485APOS 1 fp0063501_485apos.htm

AS FILED WITH THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON MARCH 12, 2021

 

File No. 333-192858

File No. 811-22920

 

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE

SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

  POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT NO. 283 /X/

AND

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE

INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

  AMENDMENT NO. 287 /X/

 

THE ADVISORS’ INNER CIRCLE FUND III

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

One Freedom Valley Drive

Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456

(Address of Principal Executive Offices, Zip Code)

 

(800) 932-7781

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code)

 

Michael Beattie

c/o SEI Investments

One Freedom Valley Drive

Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copy to:

 

Sean Graber, Esquire
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1701 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

 

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

  / / Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)  
  / / On [date] pursuant to paragraph (b)  
  / / 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)  
  /X/ 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)  
  / / On [date] pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485  

 

 

 

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

 

Subject to Completion

Dated March 12, 2021

 

The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III

 

Prospectus

 

[       ], 2021

 

Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF

 

Principal Listing Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”)

 

Ticker Symbol: GOT

 

Investment Adviser:

KKM Financial LLC

 

Investment Sub-Adviser:

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or
passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus.
Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

  

 

About This Prospectus

 

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

 

  Page
Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF XX
Investment Objective XX
Fund Fees and Expenses XX
Principal Investment Strategies XX
Principal Risks XX
Performance Information XX
Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser XX
Portfolio Managers XX
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares XX
Tax Information XX
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries XX
More Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies XX
More Information About Risk XX
Information About Portfolio Holdings XX
Investment Adviser XX
Sub-Adviser XX
Portfolio Managers XX
Valkyrie XX 
Purchasing and Selling Fund Shares XX
Payments to Financial Intermediaries XX
Other Policies XX
Dividends, Distributions and Taxes XX
Additional Information XX
Financial Highlights XX
How to Obtain More Information About the Fund Back Cover

 

  

 

Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF

 

Investment Objective

 

The Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investors with total return.

 

Fund Fees and Expenses

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and Example below.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Management Fee 0.[  ]%
Other Expenses1 0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 0.[  ]%

 

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

 

Example

 

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

 

The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels. This example does not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay to buy and sell Shares. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year 3 Years
$[  ] $[  ]

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in total annual Fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, it does not have portfolio turnover information to report.

 

3 

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund is an actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that will invest principally in the securities of operating companies that have innovative balance sheets, which the Fund’s investment adviser, KKM Financial LLC (the “Adviser”), considers to be operating companies that directly or indirectly invest in, transact in, or otherwise have exposure to bitcoin or operate in the bitcoin ecosystem. In addition to the Bitcoin Network (as defined below), the broader bitcoin ecosystem includes, but is not limited to, bitcoin trading platforms, bitcoin miners, bitcoin custodians, digital wallet providers, companies that facilitate payments in bitcoin, and companies that provide other technology, equipment or services to companies operating in the bitcoin ecosystem. The Fund may invest in companies that invest in or have any portion of their assets accounted for by direct bitcoin holdings. The Fund may invest in companies of any market capitalization. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund expects to invest a significant portion (i.e. more than 25%) of its assets in securities of companies in the information technology sector.

 

Bitcoin is a digital asset sharing the characteristics of an intangible or digital commodity money that is not issued by any government, bank or organization. Instead, bitcoins are created on, and transmitted through, the decentralized, open source protocols of the peer-to-peer bitcoin computer network (the “Bitcoin Network”). Peer-to-peer networks consist of computers that relay information among each other with no computer functioning as leader or centralized repository of information. Therefore, the infrastructure of the Bitcoin Network is collectively maintained by a decentralized user base and is not owned or operated by a single entity.

 

Bitcoins are regarded as a currency or digital commodity depending on their specific use case. Bitcoin may be used as a medium of exchange or unit of account. Although a number of large and small retailers accept bitcoin as a form of payment in the United States and foreign markets, there is relatively limited use of bitcoin for commercial and retail payments. Similarly, bitcoin may be used as a store of value, although it has experienced significant periods of price volatility.

 

The Adviser constructs the Fund’s portfolio by utilizing its proprietary model and research to determine the securities of innovative balance sheet issuers that it believes may demonstrate the best total return potential. The Fund will not invest in bitcoin directly, nor will the Fund invest in bitcoin indirectly through the use of derivatives.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities issued by companies that the Adviser believes, based on its research, will meet the above criteria for having an innovative balance sheet within the next one to three years. Although the fund will invest primarily in U.S. common stocks, the fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in convertible notes and preferred securities and may also invest up to 20% of its net assets in foreign securities, including through American depositary receipts (“ADRs”).

 

The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), which means that it may invest a larger percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund.

 

Principal Risks

 

You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved.

 

4 

 

Bitcoin Exposure, Blockchain and Bitcoin Ecosystem Risk. The companies in which the Fund invests have exposure to bitcoin or operate in the bitcoin ecosystem and therefore are subject to the following risks:

 

·The technology supporting the bitcoin ecosystem is new. The risks associated with owning bitcoin or operating in the bitcoin ecosystem therefore may not be fully known until the ecosystem matures.

 

·A company may not be able to develop or capitalize on bitcoin or blockchain technology applications.

 

·Blockchain technology is used by companies to optimize their business practices and generally does not generate revenue for a company. There are few companies that generate a significant portion of revenue from bitcoin. Accordingly, the Fund may invest in companies whose financial performance is driven primarily by business lines unrelated to bitcoin or the bitcoin ecosystem.

 

·Use of bitcoin and blockchain technology requires public private key cryptography. The theft, loss or destruction of a cryptographic key could adversely affect a company’s business or operations.

 

·Consumers or investors may discontinue using or investing in bitcoin and instead may use or invest in competing assets, platforms and technologies.

 

·A company may be subject to conflicting intellectual property claims or licenses that limits the use of bitcoin or blockchain technology.

 

·The company may be particularly targeted in or vulnerable to cyberattacks.

 

·Bitcoin markets currently are not highly regulated and future regulatory developments may negatively impact the viability of bitcoin and thus may negatively impact the companies in which the Fund invests. Bitcoin markets also are less liquid, volatile and subject to manipulation.

 

·Because blockchain technology systems may operate across many national boundaries and regulatory jurisdictions, it is possible that blockchain technology may be subject to widespread and inconsistent regulation.

 

·Blockchain systems built using third party products may be subject to technical defects or vulnerabilities beyond a company’s control.

 

·Bitcoin markets are not regulated in a manner similar to U.S. equities markets, have variable liquidity and may be subject to manipulation.

 

Convertible Notes Risk. Convertible notes may be converted at either a stated price or stated rate into underlying shares of common stock. Convertible notes generally are subordinated to other similar but non-convertible securities of the same issuer. Although to a lesser extent than with fixed-income securities, the market value of convertible notes tends to decline as interest rates increase. In addition, because of the conversion feature, the market value of convertible notes tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying common stock.

 

Currency Risk. Because the Fund’s NAV is determined in U.S. dollars, the Fund’s NAV could decline if the currency of a non-U.S. market in which the Fund invests depreciates against the U.S. dollar or if there are delays or limits on repatriation of such currency. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the Fund’s NAV may change quickly and without warning.

 

5 

 

Cyber Security Risk. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding, but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, or issuers in which the Fund invests, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems. Additionally, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.

 

Depositary Receipts Risk. Depositary receipts, such as ADRs, are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer that are issued by depositary banks and generally trade on an established market. Depositary receipts are subject to many of the risks associated with investing directly in foreign securities, including, among other things, political, social and economic developments abroad, currency movements and different legal, regulatory and tax environments.

 

Equity Securities Risk. Because the Fund may invest in equity securities, the Fund is subject to the risk that stock prices will fall over short or extended periods of time. Historically, the equity markets have moved in cycles, and the value of the Fund’s securities may fluctuate drastically from day to day. Individual companies may report poor results or be negatively affected by industry and/or economic trends and developments. The prices of securities issued by such companies may suffer a decline in response. The market as a whole may not favor the types of investments the Fund makes. Many factors can adversely affect a security’s performance, including both general financial market conditions and factors related to a specific company, industry or geographic region. In addition, the impact of any epidemic, pandemic or natural disaster, or widespread fear that such events may occur, could negatively affect the global economy, as well as the economies of individual countries, the financial performance of individual companies and sectors, and the markets in general in significant and unforeseen ways. Any such impact could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the securities and other instruments in which the Fund invests, which in turn could negatively impact the Fund’s performance and cause losses on your investment in the Fund. Recent examples include pandemic risks related to COVID-19 and aggressive measures taken worldwide in response by governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines of large populations, and by businesses, including changes to operations and reducing staff. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may be short-term or may last for an extended period of time, and in either case could result in a substantial economic downturn or recession. During a general economic downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected.

 

ETF Risks — The Fund is an ETF and, as a result of this structure, it is exposed to the following risks:

 

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

 

6 

 

Cash Transactions Risk — Like other ETFs, the Fund sells and redeems its shares only in large blocks called Creation Units and only to “Authorized Participants.” Unlike many other ETFs, however, the Fund expects to effect its creations and redemptions at least partially for cash, rather than in-kind securities. Thus, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in other ETFs as the Fund may recognize a capital gain that it could have avoided by making redemptions in-kind. As a result, the Fund may pay out higher capital gains distributions than ETFs that redeem in-kind. Further, paying redemption proceeds at least partially in cash rather than through in-kind delivery of portfolio securities may require the Fund to dispose of or sell portfolio investments to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds at an inopportune time.

 

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

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector has been among the most volatile sectors of the stock market. Because the fund's investments are significantly exposed to companies in the information technology sector, its performance will be significantly affected by developments in that sector. The information technology sector includes companies that offer software and information technology services, manufacturers and distributors of technology hardware and equipment such as communications equipment, cellular phones, computers and peripherals, electronic equipment and related instruments and semiconductors.  Companies in the information technology sector involve greater risk because their revenue and/or earnings tend to be less predictable (and some companies may be experiencing significant losses) and their share prices tend to be more volatile. Certain companies in the information technology sector may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, or may depend on a limited management group. In addition, these companies are strongly affected by worldwide technological developments, and their products and services may not be economically successful or may quickly become outdated. Investor perception may play a greater role in determining the day-to-day value of information technology stocks than it does in other sectors. Fund investments may decline dramatically in value if anticipated products or services are delayed or cancelled. The risks associated with companies in the information technology sector are magnified in the case of small-cap technology companies.

 

Liquidity Risk. The risk that certain assets may be difficult or impossible to sell at the time and the price that the Fund would like. The Fund may have to sell the asset at a lower price, sell other securities instead or forego an investment opportunity, any of which could have a negative effect on Fund management or performance.

 

Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. The Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.

 

7 

 

Market Risk. Market risk is the risk that a particular security owned by the Fund or the Shares in general may fall in value, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices, and changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant stock market, such as the current market volatility. Overall security values could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain regions, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions to trading markets. Any of such circumstances could materially negatively impact the value of the Fund’s Shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s Shares may trade at an increased premium or discount to its NAV.

 

New Fund Risk – Because the Fund is new, investors in the Fund bear the risk that the Fund may not be successful in implementing its investment strategy, may not employ a successful investment strategy, or may fail to attract sufficient assets under management to realize economies of scale, any of which could result in the Fund being liquidated at any time without shareholder approval and at a time that may not be favorable for all shareholders. Such liquidation could have negative tax consequences for shareholders and will cause shareholders to incur expenses of liquidation.

 

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund is only limited as to the percentage of its assets which may be invested in the securities of any one issuer by the diversification requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may experience increased volatility and be highly invested in certain issuers. Therefore, the Fund’s performance may be hurt disproportionately and significantly by the poor performance of those assets to which it has significant exposure. The Fund’s exposure to a limited number of issuers makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence affecting the underlying positions and may subject the Fund to greater market risk than more diversified funds.

 

Non-U.S. Investment Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. companies present risks beyond those of securities of U.S. issuers. Risks of investing in the securities of non-U.S. companies include: different accounting standards; expropriation, nationalization or other adverse political or economic developments; currency devaluation, blockages or transfer restrictions; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; taxes; restrictions on non-U.S. investments and exchange of securities; and less government supervision and regulation of issuers in non-U.S. countries. Prices of non-U.S. securities also may be more volatile.

 

Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund and the Adviser seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate to address these risks.

 

Preferred Securities Risk. Preferred securities are a class of a capital stock that typically pay dividends at a specified rate. Preferred securities are generally senior to common stock, but subordinate to debt securities, with respect to the payment of dividends and on liquidation of the issuer. The market value of preferred securities generally decrease when interest rates rise and are also affected by the issuer's ability to make payments on the preferred securities.

 

8 

 

Regulatory Risk. The platforms in which the Fund invests are subject to various statutes, rules and regulations issued by federal, state and local government authorities. A failure to comply with the applicable rules and regulations may, among other things, subject the platform or its related entities to certain registration requirements with government authorities and the payment of any penalties and fines; result in the revocation of their licenses; cause the loan contracts originated by the platform to be voided or otherwise impair the enforcement of such loans; and subject them to potential civil and criminal liability, class action lawsuits and/or administrative or regulatory enforcement actions. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on a platform’s financial condition, results of operations or ability to perform its obligations with respect to its lending business or could otherwise result in modifications in the platform’s methods of doing business.

 

Small Fund Risk. The Fund currently has fewer assets than larger funds, and like other smaller funds, large inflows and outflows may impact the Fund’s market exposure for limited periods of time. This impact may be positive or negative, depending on the direction of market movement during the period affected. Because the Fund has fewer assets than larger Funds, investors in the Fund bear the risk that the Fund may not be successful in implementing its investment strategy, may not employ a successful investment strategy, or may fail to attract sufficient assets under management to realize economies of scale, any of which could result in the Fund being liquidated at any time without shareholder approval and at a time that may not be favorable for all shareholders. Such liquidation could have negative tax consequences for shareholders and could cause shareholders to incur expenses of liquidation and elevated transaction costs. Even if the Fund does not liquidate, if the Fund fails to attract a large amount of assets, shareholders of the Fund may incur higher expenses. In addition, the Fund may face the risk of being delisted if the Fund does not meet certain conditions of the Exchange. Finally, when the Fund’s size is small, the Fund may experience low trading volume and wide bid/ask spreads.

 

Smaller Companies Risk. Small and/or mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, and their securities may be less liquid and may experience greater price volatility than larger, more established companies as a result of several factors, including limited trading volumes, products or financial resources, management inexperience and less publicly available information. Accordingly, such companies are generally subject to greater market risk than larger, more established companies.

 

Tax Risk. Many significant aspects of the U.S. federal income tax treatment of investments in bitcoin are uncertain and the Fund’s indirect exposure to bitcoin may produce income that is not treated as qualifying income for purposes of the income test applicable to the Fund.

 

The Fund’s shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

 

Performance Information

 

As of the date of this prospectus, the Fund has been in operation for less than one full calendar year and therefore does not report its performance information. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible on the Fund’s website at [ ] and will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund.

 

9 

 

Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser

 

KKM Financial LLC serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) serves as the sub-adviser to the Fund.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The following person serve as portfolio managers of the Fund.

 

• Jeff Kilburg, Founder and CEO of KKM Financial LLC since 2012.

• Dan Deming, Managing Director of KKM Financial LLC since 2017.

 

Each of the portfolio managers is primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and has served in such capacity since the Fund’s inception in 2021.

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund issues shares to (or redeems shares from) certain institutional investors known as “Authorized Participants” (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of [   ] shares known as “Creation Units.” Creation Unit transactions are conducted in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a portfolio of in-kind securities designated by the Fund and/or cash.

 

Individual shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the Exchange, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market prices. Because Fund shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, Fund shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). When buying or selling shares in the secondary market, you may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund (ask) (the “bid-ask spread”). When available, recent information regarding the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads will be available at [    ].

 

Tax Information

 

The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account (“IRA”), in which case your distribution will be taxed when withdrawn from the tax-deferred account.

 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 

10 

 

More Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies

 

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek total return. The Fund is an actively-managed ETF that will invest principally in the securities of operating companies that have innovative balance sheets, which the Fund’s Adviser, considers to be operating companies that directly or indirectly invest in, transact in, or otherwise have exposure to bitcoin or operate in the bitcoin ecosystem. In addition to the Bitcoin Network, the broader bitcoin ecosystem includes, but is not limited to, bitcoin trading platforms, bitcoin miners, bitcoin custodians, digital wallet providers, companies that facilitate payments in bitcoin, and companies that provide other technology, equipment or services to companies operating in the bitcoin ecosystem. The Fund may invest in companies that invest in or have any portion of their assets accounted for by direct bitcoin holdings. The Fund may invest in companies of any market capitalization. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund expects to invest a significant portion (i.e. more than 25%) of its assets in securities of companies in the information technology sector.

 

Bitcoin is a digital asset sharing the characteristics of an intangible or digital commodity money that is not issued by any government, bank or organization. Instead, bitcoin are created on, and transmitted through, the Bitcoin Network, which is the decentralized, open source protocols of the peer-to-peer bitcoin computer network. Peer-to-peer networks consist of computers that relay information among each other with no computer functioning as leader or centralized repository of information. Therefore, the infrastructure of the Bitcoin Network is collectively maintained by a decentralized user base and is not owned or operated by a single entity.

 

Bitcoins are regarded as a currency or digital commodity depending on their specific use case. Bitcoin may be used as a medium of exchange or unit of account. The value of bitcoin is determined by the value that various market participants place on bitcoin through their transactions. Price discovery occurs through secondary market trading on Bitcoin exchanges, over the counter trading desks and direct peer to peer payments. Although a number of large and small retailers accept bitcoin as a form of payment in the United States and foreign markets, there is relatively limited use of bitcoin for commercial and retail payments. Similarly, bitcoin may be used as a store of value, although it has experienced significant periods of price volatility.

 

The Adviser constructs the Fund’s portfolio by utilizing its proprietary model and research to determine the securities of innovative balance sheet issuers that it believes may demonstrate the best total return potential. The Fund will not invest in bitcoin directly, nor will the Fund invest in bitcoin indirectly through the use of derivatives.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities issued by companies that the Adviser believes, based on its research, will meet the above criteria for having an innovative balance sheet within the next one to three years. Although the fund will invest primarily in U.S. common stocks, the fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in convertible notes and preferred securities and may also invest up to 20% of its net assets in foreign securities, including through ADRs.

 

The Fund’s investment objective and each of the policies described herein are non-fundamental policies that may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without shareholder approval. The Fund may liquidate and terminate at any time without shareholder approval. Under adverse market conditions, the Fund may take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its principal investment strategies by holding cash or investing, without limit, in cash equivalents or other fixed income securities. When this allocation happens, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

 

The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act, which means that it may invest a larger percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund.

 

11 

 

Principal Investments

 

Common Stocks and Depositary Receipts

 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities, which will primarily include common stocks and/or depositary receipts. Equity securities represent an ownership position in a company. The prices of equity securities fluctuate based on, among other things, events specific to their issuers and market, economic, and other conditions. American Depositary Receipts are certificates that evidence ownership of shares of a foreign issuer and are alternatives to purchasing directly the underlying foreign securities in their national markets and currencies.

 

Preferred Securities

 

The Fund may invest in preferred securities, which generally pay fixed or adjustable-rate dividends or interest to investors and have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends or interest and the liquidation of a company’s assets, which means that a company typically must pay dividends or interest on its preferred securities before paying any dividends on its common stock. Preferred securities are generally junior to all forms of the company’s debt, including both senior and subordinated debt.

 

Convertible Notes

 

The Fund may invest in convertible notes. Convertible notes combine the investment characteristics of bonds and common stocks. Convertible notes typically consist of debt securities or preferred securities that may be converted within a specified period of time (typically for the entire life of the security) into a certain amount of common stock or other equity security of the same or a different issuer at a predetermined price. They also include debt securities with warrants or common stock attached and derivatives combining the features of debt securities and equity securities. Convertible notes entitle the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt, or dividends paid or accrued on preferred securities, until the securities mature or are redeemed, converted or exchanged.

 

Non-Principal Investments

 

Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments

 

The Fund may invest in securities with maturities of less than one year or cash equivalents, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions.

 

The Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, that invest primarily in bonds or short-term debt securities. ETFs trade on a securities exchange and their shares may, at times, trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. As a stockholder in an investment company or other pooled vehicle, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that investment company’s or vehicle’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the Fund’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested.

 

The Fund's ability to invest in other investment companies is limited by the 1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations. The Fund has adopted a policy that it will not invest in other investment companies in excess of 1940 Act limits in reliance on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.

 

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More Information about Risk

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. Investing in the Fund involves risk, including the risk that you may lose all or part of your investment. There can be no assurance that the Fund will meet its stated objective. Before you invest, you should consider the following supplemental disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus.

 

Principal Risks

 

Bitcoin Exposure, Blockchain and Bitcoin Ecosystem Risk. The companies in which the Fund invests have exposure to bitcoin or operate in the bitcoin ecosystem and therefore are subject to the following risks:

 

·The technology supporting the bitcoin ecosystem is new. The risks associated with owning bitcoin or operating in the bitcoin ecosystem therefore may not be fully known until the ecosystem matures.

 

·A company may not be able to develop or capitalize on bitcoin or blockchain technology applications.

 

·Blockchain technology is used by companies to optimize their business practices and generally does not generate revenue for a company. There are few companies that generate a significant portion of revenue from bitcoin. Accordingly, the Fund may invest in companies whose financial performance is driven primarily by business lines unrelated to bitcoin or the bitcoin ecosystem.

 

·Use of bitcoin and blockchain technology requires public private key cryptography. The theft, loss or destruction of a cryptographic key could adversely affect a company’s business or operations.

 

·Consumers or investors may discontinue using or investing in bitcoin and instead may use or invest in competing assets, platforms and technologies.

 

·A company may be subject to conflicting intellectual property claims or licenses that limits the use of bitcoin or blockchain technology.

 

·The company may be particularly targeted in or vulnerable to cyberattacks.

 

·Bitcoin markets currently are not highly regulated and future regulatory developments may negatively impact the viability of bitcoin and thus may negatively impact the companies in which the Fund invests. Bitcoin markets also are less liquid, volatile and subject to manipulation.

 

·Because blockchain technology systems may operate across many national boundaries and regulatory jurisdictions, it is possible that blockchain technology may be subject to widespread and inconsistent regulation.

 

·Blockchain systems built using third party products may be subject to technical defects or vulnerabilities beyond a company’s control.

 

·Bitcoin markets are not regulated in a manner similar to U.S. equities markets, have variable liquidity and may be subject to manipulation.

 

Convertible Notes Risk. Convertible notes may be converted at either a stated price or stated rate into underlying shares of common stock. Convertible notes generally are subordinated to other similar but non-convertible securities of the same issuer. Although to a lesser extent than with fixed-income securities, the market value of convertible notes tends to decline as interest rates increase. In addition, because of the conversion feature, the market value of convertible notes tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying common stock. Although convertible notes provide for a stable stream of income, they are subject to the risk that their issuers may default on their obligations. Convertible notes also offer the potential for capital appreciation through the conversion feature, although there can be no assurance of capital appreciation because securities prices fluctuate. Convertible notes generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality because of the potential for capital appreciation.

 

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Currency Risk. Because the Fund’s NAV is determined in U.S. dollars, the Fund’s NAV could decline if the currency of a non-U.S. market in which the Fund invests depreciates against the U.S. dollar or if there are delays or limits on repatriation of such currency. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the Fund’s NAV may change quickly and without warning.

 

Cyber Security Risk. The Fund, Adviser, service providers, authorized participants and the Exchange are susceptible to operational, information security and related “cyber” risks both directly and through their service providers. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers and may cause the Fund’s investment in such portfolio companies to lose value. Unlike many other types of risks faced by the Fund, these risks typically are not covered by insurance. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber security failures by or breaches of the systems of the Adviser, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, index providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, authorized participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses, interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, disclosure of confidential trading information, impediments to trading, submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders, the inability of the Fund or its service providers to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. In addition, cyber attacks may render records of Fund assets and transactions, shareholder ownership of Shares, and other data integral to the functioning of the Fund inaccessible or inaccurate or incomplete. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents in the future. While the Fund has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, market makers or authorized participants. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

 

Depositary Receipts Risk. Depositary receipts may be subject to certain of the risks associated with direct investments in the securities of non-U.S. companies, such as currency, political, economic and market risks, because their values depend on the performance of the non-dollar denominated underlying non-U.S. securities. Certain countries may limit the ability to convert depositary receipts into the underlying non-U.S. securities and vice versa, which may cause the securities of the non-U.S. company to trade at a discount or premium to the market price of the related depositary receipts. Depositary receipts may be purchased through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” facilities. A sponsored facility is established jointly by a depositary and the issuer of the underlying security. A depositary may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by the issuer of the deposited security. Unsponsored receipts may involve higher expenses and may be less liquid. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of such facilities, and the depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through voting rights to the holders of such receipts in respect of the deposited securities.

 

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Equity Securities Risk. Because the Fund may invest in equity securities, the Fund is subject to the risk that stock prices will fall over short or extended periods of time. Historically, the equity markets have moved in cycles, and the value of the Fund’s securities may fluctuate drastically from day to day. Individual companies may report poor results or be negatively affected by industry and/or economic trends and developments. The prices of securities issued by such companies may suffer a decline in response. The market as a whole may not favor the types of investments the Fund makes. Many factors can adversely affect a security’s performance, including both general financial market conditions and factors related to a specific company, industry or geographic region. In addition, the impact of any epidemic, pandemic or natural disaster, or widespread fear that such events may occur, could negatively affect the global economy, as well as the economies of individual countries, the financial performance of individual companies and sectors, and the markets in general in significant and unforeseen ways. Any such impact could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the securities and other instruments in which the Fund invests, which in turn could negatively impact the Fund’s performance and cause losses on your investment in the Fund. Recent examples include pandemic risks related to COVID-19 and aggressive measures taken worldwide in response by governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines of large populations, and by businesses, including changes to operations and reducing staff. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may be short-term or may last for an extended period of time, and in either case could result in a substantial economic downturn or recession. During a general economic downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected.

 

ETF Risks. The Fund is an ETF and, as a result of this structure, it is exposed to the following risks:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cash Transactions Risk — Like other ETFs, the Fund sells and redeems its shares only in large blocks called Creation Units and only to “Authorized Participants.” Unlike many other ETFs, however, the Fund expects to effect its creations and redemptions at least partially for cash, rather than in-kind securities. Thus, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in other ETFs as the Fund may recognize a capital gain that it could have avoided by making redemptions in-kind. As a result, the Fund may pay out higher capital gains distributions than ETFs that redeem in-kind. Further, paying redemption proceeds at least partially in cash rather than through in-kind delivery of portfolio securities may require the Fund to dispose of or sell portfolio investments to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds at an inopportune time.

 

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

 

Information Technology Sector Risk.   The information technology sector has been among the most volatile sectors of the stock market. Because the fund's investments are significantly exposed to companies in the information technology sector, its performance will be significantly affected by developments in that sector. The information technology sector includes companies that offer software and information technology services, manufacturers and distributors of technology hardware and equipment such as communications equipment, cellular phones, computers and peripherals, electronic equipment and related instruments and semiconductors.  Companies in the information technology sector involve greater risk because their revenue and/or earnings tend to be less predictable (and some companies may be experiencing significant losses) and their share prices tend to be more volatile. Certain companies in the information technology sector may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, or may depend on a limited management group. In addition, these companies are strongly affected by worldwide technological developments, and their products and services may not be economically successful or may quickly become outdated. Investor perception may play a greater role in determining the day-to-day value of information technology stocks than it does in other sectors. Fund investments may decline dramatically in value if anticipated products or services are delayed or cancelled. The risks associated with companies in the information technology sector are magnified in the case of small-cap technology companies.

 

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Liquidity Risk. The risk that certain assets may be difficult or impossible to sell at the time and the price that the Fund would like. The Fund may have to sell the asset at a lower price, sell other securities instead or forego an investment opportunity, any of which could have a negative effect on Fund management or performance.

 

Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. The Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.

 

Market Risk. Market risk is the risk that a particular security owned by the Fund or the Shares in general may fall in value, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices, and changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant stock market, such as the current market volatility. Overall security values could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain regions, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions to trading markets. Any of such circumstances could materially negatively impact the value of the Fund’s Shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s Shares may trade at an increased premium or discount to its NAV.

 

New Fund Risk – Because the Fund is new, investors in the Fund bear the risk that the Fund may not be successful in implementing its investment strategy, may not employ a successful investment strategy, or may fail to attract sufficient assets under management to realize economies of scale, any of which could result in the Fund being liquidated at any time without shareholder approval and at a time that may not be favorable for all shareholders. Such liquidation could have negative tax consequences for shareholders and will cause shareholders to incur expenses of liquidation.

 

Non-Diversification Risk. Because the Fund is non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of its assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in Share price than would occur in a diversified fund. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively small number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.

 

Non-U.S. Investment Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. companies present risks beyond those of securities of U.S. issuers. Risks of investing in the securities of non-U.S. companies include: different accounting standards; expropriation, nationalization or other adverse political or economic developments; currency devaluation, blockages or transfer restrictions; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; taxes; restrictions on non-U.S. investments and exchange of securities; and less government supervision and regulation of issuers in non-U.S. countries. Prices of non-U.S. securities also may be more volatile.

 

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Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund and the Adviser seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate to address these risks.

 

Preferred Securities Risk. Preferred securities are a class of a capital stock that typically pay dividends at a specified rate. Preferred securities are generally senior to common stock, but subordinate to debt securities, with respect to the payment of dividends and on liquidation of the issuer. The market value of preferred securities generally decrease when interest rates rise and are also affected by the issuer's ability to make payments on the preferred securities.

 

Regulatory Risk. The platforms in which the Fund invests are subject to various statutes, rules and regulations issued by federal, state and local government authorities. A failure to comply with the applicable rules and regulations may, among other things, subject the platform or its related entities to certain registration requirements with government authorities and the payment of any penalties and fines; result in the revocation of their licenses; cause the loan contracts originated by the platform to be voided or otherwise impair the enforcement of such loans; and subject them to potential civil and criminal liability, class action lawsuits and/or administrative or regulatory enforcement actions. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on a platform’s financial condition, results of operations or ability to perform its obligations with respect to its lending business or could otherwise result in modifications in the platform’s methods of doing business.

 

Small Fund Risk. The Fund currently has fewer assets than larger funds, and like other smaller funds, large inflows and outflows may impact the Fund’s market exposure for limited periods of time. This impact may be positive or negative, depending on the direction of market movement during the period affected. Because the Fund has fewer assets than larger Funds, investors in the Fund bear the risk that the Fund may not be successful in implementing its investment strategy, may not employ a successful investment strategy, or may fail to attract sufficient assets under management to realize economies of scale, any of which could result in the Fund being liquidated at any time without shareholder approval and at a time that may not be favorable for all shareholders. Such liquidation could have negative tax consequences for shareholders and could cause shareholders to incur expenses of liquidation and elevated transaction costs. Even if the Fund does not liquidate, if the Fund fails to attract a large amount of assets, shareholders of the Fund may incur higher expenses. In addition, the Fund may face the risk of being delisted if the Fund does not meet certain conditions of the Exchange. If the Fund were required to delist from the Exchange, the value of the Fund may rapidly decline and performance may be negatively impacted. Finally, when the Fund’s size is small, the Fund may experience low trading volume and wide bid/ask spreads.

 

Smaller Companies Risk. Small and/or mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, and their securities may be less liquid and may experience greater price volatility than larger, more established companies as a result of several factors, including limited trading volumes, products or financial resources, management inexperience and less publicly available information. Accordingly, such companies are generally subject to greater market risk than larger, more established companies.

 

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Tax Risk. Many significant aspects of the U.S. federal income tax treatment of investments in bitcoin are uncertain and the Fund’s indirect exposure to bitcoin may produce income that is not treated as qualifying income for purposes of the income test applicable to the Fund.

