497 1 d174361d497.htm GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST II Goldman Sachs Trust II

Prospectus

 

December 7, 2016

 

 

¢   Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund

 

  n   Class A Shares: GSIHX

 

  n   Class C Shares: GSILX

 

  n   Institutional Shares: GSIMX

 

  n   Class IR Shares: GSINX

 

  n   Class R Shares: GSIQX

 

  n   Class R6 Shares: GSIYX

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

 

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

 

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Table of Contents

 

Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund – Summary        1   
Investment Management Approach        5   
Risks of the Fund        9   
Service Providers        16   
Distributions        20   
Shareholder Guide        21   

How To Buy Shares

     21     

How To Sell Shares

     29     
Taxation        36   
Appendix A
Additional Information on Portfolio Risks, Securities and Techniques
       38   
Appendix B
Financial Highlights
       55   


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Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund—Summary

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) seeks long-term capital appreciation.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may qualify for sales charge discounts on purchases of Class A Shares if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in Goldman Sachs Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in “Shareholder Guide—Common Questions Applicable to the Purchase of Class A Shares” beginning on page 26 of the Prospectus and “Other Information Regarding Maximum Sales Charge, Purchases, Redemptions, Exchanges and Dividends” beginning on page B-103 of the Fund’s statement of additional information (“SAI”).

 

     Class A     Class C     Institutional     Class IR     Class R     Class R6  

Shareholder Fees

           
(fees paid directly from your investment):            

Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price)

    5.50%        None          None        None        None        None   

Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) (as a percentage of the lower of original purchase price or sale proceeds)1

    None          1.00%        None        None        None        None   
     Class A     Class C     Institutional     Class IR     Class R     Class R6  

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fees

    0.85%        0.85%        0.85%        0.85%        0.85%        0.85%   

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

    0.25%        0.75%        None          None          0.50%        None     

Other Expenses2

    0.42%        0.67%        0.27%        0.42%        0.42%        0.25%   

Service Fees

    Non     0.25     Non     Non     Non     Non

All Other Expenses

    0.42     0.42     0.27     0.42     0.42     0.25

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    1.52%        2.27%        1.12%        1.27%        1.77%        1.10%   

Expense Limitation3

    (0.22)%        (0.22)%        (0.22)%        (0.22)%        (0.22)%        (0.22)%   

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Limitation

    1.30%        2.05%        0.90%        1.05%        1.55%        0.88%   

 

1 A contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) of 1.00% is imposed on Class C Shares redeemed within 12 months of purchase.
2 The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred in the first fiscal year.
3 The Investment Adviser has agreed to reduce or limit “Other Expenses” (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, transfer agency fees and expenses, service fees, taxes, dividend and interest payments on securities sold short, interest, brokerage fees, shareholder meeting, litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses) to 0.014% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This arrangement will remain in effect through at least December 7, 2017, and prior to such date the Investment Adviser may not terminate the arrangement without the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Expense Example

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

The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in Class A, Class C, Institutional, Class IR, Class R and/or Class R6 Shares of the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Class A, Class C, Institutional, Class IR, Class R and/or Class R6 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

 

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expenses remain the same (except that the Example incorporates the expense limitation arrangement for only the first year). Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      1 Year      3 Years  

Class A Shares

   $ 675       $ 983   

Class C Shares

     

–  Assuming complete redemption at end of period

   $ 308       $ 688   

–  Assuming no redemption

   $ 208       $ 688   

Institutional Shares

   $ 92       $ 334   

Class IR Shares

   $ 107       $ 381   

Class R Shares

   $ 158       $ 536   

Class R6 Shares

   $ 90       $ 328   

Portfolio Turnover

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

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in equity investments in companies that are located outside the U.S. The Fund intends to have investments economically tied to at least three countries, not including the United States, and may invest in the securities of issuers in emerging market countries. The Fund’s equity investments may include common stock, preferred stock, securities convertible into common stock, warrants, rights and American and global depositary receipts. The Fund’s equity investments may also include participation notes and other derivatives, which are used primarily to gain broad access to markets and/or individual securities that may be difficult to access via direct investment in equity securities.

The Fund seeks to invest in securities that GQG Partners LLC (the “Sub-Adviser” or “GQG Partners”) believes have favorable long-term economic prospects. The Sub-Adviser selects securities issued by companies that, in its view, can sustain earnings growth over the long-term and are available at a reasonable price. Over a full market cycle, the Sub-Adviser’s investment style seeks to capture a portion of market increases while providing some protection when the market declines. The Sub-Adviser’s style seeks to identify companies with strong fundamental business characteristics which it believes will outperform peers over a full market cycle and whose securities will better sustain their value in a market downturn. To that end, the Sub-Adviser seeks to avoid investments in securities of companies with low profit margins or unwarranted levels of leverage and those subject to rapid earnings declines, a high degree of long-term unpredictability or deep cyclicality.

The Fund’s equity investments may also include other investment companies and other pooled investment vehicles (including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and publicly traded partnerships (“PTPs”)). The Fund is not subject to any limits on the market capitalization of securities in which it may invest and, from time to time, may invest in shares of companies through initial public offerings (“IPOs”).

The Fund may invest without limitation in securities or obtain exposure to securities that are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. The Fund may use currency management techniques, such as forward foreign currency contracts, for investment or hedging purposes.

The Fund may also invest in fixed income securities, such as government, corporate and bank debt obligations and may engage in other techniques consistent with its overall investment objective.

Management Process

The Investment Adviser and the Fund have received an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Under the exemptive order, the Investment Adviser has the ultimate responsibility, subject to oversight by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, to oversee the Sub-Adviser and recommend its hiring, termination and replacement. The initial shareholder of the Fund approved the Fund’s operation in this manner and reliance by the Fund on this exemptive order.

Additional Information

The Fund’s benchmark index is the MSCI ACWI ex USA Index (net, unhedged).

 

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THE FUND IS “NON-DIVERSIFIED” UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED (“INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT”) AND MAY INVEST MORE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN “DIVERSIFIED” MUTUAL FUNDS.

Principal Risks of the Fund

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

Foreign and Emerging Countries Risk.  Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. Loss may also result from the imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, or from problems in registration, settlement or custody. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. These risks may be more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located in emerging and frontier countries.

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

Initial Public Offering Risk.  The market value of IPO shares will fluctuate considerably due to factors such as the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading and limited information about the issuer. The purchase of IPO shares may involve high transaction costs. IPO shares are subject to market risk and liquidity risk.

Investment Style Risk.  Different investment styles (e.g., “growth”, “value” or “quantitative”) tend to shift in and out of favor depending upon market and economic conditions and investor sentiment. The Fund may outperform or underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ different investment styles.

Large Shareholder Transactions Risk.  The Fund may experience adverse effects when certain large shareholders purchase or redeem large amounts of shares of the Fund. Such large shareholder redemptions may cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities at times when it would not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) and liquidity. Similarly, large Fund share purchases may adversely affect the Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. These transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders if such sales of investments resulted in gains, and may also increase transaction costs. In addition, a large redemption could result in the Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratio.

Management Risk.  A strategy used by the Sub-Adviser may fail to produce the intended results.

Market Risk.  The market value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies, particular sectors or governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Mid-Cap and Small-Cap Risk.  Investments in mid-capitalization and small-capitalization companies involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies. These securities may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements and may lack sufficient market liquidity, and these issuers often face greater business risks.

Non-Diversification Risk.  The Fund is non-diversified, meaning that it is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than a diversified mutual fund. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.

Other Investment Companies Risk.  By investing in other investment companies (including ETFs) indirectly through the Fund, investors will incur a proportionate share of the expenses of the other investment companies held by the Fund (including operating costs and investment management fees) in addition to the fees regularly borne by the Fund. In addition, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performance of such investment companies in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.

Participation Notes Risk.  Participation notes are designed to track the return of a particular underlying equity or debt security, currency or market. Investments in participation notes involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the underlying

 

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security, currency or market that they seek to replicate. The Fund has no rights under participation notes against the issuer of the underlying security and must rely on the creditworthiness of the counterparty to the transaction.

Stock Risk.  Stock prices have historically risen and fallen in periodic cycles. U.S. and foreign stock markets have experienced periods of substantial price volatility in the past and may do so again in the future.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”). GQG Partners LLC serves as sub-adviser for the Fund (the “Sub-Adviser” or “GQG Partners”).

Portfolio Manager: Rajiv Jain has managed the Fund since 2016.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The minimum initial investment for Class A and Class C Shares is, generally, $1,000. The minimum initial investment for Institutional Shares is, generally, $1,000,000 for individual or certain institutional investors, alone or in combination with other assets under the management of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates. There is no minimum for initial purchases of Class IR, Class R and Class R6 Shares. Those share classes with a minimum initial investment requirement do not impose it on certain employee benefit plans, and Institutional Shares do not impose it on certain investment advisers investing on behalf of other accounts.

The minimum subsequent investment for Class A and Class C shareholders is $50, except for certain employee benefit plans, for which there is no minimum. There is no minimum subsequent investment for Institutional, Class IR, Class R or Class R6 shareholders.

You may purchase and redeem (sell) shares of the Fund on any business day through certain intermediaries that have a relationship with Goldman, Sachs & Co. (“Goldman Sachs”), including banks, trust companies, brokers, registered investment advisers and other financial institutions (“Intermediaries”).

Tax Information

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

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase the Fund through an Intermediary, the Fund and/or its related companies may pay the Intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your Intermediary’s website for more information.

 

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Investment Management Approach

 

  INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE     

The Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation.

The Fund’s investment objective may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ notice.

 

  PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES     

Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in equity investments in companies that are located outside the United States. The Fund intends to have investments economically tied to at least three countries, not including the United States, and may invest in the securities of issuers in emerging market countries. A company is economically tied to a country if the company:

    Has a class of securities whose principal securities market is outside the United States;
    Has a principal office in a foreign country;
    Derives 50% or more of its total revenue or profit from goods produced, sales made or services provided in one or more foreign countries;
    Maintains 50% or more of its assets in one or more foreign countries; or
    Is otherwise determined to be economically tied to a country by the Investment Adviser or Sub-Adviser in their discretion. In determining whether a company is economically tied to a specific country, the Investment Adviser or Sub-Adviser, may, for example, identify the company’s “country of risk”. The company’s “country of risk” is determined based on a number of criteria, including its country of domicile, the primary stock exchange on which it trades, the location from which the majority of its revenue comes, and its reporting currency. Although the Investment Adviser or Sub-Adviser may rely on a company’s “country of risk” as determined by Bloomberg, they are not required to do so.

The Fund’s equity investments may include common stock, preferred stock, securities convertible into common stock, warrants, rights and American and global depositary receipts. The Fund’s equity investments may also include participation notes and other derivatives, which are used primarily to gain broad access to markets and/or individual securities that may be difficult to access via direct investment in equity securities.

The Fund seeks to invest in securities that GQG Partners LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) believes have favorable long-term economic prospects. The Sub-Adviser selects securities issued by companies that, in its view, can sustain earnings growth over the long-term and are available at a reasonable price. Over a full market cycle, the Sub-Adviser’s investment style seeks to capture a portion of market increases while providing some protection when the market declines. The Sub-Adviser’s style seeks to identify companies with strong fundamental business characteristics which it believes will outperform peers over a full market cycle and whose securities will better sustain their value in a market downturn. To that end, the Sub-Adviser seeks to avoid investments in securities of companies with low profit margins or unwarranted levels of leverage and those subject to rapid earnings declines, a high degree of long-term unpredictability or deep cyclicality.

The Fund’s equity investments may also include other investment companies and other pooled investment vehicles (including mutual funds, ETFs and PTPs). The Fund is not subject to any limits on the market capitalization of securities in which it may invest and, from time to time, may invest in shares of companies through IPOs.

The Fund may invest without limitation in securities or obtain exposure to securities that are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. The Fund may use currency management techniques, such as forward foreign currency contracts, for investment or hedging purposes.

The Fund may also invest in fixed income securities, such as government, corporate and bank debt obligations and may engage in other techniques consistent with its overall investment objective.

The Fund may, from time to time, take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse market, political or other conditions. For temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”), commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard & Poor’s Ratings

 

5


Services (“Standard & Poor’s”), P-2 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or having a comparable credit rating from another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) (or if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable credit quality), certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, repurchase agreements, non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year, ETFs and other investment companies and cash items. When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

The Fund’s benchmark index is the MSCI ACWI ex USA Index (net, unhedged). The MSCI ACWI ex USA Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets.

References in the Prospectus to the Fund’s benchmark are for informational purposes only, and unless otherwise noted are not an indication of how the Fund is managed.

Management Process

The Investment Adviser and the Fund have received an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Under the exemptive order, the Investment Adviser has the ultimate responsibility, subject to oversight by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, to oversee the Sub-Adviser and recommend its hiring, termination and replacement. The initial shareholder of the Fund approved the Fund’s operation in this manner and reliance by the Fund on this exemptive order.

THE FUND IS “NON-DIVERSIFIED” UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT AND MAY INVEST MORE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN “DIVERSIFIED” MUTUAL FUNDS.

 

  ADDITIONAL FEES AND EXPENSES INFORMATION     

Any difference in the “Expense Limitation” ratio across the share classes are the result of the effect of mathematical rounding on the daily accrual of expense reimbursement, particularly, in respect to small share classes.

Note that differences in the “Other Expenses” ratios across the Fund’s share classes are the result of, among other things, contractual differences in transfer agency fees and/or the effect of mathematical rounding on the daily accrual of certain expenses, particularly, in respect to small share classes.

 

  OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND SECURITIES     

Although the Fund’s principal investment strategies are described in the Fund’s Summary—Principal Investment Strategies section of the Prospectus, the following tables identify some of the investment techniques that may (but are not required to) be used by the Fund in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may be subject to additional limitations on its investments not shown here. Numbers in these tables show allowable usage only; for actual usage, consult the Fund’s annual/semi-annual reports (when available). For more information about these and other investment practices and securities, see Appendix A.

The Fund publishes on its website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) complete portfolio holdings for the Fund as of the end of each calendar quarter subject to a fifteen calendar-day lag between the date of the information and the date on which the information is disclosed. The Fund may disclose portfolio holdings information more frequently. This information will be available on the website until the date on which the Fund files its next quarterly portfolio holdings report on Form N-CSR or Form N-Q with the SEC. In addition, a description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

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                        INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

 

10   Percent of total assets (including securities lending collateral) (italic type)
10   Percent of net assets (excluding borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
  No specific percentage limitation on usage;
limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund

 

                          
     Goldman Sachs
GQG Partners
International
Opportunities Fund
Investment Practices  

Borrowings

  33 13

Currency, Equity, Index and Total Return Swaps

 

Cross Hedging of Currencies

 

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

 

Foreign Currency Transactions (including forward contracts)

 

Futures Contracts and Options and Swaps on Futures Contracts

 

Illiquid Investments*

  15

Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars

 

Investment Company Securities (including ETFs)**

  10

Initial Public Offering (“IPO”)

 

Options on Foreign Currencies1

 

Options on Securities and Securities Indices2

 

Options on Futures

 

Preferred Stock

 

Repurchase Agreements

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements (for investment purposes)

 

Securities Lending

 

Short Sales

 

Short Sales Against the Box

 

Unseasoned Companies

 

Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

 

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

 
 

 

  * Illiquid investments are any investments which cannot be disposed of in seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the prices at which the Fund values the investment.
** This percentage limitation does not apply to the Fund’s investments in investment companies (including ETFs) where a higher percentage limitation is permitted under the terms of an SEC exemptive order or SEC exemptive rule.
  1 The Fund may purchase and sell call and put options on foreign currencies.
  2 The Fund may sell call and put options and purchase call and put options on securities and securities indices in which it may invest.

 

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10   Percent of Total Assets (italic type)
10   10 Percent of Net Assets (including borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
  No specific percentage limitation on usage;
limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund

 

                          
     Goldman Sachs
GQG Partners
International
Opportunities Fund
Investment Securities  

American, European and Global Depository Receipts

 

Asset-Backed and Mortgage-Backed Securities

 

Bank Obligations1

 

Convertible Securities

 

Corporate Debt Obligations

 

Emerging Country Securities

 

Equity Investments

 

Fixed Income Securities

 

Foreign Government Securities

 

Foreign Securities

 

Other Investment Companies (including ETFs)

 

Participation Notes

 

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

 

Temporary Investments

 

Real Estate Investment Trusts

 

Structured Securities

 

U.S. Government Securities

 
 

 

1 Issued by U.S. or foreign banks.

 

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Risks of the Fund

 

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency. The principal risks of the Fund are discussed in the Summary section of the Prospectus. The following section provides additional information on the risks that apply to the Fund, which may result in a loss of your investment. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.

 

  Principal Risk
  Additional Risk

 

                                                   
     Goldman Sachs
GQG Partners
International
Opportunities
Fund

Absence of Regulation

 

Call/Prepayment

 

Commodity Sector

 

Counterparty

 

Credit/Default

 

Derivatives

 

Emerging Countries

 

Expenses

 

Foreign

 

Geographic

 

Initial Public Offering (“IPO”)

 

Investment Style

 

Large Shareholder Transactions

 

Leverage

 

Liquidity

 

Management

 

Market

 

Mid-Cap and Small-Cap

 

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities

 

NAV

 

Non-Diversification Risk

 

Non-Hedging Foreign Currency Trading

 

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities

 

Other Investment Companies

 

Participation Notes

 

Publicly Trade Partnerships (“PTP”)

 

REIT

 

Short Selling

 

Sovereign Default

 

Economic

 

Political

 

Repayment

 

Stock

 

Swaps

 

U.S. Government Securities

 
 

 

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  Absence of Regulation Risk—The Fund engages in OTC transactions, which trade in a dealer network, rather than on an exchange. In general, there is less governmental regulation and supervision of transactions in the OTC markets (in which option contracts and certain options on swaps are generally traded) than of transactions entered into on organized exchanges.
  Call/Prepayment Risk—An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund (such as a mortgage-backed security) earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower yielding securities.
  Commodity Sector Risk—Exposure to the commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in more traditional securities. The value of commodity-linked investments may be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates, or sectors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, business, political and regulatory developments. The prices of energy, industrial metals, precious metals, agriculture and livestock sector commodities may fluctuate widely due to factors such as changes in value, supply and demand and governmental regulatory policies. The energy sector can be significantly affected by changes in the prices and supplies of oil and other energy fuels, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, and tax and other government regulations, policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) and relationships among OPEC members and between OPEC and oil-importing nations. The metals sector can be affected by sharp price volatility over short periods caused by global economic, financial and political factors, resource availability, government regulation, 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 and fluctuations in industrial and commercial supply and demand. Commodity-linked investments are often offered by companies in the financial services sector, including the banking, brokerage and insurance sectors. As a result, events affecting issuers in the financial services sector may cause the Fund’s share value to fluctuate. Although investments in commodities typically move in different directions than traditional equity and debt securities, when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions, there is no guarantee that these investments will perform in that manner, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked investments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities.
  Counterparty Risk—Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearinghouse, might not be available in connection with over-the-counter (“OTC”) transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which the Fund enters into OTC transactions, the Fund will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses.
  Credit/Default Risk—An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund (which may have low credit ratings) may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. The credit quality of the Fund’s portfolio securities or instruments may meet the Fund’s credit quality requirements at the time of purchase but then deteriorate thereafter, and such a deterioration can occur rapidly. In certain instances, the downgrading or default of a single holding or guarantor of the Fund’s holding may impair the Fund’s liquidity and have the potential to cause significant deterioration in NAV. These risks are more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in non-investment grade fixed income securities.
  Derivatives Risk—Loss may result from the Fund’s investments in options, futures, forwards, swaps, options on swaps, structured securities and other derivative instruments. These instruments may be illiquid, difficult to price and leveraged so that small changes in the value of the underlying instruments may produce disproportionate losses to the Fund. Derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligations.

Losses from investments in derivatives can result from a lack of correlation between the value of those derivatives and the value of the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged. In addition, there is a risk that the performance of the derivatives or other instruments used by the Investment Adviser or the Sub-Adviser to replicate the performance of a particular asset class may not accurately track the performance of that asset class. Derivatives are also subject to liquidity risk and risks arising from margin requirements. Returns, and potential losses, are dependent on the Sub-Adviser’s analysis and decision making capability around, but not limited to, expectations of the timing or level of fluctuation in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables. In addition, the Fund’s use of derivatives may increase or accelerate the amount of taxes payable by shareholders.

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

Derivatives Regulatory Risk. In December 2015, the SEC proposed new regulations relating to a mutual fund’s use of derivatives and related instruments. If these or other regulations are adopted, they could significantly limit or impact the Fund’s ability to

 

10


                        RISKS OF THE FUND

 

invest in derivatives and other instruments and adversely affect such Fund’s performance and ability to pursue its investment objectives. Certain aspects of the tax treatment of derivative instruments may be affected by changes in legislation, regulations or other legally binding authority that could affect the character, timing and amount of the Fund’s taxable income or gains and distributions. There can be no assurance that any new governmental regulation will not adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment result.

  Emerging Countries Risk—The securities markets of most emerging countries are less liquid, are especially subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have more or less government regulation and are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. Further, investment in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involves risk of loss resulting from problems in registration, settlement or custody and substantial economic and political disruptions. These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries. These risks may be greater for frontier markets.
  Expenses Risk— By investing in pooled investment vehicles (including investment companies and ETFs), partnerships (including PTPs) and REITs indirectly through the Fund, the investor will incur not only a proportionate share of the expenses of the other pooled investment vehicles, partnerships and REITs held by the Fund (including operating costs and investment management fees), but also expenses of the Fund.
  Foreign Risk—When the Fund invests in foreign securities, it may be subject to risk of loss not typically associated with domestic issuers. Loss may result because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information, less liquidity, greater volatility and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. Loss may also result from, among other things, deteriorating economic and business conditions in other countries, including the United States, regional and global conflicts, the imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, foreign taxes, confiscations, expropriations and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, higher transaction costs, difficulty enforcing contractual obligations or from problems in registration, settlement or custody. The Fund will also be subject to the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign risks will normally be greatest when the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in emerging countries.
  Geographic Risk—If the Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or region it will subject the Fund, to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.
  Initial Public Offering Risk—The market value of shares issued in an IPO will fluctuate considerably due to factors such as the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading and limited information about a company’s business model, quality of management, earnings growth potential and other criteria used to evaluate its investment prospects. The purchase of IPO shares may involve high transaction costs. Investments in IPO shares, which are subject to market risk and liquidity risk, involve greater risks than investments in shares of companies that have traded publicly on an exchange for extended periods of time. When the Fund’s asset base is small, a significant portion of the Fund’s performance could be attributable to investments in IPOs, because such investments would have a magnified impact on the Fund. As the Fund’s assets grow, the effect of the Fund’s investments in IPOs on the Fund’s performance probably will decline, which could reduce the Fund’s performance.
  Investment Style Risk—Different investment styles (e.g., “growth”, “value” or “quantitative”) tend to shift in and out of favor depending upon market and economic conditions and investor sentiment. The Fund employs various non-traditional and alternative investment styles, and may outperform or underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ different investment styles.
  Large Shareholder Transactions Risk—The Fund may experience adverse effects when certain large shareholders purchase or redeem large amounts of shares of the Fund. Such large shareholder redemptions may cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities at times when it would not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and liquidity. Similarly, large Fund share purchases may adversely affect the Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. These transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders if such sales of investments resulted in gains, and may also increase transaction costs. In addition, a large redemption could result in the Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratio.
 

Leverage Risk—Leverage creates exposure to potential gains and losses in excess of the initial amount invested. Borrowing and the use of derivatives may result in leverage and may make the Fund more volatile. When the Fund uses leverage the sum of the

 

11


 

 

Fund’s investment exposures may significantly exceed the amount of assets invested in the Fund, although these exposures may vary over time. Relatively small market movements may result in large changes in the value of a leveraged investment. The Fund will identify liquid assets on its books or otherwise cover transactions that may give rise to such risk, to the extent required by applicable law. The use of leverage may cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations or to meet asset segregation requirements when it may not be advantageous to do so. The use of leverage by the Fund can substantially increase the adverse impact to which the Fund’s investment portfolio may be subject.

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

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

Because the Fund may invest in non-investment grade fixed income securities and/or emerging country issuers, it may be especially subject to the risk that during certain periods, the liquidity of particular issuers or industries, or all securities within a particular investment category, may shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political events, or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate.

Liquidity risk may also refer to the risk that the Fund will not be able to pay redemption proceeds within the allowable time because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, or other reasons. While the Fund reserves the right to meet redemption requests through in-kind distributions, the Fund may instead choose to raise cash to meet redemption requests through sales of portfolio securities or permissible borrowings. If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

Certain shareholders, including clients or affiliates of the Investment Adviser and/or other funds managed by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own or control a significant percentage of the Fund’s shares. Redemptions by these shareholders of their shares of the Fund may further increase the Fund’s liquidity risk and may impact the Fund’s NAV. These shareholders may include, for example, institutional investors, funds of funds, discretionary advisory clients and other shareholders whose buy-sell decisions are controlled by a single decision-maker.

  Management Risk—A strategy implemented by the Sub-Adviser may fail to produce the intended results.
  Market Risk—The market value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies, particular sectors or governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods. The Fund’s investments may be overweighted from time to time in one or more sectors or countries, which will increase the Fund’s exposure to risk of loss from adverse developments affecting those sectors or countries.

 

Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. In addition, governmental and quasi-governmental organizations have taken a number of unprecedented actions designed to support the markets. Such conditions, events and actions may result in greater market risk.

  Mid-Cap and Small-Cap Risk—The securities of mid-capitalization and small-capitalization companies involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements. Securities of such issuers may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to effect sales at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price. Both mid-capitalization and small-capitalization companies often have narrower markets and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger, more established companies. As a result, their performance can be more volatile and they face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio. Generally, the smaller the company size, the greater these risks become.
 

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk—Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. Generally, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, if the Fund holds mortgage-backed

 

12


                        RISKS OF THE FUND

 

  securities, it may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. In addition, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates.

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

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

  NAV Risk—The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment will fluctuate.
  Non-Diversification Risk—The Fund is non-diversified, meaning that the Fund is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than diversified mutual funds. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.
  Non-Hedging Foreign Currency Trading Risk—The Fund may engage in forward foreign currency transactions for hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Fund’s Sub-Adviser may purchase or sell foreign currencies through the use of forward contracts based on the Sub-Adviser’s judgment regarding the direction of the market for a particular foreign currency or currencies. In pursuing this strategy, the Sub-Adviser seeks to profit from anticipated movements in currency rates by establishing “long” and/or “short” positions in forward contracts on various foreign currencies. Foreign exchange rates can be extremely volatile and a variance in the degree of volatility of the market or in the direction of the market from the Sub-Adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses to the Fund. Some of these transactions may also be subject to interest rate risk.
  Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk—Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity. These securities structured as zero-coupon bonds or pay-in-kind securities may require the Fund to make taxable distributions of imputed income without receiving any corresponding cash. Investments in these types of instruments may present special tax issues for the Fund. U.S. 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 instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. These and other issues will be addressed by the Fund to the extent necessary in order to seek to ensure that it distributes sufficient income that it does not become subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.
  Other Investment Companies Risk—By investing in other investment companies (including ETFs) indirectly through the Fund, investors will incur a proportionate share of the expenses of the other investment companies held by the Fund (including operating costs and investment management fees) in addition to the fees regularly borne by the Fund. In addition, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performance of such investment companies in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.
  Participation Notes Risk—The Fund may use participation notes to gain exposure to certain markets in which it cannot invest directly. Participation notes are designed to track the return of a particular underlying equity or debt security, currency, or market. Investments in participation notes involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the underlying security, currency, or market that they seek to replicate. In addition, the Fund has no rights under participation notes against the issuer of the underlying security and must rely on the creditworthiness of the counterparty to the transaction.

 

13


 

  Publicly Traded Partnerships (“PTP”) Risk—The PTPs in which the Fund intends to invest are limited partnerships, the interests (or “units”) in which are traded on public exchanges, just like ETFs. The Fund will invest primarily in PTPs that are commodity pools. In addition to the risks associated with the underlying assets and exposures within a PTP (which in the case of the Fund’s expected PTP investments, include derivatives and commodity sector risks), risks of investments in PTPs may include, among others, dependence upon specialized skills of the PTP’s manager, potential lack of liquidity, and limitations on voting and distribution rights.
  REIT Risk—REITs whose underlying properties are concentrated in a particular industry or geographic region are also subject to risks affecting such industries and regions. The securities of REITs involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements because of interest rate changes, economic conditions and other factors. REITs may also fail to qualify for tax free pass-through of income or may fail to maintain their exemptions from investment company registration. Securities of such issuers may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to effect sales at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price.
  Short Selling Risk—The Fund may engage in short selling. Short selling involves leverage of the Fund’s assets and presents various risks. In order to establish a short position in a financial instrument, the Fund must first borrow the instrument from a lender, such as a broker or other institution. The Fund may not always be able to borrow an instrument at a particular time or at an acceptable price. Thus, there is risk that the Fund may be unable to implement their investment strategies due to the lack of available financial instruments or for other reasons.

After selling a borrowed financial instrument, the Fund is then obligated to “cover” the short sale by purchasing and returning the instrument to the lender on a later date. The Fund cannot guarantee that the financial instrument necessary to cover a short position will be available for purchase at the time the Fund wishes to close a short position or, if available, that the instrument will be available at an acceptable price. If the borrowed instrument has appreciated in value, the Fund will be required to pay more for the replacement instrument than the amount it received for selling the instrument short. Moreover, purchasing a financial instrument to cover a short position can itself cause the price of the instrument to rise further, thereby exacerbating the loss. The potential loss on a short sale is unlimited because the loss increases as the price of the instrument sold short increases and the price may rise indefinitely. If the price of a borrowed financial instrument declines before the short position is covered, the Fund may realize a gain. The Fund’s gain on a short sale, before transaction and other costs, is generally limited to the difference between the price at which it sold the borrowed instrument and the price it paid to purchase the instrument to return to the lender.

