution or adoption only so long as such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by a majority of the Board and a majority of the Rule 12b-1 Trustees by votes cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such agreement.

 

Codes of Ethics

 

Each of the Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor has adopted a Code of Ethics in accordance with Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act. The Adviser Code of Ethics applies to all Access Personnel (the Adviser’s directors and officers and employees with investment advisory duties) and all Supervised Personnel (all of the Adviser’s directors, officers and employees). Each Code of Ethics provides that Access Personnel must refrain from certain trading practices. Each Code also requires all Access Personnel (and, in the Adviser Code, all Supervised Personnel) to report certain personal investment activities, including, but not limited to, purchases or sales of securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds. Violations of any Code of Ethics can result in penalties, suspension, or termination of employment.

 

PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

In accordance with the 1940 Act, the Trust has adopted policies and procedures for voting proxies related to equity securities that the Funds hold (the “Proxy Voting Policy”). The Trust’s Proxy Voting Policy is designed to: (i) ensure that proxies are voted in the best interests of shareholders of the Funds with a view toward maximizing the value of their investments; (ii) address conflicts of interests between these shareholders, on the one hand, and affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser or the Distributor, on the other, that may arise regarding the voting of proxies; and (iii) provide for the disclosure of the Funds’ proxy voting records and the Proxy Voting Policy.

 

The Proxy Voting Policy delegates to the Adviser the obligation to vote the Funds’ proxies in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders, subject to oversight by the Board.

 

To assist the Adviser in making proxy-voting decisions, the Adviser has adopted a Proxy Voting Policy (“Policy”) that establishes voting guidelines (“Proxy Voting Guidelines”) with respect to certain recurring issues. The Policy is reviewed on an annual basis by the Adviser’s Proxy Committee (“Proxy Committee”) and revised when the

 

52



 

Committee determines that a change is appropriate. The Board annually reviews the Trust’s Proxy Voting Policy and the Adviser’s Policy and determines whether amendments are necessary or advisable.

 

Voting under the Adviser’s Policy may be executed through administrative screening per established guidelines with oversight by the Proxy Committee or upon vote by a quorum of the Proxy Committee. The Adviser delegates to Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), an independent service provider, the non-discretionary administration of proxy voting for the Trust, subject to oversight by the Adviser’s Proxy Committee. In no circumstances shall ISS have the authority to vote proxies except in accordance with standing or specific instructions given to it by the Adviser.

 

The Adviser votes proxies in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders. This entails voting client proxies with the objective of increasing the long-term economic value of Fund assets. The Adviser’s Proxy Committee determines how proxies are voted by following established guidelines, which are intended to assist in voting proxies and are not considered rigid rules. The Proxy Committee is directed to apply the guidelines as appropriate. On occasion, however, a contrary vote may be warranted when such action is in the best interests of the Funds or if required by the Board or the Funds’ Proxy Voting Policy. In such cases, the Adviser may consider, among other things:

 

·                  the effect of the proposal on the underlying value of the securities

 

·                  the effect on marketability of the securities

 

·                  the effect of the proposal on future prospects of the issuer

 

·                  the composition and effectiveness of the issuer’s board of directors

 

·                  the issuer’s corporate governance practices

 

·                  the quality of communications from the issuer to its shareholders

 

The following examples illustrate the Adviser’s policy with respect to some common proxy votes. This summary is not an exhaustive list of all the issues that may arise or of all matters addressed in the Guidelines, and whether the Adviser supports or opposes a proposal will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances described in the proxy statement and other available information.

 

Directors

 

·                  The Adviser generally supports the election of directors in uncontested elections, except when there are issues of accountability, responsiveness, composition, and/or independence.

 

·                  The Adviser generally supports proposals for an independent chair taking into account factors such as the current board leadership structure, the company’s governance practices, and company performance.

 

·                  The Adviser generally supports proxy access proposals that are in line with the market standards regarding the ownership threshold, ownership duration, aggregation provisions, cap on nominees, and do not contain any other unreasonably restrictive guidelines.

 

·                  The Adviser reviews contested elections on a case-by-case basis taking into account such factors as the company performance, particularly the long-term performance relative to the industry; the management track record; the nominee qualifications and compensatory arrangements; the strategic plan of the dissident and its critique of the current management; the likelihood that the proposed goals and objectives can be achieved; the ownership stakes of the relevant parties; and any other context that is particular to the company and the nature of the election.

 

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Capitalization & Restructuring

 

·                  The Adviser generally supports capitalization proposals that facilitate a corporate transaction that is also being supported and for general corporate purposes so long as the increase is not excessive and there are no issues of superior voting rights, company performance, previous abuses of capital, or insufficient justification for the need for additional capital.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions

 

·                  The Adviser reviews mergers and acquisitions on a case-by-case basis to balance the merits and drawbacks of the transaction and factors such as valuation, strategic rationale, negotiations and process, conflicts of interest, and the governance profile of the company post-transaction.

 

Compensation

 

·                  The Adviser reviews all compensation proposals for pay-for-performance alignment, with emphasis on long-term shareholder value; arrangements that risk pay for failure; independence in the setting of compensation; inappropriate pay to non-executive directors, and the quality and rationale of the compensation disclosure.

 

·                  The Adviser will generally vote FOR advisory votes on executive compensation (“say on pay”) unless there is a pay-for-performance misalignment; problematic pay practice or non-performance based element; incentive for excessive risk-taking, options backdating; or a lack of compensation committee communication and/or responsiveness to shareholder concerns.

 

·                  The Adviser will vote case-by-case on equity based compensation plans taking into account factors such as the plan cost; the plan features; and the grant practices as well as any overriding factors that may have a significant negative impact on shareholder interests.

