485APOS 1 fp0032265_485apos.htm

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 10, 2018

 

1933 Act Registration No. 33-72424

1940 Act Registration No. 811-8194

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 x
Pre-Effective Amendment No.  
Post-Effective Amendment No. 209 x
   
and/or  
   
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 x
Amendment No. 210 x

 

(Check appropriate box or boxes.)

 

FINANCIAL INVESTORS TRUST

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

1290 Broadway, Suite 1100

Denver, CO 80203

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (303) 623-2577

 

Karen Gilomen

Financial Investors Trust

1290 Broadway, Suite 1100

Denver, CO 80203

(Name and Address of Agent of Service)

 

Copy to:

 

Peter H. Schwartz, Esq.

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

1550 17th Street, Suite 500

Denver, CO 80202

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Amendment

 

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)
X   75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a) (2)
    on (date), pursuant to paragraph (a) (2)

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

    This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

 

 

 

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

 

Prospectus

________________, 2018

 

  Investor Shares Class A Class C Class I
ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund        
ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund        
An ALPS Advisors Solution        

 

As with all mutual funds, neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

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Summary Sections  
ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund  
ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund  
Investment Objective and Principal Investment Strategies  
More on Each Fund’s Investments and Related Risks  
Discussion of Principal and Non-Principal Risks  
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings  
Management  
The Portfolio Manager  
Administrator, Distributor and Transfer Agent  
Buying, Exchanging and Redeeming Shares  
Share Transactions  
Dividends and Distributions  
Taxes  
Financial Highlights  
Privacy Policies  
Additional Information About Each Fund Back Cover

 

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SUMMARY SECTION

 

ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund (THE “FUND”)

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

 

The Fund seeks to obtain maximum total return, consistent with preservation of capital.

 

FEES AND EXPENSES

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may qualify for certain sales charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in the Fund. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in “BUYING, EXCHANGING AND REDEEMING SHARES” at page [___] of the Prospectus and “PURCHASE, EXCHANGE & REDEMPTION OF SHARES” at page [___] of the Fund’s statement of additional information.

 

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

 

 

Investor Class

Class A

Class C

Class I

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

None

 

5.50%

None

None

Maximum deferred sales charge (as a percentage of the lower of original purchase price or redemption proceeds)

None

 

None

1.00%

None

Redemption Fee (as a percentage of exchange price or amount redeemed within 90 days of purchase)

2.00%

 

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

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

 

 

Investor Class

Class A

Class C

Class I

Management Fees

 
 
 
 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees

 
 
 
 

Other Expenses(1)

 
 
 
 

Shareholder Services Fees

 
 
 
 

Other Fund Expenses

 
 
 
 

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses

 
 
 
 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
 
 
 

Fee Waiver and Expense Reimbursement(2)

 
 
 
 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee

Waiver/Expense Reimbursement

 
 
 
 
(1)Other expenses are based on estimated amounts for the Fund’s first fiscal year.
(2)ALPS Advisors, Inc. (the “Adviser”) and Smith Capital Investors, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) have agreed contractually to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual expenses, exclusive of Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees, Shareholder Service Fees, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, brokerage expenses, interest expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses, to [_______]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement (the “Expense Agreement”) is in effect through [_________]. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses they have borne through the Expense Agreement to the extent that the Fund’s expenses in later periods fall below the expense cap in effect at the time of waiver or reimbursement. The Fund will not be obligated to pay any such deferred fees and expenses more than thirty-six months after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees and expenses were deferred. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser may not discontinue this waiver prior to [_____________] without the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 

Example

 

This example helps you compare the costs 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. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same.

 

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your cost would be:

1 Year

3 Years

Investor Class Shares

 
 

Class A Shares

 
 

Class C Shares

 
 

Class I Shares

 
 

You would pay the following expenses if you did not redeem your shares:

 
 

Investor Class Shares

 
 

Class A Shares

 
 

Class C Shares

 
 

Class I Shares

 
 

 

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The expenses that would be paid for Investor Class and Class I shares, if a shareholder did not redeem shares, would be the same.

 

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. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. A higher portfolio turnover rate may also result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. Because the Fund was not in operation during the most recent fiscal year, no historical portfolio turnover information is available.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES OF THE FUND

 

The Fund pursues its investment objective by primarily investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in bonds. Bonds include, but are not limited to, government notes and bonds, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, and zero-coupon bonds. The Fund will target a weighted average effective maturity of approximately five years.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (including investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

The Fund seeks to generate total return from a combination of current income and capital appreciation, but income is usually the dominant portion. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

“Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Though the Fund does not typically expect to use derivatives, for purposes of meeting its policy to invest at least 80% of net assets in bonds, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest. In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager typically applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility. The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS OF THE FUND

 

The following is a description of the principal risks of the Fund’s portfolio, which may adversely affect its net asset value and total return. There are other circumstances (including additional risks that are not described here) which could prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. It is important to read all the disclosure information provided and to understand that you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Fixed Income Securities Risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest rate fluctuations. Duration measures the weighted average term to maturity of a bond’s expected cash flows. Duration also represents the approximate percentage change that the price of a bond would experience for a 1% change in yield. For example: the price of a bond with a duration of 5 years would change approximately 5% for a 1% change in yield. The price of a bond with a duration of 10 years would be expected to decline by approximately 10% if its yield was to rise by +1%. Bond yields tend to fluctuate in response to changes in market levels of interest rates. Generally, if interest rates rise, a bond’s yield will also rise in response; the duration of the bond will determine how much the price of the bond will change in response to the change in yield.

 

The Fund’s investments in fixed-income securities and positions in fixed-income derivatives may decline in value because of changes in interest rates. As nominal interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities and any long positions in fixed-income derivatives held by the Fund are likely to decrease, whereas the value of its short positions in fixed-income derivatives is likely to increase.

 

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the credit strength of an issuer of a fixed-income security will weaken and/or that the issuer will be unable to make timely principal and interest payments and that the security may go into default. Lower credit quality may lead to greater volatility in the price of a security and in shares of the Fund. Lower credit quality also may affect liquidity and make it difficult for the Fund to sell the security.

 

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Liquidity and Valuation Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that fixed-income securities may be difficult or impossible to sell at the time that the portfolio manager would like or at the price the portfolio manager believes the security is currently worth. Liquidity risk may be increased to the extent that the Fund invests in Rule 144A and restricted securities. Valuation risk is the risk that one or more of the fixed-income securities in which the Fund invests are priced differently than the value realized upon such security’s sale. In times of market instability, valuation may be more difficult.

 

Sovereign Debt Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. and non-U.S. government debt securities (“sovereign debt”). Some investments in sovereign debt, such as U.S. sovereign debt, are considered low risk. However, investments in sovereign debt, especially the debt of less developed countries, can involve a high degree of risk, including the risk that the governmental entity that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or to pay the interest on its sovereign debt in a timely manner. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to satisfy its debt obligation may be affected by various factors including, but not limited to, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of foreign exchange when a payment is due, and the relative size of its debt position in relation to its economy as a whole. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal remedies for collecting sovereign debt and there may be no bankruptcy proceedings through which the Fund may collect all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid. In addition, to the extent the Fund invests in non-U.S. sovereign debt, it may be subject to currency risk.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Risk. Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS) are subject to certain risks. The default rate on underlying mortgage loans or asset loans may be higher than anticipated, potentially reducing payments to the Fund. Default rates are sensitive to overall economic conditions such as unemployment, wage levels and economic growth rates. MBS are susceptible maturity risk because issuers of securities held by the Fund are able to prepay principal due on these securities, particularly during periods of declining interest rates. Securities subject to prepayment risk generally offer less potential for gains when interest rates decline, and may offer a greater potential for loss when interest rates rise. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns to the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates. Prepayment risk as well as the risk that the structure of certain MBS may make their reaction to interest rates and other factors difficult to predict, making their prices volatile. Generally, rising interest rates tend to be associated with longer MBS maturities because borrower prepayment rates tend to decline when rates rise.

 

High-Yield/High-Risk Bond Risk. High-yield/high-risk bonds, or “junk” bonds, are bonds rated below investment-grade by the primary rating agencies, such as Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody’s, or are unrated bonds of similar quality. The value of lower quality bonds generally is more dependent on credit risk than investment-grade bonds. Issuers of high-yield/high-risk bonds may not be as strong financially as those issuing bonds with higher credit ratings and are more vulnerable to real or perceived economic changes, political changes or adverse developments specific to the issuer. In addition, the junk bond market can experience sudden and sharp price swings. Further, secondary markets for high-yield securities are less liquid than the market for investment-grade securities. Therefore, it may be more difficult to value the securities because valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a larger role in the valuation because there is less reliable, objective data available.

 

Non-U.S. Securities Risk. Investments in non-U.S. securities may experience additional risks compared to investments in securities of U.S. companies. Non-U.S. securities are subject to the risks of foreign currency fluctuations, generally higher volatility and lower liquidity than U.S. securities, less developed securities markets and economic systems and political and economic instability.

 

Furthermore, non-U.S. taxes also could detract from performance. Companies based in non-U.S. countries may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as stringent as those in the United States. Therefore, their financial reports may present an incomplete, untimely or misleading picture of a non-U.S. company, as compared to the financial reports of U.S. companies. To the extent the Fund invests in foreign debt securities, such investments are sensitive to changes in interest rates. Additionally, investments in securities of foreign governments involve the risk that a foreign government may not be willing or able to pay interest or repay principal when due.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. Emerging markets investments are subject to the same risks as foreign investments and to additional risks due to greater political and economic uncertainties as well as a relative lack of information about companies in such markets. To the extent that the Fund invests in issuers located in emerging markets, risks may be heightened by political changes and changes in taxation or currency controls that could adversely affect the values of these investments. Emerging markets have generally been more volatile than the markets of developed countries with more mature economies. Securities traded on emerging markets are potentially illiquid and may be subject to high transaction costs.

 

Loan Risk. The Fund may invest in a variety of loans. Bank loans are obligations of companies or other entities entered into in connection with recapitalizations, acquisitions, and refinancings. The Fund’s investments in bank loans are generally acquired as a participation interest in, or assignment of, loans originated by a lender or other financial institution. These investments may include institutionally-traded floating and fixed-rate debt securities. The bank loans underlying these securities often involve borrowers with low credit ratings whose financial conditions are troubled or uncertain, including companies that are highly leveraged or in bankruptcy proceedings. Participation interests and assignments involve credit, interest rate, and liquidity risk.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. Increased portfolio turnover may result in higher costs, which may have a negative effect on the Fund’s performance. In addition, higher portfolio turnover may result in the acceleration of capital gains and the recognition of greater levels of short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary federal income tax rates when distributed to shareholders.

 

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may seek to earn additional income through lending its securities to certain qualified broker-dealers and institutions. There is the risk that when portfolio securities are lent, the securities may not be returned on a timely basis, and the Fund may experience delays and costs in recovering the security or gaining access to the collateral provided to the Fund to collateralize the loan. If the Fund is unable to recover a security on loan, the Fund may use the collateral to purchase replacement securities in the market. There is a risk that the value of the collateral could decrease below the cost of the replacement security by the time the replacement investment is made, resulting in a loss to the Fund.

 

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Currency Risk. The value of the Fund’s investments may fall as a result of changes in exchange rates. As long as the Fund holds a foreign security, its value will be affected by the value of the local currency relative to the U.S. dollar. When the Fund sells a foreign currency denominated security, its value may be worth less in U.S. dollars even if the security increases in value in its home country. U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers may also be affected by currency risk, as the value of these securities may also be affected by changes in the issuer’s local currency.

Market Risk. Overall securities market risks may affect the value of individual instruments in which the Fund invests. Factors such as domestic and foreign economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels, and political events affect the securities and derivatives markets. When the value of the Fund’s investments goes down, your investment in the Fund decreases in value and you could lose money.

 

Managed Portfolio Risk. The Sub-Adviser’s judgments about the attractiveness, value and potential appreciation of particular asset classes, securities or sectors may prove to be incorrect. Such errors could result in a negative return and a loss to you.

 

New Fund Risk. The Fund was recently formed and therefore has limited performance history for investors to evaluate.

 

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

 

As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has not yet commenced operations. When the Fund has completed a full calendar year of investment operations, this section will include charts that show annual total returns, highest and lowest quarterly returns and average annual total returns (before and after taxes) compared to a benchmark selected for the Fund. Updated performance information will be available on the Fund’s website at www.alpsfunds.com or by calling [____________].

 

INVESTMENT ADVISER AND SUB-ADVISER

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc. is the investment adviser to the Fund, and Smith Capital Investors, LLC is the investment sub-adviser to the Fund.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGER

 

Gibson Smith is the Chief Investment Officer of Smith Capital Investors, LLC, and has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in 2018.

 

PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES

 

The Fund offers investors four Classes of shares: Investor Class, Class A, Class C and Class I. The minimum investment in Investor Class shares, Class A, and Class C shares is $500 for tax-deferred accounts and $2,500 for other accounts. The minimum investment in Class I shares is $100,000. Investors generally may meet the minimum investment amount by aggregating multiple accounts within the Fund. There is no subsequent investment minimum.

 

Purchases, exchanges and redemptions can generally be made only through institutional channels, such as financial intermediaries and retirement platforms. You should contact your financial intermediary or refer to your plan documents for information on how to invest in the Fund. The Fund will redeem all full and fractional shares of the Fund upon request on any business day at the applicable net asset value determined after the receipt of proper redemption instructions, less any applicable redemption fees.

 

TAX INFORMATION

 

For U.S., federal income tax purposes, the Fund’s distributions of earnings are taxable and will be taxed as ordinary income, capital gains or, in some cases, qualified dividend income subject to tax at federal rates applicable to long-term capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Such tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of monies from those arrangements.

 

PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

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

 

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 SUMMARY SECTION

 

ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund (THE “FUND”)

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

 

The Fund seeks as high a level of current income as is consistent with preservation of capital.

 

FEES AND EXPENSES

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may qualify for certain sales charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in the Fund. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in “BUYING, EXCHANGING AND REDEEMING SHARES” at page [___] of the Prospectus and “PURCHASE, EXCHANGE & REDEMPTION OF SHARES” at page [___] of the Fund’s statement of additional information.

 

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)

 

 

 

Investor Class

Class A

Class C

Class I

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

None

 

5.50%

None

None

Maximum deferred sales charge (as a percentage of the lower of original purchase price or redemption proceeds)

 

None

 

None

1.00%

None

Redemption Fee (as a percentage of exchange price or amount redeemed within 90 days of purchase)

 

2.00%

 

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

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

 

 

Investor Class

Class A

Class C

Class I

Management Fees

 
 
 
 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees

 
 
 
 

Other Expenses(1)

 
 
 
 

Shareholder Services Fees

 
 
 
 

Other Fund Expenses

 
 
 
 

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses

 
 
 
 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
 
 

Fee Waiver and Expense Reimbursement(2)

 
 
 
 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee

Waiver/Expense Reimbursement

 
 
 
 
(1)Other expenses are based on estimated amounts for the Fund’s first fiscal year.
(2)ALPS Advisors, Inc. (the “Adviser”) and Smith Capital Investors, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) have agreed contractually to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual expenses, exclusive of Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees, Shareholder Service Fees, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, brokerage expenses, interest expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses, to [_______]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement (the “Expense Agreement”) is in effect through [_________]. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses they have borne through the Expense Agreement to the extent that the Fund’s expenses in later periods fall below the expense cap in effect at the time of waiver or reimbursement. The Fund will not be obligated to pay any such deferred fees and expenses more than thirty-six months after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees and expenses were deferred. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser may not discontinue this waiver prior to [_____________] without the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 

Example

 

This example helps you compare the costs 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. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same.

 

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your cost would be:

1 Year

3 Years

Investor Class Shares

 
 

Class A Shares

 
 

Class C Shares

 
 

Class I Shares

 
 

You would pay the following expenses if you did not redeem your shares:

 
 

Investor Class Shares

 
 

Class A Shares

 
 

Class C Shares

 
 

Class I Shares

 
 

 

-7

 

The expenses that would be paid for Investor Class and Class I shares, if a shareholder did not redeem shares, would be the same.

 

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. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. A higher portfolio turnover rate may also result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. Because the Fund was not in operation during the most recent fiscal year, no historical portfolio turnover information is available.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES OF THE FUND

 

The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in short- and intermediate-term fixed-income securities including government securities, corporate bonds or notes and agency securities.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (which may include investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

The Fund expects that its portfolio will have a weighted average duration of approximately two years, and that it will seek to maintain an average-weighted effective maturity of three years or less under normal circumstances. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

Duration refers to the average life of a debt instrument and serves as a measure of that instrument's interest rate risk. “Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Additionally, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from, or directly linked to, an underlying asset, such as equity securities, fixed-income securities, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use derivatives to manage portfolio risk or to manage the effective maturity of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary. For purposes of meeting its 80% investment policy, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest.

 

In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility.

 

The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS OF THE FUND

 

The following is a description of the principal risks of the Fund’s portfolio, which may adversely affect its net asset value and total return. There are other circumstances (including additional risks that are not described here) which could prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. It is important to read all the disclosure information provided and to understand that you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Fixed Income Securities Risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest rate fluctuations. Duration measures the weighted average term to maturity of a bond’s expected cash flows. Duration also represents the approximate percentage change that the price of a bond would experience for a 1% change in yield. For example: the price of a bond with a duration of 5 years would change approximately 5% for a 1% change in yield. The price of a bond with a duration of 10 years would be expected to decline by approximately 10% if its yield was to rise by +1%. Bond yields tend to fluctuate in response to changes in market levels of interest rates. Generally, if interest rates rise, a bond’s yield will also rise in response; the duration of the bond will determine how much the price of the bond will change in response to the change in yield.

 

The Fund’s investments in fixed-income securities and positions in fixed-income derivatives may decline in value because of changes in interest rates. As nominal interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities and any long positions in fixed-income derivatives held by the Fund are likely to decrease, whereas the value of its short positions in fixed-income derivatives is likely to increase.

 

-8

 

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the credit strength of an issuer of a fixed-income security will weaken and/or that the issuer will be unable to make timely principal and interest payments and that the security may go into default. Lower credit quality may lead to greater volatility in the price of a security and in shares of the Fund. Lower credit quality also may affect liquidity and make it difficult for the Fund to sell the security.

 

Liquidity and Valuation Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that fixed-income securities may be difficult or impossible to sell at the time that the portfolio manager would like or at the price the portfolio manager believes the security is currently worth. Liquidity risk may be increased to the extent that the Fund invests in Rule 144A and restricted securities. Valuation risk is the risk that one or more of the fixed-income securities in which the Fund invests are priced differently than the value realized upon such security’s sale. In times of market instability, valuation may be more difficult.

 

Sovereign Debt Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. and non-U.S. government debt securities (“sovereign debt”). Some investments in sovereign debt, such as U.S. sovereign debt, are considered low risk. However, investments in sovereign debt, especially the debt of less developed countries, can involve a high degree of risk, including the risk that the governmental entity that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or to pay the interest on its sovereign debt in a timely manner. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to satisfy its debt obligation may be affected by various factors including, but not limited to, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of foreign exchange when a payment is due, and the relative size of its debt position in relation to its economy as a whole. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal remedies for collecting sovereign debt and there may be no bankruptcy proceedings through which the Fund may collect all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid. In addition, to the extent the Fund invests in non-U.S. sovereign debt, it may be subject to currency risk.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Risk. Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS) are subject to certain risks. The default rate on underlying mortgage loans or asset loans may be higher than anticipated, potentially reducing payments to the Fund. Default rates are sensitive to overall economic conditions such as unemployment, wage levels and economic growth rates. MBS are susceptible maturity risk because issuers of securities held by the Fund are able to prepay principal due on these securities, particularly during periods of declining interest rates. Securities subject to prepayment risk generally offer less potential for gains when interest rates decline, and may offer a greater potential for loss when interest rates rise. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns to the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates. Prepayment risk as well as the risk that the structure of certain MBS may make their reaction to interest rates and other factors difficult to predict, making their prices volatile. Generally, rising interest rates tend to be associated with longer MBS maturities because borrower prepayment rates tend to decline when rates rise.

 

High-Yield/High-Risk Bond Risk. High-yield/high-risk bonds, or “junk” bonds, are bonds rated below investment-grade by the primary rating agencies, such as Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody’s, or are unrated bonds of similar quality. The value of lower quality bonds generally is more dependent on credit risk than investment-grade bonds. Issuers of high-yield/high-risk bonds may not be as strong financially as those issuing bonds with higher credit ratings and are more vulnerable to real or perceived economic changes, political changes or adverse developments specific to the issuer. In addition, the junk bond market can experience sudden and sharp price swings. Further, secondary markets for high-yield securities are less liquid than the market for investment-grade securities. Therefore, it may be more difficult to value the securities because valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a larger role in the valuation because there is less reliable, objective data available.

 

Non-U.S. Securities Risk. Investments in non-U.S. securities may experience additional risks compared to investments in securities of U.S. companies. Non-U.S. securities are subject to the risks of foreign currency fluctuations, generally higher volatility and lower liquidity than U.S. securities, less developed securities markets and economic systems and political and economic instability.

 

Furthermore, non-U.S. taxes also could detract from performance. Companies based in non-U.S. countries may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as stringent as those in the United States. Therefore, their financial reports may present an incomplete, untimely or misleading picture of a non-U.S. company, as compared to the financial reports of U.S. companies. To the extent the Fund invests in foreign debt securities, such investments are sensitive to changes in interest rates. Additionally, investments in securities of foreign governments involve the risk that a foreign government may not be willing or able to pay interest or repay principal when due.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. Emerging markets investments are subject to the same risks as foreign investments and to additional risks due to greater political and economic uncertainties as well as a relative lack of information about companies in such markets. To the extent that the Fund invests in issuers located in emerging markets, risks may be heightened by political changes and changes in taxation or currency controls that could adversely affect the values of these investments. Emerging markets have generally been more volatile than the markets of developed countries with more mature economies. Securities traded on emerging markets are potentially illiquid and may be subject to high transaction costs.

 

Loan Risk. The Fund may invest in a variety of loans. Bank loans are obligations of companies or other entities entered into in connection with recapitalizations, acquisitions, and refinancings. The Fund’s investments in bank loans are generally acquired as a participation interest in, or assignment of, loans originated by a lender or other financial institution. These investments may include institutionally-traded floating and fixed-rate debt securities. The bank loans underlying these securities often involve borrowers with low credit ratings whose financial conditions are troubled or uncertain, including companies that are highly leveraged or in bankruptcy proceedings. Participation interests and assignments involve credit, interest rate, and liquidity risk.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. Increased portfolio turnover may result in higher costs, which may have a negative effect on the Fund’s performance. In addition, higher portfolio turnover may result in the acceleration of capital gains and the recognition of greater levels of short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary federal income tax rates when distributed to shareholders.

 

Derivatives Risk. Derivatives can be highly volatile and involve risks in addition to the risks of the underlying referenced securities. Gains or losses from a derivative investment can be substantially greater than the derivative’s original cost, and can therefore involve leverage. Leverage may cause the Fund to be more volatile than if it had not used leverage. Derivatives can be less liquid than other types of investments and entail the risk that the counterparty will default on its payment obligations. The successful use of derivatives requires sophisticated management, and, to the extent that derivatives are used, the Fund will depend on the Sub-Adviser’s ability to analyze and manage derivatives transactions. The prices of derivatives may move in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal market conditions.

 

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Interest Rate Futures Risk. The Fund may use interest rate futures. The use of interest rate futures entails the risk that the Fund’s prediction of the direction of interest rates is wrong, and that the Fund could consequently bear a loss. In addition, due to the possibility of price distortions in the interest rate futures markets, or an imperfect correlation between the underlying instrument and the interest rate the portfolio management is seeking to hedge, a correct forecast of general interest rate trends by the Fund may not result in the successful use of futures.

 

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may seek to earn additional income through lending its securities to certain qualified broker-dealers and institutions. There is the risk that when portfolio securities are lent, the securities may not be returned on a timely basis, and the Fund may experience delays and costs in recovering the security or gaining access to the collateral provided to the Fund to collateralize the loan. If the Fund is unable to recover a security on loan, the Fund may use the collateral to purchase replacement securities in the market. There is a risk that the value of the collateral could decrease below the cost of the replacement security by the time the replacement investment is made, resulting in a loss to the Fund.

 

Currency Risk. The value of the Fund’s investments may fall as a result of changes in exchange rates. As long as the Fund holds a foreign security, its value will be affected by the value of the local currency relative to the U.S. dollar. When the Fund sells a foreign currency denominated security, its value may be worth less in U.S. dollars even if the security increases in value in its home country. U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers may also be affected by currency risk, as the value of these securities may also be affected by changes in the issuer’s local currency.

 

Market Risk. Overall securities market risks may affect the value of individual instruments in which the Fund invests. Factors such as domestic and foreign economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels, and political events affect the securities and derivatives markets. When the value of the Fund’s investments goes down, your investment in the Fund decreases in value and you could lose money.

 

Managed Portfolio Risk. The Sub-Adviser’s judgments about the attractiveness, value and potential appreciation of particular asset classes, securities or sectors may prove to be incorrect. Such errors could result in a negative return and a loss to you.

 

New Fund Risk. The Fund was recently formed and therefore has limited performance history for investors to evaluate.

 

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

 

As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has not yet commenced operations. When the Fund has completed a full calendar year of investment operations, this section will include charts that show annual total returns, highest and lowest quarterly returns and average annual total returns (before and after taxes) compared to a benchmark selected for the Fund. Updated performance information will be available on the Fund’s website at www.alpsfunds.com or by calling [____________].

 

INVESTMENT ADVISER AND SUB-ADVISER

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc. is the investment adviser to the Fund, and Smith Capital Investors, LLC is the investment sub-adviser to the Fund.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGER

 

Gibson Smith is the Chief Investment Officer of Smith Capital Investors, LLC, and has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception in 2018.

 

PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES

 

The Fund offers investors four Classes of shares: Investor Class, Class A, Class C and Class I. The minimum investment in Investor Class shares, Class A, and Class C shares is $500 for tax-deferred accounts and $2,500 for other accounts. The minimum investment in Class I shares is $100,000. Investors generally may meet the minimum investment amount by aggregating multiple accounts within the Fund. There is no subsequent investment minimum.

 

Purchases, exchanges and redemptions can generally be made only through institutional channels, such as financial intermediaries and retirement platforms. You should contact your financial intermediary or refer to your plan documents for information on how to invest in the Fund. The Fund will redeem all full and fractional shares of the Fund upon request on any business day at the applicable net asset value determined after the receipt of proper redemption instructions, less any applicable redemption fees.

 

TAX INFORMATION

 

For U.S., federal income tax purposes, the Fund’s distributions of earnings are taxable and will be taxed as ordinary income, capital gains or, in some cases, qualified dividend income subject to tax at federal rates applicable to long-term capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Such tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of monies from those arrangements.

 

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PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

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

 

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INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

 

This section describes the Funds’ investment objectives and principal investment strategies. See “More on the Funds’ Investments and Related Risks” in this Prospectus and the Statement of Additional Information about the Funds’ investments and the risks of investing.

 

What are the Funds’ Investment Objectives?

 

Fund*

Investment Objective

ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund The Fund seeks to obtain maximum total return, consistent with preservation of capital.
ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund The Fund seeks as high a level of current income as is consistent with preservation of capital.

 

While there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective, each Fund endeavors to do so by following the strategies and policies described in this prospectus.

 

Each Fund’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) may change this objective or the Fund’s principal investment strategies without a shareholder vote. Each Fund will notify you in writing at least sixty (60) days before making any such change. If there is a material change to a Fund’s objective or principal investment strategies, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment for you.

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (“ALPS Advisors,” or the “Adviser”), is the investment adviser of each Fund, and Smith Capital Investors, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser” or “Smith Capital”) is the investment sub-adviser of each Fund.

 

What are each Fund’s Principal Investment Strategies?

 

ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund

 

The Fund pursues its investment objective by primarily investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in bonds. Bonds include, but are not limited to, government notes and bonds, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, and zero-coupon bonds. The Fund will target a weighted average effective maturity of approximately five years.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (including investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

The Fund seeks to generate total return from a combination of current income and capital appreciation, but income is usually the dominant portion. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

“Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Though the Fund does not typically expect to use derivatives, for purposes of meeting its policy to invest at least 80% of net assets in bonds, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest. In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager typically applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility. The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund

 

The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in short- and intermediate-term fixed-income securities including government securities, corporate bonds or notes and agency securities.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (which may include investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

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The Fund expects that its portfolio will have a weighted average duration of approximately two years, and that it will seek to maintain an average-weighted effective maturity of three years or less under normal circumstances. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

Duration refers to the average life of a debt instrument and serves as a measure of that instrument's interest rate risk. “Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Additionally, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from, or directly linked to, an underlying asset, such as equity securities, fixed-income securities, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use derivatives to manage portfolio risk or to manage the effective maturity of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary. For purposes of meeting its 80% investment policy, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest.

 

In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility.

 

The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

What are the Non-Principal Strategies of the Funds?

 

Illiquid Investments

Each Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. An illiquid investment is a security or other position that cannot be disposed of quickly in the normal course of business (within seven days). For example, some securities are not registered under U.S. securities laws and cannot be sold to the U.S. public because of SEC regulations (these are known as “restricted securities”). Under procedures adopted by the Funds’ Board, certain restricted securities may be deemed liquid and will not be counted toward this 15% limit.

 

Short Sales

Each Fund may engage in short sales, which are subject to special risks. A short sale involves the sale by a Fund of a security or instrument that it does not own with the hope of purchasing the same security or instrument at a later date at a lower price. Each Fund may also enter into a short derivative position through a futures contract or swap agreement.

 

Portfolio Turnover

Each Fund may engage in short-term trading. This means that a Fund may buy a security and sell that security a short period of time after its purchase to realize gains if the portfolio manager believes that the sale is in the best interest of the Fund (for example, if the portfolio manager believes an alternative investment has greater growth potential). This activity will increase a Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and generate higher transaction costs due to commissions or dealer mark-ups and other expenses that would reduce the Fund’s investment performance. In addition, a high level of short-term trading may increase the amount of taxable distributions to shareholders that would reduce the after-tax returns of a Fund, and in particular may generate short-term capital gains that when distributed to shareholders are taxed at ordinary U.S. federal income tax rates.

 

Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may invest in repurchase agreements. When cash may be available for only a few days, it may be invested by a Fund in repurchase agreements until such time as it may otherwise be invested or used for payments of obligations of the Fund. These agreements, which may be viewed as a type of secured lending by a Fund, typically involve the acquisition by the Fund of debt securities from a selling financial institution such as a bank, savings and loan association or broker-dealer. The agreement provides that a Fund will sell back to the institution, and that the institution will repurchase, the underlying security serving as collateral at a specified price and at a fixed time in the future, usually not more than seven days from the date of purchase. The collateral will be marked-to-market daily to determine that the value of the collateral, as specified in the agreement, does not decrease below the purchase price plus accrued interest. If such decrease occurs, additional collateral will be requested and, when received, added to the account to maintain full collateralization. A Fund will accrue interest from the institution until the time when the repurchase is to occur. Although this date is deemed by a Fund to be the maturity date of a repurchase agreement, the maturities of securities subject to repurchase agreements are not subject to any limits.

 

Temporary Defensive Investments

Each Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies in response to adverse market, economic or political conditions by taking temporary defensive positions which in the case of certain Funds may constitute up to one hundred percent (100%) of the Fund’s total assets, in short-term debt securities, cash and cash equivalents, shares of money market mutual funds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, U.S. Government securities and repurchase agreements. Under such circumstances, a Fund may not achieve its investment objective. Certain Funds may also invest a substantial portion of their assets in such instruments at any time to maintain liquidity or pending selection of investments in accordance with their policies.

 

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Cash Position

Each Fund may not always stay fully invested. For example, when the portfolio manager believes that market conditions are unfavorable for profitable investing, or when he is otherwise unable to locate attractive investment opportunities, a Fund’s cash or similar investments may increase. In other words, cash or similar investments generally are a residual – they represent the assets that remain after a Fund has committed available assets to desirable investment opportunities. When a Fund’s investments in cash or similar investments increase, it may not participate in market advance or declines to the same extent that it would if the Fund remained more fully invested.

 

DISCUSSION OF PRINCIPAL AND NON-PRINCIPAL RISKS

 

There are inherent risks associated with each Fund’s principal investment strategies. The factors that are most likely to have a material effect on a particular Fund’s investment portfolio as a whole are called “principal risks.” The principal risks of each Fund are summarized in each Fund’s “Fund Summary” section above and further described following the table. The table below identifies the principal and non-principal risks of each Fund. Each Fund may be subject to additional risks other than those described because the types of investment made by a Fund may change over time. . For additional information regarding risks of investing in a Fund, please see the SAI.

 

  ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund
Convertible Securities Risk NP NP
Counterparty Risk NP NP
Credit Risk P P
Currency Risk P P
Cybersecurity Risk NP NP
Derivatives Risk NP P
Emerging Markets Risk P P
Extension Risk NP NP
Fixed Income Securities Risk P P
High-Yield/High-Risk Bond Risk P P
Interest Rate Futures Risk NP P
Liquidity and Valuation Risk P P
Loan Risk P P
Managed Portfolio Risk P P
Market Risk P P
Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed Securities Risk P P
New Fund Risk P P
Non-U.S. Securities Risk P P
Portfolio Turnover Risk P P
Prepayment Risk NP NP
Repurchase Agreement Risk NP NP
Rule 144A Securities Risk NP NP
Securities Lending Risk NP NP
Sovereign Debt Risk P P

 

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Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the credit strength of an issuer of a fixed-income security will weaken and/or that the issuer will be unable to make timely principal and interest payments and that the security may go into default. Default, or the market’s perception that an issuer is likely to default, could reduce the value and liquidity of securities held by the Fund. Lower credit quality may lead to greater volatility in the price of a security and in shares of the Fund. Lower credit quality also may affect liquidity and make it difficult for the Fund to sell the security.

 

Currency Risk. The value of the Fund’s investments may fall as a result of changes in exchange rates. As long as the Fund holds a foreign security, its value will be affected by the value of the local currency relative to the U.S. dollar. When the Fund sells a foreign currency denominated security, its value may be worth less in U.S. dollars even if the security increases in value in its home country. U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers may also be affected by currency risk, as the value of these securities may also be affected by changes in the issuer’s local currency.

 

Derivatives Risk. Derivatives can be highly volatile and involve risks in addition to the risks of the underlying referenced securities. Gains or losses from a derivative investment can be substantially greater than the derivative’s original cost, and can therefore involve leverage. Leverage may cause the Fund to be more volatile than if it had not used leverage. Derivatives can be less liquid than other types of investments and entail the risk that the counterparty will default on its payment obligations. The successful use of derivatives requires sophisticated management, and, to the extent that derivatives are used, the Fund will depend on the Sub-Adviser’s ability to analyze and manage derivatives transactions. The prices of derivatives may move in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal market conditions.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. Emerging markets investments are subject to the same risks as foreign investments and to additional risks due to greater political and economic uncertainties as well as a relative lack of information about companies in such markets. To the extent that the Fund invests in issuers located in emerging markets, risks may be heightened by political changes and changes in taxation or currency controls that could adversely affect the values of these investments. Emerging markets have generally been more volatile than the markets of developed countries with more mature economies. Securities traded on emerging markets are potentially illiquid and may be subject to high transaction costs.

 

Extension Risk. Extension risk is the risk that borrowers may pay off their debt obligations more slowly in times of rising interest rates, which will lengthen the duration of the portfolio.

 

Fixed Income Securities Risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest rate fluctuations. Duration measures the weighted average term to maturity of a bond’s expected cash flows. Duration also represents the approximate percentage change that the price of a bond would experience for a 1% change in yield. For example: the price of a bond with a duration of 5 years would change approximately 5% for a 1% change in yield. The price of a bond with a duration of 10 years would be expected to decline by approximately 10% if its yield was to rise by +1%. Bond yields tend to fluctuate in response to changes in market levels of interest rates. Generally, if interest rates rise, a bond’s yield will also rise in response; the duration of the bond will determine how much the price of the bond will change in response to the change in yield.

 

The Fund’s investments in fixed-income securities and positions in fixed-income derivatives may decline in value because of changes in interest rates. As nominal interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities and any long positions in fixed-income derivatives held by the Fund are likely to decrease, whereas the value of its short positions in fixed-income derivatives is likely to increase.

 

High-Yield/High-Risk Bond Risk. High-yield/high-risk bonds, or “junk” bonds, are bonds rated below investment-grade by the primary rating agencies, such as Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody’s, or are unrated bonds of similar quality. The value of lower quality bonds generally is more dependent on credit risk than investment-grade bonds. Issuers of high-yield/high-risk bonds may not be as strong financially as those issuing bonds with higher credit ratings and are more vulnerable to real or perceived economic changes, political changes or adverse developments specific to the issuer. In addition, the junk bond market can experience sudden and sharp price swings. Further, secondary markets for high-yield securities are less liquid than the market for investment-grade securities. Therefore, it may be more difficult to value the securities because valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a larger role in the valuation because there is less reliable, objective data available.

 

Interest Rate Futures Risk. The Fund may use interest rate futures. The use of interest rate futures entails the risk that the Fund’s prediction of the direction of interest rates is wrong, and that the Fund could consequently bear a loss. In addition, due to the possibility of price distortions in the interest rate futures markets, or an imperfect correlation between the underlying instrument and the interest rate the portfolio management is seeking to hedge, a correct forecast of general interest rate trends by the Fund may not result in the successful use of futures.

 

Liquidity and Valuation Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that fixed-income securities may be difficult or impossible to sell at the time that the portfolio manager would like or at the price the portfolio manager believes the security is currently worth. Certain of a Fund’s investments may be exposed to liquidity risk due to low trading volume, lack of a market maker or legal restrictions limiting the ability of the Fund to sell particular securities at an advantageous price and/or time. As a result, these securities may be more difficult to value. Securities that involve substantial interest rate or credit risk tend to involve greater liquidity risk. In addition, liquidity and valuation risk tends to increase to the extent a Fund invests in securities whose sale may be restricted by law or by contract, such as Rule 144A securities and foreign securities, particularly those of issuers located in emerging markets.

 

Loan Risk. The Fund may invest in a variety of loans. Bank loans are obligations of companies or other entities entered into in connection with recapitalizations, acquisitions, and refinancings. The Fund’s investments in bank loans are generally acquired as a participation interest in, or assignment of, loans originated by a lender or other financial institution. These investments may include institutionally-traded floating and fixed-rate debt securities. The bank loans underlying these securities often involve borrowers with low credit ratings whose financial conditions are troubled or uncertain, including companies that are highly leveraged or in bankruptcy proceedings. Participation interests and assignments involve credit, interest rate, and liquidity risk.

 

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Managed Portfolio Risk. The Sub-Adviser’s judgments about the attractiveness, value and potential appreciation of particular asset classes, securities or sectors may prove to be incorrect. Such errors could result in a negative return and a loss to you.

 

Market Risk. Overall securities market risks may affect the value of individual instruments in which the Fund invests. Factors such as domestic and foreign economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels, and political events affect the securities and derivatives markets. When the value of the Fund’s investments goes down, your investment in the Fund decreases in value and you could lose money.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Risk. Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS) are subject to certain risks. The default rate on underlying mortgage loans or asset loans may be higher than anticipated, potentially reducing payments to the Fund. Default rates are sensitive to overall economic conditions such as unemployment, wage levels and economic growth rates. MBS are susceptible maturity risk because issuers of securities held by the Fund are able to prepay principal due on these securities, particularly during periods of declining interest rates. Securities subject to prepayment risk generally offer less potential for gains when interest rates decline, and may offer a greater potential for loss when interest rates rise. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns to the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates. Prepayment risk as well as the risk that the structure of certain MBS may make their reaction to interest rates and other factors difficult to predict, making their prices volatile. Generally, rising interest rates tend to be associated with longer MBS maturities because borrower prepayment rates tend to decline when rates rise.

 

New Fund Risk. The Fund was recently formed and therefore has limited performance history for investors to evaluate.

 

Non-U.S. Securities Risk. Investments in non-U.S. securities may experience additional risks compared to investments in securities of U.S. companies. Non-U.S. securities are subject to the risks of foreign currency fluctuations, generally higher volatility and lower liquidity than U.S. securities, less developed securities markets and economic systems and political and economic instability.

