497 1 d583574d497.htm GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST II Goldman Sachs Trust II

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED FEBRUARY 28, 2018, AS SUPPLEMENTED MAY 11, 2018

 

FUND

  

CLASS R6
SHARES

GOLDMAN SACHS MULTI-MANAGER GLOBAL EQUITY FUND    GSEQX
GOLDMAN SACHS MULTI-MANAGER NON-CORE FIXED INCOME FUND    GNCFX
GOLDMAN SACHS MULTI-MANAGER REAL ASSETS STRATEGY FUND    GRASX

(Strategic Multi-Asset Class Funds 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 Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund, Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund (together the “Funds” and each individually, a “Fund”), dated February 28, 2018, as it may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). The Prospectus may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling the telephone number or writing to one of the addresses listed below or from institutions (“Intermediaries”) acting on behalf of their customers.

The audited financial statements and related report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, for the Funds contained in the Funds’ 2017 Annual Report are incorporated herein by reference in the section “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” No other portions of the Funds’ Annual Report are incorporated by reference herein. The Funds’ Annual Report may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll free at 1-800-621-2550.

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

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

     B-1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     B-1  

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-3  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-72  

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-73  

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-83  

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-93  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-106  

NET ASSET VALUE

     B-109  

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-111  

TAXATION

     B-113  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-120  

PROXY VOTING

     B-120  

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-121  

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-123  

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A  

APPENDIX B GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-B  

APPENDIX C UNDERLYING MANAGERS PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARIES

     1-C  

The date of this SAI is February 28, 2018, as supplemented May 11, 2018.

 

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

GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC

Transfer Agent

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60606

Toll-free (in U.S.) 800-621-2550.

 

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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 are described in this SAI: Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund, Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund (each referred to herein as a “Fund” and, together, the “Funds”).

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 Funds and other series. Additional series and classes may be added in the future from time to time. Each Fund currently offers one class of shares: 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. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the Investment Adviser to the Funds. In addition, Goldman Sachs serves as the Funds’ distributor (the “Distributor”) and transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”). The Funds’ custodian and administrator is State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”). The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund’s investment sub-advisers are currently: Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc. (“Boston Partners”), Causeway Capital Management LLC (“Causeway”), Fisher Asset Management, LLC (“Fisher”), GW&K Investment Management, LLC (“GW&K”), Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. (“LGIMA”), Principal Global Investors, LLC (“Principal”), Russell Investments Implementation Services, LLC (“RIIS”), Scharf Investments, LLC (“Scharf”), Vulcan Value Partners, LLC (“Vulcan”), WCM Investment Management (“WCM”) and Wellington Management Company LLP (“Wellington”); the Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund’s investment sub-advisers are currently Ares Capital Management II LLC (“Ares”), BlueBay Asset Management LLP (“BlueBay”), Brigade Capital Management, LP (“Brigade”), Lazard Asset Management LLC (“Lazard”), Symphony Asset Management LLC (“Symphony”) and TCW Investment Management Company LLC (“TCW”); and the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund’s investment sub-advisers are currently PGIM Real Estate, a business unit of PGIM Inc., Presima Inc. (“Presima”), RARE Infrastructure (North America) Pty Limited (“RARE”) and RREEF America L.L.C. (“RREEF”) (collectively, the “Underlying Managers”). The Investment Adviser determines the percentage of a Fund’s portfolio allocated to each Underlying Manager in order to seek to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. The Investment Adviser’s Global Portfolio Solutions Group (“GPS” or the “GPS Group”) is responsible for the Funds’ asset allocation, and the Investment Adviser’s Alternative Investments & Manager Selection Group (“AIMS” or the “AIMS Group”) is responsible for making recommendations with respect to hiring, terminating, or replacing each Fund’s Underlying Managers. Fund assets not allocated to Underlying Managers may be managed by the Investment Adviser (references to “Underlying Manager(s)” include the Investment Adviser when acting in this capacity).

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

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

Each Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. There can be no assurance that a Fund’s objective will be achieved. The Funds are diversified, open-end management companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Act” or “1940 Act”). The investment objective and policies of each Fund, and the associated risks of each Fund, are discussed in the Funds’ Prospectus, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, shareholders will be provided with sixty (60) days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in each of the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund’s and Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes (measured at the time of purchase) in the particular type of investment suggested by its name. Additional information about each Fund, its policies, and the investment instruments it may hold is provided below.

A Fund’s share price will fluctuate with market, economic and, to the extent applicable, foreign exchange conditions, so that an investment in the Fund may be worth more or less when redeemed than when purchased. A Fund’s performance depends on the ability of the Investment Adviser in selecting, overseeing, and allocating Fund assets to the Underlying Managers, and on the ability of the Underlying Managers to successfully execute the Fund’s investment strategies. A Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program.

 

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The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may pursue its investment objective by investing up to 25% of its total assets in Cayman Commodity-MMRA, Ltd., the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is managed by the Investment Adviser and may be subadvised by one or more Underlying Managers. The Subsidiary may seek to gain commodities exposure and is generally subject to the same fundamental, non-fundamental and certain other investment restrictions as the Fund; however, the Subsidiary (unlike the Fund) is able to invest without limitation in commodity-linked securities and derivative instruments. The Fund and the Subsidiary may test for compliance with certain investment restrictions on a consolidated basis, except that the Subsidiary will comply with the requirements to identify liquid assets on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”), or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivatives, to the same extent as would apply if the Subsidiary were registered under the 1940 Act. For more information about these practices, see “DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES—Asset Segregation.”

To the extent it invests in the Subsidiary, the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund will be indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary’s investments. The derivatives and other investments that may be held by the Subsidiary are subject to the same risks that would apply to similar investments if held directly by the Fund. See below under “DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES—Investment Objective and Policies—Investments in the Wholly-Owned Subsidiary” for a more detailed discussion of the Fund’s use of the Subsidiary.

The Investment Adviser is subject to registration and regulation as a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) with respect to its service as investment adviser to the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund and the Subsidiary. With respect to the Subsidiary, the Investment Adviser is exempt from certain Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure requirements under CFTC Rule 4.7.

The Trust, on behalf of the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund, has filed a notice of eligibility claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term CPO under the 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 Segregation

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

Asset-Backed Securities

Each 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, a Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that a Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.

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

Bank Obligations

Each 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 obligations only of the issuing branch pursuant to the terms of the specific obligations or government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety

 

B-3


of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operations of this industry.

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

Collateralized Debt Obligations

Each Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), collateralized bond obligations (“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. 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 protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO 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 CBO or 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 a 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 a 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 of 1933 (the “1933 Act”) for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers, and such securities may be characterized by a Fund as liquid securities. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed income securities discussed elsewhere in this SAI and the Fund’s Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and credit/default risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but are 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.

Combined Transactions

Each 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.

 

B-4


Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations

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

Commodity-Linked Investments

The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund may seek to provide exposure to the investment returns of real assets that trade in the commodity markets through investments in commodity-linked derivative securities, such as structured notes, discussed below, which are designed to provide this exposure without direct investment in physical commodities or commodities futures contracts.

The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may seek to provide exposure to the investment returns of real assets that trade in the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary. The Fund may also invest in commodities through investments in other investment companies, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) or other pooled investment vehicles. Although it does not currently intend to do so, the Fund may also invest in certain commodity-linked structured notes. Real assets are assets such as oil, gas, industrial and precious metals, livestock, and agricultural or meat products, or other items that have tangible properties, as compared to stocks or bonds, which are financial instruments.

In choosing investments, an Underlying Manager may seek to provide exposure to various commodities and commodity sectors. The value of commodity-linked derivative securities held by a Fund may be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, overall market movements and other factors affecting the value of particular industries or commodities, such as weather, disease, embargoes, acts of war or terrorism, or political and regulatory developments.

The prices of commodity-linked derivative instruments may move in different directions than investments in traditional equity and debt securities when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions. As an example, during periods of rising inflation, debt securities have historically tended to decline in value due to the general increase in prevailing interest rates. Conversely, during those same periods of rising inflation, the prices of certain commodities, such as oil and metals, have historically tended to increase. Of course, there cannot be any guarantee that these investments will perform in that manner in the future, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked instruments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities. Commodities have historically tended to increase and decrease in value during different parts of the business cycle than financial assets. Nevertheless, at various times, commodities prices may move in tandem with the prices of financial assets and thus may not provide overall portfolio diversification benefits. Under favorable economic conditions, an investment in commodities may be expected to underperform an investment in traditional securities. Over the long term, the returns on a Fund’s investments in commodities are expected to exhibit low or negative correlation with stocks and bonds.

Because commodity-linked derivative instruments are available from a relatively small number of issuers, the Fund’s investments in commodity-linked derivative securities are particularly subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the issuer of the commodity-linked derivative (which issuer may also serve as counterparty to a substantial number of the Fund’s commodity-linked and other derivative investments) will not fulfill its contractual obligations.

Contracts for Difference

Each Fund may enter into contracts for difference (“CFDs”), which offer exposure to price changes in an underlying instrument without ownership of that instrument. A CFD is a privately negotiated contract between two parties, buyer and seller, stipulating that the seller will pay to or receive from the buyer the difference between the nominal value of the underlying instrument at the opening of the contract and that instrument’s value at the end of the contract. The underlying instrument may be a single security, stock basket or index. The buyer and seller may be required to post collateral, which is adjusted daily. Adverse movements in the underlying instrument will require the buyer to post additional margin. The buyer will also pay to the seller a financing rate on the notional amount of the CFD. A CFD is usually terminated at the buyer’s initiative. As is the case with owning any financial instrument, there is the risk of loss associated with buying a CFD. There may be liquidity risk if the underlying instrument is illiquid because the liquidity of a CFD is based in part on the liquidity of the underlying instrument. CFDs also carry counterparty risk, i.e., the risk that the counterparty to the CFD transaction may be unable or unwilling to make payments or to otherwise honor its financial obligations under the terms of the contract. If the counterparty failed to honor its obligations, the value of the contract may be reduced. A Fund may use CFDs to take either a short or long position on an underlying instrument. CFDs are not registered with the SEC or any U.S. regulator.

 

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Convertible Securities

Each 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 a 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 a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that a Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.

In evaluating a convertible security, an Underlying Manager may give primary emphasis to the attractiveness of the underlying common stock.

Corporate Debt Obligations

Each 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 a 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.

 

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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

Each 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 (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For 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, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Funds may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

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

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

Distressed Debt

Each Fund may invest in the securities and other obligations of financially troubled companies, including stressed, distressed and bankrupt issuers and debt obligations that are in covenant or payment default. In addition, investments of a Fund may become distressed or bankrupt following the Fund’s initial acquisition of the security. Historically, economic downturns or increases in interest rates have, under certain circumstances, resulted in a higher occurrence of default by the issuers of these instruments. Such investments generally trade significantly below par and are considered speculative. The repayment of defaulted obligations is subject to significant uncertainties. Defaulted obligations might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Typically such workout or bankruptcy proceedings result in only partial recovery of cash payments or an exchange of the defaulted obligation for other debt or equity securities of the issuer or its affiliates, which may in turn be illiquid or speculative.

In any investment involving stressed and distressed debt obligations, there exists the risk that the transaction involving such debt obligations will be unsuccessful, take considerable time or will result in a distribution of cash or a new security or obligation in exchange for the stressed and distressed debt obligations, the value of which may be less than a Fund’s purchase price of such debt obligations. Furthermore, if an anticipated transaction does not occur, a Fund may be required to sell its investment at a loss.

 

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Distressed investments may require active participation by the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager in the restructuring of a Fund’s investment or other actions intended to protect the Fund’s investment; however, there may be situations where the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager may determine to not so participate due to regulatory, tax or other considerations. In addition, a Fund may participate on creditors’ committees to negotiate with the management of financially troubled issuers of securities held by the Fund. Such participation may subject a Fund to additional expenses (including legal fees) and may make a Fund an “insider” of the issuer for purposes of the federal securities laws. This may result in increased litigation risks to a Fund or may restrict the Investment Adviser’s or an Underlying Manager’s ability to dispose of the security.

There are a number of significant risks inherent in the bankruptcy process. Many events in a bankruptcy are the product of contested matters and adversary proceedings and are beyond the control of the creditors. A bankruptcy filing by an issuer may adversely and permanently affect the issuer, and if the proceeding is converted to a liquidation, the value of the issuer may not equal the liquidation value that was believed to exist at the time of the investment. The duration of a bankruptcy proceeding is difficult to predict, and a creditor’s return on investment can be adversely affected by delays until the plan of reorganization ultimately becomes effective. The administrative costs in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding are frequently high and would be paid out of the debtor’s estate prior to any return to creditors. Because the standards for classification of claims under bankruptcy law are vague, there exists the risk that a Fund’s influence with respect to the class of securities or other obligations it owns can be lost by increases in the number and amount of claims in the same class or by different classification and treatment. In the early stages of the bankruptcy process it is often difficult to estimate the extent of, or even to identify, any contingent claims that might be made. In addition, certain claims that have priority by law (for example, claims for taxes) may be substantial.

Equity Investments

The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund and Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund may purchase equity investments. In addition, after its purchase, a portfolio investment (such as a CDO) may convert to an equity security. A 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 Underlying Manager believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

Equity-Linked Structured Notes

The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy 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.

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

The unprecedented disruption in the residential Mortgage-Backed Securities market (and in particular, the “subprime” residential mortgage market), the broader Mortgage-Backed Securities market and the asset-backed securities market in 2008 and 2009 resulted in downward price pressures and increasing foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, the availability and cost of credit, the mortgage market and a depressed real estate market contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets going forward, and contributed to dramatic declines in the housing market, with falling home prices and increasing foreclosures and unemployment, and significant asset write-downs by financial institutions. These conditions prompted a number of financial institutions to seek additional capital, to merge with other institutions and, in some cases, to fail or seek bankruptcy protection. Between 2008 and 2009, the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities (as well as other asset-backed securities) was particularly adversely impacted by, among other factors, the failure and subsequent sale of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to J.P. Morgan Chase, the merger of Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch & Co., the insolvency of Washington Mutual Inc., the failure and subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the extension of approximately $152 billion in emergency credit by the U.S. Treasury to American International Group Inc., and, as described above, the conservatorship and the control by the U.S. Government of 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

 

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itself. Concerns over the level and sustainability of the sovereign debt of the United States have aggravated this volatility. No assurance can be made that this uncertainty will not lead to further disruption of the credit markets in the United States or around the globe. These events, coupled with the general global economic downturn, have resulted in a substantial level of uncertainty in the financial markets, particularly with respect to mortgage-related investments.

These events may lead to further declines in income from, or the value of, real estate, including the real estate which secures the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by a Fund. Additionally, a lack of credit liquidity, adjustments of mortgages to higher rates and decreases in the value of real property have occurred and may reoccur, and potentially prevent borrowers from refinancing their mortgages, which may increase the likelihood of default on their mortgage loans. These economic conditions, coupled with high levels of real estate inventory and elevated incidence of underwater mortgages, may also adversely affect the amount of proceeds the holder of a mortgage loan or Mortgage-Backed Securities (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities in which a 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 a Fund.

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

The foregoing adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which each 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

 

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conditions. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by a Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which a 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 a Fund may experience further declines after they are purchased by the Fund.

Floating Rate Loans and Other Variable and Floating Rate Securities

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

Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies or other entities (e.g., a U.S. or foreign bank, insurance company or finance company) (collectively, “borrowers”) incurred for a variety of purposes. Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender or as an assignment of the portion of a floating rate loan previously attributable to a different lender. A Fund may also invest in floating rate loans through a participation interest (which represents a fractional interest in a floating rate loan) issued by a lender or other financial institution.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Assignments. A Fund may purchase an assignment of a portion of a floating rate loan from an agent or from another group of investors. The purchase of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the original loan agreement; however, assignments may also be arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, and the rights and obligations acquired by the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning agent or investor.

Loan Participation Interests. Purchasers of participation interests do not have any direct contractual relationship with the borrower. Purchasers rely on the lender who sold the participation interest not only for the enforcement of the purchaser’s rights against the borrower but also for the receipt and processing of payments due under the floating rate loan. For additional information, see the section “Loans and Loan Participations” below.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Inverse Floating Rate Debt Obligations. A Fund may invest in “leveraged” inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”), including “leveraged inverse floaters.” The interest rate on inverse floaters resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher the degree of leverage inherent in inverse floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values. Accordingly, the duration of an inverse floater may exceed its stated final maturity. Certain inverse floaters may be deemed to be illiquid securities for purposes of the Fund’s limitation on illiquid investments.

Foreign Investments

Each 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, in the opinion of an Underlying Manager, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Funds’ Prospectus and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.

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

As described more fully below, a Fund may invest in countries with emerging economies or securities markets. Political and economic structures in many of such countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries. Certain of such countries have in the past failed to recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized or expropriated the assets of, or ignored internationally accepted standards of due process against, private companies. In addition, a country may take these and other retaliatory actions against a specific private company, including a Fund, the Investment Adviser, or an Underlying Manager. There may not be legal recourse against these actions, which could arise in connection with the commercial activities of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates or otherwise, and a Fund could be subject to substantial losses. As a result, the risks described above, including the risks of nationalization or expropriation of assets, may be heightened. See “Investing in Emerging Countries,” below.

 

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

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

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

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

Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, a Fund that invests in foreign securities 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 Funds may be subject to currency exposure independent of their securities positions. To the extent that a Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.

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

Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although each 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.

 

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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 a Fund are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to 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.

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

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

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

Each Fund may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between a Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost

 

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based on current market rates as of the termination date 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, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.

Each Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when 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 amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

Additionally, when an Underlying Manager 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 a 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 each Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which a Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of a Fund’s foreign assets.

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

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

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

Each Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. Each Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. Financial futures contracts used by the Funds 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 London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) of a three-month deposit. The Funds 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 a Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

 

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

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 United States securities laws.

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

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

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

Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. Hedging, by use of futures contracts, seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price, rate of return or currency exchange rate on portfolio securities or securities that a Fund owns or proposes to acquire. Each 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 a Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, each 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 an Underlying Manager, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for a Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in a Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, an Underlying Manager may attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having a Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting the Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.

 

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

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

The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of each Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, a Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that a Fund intends to purchase. However, a Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by a Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. Each 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. Each Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.

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

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

High Yield Securities

The Funds may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“Standard & Poor”) 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 or are highly leveraged. 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 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 a 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”).

 

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Risks associated with acquiring the securities of such issuers generally are greater than is the case with higher rated securities because such issuers are often less creditworthy companies or are highly leveraged and 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.

The market values of high yield, fixed income 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 such high yield securities are often highly leveraged, and 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 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, fixed income securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of fixed income securities 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 a 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 high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by a 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 a Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, a 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 their interests. A 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, fixed income 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 is not as liquid as and is more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high-yield, fixed-income securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities and the secondary market for high yield, fixed income 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 a Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet their redemption requests or other liquidity needs. An Underlying Manager 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 NAV of a Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for a 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.

Non-investment grade securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield, fixed income 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, a Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if a 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 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

 

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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 an Underlying Manager’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 a Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, a 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.

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

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

Each Fund may enter into swap transactions for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As examples, a Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other markets, to protect against currency fluctuations, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities a 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 FCMs that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Funds post initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.

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

Credit swaps (also referred to as 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. A Fund may obtain exposure to Senior Loans (as defined below) through the use of derivative instruments including loan credit default swaps. Investments in loan credit default swaps involve many of the risks associated with investments in derivatives more generally. 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. Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, as a total return swap where a counterparty may agree to pay a 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 other cases, the counterparty and a Fund may each agree to pay 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).

 

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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 a Fund. For example, a 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 a 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. Each 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 example, their daily returns vary in similar proportions or along similar trajectories. For example, a 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. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally a Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, equity, 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, equity, 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, equity, credit and mortgage swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, equity, credit or mortgage swap defaults, a 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 a Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. A 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, a Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, a Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, a 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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. The Investment Adviser and the Underlying Managers, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, are responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s transactions in swaps, swaptions, caps, floors and collars. Because the Fund’s Underlying Managers 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 each Underlying Manager 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.

 

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Inverse Floating Rate Securities

Each Fund may invest in leveraged inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). The interest rate on an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher degree of leverage inherent in inverse floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values. Accordingly, the duration of an inverse floater may exceed its stated final maturity. Certain inverse floaters may be deemed to be illiquid securities for purposes of each Fund’s 15% limitation on investments in such securities.

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 a Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests.

The Funds’ 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 Funds, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Market Characteristics. 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 a 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 a Fund needs cash to meet redemption requests, to pay dividends and other distributions or to pay its expenses.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Each 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.

The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from emerging countries may be subject to restrictions which require governmental consents or prohibit repatriation entirely for a period of time, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in such emerging countries. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect certain aspects of the operation of a Fund.

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

 

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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.

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

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

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

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

 

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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 a Fund may invest typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk will generally be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments.

Each Fund is 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 a 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, a 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 and stability of existing coalitions in politically-fractionated countries – and may result in adverse consequences to a 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.

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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

 

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Although each 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.

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, although Australia’s stock market is the largest and most liquid in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan). 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. Recent 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 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 Investments” and “Investing in Emerging Countries” investing in Brazil presents additional risks.

Under current Brazilian law, a Fund may repatriate income received from dividends and interest earned on its investments in Brazilian securities. A 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 a Fund’s investments.

Investing 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 a Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on a 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 a Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

 

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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, 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 a 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 a 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. 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.

 

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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.

Egypt’s economy is dependent on trade with certain key trading partners including the U.S. 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 potential 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 companies in which a 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. A 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 in which a Fund has invested.

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.

In a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggers a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. During this period and beyond, the impact on the United Kingdom and European economies and the broader global economy could be significant and could, among other outcomes, result in increased volatility and illiquidity, potentially lower economic growth and decreased asset valuations. Brexit may have a negative impact on the economy and currency of the United Kingdom as a result of anticipated or actual changes to the United Kingdom’s economic and political relations with the EU. Brexit may also have a destabilizing impact on the EU to the extent other member states similarly seek to withdraw from the union. Any further exits from the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties. Any or all of these challenges may affect the value of a Fund’s investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or the EU.

Economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of a Fund’s investments.

Certain countries have applied to become new member countries of the EU, and these candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.

 

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

The value of a 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 a Fund may be unable to sell securities until the registration process is completed and may experience delays in receipt of dividends and other entitlements.

 

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Foreign investment in the securities of issuers in India is usually restricted or controlled to some degree. In India, “foreign portfolio investors” (“FPIs”) 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. FPIs have to apply for registration with a designated depository participant in India on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) and to the Reserve Bank of India for permission to trade in Indian securities. The Funds’ continued ability to invest in India is dependent on their continuing to meet current and future requirements placed on FPIs by SEBI regulations. If a Fund 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. FPIs are required to observe certain investment restrictions, including an account ownership ceiling of 10% of the total issued share capital of any one company. The shareholdings of all registered FPIs, together with the shareholdings of non-resident Indian individuals and foreign corporate bodies substantially owned by non-resident Indians, may not exceed a specified percentage of the issued share capital of any one company (subject to that company’s approval). Only registered FPIs 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 a 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 a 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.

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 a Fund. This will affect the rate at which a 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, a 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 NAV 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.

 

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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 a 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 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.

 

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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 would be negatively affected by any trade barriers, exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), managed adjustments in relative currency values or other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. Nigeria has imposed capital controls to varying degrees in the past, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in companies in Nigeria or repatriate investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from Nigeria. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. 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.

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, sometimes resulting in armed conflict and acts of terrorism. Unanticipated political or social developments may affect the value of a Fund’s investments and the availability to the Fund of additional investments.

 

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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. A 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund was heavily invested, the Fund’s ability to redeem Fund shares could become correspondingly impaired. To mitigate these risks, a 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 heavily 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. Reduction in spending on products and services from the Philippines, or changes in trade regulations or currency exchange rates in any of these countries, 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 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 a 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 a 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 Investments” 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

 

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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, there is no central registration system for shareholders and 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 a Fund to lose its registration through fraud, negligence, or even mere oversight. While a 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 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 a 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 a 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. A Fund also may experience difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments in Russia.

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

 

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many sectors of the Russian economy, may cause a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and adversely affect the performance of a Fund or make it difficult for a Fund to achieve its investment objectives. In certain instances, sanctions could prohibit a Fund from buying or selling Russian securities, rendering any such securities held by a 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.

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. 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. 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 a 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. In addition, there is the risk that if Vietnam’s balance of payments declines, Vietnam may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, a 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 a Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.

 

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Current investment regulations in Vietnam require a 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.

Investment in Unseasoned Companies

Each 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.

Investments in the Wholly-Owned Subsidiary

The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may invest in the Subsidiary. Investments in the Subsidiary are expected to provide the Fund with exposure to the commodity markets within the limitations of Subchapter M of the Code and IRS rulings, as discussed below under “Taxation – Fund Taxation.” The Subsidiary is a company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and is overseen by its own board of directors. The Fund is currently the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary may invest without limitation in commodity index-linked securities (including leveraged and unleveraged structured notes) and commodity swaps, and other commodity-linked securities and derivative instruments that provide exposure to the performance of the commodity markets. Although the Fund may invest in commodity-linked derivative instruments directly, the Fund may gain exposure to these derivative instruments indirectly by investing in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary may also invest in fixed income securities, which are intended to serve as margin or collateral for the Subsidiary’s derivative positions. To the extent that the Fund invests in the Subsidiary, it will be subject to the risks associated with those derivative instruments and other securities, which are discussed elsewhere in the Prospectus and this SAI.

The Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the 1940 Act and, unless otherwise noted in the Prospectus and this SAI, is not subject to all of the investor protections of the 1940 Act and other U.S. regulations. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to operate as described in the Prospectus and this SAI and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders.

Loans and Loan Participations

Each 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 a 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 a 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, a 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, a 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. Each Fund may participate in such syndicates, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a part lender. The participation interests in which a 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.

 

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When a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income 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, 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 Underlying Managers 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 Underlying Managers 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 Underlying Managers 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 Underlying Managers do 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 the 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, the 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 the Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.

 

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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 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 an Underlying Manager 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 an Underlying Manager, 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 Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income 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.

 

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Master Limited Partnerships

The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may invest in master limited partnerships (“MLPs”). MLPs are publicly traded partnerships primarily engaged in the transportation, storage, processing, refining, marketing, exploration, production, and mining of minerals and natural resources. Investments in securities of MLPs involve risks that differ from investments in common stock, including risks related to limited control and limited rights to vote on matters affecting the MLP, risks related to potential conflicts of interest between the MLP and the MLP’s general partner, cash flow risks, dilution risks and risks related to the general partner’s right to require unit-holders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price, resulting from regulatory changes or other reasons. Certain MLP securities may trade in lower volumes due to their smaller capitalizations. Accordingly, those MLPs may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements, may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable a Fund to effect sales at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price, and investment in those MLPs may restrict the Fund’s ability to take advantage of other investment opportunities. MLPs are generally considered interest-rate sensitive investments. During periods of interest rate volatility, these investments may not provide attractive returns. Depending on the state of interest rates in general, the use of MLPs could enhance or harm the overall performance of the Fund.

MLPs are subject to various risks related to the underlying operating companies they control, including dependence upon specialized management skills and the risk that such companies may lack or have limited operating histories. The success of a Fund’s investments also will vary depending on the underlying industry represented by the MLP’s portfolio. Each Fund must recognize income that it receives from underlying MLPs for tax purposes, even if the Fund does not receive cash distributions from the MLPs in an amount necessary to pay such tax liability.

In addition, a percentage of a distribution received by a Fund as the holder of an MLP interest may be treated as a return of capital, which would reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the interests of the MLP, which will result in an increase in the amount of income or gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes upon the sale of any such interests or upon subsequent distributions in respect of such interests. Furthermore, any return of capital distribution received from the MLP may require a Fund to restate the character of its distributions and amend any shareholder tax reporting previously issued.

MLPs generally do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law, or a change in the underlying business mix of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in the MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax (as well as state and local income taxes) on its taxable income. The classification of an MLP as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP. If any MLP in which a Fund invests were treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it could result in a reduction of the value of the Fund’s investment in the MLP and lower income to the Fund.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

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

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

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

 

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Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities

Each 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 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 a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from 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 a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that a Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, an Underlying Manager may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.

Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates. Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by a Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than 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 each 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.

 

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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 a Fund may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for the Fund.

Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans

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

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 Funds. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly, ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of a Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.

There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year LIBOR, the prime rate of a

 

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specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in a Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of the Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.

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

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

 

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

 

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  such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by 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 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, each 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 a Fund to the extent it has invested in Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans.

Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Each 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.

Each 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 (as defined below) that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

 

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Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which each 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 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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

In the past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of Mortgage-Backed Securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may have invested or may in the future be invested), and 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 a 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.

 

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

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

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. Each 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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.

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

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Each 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 a Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. An Underlying Manager may determine that SMBS which are U.S. Government Securities are liquid for purposes of a 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.

Municipal Securities

The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund and Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund may invest in 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”), the interest on which is exempt from regular federal income tax (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes but not necessarily exempt from the federal alternative minimum tax or from the income taxes of any state or local government). In addition, Municipal Securities include participation interests in such securities the interest on which is, in the opinion of bond counsel or counsel selected by the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager, excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes. A Fund may revise its definition of Municipal Securities in the future to include other types of securities that currently exist, the interest on which is or will be, in the opinion of such counsel, excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes, provided that investing in such securities is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies. A Fund may also invest in taxable Municipal Securities.

 

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The yields and market values of municipal securities are determined primarily by the general level of interest rates, the creditworthiness of the issuers of municipal securities and economic and political conditions affecting such issuers. The yields and market prices of municipal securities may be adversely affected by changes in tax rates and policies, which may have less effect on the market for taxable fixed income securities. Moreover, certain types of municipal securities, such as housing revenue bonds, involve prepayment risks which could affect the yield on such securities. The credit rating assigned to municipal securities may reflect the existence of guarantees, letters of credit or other credit enhancement features available to the issuers or holders of such municipal securities.

Dividends paid by a Fund that are derived from interest paid on both tax exempt and taxable Municipal Securities will be taxable to the Fund’s shareholders.

Municipal Securities are often issued to obtain funds for various public purposes including refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses, and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. Municipal Securities also include certain “private activity bonds” or industrial development bonds, which are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to provide financing aid to acquire sites or construct or equip facilities within a municipality for privately or publicly owned corporations.

