485APOS 1 d622893d485apos.htm NATIXIS FUNDS TRUST I Natixis Funds Trust I
Table of Contents

Registration Nos. 002-98326

811-04323

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
   Pre-Effective Amendment No.  
   Post-Effective Amendment No. 141  

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940      
   Amendment No. 142      
   (Check appropriate box or boxes.)  

 

 

NATIXIS FUNDS TRUST I

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

888 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code (617) 449-2822

 

 

Copy to:

Russell Kane, Esq.

Natixis Distribution, L.P.

888 Boylston Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197

 

John M. Loder, Esq.

Ropes & Gray

800 Boylston Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)  

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering

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 December 28, 2018 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.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

Prospectus
 December [ ], 2018

 

 

 

Class A 

Class N 

Class Y 

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund 

[ ] 

[ ] 

[ ] 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved the Fund’s shares or determined whether this Prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a crime.


 


 

Fund Summary

1

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund

1

Investment Goals, Strategies and Risks

6

More About Goals and Strategies

6

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund

6

More About Risks

7

Management Team

9

Meet the Funds Investment Adviser

9

Meet the Funds Portfolio Managers

9

Additional Information

10

Fund Services

10

Investing in the Fund

10

How Sales Charges Are Calculated

11

Compensation to Securities Dealers

13

How To Purchase Shares

13

How To Redeem Shares

15

Exchanging or Converting Shares

16

Restrictions on Buying, Selling and Exchanging Shares

17

Self-Servicing Your Account

18

Restructuring and Liquidations

19

How Fund Shares are Priced

19

Dividends and Distributions

20

Tax Consequences

21

Additional Investor Services

22

Financial Performance

22

Appendix A - Financial Intermediary Specific Sales Load Waivers

A-1

Fund shares are not bank deposits and are not guaranteed, endorsed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested.


 


 

Fund Summary


 

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund 

Investment Goal 

The Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation.

Fund Fees & Expenses

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may qualify for sales charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in the Natixis Fund Complex. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in the section “How Sales Charges Are Calculated” on page [ ] of the Prospectus, in Appendix A to the Prospectus and on page [ ] in the section “Reduced Sales Charges” of the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

Shareholder Fees

(fees paid directly from your investment)

Class A

Class N

Class Y

Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases (as a percentage of offering price)

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

Maximum deferred sales charge (load) (as a percentage of original purchase price or redemption proceeds, as applicable)

[ ]*

[ ]

[ ]

Redemption fees

[ ]

[ ]

[ ] 

* A 1.00% contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) may apply to certain purchases of Class A shares of $1,000,000 or more that are redeemed within eighteen months of the date of purchase.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

Class A

Class N

Class Y

Management fees

[ ]%

[ ]%

[ ]% 

Distribution and/or service (12b-1) fees

[ ]%

[ ]%

[ ]% 

Other expenses1

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

Total annual fund operating expenses 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

[ ]% 

1 Other expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year.
2 Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC (“Ostrum US” or the “Adviser”) has given a binding contractual undertaking to the Fund to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual fund operating expenses to [ ]%, [ ]% and [ ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets for Class A, N and Y shares, respectively, exclusive of brokerage expenses, interest expense, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, organizational and extraordinary expenses, such as litigation and indemnification expenses. This undertaking is in effect through [ ] and may be terminated before then only with the consent of the Fund’s Board of Trustees. The Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, management fees waived and/or expenses reimbursed to the extent that expenses in later periods fall below the applicable expense limitation for Class A, N and Y shares. The Fund will not be obligated to repay any such waived/reimbursed fees and expenses more than one year after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees or expenses were waived/reimbursed.

Example 

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods (except where indicated). The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same, except that the example is based on the Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement assuming that such waiver and/or reimbursement will only be in place through the date noted above and on the Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses for the remaining periods. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 year

3 years

Class A 

$ 

[ ]

$ 

[ ]

Class N 

$ 

[ ]

$ 

[ ]

Class Y 

$ 

[ ]

$ 

[ ]


 

1


 

Fund Summary


 

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio).  A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes for you if your Fund 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.

Investments, Risks and Performance 

Principal Investment Strategies 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities, which may include common stocks, preferred stocks, depositary receipts and real estate investment trusts (“REITS”). The Fund invests in securities of companies located in no fewer than three countries outside the U.S. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 65% of its assets in securities of companies located outside the U.S. and the Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in securities of companies located in emerging markets. Emerging markets are economies that the Adviser believes are not generally recognized to be fully developed markets, as measured by gross national income, financial market infrastructure, market capitalization and/or other factors. The Fund may invest in growth and value companies of any size and may also invest in initial public offerings (“IPOs”).

The Adviser pursues the Fund’s investment goal by investing in equity securities of companies that it expects will benefit from major global transitions. The Adviser believes that there are four major transitions that should reshape the world now and in the future. These transitions include (i) demographics, such as an aging population, (ii) environmental issues, such as water scarcity, (iii) technological advances, such as cloud computing, and (iv) governance changes, such as the growing importance of corporate responsibility. In selecting companies to invest in, the Adviser focuses on providers of solutions to the issues arising from these transitions, as well as companies that provide products and services that address or are otherwise aligned with these transitions and the need to create a more sustainable world.

The Adviser selects securities based on a thorough fundamental analysis of companies combining financial and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations. The Adviser emphasizes company specific positive selection criteria over broad based negative screens when assessing ESG practices. This means that the Adviser’s research process is designed to prioritize investments in companies which it believes show good ESG practices and whose products and services help create a more sustainable world, rather than merely excluding companies which the Adviser believes show poor ESG practices. Nevertheless, as ESG criteria are integrated in the Fund’s risk management process, the Adviser also seeks to avoid investing in companies which do not comply with the Adviser’s minimum ESG standards. In deciding which securities to buy and sell, the Adviser generally seeks to invest in securities of companies that:

 

relate to sustainable development themes derived from long-term global transitions, providing solutions to address issues related to energy, mobility, building and cities, management of natural resources, consumption, healthcare, information technology or finance;

 

demonstrate adherence to ESG practices, with respect to such issues as fair labor, anti-corruption, human rights, fair business practices and mitigation of environmental impact;

 

have strong fundamentals, including sustainable business models, competitive positioning, effective management teams, acceptable risk profiles, and long-term growth potential; and

 

offer attractive valuations.
 

In determining whether or not a company’s risk profile is acceptable, the Adviser seeks to evaluate risks that may affect share price in the long-term, such as market, environmental, exchange rate, political, and reputation risks, among others. If the risk profile of a company is too high, the investment team may decide not to invest and/or sell a security and look for alternatives.

It is expected that the Adviser’s views on long-term global trends and sustainable development themes will evolve over time.

Principal Investment Risks 

The principal risks of investing in the Fund are summarized below. The Fund does not represent a complete investment program. You may lose money by investing in the Fund.

Currency Risk: Fluctuations in the exchange rates between different currencies may negatively affect an investment. The Fund will be subject to currency risk because it will invest in securities or other instruments denominated in, or that generate income denominated in, foreign currencies. The Fund will not hedge currency risk, which may cause the Fund to incur losses that would not have been incurred had the risk been hedged. 

Emerging Markets Risk: In addition to the risks of investing in foreign investments generally, emerging markets investments are subject to greater risks arising from political or economic instability, nationalization or confiscatory taxation, currency exchange restrictions, sanctions by the U.S. government and an issuer’s unwillingness or inability to make principal or interest payments on its obligations. Emerging markets companies may be smaller and have shorter operating histories than companies in developed markets.

Equity Securities Risk: The value of the Fund’s investments in equity securities could be subject to unpredictable declines in the value of individual securities and periods of below-average performance in individual securities or in the equity market as a whole. Securities issued in IPOs tend to involve greater market risk than other equity securities due, in part, to public perception and the lack of publicly available information and trading history. Growth stocks are generally more sensitive to market movements than other types of stocks primarily because their stock prices are based heavily on future expectations. If the Adviser’s assessment of the prospects for a company’s growth is wrong, or if the Adviser’s judgment of how other investors will value the


 

2


 

Fund Summary


 

company’s growth is wrong, then the price of the company’s stock may fall or not approach the value that the Adviser has placed on it. Value stocks can perform differently from the market as a whole and from other types of stocks. Value stocks also present the risk that their lower valuations fairly reflect their business prospects and that investors will not agree that the stocks represent favorable investment opportunities, and they may fall out of favor with investors and underperform growth stocks during any given period. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of the issuer’s bonds generally take precedence over the claims of those who own preferred stock or common stock.

Foreign Securities Risk: Investments in foreign securities may be subject to greater political, economic, environmental, credit/counterparty and information risks. The Fund’s investments in foreign securities also are subject to foreign currency fluctuations and other foreign currency-related risks. Foreign securities may be subject to higher volatility than U.S. securities, varying degrees of regulation and limited liquidity.

Large Investor Risk: Ownership of shares of the Fund may be concentrated in one or a few large investors. Such investors may redeem shares in large quantities or on a frequent basis. Redemptions by a large investor can affect the performance of the Fund, may increase realized capital gains, including short-term capital gains taxable as ordinary income, may accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders and may increase transaction costs. These transactions potentially limit the use of any capital loss carryforwards and certain other losses to offset future realized capital gains (if any). Such transactions may also increase the Fund’s expenses.

Management Risk: A strategy used by the Fund’s portfolio managers may fail to produce the intended result.

Market/Issuer Risk: The market value of the Fund’s investments will move up and down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably, based upon overall market and economic conditions, as well as a number of reasons that directly relate to the issuers of the Fund’s investments, such as management performance, financial condition and demand for the issuers’ goods and services. 

REITs Risk:  Investments in the real estate industry, including REITs, are particularly sensitive to economic downturns and are sensitive to factors such as changes in real estate values, property taxes and tax laws, interest rates, cash flow of underlying real estate assets, occupancy rates, government regulations affecting zoning, land use and rents and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer. Companies in the real estate industry also may be subject to liabilities under environmental and hazardous waste laws. In addition, the value of a REIT is affected by changes in the value of the properties owned by the REIT or mortgage loans held by the REIT. REITs are also subject to default and prepayment risk. Many REITs are highly leveraged, increasing their risk. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of expenses, including management fees, paid by each REIT in which it invests in addition to the expenses of the Fund.

Small- and Mid-Capitalization Companies Risk: Compared to large-capitalization companies, small- and mid-capitalization companies are more likely to have limited product lines, markets or financial resources. Stocks of these companies often trade less frequently and in limited volume and their prices may fluctuate more than stocks of large-capitalization companies. As a result, it may be relatively more difficult for the Fund to buy and sell securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies.

Sustainable Investment Style Risk: Because the Fund focuses on investments in companies that relate to certain sustainable development themes and demonstrate adherence to ESG practices, its universe of investments may be smaller than that of other funds and therefore the Fund may underperform the market as a whole if such investments underperform the market. The Fund may forgo opportunities to gain exposure to certain companies, industries, sectors or countries and it may choose to sell a security when it might otherwise be disadvantageous to do so.

Risk/Return Bar Chart and Table

Because the Fund has not yet completed a full calendar year, information related to Fund performance, including a bar chart showing annual returns, has not been included in this Prospectus. The performance information provided by the Fund in the future will give some indication of the risks of an investment in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual returns compare against those of a broad measure of market performance. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information is available online at im.natixis.com and/or by calling the Fund toll-free at 800-225-5478.

Management

Investment Adviser

Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC (“Ostrum US” formerly, Natixis Asset Management U.S., LLC)

Portfolio Managers

Jens Peers, CFA®, has served as co-portfolio manager of the Fund since 2018.

Hua Cheng, CFA®, PhD, has served as co-portfolio manager of the Fund since 2018.


 

3


 

Fund Summary


 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

Class A Shares

The following chart shows the investment minimums for various types of accounts:

Type of Account

Minimum Initial Purchase

Minimum Subsequent Purchase

Any account other than those listed below 

$ 

2,500 

$ 

50 

For shareholders participating in Natixis Funds’ Investment Builder Program 

$ 

1,000 

$ 

50 

For Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP-IRA and Keogh plans using the Natixis Funds’ prototype document (direct accounts, not held through intermediary) 

$ 

1,000 

$ 

50 

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts using the Natixis Funds’ prototype document (direct accounts, not held through intermediary) 

$ 

500 

$ 

50 

There is no initial or subsequent investment minimum for:

Wrap Fee Programs of certain broker-dealers, the advisers or Natixis Distribution, L.P. Please consult your financial representative to determine if your wrap fee program is subject to additional or different conditions or fees.
 Certain Retirement Plans. Please consult your retirement plan administrator to determine if your retirement plan is subject to additional or different conditions or fees.
 • Clients of a Registered Investment Adviser where the Registered Investment Adviser receives an advisory, management or consulting fee.

Class N Shares
 

Class N shares of the Fund are subject to a $1,000,000 initial investment minimum. There is no initial investment minimum for Certain Retirement Plans and funds of funds that are distributed by Natixis Distribution, L.P. There is no subsequent investment minimum for these shares. In its sole discretion, Natixis Distribution, L.P. may waive the investment minimum requirement for accounts as to which the relevant financial intermediary has provided assurances, in writing, that the accounts will be held in omnibus fashion beginning no more than two years following the establishment date of such accounts in Class N shares.

Class Y Shares 

Class Y shares of the Fund are generally subject to a minimum initial investment of $100,000 and a minimum subsequent investment of $50, except there is no minimum initial or subsequent investment for:

Wrap Fee Programs of certain broker-dealers, the advisers or Natixis Distribution, L.P. Please consult your financial representative to determine if your wrap fee program is subject to additional or different conditions or fees.
 Certain Retirement Plans. Please consult your retirement plan administrator to determine if your retirement plan is subject to additional or different conditions or fees.
 Certain Individual Retirement Accounts if the amounts invested represent rollover distributions from investments by any of the retirement plans invested in the Fund.
  • Clients of a Registered Investment Adviser where the Registered Investment Adviser receives an advisory, management or consulting fee.
 Fund Trustees, former Fund trustees, employees of affiliates of the Natixis Funds and other individuals who are affiliated with any Natixis Fund (this also applies to any spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and in-laws of those mentioned) and Natixis affiliate employee benefit plans.

At the discretion of Natixis Advisors, L.P., clients of Natixis Advisors, L.P. and its affiliates may purchase Class Y shares of the Fund below the stated minimums.

Due to operational limitations at your financial intermediary, certain wrap fee programs, retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and accounts of registered investment advisers may be subject to the investment minimums described above.
 
 The Fund’s shares are available for purchase and are redeemable on any business day through your investment dealer, directly from the Fund by writing to the Fund at Natixis Funds, P.O. Box 219579, Kansas City, MO 64121-9579, by exchange, by wire, by internet at im.natixis.com (certain restrictions may apply), through the Automated Clearing House system, or, in the case of redemptions, by telephone at 800-225-5478 or by the Systematic Withdrawal Plan. 

Tax Information 

Fund distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, except for distributions to retirement plans and other investors that qualify for tax-advantaged treatment under U.S. federal income tax law generally. Investments in such tax-advantaged plans will generally be taxed only upon withdrawal of monies from the tax-advantaged arrangement.


 

4


 

Fund Summary


 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries 

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


 

5


 

Investment Goals, Strategies and Risks


 

More About Goals and Strategies

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund 

Investment Goal

The Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation.  The investment goal may be changed without shareholder approval. The Fund will provide 60 days’ prior notice to shareholders before changing the investment goal.

Principal Investment Strategies 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities, which may include common stocks, preferred stocks, depositary receipts and real estate investment trusts (“REITS”). The Fund invests in securities of companies located in no fewer than three countries outside the U.S. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 65% of its assets in securities of companies located outside the U.S. and the Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in securities of companies located in emerging markets. Emerging markets are economies that the Adviser believes are not generally recognized to be fully developed markets, as measured by gross national income, financial market infrastructure, market capitalization and/or other factors. The Fund may invest in growth and value companies of any size and may also invest in initial public offerings (“IPOs”).

The Adviser pursues the Fund’s investment goal by investing in equity securities of companies that it expects will benefit from major global transitions. The Adviser believes that there are four major transitions that should reshape the world now and in the future. These transitions include (i) demographics, such as an aging population, (ii) environmental issues, such as water scarcity, (iii) technological advances, such as cloud computing, and (iv) governance changes, such as the growing importance of corporate responsibility. In selecting companies to invest in, the Adviser focuses on providers of solutions to the issues arising from these transitions, as well as companies that provide products and services that address or are otherwise aligned with these transitions and the need to create a more sustainable world.

The Adviser selects securities based on a thorough fundamental analysis of companies combining financial and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations. The Adviser emphasizes company specific positive selection criteria over broad based negative screens when assessing ESG practices. This means that the Adviser’s research process is designed to prioritize investments in companies which it believes show good ESG practices and whose products and services help create a more sustainable world, rather than merely excluding companies which the Adviser believes show poor ESG practices. Nevertheless, as ESG criteria are integrated in the Fund’s risk management process, the Adviser also seeks to avoid investing in companies which do not comply with the Adviser’s minimum ESG standards. In deciding which securities to buy and sell, the Adviser generally seeks to invest in securities of companies that:

 

relate to sustainable development themes derived from long-term global transitions, providing solutions to address issues related to energy, mobility, building and cities, management of natural resources, consumption, healthcare, information technology or finance;

 

demonstrate adherence to ESG practices, with respect to such issues as fair labor, anti-corruption, human rights, fair business practices and mitigation of environmental impact;

 

have strong fundamentals, including sustainable business models, competitive positioning, effective management teams, acceptable risk profiles, and long-term growth potential; and

 

offer attractive valuations.
 

In determining whether or not a company’s risk profile is acceptable, the Adviser seeks to evaluate risks that may affect share price in the long-term, such as market, environmental, exchange rate, political, and reputation risks, among others. If the risk profile of a company is too high, the investment team may decide not to invest and/or sell a security and look for alternatives.

It is expected that the Adviser’s views on long-term global trends and sustainable development themes will evolve over time.

Temporary Defensive Measures

Temporary defensive measures may be used by the Fund during adverse economic, market, political or other conditions. In this event, the Fund may hold any portion of its assets in cash (U.S. dollars, foreign currencies or multinational currency units) and/or invest in money market instruments or high-quality debt securities as it deems appropriate. The Fund may miss certain investment opportunities if it uses defensive strategies and thus may not achieve its investment goal.

Percentage Investment Limitations

Except as set forth in the Fund’s SAI, the percentage limitations set forth in this Prospectus and the SAI apply at the time an investment is made and shall not be considered violated unless an excess or deficiency occurs or exists immediately after and as a result of such investment.

Portfolio Holdings

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the section “Portfolio Holdings Information” in the SAI. A “snapshot” of the Fund’s investments may be found in its annual and semiannual reports. In addition, top holdings of the Fund can be found at im.natixis.com/holdings (click fund name).


 

6


 

Investment Goals, Strategies and Risks


 

Cybersecurity and Technology

The Fund, its service providers, and other market participants increasingly depend on complex information technology and communications systems, which are subject to a number of different threats and risks that could adversely affect the Fund and its shareholders. These risks include, among others, theft, misuse, and improper release of confidential or highly sensitive information relating to the Fund and its shareholders, as well as compromises or failures to systems, networks, devices and applications relating to the operations of the Fund and its service providers. Power outages, natural disasters, equipment malfunctions and processing errors that threaten these systems, as well as market events that occur at a pace that overloads these systems, may also disrupt business operations or impact critical data. Cybersecurity and other operational and technology issues may result in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders, impede business transactions, violate privacy and other laws, subject the Fund to certain regulatory penalties and reputational damage, and increase compliance costs and expenses. Although the Fund has developed processes, risk management systems, and business continuity plans designed to reduce these risks, the Fund does not directly control the cybersecurity defenses, operational and technology plans and systems of their service providers, financial intermediaries and companies in which they invest or with which it does business. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

More About Risks

This section provides more information on principal risks that may affect the Fund’s portfolio, as well as information on additional risks the Fund may be subject to because of its investments or practices. In seeking to achieve its investment goals, the Fund may also invest in various types of securities and engage in various investment practices which are not a principal focus of the Fund and therefore are not described in this Prospectus. These securities and investment practices and their associated risks are discussed in the Fund’s SAI, which is available without charge upon request (see back cover).

Currency Risk

Fluctuations in the exchange rates between different currencies may negatively affect an investment. The Fund will be subject to currency risk because it will invest in securities or other instruments denominated in, or that generate income denominated in, foreign currencies.  The market for some or all currencies may from time to time have low trading volume and become illiquid, which may prevent the Fund from effecting a position or from promptly liquidating unfavorable positions in such markets, thus subjecting the Fund to substantial losses. The Fund will not hedge currency risk, which may cause the Fund to incur losses that would not have been incurred had the risk been hedged.

Emerging Markets Risk

Economic and Political Risks. Emerging market countries often experience instability in their political and economic structures and have less market depth, infrastructure, capitalization and regulatory oversight than more developed markets. Government actions could have a significant impact on the economic conditions in such countries, which in turn would affect the value and liquidity of the assets of the Fund invested in emerging market securities. Specific risks that could decrease the Fund’s return include seizure of a company’s assets, restrictions imposed on payments as a result of blockages on foreign currency exchanges and unanticipated social or political occurrences.

The ability of the government of an emerging market country to make timely payments on its debt obligations will depend on many factors, including the extent of its reserves, fluctuations in interest rates and access to international credit and investments. A country that has non-diversified exports or relies on certain key imports will be subject to greater fluctuations in the pricing of those commodities. Failure to generate sufficient earnings from foreign trade will make it difficult for an emerging market country to service its foreign debt.

Companies trading in developing securities markets are generally smaller and have shorter operating histories than companies trading in developed markets. Foreign investors may be required to register the proceeds of sales. Settlement of securities transactions in emerging markets may be subject to risk of loss and may be delayed more often than transactions settled in the United States. Disruptions resulting from social and political factors may cause the securities markets to close. If extended closings were to occur, the liquidity and value of the Fund’s assets invested in corporate debt obligations of emerging market companies would decline.

Investment Controls; Repatriation. Foreign investment in emerging market country debt securities is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions may at times limit or preclude foreign investment in certain emerging market country debt securities. Certain emerging market countries require government approval of investments by foreign persons, limit the amount of investments by foreign persons in a particular issuer, limit investments by foreign persons only to a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of the countries and/or impose additional taxes or controls on foreign investors or currency transactions. Certain emerging market countries may also restrict investment opportunities in issuers in industries deemed important to national interests.

Emerging market countries may require governmental approval for the repatriation of investment income, capital or proceeds of sale of securities by foreign investors. In addition, if a deterioration occurs in an emerging market country’s balance of payments, the country could impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Investing in local markets in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local governmental approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.


 

7


 

Investment Goals, Strategies and Risks


 

Equity Securities Risk

The value of your investment in the Fund is based on the market value (or price) of the securities the Fund holds. You may lose money on your investment due to unpredictable declines in the value of individual securities and/or periods of below-average performance in individual securities, industries or in the equity market as a whole. This may impact the Fund’s performance and may result in higher portfolio turnover, which may increase the tax liability to taxable shareholders and the expenses incurred by the Fund. The market value of a security can change daily due to political, economic and other events that affect the securities markets generally, as well as those that affect particular companies or governments. These price movements, sometimes called volatility, will vary depending on the types of securities the Fund owns and the markets in which they trade. Historically, the equity markets have moved in cycles, and the value of the Fund’s equity securities may fluctuate drastically from day to day. Individual companies may report poor results or be negatively affected by industry and/or economic trends and developments. The prices of securities issued by such companies may suffer a decline in response to such trends and developments. Securities issued in IPOs tend to involve greater market risk than other equity securities due, in part, to public perception and the lack of publicly available information and trading history. Rule 144A securities may be less liquid than other equity securities. Small-capitalization and emerging growth companies may be subject to more abrupt price movements, limited markets and less liquidity than larger, more established companies, which could adversely affect the value of the Fund’s portfolio. Growth stocks are generally more sensitive to market movements than other types of stocks primarily because their stock prices are based heavily on future expectations. If the Adviser’s assessment of the prospects for a company’s growth is wrong, or if the Adviser’s judgment of how other investors will value the company’s growth is wrong, then the price of the company’s stock may fall or not approach the value that the Adviser has placed on it. Value stocks can perform differently from the market as a whole and from other types of stocks. Value stocks also present the risk that their lower valuations fairly reflect their business prospects and that investors will not agree that the stocks represent favorable investment opportunities, and they may fall out of favor with investors and underperform growth stocks during any given period. Common stocks represent an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of the issuer’s bonds generally take precedence over the claims of those who own preferred stock or common stock.

Foreign Securities Risk

Foreign securities risk is the risk associated with investments in issuers located in foreign countries. The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may experience more rapid and extreme changes in value than investments in securities of U.S. issuers. The securities markets of many foreign countries are relatively small, with a limited number of issuers and a small number of securities. In addition, foreign companies often are not subject to the same degree of regulation as U.S. companies. Reporting, accounting and auditing standards of foreign countries differ, in some cases significantly, from U.S. standards. Many countries, including developed nations and emerging markets, are faced with concerns about high government debt levels, credit rating downgrades, the future of the euro as a common currency, possible government debt restructuring and related issues, all of which may cause the value of the Fund’s non-U.S. investments to decline. Nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, currency blockage, the imposition of sanctions by the U.S. government, political changes or diplomatic developments may also cause the value of the Fund’s non-U.S. investments to decline. When imposed, foreign withholding or other taxes reduce the Fund’s return on foreign securities. In the event of nationalization, expropriation or other confiscation, the Fund could lose its entire foreign investment. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to these risks to a greater extent than those in more developed markets and securities of developed market companies that conduct substantial business in emerging markets may also be subject to greater risk. These risks also apply to securities of foreign issuers traded in the United States or through depositary receipt programs such as American Depositary Receipts. To the extent the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region, the Fund may have more exposure to regional political, economic, environmental, credit/counterparty and information risks. In addition, foreign securities may be subject to increased credit/counterparty risk because of the potential difficulties of requiring foreign entities to honor their contractual commitments.

Large Investor Risk

Ownership of shares of the Fund may be concentrated in one or a few large investors. Such investors may redeem shares in large quantities or on a frequent basis. If a large investor redeems a portion or all of its investment in the Fund or redeems frequently, the Fund may be forced to sell investments at unfavorable times or prices, which can affect the performance of the Fund and may increase realized capital gains, including short-term capital gains taxable as ordinary income. In addition, such transactions may accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders if the Fund’s sales of investments result in gains, and also may increase transaction costs. These transactions potentially limit the use of any capital loss carryforwards and certain other losses to offset future realized capital gains (if any). Such transactions may also increase the Fund’s expenses or could result in the Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratios.

Management Risk

Management risk is the risk that the portfolio managers’ investment techniques could fail to achieve the Fund’s objective and could cause your investment in the Fund to lose value. The Fund is subject to management risk because the Fund is actively managed. The portfolio managers will apply their investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that such decisions will produce the desired results. For example, securities that the portfolio managers expect to appreciate in value may, in fact, decline. Similarly, in some cases, derivative and other investment techniques may be unavailable or the portfolio managers may determine not to use them, even under market conditions where their use could have benefited the Fund.


 

8


 

Management Team


 

Market/Issuer Risk

The market value of the Fund’s investments will move up and down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably, based upon overall market and economic conditions, as well as, a number of reasons that directly relate to the issuers of the Fund’s investments, such as management performance, financial condition and demand for the issuers’ goods and services.

REITs Risk

The performance of a Fund that invests in REITs may be dependent in part on the performance of the real estate market and the real estate industry in general. The real estate industry is particularly sensitive to economic downturns. Securities of companies in the real estate industry, including REITs, are sensitive to factors such as changes in real estate values, property taxes and tax laws, interest rates, cash flow of underlying real estate assets, occupancy rates, government regulations affecting zoning, land use and rents, and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer. Companies in the real estate industry also may be subject to liabilities under environmental and hazardous waste laws. In addition, the value of a REIT is affected by changes in the value of the properties owned by the REIT or the mortgage loans held by the REIT. REITs also are subject to default and prepayment risk. REITs are dependent upon cash flow from their investments to repay financing costs and also on the ability of the REITs’ managers. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of expenses, including management fees, paid by each REIT in which it invests in addition to the expenses of the Fund.

Small- and Mid-Capitalization Companies Risk

Compared to companies with large market capitalization, small- and mid-capitalization companies are more likely to have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, or to depend on a small, inexperienced management group. Securities of these companies often trade less frequently and in limited volume and their prices may fluctuate more than stocks of large-capitalization companies. Securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies may therefore be more vulnerable to adverse developments than those of large-capitalization companies. As a result, it may be relatively more difficult for the Fund to buy and sell securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies.

Sustainable Investment Style Risk

A Fund that uses ESG criteria to select investments may have a smaller universe of investments than other funds and therefore may underperform the market as a whole if such investments underperform the market. A Fund that uses ESG criteria to select investments may forgo opportunities to gain exposure to certain attractive companies, industries, sectors or countries and it may choose to sell a security when it might otherwise be disadvantageous to do so. Views on what constitutes a “sustainable investment” may differ by fund, adviser and investor. There is no guarantee that the Adviser’s efforts to select investments based on ESG practices will be successful.

Management Team 

Meet the Fund’s Investment Adviser 

The Natixis Funds family currently includes 40 mutual funds (the “Natixis Funds”). The Natixis Funds family had combined assets of $56.3 billion as of December 31, 2017. Natixis Funds are distributed through Natixis Distribution, L.P. (the “Distributor”). 

Adviser 

Ostrum US, located at 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197, serves as the adviser to the Fund. Ostrum US was formed in 2014 and specializes in globally diversified portfolio management. As of December 31, 2017, Ostrum US had $561 million in assets under management.

Portfolio Trades

In placing portfolio trades, Ostrum US may use brokerage firms that market the Fund’s shares or are affiliated with Ostrum US. In placing trades, Ostrum US will seek to obtain the best combination of price and execution, which involves a number of subjective factors. Such portfolio trades are subject to applicable regulatory restrictions and related procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Meet the Fund’s Portfolio Managers 

The following persons have had primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the indicated Fund’s portfolio since the dates stated below.

Ostrum US

Jens Peers, CFA® Jens Peers has served as co-portfolio manager of the Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund since its inception in 2018. Mr. Peers is Global Chief Investment Officer of Equities and Fixed Income of the Mirova Division of Ostrum US and Global Chief Investment Officer with Mirova, which he joined in 2013. Prior to joining Mirova, he was Head of Portfolio Management – Environmental Strategies for Kleinwort Benson Investors in Dublin, Ireland from 2003 to 2013. Mr. Peers holds a master’s degree in applied economics from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst®, is a CEFA (Certified European Financial Analyst of the BVFA-ABAF - Belgian Association of Financial Analysts) and has over 19 years of investment experience.


 

9


 

Fund Services


 

Hua Cheng, CFA®, PhD — Hua Cheng has served as co-portfolio manager of the Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund since its inception in 2018. Dr. Cheng is a Portfolio Manager with the Mirova division of Ostrum US, which he joined in 2018. Prior to joining Ostrum US, he was a Portfolio Manager with Mirova, which he joined in 2014. Prior to joining Mirova, Dr. Cheng was portfolio manager at Vega Investment Managers from 2007 to 2014. Dr. Cheng holds a Ph.D. degree in Financial Economics from the University Paris Dauphine (France). He holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst®  and has over 12 years of investment experience.

Please see the SAI for information on portfolio manager compensation, other accounts under management by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund.

Additional Information 

The Fund enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, including, among others, the Adviser, the Distributor and the Fund’s custodian and transfer agent, who provide services to the Fund. Shareholders are not parties to, or intended to be third-party beneficiaries of, any of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right to enforce such arrangements against the service providers or to seek any remedy thereunder against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Fund.

This Prospectus provides information concerning the Fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the Fund. None of this Prospectus, the SAI or any contract that is an exhibit to the Fund’s registration statement, is intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the Fund and any investor, or give rise to any contract or other rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders or other person other than any rights conferred explicitly by applicable federal or state securities laws that may not be waived.

Fund Services

Investing in the Fund

Choosing a Share Class

Each class has different costs associated with buying, selling and holding Fund shares, which allows you to choose the class that best meets your needs. Which class is best for you depends upon a number of factors, including the size of your investment and how long you intend to hold your shares. Certain share classes and certain shareholder features may not be available to you if you hold your shares through a financial intermediary. Your financial representative can help you decide which class of shares is most appropriate for you. The Fund may engage financial intermediaries to receive purchase, exchange and sell orders on its behalf. Accounts established directly with the Fund will be serviced by the Fund’s transfer agent. The Fund, the Fund’s transfer agent and the Distributor do not provide investment advice.

Class A Shares

 

You pay a sales charge when you buy Class A shares. There are several ways to reduce this charge. See the section “How Sales Charges Are Calculated.”

 

You pay higher expenses than Class N and Class Y shares.

 

You do not pay a sales charge if your total investment reaches $1 million or more, but you may pay a charge on redemptions if you redeem these shares within 18 months of purchase.
 

Class N Shares

 

You have a minimum initial investment of $1,000,000. There are several ways to waive this minimum. See the section “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares.”

 

You do not pay a sales charge when you buy Class N shares. All of your money goes to work for you right away.

 

You do not pay a sales charge on redemptions.

 

You pay lower annual expenses than Class A and Class Y shares, giving you the potential for higher returns per share.
 

Class Y Shares

 

You have a minimum initial investment of $100,000. There are several ways to waive this minimum. See the section “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares.”

 

You do not pay a sales charge when you buy Class Y shares. All of your money goes to work for you right away.

 

You do not pay a sales charge on redemptions.

 

You pay lower annual expenses than Class A shares, giving you the potential for higher returns per share.

 

You may pay higher annual expenses than Class N shares.
 

For information about the Fund’s expenses, see the section “Fund Fees & Expenses” in the Fund Summary.


 

10


 

Fund Services


 

How Sales Charges Are Calculated

Class A Shares

The price that you pay when you buy Class A shares (the “offering price”) is their net asset value (“NAV”) plus a sales charge (sometimes called a “front-end sales charge”), which varies depending upon the size of your purchase:

Class A Sales Charges*

 

Your Investment

As a % of
 offering price

As a % of
 your investment

 

Less than $50,000 

[ ]%

[ ]%

 

$50,000 – $99,999 

[ ]%

[ ]%

 

$100,000 – $249,999

[ ]% 

[ ]%

 

$250,000 – $499,999

[ ]% 

[ ]%

 

$500,000 – $999,999

[ ]% 

[ ]%

 

$1,000,000 or more**

[ ]% 

[ ]%

 

Due to rounding, the actual sales charge for a particular transaction may be higher or lower than the rates listed above.
* Not imposed on shares that are purchased with reinvested dividends or other distributions.
** For purchases of Class A shares of the Fund of $1 million or more, there is no front-end sales charge, but a CDSC of 1.00% may apply to redemptions of your shares within 18 months of the date of purchase. See the section “How the CDSC is Applied to Your Shares.”