 

Social and Environmental Issues

 

·                  The Adviser will vote case-by-case on topics such as consumer and product safety; environment and energy; labor standards and human rights; workplace and board diversity; and corporate and political issues, taking into account factors such as the implementation of the proposal is likely to enhance or protect shareholder value; whether the company has already responded in an appropriate and sufficient manner to the issue raised; whether the request is unduly burdensome; and whether the issue is more appropriately or effectively handled through legislation or other regulations.

 

The Adviser may also take into account independent third-party, general industry guidance or other corporate governance review sources when making decisions. It may additionally seek guidance from other senior internal sources with special expertise on a given topic where it is appropriate. The investment team’s opinion concerning the management and prospects of the issuer may be taken into account in determining whether a vote for or against a proposal is in a Fund’s best interests. Insufficient information, onerous requests or vague, ambiguous wording may indicate that a vote against a proposal is appropriate, even when the general principal appears to be reasonable.

 

Occasionally, conflicts of interest arise between the Adviser’s interests and those of a Fund or another client. When this occurs, the Proxy Committee must document the nature of the conflict and vote the proxy in accordance with the Proxy Voting Guidelines unless such guidelines are judged by the Proxy Committee to be inapplicable to the proxy matter at issue. In the event that the Proxy Voting Guidelines are inapplicable or do not mitigate the conflict, the Adviser will seek the opinion of the Adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer or consult with an external independent adviser. In the case of a Proxy Committee member having a personal conflict of interest (e.g. a family member is on the board of the issuer), such member will abstain from voting. Finally, the Adviser reports to the Board annually any proxy votes that took place involving a conflict, including the nature of the conflict and the basis or rationale for the voting decision made.

 

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The Funds’ Proxy Voting Policy provides that the Funds, in accordance with SEC rules, annually will disclose on Form N-PX the Funds’ proxy voting record. Information regarding how the Funds voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30th is updated each year by August 31st and is available without charge, upon request, by calling toll free 1-866-376-7890 or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

 

Subject to the general supervision of the Board, the Adviser is responsible for making decisions with respect to the purchase and sale of portfolio securities on behalf of the Funds. The Adviser is also responsible for the implementation of those decisions, including the selection of broker/dealers to effect portfolio transactions, the negotiation of commissions, and the allocation of principal business and portfolio brokerage.

 

Transactions on stock exchanges involve the payment of brokerage commissions. In transactions on stock exchanges in the United States, these commissions are negotiated. Traditionally, commission rates have generally been fixed for trades on stock markets outside the United States. In recent years, however, an increasing number of overseas stock markets have adopted a system of negotiated rates. It is expected that equity securities will ordinarily be purchased in the primary markets, whether over-the-counter or listed, and that listed securities may be purchased in the over-the-counter market if such market is deemed the primary market. In the case of securities traded on the over-the-counter markets, there is generally no stated commission, but the price usually includes an undisclosed commission or markup. In underwritten offerings, the price includes a disclosed, fixed commission (the underwriter’s concession) or discount.

 

Fixed income and convertible securities are bought and sold through broker-dealers acting on a principal basis. These trades are not charged a commission, but rather are marked up or marked down by the executing broker-dealer. The Adviser does not know the actual value of the markup/markdown. However, the Adviser attempts to ascertain whether the overall price of a security is reasonable through the use of competitive bids. Orders to buy or sell convertible securities and fixed income securities are placed on a competitive basis with a reasonable attempt made to obtain three competitive bids or offers. Exceptions are: (1) where the bid/ask spread is 5 basis points or less, provided the order is actually filled at the bid or better for sales and at the ask or better for purchases; (2) securities for which there are only one or two market makers; (3) block purchases considered relatively large; (4) swaps, a simultaneous sale of one security and purchase of another in substantially equal amounts for the same account, intended to take advantage of an aberration in a spread relationship, realize losses, etc.; and (5) purchases and/or sales of fixed income securities for which, typically, more than one offering of the same issue is unobtainable; subject to a judgment by the trader that the bid is competitive.

 

It is the policy of the Adviser to obtain the “best execution” of its clients’ securities transactions. The Adviser strives to execute each client’s securities transactions in such a manner that the client’s total costs or proceeds in each transaction are the most favorable under the circumstances. Commission rates paid on securities transactions for client accounts must reflect comparative market rates.

 

In purchasing and selling each Fund’s portfolio securities, it is the Adviser’s policy to obtain quality execution at the most favorable prices through responsible broker/dealers and, in the case of agency transactions, at competitive commission rates where such rates are negotiable. In selecting broker/dealers to execute a Fund’s portfolio transactions, consideration is given to such factors as the price of the security, the rate of the commission, the size and difficulty of the order, the reliability, integrity, financial condition, general execution and operational capabilities of competing brokers and dealers, their expertise in particular markets and the brokerage and research services they provide to the Adviser or the Funds. It is not the Adviser’s practice to seek the lowest available commission rate where it is believed that a broker or dealer charging a higher commission rate would offer greater reliability or provide better price or execution.

 

As permitted by Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act, the Adviser may cause a Fund to pay broker-dealers that provide brokerage and research services a commission rate that exceeds the amount other broker/dealers would have charged for the transaction if the Adviser determines in good faith that the greater commission is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided by the executing broker/dealer viewed in terms of either a particular transaction or the Adviser’s overall responsibilities to the Fund or to its other clients.  The term

 

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“brokerage and research services” includes advice as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, and the availability of securities or of purchasers or sellers of securities; furnishing analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and the performance of accounts; and effecting securities transactions and performing functions incidental thereto such as clearance and settlement.

 

The brokerage and research services are in addition to and do not replace the services and research that the Adviser is required to perform and do not reduce the investment advisory fees payable to the Adviser by the Funds. Such information may be useful to the Adviser in serving both the Funds and other clients and, conversely, such supplemental research information obtained by the placement of orders on behalf of other clients may be useful to the Adviser in carrying out its obligations to the Funds.