While the Fund has an open short position, it is subject to the risk that the financial instrument’s lender will terminate the loan at a time when the Fund is unable to borrow the same instrument from another lender. If this happens, the Fund may be required to buy the replacement instrument immediately at the instrument’s then current market price or “buy in” by paying the lender an amount equal to the cost of purchasing the instrument to close out the short position.

Short sales also involve other costs. The Fund must normally repay to the lender an amount equal to any dividends or interest that accrues while a loan is outstanding. In addition, to borrow a financial instrument, the Fund may be required to pay a premium. The Fund also will incur transaction costs in effecting short sales. The amount of any ultimate gain for the Fund resulting from a short sale will be decreased, and the amount of any ultimate loss will be increased, by the amount of premiums, dividends, interest or expenses the Fund may be required to pay in connection with the short sale.

Until the Fund replaces a borrowed instrument, the Fund will be required to maintain assets with the lending broker as collateral. Thus, short sales involve credit exposure to the broker that executes the short sales. In addition, the Fund is required to identify on its books or the books of its custodian liquid assets (less any additional collateral held by the broker) to cover short sale obligations, marked-to-market daily. This requirement limits the Fund’s leveraging of investments and the related risk of losses from leveraging. However, it may also limit the Fund’s investment flexibility, as well as its ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.

The SEC and financial industry regulatory authorities in other countries have imposed temporary prohibitions and restrictions on certain types of short sale transactions. These prohibitions and restrictions, or the imposition of other regulatory requirements on short selling in the future, could inhibit the ability of the Investment Adviser to sell securities short on behalf of the Fund.

Due to local restrictions, the Fund may not be able to engage in short sales in certain foreign countries where they maintain long positions. These restrictions may limit the Fund’s ability to fully implement short selling strategies that could otherwise help the Fund pursue its investment goals.

 

14


                        RISKS OF THE FUND

 

  Sovereign Default Risk—The issuer of non-U.S. sovereign debt held by the Fund or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest when due. This may result from political or social factors, the general economic environment of a country or levels of foreign debt or foreign currency exchange rates. Sovereign Default Risk includes the following risks:
    Economic Risk—The risks associated with the general economic environment of a country. These can encompass, among other things, low quality and growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”), high inflation or deflation, high government deficits as a percentage of GDP, weak financial sector, overvalued exchange rate, and high current account deficits as a percentage of GDP.
    Political Risk—The risks associated with the general political and social environment of a country. These factors may include among other things government instability, poor socioeconomic conditions, corruption, lack of law and order, lack of democratic accountability, poor quality of the bureaucracy, internal and external conflict, and religious and ethnic tensions. High political risk can impede the economic welfare of a country.
    Repayment Risk—A country may be unable to pay its external debt obligations in the immediate future. Repayment risk factors may include but are not limited to high foreign debt as a percentage of GDP, high foreign debt service as a percentage of exports, low foreign exchange reserves as a percentage of short-term debt or exports, and an unsustainable exchange rate structure.
  Stock Risk—Stock prices have historically risen and fallen in periodic cycles. U.S. and foreign stock markets have experienced periods of substantial price volatility in the past and may do so again in the future.
  Swaps Risk—The use of swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques, risk analyses and tax planning different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. These transactions can result in sizeable realized and unrealized capital gains and losses relative to the gains and losses from the Fund’s direct investments in securities.

Transactions in swaps can involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in securities directly since, in addition to general market risks, swaps may be leveraged and are also subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if the Fund invests in cleared swaps. Because bilateral swap agreements are two-party contracts and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, these swaps may be considered to be illiquid. Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

The value of swaps can be very volatile, and a variance in the degree of volatility or in the direction of securities prices from the Investment Adviser’s or the Sub-Adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses in the Fund’s investments in swaps. In addition, a perfect correlation between a swap and a security position may be impossible to achieve. As a result, the Investment Adviser’s or the Sub-Adviser’s use of swaps may not be effective in fulfilling the Investment Adviser’s or the Sub-Adviser’s investment strategies and may contribute to losses that would not have been incurred otherwise.

  U.S. Government Securities Risk—The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law. U.S. Government Securities issued by those agencies, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises, including those issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, are neither issued nor guaranteed by the United States Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the fund to meet their payment obligations in the future. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under conservatorship, with the Federal Housing Finance Administration (“FHFA”) acting as their conservator, since September 2008. The entities are dependent upon the continued support of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FHFA in order to continue their business operations. These factors, among others, could affect the future status and role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the value of their securities and the securities which they guarantee. Additionally, the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market values of their securities, which may fluctuate.

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

 

15


 

Service Providers

 

  INVESTMENT ADVISER     

 

Investment Adviser   Fund

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM”)

 

Goldman Sachs GQG Partners

International Opportunities Fund

200 West Street

 

New York, NY 10282

   
 

GSAM has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. As of September 30, 2016, GSAM, including its investment advisory affiliates, had assets under supervision of approximately $1.15 trillion.

The Investment Adviser oversees the provision of investment advisory and portfolio management services to the Fund, including developing the Fund’s investment program. In this regard, the Investment Adviser may impose investment, risk or other parameters that are more restrictive than those described in the Prospectus. The Investment Adviser selects, subject to the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees, the Sub-Adviser for the Fund, allocates Fund assets to the Sub-Adviser, monitors and evaluates its performance results. While the Investment Adviser is ultimately responsible for overseeing the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management. In addition, the Investment Adviser has access to the research and certain proprietary technical models developed by Goldman Sachs and leverages the resources of Goldman Sachs, in each instance subject to legal, internal, and regulatory restrictions.

Pursuant to its Management Agreement with the Fund, the Investment Adviser, directly or through a sub-adviser, is responsible for overseeing the Fund’s investment program. In addition, the Investment Adviser supervises the Sub-Adviser of the Fund.

In addition to overseeing the Fund’s investment program, the Investment Adviser selects the Fund’s Sub-Adviser and provides general oversight of the Sub-Adviser. The Investment Adviser also performs the following additional services for the Fund (to the extent not performed by others pursuant to agreements with the Fund):

    Supervises non-advisory operations of the Fund, including oversight of vendors hired by the Fund, oversight of Fund liquidity and risk management, oversight of regulatory inquiries and requests with respect to the Fund made to the Investment Adviser, valuation and accounting oversight and oversight of ongoing compliance with federal and state securities laws, tax regulations, and other applicable law
    Provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Fund
    Arranges for, at the Fund’s expense: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities
    Maintains the Fund’s records
    Provides office space and all necessary office equipment and services
    Markets the Fund
    Supervises the Sub-Adviser of the Fund

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

From time to time, Goldman Sachs or its affiliates may invest “seed” capital in the Fund. These investments are generally intended to enable the Fund to commence investment operations and achieve sufficient scale. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may hedge the exposure of the seed capital invested in the Fund by, among other things, taking an offsetting position in the benchmark of the Fund.

 

16


SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

 

  INVESTMENT SUBADVISER     

GQG Partners LLC (the “Sub-Adviser” or “GQG Partners”), with offices at 350 East Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 1100, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33301, serves as the Sub-Adviser to the Fund and provides the day-to-day advice regarding Fund’s portfolio transactions. GQG Partners makes the investment decisions for the Fund and places purchase and sale orders for the Fund’s portfolio transactions in the U.S. and foreign markets. As permitted by applicable law, these orders may be directed to any executing brokers, dealers, futures commission merchants or clearing brokers, including Goldman Sachs and its affiliates.

 

  MANAGEMENT FEE AND OTHER EXPENSES     

As compensation for its services and its assumption of certain expenses, the Investment Adviser is entitled to a management fee, computed daily and payable monthly, at an annual rate listed below (as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets). The Sub-Adviser will be paid by the Investment Adviser out of its management fee a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

 

                                                                               
Fund   Contractual
Management Fee
Annual Rate
    Average Daily
Net Assets

GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund

    0.85%      First $1 Billion
    0.77%      Next $1 Billion
    0.73%      Next $3 Billion
    0.71%      Next $3 Billion
      0.70%      Over $8 Billion
   

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Management Agreement and the Sub-Advisory Agreement for the Fund will be available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the period ended April 30, 2017.

The Investment Adviser has agreed to reduce or limit “Other Expenses” (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, transfer agency fees and expenses, service fees, taxes, dividend and interest payments on securities sold short, interest, brokerage fees, shareholder meeting, litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses) to 0.014% of average daily net assets for the Fund through at least December 7, 2017, and prior to such date, the Investment Adviser may not terminate the arrangement without the approval of the Board of Trustees. The expense limitation may be modified or terminated by the Investment Adviser at its discretion and without shareholder approval after such date, although the Investment Adviser does not presently intend to do so. The Fund’s “Other Expenses” may be further reduced by any custody and transfer agency fee credits received by the Fund.

 

17


 

  FUND MANAGERS     

The individual primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund is listed below. The Fund’s portfolio manager’s individual responsibilities may differ and may include, among other things, security selection, asset allocation, risk budgeting and general oversight of the management of the Fund’s portfolio.

Sub-Adviser Portfolio Management Team

Portfolio manager Rajiv Jain has day-to-day management responsibility of Fund.

 

Name and Title   Fund Responsibility   Years
Primarily
Responsible
  Five Year Employment History

Rajiv Jain

Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, GQG Partners LLC

 

Portfolio Manager—GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund

      2016   Mr. Jain is the Chairman, Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager of GQG Partners LLC. Mr. Jain joined GQG Partners in June 2016, with over 25 years of investment experience. Previously, Mr. Jain served as a Co-Chief Executive Officer (from July 2014) and Chief Investment Officer and Head Of Equities (from February 2002) at Vontobel Asset Management, Inc. (“Vontobel”). He was the sole Portfolio Manager of International Equities (since 2002) and Emerging Markets Equities (since 1997) and lead Portfolio Manager for Global Equities (since 2002). He joined Vontobel as a co-portfolio manager of Emerging Markets Equities and International Equities in November 1994. Prior to that, Mr. Jain was an International Equity Analyst at Swiss Bank Corporation.
     

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

 

  DISTRIBUTOR AND TRANSFER AGENT     

Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, serves as the exclusive distributor (the “Distributor”) of the Fund’s shares. Goldman Sachs, 71 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, also serves as the Fund’s transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”) and, as such, performs various shareholder servicing functions.

For its transfer agency services, Goldman Sachs is entitled to receive a transfer agency fee equal, on an annualized basis, to 0.02% of average daily net assets with respect to Class R6 Shares, 0.04% of average daily net assets with respect to Institutional Shares and 0.19% of average daily net assets with respect to Class A, Class C, Class IR and Class R Shares.

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

 

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

The involvement of the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, other accounts and other activities of Goldman Sachs may present conflicts of interest with respect to the Fund or limit the Fund’s investment activities. Goldman Sachs is a worldwide, full service investment banking, broker dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. As such, it acts as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent and principal. In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs advises clients in all markets and transactions and purchases, sells, holds and recommends a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products for its own account or for the accounts of its customers and has other direct and indirect interests, in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loans and other markets in which the Fund may directly and indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from entities for which Goldman Sachs performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. The Investment Adviser and/or certain of its affiliates are the managers of the Goldman Sachs Funds. The Investment Adviser and its affiliates earn fees from this and other relationships with the Fund. Although these fees are generally based on asset levels, the fees

 

18


SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

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

There may be developments relating to the Fund or the Sub-Adviser that cause Intermediaries, including affiliates of the Adviser, to limit or restrict purchases into the Fund or into other vehicles or accounts managed by the Sub-Adviser while other Intermediaries continue to purchase shares the Fund.

Under a securities lending program, the Fund may retain an affiliate of the Investment Adviser to serve as a securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund engages in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. The Board of Trustees periodically reviews reports on portfolio securities loan transactions for which an affiliated lending agent has acted as lending agent. In addition, the Fund may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions in accordance with applicable law.

 

19


 

Distributions

 

The Fund pays distributions from its investment income and from net realized capital gains. You may choose to have distributions paid in:

    Cash
    Additional shares of the same class of the Fund
    Shares of the same or an equivalent class of another Goldman Sachs Fund. Special restrictions may apply. See the SAI.

You may indicate your election on your account application. Any changes may be submitted in writing or via telephone, in some instances, to the Transfer Agent (either directly or through your Intermediary) at any time before the record date for a particular distribution. If you do not indicate any choice, your distributions will be reinvested automatically in the Fund. Distributions from net investment income and net capital gains, if any, are declared and paid annually for the Fund. If cash distributions are elected with respect to the Fund’s annual distributions from net investment income, then cash distributions must also be elected with respect to the net short-term capital gains component, if any, of the Fund’s annual distributions.

The election to reinvest distributions in additional shares will not affect the tax treatment of such distributions, which will be treated as received by you and then used to purchase the shares.

The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may be subject to foreign withholding taxes. Under certain circumstances, the Fund may elect to pass-through these taxes to you. If this election is made, a proportionate amount of such taxes will be treated as income to you, which would allow you either (i) to credit such proportionate amount of foreign taxes against your U.S. federal income tax liability or (ii) to take such amount as an itemized deduction.

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

When you purchase shares of the Fund, part of the NAV per share may be represented by undistributed income and/or realized gains that have previously been earned by the Fund. Therefore, subsequent distributions on such shares from such income and/or realized gains may be taxable to you even if the NAV of the shares is, as a result of the distributions, reduced below the cost of such shares and the distributions (or portions thereof) represent a return of a portion of the purchase price.

 

20


 

Shareholder Guide

 

The following section will provide you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding buying and selling the Fund’s shares.

 

  HOW TO BUY SHARES     

Shares Offering

Shares of the Fund are continuously offered through the Distributor. The Fund and the Distributor will have the sole right to accept orders to purchase shares and reserve the right to reject any order in whole or in part.

How Can I Purchase Shares Of The Fund?

You may purchase shares of the Fund through certain intermediaries that have a relationship with Goldman Sachs, including banks, trust companies, brokers, registered investment advisers and other financial institutions (“Intermediaries”). Certain Intermediaries have been authorized by Goldman Sachs Trust II (the “Trust”) to accept purchase, redemption or exchange orders on behalf of the Fund for their customers (“Authorized Institutions”), and if approved by the Fund, may designate other financial intermediaries to accept such orders. You should contact your Intermediary to learn whether it is authorized to accept orders on behalf of the Fund (i.e., an Authorized Institution). In order to make an initial investment in the Fund you must furnish to your Intermediary the information in the account application.

The decision as to which class to purchase depends on the amount you invest, the intended length of the investment and your personal situation. You should contact your Intermediary to discuss which share class option is right for you.

Note: Intermediaries may receive different compensation for selling different share classes.

To open an account, contact your Intermediary. Customers of an Intermediary will normally give their order instructions to the Intermediary, and the Intermediary will, in turn, place the order with the Transfer Agent. Intermediaries are responsible for transmitting accepted orders and payments to the Transfer Agent within the time period agreed upon by them and will set times by which orders and payments must be received by them from their customers. The Trust, Transfer Agent, Investment Adviser and their affiliates will not be responsible for any loss in connection with orders that are not transmitted to the Transfer Agent by an Intermediary on a timely basis.

The Fund will be deemed to have received an order for purchase, redemption or exchange of Fund shares when the order is accepted in “proper form” by the Transfer Agent (or, if applicable, by an Authorized Institution) on a business day, and the order will be priced at the Fund’s current NAV per share (adjusted for any applicable sales charge) next determined after acceptance by the Transfer Agent (or, if applicable, by an Authorized Institution). For shareholders that place trades directly with the Fund’s Transfer Agent, proper form generally means that specific trade details and customer identifying information must be received by the Transfer Agent at the time an order is submitted. Intermediaries of the Fund may have different requirements regarding what constitutes proper form for trade instructions. Please contact your Intermediary for more information.

For purchases by check, the Fund will not accept checks drawn on foreign banks, third party checks, temporary checks, or cash or cash equivalents; e.g., cashier’s checks, official bank checks, money orders, traveler’s cheques or credit card checks. In limited situations involving the transfer of retirement assets, the Fund may accept cashier’s checks or official bank checks.

Class IR, Class R and Class R6 Shares are not sold directly to the public. Instead, Class IR, Class R and Class R6 Shares generally are available only to Section 401(k), 403(b), 457, profit sharing, money purchase pension, tax-sheltered annuity, defined benefit pension, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and non-qualified pension plans or other employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) or SIMPLE plans that are sponsored by one or more employers (including governmental or church employers) or employee organizations (“Employee Benefit Plans”). Such an Employee Benefit Plan must purchase Class IR, Class R or Class R6 Shares through an Intermediary using a plan level or omnibus account. Class IR Shares may also be sold to accounts established under a fee-based program that is sponsored and maintained by an Intermediary and that is approved by Goldman Sachs (“Eligible Fee-Based Program”). Class IR, Class R and Class R6 Shares are not available to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”), SEPs and SARSEPs; except that Class IR Shares are available to such accounts or plans to the extent they are purchased through an Eligible Fee-Based Program. Class R6 Shares may be purchased or redeemed only through plan administrators or recordkeepers that provide administration and/or recordkeeping to Employee Benefit Plans (or

 

21


through clearing firms acting on behalf of such plan administrators or recordkeepers) where there is an agreement with Goldman Sachs covering the purchase and redemption of Class R6 Shares.

Employee Benefit Plans generally may open an account and purchase Class IR, Class R and/or Class R6 Shares through Intermediaries, financial planners, Employee Benefit Plan administrators and other financial intermediaries. Class IR, Class R and/or Class R6 Shares may not be available through certain Intermediaries. Additional shares may be purchased through an Employee Benefit Plan’s administrator or record-keeper.

What Is My Minimum Investment In The Fund?

For each of your accounts investing in Class A or Class C Shares, the following investment minimums must be met:

 

                                                                                                                                                           
     Initial   Additional*

Regular Accounts

  $1,000   $50

Employee Benefit Plans

  No Minimum   No Minimum

Uniform Gift/Transfer to Minors Accounts (UGMA/UTMA)

  $250   $50

Individual Retirement Accounts and Coverdell ESAs

  $250   $50

Automatic Investment Plan Accounts

  $250   $50
   

 

* No minimum additional investment requirements are imposed with respect to investors trading through Intermediaries who aggregate shares in omnibus or similar accounts (e.g., employee benefit plan accounts, wrap program accounts or traditional brokerage house accounts). A maximum purchase limitation of $1,000,000 in the aggregate normally applies to purchases of Class C Shares across all Goldman Sachs Funds.

For Institutional Shares, the minimum initial investment is $1,000,000 for individual or Institutional Investors, alone or in combination with other assets under the management of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, except that no initial minimum will be imposed on (i) Employee Benefit Plans that hold their Institutional Shares through plan-level or omnibus accounts; or (ii) investment advisers investing for accounts for which they receive asset-based fees where the investment adviser or its Intermediary purchases Institutional Shares through an omnibus account. For this purpose, “Institutional Investors” shall include “wrap” account sponsors (provided they have an agreement covering the arrangement with the Distributor), corporations, qualified non-profit organizations, charitable trusts, foundations and endowments, state, county, city or any instrumentality, department, authority or agency thereof, and banks, trust companies or other depository institutions investing for their own account or on behalf of their clients.

No minimum amount is required for initial purchases in Class IR, Class R and Class R6 Shares or additional investments in Institutional, Class IR, Class R or Class R6 Shares.

The minimum investment requirement for Class A, Class C and Institutional Shares may be waived for: (i) Goldman Sachs, its affiliates (including the Trust) or their respective Trustees, officers, partners, directors or employees (including retired employees and former partners), as well as certain individuals related to such investors, including spouses or domestic partners, minor children including those of their domestic partners, other family members residing in the same household, and/or financial dependents, provided that all of the above are designated as such with an Intermediary or the Fund’s Transfer Agent; (ii) advisory clients of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management and accounts for which The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, N.A. acts in a fiduciary capacity (i.e., as agent or trustee); (iii) certain mutual fund “wrap” programs at the discretion of the Trust’s officers; and (iv) other investors at the discretion of the Trust’s officers. No minimum amount is required for additional investments in such accounts.

What Should I Know When I Purchase Shares Through An Intermediary?

If shares of the Fund are held in an account maintained and serviced by your Intermediary, all recordkeeping, transaction processing and payments of distributions relating to your account will be performed by your Intermediary, and not by the Fund and its Transfer Agent. Since the Fund will have no record of your transactions, you should contact your Intermediary to purchase, redeem or exchange shares, to make changes in or give instructions concerning your account or to obtain information about your account. The transfer of shares from an account with one Intermediary to an account with another Intermediary involves special procedures and may require you to obtain historical purchase information about the shares in the account from your Intermediary. If your Intermediary’s relationship with Goldman Sachs is terminated, and you do not transfer your account to another Intermediary, the Trust reserves the right to redeem your shares. The Trust will not be responsible for any loss in an investor’s account or tax liability resulting from a redemption. Certain Intermediaries may be authorized to accept, on behalf of the Trust, purchase, redemption and exchange orders placed by or on behalf of their customers, and if approved by the Trust, to designate other financial intermediaries to accept such orders.

 

22


SHAREHOLDER GUIDE

 

Intermediaries that invest in shares on behalf of their customers may charge fees directly to their customer accounts in connection with their investments. You should contact your Intermediary for information regarding such charges, as these fees, if any, may affect the return such customers realize with respect to their investments.

The Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates may make payments or provide services to Intermediaries to promote the sale, distribution and/or servicing of shares of the Fund and other Goldman Sachs Funds, except that the Investment Adviser, Distributor and their affiliates do not make such payments on behalf of Class R6 Shares. These payments are made out of the Investment Adviser’s, Distributor’s and/or their affiliates’ own assets, and are not an additional charge to the Fund. The payments are in addition to the distribution and service fees, service fees and sales charges described in the Prospectus. Such payments are intended to compensate Intermediaries for, among other things: marketing shares of the Fund and other Goldman Sachs Funds, which may consist of payments relating to the Fund’s inclusion on preferred or recommended fund lists or in certain sales programs sponsored by the Intermediaries; access to the Intermediaries’ registered representatives or salespersons, including at conferences and other meetings; assistance in training and education of personnel; marketing support; and/or other specified services intended to assist in the distribution and marketing of the Fund and other Goldman Sachs Funds. The payments may also, to the extent permitted by applicable regulations, contribute to various non-cash and cash incentive arrangements to promote the sale of shares, as well as sponsor various educational programs, sales contests and/or promotions. The payments by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates, which are in addition to the fees paid for these services by the Fund, may also compensate Intermediaries for sub-accounting, sub-transfer agency, administrative and/or shareholder processing services. These additional payments may exceed amounts earned on these assets by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates for the performance of these or similar services. The amount of these additional payments is normally not expected to exceed 0.50% (annualized) of the amount sold or invested through the Intermediaries. In addition, certain Intermediaries may have access to certain services from the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates, including research reports and economic analysis, and portfolio analysis tools. In certain cases, the Intermediary may not pay for these services. Please refer to the “Payments to Intermediaries” section of the SAI for more information about these payments and services.

The payments made by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates and the services provided by an Intermediary may differ for different Intermediaries. The presence of these payments, receipt of these services and the basis on which an Intermediary compensates its registered representatives or salespersons may create an incentive for a particular Intermediary, registered representative or salesperson to highlight, feature or recommend the Fund based, at least in part, on the level of compensation paid. You should contact your Intermediary for more information about the payments it receives and any potential conflicts of interest.

What Else Should I Know About Share Purchases?

The Trust reserves the right to:

    Refuse to open an account or require an Intermediary to refuse to open an account if you fail to (i) provide a taxpayer identification number, a Social Security Number or other government-issued identification (e.g., for an individual, a driver’s license or passport); or (ii) certify that such number is correct (if required to do so under applicable law).
    Reject or restrict any purchase or exchange order by a particular purchaser (or group of related purchasers) for any reason in its discretion. Without limiting the foregoing, the Trust may reject or restrict purchase and exchange orders by a particular purchaser (or group of related purchasers) when a pattern of frequent purchases, sales or exchanges of shares of the Fund is evident, or if purchases, sales, or exchanges are, or a subsequent redemption might be, of a size that would disrupt the management of the Fund.
    Close the Fund to new investors from time to time and reopen the Fund whenever it is deemed appropriate by the Fund’s Investment Adviser.
    Provide for, modify or waive the minimum investment requirements.
    Modify the manner in which shares are offered.
    Modify the sales charge rate applicable to future purchases of shares.

Shares of the Fund are only registered for sale in the United States and certain of its territories. Generally, shares of the Fund will only be offered or sold to “U.S. persons” and all offerings or other solicitation activities will be conducted within the United States, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”).

The Fund may allow you to purchase shares through an Intermediary with securities instead of cash if consistent with the Fund’s investment policies and operations and approved by the Investment Adviser.

 

23


 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Trust and Goldman Sachs reserve the right to reject or restrict purchase or exchange requests from any investor. The Trust and Goldman Sachs will not be liable for any loss resulting from rejected purchase or exchange orders.

Please be advised that abandoned or unclaimed property laws for certain states (to which your account may be subject) require financial organizations to transfer (escheat) unclaimed property (including shares of the Fund) to the appropriate state if no activity occurs in an account for a period of time specified by state law.

Customer Identification Program.  Federal law requires the Fund to obtain, verify and record identifying information for certain investors, which will be reviewed solely for customer identification purposes, which may include the name, residential or business street address, date of birth (for an individual), Social Security Number or taxpayer identification number or other information for each investor who opens an account directly with the Fund. Applications without the required information may not be accepted by the Fund. Throughout the life of your account, the Fund may request updated identifying information in accordance with their Customer Identification Program. After accepting an application, to the extent permitted by applicable law or their Customer Identification Program, the Fund reserves the right to: (i) place limits on transactions in any account until the identity of the investor is verified; (ii) refuse an investment in the Fund; or (iii) involuntarily redeem an investor’s shares and close an account in the event that the Fund is unable to verify an investor’s identity or is unable to obtain all required information. The Fund and its agents will not be responsible for any loss or tax liability in an investor’s account resulting from the investor’s delay in providing all required information or from closing an account and redeeming an investor’s shares pursuant to the Customer Identification Program.

How Are Shares Priced?

The price you pay when you buy shares is the Fund’s next-determined NAV per share (as adjusted for any applicable sales charge) after the Transfer Agent (or, if applicable, an Authorized Institution) has received and accepted your order in proper form. The price you receive when you sell shares is the Fund’s next-determined NAV per share (adjusted for any applicable CDSCs) after the Transfer Agent (or, if applicable, an Authorized Institution) has received and accepted your order in proper form, for a share class with the redemption proceeds reduced by any applicable charges (e.g., CDSCs). Each class generally calculates its NAV as follows:

 

NAV =  

(Value of Assets of the Class)

– (Liabilities of the Class)

  Number of Outstanding Shares of the Class

The Fund’s investments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value on the basis of quotations furnished by pricing services or provided by securities dealers. If accurate quotations are not readily available, if the Fund’s fund accounting agent is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Fund’s NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value, the fair value of the Fund’s investments may be determined in good faith under valuation procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Thus, such pricing may be based on subjective judgments and it is possible that the prices resulting from such valuation procedures may differ materially from the value realized on a sale. Cases where there is no clear indication of the value of the Fund’s investments include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source or a price is unavailable.

To the extent the Fund invests in foreign equity securities, “fair value” prices are provided by an independent fair value service in accordance with the fair value procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Fair value prices are used because many foreign markets operate at times that do not coincide with those of the major U.S. markets. Events that could affect the values of foreign portfolio holdings may occur between the close of the foreign market and the time of determining the NAV, and would not otherwise be reflected in the NAV. If the independent fair value service does not provide a fair value price for a particular security, or if the price provided does not meet the established criteria for the Fund, the Fund will price that security at the most recent closing price for that security on its principal exchange.

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

 

24


SHAREHOLDER GUIDE

 

governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions such as reorganizations, mergers and buy-outs; corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading suspensions. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which the Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be followed to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.

One effect of using an independent fair value service and fair valuation may be to reduce stale pricing arbitrage opportunities presented by the pricing of Fund shares. However, it involves the risk that the values used by the Fund to price its investments may be different from those used by other investment companies and investors to price the same investments.

Investments in other open-end registered investment companies (if any), excluding investments in ETFs (if any), are valued based on the NAV of those open-end registered investment companies (which may use fair value pricing as discussed in their prospectuses).

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

    NAV per share of each share class is generally calculated by the Fund’s fund accounting agent on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. Fund shares will generally not be priced on any day the New York Stock Exchange is closed.
    The Trust reserves the right to reprocess purchase (including dividend reinvestments), redemption and exchange transactions that were processed at a NAV that is subsequently adjusted, and to recover amounts from (or distribute amounts to) shareholders accordingly based on the official closing NAV, as adjusted.
    The Trust reserves the right to advance the time by which purchase and redemption orders must be received for same business day credit as otherwise permitted by the SEC.

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

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

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

The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Fund’s accounting agent to calculate the NAV per share of each share class of the Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of the Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Fund may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures, and it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be followed to price portfolio securities when determining the Fund’s NAV.

 

25


 

  COMMON QUESTIONS APPLICABLE TO THE PURCHASE OF CLASS A SHARES     

What is the Offering Price of Class A Shares?

