485APOS 1 salt_485a.htm POST EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT


AS FILED WITH THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON MARCH 12, 2019

1933 Act Registration File No.:  333-228903
1940 Act File No.:  811-23406

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM N-1A


REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Pre‑Effective Amendment No.   
Post‑Effective Amendment No.   2  
and/or
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940
Amendment No.   3   

SALT FUNDS TRUST
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906
New York, New York 10010
(Address of Principal Executive Offices, Zip Code)

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code)  (646) 779-1050

The Corporation Trust Company
1209 Orange Street
Corporation Trust Center
Wilmington, DE 19801
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copies to:

Michael D. Barolsky
U.S. Bank Global Fund Services
615 East Michigan Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Christopher D. Menconi
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541

Approximate date of proposed public offering:  As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):
☐   immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
☐   on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)
☒   60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
☐   on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
☐   75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
☐   on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of rule 485.
If appropriate, check the following box:
☐   this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.



SUBJECT TO COMPLETION
Dated March 12, 2019

THE INFORMATION HEREIN IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. WE MAY NOT SELL THESE SECURITIES UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT FILED WITH THE SEC IS EFFECTIVE. THIS PROSPECTUS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL THESE SECURITIES AND IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.


Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF
(LSLT)
Listed on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.


PROSPECTUS

[   ], 2019

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

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the SEC, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the Fund’s reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.
If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. Please contact your financial intermediary if you wish to elect to receive shareholder reports and other Fund communications electronically.
You may elect to receive all future Fund reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to inform them that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of Fund shareholder reports and for details about whether your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with your financial intermediary.



Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF Summary
2
Investment Objective
2
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
2
Expense Example
2
Portfolio Turnover
2
Principal Investment Strategy
2
Principal Investment Risks
3
Performance
5
Portfolio Management
5
Purchase and Sale of Shares
6
Tax Information
6
Financial Intermediary Compensation
6
Additional Information About the Fund
6
Portfolio Holdings Information
9
Management
10
Investment Adviser
10
Sub-Adviser
10
Portfolio Managers
10
How to Buy and Sell Shares
11
Book Entry
11
Share Trading Prices on the Exchange
11
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
12
Determination of NAV
12
Fair Value Pricing
12
Investments by Registered Investment Companies
12
Delivery of Shareholder Documents – Householding
12
Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes
12
Distribution
14
Premium/Discount Information
15
Additional Notices
15
Financial Highlights
15

 

Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF Summary

Investment Objective
The Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to track the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Salt Low truBeta US Market Index (the “Index”).
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). This table and the example below do not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay on their purchases and sales of Shares.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees
0.29%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees
0.00%
Other Expenses1
0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
0.29%
Less Fee Waiver and Contribution2
(0.34)%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and Contribution
(0.05)%

1
Estimated for the current fiscal year.
2
The Fund’s investment adviser has agreed to waive the Fund’s full unitary management fee of 0.29% and to contribute to the Fund’s assets an amount equal to an annual rate of 0.05% of the Fund’s average daily net assets on the first $100 million in net assets (i.e., up to $50,000 per annum)  until at least April 30, 2020. This agreement may be terminated only by, or with the consent of, the Fund’s Board of Trustees.
Expense Example
This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

1 Year
3 Years
$(5)
$59
Portolio 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 Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund is newly organized, portfolio turnover information is not yet available.
Principal Investment Strategy
The Fund uses a “passive management” (or indexing) approach to track the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Index. The Index was developed in 2018 by Salt Financial LLC, the Fund’s investment adviser and index provider (the “Adviser”), and uses an objective, rules-based methodology to measure the performance of an equal-weighted portfolio of approximately 100 large and mid-capitalization U.S.-listed stocks with the lowest levels of variability in their historical beta calculations (“Beta Variability”) and forecasted beta of less than 1.00. “Beta” is a calculation of an investment’s systematic risk relative to the market.
Salt Low truBeta US Market Index
Construction of the Index begins with the constituents of the Solactive US Large & Mid Cap Index (the “Equity Universe”), generally the 1,000 largest U.S.-listed common stocks and real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). Companies in the Equity Universe are then screened to keep only the 500 stocks with the highest average daily traded value over the past 30 days. The remaining stocks (the “Index Universe”) are analyzed using a proprietary algorithm developed by the Adviser to calculate each stock’s truBeta forecast, i.e., its projected beta for the subsequent quarter. A stock’s truBeta forecast is calculated based on a stock’s historical long-, medium-, and short-term performance, combined with machine learning (i.e., a quantitative modeling process that is automatically adjusted based on past results to improve accuracy), to evaluate and compare its risk and return to those of the broader U.S. equity market. A stock with a truBeta of 1.00 would be expected to demonstrate a risk and return profile equivalent with the broader U.S. equity market (i.e., the stock’s price will move proportionately with levels of the broader market). A stock with a truBeta of less than 1.00 would be expected to be less volatile than the broader U.S. equity market and consequently, outperform the market in a declining market and underperform the market in a rising market.

2

The Index Universe is then further screened to keep only stocks with a truBeta score of less than 1.00. A Beta Variability score is calculated for the remaining stocks (the “Eligible Components”) based on the absolute difference between the short-term and medium-term data points used to generate the truBeta estimate. A lower score indicates less variability in beta over time.
The Index is initially constructed of the 100 Eligible Components with the lowest Beta Variability score, equally-weighted, and subject to a maximum 30% of the number of constituents in the Index being from a single sector. If more than 30% of the constituents would be from a single sector, the Eligible Component with the next lowest Beta Variability score not from the sector is selected instead of the Eligible Component that would have caused the Index to exceed the 30% limit. As of the date of this Prospectus, a significant portion of the Index is comprised of companies in the consumer staples, financial, real estate, and utilities sectors.
The Index is rebalanced quarterly on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December (each, an “Effective Date”) based on truBeta forecasts and Beta Variability scores utilizing data as of five business days prior to the Effective Date of the applicable rebalance month (each, a “Selection Date”). Each rebalance of the Index utilizes constituent prices at the close of trading on the Selection Date for weighting purposes.
To minimize turnover at each quarterly rebalance, stocks remain in the Index unless their truBeta score on the Selection Date is 1.00 or higher, regardless of their Beta Variability score.  Additions to the Index at each rebalance are selected using the same process as the initial selection, ranking the Eligible Components not already in the Index by their Beta Variability score and selecting Eligible Components starting with the lowest Beta Variability score to arrive at a total of 100 components.
As of February 25, 2019, the Index had an average truBeta of approximately 0.64. Consequently, the Index is expected to be less volatile than the broader U.S. equity market.
The Fund’s Investment Strategy
The Fund attempts to invest all, or substantially all, of its assets in the component securities that make up the Index. Under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the Fund’s total assets (exclusive of any collateral held from securities lending) will be invested in the component securities of the Index. The Adviser expects that, over time, the correlation between the Fund’s performance and that of the Index, before fees and expenses, will be 95% or better.
The Fund will generally use a “replication” strategy to achieve its investment objective, meaning it generally will invest in all of the component securities of the Index in approximately the same proportion as in the Index. However, the Fund may use a “representative sampling” strategy, meaning it may invest in a sample of the securities in the Index whose risk, return and other characteristics closely resemble the risk, return and other characteristics of the Index as a whole, when the Fund’s sub-adviser believes it is in the best interests of the Fund (e.g., when replicating the Index involves practical difficulties or substantial costs, an Index constituent becomes temporarily illiquid, unavailable, or less liquid, or as a result of legal restrictions or limitations that apply to the Fund but not to the Index).
The Fund generally may invest up to 20% of its total assets (exclusive of any collateral held from securities lending) in securities or other investments not included in the Index, but which the Fund’s sub-adviser believes will help the Fund track the Index. For example, the Fund may invest in securities that are not components of the Index to reflect various corporate actions and other changes to the Index (such as reconstitutions, additions, and deletions).
To the extent the Index concentrates (i.e., holds more than 25% of its total assets) in the securities of a particular industry or group of related industries, the Fund will concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent as the Index. The Fund is non-diversified and therefore may invest a larger percentage of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or small number of issuers than diversified funds.
Principal Investment Risks
You can lose money on your investment in the Fund. The Fund is subject to the risks described below. Some or all of these risks may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and/or ability to meet its objectives. For more information about the risks of investing in the Fund, see the section in the Fund’s Prospectus titled “Additional Information About the Fund—Principal Investment Risks.”
·
Concentration Risk. To the extent the Index is concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund is also expected to be concentrated in that industry or group of industries. As a result, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that industry or group of industries.
·
ETF Risks. The Fund is an ETF, and, as a result of an ETF’s structure, it is exposed to the following risks:

o
Authorized Participants, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”). 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, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs 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.
3



o
Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including brokerage commissions imposed by brokers and bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

o
Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of Shares will approximate the Fund’s NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility, periods of steep market declines, and periods when there is limited trading activity for Shares in the secondary market, in which case such premiums or discounts may be significant.

o
Trading. Although Shares are listed for trading on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and may be traded on U.S. exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions,  the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares.
·
Equity Market Risk. The equity securities held in the Fund’s portfolio may experience sudden, unpredictable drops in value or long periods of decline in value. This may occur because of factors that affect securities markets generally or factors affecting specific issuers, industries, or sectors in which the Fund invests. The trading prices of equity securities and other instruments fluctuate in response to a variety of factors. The Fund’s NAV and market price may fluctuate significantly in response to these and other factors. As a result, an investor could lose money over short or long periods of time.
·
Index Risk. Because the Index includes the securities in the Index Universe with the lowest truBeta, the Index, and consequently the Fund, can be expected to be significantly less volatile than the broader U.S. equity market. As a result, the Index, and consequently the Fund, may significantly underperform the broader U.S. equity market over short or long periods of time. Additionally, the calculation of a security’s truBeta is based on past performance and may not be indicative of the extent to which the security will demonstrate a similar risk and return profile relative to the broader U.S. equity market in the future. Consequently, there can be no guarantee that the Index, or the Fund, will perform in the future the way the average truBeta suggests it would.
·
Models and Data Risk. The composition of the Index is heavily dependent on a proprietary quantitative model as well as information and data supplied by third parties (“Models and Data”). When Models and Data prove to be incorrect or incomplete, any decisions made in reliance thereon may lead to the inclusion or exclusion of securities from the Index universe that would have been excluded or included had the Models and Data been correct and complete. If the composition of the Index reflects such errors, the Fund’s portfolio can be expected to reflect the errors, too.
·
New Fund Risk. The Fund is a recently organized, non-diversified management investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision.
·
Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is deemed non-diversified and may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund. As a result, the Fund may be more exposed to the risks associated with and developments affecting an individual issuer or a smaller number of issuers than a fund that invests more widely. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively smaller number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.
·
Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed, and the Fund’s adviser would not sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected underperformance of a security, industry, or sector, unless that security is removed from the Index or the selling of shares of that security is otherwise required upon a reconstitution of the Index in accordance with the Index methodology.
·
REIT Investment Risk. Investments in REITs involve unique risks. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in limited volume, and may be more volatile than other securities. In addition, to the extent the Fund holds interests in REITs, it is expected that investors in the Fund will bear two layers of asset-based management fees and expenses (directly at the Fund level and indirectly at the REIT level). The risks of investing in REITs include certain risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate and the real estate industry in general, including, among others, risks related to general, regional and local economic conditions; fluctuations in interest rates and property tax rates; and shifts in zoning laws, environmental regulations and other governmental action.

4

REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the beneficial tax treatment available to REITs under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or fail to maintain their exemptions from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
·
Sector Risk. To the extent the Fund invests more heavily in particular sectors of the economy, its performance will be especially sensitive to developments that significantly affect those sectors. The Fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in the following sectors and, therefore, the performance of the Fund could be negatively impacted by events affecting each of these sectors.
 
o
Consumer Staples Sector Risk. Companies in the consumer staples sector, including those in the food and beverage industries, may be affected by general economic conditions, commodity production and pricing, consumer confidence and spending, consumer preferences, interest rates, product cycles, marketing campaigns, competition, and government regulations.

o
Financial Sector Risk. This sector can be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, government regulation, the rate of defaults on corporate, consumer and government debt, the availability and cost of capital, and fallout from the housing and sub-prime mortgage crisis. Insurance companies, in particular, may be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, catastrophic events, price and market competition, the imposition of premium rate caps, or other changes in government regulation or tax law and/or rate regulation, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability. This sector has experienced significant losses in the recent past, and the impact of more stringent capital requirements and of recent or future regulation on any individual financial company or on the sector as a whole cannot be predicted. In recent years, cyber attacks and technology malfunctions and failures have become increasingly frequent in this sector and have caused significant losses.

o
Real Estate Sector Risk. The real estate sector is subject to liquidity risk, market risk and interest rate risk are just some of the factors that can influence the gain or loss that is passed on to the investor. Liquidity and market risk will tend to have a greater effect on funds that are more growth-oriented, as the sale of appreciated properties depends upon market demand. Conversely, interest rate risk impacts the amount of dividend income that is paid by income-oriented funds.

o
Utilities Sector Risk. Utility companies are affected by supply and demand, operating costs, government regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. Although rate changes of a regulated utility usually fluctuate in approximate correlation with financing costs, due to political and regulatory factors rate changes ordinarily occur only following a delay after the changes in financing costs. This factor will tend to favorably affect a regulated utility company’s earnings and dividends in times of decreasing costs, but conversely, will tend to adversely affect earnings and dividends when costs are rising. The value of regulated utility equity securities may tend to have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Certain utility companies have experienced full or partial deregulation in recent years. These utility companies are frequently more similar to industrial companies in that they are subject to greater competition and have been permitted by regulators to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business. These opportunities may permit certain utility companies to earn more than their traditional regulated rates of return. Some companies, however, may be forced to defend their core business and may be less profitable. In addition, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable or obsolete and negatively impact profitability.
·
Tracking Error Risk. As with all index funds, the performance of the Fund and its Index may differ from each other for a variety of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses and portfolio transaction costs not incurred by the Index. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested in the securities of the Index at all times or may hold securities not included in the Index.
5

Performance
The Fund is new and therefore does not have a performance history for a full calendar year. In the future, performance information for the Fund will be presented in this section. Updated performance information is also available on the Fund’s website at www.salt-funds.com.
Portfolio Management
Adviser
Salt Financial LLC
Sub-Adviser
Penserra Capital Management LLC (“Penserra” or the “Sub-Adviser”)
Portfolio Managers
Dustin Lewellyn, CFA, Managing Director of Penserra, has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in 2019.
Ernesto Tong, CFA, Managing Director of Penserra, has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in 2019.
Anand Desai, Associate of Penserra, has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in 2019.
Purchase and Sale of Shares
Shares are listed on a national securities exchange, such as the Exchange, and most investors will buy and sell Shares through brokers at market prices, rather than NAV. Because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).
The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in large blocks known as “Creation Units,” which only APs (typically, broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem. Creation Units generally consist of 25,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. The Fund generally issues and redeems Creation Units in exchange for a portfolio of securities closely approximating the holdings of the Fund (the “Deposit Securities”) and/or a designated amount of U.S. cash.
Tax Information
Fund distributions are generally taxable as ordinary income, qualified dividend income, or capital gains (or a combination), unless your investment is in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) or other tax-advantaged account. Distributions on investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of assets from those accounts.
Financial Intermediary Compensation
If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank) (an “Intermediary”), the Adviser or its affiliates may pay Intermediaries for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing, educational training or other initiatives related to the sale or promotion of Shares. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Any such arrangements do not result in increased Fund expenses. Ask your salesperson or visit the Intermediary’s website for more information.
Additional Information About the Fund
Investment Objective. The Fund’s investment objective has been adopted as a non-fundamental investment policy and may be changed without shareholder approval upon written notice to shareholders.
Additional Information About the Index. The Adviser provides the Index to the Fund. The Adviser created and is responsible for maintaining and applying the rules-based methodology of the Index. The Index is calculated by Solactive AG (the “Index Calculation Agent”), an independent third-party that is not affiliated with the Fund, the Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, the Fund’s distributor, or any of their respective affiliates. The Index Calculation Agent provides information to the Fund about the Index constituents and does not provide investment advice with respect to the desirability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities.
Additional Information About the Fund’s Principal Investment Strategy. The Fund has adopted the following policy to comply with Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act. Such policy has been adopted as a non-fundamental investment policy and may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders. Under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the Fund’s net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, will be invested in securities that are traded principally in the United States.
Additional Information About the Fund’s Principal Risks. This section provides additional information regarding the principal risks described in the Fund Summary above. Each of the factors below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and trading prices.
·
Concentration Risk. To the extent the Index is concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund is also expected to be concentrated in that industry or group of industries. As a result, the Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences affecting that industry or group of industries.
6


·
Equity Market Risk. Common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence in and perceptions of their issuers change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors including: expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic and banking crises. If you held common stock, or common stock equivalents, of any given issuer, you would generally be exposed to greater risk than if you held preferred stocks and debt obligations of the issuer because common stockholders, or holders of equivalent interests, generally have inferior rights to receive payments from issuers in comparison with the rights of preferred stockholders, bondholders, and other creditors of such issuers.
·
ETF Risks. The Fund is an ETF, and, as a result of an ETF’s structure, it is exposed to the following risks:

o
Authorized Participants, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. 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, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs 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.

o
Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Investors buying or selling Shares 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 at which an investor is willing to buy 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 Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, a relatively small investor base in the Fund, asset swings in the Fund and/or increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

o
Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of Shares will approximate the Fund’s NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility, periods of steep market declines, and periods when there is limited trading activity for Shares in the secondary market, in which case such premiums or discounts may be significant.

o
Trading. Although Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange and may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in Shares may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to Exchange “circuit breaker” rules, which temporarily halt trading on the Exchange when a decline in the S&P 500 Index during a single day reaches certain thresholds (e.g., 7%, 13%, and 20%). Additional rules applicable to the Exchange may halt trading in Shares when extraordinary volatility causes sudden, significant swings in the market price of Shares. There can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares.
·
Index Risk. Because the Index includes the securities in the Index Universe with the lowest truBeta, the Index, and consequently the Fund, are expected to be significantly less volatile than the broader U.S. equity market. As a result, when the broader U.S. equity market increases in value, the Fund is expected to underperform the broader market. Additionally, because the Index only includes 100 securities, the Index, and consequently the Fund, will also be subject to general equity market risks and the risk that the performance of some or all of those 100 securities will not be highly correlated with the performance of the broader U.S. equity market, in which case the performance of the Fund may be significantly worse than the broader U.S. equity market, even when the broader U.S. equity market declines in value. As a result, the Index, and consequently the Fund, may significantly underperform the broader U.S. equity market over short or long periods of time and in both rising and falling markets.