 

Information about Portfolio Holdings

 

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the circumstances under which the Fund discloses its portfolio holdings is available in the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

Investment Adviser

 

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund has entered into an investment advisory agreement (the “Investment Management Agreement””) with KKM Financial LLC, located at 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1711 Chicago, IL 60604, under which the Adviser manages the Fund’s investments subject to the supervision of the Board. The Adviser also arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, distribution and all other services necessary for the Fund to operate. Further, the Adviser continuously reviews, supervises, and administers the Fund’s investment program. In particular, the Adviser provides investment and operational oversight of the Sub-Adviser.

 

The Adviser offers both high net worth individual and institutional clients portfolio management services in a variety of alternative investment offerings, and is a registered investment adviser. As of [  ], the Adviser had approximately $[  ] million in assets under management. Of the $[___] million, approximately $[  ] million are discretionary assets and $[  ] million are non-discretionary assets.

 

Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, the Fund has agreed to pay an annual unitary management fee to the Adviser in an amount equal to 0.[  ]% of its average daily net assets. This unitary management fee is designed to pay the Fund’s expenses and to compensate the Adviser for the services it provides to the Fund. [Out of the unitary management fee, the Adviser pays substantially all expenses of the Fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit, sub-advisory fees, and other service and license fees. However, the Adviser is not responsible for distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, taxes, interest, and extraordinary expenses.]

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Management Agreement on behalf of the Fund will be available in the Fund’s first Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders.

 

Sub-Adviser

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”), an Oklahoma limited liability company located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. An SEC-registered investment adviser formed in 2018, the Sub-Adviser is majority owned by Cottonwood ETF Holdings LLC. As of [ ], the Sub-Adviser had approximately $[ ] billion under management.

 

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The Sub-Adviser is responsible for trading portfolio securities for the Fund, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions or in connection with any rebalancing, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. For its services, the Sub-Adviser is entitled to a fee by the Adviser, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.[ ]% based on the average daily net assets of the Fund, and subject to a minimum annual fee of $[ ].

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Fund’s sub-advisory agreement will be available in the Fund’s first Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Jeff Kilburg. Mr. Kilburg is the CEO & Founder of the Adviser, a boutique registered investment adviser based in Chicago, IL. Mr. Kilburg started his career at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”) in Chicago. After learning equity options from Mercury Founders Jon and Pete Najarian at the CBOE, Mr. Kilburg was offered an opportunity in the Chicago Board of Trade (“CBOT”) bond option pit. Subsequently, he joined a specialist group in the 30-year pit, JLS Group. In early 1999, he decided to launch a floor operation of his own at the CBOT. In 2012, he transitioned his floor operations into a SEC registered investment advisory firm.

 

Mr. Kilburg is a graduate of the Mendoza College of Business at The University of Notre Dame as he was a recipient of a four-year football scholarship under Lou Holtz.

 

Dan Deming. Mr. Deming serves as Managing Director at the Adviser. Mr. Deming’s responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of the firm which include; developing and executing the firm’s business plan, strategic initiatives, advisory group oversight, technology, and compliance. Mr. Deming has over 30 years of market experience. Prior to working at the Adviser, Mr. Deming served as investment advisor representative for Equity Armor Investments, LLC. His responsibilities included overseeing client accounts, portfolio construction, and supporting the sub-advising team. Mr. Deming started his career at the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) as a trader in the S&P 100 Index (OEX) pit in April of 1988. In 2008, Mr. Deming transitioned into the CBOE’s VIX Index option pit. During his time at the CBOE, Mr. Deming also served on the Arbitration Committee. Over the past 10 years, Mr. Deming has become one of the options industry’s more recognized faces in the media, making regular appearances on Bloomberg TV, TD Ameritrade Network, CNN, BNN Bloomberg, Sky News Business, Fox Business News, Business First AM, and CBOE TV. Several news outlets such as; CNBC, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, the AP and Dow Jones press, contact Mr. Deming on a regular basis to provide written and quoted market commentary. Working as a liaison with the CBOE, representing both the exchange and his firm, Mr. Deming has served as a guest panelist for several volatility based derivatives symposiums and international trading conferences. Mr. Deming is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Series 65 license. The SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed, and ownership of Fund shares.

 

Valkyrie

 

Valkyrie Funds LLC (“Valkyrie”), at 211 E. 7th Street, Suite 620, Austin, Texas 78701-3218, is responsible for handling the business affairs of the Fund and providing research services to the Adviser. The Adviser pays Valkyrie an administration fee for handling the business affairs for the Fund as well as a research fee for research provided. Valkyrie’s research was used in the creation of the Fund’s trading strategy. Valkyrie does not make investment decisions, provide investment advice, or otherwise act in the capacity of an investment adviser to the Fund.

 

Purchasing and Selling Fund Shares

 

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

 

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The Fund’s NAV is determined by dividing the total value of the Fund’s portfolio investments and other assets, less any liabilities, by the total number of shares outstanding. NAV is determined each business day, normally as of the close of regular trading of the New York Stock Exchange (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time).

 

In calculating NAV, the Fund generally values its investment portfolio at market price. If market prices are not readily available or the Fund reasonably believes that they are unreliable, such as in the case of a security value that has been materially affected by events occurring after the relevant market closes, the Fund is required to price those securities at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board. Pursuant to the policies adopted by, and under the ultimate supervision of, the Board, these methods are implemented through the Trust’s Fair Value Pricing Committee, members of which are appointed by the Board. The Fund’s determination of a security’s fair value price often involves the consideration of a number of subjective factors, and is therefore subject to the unavoidable risk that the value that the Fund assigns to a security may be higher or lower than the security’s value would be if a reliable market quotation for the security was readily available.

 

With respect to non-U.S. securities held by the Fund, the Fund may take factors influencing specific markets or issuers into consideration in determining the fair value of a non-U.S. security. Foreign securities markets may be open on days when the U.S. markets are closed. In such cases, the value of any foreign securities owned by the Fund may be significantly affected on days when investors cannot buy or sell shares. In addition, due to the difference in times between the close of the foreign markets and the time as of which the Fund prices its shares, the value the Fund assigns to securities may not be the same as the quoted or published prices of those securities on their primary markets or exchanges. In determining fair value prices, the Fund may consider the performance of securities on their primary exchanges, foreign currency appreciation/depreciation, securities market movements in the United States, or other relevant information related to the securities.

 

There may be limited circumstances in which the Fund would price securities at fair value for stocks of U.S. companies that are traded on U.S. exchanges – for example, if the exchange on which a portfolio security is principally traded closed early or if trading in a particular security was halted during the day and did not resume prior to the time the Fund calculated its NAV. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security will materially differ from the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security.

 

Payments to Financial Intermediaries

 

The Fund and/or the Adviser may compensate financial intermediaries for providing a variety of services to the Fund and/or its shareholders. Financial intermediaries include affiliated or unaffiliated brokers, dealers, banks (including bank trust departments), trust companies, registered investment advisers, financial planners, retirement plan administrators, insurance companies, and any other institution having a service, administration, or any similar arrangement with the Fund, its service providers or their respective affiliates. This section briefly describes how financial intermediaries may be paid for providing these services. For more information, please see “Payments to Financial Intermediaries” in the SAI.

 

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Distribution Plan

 

The Fund has adopted a distribution plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act that allows the Fund to pay distribution and/or service fees for the sale and distribution of Fund shares, and for services provided to shareholders. No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no plans to impose these fees. However, in the event Rule 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an on-going basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. The maximum annual Rule 12b-1 fee is 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the Fund.

 

The implementation of any payments under the distribution plan must be approved by the Board prior to implementation.

 

Payments by the Adviser

 

From time to time, the Adviser and/or its affiliates, in their discretion, may make payments to certain affiliated or unaffiliated financial intermediaries to compensate them for the costs associated with distribution, marketing, administration and shareholder servicing support for the Fund. These payments are sometimes characterized as “revenue sharing” payments and are made out of the Adviser’s and/or its affiliates’ own legitimate profits or other resources, and may be in addition to any payments made to financial intermediaries by the Fund. A financial intermediary may provide these services with respect to Fund shares sold or held through programs such as retirement plans, qualified tuition programs, fund supermarkets, fee-based advisory or wrap fee programs, bank trust programs, and insurance (e.g., individual or group annuity) programs. In addition, financial intermediaries may receive payments for making shares of the Fund available to their customers or registered representatives, including providing the Fund with “shelf space,” placing it on a preferred or recommended fund list, or promoting the Fund in certain sales programs that are sponsored by financial intermediaries. To the extent permitted by SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rules and other applicable laws and regulations, the Adviser and/or its affiliates may pay or allow other promotional incentives or payments to financial intermediaries.

 

The level of payments made by the Adviser and/or its affiliates to individual financial intermediaries varies in any given year and may be negotiated on the basis of sales of Fund shares, the amount of Fund assets serviced by the financial intermediary or the quality of the financial intermediary’s relationship with the Adviser and/or its affiliates. These payments may be more or less than the payments received by the financial intermediaries from other investment products and may influence a financial intermediary to favor the sales of certain investment products over others. In certain instances, the payments could be significant and may cause a conflict of interest for your financial intermediary. Any such payments will not change the NAV or price of the Fund’s shares. Please contact your financial intermediary for information about any payments it may receive in connection with the sale of Fund shares or the provision of services to Fund shareholders.

 

In addition to these payments, your financial intermediary may charge your account fees, commissions or transaction fees for buying or selling shares of the Fund, or other fees for servicing your account. Your financial intermediary should provide a schedule of its fees and services to you upon request.

 

Other Policies

 

Excessive Trading Policies and Procedures

 

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

 

22 

 

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Fund Distributions

 

The Fund distributes its net investment income, if any, and makes distributions of its net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually. If you own Fund shares on the Fund’s record date, you will be entitled to receive the distribution.

 

Dividend Reinvestment Service

 

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

 

Tax Information

 

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

 

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

 

Tax Status of the Fund

 

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

 

23 

 

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

 

Tax Status of Distributions

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

·Taxes on distributions of capital gains (if any) are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned its shares. Sales of assets held by the Fund for more than one year generally result in long-term capital gains and losses, and sales of assets held by the Fund for one year or less generally result in short-term capital gains and losses. Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain (the excess of the Fund’s net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses) are taxable as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares. For non-corporate shareholders, long-term capital gains are generally taxable at a maximum tax rate currently set at 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets). Distributions from the Fund’s short-term capital gains are generally taxable as ordinary income.

 

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

 

·In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year in which they are paid. However, distributions paid in January but declared by the Fund to shareholders of record in October, November or December of the previous year will be treated as having been received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which declared, and thus may be taxable to you in the previous year.

 

24 

 

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

 

·The Fund (or your broker) will inform you of the amount and character of any distributions shortly after the close of each calendar year.

 

Tax Status of Share Transactions

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

25 

 

Foreign Taxes

 

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

 

Net Investment Income Tax

 

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

 

Non-U.S. Investors

 

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

 

Backup Withholding

 

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

 

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

 

More information about taxes is in the SAI.

 

Additional Information

 

Continuous Offering

 

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

 

26 

 

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

 

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares of the Fund, whether or not participating in the distribution of such shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available with respect to such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker dealer-firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with shares of the Fund that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares of the Fund are reminded that under Rule 153 under the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the Fund’s Prospectus is available on the SEC’s electronic filing system. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

 

Premium/Discount Information

 

Information regarding how often the shares of the Fund traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund for various time periods can be found at [    ].

 

Contractual Arrangements

 

The Trust enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, including, among others, the Fund’s investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, accountants, administrator and distributor, who provide services to the Fund. Shareholders are not parties to, or intended (or “third-party”) beneficiaries of, any of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right to enforce the terms of the contractual arrangements against the service providers or to seek any remedy under the contractual arrangements against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Trust.

 

This prospectus and the SAI provide information concerning the Trust and the Fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the Fund. The Fund may make changes to this information from time to time. Neither this prospectus, the SAI or any document filed as an exhibit to the Trust’s registration statement, is intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the Trust or the Fund and any shareholder, or give rise to any contract or other rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders or other person other than any rights conferred explicitly by federal or state securities laws that may not be waived.

 

27 

 

Financial Highlights

 

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

 

28 

 

The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III

 

Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF

 

Investment Adviser

 

KKM Financial LLC

141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1711

Chicago, IL 60604

 

Sub-Adviser

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC

10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120

 

Distributor

 

SEI Investments Distribution Co.

One Freedom Valley Drive

Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456

 

Legal Counsel

 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

1701 Market Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

 

More information about the Fund is available, without charge, through the following:

 

Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”): The SAI, dated [      ], 2021, as it may be amended from time to time, includes detailed information about the Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF and The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III. The SAI is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and is incorporated by reference into this prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this prospectus.

 

Annual and Semi-Annual Reports: Once available, these reports will list the Fund’s holdings and contain information from the Adviser about investment strategies, and recent market conditions and trends and their impact on Fund performance. The reports also will contain detailed financial information about the Fund.

 

To Obtain an SAI, Annual or Semi-Annual Report (When Available), or More Information:

 

By Telephone: [                 ]
By Mail: Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF
  141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1711
  Chicago, IL 60604
   
By Internet: [                 ]

 

From the SEC: You can also obtain the SAI or the Annual and Semi-Annual Reports, as well as other information about The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III, from the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s website at: http://www.sec.gov. You may also obtain this information, upon payment of a duplicating fee, by e-mailing the SEC at the following address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

The Trust’s Investment Company Act registration number is 811-22920.

 

 

 

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

 

Preliminary Statement of Additional Information

Dated March 12, 2021

Subject to Completion

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

VALKYRIE INNOVATIVE BALANCE SHEET ETF

 

TICKER SYMBOL: GOT

 

Principal Listing Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

a series of

THE ADVISORS’ INNER CIRCLE FUND III

 

[       ], 2021

 

Investment Adviser:

KKM Financial LLC

 

Investment Sub-Adviser:

EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS, LLC

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. This SAI is intended to provide additional information regarding the activities and operations of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III (the “Trust”) and the Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF (the “Fund”). This SAI is incorporated by reference into and should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s prospectus dated [     ], 2021, as it may be amended from time to time (the “Prospectus”). Capitalized terms not defined herein are defined in the Prospectus. Shareholders may obtain copies of the Prospectus or the Fund’s annual or semi-annual report, when available, free of charge by writing to the Fund at Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF, 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1711, Chicago, IL 60604, or calling the Fund at [     ].

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

THE TRUST S-XX
DESCRIPTION OF PERMITTED INVESTMENTS S-XX
INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS S-XX
Exchange listing and trading S-XX
THE ADVISER and sub-adviser S-XX
THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS S-XX
THE ADMINISTRATOR S-XX
THE DISTRIBUTOR S-XX
PAYMENTS TO FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES S-XX
THE TRANSFER AGENT S-XX
THE CUSTODIAN S-XX
INDEPENDENT registered public accounting firm S-XX
LEGAL COUNSEL S-XX
Securities lending S-XX
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE TRUST S-XX
BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM S-XX
PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES IN CREATION UNITS S-XX
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE S-XX
DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS S-XX
FEDERAL INCOME TAXES S-XX
FUND TRANSACTIONS S-XX
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES S-XX
DESCRIPTION OF SHARES S-XX
LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES’ LIABILITY S-XX
PROXY VOTING S-XX
codeS of ethics S-XX
Principal Shareholders and Control Persons S-XX
APPENDIX A – DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS A-1
APPENDIX B – PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES B-1

 

[       ], 2021

 

 

 

THE TRUST

 

General. The Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF (the “Fund”) is a separate series of the Trust. The Trust is an open-end investment management company established under Delaware law as a Delaware statutory trust under a Declaration of Trust dated December 4, 2013 (the “Declaration of Trust”). The Declaration of Trust permits the Trust to offer separate series (“funds”) of shares of beneficial interest (“shares”). The Trust reserves the right to create and issue shares of additional funds. Each fund is a separate mutual fund or exchange traded fund (“ETF”), and each share of each fund represents an equal proportionate interest in that fund. All consideration received by the Trust for shares of any fund, and all assets of such fund, belong solely to that fund and would be subject to any liabilities related thereto. Each fund of the Trust pays its (i) operating expenses, including fees of its service providers, expenses of preparing prospectuses, proxy solicitation material and reports to shareholders, costs of custodial services and registering its shares under federal and state securities laws, pricing and insurance expenses, brokerage costs, interest charges, taxes and organization expenses and (ii) pro rata share of the fund’s other expenses, including audit and legal expenses. Expenses attributable to a specific fund shall be payable solely out of the assets of that fund. Expenses not attributable to a specific fund are allocated across all of the funds on the basis of relative net assets. The other funds of the Trust are described in one or more separate statements of additional information.

 

Exchange Traded Fund Structure. The Fund operates as an ETF. KKM Financial LLC (the Adviser), serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) serves as the sub-adviser to the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund is to seek total return.

 

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

 

Voting Rights. Each shareholder of record is entitled to one vote for each share held on the record date for the meeting. The Fund will vote separately on matters relating solely to it. As a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold annual meetings of shareholders. Approval of shareholders will be sought, however, for certain changes in the operation of the Trust and for the election of members of the Board of Trustees of the Trust (each, a “Trustee” and collectively, the “Trustees” or the “Board”) under certain circumstances. Under the Declaration of Trust, the Trustees have the power to liquidate the Fund without shareholder approval. While the Trustees have no present intention of exercising this power, they may do so if the Fund fails to reach a viable size within a reasonable amount of time or for such other reasons as may be determined by the Board.

 

In addition, a Trustee may be removed by the remaining Trustees or by shareholders at a special meeting called upon written request of shareholders owning at least 10% of the outstanding shares of the Trust. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.

 

Any series of the Trust may reorganize or merge with one or more other series of the Trust or of another investment company. Any such reorganization or merger shall be pursuant to the terms and conditions specified in an agreement and plan of reorganization authorized and approved by the Trustees and entered into by the relevant series in connection therewith. In addition, such reorganization or merger may be authorized by vote of a majority of the Trustees then in office and, to the extent permitted by applicable law and the Declaration of Trust, without the approval of shareholders of any series.

 

S-1 

 

Non-Diversification. The Fund is non-diversified, as that term is defined under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), which means that it may invest a greater percentage of its total assets in the securities of fewer issuers than a “diversified” fund, as that term is defined under the 1940 Act, which increases the risk that a change in the value of any one investment held by the Fund could affect the overall value of the Fund more than it would affect that of a “diversified” fund holding a greater number of investments. Accordingly, the value of the shares of the Fund may be more susceptible to any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than the shares of a “diversified” fund would be. The Fund intends to satisfy the diversification requirements necessary to qualify as a regulated investment company ("RIC") under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). For more information, see “Taxes” below.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PERMITTED INVESTMENTS

 

The Fund’s investment objective and principal investment strategies are described in the Prospectus. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus. The following are descriptions of the permitted investments and investment practices of the Fund and the associated risk factors. The Fund may invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices unless such investment or activity is inconsistent with or is not permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies, including those stated below. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowings) in equity securities, which primarily includes common stocks and depositary receipts.

 

American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”)

 

ADRs, as well as other “hybrid” forms of ADRs, including European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer. Depositary receipts are securities that evidence ownership interests in a security or a pool of securities that have been deposited with a “depository” and may be sponsored or unsponsored. These certificates are issued by depository banks and generally trade on an established market in the United States or elsewhere. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer’s home country. The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest and corporate actions. ADRs are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign securities in their national markets and currencies. However, ADRs continue to be subject to many of the risks associated with investing directly in foreign securities.

 

For ADRs, the depository is typically a U.S. financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a foreign issuer. For other depositary receipts, the depository may be a foreign or a U.S. entity, and the underlying securities may have a foreign or a U.S. issuer. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. Generally, ADRs are issued in registered form, denominated in U.S. dollars, and designed for use in the U.S. securities markets. Other depositary receipts, such as GDRs and EDRs, may be issued in bearer form and denominated in other currencies, and are generally designed for use in securities markets outside the U.S. While the two types of depositary receipt facilities (unsponsored or sponsored) are similar, there are differences regarding a holder’s rights and obligations and the practices of market participants. A depository may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by (or acquiescence of) the underlying issuer; typically, however, the depository requests a letter of non-objection from the underlying issuer prior to establishing the facility. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of the facility. The depository usually charges fees upon deposit and withdrawal of the underlying securities, the conversion of dividends into U.S. dollars or other currency, the disposition of non-cash distributions, and the performance of other services.

 

S-2 

 

Sponsored depositary receipt facilities are created in generally the same manner as unsponsored facilities, except that sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depository and the underlying issuer through a deposit agreement. The deposit agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of the underlying issuer, the depository, and the depositary receipt holders. With sponsored facilities, the underlying issuer typically bears some of the costs of the depositary receipts (such as dividend payment fees of the depository), although most sponsored depositary receipts agree to distribute notices of shareholders meetings, voting instructions, and other shareholder communications and information to the depositary receipt holders at the underlying issuer’s request. The depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through, to the holders of the receipts, voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.

 

For purposes of the Fund’s investment policies, investments in depositary receipts will be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities. Thus, a depositary receipt representing ownership of common stock will be treated as common stock. Depositary receipts do not eliminate all of the risks associated with directly investing in the securities of foreign issuers.

 

Investments in the securities of foreign issuers may subject the Fund to investment risks that differ in some respects from those related to investments in securities of U.S. issuers. Such risks include future adverse political and economic developments, possible imposition of withholding taxes on income, possible seizure, nationalization or expropriation of foreign deposits, possible establishment of exchange controls or taxation at the source or greater fluctuation in value due to changes in exchange rates. Foreign issuers of securities often engage in business practices different from those of domestic issuers of similar securities, and there may be less information publicly available about foreign issuers. In addition, foreign issuers may be subject to less government supervision and regulation and different accounting treatment than are those in the United States.

 

Convertible Securities

 

Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted or exchanged (by the holder or by the issuer) into shares of the underlying common stock (or cash or securities of equivalent value) at a stated exchange ratio. A convertible security may also be called for redemption or conversion by the issuer after a particular date and under certain circumstances (including a specified price) established upon issue. If a convertible security held by the Fund is called for redemption or conversion, the Fund could be required to tender it for redemption, convert it into the underlying common stock, or sell it to a third party.

 

Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain or loss than common stocks. Convertible securities generally provide yields higher than the underlying common stocks, but generally lower than comparable non-convertible securities. Because of this higher yield, convertible securities generally sell at a price above their “conversion value,” which is the current market value of the stock to be received upon conversion. The difference between this conversion value and the price of convertible securities will vary over time depending on changes in the value of the underlying common stocks and interest rates. When the underlying common stocks decline in value, convertible securities will tend not to decline to the same extent because of the interest or dividend payments and the repayment of principal at maturity for certain types of convertible securities. However, securities that are convertible other than at the option of the holder generally do not limit the potential for loss to the same extent as securities convertible at the option of the holder. When the underlying common stocks rise in value, the value of convertible securities may also be expected to increase. At the same time, however, the difference between the market value of convertible securities and their conversion value will narrow, which means that the value of convertible securities will generally not increase to the same extent as the value of the underlying common stocks. Because convertible securities may also be interest-rate sensitive, their value may increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. Convertible securities are also subject to credit risk, and are often lower-quality securities.

 

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Equity Securities

 

Equity securities represent ownership interests in a company or partnership and consist of common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants and rights to acquire common stock and securities convertible into common stock. Investments in equity securities in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities in which the Fund invests will cause the net asset value of the Fund to fluctuate. The Fund may purchase equity securities traded on global securities exchanges or the over-the-counter market. Equity securities are described in more detail below:

 

Types of Equity Securities:

 

Common Stock. Common stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds and preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.

 

Preferred Stock. Preferred stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer that pays dividends at a specified rate and that has precedence over common stock in the payment of dividends. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds take precedence over the claims of those who own preferred and common stock.

 

Alternative Entity Securities. Alternative entity securities are the securities of entities that are formed as limited partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts or other non-corporate entities that are similar to common or preferred stock of corporations.

 

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

 

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

 

Micro, Small and Medium Capitalization Issuers. Investing in equity securities of micro, small and medium capitalization companies often involves greater risk than is customarily associated with investments in larger capitalization companies. This increased risk may be due to the greater business risks of smaller size, limited markets and financial resources, narrow product lines and frequent lack of depth of management. The securities of micro and smaller companies are often traded in the over-the-counter market and even if listed on a national securities exchange may not be traded in volumes typical for that exchange. Consequently, the securities of micro and smaller companies are less likely to be liquid, may have limited market stability, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements than securities of larger, more established growth companies or the market averages in general.

 

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Initial Public Offerings (“IPOs”). The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in securities of domestic and foreign companies offering shares in IPOs. IPOs may have a magnified performance impact on a fund with a small asset base. The Fund may hold IPO shares for a very short period of time, which may increase the turnover of the Fund’s portfolio and may lead to increased expenses for the Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs. By selling IPO shares, the Fund may realize taxable gains it will subsequently distribute to shareholders. In addition, the market for IPO shares can be speculative and/or inactive for extended periods of time. The limited number of shares available for trading in some IPOs may make it more difficult for the Fund to buy or sell significant amounts of shares without an unfavorable impact on prevailing prices. Holders of IPO shares can be affected by substantial dilution in the value of their shares, by sales of additional shares and by concentration of control in existing management and principal shareholders.

 

The Fund’s investment in IPO shares may include the securities of unseasoned companies (companies with less than three years of continuous operations), which presents risks considerably greater than common stocks of more established companies. These companies may have limited operating histories and their prospects for profitability may be uncertain. These companies may be involved in new and evolving businesses and may be vulnerable to competition and changes in technology, markets and economic conditions. They may be more dependent on key managers and third parties and may have limited product lines.

 

The Fund’s investments in IPOs of foreign companies are subject to the risks set forth in “Risks of Foreign Securities” below.

 

General Risks of Investing in Stocks:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

 

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

 

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

 

REITs may be affected by changes in underlying real estate values, which may have an exaggerated effect to the extent that REITs in which the Fund invests may concentrate investments in particular geographic regions or property types. Certain REITs have relatively small market capitalization, which may tend to increase the volatility of the market price of securities issued by such REITs. Additionally, rising interest rates may cause investors in REITs to demand a higher annual yield from future distributions, which may in turn decrease market prices for equity securities issued by REITs. Rising interest rates also generally increase the costs of obtaining financing, which could cause the value of the Fund’s investments to decline. During periods of declining interest rates, certain Mortgage REITs may hold mortgages that the mortgagors elect to prepay, which prepayment may diminish the yield on securities issued by such Mortgage REITs. Equity and Mortgage REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, Mortgage REITs may be affected by the ability of borrowers to repay when due the debt extended by the REIT and Equity REITs may be affected by the ability of tenants to pay rent. The above factors may adversely affect a borrower’s or a lessee’s ability to meet its obligations to the REIT. In the event of default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting its investments.

 

Furthermore, REITs are dependent upon specialized management skills, have limited diversification and are, therefore, subject to risks inherent in operating and financing a limited number of projects. By investing in REITs indirectly through the Fund, a shareholder will bear not only his proportionate share of the expenses of the Fund, but also, indirectly, similar expenses of the REITs. REITs depend generally on their ability to generate cash flow to make distributions to shareholders. In addition, REITs could possibly fail to qualify for tax free pass-through of income under the Code or to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act.

 

Master Limited Partnerships

 

MLPs are limited partnerships or limited liability companies, whose partnership units or limited liability interests are listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange, and are treated as publicly traded partnerships for federal income tax purposes. To qualify to be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, an MLP must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources as set forth in Section 7704(d) of the Code. These qualifying sources include activities such as the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of mineral or natural resources. To the extent that an MLP’s interests are concentrated in a particular industry or sector, such as the energy sector, the MLP will be negatively impacted by economic events adversely impacting that industry or sector.

 

MLPs that are formed as limited partnerships generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners, while MLPs that are formed as limited liability companies generally have two analogous classes of owners, the managing member and the members. For purposes of this section, references to general partners also apply to managing members and references to limited partners also apply to members.

 

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The general partner is typically owned by a major energy company, an investment fund, the direct management of the MLP or is an entity owned by one or more of such parties. The general partner may be structured as a private or publicly traded corporation or other entity. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an equity interest of as much as 2% in the MLP plus, in many cases, ownership of common units and subordinated units. A holder of general partner interests can be liable under certain circumstances for amounts greater than the amount of the holder’s investment in the general partner interest. General partner interests are not publicly traded and generally cannot be converted into common units. The general partner interest can be redeemed by the MLP if the MLP unitholders choose to remove the general partner, typically with a supermajority vote by limited partner unitholders.

 

Limited partners own the remainder of the MLP through ownership of common units and have a limited role in the MLP’s operations and management. Common units are listed and traded on U.S. securities exchanges, with their value fluctuating predominantly based on prevailing market conditions and the success of the MLP. Unlike owners of common stock of a corporation, owners of common units have limited voting rights and have no ability annually to elect directors. In the event of liquidation, common units have preference over subordinated units, but not over debt or preferred units, to the remaining assets of the MLP.

 

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

 

Exchange-Traded Notes (“ETNs”)

 

ETNs are generally notes representing debt of the issuer, usually a financial institution. ETNs combine both aspects of bonds and ETFs. An ETN’s returns are based on the performance of one or more underlying assets, reference rates or indexes, minus fees and expenses. Similar to ETFs, ETNs are listed on an exchange and traded in the secondary market. However, unlike an ETF, an ETN can be held until the ETN’s maturity, at which time the issuer will pay a return linked to the performance of the specific asset, index or rate (“reference instrument”) to which the ETN is linked minus certain fees. Unlike regular bonds, ETNs do not make periodic interest payments, and principal is not protected. ETNs are not registered or regulated as investment companies under the 1940 Act.

 

The value of an ETN may be influenced by, among other things, time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying markets, changes in the applicable interest rates, the performance of the reference instrument, changes in the issuer’s credit rating and economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the reference instrument. An ETN that is tied to a reference instrument may not replicate the performance of the reference instrument. ETNs also incur certain expenses not incurred by their applicable reference instrument. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid and, thus, they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Levered ETNs are subject to the same risk as other instruments that use leverage in any form. While leverage allows for greater potential return, the potential for loss is also greater. Finally, additional losses may be incurred if the investment loses value because, in addition to the money lost on the investment, the loan still needs to be repaid.

 

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Because the return on the ETN is dependent on the issuer’s ability or willingness to meet its obligations, the value of the ETN may change due to a change in the issuer’s credit rating, despite no change in the underlying reference instrument. The market value of ETN shares may differ from the value of the reference instrument. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETN shares at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the assets underlying the reference instrument that the ETN seeks to track.

 

There may be restrictions on the Fund’s right to redeem its investment in an ETN, which are generally meant to be held until maturity. The Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. The Fund could lose some or all of the amount invested in an ETN.

 

Foreign Securities and Securities of Companies Operating in Foreign Countries

 

Foreign securities include equity securities of foreign entities, obligations of foreign branches of U.S. banks and of foreign banks, including, without limitation, European Certificates of Deposit, European Time Deposits, European Bankers’ Acceptances, Canadian Time Deposits, Europaper and Yankee Certificates of Deposit, and investments in Canadian Commercial Paper and foreign securities. These instruments have investment risks that differ in some respects from those related to investments in obligations of U.S. domestic issuers. Such risks include future adverse political and economic developments, the possible imposition of withholding taxes on interest or other income, possible seizure, nationalization, or expropriation of foreign deposits, the possible establishment of exchange controls or taxation at the source, greater fluctuations in value due to changes in exchange rates, or the adoption of other foreign governmental restrictions which might adversely affect the payment of principal and interest on such obligations. Such investments may also entail higher custodial fees and sales commissions than domestic investments. Foreign issuers of securities or obligations are often subject to accounting treatment and engage in business practices different from those respecting domestic issuers of similar securities or obligations. Foreign branches of U.S. banks and foreign banks may be subject to less stringent reserve requirements than those applicable to domestic branches of U.S. banks.