The offering price of Class A Shares of the Fund is the next determined NAV per share plus an initial sales charge paid to Goldman Sachs at the time of purchase of shares.  The sales charge varies depending upon the amount you purchase. In some cases, described below, the initial sales charge may be eliminated altogether, and the offering price will be the NAV per share. The current sales charges and commissions paid to Intermediaries for Class A Shares of the Fund are as follows:

 

Amount of Purchase

(including sales charge, if any)

  Sales Charge as
Percentage of
Offering Price
    Sales Charge
as Percentage
of Net Amount
Invested
    Maximum Dealer
Allowance as a
Percentage of
Offering Price
*
 

Less than $50,000

    5.50     5.82     5.00

$50,000 up to (but less than) $100,000

    4.75        4.99        4.00   

$100,000 up to (but less than) $250,000

    3.75        3.90        3.00   

$250,000 up to (but less than) $500,000

    2.75        2.83        2.25   

$500,000 up to (but less than) $1 million

    2.00        2.04        1.75   

$1 million or more

    0.00 **      0.00 **      ***   
     

 

    * Dealer’s allowance may be changed periodically. During special promotions, the entire sales charge may be reallowed to Intermediaries. Intermediaries to whom substantially the entire sales charge is reallowed may be deemed to be “underwriters” under the Securities Act.
  ** No sales charge is payable at the time of purchase of Class A Shares of $1 million or more, but a CDSC of 1.00% may be imposed in the event of certain redemptions within 18 months. For more information about Class A Shares’ CDSCs, please see “What Else Do I Need to Know About Class A Shares’ CDSC?” below.
*** The Distributor may pay a one-time commission to Intermediaries who initiate or are responsible for purchases of $1 million or more of shares of the Fund equal to 1.00% of the amount under $3 million, 0.50% of the next $2 million, and 0.25% thereafter. In instances where this one-time commission is not paid to a particular Intermediary (including Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management Unit and retirement accounts including Employee Benefit Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts), the CDSC on Class A Shares, generally, will be waived. The Distributor may also pay, with respect to all or a portion of the amount purchased, a commission in accordance with the foregoing schedule to Intermediaries who initiate or are responsible for purchases of $1 million or more by certain “wrap” accounts. Purchases by such accounts will be made at NAV with no initial sales charge, but if shares are redeemed within 18 months, a CDSC of 1.00% may be imposed upon the account. In addition, Intermediaries will remit to the Distributor such payments received in connection with “wrap” accounts in the event that shares are redeemed within 18 months.

You should note that the actual sales charge that appears in your mutual fund transaction confirmation may differ slightly from the rate disclosed above in the Prospectus due to rounding calculations.

As indicated in the preceding chart, and as discussed further below and in the section titled “How Can The Sales Charge On Class A Shares Be Reduced?”, you may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to pay reduced sales charges on your purchases of Class A Shares or have those charges waived entirely. To take advantage of these discounts, your Intermediary must notify the Fund’s Transfer Agent at the time of your purchase order that a discount may apply to your current purchases. You may also be required to provide appropriate documentation to receive these discounts, including:

 

  (i) Information or records regarding shares of the Fund or other Goldman Sachs Funds held in all accounts (e.g., retirement accounts) of the shareholder at all Intermediaries; or

 

  (ii) Information or records regarding shares of the Fund or other Goldman Sachs Funds held at any Intermediary by related parties of the shareholder, such as members of the same family or household.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Class A Shares’ CDSC?

Purchases of $1 million or more of Class A Shares will be made at NAV with no initial sales charge. However, if you redeem shares within 18 months after the beginning of the month in which the purchase was made, a CDSC of 1.00% may be imposed. The CDSC may not be imposed if your Intermediary agrees with the Distributor to return all or an applicable prorated portion of its commission to the Distributor. The CDSC is waived on redemptions in certain circumstances. See “In What Situations May The CDSC On Class A Or C Shares Be Waived Or Reduced?” below.

When Are Class A Shares Not Subject To A Sales Load?

Class A Shares of the Fund may be sold at NAV without payment of any sales charge to the following individuals and entities:

  ¢   Goldman Sachs, its affiliates or their respective officers, partners, directors or employees (including retired employees and former partners), any partnership of which Goldman Sachs is a general partner, any Trustee or officer of the Trust and designated family members of any of these individuals;

 

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    Qualified employee benefit plans of Goldman Sachs;
    Trustees or directors of investment companies for which Goldman Sachs or an affiliate acts as sponsor;
    Any employee or registered representative of any Intermediary (or such Intermediaries’ affiliates and subsidiaries) or their respective spouses or domestic partners, children and parents;
    Banks, trust companies or other types of depository institutions;
    Any state, county or city, or any instrumentality, department, authority or agency thereof, which is prohibited by applicable investment laws from paying a sales charge or commission in connection with the purchase of shares of the Fund;
    Employee Benefit Plans, other than Employee Benefit Plans that purchase Class A Shares through brokerage relationships in which sales charges are customarily imposed. Under such circumstances, Plans will be assessed sales charges as described further in “Shareholder Guide—Common Questions Applicable to the Purchase of Class A Shares;”
    Investors who purchase Class A Shares through an omnibus account sponsored by an Intermediary that has an agreement with the Distributor covering such investors to offer Class A Shares without charging an initial sales charge;
    Insurance company separate accounts that make the Fund available as an underlying investment in certain group annuity contracts;
    “Wrap” accounts for the benefit of clients of broker-dealers, financial institutions or financial planners, provided they have entered into an agreement with GSAM specifying aggregate minimums and certain operating policies and standards;
    Investment advisers investing for accounts for which they receive asset-based fees;
    Accounts over which GSAM or its advisory affiliates have investment discretion;
    Shareholders who roll over distributions from any tax-qualified Employee Benefit Plan or tax-sheltered annuity to an IRA which invests in the Goldman Sachs Funds if the tax-qualified Employee Benefit Plan or tax-sheltered annuity receives administrative services provided by certain third party administrators that have entered into a special service arrangement with Goldman Sachs relating to such plan or annuity;
    State sponsored 529 college savings plans;
    Investors that purchase Class A Shares through the GS Retirement Plan Plus and Goldman Sachs 401(k) Programs; or
    Former shareholders of certain funds who (i) received shares of a Goldman Sachs Fund in connection with a reorganization of an acquired fund into a Goldman Sachs Fund, (ii) had previously qualified for purchases of Class A Shares of the acquired funds without the imposition of a sales load under the guidelines of the applicable acquired fund family, and (iii) as of August 24, 2012 held their Goldman Sachs Fund shares directly with the Goldman Sachs Funds’ Transfer Agent, as long as they continue to hold the shares directly at the Transfer Agent.

You must certify eligibility for any of the above exemptions on your account application and notify your Intermediary and the Fund if you no longer are eligible for the exemption.

The Fund will grant you an exemption subject to confirmation of your eligibility by your Intermediary. You may be charged a fee by your Intermediary.

How Can The Sales Charge On Class A Shares Be Reduced?

   

Right of Accumulation:  When buying Class A Shares in Goldman Sachs Funds, your current aggregate investment determines the initial sales load you pay. You may qualify for reduced sales charges when the current market value of holdings across Class A and/or Class C Shares, plus new purchases, reaches $50,000 or more. Class A and/or Class C Shares of any of the Goldman Sachs Funds may be combined under the Right of Accumulation. If the Fund’s Transfer Agent is properly notified, the “Amount of Purchase” in the chart in the section “What Is The Offering Price of Class A Shares?” will be deemed to include all Class A and/or Class C Shares of the Goldman Sachs Funds that were held at the time of purchase by any of the following persons: (i) you, your spouse or domestic partner, your parents and your children; and (ii) any trustee, guardian or other fiduciary of a single trust estate or a single fiduciary account. This includes, for example, any Class A and/or Class C Shares held at an Intermediary other than the one handling your current purchase. For purposes of applying the Right of Accumulation, shares of the Fund and any other Goldman Sachs Funds purchased by an existing client of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management or GS Ayco Holding LLC will be combined with Class A and/or Class C Shares and other assets held by all other Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management accounts or accounts of GS Ayco Holding LLC, respectively. In addition, under some circumstances, Class A and/or Class C Shares of the Fund and Class A and/or Class C Shares of any other Goldman Sachs Fund purchased by partners, directors, officers or employees of certain organizations may be combined for the purpose of determining whether a purchase will qualify for the Right of Accumulation and, if qualifying, the applicable sales charge level. To qualify for a reduced sales load, you or your Intermediary must notify the Fund’s Transfer Agent at the time of investment that a quantity discount is applicable. If you do not notify your Intermediary at the time of your current purchase or

 

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a future purchase that you qualify for a quantity discount, you may not receive the benefit of a reduced sales charge that might otherwise apply. Use of this option is subject to a check of appropriate records.

In some circumstances, other Class A and/or Class C Shares may be aggregated with your current purchase under the Right of Accumulation as described in the SAI. For purposes of determining the “Amount of Purchase,” all Class A and/or Class C Shares currently held will be valued at their current market value.

  ¢   Statement of Intention:  You may obtain a reduced sales charge by means of a written Statement of Intention which expresses your non-binding commitment to invest (not counting reinvestments of dividends and distributions) in the aggregate $50,000 or more within a period of 13 months in Class A Shares of one or more of the Goldman Sachs Funds. Any investments you make during the period will receive the discounted sales load based on the full amount of your investment commitment. Purchases made during the previous 90 days may be included; however, capital appreciation does not apply toward these combined purchases. If the investment commitment of the Statement of Intention is not met prior to the expiration of the 13-month period, the entire amount will be subject to the higher applicable sales charge unless the failure to meet the investment commitment is due to the death of the investor. By selecting the Statement of Intention, you authorize the Transfer Agent to escrow and redeem Class A Shares in your account to pay this additional charge if the Statement of Intention is not met. You must, however, inform the Transfer Agent (either directly or through your Intermediary) that the Statement of Intention is in effect each time shares are purchased. Each purchase will be made at the public offering price applicable to a single transaction of the dollar amount specified on the Statement of Intention. The SAI has more information about the Statement of Intention, which you should read carefully.

 

  A COMMON QUESTION APPLICABLE TO THE PURCHASE OF CLASS C SHARES     

What Is The Offering Price Of Class C Shares?

You may purchase Class C Shares of the Fund at the next determined NAV without paying an initial sales charge. However, if you redeem Class C Shares within 12 months of purchase, a CDSC of 1.00% will normally be deducted from the redemption proceeds. In connection with purchases by Employee Benefit Plans, where Class C Shares are redeemed within 12 months of purchase, a CDSC of 1.00% may be imposed upon the plan sponsor or third party administrator. Class C Shares acquired in exchange for shares subject to a CDSC will be subject to the CDSC, if any, of the shares originally held. No CDSC is imposed in connection with an exchange of Class C Shares at the time of such exchange. When Class C Shares are exchanged for Class C Shares of another fund, the period of time that such shares will be subject to a CDSC (if any) will be measured as of the date of the original purchase. With respect to such shares held by Employee Benefit Plans, the CDSC may be imposed on the plan sponsor or third party administrator.

Proceeds from the CDSC are payable to the Distributor and may be used in whole or in part to defray the Distributor’s expenses related to providing distribution-related services to the Fund in connection with the sale of Class C Shares, including the payment of compensation to Intermediaries. A commission equal to 1.00% of the amount invested is normally paid by the Distributor to Intermediaries.

 

  COMMON QUESTIONS APPLICABLE TO THE PURCHASE OF CLASS A AND C SHARES     

What Else Do I Need To Know About The CDSC On Class A Or C Shares?

  ¢   The CDSC is based on the lesser of the NAV of the shares at the time of redemption or the original offering price (which is the original NAV).
  ¢   No CDSC is charged on shares acquired from reinvested dividends or capital gains distributions.
  ¢   No CDSC is charged on the per share appreciation of your account over the initial purchase price.
  ¢   When counting the number of months since a purchase of Class A or Class C Shares was made, all purchases made during a month will be combined and considered to have been made on the first day of that month.
  ¢   To keep your CDSC as low as possible, each time you place a request to sell shares, the Fund will first sell any shares in your account that do not carry a CDSC and then the shares in your account that have been held the longest.

In What Situations May The CDSC On Class A Or C Shares Be Waived Or Reduced?

The CDSC on Class A and Class C Shares that are subject to a CDSC may be waived or reduced if the redemption relates to:

  ¢   Mandatory retirement distributions or loans to participants or beneficiaries from Employee Benefit Plans;
  ¢   Hardship withdrawals by a participant or beneficiary in an Employee Benefit Plan;

 

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    The separation from service by a participant or beneficiary in an Employee Benefit Plan;
    Excess contributions distributed from an Employee Benefit Plan;
    Distributions from a qualified Employee Benefit Plan invested in the Goldman Sachs Funds which are being rolled over to an IRA in the same share class of a Goldman Sachs Fund;
    The death or disability (as defined in Section 72(m)(7) of the Code of a shareholder, participant or beneficiary in an Employee Benefit Plan;
    Satisfying the minimum distribution requirements of the Code;
    Establishing “substantially equal periodic payments” as described under Section 72(t)(2) of the Code;
    Redemption proceeds which are to be reinvested in accounts or non-registered products over which GSAM or its advisory affiliates have investment discretion;
    A systematic withdrawal plan. The Fund reserves the right to limit such redemptions, on an annual basis, to 12% of the value of your Class C Shares and 10% of the value of your Class A Shares;
    Redemptions or exchanges of Fund shares held through an Employee Benefit Plan using the Fund as part of a qualified default investment alternative or “QDIA”; or
    Other redemptions, at the discretion of the Trust’s officers, relating to shares purchased through Employee Benefit Plans.

 

  HOW TO SELL SHARES     

How Can I Sell Shares Of The Fund?

Generally, shares may be sold (redeemed) only through Intermediaries. Customers of an Intermediary will give their redemption instructions to the Intermediary, and the Intermediary will, in turn, place the order with the Transfer Agent. On any business day the Fund is open, the Fund will generally redeem its Shares upon request at their next-determined NAV per share (subject to any applicable CDSC) after the Transfer Agent (or, if applicable, the Authorized Institution) has received and accepted a redemption order in proper form, as described under “How To Buy Shares—How Can I Purchase Shares Of The Fund?” above. Redemptions may be requested by electronic trading platform (through your Intermediary), in writing or by telephone (unless the Intermediary opts out of the telephone redemption privilege on the account application). You should contact your Intermediary to discuss redemptions and redemption proceeds. The Fund may transfer redemption proceeds to an account with your Intermediary. In the alternative, your Intermediary may request that redemption proceeds be sent to you by check or wire (if the wire instructions are designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent).

When Do I Need A Medallion Signature Guarantee To Redeem Shares?

Generally, a redemption request must be in writing and signed by an authorized person with a Medallion signature guarantee if:

    A request is made in writing to redeem Class A, Class C, Class IR or Class R Shares in an amount over $50,000 via check;
    You would like the redemption proceeds sent to an address that is not your address of record; or
    You would like the redemption proceeds sent to a domestic bank account that is not designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent.

A Medallion signature guarantee must be obtained from a bank, brokerage firm or other financial intermediary that is a member of an approved Medallion Guarantee Program or that is otherwise approved by the Trust. A notary public cannot provide a Medallion signature guarantee. The written request may be confirmed by telephone with both the requesting party and the designated Intermediary to verify instructions. Additional documentation may be required.

What Do I Need To Know About Telephone Redemption Requests?

The Trust, the Distributor and the Transfer Agent will not be liable for any loss or tax liability you may incur in the event that the Trust accepts unauthorized telephone redemption requests that the Trust reasonably believes to be genuine. The Trust may accept telephone redemption instructions from any person identifying himself or herself as the owner of an account or the owner’s registered representative where the owner has not declined in writing to use this service. Your Intermediary may submit redemption requests by telephone on your behalf. Thus, you risk possible losses if a telephone redemption is not authorized by you.

In an effort to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent redemption and exchange requests by telephone, Goldman Sachs and Boston Financial Data Services, Inc. (“BFDS”) each employ reasonable procedures specified by the Trust to confirm that such instructions are genuine. The following general policies are currently in effect:

    Telephone requests are recorded.

 

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    Proceeds of telephone redemption requests will be sent to your address of record or authorized account designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent (unless you provide written instructions and a Medallion signature guarantee indicating another address or account).
    For the 30-day period following a change of address, telephone redemptions will only be filled by a wire transfer to the authorized account designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent (see immediately preceding bullet point). In order to receive the redemption by check during this time period, the redemption request must be in the form of a written, Medallion signature guaranteed letter.
    The telephone redemption option does not apply to shares held in an account maintained and serviced by your Intermediary. If your shares are held in an account with an Intermediary, you should contact your registered representative of record, who may make telephone redemptions on your behalf.
    The telephone redemption option may be modified or terminated at any time without prior notice.
    The Fund may allow redemptions via check up to $50,000 in Class A, Class C, Class IR and Class R Shares requested via telephone.

Note: It may be difficult to make telephone redemptions in times of unusual economic or market conditions.

How Are Redemption Proceeds Paid?

By Wire:  You may arrange for your redemption proceeds to be paid as federal funds to an account with your Intermediary or to a domestic bank account designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent. In addition, redemption proceeds may be transmitted through an electronic trading platform to an account with your Intermediary. The following general policies govern wiring redemption proceeds:

    Redemption proceeds will normally be paid in federal funds, between one and three business days following receipt of a properly executed wire transfer redemption request. In certain circumstances, however (such as unusual market conditions or in cases of very large redemptions or excessive trading), it may take up to seven days to pay redemption proceeds.
    Redemption requests may only be postponed or suspended for longer than seven days as permitted under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act if (i) the New York Stock Exchange is closed for trading or trading is restricted; (ii) an emergency exists which makes the disposal of securities owned by the Fund or the fair determination of the value of the Fund’s net assets not reasonably practicable; or (iii) the SEC, by order or regulation, permits the suspension of the right of redemption.
    If you are selling shares you recently paid for by check or purchased by Automated Clearing House (“ACH”), the Fund will pay you when your check or ACH has cleared, which may take up to 15 days.
    If the Federal Reserve Bank is closed on the day that the redemption proceeds would ordinarily be wired, wiring the redemption proceeds may be delayed until the Federal Reserve Bank reopens.
    To change the bank wiring instructions designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent, you must send written instructions signed by an authorized person designated in the current records of the Transfer Agent. A Medallion signature guarantee may be required if you are requesting a redemption in conjunction with the change.
    None of the Trust, the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs assumes any responsibility for the performance of your bank or Intermediary in the transfer process. If a problem with such performance arises, you should deal directly with your bank or Intermediary.

By Check:  You may elect to receive your redemption proceeds by check. Redemption proceeds paid by check will normally be mailed to the address of record within three business days of receipt of a properly executed redemption request except in certain circumstances (such as those set forth above with respect to wire transfer redemption requests). If you are selling shares you recently paid for by check or ACH, the Fund will pay you when your check or ACH has cleared, which may take up to 15 days.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Redemptions?

The following generally applies to redemption requests:

    Additional documentation may be required when deemed appropriate by the Transfer Agent. A redemption request will not be in proper form until such additional documentation has been received.
    Intermediaries are responsible for the timely transmittal of redemption requests by their customers to the Transfer Agent. In order to facilitate the timely transmittal of redemption requests, Intermediaries may set times by which they must receive redemption requests. Intermediaries may also require additional documentation from you.

 

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The Trust reserves the right to:

  ¢   Redeem your shares in the event your Intermediary’s relationship with Goldman Sachs is terminated and you do not transfer your account to another Intermediary or in the event that the Fund is no longer an option in your Employee Benefit Plan or no longer available through your Eligible Fee-Based Program.
  ¢   Redeem your shares if your account balance is below the required Fund minimum. The Fund will not redeem your shares on this basis if the value of your account falls below the minimum account balance solely as a result of market conditions. The Fund will give you 60 days prior written notice to allow you to purchase sufficient additional shares of the Fund in order to avoid such redemption. Different rules may apply to investors who have established brokerage accounts with Goldman Sachs in accordance with the terms and conditions of their account agreements.
  ¢   Subject to applicable law, redeem your shares in other circumstances determined by the Board of Trustees to be in the best interest of the Trust.
  ¢   Pay redemptions by a distribution in-kind of securities (instead of cash). If you receive redemption proceeds in-kind, you should expect to incur transaction costs upon the disposition of those securities. In addition, if you receive redemption proceeds in-kind, you will be subject to market gains or losses upon the disposition of those securities.
  ¢   Reinvest any amounts (e.g., dividends, distributions or redemption proceeds) which you have elected to receive by check should your check remain uncashed for more than 180 days. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed checks. Your check will be reinvested in your account at the NAV on the day of the reinvestment. When reinvested, those amounts are subject to the risk of loss like any Fund investment. If you elect to receive distributions in cash and a check remains uncashed for more than 180 days, your cash election may be changed automatically to reinvest and your future dividend and capital gains distributions will be reinvested in the Fund at the NAV as of the date of payment of the distribution. This provision may not apply to certain retirement or qualified accounts, accounts with a non-U.S. address or closed accounts. Your participation in a systematic withdrawal program may be terminated if a check remains uncashed.
  ¢   Charge an additional fee in the event a redemption is made via wire transfer.

None of the Trust, the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs will be responsible for any loss in an investor’s account or tax liability resulting from an involuntary redemption.

Can I Reinvest Redemption Proceeds In The Same Or Another Goldman Sachs Fund?

For Class A and Class C Shares you may redeem shares of the Fund and reinvest a portion or all of the redemption proceeds in the same share class of another Goldman Sachs Fund at NAV. To be eligible for this privilege, you must have held the shares you want to redeem for at least 30 days and you must reinvest the share proceeds within 90 days after you redeem. You should obtain and read the applicable prospectuses before investing in any other Goldman Sachs Fund.

You may reinvest redemption proceeds as follows:

  ¢   If you pay a CDSC upon redemption of Class A or Class C Shares and then reinvest in Class A or Class C Shares of another Goldman Sachs Fund as described above, your account will be credited with the amount of the CDSC you paid. The reinvested shares will, however, continue to be subject to a CDSC. The holding period of the shares acquired through reinvestment will include the holding period of the redeemed shares for purposes of computing the CDSC payable upon a subsequent redemption.
  ¢   The reinvestment privilege may be exercised at any time in connection with transactions in which the proceeds are reinvested at NAV in a tax-sheltered Employee Benefit Plan. In other cases, the reinvestment privilege may be exercised once per year upon receipt of a written request.
  ¢   You may be subject to tax as a result of a redemption. You should consult your tax adviser concerning the tax consequences of a redemption and reinvestment.

Can I Exchange My Investment From The Fund To Another Goldman Sachs Fund?

You may exchange shares of the Fund at NAV without the imposition of an initial sales charge or CDSC, if applicable, at the time of exchange for certain shares of another Goldman Sachs Fund. Redemption (including by exchange) of certain Goldman Sachs Funds offered in other prospectuses may, however, be subject to a redemption fee for shares that are held for either 30 or 60 days or less, subject to certain exceptions as described in those Goldman Sachs Funds’ prospectuses. The exchange privilege may be materially modified or withdrawn at any time upon 60 days written notice. You should contact your Intermediary to arrange for exchanges of shares of the Fund for shares of another Goldman Sachs Fund.

You should keep in mind the following factors when making or considering an exchange:

  ¢   You should obtain and carefully read the prospectus of the Goldman Sachs Fund you are acquiring before making an exchange. You should be aware that not all Goldman Sachs Funds may offer all share classes.

 

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    Currently, the Fund does not impose any charge for exchanges, although the Fund may impose a charge in the future.
    The exchanged shares of the new Goldman Sachs Fund may later be exchanged for shares of the same class of the original Fund held at the next determined NAV without the imposition of an initial sales charge or CDSC (but subject to any applicable redemption fee). However, if additional shares of the new Goldman Sachs Fund were purchased after the initial exchange, and that Fund’s shares do not impose a sales charge or CDSC, then the applicable sales charge or CDSC of the original Fund’s shares will be imposed upon the exchange of those shares.
    When you exchange shares subject to a CDSC, no CDSC will be charged at that time. However, for purposes of determining the amount of CDSC applicable to the shares acquired in the exchange, the length of time you have owned the shares will be measured from the date you acquired the original shares subject to a CDSC, and the amount and terms of the CDSC will be those applicable to the original shares acquired, and will not be affected by a subsequent exchange.
    Eligible investors may exchange certain classes of shares for another class of shares of the same Fund. For further information, contact your Intermediary.
    All exchanges which represent an initial investment in a Goldman Sachs Fund must satisfy the minimum initial investment requirement of that Fund. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Trust. Exchanges into a Goldman Sachs Fund need not meet the traditional minimum investment requirements for that Goldman Sachs Fund if the entire balance of the original Fund account is exchanged.
    Exchanges are available only in states where exchanges may be legally made.
    It may be difficult to make telephone exchanges in times of unusual economic or market conditions.
    Goldman Sachs and BFDS may use reasonable procedures described above in “How to Sell Shares—What Do I Need To Know About Telephone Redemption Requests?” in an effort to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent telephone exchange requests.
    Normally, a telephone exchange will be made only to an identically registered account.
    Exchanges into Goldman Sachs Funds or certain share classes of Goldman Sachs Funds that are closed to new investors may be restricted.
    Exchanges into the Fund from another Goldman Sachs Fund may be subject to any redemption fee imposed by the other Goldman Sachs Fund.

For federal income tax purposes, an exchange from one Goldman Sachs Fund to another is treated as a redemption of the shares surrendered in the exchange, on which you may be subject to tax, followed by a purchase of shares received in the exchange. Exchanges within Employee Benefit Plan accounts will not result in capital gains or loss for federal or state income tax purposes. You should consult your tax adviser concerning the tax consequences of an exchange.

 

  SHAREHOLDER SERVICES     

Can I Arrange To Have Automatic Investments Made On A Regular Basis?

You may be able to make automatic investments in Class A and Class C Shares through your bank via ACH transfer or via bank draft each month. The minimum dollar amount for this service is $250 for the initial investment and $50 per month for additional investments. Forms for this option are available online at www.gsamfunds.com and from your Intermediary, or you may check the appropriate box on the account application.

Can My Distributions From The Fund Be Invested In Other Goldman Sachs Funds?

You may elect to cross reinvest distributions and capital gains distributions paid by a Goldman Sachs Fund in shares of the same class of other Goldman Sachs Funds.

You should keep in mind the following factors when making or considering an exchange:

    Shares will be purchased at NAV.
    You may elect cross-reinvestment into an identically registered account or a similarly registered account provided that at least one name on the account is registered identically.
    You cannot make cross-reinvestments into a Goldman Sachs Fund unless that fund’s minimum initial investment requirement is met.
    You should obtain and read the prospectus of the Goldman Sachs Fund into which distributions are invested.

Can I Arrange To Have Automatic Exchanges Made On A Regular Basis?

    You may elect to exchange automatically a specified dollar amount of Class A or Class C Shares of the Fund for shares of the same class of other Goldman Sachs Funds.
    Shares will be purchased at NAV if a sales charge had been imposed on the initial purchase.

 

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    You may elect to exchange into an identically registered account or a similarly registered account provided that at least one name on the account is registered identically.
    Shares subject to a CDSC acquired under this program may be subject to a CDSC at the time of redemption from the Goldman Sachs Fund into which the exchange is made depending upon the date and value of your original purchase.
    Automatic exchanges are made monthly on the 15th day of each month or the first business day thereafter.
    Minimum dollar amount: $50 per month.
    You cannot make automatic exchanges into a Goldman Sachs Fund unless that Fund’s minimum initial investment requirement is met.
    You should obtain and read the prospectus of the Goldman Sachs Fund into which automatic exchanges are made.
    An exchange is considered a redemption and a purchase and therefore may be a taxable transaction.

Can I Have Systematic Withdrawals Made On A Regular Basis?

You may redeem from your Class A or Class C Share account systematically via check or ACH transfer in any amount of $50 or more.

    It is normally undesirable to maintain a systematic withdrawal plan at the same time that you are purchasing additional Class A or Class C Shares because of the sales charges that are imposed on certain purchases of Class A Shares and because of the CDSCs that are imposed on certain redemptions of Class A and Class C Shares.
    Checks are normally mailed within two business days after your selected systematic withdrawal date of either the 15th or 25th of the month. ACH payments may take up to three business days to post to your account after your selected systematic withdrawal date between, and including, the 3rd and 26th of the month.
    Each systematic withdrawal is a redemption and therefore may be a taxable transaction.
    The CDSC applicable to Class A or Class C Shares redeemed under the systematic withdrawal plan may be waived. The Fund reserves the right to limit such redemptions, on an annual basis, to 12% each of the value of Class C Shares and 10% of the value of Class A Shares.

What Types Of Reports Will I Be Sent Regarding My Investment?

Intermediaries are responsible for providing any communication from the Fund to shareholders, including but not limited to, prospectuses, prospectus supplements, proxy materials and notices regarding the source of dividend payments under Section 19 of the Investment Company Act. They may charge additional fees not described in the Prospectus to their customers for such services.

You will be provided with a printed confirmation of each transaction in your account and a quarterly account statement if you invest in Class A, Class C, Class IR or Class R Shares and a monthly account statement if you invest in Institutional Class or Class R6 Shares. If your account is maintained and serviced by an Intermediary, you will receive this information from your Intermediary.

You will also receive an annual shareholder report containing audited financial statements and a semi-annual shareholder report. If you have consented to the delivery of a single copy of shareholder reports, prospectuses and other information to all shareholders who share the same mailing address with your account, you may revoke your consent at any time by contacting your Intermediary or Goldman Sachs Funds at the appropriate phone number or address found on the back cover of the Prospectus. The Fund will begin sending individual copies to you within 30 days after receipt of your revocation. If your account is held through an Intermediary, please contact the Intermediary to revoke your consent.

 

  DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE FEES     

What Are The Different Distribution And/Or Service Fees Paid By The Fund’s Shares?

The Trust has adopted distribution and service plans (each a “Plan”) under which Class A, Class C and Class R Shares bear distribution and/or service fees paid to Goldman Sachs, some of which Goldman Sachs may pay to Intermediaries. Intermediaries seek distribution and/or servicing fee revenues to, among other things, offset the cost of servicing small and medium sized plan investors and providing information about the Fund. If the fees received by Goldman Sachs pursuant to the Plans exceed its expenses, Goldman Sachs may realize a profit from these arrangements. Goldman Sachs generally receives and pays the distribution and service fees on a quarterly basis.

Under the Plans, Goldman Sachs is entitled to a monthly fee from the Fund for distribution services equal, on an annual basis, to 0.25%, 0.75% and 0.50% of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributed to Class A, Class C and Class R Shares, respectively.

 

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Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time, these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of such charges.

The distribution fees are subject to the requirements of Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act, and may be used (among other things) for:

    Compensation paid to and expenses incurred by Intermediaries, Goldman Sachs and their respective officers, employees and sales representatives;
    Commissions paid to Intermediaries;
    Allocable overhead;
    Telephone and travel expenses;
    Interest and other costs associated with the financing of such compensation and expenses;
    Printing of prospectuses for prospective shareholders;
    Preparation and distribution of sales literature or advertising of any type; and
    All other expenses incurred in connection with activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Class A, Class C and Class R Shares.