7

The calculation of a security’s truBeta is based on past performance and may not be indicative of the extent to which the security will demonstrate a similar risk and return profile relative to the broader U.S. equity market in the future. Consequently, there can be no guarantee that the Index, or the Fund, will perform in the future the way the average truBeta suggests it would.
·
Models and Data Risk. When Models and Data prove to be incorrect or incomplete, any decisions made in reliance thereon expose the Index and the Fund to potential risks. Some of the models used to construct the Index are predictive in nature. The use of predictive models has inherent risks. For example, such models may incorrectly forecast future behavior, leading to potential losses. In addition, in unforeseen or certain low-probability scenarios (often involving a market disruption of some kind), such models may produce unexpected results, which can result in losses for the Fund. Furthermore, because predictive models are usually constructed based on historical data supplied by third parties, the success of relying on such models may depend heavily on the accuracy and reliability of the supplied historical data.
·
New Fund Risk. The Fund is a recently organized, non-diversified management investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision.
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Non-Diversification Risk. Although the Fund intends to invest in a variety of securities and instruments, the Fund will be considered to be non-diversified, which means that it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund. As a result, the Fund may be more exposed to the risks associated with and developments affecting an individual issuer or a smaller number of issuers than a fund that invests more widely. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively smaller number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.
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Passive Investment Risk. The Fund invests in the securities included in, or representative of, its Index regardless of their investment merit. The Fund does not attempt to outperform its Index or take defensive positions in declining markets. As a result, the Fund’s performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the market segments relating to its Index. The returns from the types of securities in which the Fund invests may underperform returns from the various general securities markets or different asset classes. This may cause the Fund to underperform other investment vehicles that invest in different asset classes. Different types of securities (for example, large-, mid- and small-capitalization stocks) tend to go through cycles of doing better – or worse – than the general securities markets. In the past, these periods have lasted for as long as several years.
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REIT Investment Risk. Investments in REITs involve unique risks. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in limited volume, and may be more volatile than other securities. In addition, to the extent the Fund holds interests in REITs, it is expected that investors in the Fund will bear two layers of asset-based management fees and expenses (directly at the Fund level and indirectly at the REIT level). The risks of investing in REITs include certain risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate and the real estate industry in general. These include risks related to general, regional and local economic conditions; fluctuations in interest rates and property tax rates; shifts in zoning laws, environmental regulations and other governmental action such as the exercise of eminent domain; cash flow dependency; increased operating expenses; lack of availability of mortgage funds; losses due to natural disasters; overbuilding; losses due to casualty or condemnation; changes in property values and rental rates; and other factors.
In addition to these risks, residential/diversified REITs and commercial equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, REITs are dependent upon management skills and generally may not be diversified. REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the beneficial tax treatment available to REITs under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. The Fund expects that dividends received from a REIT and distributed to Fund shareholders generally will be taxable to the shareholder as ordinary income. The above factors may also adversely affect a borrower’s or a lessee’s ability to meet its obligations to the REIT. In the event of a 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 investments.
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Sector Risk. Each Fund’s investing approach may dictate an emphasis on certain sectors, industries, or sub-sectors of the market at any given time. To the extent a Fund invests more heavily in one sector, industry, or sub-sector of the market, it thereby presents a more concentrated risk and its performance will be especially sensitive to developments that significantly affect those sectors, industries, or sub-sectors. In addition, the value of Shares may change at different rates compared to the value of shares of a fund with investments in a more diversified mix of sectors and industries. An individual sector, industry, or sub-sector of the market may have above-average performance during particular periods, but may also move up and down more than the broader market. The several industries that constitute a sector may all react in the same way to economic, political or regulatory events. A Fund’s performance could also be affected if the sectors, industries, or sub-sectors do not perform as expected. Alternatively, the lack of exposure to one or more sectors or industries may adversely affect performance. If such sectors underperform relative to the broader equity market, or if the sectors to which the Fund has less exposure relative to the broader equity market outperform relative to the broader equity market, the Fund’s performance may lag that of the broader equity market. The Fund may have significant exposure to the following sectors and, therefore, the performance of the Fund could be negatively impacted by events affecting each of these sectors:

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o
Consumer Staples Sector Risk. Companies in the consumer staples sector, including those in the food and beverage industries, may be affected by general economic conditions, commodity production and pricing, consumer confidence and spending, consumer preferences, interest rates, product cycles, marketing campaigns, competition, and government regulations.

o
Financial Sector Risk. Companies in the financial sector of an economy are often subject to extensive governmental regulation and intervention, which may adversely affect the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. Governmental regulation may change frequently and may have significant adverse consequences for companies in the financial sector, including effects not intended by such regulation. The impact of recent or future regulation in various countries on any individual financial company or on the sector as a whole cannot be predicted.
Certain risks may impact the value of investments in the financial sector more severely than those of investments outside this sector, including the risks associated with companies that operate with substantial financial leverage. Companies in the financial sector may also be adversely affected by increases in interest rates and loan losses, decreases in the availability of money or asset valuations, credit rating downgrades and adverse conditions in other related markets.
Insurance companies, in particular, may be subject to severe price competition and/or rate regulation, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability. Insurance companies are subject to extensive government regulation in some countries and can be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, general economic conditions, price and marketing competition, the imposition of premium rate caps, or other changes in government regulation or tax law. Different segments of the insurance industry can be significantly affected by mortality and morbidity rates, environmental clean-up costs and catastrophic events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and terrorist acts.
During the financial crisis that began in 2007, the deterioration of the credit markets impacted a broad range of mortgage, asset-backed, auction rate, sovereign debt and other markets, including U.S. and non-U.S. credit and interbank money markets, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. A number of large financial institutions failed during that time, merged with stronger institutions or had significant government infusions of capital. Instability in the financial markets caused certain financial companies to incur large losses. Some financial companies experienced declines in the valuations of their assets, took actions to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. Some financial companies borrowed significant amounts of capital from government sources and may face future government-imposed restrictions on their businesses or increased government intervention. Those actions caused the securities of many financial companies to decline in value.
The financial sector is also a target for cyber attacks and may experience technology malfunctions and disruptions. In recent years, cyber attacks and technology failures have become increasingly frequent and have caused significant losses.

o
Real Estate Sector Risk. The real estate sector is subject to liquidity risk, market risk and interest rate risk are just some of the factors that can influence the gain or loss that is passed on to the investor. Liquidity and market risk will tend to have a greater effect on funds that are more growth-oriented, as the sale of appreciated properties depends upon market demand. Conversely, interest rate risk impacts the amount of dividend income that is paid by income-oriented funds.

o
Utilities Sector Risk. Utility companies are affected by supply and demand, operating costs, government regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. Although rate changes of a regulated utility usually fluctuate in approximate correlation with financing costs, due to political and regulatory factors, rate changes ordinarily occur only following a delay after the changes in financing costs. This factor will tend to favorably affect a regulated utility company’s earnings and dividends in times of decreasing costs, but conversely, will tend to adversely affect earnings and dividends when costs are rising. The value of regulated utility equity securities may tend to have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Certain utility companies have experienced full or partial deregulation in recent years. These utility companies are frequently more similar to industrial companies in that they are subject to greater competition and have been permitted by regulators to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business. These opportunities may permit certain utility companies to earn more than their traditional regulated rates of return. Some companies, however, may be forced to defend their core business and may be less profitable. In addition, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable or obsolete and negatively impact profitability.

Among the risks that may affect utility companies are the following: risks of increases in fuel and other operating costs; the high cost of borrowing to finance capital construction during inflationary periods; restrictions on operations and increased costs and delays associated with compliance with environmental and nuclear safety regulations; and the difficulties involved in obtaining natural gas for resale or fuel for generating electricity at reasonable prices. Other risks include those related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, the effects of energy conservation and the effects of regulatory changes.

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Tracking Error Risk. As with all index funds, the performance of the Fund and its Index may vary somewhat for a variety of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses and portfolio transaction costs not incurred by its Index. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested in the securities of its Index at all times or may hold securities not included in its Index. The use of sampling techniques may affect the Fund’s ability to achieve close correlation with its Index. The Fund may use a representative sampling strategy to achieve its investment objective, if the Sub-Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund, which generally can be expected to produce a greater non-correlation risk.
Portfolio Holdings Information
Information about the Fund’s daily portfolio holdings is available at www.salt-funds.com. A complete description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).
Management
Investment Adviser
Salt Financial LLC serves as the investment adviser and index provider and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. The Adviser is a registered investment adviser with offices located at 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906, New York, New York 10010, and arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. The Adviser provides investment advisory services to ETFs, including the Fund.
The Adviser provides oversight of the Sub-Adviser, monitoring of the Sub-Adviser’s buying and selling of securities for the Fund, and review of the Sub-Adviser’s performance. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.29% of the Fund’s average daily net assets, except as provided in the fee waiver and contribution arrangement described below.
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund, except for: the fee paid to the Adviser pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, interest charges on any borrowings, dividends, and other expenses on securities sold short, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, expenses associated with the purchase, sale, or ownership of securities, acquired fund fees and expenses, accrued deferred tax liability, extraordinary expenses, and distribution (12b‑1) fees and expenses (collectively, the “Excluded Expenses”). The Adviser, in turn, compensates the Sub-Adviser from the management fee the Adviser receives.
The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive the Fund’s full unitary management fee of 0.29% of the Fund’s average daily net assets on the first $100 million in net assets until at least April 30, 2020 (the “Fee Waiver”) and to contribute to the Fund’s assets an amount equal to an annual rate of 0.05% of the Fund’s average daily net assets on the first $100 million in net assets (i.e., up to $50,000 per annum) until at least April 30, 2020 (the “Contribution”). The Fund will accrue the Contribution amount daily, and the Adviser will pay to the Fund the accrued Contribution amount for a given month within fifteen days of the end of such month. The Adviser will not be permitted to recoup or recapture any portion of the Fee Waiver or Contribution at any time.  The Fee Waiver and Contribution agreement: may be terminated at any time, and without payment of any penalty, by the Board of Trustees of the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, upon sixty (60) days’ written notice to the Adviser or such shorter period as to which the parties may agree; may not be terminated by the Adviser without the consent of the Board of Trustees of the Trust; and will automatically terminate if the Advisory Agreement is terminated, with such termination effective upon the effective date of the Advisory Agreement’s termination.
The basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Fund’s Investment Advisory Agreement will be available in the Fund’s first Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders.
Sub-Adviser
The Adviser has retained Penserra Capital Management LLC to serve as sub-adviser for the Fund. The Sub-Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. The Sub-Adviser is a registered investment adviser and New York limited liability company whose principal office is located at 4 Orinda Way, Suite 100-A, Orinda, California 94563. The Sub-Adviser provides investment management services to investment companies and other investment advisers. 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 or reconstitution of the Index, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. For its services, the Sub-Adviser is paid a fee by the Adviser, which fee is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of the Fund’s average daily net assets of 0.05% on the first $100 million; 0.04% on the next $400 million; 0.03% on the next $500 million; and 0.02% on assets over $1 billion, all subject to a minimum annual fee of $18,000.
The basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Fund’s Sub-Advisory Agreement will be available in the Fund’s first Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders.

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Portfolio Managers
Dustin Lewellyn, CFA, Managing Director of the Sub-Adviser, Ernesto Tong, CFA, Managing Director of the Sub-Adviser, and Anand Desai, Associate of the Sub-Adviser, are the Fund’s portfolio managers (the “Portfolio Managers”) and are jointly responsible for the day to day management of the Fund. The Portfolio Managers are responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy, and overseeing members of their portfolio management team with more limited responsibilities.
Mr. Lewellyn has been a Managing Director with the Sub-Adviser since 2012. He was President and Founder of Golden Gate Investment Consulting LLC from 2011 through 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Lewellyn was a managing director at Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (“CSIM”), which he joined in 2009, and head of portfolio management for Schwab ETFs. Prior to joining CSIM, he worked for two years as director of ETF product management and development at a major financial institution focused on asset and wealth management. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager for institutional clients at a financial services firm for three years. In addition, he held roles in portfolio accounting and portfolio management at a large asset management firm for more than 6 years.
Mr. Tong has been a Managing Director with the Sub-Adviser since 2015. Prior to joining the Sub-Adviser, Mr. Tong spent seven years as a vice president at Blackrock, where he was a portfolio manager for a number of the iShares ETFs, and prior to that, he spent two years in the firm’s index research group.
Mr. Desai has been an Associate with the Sub-Adviser since 2015. Prior to joining the Sub-Adviser, Mr. Desai spent five years as a portfolio fund accountant at State Street.
The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about each Portfolio Manager’s compensation structure, other accounts managed by each Portfolio Manager, and each Portfolio Manager’s ownership of Shares.
How to Buy and Sell Shares
When you buy or sell shares of the Fund on the secondary market, you will pay or receive the market price. Shares will not be priced on the days on which the New York Stock Exchange is closed for trading. The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in Creation Units. Only APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and only APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV. APs must be (i) a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC, a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC participant (as discussed below). In addition, each AP must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor, and that has been accepted by the Transfer Agent, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Once created, Shares trade in the secondary market in quantities less than a Creation Unit.
Most investors buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares are listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange and can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded securities.
When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offer price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. In addition, because secondary market transactions occur at market prices, you may pay more than NAV when you buy Shares, and receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares.
Book Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares.
Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. DTC’s participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book entry or “street name” through your brokerage account.
Share Trading Prices on the Exchange
Trading prices of Shares on the Exchange may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV. Market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors may affect the trading prices of Shares. To provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or other widely disseminated means, an updated “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”) for Shares as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Fund is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs. If the calculation of the IIV is based on the basket of Deposit Securities and/or a designated amount of U.S. cash, such IIV may not represent the best possible valuation of the Fund’s portfolio because the basket of Deposit Securities does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current Fund portfolio at a particular point in time and does not include a reduction for the fees, operating expenses, or transaction costs incurred by the Fund. The IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV because the IIV may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed only once a day, typically at the end of the business day. The IIV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the Deposit Securities.
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Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions of Shares. In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by Fund shareholders. Purchases and redemptions by APs, who are the only parties that may purchase or redeem Shares directly with the Fund, are an essential part of the ETF process and help keep Share trading prices in line with NAV. As such, the Fund accommodates frequent purchases and redemptions by APs. However, the Board has also determined that frequent purchases and redemptions for cash may increase tracking error and portfolio transaction costs and may lead to the realization of capital gains. To minimize these potential consequences of frequent purchases and redemptions, the Fund employs fair value pricing and may impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. In addition, the Fund and the Adviser reserve the right to reject any purchase order at any time.
Determination of NAV
The Fund’s NAV is calculated as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, each day the NYSE is open for business. The NAV is calculated by dividing the Fund’s net assets by its Shares outstanding.
In calculating its NAV, the Fund generally values its assets on the basis of market quotations, last sale prices, or estimates of value furnished by a pricing service or brokers who make markets in such instruments. If such information is not available for a security held by the Fund or is determined to be unreliable, the security will be valued at fair value estimates under guidelines established by the Board (as described below).
Fair Value Pricing
The Board has adopted procedures and methodologies to fair value Fund securities whose market prices are not “readily available” or are deemed to be unreliable. For example, such circumstances may arise when: (i) a security has been de-listed or has had its trading halted or suspended; (ii) a security’s primary pricing source is unable or unwilling to provide a price; (iii) a security’s primary trading market is closed during regular market hours; or (iv) a security’s value is materially affected by events occurring after the close of the security’s primary trading market. Generally, when fair valuing a security, the Fund will take into account all reasonably available information that may be relevant to a particular valuation including, but not limited to, fundamental analytical data regarding the issuer, information relating to the issuer’s business, recent trades or offers of the security, general and/or specific market conditions and the specific facts giving rise to the need to fair value the security. Fair value determinations are made in good faith and in accordance with the fair value methodologies included in the Board-adopted valuation procedures. Due to the subjective and variable nature of fair value pricing, there can be no assurance that the Adviser or Sub-Adviser will be able to obtain the fair value assigned to the security upon the sale of such security.
Investments by Registered Investment Companies
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Adviser, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund.
Delivery of Shareholder Documents – Householding
Householding is an option available to certain investors of the Fund. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Householding for the Fund is available through certain broker-dealers. If you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, please contact your broker-dealer. If you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status, please contact your broker-dealer.

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Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes
Dividends and Distributions
The Fund intends to pay out dividends, if any, and distribute any net realized capital gains to its shareholders at least annually. The Fund will declare and pay capital gain distributions, if any, in cash. Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available. Your broker is responsible for distributing the income and capital gain distributions to you.
Taxes
The following discussion is a summary of some important U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to investments in the Fund. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. Please consult your tax advisor about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares, including the possible application of foreign, state, and local tax laws.
The Fund intends to qualify each year for treatment as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”). If it meets certain minimum distribution requirements, a RIC is not subject to tax at the fund level on income and gains from investments that are timely distributed to shareholders. However, the Fund’s failure to qualify as a RIC or to meet minimum distribution requirements would result (if certain relief provisions were not available) in fund-level taxation and, consequently, a reduction in income available for distribution to shareholders.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-advantaged account, such as an IRA plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions, when you sell your Shares listed on the Exchange; and when you purchase or redeem Creation Units (institutional investors only).
The tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) makes significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules only applicable to RICs, such as the Fund. The Tax Act, however, makes numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and the Fund. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Fund.
Taxes on Distributions
The Fund intends to distribute, at least annually, substantially all of its net investment income and net capital gains. For federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment income are generally taxable as ordinary income or qualified dividend income. 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 his or her 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 of the Fund’s net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that are reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends (“Capital Gain Dividends”) will be taxable as long-term capital gains, which for non-corporate shareholders are subject to tax at reduced rates of up to 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets). Distributions of short-term capital gain will generally be taxable as ordinary income. Dividends and distributions are generally taxable to you whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional Shares.
Distributions reported by the Fund as “qualified dividend income” are generally taxed to non-corporate shareholders at rates applicable to long-term capital gains, provided holding period and other requirements are met. “Qualified dividend income” generally is income derived from dividends paid 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 received 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. Dividends received by the Fund from a REIT may be treated as qualified dividend income generally only to the extent so reported by such REIT.
Shortly after the close of each calendar year, you will be informed of the character of any distributions received from the Fund.
The Fund may invest in REITs. The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”) treats  “qualified REIT dividends” (i.e., ordinary REIT dividends other than capital gain dividends and portions of REIT dividends designated as qualified dividend income eligible for capital gain tax rates) as eligible for a 20% deduction by non-corporate taxpayers.  This deduction, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective tax rate of 29.6% (37% top rate applied to income after 20% deduction). The Tax Act does not contain a provision permitting RICs, such as the Fund, to pass the special character of this income through to their shareholders. Currently, direct investors in REITs will enjoy the lower rate, but investors in RICs that invest in such REITs will not.  It is uncertain whether a future technical corrections bill will address this issue to enable RICs to pass through the special character of “qualified REIT dividends” to shareholders.

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U.S. individuals with income exceeding specified thresholds are subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (generally including capital gains distributions and capital gains realized on the sale of Shares). 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.
In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year in which they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year. Distributions are generally taxable even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the Fund before your investment (and thus were included in the Shares’ NAV when you purchased your Shares).
You may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because such a distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of your investment.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity, distributions (other than Capital Gain Dividends) paid to you by the Fund will generally be subject to a U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% unless a lower treaty rate applies. 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.
The Fund (or a financial intermediary, such as a broker, through which a shareholder owns Shares) generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and sale or redemption proceeds paid to any shareholder who fails to properly furnish a correct taxpayer identification number, who has underreported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify that he, she or it is not subject to such withholding.

Taxes When Shares are Sold on the Exchange

Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for one year or less. However, any capital loss on a sale of Shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of Capital Gain Dividends paid with respect to such Shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

Taxes on Purchases and Redemptions of Creation Units

An AP having the U.S. dollar as its functional currency for U.S. federal income tax purposes who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally recognizes a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the exchanging AP’s aggregate basis in the securities delivered plus the amount of any cash paid for the Creation Units. An AP who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanging AP’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate U.S. dollar market value of the securities received, plus any cash received for such Creation Units. The Internal Revenue Service may assert, however, that an AP who does not mark-to-market its holdings may not be permitted to currently deduct losses upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

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

Taxation of REIT Investments
The Fund may invest in REITs.  The Tax Act treats “qualified REIT dividends” (i.e., ordinary REIT dividends other than capital gain dividends and portions of REIT dividends designated as qualified dividend income eligible for capital gain tax rates) as eligible for a 20% deduction by non-corporate taxpayers.  This deduction, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective tax rate of 29.6% (37% top rate applied to income after 20% deduction). The Tax Act does not contain a provision permitting a RIC, such as the Fund, to pass the special character of this income through to its shareholders. Currently, direct investors in REITs will enjoy the lower rate, but investors in RICs that invest in such REITs will not.  It is uncertain whether future technical corrections or administrative guidance will address this issue to enable the Fund to pass through the special character of “qualified REIT dividends” to shareholders.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the possible consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You also may be subject to state and local tax on Fund distributions and sales of Shares. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in Shares under all applicable tax laws. For more information, please see the section entitled “Federal Income Taxes” in the SAI.
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Distribution
The Distributor, Compass Distributors, LLC, is a broker-dealer registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is Three Canal Plaza, 3rd Floor, Portland, Maine 04101.
The Board has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year for certain distribution-related activities and shareholder services.
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 the fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
Premium/Discount Information
The Fund is new and therefore does not have any information regarding how often Shares 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.
Additional Notices
Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to track the total return performance of the Index or the ability of the Index identified herein to track the performance of its constituent securities. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Index, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of Shares to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of Shares in connection with the administration, marketing, or trading of Shares.
The Exchange does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Index or the data included therein. The Exchange makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Fund, owners of Shares, or any other person or entity from the use of the Index or the data included therein. The Exchange makes no express or implied warranties, and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Index or the data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any lost profits or indirect, punitive, special, or consequential damages even if notified of the possibility thereof.
The Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, and the Fund make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly. The Fund does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or performance of the Index or the data included therein and shall have no liability in connection with the Index or Index calculation. The Adviser owns the Index and the Index methodology and is a licensor of the Index to the index receipt agent. The Adviser has contracted with the Index Calculation Agent to maintain and calculate the Index used by the Fund. The Index Calculation Agent shall have no liability for any errors or omissions in calculating the Index.
Financial Highlights
The Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus and therefore does not have financial information.
15

Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF

Adviser and 
Index Provider 
 Salt Financial LLC
 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906
 New York, NY 10010
Transfer Agent 
and Index 
Receipt Agent 
 U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
 615 East Michigan Street
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Sub-Adviser 
 Penserra Capital Management LLC
 4 Orinda Way, Suite 100-A
 Orinda, California 94563
Administrator 
 U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
 615 East Michigan Street
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Custodian 
 U.S. Bank National Association
 1555 N. Rivercenter Dr. 
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
Distributor 
 Compass Distributors, LLC
 Three Canal Plaza, 3rd Floor
 Portland, Maine 04101
Independent 
Registered Public 
Accounting Firm 
  Cohen & Company, Ltd. 
 342 North Water Street, Suite 830 
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202  
Legal Counsel 
 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
 Washington, DC 20004-2541

Investors may find more information about the Fund in the following documents:
Statement of Additional Information: The Fund’s SAI provides additional details about the investments and techniques of the Fund and certain other additional information. A current SAI is on file with the SEC and is herein incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. It is legally considered a part of this Prospectus.
Annual/Semi-Annual Reports: Additional information about the Fund’s investments will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the annual report you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance after the first fiscal year the Fund is in operation.
You can obtain free copies of these documents, request other information or make general inquiries about the Fund by contacting the Fund at Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701 or calling 1-800-617-0004.
Shareholder reports and other information about the Fund are also available:

·
Free of charge from the SEC’s EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov; or

·
Free of charge from the Fund’s Internet web site at www.salt-funds.com; or

·
For a fee, by e-mail request to publicinfo@sec.gov.