 

Investments in Emerging Markets. Investing in emerging markets involves additional risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or markets. Such risks may include (i) increased risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (ii) greater social, economic and political uncertainty, including war; (iii) higher dependence on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (iv) greater volatility, less liquidity and smaller capitalization of markets; (v) greater volatility in currency exchange rates; (vi) greater risk of inflation; (vii) greater controls on foreign investment and limitations on realization of investments, repatriation of invested capital and on the ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (viii) increased likelihood of governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (ix) governmental decisions to cease support of economic reform programs or to impose centrally planned economies; (x) differences in auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in the unavailability of material information about issuers; (xi) less extensive regulation of the markets; (xii) longer settlement periods for transactions and less reliable clearance and custody arrangements; (xiii) less developed corporate laws regarding fiduciary duties of officers and directors and the protection of investors; (xiv) certain considerations regarding the maintenance of the Fund’s securities with local brokers and securities depositories and (xv) the imposition of withholding or other taxes on dividends, interest, capital gains, other income or gross sale or disposition proceeds. The Fund defines the term “emerging market” to include those countries included or announced to be included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

 

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Repatriation of investment income, assets and the proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval in some emerging market countries. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for such repatriation or by withholding taxes imposed by emerging market countries on interest or dividends paid on securities held by the Fund or gains from the disposition of such securities.

 

In emerging markets, there is often less government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, stock exchanges, over-the-counter markets, brokers, dealers, counterparties and issuers than in other more established markets. Any regulatory supervision that is in place may be subject to manipulation or control. Some emerging market countries do not have mature legal systems comparable to those of more developed countries. Moreover, the process of legal and regulatory reform may not be proceeding at the same pace as market developments, which could result in investment risk. Legislation to safeguard the rights of private ownership may not yet be in place in certain areas, and there may be the risk of conflict among local, regional and national requirements. In certain cases, the laws and regulations governing investments in securities may not exist or may be subject to inconsistent or arbitrary appreciation or interpretation. Both the independence of judicial systems and their immunity from economic, political or nationalistic influences remain largely untested in many countries. The Fund may also encounter difficulties in pursuing legal remedies or in obtaining and enforcing judgments in local courts.

 

Sovereign Debt Obligations. Sovereign debt obligations are issued or guaranteed by foreign governments or their agencies. Sovereign debt may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loans or loan participations. Governmental entities responsible for repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and pay interest when due, and may require renegotiation or reschedule of debt payments. In addition, prospects for repayment of principal and payment of interest may depend on political as well as economic factors. Although some sovereign debt, such as Brady Bonds, is collateralized by U.S. government securities, repayment of principal and payment of interest is not guaranteed by the U.S. government.

 

Foreign Agency Debt Obligations. The Fund may invest in uncollateralized bonds issued by agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities of foreign governments. Bonds issued by these foreign government agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities are generally backed only by the creditworthiness and reputation of the entities issuing the bonds and may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the foreign government. Moreover, a foreign government that explicitly provides its full faith and credit to a particular entity may be, due to changed circumstances, unable or unwilling to provide that support. A foreign agency’s operations and financial condition are influenced by the foreign government’s economic and other policies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of a foreign government may cause the value of debt issued by that particular foreign government’s agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities to decline. During periods of economic uncertainty, the trading of foreign agency bonds may be less liquid while market prices may be more volatile than prices of other bonds. Additional risks associated with foreign agency investing include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards; adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations; political instability; and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital.

 

Obligations of Supranational Entities. Supranational entities are entities established through the joint participation of several governments, and include the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, African Development Bank, European Economic Community, European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank. The governmental members, or “stockholders,” usually make initial capital contributions to the supranational entity and, in many cases, are committed to make additional capital contributions if the supranational entity is unable to repay its borrowings. There is no guarantee that one or more stockholders of a supranational entity will continue to make any necessary additional capital contributions. If such contributions are not made, the entity may be unable to pay interest or repay principal on its debt securities, and the Fund may lose money on such investments.

 

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Investment Funds. Some emerging countries currently prohibit direct foreign investment in the securities of their companies. Certain emerging countries, however, permit indirect foreign investment in the securities of companies listed and traded on their stock exchanges through investment funds that they have specifically authorized. Investments in these investment funds are subject to the provisions of the 1940 Act. If the Fund invests in such investment funds, shareholders will bear not only their proportionate share of the expenses (including operating expenses and the fees of the Adviser), but also will indirectly bear similar expenses of the underlying investment funds. In addition, these investment funds may trade at a premium over their net asset value.

 

Risks of Foreign Securities and Securities of Companies Operating in Foreign Countries:

 

Foreign securities, foreign currencies, and securities issued by U.S. entities with substantial foreign operations may involve significant risks in addition to the risks inherent in U.S. investments.

 

·Political and Economic Factors. Local political, economic, regulatory, or social instability, military action or unrest, or adverse diplomatic developments may affect the value of foreign investments. Listed below are some of the more important political and economic factors that could negatively affect an investment in foreign securities:

 

§The economies of foreign countries may differ from the economy of the United States in such areas as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency, budget deficits and national debt;

 

§Foreign governments sometimes participate to a significant degree, through ownership interests or regulation, in their respective economies. Actions by these governments could significantly influence the market prices of securities and payment of dividends;

 

§The economies of many foreign countries are dependent on international trade and their trading partners and they could be severely affected if their trading partners were to enact protective trade barriers and economic conditions;

 

§The internal policies of a particular foreign country may be less stable than in the United States. Other countries face significant external political risks, such as possible claims of sovereignty by other countries or tense and sometimes hostile border clashes; and

 

§A foreign government may act adversely to the interests of U.S. investors, including expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation and other restrictions on U.S. investment. A country may restrict or control foreign investments in its securities markets. These restrictions could limit the Fund’s ability to invest in a particular country or make it very expensive for the Fund to invest in that country. Some countries require prior governmental approval or limit the types or amount of securities or companies in which a foreigner can invest. Other countries may restrict the ability of foreign investors to repatriate their investment income and capital gains.

 

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (the “EU”) (commonly known as “Brexit”), which led to significant global market volatility, as well as political, economic, and legal uncertainty. On January 31, 2020, the UK formally left the EU and entered into a transition period scheduled. The UK was in a transition period until December 31, 2020, during which the UK and the EU negotiated an agreement on the terms of their future trading and security relationship, which principally relates to the trading of goods rather than services. The EU member states have given their support to have the agreement “provisionally applied” from January 1, 2021 through February 28, 2021. Further discussions are to be held between the UK and the EU in relation to matters not covered by the trade agreement, such as in relation to financial services. There is still considerable uncertainty regarding the potential consequences of Brexit, including whether Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK, the broader global economy or the value of the British pound sterling. Brexit may cause both the British pound sterling and the Euro to depreciate in relation to the U.S. dollar. As a result of Brexit, the UK may be less stable than it has been in recent years, and investments in the UK may be difficult to value or subject to greater or more frequent volatility. Brexit could adversely affect European or worldwide political, regulatory, economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in global political institutions, regulatory agencies and financial markets. Brexit could also lead to legal uncertainty and politically divergent national laws and regulations while a new relationship between the UK and the EU is defined and the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. Further, Brexit may cause additional member states to contemplate departing from the EU, which would likely perpetuate political and economic instability in the region and cause additional market disruption in global financial markets. The UK and European economies and the broader global economy could be significantly impacted during this period of uncertainty, which may result in increased volatility and illiquidity, and potentially lower economic growth in markets in the UK, Europe and globally that could potentially have an adverse effect on the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

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·Information and Supervision. There may be less publicly available information about foreign companies than companies based in the United States. For example, there are often no reports and ratings published about foreign companies comparable to the ones written about U.S. companies. Foreign companies may not be subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. The lack of comparable information makes investment decisions concerning foreign companies more difficult and less reliable than those concerning domestic companies.

 

·Stock Exchange and Market Risk. The Adviser anticipates that in some cases an exchange or over-the-counter market located outside of the United States will be the best available market for foreign securities. Foreign stock markets, while growing in volume and sophistication, are generally not as developed as the markets in the United States. Foreign stock markets tend to differ from those in the United States in a number of possible ways.

 

Foreign stock markets may:

 

§Be generally more volatile than, and not as developed or efficient as, those in the United States;

 

§Have substantially less volume;

 

§Trade securities that tend to be less liquid and experience rapid and erratic price movements;

 

§Have generally higher commissions and are subject to set minimum rates, as opposed to negotiated rates;

 

§Employ trading, settlement and custodial practices less developed than those in U.S. markets; and

 

§Have different settlement practices, which may cause delays and increase the potential for failed settlements.

 

Foreign markets may offer less protection to shareholders than U.S. markets because:

 

§Foreign accounting, auditing, and financial reporting requirements may render a foreign corporate balance sheet more difficult to understand and interpret than one subject to U.S. law and standards;

 

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§Adequate public information on foreign issuers may not be available, and it may be difficult to secure dividends and information regarding corporate actions on a timely basis;

 

§There may be less overall governmental supervision and regulation of securities exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the United States;

 

§Over-the-counter markets tend to be less regulated than stock exchange markets and, in certain countries, may be totally unregulated;

 

§Economic or political concerns may influence regulatory enforcement and may make it difficult for shareholders to enforce their legal rights; and

 

§Restrictions on transferring securities within the United States or to U.S. persons may make a particular security less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions.

 

·Foreign Currency Risk. While the Fund denominates its net asset value in U.S. dollars, the securities of foreign companies are frequently denominated in foreign currencies. Thus, a change in the value of a foreign currency against the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding change in value of securities denominated in that currency. Some of the factors that may impair the investments denominated in a foreign currency are:

 

§It may be expensive to convert foreign currencies into U.S. dollars and vice versa;

 

§Complex political and economic factors may significantly affect the values of various currencies, including the U.S. dollar, and their exchange rates;

 

§Government intervention may increase risks involved in purchasing or selling foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts, since exchange rates may not be free to fluctuate in response to other market forces;

 

§There may be no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies or regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis;

 

§Available quotation information is generally representative of very large round-lot transactions in the inter-bank market and thus may not reflect exchange rates for smaller odd-lot transactions (less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable; and

 

§The inter-bank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that a market is closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, certain markets may not always reflect significant price and rate movements.

 

·Taxes. Certain foreign governments levy withholding taxes on dividend and interest income. Although in some countries it is possible for the Fund to recover a portion of these taxes, the portion that cannot be recovered will reduce the income the Fund receives from its investments.

 

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Short-Term Instruments and Temporary Investments

 

The Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including “money market instruments,” for temporary defensive positions or on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market securities include short-term U.S. government securities; custodial receipts evidencing separately traded interest and principal components of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury; commercial paper rated in the highest short-term rating category by a nationally recognized statistical ratings organization (“NRSRO”), such as Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (“S&P”) or Moody’s Investor Services, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase; short-term bank obligations (certificates of deposit, time deposits and bankers’ acceptances) of U.S. commercial banks with assets of at least $1 billion as of the end of their most recent fiscal year; and repurchase agreements involving such securities. Each of these money market securities are described below. For a description of ratings, see “Appendix A – Description of Ratings” to this SAI.

 

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

 

Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, Ginnie Mae pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by Fannie Mae, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency. Additionally, some obligations are issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, which are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury. While the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. Guarantees of principal by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities may be a guarantee of payment at the maturity of the obligation so that in the event of a default prior to maturity there might not be a market and thus no means of realizing on the obligation prior to maturity. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of these securities nor to the value of the Fund’s shares.

 

·U.S. Treasury Obligations. U.S. Treasury obligations consist of direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury, including Treasury bills, notes and bonds, and separately traded interest and principal component parts of such obligations, including those transferable through the Federal book-entry system known as Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (“STRIPS”). The STRIPS program lets investors hold and trade the individual interest and principal components of eligible Treasury notes and bonds as separate securities. Under the STRIPS program, the principal and interest components are separately issued by the U.S. Treasury at the request of depository financial institutions, which then trade the component parts separately.

 

Municipal Securities. Municipal securities, including municipal bonds and municipal notes, consist of: (i) debt obligations issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds to be used for various public facilities, for refunding outstanding obligations, for general operating expenses and for lending such funds to other public institutions and facilities, and (ii) certain private activity and industrial development bonds issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds to provide for the construction, equipment, repair or improvement of privately operated facilities.

 

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Municipal bonds are debt obligations issued to obtain funds for various public purposes. Municipal bonds include general obligation bonds, revenue or special obligation bonds, private activity and industrial development bonds, moral obligation bonds and participation interests in municipal bonds. General obligation bonds are backed by the taxing power of the issuing municipality. Revenue or special obligation bonds are backed by the revenues of a project or facility, such as tolls from a toll bridge. Private activity or industrial development bonds are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to raise money to finance various privately-owned or -operated facilities for business and manufacturing, housing, sports and pollution control. These bonds are also used to finance public facilities such as airports, mass transit systems, ports, parking or sewage or solid waste disposal facilities and certain other facilities. The payment of the principal and interest on such bonds is dependent solely on the ability of the facility’s user to meet its financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property financed as security for such payment. Moral obligation bonds are normally issued by special purpose authorities. Moral obligation bonds are not backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing municipality, but are generally backed by the agreement of the issuing authority to request appropriations from the municipality’s legislative body. Certificates of participation represent an interest in an underlying obligation or commitment, such as an obligation issued in connection with a leasing arrangement.

 

Municipal notes consist of general obligation notes, tax anticipation notes (notes sold to finance working capital needs of the issuer in anticipation of receiving taxes on a future date), revenue anticipation notes (notes sold to provide needed cash prior to receipt of expected non-tax revenues from a specific source), bond anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes, certificates of indebtedness, demand notes and construction loan notes. The maturities of the instruments at the time of issue will generally range from three months to one year.

 

Commercial Paper. Commercial paper is the term used to designate unsecured short-term promissory notes issued by corporations and other entities. Maturities on these issues vary from a few to 270 days.

 

Obligations of Domestic Banks, Foreign Banks and Foreign Branches of U.S. Banks. The Fund may invest in obligations issued by banks and other savings institutions. Investments in bank obligations include obligations of domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks. Such investments in domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks may involve risks that are different from investments in securities of domestic branches of U.S. banks. These risks may include future unfavorable political and economic developments, possible withholding taxes on interest income, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, currency controls, interest limitations, or other governmental restrictions which might affect the payment of principal or interest on the securities held by the Fund. Additionally, these institutions may be subject to less stringent reserve requirements and to different accounting, auditing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements than those applicable to domestic branches of U.S. banks. Bank obligations include the following:

 

·Time Deposits. Time deposits are non-negotiable receipts issued by a bank in exchange for the deposit of funds. Like a certificate of deposit, it earns a specified rate of interest over a definite period of time; however, it cannot be traded in the secondary market. Time deposits with a withdrawal penalty or that mature in more than seven days are considered to be illiquid investments.

 

·Unsecured Bank Promissory Notes. Promissory notes are generally debt obligations of the issuing entity and are subject to the risks of investing in the banking industry.

 

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Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities. Fixed income securities are considered investment grade if they are rated in one of the four highest rating categories by an NRSRO, or, if not rated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Adviser. See “Appendix A – Description of Ratings” for a description of the bond rating categories of several NRSROs. Ratings of each NRSRO represent its opinion of the safety of principal and interest payments (and not the market risk) of bonds and other fixed income securities it undertakes to rate at the time of issuance. Ratings are not absolute standards of quality and may not reflect changes in an issuer’s creditworthiness. Fixed income securities rated BBB- or Baa3 lack outstanding investment characteristics, and have speculative characteristics as well. Securities rated Baa3 by Moody’s or BBB- by S&P or higher are considered by those rating agencies to be “investment grade” securities, although Moody’s considers securities rated in the Baa category to have speculative characteristics. While issuers of bonds rated BBB by S&P are considered to have adequate capacity to meet their financial commitments, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to pay interest and principal for debt in this category than debt in higher rated categories. In the event a security owned by the Fund is downgraded below investment grade, the Adviser will review the situation and take appropriate action with regard to the security, including the actions discussed below.

 

Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with financial institutions. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a fixed income security (generally a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance, or a certificate of deposit) from a commercial bank, broker, or dealer, and simultaneously agrees to resell such security to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next business day). Because the security purchased constitutes collateral for the repurchase obligation, a repurchase agreement may be considered a loan that is collateralized by the security purchased. The acquisition of a repurchase agreement may be deemed to be an acquisition of the underlying securities as long as the obligation of the seller to repurchase the securities is collateralized fully. The Fund follows certain procedures designed to minimize the risks inherent in such agreements. These procedures include effecting repurchase transactions only with creditworthy financial institutions whose condition will be continually monitored by the Adviser. The repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund will provide that the underlying collateral at all times shall have a value at least equal to 102% of the resale price stated in the agreement and consist only of securities permissible under Section 101(47)(A)(i) of the Bankruptcy Code (the Adviser monitors compliance with this requirement). Under all repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund, the custodian or its agent must take possession of the underlying collateral. In the event of a default or bankruptcy by a selling financial institution, the Fund will seek to liquidate such collateral. However, the exercising of the Fund’s right to liquidate such collateral could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Fund could suffer a loss. The Fund may also enter into “tri-party” repurchase agreements. In “tri-party” repurchase agreements, an unaffiliated third party custodian maintains accounts to hold collateral for the Fund and its counterparties and, therefore, the Fund may be subject to the credit risk of those custodians. The investments of the Fund in repurchase agreements, at times, may be substantial when, in the view of the Adviser, liquidity or other considerations so warrant.

 

Debt Securities

 

Corporations and governments use debt securities to borrow money from investors. Most debt securities promise a variable or fixed rate of return and repayment of the amount borrowed at maturity. Some debt securities, such as zero coupon bonds, do not pay current interest and are purchased at a discount from their face value.

 

Corporate Bonds. Corporations issue bonds and notes to raise money for working capital or for capital expenditures such as plant construction, equipment purchases and expansion. In return for the money loaned to the corporation by investors, the corporation promises to pay investors interest, and repay the principal amount of the bond or note.

 

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Mortgage-Backed Securities. Mortgage-backed securities are interests in pools of mortgage loans that various governmental, government-related and private organizations assemble as securities for sale to investors. Unlike most debt securities, which pay interest periodically and repay principal at maturity or on specified call dates, mortgage-backed securities make monthly payments that consist of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Since homeowners usually have the option of paying either part or all of the loan balance before maturity, the effective maturity of a mortgage-backed security is often shorter than is stated.

 

Governmental entities, private insurers and mortgage poolers may insure or guarantee the timely payment of interest and principal of these pools through various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit. The Adviser will consider such insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of the issuers thereof in determining whether a mortgage-related security meets its investment quality standards. It is possible that the private insurers or guarantors will not meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements.

 

Although the market for such securities is becoming increasingly liquid, securities issued by certain private organizations may not be readily marketable.

 

Risks of Mortgage-Backed Securities. Yield characteristics of mortgage-backed securities differ from those of traditional debt securities in a variety of ways. The most significant differences of mortgage-backed securities are: 1) payments of interest and principal are more frequent (usually monthly) and 2) falling interest rates generally cause individual borrowers to pay off their mortgage earlier than expected, which results in prepayments of principal on the securities, thus forcing the Fund to reinvest the money at a lower interest rate. In addition to risks associated with changes in interest rates, a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors, such as the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, can cause investors to repay the loans underlying a mortgage-backed security sooner than expected. When prepayment occurs, the Fund may have to reinvest its principal at a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on existing mortgage-backed securities.

 

Commercial Banks, Savings and Loan Institutions, Private Mortgage Insurance Companies, Mortgage Bankers and other Secondary Market Issuers. Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional mortgage loans. In addition to guaranteeing the mortgage-related security, such issuers may service and/or have originated the underlying mortgage loans. Pools created by these issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than pools created by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they are not guaranteed by a government agency.

 

Other Asset-Backed Securities. These securities are interests in pools of a broad range of assets other than mortgages, such as automobile loans, computer leases and credit card receivables. Like mortgage-backed securities, these securities are pass-through. In general, the collateral supporting these securities is of shorter maturity than mortgage loans and is less likely to experience substantial prepayments with interest rate fluctuations, but may still be subject to prepayment risk.

 

Asset-backed securities present certain risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. Primarily, these securities may not have the benefit of any security interest in the related assets, which raises the possibility that recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities. For example, credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which allow debtors to reduce their balances by offsetting certain amounts owed on the credit cards. Most issuers of asset-backed securities backed by automobile receivables permit the servicers of such receivables 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 related asset-backed securities. Due to the quantity of vehicles involved and requirements under state laws, asset-backed securities backed by automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in all of the obligations backing such receivables.

 

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To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, the entity administering the pool of assets may agree to ensure that the receipt of payments on the underlying pool occurs in a timely fashion (“liquidity protection”). In addition, asset-backed securities may obtain insurance, such as guarantees, policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties, for some or all of the assets in the pool (“credit support”). Delinquency or loss more than that anticipated or failure of the credit support could adversely affect the return on an investment in such a security.

 

The Fund may also invest in residual interests in asset-backed securities, which consist of the excess cash flow remaining after making required payments on the securities and paying related administrative expenses. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a particular issue of asset-backed securities depends in part on the characteristics of the underlying assets, the coupon rates on the securities, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the actual prepayment experience on the underlying assets.

 

Bank Loans. Bank loans typically are arranged through private negotiations between a borrower and several financial institutions or a group of lenders which are represented by one or more lenders acting as agent. The agent is often a commercial bank that originates the loan and invites other parties to join the lending syndicate. The agent will be primarily responsible for negotiating the loan agreement and will have responsibility for the documentation and ongoing administration of the loan on behalf of the lenders after completion of the loan transaction. The Fund can invest in a bank loan either as a direct lender or through an assignment or participation.

 

When the Fund acts as a direct lender, it will have a direct contractual relationship with the borrower and may participate in structuring the loan, may enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement and may have voting, consent and set-off rights under the loan agreement.

 

Loan assignments are investments in all or a portion of certain bank loans purchased from the lenders or from other third parties. The purchaser of an assignment typically will acquire direct rights against the borrower under the loan. While the purchaser of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning lender under the loan agreement, because assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and assignors, or other third parties whose interests are being assigned, the rights and obligations acquired by the Fund may differ from and be more limited than those held by the assigning lender.

 

A holder of a loan participation typically has only a contractual right with the seller of the participation and not with the borrower or any other entities interpositioned between the seller of the participation and the borrower. As such, the purchaser of a loan participation assumes the credit risk of the seller of the participation, and any intermediary entities between the seller and the borrower, in addition to the credit risk of the borrower. When the Fund holds a loan participation, it will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and fees to which it may be entitled only from the seller of the participation and only upon receipt of the seller of such payments from the borrower or from any intermediary parties between the seller and the borrower. Additionally, the Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement, will have no voting, consent or set-off rights under the loan agreement and may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the loan although lenders that sell participations generally are required to distribute liquidation proceeds received by them pro rata among the holders of such participations. In the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the borrower, a loan participation may be subject to certain defenses that can be asserted by the borrower as a result of improper conduct by the seller or intermediary. If the borrower fails to pay principal and interest when due, the Fund may be subject to greater delays, expenses and risks than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of such borrower.

 

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Direct loans, assignments and loan participations may be considered liquid, as determined by the Adviser based on criteria approved by the Board.

 

The Fund may have difficulty disposing of bank loans because, in certain cases, the market for such instruments is not highly liquid. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the value of such instruments and on the Fund’s ability to dispose of the bank loan in response to a specific economic event, such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of the borrower. Furthermore, transactions in many loans settle on a delayed basis, and the Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a substantial period of time after the sale. As a result, those proceeds will not be available to make additional investments or to meet the Fund’s redemption obligations. To the extent that extended settlement creates short-term liquidity needs, the Fund may satisfy these needs by holding additional cash or selling other investments (potentially at an inopportune time, which could result in losses to the Fund).

 

Bank loans may not be considered “securities,” and purchasers, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws.

 

The Adviser may from time to time have the opportunity to receive material, non-public information (“Confidential Information”) about the borrower, including financial information and related documentation regarding the borrower that is not publicly available. Pursuant to applicable policies and procedures, the Adviser may (but is not required to) seek to avoid receipt of Confidential Information from the borrower so as to avoid possible restrictions on its ability to purchase and sell investments on behalf of the Fund and other clients to which such Confidential Information relates (e.g., publicly traded securities issued by the borrower). In such circumstances, the Fund (and other clients of the Adviser) may be disadvantaged in comparison to other investors, including with respect to the price the Fund pays or receives when it buys or sells a bank loan. Further, the Adviser’s abilities to assess the desirability of proposed consents, waivers or amendments with respect to certain bank loans may be compromised if it is not privy to available Confidential Information. The Adviser may also determine to receive such Confidential Information in certain circumstances under its applicable policies and procedures. If the Adviser intentionally or unintentionally comes into possession of Confidential Information, it may be unable, potentially for a substantial period of time, to purchase or sell publicly traded securities to which such Confidential Information relates.

 

Securities of Other Investment Companies

 

The Fund may invest in shares of other investment companies, to the extent permitted by applicable law, subject to certain restrictions. These investment companies typically incur fees that are separate from those fees incurred directly by the Fund. The Fund’s purchase of such investment company securities results in the layering of expenses, such that shareholders would indirectly bear a proportionate share of the operating expenses of such investment companies, including advisory fees, in addition to paying the Fund’s expenses. Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act prohibits a fund from (i) acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any one investment company, (ii) investing more than 5% of its total assets in any one investment company, and (iii) investing more than 10% of its total assets in all investment companies combined, including its ETF investments. Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act provides an exemption from these limits if a fund complies with the terms of the Rule.

 

For hedging or other purposes, the Fund may invest in investment companies that seek to track the composition and/or performance of specific indexes or portions of specific indexes. Certain of these investment companies, known as ETFs, are traded on a securities exchange. An ETF is a fund whose shares are bought and sold on a securities exchange as if it were a single security. An ETF holds a portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market segment or index. Some examples of ETFs are SPDRs®, DIAMONDSSM, NASDAQ 100 Index Tracking StockSM (“QQQsSM”), and iShares®. The Fund could purchase an ETF to temporarily gain exposure to a portion of the U.S. or foreign market while awaiting an opportunity to purchase securities directly. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the securities comprising the index which an index ETF is designed to track or the other holdings of an active or index ETF, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile than the tracked index or underlying holdings, and ETFs have management fees that increase their costs versus the costs of owning the underlying holdings directly. The market prices of index-based investments will fluctuate in accordance with changes in the underlying portfolio securities of the investment company and also due to supply and demand of the investment company’s shares on the exchange upon which the shares are traded. Index-based investments may not replicate or otherwise match the composition or performance of their specified index due to transaction costs, among other things.

 

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The Fund may invest in investment companies that are not registered with the SEC or in privately placed securities of investment companies (which may or may not be registered), such as hedge funds and offshore funds. Unregistered funds are largely exempt from the regulatory requirements that apply to registered investment companies. As a result, unregistered funds may have a greater ability to make investments, or use investment techniques, that offer a higher potential investment return (for example, leveraging), but which may carry high risk. The Fund may invest indirectly in bitcoin indirectly through an investment in Bitcoin Investment Trust (“GBTC”) or another investment vehicle. Many significant aspects of the U.S. federal income tax treatment of investments in cryptocurrencies are uncertain and such investments, even indirectly, may produce non-qualifying income for purposes of the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to regulated investment companies. An investment vehicle such as GBTC is treated as a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and therefore an investment by a Fund in GBTC will generally be treated as a direct investment in bitcoin for such purposes.

 

Unregistered funds, while not regulated by the SEC like registered funds, may be indirectly supervised by the financial institutions (e.g., commercial and investment banks) that may provide them with loans or other sources of capital. Investments in unregistered funds may be difficult to sell, which could cause the Fund to lose money when selling an interest in an unregistered fund. For example, many hedge funds require their investors to hold their investments for at least one year.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

 

Reverse repurchase agreements are transactions in which the Fund sells portfolio securities to financial institutions, such as banks and broker-dealers, and agrees to repurchase them at a mutually agreed-upon date and price that is higher than the original sale price. Reverse repurchase agreements are similar to a fully collateralized borrowing by the Fund. At the time the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will earmark on the books of the Fund or place in a segregated account cash or liquid securities having a value equal to the repurchase price (including accrued interest) and will subsequently monitor the account to ensure that such equivalent value is maintained.

 

Reverse repurchase agreements involve risks. Reverse repurchase agreements are a form of leverage, and the use of reverse repurchase agreements by the Fund may increase the Fund’s volatility. Reverse repurchase agreements are also subject to the risk that the other party to the reverse repurchase agreement will be unable or unwilling to complete the transaction as scheduled, which may result in losses to the Fund. Reverse repurchase agreements also involve the risk that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund may decline below the price at which it is obligated to repurchase the securities. In addition, when the Fund invests the proceeds it receives in a reverse repurchase transaction, there is a risk that those investments may decline in value. In this circumstance, the Fund could be required to sell other investments in order to meet its obligations to repurchase the securities.

 

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Derivatives

 

Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is based on an underlying asset (such as a stock or a bond), an underlying economic factor (such as an interest rate) or a market benchmark. Unless otherwise stated in the Prospectus, the Fund may use derivatives for a number of purposes including managing risk, gaining exposure to various markets in a cost-efficient manner, reducing transaction costs, remaining fully invested and speculating. The Fund may also invest in derivatives with the goal of protecting itself from broad fluctuations in market prices, interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates (a practice known as “hedging”). When hedging is successful, the Fund will have offset any depreciation in the value of its portfolio securities by the appreciation in the value of the derivative position. Although techniques other than the sale and purchase of derivatives could be used to control the exposure of the Fund to market fluctuations, the use of derivatives may be a more effective means of hedging this exposure. In the future, to the extent such use is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and is legally permissible, the Fund may use instruments and techniques that are not presently contemplated, but that may be subsequently developed.

 

There can be no assurance that a derivative strategy, if employed, will be successful. Because many derivatives have a leverage or borrowing component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Accordingly, certain derivative transactions may be considered to constitute borrowing transactions for purposes of the 1940 Act. Such a derivative transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance of a “senior security” by the Fund, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by the Fund, if the Fund covers the transaction or segregates sufficient liquid assets (or such assets are “earmarked” on the Fund’s books) in accordance with the requirements and interpretations of the SEC and its staff. Futures contracts, forward contracts and other applicable securities and instruments that settle physically, and written options on such contracts, will be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty.

 

Pursuant to rules adopted under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the Fund must either operate within certain guidelines and restrictions with respect to the Fund’s use of futures, options on such futures, commodity options and certain swaps, or the Adviser will be subject to registration with the CFTC as a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”).

 

Consistent with the CFTC’s regulations, the Trust, on behalf of the Adviser, has filed a notice of exclusion from the definition of the term CPO under the CEA pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5 with respect to the Fund and, therefore, the Adviser is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA with respect to the Fund. As a result, the Adviser will be limited in its ability to use futures, options on such futures, commodity options and certain swaps with respect to the Fund. Complying with the limitations may restrict the Adviser’s ability to implement the Fund’s investment strategies and may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

 

Types of Derivatives:

 

Futures. A futures contract is an agreement between two parties whereby one party agrees to sell and the other party agrees to buy a specified amount of a financial instrument at an agreed upon price and time. The financial instrument underlying the contract may be a stock, stock index, bond, bond index, interest rate, foreign exchange rate or other similar instrument. Agreeing to buy the underlying financial instrument is called buying a futures contract or taking a long position in the contract. Likewise, agreeing to sell the underlying financial instrument is called selling a futures contract or taking a short position in the contract.

 

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Futures contracts are traded in the United States on commodity exchanges or boards of trade (known as “contract markets”) approved for such trading and regulated by the CFTC. These contract markets standardize the terms, including the maturity date and underlying financial instrument, of all futures contracts.

 

Unlike other securities, the parties to a futures contract do not have to pay for or deliver the underlying financial instrument until some future date (the “delivery date”). Contract markets require both the purchaser and seller to deposit “initial margin” with a futures broker, known as a futures commission merchant or custodian bank, when they enter into the contract. Initial margin deposits are typically equal to a percentage of the contract’s value. Initial margin is similar to a performance bond or good faith deposit on a contract and is returned to the depositing party upon termination of the futures contract if all contractual obligations have been satisfied. After they open a futures contract, the parties to the transaction must compare the purchase price of the contract to its daily market value. If the value of the futures contract changes in such a way that a party’s position declines, that party must make additional “variation margin” payments so that the margin payment is adequate. On the other hand, the value of the contract may change in such a way that there is excess margin on deposit, possibly entitling the party that has a gain to receive all or a portion of this amount. This process is known as “marking to the market.” Variation margin does not represent a borrowing or loan by a party but is instead a settlement between the party and the futures broker of the amount one party would owe the other if the futures contract terminated. In computing daily net asset value, each party marks to market its open futures positions.