In connection with the sale of Class C Shares, Goldman Sachs normally begins paying the 0.75% distribution fee as an ongoing commission to Intermediaries after the shares have been held for one year. Goldman Sachs normally begins accruing the annual 0.25% and 0.50% distribution fees for the Class A and Class R Shares, respectively, as ongoing commissions to Intermediaries immediately. Goldman Sachs generally pays the distribution fee on a quarterly basis.

 

  CLASS C PERSONAL AND ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE SERVICES AND FEES     

Under the Class C Plan, Goldman Sachs is also entitled to receive a separate fee equal on an annual basis to 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributed to Class C Shares. This fee is for personal and account maintenance services, and may be used to make payments to Goldman Sachs, Intermediaries and their officers, sales representatives and employees for responding to inquiries of, and furnishing assistance to, shareholders regarding ownership of their shares or their accounts or similar services not otherwise provided on behalf of the Fund. If the fees received by Goldman Sachs pursuant to the Plan exceed its expenses, Goldman Sachs may realize a profit from this arrangement.

In connection with the sale of Class C Shares, Goldman Sachs normally begins paying the 0.25% ongoing service fee to Intermediaries after the shares have been held for one year.

 

  RESTRICTIONS ON EXCESSIVE TRADING PRACTICES     

Policies and Procedures on Excessive Trading Practices.  In accordance with the policy adopted by the Board of Trustees, the Trust discourages frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares and does not permit market timing or other excessive trading practices. Purchases and exchanges should be made with a view to longer-term investment purposes only that are consistent with the investment policies and practices of the Fund. Excessive, short-term (market timing) trading practices may disrupt portfolio management strategies, increase brokerage and administrative costs, harm Fund performance and result in dilution in the value of Fund shares held by longer-term shareholders. The Trust and Goldman Sachs reserve the right to reject or restrict purchase or exchange requests from any investor. The Trust and Goldman Sachs will not be liable for any loss resulting from rejected purchase or exchange orders. To minimize harm to the Trust and its shareholders (or Goldman Sachs), the Trust (or Goldman Sachs) will exercise this right if, in the Trust’s (or Goldman Sachs’) judgment, an investor has a history of excessive trading or if an investor’s trading, in the judgment of the Trust (or Goldman Sachs), has been or may be disruptive to the Fund. In making this judgment, trades executed in multiple accounts under common ownership or control may be considered together to the extent they can be identified. No waivers of the provisions of the policy established to detect and deter market timing and other excessive trading activity are permitted that would harm the Trust or its shareholders or would subordinate the interests of the Trust or its shareholders to those of Goldman Sachs or any affiliated person or associated person of Goldman Sachs.

To deter excessive shareholder trading, certain other Goldman Sachs Funds offered in other prospectuses impose a redemption fee on redemptions made within 30 or 60 days of purchase subject to certain exceptions as described in those Goldman Sachs Funds’ prospectuses. As a further deterrent to excessive trading, many foreign equity securities held by Goldman Sachs Funds are priced by an independent pricing service using fair valuation. For more information on fair valuation, please see “How To Buy Shares—How Are Shares Priced?”

 

34


SHAREHOLDER GUIDE

 

Pursuant to the policy adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Trust, Goldman Sachs has developed criteria that it uses to identify trading activity that may be excessive. Excessive trading activity in the Fund is measured by the number of “round trip” transactions in a shareholder’s account. A “round trip” includes a purchase or exchange into the Fund followed or preceded by a redemption or exchange out of the Fund. If the Fund detects that a shareholder has completed two or more round trip transactions in the Fund within a rolling 90-day period, the Fund may reject or restrict subsequent purchase or exchange orders by that shareholder permanently. In addition, the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permanently reject or restrict purchase or exchange orders by a shareholder if the Fund detects other trading activity that is deemed to be disruptive to the management of the Fund or otherwise harmful to the Fund. For purposes of these transaction surveillance procedures, the Fund may consider trading activity in multiple accounts under common ownership, control, or influence. A shareholder that has been restricted from participation in the Fund pursuant to this policy will be allowed to apply for re-entry after one year. A shareholder applying for re-entry must provide assurances acceptable to the Fund that the shareholder will not engage in excessive trading activities in the future.

Goldman Sachs may modify its surveillance procedures and criteria from time to time without prior notice regarding the detection of excessive trading or to address specific circumstances. Goldman Sachs will apply the criteria in a manner that, in Goldman Sachs’ judgment, will be uniform.

Fund shares may be held through omnibus arrangements maintained by Intermediaries, such as broker-dealers, investment advisers and insurance companies. In addition, Fund shares may be held in omnibus Employee Benefit Plans, Eligible Fee-Based Programs and other group accounts. Omnibus accounts include multiple investors and such accounts typically provide the Fund with a net purchase or redemption request on any given day where the purchases and redemptions of Fund shares by the investors are netted against one another. The identity of individual investors whose purchase and redemption orders are aggregated are ordinarily not tracked by the Fund on a regular basis. A number of these Intermediaries may not have the capability or may not be willing to apply the Fund’s market timing policies or any applicable redemption fee. While Goldman Sachs may monitor share turnover at the omnibus account level, the Fund’s ability to monitor and detect market timing by shareholders or apply any applicable redemption fee in these omnibus accounts may be limited in certain circumstances, and certain of these Intermediaries may charge the Fund a fee for providing certain shareholder financial information requested as part of the Fund’s surveillance process. The netting effect makes it more difficult to identify, locate and eliminate market timing activities. In addition, those investors who engage in market timing and other excessive trading activities may employ a variety of techniques to avoid detection. There can be no assurance that the Fund and Goldman Sachs will be able to identify all those who trade excessively or employ a market timing strategy, and curtail their trading in every instance. If necessary, the Trust may prohibit additional purchases of Fund shares by an Intermediary or by certain customers of the Intermediary. Intermediaries may also monitor their customers’ trading activities in the Fund. The criteria used by Intermediaries to monitor for excessive trading may differ from the criteria used by the Fund. If an Intermediary fails to cooperate in the implementation or enforcement of the Trust’s excessive trading policies, the Trust may take certain actions including terminating the relationship.

 

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Taxation

 

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

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

 

  DISTRIBUTIONS     

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

Under current provisions of the Code, the maximum individual rate applicable to long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts. Fund distributions to noncorporate shareholders attributable to dividends received by the Fund from U.S. and certain qualified foreign corporations will generally be taxed at the long-term capital gain rate, as long as certain other requirements are met. For these lower rates to apply, the non-corporate shareholder must own their Fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the Fund’s ex-dividend date. The amount of the Fund’s distributions that would otherwise qualify for this favorable tax treatment will be reduced as a result of the Fund’s securities lending activities or high portfolio turnover rate.

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

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

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

Although distributions are generally treated as taxable to you in the year they are paid, distributions declared in October, November or December but paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December. It is not anticipated that any significant percentage of the Fund’s dividends paid will be eligible for a dividends-received deduction. Character and tax status of all distributions will be available to shareholders after the close of each calendar year.

The Fund may be subject to foreign withholding or other foreign taxes on income or gain from certain foreign securities. In general, the Fund may deduct these taxes in computing their taxable income. Rather than deducting these foreign taxes, the Fund may make an election to treat a proportionate amount of those taxes as constituting a distribution to each shareholder, which would generally allow you to either (i) credit that proportionate amount of taxes against your U.S. Federal income tax liability as a foreign tax credit or (ii) to take that amount as an itemized deduction.

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

 

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TAXATION

 

 

  SALES     

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

 

  OTHER INFORMATION     

When you open your account, you should provide your Social Security Number or tax identification number on your account application. By law, the Fund must withhold 28% of your taxable distributions and any redemption proceeds if you do not provide your correct taxpayer identification number, or certify that it is correct, or if the IRS instructs the Fund to do so.

The Fund is required to report to you and the IRS annually on Form 1099-B not only the gross proceeds of Fund shares you sell or redeem but also their cost basis. Cost basis will be calculated using the Fund’s default method of average cost, unless you instruct the Fund to use a different methodology. If you would like to use the average cost method of calculation, no action is required. To elect an alternative method, you should contact Goldman Sachs Funds at the address or phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus. If your account is held with an Intermediary, contact your representative with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for your account.

You should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the Fund and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on your federal income tax returns.

Non-U.S. investors are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax and may be subject to estate tax with respect to their Fund Shares. Under a provision recently made permanent by Congress, non-U.S. investors generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by the Fund. It is expected that the Fund will generally make designations of short-term gains, to the extent permitted, but the Fund does not intend to make designations of any distributions attributable to interest income. Therefore, all distributions of interest income will be subject to withholding when paid to non-U.S. investors.

The Fund is required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of taxable dividends and (effective January 1, 2019) redemption proceeds and certain capital gain dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.

 

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Appendix A

Additional Information on Portfolio Risks, Securities and Techniques

 

  A.    General Portfolio Risks     

The Fund will be subject to the risks associated with equity investments. “Equity investments” may include common stocks, preferred stocks, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies and similar enterprises, other investment companies (including ETFs), warrants, stock purchase rights and synthetic and derivative instruments (such as swaps and futures contracts) that have economic characteristics similar to equity securities. In general, the values of equity investments fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and in response to general market and economic conditions. Accordingly, the values of such investments may decline over short or extended periods. The stock markets tend to be cyclical, with periods when stock prices generally rise and periods when prices generally decline. This volatility means that the value of your investment in the Fund may increase or decrease. In recent years, certain stock markets have experienced substantial price volatility. To the extent the Fund’s net assets decrease or increase in the future due to price volatility or share redemption or purchase activity, the Fund’s expense ratio may correspondingly increase or decrease from the expense ratio disclosed in the Prospectus.

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

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

A rising interest rate environment could cause the value of the Fund’s fixed income securities to decrease, and fixed income markets to experience increased volatility in addition to heightened levels of liquidity risk. Additionally, decreases in the value of fixed income securities could lead to increased shareholder redemptions, which could impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The risks associated with increasing rates are heightened given that interest rates are near historic lows, but are expected to increase in the future with unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments.

The Fund may invest in non-investment grade fixed income securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”), which are rated below investment grade (or determined to be of comparable credit quality, if not rated) at the time of purchase and are therefore considered speculative. Because non-investment grade fixed income securities are issued by issuers with low credit ratings, they pose a greater risk of default than investment grade securities.

The Investment Adviser will not consider the portfolio turnover rate a limiting factor in making investment decisions for the Fund (in this section of the Prospectus, all references to the Investment Adviser shall be meant to include the Fund’s Sub-Adviser). A high rate of portfolio turnover (100% or more) involves correspondingly greater expenses which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains taxable to certain shareholders. The portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of the dollar amount of sales or purchases of portfolio securities by the average monthly value of the Fund’s portfolio securities, excluding securities having a maturity at the date of purchase of one year or less.

The Fund’s investments in derivative instruments, including financial futures contracts, options and swaps, can be significant. These transactions can result in sizeable realized and unrealized capital gains and losses relative to the gains and losses from the

 

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APPENDIX A

 

Fund’s investments in bonds and other securities. Short-term and long-term realized capital gains distributions paid by the Fund are taxable to its shareholders.

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

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

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into arrangements with certain brokers or other counterparties that require the segregation of collateral. For operational, cost or other reasons, when setting up arrangements relating to the execution/clearing of trades, the Fund may choose to select a segregation model which may not be the most protective option available in the case of a default by a broker or counterparty.

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

 

  B.    Other Portfolio Risks     

Risks of Derivative Investments.  The Fund may invest in derivative instruments including without limitation, forwards, options, futures, options on futures, swaps, structured securities and other derivatives relating to foreign currency transactions. Investments in derivative instruments may be for both hedging and nonhedging purposes (that is, to seek to increase total return), although suitable derivative instruments may not always be available to the Investment Adviser for these purposes. Losses from investments in derivative instruments can result from a lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivative instruments and the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged, the potential illiquidity of the markets for derivative instruments, the failure of the counterparty to perform its contractual obligations, or the risks arising from margin requirements and related leverage factors associated with such transactions. Losses may also arise if the Fund receives cash collateral under the transactions and some or all of that collateral is invested in the market. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund may be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the counterparty’s cash collateral. The use of these management techniques also involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuations in securities prices, interest rates or currency prices. Investments in derivative instruments may be harder to value, subject to greater volatility and more likely subject to changes in tax treatment than other investments. For these reasons, the Investment Adviser’s attempts to hedge portfolio risk through the use of derivative instruments may not be successful, and the Investment Adviser may choose not to hedge portfolio risks. Investing for non-hedging purposes presents greater risk of loss.

Derivatives Regulatory Risk.  In December 2015, the SEC proposed new regulations relating to a mutual fund’s use of derivatives and related instruments. If these or other regulations are adopted, they could significantly limit or impact the Fund’s ability to invest in derivatives and other instruments and adversely affect the Fund’s performance and ability to pursue its investment objectives. Certain aspects of the tax treatment of derivative instruments may be affected by changes in legislation, regulations, or other legally binding authority that could affect the character, timing and amount of the Fund’s taxable income or gains and distributions. There can be no assurance that any new governmental regulation will not adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment result.

 

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Risks of Illiquid Securities.  The Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities, which are those that cannot be disposed of in seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the price at which the Fund values the investment. Illiquid securities include:

    Both domestic and foreign securities that are not readily marketable
    Certain municipal leases and participation interests
    Certain stripped mortgage-backed securities
    Repurchase agreements and time deposits with a notice or demand period of more than seven days
    Certain over-the-counter options
    Certain structured securities and swap transactions
    Certain restricted securities, unless it is determined, based upon a review of the trading markets for a specific restricted security, that such restricted security is liquid because it is so called “4(2) commercial paper” or is otherwise eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act (“144A Securities”).

Investing in 144A Securities may decrease the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio to the extent that qualified institutional buyers become for a time uninterested in purchasing these restricted securities. The purchase price and subsequent valuation of restricted and illiquid securities normally reflect a discount, which may be significant, from the market price of comparable securities for which a liquid market exists.

Investments purchased by the Fund, particularly debt securities and over-the-counter traded instruments, that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to events relating to the issuer of the securities, markets events, economic conditions or investor perceptions. Domestic and foreign markets are becoming more and more complex and interrelated, so that events in one sector of the market or the economy, or in one geographical region, can reverberate and have negative consequences for other market, economic or regional sectors in a manner that may not be reasonably foreseen. With respect to over-the-counter traded securities, the continued viability of any over-the-counter secondary market depends on the continued willingness of dealers and other participants to purchase the instruments.

If one or more instruments in the Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed its 15 percent limitation in illiquid instruments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the investments in illiquid instruments to exceed 15 percent of the Fund’s net assets, the Fund must take steps to bring the aggregate amount of illiquid instruments back within the prescribed limitations as soon as reasonably practicable. This requirement would not force the Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

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

Risks of Foreign Investments.  The Fund will make foreign investments. Foreign investments involve special risks that are not typically associated with U.S. dollar denominated or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Foreign investments may be affected by changes in currency rates, changes in foreign or U.S. laws or restrictions applicable to such investments and changes in exchange control regulations (e.g., currency blockage). A decline in the exchange rate of the currency (i.e., weakening of the currency against the U.S. dollar) in which a portfolio security is quoted or denominated relative to the U.S. dollar would reduce the value of the portfolio security. In addition, if the currency in which the Fund receives dividends, interest or other payments declines in value against the U.S. dollar before such income is distributed as dividends to shareholders or converted to U.S. dollars, the Fund may have to sell portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to pay such dividends.

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

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

 

40


APPENDIX A

 

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

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

If the Fund focuses its investments in one or a few countries and currencies it will subject the Fund to greater risks than if the Fund’s assets were not geographically focused.

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

Depositary Receipts Risk.  Foreign securities may trade in the form of depositary receipts, including American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), and European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) (collectively “Depositary Receipts”). To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there may be an increased possibility that the Fund would not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted.

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

Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees which may limit investment in such countries or increase the administrative costs of such investments. For example, certain Asian countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. In addition, certain countries may restrict or prohibit investment opportunities in issuers or industries deemed important to national interests. Such restrictions may affect the market price, liquidity and rights of securities that may be purchased by the Fund. The repatriation of both investment income and capital from

 

41


certain emerging countries is subject to restrictions such as the need for governmental consents. In situations where a country restricts direct investment in securities (which may occur in certain Asian and other countries), the Fund may invest in such countries through other investment funds in such countries.

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

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

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

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

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

The small size and inexperience of the securities markets in certain emerging countries and the limited volume of trading in securities in those countries may make the Fund’s investments in such countries less liquid and more volatile than investments in countries with more developed securities markets (such as the United States, Japan and most Western European countries). The Fund’s investments in emerging countries are subject to the risk that the liquidity of a particular investment, or investments generally, in such countries will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political conditions or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, the Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price. Investments in emerging countries may be more difficult to value precisely because of the characteristics discussed above and lower trading volumes.

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

Risks of Investing in Mid-Capitalization and Small-Capitalization Companies.  The Fund may invest in mid- and small-capitalization companies. Investments in mid- and small-capitalization companies involve greater risk and portfolio price volatility than investments in larger capitalization stocks. Among the reasons for the greater price volatility of these investments are the less certain growth prospects of smaller firms and the lower degree of liquidity in the markets for such securities. Mid- and small-capitalization companies may be thinly traded and may have to be sold at a discount from current market prices or in small lots over an extended period of time. In addition, these securities are subject to the risk that during certain periods the liquidity of particular issuers or industries, or all securities in particular investment categories, will shrink or disappear suddenly and without

 

42


APPENDIX A

 

warning as a result of adverse economic or market conditions, or adverse investor perceptions whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, the Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price. Mid- and small-capitalization companies include “unseasoned” issuers that do not have an established financial history; often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources; may depend on or use a few key personnel for management; and may be susceptible to losses and risks of bankruptcy. Mid-and small-capitalization companies may be operating at a loss or have significant variations in operating results; may be engaged in a rapidly changing business with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence; may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, to finance expansion or to maintain their competitive position; and may have substantial borrowings or may otherwise have a weak financial condition. In addition, these companies may face intense competition, including competition from companies with greater financial resources, more extensive development, manufacturing, marketing, and other capabilities, and a larger number of qualified managerial and technical personnel. Transaction costs for these investments are often higher than those of larger capitalization companies. Investments in small- and mid-capitalization companies may be more difficult to price precisely than other types of securities because of their characteristics and lower trading volumes.

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

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

Risks of Equity Swap Transactions.  In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on a particular predetermined asset (or group of assets) which may be adjusted for transaction costs, interest payments, dividends paid on the reference asset or other factors. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” for example, the increase or decrease in value of a particular dollar amount invested in the asset.

Equity swaps may be structured in different ways. For example, when the Fund takes a long position, a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap would have increased in value had it been invested in a particular stock (or group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on the stock. In these cases, the Fund may agree to pay to the counterparty interest on the notional amount of the equity swap plus the amount, if any, by which that notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stock (or group of stocks). Therefore, in this case the return to the Fund on the equity swap should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends on the stock less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount. In other cases, when the Fund takes a short position, a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap would have decreased in value had the Fund sold a particular stock (or group of stocks) short, less the dividend expense that the Fund would have paid on the stock (or group of stocks), as adjusted for interest payments or other economic factors.

Under an equity swap, payments may be made at the conclusion of the equity swap or periodically during its term. Sometimes, however, the Investment Adviser may terminate a swap contract prior to its term, subject to any potential termination fee that is in addition to the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap.

Equity swaps are derivatives and their value can be very volatile. To the extent that the Investment Adviser does not accurately analyze and predict future market trends, the values of assets or economic factors, or the creditworthiness of the counterparty, the Fund may suffer a loss, which may be substantial.

Risks of Initial Public Offerings.  The Fund may invest in IPOs. An IPO is a company’s first offering of stock to the public. IPO risk is the risk that the market value of IPO shares will fluctuate considerably due to factors such as the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading and limited information about a company’s business model, quality of management, earnings growth potential, and other criteria used to evaluate its investment prospects. The purchase of IPO shares may involve high transaction costs. Investments in IPO shares, which are subject to market risk and liquidity risk, involve greater risks than investments in shares of companies that have tracked publicly on an exchange for extended periods of time. IPO shares are subject to market risk and liquidity risk. When the Fund’s asset base is small, a significant portion

 

43


of the Fund’s performance could be attributable to investments in IPOs, because such investments would have a magnified impact on the Fund. As the Fund’s assets grow, the effect of the Fund’s investments in IPOs on the Fund’s performance probably will decline, which could reduce the Fund’s performance. Because of the price volatility of IPO shares, the Fund may choose to hold IPO shares for a very short period of time. This may increase the turnover of the Fund’s portfolio and may lead to increased expenses to the Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs. By selling IPO shares, the Fund may realize taxable gains it will subsequently distribute to shareholders. In addition, the market for IPO shares can be speculative and/or inactive for extended periods of time. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to obtain allocable portions of IPO shares. The limited number of shares available for trading in some IPOs may make it more difficult for the Fund to buy or sell significant amounts of shares without an unfavorable impact on prevailing prices. Investors in IPO shares can be affected by substantial dilution in the value of their shares, by sales of additional shares and by concentration of control in existing management and principal shareholders.

Risks of Participation Notes.  The Fund may invest in participation notes. Some countries, especially emerging markets countries, do not permit foreigners to participate directly in their securities markets or otherwise present difficulties for efficient foreign investment. The Fund may use participation notes to establish a position in such markets as a substitute for direct investment. Participation notes are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to track the return of a particular underlying equity or debt security, currency or market. When the participation note matures, the issuer of the participation note will pay to, or receive from, the Fund the difference between the nominal value of the underlying instrument at the time of purchase and that instrument’s value at maturity. Investments in participation notes involve the same risks as are associated with a direct investment in the underlying security, currency or market that they seek to replicate. In addition, participation notes are generally traded over-the-counter and are subject to counterparty risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the broker-dealer or bank that issues them will not fulfill its contractual obligation to complete the transaction with the Fund. Participation notes constitute general unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, and the Fund would be relying on the creditworthiness of such banks or broker-dealers and would have no rights under a participation note against the issuer of the underlying assets. In addition, participation notes may trade at a discount to the value of the underlying securities or markets that they seek to replicate.

Risks of Short Selling.  The Fund may engage in short selling. In these transactions, the Fund sells an instrument it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of the instrument, then must borrow the instrument to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund is obligated to replace the instrument borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement. The value at such time may be more or less than the value at which the instrument was sold by the Fund, which may result in a loss or gain, respectively. Unlike purchasing an instrument like a stock, where potential losses are limited to the purchase price and there is no upside limit on potential gain, short sales involve no cap on maximum losses, while gains are limited to the value of the stock at the time of the short sale.

The Fund may, during the term of any short sale, withdraw the cash proceeds of such short sale and use these cash proceeds to purchase additional securities or for any other Fund purposes. Because cash proceeds are Fund assets which are typically used to satisfy the collateral requirements for the short sale, the reinvestment of these cash proceeds may require the Fund to post as collateral other securities that it owns. If the Fund reinvests the cash proceeds, the Fund might be required to post an amount greater than its net assets (but less than its total assets) as collateral. For these or other reasons, the Fund might be required to liquidate long and short positions at times or in amounts that may be disadvantageous to the Fund.

The Fund may also make short sales against the box, in which the Fund enters into a short sale of an instrument which it owns or has the right to obtain at no additional cost.

Risks of Exchange-Traded Notes.  Exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities issued by a sponsoring financial institution. The returns on an ETN are linked to the performance of particular securities, market indices, or strategies, minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange (e.g., the NYSE) during normal trading hours; however, investors may also hold an ETN until maturity. At maturity, the issuer of an ETN pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, subject to application of the relevant securities, index or strategy factor. Similar to other debt securities, ETNs have a maturity date and are backed only by the credit of the sponsoring institution. ETNs are subject to credit risk. The value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the underlying assets. When the Fund invests in ETNs, it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. Although an ETN is a debt security, it is unlike a typical bond, in that there are no periodic interest payments and principal is not protected. The timing and character of income and gains from ETNs may be affected by future legislation.

 

44


APPENDIX A

 

Temporary Investment Risks.  The Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest up to 100% of its total assets in:

    U.S. Government Securities
    Commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard & Poor’s, P-2 by Moody’s or having a comparable rating by another NRSRO (or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality)
    Certificates of deposit
    Bankers’ acceptances
    Repurchase agreements
    Non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year
    ETFs
    Other investment companies
    Cash items

When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

Credit/Default Risks.  Debt securities purchased by the Fund may include U.S. Government Securities (including zero coupon bonds), and securities issued by foreign governments, domestic and foreign corporations, banks and other issuers. Some of these fixed income securities are described in the next section below. Further information is provided in the SAI.

Debt securities rated BBB– or higher by Standard & Poor’s or Baa3 or higher by Moody’s or having a comparable rating by another NRSRO are considered “investment grade.” Securities rated BBB– or Baa3 are considered medium-grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken the issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund assigns a security, at the time of purchase, the highest rating by an NRSRO if the security is rated by more than one NRSRO. If a security is downgraded after the time of purchase, the Investment Adviser will consider what action, including the sale of the security, is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

The Fund may invest in fixed income securities rated BB+ or Ba1 or below (or comparable unrated securities) which are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” Junk bonds are considered speculative and may be questionable as to principal and interest payments.

In some cases, junk bonds may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will present greater speculative risks than those associated with investment in investment grade bonds. Also, to the extent that the rating assigned to a security in the Fund’s portfolio is downgraded by a rating organization, the market price and liquidity of such security may be adversely affected.

Risks of Large Shareholder Transactions.  The Fund may experience adverse effects when certain large shareholders

purchase or redeem large amounts of shares of the Fund. Such large shareholder redemptions may cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities at times when it would not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and liquidity. Similarly, large Fund share purchases may adversely affect the Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. These transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders if such sales of investments resulted in gains, and may also increase transaction costs. In addition, a large redemption could result in the Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratio.

 

  C.    Portfolio Securities and Techniques     

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

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

U.S. Government Securities.  The Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities. U.S. Government Securities include U.S. Treasury obligations and obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may be supported by (i) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; (ii) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer; or (iv) only the credit of the issuer. U.S. Government Securities also include Treasury receipts, zero coupon bonds and other stripped U.S. Government Securities, where the interest and principal components are traded independently.

 

 

45


U.S. Government Securities may also include Treasury inflation-protected securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation.

U.S. Treasury obligations include, among other things, the separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury if such components are traded independently under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities program (“STRIPS”).

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

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

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates.   The Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities, fixed income securities issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and the political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities thereof (“Municipal Securities”), as applicable, or other types of securities in which the Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certain securities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. If for tax purposes the Fund is not considered to be the owner of the underlying securities held in the custodial or trust account, the Fund may suffer adverse tax consequences. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, the Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

REITs.  The Fund may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in either real estate or real estate related loans. The value of a REIT is affected by changes in the value of the properties owned by the REIT or securing mortgage loans held by the REIT. REITs are dependent upon the ability of the REITs’ managers, and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers and the qualification of the REITs under applicable regulatory requirements for favorable income tax treatment. REITs are also subject to risks generally associated with investments in real estate including possible declines in the value of real estate, general and local economic conditions, environmental problems and changes in interest rates. To the extent that assets underlying a REIT are concentrated geographically, by property type or in certain other respects, these risks may be heightened. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses, including management fees, paid by a REIT in which it invests.

Lending of Portfolio Securities.  The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the lending of securities owned by the Fund to financial institutions such as certain broker-dealers including, as permitted by the SEC, Goldman Sachs. The borrowers are required to secure their loan continuously with cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or letters of credit in an amount at least equal to the market value of the securities loaned. Cash collateral may be invested by the Fund in short-term investments, including registered and unregistered investment pools managed by the Investment Adviser, its affiliates or the Fund’s custodian and from which the Investment Adviser or its affiliates may receive fees. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund will be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the borrowers’ collateral. If the Investment Adviser determines to make securities loans, the value of the securities loaned may not exceed 33 1/3% of the value of the total assets of the Fund (including the loan collateral). Loan collateral (including any investment of the collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations described elsewhere in the Prospectus regarding investments in fixed income securities and cash equivalents.

Foreign Currency Transactions.  The Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase or sell foreign currencies on a cash basis or through forward contracts. A forward contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date at a price set at the time of the contract.

The Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for both hedging and non-hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, the Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to

 

46


APPENDIX A

 

seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark. The Fund may also enter into such transactions to seek to increase total return, which presents additional risk.

The Fund may also engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in a currency different from that in which the hedged security is denominated or quoted. The Fund may hold foreign currency received in connection with investments in foreign securities when, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, it would be beneficial to convert such currency into U.S. dollars at a later date (e.g., the Investment Adviser may anticipate that the foreign currency will appreciate against the U.S. dollar).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

47


currencies, securities indices and other financial instruments and indices. The Fund may engage in futures transactions on U.S. exchanges and foreign exchanges.

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

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

    While the Fund may benefit from the use of futures and options and swaps on futures, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in poorer overall performance than if the Fund had not entered into any futures contracts, options transactions or swaps.
    Because perfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position that is intended to be protected is impossible to achieve, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss.
    The loss incurred by the Fund in entering into futures contracts and in writing call options and entering into swaps on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received.
    Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of the Fund’s NAV.
    As a result of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund.
    Futures contracts and options and swaps on futures may be illiquid, and exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices during a single day.
    Foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges.

Corporate Debt Obligations and Convertible Securities.  The Fund may invest in corporate debt obligations and convertible securities. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures, commercial paper and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund may also invest in other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities.

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

Structured Securities.  The Fund may invest in structured securities. Structured securities are securities whose value is determined by reference to changes in the value of specific currencies, securities, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators (the “Reference”) or the relative change in two or more References. Investments in structured securities may provide exposure to certain securities or markets in situations where regulatory or other restrictions prevent direct investments in such issuers or markets.