(SEC Investment Company Act File No. 811-23406)
 
14


SUBJECT TO COMPLETION
Dated March 12, 2019
 
THE INFORMATION HEREIN IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. WE MAY NOT SELL THESE SECURITIES UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT FILED WITH THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IS EFFECTIVE. THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL THESE SECURITIES AND IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.


Salt Low truBetaTM US Market ETF (LSLT)
a series of Salt Funds Trust
Listed on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
[   ], 2019

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus for the Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF (the “Fund”), a series of Salt Funds Trust (the “Trust”), dated [  ], 2019, as may be supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). Capitalized terms used in this SAI that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge, by calling the Fund at 1‑800‑617‑0004, visiting www.salt-funds.com or writing to the Fund, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701.
The Fund’s audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year (when available) will be incorporated into this SAI by reference to the Fund’s most recent Annual Report to Shareholders (File No. 811-23406). When available, you may obtain a copy of the Fund’s Annual Report at no charge by contacting the Fund at the address or phone number noted above.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
General Information about the Trust
1
Additional Information about Investment Objectives, Policies, and Related Risks
1
Investment Restrictions
8
Exchange Listing and Trading
9
Management of the Trust
9
Principal Shareholders, Control Persons, and Management Ownership
13
Codes of Ethics
14
Proxy Voting Policies
14
Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser
14
Portfolio Managers
15
The Distributor
16
The Administrator, Custodian, and Transfer Agent
18
Legal Counsel
18
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
18
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies and Procedures
18
Description of Shares
18
Limitation of Trustees’ Liability
19
Brokerage Transactions
19
Portfolio Turnover Rate
21
Book Entry Only System
21
Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units
22
Determination of NAV
27
Dividends and Distributions
27
Federal Income Taxes
28
Financial Statements
34
Appendix A
A-1

1

General Information about the Trust
The Trust is an open-end management investment company consisting of a single series, the Fund. This SAI relates to the Fund. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on July 27, 2018. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (together with the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, as amended, the “1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company and the offering of the Fund’s shares (“Shares”) is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Trust is governed by its Board of Trustees (the “Board”). Salt Financial LLC (the “Adviser”) serves as investment adviser and index provider to the Fund, and Penserra Capital Management LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund is as stated in the Fund’s Prospectus under “Investment Objective”.
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 included in its Index (“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. Shares are or will be listed on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and trade on the Exchange at market prices that may differ from the Shares’ NAV. Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, primarily for a basket of Deposit Securities together with a Cash Component. A Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of 25,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. Creation Units are not expected to consist of fewer than 25,000 Shares. As a practical matter, only institutions or large investors, known as “Authorized Participants” or “APs,” purchase or redeem Creation Units. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities.
Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the value of the missing Deposit Securities, as set forth in the Participant Agreement (as defined below). The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. As in the case of other publicly traded securities, brokers’ commissions on transactions in the secondary market will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
Additional Information about Investment Objectives, Policies, and Related Risks
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. For a description of certain permitted investments, see “Description of Permitted Investments” in this SAI.
With respect to the Fund’s investments, unless otherwise noted, if a percentage limitation on investment is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a subsequent increase or decrease as a result of market movement or redemption will not result in a violation of such investment limitation.
Non-Diversification
The Fund is classified as a non-diversified investment company under the 1940 Act. A “non-diversified” classification means that the Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its total assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. This means that the Fund may invest a greater portion of its total assets in the securities of a single issuer or a small number of issuers than if it was a diversified fund. The securities of a particular issuer may constitute a greater portion of the Index and, therefore, those securities may constitute a greater portion of the Fund’s portfolio. This may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s performance or subject Shares to greater price volatility than more diversified investment companies. Moreover, in pursuing its objective, the Fund may hold the securities of a single issuer in an amount exceeding 10% of the value of the outstanding securities of the issuer, subject to restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). In particular, as the Fund’s size grows and its assets increase, it will be more likely to hold more than 10% of the securities of a single issuer if the issuer has a relatively small public float as compared to other components in the Index.
 
Although the Fund is non-diversified for purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund intends to maintain the required level of diversification and otherwise conduct its operations so as to qualify as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) for purposes of the Code. Compliance with the diversification requirements of the Code may limit the investment flexibility of the Fund and may make it less likely that the Fund will meet its investment objectives. To qualify as a RIC under the Code, the Fund must be diversified (e.g., may not invest more than 5% of its assets in the securities of any one issuer nor acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer) with respect to 50% of its assets. With respect to the remaining 50% of its assets, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in any one issuer, subject to certain limitations. See “Federal Income Taxes” in this SAI for further discussion.
2

General Risks
The value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may fluctuate with changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular security or issuer and changes in general economic or political conditions. An investor in the Fund could lose money over short or long periods of time.
There can be no guarantee that a liquid market for the securities held by the Fund will be maintained. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities are limited or absent, or if bid/ask spreads are wide.
Financial markets, both domestic and foreign, have experienced an unusually high degree of volatility as recently as the beginning of 2018. Continuing events and possible continuing market turbulence may have an adverse effect on Fund performance.

Cyber Security Risk. Investment companies, such as the Fund, and their service providers may be subject 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 release of confidential information or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Fund or the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediaries and other third-party service providers may adversely impact the Fund. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential company information, impede trading, subject the Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses, and cause reputational damage. The Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes. 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 investments in such portfolio companies to lose value.
Index Calculation
To minimize any potential for conflicts caused by the fact that the Adviser acts as index provider to the Fund, the Adviser has retained an unaffiliated third party to calculate the Index (the “Calculation Agent”). The Calculation Agent, using the rules-based methodology, will calculate, maintain, and disseminate the Index on a daily basis. The Adviser will monitor the results produced by the Calculation Agent to help ensure that the Index is being calculated in accordance with the rules-based methodology. In addition, the Adviser has established policies and procedures designed to prevent non-public information about pending changes to the Index from being used or disseminated in an improper manner. Furthermore, the Adviser has established policies and procedures designed to prevent improper use and dissemination of non-public information about the Fund’s portfolio strategies.
Description of Permitted Investments
The following are descriptions of the permitted investments and investment practices and the associated risk factors. The Fund will only invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices if such investment or activity is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies.
Borrowing. Although the Fund does not intend to borrow money, the Fund may do so to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may borrow up to one-third (1/3) of its total assets. The Fund will borrow money only for short-term or emergency purposes. Such borrowing is not for investment purposes and will be repaid by the borrowing Fund promptly. Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the borrowing Fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by earnings on the securities purchased. The Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with a borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.
Equity Securities. Equity securities, such as the common stocks of an issuer, are subject to stock market fluctuations and therefore may experience volatile changes in value as market conditions, consumer sentiment or the financial condition of the issuers change. A decrease in value of the equity securities in the Fund’s portfolio may also cause the value of Shares to decline.
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in equity securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and therefore a decrease in the value of Shares). Common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic or banking crises.
Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, generally have inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks. Further, unlike debt securities, which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, is subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks, which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.
3

When-Issued SecuritiesA when-issued security is one whose terms are available and for which a market exists, but which has not been issued. When the Fund engages in when-issued transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the sale. If the other party fails to complete the sale, the Fund may miss the opportunity to obtain the security at a favorable price or yield.
When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis, the Fund assumes the rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield changes. At the time of settlement, the value of the security may be more or less than the purchase price. The yield available in the market when the delivery takes place also may be higher than those obtained in the transaction itself. Because the Fund does not pay for the security until the delivery date, these risks are in addition to the risks associated with its other investments.
Decisions to enter into “when-issued” transactions will be considered on a case-by-case basis when necessary to maintain continuity in a company’s index membership. The Fund will segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to commitments for the when-issued transactions. The Fund will segregate additional liquid assets daily so that the value of such assets is equal to the amount of the commitments.
Types of Equity Securities:
Common Stocks — Common stocks represent units of ownership in a company. Common stocks usually carry voting rights and earn dividends. Unlike preferred stocks, which are described below, dividends on common stocks are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the company’s board of directors.
Preferred Stocks — Preferred stocks are also units of ownership in a company. Preferred stocks normally have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the company. However, in all other respects, preferred stocks are subordinated to the liabilities of the issuer. Unlike common stocks, preferred stocks are generally not entitled to vote on corporate matters. Types of preferred stocks include adjustable-rate preferred stock, fixed dividend preferred stock, perpetual preferred stock, and sinking fund preferred stock.
Generally, the market values of preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate and no conversion element vary inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk.
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 of 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.
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, in general, distribute annually 90% or more of its taxable income (other than net capital gains) 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 (e.g., commercial equity REITs and residential equity REITs); 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. 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. 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.
4

Certain REITs have relatively small market capitalization, which may tend to increase the volatility of the market price of securities issued by such REITs. 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 or her 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 to these risks, Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while Mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, Equity and Mortgage REITs are dependent upon management skills and generally may not be diversified. Equity and Mortgage REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, Equity and Mortgage REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally available to REITs under the Code or fail to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. The above factors may also 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.
Smaller Companies — The securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of larger-capitalization companies. The securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole. Some small- or mid-capitalization companies have limited product lines, markets, and financial and managerial resources and tend to concentrate on fewer geographical markets relative to larger capitalization companies. There is typically less publicly available information concerning small- and mid-capitalization companies than for larger, more established companies. Small- and mid-capitalization companies also may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, government regulation, borrowing costs, and earnings.
Tracking Stocks  The Fund may invest in tracking stocks. A tracking stock is a separate class of common stock whose value is linked to a specific business unit or operating division within a larger company and which is designed to “track” the performance of such business unit or division. The tracking stock may pay dividends to shareholders independent of the parent company. The parent company, rather than the business unit or division, generally is the issuer of tracking stock. However, holders of the tracking stock may not have the same rights as holders of the company’s common stock.
Exchange-Traded Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of other investment companies (including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”)). As the shareholder of another ETF, the Fund would bear, along with other shareholders, its pro rata portion of the other ETF’s expenses, including advisory fees. Such expenses are in addition to the expenses the Fund pays in connection with its own operations. The Fund’s investments in other ETFs may be limited by applicable law.
Disruptions in the markets for the securities underlying ETFs purchased or sold by the Fund could result in losses on investments in ETFs. ETFs also carry the risk that the price the Fund pays or receives may be higher or lower than the ETF’s NAV. ETFs are also subject to certain additional risks, including the risks of illiquidity and of possible trading halts due to market conditions or other reasons, based on the policies of the relevant exchange. ETFs and other investment companies in which the Fund may invest may be leveraged, which would increase the volatility of the Fund’s NAV.
Fixed Income Securities. The Fund may invest directly or indirectly in fixed income securities. Even though interest-bearing securities are investments that promise a stable stream of income, the prices of such securities are affected by changes in interest rates. In general, fixed income security prices rise when interest rates fall and fall when interest rates rise. Securities with shorter maturities, while offering lower yields, generally provide greater price stability than longer term securities and are less affected by changes in interest rates. The values of fixed income securities also may be affected by changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the issuing entities. Once the rating of a portfolio security has been changed, the Fund will consider all circumstances deemed relevant in determining whether to continue to hold the security.
Fixed income investments bear certain risks, including credit risk, or the ability of an issuer to pay interest and principal as they become due. Generally, higher yielding bonds are subject to more credit risk than lower yielding bonds. Interest rate risk refers to the fluctuations in value of fixed income securities resulting from the inverse relationship between the market value of outstanding fixed income securities and changes in interest rates. An increase in interest rates will generally reduce the market value of fixed income investments and a decline in interest rates will tend to increase their value.
A number of factors, including changes in a central bank’s monetary policies or general improvements in the economy, may cause interest rates to rise. Fixed income securities with longer durations are more sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with shorter durations, making them more volatile. This means their prices are more likely to experience a considerable reduction in response to a rise in interest rates.
Fixed-Income Securities Ratings. The nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) publish ratings based upon their assessment of the relative creditworthiness of the rated fixed-income securities. Generally, a lower rating indicates higher credit risk, and higher yields are ordinarily available from fixed-income securities in the lower rating categories to compensate investors for the increased credit risk. Any use of credit ratings in evaluating fixed-income securities can involve certain risks. For example, ratings assigned by the rating agencies are based upon an analysis completed at the time of the rating of the obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal, typically relying to a large extent on historical data. Rating agencies typically rely to a large extent on historical data which may not accurately represent present or future circumstances. Ratings do not purport to reflect to risk of fluctuations in market value of the fixed-income security and are not absolute standards of quality and only express the rating agency’s current opinion of an obligor’s overall financial capacity to pay its financial obligations. A credit rating is not a statement of fact or a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a fixed-income obligation. Also, credit quality can change suddenly and unexpectedly, and credit ratings may not reflect the issuer’s current financial condition or events since the security was last rated. Rating agencies may have a financial interest in generating business, including the arranger or issuer of the security that normally pays for that rating, and a low rating might affect future business. While rating agencies have policies and procedures to address this potential conflict of interest, there is a risk that these policies will fail to prevent a conflict of interest from impacting the rating. Additionally, legislation has been enacted in an effort to reform rating agencies. Rules have also been adopted by the SEC to require rating agencies to provide additional disclosure and reduce conflicts of interest, and further reform has been proposed. It is uncertain how such legislation or additional regulation might impact the ratings agencies business and the Adviser’s or Sub-Adviser’s investment process.

5


Illiquid Investments. The Fund may invest up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid  investments, as such term is defined by Rule 22e-4 of the 1940 Act. A Fund may not invest in illiquid investments if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets would be invested in illiquid investments. Illiquid investments include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets. The inability of the Fund to dispose of illiquid or not readily marketable investments readily or at a reasonable price could impair the Fund’s ability to raise cash for redemptions or other purposes. The liquidity of securities purchased by the Fund which are eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A, except for certain 144A bonds, will be monitored by the Fund on an ongoing basis. In the event more than 15% of a Fund’s net assets are invested in illiquid investments, the Fund, in accordance with Rule 22e-4(b)(1)(iv), will report the occurrence to both the Board and the SEC and seek to reduce its holdings of illiquid investments within a reasonable period of time.
Investment Company Securities. The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including money market funds and exchange-traded funds, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act. Investing in another pooled vehicle exposes the Fund to all the risks of that pooled vehicle. Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), the Fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the “acquired company”) provided that the Fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than treasury stock of the Fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the Fund.  To the extent allowed by law or regulation, the Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are money market funds in excess of the limits discussed above.
If the Fund invests in and, thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Fund’s own investment adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund’s own operations.
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in securities of other registered investment companies, including the Fund. The acquisition of Shares by registered investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, except as may be permitted by exemptive rules under the 1940 Act or as may at some future time be permitted by an exemptive order that permits registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions, including that the registered investment company enter into an agreement with the Fund regarding the terms of the investment.
The Fund may rely on Section 12(d)(1)(F) and Rule 12d1-3 of the 1940 Act, which provide an exemption from Section 12(d)(1) that allows the Fund to invest all of its assets in other registered funds, including ETFs, if, among other conditions: (a) the Fund, together with its affiliates, acquires no more than three percent of the outstanding voting stock of any acquired fund, and (b) the sales load charged on Shares is no greater than the limits set forth in Rule 2830 of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). Additionally, the Fund may rely on exemptive relief issued by the SEC to other registered funds, including ETFs, to invest in such other funds in excess of the limits of Section 12(d)(1) if the Fund complies with the terms and conditions of such exemptive relief.
Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties that are deemed to present acceptable credit risks. A repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the Fund purchases securities or other obligations from a bank or securities dealer (or its affiliate) and simultaneously commits to resell them to a counterparty at an agreed-upon date or upon demand and at a price reflecting a market rate of interest unrelated to the coupon rate or maturity of the purchased obligations. The Fund maintains custody of the underlying obligations prior to their repurchase, either through its regular custodian or through a special “tri-party” custodian or sub-custodian that maintains separate accounts for both the Fund and its counterparty. Thus, the obligation of the counterparty to pay the repurchase price on the date agreed to or upon demand is, in effect, secured by such obligations.
6

Repurchase agreements carry certain risks not associated with direct investments in securities, including a possible decline in the market value of the underlying obligations. If their value becomes less than the repurchase price, plus any agreed-upon additional amount, the counterparty must provide additional collateral so that at all times the collateral is at least equal to the repurchase price plus any agreed-upon additional amount. The difference between the total amount to be received upon repurchase of the obligations and the price that was paid by the Fund upon acquisition is accrued as interest and included in its net investment income. Repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government securities (such as commercial paper and corporate bonds) may be subject to special risks and may not have the benefit of certain protections in the event of the counterparty’s insolvency. If the seller or guarantor becomes insolvent, the Fund may suffer delays, costs and possible losses in connection with the disposition of collateral.
Other Short-Term Instruments. In addition to repurchase agreements, the Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) shares of money market funds; (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), bankers’ acceptances, fixed time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and foreign banks (including foreign branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase “Prime-1” by Moody’s or “A-1” by S&P or, if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Sub-Adviser; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that satisfy the rating requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of the Sub-Adviser, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by the Fund. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or a forward-settled basis. Money market instruments also include shares of money market funds. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.
Securities Lending. The Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain creditworthy borrowers. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current value of the securities loaned. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. The lending Fund receives the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities. Distributions received on loaned securities in lieu of dividend payments (i.e., substitute payments) would not be considered qualified dividend income.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower will be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, the Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in certain short-term instruments either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more joint accounts or money market funds, which may include those managed by the Sub-Adviser.
The Fund may pay a portion of the interest or fees earned from securities lending to a borrower as described above, and to one or more securities lending agents approved by the Board who administer the lending program for the Fund in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board. In such capacity, the lending agent causes the delivery of loaned securities from the Fund to borrowers, arranges for the return of loaned securities to the Fund at the termination of a loan, requests deposit of collateral, monitors the daily value of the loaned securities and collateral, requests that borrowers add to the collateral when required by the loan agreements, and provides recordkeeping and accounting services necessary for the operation of the program.
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. In the event a borrower does not return the Fund’s securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities.
Tax Risks. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Shares.
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. 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).
7

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, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, 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. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity.
On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the “Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement” or “Agreement”). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. As a result of this Agreement, the investments of holders, including the Fund, of mortgage-backed securities and other obligations issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are protected.
The total public debt of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 2008–2009 financial downturn.  Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented.  A high national debt can raise concerns that the U.S. government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due.  This increase has also necessitated the need for the U.S. Congress to negotiate adjustments to the statutory debt limit to increase the cap on the amount the U.S. government is permitted to borrow to meet its existing obligations and finance current budget deficits. In August 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. In explaining the downgrade at that time, S&P cited, among other reasons, controversy over raising the statutory debt limit and growth in public spending. On February 9, 2018, following passage by Congress, the President of the United States signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which suspends the statutory debt limit through March 1, 2019. Any controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the statutory debt ceiling negotiations may impact the U.S. long-term sovereign credit rating and may cause market uncertainty. As a result, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government may be adversely affected.
Investment Restrictions
The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For the purposes of the 1940 Act, a “majority of outstanding shares” means the vote of the lesser of: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at the meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.
Except with the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, the Fund may not:

1.
Concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in any industry or group of related industries, except that the Fund will concentrate to approximately the same extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of such particular industry or group of related industries. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), securities of registered investment companies, repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and tax-exempt securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.