 

Although the terms of a futures contract call for the actual delivery of and payment for the underlying security, in many cases the parties may close the contract early by taking an opposite position in an identical contract. If the sale price upon closing out the contract is less than the original purchase price, the party closing out the contract will realize a loss. If the sale price upon closing out the contract is more than the original purchase price, the party closing out the contract will realize a gain. Conversely, if the purchase price upon closing out the contract is more than the original sale price, the party closing out the contract will realize a loss. If the purchase price upon closing out the contract is less than the original sale price, the party closing out the contract will realize a gain.

 

The Fund may incur commission expenses when it opens or closes a futures position.

 

Options. An option is a contract between two parties for the purchase and sale of a financial instrument for a specified price (known as the “strike price” or “exercise price”) at any time during the option period. Unlike a futures contract, an option grants a right (not an obligation) to buy or sell a financial instrument. Generally, a seller of an option can grant a buyer two kinds of rights: a “call” (the right to buy the security) or a “put” (the right to sell the security). Options have various types of underlying instruments, including specific securities, indices of securities prices, foreign currencies, interest rates and futures contracts. Options may be traded on an exchange (exchange-traded options) or may be customized agreements between the parties (over-the-counter or “OTC” options). Like futures, a financial intermediary, known as a clearing corporation, financially backs exchange-traded options. However, OTC options have no such intermediary and are subject to the risk that the counterparty will not fulfill its obligations under the contract. The principal factors affecting the market value of an option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market value of the underlying instrument relative to the exercise price of the option, the volatility of the underlying instrument, and the time remaining until the option expires.

 

§Purchasing Put and Call Options

 

When the Fund purchases a put option, it buys the right to sell the instrument underlying the option at a fixed strike price. In return for this right, the Fund pays the current market price for the option (known as the “option premium”). The Fund may purchase put options to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of its securities (“protective puts”) or to benefit from a decline in the price of securities that it does not own. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to cover the premium and transaction costs. However, if the price of the underlying instrument does not fall enough to offset the cost of purchasing the option, a put buyer would lose the premium and related transaction costs.

 

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Call options are similar to put options, except that the Fund obtains the right to purchase, rather than sell, the underlying instrument at the option’s strike price. The Fund would normally purchase call options in anticipation of an increase in the market value of securities it owns or wants to buy. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying instrument exceeded the exercise price plus the premium paid and related transaction costs. Otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

 

The purchaser of an option may terminate its position by:

 

§Allowing it to expire and losing its entire premium;

 

§Exercising the option and either selling (in the case of a put option) or buying (in the case of a call option) the underlying instrument at the strike price; or

 

§Closing it out in the secondary market at its current price.

 

§Selling (Writing) Put and Call Options

 

When the Fund writes a call option it assumes an obligation to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a fixed strike price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. Similarly, when the Fund writes a put option it assumes an obligation to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a fixed strike price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. The Fund may terminate its position in an exchange-traded put option before exercise by buying an option identical to the one it has written. Similarly, the Fund may cancel an OTC option by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to the option.

 

The Fund could try to hedge against an increase in the value of securities it would like to acquire by writing a put option on those securities. If security prices rise, the Fund would expect the put option to expire and the premium it received to offset the increase in the security’s value. If security prices remain the same over time, the Fund would hope to profit by closing out the put option at a lower price. If security prices fall, the Fund may lose an amount of money equal to the difference between the value of the security and the premium it received. Writing covered put options may deprive the Fund of the opportunity to profit from a decrease in the market price of the securities it would like to acquire.

 

The characteristics of writing call options are similar to those of writing put options, except that call writers expect to profit if prices remain the same or fall. The Fund could try to hedge against a decline in the value of securities it already owns by writing a call option. If the price of that security falls as expected, the Fund would expect the option to expire and the premium it received to offset the decline of the security’s value. However, the Fund must be prepared to deliver the underlying instrument in return for the strike price, which may deprive it of the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the securities it holds.

 

The Fund is permitted to write only “covered” options. At the time of selling a call option, the Fund may cover the option by owning, among other things:

 

§The underlying security (or securities convertible into the underlying security without additional consideration), index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract;

 

§A call option on the same security or index with the same or lesser exercise price;

 

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§A call option on the same security or index with a greater exercise price, provided that the Fund also segregates cash or liquid securities in an amount equal to the difference between the exercise prices;

 

§Cash or liquid securities equal to at least the market value of the optioned securities, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract; or

 

§In the case of an index, the portfolio of securities that corresponds to the index.

 

At the time of selling a put option, the Fund may cover the option by, among other things:

 

§Entering into a short position in the underlying security;

 

§Purchasing a put option on the same security, index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract with the same or greater exercise price;

 

§Purchasing a put option on the same security, index, interest rate, foreign currency or futures contract with a lesser exercise price and segregating cash or liquid securities in an amount equal to the difference between the exercise prices; or

 

§Maintaining the entire exercise price in liquid securities.

 

§Options on Securities Indices

 

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.

 

·Options on Credit Default Swaps

 

An option on a credit default swap (“CDS”) gives the holder the right to enter into a CDS at a specified future date and under specified terms in exchange for a purchase price or premium. The writer of the option bears the risk of any unfavorable move in the value of the CDS relative to the market value on the exercise date, while the purchaser may allow the option to expire unexercised.

 

§Options on Futures

 

An option on a futures contract provides the holder with the right to buy a futures contract (in the case of a call option) or sell a futures contract (in the case of a put option) at a fixed time and price. Upon exercise of the option by the holder, the contract market clearing house establishes a corresponding short position for the writer of the option (in the case of a call option) or a corresponding long position (in the case of a put option). If the option is exercised, the parties will be subject to the futures contracts. In addition, the writer of an option on a futures contract is subject to initial and variation margin requirements on the option position. Options on futures contracts are traded on the same contract market as the underlying futures contract.

 

The buyer or seller of an option on a futures contract may terminate the option early by purchasing or selling an option of the same series (i.e., the same exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously purchased or sold. The difference between the premiums paid and received represents the trader’s profit or loss on the transaction.

 

The Fund may purchase put and call options on futures contracts instead of selling or buying futures contracts. The Fund may buy a put option on a futures contract for the same reasons it would sell a futures contract. It also may purchase such a put option in order to hedge a long position in the underlying futures contract. The Fund may buy a call option on a futures contract for the same purpose as the actual purchase of a futures contract, such as in anticipation of favorable market conditions.

 

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The Fund may write a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a decline in the prices of the instrument underlying the futures contracts. If the price of the futures contract at expiration were below the exercise price, the Fund would retain the option premium, which would offset, in part, any decline in the value of its portfolio securities.

 

The writing of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of the futures contracts, except that, if the market price declines, the Fund would pay more than the market price for the underlying instrument. The premium received on the sale of the put option, less any transaction costs, would reduce the net cost to the Fund.

 

§Options on Foreign Currencies

 

A put option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell a foreign currency at the exercise price until the option expires. A call option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the option expires. The Fund may purchase or write put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of hedging against changes in future currency exchange rates.

 

The Fund may use foreign currency options given the same circumstances under which it could use forward foreign currency exchange contracts. For example, a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency in which the Fund’s securities are denominated would reduce the U.S. dollar value of the securities, even if their value in the foreign currency remained constant. In order to hedge against such a risk, the Fund may purchase a put option on the foreign currency. If the value of the currency then declined, the Fund could sell the currency for a fixed amount in U.S. dollars and thereby offset, at least partially, the negative effect on its securities that otherwise would have resulted. Conversely, if the Fund anticipates a rise in the U.S. dollar value of a currency in which securities to be acquired are denominated, the Fund may purchase call options on the currency in order to offset, at least partially, the effects of negative movements in exchange rates. If currency exchange rates do not move in the direction or to the extent anticipated, the Fund could sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options.

 

§Combined Positions

 

The Fund may purchase and write options in combination with each other, or in combination with futures or forward contracts or swap agreements, to adjust the risk and return characteristics of the overall position. For example, the Fund could construct a combined position whose risk and return characteristics are similar to selling a futures contract by purchasing a put option and writing a call option on the same underlying instrument. Alternatively, the Fund could write a call option at one strike price and buy a call option at a lower price to reduce the risk of the written call option in the event of a substantial price increase. Because combined options positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.

 

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. A forward foreign currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific amount of currency at a future date or date range at a specific price. In the case of a cancelable forward contract, the holder has the unilateral right to cancel the contract at maturity by paying a specified fee. Forward foreign currency exchange contracts differ from foreign currency futures contracts in certain respects. Unlike futures contracts, forward contracts:

 

§Do not have standard maturity dates or amounts (i.e., the parties to the contract may fix the maturity date and the amount);

 

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§Are typically traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers in the inter-bank markets, as opposed to on exchanges regulated by the CFTC (note, however, that under new definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, many non-deliverable foreign currency forwards will be considered swaps for certain purposes, including determination of whether such instruments must be traded on exchanges and centrally cleared);

 

§Do not require an initial margin deposit; and

 

§May be closed by entering into a closing transaction with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract, as opposed to with a commodities exchange.

 

Foreign Currency Hedging Strategies. A “settlement hedge” or “transaction hedge” is designed to protect the Fund against an adverse change in foreign currency values between the date a security is purchased or sold and the date on which payment is made or received. Entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale of the amount of foreign currency involved in an underlying security transaction for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars “locks in” the U.S. dollar price of the security. The Fund may also use forward contracts to purchase or sell a foreign currency when it anticipates purchasing or selling securities denominated in foreign currency, even if it has not yet selected the specific investments.

 

The Fund may use forward contracts to hedge against a decline in the value of existing investments denominated in foreign currency. Such a hedge, sometimes referred to as a “position hedge,” would tend to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations, but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. The Fund could also hedge the position by selling another currency expected to perform similarly to the currency in which the Fund’s investment is denominated. This type of hedge, sometimes referred to as a “proxy hedge,” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield, or efficiency, but generally would not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a direct hedge into U.S. dollars. Proxy hedges may result in losses if the currency used to hedge does not perform similarly to the currency in which the hedged securities are denominated.

 

Transaction and position hedging do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities that the Fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange that one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency and to limit any potential gain that might result from the increase in value of such currency.

 

The Fund may enter into forward contracts to shift its investment exposure from one currency into another. Such transactions may call for the delivery of one foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency, including currencies in which its securities are not then denominated. This may include shifting exposure from U.S. dollars to a foreign currency, or from one foreign currency to another foreign currency. This type of strategy, sometimes known as a “cross-hedge,” will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased. Cross-hedges may protect against losses resulting from a decline in the hedged currency but will cause the Fund to assume the risk of fluctuations in the value of the currency it purchases. Cross-hedging transactions also involve the risk of imperfect correlation between changes in the values of the currencies involved.

 

It is difficult to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, the Fund may have to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot (cash) market if the market value of a security it is hedging is less than the amount of foreign currency it is obligated to deliver. Conversely, the Fund may have to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency it received upon the sale of a security if the market value of such security exceeds the amount of foreign currency it is obligated to deliver.

 

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Participation Notes (“P-Notes”). P-Notes are participation interest notes that are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to offer a return linked to a particular underlying equity, debt, currency or market. When purchasing a P-Note, the posting of margin is not required because the full cost of the P-Note (plus commission) is paid at the time of purchase. When the P-Note matures, the issuer will pay to, or receive from, the purchaser the difference between the nominal value of the underlying instrument at the time of purchase and that instrument’s value at maturity. Investments in P-Notes involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the underlying foreign companies or foreign securities markets that they seek to replicate.

 

In addition, there can be no assurance that the trading price of P-Notes will equal the underlying value of the foreign companies or foreign securities markets that they seek to replicate. The holder of a P-Note that is linked to a particular underlying security is entitled to receive any dividends paid in connection with an underlying security or instrument. However, the holder of a P-Note does not receive voting rights as it would if it directly owned the underlying security or instrument. P-Notes are generally traded over-the-counter. P-Notes constitute general unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them. There is also counterparty risk associated with these investments because the Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of such counterparty and has no rights under a P-Note against the issuer of the underlying security. In addition, the Fund will incur transaction costs as a result of investment in P-Notes.

 

Swap Agreements. A swap agreement is a financial instrument that typically involves the exchange of cash flows between two parties on specified dates (settlement dates), where the cash flows are based on agreed-upon prices, rates, indices, etc. The nominal amount on which the cash flows are calculated is called the notional amount. Swap agreements are individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors, such as interest rates, foreign currency rates, mortgage securities, corporate borrowing rates, security prices or inflation rates.

 

Swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the investments of the Fund and its share price. The performance of swap agreements may be affected by a change in the specific interest rate, currency, or other factors that determine the amounts of payments due to and from the Fund. If a swap agreement calls for payments by the Fund, the Fund must be prepared to make such payments when due. In addition, if the counterparty’s creditworthiness declined, the value of a swap agreement would be likely to decline, potentially resulting in losses.

 

Generally, swap agreements have a fixed maturity date that will be agreed upon by the parties. The agreement can be terminated before the maturity date under certain circumstances, such as default by one of the parties or insolvency, among others, and can be transferred by a party only with the prior written consent of the other party. The Fund may be able to eliminate its exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or by other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same party or a similarly creditworthy party. If the counterparty is unable to meet its obligations under the contract, declares bankruptcy, defaults or becomes insolvent, the Fund may not be able to recover the money it expected to receive under the swap agreement. The Fund will not enter into any swap agreement unless the Adviser believes that the counterparty to the transaction is creditworthy.

 

A swap agreement can be a form of leverage, which can magnify the Fund’s gains or losses. In order to reduce the risk associated with leveraging, the Fund may cover its current obligations under swap agreements according to guidelines established by the SEC. If the Fund enters into a swap agreement on a net basis, it will segregate assets with a daily value at least equal to the excess, if any, of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap agreement over the accrued amount the Fund is entitled to receive under the agreement. If the Fund enters into a swap agreement on other than a net basis, it will segregate assets with a value equal to the full amount of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap agreement.

 

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§Equity Swaps

 

In a typical equity swap, one party agrees to pay another party the return on a stock, stock index or basket of stocks in return for a specified interest rate. By entering into an equity index swap, for example, the index receiver can gain exposure to stocks making up the index of securities without actually purchasing those stocks. Equity index swaps involve not only the risk associated with investment in the securities represented in the index, but also the risk that the performance of such securities, including dividends, will not exceed the return on the interest rate that the Fund will be committed to pay.

 

§Total Return Swaps

 

Total return swaps are contracts in which one party agrees to make payments of the total return from a reference instrument—which may be a single asset, a pool of assets or an index of assets—during a specified period, in return for payments equal to a fixed or floating rate of interest or the total return from another underlying reference instrument. The total return includes appreciation or depreciation on the underlying asset, plus any interest or dividend payments. Payments under the swap are based upon an agreed upon principal amount but, since the principal amount is not exchanged, it represents neither an asset nor a liability to either counterparty, and is referred to as notional. Total return swaps are marked to market daily using different sources, including quotations from counterparties, pricing services, brokers or market makers. The unrealized appreciation or depreciation related to the change in the valuation of the notional amount of the swap is combined with the amount due to the Fund at termination or settlement. The primary risks associated with total return swaps are credit risks (if the counterparty fails to meet its obligations) and market risk (if there is no liquid market for the swap or unfavorable changes occur to the underlying reference instrument).

 

§Interest Rate Swaps

 

Interest rate swaps are financial instruments that involve the exchange of one type of interest rate for another type of interest rate cash flow on specified dates in the future. Some of the different types of interest rate swaps are “fixed-for-floating rate swaps,” “termed basis swaps” and “index amortizing swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of fixed interest rate cash flows for floating rate cash flows. Termed basis swaps entail cash flows to both parties based on floating interest rates, where the interest rate indices are different. Index amortizing swaps are typically fixed-for-floating rate swaps where the notional amount changes if certain conditions are met.

 

As with a traditional investment in a debt security, the Fund could lose money by investing in an interest rate swap if interest rates change adversely. For example, if the Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a floating rate of interest for a fixed rate of interest, the Fund may have to pay more money than it receives. Similarly, if the Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a fixed rate of interest for a floating rate of interest, the Fund may receive less money than it has agreed to pay.

 

§Currency Swaps

 

A currency swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to make interest rate payments in one currency and the other promises to make interest rate payments in another currency. The Fund may enter into a currency swap when it has one currency and desires a different currency. Typically, the interest rates that determine the currency swap payments are fixed, although occasionally one or both parties may pay a floating rate of interest. Unlike an interest rate swap, however, the principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the agreement and returned at the end of the agreement. Changes in foreign exchange rates and changes in interest rates, as described above, may negatively affect currency swaps.

 

§Inflation Swaps

 

Inflation swaps are fixed-maturity, over-the-counter derivatives where one party pays a fixed rate in exchange for payments tied to an inflation index, such as the Consumer Price Index. The fixed rate, which is set by the parties at the initiation of the swap, is often referred to as the “breakeven inflation” rate and generally represents the current difference between treasury yields and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities yields of similar maturities at the initiation of the swap agreement. Inflation swaps are typically designated as “zero coupon,” where all cash flows are exchanged at maturity. The value of an inflation swap is expected to fluctuate in response to changes in the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. An inflation swap can lose value if the realized rate of inflation over the life of the swap is less than the fixed market implied inflation rate (the breakeven inflation rate) the investor agreed to pay at the initiation of the swap.

 

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§Credit Default Swaps

 

A credit default swap is an agreement between a “buyer” and a “seller” for credit protection. The credit default swap agreement may have as reference obligations one or more securities that are not then held by the Fund. The protection buyer is generally obligated to pay the protection seller an upfront payment and/or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement until a credit event on a reference obligation has occurred. If no default occurs, the seller would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the full notional amount (the “par value”) of the swap.

 

§Caps, Collars and Floors

 

Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. In a typical cap or floor agreement, one party agrees to make payments only under specified circumstances, usually in return for payment of a fee by the other party. For example, the buyer of an interest rate cap obtains the right to receive payments to the extent that a specified interest rate exceeds an agreed-upon level. The seller of an interest rate floor is obligated to make payments to the extent that a specified interest rate falls below an agreed-upon level. An interest rate collar combines elements of buying a cap and selling a floor.

 

Risks of Derivatives:

 

While transactions in derivatives may reduce certain risks, these transactions themselves entail certain other risks. For example, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance of the Fund than if it had not entered into any derivatives transactions. Derivatives may magnify the Fund’s gains or losses, causing it to make or lose substantially more than it invested.

 

When used for hedging purposes, increases in the value of the securities the Fund holds or intends to acquire should offset any losses incurred with a derivative. Purchasing derivatives for purposes other than hedging could expose the Fund to greater risks.

 

Use of derivatives involves transaction costs, which may be significant, and may also increase the amount of taxable income to shareholders.

 

Correlation of Prices. The Fund’s ability to hedge its securities through derivatives depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying index or instrument correlate with price movements in the relevant securities. In the case of poor correlation, the price of the securities the Fund is hedging may not move in the same amount, or even in the same direction as the hedging instrument. The Adviser will try to minimize this risk by investing in only those contracts whose behavior it expects to correlate with the behavior of the portfolio securities it is trying to hedge. However, if the Adviser’s prediction of interest and currency rates, market value, volatility or other economic factors is incorrect, the Fund may lose money, or may not make as much money as it expected.

 

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Derivative prices can diverge from the prices of their underlying instruments, even if the characteristics of the underlying instruments are very similar to the derivative. Listed below are some of the factors that may cause such a divergence:

 

§Current and anticipated short-term interest rates, changes in volatility of the underlying instrument, and the time remaining until expiration of the contract;

 

§A difference between the derivatives and securities markets, including different levels of demand, how the instruments are traded, the imposition of daily price fluctuation limits or discontinued trading of an instrument; and

 

§Differences between the derivatives, such as different margin requirements, different liquidity of such markets and the participation of speculators in such markets.

 

Derivatives based upon a narrower index of securities, such as those of a particular industry group, may present greater risk than derivatives based on a broad market index. Since narrower indices are made up of a smaller number of securities, they are more susceptible to rapid and extreme price fluctuations because of changes in the value of those securities.

 

While currency futures and options values are expected to correlate with exchange rates, they may not reflect other factors that affect the value of the investments of the Fund. A currency hedge, for example, should protect a yen-denominated security from a decline in the yen, but will not protect the Fund against a price decline resulting from deterioration in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Because the value of the Fund’s foreign-denominated investments changes in response to many factors other than exchange rates, it may not be possible to match the amount of currency options and futures to the value of the Fund’s investments precisely over time.

 

Lack of Liquidity. Before a futures contract or option is exercised or expires, the Fund can terminate it only by entering into a closing purchase or sale transaction. Moreover, the Fund may close out a futures contract only on the exchange the contract was initially traded. Although the Fund intends to purchase options and futures only where there appears to be an active market, there is no guarantee that such a liquid market will exist. If there is no secondary market for the contract, or the market is illiquid, the Fund may not be able to close out its position. In an illiquid market, the Fund may:

 

§Have to sell securities to meet its daily margin requirements at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so;

 

§Have to purchase or sell the instrument underlying the contract;

 

§Not be able to hedge its investments; and/or

 

§Not be able to realize profits or limit its losses.

 

Derivatives may become illiquid (i.e., difficult to sell at a desired time and price) under a variety of market conditions. For example:

 

§An exchange may suspend or limit trading in a particular derivative instrument, an entire category of derivatives or all derivatives, which sometimes occurs because of increased market volatility;

 

§Unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations of an exchange;

 

§The facilities of the exchange may not be adequate to handle current trading volume;

 

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§Equipment failures, government intervention, insolvency of a brokerage firm or clearing house or other occurrences may disrupt normal trading activity; or

 

§Investors may lose interest in a particular derivative or category of derivatives.

 

Management Risk. Successful use of derivatives by the Fund is subject to the ability of the Adviser to forecast stock market and interest rate trends. If the Adviser incorrectly predicts stock market and interest rate trends, the Fund may lose money by investing in derivatives. For example, if the Fund were to write a call option based on the Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would fall, but the price were to rise instead, the Fund could be required to sell the security upon exercise at a price below the current market price. Similarly, if the Fund were to write a put option based on the Adviser’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would rise, but the price were to fall instead, the Fund could be required to purchase the security upon exercise at a price higher than the current market price.

 

Pricing Risk. At times, market conditions might make it hard to value some investments. For example, if the Fund has valued its securities too high, shareholders may end up paying too much for Fund shares when they buy into the Fund. If the Fund underestimates its price, shareholders may not receive the full market value for their Fund shares when they sell.

 

Margin. Because of the low margin deposits required upon the opening of a derivative position, such transactions involve an extremely high degree of leverage. Consequently, a relatively small price movement in a derivative may result in an immediate and substantial loss (as well as gain) to the Fund and it may lose more than it originally invested in the derivative.

 

If the price of a futures contract changes adversely, the Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so to meet its minimum daily margin requirement. The Fund may lose its margin deposits if a broker-dealer with whom it has an open futures contract or related option becomes insolvent or declares bankruptcy.

 

Volatility and Leverage. The Fund’s use of derivatives may have a leveraging effect. Leverage generally magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in value of an underlying asset and results in increased volatility, which means the Fund will have the potential for greater gains, as well as the potential for greater losses, than if the Fund does not use derivative instruments that have a leveraging effect. The prices of derivatives are volatile (i.e., they may change rapidly, substantially and unpredictably) and are influenced by a variety of factors, including:

 

§Actual and anticipated changes in interest rates;

 

§Fiscal and monetary policies; and

 

§National and international political events.

 

Most exchanges limit the amount by which the price of a derivative can change during a single trading day. Daily trading limits establish the maximum amount that the price of a derivative may vary from the settlement price of that derivative at the end of trading on the previous day. Once the price of a derivative reaches that value, the Fund may not trade that derivative at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a given day and does not limit potential gains or losses. Derivative prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days, preventing prompt liquidation of the derivative.

 

Government Regulation. The regulation of derivatives markets in the U.S. is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in 2010, grants significant new authority to the SEC and the CFTC to impose comprehensive regulations on the over-the-counter and cleared derivatives markets. These regulations include, but are not limited to, mandatory clearing of certain derivatives and requirements relating to disclosure, margin and trade reporting. The law and regulations may negatively impact the Fund by increasing transaction and/or regulatory compliance costs, limiting the availability of certain derivatives or otherwise adversely affecting the value or performance of the derivatives the Fund trades.

 

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On October 28, 2020, the SEC adopted Rule 18f-4 (the “Derivatives Rule”) under the 1940 Act which, following an implementation period, will replace existing SEC and staff guidance with an updated, comprehensive framework for registered funds’ use of derivatives. Among other changes, the Derivatives Rule will require the Fund to trade derivatives and certain other instruments that create future payment or delivery obligations subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, develop and implement a derivatives risk management program and new testing requirements, and comply with new requirements related to board and SEC reporting. These new requirements will apply unless the Fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the Derivatives Rule. Complying with the Derivatives Rule may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. Other potentially adverse regulatory obligations can develop suddenly and without notice.

 

Illiquid Investments

 

Illiquid investments are investments that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Because of their illiquid nature, illiquid investments must be priced at fair value as determined in good faith pursuant to procedures approved by the Board. Despite such good faith efforts to determine fair value prices, the Fund’s illiquid investments are subject to the risk that the investment’s fair value price may differ from the actual price which the Fund may ultimately realize upon its sale or disposition. Difficulty in selling illiquid investments may result in a loss or may be costly to the Fund. Under the supervision of the Board, the Adviser determines the liquidity of the Fund’s investments. The Fund may not acquire an illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets.

 

Securities Lending

 

The Fund may lend, in the future, portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial organizations that meet capital and other credit requirements or other criteria established by the Board. These loans, if and when made, may not exceed 33 1/3% of the total asset value of the Fund (including the loan collateral). The Fund will not lend portfolio securities to the Adviser or its affiliates unless permissible under the 1940 Act and the rules and promulgations thereunder. Loans of portfolio securities will be fully collateralized by cash, letters of credit or U.S. government securities, and the collateral will be maintained in an amount equal to at least 100% of the current market value of the loaned securities by marking to market daily. Any gain or loss in the market price of the securities loaned that might occur during the term of the loan would be for the account of the Fund.

 

The Fund may pay a part of the interest earned from the investment of collateral, or other fee, to an unaffiliated third party for acting as the Fund’s securities lending agent, but will bear all of any losses from the investment of collateral.

 

By lending its securities, the Fund may increase its income by receiving payments from the borrower that reflect the amount of any interest or any dividends payable on the loaned securities as well as by either investing cash collateral received from the borrower in short-term instruments or obtaining a fee from the borrower when U.S. government securities or letters of credit are used as collateral. Investing cash collateral subjects the Fund to market risk. The Fund remains obligated to return all collateral to the borrower under the terms of its securities lending arrangements, even if the value of investments made with the collateral decline. Accordingly, if the value of a security in which the cash collateral has been invested declines, the loss would be borne by the Fund, and the Fund may be required to liquidate other investments in order to return collateral to the borrower at the end of the loan. The Fund will adhere to the following conditions whenever its portfolio securities are loaned: (i) the Fund must receive at least 100% cash collateral or equivalent securities of the type discussed above from the borrower; (ii) the borrower must increase such collateral whenever the market value of the securities rises above the level of such collateral; (iii) the Fund must be able to terminate the loan on demand; (iv) the Fund must receive reasonable interest on the loan, as well as any dividends, interest or other distributions on the loaned securities and any increase in market value; (v) the Fund may pay only reasonable fees in connection with the loan (which fees may include fees payable to the lending agent, the borrower, the Fund’s administrator and the custodian); and (vi) voting rights on the loaned securities may pass to the borrower, provided, however, that if a material event adversely affecting the investment occurs, the Fund must terminate the loan and regain the right to vote the securities. In such instances, the Adviser will vote the securities in accordance with its proxy voting policies and procedures. The Board has adopted procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the foregoing criteria will be met. Loan agreements involve certain risks in the event of default or insolvency of the borrower, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund’s ability to recover the loaned securities or dispose of the collateral for the loan, which could give rise to loss because of adverse market action, expenses and/or delays in connection with the disposition of the underlying securities.

 

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Restricted Securities

 

The Fund may purchase restricted securities. Restricted securities are securities that may not be sold freely to the public absent registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”) or an exemption from registration. This generally includes securities that are unregistered that can be sold to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act or securities that are exempt from registration under the 1933 Act, such as privately placed securities and/or commercial paper. Institutional markets for restricted securities have developed as a result of the promulgation of Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, which provides a “safe harbor” from 1933 Act registration requirements for qualifying sales to institutional investors. When Rule 144A restricted securities present an attractive investment opportunity and meet other selection criteria, the Fund may make such investments whether or not such investments are “illiquid” depending on the market that exists for the particular security. The Board has delegated the responsibility for determining the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities that the Fund may invest in to the Adviser.

 

Other privately placed securities, besides Rule 144A securities, are generally considered to be illiquid and may be difficult to sell promptly or at reasonable prices. In addition, less information may be available about companies that make private placements than about publicly offered companies and such companies may not be subject to the disclosure and other investor protection requirements that would be applicable if their securities were publicly traded. Privately placed securities are typically fair valued and generally have no secondary trading market; therefore, such investments may be more difficult to value than publicly traded securities. Difficulty in valuing a private placement may make it difficult to accurately determine the Fund’s exposure to private placement investments, which could subject the Fund to increased risks. Private placement investments may subject the Fund to contingent liabilities in the event a private issuer is acquired by another company during the period it is held by the Fund. Private placement investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses. These factors may have a negative effect on the Fund’s performance.

 

Borrowing and Leverage Risk

 

The Fund may borrow money to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. If the Fund borrows money, it must pay interest and other fees, which will reduce the Fund’s returns if such costs exceed the returns on the portfolio securities purchased or retained with such borrowings. Any such borrowings are intended to be temporary. However, under certain market conditions, including periods of low demand or decreased liquidity, such borrowings might be outstanding for longer periods of time. As prescribed by the 1940 Act, the Fund will be required to maintain specified asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to any bank borrowing immediately following such borrowing. In the event that such asset coverage shall at any time fall below 300%, the Fund shall, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays), reduce the amount of its borrowings to an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowings shall be at least 300%. The Fund may be required to dispose of assets on unfavorable terms if market fluctuations or other factors reduce the Fund’s asset coverage to less than the prescribed amount.

 

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Bitcoin Risk

 

Although the Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin, the Fund invests in securities of companies that hold bitcoin, transact in bitcoin, or are otherwise exposed to the bitcoin ecosystem. Therefore, the Fund is exposed to the risks associated with bitcoin investments. Bitcoin is an extremely new and nontraditional asset. Bitcoin was invented in 2009 and not all information with respect to its origin is known, which limits a potential shareholder’s ability to evaluate the performance of bitcoin. Digital assets, represented on a decentralized public transaction ledger that is maintained by an open source protocol, are substantively different from traditional assets and investments. Because of the complex nature of bitcoin itself coupled with an investment with exposure to the performance thereof, an investor in the Fund may face numerous material risks that may not be present in other investments. These risks include:

 

·Bitcoin Exchange Risk. The exchanges on which bitcoin trades (“Bitcoin Exchanges”) are new and, in many cases, unregulated. Furthermore, many Bitcoin Exchanges (including several of the most prominent U.S. Dollar-denominated Bitcoin Exchanges) do not provide the public with significant information regarding their ownership structure, management teams, corporate practices or regulatory compliance. As a result, the marketplace may lose confidence in or may experience problems relating to Bitcoin Exchanges, including prominent exchanges which handle a significant portion of the volume of bitcoin trading. Bitcoin Exchanges may impose daily, weekly, monthly or customer-specific transaction or distribution limits, or the Bitcoin Exchanges may suspend withdrawals entirely, rendering the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency difficult or impossible. Bitcoin Exchanges generally operate outside of the United States. An investor may have difficulty in successfully pursuing claims in the courts of such countries or enforcing in the courts of such countries a judgment obtained in another country. In general, certain less developed countries lack fully developed legal systems and bodies of commercial law and practices normally found in countries with more developed market economies. Currently, there are no specific regulatory protections in place that would protect an investor in bitcoin from financial losses if a Bitcoin Exchange were to fail or go out of business. Participation in Bitcoin Exchanges requires users to take on credit risk by transferring bitcoin from a personal account to a third party’s account.