The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased depending upon changes in the applicable Reference. Structured securities may be positively or negatively indexed, so that appreciation of the Reference may produce an increase or decrease in the interest rate or value of the security at maturity. In addition, changes in the interest rates or the value of the security at maturity may be a multiple of changes in the value of the Reference effectively leveraging the Fund’s investments so that small changes in the value of the Reference may result in disproportionate gains or losses to the Fund. Consequently, structured securities may present a greater degree of market risk than many types of securities and may be more volatile, less liquid and more difficult to price accurately than less complex securities. Structured securities are also subject to the risk that the issuer of the structured securities may fail to perform its contractual obligations. Certain issuers of structured products may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act. As a result the Fund’s investments in structured securities may be subject to the limits applicable to investments in other investment companies.

 

 

48


APPENDIX A

 

Structured securities are considered hybrid instruments because they are derivative instruments the value of which depends on, or is derived from or linked to, the value of an underlying asset, interest rate index or commodity. Commodity-linked notes are hybrid instruments because the principal and/or interest payments on those notes is linked to the value of the individual commodities, futures contracts or the performance of one or more commodity indices.

Structured securities include, but are not limited to, equity linked notes. An equity linked note is a note whose performance is tied to a single stock, a stock index or a basket of stocks. Equity linked notes combine the principal protection normally associated with fixed income investments with the potential for capital appreciation normally associated with equity investments. Upon the maturity of the note, the holder generally receives a return of principal based on the capital appreciation of the linked securities. Depending on the terms of the note, equity linked notes may also have a “cap” or “floor” on the maximum principal amount to be repaid to holders, irrespective of the performance of the underlying linked securities. For example, a note may guarantee the repayment of the original principal amount invested (even if the underlying linked securities have negative performance during the note’s term), but may cap the maximum payment at maturity at a certain percentage of the issuance price or the return of the underlying linked securities. Alternatively, the note may not guarantee a full return on the original principal, but may offer a greater participation in any capital appreciation of the underlying linked securities. The terms of an equity linked note may also provide for periodic interest payments to holders at either a fixed or floating rate. The secondary market for equity linked notes may be limited, and the lack of liquidity in the secondary market may make these securities difficult to dispose of and to value. Equity linked notes will be considered equity securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

The Fund may invest in credit linked notes. Credit linked notes are securities with embedded credit default swaps. An investor holding a credit linked note generally receives a fixed or floating coupon and the note’s par value upon maturity, unless the referred credit defaults or declares bankruptcy, in which case the investor receives the amount recovered. In effect, investors holding credit linked notes receive a higher yield in exchange for assuming the risk of a specified credit event.

Other Investment Companies.  The Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Investment Company Act. These limitations include in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in securities of all investment companies. Many ETFs, however, have obtained exemptive relief from the SEC to permit unaffiliated funds to invest in the ETFs’ shares beyond these statutory limitations, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to a contractual arrangement between the ETFs and the investing funds. The Fund may rely on these exemptive orders to invest in unaffiliated ETFs.

The use of ETFs is intended to help the Fund match the total return of the particular market segments or indices represented by those ETFs, although that may not be the result. Most ETFs are passively managed investment companies whose shares are purchased and sold on a securities exchange. An ETF represents a portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market segment or index. An investment in an ETF generally presents the same primary risks as an investment in a conventional fund (i.e., one that is not exchange-traded) that has the same investment objectives, strategies and policies. In addition, an ETF may fail to accurately track the market segment or index that underlies its investment objective. The price of an ETF can fluctuate, and the Fund could lose money investing in an ETF. Moreover, ETFs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to conventional funds: (i) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a premium or a discount to their NAV; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; and (iii) there is no assurance that the requirements of the exchange necessary to maintain the listing of an ETF will continue to be met or remain unchanged.

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

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

Mortgage-Backed Securities.  The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participations in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property. Mortgage-backed securities can be backed by either fixed rate mortgage loans or adjustable rate mortgage loans, and may be issued by either a

 

49


governmental or non-governmental entity. The value of some mortgage-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. The value of these securities may also fluctuate in response to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers. Early repayment of principal on mortgage- or asset-backed securities may expose the Fund to the risk of earning a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal.

The Fund may invest in privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities that represent interests in pools of mortgage loans that are issued by trusts formed by originators of and institutional investors in mortgage loans (or represent interests in custodial arrangements administered by such institutions). These originators and institutions include commercial banks, savings and loans associations, credit unions, savings banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, investment banks or special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The pools underlying privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities consist of mortgage loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust creating a first lien on commercial, residential, residential multi-family and mixed residential/commercial properties. These mortgage-backed securities typically do not have the same credit standing as U.S. government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.

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

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

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

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

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

 

50


APPENDIX A

 

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

Brady Bonds and Similar Instruments.  The Fund may invest in debt obligations commonly referred to as “Brady Bonds.” Brady Bonds are created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to foreign borrowers for new obligations in connection with debt restructurings under a plan introduced by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Nicholas F. Brady (the “Brady Plan”).

Brady Bonds involve various risk factors including the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds. There can be no assurance that Brady Bonds in which the Fund may invest will not be subject to restructuring arrangements or to requests for new credit, which may cause the Fund to suffer a loss of interest or principal on its holdings.

In addition, the Fund may invest in other interests issued by entities organized and operated for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by emerging country issuers. These types of restructuring involve the deposit with or purchase by an entity of specific instruments and the issuance by that entity of one or more classes of securities backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. Certain issuers of such structured securities may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the Investment Company Act. As a result, the Fund’s investment in such securities may be limited by certain investment restrictions contained in the Investment Company Act.

Unseasoned Companies.  The Fund may invest in companies which (together with their predecessors) have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than do investments in companies with an established operating record.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments.  The Fund may purchase when-issued securities and make contracts to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. When-issued securities are securities that have been authorized, but not yet issued. When-issued securities are purchased in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous price or yield to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. A forward commitment involves entering into a contract to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond the customary settlement period. The purchase of securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines before the settlement date. Conversely, the sale of securities on a forward commitment basis involves the risk that the value of the securities sold may increase before the settlement date. Although the Fund will generally purchase securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis with the intention of acquiring the securities for its portfolio, the Fund may dispose of when-issued securities or forward commitments prior to settlement if the Investment Adviser deems it appropriate. When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis or entering into a forward commitment, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” its obligations.

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

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities.  Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative. In some cases, these obligations may be highly speculative and have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing. Non-investment grade fixed income securities are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest obligations. These securities, also referred to as high yield securities, may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.

 

 

51


Non-investment grade fixed income securities are also issued in connection with a corporate reorganization or restructuring or as part of a merger, acquisition, takeover or similar event. They are also issued by less established companies seeking to expand. Such issuers are often highly leveraged and generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest in the event of adverse developments or business conditions. Non-investment grade securities are also issued by governmental bodies that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments.

The market value of non-investment grade fixed income securities tends to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than that of higher rated securities which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. As a result, the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives may depend to a greater extent on the Investment Adviser’s judgment concerning the creditworthiness of issuers than funds which invest in higher-rated securities. Issuers of non-investment grade fixed income securities may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing and their ability to service debt obligations may be affected more adversely than issuers of higher-rated securities by economic downturns, specific corporate or financial developments or the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such securities.

A holder’s risk of loss from default is significantly greater for non-investment grade fixed income securities than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such non-investment grade securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by the Fund in defaulted securities poses additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by the Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain.

The secondary market for non-investment grade fixed income securities is concentrated in relatively few market makers and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities is not as liquid as, and is more volatile than, the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, market trading volume for high yield fixed income securities is generally lower and the secondary market for such securities could shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse market or economic conditions, independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. The lack of sufficient market liquidity may cause the Fund to incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and then only at a substantial drop in price. These factors may have an adverse effect on the market price and the Fund’s ability to dispose of particular portfolio investments. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of non-investment grade securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality.

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights.  The Fund may invest in preferred stock, warrants and stock purchase rights (or “rights”). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default or other non-compliance by the issuer of the preferred stock.

Warrants and other rights are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price at any time during the life of the warrant or right. The holders of warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.

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

If the other party or “seller” defaults, the Fund might suffer a loss to the extent that the proceeds from the sale of the underlying securities and other collateral held by the Fund are less than the repurchase price and the Fund’s costs associated with delay and

 

52


APPENDIX A

 

enforcement of the repurchase agreement. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy of the seller, the Fund could suffer additional losses if a court determines that the Fund’s interest in the collateral is not enforceable.

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

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

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

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

Equity Swaps, Currency Swaps, Index Swaps and Total Return Swaps.  The Fund may enter into the following swap transactions and options agreements. Equity swaps allow the parties to a swap agreement to exchange the dividend income or other components of return on an equity investment (for example, a group of equity securities or an index) for a component of return on another non-equity or equity investment. An equity swap may be used by the Fund to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities in circumstances in which direct investment may be restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise deemed impractical or disadvantageous. Index swaps allow one party or both parties to a swap agreement to receive one or more payments based off of the return, performance or volatility of an index or of certain securities which comprise the index.

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

The Fund may enter into the transactions described above for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return.

The use of currency and total return swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If the Sub-Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates and currency exchange rates, or in its evaluation of the creditworthiness of swap counterparties and the issuers of the underlying assets, the investment performance of the Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if these investment techniques were not used. Currently, certain standardized swap transactions are subject to mandatory central clearing. Although central clearing is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilaterally negotiated swaps, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely.

Collateralized Debt Obligations.  The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), CBOs, and other similarly structured securities. CBOs and CLOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust which is backed by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed income securities. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) may charge management fees and other administrative expenses.

For both CBOs and CLOs, the cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to

 

53


protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Because it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO trust or CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CLO securities as a class.

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs that qualify under the Rule 144A “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers, and such CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as liquid securities. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed income securities discussed elsewhere in the Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and default risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to, the risk that: (i) distributions from collateral securities may not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the Fund may invest in CDOs that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.

Equity Investments.  After its purchase, a portfolio investment (such as a convertible debt obligation may convert to an equity security. Alternatively, the Fund may acquire equity securities in connection with a restructuring or other similar event related to one or more its investments. If this occurs, the Fund may continue to hold the investment (or make additional purchases of that equity investment) if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

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

 

54


 

Appendix B

Financial Highlights

 

Because the Fund has not commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, financial highlights are not available.

 

55


 

 

Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund Prospectus

 

  FOR MORE INFORMATION     

Annual/Semi-Annual Report

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

Statement of Additional Information

Additional information about the Fund and its policies is also available in the Fund’s SAI. The SAI is incorporated by reference into the Prospectus (is legally considered part of the Prospectus).

The Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI are available free upon request by calling Goldman Sachs at 1-800-621-2550 for Institutional and Class R6 Shares and 1-800-526-7384 for Class A, Class C, Class IR and Class R Shares. You can also access and download the annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI at the Fund’s website: https://www.gsamfunds.com/summaries.

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

To obtain other information and for shareholder inquiries:

 

   Institutional & R6    Class A, C, IR & R

    By telephone:

   1-800-621-2550    1-800-526-7384

    By mail:

  

Goldman Sachs Funds

P.O. Box 06050

Chicago, IL 60606-6306

  

Goldman Sachs Funds

P.O. Box 219711

Kansas City, MO 64121

    On the  Internet:

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

You may review and obtain copies of Trust documents (including the SAI) by visiting the SEC’s public reference room in Washington, D.C. You may also obtain copies of Trust documents, after paying a duplicating fee, by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520 or by electronic request to: publicinfo@sec.gov. Information on the operation of the public reference room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090.

 

GQGPIOPRO-16   

The Trust’s investment company registration number is 811-22781.

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

  LOGO


PART B

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED DECEMBER 7, 2016

 

FUND

   CLASS A
SHARES
     CLASS C
SHARES
     INSTITUTIONAL
SHARES
   CLASS IR
SHARES
     CLASS R
SHARES
     CLASS R6
SHARES
 

GOLDMAN SACHS GQG PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FUND

     GSIHX         GSILX       GSIMX      GSINX         GSIQX         GSIYX   

(Portfolio of Goldman Sachs Trust II)

Goldman Sachs Trust II

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a Prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus for the Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”), dated December 7, 2016, as it may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). The Prospectus may be obtained without charge from Goldman, Sachs & Co. by calling the telephone numbers or writing to one of the addresses listed below or from institutions (“Intermediaries”) acting on behalf of their customers.

The Fund’s Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman, Sachs & Co. toll free at 1-800-621-2550 for Institutional and Class R6 Shares and 1-800-526-7384 for Class A, Class C, Class IR and Class R Shares.

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


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

     B-1   

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

     B-1   

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-2   

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-56   

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-57   

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-68   

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-74   

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-83   

NET ASSET VALUE

     B-84   

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-86   

TAXATION

     B-89   

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-95   

PROXY VOTING

     B-95   

PAYMENTS TO INTERMEDIARIES

     B-95   

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-100   

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLANS

     B-102   

OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING MAXIMUM SALES CHARGE, PURCHASES, REDEMPTIONS, EXCHANGES AND DIVIDENDS

     B-103   

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-106   

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A   

APPENDIX B STATEMENT OF INTENTION

     1-B   

APPENDIX C GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-C   

APPENDIX D SUB-ADVISER PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARIES

     1-D   

The date of this SAI is December 7, 2016.

 

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GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.    GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.
Investment Adviser    Distributor
200 West Street    200 West Street
New York, New York 10282    New York, New York 10282

GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.

Transfer Agent

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60606

Toll-free (in U.S.) 800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Class IR Shareholders) or 800-621-2550 (for Institutional and Class R6 Shareholders).

 

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INTRODUCTION

Goldman Sachs Trust II (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by a Declaration of Trust dated August 28, 2012. The following series of the Trust is described in this SAI: Goldman Sachs GQG Partners International Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”).

The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares into separate series and to classify and reclassify any series or portfolio of shares into one or more classes without further action by shareholders. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Fund and other series. Additional series and classes may be added in the future from time to time. The Fund currently offers six classes of shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Institutional Shares, Class IR Shares, Class R Shares and Class R6 Shares. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the Investment Adviser to the Fund. GQG Partners LLC serves as the sub-adviser to the Fund (the “Sub-Adviser”). In addition, Goldman Sachs serves as the Fund’s distributor and transfer agent. The Fund’s custodian and administrator is State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”).

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

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

The Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s objective will be achieved. The Fund is a non-diversified, open-end management company, as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Act” or the “1940 Act”). The investment objective and policies of the Fund, and the associated risks of the Fund, are discussed in the Fund’s Prospectus, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. Additional information about the Fund, its policies, and the investment instruments it may hold is provided below.

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has filed a notice of eligibility claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

Asset-Backed Securities

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

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

Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, the Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.

Asset Segregation

As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Fund must identify on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC or SEC-staff approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not an offsetting position. However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, the Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Instruments that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Fund reserves the right to modify its asset segregation policies in the future in its discretion, consistent with the 1940 Act and SEC or SEC-staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

Bank Obligations

The Fund may invest in debt obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing

 

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money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.

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

Combined Transactions

The Fund may enter into multiple transactions, including multiple options transactions, multiple futures transactions, multiple currency transactions (as applicable) (including forward currency contracts) and multiple interest rate and other swap transactions and any combination of futures, options, currency and swap transactions (“component” transactions) as part of a single or combined strategy when, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, it is in the best interests of the Fund to do so. A combined transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. Although combined transactions are normally entered into based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal, it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.

Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations

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

Convertible Securities

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

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

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

 

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In evaluating a convertible security, the Sub-Adviser may give primary emphasis to the attractiveness of the underlying common stock.

Corporate Debt Obligations

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

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

Covered Bonds

Covered bonds are debt instruments, issued by a financial institution and secured by a segregated pool of financial assets (the “cover pool”), typically comprised of mortgages or, in certain cases, public-sector loans. The cover pool, typically maintained by an issuing financial institution, is designed to pay covered bondholders in the event that there is a default on the payment obligations of a covered bond. To the extent the cover pool assets are insufficient to repay principal and/or interest, covered bondholders also have a senior, unsecured claim against the issuing financial institution. Covered bonds differ from other debt instruments, including asset-backed securities, in that covered bondholders have claims against both the cover pool and the issuing financial institution.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

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

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

Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional

 

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types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.

Equity Investments

The Fund may purchase equity investments. In addition, after its purchase, a portfolio investment (such as a CDO) may convert to an equity security. The Fund may also acquire equity securities in connection with a restructuring event related to one or more of its investments. If this occurs, the Fund may continue to hold the investment if the Sub-Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

Equity Swaps

The Fund may enter into equity swap contracts to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities in various circumstances, including circumstances where direct investment in the securities is restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impracticable. Equity swaps may also be used for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap contract would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks (or a group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. In these cases, the Fund may agree to pay to the counterparty a floating rate of interest on the notional amount of the equity swap contract plus the amount, if any, by which that notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stocks. Therefore, the return to the Fund on the equity swap contract 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. In other cases, the counterparty and the Fund may each agree to pay the other the difference between the relative investment performances that would have been achieved if the notional amount of the equity swap contract had been invested in different stocks (or a group of stocks).

The Fund will generally enter into equity swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Payments may be made at the conclusion of an equity swap contract or periodically during its term. Equity swaps normally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to equity swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an equity swap defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any. Inasmuch as these transactions are entered into for hedging purposes or are offset by identifying on its books cash or liquid assets to cover the Fund’s exposure, the Fund, the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser believe that the transactions do not constitute senior securities under the Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

Equity-Linked Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in equity-linked structured notes. Equity-linked structured notes are derivatives that are specifically designed to combine the characteristics of one or more underlying securities and their equity derivatives in a single note form. The return and/or yield or income component may be based on the performance of the underlying equity securities, an equity index, and/or option positions. Equity-linked structured notes are typically offered in limited transactions by financial institutions in either registered or non-registered form. An investment in equity-linked notes creates exposure to the credit risk of the issuing financial institution, as well as to the market risk of the underlying securities. There is no guaranteed return of principal with these securities and the appreciation potential of these securities may be limited by a maximum payment or call right. In certain cases, equity-linked notes may be more volatile and less liquid than less complex securities or other types of fixed-income securities. Such securities may exhibit price behavior that does not correlate with other fixed-income securities.

 

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Foreign Securities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The Fund may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers (together, “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in the non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security. To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, the Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.

Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the

 

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terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including the Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

Investing in Emerging Countries

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

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

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

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

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

Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions may limit the Fund’s investment in certain emerging countries and may increase the expenses of the Fund. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the company available for purchase by nationals. In addition, the repatriation of both investment income and capital from emerging countries may be subject to restrictions which require governmental consents or prohibit repatriation entirely for a period of time. Even where there is no outright restriction

 

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on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect certain aspects of the operation of the Fund. The Fund may be required to establish special custodial or other arrangements before investing in certain emerging countries.

Emerging countries may be subject to a substantially greater degree of economic, political and social instability and disruption than is the case in the United States, Japan and most Western European countries. This instability may result from, among other things, the following: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision making, including changes or attempted changes in governments through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic or social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection or conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private investments and private property. Such economic, political and social instability could disrupt the principal financial markets in which the Fund may invest and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s assets. The Fund’s investments can also be adversely affected by any increase in taxes or by political, economic or diplomatic developments.

The economies of emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. Other emerging countries, on the other hand, have recently experienced deflationary pressures and are in economic recessions. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries are vulnerable to weakness in world prices for their commodity exports.

The Fund’s income and, in some cases, capital gains from foreign stocks and securities will be subject to applicable taxation in certain of the countries in which it invests, and treaties between the U.S. and such countries may not be available in some cases to reduce the otherwise applicable tax rates. See “TAXATION.”

Market Characteristics. Investment in debt securities of emerging country issuers involves special risks. The development of a market for such securities is a relatively recent phenomenon and debt securities of most emerging country issuers are less liquid and are generally subject to greater price volatility than securities of issuers in the United States and other developed countries. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities, and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. The markets for securities of emerging countries may have substantially less volume than the market for similar securities in the United States and may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trade size. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The less liquid the market, the more difficult it may be for the Fund to price accurately its portfolio securities or to dispose of such securities at the times determined to be appropriate. The risks associated with reduced liquidity may be particularly acute to the extent that the Fund needs cash to meet redemption requests, to pay dividends and other distributions or to pay its expenses.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Brady Bonds. Certain foreign debt obligations commonly referred to as “Brady Bonds” are created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to foreign borrowers for new obligations in connection with debt restructurings under a plan introduced by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Nicholas F. Brady (the “Brady Plan”).

Brady Bonds may be collateralized or uncollateralized and issued in various currencies (although most are dollar-denominated) and they are actively traded in the over-the-counter secondary market. Certain Brady Bonds are collateralized in full as to principal due at maturity by zero coupon obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities having the same maturity (“Collateralized Brady Bonds”). Brady Bonds are not, however, considered to be U.S. Government securities.

Dollar-denominated, Collateralized Brady Bonds may be fixed rate bonds or floating rate bonds. Interest payments on Brady Bonds are often collateralized by cash or securities in an amount that, in the case of fixed rate bonds, is equal to at least one year of rolling interest payments or, in the case of floating rate bonds, initially is equal to at least one year’s rolling interest payments based on the applicable interest rate at that time and is adjusted at regular intervals thereafter. Certain Brady Bonds are entitled to “value recovery payments” in certain circumstances, which in effect constitute supplemental interest payments but generally are not collateralized. Brady Bonds are often viewed as having three or four valuation components: (i) collateralized repayment of principal at final maturity; (ii) collateralized interest payments; (iii) uncollateralized interest payments; and (iv) any uncollateralized repayment of principal at maturity (these uncollateralized amounts constitute the “residual risk”). In the event of a default with respect to Collateralized Brady Bonds as a result of which the payment obligations of the issuer are accelerated, the U.S. Treasury zero coupon obligations held as collateral for the payment of principal will not be distributed to investors, nor will such obligations be sold and the proceeds distributed. The collateral will be held by the collateral agent to the scheduled maturity of the defaulted Brady Bonds, which will continue to be outstanding, at which time the face amount of the collateral will equal the principal payments which would have been due on the Brady Bonds in the normal course. In addition, in light of the residual risk of Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds should be viewed as speculative.

Restructured Investments. Included among the issuers of emerging country debt securities are entities organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of various securities. These entities are often organized by investment banking firms which receive fees in connection with establishing each entity and arranging for the placement of its securities. This type of restructuring involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity, such as a corporation or trust, or specified instruments, such as Brady Bonds, and the issuance by the entity of one or more classes of securities (“Restructured Investments”) backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued Restructured Investments to create securities with different investment characteristics such as varying maturities, payment priorities or investment rate provisions. Because Restructured Investments of the type in which the Fund may invest typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk will generally be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments.

 

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The Fund may be permitted to invest in a class of Restructured Investments that is either subordinated or unsubordinated to the right of payment of another class. Subordinated Restructured Investments typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated Restructured Investments. Although the Fund’s purchases of subordinated Restructured Investments would have a similar economic effect to that of borrowing against the underlying securities, such purchases will not be deemed to be borrowing for purposes of the limitations placed on the extent of the Fund’s assets that may be used for borrowing.

Certain issuers of Restructured Investments may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the Act. As a result, the Fund’s investments in these Restructured Investments may be limited by the restrictions contained in the Act. Restructured Investments are typically sold in private placement transactions, and there currently is no active trading market for most Restructured Investments.

Investing in Asia. Although many countries in Asia have experienced a relatively stable political environment over the last decade, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. As an emerging region, many factors may affect such stability on a country-by-country as well as on a regional basis – increasing gaps between the rich and poor, agrarian unrest, instability of existing coalitions in politically-fractionated countries, hostile relations with neighboring countries, and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection – and may result in adverse consequences to the Fund. The political history of some Asian countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such developments, if they continue to occur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption to securities markets.

The legal infrastructure in each of the countries in Asia is unique and often undeveloped. In most cases, securities laws are evolving and far from adequate for the protection of the public from serious fraud. Investment in Asian securities involves considerations and possible risks not typically involved with investment in other issuers, including changes in governmental administration or economic or monetary policy or changed circumstances in dealings between nations. The application of tax laws (e.g., the imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments) or confiscatory taxation may also affect investment in Asian securities. Higher expenses may result from investments in Asian securities than would from investments in other securities because of the costs that must be incurred in connection with conversions between various currencies and brokerage commissions that may be higher than more established markets. Asian securities markets also may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than elsewhere. Investments in countries in the region could be affected by other factors not present elsewhere, including lack of uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, inadequate settlement procedures and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations.

Some Asian economies have limited natural resources, resulting in dependence on foreign sources for energy and raw materials and economic vulnerability to global fluctuations of price and supply. Certain countries in Asia are especially prone to natural disasters, such as flooding, drought and earthquakes. Combined with the possibility of man-made disasters, the occurrence of such disasters may adversely affect companies in which the Fund is invested and, as a result, may result in adverse consequences to the Fund. Many of the countries in Asia periodically have experienced significant inflation. Should the governments and central banks of the countries in Asia fail to control inflation, this may have an adverse effect on the performance of the Fund’s investments in Asian securities. Several of the countries in Asia remain dependent on the U.S. economy as their largest export customer, and future barriers to entry into the U.S. market or other important markets could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Intraregional trade is becoming an increasingly significant percentage of total trade for the countries in Asia. Consequently, the intertwined economies are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, and any barriers to entry to markets in Asia in the future may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

Certain Asian countries may have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Asian countries also may restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for certain currencies, and it would, as a result, be difficult to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Although the Fund will generally attempt to invest in those markets which provide the greatest freedom of movement of foreign capital, there is no assurance that this will be possible or that certain countries in Asia will not restrict the movement of foreign capital in the future. Changes in securities laws and foreign ownership laws may have an adverse effect on the Fund.

 

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Investing in Greater China. Investing in Greater China (the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) involves a high degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. Such risks may include: (a) greater social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of armed conflict); (b) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (c) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (d) increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies; (e) greater price volatility and significantly smaller market capitalization of securities markets; (f) substantially less liquidity, particularly of certain share classes of Chinese securities; (g) currency exchange rate fluctuations and the lack of available currency hedging instruments; (h) higher rates of inflation; (i) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the Fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (j) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (k) uncertainty regarding the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to economic reforms; (l) the fact that Chinese companies may be smaller, less seasoned and newly-organized companies; (m) the differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; (n) the fact that statistical information regarding the economy of Greater China may be inaccurate or not comparable to statistical information regarding the U.S. or other economies; (o) less extensive, and still developing, legal systems and regulatory frameworks regarding the securities markets, business entities and commercial transactions; (p) the fact that the settlement period of securities transactions in foreign markets may be longer; (q) the fact that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to obtain and/or enforce a judgment than in other countries; and (r) the rapid and erratic nature of growth, particularly in the People’s Republic of China, resulting in inefficiencies and dislocations.

The People’s Republic of China is dominated by the one-party rule of the Communist Party. Investments in China involve the risk of greater control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. The government of the People’s Republic of China exercises significant control over economic growth through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. For over three decades, the government of the People’s Republic of China has been reforming economic and market practices and providing a larger sphere for private ownership of property. While currently contributing to growth and prosperity, the government may decide not to continue to support these economic reform programs and could possibly return to the completely centrally planned economy that existed prior to 1978. China’s ability to develop and sustain a credible legal, regulatory, monetary and socioeconomic system could influence the course of outside investment.

Since the global economic crisis in 2008, the Chinese government has taken unprecedented steps to shore up economic growth. However, the results of these measures are unpredictable. Over the long term, the country’s major challenges include worsening environmental conditions and widening urban and rural income gap.

The willingness and ability of the government of the People’s Republic of China to support Greater China markets is uncertain. Taiwan and Hong Kong do not exercise the same level of control over their economies as does the People’s Republic of China, but changes to their political and economic relationships with the People’s Republic of China could adversely impact the Fund’s investments in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan is a highly problematic issue and is unlikely to be settled in the near future. This situation, and the continuing hostility between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, poses a threat to Taiwan’s economy and may have an adverse impact on the value of the Fund’s investments in Greater China.

Greater China has historically been prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, floods and tsunamis and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could cause a significant impact on the economy of, or investments in, Greater China.

Investing in Japan. Japan’s economy is heavily dependent upon international trade and is especially sensitive to any adverse effects arising from trade tariffs and other protectionist measures, as well as the economic condition of its trading partners. Japan’s high volume of exports has caused trade tensions with Japan’s primary trading partners, particularly with the United States. The relaxing of official and de facto barriers to imports, or hardships created by the actions of trading partners, could adversely affect Japan’s economy. Because the Japanese economy is so dependent on exports, any fall-off in exports may be seen as a sign of economic weakness, which may adversely affect Japanese markets. In addition, Japan’s export industry, its most important economic sector, depends heavily on imported raw materials and fuels, including iron ore, copper, oil and many forest products. Japan has historically depended on oil for most of its energy requirements. Almost all of its oil is imported, the majority from the Middle East. In the past, oil prices have had a major impact on the domestic economy, but more recently Japan has worked to reduce its dependence on oil by encouraging energy conservation and use of alternative fuels. However, Japan remains sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices, and a substantial rise in world oil or commodity prices could have a negative effect on its economy.

 

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The Japanese yen has fluctuated widely during recent periods and may be affected by currency volatility elsewhere in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. In addition, the yen has had a history of unpredictable and volatile movements against the U.S. dollar. A weak yen is disadvantageous to U.S. shareholders investing in yen-denominated securities. A strong yen, however, could be an impediment to strong continued exports and economic recovery, because it makes Japanese goods sold in other countries more expensive and reduces the value of foreign earnings repatriated to Japan.

The performance of the global economy could have a major impact upon equity returns in Japan. As a result of the strong correlation with the economy of the U.S., Japan’s economy and its stock market are vulnerable to any unfavorable economic conditions in the U.S. and poor performance of U.S. stock markets. The growing economic relationship between Japan and its other neighboring countries in the Southeast Asia region, especially China, also exposes Japan’s economy to changes to the economic climates in those countries.

Like many developed countries, Japan faces challenges to its competitiveness. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s and Japan’s economy fell into a long recession. After a few years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, the Japanese economy fell into another recession in part due to the recent global economic crisis. This economic recession was likely compounded by an unstable financial sector, low domestic consumption, and certain corporate structural weaknesses, which remain some of the major issues facing the Japanese economy. Japan is reforming its political process and deregulating its economy to address this situation. However, there is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed in making the performance of the Japanese economy more competitive.