 

Furthermore, non-U.S. taxes also could detract from performance. Companies based in non-U.S. countries may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as stringent as those in the United States. Therefore, their financial reports may present an incomplete, untimely or misleading picture of a non-U.S. company, as compared to the financial reports of U.S. companies. To the extent the Fund invests in foreign debt securities, such investments are sensitive to changes in interest rates. Additionally, investments in securities of foreign governments involve the risk that a foreign government may not be willing or able to pay interest or repay principal when due.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. Increased portfolio turnover may result in higher costs, which may have a negative effect on the Fund’s performance. In addition, higher portfolio turnover may result in the acceleration of capital gains and the recognition of greater levels of short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary federal income tax rates when distributed to shareholders.

 

Prepayment Risk Prepayment risk is the risk that during periods of falling interest rates, certain fixed-income securities with higher interest rates, such as mortgage- and asset-backed securities, may be prepaid by their issuers thereby reducing the amount of interest payments.

 

Repurchase Agreements Risk. A Fund may enter into repurchase agreements in which it purchases a security (known as the “underlying security”) from a securities dealer or bank. At that time, the bank or securities dealer agrees to repurchase the underlying security at a mutually agreed upon price on a designated future date. The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to the Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at an agreed upon rate due to the Fund on repurchase. Repurchase agreements must be “fully collateralized,” in that the market value of the underlying securities (including accrued interest) must at all times be equal to or greater than the repurchase price. Repurchase agreements that do not provide for payment within seven days will be treated as illiquid securities. In the event of a bankruptcy or other default by the seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience delays in liquidating the underlying security and losses in the event of a decline in the value of the underlying security while the Fund is seeking to enforce its rights under the repurchase agreement.

 

Rule 144A Securities Risk. The Funds may invest in Rule 144A securities that are not registered for sale to the general public under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, but which may be resold to certain institutional investors. Such securities may be determined to be liquid in accordance with guidelines established by the Funds’ Trustees. However, an insufficient number of qualified institutional buyers interested in purchasing Rule 144A securities at a particular time could affect negatively a Fund’s ability to dispose of such securities promptly or at expected prices. As such, even if determined to be liquid, a Fund’s investment in Rule 144A securities may subject the Fund to enhanced liquidity risk and potentially increase the Fund’s exposure to illiquid investments if eligible buyers become uninterested in buying Rule 144A securities at a particular time.

 

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may seek to earn additional income through lending its securities to certain qualified broker-dealers and institutions. There is the risk that when portfolio securities are lent, the securities may not be returned on a timely basis, and the Fund may experience delays and costs in recovering the security or gaining access to the collateral provided to the Fund to collateralize the loan. If the Fund is unable to recover a security on loan, the Fund may use the collateral to purchase replacement securities in the market. There is a risk that the value of the collateral could decrease below the cost of the replacement security by the time the replacement investment is made, resulting in a loss to the Fund.

 

Sovereign Debt Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. and non-U.S. government debt securities (“sovereign debt”). Some investments in sovereign debt, such as U.S. sovereign debt, are considered low risk. However, investments in sovereign debt, especially the debt of less developed countries, can involve a high degree of risk, including the risk that the governmental entity that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or to pay the interest on its sovereign debt in a timely manner. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to satisfy its debt obligation may be affected by various factors including, but not limited to, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of foreign exchange when a payment is due, and the relative size of its debt position in relation to its economy as a whole. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal remedies for collecting sovereign debt and there may be no bankruptcy proceedings through which the Fund may collect all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid. In addition, to the extent the Fund invests in non-U.S. sovereign debt, it may be subject to currency risk.

 

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Interest Rate Futures Risk. The Fund may use interest rate futures. The use of interest rate futures entails the risk that the Fund’s prediction of the direction of interest rates is wrong, and that the Fund could consequently bear a loss. In addition, due to the possibility of price distortions in the interest rate futures markets, or an imperfect correlation between the underlying instrument and the interest rate the portfolio management is seeking to hedge, a correct forecast of general interest rate trends by the Fund may not result in the successful use of futures.

 

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

The Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio securities are described in the Funds’ SAI.

 

MANAGEMENT

 

ALPS Advisors, subject to the authority of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for the overall management and administration of each Fund’s business affairs. The Adviser commenced business operations in December 2006 upon the acquisition of an existing investment advisory operation and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser. The Adviser’s principal address is 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203.

 

The Adviser has delegated daily management of each Fund’s assets to Smith Capital Investors, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser” or “Smith Capital”). The Sub-Adviser is engaged to manage the investments of each Fund in accordance with its investment objective, policies and limitations and investment guidelines established by the Adviser and the Board.

 

Smith Capital, an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Colorado limited liability company, is located in Denver, Colorado, and was established in 2018. Smith Capital’s principal address is 8 Alexander Lane, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80121.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Fund will pay the Adviser an annual management fee of [_____]% based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. The management fee is paid on a monthly basis. The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years. Pursuant to the Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser will pay the Sub-Adviser an annual sub-advisory management fee of [_____]% based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Fund’s Advisory Agreement and the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be provided in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the period ended [_____].

 

The Adviser and Sub-Adviser have agreed contractually to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual expenses, exclusive of Distribution and Service (12b-1) fees, Shareholder Service Fees, brokerage expenses, interest expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses, to [____]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement is in effect through [_____]. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses they have borne through the agreement described above to the extent that the Fund’s expenses in later periods fall below the annual rates set forth in the relevant agreement. The Fund will not be obligated to pay any such deferred fees and expenses more than thirty-six months after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees and expense were deferred. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser may not discontinue this waiver without the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 

The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years. The Board may extend the Advisory Agreement for additional one-year terms. The Board, shareholders of a Fund or the Adviser may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice. The initial term of the Sub-Advisory Agreement is two years and may be reapproved annually thereafter. The Board, shareholders of the Fund, the Adviser or the Sub-Adviser may terminate the Sub-Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the renewal of the Funds’ Advisory Agreement and Sub-Advisory Agreement is provided in the Funds’ annual report to shareholders for the period ended [_____].

 

THE PORTFOLIO MANAGER

 

The portfolio manager is primarily responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Fund. More information about the portfolio manager’s compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio manager and the portfolio manager’s ownership of securities in the Fund is included in the SAI.

 

FUND PORTFOLIO MANAGER PAST 5 YEARS’ BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund

Gibson Smith

 

 

 

Mr. Smith is the Chief Investment Officer of Smith Capital Investors, LLC, and has served as portfolio manager of the Funds since their inception in 2018. Prior to his association with Smith Capital Investors, Mr. Smith was the Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income of Janus Capital from 2006 to 2016. Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado. 

ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund

Gibson Smith

 

 

 

 

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ADMINISTRATOR, DISTRIBUTOR AND TRANSFER AGENT OF THE FUNDS

 

ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”) serves as the Funds’ administrator, fund accounting agent and transfer agent. ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. (the “Distributor”) serves as the Funds’ distributor.

 

BUYING, EXCHANGING AND REDEEMING SHARES

 

This Prospectus only offers Investor Class, Class A, Class C, and Class I shares of each Fund. Each share class of a Fund represents an investment in the same portfolio of securities, but each share class has its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to choose the class that best meets your situation. When you purchase shares of a Fund, you must choose a share class.

 

Factors you should consider in choosing a class of shares include:

 

how long you expect to own the shares;
how much you intend to invest;
total expenses associated with owning shares of each class; and
whether you qualify for any reduction or waiver of sales charges (for example, Investor Class shares may be a less expensive option over time if you qualify for a sales charge reduction or waiver).

 

Investor Class and C shares are generally available only in connection with financial intermediaries. The Class I shares are offered only through the certain types of financial intermediaries and to certain institutional investors. Institutional investors may include, but are not limited to, corporations, retirement plans, public plans and foundations/endowments. Class I shares are not offered directly to individual investors.

 

Each investor’s financial considerations are different. You should speak with your financial advisor to help you decide which share class is best for you. If your financial intermediary offers more than one class of shares, you should carefully consider which class of shares to purchase. Certain classes have higher expenses than other classes, which may lower the return on your investment.

 

Distribution and Services (12b-1) Plan for Investor Class, Class A, and Class C

 

Each Fund has adopted a separate plan of distribution for Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares, pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (each, a “Plan” and collectively, the “Plans”).

 

The Plans allow each Fund, as applicable, to use Investor Class, Class A, and Class C assets to pay fees in connection with the distribution and marketing of Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares and/or the provision of ongoing shareholder services to Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shareholders. Each Plan permits payment for services in connection with the administration of plans or programs that use Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares of the Fund as their funding medium and for related expenses.

 

The Plans permit each Fund to make total payments at an annual rate of up to 0.25% of a Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to its Investor Class and Class A shares, 0.75% of a Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to its Class C shares. Because these fees are paid out of a Fund’s Investor Class, Class A, and Class C assets on an ongoing basis, over time they will increase the cost of an investment in Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares, and Plan fees may cost an investor more than other types of sales charges.

 

Under the terms of the Plans, the Trust is authorized to make payments to the Distributor for remittance to financial intermediaries, as compensation for distribution and/or shareholder ongoing services performed by such entities for beneficial shareholders of the Fund. Distributor is entitled to retain some or all fees payable under the Plans in certain circumstances, including when there is no broker of record or when certain qualification standards have not been met by the broker of record.

 

Distributor is entitled to retain all fees paid under the Class C Plan for the first 12 months on any investment in Class C Shares to recoup the payment of commissions on sales of Class C Shares. Financial intermediaries will become eligible for compensation under the Class C Plan beginning in the 13th month following the purchase of Class C Shares. The Distributor may, pursuant to a written agreement between Distributor and a particular financial intermediary, pay such financial intermediary 12b-1 fees prior to the 13th month following the purchase of Class C Shares should the financial intermediary forgo the commission.

 

Shareholder Services Plan for Class C Shares

 

Each Fund has adopted a shareholder services plan (a “Shareholder Services Plan”) with respect to its Class C shares. Under the Shareholder Services Plan, a Fund is authorized to pay select financial intermediaries and Fund affiliates (“Participating Organizations”), an aggregate fee in an amount not to exceed on an annual basis 0.25% for Class C shares of the average daily net asset value of the Class C shares of a Fund attributable to or held in the name of a Participating Organization. The fee is compensation for providing some are all of the following on-going services: (i) on-going personal services to assist Class C shareholders with the maintenance of their accounts; (ii) answer routine and on-going shareholder inquiries concerning the Trust, a Fund, or Class C shares; (iii) provide and maintain elective Class C shareholder services such as check writing or wire transfer services; and (iv) contingent deferred sales charge reports.

 

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Payments to Financial Intermediaries

 

The Funds’ Adviser and/or Sub-Adviser and/or their affiliates may also make payments for distribution and/or shareholder servicing activities for out of their own resources. The Adviser or Sub-Adviser may also make payments for marketing, promotional or related expenses to financial intermediaries out of their own resources. The amount of these payments is determined by the adviser or sub-adviser and may be substantial. These payments are often referred to as “revenue sharing payments.” In some circumstances, such payments may create an incentive for a financial intermediary or its employees or associated persons to recommend or offer shares of the Fund to you, rather than shares of another mutual fund. Please contact your financial intermediary for details about revenue sharing payments it may receive.

 

Networking, Sub-Accounting and Administrative Fees

 

Certain financial intermediaries may contract with the Funds, or their designees, to perform certain networking, recordkeeping, sub-accounting and/or administrative services for shareholders of the Funds. In consideration for providing these services, the financial intermediaries will receive compensation, which is typically paid by the Funds. Any such payment by a Fund to a financial intermediary for networking, recordkeeping, sub-accounting and/or administrative services are in addition to any 12b-1 related services provided to shareholders. For accounts sold through financial intermediaries, it is the primary responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure compliance with investment minimums.

 

Investment Minimums

 

Each Fund offers investors four Classes of shares: Investor Class, Class A, Class C and Class I. The minimum investment in Investor Class, Class A shares and Class C shares is $500 for tax-deferred accounts and $2,500 for other accounts. The minimum investment in Class I shares is $100,000. Investors generally may meet the minimum investment amount by aggregating multiple accounts within a Fund. There is no subsequent investment minimum.

 

Each Fund reserves the right to waive or change investment minimums. For accounts sold through financial intermediaries, it is the primary responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure compliance with investment minimums.

 

Buying Shares

 

In order to buy, redeem or exchange shares at that day’s price, you must place your order with the Fund or its agent before the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) closes (normally, 4 p.m. Eastern time). If the NYSE closes early, you must place your order prior to the actual closing time. Orders received by financial intermediaries prior to the close of trading on the NYSE will be confirmed at the offering price computed as of the close of the trading on the NYSE. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that all orders are transmitted in a timely manner to the Fund. Otherwise, you will receive the next business day’s price.

 

Investors may not purchase, exchange or redeem shares of a Fund directly. Shares may be purchased, exchanged or redeemed only through retirement plans, broker-dealers, bank trust departments, financial advisers or other financial intermediaries. Shares made available through full service broker-dealers may be available through wrap accounts under which such broker-dealers impose additional fees for services connected to the wrap account. Contact your financial intermediary or refer to your plan documents for instructions on how to purchase, exchange or redeem shares.

 

Investors may be charged a fee if they effect transactions through broker or agent. The Fund has authorized one or more brokers to receive on its behalf purchase and redemption orders. Such brokers are authorized to designate other intermediaries to receive purchase and redemption orders on the Fund’s behalf. The Fund will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order when an authorized broker or, if applicable, a broker’s authorized designee, receives the order. Customer orders will be priced at the Fund’s Net Asset Value next computed after they are received by an authorized broker or the broker’s authorized designee.

 

With certain limited exceptions, each Fund is available only to U.S. citizens or residents.

 

Sales Charge When You Purchase Investor Class, Class A, or Class C Shares

 

Below is a summary of certain features of Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares:

 

 

Investor Class

Class A

Class C

Initial Sales Charge None Up to 5.50%* None
Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (“CDSC”) None (except on redemptions of certain large purchases held for less than 18 months) None (except on redemptions of certain large purchases held for less than 18 months) 1.00% on redemptions within 12 months
Distribution and Service Fees Up to 0.40%** Up to 0.40%** 1.00%
Dividends Generally higher than Class C due to lower annual expenses Generally higher than Class C due to lower annual expenses Generally lower than Investor Class due to higher annual expenses
Typical Shareholder Generally more appropriate for long-term investors Generally more appropriate for long-term investors Generally more appropriate for short-term investors

 

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*Depending on the total assets you invest. A CDSC of 1.00% may apply to Class A shares redeemed within the first 18 months after a purchase in excess of $1 million. See Section titled “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge” below.

 

**Depending on the Fund in which you invest.

 

Class A Shares

 

The following table lists the sales charges that will be applied to your purchase of Class A shares, subject to the breakpoint discounts indicated in the tables and described below.

 

Purchase Amount Sales Charge as a
Percentage of
Offering Price
Sales Charge as a Percentage of Investment Dealer Concession
as a Percentage of
Offering Price
Less than $50,000 5.50% 5.82% 4.75%
$50,000 but less than $100,000 4.50% 4.71% 3.75%
$100,000 but less than $250,000 3.50% 3.63% 2.75%
$250,000 but less than $500,000 2.50% 2.56% 2.00%
$500,000 but less than $1 million 2.00% 2.04% 1.60%
$1 million or greater 0.00% 0.00 0.00%

 

The Investor Class, Class C, and Class I shares do not charge an initial sales load.

 

Qualifying For A Reduction Or Waiver Of Class A Shares Sales Charge

 

You may be able to lower your Class A shares initial sales charge under certain circumstances. You can combine Class A shares you already own with your current purchase of Class A shares of the Fund to take advantage of the breakpoints in the sales charge schedule as set forth above. Certain circumstances under which you may combine such ownership of shares and purchases are described below. Contact your financial intermediary for more information.

 

In order to obtain a sales charge discount, you should inform your financial intermediary of other accounts in which there are Fund holdings eligible to be aggregated to meet a sales charge breakpoint. These other accounts may include the accounts described below in “Aggregating Accounts.” You may need to provide documents such as account statements or confirmation statements to prove that the accounts are eligible for aggregation. The Letter of Intent described below requires historical cost information in certain circumstances. You should retain records necessary to show the price you paid to purchase Fund shares, as the Fund, its agents, or your financial intermediary may not retain this information.

 

The Fund may waive Class A sales charges on investor purchases including shares purchased by:

 

Officers, directors, trustees and employees of the Adviser, Sub-Adviser and their affiliates;
Registered representatives and employees of financial intermediaries with a current selling agreement with the Distributor or the Adviser;
Immediate family members of all such persons as described above;
Financial intermediary supermarkets and fee-based platforms; and
Financial intermediaries who have entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to offer shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts that may or may not charge a transaction fee to its customers.

 

Right of Accumulation

 

You may purchase Class A shares at a reduced initial sales charge determined by aggregating the dollar amount of the new purchase (measured by the offering price) and the total prior days net asset value (net amount invested) of all Class A shares of the Fund and of certain other classes then held by you, or held in accounts identified under “Aggregating Accounts,” and applying the sales charge applicable to such aggregate amount. In order to obtain such discount, you must provide sufficient information to your financial intermediary at the time of purchase to permit verification that the purchase qualifies for the reduced sales charge. The right of accumulation is subject to modification or discontinuance at any time with respect to all shares purchased thereafter.

 

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Letter of Intent

 

You may obtain a reduced initial sales charge on Class A shares by signing a Letter of Intent indicating your intention to purchase $50,000 or more of Class A shares over a 13-month period. The term of the Letter of Intent will commence upon the date you sign the Letter of Intent. You must refer to such Letter of Intent when placing orders. With regard to a Letter of Intent, the amount of investment for purposes of applying the sales load schedule includes (i) the historical cost (what you actually paid for the shares at the time of purchase, including any sales charges) of all Class A shares acquired during the term of the Letter of Intent, minus (ii) the value of any redemptions of Class A shares made during the term of the Letter of Intent. Each investment made during the period receives the reduced sales charge applicable to the total amount of the investment goal. A portion of shares purchased may be held in escrow to pay for any sales charge that may be applicable. If the goal is not achieved within the period, you must pay the difference between the sales charges applicable to the purchases made and the charges previously paid, or an appropriate number of escrowed shares will be redeemed. Please contact your financial intermediary to obtain a Letter of Intent application.

 

Aggregating Accounts

 

To take advantage of lower Class A shares initial sales charges on large purchases or through the exercise of a Letter of Intent or right of accumulation, investments made by you, your spouse and your children under age 21 may be aggregated if made for your own account(s) and/or certain other accounts such as:

 

trust accounts established by the above individuals (or the accounts of the primary beneficiary of the trust if the person who established the trust is deceased);
solely controlled business accounts; and
single participant retirement plans.

 

To receive a reduced sales charge under rights of accumulation or a Letter of Intent, you must notify your financial intermediary of any eligible accounts that you, your spouse and your children under age 21 have at the time of your purchase.

 

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge

 

Class A Shares

If you invest $1 million or more, either as a lump sum or through a Fund’s accumulation or letter of intent programs, you can purchase Class A shares without an initial sales charge. However, a contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) of 1% may apply to Class A shares redeemed within the first 18 months after a purchase in excess of $1 million. The CDSC will be based on the lower of the original purchase price or the value of the redemption of the Class A Shares redeemed.

 

Class C Shares

There is a 1% CDSC on any Class C shares you sell within 12 months of purchase. The CDSC will be based on the lower of the original purchase price or the value of the redemption of the Class C Shares redeemed.

 

Waiver of CDSC

Each Fund may waive the imposition of a CDSC on redemption of Fund shares under the following circumstances and conditions:

 

redemptions following the death or permanent disability (as defined by Section 72(m)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code) of a shareholder if made within one year of death or the initial determination of permanent disability. The waiver is available only for shares held at the time of death or initial determination of permanent disability; and
required minimum distributions from a tax-deferred retirement plan or an individual retirement account (IRA) as required under the Internal Revenue Code. The waiver of the CDSC for required distributions will be as a percentage of assets held in the Fund.

 

If you think you may be eligible for a CDSC waiver, contact your financial intermediary. You must notify the Fund prior to the redemption request to ensure your receipt of the waiver.

 

Exchanging Shares

 

Exchanging Shares of ALPS-Advised Funds

If you have held all or part of your shares in a Fund for at least seven days, you may exchange those shares for shares of the same class of any of the following funds (each, an “ALPS-Advised Fund”), if such ALPS-Advised Fund is available for sale in your state and meets the investment criteria of the investor:

 

ALPS | Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund
ALPS | WMC Research Value Fund
Clough China Fund
ALPS | CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommodities Strategy Fund
RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 100/0 Target

 

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RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 80/20 Target
RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 70/30 Target
RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 50/50 Target
RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 30/70 Target
ALPS | Kotak India Growth Fund
ALPS | Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund

 

If you are an existing shareholder of a Fund or of an ALPS-Advised Fund, you may exchange into a new account copying your existing account registration and options. Exchanges between accounts will be accepted only if registrations are identical. Any new account established through an exchange will be subject to all minimum requirements applicable to the shares acquired described in “Investment Minimums” above. The exchange privilege may only be exercised in those states where the class of shares being acquired legally may be sold.

 

You may also transfer between classes of a Fund if you meet the minimum investment requirements for the class into which you would like to transfer.

 

Before effecting an exchange, you should read the prospectus for the Fund into which you are exchanging.

 

Additional Information About Exchanges

An exchange represents the sale of shares from one fund and the purchase of shares of another fund. Under the U.S. federal income tax law, this may produce a taxable gain or loss in your non-tax-deferred account. Transfers between classes of a Fund are generally not considered a taxable transaction.

 

The exchange privilege may be modified or terminated upon sixty (60) days’ written notice to shareholders. Although initially there will be no limit on the number of times you may exercise the exchange privilege, each Fund reserves the right to impose such a limitation. Call or write each Fund for further details.

 

Redeeming Shares

Redemptions, like purchases, may generally be effected only through retirement plans, broker-dealers and financial intermediaries. Please contact your financial intermediary or refer to the appropriate plan documents for details. Your financial intermediary may charge a processing or service fee in connection with the redemption of shares. Each Fund will redeem all full and fractional shares of the Fund upon request on any business day at the applicable net asset value determined after the receipt of proper redemption instructions, less any applicable redemption fees. Shareholders liquidating their holdings will receive upon redemption all dividends reinvested through the date of redemption. If notice of redemption is received on any business day, the redemption will be effective on the date of receipt. Payment will ordinarily be made on the next business day, but, in any case, within no more than seven business days from the date of receipt. If the notice is received on a day that is not a business day or after the close of regularly scheduled trading on the NYSE, the redemption notice will be deemed received as of the next business day. The value of shares at the time of redemption may be more or less than the shareholder’s cost.

 

It is anticipated that a Fund will meet redemption requests through the sale of portfolio assets or from its holdings in cash or cash equivalents. A Fund may use the proceeds from the sale of portfolio assets to meet redemption requests if consistent with the management of the Fund. These redemption methods will be used regularly and may also be used in stressed or abnormal market conditions, including circumstances adversely affecting the liquidity of a Fund’s investments, in which case a Fund may be more likely to be forced to sell its holdings to meet redemptions than under normal market conditions. Each Fund reserves the right to redeem in kind. Redemptions in kind typically are used to meet redemption requests that represent a large percentage of a Fund’s net assets in order to limit the impact of a large redemption on the Fund and its remaining shareholders. Redemptions in kind may be used in normal as well as in stressed market conditions. A Fund may also borrow, or draw on lines of credit that may be available to the Fund individually or to the Trust, in order to meet redemption requests during stressed market conditions. Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is limited as to the amount that it may borrow and accordingly, borrowings (including those made under a line of credit) might be insufficient to meet redemption requests.

 

Redemption Payments

In all cases, your redemption price is the net asset value per share next determined after your request is received in good order. Payment of redemption proceeds will ordinarily be made on the next business day following the date of redemption, but, in any case, within no more than seven business days from the date of redemption. However, if you recently purchased your shares by check, your redemption proceeds will not be sent to you until your original check clears, which may take up to seven business days. Your redemption proceeds can be sent by check to your address of record or by wire transfer to your bank account of record. A Fund or your bank may charge you a fee for wire transfers. Any request that your redemption proceeds be sent to a destination other than your bank account or address of record must be in writing and must include a medallion signature guarantee, as described in “Medallion Signature Guarantees” in this Prospectus.

 

The Funds are not responsible for losses or fees resulting from posting delays or non-receipt of redemption payments when shareholder payment instructions are followed.

 

Redemptions In-Kind

Each Fund reserves the right to make payment in securities rather than cash. If a Fund deems it advisable for the benefit of all shareholders that a redemption payment wholly or partly in-kind would be in the best interests of the Fund’s remaining shareholders, the Fund may pay redemption proceeds to you in whole or in part with securities held by the Fund. A redemption in-kind could occur under extraordinary circumstances, such as a very large redemption that could affect a Fund’s operations (for example, more than 1% of the Fund’s net assets). However, each Fund is required to redeem shares solely for cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the NAV of the Fund during any 90-calendar day period for any one shareholder. Should redemptions by any shareholder exceed such limitation, each Fund will have the option of redeeming the excess in cash or in-kind. Securities used to redeem Fund shares will be valued as described in “How Fund Shares are Priced” below. A shareholder may pay brokerage charges on the sale of any securities received as a result of a redemption in-kind. Redemptions in-kind may take longer than other redemption payments because the payment will be made at least in part in securities rather than cash, and will ordinarily be made within no more than seven business days from the date of redemption. Redemptions in-kind may take longer than other redemption payments because the payment will be made at least in part in securities rather than cash, and will ordinarily be made within no more than seven business days from the date of redemption.

 

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In most situations where the Fund distributes securities to meet a redemption request, the Fund expects to distribute a pro rata slice of the Fund’s portfolio securities, subject to certain limitations relating to odd-lot amounts of securities and securities subject to transfer restrictions. Each Fund reserves the right, however, to distribute individual securities (which may not be representative of the portfolio as a whole) in consultation with, or at the recommendation of, the Adviser or Sub-Adviser, as applicable.

 

Note: Each Fund has the right to suspend or postpone redemptions of shares for any period (i) during which the NYSE is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (ii) during which trading on the NYSE is restricted; or (iii) during which (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation) an emergency exists as a result of which disposal or valuation of portfolio securities is not reasonably practicable, or as otherwise permitted by the SEC.

 

SHARE TRANSACTIONS

 

Small Account Balances/Mandatory Redemptions

 

None of the Funds currently imposes an account minimum. A Fund may adopt other policies from time to time requiring mandatory redemption of shares in certain circumstances, such as to comply with new regulatory requirements.

 

Share Certificates

 

None of the Funds issues share certificates.

 

Frequent Purchases and Sales of Fund Shares

 

None of the Funds permits market timing or other abusive trading practices. Each Fund reserves the right, but does not have the obligation, to reject any purchase or exchange transaction at any time. In addition, each Fund reserves the right to suspend its offering of shares or to impose restrictions on purchases or exchanges at any time that are more restrictive than those that are otherwise stated in this Prospectus with respect to disruptive, excessive or short-term trading.

 

Excessive short-term trading or other abusive trading practices may disrupt portfolio management strategies, increase brokerage and administrative costs and hurt Fund performance. The Board has adopted policies and procedures designed to deter frequent purchases, exchanges and redemptions and to seek to prevent market timing. To minimize harm to a Fund and its shareholders, the Fund reserves the right to reject, in its sole discretion, any purchase order from any investor it believes has a history of abusive trading or whose trading, in its judgment, has been or may be disruptive to the Fund. Each Fund may also refuse purchase and exchange transactions from Fund intermediaries it believes may be facilitating or have facilitated abusive trading practices. In making this judgment, each Fund may consider trading done in multiple accounts under common ownership or control.

 

On a periodic basis, the Transfer Agent will review transaction history reports and will identify redemptions that are within a specific time period from a previous purchase or exchange in the same account(s) in a Fund, or in multiple accounts that are known to be under common control. Redemptions meeting the criteria will be investigated for possible inappropriate trading.

 

Certain accounts, in particular omnibus accounts, include multiple investors and such accounts typically provide the Fund with a net purchase or redemption request on any given day. In these cases, purchases, exchanges and redemptions of Fund shares are netted against one another and the identity of individual purchasers and redeemers whose orders are aggregated may not be known by the Fund. Therefore, it becomes more difficult for the Fund to identify market timing or other abusive trading activities in these accounts, and the Fund may be unable to eliminate abusive traders in these accounts from the Fund. Further, identification of abusive traders may also be limited by operational systems and technical limitations. To the extent abusive or disruptive trading is identified, each Fund will encourage omnibus account intermediaries to address such trading activity in a manner consistent with how the Fund would address such activity directly, if it were able to do so.

 

Due to the complexity and subjectivity involved in identifying market timing and other abusive trading practices, there can be no assurance that a Fund’s efforts will identify all market timing or abusive trading activities. Therefore, investors should not assume that a Fund will be able to detect or prevent all practices that may disadvantage the Fund.

 

How Fund Shares are Priced

 

The Board has approved procedures to be used to value each Fund’s securities for the purposes of determining the Fund’s NAV. The valuation of the securities of each Fund is determined in good faith by or under the direction of the Board. The Board has delegated certain valuation functions for each Fund to the Administrator.

 

Each Fund generally values its securities based on market prices determined at the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, 4 p.m. Eastern time) on each business day (Monday through Friday). None of the Funds will value its securities on any day that the NYSE is closed, including the following observed holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Each Fund’s currency valuations, if any, are done as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, 4 p.m. Eastern time). For equity securities that are traded on an exchange, the market price is usually the closing sale or official closing price on that exchange. In the case of securities not traded on an exchange, or if such closing prices are not otherwise available, the market price is typically determined by independent third-party pricing vendors approved by the Funds’ Board using a variety of pricing techniques and methodologies. The market price for debt obligations is generally the price supplied by an independent third-party pricing service approved by the Fund’s Board, which may use a matrix, formula or other objective method that takes into consideration market indices, yield curves and other specific adjustments. Debt securities, including short-term debt obligations that will mature in 60 days or less, will generally be valued at the price supplied by an independent third-party pricing service approved by the Funds’ Board, which may use a matrix, formula or other objective method that takes into consideration market indices, yield curves and other specific adjustments. If vendors are unable to supply a price, or if the price supplied is deemed to be unreliable, the market price may be determined using quotations received from one or more brokers/dealers that make a market in the security.

 

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When such prices or quotations are not available, or when the Fund’s adviser or sub-adviser, as applicable, believes that they are unreliable, securities may be priced using fair value procedures approved by the Board. Because each Fund invests in securities that may be thinly traded or for which market quotations may not be readily available or may be unreliable (such as securities of small capitalization companies), each Fund may use fair valuation procedures more frequently than funds that invest primarily in securities that are more liquid (such as equity securities of large capitalization domestic issuers). Each Fund may also use fair value procedures if its sub-adviser determines that a significant event has occurred between the time at which a market price is determined and the time at which the Fund’s net asset value is calculated. In particular, the value of non-U.S. securities may be materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which they are traded, but before the Fund prices its shares.

 

Each Fund may determine the fair value of investments based on information provided by pricing services and other third-party vendors, which may recommend fair value prices or adjustments with reference to other securities, indices or assets. In considering whether fair value pricing is required and in determining fair values, each Fund may, among other things, consider significant events (which may be considered to include changes in the value of U.S. securities or securities indices) that occur after the close of the relevant market and before the Fund values its securities. In addition, each Fund may utilize modeling tools provided by third-party vendors to determine fair values of non-U.S. securities. Each Fund’s use of fair value pricing may help deter “stale price arbitrage.”

 

Valuing securities at fair value involves greater reliance on judgment than valuation of securities based on readily available market quotations. A fund that uses fair value to price securities may value those securities higher or lower than another fund using market quotations or its own fair value methodologies to price the same securities. There can be no assurance that a Fund could obtain the fair value assigned to a security if it were to sell the security at approximately the time at which the Fund determines its net asset value.

 

Each Fund invests, or may invest, in securities that are traded on foreign exchanges or markets, which may be open when the NYSE is closed. As a result, the value of your investment in a Fund may change on days when you are unable to purchase or redeem shares.

 

Customer Identification Program

 

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires each Fund’s Transfer Agent to obtain certain personal information from you (or persons acting on your behalf) in order to verify your (or such person’s) identity when you open an account, including name, address, date of birth and other information (which may include certain documents) that will allow the Transfer Agent to verify your identity. If this information is not provided, the Transfer Agent may not be able to open your account. If the Transfer Agent is unable to verify your identity (or that of another person authorized to act on your behalf) shortly after your account is opened, or believes it has identified potentially criminal activity, each Fund, the Distributor and the Transfer Agent each reserve the right to reject further purchase orders from you or to take such other action as they deem reasonable or required by law, including closing your account and redeeming your shares at their NAV at the time of redemption.

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

 

Each Fund declares and distributes dividends, if any, on a monthly basis. Each Fund distributes capital gains, if any, on at least an annual basis.

 

Income dividend distributions are derived from interest and other income each Fund receives from its investments and include distributions of short-term capital gains. Capital gain distributions are derived from gains realized when the Fund sells a security it has owned for more than a year.

 

The Trust is an open-end registered investment company under the 1940 Act. As such, a Fund is generally limited under the 1940 Act to one distribution in any one taxable year of long-term capital gains realized by the Fund.

 

Each Fund may make additional distributions and dividends at other times if the manager believes doing so may be necessary for a Fund to avoid or reduce taxes. Distributions and dividends are reinvested in additional Fund shares unless you instruct the Transfer Agent to have your distributions and/or dividends paid by check mailed to the address of record or transferred through an Automated Clearing House to the bank of your choice. You can change your choice at any time to be effective as of the next distribution or dividend, except that any change given to the Transfer Agent less than five days before the payment date will not be effective until the next distribution or dividend is made.

 

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TAXES

 

The discussion below only addresses the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the Funds for U.S. persons and does not address any foreign, state, or local tax consequences. For purposes of this discussion, U.S. persons are:

 

(i)U.S. citizens or residents;
(ii)U.S. corporations;
(iii)an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or
(iv)a trust, if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions, or certain electing trusts that were in existence on August 20, 1996, and were treated as domestic trusts on August 19, 1996.

 

This discussion does not address issues of significance to U.S. persons in special situations such as: (i) certain types of tax-exempt organizations, (ii) shareholders holding shares through tax-advantaged accounts (such as 401(k) plan accounts or individual retirement accounts), (iii) shareholders holding investments through foreign institutions (financial and non-financial), (iv) financial institutions, (v) broker-dealers, (vi) entities not organized under the laws of the United States or a political subdivision thereof, (vii) shareholders holding shares as part of a hedge, straddle or conversion transaction, and (viii) shareholders who are subject to the U.S. federal alternative minimum tax. If a partnership (including for this purpose any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is a beneficial owner of shares, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. For further information regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the Funds for U.S. persons, investors should see the SAI under “TAXES – Taxation of the Funds.”

 

Non-U.S. persons that are considering the purchase of shares should consult with their own tax advisers regarding the U.S. federal, foreign, state and local tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares in the Funds.

 

The Funds intend to meet all requirements under Subchapter M of the Code necessary to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and thus do not expect to pay any U.S. federal income tax on income and capital gains distributed to shareholders. The Funds also intend to meet certain distribution requirements such that the Funds are not subject to U.S. federal income tax in general. If a Fund does not meet the distribution requirements, that Fund may be subject to significant excise taxes. This discussion assumes that the Funds will qualify as a RIC and will satisfy these distribution requirements. There can be no guarantee that these assumptions will be correct.

 

Taxation of Fund Distributions

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, shareholders of RICs are generally subject to taxation based on the underlying character of the income and gain recognized by the RIC and distributed to shareholders.

 

Distributions of net capital gains that are properly designated by a Fund as capital gain dividends (“capital gain dividends”) will be taxable to Fund shareholders as long-term capital gains. Generally, distributions of earnings derived from ordinary income and short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. The Funds do not expect a significant portion of their distributions to derive from “qualified dividend income,” will be taxed at favorable rates applicable to long-term capital gains so long as certain requirements are met. Corporate shareholders may be able to take a dividends-received deduction for a portion of the dividends received by a Fund; to the extent such dividends are received by a Fund from a domestic corporation and to the extent a portion of interest paid or accrued on certain high yield discount obligations owned by the Fund are treated as dividends.

 

Each Fund may realize long-term capital gains when it sells or redeems a security that it has owned for more than one year, when it receives capital gain distributions from ETFs in which that Fund owns investments, or from transactions in section 1256 contracts, which may generate both short-term and long-term capital gains distributions. Each Fund may realize short-term capital gains from the sale of investments that such Fund owned for one year or less or from transactions in section 1256 contracts. Each Fund may realize ordinary income from distributions from ETFs, from foreign currency gains that are not section 1256 contracts, from interest on indebtedness owned by a Fund and from other sources.

 

The maximum long-term capital gain rate applicable to individuals is currently 20%. For more information, see the SAI under “TAXES – Taxation of Fund Distributions.”

 

Distributions of earnings are taxable whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares. If a dividend or distribution is made shortly after you purchase shares of a Fund, while in effect a return of capital to you, the dividend or distribution is still taxable. You can avoid this, if you choose, by investing soon after such Fund has paid a dividend.

 

Sale of Fund Shares

 

A shareholder’s sale of Fund shares will generally result in taxable gain to the extent that the amount realized from the sale exceeds the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the Fund shares sold, and loss to the extent that the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the Fund shares sold exceeds the shareholder’s amount realized with respect to such shares. Gains from the sale of Fund shares held for more than one year generally are taxed at favorable long-term capital gain rates, while those resulting from sales of shares held for one year or less (to the extent not offset by the shareholder’s net capital losses from other sources) generally are taxed as short-term capital gain, subject to rates that are currently equivalent to those applied to ordinary income. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to significant limitations. For more information, see the SAI under “TAXES – Sale or Redemption of Shares.”

 

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Redemption of Fund Shares

 

A shareholder who redeems shares in a Fund generally will recognize a capital gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the amount received in the redemption of the exchange (net of any applicable redemption fees) and the shareholder’s aggregate adjusted basis in the shares surrendered. A shareholder who receives securities in redemption of shares of the Fund will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s adjusted basis in the shares redeemed and the aggregate fair market value of the securities plus the amount of any cash received (net of any applicable fees). In certain circumstances a loss realized upon a redemption of shares of the Fund for securities in kind may not be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales.” Persons redeeming shares should consult their own tax advisors with respect to whether the wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

Any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of shares of a Fund is generally treated as long term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as a short term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. In certain situations, a loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less will be a long term loss. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to significant limitations. For more information, see the SAI under “TAXES – Sale or Redemption of Shares.”

 

Taxation of Certain Investments

 

Each Fund’s investments in foreign securities may be subject to foreign withholding or other taxes. In that case, such Fund’s yield on those securities would be decreased. Shareholders generally will not be entitled to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction with respect to foreign taxes, although it is possible that a Fund may be able to elect to pass through foreign tax credits or deductions to its shareholders. Each Fund makes no assurances regarding its ability or willingness to so elect. In addition, each Fund’s investments in foreign securities or foreign currencies may increase or accelerate such Fund’s recognition of ordinary income and may affect the timing or amount of such Fund’s distributions. Each Fund may hold securities that are passive foreign investment companies for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For more information, see the SAI under “TAXES – Special Tax Considerations.”

 

Each Fund may at times buy debt obligations at a discount from the price at which they were originally issued (“original issue discount”), especially during periods of rising interest rates. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the original issue discount will be included in such Fund’s ordinary income. Even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, it will be distributed to shareholders as taxable dividends. Each Fund may also buy investments in the secondary market which are treated as having market discount. Generally, gain recognized on the disposition of such an investment is treated as ordinary income for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent of the accrued market discount, but each Fund may elect instead to currently include the amount of market discount as ordinary income even though such Fund does not receive payment of such amount at that time. Each Fund’s investments in certain debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and derivatives may also cause such Fund to recognize taxable income in excess of the cash generated by such obligations. Thus, the Funds could be required at times to liquidate other investments in order to satisfy their distribution requirements, potentially increasing the amount of capital gain dividends made to shareholders.

 

Surtax on Net Investment Income

 

A surtax of 3.8% applies to net investment income of a taxpayer that is an individual, trust or estate which (in any case) recognizes gross income as adjusted in excess of a threshold amount for a year. Net investment income will include, among other types of income, ordinary income, dividend income and capital gain derived from investments in the Funds. For information regarding the surtax on net investment income, See the SAI under “TAXES – Surtax on Net Investment Income.”