 

A number of Bitcoin Exchanges have been closed due to fraud, failure or security breaches. In many of these instances, the customers of such Bitcoin Exchanges were not compensated or made whole for the partial or complete losses of their account balances in such Bitcoin Exchanges. While smaller Bitcoin Exchanges are less likely to have the infrastructure and capitalization that make larger Bitcoin Exchanges more stable, larger Bitcoin Exchanges are more likely to be appealing targets for hackers and “malware” (i.e., software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems). In 2014, the largest Bitcoin Exchange at the time, Mt. Gox, filed for bankruptcy in Japan amid reports the exchange lost up to 850,000 bitcoin, valued then at over $450 million, as well as $28 million in cash from the exchanges bank accounts. In August 2016, Bitfinex, a Bitcoin Exchange located in Hong Kong, reported a security breach that resulted in the theft of approximately 120,000 bitcoin valued at the time at approximately $65 million, a loss which was allocated to all Bitfinex account holders (rather than just specified holders whose wallets were affected directly), regardless of whether the account holder held bitcoin or cash in their account. A lack of stability in the Bitcoin Exchange market and the closure or temporary shutdown of Bitcoin Exchanges due to fraud, business failure, hackers or malware, or government-mandated regulation may reduce confidence in the Bitcoin Network and result in greater volatility in the price of bitcoin. These potential consequences of a Bitcoin Exchange’s failure could adversely affect the price of bitcoin, which would may impact the value of the Fund’s investments. Conversely, an increase in stability in the Bitcoin Exchange market could favorably impact the price of bitcoin, which may impact the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

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·Competition Risk. The Bitcoin Network and bitcoin, as an asset, hold a “first-to-market” advantage over other digital assets. This first-to-market advantage is driven in large part by having, as of the date of this prospectus, the largest user and investor base and the largest number of miners and, consequently, the largest aggregate hashrate securing the blockchain and verifying its transactions. Having a large mining network results in greater user confidence regarding the security and long-term stability of a digital asset’s network and its block chain; as a result, the advantage of more users and miners makes a digital asset more secure, which makes it more attractive to new users and miners, resulting in a network effect that strengthens the first-to-market advantage. However, it is possible that another digital asset could become materially popular due to either a perceived or exposed shortcoming of the Bitcoin Network protocol that is not immediately addressed by the bitcoin contributor community or a perceived advantage of an “altcoin” that includes features not incorporated into bitcoin. In particular, the digital asset “ethereum,” has gained substantial market share in recent months, which may be in part due to perceived institutional backing and/or potentially advantageous features not incorporated into bitcoin. Additionally, on August 1, 2017, the bitcoin network “forked,” creating a new digital asset referred to as Bitcoin Cash which was designed to address perceived limitations of the Bitcoin Network’s block size requirements. If a digital asset obtains significant market share (either in market capitalization, mining power or use as a payment technology), this could reduce bitcoin’s market share and have an impact on the demand for, and price of, bitcoin and thereby adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

·Intellectual Property Risk. Third parties may assert intellectual property claims relating to the holding and transfer of digital assets and their source code. Regardless of the merit of any intellectual property or other legal action, any threatened action that reduces confidence in the Bitcoin Network’s long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and transfer bitcoin may adversely affect an investment in the Shares. Additionally, a successful intellectual property claim could prevent market participants from accessing the Bitcoin Network or holding or transferring their bitcoin, which could adversely impact the price of bitcoin and the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

·Internet and Cybersecurity Risk. The Bitcoin Network’s functionality relies on the Internet. A significant disruption of Internet connectivity affecting large numbers of users or geographic areas could impede the functionality of the Bitcoin Network and adversely affect the Fund. In addition, certain features of the Bitcoin Network, such as decentralization, open source protocol, and reliance on peer-to-peer connectivity, may increase the risk of fraud or cyber-attack by potentially reducing the likelihood of a coordinated response.

 

·Maintenance Risk. The Bitcoin Network operates based on an open source protocol maintained by contributors. As an open source project, Bitcoin is not represented by an official organization or authority. As the Bitcoin Network protocol is not sold and its use does not generate revenues for contributors, contributors are generally not compensated for maintaining and updating the Bitcoin Network protocol. The lack of guaranteed financial incentive for contributors to maintain or develop the Bitcoin Network and the lack of guaranteed resources to adequately address emerging issues with the Bitcoin Network may reduce incentives to address the issues adequately or in a timely manner. Bitcoin Network miners engage in a set of prescribed complex mathematical calculations in order to add a block to the Blockchain and thereby confirm Bitcoin transactions. Miners that are successful in adding a block to the Blockchain are automatically awarded a fixed number of bitcoin for their effort. As the award of new bitcoin for solving blocks declines, and if transaction fees are not sufficiently high, miners may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease their mining operations. This reduction may result in a reduction in the aggregate hashrate of the Bitcoin Network as the incentive for miners will decrease, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions (i.e., temporarily decreasing the speed at which blocks are added to the Blockchain until the next scheduled adjustment in difficulty for block solutions). More significant reductions in aggregate hashrate on the Bitcoin Network could result in material, though temporary, delays in block solution confirmation time. Any reduction in confidence in the confirmation process or aggregate hashrate of the Bitcoin Network may impact the value of bitcoin, which would be likely to impact the value of the Fund’s investments. Additionally, if a malicious actor obtains a majority of the processing power (referred to herein as “aggregate hashrate”) dedicated to mining on the Bitcoin Network, it will be able to exert unilateral control over the addition of blocks to the Blockchain. As long as the malicious actor enjoys this majority it may be able to “double-spend” its own bitcoin (i.e., spend the same bitcoin in two or more conflicting transactions) as well as prevent the confirmation of other Bitcoin transactions. A reduction in the hashrate expended by miners on the Bitcoin Network could increase the likelihood of a malicious actor obtaining control in excess of fifty (50) percent of the aggregate hashrate active on the Bitcoin Network. If such a scenario were to materialize, it could adversely affect an investment in the Fund.

 

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·New Asset and Limited Trading History Risk. Bitcoin, which is a new technological innovation with a limited history, is a new and highly speculative asset. There is no assurance that usage of bitcoin will continue to grow. A contraction in the use of bitcoin may result in increased volatility or a reduction in the price of bitcoin, which could adversely impact the value of the Fund. Bitcoin was invented in 2009; bitcoin and its trading history thus have existed for a relatively short time, which limits a potential shareholder’s ability to evaluate an investment in the Fund. Moreover, Bitcoin Futures have only recently been introduced to the U.S. marketplace.

 

·Regulatory Risk. To the extent that future regulatory actions or policies limit or enhance the ability to exchange bitcoin or utilize them for payments, the demand for bitcoin may be reduced or increased. Furthermore, regulatory actions may limit the ability of end-users to convert bitcoin into fiat currency (e.g., U.S. Dollars) or use bitcoin to pay for goods and services. Bitcoin currently faces an uncertain regulatory landscape in not only the United States but also in many foreign jurisdictions such as the European Union, China and Russia. Some foreign jurisdictions have banned bitcoin as a means of payment. Most regulatory bodies have not yet issued official statements regarding intention to regulate or determinations on regulation of bitcoin, the Bitcoin Network and bitcoin users. Various foreign jurisdictions may, in the near future, adopt laws, regulations or directives that affect the Bitcoin Network and its users, particularly Bitcoin Exchanges and service providers that fall within such jurisdictions’ regulatory scope. Such laws, regulations or directives may conflict with those of the United States and may negatively impact the acceptance of bitcoin by users, merchants and service providers outside of the United States and may therefore impede the growth of the bitcoin economy. The effect of any future regulatory change on bitcoin is impossible to predict, but such change could be substantial and adverse to value of the Fund’s investments. Current and future legislation, CFTC and SEC rulemaking and other regulatory developments may affect how bitcoin is classified (e.g., as a security, property, commodity, currency, etc.) and regulated. Current IRS guidance indicates that digital assets such as bitcoin should be treated and taxed as property, and that transactions involving the payment of bitcoin for goods and services should be treated as barter transactions. This treatment may create a potential tax reporting requirement in any circumstance where the ownership of a bitcoin passes from one person to another, usually by means of Bitcoin transactions. Foreign jurisdictions may also elect to treat digital assets such as bitcoin differently for tax purposes. To the extent a foreign jurisdiction with a significant share of the market of bitcoin users imposes onerous tax burdens on bitcoin users, or imposes sales or value added tax on purchases and sales of bitcoin for fiat currency, such actions could result in decreased demand for bitcoin in such jurisdiction, which could impact the price of bitcoin and negatively impact the value of the Fund’s investments. Accounting standards may also change, creating an obligation to accrue for a tax liability that was not previously required to be accrued for or in situations where it is not expected that will directly or indirectly be ultimately subject to such tax liability. These regulatory changes have the potential to increase or decrease interest in bitcoin, which could impact the price of bitcoin and the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

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·Structural Risk. A small group of individuals contribute to core bitcoin decisions. These individuals can propose refinements or improvements to the Bitcoin Network’s source code through one or more software upgrades that alter the protocols and software that govern the Bitcoin Network and the properties of bitcoin, including the irreversibility of transactions and limitations on the mining of new bitcoin. To the extent that a significant majority of the users and miners on the Bitcoin Network install such software upgrade(s), the Bitcoin Network would be subject to new protocols and software that may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Moreover, a developer or group of developers could potentially propose a modification to the Bitcoin Network that is not accepted by a vast majority of miners and users, but that is nonetheless accepted by a substantial population of participants in the Bitcoin Network. If less than a significant majority of the users and miners on the Bitcoin Network install such software upgrade(s), the Bitcoin Network could “fork.” If this were to occur, two separate Bitcoin Networks could result, one running the pre-modification software program and the other running the modified version (i.e., a second “Bitcoin” network). In the event of a permanent fork with two separate and incompatible Bitcoin Networks, the price movements of different versions of bitcoin on different Bitcoin Networks may deviate. In such case, the Adviser will evaluate the characteristics of each Bitcoin Network to determine in its sole discretion which Bitcoin Network will provide exposure that best comports with each Fund’s investment objective. If the Adviser determines to provide exposure to the price movements of bitcoin from a selected Bitcoin Network, and the interest in such selected Bitcoin Network diminishes or increases relative to the Bitcoin Network that was not selected, this could adversely affect the value of the value of the Fund’s investments. On August 1, 2017, the Bitcoin Network was forked by a group of developers and miners accepting changes to the Bitcoin Network software intended to increase transaction capacity. Blocks mined on this network now diverge from blocks mined on the Bitcoin Network, which has resulted in the creation of a new blockchain whose digital asset is referred to as “Bitcoin Cash.” The Bitcoin Network and the Bitcoin Cash network now operate as separate, independent networks. Multiple proposals for increasing the capacity of the Bitcoin Network still exist, and it is possible that one or more of these proposals could result in further network “forks.” It is possible that the consequences of the August 1, 2017 fork will not be fully appreciated for some time to come.

 

·Usage Risk. A digital asset such as bitcoin may be used, among other things, to buy and sell goods and services. The Bitcoin Network is a new and rapidly evolving industry. The growth of the digital asset industry in general, and the Bitcoin Network in particular, is subject to a high degree of uncertainty. The factors affecting the further development of the Bitcoin Network include:

 

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ocontinued worldwide growth in the adoption and use of bitcoin, which may be impacted by, among other things, negative publicity, perceived illicit uses of bitcoin, security risks for individual holders of bitcoin, and software or hardware malfunctions impacting bitcoin users;

 

ogovernment and quasi-government regulation of bitcoin and its use, or restrictions on or regulation of access to and operation of the Bitcoin Network;

 

ochanges in consumer demographics and public tastes and preferences;

 

othe availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services, including new means of using fiat currencies; and

 

ogeneral economic conditions and the regulatory environment relating to digital assets.

 

Additionally, Bitcoin Exchanges may charge a high fee for effecting transactions. Moreover, in order to incentivize miners to continue to contribute hashrate to the Bitcoin Network, the Bitcoin Network may either formally or informally transition from a set reward to transaction fees earned upon solving for a block. This transition could be accomplished by miners independently or collectively electing to record in the blocks they solve only those transactions that include payment of a sufficiently large transaction fee. If transaction fees paid for Bitcoin transactions become too high, the marketplace may be reluctant to accept bitcoin as a means of payment and existing users may be motivated to switch from bitcoin to another digital asset or back to fiat currency.

 

There is no assurance that the Bitcoin Network, or the service providers necessary to accommodate it, will continue in existence or grow. Furthermore, there is no assurance that the availability of and access to Bitcoin Network service providers will not be negatively affected by government regulation or supply and demand of bitcoin. A decline in the popularity or acceptance of the Bitcoin Network may impair the price of bitcoin, while an increased acceptance of the Bitcoin Network may benefit the price of bitcoin, either of which could have an impact on the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

·Valuation Risk. As an alternative to fiat currencies that are backed by governments, digital assets such as bitcoin, which are relatively new, are subject to supply and demand forces based upon the desirability of an alternative, decentralized means of buying and selling goods and services, and it is unclear how such supply and demand will be impacted by geopolitical events. Nevertheless, political or economic crises may motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of bitcoin either globally or locally. Large-scale purchases or sales of bitcoin could result in movements in the price of bitcoin and could negatively or positively impact the value of the Fund’s investments. Because bitcoin is not backed by a government, it is not subject to the protections that apply to other currencies. For instance, no government can be expected to bolster the value of bitcoin in case of a crash in its value. Fluctuations in the price of bitcoin could adversely affect an investment in the Fund. The price of bitcoin has fluctuated widely over the past several years, and many factors may affect the value of bitcoin, including, but not limited to:

 

oGlobal bitcoin supply;

 

oGlobal bitcoin demand, which is influenced by the growth of retail merchants’ and commercial businesses’ acceptance of bitcoin as payment for goods and services, the security of online Bitcoin Exchanges and public keys associated with bitcoin, the perception that the use and holding of bitcoin is safe and secure, and the lack of regulatory restrictions on their use;

 

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oInvestors’ expectations with respect to the rate of inflation;

 

oInterest rates;

 

oCurrency exchange rates, including the rates at which bitcoin may be exchanged for fiat currencies;

 

oFiat currency withdrawal and deposit policies of the Bitcoin Exchange Market;

 

oInterruptions in service from or failures of the Bitcoin Exchange Market;

 

oInvestment and trading activities of large investors, including private and registered funds, that may directly or indirectly invest in bitcoin;

 

oMonetary policies of governments, trade restrictions, currency devaluations and revaluations;

 

oRegulatory measures, if any, that restrict the use of bitcoin as a form of payment or the purchase of bitcoin on the Bitcoin Market;

 

oThe maintenance and development of the open source software protocol of the Bitcoin Network;

 

oGlobal or regional political, economic or financial events and situations; and

 

oExpectations among bitcoin market participants that the value of bitcoin will soon change.

 

In addition, investors should be aware that there is no assurance that bitcoin will maintain its long-term value in terms of purchasing power in the future or that the acceptance of bitcoin for payments by mainstream retail merchants and commercial businesses will continue to grow.

 

Special Risks of Cyber-attacks

 

As with any entity that conducts business through electronic means in the modern marketplace, the Fund, and its service providers, may be susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential information, unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Fund and its service providers use to service the Fund’s operations, ransomware, operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Fund and its service providers, or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber-attacks affecting the Fund or the Adviser, the Fund’s distributor, custodian, or any other of the Fund’s intermediaries or service providers may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses or the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business. For instance, cyber-attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential business information, impede trading, subject the Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses and/or cause reputational damage. The Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes designed to mitigate or prevent the risk of cyber-attacks. Such costs may be ongoing because threats of cyber-attacks are constantly evolving as cyber attackers become more sophisticated and their techniques become more complex. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund may invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers and may cause the Fund’s investments in such companies to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Fund, the Fund’s service providers, or the issuers of the securities in which the Fund invests will not suffer losses relating to cyber-attacks or other information security breaches in the future.

 

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Failure to Qualify as a Regulated Investment Company Risk

 

If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. In such circumstances, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders generally would be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders.

 

Listing Standards Risk

 

The Fund is required by the Exchange to comply with certain listing standards (which includes certain investment parameters) in order to maintain its listing on the Exchange. Compliance with these listing standards may compel the Fund to sell securities at an inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s then-current market value. The sale of securities in such circumstances could limit the Fund’s profit or require the Fund to incur a loss, and as a result, the Fund’s performance could be impacted.

 

LIBOR Replacement Risk

 

The London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), which is used extensively in the U.S. and globally as a benchmark or reference rate for various commercial and financial contracts, is expected to be discontinued. The elimination of LIBOR may adversely affect the interest rates on, and value of, certain Fund investments for which the value is tied to LIBOR. Such investments may include bank loans, derivatives, floating rate securities, and other assets or liabilities tied to LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority announced that it intends to stop compelling or inducing banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. On November 30, 2020, the administrator of LIBOR announced its intention to begin consultation on a delay in the phase out of the majority of the U.S. dollar LIBOR publications until June 30, 2023, with the remainder of LIBOR publications to still end at the end of 2021. It remains unclear if LIBOR will continue to exist in its current, or a modified, form.

 

Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. The U.S. Federal Reserve, based on the recommendations of the New York Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rate Committee (comprised of major derivative market participants and their regulators), has begun publishing a Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), which is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR. Alternative reference rates for other currencies have also been announced or have already begun publication. Markets are slowly developing in response to these new rates. Questions around liquidity impacted by these rates, and how to appropriately adjust these rates at the time of transition, remain a concern for the Fund. The effect of any changes to, or discontinuation of, LIBOR on the Funds will vary depending on, among other things, (1) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments. The expected discontinuation of LIBOR could have a significant impact on the financial markets in general and may also present heightened risk to market participants, including public companies, investment advisers, other investment companies, and broker-dealers. The risks associated with this discontinuation and transition will be exacerbated if the work necessary to effect an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate is not completed in a timely manner. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the transition away from LIBOR on the Fund until new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products, instruments and contracts are commercially accepted.

 

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General Market Risk

 

Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or Shares of a Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on a Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of a Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of a Fund’s Shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, a Fund’s Shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their NAV.

 

An outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus designated as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and subsequently spread internationally. The transmission of COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread have resulted in international, national and local border closings and other significant travel restrictions and disruptions, significant disruptions to business operations, supply chains and customer activity, event cancellations and restrictions, service cancellations, reductions and other changes, significant challenges in healthcare service preparation and delivery, and quarantines, as well as general concern and uncertainty that has negatively affected the economic environment. These impacts also have caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. The impact of this COVID-19 pandemic may be short term or may last for an extended period of time, and in either case could result in a substantial economic downturn or recession. Health crises caused by viral or bacterial outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social, economic, market and financial risks. The impact of this outbreak, and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could negatively affect the global economy, as well as the economies of individual countries, the financial performance of individual companies and sectors, and the markets in general in significant and unforeseen ways. Any such impact could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the securities and other instruments in which the Fund invests, which in turn could negatively impact the Fund’s performance and cause losses on your investment in the Fund.

 

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

 

Fundamental Policies

 

The following investment limitations are fundamental, which means that the Fund cannot change them without approval by the vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund. The phrase “majority of the outstanding shares” means the vote of (i) 67% or more of the Fund’s shares present at a meeting, if more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding shares, whichever is less.

The Fund shall not:

 

(1)Borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

 

(2)Act as an underwriter, except to the extent the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter when disposing of securities it owns or when selling its own shares.

 

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(3)Make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other persons, including other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder which may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

 

(4)Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments and provided that this restriction does not prevent the Fund from (i) purchasing or selling securities or instruments secured by real estate or interests therein, securities or instruments representing interests in real estate or securities or instruments of issuers that invest, deal or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein and (ii) making, purchasing or selling real estate mortgage loans.

 

(5)Purchase or sell commodities except to the extent permitted by applicable law.

 

(6)Issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

 

(7)Invest 25% or more of the Fund’s net assets in securities of issuers in any industry or group of industries (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, repurchase agreements involving such securities, obligations of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions or any of their agencies or instrumentalities, or securities of other investment companies).

 

Notations Regarding the Fund’s Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to borrowing money set forth in (1) above, the 1940 Act permits the Fund to borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the Fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose, and to borrow up to 5% of the Fund’s total assets from banks or other lenders for temporary purposes (the Fund’s total assets include the amounts being borrowed). To limit the risks attendant to borrowing, the 1940 Act requires the Fund to maintain at all times an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the Fund's total assets (including amounts borrowed), minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Borrowing money to increase portfolio holdings is known as “leveraging.” Certain trading practices and investments may be considered to be borrowings or involve leverage and thus are subject to the 1940 Act restrictions. In accordance with SEC staff guidance and interpretations, when the Fund engages in such transactions, the Fund instead of maintaining asset coverage of at least 300%, may segregate or earmark liquid assets, or enter into an offsetting position, in an amount at least equal to the Fund’s exposure, on a mark-to-market basis, to the transaction (as calculated pursuant to requirements of the SEC). The policy in (1) above will be interpreted to permit the Fund to engage in trading practices and investments that may be considered to be borrowing or to involve leverage to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and to permit the Fund to segregate or earmark liquid assets or enter into offsetting positions in accordance with the 1940 Act. Short-term credits necessary for the settlement of securities transactions and arrangements with respect to securities lending, if entered into in the future, will not be considered to be borrowings under the policy. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings are not subject to the policy.

 

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Non-Fundamental Policies

 

In addition to the fundamental policies and investment restrictions described above, and the various general investment policies described in the Prospectus, the Fund will be subject to the following investment restrictions, which are considered non-fundamental and may be changed by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without shareholder approval.

 

(1)The Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in securities that it cannot sell or dispose of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the investment.

 

(2)The Fund is permitted to invest in other investment companies, including open-end, closed-end or unregistered investment companies, either within the percentage limits set forth in the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or SEC staff interpretation thereof, or without regard to percentage limits in connection with a merger, reorganization, consolidation or other similar transaction.

 

(3)The Fund’s investment objective as disclosed in the prospectus.

 

*           *           *

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all limitations under the Fund's fundamental or non-fundamental investment restrictions apply only at the time that a transaction is undertaken. Any change in the percentage of the Fund's assets invested in certain securities or other instruments resulting from market fluctuations or other changes in the Fund’s total assets will not require the Fund to dispose of an investment until the Adviser determines that it is practicable to sell or close out the investment without undue market or tax consequences.

 

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

 

Diversification. Under the 1940 Act and the rules, regulations and interpretations thereunder, a “diversified company,” as to 75% of its total assets, may not purchase securities of any issuer (other than obligations of, or guaranteed by, the U.S. government or its agencies, or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies) if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets would be invested in the securities of such issuer, or more than 10% of the issuer’s voting securities would be held by the fund.

 

Concentration. The 1940 Act requires that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy regarding concentration. The SEC has defined concentration as investing 25% or more of an investment company’s total assets in any particular industry or group of industries, with certain exceptions. For purposes of the Fund’s concentration policy, the Fund may classify and re-classify companies in a particular industry and define and re-define industries in any reasonable manner, consistent with SEC and SEC staff guidance.

 

Borrowing. The 1940 Act presently allows an investment company to borrow from any bank in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) and to borrow for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of its total assets.

 

Lending. Under the 1940 Act, an investment company may only make loans if expressly permitted by its investment policies.

 

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

 

Real Estate and Commodities. The 1940 Act does not directly restrict an investment company’s ability to invest in real estate or commodities, but does require that every investment company have a fundamental investment policy governing such investments.

 

Underwriting. Under the 1940 Act, underwriting securities involves an investment company purchasing securities directly from an issuer for the purpose of selling (distributing) them or participating in any such activity either directly or indirectly. Under the 1940 Act, a diversified fund may not make any commitment as underwriter, if immediately thereafter the amount of its outstanding underwriting commitments, plus the value of its investments in securities of issuers (other than investment companies) of which it owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities, exceeds 25% of the value of its total assets.

 

Except with respect to the Fund’s policy concerning borrowing, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of an investment, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from changes in values or assets will not constitute a violation of such restriction. With respect to the limitation on borrowing, in the event that a subsequent change in net assets or other circumstances cause the Fund to exceed its limitation, the Fund will take steps to bring the aggregate amount of borrowing back within the limitations within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays).

 

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

 

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

 

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

 

The Exchange may consider the suspension of trading in, and may initiate delisting proceedings of, the shares of the Fund under any of the following circumstances: (i) if the Exchange becomes aware that the Fund is no longer eligible to operate in reliance on Rule 6c-11 under the 1940 Act; (ii) if the Fund no longer complies with the applicable listing requirements set forth in the Exchange’s rules; (iii) if, following the initial twelve-month period after commencement of trading on the Exchange of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Fund; or (iv) if such other event shall occur or condition exists which, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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THE ADVISER AND SUB-ADVISER

 

General. KKM Financial LLC, located at 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1711 Chicago, IL 60604, furnishes investment management services to the Fund, subject to the supervision and direction of the Board. In addition, the Adviser oversees the Sub-Adviser to ensure the Sub-Adviser’s compliance with the investment policies and guidelines of the Fund. The Board supervises the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser and establishes policies that the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser must follow in their management activities.

 

The Adviser is 99.5% owned by Killir Kapital Management, LLC along with a 0.5% ownership by Matt Franz. The Adviser offers both high net worth individual and institutional clients portfolio management services in a variety of alternative investment offerings, and is a registered investment adviser. As of [    ], the Adviser had approximately $[     ] million in assets under management. Of the $[     ] million, approximately $[     ] million are discretionary assets and $[     ] million are non-discretionary assets.

 

Advisory Agreement. The Trust and the Adviser have entered into an investment advisory agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) with respect to the Fund. Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser serves as the investment adviser and makes investment decisions for the Fund and continuously reviews, supervises and administers the investment program of the Fund, subject to the supervision of, and policies established by, the Board, and arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, distribution, and all other services necessary for the Fund to operate. The Adviser, in addition to maintaining its overall responsibility to manage the Fund, oversees the Sub-Adviser’s services to the Fund.

 

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

 

Advisory Fees Paid to the Adviser. For its services under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is entitled to a fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.[  ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This advisory fee is a unitary management fee designed to pay the Fund’s expenses and to compensate the Adviser for the services it provides to the Fund. [Out of the unitary management fee, the Adviser pays substantially all expenses of the Fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit, sub-advisory fees and other service and license fees. However, the Adviser is not responsible for distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, taxes, interest, and extraordinary expenses.]

 

Sub-Adviser

 

General. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, serves as the sub-adviser to the Fund. The Sub-Adviser is majority owned by Cottonwood ETF Holdings LLC. As of [ ], 2021, the Sub-Adviser had approximately $[ ] billion in assets under management.

 

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Sub-Advisory Agreement. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser have entered into an investment sub-advisory agreement with respect to the Fund (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”). Pursuant to a Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Sub-Adviser is responsible for trading portfolio securities on behalf of the Fund, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions as instructed by the Adviser or in connection with any rebalancing, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board.

 

After the initial two-year term, the continuance of the Sub-Advisory Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually: (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not parties to the Sub-Advisory Agreement or “interested persons” of any party thereto, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Sub-Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment or in the event of the termination of the Advisory Agreement, and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Board.

 

Sub-Advisory Fee. For its services, the Sub-Adviser is entitled to a fee by the Adviser, which fee is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.[  ]% based on the average daily net assets of the Fund, and subject to a minimum annual fee of $[    ].

 

THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

 

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

 

Compensation. The portfolio managers are paid competitive salaries by the Adviser. In addition, they may receive bonuses based on qualitative considerations, such as an individual’s contribution to the organization, and performance reviews in relation to job responsibilities.

 

Fund Shares Owned by the Portfolio Managers. The Fund is required to show the dollar amount range of each portfolio manager’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of the Fund as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”). Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the portfolio managers did not beneficially own shares of the Fund.

 

Other Accounts. In addition to the Fund, the portfolio managers may also be responsible for the day-to-day management of certain other accounts, as indicated by the following table. To the extent that the advisory fees for any of these accounts are based on account performance, this information is reflected in separate tables below. The information below is provided as of [ ], 2021.

 

 

Name

Registered

Investment Companies

Other Pooled

Investment Vehicles

Other Accounts
Number of Accounts Total Assets Number of Accounts Total Assets Number of Accounts Total Assets (in millions)
Jeff Kilburg [ ] $[ ] [ ] $[ ] [ ] $[ ]
Dan Deming [ ] $[ ] [ ] $[ ] [ ] $[ ]

 

Conflicts of Interest. The Adviser’s portfolio managers’ management of other accounts may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with their management of the Fund’s investments, on the one hand, and the investments of the other accounts, on the other. The other accounts might have similar investment objectives as the Fund or hold, purchase or sell securities that are eligible to be held, purchased or sold by the Fund. While the portfolio managers’ management of other accounts may give rise to the following potential conflicts of interest, the Adviser does not believe that the conflicts, if any, are material or, to the extent any such conflicts are material, the Adviser believes that it has designed policies and procedures to manage those conflicts in an appropriate way.

 

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THE ADMINISTRATOR

 

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

 

Administration Agreement with the Trust. The Trust and the Administrator have entered into an administration agreement, dated February 12, 2014, as amended (the “Administration Agreement”). Under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator provides the Trust with administrative services, including regulatory reporting and all necessary office space, equipment, personnel and facilities.

 

The Administration Agreement provides that the Administrator shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with the matters to which the Administration Agreement relates, except a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Administrator in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by it of its duties and obligations thereunder.

 

Administration Fees Paid to the Administrator. For its services under the Administration Agreement, the Administrator is paid a fee, which varies based on the average daily net assets of the Fund, subject to certain minimums.

 

THE DISTRIBUTOR

 

The Trust and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distributor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEI Investments, and an affiliate of the Administrator, are parties to a distribution agreement dated February 12, 2014, as amended (the “Distribution Agreement”), whereby the Distributor acts as a principal underwriter for the Trust’s shares and distributes the shares of the Fund. Shares of the Fund are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. The Distributor will not distribute shares of the Fund in amounts less than a Creation Unit. The principal business address of the Distributor is One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456.

 

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

 

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

 

S-46 

 

The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Trust and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act), and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Board or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Trust, or by the Distributor, upon not less than 60 days’ written notice to the other party.

 

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

 

PAYMENTS TO FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

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

 

The Plan provides a method of paying for distribution and shareholder services, which may help the Fund grow or maintain asset levels to provide operational efficiencies and economies of scale, provided by the Distributor or other financial intermediaries that enter into agreements with the Distributor. The Fund may make payments to financial intermediaries, such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund “supermarkets” and the Distributor’s affiliates and subsidiaries, as compensation for services, reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance or provision of shareholder services. The Distributor may, at its discretion, retain a portion of such payments to compensate itself for distribution services and distribution related expenses such as the costs of preparation, printing, mailing or otherwise disseminating sales literature, advertising, and prospectuses (other than those furnished to current shareholders of the Fund), promotional and incentive programs, and such other marketing expenses that the Distributor may incur.

 

Under the Plan, the Distributor or financial intermediaries may receive up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets of Fund shares as compensation for distribution and shareholder services. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution or shareholder service expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to financial intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with FINRA rules concerning sales charges.

 

No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no plans to impose these fees. Because Rule 12b-1 fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets, and over time, these fees increase the cost of your investment and they may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.