Japan has experienced natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tidal waves, of varying degrees of severity. The risks of such phenomena, and the resulting damage, continue to exist and could have a severe and negative impact on the Fund’s holdings in Japanese securities. Japan also has one of the world’s highest population densities. A significant percentage of the total population of Japan is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Therefore, a natural disaster centered in or very near to one of these cities could have a particularly devastating effect on Japan’s financial markets. Japan’s recovery from the recession has been affected by economic distress resulting from the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011 causing major damage along the coast, including damage to nuclear power plants in the region. Since the earthquake, Japan’s financial markets have fluctuated dramatically. The disaster caused large personal losses, reduced energy supplies, disrupted manufacturing, resulted in significant declines in stock market prices and resulted in an appreciable decline in Japan’s economic output. Although production levels are recovering in some industries as work is shifted to factories in areas not directly affected by the disaster, the timing of a full economic recovery is uncertain, and foreign business whose supply chains are dependent on production or manufacturing in Japan may decrease their reliance on Japanese industries in the future.

Investing in Australia. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on the economies of Asia, Europe and the U.S. as key trading partners, and in particular, on the price and demand for agricultural products and natural resources. By total market capitalization, the Australian stock market is small relative to the U.S. stock market and issues may trade with lesser liquidity. Australian reporting, accounting and auditing standards differ substantially from U.S. standards. In general, Australian corporations do not provide all of the disclosure required by U.S. law and accounting practice, and such disclosure may be less timely and less frequent than that required of U.S. companies.

Investing in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is facing many economic hurdles, including weak political institutions, poor infrastructure, lack of privatization of industry, and unemployment. Confrontational tendencies in Bangladeshi politics, including violent protests, raise concerns about political stability and could weigh on business sentiment and capital investment. Inadequate investment in the power sector has led to electricity shortages which continue to hamper Bangladesh’s business environment. Many Bangladeshi industries are dependent upon exports and international trade and may demonstrate high volatility in response to economic conditions abroad.

Bangladesh’s developing capital markets rely primarily on domestic investors. The 2010-2011 overheating of the stock market and subsequent correction underscored weaknesses in capital markets and regulatory oversight.

Bangladesh is located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters such as monsoons, earthquakes and typhoons, and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could result in a significant adverse impact on Bangladesh’s economy.

Investing in Brazil. In addition to the risks listed above under “Foreign Securities” and “Investing in Emerging Countries,” investing in Brazil presents additional risks.

 

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Under current Brazilian law, the Fund may repatriate income received from dividends and interest earned on its investments in Brazilian securities. The Fund may also repatriate net realized capital gains from its investments in Brazilian securities. Additionally, whenever there occurs a serious imbalance in Brazil’s balance of payments or serious reasons to foresee the imminence of such an imbalance, under current Brazilian law the Monetary Council may, for a limited period, impose restrictions on foreign capital remittances abroad. Exchange control regulations may restrict repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales by foreign investors.

Brazil suffers from chronic structural public sector deficits. In addition, disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization and capital market development, and ethnic and racial hostilities have led to social and labor unrest and violence in the past, and may do so again in the future.

Additionally, the Brazilian securities markets are smaller, less liquid and more volatile than domestic markets. The market for Brazilian securities is influenced by economic and market conditions of certain countries, especially emerging market countries in Central and South America. Brazil has historically experienced high rates of inflation and may continue to do so in the future. Appreciation of the Brazilian currency (the real) relative to the U.S. dollar may lead to a deterioration of Brazil’s current account and balance of payments as well as limit the growth of exports. Inflationary pressures may lead to further government intervention in the economy, including the introduction of government policies that may adversely affect the overall performance of the Brazilian economy, which in turn could adversely affect the Fund’s investments.

Investing in Central and South American Countries. The Fund may invest in issuers located in Central and South American countries. Securities markets in Central and South American countries may experience greater volatility than in other emerging countries. In addition, a number of Central and South American countries are among the largest emerging country debtors. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.

Many of the currencies of Central and South American countries have experienced steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and major devaluations have historically occurred in certain countries. Any devaluations in the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. There is also a risk that certain Central and South American countries may restrict the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Some Central and South American countries may have managed currencies which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency that, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Central and South American currencies may not be internationally traded and it would be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

The emergence of the Central and South American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. Governments of many Central and South American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. The political history of certain Central and South American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres and political corruption. Such developments, if they were to recur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization and removal of trade barriers.

International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the recovery of the Central and South American economies. Because commodities such as oil, gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, the economies of Central and South American countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. As a result, the economies in many of these countries can experience significant volatility.

Certain Central and South American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that would, among other things, reduce barriers among countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurance can be given that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be implemented, will be implemented but not completed or will be completed but then partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence. Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including share appreciation or depreciation of participant’s national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Central and South American markets, an undermining of Central and South American economic stability,

 

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the collapse or slowdown of the drive toward Central and South American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements. Such developments could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments in Central and South America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.

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

Where the Fund invests in securities issued by companies incorporated in or whose principal operations are located in Eastern Europe, other risks may also be encountered. Legal, political, economic and fiscal uncertainties in Eastern European markets may affect the value of the Fund’s investment in such securities. The currencies in which these investments may be denominated may be unstable, may be subject to significant depreciation and may not be freely convertible. Existing laws and regulations may not be consistently applied. The markets of the countries of Eastern Europe are still in the early stages of their development, have less volume, are less highly regulated, are less liquid and experience greater volatility than more established markets. Settlement of transactions may be subject to delay and administrative uncertainties. Custodians are not able to offer the level of service and safekeeping, settlement and administration services that is customary in more developed markets, and there is a risk that the Fund will not be recognized as the owner of securities held on its behalf by a sub-custodian.

Investing in Egypt. Historically, Egypt’s national politics have been characterized by periods of instability and social unrest. Poor living standards, disparities of wealth and limitations on political freedom have contributed to the unstable environment. Unanticipated or sudden political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. Egypt has experienced acts of terrorism, internal political conflict, popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic and social conditions, strained international relations due to territorial disputes, regional military conflicts, internal insurgencies and other security concerns. These situations may cause uncertainty in the Egyptian market and may adversely affect the performance of the Egyptian economy.

Even as Egypt has chosen its democratically-elected president and ratified a new constitution after the unrest in 2011, the country remains divided politically. The Egyptian government sought to increase social spending to address public dissatisfaction, but their ability to do so has been hampered by political uncertainty which caused economic growth to slow significantly, reducing the government’s revenues. Since 2011, the government has drawn down foreign exchange reserves and has depended on foreign assistance, particularly from Gulf countries, to finance imports and energy products and prevent further devaluation of the Egyptian pound, fearing higher inflation from a weaker currency. Although there has been increasing economic liberalization and limited political liberalization in recent years, there is no guarantee that this trend will continue, particularly if there is a political transition.

Egypt’s economy is dependent on trade with certain key trading partners including the United States. Reduction in spending by these economies on Egyptian products and services or negative changes in any of these economies may cause an adverse impact on Egypt’s economy. Trade may also be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other government imposed or negotiated protectionist measures.

Egypt has entered into, and is implementing, a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, which is designed to encourage and protect U.S. investment in Egypt. However, there may be a risk of loss due to expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested, particularly if the bilateral investment treaty with the United States is not fully implemented or fails in its purpose. Other diplomatic developments could adversely affect investments in Egypt, particularly as Egypt is involved in negotiations for various regional conflicts.

The Egyptian economy is heavily dependent on tourism, export of oil and gas, and shipping services revenues from the Suez Canal. Tourism receipts are vulnerable to terrorism, spillovers from conflicts in the region, and political instability. As Egypt produces and exports oil and gas, any acts of terrorism or armed conflict causing disruptions of oil and gas exports could affect the Egyptian economy and, thus, adversely affect the financial condition, results of operations or prospects of

 

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companies in which the Fund may invest. Furthermore, any acts of terrorism or armed conflict in Egypt or regionally could divert demand for the use of the Suez Canal, thereby reducing revenues from the Suez Canal.

Investing in Europe. The Fund may operate in euros and/ or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that the Fund has invested in.

European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.

Investing in Greater China. Investing in Greater China (the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) involves a high degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. Such risks may include: (a) social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of armed conflict); (b) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (c) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (d) increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies; (e) greater price volatility and significantly smaller market capitalization of securities markets; (f) substantially less liquidity, particularly of certain share classes of Chinese securities; (g) currency exchange rate fluctuations and the lack of available currency hedging instruments; (h) higher rates of inflation; (i) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the Fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (j) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (k) uncertainty regarding the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to economic reforms; (l) the fact that Chinese companies may be smaller, less seasoned and newly-organized companies; (m) the differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; (n) the fact that statistical information regarding the economy of Greater China may be inaccurate or not comparable to statistical information regarding the U.S. or other economies; (o) less extensive, and still developing, legal systems and regulatory frameworks regarding the securities markets, business entities and commercial transactions; (p) the fact that the settlement period of securities transactions in foreign markets may be longer; (q) the fact that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to obtain and/or enforce a judgment than in other countries; and (r) the rapid and erratic nature of growth, particularly in the People’s Republic of China, resulting in inefficiencies and dislocations.

The People’s Republic of China is dominated by the one-party rule of the Communist Party. Investments in China involve the risk of greater control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. The government of the People’s Republic of China exercises significant control over economic growth through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. For over three decades, the government of the People’s Republic of China has been reforming economic and market practices and providing a larger sphere for private ownership of property. While currently contributing to growth and prosperity, the government may decide not to continue to support these economic reform programs and could possibly return to the completely centrally planned economy that existed prior to 1978.

The willingness and ability of the government of the People’s Republic of China to support Greater China markets is uncertain. Taiwan and Hong Kong do not exercise the same level of control over their economies as does the People’s Republic of China, but changes to their political and economic relationships with the People’s Republic of China could adversely impact the Fund’s investments in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan is a highly problematic issue and is unlikely to be settled in the near future. This situation, and the continuing hostility between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, poses a threat to Taiwan’s economy and may have an adverse impact on the value of the Fund’s investments in Greater China.

Greater China has historically been prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, floods and tsunamis and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could cause a significant impact on the economy of, or investments in, Greater China.

 

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Investing in India. In addition to the risks listed under “Foreign Investments” and “Investing in Emerging Countries,” investing in India presents additional risks.

The value of the Fund’s investments in Indian securities may be affected by political and economic developments, changes in government regulation and government intervention, high rates of inflation or interest rates and withholding tax affecting India. The risk of loss may also be increased because there may be less information available about Indian issuers because they are not subject to the extensive accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices which are applicable in the U.S. and other developed countries. There is also a lower level of regulation and monitoring of the Indian securities market and its participants than in other more developed markets.

The laws in India relating to limited liability of corporate shareholders, fiduciary duties of officers and directors, and the bankruptcy of state enterprises are generally less well developed than or different from such laws in the United States. It may be more difficult to obtain or enforce a judgment in the courts in India than it is in the United States. India also has less developed clearance and settlement procedures, and there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities and have been significantly delayed. The Indian stock exchanges have in the past been subject to repeated closure and there can be no certainty that this will not recur. In addition, significant delays are common in registering transfers of securities and the Fund may be unable to sell securities until the registration process is completed and may experience delays in receipt of dividends and other entitlements.

Foreign investment in the securities of issuers in India is usually restricted or controlled to some degree. In India, “Foreign Institutional Investors” (“FIIs”) may predominately invest in exchange-traded securities (and securities to be listed, or those approved on the over-the-counter exchange of India) subject to the conditions specified in certain guidelines for direct foreign investment. FIIs have to apply for registration to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) and to the Reserve Bank of India for permission to trade in Indian securities. GSAM is a registered FII and the inclusion of the Fund in GSAM’s registration was approved by SEBI. The Fund’s continued ability to invest in India is dependent on its continuing to meet current and future requirements placed on FIIs by SEBI. If the Fund (or the Investment Adviser) were to fail to meet applicable requirements in the future, the Fund would no longer be permitted to invest directly in Indian securities, may not be able to pursue its principal strategy and may be forced to liquidate. FIIs are required to observe certain investment restrictions, including an account ownership ceiling of 5% of the total issued share capital of any one company. In addition, the shareholdings of all registered FIIs, together with the shareholdings of non-resident Indian individuals and foreign bodies corporate substantially owned by non-resident Indians, may not exceed 40% of the issued share capital of any one company (subject to that company’s approval). Only registered FIIs and non-Indian mutual funds that comply with certain statutory conditions may make direct portfolio investments in exchange-traded Indian securities. Under the current guidelines, income, gains and initial capital with respect to such investments are freely repatriable, subject to payment of applicable Indian taxes. However, the guidelines covering foreign investment are relatively new and evolving and there can be no assurance that these investment control regimes will not change in a way that makes it more difficult or impossible for the Fund to implement its investment objective or repatriate its income, gains and initial capital from India.

A tax of 10% plus surcharges is currently imposed on gains from sales of equities held not more than one year and sold on a recognized stock exchange in India. There is no tax on gains from sales of equities held for more than one year and sold on a recognized stock exchange in India. Gains from sales of equity securities in other cases are taxed at a rate of 30% plus surcharges (for securities held not more than one year) and 10% (for securities held for more than one year). Securities transaction tax applies for specified transactions at specified rates. India imposes a tax on interest on securities at a rate of 20% plus surcharges. This tax is imposed on the investor. India imposes a tax on dividends paid by an Indian company at a rate of 12.5% plus surcharges. This tax is imposed on the company that pays the dividends. The Investment Adviser will take into account the effects of local taxation on investment returns. In the past, these taxes have sometimes been substantial.

The Indian population is composed of diverse religious, linguistic and ethnic groups. Religious and border disputes continue to pose problems for India. From time to time, India has experienced internal disputes between religious groups within the country. In addition, India has faced, and continues to face, military hostilities with neighboring countries and regional countries. These events could adversely influence the Indian economy and, as a result, negatively affect the Fund’s investments.

Investing in Indonesia. Indonesia has experienced currency devaluations, substantial rates of inflation, widespread corruption and economic recessions. The Indonesian government may exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector and may own or control many companies. Indonesia’s securities laws are unsettled and judicial enforcement of contracts with foreign entities is inconsistent, often as a result of pervasive corruption. Indonesia has a history of political and military unrest including acts of terrorism, outbreaks of violence and civil unrest due to territorial disputes, historical animosities and domestic ethnic and religious conflicts.

 

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The Indonesian securities market is an emerging market characterized by a small number of company listings, high price volatility and a relatively illiquid secondary trading environment. These factors, coupled with restrictions on investment by foreigners and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in Indonesian securities, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. The limited liquidity of the Indonesian securities markets may also affect the Fund’s ability to acquire or dispose of securities at a price and time that it wishes to do so. Accordingly, in periods of rising market prices, the Fund may be unable to participate in such price increases fully to the extent that it is unable to acquire desired portfolio positions quickly; conversely the Fund’s inability to dispose fully and promptly of positions in declining markets will cause its net asset value to decline as the value of unsold positions is marked to lower prices.

The market for Indonesian securities is directly influenced by the flow of international capital, and economic and market conditions of certain countries. Adverse economic conditions or developments in other emerging market countries, especially in the Southeast Asia region, have at times significantly affected the availability of credit in the Indonesian economy and resulted in considerable outflows of funds and declines in the amount of foreign currency invested in Indonesia. Adverse conditions or changes in relationships with Indonesia’s major trading partners, including Japan, China, and the U.S., may also significantly impact on the Indonesian economy.

Indonesia is located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons, and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could result in a significant adverse impact on Indonesia’s economy.

Investing in Japan. Japan’s economy is heavily dependent upon international trade and is especially sensitive to any adverse effects arising from trade tariffs and other protectionist measures, as well as the economic condition of its trading partners. Japan’s high volume of exports has caused trade tensions with Japan’s primary trading partners, particularly with the United States. The relaxing of official and de facto barriers to imports, or hardships created by the actions of trading partners, could adversely affect Japan’s economy. Because the Japanese economy is so dependent on exports, any fall-off in exports may be seen as a sign of economic weakness, which may adversely affect Japanese markets.

In addition, Japan’s export industry, its most important economic sector, depends heavily on imported raw materials and fuels, including iron ore, copper, oil and many forest products. Japan has historically depended on oil for most of its energy requirements. Almost all of its oil is imported, the majority from the Middle East. In the past, oil prices have had a major impact on the domestic economy, but more recently Japan has worked to reduce its dependence on oil by encouraging energy conservation and use of alternative fuels. However, Japan remains sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices, and a substantial rise in world oil or commodity prices could have a negative effect on its economy.

The Japanese yen has fluctuated widely during recent periods and may be affected by currency volatility elsewhere in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. In addition, the yen has had a history of unpredictable and volatile movements against the U.S. dollar. A weak yen is disadvantageous to U.S. shareholders investing in yen-denominated securities. A strong yen, however, could be an impediment to strong continued exports and economic recovery, because it makes Japanese goods sold in other countries more expensive and reduces the value of foreign earnings repatriated to Japan.

The performance of the global economy could have a major impact upon equity returns in Japan. As a result of the strong correlation with the economy of the U.S., Japan’s economy and its stock market are vulnerable to any unfavorable economic conditions in the U.S. and poor performance of U.S. stock markets. The growing economic relationship between Japan and its other neighboring countries in the Southeast Asia region, especially China, also exposes Japan’s economy to changes to the economic climates in those countries.

Like many developed countries, Japan faces challenges to its competitiveness. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s and Japan’s economy fell into a long recession. After a few years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, the Japanese economy fell into another recession in part due to the recent global economic crisis. This economic recession was likely compounded by an unstable financial sector, low domestic consumption, and certain corporate structural weaknesses, which remain some of the major issues facing the Japanese economy. Japan is reforming its political process and deregulating its economy to address this situation. However, there is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed in making the performance of the Japanese economy more competitive.

Japan has experienced natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tidal waves, of varying degrees of severity. The risks of such phenomena, and the resulting damage, continue to exist and could have a severe and negative impact on the Fund’s holdings in Japanese securities. Japan also has one of the world’s highest population densities. A significant percentage of the total population of Japan is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Therefore, a natural disaster

 

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centered in or very near to one of these cities could have a particularly devastating effect on Japan’s financial markets. Japan’s recovery from the recession has been affected by economic distress resulting from the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011 causing major damage along the coast, including damage to nuclear power plants in the region. Since the earthquake, Japan’s financial markets have fluctuated dramatically. The disaster caused large personal losses, reduced energy supplies, disrupted manufacturing, resulted in significant declines in stock market prices and resulted in an appreciable decline in Japan’s economic output. Although production levels are recovering in some industries as work is shifted to factories in areas not directly affected by the disaster, the timing of a full economic recovery is uncertain, and foreign business whose supply chains are dependent on production or manufacturing in Japan may decrease their reliance on Japanese industries in the future.

Investing in Mexico. Since the period of economic turmoil surrounding the devaluation of the peso in 1994, which triggered the worst recession in over 50 years, Mexico has experienced a period of general economic recovery. Economic and social concerns persist, however, with respect to low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution and few advancement opportunities for the large impoverished population in the southern states. Mexico also has a history of high inflation and substantial devaluations of the peso, causing currency instabilities. These economic and political issues have caused volatility in the Mexican securities markets.

Mexico’s free market economy contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have begun a process of privatization of certain entities and industries including seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution and airports. In some instances, however, newly privatized entities have suffered losses due to an inability to adjust quickly to a competitive environment or to changing regulatory and legal standards.

The Mexican economy is heavily dependent on trade with, and foreign investment from, the U.S. and Canada, which are Mexico’s principal trading partners. Any changes in the supply, demand, price or other economic components of Mexico’s imports or exports, as well as any reductions in foreign investment from, or changes in the economies of, the U.S. or Canada, may have an adverse impact on the Mexican economy. Mexico and the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 as well as a second treaty, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, in 2005. These treaties may impact the trading relationship between Mexico and the U.S. and further Mexico’s dependency on the U.S. economy.

Mexico is subject to social and political instability as a result of a recent rise in criminal activity, including violent crimes and terrorist actions committed by certain political and drug trade organizations. A general escalation of violent crime has led to uncertainty in the Mexican market and adversely affected the performance of the Mexican economy. Violence near border areas, as well as border-related political disputes, may lead to strained international relations.

Recent elections have been contentious and closely-decided, and changes in political parties or other political events may affect the economy and cause instability. Corruption remains widespread in Mexican institutions and infrastructure is underdeveloped. Mexico has historically been prone to natural disasters such as tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes and destructive earthquakes, which may adversely impact its economy.

Investing in Nigeria. Nigeria is endowed with vast resources of oil and gas, which provide strong potential for economic growth. However, dependence on oil revenues leaves Nigeria vulnerable to volatility in world oil prices and dependent on international trade. In addition, Nigeria suffers from poverty, marginalization of key regions, and ethnic and religious divides. Under-investment and corruption have slowed infrastructure development, leading to major electricity shortages, among other things. Electricity shortages have led many businesses to make costly private arrangements for generation of power. Excessive regulation, an unreliable justice system, government corruption, and high inflation are other risks faced by Nigerian companies.

Because Nigeria is heavily dependent upon international trade, its economy may be negatively affected by any trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values or other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. The Nigerian economy may also be adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which it trades.

Militancy in the Niger Delta region, which has had a significant impact on crude oil production in recent years, has subsided following a government amnesty initiative in 2009. However, political activism and violence in the Delta region, as well as religious riots in the north, continue to have an effect on the Nigerian economy. Religious tension, often fueled by politicians, may increase in the near future, especially as other African countries are experiencing similar religious and political discontent.

 

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Nigeria is also subject to the risks of investing in African countries generally. Many African countries historically have suffered from political, economic, and social instability. Political risks may include substantial government control over the private sector, corrupt leaders, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, civil unrest, social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest, suppression of opposition parties or fixed elections, terrorism, coups, and war. Certain African markets may face a higher concentration of market capitalization, greater illiquidity and greater price volatility than that found in more developed markets of Western Europe or the United States. Certain governments in Africa restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in those countries. Securities laws in many countries in Africa are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and shareholder rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations.

Investing in Pakistan. The Pakistani population is comprised of diverse religious, linguistic and ethnic groups which may sometimes be resistant to the central government’s control. Acts of terrorism and armed clashes between Pakistani troops, local tribesmen, the Taliban and foreign extremists have resulted in population displacement and civil unrest. Pakistan, a nuclear power, also has a history of hostility with neighboring countries, most notably with India, also a nuclear power. These hostilities sometimes result in armed conflict and acts of terrorism. Even in the absence of armed conflict, the potential threat of war with India may depress economic growth in Pakistan. Further, Pakistan’s geographic location between Afghanistan and Iran increases the risk that it may be involved in or affected by international conflicts. Pakistan’s economic growth is due in large part to high levels of foreign aid, loans and debt forgiveness. However, this support may be reduced or terminated in response to a change in the political leadership of Pakistan. Unanticipated political or social developments may affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the availability to the Fund of additional investments.

Pakistan’s economy is heavily dependent on exports. Pakistan’s key trading and foreign investment partner is the United States. Reduction in spending on Pakistani products and services, or changes in the U.S. economy, foreign policy, trade regulation or currency exchange rate may adversely impact the Pakistani economy.

The stock markets in the region are undergoing a period of growth and change, which may result in trading or price volatility and difficulties in the settlement and recording of transactions, and in interpreting and applying the relevant laws and regulations. The securities industries in Pakistan are comparatively underdeveloped. The Fund may be unable to sell securities where the registration process is incomplete and may experience delays in receipt of dividends. If trading volume is limited by operational difficulties, the ability of the Fund to invest its assets in Pakistan may be impaired. Settlement of securities transactions in Pakistan are subject to risk of loss, may be delayed and are generally less frequent than in the United States, which could affect the liquidity of the Fund’s assets. In addition, disruptions due to work stoppages and trading improprieties in these securities markets have caused such markets to close. If extended closings were to occur in stock markets where the Fund was heavily invested, the Fund’s ability to redeem Fund shares could become correspondingly impaired. To mitigate these risks, the Fund may maintain a higher cash position than it otherwise would, thereby possibly diluting its return, or the Fund may have to sell more liquid securities which it would not otherwise choose to sell.

Pakistan is located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters including floods and earthquakes and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could result in a significant adverse impact on Pakistan’s economy.

Investing in the Philippines. Investments in the Philippines may be negatively affected by slow or negative growth rates and economic instability in the Philippines and in Asia. The Philippines’ economy is dependent on exports, particularly electronics and semiconductors. The Philippines’ reliance on these sectors makes it vulnerable to economic declines in the information technology sector. In addition, the Philippines’ dependence on exports ties the growth of its economy to those of its key trading partners, including the U.S., China, Japan and Singapore. Nonetheless, as a result of minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, high domestic rates of consumption and large remittances received from large overseas populations, the Philippines was able to weather the recent global economic and financial downturns better than its regional peers. However, reduction in spending on products and services from the Philippines, or changes in trade regulations or currency exchange rates in any of its key trading partners, may adversely impact the Philippine economy.

In the past, the Philippines has experienced periods of slow or negative growth, high inflation, significant devaluation of the peso, imposition of exchange controls, debt restructuring and electricity shortages and blackouts. From mid-1997 to 1999, the Asian economic crisis adversely affected the Philippine economy and caused a significant depreciation of the Peso and increases in interest rates. These factors had a material adverse impact on the ability of many Philippine companies to meet

 

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their debt-servicing obligations. While the Philippines has recovered from the Asian economic crisis, it continues to face a significant budget deficit, limited foreign currency reserves and a volatile Peso exchange rate.

Political concerns, including uncertainties over the economic policies of the Philippine government, the large budget deficit and unsettled political conditions, could materially affect the financial and economic conditions of Philippine companies in which the Fund may invest. The Philippines has experienced a high level of debt and public spending, which may stifle economic growth or contribute to prolonged periods of recession. Investments in Philippine companies will also subject the Fund to risks associated with government corruption, including lack of transparency and contradictions in regulations, appropriation of assets, graft, excessive and/or unpredictable taxation, and an unreliable judicial system.

The Philippines has historically been prone to incidents of political and religious related violence and terrorism, and may continue to experience this in the future.

The Philippines is located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event could result in a significant adverse impact on the Philippines’ economy.

Investing in Russia. In addition to the risks listed above under “Foreign Securities” and “Investing in Emerging Countries,” investing in Russia presents additional risks. Investing in Russian securities is highly speculative and involves significant risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in the securities markets of the U.S. and most other developed countries. Over the past century, Russia has experienced political, social and economic turbulence and has endured decades of communist rule under which tens of millions of its citizens were collectivized into state agricultural and industrial enterprises. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s government has been faced with the daunting task of stabilizing its domestic economy, while transforming it into a modern and efficient structure able to compete in international markets and respond to the needs of its citizens. However, to date, many of the country’s economic reform initiatives have floundered as the proceeds of International Monetary Fund and other economic assistance have been squandered or stolen. In this environment, there is always the risk that the nation’s government will abandon the current program of economic reform and replace it with radically different political and economic policies that would be detrimental to the interests of foreign investors. This could entail a return to a centrally planned economy and nationalization of private enterprises similar to what existed under the old Soviet Union.

Many of Russia’s businesses have failed to mobilize the available factors of production because the country’s privatization program virtually ensured the predominance of the old management teams that are largely non-market-oriented in their management approach. Poor accounting standards, inept management, pervasive corruption, insider trading and crime, and inadequate regulatory protection for the rights of investors all pose a significant risk, particularly to foreign investors. In addition, there is the risk that the Russian tax system will not be reformed to prevent inconsistent, retroactive, and/or exorbitant taxation, or, in the alternative, the risk that a reformed tax system may result in the inconsistent and unpredictable enforcement of the new tax laws.

Compared to most national stock markets, the Russian securities market suffers from a variety of problems not encountered in more developed markets. There is little long-term historical data on the Russian securities market because it is relatively new and a substantial proportion of securities transactions in Russia are privately negotiated outside of stock exchanges. The inexperience of the Russian securities market and the limited volume of trading in securities in the market may make obtaining accurate prices on portfolio securities from independent sources more difficult than in more developed markets. Additionally, because of less stringent auditing and financial reporting standards that apply to U.S. companies, there is little solid corporate information available to investors. As a result, it may be difficult to assess the value or prospects of an investment in Russian companies. Stocks of Russian companies also may experience greater price volatility than stocks of U.S. companies.

Because of the recent formation of the Russian securities market as well as the underdeveloped state of the banking and telecommunications systems, settlement, clearing and registration of securities transactions are subject to significant risks. Ownership of shares (except where shares are held through depositories that meet the requirements of the Act) is defined according to entries in the company’s share register and normally evidenced by extracts from the register or by formal share certificates. However, these services are carried out by the companies themselves or by registrars located throughout Russia. These registrars are not necessarily subject to effective state supervision nor are they licensed with any governmental entity, and it is possible for the Fund to lose its registration through fraud, negligence, or even mere oversight. While the Fund will endeavor to ensure that its interest continues to be appropriately recorded either itself or through a custodian or other agent inspecting the share register and by obtaining extracts of share registers through regular confirmations, these extracts have no legal enforceability and it is possible that subsequent illegal amendment or other fraudulent act may deprive the Fund of its

 

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ownership rights or improperly dilute its interests. In addition, while applicable Russian regulations impose liability on registrars for losses resulting from their errors, it may be difficult for the Fund to enforce any rights it may have against the registrar or issuer of the securities in the event of loss of share registration. Furthermore, significant delays or problems may occur in registering the transfer of securities, which could cause the Fund to incur losses due to a counterparty’s failure to pay for securities the Fund has delivered or the Fund’s inability to complete its contractual obligations because of theft or other reasons. The Fund also may experience difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments in Russia. In 2013, Russia implemented the National Settlement Depository (NSD) as a recognized central securities depository (CSD). Title to Russian equities is now based on the records of the Depository rather than the registrars. The implementation of the NSD is expected to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the Russian securities market and decrease risk of loss in connection with recording and transferring title to securities.