 

Backup Withholding

 

The Funds are also 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 certain information and certifications to the Funds or who is otherwise subject to backup withholding. The backup withholding tax rate is 28%. For more information regarding backup withholding, see the SAI under “TAXES – Backup Withholding.”

 

Foreign Accounts

 

Shareholders that invest in a Fund through foreign accounts may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on: (1) income dividends paid by the Fund, and (2) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds of a sale of Fund shares paid after December 31, 2018. This withholding tax generally may be avoided if the shareholder satisfies certain registration, certification and reporting requirements. For more information regarding withholding with respect to foreign accounts, see the SAI under “TAXES – Foreign Accounts.”

 

You should also consult with your tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal, foreign, state and local tax consequences of an investment in the Funds.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

Because the Funds have not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus, there are no financial highlights for the Funds.

 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

Shareholder Reports

Annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders provide additional information about each Fund’s investments. These reports discuss the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected each Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year.

 

Statement of Additional Information

The statement of additional information provides more detailed information about the Funds. It is incorporated by reference into (is legally a part of) this Prospectus.

 

Each Fund sends only one report to a household if more than one account has the same address. Contact the Transfer Agent if you do not want this policy to apply to you.

 

How to Obtain Additional Information

You can obtain shareholder reports or the statement of additional information (without charge), make inquiries or request other information about each Fund by contacting the Transfer Agent at [_________], by writing the Fund at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203, or by calling your financial consultant. This information is also available free of charge on the Fund’s website at www.alpsfunds.com.

 

You can also review each Fund’s shareholder reports, prospectus and statement of additional information at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. You can get copies of these materials after paying a fee by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the Public Reference Section of the Commission, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520. Information about the public reference room may be obtained by calling 202.551.8090. You can get the same reports and information free from the EDGAR Database on the Commission’s Internet web site at http://www.sec.gov.

 

If someone makes a statement about a Fund that is not in this Prospectus, you should not rely upon that information. Neither any Fund nor the Distributor is offering to sell shares of the Funds to any person to whom that Fund may not lawfully sell its shares.

 

(Investment Company Act file no. 811-8194)

 

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

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

[_________], 2018

 

  Investor Shares Class A Class C Class I
ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund        
ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund        

 

P.O. Box 44386

Denver, CO 80201

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) expands upon and supplements the information contained in the current Prospectus for Investor Class Shares, Class A, Class C Shares and Class I Shares (collectively, the “Shares”) of the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and the ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund (each, a “Fund,” and together, the “Funds”), each of which is a series of Financial Investors Trust, a Delaware statutory trust (the “Trust”). Each Fund represents shares of beneficial interest in a separate portfolio of securities and other assets with its own objective and policies. ALPS Advisors, Inc. (“ALPS Advisors” or the “Adviser”) is the investment adviser of the Funds. Smith Capital Investors, LLC (“Smith Capital” or the “Sub-Adviser”) is the investment sub-adviser of the Funds.

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and is only authorized for distribution when preceded or accompanied by the Funds’ current prospectus dated ________, 2018, as supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). This SAI supplements and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained without charge by writing the Funds at the address listed above, or by calling the Funds’ transfer agent at [________]. The Fund’s most recent Annual Report, when available, is incorporated by reference into this SAI and can be obtained free of charge, by calling the toll-free number printed above.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
Classification, Investment Objectives and Policies  
Investment Policies and Risks  
Investment Policies and Risks Applicable to Certain Funds  
Additional Investment Activities and Risks Applicable to All Funds  
Other Practices  
Investment Limitations  
Portfolio Turnover  
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings  
Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage  
Purchase, Exchange & Redemption of Shares  
Trustees and Officers  
Investment Managers  
Distributor  
Code of Ethics  
Administrator  
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures  
Principal Shareholders  
Expenses  
Portfolio Managers  
Net Asset Value  
Taxes  
Description of the Trust  
Other Information about the Funds  
Performance Information  
Financial Statements  
Appendix A -- Description of Securities Ratings A-1
Appendix B -- Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures B-1

 

 

CLASSIFICATION, INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

 

Financial Investors Trust

 

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) includes information about two series of the Trust. Each Fund is a series of the Trust, an open-end, management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on November 30, 1993.

 

Classification

 

The Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), classifies mutual funds as either diversified or non-diversified. The ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund and the ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund are both classified as diversified.

 

What are the Funds’ Investment Objectives?

 

The ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund seeks to obtain maximum total return, consistent with preservation of capital.
The ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund seeks as high a level of current income as is consistent with preservation of capital.

 

While there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective, it endeavors to do so by following the strategies and policies described in this prospectus.

 

Each Fund’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) may change this objective or the Fund’s principal investment strategies without a shareholder vote. Each Fund will notify you in writing at least sixty (60) days before making any such change. If there is a material change to a Fund’s objective or principal investment strategies, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment for you.

 

What are each Fund’s Principal Investment Strategies?

 

The Fund pursues its investment objective by primarily investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in bonds. Bonds include, but are not limited to, government notes and bonds, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, and zero-coupon bonds. The Fund will target a weighted average effective maturity of approximately five years.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (including investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

The Fund seeks to generate total return from a combination of current income and capital appreciation, but income is usually the dominant portion. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

“Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Though the Fund does not typically expect to use derivatives, for purposes of meeting its policy to invest at least 80% of net assets in bonds, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest. In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager typically applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility. The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

 

ALPS/Smith Short Duration Bond Fund

 

The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in short- and intermediate-term fixed-income securities including government securities, corporate bonds or notes and agency securities.

 

The Fund may also invest in asset-backed securities, money market instruments, commercial loans, and foreign debt securities (which may include investments in emerging markets). The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in high yield/high risk bonds (rated below investment grade), also known as “junk” bonds.

 

The Fund expects that its portfolio will have a weighted average duration of approximately two years, and that it will seek to maintain an average-weighted effective maturity of three years or less under normal circumstances. In selecting securities, Smith Capital Investors considers many factors, including yield, credit ratings, liquidity, call risk, duration, structure, and capital appreciation potential. Due to the nature of the process and the securities in which the Fund invests, it may have relatively high portfolio turnover compared to other funds.

 

Duration refers to the average life of a debt instrument and serves as a measure of that instrument's interest rate risk. “Effective” maturity differs from actual maturity, which may be longer. In calculating the “effective” maturity the portfolio manager will estimate the effect of expected principal payments and call provisions on securities held in the portfolio. This gives the portfolio manager some additional flexibility in the securities they purchase, but all else being equal, could result in more volatility than if the Fund calculated an actual maturity target.

 

Additionally, the Fund may invest its assets in derivatives, which are instruments that have a value derived from, or directly linked to, an underlying asset, such as equity securities, fixed-income securities, commodities, currencies, interest rates, or market indices. In particular, the Fund may use derivatives to manage portfolio risk or to manage the effective maturity of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund’s exposure to derivatives will vary. For purposes of meeting its 80% investment policy, the Fund may include derivatives that have characteristics similar to the securities in which the Fund may directly invest.

 

In addition to considering economic factors such as the effect of interest rates on the Fund’s investments, the portfolio manager applies a “bottom up” approach in choosing investments. This means that the portfolio manager looks at income producing securities one at a time to determine if a security is an attractive investment opportunity and if it is consistent with the Fund’s investment policies. The portfolio manager additionally considers the expected risk-adjusted return on a particular investment and the Fund’s overall risk allocations and volatility.

 

 

The Fund may lend portfolio securities on a short-term or long-term basis, in an amount equal to up to one-third of its total assets as determined at the time of the loan origination.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS’

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RISKS

 

To the extent permitted by its investment policies, each Fund may also invest in the following types of securities. The following is not meant to be an exclusive list of all the securities and instruments in which each Fund may invest or investment strategies in which it may engage, and each Fund may invest in instruments and securities and engage in strategies other than those listed below.

 

Equity Investments

 

Each Fund may invest in equity securities. Equity securities (which generally include common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants, securities convertible into common or preferred stocks and similar 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 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.

 

Common Stock

 

Common stocks are shares of a corporation or other entity that entitle the holder to a pro rata share of the profits of the corporation, if any, without preference over any other shareholder or class of shareholders, including holders of the entity’s preferred stock and other senior equity. Common stock usually carries with it the right to vote and frequently an exclusive right to do so.

 

Common stocks of companies that the Sub-Adviser believes have earnings that will grow faster than the economy as a whole are known as growth stocks. 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 Sub-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 Sub-Adviser has placed on it.

 

Common stocks of companies that are not expected to experience significant earnings growth, but whose stocks the Sub-Adviser believes are undervalued compared to their true worth, are known as value stocks. 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 Sub-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 stocks may fall or may not approach the value that the Sub-Adviser has placed on it.

 

Many stocks have both “growth” and “value” characteristics, and for some stocks it may be unclear which category, if any, it fits into. Each Fund’s investment process is biased toward value.

 

Preferred Stock

 

Preferred stocks, like debt obligations, are generally fixed-income securities. Shareholders of preferred stocks normally have the right to receive dividends at a fixed rate when and as declared by the issuer’s board of directors, but do not participate in other amounts available for distribution by the issuing corporation. Dividends on the preferred stock may be cumulative, and generally all cumulative dividends must be paid prior to common shareholders receiving any dividends. Because as a general matter preferred stock dividends must be paid before common stock dividends, preferred stocks generally entail less risk than common stocks. Upon liquidation, preferred stocks are generally entitled to a specified liquidation preference, which is generally the same as the par or stated value, and are senior in right of payment to common stock. Preferred stocks are, however, equity securities in the sense that they do not represent a liability of the issuer and, therefore, do not offer as great a degree of protection of capital or assurance of continued income as investments in corporate debt securities. In addition, preferred stocks are subordinated in right of payment to all debt obligations and creditors of the issuer, and convertible preferred stocks may be subordinated to other preferred stock of the same issuer.

 

 

Exchange Traded Funds and Other Similar Instruments

 

Shares of ETFs and other similar instruments may be purchased by any Fund. Generally, an ETF is an investment company that is registered under the 1940 Act that holds a portfolio of securities designed to track the performance of a particular index or index segment. Similar instruments, used by pools that are not investment companies, offer similar characteristics and may be designed to track the performance of an index or basket of securities of companies engaged in a particular market or sector. ETFs sell and redeem their shares at net asset value in large blocks (typically 50,000 of its shares) 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.

 

Investments in ETFs and other similar instruments involve certain inherent risks generally associated with investments in a broadly-based portfolio of stocks including: (i) risks that the general level of stock prices may decline, thereby adversely affecting the value of each unit of the ETF or other instrument; (ii) an ETF may not fully replicate the performance of its benchmark index because of temporary unavailability of certain index securities in the secondary market or discrepancies between the ETF and the index with respect to the weightings of securities or number of stocks held; (iii) an ETF may also be adversely affected by the performance of the specific index, market sector or group of industries on which it is based; and (iv) an ETF may not track an index as well as a traditional index mutual fund because ETFs are valued by the market and, therefore, there may be a difference between the market value and the ETF’s net asset value. Each Fund may both purchase and effect short sales of shares of ETFs and may also purchase and sell options on shares of ETFs. These investments may be used for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return (which is considered a speculative activity).

 

Because ETFs and pools that issue similar instruments incur various fees and expenses, a Fund’s investment in these instruments will involve certain indirect costs, as well as transaction costs, such as brokerage commissions. The Sub-Adviser will consider expenses associated with an investment in determining whether to invest in an ETF or other instrument. In the case of ETFs that are investment companies, they invest substantially all of their assets in securities of various securities indices or a particular segment of a securities index. Most ETFs are listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Arca”). The market price of ETFs is expected to fluctuate in accordance with both changes in the asset values of their underlying indices and supply and demand of an ETF’s shares on the Arca. ETFs may trade at relatively modest discounts or premiums to net asset value. In general, most ETFs have a limited operating history and information may be lacking regarding the actual performance and trading liquidity of such shares for extended periods or over complete market cycles. In addition, there is no assurance that the requirements of the Arca necessary to maintain the listing of ETFs in which a Fund invests will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. In the event substantial market or other disruptions affecting the shares of ETFs held by a Fund should occur in the future, the liquidity and value of that Fund’s shares could also be adversely affected. If such disruptions were to occur, that Fund could be required to reconsider the use of ETFs as part of its investment strategy.

 

 

Limitations of the 1940 Act, which prohibit any Fund from acquiring more than 3% of the outstanding shares of another investment company, may restrict the Fund’s ability to purchase shares of certain ETFs.

 

Warrants and Rights

 

Each Fund may invest in warrants and rights. Warrants are securities that are usually issued together with a debt security or preferred stock and that give the holder the right to buy a proportionate amount of common stock 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. Investing 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, typically to existing shareholders of a corporation, to subscribe for shares of a new issue of stock before it is issued. Rights normally have a short life, usually two to four weeks, may be freely transferable and generally entitle the holder to buy the new common stock at a lower price than the public offering price.

 

Market Risk

 

The market price of securities owned by any Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably.

 

Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the securities markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. They may also decline due to factors which affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value simultaneously.

 

Equity securities generally have greater price volatility than fixed-income securities.

 

Derivatives

 

Each Fund may engage in a variety of derivative transactions in accordance with the applicable rules of the CFTC, and, to the extent applicable, the rules and regulations of certain national or foreign exchanges; however, no Fund will be obligated to use derivatives and no Fund makes any representation as to the availability of these techniques at this time or at any time in the future. Generally, derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends on, 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 indexes and other assets. The types of derivatives in which a Fund may invest include, but are not limited to, interest rate, currency or stock or bond index futures contracts, currency forward contracts and currency swaps, the purchase and sale (or writing) of exchange listed and over-the-counter (“OTC”) put and call options on debt and equity securities, currencies, interest rate, currency or stock index futures and fixed-income and stock indices and other financial instruments, entering into various interest rate transactions such as swaps, caps floors, and collars, entering into equity swaps, caps and floors, the purchase and sale of indexed debt securities or trading in other similar types of instruments.

 

 

Derivatives may be used, among other reasons, as part of a Fund’s investment strategy, to attempt to protect against possible changes in the market value of securities held or to be purchased for a Fund’s portfolio resulting from securities markets or currency exchange rate fluctuations, to protect a Fund’s unrealized gains in the value of its securities, to facilitate the sale of those securities for investment purposes, to manage the effective maturity or duration of the Fund’s portfolio or to establish a position in the derivatives markets as a temporary substitute for purchasing or selling particular securities or to seek to enhance a Fund’s income or gain. A Fund may use any or all types of derivatives which it is authorized to use at any time; no particular strategy will dictate the use of one type of transaction rather than another, as use of any authorized derivative will be a function of numerous variables, including market conditions. The ability of a Fund to utilize derivatives successfully will depend on numerous factors including the Sub-Adviser’s ability to predict pertinent market movements, which cannot be assured. These skills are different from those needed to select a Fund’s portfolio securities.

 

Subject to the constraints described above, a Fund may (if and to the extent so authorized) purchase and sell interest rate, currency or stock or bond index futures contracts and enter into currency forward contracts and currency swaps; purchase and sell (or write) exchange listed and OTC put and call options on securities, loan participations and assignments, currencies, futures contracts, indices and other financial instruments, and the Fund may enter into interest rate transactions, equity swaps and related transactions and other similar transactions which may be developed to the extent the Sub-Adviser determines that they are consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies and applicable regulatory requirements. A Fund’s interest rate transactions may take the form of swaps, caps, floors and collars, and the Fund’s currency transactions may take the form of currency forward contracts, currency futures contracts, currency swaps and options on currencies or currency futures contracts.

 

Derivatives involve special risks, including possible default by the other party to the transaction, illiquidity and, to the extent the Sub-Adviser’s view as to certain market movements is incorrect, the risk that the use of derivatives could result in significantly greater losses than if it had not been used. Losses resulting from the use of derivatives will reduce a Fund’s net asset value, and possibly income, and the losses may be significantly greater than if derivatives had not been used. The degree of a Fund’s use of derivatives may be limited by certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). When used, derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders. See “Taxes.”

 

Certain standardized swap transactions are currently subject to mandatory central clearing or may be eligible for voluntary central clearing. Central clearing is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterpart to each participant's swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. In addition depending on the size of a fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap.

 

During the term of an uncleared swap, a Fund is usually required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if the swap were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments. Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. In addition, under current law, a Fund may be required to post initial margin and/or variation margin with respect to certain uncleared swap transactions.

 

 

Futures, options on futures, and swap contracts that are listed or traded on a national securities exchange, commodities exchange, contract market or over-the-counter markets and that are freely transferable will be valued at their closing settlement price on the exchange on which they are primarily traded or based upon the current settlement price for a like instrument acquired on the day on which the instrument is being valued. A settlement price may not be used if the market makes a limit move with respect to a particular commodity. Over-the-counter futures, options on futures, and swap contracts for which market quotations are readily available will be valued based on quotes received from third party pricing services or one or more dealers that make markets in such securities. If quotes are not available from a third party pricing service or one or more dealers, quotes shall be determined based on the fair value of such instruments. In determining the fair value of such instruments the Funds may consider, among other factors, whether or not the particular instrument is intended to be cash-settled or physically-settled. With respect to instruments that do not cash settle, the Funds may typically use the full notional value of the contract as a guide while the positions are open. With respect to instruments that do cash settle, the Funds may typically use the marked-to-market net obligation under the applicable contract as a guide.

 

Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), as amended, exempts an adviser of a fund that invests in “commodity interests” from registration as a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) provided that, among other restrictions, the adviser enters into such positions solely for “bona fide hedging purposes” or limits its use of commodity interests for non-bona fide hedging purposes such that (i) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish non-bona fide hedging positions do not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the fund’s portfolio, or (ii) the aggregate “notional value” of the non-bona fide hedging commodity interests do not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the fund’s portfolio.

 

The Adviser is registered with the CFTC as a CPO. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser intend to comply with the requirements of the CEA by operating the Fund in a manner consistent with the restrictions of Rule 4.5, including filing a notice of eligibility of exemption from registration in accordance with applicable procedures, or alternatively operating the Fund in a manner such that the Fund’s activities are not subject to the CEA.

 

Currency Transactions

 

Each Fund may engage in currency transactions with counterparties to hedge the value of portfolio securities denominated in particular currencies against fluctuations in relative value, to gain or reduce exposure to certain currencies or to generate income or gains.

 

Currency transactions include currency forward contracts, exchange-listed currency futures contracts and options thereon, exchange-listed and OTC options on currencies and currency swaps. A forward currency contract involves a privately negotiated obligation to purchase or sell (with delivery generally required) a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. A currency swap is an agreement to exchange cash flows based on the notional difference among two or more currencies and operates similarly to an interest rate swap, which is described below under “Interest Rate and Equity Swaps and Related Transactions.”

 

Each Fund may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of that currency approximating the value of some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities denominated in such currency. For example, a Fund may do this if the Sub-Adviser believes that the currency of a particular country may decline in relation to the U.S. dollar. Forward contracts may limit potential gain from a positive change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies. Transaction hedging includes entering into a currency transaction with respect to specific assets or liabilities of the Fund, which will generally arise in connection with the purchase or sale of portfolio securities or the receipt of income from them. Position hedging is entering into a currency transaction with respect to portfolio securities positions denominated or generally quoted in that currency.

 

 

Each Fund may cross-hedge currencies by entering into transactions to purchase or sell one or more currencies that are expected to increase or decline in value relative to other currencies to which the Fund has or in which the Fund expects to have exposure. To reduce the effect of currency fluctuations on the value of existing or anticipated holdings of its securities, a Fund may also engage in proxy hedging. Proxy hedging is often used when the currency to which a Fund’s holdings is exposed is difficult to hedge generally or difficult to hedge against the dollar. Proxy hedging entails entering into a forward contract to sell a currency, the changes in the value of which are generally considered to be linked to a currency or currencies in which some or all of a Fund’s securities are or are expected to be denominated and to buy dollars.

 

If a Fund enters into a currency hedging transaction, the Fund will comply with the asset segregation requirements described below under “Use of Segregated and Other Special Accounts.”

 

Currency hedging involves some of the same risks and considerations as other derivative transactions. Currency transactions can result in losses to a Fund if the currency being hedged fluctuates in value to a degree or in a direction that is not anticipated. Further, the risk exists that the perceived linkage between various currencies may not be present or may not be present during the particular time that the Fund is engaging in these transactions. Currency transactions are also subject to risks different from those of other portfolio transactions. Because currency control is of great importance to the issuing governments and influences economic planning and policy, purchases and sales of currency and related instruments can be adversely affected by government exchange controls, limitations or restrictions on repatriation of currency and manipulations or exchange restrictions imposed by governments. These forms of governmental actions can result in losses to a Fund if it is unable to deliver or receive currency or monies in settlement of obligations and could also cause hedges it has entered into to be rendered useless, resulting in full currency exposure as well as incurring transaction costs. Buyers and sellers of currency futures contracts are subject to the same risks that apply to the use of futures contracts generally. Further, settlement of a currency futures contract for the purchase of most currencies must occur at a bank based in the issuing nation. Trading options on currency futures contracts is relatively new, and the ability to establish and close out positions on these options is subject to the maintenance of a liquid market that may not always be available. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate based on factors extrinsic to that country’s economy.

 

Futures Contracts

 

Generally, a futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified quantity of a financial instrument, foreign currency or the cash value of an index at a specified price and time. Certain of the Funds may enter into futures contracts and related options as permitted under CFTC rules. The Sub-Advisers expect that the Funds’ futures transactions will generally include transactions: (i) on domestic and foreign exchanges on currencies, interest rates and bond indices; and (ii) on domestic and, to the extent permitted by the CFTC, foreign exchanges on stock indices.

 

The Adviser is registered with the CFTC as a CPO. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser intend to comply with the requirements of the CEA by operating the Fund in a manner consistent with the restrictions of Rule 4.5, including filing a notice of eligibility of exemption from registration in accordance with applicable procedures, or alternatively operating the Fund in a manner such that the Fund’s activities are not subject to the CEA.

 

 

Futures contracts are generally bought and sold on the commodities exchanges on which they are listed with payment of initial and variation margin as described below. The sale of a futures contract creates a firm obligation by a Fund, as seller, to deliver to the buyer the specific type of financial instrument called for in the contract at a specific future time for a specified price (or, with respect to certain instruments, the net cash amount). A Fund may use futures contracts and related options for hedging purposes and for investment purposes. A Fund’s use of financial futures contracts and options thereon will in all cases be consistent with applicable regulatory requirements and in particular the rules and regulations of the CFTC. Maintaining a futures contract or selling an option on a futures contract will typically require the Fund to deposit with a financial intermediary, as security for its obligations, an amount of cash or other specified assets (“initial margin”) that initially is from 1% to 10% of the face amount of the contract (but may be higher in some circumstances). Additional cash or assets (“variation margin”) may be required to be deposited thereafter daily as the mark-to-market value of the futures contract fluctuates. The value of all futures contracts sold by a Fund (adjusted for the historical volatility relationship between the Fund and the contracts) will not exceed the total market value of the Fund’s securities. Each Fund will designate assets with respect to futures contracts and options thereon as described below under “Use of Segregated and Other Special Accounts.”

 

Interest Rate Futures Contracts

 

Each Fund may enter into interest rate futures contracts, for example, in order to protect it from fluctuations in interest rates without necessarily buying or selling fixed income securities. An interest rate futures contract is an agreement to take or make delivery of either: (i) an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of a particular debt security or index of debt securities at the beginning and at the end of the contract period; or (ii) a specified amount of a particular debt security at a future date at a price set at time of the contract. For example, if a Fund owns bonds, and interest rates are expected to increase, the Fund might sell futures contracts on debt securities having characteristics similar to those held in the portfolio. Such a sale would have much the same effect as selling an equivalent value of the bonds owned by the Fund. If interest rates did increase, the value of the debt securities in the portfolio would decline, but the value of the futures contracts to the Fund would increase at approximately the same rate, thereby keeping the net asset value of the Fund from declining as much as it otherwise would have. The Fund could accomplish similar results by selling bonds with longer maturities and investing in bonds with shorter maturities when interest rates are expected to increase. However, because the futures market may be more liquid than the cash market, the use of futures contracts as a risk management technique allows the Fund to take a position without having to sell its portfolio securities. Similarly, when the Sub-Adviser expects that interest rates may decline, a Fund may purchase interest rate futures contracts in an attempt to hedge against having to make subsequently anticipated purchases of bonds at the higher prices subsequently expected to prevail. Since the fluctuations in the value of appropriately selected futures contracts should be similar to that of the bonds that will be purchased, a Fund could take advantage of the anticipated rise in the cost of the bonds without actually buying them until the market had stabilized.

 

The use of options and futures transactions entails risks. In particular, the variable degree of correlation between price movements of futures contracts and price movements in the related portfolio position of a Fund could create the possibility that losses on the derivative will be greater than gains in the value of the Fund’s position. In addition, futures and options markets could be illiquid in some circumstances and certain OTC options could have no markets. A Fund might not be able to close out certain positions without incurring substantial losses. To the extent a Fund utilizes futures and options transactions for hedging, such transactions should tend to decrease the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged position and, at the same time, limit any potential gain to the Fund that might result from an increase in value of the position. There is also the risk of loss by a Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom the Fund has an open position in a futures contract or option thereon. Finally, the daily variation margin requirements for futures contracts create a greater ongoing potential financial risk than would purchases of options, in which case the exposure is limited to the cost of the initial premium and transaction costs.

 

 

Options

 

A put option gives the purchaser of the option, upon payment of a premium, the right to sell, and the writer of the option the obligation to buy (if the option is exercised), the underlying security, index, currency or other instrument at the exercise price. A Fund’s purchase of a put option on a security, for example, might be designed to protect its holdings in the underlying instrument (or, in some cases, a similar instrument) against a substantial decline in the market value of such instrument by giving the Fund the right to sell the instrument at the option exercise price. A call option, upon payment of a premium, gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy (if the option is exercised), and the seller the obligation to sell, the underlying instrument at the exercise price. A Fund’s purchase of a call option on a security, financial futures contract, index, currency or other instrument might be intended to protect the Fund against an increase in the price of the underlying instrument that it intends to purchase in the future by fixing the price at which it may purchase the instrument. An “American” style put or call option may be exercised at any time during the option period, whereas a “European” style put or call option may be exercised only upon expiration or during a fixed period prior to expiration. Exchange-listed options are issued by a regulated intermediary such as the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”), which guarantees the performance of the obligations of the parties to the options.

 

In order to hedge against adverse market shifts or to potentially increase income or gain, a Fund may purchase put and call options or write “covered” put and call options on futures contracts on stocks, stock indices, interest rates and currencies. In addition, a Fund may utilize options on currencies in order to hedge against currency exchange rate risks or to gain exposure to one or more currencies. A call option written by a Fund is “covered” so long as the Fund owns: (i) the underlying investment subject to the option; (ii) securities convertible or exchangeable without the payment of any consideration into the securities subject to the option; or (iii) a call option on the relevant security or currency with an exercise price no higher than the exercise price on the call option written. A put option written by a Fund is “covered” if the Fund either (a) designates on its or its custodian records liquid securities having a value at least equal to the exercise price of the underlying investment or (b) has certain offsetting puts. Parties to options transactions must make certain payments and/or set aside certain amounts of assets in connection with each transaction.

 

By writing a call, a Fund will generally limit its opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying investment above the exercise price of the option for as long as the Fund’s obligation as writer of the option continues. By writing a put, a Fund will generally limit its opportunity to profit from a decrease in the market value of the underlying investment below the exercise price of the option for as long as the Fund’s obligation as writer of the option continues. Upon the exercise of a put option written by a Fund, the Fund may suffer an economic loss equal to the difference between the price at which the Fund is required to purchase the underlying investment and its market value at the time of the option exercise, less the premium received for writing the option. Upon the exercise of a call option written by a Fund, the Fund may suffer an economic loss equal to an amount not less than the Fund’s acquisition cost of the investment underlying the option, less the sum of the premium received for writing the option and the exercise price paid to the Fund.

 

A Fund may choose to exercise the options it holds, permit them to expire or terminate them prior to their expiration by entering into closing transactions. A Fund may enter into a closing purchase transaction in which the Fund purchases an option having the same terms as the option it had written or a closing sale transaction in which the Fund sells an option having the same terms as the option it had purchased.

 

 

Exchange-listed options on securities and currencies, with certain exceptions, generally settle by physical delivery of the underlying security or currency, although in the future, cash settlement may become available. Frequently, rather than taking or making delivery of the underlying instrument through the process of exercising the option, listed options are closed by entering into offsetting purchase or sale transactions that do not result in ownership of the new option. Index options are cash settled for the net amount, if any, by which the option is “in-the-money” (that is, the amount by which the value of the underlying instrument exceeds, in the case of a call option, or is less than, in the case of a put option, the exercise price of the option) at the time the option is exercised.

 

OTC options are purchased from or sold to securities dealers, financial institutions or other parties (collectively referred to as “counterparties” and individually referred to as a “counterparty”) through a direct bilateral agreement with the counterparty. In contrast to exchange-listed options, which generally have standardized terms and performance mechanics, the terms of an OTC option, including such terms as method of settlement, term, exercise price, premium, guaranties and security, are determined by negotiation of the parties.

 

Unless the parties provide for it, no central clearing or guaranty function is involved in an OTC option. As a result, if a counterparty fails to make or take delivery of the security, currency or other instrument underlying an OTC option it has entered into with a Fund or fails to make a cash settlement payment due in accordance with the terms of that option, the Fund will lose any premium it paid for the option as well as any anticipated benefit of the transaction. Thus, the Sub-Adviser must assess the creditworthiness of each such counterparty or any guarantor or credit enhancement of the counterparty’s credit to determine the likelihood that the terms of the OTC option will be met.

 

If a Fund sells a call option, the premium that it receives may serve as a partial hedge, to the extent of the option premium, against a decrease in the value of the underlying securities or instruments held by the Fund or will increase the Fund’s income. Similarly, the sale of put options can also provide gains for a Fund. A Fund may purchase and sell call options on securities that are traded on U.S. and foreign securities exchanges and in the OTC markets, and on securities indices, currencies and futures contracts. All calls sold by a Fund must be “covered” (that is, the Fund must own the securities or futures contract subject to the call), or must otherwise meet the asset segregation requirements described below for so long as the call is outstanding. Even though the Fund will receive the option premium to help protect it against loss, use of options could result in losses to the Fund, force the purchase or sale of portfolio securities at inopportune times or for prices higher or lower than current market values, or cause the Fund to hold a security it might otherwise sell or sell a security it might otherwise hold.

 

A Fund’s ability to close out its position as a purchaser or seller of an OCC-issued or exchange-listed put or call option is dependent, in part, upon the liquidity of the particular option market. Among the possible reasons for the absence of a liquid option market on an exchange are: (i) insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions on transactions imposed by an exchange; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities, including reaching daily price limits; (iv) interruption of the normal operations of the OCC or an exchange; (v) inadequacy of the facilities of an exchange or the OCC to handle current trading volume; or (vi) a decision by one or more exchanges to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the relevant market for that option on that exchange would cease to exist, although any such outstanding options on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

 

 

The hours of trading for listed options may not coincide with the hours during which the underlying financial instruments are traded. To the extent that the option markets close before the markets for the underlying financial instruments, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that would not be reflected in the corresponding option markets.

 

Each of the Funds reserves the right to purchase or sell options on instruments and indices other than those described here and which may be developed in the future to the extent consistent with applicable law, the Fund’s investment objective and the restrictions set forth herein.

 

Options on Stocks and Stock Indices

 

Each Fund may purchase put and call options and write covered put and call options on stocks and stock indices in order to hedge against movements in the equity markets or to potentially increase income or gain to the Fund. In addition, the Funds may purchase options on stocks that are traded over-the-counter. Options on stock indices are similar to options on specific securities. However, because options on stock indices do not involve the delivery of an underlying security, the option represents the holder’s right to obtain from the writer cash in an amount equal to a fixed multiple of the amount by which the exercise price exceeds (in the case of a put) or is less than (in the case of a call) the closing value of the underlying stock index on the exercise date. Options are also traded in certain industry or market segment indices such as the Oil Index, the Computer Technology Index, and the Transportation Index. Stock index options are subject to position and exercise limits and other regulations imposed by the exchange on which they are traded.

 

If the Sub-Adviser expects general stock market prices to rise, a Fund might purchase a call option on a stock index or a futures contract on that index as a hedge against an increase in prices of particular equity securities it wants ultimately to buy. If the stock index does rise, the price of the particular equity securities intended to be purchased may also increase, but that increase should be offset in part by the increase in the value of the Fund’s index option or futures contract resulting from the increase in the index. If, on the other hand, the Sub-Adviser expects general stock market prices to decline, it might purchase a put option or sell a futures contract on the index. If that index does decline, the value of some or all of the equity securities in the Fund’s portfolio may also be expected to decline, but that decrease would be offset in part by the increase in the value of the Fund’s position in such put option or futures contract.

 

Options on Currencies

 

Each Fund may invest in options on currencies traded on domestic and foreign securities exchanges in order to hedge against currency exchange rate risks or to increase income or gain, as described above in “Currency Transactions.”

 

Options on Futures Contracts

 

Each Fund may purchase put and call options and write covered put and call options on futures contracts on stock indices, interest rates and currencies traded on domestic and, to the extent permitted by the CFTC, foreign exchanges, in order to hedge all or a portion of its investments or to increase income or gain and may enter into closing transactions in order to terminate existing positions. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be affected. An option on a stock index futures contract, interest rate futures contract or currency futures contract, as contrasted with the direct investment in such a contract, gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in the underlying contract at a specified exercise price at any time on or before the expiration date of the option. Upon exercise of an option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account. The potential loss related to the purchase of an option on a futures contract is limited to the premium paid for the option (plus transaction costs). While the price of the option is fixed at the point of sale, the value of the option does change daily and the change would be reflected in the net asset value of the Fund.

 

 

The purchase of an option on a financial futures contract involves payment of a premium for the option without any further obligation on the part of the Fund. If the Fund exercises an option on a futures contract it will be obligated to post initial margin (and potentially variation margin) for the resulting futures position just as it would for any futures position. Futures contracts and options thereon are generally settled by entering into an offsetting transaction, but no assurance can be given that a position can be offset prior to settlement or that delivery will occur.

 

Interest Rate and Equity Swaps and Related Transactions

 

Each Fund may enter into interest rate and equity swaps and may purchase or sell (i.e., write) interest rate and equity caps, floors and collars. Each Fund expects to enter into these transactions in order to hedge against either a decline in the value of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio, or against an increase in the price of the securities which it plans to purchase, in order to preserve or maintain a return or spread on a particular investment or portion of its portfolio or to achieve a particular return on cash balances, or in order to increase income or gain. Interest rate and equity swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to make or receive payments based on a notional principal amount. The purchase of an interest rate or equity cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined level, to receive payments on a contractually-based principal amount from the party selling the interest rate or equity cap. The purchase of an interest rate or equity floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined rate, to receive payments on a contractually-based principal amount from the party selling the interest rate or equity floor. A collar is a combination of a cap and a floor which preserve a certain return within a predetermined range of values.

 

Each Fund will usually enter into interest rate and equity swaps on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out), with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The net amount of the excess, if any, of a Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each interest rate or equity swap will generally be accrued on a daily basis, and an amount of liquid assets having an aggregate net asset value at least equal to the accrued excess will be designated to cover such liability. If a Fund enters into an interest rate or equity swap on other than a net basis, the Fund will designate the full amount accrued on a daily basis of the Fund’s obligations with respect to the swap.

 

The use of interest rate and equity swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If the Sub-Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates and other applicable factors, the investment performance of the Funds would diminish compared with what it would have been if these investment techniques were not utilized. Moreover, even if the Sub-Adviser is correct in its forecasts, there is a risk that the swap position may correlate imperfectly with the price of the asset or liability being hedged.

 

As is the case with futures and options strategies, the effective use of swaps and related transactions by a Fund may depend, among other things, on the Fund’s ability to terminate the transactions at times when the Sub-Adviser deems it desirable to do so. To the extent the Fund does not, or cannot, terminate such a transaction in a timely manner, the Fund may suffer a loss in excess of any amounts that it may have received, or expected to receive, as a result of entering into the transaction.

 

 

The liquidity of swap agreements will be determined by the Sub-Adviser based on various factors, including (i) the frequency of trades and quotations, (ii) the number of dealers and prospective purchasers in the marketplace, (iii) dealer undertakings to make a market, (iv) the nature of the security (including any demand or tender features), and (v) the nature of the marketplace for trades (including the ability to assign or offset the a Fund’s rights and obligations relating to the investment).

 

There is no limit on the amount of interest rate and equity swap transactions that may be entered into by a Fund. The effective use of swaps and related transactions by a Fund may depend, among other things, on the Fund’s ability to terminate the transactions at times when the Sub-Adviser deems it desirable to do so. Because swaps and related transactions are bilateral contractual arrangements between the Fund and counterparties to the transactions, the Fund’s ability to terminate such an arrangement may be considerably more limited than in the case of an exchange traded instrument. To the extent a Fund does not, or cannot, terminate such a transaction in a timely manner, the Fund may suffer a loss in excess of any amounts that it may have received, or expected to receive, as a result of entering into the transaction. If the other party to a swap defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss is the net amount of payments that the Fund contractually is entitled to receive, if any. A Fund may purchase and sell caps, floors and collars without limitation, subject to the segregated account requirement described above.

 

Credit Default Swaps

 

Each Fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for hedging purposes or to add leverage to its portfolio. When used for hedging purposes, a Fund would be the buyer of a credit default swap contract. In that case, the Fund would be entitled to receive the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation, index or other investment from the counterparty to the contract in the event of a default by a third party, such as a U.S. or foreign issuer, on the referenced debt obligation. In return, the Fund would pay to the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the Fund would have spent the stream of payments and received no benefit from the contract. When a Fund is the seller of a credit default swap contract, it receives the stream of payments but is obligated to pay upon default of the referenced debt obligation. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.

 

In addition to the risks applicable to derivatives generally, credit default swaps involve special risks because they are difficult to value, are highly susceptible to liquidity and credit risk, and generally pay a return to the party that has paid the premium only in the event of an actual default by the issuer of the underlying obligation, as opposed to a credit downgrade or other indication of financial difficulty.

 

Credit default swaps may be subject to regulation by the CFTC, SEC or both. Both the CFTC and the SEC have issued guidance and relief regarding the implementation of various provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) relating to the use of swaps. Further action by the CFTC or SEC may affect a Fund’s ability to use credit default swaps or may require additional disclosure by a Fund.

 

Indexed Securities

 

Each Fund may purchase securities whose prices are indexed to the prices of other securities, securities indices, currencies, or other financial indicators. Indexed securities typically, but not always, are debt securities or deposits whose value at maturity or coupon rate is determined by reference to a specific instrument or statistic. Currency-indexed securities typically are short-term to intermediate-term debt securities whose maturity values or interest rates are determined by reference to the values of one or more specified foreign currencies, and may offer higher yields than U.S. dollar-denominated securities of equivalent issuers. Currency-indexed securities may be positively or negatively indexed; that is, their maturity value may increase when the specified currency value increases, resulting in a security that performs similarly to a foreign currency-denominated instrument, or their maturity value may decline when foreign currencies increase, resulting in a security whose price characteristics are similar to a put on the underlying currency. Currency-indexed securities may also have prices that depend on the values of a number of different foreign currencies relative to each other.

 

 

Because the amount of interest and/or principal payments which the issuer of indexed debt securities is obligated to make is linked to the prices of other securities, securities indices, currencies, or other financial indicators, such payments may be significantly greater or less than payment obligations in respect of other types of debt securities. As a result, an investment in indexed debt securities may be considered speculative. Moreover, the performance of indexed securities depends to a great extent on the performance of and may be more volatile than the security, currency, or other instrument to which they are indexed, and may also be influenced by interest rate changes in the United States and abroad. At the same time, indexed securities are subject to the credit risks associated with the issuer of the security, and their values may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates.

 

Losses resulting from the use of derivatives will reduce a Fund’s net asset value, and possibly income, and the losses can be greater than if derivatives had not been used.