 

Brokerage commissions may never be used to compensate a third party for client referrals unless the client has directed such an arrangement. In addition, brokerage commissions may never be used to obtain research and/or services for the benefit of any employee or non-client entity.

 

The Adviser will make a good faith determination that the commissions paid are reasonable in relationship to the value of the services received and continually reviews the quality of execution it receives from and the commission rates charged by the brokers it uses to carry out trades for its clients. The Adviser will consider the full range and quality of a broker’s services in placing brokerage including, but not limited to, the value of research provided, execution capability, commission rate, willingness and ability to commit capital and responsiveness. The lowest possible commission cost alone does not determine broker selection. The transaction that represents the best quality execution for a client account will be executed. Commission ranges and the actual commission paid for trades of listed stocks and over-the-counter stocks may vary depending on, but not limited to, the liquidity and volatility of the stock and services provided to the Adviser by the broker.

 

Some brokers executing trades for the Adviser’s clients may, from time to time, receive liquidity rebates in connection with the routing of trades to Electronic Communications Networks. Since the Adviser is not a broker, however, it is ineligible to receive such rebates and does not obtain direct benefits for its clients from this broker practice.

 

Investment decisions for each Fund are made independently from those made for the other Funds or any other investment company or account managed by the Adviser. Such other investment companies or accounts may also invest in the same securities and may follow similar investment strategies as the Funds. The Adviser may combine transaction orders (“bunching” or “blocking” trades) for more than one client account where such action appears to be equitable and potentially advantageous for each account (e.g., for the purpose of reducing brokerage commissions or obtaining a more favorable transaction price.) The Adviser will aggregate transaction orders only if it believes that the aggregation is consistent with its duty to seek best execution for its clients and is consistent with the terms of investment advisory agreements with each client for whom trades are being aggregated. Both equity and fixed-income securities may be aggregated. When making such a combination of transaction orders for a new issue or secondary market trade in an equity security, the Adviser adheres to the following objectives:

 

·                      Fairness to clients both in the participation of execution of orders for their account, and in the allocation of orders for the accounts of more than one client.

 

·                      Allocation of all orders in a timely and efficient manner.

 

In some cases, aggregating trades may affect the price paid or received by a Fund or the size of the position obtained by the Fund in an adverse manner relative to the result that would have been obtained if only that particular Fund had participated in or been allocated such trades.

 

The aggregation of transactions for advisory accounts and proprietary accounts (including partnerships and other accounts in which the Adviser or its associated persons are partners or participants, and managed employee accounts) is permissible. No proprietary account may be favored over any other participating account and such practice must be consistent with the Adviser’s Code of Ethics.

 

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Equity trade orders are executed based only on trade instructions received from portfolio managers by the trading desk. Portfolio managers may enter trades to meet the full target allocation immediately or may meet the allocation through moves in incremental blocks. Orders are processed on a “first-come, first-served” basis. At times, a rotation system may determine “first-come, first-served” treatment when the equity trading desk receives the same order for multiple accounts simultaneously. The Adviser will utilize a rotation whereby the Funds, even if aggregated with other orders, are in the first block(s) to trade within the rotation. To aggregate orders, the equity trading desk must determine that all accounts in the order will benefit. Any new trade that can be blocked with an existing open order may be added to the open order to form a larger block. The Adviser receives no additional compensation or remuneration of any kind as a result of the aggregation of trades. All accounts participating in a block execution receive the same execution price, an average share price, for securities purchased or sold on a trading day. Execution prices may not be carried overnight. Any portion of an order that remains unfilled at the end of a given day shall be rewritten (absent contrary instructions) on the following day as a new order. Accounts with trades executed the next day will receive a new daily average price to be determined at the end of the following day.

 

Where the full amount of a block execution is not executed, the partial amount actually executed will be allocated on a pro rata basis whenever possible. The following execution methods maybe used in place of a pro rata procedure: relative size allocations, security position weighting, priority for specialized accounts, or a special allocation based on compliance approval.

 

After the proper allocation has been completed, excess shares must be sold in the secondary market, and may not be reallocated to another managed account.

 

In making investment decisions for the Funds, the Adviser will not inquire or take into consideration whether an issuer of securities proposed for purchase or sale by a Fund is a customer of the Adviser, its parents, subsidiaries or affiliates, and, in dealing with their commercial customers, the Adviser, its parents, subsidiaries and affiliates will not inquire or take into consideration whether securities of such customers are held by the Funds. Portfolio securities will not be purchased from or sold to the Adviser, or the Distributor, or any affiliated person of any of them acting as principal, except to the extent permitted by rule or order of the SEC.

 

No brokerage commissions have been paid by the Funds since they had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

 

Affiliated Brokerage

 

The Board has authorized the allocation of brokerage to affiliated broker-dealers on an agency basis to effect portfolio transactions. The Board has adopted procedures incorporating the standards of Rule 17e-1 under the 1940 Act, which require that the commission paid to affiliated broker-dealers must be “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received, or to be received, by other broker-dealers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities during a comparable period of time.”

 

The Trust will not acquire portfolio securities issued by, make savings deposits in, or enter into repurchase or reverse repurchase agreements with the Adviser or its affiliates. From time to time, when determined by the Adviser to be advantageous to the Funds, the Adviser may execute portfolio transactions through affiliated broker-dealers. All such transactions must be completed in accordance with procedures approved by the Board. The percentage of trades executed through an affiliated broker-dealer for a Fund may be higher relative to trades executed by unaffiliated dealers, so long as the trades executed by the affiliated broker-dealer are consistent with best execution.