The Russian economy is heavily dependent upon the export of a range of commodities including most industrial metals, forestry products, oil, and gas. Accordingly, it is strongly affected by international commodity prices and is particularly vulnerable to any weakening in global demand for these products.

Foreign investors also face a high degree of currency risk when investing in Russian securities and a lack of available currency hedging instruments. In a surprise move in August 1998, Russia devalued the ruble, defaulted on short-term domestic bonds, and imposed a moratorium on the repayment of its international debt and the restructuring of the repayment terms. These actions have negatively affected Russian borrowers’ ability to access international capital markets and have had a damaging impact on the Russian economy. In light of these and other government actions, foreign investors face the possibility of further devaluations. In addition, there is the risk that the government may impose capital controls on foreign portfolio investments in the event of extreme financial or political crisis. Such capital controls would prevent the sale of a portfolio of foreign assets and the repatriation of investment income and capital.

Russia’s government has begun to take bolder steps, including use of the military, to re-assert its regional geo-political influence. These steps may increase tensions between its neighbors and Western countries, which may adversely affect its economic growth. These developments may continue for some time and create uncertainty in the region. Russia’s actions have induced the United States and other countries to impose economic sanctions and may result in additional sanctions in the future. Such sanctions, which impact many sectors of the Russian economy, may cause a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and adversely affect the performance of the Fund or make it difficult for the Fund to achieve its investment objectives. In certain instances, sanctions could prohibit the Fund from buying or selling Russian securities, rendering any such securities held by the Fund unmarketable for an indefinite period of time. In addition, such sanctions, and the Russian government’s response, could result in a downgrade in Russia’s credit rating, devaluation of its currency and/or increased volatility with respect to Russian securities.

Investing in Turkey. Certain political, economic, legal and currency risks have contributed to a high level of price volatility in the Turkish equity and currency markets. Turkey has experienced periods of substantial inflation, currency devaluations and severe economic recessions, any of which may have a negative effect on the Turkish economy and securities market. Turkey has also experienced a high level of debt and public spending, which may stifle Turkish economic growth, contribute to prolonged periods of recession or lower Turkey’s sovereign debt rating.

Turkey has begun a process of privatization of certain entities and industries. In some instances, however, newly privatized entities have suffered losses due to an inability to adjust quickly to a competitive environment or to changing regulatory and legal standards. Privatized industries also run the risk of re-nationalization.

Historically, Turkey’s national politics have been unpredictable and subject to influence by the military, and its government may be subject to sudden change. Disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization and capital market development and religious and racial disaffection have also led to social and political unrest. Unanticipated or sudden political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses.

Investing in Vietnam. While Vietnam has been experiencing a period of rapid economic growth, the country remains relatively poor, with under-developed infrastructure and a lack of sophisticated or high tech industries. Risks of investing in Vietnam include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision-making, and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest.

Vietnam is currently experiencing a high inflation rate, which is at least partially a result of the country’s large trade deficit. Due to governmental focus on economic growth at the expense of currency stability, the inflation rate may continue at a high level and economic stability could be threatened.

 

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Vietnam may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may have been and may continue to be, negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. The economy of Vietnam also has been and may continue to be adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which it trades.

The Vietnamese economy also suffers from excessive intervention by the Communist government. Many companies listed on the exchanges are still partly state-owned and have a degree of state influence in their operations. The government of Vietnam continues to hold, on average, more than one-third of the equity in privatized enterprises. State owned and operated companies tend to be less efficient than privately owned companies, due to lack of market competition.

The government of Vietnam may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers operating in Vietnam. Only a small percentage of the shares of privatized companies are held by investors. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located in Vietnam. Moreover, governmental approval prior to investments by foreign investors may be required in Vietnam and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer and may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of Vietnam and/or impose additional taxes on foreign investors. These factors make investing in issuers located in Vietnam significantly riskier than investing in issuers located in more developed countries, and could a cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s shares. In addition, the government of Vietnam may levy withholding or other taxes on dividend and interest income. Although a portion of these taxes may be recoverable, any non-recovered portion of foreign withholding taxes will reduce the income received from investments in such countries.

Investment in Vietnam may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of capital by foreign investors. Vietnamese authorities have in the past imposed arbitrary repatriation taxes on foreign owners. In addition, there is the risk that if Vietnam’s balance of payments declines, Vietnam may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Additionally, investments in Vietnam may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.

Current investment regulations in Vietnam require the Fund to execute trades of securities of Vietnamese companies through a single broker. As a result, the Adviser will have less flexibility to choose among brokers on behalf of the Fund than is typically the case for investment managers. In addition, because the process of purchasing securities in Vietnam requires that payment to the local broker occur prior to receipt of securities, failure of the broker to deliver the securities will adversely affect the applicable Fund.

Vietnam is also subject to certain environmental risks, including typhoons and floods, as well as rapid environmental degradation due to industrialization and lack of regulation.

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

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

At the maturity of a forward contract the Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are often, but not always, effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.

The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when the Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when the Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividend or interest payments on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the

 

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amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, the Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

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

The Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency. In addition, the Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposure and the currency exposure of a performance benchmark.

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

Markets for trading foreign forward currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to continue to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity. To the extent that a portion of the Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. The Fund will engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration of its fixed income securities holdings in accordance with its investment objective and policies. The Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

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

 

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

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

When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, the Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, the Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, the Fund can purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, the Fund can purchase futures contracts on foreign currency to establish the price in U.S. dollars of a security quoted or denominated in such currency that such Fund has acquired or expects to acquire. In addition, the Fund may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between the Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of an imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to risk of loss.

In addition, it is not possible for the Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of the Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Sub-Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.

 

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High Yield Securities

The Fund may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group (“Standard & Poor’s”) or Ba1 or below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) (or comparable rated and unrated securities). These bonds are commonly referred to as “junk bonds,” are non-investment grade, and are considered speculative. The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make principal and interest payments may be questionable because such issuers are often less creditworthy or are highly leveraged and are generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are also issued by governmental issuers that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments. In some cases, high yield securities may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will entail greater risks than those associated with investments in investment grade bonds (i.e., bonds rated AAA, AA, A or BBB by Standard & Poor’s or Aaa, Aa, A or Baa by Moody’s). Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities, and the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective may, to the extent of its investments in high yield securities, be more dependent upon such creditworthiness analysis than would be the case if the Fund were investing in higher quality securities. See Appendix A for a description of the corporate bond and preferred stock ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch, Inc. (“Fitch”) and Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited (“DBRS”).

The market values of high yield securities tend to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than do those of higher rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of high yield securities that are highly leveraged may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing. Their ability to service debt obligations may be more adversely affected by economic downturns or their inability to meet specific projected business forecasts than would be the case for issuers of higher-rated securities. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower-rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such high yield securities. In the lower quality segments of the fixed income securities market, changes in perceptions of issuers’ creditworthiness tend to occur more frequently and in a more pronounced manner than do changes in higher quality segments of the fixed income securities market, resulting in greater yield and price volatility. Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of high yield securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of investments fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the Fund’s NAV.

The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by the Fund in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by the Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, the Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect its interests. The Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Fund in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Fund has not received any cash payments of such interest.

The secondary market for high yield securities is concentrated in relatively few markets and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities may not be as liquid as and may be more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities. The secondary market for high yield securities could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of the Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet redemption requests or other liquidity needs. The Investment Adviser could find it difficult to sell these investments or may be able to sell the investments only at prices lower than if such investments were widely traded. Prices realized upon the sale of such lower rated or unrated securities, under these circumstances, may be less than the prices used in calculating the NAVs of the Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

The adoption of new legislation could adversely affect the secondary market for high yield securities and the financial condition of issuers of these securities. The form of any future legislation, and the probability of such legislation being enacted, is uncertain.

 

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Non-investment grade or high yield securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield securities frequently contain “call” or buy-back features which permit the issuer to call or repurchase the security from its holder. If an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security, the Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if the Fund experiences net redemptions of its shares, it may be forced to sell its higher-rated securities, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of its portfolio and increasing its exposure to the risks of high yield securities.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. Investments in non-investment grade and comparable unrated obligations will be more dependent on the Investment Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case with investments in investment-grade debt obligations.

An economic downturn could severely affect the ability of highly leveraged issuers of junk bond investments to service their debt obligations or to repay their obligations upon maturity. Factors having an adverse impact on the market value of junk bonds will have an adverse effect on the Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, the Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.

Loans and Loan Participations

The Fund may invest in loans and loan participations. A loan participation is an interest in a loan to a U.S. or foreign company or other borrower which is administered and sold by a financial intermediary. In a typical corporate loan syndication, a number of lenders, usually banks (co-lenders), lend a corporate borrower a specified sum pursuant to the terms and conditions of a loan agreement. One of the co-lenders usually agrees to act as the agent bank with respect to the loan.

Participation interests acquired by the Fund may take the form of a direct or co-lending relationship with the corporate borrower, an assignment of an interest in the loan by a co-lender or another participant, or a participation in the seller’s share of the loan. The participation by the Fund in a lender’s portion of a loan typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with such lender, not with the business entity borrowing the funds (the “Borrower”). As a result, the Fund may have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by such lender of payments from the Borrower. Such indebtedness may be secured or unsecured. Under the terms of the loan participation, the Fund may be regarded as a creditor of the agent bank (rather than of the underlying corporate borrower), so that the Fund may also be subject to the risk that the agent bank may become insolvent. Loan participations typically represent direct participations in a loan to a Borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates. The Fund may participate in such syndicates, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a part lender. The participation interests in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by any NRSRO. The secondary market, if any, for loan participations may be limited and loan participations purchased by the Fund may be regarded as illiquid.

When the Fund acts as co-lender in connection with a participation interest or when the Fund acquires certain participation interests, the Fund may have direct recourse against the borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and interest. In cases where the Fund lacks direct recourse, it will look to the agent bank to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. In these cases, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation (such as commercial paper) of such borrower. For example, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the corporate borrower, a loan participation may be subject to certain defenses by the borrower as a result of improper conduct by the agent bank.

For purposes of certain investment limitations pertaining to diversification of the Fund’s portfolio investments, the issuer of a loan participation will be the underlying borrower. However, in cases where the Fund does not have recourse directly against the borrower, both the borrower and each agent bank and co-lender interposed between the Fund and the borrower will be deemed issuers of a loan participation.

Senior Loans. The Fund may invest in Senior Loans. Senior Loans hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a business entity (the “Borrower”), are typically secured with specific collateral and have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the Borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the Borrower. The proceeds of Senior Loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases,

 

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refinancings and to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior Loans typically have rates of interest which are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. These base lending rates are primarily the LIBOR and secondarily the prime rate offered by one or more major U.S. banks and the certificate of deposit rate or other base lending rates used by commercial lenders.

Senior Loans typically have a stated term of between five and nine years, and have rates of interest which typically are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Longer interest rate reset periods would generally increase fluctuations in the Fund’s NAV as a result of changes in market interest rates. The Fund is not subject to any restrictions with respect to the maturity of Senior Loans held in its portfolio. As a result, as short-term interest rates increase, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in Senior Loans should increase, and as short-term interest rates decrease, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in Senior Loans should decrease. Because of prepayments, the Investment Adviser expect the average lives of the Senior Loans in which the Fund invests to be shorter than the stated maturity.

Senior Loans are subject to the risk of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. Such non-payment would result in a reduction of income to the Fund, a reduction in the value of the investment and a potential decrease in the Fund’s NAV. There can be no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral securing a Senior Loan would satisfy the Borrower’s obligation in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal payments, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a Borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a Senior Loan. The collateral securing a Senior Loan may lose all or substantially all of its value in the event of the bankruptcy of a Borrower. Some Senior Loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could subordinate such Senior Loans to presently existing or future indebtedness of the Borrower or take other action detrimental to the holders of Senior Loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such Senior Loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the Borrower. If interest were required to be refunded, it could negatively affect the Fund’s performance.

Many Senior Loans in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by a rating agency, will not be registered with the SEC or any state securities commission, and will not be listed on any national securities exchange. The amount of public information available with respect to Senior Loans will generally be less extensive than that available for registered or exchange-listed securities. In evaluating the creditworthiness of Borrowers, the Investment Adviser will consider, and may rely in part, on analyses performed by others. Borrowers may have outstanding debt obligations that are rated below investment grade by a rating agency. Many of the Senior Loans in which the Fund may invest will have been assigned below investment grade ratings by independent rating agencies. In the event Senior Loans are not rated, they are likely to be the equivalent of below investment grade quality. Because of the protective features of Senior Loans, the Investment Adviser believe that Senior Loans tend to have more favorable loss recovery rates as compared to more junior types of below investment grade debt obligations. The Investment Adviser does not view ratings as the determinative factor in their investment decisions and rely more upon their credit analysis abilities than upon ratings. Investors in loans, such as an Underlying Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies. The market for loan obligations may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because transactions in many loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, an Underlying Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet an Underlying Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Underlying Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.

No active trading market may exist for some Senior Loans, and some loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to realize full value and thus cause a material decline in the NAV of the Fund. Because transactions in many Senior Loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, the Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of Senior Loans for a period after the sale of the Senior Loans. In addition, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of its Senior Loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely-traded and, as a result of such illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations, including redemption obligations. During periods of limited supply and liquidity of Senior Loans, the Fund’s yield may be lower.

When interest rates decline, the value of the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. Although changes in prevailing interest rates can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the value of Senior Loans (due to the fact that floating rates on Senior Loans only reset periodically), the value of Senior Loans is substantially less sensitive to changes in

 

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market interest rates than fixed rate instruments. As a result, to the extent the Fund invests in floating-rate Senior Loans, the Fund’s portfolio may be less volatile and less sensitive to changes in market interest rates than if the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations. Similarly, a sudden and significant increase in market interest rates may cause a decline in the value of these investments and in the Fund’s NAV. Other factors (including, but not limited to, rating downgrades, credit deterioration, a large downward movement in stock prices, a disparity in supply and demand of certain securities or market conditions that reduce liquidity) can reduce the value of Senior Loans and other debt obligations, impairing the NAV of the Fund.

The Fund may purchase and retain in its portfolio a Senior Loan where the Borrower has experienced, or may be perceived to be likely to experience, credit problems, including involvement in or recent emergence from bankruptcy reorganization proceedings or other forms of debt restructuring. Such investments may provide opportunities for enhanced income as well as capital appreciation, although they also will be subject to greater risk of loss. At times, in connection with the restructuring of a Senior Loan either outside of bankruptcy court or in the context of bankruptcy court proceedings, the Fund may determine or be required to accept equity securities or junior credit securities in exchange for all or a portion of a Senior Loan.

The Fund may also purchase Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis. If the Fund purchases a Senior Loan on direct assignment, it typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the loan agreement of the assigning lender and becomes a lender under the loan agreement with the same rights and obligations as the assigning lender. Investments in Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis may involve additional risks to the Fund. For example, if such loan is foreclosed, the Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral.

Loans and other types of direct indebtedness may not be readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. In some cases, negotiations involved in disposing of indebtedness may require weeks to complete. Consequently, some indebtedness may be difficult or impossible to dispose of readily at what the Investment Adviser believes to be a fair price. In addition, valuation of illiquid indebtedness involves a greater degree of judgment in determining the NAV of the Fund than if that valuation were based on available market quotations, and could result in significant variations in the Fund’s daily share price. At the same time, some loan interests are traded among certain financial institutions and accordingly may be deemed liquid. As the market for different types of indebtedness develops, the liquidity of these instruments is expected to improve. The Fund currently intends to treat loan indebtedness as liquid when, in the view of the Investment Adviser or the Sub-Adviser, there is a readily available market at the time of the investment. To the extent a readily available market ceases to exist for a particular investment, such investment would be treated as illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s limitations on illiquid investments. Investments in loans and loan participations are considered to be debt obligations for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction relating to the lending of funds or assets by the Fund.

Second Lien Loans. The Fund may invest in Second Lien Loans, which have the same characteristics as Senior Loans except that such loans are second in lien property rather than first. Second Lien Loans typically have adjustable floating rate interest payments. Accordingly, the risks associated with Second Lien Loans are higher than the risk of loans with first priority over the collateral. In the event of default on a Second Lien Loan, the first priority lien holder has first claim to the underlying collateral of the loan. It is possible that no collateral value would remain for the second priority lien holder and therefore result in a loss of investment to the Fund. This risk is generally higher for subordinated unsecured loans or debt, which are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral. Second Lien Loans generally have greater price volatility than Senior Loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in Second Lien Loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure for the holders of such loans. Second Lien Loans share the same risks as other below investment grade securities.

Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities

The Fund may invest in mortgage loans and mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed rate mortgage loans (“Mortgage-Backed Securities”). Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.

General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities

In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non-owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The

 

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Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential Mortgage-Backed Securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.

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

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

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

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

Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). The Fund may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would

 

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be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow the Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to the Fund.

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

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

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

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40

 

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years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

6.

Recent Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. The rise in the rate of foreclosures of properties in certain states or localities has resulted in legislative, regulatory and enforcement action in such states or localities seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures, particularly in respect of residential mortgage loans. Actions have also been brought against issuers and underwriters of residential Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by such residential mortgage loans and investors in such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions the Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans. For

 

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  example, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 authorized bankruptcy courts to assist bankrupt borrowers by restructuring residential mortgage loans secured by a lien on the borrower’s primary residence. Bankruptcy judges are permitted to reduce the interest rate of the bankrupt borrower’s residential mortgage loan, extend its term to maturity to up to 40 years or take other actions to reduce the borrower’s monthly payment. As a result, the value of, and the cash flows in respect of, the Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans may be adversely impacted, and, as a consequence, the Fund’s investment in such Mortgage-Backed Securities could be adversely impacted. Other federal legislation, including the Home Affordability Modification Program (“HAMP”), encourages servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are either already in default or are at risk of imminent default. Furthermore, HAMP provides incentives for servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are contractually current. This program, as well other legislation and/or governmental intervention designed to protect consumers, may have an adverse impact on servicers of residential mortgage loans by increasing costs and expenses of these servicers while at the same time decreasing servicing cash flows. Such increased financial pressures may have a negative effect on the ability of servicers to pursue collection on residential mortgage loans that are experiencing increased delinquencies and defaults and to maximize recoveries on the sale of underlying residential mortgaged properties following foreclosure. Other legislative or regulatory actions include insulation of servicers from liability for modification of residential mortgage loans without regard to the terms of the applicable servicing agreements. The foregoing legislation and current and future governmental regulation activities may have the effect of reducing returns to the Fund to the extent it has invested in Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

   

Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the United States Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an

 

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

 

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

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

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

Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, the U.S. Treasury has entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the U.S. Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock place significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie

 

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Mae must obtain the consent of the U.S. Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at

 

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

Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass-Throughs included in the Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final

 

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distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.

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

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

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

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

Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks, including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties.

 

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Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.

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

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

Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable and will be considered illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. The Sub-Adviser may determine that SMBS which are U.S. Government securities are liquid for purposes of the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. The Fund’s investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements.

Non-Diversified Status

Because the Fund is “non-diversified” under the Act, it is subject only to certain federal tax diversification requirements. Pursuant to such requirements, the Fund must diversify its holdings so that, in general, at the close of each quarter of its taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the fair market value of the Fund’s total (gross) assets is comprised of cash, cash items, U.S. Government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater in value 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, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total (gross) assets is 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 controlled by the Fund and engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or certain publicly traded partnerships.

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

The unprecedented disruption in the residential Mortgage-Backed Securities market (and in particular, the “subprime” residential mortgage market), the broader Mortgage-Backed Securities market and the asset-backed securities market in 2008 and 2009 resulted in downward price pressures and increasing foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, the availability and cost of credit, the mortgage market and a depressed real estate market contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets going forward, and contributed to dramatic declines in the housing market, with falling home prices and increasing

 

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

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

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

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

Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-

 

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

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

Options on Securities and Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies

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

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

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

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

 

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value, when added to any margin on deposit that is equal to the market value of the securities in the case of a call option. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency.

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

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

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

The writing of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio, the investment performance of the Fund will be less favorable than it would have been in the absence of such options transactions. The writing of options could increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

The Fund may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. In addition, the Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.

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

The Fund may purchase put and call options on securities indices for the same purposes as it may purchase options on securities. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Currency. The Fund may write put and call options and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies in an attempt to protect against declines in the U.S. dollar value of foreign portfolio

 

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securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. The Fund may also use options on currency to cross-hedge, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to the Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. In addition, the Fund may purchase call options on currency to seek to increase total return.

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

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

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

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

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

The Fund may purchase call options to seek to increase total return in anticipation of an increase in the market value of a currency. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs. Otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option. Put options may be purchased by the Fund for the purpose of benefiting from a decline in the value of currencies which they do not own. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs. Otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option.

Special Risks Associated with Options on Currency. An exchange-traded option position may be closed out only on an options exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a

 

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liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option or at any particular time. For some options no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of underlying securities pursuant to the exercise of its options. If the Fund as a call option writer is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying currency (or security quoted or denominated in that currency), or dispose of the identified assets, until the option expires or it delivers the underlying currency upon exercise.

There is no assurance that higher-than-anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by an exchange of special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of customers’ orders.

The Fund may purchase and write over-the-counter options to the extent consistent with its limitation on investments in illiquid securities. Trading in over-the-counter options is subject to the risk that the other party will be unable or unwilling to close out options purchased or written by the Fund.

The amount of the premiums that the Fund may pay or receive, may be adversely affected as new or existing institutions, including other investment companies, engage in or increase their option purchasing and writing activities.

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

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

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

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

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

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total

 

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

Participation Notes

The Fund may invest in participation notes. Some countries, especially emerging markets countries, do not permit foreigners to participate directly in their securities markets or otherwise present difficulties for efficient foreign investment. The Fund may use participation notes to establish a position in such markets as a substitute for direct investment. Participation notes are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to track the return of a particular underlying equity or debt security, currency or market. When a participation note matures, the issuer of the participation note will pay to, or receive from, the Fund the difference between the nominal value of the underlying instrument at the time of purchase and that instrument’s value at maturity. Investments in participation notes involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the underlying security, currency or market that they seek to replicate. In addition, participation notes are generally traded over-the-counter and are subject to counterparty risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the broker-dealer or bank that issues them will not fulfill its contractual obligation to complete the transaction with the Fund. Participation notes constitute general unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, and the Fund would be relying on the creditworthiness of such banks or broker-dealers and would have no rights under a participation note against the issuer of the underlying assets. In addition, participation notes may trade at a discount to the value of the underlying securities or markets that they seek to replicate.

Pooled Investment Vehicles

The Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by the pooled investment vehicles in which it invests, in addition to the management fees (and other expenses) paid by the Fund.

The Fund’s investments in other investment companies are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Act, including in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of all investment companies. Many ETFs have, however, obtained exemptive relief to permit unaffiliated funds (such as the Fund) to invest in their shares beyond these statutory limits, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to contractual arrangements between the ETFs and the investing funds. The Fund may rely on these exemptive orders in investing in ETFs. Moreover, pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, the Fund may invest in investment companies and money market funds for which an Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. However, to the extent that the Fund invests in a money market fund for which an Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates acts as investment adviser, the management fees payable by the Fund to the Investment Adviser will, to the extent required by the SEC, be reduced by an amount equal to the Fund’s proportionate share of the management fees paid by such money market fund to its investment adviser. Although the Fund does not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, the Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund. Additionally, to the extent that the Fund serves as an “underlying Fund” to another Goldman Sachs Fund, the Fund may invest a percentage of its assets in other investment companies only if those instruments are consistent with applicable law and/or exemptive relief obtained from the SEC.

The Fund may purchase shares of investment companies investing primarily in foreign securities, including “country funds.” Country funds have portfolios consisting primarily of securities of issuers located in specified foreign countries or regions.

ETFs are pooled investment vehicles issuing shares that are traded like traditional equity securities on a stock exchange. ETFs hold a portfolio of securities or other assets, which is often designed to track a particular market segment or index. An investment in an ETF, like one in any pooled investment vehicle, carries the risks of the ETF’s underlying securities. An ETF may fail to accurately track the returns of the market segment or index that it is designed to track, and the price of an ETF’s shares may fluctuate or lose money. In addition, because ETFs, unlike other pooled investment vehicles, are traded on

 

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an exchange, ETFs are subject to the following risks: (i) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the ETF’s NAV; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF may not develop or be maintained; and (iii) there is no assurance that the ETF will continue to meet the requirements necessary to be listed on an exchange, or that the exchange will not change its listing requirements. In the event substantial market or other disruptions affecting ETFs should occur in the future, the liquidity and value of the Fund’s shares could also be substantially and adversely affected.

Publicly Traded Partnerships

The Fund may invest in publicly-traded partnerships (“PTPs”). The Fund may invest in PTPs. In addition to the risks associated with the underlying assets and exposures within a PTP, the Fund’s investments in PTPs are subject to other risks. The value of a PTP will depend in part upon specialized skills of the PTP’s manager, and a PTP may not achieve its investment objective. A PTP and/or its manager may lack, or have limited, operating histories. The Fund will be subject to its proportionate share of a PTP’s expenses. A PTP may be subject to a lack of liquidity and may trade on an exchange at a discount or a premium to its NAV. Unlike ownership of common stock of a corporation, the Fund would have limited voting and distribution rights in connection with its investment in a PTP.

Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with eligible counterparties that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligation. The Fund may also enter into repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. government securities, which may be subject to additional risks. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement under which the Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by the Fund’s custodian (or subcustodian). 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 a stated rate due to the Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to the Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.

For purposes of the Act, and generally for tax purposes, a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan from the Fund to the seller of the security. For other purposes, it is not always clear whether a court would consider the security purchased by the Fund subject to a repurchase agreement as being owned by the Fund or as being collateral for a loan by the Fund to the seller. In the event of commencement of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings with respect to the seller of the security before repurchase of the security under a repurchase agreement, the Fund may encounter delay and incur costs before being able to sell the security. Such a delay may involve loss of interest or a decline in price of the security. If the court characterizes the transaction as a loan and the Fund has not perfected a security interest in the security, the Fund may be required to return the security to the seller’s estate and be treated as an unsecured creditor of the seller. As an unsecured creditor, the Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and interest involved in the transaction.

Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), the Fund will direct the seller of the security to deliver additional securities so that the market value of all securities subject to the repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Certain repurchase agreements which provide for settlement in more than seven days can be liquidated before the nominal fixed term on seven days or less notice. Such repurchase agreements will be regarded as liquid instruments.

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

Real Estate Investment Trusts

The Fund may invest in shares of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in real estate or real estate related loans. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. Like regulated investment companies such as the Fund, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by REITs in which it invests in addition to the expenses paid by the Fund.

 

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Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by such REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires), and are subject to the risks of financing projects. REITs are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibilities of failing to qualify for the exemption from tax for distributed income under the Code and failing to maintain their exemptions from the Act. REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities

The Fund may purchase securities and other financial instruments that are not registered or that are offered in an exempt non-public offering (“Restricted Securities”) under the Securities Act, including securities eligible for resale to “qualified institutional buyers” pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act. However, the Fund will not invest more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments, which include repurchase agreements with a notice or demand period of more than seven days, certain SMBS, certain municipal leases, certain over-the-counter options, securities and other financial instruments that are not readily marketable, certain senior loans and second lien loans, certain CDOs, CLOs, CBOs, bank obligations, non-investment grade securities and other credit instruments and Restricted Securities unless, based upon a review of the trading markets for specific investments, those investments are determined to be liquid. Those investment practices could have the effect of increasing the level of illiquidity in the Fund to the extent that market demand for securities held by the Fund decreases such that previously liquid securities become illiquid. The Trustees have adopted guidelines and delegated to the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser the function of determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

The purchase price and subsequent valuation of Restricted Securities may reflect a discount from the price at which such securities trade when they are not restricted, because the restriction makes them less liquid. The amount of the discount from the prevailing market price is expected to vary depending upon the type of security, the character of the issuer, the party who will bear the expenses of registering the Restricted Securities and prevailing supply and demand conditions.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may borrow money by entering into transactions called reverse repurchase agreements. Under these arrangements, the Fund may sell portfolio securities to dealers in U.S. Government Securities or members of the Federal Reserve System, with an agreement to repurchase the security on an agreed date, price and interest payment. These reverse repurchase agreements may involve foreign government securities. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities the Fund relinquishes may decline below the price the Fund must pay when the transaction closes. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of the Fund’s outstanding shares.

When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it identifies on its books cash or liquid assets that have a value equal to or greater than the repurchase price. The amount of cash or liquid assets so identified is then continuously monitored by the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser, to make sure that an appropriate value is maintained. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings under the Act.

Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in structured notes. Structured notes are derivative debt securities, the interest rate and/or principal of which is determined by an unrelated indicator. The value of the principal of and/or interest on structured notes is determined by reference to changes in the return, interest rate or value at maturity of a specific asset, reference rate or index (the “reference instrument”) or the relative change in two or more reference instruments. The terms of structured notes may provide that in certain circumstances no principal is due at maturity, which may result in a loss of invested capital. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may also be increased or decreased, depending upon changes in the applicable reference instruments. Structured notes may be positively or negatively indexed, so that an increase in value of the reference instrument may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or value of the structured note at maturity. In addition, changes in the interest rate or the value of the structured note at maturity may be calculated as a specified multiple of the change in the value of the reference instrument; therefore, the value of such note may be very volatile. Structured notes may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities because the investor bears the risk of the reference instrument. Structured notes may also be more volatile, less liquid and more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities or more traditional debt securities.

 

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Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Volatility and Variance Swaps, Inflation and Inflation Asset Swaps, Correlation Swaps, and Options on Swaps

The Fund may enter into interest rate, credit, total return, mortgage, currency, credit and total return swaps. The Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions. The Fund may enter into index swaps, volatility and variance swaps, inflation and inflation asset swaps and correlation swaps.

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

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

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

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

A volatility swap is an agreement between two parties to make payments based on changes in the volatility of a reference instrument over a stated period of time. Volatility swaps can be used to adjust the volatility profile of the Fund. For example, the Fund may buy a volatility swap to take the position that the reference instrument’s volatility will increase over a stated period of time. If this occurs, the Fund will receive a payment based upon the amount by which the realized volatility level of the reference instrument exceeds an agreed upon volatility level. If volatility is less than the agreed upon volatility level, then the Fund will make a payment to the counterparty calculated in the same manner. A variance swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange cash payments based on changes in the variance of a reference instrument over a stated period of time. Volatility is the mathematical square root of variance, and variance swaps are used for similar purposes as volatility swaps.