 

Combined Transactions

 

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

 

Use of Segregated and Other Special Accounts

 

Use of many derivatives by a Fund will require, among other things, that the Fund designate liquid assets to cover its obligations under the derivative to the extent the Fund’s obligations are not otherwise “covered” through ownership of the underlying security, financial instrument or currency or otherwise. In general, either the full amount of any obligation by the Fund to pay or deliver securities or assets must be covered at all times by the securities, instruments or currency required to be delivered, or, subject to any regulatory restrictions, an amount of liquid assets at least equal to the current amount of the obligation must be designated. A call option on securities written by a Fund, for example, will require the Fund to hold the securities subject to the call (or securities convertible into the needed securities without additional consideration) or to designate liquid securities sufficient to purchase and deliver the securities if the call is exercised. A call option sold by a Fund on an index will require the Fund to own portfolio securities that correlate with the index or to segregate liquid securities equal to the excess of the index value over the exercise price on a current basis. A put option on securities written by a Fund will require the Fund to designate liquid securities equal to the exercise price.

 

 

The options entered into by a Fund, including those on securities, currency, financial instruments or indices, and OCC-issued and exchange-listed index options may provide for cash settlement or for physical delivery. In the case of derivative contracts that do not cash settle, for example, the Funds will typically set aside liquid assets equal to the full notional value of the derivative contracts while the positions are open. With respect to derivative contracts that do cash settle, however, the Funds may set aside liquid assets in an amount equal to a Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the derivative contracts, if any, rather than their full notional value. In addition, a Fund may enter into contractual arrangements with a futures commission merchant or other counterparty pursuant to which such counterparty undertakes to effect the timely liquidation of a physically-settled transaction prior to the date on which a physical-settlement obligation would arise, or assume, in certain circumstances, the Fund’s delivery, acceptance, and/or other obligations with respect to physically-settled transactions. The effect of such contractual arrangements is to seek to prevent the Fund from being required to physically deliver or take delivery of an underlying commodity. In such circumstances, the Fund may set aside liquid assets equal to the daily marked-to-market net obligations.

 

Regulatory developments may affect the Funds’ ability to adhere to the abovementioned practices. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future to, among other things, comply with any changes in the positions from time to time articulated by the SEC or its staff regarding asset segregation. By setting aside assets equal to only its net obligations under cash-settled derivative contracts and certain physically-settled derivative contracts as described above, the Funds will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Funds were required to segregate assets equal to the full notional amount of the derivative contracts.

 

Derivatives may be covered by means other than those described above when consistent with applicable regulatory policies. Each Fund may also enter into offsetting transactions so that its combined position, coupled with any segregated assets, equals its net outstanding obligation in related derivatives. The Fund could purchase a put option, for example, if the strike price of that option is the same as or higher than the strike price of a put option sold by the Fund. Moreover, instead of designating assets if it holds a futures contract or forward contract, the Fund could purchase a put option on the same futures contract or forward contract with a strike price as high as or higher than the price of the contract held. Other derivatives may also be offset in combinations. If the offsetting transaction terminates at the time of or after the primary transaction, no segregation is required, but if it terminates prior to that time, assets equal to any remaining obligation would need to be segregated.

 

Risks of Derivatives Outside the United States

 

When conducted outside the United States, derivatives may not be regulated as rigorously as in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and will be subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities, currencies and other instruments. In addition, the price of any foreign futures or foreign options contract and, therefore, the potential profit and loss thereon, may be affected by any variance in the foreign exchange rate between the time an order is placed and the time it is liquidated, offset or exercised. The value of positions taken as part of non-U.S. derivatives also could be adversely affected by: (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors; (ii) lesser availability of data on which to make trading decisions than in the United States; (iii) delays in a Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during nonbusiness 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) lower trading volume and liquidity.

 

Short Sales

 

Each Fund may make short sales of securities consistent with its strategies. A short sale is a transaction in which a Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline.

 

 

When a Fund makes a short sale, it must borrow the security sold short and deliver it to the broker-dealer through which it made the short sale as collateral for its obligation to deliver the security upon conclusion of the sale. The Fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and is often obligated to pay over any accrued interest and dividends on such borrowed securities.

 

If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time that a Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss increased, by the transaction costs described above. The successful use of short selling may be adversely affected by imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the security sold short and the securities being hedged.

 

To the extent that a Fund engages in short sales, it will provide collateral to the broker-dealer and (except in the case of short sales “against the box”) will maintain additional asset coverage in the form of segregated or “earmarked” assets that the Sub-Adviser determines to be liquid in accordance with procedures established by the Board and that is equal to the current market value of the securities sold short, or will ensure that such positions are covered by “offsetting” positions, until the Fund replaces the borrowed security. A short sale is “against the box” to the extent that the Fund contemporaneously owns, or has the right to obtain at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. Each Fund may engage in short selling to the extent permitted by the federal securities laws and rules and interpretations thereunder. To the extent a Fund engages in short selling in foreign (non-U.S.) jurisdictions, the Fund will do so to the extent permitted by the laws and regulations of such jurisdiction.

 

Non-U.S. Securities

 

Investors should recognize that investing in the securities of non-U.S. issuers generally, and particularly in emerging market issuers, involves special considerations which are not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Investments in securities of non-U.S. issuers may involve risks arising from differences between U.S. and non-U.S. securities markets, including less volume, much greater price volatility in and relative illiquidity of non-U.S. securities markets, different trading and settlement practices, and less governmental supervision and regulation, from changes in currency exchange rates, from high and volatile rates of inflation, from economic, social and political conditions and, as with domestic multinational corporations, from fluctuating interest rates.

 

Since most non-U.S. securities are denominated in non-U.S. currencies or traded primarily in securities markets in which settlements are made in non-U.S. currencies, the value of these investments and the net investment income available for distribution to shareholders of the Funds may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates or exchange control regulations. Because a Fund may purchase securities denominated in non-U.S. 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. A Fund’s foreign currency transactions may give rise to ordinary income or loss, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency.

 

In addition, although a 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 a Fund incurs expenses or other obligations in 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.

 

 

Certain markets are in only the earliest stages of development. There is also a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of investors and financial intermediaries. Many of such markets also may be affected by developments with respect to more established markets in the region. Brokers in non-U.S. and emerging market countries typically are fewer in number and less capitalized than brokers in the United States. These factors, combined with the U.S. regulatory requirements for open-end investment companies and the restrictions on foreign investment, result in potentially fewer investment opportunities for a Fund and may have an adverse impact on the investment performance of the Fund. There generally is less governmental supervision and regulation of exchanges, brokers and issuers in non-U.S. countries than there is in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain non-U.S. laws to insider trading and similar investor protection securities laws that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Further, brokerage commissions and other transaction costs on non-U.S. securities exchanges generally are higher than in the United States. With respect to investments in certain emerging market countries, less comprehensive legal systems may have an adverse impact on a Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder in a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of shareholders of U.S. corporations.

 

Other investment risks include the possible imposition of foreign withholding taxes on certain amounts of a Fund’s income which may reduce the net return on non-U.S. investments as compared to income received from a U.S. issuer, the possible seizure or nationalization of foreign assets and the possible establishment of exchange controls, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, other foreign governmental laws or restrictions which might affect adversely payments due on securities held by the Fund, the lack of extensive operating experience of eligible foreign sub-custodians, and legal limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the sub-custodian’s bankruptcy.

 

In addition, there may be less publicly-available information about a non-U.S. issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and non-U.S. issuers may not be subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial record-keeping standards and requirements as U.S. issuers. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of an emerging market country issuer may not reflect its financial position or results of operations in the way they would be reflected had the financial statements been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, for an issuer that keeps accounting records in local currency, inflation accounting rules may require, for both tax and accounting purposes, that certain assets and liabilities be restated on the issuer’s balance sheet in order to express items in terms of currency of constant purchasing power. Inflation accounting may indirectly generate losses or profits. Consequently, financial data may be materially affected by restatements for inflation and may not accurately reflect the real condition of those issuers and securities markets. Finally, in the event of a default of any such foreign obligations, it may be more difficult for a Fund to obtain or enforce a judgment against the issuers of such obligations. The manner in which foreign investors may invest in companies in certain emerging market countries, as well as limitations on such investments, also may have an adverse impact on the operations of a Fund. For example, the Fund may be required in certain of such countries to invest initially through a local broker or other entity and then have the shares purchased re-registered in the name of the Fund. Re-registration may in some instances not be able to occur on a timely basis, resulting in a delay during which the Fund may be denied certain of its rights as an investor.

 

 

Non-U.S. markets have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have failed to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Further, satisfactory custodial services for investment securities may not be available in some countries having smaller emerging markets, which may result in a Fund incurring additional costs and delays in transporting and custodying such securities outside such countries. Delays in settlement or other problems could result in periods when assets of the Fund are uninvested and no return is earned thereon. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems or the risk of intermediary counterparty failures could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. The inability to dispose of a portfolio security due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in the value of such portfolio security or, if a Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability to the purchaser.

 

Securities Related Activities

 

In some countries, banks or other financial institutions may constitute a substantial number of the leading companies or companies with the most actively traded securities. The 1940 Act limits a Fund’s ability to invest in any equity security of an issuer which, in its most recent fiscal year, derived more than 15% of its revenues from “securities related activities,” as defined by the rules thereunder. These provisions may also restrict a Fund’s investments in certain non-U.S. banks and other financial institutions.

 

Non-U.S. Sub-custodians

 

Rules adopted under the 1940 Act permit each Fund to maintain its non-U.S. securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories.

 

Certain banks in non-U.S. countries may not be eligible sub-custodians for a Fund, in which event the Fund may be precluded from purchasing securities in certain non-U.S. countries in which it otherwise would invest or which may result in the Fund’s incurring additional costs and delays in providing transportation and custody services for such securities outside of such countries. A Fund may encounter difficulties in effecting on a timely basis portfolio transactions with respect to any securities of issuers held outside their countries. Other banks that are eligible non-U.S. sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of a Fund to recover assets held in custody by non-U.S. sub-custodians in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian.

 

Credit Ratings

 

The securities in which a Fund may invest will not be required to meet a minimum rating standard and may not be rated for creditworthiness by any internationally recognized credit rating organization. Such securities, commonly referred to as “junk bonds,” involve significantly greater risks, including price volatility and risk of default of payment of interest and principal than higher rated securities. An investment in either Fund should not be considered as a complete investment program for all investors. Moreover, substantial investments in non-U.S. securities may have adverse tax implications as described under “TAXES.”

 

The Sub-Adviser will take various factors into consideration in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issuer. For corporate debt securities, such factors typically include the issuer’s financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, the operating history of the issuer, and the experience and track record of the issuer’s management. For sovereign debt instruments, these will typically include the economic and political conditions within the issuer’s country, the issuer’s overall and external debt levels and debt service ratios, the issuer’s access to capital markets and other sources of funding, and the issuer’s debt service payment history. The Sub-Adviser will also review the ratings, if any, assigned to the security by any recognized rating organizations, although the Sub-Adviser’s judgment as to the quality of a debt security may differ from that suggested by the rating published by a rating service. In addition to the foregoing credit analysis, the Sub-Adviser will evaluate the relative value of an investment compared with its perceived credit risk. A Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective may be more dependent on the Sub-Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case if it invested in higher quality debt securities. A description of the ratings used by Moody’s and S&P is set forth in Appendix A.

 

 

Emerging Market Countries

 

Certain of the risks associated with international investments and investing in smaller capital markets are heightened for investments in emerging market countries. For example, some of the currencies of emerging market countries have experienced devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar, and major adjustments have been made periodically in certain of such currencies. Certain of such countries face serious exchange constraints. In addition, governments of many emerging market countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. In certain cases, the government owns or controls many companies, including the largest in the country. Accordingly, government actions in the future could have a significant effect on economic conditions in developing countries which could affect private sector companies and a Fund, as well as the value of securities in the Fund.

 

Investment in certain emerging market securities is restricted or controlled to varying degrees which may at times limit or preclude investment in certain emerging market securities and increase the costs and expenses of a Fund’s portfolio. Certain emerging market countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons, limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular issuer, limit the investment by foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than other classes, restrict investment opportunities in issuers in industries deemed important to national interests and/or impose additional taxes on foreign investors. Certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval for the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors which could adversely affect a Fund. In addition, if deterioration occurs in an emerging market country’s balance of payments, it could impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Investing in local markets in emerging market countries may require a portfolio to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to a Fund.

 

Fixed Income Securities

 

Each Fund may invest in fixed income securities. Fixed income securities generally pay a specified rate of interest or dividends, or a rate that is adjusted periodically by reference to some specified index or market rate or other factor. Fixed income securities may include securities issued by U.S. federal, state, local, and non-U.S. governments and other agencies and instrumentalities, and by a wide range of private or corporate issuers. Fixed income securities include, among others, bonds, notes, bills, debentures, convertible securities, bank obligations, mortgage and other asset-backed securities, loan participations and assignments and commercial paper.

 

Because interest rates vary, it is impossible to predict the income of the Fund for any particular period. Except to the extent that values are affected independently by other factors such as developments relating to a specific issuer or group of issuers, when interest rates decline, the value of a fixed-income portfolio can generally be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a fixed-income portfolio can generally be expected to decline. Prices of longer term securities generally increase or decrease more sharply than those of shorter term securities in response to interest rate changes, particularly if such securities were purchased at a discount. It should be noted that the market values of securities rated below investment grade and comparable unrated securities tend to react less to fluctuations in interest rate levels than do those of higher-rated securities.

 

 

Certificates of Deposit and Bankers' Acceptances

 

The Fund may invest in certificates of deposit and bankers' acceptances, which are considered to be short-term money market instruments.

 

Certificates of deposit are receipts issued by a depository institution in exchange for the deposit of funds. The issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the receipt on the date specified on the certificate. The certificate usually can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Bankers' acceptances typically arise from short-term credit arrangements designed to enable businesses to obtain funds to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then "accepted" by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an earning asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of discount for a specific maturity. Although maturities for acceptances can be as long as 270 days, most acceptances have maturities of six months or less.

 

Commercial Paper

 

The Fund may purchase commercial paper. Commercial paper consists of short-term (usually from 1 to 270 days) unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations in order to finance their current operations. It may secured by letters of credit, a surety bond or other forms of collateral. Commercial paper is usually repaid at maturity by the issuer from the proceeds of the issuance of new commercial paper. As a result, investment in commercial paper is subject to the risk the issuer cannot issue enough new commercial paper to satisfy its outstanding commercial paper, also known as rollover risk. Commercial paper may become illiquid or may suffer from reduced liquidity in certain circumstances. Like all fixed income securities, commercial paper prices are susceptible to fluctuations in interest rates. If interest rates rise, commercial paper prices will decline. The short-term nature of a commercial paper investment makes it less susceptible to interest rate risk than many other fixed income securities because interest rate risk typically increases as maturity lengths increase. Commercial paper tends to yield smaller returns than longer-term corporate debt because securities with shorter maturities typically have lower effective yields than those with longer maturities. As with all fixed income securities, there is a chance that the issuer will default on its commercial paper obligation.

 

Time Deposits and Variable Rate Notes

 

The Fund may invest in fixed time deposits, whether or not subject to withdrawal penalties. The commercial paper obligations, which the Fund may buy are unsecured and may include variable rate notes. The nature and terms of a variable rate note (i.e., a "Master Note") permit the Fund to invest fluctuating amounts at varying rates of interest pursuant to a direct arrangement between the Fund as Lender, and the issuer, as borrower. It permits daily changes in the amounts borrowed. The Fund has the right at any time to increase, up to the full amount stated in the note agreement, or to decrease the amount outstanding under the note. The issuer may prepay at any time and without penalty any part of or the full amount of the note. The note may or may not be backed by one or more bank letters of credit. Because these notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and the issuer, it is not generally contemplated that they will be traded; moreover, there is currently no secondary market for them. Except as specifically provided in the Prospectus, there is no limitation on the type of issuer from whom these notes may be purchased; however, in connection with such purchase and on an ongoing basis, a Sub-Adviser will consider the earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios of the issuer, and its ability to pay principal and interest on demand, including a situation in which all holders of such notes made demand simultaneously. Variable rate notes are subject to the Fund's investment restriction on illiquid securities unless such notes can be put back to the issuer on demand within seven days.

 

 

Insured Bank Obligations

 

The Fund may invest in insured bank obligations. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") insures the deposits of federally insured banks and savings and loan associations (collectively referred to as "banks") up to $250,000. The Fund may purchase bank obligations that are fully insured as to principal by the FDIC. Currently, to remain fully insured as to principal, these investments must be limited to $250,000 per bank; if the principal amount and accrued interest together exceed $250,000, the excess principal and accrued interest will not be insured. Insured bank obligations may have limited marketability.

 

Call or Buy-Back Features

 

In addition, many fixed-income securities contain call or buy-back features that permit their issuers to call or repurchase the securities from their holders. Such securities may present risks based on payment expectations. Although a Fund may typically receive a premium if an issuer were to redeem a security, if an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security during a time of declining interest rates, the Fund may realize a capital loss on its investment if the security was purchased at a premium and the Fund may have to replace the called security with a lower yielding security, resulting in a decreased rate of return to the Fund.

 

Mortgage-Related And Other Asset Backed Securities

 

Mortgage-related securities are interests in pools of residential or commercial mortgage loans, including mortgage loans made by savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, commercial banks and others. Pools of mortgage loans are assembled as securities for sale to investors by various governmental, government-related and private organizations. Each Fund may also invest in debt securities which are secured with collateral consisting of mortgage-related securities.

 

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities

 

Interests in pools of mortgage-related securities differ from other forms of debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or specified call dates. Instead, these securities provide a monthly payment which consists of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their residential or commercial mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Additional payments are caused by repayments of principal resulting from the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, net of fees or costs which may be incurred. Some mortgage-related securities (such as securities issued by GNMA) are described as “modified pass-through.” These securities entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, at the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether or not the mortgagor actually makes the payment.

 

The rate of pre-payments on underlying mortgages will affect the price and volatility of a mortgage-related security, and may have the effect of shortening or extending the effective duration of the security relative to what was anticipated at the time of purchase. To the extent that unanticipated rates of pre-payment on underlying mortgages increase in the effective duration of a mortgage-related security, the volatility of such security can be expected to increase.

 

 

The principal governmental guarantor of mortgage-related securities is GNMA. GNMA is a wholly owned United States Government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. GNMA is authorized to guarantee, with the full faith and credit of the United States Government, the timely payment of principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by GNMA (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers) and backed by pools of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (the “FHA”), or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”).

 

Government-related guarantors (i.e., not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government) include FNMA and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”). FNMA is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders. It is subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. FNMA purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. Pass-through securities issued by FNMA are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. FHLMC was created by Congress in 1970 for the purpose of increasing the availability of mortgage credit for residential housing. It is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks and now owned entirely by private stockholders. FHLMC issues Participation Certificates (“PCs”) which are pass-through securities, each representing an undivided interest in a pool of residential mortgages. FHLMC guarantees the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal, but PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. FNMA and FHLMC have both recently faced scrutiny regarding their accounting practices and policies.

 

Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may be the originators and/or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities. Pools created by such non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit, which may be issued by governmental entities or private insurers. Such insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of the issuers thereof will be considered in determining whether a mortgage-related security meets a Fund’s investment quality standards. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or guarantors can meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements. A Fund may buy mortgage-related securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the originator/servicers and poolers, the Fund determines that the securities meet the Fund’s quality standards. Although the market for such securities is becoming increasingly liquid, securities issued by certain private organizations may not be readily marketable.

 

Mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to a Fund’s industry concentration restrictions, set forth below under “Investment Restrictions,” by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to all U.S. Government securities. In the case of privately issued mortgage-related securities, a Fund takes the position that mortgage-related securities do not represent interests in any particular “industry” or group of industries. The assets underlying such securities may be represented by a portfolio of first lien residential mortgages (including both whole mortgage loans and mortgage participation interests) or portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities issued or guaranteed by GNMA, FNMA or FHLMC. Mortgage loans underlying a mortgage-related security may in turn be insured or guaranteed by the FHA or the VA. In the case of private issue mortgage-related securities whose underlying assets are neither U.S. Government securities nor U.S. Government-insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, the security may be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of residential homeowners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages.

 

 

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)

A CMO is a debt obligation of a legal entity that is collateralized by mortgages and divided into classes. Similar to a bond, interest and prepaid principal is paid, in most cases, on a monthly basis. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans or private mortgage bonds, but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by GNMA, FHLMC or FNMA, and their income streams.

 

CMOs are structured into multiple classes, often referred to as “tranches,” with each class bearing a different stated maturity and entitled to a different schedule for payments of principal and interest, including pre-payments. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the pre-payment experience of the collateral. In the case of certain CMOs (known as “sequential pay” CMOs), payments of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including pre-payments, are applied to the classes of CMOs in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.

 

In a typical CMO transaction, a corporation (“issuer”) issues multiple series (e.g., A, B, C, Z) of CMO bonds (“Bonds”). Proceeds of the Bond offering are used to purchase mortgages or mortgage pass-through certificates (“Collateral”). The Collateral is pledged to a third party trustee as security for the Bonds. Principal and interest payments from the Collateral are used to pay principal on the Bonds in the order A, B, C, Z. The Series A, B and C Bonds all bear current interest. Interest on the Series Z Bond is accrued and added to principal and a like amount is paid as principal on the Series A, B or C Bond currently being paid off. When the Series A, B, and C Bonds are paid in full, interest and principal on the Series Z Bond begins to be paid currently. CMOs may be less liquid and may exhibit greater price volatility than other types of mortgage- or asset-backed securities.

 

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities include securities that reflect an interest in, and are secured by, mortgage loans on commercial real property. The market for commercial mortgage-backed securities developed more recently and in terms of total outstanding principal amount of issues is relatively small compared to the market for residential single-family mortgage-backed securities. Many of the risks of investing in commercial mortgage-backed securities reflect the risks of investing in the real estate securing the underlying mortgage loans. These risks reflect the effects of local and other economic conditions on real estate markets, the ability of tenants to make loan payments, and the ability of a property to attract and retain tenants. Commercial mortgage-backed securities may be less liquid and exhibit greater price volatility than other types of mortgage- or asset-backed securities.

 

Other Mortgage-Related Securities

Other mortgage-related securities include securities other than those described above that directly or indirectly represent a participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans on real property, including mortgage dollar rolls, CMO residuals or stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”). Other mortgage-related securities may be equity or debt securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, homebuilders, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks, partnerships, trusts and special purpose entities of the foregoing.

 

 

CMO Residuals

 

CMO residuals are mortgage securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, homebuilders, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose entities of the foregoing.

 

The cash flow generated by the mortgage assets underlying a series of CMOs is applied first to make required payments of principal and interest on the CMOs and second to pay the related administrative expenses and any management fee of the issuer. The residual in a CMO structure generally represents the interest in any excess cash flow remaining after making the foregoing payments. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the coupon rate of each class of CMO, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the pre-payment experience on the mortgage assets. In particular, the yield to maturity on CMO residuals is extremely sensitive to pre-payments on the related underlying mortgage assets, in the same manner as an interest only (“IO”) class of stripped mortgage-backed securities. In addition, if a series of a CMO includes a class that bears interest at an adjustable rate, the yield to maturity on the related CMO residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. As described below with respect to stripped mortgage-backed securities, in certain circumstances the Fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in a CMO residual.

 

CMO residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. The CMO residual market has only very recently developed and CMO residuals currently may not have the liquidity of other more established securities trading in other markets. Transactions in CMO residuals are generally completed only after careful review of the characteristics of the securities in question. In addition, CMO residuals may, or pursuant to an exemption therefrom, may not have been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). CMO residuals, whether or not registered under the 1933 Act, may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, and may be deemed “illiquid” and subject to a Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities.

 

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Backed Securities

 

Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities (“ARMBSs”) have interest rates that reset at periodic intervals. Acquiring ARMBSs permits a Fund to participate in increases in prevailing current interest rates through periodic adjustments in the coupons of mortgages underlying the pool on which ARMBSs are based. Such ARMBSs generally have higher current yield and lower price fluctuations than is the case with more traditional fixed income debt securities of comparable rating and maturity. In addition, when prepayments of principal are made on the underlying mortgages during periods of rising interest rates, a Fund can reinvest the proceeds of such prepayments at rates higher than those at which they were previously invested. Mortgages underlying most ARMBSs, however, have limits on the allowable annual or lifetime increases that can be made in the interest rate that the mortgagor pays. Therefore, if current interest rates rise above such limits over the period of the limitation, the Fund, when holding an ARMBS, does not benefit from further increases in interest rates. Moreover, when interest rates are in excess of coupon rates (i.e., the rates being paid by mortgagors) of the mortgages, ARMBSs behave more like fixed income securities and less like adjustable rate securities and are subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. In addition, during periods of rising interest rates, increases in the coupon rate of adjustable rate mortgages generally lag current market interest rates slightly, thereby creating the potential for capital depreciation on such securities.

 

 

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities

 

SMBS are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. SMBS may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose entities of the foregoing.

 

SMBS are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). The yield to maturity on an IO class is extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including pre-payments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on a Fund’s yield to maturity from these securities. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated pre-payments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup some or all of its initial investment in these securities even if the security is in one of the highest rating categories.

 

Although SMBS are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, these securities were only recently developed. As a result, established trading markets have not yet developed and, accordingly, these securities may be deemed “illiquid” and subject to a Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities.

 

Collateralized Debt Obligations

 

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

 

For both CBOs and CLOs, the cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO trust or CLO trust typically have higher ratings and lower yields than their underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class.

 

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

 

 

Mortgage “Dollar Roll” Transactions

 

Each Fund may enter into mortgage “dollar roll” transactions with selected banks and broker-dealers. In a dollar roll, a Fund sells mortgage-backed securities and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) securities on a specified future day. A Fund will only enter into covered rolls. A “covered roll” is a specific type of dollar roll for which there is an offsetting cash or cash equivalent security position which matures on or before the forward settlement date of the dollar roll transaction. Covered rolls are not treated as a borrowing or other senior security and will be excluded from the calculation of the Fund’s borrowings and other senior securities. For financial reporting and U.S. federal income tax purposes, each Fund expects to treat mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions: one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. None of the Funds currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar roll transactions that are accounted for as financing.

 

Consistent with each Fund’s investment objectives and policies, the Fund also may invest in other types of asset-backed securities.

 

Bank Obligations

 

Bank obligations that may be purchased by each Fund include certificates of deposit, banker’s acceptances and fixed time deposits. A certificate of deposit is a short-term negotiable certificate issued by a commercial bank against funds deposited in the bank and is either interest-bearing or purchased on a discount basis. A banker’s acceptance is a short-term draft drawn on a commercial bank by a borrower, usually in connection with an international commercial transaction. The borrower is liable for payment, as is the bank, which unconditionally guarantees to pay the draft at its face amount on the maturity date. Fixed time deposits are obligations of branches of U.S. or non-U.S. banks which are payable at a stated maturity date and bear a fixed rate of interest. Although fixed time deposits do not have a market, there are no contractual restrictions on the right to transfer a beneficial interest in the deposit to a third party. Bank obligations may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulation. Securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. banks and non-U.S. branches of U.S. banks are subject to many of the risks of investing in non-U.S. securities generally.

 

Banks are subject to extensive governmental regulations which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments which may be made and interest rates and fees which may be charged. The profitability of this industry is to a significant extent dependent upon the availability and cost of capital of funds used by the bank to finance its lending operations. Also, general economic conditions play an important part in the operations of this industry and exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers might affect a bank’s ability to meet its obligations.

 

 

Initial Public Offerings

 

Certain Funds may purchase shares in initial public offerings (“IPO”). Because IPO shares frequently are volatile in price, such a Fund may hold IPO shares for a very short period of time. This may increase the turnover of the Fund’s portfolio and may lead to increased expenses to the Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs. By selling shares, the Fund may realize taxable capital gains that it will subsequently distribute to shareholders. Investing in IPOs has added risks because their shares are frequently volatile in price. As a result, their performance can be more volatile and they face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of a Fund’s portfolio.

 

Convertible Securities

 

Each Fund may invest in convertible securities, which are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stock or other securities, which may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income, which generate higher yields than those of common stocks of the same or similar issuers but lower than the yield on non-convertible debt. Convertible securities are usually subordinate or are comparable to non-convertible securities but rank senior to common stock or shares in a company’s capital structure. The value of a convertible security is a function of (i) its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege and (ii) its worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock. Convertible securities are typically issued by smaller capitalized companies whose stock prices may be volatile. The price of a convertible security often reflects such variations in the price of the underlying common stock in a way that non-convertible debt does not. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument.

 

High Yield Securities

 

Each Fund may invest in high yield securities. High yield securities are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligations. Under rating agency guidelines, any quality and protective characteristics of high yield securities will likely be outweighed by large uncertainties or major risk exposures to adverse conditions. Medium and lower rated securities may have poor prospects of ever attaining any real investment standing, may have a current identifiable vulnerability to default, may be unlikely to have the capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due in the event of adverse business, financial or economic conditions, and/or may be in default or not current in the payment of interest or principal. A Fund’s achievements of its objective may be more dependent on the Sub-Adviser’s own credit analysis than is the case with funds that invest in higher rated fixed income securities.

 

Changes in Credit Ratings. Changes by recognized rating services in their ratings of a high yield security and in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal may also affect the value of these investments. A description of the ratings used by Moody’s and S&P is set forth in Appendix A to this SAI. The ratings of Moody’s and S&P generally represent the opinions of those organizations as to the quality of the securities that they rate. Such ratings, however, are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality, are subject to change and do not evaluate the market risk or liquidity of the securities. Ratings of a non-U.S. debt instrument, to the extent that those ratings are undertaken, are related to evaluations of the country in which the issuer of the instrument is located, which may cause a rating to be lower than would otherwise by suggested by the intrinsic creditworthiness of the issuer.

 

 

Liquidity. The secondary markets for high yield securities are not as liquid as the secondary markets for higher rated securities. The secondary markets for high yield securities are concentrated in relatively few market makers and participants in the market are mostly institutional investors, including insurance companies, banks, other financial institutions and mutual funds. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that for higher-rated securities and the secondary markets could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer, decreasing the liquidity of the high yield securities held in a Fund’s portfolio. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of a Fund holding such securities to dispose of particular portfolio investments at the price it would wish, may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value per share and may limit the ability of such Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing securities and calculating net asset value.

 

Legislative and Regulatory Developments. Prices for high yield securities may be affected by legislative and regulatory developments. These laws could adversely affect a Fund’s net asset value and investment practices, the secondary market for high yield securities, the financial condition of issuers of these securities and the value of outstanding high yield securities. For example, federal legislation requiring the divestiture by federally insured savings and loan associations of their investments in high yield bonds and limiting the deductibility of interest by certain corporate issuers of high yield bonds adversely affected the market in prior years.

 

High Yield Corporate Securities. While the market values of securities rated below investment grade and comparable unrated securities tend to react less to fluctuations in interest rate levels than do those of higher-rated securities, the values of certain of these securities also tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher-rated securities. In addition, such securities present a higher degree of credit risk. Issuers of these securities are often highly leveraged and may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them, so that their ability to service their debt obligations during an economic downturn or during sustained periods of rising interest rates may be impaired. The risk of loss due to default by such issuers is significantly greater than with investment grade securities because such securities generally are unsecured and subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness. A Fund also may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings. These risks may be greater for non-U.S. high yield securities especially those of issuers located in emerging markets.

 

The development of markets for high yield corporate securities has been a relatively recent phenomenon, especially outside the United States. In addition, these markets have undergone significant changes in the past and may undergo significant changes in the future.

 

Most of the high yield securities in which a Fund invests will bear interest at fixed rates but a Fund may also invest in securities with variable rates of interest or which involve equity features, such as contingent interest or participations based on revenues, sales or profits (i.e., interest or other payments, often in addition to a fixed rate of return, that are based on the borrower’s attainment of specified levels of revenues, sales or profits and thus enable the holder of the security to share in the potential success of the venture).

 

High Yield Non-U.S. Debt Securities. Investing in fixed and floating rate high yield non-U.S. debt securities, especially those of issuers located in emerging market countries, will expose a Fund to the direct or indirect consequences of political, social or economic changes in the countries that issue the securities or in which the issuers are located, in addition to the risks of investing in high yield securities generally. For example, the ability and willingness of sovereign obligors in emerging market countries or the governmental authorities that control repayment of their external debt to pay principal and interest on such debt when due may depend on general economic and political conditions within the relevant country. Certain countries in which a Fund may invest, especially emerging market countries, have historically experienced, and may continue to experience, high rates of inflation, high interest rates, exchange rate trade difficulties and extreme poverty and unemployment. Many of these countries are also characterized by political uncertainty or instability. Additional factors which may influence the ability or willingness to service debt include, but are not limited to, an issuer’s (including sovereign issuers) cash flow situation, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, and the relative size of its debt service burden. Non-U.S. issuers, including government issuers, may also have debt (such as commercial bank debt) which is senior to its high yield securities.

 

 

The ability of a non-U.S. sovereign obligor, especially an obligor in an emerging market country, to make timely payments on its external debt obligations will also be strongly influenced by the obligor’s balance of payments, including export performance, its access to international credit and investments, fluctuations in interest rates and the extent of its foreign reserves, and the issuing government’s policy toward the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international agencies. A country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities or whose economy depends on certain strategic imports could be vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices of these commodities or imports. To the extent that a country receives payment for its exports in currencies other than dollars, its ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars could be adversely affected. If a non-U.S. sovereign obligor cannot generate sufficient earnings from foreign trade to service its external debt, it may need to depend on continuing loans and aid from foreign governments, commercial banks and multilateral organizations, and inflows of foreign investment. The commitment on the part of these foreign governments, multilateral organizations and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on the government’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of its obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds, which may further impair the obligor’s ability or willingness to timely service its debts. The cost of servicing external debt will also generally be adversely affected by rising international interest rates, because many external debt obligations bear interest at rates which are adjusted based upon international interest rates. The ability to service external debt will also depend on the level of the relevant government’s international currency reserves and its access to foreign exchange. Currency devaluations may affect the ability of an issuer to obtain sufficient foreign exchange to service its debt. The risks enumerated above are particularly heightened with regard to issuers in emerging market countries.

 

As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially an obligor in an emerging market country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, a Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of non-U.S. sovereign debt securities to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country.

 

Firm Commitments and When-Issued Securities

 

Each Fund may purchase securities on a firm commitment basis, including when-issued securities. Securities purchased on a firm commitment basis are purchased for delivery beyond the normal settlement date at a stated price and yield. No income accrues to the purchaser of a security on a firm commitment basis prior to delivery. Such securities are recorded as an asset and are subject to changes in value based upon changes in the general level of interest rates. Purchasing a security on a firm commitment basis can involve a risk that the market price at the time of delivery may be lower than the agreed upon purchase price, in which case there could be an unrealized loss at the time of delivery. A Fund will only make commitments to purchase securities on a firm commitment basis with the intention of actually acquiring the securities, but may sell them before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable. A Fund will designate liquid assets in an amount at least equal in value to the Fund’s commitments to purchase securities on a firm commitment basis. If the value of these assets declines, the Fund will place additional liquid assets in the account on a daily basis so that the value of the assets in the account is equal to the amount of such commitments.

 

 

Floating and Variable Rate Instruments

 

Each Fund may each invest in floating and variable rate obligations. Floating or variable rate obligations bear interest at rates that are not fixed, but vary with changes in specified market rates or indices, such as the prime rate, and at specified intervals. The variable rate obligations in which a Fund may invest include variable rate master demand notes, which are unsecured instruments issued pursuant to an agreement between the issuer and the holder that permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary and provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate.

 

Certain of the floating or variable rate obligations that may be purchased by a Fund may carry a demand feature that would permit the holder to tender them back to the issuer of the instrument or to a third party at par value prior to maturity. Some of the demand instruments purchased by a Fund are not traded in a secondary market and derive their liquidity solely from the ability of the holder to demand repayment from the issuer or third party providing credit support. If a demand instrument is not traded in a secondary market, the Fund will nonetheless treat the instrument as liquid for the purposes of its investment restriction limiting investments in illiquid securities unless the demand feature has a notice period of more than seven days; if the notice period is greater than seven days, such a demand instrument will be characterized as illiquid for such purpose. The Fund’s right to obtain payment at par on a demand instrument could be affected by events occurring between the date the Fund elects to demand payment and the date payment is due that may affect the ability of the issuer of the instrument or a third party providing credit support to make payment when due. To facilitate settlement, some demand instruments may be held in book entry form at a bank other than the Fund’s custodian subject to a sub-custodian agreement approved by the Fund between that bank and the Fund’s custodian.

 

Inflation-Indexed Bonds

 

Inflation-indexed bonds are fixed income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the CPI accruals as part of a semiannual coupon.

 

Inflation-indexed securities issued by the U.S. Treasury have maturities of five, ten or twenty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. The U.S. Treasury securities pay interest on a semiannual basis, equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal amount. For example, if a Fund purchased an inflation-indexed bond with a par value of $1,000 and a 3% real rate of return coupon (payable 1.5% semi-annually), and inflation over the first six months were 1%, the mid-year par value of the bond would be $1,010 and the first semi-annual interest payment would be $15.15 ($1,010 times 1.5%). If inflation during the second half of the year resulted in the whole year’s inflation equaling 3%, the end-of-year par value of the bond would be $1,030 and the second semi-annual interest payment would be $15.45 ($1,030 times 1.5%).

 

If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed bonds, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. The Funds may also invest in other inflation related bonds which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal. The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates in turn are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation.

 

 

Interest-Only Securities

 

Interest only securities (“IOs”) are a form of stripped mortgage security. Stripped mortgage securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The risk of early prepayment is the primary risk associated with IOs.

 

Stripped mortgage securities are structured with two or more classes of securities that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. IOs are one class of a stripped mortgage security that receives all of the interest (while another class will receive all of the principal (“POs” or “principal only class”)).

 

Loan Participations and Assignments

 

Each Fund may invest in loan participations and assignments. Each Fund considers loan participations and assignments to be investments in debt securities. Loan participations typically will result in a Fund having a contractual relationship only with the lender, not with the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. Under a loan participation, a Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement relating to the loan, nor any rights of set-off against the borrower, and the Fund may not benefit directly from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, the Fund will assume the credit risk of both the borrower and the lender that is selling the participation. In the event of the insolvency of the lender selling a participation, the Fund may be treated as a general creditor of the lender and may not benefit from any set-off between the lender and the borrower. When a Fund purchases assignments of loans from lenders, the Fund will acquire direct rights against the borrower on the loan, except that under certain circumstances such rights may be more limited than those held by the assigning lender.

 

A Fund may have difficulty disposing of assignments and loan participations. In many cases the market for such instruments is not highly liquid, and therefore each Fund anticipates that in such cases such instruments could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the value of such instruments and will have an adverse impact on a Fund’s ability to dispose of particular assignments or loan participations in response to a specific economic event, such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of the borrower or the ability to dispose of them at the price issued.

 

Money Market Instruments/Securities

 

Each Fund may hold money market instruments, including commercial paper, bankers acceptances, certificates of deposit and other short term debt securities as ancillary liquid assets.

 

 

Restricted Securities and Securities with Limited Trading Markets (Rule 144A)

 

Each Fund may purchase securities for which there is a limited trading market or which are subject to restrictions on resale to the public. If a Fund were to acquire substantial positions in securities with limited trading markets, the activities of the Fund could have an adverse effect upon the liquidity and marketability of such securities and the Fund might not be able to dispose of its holdings in those securities at then current market prices. Circumstances could also exist (to satisfy redemptions, for example) when portfolio securities might have to be sold by the Fund at times which otherwise might be considered to be disadvantageous so that the Fund might receive lower proceeds from such sales than it had expected to realize. Investments in securities which are “restricted” may involve added expenses to a Fund should the Fund be required to bear registration costs with respect to such securities and could involve delays in disposing of such securities which might have an adverse effect upon the price and timing of sales of such securities and the liquidity of the Fund with respect to redemptions. Restricted securities and securities for which there is a limited trading market may be significantly more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such securities, and investment in such securities may have an adverse impact on net asset value. The Funds may purchase Rule 144A securities for which there may be a secondary market of qualified institutional buyers as contemplated by Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. Liquidity determinations with respect to Rule 144A securities will be made by the Board or by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser pursuant to guidelines established by the Board. A Fund’s holdings of Rule 144A securities which are considered liquid securities will not be subject to the Fund’s applicable limitation on investments in illiquid securities.