Investments in municipal securities are subject to the risk that the issuer could default on its obligations. Such a default could result from the inadequacy of the sources or revenues from which interest and principal payments are to be made, including property tax collections, sales tax revenue, income tax revenue and local, state and federal government funding, or the assets collateralizing such obligations. Municipal securities and issuers of municipal securities may be more susceptible to downgrade, default, and bankruptcy as a result of recent periods of economic stress. In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, several municipalities filed for bankruptcy protection or indicated that they may seek bankruptcy protection in the future. Revenue bonds, including private activity bonds, are backed only by specific assets or revenue sources and not by the full faith and credit of the governmental issuer.

The two principal classifications of Municipal Securities are “general obligations” and “revenue obligations.” General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith and credit for the payment of principal and interest, although the characteristics and enforcement of general obligations may vary according to the law applicable to the particular issuer. Revenue obligations, which include, but are not limited to, private activity bonds, resource recovery bonds, certificates of participation and certain municipal notes, are not backed by the credit and taxing authority of the issuer, and are payable solely from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Nevertheless, the obligations of the issuer of a revenue obligation may be backed by a letter of credit, guarantee or insurance. General obligations and revenue obligations may be issued in a variety of forms, including commercial paper, fixed, variable and floating rate securities, tender option bonds, auction rate bonds, zero coupon bonds, deferred interest bonds and capital appreciation bonds.

In addition to general obligations and revenue obligations, there is a variety of hybrid and special types of Municipal Securities. There are also numerous differences in the security of Municipal Securities both within and between these two principal classifications.

For the purpose of applying a Fund’s investment restrictions, the identification of the issuer of a Municipal Security which is not a general obligation is made by the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager based on the characteristics of the Municipal Security, the most important of which is the source of funds for the payment of principal and interest on such securities.

An entire issue of Municipal Securities may be purchased by one or a small number of institutional investors, including a Fund. Thus, the issue may not be said to be publicly offered. Unlike some securities that are not publicly offered, a secondary market exists for many Municipal Securities that were not publicly offered initially and such securities may be readily marketable.

The credit rating assigned to Municipal Securities may reflect the existence of guarantees, letters of credit or other credit enhancement features available to the issuers or holders of such Municipal Securities.

The obligations of the issuer to pay the principal of and interest on a Municipal Security are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Code, and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest or imposing other constraints upon the enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of the issuer to pay when due principal of or interest on a Municipal Security may be materially affected.

 

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From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the federal income tax exemption for interest on Municipal Securities. For example, under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, interest on certain private activity bonds must be included in an investor’s federal alternative minimum taxable income. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards the federal income tax status of interest on Municipal Securities or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the tax treatment of Municipal Securities.

Special Risk Considerations Relating to California Municipal Obligations. A Fund may invest in municipal obligations of the State of California (“California” or, as used in this section, the “State”), its public authorities and local governments (“California Municipal Obligations”), and consequently may be affected by political and economic developments within California and by the financial condition of California’s political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities and public authorities. Provisions of the California Constitution and State statutes that limit the taxing and spending authority of California governmental entities may impair the ability of California governmental issuers to maintain debt service on their obligations. Future federal and California political and economic developments, constitutional amendments, legislative measures, executive orders, administrative regulations, litigation and voter initiatives could have an adverse effect on the debt obligations of California issuers. Some of the significant financial considerations relating to investments in California Municipal Obligations are summarized below. The following section provides only a brief summary of the complex factors affecting the financial condition of California that could, in turn, adversely affect a Fund’s investments in California Municipal Obligations. This information is based on information publicly available from State authorities and other sources available prior to July 28, 2017 and has not been independently verified. It should be noted that the creditworthiness of obligations issued by local issuers may be unrelated to the creditworthiness of obligations issued by the State, and that there is no obligation on the part of California to make payment on such local obligations in the event of default in the absence of a specific guarantee or pledge provided by California. Furthermore, obligations of issuers of California Municipal Obligations are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors. Accordingly, an insolvent municipality may file for bankruptcy, as allowed by Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. This section provides a financially distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for reorganizing its debts. The reorganization of a municipality’s debts may be accomplished by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, refinancing the debt or other measures which may significantly affect the rights of creditors and the value of the securities issued by the municipality and the value of a Fund’s investments. As a result of continuing financial and economic difficulties, several California municipalities have filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 or have indicated that they may seek such bankruptcy protection in the future. Additional municipal bankruptcy filings may occur in the future. Any such action could negatively impact the value of a fund’s investments in the securities of those issuers or other issuers in California.

Certain California Municipal Obligations held by a Fund may be obligations of issuers that rely in whole or in substantial part on California state government revenues for the continuance of their operations and payment of their obligations. Whether and to what extent the California Legislature will continue to appropriate a portion of the State’s General Fund to counties, cities and their various entities, which depend upon State government appropriations, is not entirely certain. To the extent local entities do not receive money from the State government to pay for their operations and services, their ability to pay debt service on obligations held by the Funds may be impaired.

California Municipal Obligations, including certain tax-exempt securities, in which the Funds may invest may be obligations payable solely from the revenues of specific institutions, or may be secured by specific properties, which are subject to provisions of California law that could adversely affect the holders of such obligations. For example, the revenues of California health care institutions may be subject to state laws, and California law limits the remedies of a creditor secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property.

California’s economy, the largest state economy in the United States and one of the largest and most diverse in the world, has major components in high technology, trade, entertainment, manufacturing, government, tourism, construction and services. The relative proportion of the various components of the California economy closely resembles the make-up of the national economy; and as a result, economic factors that affect such industries may have a similar impact on the State and national economies.

In March 2004, voters approved Proposition 58, which amended the California State Constitution to require balanced budgets in the future, yet this has not prevented the State from enacting budgets that rely on borrowing. Proposition 58 also created the Budget Stabilization Account (“BSA”) as a secondary budgetary reserve and established the process for transferring General Fund revenues into the BSA. In fiscal year 2014-15, $1.6 billion was transferred from the General Fund to the BSA pursuant to Proposition 58.

Beginning with fiscal year 2015-16, the BSA provisions of Proposition 58 were superseded by Proposition 2. Proposition 2 provides for both paying down debt and other long-term liabilities, an saving for a rainy day by making specified deposits into the BSA. Proposition 2 takes into account California’s heavy dependence on the performance of the stock market and the resulting capital gains. Beginning in fiscal year 2015-16, California must calculate capital gains revenues in excess of 8% of General Fund tax

 

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revenues and add such amount to 1.5% of the General Fund tax revenues; half of this amount is used to service long-term debt, and the other half of this amount is deposited into the BSA. Proposition 2 also only allows withdrawals from the BSA for a disaster or if spending remains commensurate or below the highest level of spending in the preceding three years. Under current projections, Proposition 2 will result in a BSA balance of $11.5 billion by fiscal year 2020-21. The projected BSA deposit for fiscal year 2016-17 is $1.8 billion.

Overall, California’s real gross domestic product increased by 4.1% in 2015 and totaled $2.5 trillion at current prices, making it the sixth largest economy in the world. California has recently emerged from one of the most severe droughts in its history, California has experienced rainfall significantly in excess of the average amount of rainfall through this point in the water year (twelve consecutive months beginning in October). The high volume of rain and snowfall has, among other effects, caused localized flooding in some areas and damage to roads and other infrastructure. The effects of the high volume of rain and snowfall are not expected to materially impact California’s economy, but there can be no guarantee that California’s economy and finances will not be adversely affected by such conditions in the future.

Nonfarm employment in California is forecast to grow by 1.8% in 2017 and 0.8% in 2018 as compared to growing by just 0.9% in 2011. The State’s unemployment rate fell from a high of 12.5% in December 2010 to 4.8% in April 2017. In comparison, the national unemployment rate was 4.4% in April 2017. As of April 2017, California gained approximately 2.5 million jobs since employment expansion began in February 2010.

Personal income in California is estimated to have grown 4.1% in 2016 and projected to grow 4.4% in 2017 and 2017, as compared to falling by 3.7% in 2009 and the 3.9% average growth rate from 2002 to 2013. Taxable sales in California are estimated to have grown 3.0% in 2016 and projected to grow 3.7% in 2017 and 4.4% in 2018. On April 4, 2016, the Governor signed SB 3, which gradually increases the minimum wage in California (currently $10 per hour) to $15 per hour by 2023 (at the earliest) for all businesses in California.

Revenue bonds represent both obligations payable from State revenue-producing enterprises and projects and conduit obligations payable from revenues paid by private users or local governments of facilities financed by such revenue bonds. Such enterprises and projects include transportation projects, various public works projects, public and private educational facilities (including the California State University and University of California systems), housing, health facilities, and pollution control facilities. State agencies and authorities had approximately $9.8 billion aggregate principal amount of revenue bonds and notes, which are non-recourse to the General Fund, outstanding as of July 1, 2016.

As of July 17, 2017, California’s general obligation bonds were assigned ratings of Aa3, AA+ and AA+ by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, respectively. It should be recognized that these ratings are not an absolute standard of quality, but rather general indicators. Such ratings reflect only the view of the originating rating agencies, from which an explanation of the significance of such ratings may be obtained. There is no assurance that a particular rating will continue for any given period of time or that any such rating will not be revised downward or withdrawn entirely if, in the judgment of the agency establishing the rating, circumstances so warrant. A downward revision or withdrawal of such ratings, or either of them, may affect the market price of the State municipal obligations in which a Fund invests. As of February 1, 2017, California had outstanding approximately $83.1 billion in long-term general obligation bonds.

The Governor’s Budget, which was released in January 2017 and amended by the Revised Budget published in May 2017, projected the State to begin fiscal year 2017-18 with a General Fund balance of approximately $1.0 billion. The Governor’s Budget projects that the General Fund will receive $124.0 billion in revenues and transfers, an increase of $5.3 billion compared with revised estimates for fiscal year 2016-17. Against these revenues, the 2016-17 Governor’s Budget calls for approximately $122.5 billion in General Fund expenditures, a decrease of $241 million compared with adjusted estimates for fiscal year 2016-17.

The 2017 Budget Act was signed into law on June 27, 2017. The 2016 Budget Act projected the State to end fiscal year 2017-18 with a General Fund balance of approximately $1.6 billion. The Budget Act projects that the General Fund will receive $125.9 billion in revenues and transfers, an increase of $7.3 billion compared with estimates for fiscal year 2016-17. Against these revenues, the 2017 Budget Act calls for approximately $125.1 billion in General Fund expenditures, an increase of $3.7 billion from fiscal year 2016-17.

The State is a party to numerous legal proceedings, many of which normally occur in governmental operations and which, if decided against the State, might require the State to make significant future expenditures or impair future revenue sources.

 

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Constitutional and statutory amendments as well as budget developments may affect the ability of California issuers to pay interest and principal on their obligations. The overall effect may depend upon whether a particular California tax-exempt security is a general or limited obligation bond and on the type of security provided for the bond. It is possible that measures affecting the taxing or spending authority of California or its political subdivisions may be approved or enacted in the future.

Special Risk Considerations Relating to Florida Special Assessment Bonds. A Fund may invest in Florida special assessment bonds, which are bonds backed by tax assessments on residential and commercial development projects. The payments on special assessment bonds generally depend on the ability of the developer, builder or homeowner of the home or property to pay tax assessments levied against the home or property.

A Fund could be adversely affected by changes in general economic conditions in the State of Florida, fluctuations in the real estate market, or a particular developer, builder or homeowner’s inability to continue to pay the tax assessments underlying the special assessment bonds. Florida’s economy relies heavily on the trade and services industry (particularly in connection with the housing sector), the agriculture industry, and the tourism industry. A downturn in one or more of these sectors could adversely impact the state’s economy and could affect the performance of special assessment bonds. In addition, the homebuilding industry in Florida has been slow to recover since the financial crisis, which severely impacted Florida’s housing and credit markets. While the state, overall, continues its slow recovery from the financial crisis, its employment recovery has largely come from other parts of its economy. The continued sluggish pace of the state’s homebuilding industry could affect the financial health of real estate developers, builders or homeowners.

In many cases, special assessment bonds are secured by land which is undeveloped at the time of issuance but anticipated to be developed within a few years after issuance. In the event of such reduction or slowdown, such development may not occur or may be delayed, thereby increasing the risk of a default on the bonds. Because the special assessments or taxes securing these bonds are not the personal liability of the owners of the property assessed, the lien on the property is the only security for the bonds. However, the lien created by a special assessment bond is pari passu to other tax liens on the home or property and senior to all other liens on the home or property. In addition, if there is a default on the special assessment bond, a Fund would have the right to foreclose on the home or property. In most cases, however, the issuer of these bonds is not required to make payments on the bonds in the event of delinquency in the payment of assessments or taxes, except from amounts, if any, in a reserve fund established for the bonds. In the event of bankruptcy or similar proceedings with respect to the developer, builder or homeowner of a home or property underlying special assessment bonds held by a Fund, the bonds held by the Fund could lose a significant portion of their value. Such proceedings could occur as the result of developments unrelated to the home or property underlying special assessment bonds held by the Fund.

Special Risk Considerations Relating to Puerto Rico Municipal Obligations. A Fund may invest in municipal obligations of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (“Puerto Rico” or, as used in this section, the “Commonwealth”), its public authorities and local governments (“Puerto Rico Municipal Obligations”), and consequently may be affected by political and economic developments within Puerto Rico and by the financial condition of Puerto Rico’s political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities and public authorities. Future federal and Puerto Rico political and economic developments, constitutional amendments, legislative measures, executive orders, administrative regulations, litigation and voter initiatives could have an adverse effect on the debt obligations of Puerto Rico issuers. Some of the significant financial considerations relating to investments in Puerto Rico Municipal Obligations are summarized below. The following section provides only a brief summary of the complex factors affecting the financial condition of Puerto Rico that could, in turn, adversely affect a Fund’s investments in Puerto Rico Municipal Obligations. This information is based on information publicly available from Commonwealth authorities and other sources available prior to July 28, 2017 and has not been independently verified.

Puerto Rico and its public corporations are not eligible for protection under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, which is the only chapter available to municipalities. Accordingly, in the event that Puerto Rico is unable to meet both the need to fund governmental services and its debt obligations, it may be required to take emergency measures, which may include measures to disburse public funds in accordance with legally established priority norms. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”) was signed into law on June 30, 2016. The PROMESA allows Puerto Rico to restructure its outstanding debt obligations. It also establishes an oversight and management board (the “Oversight Board”) that is empowered to approve Puerto Rico’s fiscal plans and budgets. The budget process requires the Oversight Board, the Governor, and the Commonwealth’s Legislative Assembly to develop a compliant budget. The proposed budget is required to be consistent with a fiscal plan developed by the Oversight Board and the Governor. If the Governor and the Legislative Assembly fail to develop a budget that complies with the fiscal plan approved by the Oversight Board by the day before the first day of the fiscal year for which the budget is being developed, the Oversight Board shall submit a compliant budget to the Governor and the Legislative Assembly. The Oversight Board’s budget is deemed approved and becomes effective.

 

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The Oversight Board is comprised of seven members appointed by the president who are nominated by a bipartisan selection process. Additionally, the PROMESA stays creditor litigation until the later of February 15, 2017 or six months after the establishment of the Oversight Board. The stay also applies retroactively to litigation commenced since December 18, 2015.

On April 6, 2016, Governor Padilla signed into law the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and Rehabilitation Act (“Emergency Moratorium Act”), which enabled the Governor to declare a moratorium on debt payments until at least January 2017. Pursuant to the Emergency Moratorium Act, Governor Padilla issued an executive order on June 30, 2016 declaring a moratorium on the Commonwealth’s obligation to make payments on any bonds or notes issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth. Accordingly, Puerto Rico has failed to make certain debt service payments since the enactment of PROMESA.

On January 29, 2017, Governor Rosselló signed into law the Puerto Rico Financial Emergency and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2017 (the “Fiscal Responsibility Act”), which was intended to repeal certain provisions of the Emergency Moratorium Act. Under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the moratorium on Puerto Rican debt payments ends May 1, 2017, and the governor has the ability to extend the moratorium for an additional three months by executive order. The Fiscal Responsibility Act does not provide for a mechanism to extend the moratorium on debt service payments beyond August 1, 2017, but it grants the governor broad discretion to determine which government services take precedent over payment of debt obligations.

To satisfy its requirements under PROMESA, Puerto Rico submitted a fiscal plan to the Oversight Board on February 28, 2017. After the Oversight Board rejected the initial plan, Puerto Rico submitted a revised plan that was certified on March 13, 2017 (the “Fiscal Plan”). The Fiscal Plan outlined certain structural and economic reforms that are intended to create positive cash flows that can be used for debt service payments. According to the Fiscal Plan, total debt service payments for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 are projected to be $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion, respectively. There can be no guarantee that such reforms will produce the intended results that will allow Puerto Rico to service its debt obligations.

The Commonwealth’s Legislative Assembly initially submitted a proposed budget to the Oversight Board in June 2017 (“Proposed Budget”). On June 27, 2017, the Oversight Board issued a notice of non-compliance with the Fiscal Plan, requiring the legislature to revise the Proposed Budget by June 29, 2017. The Commonwealth’s Legislative Assembly was unable to take the corrective actions the Oversight Board outlined in its notice of non-compliance by the Oversight Board’s deadline. Accordingly, the Oversight Board unanimously adopted a resolution approving the certification of a revised, compliant budget for the Commonwealth (“fiscal year 2018 Budget”).

The fiscal year 2018 Budget provides for General Fund revenues of approximately $9.6 billion, which is $369 million higher than fiscal year 2017 General Fund revenue estimates. Against these revenues, the fiscal year 2018 Budget provides for $9.6 billion in General Fund appropriations, which represents an increase of approximately $575 million from the fiscal year 2017 Budget. The fiscal year 2018 Budget allocates $2.3 billion for education, $1.7 billion for safety, $1.4 billion for health, and provides for a $1.4 billion contribution to cover pension outlays.

On May 3, 2017, pursuant to section 304(a) of PROMESA, the Oversight Board filed a petition in federal court on behalf of Puerto Rico to begin proceedings to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt. According to the petition, Puerto Rico will not be able to satisfy debt service payments on its $74 billion in outstanding debt as well as pay government operations costs. Puerto Rico, along with the Oversight Board, began negotiations with creditors to restructure some of Puerto Rico’s debt in April 2017. As no resolution was reached before the moratorium expired on May 1, 2017, the Oversight Board determined that petitioning for relief under PROMESA was the best path forward. It is not presently possible to predict the results of the petition, but the petition will have a significant impact on bondholders. If Puerto Rico is unable to restructure its debt, there could be negative impacts on Fund performance. Puerto Rico’s economy is closely linked to that of the United States, which accounted for approximately 74.1% of Puerto Rico’s exports and 51.7% of its imports in fiscal year 2015. However, in recent years, Puerto Rico’s economy, which entered a recession in the fourth quarter of 2006, has lagged behind the U.S. economy. In fiscal year 2015, Puerto Rico’s gross national product contracted by 0.6%, while the United States’ gross national product grew by 2.8%. In May 2016, the Puerto Rico Planning Board projected gross national product to decrease by only 1.8% and 2.3% in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Puerto Rico’s per capita income ($18,347 in fiscal year 2015) is far below the national average ($48,109 during the same period). As of May 2017, the Commonwealth’s civilian labor force consisted of approximately 1.12 million individuals. The unemployment rate in Puerto Rico was 11.0% as of May 2017, down from 11.3% in May 2016, but considerably higher than the national average of 4.3%.

 

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Puerto Rico relies heavily on transfers from the federal government to fund specific programs within the Commonwealth, including Social Security, Veterans’ Benefits and Medicare. Such transfer payments totaled $16.8 billion in fiscal year 2015 and $16.7 billion in fiscal year 2014. Fiscal or political developments at the national level could impact the extent to which Puerto Rico may rely on transfers from the federal government.

Puerto Rico’s budget is also impacted by extensive unfunded pension obligations related to the Commonwealth’s three public retirement systems, the Employees Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System and the Judiciary Retirement System, all of which are funded primarily through appropriations from the general fund. The Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2016 and 2017 budgets include general fund contributions to the pension systems of $624.0 million and $787.0 million, respectively. As of June 2014, Puerto Rico began using GSAB No. 67 to calculate its pension liabilities, which eliminates the requirement that states compute the traditional funded ratio. In addition, this accounting-standard change impacts the presentation of the financial statements, notes to the financial statements and required supplementary information, with considerable modifications in actual calculations of pension liability. As a result of the adoption of GSAB No. 67, certain pension-related financial information is presented using different valuation measurements than in prior years. Additionally, Puerto Rico no longer discloses unfunded accrued liability and total unfunded ratio information for its pensions. As of the most recent actuarial valuations of the three pension plans in June 2015, the net pension liability for the Employees Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System and the Judiciary Retirement System was $33.3 billion, $15.0 billion and $543.0 million, respectively.

An additional contributor to the Commonwealth’s significant budget deficits is a high level of debt, which the Commonwealth has needed in order to bridge budget gaps, but the servicing of which also exacerbates its ongoing fiscal difficulties. As of July 31, 2016, Puerto Rico’s total public sector debt totaled approximately $68.7 billion, of which approximately $25.5 billion was backed by the Commonwealth’s full faith and credit. The fiscal year 2017 budget did not include an allocation for debt service payments, and the Commonwealth intends for the fiscal year 2018 Budget to allocate approximately $913 million for debt service payments after the court decides on its restructuring petition.

As of July 17, 2017, Puerto Rico’s general obligation debt was assigned a credit rating of Caa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a D by Fitch, Inc., and a D by Standard & Poor’s Rating Service. These ratings represent non-investment grade status. The downgraded credit rating has triggered the acceleration of certain of the Commonwealth’s debt instruments and additional collateral requirements for certain of its interest rate exchange agreements. In addition, the downgrade has adversely impacted the liquidity of Puerto Rico’s debt securities. There is no assurance that these ratings will continue for any given period of time or that they will not be revised or withdrawn entirely by the rating agency if, in the judgment of such rating agency, circumstances so warrant. A downward revision or withdrawal of any such rating may have an adverse effect on the market prices of the securities issued by the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, instrumentalities, and authorities.

Puerto Rico is a party to numerous legal proceedings, many of which normally occur in governmental operations and which, if decided against the Commonwealth, might require the Commonwealth to make significant future expenditures or impair future revenue sources. The Commonwealth has estimated that its total exposure for pending and threatened litigation, if decided against the Commonwealth, is approximately $2.2 billion.

In September 2017, two successive hurricanes – Irma and Maria – caused severe damage to Puerto Rico. Hurricane Irma passed to the north of the Commonwealth, but Hurricane Maria made direct landfall, and the damage caused by both storms is extensive. The Commonwealth’s infrastructure was severely damaged by high winds and substantial flooding, and much of the Commonwealth was left without power. Officials have said that it could take 6 months to a year to restore power throughout the Commonwealth, and parts of the island do not have running water. Preliminary assessments of the damage have been as high as $95 billion, which is approximately 150% of the Commonwealth’s gross national product. On September 20, 2017, President Trump declared there to be a “major disaster” in the Commonwealth and ordered federal assistance to supplement the Commonwealth’s local recovery efforts. In late October, the U.S. Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief package, its second such package for areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board approved a measure to allow for the reallocation of up to $1 billion of the current budget to recovery and rebuilding efforts. Notwithstanding the allocated aid, in November 2017, the Commonwealth’s governor requested an additional $94.4 billion to help rebuild the Commonwealth’s damaged infrastructure. It is expected that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover approximately 90% of the costs to rebuild public infrastructure, up from the standard 75%.

The damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria is expected to have substantially adverse effects on the Commonwealth’s economy. In addition to diverting funds to relief and recovery efforts, the Commonwealth is expected to lose revenue as a result of decreased tourism and general business operations. There can be no assurances that the Commonwealth will receive the necessary aid to rebuild from the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and it is not currently possible to predict the long-term impact that Hurricanes Irma and Maria will have on the Commonwealth’s economy. All these developments have a material adverse effect on the Commonwealth’s finances and negatively impact the marketability, liquidity and value of securities issued by the Commonwealth that are held by a Fund.

 

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Municipal Leases, Certificates of Participation and Other Participation Interests. A Fund may invest in municipal leases, certificates of participation and other participation interests. A municipal lease is an obligation in the form of a lease or installment purchase which is issued by a state or local government to acquire equipment and facilities. Income from such obligations is generally exempt from state and local taxes in the state of issuance. Municipal leases frequently involve special risks not normally associated with general obligations or revenue bonds. Leases and installment purchase or conditional sale contracts (which normally provide for title to the leased asset to pass eventually to the governmental issuer) have evolved as a means for governmental issuers to acquire property and equipment without meeting the constitutional and statutory requirements for the issuance of debt. The debt issuance limitations are deemed to be inapplicable because of the inclusion in many leases or contracts of “non-appropriation” clauses that relieve the governmental issuer of any obligation to make future payments under the lease or contract unless money is appropriated for such purpose by the appropriate legislative body on a yearly or other periodic basis. In addition, such leases or contracts may be subject to the temporary abatement of payments in the event the issuer is prevented from maintaining occupancy of the leased premises or utilizing the leased equipment. Although the obligations may be secured by the leased equipment or facilities, the disposition of the property in the event of non-appropriation or foreclosure might prove difficult, time consuming and costly, and result in a delay in recovering or the failure to fully recover a Fund’s original investment. To the extent that the Fund invests in unrated municipal leases or participates in such leases, the credit quality rating and risk of cancellation of such unrated leases will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Certificates of participation represent undivided interests in municipal leases, installment purchase agreements or other instruments. The certificates are typically issued by a trust or other entity which has received an assignment of the payments to be made by the state or political subdivision under such leases or installment purchase agreements.

Certain municipal lease obligations and certificates of participation may be deemed to be illiquid for the purpose of a Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. Other municipal lease obligations and certificates of participation acquired by a Fund may be determined by the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager, pursuant to guidelines adopted by the Trustees of the Trust, to be liquid securities for the purpose of such limitation. In determining the liquidity of municipal lease obligations and certificates of participation, the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager will consider a variety of factors, including: (i) the willingness of dealers to bid for the security; (ii) the number of dealers willing to purchase or sell the obligation and the number of other potential buyers; (iii) the frequency of trades or quotes for the obligation; and (iv) the nature of the marketplace trades. In addition, the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager will consider factors unique to particular lease obligations and certificates of participation affecting the marketability thereof. These include the general creditworthiness of the issuer, the importance to the issuer of the property covered by the lease and the likelihood that the marketability of the obligation will be maintained throughout the time the obligation is held by a Fund.

A Fund may purchase participations in Municipal Securities held by a commercial bank or other financial institution. Such participations provide a Fund with the right to a pro rata undivided interest in the underlying Municipal Securities. In addition, such participations generally provide a Fund with the right to demand payment, on not more than seven days’ notice, of all or any part of the Fund’s participation interest in the underlying Municipal Securities, plus accrued interest.

Municipal Notes. Municipal Securities in the form of notes generally are used to provide for short-term capital needs, in anticipation of an issuer’s receipt of other revenues or financing, and typically have maturities of up to three years. Such instruments may include tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes and construction loan notes. Tax anticipation notes are issued to finance the working capital needs of governments. Generally, they are issued in anticipation of various tax revenues, such as income, sales, property, use and business taxes, and are payable from these specific future taxes. Revenue anticipation notes are issued in expectation of receipt of other kinds of revenue, such as federal revenues available under federal revenue sharing programs. Bond anticipation notes are issued to provide interim financing until long-term bond financing can be arranged. In most cases, the long-term bonds then provide the funds needed for repayment of the notes. Tax and revenue anticipation notes combine the funding sources of both tax anticipation notes and revenue anticipation notes. Construction loan notes are sold to provide construction financing. These notes are secured by mortgage notes insured by the FHA; however, the proceeds from the insurance may be less than the economic equivalent of the payment of principal and interest on the mortgage note if there has been a default. The obligations of an issuer of municipal notes are generally secured by the anticipated revenues from taxes, grants or bond financing. An investment in such instruments, however, presents a risk that the anticipated revenues will not be received or that such revenues will be insufficient to satisfy the issuer’s payment obligations under the notes or that refinancing will be otherwise unavailable.

 

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Tax Exempt Commercial Paper. Issues of commercial paper typically represent short-term, unsecured, negotiable promissory notes. These obligations are issued by state and local governments and their agencies to finance working capital needs of municipalities or to provide interim construction financing and are paid from general revenues of municipalities or are refinanced with long-term debt. In most cases, tax exempt commercial paper is backed by letters of credit, lending agreements, note repurchase agreements or other credit facility agreements offered by banks or other institutions.

Pre-Refunded Municipal Securities. The principal of and interest on pre-refunded Municipal Securities are no longer paid from the original revenue source for the securities. Instead, the source of such payments is typically an escrow fund consisting of U.S. Government Securities. The assets in the escrow fund are derived from the proceeds of refunding bonds issued by the same issuer as the pre-refunded Municipal Securities. Issuers of Municipal Securities use this advance refunding technique to obtain more favorable terms with respect to securities that are not yet subject to call or redemption by the issuer. For example, advance refunding enables an issuer to refinance debt at lower market interest rates, restructure debt to improve cash flow or eliminate restrictive covenants in the indenture or other governing instrument for the pre-refunded Municipal Securities. However, except for a change in the revenue source from which principal and interest payments are made, the pre-refunded Municipal Securities remain outstanding on their original terms until they mature or are redeemed by the issuer. Pre-refunded Municipal Securities are often purchased at a price which represents a premium over their face value.

Private Activity Bonds. A Fund may invest in certain types of Municipal Securities, generally referred to as industrial development bonds (and referred to under current tax law as private activity bonds), which are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds to provide privately operated housing facilities, airport, mass transit or port facilities, sewage disposal, solid waste disposal or hazardous waste treatment or disposal facilities and certain local facilities for water supply, gas or electricity. Other types of industrial development bonds, the proceeds of which are used for the construction, equipment, repair or improvement of privately operated industrial or commercial facilities, may constitute Municipal Securities, although the current federal tax laws place substantial limitations on the size of such issues.

Tender Option Bonds. A tender option bond is a Municipal Security (generally held pursuant to a custodial arrangement) having a relatively long maturity and bearing interest at a fixed rate substantially higher than prevailing short-term, tax exempt rates. The bond is typically issued with the agreement of a third party, such as a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution, which grants the security holders the option, at periodic intervals, to tender their securities to the institution and receive the face value thereof. As consideration for providing the option, the financial institution receives periodic fees equal to the difference between the bond’s fixed coupon rate and the rate, as determined by a remarketing or similar agent at or near the commencement of such period, that would cause the securities, coupled with the tender option, to trade at par on the date of such determination. Thus, after payment of this fee, the security holder effectively holds a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term, tax exempt rate. However, an institution will not be obligated to accept tendered bonds in the event of certain defaults or a significant downgrade in the credit rating assigned to the issuer of the bond. The liquidity of a tender option bond is a function of the credit quality of both the bond issuer and the financial institution providing liquidity. Tender option bonds are deemed to be liquid unless, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager, the credit quality of the bond issuer and the financial institution is deemed, in light of a Fund’s credit quality requirements, to be inadequate and the bond would not otherwise be readily marketable.