 

Payments by the Adviser. The Adviser and/or its affiliates, in their discretion, may make payments from their own resources and not from Fund assets to affiliated or unaffiliated brokers, dealers, banks (including bank trust departments), trust companies, registered investment advisers, financial planners, retirement plan administrators, insurance companies, and any other institution having a service, administration, or any similar arrangement with the Fund, its service providers or their respective affiliates, as incentives to help market and promote the Fund and/or in recognition of their distribution, marketing, administrative services, and/or processing support.

 

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These additional payments may be made to financial intermediaries that sell Fund shares or provide services to the Fund, the Distributor or shareholders of the Fund through the financial intermediary’s retail distribution channel and/or fund supermarkets. Payments may also be made through the financial intermediary’s retirement, qualified tuition, fee-based advisory, wrap fee bank trust, or insurance (e.g., individual or group annuity) programs. These payments may include, but are not limited to, placing the Fund in a financial intermediary’s retail distribution channel or on a preferred or recommended fund list; providing business or shareholder financial planning assistance; educating financial intermediary personnel about the Fund; providing access to sales and management representatives of the financial intermediary; promoting sales of Fund shares; providing marketing and educational support; maintaining share balances and/or for sub-accounting, administrative or shareholder transaction processing services. A financial intermediary may perform the services itself or may arrange with a third party to perform the services.

 

The Adviser and/or its affiliates also may make payments from their own resources to financial intermediaries for costs associated with the purchase of products or services used in connection with sales and marketing, participation in and/or presentation at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs, client and investor entertainment and other sponsored events. The costs and expenses associated with these efforts may include travel, lodging, sponsorship at educational seminars and conferences, entertainment and meals to the extent permitted by law.

 

Revenue sharing payments may be negotiated based on a variety of factors, including the level of sales, the amount of Fund assets attributable to investments in the Fund by financial intermediaries’ customers, a flat fee or other measures as determined from time to time by the Adviser and/or its affiliates. A significant purpose of these payments is to increase the sales of Fund shares, which in turn may benefit the Adviser through increased fees as Fund assets grow.

 

Investors should understand that some financial intermediaries may also charge their clients fees in connection with purchases of shares or the provision of shareholder services.

 

THE TRANSFER AGENT

 

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (in its capacity as transfer agent, the “Transfer Agent”), located at 40 Water Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, serves as the transfer agent of the Fund.

 

THE CUSTODIAN

 

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 40 Water Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109 (the “Custodian”), acts as the custodian of the Fund. The Custodian holds cash, securities and other assets of the Fund as required by the 1940 Act.

 

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

[       ] serves as independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund.

 

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LEGAL COUNSEL

 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1701 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2921, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

SECURITIES LENDING

 

Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not engaged in securities lending activities.

 

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE TRUST

 

Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series, including the Fund described in this SAI, are overseen by the Trustees. The Board has approved contracts, as described above, under which certain companies provide essential management services to the Trust.

 

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

 

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

 

The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the funds by the adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis, in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the advisory agreement with the adviser, the Board meets with the adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the adviser’s adherence to the funds’ investment restrictions and compliance with various fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the funds’ investments, including, for example, reports on the adviser’s use of derivatives in managing the funds, if any, as well as reports on the funds’ investments in other investment companies, if any.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Members of the Board. There are five members of the Board, four of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (“independent Trustees”). Mr. Doran, an interested person of the Trust, serves as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Hunt, an independent Trustee, serves as the lead independent Trustee. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the independent Trustees constitute more than three-quarters of the Board, the fact that the chairperson of each Committee of the Board is an independent Trustee, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds (and classes of shares) overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the independent Trustees from fund management.

 

The Board has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and the Governance Committee. The Audit Committee and the Governance Committee are chaired by an independent Trustee and composed of all of the independent Trustees. In addition, the Board has a lead independent Trustee.

 

In his role as lead independent Trustee, Mr. Hunt, among other things: (i) presides over Board meetings in the absence of the Chairman of the Board; (ii) presides over executive sessions of the independent Trustees; (iii) along with the Chairman of the Board, oversees the development of agendas for Board meetings; (iv) facilitates communication between the independent Trustees and management, and among the independent Trustees; (v) serves as a key point person for dealings between the independent Trustees and management; and (vi) has such other responsibilities as the Board or independent Trustees determine from time to time.

 

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Set forth below are the names, years of birth, position with the Trust and length of time served, and the principal occupations and other directorships held during at least the last five years of each of the persons currently serving as a Trustee. There is no stated term of office for the Trustees. Nevertheless, an independent Trustee must retire from the Board as of the end of the calendar year in which such independent Trustee first attains the age of seventy-five years; provided, however, that, an independent Trustee may continue to serve for one or more additional one calendar year terms after attaining the age of seventy-five years (each calendar year a “Waiver Term”) if, and only if, prior to the beginning of such Waiver Term: (1) the Governance Committee (a) meets to review the performance of the independent Trustee; (b) finds that the continued service of such independent Trustee is in the best interests of the Trust; and (c) unanimously approves excepting the independent Trustee from the general retirement policy set out above; and (2) a majority of the Trustees approves excepting the independent Trustee from the general retirement policy set out above. Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each Trustee is SEI Investments Company, One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456.

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held in the Past 5 Years
Interested Trustee

William M. Doran

(Born: 1940)

Chairman of the Board of Trustees1

(since 2014)

Self-Employed Consultant since 2003. Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (law firm) from 1976 to 2003. Counsel to the Trust, SEI Investments, SIMC, the Administrator and the Distributor. Secretary of SEI Investments since 1978.

Current Directorships: Trustee of Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. Director of SEI Investments, SEI Investments (Europe), Limited, SEI Investments—Global Funds Services, Limited, SEI Investments Global, Limited, SEI Investments (Asia), Limited, SEI Global Nominee Ltd., SEI Investments – Unit Trust Management (UK) Limited and SEI Investments Co. Director of the Distributor.

 

Former Directorships: Trustee of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Trustee of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016. Trustee of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Trustee of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund, The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds and Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

 

S-51 

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held in the Past 5 Years
Independent Trustees

Jon C. Hunt

(Born: 1951)

Trustee and Lead Independent Trustee

(since 2014)

Retired since 2013. Consultant to Management, Convergent Capital Management, LLC (“CCM”) from 2012 to 2013. Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, CCM from 1998 to 2012.

Current Directorships: Trustee of City National Rochdale Funds, Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund and Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund. Director of Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, Ltd.

 

Former Directorships: Trustee of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Member of Independent Committee of Nuveen Commodities Asset Management to 2016. Trustee of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Trustee of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

Thomas P. Lemke

(Born: 1954)

Trustee

(since 2014)

Retired since 2013. Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legg Mason, Inc. from 2005 to 2013.

Current Directorships: Trustee of Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund, JP Morgan Active Exchange-Traded Funds (33 Portfolios) and Symmetry Panoramic Trust (8 Portfolios). Director of Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, Ltd.

 

Former Directorships: Trustee of Munder Funds to 2014. Trustee of Victory Funds to 2015. Trustee of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Trustee of Winton Series Trust and AXA Premier VIP Trust to 2017. Trustee of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

 

S-52 

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served

Principal Occupations

in the Past 5 Years

Other Directorships Held in the Past 5 Years

Jay C. Nadel

(Born: 1958)

Trustee

(since 2016)

Self-Employed Consultant since 2004. Executive Vice President, Bank of New York Broker Dealer from 2002 to 2004. Partner/Managing Director, Weiss Peck & Greer/Robeco from 1986 to 2001.

Current Directorships: Trustee of City National Rochdale Funds, Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund and Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund. Director of Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, Ltd.

 

Former Directorships: Trustee of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Director of Lapolla Industries, Inc. to 2017. Trustee of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

Randall S. Yanker

(Born: 1960)

Trustee

(since 2014)

Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Alternative Asset Managers, L.P. since 2004.

Current Directorships: Trustee of Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund and Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund. Independent Non-Executive Director of HFA Holdings Limited. Director of Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, Ltd.

 

Former Directorships: Trustee of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Trustee of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Trustee of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

 

S-53 

 

1Mr. Doran may be deemed to be an “interested” person of the Fund as that term is defined in the 1940 Act by virtue of his affiliation with the Distributor and/or its affiliates.

 

Individual Trustee Qualifications

 

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

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Doran should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as a Partner in the Investment Management and Securities Industry Practice of a large law firm, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving on other mutual fund boards.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Hunt should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained in a variety of leadership roles with different investment management institutions, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained as a board member of open-end, closed-end and private funds investing in a broad range of asset classes, including alternative asset classes.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Lemke should serve as Trustee because of the extensive experience he gained in the financial services industry, including experience in various senior management positions with financial services firms and multiple years of service with a regulatory agency, his background in controls, including legal, compliance and risk management, and his service as general counsel for several financial services firms.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Nadel should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained in a variety of leadership roles with an audit firm and various financial services firms, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving on other mutual fund and operating company boards.

 

The Trust has concluded that Mr. Yanker should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained in a variety of leadership roles with the alternative asset management divisions of various financial services firms, his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained advising institutions on alternative asset management.

 

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

 

Board Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees:

 

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

 

S-54 

 

·Governance Committee. The Board has a standing Governance Committee that is composed of each of the independent Trustees. The Governance Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Governance Committee include: (i) considering and reviewing Board governance and compensation issues; (ii) conducting a self-assessment of the Board’s operations; (iii) selecting and nominating all persons to serve as independent Trustees and considering proposals of and making recommendations for “interested” Trustee candidates to the Board; and (iv) reviewing shareholder recommendations for nominations to fill vacancies on the Board if such recommendations are submitted in writing and addressed to the Committee at the Trust’s office. Mr. Hunt, Mr. Lemke, Mr. Nadel and Mr. Yanker currently serve as members of the Governance Committee. Mr. Lemke serves as the Chairman of the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee meets periodically, as necessary, and met [ ] times during the most recently completed fiscal year.

 

Fair Value Pricing Committee. The Board has also established a standing Fair Value Pricing Committee that is composed of various representatives of the Trust’s service providers, as appointed by the Board. The Fair Value Pricing Committee operates under procedures approved by the Board. The principal responsibility of the Fair Value Pricing Committee is to determine the fair value of securities for which current market quotations are not readily available. The Fair Value Pricing Committee’s determinations are reviewed by the Board.

 

Fund Shares Owned by Board Members. The following table shows the dollar amount range of each Trustee’s “beneficial ownership” of shares of the Fund as of the end of the most recently completed calendar year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the 1934 Act. The Trustees and officers of the Trust own less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Trust.

 


Name

Dollar Range of Fund Shares

(Fund)1

Aggregate Dollar Range of Shares

(All Funds in the Family of Investment Companies)1,2

Interested Trustee
William M. Doran None None
Independent Trustees
Jon C. Hunt None None
Thomas P. Lemke None None
Jay C. Nadel None None
Randall S. Yanker None None

 

S-55 

 

1Valuation date is December 31, 2020.
2The Fund is the only fund in the family of investment companies.

 

Board Compensation. The Trust paid the following fees to the Trustees during the fiscal year ended [      ].

 

Name Aggregate Compensation from the Trust Pension or Retirement Benefits Accrued as Part of Fund Expenses

Estimated

Annual Benefits Upon Retirement

Total Compensation from the Trust and Fund Complex1
Interested Trustee
William M. Doran $0 N/A N/A $0 for service on one (1) board
Independent Trustees
Jon C. Hunt $[ ] N/A N/A $[ ] for service on one (1) board
Thomas P. Lemke $[ ] N/A N/A $[ ] for service on one (1) board
Jay C. Nadel $[ ] N/A N/A $[ ] for service on one (1) board
Randall S. Yanker $[ ] N/A N/A $[ ] for service on one (1) board

 

1All funds in the Fund Complex are series of the Trust.

 

Trust Officers. Set forth below are the names, years of birth, position with the Trust and length of time served, and the principal occupations for the last five years of each of the persons currently serving as executive officers of the Trust. There is no stated term of office for the officers of the Trust. Unless otherwise noted, the business address of each officer is SEI Investments Company, One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19456. The Chief Compliance Officer is the only officer who receives compensation from the Trust for his services.

 

Certain officers of the Trust also serve as officers of one or more funds for which SEI Investments or its affiliates act as investment manager, administrator or distributor.

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served Principal Occupations in Past 5 Years
Michael Beattie
(Born: 1965)

President

(since 2014)

Director of Client Service, SEI Investments, since 2004.

 

S-56 

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served Principal Occupations in Past 5 Years

James Bernstein

(Born: 1962)

Vice President

(since 2017)

 

Secretary

(since 2020)

Attorney, SEI Investments, since 2017.

 

Prior Positions: Self-employed consultant, 2017. Associate General Counsel & Vice President, Nationwide Funds Group and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, from 2002 to 2016. Assistant General Counsel & Vice President, Market Street Funds and Provident Mutual Insurance Company, from 1999 to 2002.

John Bourgeois
(Born: 1973)

Assistant Treasurer

(since 2017)

Fund Accounting Manager, SEI Investments, since 2000.

Stephen Connors

(Born: 1984)

Treasurer, Controller and Chief Financial Officer

(since 2015)

Director, SEI Investments, Fund Accounting, since 2014. Audit Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP, from 2011 to 2014.

Russell Emery

(Born: 1962)

Chief Compliance Officer

(since 2014)

Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Structured Credit Fund, LP since 2007. Chief Compliance Officer of The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund, The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, Bishop Street Funds, The KP Funds, Frost Family of Funds, The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III, Gallery Trust, Schroder Series Trust, Schroder Global Series Trust, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Master Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Fund, Delaware Wilshire Private Markets Tender Fund, SEI Institutional Managed Trust, SEI Asset Allocation Trust, SEI Institutional International Trust, SEI Institutional Investments Trust, SEI Daily Income Trust, SEI Tax Exempt Trust, Adviser Managed Trust, New Covenant Funds, SEI Insurance Products Trust and SEI Catholic Values Trust. Chief Compliance Officer of O’Connor EQUUS (closed-end investment company) to 2016. Chief Compliance Officer of SEI Liquid Asset Trust to 2016. Chief Compliance Officer of Winton Series Trust to 2017. Chief Compliance Officer of Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund (closed-end investment company) to 2018.

Eric C. Griffith

(Born: 1969)

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

(since 2020)

Counsel at SEI Investments since 2019. Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase & Co., from 2012 to 2018.

 

S-57 

 

Name and Year of Birth Position with Trust and Length of Time Served Principal Occupations in Past 5 Years

Matthew M. Maher

(Born: 1975)

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

(since 2018)

Counsel at SEI Investments since 2018. Attorney, Blank Rome LLP, from 2015 to 2018. Assistant Counsel & Vice President, Bank of New York Mellon, from 2013 to 2014. Attorney, Dilworth Paxson LLP, from 2006 to 2013.

Alexander F. Smith

(Born: 1977)

Vice President and Assistant Secretary

(since 2020)

Counsel at SEI Investments since 2020. Associate Counsel & Manager, Vanguard, 2012 to 2020. Attorney, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, 2008 to 2012.
Robert Morrow
(Born: 1968)

Vice President

(since 2017)

Account Manager, SEI Investments, since 2007.

Bridget E. Sudall

(Born: 1980)

Privacy Officer

(since 2015)

 

Anti-Money Laundering Officer

(since 2015)

Senior Associate and AML Officer, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, from 2011 to 2015. Investor Services Team Lead, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, from 2007 to 2011.

 

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

 

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

 

DTC is a limited-purpose trust company that was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the NYSE and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers, and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).

 

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

 

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

 

S-58 

 

Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all shares of the Fund. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of shares of the Fund held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.

 

The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in the Fund’s shares, or for maintaining, supervising, or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.

 

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

 

PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES IN CREATION UNITS

 

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

 

CUSTOM BASKETS. The basket is generally representative of the Fund’s portfolio, and together with a cash balancing amount, is equal to the NAV of the Fund shares comprising the Creation Unit. However, Rule 6c-11 of the 1940 Act permits the Fund to utilize “custom baskets” provided the conditions of the rule are met. Rule 6c-11 defines “custom baskets” to include two categories of baskets. First, a basket containing a non-representative selection of the ETF’s portfolio holdings would constitute a custom basket. These types of custom baskets include, but are not limited to, baskets that do not reflect: (i) a pro rata representation of the Fund’s portfolio holdings; (ii) a representative sampling of the Fund’s portfolio holdings; or (iii) changes due to a rebalancing or reconstitution of the Fund’s securities market index, if applicable. Second, if different baskets are used in transactions on the same business day (as defined below), each basket after the initial basket would constitute a custom basket. For example, if the Fund exchanges a basket with either the same or another Authorized Participant that reflects a representative sampling that differs from the initial basket, that basket (and any such subsequent baskets) would be a custom basket. Similarly, if the Fund substitutes cash in lieu of a portion of basket assets for a single Authorized Participant, that basket would be a custom basket.

 

S-59 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Fund, through NSCC, makes available on each business day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time), the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous business day) for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is subject to any applicable adjustments as described below, in order to effect purchases of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, is made available.

 

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

 

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

 

S-60 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

S-61 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

S-62 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

S-63 

 

CREATION TRANSACTION FEE. A fixed purchase (i.e., creation) transaction fee may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase of Creation Units (“Creation Order Costs”). The standard creation transaction fee for the Fund, regardless of the number of Creation Units created in the transaction, is set forth in the table below.

 

Fund Creation Transaction Fee
Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF $[ ]

 

The Fund may adjust the creation transaction fee from time to time. The creation transaction fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Creation Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary-market transactions), and thus dealing with the Fund’s shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act.

 

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

 

S-64 

 

With respect to the Fund, the Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern time) on each business day, the list of the names and share quantities of the Fund’s portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities.

 

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

 

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

 

REDEMPTION TRANSACTION FEE. A fixed redemption transaction fee may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the redemption of Creation Units (“Redemption Order Costs”). The standard redemption transaction fee for the Fund, regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction, is set forth in the table below.

 

Fund Redemption Transaction Fee
Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF $[ ]

 

The Fund may adjust the redemption transaction fee from time to time. The redemption transaction fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Redemption Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.

 

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

 

S-65 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

S-66 

 

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

 

Redemptions of shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular security included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of Creation Units may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming investor of the shares of the Fund to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” (“QIB”) as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive Fund Securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A. An Authorized Participant may be required by the Trust to provide a written confirmation with respect to QIB status in order to receive Fund Securities.

 

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

 

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

 

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

 

General Policy. The Fund adheres to Section 2(a)(41), and Rule 2a-4 thereunder, of the 1940 Act with respect to the valuation of portfolio securities. In general, securities for which market quotations are readily available are valued at current market value, and all other securities are valued at fair value in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board. In complying with the 1940 Act, the Trust relies on guidance provided by the SEC and by the SEC staff in various interpretive letters and other guidance.

 

Equity Securities. Securities listed on a securities exchange, market or automated quotation system for which quotations are readily available (except for securities traded on NASDAQ), including securities traded over the counter, are valued at the last quoted sale price on an exchange or market (foreign or domestic) on which they are traded on the valuation date (or at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time if such exchange is normally open at that time), or, if there is no such reported sale on the valuation date, at the most recent quoted bid price. For securities traded on NASDAQ, the NASDAQ Official Closing Price will be used. If such prices are not available or determined to not represent the fair value of the security as of the Fund’s pricing time, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

S-67 

 

Money Market Securities and other Debt Securities. If available, money market securities and other debt securities are priced based upon valuations provided by recognized independent, third-party pricing agents. Such values generally reflect the last reported sales price if the security is actively traded. The third-party pricing agents may also value debt securities by employing methodologies that utilize actual market transactions, broker-supplied valuations, or other methodologies designed to identify the market value for such securities. Such methodologies generally consider such factors as security prices, yields, maturities, call features, ratings and developments relating to specific securities in arriving at valuations. Money market securities and other debt securities with remaining maturities of sixty days or less may be valued at their amortized cost, which approximates market value. If such prices are not available or determined to not represent the fair value of the security as of the Fund’s pricing time, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

Foreign Securities. The prices for foreign securities traded on foreign exchanges are reported in local currency and converted to U.S. dollars using currency exchange rates. Exchange rates are provided daily by recognized independent pricing agents.

 

Derivatives and Other Complex Securities. Although the Fund does not invest in derivatives as part of its investment strategy, it has adopted the following valuation policies for derivatives. Exchange traded options on securities and indices purchased by the Fund generally are valued at their last trade price or, if there is no last trade price, the last bid price. Exchange traded options on securities and indices written by the Fund generally are valued at their last trade price or, if there is no last trade price, the last asked price. In the case of options traded in the over-the-counter market, if the OTC option is also an exchange traded option, the Fund will follow the rules regarding the valuation of exchange traded options. If the OTC option is not also an exchange traded option, the Fund will value the option at fair value in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board.

 

Futures and swaps cleared through a central clearing house (“centrally cleared swaps”) are valued at the settlement price established each day by the board of the exchange on which they are traded. The daily settlement prices for financial futures are provided by an independent source. On days when there is excessive volume or market volatility, or the future or centrally cleared swap does not end trading by the time the Fund calculates net asset value, the settlement price may not be available at the time at which the Fund calculates its net asset value. On such days, the best available price (which is typically the last sales price) may be used to value the Fund’s futures or centrally cleared swaps position.

 

Foreign currency forward contracts are valued at the current day’s interpolated foreign exchange rate, as calculated using the current day’s spot rate, and the thirty, sixty, ninety and one-hundred eighty day forward rates provided by an independent source.

 

If available, non-centrally cleared swaps, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized loan obligations and bank loans are priced based on valuations provided by an independent third party pricing agent. If a price is not available from an independent third party pricing agent, the security will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith using methods approved by the Board.

 

Use of Third-Party Independent Pricing Agents and Independent Brokers. Pursuant to contracts with the Administrator, prices for most securities held by the Fund are provided daily by third-party independent pricing agents that are approved by the Board. The valuations provided by third-party independent pricing agents are reviewed daily by the Administrator.

 

S-68 

 

If a security price cannot be obtained from an independent, third-party pricing agent, the Administrator shall seek to obtain a bid price from at least one independent broker.

 

Fair Value Procedures. Securities for which market prices are not “readily available” or which cannot be valued using the methodologies described above are valued in accordance with Fair Value Procedures established by the Board and implemented through the Fair Value Pricing Committee. The members of the Fair Value Pricing Committee report, as necessary, to the Board regarding portfolio valuation determinations. The Board, from time to time, will review these methods of valuation and will recommend changes which may be necessary to assure that the investments of the Fund are valued at fair value.

 

Some of the more common reasons that may necessitate a security being valued using Fair Value Procedures include: the security’s trading has been halted or suspended; the security has been de-listed from a national exchange; the security’s primary trading market is temporarily closed at a time when under normal conditions it would be open; the security has not been traded for an extended period of time; the security’s primary pricing source is not able or willing to provide a price; trading of the security is subject to local government-imposed restrictions; or a significant event with respect to a security has occurred after the close of the market or exchange on which the security principally trades and before the time the Fund calculates net asset value. When a security is valued in accordance with the Fair Value Procedures, the Fair Value Pricing Committee will determine the value after taking into consideration relevant information reasonably available to the Fair Value Pricing Committee.

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

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

 

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

 

Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.

 

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

 

Any dividend or distribution paid shortly after an investor’s purchase of fund shares may have the effect of reducing the aggregate NAV of the shares below the cost of the investment (“buying a dividend”). Such a dividend or distribution would be a return of capital in an economic sense, although taxable as stated in the prospectus and this SAI. In addition, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, (the “Code”) provides that if a shareholder holds shares of a fund for six months or less and has (or is deemed to have) received a capital gain distribution with respect to such shares, any loss incurred on the sale of such shares will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of the capital gain distribution received or deemed to have been received.

 

S-69 

 

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

 

FEDERAL INCOME TAXES

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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If the Fund fails to satisfy the 90% Test or the Asset Test, the Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the Asset Test where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time. In order to be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Asset Test, the Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions are not available to the Fund and it fails to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at the regular corporate income tax rate (currently 21%) without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable as ordinary income dividends to its shareholders, subject to the dividends-received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by noncorporate shareholders. In addition, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a RIC. If the Fund determines that it will not qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund will establish procedures to reflect the anticipated tax liability in the Fund’s NAV.

 

Although the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and may distribute its capital gains for any taxable year, the Fund will be subject to federal income taxation to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Distributions by the Fund of its net short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. Capital gains distributions consisting of the Fund’s net capital gains will be taxable as long-term capital gains for individual shareholders currently set at a maximum rate of 20% regardless of how long you have held your shares in the Fund. Distributions from capital gains are generally made after applying any available capital loss carryforwards.

 

In the case of corporate shareholders, the Fund’s distributions (other than capital gain distributions) generally qualify for the dividends-received deduction to the extent such distributions are so reported and do not exceed the gross amount of qualifying dividends received by the Fund for the year. Generally, and subject to certain limitations (including certain holding period limitations), a dividend will be treated as a qualifying dividend if it has been received from a domestic corporation. The Fund’s investment strategies will limit its ability to make distributions eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.

 

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

 

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Although dividends generally will be treated as distributed when paid, any dividend declared by the Fund in October, November or December and payable to shareholders of record in such a month that is paid during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which it was declared. A taxable shareholder may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because the distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of the shareholder’s investment.

 

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

 

The Fund’s shareholders will be notified annually by the Fund (or their broker) as to the federal tax status of all distributions made by the Fund. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes. Shareholders who have not held Fund shares for a full year should be aware that the Fund may report and distribute to a shareholder, as ordinary dividends or capital gain dividends, a percentage of income that is not equal to the percentage of the Fund’s ordinary income or net capital gain, respectively, actually earned during the shareholder’s period of investment in the Fund.

 

Sales, Exchanges or Redemptions. A sale or exchange of shares or redemption of Creation Units in the Fund may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares by a shareholder who is not a dealer in securities will generally, for individual shareholders be treated as capital gain or loss if the shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than 12 months, and short-term capital gain or loss if the shares are held for 12 months or less. However, if shares on which a shareholder has received a long-term capital gain distribution are subsequently sold, exchanged, or redeemed and such shares have been held for six months or less, any loss recognized will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of the long-term capital gain distribution. In addition, the loss realized on a sale or other disposition of shares will be disallowed to the extent a shareholder repurchases (or enters into a contract or option to repurchase) shares within a period of 61 days (beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of the shares). This loss disallowance rule will apply to shares received through the reinvestment of dividends during the 61-day period. In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Taxation of Complex Securities. The Fund may hold certain investments in the future subject to complex provisions of the Code (including provisions relating to hedging transactions, straddles, integrated transactions, foreign currency contracts, forward foreign currency contracts, and notional principal contracts) that, among other things, may affect the Fund’s ability to qualify as a RIC, affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer losses and, in limited cases, subject the Fund to U.S. federal income tax on income from certain of its foreign securities. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders and may require the Fund to sell securities to mitigate the effect of these rules and prevent disqualification of the Fund as a RIC at a time when the Adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so.

 

The Fund is required for federal income tax purposes to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year its net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures and options contracts subject to section 1256 of the Code (“Section 1256 Contracts”) as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures and options contracts on broad-based indexes required to be marked to market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on Section 1256 Contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on offsetting positions held by the Fund. These provisions may also require the Fund to mark-to-market certain types of positions in their portfolios (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out), which may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the Distribution Requirement and for avoiding the excise tax discussed above. Accordingly, in order to avoid certain income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to liquidate its investments at a time when the Adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so and which may result in a taxable gain or loss.

 

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With respect to investments in STRIPS, treasury receipts, and other zero coupon securities which are sold at original issue discount and thus do not make periodic cash interest payments, the Fund will be required to include as part of its current income the imputed interest on such obligations even though the Fund has not received any interest payments on such obligations during that period. Because the Fund intends to distribute all of its net investment income to its shareholders, the Fund may have to sell Fund securities to distribute such imputed income which may occur at a time when the Adviser would not have chosen to sell such securities and which may result in taxable gain or loss.

 

Any market discount recognized on a bond is taxable as ordinary income. A market discount bond is a bond acquired in the secondary market at a price below redemption value or adjusted issue price if issued with original issue discount. Absent an election by the Fund to include the market discount in income as it accrues, gain on the Fund’s disposition of such an obligation will be treated as ordinary income rather than capital gain to the extent of the accrued market discount.

 

If the Fund acquires any equity interest in certain foreign investment entities (i) that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties, or capital gains) or (ii) where at least 50% of the corporation’s assets (computed based on average fair market value) either produce or are held for the production of passive income (“passive foreign investment companies” or “PFICs”), the Fund will generally be subject to one of the following special tax regimes: (i) the Fund may be liable for U.S. federal income tax, and an additional interest charge, on a portion of any “excess distribution” from such foreign entity or any gain from the disposition of such shares, even if the entire distribution or gain is paid out by the Fund as a dividend to its shareholders; (ii) if the Fund were able and elected to treat a PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” or “QEF,” the Fund would be required each year to include in income, and distribute to shareholders in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above, the Fund’s pro rata share of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the PFIC, whether or not such earnings or gains are distributed to the Fund; or (iii) the Fund may be entitled to mark-to-market annually shares of the PFIC, and in such event would be required to distribute to shareholders any such mark-to-market gains in accordance with the distribution requirements set forth above. Amounts included in income each year by the Fund arising from a QEF election, will be “qualifying income” under the 90% Test (as described above) even if not distributed to the Fund, if the Fund derives such income from its business of investing in stock, securities or currencies. The Fund intends to make the appropriate tax elections, if possible, and take any additional steps that are necessary to mitigate the effect of these rules. The Fund may limit and/or manage its holdings in PFICs to limit its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments.

 

Foreign Taxes. To the extent that the Fund may hold foreign securities traded in foreign markets in the future, the Fund may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, including taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains with respect to any investments in those countries. Any such taxes would, if imposed, reduce the yield on or return from those investments. Tax conventions between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate such taxes in some cases. If more than 50 percent of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of its taxable year consists of stock or securities of foreign corporations, then the Fund will be eligible to and intends to file and election with the IRS that may enable shareholders, in effect, to receive either the benefit of a foreign tax credit, or a deduction from such taxes, with respect to any foreign and U.S. possessions income taxes paid by the Fund, subject to certain limitations. Pursuant to the election, the Fund will treat those taxes as dividends paid to its shareholders. Each such shareholder will be required to include a proportionate share of those taxes in gross income as income received from a foreign source and must treat the amount so included as if the shareholder had paid the foreign tax directly. The shareholder may then either deduct the taxes deemed paid by him or her in computing his or her taxable income or, alternatively, use the foregoing information in calculating any foreign tax credit they may be entitled to use against the shareholders’ federal income tax. If the Fund makes the election, the Fund (or its administrative agent) will report annually to its shareholders the respective amounts per share of the Fund’s income from sources within, and taxes paid to, foreign countries and U.S. possessions.

 

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A shareholder’s ability to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of foreign taxes paid by the Fund may be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, which may result in a shareholder not receiving a full credit or deduction (if any) for the amount of such taxes. In particular, shareholders must hold their Fund shares (without protection from risk of loss) on the ex-dividend date and for at least 15 additional days during the 30-day period surrounding the ex-dividend date to be eligible to claim a foreign tax credit with respect to a given dividend. Shareholders who do not itemize on their federal income tax returns may claim a credit (but no deduction) for such foreign taxes. Even if the Fund were eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. Shareholders that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax, and those who invest in the Fund through tax-advantaged accounts (including those who invest through IRAs or other tax-advantaged retirement plans), generally will receive no benefit from any tax credit or deduction passed through by the Fund.

 

Foreign tax credits, if any, received by the Fund as a result of an investment in another RIC (including an ETF which is taxable as a RIC) will not be passed through to you unless the Fund qualifies as a “qualified fund-of-funds” under the Code. If a Fund is a “qualified fund-of-funds” it will be eligible to file an election with the IRS that will enable the Fund to pass along these foreign tax credits to its shareholders. A Fund will be treated as a “qualified fund-of-funds” under the Code if at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets (at the close of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year) is represented by interests in other RICs.

 

Certain Foreign Currency Tax Issues. To the extent that the Fund may hold foreign securities traded in foreign markets in the future, the Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies and forward foreign currency contracts will generally be subject to special provisions of the Code that, among other things, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require the Fund to mark-to-market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the Distribution Requirements and for avoiding the excise tax described above. The Fund intends to monitor its transactions, intends to make the appropriate tax elections, and intends to make the appropriate entries in its books and records when it acquires any foreign currency or forward foreign currency contract in order to mitigate the effect of these rules so as to prevent disqualification of the Fund as a RIC and minimize the imposition of income and excise taxes.