 

Each Fund may purchase Rule 144A securities on the GSTrUE exchange and other similar exchanges. These markets provide access to only institutional and highly sophisticated investors. They allow private companies to raise capital without the disclosure requirements of public markets and follow specific SEC rules to avoid certain disclosure requirements. Under these rules, companies are able to sell securities without registering them if the issued securities are limited to qualified institutional buyers (investors with at least $100 million in assets), and there are less than 500 shareholders. The market is run through a proprietary trading system. This system allows the members of the exchange to view bid and ask offers and recent sales. Actual transactions are made through special brokers. Because of the lack of disclosure in these markets, shares are expected to trade at a discount to the equivalent price achievable if the shares were listed on a public market. Companies utilizing these markets however, believe that the ability to avoid disclosure requirements of public markets is more important than receiving the higher price available from a public exchange listing.

 

U.S. Government Securities

 

Each Fund may invest without limit in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or by its agencies or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities in general include a wide variety of U.S. Treasury obligations consisting of bills, notes and bonds, which principally differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance. Securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities are debt securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities established or sponsored by the U.S. government and may be backed only by the credit of the issuing agency or instrumentality. A Fund will invest in such obligations only where the Sub-Adviser is satisfied that the credit risk with respect to the issuer is minimal.

 

Securities issued by the U.S. Treasury 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 these securities are generally lower than the yields available from corporate fixed-income securities. Like other debt securities, however, the values of U.S. government securities change as interest rates fluctuate, which could affect a Fund’s net asset value. Since the magnitude of these fluctuations will generally 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. Some U.S. Government securities (such as Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs) are guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by the relevant entity (e.g., FNMA or FHLMC) but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Therefore, the securities would generally be neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury.

 

 

Zero Coupon Securities, Pay-In-Kind Bonds and Deferred Payment Securities

 

Each Fund may invest in zero coupon securities, pay-in-kind bonds and deferred payment securities. Zero coupon securities are debt securities that pay no cash income but are sold at substantial discounts from their value at maturity. When a zero coupon security is held to maturity, its entire return, which consists of the amortization of discount, comes from the difference between its purchase price and its maturity value. This difference is known at the time of purchase, so that investors holding zero coupon securities until maturity know at the time of their investment what the expected return on their investment will be. Zero coupon securities may have conversion features. Each Fund also may purchase pay-in-kind bonds. Pay-in-kind bonds pay all or a portion of their interest in the form of debt or equity securities. Deferred payment securities are securities that remain zero coupon securities until a predetermined date, at which time the stated coupon rate becomes effective and interest becomes payable at regular intervals.

 

Zero coupon securities, pay-in-kind bonds and deferred payment securities tend to be subject to greater price fluctuations in response to changes in interest rates than are ordinary interest-paying debt securities with similar maturities. The value of zero coupon securities appreciates more during periods of declining interest rates and depreciates more during periods of rising interest rates than ordinary interest-paying debt securities with similar maturities. Zero coupon securities, pay-in-kind bonds and deferred payment securities may be issued by a wide variety of corporate and governmental issuers. Although these instruments are generally not traded on a national securities exchange, they are widely traded by brokers and dealers and, to such extent, will not generally be considered illiquid for the purposes of a Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities.

 

Current U.S. federal income tax law requires the holder of a zero coupon security, certain pay-in-kind bonds, deferred payment securities and certain other securities acquired at a discount to accrue income with respect to these securities prior to the receipt of cash payments. Accordingly, to avoid liability for U.S. federal income and excise taxes, a Fund may be required to distribute income accrued with respect to these securities and may have to dispose of portfolio securities under disadvantageous circumstances in order to generate cash to satisfy these distribution requirements.

 

OTHER PRACTICES

 

Borrowing

 

Borrowing creates an opportunity for increased return, but, at the same time, creates special risks. Furthermore, if a Fund were to engage in borrowing, an increase in interest rates could reduce the value of the Fund’s shares by increasing the Fund’s interest expense.

 

Subject to the limitations described under “Investment Limitations” below and elsewhere herein, each Fund may be permitted to borrow for temporary purposes and/or for investment purposes. Such a practice will result in leveraging of the Fund’s assets and may cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it would not be advantageous to do so. This borrowing may be secured or unsecured. Provisions of the 1940 Act require each Fund to maintain continuous asset coverage (that is, total assets including borrowings, less liabilities exclusive of borrowings) of 300% of the amount borrowed, with an exception for borrowings not in excess of 5% of the Fund’s total assets made for temporary administrative purposes. Any borrowings for temporary administrative purposes in excess of 5% of a Fund’s total assets will count against this asset coverage requirement. If the 300% asset coverage should decline as a result of market fluctuations or other reasons, a Fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio holdings within three days to reduce the debt and restore the 300% asset coverage, even though it may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint if the Fund sells securities at that time. Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on net asset value of any increase or decrease in the market value of a Fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs which may or may not be recovered by appreciation of the securities purchased, if any. Each Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with such borrowings or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.

 

 

Depositary Receipts

 

Depositary receipts include sponsored and unsponsored depositary receipts that are or become available, including American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and other depositary receipts. Depositary receipts are typically issued by a financial institution (“depositary”) and evidence ownership interests in a security or a pool of securities (“underlying securities”) that have been deposited with the depositary. The depositary for ADRs is typically a U.S. financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a non-U.S. issuer. ADRs are publicly traded on exchanges or OTC in the United States and are issued through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” arrangements. In a sponsored ADR arrangement, the non-U.S. issuer assumes the obligation to pay some or all of the depositary’s transaction fees, whereas under an unsponsored arrangement, the non-U.S. issuer assumes no obligation and the depositary’s transaction fees are paid by the ADR holders. In addition, less information is available in the United States about an unsponsored ADR than about a sponsored ADR, and the financial information about a company may not be as reliable for an unsponsored ADR as it is for a sponsored ADR. In the case of GDRs, the depositary can be a non-U.S. or a U.S. financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a non-U.S. issuer. GDRs allow companies in Europe, Asia, the United States and Latin America to offer shares in many markets around the world, thus allowing them to raise capital in these markets, as opposed to just in their home market. The advantage of GDRs is that shares do not have to be bought through the issuing company’s home exchange, which may be difficult and expensive, but can be bought on all major stock exchanges. In addition, the share price and all dividends are converted to the shareholder’s home currency. As for other depositary receipts, the depositary may be a non-U.S. or a U.S. entity, and the underlying securities may have a non-U.S. or a U.S. issuer. For purposes of each Fund’s investment policies, investments in depositary receipts will be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities. Thus, a depositary receipt representing ownership of common stock will be treated as common stock. Depositary receipts purchased by a Fund may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted, in which case the Fund may be exposed to relative currency fluctuations.

 

Illiquid Securities

 

Each Fund may invest up to 15% of the value of its net assets in illiquid securities. The term “illiquid securities” for this purpose means securities that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the securities. Illiquid securities are considered to include, among other things, written OTC options, securities or other liquid assets being used as cover for such options, repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, certain loan participation interests, fixed time deposits which are not subject to prepayment or provide for withdrawal penalties upon prepayment (other than overnight deposits), and other securities whose disposition is restricted under the federal securities laws.

 

To the extent that liquid assignments and loan participations that a Fund holds become illiquid due to the lack of sufficient buyers or market or other conditions, the percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in illiquid assets would increase. The Adviser or Sub-Adviser, as applicable, under the supervision of the Board, monitors Fund investments in assignments and loan participations and will, in such a case, consider appropriate measures to enable each Fund to maintain sufficient liquidity for operating purposes and to meet redemption requests.

 

 

Loans of Portfolio Securities

 

To the extent permissible under its investment policies, each Fund may lend portfolio securities to brokers or dealers or other financial institutions in accordance with policies and procedures of the Trust, as may be adopted from time to time. The procedure for the lending of securities will typically include the following features and conditions. The collateral will consist either of U.S. Government Securities or the borrower of the securities will deposit cash with the Fund in an amount equal to a minimum of 100% of the market value of the securities lent. The Fund seek to will invest the collateral in short-term debt securities, cash equivalents (or pooled investment vehicle interests in cash, cash equivalents and short-term debt instruments) and earn the income thereon. A negotiated portion of the income so earned may be paid to the borrower or the broker who arranged the loan. The collateral will be marked to market daily, and if the value of the collateral drops below the required minimum at any time, the borrower may typically be called upon to post additional collateral. These will be “demand” loans and may be terminated by the Fund at any time. The Fund will receive any dividends and interest paid on the securities lent, although the U.S. federal income tax characteristics of such payment may change. The Fund’s performance will continue to reflect changes in the value of the securities loaned.

 

These transactions must be fully collateralized at all times, but involve some credit risk to the Fund if the borrower or the party (if any) guaranteeing the loan should default on its obligations. In the event of the default or bankruptcy of the other party to a securities loan, the Fund could experience delays in recovering the securities it lent. To the extent that, in the meantime, the value of the securities a Fund lent has increased or the value of the collateral decreased, the Fund could experience a loss. In the event of a default by the borrower, the Fund will, if permitted by law, dispose of such collateral except that the Fund may retain any such part thereof that is a security in which the Fund is permitted to invest.

 

Although voting rights or rights to consent with respect to the loaned securities pass to the borrower, the Fund, as the lender, generally retains the right to call the loans and obtain the return of the securities loaned at any time on reasonable notice, and it will attempt to do so in order that the securities may be voted by the Fund if the holders of such securities are asked to vote upon or consent to matters which the Sub-Adviser believes materially affect the investment; however, the Fund may not be able to recall the securities in time for the Fund to be the owner on the record date for determining shareholders entitled to vote or consent on the matter. The Fund may typically also call such loans in order to sell the securities involved.

 

Repurchase Agreements

 

Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. A repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the seller of a security commits itself at the time of sale to repurchase that security from the buyer at a mutually agreed upon time and price. 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. Such transactions afford a Fund the opportunity to earn a return on temporarily available cash at relatively low market risk. The Sub-Adviser monitors the value of the securities underlying the repurchase agreement at the time the transaction is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement to ensure that the value of the securities always equals or exceeds the repurchase price. The Fund requires that additional securities be deposited if the value of the securities purchased decreases below their resale price and does not bear the risk of a decline in the value of the underlying security unless the seller defaults under the repurchase obligation.

 

 

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.

 

Repurchase agreements with maturities of more than seven days will be treated as illiquid securities.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

 

Each Fund may enter into “reverse” repurchase agreements to avoid selling securities during unfavorable market conditions to meet redemptions. Pursuant to a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund will sell portfolio securities and agree to repurchase them from the buyer at a particular date and price. Whenever a Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will establish a segregated account in which it will maintain liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the repurchase price marked to market daily (including accrued interest), and will subsequently monitor the account to ensure that such equivalent value is maintained. A Fund pays interest on amounts obtained pursuant to reverse repurchase agreements. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings by a Fund.

 

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

 

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

The following is a description of fundamental policies that may not be changed without the vote of a majority of a Fund’s outstanding voting securities. Under the 1940 Act, the vote of a majority of the outstanding securities of a company means the vote, at the annual or a special meeting of the security holders of such company duly called: (A) of 67 per centum or more of the voting securities present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50 per centum of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy; or (B) of more than 50 per centum of the outstanding voting securities of such company, whichever is less. The percentages set forth below and the percentage limitations set forth in the Prospectus apply at the time of the purchase of a security and shall not be considered violated unless an excess or deficiency occurs or exists immediately after and as a result of a purchase of such security.

 

Except for restriction (1), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage shall not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, the Fund. With respect to each Fund’s fundamental investment restriction (8), asset coverage of at least 300% (as defined in the 1940 Act), inclusive of any amounts borrowed, must be maintained at all times.

 

As a matter of fundamental policy, each Fund (except as otherwise noted below) may not:

 

(1) Purchase securities which would cause 25% or more of the value of its total assets at the time of purchase to be invested in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry or group of industries, as that term is used in the 1940 Act, and as interpreted, modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time (excluding the U.S. Government and its agencies and instrumentalities).

 

 

(2) With respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase securities of an issuer (other than the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or authorities, or repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. Government securities, and securities of other investment companies) if: (a) such purchase would, at the time, cause more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets taken at market value to be invested in the securities of such issuer or (b) such purchase would, at the time, result in more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer being held by the Fund.

 

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

 

(4) 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.

 

(5) 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.

 

(6) Purchase or sell commodities, except that the Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring the delivery of physical commodities, including but not limited to, purchasing or selling commodity exchange-traded funds or exchange-traded notes.

 

(7) Purchase or sell real estate, although the Fund 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 they may acquire and dispose of real estate or interests in real estate acquired through the exercise of their rights as a holder of debt obligations secured by real estate or interests.

 

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

 

For the purposes of restriction (1), the Fund currently intends to use the Global Industry Classification Standard (“GICS”) with respect to equity investments and classifications published by Bloomberg Barclays for fixed-income investments. These classifications are not fundamental policies of the Fund. The Fund may use other classification titles, standards and systems from time to time.

 

Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

In addition to the foregoing fundamental investment policies, each Fund is also subject to the following non-fundamental restrictions and policies, which may be changed at any time by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. Each Fund may not:

 

(1) Invest in illiquid securities if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets would be invested in illiquid securities.

 

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

 

Purchases and sales of portfolio securities may be made as considered advisable by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser, as applicable, in the best interests of the shareholders. Each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. Each Fund’s distributions of any net short-term capital gains realized from portfolio transactions are taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. In addition, higher portfolio turnover rates can result in corresponding increases in portfolio transaction costs for a Fund. See “Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage” in this SAI.

 

 

For reporting purposes, each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate 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 determining such portfolio turnover, all securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less are excluded. A 100% portfolio turnover rate would occur, for example, if all of the securities in a Fund’s investment portfolio (other than short-term money market securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year. Portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor should the Adviser or a Sub-Adviser, as applicable, deem it advisable to purchase or sell securities.

 

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

This Policy sets forth the conditions under which Portfolio Holdings data for Financial Investors Trust (the “Trust”) on behalf of each Fund (collectively the “Funds” and each, a “Fund”) may be disclosed to Third Parties (which may include the public) and Service Providers. No data about the Funds may be disclosed except in accordance with this Policy.

 

Portfolio Holdings data includes, but is not limited to, the following information about the Funds: (i) specific securities held; (ii) industry sector breakdowns as a percentage of portfolio net assets; (iii) asset composition (e.g., equities versus bonds); (iv) U.S. versus foreign holdings percentage breakdowns and regional breakdowns (e.g., Asia, North America); and (v) top 10 portfolio holdings in order of position size, including percentage of portfolio.

 

“Third Parties” or a “Third Party” means a person other than a Service Provider, an employee of a Service Provider, a Trustee of the Board, or an officer of the Funds.

 

“Service Providers” or a “Service Provider” includes, but is not limited to, the investment adviser, sub-adviser, administrator, custodian, transfer agent, fund accountant, principal underwriter, software or technology service providers, pricing and proxy voting service providers, research and trading service providers, auditors, accountants, and legal counsel, or any other entity that has a need to know such information in order to fulfill their contractual obligations to provide services to the Funds.

 

Policy Overview

 

The Board has adopted, on behalf of the Funds, policies and procedures relating to disclosure of the Portfolio Holdings. These policies and procedures are designed to protect the confidentiality of the Portfolio Holdings’ information and to prevent the selective disclosure of such information. These policies and procedures may be modified at any time with the approval of the Board.

 

In order to protect the Funds from any trading practices or other use by a Third Party that could harm the Funds, Portfolio Holdings’ and other Fund-specific information must not be selectively released or disclosed except under the circumstances described below.

 

The Board will periodically review the list of entities that have received, other than through public channels, Portfolio Holdings data, to ensure that the disclosure of the information was in the best interest of shareholders, identify any potential for conflicts of interest and evaluate the effectiveness of its current portfolio holding policy.

 

 

The identity of such entities is provided below:

 

Name of Recipient Frequency
of Holdings
Disclosure

Information

Lag

Date of
Information
Date
Provided to Recipients

ALPS Advisors, Inc.

(Adviser)

Daily None Daily Daily

Smith Capital Investors, LLC

(Sub-Adviser)

Daily None Daily Daily

State Street Bank & Trust Company.

(Custodian)

Daily None Daily Daily

ALPS Fund Services, Inc.

(Administrator)

Daily None Daily Daily

[______________________]

(Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm)

As needed None As needed As needed

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

(Counsel)

As needed None As needed As needed
Bloomberg LP Daily None Daily Daily
FactSet Research Systems Inc. Daily None Daily Daily

 

Only officers of the Funds and their authorized agents, including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer of the investment adviser or sub-adviser, may approve the disclosure of a Fund’s Portfolio Holdings. Except as set forth under “Policy Exceptions” below, exceptions to this Policy may only be made if an officer of a Fund and its authorized agents, including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer of the investment adviser or sub-adviser, determines that the disclosure is being made for a legitimate business purpose and such disclosures must be documented and reported to the Board on a quarterly basis. In all cases, Third Parties and Service Providers are required to execute a non-disclosure agreement requiring the recipient to keep confidential any Portfolio Holdings data received and not to trade on the Confidential Portfolio Information (defined below) received. Neither the Trust nor its Service Providers (nor any persons affiliated with either) can receive any compensation or other consideration in connection with the sharing of a Fund’s Portfolio Holdings.

 

Disclosure of the Portfolio Holdings’ information that is not publicly available (“Confidential Portfolio Information”) may be made to Service Providers. In addition, to the extent permitted under applicable law, the investment adviser or sub-adviser may distribute (or authorize the custodian or principal underwriter to distribute) Confidential Portfolio Information to the Fund’s relevant Service Providers and to facilitate the review of the Funds by certain mutual fund analysts and ratings agencies (such as Morningstar and Lipper Analytical Services) (“Rating Agencies”); provided that such disclosure is limited to the information that the investment adviser or sub-adviser believes is reasonably necessary in connection with the services to be provided. As noted above, except to the extent permitted under this Policy, Confidential Portfolio Information may not be disseminated for compensation or other consideration.

 

 

Before any disclosure of Confidential Portfolio Information to Service Providers or Rating Agencies is permitted, the applicable Fund’s investment adviser’s or the sub-adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer (or persons designated by the investment adviser’s or the sub-adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer) must determine in writing that, under the circumstances, the disclosure is being made for a legitimate business purpose. Furthermore, the recipient of Confidential Portfolio Information by a Service Provider or Rating Agency must be subject to a written confidentiality agreement that prohibits any trading upon the Confidential Portfolio Information or the recipient must be subject to professional or ethical obligations not to disclose or otherwise improperly use the information, such as would apply to independent registered public accounting firms or legal counsel.

 

The applicable Fund’s investment adviser or sub-adviser shall have primary responsibility for ensuring that the Portfolio Holdings’ information is disclosed only in accordance with this Policy. As part of this responsibility, the applicable Fund’s investment adviser or sub-adviser will maintain such internal policies and procedures as it believes are reasonably necessary for preventing the unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Portfolio Information.

 

Full Portfolio Holdings

 

Except as set forth in this Policy, the full holdings of a Fund will be disclosed on a quarterly basis on forms required to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as follows: (i) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of each fiscal year will be filed as part of the annual report filed on Form N-CSR; (ii) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters will be filed in Form N-Q; and (iii) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of the second fiscal quarter will be filed as part of the semi-annual report filed on Form N-CSR. The Trust’s Form N-CSRs and Form N-Qs are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

Partial Portfolio Holdings

 

Except as set forth in this Policy, partial Portfolio Holdings information will only be provided to Third Parties for the most recent month-end period and only after a thirty (30) calendar day delay from the end of the month being provided. These holdings may include any combination of the Portfolio Holdings information, except for full Portfolio Holdings.

 

Policy Exceptions

 

The following disclosures of Portfolio Holdings are not prohibited by this Policy:

 

Disclosures that are required by law;
Disclosures necessary for Service Providers (defined above);
Disclosure necessary for Rating Agencies to assess applicable fund ratings;
Disclosures necessary to broker-dealers or banks as part of the normal buying, selling, shorting, or other transactions in portfolio securities;
Disclosures to the applicable Fund’s or Service Providers’ regulatory authorities, accountants, or counsel;
Disclosures to the adviser or sub-adviser of a Fund of compiled data concerning accounts managed by the particular adviser or sub-adviser; or
Any portfolio holdings that precede a full public disclosure (e.g., portfolio holdings that are dated prior to the most recent quarterly disclosure) are not considered to be sensitive, proprietary information of the Fund, and therefore are not subject to the aforementioned disclosure policies.

 

 

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

 

Investment Decisions and Portfolio Transactions

 

Investment decisions for a Fund are made with a view to achieving its investment objectives. Investment decisions are the product of many factors in addition to basic suitability for the particular client involved (including the Fund). Some securities considered for investment by the Fund may also be appropriate for other clients served by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser. Thus, a particular security may be bought or sold for certain clients even though it could have been bought or sold for other clients at the same time. If a purchase or sale of securities consistent with the investment policies of the Fund and one or more of these clients is considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities will be allocated among the Fund and clients in a manner deemed fair and reasonable by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser. Particularly when investing in less liquid or illiquid securities of smaller capitalization companies, such allocation may take into account the asset size of the Fund in determining whether the allocation of an investment is suitable. The Adviser or Sub-Adviser may aggregate orders for the Fund with simultaneous transactions entered into on behalf of its other clients so long as price and transaction expenses are averaged either for the portfolio transaction or for that day. Likewise, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more clients are selling the security. In some instances, one client may sell a particular security to another client. It also sometimes happens that two or more clients simultaneously purchase or sell the same security, in which event each day’s transactions in such security are, insofar as possible, averaged as to price and allocated between such clients in a manner which in the Adviser or Sub-Adviser’s opinion is equitable to each and in accordance with the amount being purchased or sold by each. There may be circumstances when purchases or sales of portfolio securities for one or more clients will have an adverse effect on other clients, including a Fund.

 

Brokerage and Research Services

 

The Adviser or Sub-Adviser places orders for the purchase and sale of portfolio securities, options and futures contracts and buys and sells such securities, options and futures for the Fund through a substantial number of brokers and dealers. In so doing, the Adviser or Sub-Adviser uses its best efforts to obtain for the Fund the most favorable price and execution available, except to the extent it may be permitted to pay higher brokerage commissions as described below. In seeking the most favorable price and execution, the Adviser or Sub-Adviser, having in mind the Fund’s best interests, considers all factors it deems relevant, including, by way of illustration, price, the size of the transaction, the nature of the market for the security, the amount of the commission, the timing of the transaction taking into account market prices and trends, the reputation, experience and financial stability of the broker-dealer involved and the quality of service rendered by the broker-dealer in that or other transactions.

 

The Adviser or Sub-Adviser places orders for the purchase and sale of portfolio investments for the Fund’s accounts with brokers or dealers selected by it in its discretion. In effecting purchases and sales of portfolio securities for the accounts of the Fund, the Adviser or Sub-Adviser will seek the best price and execution of the Fund’s orders. In doing so, the Fund may pay higher commission rates than the lowest available when the Adviser or Sub-Adviser believes it is reasonable to do so in light of the value of the brokerage and research services provided by the broker effecting the transaction, as discussed below. Although the Fund may use a broker-dealer that sells Fund shares to effect transactions for the Fund’s portfolios, the Fund will not consider the sale of Fund shares as a factor when selecting broker-dealers to execute those transactions.

 

There is generally no stated commission in the case of fixed-income securities and other securities traded on a principal basis in the over-the-counter markets, but the price paid by the Fund usually includes an undisclosed dealer commission or markup. In underwritten offerings, the price paid by the Fund includes a disclosed, fixed commission or discount retained by the underwriter or dealer. Transactions on U.S. stock exchanges and other agency transactions involve the payment by the Fund of negotiated brokerage commissions. Such commissions vary among different brokers. Also, a particular broker may charge different commissions according to such factors as the difficulty and size of the transaction. Transactions in non-U.S. securities generally involve the payment of fixed brokerage commissions, which are generally higher than those in the United States. The purchase by the Fund of participations or assignments may be pursuant to privately negotiated transactions pursuant to which the Fund may be required to pay fees to the seller or forego a portion of payments in respect of the participation agreement.

 

 

Advisers or sub-advisers of investment companies and other institutional investors receive research and brokerage products and services (together, “services”) from broker-dealers which execute portfolio transactions for the clients of such advisers. Consistent with this practice, the Adviser or Sub-Adviser receives brokerage and research products and services from many broker-dealers with which the Adviser or Sub-Adviser places the Fund’s portfolio transactions. These services, which in some cases may also be purchased for cash, may include, among other things, such items as general economic and security market reviews, industry and company reviews, evaluations of securities, recommendations as to the purchase and sale of securities, and services related to the execution of securities transactions. The advisory fees paid by the Fund are not reduced because the Adviser or Sub-Adviser receives such services even though the receipt of such services relieves the Adviser or Sub-Adviser from expenses it might otherwise bear. Research and brokerage services provided by broker-dealers chosen by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser to place the Fund’s portfolio transactions may be useful to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser in providing services to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser’s other clients, although not all of these services may be necessarily useful and of value to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser in managing the Fund. Conversely, brokerage and research products and services provided to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser by broker-dealers in connection with trades executed on behalf of other clients of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser may be useful to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser in managing the Fund, although not all of these brokerage and research products and services may be necessarily useful and of value to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser in managing such other clients.

 

In reliance on the “safe harbor” provided by Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), an Adviser or Sub-Adviser may cause the Fund to pay a broker-dealer which provides “brokerage and research services” (as defined for purposes of Section 28(e)) to the Adviser or Sub-Adviser an amount of commission for effecting a securities transaction for the Fund in excess of the commission which another broker-dealer would have charged for effecting that transaction if the Adviser or Sub-Adviser determines in good faith that the commission is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided by the broker-dealer viewed in terms of either a particular transaction or the Adviser or Sub-Adviser’s overall responsibilities to the advisory accounts for which it exercises investment discretion.

 

The Adviser or Sub-Adviser may place orders for the purchase and sale of exchange-listed portfolio securities with a broker-dealer that is an affiliate of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser where, in the judgment of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser, such firm will be able to obtain a price and execution at least as favorable as other qualified broker-dealers. Pursuant to rules of the SEC, a broker-dealer that is an affiliate of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser may receive and retain compensation for effecting portfolio transactions for the Fund on a securities exchange if the commissions paid to such an affiliated broker-dealer by the Fund on exchange transactions do not exceed “usual and customary brokerage commissions.” The rules define “usual and customary” commissions to include amounts which are “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.” As required by applicable SEC rules, the Board has adopted procedures which are reasonably designed to provide that any commissions, fees or other remuneration paid to an affiliated broker are consistent with the foregoing standards.

 

 

PURCHASE, EXCHANGE & REDEMPTION OF SHARES

 

ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), will maintain an account for each shareholder upon which the registration and transfer of shares are recorded, and any transfers shall be reflected by bookkeeping entry, without physical delivery. Confirmations of each purchase, exchange or redemption are sent to each shareholder. Quarterly statements of account are also sent, which include shares purchased as a result of a reinvestment of Fund distributions. The Transfer Agent will require that a shareholder provide requests in writing, accompanied by a valid signature guarantee form, when changing certain information in an account (i.e., wiring instructions, telephone privileges, etc.).

 

Share Classes

 

Shares of each Fund are currently divided into four share classes – Investor Class, Class A, Class C, and Class I shares.

 

The assets received by each class of a Fund for the issue or sale of its shares and all income, earnings, profits, losses and proceeds therefrom, subject only to the rights of creditors, are allocated to, and constitute the underlying assets of, that class of the Fund. The underlying assets of each class of the Fund are segregated and are charged with the expenses with respect to that class of the Fund along with a share of the general expenses of the Fund and Trust. Any general expenses of the Fund that are not readily identifiable as belonging to a particular class of the Fund are allocated by or under the direction of the Trustees in such manner as they determine to be fair and equitable.

 

Purchase of Shares

 

The following table lists the sales charges that will be applied to your share purchase, subject to the breakpoint discounts indicated in the tables and described below.

 

Purchase Amount Investor
Class
(Sales
Charge)

Class A

(Sales

Charge)

Class C

(Sales

Charge)

Class I

(Sales

Charge)

Less than $50,000 None 5.50% None** None
$50,000 but less than $100,000 None 4.50% None** None
$100,000 but less than $250,000 None 3.50% None** None
$250,000 but less than $500,000 None 2.50% None** None
$500,000 but less than $1 million None 2.00% None** None
$1 million or greater None 0.00%* None** None

 

*A contingent deferred sales charge of 1.00% may apply to shares redeemed within 18 months after a purchase in excess of $1 million.

 

**A contingent deferred sales charge of 1.00% may apply to shares redeemed within 12 months.

 

Investor Class and Class I shares are offered without an initial sales charge or a contingent deferred sales charge. A contingent deferred sales charge of 1.00% may apply to Class C shares redeemed within 12 months.

 

 

Class C shares are generally offered through financial intermediary platforms including, but not limited to, traditional brokerage platforms, mutual fund wrap fee programs, bank trust platforms, and retirement platforms. Class C shares offer the ability for payment of up to 0.75% of net assets for payment to financial intermediaries for the provision of distribution services and up to 0.25% of net assets for the provision of shareholder services on behalf of their clients. In addition, the shares offer the ability for payment to financial intermediaries for the provision of administrative services, including recordkeeping, subaccounting, order processing for omnibus or networked accounts, or other shareholder services provided on behalf of their clients. The shares are not offered directly to individual investors. Consult with your financial intermediary representative for additional information on whether the shares are an appropriate investment choice. Broker-Dealers who make shares available through mutual fund wrap accounts may impose additional fees for services connected to the wrap account.

 

Dealer Commissions and Compensation

 

Investor Class and Class A Shares

 

Commissions (up to 1.00%) are paid to dealers who initiate and are responsible for certain Investor Class share purchases not subject to sales charges. These purchases consist of purchases of $1 million or more; purchases by employer-sponsored defined contribution-type retirement plans investing $1 million or more or with 100 or more eligible employees; and purchases made at net asset value by certain retirement plans, endowments and foundations with assets of $10 million or more. Commissions on such investments (other than IRA rollover assets that roll over at no sales charge under the fund’s IRA rollover policy as described in the prospectus) are paid to dealers at the following rates: 1.00% on amounts of less than $4 million, 0.50% on amounts of at least $4 million but less than $10 million and 0.25% on amounts of at least $10 million. 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 $4 million (but less than $10 million) and subsequently redeems all or a portion of the account(s), purchases following the redemption will generate a dealer commission of 0.50%.

 

Class C Shares

 

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. (“APSD”) may compensate your financial intermediary at the time of sale at a commission rate of 1.00% of the net asset value of the Class C shares purchased. Service providers to qualified plans will not receive this amount if they receive 12b-1 fees from the time of initial investment of qualified plan assets in Class C shares.

 

Other Information

 

The minimum initial investments in each Fund are set forth in the Prospectus. Subsequent purchases may be made in any amount.

 

Subsequent investments may be made at any time by mailing a check to a Fund’s Transfer Agent, along with a detachable stub from the Statement of Account (or a letter providing the account number). Shareholders should be sure to write the Fund’s account number on the check. Purchases of Fund shares (initial or subsequent) may not be made by third party check.

 

 

Shares of a Fund may be purchased on any business day at the net asset value per share next determined after receipt of a purchase order. Share certificates will not be issued. Share purchase orders are effective on the date a Fund receives a completed Account Application Form (and other required documents) and federal funds become available.

 

Initial and subsequent investments may also be made by wire transfer. Shareholders should note that their bank may charge a fee in connection with transferring money by bank wire.

 

For a share purchase order for a Fund to become effective on a particular business day, prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time): (i) in the case of a wire transfer payment, a purchaser must call 866.759.5679 to inform the Transfer Agent of an incoming wire transfer; or (ii) in the case of payment by check or money order, a complete share purchase order must be actually received by the Transfer Agent, and, in either case, federal funds must be received by the Transfer Agent, on behalf of the Fund. If federal funds are received by the Transfer Agent that same day, the order will be effective on that day. If a Fund receives notification of a wire transfer or a complete share purchase order after 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), or if federal funds are not received by the Transfer Agent, such purchase order shall be executed as of the date that federal funds are actually received.

 

The price of a Fund’s shares and the valuation of Fund assets are discussed in “Net Asset Value.”

 

Exchanging Shares

 

Investor Class, Class A, Class C, and Class I Shares

 

If you have held all or part of your shares in a Fund for at least seven days, you may exchange those shares for shares of the same class of any of the following funds (each, an “ALPS-Advised Fund”), if such ALPS-Advised Fund is available for sale in your state and meets the investment criteria of the investor:

 

ALPS | Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 100/0 Strategy
ALPS | WMC Research Value Fund RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 80/20 Strategy
Clough China Fund RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 70/30 Strategy
ALPS | CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommodities Strategy Fund RiverFront Dynamic Allocation 50/50 Strategy
ALPS | Kotak India Growth Fund RiveFront Dynamic Allocation 30/70 Strategy
ALPS | Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund
ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund  

 

Redemption of Shares

 

If the Board determines that it is in the best interests of the remaining shareholders of a Fund, a Fund may pay the redemption price in whole, or in part, by a distribution in kind from the Fund, in lieu of cash, taking such securities at their value employed for determining such redemption price, and selecting the securities in such manner as such Board may deem fair and equitable. A shareholder who receives a distribution in kind may incur a brokerage commission upon a later disposition of such securities and may receive less than the redemption value of such securities or property upon sale, particularly where such securities are sold prior to maturity. However, each Fund is required to redeem shares solely for cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the NAV of the Fund during any 90-day period for any one shareholder. Should redemptions by any shareholder exceed such limitation, the Fund will have the option of redeeming the excess in cash or in-kind. Redemption in kind is not as liquid as a cash redemption.

 

 

Under the 1940 Act, each Fund may suspend the right of redemption or postpone the date of payment upon redemption for any period: (i) during which the NYSE is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (ii) during which trading on the NYSE is restricted; or (iii) during which (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation) an emergency exists as a result of which disposal or valuation of portfolio securities is not reasonably practicable, or for such other periods as the SEC may permit. Each Fund may also suspend or postpone the recordation of the transfer of its shares upon the occurrence of any of the foregoing conditions.

 

Redemption Procedures. Each Fund will redeem all full and fractional shares of the Fund upon request on any business day at the applicable net asset value determined after the receipt of proper redemption instructions, less any applicable redemption fees. Shareholders liquidating their holdings will receive upon redemption all dividends reinvested through the date of redemption. If notice of redemption is received on any business day, the redemption will be effective on the date of receipt. Payment will ordinarily be made by wire on the next business day, but, in any case, within no more than seven business days from the date of receipt. If the notice is received on a day that is not a business day or after the close of regularly scheduled trading on the NYSE, the redemption notice will be deemed received as of the next business day. The value of shares at the time of redemption may be more or less than the shareholder’s cost.

 

No redemption requests will be processed until a Fund has received a completed Purchase Application, and no redemption of shares purchased by check will be made until all checks received for such shares have been collected, which may take up to 10 days or more.

 

Redemption Fees. If you sell your shares of the ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund or the ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund after holding them 90 calendar days or less, a 2% short-term redemption fee may be deducted from the redemption amount. For this purpose, shares held longest will be treated as being redeemed first and shares held shortest as being redeemed last. The fees are paid to the respective Fund and are designed to help offset the brokerage commissions, market impact and other costs associated with short-term shareholder trading.

 

The short-term redemption fee does not apply to: (i) redemptions of shares acquired by reinvesting dividends and distributions; (ii) rollovers, transfers and changes of account registration within the Fund as long as the money never leaves such Fund; and (iii) redemptions in-kind.

 

The Fund(s) also permits waivers of the short-term redemption fee for the following transactions:

 

Redemptions due to small balance maintenance fees;
Redemptions related to death or due to a divorce decree;
Certain types of IRA account transactions, including: redemptions pursuant to systematic withdrawal programs, required minimum distributions, withdrawals due to disability or death, return of excess contribution amounts and redemptions related to payment of custodian fees; and

 

 

Certain types of employer-sponsored and 403(b) retirement plan transactions, including: loans or hardship withdrawals, minimum required distributions, redemptions pursuant to systematic withdrawal programs, forfeiture of assets, return of excess contribution amounts, redemptions related to payment of plan fees and redemptions related to death, disability or qualified domestic relations order.

 

The application of short-term redemption fees and waivers may vary among intermediaries and certain intermediaries may not apply the waivers listed above. If you purchase or sell Fund shares through an intermediary, you should contact your intermediary for more information on whether the short-term redemption fee will be applied to redemptions of your shares.

 

Each Fund reserves the right to modify or eliminate the short-term redemption fee or waivers at any time. Investment advisers or their affiliates may pay short-term redemption fees on behalf of investors in managed accounts. Unitized group accounts consisting of qualified plan assets may be treated as a single account for redemption fee purposes.

 

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (“CDSC”). Class A share purchases in excess of $1 million redeemed within 18 months of initial purchase and any Class C share purchases redeemed within 12 months of initial purchase may be charged a CDSC of 1%. Each Fund may waive the imposition of a CDSC on redemption of Fund shares under the following circumstances and conditions:

 

Redemptions following the death or permanent disability (as defined by Section 72(m)(7) of the Code) of a shareholder if made within one year of death or the initial determination of permanent disability. The waiver is available only for shares held at the time of death or initial determination of permanent disability: and
Required minimum distributions from a tax-deferred retirement plan or an individual retirement account (IRA) as required under the Code. The waiver of the CDSC for required distributions will be as a percentage of assets held in the Fund.

 

If you think you may be eligible for a CDSC waiver, contact your financial intermediary. You must notify the Fund prior to the redemption request to ensure your receipt of the waiver.

 

Rule 12b-1 Plans

 

As described in the Prospectus, each Fund has adopted a separate plan of distribution for Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares, pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (each, a “Plan” and collectively, the “Plans”).

 

The Plans allow each Fund, as applicable, to use Investor Class, Class A, and Class C assets to pay fees in connection with the distribution and marketing of Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shares and/or the provision of on-going shareholder services to Investor Class, Class A, and Class C shareholders. The Plan permits payment for services in connection with the administration of plans or programs that use Investor Class, Class A, or Class C shares of the Fund as their funding medium and for related expenses.

 

The Plans permit each Fund to make total payments at an annual rate of up to 0.25% of a Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to its Investor Class and Class A shares, 0.75% of a Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to its Class C shares.

 

Under the terms of the Plan, the Trust is authorized to make payments to APSD for remittance to financial intermediaries, as compensation for distribution and/or shareholder services performed by such entities for their customers who are shareholders in the Fund. APSD is entitled to retain some or all fees payable under the Plan in certain circumstances, including when there is no broker of record or when certain qualification standards have not been met by the broker of record.

 

 

APSD is entitled to retain all fees paid under the Class C Plan for the first 12 months on any investment in Class C Shares to recoup its expenses with respect to the payment of commissions on sales of Class C Shares. Financial intermediaries will become eligible for compensation under the Class C Plan beginning in the 13th month following the purchase of Class C Shares. APSD may, pursuant to a written agreement between APSD and a particular financial intermediary, pay such financial intermediary 12b-1 fees prior to the 13th month following the purchase of Class C Shares should the financial intermediary forgo the commission.

 

The Plans 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 relevant class of shares of a Fund. The Plan may be amended by vote of the relevant Trustees, including a majority of the relevant Independent Trustees, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose. Any change in a Plan that would materially increase the fees payable thereunder by the relevant class of shares of a Fund requires approval by a vote of the holders of a majority of such shares outstanding. The Trustees review quarterly written reports of such costs and the purposes for which such costs have been incurred.

 

Each 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 of the Trust who have no financial interest in the operation of the Plan and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the entire Board cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose.

 

Shareholder Services Plan for Class C Shares

 

Each Fund has adopted a shareholder services plan (a “Shareholder Services Plan”) with respect to its Class C shares. Under the Class C Shareholder Services Plan, each Fund is authorized to financial intermediaries and Fund affiliates (“Participating Organizations”), an aggregate fee in an amount not to exceed on an annual basis 0.25% for Class C shares of the average daily net asset value of the Class C shares of the Fund attributable to or held in the name of a Participating Organization for its clients as compensation for providing shareholder service activities, which do not include distribution services, pursuant to an agreement with a Participating Organization.

 

Shareholder Services Plan for Investor Class and Class A Shares

 

Each Fund has adopted a shareholder services plan (an “Investor Class Shareholder Services Plan”) with respect to the Fund’s Investor Class and Class A shares. Under the Investor Class and Class A Shareholder Services Plans, each of the Funds is authorized to pay financial intermediaries Fund affiliates (“Participating Organizations”), an aggregate fee in an amount not to exceed on an annual basis 0.15% for Investor Class shares or Class A shares of the average daily net asset value of the Investor Class shares or Class A shares of a Fund attributable to or held in the name of a Participating Organization for its clients as compensation for providing service activities pursuant to an agreement with a Participating Organization. Any amount of such payment not paid during a Fund’s fiscal year for such service activities shall be reimbursed to such Fund as soon as practicable.