Auction Rate Securities. A Fund may invest in auction rate securities. Auction rate securities include auction rate Municipal Securities and auction rate preferred securities issued by closed-end investment companies that invest primarily in Municipal Securities (collectively, “auction rate securities”). Provided that the auction mechanism is successful, auction rate securities usually permit the holder to sell the securities in an auction at par value at specified intervals. The dividend is reset by “Dutch” auction in which bids are made by broker-dealers and other institutions for a certain amount of securities at a specified minimum yield. The dividend rate set by the auction is the lowest interest or dividend rate that covers all securities offered for sale. While this process is designed to permit auction rate securities to be traded at par value, there is some risk that an auction will fail due to insufficient demand for the securities. In certain market environments, auction failures may be more prevalent, which may adversely affect the liquidity and price of auction rate securities. Moreover, between auctions, there may be no secondary market for these securities, and sales conducted on a secondary market may not be on terms favorable to the seller. Thus, with respect to liquidity and price stability, auction rate securities may differ substantially from cash equivalents, notwithstanding the frequency of auctions and the credit quality of the security. A Fund will take the time remaining until the next scheduled auction date into account for the purpose of determining the auction rate securities’ duration.

Dividends on auction rate preferred securities issued by a closed-end fund may be designated as exempt from federal income tax to the extent they are attributable to exempt income earned by the fund on the securities in its portfolio and distributed to holders of the preferred securities, provided that the preferred securities are treated as equity securities for federal income tax purposes and the closed-end fund complies with certain tests under the Code.

 

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A Fund’s investments in auction rate securities of closed-end funds are subject to the limitations prescribed by the Act and certain state securities regulations. A Fund will indirectly bear their proportionate share of any management and other fees paid by such closed-end funds in addition to the advisory fees payable directly by the Fund.

Insurance. A Fund may invest in “insured” tax exempt Municipal Securities. Insured Municipal Securities are securities for which scheduled payments of interest and principal are guaranteed by a private (non-governmental) insurance company. The insurance only entitles a Fund to receive the face or par value of the securities held by the Fund. The insurance does not guarantee the market value of the Municipal Securities or the value of the Shares of a Fund.

A Fund may utilize new issue or secondary market insurance. A new issue insurance policy is purchased by a bond issuer who wishes to increase the credit rating of a security. By paying a premium and meeting the insurer’s underwriting standards, the bond issuer is able to obtain a high credit rating (usually, Aaa from Moody’s or AAA from Standard & Poor’s) for the issued security. Such insurance is likely to increase the purchase price and resale value of the security. New issue insurance policies generally are non-cancelable and continue in force as long as the bonds are outstanding.

A secondary market insurance policy is purchased by an investor (such as a Fund) subsequent to a bond’s original issuance and generally insures a particular bond for the remainder of its term. A Fund may purchase bonds which have already been insured under a secondary market insurance policy by a prior investor, or the Fund may directly purchase such a policy from insurers for bonds which are currently uninsured.

An insured Municipal Security acquired by a Fund will typically be covered by only one of the above types of policies.

Standby Commitments. In order to enhance the liquidity of Municipal Securities, a Fund may acquire the right to sell a security to another party at a guaranteed price and date. Such a right to resell may be referred to as a “standby commitment” or liquidity put, depending on its characteristics. The aggregate price which a Fund pays for securities with standby commitments may be higher than the price which otherwise would be paid for the securities. Standby commitments may not be available or may not be available on satisfactory terms.

Standby commitments may involve letters of credit issued by domestic or foreign banks supporting the other party’s ability to purchase the security from a Fund. The right to sell may be exercisable on demand or at specified intervals, and may form part of a security or be acquired separately by the Fund. In considering whether a security meets the Fund’s quality standards, the Fund will look to the creditworthiness of the party providing the Fund with the right to sell as well as the quality of the security itself.

The Fund values Municipal Securities which are subject to standby commitments at amortized cost. The exercise price of the standby commitments is expected to approximate such amortized cost. No value is assigned to the standby commitments for purposes of determining a Fund’s NAV. The cost of a standby commitment is carried as unrealized depreciation from the time of purchase until it is exercised or expires. Because the value of a standby commitment is dependent on the ability of the standby commitment writer to meet its obligation to repurchase, a Fund’s policy is to enter into standby commitment transactions only with banks, brokers or dealers which present a minimal risk of default.

The Investment Adviser understands that the IRS has issued a favorable revenue ruling to the effect that, under specified circumstances, a registered investment company (“RIC”) will be the owner of tax exempt municipal obligations acquired subject to a put option. The IRS has subsequently announced that it will not ordinarily issue advance ruling letters as to the identity of the true owner of property in cases involving the sale of securities or participation interests therein if the purchaser has the right to cause the security, or the participation interest therein, to be purchased by either the seller or a third party. Each Fund intends to take the position that it is the owner of any Municipal Securities acquired subject to a standby commitment or acquired or held with certain other types of put rights and that tax exempt interest earned with respect to such Municipal Securities will be tax exempt in their hands. There is no assurance that standby commitments will be available to a Fund nor has each Fund assumed that such commitments would continue to be available under all market conditions.

Call Risk and Reinvestment Risk. Municipal Securities may include “call” provisions which permit the issuers of such securities, at any time or after a specified period, to redeem the securities prior to their stated maturity. In the event that Municipal Securities held in a Fund’s portfolio are called prior to the maturity, the Fund will be required to reinvest the proceeds on such securities at an earlier date and may be able to do so only at lower yields, thereby reducing the Fund’s return on its portfolio securities.

 

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Tobacco Settlement Revenue Bonds. A Fund may invest a portion of its assets in tobacco settlement revenue bonds. Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are municipal obligations that are backed entirely by expected revenues to be derived from lawsuits involving tobacco related deaths and illnesses which were settled between certain states and American tobacco companies. Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are secured by an issuing state’s proportionate share in the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”). The MSA is an agreement, reached out of court in November 1998 between 46 states and nearly all of the U.S. tobacco manufacturers. The MSA provides for annual payments in perpetuity by the manufacturers to the states in exchange for releasing all claims against the manufacturers and a pledge of no further litigation. Tobacco manufacturers pay into a master escrow trust based on their market share, and each state receives a fixed percentage of the payment as set forth in the MSA. A number of states have securitized the future flow of those payments by selling bonds pursuant to indentures or through distinct governmental entities created for such purpose. The principal and interest payments on the bonds are backed by the future revenue flow related to the MSA. Annual payments on the bonds, and thus risk to a Fund, are highly dependent on the receipt of future settlement payments to the state or its governmental entity.

The actual amount of future settlement payments is further dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, annual domestic cigarette shipments, reduced cigarette consumption, increased taxes on cigarettes, inflation, financial capability of tobacco companies, continuing litigation and the possibility of tobacco manufacturer bankruptcy. The initial and annual payments made by the tobacco companies will be adjusted based on a number of factors, the most important of which is domestic cigarette consumption. If the volume of cigarettes shipped in the U.S. by manufacturers participating in the settlement decreases significantly, payments due from them will also decrease. Demand for cigarettes in the U.S. could continue to decline due to price increases needed to recoup the cost of payments by tobacco companies. Demand could also be affected by: anti-smoking campaigns, tax increases, reduced advertising, enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors; elimination of certain sales venues such as vending machines; and the spread of local ordinances restricting smoking in public places. As a result, payments made by tobacco manufacturers could be negatively impacted if the decrease in tobacco consumption is significantly greater than the forecasted decline. A market share loss by the MSA companies to non-MSA participating tobacco manufacturers would cause a downward adjustment in the payment amounts. A participating manufacturer filing for bankruptcy also could cause delays or reductions in bond payments. The MSA itself has been subject to legal challenges and has, to date, withstood those challenges.

Options on Securities and Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies

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

 

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

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

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

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

Each Fund may also 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.

A Fund may cover call options on a securities index by owning securities whose price changes are expected to be similar to those of the underlying index or by having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities without additional cash consideration (or 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 Funds 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 an Underlying Manager 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 an Underlying Manager to predict future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities markets. If an Underlying Manager 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 a 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 a Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

Each 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, a Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.

A Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease (“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 a Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities

 

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

A Fund 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. Each 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 securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. A 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 a Fund has written is exercised, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to a Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. In addition, a Fund may purchase call options on currency to seek to increase total return.

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

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

Each 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 a Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

Each 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 a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. Each 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, a 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.

 

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In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, a Fund may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. A 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, a Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, a 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.

Each Fund may purchase call options to seek to increase total return in anticipation of an increase in the market value of a currency. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs. Otherwise a Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option. Put options may be purchased by a Fund for the purpose of benefiting from a decline in the value of currencies which they do not own. Each 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, a 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 Funds will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option or at any particular time. For some options no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that a Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of underlying securities pursuant to the exercise of its options. If a 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.

Each 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 a Fund.

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

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 a 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 a Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options it has purchased, it will have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit and will incur transaction costs upon the purchase or sale of underlying securities.

Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include, 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.

 

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A Fund may purchase and sell both options that are traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges and options traded over-the-counter with broker-dealers 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 a 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 a Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.

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

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

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

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

Participation Notes

The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy 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. A 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, a 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 a Fund. Participation notes constitute general

 

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unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, and a 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

Each Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles. Each 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.

A 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. A Fund may rely on these exemptive orders in investing in ETFs. Moreover, subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, a Fund may invest in investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, for which an Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. With respect to a Fund’s investment in money market funds, to the extent that a 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 Funds do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, each Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund. Additionally, to the extent that a 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.

Each 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 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.

Portfolio Maturity

Dollar-weighted average maturity is derived by multiplying the value of each investment by the time remaining to its maturity, adding these calculations, and then dividing the total by the value of the Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund’s portfolio. An obligation’s maturity is typically determined on a stated final maturity basis, although there are some exceptions. For example, if an issuer of an instrument takes advantage of a maturity-shortening device, such as a call, refunding, or redemption provision, the date on which the instrument is expected to be called, refunded, or redeemed may be considered to be its maturity date. There is no guarantee that the expected call, refund or redemption will occur and the Fund’s average maturity may lengthen beyond an Underlying Manager’s expectations should the expected call refund or redemption not occur. Similarly, in calculating its dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may determine the maturity of a variable or floating rate obligation according to the interest rate reset date, or the date principal can be recovered on demand, rather than the date of ultimate maturity.

 

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Portfolio Turnover

Each Fund may engage in active short-term trading to benefit from price or yield disparities among different issues of securities or among the markets for equity or fixed income securities, or for other reasons. As a result of active management, it is anticipated that the portfolio turnover rate of a Fund 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 a Fund to receive favorable tax treatment. Each 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. When a Fund purchases a TBA (“To Be Announced”) mortgage, it can either receive the underlying pools of the TBA mortgage or roll it forward a month. The portfolio turnover rate increases when a Fund rolls the TBA forward.

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

Each 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.

Publicly-Traded Partnerships

Each Fund may invest in publicly-traded partnerships (“PTPs”). In addition to the risks associated with the underlying assets and exposures within a PTP, a 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. A 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, a Fund would have limited voting and distribution rights in connection with its investment in a PTP.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Each 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 Funds, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. A 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.

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.

 

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Repurchase Agreements

Each 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. A 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 a Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by the Funds’ custodian (or subcustodian). The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to a Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at a stated rate due to the Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to a Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.

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

Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), a 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.

Each 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.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities

Each Fund may purchase securities and other financial instruments that are not registered or that are offered in an exempt non-public offering (“Restricted Securities”) under the 1933 Act, including securities eligible for resale to “qualified institutional buyers” pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. However, a 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 a 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 Underlying Managers the function of determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Funds’ 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

Each Fund may borrow money by entering into transactions called reverse repurchase agreements. Under these arrangements, a 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

 

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foreign government securities. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities a Fund relinquishes may decline below the price the Fund must pay when the transaction closes. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of the Fund’s outstanding shares.

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

Short Sales

The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may engage in short sales. Short sales are transactions in which a Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of that security. To complete such a transaction, a Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, a Fund is required to pay to the lender amounts equal to any dividend which accrues during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, a Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. There will also be other costs associated with short sales.

A Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security. A Fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. This result is the opposite of what one would expect from a cash purchase of a long position in a security. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of any premium or amounts in lieu of interest a Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale, and will be also decreased by any transaction or other costs.

Until the Fund replaces a borrowed security in connection with a short sale, a Fund will (a) identify cash or liquid assets at such a level that such assets plus any amount deposited as collateral will equal the current value of the security sold short or (b) otherwise cover its short position in accordance with applicable law.

There is no guarantee that a Fund will be able to close out a short position at any particular time or at an acceptable price. During the time that a Fund is short a security, it is subject to the risk that the lender of the security will terminate the loan at a time when the Fund is unable to borrow the same security from another lender. If that occurs, the Fund may be “bought in” at the price required to purchase the security needed to close out the short position, which may be a disadvantageous price.

The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may engage in short sales against the box. As noted above, a short sale is made by selling a security the seller does not own. A short sale is “against the box” to the extent that the seller contemporaneously owns or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. It may be entered into by a Fund, for example, to lock in a sales price for a security the Fund does not wish to sell immediately. If a Fund sells securities short against the box, it may protect itself from loss if the price of the securities declines in the future, but will lose the opportunity to profit on such securities if the price rises.

If the Fund effects a short sale of securities at a time when it has an unrealized gain on the securities, it may be required to recognize that gain as if it had actually sold the securities (as a “constructive sale”) on the date it effects the short sale. However, such constructive sale treatment may not apply if the Fund closes out the short sale with securities other than the appreciated securities held at the time of the short sale and if certain other conditions are satisfied. Uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of effecting short sales may limit the extent to which the Fund may effect short sales.

Special Note Regarding Regulatory Changes and Market Events

Federal, state, and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the Fund or the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Future legislation or regulation or other governmental actions could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective or otherwise adversely impact an investment in the Fund.

 

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In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the financial sector experienced reduced liquidity in credit and other fixed income markets, and an unusually high degree of volatility, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets were impacted, issuers that had exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets were particularly affected. The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. For example, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was enacted in 2010, provides for broad regulation of financial institutions, consumer financial products and services, broker-dealers, over-the-counter derivatives, investment advisers, credit rating agencies and mortgage lending.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such ownership or disposition may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of the Fund’s portfolio holdings.

Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks

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

Each Fund is also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of-service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting a Fund or its investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with the Funds’ 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 Funds and their 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 Funds do not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Funds, their trading counterparties or the issuers in which a Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.

The Funds may be subject to third-party litigation, which could give rise to legal liability. These matters involving the Funds may arise from their activities and investments and could have a materially adverse effect on the Funds, including the expense of defending against claims and paying any amounts pursuant to settlements or judgments. There can be no guarantee that these matters will not arise in the normal course of business. If the Funds were to be found liable in any suit or proceeding, any associated damages and/or penalties could have a materially adverse effect on the Funds’ finances, in addition to being materially damaging to their reputation.

Structured Notes

Each 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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Temporary Investments

Each 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 an Underlying Manager 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 a Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

Trust Preferred Securities

Each Fund may invest in trust preferred securities. A trust preferred or capital security is a long dated bond (for example 30 years) with preferred features. The preferred features are that payment of interest can be deferred for a specified period without initiating a default event. From a bondholder’s viewpoint, the securities are senior in claim to standard preferred but are junior to other bondholders. From the issuer’s viewpoint, the securities are attractive because their interest is deductible for tax purposes like other types of debt instruments.

U.S. Government Securities

Each 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) 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 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.

Each 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”). Each 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. Each 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 greater of the adjusted or 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 will 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 will 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.

 

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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.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

Each 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 a 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. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that require a Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to a Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to a Fund and impose added operational complexity. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, a Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. The Funds may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to a Fund on the settlement date. The Funds may realize a capital gain or loss in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining a Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities for fixed rate obligations will be calculated from the commitment date. The Funds are generally required to identify on its books cash and liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price unless a Fund’s obligations are otherwise covered. Alternatively, each 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.

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

The Funds’ investments in fixed income securities may include zero coupon, deferred interest, pay-in-kind (“PIK”) and capital appreciation bonds. Zero coupon, deferred interest and capital appreciation bonds are debt securities issued or sold at a discount from their face value and which do not entitle the holder to any periodic payment of interest prior to maturity or a specified date. The original issue discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or cash payment date, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. These securities also may take the form of debt securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, the coupons themselves or receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations or coupons.

PIK securities may be debt obligations or preferred shares that provide the issuer with the option of paying interest or dividends on such obligations in cash or in the form of additional securities rather than cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds and deferred interest bonds, PIK securities are designed to give an issuer flexibility in managing cash flow. PIK securities that are debt securities can be either senior or subordinated debt and generally trade flat (i.e., without accrued interest). The trading price of PIK debt securities generally reflects the market value of the underlying debt plus an amount representing accrued interest since the last interest payment.

 

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The market prices of zero coupon, deferred interest, capital appreciation bonds and PIK securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of interest bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality. Moreover, zero coupon, deferred interest, capital appreciation and PIK securities involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, a Fund will realize no cash until a specified future payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer of such securities defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The valuation of such investments requires judgment regarding the collection of future payments. In addition, even though such securities do not provide for the payment of current interest in cash, each Fund is nonetheless required to accrue income on such investments for each taxable year and generally is required to distribute such accrued amounts (net of deductible expenses, if any) to avoid being subject to tax. Because no cash is generally received at the time of the accrual, a Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy federal tax distribution requirements applicable to the Fund. A portion of the discount with respect to stripped tax-exempt securities or their coupons may be taxable. See “TAXATION.”

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 Funds without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of a Fund. The investment objective of a 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 a Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or a Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or a 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, a 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, a Fund will look to the industry of the reference asset(s) and not to the counterparty or issuer. With respect to each 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, each Fund may not:

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund:

 

  (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);

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund:

 

  (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), except that the Fund will invest more than 25% of its total assets in the real estate group of industries;

All Funds:

 

  (2) Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction.

 

B-72


The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;

 

  (3) Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies; (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions; (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act; and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;

 

  (4) Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;

 

  (5) Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

  (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 Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund was previously registered as a non-diversified investment company. Pursuant to current positions of the SEC staff, the Fund’s classification has changed from non-diversified to diversified, and the Fund will not be able to become non-diversified unless it seeks and obtains the approval of shareholders. Accordingly, the Fund may not make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act.

Each Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same fundamental investment restrictions and policies as the Fund.

For purposes of each 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 Funds are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise the Funds’ daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of four Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chair, 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 Chair’s duties, the Chair will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Funds’ officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chair 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.

 

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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 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.

Trustees of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust as of February 28, 2018 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

Cheryl K. Beebe

Age: 62

   Chair of the Board of Trustees    Since 2015 (Chair since 2017)   

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 leading global ingredient solutions company) (2004–2014).

 

Chair of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

   18    Convergys Corporation (a global leader in customer experience outsourcing); Packaging Corporation of America (producer of container board)
Lawrence Hughes
Age: 59
   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.

   18    None

 

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Name, Address and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with
the Trust

  

Term of

Office and

Length of

Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee3

  

Other
Directorships
Held by Trustee4

John F. Killian

Age: 63

   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.

   18    Consolidated Edison, Inc. (a utility holding company); Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Steven D. Krichmar

Age: 59

        

Mr. Krichmar is retired. Formerly, he held senior management and governance positions with Putnam Investments, LLC, a financial services company. He was most recently Chief of Operations and a member of the Operating Committee of Putnam Investments, LLC and Principal Financial Officer of The Putnam Funds (2001 – 2016); and Audit Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and its predecessor company (1990 – 2001).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II.

   18    None

 

Interested Trustee

 


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

James A. McNamara*
Age: 55
   President and Trustee    Since 2012   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000–December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998–December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993–April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

   146    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.

 

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1  Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline L. 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 February 28, 2018, Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 18 portfolios (16 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 90 portfolios (88 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 14 portfolios; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund, Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund, Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC, Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC each consisted of one portfolio; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 19 portfolios (12 of which offered shares to the public). Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC, Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC do not offer shares to the public.
4  This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.

The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of the Funds and their shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of February 28, 2018 that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.

Cheryl K. Beebe. Ms. Beebe has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015 and Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2017. Ms. Beebe is retired. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Convergys Corporation, a global leader in customer experience outsourcing, where she serves as a member of the Audit 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. Previously, she held several senior management positions at Ingredion, Inc. (formerly Corn Products International, Inc.), a leading global ingredient solutions 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, accounting and investment matters.

Lawrence Hughes. Mr. Hughes has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 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 has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015. Mr. Killian has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given his extensive accounting and finance experience. 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.

 

B-76


Steven D. Krichmar. Mr. Krichmar has served as a Trustee since 2018. Mr. Krichmar is retired. He previously worked for fifteen years at Putnam Investments, LLC, a financial services company. Most recently, he served as Chief of Operations and a member of the Operating Committee of Putnam Investments, LLC. He was also involved in the governance of The Putnam Funds, serving as Principal Financial Officer. Before joining Putnam, Mr. Krichmar worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and its predecessor company for 20 years, most recently as Audit Partner and Investment Management Industry Leader (Assurance) for the northeast U.S. region. Currently, Mr. Krichmar is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, a member of the Board of Directors of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Krichmar is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as a Trustee and President of the Trust since 2012. Mr. McNamara is an Advisory Director to Goldman Sachs. Prior to retiring as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM and was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Officers of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Officers of the Trust as of February 28, 2018 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: 55

  

Trustee and

President

   Since 2012   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000–December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 – December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 – April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

Scott M. McHugh

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 46

   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; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

 

B-77


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

Maya G. Teufel

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 45

   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; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; and Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp..

Philip V. Giuca, Jr.
30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 55

   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 Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

Peter W. Fortner
30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 60

   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; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

Kenneth G. Curran

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 54

   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 Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

Allison Fracchiolla

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 34

   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.

 

B-78


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

Joseph F. DiMaria

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 49

   Assistant Treasurer and Principal Accounting Officer    Since 2017   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (November 2015 – Present) and Vice President – Mutual Fund Administration, Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC (May 2010 – October 2015).

 

Assistant Treasurer and Principal Accounting 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; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

Jesse Cole

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL 60606

Age: 54

   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: 59

   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.

Thomas J. Davis

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 54

   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: 40

   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 Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

 

B-79


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

David A. Fishman

200 West Street
New York, NY 10282

Age: 53

   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: 55

   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: 46

   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.

Robert Griffith

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 43

   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; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (A) LLC; and Goldman Sachs Private Markets Fund 2018 (B) LLC.

 

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 Funds — Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance and Contract Review.

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 three meetings during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017.

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 Funds 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 four meetings during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017. As stated above, each Trustee holds office for a term of up to fifteen years or until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Funds’ Prospectus and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs Trust II Governance and Nominating Committee.

 

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The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Funds; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Funds, of the Funds’ Investment Adviser, Distributor, administrator (if any), and Transfer Agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters. The Compliance Committee held four meetings during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017. 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 Funds’ investment management, distribution, transfer agency, and certain other agreements with the Funds’ Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Funds’ distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans, 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 Funds’ custodian/fund accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. The Contract Review Committee held five meetings during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee.

Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Funds, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Funds is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers including Underlying Managers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Funds 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 Underlying Managers, have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management may differ from the Funds and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Funds or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Funds or GSAM, their respective affiliates or other service providers, including Underlying Managers.

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 Underlying Manager 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 Funds.

Board oversight of risk management is also performed by various Board committees. For example, the Audit Committee meets with both the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm and GSAM’s internal audit group to review risk controls in place that support the Funds as well as test results, and the Compliance Committee meets with the CCO and representatives of GSAM’s compliance group to review testing results of the Funds’ compliance policies and procedures and other compliance issues. Board oversight of risk is also performed as needed between meetings through communications between the GSAM and the Board. The Board may, at any time and in its discretion, change the manner in which it conducts risk oversight. The Board’s oversight role does not make the Board a guarantor of the Funds’ investments or activities.

Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares

The following table shows the dollar range of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Funds and other portfolios of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex as of December 31, 2017.

 

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Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Funds1
   Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All
Portfolios in Fund Complex
Overseen By Trustee

Cheryl K. Beebe

   None    Over $100,000

Lawrence Hughes

   None    Over $100,000

John F. Killian

   None    Over $100,000

Steven D. Krichmar2

   —      —  

James A. McNamara

   None    Over $100,000

 

1  Includes the value of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Funds described in this SAI.
2 Mr. Krichmar began serving as Trustee effective February 6, 2018.

As of February 1, 2018, the Trustees and Officers of the Trust as a group owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest of the Funds.

Board Compensation

Each Independent Trustee is compensated with a unitary annual fee for his or her services as a Trustee, as applicable, of the Trust and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Compliance Committee, Contract Review Committee, and Audit Committee. The Chairman and “audit committee financial expert” receive additional compensation for their services. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses incurred in connection with attending such meetings. The Trust may also pay the reasonable incidental costs of a Trustee to attend training or other types of conferences relating to the investment company industry.

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the compensation of each Trustee of the Trust for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017:

Trustee Compensation

 

Name of Trustee

   Multi-Manager Global
Equity Fund
     Multi-Manager Non-Core
Fixed Income Fund
     Multi-Manager Real
Assets Strategy Fund
 

Cheryl K. Beebe1

   $ 11,487      $ 10,190      $ 9,086  

Lawrence Hughes

     10,167        8,990        8,031  

John F. Killian2

     10,826        9,589        8,558  

Steven D. Krichmar3

     0        0        0  

James A. McNamara4

     —          —          —    

 

Name of Trustee

   Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued as Part
Of the Trust’s Expenses
     Total Compensation
From Fund Complex
(including the Funds)*
 

Cheryl K. Beebe1

   $ 0      $ 141,667  

Lawrence Hughes

     0        125,000  

John F. Killian2

     0        133,333  

Steven D. Krichmar3

     0        0  

James A. McNamara4

     —          —    

 

* Represents fees paid to each Trustee during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017 from the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex (including any Goldman registrants for which the Trustee then served as such).
1  Includes compensation as Board Chair. Ms. Beebe became Board Chair on January 1, 2017.
2  Includes compensation as “audit committee financial expert,” as defined in Item 3 of Form N-CSR. Mr. Killian became “audit committee financial expert” on January 1, 2017.
3 Mr. Krichmar began serving as Trustee effective February 6, 2018.
4 Mr. McNamara is an Interested Trustee, and as such, receives no compensation from the Funds or the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex.

 

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Miscellaneous

The Trust, its Investment Adviser, the principal underwriter and the Underlying Managers have adopted codes of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the Act that may permit personnel subject to their particular codes of ethics to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds. Because each Underlying Manager is an entity not affiliated with GSAM, GSAM relies on each Underlying Manager to monitor the personal trading activities of the Underlying Managers’ personnel in accordance with that Underlying Manager’s Code of Ethics.

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

As stated in the Funds’ Prospectus, GSAM, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, serves as Investment Adviser to the Funds. GSAM also serves as an investment adviser to the Subsidiary. GSAM is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. See “Service Providers” in the Funds’ Prospectus for a description of the Investment Adviser’s duties to the Funds.

Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs is a leader in developing portfolio strategies and in many fields of investing and financing, participating in financial markets worldwide and serving individuals, institutions, corporations and governments. Goldman Sachs is also among the principal market sources for current and thorough information on companies, industrial sectors, markets, economies and currencies, and trades and makes markets in a wide range of equity and debt securities 24 hours a day. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in countries throughout the world. It has trading professionals throughout the United States, as well as in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul, Sao Paulo and other major financial centers around the world. The active participation of Goldman Sachs in the world’s financial markets enhances its ability to identify attractive investments. Goldman Sachs has agreed to permit the Funds to use the name “Goldman Sachs” or a derivative thereof as part of the Funds’ names for as long as the Funds’ management agreement (the “Management Agreement”) is in effect.

The Investment Adviser oversees the provision of investment advisory and portfolio management services to the Funds, including developing the Funds’ investment program. The Investment Adviser selects, subject to the approval of the Funds’ Board of Trustees, Underlying Managers for the Funds, allocates Fund assets among those Underlying Managers, monitors them and evaluates their performance results.

The GPS Group is responsible for the Funds’ asset allocation. GPS utilizes a proprietary asset allocation model that provides estimations of medium- and long-term risks, returns, and correlations across a large number of asset classes and investment strategies as an input to its multi-asset class allocation work for a diverse set of clients globally. For all its clients, and with respect to the Funds, GPS applies a risk-based approach to asset allocation that draws from both fundamental and quantitative disciplines with the intention of dynamically accessing a diversified set of risks and returns in a market cycle aware manner.

With respect to the Funds, the AIMS Group applies a multifaceted process around manager due diligence, portfolio construction, and risk management. The manager due diligence process includes both qualitative and quantitative analysis on each potential Underlying Manager. The factors employed to evaluate the managers that are ultimately selected have been developed over years and informed by thousands of manager diligences. These factors include, among others, business stability, succession planning, team development, past and expected investment performance, ability to navigate in varying market conditions, risk management techniques, and liquidity of investments. In addition, the AIMS Group has a dedicated team to assess the operational integrity and controls as part of the due diligence process. The AIMS Group is also engaged in portfolio construction and dynamic rebalancing of the Underlying Managers in the Funds. The team’s portfolio construction process combines judgment with quantitative tools and focuses on diversification by selecting multiple managers who employ diverse approaches to a variety of strategies. The AIMS Group focuses on an Underlying Manager’s return expectations, contribution to risk, liquidity, and fit within a Fund. Furthermore, the AIMS Group seeks to employ an active risk management process that includes regular monitoring of the Underlying Managers and in-depth factor, scenario, and exposure analyses on the Funds.

The Management Agreement provides that GSAM, directly or through an Underlying Manager, is responsible for overseeing the Funds’ investment program. The Management Agreement provides that GSAM, in its capacity as Investment Adviser, may render similar services to others so long as the services under the Management Agreement are not impaired thereby. The Management Agreement was most recently approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the Trustees of the Trust who are not parties to such agreement or “interested persons” (as such term is defined in the Act) of any party thereto (the “non-interested Trustees”), on August 8, 2017. A discussion regarding the Board of Trustees’ basis for approving the Funds’ Management Agreement is available in the Funds’ annual report for the period ended October 31, 2017.