 

The U.S. Treasury Department has authority to issue regulations that would exclude foreign currency gains from the Qualifying Income Test described above if such gains are not directly related to the Fund’s business of investing in stock or securities (or options and futures with respect to stock or securities). Accordingly, regulations may be issued in the future that could treat some or all of the Fund’s non-U.S. currency gains as non-qualifying income, thereby potentially jeopardizing the Fund’s status as a RIC for all years to which the regulations are applicable.

 

Backup Withholding. The Fund or financial intermediaries, such as brokers, through which a shareholder holds shares) will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) at a 24% withholding rate and remit to the U.S. Treasury such withheld amounts on any distributions paid to any shareholder who: (1) fails to provide a correct taxpayer identification number certified under penalty of perjury; (2) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report all payments of interest or dividends; (3) fails to provide a certified statement that the shareholder is not subject to backup withholding; or (4) fails to provide a certified statement that the shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS.

 

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

 

Under legislation generally known as “FATCA” (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate is imposed on dividends for shareholders who own their shares through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. In general, no such withholding will be required with respect to a U.S. person or non-U.S. person that timely provides the certifications required by a Fund or its agent on a valid IRS Form W-9 or applicable series of IRS Form W-8, respectively. Shareholders potentially subject to withholding include foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”), such as non-U.S. investment funds, and non-financial foreign entities (“NFFEs”). To avoid withholding under FATCA, an FFI generally must enter into an information sharing agreement with the IRS in which it agrees to report certain identifying information (including name, address, and taxpayer identification number) with respect to its U.S. account holders (which, in the case of an entity shareholder, may include its direct and indirect U.S. owners), and an NFFE generally must identify and provide other required information to the Fund or other withholding agent regarding its U.S. owners, if any. Such non-U.S. shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted or deemed compliant categories as established by regulations and other guidance. A non-U.S. shareholder resident or doing business in a country that has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the U.S. to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement. The Fund will not pay any additional amounts in respect to any amounts withheld.

 

A non-U.S. entity that invests in a Fund will need to provide such Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding. Non-U.S. investors in the Fund should consult their tax advisors in this regard.

 

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

 

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

 

The Fund’s shares held in a tax-qualified retirement account will generally not be subject to federal taxation on income and capital gains distributions from the Fund until a shareholder begins receiving payments from their retirement account.

 

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

 

State Taxes. Depending upon state and local law, distributions by the Fund to its shareholders and the ownership of such shares may be subject to state and local taxes. Rules of state and local taxation of dividend and capital gains distributions from RICs often differ from the rules for federal income taxation described above. It is expected that the Fund will not be liable for any corporate excise, income or franchise tax in Delaware if it qualifies as a RIC for federal income tax purposes.

 

The foregoing discussion is based on U.S. federal tax laws and regulations which are in effect on the date of this SAI. Such laws and regulations may be changed by legislative or administrative action. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors concerning their specific situations and the application of federal, state, local and foreign taxes.

 

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FUND TRANSACTIONS

 

Brokerage Transactions. Generally, equity securities, both listed and over-the-counter, are bought and sold through brokerage transactions for which commissions are payable. Purchases from underwriters will include the underwriting commission or concession, and purchases from dealers serving as market makers will include a dealer’s mark-up or reflect a dealer’s mark-down. Money market securities and other debt securities are usually bought and sold directly from the issuer or an underwriter or market maker for the securities. Generally, the Fund will not pay brokerage commissions for such purchases. When a debt security is bought from an underwriter, the purchase price will usually include an underwriting commission or concession. The purchase price for securities bought from dealers serving as market makers will similarly include the dealer’s mark up or reflect a dealer’s mark down. When the Fund executes transactions in the over-the-counter market, it will generally deal with primary market makers unless prices that are more favorable are otherwise obtainable.

 

In addition, the Adviser may place a combined order for two or more accounts it manages, including the Fund, engaged in the purchase or sale of the same security if, in its judgment, joint execution is in the best interest of each participant and will result in best price and execution. Transactions involving commingled orders are allocated in a manner deemed equitable to each account or fund. Although it is recognized that, in some cases, the joint execution of orders could adversely affect the price or volume of the security that a particular account or the Fund may obtain, it is the opinion of the Adviser that the advantages of combined orders outweigh the possible disadvantages of combined orders.

 

Brokerage Selection. The Trust does not expect to use one particular broker or dealer, and when one or more brokers is believed capable of providing the best combination of price and execution, the Adviser may select a broker based upon brokerage or research services provided to the Adviser. The Adviser may pay a higher commission than otherwise obtainable from other brokers in return for such services only if a good faith determination is made that the commission is reasonable in relation to the services provided.

 

Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits the Adviser, under certain circumstances, to cause the Fund to pay a broker or dealer a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by the broker or dealer. In addition to agency transactions, the Adviser may receive brokerage and research services in connection with certain riskless principal transactions, in accordance with applicable SEC guidance. Brokerage and research services include: (1) furnishing advice as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities; (2) furnishing analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy, and the performance of accounts; and (3) effecting securities transactions and performing functions incidental thereto (such as clearance, settlement, and custody). In the case of research services, the Adviser believes that access to independent investment research is beneficial to its investment decision-making processes and, therefore, to the Fund.

 

To the extent that research services may be a factor in selecting brokers, such services may be in written form or through direct contact with individuals and may include information as to particular companies and securities as well as market, economic, or institutional areas and information which assists in the valuation and pricing of investments. Examples of research-oriented services for which the Adviser might utilize Fund commissions include research reports and other information on the economy, industries, sectors, groups of securities, individual companies, statistical information, political developments, technical market action, pricing and appraisal services, credit analysis, risk measurement analysis, performance and other analysis. The Adviser may use research services furnished by brokers in servicing all client accounts and not all services may necessarily be used by the Adviser in connection with the Fund or any other specific client account that paid commissions to the broker providing such services. Information so received by the Adviser will be in addition to and not in lieu of the services required to be performed by the Adviser under the Advisory Agreement. Any advisory or other fees paid to the Adviser are not reduced as a result of the receipt of research services.

 

S-79 

 

In some cases the Adviser may receive a service from a broker that has both a “research” and a “non-research” use. When this occurs, the Adviser makes a good faith allocation, under all the circumstances, between the research and non-research uses of the service. The percentage of the service that is used for research purposes may be paid for with client commissions, while the Adviser will use its own funds to pay for the percentage of the service that is used for non-research purposes. In making this good faith allocation, the Adviser faces a potential conflict of interest, but the Adviser believes that its allocation procedures are reasonably designed to ensure that it appropriately allocates the anticipated use of such services to their research and non-research uses.

 

From time to time, the Adviser may purchase new issues of securities for clients, including the Fund, in a fixed price offering. In these situations, the seller may be a member of the selling group that will, in addition to selling securities, provide the Adviser with research services. FINRA has adopted rules expressly permitting these types of arrangements under certain circumstances. Generally, the seller will provide research “credits” in these situations at a rate that is higher than that which is available for typical secondary market transactions. These arrangements may not fall within the safe harbor of Section 28(e).

 

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

 

Securities of “Regular Broker-Dealers.” The Fund is required to identify any securities of its “regular brokers and dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) that the Fund held during its most recent fiscal year. Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund did not hold any securities of its “regular brokers or dealers.”

 

Portfolio Turnover Rate. Portfolio turnover is calculated by dividing the lesser of total purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average value of portfolio securities owned during the fiscal year. Excluded from both the numerator and denominator are amounts relating to securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less. Instruments excluded from the calculation of portfolio turnover generally would include the futures contracts in which the Fund may invest since such contracts generally have remaining maturities of less than one year. The Fund may at times hold investments in other short-term instruments, such as repurchase agreements, which are excluded for purposes of computing portfolio turnover.

 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

The Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s security holdings. The Fund’s entire portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services including publicly available internet websites, as well as through the following website: [     ]. In addition, the composition of the in-kind creation basket and the in-kind redemption basket is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the NSCC.

 

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

 

S-80 

 

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

 

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

 

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

 

LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES’ LIABILITY

 

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

 

PROXY VOTING

 

The Board has delegated the responsibility for decisions regarding proxy voting for securities held by the Fund to the Adviser. The Adviser will vote such proxies in accordance with its proxy voting policies and procedures, which are included in Appendix B to this SAI.

 

The Trust is required to disclose annually the Fund’s complete proxy voting record during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 on Form N-PX. This voting record will be available: (i) without charge, upon request, by calling [ ]; and (ii) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

 

S-81 

 

CODES OF ETHICS

 

The Board, on behalf of the Trust, has adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act. In addition, the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, the Administrator and the Distributor have adopted Codes of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1. These Codes of Ethics apply to the personal investing activities of trustees, officers and certain employees (“Access Persons”). Rule 17j-1 and the Codes of Ethics are designed to prevent unlawful practices in connection with the purchase or sale of securities by Access Persons. Under each Code of Ethics, Access Persons are permitted to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund, but are required to report their personal securities transactions for monitoring purposes. In addition, certain Access Persons are required to obtain approval before investing in initial public offerings or private placements or are prohibited from making such investments. Copies of these Codes of Ethics are on file with the SEC, and are available to the public.

 

Principal Shareholders and Control Persons

 

Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund did not have any principal shareholders or control persons to report.

 

S-82 

 

APPENDIX A

 

DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS

 

Description of Ratings

 

The following descriptions of securities ratings have been published by Moody’s Investors Services, Inc. (“Moody’s”), Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), and Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”), respectively.

 

Description of Moody's Global Ratings

 

Ratings assigned on Moody’s global long-term and short-term rating scales are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issued by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities. Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment. Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment.

 

Description of Moody’s Global Long-Term Ratings

 

Aaa Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.

 

Aa Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

 

A Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.

 

Baa Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.

 

Ba Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.

 

B Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.

 

Caa Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.

 

Ca Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.

 

C Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

 

Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category.

 

A-1 

 

Hybrid Indicator (hyb)

 

The hybrid indicator (hyb) is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms. By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.

 

Description of Moody’s Global Short-Term Ratings

 

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.

 

Description of Moody’s U.S. Municipal Short-Term Obligation Ratings

 

The Municipal Investment Grade (“MIG”) scale is used to rate U.S. municipal bond anticipation notes of up to five years maturity. Municipal notes rated on the MIG scale may be secured by either pledged revenues or proceeds of a take-out financing received prior to note maturity. MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation, and the issuer’s long-term rating is only one consideration in assigning the MIG rating. MIG ratings are divided into three levels—MIG 1 through MIG 3—while speculative grade short-term obligations are designated SG.

 

Moody’s U.S. municipal short-term obligation ratings are as follows:

 

MIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.

 

MIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.

 

MIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.

 

SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.

 

Description of Moody’s Demand Obligation Ratings

 

In the case of variable rate demand obligations (“VRDOs”), a two-component rating is assigned: a long or short-term debt rating and a demand obligation rating. The first element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with scheduled principal and interest payments. The second element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with the ability to receive purchase price upon demand (“demand feature”). The second element uses a rating from a variation of the MIG scale called the Variable Municipal Investment Grade (“VMIG”) scale.

 

A-2 

 

Moody’s demand obligation ratings are as follows:

 

VMIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

VMIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

VMIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.

 

Description of S&P’s Issue Credit Ratings

 

An S&P issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation, a specific class of financial obligations, or a specific financial program (including ratings on medium-term note programs and commercial paper programs). It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the obligation and takes into account the currency in which the obligation is denominated. The opinion reflects S&P’s view of the obligor’s capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as they come due, and this opinion may assess terms, such as collateral security and subordination, which could affect ultimate payment in the event of default.

 

Issue credit ratings can be either long-term or short-term. Short-term ratings are generally assigned to those obligations considered short-term in the relevant market. Short-term ratings are also used to indicate the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to put features on long-term obligations. Medium-term notes are assigned long-term ratings.

 

Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P’s analysis of the following considerations:

 

• The likelihood of payment—the capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitments on a financial obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;

 

• The nature of and provisions of the financial obligation; and the promise S&P imputes; and

 

• The protection afforded by, and relative position of, the financial obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.

 

An issue rating is an assessment of default risk but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)

 

A-3 

 

NR indicates that a rating has not been assigned or is no longer assigned.

 

Description of S&P’s Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings*

 

AAA An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by S&P. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.

 

AA An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.

 

A An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong.

 

BBB An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

BB; B; CCC; CC; and C Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’, and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. ‘BB’ indicates the least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposure to adverse conditions.

 

BB An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

B An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

CCC An obligation rated ‘CCC’ 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. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

CC An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The ‘CC’ rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.

 

C An obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.

 

D An 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 believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of 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.

 

A-4 

 

*Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the rating categories.

 

Description of S&P’s Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings

 

A-1 A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated in the highest category by S&P. 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 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.

 

Description of S&P’s Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings

 

An S&P U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P’s opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P’s analysis will review the following considerations:

 

• Amortization schedule—the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and

 

A-5 

 

• Source of payment—the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.

 

S&P’s municipal short-term note ratings are as follows:

 

SP-1 Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.

 

SP-2 Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.

 

SP-3 Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.

 

D ‘D’ is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions.

 

Description of Fitch’s Credit Ratings

 

Fitch’s credit ratings relating to issuers are an opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments, such as interest, preferred dividends, repayment of principal, insurance claims or counterparty obligations. Credit ratings relating to securities and obligations of an issuer can include a recovery expectation. Credit ratings are used by investors as indications of the likelihood of receiving the money owed to them in accordance with the terms on which they invested.

 

The terms “investment grade” and “speculative grade” have established themselves over time as shorthand to describe the categories ‘AAA’ to ‘BBB’ (investment grade) and ‘BB’ to ‘D’ (speculative grade). The terms investment grade and speculative grade are market conventions, and do not imply any recommendation or endorsement of a specific security for investment purposes. Investment grade categories indicate relatively low to moderate credit risk, while ratings in the speculative categories either signal a higher level of credit risk or that a default has already occurred.

 

For the convenience of investors, Fitch may also include issues relating to a rated issuer that are not and have not been rated on its webpage. Such issues are denoted ‘NR.’

 

Fitch’s credit ratings do not directly address any risk other than credit risk. In particular, ratings do not deal with the risk of a market value loss on a rated security due to changes in interest rates, liquidity and other market considerations. However, in terms of payment obligation on the rated liability, market risk may be considered to the extent that it influences the ability of an issuer to pay upon a commitment. Ratings nonetheless do not reflect market risk to the extent that they influence the size or other conditionality of the obligation to pay upon a commitment (for example, in the case of index-linked bonds).

 

In the default components of ratings assigned to individual obligations or instruments, the agency typically rates to the likelihood of non-payment or default in accordance with the terms of that instrument’s documentation. In limited cases, Fitch may include additional considerations (i.e. rate to a higher or lower standard than that implied in the obligation’s documentation).

 

A-6 

 

Note: The modifiers “+” or “-” may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA’ ratings and ratings below the ‘CCC’ category. For the short-term rating category of ‘F1’, a ‘+’ may be appended.

 

Description of Fitch’s Long-Term Corporate Finance Obligations Ratings

 

AAA Highest credit quality. ‘AAA’ ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.

 

AA Very high credit quality. ‘AA’ ratings denote expectations of very low credit risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.

 

A High credit quality. ‘A’ ratings denote expectations of low credit risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.

 

BBB Good credit quality. ‘BBB’ ratings indicate that expectations of credit risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.

 

BB Speculative. ‘BB’ ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to credit risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial alternatives may be available to allow financial commitments to be met.

 

B Highly speculative. ‘B’ ratings indicate that material credit risk is present.

 

CCC Substantial credit risk. ‘CCC’ ratings indicate that substantial credit risk is present.

 

CC Very high levels of credit risk. ‘CC’ ratings indicate very high levels of credit risk.

 

C Exceptionally high levels of credit risk. ‘C’ ratings indicate exceptionally high levels of credit risk.

 

Ratings in the categories of ‘CCC’, ‘CC’ and ‘C’ can also relate to obligations or issuers that are in default. In this case, the rating does not opine on default risk but reflects the recovery expectation only.

 

Defaulted obligations typically are not assigned ‘RD’ or ‘D’ ratings, but are instead rated in the ‘CCC’ to ‘C’ rating categories, depending on their recovery prospects and other relevant characteristics. This approach better aligns obligations that have comparable overall expected loss but varying vulnerability to default and loss.

 

Description of Fitch’s Short-Term Ratings

 

A short-term issuer or obligation rating is 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.

 

A-7 

 

Fitch’s short-term ratings are as follows:

 

F1 Highest short-term credit quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.

 

F2 Good short-term credit quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

 

F3 Fair short-term credit quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.

 

B Speculative short-term credit quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.

 

C High short-term default risk. Default is a real possibility.

 

RD Restricted default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.

 

D Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.

 

A-8 

 

APPENDIX B

 

PROXY VOTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES

 

[Adviser proxy voting policies to be inserted.]

 

B-1

 

PART C: OTHER INFORMATION

 

ITEM 28. EXHIBITS:

 

(a)(1) The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund III’s (the “Registrant”) Certificate of Trust, dated December 4, 2013, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(1) of the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-13-000669 on December 13, 2013.

 

(a)(2) Registrant’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, dated December 4, 2013, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(2) of the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-13-000669 on December 13, 2013.

 

(a)(3) Amendment No. 1 to the Registrant’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, dated September 10, 2020, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(b)(1) Registrant’s Amended and Restated By-Laws, dated September 18, 2014, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (b) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 73 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001760 on September 28, 2016.

 

(b)(2) Amendment No. 1, dated June 25, 2020, to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated By-Laws is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (b)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 242 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-014043 on July 20, 2020.

 

(c) See Article III and Article V of the Agreement and Declaration of Trust, which has been incorporated by reference in Exhibit (a)(2) to this Registration Statement.

 

(d)(1)(i) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated September 15, 2017, between the Registrant and MetLife Investment Management, LLC (“MetLife”), relating to the MetLife Core Plus Fund and MetLife Multi-Sector Fixed Income Fund (together, the “MetLife Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-18-000054 on January 26, 2018.

 

(d)(1)(ii) Amendment, dated July 1, 2019, to the Investment Advisory Agreement, dated September 15, 2017, between the Registrant and MetLife, relating to the MetLife Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 204 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-016580 on September 13, 2019.

 

(d)(1)(iii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated February 26, 2015, between the Registrant and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC (“Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors”), relating to the Knights of Columbus Core Bond Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Core Bond Fund), Knights of Columbus Limited Duration Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Limited Duration Fund), Knights of Columbus Large Cap Growth Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Large Cap Growth Fund), Knights of Columbus Large Cap Value Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Large Cap Value Fund), Knights of Columbus Small Cap Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Small Cap Fund) and Knights of Columbus International Equity Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor International Equity Fund), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(v) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 24 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000079 on February 26, 2015.

 

 

 

(d)(1)(iv) Amended Schedule A, dated September 4, 2019, to the Investment Advisory Agreement, dated February 26, 2015, between the Registrant and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, relating to the Knights of Columbus Core Bond Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Core Bond Fund), Knights of Columbus Limited Duration Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Limited Duration Fund), Knights of Columbus Large Cap Growth Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Large Cap Growth Fund), Knights of Columbus Large Cap Value Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Large Cap Value Fund), Knights of Columbus Small Cap Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Small Cap Fund), Knights of Columbus International Equity Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor International Equity Fund), Knights of Columbus Long/Short Equity Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor Long/Short Equity Fund), Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index Fund (formerly, Catholic Investor U.S. All Cap Index Fund) and Knights of Columbus Real Estate Fund (formerly, Knights of Columbus Global Real Estate Fund) (the “Knights of Columbus Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(v) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(d)(1)(v) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated February 28, 2020, between the Registrant and Chiron Investment Management, LLC (“Chiron”), relating to the Chiron SMid Opportunities Fund and Chiron Capital Allocation Fund (the “Chiron Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(vi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(vi) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated October 30, 2015, between the Registrant and PineBridge Investments LLC (“PineBridge”), relating to the PineBridge Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(viii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 64 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000935 on December 23, 2015.

 

(d)(1)(vii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated September 22, 2016, between the Registrant and Strategic Global Advisors, LLC (“Strategic Global Advisors”), relating to the SGA International Equity Fund, SGA International Equity Plus Fund, SGA International Small-Mid Cap Equity Fund (formerly, SGA International Small Cap Equity Fund) and SGA Global Equity Fund (together, the “Strategic Global Advisors Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(viii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 73 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001760 on September 28, 2016.

 

(d)(1)(viii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated April 30, 2020, between Registrant and RWC Asset Advisors (US) LLC (“RWC”), relating to the RWC Global Emerging Equity Fund, filed herewith.

 

(d)(1)(ix) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 15, 2016, between the Registrant and GQG Partners LLC (“GQG Partners”), relating to the GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 83 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001937 on December 28, 2016.

 

(d)(1)(x) Amended Schedule A, dated March 31, 2020, to the Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 15, 2016, between the Registrant and GQG Partners, relating to the GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund, GQG Partners US Select Quality Equity Fund and GQG Partners Global Quality Equity Fund (the “GQG Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

 

 

(d)(1)(xi) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated March 31, 2020, between the Registrant and Ninety One North America, Inc. (“Ninety One”), relating to the Ninety One Global Franchise Fund (formerly, Investec Global Franchise Fund) and Ninety One Emerging Markets Equity Fund (formerly, Investec Emerging Markets Equity Fund) (the “Ninety One Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated May 18, 2018, between the Registrant and Penn Mutual Asset Management, LLC (“PMAM”), relating to the Penn Mutual AM Strategic Income Fund (formerly, Penn Mutual AM Unconstrained Bond Fund), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xvii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 130 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-007885 on May 22, 2018.

 

(d)(1)(xiii) Amended Schedule A, dated July 29, 2020, to the Investment Advisory Agreement, dated May 18, 2018, between the Registrant and Penn Mutual Asset Management, LLC (“PMAM”), relating to the Penn Mutual AM Strategic Income Fund and the Penn Mutual AM 1847 Income Fund (together, the “Penn Mutual Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-014613 on July 29, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xiv) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated September 21, 2018, between the Registrant and KBI Global Investors (North America) Ltd (“KBI”), relating to the KBI Global Investors Aquarius Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xix) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 148 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-013996 on September 26, 2018.

 

(d)(1)(xv) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. (“MFIM”), relating to the Mesirow Financial Enhanced Core Plus Fund (formerly, Mesirow Financial Core Bond Fund), Mesirow Financial High Yield Fund and Mesirow Financial Small Cap Value Sustainability Fund (formerly, Mesirow Financial Small Cap Value Fund) (together, the “Mesirow Financial Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 159 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017044 on November 27, 2018.

 

(d)(1)(xvi) Amended Schedule A, dated July 10, 2019, to the Investment Advisory Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and MFIM, relating to the Mesirow Financial Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 196 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-013145 on July 30, 2019.

 

(d)(1)(xvii) Third Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 13, 2019, between the Registrant and Aperture Investors, LLC (“Aperture”), relating to the Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, Aperture Endeavour Equity Fund and Aperture Discover Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 225 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-022972 on December 23, 2019.

 

 

 

(d)(1)(xviii) Schedule D, dated July 14, 2020, to the Third Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 13, 2019, between the Registrant and Aperture, relating to the Aperture International Equity Fund (together with the Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, Aperture Endeavour Equity Fund and Aperture Discover Equity Fund, the “Aperture Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 249 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-017803 on August 31, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xix) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated January 3, 2019, between the Registrant and Nicholas Investment Partners, L.P. (“Nicholas”), relating to the Nicholas Partners Small Cap Growth Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-000717 on January 16, 2019.

 

(d)(1)(xx) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated March 14, 2019, between the Registrant and Aegon USA Investment Management, LLC (“Aegon”), relating to the Aegon Emerging Markets Debt Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 189 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-010094 on June 5, 2019.

 

(d)(1)(xxi) Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 10, 2020, between the Registrant and Rayliant Asset Management (“Rayliant”), relating to the Rayliant Quantamental China Equity Fund and Rayliant Quantamental China Equity ETF (together, the “Rayliant Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xxii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated September 30, 2020 between the Registrant and Chevy Chase Trust Company (“CCT”), relating to the CCT Thematic Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xxiii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated October 30, 2020 between the Registrant and Reflection Asset Management, LLC (“Reflection”), relating to the DEMZ Political Contributions ETF, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxvii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xxiv) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 15, 2020, between the Registrant and SouthernSun Asset Management, LLC (“SouthernSun”), relating to the SouthernSun Small Cap Fund and SouthernSun U.S. Equity Fund (together, the “SouthernSun Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxiv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 279 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-001613 on January 28, 2021.

 

(d)(1)(xxv) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 9, 2020, between the Registrant and Brookmont Capital Management, LLC (“Brookmont”), relating to the First Foundation Fixed Income Fund and First Foundation Total Return Fund (together, the “First Foundation Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021.

 

 

 

(d)(1)(xxvi) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated November 24, 2020, between the Registrant and Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Ltd., relating to the Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(d)(1)(xxvii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated December 15, 2020, between the Registrant and Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. (“LGIMA”), relating to the Legal & General Retirement Income 2040 Fund, Legal & General Global Developed Equity Index Fund, Legal & General Cash Flow Matched Bond Fund, Legal & General Long Duration U.S. Credit Fund and Legal & General U.S. Credit Fund (together, the “LGIMA Funds”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(1)(xxix) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 268 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-024759 on December 18, 2020.

 

(d)(1)(xxviii) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated [XX], between the Registrant and Democracy Investment Management LLC (“Democracy”), relating to the Democracy International Fund, to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(1)(xxix) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated [XX], between the Registrant and ARGA Investment Management, LP (“ARGA”), relating to the ARGA Emerging Markets Value Fund and ARGA International Value Fund (together, the “ARGA Funds”), to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(1)(xxix) Investment Advisory Agreement, dated [XX], between the Registrant and KKM Financial LLC (“KKM”), relating to the Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF, to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(2)(i) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated September 10, 2019, between Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors and L2 Asset Management, LLC (“L2”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(2)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(d)(2)(ii) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated July 24, 2019, between Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors and Ranger Global Real Estate Advisors, LLC (“Ranger”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(2)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(d)(2)(iii) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated October 30, 2020, between Reflection and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (“ETC”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(2)(v) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(d)(2)(iv) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated January 8, 2021, between Brookmont and First Foundation Advisors (“First Foundation”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(2)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021.

 

 

 

(d)(2)(v) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated [XX], between Democracy and Vident Investment Advisory, LLC (“Vident”), to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(2)(vi) Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement, dated [XX], between KKM and ETC, to be filed by amendment.

 

(d)(3)(i) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated September 15, 2017, between the Registrant and MetLife, relating to the MetLife Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 123 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-003034 on February 28, 2018.

 

(d)(3)(ii) Amended and Restated Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 31, 2019, between the Registrant and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, relating to the Knights of Columbus Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(iii) Amended Schedule A, dated July 20, 2020, to the Amended and Restated Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 31, 2019, between the Registrant and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, relating to the Knights of Columbus Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 249 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-017803 on August 31, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(iv) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated October 30, 2015, between the Registrant and Chiron, relating to the Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(vii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 61 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000852 on November 23, 2015.

 

(d)(3)(v) Amended and Restated Schedule A, dated February 28, 2018, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated October 30, 2015, between the Registrant and Chiron, relating to the Chiron Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(viii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 123 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-003034 on February 28, 2018.

 

(d)(3)(vi) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 23, 2015, between the Registrant and PineBridge, relating to the PineBridge Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(viii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 64 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000935 on December 23, 2015.

 

(d)(3)(vii) Amended Schedule A, dated April 26, 2019, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 23, 2015, between the Registrant and PineBridge, relating to the PineBridge Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(ix) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 184 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-007386 on April 30, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(viii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated September 22, 2016, between the Registrant and Strategic Global Advisors, relating to the Strategic Global Advisors Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(ix) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 73 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001760 on September 28, 2016.

 

 

 

(d)(3)(ix) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated November 1, 2016, between the Registrant and RWC, relating to the RWC Global Emerging Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(x) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 83 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001937 on December 28, 2016.

 

(d)(3)(x) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 15, 2016, between the Registrant and GQG Partners, relating to the GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 83 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001937 on December 28, 2016.

 

(d)(3)(xi) Amended Schedule A, dated September 30, 2020, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 15, 2016, between the Registrant and GQG Partners, relating to the GQG Funds, is herein incorporated by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xi) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 262 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-023523 on November 25, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(xii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated July 17, 2017, between the Registrant and Ninety One, relating to the Ninety One Global Franchise Fund (formerly, Investec Global Franchise Fund), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 114 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-17-000992 on September 29, 2017.

 

(d)(3)(xiii) Amended Schedule A, dated March 1, 2019, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated July 17, 2017, between the Registrant and Ninety One, relating to the Ninety One Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xvii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 189 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-010094 on June 5, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(xiv) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated May 18, 2018, between the Registrant and PMAM, relating to the Penn Mutual AM Strategic Income Fund (formerly, Penn Mutual AM Unconstrained Bond Fund), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 130 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-007885 on May 22, 2018.

 

(d)(3)(xv) Amended Schedule A, dated July 29, 2020 to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 31, 2019, between the Registrant and PMAM, relating to the Penn Mutual Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-014613 on July 29, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(xvi) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated September 21, 2018, between the Registrant and KBI, relating to the KBI Global Investors Aquarius Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxiii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 148 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-013996 on September 26, 2018.

 

 

 

(d)(3)(xvii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and MFIM, relating to the Mesirow Financial Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 159 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017044 on November 27, 2018.

 

(d)(3)(xviii) Amended Schedule A, dated July 10, 2019, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and MFIM relating to the Mesirow Financial Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 196 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-013145 on July 30, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(xix) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 26, 2018, between the Registrant and Aperture, relating to the Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxiii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 167 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-018671 on December 28, 2018.

 

(d)(3)(xx) Amended Schedule A, dated December 13, 2019, to the Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 26, 2018, between the Registrant and Aperture, relating to the Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, Aperture Endeavour Equity Fund and Aperture Discover Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xx) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 225 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-022972 on December 23, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(xxi) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated January 3, 2019, between the Registrant and Nicholas, relating to the Nicholas Partners Small Cap Growth Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxiv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-000717 on January 16, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(xxii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated March 14, 2019, between the Registrant and Aegon, relating to the Aegon Emerging Markets Debt Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 189 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-010094 on June 5, 2019.

 

(d)(3)(xxiii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 10, 2020, between the Registrant and Rayliant, related to the Rayliant Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxiii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(xxiv) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated September 30, 2020, between the Registrant and CCT, related to the CCT Thematic Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(xxv) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 15, 2020, between the Registrant and SouthernSun, related to the SouthernSun Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 279 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-001613 on January 28, 2021.

 

 

 

(d)(3)(xxvi) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 9, 2020, between the Registrant and Brookmont, related to the First Foundation Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxvi) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021.

 

(d)(3)(xxvii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated December 15, 2020, between the Registrant and LGIMA, related to the LGIMA Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (d)(3)(xxvii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 268 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-024759 on December 18, 2020.

 

(d)(3)(xxviii) Expense Limitation Agreement, dated [XX], between the Registrant and ARGA, relating to the ARGA Funds, to be filed by amendment.

 

(e)(1)(i) Distribution Agreement, dated February 12, 2014, between the Registrant and SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SIDCO”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e) of the Registrant’s Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000199 on March 18, 2014.

 

(e)(1)(ii) Amendment No. 1, dated December 7, 2017, to the Distribution Agreement, dated February 12, 2014, between the Registrant and SIDCO, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(1)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 120 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-18-000054 on January 26, 2018.

 

(e)(1)(iii) Distribution Services Agreement, dated December 23, 2020, between Rayliant and SIDCO, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(1)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(e)(2) Form of Authorized Participant Agreement is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (e)(2) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(f) Not Applicable.

 

(g)(1)(i) Custodian Agreement, dated February 19, 2014, between the Registrant and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (formerly known as Union Bank, N.A.) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g) of the Registrant’s Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000199 on March 18, 2014.