 

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

 

The business and affairs of each Fund are managed under the direction of its Board. The Board approves all significant agreements between a Fund and the persons or companies that furnish services to the Fund, including agreements with its distributor, Adviser, Sub-Adviser, administrator, custodian and transfer agent. The day-to-day operations of each Fund are delegated to the Fund’s Adviser, Sub-Adviser and administrator.

 

 

The name, address, age and principal occupations for the past five years of the Trustees and officers of the Trust are listed below, along with the number of portfolios in the Fund complex overseen by and the other directorships held by each Trustee.

 

INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES

 

 

Name,

Address*

& Year of
Birth

 

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

 

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time

Served

 

Principal

Occupation(s) During

Past 5 Years***

Number of

Funds in

Fund

Complex

Overseen

by Trustee

****

 

Other

Directorships

Held by

Trustee During Past 5

Years***

Mary K. Anstine,

1940

Trustee and Chairman Ms. Anstine was elected at a special meeting of shareholders held on March 21, 1997 and re-elected at a special meeting of shareholders held on August 7, 2009. Ms. Anstine was appointed Chairman of the Board at the June 6, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Anstine was formerly an Executive Vice President of First Interstate Bank of Denver until 1994, President/Chief Executive Officer of HealthONE Alliance, Denver, Colorado, from 1994 to 2004, and has been retired since 2004. Ms. Anstine is also Trustee/Director of AV Hunter Trust and Colorado Uplift Board. Ms. Anstine was formerly a Director of the Trust Bank of Colorado (later purchased and now known as Northern Trust Bank), HealthONE and Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the American Bankers Association Trust Executive Committee.   Ms. Anstine is a Trustee of ALPS ETF Trust (20 funds); ALPS Variable Investment Trust (9 funds); Reaves Utility Income Fund (1 fund); and Westcore Trust (14 funds).

 

 

 

Name,

Address*

& Year of

Birth

 

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

 

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time

Served

 

Principal

Occupation(s) During

Past 5 Years***

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee ****

 

Other

Directorships

Held by

Trustee During
Past 5 Years***

Jeremy W. Deems,

1976

Trustee Mr. Deems was appointed as a Trustee at the March 11, 2008 meeting of the Board of Trustees and elected at a special meeting of shareholders held on August 7, 2009. Mr. Deems is the Co-Founder, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Green Alpha Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor, and Co-Portfolio Manager of the Shelton Green Alpha Fund. Prior to joining Green Alpha Advisors, Mr. Deems was CFO and Treasurer of Forward Management, LLC, ReFlow Management Co., LLC, ReFlow Fund, LLC, a private investment fund, and Sutton Place Management, LLC, an administrative services company, from 1998 to June 2007. From 2004 to 2005, Mr Deems also served as Treasurer of the Forward Funds and the Sierra Club Funds. 3 Mr. Deems is a Trustee of ALPS ETF Trust (20 funds); ALPS Variable Investment Trust (9 funds); Clough Funds Trust (1 fund); Elevation ETF Trust (1 fund); and Reaves Utility Income Fund (1 fund).

Jerry G. Rutledge,

1944

Trustee Mr. Rutledge was elected at a special meeting of shareholders held on August 7, 2009. Mr. Rutledge is the President and owner of Rutledge’s Inc., a retail clothing business. Mr. Rutledge is currently Director of the American National Bank. He was from 1994 to 2007 a Regent of the University of Colorado. 37 Mr. Rutledge is a Trustee of Principal Real Estate Fund (1 fund), Clough Global Dividend and Income Fund (1 fund), Clough Global Equity Fund (1 fund) and Clough Global Opportunities Fund (1 fund).

Michael “Ross” Shell ,

1970

Trustee Mr. Shell was elected at a special meeting of shareholders held on August 7, 2009. Mr. Shell is Founder and CEO of Red Idea, LLC, a strategic consulting/early stage venture firm (since June 2008). From 1999 to 2009, he was a part-owner and Director of Tesser, Inc., a brand agency. From December 2005 to May 2008, he was Director, Marketing and Investor Relations, of Woodbourne, a REIT/real estate hedge fund and private equity firm. Prior to this, from May 2004 to November 2005, he worked as a business strategy consultant; from June 2003 to April 2004, he was on the Global Client Services team of IDEO, a product design/innovation firm; and from 1999 to 2003, he was President of Tesser, Inc. Mr. Shell graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science. 33 None.

 

 

INTERESTED TRUSTEE

 

Name,

Address* &

Year of

Birth

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

Term of Office**

and Length of

Time Served

Principal

Occupation(s)

During Past 5

Years***

Number of

Funds in

Fund

Complex

Overseen by

Trustee ****

Other

Directorships

Held by

Trustee During
Past 5 Years***

Edmund J. Burke,

1961

Trustee and President Mr. Burke was elected as Trustee at a special meeting of shareholders held on August 7, 2009. Mr. Burke was elected President of the Trust at the December 17, 2002 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Burke is President and a Director of ALPS Holdings, Inc. (“AHI”) (since 2005) and ALPS Advisors, Inc. (“AAI”), and Director of Boston Financial Data Services, Inc. (“BFDS”), , ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ADI”), ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (“AFS”) and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. (“APSD”). Because of his positions with AHI, BFDS, AAI, ADI, AFS and APSD, Mr. Burke is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act.   Mr. Burke is a Trustee of Clough Global Dividend and Income Fund (1 fund); Clough Global Equity Fund (1 fund); Clough Global Opportunities Fund (1 fund); Clough Funds Trust (1 fund); Liberty All-Star Equity Fund (1 fund); and Director of the Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc. (1 fund).

 

 

OFFICERS

 

Name, Address* &

Year of Birth

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Kimberly R. Storms,

1972

Treasurer Ms. Storms was elected Treasurer of the Trust at the March 12, 2013 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Storms is Senior Vice President - Director of Fund Administration of ALPS. Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Storms is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Storms is also Treasurer of Liberty All-Star Equity Fund, Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc., ALPS Series Trust and Elevation ETF Trust. Ms. Storms also serves as a Board member and Treasurer of The Center for Trauma & Resilience, a nonprofit agency.

Name, Address* &

Year of Birth

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Karen S. Gilomen,

1970

Secretary Ms. Gilomen was elected Secretary of the Trust at the December 13, 2016 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Gilomen joined ALPS in August 2016 as Vice President and Senior Counsel. Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Gilomen was Vice President - General Counsel & CCO of Monticello Associates, Inc. from 2010 to 2016. Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Gilomen is deemed an affiliate of the Trust, as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Gilomen is also the Secretary of Clough Funds Trust, Clough Global Dividend and Income Fund, Clough Global Equity Fund, Clough Global Opportunities Fund, Reaves Utility Income Fund, and the Assistant Secretary of the WesMark Funds.

Ted Uhl,

1974

Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) Mr. Uhl was appointed CCO of the Trust at the June 8, 2010 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Uhl joined ALPS in October 2006, and is currently Deputy Compliance Officer of ALPS. Prior to his current role, Mr. Uhl served as Senior Risk Manager for ALPS from October 2006 until June 2010. Before joining ALPS, Mr. Uhl served a Sr. Analyst with Enenbach and Associates (RIA), and a Sr. Financial Analyst at Sprint. Because of his position with ALPS, Mr. Uhl is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Mr. Uhl is also CCO of the Boulder Growth & Income Fund, Inc., Centre Funds, Elevation ETF Trust, Index Funds, Reality Shares ETF Trust and Reaves Utility Income Fund.

 

 

 

Name, Address* &

Year of Birth

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Jennell Panella,

1974

Assistant Treasurer Ms. Panella was elected Assistant Treasurer of the Trust at the September 15, 2015 meeting of the Board of Trustees Ms. Panella joined ALPS in June 2012 and is currently Fund Controller of ALPS Fund Services, Inc. Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Panella served as Financial Reporting Manager for Parker Global Strategies, LLC (2009-2012). Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Panella is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Panella also serves as Assistant Treasurer of James Advantage Funds.

Alan Gattis,

1980

Assistant Treasurer Mr. Gattis was elected Assistant Treasurer of the Trust at the September 13, 2016 meeting of the Board of Trustees Mr. Gattis joined ALPS in 2011 and is currently Vice President and Fund Controller of ALPS. Prior to joining ALPS, Mr. Gattis was an Auditor at Spicer Jeffries LLP (2009 through 2011) and an Auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (2004 - 2009). Because of his position with ALPS, Mr. Gattis is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Mr. Gattis is also Assistant Treasurer of ALPS Series Trust and Griffin Institutional Access Real Estate Fund..

Sharon Akselrod,

1974

Assistant Secretary Ms. Akselrod was elected Assistant Secretary of the Trust at the September 15, 2015 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Akselrod joined ALPS in August 2014 and is currently Senior Investment Company Act Paralegal of ALPS Fund Services, Inc. Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Akselrod served as Corporate Governance and Regulatory Associate for Nordstrom fsb (2013-2014) and Senior Legal Assistant – Legal Manager for AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (2008-2013). Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Akselrod is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Akselrod is also Assistant Secretary of ALPS ETF Trust.

Jennifer Craig

1973

Assistant Secretary

Ms. Craig was elected Assistant Secretary of the Trust at the June 8, 2016 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

 

Ms. Craig joined ALPS in 2007 and is currently Assistant Vice President and Paralegal Manager of ALPS. Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Craig was Legal Manager at Janus Capital Management LLC and served as Assistant Secretary of Janus Investment Fund, Janus Adviser Series and Janus Aspen Series. Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Craig is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Craig is also Assistant Secretary of Clough Global Dividend and Income Fund, Clough Global Equity Fund, Clough Global Opportunities Fund, Clough Funds Trust, Liberty All-Star Equity Fund, Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc. and ALPS Series Trust.

 

 

Name, Address* &

Year of Birth

Position(s)

Held with

Fund

Term of

Office** and

Length of

Time Served

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Sareena Khwaja-Dixon,

1980

Assistant Secretary Ms. Khwaja-Dixon was elected Assistant Secretary of the Trust at the December 12, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Khwaja-Dixon joined ALPS in August 2015 and is currently Senior Counsel and Vice President of ALPS Fund Services, Inc. Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Khwaja-Dixon served as a Senior Paralegal/Paralegal for Russell Investments (2011 – 2015). Ms. Khwaja-Dixon is also Secretary of Liberty All-Star Equity Fund and Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc., and Assistant Secretary of Clough Funds Trust, Clough Dividend and Income Fund, Clough Global Opportunities Fund, Clough Global Equity Fund and ALPS Variable Investment Trust.

 

*All communications to Trustees and Officers may be directed to Financial Investors Trust c/o 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203.
**This is the period for which the Trustee or Officer began serving the Trust. Each Trustee serves an indefinite term, until such Trustees successor is elected and appointed, or such Trustee resigns or is deceased. Officers are elected on an annual basis.
***Except as otherwise indicated, each individual has held the office shown or other offices in the same company for the last five years.
****The Fund Complex includes all series of the Trust, currently 33, and any other investment companies for which any Trustee serves as trustee for and for which ALPS Advisors or Smith Capital provides investment advisory services (currently [____] funds, respectively).

 

Additional Information About the Trustees’ Qualifications and Experience

 

The following is a brief discussion of the specific education, experience, qualifications, or skills that led to the conclusion, as of the date of this SAI, that each person identified below should serve as a Trustee for the Trust.

 

Mary K. Anstine

 

Ms. Anstine has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since March 21, 1997. Currently retired, Ms. Anstine has over 30 years of financial services experience. Most recently, she was President and CEO of HealthONE Alliance, Denver, Colorado from 1994 through 2004. From 1964 to 1994, Ms. Anstine held positions leading up to Executive Vice President of First Interstate Bank. She was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on her business and financial services experience.

 

 

Jeremy W. Deems

 

Mr. Deems has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since March 11, 2008. In 2007, Mr. Deems co-founded Green Alpha Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser, for which he currently serves as Co-President, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to co-founding Green Alpha Advisors, Mr. Deems was CFO of Forward Management, LLC, investment advisor to the Forward Funds and Sierra Club Mutual Funds, where he was also co-portfolio manager to the Sierra Club Stock Fund. In addition, he was the CFO of ReFlow Management Co., LLC. Prior to joining Forward and ReFlow, he served as Regional Marketing Assistant within the Investment Consulting Services Group at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Mr. Deems received a B.S. and a MBA in finance from Saint Mary’s College of California and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services, accounting and investment management experience.

 

Jerry G. Rutledge

 

Mr. Rutledge has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since August 7, 2009. Mr. Rutledge is the President and owner of Rutledge's Inc., an upscale men's clothing store, which he opened in 1967. Mr. Rutledge has over 40 years of business experience. He served on the CU Board of Regents from 1995 to 2007 and currently serves as a Director of the University of Colorado Hospital. Mr. Rutledge is a graduate of the University of Colorado. He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business experience.

 

Michael “Ross” Shell

 

Mr. Shell has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since August 7, 2009. In 2008, Mr. Shell founded Red Idea, LLC, a strategic consulting/early stage venture firm, for which he currently serves as CEO. From 1999 to 2009, he was a part-owner and Director of Tesser, Inc., a brand agency, during which time he also served as Director, Marketing and Investor Relations, of Woodbourne, a REIT/real estate hedge fund and private equity firm. Prior to this, he worked as a business strategy consultant, he was on the Global Client Services team of IDEO, and he was President of Tesser, Inc. Mr. Shell graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science. He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services and investment management experience.

 

Edmund J. Burke

 

Mr. Burke has been an Interested Trustee of the Trust since August 7, 2009. Mr. Burke joined ALPS Fund Services, Inc., the Fund’s administrator, in 1991 and currently serves as Director. He is also a Director and President of ALPS Holdings, Inc. and ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Director of ALPS Distributors, Inc., and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., the Fund’s principal underwriter. Mr. Burke has over 20 years of financial services and investment management experience. Before joining ALPS, Mr. Burke was a Regional Vice President for the Pioneer Funds in Boston and has also worked with Fidelity. Mr. Burke has a B.A. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire. He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services and investment management experience.

 

None of the Independent Trustees own securities in the Adviser, any of the Sub-Advisers or Distributor, nor do they own securities in any entity directly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser, any of the Sub-Advisers or Distributor.

 

 

Leadership Structure and Oversight Responsibilities

 

Overall responsibility for oversight of the Fund rests with the Trustees. The Trust has engaged the Adviser to manage the Fund on a day-to day basis. The Board is responsible for overseeing the Adviser and other service providers in the operations of the Fund in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act, applicable provisions of state and other laws and the Trust’s charter. The Board is currently composed of five members, four of whom are Independent Trustees. The Board meets at regularly scheduled quarterly meetings each year. In addition, the Board may hold special in-person or telephonic meetings or informal conference calls to discuss specific matters that may arise or require action between regular meetings. As described below, the Board has established a Nominating and Governance Committee and an Audit Committee, and may establish ad hoc committees or working groups from time to time, to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities. The Independent Trustees have also engaged independent legal counsel to assist them in performing their oversight responsibilities.

 

The Board has appointed Mary K. Anstine, an Independent Trustee, to serve in the role of Chairman. The Chairman’s role is to preside at all meetings of the Board and to act as a liaison with the Adviser, other service providers, counsel and other Trustees generally between meetings. The Chairman and may also perform such other functions as may be delegated by the Board from time to time. The Board reviews matters related to its leadership structure annually. The Board has determined that the Board’s leadership structure is appropriate given the Trust’s characteristics and circumstances. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, the Trust’s multiple series of fund shares, each fund’s single portfolio of assets, each fund’s net assets, the services provided by the funds’ service providers, the formal and informal functions of the various Independent Trustees both during and between Board meetings, the existence of the Trust for over 15 years and the long board service of some of the Independent Trustees, which in some cases date back to the inception of the Trust.

 

Risk oversight forms part of the Board’s general oversight of the Fund and is addressed as part of various Board and Committee activities. As part of its regular oversight of the Fund, the Board, directly or through a Committee, interacts with and reviews reports from, among others, Fund management, the Adviser, the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer, the Fund’s legal counsel and the independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund regarding risks faced by the Fund. The Board, with the assistance of Fund management and the Adviser, reviews investment policies and risks in connection with its review of the Fund’s performance. The Board has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer who oversees the implementation and testing of the Fund’s compliance program and reports to the Board regarding compliance matters for the Fund and its principal service providers. In addition, as part of the Board’s periodic review of the Fund’s advisory, sub-advisory and other service provider agreements, the Board may consider risk management aspects of these service providers’ operations and the functions for which they are responsible.

 

None of the Independent Trustees own securities in the Adviser or the Distributor, nor do they own securities in any entity directly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or the Distributor.

 

Audit Committee. The Board has an Audit Committee which considers such matters pertaining to the Trust’s books of account, financial records, internal accounting controls and changes in accounting principles or practices as the Trustees may from time to time determine. The Audit Committee also considers the engagement and compensation of the independent registered public accounting firm (“Firm”) and ensures receipt from the Firm of a formal written statement delineating relationships between the Firm and the Trust, consistent with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Rule 3526. The Audit Committee also meets privately with the representatives of the Firm to review the scope and results of audits and other duties as set forth in the Audit Committee’s Charter. The Audit Committee members, each of whom are Independent Trustees are: Ms. Anstine and Messrs. Deems (Chairman), Rutledge and Shell. The Audit Committee met [___] times during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017.

 

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee meets periodically to advise and assist the Board in selecting nominees to serve as trustees of the Trust. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee believes the Board generally benefits from diversity of background, experience and views among its members, and considers this a factor in evaluating the composition of the Board, but has not adopted any specific policy in this regard. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee also advises and assists the Board in establishing, implementing and executing policies, procedures and practices that assure orderly and effective governance of the Trust and effective and efficient management of all business and financial affairs of the Trust. Members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are currently: Ms. Anstine (Chairman) and Messrs. Deems, Rutledge and Shell. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board met [___] during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017.

 

Shareholder Nominations. The Board will consider shareholder nominees for Trustees. All nominees must possess the appropriate characteristics, skills and experience for serving on the Board. In particular, the Board and its Independent Trustees will consider each nominee’s integrity, educational and professional background, understanding of the Trust’s business on a technical level and commitment to devote the time and attention necessary to fulfill a Trustee’s duties. All shareholders who wish to recommend nominees for consideration as Trustees shall submit the names and qualifications of the candidates to the Secretary of the Trust by writing to: Financial Investors Trust, 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado, 80203.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the dollar range of equity securities in the Funds beneficially owned by the Interested Trustee were as follows:

 

Interested Trustee Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Funds

Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in All Registered Investment

Companies Overseen by Trustee in Family of Investment Companies

Edmund J. Burke None None

 

As of December 31, 2017, the dollar range of equity securities in the Funds beneficially owned by Independent Trustees were as follows:

 

Independent Trustees Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Funds

Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in All Registered Investment

Companies Overseen by Trustee in Family of Investment Companies

Mary K. Anstine None $10,001 - $50,000
Jeremy W. Deems None None
Jerry G. Rutledge None $50,001-$100,000
Michael “Ross” Shell None None

 

Remuneration of Trustees.

Effective July 1, 2017, the Independent Trustees receive a quarterly retainer of $12,000, plus $4,000 for each regular Board or Committee meeting attended, $1,000 for each special telephonic Board or Committee meeting attended and $2,000 for each special in-person Board meeting attended. Previously, the Independent Trustees received a quarterly retainer of $9,500, plus $3,000 for each regular Board or Committee meeting attended, $1,000 for each special telephonic Board or Committee meeting attended and $2,000 for each special in-person Board meeting attended. The Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Audit Committee also receive an additional quarterly retainer of $2,000. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at meetings. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2017, the Independent Trustees received the following compensation: [to be updated]

 

 

 

Aggregate
Compensation

From the

Trust

Pension Or
Retirement
Benefits
Accrued As
Part of Fund
Expenses
Estimated
Annual
Benefits Upon
Retirement
Aggregate Compensation
From The
Trust And
Fund
Complex Paid
To Trustees*
Mary K. Anstine  $ 54,500 $0 $0  $ 131,000
Jeremy W. Deems  $ 56,500 $0 $0  $ 190,732
Jerry G. Rutledge  $ 54,500 $0 $0  $ 153,250
Michael “Ross” Shell  $ 54,500 $0 $0  $ 54,500

 

*The Fund Complex includes all series of the Trust, currently 33, and any other investment companies for which any Trustee serves as trustee for and for which ALPS Advisors or Smith Capital provides investment advisory services (currently [____] funds, respectively).

 

No officer, trustee or employee of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser or any of its affiliates receives any compensation from the Fund for serving as an officer or trustee of the Fund.

 

INVESTMENT MANAGERS

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (the “Adviser”), a wholly owned subsidiary of ALPS Holdings, Inc. (“ALPS Holdings”), subject to the authority of the Board, is responsible for the overall management and administration of each Fund’s business affairs. The Adviser commenced business operations in December 2006 upon the acquisition of an existing investment advisory operation and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser. The Adviser’s principal address is 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203.

 

Located in Denver, Colorado, ALPS Holdings was founded in 2005 and assumed the business of ALPS Financial Services, which was founded in 1985 as a provider of fund administration and fund distribution services. Since then, ALPS Holdings has added additional services, including fund accounting, transfer agency, shareholder services, active distribution, legal, tax and compliance services. As of December 31, 2017, ALPS Advisors, Inc. manages over $___ billion in assets.

 

Smith Capital, an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Colorado limited liability company, is located in Denver, Colorado, and was established in 2018. Smith Capital’s principal address is 8 Alexander Lane, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80121.

 

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Fund will pay the Adviser an annual management fee of [_____]% based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. The management fee is paid on a monthly basis. The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years. Pursuant to the Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser will pay the Sub-Adviser an annual sub-advisory management fee of [_____]% based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Fund’s Advisory Agreement and the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be provided in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the period ended [_____].

 

 

The Adviser and Sub-Adviser have agreed contractually to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual expenses, exclusive of Distribution and Service (12b-1) fees, Shareholder Service Fees, brokerage expenses, interest expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses, to [____]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement is in effect through [_____]. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses they have borne through the agreement described above to the extent that the Fund’s expenses in later periods fall below the annual rates set forth in the relevant agreement. The Fund will not be obligated to pay any such deferred fees and expenses more than thirty-six months after the end of the fiscal year in which the fees and expense were deferred. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser may not discontinue this waiver without the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.

 

The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years. The Board may extend the Advisory Agreement for additional one-year terms. The Board, shareholders of a Fund or the Adviser may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice. The initial term of the Sub-Advisory Agreement is two years and may be reapproved annually thereafter. The Board, shareholders of the Fund, the Adviser or the Sub-Adviser may terminate the Sub-Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the renewal of the Funds’ Advisory Agreement and Sub-Advisory Agreement is provided in the Funds’ annual report to shareholders for the period ended [_____].

 

DISTRIBUTOR

 

Shares of each Fund are offered on a continuous basis through ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. (an affiliate of ALPS and the Adviser) (“APSD” or the “Distributor”), located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, as distributor pursuant to a distribution agreement between the Distributor and the Fund. The Distributor is not obligated to sell any specific amount of Fund shares.

 

CODE OF ETHICS

 

The Fund, the Adviser, the Co-Adviser, each Sub-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.

 

ADMINISTRATOR

 

Each Fund currently employs ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (an affiliate of APSD and the Adviser) (“ALPS” or the “Administrator”), located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, under an administration agreement to provide certain administrative services to the Funds. Information on the services provided by the Administrator and the fees paid to the Administrator is available in the Prospectus, which is incorporated by reference in this SAI.

 

 

PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

The Board has approved delegating proxy voting discretion to the Sub-Adviser (or, with respect to certain Funds, the Adviser) believing that the Sub-Adviser (or the Adviser) should be responsible for voting because it is a matter relating to the investment decision making process.

 

Attached as Appendix B are summaries of the guidelines and procedures that each Sub-Adviser (or the Adviser) uses to determine how to vote proxies relating to portfolio securities, including the procedures that the Sub-Adviser (or Adviser) uses when a vote presents a conflict between the interests of Fund shareholders, on the one hand, and those of the Sub-Adviser (or Adviser) or any affiliated person of the Fund or the Sub-Adviser, on the other. This summary of the guidelines gives a general indication as to how the Sub-Adviser (or Adviser) will vote proxies relating to portfolio securities on each issue listed. However, the guidelines do not address all potential voting issues or the intricacies that may surround individual proxy votes. For that reason, there may be instances in which votes may vary from the guidelines presented. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Sub-Adviser (or, as applicable, the Adviser) always endeavors to vote proxies relating to portfolio securities in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives. When applicable, information on how a Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent prior 12-month period ended June 30, will be available without charge, (i) upon request, by calling 866.759.5679 and (ii) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

 

PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

 

A principal shareholder is any person who owns of record or beneficially owns 5% or more of any class of a Fund’s outstanding equity securities. A control person is any person who owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a Fund or acknowledges the existence of control. Because each Fund is new as of the date of this SAI, there were no principal shareholders or control persons of each Fund, and the Trustees and Officers of the Trust as a group did not own any of the outstanding shares of the Funds.

 

EXPENSES

 

Each Fund’s expenses include taxes, interest, fees and salaries of such Fund Trustees and officers who are not trustees, officers or employees of the Fund’s service contractors, SEC fees, state securities qualification fees, costs of preparing and printing prospectuses for regulatory purposes and for distribution to existing shareholders, advisory and administration fees, charges of the custodian and of the transfer and dividend disbursing agent, certain insurance premiums, outside auditing and legal expenses, costs of shareholder reports and shareholder meetings and any extraordinary expenses. The Fund also pays for brokerage fees and commissions (if any) in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

 

The following sections set forth certain additional information with respect to the portfolio managers for each Fund. Unless noted otherwise, all information is provided as of [____________], 2018.

 

Other Accounts Managed by Portfolio Manager

 

The table below identifies as of [____________], 2018, for the portfolio manager of each Fund, the number of accounts (other than the Funds with respect to which information is provided) for which he has day-to-day management responsibilities and the total assets in such accounts, within each of the following categories: registered investment companies, other pooled investment vehicles, and other accounts.

 

 

Portfolio Manager(s) Registered Investment Companies Other Pooled Investment Vehicles Other Accounts
Number Total Assets
(in millions)
Number Total Assets
(in millions)
Number Total Assets
(in millions)
ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund            

Gibson Smith

(Portfolio Manager)

           
ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund            

Gibson Smith

(Portfolio Manager)

           

 

ALPS | Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS | Smith Short Duration Bond Fund

 

Portfolio Manager Compensation

The Portfolio Manager who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds is paid a base salary, plus a discretionary bonus. The bonus is determined by the business unit’s revenue and profitability as well as the individual’s contribution to the business unit. The bonus is discretionary and is not based specifically on portfolio performance. As an equity holder of the Sub-Adviser, the Portfolio Manager also shares in the profitability of the firm.

 

Conflicts of Interest with Other Accounts. Potential conflicts of interest may arise when a Fund’s portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to one or more other funds or other accounts, as is the case for the portfolio manager listed in the table above.

 

The Sub-Adviser and the Funds have adopted compliance policies and procedures that are designed to address various conflicts of interest that may arise for the Sub-Adviser and the individuals that it employs. For example, the Sub-Adviser seeks to minimize the effects of competing interests for the time and attention of portfolio managers by assigning portfolio managers to manage funds and accounts that share a similar investment style. The Sub-Adviser has also adopted trade allocation procedures that are designed to facilitate the fair allocation of limited investment opportunities among multiple funds and accounts. There is no guarantee, however, that the policies and procedures adopted by the Sub-Adviser and the Funds will be able to detect and/or prevent every situation in which an actual or potential conflict may appear.

 

Allocation of Limited Time and Attention. A portfolio manager who is responsible for managing multiple funds and/or accounts may devote unequal time and attention to the management of those funds and/or accounts. As a result, the portfolio manager may not be able to formulate as complete a strategy or identify equally attractive investment opportunities for each of those accounts as might be the case if he or she were to devote substantially more attention to the management of a single fund. The effects of this potential conflict may be more pronounced where funds and/or accounts overseen by a particular portfolio manager have different investment strategies.

 

 

Allocation of Limited Investment Opportunities. If a portfolio manager identifies a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable for multiple funds and/or accounts, the opportunity may be allocated among these several funds or accounts, which may limit a fund’s ability to take full advantage of the investment opportunity.

 

Pursuit of Differing Strategies. At times, a portfolio manager may determine that an investment opportunity may be appropriate for only some of the funds and/or accounts for which he or she exercises investment responsibility, or may decide that certain of the funds and/or accounts should take differing positions with respect to a particular security. In these cases, the portfolio manager may place separate transactions for one or more funds or accounts which may affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the detriment or benefit of one or more other funds and/or accounts.

 

Selection of Brokers/Dealers. Portfolio managers may be able to select or influence the selection of the brokers and dealers that are used to execute securities transactions for the funds and/or account that they supervise. In addition to executing trades, some brokers and dealers provide portfolio managers with brokerage and research services (as those terms are defined in Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act), which may result in the payment of higher brokerage fees than might have otherwise been available. These services may be more beneficial to certain funds or accounts than to others. Although the payment of brokerage commissions is subject to the requirement that the portfolio manager determine in good faith that the commissions are reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided to the fund, a portfolio manager’s decision as to the selection of brokers and dealers could yield disproportionate costs and benefits among the funds and/or accounts that he or she manages.

 

Variation in Compensation. A conflict of interest may arise where the financial or other benefits available to the portfolio manager differ among the funds and/or accounts that he or she manages. If the structure of the investment adviser’s management fee and/or the portfolio manager’s compensation differs among funds and/or accounts (such as where certain funds or accounts pay higher management fees or performance-based management fees), the portfolio manager might be motivated to help certain funds and/or accounts over others. The portfolio manager might be motivated to favor funds and/or accounts in which he or she has an interest or in which the investment adviser and/or its affiliates have interests. Similarly, the desire to maintain or raise assets under management or to enhance the portfolio manager’s performance record or to derive other rewards, financial or otherwise, could influence the portfolio manager to lend preferential treatment to those funds and/or accounts that could most significantly benefit the portfolio manager.

 

Related Business Opportunities. The Sub-Adviser or its affiliates may provide more services (such as distribution or recordkeeping) for some types of funds or accounts than for others. In such cases, a portfolio manager may benefit, either directly or indirectly, by devoting disproportionate attention to the management of funds and/or accounts that provide greater overall returns to the Sub-Adviser and its affiliates.

 

Ownership of Securities

 

Because each Fund is newly organized, the portfolio manager does not own shares of the Funds.

 

NET ASSET VALUE

 

The following is a description of the procedures used by the Fund in valuing its assets. Because of the differences in service and distribution fees and class-specific expenses, the per share net asset value of each class may differ. For the purpose of pricing purchase and redemption orders, the net asset value per share of each class of the Fund is calculated separately and is determined once daily as of the close of regularly scheduled trading on the NYSE (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). The Fund’s net asset value is calculated on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, i.e., Monday through Friday, except for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, and the preceding Friday or subsequent Monday when one of those holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, respectively.

 

 

In calculating net asset value, equity securities listed or traded on national securities exchanges are valued at the last sale price or, if there have been no sales on that day, at the mean of the current bid and ask price which represents the current value of the security. Over-the-counter securities are valued at the mean of the current bid and ask price.

 

Portfolio securities listed on the NASDAQ National Market System for which market quotations are available are valued at the official closing price. If there is no official closing price, the securities are valued at the last sale price or, if there have been no sales that day, at the mean of the current bid and ask price which represents the current value of the security.

 

Securities that are primarily traded on foreign exchanges generally are valued at the preceding closing values of such securities on their respective exchanges, except that when an occurrence subsequent to the time a value was so established is likely to have changed such value, then the fair value of those securities will be determined by consideration of other factors by or under the direction of the Fund’s Board or its delegates. In valuing assets, prices denominated in foreign currencies are converted to U.S. dollar equivalents at the current exchange rate. Securities may be valued by independent pricing services which use prices provided by market-makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data relating to instruments or securities with similar characteristics. Debt securities, including short-term debt obligations that will mature in 60 days or less, will generally be valued at the price supplied by an independent third-party pricing service approved by the Funds’ Board, which may use a matrix, formula or other objective method that takes into consideration market indices, yield curves and other specific adjustments. If vendors are unable to supply a price, or if the price supplied is deemed to be unreliable, the market price may be determined using quotations received from one or more brokers/dealers that make a market in the security. All other securities and other assets of the Fund will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board.

 

TAXES

 

This section provides additional information concerning U.S. federal income taxes. It is based on the Code, applicable Treasury Regulations, judicial authority, and administrative rulings and practice, all as of the date of this SAI, and all of which are subject to change, including changes with retroactive effect. The following does not address any state, local or foreign or estate or gift tax matters.

 

A shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax consequences from acquiring, holding and disposing of shares in a Fund may vary depending upon his or her particular situation. This discussion only applies to shareholders who are U.S. persons. For purposes of this discussion, U.S. persons are: (i) U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) U.S. corporations, (iii) an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source, or (iv) a trust, if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions, or certain electing trusts that were in existence on August 20, 1996, and were treated as domestic trusts on August 19, 1996. This discussion does not address issues of significance to U.S. persons in special situations such as: (i) certain types of tax-exempt organizations, (ii) shareholders holding shares through tax-advantaged accounts (such as 401(k) plan accounts or individual retirement accounts), (iii) shareholders holding investments through foreign institutions (financial and non-financial), (iv) financial institutions, (v) broker-dealers, (vi) entities not organized under the laws of the United States or a political subdivision thereof, (vii) shareholders holding shares as part of a hedge, straddle or conversion transaction, and (viii) shareholders who are subject to the U.S. federal alternative minimum tax.

 

 

If a partnership (including for this purpose any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is a beneficial owner of shares, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Partners of partnerships that are considering the purchase of shares should consult their own tax advisers regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares.

 

The Funds have not requested and will not request an advance ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) as to the U.S. federal income tax matters described below. The IRS could adopt positions contrary to those discussed below and such positions could be sustained. In addition, the foregoing discussion only addresses some of the U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting investments in the Funds. Prospective shareholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisers as to the particular U.S. federal tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, as well as the applicability and effect of any state, local or foreign laws, and the effect of possible changes in applicable tax laws.

 

General Policies

 

In general, it is each Fund’s policy to distribute to its shareholders as “ordinary income dividends” substantially all of its net investment income and its net short-term capital gains. It is also each Fund’s policy to distribute annually all net realized long-term capital gains, if any, after offsetting any capital loss carryovers, as “capital gains dividends.”

 

Ordinary income dividends and capital gain distributions are payable in full and fractional shares of the relevant class of the Fund based upon the net asset value determined as of the close of the Exchange on the record date for each dividend or distribution. Shareholders, however, may elect to receive their ordinary income dividends or capital gain distributions, or both, in cash. The election may be made at any time by submitting a written request directly to the applicable Fund. In order for a change to be in effect for any dividend or distribution, it must be received by such Fund on or before the record date for such dividend or distribution.

 

If you elect to receive your dividends in cash and the dividend checks sent to you are returned “undeliverable” to the applicable Fund or remain uncashed for six months, your cash election will automatically be changed and your future dividends will be reinvested. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed dividend or redemption checks.

 

As required by federal law, detailed U.S. federal tax information will be furnished to each shareholder for each calendar year.

 

Taxation of the Funds

 

Each Fund intends to elect to be treated and qualify each year as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded regulated investment companies and their shareholders, a Fund must, among other things: (i) derive at least 90% of its gross income in each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships;” (ii) diversify its holdings so that at the end of each fiscal quarter, (a) at least 50% of the value of its total assets consists of cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and other securities limited generally, with respect to any one issuer, to no more than 5% of the value of such Fund’s total assets and 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of such Fund’s total assets is invested in (1) the securities (other than those of the U.S. government or other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, (2) the securities (other than the securities of other regulated investment companies) of two or more issuers which such Fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or (3) in the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships and (iii) distribute with respect to each taxable year an amount equal to or exceeding the sum of (a) 90% of its “investment company taxable income,” as that term is defined in the Code (which generally includes, among other things, dividends, taxable interest, and the excess of any net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, as reduced by certain deductible expenses) without regard to the deduction for dividends paid, and (b) 90% of its tax-exempt interest income, net of expenses allocable thereto. For purposes of meeting the diversification requirement described in (ii) above, in the case of a Fund’s investment in loan participations, the issuer may be the financial intermediary or the borrower.

 

 

With respect to (i) above, the IRS may limit qualifying income from foreign currency gains to the amount of such currency gains that are directly related to a regulated investment company’s principal business of investing in stock or securities pursuant to regulations that may be promulgated in the future. For purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in (i) above, income derived from a partnership will generally be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be qualifying income if realized by the regulated investment company. However, 100% of the net income derived from an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership (defined as a partnership (x) interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the qualifying income described in (i) above) will be treated as qualifying income. In addition, although in general the passive activity loss rules of the Code do not apply to regulated investment companies, such rules do apply to a regulated investment company with respect to items attributable to an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership. Finally, for purposes of (ii)(a) above, the term “outstanding voting securities of such issuer” will include the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership.

 

To the extent that it qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company, a Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on income distributed to its shareholders in a timely manner in the form of dividends (including capital gain dividends, defined below). In certain situations, a Fund can cure failures to meet the income and diversification tests described above, including, in some cases, by paying a Fund-level tax and, in the case of diversification failures, disposing of certain assets. If a Fund were to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company accorded special tax treatment in any taxable year – for example, because it was not sufficiently diversified under the applicable Code tests – such Fund would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gains, would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. To qualify again to be taxed as a regulated investment company that is accorded special treatment in a subsequent year, such a Fund could be required to pay substantial taxes, penalties and interest and make substantial distributions. In addition, if a Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company for a period greater than two taxable years, such a Fund may be required to recognize and pay tax on any net built-in gain (the excess of aggregate gain, including items of income, over aggregate loss that would have been realized if the effected Fund had been liquidated) or, alternatively, to be subject to taxation on such built-in gain recognized for a period of five years, in order to qualify as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year.

 

 

 

As a regulated investment company, each Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its net capital gains (that, is any net long-term capital gains in excess of the sum of net short-term capital losses and certain capital loss carryovers from prior years) properly reported by a Fund in a written statement to shareholders as capital gain dividends (“capital gain dividends”) and its investment company taxable income if any, that a Fund distributes to shareholders on a timely basis. Each Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its investment company taxable income and to distribute all of its capital gains, after offsetting any capital loss carryovers, in a taxable year. If a Fund does retain any investment company taxable income, it will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. However, a Fund may elect to have certain dividends paid after the close of a tax year treated as having been paid during the tax year for purposes of the regulated investment company distribution requirements and for purposes of determining its taxable income (“spill-over dividends”). Spill-over dividends are taxed to shareholders in the year in which they are received.

 

If a Fund retains any net capital gain, it will also be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained, but may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of such undistributed amount, and (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by such a Fund on such undistributed amount against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of such a Fund will be increased by an amount equal to the difference between the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income and the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii) of the preceding sentence.

 

Generally, the excess (if any) of a Fund’s net short-term capital loss over the net long-term capital loss for a taxable year will carry over as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the next tax year. In addition, the excess (if any) of a Fund’s net long-term capital loss over the net short-term capital gain for the year will carry over as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the next tax year.

 

A regulated investment company may elect to treat any post-October capital loss (defined as the Fund’s net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss, as applicable, in each case attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31) and late-year ordinary loss (generally, (i) net ordinary losses from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property, attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31, plus (ii) other net ordinary losses attributable to the portion of the taxable year after December 31) as if incurred in the succeeding taxable year.

 

If a Fund fails to distribute in a calendar year at least an amount equal to the sum of 98% of its ordinary income for such year and 98.2% of its net capital gain income for the one year period ending on October 31 of such year, plus any retained amount for the prior year, such a Fund will be subject to a non-deductible excise tax on the undistributed amounts. For these purposes, ordinary gains and losses from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property that would be properly taken into account after October 31 are treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. For purposes of the excise tax, a Fund will be treated as having distributed any amount on which it has been subject to corporate income tax in the taxable year ending within the calendar year. A dividend paid to shareholders in January of a year generally is deemed to have been paid on December 31 of the preceding year, if the dividend is declared and payable to the shareholders of record on a date in October, November or December of that preceding year.

 

Each Fund intends to make distributions sufficient to avoid imposition of the excise tax, although there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so.

 

 

Taxation of Fund Distributions

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment company taxable income are generally taxable as ordinary income to the extent of a Fund’s current or accumulated “earnings and profits.” Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long a Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her shares. Distributions of net capital gains from the sale of investments that a Fund owned for more than one year and that are properly designated by such Fund as capital gain dividends (i.e., “capital gain dividends”) will be taxable to Fund shareholders as long-term capital gains. Generally, distributions of gains from the sale of investments that a Fund owned for one year or less will be taxable as ordinary income. A Fund may designate certain dividends as derived from “qualified dividend income,” which, when received by an individual or other non-corporate shareholder, will be taxed at the rates applicable to long-term capital gain. Dividend income distributed to individual or other non-corporate shareholders will qualify as “qualified dividend income” as that term is defined in section 1(h)(11)(B) of the Code to the extent such distributions are attributable to income from the applicable Fund’s investments in common and preferred stock of U.S. companies and stock of certain qualified foreign corporations provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met by both such Fund and its shareholders. No Fund expects a significant portion of distributions to be derived from qualified dividend income. Distributions are taxable to shareholders even if they are paid from income or gains earned by a Fund before a shareholder invested in that Fund (and thus were included in the price the shareholder paid).

 

Distributions of earnings are taxable whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares (other than distributions, if any, designated by the Fund as “exempt-interest dividends,” a designation which the Funds generally do not expect to make). Any gain resulting from the sale or exchange of Fund shares generally will be taxable as capital gains. Distributions declared and payable by a Fund during October, November or December to shareholders of record on a date in any such month and paid by the Fund during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal tax purposes as paid by the Fund and received by shareholders on December 31st of the year in which declared rather than the calendar year in which they were received.

 

The maximum long-term capital gain rate applicable to individuals is 20%. Certain categories of capital gains are taxable at maximum individual federal income tax rates of 25% or 28. These tax rates are in addition to the 3.8% Medicare tax imposed on certain net investment income. See “Surtax on Net Investment Income,” below.

 

Dividends received by corporate shareholders that are reported by a Fund in a written statement furnished to shareholders may qualify for the 70% dividends received deduction to the extent of the amount of qualifying dividends received by a Fund from domestic corporations and to the extent (if any) that a portion of interest paid or accrued on certain high yield discount obligations owned by the Fund are treated as dividends.

 

If a Fund makes a distribution in excess of its current and accumulated “earnings and profits” in any taxable year, the excess distribution will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of a shareholder’s tax basis in his or her shares, and thereafter as capital gain. A return of capital is not taxable, but it reduces a shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition by the shareholder of such shares.

 

Sale or Redemption of Shares

 

The sale or redemption of Fund shares may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Fund shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of Fund shares will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. However, any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term, rather than short-term, to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributions received (or deemed received) by the shareholder with respect to the shares. All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Fund shares will be disallowed if other substantially identical shares of such Fund are purchased within 30 days before or after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

 

 

Special Tax Considerations

 

The following discussion relates to the particular U.S. federal income tax consequences of the investment policies of the Funds.

 

Passive Foreign Investment Companies

 

Funds that invest in non-U.S. securities may own shares in certain foreign investment entities, referred to as “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”). In order to avoid U.S. federal income tax and an additional charge on a portion of any “excess distribution” from PFICs or gain from the disposition of PFIC shares, a Fund may elect to “mark-to-market” annually its investments in such entities, which will result in such Fund being treated as if it had sold and repurchased all the PFIC stock at the end of each year. As a result of the mark-to-market election, an electing Fund would report any such gains as ordinary income and would deduct such losses as ordinary losses to the extent of previously recognized gains. By making the mark-to-market election, an electing Fund could potentially mitigate the adverse tax consequences with respect to its ownership of shares in a PFIC, but in any particular year it may be required to recognize income in excess of the distributions it receives from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock. An electing Fund may have to distribute this “phantom” income and gain to satisfy the distribution requirement and to avoid imposition of the excise tax described above. Alternatively, a Fund may elect to treat the PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” (a “QEF election”), in which case the Fund would be required to include its share of the company’s income and net capital gains annually, regardless of whether it receives distributions from the PFIC. As with the mark-to-market election, these amounts would be taken into account by an electing Fund for purposes of satisfying the distribution requirement and the excise tax distribution requirement. However, under recently released proposed regulations, QEF inclusions would not be qualifying income for a regulated investment company unless the earnings attributable to the inclusions are distributed to the regulated investment company in the year of the inclusion. In order to make a QEF election, a Fund would be required to obtain certain annual information from the PFICs in which it invests, which may be difficult or impossible to obtain. Income from investments in PFICs generally will not qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income. Dividends paid by PFICs or by foreign corporations that were PFICs in the year preceding the payment of the dividends will not be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income.

 

Non-U.S. Taxes

 

Each Fund that invests in non-U.S. securities may be liable to non-U.S. governments for taxes relating primarily to investment income or capital gains on non-U.S. securities in such Fund’s portfolio. If at the close of its taxable year more than 50% of the value of a Fund’s total assets consists of securities of foreign corporations (including foreign governments), such Fund may make an election under the Code that would allow Fund shareholders who are U.S. persons or U.S. corporations to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction (but not both) on their U.S. income tax return for their pro rata portion of qualified taxes paid by that Fund to non-U.S. countries in respect of non-U.S. securities held at least a minimum period as specified in the Code. If a Fund were eligible for and were to makethe election, the amount of each shareholder’s distribution reported on the information returns filed by such Fund with the IRS must be increased by the amount of the shareholder’s portion of such Fund’s foreign tax paid. A shareholder’s ability to claim all or a part of a foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of non-U.S. taxes paid by a Fund would also be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code.

 

 

If a Fund were to qualify as a “qualified fund of funds,” the Fund could be entitled to elect to pass-through its foreign tax credits without regard to the above described 50% requirement. For this purpose, the term “qualified fund of funds” means a regulated investment company if (at the close of each quarter of the taxable year) at least 50% of the value of its total assets is represented by interests in other regulated investment companies. The Funds make no assurances as to either the availability of any election discussed in this section or their willingness to make any such election.

 

Non-U.S. Currency Transactions

 

Transactions in non-U.S. currencies, non-U.S.-currency denominated debt obligations and certain non-U.S. currency options, future 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 non-U.S. currency concerned and may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders. Certain of a Fund’s transactions, if any, in foreign currencies and foreign currency denominated instruments are likely to result in a difference between the Fund’s book income and taxable income. This difference may cause a portion of such Fund’s income distributions to constitute a return of capital or capital gain for tax purposes or require the Fund to make distributions exceeding book income to avoid excise tax liability and to qualify as a regulated investment company, which may have the effect of accelerating taxable distributions to shareholders of the Fund.

 

Financial Products

 

Each Fund’s investments in options, futures contracts, hedging transactions, forward contracts, swaps and certain other transactions will be subject to special tax rules (including mark-to-market, constructive sale, straddle, wash sale, short sale and other rules), the effect of which may be to accelerate income recognized by such Fund, defer such Fund’s losses, cause adjustments in the holding periods of such Fund’s securities, convert capital gain into ordinary income and convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to Fund shareholders.

 

Some of a Fund’s investments, such as certain option transactions as well as futures transactions in foreign currency contracts that are traded in the interbank market, may be “section 1256 contracts.” Gains and losses on section 1256 contracts are generally treated as 60% long-term capital and 40% short-term capital, although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as entirely ordinary in character. Section 1256 contracts held by a Fund at the end of a taxable year are “marked to market” for income tax purposes, meaning that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized (and treated on the 60/40 basis described above).

 

Certain positions undertaken by a Fund may constitute “straddles” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The straddle rules may affect the character of gains or losses realized by such Fund. Losses realized by a Fund that are part of a straddle may be deferred beyond the point in time that they are realized. The straddle rules, if applicable, could increase the amount of short-term capital gain realized by a Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders. Certain tax elections that a Fund may make with respect to straddles could affect the character and timing of recognition of gains and losses.

 

 

Rules governing the tax aspects of notional principal contracts in which a Fund may invest are not clear in various respects. As a result, the IRS could challenge a Fund’s methods of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes for such contracts, and such a challenge could affect the status of such Fund as a regulated investment company.

 

A Fund may make short sales of securities. Short sales may increase the amount of short-term capital gains realized by a Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income to the shareholders when distributed. Short sales may also constitute “constructive sales,” which would result in taxable income before the short-sale positions are terminated.

 

Certain of a Fund’s hedging activities including its transactions in options, futures contracts and foreign currencies, are likely to result in a difference between such Fund’s book income and taxable income. This difference may cause a portion of a Fund’s income distributions to constitute a return of capital or capital gain for tax purposes or require such Fund to make distributions exceeding book income to avoid excise tax liability and to qualify as a regulated investment company, which may have the effect of accelerating taxable distributions to shareholders.

 

Securities Issued or Purchased at a Discount

 

A Fund’s investment in securities issued at a discount and certain other obligations will (and investments in securities purchased at a discount may) require that Fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. In addition, payment-in-kind securities will give rise to income which is required to be distributed even though such Fund does not receive an interest payment in cash on the security during the year. In order to generate sufficient cash to make the requisite distributions, an effected Fund may be required to sell securities in its portfolio that it otherwise would have continued to hold. An effected Fund may realize gains or losses from such sales. In the event such Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger capital gain distribution than they would in the absence of such transactions.

 

Some debt obligations that are acquired by a Fund in the secondary market may be treated as having market discount. Generally, any gain recognized on the disposition of a debt security having market discount is treated as ordinary income to the extent the gain does not exceed the “accrued market discount” on such debt security. Market discount generally accrues in equal daily installments. Each Fund may make certain elections applicable to debt obligations having market discount, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

High-Risk Securities

 

Each Fund may invest in debt obligations that are in the lowest rating categories or are unrated. Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default present special tax issues for a Fund. The application of the U.S. federal income tax rules with respect to these types of investments is complicated and will depend upon the application of the law to facts that may be unclear, which may result in uncertainty about the U.S. federal income tax treatment of these investments (e.g., such as when a Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts, or worthless securities and how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income). These and other related issues will be addressed by a Fund if it invests in such securities in order to seek to ensure that such Fund distributes sufficient income to avoid becoming subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.

 

 

Real Estate Investment Trusts

 

A Fund’s investments in REIT equity securities, if any, may result in such Fund’s receipt of cash in excess of the REIT’s earnings. If the Fund receives such distributions all or a portion of these distributions will constitute a return of capital to such Fund. Receiving a return of capital distribution from a REIT will reduce the amount of income available to be distributed to Fund shareholders. Income from REIT securities generally will not be eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income.

 

Tax-Exempt Shareholders

 

Under current law, each Fund serves to “block” (that is, prevent the attribution to shareholders of) unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) from being realized by its tax-exempt shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in a Fund if either: (1) the applicable Fund invests in REITs that hold residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”); or (2) shares in the applicable Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Code. If a charitable remainder trust (as defined in section 664 of the Code) realizes any UBTI for a taxable year, it will be subject to an excise tax equal to the amount of such UBTI. A Fund may invest in REITs that hold residual interests in REMICs.

 

Backup Withholding

 

Each Fund generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and redemption proceeds paid to any non-corporate shareholder who fails to properly furnish such Fund with a correct taxpayer identification number (“TIN”) or who has under-reported dividend or interest income, and to any shareholder that fails to certify to such Fund that it is not subject to such withholding. The backup withholding tax rate is 28%.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a shareholder generally may be refunded or credited against the shareholder federal income tax liability, if any, provided that certain required information is timely furnished to the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Cost Basis Reporting

 

Legislation passed by Congress in 2008 requires a Fund or its administrative agent to report to the IRS and furnish to fund shareholders the cost basis information for fund shares purchased on or after January 1, 2012 (“covered shares”), and redeemed, exchanged or otherwise sold on or after that date. In addition to the requirement (which applied historically and continues to apply) to report the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares, a Fund will also be required to report the cost basis information for such shares and indicate whether these shares had a short-term or long-term holding period. In the absence of an election by a shareholder to elect from certain cost basis methods which have been accepted by the IRS, each Fund will use its default cost basis method.

 

In general, the cost basis method elected or applied may not be changed after the settlement date of a sale of Fund shares. Once a Fund shareholder has elected a cost basis reporting method, the election will apply to all future transactions in covered shares unless the shareholder revokes or changes the standing election. Fund shareholders should consult with their tax advisers concerning the most desirable IRS-accepted cost basis method for their tax situation and to obtain more information about how the new cost basis reporting law applies to them. The historical legal requirement to report only the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares will continue to apply to all Fund shares acquired through December 31, 2011, and which are sold on and after that date.

 

 

You should consult with your tax adviser regarding the U.S. federal, foreign, state and local tax consequences of an investment in the Fund.

 

Surtax on Net Investment Income

 

A surtax of 3.8% applies to net investment income of an individual taxpayer and to the undistributed net investment income of certain estates and trusts, in each case if the taxpayer’s gross income as adjusted exceedsof a threshold amount. Net investment income includes interest, dividends, royalties, rents, gross income from a trade or business involving passive activities, and net gain from disposition of property (other than property held in a non-passive trade or business). Net investment income includes ordinary income and capital gain distributions received with respect to shares of a Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of such Fund shares. Net investment income is reduced by deductions properly allocable to such income. Holders of Fund shares should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of this legislation on their ownership and disposition of Fund shares.

 

Foreign Accounts

 

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (or “FATCA”), foreign financial institutions as defined by FATCA (“FFIs”) or non-financial foreign entities as defined by FATCA (“NFFEs”) that are shareholders of a Fund may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on: (1) income dividends paid by the Fund, and (2) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds of a sale of Fund shares paid after December 31, 2018. The FATCA withholding tax generally may be avoided: (a) by an FFI, if it reports certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI, and (b) by an NFFE, if it: (i) certifies that is has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or (ii) if it does have such owners, reporting information relating to them to the withholding agent (which may be the Fund). The U.S. Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (each, an “IGA”) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA. An entity in one of those countries may be required to comply with the terms of an IGA and applicable local law instead of U.S. Treasury regulations.

 

An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a tax compliance agreement with the IRS under section 1471(b) of the Code under which it agrees to verify, report and disclose certain of its U.S. accountholders and provided that such entity meets certain other specified requirements. The FFI will report to the IRS, or, depending on the FFI’s country of residence, to the government of that country (pursuant to the terms and conditions of an applicable IGA and applicable law), which will, in turn, report to the IRS. An FFI that is resident in a country that has entered into an IGA with the U.S. to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the FFI shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.

 

An NFFE that is the beneficial owner of a payment from a Fund can avoid FATCA withholding generally by certifying that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or by providing the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner. The NFFE will report to the Fund or other applicable withholding agent, which will, in turn, report information to the IRS.

 

Such foreign shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted or deemed compliant categories as established by U.S. Treasury regulations, IGAs, and other guidance regarding FATCA. An FFI or NFFE that invests in a Fund will need to provide the Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding. The requirements imposed by FATCA are different from, and in addition to, the U.S. certification rules to avoid backup withholding described above.

 

 

Reportable Transactions

 

Under Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not determine whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper.

 

Other Tax Matters

 

Special tax rules apply to investments through defined contribution plans and other tax-qualified plans. Shareholders should consult their tax advisor to determine the suitability of shares of a Fund as an investment through such plans and the precise effect of an investment in the Funds would have on their particular tax situation.

 

The foregoing discussion relates solely to U.S. federal income tax law. Dividends and distributions also may be subject to state and local taxes. Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, state, local and, where applicable, foreign taxes. Foreign investors should consult their tax advisers concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences of ownership of shares of a Fund, including the certification and filing requirements imposed on foreign investors in order to qualify for exemption from the backup withholding tax rates (or a reduced rate of withholding provided by treaty).

 

The foregoing is a general and abbreviated summary of the applicable provisions of the Code and related regulations currently in effect. For the complete provisions, reference should be made to the pertinent Code sections and regulations. The Code and regulations are subject to change by legislative or administrative actions.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

 

The Trust was organized as a Delaware business trust on November 30, 1993 and consists of multiple separate portfolios or series. The Board may establish additional series in the future. The capitalization of the Trust consists solely of an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest with no par value.

 

The Trust consists of multiple separate portfolios or funds. When certain matters affect one fund but not another, the shareholders would vote as a fund regarding such matters. Subject to the foregoing, on any matter submitted to a vote of shareholders, all shares then entitled to vote will be voted separately by the fund unless otherwise required by the 1940 Act, in which case all shares will be voted in the aggregate. For example, a change in a fund’s fundamental investment policies would be voted upon only by shareholders of the fund. Additionally, approvals of the respective Investment Advisory Contract and/or Management Contract are matters to be determined separately by each fund.

 

Approval by the shareholders of one Fund is effective as to that Fund whether or not sufficient votes are received from the shareholders of the other fund to approve the proposal as to that Fund. The term “majority,” when referring to approvals to be obtained from shareholders of a fund means the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares of the fund or class represented at a meeting if the holder of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the fund or class are present in person or by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the fund. The term “majority,” when referring to the approvals to be obtained from shareholders of the Trust as a whole means the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% of the Trust’s shares represented at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Trust’s outstanding shares are present in person or proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the Trust’s outstanding shares. Shareholders are entitled to one vote for each full share held and fractional votes for fractional shares held.

 

 

The Trust is not required to hold regular annual meetings of a fund’s shareholders and does not intend to do so. However, the Trust undertakes to hold a special meeting of its shareholders if the purpose of voting on the question of removal of a director or trustees is requested in writing by the holders of at least 10% of the Trust’s outstanding voting securities, and to assist in communicating with other shareholders as required by Section 16(c) of the 1940 Act. The Trust Instrument provides that the holders of not less than two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the Trust may remove a person serving as Trustee either by declaration in writing or at a meeting called for such purpose.

 

Each share of a Fund represents an equal proportional interest in the Fund with each other share and is entitled to such dividends and distributions out of the income earned on the assets belonging to the fund as are declared in the discretion of the Trustees. In the event of the liquidation or dissolution of the Trust, shareholders of each fund are entitled to receive the assets attributable to such Fund that are available for distribution, and a distribution of any general assets of the Trust not attributable to a particular Fund that are available for distribution in such manner and on such basis as the Trustees in their sole discretion may determine.

 

Shareholders are not entitled to any preemptive rights. All shares, when issued, will be fully paid and non-assessable by the Trust.

 

Under Delaware law, shareholders could, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable for the obligations of a series of the Trust but only to the extent of the shareholder’s investment in such series. However, the Trust Instrument disclaims liability of the shareholders, Trustees or Officers of the Trust for acts or obligations of the Trust, which are binding only on the assets and property of each series of the Trust and requires that notice of the disclaimer be given in each contract or obligations entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees. The risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which the Trust itself would be unable to meet its obligations and should be considered remote and is limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment in the Fund.

 

OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

Custodian. State Street Bank and Trust Company, located at 225 Franklin Street, Boston, MA, 02171 (“State Street”), serves as Custodian for Funds, and in such capacity is the registered owner of securities in book-entry form belonging to the Funds. Upon instruction, the Custodian 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. The Custodian also maintains certain accounts and records of the Funds.

 

Transfer Agent. ALPS, pursuant to a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement, serves as transfer agent for the Funds. As Transfer Agent, ALPS has, among other things, agreed to (i) issue and redeem shares of the Funds; (ii) make dividend and other distributions to shareholders of the Fund; (iii) effect transfers of shares; (iv) mail communications to shareholders of the Funds, including account statements, confirmations, and dividend and distribution notices; (v) facilitate the electronic delivery of shareholder statements and reports and (vi) maintain shareholder accounts. Under the Transfer Agency and Service Agreement, ALPS receives from the Trust an annual minimum fee and a fee based upon the number of shareholder accounts and is also reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. As described above, ALPS is an affiliate of APSD and the Adviser.

 

 

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. [__________] serves as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm. [______________] is located at [___________].

 

Counsel. Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP serves as counsel to the Funds and is located at 1550 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, Colorado 80202.

 

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

 

Yield and Total Return. The Funds may from time to time include the yield and/or total return of its shares in advertisements or information in advertisements or information furnished to present or prospective shareholders.

 

Each Fund’s yield will vary from time to time depending upon market conditions, the composition of its portfolios and operating expenses of the Trust allocated to each Fund. These factors, possible differences in the methods used in calculating yield, and the tax exempt status of distributions, should be considered when comparing each Fund’s yield to yields published for other investment companies and other investment vehicles. Yield should also be considered relative to changes in the value of each Fund’s shares and to the relative risks associated with the investment objectives and policies of the Fund.

 

At any time in the future, yields and total return may be higher or lower than past yields and there can be no assurance that any historical results will continue.

 

Investors in each Fund are specifically advised that share prices, expressed as the net asset value per share, will vary just as yield will vary. An investor’s focus on the yield of a Fund to the exclusion of the consideration of the share price of that Fund may result in the investor’s misunderstanding the total return he or she may derive from the Fund.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

The financial statements and financial highlights in the October 31, 2017 Annual Report (the “Annual Report”) of the Funds are incorporated in this SAI by reference. The financial statements and financial highlights in the Annual Report have been audited by _____________, whose report thereon appears in the Annual Report. You can obtain additional copies of such Annual Report at no charge by writing or telephoning the Funds at the address or toll-free number on the front page of this SAI.

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

 

The Fund may make use of average portfolio credit quality standards to assist institutional investors whose own investment guidelines limit their investments accordingly. In determining the Fund’s overall dollar-weighted average quality, unrated securities are treated as if rated, based on the adviser’s view of their comparability to rated securities. The Fund’s use of average quality criteria is intended to be a guide for those investors whose investment guidelines require that assets be invested according to comparable criteria. Reference to an overall average quality rating for the Fund does not mean that all securities held by the Fund will be rated in that category or higher. The Fund’s investments may range in quality from securities rated in the lowest category in which the Fund is permitted to invest to securities rated in the highest category (as rated by Moody’ s, S&P or Fitch or, if unrated, determined by the adviser to be of comparable quality). The percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in securities in a particular rating category will vary. Following is a description of Moody’s, S&P’s and Fitch’s ratings applicable to fixed-income securities.

 

Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.

 

Corporate and Municipal Bond Ratings

Aaa: Bonds which are rated Aaa are judged to be of the best quality. They carry the smallest degree of investment risk and are generally referred to as “gilt edge.” Interest payments are protected by a large or by an exceptionally stable margin and principal is secure. While the various protective elements are likely to change, such changes as can be visualized are most unlikely to impair the fundamentally strong position of such issues.

 

Aa: Bonds which are rated Aa are judged to be of high quality by all standards. Together with the Aaa group they comprise what are generally known as high-grade bonds. They are rated lower than the best bonds because margins of protection may not be as large as in Aaa securities or fluctuation of protective elements may be of greater amplitude or there may be other elements present that make the long-term risks appear somewhat larger than with Aaa securities.

 

A: Bonds which are rated A possess many favorable investment attributes and are to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations. Factors giving security to principal and interest are considered adequate, but elements may be present that suggest a susceptibility to impairment sometime in the future.

 

Baa: Bonds which are rated Baa are considered as medium-grade obligations (i.e., they are neither highly protected nor poorly secured), interest payments and principal security appear adequate for the present but certain protective elements may be lacking or may be characteristically unreliable over any great length of time. Such bonds lack outstanding investment characteristics and in fact have speculative characteristics as well.

 

Ba: Bonds which are rated Ba are judged to have speculative elements; their future cannot be considered as well-assured. Often the protection of interest and principal payments may be very moderate and thereby not well safeguarded during both good and bad times over the future. Uncertainty of position characterizes bonds in this class.

 

B: Bonds which are rated B generally lack characteristics of a desirable investment. Assurance of interest and principal payments or of maintenance of other terms of the contract over any long period of time may be small.

 

 

Caa: Bonds which are rated Caa are of poor standing. Such issues may be in default or there may be present elements of danger with respect to principal or interest.

 

Ca: Bonds which are rated Ca represent obligations which are speculative in a high degree. Such issues are often in default or have other marked shortcomings.

 

C: Bonds which are rated C are the lowest rated class of bonds and issues so rated can be regarded as having extremely poor prospects of ever attaining any real investment standing.

 

Moody’s bond ratings, where specified, are applicable to financial contracts, senior bank obligations and insurance company senior policyholder and claims obligations with an original maturity in excess of one year. Obligations relying upon support mechanisms such as letter-of-credit and bonds of indemnity are excluded unless explicitly rated. Obligations of a branch of a bank are considered to be domiciled in the country in which the branch is located.

 

Unless noted as an exception, Moody’s rating on a bank’s ability to repay senior obligations extends only to branches located in countries which carry a Moody’s Sovereign Rating for Bank Deposits. Such branch obligations are rated at the lower of the bank’s rating or Moody’s Sovereign Rating for the Bank Deposits for the country in which the branch is located. When the currency in which an obligation is denominated is not the same as the currency of the country in which the obligation is domiciled, Moody’s ratings do not incorporate an opinion as to whether payment of the obligation will be affected by the actions of the government controlling the currency of denomination. In addition, risk associated with bilateral conflicts between an investor’s home country and cither the issuer’s home country or the country where an issuer branch is located are not incorporated into Moody’s ratings.

 

Moody’s makes no representation that rated bank obligations or insurance company obligations are exempt from registration under the Securities Act or issued in conformity with any other applicable law or regulation. Nor does Moody’s represent that any specific bank or insurance company obligation is legally enforceable or a valid senior obligation of a rated issuer.

 

Moody’s applies numerical modifiers, 1,2, and 3 in each generic rating classified from Aa through Caa in its corporate bond rating system. The modifier 1 indicates that the security ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates that the issue ranks in the lower end of its generic rating category.

 

Corporate Short-Term Debt Ratings

 

Moody’s short-term debt ratings are opinions of the ability of issuers to repay punctually senior debt obligations. These obligations have an original maturity not exceeding one year, unless explicitly noted.

 

Moody’s employs the following three designations, all judged to be investment-grade, to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:

 

PRIME-1: Issuers rated Prime-1 (or supporting institutions) have a superior ability for repayment of senior short-term debt obligations. Prime-1 repayment ability will often be evidenced by many of the following characteristics: leading market positions in well-established industries; high rates of return on funds employed: conservative capitalization structure with moderate reliance on debt and ample asset protection; broad margins in earnings coverage of fixed financial charges and high internal cash generation; and well-established access to a range of financial markets and assured sources of alternate liquidity.

 

 

PRIME-2: Issuers rated Prime-2 (or supporting institutions) have a strong ability for repayment of senior short-term debt obligations. This will normally be evidenced by many of the characteristics cited above but to a lesser degree. Earnings trends and coverage ratios, while sound, may be more subject to variation. Capitalization characteristics, while still appropriate, may be more affected by external conditions. Ample alternate liquidity is maintained.

 

PRIME-3: Issuers rated Prime-3 (or supporting institutions) have an acceptable ability for repayment of senior short-term obligations. The effect of industry characteristics and market compositions may be more pronounced. Variability in earnings and profitability may result in changes in the level of debt protection measurements and may require relatively high financial leverage. Adequate alternate liquidity is maintained.

 

NOT PRIME: Issuers rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

 

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services

 

Issue Credit Rating Definitions

 

A Standard & Poor’s issue credit rating is a current opinion of the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation, a specific class of financial obligations, or a specific financial program (including ratings on medium term note programs and commercial paper programs). It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the obligation and takes into account the currency in which the obligation is denominated. The issue credit rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell, or hold a financial obligation, inasmuch as it does not comment as to market price or suitability for a particular investor.

 

Issue credit ratings are based on current information furnished by the obligors or obtained by Standard & Poor’s from other sources it considers reliable. Standard & Poor’s does not perform an audit in connection with any credit rating and may, on occasion, rely on unaudited financial information. Credit ratings may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or unavailability of, such information, or based on other circumstances.

 

Issue credit ratings can be either long-term or short-term. Short-term ratings are generally assigned to those obligations considered short term in the relevant market. In the U.S., for example, that means obligations with an original maturity of no more than 365 days, including commercial paper. Short-term ratings are also used to indicate the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to put features on long-term obligations. The result is a dual rating, in which the short-term rating addresses the put feature, in addition to the usual long-term rating. Medium-term notes are assigned long-term ratings.

 

Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on the following considerations: likelihood of payment - capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation: nature of and provisions of the obligation; protection afforded by, and relative position of, the obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.

 

The issue rating definitions are expressed in terms of default risk. As such, they pertain to senior obligations of an entity. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect the lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation applies when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.) Accordingly, in the case of junior debt the rating may not conform exactly with the category definition.

 

 

Corporate and Municipal Bond Ratings

 

Investment-grade

 

AAA: An obligation rated AAA has the highest rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.

 

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

 

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

 

BBB: An obligation rated ‘BBS’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

Speculative Grade

 

Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’ and ‘C’ are regarded as having predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to capacity to pay interest and repay principal. BB indicates the least degree of speculation and C the highest. While such debt will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these are outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.

 

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

 

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

 

CCC: An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

CC: An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment.

 

C: A subordinated debt or preferred stock obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The ‘C’ rating may be used to cover a situation where a bankruptcy petition has been filed or similar action taken, but payments on this obligation are being continued. A ‘C’ also will be assigned to a preferred stock issue in arrears on dividends or sinking fund payments, but that is currently paying.

 

 

D: An obligation rated ‘D’ is in payment default. The ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due even if the applicable grace period has not expired, unless Standard & Poor’s believes that such payments will be made during such grace period. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action if payments on an obligation are jeopardized.

 

Plus (+) or Minus (–): The ratings from AA to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus or minus sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

 

Provisional ratings: The letter “p” indicates that the rating is provisional. A provisional rating assumes the successful completion of the project being financed by the debt being rated and indicates that payment of debt service requirements is largely or entirely dependent upon the successful and timely completion of the project. This rating, however, while addressing credit quality subsequent to completion of the project, makes no comment on the likelihood of, or the risk of default upon failure of, such completion. The investor should exercise his own judgment with respect to such likelihood and risk.

 

r: This symbol is attached to the ratings of instruments with significant noncredit risks. It highlights risks to principal or volatility of expected returns which are not addressed in the credit rating. Examples include: obligations linked or indexed to equities, currencies, or commodities; obligations exposed to severe prepayment risk - such as interest-only or principal-only mortgage securities; and obligations with unusually risky interest terms, such as inverse floaters.

 

The absence of an “r” symbol should not be taken as an indication that an obligation will exhibit no volatility or variability in total return.

 

N.R.: This indicates that no rating has been requested, that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that Standard & Poor’s does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.

 

Debt obligations of issuers outside the United States and its territories are rated on the same basis as domestic corporate and municipal issues. The ratings measure the creditworthiness of the obligor but do not take into account currency exchange and related uncertainties.

 

Commercial Paper Rating Definitions

 

A Standard & Poor’s commercial paper rating is a current assessment of the likelihood of timely payment of debt having an original maturity of no more than 365 days. Ratings are graded into several categories, ranging from A for the highest quality obligations to D for the lowest. These categories are as follows:

 

A-1: A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated in the highest category by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.

 

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

 

A-3: A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

 

B: A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

C: A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

D: A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in payment default. The ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due even if the applicable grace period has not expired, unless Standard & Poor’s believes that such payments will be made during such grace period. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action if payments on an obligation are jeopardized.

 

A commercial paper rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a security inasmuch as it does not comment as to market price or suitability for a particular investor. The ratings are based on current information furnished to Standard & Poor’s by the issuer or obtained from other sources it considers reliable. Standard & Poor’s does not perform an audit in connection with any rating and may, on occasion, rely on unaudited financial information. The ratings may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn as a result of changes in or unavailability of such information.

 

Fitch Investor Services, Inc

 

Credit Ratings

 

Fitch’s credit ratings provide an opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments, such as interest, preferred dividends, repayment of principal, insurance claims or counterparty obligations. Credit ratings are used by investors as indications of the likelihood of receiving their money back in accordance with the terms on which they invested. Fitch’s credit ratings cover the global spectrum of corporate, sovereign (including supranational and sub-national), financial, bank, insurance, municipal and other public finance entities and the securities or other obligations they issue, as well as structured finance securities backed by receivables or other financial assets.

 

The use of credit ratings defines their function: “investment grade” ratings (international Long-term ‘AAA’ to ‘BBB-’ categories; Short-term ‘F1’ to ‘F3’) indicate relatively low to moderate credit risk, while those in the “speculative” or “non investment grade” categories (international Long-term ‘BB+’ to ‘D’; Short-term ‘B’ to ‘D’) either signal a higher level of credit risk or that a default has already occurred. Credit ratings express risk in relative rank order, which is to say they are ordinal measures of credit risk and are not predictive of a specific frequency of default or loss.

 

Depending on their application, credit ratings address benchmark measures of probability of default as well relative expectations of loss given default. For example, issuers are typically assigned Issuer Default Ratings that are relative measures of default probability. Similarly, short-term credit ratings give primary consideration to the likelihood that obligations will be met on a timely basis. Securities, however, are rated taking into consideration probability of default and loss given default. As a result, for entities such as corporations security ratings may be rated higher, lower or the same as the issuer rating to reflect expectations of the security’s relative recovery prospects, as well as differences in ability and willingness to pay. While recovery analysis plays an important role throughout the ratings scale, it becomes a more critical consideration for below investment-grade securities and obligations, particularly at the lower end of the non-investment-grade ratings scale where Fitch often publishes actual Recovery Ratings, that are complementary to the credit ratings.

 

 

Structured finance ratings typically are assigned to each individual security or tranche in a transaction, and not to an issuer. Each structured finance tranche is rated on the basis of various stress scenarios in combination with its relative seniority, prioritization of cash flows and other structural mechanisms.

 

International Long-Term Credit Ratings

 

International Long-Term Credit Ratings (LTCR) may also be referred to as Long-Term Ratings. When assigned to most issuers, it is used as a benchmark measure of probability of default and is formally described as an Issuer Default Rating (IDR). The major exception is within Public Finance, where IDRs will not be assigned as market convention has always focused on timeliness and does not draw analytical distinctions between issuers and their underlying obligations. When applied to issues or securities, the LTCR may be higher or lower than the issuer rating (IDR) to reflect relative differences in recovery expectations.

 

The following rating scale applies to foreign currency and local currency ratings:

 

Investment Grade

 

AAA

 

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

 

AA

 

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

 

A

 

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

 

BBB

 

Good credit quality. ‘BBB’ ratings indicate that there are currently expectations of low credit risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate but adverse changes in circumstances and economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity. This is the lowest investment grade category.

 

 

Speculative Grade

 

BB

 

Speculative

‘BB’ ratings indicate that there is a possibility of credit risk developing, particularly as the result of adverse economic change over time; however, business or financial alternatives may be available to allow financial commitments to be met. Securities rated in this category are not investment grade.

 

B

 

Highly speculative

For issuers and performing obligations, ‘B’ ratings indicate that significant credit risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met; however, capacity for continued payment is contingent upon a sustained, favorable business and economic environment.

 

For individual obligations, may indicate distressed or defaulted obligations with potential for extremely high recoveries. Such obligations would possess a Recovery Rating of ‘R1’ (outstanding).

 

CCC

 

For issuers and performing obligations, default is a real possibility. Capacity for meeting financial commitments is solely reliant upon sustained, favorable business or economic conditions.

 

For individual obligations, may indicate distressed or defaulted obligations with potential for average to superior levels of recovery. Differences in credit quality may be denoted by plus/minus distinctions. Such obligations typically would possess a Recovery Rating of ‘R2’ (superior), or ‘R3’ (good) or ‘R4’ (average).

 

CC

 

For issuers and performing obligations, default of some kind appears probable.

 

For individual obligations, may indicate distressed or defaulted obligations with a Recovery Rating of ‘R4’ (average) or ‘R5’ (below average).

 

C

 

For issuers and performing obligations, default is imminent.

 

For individual obligations, may indicate distressed or defaulted obligations with potential for below-average to poor recoveries. Such obligations would possess a Recovery Rating of ‘R6’ (poor).

 

RD

 

Indicates an entity that has failed to make due payments (within the applicable grace period) on some but not all material financial obligations, but continues to honor other classes of obligations.

 

D

 

Indicates an entity or sovereign that has defaulted on all of its financial obligations. Default generally is defined as one of the following:

 

 

failure of an obligor to make timely payment of principal and/or interest under the contractual terms of any financial obligation;
the bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other winding-up or cessation of business of an obligor; or
the distressed or other coercive exchange of an obligation, where creditors were offered securities with diminished structural or economic terms compared with the existing obligation.

 

Default ratings are not assigned prospectively; within this context, non-payment on an instrument that contains a deferral feature or grace period will not be considered a default until after the expiration of the deferral or grace period.

 

Issuers will be rated ‘D’ upon a default. Defaulted and distressed obligations typically are rated along the continuum of ‘C’ to ‘B’ ratings categories, depending upon their recovery prospects and other relevant characteristics. Additionally, in structured finance transactions, where analysis indicates that an instrument is irrevocably impaired such that it is not expected to meet pay interest and or principal in full in accordance with the terms of the obligation’s documentation during the life of the transaction, but where no payment default in accordance with the terms of the documentation is imminent, the obligation may be rated in the ‘B’ or ‘CCC-C’ categories.

 

Default is determined by reference to the terms of the obligations’ documentation. Fitch will assign default ratings where it has reasonably determined that payment has not been made on a material obligation in accordance with the requirements of the obligation’s documentation, or where it believes that default ratings consistent with Fitch’s published definition of default are the most appropriate ratings to assign.

 

International Short-Term Credit Ratings

 

The following ratings scale applies to foreign currency and local currency ratings. A Short-term rating has a time horizon of less than 13 months for most obligations, or up to three years for US public finance, in line with industry standards, to reflect unique risk characteristics of bond, tax, and revenue anticipation notes that are commonly issued with terms up to three years. Short-term ratings thus place greater emphasis on the liquidity necessary to meet financial commitments in a timely manner.

 

F1

 

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

 

F2

 

Good credit quality. A satisfactory capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, but the margin of safety is not as great as in the case of the higher ratings.

 

F3

 

Fair credit quality. The capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate; however, near term adverse changes could result in a reduction to non investment grade.

 

 

B

 

Speculative. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.

 

C

 

High default risk. Default is a real possibility. Capacity for meeting financial commitments is solely reliant upon a sustained, favorable business and economic environment.

 

RD

 

Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other obligations.

 

D

 

Indicates an entity or sovereign that has defaulted on all of its financial obligations.

 

Notes to International Long-Term and Short-Term ratings:

 

The modifiers “+” or “–” may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA’ Long-term rating category, to categories below ‘CCC’ or to Short-term ratings other than ‘Fl’. (The +/– modifiers are only used to denote issues within the CCC category, whereas issuers are only rated CCC without the use of modifiers.)

 

Rating Watch: Ratings are placed on Rating Watch to notify investors that there is a reasonable probability of a rating change and the likely direction of such change. These are designated as “Positive,” indicating a potential upgrade, “Negative,” for a potential downgrade, or “Evolving,” if ratings may be raised, lowered or maintained. Rating Watch is typically resolved over a relatively short period.

 

Rating Outlook: An Outlook indicates the direction a rating is likely to move over a one to two-year period. Outlooks may be positive, stable or negative. A positive or negative Rating Outlook does not imply a rating change is inevitable. Similarly, ratings for which outlooks are “stable” could be upgraded or downgraded before an outlook moves to positive or negative if circumstances warrant such an action. Occasionally, Fitch Ratings may be unable to identify the fundamental trend. In these cases, the Rating Outlook may be described as evolving.

 

Program ratings (such as the those assigned to MTN shelf registrations) relate only to standard issues made under the program concerned: it should not be assumed that these ratings apply to every issue made under the program. In particular, in the case of non-standard issues, i.e. those that are linked to the credit of a third party or linked to the performance of an index, ratings of these issues may deviate from the applicable program rating.

 

Variable rate demand obligations and other securities which contain a short-term “put” or other similar demand feature will have a dual rating, such as AAA/F1+. The first rating reflects the ability to meet long-term principal and interest payments, whereas the second rating reflects the ability to honor the demand feature in full and on time.

 

Interest Only

 

Interest Only ratings are assigned to interest strips. These ratings do not address the possibility that a security holder might fail to recover some or all of its initial investment due to voluntary or involuntary principal repayments.

 

 

Principal Only

 

Principal Only ratings address the likelihood that a security holder will receive their initial principal investment either before or by the scheduled maturity date.

 

Rate of Return

 

Ratings also may be assigned to gauge the likelihood of an investor receiving a certain predetermined internal rate of return without regard to the precise timing of any cash flows.

 

‘PIF’

 

Paid-in-Full: denotes a security that is paid-in-full, matured, called, or refinanced.

 

‘NR’ indicates that Fitch Ratings does not rate the issuer or issue in question.

 

‘Withdrawn’: A rating is withdrawn when Fitch Ratings deems the amount of information available to be inadequate for rating purposes, or when an obligation matures, is called, or refinanced, or for any other reason Fitch Ratings deems sufficient.

 

APPENDIX B

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc.

Proxy Voting Policy, Procedures and Guidelines

 

1.Policy Statement and Background

 

Overview

An investment adviser that exercises voting authority over clients’ proxies must adopt written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to ensure that those proxies are voted in the best economic interests of clients. An adviser’s policies and procedures must address how the adviser resolves material conflicts of interest between its interests and those of its clients. An investment adviser must comply with certain record keeping and disclosure requirements with respect to its proxy voting responsibilities. In addition, an investment adviser to ERISA accounts has an affirmative obligation to vote proxies for an ERISA account, unless the client expressly retains proxy voting authority.

 

Policy Summary

With all advisory clients of AAI currently being investment companies registered under the 1940 Act, any assignment of voting authority over the Funds’ voting securities is typically delegated to AAI as the Funds’ investment adviser, or the Funds’ sub-adviser by the respective Funds’ Board of Trustees/Directors. If the Funds’ day-to-day investment decisions are performed by the Funds’ investment sub-adviser(s), Funds’ Board of Trustees/Directors may elect to delegate the responsibility of voting proxies to such sub-adviser to be voted in accordance to the sub-adviser’s proxy voting policies and procedures in conformance with Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. For securities in the portfolio of a Fund that is managed by more than one sub-adviser, each sub-adviser shall make voting decisions pursuant to their own proxy voting policies and procedures, as adopted in conformance with the Advisers Act for their respective portions of the Fund’s portfolio, unless directed otherwise.

 

 

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (“AAI”) has adopted and implemented the following policies and procedures, which it believes are reasonably designed to: (1) ensure that proxies are voted in the best economic interest of clients and (2) address material conflicts of interest that may arise. AAI will provide clients with a copy of its policies and procedures, as they may be updated from time to time, upon request. Information regarding AAI’s proxy voting decisions is confidential. Therefore, the information may be shared on a need to know basis only, including within AAI. Advisory clients may obtain information on how their proxies were voted by AAI. However, AAI will not selectively disclose its investment company clients’ proxy voting records to third parties; the investment company clients’ proxy records will be disclosed to shareholders by publicly-available annual filings of each investment company’s proxy voting record for 12-month periods ending June 30th.

 

Policy

All proxies regarding client securities for which AAI has authority to vote will, unless AAI determines in accordance with policies stated below to refrain from voting, be voted in a manner considered by AAI to be in the best interest of AAI’s clients. The best interest of clients is defined for this purpose as the interest of enhancing or protecting the economic value of client accounts, considered as a group rather than individually, as AAI determines in its sole and absolute discretion. There may also be instances where a fund relies upon Section 12(d)(1)(F), and by law, the fund may be required to vote proxies in the same proportion as the vote of all other shareholders of the acquired fund (i.e., “echo vote”). In the event a client believes that its other interests require a different vote, AAI will vote as the client clearly instructs, provided AAI receives such instructions in time to act accordingly.

AAI endeavors to vote, in accordance with this Policy, all proxies of which it becomes aware, subject to the following general exceptions (unless otherwise agreed) when AAI expects to routinely refrain from voting:

 

i.Proxies will usually not be voted in cases where the security has been loaned from the Client’s account and subsequently, AAI determines that the type of proxy issue is not material to shareholders. AAI will utilize the below considerations to determine if a security then on loan should be recalled for voting purposes. Decisions will generally be made on a case-by-case basis depending on whether, in AAI’s judgment:

 

the matter to be voted on has critical significance to the potential value of the security in question;
the security represents a significant holding and whether the security is considered a long-term holding; and
AAI believes it can recall the security in time to cast the vote.

 

ii.Proxies will usually not be voted in cases where AAI deems the costs to the Client and/or the administrative inconvenience of voting the security outweigh the benefit of doing so (e.g., international issuers which impose share blocking restrictions).

 

AAI seeks to avoid the occurrence of actual or apparent material conflicts of interest in the proxy voting process by voting in accordance with predetermined voting guidelines and observing other procedures that are intended to guard against and manage conflicts of interest (refer to Section III, Conflicts of Interest below).

 

2.Procedures and Controls

 

Where proxy voting is delegated to the sub-adviser, the sub-adviser will adopt proxy voting policies and procedures in accordance in conformance with Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. AAI has adopted the following proxy voting procedures and controls for any client securities which AAI has authority to vote on:

 

 

I.Proxy Committee

 

AAI has established a Proxy Committee whose standing members are determined by AAI’s Chief Compliance Officer. These members participate as voting authorities on the Committee. Each standing member may designate a senior portfolio manager or a senior analyst officer to act as a substitute in a given matter on their behalf. Additionally, the Proxy Committee regularly involves other associates (e.g., Fund CCO or Legal representative) who participate as needed to enable effective execution of the Committee’s responsibilities.

 

The Proxy Committee’s functions include, in part,

 

(a) direction of the vote on proposals where there has been a recommendation to the Proxy Committee not to vote according to the predetermined Voting Guidelines (stated in Appendix A) or on proposals which require special, individual consideration in accordance with Section III.C;

 

(b) review periodically this Proxy Voting Policy and Procedure to ensure consistency with internal policies, client disclosures and regulatory requirements;

 

(c) development and modification of Voting Procedures, as stated in Section VI, as it deems appropriate or necessary.

 

II.Conflicts of Interest

 

For purposes of this policy, a material conflict of interest is a relationship or activity engaged in by AAI, an AAI affiliate, or an AAI associate that creates an incentive (or appearance thereof) to favor the interests of AAI, the affiliate, or associate, rather than the clients’ interests. For example, AAI may have a conflict of interest if either AAI has a significant business relationship with a company that is soliciting a proxy, or if an AAI associate involved in the proxy voting decision-making process has a significant personal or family relationship with the particular company. A conflict of interest is considered to be “material” to the extent that a reasonable person could expect the conflict to influence AAI’s decision on the particular vote at issue. In all cases where there is deemed to be a material conflict of interest, AAI will seek to resolve it in the clients’ best interests.

 

AAI follows the proxy guidelines and uses other research services provided by Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (“ISS”) or another independent third party. In providing proxy voting services to AAI, ISS provides vote recommendations on a pre-determined policy. Generally, AAI will vote proxies based on ISS’ pre-determined voting policy. In doing so, AAI demonstrates that its vote would not be a product of a conflict of interest as AAI would have little or no discretion on how the proxy was voted.

 

AAI has undertaken a review of ISS’ conflicts of interest procedures, and will continue to monitor them on an ongoing basis. In the event that AAI determines that it would be appropriate to use another third party, it will undertake a similar conflicts of interest assessment review.

 

III.Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

A. AAI’s Proxy Voting Guidelines – General Practices.

 

The Proxy Committee has adopted the guidelines for voting proxies specified in Appendix A of this policy. AAI will use an independent, third-party vendor to implement its proxy voting process as AAI’s proxy voting agent. In general, whenever a vote is solicited, ISS or another independent third party will execute the vote according to AAI’s Voting Guidelines.

 

 

B. Ability to Vote Proxies Other than as Provided by Voting Guidelines.

 

A portfolio manager or other party involved with a client’s account may conclude that the best interest of the firm’s client, as defined above, requires that a proxy be voted in a manner that differs from the predetermined proxy Voting Guidelines. In this situation, he or she will request that the Proxy Committee consider voting the proxy other than according to such Guidelines. If any person, group, or entity requests the Proxy Committee (or any of its members) vote a proxy other than according to the predetermined Voting Guidelines, that person will furnish to the Proxy Committee a written explanation of the reasons for the request and a description of the person’s, group’s, or entity’s relationship, if any, with the parties proposing and/or opposing the matter’s adoption. The Proxy Committee may consider the matter including any potential conflicts of interest. A research analyst or portfolio manager must disclose in in writing any inappropriate attempt to influence their recommendation or any other personal interest that they have with the issuer (see Conflicts of Interest Disclosure and Certification Form - Appendix B to this policy).

 

C. Other Proxy Proposals

 

For the following categories of proposals either the Proxy Committee will determine how proxies related to all such proposals will be voted, or the proxies will be voted in accordance with ISS’ or an individual client’s guidelines.

 

1. New Proposals. For each new type of proposal that is expected to be proposed to shareholders of multiple companies, the Proxy Committee will develop a Voting Guideline which will be incorporated into this Policy.

 

2. Accounts Adhering to Taft Hartley Principles. All proposals for these accounts will be voted according to the Taft Hartley Guidelines developed by ISS.

 

3. Accounts Adhering to Socially Responsible Principles. All proposals for these accounts will be voted according to the Socially Responsible Guidelines developed by ISS or as specified by the client.

 

4. Proxies of International Issuers which Block Securities Sales between the Time a Shareholder submits a Proxy and the Vote. In general, AAI will refrain from voting such securities. However, in the exceptional circumstances that AAI determines that it would be appropriate to vote such proxies, all proposals for these securities will be voted only on the specific instruction of the Proxy Committee and to the extent practicable in accordance with the Voting Guidelines set forth in this Policy.

 

5. Proxies of Investment Company Shares. Proposals on issues other than those provided in Section III.B will be voted on the specific instruction of the Proxy Committee.

 

6. Executive/Director Compensation. Except as provided in Section III.B, proposals relating to compensation of any executive or director will be voted as recommended by ISS or as otherwise directed by the Proxy Committee.

 

7. Preemptive Rights. Proposals to create or eliminate shareholder preemptive rights. In evaluating these proposals the Proxy Committee will consider the size of the company and the nature of its shareholder base.

 

 

IV.Voting Procedures

 

The Proxy Committee has developed the following procedures to aid the voting of proxies according to the Voting Guidelines. The Proxy Committee may revise these procedures from time to time, as it deems necessary or appropriate to affect the purposes of this Policy.

 

1.AAI will use an independent, third-party vendor, to implement its proxy voting process as AAI’s proxy voting agent. This retention is subject to AAI continuously assessing the vendor’s independence from AAI and its affiliates, and the vendor’s ability to perform its responsibilities (and, especially, its responsibility to vote client proxies in accordance with AAI’s proxy voting guidelines) free of any actual, potential or apparent material conflicts of interests that may arise between the interests of the vendor, its affiliates, the vendor’s other clients and the owners, officers or employees of any such firm, on the one hand, and AAI’s clients, on the other hand. As means of performing this assessment, AAI will require various reports and notices from the vendor, as well as periodic audits of the vendor’s voting record and other due diligence.

 

2.ISS will provide proxy analysis and record keeping services in addition to voting proxies on behalf of AAI in accordance with this Policy.

 

3.On a daily basis, AAI or designee will send to ISS a holdings file detailing each equity holding held in all accounts over which AAI has voting authority.

 

4.AAI will complete a Vote Authorization Registration with ISS for any new client which will describe how ballots will be executed on behalf of the client. In addition, AAI will complete and provide the client’s custodian bank with a Letter of Authorization. The letter will serve as notice that AAI has retained ISS to act as the voting agent for the securities held in the client’s account and will instruct the custodian bank to forward all ballots, meeting notices, and other proxy materials to ISS.

 

5.ISS will receive proxy material information from Proxy Edge or the custodian bank for the account. This will include issues to be voted upon, together with a breakdown of holdings for AAI accounts. ISS will then reconcile information it receives from Proxy Edge and custodian banks. Any discrepancies will be promptly noted and resolved by ISS, with notice to AAI.

 

6.Whenever a vote is solicited, ISS will execute the vote according to AAI’s Voting Guidelines which will be delivered by AAI to ISS as set forth in Appendix A and anytime there is a material change to these guidelines.

 

oIf ISS is unsure how to vote a particular proxy, ISS will issue a request for voting instructions to AAI over a secure website. AAI personnel will check this website regularly. The request will be accompanied by a recommended vote. The recommended vote will be based upon ISS’ understanding of the Voting Guidelines previously delivered to ISS. AAI will promptly provide ISS with any amendments or modifications to the Voting Guidelines if necessary. AAI will return a final instruction to vote to ISS, which ISS will record with Proxy Edge or the custodian bank as our agent.

 

7.Each time that ISS sends AAI a request to vote, the request will be accompanied by the recommended vote determined in accordance with AAI’s Voting Guidelines. ISS will vote as indicated in the request unless the client has reserved discretion, the Proxy Committee determines that the best interest of clients requires another vote, or the proposal is a matter as to which the Proxy Committee affords special, individual consideration under Section III.B. In such situations, ISS will vote based on the direction of the client or the Proxy Committee, as the case may be. The interests of AAI’s Taft Hartley or Socially Responsible clients may impact a proposal that normally should be voted in a certain way. ISS will inform AAI of all proposals having impact on its Taft Hartley and or Socially Responsible clients. The Proxy Voting Committee will be consulted before a vote is placed in cases where Taft Hartley or Socially Responsible issues are presented.

 

 

8.ISS will have procedures in place to ensure that a vote is cast on every security holding maintained by AAI on which a vote is solicited unless otherwise directed by the Proxy Committee. On a yearly basis, or as required by our clients AAI will receive a report from ISS detailing AAI’s voting for the previous period.

 

V.Securities Lending

 

Each Fund advised by AAI, where authorized by its respective Board, may engage in securities lending transactions, to the extent permitted by the Fund’s investment policies and limitations. The Adviser will be required to monitor for scheduled or anticipated proxy votes relating to securities on loan and determine whether the securities should be recalled from loan on the relevant record date. AAI has retained ISS to provide notifications relating to portfolio securities on loan, and AAI will make the determination whether or not to recall a particular security in order to cast the vote. There may be situations where the Adviser may not be able to recall the security in time to cast the vote.

 

VI.Supervision

 

Managers and supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring that their associates understand and follow this policy and any applicable procedures adopted by the business group to implement the policy. The Proxy Committee has ultimate responsibility for the implementation of this Policy.

 

VII.Escalation

 

With the exception of conflicts of interest-related matters, issues arising under this policy should be escalated to AAI’s CCO, or designee. Issues involving potential or actual conflicts of interest should be promptly communicated to Compliance or Legal. Compliance will notify the Fund Chief Compliance Officer(s), if a material conflict of interest has arisen that deems the attention of the respective Fund Board(s).

 

VIII.Monitoring

 

AAI’s Compliance Department is primarily responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the proxy voting process. The Compliance Department’s monitoring will take into account the following elements: (1) periodic review of ISS votes to ensure that ISS is accurately voting consistent with AAI’s Proxy Guidelines; and (2) review of fund’s N-PX report to ensure that it’s filed in a timely and accurate manner. Additionally, AAI will review ISS’ conflicts of interest policies.

 

AAI’s Compliance Committee monitors proxy matters for its clients including monitoring material conflicts of interest identified.

 

IX.Availability of Proxy Voting Policy and Voting Record

 

A summary disclosure regarding the provisions of this Policy will be available in AAI’s Form ADV, to the extent AAI is required to prepare a Part 2 to Form ADV. Upon receipt of a Client’s request for more information, AAI will provide to the Client a copy of this Policy and/or how AAI voted proxies for the Client pursuant to this Policy for up to a one-year period. It is AAI’s policy not to disclose how it voted a client’s proxy to third parties.

 

 

With respect to its investment company clients, AAI will not selectively disclose its investment company clients’ proxy voting records; rather, AAI will disclose such information by publicly available annual filings. AAI will create and maintain records of each investment company’s proxy record for 12-month periods ended June 30th. AAI will compile the following information for each matter relating to a portfolio security considered at any shareholder meeting during the period covered by the annual report and which the company was entitled to vote:

 

The name of the issuer of the security;
The exchange ticker symbol of the portfolio security (is symbol is available through reasonably practicable means);

The Council on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures number for the portfolio security (if number is available through reasonably practicable means);

 

The shareholder meeting date;

 

A brief identification of the matter voted on;
Whether the matter was proposed by the issuer or by a security holder;
Whether the company cast its vote on the matter;
How the company cast its vote (e.g., for or against proposal, or abstain; for or withhold regarding the election of directors); and

Whether the company cast its vote for or against management.

 

X.Other Record Keeping Requirements

 

Business groups and support partners are responsible for maintaining all records necessary to evidence compliance with this policy. The records must be properly maintained and readily accessible in order to evidence compliance with this policy.

 

These records include:

 

Proxy Committee Meeting Minutes and Other Materials (routine oversight matters are discussed within AAI’s Compliance Committee meetings and will be documented within the Compliance Committee’s materials);
Analysis and Supporting Materials of Investment Management Personnel Concerning Proxy Decisions and Recommendations;
Conflicts of Interest Review Documentation, including Conflicts of Interest Forms; and
Client Communications Regarding Proxy Matters.

 

Records should be retained for a period of not less than six years. Records must be retained in an appropriate office of AAI for the first three years.

 

Dated: November 29, 2006

Last Amended: December 1, 2015

Appendix A

 

Summary of Proxy Voting Guidelines

 

AAI has adopted Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.’s (“ISS”) standard benchmark policy which allows ISS to apply the most appropriate underlying guideline for each respective ballot. ISS has created multiple guidelines to cover various markets, including, but not limited to: U.S., Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Asia, Africa and Australia. AAI retains the right to override any of ISS’ guidelines on a case-by-case basis. A concise summary of ISS’ current Proxy Voting Guidelines can be found at http://www.issgovernance.com/policy.

 

 

Appendix B

 

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form

 

ALPS ADVISORS, INC.

PROXY VOTING CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE FORM

 

1. Company name:    
2. Date of Meeting:    
3. Referral Item(s):    
4. Description of AAI’s Business Relationship with Issuer of Proxy which may give rise to a conflict of interest:
     
     
     
5. Describe procedures used to address any conflict of interest:  
     
     

 

Compliance will consider information about AAI’s significant business relationships, as well as other relevant information. The information considered by Compliance may include information regarding: (1) AAI client and other business relationships; (2) any relevant personal conflicts; and (3) communications between investment professionals and parties outside the AAI investment division regarding the proxy matter. Compliance will consult with relevant experts, including legal counsel, as necessary.

 

If Compliance determines that it reasonably believes (1) AAI has a material conflict of interest, or (2) certain individuals should be recused from participating in the proxy vote at issue, Compliance will inform the Chair of the Proxy Committee. Where a material conflict of interest is determined to have arisen in the proxy voting process, AAI’s policy is to invoke one or more of the following conflict management procedures:

 

a.Causing the proxies to be voted in accordance with the recommendations of an independent third party (which generally will be AAI’s proxy voting agent);
b.Causing the proxies to be delegated to a qualified, independent third party, which may include AAI’s proxy voting agent.
c.In unusual cases, with the Client’s consent and upon ample notice, forwarding the proxies to AAI’s clients so that they may vote the proxies directly.

 

Affiliate Investment Companies and Public Companies

 

 

AAI considers (1) proxies solicited by open-end and closed-end investment companies for which AAI or an affiliate serves as an investment adviser or principal underwriter to present a material conflict of interest for AAI. Consequently, the proxies of such affiliates will be voted following one of the conflict management procedures discussed above.

 

Management of Conflicts of Interest – Additional Procedures

 

AAI has various compliance policies and procedures in place in order to address any material conflicts of interest that might arise in this context.

 

a.AAI’s Code of Ethics affirmatively requires that associates of AAI act in a manner whereby no actual or apparent conflict of interest may be seen as arising between the associate’s interests and those of AAI’s Clients.

 

b.By assuming his or her responsibilities pursuant to this Policy, each member of the Proxy Committee (including the chairperson) and any AAI or ALPS associate advising or acting under the supervision or oversight of the Proxy Committee undertakes:

 

To disclose in writing to AAI’s Chief Compliance Officer any actual or apparent personal material conflicts of interest which he or she may have (e.g., by way of substantial ownership of securities, relationships with nominees for directorship, members of an issuer’s or dissident’s management or otherwise) in determining whether or how AAI will vote proxies. Additionally, each member must disclose any direct, indirect or perceived influence or attempt to influence such action which the member or associate views as being inconsistent with the purpose or provisions of this Policy or the Code of Ethics of AAI or ALPS. In the event any member of the Proxy Committee has a conflict of interest regarding a given matter, he or she will abstain from participating in the Committee’s determination of whether and/or how to vote in the matter; and

 

To refrain from taking into consideration, in the decision as to whether or how AAI will vote proxies the existence of any current or prospective material business relationship between AAI, ALPS or any of their affiliates, on one hand, and any party (or its affiliates) that is soliciting or is otherwise interested in the proxies to be voted, on the other hand.

 

c.In certain circumstances, AAI follows the proxy guidelines and uses other research services provided by Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (“ISS”) or another independent third party. AAI has undertaken a review of ISS’ conflicts of interest procedures, and will continue to monitor them on an ongoing basis. In the event that AAI determines that it would be appropriate to use another third party, it will undertake a similar conflicts of interest assessment review.

 

6. Describe any contacts from parties outside AAI (other than routine communications from proxy solicitors) with respect to the referral item not otherwise reported in an investment professional’s recommendation:

 

CERTIFICATION

The undersigned personnel of AAI certifies that, to the best of his/her knowledge, any recommendation of an investment professional provided under circumstances where a conflict of interest exists was made solely on the investment merits and without regard to any other consideration.

 

   
Name:  
Title:  

 

 

 

 

Smith Capital Investors, LLC

Proxy Voting Policy, Procedures and Guidelines

 

1.1 Background. The Company recognizes that, as a fiduciary to its clients, it has duties of care and loyalty. The SEC has stated that the duty of care requires an SEC registered investment adviser with proxy voting authority to monitor corporate actions and to vote the proxies. To satisfy its duty of loyalty, an SEC registered investment adviser must cast the proxy votes in a manner consistent with the best interests of its clients and must not put the adviser’s own interests above those of its clients. While the Company is not an SEC registered investment adviser, it has adopted these policies and procedures which are designed to reasonably ensure that the Company votes client securities in the best interest of clients for which it has voting authority.

 

1.2 Proxy Voting Policy. Based upon the Company’s business as an investment adviser to the Funds (and lack of involvement in publicly-traded equities), it is not expected that proxy voting will occur frequently. There may be occasions, however, when a Fund is asked to vote on matters with respect to securities held by the Fund. With respect to proxies and other votes requested with respect to securities held by a Fund for which the Company or an affiliate exercises voting discretion, it is the Company’s practice to review and vote on such matters on a case-by-case basis. In furtherance of the foregoing, it is the Company’s policy to (i) stay apprised of developments that affect the private equity funds and operating companies in which the Funds invest, (ii) carefully review matters submitted to a Fund for a vote as a holder of fund interests or operating company securities and (iii) vote on those matters on a case-by-case basis in a manner that the Company believes is in the best interests of the applicable Fund.

 

1.3 Request for Information. A client or an Investor in a Fund may obtain information regarding the Company’s Proxy Voting policies and procedures, as well as information regarding how the Company voted proxies on behalf of the client by sending a request to the Company.

 

 

PART C. OTHER INFORMATION

 

Item 28. Exhibits

 

(a)

 

(1)Trust Instrument of Registrant.(1)

 

(2)Revised Trust Instrument of Registrant.(1)

 

(3)Amendment to Trust Instrument of Registrant dated August 7, 2009.(8)

 

(b)

 

(1)By-Laws of Registrant.(1)

 

(2)Revised By-Laws of Registrant.(1)

 

(3)Amendment to By-Laws of Registrant dated April 25, 2008.(5)

 

(c)Provisions of instruments defining rights of security holders are contained in Articles 2 and 7 of the Declaration of Trust (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit (a)(1) of this filing).

 

(d)

 

(1)

Investment Advisory and Management Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund.(28)

 

(2)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Value Intersection Fund).(28)

 

(3)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Wellington Management Company, LLP with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Value Intersection Fund).(28)

 

(4)Supplement dated July 15, 2014 to Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Wellington Management Company, LLP with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Value Intersection Fund).(43)

 

(5)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Clough China Fund.(28)

 

(6)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Clough Capital Partners, LP with respect to the Clough China Fund.(28)

 

 

(7)Investment Advisory Agreement dated December 30, 2009 between Registrant and Vulcan Value Partners, LLC with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(8)Amendment dated January 1, 2013 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated December 30, 2009 between Registrant and Vulcan Value Partners, LLC with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners Fund and Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Fund.(37)

 

(9)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Allocation Fund).(28)

 

(10)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated January 15, 2014 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and CoreCommodity Management, LLC with respect to the CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Allocation Fund).(51)

 

(11)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund).(28)

 

(12)Amendment dated August 31, 2012 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund) , RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund).(28)

 

(13)Amendment dated February 28, 2018 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund). (62)

 

(14)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund).(28)

 

 

(15)Amendment dated August 31, 2012 to Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and RiverFront Investment Group, LLC with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund). (28)

 

(16)Amendment dated February 28, 2018 to Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and RiverFront Investment Group, LLC with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund). (62)

 

(17)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(28)

 

(18)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated November 1, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Kotak Mahindra (UK) Limited with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(28)

 

(19)Investment Advisory Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and Aspen Partners Ltd. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

(20)Investment Advisory Agreement dated July 13, 2011 between Registrant and Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Growth Investors Fund. (28)

 

(21)Investment Advisory Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and Grandeur Peak Global Advisors, LLC with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(22)

 

(22)Investment Advisory Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and Highland Associates, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(23)Investment Advisory Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and Seafarer Capital Partners, LLC with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund.(26)

 

 

(24)Investment Advisory Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and the Emerald Growth Fund.(28)

 

(25)Investment Advisory Agreement dated November 29, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index Fund.(31)

 

(26)Amendment dated December 5, 2012 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and Highland Associates, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(34)

 

(27)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated April 1, 2013 by and between Registrant, Highland Associates, Inc. and Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc. (f/k/a Robeco Investment Management, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(37)

 

(28)Sub-Advisory Agreement dated August 31, 2016 by and between Registrant, Highland Associates, Inc. and Incline Global Management, LLC with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund). (53)

 

(29)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to the Investment Advisory Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and Grandeur Peak Global Advisors, LLC with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

(30)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund. (41)

 

(31)Amendment dated June 10, 2014 to Investment Advisory Agreement between the Registrant and Seafarer Capital Partners, LLC with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund. (41)

 

(32)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(47)

 

(33)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and Grandeur Peak Global Advisors, LLC with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(34)Investment Advisory Agreement dated July 10, 2015 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund).(46)

 

 

(35)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated July 10, 2015 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Metis Global Partners, LLC with respect to the ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund).(46)

 

(36)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated July 31, 2015 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Red Rocks Capital LLC with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund.(48)

 

(37)Amendment dated April 15, 2016 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and Seafarer Capital Partners, LLC with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(51)
(38)Amendment dated August 31, 2016 to Investment Advisory Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and Seafarer Capital Partners, LLC with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund and the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(53)

 

(39)Investment Advisory Agreement dated August 31, 2016 between Redmont Resolute (a Cayman Islands exempted company) and Highlands Associates, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(53)

 

(40)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to the Investment Advisory Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and Aspen Partners Ltd. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund and the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund. (55)

 

(41)Investment Advisory Agreement dated December 16, 2016 between Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund, Ltd. (a Cayman Islands exempted company) and Aspen Partners Ltd. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

(42)Investment Advisory Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between the Registrant and Rondure Global Advisors, LLC with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57).

 

(43)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated January 25, 2017 among the Registrant, Highland Associates, Inc. and Chatham Asset Management, LLC with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund). (58)

 

(44)Novation Agreement dated April 1, 2017 among the Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc., Kotak Mahindra (UK) Limited and Kotak Mahindra Asset Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund. (58)

 

(45)Interim Investment Advisory Agreement dated January 1, 2018 between Registrant and Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc. with respect to The Disciplined Growth Investors Fund. (62)

 

(46)Investment Advisory Agreement dated February 12, 2018 between Registrant and Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc. with respect to The Disciplined Growth Investors Fund (63).

 

 

(47)Investment Advisory Agreement dated ________, 2018 between Registrant and Smith Capital Investors, LLC with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(48)Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement dated ________, 2018 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc., and Smith Capital Investors, LLC with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(e)

 

(1)Distribution Agreement dated April 30, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund, ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund), Clough China Fund, ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund), ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund and ALPS/Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index Fund.(36)

 

(2)Amendment dated July 10, 2015 to Distribution Agreement dated April 30, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund) (46).

 

(3)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Distribution Agreement dated April 30, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. with respect to Class A Shares of ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund, ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund), Clough China Fund, ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund), ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund and ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund) (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(4)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Distribution Agreement dated April 30, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

 

(5)Form of Selling Agreement between ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. and Broker/Dealer.(36)

 

(6)Form of Shareholder Servicing Agreement between ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. and servicing firm.(36)

 

(7)Form of Fund-SERV Agreement between ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. and servicing firm.(36)

 

(8)Form of Trust Networking Agreement between ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. and servicing firm.(36)

 

(9)Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(28)

 

(10)Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

(11)Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Growth Investors Fund.(28)

 

(12)Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(28)

 

(13)Distribution Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(14)Distribution Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund.(26)

 

(15)Distribution Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and the Emerald Growth Fund.(28)

 

(16)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

(17)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Distribution Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

 

(18)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to Distribution Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(47)

 

(19)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(20)Amendment dated April 15, 2016 to Distribution Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(51)

 

(21)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to Distribution Agreement dated November 1, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Distributors with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

(22)Distribution Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between Registrant and Rondure Global Advisors LLC with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57)

 

(23)Amendment dated January 29, 2016 to the Distribution Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between the Registrant and ALPS Distributors, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund). (58).

 

(24)Form of Selling Agreement between ALPS Distributors, Inc. and Broker/Dealer.(10)

 

(25)Form of Shareholder Servicing Agreement between ALPS Distributors, Inc. and servicing firm.(10)

 

(26)Form of Fund-SERV Agreement between ALPS Distributors, Inc. and servicing firm.(10)

 

(27)Form of Trust Networking Agreement between ALPS Distributors, Inc. and servicing firm.(10)

 

(f)None.

 

(g)

 

(1)Custody Agreement dated November 13, 2007 between Registrant and The Bank of New York with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund).(5)

 

(2)Foreign Custody Manager Agreement dated November 13, 2007 between Registrant and The Bank of New York with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund).(5)

 

 

(3)Amendment No. 2 dated December 30, 2009 to Custody Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(4)Amendment No. 2 dated December 30, 2009 to Foreign Custody Manager Agreement between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(5)Amendment dated February 14, 2011 to Custody Agreement dated November 13, 2007 between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(21)

 

(6)Amendment dated February 14, 2011 to Foreign Custody Manager Agreement dated November 13, 2007 between Registrant and The Bank of New York Mellon with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(21)

 

(7)Global Custody Agreement dated December 26, 2012 between Registrant and MUFG Union Bank N.A. (f/k/a Union Bank N.A.) with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund), Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund, The Disciplined Growth Investors Fund, Redmont Resolute Fund I, Redmont Resolute Fund II, Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund, Emerald Banking and Finance Fund, Emerald Growth Fund, Pathway Advisors Aggressive Growth Fund, Pathway Advisors Aggressive Growth and Income Fund, Pathway Advisors Conservative Fund, Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities Fund and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Fund.(48)

 

(8)Master Custodian Agreement dated June 1, 2013 between Registrant and State Street Bank and Trust Company with respect to certain series of the Trust.(39)

 

(9)Amendment dated December 9, 2013 to the Master Custodian Agreement dated June 1, 2013 relating to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund, ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund, Clough China Fund, ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommodities Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund) and ALPS/Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index Fund. (58)

 

(10)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Master Custodian Custody Agreement dated December 26, 2012 between Registrant and MUFG Union Bank N.A. (f/k/a Union Bank N.A.) with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

(11)Amendment dated December 14, 2016 to Custodian Agreement dated December 26, 2012 between Registrant and MUFG Union Bank N.A. (f/k/a Union Bank N.A.) with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

 

(12)Custodian Agreement dated December 16, 2013 between Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities Fund, Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Fund, Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(45)

 

(13)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Global Custody Agreement dated December 26, 2012 between Registrant and MUFG Union Bank N.A. (f/k/a Union Bank N.A.) with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(47)

 

(14)Amendment dated June 4, 2015 to Custodian Agreement dated December 16, 2013 between Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(48)

 

(15)Amendment dated July 9, 2015 to Master Custodian Agreement dated June 1, 2013 between Registrant and State Street Bank and Trust Company with respect to the ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund). (46)

 

(16)Amendment dated April 15, 2016 to Custodian Agreement dated December 16, 2013 between Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund. (51)

 

(17)Amendment dated May 18, 2016 to Custodian Agreement dated December 16, 2013, between Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund.(53)

 

(18)Amendment dated March 14, 2017 to Custodian Agreement dated December 16, 2013 between Registrant and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (18)

 

(19)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Master Custodian Agreement dated June 1, 2013 between Registrant and State Street Bank and Trust Company with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(h)

 

(1)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund).(4)

 

(2)Amendment No. 2 dated August 31, 2009 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a Activa Value Fund).(16)

 

(3)Amendment No. 4 dated January 15, 2010 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Clough China Fund.(16)

 

 

(4)Amendment No. 5 dated March 9, 2010 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund), ALPS/WMC Research Value (f/k/a Activa Value Fund) and ALPS/GNI Long-Short Funds.(14)

 

(5)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated December 30, 2009 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(6)Transfer Agency and Interactive Client Service Agreement dated December 30, 2009 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(7)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

(8)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated July 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Growth Investors Fund.(19)

 

(9)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement September 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(22)

 

(10)Amendment dated June 15, 2010 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Allocation Fund).(18)

 

(11)Amendment dated August 2, 2010 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund).(18)

 

(12)Amendment dated September 27, 2010 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund).(18)

 

(13)Amendment dated January 20, 2011 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(17)

 

(14)Amendment dated August 31, 2012 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund).(28)

 

 

(15)Amendment dated July 10, 2015 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/ Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund).(46)

 

(16)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to Class A Shares of ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund, ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund), Clough China Fund, ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund), ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund and ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund) (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(17)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(18)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(19)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund.(26)

 

(20)Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and Emerald Growth Fund.(23)

 

(21)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

(22)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

 

(23)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(51)

 

(24)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(25)Amendment dated August 2, 2105 to the Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund. (58)

 

(26)Amendment dated April 15, 2016 to Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(51)

 

(27)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

(28)Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57)

 

(29)Amendment dated January 29, 2016 to the Transfer Agency and Services Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between the Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund). (58)

 

(30)Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund).(4)

 

(31)Amendment dated August 31, 2009 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a Activa Value Fund).(16)

 

(32)Amendment dated January 15, 2010 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Clough China Fund.(16)

 

(33)Amendment dated March 9, 2010 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity (f/k/a Listed Private Equity Fund), ALPS/WMC Research Value (f/k/a Activa Value Fund) and ALPS/GNI Long-Short Funds.(16)

 

 

(34)Amendment dated June 15, 2010 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Allocation Fund).(18)

 

(35)Amendment dated August 2, 2010 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund).(18)

 

(36)Amendment dated September 27, 2010 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund).(18)

 

(37)Amendment dated January 20, 2011 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund.(17)

 

(38)Amendment dated August 31, 2012 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund).(28)

 

(39)Amendment dated November 29, 2012 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index Fund.(31)

 

(40)Amendment dated July 10, 2015 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund).(46)

 

(41)Amendment dated February 28, 2018 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund). (62)

 

(42)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to Class A Shares of ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund, ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/WMC Disciplined Value Fund), Clough China Fund, ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommoditiesSM Strategy Fund (f/k/a Jefferies Asset Management Commodity Strategy Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Aggressive (f/k/a RiverFront Global Growth Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Global Allocation Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Growth & Income (f/k/a RiverFront Dynamic Equity Income Fund), RiverFront Asset Allocation Moderate (f/k/a RiverFront Moderate Growth & Income Fund) and RiverFront Asset Allocation Income & Growth (f/k/a RiverFront Conservative Income Builder Fund), ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund and ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Value Fund (f/k/a ALPS/Metis Global Micro Cap Fund) (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

 

(43)Amendment dated ________, 2018 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated October 1, 2007 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/Smith Total Return Bond Fund and ALPS/Smith Short Term Bond Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(44)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Services Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

(45)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

(46)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated July 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Growth Investors Fund.(28)

 

(47)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated September 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(22)

 

(48)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(49)Amendment dated March 31, 2013 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(34)

 

(50)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund.(26)

 

 

(51)Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and the Emerald Growth Fund.(28)

 

(52)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

(53)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(44)

 

(54)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated September 11, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(55)Amendment dated August 2, 2015 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund. (58)

 

(56)Amendment dated April 15, 2016 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated January 30, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(51)

 

(57)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated August 2, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

(58)Amendment dated January 29, 2016 to the Administration, Bookkeeping and Pricing Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund). (58)

 

(59)Fund Accounting and Administration Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57)

 

(60)PFO Services Agreement dated December 30, 2009 among Registrant, ALPS Fund Services, Inc. and Vulcan Value Partners, LLC with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(61)Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 30, 2009 among Registrant, ALPS Fund Services, Inc. and Vulcan Value Partners, LLC with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(16)

 

(62)Amended and restated PFO Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

 

(63)Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Managed Futures Strategy Fund.(28)

 

(64)PFO Services Agreement dated July 13, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Fund Services, Inc. and Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Investors Growth Fund.(28)

 

(65)Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated July 13, 2011 among Registrant, ALPS Fund Services, Inc. and Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc. with respect to the Disciplined Investors Growth Fund.(28)

 

(66)Amended and Restated PFO Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(28)

 

(67)Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities and Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Funds.(28)

 

(68)PFO Services Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(69)Amendment dated January 29, 2016 to the PFO Services Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(51)

 

(70)Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 29, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(28)

 

(71)Amendment dated March 31, 2013 to Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 29, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(34)

 

(72)Amendment dated January 29, 2016 to Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 29, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Highland Resolute Fund (f/k/a Redmont Resolute Fund).(51)

 

(73)PFO Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and the Emerald Growth Fund.(28)

 

(74)Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Banking and Finance Fund and the Emerald Growth Fund.(28)

 

 

(75)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to PFO Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

(76)Amendment dated July 31, 2014 to Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Insights Fund.(41)

 

(77)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to PFO Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(47)

 

(78)Amendment dated June 9, 2015 to Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated March 16, 2012 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Emerald Small Cap Value Fund.(47)

 

(79)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

(80)Amendment dated May 1, 2013 to PFO Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund and Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.(35)

 

(81)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated September 11, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(82)Amendment dated June 29, 2015 to PFO Services Agreement dated September 11, 2013 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund, Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund and Grandeur Peak Micro Cap Fund.(45)

 

(83)Amended and Restated PFO Services Agreement effective January 1, 2016 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income Fund and Seafarer Overseas Value Fund. (58)

 

(84)Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated April 15, 2016 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Seafarer Growth and Income Fund and the Seafarer Overseas Value Fund.(51)

 

(85)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to Amended and Restated PFO Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

 

(86)Amendment dated December 16, 2016 to Amended and Restated Chief Compliance Officer Services Agreement dated December 13, 2011 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Aspen Portfolio Strategy Fund.(55)

 

(87)Principal Financial Officer Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57)

 

(88)Chief Compliance Officer Agreement dated March 23, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Fund Services, Inc. with respect to the Rondure New World Fund and Rondure Overseas Fund. (57)

 

(89)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated December 12, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund. (62)

 

(90)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated ________, 2018 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Class A Shares of ALPS/WMC Research Value Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(91)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated December 12, 2017 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Clough China Fund. (62)

 

(92)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated ________, 2018 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Class A Shares of Clough China Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(93)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated December 12, 2017 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Red Rocks Capital LLC with respect to the ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund. (62)

 

(94)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated ________, 2018 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Class A Shares of ALPS/Red Rocks Listed Private Equity Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(95)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated June 7, 2017 between Registrant and Vulcan Value Partners, LLC with respect to the Vulcan Value Partners and the Vulcan Value Partners Small Cap Funds.(60)

 

(96)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated December 12, 2017 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and CoreCommodity Management, LLC with respect to the ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommodities Strategy Fund. (62)

 

(97)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated ________, 2018 between Registrant and ALPS Advisors, Inc. with respect to the Class A Shares of ALPS|CoreCommodity Management CompleteCommodities Strategy Fund (to be filed by subsequent amendment).

 

(98)Fee Waiver Letter Agreement dated December 12, 2017 among Registrant, ALPS Advisors, Inc. and Kotak Asset Management Mahindra (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. with respect to the ALPS/Kotak India Growth Fund. (62)