 

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The Management Agreement with respect to the Funds will remain in effect until August 31, 2018. The Management Agreement will continue in effect with respect to the Funds from year to year thereafter provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (i) the vote of a majority of the applicable Fund’s outstanding voting securities or a majority of the Trustees of the Trust, and (ii) the vote of a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.

The Management Agreement will terminate automatically if assigned (as defined in the Act). The Management Agreement is also terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the applicable Fund on 60 days’ written notice to the Investment Adviser or by the Investment Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is entitled to receive the fees set forth below, payable monthly based on a Fund’s average daily net assets. Also included below are the actual management fee rates paid by each Fund (after reduction of any applicable voluntary management fee waivers) for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017. The management fee waivers will remain in effect through at least February 28, 2019, and prior to such date, the Investment Adviser may not terminate these arrangements without the approval of the Board of Trustees. The management fee waivers 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 Actual Rate may not correlate to the Contractual Rate as a result of these management fee waivers that may be in effect from time to time. The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee payable by a Fund in an amount equal to any management fees it earns as an investment adviser to any of the affiliated funds in which the Fund invests.

 

Fund

   Contractual Rate     Average Daily Net Assets    Actual Rate for the
Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2017
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

    

1.03

0.93

0.89

0.87

0.84


  First $1 billion

Next $1 billion

Next $3 billion

Next $3 billion

Over $8 billion

     0.51

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

    

0.85

0.77

0.73

0.71


  First $2 billion

Next $3 billion

Next $3 billion

Over $8 billion

     0.53

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

    

1.00

0.90

0.86

0.84

0.82


  First $1 billion

Next $1 billion

Next $3 billion

Next $3 billion

Over $8 billion

     0.63 %* 

 

* Reflects combined management fees paid to the Investment Adviser by the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund and the Subsidiary after fee waivers. The Investment Adviser has contractually agreed to waive the Fund’s management fee in an amount equal to the management fee paid to the Investment Adviser by the Subsidiary. This arrangement may not be discontinued by the Investment Adviser as long as its contract with the Subsidiary is in place.

 

B-84


For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016 and the fiscal period ended October 31, 2015, the amount of fees incurred by each Fund under the Management Agreement was (with and without the fee limitations that were then in effect):

 

Fund

   Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2017
     Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2016
     Fiscal Period Ended
October 31, 2015
 
   With Fee
Limitations
     Without Fee
Limitations
     With Fee
Limitations
     Without Fee
Limitations
     With Fee
Limitations
     Without Fee
Limitations
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund1

   $ 2,381,041      $ 4,838,685      $ 3,685,261      $ 6,393,585      $ 830,627      $ 1,327,378  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund2

     1,708,932        2,754,821        1,577,744        2,469,231        581,666        894,216  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund3

     1,388,682        2,218,014        1,719,128        2,972,336        195,806        483,489  

 

1  The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund commenced operations on June 24, 2015.
2  The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund commenced operations on March 31, 2015.
3  The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund commenced operations on June 30, 2015.

In addition to overseeing each Fund’s investment program, the Investment Adviser selects the Fund’s Underlying Managers and provides general oversight of the Underlying Managers. The Investment Adviser also performs certain administrative services for each Fund under the Management Agreement, unless required to be performed by others pursuant to agreements with the Fund. Such administrative services include, subject to the general supervision of the Trustees of the Trust, (i) providing supervision of all aspects of the Fund’s non-investment operations; (ii) providing the Fund with personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Fund; (iii) arranging for, at the Fund’s expense, the preparation for the Fund of all required tax returns, the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders and regulatory authorities, and the preparation and submission of the Fund’s prospectuses and statements of additional information and all other documents necessary to fulfill regulatory requirements and maintain registration and qualification of the Fund and each class of shares thereof with the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (iv) maintaining all of the Fund’s records; and (v) providing the Fund with adequate office space and all necessary office equipment and services. In overseeing each Fund’s non-investment operations, the Investment Adviser’s services include, among other things, 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.

As discussed in “Investment Objectives and Policies” above, the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may pursue its investment objective by investing in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary has entered into a separate contract with the Investment Adviser whereby the Investment Adviser provides investment management and other services to the Subsidiary (the “Subsidiary Management Agreement”). In consideration of these services, the Subsidiary pays the Investment Adviser a management fee at the annual rate of 0.43% of its net assets. An Underlying Manager that subadvises the Subsidiary is paid by the Investment Adviser out of its management fee a percentage of the Subsidiary’s assets managed by that Underlying Manager. The Investment Adviser has contractually agreed to waive the management fee it receives from the Fund in an amount equal to the management fee paid to the Investment Adviser by the Subsidiary. This waiver may not be terminated by the Investment Adviser and will remain in effect for as long as the Subsidiary Management Agreement is in place. The Subsidiary Management Agreement is terminable by either party, without penalty, on 60 days’ prior written notice, and shall terminate automatically in the event (i) it is “assigned” by the Investment Adviser (as defined in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”)); or (ii) the Management Agreement between the Trust, acting for and on behalf of the Fund and the Investment Adviser is terminated.

As stated in the Funds’ Prospectus, Boston Partners, Causeway, Fisher, GW&K, LGIMA, Principal, RIIS, Scharf, Vulcan, WCM and Wellington currently serve as the Underlying Managers to the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund; Ares, BlueBay, Brigade, Lazard, Symphony and TCW currently serve as the Underlying Managers to the Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund; and PRE, Presima, RARE and RREEF currently serve as the Underlying Managers to the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund. The Underlying Managers may change from time to time. See “Service Providers” in the Funds’ Prospectus for a description of the Underlying Managers’ duties to the Funds (or Subsidiary). The sub-advisory agreements between GSAM and each Underlying Manager (the “Sub-Advisory Agreements”) will remain in effect for a two year term and will continue in effect with respect to the Funds (or Subsidiary) from year to year thereafter provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (i) the vote of a majority of the Funds’ outstanding voting securities or a majority of the Trustees of the Trust, and (ii) the vote of a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.

 

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The Sub-Advisory Agreements with each Underlying Manager (except Brigade, LGIMA, Presima and Wellington) were most recently approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the non-interested Trustees, on August 8, 2017. The Sub-Advisory Agreements with Brigade, LGIMA, Presima, and Wellington were initially approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the non-interested Trustees, on September 14, 2016 (LGIMA and Presima), March 22, 2017 (Brigade) and September 13, 2017 (Wellington). The Sub-Advisory Agreement with TCW was initially approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the non-interested Trustees, on May 9, 2018. A discussion regarding the Trustees’ basis for approving the Sub-Advisory Agreements with respect to the Funds is available in the Funds’ annual report for fiscal year ended October 31, 2016, the Funds’ semi-annual report for the fiscal period ended April 30, 2017 or the Funds’ annual report for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, or will be available in the Funds’ annual report for the fiscal period ended October 31, 2018.

Under the current Sub-Advisory Agreements, the Investment Adviser (not the Funds) pays each Underlying Manager a fee based on the Fund’s (or Subsidiary’s) assets that each manages. The following table sets forth the aggregate investment sub-advisory fees paid by the Investment Adviser to each Fund’s Underlying Managers and the percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets represented by such fees, in each case for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016 and the fiscal period ended October 31, 2015:

 

     Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2017
    Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2016
    Fiscal Period Ended
October 31, 2015
 

Fund

   Aggregate
Sub-Advisory
Fees
     Percentage of
Average Daily
Net Assets
    Aggregate
Sub-Advisory
Fees
     Percentage of
Average Daily
Net Assets
    Aggregate
Sub-Advisory
Fees
     Percentage of
Average Daily
Net Assets
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund1

   $ 2,450,343        0.52   $ 3,410,857        0.55   $ 362,290        0.31

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund2

     1,644,521        0.51       1,517,431        0.52       445,457        0.43  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund3

     1,399,496        0.63       1,674,166        0.56       0        0  

 

1  The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund commenced operations on June 24, 2015.
2  The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund commenced operations on March 31, 2015.
3  The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund commenced operations on June 30, 2015. Reflects combined fees paid to the Underlying Managers and the Subsidiary.

The fees and percentages above reflect the fee schedule(s) in effect during the period.

The Sub-Advisory Agreements will terminate automatically if assigned (as defined in the Act). Each Sub-Advisory Agreement is also terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or by GSAM or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the applicable Fund on 60 days’ written notice to the Underlying Manager or by the Underlying Manager on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust and GSAM.

Underlying Managers

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc. Boston Partners is a wholly -owned, indirect subsidiary of ORIX Corporation.

Causeway Capital Management LLC. Causeway is a Delaware limited liability company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Causeway Capital Holdings LLC. Sarah H. Ketterer and Harry W. Hartford, chief executive officer and president of Causeway, respectively, own controlling voting stakes in Causeway Capital Holdings LLC. Ms. Ketterer and Mr. Hartford hold their Causeway Capital Holdings LLC interests through estate planning vehicles, through which they exercise their voting power.

Fisher Asset Management, LLC. Fisher Asset Management, LLC, trading as Fisher Investments (FI) is wholly-owned by Fisher Investments, Inc. Fisher Investments, Inc. is a holding company and does not carry on any business.

GW&K Investment Management, LLC. GW&K is an affiliate of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., a publicly traded global asset management company (NYSE: AMG). GW&K operates independently and autonomously, with AMG holding a majority interest in the firm as GW&K’s institutional partner. The balance of the firm is owned by GW&K’s partners, who are responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of GW&K.

 

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Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. LGIMA was established in 2006 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Investment Management United States (Holdings) Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Investment Management (Holdings) Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Legal & General Group plc, a publicly traded (FTSE) company. LGIMA is an affiliate of Legal & General Investment Management Ltd., a London-based adviser authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). LGIMA is also an affiliate of LGIM International, a London based advisor authorized and regulated by the FCA and registered with the SEC as an investment adviser.

Principal Global Investors, LLC. Principal Global Investors is a limited liability company and a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group®.

Russell Investments Implementation Services, LLC. Prior to June 2, 2016, RIIS was named “Russell Implementation Services Inc.” RIIS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Russell Investments Group, Ltd, a company incorporated and registered in the Cayman Islands through which the limited partners of certain private equity funds affiliated with TA Associates Management, L.P. indirectly hold a majority ownership interest and the limited partners of certain private equity funds affiliated with Reverence Capital Partners, L.P. indirectly hold a significant minority ownership interest in RIIS and its affiliates (referred to collectively as “Russell Investments”).

Scharf Investments, LLC. Scharf is controlled by Brian Krawez, the Manager and an owner of Scharf.

Vulcan Value Partners, LLC. Vulcan is controlled by its principal owner, C. T. Fitzpatrick.

WCM Investment Management. Kurt Winrich, Chairman, and Paul Black, President, are control persons of WCM via their partial ownership of WCM.

Wellington Management Company LLP. Wellington is owned by the partners of Wellington Management Group LLP, a Massachusetts limited liability partnership.

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

Ares Capital Management II LLC. Founded in 1997, Ares is a global alternative asset manager and SEC registered investment adviser, the sole member of which is Ares Management LLC.

Brigade Capital Management, LP. Brigade is controlled by Donald Morgan who owns more than 25% of Brigade’s voting securities. No other individual owns more than 25% of Brigade’s voting securities.

BlueBay Asset Management LLP. BlueBay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”) and part of the RBC asset management division, RBC Global Asset Management group of companies.

Lazard Asset Management LLC. Lazard is a Delaware limited liability company. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC, a New York limited liability company with one member, Lazard Group LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. Interests of Lazard Group LLC are held by Lazard Ltd., which is a Bermuda corporation with shares that are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LAZ.”

Symphony Asset Management LLC. Symphony, an investment adviser registered with the SEC, is organized as a member-managed limited liability company, and its sole managing member is Nuveen Investments, Inc. On October 1, 2014, Nuveen Investments, Inc. was acquired by TIAA-CREF, a national financial services organization.

TCW Investment Management Company LLC. TCW is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The TCW Group, Inc. The Carlyle Group, LP (“Carlyle”), a global alternative asset manager, may be deemed to be a control person of TCW by reason of its control of certain investment funds that indirectly control more than 25% of the voting stock of TCW. Carlyle also controls various other pooled investment vehicles and, indirectly, many of the portfolio companies owned by those funds.

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

PGIM Real Estate. PGIM Real Estate is a business unit of PGIM, Inc., which in turn is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc.

Presima Inc. Presima is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NAB Asset Management Limited.

 

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RARE Infrastructure (North America) Pty Limited. RARE is a wholly owned subsidiary of RARE Infrastructure Limited, which is a majority owned affiliate of Legg Mason, Inc.

RREEF America L.L.C. RREEF is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of DWS Group GmbH &Co. KGaA, which is an indirect majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG.

Additional information about each Underlying Manager is available on the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).

 

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Portfolio Managers – Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

The following table discloses accounts within each type of category listed below for which the portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for day to day portfolio management as of October 31, 2017, unless otherwise indicated.

 

     Number of Other Accounts Managed and Total Assets by Account Type      Number of Accounts and Total Assets for Which Advisory Fee is Performance Based  

Name of

Portfolio

Manager

   Registered
Investment Companies*
     Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
     Other
Accounts
     Registered
Investment Companies
     Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
     Other
Accounts
 
   Number of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number of
Accounts
     Assets
Managed
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund and Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

 

GPS

                                   

Neill Nuttall

     4      $ 3.0        17      $ 5.7        59      $ 88.8        0      $ 0        0      $ 0        3      $ 4.9  

Kate El-Hillow

     1      $ 0.7        0      $ 0        49      $ 82.0        0      $ 0        0      $ 0        1      $ 3.6  
AIMS                                    

Kent Clark

     18      $ 3.5        198      $ 54.3        172      $ 114.3        0      $ 0        65      $ 10.7        10      $ 5.9  

Betsy Gorton

     18      $ 3.5        196      $ 37.0        149      $ 56.1        0      $ 0        13      $ 2.7        4      $ 5.1  

Tom Murray

     18      $ 3.5        196      $ 37.0        149      $ 56.1        0      $ 0        13      $ 2.7        4      $ 5.1  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

 

GPS

                                   

Neill Nuttall

     4      $ 3.0        17      $ 5.7        59      $ 88.8        0      $ 0        0      $ 0        3      $ 4.9  

Kate El-Hillow

     1      $ 0.7        0      $ 0        49      $ 82.0        0      $ 0        0      $ 0        1      $ 3.6  

AIMS

                                   

Kent Clark

     18      $ 3.5        198      $ 54.3        172      $ 114.3        0      $ 0        65      $ 10.7        10      $ 5.9  

Betsy Gorton

     18      $ 3.5        196      $ 37.0        149      $ 56.1        0      $ 0        13      $ 2.7        4      $ 5.1  

Yvonne Woo

     17      $ 3.1        196      $ 37.0        165      $ 56.7        0      $ 0        13      $ 2.7        4      $ 5.1  

 

Footnotes:
  * For the AIMS portfolio managers, “Registered Investment Companies” includes the Funds managed by the AIMS portfolio managers to which this SAI relates.
  1. Neill Nuttall is the Chair of the GPS Investment Core, which is responsible for the management of all assets in GPS.
  2. Kate El-Hillow is a member of the GPS Investment Core.
  3. Asset information for Kent Clark is based on combined assets under supervision by the AIMS Hedge Funds and Public Markets Investment Committee, the AIMS Credit & Fixed Income Investment Committee, and the AIMS Imprint & ESG Strategies Investment Committee, each of which he is a member.
  4. Asset information for Betsy Gorton and Tom Murray is based on combined assets under supervision by the AIMS Hedge Funds and Public Markets Investment Committee of which each is a member.
  5. Asset information for Yvonne Woo is based on combined assets under supervision by the AIMS Hedge Funds and Public Markets Investment Committee and the AIMS Imprint & ESG Strategies Investment Committee of which she is a member.
  6. Asset information is in USD billions unless otherwise specified.
  7. With respect to the AIMS portfolio managers, “Other Pooled Investment Vehicles” includes private investment funds, SICAVs, and the advisory mutual fund platform. For purposes of the above, the advisory mutual platform is included as a single account.
  8. With respect to the AIMS portfolio managers, “Other Accounts” includes a separately managed account platform, advisory relationships and others. For purposes of the above, a platform is included as a single account.

 

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Conflicts of Interest. The Investment Adviser’s portfolio managers are often responsible for managing the Funds as well as other registered funds, accounts, including proprietary accounts, separate accounts and other pooled investment vehicles, such as unregistered private funds. A portfolio manager may manage a separate account or other pooled investment vehicle which may have materially higher fee arrangements than the Funds and may also have a performance-based fee. The side-by-side management of these funds may raise potential conflicts of interest relating to cross trading, the allocation of investment opportunities and the aggregation and allocation of trades.

The Investment Adviser has a fiduciary responsibility to manage all client accounts in a fair and equitable manner. To this end, the Investment Adviser has developed policies and procedures designed to mitigate and manage the potential conflicts of interest that may arise from side-by-side management. In addition, the Investment Adviser and the Fund have adopted policies limiting the circumstances under which cross-trades may be effected between a Fund and another client account. The Investment Adviser conducts periodic reviews of trades for consistency with these policies. For more information about conflicts of interests that may arise in connection with the portfolio manager’s management of a Fund’s investments and the investments of other accounts, see “POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.”

With respect to the Underlying Managers, when a portfolio manager has responsibility for managing more than one account, potential conflicts of interest may arise. Those conflicts include preferential treatment of one account over others in terms of allocation of resources or of investment opportunities. The Underlying Managers have adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential material conflicts. For instance, portfolio managers are normally responsible for all accounts within a certain investment discipline, and do not, absent special circumstances, differentiate among various accounts when allocating resources. In addition, the Underlying Managers and their advisory affiliates use a system for allocating investment opportunities among portfolios that is designed to provide a fair and equitable allocation over time.

With respect to each Fund, the Underlying Managers are subject to certain restrictions on their trading activities in or with the Investment Adviser’s affiliates.

Portfolio Managers – Compensation

The GSAM compensation plan strives to evaluate performance on a multi-year basis, align interests with those of our clients/investors, encourage teamwork, and provide for the retention of proven talent. Within GSAM, Portfolio Managers responsible for a Fund are compensated through a package comprised of a base salary plus a year-end bonus. The base salary is reviewed on an annual basis. The year-end bonus is a function of each professional’s individual performance, his or her contribution to the overall performance of the group, the performance of their division, and the overall performance of the firm. The individual performance evaluation may include factors such as investment performance of products managed over multi-year periods, quality of research, due diligence, and portfolio construction, effective risk management, and teamwork and leadership. The year-end bonus may be comprised of both cash compensation and equity-based awards. Equity-based awards generally come in the form of restricted stock units that are not immediately available for exercise and vest over several years, which further encourages the long-term stability of key employees.

In addition to base salary and year-end discretionary bonus, the firm has a number of additional benefits in place including a 401k program that enables employees to direct a percentage of their pretax salary and bonus income into a tax-qualified retirement plan; and investment opportunity programs in which certain professionals may participate subject to certain eligibility requirements.

Portfolio Managers – Portfolio Managers’ Ownership of Securities in the Funds

As of October 31, 2017, the portfolio managers own no securities issued by the Funds.

Distributor and Transfer Agent

Distributor: Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, serves as the exclusive distributor of shares of the Funds pursuant to a “best efforts” arrangement as provided by a distribution agreement with the Trust on behalf of each Fund. Shares of the Funds are offered and sold on a continuous basis by Goldman Sachs, acting as agent. Pursuant to the distribution agreement, after the Prospectus and periodic reports have been prepared, set in type and mailed to shareholders, Goldman Sachs will pay for the printing and distribution of copies thereof used in connection with the offering to prospective investors. Goldman Sachs will also pay for other supplementary sales literature and advertising costs.

 

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Transfer Agent: Goldman Sachs, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606 serves as the Trust’s transfer and dividend disbursing agent. Under its transfer agency agreement with the Trust, Goldman Sachs has undertaken with the Trust with respect to each Fund to: (i) record the issuance, transfer and redemption of shares, (ii) provide purchase and redemption confirmations and quarterly statements, as well as certain other statements, (iii) provide certain information to the Trust’s custodian and the relevant sub-custodian in connection with redemptions, (iv) provide dividend crediting and certain disbursing agent services, (v) maintain shareholder accounts, (vi) provide certain state Blue Sky and other information, (vii) provide shareholders and certain regulatory authorities with tax related information, (viii) respond to shareholder inquiries, and (ix) render certain other miscellaneous services. For its transfer agency and dividend disbursing agent services, Goldman Sachs is entitled to receive a fee equal, on an annualized basis, to 0.02% of average daily net assets of each Fund’s Class R6 Shares. Goldman Sachs may pay to certain intermediaries who perform transfer agent services to shareholders a networking or sub-transfer agent fee. These payments will be made from the transfer agency fees noted above and in the Funds’ Prospectus.

As compensation for the services rendered to the Trust by Goldman Sachs as transfer and dividend disbursing agent with respect to the Funds and the assumption by Goldman Sachs of the expenses related thereto, Goldman Sachs received fees for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016 and the fiscal period ended October 31, 2015 from the Funds as follows under the fee schedules then in effect:

 

     Class R6 Shares  

Fund

   Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2017
     Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2016
     Fiscal Period Ended
October 31, 2015
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund1

   $ 93,955      $ 124,147      $ 25,774  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund2

     64,819        58,100        21,041  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund3

     44,360        59,447        9,670  

 

1  The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund commenced operations on June 24, 2015.
2  The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund commenced operations on March 31, 2015.
3  The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund commenced operations on June 30, 2015.

The Trust’s distribution and transfer agency agreements each provide that Goldman Sachs may render similar services to others so long as the services Goldman Sachs provides thereunder are not impaired thereby. Such agreements also provide that the Trust will indemnify Goldman Sachs against certain liabilities.

Expenses

The Trust, on behalf of each Fund, is responsible for the payment of the Fund’s respective expenses. The expenses include, without limitation, the fees payable to the Investment Adviser, service fees and shareholder administration fees paid to Intermediaries, the fees and expenses of the Trust’s custodian and subcustodians, transfer agent fees and expenses, pricing service fees and expenses, brokerage fees and commissions, filing fees for the registration or qualification of the Trust’s shares under federal or state securities laws, expenses of the organization of each Fund, fees and expenses incurred by the Trust in connection with membership in investment company organizations including, but not limited to, the Investment Company Institute, taxes, interest, costs of liability insurance, fidelity bonds or indemnification, any costs, expenses or losses arising out of any liability of, or claim for damages or other relief asserted against, the Trust for violation of any law, legal, tax and auditing fees and expenses (including the cost of legal and certain accounting services rendered by employees of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates with respect to the Trust), expenses of preparing and setting in type Prospectuses, SAIs, proxy materials, reports and notices and the printing and distributing of the same to the Trust’s shareholders and regulatory authorities, any expenses assumed by the Funds pursuant to its distribution and service plans, compensation and expenses of its Independent Trustees, the fees and expenses of pricing services, dividend expenses on short sales and extraordinary expenses, if any, incurred by the Trust. Except for fees and expenses under any service plan, shareholder administration plan or distribution and service plan applicable to a particular class and transfer agency fees and expenses, all Fund expenses are borne on a non-class specific basis.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Investment Adviser paid for the expenses of the organization of each Fund.

The imposition of the Investment Adviser’s fees, as well as other operating expenses, will have the effect of reducing the total return to investors. From time to time, the Investment Adviser may waive receipt of its fees and/or voluntarily assume certain expenses of each Fund, which would have the effect of lowering each Fund’s overall expense ratio and increasing total return to investors at the time such amounts are waived or assumed, as the case may be.

 

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The Investment Adviser has agreed to limit the total annual operating expenses (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, interest, brokerage fees, expenses of shareholder meetings, litigation and indemnification, and extraordinary expenses) to 0.85%, 0.70% and 0.90% of average daily net assets for the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund, Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund and Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund, respectively. These arrangements will remain in effect through at least February 28, 2019, and prior to such date the Investment Adviser may not terminate the arrangements without the approval of the Board of Trustees. This 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. Each Fund’s “Other Expenses” may be reduced by any custody and transfer agency fee credits received by the Fund.

Fees and expenses borne by the Funds relating to legal counsel, registering shares of the Funds, holding meetings and communicating with shareholders may include an allocable portion of the cost of maintaining an internal legal and compliance department. Each Fund may also bear an allocable portion of the Investment Adviser’s costs of performing certain accounting services not being provided by the Fund’s custodian.

Reimbursement and Other Expense Reductions

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016 and the fiscal period ended October 31, 2015, the amounts of certain expenses of the Funds were reduced by the Investment Adviser as follows under expense limitations that were then in effect:

 

Fund

   Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2017
     Fiscal Year Ended
October 31, 2016
     Fiscal Period Ended
October 31, 2015
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund1

   $ 429,295      $ 135,074      $ 168,687  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund2

     311,783        542,089        220,720  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund3

     115,340        120,339        15,891  

 

1  The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund commenced operations on June 24, 2015.
2  The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund commenced operations on March 31, 2015.
3  The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund commenced operations on June 30, 2015.

Custodian, Sub-Custodians and Administrator

State Street, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111, is the custodian of the Trust’s portfolio securities and cash. The custodian of the Trust may change from time to time. State Street also maintains the Trust’s accounting records. State Street may appoint domestic and foreign sub-custodians and use depositories from time to time to hold securities and other instruments purchased by the Trust in foreign countries and to hold cash and currencies for the Trust.

State Street also serves as administrator pursuant to an administration agreement with the Trust (the “Administration Agreement”) pursuant to which State Street provides certain services, including, among others, (i) preparation of certain shareholder reports and communications; (ii) preparation of certain reports and filings with the SEC; (iii) certain compliance testing services; and (iv) such other services for the Trust as may be mutually agreed upon between the Trust and State Street. For its services under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator receives such fees as are agreed upon from time to time between the parties. In addition, the Administrator is reimbursed by the Funds for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the Administration Agreement.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm. The Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm may change from time to time. In addition to audit services, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP prepares the Funds’ federal and state tax returns and provides assistance on certain non-audit matters.

 

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POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

General Categories of Conflicts Associated with the Funds

Goldman Sachs (which, for purposes of this “Potential Conflicts of Interest” section, shall mean, collectively, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., the Investment Adviser and their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managers, members, officers and employees) is a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets. As such, it 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. Goldman Sachs acts as an investment banker, research provider, investment adviser, financier, adviser, market maker, prime broker, derivatives dealer, lender, counterparty, agent, principal and investor. 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 and for the accounts of clients and of its personnel, through client accounts and the relationships and products it sponsors, manages and advises. Goldman Sachs has direct and indirect interests in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loan and other markets, and the securities and issuers, in which the Funds may directly and indirectly invest. As a result, Goldman Sachs’ activities and dealings may affect the Funds in ways that may disadvantage or restrict the Funds and/or benefit Goldman Sachs or other Accounts. For purposes of this “Potential Conflicts of Interest” section, “Funds” shall mean, collectively, the Funds and any of the other Goldman Sachs Funds, and “Accounts” shall mean Goldman Sachs’ own accounts, accounts in which personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest, accounts of Goldman Sachs’ clients, including separately managed accounts (or separate accounts), and investment vehicles that Goldman Sachs sponsors, manages or advises, including the Funds.

The following are descriptions of certain conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest that may be associated with the financial or other interests that the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs may have in transactions effected by, with, or on behalf of the Funds and the Underlying Managers to which they directly or indirectly allocate Fund assets (the Funds and the Underlying Managers, collectively with their respective affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managers, members, officers and employees, for purposes of this “Potential Conflicts of Interest” section, the “Underlying Managers”). In addition, the Investment Adviser’s activities on behalf of certain other entities that are not investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser may create conflicts of interest between such entities, on the one hand, and Accounts (including the Funds), on the other hand, that are the same as or similar to the conflicts that arise between the Funds and other Accounts, as described herein. The conflicts herein do not purport to be a complete list or explanation of the conflicts associated with the financial or other interests the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs or the Underlying Managers may have now or in the future. Additional information about potential conflicts of interest regarding the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs is set forth in the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV. A copy of Part 1 and Part 2A of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV is available on the SEC’s website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).

Investment Decisions in Respect of Underlying Managers, the Sale of Fund Shares and the Allocation of Investment Opportunities

Goldman Sachs’ Other Activities May Have an Impact on Investment Decisions in Respect of the Underlying Managers

The Investment Adviser will face potential conflicts in making investment decisions (including whether the Funds should make initial or maintain or increase existing investments with, or withdraw investments from, the Underlying Managers) in respect of the Underlying Managers with which the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs has other relationships. For example, it is expected that Goldman Sachs may provide a variety of products and services to the Underlying Managers, including prime brokerage and research services, and therefore Goldman Sachs may receive various forms of compensation, commissions, payments, rebates, remuneration or other benefits from the Underlying Managers to which the Funds allocate assets, and Goldman Sachs and Accounts may have interests in such Underlying Managers or their businesses (including equity, profits or other interests). The amount of such compensation or other benefits to Goldman Sachs, or the value of such interests in the Underlying Managers, may be greater depending upon the investment decisions made by the Investment Adviser in respect of an Underlying Manager than it would have been had other investment decisions been made that might also have been appropriate for the Fund. In addition, personnel of certain Underlying Managers may be clients or former employees of Goldman Sachs or may provide the Investment Adviser and/or Goldman Sachs with notice of, or offers to participate in, investment opportunities. Although the Investment Adviser’s investment decision process includes the review of qualitative and quantitative criteria, subjective decisions made by the Investment Adviser may result in different investment decisions in respect of an Underlying Manager than would otherwise have been the case. The Investment Adviser makes investment decisions in respect of the Underlying Managers consistent with its fiduciary duties and the investment strategies described in the Fund’s Prospectus.

Sales Incentives and Related Conflicts Arising from Goldman Sachs’ Financial and Other Relationships with Intermediaries

Goldman Sachs and its personnel, including employees of the Investment Adviser, may receive benefits and earn fees and compensation for services provided to Accounts (including the Funds) and in connection with the distribution of the Funds. Any such fees and compensation may be paid directly or indirectly out of the fees payable to the Investment Adviser in connection with the management of such Accounts (including the Funds). Moreover, Goldman Sachs and its personnel, including employees of the Investment Adviser, may have relationships (both involving and not involving the Funds, and including without limitation placement, brokerage, advisory and board relationships) with distributors, consultants and others who recommend, or engage in transactions with or for, the Funds. Such distributors, consultants and other parties may receive compensation from Goldman Sachs or the Funds in connection with such relationships. As a result of these relationships, distributors, consultants and other parties may have conflicts that create incentives for them to promote the Funds.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, Goldman Sachs and the Funds may make payments to authorized dealers and other financial intermediaries and to salespersons to promote the Funds. These payments may be made out of Goldman Sachs’ assets or amounts payable to Goldman Sachs. These payments may create an incentive for such persons to highlight, feature or recommend the Funds.