If you invest in Class A shares through a financial intermediary, it is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that you obtain the proper “breakpoint” discount. At the time of purchase you must inform the Distributor and the financial intermediary of the existence of other accounts in which there are holdings eligible to be aggregated to meet sales load breakpoints of the Fund. You may be required to provide certain records and information, such as account statements, with respect to all of your accounts that hold shares, including accounts with other financial intermediaries and your family members’ and other related party accounts, in order to verify your eligibility for a reduced sales charge. If the Distributor is not notified that you are eligible for a reduced sales charge, the Distributor will be unable to ensure that the reduction is applied to your account. Additional information concerning sales load breakpoints is available from your financial intermediary, by visiting the Fund’s website at im.natixis.com (click on “Sales Charges” at the bottom of the home page) or in the SAI.

Reducing Front-End Sales Charges

There are several ways you can lower your sales charge for Class A shares, including:

 

Letter of Intent — By signing a Letter of Intent, you may purchase Class A shares of any Natixis Fund over a 13-month period but pay sales charges as if you had purchased all shares at once. This program can save you money if you plan to invest $50,000 or more within 13 months.

 

Cumulative Purchase Discount — You may be entitled to a reduced sales charge if your “total investment” reaches a breakpoint for a reduced sales charge. The total investment is determined by adding the amount of your current purchase in the Fund, including the applicable sales charge, to the current public offering price of all series and classes of shares of the Natixis Funds held by you in one or more accounts. If your total investment exceeds a sales charge breakpoint in the table above, the lower sales charge applies to the entire amount of your current purchase in the Fund.

 

Combining Accounts — This allows you to combine shares of multiple Natixis Funds and classes for purposes of calculating your sales charge.
 

Individual Accounts: You may elect to combine your purchase(s) and your total investment, as defined above, with the purchases and total investment of your spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws (of those previously mentioned), individual retirement accounts, sole proprietorships, single trust estates and any other individuals acceptable to the Distributor.

Retirement Plan Accounts: The Distributor may, at its discretion, combine the purchase(s) and total investment of all qualified participants in the same retirement plan for purposes of determining the availability of a reduced sales charge.

In most instances, individual accounts may not be linked with certain retirement plan accounts for the purposes of calculating sales charges. Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (“SIMPLE IRA”) contributions will automatically be linked with those of other participants in the same SIMPLE IRA Plan (Class A shares only) using the Natixis Funds prototype document. SIMPLE IRA accounts may not be linked with any other Natixis Fund account for rights of accumulation. Please refer to the SAI for more detailed information on combining accounts.

Eliminating Front-End Sales Charges and CDSCs

Class A shares may be offered without front-end sales charges or a CDSC to the following individuals and institutions:

 

Clients of a financial intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor and has been approved by the Distributor to offer Fund shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts that may or may not charge a transaction fee;

 

Any government entity that is prohibited from paying a sales charge or commission to purchase mutual fund shares;

 

All employees of financial intermediaries under arrangements with the Distributor (this also applies to spouses and children under the age of 21 of those mentioned);
 


 

11


 

Fund Services


 

 

Fund trustees, former trustees, employees of affiliates of the Natixis Funds and other individuals who are affiliated with any Natixis Fund (this also applies to any spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and in-laws of those mentioned);

 

Certain Retirement Plans. The availability of this pricing may depend upon the policies and procedures of your specific financial intermediary; consult your financial adviser;

 

Non-discretionary and non-retirement accounts of bank trust departments or trust companies, but only if they principally engage in banking or trust activities;

 

Wrap Fee Programs of certain broker-dealers, the advisers or the Distributor. Please consult your financial representative to determine if your wrap fee program is subject to additional or different conditions or fees; and

 

Registered Investment Advisers investing on behalf of clients in exchange for an advisory, management or consulting fee.
 

In order to receive Class A shares without a front-end sales charge or a CDSC, you must notify the appropriate Fund of your eligibility at the time of purchase. Due to operational limitations at your financial intermediary, a sales charge or a CDSC may be assessed; please consult your financial representative.

The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the Fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales load waivers or CDSC waivers, which are discussed below. In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the Fund or the purchaser’s financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase Fund shares directly from the Fund or through another intermediary to receive these waivers or discounts. Please see Appendix A to this Prospectus for information regarding eligibility for load waivers and discounts available through specific financial intermediaries, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this Prospectus or in the SAI.

Repurchasing Fund Shares

You may apply proceeds from redeeming Class A shares of the Fund to repurchase Class A shares of any Natixis Fund without paying a front-end sales charge. To qualify, you must reinvest some or all of the proceeds within 120 days after your redemption and notify Natixis Funds in writing (directly or through your financial representative) at the time of reinvestment that you are taking advantage of this privilege. You may reinvest your proceeds by returning your original redemption check or sending a new check for some or all of the redemption amount. Please note: for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a redemption generally is treated as a sale that involves tax consequences, even if the proceeds are later reinvested. Please consult your tax adviser to discuss how a redemption would affect you.

Eliminating the CDSC

As long as the Distributor is notified at the time you sell, the CDSC for Class A shares will generally be eliminated in the following cases: (1) to make distributions from Certain Retirement Plans (to pay plan participants or beneficiaries due to death, disability, separation from service, normal or early retirement, loans from the plan, hardship withdrawals, return of excess contributions, or required minimum distributions at age 70 1/2 (an individual participant’s voluntary distribution or a total plan termination or total plan redemption may incur a CDSC); (2) to make payments through a systematic withdrawal plan; (3) due to shareholder death or disability; (4) to return excess IRA contributions; or (5) to make required minimum distributions at age 70 ½ (applies only to the amount necessary to meet the required minimum distributions). 

Due to operational limitations at your financial intermediary, a CDSC may be assessed, notwithstanding the exemptions above; please consult your financial
 representative. Please see the SAI for more information on eliminating or reducing front-end sales charges and the CDSC.

How the CDSC is Applied to Your Shares

The CDSC is a sales charge you pay when you redeem certain Fund shares. The CDSC:

 

Is calculated based on the number of shares you are selling;

 

Calculation is based on either your original purchase price or the current NAV of the shares being sold, whichever is lower in order to minimize your CDSC;

 

Is deducted from the proceeds of the redemption unless you request, at the time of the redemption, that it be deducted from the amount remaining in your account; and

 

Applies to redemptions made within the time frame shown above for each class.
 

A CDSC will not be charged on:

 

Increases in NAV above the purchase price;

 

Shares you acquired by reinvesting your dividends or capital gains distributions; or

 

Exchanges. However, the original purchase date of the shares from which the exchange is made determines if the newly acquired shares are subject to the CDSC when they are sold.
 

To minimize the amount of the CDSC you may pay when you redeem shares, the relevant Fund will first redeem shares acquired through reinvested dividends and capital gain distributions. Shares will be sold in the order in which they were purchased (earliest to latest).

Class N and Class Y Shares
 

The offering price of Class N and Class Y shares is their NAV without a front-end load sales charge.  No CDSC applies when you redeem your shares.  You must meet eligibility criteria in order to invest in Class N or Class Y shares.


 

12


 

Fund Services


 

Compensation to Securities Dealers

As part of its business strategy, the Fund pays securities dealers and other financial institutions (collectively, “dealers”) that sell its shares. This compensation originates from two sources: sales charges (front-end or deferred) and 12b-1 fees (comprising the annual service and/or distribution fees paid under a plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act). The sales charges, some or all of which may be paid to dealers, are discussed in the section “How Sales Charges Are Calculated” and dealer commissions are disclosed in the SAI. Class A shares are subject to an annual service fee of 0.25% of their average daily net assets. Generally, the 12b-1 fees are paid to securities dealers on a quarterly basis, but may be paid on other schedules. The SAI includes additional information about the payment of some or all of such fees to dealers. Because these distribution fees and service (12b-1) fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time the fees for Class A shares will increase the cost of your investment and will cost you more than an investment in Class N or Class Y shares.

In addition, the Fund may make payments to financial intermediaries that provide shareholder services to shareholders whose shares are held of record in omnibus accounts, other group accounts (for example, 401(k) plans) or accounts traded through registered securities clearing agents to compensate those intermediaries for services they provide to such shareholders, including, but not limited to, sub-accounting, sub-transfer agency, similar shareholder or participant recordkeeping, shareholder or participant reporting, or shareholder or participant transaction processing (“recordkeeping and processing-related services”). The actual payments, and the services provided, vary from firm to firm. These fees are paid by the Fund (with the exception of Class N shares, which do not bear such expenses) in light of the fact that other costs may be avoided by the Fund where the intermediary, not the Fund’s service provider, provides services to Fund shareholders.

The Distributor, the Fund’s Adviser and each of their respective affiliates may, out of their own resources, which generally come directly or indirectly from fees paid by the Fund, make payments to certain dealers and other financial intermediaries that satisfy certain criteria established from time to time by the Distributor. Payments may vary based on sales, the amount of assets a dealer’s or intermediary’s clients have invested in the Fund, and other factors. These payments may also take the form of sponsorship of seminars or informational meetings or payments for attendance by persons associated with a dealer or intermediary at informational meetings. The Distributor and its affiliates may also make payments for recordkeeping and processing-related services to financial intermediaries that sell Fund shares; such payments will not be made with respect to Class N shares. These payments may be in addition to payments made by the Fund for similar services.

The payments described in this section, which may be significant to the dealers and the financial intermediaries, may create an incentive for a dealer or financial intermediary or their representatives to recommend or sell shares of the Fund or share class over other mutual funds or share classes. Additionally, these payments may result in the Fund receiving certain marketing or servicing advantages that are not generally available to mutual funds that do not make such payments, including placement on a sales list, including a preferred or select sales list, or in other sales programs. These payments, which are in addition to any amounts you may pay your dealer or other financial intermediary, may create potential conflicts of interest between an investor and a dealer or other financial intermediary who is recommending a particular mutual fund over other mutual funds. Before investing, you should consult with your financial representative and review carefully any disclosure by the dealer or other financial intermediary as to the services it provides, what monies it receives from mutual funds and their advisers and distributors, as well as how your financial representative is compensated. Please see the SAI for additional information about payments made by the Distributor and its affiliates to dealers and intermediaries.

How to Purchase Shares

The Fund is generally available for purchase in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Except to the extent otherwise permitted by the Distributor, the Fund will only accept investments from U.S. citizens with a U.S. address (including an APO or FPO address) or resident aliens with a U.S. address (including an APO or FPO address) and a U.S. taxpayer identification number. U.S. citizens living abroad are not allowed to purchase shares in the Fund. Class N shares are not eligible to be exchanged or purchased through the website or through the Natixis Funds Automated Voice Response System.

The Fund sells its shares at the NAV next calculated after the Fund receives a properly completed investment order. The Fund generally must receive your properly completed order before the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) for your shares to be bought or sold at the Fund’s NAV on that day.

All purchases made by check should be in U.S. dollars and made payable to Natixis Funds. Third party checks, starter checks and credit card convenience checks will not be accepted, except that, third party checks under $10,000 may be accepted. You may return an uncashed redemption check from your account to be repurchased back into your account. Upon redemption of an investment by check or by periodic account investment, redemption proceeds may be withheld until the check has cleared or the shares have been in your account for 10 days.

The Fund may periodically close to new purchases of shares or refuse any order to buy shares if the Fund determines that doing so would be in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders. See the section “Restrictions on Buying, Selling and Exchanging Shares.”

The Fund is not available to new SIMPLE IRA plans using the Natixis Funds’ Prototype document.

You can buy shares of the Fund in several ways:

The Fund may engage financial intermediaries to receive purchase, exchange and sell orders on its behalf. Accounts established directly with the Fund will be serviced by the Fund’s transfer agent. The Fund, the Fund’s transfer agent and the Distributor do not provide investment advice.


 

13


 

Fund Services


 

Through a financial adviser (certain restrictions may apply). Your financial adviser will be responsible for furnishing all necessary documents to Natixis Funds. Your financial adviser may charge you for these services. Your financial adviser must receive your request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE for you to receive that day’s NAV.

Through a broker-dealer (certain restrictions may apply). You may purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer that has been approved by the Distributor. Your broker-dealer may charge you a fee for effecting such transactions. Your broker-dealer must receive your request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE for you to receive that day’s NAV.

Directly from the Fund. Natixis Fund’s transfer agent must receive your purchase request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE in order for you to receive that day’s NAV.

You can purchase shares directly from the Fund in several ways:

By mail. You can buy shares of the Fund by submitting a completed application form, which is available online at www.im.natixis.com or by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478, along with a check payable to Natixis Funds for the amount of your purchase to:

Regular Mail
  Natixis Funds
 P.O. Box 219579
  Kansas City, MO 64121-9579

Overnight Mail
  Natixis Funds
 330 West 9th Street
 Kansas City, MO 64105-1514

Third party checks, “starter” checks and credit card convenience checks will not be accepted, except that, third party checks under $10,000 may be accepted. After your account has been established, you may send subsequent investments directly to Natixis Funds at the above addresses. Please include either the investment slip from your account statement or a letter specifying the Fund name, your account number and your name, address and telephone number.

By wire. You also may wire subsequent investments. Call Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 to obtain wire transfer instructions. At the time of the wire transfer, you will need to include the Fund name, your class of shares, your account number and the registered account owner name(s). Your bank may charge you for such a transfer.

By telephone. You can make subsequent investments by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478.

By exchange. You may purchase shares of the Fund by exchange of shares of the same class of another Fund by sending a signed letter of instruction to Natixis Funds, by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by accessing your account online at www.im.natixis.com.

Through Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). Before you can purchase shares of Natixis Funds through ACH, you must provide specific instructions to Natixis Funds in writing (see STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee below). You may purchase shares of the Fund through ACH by either calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by accessing your account online at www.im.natixis.com.

By internet. If you have established a Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) and you have established the electronic transfer privilege, you can make subsequent investments through your online account at www.im.natixis.com. If you have not established a PIN, but you have established the electronic transfer privilege, go to www.im.natixis.com, click on “Account Access,” and follow the instructions.

Through systematic investing. You can make regular investments of $50 or more per month through automatic deductions from your bank checking or savings account. If you did not establish the electronic transfer privilege on your application, you may add the privilege by obtaining a Service Options Form through your financial adviser, by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by visiting www.im.natixis.com. A medallion signature guarantee may be required to add this option.

Minimum Investment Requirements for theFund and each share class are described in the section “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares.”

Minimum Balance Policy

In order to address the relatively higher costs of servicing smaller fund positions, on an annual basis the Fund may close an account and send the account holder the proceeds if the account falls below $500. The valuation of account balances for this purpose and liquidation itself generally occur during October of each calendar year, although they may occur at another date in the year.

Certain accounts, such as accounts using the Natixis Funds’ prototype document (including IRAs, Keogh Plans, 403(b)(7) plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts), accounts associated with wrap fee programs or certain retirement accounts, and accounts that fall below the minimum as a result of an automatic conversion of Class C to Class A shares, are excepted from the liquidation. However, the Fund reserves the right to liquidate any account with a balance of one share or less regardless of the account type or share class.

Due to operational limitations, the Fund’s ability to apply the Minimum Balance Policy to shareholder accounts held through an intermediary in an omnibus fashion may be limited. The Fund may work with these intermediaries to enforce the Minimum Balance Policy on these accounts as can best be applied per


 

14


 

Fund Services


 

the timing and constraints of the intermediaries’ account recordkeeping systems. Where individual sub accounts held by an intermediary in an omnibus fashion do not contribute to fund servicing costs, these accounts may be exempted from liquidation. 

Certain Retirement Plans

Natixis Funds defines “Certain Retirement Plans” as it relates to load waivers, share class eligibility, and account minimums as follows:

Certain Retirement Plans includes 401(k) plans, 457 plans, 401(a) plans (including profit-sharing and money purchase pension plans), 403(b) and 403(b)(7) plans, defined benefit plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, Taft Hartley multi-employer plans and retiree health benefit plans. The accounts must be plan level omnibus accounts to qualify.

Certain Retirement Plans does not include individual retirement plan accounts such as IRAs, SIMPLE, SEP, SARSEP, Roth IRA, etc. Any retirement plan accounts registered in the name of a participant would not qualify.

How To Redeem Shares

You can redeem shares of the Fund directly from the Fund on any day on which the NYSE is open for business. The information below details the various ways you can redeem shares of the Fund. Except as noted below and in the “Selling Restrictions” section of this Prospectus, the Fund typically expects to pay out redemption proceeds on the next business day after a redemption request is received in good order. The information below also notes certain fees that may be charged by the Fund, its agents, your bank or your financial representative in connection to your redemption request. The Fund does not currently impose any redemption charge other than the contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) imposed by the Fund’s distributor, as described in the “How Sales Charges Are Calculated” section of this Prospectus. The Fund’s Board of Trustees reserves the right to impose additional charges at any time.

The Fund may fund a redemption request from various sources, including sales of portfolio securities, holdings of cash or cash equivalents, and borrowings from banks (including overdrafts from the Fund’s custodian bank and/or under the Fund’s line of credit, which is shared across certain other Natixis Funds and Loomis Sayles Funds). The Fund typically will redeem shares for cash; however, as described in more detail below, the Fund reserves the right to pay the redemption price wholly or partly in-kind (i.e., in portfolio securities rather than cash), if the Fund’s Adviser determines it to be advisable and in the best interest of shareholders.

Because large redemptions are likely to require liquidation by the Fund of portfolio holdings, payment for large redemptions may be delayed for up to seven days to provide for orderly liquidation of such holdings. Under unusual circumstances, the Fund may suspend redemptions or postpone payment for more than seven days as permitted by the SEC.

Redemptions totaling more than $100,000 from a single fund/account cannot be processed on the same day unless the proceeds of the redemption are sent via pre-established banking information on the account. Please see the section “STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee” for details.

Generally, for expedited payment of redemption proceeds a transaction fee of $5.50 for wire transfers, $50 for international wire transfers or $20.50 for overnight delivery will be charged. These fees are subject to change.

Redemptions through your financial adviser. Your financial adviser must receive your request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE for you to receive that day’s NAV. Your financial adviser will be responsible for furnishing all necessary documents to Natixis Funds on a timely basis and may charge you for his or her services.

Redemptions through your broker-dealer. You may redeem shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer that has been approved by the Distributor, which can be contacted at 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197. Your broker-dealer may charge you a fee for effecting such transaction. Your broker-dealer must receive your request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE for you to receive that day’s NAV. Your redemptions generally will be wired to your broker-dealer on the first business day after your request is received in good order.

Redemptions directly to the Fund. Natixis Funds’ transfer agent must receive your redemption request in proper form before the close of regular trading on the NYSE in order for you to receive that day’s NAV. Your redemptions generally will be sent to you via first class mail within three business days after your request is received in good order, although it may take longer.

You may make redemptions directly from the Fund in several ways:

By mail. Send a signed letter of instruction that includes the name of the Fund, the exact name(s) in which the shares are registered, any special capacity in which you are signing (such as trustee or custodian or on behalf of a partnership, corporation, or other entity), your address, telephone number, account number and the number of shares or dollar amount to be redeemed to the following address:

Regular Mail
  Natixis Funds
 P.O. Box 219579
  Kansas City, MO 64121-9579

Overnight Mail
  Natixis Funds
 330 West 9th Street
 Kansas City, MO 64105-1514


 

15


 

Fund Services


 

All owners of shares must sign the written request in the exact names in which the shares are registered. The owners should indicate any special capacity in which they are signing (such as trustee or custodian or on behalf of a partnership, corporation or other entity).

By exchange. You may sell some or all of your shares of the Fund and use the proceeds to buy shares of the same class of another sending a signed letter of instruction to Natixis Funds, by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by accessing your account online at www.im.natixis.com.

By internet. If you have established a Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) and you have established the electronic transfer privilege, you can redeem shares through your online account at www.im.natixis.com. If you have not established a PIN but you have established the electronic transfer privilege, go to www.im.natixis.com, click on “Account Access,” and follow the instructions.

By telephone. You may redeem shares by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478. Proceeds from telephone redemption requests (less any applicable fees) can be wired to your bank account, sent electronically by ACH to your bank account or sent by check in the name of the registered owner(s) to the address of record. A wire fee will be deducted from your proceeds. Your bank may charge you a fee to receive the wire.

The telephone redemption privilege may be modified or terminated by the Fund without notice.

You may redeem by telephone to have a check sent to the address of record for the maximum amount of $100,000 per day from a single fund/account. For your protection, telephone or internet redemption requests will not be permitted if Natixis Funds has been notified of an address change or bank account information change for your account within the preceding 30 days. Unless you indicate otherwise on your account application, Natixis Funds will be authorized to accept redemption and transfer instructions by telephone. If you prefer, you can decline telephone redemption and transfer privileges.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan. If the value of your account is $10,000 or more, you can have periodic redemptions automatically paid to you or to someone you designate. Please call 800-225-5478 for more information or to set up a systematic withdrawal plan or visit www.im.natixis.com to obtain a Service Options Form.

In-Kind. Shares normally will be redeemed for cash upon receipt of a redemption request in good order, although the Fund reserves the right to pay the redemption price wholly or partly in-kind if the Fund’s Adviser determines it to be advisable and in the best interest of shareholders. For example, the Fund may pay a redemption in-kind under stressed market conditions or if the redemption amount is large.

You may also request an in-kind redemption of your shares by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478. In-kind redemptions typically take several weeks to effectuate following a redemption request given the operational steps necessary to coordinate with the redeeming shareholder’s custodian. Typically, the redemption date is mutually-agreed upon by the Fund and the redeeming shareholder. The Fund is not required to pay a redemption in-kind even if requested and may in its discretion pay the redemption proceeds in cash.

Redemptions in-kind will generally, but not necessarily, result in a pro rata distribution of each security held in the Fund’s portfolio. If a shareholder receives a distribution in-kind, the shareholder will bear the market risk associated with the distributed securities and would incur brokerage or other charges in converting the securities to cash.

By wire. Before Natixis Funds can wire redemption proceeds (less any applicable fees) to your bank account, you must provide specific wire instructions to Natixis Funds in writing (see “STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee” below). A wire fee will be deducted from the proceeds of each wire.

By ACH. Before Natixis Funds can send redemptions through ACH, you must provide specific wiring instructions to Natixis Funds in writing (see “STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee” below). For ACH redemptions, proceeds will generally arrive at your bank within three business days.

STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee. You must have your signature guaranteed by a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution that can issue a STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee for the following types of redemptions:

 

If you are selling more than $100,000 per day from a single fund/account and you are requesting the proceeds by check (this does not apply to IRA transfer of assets to new custodian).

 

If you are requesting that the proceeds check (of any amount) be made out to someone other than the registered owner(s) or sent to an address other than the address of record.

 

If the account registration or bank account information has changed within the past 30 days.

 

If you are instructing us to send the proceeds by check, wire or ACH to a bank not already active on the fund account.
 

The Fund will only accept STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantees bearing the STAMP2000 Medallion imprint. The surety amount of the STAMP2000 medallion imprint must meet or exceed the amount on the request. Please note that a notary public cannot provide a STAMP2000 Medallion Signature Guarantee. This signature guarantee requirement may be waived by Natixis Funds in certain cases.

Exchanging or Converting Shares 

In general, you may exchange shares of the Fund for shares of the same class of another Natixis Fund that offers such class of shares, without paying a sales charge or a CDSC, if applicable (see the sections “How to Purchase Shares” and “How to Redeem Shares”) subject to restrictions noted below. The exchange must be for at least the minimum to open an account (or the total NAV of your account, whichever is less), or, once the fund minimum is met, exchanges under the Automatic Exchange Plan must be made for at least $50 (see the section “Additional Investor Services”). All exchanges are subject to the eligibility requirements of the fund into which you are exchanging and any other limits on sales of or exchanges into that fund. The exchange privilege may be exercised only in those states where shares of such funds may be legally sold. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, an exchange of Fund shares for shares of another


 

16


 

Fund Services


 

fund is generally treated as a sale on which gain or loss may be recognized. Subject to the applicable rules of the SEC, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to modify the exchange privilege at any time. Before requesting an exchange into any other fund, please read its prospectus carefully. You may be unable to hold your shares through the same financial intermediary if you engage in certain share exchanges. You should contact your financial intermediary for further details. Please refer to the SAI for more detailed information on exchanging Fund shares. Class N shares are not eligible to be exchanged through the website or through the Natixis Funds Automated Voice Response System.

In certain circumstances, you may convert shares of your Fund from your current share class into another share class in the same Fund. A conversion is subject to the eligibility requirements of the share class of your Fund that you are converting into including investment minimum requirements. The conversion from one class of shares to another will be based on the respective NAVs of the separate share classes on the trade date for the conversion.

Any account with an outstanding CDSC liability will be assessed the CDSC before converting to the new share class. Any conversions into a class of shares with a front end sales charge will not be subject to an initial sales charge; however, future purchases may be subject to a sales charge, if applicable. Generally, a conversion between share classes of the same fund is a nontaxable event to the shareholder. All requests for conversions must follow the procedures set forth by the Distributor. The Fund reserves the right to refuse any conversion request. Due to operational limitations at your financial intermediary, your ability to convert share classes of the same fund may be limited. Please consult your financial representative for more information.

Cost Basis Reporting. Upon the redemption or exchange of your shares in the Fund, the Fund, or, if you purchased your shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary, your financial intermediary will be required to provide you and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) with cost basis and certain other related tax information about the Fund shares you redeemed or exchanged. Please contact the Fund at 800-225-5478, visit ngam.natixis.com or consult your financial intermediary, as appropriate, for more information regarding available methods for cost basis reporting and how to select a particular method. Please also consult your tax adviser to determine which available cost basis method is best for you.

Restrictions on Buying, Selling and Exchanging Shares

The Fund discourages excessive short-term trading that may be detrimental to the Fund and its shareholders. Frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares by shareholders may present certain risks for other shareholders in the Fund. This includes the risk of diluting the value of Fund shares held by long-term shareholders, interfering with the efficient management of the Fund’s portfolio and increasing brokerage and administrative costs. Funds investing in securities that require special valuation processes (such as foreign securities, below investment grade securities or small-capitalization securities), also may have increased exposure to these risks. The Board of Trustees has adopted the following policies to address and discourage such trading.

The Fund reserves the right to suspend or change the terms of purchasing or exchanging shares. The Fund and the Distributor reserve the right to reject any purchase or exchange order for any reason, including if the transaction is deemed not to be in the best interests of the Fund’s other shareholders or possibly disruptive to the management of the Fund. A shareholder whose exchange order has been rejected may still redeem its shares by submitting a redemption request as described under “How to Redeem Shares.”

Limits on Frequent Trading. Excessive trading activity in the Fund is measured by the number of round trip transactions in a shareholder’s account. A round trip is defined as (1) a purchase (including a purchase by exchange) into the Fund followed by a redemption (including a redemption by exchange) of any amount out of the Fund; or (2) a redemption (including a redemption by exchange) out of the Fund followed by a purchase (including a purchase by exchange) of any amount into the Fund. Two round trip transactions in the Fund within a rolling 90-day period is considered to be excessive and will constitute a violation of the Fund’s trading limitations. After the detection of a first violation, the Fund or the Distributor will issue the shareholder and/or his or her financial intermediary, if any, a written warning. After the detection of a second violation (i.e., two more round trip transactions in the Fund within a rolling 90-day period), the Fund or the Distributor will restrict the shareholder from making subsequent purchases (including purchases by exchange) for 90 days. After the detection of a third violation, the Fund or the Distributor will permanently restrict the account and any other accounts under the shareholder’s control in any Natixis Fund from making subsequent purchases (including purchases by exchange). The above limits are applicable whether a shareholder holds shares directly with the Fund or indirectly through a financial intermediary, such as a broker, bank, investment adviser, recordkeeper for retirement plan participants, or other third party. The preceding is not an exclusive description of activities that the Fund and the Distributor may consider to be excessive and, at its discretion, the Fund and the Distributor may restrict or prohibit transactions by such identified shareholders or intermediaries.

Notwithstanding the above, certain financial intermediaries, such as retirement plan administrators, may monitor and restrict the frequency of purchase and redemption transactions in a manner different from that described above. The policies of these intermediaries may be more or less restrictive than the generally applicable policies described above. The Fund may choose to rely on a financial intermediary’s restrictions on frequent trading in place of the Fund’s own restrictions if the Fund determines, at its discretion, that the financial intermediary’s restrictions provide reasonable protection for the Fund from excessive short-term trading activity. Please contact your financial representative for additional information regarding their policies for limiting the frequent trading of Fund shares.

This policy also does not apply with respect to shares purchased by certain funds-of-funds or similar asset allocation programs that rebalance their investments only infrequently. To be eligible for this exemption, the fund-of-funds or asset allocation program must identify itself to and receive prior written approval from the Fund or the Distributor. The Fund and the Distributor may request additional information to enable them to determine that the fund-of-funds or asset allocation program is not designed to and/or is not serving as a vehicle for disruptive short-term trading, which may include requests for (i) written assurances from the sponsor or investment manager of the fund-of-funds or asset allocation program that it enforces the Fund’s frequent trading policy on investors or another policy reasonably designed to deter disruptive short-term trading in Fund shares, and/or (ii) data regarding transactions by investors in the fund-of-funds or asset allocation program, for periods and on a frequency determined by the Fund and the Distributor, so that the Fund can monitor


 

17


 

Fund Services


 

compliance by such investors with the trading limitations of the Fund or of the fund-of-funds or asset allocation program. Under certain circumstances, waivers to these conditions (including waivers to permit more frequent rebalancing) may be approved for programs that in the Fund’s opinion are not vehicles for market timing and are not likely to engage in abusive trading.

Trade Activity Monitoring. Trading activity is monitored selectively on a daily basis in an effort to detect excessive short-term trading activities. If the Fund or the Distributor believes that a shareholder or financial intermediary has engaged in excessive, short-term trading activity, it may, at its discretion, request that the shareholder or financial intermediary stop such activities or refuse to process purchases or exchanges in the accounts. At its discretion, the Fund and the Distributor, as well as an adviser to the Fund may ban trading in an account if, in their judgment, a shareholder or financial intermediary has engaged in short-term transactions that, while not necessarily in violation of the Fund’s stated policies on frequent trading, are harmful to the Fund or its shareholders. The Fund and the Distributor also reserve the right to notify financial intermediaries of the shareholder’s trading activity.

Accounts Held by Financial Intermediaries. The ability of the Fund and the Distributor to monitor trades that are placed by omnibus or other nominee accounts is severely limited in those instances in which the financial intermediary maintains the record of the Fund’s underlying beneficial owners. In general, the Fund and the Distributor will review trading activity at the omnibus account level. If the Fund and the Distributor detect suspicious activity, they may request and receive personal identifying information and transaction histories for some or all underlying shareholders (including plan participants) to determine whether such shareholders have engaged in excessive short-term trading activity. If the Fund believes that a shareholder has engaged in excessive short-term trading activity in violation of the Fund’s policies through an omnibus account, the Fund will attempt to limit transactions by the underlying shareholder that engaged in such trading, although it may be unable to do so. The Fund may also limit or prohibit additional purchases of Fund shares by an intermediary. Investors should not assume the Fund will be able to detect or prevent all trading practices that may disadvantage the Fund.

Purchase Restrictions

The Fund is required by federal regulations to obtain certain personal information from you and to use that information to verify your identity. The Fund may not be able to open your account if the requested information is not provided. The Fund reserves the right to refuse to open an account, close an account and redeem your shares at the then-current price or take other such steps that the Fund deems necessary to comply with federal regulations if your identity cannot be verified.

Selling Restrictions

The table below describes restrictions placed on selling shares of the Fund.  Please see the SAI for additional information regarding redemption payment policies.

Restriction

Situation

The Fund may suspend the right of redemption: 

When the NYSE is closed (other than a weekend/holiday) as permitted by the SEC.

During an emergency as permitted by the SEC.

During any other period permitted by the SEC.

The Fund reserves the right to suspend account services or refuse transaction requests: 

With a notice of a dispute between registered owners or death of a registered owner.

With suspicion/evidence of a fraudulent act.

The Fund may pay the redemption price in whole or in part by a distribution in-kind of readily marketable securities in lieu of cash or may take up to 7 days to pay a redemption request in order to raise capital: 

When or if it is advisable for the Fund to redeem in-kind, as determined in the sole discretion of the Adviser, or if requested by the redeeming shareholder and agreed to by the Fund.

The Fund may withhold redemption proceeds for 10 days from the purchase date: 

When redemptions are made within 10 calendar days of purchase by check or ACH to allow the check or ACH transaction to clear.

The Fund reserves the right to suspend account services or refuse transaction requests if the Fund receives notice of a dispute between registered owners or of the death of a registered owner or the Fund suspects a fraudulent act. If the Fund refuses a transaction request because it receives notice of a dispute, the transaction will be processed at the NAV next determined after the Fund receives notice that the dispute has been settled or a court order has been entered adjudicating the dispute. If the Fund determines that its suspicion of fraud or belief that a dispute existed was mistaken, the transaction will be processed as of the NAV next determined after the transaction request was first received in good order.

Certificates. Certificates will not be issued or honored for any class of shares.

Self-Servicing Your Account 

Shareholders that hold their accounts directly with the Fund may use the following self-service options. Shareholders that hold Fund shares through a financial intermediary should consult their financial intermediary regarding any self-service options that they may offer.

(Excludes Class N shares)

Natixis Funds Website.


 

18


 

Fund Services


 

You can access our website at www.im.natixis.com to perform transactions (purchases, redemptions or exchanges), review your account information and Fund NAVs, change your address, order duplicate statements or tax forms or obtain a prospectus, an SAI, an application or periodic reports (certain restrictions may apply).

Natixis Funds Automated Voice Response System. You have access to your account 24 hours a day by calling Natixis Funds’ Automated Voice Response System at 800-225-5478, option 1. Using this customer service option, you may review your account balance and Fund NAV, order duplicate statements, order duplicate tax forms, obtain distribution and performance information and obtain wiring instructions (certain restrictions may apply).