An inflation swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a reference inflation index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index) and the other party agrees to pay a compounded fixed rate over a stated period of time. In an inflation asset swap, the reference instrument is a bond with a value that is tied to inflation (e.g., Treasury Inflation-Protected Security) and one party pays the cash flows from the reference instrument in exchange for a payment based on a fixed rate from the other party. The Fund may enter into inflation swaps and inflation asset swaps to protect the Fund against changes in the rate of inflation.

A correlation swap is an agreement in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the correlation between specified reference instruments over a set period of time. Two assets would be considered closely correlated if, for

 

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example, their daily returns vary in similar proportions or along similar trajectories. For example, the Fund may enter into correlation swaps to change its exposure to increases or decreases in the correlation between prices or returns of different Fund holdings.

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

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

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

As a result of new rules adopted in 2012, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing. Central clearing is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of the Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, regulators are expected to adopt rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps in the near future, which could change this comparison.

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

The use of swaps and swaptions is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. If the Sub-Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, credit quality, interest rates and currency exchange rates, the investment performance of the Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if these investment instruments were not used.

 

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In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if the Fund invests in cleared swaps. Because bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap transactions may be considered to be illiquid. Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

Regulators are in the process of developing rules that would require trading and execution of most liquid swaps on trading facilities. Moving trading to an exchange-type system may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps.

Rules adopted in 2012 also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. The Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, are responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s transactions in swaps and swaptions. Because the Fund’s Sub-Adviser may trade with counterparties, prime brokers, clearing brokers or futures commission merchants on terms that are different than those on which the Investment Adviser would trade, and because the Sub-Adviser applies its own risk analysis in evaluating potential counterparties for the Fund, the Fund may be subject to greater counterparty risk than if it were managed directly by the Investment Adviser.

Temporary Investments

The Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest up to 100% of its total assets in: U.S. Government Securities; commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard & Poor’s, P-2 by Moody’s or having a comparable rating by another NRSRO (or if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser or the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality); certificates of deposit; bankers’ acceptances; repurchase agreements; non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year; ETFs and other investment companies; and cash items. When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

U.S. Government Securities

The Fund may invest in U.S. Government securities, which are securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”). Some U.S. Government Securities (such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance) are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. Others, such as obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, are supported either by (i) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (ii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer or (iii) only the credit of the issuer. The U.S. Government is under no legal obligation, in general, to purchase the obligations of its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government will provide financial support to the U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises in the future, and the U.S. Government may be unable to pay debts when due.

U.S. Government Securities include (to the extent consistent with the Act) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may also include (to the extent consistent with the Act) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government

 

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or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The secondary market for certain of these participations is extremely limited. In the absence of a suitable secondary market, such participations are regarded as illiquid.

The Fund may also purchase U.S. Government Securities in private placements and may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury that are traded independently under the separate trading of registered interest and principal of securities program (“STRIPS”). The Fund may also invest in zero coupon U.S. Treasury securities and in zero coupon securities issued by financial institutions which represent a proportionate interest in underlying U.S. Treasury securities.

Inflation-Protected Securities. The Fund may invest in inflation protected securities (“IPS”), including Treasury inflation-protected securities (“TIPS”) and corporate inflation-protected securities (“CIPS”), which are securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on IPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of IPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.

The values of IPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in the value of IPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of IPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds IPS, the Fund may earn less on the IPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in IPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for IPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

Any increase in principal value of IPS caused by an increase in the consumer price index is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though the Fund holding IPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, the Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company.

If the Fund invests in IPS, it will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of its taxable year. If the Fund purchases such IPS that are issued in stripped form either as stripped bonds or coupons, it will be treated as if it had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.

Because the Fund is required to distribute substantially all of its net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), the Fund’s investment in either zero coupon bonds or IPS may require the Fund to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income it actually receives. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, the Fund may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

The Fund may invest in preferred stock, warrants or stock purchase rights (in addition to those acquired in units or attached to other securities) (“rights”). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividends and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default (such as a covenant default or filing of a bankruptcy petition) or other non-compliance by the issuer with the terms of the preferred stock. Often, however, on the occurrence of any such event of default or non-compliance by the issuer, preferred stockholders will be entitled to gain representation on the issuer’s board of directors or increase their existing board representation. In addition, preferred stockholders may be granted voting rights with respect to certain issues on the occurrence of any event of default.

Warrants and other rights are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price at any time during the life of the warrant. The holders of warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.

 

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When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued basis, including TBA (“To Be Announced”) securities, or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis beyond the customary settlement time. TBA securities, which are usually Mortgage-Backed Securities, are purchased on a forward commitment basis with an approximate principal amount and no defined maturity date. These transactions involve a commitment by the Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date beyond the customary settlement time. The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, the Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. The Fund may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. The Fund may realize a capital gain or loss in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining the Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities for fixed rate obligations will be calculated from the commitment date. The Fund is generally required to identify on its books, until three days prior to the settlement date, cash and liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price unless the Fund’s obligations are otherwise covered. Alternatively, the Fund may enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. Securities purchased or sold on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or if the value of the security to be sold increases prior to the settlement date.

Investment in Unseasoned Companies

The Fund may invest in companies (including predecessors) which have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than do investments in companies with an established operating record.

Lending of Portfolio Securities

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other institutions, including Goldman Sachs. By lending its securities, the Fund attempts to increase its net investment income.

Securities loans are required to be secured continuously by collateral in cash, cash equivalents, letters of credit or U.S. Government Securities equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. This collateral must be valued, or “marked to market,” daily. Borrowers are required to furnish additional collateral to the Fund as necessary to fully cover their obligations.

With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the Fund may reinvest that cash in short-term investments and pay the borrower a pre-negotiated fee or “rebate” from any return earned on the investment. Investing the collateral subjects it to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund is responsible for any loss that may result from its investment of the borrowed collateral. Cash collateral may be invested in, among other things, other registered or unregistered funds, including private investing funds or money market funds that are managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and which pay the Investment Adviser or its affiliates for their services. If the Fund would receive non-cash collateral, the Fund receives a fee from the borrower equal to a negotiated percentage of the market value of the loaned securities.

For the duration of any securities loan, the Fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest, dividends or other distributions paid by the issuer on the loaned securities. The Fund will not have the right to vote its loaned securities during the period of the loan, but the Fund may attempt to recall a loaned security in anticipation of a material vote if it desires to do so. The Fund will have the right to terminate a loan at any time and recall the loaned securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions.

Securities lending involves certain risks. The Fund may lose money on its investment of cash collateral, resulting in a loss of principal, or may fail to earn sufficient income on its investment to cover the fee or rebate it has agreed to pay the borrower. The Fund may incur losses in connection with its securities lending activities that exceed the value of the interest income and fees received in connection with such transactions. Securities lending subjects the Fund to the risk of loss resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process, and to additional credit, counterparty and market risk. These risks could be greater with respect to non-U.S. securities. Engaging in securities lending could have a leveraging effect, which may intensify the other risks associated with investments in the Fund. In addition, the Fund bears the risk that the price of the securities on loan will increase while they are on loan, or that the price of the collateral will decline in value

 

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during the period of the loan, and that the counterparty will not provide, or will delay in providing, additional collateral. The Fund also bears the risk that a borrower may fail to return securities in a timely manner or at all, either because the borrower fails financially or for other reasons. If a borrower of securities fails financially, the Fund may also lose its rights in the collateral. The Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering loaned securities or in gaining access to and liquidating the collateral, which could result in actual financial loss and which could interfere with portfolio management decisions or the exercise of ownership rights in the loaned securities. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities lent, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase replacement securities in the market. However, the Fund will incur transaction costs on the purchase of replacement securities. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. In determining whether to lend securities to a particular borrower, and throughout the period of the loan, the creditworthiness of the borrower will be considered and monitored. Loans will only be made to firms deemed to be of good standing, and where the consideration that can be earned currently from securities loans of this type is deemed to justify the attendant risk. It is intended that the value of securities loaned by the Fund will not exceed one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the loan collateral).

The Fund will consider the loaned securities as assets of the Fund, but will not consider any collateral as the Fund asset except when determining total assets for the purpose of the “above one-third” limitation. Loan collateral (including any investment of the collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations stated elsewhere in this SAI or in the applicable Prospectus regarding investing in fixed income securities and cash equivalents.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees may approve a securities lending program where an affiliate of the Investment Adviser is retained to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund engages in the securities lending program.

For its services, the securities lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, the Fund may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. The Fund’s Board of Trustees periodically reviews reports on securities loan transactions for which a Goldman Sachs affiliate has acted as lending agent for compliance with the Fund’s securities lending procedures.

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may engage in active short-term trading to benefit from price disparities among different issues of securities or among the markets for equity securities, or for other reasons. As a result of active management, it is anticipated that the portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year, and may be affected by changes in the holdings of specific issuers, changes in country and currency weightings, cash requirements for redemption of shares and by requirements which enable the Fund to receive favorable tax treatment. The Fund is not restricted by policy with regard to portfolio turnover and will make changes in their investment portfolio from time to time as business and economic conditions as well as market prices may dictate.

Special Note Regarding Market Events

Events in the financial sector over the past several years have resulted in reduced liquidity in credit and fixed income markets and in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets have been impacted, issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets have been particularly affected. These events and the potential for continuing market turbulence may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s investments. It is uncertain how long these conditions will continue.

The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. Federal, state, local and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such ownership or disposition may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of the Fund’s portfolio holdings.

 

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Special Note Regarding Operational and Cyber Security Risks

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

The Fund is also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of-service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting the Fund or its investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with the Fund’s calculation of NAV and to lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. Similar to operational risk in general, the Fund and its service providers, including GSAM, have instituted risk management systems designed to minimize the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is a risk that these systems will not succeed (or that any remediation efforts will not be successful), especially because the Fund does not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Fund, their trading counterparties or the issuers in which the Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The investment restrictions set forth below have been adopted by the Trust as fundamental policies that cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund and all other investment policies or practices of the Fund are considered by the Trust not to be fundamental and accordingly may be changed without shareholder approval. For purposes of the Act, a “majority” of the outstanding voting securities means the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Trust or the Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the shares of the Trust or the Fund.

For purposes of the following limitations (except for the asset coverage requirement with respect to borrowings, which is subject to different requirements under the Act), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage shall not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, the Fund. In applying fundamental investment restriction number (1) below to derivative transactions or instruments, including, but not limited to, futures, swaps, forwards, options and structured notes, the Fund will look to the industry of the reference asset(s) and not to the counterparty or issuer. With respect to the Fund’s fundamental investment restriction number (2) below, in the event that asset coverage (as defined in the Act) at any time falls below 300%, the Fund, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays) or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations, will reduce the amount of its borrowings to the extent required so that the asset coverage of such borrowings will be at least 300%.

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:

 

  (1) Invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (for the purposes of this restriction, the U.S. Government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries);

 

  (2) Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction.

The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall

 

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be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;

 

  (3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies; (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions; (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act; and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;

 

  (4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;

 

  (5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

  (6) Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including, without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity; and

 

  (7) Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.

The Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same fundamental investment restrictions and policies as the Fund.

For purposes of the Fund’s industry concentration policy, the Investment Adviser may analyze the characteristics of a particular issuer and instrument and may assign an industry classification consistent with those characteristics. The Investment Adviser may, but need not, consider industry classifications provided by third parties, and the classifications applied to Fund investments will be informed by applicable law.

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

The Trust’s Leadership Structure

The business and affairs of the Fund are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise the Fund’s daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of seven Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chairman, whose duties include presiding at meetings of the Board and acting as a focal point to address significant issues that may arise between regularly scheduled Board and Committee meetings. In the performance of the Chairman’s duties, the Chairman will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Fund’s officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chairman may perform other functions as requested by the Board from time to time.

The Board meets as often as necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Currently, the Board conducts regular, in-person meetings at least four times a year, and holds special in-person or telephonic meetings as necessary to address specific issues that require attention prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet at least annually to review, among other things, investment management agreements, distribution (Rule 12b-1) and/or service plans and related agreements, transfer agency agreements and certain other agreements providing for the compensation of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates by the Fund, and to consider such other matters as they deem appropriate.

The Board has established four standing committees – Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance and Contract Review Committees. The Board may establish other committees, or nominate one or more Trustees to examine particular

 

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issues related to the Board’s oversight responsibilities, from time to time. Each Committee meets periodically to perform its delegated oversight functions and reports its findings and recommendations to the Board. For more information on the Committees, see the section “STANDING BOARD COMMITTEES,” below.

The Trustees have determined that the Trust’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Trustees to effectively perform their oversight responsibilities.

 

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Trustees of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust of the date of this SAI is set forth below.

Independent Trustees

 

Name, Address

and Age1

   Position(s)
Held with
the Trust
   Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served2
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

   Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
   Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4

Ashok N. Bakhru

Age: 74

   Chairman of
the Board of
Trustees
   Since 2012   

Mr. Bakhru is retired. He was formerly Director, Apollo Investment Corporation (a business development company) (2008–2013); President, ABN Associates (a management and financial consulting firm) (1994–1996 and 1998–2012); Trustee, Scholarship America (1998–2005); Trustee, Institute for Higher Education Policy (2003–2008); Director, Private Equity Investors–III and IV (1998–2007), and Equity-Linked Investors II (April 2002–2007).

 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

   142    None

Cheryl K. Beebe

Age: 61

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Ms. Beebe is retired. She is Director, Convergys Corporation (2015–Present); Director, Packaging Corporation of America (2008–Present); and was formerly Executive Vice President, (2010–2014); and Chief Financial Officer, Ingredion, Inc. (a global corn refining and manufacturing company) (2004–2014).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

   17    Convergys
Corporation
(a customer
management
company);
Packaging
Corporation
of America
(producer of
container
board)

John P. Coblentz, Jr.

Age: 75

   Trustee    Since 2012   

Mr. Coblentz is retired. Formerly, he was Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP (a professional services firm) (1975–2003); Director, Emerging Markets Group, Ltd. (a consulting company) (2004–2006); and Director, Elderhostel, Inc. (a not-for-profit organization) (2006–2012). Previously, Mr. Coblentz served as Trustee of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (2003 – 2015).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.    

   36    None

 

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Lawrence Hughes

Age: 58

   Trustee    Since 2016   

Mr. Hughes is retired. Formerly, he held senior management positions with BNY Mellon Wealth Management, a division of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (a financial services company) (1991–2015), most recently as Chief Executive Officer (2010–2015). He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ellis Memorial and Eldredge House (a not-for-profit organization) (2012–Present). Previously, Mr. Hughes served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust II (February 2016 – April 2016).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

   17    None

John F. Killian

Age: 61

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Mr. Killian is retired. He is Director, Consolidated Edison, Inc. (2007–Present); Director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (2011–Present); and formerly held senior management positions with Verizon Communications, Inc., including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2009–2010); and President, Verizon Business, Verizon Communications, Inc. (2005–2009).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

   17    Consolidated
Edison, Inc.
(a utility
holding
company);
Houghton
Mifflin
Harcourt
Publishing
Company

Richard P. Strubel

Age: 77

   Trustee    Since 2012   

Mr. Strubel is retired. Formerly, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Northern Funds (a family of retail and institutional mutual funds managed by Northern Trust Investments, Inc.) (2008–2014) and Trustee (1982–2014); Director, Cardean Learning Group (provider of educational services via the internet) (2003–2008); and Director, Gildan Activewear Inc. (a clothing marketing and manufacturing company) (2000–2014). He serves as Trustee Emeritus, The University of Chicago (1987–Present). Previously, Mr. Strubel served as Trustee of Goldman Sachs Trust (1987 – 2015) and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (1997 – 2015).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

   36    None

Westley V. Thompson

Age: 61

   Trustee    Since 2016   

Mr. Thompson is retired. Formerly, he was President, Sun Life Financial, Inc. (a financial services company) (2008–2014); and held senior management positions at various insurance companies including affiliates of Lincoln National Corporation (1998–2008), Cigna Corporation (1994–1997), and Aetna, Inc. (1979–1994). Previously, Mr. Thompson served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust II (February 2016 – April 2016).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II.    

   17    None

 

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Interested Trustee

James A. McNamara*

Age: 54

   President and
Trustee
   Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 1998–Present); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998–December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993–April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

   140    None

 

* Mr. McNamara is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he holds a position with Goldman Sachs and owns securities issued by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. McNamara holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.
1 Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline Kraus.
2 Subject to such policies as may be adopted by the Board from time-to-time, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term, until the earliest of: (a) the election of his or her successor; (b) the date the Trustee resigns or is removed by the Board or shareholders, in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust; or (c) the termination of the Trust. The Board has adopted policies which provide that (a) no Trustee shall hold office for more than 15 years and (b) a Trustee shall retire as of December 31st of the calendar year in which he or she reaches his or her 74th birthday, unless a waiver of such requirement shall have been adopted by a majority of the other Trustees. These policies may be changed by the Trustees without shareholder vote.
3 The Goldman Sachs Fund Complex includes certain other companies listed above for each respective Trustee. As of December 7, 2016, Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 17 portfolios (16 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 92 portfolios (91 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 14 portfolios; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC, Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending LLC, Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund, and Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund each consisted of one portfolio; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 15 portfolios (8 of which offered shares to the public).
4 This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.

The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of the Fund and their shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of the date of this SAI that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.

Ashok N. Bakhru. Mr. Bakhru has served as Trustee and Chairman of the Board of the Trust since 2012, and has served as a Trustee of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 1991 and Chairman of the Board of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 1996. Previously, Mr. Bakhru served as Director, Apollo Investment Corporation (a business development company) (2008–2013), and President of ABN Associates, a management and financial consulting firm, and was the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Coty Inc., a multinational cosmetics, fragrance and personal care company. In addition, Mr. Bakhru formerly held several senior management positions at Scott Paper Company, a major manufacturer of paper products, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Bakhru also serves on the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council, the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Board of Directors of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum. He also serves on the Advisory Board of BoardIQ, an investment publication. In addition, Mr. Bakhru has served as Director of Equity-Linked Investments II and Private Equity Investors III and IV, which are private equity partnerships based in New York City. Mr. Bakhru was also a Director of Arkwright Mutual Insurance Company. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Bakhru is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Cheryl K. Beebe. Ms. Beebe became a Trustee of the Trust in 2015. Ms. Beebe is retired. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Convergys Corporation, a customer management company, where she serves as a member of the Audit

 

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Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Packaging Corporation of America, a producer of container board, where she serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, Ms. Beebe serves on the Board of Trustees of Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a director of the Girls Scouts of Chicago and Greater Indiana. Previously, she held several senior management positions at Ingredion, Inc. (formerly Corn Products International, Inc.), a global corn refining and manufacturing company. Ms. Beebe worked at Ingredion, Inc. and predecessor companies for 34 years, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In that capacity, she was responsible for overseeing all finance and accounting activities. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Beebe is experienced with financial and investment matters.

John P. Coblentz, Jr. Mr. Coblentz has served as Trustee of the Trust since 2012, and has served as Trustee of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 2003. Mr. Coblentz has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given his extensive accounting and finance experience. Mr. Coblentz was a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP for 28 years. While at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Mr. Coblentz was lead partner responsible for all auditing and accounting services to a variety of large, global companies, a significant portion of which operated in the financial services industry. Mr. Coblentz was also the national managing partner for the firm’s risk management function, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and the first managing partner of the firm’s Financial Advisory Services practice, which brought together the firm’s mergers and acquisition services, forensic and dispute services, corporate finance, asset valuation and reorganization businesses under one management structure. He served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Mr. Coblentz is a certified public accountant. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Coblentz is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

Lawrence Hughes. Mr. Hughes became a Trustee of the Trust in 2016. Mr. Hughes is retired. Mr. Hughes is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ellis Memorial and Eldredge House, a not-for-profit organization. Previously, he held several senior management positions at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, a division of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, that provides wealth planning, investment management, and banking services to individuals, families, family offices and charitable gift programs through a nationwide network of offices. Mr. Hughes worked at BNY Mellon Wealth Management for 24 years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer. In that capacity, he was ultimately responsible for the division’s operations and played an active role in multiple acquisitions. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Hughes is experienced with financial and investment matters.

John F. Killian. Mr. Killian became a Trustee of the Trust in 2015. Mr. Killian is retired. Mr. Killian is a member of the Board of Directors of Consolidated Edison, Inc., a utility holding company, where he serves as a member of the Audit, Corporate Governance and Nominating, and Management Development and Compensation Committees. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, where he serves as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. In addition, he serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Providence College. Previously, Mr. Killian worked for 31 years at Verizon Communications, Inc. and predecessor companies, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Killian is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

Richard P. Strubel. Mr. Strubel has served as Trustee of the Trust since 2012, and has served as Trustee of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 1987. He formerly served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Northern Funds, which is a family of retail and institutional mutual funds managed by Northern Trust Investments, Inc. Mr. Strubel also served on the board of Gildan Activewear Inc., which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). Mr. Strubel was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Cardean Learning Group (formerly known as Unext), and previously served as Unext’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Strubel was Managing Director of Tandem Partners, Inc., a privately-held management services firm, and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Microdot, Inc. Previously, Mr. Strubel served as President of Northwest Industries, then a NYSE-listed company, a conglomerate with various operating entities located around the country. Before joining Northwest, Mr. Strubel was an associate and later managing principal of Fry Consultants, a management consulting firm based in Chicago. Mr. Strubel is also a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Chicago and is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Strubel is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Westley V. Thompson. Mr. Thompson became a Trustee of the Trust in 2016. Mr. Thompson is retired. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hartford Hospital and formerly served as a Director of The Phoenix Companies, Inc., a financial services company, until its acquisition in early 2016. Previously, Mr. Thompson worked for five years at Sun Life Financial, Inc., a financial services company, most recently as President of Sun Life Financial U.S. In that capacity, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of all of Sun Life’s U.S. business lines and International High Net Worth business. Prior to assuming that role, Mr. Thompson served in several senior management positions for over 29 years at various insurance companies, including affiliates of Lincoln National Corporation, Cigna Corporation, and Aetna, Inc. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Thompson is experienced with financial and investment matters.

 

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James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as Trustee and President of the Trust since 2012, has served as Trustee and President of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 2007 and has served as an officer of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex since 2001. Mr. McNamara is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. Mr. McNamara is currently head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM, where he was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Officers of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Officers of the Trust as of the date of this SAI is set forth below.

 

Name, Age and Address

   Position(s) Held
with the Trust
   Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served1
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

James A. McNamara

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 54

   Trustee and

President

   Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 1998 – Present); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 – December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 – April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Scott M. McHugh

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 45

   Treasurer, Senior
Vice President
and Principal
Financial Officer
   Since 2012

(Principal Financial
Officer since 2013)

  

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016 – Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (February 2007 – December 2015); Assistant Treasurer of certain mutual funds administered by DWS Scudder (2005 – 2007); and Director (2005 – 2007), Vice President (2000 – 2005), and Assistant Vice President (1998 – 2000), Deutsche Asset Management or its predecessor (1998 – 2007).

 

Treasurer, Senior Vice President and Principal Financial Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Maya G. Teufel

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 44

   Chief
Compliance
Officer
   Since 2016   

General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Emerging Global Advisors, LLC (November 2013 – September 2016); Funds Chief Compliance Officer, Emerging Global Advisors, LLC (October 2015 – September 2016); and Vice President and Corporate Counsel, Jennison Associates LLC (July 2005 – November 2013).

 

Chief Compliance Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

Philip V. Giuca, Jr.

30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 54

   Assistant
Treasurer
   Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2014 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (May 1992 – December 2013).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.    

 

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Name, Age and Address

   Position(s) Held
with the Trust
   Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served1
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Peter W. Fortner

30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 58

   Assistant
Treasurer
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (July 2000 – Present); and Principal Financial Officer, Commerce Bank Mutual Fund Complex (2008 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Kenneth G. Curran

30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 52

   Assistant
Treasurer
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (November 1998 – Present); and Senior Tax Manager, KPMG Peat Marwick (accountants) (August 1995 – October 1998).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Robert McCormack

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 43

   Assistant
Treasurer
   Since 2015   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (December 2008 – Present); and Associate, Goldman Sachs (September 2005 – December 2008).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust II (previously Vice President (2012 – 2015)); Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Vice President (2012 – 2015)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Vice President (2012 – 2015)); and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (previously Vice President (2014 – 2015)).

Allison Fracchiolla

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 33

   Assistant
Treasurer
   Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2013 – Present); and Associate, Goldman Sachs (December 2008 – December 2012).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Jesse Cole

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL

60606

Age: 53

   Vice President    Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 2006 – Present); Vice President, GSAM (June 1998 – Present); and Vice President, AIM Management Group, Inc. (investment adviser) (April 1996 – June 1998).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Miriam L. Cytryn

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 58

   Vice President    Since 2012   

Vice President, GSAM (2008 – Present); Vice President of Divisional Management, Investment Management Division (2007 – 2008); Vice President and Chief of Staff, GSAM US Distribution (2003 – 2007); and Vice President of Employee Relations, Goldman Sachs (1996 – 2003).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.    

 

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Name, Age and Address

   Position(s) Held
with the Trust
   Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served1
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Thomas J. Davis

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 53

   Vice President    Since 2015   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2008 – Present); and Analyst, Goldman Sachs (1990 – 2008).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Caroline L. Kraus

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 39

   Secretary    Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016 – Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2006 – December 2015); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (2012 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2006 – December 2011); and Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP (2002 – 2006).

 

Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending LLC; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

David A. Fishman

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 52

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 2001 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (1997 – December 2001).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Danny Burke

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 54

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (1987 – Present).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Patrick L. O’Callaghan

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 44

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2000 – Present); Associate, Goldman Sachs (1998 – 2000); and Analyst, Goldman Sachs (1995 – 1998).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Andrew Murphy

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 44

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (April 2009 – Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (December 2010 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (April 2009 – December 2010); Attorney, Axiom Legal (2007 – 2009); and Vice President and Counsel, AllianceBernstein, L.P. (2001 – 2007).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.    

 

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Name, Age and Address

   Position(s) Held
with the Trust
   Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served1
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Robert Griffith

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 42

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since 2012   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (December 2014 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – December 2014); Vice President and Counsel, Nomura Holding America, Inc. (2010 – 2011); and Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005 – 2010).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; and Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund.

 

1  Officers hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each officer holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

Standing Board Committees

The Board of Trustees has established four standing committees in connection with their governance of the Fund — Audit, Compliance, Contract Review, and Governance and Nominating.

The Audit Committee oversees the audit process and provides assistance to the Board with respect to fund accounting, tax compliance and financial statement matters. In performing its responsibilities, the Audit Committee selects and recommends annually to the Board an independent registered public accounting firm to audit the books and records of the Trust for the ensuing year, and reviews with the firm the scope and results of each audit. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee held five meetings during the fiscal period ended October 31, 2016.

The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Fund; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Fund, of the Fund’s investment adviser, distributor, administrator (if any), and transfer agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters. The Compliance Committee held three meetings during the fiscal period ended October 31, 2016. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Compliance Committee.

The Contract Review Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the processes of the Board for reviewing and monitoring performance under the Fund’s investment management, distribution, transfer agency, and certain other agreements with the Fund’s Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Fund’s distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans, whether or not such plans and agreements are adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Act. The Contract Review Committee also provides appropriate assistance to the Board in connection with the Board’s approval, oversight and review of the Fund’s other service providers including, without limitation, the Fund’s custodian/accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. The Contract Review Committee held four meetings during the fiscal period ended October 31, 2016. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee.

The Governance and Nominating Committee has been established to: (i) assist the Board in matters involving mutual fund governance, which includes making recommendations to the Board with respect to the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities in governing the Fund and overseeing its management; (ii) select and nominate candidates for appointment or election to serve as Independent Trustees; and (iii) advise the Board on ways to improve its effectiveness. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Governance and Nominating Committee. The Governance and Nominating Committee held three meetings during the fiscal period ended October 31, 2016. As stated above, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Fund’s Prospectus and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs Trust Governance and Nominating Committee.

 

B-66


Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Fund, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Fund is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers including the Sub-Adviser (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Fund include, but are not limited to, investment risk, compliance risk, manager selection risk, operational risk, reputational risk, credit risk and counterparty risk. Each of GSAM and the other service providers, including the Sub-Adviser, have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management may differ from the Fund and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Fund or GSAM, their respective affiliates or other service providers, including the Sub-Adviser.

The Board effectuates its oversight role primarily through regular and special meetings of the Board and Board committees. In certain cases, risk management issues are specifically addressed in presentations and discussions. In addition, investment risk is discussed in the context of regular presentations to the Board on Fund strategy and Sub-Adviser performance. Other types of risk are addressed as part of presentations on related topics (e.g. compliance policies) or in the context of presentations focused specifically on one or more risks. The Board also receives reports from GSAM management on operational risks, reputational risks and counterparty risks relating to the Fund.

Board oversight of risk management is also performed by various Board committees. For example, the Audit Committee meets with both the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm and GSAM’s internal audit group to review risk controls in place that support the Fund as well as test results, and the Compliance Committee meets with the CCO and representatives of GSAM’s compliance group to review testing results of the Fund’s compliance policies and procedures and other compliance issues. Board oversight of risk is also performed as needed between meetings through communications between the GSAM and the Board. The Board may, at any time and in its discretion, change the manner in which it conducts risk oversight. The Board’s oversight role does not make the Board a guarantor of the Fund’s investments or activities.

Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares

The following table shows the dollar range of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Fund and other portfolios of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex as of December 31, 2015.

 

Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Fund1
     Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All
Portfolios in Fund Complex
Overseen By Trustee

Ashok N. Bakhru

     —         Over $100,000

Cheryl K. Beebe2

     —         None

John P. Coblentz, Jr.

     —         Over $100,000

Lawrence Hughes3

     —         None

John F. Killian2

     —         Over $100,000

James A. McNamara

     —         Over $100,000

Richard P. Strubel

     —         Over $100,000

Westley V. Thompson3

     —         None