 

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Allocation of Investment Opportunities Among the Funds and Other Accounts

The Investment Adviser may manage or advise multiple Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs and its personnel have an interest) that have investment objectives that are the same or similar to the Funds and that may seek to invest with the same Underlying Managers for multiple Accounts or may make or sell investments in the same securities or other instruments, sectors or strategies as the Funds and the Underlying Managers. This creates potential conflicts, particularly in circumstances where the availability or liquidity of such investment opportunities is limited (e.g., in local and emerging markets, high yield securities, fixed income securities, regulated industries, small capitalization, direct or indirect investments in private investment funds, investments in master limited partnerships in the oil and gas industry and initial public offerings/new issues) or where Underlying Managers limit the number of clients whose assets they manage.

The Investment Adviser does not receive performance-based compensation in respect of its investment management activities on behalf of the Funds, but may simultaneously manage Accounts for which the Investment Adviser receives greater fees or other compensation (including performance-based fees or allocations) than it receives in respect of the Funds. The simultaneous management of Accounts that pay greater fees or other compensation and the Funds creates a conflict of interest as the Investment Adviser has an incentive to favor Accounts with the potential to receive greater fees when allocating resources, services, functions or investment opportunities among Accounts. For instance, the Investment Adviser may be faced with a conflict of interest when allocating scarce investment opportunities given the possibly greater fees from Accounts that pay performance-based fees. To address these types of conflicts, the Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures under which it will allocate investment opportunities in a manner that it believes is consistent with its obligations and fiduciary duties as an investment adviser. However, the availability, amount, timing, structuring or terms of an investment by the Funds may differ from, and performance may be lower than, the investments and performance of other Accounts.

To address these potential conflicts, the Investment Adviser has developed allocation policies and procedures that provide that the Investment Adviser’s personnel making portfolio decisions for Accounts will make investment decisions for, and allocate investment opportunities among, such Accounts consistent with the Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations. These policies and procedures may result in the pro rata allocation (on a basis determined by the Investment Adviser) of limited opportunities across eligible Accounts managed by a particular portfolio management team, but in other cases such allocation may not be pro rata.

Allocation-related decisions for the Funds and other Accounts may be made by reference to one or more factors. Factors may include: the Account’s portfolio and its investment horizons, objectives, guidelines and restrictions (including legal and regulatory restrictions affecting certain Accounts or affecting holdings across Accounts); client instructions; strategic fit and other portfolio management considerations, including different desired levels of exposure to certain strategies; the expected future capacity of the Funds and the applicable Accounts; limits on the Investment Adviser’s brokerage discretion; cash and liquidity needs and other considerations; the availability of other appropriate or substantially similar investment opportunities; and differences in benchmark factors and hedging strategies among Accounts. Suitability considerations, reputational matters and other considerations may also be considered.

In a case in which one or more Accounts are intended to be the Investment Adviser’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or to receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy, other Accounts (including the Funds) may not have access to such strategy or may have more limited access than would otherwise be the case. To the extent that such Accounts are managed by areas of Goldman Sachs other than the Investment Adviser, such Accounts will not be subject to the Investment Adviser’s allocation policies. Investments by such Accounts may reduce or eliminate the availability of investment opportunities to, or otherwise adversely affect, the Fund. Furthermore, in cases in which one or more Accounts are intended to be the Investment Adviser’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy or type of investment, such Accounts may have specific policies or guidelines with respect to Accounts or other persons receiving the opportunity to invest alongside such Accounts with respect to one or more investments (“Co-Investment Opportunities”). As a result, certain Accounts or other persons will receive allocations to, or rights to invest in, Co-Investment Opportunities that are not available generally to the Funds.

In addition, in some cases the Investment Adviser may make investment recommendations to Accounts that make investment decisions independently of the Investment Adviser. In circumstances in which there is limited availability of an investment opportunity, if such Accounts invest in the investment opportunity at the same time as, or prior to, a Fund, the availability of the investment opportunity for a Fund will be reduced irrespective of the Investment Adviser’s policies regarding allocations of investments. In certain cases, persons or entities who do not have an Account with the Investment Adviser may receive allocations of opportunities from the Investment Adviser, and be included in the Investment Adviser’s allocation procedures as if they had an Account with the Investment Adviser, even though there is no investment advisory relationship between the Investment Adviser and such persons or entities.

 

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The Investment Adviser may, from time to time, develop and implement new trading strategies or seek to participate in new trading strategies and investment opportunities. These strategies and opportunities may not be employed in all Accounts or employed pro rata among Accounts where they are used, even if the strategy or opportunity is consistent with the objectives of such Accounts. Further, a trading strategy employed for a Fund that is similar to, or the same as, that of another Account of the Underlying Manager may be implemented differently, sometimes to a material extent. For example, a Fund may invest in different securities or other assets, or invest in the same securities and other assets but in different proportions, than another Account with the same or similar trading strategy. The implementation of the Fund’s trading strategy will depend on a variety of factors, including the portfolio managers involved in managing the trading strategy for the Account, the time difference associated with the location of different portfolio management teams, and the factors described above and in Item 6 (“PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES AND SIDE-BY-SIDE MANAGEMENT—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV.

During periods of unusual market conditions, the Investment Adviser may deviate from its normal trade allocation practices. For example, this may occur with respect to the management of unlevered and/or long-only Accounts that are typically managed on a side-by-side basis with levered and/or long-short Accounts.

The Investment Adviser and the Funds may receive notice of, or offers to participate in, investment opportunities from third parties for various reasons. The Investment Adviser in its sole discretion will determine whether a Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities and investors should not expect that the Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities unless the opportunities are received pursuant to contractual requirements, such as preemptive rights or rights offerings, under the terms of the Fund’s investments. Moreover, Goldman Sachs businesses outside of the Investment Adviser are under no obligation or other duty to provide investment opportunities to the Funds, and generally are not expected to do so. Further, opportunities sourced within particular portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser may not be allocated to Accounts (including the Funds) managed by such teams or by other teams. Opportunities not allocated (or not fully allocated) to the Funds or other Accounts managed by the Investment Adviser may be undertaken by Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), including for Goldman Sachs Accounts, or made available to other Accounts or third parties, and the Funds will not receive any compensation related to such opportunities. Additional information about the Investment Adviser’s allocation policies is set forth in Item 6 (“PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES AND SIDE-BY-SIDE MANAGEMENT—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV.

As a result of the various considerations above, there will be cases in which certain Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs and personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest) receive an allocation of an investment opportunity at times that the Funds do not, or when the Funds receive an allocation of such opportunities but on different terms than other Accounts (which may be less favorable). The application of these considerations may cause differences in the performance of different Accounts that employ strategies the same or similar to those of the Funds.

Multiple Accounts (including the Funds) may participate in a particular investment or incur expenses applicable in connection with the operation or management of the Accounts, or otherwise may be subject to costs or expenses that are allocable to more than one Account (which may include, without limitation, research expenses, technology expenses, expenses relating to participation in bondholder groups, restructurings, class actions and other litigation, and insurance premiums). The Investment Adviser may allocate investment-related and other expenses on a pro rata or different basis.

Accounts will generally incur expenses with respect to the consideration and pursuit of transactions that are not ultimately consummated (“broken-deal expenses”). Examples of broken-deal expenses include (i) research costs, (ii) fees and expenses of legal, financial, accounting, consulting or other advisers (including the Investment Adviser or its affiliates) in connection with conducting due diligence or otherwise pursuing a particular non-consummated transaction, (iii) fees and expenses in connection with arranging financing for a particular non-consummated transaction, (iv) travel and entertainment costs, (v) deposits or down payments that are forfeited in connection with, or amounts paid as a penalty for, a particular non-consummated transaction and (vi) other expenses incurred in connection with activities related to a particular non-consummated transaction.

The Investment Adviser has adopted a policy relating to the allocation of broken-deal expenses among Accounts (including the Funds) and other potential investors. Pursuant to the policy, broken-deal expenses generally will be allocated among Accounts in the manner that the Investment Adviser determines to be fair and equitable, which may be pro rata or on a different basis.

Goldman Sachs’ Financial and Other Interests May Incentivize Goldman Sachs to Promote the Sale of Fund Shares

Goldman Sachs and its personnel have interests in promoting sales of Fund shares, and the compensation from such sales may be greater than the compensation relating to sales of interests in other Accounts. Therefore, Goldman Sachs and its personnel may have a financial interest in promoting Fund shares over interests in other Accounts.

 

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Management of the Funds by the Investment Adviser

Considerations Relating to Information Held by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has established certain information barriers and other policies to address the sharing of information between different businesses within Goldman Sachs. As a result of information barriers, the Investment Adviser generally will not have access, or will have limited access, to information and personnel in other areas of Goldman Sachs, and generally will not manage the Funds with the benefit of information held by such other areas. Goldman Sachs, due to its access to and knowledge of funds, markets and securities based on its prime brokerage and other businesses, may make decisions based on information or take (or refrain from taking) actions with respect to interests in investments of the kind held (directly or indirectly) by the Funds in a manner that may be adverse to the Funds, and will not have any obligation or other duty to share information with the Investment Adviser.

Information barriers also exist between certain businesses within the Investment Adviser, and the conflicts described herein with respect to information barriers and otherwise with respect to Goldman Sachs and the Investment Adviser will also apply to the businesses within the Investment Adviser. There may also be circumstances in which, as a result of information held by certain portfolio management teams in the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser limits an activity or transaction for a Fund, including if the Fund is managed by a portfolio management team other than the team holding such information.

In addition, regardless of the existence of information barriers, Goldman Sachs will not have any obligation or other duty to make available for the benefit of the Funds any information regarding Goldman Sachs’ trading activities, strategies or views, or the activities, strategies or views used for other Accounts. Furthermore, to the extent that the Investment Adviser has access to fundamental analysis and proprietary technical models or other information developed by Goldman Sachs and its personnel, or other parts of the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser will not be under any obligation or other duty to effect transactions on behalf of Accounts (including the Funds) in accordance with such analysis and models. In the event Goldman Sachs elects not to share certain information with the Investment Adviser or personnel involved in decision-making for Accounts (including the Funds), the Funds may make investment decisions that differ from those they would have made if Goldman Sachs had provided such information, which may be disadvantageous to the Funds.

Different areas of the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs may take views, and make decisions or recommendations, that are different than other areas of the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs. Different portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser may make decisions based on information or take (or refrain from taking) actions with respect to Accounts they advise in a manner that may be different than or adverse to the Funds. Such teams may not share information with the Funds’ portfolio management teams, including as a result of certain information barriers and other policies, and will not have any obligation or other duty to do so.

Goldman Sachs operates a business known as Goldman Sachs Securities Services (“GSS”), which provides prime brokerage, administrative and other services to clients which may involve investment funds (including pooled investment vehicles and private funds) in which one or more Accounts invest (“Underlying Funds”) or markets and securities in which Accounts invest. GSS and other parts of Goldman Sachs have broad access to information regarding the current status of certain markets, investments and funds and detailed information about fund operators that is not available to the Investment Adviser. In addition, Goldman Sachs may act as a prime broker to one or more Underlying Funds, in which case Goldman Sachs will have information concerning the investments and transactions of such Underlying Funds that is not available to the Investment Adviser. As a result of these and other activities, parts of Goldman Sachs may be in possession of information in respect of markets, investments, investment advisers that are affiliated or unaffiliated with Goldman Sachs, the Underlying Managers and Underlying Funds, which, if known to the Investment Adviser, might cause the Investment Adviser to seek to dispose of, retain or increase interests in investments held by Accounts or acquire certain positions on behalf of Accounts, or take other actions. Goldman Sachs will be under no obligation or other duty to make any such information available to the Investment Adviser or personnel involved in decision-making for Accounts (including the Funds).

Valuation of the Funds’ Investments

The Investment Adviser, while not the primary valuation agent of the Funds, performs certain valuation services related to securities and assets held in the Funds. The Investment Adviser performs such valuation services in accordance with its valuation policies. The Investment Adviser may value an identical asset differently than another division or unit within Goldman Sachs values the asset, including because such other division or unit has information or uses valuation techniques and models that it does not share with, or that are different than those of, the Investment Adviser. This is particularly the case in respect of difficult-to-value assets. The Investment Adviser may also value an identical asset differently in different Accounts, including because different Accounts are subject to different valuation guidelines pursuant to their respective governing agreements (e.g., in connection with certain regulatory restrictions applicable to different Accounts), different third -party vendors are hired to perform valuation functions for the Accounts, the Accounts are managed or advised by different portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser that employ different valuation policies or procedures, or otherwise. The Investment Adviser will face a conflict with respect to valuations generally because of their effect on the Investment Adviser’s fees and other compensation. Furthermore, the application of particular valuation policies with respect to the Funds may result in improved performance of the Funds.

 

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Goldman Sachs’ and the Investment Adviser’s Activities on Behalf of Other Accounts

Goldman Sachs engages in a variety of activities in the global financial markets. The extent of Goldman Sachs’ activities in the global financial markets, including without limitation in its capacity as an investment banker, research provider, investment adviser, financier, adviser, market maker, prime broker, derivatives dealer, lender, counterparty, agent, principal and investor, as well as in other capacities, may have potential adverse effects on the Funds.

The Investment Adviser provides advisory services to the Funds. The Investment Adviser’s decisions and actions on behalf of the Funds may differ from those on behalf of other Accounts. Advice given to, or investment or voting decisions made for, one or more Accounts may compete with, affect, differ from, conflict with, or involve timing different from, advice given to or investment decisions made for the Funds. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), the clients it advises, and its personnel have interests in and advise Accounts that have investment objectives or portfolios similar to, related to or opposed to those of the Funds, and the Underlying Managers to which they allocate assets. Goldman Sachs may receive greater fees or other compensation (including performance-based fees) from such Accounts than it does from the Funds. In addition, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) the clients it advises, and its personnel may engage (or consider engaging) in commercial arrangements or transactions with Accounts, and/or may compete for commercial arrangements or transactions in the same types of companies, assets securities and other instruments, as the Funds and Underyling Managers. Decisions and actions of the Investment Adviser and the Underlying Managers on behalf of the Funds may differ from those by Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) on behalf of other Accounts, including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser or the Underlying Managers. Advice given to, or investment or voting decisions made for, the Funds may compete with, affect, differ from, conflict with, or involve timing different from, advice given to, or investment or voting decisions made for, other Accounts, including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser or the Underlying Managers.

Transactions by, advice to and activities of Accounts (including with respect to investment decisions, voting and the enforcement of rights) may involve the same or related companies, securities or other assets or instruments as those in which the Funds invest, and such Accounts may engage in a strategy while a Fund or an Underlying Manager is undertaking the same or a differing strategy, any of which could directly or indirectly disadvantage the Fund, including its ability to engage in a transaction or other activities or the prices or terms at which the Fund’s transactions or other activities may be effected.

For example, actions taken by Goldman Sachs may result in adverse performance of an Underlying Manager’s investments, which could cause the Underlying Manager to be in default or to take actions to avoid being in default under any applicable lending arrangements, including where Goldman Sachs is the lender (e.g., where Goldman Sachs provides prime brokerage services to the Underlying Manager). Moreover, Goldman Sachs may be engaged to provide advice to an Account that is considering entering into a transaction with a Fund, and Goldman Sachs may advise the Account not to pursue the transaction with the Fund, or otherwise in connection with a potential transaction provide advice to the Account that would be adverse to the Fund. Additionally, a Fund may buy a security and an Account may establish a short position in that same security or in similar securities. This short position may result in the impairment of the price of the security that the Fund holds or may be designed to profit from a decline in the price of the security. A Fund could similarly be adversely impacted if it establishes a short position, following which an Account takes a long position in the same security or in similar securities. In addition, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may make filings in connection with a shareholder class action lawsuit or similar matter involving a particular security on behalf of an Account (including a Fund), but not on behalf of a different Account (including a Fund) that holds or held the same security, or that is invested in or has extended credit to different parts of the capital structure of the same issuer.

To the extent a Fund engages in transactions in the same or similar types of securities or other investments as other Accounts, the Fund and other Accounts may compete for such transactions or investments, and transactions or investments by such other Accounts may negatively affect the transactions of the Fund (including the ability of the Fund to engage in such a transaction or investment or other activities), or the price or terms at which the Fund’s transactions or investments or other activities may be effected. In some cases, such adverse impacts may result from differences in the timing of transactions by Accounts relative to when a Fund executes transactions in the same securities. Moreover, the Fund or an Underlying Manager, on the one hand, and Goldman Sachs or other Accounts, on the other hand, may vote differently on or take or refrain from taking different actions with respect to the same security, which may be disadvantageous to the Fund. Accounts may also have different rights in respect of an investment with the same issuer, or invest in different classes of the same issuer that have different rights, including, without limitation, with respect to liquidity. The determination to exercise such rights by the Investment Adviser on behalf of such other Accounts may have an adverse effect on the Funds or the assets the Underlying Managers manage for the Funds.

Goldman Sachs (including, as applicable, the Investment Adviser) and its personnel, when acting as an investment banker, research provider, investment adviser, financier, adviser, market maker, prime broker, derivatives dealer, lender, counterparty or investor, or in other capacities, may advise on transactions, make investment decisions or recommendations, provide differing investment views or have views with respect to research or valuations that are inconsistent with, or adverse to, the interests and activities of the Funds. Shareholders may be offered access to advisory services through several different Goldman Sachs advisory businesses (including Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and the Investment Adviser). Different advisory businesses within Goldman Sachs manage Accounts according to different strategies and may also apply different criteria to the same or similar strategies and may have differing investment views in respect of an issuer or a security or other investment. Similarly, within the Investment Adviser, certain investment teams or portfolio managers may have differing or opposite investment views in respect of an issuer or a security, and the positions a Fund’s investment team or portfolio managers take in respect of the Fund may be inconsistent with, or adversely affected by, the interests and activities of the Accounts advised by

 

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other investment teams or portfolio managers of the Investment Adviser. Research, analyses or viewpoints may be available to clients or potential clients at different times. Goldman Sachs will not have any obligation or other duty to make available to the Funds any research or analysis prior to its public dissemination. The Investment Adviser may be responsible for making investment decisions on behalf of the Funds, and such investment decisions can differ from investment decisions or recommendations by Goldman Sachs on behalf of other Accounts. Goldman Sachs, on behalf of one or more Accounts, may implement an investment decision or strategy ahead of, or contemporaneously with, or behind similar investment decisions or strategies made for the Funds (whether or not the investment decisions emanate from the same research analysis or other information). The relative timing for the implementation of investment decisions or strategies for Accounts (including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser), on the one hand, and the Funds, on the other hand, may disadvantage the Funds. Certain factors, for example, market impact, liquidity constraints, or other circumstances, could result in the Funds receiving less favorable trading results or incurring increased costs associated with implementing such investment decisions or strategies, or being otherwise disadvantaged.

Subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers may cause the Funds to invest in securities, bank loans or other obligations of companies affiliated with or advised by Goldman Sachs or in which Goldman Sachs or Accounts have an equity, debt or other interest, or to engage in investment transactions that may result in other Accounts being relieved of obligations or otherwise divested of investments, which may enhance the profitability of Goldman Sachs’ or other Accounts’ investment in and activities with respect to such companies. Goldman Sachs may, in its discretion, recommend that the Funds have ongoing business dealings, arrangements or agreements with persons who are former employees of Goldman Sachs or are otherwise associated with an investor in an Account or a portfolio company or service provider of Goldman Sachs or an Account. The Funds may bear, directly or indirectly, the costs of such dealings, arrangements or agreements. These recommendations, and recommendations relating to any such dealings, arrangements or agreements, may pose conflicts of interest due to Goldman Sachs’ relationships with such former employees or persons otherwise associated with an investor in an Account or a portfolio company or service provider of Goldman Sachs or an Account.

When the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Manager wish to place an order for different types of Accounts or other accounts (including the Funds) for which aggregation is not practicable, the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers may use a trade sequencing and rotation policy to determine which type of Account or other accounts is to be traded first. Under this policy, each portfolio management team within the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers may determine the length of its trade rotation period and the sequencing schedule for different categories of clients within this period provided that the trading periods and these sequencing schedules are designed to be fair and equitable over time. The portfolio management teams currently base their trading periods and rotation schedules on the relative amounts of assets managed for different client categories (e.g., unconstrained client accounts, “wrap program” accounts, etc.) and, as a result, the Funds may trade behind other Accounts. Within a given trading period, the sequencing schedule establishes when and how frequently a given client category will trade first in the order of rotation. The Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers may deviate from the predetermined sequencing schedule under certain circumstances, and the Investment Adviser’s and/or the Underlying Managers’ trade sequencing and rotation policy may be amended, modified or supplemented at any time without prior notice to clients.

Potential Conflicts Relating to Follow-On Investments

From time to time, the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager may provide opportunities to Accounts (including potentially the Funds) to make investments in companies in which certain Accounts have already invested. Such follow-on investments can create conflicts of interest, such as the determination of the terms of the new investment and the allocation of such opportunities among Accounts (including the Funds). Follow-on investment opportunities may be available to the Funds notwithstanding that the Funds have no existing investment in the issuer, resulting in the assets of the Funds potentially providing value to, or otherwise supporting the investments of, other Accounts. Accounts (including the Funds) may also participate in releveraging, recapitalization, and similar transactions involving companies in which other Accounts have invested or will invest. Conflicts of interest in these and other transactions may arise between Accounts (including the Funds) with existing investments in a company and Accounts making subsequent investments in the company, which may have opposing interests regarding pricing and other terms. The subsequent investments may dilute or otherwise adversely affect the interests of the previously-invested Accounts (including the Funds).

Diverse Interests of Shareholders

The various types of investors in and beneficiaries of the Funds, including to the extent applicable the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, may have conflicting investment, tax and other interests with respect to their interests in the Funds. When considering a potential investment for a Fund, the Investment Adviser and Underlying Managers will generally consider the investment objectives of the Fund, not the investment objectives of any particular investor or beneficiary. The Investment Adviser and Underlying Managers may make decisions, including with respect to tax matters, from time to time that may be more beneficial to one type of investor or beneficiary than another, or to the Investment Adviser and its affiliates than to investors or beneficiaries unaffiliated with the Investment Adviser. In addition, Goldman Sachs may face certain tax risks based on positions taken by the Funds, including as a withholding agent. Goldman Sachs reserves the right on behalf of itself and its affiliates to take actions adverse to the Funds or other Accounts in these circumstances, including withholding amounts to cover actual or potential tax liabilities.

 

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Selection of Service Providers

The Funds expect to engage service providers (including attorneys and consultants) that may also provide services to Goldman Sachs and other Accounts. The Investment Adviser intends to select these service providers based on a number of factors, including expertise and experience, knowledge of related or similar products, quality of service, reputation in the marketplace, relationships with the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs or others, and price. These service providers may have business, financial, or other relationships with Goldman Sachs (including its personnel), which may or may not influence the Investment Adviser’s selection of these service providers for the Funds. In such circumstances, there may be a conflict of interest between Goldman Sachs (acting on behalf of the Funds) and the Funds if the Funds determine not to engage or continue to engage these service providers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the selection of service providers for the Funds will be conducted in accordance with the Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations to the Funds. The service providers selected by the Investment Adviser may charge different rates to different recipients based on the specific services provided, the personnel providing the services, the complexity of the services provided or other factors. As a result, the rates paid with respect to these service providers by a Fund, on the one hand, may be more or less favorable than the rates paid by Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, on the other hand. In addition, the rates paid by the Investment Adviser or the Funds, on the one hand, may be more or less favorable than the rates paid by other parts of Goldman Sachs or Accounts managed by other parts of Goldman Sachs, on the other hand. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) and/or Accounts may hold investments in companies that provide services to entities in which the Funds invest generally, and, subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser may refer or introduce such companies’ services to entities that have issued securities held by the Funds.

Investments in Goldman Sachs Funds

To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Funds may invest in money market and other funds sponsored, managed or advised by Goldman Sachs. In connection with any such investments, a Fund, to the extent permitted by the Act, will pay all advisory, administrative or Rule 12b-1 fees applicable to the investment, and the fees paid to the Investment Adviser by the Funds will not be reduced by any fees payable by the Funds to Goldman Sachs as manager of such Funds (i.e., there could be “double fees” involved in making any such investment, which would not arise in connection with the direct allocation of assets by investors in the Funds to such Funds), other than in certain specified cases, including as may be required by applicable law. In such circumstances, as well as in all other circumstances in which Goldman Sachs receives any fees or other compensation in any form relating to the provision of services, no accounting or repayment to the Funds will be required.

Goldman Sachs May In-Source or Outsource

Subject to applicable law, Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, may from time to time and without notice to investors in-source or outsource certain processes or functions in connection with a variety of services that it provides to the Funds in its administrative or other capacities. Such in-sourcing or outsourcing may give rise to additional conflicts of interest.

Distributions of Assets Other Than Cash

With respect to redemptions from the Funds, the Funds may, in certain circumstances, have discretion to decide whether to permit or limit redemptions and whether to make distributions in connection with redemptions in the form of securities or other assets, and in such case, the composition of such distributions. In making such decisions, the Investment Adviser may have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to redeeming investors and remaining investors.

Goldman Sachs May Act in a Capacity Other Than Investment Adviser to the Funds

Investments in Different Parts of an Issuer’s Capital Structure

Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or Accounts, on the one hand, and the Funds, on the other hand, may invest in or extend credit to different parts of the capital structure of a single issuer. As a result, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or Accounts may take actions that adversely affect the Funds. In addition, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may advise Accounts with respect to different parts of the capital structure of the same issuer, or classes of securities that are subordinate or senior to securities, in which the Funds invest. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may pursue rights, provide advice or engage in other activities, or refrain from pursuing rights, providing advice or engaging in other activities, on behalf of itself or other Accounts with respect to an issuer in which the Funds have invested, and such actions (or refraining from action) may have a material adverse effect on the Funds.

For example, in the event that Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or an Account holds loans, securities or other positions in the capital structure of an issuer that ranks senior in preference to the holdings of a Fund in the same issuer, and the issuer experiences financial or operational challenges, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), acting on behalf of itself or the Account, may seek a liquidation, reorganization or restructuring of the issuer, or terms in connection with

 

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the foregoing, that may have an adverse effect on or otherwise conflict with the interests of the Fund’s holdings in the issuer. In connection with any such liquidation, reorganization or restructuring, the Fund’s holdings in the issuer may be extinguished or substantially diluted, while Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or another Account may receive a recovery of some or all of the amounts due to them. In addition, in connection with any lending arrangements involving the issuer in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or an Account participates, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or the Account may seek to exercise its rights under the applicable loan agreement or other document, which may be detrimental to the Fund. In situations in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) holds positions in multiple parts of the capital structure of an issuer across Accounts (including the Funds), the Investment Adviser may not pursue actions or remedies that may be available to the Fund, as a result of legal and regulatory requirements or otherwise.

These potential issues are examples of conflicts that Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) will face in situations in which the Funds, and Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or other Accounts, invest in or extend credit to different parts of the capital structure of a single issuer. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) addresses these issues based on the circumstances of particular situations. For example, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may determine to rely on information barriers between different Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) business units or portfolio management teams. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may determine to rely on the actions of similarly situated holders of loans or securities rather than, or in connection with, taking such actions itself on behalf of the Funds.

As a result of the various conflicts and related issues described above and the fact that conflicts will not necessarily be resolved in favor of the interests of the Funds, the Funds could sustain losses during periods in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) and other Accounts (including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser) achieve profits generally or with respect to particular holdings in the same issuer, or could achieve lower profits or higher losses than would have been the case had the conflicts described above not existed. The negative effects described above may be more pronounced in connection with transactions in, or the Funds’ use of, small capitalization, emerging market, distressed or less liquid strategies.

Principal and Cross Transactions

When permitted by applicable law and the Investment Adviser’s policies, the Investment Adviser, acting on behalf of the Funds, may enter into transactions in securities and other instruments with or through Goldman Sachs or in Accounts managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and may (but is under no obligation or other duty to) cause the Funds to engage in transactions in which the Investment Adviser acts as principal on its own behalf (principal transactions), advises both sides of a transaction (cross transactions) and acts as broker for, and receives a commission from, the Funds on one side of a transaction and a brokerage account on the other side of the transaction (agency cross transactions). There may be potential conflicts of interest, regulatory issues or restrictions contained in the Investment Adviser’s internal policies relating to these transactions which could limit the Investment Adviser’s determination to engage in these transactions for the Accounts (including the Funds). In certain circumstances such as when Goldman Sachs is the only or one of a few participants in a particular market or is one of the largest such participants, such limitations may eliminate or reduce the availability of certain investment opportunities to Accounts (including the Funds) or impact the price or terms on which transactions relating to such investment opportunities may be effected.

Goldman Sachs will have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in such transactions. The Investment Adviser has developed policies and procedures in relation to such transactions and conflicts. Cross transactions may disproportionately benefit some Accounts relative to other Accounts, including the Funds, due to the relative amount of market savings obtained by the Accounts. Principal, cross or agency cross transactions will be effected in accordance with fiduciary requirements and applicable law (which may include disclosure and consent).

Goldman Sachs May Act in Multiple Commercial Capacities

To the extent permitted by applicable law, Goldman Sachs may act as broker, dealer, agent, counterparty, lender or advisor or in other commercial capacities for the Funds and the Underlying Managers or issuers of securities held by the Funds or Underlying Managers to which the Funds allocate assets. Goldman Sachs may be entitled to compensation in connection with the provision of such services, and the Funds will not be entitled to any such compensation. Goldman Sachs will have an interest in obtaining fees and other compensation in connection with such services that are favorable to Goldman Sachs, and in connection with providing such services may take commercial steps in its own interest, or may advise the parties to which it is providing services or take other actions, any of which may have an adverse effect on the Funds or the assets the Underlying Managers manage for the Funds. For example, Goldman Sachs may require repayment of all or part of a loan from a company in which an Account (including a Fund) holds an interest, which could cause the company to default or be required to liquidate its assets more rapidly, which could adversely affect the value of the company and the value of the Funds invested therein. Goldman Sachs may also advise such a company to make changes to its capital structure the result of which would be a reduction in the value or priority of a security held (directly or indirectly) by one or more Funds. Actions taken or advised to be taken by Goldman Sachs in connection with other types of transactions may also result in adverse consequences for the Funds. Goldman Sachs may also provide various services to companies in which the Funds have an interest, or to the Funds, which may result in fees, compensation and remuneration as well as other benefits, to Goldman Sachs. Such fees, compensation and remuneration may be substantial. Providing services to the Funds and companies in which the Funds invest may enhance Goldman Sachs’ relationships with various parties, facilitate additional business development and enable Goldman Sachs to obtain additional business and generate additional revenue.