 

(g)(1)(ii) Amended Schedule I, dated October 1, 2014, to the Custodian Agreement, dated February 19, 2014, between the Registrant and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (formerly known as Union Bank, N.A.) is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(1)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 15 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 001135428-14-000692 on November 4, 2014.

 

(g)(2)(i) Custodian Agreement, dated November 25, 2014, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 45 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000464 on July 14, 2015.

 

 

 

(g)(2)(ii) Amendment, dated October 30, 2018, to the Custodian Agreement, dated November 25, 2014, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(2)(vii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 158 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-016867 on November 21, 2018.

 

(g)(2)(iii) Joinder, dated December 16, 2020, to the Custodian Agreement, dated November 25, 2014, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(2)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(g)(2)(iv) Amended Appendix A, dated February 2, 2021, to the Custodian Agreement, dated November 25, 2014, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(2)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(g)(2)(v) Amended Appendix A, dated [XX], to the Custodian Agreement, dated November 25, 2014, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. to be filed by amendment.

 

(g)(3)(i) Custodian Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and State Street Bank and Trust Company, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(3)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-000717 on January 16, 2019.

 

(g)(3)(ii) Amended Appendix A, dated August 12, 2020, to the Custodian Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and State Street Bank and Trust Company, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(3)(iv) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(g)(4)(i) Custodian and Transfer Agent Agreement, dated October 20, 2020, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(g)(4)(ii) Amended Exhibit A, dated February 2, 2021, to the Custodian and Transfer Agent Agreement, dated October 20, 2020, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (g)(4)(ii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(g)(4)(iii) Amended Exhibit A, dated [XX], to the Custodian and Transfer Agent Agreement dated October 20, 2020, between the Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(1)(i) Amended and Restated Administration Agreement, dated November 16, 2018, between the Registrant and SEI Investments Global Funds Services (“SEI GFS”), is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(1)(i) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

 

 

(h)(2)(i) Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(4) of the Registrant’s Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000199 on March 18, 2014.

 

(h)(2)(i)(a) Amendment No. 1, dated April 30, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(a) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

(h)(2)(i)(b) Amendment, dated June 19, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(b) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

(h)(2)(i)(c) Amendment, dated June 26, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(c) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

(h)(2)(i)(d) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the MetLife Funds, dated December 18, 2014, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(d) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 53 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000574 on August 26, 2015.

 

(h)(2)(i)(e) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Knights of Columbus Funds, dated January 21, 2015, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(e) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 88 to the Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 001135428-17-000150 on February 28, 2017.

 

(h)(2)(i)(f) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Strategic Global Advisors Funds, dated September 30, 2016, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(f) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 77 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001808 on October 28, 2016.

 

(h)(2)(i)(g) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the RWC Global Emerging Equity Fund, dated December 30, 2016, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(g) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 85 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-17-000062 on January 27, 2017.

 

(h)(2)(i)(h) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the GQG Funds, dated December 28, 2016, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(h) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 85 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-17-000062 on January 27, 2017.

 

 

 

(h)(2)(i)(i) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Ninety One Funds, dated December 11, 2017, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(h) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 123 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-003034 on February 28, 2018.

 

(h)(2)(i)(j) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Penn Mutual AM Strategic Income Fund (formerly, Penn Mutual AM Unconstrained Bond Fund), dated July 2, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(j) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 148 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-013996 on September 26, 2018.

 

(h)(2)(i)(k) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Penn Mutual AM 1847 Income Fund, dated July 2, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(l) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 243 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-014613 on July 29, 2020.

 

(h)(2)(i)(l) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Mesirow Financial Funds, dated December 3, 2018, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(m) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-000717 on January 16, 2019.

 

(h)(2)(i)(m) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Aperture Funds, dated March 18, 2019, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(m) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 204 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-016580 on September 13, 2019.

 

(h)(2)(i)(n) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Nicholas Partners Small Cap Growth Fund, dated January 16, 2019, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(o) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 183 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-007372 on April 30, 2019.

 

(h)(2)(i)(o) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Aegon Emerging Markets Debt Fund, dated June 14, 2019, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(o) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 220 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-021470 on November 27, 2019.

 

(h)(2)(i)(p) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the Rayliant Funds, dated [XX], to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., to be filed by amendment.

 

 

 

(h)(2)(i)(q) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the LGIMA Funds, dated [XX], to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(2)(i)(r) Advisor Complex Schedule relating to the First Foundation Funds, dated January 11, 2021, to the Agency Agreement, dated March 12, 2014, between the Registrant and DST Systems, Inc., is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(i)(r) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(h)(2)(ii)(a) Amended and Restated Transfer Agency Services Agreement, dated December 21, 2020, between the Registrant, Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Ltd. and Atlantic Shareholder Services, LLC, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(ii)(a) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(h)(2)(ii)(b) Amendment No. 1, dated February 12, 2021, to the Amended and Restated Transfer Agency Services Agreement, dated December 21, 2020, between the Registrant, Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Ltd. and Atlantic Shareholder Services, LLC, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(2)(ii)(b) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 282 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-005124 on February 26, 2021.

 

(h)(2)(ii)(c) Amendment No. 2, dated [XX], to the Amended and Restated Transfer Agency Services Agreement, dated December 21, 2020, between the Registrant, Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Ltd. and Atlantic Shareholder Services, LLC, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(3)(i) Amended and Restated Shareholder Services Plan, dated December 10, 2015, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 68 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001068 on February 26, 2016.

 

(h)(3)(ii) Amended Exhibit A, dated September 11, 2020, to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Services Plan, dated December 10, 2015, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(3)(iii) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 268 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-024759 on December 18, 2020.

 

(h)(3)(iii) Amended Exhibit A, dated December 9, 2020, to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Services Plan, dated December 10, 2015, to be filed by amendment.

 

(h)(4) License Agreement, dated December 5, 2019, between the Registrant and Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, relating to the Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (h)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 231 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-004731 on February 28, 2020.

 

(i) Opinion and Consent of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, to be filed by amendment.

 

(j) Not Applicable.

 

(k) Not Applicable.

 

 

 

(l) Initial Capital Agreement, dated March 4, 2014, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (l) of the Registrant’s Pre-Effective Amendment No. 2 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000199 on March 18, 2014.

 

(m)(1) Amended and Restated Distribution Plan, dated March 3, 2015, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(1) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 45 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000464 on July 14, 2015.

 

(m)(2) Amended Schedule A, dated October 15, 2020, to the Amended and Restated Distribution Plan, dated March 3, 2015, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(m)(3) Amended Schedule A, dated [XX], to the Amended and Restated Distribution Plan, dated March 3, 2015, to be filed by amendment.

 

(m)(4) ETF Distribution Plan, dated October 15, 2020, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(m)(5) Amended Schedule A, dated December 9, 2020 to the ETF Distribution Plan, dated October 15, 2020 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (m)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 270 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-025276 on December 30, 2020.

 

(m)(6) Amended Schedule A, dated [date], to the ETF Distribution Plan, dated October 15, 2020, to be filed by amendment.

 

(m)(7) Amended Schedule A, dated [XX], to the ETF Distribution Plan, dated October 15, 2020, to be filed by amendment.

 

(n)(1) Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Multiple Class Plan, dated February 12, 2014, including Schedules and Certificates of Class Designation thereto, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 12 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000655 on October 7, 2014.

 

(n)(2) Amended and Restated Schedule D and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Knights of Columbus Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(3) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(n)(3) Schedule F and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the PineBridge Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 64 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-15-000935 on December 23, 2015.

 

 

 

(n)(4) Schedule G and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Strategic Global Advisors Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(4) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 73 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001760 on September 28, 2016.

 

(n)(5) Schedule H and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the RWC Global Emerging Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(5) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 76 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-16-001783 on October 21, 2016.

 

(n)(6) Amended and Restated Schedule I and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the GQG Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 181 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-005735 on March 28, 2019.

 

(n)(7) Schedule M and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the KBI Global Investors Aquarius Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(10) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 148 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-013996 on September 26, 2018.

 

(n)(8) Amended and Restated Schedule L and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Ninety One Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 158 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-016867 on November 21, 2018.

 

(n)(9) Schedule N and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Mesirow Financial Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(12) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 159 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017044 on November 27, 2018.

 

(n)(10) Schedule O and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Nicholas Partners Small Cap Growth Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(13) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-000717 on January 16, 2019.

 

(n)(11) Schedule P and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Aegon Emerging Markets Debt Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(12) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 189 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-010094 on June 5, 2019.

 

(n)(12) Amended and Restated Schedule Q and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, Aperture Endeavour Equity Fund, Aperture Discover Equity Fund and Aperture International Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(13) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 249 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-017803 on August 31, 2020.

 

 

 

(n)(13) Schedule S and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the Rayliant Quantamental China Equity Fund, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(15) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 249 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-017803 on August 31, 2020.

 

(n)(14) Schedule T and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the LGIMA Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(15) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 268 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-024759 on December 18, 2020.

 

(n)(15) Schedule U and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the SouthernSun Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(15) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 279 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-001613 on January 28, 2021.

 

(n)(16) Schedule V and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the First Foundation Funds, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (n)(17) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021.

 

(n)(17) Schedule W and Certificates of Class Designation to the Registrant’s Amended and Restated Rule 18f-3 Plan, dated February 12, 2014, relating to the ARGA Funds, to be filed by amendment.

 

(o) Not Applicable.

 

(p)(1) Registrant’s Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(1) of the Registrant’s Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-14-000079 on February 20, 2014.

 

(p)(2) SIDCO Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(2) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 262 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-023523 on November 25, 2020.

 

(p)(3) SEI GFS Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(3) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 262 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-023523 on November 25, 2020.

 

(p)(4) MetLife Code of Ethics, dated April 30, 2007, as amended March 16, 2017, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(8) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 123 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-003034 on February 28, 2018.

 

 

 

(p)(5) Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors Code of Ethics, dated October 1, 2019, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(6) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

(p)(6) Chiron Code of Ethics, dated February 2018, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

(p)(7) PineBridge Code of Ethics, dated July 2017, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(14) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 114 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001135428-17-000992 on September 29, 2017.

 

(p)(8) Strategic Global Advisors Code of Ethics, dated January 25, 2018, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(13) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 160 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017157 on November 28, 2018.

 

(p)(9) RWC Code of Ethics, dated August 2016, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(11) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 228 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-001402 on January 28, 2020.

 

(p)(10) GQG Partners Code of Ethics, dated October 3, 2018, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(14) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 181 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement of Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-005735 on March 28, 2019.

 

(p)(11) Ninety One Code of Ethics, dated October 2019, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(12) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 231 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-004731 on February 28, 2020.

 

(p)(12) PMAM Code of Ethics, dated February 22, 2017, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(22) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 130 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-007885 on May 22, 2018.

 

(p)(13) KBI Code of Ethics, dated November 2017, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(22) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 148 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-013996 on September 26, 2018.

 

(p)(14) MFIM Code of Ethics, dated July 2, 2018, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(23) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 159 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-18-017044 on November 27, 2018.

 

 

 

(p)(15) Aperture Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(16) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 235 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-008819 on April 29, 2020.

 

(p)(16) Nicholas Code of Ethics, dated August 1, 2019, is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(18) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 225 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-022972 on December 23, 2019.

 

(p)(17) Aegon Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(23) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 189 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-010094 on June 5, 2019.

 

(p)(18) L2 Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(21) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(p)(19) Ranger Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(22) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 208 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-19-017246 on September 27, 2019.

 

(p)(20) Rayliant Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(24) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 249 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-017803 on August 31, 2020.

 

(p)(21) CCT Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(25) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 255 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-019356 on September 30, 2020.

 

(p)(22) Reflection Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(26) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(p)(23) ETC Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(27) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 260 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-021223 on November 2, 2020.

 

(p)(24) SouthernSun Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(24) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 279 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-001613 on January 28, 2021.

 

(p)(25) Brookmont Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(25) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021.

 

(p)(26) First Foundation Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(26) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 276 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-21-000893 on January 15, 2021

 

 

 

(p)(27) LGIMA Code of Ethics is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (p)(26) of Post-Effective Amendment No. 268 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-024759 on December 18, 2020.

 

(p)(28) Democracy Code of Ethics, to be filed by amendment.

 

(p)(29) Vident Code of Ethics, to be filed by amendment.

 

(p)(30) ARGA Code of Ethics, to be filed by amendment.

 

(p)(31) KKM Code of Ethics, to be filed by amendment.

 

(q)(1) Powers of Attorney for Messrs. Michael Beattie, William M. Doran, Jon C. Hunt, Thomas P. Lemke, Jay C. Nadel, Randall S. Yanker and Stephen Connors are incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (q)(1) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 262 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-023523 on November 25, 2020.

 

(q)(2) Resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Registrant on October 15, 2020 is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (q)(2) of the Registrant’s Post-Effective Amendment No. 262 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-192858), filed with the SEC via EDGAR Accession No. 0001398344-20-023523 on November 25, 2020.

 

ITEM 29. PERSONS CONTROLLED BY OR UNDER COMMON CONTROL WITH REGISTRANT:

 

Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiron Capital Allocation Fund, a series of the Registrant.

 

ITEM 30. INDEMNIFICATION:

 

A Trustee, when acting in such capacity, shall not be personally liable to any Person, other than the Trust or a Shareholder to the extent provided in Article VII of the Trust’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, for any act, omission or obligation of the Trust, of such Trustee, or of any other Trustee. A Trustee shall be liable to the Trust and to any Shareholder solely for his or her own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee, and shall not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. The Trustees shall not be responsible or liable in any event for any neglect or wrong-doing of any officer, agent, employee, investment adviser or principal underwriter of the Trust, nor shall any Trustee be responsible for the act or omission of any other Trustee. The Trust shall indemnify each Person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust and any Person who is serving or has served at the Trust’s request as a trustee, officer, employee or agent of another organization in which the Trust has any interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise to the extent and in the manner provided in the Trust’s By-Laws.

 

All persons extending credit to, contracting with or having any claim against the Trust or the Trustees shall look only to the assets of the appropriate Series, or, if the Trustees have yet to establish Series, of the Trust for payment under such credit, contract or claim; and neither the Trustees nor the Shareholders, nor any of the Trust’s officers, employees or agents, whether past, present or future, shall be personally liable therefor.

 

Every note, bond, contract, instrument, certificate or undertaking and every other act or thing whatsoever executed or done by or on behalf of the Trust or Trustees by any of them in connection with the Trust shall conclusively be deemed to have been executed or done only in or with respect to his or their capacity as Trustee or Trustees, and such Trustee or Trustees shall not be personally liable thereon. At the Trustees’ discretion, any note, bond, contract, instrument, certificate or undertaking made or issued by the Trustees or by any officer or officers may give notice that the Certificate of Trust is on file in the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware and that a limitation on the liability of each Series exists and such note, bond, contract, instrument, certificate or undertaking may, if the Trustees so determine, recite that the same was executed or made on behalf of the Trust or by a Trustee or Trustees in such capacity and not individually or by an officer or officers in such capacity and not individually and that the obligations of such instrument are not binding upon any of them or the Shareholders individually but are binding only on the assets and property of the Trust or a Series thereof, and may contain such further recital as such Person or Persons may deem appropriate. The omission of any such notice or recital shall in no way operate to bind any Trustees, officers or Shareholders individually.

 

 

 

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

 

ITEM 31. BUSINESS AND OTHER CONNECTIONS OF THE INVESTMENT ADVISERS:

 

The following lists any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature in which each investment adviser (including sub-advisers), and each director, officer or partner of that investment adviser (or sub-adviser), is or has been engaged within the last two fiscal years for his or her own account or in the capacity of director, officer, employee, partner, or trustee. Unless noted below, none of the investment advisers (or sub-advisers) and/or directors, officers or partners of each investment adviser (or sub-adviser) is or has been engaged within the last two fiscal years in any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature for his or her own account or in the capacity of director, officer, employee, partner or trustee.

 

AEGON USA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LLC

 

Aegon USA Investment Management, LLC (“Aegon”), serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s Aegon Emerging Markets Debt Fund. The principal address of Aegon is 6300 C Street SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299. Aegon is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2019 and 2020.

 

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Chris Thompson, Interim US Chief Executive Officer and Head of Distribution Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Interim US Chief Executive Officer and Head of Distribution*
  Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Chief Executive Officer and Global Head of Distribution

 

 

 

Stephanie Maria Phelps, Treasurer, Chief Administration Officer and Executive Vice President Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Treasurer, Chief Administration Officer and Executive Vice President*
  Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Kirk William Buese, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President*
James K. Schaeffer, Portfolio Manager, Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Portfolio Manager, Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President*
  Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Portfolio Manager, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President*
Darlene R. Green, Head of Human Resources and Executive Vice President Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Head of Human Resources and Executive Vice President*
James Anthony Mautino, Chief Compliance Officer Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Chief Compliance Officer
Stephanie L, Steele, Assistant Treasurer Aegon Realty Advisors, LLC
6300 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 54299
Assistant Treasurer*

 

* Denotes post held ended in 2019.

 

APERTURE INVESTORS, LLC

 

Aperture Investors, LLC (“Aperture”), serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s Aperture New World Opportunities Fund, Aperture Endeavour Equity Fund, Aperture Discover Equity Fund and Aperture International Equity Fund. The principal address of Aperture is 250 West 55th Street, 30th Floor, New York, New York 10019. Aperture is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Timothy Blackwell, Director

Northwest Immobilien Management GmbH,

Fasanenstrasse 33

10719 Berlin, Germany

Senior Advisor

 

 

 

Kristen Dickey, Lead Director

BlackRock, Inc.

55 East 52nd Street

New York, NY 10058

Managing Director
 

Marstone, Inc.

1301 6th Ave

New York, NY 10019

Board of Directors
 

BNY Mellon Investment Management, ETF Trust

200 Greenwich Street

New York, NY 1001

Trustee

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Quintin Price, Director

Leconfield Group Limited

130 Wood Street

London EC2V 6DL

Chief Executive
 

F&C Investment Trust Plc

Exchange House

Primrose Street

London EC2A 2NY

Non- Executive Director
 

Polar Capital Holding

16 Palace Street

London SW1E 5JD

Non- Executive Director*
Michael Krieger, Director

Facebook Inc.

1601 Willow Road

Menlo Park, CA 94025

CTO, Instagram*

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Carlo Trabattoni, Director Aperture Investors SICAV, 60, avenue J.F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Luxembourg B 230397
Chairman
  Generali Investment Partner S.p.A, Via Machiavelli 4, 34132 Trieste, Italy CEO
 

Generali Alpha Corp.

103 Foulk Road

Wilmington, DE 19803

Sole Director
  Generali Global Infrastructure 58 bis, rue de la Boëtie, 75008 Paris Chairman
  CM Investment Solutions Limited, 2 King Edward Street, London EC1A 1HQ Director
 

Sycamore Factory

14 Avenue Hoche

75008 Paris, France

Director

 

 

 

Peter Kraus, Chairman

Marstone, Inc.

1301 6th Ave

New York, NY 10019

Chairman of the Board of Directors

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Heidi Messer, Director

Collective(i)

130 Madison Avenue,
4th Floor

New York, New York 10016

Chairman and Co-Founder
 

Partnership Fund for NYC

One Battery Park Plaza, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10004

Board Member
 

Alliance Bernstein

1345 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10105

Director

 

New York Presbyterian Hospital

525 E 68th St

New York, NY 10065

Board of Trustee
 

Zokei, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

Managing Member
 

Messer Holdings, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

Managing Member
 

Zephir, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

Managing Member
 

Private Property Services, LLC 130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

Managing Member
 

World Evolved, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

CEO/Managing Member
 

Real World Holdings, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10016

Managing Member
 

Celeste, LLC

130 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10016

Managing Member

 

 

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
John Thain, Director

Deutsche Bank AG

Taunusanlage 12, 60325

Frankfurt am Main Germany

Member of Supervisory Board
 

Uber Technologies, Inc.

1455 Market Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

Board Member
 

Enjoy Technology Inc.

171 Constitution Drive Menlo Park, CA 94025

Board Member*
 

Pine Island Capital Partners

One City Center 850 Tenth St NW Suite 316N

Washington, DC 20001

Founder and Chairman

 

* Denotes post held ended in 2019.

 

ARGA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LP

 

ARGA Investment Management, LP (“ARGA”) serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s ARGA Emerging Markets Value Fund and ARGA International Value Fund. The principal address of ARGA is 1010 Washington Boulevard, 6th Floor, Stamford, Connecticut 06901. ARGA is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information below is provided as of [date]. [To be updated by amendment.]

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
     

 

 

 

Brookmont capital management, LLC

 

Brookmont Capital Management, LLC (“Brookmont”) serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s First Foundation Fixed Income Fund and First Foundation Total Return Fund. The principal address of Brookmont is 2000 McKinney Avenue, Suite 1230, Dallas, Texas 75201. Brookmont is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information as to other business, if any, and the directors and officers of Brookmont is set forth in its Form ADV, on file with the SEC (801-68533), and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

CHEVY CHASE TRUST COMPANY

 

Chevy Chase Trust Company (“CCT”), serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s CCT Thematic Equity Fund. The principal address of CCT is 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, 1500W, Bethesda MD 20814. CCT is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information below is provided as of [date]. [To be updated by amendment.]

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
     

 

 

 

CHIRON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LLC

 

Chiron Investment Management, LLC (“Chiron”) serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s Chiron Capital Allocation Fund and Chiron SMid Opportunities Fund. The principal address of Chiron is 10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022. Chiron is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company

Enrico Gaglioti

Chief Executive Officer

Chiron Global Opportunities Fund, a sub-fund of Chiron Funds ICAV

2nd Floor Block E

Harcourt Road

Dublin 2

Ireland

Director

Ryan Caldwell

Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager

Chiron Global Opportunities Fund, a sub-fund of Chiron Funds ICAV

2nd Floor Block E

Harcourt Road

Dublin 2

Ireland

Director

 

 

 

J.P. Armenio

Chief Operating Officer

Chiron Global Opportunities Fund, a sub-fund of Chiron Funds ICAV

2nd Floor Block E

Harcourt Road

Dublin 2

Ireland

Director

 

DEMOCRACY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LLC

 

Democracy Investment Management LLC (“Democracy”) serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s Democracy International Fund. The principal address of Democracy is [address]. [Democracy is XX.] The information below is provided as of [date]. [To be updated by amendment.]

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
     

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC

 

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC (“ETC”), serves as the investment sub-adviser for the Registrant’s DEMZ Political Contributions ETF. The principal address of at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 207, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120. ETC is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information below is provided as of [date]. [To be updated by amendment.]

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
     

 

First Foundation Advisors

 

First Foundation Advisors (“First Foundation”), serves as the investment sub-adviser for the Registrant’s First Foundation Fixed Income Fund and First Foundation Total Return Fund. The principal address of First Foundation is 18101 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 700, Irvine, California 92612. First Foundation is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Scott F. Kavanaugh, Director

First Foundation Inc.

18101 Von Karman Avenue

Suite 750

Irvine, CA 29612

Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman

 

 

 

Diane Rubin, Director

Diane M. Rubin, CPA, a sole proprietorship

40380 Desert Creek Lane

Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Sole proprietor
Elizabeth Pagliarini, Director

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

2 South Pointe Drive

Suite 100

Lake Forest, CA 92630

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Max Briggs, Director

FLC Capital Advisors

44750 Village Court

Palm Desert, CA 92260

President and

Chief Executive Advisors

Mitchell Rosenberg, Ph.D., Director

M. M. Rosenberg & Associates

25811 Pecos Road

Laguna Hills, CA 92653

President and Founder
Jacob Sonenshine, Director

Prell Restaurant Group

1675 Scenic Avenue

#150

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

President
David Lake, Director

4 Earth Farms LLC

555 E. Olympic Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90022

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

 

GQG Partners LLC

 

GQG Partners LLC (“GQG Partners”) serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund, GQG Partners US Select Quality Equity Fund and GQG Partners Global Quality Equity Fund. The principal address of GQG Partners is 450 East Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 750, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. GQG Partners is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended July 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Rajiv Jain, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer

GQG Partners Community Empowerment Foundation

450 East Las Olas Blvd, Suite 750

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Sole Member, Director
Tim Carver, Chief Executive Officer

GQG Partners Community Empowerment Foundation

450 East Las Olas Blvd, Suite 750

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Director
 

Hycroft, LLC

100 Park Avenue, 16th Floor

New York, NY 10017

Director

 

 

 

Melodie Zakaluk,

Chief Operating Officer

GQG Global UCITS ICAV

2nd Floor

5 Earlsfort Terrace

Dublin D2

Ireland

Director

 

KBI GLOBAL INVESTORS (NORTH AMERICA) LTD

 

KBI Global Investors (North America) Ltd (“KBI”), serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s KBI Global Investors Aquarius Fund. The principal address of KBI is 3rd Floor, 2 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC Dublin 1, Ireland. KBI is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended July 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position

With Investment Adviser

Name and Principal Business

Address of Other Company

Connection With Other Company

Sean Hawkshaw

President

KBI Global Investors Ltd.

3rd Floor, 2 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 X5P3, Ireland.

Chief Executive Officer, Director

Geoff Blake,

Director

KBI Global Investors Ltd.

3rd Floor, 2 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 X5P3 Ireland.

Director, Head of Clients & Business Development

William Cotter, Non-Executive Director

 

KBI Global Investors Ltd.

3rd Floor, 2 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 X5P3, Ireland.

KBIGI - Non-Executive Director

(Mr. Cotter is retired and has only two active Non Executive directorships).

 

 

KKM Financial LLC

 

KKM Financial LLC (“KKM”) serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s Democracy International Fund. The principal address of KKM is [address]. [KKM is XX.] The information below is provided as of [date]. [To be updated by amendment.]

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
     

 

 

 

Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC

 

Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC (“Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors”) serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s Knights of Columbus Core Bond Fund, Knights of Columbus Limited Duration Fund, Knights of Columbus Large Cap Growth Fund, Knights of Columbus Large Cap Value Fund, Knights of Columbus Small Cap Fund, Knights of Columbus International Equity Fund, Knights of Columbus Long/Short Equity Fund, Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index Fund and Knights of Columbus Real Estate Fund (formerly, Knights of Columbus Global Real Estate Fund). The principal address of Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors is One Columbus Plaza, New Haven, Connecticut 06510. Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company

Anthony V. Minopoli,

President and Chief Investment Officer

Knights of Columbus

1 Columbus Plaza

New Haven, CT 06510

Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Supreme Director of the Board of Directors
Michael P. Votto, Vice President and Special Counsel; formerly, Chief Compliance Officer (from 2015 to June 2016)

Knights of Columbus

1 Columbus Plaza

New Haven, CT 06510

Special Counsel
Terry A. Wettergreen, Chief Compliance Officer (from January 2018 to September 2019)

Vigilant Compliance, LLC

Gateway Corporate Center, Suite 216

223 Wilmington West Chester Pike

Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Director

 

L2 ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC

 

L2 Asset Management, LLC (“L2”) serves as investment sub-adviser for the Registrant’s Knights of Columbus Long/Short Equity Fund and Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index Fund. The principal address of L2 is 66 Glezen Lane, Wayland, Massachusetts 01778. L2 is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company

Matthew Malgari

Managing Member, Portfolio Manager

Kailash Capital, LLC

66 Glezen Lane

Wayland, MA 01778

Managing Member

Sanjeev Bhohjraj

Portfolio Manager

Kailash Capital, LLC

66 Glezen Lane

Wayland, MA 01778

Managing Member
 

Samuel Curtis Johnson

Graduate School of Management

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Sage Hall, 106 East Avenue

Ithaca, New York 14853

Professor

 

 

 

Nathan Przybylo

Programmer

Kailash Capital, LLC

66 Glezen Lane

Wayland, MA 01778

Programmer, Member

Tyson Arnedt

Chief Operating Officer

& General Counsel

Kailash Capital, LLC

66 Glezen Lane

Wayland, MA 01778

General Counsel

Casata Group, LLC

18 Volcanic Hill RD.

Wantage, New Jersey 07461

Founder & Principal

Giselle Casella

Chief Compliance Officer

Adviser Compliance Consultants

5082 Escalante Dr.

North Port, Florida 34287

Founder & CEO

 

LEGAL & GENERAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AMERICA, INC.

 

Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. (“LGIMA”), serves as the investment adviser for the Registrant’s Legal & General Retirement Income 2040 Fund, the Legal & General Global Developed Equity Index Fund, the Legal & General Cash Flow Matched Bond Fund, the Legal & General Long Duration U.S. Credit Fund and the Legal & General U.S. Credit Fund. The principal address of LGIMA is 71 South Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60606. LGIMA is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company

Michelle Scrimgeour

Chairwoman

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

One Coleman Street, London, UK EC2R 5AA

Chief Executive Officer, Director
 

LGIM International, Ltd.

One Coleman Street, London, UK EC2R 5AA

Director
 

Legal & General Investment Management Japan Limited

2-7-1 Yurakuncho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan

Director

 

 

 

 

The Investment Association

23 Camomile Street, London, England, EC3A 7LL

Director
 

FCA Practioner Panelist

FCA Practitioners Panels Secretariat, 12 Endeavour Square, London E20 1JN

Director
 

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director

Chad Ravkin

Director

LGIM ETF

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

One Coleman Street, London, UK EC2R 5AA

Director
 

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director

Aaron Meder

Chief Executive Officer, Director

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director
 

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

One Coleman Street, London, UK EC2R 5AA

Management Committee Member

John Bender

Chief Investment Officer, Director

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director

Pat Ryan

Chief Financial Officer, Director

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director

Christine Smith

Chief Operating Officer, Director

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Director

 

 

 

Emma Rodriguez-Ayala

General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Board Secretary

Legal & General Investment Management U.S. Holdings, Inc.

71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Board Secretary

Donald Andrews

Head of Distribution and Client Solutions

Kigali Farm, LLC

1189 Wilmette Ave, #120, Wilmette, IL 60091

Manager
 

Ledgeview Commercial Partners, LLC

157 Amory, Manchester, NH 03102

Manager

 

METLIFE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LLC

 

MetLife Investment Management, LLC (“MetLife”) serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s MetLife Core Plus Fund and MetLife Multi-Sector Fixed Income Fund. The principal address of MetLife is One Whippany Way, Whippany, New Jersey 07981. MetLife is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company

Steven Goulart

President, Chief Executive Officer

MetLife, Inc.

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
 

MetLife Group, Inc.

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
 

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
 

MetLife Investments Management Holdings, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

President and Director
 

MetLife EU Holding Company Limited

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Director

 

 

 

Joseph Pollaro

Chief Operating Officer

MetLife Investments Securities, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

President and Chief Executive Officer
 

MetLife Investment Management Limited (United Kingdom)

Level 34

One Canada Square

London E14 5AA

United Kingdom

Chief Operating Officer

Director

 

MetLife Asset Management Corp. (Japan)

Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho Kioi Tower 25F

1-3, Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Japan

Chief Operating Officer

Director

 

MetLife Investments Asia Limited

9th Floor, One Taikoo Place

979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay

Hong Kong S.A.R.

Chief Operating Officer

Director

 

 

MetLife Investment Management Holdings (Ireland) Limited

20 on Hatch

Lower Hatch Street

Dublin 2, Ireland

Director
 

MetLife Investments Management Holdings, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Board of Managers
 

MetLife Investors Group, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Board of Managers
 

MIM I, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Yick

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

MetLife Investments Securities, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

 

MetLife Investments Management Holdings LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Treasurer
 

MIM I, LLC

One MetLife Way

Whippany, NJ 07981

Treasurer

 

MESIROW FINANCIAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, INC.

 

Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. (“MFIM”), serves as investment adviser for the Registrant’s Mesirow Financial Enhanced Core Plus Fund (formerly, Mesirow Financial Core Bond Fund), Mesirow Financial High Yield Fund and Mesirow Financial Small Cap Value Sustainability Fund (formerly, Mesirow Financial Small Cap Value Fund). The principal address of MFIM is 353 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654. MFIM is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The information listed below is for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2019 and 2020.

 

Name and Position with
Investment Adviser
Name and Principal Business
Address of Other Company
Connection with Other Company
Richard Price, Chairman

CIBC Bancorp USA Inc.

120 South LaSalle Street

Chicago, Illinois 606