2.
Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.

3.
Make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.

4.
Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from investing in securities or other instruments backed by real estate, real estate investment trusts or securities of companies engaged in the real estate business.
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5.
Purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options and futures contracts or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities.

6.
Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, the Fund observes the following non-fundamental restrictions, which may be changed without a shareholder vote.

1.
The Fund will not invest in illiquid investments if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of its net assets would be invested in illiquid investments. An illiquid investment is any investment 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.

2.
The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its total assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in the component securities of the Index.

3.
Under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the Fund’s net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, will be invested in securities that are traded principally in the United States.
If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitations with respect to the borrowing of money will be observed continuously.
Exchange Listing and Trading
Shares are listed for trading and trade throughout the day on the Exchange.
There can be no assurance that the Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares. The Exchange will consider the suspension of trading in, and will initiate delisting proceedings of, Shares under any of the following circumstances: (i) if any of the requirements set forth in the Exchange rules are not continuously maintained; (ii) if the Exchange files separate proposals under Section 19(b) of the 1940 Act and any of the statements regarding (a) the index composition; (b) the description of the Fund; (c) limitations on the Fund’s portfolio holdings or reference assets; (d) dissemination and availability of the index or intraday indicative values; or (e) the applicability of the Exchange listing rules specified in such proposals are not continuously maintained; (iii) if following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares of such Fund; (iv) if the value of the Fund’s underlying index is no longer calculated or available or an interruption to the dissemination persists past the trading day in which it occurred or the underlying index is replaced with a new index, unless the new underlying index meets certain Exchange requirements; (v) if the intraday indicative value is no longer disseminated at least every 15 seconds during the Exchange’s regular market session and the interruption to the dissemination persists past the trading day in which it occurred; or (vi) such other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on such Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove Shares from listing and trading upon termination of such Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to adjust the price levels of Shares in the future to help 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.
To provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or other widely disseminated means, an updated “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”) for the Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.
Management of the Trust
Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series are overseen by the Board, which elects the officers of the Trust who are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Trust and the Fund.  The Board has approved contracts, as described below, under which certain companies provide essential services to the Trust.
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 Sub-Adviser, the Distributor (defined below), and the Administrator. The Board is responsible for overseeing the Trust’s service providers and, thus, has 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 Fund. The Fund and its service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various of those 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 Sub-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.
9

The Board’s role in risk oversight begins before the inception of the Fund, at which time certain of the Fund’s service providers present the Board with information concerning the investment objective, strategies, and risks of the Fund as well as proposed investment limitations for the Fund. Additionally, the Adviser and Sub-Adviser provide the Board with an overview of, among other things, their investment philosophies, brokerage practices, and compliance infrastructures. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer, as well as personnel of the Sub-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 Fund may be exposed.
The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent, and quality of the services provided to the Fund by the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis (following the initial two-year period), in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser, and Sub-Advisory Agreement with the Sub-Adviser, the Board or its designee may meet with the Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the Adviser’s and Sub-Adviser’s adherence to the Fund’s investment restrictions and compliance with various Fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the Fund’s performance and the Fund’s investments, including, for example, portfolio holdings schedules.
The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues and Fund, Adviser, and Sub-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 and the Sub-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.
The Board receives reports from the Fund’s service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. Annually, the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit Committee its audit of the Fund’s financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the Fund and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the Fund’s 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 Sub-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 Fund, 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 Fund 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 Fund’s goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Board as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Fund’s investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, 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 Fund’s 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 three members of the Board, two of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). Alfred Eskandar serves as Chairman of the Board and is an interested person of the Trust.
The Board is comprised of a majority (66.7% percent) of Independent Trustees. There is an Audit Committee of the Board that is chaired by an Independent Trustee and comprised solely of Independent Trustees. The Audit Committee chair presides at the Audit Committee meetings, participates in formulating agendas for Audit Committee meetings, and coordinates with management to serve as a liaison between the Independent Trustees and management on matters within the scope of responsibilities of the Audit Committee as set forth in its Board-approved charter. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust, even though there is no Lead Independent Trustee. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees of the Trust constitute a majority of the Board, the number of Independent Trustees that constitute the Board, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds 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.
10

Additional information about each Trustee of the Trust is set forth below. The address of each Trustee of the Trust is c/o Salt Funds Trust, 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906, New York, NY 10010.
Name and
Year of Birth
Position Held
with the Trust
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee 
During Past
5 Years
Independent Trustees
Robert Howe
Born: 1973
Trustee
Since 2019
Indefinite term
Consultant, RH3 Consulting (strategic and operational consulting primarily for fintech companies) (since 2016); formerly, Head of Corporate Strategy & Chief Operating Officer of Fixed Income, Liquidnet (alternative trading system) (2005–2016).
1
None.
 Jose Marques
Born: 1964
Trustee
Since 2019
Indefinite term
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Inferent Capital, LLC (investment management firm) (since 2017); formerly, Head of Trading Department, Bridgewater Associates, LP (investment management firm) (2014–2017); Managing Director, Global Head of Electronic Equity Trading & Global Head of Equity Trading Product Development, Deutsche Bank (2009–2014).
1
Member of Board of Directors, BATS Global Markets, Inc. (2010–2014).
Interested Trustees
Alfred Eskandar
Born: 1973
Chairman, Trustee, and President
Trustee since
2018; Chairman
and President
since 2019
Indefinite term
Co-Founder and President & Chief Operating Officer, Salt Financial LLC (since 2017); formerly, Chief Executive Officer, Portware (financial services technology firm) (2012–2017).
1
None.
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 his or her own experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as described below.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Eskandar should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial experience as a business leader and technology entrepreneur in the financial services sector. Mr. Eskandar co-founded the Adviser in 2017 and serves as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Eskandar serves as an advisor to multiple emerging technology firms and is a frequent industry speaker and popular press contributor. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance and economics from Baruch College.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Howe should serve as a Trustee because of his over thirteen years of experience in trading markets and over twenty years of experience in corporate finance with Liquidnet and General Electric.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Marques should serve as a Trustee because of his over twenty years of investment management and trading experience on both the buy and sell sides. Mr. Marques has substantial experience managing, driving, and providing strategic direction on a global basis and across a wide variety of trading oriented businesses and asset classes. He also has extensive experience in trading technologies and is well versed in global market structure and regulatory frameworks.
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 Fund.
Board Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees of the Board:
Audit Committee. The Board has a standing Audit Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: recommending which firm to engage as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm and whether to terminate this relationship; reviewing the independent registered public accounting firm’s compensation, the proposed scope and terms of its engagement, and the firm’s independence; pre-approving audit and non-audit services provided by the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm to the Trust and certain other affiliated entities; serving as a channel of communication between the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trustees; 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 Trust’s Administrator that are material to the Trust as a whole, if any, and management’s responses to any such reports; reviewing the 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; 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’ report on the adequacy of the Trust’s internal financial controls; reviewing, in consultation with the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, major changes regarding auditing and accounting principles and practices to be followed when preparing the Fund’s financial statements; and other audit related matters. Each Independent Trustee currently serves as a member of the Audit Committee. As of the date of this SAI, the Audit Committee has met one time.
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The Audit Committee also serves as the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee (“QLCC”) for the Trust for the purpose of compliance with Rules 205.2(k) and 205.3(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations, regarding alternative reporting procedures for attorneys retained or employed by an issuer who appear and practice before the SEC on behalf of the issuer (the “issuer attorneys”). An issuer attorney who becomes aware of evidence of a material violation by the Trust, or by any officer, director, employee, or agent of the Trust, may report evidence of such material violation to the QLCC as an alternative to the reporting requirements of Rule 205.3(b) (which requires reporting to the chief legal officer and potentially “up the ladder” to other entities).
Nominating and Governance Committee. The Board has a standing Nominating and Governance Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Nominating and Governance Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Nominating and Governance Committee is to (i) consider, recommend and nominate candidates to fill vacancies on the Trust’s Board, if any, and (ii) provide assistance to the Board in fulfilling its responsibility with respect to the oversight of the Fund’s chief compliance officer as well as compliance matters reported to the Board involving the Fund and its service providers, except the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, which is monitored by the Audit Committee. The Nominating and Governance Committee generally will not consider nominees recommended by shareholders. The Nominating and Governance Committee meets periodically, as necessary, but at least annually. As of the date of this SAI, the Nominating and Governance Committee has not met.
Valuation Committee. The Board has delegated day-to-day valuation issues to a Valuation Committee that is comprised of certain officers of the Trust and certain employees of the Adviser. Although the Valuation Committee is not a committee of the Board (i.e., no Trustee is a member of the Valuation Committee in such capacity), the Valuation Committee’s membership is appointed by the Board and its charter and applicable procedures are approved by the Board. The function of the Valuation Committee is to value securities held by any series of the Trust for which current and reliable market quotations are not readily available. Such securities are valued at their respective fair values as determined in good faith by the Valuation Committee and the actions of the Valuation Committee are subsequently reviewed and ratified by the Board. The Valuation Committee meets as necessary.
Principal Officers of the Trust
The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise its daily business. The address of each officer of the Trust is c/o  Salt Funds Trust, 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906, New York, NY 10010. Additional information about the Trust’s officers is as follows:
Name and
Year of Birth
Position(s) Held with
the Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Alfred Eskandar
Born: 1973
Chairman, Interested
Trustee, and President
Since 2019
Indefinite term
Co-Founder and President & Chief Operating Officer, Salt Financial LLC (since 2017); Chief Executive Officer, formerly, Portware (financial services technology firm) (2012–2017).
Anthony Barchetto
Born: 1973
Treasurer
Since 2019
Indefinite term
Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, Salt Financial LLC (since 2017); formerly, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Development, Bats Global Markets, Inc. (2011–2017).
Stacey Gillespie
Born: 1974
Chief Compliance
Officer
Since 2019
Indefinite term
Compliance Director, Cipperman Compliance Services, LLC (since 2015); formerly, Chief Compliance Officer, Boenning & Scattergood, Inc. (2013–2015); Director of Investment Compliance, Boenning & Scattergood, Inc. (2007–2013).

Trustee Ownership of Shares. The Fund is required to show the dollar amount ranges of each Trustee’s “beneficial ownership” of Shares and each other series of the Trust 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 Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”).
As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not commenced operations and, therefore, no Trustee or officer of the Trust owned Shares.
Board Compensation. The Independent Trustees each receive an annual retainer of $4,000, as well as reimbursement for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with serving as a Trustee. The Trust has no pension or retirement plan.
The following table shows the compensation estimated to be earned by each Trustee for the Fund’s current fiscal year ending December 31, 2019. Independent Trustee fees are paid by the Adviser to each series of the Trust and not by the Fund. Trustee compensation shown below does not include reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attendance at meetings.

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 Name
Aggregate Compensation From
Fund
Total Compensation From Fund Complex Paid
to Trustees
Interested Trustee[s]
Alfred Eskandar
$0
$0
Independent Trustees
Robert Howe
$0
$4,000
Jose Marques
$0
$4,000
Principal Shareholders, Control Persons, and Management Ownership
A principal shareholder is any person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding Shares. A control person is a shareholder that owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a company or acknowledges the existence of control. Shareholders owning voting securities in excess of 25% may determine the outcome of any matter affecting and voted on by shareholders of the Fund. As of the date of this SAI, the Adviser was a controlling shareholder of the Fund by virtue of its ownership of the initial shares of the Fund. Such interest is expected to be promptly diluted upon the commencement of the public offering of Shares.
Codes of Ethics
The Trust, the Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, and the Distributor (defined below) have each adopted codes of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These codes of ethics are designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Adviser, and the Sub-Adviser from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Fund (which may also be held by persons subject to the codes of ethics). Each code of ethics permits personnel subject to that code of ethics to invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, subject to certain limitations, including limitations related to securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund.
There can be no assurance that the codes of ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. Each code of ethics may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C. or on the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
Proxy Voting Policies
The Fund has delegated proxy voting responsibilities to the Adviser, subject to the Board’s oversight. In delegating proxy responsibilities, the Board has directed that proxies be voted consistent with the Fund’s and its shareholders’ best interests and in compliance with all applicable proxy voting rules and regulations. The Adviser has adopted proxy voting policies and guidelines for this purpose (“Proxy Voting Policies”) and has engaged a third-party proxy solicitation firm to assist with voting proxies in a timely manner. A copy of the Proxy Voting Policies is set forth in Appendix A to this SAI. The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Proxy Voting Policies. The Proxy Voting Policies have been adopted by the Trust as the policies and procedures that the Adviser will use when voting proxies on behalf of the Fund.
The Proxy Voting Policies address, among other things, material conflicts of interest that may arise between the interests of the Fund and the interests of the Adviser. The Proxy Voting Policies will ensure that all issues brought to shareholders are analyzed in light of the Adviser’s fiduciary responsibilities.
When available, information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available (1) without charge, upon request, by calling 1‑800‑617‑0004 and (2) on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser
Investment Adviser
Salt Financial LLC, a Delaware limited liability company located at 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 906, New York, NY 10010, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. Alfred Eskandar and Anthony Barchetto each own a controlling interest in the Adviser.
Pursuant to an Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser provides investment advice to the Fund and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Fund, subject to the direction and control of the Board. Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is also responsible for arranging sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration and accounting, securities lending, distribution, and other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. The Adviser administers the Fund’s business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services. Under the Advisory Agreement, in exchange for a single unitary management fee, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by the Fund except for the Excluded Expenses, as defined in the Prospectus. For services provided to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.29% of the Fund’s average daily net assets, except as provided in the fee waiver and contribution arrangement described below.
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The Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, the Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Adviser or the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Advisory Agreement automatically terminates on assignment and is terminable on a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or the Adviser.
The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive the Fund’s full unitary management fee of 0.29% of the Fund’s average daily net assets on the first $100 million in net assets until at least April 30, 2020 (the “Fee Waiver”) and to contribute to the Fund’s assets an amount equal to an annual rate of 0.05% of the Fund’s average daily net assets on the first $100 million in net assets (i.e., up to $50,000 per annum) until at least April 30, 2020 (the “Contribution”). The Fund will accrue the Contribution amount daily, and the Adviser will pay to the Fund the accrued Contribution amount for a given month within.fifteen days of the end of such month. The Adviser will not be permitted to recoup or recapture any portion of the Fee Waiver or Contribution at any time. The Fee Waiver and Contribution agreement: may be terminated at any time, and without payment of any penalty, by the Board of Trustees of the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, upon sixty (60) days’ written notice to the Adviser or such shorter period as to which the parties may agree; may not be terminated by the Adviser without the consent of the Fund’s Board of Trustees of the Trust; and will automatically terminate if the Advisory Agreement is terminated, with such termination effective upon the effective date of the Advisory Agreement’s termination.
The Adviser shall not be liable to the Trust or any shareholder for anything done or omitted by it, except acts or omissions involving willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties imposed upon it by its agreement with the Trust or for any losses that may be sustained in the purchase, holding or sale of any security.
The Fund is new, and it has not paid fees to the Adviser as of the date of this SAI.
Investment Sub-Adviser
Penserra Capital Management LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”), 4 Orinda Way, Suite 100-A, Orinda, California 94563, serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund. The Sub-Adviser is owned and controlled by George Madrigal and Dustin Lewellyn.
Pursuant to a Sub-Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser (the “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 or reconstitution of the Fund’s Index, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. For its services, the Sub-Adviser is paid a fee by the Adviser, which fee is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of the Fund’s average daily net assets of 0.05% on the first $100 million, 0.04% on the next $400 million, 0.03% on the next $500 million, and 0.02% on assets in excess of $1 billion, all subject to a minimum annual fee of $18,000.

The Sub-Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years after the date of its approval. Thereafter, the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Sub-Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment or upon termination of the of the Advisory Agreement, and is terminable at any time without penalty by the Board or, with respect to the Fund, by a majority of the outstanding Shares, on 60 days’ written notice to the Sub-Adviser, by the Sub-Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser and the Trust, or by the Adviser immediately upon notice to the Sub-Adviser. The Sub-Advisory Agreement provides that the Sub-Adviser shall not be protected against any liability to the Trust or its shareholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on its part in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard of its obligations or duties thereunder.

The Fund is new, and the Adviser has not paid fees to the Sub-Adviser as of the date of this SAI.
Portfolio Managers
The Fund is managed by Dustin Lewellyn, CFA, Chief Investment Officer of the Sub-Adviser, Ernesto Tong, CFA, Managing Director of the Sub-Adviser, and Anand Desai, Associate of the Sub-Adviser (the “Portfolio Managers”).

Share Ownership
 
The Fund is required to show the dollar range of the portfolio manager’s “beneficial ownership” of Shares of the Fund as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year or a more recent date for a new portfolio manager. 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. No portfolio manager owned any shares of the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
 
Other Accounts 
 
In addition to the Fund, the portfolio managers managed the following other accounts as of January 31, 2019, none of which were subject to a performance-based fee:

 
 
Type of Accounts
Total Number of Accounts
Total Assets of Accounts
Registered Investment Companies
24
$1.37 billion
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles
1
$2 million
Other Accounts
0
$0


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Compensation
Mr. Lewellyn’s portfolio management compensation includes a salary and discretionary bonus based on the profitability of the Sub-Adviser. No compensation is directly related to the performance of the underlying assets.  Mr. Tong receives from Penserra a fixed base salary and discretionary bonus, and he is also eligible to participate in a retirement plan and to receive an equity interest in Penserra. Mr. Tong’s compensation is based on the performance and profitability of Penserra and his individual performance with respect to following a structured investment process. Mr. Desai receives from Penserra a fixed base salary and discretionary bonus, and is also eligible to participate in a retirement plan.  Mr. Desai’s compensation is based on the performance and profitability of Penserra and his individual performance with respect to following a structured investment process.