 

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Goldman Sachs’ activities on behalf of its clients may also restrict investment opportunities that may be available to the Funds. For example, Goldman Sachs is often engaged by companies as a financial advisor, or to provide financing or other services, in connection with commercial transactions that may be potential investment opportunities for the Funds. There may be circumstances in which the Funds are precluded from participating in such transactions as a result of Goldman Sachs’ engagement by such companies. Goldman Sachs reserves the right to act for these companies in such circumstances, notwithstanding the potential adverse effect on the Funds. Goldman Sachs may also represent creditor or debtor companies in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (and equivalent non-U.S. bankruptcy laws) or prior to these filings. From time to time, Goldman Sachs may serve on creditor or equity committees. These actions, for which Goldman Sachs may be compensated, may limit or preclude the flexibility that the Funds may otherwise have to buy or sell securities issued by those companies, as well as certain other assets. Please also see “—Management of the Funds by the Investment Adviser—Considerations Relating to Information Held by Goldman Sachs” above and “—Potential Limitations and Restrictions on Investment Opportunities and Activities of Goldman Sachs and the Funds” below.

Subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager may cause the Funds to invest in securities, bank loans or other obligations of companies affiliated with or advised by Goldman Sachs or in which Goldman Sachs or Accounts have an equity, debt or other interest, or to engage in investment transactions that may result in Goldman Sachs or other Accounts being relieved of obligations or otherwise divested of investments. For example, subject to applicable law a Fund may acquire securities or indebtedness of a company affiliated with Goldman Sachs directly or indirectly through syndicate or secondary market purchases, or may make a loan to, or purchase securities from, a company that uses the proceeds to repay loans made by Goldman Sachs. These activities by a Fund may enhance the profitability of Goldman Sachs or other Accounts with respect to their investment in and activities relating to such companies. The Fund will not be entitled to compensation as a result of this enhanced profitability.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may create, write, sell, issue, invest in or act as placement agent or distributor of derivative instruments related to the Funds, or accounts managed by the Underlying Managers, or with respect to underlying securities or assets of the Funds, including interests in funds or accounts managed by the Underlying Managers, or which may be otherwise based on or seek to replicate or hedge the performance of the Funds. Such derivative transactions, and any associated hedging activity, may differ from and be adverse to the interests of the Funds.

Goldman Sachs may make loans to, or enter into margin, asset-based or other credit facilities or similar transactions with, clients, companies or individuals that may (or may not) be secured by publicly or privately held securities or other assets, including a client’s Fund shares as described above. Some of these borrowers may be public or private companies, or founders, officers or shareholders in companies in which the Funds (directly or indirectly) invest, and such loans may be secured by securities of such companies, which may be the same as, pari passu with, or more senior or junior to, interests held (directly or indirectly) by the Funds. In connection with its rights as lender, Goldman Sachs may act to protect its own commercial interest and may take actions that adversely affect the borrower, including by liquidating or causing the liquidation of securities on behalf of a borrower or foreclosing and liquidating such securities in Goldman Sachs’ own name. Such actions may adversely affect the Funds (e.g., if a large position in a security is liquidated, among the other potential adverse consequences, the value of such security may decline rapidly and the Funds may in turn decline in value or may be unable to liquidate their positions in such security at an advantageous price or at all). In addition, Goldman Sachs may make loans to shareholders or enter into similar transactions that are secured by a pledge of, or mortgage over, a shareholder’s Fund shares, which would provide Goldman Sachs with the right to redeem such Fund shares in the event that such shareholder defaults on its obligations. These transactions and related redemptions may be significant and may be made without notice to the shareholders.

Code of Ethics and Personal Trading

Each of the Funds and Goldman Sachs, as each Fund’s Investment Adviser and Distributor, has adopted a Code of Ethics (the “Code of Ethics”) in compliance with Section 17(j) of the Act designed to provide that personnel of the Investment Adviser, and certain additional Goldman Sachs personnel who support the Investment Adviser, comply with applicable federal securities laws and place the interests of clients first in conducting personal securities transactions. The Code of Ethics imposes certain restrictions on securities transactions in the personal accounts of covered persons to help avoid conflicts of interest. Subject to the limitations of the Code of Ethics, covered persons may buy and sell securities or other investments for their personal accounts, including investments in the Funds, and may also take positions that are the same as, different from, or made at different times than, positions taken (directly or indirectly) by the Funds. The Codes of Ethics can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-942-8090. The Codes of Ethics are also available on the EDGAR Database on the

 

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SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. Copies may also be obtained after paying a duplicating fee by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, DC 20549-0102, or by electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov. Additionally, all Goldman Sachs personnel, including personnel of the Investment Adviser, are subject to firm-wide policies and procedures regarding confidential and proprietary information, information barriers, private investments, outside business activities and personal trading.

Proxy Voting by the Underlying Managers

When a Fund allocates assets to Underlying Managers, the Underlying Managers or the Fund’s custodian generally are responsible for taking all action with respect to the securities held by the Underlying Managers on behalf of the Fund, and the Investment Adviser is not responsible for taking any action with respect to such securities. To the extent that Goldman Sachs takes any action with respect to securities in the Fund, the Investment Adviser has implemented processes designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing proxy voting decisions that it makes on behalf of advisory clients, including the Fund, and to help ensure that such decisions are made in accordance with its fiduciary obligations to its clients. Notwithstanding such proxy voting processes, proxy voting decisions made by the Investment Adviser or an Underlying Manager in respect of securities held by the Funds may benefit the interests of Goldman Sachs and/or Accounts other than the Funds. For a more detailed discussion of these policies and procedures, see the section of this SAI entitled “PROXY VOTING.”

Potential Limitations and Restrictions on Investment Opportunities and Activities of Goldman Sachs and the Funds

The Investment Adviser may restrict its investment decisions and activities on behalf of the Funds in various circumstances, including as a result of applicable regulatory requirements, information held by the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs’ roles in connection with other clients and in the capital markets (including in connection with advice it may give to such clients or commercial arrangements or transactions that may be undertaken by such clients or by Goldman Sachs), Goldman Sachs’ internal policies and/or potential reputational risk in connection with Accounts (including the Funds). The Investment Adviser might not engage in transactions or other activities for, or enforce certain rights in favor of, one or more Funds due to Goldman Sachs’ activities outside the Funds (e.g., the Investment Adviser may refrain from making investments for the Funds that would cause Goldman Sachs to exceed position limits or cause Goldman Sachs to have additional disclosure obligations and may limit purchases or sales of securities in respect of which Goldman Sachs is engaged in an underwriting or other distribution) and regulatory requirements, policies and reputational risk assessments.

In addition, the Investment Adviser may restrict, limit or reduce the amount of a Fund’s investment, or restrict the type of governance or voting rights it acquires or exercises, where the Fund (potentially together with Goldman Sachs and other Accounts) exceeds a certain ownership interest, or possesses certain degrees of voting or control or has other interests. For example, such limitations may exist if a position or transaction could require a filing or license or other regulatory or corporate consent, which could, among other things, result in additional costs and disclosure obligations for, or impose regulatory restrictions on, Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, or on other Accounts, or where exceeding a threshold is prohibited or may result in regulatory or other restrictions. In certain cases, restrictions and limitations will be applied to avoid approaching such threshold. Circumstances in which such restrictions or limitations may arise include, without limitation: (i) a prohibition against owning more than a certain percentage of an issuer’s securities; (ii) a “poison pill” that could have a dilutive impact on the holdings of the Fund should a threshold be exceeded; (iii) provisions that would cause Goldman Sachs to be considered an “interested stockholder” of an issuer; (iv) provisions that may cause Goldman Sachs to be considered an “affiliate” or “control person” of the issuer; and (v) the imposition by an issuer (through charter amendment, contract or otherwise) or governmental, regulatory or self-regulatory organization (through law, rule, regulation, interpretation or other guidance) of other restrictions or limitations.

When faced with the foregoing limitations, Goldman Sachs may avoid exceeding the threshold because exceeding the threshold could have an adverse impact on the ability of the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs to conduct its business activities. The Investment Adviser may also reduce a Fund’s interest in, or restrict a Fund from participating in, an investment opportunity that has limited availability or where Goldman Sachs has determined to cap its aggregate investment in consideration of certain regulatory or other requirements so that other Accounts that pursue similar investment strategies may be able to acquire an interest in the investment opportunity. The Investment Adviser may determine not to engage in certain transactions or activities which may be beneficial to the Funds because engaging in such transactions or activities in compliance with applicable law would result in significant cost to, or administrative burden on, the Investment Adviser or create the potential risk of trade or other errors.

The Investment Adviser generally is not permitted to use material non-public information in effecting purchases and sales in transactions for the Funds that involve public securities. The Investment Adviser may limit an activity or transaction (such as a purchase or sale transaction) which might otherwise be engaged in by the Funds, including as a result of information held by Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser or its personnel). For example, directors, officers and employees of Goldman Sachs may take seats on the boards of directors of, or have board of directors observer rights with respect to, companies in which Goldman

 

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Sachs or an Underlying Manager invests on behalf of the Funds. To the extent a director, officer or employee of Goldman Sachs were to take a seat on the board of directors of, or have board of directors observer rights with respect to, a public company, the Investment Adviser (or certain of its investment teams) may be limited and/or restricted in its or their ability to trade in the securities of the company.

Different areas of Goldman Sachs may come into possession of material non-public information regarding an issuer of securities held by an Underlying Fund in which an Account invests. In the absence of information barriers between such different areas of Goldman Sachs, the Account may be prohibited, including by internal policies, from redeeming from such Underlying Fund during the period such material non-public information is held by such other part of Goldman Sachs, which period may be substantial. As a result, the Account may not be permitted to redeem from an Underlying Fund in whole or in part during periods when it otherwise would have been able to do so, which could adversely affect the Account. Other investors in the Underlying Fund that are not subject to such restrictions may be able to redeem from the Underlying Fund during such periods.

The Investment Adviser operates a program reasonably designed to ensure compliance generally with economic and trade sanctions-related obligations applicable directly to its activities (although such obligations are not necessarily the same obligations that the Funds may be subject to). Such economic and trade sanctions may prohibit, among other things, transactions with and the provision of services to, directly or indirectly, certain countries, territories, entities and individuals. These economic and trade sanctions, and the application by the Investment Adviser of its compliance program in respect thereof, may restrict or limit the Funds’ investment activities.

The Investment Adviser may determine to limit or not engage at all in transactions and activities on behalf of the Funds for reputational or other reasons. Examples of when such determinations may be made include, but are not limited to, where Goldman Sachs is providing (or may provide) advice or services to an Underlying Manager or other entity involved in such activity or transaction, where Goldman Sachs or an Account is or may be engaged in the same or a related activity or transaction to that being considered on behalf of the Funds, where Goldman Sachs or an Account has an interest in an Underlying Manager or other entity involved in such activity or transaction, where there are political, public relations, or other reputational considerations relating to counterparties or other participants in such activity or transaction or where such activity or transaction on behalf of or in respect of the Funds could affect in tangible or intangible ways Goldman Sachs, the Investment Adviser, an Account or their activities.

In order to engage in certain transactions on behalf of a Fund, the Investment Adviser will also be subject to (or cause the Fund to become subject to) the rules, terms and/or conditions of any venues through which it trades securities, derivatives or other instruments. This includes, but is not limited to, where the Investment Adviser and/or the Fund may be required to comply with the rules of certain exchanges, execution platforms, trading facilities, clearinghouses and other venues, or may be required to consent to the jurisdiction of any such venues. The rules, terms and/or conditions of any such venue may result in the Investment Adviser and/or the Fund being subject to, among other things, margin requirements, additional fees and other charges, disciplinary procedures, reporting and recordkeeping, position limits and other restrictions on trading, settlement risks and other related conditions on trading set out by such venues.

From time to time, a Fund, the Investment Adviser or its affiliates and/or their service providers or agents may be required, or may determine that it is advisable, to disclose certain information about the Fund, including, but not limited to, investments held by the Fund, and the names and percentage interest of beneficial owners thereof (and the underlying beneficial owners of such beneficial owners), to third parties, including local governmental authorities, regulatory organizations, taxing authorities, markets, exchanges, clearing facilities, custodians, brokers and trading counterparties of, or service providers to, the Investment Adviser or the Fund. The Investment Adviser generally expects to comply with requests to disclose such information as it so determines including through electronic delivery platforms; however, the Investment Adviser may determine to cause the sale of certain assets for the Fund rather than make certain required disclosures, and such sale may be at a time that is inopportune from a pricing or other standpoint.

Goldman Sachs may become subject to additional restrictions on its business activities that could have an impact on the Funds’ activities. In addition, the Investment Adviser may restrict its investment decisions and activities on behalf of the Funds and not other Accounts, including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser.

Brokerage Transactions

The Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers often select U.S. and non-U.S. broker-dealers (including affiliates of the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers) that furnish the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers, the Funds, Investment Adviser affiliates and other Goldman Sachs personnel with proprietary or third party brokerage and research services (collectively, “brokerage and research services”) that provide, in the Investment Adviser’s and/or the Underlying Managers’ view, appropriate assistance to the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers in the investment decision-making process. These brokerage and research services may be bundled with the trade execution, clearing or settlement services provided by a particular broker-dealer and, subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers may pay for such brokerage and research services with client commissions (or “soft dollars”). Certain Underlying Managers may not use soft dollars as a matter of policy. There may be instances or situations in which such practices are subject to restrictions under applicable law. For example, the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (“MiFID II”) restricts EU domiciled investment advisers from receiving research and other materials that do not qualify as “acceptable minor non-monetary benefits” from broker-dealers unless the research or materials are paid for by the investment advisers from their own resources or from research payment accounts funded by and with the agreement of their clients.

Accounts may differ with regard to whether and to what extent they pay for brokerage and research services through commissions and, subject to applicable law, brokerage and research services may be used to service the Funds and any or all other Accounts throughout the Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers, including Accounts that do not pay commissions to the broker-dealer relating to the brokerage and research service arrangements. As a result, brokerage and research services (including soft dollar benefits) may disproportionately benefit other Accounts relative to the Funds based on the relative amount of commissions paid by the Funds and in particular those Accounts that do not pay for brokerage and research services or do so to a lesser extent, including in connection with the establishment of maximum budgets for research costs (and switching to execution-only pricing when maximums are met). The Investment Adviser and/or the Underlying Managers do not attempt to allocate soft dollar benefits proportionately among clients or to track the benefits of brokerage and research services to the commissions associated with a particular Account or group of Accounts.

 

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Aggregation of Orders by the Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser follows policies and procedures pursuant to which it may combine or aggregate purchase or sale orders for the same security or other instrument for multiple Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs or personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest) (sometimes referred to as “bunching”), so that the orders can be executed at the same time and block trade treatment of any such orders can be elected when available. The Investment Adviser aggregates orders when the Investment Adviser considers doing so appropriate and in the interests of its clients generally and may elect block trade treatment when available. In addition, under certain circumstances orders for the Funds may be aggregated with orders for Accounts that contain Goldman Sachs assets.

When a bunched order or block trade is completely filled, or if the order is only partially filled, at the end of the day, the Investment Adviser generally will allocate the securities or other instruments purchased or the proceeds of any sale pro rata among the participating Accounts, based on the Funds’ relative sizes. If an order is filled at several different prices, through multiple trades (whether at a particular broker-dealer or among multiple broker-dealers), generally all participating Accounts will receive the average price and pay the average commission, however, this may not always be the case (due to, e.g., odd lots, rounding, market practice or constraints applicable to particular Accounts).

Although it may do so in certain circumstances, the Investment Adviser does not always bunch or aggregate orders for different Funds, elect block trade treatment or net buy and sell orders for the same Fund, if portfolio management decisions relating to the orders are made by separate portfolio management teams, if bunching, aggregating, electing block trade treatment or netting is not appropriate or practicable from the Investment Adviser’s operational or other perspective, or if doing so would not be appropriate in light of applicable regulatory considerations. For example, time zone differences, trading instructions, cash flows, separate trading desks or portfolio management processes may, among other factors, result in separate, non-aggregated, non-netted executions, with orders in the same instrument being entered for different Accounts at different times or, in the case of netting, buy and sell trades for the same instrument being entered for the same Account. The Investment Adviser may be able to negotiate a better price and lower commission rate on aggregated orders than on orders for Funds that are not aggregated, and incur lower transaction costs on netted orders than orders that are not netted. The Investment Adviser is under no obligation or other duty to aggregate or net for particular orders. Where orders for a Fund are not aggregated with other orders, or not netted against orders for the Fund or other Accounts, the Fund will not benefit from a better price and lower commission rate or lower transaction cost that might have been available had the orders been aggregated or netted. Aggregation and netting of orders may disproportionately benefit some Accounts relative to other Accounts, including a Fund, due to the relative amount of market savings obtained by the Accounts. The Investment Adviser may aggregate orders of Accounts that are subject to MiFID II (“MiFID II Advisory Accounts”) with orders of Accounts not subject to MiFID II, including those that generate soft dollar commissions (including the Funds) and those that restrict the use of soft dollars. All Accounts included in an aggregated order with MiFID II Advisory Accounts pay (or receive) the same average price for the security and the same execution costs (measured by rate). However, MiFID II Advisory Accounts included in an aggregated order may pay commissions at “execution-only” rates below the total commission rates paid by Accounts included in the aggregated order that are not subject to MiFID II.

Conflicts Associated with Underlying Managers

The Underlying Managers have interests and relationships that may create conflicts of interest related to their management of the assets of the Funds allocated to such Underlying Managers. Such conflicts of interest may be similar to, different from or supplement those conflicts described herein relating to the Investment Adviser. For example, because the Investment Adviser primarily acts as a manager of advisers in respect of the Funds while the Underlying Managers engage in direct trading strategies for the assets allocated to them, the Underlying Managers may have potential conflicts of interest related to the investment of client assets in securities and other instruments that may not apply to the Investment Adviser unless the Investment Adviser is acting as an Underlying Manager, or may apply to the Investment Adviser in a different or more limited manner. Such conflicts may relate to the Underlying Managers’ trading and investment practices, including their selection of broker-dealers, aggregation of orders for multiple clients or netting of orders for the same client and the investment of client assets in companies in which they have an interest. Additional information about potential conflicts of interest regarding the Underlying Managers is set forth in each Underlying Managers’ Form ADV. A copy of Part 1 and Part 2A of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV is available on the SEC’s website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).

An Underlying Manager may manage or advise multiple accounts (the “Underlying Manager’s Accounts”) that have investment objectives that are the same or similar to those of the Funds and that may seek to make or sell investments in the same securities or other instruments, sectors or strategies as the Funds. This creates potential conflicts, particularly in circumstances where the availability or liquidity of such investment opportunities is limited (e.g., in local and emerging markets, high yield securities, fixed income securities, regulated industries, small capitalization, direct or indirect investments in private investment funds, investments in master limited partnerships in the oil and gas industry and initial public offerings/new issues) or where an Underlying Manager limits the number of clients whose assets it manages.

An Underlying Manager does not receive performance-based compensation in respect of its investment management activities on behalf of the Funds, but may simultaneously manage Underlying Manager’s Accounts for which the Underlying Manager receives greater fees or other compensation (including performance-based fees or allocations) than it receives in

 

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respect of a Fund. The simultaneous management of Underlying Manager’s Accounts that pay greater fees or other compensation and the Funds creates a conflict of interest as an Underlying Manager has an incentive to favor Underlying Manager’s Accounts with the potential to receive greater fees when allocating resources, services, functions or investment opportunities among Accounts. For instance, an Underlying Manager may be faced with a conflict of interest when allocating scarce investment opportunities given the possibly greater fees from Accounts that pay performance-based fees.

To address these potential conflicts, an Underlying Manager has developed allocation policies and procedures that provide that personnel making portfolio decisions for the Underlying Manager’s Accounts will make investment decisions for, and allocate investment opportunities among, the Underlying Managers’ Accounts consistent with the Underlying Managers’ fiduciary obligations. These policies and procedures may result in the pro rata allocation (on a basis determined by the Underlying Manager) of limited opportunities across eligible Underlying Manager’s Accounts, but in other cases such allocation may not be pro rata.

Allocation-related decisions for the Funds and other Underlying Manager’s Accounts may be made by reference to one or more factors. Factors may include: the Underlying Manager’s Account’s portfolio and its investment horizons, objectives, guidelines and restrictions (including legal and regulatory restrictions affecting certain Underlying Manager’s Accounts or affecting holdings across Underlying Manager’s Accounts); client instructions; strategic fit and other portfolio management considerations, including different desired levels of exposure to certain strategies; the expected future capacity of the Funds and the applicable Underlying Manager’s Accounts; limits on the Underlying Managers’ brokerage discretion; cash and liquidity needs and other considerations; the availability of other appropriate or substantially similar investment opportunities; and differences in benchmark factors and hedging strategies among Accounts. Suitability considerations, reputational matters and other considerations may also be considered.

In a case in which one or more Underlying Manager’s Accounts are intended to be the Underlying Manager’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or to receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy, other Underlying Manager’s Accounts (including the Funds) may not have access to such strategy or may have more limited access than would otherwise be the case. Investments by such Underlying Manager’s Accounts may reduce or eliminate the availability of investment opportunities to, or otherwise adversely affect, the Fund. Furthermore, in cases in which one or more Underlying Manager’s Accounts are intended to be the Underlying Manager’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy or type of investment, such Underlying Manager’s Accounts may have specific policies or guidelines with respect to the Underlying Manager’s Accounts or other persons receiving the opportunity to invest alongside such Underlying Manager’s Accounts with respect to one or more investments (“Co-Investment Opportunities”). As a result, certain Underlying Manager’s Accounts or other persons will receive allocations to, or rights to invest in, Co-Investment Opportunities that are not available generally to the Funds.

In addition, in some cases an Underlying Manager may make investment recommendations to the Underlying Manager’s Accounts that make investment decisions independently of the Underlying Manager. In circumstances in which there is limited availability of an investment opportunity, if such Underlying Manager’s Accounts invest in the investment opportunity at the same time as, or prior to, a Fund, the availability of the investment opportunity for the Fund will be reduced irrespective of the Underlying Manager’s policies regarding allocations of investments.

An Underlying Manager may, from time to time, develop and implement new trading strategies or seek to participate in new trading strategies and investment opportunities. These strategies and opportunities may not be employed in all Underlying Manager’s Accounts or employed pro rata among the Underlying Manager’s Accounts where they are employed, even if the strategy or opportunity is consistent with the objectives of such Underlying Manager’s Accounts. Further, a trading strategy employed for a Fund that is similar to, or the same as, that of another Account of the Underlying Manager may be implemented differently, sometimes to a material extent. For example, a Fund may invest in different securities or other assets, or invest in the same securities and other assets but in different proportions, than another Underlying Manager’s Account with the same or similar trading strategy. The implementation of the Fund’s trading strategy will depend on a variety of factors, including the portfolio managers involved in managing the trading strategy for the Account, the time difference associated with the location of different portfolio management teams, and the factors described above and in Item 6 (“PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES AND SIDE-BY-SIDE MANAGEMENT—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of the Underlying Manager’s Form ADV.

During periods of unusual market conditions, an Underlying Manager may deviate from its normal trade allocation practices. For example, this may occur with respect to the management of unlevered and/or long-only Underlying Manager’s Accounts that are typically managed on a side-by-side basis with levered and/or long-short Underlying Manager’s Accounts.

 

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An Underlying Manager and the Funds may receive notice of, or offers to participate in, investment opportunities from third parties for various reasons. An Underlying Manager in its sole discretion will determine whether a Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities and investors should not expect that the Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities unless the opportunities are received pursuant to contractual requirements, such as preemptive rights or rights offerings, under the terms of the Fund’s investments.

As a result of the various considerations above, there will be cases in which certain Underlying Manager’s Accounts (including Underlying Manager’s Accounts in which the Underlying Manager and personnel of the Underlying Manager have an interest) receive an allocation of an investment opportunity at times that the Funds do not, or when the Funds receive an allocation of such opportunities but on different terms than other Underlying Manager’s Accounts (which may be less favorable). The application of these considerations may cause differences in the performance of different Underlying Manager’s Accounts that employ strategies the same or similar to those of the Funds.

Multiple Underlying Manager’s Accounts (including the Funds) may participate in a particular investment or incur other expenses applicable in connection with their operation or management, or otherwise may be subject to costs or expenses that are allocable to more than one Account (which may include, without limitation, research expenses, technology expenses, expenses relating to participation in bondholder groups, restructurings, and class action and other litigation, and insurance premiums). An Underlying Manager may allocate investment-related and other expenses on a pro rata or different basis.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

Underlying Managers are responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for the Funds, the selection of brokers and dealers to effect the transactions and the negotiation of brokerage commissions, if any. Purchases and sales of securities may be executed internally by a broker-dealer, effected on an agency basis in a block transaction, or routed to competing market centers for execution. The compensation paid to the broker for providing execution services generally is negotiated and reflected in either a commission or a “net” price. Executions provided on a net price basis, with dealers acting as principal for their own accounts without a stated commission, usually include a profit to the dealer. Orders placed by an Underlying Manager may be directed to any broker other than Goldman Sachs or its affiliates.

In underwritten offerings, securities are purchased at a fixed price which includes an amount of compensation to the underwriter, generally referred to as the underwriter’s concession or discount. On occasion, certain money market instruments may be purchased directly from an issuer, in which case no commissions or discounts are paid.

In placing orders for portfolio securities or other financial instruments of a Fund, the Underlying Managers are generally required to give primary consideration to obtaining the most favorable execution and net price available. This means that the Underlying Managers will seek to execute each transaction at a price and commission, if any, which provides the most favorable total cost or proceeds reasonably attainable in the circumstances. As permitted by Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Section 28(e)”), a Fund may pay a broker which provides brokerage and research services to the Fund an amount of disclosed commission in excess of the commission which another broker would have charged for effecting that transaction. Such practice is subject to a good faith determination that such commission is reasonable in light of the services provided and to such policies as the Trustees may adopt from time to time. While the Underlying Managers generally seek reasonably competitive spreads or commissions, a Fund will not necessarily be paying the lowest spread or commission available. Within the framework of this policy, the Underlying Managers will consider research and investment services provided by brokers or dealers who effect or are parties to portfolio transactions of a Fund, the Underlying Managers and their affiliates, or their other clients. Such research and investment services are those which brokerage houses customarily provide to institutional investors and include research reports on particular industries and companies; economic surveys and analyses; recommendations as to specific securities; research products including quotation equipment and computer related programs; advice concerning the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities and the availability of securities or the purchasers or sellers of securities; analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and performance of accounts; services relating to effecting securities transactions and functions incidental thereto (such as clearance and settlement); and other lawful and appropriate assistance to the Underlying Managers in the performance of their decision-making responsibilities.

Such services are used by the Underlying Managers in connection with all of their investment activities, and some of such services obtained in connection with the execution of transactions for a Fund may be used in managing other investment accounts. Conversely, brokers furnishing such services may be selected for the execution of transactions of such other accounts, whose aggregate assets may be larger than those of a Fund, and the services furnished by such brokers may be used by the Underlying Managers in providing management services for the Trust. The Underlying Managers may also participate in

 

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so-called “commission sharing arrangements” and “client commission arrangements” under which the Underlying Managers may execute transactions through a broker-dealer and request that the broker-dealer allocate a portion of the commissions or commission credits to another firm that provides research to the Underlying Managers. The Underlying Managers exclude from use under these arrangements those products and services that are not fully eligible under applicable law and regulatory interpretations—even as to the portion that would be eligible if accounted for separately.

The research services received as part of commission sharing and client commission arrangements will comply with Section 28(e) and may be subject to different legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which the Underlying Managers do business. Participating in commission sharing and client commission arrangements may enable the Underlying Managers to consolidate payments for research through one or more channels using accumulated client commissions or credits from transactions executed through a particular broker-dealer to obtain research provided by other firms. Such arrangements also help to ensure the continued receipt of research services while facilitating best execution in the trading process. The Underlying Managers believe such research services are useful in their investment decision-making process by, among other things, ensuring access to a variety of high quality research, access to individual analysts and availability of resources that the Underlying Managers might not be provided access to absent such arrangements.

On occasions when the Underlying Managers deem the purchase or sale of a security or other financial instrument to be in the best interest of a Fund as well as its other customers (including any other fund or other investment company or advisory account for which the Underlying Managers act as investment adviser or sub-investment adviser), the Underlying Managers, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations, may aggregate the securities to be sold or purchased for the Fund with those to be sold or purchased for such other customers in order to obtain the best net price and most favorable execution under the circumstances. In such event, allocation of the securities so purchased or sold, as well as the expenses incurred in the transaction, will be made by each Underlying Manager in the manner considered to be equitable and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to a Fund and such other customers. In some instances, this procedure may adversely affect the price and size of the position obtainable for the Fund.

Commission rates in the U.S. are established pursuant to negotiations with the broker based on the quality and quantity of execution services provided by the broker in the light of generally prevailing rates. The allocation of orders among brokers and the commission rates paid are reviewed periodically by the Trustees. The amount of brokerage commissions paid by the Fund may vary substantially from year to year because of differences in shareholder purchase and redemption activity, portfolio turnover rates and other factors.

The Funds may participate in a commission recapture program. Under the program, participating broker-dealers rebate a percentage of commissions earned on Fund portfolio transactions to the particular Fund from which the commissions were generated. The rebated commissions are expected to be treated as realized capital gains of the Funds.