 

Allocation of Brokerage in Connection with Research Services

 

No brokerage commissions have been paid by the Funds because of research services provided since they had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

 

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Securities of Regular Brokers or Dealers

 

The SEC requires the Trust to provide certain information for those Funds that held securities of their regular brokers or dealers (or their parents) during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year. The Funds have not held any securities of their regular broker or dealers since they had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

Each Fund may sell a portfolio investment soon after its acquisition if the Adviser believes that such a disposition is consistent with attaining the investment objective of the Fund. The Funds’ portfolio turnover rates stated in the Prospectus are calculated by dividing the lesser of each Fund’s purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the year by the monthly average value of the portfolio securities. The calculation excludes all securities whose maturities, at the time of acquisition, were one year or less. Portfolio turnover is calculated on the basis of a Fund as a whole without distinguishing between the classes of shares issued.

 

The turnover rate for a Fund will vary from year-to-year and depending on market conditions, turnover could be greater in periods of unusual market movement and volatility. A high rate of portfolio turnover (over 100%) will generally involve correspondingly greater transaction costs, which are borne directly by the Fund and ultimately by its shareholders. High portfolio turnover may result in the realization of substantial net capital gains. To the extent short-term capital gains are realized, distributions attributable to such gains will be ordinary income for federal income tax purposes.

 

DIVIDENDS, CAPITAL GAINS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

 

The Funds distribute substantially all of their net investment income and net capital gains, if any, to shareholders within each calendar year as well as on a fiscal year basis to the extent required for the Funds to qualify for favorable federal tax treatment. The Funds ordinarily declare and pay dividends separately for each class of shares, from their net investment income. Each Fund declares and pays capital gains monthly.

 

The amount of a class’s distributions may vary from time to time depending on market conditions, the composition of a Fund’s portfolio and expenses borne by a Fund or borne separately by a class. Dividends are calculated in the same manner, at the same time and on the same day for shares of each class. However, dividends attributable to a particular class will differ due to differences in distribution expenses and other class-specific expenses.

 

For this purpose, the net income of a Fund, from the time of the immediately preceding determination thereof, shall consist of all interest income accrued on the portfolio assets of the Fund, dividend income, if any, income from securities loans, if any and realized capital gains and losses on the Fund’s assets, less all expenses and liabilities of the Fund chargeable against income. Interest income shall include discount earned, including both original issue and market discount, on discount paper accrued ratably to the date of maturity. Expenses, including the compensation payable to the Adviser, are accrued each day. The expenses and liabilities of a Fund shall include those appropriately allocable to the Fund as well as a share of the general expenses and liabilities of the Trust in proportion to the Fund’s share of the total net assets of the Trust.

 

TAX STATUS

 

TAXES

 

Information set forth in the prospectuses that relates to federal income taxation is only a summary of certain key federal income tax considerations generally affecting purchasers of shares of the Funds.  The following is only a summary of certain additional income and excise tax considerations generally affecting each Fund and its shareholders that are not described in the prospectuses.  No attempt has been made to present a complete explanation of the federal tax treatment of the Funds or the implications to shareholders and the discussions here and in each Fund’s prospectus are not intended as substitutes for careful tax planning.  Accordingly, potential purchasers of shares of the Funds are urged to consult their tax advisers with specific reference to their own tax circumstances.  Special tax considerations may apply to certain types of investors subject to special treatment under the Code (including, for example, insurance companies, banks and tax-exempt organizations).  In addition, the tax discussion in the prospectuses and this SAI is based on tax law in effect on the date of the prospectuses and this SAI;

 

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such laws and regulations may be changed by legislative, judicial, or administrative action, sometimes with retroactive effect.

 

Qualification as a Regulated Investment Company

 

Each Fund intends to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code.  As a regulated investment company, a Fund is not subject to federal income tax on the portion of its net investment income (i.e., taxable interest, dividends and other taxable ordinary income, net of expenses) and net capital gain (i.e., the excess of long-term capital gains over short-term capital losses) that it distributes to shareholders, provided that it distributes at least the sum of 90% of its investment company taxable income (i.e., net investment income and the excess of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss) and 90% of its tax-exempt income (net of expenses allocable thereto) for the taxable year (the “Distribution Requirement”) and satisfies certain other requirements of the Code that are described below.  Distributions by a Fund made during the taxable year or, under specified circumstances, within twelve months after the close of the taxable year, will be considered distributions of income and gains for the taxable year and will therefore count toward satisfaction of the Distribution Requirement.

 

If a Fund has a net capital loss (i.e., an excess of capital losses over capital gains) for any year beginning on or before December 22, 2010, the amount thereof may be carried forward up to eight years and treated as a short-term capital loss that can be used to offset capital gains in such future years.  There is no limitation on the number of years to which net capital losses arising in years beginning after December 22, 2010, may be carried.  Any such net capital losses are utilized before net capital losses arising in years beginning on or before December 22, 2010.  As explained below, however, such carryforwards may be subject to limitations on availability.  Under Code Sections 382 and 383, if a Fund has an “ownership change,” then the Fund’s use of its capital loss carryforwards in any year following the ownership change will be limited to an amount equal to the NAV of the Fund immediately prior to the ownership change multiplied by the long-term tax-exempt rate (which is published monthly by the IRS) in effect for the month in which the ownership change occurs.  The Funds will use their best efforts to avoid having an ownership change with respect to any Fund that has capital loss carryforwards.  However, because of circumstances that may be beyond the control or knowledge of a Fund, there can be no assurance that such a Fund will not have, or has not already had, an ownership change.  If a Fund has or has had an ownership change, then the Fund will be subject to federal income taxes on any capital gain net income for any year following the ownership change in excess of the annual limitation on the capital loss carryforwards unless distributed by the Fund.  Any distributions of such capital gain net income will be taxable to shareholders as described under “Fund Distributions” below.

 

In addition to satisfying the Distribution Requirement, a regulated investment company must derive at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, certain payments with respect to securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities or foreign currencies (to the extent such currency gains are directly related to the regulated investment company’s principal business of investing in stock or securities), other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures, or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities, or currencies and net income from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Income Requirement”).