Conflicts of Interest
The 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 may have similar investment objectives or strategies as the Fund. A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result, whereby the portfolio managers could favor one account over another. Another potential conflict could include the portfolio managers’ knowledge about the size, timing, and possible market impact of Fund trades, whereby the portfolio managers could use this information to the advantage of other accounts and to the disadvantage of the Fund. However, the Sub-Adviser has established policies and procedures to ensure that the purchase and sale of securities among all accounts the Sub-Adviser manages are fairly and equitably allocated.
The Distributor
The Trust and Compass Distributors, LLC (the “Distributor”) are parties to a distribution agreement (“Distribution Agreement”), whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Trust and distributes Shares. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. The Distributor will not distribute Shares in amounts less than a Creation Unit and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The principal business address of the Distributor is Three Canal Plaza, 3rd Floor, Portland, Maine 04101.
Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor, as agent for the Trust, will review orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units, provided that any subscriptions and orders will not be binding on the Trust until accepted by the Trust. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and a member of FINRA.
The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Authorized Participants (as discussed in “Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units” below) or DTC participants (as defined below).
The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable annually thereafter. The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement is terminable without penalty by the Trust on 60 days’ written notice when authorized either by majority vote of its outstanding voting Shares or by a vote of a majority of its Board (including a majority of the Independent Trustees), or by the Distributor on 60 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The Distribution Agreement provides that in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Distributor, or reckless disregard by it of its obligations thereunder, the Distributor shall not be liable for any action or failure to act in accordance with its duties thereunder.
Intermediary Compensation. The Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, or their affiliates, out of their own resources and not out of Fund assets (i.e., without additional cost to the Fund or its shareholders), may pay certain broker dealers, banks and other financial intermediaries (“Intermediaries”) for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing and educational training or support. These arrangements are not financed by the Fund and, thus, do not result in increased Fund expenses. They are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fees and expenses sections of the Fund’s Prospectus and they do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of Shares or the amount received by a shareholder as proceeds from the redemption of Shares.
Such compensation may be paid to Intermediaries that provide services to the Fund, including marketing and education support (such as through conferences, webinars and printed communications). The Adviser and Sub-Adviser will periodically assess the advisability of continuing to make these payments. Payments to an Intermediary may be significant to the Intermediary, and amounts that Intermediaries pay to your adviser, broker or other investment professional, if any, may also be significant to such adviser, broker or investment professional. Because an Intermediary may make decisions about what investment options it will make available or recommend, and what services to provide in connection with various products, based on payments it receives or is eligible to receive, such payments create conflicts of interest between the Intermediary and its clients. For example, these financial incentives may cause the Intermediary to recommend the Fund over other investments. The same conflict of interest exists with respect to your financial adviser, broker or investment professional if he or she receives similar payments from his or her Intermediary firm.
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Intermediary information is current only as of the date of this SAI. Please contact your adviser, broker or other investment professional for more information regarding any payments his or her Intermediary firm may receive. Any payments made by the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, or their affiliates to an Intermediary may create the incentive for an Intermediary to encourage customers to buy Shares.
If you have any additional questions, please call 1-800-617-0004.
Distribution and Service PlanThe Trust has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”) 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. No payments pursuant to the Plan are expected to be made during the twelve (12) month period from the date of this SAI. Rule 12b-1 fees to be paid by the Fund under the Plan may only be imposed after approval by the Board.
Continuance of the Plan must be approved annually by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust 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 of the Trust and of the Qualified Trustees.
The Plan provides that the Fund pays the Distributor an annual fee of up to a maximum of 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the Shares. Under the Plan, the Distributor may make payments pursuant to written agreements to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies including, without limit, investment counselors, broker-dealers and the Distributor’s affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively, “Agents”) as compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to other financial institutions and intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rules concerning sales charges.
Under the Plan, subject to the limitations of applicable law and regulations, the Fund is authorized to compensate the Distributor up to the maximum amount to finance any activity primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units of the Fund or for providing or arranging for others to provide shareholder services and for the maintenance of shareholder accounts. Such activities may include, but are not limited to: (i) delivering copies of the Fund’s then current reports, prospectuses, notices, and similar materials, to prospective purchasers of Creation Units; (ii) marketing and promotional services, including advertising; (iii) paying the costs of and compensating others, including Authorized Participants with whom the Distributor has entered into written Authorized Participant Agreements, for performing shareholder servicing on behalf of the Fund; (iv) compensating certain Authorized Participants for providing assistance in distributing the Creation Units of the Fund, including the travel and communication expenses and salaries and/or commissions of sales personnel in connection with the distribution of the Creation Units of the Fund; (v) payments to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies and investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets and the affiliates and subsidiaries of the Trust’s service providers as compensation for services or reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance; (vi) facilitating communications with beneficial owners of Shares, including the cost of providing (or paying others to provide) services to beneficial owners of Shares, including, but not limited to, assistance in answering inquiries related to Shareholder accounts; and (vi) such other services and obligations as are set forth in the Distribution Agreement.
The Administrator, Custodian, and Transfer Agent
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (“Fund Services” or the “Transfer Agent”), located at 615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Fund’s transfer agent, administrator, and index receipt agent.
Pursuant to a Fund Administration Servicing Agreement and a Fund Accounting Servicing Agreement between the Trust and Fund Services, Fund Services provides the Trust with administrative and management services (other than investment advisory services) and accounting services, including portfolio accounting services, tax accounting services, and furnishing financial reports. In this capacity, Fund Services does not have any responsibility or authority for the management of the Fund, the determination of investment policy, or for any matter pertaining to the distribution of Shares. As compensation for the administration, accounting and management services, the Adviser pays Fund Services a fee based on the Fund’s average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee. Fund Services also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above, including pricing expenses.
The Fund is new and the Adviser has not paid Fund Services any fees for administrative services to the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
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Pursuant to a Custody Agreement, U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank” or the “Custodian”), 1555 North Rivercenter Drive, Suite 302, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212, serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets. U.S. Bank is the parent company of Fund Services. The Custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolio. Pursuant to the Custody Agreement, the Custodian receives an annual fee from the Adviser based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee, and certain settlement charges. The Custodian also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses.
Legal Counsel
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, located at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2541, serves as legal counsel for the Trust.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Cohen & Company, Ltd., located at 342 North Water Street, Suite 830, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund.
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies and Procedures
The Trust’s 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 and through financial reporting and news services including publicly available internet web sites. In addition, the composition of the Deposit Securities is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”).
Description of Shares
The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of funds and Shares. Each Share represents an equal proportionate interest in the 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 funds 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. Shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.
Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required, consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all funds of the Trust vote together as a single class, except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. 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 Trustees under certain circumstances. Upon the written request of shareholders owning at least a majority of the Trust’s shares, the Trust will call for a meeting of shareholders to consider the removal of one or more Trustees and other certain matters. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.
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.
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 wrong-doing of any officer, agent, employee, 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, any person who is serving or has served at the Trust’s request as a Trustee, officer, trustee, 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.
Brokerage Transactions
The policy of the Trust regarding purchases and sales of securities for the Fund is that primary consideration will be given to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the Trust’s policy is to pay commissions which are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. The Trust believes that a requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and the Sub-Adviser from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, the Sub-Adviser will rely upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage services received from the broker effecting the transaction. Such determinations are necessarily subjective and imprecise, as in most cases, an exact dollar value for those services is not ascertainable. The Trust has adopted policies and procedures that prohibit the consideration of sales of Shares as a factor in the selection of a broker or dealer to execute its portfolio transactions.
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The Sub-Adviser owes a fiduciary duty to its clients to seek to provide best execution on trades effected. In selecting a broker/dealer for each specific transaction, the Sub-Adviser chooses the broker/dealer deemed most capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable execution. “Best execution” is generally understood to mean the most favorable cost or net proceeds reasonably obtainable under the circumstances. The full range of brokerage services applicable to a particular transaction may be considered when making this judgment, which may include, but is not limited to: liquidity, price, commission, timing, aggregated trades, capable floor brokers or traders, competent block trading coverage, ability to position, capital strength and stability, reliable and accurate communications and settlement processing, use of automation, knowledge of other buyers or sellers, arbitrage skills, administrative ability, underwriting and provision of information on a particular security or market in which the transaction is to occur. The specific criteria will vary depending upon the nature of the transaction, the market in which it is executed, and the extent to which it is possible to select from among multiple broker/dealers. The Sub-Adviser will also use electronic crossing networks (“ECNs”) when appropriate.
Subject to the foregoing policies, brokers or dealers selected to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions may include a Fund’s Authorized Participants (as discussed in “Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units” below) or their affiliates. An Authorized Participant or its affiliates may be selected to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions in conjunction with an all-cash Creation Unit order or an order including “cash-in-lieu” (as described below under “Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units”), so long as such selection is in keeping with the foregoing policies. As described below under “Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units—Creation Transaction Fee” and “—Redemption Transaction Fee”, the Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on Creation Unit 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 a Fund’s portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order, even if the decision to not charge a variable fee could be viewed as benefiting the Authorized Participant or its affiliate selected to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions in connection with such orders.
The Sub-Adviser may use the Fund’s assets for, or participate in, third-party soft dollar arrangements, in addition to receiving proprietary research from various full service brokers, the cost of which is bundled with the cost of the broker’s execution services. The Sub-Adviser does not “pay up” for the value of any such proprietary research. Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits the Sub-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. The Sub-Adviser may receive a variety of research services and information on many topics, which it can use in connection with its management responsibilities with respect to the various accounts over which it exercises investment discretion or otherwise provides investment advice. The research services may include qualifying order management systems, portfolio attribution and monitoring services and computer software and access charges which are directly related to investment research. Accordingly, the Fund may pay a broker commission higher than the lowest available in recognition of the broker’s provision of such services to the Sub-Adviser, but only if the Sub-Adviser determines the total commission (including the soft dollar benefit) is comparable to the best commission rate that could be expected to be received from other brokers. The amount of soft dollar benefits received depends on the amount of brokerage transactions effected with the brokers. A conflict of interest exists because there is an incentive to: 1) cause clients to pay a higher commission than the firm might otherwise be able to negotiate; 2) cause clients to engage in more securities transactions than would otherwise be optimal; and 3) only recommend brokers that provide soft dollar benefits.
The Sub-Adviser faces a potential conflict of interest when it uses client trades to obtain brokerage or research services. This conflict exists because the Sub-Adviser is able to use the brokerage or research services to manage client accounts without paying cash for such services, which reduces the Sub-Adviser’s expenses to the extent that the Sub-Adviser would have purchased such products had they not been provided by brokers. Section 28(e) permits the Sub-Adviser to use brokerage or research services for the benefit of any account it manages. Certain accounts managed by the Sub-Adviser may generate soft dollars used to purchase brokerage or research services that ultimately benefit other accounts managed by the Sub-Adviser, effectively cross subsidizing the other accounts managed by the Sub-Adviser that benefit directly from the product. The Sub-Adviser may not necessarily use all of the brokerage or research services in connection with managing the Fund whose trades generated the soft dollars used to purchase such products.
The Sub-Adviser is responsible, subject to oversight by the Board, for placing orders on behalf of the Fund for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Fund and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the Sub-Adviser are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to all by the Sub-Adviser. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Fund is concerned. However, in other cases, it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower brokerage commissions will be beneficial to the Fund. The primary consideration is prompt execution of orders at the most favorable net price.
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The Fund may deal with affiliates in principal transactions to the extent permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation.
The Fund is new and had not paid any brokerage commissions as of the date of this SAI.
Brokerage with Fund Affiliates. The Fund may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealer affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, or the Distributor for a commission in conformity with the 1940 Act, the 1934 Act and rules promulgated by the SEC. These rules require 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 it may hold at the close of its most recent fiscal year. “Regular brokers or dealers” of the Fund are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year: (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from the Fund’s portfolio transactions; (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of portfolio transactions of the Fund; or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of Shares. Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund does not hold any securities of “regular broker dealers.”
Portfolio Turnover Rate
Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates are likely to result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Sub-Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.
Book Entry Only System
The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for Shares. Shares 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 New York Stock Exchange (“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 is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants, and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (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. The Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the record owner of all Shares for all purposes. Beneficial Owners of Shares are not entitled to have 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.
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 held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall obtain from each such DTC Participant the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, 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.
Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. 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 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.
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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 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, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.
Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units
The Trust issues and redeems Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Transfer Agent, without a sales load (but subject to transaction fees, if applicable), 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 NAV of Shares is calculated each business day as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE, generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The Fund will not issue fractional Creation Units. A “Business Day” is any day on which the NYSE is open for business.
Fund Deposit. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (the “Deposit Securities”) per each Creation Unit, constituting a substantial replication, or a portfolio sampling representation, of the securities included in the Fund’s Index and the Cash Component (defined below), computed as described below. Notwithstanding the foregoing, 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. When accepting purchases of Creation Units for all or a portion of Deposit Cash, the Fund may incur additional costs associated with the acquisition of Deposit Securities that would otherwise be provided by an in-kind purchaser.
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 Shares (per Creation Unit) and the 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 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 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 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.
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, 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 a Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Sub-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 Fund’s Index.
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; (iii) may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant 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 include or remove Deposit Securities from the basket in anticipation of Index rebalancing changes. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Sub-Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, in the composition of the subject Index being tracked by the Fund or resulting from certain corporate actions.
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Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units. To be eligible to place orders with the Transfer Agent 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, 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 (described below), if applicable, and any other applicable fees and taxes.
All orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The order cut-off time for the Fund for orders to purchase Creation Units is expected to be 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, which time may be modified by the Fund from time-to-time by amendment to the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. In the case of custom orders, the order must be received by the Transfer Agent no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern time or such earlier time as may be designated by the Fund and disclosed to Authorized Participants. 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 will also 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 Transfer Agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement and in accordance with the applicable order form. On behalf of the Fund, the Transfer Agent 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 Transfer Agent by the 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 Transfer Agent or an Authorized Participant.
Fund Deposits must be delivered by an Authorized Participant through the Federal Reserve System (for cash) 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 sub-custodian 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 sub-custodian. 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 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (or such other time as specified by the Trust) on the Settlement Date. If the Fund or its agents do not receive all of the Deposit Securities, or the required Deposit Cash in lieu thereof, 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. 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. Upon written notice to the Transfer Agent, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a 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 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time (as set forth on the applicable order form), 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 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time (as set forth on the applicable order form) on the Settlement Date, then the order may be deemed to be rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the 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, order form and this SAI are properly followed.
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Issuance of a Creation Unit. Except as provided in this SAI, 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 sub-custodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian or sub-custodians, the Transfer Agent, the Adviser, and the Sub-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 Transfer Agent. 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 Shares 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 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 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (or such other time as specified by the Trust) 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 market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participant Agreement will permit the Trust to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for 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 Transfer Agent 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 transaction fee, as described below under “Creation Transaction Fee,” may be charged. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Settlement Date.

Acceptance of Orders of Creation Units. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject an order for Creation Units transmitted to it by the Transfer Agent with respect to 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 Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares; (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, the Adviser, or the Sub-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) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent, the Adviser, and/or the Sub-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 Transfer Agent 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, 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.
Creation Transaction Fee. A fixed purchase (i.e., creation) transaction fee, payable to the Custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase of Creation Units (“Creation Order Costs”). The standard fixed creation transaction fee for the Fund is $250, regardless of the number of Creation Units created in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the standard fixed creation transaction fee from time to time.  The fixed creation 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.
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In addition, a variable fee, payable to the Fund, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash purchases, non-standard orders, or partial cash purchases of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with buying the securities with cash. The Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Sub-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 tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities (defined below) from the Fund to their account or on their order.
Risks of Purchasing Creation Units. There are certain legal risks unique to investors purchasing Creation Units directly from the Fund. Because 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 Securities 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 Shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act.
Redemption. Shares 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 in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit 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.
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 Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (the “Cash Redemption Amount”), less a fixed redemption transaction fee, as applicable, as set forth below. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of Shares, 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.
Redemption Transaction Fee. A fixed redemption transaction fee, payable to the Custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the redemption of Creation Units (“Redemption Order Costs”). The standard fixed redemption transaction fee for the Fund is $250 regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the redemption transaction fee from time to time. The fixed redemption 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, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash redemptions, non-standard orders, or partial cash redemptions (when cash redemptions are available) of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with selling portfolio securities to satisfy a cash redemption. The Fund may determine to not 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.
Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Fund to their account or on their order.
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Procedures for Redemption of Creation Units. Orders to redeem Creation Units must be submitted in proper form to the Transfer Agent prior to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 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 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.
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 Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed an Authorized 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 an Authorized 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 Shares to the Fund’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 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.
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 next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee, if applicable, 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 may also, 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.
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 Shares 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 Securities 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 to receive Fund Securities.
Because the portfolio securities of the Fund may trade on other exchanges 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 Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the Exchange is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of Shares or determination of the NAV of Shares is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
Determination of NAV
NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding, rounded to the nearest cent. Expenses and fees, including the management fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by Fund Services and determined at the scheduled close of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) on each day that the NYSE is open, provided that fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments on any day that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) announces an early closing time.
In calculating the Fund’s NAV per Share, the Fund’s investments are generally valued using market valuations. A market valuation generally means a valuation (i) obtained from an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer), (ii) based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of value supplied by an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer) or (iii) based on amortized cost. In the case of shares of other funds that are not traded on an exchange, a market valuation means such fund’s published NAV per share. The Fund may use various pricing services, or discontinue the use of any pricing service, as approved by the Board from time to time. A price obtained from a pricing service based on such pricing service’s valuation matrix may be considered a market valuation. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.
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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 and interest income, if any, are generally declared and paid at least 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 for the Fund 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 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 Trust.
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 imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special dividends 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.
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 the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Investors should contact their brokers to ascertain the availability and description of these services. Beneficial Owners should be aware that each broker may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables 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 issued by the Trust of the Fund at NAV per Share. Distributions reinvested in additional Shares will nevertheless be taxable to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash.
Federal Income Taxes
The following is only a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that supplements the discussion 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 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.
The recently enacted tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules applicable to a RIC, such as the Fund. The Tax Act, however, made numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and the Funds. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Fund.
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, local, or foreign taxes.
Taxation of the Fund.  The Fund will elect and intends to qualify each year to be treated as a RIC under the Code.  As such, the Fund should not be subject to federal income taxes on its net investment income and capital gains, if any, to the extent that it timely distributes such income and capital gains to its shareholders. Generally, to be taxed as a RIC, the Fund must distribute in each taxable year at least 90% of its “investment company taxable income” for the taxable year, which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, net short-term capital gain and foreign currency gain, less expenses, as well as 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income, if any (the “Distribution Requirement”) and also must meet several additional requirements. Among these requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of the Fund’s gross income each taxable year must be derived 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 derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or foreign currencies and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Qualifying Income Requirement”); and (ii) at the end of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year, the Fund’s assets must be diversified so that (a) at least 50% of the 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 such other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, the securities (other than securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Diversification Requirement”).
The Fund expects to treat the amount of any Contribution received from the Adviser as income that is not qualifying income.
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To the extent the Fund makes investments that may generate income that is not qualifying income, including certain derivatives, the Fund will seek to restrict the resulting income from such investments so that the Fund’s non-qualifying income does not exceed 10% of its gross income.
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. The Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal income tax purposes. The Fund therefore is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein. The requirements (other than certain organizational requirements) for qualifying RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than at the Trust level.
If the Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income Requirement or the Diversification Requirement in any taxable year, 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 Diversification Requirement where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time.  To be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Diversification Requirement, the Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions were not available to the Fund and it were to fail to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates (which the Tax Act reduced to 21%) without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable to the shareholders of the Fund as ordinary income dividends, subject to the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by noncorporate shareholders, subject to certain limitations.  To requalify for treatment as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, the Fund would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and to distribute any earnings and profits from any year in which the Fund failed to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC. If the Fund failed to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, it would generally be required to pay a fund-level tax on certain net built in gains recognized with respect to certain of its assets upon disposition of such assets within five years of qualifying as a RIC in a subsequent year.  The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund for treatment as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders. If the Fund determines that it will not qualify as a RIC, the Fund will establish procedures to reflect the anticipated tax liability in the Fund’s NAV.
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, the Fund may carry a net capital loss from any taxable year forward indefinitely to offset its capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss. 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 its 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.
The Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax on certain 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 plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the one-year period ending on October 31 of that year, subject to an increase for any shortfall in the prior year’s distribution.  The Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of the excise tax, but can make no assurances that all such tax liability will be eliminated.
The Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income to shareholders for each taxable year. If the Fund meets the Distribution Requirement but retains some or all of its income or gains, it will be subject to federal income tax to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund may designate certain amounts retained as undistributed net capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amount so designated, (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the income tax paid by the Fund on that undistributed amount against their federal income tax liabilities and to claim refunds to the extent such credits exceed their tax liabilities, and (iii) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for federal income tax purposes, in their Shares by an amount equal to the excess of the amount of undistributed net capital gain included in their respective income over their respective income tax credits.
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Taxation of Shareholders – Distributions. The Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid), its net tax-exempt income, if any, and any net capital gain (net recognized long-term capital gains in excess of net recognized short-term capital losses, taking into account any capital loss carryforwards). The distribution of investment company taxable income (as so computed) and net capital gain will be taxable to Fund shareholders regardless of whether the shareholder receives these distributions in cash or reinvests them in additional Shares.
The Fund (or your broker) will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends paid from ordinary income, the amount of distributions of net capital gain, the portion of dividends which may qualify for the dividends received deduction for corporations, and the portion of dividends which may qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income, which is taxable to non-corporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%.
Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.
Qualified dividend income includes, in general, subject to certain holding period and other requirements, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations.  Subject to certain limitations, eligible foreign corporations include those incorporated in possessions of the United States, those incorporated 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.  Dividends received by the Fund from an ETF or an underlying fund taxable as a RIC or a REIT may be treated as qualified dividend income generally only to the extent so reported by such ETF, underlying fund or REIT.  If 95% or more of the Fund’s gross income (calculated without taking into account net capital gain derived from sales or other dispositions of stock or securities) consists of qualified dividend income, the Fund may report all distributions of such income as qualified dividend income.
Fund dividends will not be treated as qualified dividend income if the Fund does not meet certain holding period and other requirements with respect to dividend paying stocks in its portfolio, and the shareholder does not meet certain holding period and other requirements with respect to the Shares on which the dividends were paid.  Distributions by the Fund of its net short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares.  Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.
In the case of corporate shareholders, certain dividends received by the Fund from U.S. corporations (generally, dividends received by the Fund in respect of any share of stock (1) with a tax holding period of at least 46 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date that is 45 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend and (2) that is held in an unleveraged position) and distributed and appropriately so reported by the Fund may be eligible for the 50% dividends-received deduction. Certain preferred stock must have a holding period of at least 91 days during the 181-day period beginning on the date that is 90 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend to be eligible. Capital gain dividends distributed to the Fund from other RICs are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction. To qualify for the deduction, corporate shareholders must meet the minimum holding period requirement stated above with respect to their Shares, taking into account any holding period reductions from certain hedging or other transactions or positions that diminish their risk of loss with respect to their Shares, and, if they borrow to acquire or otherwise incur debt attributable to Shares, they may be denied a portion of the dividends-received deduction with respect to those Shares.
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.
U.S. individuals with adjusted gross income (subject to certain adjustments) exceeding certain threshold amounts ($250,000 if married 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% Medicare contribution tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes taxable interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (generally including capital gain distributions and capital gains realized on the sale of Shares). 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.
Shareholders who have not held Shares for a full year should be aware that the Fund may report and distribute, 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 applicable shareholder’s period of investment in the Fund. 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.
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To the extent that the Fund makes a distribution of income received by the Fund in lieu of dividends (a “substitute payment”) with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction, such income will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.
If the Fund’s distributions exceed its earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made for a taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce each shareholder’s cost basis in the Fund 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.
Taxation of Shareholders – Sale of Shares. A sale, redemption, or exchange of Shares may give rise to a gain or loss.  In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than 12 months. Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of Shares will generally be treated as short-term capital gain or loss.  Any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss, rather than short-term capital loss, to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the shareholder of long-term capital gain (including any amounts credited to the shareholder as undistributed capital gains).  All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares may be disallowed if substantially identical Shares are acquired (through the reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly acquired Shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
The cost basis of Shares acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for 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 a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot currently be deducted under the rules governing “wash sales” (for a person who does not mark-to-market its portfolio) or, on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Any capital 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. 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 generally be treated as short-term capital gains or losses.  Any loss upon a redemption of Creation Units held for six months or less may be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the applicable Authorized Participant of long-term capital gain 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 Creation Units if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Code, the Fund would have a basis in the deposit securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require the provision of information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If the Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares, the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) will not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.
Persons purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisers with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction and whether the wash sales rule applies and when a loss may be deductible.
Taxation of Fund Investments. Certain of the Fund’s investments may be 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 (e.g., 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 the Fund receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts sufficient to enable the Fund to satisfy the RIC distribution requirements for avoiding income and excise taxes. The Fund intends to monitor its transactions, intends to make appropriate tax elections, and intends to make appropriate entries in its books and records to mitigate the effect of these rules and preserve the Fund’s qualification for treatment as a RIC. To the extent the Fund invests in an underlying fund that is taxable as a RIC, the rules applicable to the tax treatment of complex securities will also apply to the underlying funds that also invest in such complex securities and investments.
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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 as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year that qualify as section 1256 contracts under the Code. 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 futures contracts, options contracts and swaps 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 its 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 investment adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so.
The Fund may invest in REITs. Investments in REIT equity securities may require the Fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. To generate sufficient cash to make the requisite distributions, the Fund may be required to sell securities in its portfolio (including when it is not advantageous to do so) that it otherwise would have continued to hold. The Fund’s investments in REIT equity securities may at other times result in the Fund’s receipt of cash in excess of the REIT’s earnings; if the Fund distributes these amounts, these distributions could constitute a return of capital to Fund shareholders for federal income tax purposes. Dividends paid by a REIT, other than capital gain distributions, will be taxable as ordinary income up to the amount of the REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.  Capital gain dividends paid by a REIT to the Fund will be treated as long-term capital gains by the Fund and, in turn, may be distributed by the Fund to its shareholders as a capital gain distribution. Dividends received by the Fund from a REIT generally will not constitute qualified dividend income or qualify for the dividends received deduction.  If a REIT is operated in a manner such that it fails to qualify as a REIT, an investment in the REIT would become subject to double taxation, meaning the taxable income of the REIT would be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders and the dividends would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.

The Tax Act treats “qualified REIT dividends” (i.e., ordinary REIT dividends other than capital gain dividends and portions of REIT dividends designated as qualified dividend income eligible for capital gain tax rates) as eligible for a 20% deduction by non-corporate taxpayers.  This deduction, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective tax rate of 29.6% (37% top rate applied to income after 20% deduction). The Tax Act does not contain a provision permitting a RIC, such as the Fund, to pass the special character of this income through to its shareholders. Currently, direct investors in REITs will enjoy the lower rate, but investors in RICs that invest in such REITs will not.  It is uncertain whether future technical corrections or administrative guidance will address this issue to enable the Fund to pass through the special character of “qualified REIT dividends” to shareholders.
REITs in which the Fund invests often do not provide complete and final tax information to the Fund until after the time that the Fund issues a tax reporting statement. As a result, the Fund may at times find it necessary to reclassify the amount and character of its distributions to you after it issues your tax reporting statement. When such reclassification is necessary, the Fund (or its administrative agent) will send you a corrected, final Form 1099-DIV to reflect the reclassified information. If you receive a corrected Form 1099-DIV, use the information on this corrected form, and not the information on the previously issued tax reporting statement, in completing your tax returns.
Backup Withholding.  The Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable 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 he or she is not subject to “backup withholding”; or (4) fails to provide a certified statement that he or she is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. Backup withholding is not an additional tax and any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s ultimate U.S. tax liability. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States.
Foreign Shareholders. Any non-U.S. investors 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 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.
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Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to Fund distributions payable to such entities and with respect to redemptions and certain capital gain dividends payable to such entities after December 31, 2018. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement.
For foreign shareholders to qualify for an exemption from backup withholding, described above, the foreign shareholder must comply with special certification and filing requirements. Foreign shareholders in the Fund should consult their tax advisors in this regard.
Tax-Exempt Shareholders. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k) plans, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation, except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”).  Under the Tax Act, tax-exempt entities are not permitted to offset losses from one unrelated trade or business against the income or gain of another unrelated 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 with respect to their shares of Fund income.  However, notwithstanding the foregoing, tax-exempt shareholders could realize UBTI by virtue of their investment in the Fund if, 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 constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholders within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Code.  Charitable remainder trusts are subject to special rules and should consult their tax advisers. The IRS has issued guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisers regarding these issues.
Certain Potential Tax Reporting Requirements. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of the Shares 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. Significant penalties may be imposed for the failure to comply with the reporting requirements. 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.
Other Issues. In those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of the Fund and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by the Fund may differ from federal tax treatment.
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Financial Statements

Salt Funds Trust
Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF
(LSLT)

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM


To the Shareholder of Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF and
Board of Trustees of Salt Funds Trust

Opinion on the Financial Statement

We have audited the accompanying statement of assets & liabilities of Salt Funds Trust comprising Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF (the “Fund”) as of January 31, 2019, including the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statement”).  In our opinion, the financial statement presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Fund as of January 31, 2019, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion

The financial statement is the responsibility of the Fund’s management.  Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Fund’s financial statement based on our audit.  We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Fund in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB.  Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statement is free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud.

Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statement, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks.  Such procedures include examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statement and confirmation of cash owned as of January 31, 2019, by correspondence with the custodian.  Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statement.  We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

We have served as the Fund’s auditor since 2019.

/s/ Cohen & Company Ltd.

COHEN & COMPANY, LTD.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
February 22, 2019
31

FINANCIAL STATEMENT
     
Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF
Statement of Assets & Liabilities
     
As of January 31, 2019
Assets
   
Cash at Custodian
 
$100,000
Total Assets
 
$100,000
     
Total Liabilities
 
                     -
     
Net Assets
 
$100,000
     
Component of Net Assets
   
Paid-in-capital
 
$100,000
     
Net Assets
 
$100,000
     
Shares issued and outstanding, $25 per share at issuance, unlimited shares authorized
            4,000
     
The accompanying notes are an integral part of this financial statement.
   
     
32

Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF
NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT
January 31, 2019


1.
Organization.
Salt Funds Trust (the “Trust”), a Delaware statutory trust organized on July 27, 2018. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (together with the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, as amended, the “1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company consisting of a single series, the Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF (the “Fund”).

The Fund seeks to track the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Salt Low truBeta US Market Index (the “Index”).  The Fund uses a “passive management” (or indexing) approach to track the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Index. The Index was developed in 2018 by Salt Financial LLC, the Fund’s investment adviser and index provider, and uses an objective, rules-based methodology to measure the performance of an equal-weighted portfolio of approximately 100 large and mid-capitalization U.S.-listed stocks with the lowest levels of variability in their historical beta calculations and forecasted beta of less than 1.00. “Beta” is a calculation of an investment’s systematic risk relative to the market.

As of January 31, 2019, the Trust has had no operations other than those actions relating to organizational and registration matters, including the sale and issuance to Salt Financial LLC (the “Sole Shareholder”) of 4,000 shares of the Fund.  The proceeds of the 4,000 shares were held in cash.  The Fund currently offers one class of shares that has no front-end sales load, no deferred sales charge and no redemption fee.  The Fund may issue an unlimited number of shares (“Shares”) of beneficial interest, with no par value.  All shares of the Fund have equal rights and privileges.

The Fund expects to offer and issue shares (“Shares”) at their net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). The Fund intends to generally offer and issue Shares in exchange for a basket of securities included in its Index (together “Deposit Securities” or each a “Deposit Security”) 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. Shares are expected to be listed on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and trade on the Exchange at market prices that may differ from the Shares’ NAV. Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, primarily for a basket of Deposit Securities together with a Cash Component. A Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of 25,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. Creation Units are not expected to consist of fewer than 25,000 Shares. As a practical matter, only institutions or large investors, known as “Authorized Participants” or “APs,” purchase or redeem Creation Units. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities.

Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the value of the missing Deposit Securities, as set forth in the Participant Agreement.  The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. As in the case of other publicly traded securities, brokers’ commissions on transactions in the secondary market will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.


2.
Significant Accounting Policies.
The Fund is an investment company and accordingly follows the investment company accounting and reporting guidance of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 946 Financial Services – Investment Companies.

1

Use of Estimates
The preparation of the financial statement in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of this financial statement. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Indemnifications
In the normal course of business, the Fund enters into contracts that contain a variety of representations which provide general indemnifications. The Fund’s maximum exposure under these arrangements cannot be known; however, the Fund expects any risk of loss to be remote.

Cash
Cash includes non-interest bearing non-restricted cash with one institution.

Income Taxes
The Fund intends to elect to qualify to be taxed as a “regulated investment company” as defined in Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended (the “Code”).  No provision has been made for federal income taxes as it is the intention of the Fund to comply with the provisions of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies and to make distributions of income and realized gains sufficient to relieve it from all or substantially all excise and income taxes.

Organizational and Offering Costs
All organizational and offering costs for the Trust and the Fund will be borne by the Adviser (defined below).  The Trust and the Fund do not have an obligation to reimburse the Adviser for organization and offering costs paid on their behalf.


3.
Agreements.
Salt Financial LLC (the “Adviser”), serves as investment adviser to the Fund and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. The Adviser also arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.29% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

Under the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser agrees to pay all expenses of the Trust and each Fund, except for: (i) brokerage expenses and other fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses (such as stamp taxes) incurred in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions or in connection with creation and redemption transactions (including without limitation any fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses related to the purchase or sale of an amount of any currency, or the patriation or repatriation of any security or other asset, related to the execution of portfolio transactions or any creation or redemption transactions); (ii) legal fees or expenses in connection with any arbitration, litigation or pending or threatened arbitration or litigation, including any settlements in connection therewith; (iii) compensation and expenses of counsel to the Trustees of the Trust who are not officers, directors/trustees, partners or employees of the Adviser or its affiliates (the “Independent Trustees”); (iv) extraordinary expenses (in each case as determined by a majority of the Independent Trustees); (v) distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act; (vi) interest and taxes of any kind or nature (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (vii) any fees and expense related to the provision of securities lending services; and (viii) the advisory fee payable to the Adviser hereunder. The internal expenses of pooled investment vehicles in which a Fund may invest (acquired fund fees and expenses) are not expenses of the Trust and are not paid by the Adviser.

Penserra Capital Management, LLC intends to serve as the Sub-Adviser (the “Sub-Adviser”) to the Fund. The Sub-Advisor has overall responsibility for selecting and continuously monitoring the Fund’s investments. The Adviser has overall responsibility for overseeing the investment of the Fund’s assets, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain clerical, bookkeeping and other administrative services for the Trust.

2

U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (“Fund Services”), an indirect subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, intends to serve as the Fund’s fund accountant, administrator and transfer agent pursuant to certain fund accounting servicing, fund administration servicing and transfer agent servicing agreements. U.S. Bank National Association, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp and parent company of Fund Services, intends to serve as the Fund’s custodian pursuant to a custody agreement. Compass Distributors, LLC intends to serve as the Fund’s distributor pursuant to a distribution agreement.

The Fund has adopted a Distribution and Service (12b-1) Plan, pursuant to which payments of up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets may be made by the Fund. The Board of Trustees of the Fund has determined that no such payment will be made, and there are no plans in place to implement the fee.


4.
Beneficial Ownership.
The beneficial ownership, either directly or indirectly, of more than 25% of the voting securities of a fund creates a presumption of control of the fund, under Section 2(a)(9) of the 1940 Act. As of the date of this financial statement, the Adviser owned 100% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.


5.
Transactions with Affiliates.
Certain officers and a trustee of the Trust are affiliated with the Adviser.  The affiliated trustee and the Trust’s officers receive no compensation from the Fund.


6.
Subsequent Events.
In preparing this financial statement, Management has evaluated events and transactions for potential recognition or disclosure through the date this financial statement was issued. There were no events or transactions that occurred during the period subsequent to January 31, 2019, that materially impacted the amounts or disclosures in the Fund’s statement.

3

 
Appendix A

 

 

United States

 

Proxy Voting Guidelines

Benchmark Policy Recommendations
 
Effective for Meetings on or after February 1, 2019
 
Published December 6, 2018
 
 

 

 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

Table of Contents

COVERAGE
 
8
     
1.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
9
       
 
VOTING ON DIRECTOR NOMINEES IN UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS
 
9
       
 
Independence
 
9
       
 
ISS Classification of Directors – U.S.
 
10
       
 
Composition
 
12
       
 
Responsiveness
 
13
       
 
Accountability
 
13
       
 
VOTING ON DIRECTOR NOMINEES IN CONTESTED ELECTIONS
 
17
       
 
Vote-No Campaigns
 
17
       
 
Proxy Contests/Proxy Access — Voting for Director Nominees in Contested Elections
 
17
       
 
OTHER BOARD-RELATED PROPOSALS
 
17
       
 
Adopt Anti-Hedging/Pledging/Speculative Investments Policy
 
17
       
 
Age/Term Limits
 
17
       
 
Board Size
 
18
       
 
Classification/Declassification of the Board
 
18
       
 
CEO Succession Planning
 
18
       
 
Cumulative Voting
 
18
       
 
Director and Officer Indemnification and Liability Protection
 
18
       
 
Establish/Amend Nominee Qualifications
 
19
       
 
Establish Other Board Committee Proposals
 
19
       
 
Filling Vacancies/Removal of Directors
 
19
       
 
Independent Chair (Separate Chair/CEO)
 
19
       
 
Majority of Independent Directors/Establishment of Independent Committees
 
20
       
 
Majority Vote Standard for the Election of Directors
 
20
       
 
Proxy Access
 
21
       
 
Require More Nominees than Open Seats
 
21
       
 
Shareholder Engagement Policy (Shareholder Advisory Committee)
 
21
       
2.
AUDIT-RELATED
 
22
       
 
Auditor Indemnification and Limitation of Liability
 
22
       
 
Auditor Ratification
 
22
       
 
Shareholder Proposals Limiting Non-Audit Services
 
22
       
 
Shareholder Proposals on Audit Firm Rotation
 
23
       
3.
SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS & DEFENSES
 
24
       
 
Advance Notice Requirements for Shareholder Proposals/Nominations
 
24
       
 
Amend Bylaws without Shareholder Consent
 
24
       
 
Control Share Acquisition Provisions
 
24
       
 
Control Share Cash-Out Provisions
 
24
       
 
Disgorgement Provisions
 
25
       
 
Fair Price Provisions
 
25
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
2 of 72



 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

 
Freeze-Out Provisions
 
25
       
 
Greenmail
 
25
       
 
Litigation Rights (including Exclusive Venue and Fee-Shifting Bylaw Provisions)
 
25
       
 
Net Operating Loss (NOL) Protective Amendments
 
26
       
 
POISON PILLS (SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS PLANS)
 
26
       
 
Shareholder Proposals to Put Pill to a Vote and/or Adopt a Pill Policy
 
26
       
 
Management Proposals to Ratify a Poison Pill
 
27
       
 
Management Proposals to Ratify a Pill to Preserve Net Operating Losses (NOLs)
 
27
       
 
Proxy Voting Disclosure, Confidentiality, and Tabulation
 
27
       
 
Ratification Proposals: Management Proposals to Ratify Existing Charter or Bylaw Provisions
 
28
       
 
Reimbursing Proxy Solicitation Expenses
 
28
       
 
Reincorporation Proposals
 
28
       
 
Shareholder Ability to Act by Written Consent
 
28
       
 
Shareholder Ability to Call Special Meetings
 
29
       
 
Stakeholder Provisions
 
29
       
 
State Antitakeover Statutes
 
29
       
 
Supermajority Vote Requirements
 
29
       
4.
CAPITAL/RESTRUCTURING
 
31
       
 
CAPITAL
 
31
       
 
Adjustments to Par Value of Common Stock
 
31
       
 
Common Stock Authorization
 
31
       
 
Dual Class Structure
 
32
       
 
Issue Stock for Use with Rights Plan
 
32
       
 
Preemptive Rights
 
32
       
 
Preferred Stock Authorization
 
32
       
 
Recapitalization Plans
 
33
       
 
Reverse Stock Splits
 
33
       
 
Share Repurchase Programs
 
33
       
 
Stock Distributions: Splits and Dividends
 
33
       
 
Tracking Stock
 
33
       
 
RESTRUCTURING
 
34
       
 
Appraisal Rights
 
34
       
 
Asset Purchases
 
34
       
 
Asset Sales
 
34
       
 
Bundled Proposals
 
34
       
 
Conversion of Securities
 
34
       
 
Corporate Reorganization/Debt Restructuring/Prepackaged Bankruptcy Plans/Reverse Leveraged Buyouts/Wrap Plans
 
35
       
 
Formation of Holding Company
 
35
       
 
Going Private and Going Dark Transactions (LBOs and Minority Squeeze-outs)
 
35
       
 
Joint Ventures
 
36
       
 
Liquidations
 
36
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
3 of 72


 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

 
Mergers and Acquisitions
 
36
       
 
Private Placements/Warrants/Convertible Debentures
 
37
       
 
Reorganization/Restructuring Plan (Bankruptcy)
 
38
       
 
Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs)
 
38
       
 
Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs) - Proposals for Extensions
 
39
       
 
Spin-offs
 
39
       
 
Value Maximization Shareholder Proposals
 
39
       
5.
COMPENSATION
 
40
       
 
EXECUTIVE PAY EVALUATION
 
40
       
 
Advisory Votes on Executive Compensation Management Proposals (Management Say-on-Pay)
 
40
       
 
Pay-for-Performance Evaluation
 
41
       
 
Problematic Pay Practices
 
41
       
 
Compensation Committee Communications and Responsiveness
 
42
       
 
Frequency of Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (“Say When on Pay”)
 
43
       
 
Voting on Golden Parachutes in an Acquisition, Merger, Consolidation, or Proposed Sale
 
43
       
 
EQUITY-BASED AND OTHER INCENTIVE PLANS
 
44
       
 
Shareholder Value Transfer (SVT)
 
45
       
 
Three-Year Burn Rate
 
45
       
 
Egregious Factors
 
45
       
 
Liberal Change in Control Definition
 
45
       
 
Repricing Provisions
 
45
       
 
Problematic Pay Practices or Significant Pay-for-Performance Disconnect
 
46
       
 
Amending Cash and Equity Plans (including Approval for Tax Deductibility (162(m))
 
46
       
 
Specific Treatment of Certain Award Types in Equity Plan Evaluations
 
47
       
 
Dividend Equivalent Rights
 
47
       
 
Operating Partnership (OP) Units in Equity Plan Analysis of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
 
47
       
 
OTHER COMPENSATION PLANS
 
47
       
 
401(k) Employee Benefit Plans
 
47
       
 
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
 
47
       
 
Employee Stock Purchase Plans Qualified Plans
 
47
       
 
Employee Stock Purchase Plans Non-Qualified Plans
 
47
       
 
Option Exchange Programs/Repricing Options
 
48
       
 
Stock Plans in Lieu of Cash
 
48
       
 
Transfer Stock Option (TSO) Programs
 
49
       
 
DIRECTOR COMPENSATION
 
49
       
 
Shareholder Ratification of Director Pay Programs
 
49
       
 
Equity Plans for Non-Employee Directors
 
50
       
 
Non-Employee Director Retirement Plans
 
50
       
 
SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS ON COMPENSATION
 
50
       
 
Bonus Banking/Bonus Banking “Plus”
 
50
       
 
Compensation Consultants – Disclosure of Board or Company’s Utilization
 
50
       
 
Disclosure/Setting Levels or Types of Compensation for Executives and Directors
 
51
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
4 of 72

 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

 
Golden Coffins/Executive Death Benefits
 
51
       
 
Hold Equity Past Retirement or for a Significant Period of Time
 
51
       
 
Non-Deductible Compensation
 
51
       
 
Pay Disparity
 
51
       
 
Pay for Performance/Performance-Based Awards
 
52
       
 
Pay for Superior Performance
 
52
       
 
Pre-Arranged Trading Plans (10b5-1 Plans)
 
53
       
 
Prohibit Outside CEOs from Serving on Compensation Committees
 
53
       
 
Recoupment of Incentive or Stock Compensation in Specified Circumstances
 
53
       
 
Severance Agreements for Executives/Golden Parachutes
 
53
       
 
Share Buyback Proposals
 
54
       
 
Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs)
 
54
       
 
Tax Gross-Up Proposals
 
54
       
 
Termination of Employment Prior to Severance Payment/Eliminating Accelerated Vesting of Unvested Equity
 
54
       
6.
ROUTINE/MISCELLANEOUS
 
56
       
 
Adjourn Meeting
 
56
       
 
Amend Quorum Requirements
 
56
       
 
Amend Minor Bylaws
 
56
       
 
Change Company Name
 
56
       
 
Change Date, Time, or Location of Annual Meeting
 
56
       
 
Other Business
 
56
       
7.
SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
 
57
       
 
GLOBAL APPROACH
 
57
       
 
ENDORSEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
 
57
       
 
ANIMAL WELFARE
 
57
       
 
Animal Welfare Policies
 
57
       
 
Animal Testing
 
58
       
 
Animal Slaughter
 
58
       
 
CONSUMER ISSUES
 
58
       
 
Genetically Modified Ingredients
 
58
       
 
Reports on Potentially Controversial Business/Financial Practices
 
58
       
 
Pharmaceutical Pricing, Access to Medicines, and Prescription Drug Reimportation
 
59
       
 
Product Safety and Toxic/Hazardous Materials
 
59
       
 
Tobacco-Related Proposals
 
59
       
 
CLIMATE CHANGE
 
60
       
 
Climate Change/Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
 
60
       
 
Energy Efficiency
 
61
       
 
Renewable Energy
 
61
       
 
DIVERSITY
 
61
       
 
Board Diversity
 
61
       
 
Equality of Opportunity
 
62
       
 
Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Domestic Partner Benefits
 
62
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
5 of 72

 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

 
Gender Pay Gap
 
62
       
 
ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
 
62
       
 
Facility and Workplace Safety
 
62
       
 
General Environmental Proposals and Community Impact Assessments
 
63
       
 
Hydraulic Fracturing
 
63
       
 
Operations in Protected Areas
 
63
       
 
Recycling
 
63
       
 
Sustainability Reporting
 
64
       
 
Water Issues
 
64
       
 
GENERAL CORPORATE ISSUES
 
64
       
 
Charitable Contributions
 
64
       
 
Data Security, Privacy, and Internet Issues
 
64
       
 
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Compensation-Related Proposals
 
64
       
 
HUMAN RIGHTS, LABOR ISSUES, AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
 
65
       
 
Human Rights Proposals
 
65
       
 
Operations in High Risk Markets
 
65
       
 
Outsourcing/Offshoring
 
66
       
 
Weapons and Military Sales
 
66
       
 
POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
 
66
       
 
Lobbying
 
66
       
 
Political Contributions
 
66
       
 
Political Ties
 
67
       
8.
MUTUAL FUND PROXIES
 
68
       
 
Election of Directors
 
68
       
 
Converting Closed-end Fund to Open-end Fund
 
68
       
 
Proxy Contests
 
68
       
 
Investment Advisory Agreements
 
68
       
 
Approving New Classes or Series of Shares
 
68
       
 
Preferred Stock Proposals
 
68
       
 
1940 Act Policies
 
69
       
 
Changing a Fundamental Restriction to a Nonfundamental Restriction
 
69
       
 
Change Fundamental Investment Objective to Nonfundamental
 
69
       
 
Name Change Proposals
 
69
       
 
Change in Fund’s Subclassification
 
69
       
 
Business Development Companies Authorization to Sell Shares of Common Stock at a Price below Net Asset Value
 
69
       
 
Disposition of Assets/Termination/Liquidation
 
70
       
 
Changes to the Charter Document
 
70
       
 
Changing the Domicile of a Fund
 
70
       
 
Authorizing the Board to Hire and Terminate Subadvisers Without Shareholder Approval
 
70
       
 
Distribution Agreements
 
71
       
 
Master-Feeder Structure
 
71
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
6 of 72

 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

 
Mergers
 
71
       
 
SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS
 
71
       
 
Establish Director Ownership Requirement
 
71
       
 
Reimburse Shareholder for Expenses Incurred
 
71
       
 
Terminate the Investment Advisor
 
71
       
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
7 of 72


 
 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

COVERAGE

 

The U.S. research team provides proxy analyses and voting recommendations for common shareholder meetings of publicly - traded U.S. - incorporated companies that are held in our institutional investor clients’ portfolios and includes all S&P 1500 and Russell 3000 companies that are considered U.S. Domestic Issuers by the SEC. Coverage generally includes corporate actions for common equity holders, such as written consents and bankruptcies. ISS’ U.S. coverage includes investment companies (including open-end funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, and unit investment trusts), limited partnerships (“LPs”), master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), limited liability companies (“LLCs”), and business development companies. ISS reviews its universe of coverage on an annual basis, and the coverage is subject to change based on client need and industry trends.

 

The U.S. research team also produces, for subscribing clients, research and recommendations for fixed income meetings, and meetings of certain preferred securities, including Auction Rate Preferred Securities (“ARPS”) and Variable Rate Municipal Term Preferred securities (“VMTPs”).

 

Foreign-incorporated companies

 

In addition to U.S. - incorporated companies, U.S. policies are applied to certain foreign-incorporated company analyses. Like the SEC, ISS distinguishes two types of companies that list but are not incorporated in the U.S.:

 

U.S. Domestic Issuers – which have a majority of outstanding shares held in the U.S. and meet other criteria, as determined by the SEC, and are subject to the same disclosure and listing standards as U.S. incorporated companies – are generally covered under standard U.S. policy guidelines.
Foreign Private Issuers (FPIs) – which do not meet the Domestic Issuer criteria and are exempt from most disclosure requirements (e.g., they do not file DEF14A reports) and listing standards (e.g., for required levels of board and committee independence) – are covered under a combination of policy guidelines:

FPI Guidelines (see the Americas Regional Proxy Voting Guidelines), which apply certain minimum independence and disclosure standards in the evaluation of key proxy ballot items, such as the election of directors and approval of financial reports; and
  For other issues, guidelines for the market that is responsible for, or most relevant to, the item on the ballot.

 

In all cases – including with respect to other companies with cross-market features that may lead to ballot items related to multiple markets – items that are on the ballot solely due to the requirements of another market (listing, incorporation, or national code) may be evaluated under the policy of the relevant market, regardless of the “assigned” market coverage.

 
   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.
 
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services
8 of 72

 
U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

1. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Voting on Director Nominees in Uncontested Elections

 

Four fundamental principles apply when determining votes on director nominees:

 

Independence: Boards should be sufficiently independent from management (and significant shareholders) to ensure that they are able and motivated to effectively supervise management’s performance for the benefit of all shareholders, including in setting and monitoring the execution of corporate strategy, with appropriate use of shareholder capital, and in setting and monitoring executive compensation programs that support that strategy. The chair of the board should ideally be an independent director, and all boards should have an independent leadership position or a similar role in order to help provide appropriate counterbalance to executive management, as well as having sufficiently independent committees that focus on key governance concerns such as audit, compensation, and nomination of directors.

 

Composition: Companies should ensure that directors add value to the board through their specific skills and expertise and by having sufficient time and commitment to serve effectively. Boards should be of a size appropriate to accommodate diversity, expertise, and independence, while ensuring active and collaborative participation by all members. Boards should be sufficiently diverse to ensure consideration of a wide range of perspectives.

 

Responsiveness: Directors should respond to investor input, such as that expressed through significant opposition to management proposals, significant support for shareholder proposals (whether binding or non-binding), and tender offers where a majority of shares are tendered.

 

Accountability: Boards should be sufficiently accountable to shareholders, including through transparency of the company’s governance practices and regular board elections, by the provision of sufficient information for shareholders to be able to assess directors and board composition, and through the ability of shareholders to remove directors.

 

  General Recommendation: Generally vote for director nominees, except under the following circumstances:

 

Independence

 

Vote against1 or withhold from non-independent directors (Executive Directors and Non-Independent Non-Executive Directors per ISS’ Classification of Directors) when:

 

Independent directors comprise 50 percent or less of the board;

The non-independent director serves on the audit, compensation, or nominating committee;
The company lacks an audit, compensation, or nominating committee so that the full board functions as that committee; or
The company lacks a formal nominating committee, even if the board attests that the independent directors fulfill the functions of such a committee.

 


1 In general, companies with a plurality vote standard use “Withhold” as the contrary vote option in director elections; companies with a majority vote standard use “Against”. However, it will vary by company and the proxy must be checked to determine the valid contrary vote option for the particular company.

 
   
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U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

ISS Classification of Directors – U.S.
     
1.
Executive Director
 
1.1.
Current employee or current officer1 of the company or one of its affiliates2.
     
2.
Non-Independent Non-Executive Director
 
Board Identification
 
2.1.
Director identified as not independent by the board.
 
Controlling/Significant Shareholder
 
2.2.
Beneficial owner of more than 50 percent of the company’s voting power (this may be aggregated if voting power is distributed among more than one member of a group).
 
Former CEO/Interim Officer
 
2.3.
Former CEO of the company. 3, 4
 
2.4.
Former CEO of an acquired company within the past five years.4
 
2.5.
Former interim officer if the service was longer than 18 months. If the service was between 12 and 18 months an assessment of the interim officer’s employment agreement will be made.5
 
Non-CEO Executives
 
2.6.
Former officer1 of the company, an affiliate2, or an acquired firm within the past five years.
 
2.7.
Officer1 of a former parent or predecessor firm at the time the company was sold or split off from the parent/predecessor within the past five years.
 
2.8.
Officer1, former officer, or general or limited partner of a joint venture or partnership with the company.
 
Family Members
 
2.9.
Immediate family member6 of a current or former officer1 of the company or its affiliates2 within the last five years.
 
2.10.
Immediate family member6 of a current employee of company or its affiliates2 where additional factors raise concern (which may include, but are not limited to, the following: a director related to numerous employees; the company or its affiliates employ relatives of numerous board members; or a non-Section 16 officer in a key strategic role).
 
Transactional, Professional, Financial, and Charitable Relationships
 
2.11.
Currently provides (or an immediate family member6 provides) professional services7 to the company, to an affiliate2 of the company or an individual officer of the company or one of its affiliates in excess of $10,000 per year.
 
2.12.
Is (or an immediate family member6 is) a partner in, or a controlling shareholder or an employee of, an organization which provides professional services7 to the company, to an affiliate2 of the company, or an individual officer of the company or one of its affiliates in excess of $10,000 per year.
 
2.13.
Has (or an immediate family member6 has) any material transactional relationship8 with the company or its affiliates2 (excluding investments in the company through a private placement).
 
2.14.
Is (or an immediate family member6 is) a partner in, or a controlling shareholder or an executive officer of, an organization which has any material transactional relationship8 with the company or its affiliates2 (excluding investments in the company through a private placement).
 
2.15.
Is (or an immediate family member6 is) a trustee, director, or employee of a charitable or non-profit organization that receives material grants or endowments8 from the company or its affiliates2.
 
Other Relationships
 
2.16.
Party to a voting agreement9 to vote in line with management on proposals being brought to shareholder vote.
 
2.17.
Has (or an immediate family member6 has) an interlocking relationship as defined by the SEC involving members of the board of directors or its Compensation Committee.10
 
2.18.
Founder11 of the company but not currently an employee.
 
2.19.
Any material12 relationship with the company.
     
3.
Independent Director
 
3.1.
No material12 connection to the company other than a board seat.
     
   
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U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

Footnotes:
 
1. The definition of officer will generally follow that of a “Section 16 officer” (officers subject to Section 16 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and includes the chief executive, operating, financial, legal, technology, and accounting officers of a company (including the president, treasurer, secretary, controller, or any vice president in charge of a principal business unit, division, or policy function). Current interim officers are included in this category. For private companies, the equivalent positions are applicable. A non-employee director serving as an officer due to statutory requirements (e.g. corporate secretary) will generally be classified as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director under 2.19: “Any material relationship with the company.” However, if the company provides explicit disclosure that the director is not receiving additional compensation exceeding $10,000 per year for serving in that capacity, then the director will be classified as an Independent Director.
 
2. “Affiliate” includes a subsidiary, sibling company, or parent company. ISS uses 50 percent control ownership by the parent company as the standard for applying its affiliate designation.
 
3. Includes any former CEO of the company prior to the company’s initial public offering (IPO).
 
4. When there is a former CEO of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) serving on the board of an acquired company, ISS will generally classify such directors as independent unless determined otherwise taking into account the following factors: the applicable listing standards determination of such director’s independence; any operating ties to the firm; and the existence of any other conflicting relationships or related party transactions.
 
5. ISS will look at the terms of the interim officer’s employment contract to determine if it contains severance pay, long-term health and pension benefits, or other such standard provisions typically contained in contracts of permanent, non-temporary CEOs. ISS will also consider if a formal search process was under way for a full-time officer at the time.
 
6. “Immediate family member” follows the SEC’s definition of such and covers spouses, parents, children, step-parents, step-children, siblings, in-laws, and any person (other than a tenant or employee) sharing the household of any director, nominee for director, executive officer, or significant shareholder of the company.
 
7. Professional services can be characterized as advisory in nature, generally involve access to sensitive company information or to strategic decision-making, and typically have a commission- or fee-based payment structure. Professional services generally include but are not limited to the following: investment banking/financial advisory services, commercial banking (beyond deposit services), investment services, insurance services, accounting/audit services, consulting services, marketing services, legal services, property management services, realtor services, lobbying services, executive search services, and IT consulting services. The following would generally be considered transactional relationships and not professional services: deposit services, IT tech support services, educational services, and construction services. The case of participation in a banking syndicate by a non-lead bank should be considered a transactional (and hence subject to the associated materiality test) rather than a professional relationship. “Of Counsel” relationships are only considered immaterial if the individual does not receive any form of compensation (in excess of $10,000 per year) from, or is a retired partner of, the firm providing the professional service. The case of a company providing a professional service to one of its directors or to an entity with which one of its directors is affiliated, will be considered a transactional rather than a professional relationship. Insurance services and marketing services are assumed to be professional services unless the company explains why such services are not advisory.
 
8. A material transactional relationship, including grants to non-profit organizations, exists if the company makes annual payments to, or receives annual payments from, another entity, exceeding the greater of: $200,000 or 5 percent of the recipient’s gross revenues, for a company that follows NASDAQ listing standards; or the greater of $1,000,000 or 2 percent of the recipient’s gross revenues, for a company that follows NYSE listing standards. For a company that follows neither of the preceding standards, ISS will apply the NASDAQ-based materiality test. (The recipient is the party receiving the financial proceeds from the transaction).
 
9. Dissident directors who are parties to a voting agreement pursuant to a settlement or similar arrangement may be classified as Independent Directors if an analysis of the following factors indicates that the voting agreement does not compromise their alignment with all shareholders’ interests: the terms of the agreement; the duration of the standstill provision in the agreement; the limitations and requirements of actions that are agreed upon; if the dissident director nominee(s) is subject to the standstill; and if there any conflicting relationships or related party transactions.
 
10. Interlocks include: executive officers serving as directors on each other’s compensation or similar committees (or, in the absence of such a committee, on the board); or executive officers sitting on each other’s boards and at least one serves on the other’s compensation or similar committees (or, in the absence of such a committee, on the board).
 
   
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U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

  

11. The operating involvement of the founder with the company will be considered; if the founder was never employed by the company, ISS may deem him or her an Independent Director.
 
12. For purposes of ISS’s director independence classification, “material” will be defined as a standard of relationship (financial, personal or otherwise) that a reasonable person might conclude could potentially influence one’s objectivity in the boardroom in a manner that would have a meaningful impact on an individual’s ability to satisfy requisite fiduciary standards on behalf of shareholders.
 

 

Composition

 

Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings: Generally vote against or withhold from directors (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by-case2) who attend less than 75 percent of the aggregate of their board and committee meetings for the period for which they served, unless an acceptable reason for absences is disclosed in the proxy or another SEC filing. Acceptable reasons for director absences are generally limited to the following:

 

Medical issues/illness;

Family emergencies; and

Missing only one meeting (when the total of all meetings is three or fewer).

 

In cases of chronic poor attendance without reasonable justification, in addition to voting against the director(s) with poor attendance, generally vote against or withhold from appropriate members of the nominating/governance committees or the full board.

 

If the proxy disclosure is unclear and insufficient to determine whether a director attended at least 75 percent of the aggregate of his/her board and committee meetings during his/her period of service, vote against or withhold from the director(s) in question.

 

Overboarded Directors: Generally vote against or withhold from individual directors who:

 

Sit on more than five public company boards; or

Are CEOs of public companies who sit on the boards of more than two public companies besides their own— withhold only at their outside boards3.

 

Diversity: Highlight boards with no gender diversity. For 2019 meetings, no adverse vote recommendations will be made due to a lack of gender diversity.

 

For companies in the Russell 3000 or S&P 1500 indices, effective for meetings on or after Feb. 1, 2020, generally vote against or withhold from the chair of the nominating committee (or other directors on a case-by-case basis) at companies when there are no women on the company’s board. Mitigating factors include:

 

A firm commitment, as stated in the proxy statement, to appoint at least one female to the board in the near term;

The presence of a female on the board at the preceding annual meeting; or

Other relevant factors as applicable.

 



2 New nominees who served for only part of the fiscal year are generally exempted from the attendance policy.

3 Although all of a CEO’s subsidiary boards with publicly-traded common stock will be counted as separate boards, ISS will not recommend a withhold vote for the CEO of a parent company board or any of the controlled (>50 percent ownership) subsidiaries of that parent but may do so at subsidiaries that are less than 50 percent controlled and boards outside the parent/subsidiary relationships.

 
   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Responsiveness

 

Vote case-by-case on individual directors, committee members, or the entire board of directors as appropriate if:

  

The board failed to act on a shareholder proposal that received the support of a majority of the shares cast in the previous year or failed to act on a management proposal seeking to ratify an existing charter/bylaw provision that received opposition of a majority of the shares cast in the previous year. Factors that will be considered are:

Disclosed outreach efforts by the board to shareholders in the wake of the vote;

Rationale provided in the proxy statement for the level of implementation;

The subject matter of the proposal;

The level of support for and opposition to the resolution in past meetings;

Actions taken by the board in response to the majority vote and its engagement with shareholders;

The continuation of the underlying issue as a voting item on the ballot (as either shareholder or management proposals); and

Other factors as appropriate.
The board failed to act on takeover offers where the majority of shares are tendered;
At the previous board election, any director received more than 50 percent withhold/against votes of the shares cast and the company has failed to address the issue(s) that caused the high withhold/against vote.

 

Vote case-by-case on Compensation Committee members (or, in exceptional cases, the full board) and the Say on Pay proposal if:

 

The company’s previous say-on-pay received the support of less than 70 percent of votes cast. Factors that will be considered are:

The company’s response, including:
 
Disclosure of engagement efforts with major institutional investors, including the frequency and timing of engagements and the company participants (including whether independent directors participated);
 
Disclosure of the specific concerns voiced by dissenting shareholders that led to the say-on-pay opposition;
 
Disclosure of specific and meaningful actions taken to address shareholders’ concerns;

Other recent compensation actions taken by the company;

Whether the issues raised are recurring or isolated;

The company’s ownership structure; and

Whether the support level was less than 50 percent, which would warrant the highest degree of responsiveness.
The board implements an advisory vote on executive compensation on a less frequent basis than the frequency that received the plurality of votes cast.

 

4 A “new nominee” is any current nominee who has not already been elected by shareholders and who joined the board after the problematic action in question transpired. If ISS cannot determine whether the nominee joined the board before or after the problematic action transpired, the nominee will be considered a “new nominee” if he or she joined the board within the 12 months prior to the upcoming shareholder meeting.

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Accountability

 

Vote against or withhold from the entire board of directors (except new nominees4, who should be considered case-by- case) for the following:

 

Problematic Takeover Defenses/Governance Structure

 

Poison Pills: Vote against or withhold from all nominees (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by- case) if:

 

The company has a poison pill that was not approved by shareholders5. However, vote case-by-case on nominees if the board adopts an initial pill with a term of one year or less, depending on the disclosed rationale for the adoption, and other factors as relevant (such as a commitment to put any renewal to a shareholder vote).
The board makes a material adverse modification to an existing pill, including, but not limited to, extension, renewal, or lowering the trigger, without shareholder approval.

 

Classified Board Structure: The board is classified, and a continuing director responsible for a problematic governance issue at the board/committee level that would warrant a withhold/against vote recommendation is not up for election. All appropriate nominees (except new) may be held accountable.

 

Removal of Shareholder Discretion on Classified Boards: The company has opted into, or failed to opt out of, state laws requiring a classified board structure.

 

Director Performance Evaluation: The board lacks mechanisms to promote accountability and oversight, coupled with sustained poor performance relative to peers. Sustained poor performance is measured by one-, three-, and five-year total shareholder returns in the bottom half of a company’s four-digit GICS industry group (Russell 3000 companies only). Take into consideration the company’s operational metrics and other factors as warranted. Problematic provisions include but are not limited to:

 

A classified board structure;
A supermajority vote requirement;
Either a plurality vote standard in uncontested director elections, or a majority vote standard in contested elections;
The inability of shareholders to call special meetings;
The inability of shareholders to act by written consent;
A multi-class capital structure; and/or
A non-shareholder-approved poison pill.

 

Unilateral Bylaw/Charter Amendments and Problematic Capital Structures: Generally vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by-case) if the board amends the company’s bylaws or charter without shareholder approval in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders’ rights or that could adversely impact shareholders, considering the following factors:

 

The board’s rationale for adopting the bylaw/charter amendment without shareholder ratification;
Disclosure by the company of any significant engagement with shareholders regarding the amendment;
The level of impairment of shareholders’ rights caused by the board’s unilateral amendment to the bylaws/charter;
The board’s track record with regard to unilateral board action on bylaw/charter amendments or other entrenchment provisions;
The company’s ownership structure;
The company’s existing governance provisions;
The timing of the board’s amendment to the bylaws/charter in connection with a significant business development; and
Other factors, as deemed appropriate, that may be relevant to determine the impact of the amendment on shareholders.

 

5 Public shareholders only, approval prior to a company’s becoming public is insufficient. 

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Unless the adverse amendment is reversed or submitted to a binding shareholder vote, in subsequent years vote case- by-case on director nominees. Generally vote against (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by-case) if the directors:

Classified the board;
Adopted supermajority vote requirements to amend the bylaws or charter; or
Eliminated shareholders’ ability to amend bylaws.

 

Problematic Governance Structure - Newly public companies: For newly public companies, generally vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by-case) if, prior to or in connection with the company’s public offering, the company or its board adopted bylaw or charter provisions materially adverse to shareholder rights, or implemented a multi-class capital structure in which the classes have unequal voting rights considering the following factors:

 

The level of impairment of shareholders’ rights;
The disclosed rationale;
The ability to change the governance structure (e.g., limitations on shareholders’ right to amend the bylaws or charter, or supermajority vote requirements to amend the bylaws or charter);
The ability of shareholders to hold directors accountable through annual director elections, or whether the company has a classified board structure;
Any reasonable sunset provision; and
Other relevant factors.

 

Unless the adverse provision and/or problematic capital structure is reversed or removed, vote case-by-case on director nominees in subsequent years.

 

Management Proposals to Ratify Existing Charter or Bylaw Provisions: Vote against/withhold from individual directors, members of the governance committee, or the full board, where boards ask shareholders to ratify existing charter or bylaw provisions considering the following factors:

 

The presence of a shareholder proposal addressing the same issue on the same ballot;
The board’s rationale for seeking ratification;
Disclosure of actions to be taken by the board should the ratification proposal fail;
Disclosure of shareholder engagement regarding the board’s ratification request;
The level of impairment to shareholders’ rights caused by the existing provision;
The history of management and shareholder proposals on the provision at the company’s past meetings;
Whether the current provision was adopted in response to the shareholder proposal;
The company’s ownership structure; and
Previous use of ratification proposals to exclude shareholder proposals.

 

Restrictions on Shareholders’ Rights

 

Restricting Binding Shareholder Proposals: Generally vote against or withhold from the members of the governance committee if:

 

The company’s governing documents impose undue restrictions on shareholders’ ability to amend the bylaws. Such restrictions include but are not limited to: outright prohibition on the submission of binding shareholder proposals or share ownership requirements or time holding requirements in excess of SEC Rule 14a-8. Vote against on an ongoing basis.

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Problematic Audit-Related Practices

 

Generally vote against or withhold from the members of the Audit Committee if:

 

The non-audit fees paid to the auditor are excessive;
The company receives an adverse opinion on the company’s financial statements from its auditor; or
There is persuasive evidence that the Audit Committee entered into an inappropriate indemnification agreement with its auditor that limits the ability of the company, or its shareholders, to pursue legitimate legal recourse against the audit firm.

 

Vote case-by-case on members of the Audit Committee and potentially the full board if:

 

Poor accounting practices are identified that rise to a level of serious concern, such as: fraud; misapplication of GAAP; and material weaknesses identified in Section 404 disclosures. Examine the severity, breadth, chronological sequence, and duration, as well as the company’s efforts at remediation or corrective actions, in determining whether withhold/against votes are warranted.

 

Problematic Compensation Practices

 

In the absence of an Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (Say on Pay) ballot item or in egregious situations, vote against or withhold from the members of the Compensation Committee and potentially the full board if:

 

There is an unmitigated misalignment between CEO pay and company performance (pay for performance);
The company maintains significant problematic pay practices; or
The board exhibits a significant level of poor communication and responsiveness to shareholders.

 

Generally vote against or withhold from the Compensation Committee chair, other committee members, or potentially the full board if:

 

The company fails to include a Say on Pay ballot item when required under SEC provisions, or under the company’s declared frequency of say on pay; or
The company fails to include a Frequency of Say on Pay ballot item when required under SEC provisions.

Generally vote against members of the board committee responsible for approving/setting non-employee director compensation if there is a pattern (i.e. two or more years) of awarding excessive non-employee director compensation without disclosing a compelling rationale or other mitigating factors.

  

Problematic Pledging of Company Stock:

 

Vote against the members of the committee that oversees risks related to pledging, or the full board, where a significant level of pledged company sto1ck by executives or directors raises concerns. The following factors will be considered:

 

The presence of an anti-pledging policy, disclosed in the proxy statement, that prohibits future pledging activity;
The magnitude of aggregate pledged shares in terms of total common shares outstanding, market value, and trading volume;
Disclosure of progress or lack thereof in reducing the magnitude of aggregate pledged shares over time;
Disclosure in the proxy statement that shares subject to stock ownership and holding requirements do not include pledged company stock; and
Any other relevant factors.

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Governance Failures

 

Under extraordinary circumstances, vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board, due to:

 

Material failures of governance, stewardship, risk oversight6, or fiduciary responsibilities at the company;
Failure to replace management as appropriate; or
Egregious actions related to a director’s service on other boards that raise substantial doubt about his or her ability to effectively oversee management and serve the best interests of shareholders at any company.

 

Voting on Director Nominees in Contested Elections

 

Vote-No Campaigns

 

General Recommendation: In cases where companies are targeted in connection with public “vote-no” campaigns, evaluate director nominees under the existing governance policies for voting on director nominees in uncontested elections. Take into consideration the arguments submitted by shareholders and other publicly available information.

  

Proxy Contests/Proxy Access — Voting for Director Nominees in Contested Elections

 

 

General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on the election of directors in contested elections, considering the following factors: 

 

Long-term financial performance of the company relative to its industry;
Management’s track record;
Background to the contested election;
Nominee qualifications and any compensatory arrangements;
Strategic plan of dissident slate and quality of the critique against management;
Likelihood that the proposed goals and objectives can be achieved (both slates); and
Stock ownership positions.

 

In the case of candidates nominated pursuant to proxy access, vote case-by-case considering any applicable factors listed above or additional factors which may be relevant, including those that are specific to the company, to the nominee(s) and/or to the nature of the election (such as whether there are more candidates than board seats).

 

Other Board-Related Proposals

 

Adopt Anti-Hedging/Pledging/Speculative Investments Policy

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote for proposals seeking a policy that prohibits named executive officers from engaging in derivative or speculative transactions involving company stock, including hedging, holding stock in a margin account, or pledging stock as collateral for a loan. However, the company’s existing policies regarding responsible use of company stock will be considered.

 

Age/Term Limits

 

 

General Recommendation: Vote against management and shareholder proposals to limit the tenure of outside directors through mandatory retirement ages. 

 

6 Examples of failure of risk oversight include but are not limited to: bribery; large or serial fines or sanctions from regulatory bodies; significant adverse legal judgments or settlement; or hedging of company stock.

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Vote against management proposals to limit the tenure of outside directors through term limits. However, scrutinize boards where the average tenure of all directors exceeds 15 years for independence from management and for sufficient turnover to ensure that new perspectives are being added to the board.

 

Board Size

 

  General Recommendation: Vote for proposals seeking to fix the board size or designate a range for the board size.

 

Vote against proposals that give management the ability to alter the size of the board outside of a specified range without shareholder approval.

 

Classification/Declassification of the Board

 

General Recommendation: Vote against proposals to classify (stagger) the board.

 

Vote for proposals to repeal classified boards and to elect all directors annually.

 

CEO Succession Planning

  

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote for proposals seeking disclosure on a CEO succession planning policy, considering, at a minimum, the following factors:

The reasonableness/scope of the request; and
The company’s existing disclosure on its current CEO succession planning process.

 

Cumulative Voting

 

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote against management proposals to eliminate cumulate voting, and for shareholder proposals to restore or provide for cumulative voting, unless: 

 

The company has proxy access7, thereby allowing shareholders to nominate directors to the company’s ballot; and
The company has adopted a majority vote standard, with a carve-out for plurality voting in situations where there are more nominees than seats, and a director resignation policy to address failed elections.

 

Vote for proposals for cumulative voting at controlled companies (insider voting power > 50%).

 

Director and Officer Indemnification and Liability Protection

 

 

General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on proposals on director and officer indemnification and liability protection.

 

Vote against proposals that would:

  

Eliminate entirely directors’ and officers’ liability for monetary damages for violating the duty of care.
Expand coverage beyond just legal expenses to liability for acts that are more serious violations of fiduciary obligation than mere carelessness.
Expand the scope of indemnification to provide for mandatory indemnification of company officials in connection with acts that previously the company was permitted to provide indemnification for, at the discretion of the company’s board (i.e., “permissive indemnification”), but that previously the company was not required to indemnify.

 



7 A proxy access right that meets the recommended guidelines.

 

   
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(GRAPHIC)  U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

Vote for only those proposals providing such expanded coverage in cases when a director’s or officer’s legal defense was unsuccessful if both of the following apply:

  

If the director was found to have acted in good faith and in a manner that s/he reasonably believed was in the best interests of the company; and
If only the director’s legal expenses would be covered.

 

Establish/Amend Nominee Qualifications

 

 

General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on proposals that establish or amend director qualifications. Votes should be based on the reasonableness of the criteria and the degree to which they may preclude dissident nominees from joining the board. 

 

Vote case-by-case on shareholder resolutions seeking a director nominee who possesses a particular subject matter expertise, considering:

 

The company’s board committee structure, existing subject matter expertise, and board nomination provisions relative to that of its peers;
The company’s existing board and management oversight mechanisms regarding the issue for which board oversight is sought;
The company’s disclosure and performance relating to the issue for which board oversight is sought and any significant related controversies; and
The scope and structure of the proposal.

 

Establish Other Board Committee Proposals

 

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote against shareholder proposals to establish a new board committee, as such proposals seek a specific oversight mechanism/structure that potentially limits a company’s flexibility to determine an appropriate oversight mechanism for itself. However, the following factors will be considered: 

Existing oversight mechanisms (including current committee structure) regarding the issue for which board oversight is sought;
Level of disclosure regarding the issue for which board oversight is sought;
Company performance related to the issue for which board oversight is sought;
Board committee structure compared to that of other companies in its industry sector; and
The scope and structure of the proposal.

  

Filling Vacancies/Removal of Directors

 

General Recommendation: Vote against proposals that provide that directors may be removed only for cause.

 


Vote for proposals to restore shareholders’ ability to remove directors with or without cause.

Vote against proposals that provide that only continuing directors may elect replacements to fill board vacancies. 


Vote for proposals that permit shareholders to elect directors to fill board vacancies. 

 

Independent Chair (Separate Chair/CEO)

 

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote for shareholder proposals requiring that the chairman’s position be filled by an independent director, taking into consideration the following: 

 


The scope of the proposal;

The company’s current board leadership structure;

The company’s governance structure and practices;

 

   
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Company performance; and

Any other relevant factors that may be applicable.

 

Regarding the scope of the proposal, consider whether the proposal is precatory or binding and whether the proposal is seeking an immediate change in the chairman role or the policy can be implemented at the next CEO transition.

  

Under the review of the company’s board leadership structure, ISS may support the proposal under the following scenarios absent a compelling rationale: the presence of an executive or non-independent chair in addition to the CEO; a recent recombination of the role of CEO and chair; and/or departure from a structure with an independent chair. ISS will also consider any recent transitions in board leadership and the effect such transitions may have on independent board leadership as well as the designation of a lead director role.

 

When considering the governance structure, ISS will consider the overall independence of the board, the independence of key committees, the establishment of governance guidelines, board tenure and its relationship to CEO tenure, and any other factors that may be relevant. Any concerns about a company’s governance structure will weigh in favor of support for the proposal.

 

The review of the company’s governance practices may include, but is not limited to, poor compensation practices, material failures of governance and risk oversight, related-party transactions or other issues putting director independence at risk, corporate or management scandals, and actions by management or the board with potential or realized negative impact on shareholders. Any such practices may suggest a need for more independent oversight at the company thus warranting support of the proposal.

 

ISS’ performance assessment will generally consider one-, three-, and five-year TSR compared to the company’s peers and the market as a whole. While poor performance will weigh in favor of the adoption of an independent chair policy, strong performance over the long term will be considered a mitigating factor when determining whether the proposed leadership change warrants support.

 

Majority of Independent Directors/Establishment of Independent Committees

 

General Recommendation: Vote for shareholder proposals asking that a majority or more of directors be independent unless the board composition already meets the proposed threshold by ISS’ definition of Independent Director (See ISS’ Classification of Directors.) 

  

Vote for shareholder proposals asking that board audit, compensation, and/or nominating committees be composed exclusively of independent directors unless they currently meet that standard.

  

Majority Vote Standard for the Election of Directors

  

General Recommendation: Generally vote for management proposals to adopt a majority of votes cast standard for directors in uncontested elections. Vote against if no carve-out for a plurality vote standard in contested elections is included.

 

Generally vote for precatory and binding shareholder resolutions requesting that the board change the company’s bylaws to stipulate that directors need to be elected with an affirmative majority of votes cast, provided it does not conflict with the state law where the company is incorporated. Binding resolutions need to allow for a carve-out for a plurality vote standard when there are more nominees than board seats.

 

Companies are strongly encouraged to also adopt a post-election policy (also known as a director resignation policy) that will provide guidelines so that the company will promptly address the situation of a holdover director.

 

   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.  
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services

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Proxy Access

 

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote for management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions: 

 
Ownership threshold: maximum requirement not more than three percent (3%) of the voting power;
Ownership duration: maximum requirement not longer than three (3) years of continuous ownership for each member of the nominating group;
Aggregation: minimal or no limits on the number of shareholders permitted to form a nominating group;
Cap: cap on nominees of generally twenty-five percent (25%) of the board.

  

Review for reasonableness any other restrictions on the right of proxy access. Generally vote against proposals that are more restrictive than these guidelines.

 

Require More Nominees than Open Seats

 

 

General Recommendation: Vote against shareholder proposals that would require a company to nominate more candidates than the number of open board seats. 

 

Shareholder Engagement Policy (Shareholder Advisory Committee)

 

 

General Recommendation: Generally vote for shareholder proposals requesting that the board establish an internal mechanism/process, which may include a committee, in order to improve communications between directors and shareholders, unless the company has the following features, as appropriate: 

 
Established a communication structure that goes beyond the exchange requirements to facilitate the exchange of information between shareholders and members of the board;
Effectively disclosed information with respect to this structure to its shareholders;
Company has not ignored majority-supported shareholder proposals or a majority withhold vote on a director nominee; and
The company has an independent chairman or a lead director, according to ISS’ definition. This individual must be made available for periodic consultation and direct communication with major shareholders.

 

   
Enabling the financial community to manage governance risk for the benefit of shareholders.  
© 2018 ISS | Institutional Shareholder Services

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2.             

         2.   AUDIT-RELATED

 

Auditor Indemnification and Limitation of Liability

 

General Recommendation: Vote case-by-case on the issue of auditor indemnification and limitation of liability. Factors to be assessed include, but are not limited to: 

 

The terms of the auditor agreement—the degree to which these agreements impact shareholders’ rights;
The motivation and rationale for establishing the agreements;
The quality of the company’s disclosure; and
The company’s historical practices in the audit area.

 

Vote against or withhold from members of an audit committee in situations where there is persuasive evidence that the audit committee entered into an inappropriate indemnification agreement with its auditor that limits the ability of the company, or its shareholders, to pursue legitimate legal recourse against the audit firm.

 

Auditor Ratification

 

General Recommendation: Vote for proposals to ratify auditors unless any of the following apply:

 

An auditor has a financial interest in or association with the company, and is therefore not independent;
There is reason to believe that the independent auditor has rendered an opinion that is neither accurate nor indicative of the company’s financial position;
Poor accounting practices are identified that rise to a serious level of concern, such as fraud or misapplication of GAAP; or
Fees for non-audit services (“Other” fees) are excessive.

  

Non-audit fees are excessive if:

 

Non-audit (“other”) fees > audit fees + audit-related fees + tax compliance/preparation fees

 

Tax compliance and preparation include the preparation of original and amended tax returns and refund claims, and tax payment planning. All other services in the tax category, such as tax advice, planning, or consulting, should be added to “Other” fees. If the breakout of tax fees cannot be determined, add all tax fees to “Other” fees.

 

In circumstances where “Other” fees include fees related to significant one-time capital structure events (such as initial public offerings, bankruptcy emergence, and spin-offs) and the company makes public disclosure of the amount and nature of those fees that are an exception to the standard “non-audit fee” category, then such fees may be excluded from the non-audit fees considered in determining the ratio of non-audit to audit/audit-related fees/tax compl