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016, and the fiscal period ended October 31, 2015, the Funds paid brokerage commissions as follows:

 

Fiscal Year Ended

October 31, 2017

   Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid
     Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid to
Goldman Sachs4
    Total Amount of
Transactions on
which
Commissions Paid
    Amount of
Transactions
Effected Through
Brokers Providing
Research5
     Brokerage
Commissions Paid
to Brokers
Providing
Research5
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

   $ 530,139      $

 

526

(0%

 

)6 

  $

 

803,282,919

(0%

 

)7 

  $ 391,104,586      $ 228,446  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

     11,932       

0

(0%

 

)6 

   

33,390,439

(0%

 

)7 

    17,428,029        6,176  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

     342,776       

1,047

(0%

 

)6 

   

474,227,208

(1%

 

)7 

    440,625,474        183,263  

 

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Fiscal Year Ended

October 31, 2016

   Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid
     Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid
to Goldman Sachs4
    Total Amount of
Transactions on
which
Commissions Paid
    Amount of
Transactions
Effected Through
Brokers Providing
Research5
     Brokerage
Commissions Paid
to Brokers
Providing
Research5
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

   $ 557,576      $

 

1,336

(0%

 

)6 

  $

 

695,663,709

(0%

 

)7 

  $ 0      $ 0  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

     7,277       

0

(0%

 

)6 

   

194,903,447

(0%

 

)7 

    0        0  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

     521,721       

516

(0%

 

)6 

   

639,659,622

(0%

 

)7 

    0        0  

Fiscal Period Ended

October 31, 2015

   Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid
     Total Brokerage
Commissions Paid
to Goldman Sachs4
    Total Amount of
Transactions on
which Commissions
Paid
    Amount of
Transactions
Effected Through
Brokers Providing
Research5
     Brokerage
Commissions Paid
to Brokers
Providing
Research5
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund1

   $ 246,276      $

 

0

(0%

 

)6 

  $

 

2,591,773,217

(0%

 

)7 

  $ 0      $ 0  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund2

     13,612       

0

(0%

 

)6 

   

4,565,219,928

(0%

 

)7 

    0        0  

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund3

     166,729       

0

(0%

 

)6 

   

643,266,807

(0%

 

)7 

    0        0  

 

1  The Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund commenced operations on June 24, 2015.
2  The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund commenced operations on March 31, 2015.
3  The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund commenced operations on June 30, 2015.
4  The figures in the table report brokerage commissions from portfolio transactions, including future transactions.
5  The information above reflects the commission amounts paid to brokers that provide research to the Investment Adviser and certain Underlying Managers but may not reflect the full commission amounts paid to brokers that provide research to all Underlying Managers. Only a portion of such commission pays for research and the remainder of such commission is to compensate the broker for execution services, commitment of capital and other services related to the execution of brokerage transactions.
6  Percentage of total commissions paid to Goldman Sachs.
7 Percentage of total amount of transactions involving the payment of commissions effected through Goldman Sachs.

During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the Trust’s regular “broker-dealers”, as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the Act, were: Bank of America Securities LLC, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup, Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies & Co., Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.

As of October 31, 2017, those Funds not listed below held no securities of their regular broker-dealers. As of the same date, the Funds held the following amounts of securities of its regular broker-dealers, as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the Act, or their parents ($ in thousands):

 

Fund

  

Broker/Dealer

   Amount
(000s)
 

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

  

Bank of America Securities LLC

   $ 321  
  

Bank of New York Mellon

     1,355  
  

Barclays Capital Inc.

     1,443  
  

Citigroup, Inc.

     128  
  

Credit Suisse First Boston Corp.

     53  
  

Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

     465  
  

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

     315  
  

Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.

     129  
  

Nomura

     60  
  

Samsung Securities Co. Ltd.

     3,151  
  

UBS PaineWebber Warburg Dillon Read

     29  

Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

  

Citigroup, Inc.

     374  
  

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

     528  

 

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NET ASSET VALUE

In accordance with procedures adopted by the Trustees, the NAV per share of each class of each Fund is calculated by determining the value of the net assets attributed to each class of that Fund and dividing by the number of outstanding shares of that class. All securities are generally valued on each Business Day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally, but not always, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other time as the New York Stock Exchange or National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations System (“NASDAQ”) market may officially close. The term “Business Day” means any day the New York Stock Exchange is open for trading, which is Monday through Friday except for holidays. The New York Stock Exchange is closed on the following observed holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund’s shares may be priced on such days if the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) recommends that the bond markets remain open for all or part of the day.

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. 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. In addition, each Fund may compute its NAV as of any time permitted pursuant to any exemption, order or statement of the SEC or its staff.

For the purpose of calculating the NAV per share of the Funds, investments are valued under valuation procedures established by the Trustees. Portfolio securities of a Fund for which accurate market quotations are readily available are generally valued as follows: (i) equity securities listed on any U.S. or foreign stock exchange or on the NASDAQ will be valued at the last sale price or the official closing price on the exchange or system in which they are principally traded on the valuation date. If there is no sale or official closing price on the valuation date, equity securities will be valued at the last available bid price for long positions or the last available ask price for short positions at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time. If the relevant exchange or system has not closed by the above-mentioned time for determining a Fund’s NAV, the securities will be valued at the last sale price or official closing price, or if not available at the bid price at the time the NAV is determined; (ii) over-the-counter equity securities not quoted on NASDAQ will be valued at the last sale price on the valuation day or, if no sale occurs, at the last bid price for long positions or the last ask price for short positions, at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time; (iii) equity securities for which no prices are obtained under sections (i) or (ii), including those for which a pricing service supplies no exchange quotation or a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to not represent fair value, will be valued through the use of broker quotes, if possible; (iv) fixed income securities will be valued via electronic feeds from independent pricing services to the administrator using evaluated prices provided by a recognized pricing service and dealer-supplied quotations (fixed income securities for which a pricing service either does not supply a quotation or supplies a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to not represent fair value, will be valued through the use of broker quotes, if possible); (v) fixed income securities for which accurate market quotations are not readily available will be valued by the Investment Adviser based on Board-approved fair valuation policies that incorporate matrix pricing or valuation models, which utilize certain inputs and assumptions, including, but not limited to, yield or price with respect to comparable fixed income securities and various other factors; (vi) investments in open-end registered investment companies (excluding investments in ETFs) and investments in private funds are valued based on the NAV of those registered investment companies or private funds (which may use fair value pricing as discussed in their prospectus or offering memorandum); (vii) spot foreign exchange rates will be valued using a pricing service at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time, and forward foreign currency contracts will be valued by adding forward points provided by an independent pricing service to the spot foreign exchange rates and interpolating based upon maturity dates of each contract or by using outright forward rates, where available (if quotations are unavailable from a pricing service or, if the quotations by the Investment Adviser are believed to be inaccurate, the contracts will be valued by calculating the mean between the last bid and ask quotations supplied by at least one dealer in such contracts); (viii) exchange-traded options and futures contracts will be valued at the last sale or settlement price, and if no last sale, then the last bid price for long positions and the last ask price on short positions, on the exchange where such contracts and options are principally traded at the time closest to the NAV calculation time; (ix) over-the-counter derivatives, including, but not limited to, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return index swaps, put/call option combos, total return basket swaps, index volatility and FX variance swaps, will be valued at their fair market value as determined using counterparty supplied valuations, an independent pricing service or valuation models which use market data inputs supplied by an independent pricing service; and (x) all other

 

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instruments, including those for which a pricing service supplies no exchange quotation/price or a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to be inaccurate, will be valued in accordance with the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Securities may also be valued at fair value in accordance with procedures approved by the Board of Trustees where the Funds’ fund accounting agent is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Funds’ NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value. Fair values determined in accordance with the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees 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.

The value of all assets and liabilities expressed in foreign currencies will be converted into U.S. dollar values at current exchange rates of such currencies against U.S. dollars as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally, but not always, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). If such quotations are not available, the rate of exchange will be determined in good faith under procedures established by the Board of Trustees.

Generally, trading in securities on European, Asian and Far Eastern securities exchanges and on over-the-counter markets in these regions is substantially completed at various times prior to the close of business on each Business Day in New York (i.e., a day on which the New York Stock Exchange is open for trading). In addition, European, Asian or Far Eastern securities trading generally or in a particular country or countries may not take place on all Business Days in New York. Furthermore, trading takes place in various foreign markets on days which are not Business Days in New York and days on which the Funds’ NAVs are not calculated. Such calculation does not take place contemporaneously with the determination of the prices of the majority of the portfolio securities used in such calculation. For investments in foreign equity securities, “fair value” prices will be provided by an independent third-party pricing (fair value) service (if available), in accordance with fair value procedures approved by the 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 third-party pricing (fair value) service does not provide a fair value for a particular security or if the value does not meet the established criteria for the Funds, the most recent closing price for such a security on its principal exchange will generally be its fair value on such date.

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 a Fund’s NAV. Significant events that could affect a large number of securities in a particular market may include, but are not limited to: situations relating to one or more single issuers in a market sector; significant fluctuations in U.S. or foreign markets; market dislocations; market disruptions or unscheduled market closings; equipment failures; natural or man made disasters or acts of God; armed conflicts; governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions such as reorganizations, mergers and buy-outs; corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading limits or suspensions.

In general, fair value represents a good faith approximation of the current value of an asset and may be used when there is no public market or possibly no market at all for an asset. A security that is fair valued may be valued at a price higher or lower than actual market quotations or the value determined by other funds using their own fair valuation procedures or by other investors. The fair value of an asset may not be the price at which that asset is ultimately sold.

The proceeds received by each Fund and each other series of the Trust from the issue or sale of its shares, and all net investment income, realized and unrealized gain and proceeds thereof, subject only to the rights of creditors, will be specifically allocated to such Fund or particular series and constitute the underlying assets of that Fund or series. The underlying assets of each Fund will be segregated on the books of account, and will be charged with the liabilities in respect of such Fund and with a share of the general liabilities of the Trust. Expenses of the Trust with respect to the Funds and the other series of the Trust are generally allocated in proportion to the NAVs of the respective Funds or series except where allocations of expenses can otherwise be fairly made.

Each Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Funds’ fund accounting agent to calculate the NAV per share of each share class of the Funds is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of a Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Funds may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the

 

B-110


third party service providers and/or data sources upon which a Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be utilized to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.

Errors and Corrective Actions

The Investment Adviser will report to the Board of Trustees any material breaches of investment objective, policies or restrictions (including any material breaches by an Underlying Manager of which it becomes aware) and any material errors in the calculation of the NAV of each Fund or the processing of purchases and redemptions. Depending on the nature and size of an error, corrective action may or may not be required. Corrective action may involve a prospective correction of the NAV only, correction of any erroneous NAV and compensation to a Fund, or correction of any erroneous NAV, compensation to the Fund and reprocessing of individual shareholder transactions. The Trust’s policies on errors and corrective action limit or restrict when corrective action will be taken or when compensation to a Fund or its shareholders will be paid, and not all mistakes will result in compensable errors. As a result, neither a Fund nor its shareholders who purchase or redeem shares during periods in which errors accrue or occur may be compensated in connection with the resolution of an error. Shareholders will generally not be notified of the occurrence of a compensable error or the resolution thereof absent unusual circumstances.

As discussed in more detail under “NET ASSET VALUE,” each Fund’s portfolio securities may be priced based on quotations for those securities provided by pricing services. There can be no guarantee that a quotation provided by a pricing service will be accurate.

SHARES OF THE TRUST

Each Fund is a series of Goldman Sachs Trust II, a Delaware statutory trust formed on August 28, 2012.

The Trustees have authority under the Trust’s Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares of beneficial interest in separate series, without further action by shareholders. The Trustees also have authority to classify and reclassify any series of shares into one or more classes of shares. As of February 28, 2018 the Trustees have authorized the issuance of one class of shares of each Fund: Class R6 Shares. Additional series and classes may be added in the future.

Each Class R6 Share of a Fund represents a proportionate interest in the assets belonging to the applicable class of the Fund and all expenses of the Fund are borne at the same rate by each class of shares. With limited exceptions, Class R6 Shares may only be exchanged for shares of the same or an equivalent class of another series. See “Shareholder Guide” in the Prospectus. In addition, the fees and expenses set forth below for Class R6 Shares may be subject to fee waivers or reimbursements, as discussed more fully in the Funds’ Prospectus.

Class R6 Shares may be purchased at NAV without a sales charge for accounts in the name of an investor or institution that is not compensated by a Fund for services provided to the institution’s customers.

Certain aspects of the shares may be altered after advance notice to shareholders if it is deemed necessary in order to satisfy certain tax regulatory requirements.

When issued for the consideration described in the Funds’ Prospectus, shares are fully paid and non-assessable. The Trustees may, however, cause shareholders, or shareholders of a particular series or class, to pay certain custodian, transfer agency, servicing or similar charges by setting off the same against declared but unpaid dividends or by reducing share ownership (or by both means). In the event of liquidation, shareholders are entitled to share pro rata in the net assets of the applicable class of the Funds available for distribution to such shareholders. All shares are freely transferable and have no preemptive, subscription or conversion rights. The Trustees may require Shareholders to redeem Shares for any reason under terms set by the Trustees.

The Act requires that where more than one series of shares exists, each series must be preferred over all other series in respect of assets specifically allocated to such series. In addition, Rule 18f-2 under the Act provides that any matter required to be submitted by the provisions of the Act or applicable state law, or otherwise, to the holders of the outstanding voting securities of an investment company such as the Trust shall not be deemed to have been effectively acted upon unless approved by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of each series affected by such matter. Rule 18f-2 further provides that a series shall be deemed to be affected by a matter unless the interests of each series in the matter are substantially identical or the matter does not affect any interest of such series. However, Rule 18f-2 exempts the selection of independent public accountants, the approval of principal distribution contracts and the election of trustees from the separate voting requirements of Rule 18f-2.

 

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The Trust is not required to hold annual meetings of shareholders and does not intend to hold such meetings. In the event that a meeting of shareholders is held, each share of the Trust will be entitled, as determined by the Trustees without the vote or consent of the shareholders, either to one vote for each share or to one vote for each dollar of NAV represented by such share on all matters presented to shareholders including the election of Trustees (this method of voting being referred to as “dollar based voting”). However, to the extent required by the Act or otherwise determined by the Trustees, series and classes of the Trust will vote separately from each other. Shareholders of the Trust do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of Trustees. Meetings of shareholders of the Trust, or any series or class thereof, may be called by the Trustees, certain officers or upon the written request of holders of 10% or more of the shares entitled to vote at such meetings. The Trustees will call a special meeting of shareholders for the purpose of electing Trustees, if, at any time, less than a majority of Trustees holding office at the time were elected by shareholders. The shareholders of the Trust will have voting rights only with respect to the limited number of matters specified in the Declaration of Trust and such other matters as the Trustees may determine or may be required by law.

The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification of Trustees, officers, employees and agents of the Trust unless the recipient is adjudicated (i) to be liable by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person’s office or (ii) not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that such person’s actions were in the best interest of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides that, if any shareholder or former shareholder of any series is held personally liable solely by reason of being or having been a shareholder and not because of the shareholder’s acts or omissions or for some other reason, the shareholder or former shareholder (or the shareholder’s heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives or general successors) shall be held harmless from and indemnified against all loss and expense arising from such liability. The Trust, acting on behalf of any affected series, must, upon request by such shareholder, assume the defense of any claim made against such shareholder for any act or obligation of the series and satisfy any judgment thereon from the assets of the series.

The Declaration of Trust permits the termination of the Trust or of any series or class of the Trust (i) by a majority of the affected shareholders at a meeting of shareholders of the Trust, series or class; or (ii) by a majority of the Trustees without shareholder approval if the Trustees determine, in their sole discretion, that such action is in the best interest of the Trust, such series, such class or their respective shareholders. The Trustees may consider such factors as they, in their sole discretion, deem appropriate in making such determination, including (i) the inability of the Trust or any series or class to maintain its assets at an appropriate size; (ii) changes in laws or regulations governing the Trust, series or class or affecting assets of the type in which it invests; or (iii) economic developments or trends having a significant adverse impact on the business or operations of the Trust or series.

The Declaration of Trust authorizes the Trustees, without shareholder approval, to cause the Trust, or any series thereof, to merge or consolidate with any corporation, association, trust or other organization or sell or exchange all or substantially all of the property belonging to the Trust or any series thereof. In addition, the Trustees, without shareholder approval, may adopt a master-feeder structure by investing all or a portion of the assets of a series of the Trust in the securities of another open-end investment company with substantially the same investment objective, restrictions and policies.

The Declaration of Trust permits the Trustees to amend the Declaration of Trust without a shareholder vote. However, shareholders of the Trust have the right to vote on any amendment (i) that would adversely affect the voting rights of shareholders; (ii) that is required by law to be approved by shareholders; (iii) that would amend the provisions of the Declaration of Trust regarding amendments and supplements thereto; or (iv) that the Trustees determine to submit to shareholders.

The Trustees may appoint separate Trustees with respect to one or more series or classes of the Trust’s shares (the “Series Trustees”). Series Trustees may, but are not required to, serve as Trustees of the Trust or any other series or class of the Trust. To the extent provided by the Trustees in the appointment of Series Trustees, the Series Trustees may have, to the exclusion of any other Trustees of the Trust, all the powers and authorities of Trustees under the Declaration of Trust with respect to such Series or Class, but may have no power or authority with respect to any other series or class.

 

B-112


Shareholder and Trustee Liability

Under Delaware Law, the shareholders of the Funds are not generally subject to liability for the debts or obligations of the Trust. Similarly, Delaware law provides that a series of the Trust will not be liable for the debts or obligations of any other series of the Trust. However, no similar statutory or other authority limiting statutory trust shareholder liability exists in other states. As a result, to the extent that a Delaware statutory trust or a shareholder is subject to the jurisdiction of courts of such other states, the courts may not apply Delaware law and may thereby subject the Delaware statutory trust shareholders to liability. To guard against this risk, the Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of a series. Notice of such disclaimer will normally be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by a series of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification by the relevant series for all loss suffered by a shareholder as a result of an obligation of the series. The Declaration of Trust also provides that a series shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of the series and satisfy any judgment thereon. In view of the above, the risk of personal liability of shareholders of a Delaware statutory trust is remote.

In addition to the requirements under Delaware law, the Declaration of Trust provides that shareholders of a series may bring a derivative action on behalf of the series only if the following conditions are met: (a) shareholders eligible to bring such derivative action under Delaware law who hold at least 10% of the outstanding shares of the series, or 10% of the outstanding shares of the class to which such action relates, shall join in the request for the Trustees to commence such action; and (b) the Trustees must be afforded a reasonable amount of time to consider such shareholder request and to investigate the basis of such claim. The Trustees will be entitled to retain counsel or other advisers in considering the merits of the request and may require an undertaking by the shareholders making such request to reimburse the series for the expense of any such advisers in the event that the Trustees determine not to bring such action.

The Declaration of Trust further provides that the Trustees will not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law, but nothing in the Declaration of Trust protects a Trustee against liability to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

TAXATION

The following are certain additional U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Funds and the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares of the Funds that are not described in the Prospectus. The discussions below and in the Prospectus are only summaries and are not intended as substitutes for careful tax planning. They do not address special tax rules applicable to certain classes of investors, such as tax-exempt entities, insurance companies and financial institutions. Each prospective shareholder is urged to consult his or her own tax adviser with respect to the specific federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of investing in a Fund. The summary is based on the laws in effect on February 28, 2018, which are subject to change. Future changes in tax laws may adversely impact a Fund and its shareholders.

Fund Taxation

Each Fund is treated as a separate taxable entity and has elected to be treated and intends to qualify for each of its taxable years as a regulated investment companies under Subchapter M of Subtitle A, Chapter 1, of the Code.

There are certain tax requirements that a Fund must follow if it is to avoid federal taxation. In its efforts to adhere to these requirements, a Fund may have to limit its investment activities in some types of instruments. Qualification as a regulated investment company under the Code requires, among other things, that (i) a Fund derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stocks or securities or foreign currencies, net income from qualified publicly traded partnerships or other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures, and forward contracts) derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in stocks, securities or currencies (the “90% gross income test”); and (ii) the Fund 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.

For purposes of the 90% gross income test, income that a Fund earns from equity interests in certain entities that are not treated as corporations or as qualified publicly traded partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes (e.g., partnerships or trusts) will generally have the same character for the Fund as in the hands of such an entity; consequently, the Fund may be

 

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required to limit its equity investments in any such entities that earn fee income, rental income, or other nonqualifying income. In addition, future Treasury regulations could provide that qualifying income under the 90% gross income test will not include gains from foreign currency transactions that are not directly related to a Fund’s principal business of investing in stock or securities or options and futures with respect to stock or securities. Using foreign currency positions or entering into foreign currency options, futures and forward or swap contracts for purposes other than hedging currency risk with respect to securities in a Fund’s portfolio or anticipated to be acquired may not qualify as “directly-related” under these tests.

The Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund will seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets primarily through investments in the Subsidiary. Historically, the IRS issued private letter rulings in which the IRS specifically concluded that income and gains from investments in commodity index-linked structured notes (the “Notes Rulings”) or a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked instruments are “qualifying income” for purposes of compliance with Subchapter M of the Code. However, the Fund has not received such a private letter ruling, and is not able to rely on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers. The IRS recently issued a revenue procedure, which states that the IRS will not in the future issue private letter rulings that would require a determination of whether an asset (such as a commodity index-linked note) is a “security” under the Investment Company Act. In connection with issuing such revenue procedure, the IRS has revoked the Note Rulings on a prospective basis. In light of the revocation of the Note Rulings, the Fund intends to limit its investments in commodity index-linked structured notes.

The IRS also recently issued proposed regulations that, if finalized, would generally treat the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund’s income inclusion with respect to a subsidiary as qualifying income only if there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of a subsidiary that are attributable to such income inclusion (the “Subpart F Distribution Requirement”). The proposed regulations, if adopted would apply to taxable years beginning on or after 90 days after the regulations are published as final.

In reliance on an opinion of counsel (“Tax Opinion”), the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund may gain exposure to the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary. Depending on the terms of the proposed regulations when they are issued in final form, the Fund may be required to make changes to its operations to satisfy the requirements of such final regulations. However, as a condition to receiving the Tax Opinion, the Fund already seeks to satisfy the Subpart F Distribution Requirement.

The tax treatment of the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund’s investments in the Subsidiary could affect whether income derived from such investment is “qualifying income” under Subchapter M of the Code, or otherwise affect the character, timing and/or amount of the Fund’s taxable income or any gains and distributions made by the Fund. If the IRS were to successfully assert that the Fund’s income from such investments was not “qualifying income,” the Fund may fail to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code if over 10% of its gross income was derived from these investments. If the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund failed to qualify as a RIC, it would be subject to federal and state income tax on all of its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates with no deduction for any distributions paid to shareholders, which would significantly adversely affect the returns to, and could cause substantial losses for, Fund shareholders.

A foreign corporation, such as the Subsidiary, will generally not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless it is deemed to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business. It is expected that the Subsidiary will conduct its activities in a manner so as to meet the requirements of a safe harbor under Section 864(b)(2) of the Code under which the Subsidiary may engage in trading in stocks or securities or certain commodities without being deemed to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business. However, if certain of the Subsidiary’s activities were determined not to be of the type described in the safe harbor (which is not expected), then the activities of the Subsidiary may constitute a U.S. trade or business, or be taxed as such. In general, a foreign corporation, such as the Subsidiary, that does not conduct a U.S. trade or business is nonetheless subject to tax at a flat rate of 30 percent (or lower tax treaty rate), generally payable through withholding, on the gross amount of certain U.S.-source income that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. There is presently no tax treaty in force between the U.S. and the Cayman Islands that would reduce this rate of withholding tax. It is not expected that the Subsidiary will derive income subject to such withholding tax.

The Subsidiary will be treated as a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”) and the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund will be treated as a “U.S. shareholder” of its Subsidiary. As a result, the Fund will be required to include in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes all of the Subsidiary’s “subpart F income,” whether or not such income is distributed by a Subsidiary. It is expected that all of the Subsidiary’s income will be “subpart F income.” The Fund’s recognition of the Subsidiary’s “subpart F income” will increase the Fund’s tax basis in its respective Subsidiary. Distributions by the Subsidiary to the Fund will be tax-free, to the extent of their previously undistributed “subpart F income,” and will correspondingly reduce the Fund’s tax basis in the Subsidiary. “Subpart F income” is generally treated as ordinary income, regardless of the character of the Subsidiary’s underlying income. If a net loss is realized by the Subsidiary, such loss is not generally available to offset the income earned by a Fund, and such loss cannot be carried forward to offset taxable income of the Fund or the Subsidiary in future periods.

 

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If a Fund complies with the foregoing provisions, then in any taxable year in which the Fund distributes, in compliance with the Code’s timing and other requirements, an amount at least equal to the sum of 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (which includes dividends, taxable interest, taxable accrued original issue discount and market discount income, income from securities lending, any net short-term capital gain in excess of net long-term capital loss, certain net realized foreign exchange gains and any other taxable income other than “net capital gain,” as defined below, and is reduced by deductible expenses), plus 90% of the excess of its gross tax-exempt interest income (if any) over certain disallowed deductions, the Fund (but not its shareholders) will be relieved of federal income tax on any income of the Fund, including long-term capital gains, distributed to shareholders. If, instead, a Fund retains any investment company taxable income or net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), it will be subject to a tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. Because there are some uncertainties regarding the computation of the amounts deemed distributed to Fund shareholders for these purposes—including, in particular, uncertainties regarding the portion, if any, of amounts paid in redemption of Fund shares that should be treated as such distributions—there can be no assurance that the Funds will avoid corporate-level tax in each year.

Each Fund generally intends to distribute for each taxable year to its shareholders all or substantially all of its investment company taxable income, net capital gain and any tax-exempt interest. Exchange control or other foreign laws, regulations or practices may restrict repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales by foreign investors and may therefore make it more difficult for a Fund to satisfy the distribution requirements described above, as well as the excise tax distribution requirements described below. A Fund generally expects, however, to be able to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy those requirements, from new investors, the sale of securities or other sources. If for any taxable year a Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, it will be taxed on all of its taxable income and net capital gain at corporate rates, and its distributions to shareholders will generally be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of its current and accumulated earnings and profits.

If a Fund retains any net capital gain, the Fund may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who (1) if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long-term capital gains, will be required to include in income for federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of that undistributed amount, and (2) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by a Fund against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds to the extent the credit exceeds those liabilities. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of a Fund will be increased by the amount of any such undistributed net capital gain included in the shareholder’s gross income and decreased by the federal income tax paid by the Fund on that amount of net capital gain.

To avoid a 4% federal excise tax, a Fund must generally distribute (or be deemed to have distributed) by December 31 of each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of 98% of its taxable ordinary income (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) for the calendar year, 98.2% of the excess of its capital gains over its capital losses (generally computed on the basis of the one-year period ending on October 31 of such year), and all taxable ordinary income and the excess of capital gains over capital losses for all previous years that were not distributed for those years and on which a Fund paid no federal income tax. For federal income tax purposes, dividends declared by a Fund in October, November or December to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month and paid during January of the following year are taxable to such shareholders, and deductible by the Fund, as if paid on December 31 of the year declared. The Fund anticipates that it will generally make timely distributions of income and capital gains in compliance with these requirements so that it will generally not be required to pay the excise tax.

For federal income tax purposes, a Fund is generally permitted to carry forward a net capital loss in any taxable year to offset its own capital gains, if any. These amounts are available to be carried forward to offset future capital gains to the extent permitted by the Code and applicable tax regulations. As of October 31, 2017, the Funds did not have any capital loss carryforwards.

Gains and losses on the sale, lapse, or other termination of options and futures contracts, options thereon and certain forward contracts (except certain foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts) will generally be treated as capital gains and losses. Certain of the futures contracts, forward contracts and options held by a Fund will be required to be “marked-to-market” for federal tax purposes — that is, treated as having been sold at their fair market value on the last day of the Fund’s taxable year (or, for excise tax purposes, on the last day of the relevant period). These provisions may require a Fund to recognize income or gains without a concurrent receipt of cash. Any gain or loss recognized on actual or deemed sales

 

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of these futures contracts, forward contracts, or options will (except for certain foreign currency options, forward contracts, and futures contracts) be treated as 60% long-term capital gain or loss and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. As a result of certain hedging transactions entered into by a Fund, it may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts, forward contracts, and options or underlying securities or foreign currencies to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund, and the characterization of gains or losses as long-term or short-term may be changed. The tax provisions described in this paragraph may affect the amount, timing and character of a Fund’s distributions to shareholders. The application of certain requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company and the application of certain other tax rules may be unclear in some respects in connection with certain investment practices such as dollar rolls, or investments in certain derivatives, including interest rate swaps, floors, caps and collars, currency swaps, total return swaps, mortgage swaps, index swaps, forward contracts and structured notes. As a result, a Fund may therefore be required to limit its investments in such transactions and it is also possible that the IRS may not agree with the Fund’s tax treatment of such transactions. In addition, the tax treatment of derivatives, and certain other investments, may be affected by future legislation, Treasury Regulations and guidance issued by the IRS that could affect the timing, character and amount of a Fund’s income and gains and distributions to shareholders. Certain tax elections may be available to a Fund to mitigate some of the unfavorable consequences described in this paragraph.

Section 988 of the Code contains special tax rules applicable to certain foreign currency transactions and instruments, which may affect the amount, timing and character of income, gain or loss recognized by a Fund. Under these rules, foreign exchange gain or loss realized with respect to foreign currencies and certain futures and options thereon, foreign currency-denominated debt instruments, foreign currency forward contracts, and foreign currency-denominated payables and receivables will generally be treated as ordinary income or loss, although in some cases elections may be available that would alter this treatment. If a net foreign exchange loss treated as ordinary loss under Section 988 of the Code were to exceed a Fund’s investment company taxable income (computed without regard to that loss) for a taxable year, the resulting loss would not be deductible by the Fund or its shareholders in future years. Net loss, if any, from certain foreign currency transactions or instruments could exceed net investment income otherwise calculated for accounting purposes, with the result being either no dividends being paid or a portion of the Fund’s dividends being treated as a return of capital for tax purposes, nontaxable to the extent of a shareholder’s tax basis in his shares and, once such basis is exhausted, generally giving rise to capital gains.

A Fund’s investment, if any, in zero coupon securities, deferred interest securities, certain structured securities or other securities bearing original issue discount or, if the Fund elects to include market discount in income currently, market discount, as well as any “marked-to-market” gain from certain options, futures or forward contracts, as described above, will in many cases cause the Fund to realize income or gain before the receipt of cash payments with respect to these securities or contracts. For a Fund to obtain cash to enable the Fund to distribute any such income or gain, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and to avoid federal income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio investments sooner than it might otherwise have done.

Investments in lower-rated securities may present special tax issues for a Fund to the extent actual or anticipated defaults may be more likely with respect to those kinds of securities. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when an investor in such securities may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount, or market discount; when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless securities; how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income; and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a workout context are taxable. These and other issues will generally need to be addressed by a Fund, in the event it invests in such securities, so as to seek to eliminate or to minimize any adverse tax consequences.