 

In general, gain or loss recognized by a Fund on the disposition of an asset will be a capital gain or loss.  In addition, gain will be recognized as a result of certain constructive sales, including short sales “against the box.”  However, gain recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation (including municipal obligations) purchased by a Fund at a market discount (generally, at a price less than its principal amount) will be treated as ordinary income to the extent of the portion of the market discount that accrued while the Fund held the debt obligation.  In addition, under the rules of Code Section 988, gain or loss recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation denominated in a foreign currency or an option with respect thereto, and gain or loss recognized on the disposition of a foreign currency forward contract, futures contract, option or similar financial instrument, or of foreign currency itself, except for regulated futures contracts or non-equity options subject to Code Section 1256 (unless a Fund elects otherwise), generally will be treated as ordinary income or loss to the extent attributable to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

 

Further, the Code also treats as ordinary income a portion of the capital gain attributable to a transaction where substantially all of the expected return is attributable to the time value of a Fund’s net investment in the transaction and: (1) the transaction consists of the acquisition of property by the Fund and a contemporaneous contract to sell

 

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substantially identical property in the future; (2) the transaction is a straddle within the meaning of Section 1092 of the Code; (3) the transaction is one that was marketed or sold to the Fund on the basis that it would have the economic characteristics of a loan but the interest-like return would be taxed as capital gain; or (4) the transaction is described as a conversion transaction in the Treasury Regulations.  The amount of such gain that is treated as ordinary income generally will not exceed the amount of the interest that would have accrued on the net investment for the relevant period at a yield equal to 120% of the applicable federal rate, reduced by the sum of: (1) prior inclusions of ordinary income items from the conversion transaction and (2) the capitalized interest on acquisition indebtedness under Code Section 263(g), among other amounts.  However, if a Fund has a built-in loss with respect to a position that becomes a part of a conversion transaction, the character of such loss will be preserved upon a subsequent disposition or termination of the position.  No authority exists that indicates that the character of the income treated as ordinary under this rule will not pass through to the Funds’ shareholders.

 

In general, for purposes of determining whether capital gain or loss recognized by a Fund on the disposition of an asset is long-term or short-term, the holding period of the asset may be affected (as applicable, depending on the type of the Fund involved) if (1) the asset is used to close a “short sale” (which includes for certain purposes the acquisition of a put option) or is substantially identical to another asset so used, (2) the asset is otherwise held by the Fund as part of a “straddle” (which term generally excludes a situation where the asset is stock and Fund grants a qualified covered call option (which, among other things, must not be deep-in-the-money) with respect thereto), or (3) the asset is stock and the Fund grants an in-the-money qualified covered call option with respect thereto.  In addition, a Fund may be required to defer the recognition of a loss on the disposition of an asset held as part of a straddle to the extent of any unrecognized gain on the offsetting position.

 

Income from options on individual securities written by the Fund will not be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes until an option is exercised or lapses. Any gain recognized by a Fund on the lapse of, or any gain or loss recognized by a Fund from a closing transaction with respect to, an option written by the Fund will be treated as a short-term capital gain or loss. If the Fund enters into a closing transaction, the difference between the premiums received and the amount paid by the Fund to close out its position will generally be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. If an option written by the Fund is exercised, thereby requiring the Fund to sell the underlying security, the premium will increase the amount realized upon the sale of the security, and the character of any gain on such sale of the underlying security as short-term or long-term capital gain will depend on the holding period of the Fund in the underlying security. Because the Fund will not have control over the exercise of the options it writes, such exercises or other required sales of the underlying securities may cause the Fund to realize gains or losses at inopportune times.

 

For taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010, a regulated investment company, in determining its investment company taxable income and net capital gain (i.e., the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) for any taxable year, may elect (unless it has made a taxable year election for excise tax purposes as discussed below, in which case different rules apply) to treat all or any part of certain net capital losses incurred after October 31 of a taxable year, and certain net ordinary losses incurred after October 31 or December 31 of a taxable year, as if they had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year.

 

In addition to satisfying the Income and Distribution Requirements described above, a Fund must satisfy an asset diversification test in order to qualify as a regulated investment company.  Under this test, at the close of each quarter of a Fund’s taxable year, at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets must consist of cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies and securities of other issuers (provided that, with respect to each issuer, the Fund has not invested more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets in securities of each such issuer and the Fund does not hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of each such issuer), and no more than 25% of the value of its total assets may be invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. government securities and securities of other regulated investment companies), two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses (other than securities of other regulated investment companies), or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships.  Generally, an option (call or put) with respect to a security is treated as issued by the issuer of the security, not the issuer of the option.  For purposes of asset diversification testing, obligations issued or guaranteed by certain agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government, such as the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, the Federal Farm Credit System Financial Assistance Corporation, FHLB, FHLMC, FNMA, GNMA and SLMA, are treated as U.S. government securities.

 

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Certain Funds may invest in futures contracts, options on futures contracts, ETFs and other similar investment vehicles that provide exposure to commodities such as gold or other precious metals, energy or other commodities.  Income or gain, if any, from such investments may not be qualifying income for purposes of the Income Requirements and a Fund’s investments in such instruments may not be treated as an investment in a “security” for purposes of the asset diversification test.

 

If for any taxable year a Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company after taking into account cure provisions available for certain failures to so qualify (certain of which would result in the imposition of a tax on the Fund), all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders and such distributions will be taxable to the shareholders as dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.  Such distributions may be eligible for: (i) the dividends-received deduction, in the case of corporate shareholders; or (ii) treatment as “qualified dividend income,” in the case of non-corporate shareholders. In addition, to qualify again to be taxed as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year, the Fund would be required to distribute to shareholders its earnings and profits attributable to non-qualifying years. Further, if the Fund failed to qualify for a period greater than two taxable years, then, in order to qualify as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year, the Fund would be required to elect to recognize and pay tax on any net built-in gain (the excess of aggregate gain, including items of income, over aggregate loss that would have been realized if the Fund had been liquidated) or, alternatively, be subject to taxation on such built-in gain recognized for a period of ten years.

 

Excise Tax on Regulated Investment Companies

 

A 4% non-deductible excise tax is imposed on a regulated investment company that fails to distribute in each calendar year an amount equal to 98% of its ordinary taxable income for the calendar year and 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the one-year period ended on October 31 of such calendar year (or, with respect to capital gain net income, at the election of a regulated investment company having a taxable year ending November 30 or December 31, for its taxable year (a “taxable year election”)).  Tax-exempt interest on municipal obligations is not subject to the excise tax.  The balance of such income must be distributed during the next calendar year.  For the foregoing purposes, a regulated investment company is treated as having distributed any amount on which it is subject to income tax for any taxable year ending in such calendar year and, if it so elects, the amount on which qualified estimated tax payments are made by it during such calendar year (in which case the amount it is treated as having distributed in the following calendar year will be reduced).

 

For purposes of calculating the excise tax, a regulated investment company: (1) reduces its capital gain net income (but not below its net capital gain) by the amount of any net ordinary loss for the calendar year, (2) excludes specified gains and losses, including foreign currency gains and losses and ordinary gains or losses arising as a result of a PFIC (as defined below) mark-to-market election (or upon the actual disposition of the PFIC stock subject to such election) incurred after October 31 of any year (or after the end of its taxable year if it has made a taxable year election) in determining the amount of ordinary taxable income for the current calendar year (and, instead, includes such specified gains and losses in determining the company’s ordinary taxable income for the succeeding calendar year); and (3) applies mark to market provisions which treat property as disposed of on the last day of a taxable year as if the taxable year ended on October 31 (or on the last day of its taxable year if it has made a taxable year election).  In addition, a regulated investment company may elect to determine its ordinary income for the calendar year without regard to any net ordinary loss (determined without respect to specified gains and losses taken into account in clause (2) of the preceding sentence) attributable to the portion of the calendar year which is after the beginning of the taxable year which begins in such calendar year.  Any amount of net ordinary loss not taken into account for a calendar year by reason of the preceding sentence will be treated as arising on the first day of the following calendar year.

 

Each Fund intends to make sufficient distributions or deemed distributions of its ordinary taxable income and capital gain net income prior to the end of each calendar year to avoid liability for the excise tax.  However, investors should note that a Fund may in certain circumstances be required to liquidate portfolio investments to make sufficient distributions to avoid excise tax liability.

 

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Fund Investments

 

Certain transactions that may be engaged in by a Fund (such as regulated futures contracts, certain foreign currency contracts and options on stock indexes and futures contracts) will be subject to special tax treatment as “Section 1256 Contracts.” Section 1256 Contracts are treated as if they are sold for their fair market value on the last business day of the taxable year, even though a taxpayer’s obligations (or rights) under such Section 1256 Contracts have not terminated (by delivery, exercise, entering into a closing transaction, or otherwise) as of such date.  Any gain or loss recognized as a consequence of the year-end deemed disposition of Section 1256 Contracts is taken into account for the taxable year together with any other gain or loss that was recognized previously upon the termination of Section 1256 Contracts during that taxable year.  Any capital gain or loss for the taxable year with respect to Section 1256 Contracts (including any capital gain or loss arising as a consequence of the year-end deemed sale of such Section 1256 Contracts) generally is treated as 60% long-term capital gain or loss and 40% short-term capital gain or loss.  A Fund, however, may elect not to have this special tax treatment apply to Section 1256 Contracts that are part of a “mixed straddle” with other investments of the Fund that are not Section 1256 Contracts.

 

A Fund may enter into notional principal contracts, including interest rate swaps, caps, floors and collars.  Treasury Regulations provide, in general, that the net income or net deduction from a notional principal contract for a taxable year is included in or deducted from gross income for that taxable year.  The net income or deduction from a notional principal contract for a taxable year equals the total of all of the periodic payments (generally, payments that are payable or receivable at fixed periodic intervals of one year or less during the entire term of the contract) that are recognized from that contract for the taxable year, all of the non-periodic payments (including premiums for caps, floors and collars) that are recognized from that contract for the taxable year and any termination payments that are recognized from that contract for the taxable year.  No portion of a payment by a party to a notional principal contract is recognized prior to the first year to which any portion of a payment by the counterparty relates.  A periodic payment is recognized ratably over the period to which it relates.  In general, a non-periodic payment must be recognized over the term of the notional principal contract in a manner that reflects the economic substance of the contract.  A non-periodic payment that relates to an interest rate swap, cap, floor, or collar is recognized over the term of the contract by allocating it in accordance with the values of a series of cash-settled forward or option contracts that reflect the specified index and notional principal amount upon which the notional principal contract is based (or under an alternative method provided in Treasury Regulations).  A termination payment is recognized in the year the notional principal contract is extinguished, assigned, or terminated (i.e., in the year the termination payment is made).

 

A Fund may purchase securities of certain foreign investment funds or trusts that constitute passive foreign investment companies (“PFICs”) for federal income tax purposes.  If a Fund invests in a PFIC, it has three separate options.  First, it may elect to treat the PFIC as a qualified electing fund (a “QEF”), in which event the Fund will each year have ordinary income equal to its pro rata share of the PFIC’s ordinary earnings for the year and long-term capital gain equal to its pro rata share of the PFIC’s net capital gain for the year, regardless of whether the Fund receives distributions of any such ordinary earnings or capital gains from the PFIC.  In order to make this election with respect to a PFIC in which it invests, a Fund must obtain certain information from the PFIC on an annual basis, which the PFIC may be unwilling or unable to provide.  Second, a Fund that invests in marketable stock of a PFIC may make a mark-to-market election with respect to such stock.  Pursuant to such election, the Fund will include as ordinary income any excess of the fair market value of such stock at the close of any taxable year over the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the stock.  If the adjusted tax basis of the PFIC stock exceeds the fair market value of the stock at the end of a given taxable year, such excess will be deductible as ordinary loss in an amount equal to the lesser of the amount of such excess or the net mark-to-market gains on the stock that the Fund included in income in previous years.  Solely for purposes of Code Sections 1291 through 1298, the Fund’s holding period with respect to its PFIC stock subject to the election will commence on the first day of the first taxable year beginning after the last taxable year for which the mark-to-market election applied.  If the Fund makes the mark-to-market election in the first taxable year it holds PFIC stock, it will not incur the tax described below under the third option.

 

Finally, if a Fund does not elect to treat the PFIC as a QEF and does not make a mark-to-market election, then, in general, (1) any gain recognized by the Fund upon the sale or other disposition of its interest in the PFIC or any excess distribution received by the Fund from the PFIC will be allocated ratably over the Fund’s holding period of its interest in the PFIC stock, (2) the portion of such gain or excess distribution so allocated to the year in which the gain is recognized or the excess distribution is received shall be included in the Fund’s gross income for such year as ordinary income (and the distribution of such portion by the Fund to shareholders will be taxable as a dividend, but

 

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such portion will not be subject to tax at the Fund level), (3) the Fund shall be liable for tax on the portions of such gain or excess distribution so allocated to prior years in an amount equal to, for each such prior year, (i) the amount of gain or excess distribution allocated to such prior year multiplied by the highest corporate tax rate in effect for such prior year, plus (ii) interest on the amount determined under clause (i) for the period from the due date for filing a return for such prior year until the date for filing a return for the year in which the gain is recognized or the excess distribution is received, at the rates and methods applicable to underpayments of tax for such period, and (4) the distribution by the Fund to its shareholders of the portions of such gain or excess distribution so allocated to prior years (net of the tax payable by the Fund thereon) will be taxable to the shareholders as a dividend.

 

Some of the debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by the Fund may be treated as debt securities that are issued originally at a discount. Generally, the amount of the original issue discount (“OID”) is treated as interest income and is included in income over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, usually when the debt security matures. A portion of the OID includable in income with respect to certain high-yield corporate debt securities (including certain pay-in-kind securities) may be treated as a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

Some of the debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by the Fund in the secondary market may be treated as having market discount. Generally, any gain recognized on the disposition of, and any partial payment of principal on, a debt security having market discount is treated as ordinary income to the extent the gain, or principal payment, does not exceed the “accrued market discount” on such debt security. Market discount generally accrues in equal daily installments. The Fund may make one or more of the elections applicable to debt securities having market discount, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income.

 

Some debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of one year or less from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by the Fund may be treated as having acquisition discount, or OID in the case of certain types of debt securities. Generally, the Fund will be required to include the acquisition discount, or OID, in income over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, usually when the debt security matures. The Fund may make one or more of the elections applicable to debt securities having acquisition discount, or OID, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income.

 

A Fund that holds the foregoing kinds of securities may be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount, which is greater than the total amount of cash interest the Fund actually received. Such distributions may be made from the cash assets of the Fund or by liquidation of portfolio securities, if necessary (including when it is not advantageous to do so). The Fund may realize gains or losses from such liquidations. In the event the Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger capital gain distribution, if any, than they would in the absence of such transactions.

 

Gain or loss on the sale of securities by the Fund will generally be long-term capital gain or loss if the securities have been held by the Fund for more than one year. Gain or loss on the sale of securities held for one year or less will be short-term capital gain or loss.

 

The Fund may invest in preferred securities or other securities the federal income tax treatment of which may not be clear or may be subject to recharacterization by the IRS. To the extent the tax treatment of such securities or the income from such securities differs from the tax treatment expected by the Fund, it could affect the timing or character of income recognized by the Fund, potentially requiring the Fund to purchase or sell securities, or otherwise change its portfolio, in order to comply with the tax rules applicable to regulated investment companies under the Code.

 

The Fund may invest a portion of its net assets in below investment grade securities. Investments in these types of securities may present special tax issues for the Fund. Federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when the Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless securities, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether modifications or exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. These and other issues could affect the Fund’s ability to

 

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distribute sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid the imposition of U.S. federal income or excise tax.

 

Fund Distributions

 

Each Fund anticipates distributing substantially all of its investment company taxable income for each taxable year.  Such distributions will be treated as dividends for federal income tax purposes and may be taxable to non-corporate shareholders as long-term capital gains (a “qualified dividend”), provided that certain requirements, as discussed below, are met.  Dividends received by corporate shareholders and dividends that do not constitute qualified dividends are taxable as ordinary income.  The portion of dividends received from a Fund that are qualified dividends generally will be determined on a look-through basis.  If the aggregate qualified dividends received by the Fund are less than 95% of the Fund’s gross income (as specially computed), the portion of dividends received from the Fund that constitute qualified dividends will be reported by the Fund and cannot exceed the ratio that the qualified dividends received by the Fund bears to its gross income.  If the aggregate qualified dividends received by the Fund equal at least 95% of its gross income, then all of the dividends received from the Fund will constitute qualified dividends.

 

No dividend will constitute a qualified dividend (1) if it has been paid with respect to any share of stock that the Fund has held for less than 61 days (91 days in the case of certain preferred stock) during the 121-day period (181-day period in the case of certain preferred stock) beginning on the date that is 60 days (90 days in the case of certain preferred stock) before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend, excluding for this purpose, under the rules of Code Section 246(c), any period during which the Fund has an option to sell, is under a contractual obligation to sell, has made and not closed a short sale of, is the grantor of a deep-in-the-money or otherwise nonqualified option to buy, or has otherwise diminished its risk of loss by holding other positions with respect to, such (or substantially identical) stock; (2) if the noncorporate shareholder fails to meet the holding period requirements set forth in (1) with respect to its shares in the Fund to which the dividend is attributable; or (3) to the extent that the Fund (or shareholder, as applicable) is under an obligation (pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in property substantially similar or related to stock with respect to which an otherwise qualified dividend is paid.

 

Dividends received by a Fund from a foreign corporation may be qualified dividends if (1) the stock with respect to which the dividend is paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the U.S., (2) the foreign corporation is incorporated in a possession of the U.S. or (3) the foreign corporation is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty with the U.S. that includes an exchange of information program (and that the Treasury Department determines to be satisfactory for these purposes).  The Treasury Department has issued guidance identifying which treaties are satisfactory for these purposes.  Notwithstanding the above, dividends received from a foreign corporation that for the taxable year of the corporation in which the dividend was paid, or the preceding taxable year, is a PFIC will not constitute qualified dividends.

 

Distributions attributable to dividends received by a Fund from domestic corporations will qualify for the 70% dividends-received deduction (“DRD”) for corporate shareholders only to the extent discussed below.  Distributions attributable to interest received by a Fund will not, and distributions attributable to dividends paid by a foreign corporation generally should not, qualify for the DRD.

 

Ordinary income dividends paid by a Fund with respect to a taxable year may qualify for the 70% DRD generally available to corporations (other than corporations such as S corporations, which are not eligible for the deduction because of their special characteristics, and other than for purposes of special taxes such as the accumulated earnings tax and the personal holding company tax) to the extent of the amount of dividends received by the Fund from domestic corporations for the taxable year.  No DRD will be allowed with respect to any dividend (1) if it has been received with respect to any share of stock that the Fund has held for less than 46 days (91 days in the case of certain preferred stock) during the 91-day period (181-day period in the case of certain preferred stock) beginning on the date that is 45 days (90 days in the case of certain preferred stock) before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend, excluding for this purpose under the rules of Code Section 246(c) any period during which the Fund has an option to sell, is under a contractual obligation to sell, has made and not closed a short sale of, is the grantor of a deep-in-the-money or otherwise nonqualified option (or an in-the-money qualified call option) to buy, or has otherwise diminished its risk of loss by holding other positions with respect to, such (or

 

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substantially identical) stock; (2) to the extent that the Fund is under an obligation (pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property; or (3) to the extent the stock on which the dividend is paid is treated as debt-financed under the rules of Code Section 246A.  Moreover, the DRD for a corporate shareholder may be disallowed or reduced (1) if the corporate shareholder fails to satisfy the foregoing requirements with respect to its shares of the Fund or (2) by application of Code Section 246(b), which in general limits the DRD to 70% of the shareholder’s taxable income (determined without regard to the DRD and certain other items).

 

A Fund may either retain or distribute to shareholders its net capital gain for each taxable year.  Each Fund currently intends to distribute any such amounts.  If net capital gain is distributed and reported as a capital gain dividend, it will be taxable to shareholders as long-term capital gain, regardless of the length of time the shareholder has held his shares or whether such gain was recognized by the Fund prior to the date on which the shareholder acquired his shares.  The Code provides, however, that under certain conditions only 50% (or, for stock acquired after September 27, 2010, and before January 1, 2012, none) of the capital gain recognized upon a Fund’s disposition of domestic qualified “small business” stock will be subject to tax.

 

Conversely, if a Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, the Fund will be subject to tax thereon (except to the extent of any available capital loss carryovers) at the corporate tax rates.  If a Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, it is expected that the Fund also will elect to have shareholders of record on the last day of its taxable year treated as if each received a distribution of his pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each shareholder will be required to report his pro rata share of such gain on his tax return as long-term capital gain, will receive a refundable tax credit for his pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain, and will increase the tax basis for his shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.

 

Distributions by a Fund that do not constitute ordinary income dividends, qualified dividends, exempt-interest dividends, or capital gain dividends will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of (and in reduction of) the shareholder’s tax basis in his shares; any excess will be treated as gain from the sale of his shares, as discussed below.

 

Distributions by a Fund will be treated in the manner described above regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares of the Fund (or of another Fund).  Shareholders receiving a distribution in the form of additional shares will be treated as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the fair market value of the shares received, determined as of the reinvestment date.  In addition, if the NAV at the time a shareholder purchases shares of a Fund reflects undistributed net investment income, recognized net capital gain, or unrealized appreciation in the value of the assets of the Fund, distributions of such amounts will be taxable to the shareholder in the manner described above, although such distributions economically constitute a return of capital to the shareholder.

 

Ordinarily, shareholders are required to take distributions by a Fund into account in the year in which the distributions are made.  However, dividends declared in October, November or December of any year and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month will be deemed to have been received by the shareholders (and paid by a Fund) on December 31 of such calendar year if such dividends are actually paid in January of the following year. In addition, certain other distributions made after the close of the Fund’s taxable year may be “spilled back” and treated as paid by the Fund (except for the purposes of the 4% nondeductible excise tax) during such taxable year. In such case, a shareholder will be treated as having received such dividends in the taxable year in which the distributions were actually made. Shareholders will be advised annually as to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year.

 

Certain U.S. shareholders, including individuals and estates and trusts, are subject to an additional 3.8% Medicare tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which should include dividends from a Fund and net gains from the disposition of shares of a Fund.  U.S. shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding the implications of the additional Medicare tax resulting from an investment in a Fund.

 

Each Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury backup withholding taxes at the applicable rate on ordinary income dividends, qualified dividends and capital gain dividends, and the proceeds of redemption of shares, paid to any shareholder (1) who has failed to provide a correct taxpayer identification number,

 

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(2) who is subject to backup withholding for failure to report the receipt of interest or dividend income properly, or (3) who h