Restructuring and Liquidations 

Investors should note that the Fund reserves the right to merge or reorganize at any time, or to cease operations or liquidate itself. At any time prior to the liquidation of the Fund, shareholders may redeem their shares of the Fund pursuant to the procedures set forth under “How to Redeem Shares.” The proceeds from any such redemption will be the NAV of the Fund’s shares. Shareholders may also exchange their shares, subject to investment minimums and other restrictions on exchanges as described under “Exchanging or Converting Shares.” For federal income tax purposes, an exchange of the Fund’s shares for shares of another Natixis Fund or Loomis Sayles Fund is generally treated as a sale on which a gain or loss may be recognized.

Retirement Accounts. Absent an instruction to the contrary prior to the liquidation date of a fund, for shares of a fund held using a Natixis Funds’ prototype document, in individual retirement accounts, in custodial accounts under a SEP, SIMPLE, SARSEP or 403(b) plan, or in certain other retirement accounts, Natixis Distribution, L.P. will exchange any shares remaining in the fund on the liquidation date for shares of Loomis Sayles Limited Term Government and Agency Fund (or, if that fund is no longer then in existence, in another comparable Natixis Funds or Loomis Sayles Fund) at NAV, unless contrary instructions are timely received prior to the liquidation. Please refer to your plan documents or contact your plan administrator or plan sponsor to determine whether the preceding sentence applies to you.

 How Fund Shares Are Priced 

NAV is the price of one share of the Fund without a sales charge, and is calculated each business day using this formula:

The NAV of Fund shares is determined pursuant to policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees, as summarized below:

 

A share’s NAV is determined at the close of regular trading on the NYSE on the days the NYSE is open for trading. This is normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time. The Fund’s shares will not be priced on the days on which the NYSE is closed for trading. In addition, the Fund’s shares will not be priced on the holidays listed in the SAI. See the section “Net Asset Value” in the SAI for more details.

 

The price you pay for purchasing, redeeming or exchanging a share will be based upon the NAV next calculated (plus or minus applicable sales charges as described earlier in the Fund Summary) after your order is received by the transfer agent, DST Asset Manager Solutions, Inc., (rather than when the order arrives at the P.O. box) “in good order” (meaning that the order is complete and contains all necessary information).1

 

Requests received by the Fund after the NYSE closes will be processed based upon the NAV determined at the close of regular trading on the next day that the NYSE is open. If the transfer agent receives the order in good order prior to the NYSE market close (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time), the shareholder will receive that day’s NAV. Under limited circumstances, the Distributor may enter into contractual agreements pursuant to which orders received by your investment dealer before the Fund determines its NAV and transmitted to the transfer agent prior to market open on the next business day are processed at the NAV determined on the day the order was received by your investment dealer. Please contact your investment dealer to determine whether it has entered into such a contractual agreement. If your investment dealer has not entered into such a contractual agreement, your order will be processed at the NAV next determined after your investment dealer submits the order to the Fund.

 

If the Fund invests in foreign securities, it may have NAV changes on days when you cannot buy or sell its shares.
 
1 Please see the section “How to Purchase Shares,” which provides additional information regarding who can receive a purchase order.

Generally, during times of substantial economic or market change, it may be difficult to place your order by phone. During these times, you may send your order by mail as described in the sections “How to Purchase Shares” and “How to Redeem Shares.”

Fund securities and other investments for which market quotations are readily available, as outlined in the Fund’s policies and procedures, are valued at market value. The Fund may use independent pricing services recommended by the Adviser and Subadviser and approved by the Board of Trustees to obtain market quotations. Generally, Fund securities and other investments are valued as follows:

 

Equity securities (including shares of closed-end investment companies and exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”)), exchange traded notes, rights, and warrants — listed equity securities are valued at the last sale price quoted on the exchange where they are traded most extensively or, if there is no reported sale during the day, the closing bid quotation as reported by an independent pricing service. Securities traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, NASDAQ Global Market and NASDAQ Capital Market are valued at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”), or if lacking an NOCP, at the most recent bid quotations on the applicable NASDAQ Market. Unlisted equity securities (except unlisted preferred equity securities discussed below) are valued at the last sale price quoted in the market where they are traded most extensively or, if there is no reported sale during the day, the closing bid
 


 

19


 

Fund Services


 

 

quotation as reported by an independent pricing service. If there is no sale price or closing bid quotation available, unlisted equity securities will be valued using evaluated bids furnished by an independent pricing service, if available. In some foreign markets, an official close price and a last sale price may be available from the foreign exchange or market. In those cases, the official close price is used. Valuations based on information from foreign markets may be subject to the Fund’s fair value policies described below. If a right is not traded on any exchange, its value is based on the market value of the underlying security, less the cost to subscribe to the underlying security (e.g., to exercise the right), adjusted for the subscription ratio. If a warrant is not traded on any exchange, a price is obtained from a broker-dealer.

 

Debt securities and unlisted preferred equity securities — evaluated bids furnished to the Fund by an independent pricing service using market information, transactions for comparable securities and various relationships between securities, if available, or bid prices obtained from broker-dealers.

 

Senior Loans — bid prices supplied by an independent pricing service, if available, or bid prices obtained from broker-dealers.

 

Bilateral Swaps — bilateral credit default swaps are valued based on mid prices (between the bid price and the ask price) supplied by an independent pricing service. Bilateral interest rate swaps and bilateral standardized commodity and equity index total return swaps are valued based on prices supplied by an independent pricing service. If prices from an independent pricing service are not available, prices from a broker-dealer may be used.

 

Centrally Cleared Swaps — settlement prices of the clearing house on which the contracts were traded or prices obtained from broker-dealers.

 

Options — domestic exchange-traded single name equity options contracts (including options on ETFs) are valued at the mean of the National Best Bid and Offer quotations.  Foreign exchange-traded single name equity options contracts are valued at the most recent settlement price. Options contracts on domestic indices shall be priced at the average of the closing bid and ask quotations as of the close of trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”). On the last business day of the month, the Fund will fair value the S&P 500® index options using the closing rotation values published by the CBOE. Options contracts on foreign indices are priced at the most recent settlement price. Options on futures contracts are valued using the current settlement price on the exchange on which, over time, they are traded most extensively. Other exchange-traded options are valued at the average of the closing bid and ask quotations on the exchange on which, over time, they are traded most extensively. Over-the-counter (“OTC”) currency options and swaptions are valued at mid prices (between the bid and the ask price) supplied by an independent pricing service, if available. Other OTC options contracts (including currency options and swaptions not priced through an independent pricing service) are valued based on prices obtained from brokerdealers. Valuations based on information from foreign markets may be subject to the Fund’s fair value policies described below. 

 

Futures — most recent settlement price on the exchange on which the Adviser believes that, over time, they are traded most extensively.  Valuations based on information from foreign markets may be subject to the Fund’s fair value policies described below.

 

Forward Foreign Currency Contracts — interpolated rates determined based on information provided by an independent pricing service.
 

Foreign denominated assets and liabilities are translated into U.S. dollars based upon foreign exchange rates supplied by an independent pricing service. Fund securities and other investments for which market quotations are not readily available are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by the Adviser pursuant to procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The Fund may also value securities and other investments at fair value in other circumstances such as when extraordinary events occur after the close of a foreign market but prior to the close of the NYSE. This may include situations relating to a single issuer (such as a declaration of bankruptcy or a delisting of the issuer’s security from the primary market on which it has traded) as well as events affecting the securities markets in general (such as market disruptions or closings and significant fluctuations in U.S. and/or foreign markets). When fair valuing its securities or other investments, the Fund may, among other things, use modeling tools or other processes that may take into account factors such as securities or other market activity and/or significant events that occur after the close of the foreign market and before the time the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Fair value pricing may require subjective determinations about the value of a security, and fair values used to determine the Fund’s NAV may differ from quoted or published prices, or from prices that are used by others, for the same securities. In addition, the use of fair value pricing may not always result in adjustments to the prices of securities held by the Fund. Valuations for securities traded in the OTC market may be based on factors such as market information,transactions for comparable securities, various relationships between securities or bid prices obtained from broker-dealers. Evaluated prices from an independent pricing service may require subjective determinations and may be different than actual market prices or prices provided by other pricing services.

Trading in some of the portfolio securities or other investments of the Fund takes place in various markets outside the United States on days and at times other than when the NYSE is open for trading. Therefore, the calculation of the Fund’s NAV does not take place at the same time as the prices of many of its portfolio securities or other investments are determined, and the value of the Fund’s portfolios may change on days when the Fund is not open for business and its shares may not be purchased or redeemed.

Dividends and Distributions  

The Fund generally distributes annually all or substantially all of its net investment income (other than capital gains) in the form of dividends. The following table shows when the Fund expects to distribute dividends.

Dividend Payment Schedule

Annually

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund 

In addition, the Fund expects to distribute all or substantially all of its net realized long- and short-term capital gains annually (or, in the case of short-term gains, more frequently than annually if determined by the Fund to be in the best interest of shareholders), after applying any capital loss carryovers. To the extent permitted by law, the Board of Trustees may adopt a different schedule for making distributions as long as payments are made at least annually.


 

20


 

Fund Services


 

Distributions will automatically be reinvested in shares of the same class of the distributing Fund at NAV unless you select one of the following alternatives:

 

Participate in the Dividend Diversification Program, which allows you to have all dividends and distributions automatically invested at NAV in shares of the same class of another Natixis Fund registered in your name. Certain investment minimums and restrictions may apply. For more information about the program, see the section “Additional Investor Services;”

 

Receive distributions from dividends and interest in cash while reinvesting distributions from capital gains in additional shares of the same class of the Fund, or in the same class of another Natixis Fund; or

 

Receive all distributions in cash.
 

If a dividend or capital gain distribution check remains uncashed for six months and your account is still open, the Fund will reinvest the dividend or distribution in additional shares of the Fund promptly after making this determination and the check will be canceled. In addition, future dividends and capital gain distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of the Fund unless you subsequently contact the Fund and request to receive distributions by check.

For more information or to change your distribution option, contact Natixis Funds in writing or call 800-225-5478.

If you earn more than $10 annually in taxable income from a Natixis Fund held in a non-retirement plan account, you will receive a Form 1099 to help you report the prior calendar year’s distributions on your U.S. federal income tax return. This information will also be reported to the IRS. Be sure to keep this Form 1099 as a permanent record. A fee may be charged for any duplicate information requested.

Tax Consequences

Except as noted, the discussion below addresses only the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the Fund and does not address any non-U.S., state or local tax consequences.

The Fund intends to meet all requirements under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, (the “Code”) necessary to qualify and be eligible for treatment each year as a “regulated investment company” and thus does not expect to pay any U.S. federal income tax on income and capital gains that are timely distributed to shareholders.

Unless otherwise noted, the discussion below, to the extent it describes shareholder-level tax consequences, pertains solely to taxable shareholders.

Taxation of Distributions from the Fund. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment income are generally taxable to Fund shareholders as ordinary income. Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long the Fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her shares. Distributions attributable to the excess of net long-term capital gains from the sale of investments that the Fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) for more than one year over net short-term capital losses from the sale of investments that the Fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) for one year or less, and that are properly reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends (“Capital Gain Dividends”) generally will be taxable to a shareholder receiving such distributions as long-term capital gain includible in net capital gain and taxed to individuals at reduced rates. Distributions attributable to the excess of net short-term capital gains from the sale of investments that the Fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) for one year or less over net long-term capital losses from the sale of investments that the Fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) for more than one year, will be taxable as ordinary income. The Fund’s transactions in derivatives or short sales may cause a larger portion of distributions to be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income than would be the case absent such transactions.

Distributions of investment income properly reported by the Fund as derived from “qualified dividend income” will be taxed in the hands of individuals at the reduced rates applicable to net capital gain, provided holding period and other requirements are met at both the shareholder and Fund levels. Income generated by investments in fixed-income securities, derivatives and REITs generally is not eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income. Dividends received by the Fund from foreign corporations that are not eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty with the U.S. (other than dividends paid on stock of such a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established securities market in the U.S.) will not be eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income.

A 3.8% Medicare contribution tax is imposed on the net investment income of certain individuals, trusts and estates to the extent their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. Net investment income generally includes for this purpose dividends, including any Capital Gain Dividends paid by the Fund, and net capital gains recognized on the sale, redemption, exchange or other taxable disposition of shares of the Fund.

Fund distributions are taxable whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares. In addition, Fund distributions are taxable to shareholders even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the Fund before a shareholder’s investment (and thus were included in the price the shareholder paid for his or her shares). Such distributions are likely to occur in respect of shares purchased at a time when the Fund’s NAV reflects gains that are either unrealized or realized but not distributed.

Dividends and distributions declared by the Fund and payable to shareholders of record in October, November or December of one year and paid in January of the next year generally are taxable in the year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the year in which the distributions are received.

Distributions by the Fund to retirement plans and other investors that qualify for tax-advantaged treatment under U.S. federal income tax laws generally will not be taxable, although distributions by retirement plans to their participants may be taxable. Special tax rules apply to investments through such retirement plans. If your investment is through such a plan, you should consult your tax adviser to determine the suitability of the Fund as an investment through your plan and the tax treatment of distributions to you (including distributions of amounts attributable to an investment in the Fund) from the plan.


 

21


 

Financial Performance


 

Redemption, Sale or Exchange of Fund Shares. A redemption, sale or exchange of Fund shares (including an exchange of Fund shares for shares of another Natixis Fund or Loomis Sayles Fund) is a taxable event and generally will result in recognition of gain or loss. Gain or loss, if any, recognized by a shareholder on a redemption, sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of Fund shares generally will be taxed as long-term capital gain or loss if the shareholder held the shares for more than one year, and as short-term capital gain or loss if the shareholder held the shares for one year or less, assuming in each case that the shareholder held the shares as capital assets. Short-term capital gains generally are taxed at the rates applicable to ordinary income. Any loss realized upon a disposition of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term, rather than short-term, capital loss to the extent of any Capital Gain Dividends received by the shareholder with respect to the shares. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to limitations.

Taxation of Certain Fund Investments. The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may be subject to foreign withholding or other taxes. In that case, the Fund’s yield on those securities would be decreased. The Fund generally does not expect that shareholders will be entitled to claim a credit or deduction with respect to foreign taxes incurred by the Fund. In addition, the Fund’s investments in foreign securities and foreign currencies may be subject to special tax rules that have the effect of increasing or accelerating the Fund’s recognition of ordinary income and may affect the timing or amount of the Fund’s distributions to shareholders. Because the Fund invests in foreign securities, shareholders should consult their tax advisers about the consequences of their investments under foreign laws.

Backup Withholding. The Fund is required in certain circumstances to apply backup withholding on taxable dividends, redemption proceeds and certain other payments that are paid to any shareholder who does not furnish to the Fund certain information and certifications or who is otherwise subject to backup withholding.

Please see the SAI for additional information on the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the Fund.

You should consult your tax adviser for more information on your own situation, including possible U.S. federal, state, local, foreign or other applicable taxes.

Additional Investor Services

Retirement Plans

Natixis Funds offer a range of retirement plans, including Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, IRAs and SEPs. For more information about our Retirement Plans, call us at 800-225-5478.

Investment Builder Program

This is Natixis Funds’ automatic investment plan. Once you meet the Fund minimum, you may authorize automatic monthly transfers of $50 or more per Fund from your bank checking or savings account to purchase shares of one or more Natixis Funds. For instructions on how to join the Investment Builder Program, please refer to the section “How to Purchase Shares.”

Dividend Diversification Program

This program allows you to have all dividends and any other distributions automatically invested in shares of the same class of another Natixis Fund subject to the eligibility requirements of that other fund and to state securities law requirements. The fund minimum must be met in the new fund prior to establishing the dividend diversification program. Shares will be purchased at the selected fund’s NAV without a front-end sales charge or CDSC on the ex dividend date. Before establishing a Dividend Diversification Program into any other Natixis Fund, please read its prospectus carefully.

Automatic Exchange Plan

Natixis Funds have an automatic exchange plan under which shares of a class of a Natixis Fund are automatically exchanged each month for shares of the same class of another Natixis Fund. The fund minimum must be met prior to establishing an automatic exchange plan. There is no fee for exchanges made under this plan. Please see the section “Exchanging or Converting Shares” above and refer to the SAI for more information on the Automatic Exchange Plan.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan

This plan allows you to redeem shares and receive payments from the Fund on a regular schedule. Redemptions of shares that are part of the Systematic Withdrawal Plan are not subject to a CDSC, however, the amount or percentage you specify in the plan may not exceed, on an annualized basis, 10% of the value of your Fund account based upon the value of your Fund account on the day you establish your plan. For information on establishing a Systematic Withdrawal Plan, please refer to the section “How to Redeem Shares.”

Financial Performance

The Fund is new and has not yet issued financial statements.


 

22


 

Appendix A - Financial Intermediary Specific Sales Load Waivers


 

Appendix A - Financial Intermediary Specific Sales Load Waivers 

Set forth below is information regarding sales load waivers and discounts available at specific financial intermediaries which are not affiliated with the Fund, the Adviser and/or the Distributor. In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales load waivers or discounts.

Ameriprise Financial

Class A Shares Front-End Sales Charge Waivers Available at Ameriprise Financial:

The following information applies to Class A shares purchases if you have an account with or otherwise purchase Fund shares through Ameriprise Financial:

Shareholders purchasing Fund shares through an Ameriprise Financial platform or account will be eligible for the following front-end sales charge waivers and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this Fund’s prospectus or SAI:

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs or SAR-SEPs.

 

Shares purchased through an Ameriprise Financial investment advisory program (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available).

 

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Ameriprise Financial’s platform (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available).

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same Fund (but not any other fund within the same fund family).

 

Shares exchanged from Class C shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to such shares following a shorter holding period, that waiver will apply to exchanges following such shorter period. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to exchanges of Class C shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges.

 

Employees and registered representatives of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates and their immediate family members.

 

Shares purchased by or through qualified accounts (including IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 401(k)s, 403(b) TSCAs subject to ERISA and defined benefit plans) that are held by a covered family member, defined as an Ameriprise financial advisor and/or the advisor’s spouse, advisor’s lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather), advisor’s lineal descendant (son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter) or any spouse of a covered family member who is a lineal descendant.

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (i.e. Rights of Reinstatement).
 

Merrill Lynch

Shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account are eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this Prospectus or in the SAI.

Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

Employer-sponsored retirement, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) and trusts used to fund those plans, provided that the shares are not held in a commission-based brokerage account and shares are held for the benefit of the plan

 

Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan;

 

Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program;

 

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Merrill Lynch’s platform;

 

Shares of funds purchased through the Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform (if applicable);

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family);

 

Shares exchanged from Class C (i.e., level-load) shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date;

 

Employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members;

 

Directors or Trustees of the Fund, and employees of the Fund’s investment adviser or any of its affiliates, as described in the Prospectus; and
 


 

A-1


 

Appendix A - Financial Intermediary Specific Sales Load Waivers


 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement).
 

CDSC Waivers on Class A and Class C Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

Death or disability of the shareholder;

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s Prospectus;

 

Return of excess contributions from an IRA account;

 

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½;

 

Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch;

 

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement; and

 

Shares held in retirement brokerage accounts, that are exchanged for a lower cost share class due to transfer to a fee based account or platform.
 

Merrill Lynch clients subject to a CDSC when transferring from one share class to another may be eligible for CDSC proration. Merrill Lynch will remit the portion of the payment to be made to the Distributor solely for the number of months remaining on the CDSC period divided by the total number of months of the CDSC period.

Front-end load Discounts Available at Merrill Lynch: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent

 

Breakpoints as described in this Prospectus;

 

Rights of Accumulation (ROA) which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible fund family assets not held at Merrill Lynch may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets; and

 

Letters of Intent (LOI) which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time (if applicable).
 

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management transactional brokerage account will be eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers with respect to Class A shares, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this Fund’s Prospectus or SAI.

Front-end Sales Charge Waivers on Class A Shares available at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, SAR-SEPs or Keogh plans

 

Morgan Stanley employee and employee-related accounts according to Morgan Stanley’s account linking rules

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions when purchasing shares of the same fund

 

Shares purchased through a Morgan Stanley self-directed brokerage account

 

Class C (i.e., level-load) shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are converted to Class A shares of the same fund pursuant to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s share class conversion program

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (i) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (ii) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (iii) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge.
 


 

A-2


 

If you would like more information about the Fund, the following documents are or will be available free upon request:

Annual and Semiannual Reports—Provide additional information about the Fund’s investments. The annual report includes a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)—Provides more detailed information about the Fund and its investment limitations and policies. The SAI has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated into this Prospectus by reference.

For a free copy of the Fund’s annual or semiannual reports or its SAI, to request other information about the Fund, and to make shareholder inquiries generally, contact your financial representative, visit the Fund’s website at im.natixis.com or call the Fund at 800-225-5478.

Important Notice Regarding Delivery of Shareholder Documents:

In our continuing effort to reduce your Fund’s expenses and the amount of mail that you receive from us, we will combine mailings of prospectuses, annual or semiannual reports and proxy statements to your household. If more than one family member in your household owns the same fund or funds described in a single prospectus, report or proxy statement, you will receive one mailing unless you request otherwise. Additional copies of our prospectuses, reports or proxy statements may be obtained at any time by calling 800-225-5478. If you are currently receiving multiple mailings to your household and would like to receive only one mailing or if you wish to receive separate mailings for each member of your household in the future, please call us at the telephone number listed above and we will resume separate mailings within 30 days of your request.

Your financial representative or Natixis Funds will also be happy to answer your questions or to provide any additional information that you may require.

Information about the Fund, including its reports and SAI, can be reviewed and copied at the Public Reference Room of the SEC in Washington, D.C. Text-only copies of the Fund’s reports and SAI are available free from the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at: www.sec.gov. Copies of this information may also be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090.

Portfolio Holdings—A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the SAI.

Investment Company Act File No. 811-04323

[ ]-1218


Table of Contents

LOGO

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

December 28, 2018

NATIXIS FUNDS TRUST I

MIROVA INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABLE EQUITY FUND (the “Fund”)

Class A ([    ]), Class N ([    ]) and Class Y ([    ])

This Statement of Additional Information (“Statement”) contains specific information that may be useful to investors but that is not included in the Statutory Prospectus of the Fund. This Statement is not a prospectus and is authorized for distribution only when accompanied or preceded by the Fund’s Summary or Statutory Prospectus, each dated December [    ], 2018 (the “Prospectus”), as from time to time revised or supplemented. This Statement should be read together with the Prospectus. Investors may obtain the Prospectus without charge from Natixis Distribution, L.P. (the “Distributor”), Prospectus Fulfillment Desk, 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197, by calling Natixis Funds at 800-225-5478 or by visiting the Fund’s website at im.natixis.com.

 

1


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

PAGE

 

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     3  

FUND CHARGES AND EXPENSES

     4  

OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES

     5  

THE TRUST

     6  

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

     6  

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

     44  

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

     44  

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

     45  

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

     47  

INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES

     59  

OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

     63  

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

     64  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     65  

DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

     66  

VOTING RIGHTS

     67  

SHAREHOLDER AND TRUSTEE LIABILITY

     68  

HOW TO BUY SHARES

     69  

REDEMPTIONS

     69  

SHAREHOLDER SERVICES

     70  

NET ASSET VALUE

     75  

REDUCED SALES CHARGES

     77  

DISTRIBUTIONS

     80  

TAXES

     80  

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

     92  

THIRD-PARTY INFORMATION

     93  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     93  

APPENDIX A

     A-1  

 

2


Table of Contents

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The following is a description of restrictions on the investments to be made by the Fund. Except where noted below, the restrictions marked with an asterisk (*) are fundamental policies that may not be changed without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”)). The other restrictions set forth below are not fundamental policies and may be changed by the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of Natixis Funds Trust I (the “Trust”). Except in the case of restrictions marked with a dagger (†) below, the percentages set forth below and the percentage limitations set forth in the Prospectus apply at the time an investment is made and shall not be considered violated unless an excess or deficiency occurs or exists immediately after and as a result of such investment.

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund may not:

 

*(1)

Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, 25% or more of the Fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry. For purposes of this restriction, telephone, gas and electric public utilities are each regarded as separate industries and finance companies whose financing activities are related primarily to the activities of their parent companies are classified in the industry of their parents, finance companies whose financing activities are not related primarily to the activities of their parent companies are classified in the industry the Fund’s adviser believes is most applicable to such finance companies, and each foreign country’s government (together with all subdivisions thereof) will be considered to be a separate industry. For purposes of this restriction, asset-backed securities are not considered to be bank obligations.

 

*(2)

Make short sales of securities or maintain a short position, except that the Fund may make any short sales or maintain any short positions where the short sales or short positions would not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act.

 

†*(3)

Borrow money, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.

 

*(4)

Make loans, except that the Fund may purchase or hold debt instruments in accordance with its investment objectives and policies, provided, however, this restriction does not apply to repurchase agreements or loans of portfolio securities.

 

*(5)

Act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers except that, in the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under the federal securities laws.

*(6)

Purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities of issuers which deal in real estate, securities which are secured by interests in real estate, and securities which represent interests in real estate, and it may acquire and dispose of real estate or interests in real estate acquired through the exercise of its rights as a holder of debt obligations secured by real estate or interests therein.

 

*(7)

Issue senior securities, except for permitted borrowings or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act.

 

(8)

Invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings made for investment purposes) in equity securities (Non-Fundamental). Prior to any change to such policy adopted by the Board, the Fund will provide notice to shareholders as required by Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, as such Rule may be interpreted from time to time by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

 

(9)

Acquire any securities of registered open-end investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on subparagraph 12(d)(1)(G) or subparagraph 12(d)(1)(F) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (Non-Fundamental).

 

3


Table of Contents

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund may:

 

*(10)

Purchase and sell commodities to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

In investment restriction (8) above, the 80% policy is applied at the time of investment. However, if the Fund no longer meets the 80% policy (due to changes in the value of its portfolio holdings or other circumstances beyond its control), it must make future investments in a manner that would bring the Fund into compliance with the 80% requirement, but would not be required to sell portfolio holdings that have increased in value.

General Notes on Investment Restrictions

In addition to temporary borrowing, and subject to any stricter restrictions on borrowing applicable to the Fund, the Fund may borrow from any bank, provided that immediately after any such borrowing there is an asset coverage of at least 300% for all borrowings by the Fund and provided further, that in the event that such asset coverage shall at any time fall below 300%, the Fund shall, within three days (not including Sundays and holidays) thereafter or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations, reduce the amount of its borrowings to such an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowing shall be at least 300%. With respect to restrictions on borrowing, the 1940 Act limits the Fund’s ability to borrow money on a non-temporary basis if such borrowings constitute “senior securities.” The Fund may also borrow money or engage in economically similar transactions if those transactions do not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act.

Where applicable, the foregoing investment restrictions shall be interpreted based upon no-action letters and other pronouncements of the staff of the SEC. Under current pronouncements, certain positions (e.g., reverse repurchase agreements) are excluded from the definition of “senior security” so long as the Fund maintains adequate cover, segregation of assets or otherwise. Similarly, a short sale will not be considered a senior security if the Fund takes certain steps contemplated by SEC staff pronouncements, such as ensuring the short sale transaction is adequately covered.

The Fund may not purchase any illiquid security if, as a result, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets (based on current value) would then be invested in such securities. This policy may be changed without a shareholder vote. The staff of the SEC is presently of the view that repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days are subject to this restriction. Until that position is revised, modified or rescinded, the Fund will conduct its operations in a manner consistent with this view. This limitation on investment in illiquid securities does not apply to certain securities which might otherwise be considered illiquid, including securities issued pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and certain commercial paper, which the Fund’s adviser has determined to be liquid under procedures approved by the Board. Similarly, the Fund will not consider a security to be a restricted security for purposes of its investment restrictions if it is determined to be liquid under such procedures.

For purposes of the foregoing restrictions, the Fund does not consider a swap or other derivative contract on one or more securities, indices, currencies or interest rates to be a commodity or a commodity contract, nor, consistent with the position of the SEC, does the Fund consider such swap contracts to involve the issuance of a senior security, provided the Fund designates on its records or segregates with its custodian or otherwise designates liquid assets (marked to market on a daily basis) sufficient to meet its obligations under such contracts.

FUND CHARGES AND EXPENSES

ADVISORY FEES

Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement, Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC (“Ostrum US” or “Adviser”) has agreed to manage the investment and reinvestment of the assets of the Fund, subject to the supervision of the Board. For the services described in the advisory agreement, the Fund has agreed to pay Ostrum US an advisory fee at the annual rate of [    ]% of the average daily net assets.

 

4


Table of Contents

Ostrum US has given a binding contractual undertaking for all classes of the Fund to waive its advisory fee and, if necessary, to reimburse certain expenses related to operating the Fund in order to limit the Fund’s expenses, exclusive of acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage expenses, interest expense, taxes and organizational and extraordinary expenses, such as litigation and indemnification expenses, to the annual rates indicated below. The undertaking is in effect until [    ] for the Fund and may be modified before then only with the consent of the Board. The undertaking will be reevaluated on an annual basis thereafter, subject to the obligation of the Fund to repay such advisory fees waived and/or expenses reimbursed in later periods to the extent that the total annual Fund operating expenses for a class fall below the expense limit; provided, however, that the Fund is not obligated to repay such waived/reimbursed fees and expenses more than one year after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees or expenses are waived/reimbursed.

 

Fund

   Expense Limit     Date of Undertaking  

Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund

       [   

Class A

     [    ]%   

Class N

     [    ]%   

Class Y

     [    ]%   

BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS

The Fund is newly formed and thus has not incurred any brokerage commissions as of the date of this Statement.

For a description of how transactions in portfolio securities are effected and how the Adviser selects brokers, see the section entitled “Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage” in this Statement.

REGULAR BROKER-DEALERS

The Fund is newly formed and thus does not have any holdings of its regular broker-dealers as of the date of this Statement.

SALES CHARGES AND DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE (12B-1) FEES

As explained in this Statement, the Class A shares of the Fund pay the Distributor fees under a plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. The Fund is newly formed and thus has not paid any Rule 12b-1 fees as of the date of this Statement. The anticipated benefits to the Fund of the plan include the ability to attract and maintain assets.

OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES

The Fund is newly formed and has not yet publicly offered shares prior to the date of this Statement.

The Fund may experience large and/or frequent redemptions or investments due to transactions in Fund shares by funds of funds, other large shareholders or similarly managed accounts. While it is impossible to predict the overall effect of these transactions over time, there could be an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance. In the event of such redemptions or investments, the Fund could be required to sell securities or to invest cash at a time when it may not otherwise desire to do so. Such transactions may increase the Fund’s brokerage and/or other transaction costs. In addition, when funds of funds or other investors own a substantial portion of the Fund’s shares, a large redemption could cause actual expenses to increase, or could result in the Fund’s current expenses being allocated over a smaller asset base, leading to an increase in the Fund’s expense ratio. Redemptions by a large investor may increase realized capital gains, including short-term capital gains taxable as ordinary income, may accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders and may limit the use of any capital loss carryforwards and certain other losses to offset future realized capital gains (if any). The impact of these transactions is likely to be greater when a fund of funds or other significant investor purchases, redeems, or owns a substantial portion of the Fund’s shares. When possible, the Adviser will consider how to minimize these potential adverse effects, and may take such actions as it deems appropriate to address potential adverse effects, including redemption of shares in-kind rather than in cash or carrying out the transactions over a period of time, although there can be no assurance that such actions will be successful.

 

5


Table of Contents

THE TRUST

Natixis Funds Trust I (the “Trust”) is registered with the SEC as an open-end management investment company and is organized as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of Massachusetts by a Declaration of Trust dated June 7, 1985, as amended and restated on June 2, 2005 (the “Declaration of Trust”), and is a “series” company as described in Section 18(f)(2) of the 1940 Act, as amended. Currently, each series of the Trust, except the Mirova Global Green Bond Fund, is diversified. The name of the Trust has changed several times since its organization as noted below:

 

Trust Name

  

Date

The New England Life Government Securities Trust

  

June 1985 to August 1986

The New England Funds

  

September 1986 to March 1994

New England Funds Trust I

  

April 1994 to January 2000

Nvest Funds Trust I

  

February 2000 to April 2001

CDC Nvest Funds Trust I

  

May 2001 to April 2005

IXIS Advisor Funds Trust I

  

May 2005 to August 2007

Natixis Funds Trust I

  

August 2007 to present

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

Investment Strategies

The descriptions below summarize and describe certain investment strategies, including particular types of securities, instruments, or specific practices that may be used by the Adviser in managing the Fund.

The Fund’s principal strategies are described in its Prospectus. This Statement describes some of the non-principal strategies the Fund may use, in addition to providing additional information, including related risks, about its principal strategies.

The list of securities or other instruments under each category below is not intended to be an exclusive list of securities, instruments and practices for investment and unless a strategy, practice or security is specifically prohibited by the investment restrictions listed in the Prospectus, in the section “Investment Restrictions” in this Statement or under applicable law, the Fund may engage in each of the strategies and invest in securities and instruments in addition to those listed below. The Adviser may invest in a general category listed below and, where applicable, with particular emphasis on a certain type of security, but investment is not limited to the categories listed below or the securities specifically enumerated under each category. The Fund is not required to engage in a particular transaction or invest in any security or instrument, even if to do so might benefit the Fund. The Adviser may invest in some securities under a given category as a primary strategy and in other securities under the same category as a secondary strategy. The Adviser may invest in any security that falls under the specific category, including securities that are not listed below.    The Prospectus and/or this Statement will be updated if the Fund begins to engage in investment practices that are not described in the Prospectus and/or this Statement.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (“ARM”) Securities

The Fund may invest in ARMs. An ARM, like a traditional mortgage security, is an interest in a pool of mortgage loans that provides investors with payments consisting of both principal and interest as mortgage loans in the underlying mortgage pool are paid off by the borrowers. ARMs have interest rates that are reset at periodic intervals, usually by reference to some interest rate index or market interest rate. Although the rate adjustment feature may act as a buffer to reduce sharp changes in the value of adjustable rate securities, these securities are still subject to changes in value based on changes in market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Since the interest rates are reset only periodically, changes in the interest rate on ARMs may lag behind changes in

 

6


Table of Contents

prevailing market interest rates. In addition, some ARMs (or the underlying mortgages) are subject to caps or floors that limit the maximum change in interest rate during a specified period or over the life of the security. As a result, changes in the interest rate on an ARM may not fully reflect changes in prevailing market interest rates during certain periods. Because of the resetting of interest rates, ARMs are less likely than non-adjustable rate securities of comparable quality and maturity to increase significantly in value when market interest rates fall. In addition, the Fund will not benefit from increases in interest rates to the extent that interest rates rise to the point where they cause the current coupon of the underlying ARM to exceed a cap rate for a particular mortgage. See the section “Mortgage-Related Securities” for more information on the risks involved in ARMs.

Asset-Backed Securities

The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities, which are securities that represent a participation in, or are secured by and payable from, a stream of payments generated by particular assets, most often a pool or pools of similar assets (e.g., trade receivables). The credit quality of these securities depends primarily upon the quality of the underlying assets and the level of credit support and/or enhancement provided. Mortgage-backed securities are a type of asset-backed security. The securitization techniques used to develop mortgage securities are also applied to a broad range of other assets. Through the use of trusts and special purpose vehicles, assets, such as automobile and credit card receivables, are securitized in pass-through structures similar to mortgage pass-through structures or in a pay-through structure similar to a collateralized mortgage obligation (“CMO”) structure (described herein). Generally, the issuers of asset-backed bonds, notes or pass-through certificates are special purpose entities and do not have any significant assets other than the receivables securing such obligations. In general, the collateral supporting asset-backed securities is of shorter maturity than mortgage loans. Instruments backed by pools of receivables are similar to mortgage-backed securities in that they are subject to unscheduled prepayments of principal prior to maturity. When the obligations are prepaid, the Fund will ordinarily reinvest the prepaid amounts in securities, the yields of which reflect interest rates prevailing at the time. Therefore, the Fund’s ability to maintain a portfolio that includes high-yielding asset-backed securities will be adversely affected to the extent that prepayments of principal must be reinvested in securities that have lower yields than the prepaid obligations. Moreover, prepayments of securities purchased at a premium could result in a realized loss.

In addition, the value of some mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities in which the Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates, and the ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend in part upon the ability of its Adviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These types of securities may also decline for reasons associated with the underlying collateral. Asset-backed securities involve risks similar to those described in the section “Mortgage-Related Securities”. The Fund may also invest in residual interests in asset-backed securities, which are interests in the excess cash flow remaining after the issuer makes required payments on the securities and pays related administrative expenses. The total amount of residual cash flow resulting from a particular issue of asset-backed securities depends in part on the characteristics of the underlying assets, the coupon rate on the securities, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the actual performance of the underlying assets. Among other things, such performance is influenced by the amount and timing of losses incurred on the assets and leasing and disposition activity of the asset manager.

The Fund may also gain exposure to asset-backed securities through entering into credit default swaps or other derivative instruments related to this asset class. For example, the Fund may enter into credit default swaps on asset-backed securities, which are indices made up of tranches of asset-backed securities, each with different credit ratings. Utilizing asset-backed securities, one can either gain synthetic risk exposure to a portfolio of such securities by “selling protection” or take a short position by “buying protection.” The protection buyer pays a monthly premium to the protection seller, and the seller agrees to cover any principal losses and interest shortfalls of the referenced underlying asset-backed securities. Credit default swaps and other derivative instruments related to asset-backed securities are subject to the risks associated with asset-backed securities generally, as well as the risks of derivative transactions. See the section “Derivative Instruments” below.

 

7


Table of Contents

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)

The Fund may invest in CMOs. CMOs are securities backed by a portfolio of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities held under indentures. CMOs may be issued either by U.S. government instrumentalities or by non-governmental entities. CMOs are not direct obligations of the U.S. government. The issuer’s obligation to make interest and principal payments is secured by the underlying portfolio of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. CMOs are issued with a number of classes or series, which have different maturities and which may represent interests in some or all of the interest or principal on the underlying collateral or a combination thereof. CMOs of different classes are generally retired in sequence as the underlying mortgage loans in the mortgage pool are repaid. In the event of sufficient early prepayments on such mortgages, the class or series of CMO first to mature generally will be retired prior to its maturity. Thus, the early retirement of a particular class or series of CMO held by the Fund would have a similar effect to the prepayment of mortgages underlying a mortgage pass-through security. CMOs and other asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities may be considered derivative securities. CMOs involve risks similar to those described in the section “Mortgage-Related Securities”.

Convertible Securities

The Fund may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities include corporate bonds, notes or preferred stocks of U.S. or foreign issuers that can be converted into (exchanged for) common stocks or other equity securities. Convertible securities also include other securities, such as warrants, that provide an opportunity for equity participation. Since convertible securities may be converted into equity securities, its value will normally vary in some proportion with those of the underlying equity securities. Convertible securities usually provide a higher yield than the underlying equity, however, so that the price decline of a convertible security may sometimes be less substantial than that of the underlying equity security. Convertible securities are generally subject to the same risks as non-convertible fixed-income securities, but usually provide a lower yield than comparable fixed-income securities. Many convertible securities are relatively illiquid.

Cybersecurity, Operational and Technology Risk

The Fund, its service providers, and other market participants increasingly depend on complex information technology and communications systems to conduct business functions. These systems are subject to a number of different threats or risks that could adversely affect the Fund and its shareholders. These risks include theft, loss, misuse, improper release, corruption and destruction of, or unauthorized access to, confidential or highly sensitive information relating to the Fund and its shareholders; and compromises or failures to systems, networks, devices and applications relating to the operations of the Fund and its service providers. Power outages, natural disasters, equipment malfunctions and processing errors that threaten these systems, as well as market events that occur at a pace that overloads these systems, may also disrupt business operations or impact critical data. Cybersecurity and other operational and technology issues may result in, among other things, financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders; the inability of the Fund to transact business with its shareholders or to engage in portfolio transactions; delays or mistakes in the calculation of the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) or other materials provided to shareholders; the inability to process transactions with shareholders or other parties; violations of privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties and reputational damage; and compliance and remediation costs, legal fees and other expenses. The Fund’s service providers (including, but not limited to, the investment adviser, administrator, transfer agent, and custodian), financial intermediaries, companies in which the Fund invests and parties with which the Fund engages in portfolio or other transactions also may be adversely impacted by cybersecurity and other operational and technology risks, resulting in losses to the Fund or its shareholders. Furthermore, as a result of breaches in cybersecurity or other operational and technology disruptions or failures, an exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities or the entire market, which may result in the Fund being, among other things, unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments or unable to accurately price their investments. The Fund has developed processes, risk management systems and business continuity plans designed to reduce the risks associated with cybersecurity and other operational and technology issues. However, there is no guarantee that those measures will be effective, particularly since the Fund does not directly control the cybersecurity defenses and operational and technology plans and systems of their service providers, financial intermediaries and companies in which they invest or with which they do business. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

 

8


Table of Contents

Debt Securities

The Fund may invest in debt securities. Debt securities are used by issuers to borrow money. The issuer usually pays a fixed, variable or floating rate of interest and must repay the amount borrowed at the maturity of the security. Some debt securities, such as zero-coupon securities, do not pay interest but are sold at a discount from their face values. Debt securities include corporate bonds, government securities and mortgage- and other asset-backed securities. Debt securities include a broad array of short-, medium- and long-term obligations issued by the U.S. or foreign governments, government or international agencies and instrumentalities, and corporate issuers of various types. Some debt securities represent uncollateralized obligations of their issuers; in other cases, the securities may be backed by specific assets (such as mortgages or other receivables) that have been set aside as collateral for the issuer’s obligation. Debt securities generally involve an obligation of the issuer to pay interest or dividends on either a current basis or at the maturity of the securities, as well as the obligation to repay the principal amount of the security at maturity.

Debt securities are subject to market risk and credit risk. Credit risk relates to the ability of the issuer to make payments of principal and interest and includes the risk of default. Sometimes, an issuer may make these payments from money raised through a variety of sources, including, with respect to issuers of municipal securities, (i) the issuer’s general taxing power, (ii) a specific type of tax, such as a property tax or (iii) a particular facility or project such as a highway. The ability of an issuer to make these payments could be affected by general economic conditions, issues specific to the issuer, litigation, legislation or other political events, the bankruptcy of the issuer, war, natural disasters, terrorism or other major events. U.S. government securities are not generally perceived to involve credit risks to the same extent as investments in other types of fixed-income securities; as a result, the yields available from U.S. government securities are generally lower than the yields available from corporate and municipal debt securities. Market risk is the risk that the value of the security will fall because of changes in market rates of interest. Generally, the value of debt securities falls when market rates of interest are rising. Some debt securities also involve prepayment or call risk. This is the risk that the issuer will repay the Fund the principal on the security before it is due, thus depriving the Fund of a favorable stream of future interest payments.

Because interest rates vary, it is impossible to predict the income of the Fund that invests in debt securities for any particular period. Fluctuations in the value of the Fund’s investments in debt securities will cause the Fund’s NAV to increase or decrease.

Fixed-Income Securities

The Fund may invest in fixed-income securities. Fixed-income securities pay a specified rate of interest or dividends, or a rate that is adjusted periodically by reference to some specified index or market rate. Fixed-income securities include securities issued by federal, state, local and foreign governments and related agencies, and by a wide range of private or corporate issuers. Fixed-income securities include, among others, bonds, debentures, notes, bills and commercial paper. Because interest rates vary, it is impossible to predict the income of the Fund for any particular period. In addition, the prices of fixed-income securities generally vary inversely with changes in interest rates. Prices of fixed-income securities may also be affected by items related to a particular issue or to the debt markets generally. The NAV of the Fund’s shares will vary as a result of changes in the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio.

Investment-Grade Fixed-Income Securities. To be considered investment-grade quality, at least one of the three major rating agencies (Fitch Investor Services, Inc. (“Fitch”), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”)) must have rated the security in one of its respective top four rating categories at the time the Fund acquires the security or, if the security is unrated, the Adviser must have determined it to be of comparable quality.

Below Investment-Grade Fixed-Income Securities. Below investment-grade fixed-income securities (commonly referred to as “junk bonds”) are rated below investment-grade quality. To be considered below investment-grade quality, none of the three major rating agencies (Fitch, Moody’s and S&P) must have rated the security in one of its respective top four rating categories at the time the Fund acquires the security or, if the security is unrated, the Adviser must have determined it to be of comparable quality.

 

9


Table of Contents

Below investment-grade fixed-income securities are subject to greater credit/counterparty risk and market risk than higher-quality fixed-income securities. Below investment-grade fixed-income securities are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the ability of the issuer to make timely principal and interest payments. If the Fund invests in below investment-grade fixed-income securities, the Fund’s achievement of its objective may be more dependent on the Adviser’s own credit analysis than is the case with funds that invest in higher-quality fixed-income securities. The market for below investment-grade fixed-income securities may be more severely affected than some other financial markets by economic recession or substantial interest rate increases, by changing public perceptions of this market, or by legislation that limits the ability of certain categories of financial institutions to invest in these securities. In addition, the secondary market may be less liquid for below investment-grade fixed-income securities. This lack of liquidity at certain times may affect the values of these securities and may make the evaluation and sale of these securities more difficult. Below investment-grade fixed-income securities may be in poor standing or in default and typically have speculative characteristics.

For more information about the ratings services’ descriptions of the various ratings categories, see Appendix A. The Fund may continue to hold fixed-income securities that are downgraded in quality subsequent to their purchase if the Adviser believes it would be advantageous to do so.

Inflation-Linked and Inflation-Indexed Securities

The Fund may invest in inflation-linked securities. Inflation-linked securities are fixed-income securities whose principal values are adjusted periodically according to the rate of inflation. These securities generally have maturities of ten or thirty years and interest is payable semiannually. The principal amount of these securities increases with increases in the price index used as a reference value for the securities. In addition, the amounts payable as coupon interest payments increase when the price index increases because the interest amount is calculated by multiplying the principal amount (as adjusted) by a fixed coupon rate.

Although inflation-linked securities protect their holders from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may result in a decline in value. The values of inflation-linked securities generally fluctuate in response to changes to real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a rate faster than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of the inflation-linked securities. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of inflation-linked securities. If inflation is lower than expected during a period in which the Fund holds inflation-linked securities, the Fund may earn less on such securities than on a conventional security. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in inflation-linked securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the price index used as a reference for the securities. There can be no assurance that the price index used for an inflation-linked security will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Inflation-linked and inflation-indexed securities include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities issued by the U.S. government (see the section “U.S. Government Securities” for additional information), but also may include securities issued by state, local and non-U.S. governments and corporations and supranational entities.

The Fund’s investments in inflation-indexed securities can cause the Fund to accrue income for U.S. federal income tax purposes without a corresponding receipt of cash; the Fund may be required to dispose of portfolio securities (including when not otherwise advantageous to do so) in order to obtain sufficient cash to meet its distribution requirements for treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

Investments in Banks

The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in certificates of deposit (certificates representing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time), time deposits (non-negotiable deposits maintained in a bank for a specified period of time up to seven days at a stated interest rate), bankers’ acceptances (credit instruments evidencing the obligation of a bank to pay a draft drawn on it by a customer) and other securities and instruments issued by domestic banks, foreign branches of domestic banks, foreign subsidiaries of domestic banks and domestic and foreign branches of foreign banks. Banks are also expected to serve as counterparties on some of the Fund’s derivative contracts.

 

10


Table of Contents

The Fund also may purchase U.S. dollar-denominated obligations issued by foreign branches of domestic banks or foreign branches of foreign banks (“Eurodollar” obligations) and domestic branches of foreign banks (“Yankee dollar” obligations). Eurodollar and other foreign obligations involve special investment risks, including the possibility that (i) liquidity could be impaired because of future political and economic developments, (ii) the obligations may be less marketable than comparable domestic obligations of domestic issuers, (iii) a foreign jurisdiction might impose withholding or other taxes on interest income payable on those obligations, (iv) deposits may be seized or nationalized, (v) foreign governmental restrictions such as exchange controls may be adopted which might adversely affect the payment of principal and interest on those obligations, (vi) the selection of foreign obligations may be more difficult because there may be less information publicly available concerning foreign issuers, (vii) there may be difficulties in enforcing a judgment against a foreign issuer, or (viii) the accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements applicable to foreign issuers may differ from those applicable to domestic issuers. In addition, foreign banks are not subject to examination by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities.

These restrictions will not limit which banks may serve as counterparties for the Fund’s derivative instruments.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

The Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls. A dollar roll involves the sale of a security by the Fund and its agreement to repurchase the instrument at a specified time and price, and may be considered a form of borrowing for some purposes. The Fund will designate on its records or segregate with its custodian bank assets determined to be liquid in an amount sufficient to meet its obligations under the transactions. A dollar roll involves potential risks of loss that are different from those related to the securities underlying the transactions. The Fund may be required to purchase securities at a higher price than may otherwise be available on the open market. Since the counterparty in the transaction is required to deliver a similar, but not identical, security to the Fund, the security that the Fund is required to buy under the dollar roll may be worth less than an identical security. There is no assurance that the Fund’s use of the cash that it receives from a dollar roll will provide a return that exceeds borrowing costs.

Mortgage-Related Securities

The Fund may invest in mortgage-related securities, such as Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) or Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) certificates, which differ from traditional debt securities. Among the major differences are that interest and principal payments are made more frequently, usually monthly, and that principal may be prepaid at any time because the underlying mortgage loans generally may be prepaid at any time. As a result, if the Fund purchases these assets at a premium, a faster-than-expected prepayment rate will tend to reduce yield to maturity, and a slower-than-expected prepayment rate may have the opposite effect of increasing yield to maturity. If the Fund purchases mortgage-related securities at a discount, faster-than-expected prepayments will tend to increase, and slower-than-expected prepayments will tend to reduce, yield to maturity. Prepayments, and resulting amounts available for reinvestment by the Fund, are likely to be greater during a period of declining interest rates and, as a result, are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates. Accelerated prepayments on securities purchased at a premium may result in a loss of principal if the premium has not been fully amortized at the time of prepayment. Although these securities will decrease in value as a result of increases in interest rates generally, they are likely to appreciate less than other fixed-income securities when interest rates decline because of the risk of prepayments. In addition, an increase in interest rates would increase the inherent volatility of the Fund by increasing the average life of the Fund’s portfolio securities.

The value of some mortgage-backed or asset-backed securities in which the Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates, and the ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend in part upon the ability of the Adviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These types of securities may also decline for reasons associated with the underlying collateral. The risk of non-payment is greater for mortgage-related securities that are backed by mortgage pools that contain “subprime” or “Alt-A” loans (loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories, less documentation or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans), but a level of risk exists for all loans. Market factors adversely affecting mortgage loan repayments may include a general economic downturn, high unemployment, a general slowdown in the real estate market, a drop in the market prices of real estate, or an increase in interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments by holders of adjustable-rate mortgages. Securities issued by the GNMA and the FNMA and similar issuers also may be exposed to risks described under “U.S. Government Securities.”

 

11


Table of Contents

The Fund also may gain exposure to mortgage-related securities through entering into credit default swaps or other derivative instruments related to this asset class. For example, the Fund may enter into credit default swaps on CMBX, which are indices made up of tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities, each with different credit ratings. Utilizing CMBX, one can either gain synthetic risk exposure to a portfolio of such securities by “selling protection” or take a short position by “buying protection.” The protection buyer pays a monthly premium to the protection seller, and the seller agrees to cover any principal losses and interest shortfalls of the referenced underlying mortgage-backed securities. Credit default swaps and other derivative instruments related to mortgage-related securities are subject to the risks associated with mortgage-related securities generally, as well as the risks of derivative transactions. See the section “Derivative Instruments” below.

Pay-in-Kind Securities

The Fund may invest in pay-in-kind securities. Pay-in-kind securities pay dividends or interest in the form of additional securities of the issuer, rather than in cash. These securities are usually issued and traded at a discount from their face amounts. The amount of the discount varies depending on various factors, such as the time remaining until maturity of the securities, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The market prices of pay-in-kind securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities that pay interest periodically and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than are other types of securities having similar maturities and credit quality. The Fund would be required to distribute the income on these instruments as it accrues, even though the Fund will not receive the income on a current basis or in cash. Thus, such Fund may have to sell other investments, including when it may not be advisable to do so, to make income distributions to its shareholders. The Fund would be required to distribute income on these instruments as it accrues, even though the Fund will not receive the income on a current basis or in cash. Thus, the Fund may have to sell other investments, including when it may not be advisable to do so, to make income distributions to its shareholders.

Rule 144A Securities and Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper

The Fund may invest in Rule 144A securities and/or Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper. Rule 144A securities are privately offered securities that can be resold only to certain qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act. The Fund may also purchase commercial paper issued under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act or similar debt obligations. Commercial paper is generally considered to be short-term unsecured debt of corporations. Investing in Rule 144A securities and Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper could have the effect of increasing the level of the Fund’s illiquidity to the extent that qualified institutional buyers become, for a time, uninterested in purchasing these securities. Rule 144A securities and Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper are treated as illiquid unless the Adviser has determined, under guidelines established by the Board, that the particular issue is liquid. Under the guidelines, the Adviser considers such factors as: (1) the frequency of the trades and quotes for a security; (2) the number of dealers willing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential purchasers; (3) dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and (4) the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace trades in the security.

Step-Coupon Securities

The Fund may invest in step-coupon securities. Step-coupon securities trade at a discount from their face value and pay coupon interest. The coupon rate is low for an initial period and then increases to a higher coupon rate thereafter. Market values of these types of securities generally fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than conventional interest-paying securities of comparable term and quality. Under many market conditions, investments in such securities may be illiquid, making it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them or determine their current value.

 

12


Table of Contents

“Stripped” Securities

The Fund may invest in stripped securities, which are usually structured with two or more classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distribution on a pool of U.S. government or foreign government securities or mortgage assets. In some cases, one class will receive all of the interest (the interest-only or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). Stripped securities commonly have greater market volatility than other types of fixed-income securities. In the case of stripped mortgage securities, if the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its investments in IOs. Stripped securities may be illiquid. Stripped securities may be considered derivative securities. See the section “Derivative Instruments” below.

 

13


Table of Contents

Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in a broad category of instruments known as “structured notes.” These instruments are debt obligations issued by industrial corporations, financial institutions or governmental or international agencies. Traditional debt obligations typically obligate the issuer to repay the principal plus a specified rate of interest. Structured notes, by contrast, obligate the issuer to pay amounts of principal or interest that are determined by reference to changes in some external factor or factors, or the principal and interest rate may vary from the stated rate because of changes in these factors. For example, the issuer’s obligations could be determined by reference to changes in the value of a commodity (such as gold or oil) or commodity index, a foreign currency, an index of securities (such as the S&P 500® Index) or an interest rate (such as the U.S. Treasury bill rate). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations are determined by reference to changes over time in the difference (or “spread”) between two or more external factors (such as the U.S. prime lending rate and the total return of the stock market in a particular country, as measured by a stock index). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations may fluctuate inversely with changes in an external factor or factors (for example, if the U.S. prime lending rate goes up, the issuer’s interest payment obligations are reduced). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations may be determined by some multiple of the change in an external factor or factors (for example, three times the change in the U.S. Treasury bill rate). In some cases, the issuer’s obligations remain fixed (as with a traditional debt instrument) so long as an external factor or factors do not change by more than the specified amount (for example, if the value of a stock index does not exceed some specified maximum), but if the external factor or factors change by more than the specified amount, the issuer’s obligations may be sharply reduced.

Structured notes can serve many different purposes in the management of the Fund. For example, they can be used to increase the Fund’s exposure to changes in the value of assets that the Fund would not ordinarily purchase directly (such as commodities or stocks traded in a market that is not open to U.S. investors). They can also be used to hedge the risks associated with other investments the Fund holds. For example, if a structured note has an interest rate that fluctuates inversely with general changes in a country’s stock market index, the value of the structured note would generally move in the opposite direction to the value of holdings of stocks in that market, thus moderating the effect of stock market movements on the value of the Fund’s portfolio as a whole.

Structured notes involve special risks. As with any debt obligation, structured notes involve the risk that the issuer will become insolvent or otherwise default on its payment obligations. This risk is in addition to the risk that the issuer’s obligations (and thus the value of the Fund’s investment) will be reduced because of adverse changes in the external factor or factors to which the obligations are linked. The value of structured notes will in many cases be more volatile (that is, will change more rapidly or severely) than the value of traditional debt instruments. Volatility will be especially high if the issuer’s obligations are determined by reference to some multiple of the change in the external factor or factors. Many structured notes have limited or no liquidity, so that the Fund would be unable to dispose of the investment prior to maturity. As with all investments, successful use of structured notes depends in significant part on the accuracy of the Adviser’s analysis of the issuer’s creditworthiness and financial prospects, and of the Adviser’s forecast as to changes in relevant economic and financial market conditions and factors. In instances where the issuer of a structured note is a foreign entity, the usual risks associated with investments in foreign securities (described below) apply. Structured notes may be considered derivative securities.

U.S. Government Securities

The Fund may invest in some or all of the following U.S. government securities:

U.S. Treasury Bills – Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury that are issued in maturities of one year or less. No interest is paid on Treasury bills; instead, they are issued at a discount and repaid at full face value when they mature. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds – Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury issued in maturities that vary between one and thirty years, with interest normally payable every six (6) months. These obligations are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

 

14


Table of Contents

U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes – Treasury Floating Rate Notes are new instruments authorized by amendments to the U.S. Treasury’s marketable securities auction rules. As with other floating rate securities, at certain intervals the interest payment on a Treasury Floating Rate Note will increase when the applicable index increases, and will decrease when the applicable index decreases. Treasury Floating Rate Notes are a relatively new type of financial instrument. As such, there is no significant trading history of these securities, and there can be no assurance that a liquid market in these securities will develop. Lack of a liquid market may impose the risk of higher transaction costs and the possibility that the Fund may be forced to liquidate positions when it would not be advantageous to do so.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”) – Fixed-income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on TIPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of TIPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.

“Ginnie Maes” – Debt securities issued by a mortgage banker or other mortgagee that represent an interest in a pool of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration or the Rural Housing Service or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. The GNMA guarantees the timely payment of principal and interest when such payments are due, whether or not these amounts are collected by the issuer of these certificates on the underlying mortgages. It is generally understood that a guarantee by GNMA is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Mortgages included in single family or multi-family residential mortgage pools backing an issue of Ginnie Maes have a maximum maturity of 30 years. Scheduled payments of principal and interest are made to the registered holders of Ginnie Maes (such as the Fund) each month. Unscheduled prepayments may be made by homeowners, or as a result of a default. Prepayments are passed through to the registered holder (such as the Fund, which reinvests any prepayments) of Ginnie Maes along with regular monthly payments of principal and interest.

“Fannie Maes” – The FNMA is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders that purchases residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers, including state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions and mortgage banks. Fannie Maes are pass-through securities issued by FNMA that are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA, but these obligations are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

“Freddie Macs” – The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) is a corporate instrumentality of the U.S. government. Freddie Macs are participation certificates issued by FHLMC that represent an interest in residential mortgages from FHLMC’s National Portfolio. FHLMC guarantees the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal, but these obligations are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

U.S. government securities generally do not involve the credit risks associated with investments in other types of fixed-income securities, although, as a result, the yields available from U.S. government securities are generally lower than the yields available from corporate fixed-income securities. Like other debt securities, the values of U.S. government securities change as interest rates fluctuate. Fluctuations in the value of portfolio securities will not affect interest income on existing portfolio securities but will be reflected in the Fund’s NAV. Because the magnitude of these fluctuations generally will be greater at times when the Fund’s average maturity is longer, under certain market conditions the Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, accept lower current income from short-term investments rather than investing in higher yielding long-term securities. Securities such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by the relevant entity (e.g., FNMA or FHLMC) but have not been backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Instead, they have been supported only by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations. An event affecting the guaranteeing entity could adversely affect the payment of principal or interest or both on the security, and therefore, these types of securities should be considered to be riskier than U.S. government securities.

S&P downgraded its long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States from “AAA” to “AA+” on August 5, 2011. The downgrade by S&P and other possible downgrades in the future may result in increased volatility or liquidity risk, higher interest rates and lower prices for U.S. government securities and increased costs for all kinds of debt. The value of the Fund’s shares may be adversely affected by S&P’s downgrade or any future downgrades of the U.S. government’s credit rating given that the Fund may invest in U.S. government securities.

 

15


Table of Contents

In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department placed FNMA and FHLMC into conservatorship. The companies remain in conservatorship, and the effect that this conservatorship will have on the companies’ debt and equity securities is unclear. Although the U.S. government has recently provided financial support to FNMA and FHLMC, there can be no assurance that it will support these or other government-sponsored enterprises in the future. In addition, any such government support may benefit the holders of only certain classes of an issuer’s securities.

The values of TIPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of TIPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of TIPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds TIPS, the Fund may earn less on the TIPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in TIPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for TIPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

See the section “Mortgage-Related Securities” for additional information on these securities.

Zero-Coupon Securities

The Fund may invest in zero-coupon securities. Zero-coupon securities are debt obligations that do not entitle the holder to any periodic payments of interest either for the entire life of the obligation or for an initial period after the issuance of the obligations; the holder generally is entitled to receive the par value of the security at maturity. These securities are issued and traded at a discount from their face amounts. The amount of the discount varies depending on such factors as the time remaining until maturity of the securities, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The market prices of zero-coupon securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities that pay interest periodically and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than are other types of securities having similar maturities and credit quality. The Fund’s investment in zero-coupon securities will require the Fund to accrue income without a corresponding receipt of cash. The Fund may be required to dispose of other portfolio securities (including at a time when it is not otherwise advantageous to do so) in order to obtain sufficient cash to meet its distribution requirements for treatment as a RIC under the Code.

Equity Securities

The Fund may invest in equity securities. Common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants, securities convertible into common or preferred stocks and similar securities, together called “equity securities,” are generally volatile and more risky than some other forms of investment. Equity securities of companies with relatively small market capitalizations may be more volatile than the securities of larger, more established companies and than the broad equity market indices generally. Common stock and other equity securities may take the form of stock in corporations, partnership interests, interests in limited liability companies and other direct or indirect interests in business organizations.

Equity securities are securities that represent an ownership interest (or the right to acquire such an interest) in a company and may include common and preferred stocks, securities exercisable for, or convertible into, common or preferred stocks, such as warrants, convertible debt securities and convertible preferred stock, and other equity-like interests in an entity. Equity securities may take the form of stock in a corporation, limited partnership interests, interests in limited liability companies, depositary receipts, real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) or other trusts and other similar securities. Common stocks represent an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. Preferred stocks represent an equity or ownership interest in an issuer that pays dividends at a specified rate and that has precedence over common stock in the payment of dividends. In the event that an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds and other debt securities generally take precedence over holders of preferred stock, whose claims take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.

 

16


Table of Contents

While offering greater potential for long-term growth, equity securities generally are more volatile and more risky than some other forms of investment, particularly debt securities. The value of your investment in the Fund that invests in equity securities may decrease, potentially by a significant amount. The Fund may invest in equity securities of companies with relatively small market capitalizations. Securities of such companies may be more volatile than the securities of larger, more established companies and the broad equity market indices. See the section “Market Capitalizations” below. The Fund’s investments may include securities traded “over-the-counter” (“OTC”) as well as those traded on a securities exchange. Some securities, particularly OTC securities, may be more difficult to sell under some market conditions.

The Fund may invest in growth stocks and value stocks. Growth stocks are those stocks of companies that Adviser believes have earnings that will grow faster than the economy as a whole. Growth stocks typically trade at higher multiples of current earnings than other stocks. As a result, the values of growth stocks may be more sensitive to changes in current or expected earnings than the values of other stocks. If the Adviser’s assessment of the prospects for a company’s earnings growth is wrong, or if its judgment of how other investors will value the company’s earnings growth is wrong, then the price of that company’s stock may fall or may not approach the value that the Adviser has placed on it.

Value stocks are those stocks of companies that are not expected to experience significant earnings growth, but that the Adviser believes are undervalued compared to their true worth. These companies may have experienced adverse business developments or may be subject to special risks that have caused their stocks to be out of favor. If the Adviser’s assessment of a company’s prospects is wrong, or if other investors do not eventually recognize the value of the company, then the price of the company’s stock may fall or may not approach the value that the Adviser has placed on it.

Many stocks may have both “growth” and “value” characteristics, and for some stocks it may be unclear under which category, if any, the stock should be characterized.

Commodities

Commodities are assets that have tangible properties, such as oil, metals, livestock or agricultural products. Historically, commodity investments have had a relatively high correlation with changes in inflation and a relatively low correlation to stock and bond returns. Commodity-related securities and other instruments provide exposure, which may include long and/or short exposure, to the investment returns of physical commodities that trade in commodities markets, without investing directly in physical commodities. The Fund may invest in commodity-related securities and other instruments, such as structured notes, swap agreements, options, futures and options on futures that derive value from the price movement of commodities, or some other readily measurable economic variable dependent upon changes in the value of commodities or the commodities markets. However, investments in commodity-linked instruments do not generally provide a claim on the underlying commodity. In addition, the ability of the Fund to invest directly in commodities, and in certain commodity-related securities and other instruments, is subject to significant limitations in order to enable the Fund to maintain its status as a RIC under the Code. See “Taxes” below for more information.

The value of commodity-related instruments may be affected by changes in overall market movements, volatility of the underlying benchmark, changes in interest rates or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as droughts, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. The value of commodity-related instruments will rise or fall in response to changes in the underlying commodity or related index. Investments in commodity-related instruments may be subject to greater volatility than non-commodity-based investments. A highly liquid secondary market may not exist for certain commodity-related instruments, and there can be no assurance that one will develop. Commodity-related instruments are also subject to credit and interest rate risks that in general affect the values of debt securities. The Fund may lose money on its commodity investments.

 

17


Table of Contents

Corporate Reorganizations

The Fund may invest in securities for which a tender or exchange offer has been made or announced and in securities of companies for which a merger, consolidation, liquidation or reorganization proposal has been announced if, in the judgment of the Fund’s investment adviser, there is a reasonable prospect of capital appreciation significantly greater than the brokerage and other transaction expenses involved. The primary risk of such investments is that if the contemplated transaction is abandoned, revised, delayed or becomes subject to unanticipated uncertainties, the market price of the securities may decline below the purchase price paid by the Fund.

In general, securities, which are the subject of such an offer or proposal sell at a premium to their historic market price immediately prior to the announcement of the offer or proposal. However, the increased market price of such securities may also discount what the stated or appraised value of the security would be if the contemplated transaction were approved or consummated. Such investments may be advantageous when the discount significantly overstates the risk of the contingencies involved, significantly undervalues the securities, assets or cash to be received by shareholders of the prospective company as a result of the contemplated transaction or fails adequately to recognize the possibility that the offer or proposal may be replaced or superseded by an offer or proposal of greater value. The evaluation of such contingencies requires unusually broad knowledge and experience on the part of the Fund’s investment adviser which must appraise not only the value of the issuer and its component businesses, but also the financial resources and business motivation of the offer or proposal as well as the dynamics of the business climate when the offer or proposal is in process.

Investment Companies

The Fund may invest in other investment companies. Investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), are essentially pools of securities. Investing in other investment companies involves substantially the same risks as investing directly in the underlying securities, but may involve additional expenses at the investment company level, such as investment advisory fees and operating expenses. In some cases, investing in an investment company may involve the payment of a premium over the value of the assets held in that investment company’s portfolio. In other circumstances, the market value of an investment company’s shares may be less than the NAV per share of the investment company. As an investor in another investment company, the Fund will bear its ratable share of the investment company’s expenses, including advisory fees, and the Fund’s shareholders will bear such expenses indirectly, in addition to similar fees and expenses of the Fund. The Fund may also be exposed to the risks associated with the underlying investment company’s investments.

Despite the possibility of greater fees and expenses, investment in other investment companies may be attractive nonetheless for several reasons, especially in connection with foreign investments. Because of restrictions on direct investment by U.S. entities in certain countries, investing indirectly in such countries (by purchasing shares of another fund that is permitted to invest in such countries) may be the most practical and efficient way for the Fund to invest in such countries. In other cases, when the Adviser desires to make only a relatively small investment in a particular country, investing through another fund that holds a diversified portfolio in that country may be more effective than investing directly in issuers in that country. In addition, it may be efficient for the Fund to gain exposure to particular market segments by investing in shares of one or more investment companies.

Exchange-Traded Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of ETFs. An ETF is an investment company that is generally registered under the 1940 Act that holds a portfolio of securities designed to track the performance of a particular index. The index may be actively managed. ETFs sell and redeem their shares at NAV in large blocks (typically 50,000 of its shares or more) called “creation units.” Shares representing fractional interests in these creation units are listed for trading on national securities exchanges and can be purchased and sold in the secondary market in lots of any size at any time during the trading day. ETFs sometimes also refer to entities that are not registered under the 1940 Act that invest directly in commodities or other assets (e.g., gold bullion). Investments in ETFs involve certain inherent risks generally associated with investments in a broadly-based portfolio of securities, including risks that the general level of stock prices may decline, thereby adversely affecting the value of each unit of the ETF or other instrument. In addition, an ETF may not fully replicate the performance of its benchmark index because of the temporary unavailability of certain index securities in the secondary market or discrepancies between the ETF and the index with respect to the weighting of securities or number of stocks held.

 

18


Table of Contents

Limitations on Investments in Other Investment Companies. Investments in other investment companies are typically subject to limitations prescribed by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act limitations currently provide, in part, that, unless an exception applies, the Fund may not purchase shares of an investment company if such a purchase would cause the Fund (a) to own in the aggregate more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the investment company; (b) to have more than 5% of its total assets invested in the aggregate in the investment company; or (c) to have more than 10% of its total assets invested in the aggregate in all investment companies. Investments by the Fund may exceed these limitations, however, if permitted by applicable exemptive relief; for example, the Fund may invest in excess of the foregoing limitations in an unaffiliated ETF if the ETF has obtained exemptive relief from the SEC and both the ETF and the Fund adhere to the conditions in the exemptive relief.

Market Capitalizations

The Fund may invest in companies with small, medium or large market capitalizations. Large capitalization companies are generally large companies that have been in existence for a number of years and are well established in their market. Middle market capitalization companies are generally medium-sized companies that are not as established as large capitalization companies, may be more volatile and are subject to many of the same risks as smaller capitalization companies.

Small Capitalization Companies

The Fund may invest in companies with relatively small market capitalizations. Such investments may involve greater risk than is usually associated with more established companies. These companies often have sales and earnings growth rates that exceed those of companies with larger market capitalizations. Such growth rates may in turn be reflected in more rapid share price appreciation. However, companies with smaller market capitalization often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources and may be dependent upon a relatively small management group. These securities may have limited marketability and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic movements in price than securities of companies with larger market capitalization or market averages in general. To the extent that the Fund invests in companies with relatively small market capitalizations, the value of its stock portfolio may fluctuate more widely than broad market averages.

Preferred Stock

The Fund may invest in preferred stock. Preferred stock pays dividends at a specified rate and generally has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the issuer’s assets, but is junior to the debt securities of the issuer in those same respects. Unlike interest payments on debt securities, dividends on preferred stock are generally payable at the discretion of the issuer’s board of directors. Shareholders may suffer a loss of value if dividends are not paid. The market prices of preferred stocks are subject to changes in interest rates and are more sensitive to changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness than are the prices of debt securities. Under normal circumstances, preferred stock does not carry voting rights.

REITs

The Fund may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in either real estate or real estate-related loans. REITs involve certain unique risks in addition to those risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general (such as possible declines in the value of real estate, lack of availability of mortgage funds or extended vacancies of property). Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended and changes in interest rates. REITs, whose the underlying assets are concentrated in properties used by a particular industry, such as health care, are also subject to risks associated with such industry. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified, and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, risks of default by borrowers, and self-liquidation. REITs are also subject to the possibilities of failing to qualify for favorable tax treatment available to REITs under the Code, and failing to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act.

REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks, including prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. If the REIT invests in adjustable rate mortgage loans the interest rates on which are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s

 

19


Table of Contents

investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates. This causes the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed rate obligations. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than more widely held securities.

The Fund’s investment in a REIT may result in the Fund’s making distributions that constitute a return of capital to Fund shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, distributions by the Fund from REITs will not qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction or, generally, for treatment as qualified dividend income.

Real Estate Securities

The Fund may invest in securities of companies in the real estate industry, including REITs, and is, therefore, subject to the special risks associated with the real estate market and the real estate industry in general. Companies in the real estate industry are considered to be those that (i) have principal activity involving the development, ownership, construction, management or sale of real estate; (ii) have significant real estate holdings, such as hospitality companies, supermarkets and mining, lumber and paper companies; and/or (iii) provide products or services related to the real estate industry, such as financial institutions that make and/or service mortgage loans and manufacturers or distributors of building supplies. Securities of companies in the real estate industry are sensitive to factors such as changes in real estate values, property taxes, interest rates, cash flow of underlying real estate assets, occupancy rates, government regulations affecting zoning, land use, and rents, and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer. Companies in the real estate industry may also be subject to liabilities under environmental and hazardous waste laws.

Depositary Receipts

The Fund may invest in foreign equity securities by purchasing “depositary receipts.” Depositary receipts are instruments issued by banks that represent an interest in equity securities held by arrangement with the bank. Depositary receipts can be either “sponsored” or “unsponsored.” Sponsored depositary receipts are issued by banks in cooperation with the issuer of the underlying equity securities. Unsponsored depositary receipts are arranged without involvement by the issuer of the underlying equity securities and, therefore, less information about the issuer of the underlying equity securities may be available and the price may be more volatile than in the case of sponsored depositary receipts. American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) are depositary receipts that are bought and sold in the United States and are typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company which evidence ownership of underlying securities by a foreign corporation.

All depositary receipts, including those denominated in U.S. dollars, will be subject to foreign currency risk. European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) are depositary receipts that are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or U.S. corporation. All depositary receipts, including those denominated in U.S. dollars, will be subject to foreign currency risk. The effect of changes in the dollar value of a foreign currency on the dollar value of the Fund’s assets and on the net investment income available for distribution may be favorable or unfavorable. The Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. In addition, the Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio assets, or may incur increased currency conversion costs, to compensate for a decline in the dollar value of a foreign currency occurring between the time when the Fund declares and pays a dividend, or between the time when the Fund accrues and pays an operating expense in U.S. dollars.

Because the Fund may invest in depositary receipts, changes in foreign economies and political climates are more likely to affect the Fund than a mutual fund that invests exclusively in U.S. companies. There may also be less government supervision of foreign markets, resulting in non-uniform accounting practices and less publicly available information. If the Fund’s portfolio is over-weighted in a certain geographic region, any negative development affecting that region will have a greater impact on the Fund than a Fund that is not over-weighted in that region.

 

20


Table of Contents

Emerging Markets

Investments in foreign securities may include investments in emerging or developing countries, whose economies or securities markets are not highly developed. The same or similar risks are seen in investments in companies that are located in developed markets but derive substantial revenues from emerging markets. The risks associated with investing in foreign securities are often heightened for investments in emerging market countries. These heightened risks include (i) greater risks of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, nationalization, and less social, political and economic stability; (ii) the small size of the markets for securities of emerging market issuers and the oftentimes low or nonexistent volume of trading, resulting in lack of liquidity and in price volatility; (iii) certain national policies that may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investing in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to relevant national interests or currency transfer restrictions; (iv) an economy’s dependence on revenues from particular commodities or on international aid or development assistance; (v) the absence of developed legal structures governing private or foreign investment and private property and/or less developed custodial and deposit systems and delays and disruptions in securities settlement procedures; and (vi) risks associated with the imposition of sanctions by the U.S. government. The Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging market countries may be constrained by limitations as to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. In certain cases, such limitations may be computed based upon the aggregate trading by or holdings of the Fund, its Adviser and its affiliates, and their respective clients and other service providers. The Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached. These limitations may have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and may adversely affect the liquidity of the Fund’s investment to the extent that it invests in certain emerging market countries. In addition, some emerging market countries may have fixed or managed currencies that are not free-floating against the U.S. dollar. Further, certain emerging market countries’ currencies may not be internationally traded. Certain of these currencies have experienced a steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar. If the Fund does not hedge the U.S. dollar value of securities it owns denominated in currencies that are devalued, the Fund’s NAV will be adversely affected. Many emerging market countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had and may continue to have adverse effects on the economies and securities markets of certain of these countries.

In determining whether to invest in securities of foreign issuers, the Adviser may consider the likely effects of foreign taxes on the net yield available to the Fund and its shareholders. Compliance with foreign tax laws may reduce the Fund’s net income available for distribution to shareholders.

Foreign Investment Companies

Some of the countries in which the Fund may invest may not permit, or may place economic restrictions on, direct investment by outside investors. Investments in such countries may only be permitted through foreign government-approved or authorized investment vehicles, which may include other investment companies. The Fund may also invest in registered or unregistered closed-end investment companies that invest in foreign securities. Investing through such vehicles may involve frequent or layered fees or expenses and may also be subject to limitation under the 1940 Act or to special tax rules under the Code. If the Fund invests in investment companies, shareholders will bear not only their proportionate share of the Fund’s expenses (including operating expenses and the fees of the Adviser), but also, indirectly, the similar expenses of the underlying investment companies.

Foreign Securities

The Fund will invest in foreign securities. The Fund may define “foreign securities” differently and the examples described in this section should not be considered a definition of “foreign securities.” Foreign securities may include, among other things, securities of issuers organized or headquartered outside the U.S. as well as obligations of supranational entities. In addition to the risks associated with investing in securities generally, such investments present additional risks not typically associated with investments in comparable securities of U.S. issuers. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to these risks to a greater extent than those in more developed markets, as described more fully in the section “Emerging Markets.” The non-U.S. securities in which the Fund will invest, all or a portion of which may be non-U.S. dollar-denominated, may include, among other investments: (a) equity securities issued by foreign corporations or other business organizations; (b) non-U.S. dollar-denominated

 

21


Table of Contents

securities of U.S. corporate issuers; (c) debt obligations issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. national, provincial, state, municipal or other governments or by their agencies or instrumentalities, including “Brady Bonds;” (d) debt obligations of supranational entities; (e) debt obligations of the U.S. government issued in non-dollar securities; (f) debt obligations and other fixed-income securities of foreign corporate issuers; and (g) non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities of U.S. corporate issuers. In addition to the risks associated with investing in foreign securities generally, such investments present additional risks not typically associated with investments in comparable securities of U.S. issuers.

There may be less information publicly available about a foreign corporate or government issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and foreign corporate issuers are not generally subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those in the United States. The securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and at times more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. Foreign brokerage commissions and securities custody costs are often higher than those in the United States, and judgments against foreign entities may be more difficult to obtain and enforce. With respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of governmental expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxation, political or financial instability and diplomatic developments that could affect the value of investments in those countries. If the Fund’s portfolio is over-weighted in a certain geographic region, any negative development affecting that region will have a greater impact on the Fund than a fund that is not over-weighted in that region. The receipt of interest on foreign government securities may depend on the availability of tax or other revenues to satisfy the issuer’s obligations.

Since most foreign securities are denominated in foreign currencies or traded primarily in securities markets in which settlements are made in foreign currencies, the value of these investments and the net investment income available for distribution to shareholders of the Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates or exchange control regulations. To the extent the Fund may purchase securities denominated in foreign currencies, a change in the value of any such currency against the U.S. dollar will result in a change in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets and the Fund’s income available for distribution.

The recent global economic crisis has caused many European countries to experience serious fiscal difficulties, including bankruptcy, public budget deficits, recession, sovereign default, restructuring of government debt, credit rating downgrades and an overall weakening of the banking and financial sectors. In addition, some European economies may depend on others for assistance, and the inability of such economies to achieve the reforms or objectives upon which that assistance is conditioned may result in deeper and/or longer financial downturns among the Eurozone nations. Recent events in the Eurozone have called into question the long-term viability of the euro as a shared currency among the Eurozone nations. Moreover, strict fiscal and monetary controls imposed by the European Economic and Monetary Union as well as any other requirements it may impose on member countries may significantly impact such countries and limit them from implementing their own economic policies to some degree. As the result of economic, political, regulatory or other actions taken in response to this crisis, including any discontinuation of the euro as the shared currency among the Eurozone nations or the implementation of capital controls or the restructuring of financial institutions, the Fund’s euro-denominated investments may become difficult to value, the Fund may be unable to dispose of investments or repatriate investment proceeds, the Fund’s ability to operate its strategy in connection with euro-denominated securities may be significantly impaired and the value of the Fund’s euro-denominated investments may decline significantly and unpredictably.

In June 2016, the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the European Union. On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union; as a result, the United Kingdom will remain a member state, subject to European Union law with privileges to provide services under the single market directives, for at least two years from that date. Given the size and importance of the United Kingdom’s economy, uncertainty about its legal, political, and economic relationship with the remaining member states of the European Union may continue to be a source of instability. Moreover, other countries may seek to withdraw from the European Union and/or abandon the euro, the common currency of the European Union. The ultimate effects of these events and other socio-political or geopolitical issues are not known but could profoundly affect global economies and markets. Whether or not the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in Europe or with significant exposure to European issuers or countries, these events could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments.

 

22


Table of Contents

Although the Fund’s income may be received or realized in foreign currencies, the Fund will be required to compute and distribute its income in U.S. dollars. Therefore, if the value of a currency relative to the U.S. dollar declines after the Fund’s income has been earned in that currency, translated into U.S. dollars and declared as a dividend, but before payment of such dividend, the Fund could be required to liquidate portfolio securities to pay such dividend. Similarly, if the value of a currency relative to the U.S. dollar declines between the time the Fund incurs expenses or other obligations in U.S. dollars and the time such expenses or obligations are paid, the amount of such currency required to be converted into U.S. dollars in order to pay such expenses in U.S. dollars will be greater than the equivalent amount in such currency of such expenses at the time they were incurred. Compliance with foreign tax laws may reduce the Fund’s net income available for distribution to shareholders.

In addition, because the Fund may invest in foreign securities traded primarily on markets that close prior to the time the Fund determines its NAV, the risks posed by frequent trading may have a greater potential to dilute the value of Fund shares held by long-term shareholders than a fund investing in U.S. securities. In instances where a significant event that affects the value of one or more foreign securities held by the Fund takes place after the close of the primary foreign market, but before the time that the Fund determines its NAV, certain investors may seek to take advantage of the fact that there will be a delay in the adjustment of the market price for a security caused by this event until the foreign market reopens (sometimes referred to as “price” or “time zone” arbitrage). Shareholders who attempt this type of arbitrage may dilute the value of the Fund’s shares by virtue of their transaction, if those prices reflect the fair value of the foreign securities. Although the Fund has procedures designed to determine the fair value of foreign securities for purposes of calculating its NAV when such an event has occurred, fair value pricing, because it involves judgments that are inherently subjective, may not always eliminate the risk of price arbitrage. The Fund’s securities may change in price on days on which the U.S. markets are closed and the Fund does not calculate its NAV or sell or redeem their shares. For more information on how the Fund uses fair value pricing, see the section “Net Asset Value.”

Foreign withholding or other taxes imposed on the Fund’s investments in foreign securities will reduce the Fund’s return on those securities. In certain circumstances, the Fund may be able to elect to permit shareholders to claim a credit or deduction on their income tax returns with respect to foreign taxes paid by the Fund. See the section “Taxes.”

Canadian Investments

The Fund may invest in securities of Canadian issuers to a significant extent. The Canadian and U.S. economies are closely integrated, and U.S. market conditions, including consumer spending, can have a significant impact on the Canadian economy such that an investment in Canadian securities may not have the same diversifying affect as investments in other countries. In addition, Canada is a major producer of commodities, such as forest products, metals, agricultural products and energy-related products like oil, gas and hydroelectricity. As a result, the Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources and the Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. Canada’s economic growth may be significantly affected by fluctuations in currency and global demand for such commodities. Investments in Canadian securities may be in Canadian dollars; see the section “Foreign Currency Transactions” for more information.

Supranational Entities

The Fund may invest in securities issued by supranational entities, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (commonly called the “World Bank”), the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. The governmental members of these supranational entities are “stockholders” that typically make capital contributions to support or promote such entities’ economic reconstruction or development activities and may be committed to make additional capital contributions if the entity is unable to repay its borrowings. A supranational entity’s lending activities may be limited to a percentage of its total capital, reserves and net income. There can be no assurance that the constituent governments will be able or willing to honor their commitments to those entities, with the result that the entity may be unable to pay interest or repay principal on its debt securities, and the Fund may lose money on such investments. Obligations of supranational entities that are denominated in foreign currencies will also be subject to the risks associated with investments in foreign currencies, as described in the sections “Foreign Securities” and “Foreign Currency Transactions.”

 

23


Table of Contents

Foreign Currency Transactions

The Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for both hedging and investment purposes. Many foreign securities in the Fund’s portfolio will be denominated in foreign currencies or traded in securities markets in which settlements are made in foreign currencies. Any income on such investments is generally paid to the Fund in foreign currencies. The value of these foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar varies continually, causing changes in the dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio investments (even if the local market price of the investments is unchanged) and changes in the dollar value of the Fund’s income available for distribution to its shareholders. The effect of changes in the dollar value of a foreign currency on the dollar value of the Fund’s assets and on the net investment income available for distribution may be favorable or unfavorable.

To protect against a change in the foreign currency exchange rate between the date on which the Fund contracts to purchase or sell a security and the settlement date for the purchase or sale, to gain exposure to one or more foreign currencies or to “lock in” the equivalent of a dividend or interest payment in another currency, the Fund might purchase or sell a foreign currency on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the prevailing spot rate or may enter into futures contracts on an exchange. If conditions warrant, the Fund may also enter into contracts with banks or broker-dealers to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”), as described in the section “Derivative Instruments”.

Forward contracts are subject to many of the same risks as derivatives described in the section “Derivative Instruments.” Forward contracts may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. In addition, the effect of changes in the dollar value of a foreign currency on the dollar value of the Fund’s assets and on the net investment income available for distribution may be favorable or unfavorable. The Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies, and the Fund will be subject to increased illiquidity and credit/counterparty risk because forward contracts are not traded on an exchange and often are not standardized. The Fund may also be required to liquidate portfolio assets, or may incur increased currency conversion costs, to compensate for a decline in the dollar value of a foreign currency occurring between the time when the Fund declares and pays a dividend, or between the time when the Fund accrues and pays an operating expense in U.S. dollars.

Additionally, in its forward trading, the Fund is subject to the risk of the bankruptcy of, or the inability or refusal to perform with respect to their forward contracts by, the principals with which the Fund trades. Funds on deposit with such principals are generally not protected by the same segregation requirements imposed on U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulated commodity brokers in respect of customer funds on deposit with them. The Fund may place forward trades through agents, so that the insolvency or bankruptcy of such agents could also subject the Fund to the risk of loss.

In addition, the Fund may buy and write options on foreign currencies in a manner similar to that in which futures or forward contracts on foreign currencies will be utilized. The Fund may use options on foreign currencies to hedge against adverse changes in foreign currency conversion rates. For example, a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency in which portfolio securities are denominated will reduce the U.S. dollar value of such securities, even if their value in the foreign currency remains constant. In order to protect against such diminutions in the value of the portfolio securities, the Fund may buy put options on the foreign currency. If the value of the currency declines, the Fund will have the right to sell such currency for a fixed amount in U.S. dollars, thereby offsetting, in whole or in part, the adverse effect on its portfolio.

Conversely, when a rise in the U.S. dollar value of a currency in which securities to be acquired are denominated is projected, thereby increasing the cost of such securities, the Fund may buy call options on the foreign currency. The purchase of such options could offset, at least partially, the effects of the adverse movements in exchange rates. As in the case of other types of options, however, the benefit to the Fund from purchases of foreign currency options will be reduced by the amount of the premium and related transaction costs. In addition, if currency exchange rates do not move in the direction or to the extent desired, the Fund could sustain losses or lesser gains on transactions in foreign currency options that would require the Fund to forego a portion or all of the benefits of advantageous changes in those rates.

 

24


Table of Contents

The Fund may also write options on foreign currencies. For example, to hedge against a potential decline in the U.S. dollar due to adverse fluctuations in exchange rates, the Fund could, instead of purchasing a put option, write a call option on the relevant currency. If the decline expected by the Fund occurs, the option will most likely not be exercised and the diminution in value of portfolio securities be offset at least in part by the amount of the premium received. Similarly, instead of purchasing a call option to hedge against a potential increase in the U.S. dollar cost of securities to be acquired, the Fund could write a put option on the relevant currency which, if rates move in the manner projected by the Fund, will expire unexercised and allow the Fund to hedge the increased cost up to the amount of the premium. If exchange rates do not move in the expected direction, the option may be exercised and the Fund would be required to buy or sell the underlying currency at a loss, which may not be fully offset by the amount of the premium. Through the writing of options on foreign currencies, the Fund also may lose all or a portion of the benefits that might otherwise have been obtained from favorable movements in exchange rates.

The Adviser may decide not to engage in currency transactions, and there is no assurance that any currency strategy used by the Fund will succeed. In addition, suitable currency transactions may not be available in all circumstances and there can be no assurance that the Fund will engage in these transactions when they would be beneficial. The foreign currency transactions in which the Fund may engage involve risks similar to those described in the section “Derivative Instruments.”

The Fund’s use of currency transactions may be limited by tax considerations. Transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency denominated debt and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned and may affect the timing or amount of distributions to shareholders.

Transactions in non-U.S. currencies are also subject to many of the risks of investing in non-U.S. securities described in the section “Foreign Securities.” Because the Fund may invest in foreign securities and foreign currencies, changes in foreign economies and political climates are more likely to affect the Fund than a mutual fund that invests exclusively in U.S. companies. There may also be less government supervision of foreign markets, resulting in non-uniform accounting practices and less publicly available information. If the Fund’s portfolio is over-weighted in a certain geographic region, any negative development affecting that region will have a greater impact on the Fund than the Fund that is not over-weighted in that region.

Money Market Instruments

The Fund may invest in money market instruments. Money market instruments are high-quality, short-term securities. The Fund’s money market investments at the time of purchase (other than U.S. government securities (defined below) and repurchase agreements relating thereto) generally will be rated at the time of purchase in the two highest short-term rating categories as rated by a major credit agency or, if unrated, will be of comparable quality as determined by the Adviser. The Fund may invest in instruments of lesser quality and do not have any minimum credit quality restriction. Money market instruments maturing in less than one year may yield less than obligations of comparable quality having longer maturities.

Although changes in interest rates can change the market value of a security, the Fund expects those changes to be minimal with respect to these securities, which may be purchased by the Fund for defensive purposes. The Fund’s money market investments may be issued by U.S. banks, foreign banks (including their U.S. branches) or foreign branches and subsidiaries of U.S. banks. Obligations of foreign banks may be subject to foreign economic, political and legal risks. Such risks include foreign economic and political developments, foreign governmental restrictions that may adversely affect payment of principal and interest on the obligations, foreign withholding and other taxes on interest income, difficulties in obtaining and enforcing a judgment against a foreign obligor, exchange control regulations (including currency blockage) and the expropriation or nationalization of assets or deposits. Foreign branches of U.S. banks and foreign banks are not necessarily subject to the same or similar regulatory requirements that apply to domestic banks. For instance, such branches and banks may not be subject to the types of requirements imposed on domestic banks with respect to mandatory reserves, loan limitations, examinations, accounting, auditing,

 

25


Table of Contents

record keeping and the public availability of information. Obligations of such branches or banks will be purchased only when the Adviser believes the risks are minimal. In addition, during the recent global financial downturn, many money market instruments that were thought to be highly liquid became illiquid. If the Fund’s money market instruments become illiquid, the Fund may be unable to satisfy certain of its obligations or may only be able to do so by selling other securities at prices or times that may be disadvantageous to do so.

The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities that include all securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities (“U.S. government securities”). Some U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. U.S. government securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States are considered riskier than those that are. See the section “U.S. Government Securities” for additional information.

Although the Fund may invest in money market instruments, it is not a money market fund and therefore is not subject to the portfolio quality, maturity and NAV requirements applicable to money market funds. The Fund will not seek to maintain a stable NAV. The Fund also will not be required to comply with the rating restrictions applicable to money market funds, and will not necessarily sell an investment in cases where a security’s rating has been downgraded.

Considerations of liquidity, safety and preservation of capital may preclude the Fund from investing in money market instruments paying the highest available yield at a particular time. In addition, the Fund’s ability to trade money market securities may be constrained by the collateral and asset coverage requirements related to the Fund’s other investments. As a result, the Fund may need to buy or sell money market instruments at inopportune times. In addition, even though money market instruments are generally considered to be high-quality and a low-risk investment, recently a number of issuers of money market and money market-type instruments have experienced financial difficulties, leading in some cases to rating downgrades and decreases in the value of their securities.

TYPES OF PRACTICES

Derivative Instruments

The Fund may, but is not required to, use a number of derivative instruments for risk management purposes or as part of its investment strategies. Generally, derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate or index, and may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, commodities, related indices and other assets. For additional information about the use of derivatives in connection with foreign currency transactions, see the section “Foreign Currency Transactions.” The Adviser may decide not to employ one or more of these strategies and there is no assurance that any derivatives strategy used by the Fund will succeed. In addition, suitable derivative transactions may not be available in all circumstances and there can be no assurance that the Fund will engage in these transactions to reduce exposure to other risks when that would be beneficial. Examples of derivative instruments that the Fund may use include (but are not limited to) options and warrants, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, structured notes, zero strike warrants and options, swap agreements (including interest rate and credit default swaps) and debt-linked and equity-linked securities.

Transactions in certain derivatives are subject to clearance on a clearing house, while other derivatives are subject to risks of trading in OTC markets or on non-U.S. exchanges. In addition, the U.S. government has enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which includes provisions for new regulation of the derivatives market, including new clearing, margin, reporting and registration requirements. The European Union (and some other countries) have adopted similar requirements that will affect the Fund when it enters into derivatives transactions with a counterparty organized in that country or otherwise subject to that country’s derivatives regulations. Because these requirements are new and evolving (and some of the rules are not yet final), their ultimate impact remains unclear. These regulatory changes could, among other things, restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions (including because certain types of derivatives transactions may no longer be available to the Fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (including through increased margin requirements), and the Fund may be unable to execute its investment strategy as a result.

 

26


Table of Contents

Additionally, the new requirements may result in increased uncertainty about credit/counterparty risk, and they may also limit the flexibility of the Fund to protect its interests in the event of an insolvency of a derivatives counterparty. In the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the Fund’s ability to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral, could be stayed or eliminated under new special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the European Union and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty. In particular, with respect to counterparties who are subject to such proceedings in the European Union, the liabilities of such counterparties to the Fund could be reduced, eliminated, or converted to equity in such counterparties (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”). The regulation of derivatives transactions and funds that engage in such transactions is an evolving area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action.

Derivatives involve special risks, including credit/counterparty risk, illiquidity, difficulties in valuation, leverage risk and, to the extent the Adviser’s view as to certain market movements is incorrect, the risk that the use of derivatives could result in significantly greater losses or lower income or gains than if they had not been used. See the subsection “Additional Risks of Derivative Instruments.” The Fund’s derivative counterparties may experience financial difficulties or otherwise be unwilling or unable to honor their obligations, possibly resulting in losses to the Fund. Losses resulting from the use of derivatives will reduce the Fund’s NAV, and possibly income, and the losses may be significantly greater than if derivatives had not been used. The degree of the Fund’s use of derivatives may be limited by certain provisions of the Code. When used, derivatives may affect the amount, timing and/or character of distributions payable to, and thus taxes payable by, shareholders. See the section “Additional Risks of Derivative Instruments” below for additional information about the risks relating to derivative instruments.

Several types of derivative instruments in which the Fund may invest are described in more detail below. However, the Fund is not limited to investments in these instruments and may decide not to employ any or all of these strategies.

Asset Segregation and Coverage

The Fund will segregate with its custodian or otherwise designate on its records liquid assets in an amount the Fund believes to be adequate to ensure that it has sufficient liquid assets to meet its obligations under its derivatives contracts and similar transactions, or the Fund may engage in other measures to “cover” its obligations with respect to such transactions. The amounts that are segregated or designated may be based on the notional value of the derivative or on the daily mark-to-market obligation under the derivatives contract and may be reduced by amounts on deposit with the applicable broker or counterparty to the derivatives transaction. The Fund may segregate amounts in addition to the amounts described above. In certain circumstances, the Fund may enter into an offsetting position rather than segregating or designating liquid assets (e.g., the Fund may cover a written put option with a purchased put option with the same or higher exercise price). Although the Adviser will attempt to ensure that the Fund has sufficient liquid assets to cover its obligations under its derivatives contracts, it is possible that the Fund’s liquid assets may be insufficient to support such obligations under its derivatives positions. The Fund may modify its asset segregation policies from time to time.

Futures Contracts

Futures transactions involve the Fund’s buying or selling futures contracts. A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to buy and sell a particular security, commodity, currency or other asset, or group or index of securities, commodities, currencies or other assets for a specified price on a specified future date. A futures contract creates an obligation by the seller to deliver and the buyer to take delivery of the type of instrument or cash (depending on whether the contract calls for physical delivery or cash settlement) at the time and in the amount specified in the contract. In the case of futures on an index, the seller and buyer agree to settle in cash, at a future date, based on the difference in value of the contract between the date it is opened and the settlement date. The value of each contract is equal to the value of the index from time to time multiplied by a specified dollar amount. For example, S&P 500® Index futures may trade in contracts with a value equal to $250 multiplied by the S&P 500® Index.

 

27


Table of Contents

When a trader, such as the Fund, enters into a futures contract, it is required to deposit with (or for the benefit of) its broker as “initial margin” an amount of cash or short-term, high-quality/liquid securities (such as U.S. Treasury bills or high-quality tax-exempt bonds acceptable to the broker) equal to approximately 2% to 5% of the delivery or settlement price of the contract (depending on applicable exchange rules). Initial margin is held to secure the performance of the holder of the futures contract. As the value of the contract changes, the value of futures contract positions increases or declines. At the end of each trading day, the amount of such increase and decline is received and paid respectively by and to the holders of these positions. The amount received or paid is known as “variation margin.”

The gain or loss on a futures position is equal to the net variation margin received or paid over the time the position is held, plus or minus the amount received or paid when the position is closed, minus brokerage commissions and other transaction costs. Should the value of the assets in the margin account drop below the minimum amount required to be maintained, or “maintenance margin,” the Fund will be required to deposit additional assets to the account.

Although many futures contracts call for the delivery (or acceptance) of the specified instrument, futures are usually closed out before the settlement date through the purchase (or sale) of a comparable contract. If the price of the sale of the futures contract by the Fund is less than the price of the offsetting purchase, the Fund will realize a loss. A futures sale is closed by purchasing a futures contract for the same aggregate amount of the specific type of financial instrument or commodity and with the same delivery date. Similarly, a futures purchase is closed by the purchaser selling an offsetting futures contract.

Futures contract prices, and the prices of the related contracts in which the Fund may trade, are highly volatile. Such prices are influenced by, among other things: changing supply and demand relationships; government trade, fiscal, monetary and exchange control programs and policies; national and international political and economic events; and changes in interest rates. In addition, governments from time to time intervene, directly and by regulation, in these markets, with the specific intention of influencing such prices. The effect of such intervention is often heightened by a group of governments acting in concert.

Furthermore, the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading permit an extremely high degree of leverage. Accordingly, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract can result in immediate and substantial losses to the investor. As an added risk in these volatile and highly leveraged markets, it is not always possible to liquidate futures positions to prevent further losses or recognize unrealized gains. Illiquidity can arise due to daily price limits taking effect or to market disruptions. Futures positions may be illiquid because certain commodity exchanges limit fluctuations in certain futures contract prices during a single day by regulations referred to as “daily price fluctuation limits” or “daily limits.” Under such daily limits, during a single trading day no trades may be executed at prices beyond the daily limits. Once the price of a particular futures contract has increased or decreased by an amount equal to the daily limit, positions in that contract can neither be taken nor liquidated unless traders are willing to effect trades at or within the limit. Futures prices have occasionally moved beyond the daily limits for several consecutive days with little or no trading. The inability to liquidate futures positions creates the possibility of the Fund being unable to control its losses. If the Fund were to borrow money to use for trading purposes, the effects of such leverage would be magnified. The rights of any lenders to the Fund to receive payments of interest or repayments of principal will be senior to those of the investors and the terms of any loan agreements may contain provisions that limit certain activities of the Fund. The Fund may also be unable to utilize all cash available to it if certain margin requirements cannot be netted across exchanges, or alternatively if financing is unavailable. Physical delivery of commodities can result in temporary illiquidity and the Fund may incur additional charges associated with the holding and safekeeping of any such commodities.

Funds that invest in futures contracts may be subject to risks related to rolling. When investing in futures contracts, the Fund will generally seek to “roll” its futures positions rather than hold them through expiration. In some circumstances, the prices of futures contracts with near-term expirations are lower than the prices of similar futures contracts with longer-term expirations, resulting in a cost to “roll” the futures contracts. The actual realization of a potential roll cost will depend on the difference in prices of futures contracts with near- and longer-term expirations, and the rolling of futures positions may result in losses to the Fund.

 

28


Table of Contents

Commodity Futures Contracts

The Fund may invest in commodity futures contracts. There are additional risks associated with transactions in commodity futures contracts including, but not limited to the following:

Storage. Unlike the financial futures markets, in the commodity futures markets there are costs of physical storage associated with purchasing the underlying commodity. The price of the commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity, including the time value of money invested in the physical commodity. To the extent that the storage costs for an underlying commodity change while the Fund is invested in futures contracts on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may also change. Physical delivery of commodities can result in temporary illiquidity and the Fund may incur additional charges associated with the holding and safekeeping of any such commodities.

Reinvestment. In the commodity futures markets, producers of the underlying commodity may decide to hedge the price risk of selling the commodity by selling futures contracts today to lock in the price of the commodity at delivery tomorrow. In order to induce speculators to purchase the other side of the same futures contract, the commodity producer generally must sell the futures contract at a lower price than the expected future spot price. Conversely, if most hedgers in the futures market are purchasing futures contracts to hedge against a rise in prices, then speculators will only sell the other side of the futures contract at a higher futures price than the expected future spot price of the commodity. The changing positions and views of the participants in the commodity markets will influence whether futures prices are above or below the expected future spot price, which can have significant implications for the Fund. If the positions and views of the participants in futures markets have shifted when it is time for the Fund to reinvest the proceeds of a maturing contract in a new futures contract, the Fund might reinvest at higher or lower futures prices, or choose to pursue other investments.

Index Futures Contracts

In the case of futures on an index, the seller and buyer agree to settle in cash, at a future date, based on the difference in value of the contract between the date it is opened and the settlement date. The value of each contract is equal to the value of the index from time to time multiplied by a specified dollar amount. For example, S&P 500® Index futures may trade in contracts with a value equal to $250 multiplied by the S&P 500® Index. The price of index futures may not correlate perfectly with movement in the relevant index due to certain market distortions. One such distortion stems from the fact that all participants in the futures market are subject to margin deposit and maintenance requirements. Rather than meeting additional margin deposit requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions, which could distort the normal relationship between the index and futures markets. Another market distortion results from the deposit requirements in the futures market being less onerous than margin requirements in the securities market, and as a result the futures market may attract more speculators than does the securities market. A third distortion is caused by the fact that trading hours for foreign stock index futures may not correspond perfectly to hours of trading on the foreign exchange to which a particular foreign stock index futures contract relates. This may result in a disparity between the price of index futures and the value of the relevant index due to the lack of continuous arbitrage between the index futures price and the value of the underlying index. Finally, hedging transactions using stock indices involve the risk that movements in the price of the index may not correlate with price movements of the particular portfolio securities being hedged.

Options

Options transactions may involve the Fund’s buying or writing (selling) options on securities, futures contracts, securities indices (including futures on securities indices) or currencies. The Fund may engage in these transactions either to enhance investment return or to hedge against changes in the value of other assets that it owns or intends to acquire. Options can generally be classified as either “call” or “put” options. There are two parties to a typical options transaction: the “writer” (seller) and the “buyer.” A call option gives the buyer the right to buy a security or other asset (such as an amount of currency or a futures contract) from, and a put option gives the buyer the right to sell a security or other asset to, the option writer at a specified price, on or before a specified date. The buyer of an option pays a premium when purchasing the option, which reduces the return on the underlying security or other asset if the option is exercised, and results in a loss if the option expires unexercised. The writer of an option receives a premium from writing an option, which may increase its return if the option expires or is closed out at a profit. An “American-style” option allows exercise of the option at any time during the term of the option. A “European-style” option allows an option to be exercised only at a specific time or times, such as the end of its term. Options may be traded on or off an established securities or options exchange.

 

29


Table of Contents

If the holder (writer) of an option wishes to terminate its position, it may seek to effect a closing sale transaction by selling (buying) an option identical to the option previously purchased. The effect of the purchase is that the previous option position will be canceled. The Fund will realize a profit from closing out an option if the price received for selling the offsetting position is more than the premium paid to purchase the option; the Fund will realize a loss from closing out an option transaction if the price received for selling the offsetting option is less than the premium paid to purchase the option. Since premiums on options having an exercise price close to the value of the underlying securities or futures contracts usually have a time value component (i.e., a value that diminishes as the time within which the option can be exercised grows shorter), the value of an options contract may change as a result of the lapse of time even though the value of the futures contract or security underlying the option (and of the security or other asset deliverable under the futures contract) has not changed. As an alternative to purchasing call and put options on index futures, the Fund may purchase or sell call or put options on the underlying indices themselves. Such options would be used in a manner similar to the use of options on index futures.

Warrants and Rights

The Fund may invest in warrants and rights. A warrant is an instrument that gives the holder a right to purchase a given number of shares of a particular security at a specified price until a stated expiration date. Buying a warrant generally can provide a greater potential for profit or loss than an investment of equivalent amounts in the underlying common stock. The market value of a warrant does not necessarily move with the value of the underlying securities. If a holder does not sell the warrant, it risks the loss of its entire investment if the market price of the underlying security does not, before the expiration date, exceed the exercise price of the warrant. Investment in warrants is a speculative activity. Warrants pay no dividends and confer no rights (other than the right to purchase the underlying securities) with respect to the assets of the issuer. A right is a privilege granted to existing shareholders of a corporation to subscribe for shares of a new issue of common stock before it is issued. Rights normally have a short life, usually two to four weeks, are freely transferable and entitle the holder to buy the new common stock at a lower price than the public offering price.

The Fund may invest in low exercise price call warrants, which are equity call warrants with an exercise price that is very low relative to the market price of the underlying instrument at the time of issue. Low exercise price call warrants are typically used to gain exposure to stocks in difficult to access local markets. The warrants typically have a strike price set such that the value of the warrants will be identical to the price of the underlying stock. The value of the warrants is correlated with the value of the underlying stock price and therefore, the risk and return profile of the warrants is similar to owning the underlying securities. In addition, the owner of the warrant is subject to the risk that the issuer of the warrant (i.e., the counterparty) will default on its obligations under the warrant. The warrants have no voting rights. Dividends issued to the warrant issuer by the underlying company will generally be distributed to the warrant holders, net of any taxes or commissions imposed by the local jurisdiction in respect of the receipt of such amount. Low exercise price call warrants are typically sold in private placement transactions, may be illiquid and may be classified as derivative instruments.

Options on Foreign Currencies

The Fund may buy and write options on foreign currencies in a manner similar to that in which futures or forward contracts on foreign currencies will be utilized, as described in the Prospectus. In addition, options on foreign currencies may be used to hedge against adverse changes in foreign currency conversion rates. For example, a decline in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency in which portfolio securities are denominated will reduce the U.S. dollar value of such securities, even if their value in the foreign currency remains constant. In order to protect against such diminutions in the value of the portfolio securities, the Fund may buy put options on the foreign currency. If the value of the currency declines, the Fund will have the right to sell such currency for a fixed amount in U.S. dollars, thereby offsetting, in whole or in part, the adverse effect on its portfolio.

 

30


Table of Contents

Conversely, when a rise in the U.S. dollar value of a currency in which securities to be acquired are denominated is projected, thereby increasing the cost of such securities, the Fund may buy call options on the foreign currency. The purchase of such options could offset, at least partially, the effects of the adverse movements in exchange rates. As in the case of other types of options, however, the benefit to the Fund from purchases of foreign currency options will be reduced by the amount of the premium and related transaction costs. In addition, if currency exchange rates do not move in the direction or to the extent desired, the Fund could sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options that would require the Fund to forego a portion or all of the benefits of advantageous changes in those rates.

The Fund may also write options on foreign currencies. For example, to hedge against a potential decline in the U.S. dollar due to adverse fluctuations in exchange rates, the Fund could, instead of purchasing a put option, write a call option on the relevant currency. If the decline expected by the Fund occurs, the option will most likely not be exercised and the diminution in value of portfolio securities will be offset at least in part by the amount of the premium received. Similarly, instead of purchasing a call option to hedge against a potential increase in the U.S. dollar cost of securities to be acquired, the Fund could write a put option on the relevant currency which, if rates move in the manner projected by the Fund, will expire unexercised and allow the Fund to hedge the increased cost up to the amount of the premium. If exchange rates do not move in the expected direction, the option may be exercised and the Fund would be required to buy or sell the underlying currency at a loss, which may not be fully offset by the amount of the premium. Through the writing of options on foreign currencies, the Fund also may lose all or a portion of the benefits that might otherwise have been obtained from favorable movements in exchange rates.

Options on Indices

The Fund may transact in options on indices (“index options”). Put and call index options are similar to puts and calls on securities or futures contracts except that all settlements are in cash and gain or loss at expiration depends on changes in the index in question rather than on price movements in individual securities or futures contracts. When the Fund writes an index call option, it receives a premium and undertakes the obligation that, prior to the expiration date (or, upon the expiration date for European-style options), the purchaser of the call, upon exercise of the call, will receive from the Fund an amount of cash if the exercise settlement value of the relevant index is greater than the exercise price of the call. The manner of determining “exercise settlement value” for a particular option series is fixed by the options market on which the series is traded. S&P 500® Index options, for example, have a settlement value that is calculated using the opening sales price in the primary market of each component security on the last business day (usually a Friday) before the expiration date. The amount of cash is equal to the difference between the exercise settlement value of the index and the exercise price of the call times a specified multiple (“multiplier”). When the Fund buys an index call option, it pays a premium and has the same rights as to such call as are indicated above. When the Fund buys an index put option, it pays a premium and has the right, prior to the expiration date (or upon the expiration date for European-style options) to collect, upon the Fund’s exercise of the put an amount of cash equal to the difference between the exercise price of the option and the exercise settlement value of the index, times a multiplier, similar to that described above for calls, if the exercise settlement value is less than the exercise price. When the Fund writes an index put option, it receives a premium and the purchaser of the put has the right, prior to the expiration date, to require the Fund to deliver to it an amount of cash equal to the difference between the exercise settlement value of the index and exercise price times the multiplier if the closing level is less than the exercise price.

Exchange-Traded and OTC Options

The Fund may purchase or write both exchange-traded and OTC options. OTC options differ from exchange-traded options in that they are two-party contracts, with price and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller, and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-traded options.

An exchange-traded option may be closed out only on an exchange that generally provides a liquid secondary market for an option of the same series. If a liquid secondary market for an exchange-traded option does not exist, it might not be possible to effect a closing transaction with respect to a particular option, with the result that the Fund would have to exercise the option in order to consummate the transaction. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an

 

31


Table of Contents

exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) or other clearing organization may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

An OTC option (an option not traded on an established exchange) may be closed out only by agreement with the other party to the original option transaction. With OTC options, the Fund is at risk that the other party to the transaction will default on its obligations or will not permit the Fund to terminate the transaction before its scheduled maturity. While the Fund will seek to enter into OTC options only with dealers who agree to or are expected to be capable of entering into closing transactions with the Fund, there can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to liquidate an OTC option at a favorable price at any time prior to its expiration. OTC options are not subject to the protections afforded purchasers of listed options by the OCC or other clearing organizations.

Index Warrants

The Fund may purchase put warrants and call warrants whose values vary depending on the change in the value of one or more specified securities indices (“index warrants”). Index warrants are generally issued by banks or other financial institutions and give the holder the right, at any time during the term of the warrant, to receive, upon exercise of the warrant, a cash payment from the issuer based on the value of the underlying index at the time of exercise. In general, if the value of the underlying index rises above the exercise price of the index warrant, the holder of a call warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the value of the index and the exercise price of the warrant; if the value of the underlying index falls, the holder of a put warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the exercise price of the warrant and the value of the index. The holder of a warrant would not be entitled to any payments from the issuer at a time when, in the case of a call warrant, the exercise price is more than the value of the underlying index, or in the case of a put warrant, the exercise price is less than the value of the underlying index. If the Fund were not to exercise an index warrant prior to its expiration, then the Fund would lose the amount of the purchase price paid by it for the warrant. The Fund will normally use index warrants in a manner similar to its use of options on securities indices.

Forward Contracts

As described in the section “Foreign Currency Transactions,” the Fund may invest in forward contracts. Forward contracts are transactions involving the Fund’s obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency or other asset at a future date at a specified price. For example, forward contracts may be used when the Adviser anticipates that particular foreign currencies will appreciate or depreciate in value or to take advantage of the expected relationships between various currencies, regardless of whether securities denominated in such currencies are held in the Fund’s investment portfolio. Forward contracts may also be used by the Fund for hedging purposes to protect against uncertainty in the level of future foreign currency exchange rates, such as when the Fund anticipates purchasing or selling a foreign security. This technique would allow the Fund to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the investment. Forward contracts also may be used to attempt to protect the value of the Fund’s existing holdings of foreign securities. There may be, however, imperfect correlation between the Fund’s foreign securities holdings and the forward contracts entered into with respect to such holdings. The cost to the Fund of engaging in forward contracts varies with factors such as the currency involved, the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing.

Forward contracts are not traded on exchanges and are not standardized; rather, banks and dealers act as principals in these markets negotiating each transaction on an individual basis. Trading in forward contracts is generally unregulated. There is no limitation on the daily price movements of forward contracts. Principals in the forward markets have no obligation to continue to make markets in the forward contracts traded. There have been periods during which certain banks or dealers have refused to quote prices for forward contracts or have quoted prices with an unusually wide spread between the price at which they are prepared to buy and that at which they are prepared to sell. Disruptions can occur in the forward markets because of unusually high trading volume, political intervention or other factors. For example, the imposition of credit controls by governmental authorities might limit forward trading, to the possible detriment of the Fund.

 

32


Table of Contents

Forward contracts are subject to many of the same risks as options, warrants and futures contracts described above. As described in the section “Foreign Currency Transactions,” forward contracts may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. In addition, the effect of changes in the dollar value of a foreign currency on the dollar value of the Fund’s assets and on the net investment income available for distribution may be favorable or unfavorable. The Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies, and the Fund will be subject to increased illiquidity and credit/counterparty risk because forward contracts are not traded on an exchange and often are not standardized. The Fund may also be required to liquidate portfolio assets, or may incur increased currency conversion costs, to compensate for a decline in the dollar value of a foreign currency occurring between the time when the Fund declares and pays a dividend, or between the time when the Fund accrues and pays an operating expense in U.S. dollars.

Additionally, in its forward trading, the Fund is subject to the risk of the bankruptcy of, or the inability or refusal to perform with respect to its forward contracts by, the principals with which the Fund trades. Funds on deposit with such principals are generally not protected by the same segregation requirements imposed on CFTC regulated commodity brokers in respect of customer funds on deposit with them. The Fund may place forward trades through agents, so that the insolvency or bankruptcy of such agents could also subject the Fund to the risk of loss.

Swap Transactions

The Fund may enter into a variety of swap agreements, including, but not limited to, interest rate, index, commodity, equity-linked, credit default, credit-linked and currency exchange swaps. Depending on the structure of the swap agreement, the Fund may enter into swap transactions to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or portion of its portfolio, to gain exposure to one or more securities, currencies, commodities or interest rates, to protect against or attempt to take advantage of currency fluctuations, to protect against any increase in the price of securities that the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, to efficiently gain exposure to certain markets to add economic leverage to the Fund’s portfolio or to shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another.

Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a few weeks to a number of years. Swap agreements are individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of types of investments or market factors. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties generally are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” such as the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. In a typical interest rate swap, for example, one party agrees to make regular payments equal to a floating interest rate times a “notional principal amount,” in return for payments equal to a fixed rate times the same amount, for the term of the swap agreement. The “notional principal amount” of a swap transaction is the agreed-upon basis for calculating the payments that the parties agree to exchange, i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or commodity or in a “basket” of securities. Under most swap agreements, payments by the parties will be exchanged on a “net basis,” and a party will receive or pay, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments.

Swap agreements are sophisticated financial instruments that typically involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of risks assumed. Swaps can be highly volatile and may have a considerable impact on the Fund’s performance, as the potential gain or loss on any swap transaction is not subject to any fixed limit. The Fund’s successful use of swap agreements will depend on the Adviser’s ability to predict correctly whether certain types of investments are likely to produce greater returns than other investments. Because swaps are two-party contracts that may be subject to contractual restrictions on transferability and termination and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid. If a swap is not liquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. The Fund may also suffer losses if it is unable to terminate (or terminate at the time and price desired) outstanding swap agreements (either by assignment or other disposition) or reduce its exposure through offsetting transactions.

 

33


Table of Contents

The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty. When a counterparty’s obligations are not fully secured by collateral, then the Fund is essentially an unsecured creditor of the counterparty. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that a counterparty will be able to meet its obligations pursuant to such contracts or that, in the event of default, the Fund will succeed in enforcing contractual remedies. Credit/counterparty risk still exists even if a counterparty’s obligations are secured by collateral because the Fund’s interest in collateral may not be perfected or additional collateral may not be promptly posted as required. Credit/counterparty risk also may be more pronounced if a counterparty’s obligations exceed the amount of collateral held by the Fund (if any), the Fund is unable to exercise its interest in collateral upon default by the counterparty, or the termination value of the instrument varies significantly from the marked-to-market value of the instrument.

Credit/counterparty risk with respect to derivatives will be affected by new rules and regulations affecting the derivatives market. Some derivatives transactions are required to be centrally cleared, and a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit/counterparty risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position, rather than the credit/counterparty risk of its original counterparty to the derivative transaction. Credit/counterparty risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. A clearing member is obligated by contract and by applicable regulation to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to cleared derivatives transactions from the clearing member’s proprietary assets. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers generally are held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account, and the clearing member may invest those funds in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulations. The assets of the Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the Fund’s clearing member, because the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the clearing broker’s customers for a relevant account class. Also, the clearing member is required to transfer to the clearing organization the amount of margin required by the clearing organization for cleared derivatives, which amounts generally are held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization for all customers of the clearing member. Regulations promulgated by the CFTC require that the clearing member notify the clearing house of the amount of initial margin provided by the clearing member to the clearing organization that is attributable to each customer. However, if the clearing member does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is subject to the risk that a clearing organization will use the Fund’s assets held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing member to the clearing organization. In addition, clearing members generally provide to the clearing organization the net amount of variation margin required for cleared swaps for all of its customers in the aggregate, rather than the gross amount of each customer. The Fund is therefore subject to the risk that a clearing organization will not make variation margin payments owed to the Fund if another customer of the clearing member has suffered a loss and is in default, and the risk that the Fund will be required to provide additional variation margin to the clearing house before the clearing house will move the Fund’s cleared derivatives transactions to another clearing member. In addition, if a clearing member does not comply with the applicable regulations or its agreement with the Fund, or in the event of fraud or misappropriation of customer assets by a clearing member, the Fund could have only an unsecured creditor claim in an insolvency of the clearing member with respect to the margin held by the clearing member.

Additionally, U.S. regulators, the European Union and certain other jurisdictions have adopted minimum margin and capital requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives transactions. It is expected that these regulations will have a material impact on the Fund’s use of uncleared derivatives. These rules impose minimum margin requirements on derivatives transactions between the Fund and its swap counterparties and may increase the amount of margin the Fund is required to provide. They also impose regulatory requirements on the timing of transferring margin. They also effectively require changes to typical derivatives margin documentation. Variation margin requirements became effective in 2017 and initial margin requirements are expected to become effective with respect to the Fund by 2020.

 

34


Table of Contents

The Fund may also enter into swaptions. The Fund may engage in swaptions for hedging purposes or to manage and mitigate credit and interest rate risk. The Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions. The use of swaptions involves risks, including, among others, (i) imperfect correlation between movements of the price of the swaptions and the price of the securities, indices or other assets serving as reference instruments for the swaption, reducing the effectiveness of the instrument for hedging or investment purposes, (ii) the absence of a liquid market to sell a swaption, which could result in difficulty closing a position, (iii) the exacerbation of losses incurred due to changes in the market value of the securities to which they relate, and (iv) credit/counterparty risk.

Credit Default Swaps

The Fund may enter into credit default swap agreements, which may have as reference obligations one or more debt securities or an index of such securities. In a credit default swap, one party (the “protection buyer”) is obligated to pay the other party (the “protection seller”) a stream of payments over the term of the contract, provided that no credit event, such as a default or a downgrade in credit rating, occurs on the reference obligation. If a credit event occurs, the protection seller must generally pay the protection buyer the “par value” (the agreed-upon notional value) of the referenced debt obligation in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable reference obligations or a specified amount of cash depending upon the terms of the swap.

The Fund may be either the protection buyer or protection seller in a credit default swap. If the Fund is a protection buyer, such Fund would pay the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract and would not recover any of those payments if no credit event were to occur. However, if a credit event occurs, the Fund that is a protection buyer has the right to deliver the referenced debt obligations or a specified amount of cash, depending on the terms of the swap, and receive the par value of such debt obligations from the counterparty protection seller. As a protection seller, the Fund would receive fixed payments throughout the term of the contract if no credit event occurs. If a credit event occurs, however, the value of the obligation received by the Fund (e.g., bonds which defaulted), plus the periodic payments previously received, may be less than the par value of the obligation, or cash received, resulting in a loss to the protection seller. Furthermore, the Fund that is a protection seller would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because such Fund will have investment exposure to the notional amount of the swap.

Credit default swap agreements are subject to greater risk than a direct investment in the reference obligation. Like all swap agreements, credit default swaps are subject to liquidity, credit and counterparty risks. In addition, collateral posting requirements are individually negotiated and there is no regulatory requirement that a counterparty post collateral to secure its obligations or a specified amount of cash, depending upon the terms of the swap, under a credit default swap. Furthermore, there is no requirement that a party be informed in advance when a credit default swap agreement is sold. Accordingly, the Fund may have difficulty identifying the party responsible for payment of its claims. The notional value of credit default swaps with respect to a particular investment is often larger than the total par value of such investment outstanding and, in event of a default, there may be difficulties in making the required deliveries of the reference investments, possibly delaying payments.

If a counterparty’s credit becomes significantly impaired, multiple requests for collateral posting in a short period of time could increase the risk that the Fund may not receive adequate collateral. There is no readily available market for trading credit default swaps. The Fund generally may exit its obligations under a credit default swap only by terminating the contract and paying applicable breakage fees, or by entering into an offsetting credit default swap position, which may cause the Fund to incur more losses.

Swap Execution Facilities (“SEF”)

Certain derivatives contracts are required to be executed through SEFs. A SEF is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute derivatives by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants in the platform. Such requirements may make it more difficult and costly for investment funds, such as the Fund, to enter into highly tailored or customized transactions. Trading swaps on a SEF may offer certain advantages over traditional bilateral OTC trading, such as ease of execution, price transparency, increased liquidity and/or favorable pricing. Execution through a SEF is not, however, without additional costs and risks, as parties are required to comply with SEF and CFTC rules and regulations, including disclosure and recordkeeping obligations, and SEF rights of inspection, among others. SEFs typically charge fees, and if the Fund executes derivatives on a SEF

 

35


Table of Contents

through a broker intermediary, the intermediary may impose fees as well. The Fund also may be required to indemnify a SEF, or a broker intermediary who executes swaps on a SEF on the Fund’s behalf, against any losses or costs that may be incurred as a result of the Fund’s transactions on the SEF. In addition, the Fund may be subject to execution risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared, and no clearing member is willing to clear the transaction on the Fund’s behalf. In that case, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of any increase in the value of the transaction after the time of the trade. Similar “trade execution” regulations are being implemented in the European Union.

Credit/Counterparty Risk

The Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of the counterparties with which, or the brokers, dealers and exchanges through which, they deal, whether they engage in exchange traded or off-exchange transactions. Transactions entered into by the Fund may be executed on various U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges, and may be cleared and settled through various clearing houses, custodians, depositories and prime brokers throughout the world. There can be no assurance that a failure by any such entity will not lead to a loss to the Fund. To the extent the Fund engages in cleared derivatives transactions, it will be subject to the credit/counterparty risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position. If the Fund engages in cleared futures transactions, it will also be exposed to the credit/counterparty risk of its futures commission merchant (“FCM”). If the Fund’s FCM becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or otherwise defaults on its obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive all amounts owed to it in respect of its trading, even if the clearing house fully discharges all of its obligations. The Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) requires an FCM to segregate all funds received from its customers with respect to regulated futures transactions from such FCM’s proprietary funds. If an FCM were not to do so to the full extent required by law, the assets of an account might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of an FCM. Furthermore, in the event of an FCM’s bankruptcy, the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of an FCM’s combined customer accounts, even if certain property held by an FCM is specifically traceable to the Fund (for example, U.S. Treasury bills deposited by the Fund). It is possible that the Fund would be unable to recover from the FCM’s estate the full amount of their funds on deposit with such FCM and owing to them. Such situations could arise due to various factors, or a combination of factors, including inadequate FCM capitalization, inadequate controls on customer trading and inadequate customer capital. In addition, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of a clearing house, the Fund might experience a loss of funds deposited through its FCM as margin with the clearing house, a loss of unrealized profits on its open positions and the loss of funds owed to it as realized profits on closed positions. Such a bankruptcy or insolvency might also cause a substantial delay before the Fund could obtain the return of funds owed to it by an FCM who is a member of such clearing house.

The Fund may also engage in bilateral derivatives transactions, which are not centrally cleared. Because bilateral derivative and other transactions are traded between counterparties based on contractual relationships, the Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will not perform its obligations under the related contracts. Although the Fund intends to enter into transactions only with counterparties that the Adviser believes to be creditworthy, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will not default and that the Fund will not sustain a loss on a transaction as a result. In situations where the Fund is required to post margin or other collateral with a counterparty, the counterparty may fail to segregate the collateral or may commingle the collateral with the counterparty’s own assets. As a result, in the event of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the Fund’s collateral may be subject to conflicting claims of the counterparty’s creditors, and the Fund may be exposed to the risk of a court treating the Fund as a general unsecured creditor of the counterparty, rather than as the owner of the collateral.

The Fund is subject to the risk that issuers of the instruments in which it invests and trades may default on their obligations under those instruments, and that certain events may occur that have an immediate and significant adverse effect on the value of those instruments. There can be no assurance that an issuer of an instrument in which the Fund invests will not default, or that an event that has an immediate and significant adverse effect on the value of an instrument will not occur, and that the Fund will not sustain a loss on a transaction as a result.

 

36


Table of Contents

Investment Pools of Swap Contracts

The Fund may invest in publicly or privately issued interests in investment pools whose underlying assets are credit default, credit-linked, interest rate, currency exchange, equity-linked or other types of swap contracts and related underlying securities or securities loan agreements. The pools’ investment results may be designed to correspond generally to the performance of a specified securities index or “basket” of securities, or sometimes a single security. These types of pools are often used to gain exposure to multiple securities with less of an investment than would be required to invest directly in the individual securities. They may also be used to gain exposure to foreign securities markets without investing in the foreign securities themselves and/or the relevant foreign market. To the extent that the Fund invests in pools of swap contracts and related underlying securities or securities loan agreements whose performance corresponds to the performance of a foreign securities index or one or more foreign securities, investing in such pools will involve risks similar to the risks of investing in foreign securities. In addition to the risks associated with investing in swaps generally, an investing Fund bears the risks and costs generally associated with investing in pooled investment vehicles, such as paying the fees and expenses of the pool and the risk that the pool or the operator of the pool may default on its obligations to the holder of interests in the pool, such as the Fund. Interests in privately offered investment pools of swap contracts may be considered illiquid and, except to the extent that such interests are deemed liquid under the Fund’s policies, subject to the Fund’s restriction on investments in illiquid securities.

Short Exposure Risk

A short exposure through a derivative may present various risks, including credit/counterparty risk and leverage risk. If the value of the asset, asset class or index on which the Fund has obtained a short investment exposure increases, the Fund will incur a loss. Unlike a direct cash investment such as a stock, bond or exchange-traded fund, where the potential loss is limited to the purchase price, the potential risk of loss from a short exposure is theoretically unlimited. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to cover its short positions. For example, an uncovered call writer’s loss is potentially unlimited.

Certain Additional Risks of Derivative Instruments

Although the Adviser may seek to use derivatives to achieve the Fund’s investment goals, no assurance can be given that the use of these transactions will achieve this result. Any or all of these investment techniques may be used at any time. The ability of the Fund to utilize these derivative instruments successfully will depend on the Adviser’s ability to predict pertinent market movements, which cannot be assured. Furthermore, the Fund’s use of certain derivatives may in some cases involve forms of financial leverage, which involves risk and may increase the volatility of the Fund’s NAV. Leveraging may cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations or to meet segregation requirements when it may not be advantageous to do so. To the extent that the Fund is not able to close out a leveraged position because of market illiquidity, its liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of liquid assets segregated or earmarked to cover obligations. The Fund will comply with applicable regulatory requirements when implementing these strategies, techniques and instruments. Use of derivatives for other than hedging purposes may be considered a speculative activity, involving greater risks than are involved in hedging. A short exposure through a derivative may present additional risks. If the value of the asset, asset class or index on which the Fund has obtained a short exposure increases, the Fund will incur a loss. Moreover, the potential loss from a short exposure is theoretically unlimited.

The value of some derivative instruments in which the Fund invests may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates or other economic factors and the ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend in part upon the ability of the Adviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. If the Adviser incorrectly forecasts such factors and has taken positions in derivative instruments contrary to prevailing market trends, the Fund could be exposed to the risk of loss. If the Adviser incorrectly forecasts interest rates, market values or other economic factors in using a derivatives strategy for the Fund, the Fund might have been in a better position if it had not entered into the transaction at all. Also, suitable derivative transactions may not be available in all circumstances. The use of these strategies involves certain special risks, including a possible imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between price movements of derivative instruments and price movements of related investments. While some strategies involving derivative instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in related investments or otherwise, due to the possible inability of the Fund to purchase or sell a portfolio security at a time that otherwise would be favorable or the possible need to sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time because the Fund is required to maintain asset coverage or offsetting positions in connection with transactions in

 

37


Table of Contents

derivative instruments, and the possible inability of the Fund to close out or to liquidate its derivatives positions. In addition, the Fund’s use of such instruments may cause the Fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed at ordinary income tax rates) than if it had not used such instruments. To the extent that the Fund gains exposure to an asset class using derivative instruments backed by a collateral portfolio of other securities, changes in the value of those other securities may result in greater or lesser exposure to that asset class than would have resulted from a direct investment in securities comprising that asset class.

The use of derivative instruments, including, but not limited to, the futures contracts, options and warrants, forward currency contracts and swap transactions described above, involves risks in addition to those described above or in the Prospectus. Although the Adviser may seek to use these transactions to achieve the Fund’s investment goals, no assurance can be given that the use of these transactions will achieve this result. One risk arises because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the price of derivatives contracts and movements in the price of the securities, indices or other assets serving as reference instruments for the derivative. The Fund’s derivative strategies will not be fully effective unless the Fund can compensate for such imperfect correlation. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to effect such compensation. For example, the correlation between the price movement of the derivatives contract and the hedged security may be distorted due to differences in the nature of the relevant markets. If the price of the futures contract moves more than the price of the hedged security, the Fund would experience either a loss or a gain on the derivative that is not completely offset by movements in the price of the hedged securities. For example, in an attempt to compensate for imperfect price movement correlations, the Fund may purchase or sell futures contracts in a greater dollar amount than the hedged securities if the price movement volatility of the hedged securities is historically greater than the volatility of the futures contract. Conversely, the Fund may purchase or sell futures contracts in a smaller dollar amount than the hedged securities if the volatility of the price of hedged securities is historically less than that of the futures contracts. The use of derivatives for other than hedging purposes may be considered a speculative activity, and involves greater risks than are involved in hedging. With respect to certain derivative transactions (e.g. short positions in which the Fund does not hold the instrument to which the short position relates), the potential risk of loss to the Fund is theoretically unlimited.

The price of index futures may not correlate perfectly with movement in the relevant index due to certain market distortions. One such distortion stems from the fact that all participants in the futures market are subject to margin deposit and maintenance requirements. Rather than meeting additional margin deposit requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions, which could distort the normal relationship between the index and futures markets. Another market distortion results from the deposit requirements in the futures market being less onerous than margin requirements in the securities market, and as a result the futures market may attract more speculators than does the securities market. A third distortion is caused by the fact that trading hours for foreign stock index futures may not correspond perfectly to hours of trading on the foreign exchange to which a particular foreign stock index futures contract relates. This may result in a disparity between the price of index futures and the value of the relevant index due to the lack of continuous arbitrage between the index futures price and the value of the underlying index. Finally, hedging transactions using stock indices involve the risk that movements in the price of the index may not correlate with price movements of the particular portfolio securities being hedged.

Price movement correlation in derivative transactions also may be distorted by the illiquidity of the derivatives markets and the participation of speculators in such markets. If an insufficient number of contracts are traded, commercial users may not deal in derivatives because they do not want to assume the risk that they may not be able to close out their positions within a reasonable amount of time. In such instances, derivatives market prices may be driven by different forces than those driving the market in the underlying securities, and price spreads between these markets may widen. The participation of speculators in the market enhances its liquidity. Nonetheless, the presence of speculators may create temporary price distortions unrelated to the market in the underlying securities.

Positions in futures contracts and options on futures contracts may be established or closed out only on an exchange or board of trade. There is no assurance that a liquid market on an exchange or board of trade will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. The liquidity of markets in futures contracts and options on futures contracts may be adversely affected by “daily price fluctuation limits” established by commodity exchanges that limit the amount of fluctuation in a futures or options price during a single trading day. Once the daily limit has been reached in a contract, no trades may be entered into at a price beyond the limit, which may prevent the liquidation of open futures or options positions. Prices have in the past exceeded the daily limit on a number of consecutive trading

 

38


Table of Contents

days. If there is not a liquid market at a particular time, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position at such time, and, in the event of adverse price movements, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin. However, if futures or options are used to hedge portfolio securities, an increase in the price of the securities, if any, may partially or completely offset losses on the futures contract.

Income earned by the Fund from its options activities generally will be treated as capital gain and, if not offset by net recognized capital losses incurred by the Fund, will be distributed to shareholders in taxable distributions. Although gain from options transactions may hedge against a decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities, that gain, to the extent not offset by losses, will be distributed in light of certain tax considerations and will constitute a distribution of that portion of the value preserved against decline.

The value of the Fund’s derivative instruments may fluctuate based on a variety of market and economic factors. In some cases, the fluctuations may offset (or be offset by) changes in the value of securities or derivatives held in the Fund’s portfolio. All transactions in derivatives involve the possible risk of loss to the Fund of all or a significant part of the value of its investment. In some cases, the risk of loss may exceed the amount of the Fund’s investment. When the Fund writes a call option or sells a futures contract without holding the underlying securities, currencies or futures contracts, its potential loss is unlimited.

The risks of the Fund’s use of index warrants generally are similar to those relating to its use of index options. Unlike most index options, however, index warrants are issued in limited amounts and are not obligations of a regulated clearing agency, but are backed only by the credit of the bank or other institution which issues the warrant. Also, index warrants generally have longer terms than index options. Although the Fund will normally invest only in exchange-listed warrants, index warrants are not likely to be as liquid as certain index options backed by a recognized clearing agency. In addition, the terms of index warrants may limit the Fund’s ability to exercise the warrants at such time, or in such quantities, as the Fund would otherwise wish to do.

The successful use of derivatives will depend in part on the Adviser’s ability to forecast securities market, currency or other financial market movements correctly. For example, the Fund’s ability to hedge against adverse changes in the value of securities held in its portfolio through options and futures also depends on the degree of correlation between changes in the value of futures or options positions and changes in the values of the portfolio securities. The successful use of certain other derivatives also depends on the availability of a liquid secondary market to enable the Fund to close its positions on a timely basis. There can be no assurance that such a market will exist at any particular time. Furthermore, the Fund’s use of certain derivatives may in some cases involve forms of financial leverage, which involves risk and may increase the volatility of the Fund’s NAV. Leveraging may cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations or to meet segregation requirements when it may not be advantageous to do so. To the extent the Fund is not able to close out a leveraged position because of market illiquidity, its liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of liquid assets segregated or earmarked to cover obligations.

In the case of OTC options, the Fund is at risk that the other party to the transaction will default on its obligations, or will not permit the Fund to terminate the transaction before its scheduled maturity.

The derivatives markets of some foreign countries are small compared to those of the United States and consequently are characterized in some cases by less liquidity than U.S. markets. In addition, derivatives that are traded on foreign exchanges may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, may be subject to less detailed reporting requirements and regulatory controls, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States, and (v) lesser trading volume. Furthermore, investments in derivatives markets outside of the United States are subject to many of the same risks as other foreign investments. See the section “Foreign Securities.”

 

39


Table of Contents

Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives

It is possible that government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, including futures and swap agreements, may limit or prevent the Fund from using such instruments as part of its investment strategy, and could ultimately prevent the Fund from being able to achieve its investment goals. It is impossible to fully predict the effects of legislation and regulation in this area, but the effects could be substantial and adverse. It is possible that legislative and regulatory activity could limit or completely restrict the ability of the Fund to use these instruments as a part of its investment strategy, increase the costs of using these instruments or make them less effective. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions could also prevent the Fund from using these instruments or affect the pricing or other factors relating to these instruments, or may change the availability of certain investments.

There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to implement their investment strategies. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law on July 21, 2010, has and will continue to change the way in which the U.S. financial system is supervised and regulated. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act sets forth a legislative framework for OTC derivatives, such as swaps, in which the Fund may invest. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act has caused broad changes to the OTC derivatives market and granted significant authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives and market participants. Pursuant to such authority, rules have been enacted that currently require clearing of many OTC derivatives transactions and may require clearing of additional OTC derivatives transactions in the future and that impose minimum margin and capital requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives transactions. Similar regulations are being adopted in other jurisdictions around the world.

These and other new rules and regulations could, among other things, further restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the Fund of, derivatives transactions, for example, by making some types of derivatives no longer available to the Fund or otherwise limiting liquidity. The implementation of the clearing requirement has increased the costs of derivatives transactions for the Fund, since the Fund has to pay fees to its clearing members and is typically required to post more margin for cleared derivatives than it has historically posted for bilateral derivatives. The costs of derivatives transactions are expected to increase further as clearing members raise their fees to cover the costs of additional capital requirements and other regulatory changes applicable to the clearing members. These rules and regulations are new and evolving, so their potential impact on the Fund and the financial system are not yet known. While the new rules and regulations and central clearing of some derivatives transactions are designed to reduce systemic risk (i.e., the risk that the interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause them to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that they will achieve that result, and in the meantime, as noted above, central clearing and related requirements expose the Fund to new kinds of costs and risks.

The futures markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations, and margin requirements. The SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.

In addition, the SEC has issued a proposed rule under the 1940 Act providing for the regulation of registered investment companies’ use of derivatives and certain related instruments. The ultimate impact, if any, and the timing of possible regulation remains unclear, but the proposed rule, if adopted, could, among other things, restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions such that the Fund may be unable to implement its investment strategy.

Additional Risk Factors in Cleared Derivatives Transactions

Under recently adopted rules and regulations, transactions in some types of swaps (including interest rate swaps and credit default index swaps on North American and European indices) are required to be centrally cleared. In a cleared derivatives transaction, the Fund’s counterparty is a clearing house, rather than a bank or broker. Since the Fund is not a member of a clearing house and only members of clearing houses can participate directly in the clearing house, the Fund will hold cleared derivatives through accounts at clearing members. In cleared derivatives transactions, the Fund will make payments (including margin payments) to and receive payments from a clearing house through their accounts at clearing members. Clearing members guarantee performance of their clients’ obligations to the clearing house.

 

40


Table of Contents

In some ways, centrally cleared derivative arrangements are less favorable to the Fund than bilateral arrangements. For example, the Fund may be required to provide greater amounts of margin for cleared derivatives transactions than for bilateral derivatives transactions. Also, in contrast to bilateral derivatives transactions, following a period of notice to the Fund, a clearing member generally can require termination of existing cleared derivatives transactions at any time or increases in margin requirements above the margin that the clearing member required at the beginning of a transaction. Clearing houses also have broad rights to increase margin requirements for existing transactions or to terminate transactions at any time. Any increase in margin requirements or termination by the clearing member or the clearing house could interfere with the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment strategy. Further, any increase in margin requirements by a clearing member could also expose the Fund to greater credit risk to its clearing member, because margin for cleared derivatives transactions in excess of clearing house margin requirements typically is held by the clearing member. Also, the Fund is subject to risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared (or that the Adviser expects to be cleared), and no clearing member is willing or able to clear the transaction on the Fund’s behalf. While the documentation in place between the Fund and its clearing members generally provides that the clearing members will accept for clearing all transactions submitted for clearing that are within credit limits (specified in advance) for the Fund, the Fund is still subject to the risk that no clearing member will be willing or able to clear a transaction. In those cases, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of the transaction, including loss of an increase in the value of the transaction and/or loss of hedging protection offered by the transaction. In addition, the documentation governing the relationship between the Fund and the clearing members is developed by the clearing members and generally is less favorable to the Fund than typical bilateral derivatives documentation. For example, this documentation generally includes a one-way indemnity by the Fund in favor of the clearing member, indemnifying the clearing member against losses it incurs in connection with acting as the Fund’s clearing member, and the documentation typically does not give the Fund any rights to exercise remedies if the clearing member defaults or becomes insolvent.

Some types of cleared derivatives are required to be executed on an exchange or on a SEF. A SEF is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute derivatives by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants in the platform. While this execution requirement is designed to increase transparency and liquidity in the cleared derivatives market, trading on a SEF can create additional costs and risks for the Fund. For example, SEFs typically charge fees, and if the Fund executes derivatives on a SEF through a broker intermediary, the intermediary may impose fees as well. Also, the Fund may indemnify a SEF, or a broker intermediary who executes cleared derivatives on a SEF on the Fund’s behalf, against any losses or costs that may be incurred as a result of the Fund’s transactions on the SEF. See the subsection “Swap Execution Facilities” above for additional information.

Other Derivatives; Future Developments

The above discussion relates to the Fund’s proposed use of certain types of derivatives currently available. However, the Fund is not limited to the transactions described above. In addition, the relevant markets and related regulations are constantly changing and, in the future, the Fund may use derivatives not currently available or widely in use.

CFTC Regulation

As of the date of this Statement, the Adviser has claimed an exclusion from the definition of commodity pool operator (a “CPO”) under the CEA pursuant to Rule 4.5 under the CEA (the “exclusion”) promulgated by the CFTC with respect to its operation of the Fund. Accordingly, the Adviser is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA. To remain eligible for the exclusion, the Fund will be limited in its ability to use certain financial instruments regulated under the CEA (“commodity interests”), including futures and options on futures and certain swaps transactions. In the event that the Fund’s investments in commodity interests are not within the thresholds set forth in the exclusion, the Adviser may be required to register as a CPO and/or “commodity trading

 

41


Table of Contents

advisor” with the CFTC with respect to that Fund. The Adviser’s eligibility to claim the exclusion with respect to the Fund will be based upon, among other things, the level and scope of the Fund’s investment in commodity interests, the purposes of such investments and the manner in which the Fund holds out its use of commodity interests. The Fund’s ability to invest in commodity interests (including, but not limited to, futures and swaps on broad-based securities indexes and interest rates) is limited by the Adviser’s intention to operate the Fund in a manner that would permit the Adviser to continue to claim the exclusion under Rule 4.5, which may adversely affect such Fund’s total return. In the event the Adviser becomes unable to rely on the exclusion in Rule 4.5 and is required to register with the CFTC as a CPO with respect to the Fund, the Fund’s expenses may increase, adversely affecting the Fund’s total return.

Illiquid Securities

The Fund may purchase illiquid securities. Illiquid securities are those that are not readily resalable. Securities whose disposition is restricted by federal securities laws may be considered illiquid. Securities generally will be considered “illiquid” if such securities cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the price at which the Fund has valued the securities. Investment in illiquid securities involves the risk that the Fund may be unable to sell such a security at the desired time or at the price at which the Fund values the security. Also, the Fund may incur expenses, losses or delays in the process of registering restricted securities prior to resale. Rule 144A securities and Section 4(a)(2) commercial paper are treated as illiquid, unless the Adviser has determined, pursuant to guidelines established by the Board, that the particular issue is liquid. See the section “Rule 144A Securities and Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper” for additional information on these instruments

In October 2016, the SEC adopted a liquidity risk management rule that will require the Fund to establish a liquidity risk management program by December 1, 2018. The impact the rule will have on the Fund, and on the open-end fund industry in general, is not yet fully known, but the rule could impact the Fund’s performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective(s).

Initial Public Offerings (“IPO”)

The Fund may purchase securities of companies that are offered pursuant to an IPO. An IPO is a company’s first offering of stock to the public in the primary market, typically to raise additional capital. The Fund may purchase a “hot” IPO (also known as a “hot issue”), which is an IPO that is oversubscribed and, as a result, is an investment opportunity of limited availability. As a consequence, the price at which these IPO shares open in the secondary market may be significantly higher than the original IPO price. IPO securities tend to involve greater risk due, in part, to public perception and the lack of publicly available information and trading history. There is the possibility of losses resulting from the difference between the issue price and potential diminished value of the stock once traded in the secondary market. The Fund’s investment in IPO securities may have a significant impact on the Fund’s performance and may result in significant capital gains.

Private Placements

The Fund may invest in securities that are purchased in private placements. While private placements may offer opportunities for investment that are not otherwise available on the open market, these securities may be subject to restrictions on resale as a matter of contract or under federal securities laws. Because there may be relatively few potential purchasers for these securities, especially under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, the Fund could find it more difficult or impossible to sell the securities when the Adviser believes that it is advisable to do so, or may be able to sell the securities only at prices lower than if the securities were more widely held. At times, it also may be more difficult to determine the fair value of the securities for purposes of computing the Fund’s NAV.

The absence of a trading market can make it difficult to ascertain a market value for illiquid investments such as private placements. Disposing of illiquid investments may involve time-consuming negotiation and legal expenses, and it may be difficult or impossible for the Fund to sell the illiquid securities promptly at an acceptable price. The Fund may have to bear the extra expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delay in effecting the registration. In addition, market quotations are typically less readily available (if available at all) for these securities. The judgment of the Adviser may at times play a greater role in valuing these securities than in the case of unrestricted securities.

 

42


Table of Contents

The Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act when reselling privately issued securities to the public. As such, the Fund may be liable to purchasers of the securities if the registration statement prepared by the issuer, or the prospectus forming a part of the registration statement, is materially inaccurate or misleading.

Privatizations

The Fund may participate in privatizations. In a number of countries around the world, governments have undertaken to sell to investors interests in enterprises that the government has historically owned or controlled. These transactions are known as “privatizations” and may in some cases represent opportunities for significant capital appreciation. In some cases, the ability of U.S. investors, such as the Fund, to participate in privatizations may be limited by local law, and the terms of participation for U.S. investors may be less advantageous than those for local investors. Also, there is no assurance that privatized enterprises will be successful, or that an investment in such an enterprise will retain its value or appreciate in value.

Regulation S Securities

Subject to certain conditions, the Fund may purchase securities issued pursuant to Regulation S of the Securities Act (“Regulation S Securities”). Regulation S Securities are subject to restrictions on sales to U.S. persons. Therefore, when the Fund sells Regulation S Securities that it has purchased, the market for such securities will generally be limited to non-U.S. investors.

Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements, by which the Fund purchases a security and obtains a simultaneous commitment from the seller (a bank or, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, a recognized securities dealer) to repurchase the security at an agreed-upon price and date (usually seven days or less from the date of original purchase). The resale price is in excess of the purchase price and reflects an agreed-upon market interest rate unrelated to the coupon rate on the purchased security. Repurchase agreements are economically similar to collateralized loans by the Fund. Such transactions afford the Fund the opportunity to earn a return on temporarily available cash at relatively low market risk. The Fund does not have percentage limitations on how much of its total assets may be invested in repurchase agreements. The Fund typically may also use repurchase agreements for cash management and temporary defensive purposes. The Fund may invest in a repurchase agreement that does not produce a positive return to the Fund if the Adviser believes it is appropriate to do so under the circumstances (for example, to help protect the Fund’s uninvested cash against the risk of loss during periods of market turmoil). While the underlying security may be a bill, certificate of indebtedness, note or bond issued by an agency, authority or instrumentality of the U.S. government, the obligation of the seller is not guaranteed by the U.S. government and there is a risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the underlying security. In such event, the Fund would attempt to exercise rights with respect to the underlying security, including possible disposition in the market. However, the Fund may be subject to various delays and risks of loss, including (i) possible declines in the value of the underlying security during the period while the Fund seeks to enforce its rights thereto, (ii) possible reduced levels of income and lack of access to income during this period and (iii) inability to enforce rights and the expenses involved in the attempted enforcement, for example, against a counterparty undergoing financial distress.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. In a reverse repurchase agreement the Fund transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another person, such as a financial institution, broker or dealer, in return for cash, and agrees that on a stipulated date in the future the Fund will repurchase the portfolio instrument by remitting the original consideration plus interest at an agreed-upon rate. The ability to use reverse repurchase agreements may enable, but does not ensure the ability of, the Fund to avoid selling portfolio instruments at a time when a sale may be deemed to be disadvantageous. Reverse repurchase agreements are economically similar to secured borrowings by the Fund.

 

43


Table of Contents

Short-Term Trading

The Fund may, consistent with its investment objectives, engage in portfolio trading in anticipation of, or in response to, changing economic or market conditions and trends. These policies may result in higher turnover rates in the Fund’s portfolio, which may produce higher transaction costs and the realization of taxable capital gains (including short-term gains, which generally are taxed to individuals at ordinary income rates). Portfolio turnover considerations will not limit the Adviser’s investment discretion in managing the Fund’s assets. The Fund anticipates that its portfolio turnover rates will vary significantly from time to time depending on the volatility of economic and market conditions.

When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Securities

To reduce the risk of changes in interest rates and securities prices, the Fund may purchase securities on a forward commitment or when-issued or delayed delivery basis, which means delivery and payment take place a number of days after the date of the commitment to purchase. The payment obligation and the interest rate receivable with respect to such purchases are fixed when the Fund enters into the commitment, but the Fund does not make payment until it receives delivery from the counterparty. The Adviser will commit to purchase such securities only with the intention of actually acquiring the securities, but the Adviser may sell these securities before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable.

Securities purchased on a forward commitment or when-issued or delayed delivery basis are subject to changes in value, generally changing in the same way, i.e., appreciating when interest rates decline and depreciating when interest rates rise, based upon the public’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and changes, real or anticipated, in the level of interest rates. Securities so purchased may expose the Fund to risks because they may experience such fluctuations prior to their actual delivery. Purchasing securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis can involve the additional risk that the yield available in the market when the delivery takes place actually may be higher than that obtained in the transaction itself. Purchasing securities on a forward commitment or when-issued or delayed delivery basis when the Adviser is fully or almost fully invested may result in greater potential fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s net assets. In addition, there is a risk that securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis may not be delivered and that the purchaser of securities sold by the Fund on a forward commitment basis will not honor its purchase obligation. In such cases, the Fund may incur a loss.

TEMPORARY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

The Fund has the flexibility to respond promptly to changes in market and economic conditions. In the interest of preserving shareholders’ capital, the Adviser may employ a temporary defensive strategy if it determines such a strategy to be warranted. Pursuant to such a defensive strategy, the Fund temporarily may hold cash and/or invest up to 100% of its assets in cash (U.S. dollars, foreign currencies or multinational currency units), high-quality debt securities or money market instruments of U.S. or foreign issuers. It is impossible to predict whether, when or for how long the Fund will employ temporary defensive strategies. The use of temporary defensive strategies may prevent the Fund from achieving its goal.

In addition, pending investment of proceeds from new sales of Fund shares or to meet ordinary daily cash needs, the Fund may temporarily hold cash (U.S. dollars, foreign currencies or multinational currency units) and may invest any portion of its assets in money market or other short-term high-quality instruments.

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate for a fiscal year is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the fiscal year, in each case excluding securities having maturity dates at acquisition of one year or less. High portfolio turnover involves correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and other transaction costs, which will be borne directly by the Fund, thereby decreasing the Fund’s total return. High portfolio turnover also may give rise to additional taxable income for the Fund’s shareholders, including through the realization of short-term capital gains, which are typically taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates, and therefore can result in higher taxes

 

44


Table of Contents

for shareholders that hold their shares in taxable accounts. It is impossible to predict with certainty whether future portfolio turnover rates will be higher or lower than those experienced during past periods. The Fund anticipates that its portfolio turnover rate will vary from time to time depending on the volatility of economic and market conditions.

The rate of portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor when the Adviser believes that portfolio changes are appropriate.

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

The Board has adopted policies to limit the disclosure of confidential portfolio holdings information and to ensure equal access to such information, except in certain circumstances as approved by the Board. These policies are summarized below. Generally, portfolio holdings information will not be disclosed until it is first posted on the Fund’s website at im.natixis.com. Generally, full portfolio holdings information will not be posted until it is aged for at least 30 days. A list of the top 10 holdings of the the Fund will generally be available on a monthly basis within 7 business days after month-end. Any holdings information that is released must clearly indicate the date of the information, and must state that due to active management, the Fund may or may not still invest in the securities listed. Portfolio characteristics, such as industry/sector breakdown, current yield, quality breakdown, duration, average price-earnings ratio and other similar information may be provided on a current basis. However, portfolio characteristics do not include references to specific portfolio holdings.

The Board has approved exceptions to the general policy on the sharing of portfolio holdings information as in the best interests of the Fund:

 

  (1)

Disclosure of portfolio holdings posted on the Fund’s website, provided that information is shared no sooner than the next day following the day on which the information is posted;

 

  (2)

Disclosure to firms offering industry-wide services, provided that the firm has agreed in writing to maintain the confidentiality of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. Entities that receive information pursuant to this exception include Lipper (monthly disclosure of full portfolio holdings, provided 6 days after month-end) and FactSet (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings, provided the next business day);

 

  (3)

Disclosure (subject to a written confidentiality provision) to Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. as part of the proxy voting recordkeeping services provided to the Fund, and to Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. as part of the proxy voting administration services, provided to the Adviser (votable portfolio holdings of issuers as of record date for shareholder meetings);

 

  (4)

Disclosure to employees of the Adviser, principal underwriter, administrator, custodian, financial printer, fund accounting agent and independent registered public accounting firm, fund counsel and Independent Trustees’ counsel, as well as to broker-dealers executing and third-party firms analyzing the trading costs of portfolio transactions for the Fund, provided that such disclosure is made for bona fide business purposes;

 

  (5)

Disclosure to Natixis Investment Managers (“Natixis IM”), in its capacity as the seed capital investor for Fund, in order to satisfy certain reporting obligations to its parent company and for its own risk management purposes; provided that Natixis IM agrees to maintain its seed capital in the Fund for a set period and does not effect a redemption of Fund shares while in possession of information that is not publicly available to other investors in the Fund. Natixis IM and its parent utilize a third-party service provider, Aptimum Formation Développement (“Aptimum”), to assist with its analysis of risk. Any sharing of holdings information with Aptimum is subject to a confidentiality agreement; and

 

  (6)

Other disclosures made for non-investment purposes, but only if approved in writing in advance by an officer of the Fund. Such exceptions will be reported to the Board.

 

45


Table of Contents

With respect to items (2) through (5) above, disclosure is made pursuant to procedures that have been approved by the Board, and may be made by employees of the Adviser, administrator or custodian. With respect to (6) above, approval will be granted only when the officer determines that the Fund has a legitimate business reason for sharing the portfolio holdings information and the recipients are subject to a duty of confidentiality, including a duty not to trade on the information. As of the date of this Statement, the only entities that receive information pursuant to this exception are Donnelley Financial Solutions (quarterly, or more frequently as needed, disclosure of full portfolio holdings) for the purpose of performing certain functions related to the production of the Fund’s semiannual financial statements, quarterly Form N-Q filings and other related items, Bloomberg (daily disclosure of full portfolio holdings, provided next business day) for the purpose of performing attribution analysis, and Ernst & Young LLP (annually, or more frequently as needed, disclosure of foreign equity securities) for the purpose of performing certain functions related to the production of the Fund’s federal income and excise tax returns. Although the Trust may enter into written confidentiality agreements, in other circumstances, such as those described in (4) above, the obligation to keep information confidential may be based on common law, professional or statutory duties of confidentiality. Common law, professional or statutory duties of confidentiality, including the duty not to trade on the information, may not be as clearly delineated and may be more difficult to enforce than contractual duties. The Fund’s officers determine on a case-by-case basis whether it is appropriate for the Fund to rely on such common law, professional or statutory duties. The Board exercises oversight of the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings by, among other things, receiving and reviewing reports from the Fund’s chief compliance officer regarding any material issues concerning the Fund’s disclosure of portfolio holdings or from officers of the Fund in connection with proposed new exceptions or new disclosures pursuant to item (6) above. Notwithstanding the above, there is no assurance that the Fund’s policies on the sharing of portfolio holdings information will protect the Fund from the potential misuse of holdings by individuals or firms in possession of that information.

Other registered investment companies that are advised by the Adviser may be subject to different portfolio holdings disclosure policies, and neither the Adviser nor the Board exercises control over such policies or disclosure. In addition, separate account clients of the Adviser have access to their portfolio holdings and are not subject to the Fund’s portfolio holdings disclosure policies. Some of the funds that are advised by the Adviser and some of the separate accounts managed by the Adviser may have investment objectives and strategies that are substantially similar or identical to the Fund’s investment objectives and strategies, and therefore potentially substantially similar, and in certain cases nearly identical, portfolio holdings as the Fund.

In addition, any disclosures of portfolio holdings information by the Fund or the Adviser must be consistent with the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, the Fund’s and the Adviser’s fiduciary duty to shareholders, and the Fund’s code of ethics. The Fund’s policies expressly prohibit the sharing of portfolio holdings information if the Fund, the Adviser or any other affiliated party receives compensation or other consideration in connection with such arrangement. The term “consideration” includes any agreement to maintain assets in the Fund or in other funds or accounts managed by the Adviser or by any affiliated person of the Adviser.

 

46


Table of Contents

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

The Trust is governed by the Board, which is responsible for generally overseeing the conduct of Fund business and for protecting the interests of shareholders. The Trustees meet periodically throughout the year to oversee the Fund’s activities, review contractual arrangements with companies that provide services to the Fund and review the Fund’s performance.

Trustees and Officers

The table below provides certain information regarding the Trustees and officers of the Trust. For the purposes of this table and for purposes of this Statement, the term “Independent Trustee” means those Trustees who are not “interested persons,” as defined in the 1940 Act, of the Trust. In certain circumstances, Trustees are also required to have no direct or indirect financial interest in the approval of a matter being voted on in order to be considered “independent” for the purposes of the requisite approval. For purposes of this Statement, the term “Interested Trustee” means those Trustees who are “interested persons,” as defined in the 1940 Act, of the Trust.

The following table provides information about the members of the Board, including information about their principal occupations during the past five years, information about other directorships held at public companies, and a summary of the experience, qualifications, attributes or skills that led to the conclusion that the Trustees should serve as such. Unless otherwise indicated, the address of all persons below is 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197.

 

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the
Trust, Length of Time
Served and Term of Office1

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of Portfolios in
Fund Complex Overseen2

and Other Directorships
Held During Past 5 Years

  

Experience, Qualifications,
Attributes, Skills for Board
Membership

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES

Kenneth A. Drucker

(1945)

  

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees since January 2017

 

Trustee since 2008

 

Ex Officio member of the Audit Committee, the Contract Review Committee and the Governance Committee

   Retired   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board and on the boards of other business organizations (including at investment companies); executive experience (including as treasurer of an aerospace, automotive, and metal manufacturing corporation)  

 

47


Table of Contents

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the
Trust, Length of Time
Served and Term of Office1

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of Portfolios in
Fund Complex Overseen2

and Other Directorships
Held During Past 5 Years

  

Experience, Qualifications,
Attributes, Skills for Board
Membership

Edmond J. English

(1953)

  

Trustee since 2013

 

Audit Committee

Member and Governance Committee Member

   Executive Chairman; formerly, Chief Executive Officer of Bob’s Discount Furniture (retail)   

54

 

Director, Burlington Stores, Inc. (retail)

   Significant experience on the Board and significant experience on the boards of other business organizations (including retail companies and a bank); executive experience (including at a retail company)

Richard A. Goglia

(1951)

  

Trustee since 2015

 

Audit Committee Member

   Retired; formerly Vice President and Treasurer of Raytheon Company (defense)   

54

 

None

   Experience on the Board and executive experience (including his role as vice president and treasurer of a defense company and experience at a financial services company)

Wendell J. Knox

(1948)

  

Trustee since 2009

 

Contract Review Committee

Member and Governance Committee Member

   Director of Abt Associates Inc. (research and consulting)   

54

 

Director, Eastern Bank (bank); Director, The Hanover Insurance Group (property and casualty insurance)

   Significant experience on the Board and on the boards of other business organizations (including at a bank and at a property and casualty insurance firm); executive experience (including roles as president and chief executive officer of a research and consulting company)

 

48


Table of Contents

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the
Trust, Length of Time
Served and Term of Office1

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of Portfolios in
Fund Complex Overseen2

and Other Directorships
Held During Past 5 Years

  

Experience, Qualifications,
Attributes, Skills for Board
Membership

Martin T. Meehan

(1956)

  

Trustee since 2012

 

Audit Committee Member

   President, University of Massachusetts; formerly, Chancellor and faculty member, University of Massachusetts Lowell   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board and on the boards of other business organizations; experience as President of the University of Massachusetts; government experience (including as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives); academic experience

Maureen B. Mitchell3

(1951)

  

Trustee since 2017

 

Contract Review Committee Member

   Retired; formerly President, Global Sales and Marketing, GE Asset Management, Inc. (financial services)   

54

 

None

   Experience on the Board; financial services industry and executive experience (including role as president of global sales and marketing at a financial services company)

James P. Palermo

(1955)

  

Trustee since 2016

 

Contract Review Committee Member

   Founding Partner, Breton Capital Management, LLC (private equity); Partner, STEP Partners, LLC (private equity); formerly, Chief Executive Officer of Global Client Management of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation   

54

 

Director, Future Fuel Corp. (Chemicals and Biofuels)

   Experience on the Board and on the boards of other business organizations; financial services industry and executive experience (including roles as chief executive officer of client management and asset servicing for a banking and financial services company) 

 

49


Table of Contents

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the
Trust, Length of Time
Served and Term of Office1

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of Portfolios in
Fund Complex Overseen2

and Other Directorships
Held During Past 5 Years

  

Experience, Qualifications,
Attributes, Skills for Board
Membership

Erik R. Sirri

(1958)

  

Trustee since 2009

 

Chairperson of the Audit Committee

   Professor of Finance at Babson College   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board; experience as Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the Securities and Exchange Commission; academic experience; training as an economist

Peter J. Smail

(1952)

  

Trustee since 2009

 

Chairperson of the Contract Review Committee and Governance Committee Member

   Retired   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board; mutual fund industry and executive experience (including roles as president and chief executive officer for an investment adviser)

Cynthia L. Walker

(1956)

  

Trustee since 2005

 

Chairperson of the Governance Committee and Audit Committee Member

   Deputy Dean for Finance and Administration, Yale University School of Medicine   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board; executive experience in a variety of academic organizations (including roles as dean for finance and administration)
INTERESTED TRUSTEES

Kevin P. Charleston4

(1965)

One Financial Center

Boston, MA 02111

   Trustee since 2015    President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors; formerly, Chief Financial Officer, Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P.   

54

 

None

   Experience on the Board; continuing service as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P.

 

50


Table of Contents

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the
Trust, Length of Time
Served and Term of Office1

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years

  

Number of Portfolios in
Fund Complex Overseen2

and Other Directorships
Held During Past 5 Years

  

Experience, Qualifications,
Attributes, Skills for Board
Membership

David L. Giunta5

(1965)

  

Trustee since 2011

 

President and Chief Executive Officer since 2008

   President and Chief Executive Officer, Natixis Advisors, L.P., Natixis Distribution, L.P., Natixis Distribution Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Natixis Distribution Corporation.   

54

 

None

   Significant experience on the Board; experience as President and Chief Executive Officer, Natixis Advisors, L.P., Natixis Distribution, L.P., Natixis Distribution Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Natixis Distribution Corporation.

 

1

Each Trustee serves until retirement, resignation or removal from the Board. The current retirement age is 75. The position of Chairperson of the Board is appointed for a three-year term.

2

The Trustees of the Trust serve as Trustees of a fund complex that includes all series of the Natixis Funds Trust I, Natixis Funds Trust II, Natixis Funds Trust IV and Gateway Trust (collectively, the “Natixis Funds Trusts”), Loomis Sayles Funds I and Loomis Sayles Funds II (collectively, the “Loomis Sayles Funds Trusts”) and Natixis ETF Trust (collectively, the “Fund Complex”).

3

Ms. Mitchell was appointed as a Trustee effective July 1, 2017.

4

Mr. Charleston is deemed an “interested person” of the Trust because he holds the following positions with an affiliated person of the Trust: President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P.

5

Mr. Giunta is deemed an “interested person” of the Trust because he holds the following positions with an affiliated person of the Trust: President and Chief Executive Officer, Natixis Advisors, L.P., Natixis Distribution, L.P., Natixis Distribution Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Natixis Distribution Corporation.

 

51


Table of Contents

Name and Year of Birth

  

Position(s) Held with the

Trust

  

Term of Office1 and

Length of Time Served

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years2

OFFICERS OF THE TRUST

Russell L. Kane

(1969)

   Secretary, Clerk, and Chief Legal Officer    Secretary, Clerk and Chief Legal Officer since July 2016    Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary and Clerk, Natixis Distribution Corporation, Natixis Advisors, L.P. and Natixis Distribution, L.P.; formerly, Chief Compliance Officer for Mutual Funds, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Clerk, Natixis Distribution Corporation, Natixis Advisors, L.P. and Natixis Distribution, L.P.

Michael C. Kardok

(1959)

   Treasurer, Principal Financial and Accounting Officer    Since October 2004    Senior Vice President, Natixis Advisors, L.P. and Natixis Distribution, L.P.

Rosa Licea-Mailloux

(1976)

   Chief Compliance Officer, Assistant Secretary and Anti-Money Laundering Officer    Since July 2016    Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Clerk, Natixis Distribution Corporation, Natixis Advisors, L.P. and Natixis Distribution, L.P.; formerly, Associate General Counsel, Natixis Distribution, L.P.

 

1

Each officer of the Trust serves for an indefinite term in accordance with the Trust’s current by-laws until the date his or her successor is elected and qualified, or until he or she sooner dies, retires, is removed or becomes disqualified.

2

Each person listed above, except as noted, holds the same position(s) with the Fund Complex. Previous positions during the past five years with Natixis Distribution, L.P., Natixis Advisors, L.P. or Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. are omitted, if not materially different from an officer’s current position with such entity.

Qualifications of Trustees

The preceding tables provide an overview of the considerations that led the Board to conclude that each individual serving as a Trustee of the Trust should so serve. The current members of the Board have joined the Board at different points in time. Generally, no one factor was determinative in the original selection of an individual to join the Board. Among the factors the Board considered when concluding that an individual should serve on the Board were the following: (i) the individual’s knowledge in matters relating to the mutual fund industry; (ii) any experience possessed by the individual as a director or senior officer of other public companies; (iii) the individual’s educational background; (iv) the individual’s reputation for high ethical standards and personal and professional integrity; (v) any specific financial, technical or other expertise possessed by the individual, and the extent to which such expertise would complement the Board’s existing mix of skills and qualifications; (vi) the individual’s perceived ability to contribute to the ongoing functions of the Board, including the individual’s ability and commitment to attend meetings regularly and work collaboratively with other members of the Board; (vii) the individual’s ability to qualify as an Independent Trustee for purposes of applicable regulations; and (viii) such other factors as the Board determined to be relevant in light of the existing composition of the Board and any anticipated vacancies or other transitions. Each Trustee’s professional experience and additional considerations that contributed to the Board’s conclusion that an individual should serve on the Board are summarized in the tables above.

 

52


Table of Contents

Leadership and Structure of the Board

The Board is led by the Chairperson of the Board, who is an Independent Trustee. The Board currently consists of twelve Trustees, ten of whom are Independent Trustees. The Trustees have delegated significant oversight authority to the three standing committees of the Trust, the Audit Committee, the Contract Review Committee and the Governance Committee, each of which consists solely of Independent Trustees. These committees meet separately and at times jointly, with the joint meetings intended to educate and involve all Independent Trustees in significant committee-level topics. As well as handling matters directly, the committees raise matters to the Board for consideration. In addition to the oversight performed by the committees and the Board, the Chairperson of the Board and the chairpersons of each committee interact frequently with management regarding topics to be considered at Board and committee meetings as well as items arising between meetings. At least once a year the Governance Committee reviews the Board’s governance practices and procedures and recommends appropriate changes to the full Board. The Board believes its leadership structure is appropriate and effective in that it allows for oversight at the committee or Board level, as the case may be, while facilitating communications among the Trustees and between the Board and Fund management.

The Contract Review Committee of the Trust consists solely of Trustees who are not employees, officers or directors of Natixis Advisors, L.P. (“Natixis Advisors”), the Distributor or their affiliates and considers matters relating to advisory and distribution arrangements and potential conflicts of interest between the Adviser and the Trust. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, this committee held [    ] meetings.

The Governance Committee of the Trust consists solely of Trustees who are not employees, officers or directors of Natixis Advisors, the Distributor or their affiliates and considers matters relating to candidates for membership on the Board and Trustee compensation. The Governance Committee makes nominations for Independent Trustee membership on the Board when necessary and considers recommendations from shareholders of the Fund that are submitted in accordance with the procedures by which shareholders may communicate with the Board. Pursuant to those procedures, shareholders must submit a recommendation for nomination in a signed writing addressed to the attention of the Board, c/o Secretary of the Funds, Natixis Advisors, L.P., 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197. This written communication must (i) be signed by the shareholder, (ii) include the name and address of the shareholder, (iii) identify the name of the Fund to which the communication relates, and (iv) identify the account number, class and number of shares held by the shareholder as of a recent date or the intermediary through which the shares are held. The recommendation must be received in a timely manner (and in any event no later than the date specified for receipt of shareholder proposals in any applicable proxy statement with respect to the Fund). A recommendation for Trustee nomination shall be kept on file and considered by the Board for six (6) months from the date of receipt, after which the recommendation shall be considered stale and discarded. The recommendation must contain sufficient background information concerning the Trustee candidate to enable a proper judgment to be made as to the candidate’s qualifications. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, this committee held [     ] meetings.

The Governance Committee has not established specific, minimum qualifications that must be met by an individual to be recommended for nomination as an Independent Trustee. The Governance Committee, however, believes that the Board as a whole should reflect a diversity of viewpoints, and will generally consider each nominee’s professional experience, education, financial expertise, gender, ethnicity, age and other individual qualities and attributes, such considerations will vary based on the Board’s existing composition. The Governance Committee conducts an annual self-assessment and will consider the effectiveness of its diversity policy as part of this process. In evaluating candidates for a position on the Board, the Governance Committee may consider a variety of factors, including (i) the nominee’s reputation for integrity, honesty and adherence to high ethical standards; (ii) the nominee’s educational and professional accomplishments; (iii) the nominee’s demonstrated business acumen, including, but not limited to, knowledge of the mutual fund industry and/or any experience possessed by the nominee as a director or senior officer of a financial services company or a public company; (iv) the nominee’s ability to exercise sound judgment in matters related to the objectives of the Fund; (v) the nominee’s willingness to contribute positively to the decision-making process of the Board and to bring an independent point of view; (vi) the

 

53


Table of Contents

nominee’s commitment and ability to devote the necessary time and energy to be an effective Independent Trustee; (vii) the nominee’s ability to understand the sometimes conflicting interests of various constituencies of the Fund and to act in the interests of all shareholders; (viii) the absence of conflicts of interests that would impair his or her ability to represent all shareholders and to fulfill director fiduciary responsibilities; (ix) the nominee’s ability to be collegial and compatible with current members of the Board and management of the Fund; (x) any specific financial, technical or other expertise possessed by the nominee, and the extent to which such expertise would complement the Board’s existing mix of skills and qualifications; (xi) the nominee’s ability to qualify as an Independent Trustee for purposes of applicable regulations; and (xii) such other factors as the Committee may request in light of the existing composition of the Board and any anticipated vacancies or other transitions.

The Audit Committee of the Trust consists solely of Independent Trustees and considers matters relating to the scope and results of the Trust’s audits and serves as a forum in which the independent registered public accounting firm can raise any issues or problems identified in an audit with the Board. The Audit Committee also reviews and monitors compliance with stated investment objectives and policies, SEC regulations as well as operational issues relating to the transfer agent, administrator, sub-administrator and custodian. In addition, the Audit Committee implements procedures for receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Fund regarding its accounting, internal accounting controls and the confidential, anonymous submission by officers of the Fund or employees of certain service providers of concerns related to such matters. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, this Committee held [     ] meetings.

The current membership of each committee is as follows:

 

Audit Committee

   Contract Review Committee      Governance Committee  

Erik R. Sirri – Chairperson

     Peter J. Smail – Chairperson        Cynthia L. Walker – Chairperson  

Edmond J. English

     Wendell J. Knox        Edmond J. English  

Richard A. Goglia

     Maureen B. Mitchell        Wendell J. Knox  

Martin T. Meehan

     James P. Palermo        Peter J. Smail  

Cynthia L. Walker

     

As chairperson of the Board, Mr. Drucker is an ex officio member of each Committee.

The Board’s Role in Risk Oversight of the Fund

The Board’s role is one of oversight of the practices and processes of the Fund and its service providers, rather than active management of the Trust, including in matters relating to risk management. The Board seeks to understand the key risks facing the Fund, including those involving conflicts of interest; how Fund management identifies and monitors these risks on an ongoing basis; how Fund management develops and implements controls to mitigate these risks; and how Fund management tests the effectiveness of those controls. The Board cannot foresee, know, or guard against all risks, nor are the Trustees guarantors against risk.

Periodically, Fund officers provide the full Board with an overview of the enterprise risk assessment program in place at Natixis Advisors and the Distributor, which serve as the administrator of and principal underwriter to the Fund, respectively. Fund officers on a quarterly and annual basis also provide the Board (or one of its standing committees) with written and oral reports on regulatory and compliance matters, operational and service provider matters, organizational developments, product proposals, Fund and internal audit results, and insurance and fidelity bond coverage, along with a discussion of the risks and controls associated with these matters, and periodically make presentations to management on risk issues and industry best practices. Fund service providers, including Adviser, transfer agents and the custodian, periodically provide Fund management and/or the Board with information about their risk assessment programs and/or the risks arising out of their activities. The scope and frequency of these reports vary. Fund officers also communicate with the Trustees between meetings regarding material exceptions and other items germane to the Board’s risk oversight function.

Pursuant to Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act, the Board has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) who is responsible for administering the Fund’s compliance program, including monitoring and enforcing compliance by the Fund and its service providers with the federal securities laws. The CCO has an active role in daily Fund operations and maintains a working relationship with all relevant advisory, compliance, operations and

 

54


Table of Contents

administration personnel for the Fund’s service providers. On at least a quarterly basis, the CCO reports to the Independent Trustees on significant compliance program developments, including material compliance matters, and on an annual basis, the CCO provides the full Board with a written report that summarizes his review and assessment of the adequacy of the compliance programs of the Fund and its service providers. The CCO also periodically communicates with the Audit Committee members between its scheduled meetings.

Fund Securities Owned by the Trustees

As of the date of this Statement, the Fund had not yet publicly offered its shares and therefore the Trustees did not own shares of the Fund.

As of December 31, 2017, the Trustees had the following ownership in all of the funds in the Fund Complex:

Independent Trustees

 

Dollar Range of Fund Shares1

   Aggregate Dollar Range of Fund Shares in Fund Complex
Overseen by Trustee
 

Kenneth A. Drucker

     [    

Edmond J. English2

     [    

Richard A. Goglia2

     [    

Wendell J. Knox2

     [    

Martin T. Meehan2

     [    

Maureen B. Mitchell3

     [    

James P. Palermo2

     [    

Erik R. Sirri2

     [    

Peter J. Smail

     [    

Cynthia L. Walker2

     [    

 

1 

A. None

B. $1 - $10,000

C. $10,001 - $50,000

D. $50,001 - $100,000

E. over $100,000

 

2

Amounts include economic value of notional investments held through the deferred compensation plan.

3 

Ms. Mitchell was appointed as a Trustee effective July 1, 2017.

Interested Trustees

 

Dollar Range of Fund Shares1

   Aggregate Dollar Range of Fund Shares in Fund Complex
Overseen by Trustee
 

Kevin P. Charleston

     [    

David L. Giunta

     [    

 

1

A. None

B. $1 - 10,000

C. $10,001 - $50,000

D. $50,001 - $100,000

E. over $100,000

Trustee Fees

The Trust pays no compensation to its officers or to Trustees who are employees, officers or directors of Natixis Advisors, the Distributor, or their affiliates.

The Chairperson of the Board receives a retainer fee at the annual rate of $340,000. The Chairperson does not receive any meeting attendance fees for Board meetings or committee meetings that he attends. Each Trustee who is not an employee, officer or director of Natixis Advisors, the Distributor or their affiliates (other than the Chairperson) receives, in the aggregate, a retainer fee at the annual rate of $170,000. Each Trustee who is not an employee, officer or director of Natixis Advisors, the Distributor or their affiliates also receives a meeting attendance fee of $10,000 for each meeting of the Board that he or she attends in person and $5,000 for each meeting of the Board that he or she attends telephonically. In addition, the Chairperson of the Audit Committee and

 

55


Table of Contents

the Chairperson of the Contract Review Committee each receive an additional retainer fee at an annual rate of $20,000. The Chairperson of the Governance Committee receives an additional retainer fee at an annual rate of $12,000. Each Contract Review Committee and Audit Committee member is compensated $6,000 for each committee meeting that he or she attends in person and $3,000 for each committee meeting that he or she attends telephonically. These fees are allocated among the funds in the Natixis Funds Trusts, Loomis Sayles Funds Trusts and Natixis ETF Trust based on a formula that takes into account, among other factors, the relative net assets of each mutual fund portfolio. Trustees are reimbursed for travel expenses in connection with attendance at meetings.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, the Trustees received the amounts set forth in the following table for serving as Trustees of the Natixis Funds Trusts and Loomis Sayles Funds Trusts. The table also sets forth, as applicable, pension or retirement benefits accrued as part of fund expenses, as well as estimated annual retirement benefits:

Compensation Table

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

 

     Aggregate
Compensation from
Natixis Funds Trust
I1
     Pension or
Retirement Benefits
Accrued as Part of
Fund Expenses
     Estimated Annual
Benefits Upon
Retirement
     Total Compensation
from the Fund
Complex2
 

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES

 

Kenneth A. Drucker

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Edmond J. English

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Richard A. Goglia

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Wendell J. Knox

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Martin T. Meehan

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Maureen B. Mitchell3

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Sandra O. Moose4

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

James P. Palermo

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Erik R. Sirri

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Peter J. Smail

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Cynthia L. Walker

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

Kevin P. Charleston

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

David L. Giunta

   $ [        $ [        $ [        $ [    

 

1

Amounts include payments deferred by Trustees for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and January 31, 2018, with respect to the Trusts. The total amount of deferred compensation accrued for Natixis Funds Trust I as of December 31, 2017 for the Trustees is as follows: English ($[    ]), Goglia ($[    ]), Knox ($[    ]), Meehan ($[    ]), Palermo ($[    ]), Sirri ($[    ]) and Walker ($[    ]).

2

Total Compensation represents amounts paid during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 to a Trustee for serving on the board of seven (7) trusts with a total of fifty-four (54) funds as of December 31, 2017.

3

Ms. Mitchell was appointed as a Trustee effective July 1, 2017.

4

Ms. Moose retired as a Trustee effective January 1, 2018.

The Natixis Funds Trusts, Loomis Sayles Funds Trusts and Natixis ETF Trust do not provide pension or retirement benefits to Trustees, but have adopted a deferred payment arrangement under which each Trustee may elect not to receive fees from the Funds on a current basis but to receive in a subsequent period an amount equal to the value that such fees would have been if they had been invested in the Fund selected by the Trustee on the normal payment date for such fees.

Management Ownership

As of the date of this Statement, the Fund had not yet publicly offered its shares and, therefore, the officers and Trustees of the Trust collectively owned less than 1% of the then outstanding shares of the Fund.

 

56


Table of Contents

Code of Ethics

The Trust, the Adviser, and the Distributor each have adopted a code of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These codes of ethics permit the personnel of these entities to invest in securities, including securities that the Fund may purchase or hold. The codes of ethics are on public file with and are available from the SEC.

Proxy Voting Policies

The Board has adopted the Proxy Voting Policy and Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) for the voting of proxies for securities held by the Fund. Under the Guidelines, the responsibility for voting proxies generally is delegated to the Adviser. Under the Guidelines, decisions regarding the voting of proxies are to be made solely in the interest of the Fund and its shareholders. The Adviser shall exercise its fiduciary responsibilities to vote proxies with respect to the Fund’s investments that are managed by the Adviser in a prudent manner in accordance with the Guidelines and the proxy voting policies of the Adviser. The Adviser is responsible for maintaining certain records and reporting to the Audit Committee of the Trust in connection with the voting of proxies. The Adviser shall make available to the Fund, or Natixis Advisors, the Fund’s administrator, the records and information maintained by the adviser under the Guidelines.

Ostrum US and Mirova understand that proxy voting is an important right of shareholders and that reasonable care and diligence must be undertaken to ensure that such rights are properly and timely exercised. Ostrum US, in reliance on Mirova, will vote in a manner that is consistent with what it believes to be in the best interests of such clients and in accordance with the Proxy Voting Policy and Procedures that it has adopted.

Ostrum US has adopted written policies and procedures setting forth the principles and procedures by which it votes or gives consent with respect to securities owned by the Fund and other clients. With respect to its Mirova division, in particular, Ostrum US has chosen to adopt a voting policy that develops an integrated voting and engagement strategy, focused on long-term value creation for all stakeholders. This approach is based on three principles:

Pragmatism: Mirova analyses resolutions from an investor’s point of view, considering the macro-economic context as well as countries’ and companies’ specific characteristics;

Responsibility: Mirova takes into consideration Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues when analyzing resolutions and making voting decisions;

Engagement: Mirova conducts a permanent and constructive dialogue with companies in order to promote good corporate governance practices and the integration of sustainable development issues to their long-term strategies.

This Proxy Voting Policy emphasizes the essential issues facing companies in the new context in which they operate. Mirova favors, notably: (i) the institution of a board that incorporates stakeholders in a balanced fashion and that resolutely takes account of issues of corporate social responsibility (“CSR”), (ii) an equitable distribution of value among the different stakeholders, notably integrating environmental and social criteria in the remuneration of executives, and (iii) the transparency and quality of financial and extra-financial information, with the implementation of reporting that integrates the issues of sustainable development. These principles furthermore constitute the primary themes of engagement that Mirova emphasizes in the context of its dialogue with issuers. Below is additional detail on how the Mirova division of Ostrum US generally will/will not vote on certain matters:

 

Governance Structure and Balance of Power    Mirova’s voting decisions generally will favor the appointment of directors allowing for: (1) a balance in the composition of the board among the company’s different strategic stakeholders; (2) effective supervision of decisions taken in the long-term interests of the company and the respect for the rights of all stakeholders; and (3) better integration of CSR issues in strategic considerations.

 

57


Table of Contents
Distribution of Value   

Mirova generally will support votes concerning aspects of the compensation of executives that are: (1) tied to the long-term strategy of the company; (2) correlated with long-term economic, but also environmental and social objectives (with pertinent and stable measurement indicators); (3) consistent with the creation of real value and its distribution among the different stakeholders; and (4) consistent with the company’s social policy.

 

Mirova generally will not support votes on dividend policies that: (1) are not correlated with the creation of value; (2) are detrimental to the company’s capacity to invest or to its solvency; and/or (3) are not consistent with the company’s social policy.

 

Mirova generally will support all resolutions aiming to maintain the loyalty of long-term shareholders and to develop employee shareholding.

Transparency of Information    Mirova generally will not support a resolution approving the annual report if the annual report does not integrate audited and certified information on the environmental and social performance of the company.

The Proxy Voting Policy is reviewed annually by the Research team in order to take into account potential changes in national or regional legal framework and to also reflect evolutions in the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (“SRI”) philosophy. The Voting & Governance analyst and the Head of SRI Research are more specifically dedicated to this process. The new Proxy Voting Policy is submitted to the Compliance Officer and the CEO for their respective approval. Mirova’s board of directors is also asked to approve the proposed Policy.

The analysis of resolutions is carried out by the ESG Research team, and more specifically the Voting and Governance Analyst. This proxy voting procedure involves the analysis of resolutions presented at general meetings. Mirova may also engage in dialogue with issuers. Voting decisions are the responsibility of the voting committee, composed of Mirova’s Chief Executive Officer, the Head of Responsible Investment Research, and the Voting and Governance Analyst. Managers and extra-financial analysts may be invited to participate in the committee’s deliberations depending on the subject under discussion.

As part of the framework established for delegating voting rights, Mirova uses an independent voting services provider, Institutional Shareholder Services, to: (i) inform Mirova of upcoming general meetings related to securities belonging to its voting universe; (ii) analyze resolutions according to the principles defined in the present voting policy; (iii) provide access to a voting platform for the exercise of voting rights; and (iv) transmit voting instructions to issuers.

Although Mirova has implemented a customized voting policy with ISS, its in-house analysis has always priority on the voting recommendations proposed by ISS.

Mirova has implemented procedures to prevent, identify, and manage potential conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest between Mirova and one of its clients is identified, the Head of Compliance and Internal Control, in coordination with the members of the voting committee, decide on the appropriate response. If exercising its voting rights for a given company exposes Mirova to a significant conflict of interest, the Voting and Governance Analyst will refer the matter to the Head of Compliance and Internal Control, who will decide on the appropriate measures to take, including whether or not to participate in the company’s general meeting. Ostrum US’s Chief Compliance Officer or her/his deputy is responsible for confirming that the Voting and Governance analyst is not aware of any conflicts of interest that may arise between Ostrum US and its affiliates, on the one hand, and the interests of its clients, on the other, regardless of whether these conflicts are actual or perceived. If a conflict of interest is identified, the Chief Compliance Officer of Ostrum US or her/his deputy (who may be located at Mirova) will decide on an appropriate response. Where the Chief Compliance Officer deems appropriate in her/his sole discretion, unaffiliated third parties may be used to help resolve conflicts. In this regard, the Chief Compliance Officer shall have the power to retain independent fiduciaries, consultants, or professionals to assist with voting decisions and/or to delegate voting or consent powers to such fiduciaries, consultants or professionals.

 

58


Table of Contents

Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies related to its portfolio securities during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2019 will be available without charge (i) by calling toll-free at 800-225-5478, (ii) through the Fund’s website, im.natixis.com and (iii) on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES

Information About the Organization and Ownership of the Adviser

Ostrum US is a majority-owned subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers and a minority-owned subsidiary of Mirova, which is in turn a subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers.

Advisory Agreement

The Fund’s advisory agreement with the Adviser provides that the Adviser will furnish or pay the expenses of the Fund for office space, facilities and equipment, services of executive and other personnel of the Trust and certain administrative services. The Adviser may delegate certain administrative services to its affiliates. The Adviser is responsible for obtaining and evaluating such economic, statistical and financial data and information and performing such additional research as is necessary to manage the Fund’s assets in accordance with its investment objectives and policies.

The Fund pays all expenses not borne by the Adviser including, but not limited to, the charges and expenses of the Fund’s custodian and transfer agents, independent registered public accounting firm, legal counsel for the Fund, legal counsel for the Trust’s Independent Trustees, 12b-1 fees, all brokerage commissions and transfer taxes in connection with portfolio transactions, all taxes and filing fees, the fees and expenses for registration or qualification of its shares under federal and state securities laws, all expenses of shareholders’ and Trustees’ meetings and of preparing, printing and mailing reports to shareholders and the compensation of Trustees who are not directors, officers or employees of the Adviser or its affiliates, other than affiliated registered investment companies. Certain expenses may be allocated differently among the Fund’s Class A shares, on the one hand, and Class N and Class Y shares on the other hand. See the section “Description of the Trust” below.

Except as noted below, the advisory agreement provides that it will continue in effect for two years from its date of execution and thereafter from year to year if its continuance is approved at least annually (i) by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund and (ii) by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.    

The advisory agreement may be terminated without penalty by vote of the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, upon 60 days’ written notice, or by the Adviser upon 90 days’ written notice. The advisory agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

The advisory agreement of the Fund provides that the Adviser shall not be subject to any liability in connection with the performance of its services thereunder in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its obligations and duties.

Distribution Agreements and Rule 12b-1 Plan

Under a separate agreement with the Fund, the Distributor serves as the principal distributor of each class of shares of the Fund. The Distributor’s principal business address is 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197. Under these agreements (the “Distribution Agreements”), the Distributor conducts a continuous offering and is not obligated to sell a specific number of shares. The Distributor bears the cost of making information about the Fund available through advertising and other means and the cost of printing and mailing the Prospectus to persons other than shareholders. The Fund pays the cost of registering and qualifying its shares under state and federal securities laws and distributing the Prospectus to existing shareholders.

 

59


Table of Contents

The Distributor is compensated under each agreement through receipt of the sales charges on Class A shares described below under “Net Asset Value” and is paid by the Fund the service and distribution fees described in the applicable Prospectus. The Distributor may, at its discretion, reallow the entire sales charge imposed on the sale of Class A shares of the Fund to investment dealers from time to time. The SEC is of the view that dealers receiving all or substantially all of the sales charge may be deemed underwriters of the Fund’s shares.

The Fund has adopted a Rule 12b-1 plan (the “Plan”) for its Class A shares. Class N and Class Y shares have no such plans. The Plan, among other things, permits the applicable class of shares to pay the Distributor monthly fees out of its net assets. These fees consist of a service fee and a distribution fee. Certain Distributor fees that are paid by a distributor to securities dealers are known as “trail commissions.” Pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, the Plan was approved by the shareholders of the Fund, and (together with the related Distribution Agreement) by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Trust.

Under the Plan, the Fund pays the Distributor a monthly service fee at an annual rate not to exceed 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to the Class A shares. The Distributor may pay up to the entire amount of this fee to securities dealers who are dealers of record with respect to the Fund’s shares, on a monthly (or quarterly basis), unless other arrangements are made between the Distributor and the securities dealer, for providing personal services to investors in shares of the Fund and/or the maintenance of shareholder accounts. This service fee will accrue to securities dealers of record immediately with respect to reinvested income dividends and capital gain distributions of the Fund’s Class A shares.

The service fees on Class A shares may be paid only to reimburse the Distributor for expenses of providing personal services to investors, including, but not limited to, (i) expenses (including overhead expenses) of the Distributor for providing personal services to investors in connection with the maintenance of shareholder accounts and (ii) payments made by the Distributor to any securities dealer or other organization (including, but not limited to, any affiliate of the Distributor) with which the Distributor has entered into a written agreement for this purpose, for providing personal services to investors and/or the maintenance of shareholder accounts, which payments to any such organization may be in amounts in excess of the cost incurred by such organization in connection therewith.

The Plan may be terminated by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Class A shares of the Fund. The Plan may be amended by vote of the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose. Any change in the Plan that would materially increase the fees payable thereunder by the Class A shares of the Fund requires approval by a vote of the holders of a majority of such shares outstanding. The Trust’s Trustees review quarterly a written report of such costs and the purposes for which such costs have been incurred. For so long as a Plan is in effect, selection and nomination of those Trustees who are Independent Trustees of the Trust shall be committed to the discretion of such Trustees.

Fees paid by Class A shares of the Fund may indirectly support sales and servicing efforts relating to shares of the other series of the Natixis Funds Trusts or the Loomis Sayles Funds Trusts. In reporting its expenses to the Trustees, the Distributor itemizes expenses that relate to the distribution and/or servicing of a single fund’s shares, and allocates other expenses among the relevant funds based on their relative net assets or relative sales. Expenses allocated to the Fund are further allocated among its classes of shares annually based on the relative sales of each class, except for any expenses that relate only to the sale or servicing of a single class.

The Distributor has entered into selling agreements with investment dealers, including affiliates of the Distributor, for the sale of the Fund’s shares. As described in more detail below, the Distributor, Natixis Advisors, and their affiliates may, at their expense, pay additional amounts to dealers who have selling agreements with the Distributor. Class Y shares of the Fund may be offered by registered representatives of certain affiliates who are also employees of Natixis US and may receive compensation from the Adviser with respect to sales of Class Y shares.

The Distribution Agreement for the Fund may be terminated at any time on 60 days’ written notice without payment of any penalty by the Distributor or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund or by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees.

 

60


Table of Contents

The Distribution Agreements and the Plan will continue in effect for successive one-year periods, provided that each such continuance is specifically approved (i) by the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the entire Board cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding securities of the Fund (or Class A, in the case of the Plan).

With the exception of the Distributor, its affiliated companies and those Trustees that are not Independent Trustees, no interested person of the Trust or any Trustee of the Trust had any direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any related agreement. Benefits to the Fund and its shareholders resulting from the Plan are believed to include (1) enhanced shareholder service, (2) asset retention and (3) enhanced portfolio management opportunities and bargaining position with third party service providers and economies of scale arising from having asset levels higher than they would be if the Plan were not in place.

The Distributor controls the word “Natixis” in the names of the Natixis Funds Trusts and if it should cease to be the principal distributor of the Fund’s shares, the Trust may be required to change its name and delete these words or letters. The Distributor also acts as principal distributor for Natixis Funds Trust II, Natixis Funds Trust IV, Loomis Sayles Funds I, Loomis Sayles Funds II, and Gateway Trust. The address of the Distributor is 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8197.

The portion of the various fees and expenses for Class A shares that are paid (reallowed) to securities dealers are shown below:

Class A

 

Cumulative

Investment

  

Maximum

Sales Charge Paid

by Investors

(% of offering price)

   

Maximum

Reallowance or
Commission

(% of offering price)

   

Maximum

First Year

Service Fee

(% of net investment)

   

Maximum

First Year
Compensation

(% of offering price)

 

Less than $50,000

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

$50,000 - $99,999

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

$100,000 - $249,999  

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

$250,000 - $499,999  

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

$500,000 - $999,999  

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

Investments of $1 million or more(1)

 

Up to $2,999,999 million

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

$3,000,000 to $4,999,999

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

Excess over $5,000,000

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

Investments with no Sales Charge (2)

     [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]%      [     ]% 

 

(1)

Commissions are based on cumulative investments over the life of the account with no adjustment for redemptions, transfers or market declines. For example, if a shareholder has accumulated investments in excess of $5 million and subsequently redeems all or a portion of the account(s), purchases following the redemption will generate a dealer commission of 0.50%.

(2)

Refers to any investments made by investors not subject to a sales charge as described in the Prospectus for Class A shares of the Fund in the section “How Sales Charges Are Calculated.”

As described in the Prospectus, each purchase or sale of shares is effected at the NAV next determined after an order is received, less any applicable sales charge. The sales charge is allocated between the investment dealer and the Distributor, as indicated in the tables above. The Distributor receives the contingent deferred sales charge (the “CDSC”). Proceeds from the CDSC on Class A shares are paid to the Distributor and are used by the Distributor to defray the expenses for services the Distributor provides the Trust. The Distributor may, at its discretion, pay (reallow) the entire sales charge imposed on the sale of Class A shares to investment dealers from time to time.

For new amounts invested at NAV by an eligible governmental authority, the Distributor may, at its expense, pay investment dealers a commission of 0.025% of the average daily net assets of an account at the end of each calendar quarter for up to one year. These commissions are not payable if the purchase represents the reinvestment of redemption proceeds from any other Natixis Fund or if the account is registered in street name.

 

61


Table of Contents

The Fund may pay fees to intermediaries such as banks, broker-dealers, financial advisors or other financial institutions for sub-administration, sub-transfer agency and other services, including, but not limited to, recordkeeping, shareholder or participant reporting or shareholder or participant recordkeeping) (“recordkeeping and processing-related services”) associated with shareholders whose shares are held of record in omnibus, other group accounts (for example, 401(k) plans) or accounts traded through registered securities clearing agents. These fees are paid directly or indirectly by the Fund (with the exception of Class N shares, which do not bear such expenses) in light of the fact that other costs may be avoided by the Fund where the intermediary, not the Fund’s service providers, provides shareholder services to Fund shareholders. The intermediary may impose other account or service charges directly on account holders or participants. In addition, depending on the arrangements, the Adviser and/or Distributor or their affiliates may, out of their own resources, compensate such financial intermediaries or their agents directly or indirectly for such recordkeeping and processing-related services; such payments will not be made with respect to Class N shares. The services provided and related payments vary from firm to firm. Under these programs, the Distributor may enter into administrative services agreements with intermediaries pursuant to which intermediaries will provide sub-transfer agency services, sub-administrative services and other services with respect to the Fund. These services may include, but are not limited to, shareholder record set-up and maintenance, account statement preparation and mailing, transaction processing and settlement and account level tax reporting. The Distributor is reimbursed by the Fund for all or a portion of any fees paid to intermediaries by the Distributor on behalf of the Fund.

The Distributor, Natixis Advisors and their affiliates may, out of their own resources, make additional payments to financial intermediaries who sell shares of the Fund. Such payments and compensation are in addition to any fees paid or reimbursed by the Fund. These payments may include: (i) full reallowance of the sales charge of Class A shares, (ii) additional compensation with respect to the sale and/or servicing of Class A, Class N and Class Y shares, (iii) payments based upon various factors, as described below, and (iv) financial assistance programs to firms who sell or arrange for the sale of Fund shares including, but not limited to, remuneration for: the firm’s internal sales contests and incentive programs, marketing and sales fees, expenses related to advertising or promotional activity and events, and shareholder record keeping, sub-transfer agency or miscellaneous administrative services. From its own profits and resources, the Distributor may, from time to time, make payments to qualified wholesalers, registered financial institutions and third party marketers for marketing support services and/or retention of assets. Among others, the Distributor has agreed to make such payments for marketing support services to AXA Advisors, LLC. In addition to marketing and/or financial support payments described above, payment for travel, lodging and related expenses may be provided for attendance at Fund seminars and conferences, e.g., due diligence meetings held for training and educational purposes. The Distributor intends that the payment of these concessions and any other compensation offered will conform with state and federal laws and the rules of any self-regulatory organization, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). The participation of such firms in financial assistance programs is at the discretion of the firm and the Distributor. The payments described in (iii) above may be based on sales (generally ranging from 0.05% to 0.25% of gross sales) and/or the amount of assets a financial intermediary’s clients have invested in the Fund (at annual rates generally ranging from 0.03% to 0.35% of the value of the clients’ shares). The actual payment rates to a financial intermediary will depend upon how the particular arrangement is structured (e.g., solely asset-based fees, solely sales-based fees or a combination of both) and other factors such as the length of time assets have remained invested in the Fund, redemption rates and the willingness of the financial intermediary to provide access to its representatives for educational and marketing purposes. The payments to financial intermediaries described in this section and elsewhere in this Statement, which may be significant to the financial intermediaries, may create an incentive for a financial intermediary or its representatives to recommend or sell shares of the Fund or shares class over other mutual funds or share classes. Additionally, these payments may result in the Fund’s inclusion on a sales list, including a preferred or select sales list, or in other sales programs. Investors should contact their financial representative for details about the payment the financial intermediaries may receive.

From time to time, the Fund’s service providers, or any of their affiliates, may also pay non-cash compensation to the sales representatives of financial intermediaries in the form of (i) occasional gifts; (ii) occasional meals, tickets or other entertainment; and/or (iii) sponsorship support of regional events of intermediaries.

Dealers may charge their customers a processing fee or service fee in connection with the purchase or redemption of fund shares. The amount and applicability of such a fee is determined and disclosed to its customers by their individual dealer. Processing or service fees typically are fixed, nominal dollar amounts and are in addition to the sales and other charges described in the Fund’s Prospectus and this Statement. Customers will be provided with specific information about any processing or service fees charged by their dealer.

 

62


Table of Contents

The Fund is newly formed and thus has not allocated any commissions and sales charges as of the date of this Statement

OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

Administrative Services. Natixis Advisors, 888 Boylston Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02199-8197, performs certain accounting and administrative services for the Fund, pursuant to an Administrative Services Agreement dated January 1, 2005, as amended from time to time (the “Administrative Agreement”). Under the Administrative Agreement, Natixis Advisors provides the following services to the Fund: (i) personnel that perform bookkeeping, accounting, internal auditing and financial reporting functions and clerical functions relating to the Fund, (ii) services required in connection with the preparation of the registration statement and Prospectus, registration of shares in various states, shareholder reports and notices, proxy solicitation material furnished to shareholders of the Fund or regulatory authorities and reports and questionnaires for SEC compliance, (iii) the various registrations and filings required by various regulatory authorities and (iv) consultation and legal advice on Fund-related matters.

Support Services. Pursuant to separate support service agreements between Natixis Advisors and Ostrum US, Natixis Advisors provides various marketing, relationship management and other support services to the Fund. With respect to these contractual arrangements, Ostrum US, and not the Fund, pays Natixis Advisors for such services.

Custodial Arrangements. State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street Bank”), One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA, 02111, serves as the custodian for the Trust. As such, State Street Bank holds in safekeeping certificated securities and cash belonging to the Fund and, in such capacity, is the registered owner of securities in book-entry form belonging to the Fund. Upon instruction, State Street Bank receives and delivers cash and securities of the Fund in connection with Fund transactions and collects all dividends and other distributions made with respect to Fund portfolio securities. State Street Bank also maintains certain accounts and records of the Trust and calculates the total NAV, total net income and NAV per share of the Fund on a daily basis.

Transfer Agency Services. Pursuant to a contract between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and DST Asset Manager Solutions, Inc. (“DST” or the “Transfer Agent”), whose principal business address is 2000 Crown Colony Drive, Quincy, MA 02169, DST acts as the shareholder servicing and transfer agent for the Fund and is responsible for services in connection with the establishment, maintenance and recording of shareholder accounts, including all related tax and other reporting requirements and the implementation of investment and redemption arrangements offered in connection with the sale of the Fund’s shares.

From time to time, the Fund, directly or indirectly through arrangements with Natixis Advisors and its affiliates or the Transfer Agent, may pay amounts to third parties that provide recordkeeping and other administrative services relating to the Fund to persons who beneficially own interests in the Fund, such as shareholders whose shares are held of record in omnibus, other group accounts (for example, 401(k) plans) or accounts traded through registered securities clearing agents. See the section “Distribution Agreements and Rule 12b-1 Plan” in this Statement.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. The Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm is [ ]. The independent registered public accounting firm conducts an annual audit of the Fund’s financial statements, assists in the review of federal and state income tax returns and consults with the Trust as to matters of accounting and federal and state income taxation.

Counsel to the Fund. Ropes & Gray LLP, located at Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199, serves as counsel to the Fund.

 

63


Table of Contents

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS’ MANAGEMENT OF OTHER ACCOUNTS

As of December 31, 2017, many of the portfolio manager(s) of the Fund managed other accounts in addition to managing the Fund. The following table provides information on the other accounts managed by each portfolio manager:

 

     Registered Investment Companies     Other Pooled Investment Vehicles     Other Accounts  
     Other Accounts
Managed
    Advisory fee is
based on
performance
    Other Accounts
Managed
    Advisory fee is
based on
performance
    Other Accounts
Managed
    Advisory fee is
based on
performance
 

Name of Portfolio

Manager

   # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
    # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
    # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
    # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
    # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
    # of
Accts
    Total
Assets
 

Hua Cheng

     [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [    

Jens Peers

     [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [         [       $ [    

Material Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest may arise in the allocation of investment opportunities and the allocation of aggregated orders among the Fund and other accounts managed by the portfolio managers. A portfolio manager potentially could give favorable treatment to some accounts for a variety of reasons, including favoring larger accounts, accounts that pay higher fees, accounts that pay performance-based fees, accounts of affiliated companies and accounts in which the portfolio manager has an interest. Such favorable treatment could lead to more favorable investment opportunities or allocations for some accounts. The Adviser has adopted policies and procedures to mitigate the effects of these conflicts. For more information on how the Adviser allocates investment opportunities between the Fund and its other clients, see the section “Allocation of Investment Opportunity Among the Fund and Other Accounts Managed by the Adviser” in this Statement. Conflicts of interest also may arise to the extent a portfolio manager short sells a stock or otherwise takes a short position in one client account but holds that stock long in other accounts, including the Fund, or sells a stock for some accounts while buying the stock for others, and through the use of “soft dollar arrangements,” which are discussed in the section “Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage” below.

Portfolio Managers’ Compensation

The following describes the structure of, and the method used to determine, the compensation of each of the above-listed portfolio managers as of December 31, 2017:

Ostrum US and Mirova. The portfolio managers are compensated according to the Mirova global salary policy. Mirova’s global salary policy is intended to encourage staff loyalty and performance, by rewarding individual and collective performance in an unbiased manner. Investment professionals are compensated through both fixed and variable compensation. Portfolio Manager compensation is made up primarily of three main components: fixed compensation (salary), variable compensation (bonus) and, for key people, a long-term incentive program.

Fixed compensation is re-evaluated annually and applies the firm’s salary grid as well as industry compensation data. Base salary is a fixed amount based on a combination of factors, including industry experience, firm experience, job performance and market considerations.

Variable compensation is distributed in two forms:

 

   

Cash bonuses awarded to portfolio managers and analysts, with the allocation based upon quantitative (collective and individual) as well as qualitative criteria. Quantitative criteria include the excess performance of the portfolio versus the benchmark, for both one-year and three-year periods. Qualitative criteria are defined annually to assess the contribution of each team to the overall performance of all portfolios, not just their own.

 

   

A long-term incentive plan (LTIP) is awarded to key people, i.e. people whose yearly performance and contribution to Mirova’s results are high. The LTIP is indexed to Mirova’s operating income