If a Fund acquires stock (including, under proposed regulations, an option to acquire stock such as is inherent in a convertible bond) in certain foreign corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, rents, royalties or capital gain) or hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income (“passive foreign investment companies”), the Fund could be subject to federal income tax and additional interest charges on “excess distributions” received from such companies or gain from the sale of stock in such companies, even if all income or gain actually received by the Fund is timely distributed to its shareholders. A Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such a tax. In some cases, elections may be available that will ameliorate these adverse tax consequences, but those elections will require a Fund to include each year certain amounts as income or gain (subject to the distribution requirements described above) without a concurrent receipt of cash. A Fund may attempt to limit and/or to manage its holdings in passive foreign investment companies to minimize its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments.

If a Fund invests in certain REITs or in REMIC residual interests, a portion of the Fund’s income may be classified as “excess inclusion income.” A shareholder that is otherwise not subject to tax may be taxable on their share of any such excess inclusion income as “unrelated business taxable income.” In addition, tax may be imposed on the Fund on the portion of any excess inclusion income allocable to any shareholders that are classified as disqualified organizations.

 

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Taxable U.S. Shareholders – Distributions

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, distributions by a Fund, whether reinvested in additional shares or paid in cash, generally will be taxable to shareholders who are subject to tax. Shareholders receiving a distribution in the form of newly issued shares will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the amount of cash they would have received had they elected to receive cash and will have a cost basis in each share received equal to such amount divided by the number of shares received.

In general, distributions from investment company taxable income for the year will be taxable as ordinary income. However, distributions to noncorporate shareholders attributable to dividends received by the Funds from U.S. and certain foreign corporations will generally be taxed at the long-term capital gain rate (described below), as long as certain other requirements are met. For these lower rates to apply, the noncorporate shareholders must have owned their Fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before a Fund’s ex-dividend date and the Fund must also have owned the underlying stock for this same period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date for the stock. The amount of the Fund’s distributions that otherwise qualify for these lower rates may be reduced as a result of the Fund’s securities lending activities, hedging activities or a high portfolio turnover rate.

Distributions reported to shareholders as derived from a Fund’s dividend income, if any, that would be eligible for the dividends received deduction if the Fund were not a regulated investment company may be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders. The dividends received deduction, if available, is reduced to the extent the shares with respect to which the dividends are received are treated as debt-financed under federal income tax law and is eliminated if the shares are deemed to have been held for less than a minimum period, generally 46 days. The dividends received deduction also may be reduced as a result of a Fund’s hedging activities, securities lending activities or a high portfolio turnover rate. The dividend may, if it is treated as an “extraordinary dividend” under the Code, reduce a shareholder’s tax basis in its shares of the Fund. Capital gain dividends (i.e., dividends from net capital gain), if reported as such to shareholders, will be taxed to shareholders as long-term capital gain regardless of how long shares have been held by shareholders, but are not eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. 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. Distributions, if any, that are in excess of a Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will first reduce a shareholder’s tax basis in his shares and, after such basis is reduced to zero, will generally constitute capital gains to a shareholder who holds his shares as capital assets.

Different tax treatment, including penalties on certain excess contributions and deferrals, certain pre-retirement and post-retirement distributions and certain prohibited transactions, is accorded to accounts maintained as qualified retirement plans. Shareholders should consult their tax advisers for more information.

Individuals (and certain other non-corporate entities) are generally eligible for a 20% deduction with respect to taxable ordinary dividends from REITs and certain taxable income from publicly traded partnerships. Currently, there is not a regulatory mechanism for RICs to pass-through the special character of this income to shareholders.

Taxable U.S. Shareholders – Sale of Shares

When a shareholder’s shares are sold, redeemed or otherwise disposed of in a transaction that is treated as a sale for tax purposes, the shareholder will generally recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares and the cash, or fair market value of any property, received. (To aid in computing that tax basis, a shareholder should generally retain its account statements for the period that it holds shares.) If the shareholder holds the shares as a capital asset at the time of sale, the character of the gain or loss should be capital, and treated as long-term if the shareholder’s holding period is more than one year and short-term otherwise, subject to the rules below. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisers with reference to their particular circumstances to determine whether a redemption (including an exchange) or other disposition of Fund shares is properly treated as a sale for tax purposes, as is assumed in this discussion.

Certain special tax rules may apply to a shareholder’s capital gains or losses on Fund shares. If a shareholder receives a capital gain dividend with respect to shares and such shares have a tax holding period of six months or less at the time of a sale or redemption of such shares, then any loss the shareholder realizes on the sale or redemption will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of such capital gain dividend. Additionally, any loss realized upon the sale or exchange of Fund

 

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shares with a tax holding period of six months or less may be disallowed to the extent of any distributions treated as exempt-interest dividends with respect to such shares. All or a portion of any sales load paid upon the purchase of shares of the Fund will generally not be taken into account in determining gain or loss on the redemption or exchange of such shares within 90 days after their purchase to the extent the redemption proceeds are reinvested, or the exchange is effected, on or before January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the original stock is disposed of without payment of an additional sales load pursuant to the reinvestment or exchange privilege. The load not taken into account will be added to the tax basis of the newly acquired shares. Additionally, any loss realized on a sale or redemption of shares of a Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent the shares disposed of are replaced with other shares of the same Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the shares are disposed of, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in shares of such Fund. If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the shares acquired.

Backup Withholding

Each Fund may be required to withhold, as “backup withholding,” federal income tax, currently at a 24% rate, from dividends (including capital gain dividends) and share redemption and exchange proceeds to individuals and other non exempt shareholders who fail to furnish the Fund with a correct taxpayer identification number (“TIN”) certified under penalties of perjury, or if the IRS or a broker notifies the Fund that the payee is subject to backup withholding as a result of failing properly to report interest or dividend income to the IRS or that the TIN furnished by the payee to the Fund is incorrect, or if (when required to do so) the payee fails to certify under penalties of perjury that it is not subject to backup withholding. A Fund may refuse to accept an application that does not contain any required TIN or certification that the TIN provided is correct. If the backup withholding provisions are applicable, any such dividends and proceeds, whether paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares, will be reduced by the amounts required to be withheld. Any amounts withheld may be credited against a shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability. If a shareholder does not have a TIN, it should apply for one immediately by contacting the local office of the Social Security Administration or the IRS. Backup withholding could apply to payments relating to a shareholder’s account while the shareholder is awaiting receipt of a TIN. Special rules apply for certain entities. For example, for an account established under a Uniform Gifts or Transfer to Minors Act, the TIN of the minor should be furnished.

Medicare Tax

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

Foreign Taxes

Each Fund anticipates that it may be subject to foreign taxes on income (possibly including, in some cases, capital gains) from foreign securities. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate those foreign taxes in some cases. If more than 50% of a Fund’s total assets at the close of a taxable year consists of stock or securities of foreign corporations, the Fund may file an election with the IRS pursuant to which the shareholders of the Fund will be required (1) to report as dividend income (in addition to taxable dividends actually received) their pro rata shares of foreign income taxes paid by the Fund that are treated as income taxes under U.S. tax regulations (which excludes, for example, stamp taxes, securities transaction taxes, and similar taxes) even though not actually received by those shareholders, and (2) to treat those respective pro rata shares as foreign income taxes paid by them, which they can claim either as a foreign tax credit, subject to applicable limitations, against their U.S. federal income tax liability or as an itemized deduction. (Shareholders who do not itemize deductions for federal income tax purposes will not, however, be able to deduct their pro rata portion of foreign taxes paid by a Fund, although those shareholders will be required to include their share of such taxes in gross income if the foregoing election is made by the Fund.)

If a shareholder chooses to take credit for the foreign taxes deemed paid by such shareholder as a result of any such election by a Fund, the amount of the credit that may be claimed in any year may not exceed the same proportion of the U.S. tax against which such credit is taken which the shareholder’s taxable income from foreign sources (but not in excess of the shareholder’s entire taxable income) bears to his entire taxable income. For this purpose, distributions from long-term and short-term capital gains or foreign currency gains by a Fund will generally not be treated as income from foreign sources. This foreign tax credit limitation may also be applied separately to certain specific categories of foreign-source income and the related foreign taxes. As a result of these rules, which have different effects depending upon each shareholder’s particular tax situation, certain shareholders of a Fund may not be able to claim a credit for the full amount of their proportionate share of the foreign taxes paid by the Fund even if the election is made by the Fund.

 

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Shareholders who are not liable for U.S. federal income taxes, including retirement plans, other tax-exempt shareholders and non-U.S. shareholders, will ordinarily not benefit from the foregoing Fund election with respect to foreign taxes. Each year, if any, that a Fund files the election described above, shareholders will be notified of the amount of (1) each shareholder’s pro rata share of qualified foreign taxes paid by the Fund and (2) the portion of Fund dividends that represents income from foreign sources. If a Fund cannot or does not make this election, it may deduct its foreign taxes in computing the amount it is required to distribute.

Non-U.S. Shareholders

The discussion above relates solely to U.S. federal income tax law as it applies to “U.S. persons” subject to tax under such law.

Except as discussed below, distributions to shareholders who, as to the United States, are not “U.S. persons,” (i.e., are nonresident aliens, foreign corporations, fiduciaries of foreign trusts or estates or other non-U.S. investors) generally will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30% on distributions treated as ordinary income unless the tax is reduced or eliminated pursuant to a tax treaty or the distributions are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the shareholder; but distributions of net capital gain (the excess of any net long-term capital gains over any net short-term capital losses) including amounts retained by a Fund which are designated as undistributed capital gains, to such a non-U.S. shareholder will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless the distributions are effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the United States or, in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met. Non-U.S. shareholders may also be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax on deemed income resulting from any election by the Fund to treat qualified foreign taxes it pays as passed through to shareholders (as described above), but may not be able to claim a U.S. tax credit or deduction with respect to such taxes.

Under a provision recently made permanent by Congress, non-U.S. shareholders generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by a Fund. It is expected that each Fund will generally make designations of short-term gains, to the extent permitted, but the Funds do 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.

Any capital gain realized by a non-U.S. shareholder upon a sale or redemption of shares of the Funds will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless the gain is effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the U.S., or in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met.

Non-U.S. persons who fail to furnish the applicable Fund with the proper IRS Form W-8 (i.e., W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8IMY or W-8EXP), or an acceptable substitute, may be subject to backup withholding at a 24% rate on dividends (including capital gain dividends) and on the proceeds of redemptions and exchanges. Also, non-U.S. shareholders of a Fund may be subject to U.S. estate tax with respect to their Fund shares.

Under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”), a non-U.S. shareholder is subject to withholding tax in respect of a disposition of a U.S. real property interest and any gain from such disposition is subject to U.S. federal income tax as if such person were a U.S. person. Such gain is sometimes referred to as “FIRPTA gain.” If a Fund is a “U.S. real property holding corporation” and is not domestically controlled, any gain realized on the sale or exchange of Fund shares by a foreign shareholder that owns at any time during the five-year period ending on the date of disposition more than 5% of a class of Fund shares would be FIRPTA gain. The Fund will be a “U.S. real property holding corporation” if, in general, 50% or more of the fair market value of its assets consists of U.S. real property interests, including stock of certain U.S. REITs.

The Code provides a look-through rule for distributions of FIRPTA gain by a Fund if all of the following requirements are met: (i) the Fund is classified as a “qualified investment entity” (which includes a regulated investment company if, in general, more than 50% of the regulated investment company’s assets consist of interest in REITs and U.S. real property holding corporations); and (ii) you are a non-U.S. shareholder that owns more than 5% of the Fund’s shares at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of the distribution. If these conditions are met, Fund distributions to you to the extent derived

 

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from gain from the disposition of a U.S. real property interest, may also be treated as FIRPTA gain and therefore subject to U.S. federal income tax, and requiring that you file a nonresident U.S. income tax return. Also, such gain may be subject to a 30% branch profits tax in the hands of a non-U.S. shareholder that is a corporation. Even if a non-U.S. shareholder does not own more than 5% of the Fund’s shares, Fund distributions that are attributable to gain from the sale or disposition of a U.S. real property interest will be taxable as ordinary dividends subject to withholding at a 30% or lower treaty rate.

The Funds are required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of 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 Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to a Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.

Each shareholder who is not a U.S. person should consult his or her tax adviser regarding the U.S. and non-U.S. tax consequences of ownership of shares of, and receipt of distributions from, a Fund.

State and Local Taxes

Each Fund may be subject to state or local taxes in jurisdictions in which the Fund is deemed to be doing business. In addition, in those states or localities that impose income taxes, the treatment of a Fund and its shareholders under those jurisdictions’ tax laws may differ from the treatment under federal income tax laws, and investment in the Fund may have tax consequences for shareholders that are different from those of a direct investment in the Fund’s portfolio securities. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisers concerning state and local tax matters.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The audited financial statements and related reports of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, contained in the Funds’ October 31, 2017 Annual Report are hereby incorporated by reference. The financial statements of the Fund’s Annual Report have been incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given upon the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing. No other parts of any Annual Report are incorporated by reference herein. A copy of the Funds’ 2017 Annual Report may be obtained upon request and without charge by writing Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606 or by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, at the telephone number on the back cover of the Funds’ Prospectus.

PROXY VOTING

The Board believes that the voting of proxies on securities held by the Funds is an important element of the overall investment process. For a summary of the Investment Adviser’s Proxy Voting guidelines, please see Appendix B.

The Board has delegated the responsibility to vote proxies to each Underlying Manager for the Funds’ portfolio securities allocated to such Underlying Manager in accordance with their respective proxy voting policies and procedures. For the proxy voting policy of each Underlying Manager, please see Appendix C.

Each Underlying Manager has implemented written Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (each a “Proxy Voting Policy” and together the “Proxy Voting Policies”) that are designed to reasonably ensure that it votes proxies prudently and in the best interest of its advisory clients for whom it has voting authority, including the Funds. The Proxy Voting Policy of each Underlying Manager also describes how the Underlying Manager addresses any conflicts that may arise between its interests and those of its clients with respect to proxy voting. RIIS does not typically invest in voting securities on behalf of the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund. Therefore, it is not expected that such Underlying Manager would be in a position to vote proxies, nor will such Underlying Manager vote proxies in the event it invests in voting securities on behalf of the Fund.

Subject to the oversight of the Investment Adviser, each Underlying Manager (or a designated proxy committee at the Underlying Manager) is responsible for developing, authorizing, implementing and updating the Proxy Voting Policy, overseeing the proxy voting process and engaging and overseeing any independent third-party vendors as voting delegate to review, monitor and/or vote proxies.

Information regarding how the Funds voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available to investors by calling Goldman Sachs at 1-800-621-2550 without charge and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

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OTHER INFORMATION

Selective Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

The Board of Trustees of the Trust, the Investment Adviser and the Underlying Managers have adopted a policy on selective disclosure of portfolio holdings in accordance with regulations that seek to ensure that disclosure of information about portfolio securities is in the best interest of Fund shareholders and to address the conflicts between the interests of Fund shareholders and its service providers. The policy provides that neither the Fund nor its Investment Adviser, Underlying Managers, Distributor or any agent, or any employee thereof (“Fund Representative”) will disclose the Funds’ portfolio holdings information to any person other than in accordance with the policy. For purposes of the policy, “portfolio holdings information” means the Funds’ actual portfolio holdings, as well as nonpublic information about its trading strategies or pending transactions. Under the policy, neither the Funds nor any Fund Representative may solicit or accept any compensation or other consideration in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information. The Fund Representative may provide portfolio holdings information to third parties if such information has been included in the Funds’ public filings with the SEC or is disclosed on the Funds’ publicly accessible website. Information posted on the Funds’ website may be separately provided to any person commencing the day after it is first published on the Funds’ website. For this purpose, a Fund’s website includes a website that is accessible to all investors in a Fund, even if such website is not available to the general public.

Portfolio holdings information that is not filed with the SEC or posted on the Funds’ website may be provided to third parties only if the third party recipients are required to keep all portfolio holdings information confidential and are prohibited from trading on the information they receive. Disclosure to such third parties must be approved in advance by the Investment Adviser’s legal or compliance department. Disclosure to providers of auditing, custody and proxy voting services; rating and ranking organizations; lenders and other third-party service providers that may obtain access to such information in the performance of their contractual duties to a Fund will generally be permitted. However, information may be disclosed to other third parties (including, without limitation, individuals, institutional investors, and intermediaries that sell shares of the Funds) only upon approval by the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer, who must first determine that the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for doing so. In general, each recipient of non-public portfolio holdings information must sign a confidentiality and non-trading agreement, although this requirement will not apply when the recipient is otherwise subject to a duty of confidentiality. In accordance with the policy, the identity of those recipients who receive non-public portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis is as follows: the Investment Adviser, the Underlying Managers and their respective affiliates, the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm, the Funds’ custodian and administrator, the Funds’ legal counsel—Dechert LLP, the Fund’s financial printer—Donnelley Financial Solutions Inc., and any third party administrators or other service providers used by a Fund’s Underlying Managers. With respect to the Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund, the third party administrators or other service providers used by the Fund’s Underlying Managers who may receive portfolio holdings information include, as of the date of this SAI: Abel Noser Corp., ACA Compliance Group, Advent Custodial Data, Advent Trusted Network, Ascendant Compliance Manager, Ashland Partners & Company LLC, Blackrock Solutions, Bloomberg LP, BNY Mellon, Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc., Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Brown Brothers Harriman Infomediary, Charles River Systems, Inc., Cloud Margin, Dixon Hughes, Eagle Investment Systems Corp., Electra Information Systems, FactSet Research Systems Inc., Fidelity ActionsXchange, Inc., Financial Information Network, FX Connect, FXTransparency, Glass, Lewis & Co., Global Link, INDATA Portfolio Management System, HIS Markit, Interactive Data Corporation, Institutional Shareholder Services, Investment Technology Group, LexisNexis, Markit WSO Corporation, Maynard Cooper and Gayle, Misys International Banking Systems, Inc., Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services, MSCI, Inc., Omgeo LLC, ProxyEdge, SS&C Advent, State Street Bank and Trust Company, Syntel Inc. and Varden Technologies, Inc. With respect to the Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund, the third party administrators or other service providers used by the Fund’s Underlying Managers who may receive portfolio holdings information include, as of the date of this SAI: Brown Brothers Harriman Infomediary, Fidelity Information Service, Financial Tracking Technologies LLC, Hazeltree Fund Services, Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., Intralinks, Markit WSO Corporation, Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services, SS&C GlobeOp, State Street Bank and Trust Company and SyndTrak. With respect to the Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund, the third party administrators or other service providers used by the Fund’s Underlying Managers who may receive portfolio holdings information include, as of the date of this SAI: Blackrock Solutions, Bloomberg, LLC, FactSet Research Systems, Inc., Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., Glass Lewis & Co., QMA and SS&C Technologies Canada Corp. In addition, the Funds may provide non-public portfolio holdings information to Standard & Poor’s Rating Services to allow the Funds to be rated by it and the Funds may provide non-public portfolio holdings information to FactSet, a provider of global financial and economic information. Third party providers of custodial or accounting services to the Funds may release non-public portfolio holdings information of the Fund only with the permission of Fund Representatives. From time to time portfolio holdings information may be provided to broker-dealers, prime brokers, futures commission merchants or derivatives clearing merchants, in connection with the Funds’ portfolio trading activities. In providing this information reasonable precautions,

 

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including limitations on the scope of the portfolio holdings information disclosed, are taken to avoid any potential misuse of the disclosed information. All marketing materials prepared by the Trust’s principal underwriter are reviewed by Goldman Sachs’ Compliance department for consistency with the Trust’s portfolio holdings disclosure policy.

Each Fund will file its complete schedule of portfolio holdings with the SEC for the first and third quarters of each fiscal year on Form N-Q. Each Fund’s Form N-Q will be filed with the SEC within 60 days after the period to which it relates. Each Fund’s complete schedule of portfolio holdings for the second and fourth quarters of each fiscal year is included in its semiannual and annual reports to shareholders, respectively, and is filed with the SEC on Form N-CSR. A semiannual or annual report for the Funds will become available to investors within 60 days after the period to which it relates. The Funds’ Forms N-Q and Forms N-CSR are available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and may also be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information on the operation of the SEC’s Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling (202) 551-8090. A Fund may publish on its website portfolio holdings information more frequently if it has a legitimate business purpose for doing so.

Under the policy, Fund Representatives will initially supply the Board of the Trustees with a list of third parties who receive portfolio holdings information pursuant to any ongoing arrangement. In addition, the Board is to receive information, on a quarterly basis, regarding any other disclosures of non-public portfolio holdings information that were permitted during the preceding quarter. In addition, the Board of Trustees is to approve at its meetings a list of Fund Representatives who are authorized to disclose portfolio holdings information under the policy. As of February 28, 2018, only certain officers of the Trust as well as certain senior members of the compliance and legal groups of the Investment Adviser have been approved by the Board of Trustees to authorize disclosure of portfolio holdings information.

Disclosure of Current NAV Per Share

Each Fund’s current NAV per share is available through the Funds’ website at http://www.gsamfunds.com or by contacting the Fund at 1-800-621-2550.

Miscellaneous

The Funds reserve the right to pay redemptions by making in-kind distributions of the Funds’ investments (instead of cash). The securities distributed in-kind would be valued for this purpose using the same method employed in calculating the Funds’ NAV per share. See “NET ASSET VALUE.” If a shareholder receives redemption proceeds in-kind, the shareholder should expect to incur transaction costs upon the disposition of the securities received in the redemption. In addition, if you receive redemption proceeds in-kind, you will be subject to market gains or losses upon the disposition of those securities.

The right of a shareholder to redeem shares and the date of payment by a Fund may be suspended for more than seven days for any period during which the New York Stock Exchange is closed, other than the customary weekends or holidays, or when trading on such Exchange is restricted as determined by the SEC; or during any emergency, as determined by the SEC, as a result of which it is not reasonably practicable for the Fund to dispose of securities owned by it or fairly to determine the value of its net assets; or for such other period as the SEC may by order permit for the protection of shareholders of the Fund. (The Trust may also suspend or postpone the recordation of the transfer of shares upon the occurrence of any of the foregoing conditions.)

As stated in the Prospectus, the Trust may authorize Intermediaries and other institutions that provide recordkeeping, reporting and processing services to their customers to accept on the Trust’s behalf purchase, redemption and exchange orders placed by or on behalf of their customers and, if approved by the Trust, to designate other intermediaries to accept such orders. These institutions may receive payments from the Trust or Goldman Sachs for their services. Certain Intermediaries or other institutions may enter into sub-transfer agency agreements with the Trust or Goldman Sachs with respect to their services.

In the interest of economy and convenience, the Trust does not issue certificates representing the Funds’ shares. Instead, the Transfer Agent maintains a record of each shareholder’s ownership. Each shareholder receives confirmation of purchase and redemption orders from the Transfer Agent. Fund shares and any distributions paid by the Fund are reflected in account statements from the Transfer Agent.

The Prospectus and this SAI do not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC under the 1933 Act with respect to the securities offered by the Prospectus. Certain portions of the Registration Statement have been omitted from the Prospectus and this SAI pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC. The Registration Statement including the exhibits filed therewith may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C.

 

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Statements contained in the Prospectus or in this SAI as to the contents of any contract or other document referred to are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such contract or other document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement of which the Prospectus and this SAI form a part, each such statement being qualified in all respects by such reference.

Large Trade Notifications

The Transfer Agent may from time to time receive notice that an Intermediary has received a purchase, redemption or exchange order for a large trade in the Fund’s shares. The Fund may determine to enter into portfolio transactions in anticipation of that order, even though the order may not have been processed at the time the Fund entered into such portfolio transactions. This practice provides for a closer correlation between the time shareholders place large trade orders and the time the Fund enters into portfolio transactions based on those orders, and may permit the Fund to be more fully invested in investment securities, in the case of purchase orders, and to more orderly liquidate its investment positions, in the case of redemption orders. The Intermediary may not, however, ultimately process the order. In this case, (i) if the Fund enters into portfolio transactions in anticipation of an order for a large redemption of Fund shares or (ii) if the Fund enters into portfolio transactions in anticipation of an order for a large purchase of Fund shares and such portfolio transactions occur on the date on which the Intermediary indicated that such order would occur, the Fund will bear any borrowing, trading overdraft or other transaction costs or investment losses resulting from such portfolio transactions. Conversely, the Fund would benefit from any earnings and investment gains resulting from such portfolio transactions.

Line of Credit

The Funds participate in a $1,100,000,000 committed, unsecured revolving line of credit facility together with funds of the Trust, Goldman Sachs Trust and registered investment companies having management agreements with GSAM or its affiliates. This facility is to be used for temporary emergency purposes, or to allow for an orderly liquidation of securities to meet redemption requests. The interest rate on borrowings is based on the federal funds rate. The facility also requires a fee to be paid by the Funds based on the amount of the commitment that has not been utilized. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the Funds did not have any borrowings under the facility.

Corporate Actions

From time to time, the issuer of a security held in the Funds’ portfolio may initiate a corporate action relating to that security. Corporate actions relating to equity securities may include, among others, an offer to purchase new shares, or to tender existing shares, of that security at a certain price. Corporate actions relating to debt securities may include, among others, an offer for early redemption of the debt security, or an offer to convert the debt security into stock. Certain corporate actions are voluntary, meaning that the Funds may only participate in the corporate action if it elects to do so in a timely fashion. Participation in certain corporate actions may enhance the value of the Funds’ investment portfolio.

In cases where the Funds or an Underlying Manager receives sufficient advance notice of a voluntary corporate action, an Underlying Manager will exercise its discretion, in good faith, to determine whether the Funds will participate in that corporate action. If the Funds or an Underlying Manager does not receive sufficient advance notice of a voluntary corporate action, the Fund may not be able to timely elect to participate in that corporate action. Participation or lack of participation in a voluntary corporate action may result in a negative impact on the value of the Funds’ investment portfolio.

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

As of February 2, 2018, the following shareholders were shown in the Trust’s records as owning 5% or more of a Fund’s shares. Except as listed below, the Trust does not know of any other person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of a Fund’s Shares:

Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund

 

Class

  

Name/Address

   Percentage
of Class
 

Class R6

   US Bank NA AS Trustee, c/o Purdue Pharma LLP, 1 Stamford Forum, Stamford CT 06901-3516      5.54
   M&T Directed Trustee Retirement, Plan of Crouse Hospital, 736 Irving Avenue, Syracuse NY 13210-1687      5.04
   Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg IL 60196-4041      65.93 %* 
   Christian School Pension Trust Fund, 3350 East Paris Avenue SE, Grand Rapids MI 49512-3054      20.87

 

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Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund

 

Class

  

Name/Address

   Percentage
of Class
 

Class R6

   US Bank NA AS Trustee, c/o Purdue Pharma LLP, 1 Stamford Forum, Stamford CT 06901-3516      6.72
   M&T Directed Trustee Retirement, Plan of Crouse Hospital, 736 Irving Avenue, Syracuse NY 13210-1687      5.44
   Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg IL 60196-4041      53.71 %* 
   Christian School Pension Trust Fund, 3350 East Paris Avenue SE, Grand Rapids MI 49512-3054      24.48

Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund

 

Class

  

Name/Address

   Percentage
of Class
 

Class R6

   US Bank NA AS Trustee, c/o Purdue Pharma LLP, 1 Stamford Forum, Stamford CT 06901-3516      6.55
   Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg IL 60196-4041      59.45 %* 
   Baxalta Incorporated and Subsidiaries Pension Plan Trust, 1200 Lakeside Road, Bannockburn IL 60015-1243      8.77
   Christian School Pension Trust Fund, 3350 East Paris Avenue SE, Grand Rapids MI 49512-3054      18.56

 

* Entity owned more than 25% of the outstanding shares of a Fund. A shareholder owning of record or beneficially more than 25% of a Fund’s outstanding shares may be considered a control person and could have a more significant effect on matters presented at a shareholders’ meeting than votes of other shareholders.

As of February 2, 2018, Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust owned 65.93%, 53.71% and 59.45% of the outstanding shares of the Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Global Equity Fund, Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Non-Core Fixed Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Real Assets Strategy Fund, respectively. For so long as these investments represent a greater than 25% interest in each respective Fund, Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust will be considered a “control person” of the applicable Fund for purposes of the 1940 Act. For so long as Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust is a control person of a Fund, in the event of a proxy affecting the Fund, Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust will either mirror vote its shares or seek the advice of an independent proxy voting agent. Redemptions by Motorola Solutions Retirement Trust of its holdings in a Fund may impact the Fund’s liquidity and NAV, and may also force the Fund to sell securities, which may negatively impact the Fund’s brokerage and tax costs.

 

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APPENDIX A

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

Short-Term Credit Ratings

An S&P Global Ratings short-term issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation having an original maturity of no more than 365 days. The following summarizes the rating categories used by S&P Global Ratings for short-term issues:

“A-1” – A short-term obligation rated “A-1” is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on these obligations is extremely strong.

“A-2” – A short-term obligation rated “A-2” is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is satisfactory.

“A-3” – A short-term obligation rated “A-3” exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

“B” – A short-term obligation rated “B” is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.

“C” – A short-term obligation rated “C” is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

“D” – A short-term obligation rated “D” is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the “D” rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The “D” rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to “D” if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

Local Currency and Foreign Currency Ratings – S&P Global Ratings’ issuer credit ratings make a distinction between foreign currency ratings and local currency ratings. An issuer’s foreign currency rating will differ from its local currency rating when the obligor has a different capacity to meet its obligations denominated in its local currency, vs. obligations denominated in a foreign currency.

Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) short-term ratings are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.

Moody’s employs the following designations to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:

“P-1” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

“P-2” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

“P-3” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

“NP” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

Fitch, Inc. / Fitch Ratings Ltd. (“Fitch”) short-term issuer or obligation ratings are based in all cases on the short-term vulnerability to default of the rated entity and relates to the capacity to meet financial obligations in accordance with the documentation governing the relevant obligation. Short-term deposit ratings may be adjusted for loss severity. Short-Term Ratings are assigned to obligations whose initial maturity is viewed as “short term” based on market convention. Typically, this means up to 13 months for corporate, sovereign, and structured obligations and up to 36 months for obligations in U.S. public finance markets.

The following summarizes the rating categories used by Fitch for short-term obligations:

“F1” – Securities possess the highest short-term credit quality. This designation indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.

 

1-A


“F2” – Securities possess good short-term credit quality. This designation indicates good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

“F3” – Securities possess fair short-term credit quality. This designation indicates that the intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.

“B” – Securities possess speculative short-term credit quality. This designation indicates minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability